Planner Profile: Lawrence Scott
by Beth Landman
On this particular day, Lawrence Scott is surveying a room in the Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, which in a couple of hours will become the site of an elaborate birthday bash for Randy Levine, the wife of one of the hotel’s owners. Scott has totally transformed an empty space—draping two long tables with purple velvet tablecloths and adorning them with black swirl candles, purple orchids and lots of crystal.
“I was inspired to do this color by the purple chandeliers in the hotel’s lobby, but that alone was too harsh, so I toned it down with aubergine,” he explains. His crew is busy laying down a black and white marble dance floor, and with the oversize purple chairs and giant chess set he has added, it feels like the Mad Hatter might arrive any minute. “This is adult Alice in Wonderland, but classy,” he says. And these are no makeshift theatrical pieces: The candelabras are Philippe Starck, the stemware from Italy. “My dishes are worth millions,” he asserts. “I have everything from Cavalli to Bernardaud.”
Scott has three events going on today—the Gansevoort birthday party, a bat mitzvah at the W in Union Square and a wedding at the Puck Building. His staffers Steve and Jill (an artist) have each been working with him for 15 years, and though they’re on-site along with several other managers, Scott will personally oversee each event. “I am a control freak,” he says. “I started out as a caterer, but I didn’t want people to say ‘The food was great but the flowers were just OKOK.’ So now I do everything.”
When he exits the Gansevoort, a driver whisks him to the W where another empty room is morphing into a kids’ lounge. Scott brought in a long silver bar and topped it with white ceramic faces with wheatgrass hair and cascading orchids, as well as silver troughs filled with mini Milky Ways and nonpareils. A wall of cubbies contain small white goody bags adorned with an illustration of the bat mitzvah girl’s face.
The events Scott has produced for the last 27 years are not all birthdays, bar mitzvahs and weddings. Last summer he organized Stewart Rahr’s Hamptons party where the Clintons, Prince Albert and Christie Brinkley were guests. Diana Ross, Cindy Lauper, Usher, Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett have performed at his soirées.
Though his concepts are creative, Scott says he doesn’t go overboard. “These ideas are all from my head. But no matter what I want, I understand that I still work for clients and I have to make them happy.” Lawrence Scott Events, 35 Bethpage Road, Hicksville, 516-933-7535
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.