The making of Condé Nast Traveller’s Diwali party

Written by Travel Adventures

On Friday 13 October 2023, The Savoy Ballroom sparkled. Condé Nast Traveller partnered with Cartier to create the Diwali party of dreams; think flickering candles, 25,000 roses, mirrors everywhere and lots of glittering jewellery. To give you an idea of the work that went into creating this year’s soiree, we chat to the people behind the scenes who made it happen, from chefs and florists to event planners and members of the CNT team. To see more pictures and details of what happened on the night, take a look inside Condé Nast Traveller’s Diwali party.

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The vision

First and foremost, the team had to decide on a brief: what would 2023’s Diwali party look like? “Love and Light is what defines Diwali, and that was our very simple brief for the evening,” Divia Thani, global editorial director of Condé Nast Traveller, tells us.

DrinksRowben Lantion

Rowben Lantion

“I was delighted to find a partner in Cartier for the occasion: they have a long history with India, having created spectacular jewellery for Indian royalty for many, many years. Jacques Cartier visited India often and was dazzled by the stones, the riches, the craftsmanship and culture around jewellery. He studied the traditional techniques and several stunning pieces of Cartier jewellery created over the years are inspired by India. Many were created for Indian clients, including the exquisite Patiala necklace.” The event was hosted by Thani as well as Laurent Feniou, Cartier’s managing director. Guests were greeted by Cartier-uniformed bell boys and served Cartier Champagne, in addition to receiving gorgeous Cartier candles in their goodie bags along with other treats.

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Choosing a party planner

To get started planning the event, we knew there was only one option. “We brought in India’s top wedding designer, Vandana Mohan of The Wedding Design Company, and her London-based partner, Bruce Russell Events, to create a magical setting at the venue, the ballroom of The Savoy, which was such a perfect canvas for our dreams,” Divia explains.

“The inspiration was drawn from the essence of the festival itself,” Vandana said. “For the Love and Light theme, we had to bring sparkle and illumination into play. The design concept revolved around bringing the warmth of the festival visually by creating a synergy of patterns and colours using flowers, candles and lanterns. Our vision board drew inspiration from the colours and cultures you find in Condé Nast Traveller as well as Cartier’s commitment to true craftsmanship. We wanted to create a setting synonymous with luxury and elegance while keeping a sense of nostalgia intact. It still had to allow people to let loose and enjoy themselves.”

“Vandana and I worked together to come up with a design that used Cartier’s history with India, connecting the past to the present day,” Bruce Russell said of the initial planning stages. “As a celebration of Love and Light, we came up with a contemporary design to create a space where people from all generations can celebrate what Diwali means to them. We took direction from Cartier and Condé Nast Traveller to design not only the perfect space but the perfect experience for their guests.”

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