One of the fun contests at the International Fashion Doll Convention (IFDC) is the table decoration contest at the various meal events. Each table has a table host or co-hosts and those hosts either create displays or coordinate with their other table mates to create displays for their table. The displays usually try to illustrate the theme of that particular meal event. Prizes, which are given to each table mate, are awarded at each meal event for the best table decoration.
Our first opportunity for a table display came during the Villains, Vamps & Tramps Luncheon. We decided to tie in the theme with the fact that we were in Las Vegas, so we created a castle-inspired casino called the Villains & Vamps Casino complete with a roulette gaming table and a lounge act. Outside of the casino was a photo opportunity area where a tourist fashion doll could have his/her picture taken with the Evil Queen. There was also a souvenir Las Vegas t-shirt sales area and a place to park the casino "courtesy" car. It was important to us that this display, as with all of our displays, had something of interest from every angle. Additionally, Tamara designed and created t-shirts for us to wear that proclaimed us as "Staff" of our little casino. We were all thrilled when Jim announced that our display won for the best table decoration at the luncheon. We were equally thrilled when we learned that our prize was a brand new fashion from Randall Craig's newest collection, not even out in stores yet!
Our next event was the Leather & Lace: Fractured Fairytales Dinner. Tamara had a wonderful idea for this one using an amusement park ride that she had acquired awhile ago and was just waiting for the right time to use it. Since this was to be a "fractured" fairytale, we thought about what might happen if a beloved amusement park were built over a graveyard a la Poltergeist. In this case, a smaller table was used to display the ride area while there was room underneath the table to display the graveyard. Tamara created a monster hand that had the appearance of coming up out of the graveyard and destroying the ride, while horrified moms looked on.
I do have to make a statement here regarding this display. I have already read a comment elsewhere that we should be ashamed for wishing harm on children. Do I need to point out that these are dolls? In no way do we wish harm on children. And really, if you think a monster hand is actually going to come up out of the ground to destroy an amusement ride, please seek some professional help. OK, off my soapbox.
Our last display was for the Malice in Wonderland Banquet. In this case we decided to go with the more traditional Mad Hatter's tea party scene. Tamara found a great paper parasol that her husband was able to paint on using traditional Japanese painting tools. We arranged various dolls, some originally designed to be Alice characters such as the Mad Hatter and others created especially for this display, around a table containing the various accoutrements of a tea party. Additionally, Tamara created a table skirt using beautifully themed fabric that she pinned to the existing tablecloth.
We were both thoroughly pleased with the way all of our displays turned out. I just wonder how the hosts who fly in to the convention do it. We are lucky to live close enough to Las Vegas to be able to drive and load everything into one or two cars. No matter how it gets done, though, it's fun to walk about the dining room to view all of the different table displays and I'm so glad that this contest is part of the convention.
You can see more photos of our table displays on my Flickr photostream.