Out of the Elements

While no two events we design and produce are ever the same, for our team, they all share an identical end goal: optimally impactful results. From design to assembly, through purchasing and painting, woodshop and art, floral and vinyl, lighting and warehouse, everyone under our roof consistently works to raise the bar. Indeed, buried within the layers of each event photograph we share is the skilled handiwork of our various artisans.

In order to appreciate the layers of each endeavor, we’ve extracted just one element of a glistening gala to give you an idea of just how much effort goes into a final design.

Event: The Lyric Opera’s Diamond Ball–a celebration of 60 years–held in November of 2014.
Venue: Hilton Chicago
Designer: Bill Heffernan
Design Element: silver stage backdrop

High Contrast

Inspired by the event’s invitation–a silver foiled replica of the Civic Opera House’s famous fire curtain–Bill wanted to pull this element into the event design as well.

The Civic Opera House's fire curtain
The beautifully intricate (and inspiring) fire curtain at the Civic Opera House.

Lyric Opera Chicago's famous fire curtain
Extracting a small portion of the curtain (above), the goal was to create a sparkling silver backdrop for the main stage. The gleaming component was essential–both to make a big statement as well to complement the giant silver bursts of hand-painted camellia that punctuated the sweeping ballroom.

Bursts of hand painted silver camelia for the Lyric Opera Diamond Ball by HMR Designs
Bursts of hand painted silver camellia foliage welcome guests to the gala. (Kent Drake Photography)
Stunning gold and silver centerpieces by HMR Designs for the Lyric Opera Diamond Ball
Silver camellia bursts forth high above lush centerpieces speckled with gold. (Kent Drake Photography)

Gleam Team

A semi-metallic canvas fabric was selected to print the design into, but it became clear that to achieve the super high-contrast and lustrous look Bill desired, we’d have to embellish the fabric ourselves. Carefully unrolling the printed canvas along the perimeter of our studio, five members of our art team spent three days fastidiously painting glitter on by hand.

The Art Team, behind the scenes at HMR Designs
Our art team, taking matters into their own hands.

The Art Team, behind the scenes at HMR Designs

The Art Team, behind the scenes at HMR Designs The Art team, behind the scenes at HMR Designs
The result? A fully glistening triumph:

Lustrous silver stage backdrop and mirrored surrounds for the Lyric Opera's Diamond Ball with decor by HMR Designs
Silver screen: the band assembles amidst the shining scene. (Kent Drake Photography)
A glistening, hand painted silver stage backdrop by HMR Designs in Chicago
(Kent Drake Photography)
A stunning full room shot of the Lyric Opera's Diamond Ball designed by HMR Designs
Birds eye view. (Kent Drake Photography)

Indeed, it’s these meticulous considerations that make the outcome all the more extraordinary.

Cheers to Lyric Opera Chicago. Here’s to 60 more years. Thanks to our art team for always going the extra mile, and to Kent Drake Photography for the lovely final shots.