Costumes and Storytelling

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As our strapline, “Food Passion Performance” testifies we at Zaff HQ place equal importance on the service and delivery of our food, to the deliciousness of the food itself.

We want our food and the Zafferano experience to tell a story, and our army of handpicked waiters and waitresses are an enormously important part of that story – indeed it’s no coincidence that many of them are budding actors and actresses, keen to play a role in our party narrative.

An important vehicle of this are the costumes we sometimes create for our staff.  This can be quite simple – it’s amazing how a flower tucked behind a waitress’s ear suggests a tropical vibe, or a pair of red braces and a red bow tie immediately evokes a circus big top.

At other times it is more involved, and demands working with a clever theatrical stylist as we did for a “Fabulous Forties” party where our regular black dress uniforms were adorned and accessorised with feathers, fringing and diamanté, or an exclusive Midsummer Night’s Dream event, where Shakespearean ruffs and red face paint were de rigueur. Alternatively we’re often to be found at “Angels & Bermans” hiring authentic film or TV costumes, as we did when we needed a Circus Ring Mistress for a night at the circus.

Circus has been a recurring theme of late, and one of our most memorable costume parties was a Victorian “Carnivale Abnormale” or Twisted Circus. Here we let our imaginations run wild, combining a hybrid of Victorian circus and steam punk to create a veritable freak show of tattooed ballerinas, moustached strong-men mixologists and corset clad waitresses.

Contrast with this the clean cut, immaculate Zafferano Air Cabin Crew who turned out for the same event one year later, and it’s clear how styling staff to complement an event’s narrative is so effective.

Perhaps the most fun we’ve had was with a “Breaking Bad” party, inspired by the cult TV show. This party saw waiters don bright yellow bio hazard suits and breathing masks, barmen given gold teeth, fake tattoos, and stick-on moustaches and even our chefs were styled as Los Pollos Hermandos fried chicken short-order chefs!

Of course, given our strong links to the London Theatre scene it’s inevitable that costumes make a regular appearance at some of our first night parties. At the World Premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we dressed a team of waitresses as an army of Violet Beauregardes – who then served a selection of blueberry dessert canapes. At Kinky Boots, red glitter was the order of the day, so again our waitresses donned sparkly red frocks to serve a variety of OTT designer desserts.

At other Theatre Events we’ve been lucky enough to have access to the actual costumes. One legendary celebration party saw our staff dressed in costumes from Miss Saigon, Follies and Cats – on that particular day our team needed to arrive 5 hours early to get ready, but the results were worth it and the host and guests were delighted with the effect.

As the adage goes “Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story” and here at Zafferano we love being story tellers!