Keeping your party schedule in order can prove difficult for even the most organized Santa Barbaran. And don’t we all hate that blank spot on the wall that just begs for something to be hung?
Well, Premiere Events-a Santa Barbara party-throwing company run by Mary Lynn Harms, Josh Murray, and Ryan Grau-is killing those two dilemmas with one stylish stone. Next month, they’re releasing a slickly produced, Santa Barbara-centric 18-month calendar featuring our region’s most beautiful women modeling in establishments and settings all over town.
The $20 pin-up calendar, which runs from July 2007 through December 2008, is sponsored on a month-by-month basis by a number of restaurants, clubs, and trendsetting companies such as Couchez, whose month features a pillow fight, and Scavenge, which is taking over October to plug its famous Halloween costume supplies. There are also Q’s, Elements, Hot Kiss, Bryan Lee, Salon U, Santa Barbara Bridal, and many more companies behind individual spreads, and every sponsor will also be throwing a release party for their respective month to keep alive the calendar buzz.
The more than 20 photographed models, almost all living and/or working in Santa Barbara, range from professionals (one was recently in Playboy) to first-timers who work around town as waitresses and bartenders. Many of the models dance for State Street Ballet, and all of them will be featured in mini-profiles within the calendar. They were styled by Michael Romo of Salon U, creatively envisioned by Premiere Events’ owners Murray and Grau, and then shot mostly by Murray’s brother Adam, an L.A.-based photographer.
One afternoon a couple weeks ago, the crew was in full swing at EOS, the revamped bar at the corner of Anacapa and Haley streets. As Romo primped the more than one dozen models, EOS owner Jeff Clark poured drinks both real and fake, such as the bright-blue Hypnotiq concoction that one model cradled in her hand as she posed before the lounge’s outdoor fountain. (That shot is now the marketing face for Sundaze, Premiere Events’ annual weekend party series that’s going down this summer at EOS.)
The air smelled of equal parts excitement and determination, as the Premiere Events crew prepared for what was expected to be the calendar’s crowning shot: a “Last Supper”-inspired image with a bevy of beauties surrounding Clark, whose chiseled features and long hair make him the perfect Jesus-Christ-as-a-male-model. Despite the backstage chaos, the shoot turned out beautifully, as have almost all the scenes, including the American Beauty-inspired spread of a woman hiding behind popcorn instead of red roses and the sexy champagne toast to coincide with New Year’s. There’s a definite sense that Premiere Events may be onto something with this project, a product that combines Santa Barbara’s luxurious beauty with the restaurants, bars, stores, salons, and other companies that keep the town alive.
And their vision doesn’t stop with the calendar. The Premiere Events owners, who teamed up after working together at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, hope to make their Web site, pe-sb.com, into a clearinghouse for Santa Barbara’s growing nightlife scene. Past attempts by others to rope together our town’s loose-knit collective of clubs has proven tedious, if not impossible. But then again, a pin-up calendar’s no small task either, and Premiere Events is successfully pulling that off.