I Built a Donut Wall For My Book Launch Party, Ask Me Anything

PLUS: Win one of five swag bags from the party!
Publish date:
April 17, 2015
what's in a costume designers kit, parties, alison freer, shapewear, donuts, vodka, xoBooks

Never say never, but if you're looking for a safe bet in Vegas, put it all on the fact that I, Alison Virginia Freer, will likely never have a big fancy wedding party where I wear a poofy white dress and spend $4k on flowers.

My reasons why are OMG BORING WHO CARES, but I bring it up here because I think the idea that your wedding is one of the only occasions truly worth throwing yourself a big 'ol party for is bunk. If you wind up never getting married, whether by fate or by choice, why rob yourself of a good time? Put another way, why wait until you win the Superbowl to go to Disneyland?

I really flip-flopped on whether or not to throw myself a launch party for the release of my first book, How to Get Dressed, earlier this week, but in the end I decided to just go for it. And I'm beyond glad I did—it was amazing to be surrounded by friends, family, loyal xoJane peeps, and co-workers who had to be so very tired of hearing about this dang book for close to three years. I'm pretty sure half of them had started to think I'd made the whole thing up.

#HowToGetDressed #booklaunch 🎉📚💃#travelersbookcase #dtla

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If a book isn't a good stand-in for a wedding, I don't know what is. My parents clearly agreed, because they flew in from Texas, cried with happiness, and insisted on hiring a professional photographer for the occasion. I didn't know whether to laugh or sob. (That's them in the bottom right hand corner, looking cute as can be.)

I think people had a great time at the party, but I don't really know. I did not eat, have a cocktail, use the bathroom, or stop talking to people the entire time. It was a literal marathon of me running my mouth.

But I did take a minute to pose by the piece de resistance: an entire wall of Krispy Kreme donuts that I designed and built with my mom's help. It holds 216 donuts on plastic hooks for the ultimate self-serve dessert station.

The donuts weren't even the best part of the party. It's really a tossup between the Deep Eddy Vodka bar (Ruby Red vodka + champagne has my heart forever, ya'll), the sweet xoJane readers who came to hang, the food (fried mac 'n cheese balls!) and the the Jewel Toned Panty Bar. (Which is exactly what it sounds like—step right up to be served a cute pair of panties from the very best "anti-shapewear" line on the planet!)

I did learn one really important thing after throwing a party for 150 of my nearest and dearest, and I'll share my mistake with you here so you can avoid serious heartache at your next uber-important event:

Figure out your look well in advance—and do a test run somewhere.

I, a professional costume designer who was celebrating the release of a book that is quite literally called How to Get Dressed, decided to never try on the dress I was going to wear until 30 minutes before the party. Once I finally did, I decided I hated it—and had to buy a dress from a store I happened to be walking past. Don't be like me, kids. Decide what the hell you're wearing way in advance—and then be sure to wear it somewhere beforehand as a test run.

The day after the party, I rolled down to my beloved Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena to see the book live and in person, and was pretty stunned to see it keeping some great company in the "Fashion" section:

But really, who are we kidding? The best part of any party is the swag bags, and mine did not disappoint. I've got a few extra, so I'll pick 5 readers from the comments of this post at random on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 9am PST, ask you to email me your address, and send one your way by Friday, April 24, 2015!

(Open only to US residents 18 years of age or older. Sorry Canada—you know the drill. All giveaway rules and prize winner notifications can be found right here.)

Party on, babes!

SWAG BAG WINNERS: 1. Alison Downs

2. Lola Dvorak

3. 'Kelsey'

4. 'Ginderella'

5. 'Ghost'


6. 'Miss Patni'

7. 'Chocosaurus'

8. 'G1'

'How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing' is available everywhere books are sold.