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all words: Jessie Mann.

Under a Ghostbusters sky the glamorous and gorgeous gathered early Friday night for the VIP hour at the House of Sweden “After Dark” Party. Guests enjoyed the open bar and light fare (hors d’oeuvre and complementary drinks by sponsor Absolute Vodka were served during the VIP hour only, cash bar ensued) while the wind did interesting things with everyone’s hair, cue the defensive huddling and tight conversational bundles. But wind was not the only fierceness rooftop, so was the dramatic view of the Potomac against an eerie mauve sky illuminated by the setting sun.

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Well past the end of VIP hour, the roof, and the DJ stationed there (the Scandinavian rooftop lounge played only Scandinavian music), kept the party impressively frisky. There was, as one might expect, some ABBA and Ace of Base played, prompting me to mention that there seemed to be something indescribably early 90’s about the party. Dakota thankfully pointed out to me, “2008 is sooooo 1992.” Inside, guests enjoyed themselves drinking, dancing and shuttling through the glass elevator between layers of DJ’s, mezzanine gatherings, and dance floors. Dare I say, House of Sweden is the “bling” to Georgetown’s waterfront. Not to be missed, it sparkles like a rhinestone at the roller-rink.

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Amazingly, the portico at the end of the red carpet, is a glass box wallpapered by running waterfalls, a center atrium which starts on the lower level – for this event filled with a bar, dance floor and DJ, rises to a high ceiling heavily speckled with pinpoints of light. The overall aesthetic was one of modern elegance, and the dress of the guests reflected this, not to mention the statuesque blonds of both genders staffing the event. Adjacent to the lower dance floor was an underground dance floor in what the Swedes call the ‘Nobel Room’ (any guesses as to who the room might have been named after???) – replete with black walls and Flavin style light boxes working perfectly as drink stations. On the walls (consistent with the rest of the building) hung some rather interesting art. On exhibition was a photographic survey called “Red Houses,” showcasing Swedish Architectural use of the Falun Red Paint. Quite a few savvy guests either knew of this exhibition or were taking their cue from Ikea, the predominate fashion theme being one of black and white dress with a hint of red – on the lips, the trim, the shoes.

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It was a party at which to be seen and a party that provided more than enough visual candy to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. I was, however, disappointed by the downstairs light show, which, surrounded by such modernism and well incorporated art, looked like it belonged at a middle school dance, but well, that is sooo 1992. Looking forward to next time, I’m hoping that the House of Sweden will expand its already advanced notion of where art lies and give us some awesome Swedish video art, of which there is no shortage, I am sure. Finally, my favorite two lines of the night – “I eat all kinds of game” (this, I think, might have been a pick up line) and when a toothbrush was found amidst the after-party rubble blowing around the roof I heard this – “Only the Swedish.”

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All party photos will be available (shortly) to download through the House of Sweden After Dark website here.

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