November 22 2019

Waris Ahluwalia Reminds Us that Love Conquers All at his Late-night Tea Party at the Top of the Standard

New York-Party Patrol
Earlier this week, Waris Ahluwalia made a return to the Top of the Standard to host an epic late night tea party to launch his much anticipated new line of organic adaptogenic functional teas, HOUSE of WARIS BOTANICALS he crafted together with a team of herbalists. A late night tea party Waris-style means friends (and Waris has a bunch of great ones) gathering together to sip tea, drink botanical cocktails and dance the night away, to be later reminded by the host himself that in a dysfunctional world, we are here to celebrate wellness and friendship.
Waris Ahluwalia, Chloë Sevigny, Katie Holmes
Waris Ahluwalia, Chloë Sevigny, Katie Holmes
Waris Ahluwalia, Chloë Sevigny, Katie Holmes

For those who know Waris, they will know that beyond being a designer, a regular on Wes Anderson's films and a tea brewer, he is also the consummate host able to make anyone feel at home at any of his parties and get-togethers; and that beyond New York City, he is able traverse effortlessly around the globe, always in the company of good friends in whatever city or village he finds himself in. It is this abundance of superpowers that makes his newest venture, the HOUSE of WARIS BOTANICALS ever so magical for it is the culmination of years of research, discovery and love put into starting a brand which he feels epitomizes all the values he believes in. 

It is for that reason that Waris' return to the Top of the Standard to the same room where he hosted an afternoon tea party for his friends some years ago when his teas were in their nascent days, is a true feat. His commitment to creating a brand that is more about lifestyle than simply product, became evident the moment you walked into the room - pink neon light welcomed you, the sounds too, familiar, fun and also unexpected. The Tea Party debuted functional blends– Sweet Clarity, Night of Nights and Love Conquers served as zero-proof beverages and cocktails made with premium Tanqueray No. TEN. Three distinct bars were set up throughout the room to show case each special blend, each given its very own neon sign inviting guests to meander through the room finding the next potion of their fancy. No surprise that Sweet Clarity was identified with a blue light suggestive of the Third-Eye chakra which is the colour indigo.

The Standard
The Standard
The Standard
The Standard
Small details reminded guests dancing the night away that they were in the company of plants and flowers, as these make up the delicate blends they were tasting, this was especially the case with the stunning flower wall designed by Il Fiorista. The spices and dried flowers that go into each blend also displayed just in case one wondered what the potion was made of. If one imagines that a cocktail with the name Love Conquers All would be a deep pink, then look no further – how delicious these were attested by how often one returned to get more. The cocktails and teas provided the perfect fuel for dancing to DJ sets by Paul Sevigny, Justin Miller and Isaac Likes. The fuel was right as dance they did, at any given time, one could spot Katie Holmes dancing to a beat, Leigh Lezark in another corner doing the same, Chloe Sevigny (who celebrated her birthday this same week on Monday) gliding through the room. NYC-cool with a healthy dose of wholesome wellness this surely was. 
Waris Ahluwalia, Darshan Ahluwalia, Isaac Hindin-Miller (Isaac Likes), Caroline Vreeland, Nur Khan, Paul Sevigny
Waris Ahluwalia, Darshan Ahluwalia, Isaac Hindin-Miller (Isaac Likes), Caroline Vreeland, Nur Khan, Paul Sevigny
Waris Ahluwalia, Darshan Ahluwalia, Isaac Hindin-Miller (Isaac Likes), Caroline Vreeland, Nur Khan, Paul Sevigny
Waris Ahluwalia, Darshan Ahluwalia, Isaac Hindin-Miller (Isaac Likes), Caroline Vreeland, Nur Khan, Paul Sevigny
Waris Ahluwalia, Darshan Ahluwalia, Isaac Hindin-Miller (Isaac Likes), Caroline Vreeland, Nur Khan, Paul Sevigny

At some point in the night chanteuse Caroline Vreeland serenaded Waris with a sultry yet delicate Happy Birthday song making way for the birthday boy and mastermind behind the night to make a speech. Waris thanked his mother Darshan, who also joined the party, crediting her as his first ever investor and then his partner Lyman Carter. His last remarks being "Heal thyself, love thyself", and perhaps the red neon light in the room is not just a tea blend but a motto that our host lives by, Love Conquers All. That his friends were served a cup of the Night of Nights blend on their way out as a nightcap (it supports rest and relaxation) showed that Waris indeed had his friends covered, and love, and friendship does indeed conquer all. 

"Heal thyself, love thyself"- Waris Ahluwalia
Brianna Lance, Aurora James, Young Paris, Paul Haggis, Lyman Carter
Brianna Lance, Aurora James, Young Paris, Paul Haggis, Lyman Carter
Brianna Lance, Aurora James, Young Paris, Paul Haggis, Lyman Carter
Brianna Lance, Aurora James, Young Paris, Paul Haggis, Lyman Carter
Brianna Lance, Aurora James, Young Paris, Paul Haggis, Lyman Carter
Visit HOUSE of WARIS BOTANICALS located at 463 24th Street. Organic teas, kombucha, nitro matcha and coffee on tap + adaptogenic blends 7 days a week. Personalized blends with Herbalist on weekends.
Writer
Chomwan Weeraworawit