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Fine living and event planning with Alexandra Blaga

Mémoires of a truly inspiring woman and exquisite event planner

Fine living and event planning with Alexandra Blaga
Photo: Deer's Photography

Dwelling on my shortcomings is how I normally express myself. However, there are also parts of my character that I value. If I am being completely forthright, I have excellent taste in people. The kind of remarkable women who inspire me are those who are unique, modest yet strong, graceful and feminine yet confident.

So, without further ado, because words cannot express how obsessed I am with Alexandra Blaga and her sublime personal and professional universe, so pour yourself a cup of tea, as Alexandra said in the line below, because you are all invited to discover her never-before-seen mémoire here.

Photo - on film: Andreea Badea

When and why did the concept for Blaga Events emerge?

I spotted a gap in the market before I turned 28, when I almost got married. So, the story begins with my involvement in a wedding. Actually, there were two weddings: mine and a friend’s.

I did all the preparation and production for these by myself because I couldn’t find someone to implement the bespoke events I envisioned and who could deal with the fantasies and crazy requirements of a girl who was not so much in love with the “wedding institution" but just wanted to have some fun. I did organise a wedding (not mine, not his), and it became a real passion that I wanted to pursue. I was then going to sleep and waking up with this mad passion (and still am).

I’ve always been really upfront about being an ambitious person. I have goals and I have dreams; they don’t look much different now than they did when I was younger, but I’m still pursuing them.

Photo: The Saums

Two years later, in 2015, when I started building my brand, I had already gained some knowledge and experience by working in an international BTL agency under one of the women who taught me the basics and a lot of things, and I had a clear vision: I wanted to create bespoke experiential events that reflected my unique, sophisticated, and sometimes weird style, my interests (in food and beauty), and my aesthetics all around the world.

I was working 24 hours out of 24, literally. I didn’t have the finances to invest in me then regarding courses and school abroad. I really wanted to build something—to make something that never happened. Not so realistic, I might say now. I do believe that we can do beautiful things without the ”tam-tam” and "show off." My insecurity about not having trained at international schools meant that I was creating events that could have been a little bit more unabashedly me.

And then everything sort of organically grew. That’s why my account has only 8k followers in 8 years and not 50k in 3 days. For sure, and also because I am not hiring somebody who is good at this social media job. Obviously, I am not.

Photo: The Saums

What is the story behind your Instagram's beautiful photos? What does it mean to plan an event, whether it is a wedding, a private party, or an anniversary?

Which ones? The 10 posts per year that I am "sweating" to upload?

I’ve always had an attraction to simplicity and beauty. Honestly, I am so difficult and picky with my business that it is taking me at least 3 days to choose a damn photo or to upload a video, which are enormously beautiful and made by the wonderful professionals that I am lucky to work with. It could take a minute to do it.

(To add to your Q):...and brand events that I have been doing for the last year and a half. The funny thing is that this is what I was doing in my agency job. And to be honest, this is something that has stayed with me since then, and I wanted to come back to it one day, in my unique way.

Producing an event is not brain surgery, but I think you have to work really hard. Even creativity can be hard work. But I have always been curious and ambitious, and I consider myself lucky too.

I kind of work backwards, and I have the final result in vision right at the beginning. Along the way, I pick up new bits of inspiration, so my starting point ends up being a completely different story, and that's part of the joy, really. Generally speaking, we don’t really do "themes, but once in a while, it can be fun with the right concept.

Photo: The Saums

The structure is like this in terms of a “by the book” thing: having a meeting with the potential clients; from the discussion, I can figure out if we are going to work together; scouting the venues; proposing them; proposing vendors; booking them; creating the concept; and organising the party. To plan and produce an event, you must know your clients and understand that it is not your event. You also have to pay attention to their needs and desires.

I can’t describe the honour of knowing that I’m involved in the moments where people need it—not just as a truly professional planner but also as someone who can offer the emotional comfort and relaxation they need to truly enjoy their day.

You know, you always think you can do more and better, and you never want to fully stop. Always exploring. 

During the process, I was and am still learning just very basic human skills about connecting and talking to people (something I like and don’t like at the same time, due to my shyness and fear of saying stupid things). But even if a lot of words are not involved, there can be a vibey aura around.

Photo: Photogenica

But the planner also needs surprises. And as much as I am out there tough and acting very pro, I do have delays, I do have all kinds of emotions, sleepless nights, I do lose my patience still after so many years of practice and resilience, and so on. But it is a job that I adore and hate at the same time. I can’t explain it, but I guess it is something normal. I am still a one-man's show, but I have a great international network and a team that I am working with on massive projects.

And I now also have disclaimers for my clients. The thing with me is that you, as a client, have to trust me. I am a total mess if you are taking a look at my agendas (I am counting 8 on my desk now) and on my laptop, but I do deliver amazing emotional events due to my passion, experience, fair play, and humour.

I used to live in fear of seeming stupid if I didn’t know something.

One of the most rewarding things I have come to know is that nothing bad happens if you say, “I don’t understand what you mean." And it is absolutely fine to ask for help (I figured this out after I bumped my head and ruined my sleep—many nights, overthinking). I worry less now about what others might think or what failure might await. Instead, I’m feeling open and curious. One of the skills I learned was to shut up and speak when I was being spoken to.

What does it mean to plan an event? Basically, I am going to a lot of parties and making champagne disappear.

Photo: Photogenica

What I find most remarkable about you is that you organise so many events outside of the country. How is that even possible? Tell me about this aspect of your event planning.

Thank you, but let’s not exaggerate. The truth is that from the beginning of my business, I wished to have events outside of my country (I basically manifested it, but with actions—I wish I was so prolific in my personal life too). I love travelling and discovering unique places, and I always thought that my style was more suited to the international market and that this gave me more freedom to play at the level I wanted to.

I have event tricks, of course.

I believe I am mediocre at a lot of things, and I don’t excel in anything, but I have this... gift of getting everybody (almost) to say "yes" to me, even when my requests sound over the top.

So, because of this, which I noticed recently, things are going very smoothly. I have the capacity to bring together a bunch of very talented people, and together with my vision, things are flowing...

I am looking at the world through the eyes of a seducer.

Seduction is a kind of theatre in real life—the meeting of illusion and reality. Obviously, I am far away from being a seducer. But I do not accept a “no” unless it is explained.

I have the capacity to see things differently. For example, if I am seeing a garage or an empty industrial space, I can imagine a total transformation of the place.

Sometimes, when I deal with iconic spaces, it is initially easy to get stymied. I mean, some of these rooms are so magnificent, you might think they need very little.

But it is not just decorating for the sake of decorating, and all my ideas come straight from the space and what I can see there. Also, my admiration for special experiences, beautiful places, etiquette, art, different venues, exquisite tableware, always Coupette for champagne, crystals, and silverware, beautiful boutique hotels, lifestyle brands that are true institutions, all the things that I adore in my life, food, and nice staff for the eyes, mind, and soul, played a role too. I can go on, but I feel like I am already writing for three interviews here.

I always try to analyse the components of success. There is an element of luck that is inevitably there, as well as the role that other people played in this. I do like to learn from others. But it hasn’t always been an easy road, though. However, I refuse to give up my capacity for sincerity and openness in all my interactions.

Photo: Anne Gretchen

Which of your previous events was the most spectacular?

I think that spectacular means different things for each of us. Brand events can be spectacular, innovative, and full of out-of-the-box elements, with a je-ne-sais-quoi.

I would say now... A Lebanese wedding in Romania; together with my clients, we brought almost everything from Lebanon. The speculator for me was the party and the fact that each and every guest was beautifully and exquisitely dressed, wearing haute joaillerie (a hidden passion of mine).

Also, a wedding I organised in Tuscany at Villa Origo (La Foce) this year: besides the party, the fun, the connection with my client, the ups and downs, the 1-year work... the emotions were beyond words for everyone involved.

A civil ceremony in London, renting part of a beautiful place that I am fond of, Louie, and where I met some amazing people

Or the beautiful worldwide gathering of people from over 40 countries to celebrate my client’s wedding in Masseria Calderisi, in Puglia.

I believe each and every event is spectacular in a different way for the people involved.

For me, spectacular means goosebumps.

And I got this from some events in Romania too, at Hadar Chalet, at Zabola Estate, or at some private estates. Even a simple, barefoot dinner in the forest can be spectacular.

How do you select collaborators?

I am very particular about what I want and what I look for. With many of them, I just clicked, trusted them, and encouraged them to start their businesses. My recipe is connecting, trying to know them, and being authentic and correct. And in relationships of any kind, you have to grow. 

And it is about the energy too, even if we are not speaking every day or for weeks or even years. It can be a magnetic hum between people.

What is most important to me, though, is the commitment to deliver the best possible service. And to realise when you do make a mistake, to apologise (speaking for myself too).

I adore all of the photos on your Instagram account; your setups are simply flawless—simplicity combined with an elegant touch, high quality, and good taste. How did you develop your sense of style?

Umm, I don't know. What do you think I should answer?

Thank you very much. From one of my grandmas, I have this. And now that I have read your question, I honestly do not know what to answer. I think the only real elegance is in the mind.

I guess I am always learning, and I like to educate myself. I have savoir-faire, but I wasn’t born a princess. I think you can cultivate this if you are true to yourself. Authenticity is something that is non-negotiable from my point of view.

I'm terrified of being bored and not evolving. I love designing things. Quality is essential in my life and in my work. I never strived for “picture perfect”, but I do try to make each moment and setting memorable. So it comes naturally to me.

I feel like I lived for a really long time in a space where I was so afraid of doing it wrong and so tightly connected to the idea of doing it right. It makes not a damn bit of difference if you do it right or wrong. The point is, are you having a good time? Do you feel like yourself? And is it working for you?

I am a very shy person, despite my job, networking, and socialising. I have learned to engage in an authentic way while still keeping some parts of myself back.

You call yourself a “food lover." Tell me about this supreme pleasure in your life, and I would also like to know how important food is at an event.

I like comfort food. There is nothing elegant about it in terms of the presentation, but it’s delicious. I love the taste of food, actually. And you can make it high or low: burgers on silver platters, caviar with plastic spoons—ehh, this is never with the caviar. I smell food, so if you see me at a restaurant, yes, I am that weirdo lady. ”Alexandra, what are you smelling?"

For me, a meal has to be delicious, to celebrate generosity and conviviality, and to take me on a journey, even if this happens in a fine dining restaurant, a cosy bar, or on the street. Or at home... I’ve never been one for cooking; I have to have the right mood for this and to have someone to cook for. But it transpires that I can read instructions from a book and make something. I think that because I like food so much, I can improvise very easily. I prefer to eat, although. I am Moldavian; this can explain the appetite.

From my point of view, the food is an influential thing at an event. And I do consider that what you serve at an event, dinner, etc. is talking about you a lot. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but even a taste of tradition in a very simple way can make a difference.

I love food; I LOVE eating, but I think hosting an event or a dinner party is more about the company and the conversation. No one is going to enjoy the meal of a stressed and dishevelled host. Plus, as they say, you don’t make friends with salad.

For me, food is an absolute pleasure. Just like making love.

You see so many couples and love stories. What do you feel is the secret to modern “forever after” love? (Past the wedding party.)

I do not believe in this, and this is not because I spent a lot of my life preoccupied with romantic entanglement and the pursuit of everlasting, undying love, followed by the heartbreak itself—that I both endured and delivered.

I genuinely believe that it is selfish to keep a person near you for 50 years. If it is working, yes! Each romance is different and has a different connection, and I cherish every bit of it.

In the end, we are not choosing whom we fall in love with; we just have to do our best.

But a good thing about having a broken heart is that, despite how much it hurts, it’s how much you love, so I think you’re very lucky if in this lifetime you actually experience broken hearts; it means you’ve also experienced a very deep connection and love with someone, so that’s something to be grateful for.

Of course, there is a difference between a broken heart and a broken ego.

I do not think there is a secret to the ”forever after." It is a desire, a commitment, and some work on both sides. For some, quite inexplicably, love fades. For others, love is simply lost. But then, of course, love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then there’s another kind of love; it’s called unrequited love.

I do still believe in THAT love and in THAT connection that you can have once with one person, in the goosebumps, and in the vulnerability that comes with it. I believe that love is also a friendship, and it can start like this. I am a person of feelings, and I believe more in how a person can make me feel passionate and what energy is exchanged. That is what is special to me.

So, love can be simple and forever, but it can also look different and have different timelines.

But if we are honest with ourselves, then it all comes down to chance and choice. And yes, chance can be a real bastard. But I guess life is about grabbing those chances when they come around.

What kind of people are your clients?

The ones that I can connect with first, even if it is a business event.

I think this means that we have common values and a similar sense of style. They want more than an event; they want an experience, and they are looking for a creator of special occasions.

And they do trust me and my chaos.

What values govern your personal and professional lives?

Tough one. Beauty, humour, and Castigat Ridendo Mores

Sincerity and kindness. Correctitude and respecting a “gentle-ladies agreement"

What women inspire you?

The ones that are true to themselves and do not pretend to be someone else. The ones that prefer to put their sweetness out instead of their toughness.

I have a lot of women that I admire; of course, they are not aware of this. A woman with style, intelligence, soul, and creativity inspires me. Also, with a sense of humour. Not like mine, which is misunderstood and sharper sometimes.

Photo: Georgina Harrison Photography

Of course, you already know how much I adore your natural beauty. Tell me about your personal universe, including clothing, skin and beauty care, routines, and rituals.

Thank you (still learning to accept this; I know it very well; I will not play stupid, but I have a personal issue with receiving compliments and accepting them; I think I do not know how to do it).

And I do sincerely believe that I am an interesting gal, more than a beautiful one. 

There’s a fine line between self-care and vanity, and I think it’s important, having watched so many series of ‘Queer Eye’, to work on yourself.

Pour yourself a cup of tea, because I will write my never-seen mémoire here.

My lifestyle is hectic and chaotic, I might say, if I am not planning anything in advance, because I tend to do things at the last minute, but I always find some time for myself, even if it depends very much on my mood.

And with the age: some days I feel 80, some days I feel 18. My FOMO is slowly transforming into FOGO: fear of going out. That’s why I made a sanctuary at home for my peace and for my darling anxiety. For the one outside: walking on the streets of Bucharest or taking a flight to Vienna in the morning and coming back at night.

Or some days in London. I also adore going to ballet classes; it is the sport (if we can call it like this) that I love. I’m lucky that I did Ballet Beautiful online for so long with Mary Helen Bowers, as that’s something I can do on my living room floor when I am not going to the classes at Dance Room and when my knees are letting me do this.

I like any Bond movie; from time to time I have this ritual of watching The Downton Abbey while some “Namche Bazar” incense is burning and drinking one of my favourite liquids in the world: hot chocolate.

I really like Byredo’s Altar candle too, and I would love to see it formulated as a perfume. because it has the best smell ever. I am burning all kinds of stuff, to be honest. And I have a lot of favourite brands, smells, and so on. A routine for me is, let’s say, going and having experiences.

As soon as I wake up, I look at my phone. It’s not good sleep etiquette, I know. I am doing from time to time a “challenge of not touching it’ for 30’ in the morning (29 days today)."

And I make a coffee, a specialty one...

Obviously, I need to shower before getting dressed. So in my better days, I go straight to it and think about what I’m going to wear while in it, based on what I’m doing that day and how I’m feeling—and whether I want to manipulate that feeling into a better one. And obviously, I am choosing what is near my bed—fresh and clean.

I am not putting so much on my face currently when it comes to creams (I used to layer after layer from 3-4 serums to cream, balm, masks, serums again, omg—exactly like a cake I was).

I am still a fan of my friend and guru’s web Muse and Heroine, but I only have a few products now that I am using because I have tried absolutely everything on the market. There were some years that you could easily find absolutely everything in my cabinet. I can do a Ted Talk about this.

I'm currently using a rose cleansing cream that my cosmetician made for my sensitive skin, then a Japanese Ki water (BTW, I adore Japanese products even though I don't have their genetic); anything rose-related, I have some Nottnuit mist right now.

Anything juicy, like serums. The botox in the bottle, Flower Go, anything from Ignae and U Beauty, and moisturising my face in the end with a cream made by my cosmetician for my concerns, followed by Augustinus Bader The Cream. Because winter is coming, I will definitely pour more oil in there. 

I am obsessed with Fleur Vibrant Serum Cerate, which I am putting before a sun screen. The BEST is also a Japanese one: “Beauty of Joseon.” I have to hydrate my skin a lot; imagine that two cacti made me... this is how my face is turning into if I am not taking care of... Inside too, I am not drinking a lot of water, but twice a year I am making a 2-3 month cure of glutathione and other vitamins intravenous.

Last year I saw Anne Hathaway's favourite acupuncturist when I was in a very bad period, and it was very interesting and very helpful. Pure Elaine must be collecting the tears of the whole of Paris and the States, and she got stuck with a crazy Romanian too.

  • I have many masks, and when I am not lazy, I use them.
  • I don’t have an eight-step skin regimen, but I am trying to keep the basics. Especially at night, I clean my skin, use a serum, and then moisturise.
  • Now that I’m in my thirties to 40, I should sleep on a silk pillowcase.
  • I have a pillow spray too.
Age is really just a number; genius is a gift, I guess. 

I love the smell of roses, and I can stay for minutes with my nose in that smell, so this is kind of a self-care ritual for my senses, let’s say.

I am fortunate to have soft skin on the body (which is quite peculiar in comparison to the baby cactus on my face), so I am omitting the body altogether. However, I utilise a favourite oil from O.U. Buly. I definitely moisturise my body in winter—every day. Cashmere skin! I use the Ameliorate Transforming Body Cream and then put a posh oil in that as well, given half the chance.

I do not like perfumes, especially in the morning. I have two perfumes discovered over the years that I wear from time to time: Reine de Nuit, a limited edition that is not on the market anymore, in a very old-school bottle, and The Hedonist from Ex Nihilo. 

One day, I will create a perfume, especially for my PH.

I know exactly the nose that I will work with. My dream is to achieve a true signature scent through oils or something, so it wouldn’t be recognisable. I guess the bummer is that once a scent becomes commercialised, you can end up smelling like someone else, and a scent is such a personal thing.

I was at the cinema last night watching Jeanne du Barry, and someone had a perfume that was so delightful; it smelled like amber and rose oil—nice and earthy.

My hair, my beautiful sauvage cheveux—my hair, unlike, I presume everyone else's on the planet, becomes more knotted after I wash it. Basically, it is getting knotty every single day. I am using products from Oribe or Shu Uemura, and when I want a spa day moment, I am rubbing my scalp with a tool and using an exfoliant with vinegar (yes!).

At least it is staying as you see it without brushing it or arranging it. I have a trick: braids from time to time for half an hour, and ta-daaa. I was really uptight about my natural colour, and then as I got older, some grey hair appeared, and now from time to time I am dyeing it.

What you see is the weird transformation from the sun, and I really like it. It is a particular shade—natural—that suits me quite well. It doesn't look good with clothes, but in the winter, my hair is getting a cooler shade.

To be honest, I am ready to go out of the house with my clothes on (if I do not forget this) in less than 20'–25'

Regarding my style, I am forever a fan of French style, pretending to speak British like a native. I do like brands, but only the ones that are recognised by a connoisseur.

I disagree with this idea that anyone must have anything, referring to items. Although I must have a vicuña something in this life.

I do believe that you can be beautiful without showing off all the notorious brands and putting everything from your dressing on you.

I like to keep it simple; as I said, one of my models from as far as I know myself was Jane Birkin... and my grandma. Awkward, but well, hopefully if people are responding to my look, it's because I dress for myself.

I like cotton, silk, cashmere, or anything soft for my sensitive skin.

If I know something's expected of me, I won't wear it or do it; it just seems boring.

I love a clip and a black velvet ribbon. I can't do the 90’s headband thing that everyone is doing. It doesn't suit me—it makes me feel like I am about to attempt to miss beauty schoolgirl class.

Jane Birkin inspires me daily. When I'm tempted to dress too sexy, I think of her and remind myself that true style comes from within.

And I absolutely love Princess Diana, especially her effortless street look. This has influenced me greatly.

And I prefer people to listen to me than to see what I am wearing. But I do believe in the power of clothes; they are really magical. I do like old houses, but I can’t afford in this period of my life to have some haute couture items. I do have a very talented personal tailor who studied in Russia, and she is very technically talented. I draw things, and she is making them alive.

I do love some Romanian designers, and I am promoting them outside of my country as best I can. I have some brands to which I have been loyal for a long time, and when I can afford some of their pieces, I buy them. I stick to the classics.

I am obsessed with dresses, and unfortunately, my bank account is screaming at me because of this.

I do like beautiful shoes; you can see me in a pair of Nike Cortez in the morning and in R.Vivier at night. I am wearing jeans most of the time and a t-shirt or a jumper (crew neck, of course).

I admire Christian Dior, first because he is one of the pioneers of writing a cookbook with refined meals (our Ro Pastorel Teodoreanu wrote one too). And because he made the word “elegance” real, but you will never see me with a Lady Dior bag, for example. And I do really adore Mrs. Prada, together with her office with a slide.

In my closet, you can find designers that are hard to pronounce. And a lot of dresses that I am wearing at home or just looking at. I like to discover niche designers from around the world.

I do like essentials a lot, such as natural fabrics. I love jewellery. Bibi van der Velden is a great artist.

I am not buying old, worn jewellery because of the energy it carries, unless it is a really special piece, but heritage pieces from my family, yes. As I said, I do appreciate high jewellery, and I would love to have some.

I have an acquaintance who creates custom high jewellery, working with one of the oldest jewellers from Cartier. Everything custom-made is a yes! for me, definitely. At the moment, I am looking forward to the customised ring that Raluca Leafu is making for me.

No matter what happens, there will always be good looks and bad looks, and we all live to wear another one. I guess I have a conduit of good ideas and taste.

What does it mean to you to be happy?

  • Champagne makes me pretty happy. I am a happy drunk; this only happens when I am not overthinking about embarrassing myself. People are saying that I become a nicer version of myself.
  • Buratta makes me very happy; not sharing it is making me even happier. Meatballs, too. Pickles, too.
  • Watching “Love Actually” each November for over 15 years (I have many movies that I am rewatching, but this one is giving me terrific emotions while I am crying half of it; obviously, I am a major weeper). Watching Bernstein conduct is pure joy for me. He is a great conductor, but a terrible composer.
  • Stargazing makes me happy. My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me, she used to watch the sky at night. Now my back is full of stars.
  • The smell of the forest, of burnt wood, and of long countryside walks
  • A bathtub would make me very happy (I do not have one). ”Reading” my phone at night (I am not reading anything right now, and I am not going to be like, My favourite book is..."
  • Friends that make me laugh
  • A particular hug.
  • London is happiness for me.
  • Claire de Lune, Spring 1 by Max Richter, and the 90's
  • "Thank you" cards, writing them and receiving them. And when it is not happening (most of the time), I am writing to myself. I am that woman who will have thank-you cards, not cats.
  • Smelling a garden rose or a rose garden

Photo: the main photo by Deer's Photography.