It was an experience of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch at the Starz Sensory House at SXSW this Saturday, which lured attendees in with an open bar, food, and music. The event was held to help promote two new original series the network is premiering on May 6 — “Vida” and “Sweetbitter.”
“Vida,” which was created by Tanya Saracho, focuses on two Mexican-American sisters played by Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera, on the Eastside of Los Angeles, Calif. “Sweetbitter,” based on the novel by Stephanie Danler, is a service-industry drama set in New York City. (Danler also serves as writer and executive producer on the series.)
While the shows are different in setting, there is a certain overlap in their unique coming-of-age themes and focus on strong female protagonists.
The Starz Sensory House featured many screens playing the trailers for both new shows on a loop.
Additionally, the shows also helped play in thematically to the multitude of offerings the Sensory House offered its guests. In keeping with the theme of “Vida,” Spanish-style tapas were served throughout the event, including mini tostadas, Korean hangar steak kabobs, and bite-sized creme brûlées.
For “Sweetbitter,” Sugarfina handed out a selection of alcohol-inspired sweets, including martini almond olives and champagne gummy bears.
A series of six artisanal cocktails were also available, designed by Austin-based bartender Tracy Rowland. The six cocktails offered paid homage to both new shows — such as the Chingonia, a mix of Blanco tequila, vermouth, aloe, white wine, and garnished with basil and cucumber, and Autumn in New York, featuring cognac, sherry, coffee, bitter lemon and a rosemary garnish. It was enough food and spirits to stimulate and satisfy all partygoers’ tastebuds.
Sight was handled thanks to some mini manicures that were offered by the Austin-based Nails Y’all, and smell was handled by a perfume bar Roux Saint James, which created four custom scents inspired by “Sweetbitter’s” four main characters.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without music, which the all-female DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club brought out in force.
Starz is also set to premiere its newest docu-series, “The Warriors Of Liberty City” during SXSW, which tells the story of a crime-ridden Miami neighborhood that has a knack for turning out NFL superstars
The Starz Sensory House is located at 88 Rainey Street and will be open until 7 p.m. Sunday, March 12.