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living: the scene

Life after 'reality'Life after 'reality'

The US might have a sense of scaling back, but there are still plenty of great dos out on the west coast, report Elyse Glickman and Karen Loftus
Expanded from issue 26 of Lucire



EVEN WITH THE WRITERSSTRIKE out of the way, we (along with A-listers) are more selective of where we spend our time. But we will always make time for any tasteful event that involves a mix of fashion, enterprising entrepreneurs and the occasional appearance of a celebrity (who acts instead of shows up on a reality show). While the events were admittedly scaled down, there was something deliciously real and authentic about the atmosphere, the vendors and the people. It is as if everybody realized they were attending a party rather than a trade show. That said, there were some fun product lines and novelties floating about, showcased in intimate and fresh spaces. No kitsch themes, no excessive flash and a pleasant absence of burley security this go-round. Just food, folks and fun.
   GBK put their show on at Kreiss, a spot recalling 1930s Asian chic—the perfect place to check out summer essentials from Canterbury of New Zealand (official purveyor of New Zealand’s rugby wardrobe), You Bar (a nifty service where you can order your own customized granola bars and shakes), House of Dog carriers (the kind of ride that almost makes you wish you were the pet), FP Jeans’ super cute denim shorts and minis, Globe Healing Center’s sexy mix of wellness products and Rough Roses (the jewel of this event’s fashion crown-rocking belts and bags from the original founder of Linea Pelle).
   Just up the street (Hollywood Boulevard!), Melanie Segal made her guests from Tichina Arnold and Judy Tenuta feel right at home at the leasing office for the soon-to-open super swanky W Hollywood Condos, with some truly fantastic nibbles from Sushi Dan (watch out, Geisha House!), on-site custom denim fittings from TAG Jeans, Kipling’s new Fergie-designed and higher-end lines of handbags, fashion-forward caps from Christy’s London and fancy footwork from K-Swiss. Brad Kronen’s spot on astrological readings also added a touch of conversation-making fun.
   Nathalie DuBois hosted a beauty-focused garden party at Frédéric Fekkai Salon, where the house hair care products and new youth potions from Canyon Ranch shared space with Mon Bijou Fashion Jewelry, a beautiful costume jewellery concept where profits benefit the Center for Orphan Street Kids. Kari Feinstein, however, did the garden party thing full tilt at a new secret private home location, where beauty and wellness products were in bloom, such as Chloë & Jane’s body care, Sampar’s progressive travel beauty solutions, Teavalize’s beautifying tea-on-the-go packages and Balmain Paris’ user-friendly hair highlight extensions (administered by the lively Mark LaZich). This go round, in terms of fashion, it was all about the accessories—including Storm London Watches, Rose Yoko’s hair ornaments and Goorin Hats.
   Bona fide talent stepping out to sample the good life and the new trends included Nikki Blonsky, Jai Rodriguez, Kevin Sorbo, Debra Messing, Matthew Lillard, Horatio Sanz, Jake Busey, Ernie Hudson, Jerry Cantrell, Lawrence Bender, Rashida Jones, Benji and Joel Madden, Kelis and Lil’ Romeo.


Karen, Charo and ElyseThe triumphant return of April Lopez
Every so often, a celebration reminds you of the good old days, when parties were all about good food, congenial guests and dancing. Charo staged such a party at her Beverly Hills home to launch España Cani Charo, which blends her classic Flamenco guitar with modern electronica technology (which will probably hold up far better than her adaptations of disco hits). Her expansive home, set up with a spread that would have put Captain Stubing’s Promenade Deck to shame, is exactly what you would expect Charo’s home to look like—warm, tidy, and charmingly retro with an eclectic display of art work highlighting her Spanish roots. The sangria poured freely, and the buffet of tapas and Iberian charcuterie was spot on. So was Charo, dancing, posing for photos with anybody who asked politely and hosting with enough energy to power Los Angeles during a blackout. And by the way, she couldn’t have been a nicer, more authentic person—a rare case of “what you see is what you get”.


Tuning into trends in TV Land

Distinctive Assets (who staged one of the greatest pre-awards suites in current memory in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards with must-haves as impressive as the VIPs and nominees attending) kept trend watchers engaged with a VIP area flanking TV Land’s sixth annual awards’ presentation. In keeping with the “what’s old is what’s new” theme of the cable network and the awards show, Lash Fary and his crew offered classic TV personæ (attendees included Gary Coleman, Barry ‘Greg Brady’ Williams, Bernie Kopell, Henry Winkler, Doris Roberts, Vanessa Williams, Jack Kugman, Ron ‘Horshak’ Palillo) a variety of classic essentials with fresh new twists—MEK Jeans’ styles inspired by international travel destinations,’s concept that chocolate is a daily nutritional must-have, Tankfarm’s rock-and-roll men’s fashions (with nary a skull in sight!), customized My DNA Fragrance, new products from ‘Skin Behaviorist’ DeAine Dehmer (her entrepreneurial job title alone is an impetus to try the goods), Hall Wines’ delightful cabernet sauvignon and Big Feet Pajamas (admit it—these would come in handy in Queenstown!).


Charities living LRG in 2008
Mena Suvari, Perez Hilton, Shar Jackson, Taryn Manning, Dante Brasco and Omar were on hand to toast the opening of the new LRG menswear boutique on La Brea Boulevard—the latest thoroughfare to go upmarket. Even in the face of recession in the US, the arty crowd was partying like it was 2005 amid cutting-edge menswear and interesting artwork that elevated Courvoisier Exclusif packaging to iconic status à la Warhol’s take on Campbell’s soup. Refreshing Courvoisier summer cocktails and Caribbean fare were served, and one could hope from this optimistic scene better days would lie ahead.
   And because salon indulgences are an affordable luxury, celebrity stylist Kyle Mathis proceeded with the celebration of his new Santa Monica salon. The opening party enabled guests to enjoy time with Mathis and his staff, as well as a special acoustic guitar performance, food and a shampoo bar bubbling over with various spirits. However, Mathis’ Sunday Charity Day programme reflects the fact that he is truly in touch with consumers and their concerns. On Sundays, new clients can come in and receive a cut for half of the salon’s normal rate. At checkout, each client is presented with a form and list of charities to donate 100 per cent of the proceeds to. ‘I would hope that if I can encourage people to give and lead by example, we can all make a difference in someone’s life,’ said Mathis. •


Elyse Glickman is US West Coast Editor for Lucire; Karen Loftus is US West Coast Associate Editor for Lucire.


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Teavalize: tea on the go

Canterbury of New Zealand

Nikki Blonsky (star of Hairspray)

Chick Necessities

Big Feet Pajama Co.

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