IT INTERESTING that entertaining becomes so much more tasteful
when youve got less to work with and a greater need to be
creative? In a summer dominated by (substantial) celebrity passings
(e.g. Sen. Edward Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, Dominick Dunne, Farrah
Fawcett and Michael Jackson), staycations, low box office tallies
and few breakout hits, nostalgia and spirits played a major role
in keeping the publics spirits up.
On a big scale, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cultural
milestones of Woodstock and the first manned moon landing. On a
more personal and local scale, we celebrated the fact we still have
each other through the intimate vehicle of the cocktail party. In
parties hosted by sponsors ranging from Sauza and Tres Generaciones
tequila and Nespresso Coffeemakers to independent accessories designers,
we were reminded that the best things in life do come in small packagesthe
bites of food and sips of elaborate cocktails as well as the good
deeds the revelers made in the form of donations made to charities
these parties were designed to benefit.
If the shoe ﬁts, bottle it!
While Ferragamo is synonymous with posh investment handbags, shoes
and leather, Salvatore Ferragamo III, namesake grandson of the legendary
designer and president of Il Borro, the Ferragamo family’s Tuscan
winery launched his Fall collection. His runway, 3,000 miles away
from New York Fashion Week, was Flemings LA
Live location. Chef Calvin Holladay had the challenge of offering
a savoury backdrop for the luxurious reds and whites. The guests
at this show walked away with the unanimous opinion that the wines,
while just as elegant as Ferragamo fashion, were wonderful and affordable
luxuries they would return to time and again.
Foodie fun with the stars
At the launch of Nespressos newest line, CitiZ, host Gail
Simmons, who anchors the US edition
of Top Chef offered guests a tête-à-tête
with such top chefs as Nancy Silverton and Dahlia Narvaez of LA
hotspot Mozza brewed up Nespresso infused treats at the posh Santa
Monica branch of Sur la Table. In addition to some fun parting gifts
of cookbooks, espresso place settings and custom CitiZ T-shirts,
there were also loads of caffeine-infused cocktail treats as well
as extreme skateboarding inside the store amid knives and ceramics,
as well as a photo booth that made all guests the subject of an
Annie Leibovitz-style black and white portrait.
Las Vegas-based maverick bartender Eddie Perales
captivated us with his mixology artistry for the launch of Sauzas
Mischieve campaign (a private dinner-pairing experience at Malo
followed by a larger celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery)
and Tres Generaciones all around versatility as a gourmet
ingredient poolside at the W Westwood Hotel. Bombay Sapphires
spokes-bar-chef Milo Rodriguez schooled us in making some magic
of our own on the rooftop of Santa Monicas Shangri-La in Santa
Monica. Move over Wolfgang, theres a new culinary celebrity
class in town, and theyre bringing the drinks.
Tori Spelling and Mariel Hemmingway were among
the celebrities enjoying a literal taste of the good life at Seventh
Annual Malibu Wine Classic. The oceanfront charity event showcased
the wines of Californias Central Coast and top Malibu and
Los Angeles area restaurants. Water provided by Eternal Water New
Zealand was the first delicacy to run out. A portion of ticket sales
benefited Childhelp, dedicated
to the treatment and prevention of child abuse.
The Emmy scene gets under our skin
The annual ritual of pre-Emmy Awards prep, primp and pampering
was back in full force. However, instead of skinny designer jeans,
pricy handbags and sky-high sandal swag, skin and body care products
of every description were the real stars. We were quite pleased
with the fact that one size did fit all at almost every event.
The Carradine family
Nathalie DuBois-Sissoko and her team at DPA
Entertainment Strategies Company, in fact, did a superior job of
creating the seasons most welcoming and healthy atmosphere,
which really was the sanctuary it was intended to be. The hand crafted
tents and oasis-inspired décor by Zenargi Imports & Design
transformed the lower level of the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel,
while an intelligently selected roster of guests and press made
for a most congenial afternoon.
Services at Du Bois-Sissokos suite included
his-and-hers pampering from Floyds Barbershop, informal cocktail
dress fittings from the crew at Eva Varro, a whiff of Jus dAmour
perfume (filled with fantastic edible aromas), skin remedies from
Sphatica, demos of Japanese high-definition KohGenDo by Americas
premiere Native American make-up and hair artist, affordable elegant
sparkle from Energetics Wellness Jewelry. The top drawer of nominees
from the most deserving shows like 30 Rock and Mad Men
were rewarded with a South Pacific dream vacation.
When celebrities at DuBois-Sissokos suite
needed a moment to put down the bags, the fantastic mixologist D.
Max Maxey was on hand to spin some wonderful things with Cabana
Cachaca and other top shelf spirits and fresh fruit. For those who
preferred their refreshment sans alcohol, the lovely owner
of Hong Kong-based MingCha, an artisan tea boutique, was there to
brew up a cup of something elegant in tea form. A corner of all-eco
friendly products for the entire familynow a solid tradition
at DPA eventswas embraced by
returning celebrity guests.
Above Dr Garth Fisher, Patryjca Siewert Towns, Kim Shimmel
and Jessica Fisher. Below right Amy Brenneman.
same could be said for the Alive! expo at the Sofitel Beverly Hills.
Though smaller in size than the Peninsula event, it was big on eco-friendly
fun. Guests like Amy Brenneman (right) and Debi Mazar were
offered not just a handy kit from luxury med-spa skin care line
CellCeuticals and heaping sampling of Aubrey Cosmetics, but also
customized bath salts made right on the spot. The representative
bling, provided by Wisconsin-based Diamond Nexus offered standout
elegance rendered in completely conflict-free diamonds. Nourishment
was provided by Explorers Bounty, Egg Whites International
Perfect Protein Drink, Zrii, North American Herb & Spice, Zico
Natural Coconut Water and GotWheatGrass.com.
Homespun firm Oregano Oil offered oregano-based remedies and prevention
elixirs. Lipstick Bail Bonds, the citys most fashionable,
woman-owned address for fashionable people in distress, provided
info on their services and a light-hearted tone.
On September 14, the Monday prior to the big
day, Secret Room Events presented a very relaxed Think Pink
Emmy Awards Style Lounge benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
and the Tiger Lily Foundation. Staged at the chic SLS
Hotel in Beverly Hills, celebrity guests were asked to give back
by signing a special breast cancer item which will be auctioned
off with all proceeds going to the womens charities. Though
the posh SLS already has an acclaimed
day spa, the hotels outdoor patio was transformed into a healing
space, which included remedies from mostly women-owned companies
Absolution, Lexli, Julie Hewitt Cosmetics, Gold Canyon Candles,
Iso Professional, La Falaise, Moonlight Pillows, Tamara Comolli,
Hope Paige and Geri G Cosmetics. There were some wonderful yoga
togs from Eccentric Symphony (friends of Lucire)
and finishing touch fashion from Betali, Bare Soul shoes, Original
Sin Jewelry and Jorg Graythe company that produced the affordable
but elegant watch President Barack Obama wore on Inauguration Day.
Another style lounge staged at the
mod-but-tiny headquarters for MP3
player Zune showcased products designed to make a person feel beautiful
from the inside out, even if the spirit of the hostess and her hired
clique was more Studio 54 gatekeeper than wellness-driven. At least
most of her vendors made guests in the cramped space feel good while
generously offering useful, health-improving suggestions.
We adored the comprehensive supplements and nutritional
food packages offered by GNC WellBeing,
Life Extension and Usana (which included a lovely skin care line
called Sensé), and were impressed Sanita developed their
line to be kosher from the inside out. Other clever things included
smart bra suppplements by Chickies by Jules and
Meg, Opalescence TresWhite Supreme, Lindsay Phillipss deliciously
comfy-and-convertable ballet slippers, FootPetals and wonderful
sporty things from SuperDry, Catalunya Nights T-shirts and Reeboks
RetroSport. It wouldnt be an Emmy suite without bling, and
Sofia Fiori Jewelry delivered on that score.
The GBK crew chose
a beautiful estate near the legendary Greystone Manor to stage its
pre-Emmy celebration, A Luxury Bazaar for the Senses, which
was pure party but with a healthy, global twist (with the sweet
exception of Hansens Cakes and Alize-and-Champagne cocktails).
As delicious açaí berry yoghurt from Cefiore and Acai
Soda were being dispensed at opposite ends of the party, and healthy
treats from caterers Calbi BBQ were
being circulated, you could get a literal eyeful of new accessories,
ranging from Randy Jacksons just-launched and nicely-priced
mens eyewear line to subtle healing jewellery
by Zen Jewels by Jen M., which we liked mainly for the colour combinations
of delicate semi-precious stones.
Audra & Dalilah jewellery, meanwhile, offered
Asian-inspired glamour suited for more formal events. Revitalash
and RN Factor made return appearances,
while new arrival Italy Hair Fashion added to GBKs
beauty cache by offering guests its full line of salon products.
Charles Chocolate had the hearts and minds of chocolate fanatics.
Estella Warren (right)
The most compelling item was the $185 retail Okobos sandals, which
not only offered cool interchangeable shoe accents, but also generous
contributions of profits to the founders child-focused organization.
We were also inspired by Australian Lara Soloman, who not only offered
guests her handy Mocks pockets (to protect cell phones, iPods and
cameras, www.mymocks.com) but
a copy of her book detailing how she successfully went entrepreneurial
in one of the toughest world economies since the 1930s.
One of the most fitting ways to end one of Hollywoods
biggest weeks was at the sprawling Pickford Manor in Hancock Park.
Under the auspices of event producer Debbie Durkin and Platform
Media Group founderman-about-town DJ
Henry Eshelman and his team, the estate hosted the now-annual Eco-Emmys
Celebrity Green Gifting & Wellness Château. The event
benefited some of the most A-list charities including Susan G. Komen
for the Cure, I Am That, Free the Slaves, Arx Pacifica and SPCA-LA.
VIPs were treated
to frocks from Single by Galina Sobolev and Kirs elegant silver
pieces, TIGI Lineas Peace Love
Planet, Eco-Eyebrow by Marco Ochoa, Rob BOPI
manicures and Australian-made Nvey Eco luxury make-up. However,
most of the guests were focused on un-spoiling the planet by living,
eating and decorating smarter, using products and furnishings by
Robert Craymer, Wabasabi Green Eco Art Pillows and Bags, Forty Oaks
Farms, LifeSource Whole-House Water Systems, Ray Robins Eco
Houses, Greenheart Globals Eco Hangers, Luscious Vegan Desserts
and Cuca Fresca Cachaca (Brazil was apparently this years
winner in the cocktail category.)
Celebrities who made the rounds included Camilla
Belle, Rex Lee, Malin Akerman, Elliot Yamin, Jennifer Lewis, Maksim
Chmerkovsky, Malin Akerman (Couples Retreat), Sharon
Lawrence, Colin Egglesfield (Melrose Place) and Trevor Donovan
Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of
At the DPA
Niecy Nash and William Shatner
GBKand celebrities getting their Mocks
Sugar Ray Leonard
Bridgette Wilson Sampras