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Body, soul and spirits

Elyse Glickman and Leyla Messian end one long, hot summer in LA on a delicious note with events that celebrate the good life on a more intimate and human scale
DPA photographs by Philip Holbrook

 

ISNT IT INTERESTING that entertaining becomes so much more tasteful when you’ve 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 public’s 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 packages—the 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 Fleming’s 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 Nespresso’s 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 Sauza’s 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 Sapphire’s spokes-bar-chef Milo Rodriguez schooled us in making some magic of our own on the rooftop of Santa Monica’s Shangri-La in Santa Monica. Move over Wolfgang, there’s a new culinary celebrity class in town, and they’re 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 California’s 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 season’s 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-Sissoko’s suite included his-and-hers pampering from Floyd’s Barbershop, informal cocktail dress fittings from the crew at Eva Varro, a whiff of Jus d’Amour perfume (filled with fantastic edible aromas), skin remedies from Sphatica, demos of Japanese high-definition KohGenDo by America’s 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-Sissoko’s 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 family—now a solid tradition at DPA events—was embraced by returning celebrity guests.

 


Above Dr Garth Fisher, Patryjca Siewert Towns, Kim Shimmel and Jessica Fisher. Below right Amy Brenneman.

 

The 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 Explorer’s 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 city’s 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 women’s charities. Though the posh SLS already has an acclaimed day spa, the hotel’s 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 Gray—the 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 Chickie’s by Jules and Meg, Opalescence TresWhite Supreme, Lindsay Phillips’s deliciously comfy-and-convertable ballet slippers, FootPetals and wonderful sporty things from SuperDry, Catalunya Nights T-shirts and Reebok’s RetroSport. It wouldn’t 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 Hansen’s 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 Jackson’s just-launched and nicely-priced men’s 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 GBK’s 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 Hollywood’s biggest weeks was at the sprawling Pickford Manor in Hancock Park. Under the auspices of event producer Debbie Durkin and Platform Media Group founder–man-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 Kir’s elegant silver pieces, TIGI Linea’s 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 Robin’s Eco Houses, Greenheart Global’s Eco Hangers, Luscious Vegan Desserts and Cuca Fresca Cachaca (Brazil was apparently this year’s 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 (90210). •

 


 

Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of Lucire.

 

At the DPA

Vanessa Williams


Ken Howard


Terry O’Quinn


Niecy Nash and William Shatner


Jackie Collins


Brooke Sheen


Billy Zane
 

Alive!
Óscar Núñez
 

GBK—and celebrities getting their Mocks


Katy Mixon


Sugar Ray Leonard


Nadja Björlin


Alana Stewart


Bridgette Wilson Sampras


Jai Rodriguez


Christian Clemenson
 

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What a day for a picnic
When not attending summer blockbuster premières, Hollywood savours the season with food-driven fun, as reported byElyse Glickman
additional reporting by Leyla Messian

 

 

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