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Tanya Chisholm and Valery Ortiz The actresses check out Syneron, among other environmentally labelled products, at the Extreme Makeover Home Edition season wrap party

Pop art

Los Angeles’ spring 2011 celebrity social season is a jumpy, textured canvas of ’80s nostalgia, budget-friendly fashion finds, common sense, practicality and just-because kitsch, report Elyse Glickman and Leyla Messian

 

ITS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN—the long void between the Golden Globes–Grammys–Oscars juggernaut and “pilot season” and Emmy Awards week—this year to be anchored by Glee’s top coach and cheerleader Jane Lynch.
   In a manner similar to summer day camps for American school kids, Los Angeles’ movers and shakers get into a breezy non-routine of “creative” play to stay busy. While day campers occupy their time with outdoor sports, community theatre, marshmallow toasting, swimming and craft classes, industry Angelinos have their own counterparts—“just because” pop-culture-themed award shows, numerous restaurant openings, sprawling foodie festivals and high-production value charity “day in the park” parties where adorably attired celebrity children and pets replace couture jewellery and handbags as the accessories of choice.
   Though there is no official start day to LA’s season of light, the MTV Movie Awards continue to stand in for American Memorial Day as the launching event. True to form, even in a recessionary economy, there were at least five gifting lounges that got the party started, particularly for “young Hollywood” and reality television persona. However, it can be said the still-hip SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills was party central when it played host to two of the coveted invite only events—GBK and the Secret Room.
   GBK president and founder Gavin B. Keilly showed a bit of sass and class by keeping its presentation theme and cocktails timeless with a vintage movie theme, with not one, but two ice cream vendors (Boardwalk Gourmet, and Sweet Rose Creamery), concession stand themed nibbles and simple libations with Grey Goose Vodka and Ten Cane Rum served up by two of SLS’s top bartenders, Dominique and Sewell.
   While we admittedly screamed for the ice cream, we were also quite pleased that there were some fresh vendors on scene along with some of our old favourites. Among the “classics”, we reconnected with the ladies from the democratically designed retro-inspired Pin Up Girl Clothing, and Hard Candy Cosmetics, which may have reinvented itself as a budget line, but does not skip either on quality or innovations. New items that caught our eye include the four-day Lash Ink mascara and lip-plumping glosses that can give the more expensive cousins a run for their money.
   We loved the regal, vanity-friendly packaging of Designer Skin’s self-tanning products, as well as the new Saleem hair care line that emerges with a safer formaldehyde free in-salon alternative to Brazilian straightening, along with the Hi-Repair home three-step maintenance kit touting a ‘Botoxplus’ that thickens up and rejuvenates over-processed hair. They also offered a creamy, light leave-in conditioner for those who prefer to straighten the old-fashioned (home blow-dry) way.
   Artist cooperative luxury manifested in the form of supple, one-off hand-painted shirts by Jacqueline Joseph (www.admittobitter.com, supporting New York City’s young artist community), and we liked the arty approach to recycled materials taking the form of summer footwear by Sanuk (www.sanuk.com). Though GBK had a blingy offering (Chelsea Taylor’s silver and Swarovski crystal confections), we found the function-meets-fashion items from You gNeek and Fabrega Jewelry’s seed and metal earrings and necklaces attention-getters.
   Speaking of which, we also were enthusiastic about Clicker, a nice little “guy toy” uniting a remote control and beer bottle opener, DotPops (when all your guests want is just a bite of bakery-calibre cake) and budget-friendly Maximum Lash, which does what RevitaLash does for about half the price. Girls now have, Bizu Beads, a “Transformers” toy they can call their own, and edible MTV Popcorn Cup trophies by Apple Revolution.
   Always one to give back to the community with flourish, Keilly and others attending and contributing to this ultimate outdoor backyard BBQ donated proceeds to charities St Bernard Project, Mylife MyPower Inc., SoHo Project and Educating Young Minds. Tying it all together, of course, was a line-up of eclectic live rock performances from soul singer Jared Lee, YouTube hitmaker Mike Burke, Joseph Vincent and Pullman Standard (a cabaret and indie rock band).
   When some of those same celebrities (Niecy Nash, Frankie Muniz, Amber Stevens, Kimberly Elise, Efren Ramirez, Spencer Grammer, Josh Sussman and Lisa Leslie) were ready to come indoors, they sought access to the Secret Room suite, which served its pre-award show fun with a nice mix of ’80s fashion nostalgia, health-oriented essentials and some nice party décor design in the booths by LA company Debroullard.
   Along with its own entrant in the self-tanning category (Million Dollar Tan), there were facials, a new scrub and syrum, and full kits from a long-time favourite line CellCeuticals, a new One-a-Day Vitamins skin fitness and breast health supplement with FloraGLO with Lutin, paired with a DVD from brand ambassador–top LA trainer Jennifer Garaldi, and to show off the body in its better form, Gabbita swimwear from Colombia.
   Retro style from the latter half of the 20th century was vibrant but subtle. We fell madly in love with Raquelle Bianco’s sterling and enamel bangles and pendants (which bear a strong resemblance and high standard of quality to Austria-based Frey Wille, but at about half the price). We also know the handbags to have this summer will steer out of neutral and into out-there ’80s hues and silhouettes, thanks to Asian luxury bag line Homanz and the Stephen Sprouse and American souvenir-inspired Robin Ruth collections. The initial ’80s sushi craze is celebrated with Sushiami’s furniture and accessories. Seychelles, a favourite beach line of shoes in California since 1984, unites ’80s flat and ’70s platform silhouettes with modern materials in its summer offerings.
   A couple weeks earlier, Patron Tequila and the American Broadcasting Company got the jump on MTV with the a celebration of all things green and LEED-certified at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition season wrap party in an environmentally chic setting that not only boosted environmentally safe and money saving home improvement practices, but healthy snacks (including celebrity yoghurt fave Pinkberry, Chipotle and Boston Market) and a handful of conscientious celebrities including Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Peggy Tanous (Real Housewives of Orange County), Jillian Harris (The Bachelorette), Sterling Beaumon (Lost) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition designers Tracy Hutson and Paige Hemmis.
   Spring continued to bust out all over, from restaurant soirees ranging from all-American-favourite chain Johnny Rockets (an ’80s-by-way-of-’50s chain turning 25) to the star studded, reality-series documented opening of the Lemon Basket along the always popular Sunset Plaza thoroughfare. New York-based fashion PR machine Alison Brod’s crew came to town to offer stylists and journos their own special suite showcasing Stila and Via Spiga (more to come on this). However, some events were really intimate—invited reporters had the opportunity to be literally sized up by Susan Nethero, better known as ‘The Bra Whisperer’.
   Though it says a lot about Ms Nethero that she was trained by the bra fitter to HM Queen Elizabeth II, she is also going non-stop when it comes to passing that fitting knowledge to image-conscious celebrities and influential sources like Oprah Winfrey and E! Entertainment Television. However, she feels so strongly about her gifts that she has opened a chain of Intimacy lingerie salons that are at once a fabulous alternative to ultra-pricey couture bra salons, cookie-cutter lingerie chains and sterile department store lingerie departments. She and her trained staff go all-out, literally chucking the tape measure in favour of a fitting that mixes a self-esteem building pep-talk, celebrity style fashion styling and assurance you will instantly look younger and slimmer when you put your new investments on.
   We hope to bring Susan Nethero to the pages of Lucire for a royal rundown on the right way to buy a bra and feel good about it afterwards. •


Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of Lucire.
Leyla Messian is a senior writer for Lucire.



Extreme Makeover Home Edition wrap party

GBK

The Secret Room

Extreme Makeover Home Edition wrap party

Intimacy

 

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