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Lucire: Living
the scene


Lucire 2011

Turn on, tune in, tone down

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Though each line was different in its approach, Amaloa’s dramatic pieces, sterling silver from Toby and Max and D’eonly’s fine jewellery shared a common theme of unfinished, unpretentious and rough-hewn style tailor made for confident wearers who appreciate accessories as individual as they are. They worked well with Joyita Ghose’s Poshaq hand-painted silk dresses and scarves and Louthmouth’s 21st-century twist on 1970s printed golf pants. Think Thin protein bars and the Comfort Gourmet’s modern-mac-and-cheese, provided an interesting edible counterpart to the fashion attire presented.

Even with Carrie Ella’s Mad Men-inspired custom handbags, the most attention-getting statement made at the Secret Room was host charity, the Humane Society of the United States. This is something anybody who owns a pet can appreciate, especially as many cats, dogs and other animals have been just as affected by the economic downturn as their owners and handlers.

Though it seems as if GBK fund-raises for numerous charities as diverse as the celebrities they invite (this time around: Teach for America, the Art of Elysium, a New Way of Life Reentry Project, the Artisan Group), CancerCare (which supports not only people with cancer, but also caregivers, loved ones and the bereaved) made a bold fashion statement of another kind in collaboration with Tic Tac Mints that even the irreverent crew from Saturday Night Live who travelled west for the Emmys had to appreciate.

The red carpet-inspired dress comprised of limited edition Pink Grapefruit and Fresh Mint flavour Tic Tacs was indeed a real show stopper—composed of 70,000 Tic Tacs, weighing in at 150 pounds and taking over 180 hours to create. In addition to the dress reveal, Tic Tac Mints, along with cancer awareness and support advocates Eric Stonestreet and Bailee Madison, presented a check for $100,000 to Cancer Care.

Though celebrities were made to feel quite at home with all of the food offerings dished out at the W Hollywood Hotel (Voli vodka cocktails, Brugal rum, WineChateau.com selections, Zoe’s chocolates, TheCravory.com’s cookies), the real push was on health and beauty luxuries rather than the usual array of high-tech gadgetry and luxury accessories. Though celebrities like Ana Gasteyer, Melissa Joan Hart, Randee Heller (Mad Men) Cloris Leachman, James Woods, Alan Cumming, Aidan Quinn, Bryan Cranston and Debi Mazar added to their wardrobes, with luxurious men’s and women’s wear (Robert Graham, Bond Street, Margo Pititti) and their children’s (the Children’s Place), the real finds were essential oil candles from Scentsy, Sheex (bedsheets made from moisture-wicking athletic material), Piggy Pillows (the first insoles ingeniously designed for devout sandal wearers), Tosca Style shampoos, Beauty Foods (hot cocoa with health and beauty benefits) and mattress sets from ComforPedic by Simmons.

Though 2011 may be the definitive year gifting suites came down to earth, you had to give credit to the Alive! Expo Green Pavilion, which started the trend when others were still focused on designer waiting-list getting handbags and museum-grade jewellery. On this edition, staged at the Peterson Automotive Museum, celebrities that included Penny Marshall, Grant Bowler (True Blood), Beverly Mitchell (7th Heaven), Stephen Bishop (Money Ball), Scott Krinsky (Chuck) and Ryan Cleary (Entourage) got to test, try and take home some healthy delights from Aubrey Organics, Vittoria & Banks jewellery, Sequel Naturals health products, Prairie organic vodka, Eden Bodyshaping & Skincare, Naked Grape organic wine, Farrah Karina jewellery and Bohmod Luxury eco-furniture by Janna Phillips.

Even with that, however, for some suite planners, the celebrity is rewarded for his or her impact on public opinion on various products, even if they don’t take home a statue or are even nominated. At the HP TouchSmart Gift Lounge backstage at the Nokia Theater, Jeremy Piven sized up the mindset in his overheard statement, ‘This is like Hannukah!’ as he left the lounge hauling an oversized gift bag with a covetable laptop computer and other practical electronics at the end of the evening. The bag itself was not too shabby—a carry-on duffle by LeSportsac in one’s choice of sleek, metallic hues.

Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and Terra Nova’s Jason O’Mara (who made it back safe from the US version of Life on Mars before hurtling back to the Stone Age) were getting the taste of the good life, in the form of a Nespresso–brewed cappuccino. Mario Lopez and Maya Rudolph cheerfully accepted personalized silver and semi-precious stone pieces from Sarah Chloe jewellery. The most impressive eco-friendly item (and another favourite of Maya Rudolph) was New Balance’s lighter-than-air runners, made from recycled water bottles.

One item that delivered instant gratification were Sheets Energy Strips, which not only gave those prepping for the Emmys an instantaneous burst of energy (with vitamins B5, B6, B12 and E), but a fun, cheeky logo as well. This in turn, provided a nice platform for Centrum to introduce its affordable ProNutrients vitamin line to taste-making Emmy presenters. Moving on to the breakfast of champions, pretty much every celebrity in attendance got to roast and toast their favourite people and causes at the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Toast Bar.

Just a few days before the première of the rebooted Charlie’s Angels, co-stars Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh got the tools to create their own iconic hairdo’s with Sedu Icon Prive Hair Dryer (including one dryer model that sells at Neiman Marcus for a cool $700) Paula Abdul picked up an AMC Signature Pass, while Entourage alum Kevin Dillon accessorized his Emmy tux with a sleek, black Nautica watch. Cult of Individuality provided the nominees and presenters with jeans and tees to wear after the awards.

The week prior to all the Emmy pomp and circumstance, Urban Sanctuary made its début. The launch shopping event at the Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills was structured in similar fashion to an award show gifting suite, and featured many of the same products and brands that turned up later at the various invitation-only gifting suites. What sets Urban Sanctuary apart, however, is that the general public can become members of this shopping club, which then offers them exclusive promotions on innovative consumer products as well as invitations to celebrity style retail events held in major cities worldwide.

Urban Sanctuary’s founders describe their event as ‘equal parts high society and social media’, via its ‘interactive maze of product tutorials, limited-edition fashion showcases, and shelves full of the latest must-haves all under one roof.’ While some celebrities will be invited to do their own primping and sampling, consumer members will have their time during the event to be treated like VIPs while they shop for a variety of charities and causes. For more information, visit www.urbansanctuaryevents.com.

The democratic reinvention of the gifting suite is no free-for-all, as it is designed to benefit philanthropic endeavors (like New Orleans’ St Bernard Project) and young product lines and inventors. However, this kind of team spirit would be something Sue Sylvester would approve of. •

It’s almost as if Sue Sylvester’s pragmatic, no-BS outlook on life and wellness set the tone for all the pre-event luxury lounges

 

 

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