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Lucire Living
Linda Cardellini at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort stand.

Ready for prime-time




California Dreaming at the Secret Room

The Secret Room opened the doors to its Red Carpet Style Lounge a little earlier than usual (a full week before the award show), with an event that was at once family-friendly and quite sophisticated.

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Although the décor of the event, staged at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza’s Pavilion Ballroom, was intended to evoke the Baz Luhrmann version of The Great Gatsby, it instead evoked the 1920s as it exists in the world of Downton Abbey. Once past the Cheerios sponsor display and the red carpet celebrity photo area, the first thing that caught the eye was a big display of hats (that were elegant nods to the Edwardian era and the first two seasons of Downton Abbey) created by European-trained, Las Vegas-based milliner Louisea Voisine. The Burbank-based 1928 jewellery company, meanwhile, showcased their latest enterprise--a whole collection of fashion jewellery for women and men inspired by different characters from the show. Christina Lovejoy, the company’s rep was on hand to help guests discover their inner Edith, Mary, Cora or Rose.

Silver and semi-precious gem enthusiasts, meanwhile, would be delighted with Charise Noël’s collection of lariats. Inspired by her mother, a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor, she explained the lariats are each one of a kind, easy to take on and off and reflect the personality of the wearer based on how the rock the stones, so to speak. Like her mother, she also designs her pieces to endure, coating the sterling silver chains with white gold so it will not tarnish as quickly. Akonye Kena’s Made in Uganda’s accessories, in contrast, are earthy and rustic, but like Charise Noël’s collection, have a great story behind them. Proceeds from the purchases of the fair-trade products support the communities of the artisans who create them.

As the Secret Room’s charity was Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, it was only fitting that there were many products dedicated to wellness for both mothers and children. These included vitamin supplements for adults and children as well as toys and comfy furniture. However, who knew that a diaper bag company would be a big hit among both busy Moms and women married to their jobs. The brand Petunia Pickle Bottom may have “mom and baby” written all over it, but the products and their styles are anything but baby fodder. Prints echo the sensibilities of UK designer Orla Kiley and Finland’s Marimekko while the subtle quilted fabrics and cheerful colours evoke Italy’s Furla.

Another nice thing to observe was that dermatologist-designed beauty products offered, Doctor D. Schwab, Nerium and Sente, are US-made, and based in California. Vance Family Soy Candles, out of Vancouver, Wash., add beauty to any room with its use of natural herbal aromas and Murano-style glass votives that can be reused when the original candle is used up.

There were a few gee-whiz products for adults that were attention getting, both for their design and their abilities to multitask. The HoverCam, which folds up into the size of candy bar, attaches by USB to your computer and can do everything from scan documents and photos, to make 3-D images and expand your computer’s existing photo functions.

While the Revel Body massagers are an adults-only item (slightly surprising given the event’s them and the presence of children, who were diverted by the expansive spread of candy, toys and organic manicures), the circular design is very discreet and actually a great size that makes for an effective massage of stressed feet, neck and shoulders (as long as the specialty attachments are stashed away safely in a drawer). Thomas George Estates, offered more sophisticated, drinkable pleasure from Napa.

For more information about volunteering for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and its application process, visit


It’s a wrap!

My final rounds for Emmys 2013 took me back to some familiar places (the W Hollywood and the Pickford Estate in Hancock Park) to see what was new in terms of familiar brands and products, and new goods and gadgets worth recommending.

Debbie Durkin, once again transforming the Pickford Estate’s garden into a celebrity playground for her 7th Annual Eco Emmys, was built upon the theme of ‘Empowering Women’, supporting the charitable organizations Women in the Arts, and WOW Voices (With Our Words, Inc.), a youth development nonprofit from Stockton, Calif. allowing at-risk teens channel their creativity into spoken word performance and poetry inspired by eco-themed ideas from stars in the entertainment industry.

One of the more compelling vendors, Deborah Gaspar, was actually vending—selling her high-end silver, gemstone and costume jewellery line to celebrities to raise money for Durkin’s charities of choice. Without ceremony and with refreshing candor, Gaspar noted that celebrities who have everything and then some should support her jewellery collection, not only by making a purchase, but also sharing their good fortune with the charities being featured at the event. Gaspar’s designs are exquisite and fashion forward, but her moxie and pragmatism also make her a designer worth checking out.

Celebrities who have it all in Hollywood, are also widely known for the way they pamper pets, and it is no surprise that Canine Caviar had some choice food for dog owners in attendance (and cat food available on request). However, it was nice to see that they were showcasing how the Canine Caviar products had a very positive effect on a variety of rescue dogs.

Other excellent essentials for well travelled celebrities being showcased here: Traveler’s Choice hard shell luggage and carry-ons (although I never saw myself as a “Barbie Girl”, I am absolutely ecstatic to be able to try out their pink model on my forthcoming trip to Spain—not only because of its functionality but also because of the ease of finding it on the baggage claim carousel) and larger-than-life duffels for the guys. It was also fun to see an old brand from the ’80s, Serengetti Sunglasses, revived and made relevant and chic for a new generation of wearers. While the glasses meld function and fashion (the signature photosensitive and protective lenses), there is also a Made-in-Italy chic to many of the styles that shines through.

New products of note include Maya Tequila, which is not only delicious, smooth and beautifully crafted, but also artistically packaged in a way that completely gets that women are the primary consumers of spirits in most households. Their anejo is extraordinary. Former model Marjorie Kinay of Miami also goes the artisanal route with her Marjorie’s Bazaar line of hand crafted casual shoes in buttery leather and a full spectrum of on-trend colors. CoCo Libre’s superb coconut water, and a selection of vegan ice cream made from coconut nicely tied the day together.

In his seasonal takeover of the W Hollywood, Gavin B. Keilly and the GBK event team opted for simple and home-spun with their vendor selection, which really allowed this go-round’s charities (SPCA LA, Lambda Legal, and the Creative Coalition) to take centre-stage and get word out about the good work they are continuing to do with the help of the greater Hollywood community.

In the usually dog-dominated world of the suites, it was wonderful to see cats have their day, thanks to Presenting Sponsor New Tidy Cats LightWeight 24/7 Performance, a much-awaited product for cat owners who have long craved the luxury of lighter cat litter that functions in a heavy-duty way. For every celebrity guest who “tossed” the new-and improved litter during the two-day event, Tidy Cats donated $100 to SPCA LA, up to a maximum donation of $10,000.

Always a highlight, the Artisan Group, was back on the scene with their always-fun grab bags showcasing the work of designers, artists and entrepreneurs. I was delighted to find beautifully crafted baubles from Andrea Wysocki, Bead Lovers Corner, and Shady Lady Chic. Helzberg Diamonds, meanwhile, bridged the gap of casual and fine jewellery with their Infinity × Infinity jewellery collection inspired by ABC Television’s primetime hit series Revenge. I was also pleased to reconnect with the people from TC Intimates who, in my opinion, offer some of the most comfortable and best shapewear on the market. I look forward to sampling my new set, made from lighter, silky against the skin material.

After getting sustenance from Ike’s Love & Sandwiches LLC, a tiny sample of low-cal hummus from Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine, and a glass of Sequin Wines, I learned about Planet Eco, a new social networking site dedicated to environmentalists , and literally threw some of my support to SPCA LA as a tribute to my cat, Pepper, a cuddly and contented rescue. •




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