The rooftop of the Luxe Hotel is a genius spot to plan a pre-award show event. Once again, veteran event planners Mark and Matthew Harris of WOW! Creations and Roger Neal booked the space hoping to continue their respective winning streaks with celebrities and VIPs against a 360-degree backdrop of Beverly Hills. However, when storms blew through town, a suite with an open roof patio may not be the most inviting. That said, these event planners’ past track records are so solid that their events are still going to be must-dos on the pre-Oscar week party circuit.
Matthew and Mark Harris had a clever edge, bringing out the kid in everybody. The entry to the suite at the Luxe Beverly Hills’ entrance in itself was an event, with balloons, a pre-packed goody bag of treats and a greeting from Hollywood clown and author Jason Lassen, opening out to a “circus” theme that was three rings of beauty, wellness, and good taste on the roof (in the literal sense, with several artisanal spirits being poured to take off the winter chill) and a sideshow in a second-floor suite showcasing more sensory delights: Vance Family Soy Candles (de-light-ful, delicious and calorie-free bon-bons), a set of Pamper Me Organically skin care products from Toronto, Canada, and for the sports fan, BubbaGlove pom-pom gloves with all Los Angeles sports teams represented.
Melissa Fego’s delicate natural stone droplets in earring, necklace and bracelet form brought a touch of elegance and formality to the occasion as did floral-scented Brville candles, medical-grade skin care from Love My Body and sweet-smelling travel kits and a beautiful tote bag from Florida-based Pura Botanica, which raises money for the Loggerhead Marine Life Center. You could also start your post-Oscar health resolution with a month’s supply of vitamins from GliSODin Skin Nutrients.
The setting may have been celebrities under the Big Top, including Miss California, USA and Miss California, Teen USA, legendary NASA astronaut Dr Buzz Aldrin, Steven Rice, James Dumont (my former high school classmate), and Zacary Heinz-Erg, all tied to major Oscar-nominated projects, but there was a grown-up aspect to it via the wonderful artisanal liquors, from ParaVi’s dessert wine in chocolate-covered bottles, to Four Roses Whiskey to Bainbridge Organic’s gin, to delicious cinnamon bun and vanilla vodkas by Five Wives from Ogden’s Own Distillery to a blissful sip from dairy-free Kkada Sutra Caramel Liqueur.
With everybody in high spirits, the next logical step was to head to the Luxe Beverly Hills’ restaurant for a brimming bowl of Chef David Padilla’s tangy and soothing tomato soup and truffle fries.
Earlier in the week, Roger Neal and his team treated VIPs to a variety of on-site treatments such as SunLounge Studios spray tans, designer gowns by the Netherlands’ Addy van den Krommenacker and loans of red carpet jewellery by Erin Fader. VIPs were sent home with a bag of skin care product by G. M. Collin and hair styling tools by ISO Beauty. There were also hair care products by Olez Hair, integrating apple stem-cell technology in all their products, Muchachomalo hand-painted underwear and leggings, and pants and camis by Marena made with medical grade compression fabric. A former presidential chef was on hand with comforting German and Austrian fare. (Who knew a knish could be so gourmet, or so welcoming on the eve of a big storm?)
Although her suite was moved from Circa 55 (where we later enjoyed an incredible dinner) to the Bar 210, the unflappable and ever resourceful Debbie Durkin charged forward with a more intimate version of her stalwart “eco” Oscar event. While Voss Water and Maya Tequila provided liquid refreshment, New Zealand-based lighting company WakaNine (with US distribution through its Austin, Texas office) set the tone and the cool mod-style for the space. The soul of the event was the Say Yes to Hope charity. Vendors showing their wares included local boutique LA + Jo, classic Will Leather bags, Eye by Panoptx glasses, and to bring it all home, BeautiControl skin care and a handy tote bag with millions of pockets (love!).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor