J. C. Olivera
The Golden Globes hit landfall sooner than usual after the holidays, but Rita Branch and the crew at Secret Room Events were ready for the first wave of nominees and VIP trend-seekers. Given that this winter, LA is actually having a winter (with brisk winds whipping the Inter-continental Century City vicinity’s famous wind tunnel), it was nice to have a cozy theme—Hawai‘ian Style Retreat—in place, especially as nominees (and the upper echelon of media) received good-to-go vacations from American Luxury Tours (offering seven nights in Hawai‘i) and two nights at La Estancia La Jolla Hotel with breakfast and massages.
While there were no orchids, leis, or luau food on hand (just as well, given a very big vegetarian contingent among the VIPs), there were plenty of items ideal for attaining that beach-house flair as well as must-bring essentials for Hawai‘i, La Jolla, or any other warm climate journey. For starters, this edition’s sponsors included Anne Neilson Home, Thomas George Estates, and refreshing teas and juices from Bare Nature.
After walking the red carpet, all guests lined up to receive the basic “luggage” for this journey from Shore Bags, a Chicago-headquartered company whose sustainable, durable and biodegradable canvas totes (inspired by traditional work bags for sailors and fishermen) are produced in ethically operated factories in India staffed by rural women. Those already planning their post-Globes outdoor adventure could later reuse the totes, packing them with the very clever Sun Soaker portable solar panel, which harnesses sunlight to charge phones and other devices), wine from Thomas George Estates, and cleverly designed Flare lantern speakers from Nuvelon. Celebrity parents planning to take their kids along on the adventure could check out Buckle Me Baby car seat coats fashioned with warm but streamlined materials and designs ensuring kids perfectly fit into their car seats for greater safety.
Australian company Silver Stork offered care packages to expectant and new parents with an eclectic variety of essentials and treats, along with a gift card for future use. Copper & Crane, meanwhile, provided care packages for adults containing a selection of high-end lotions, scrubs, and skin boosters intended to inspire the idea of having a spa day at home. Guests could also put together a care package at another booth featuring Greek Island Labs’ joint and muscle pain relief, Trim Bars, Adonia Organics tanners and wrinkle fillers, as well as Relaxium’s supplements (providing a healthier, less toxic alternative to pharmaceutical remedies), and Baroque & Rose and Bare Nature juices.
Though Frill’s Plant–based Frozen Desserts’ treats had to be enjoyed on the spot, the company offered guests some literal food for thought on what they could allow themselves to indulge in when rethinking their diets in the New Year—and a new caramel flavour. Dandy Blend, meanwhile, offered up a tasty alternative to coffee made from dandelion root, touted as one of the big “superfoods” for 2019 with antioxidants and health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, and aiding weight loss, blood sugar control and liver health.
Anne Neilson was on hand to give all attendees fragrant candles and notebooks with her own hand-painted angel design. This provided her a starting point to explain the connection between her light, airy æsthetic and her faith-based inspirations for her artwork and interior layouts. The area used by Secret Celebrity Licensing was beach-house-perfect, with pillows and blankets in fresh blues and whites. On the practical side, A20 Water/Think Alkaline provided home and travel purifiers to celebrities to make their water as pure and crisp as their décor.
Heather Chapplain was the event’s fashion star, tapping in to the trends of upcycled fashion and dressed-up denim. Her spin involves deconstructing well loved denim jackets and bottoms and reworking them into casual luxury pieces with clever insets of silk, velvet, Indian wool pashmina fabrics, and other found items before adding splashes of earth and jewel-tone colour to finish each garment. She also offered select guests seasonless kimonos made from wool pashmina scarves, great over jeans or a swimsuit. Underneath it all, Camouflage Cellulite Body Liner’s inventor, Jacqueline Brown, extended an invitation for women to try out her shapewear solution in black or nude with adjustable leg lengths to accommodate height and skirt style.
While VIPs also went home with bags with extra goodies that included vouchers for the aforementioned trips, media got a taste of the good life with a few of our favourite things, including Bae Vegan Perfume’s Wild fragrance, a throw from Secret Celebrity, Mahi hot chili sauces from the UK, Elyptol hand sanitizers, Charleston & Harlow candles, Nancy Ganz lingerie, Our Planet and Pacha soaps, Jane Bakes gluten-free cookies, Nail Snail trimmers for infants, a Celsius energy drink, Thorlo socks, Punch Gunk pain reliving cream and Popcorn, Indiana popcorn (which departing guests started snacking on while waiting for their cars and Über rides at the Inter-continental Century City’s front door).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor