Louis Vuitton has paired up with world renowned artist Jeff Koons to create a line of handbags focusing on old world art masters such as Monet, Gauguin, Manet, Turner and Boucher. I only discovered this a couple of nights ago while strolling down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I’m not trying to be bougie… it’s just that I live a few blocks away and it’s so much fun to take in the holiday decorations. It’s free, fun, fantastic and often inspiring to see the holiday window displays. Plus this year they’ve brought back the Baccarat Chandeliers that are only hung above the street during some Christmas seasons, not all. There’s also a little piped in holiday music, and plenty of areas for photo ops with the hashtag #OnlyOnRodeo. It’s all about branding, plus I think that retailers are having a tough time getting shoppers into stores since online shopping has become everyones ‘easy out’.
As I was walking by Louis Vuitton’s windows I was initially drawn in by the new color combinations of some of the handbags, particularly the ones inspired by the paintings of Turner. The strong lavender-blue tone mixed with the hazy orange tones of Ancient Rome, really did it for me. As I continued to study the windows, I realized that the large white bunny in the entrance, as well as the handbag tags, were an homage to Jeff Koons balloon animals that he’s so famous for.
And then… there are the LV’s and the JK’s on the handbags, as well as in the windows, another reference to the collaboration between these two iconic companies. And lastly, there’s that big blue Christmas ball that isn’t a Christmas decoration at all, but rather an homage to his Gazing Ball Paintings.
Whether you love or hate the new handbags, the holiday windows on Rodeo Drive are a perfect exercise in restraint. They tell the story of the new collection and joint collaboration, while still looking festive from an uniformed point of view. Bravo!
I recently attended the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles. It was my first time attending this event, and my first time watching a polo match. The temperatures were pushing 90 on this very hot October day. In an attempt to stay cool, attendees were huddled under a sea of orange Veuve Clicquot umbrella’s as far as the eye could see. We tried our best to purchase one, but they’d quickly sold out. Thank goodness for the complimentary orange fans and the faintest summer breeze.
As the day unfolded, I began to glimpse familiar visions of moments I’d seen before in museums, namely impressionist paintings. It’s so odd to feel as if you’re living inside a painting, experiencing some sort of art deja vu. Impressionist paintings were inspired by everyday life, so why not this day? It was beautiful in every direction: polo ponies, orange umbrella’s, beautifully dressed people wearing the latest trends. To be honest, it was more fun watching the guests jockeying for photos ops at the branded photo stations, then it was actually watching the polo match.
However, as everyone stood for the National Anthem, I was both proud and humbled. I was also reminded of George Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. The beautifully groomed jockeys on manicured polo ponies reminded me of Edgar Degas’s Racehorses. And when a sea of women took to the field at half time to stomp the divots… and of course take a few selfies, I was reminded of Claude Monet’s Woman with a Parasol. It’s amazing how much life changes, and yet stays the same. Maybe we all dream the same dream. To see. To be seen. To make a difference. And to look absolutely fantastic while we do it.
FIDM Museum & Galleries recently hosted their 10th annual “Art of Television Costume Design” opening reception. The kick off event was to celebrate the Emmy nominated Costume Designers of 2016, with over 100 costumes from 23 television shows in a variety of genres.
I have to admit that I’d heard of FIDM for years, but had never actually been to their college in downtown Los Angeles. Fortunately a longtime client of salon manicurist Lisa Preciado happens to head up this annual event. Therefore, she graciously extended an invitation to me when I heard them discussing the upcoming event. Having recently seen LACMA’s Reigning Men exhibit, I was more than intrigued about the possibility of seeing costumes from some of my favorite tv shows. The evening was so exciting and certainly didn’t disappoint. And if you’ve never seen an actual Emmy statue in person, this is your chance.
This current exhibit is free to the public, and will be on display until October 15, 2016. Gallery hours are from 10am – 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Location: 919 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Learn more about FIDM HERE, or sign up for future events.
After seeing the costumes in person, it will make it that much more exciting to watch the Emmy’s live on September 18, 2016.
There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at Beqa Island. Located across the bay from Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, this tranquil oasis has about 3,000 inhabitants spread across nine villages… yes, nine. The native people here are known for their fire-walking skills, however, that wasn’t on our list of things to do on this day. If you’ve seen my earlier post, than you’ll know we arrived to Beqa Island by way of a European Hydrofoil called the Sea Venture owned by Sea Fiji Reefs. Since there was no dock on this part of the island, we dropped anchor off shore and were ferried to the shoreline via a much smaller boat called the Lawaki Delight.
We walked the beaches, lunched and snorkeled ourselves silly for the better part of the day. I only wish I’d had an underwater camera for the blue starfish and the other colorful fish I saw below the surface. There were little or no waves which made the snorkeling very easy. And the waters were very shallow for at least 100 feet from the shoreline, therefore, a newbie snorkeler like myself found it very easy to enjoy the water.
Our hostess Natalie Marletta, seen above, arranged this unforgettable day. Apparently it’s quite rare to be able to access this private island, but as Recio likes to say, Natalie is the First Lady of Fiji and can make things happen! And boy did she. She gave us a day that we’ll remember for a lifetime. I so look forward to her next visit to LA so that Recio and I can return the favor. We don’t have a private island for her, but we’ve got the Polo Lounge and the Bel-Air Hotel, so we’ll see what she fancies when she arrives.
When it came time to leave the island, the Lawaki Delight had beached itself due to low tide, so an even smaller boat back took us back to our hydrofoil. I absolutely love the shot I got of this little metal rowboat coming ashore to fetch us. It captures the serene beauty of this truly magical place. Thank you again Natalie.
Queens Road starts at Nadi where the airport is located, and circles the entire island. Rumor has it that it’s a 12 hour drive to completely circle the island, however, our destination was the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbor, which only took about 2 – 2 1/2 hours. The drive is a bit daunting after an 11 hour flight from Los Angeles, but the views are certainly worthy of your time.
It’s slow going at times as you carefully crawl through the many villages along the way. Homes are frequently painted bright colors, reminding me of the Fijian currency. Some have doors, some don’t. There are rarely sidewalks, and dogs, horses, cows pigs and even roosters shuffle along the roads edge despite the traffic. On several occasions my various drivers happened to be from one of the local villages, and they were very proud to point out where they lived. It’s hard to comprehend a living environment where families have lived for generations, never having left the island. Life doesn’t appear to be easy for many of the villagers, but they take tremendous pride in what they have. They often smiled and waved at our car as we passed through their towns. This gave me a renewed perspective on my life in L.A. where any drive down La Cienega or 3rd street makes you feel Mario Andretti navigating the pitfalls of drivers asleep at the wheel.
The thing that really strikes me when I look back at the photos from my journey to Fiji, is how wide open the sky is. I guess that’s the beauty of being on such a small island. The night stars were often overwhelming in their beauty and I wish I’d taken more time to study them. Over the coming weeks I’ll write several more design diary entries from my 5 days in paradise. And with a bit of luck, I’ll be returning to Fiji to ring in the New Year. We’ll see what the travels gods have in store. That said, I feel fortunate to have made this journey, it was life changing in so many ways.