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My Tales of Legends of La Cienega

Last week I headed to my West Hollywood pied-a-terre for a few days in the big city. It was the fabulous Legends of La Cienega event in Los Angeles, where top designers, magazine editors and other tastemakers gather on fabled La Cienega Boulevard for three days of networking and inspiration. Legends of La Cienega includes keynote panel discussions, cocktail parties, book signings, receptions and exhibitions.

First up, I stopped by the Bloggers’ Breakfast, hosted by Luxe Interiors + Design at the beautiful brand-new Sherle Wagner showroom. Since its founding in 1945, Sherle Wagner has been the premier source for luxury hardware and bath accessories.

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I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon perusing the showrooms on the Boulevard. Or more accurately, their windows. Every year, the nation’s top designers transform La Cienega’s windows, according to a specific theme. This year’s theme, “Novel Interiors”, inspired some truly amazing windows!
(Sadly, I had to decline my invitation to design a window, as I am still catching up after the whirlwind event that was The Christopher Kennedy Compound.)

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After pounding the pavement most of Thursday, I barely had time to change before heading to famed designer Michael S. Smith’s (he designed the Obama White House) showroom, Jasper, for a VIP party hosted by Architectural Digest. After a quick photo with Editor-in-Chief, Margaret Russell, I high-tailed it over to the Chateau Marmont for an intimate dinner hosted by one of my favorite rug companies, Merida. I had the pleasure of sitting with some of my fave LA designers, Bonesteel Trout Hall, and some new friends whom I met recently at The Christopher Kennedy Compound, Biddle + Barton from San Diego.

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It was a bit of a late night, so Friday morning I slept in and did some work at home, before returning to La Cienega for the Power Lunch, sponsored by Veranda Magazine at Marge Carson.

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One of the best parts of Legends is catching up with friends! I was thrilled to see Jo Fujii-Campbell, publisher of Luxe, and the talented designer Julia Wong.

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The next best part of Legends is the food. The caterer, Steven Petrarca, did an amazing job at the Power Lunch. Everything was top-notch and delightful; I have never seen designers eat so much! Stephen definitely took sandwiches and salads to another new level.

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After lunch, I stopped by Mecox Gardens to snag the new books released by my friends Susanna Salk and Jeffrey Alan Marks, who were on hand to sign their tomes. Then I hightailed over to Gina B, where my gal pals Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis were hosting a mini Design Camp.

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Aaron Danzig, Brand Manager for the Williams-Sonoma family of companies, spoke about personal branding and Gina B. herself discussed her long career as an interior designer and furniture designer. Inspiring!

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After getting schooled at Design Camp, I checked out some of the new products at the must-see show rooms. While shopping at Hollywood at Home, I bumped into Michelle Trout of Bonesteel Trout Hall.

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The “BTH” ladies were there checking out these fabulous new fabrics of New York-bases Zak+Fox.

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Late afternoon, I attended a private party at Joe Lucas’ shop, Harbinger, sponsored by Moore & Giles Leather Company. I spent some time perusing Joe’s fabulous offerings before heading out to the rear parking lot, which was transformed into a festive party scene.

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Moore & Giles wins my vote for best merchandising. They pulled up to the party in a fantastic converted Airstream trailer. Inside party-goers could sip on couture bourbon cocktails (I declined) while browsing Moore & Giles’ leather offerings.

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Just as the party was in full-swing, Joe Lucas climbed to the roof of his shop (I held my breath as I am really not a fan of heights) and asked us all politely to “Get the heck out” — seriously. Yep, it was time for the VIP Closing Party to begin. So many parties, so little time!
The closing party was sponsored by Hearst Design Group (they run Veranda, House Beautiful and Elle Decor magazines) and took place at the chic McKinnon & Harris showroom. Surrounded by McKinnon’s glamorous outdoor furnishings, I caught up with old friends Linda Allen, Patrick Dragonette, Celerie Kemble, and Jeff Lewis.

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But the stars of the show that night were undoubtedly the gorgeous servers, who made quite a scene wearing custom organic headdresses created by Make it Happen.

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A wonderful time was had by all at the Legends of La Cienega. See you next year!
Photo Credits: Christopher Kennedy unless * noted otherwise.