20 May 2011

a legends of la cienega recap...

elle decor kick-off party for the LCDQ 2011 legends of la cienega: celebrate art at the always chic therien & co.
those of you following me on facebook and twitter know we had a fantastic time last week at the events of LCDQ 2011 legends of la cienega: celebrate art, and for those of you who don't follow me (and why not?), we thought we'd recap a couple of events that were highlights for us during the legends celebration...
lee stanton and anne maine, editor of traditional home, cohosts of an incredibly fun party during the legends event (with perhaps the hottest waiters ever- always a plus for design events heavy on teh gays and women folk ;-)
first, we'd like to acknowledge lee stanton (of lee stanton antiques), and everyone else responsible for putting the event together, as we really believe in the cause of the legends event,  ie: promoting the los angeles design community.  while  the LCDQ (la cienega design quarter) is primarily a merchant trade association promoting the stores of la cienega design district, the 'legends' event itself truly promotes the entire design community of los angles.  if the chic shops of the LCDQ thrive, so do LA designers, and if LA designers are thriving, so will the shops of the quarter, so it's a win/win "design circle of life" kind of thing... and if you haven't attended the annual LCDQ event, and it's sister association, west hollywood's the avenues' events, please plan on doing so next year as they are both uniquely "LA" celebrations.
LA blondes at scalamandre during legends: jennifer tarus of arrigoni woods LA (flooring), ginna christensen of 27 ground (rugs), tracy hiner of black crow studios (wallcovering)
lucinda pace (middle), whom we were delighted to finally meet in person after being a big fan of her light-hearted design blog, chateau de lu for a long, long, time (how could maison21 *not* love someone who named her rescue pup "bad girl", *and* included her in her wedding ceremony?)
my new favorites, the girls of california home + design, at teh fabulous lee stanton/traditional home party: erin feher, courtney hazirjian and lisa haines (the st. germaine sangria they are all drinking was fabulous, btw)
people say LA has no "street" culture, but these intensely locally-flavored events prove that myth wrong by miles- sure we drive everywhere, but once we drive to the design district, we park, and walk (*gasp*) from chic & unique store to chic & unique store, all while enjoying the sunshine our city is famous for, and at these annual celebrations, we get to do it while sipping champagne, and hobnobbing with top LA designers, tradespeople and editors from the nation's top shelter magazines (editors from ELLE Décor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home,Veranda, Angeleno Interiors, California Homes, California Home + Design, and Luxe Interiors and Design were all on hand).  so next year, maison21 would like to see all of you who couldn't attend this year, sitting a little white chair, sipping champagne and listening to martyn lawrence-bullard stretch darling into a 25 vowel word at a panel!  daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarling ;-)

sex it up panel
speaking of panels, we attended a couple that were rather interesting:  first was a panel called "sex up your space" at waterworks, where interior designers, charles de lisle, erinn valencich, and fellow blogger/designer megan arquette (beachbungalow8), were all steered in a humorous direction by moderator erin fehrer, managing editor of California Home + Design (do yourself a favor and attend if erin moderates a panel in your city- she is our new favorite, and a hoot and a half in front of an audience!)  the panel shared great tips for sexing up your space such as low lighting and even lower furniture, saturating your walls with deep color, adding a little sparkle (but not too much) and always providing a touch of the unexpected, like overscale art, or a chandelier made of work lights from teh hardware store (the last threw masion21 into a hissy fit of jealousy because he didn't think of it first, and charles did.  oh well, we'll just steal it pay homage to it in a future project!
teh fixture!
the panel also handled themselves quite adroitly when harangued by an audience member for not using enough venetian plaster in their projects (really... verbally beat them up about venetian plaster, and wouldn't let. it. go.)   honestly, the Q & A sessions at these events both fill m21 with dread, as well as make him cackle in anticipation of the wonderfully wacky questions audience members will ask.  we never cease to be amazed at how people will bring up their own very specific issues at forums where generality (and geniality) should be the order of the day!  we also admit to finding it all a bit vicariously fascinating, like an episode of of RHONJ (ps, we are occasionally guilty of asking personally specific questions ourself,  like when we practically waterboarded charles de lisle to reveal his source for that amazing white construction lighting!)

"edit, undo" panelists
the next panel on "edit, undo" (description: designers discuss methods for deprogramming a new generation of clients, brainwashed by media’s obsession with budget home renovations and misguided internet persuasions) might have been our favorite, as the panel turned into a spirited debate that boiled down to "internet design, good or bad?" (a very genteel and friendly debate, mind you). designer paul wiseman staked the internet is "bad" side (sort of) , and took on brooke giannetti, designer and author of velvet and linen, and andrea borda stanford, director of one king's lane fabulous tastemaker tag sales, both of whom owe their livings in no small part to the internet, so they obviously were on the side of "internet is good".  a lil friction ensued...
the rapt "edit, undo" audience at rose tarlow/melrose house
it started with paul stating that he thought buying furnishings through the internets was impossible and that one needs to see and touch goods in person in order to make informed decision, while andrea in charge of internet only source OKL, obivously defended purchasing over the internet, and explained that the internet democratizes design by making uniquely curated objects available to everyone, everywhere- not just those of us in major cities- and at every price point too.  when paul played devil's advocate regarding internet DIY design proliferation as spoiling the role of the interior designer, brooke diplomatically explained that our roles as designers have just evolved, and now instead of design dictators, we are more design editors, as our clients become more and more exposed to multiplicity of design options available through the internets.

i for one was bummed when moderator susan mcfadden, eic of california homes magazine ended the discussion, as i think most of the audience members could have listened to the three engaging and informed panelists debate the issue for a lot longer, since all of us could relate to both sides of the "internet good or bad for design" debate in one way or another. it's also a subject i'd like to see discussed a little more on the internets- are designers (like moi) going the way of the dodo, and is the future of design DIY?  or do you agree with brooke, that designers will be as important as ever, to guide and edit a increasing knowledgeable consumer base? i like to think the latter, but also love all the DIY advice available, because frankly, everybody should have nice digs, and lots of people can't afford to hire someone like brooke or i to help, let alone hire someone like paul who by his admission works primarily with billionaires (i think i probably should have paid closer attention to what he had to say, as i want some billionaire clients too!)

cocktailing during legends: mie benson, rebecca buenik of bee of design blog, moiself, richard morales of bluePRint brands, tracy hiner of black crow studios and jamie goldsmith of imagine blog
more cocktails: maison21 and elizabeth dinkel, who contributed one of the fabulous windows to the legends event
melanie brister, part of the awesome team from the avenues, west hollywood
cocktails at the melrose project/veranda magazine closing party with the LA power blogger trio, beach bungalow 8, maison21, and velvet and linen!
after all that verbal sparring and the pondering of such heavy questions, more cocktails were needed, and of course, that is truly the highlight of events like legends...  not the cocktails themselves per se, (though they are welcome, natch) but the community  and comradery that comes from people of similar backgrounds, yet divergent interests and tastes, mixing, mingling and discussing, all in a festive atmosphere. since all of the events are open to public (except a few invitation only parties) a great democratization takes place and the resulting mix isn't just merchants trying to make a sale, or designers trying to out 'fabulous' each other, but a like-minded community coming together to celebrate design, whether amateur or professional, fan or featured player, and that is what makes legends, and events like it, so amazing to attend.  mark your calendars, and hopefully m21 will be having a cocktail with you next year!! 


* photos not our own, courtesy of savage-winn photography/lcdq


Conspicuous Style Design Blog said...

Looks like so much fun! I would love to have been at "Sex Up Your Space"!

Maria said...

interesting to see all these photos! lovely faces...

jones said...

Hi Christian, Thanks for this super post that includes all of the details. It sounds like this week-end is going to be rather "dry" in comparison to last. Mary

Suzanne said...

Perhaps you'd like this pendant lamp:

findingfabulous said...

What a great post so nicely written and meaty. Oh yes thanks for the use of "adroitly" almost forgot it done existed now I will use it alllll month in the unlikely event I come across anyone adroit and anything.