To Live and Love in L.A.

Enjoying LA each and every day!

What Would Carrie Bradshaw Wear?

The doppelganger for Carrie Bradshaw aka Sarah Jessica Parker wanted to peruse the fashions at Simply Vintageous, the delightful new celebrity favorite vintage shop on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood.  Brooke Wilen, Carrie Bradshaw’s twin, had thought it would be a fun little exercise to see,  ”What would Carrie Bradshaw wear from Simply Vintageous?” Having known Brooke for a bit now I knew she had a wonderful sense of style and a great eye so I was delighted for her to pick out the outfits.  What resulted was a fabulously fun, incredibly stylish photo shoot, styled by Brooke and photographed by the brilliant Arana Bee.

I have realized that many people are enamored with and curious about vintage but not quite sure how to put it into their everyday life.  I have also realized that the adage “fashion is fleeting but style is forever” couldn’t be more true.  It is important for anyone who cares about fashion to develop their own sense of style so they can feel comfortable in knowing what they decide to wear on any given day will make them feel at ease, beautiful and fit their personality.  True style is timeless.  But true timelessness can even come in the form of a clearly 70′s key party dress if it’s worn with the right flair as Brooke shows us here.

Being new to the retail fashion industry, I had no idea the absolute joy I would derive from helping women pick out the right dress for that special occasion or just for everyday.  I also was blithely unaware that in owning this shop I would also be privy to the secrets, fears and joys of a variety of women.  I have come to look forward to meeting these talented, smart, interesting and funny women on a daily basis in my shop.  But I digress.  The main reason for this article is to see what Carrie Bradshaw would wear so I want to leave room for the pictures and descriptions!

Carrie Bradshaw would most certainly wear a beautiful 70′s angel sleeve dress with confidence to a garden party or a cocktail party.  She would pick out a sparkly top with comfortable jeans to have a cocktail with her friends and she would pick a beautiful colorfully beaded dress for that special date night or that evening wedding.  Of course Carrie’s shoes must always compliment every outfit and a simple black pump is the right choice for two of these ensembles.  In next weeks article we will see what she would wear to a ladies lunch, a night on the town and a trip to Hawaii!

So Many Places to Eat, So Little Time…

One thing I can confidently say I have excelled at in life is eating.  I am a good eater.  I love food.  Ask anyone who knows me, I can eat.  None of these dainty portions and half a salad like many LA gals, no way!  Because I love to eat and I don’t want to spend hours working out, though I do enjoy walking my pups,  I have to make sure that what I eat is healthy (relatively) and delicious (most importantly.) I do enjoy cooking but most of the time life is just too busy to make that happen.

I have therefore made it my mission to try as many restaurants in LA as possible.  This is the thing about LA, there are some seriously fantastic restaurants.  People used to say NYC had such better food but now I think we rival, possibly even beat, NYC.  The best part is that many of these restaurants won’t break your bank.  One that’s been my all time favorite fast food restaurant I discovered 15 years ago in LA is Poquito Mas.  I might mention, I have to be careful about where I eat because I am a pescetarian.*  At Poquito Mas you can get a delicious ahi burrito or taco for around 7 dollars that isn’t cooked on the same grill with other meat and you can get a bean and cheese burrito for about 4 bucks.  Their food is always super fresh and they have multiple locations.  The other thing I love about them is their super friendly service, Michael and Jackie at the Sunset location are pure gems.

On the far other end of the spectrum is The Bazaar at the SLS hotel.  Recently I was there in the bar area with a girlfriend and we met a group of cheerful Australian gentlemen who all said that they felt like they were in an episode of entourage by being there.  I love the food at The Bazaar, expecially the jicama wraps.  Yummy!  It will definitely put a dent in your pocketbook but well worth it for that special occasion.

In between those two price wise is Playa on Beverly who’s piquillo peppers are deliciouso!  The chef grows much of what he serves in an elaborate setup of aeroponic technology towers on the rooftop of the restaurant.  The results are the freshest of the fresh ingredients plus a very cool looking rooftop.

Another favorite of mine is Cooks County also on Beverly which serves farmers market driven rustic Cali cuisine in a warm intimate setting.  Owners Claudio and Adria Blotta are delightful and I am addicted to their spelt pretzels, radishes and  sunchokes!

I also am madly in love with cheese and one of the great places is the Artisan Cheese Gallery on Ventura Blvd in Studio City.  Though I could go on and on I am not a food blogger so the main reason for this article is just to let you know that LA has some amazing places to eat and you should definitely explore.  My favorite food blogger who loves food almost as much as I do, and just gave a great review to the above mentioned cheese shop, is Howard Meyers.  His unbiased and fun-to-read, detailed reviews with pictures can be found at consumingla.com.

So remember, when you are too tired or hurried to fix yourself some food, LA is a mecca of fantastic restaurants and I haven’t even touched on the food trucks.  Like I said so many places to eat, so little time.

 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term “pescetarian” to 1993 and defines it to mean: “one whose diet includes fish but no meat”.

 

But if only George Clooney knew me…

The other day a good friend asked me to set her up with a well known actor that I’m friends with (no, it was not George Clooney.)  I explained to her that I didn’t think he would be the right fit since he is a playboy and she is looking to settle down.  She insisted that if he got to know her, he would change his mind because she would be perfect for him.  And herin lies the problem.  I’ve finally decided to write about this very crazy phenomena in LA.

I have so many beautiful, smart, funny, interesting SINGLE women friends who all say the say the same thing, “There are no good men in LA.”  I even had a friend go so far as to move to England in search of a “good man” and after a year ended up back in LA… single.

So is the problem that there really are no good men in LA?  I think not.  I was married to a good man for many years.  Unfortunately we had to go our separate ways but not because he wasn’t a good man.  He stopped by my new shop the other day to see how Fab it is and he’s still a good man.  And here is the even more amazing part, since we went our separate ways I have dated some really good men,  I would say great but since none of them are leading a revolution and aren’t Abraham Lincoln, I’ll stick with really good.  And 3 of these really good men, yes 3, wanted to get married.  What you say?  Are you an anomoly?  Nope.  Are you a super model?  No, I’m cute but no super model.  Then you must be Hilton rich .   No, not that either.

So why is it that I can find these good men and many of my friends can’t?  The answer is really quite simple,  I’m not trying to date George Clooney and change his mind about being a long time self-proclaimed bachelor.  And neither were three of my dear friends, all over the age of 40, who recently all got married  for the first time to really good men.  I can already see what you are thinking, “Over 40 really? How good are these men?”  I’ll tell you.  These men are kind, sweet, loving, good looking and the amazing part, one owns a vineyard North of Santa Barbara, one works with solar energy and the other is a professor, all are financially secure and adore their wives.  Yes, it is true.

Now you are asking yourself, “How do you find these good men in LA?”  It’s quite simple – be realistic.  I’m not talking about settling, never, but it’s about not living in a fantasy world either.  I will give you an example.  A single friend of mine, with 3 grown kids, just told me that she won’t date anyone who is bald, graying (that rules out George) or doesn’t have a 30 to 32 inch waist.  You may think I’m kidding but I’m not.  Therefore, she’s ending up with a lot of hotties but then complains that they aren’t relationship material, really? Is it so important that the men have it all? And if your answer is yes, then do you? For me it’s about figuring out what’s important and then going for that and personally I like the bald ones – more virility.

My conclusion is if a woman is out there hoping to land George Clooney or Brad Pitt or their version of the equivalent then the chances are the men she will meet will be looking to land Angelina Jolie or Charlize Theron or their equivalent.  There is only one George Clooney and one Halle Berry (Who by the way, I ran smack into at the Emmys last year and I audibly gasped. She really is that gorgeous in person.) Therefore, I think it’s important to broaden the horizons a bit – dontcha think?  And just a reminder, George Clooney doesn’t want to get married, even if he gets to know you.

Cannes – Rain and Love!

As I stroll along “The Croisette” in Cannes listening to the multitude of languages being spoken, watching the waves of the Mediterranean lap the shores just behind the swarm of activity of the festival, it really does not disappoint. No matter how much hype you have heard, The Cannes Film Festival or Festival De Cannes is grand and glamorous and truly international. There are so many sublime films, both big and small from 26 countries that are represented here this year, it is impressive.

All of the festival aficionados say this is the worst weather they have in over 15 years. Of course, it is my first time here and the rain has not dampened my spirits or my fun. Being a neophyte, I am new to the terms,

The Croisette, The Palais, Hotel Du Cap,etc. You start to learn very quickly that there is a “Cannes speak”and in order not to appear completely green you must pick up on it very fast. However, I have the good fortune of going to the press office, an amazing beehive of activity, and asking all of my newbie questions there. I also have many friends here who are taking sympathy on me and also helping me along.

The two words most heard for the festival this year are love, since that is the dominant theme of so many movies represented here – and rain, as I mentioned earlier and will say more on later. There is a film called AMOUR, literally love – a harrowing look at love from a couple in their eighties dealing with aging and dementia by Michael Haneke, an acclaimed Austrian director. There is the Wes Andersonmovie, MOONRISE KINGDOM, which is about love from the other end of the age spectrum – two 12-year old kids who fall in love and run away into the woods, this story is almost completely told from the perspective of the children and is set in 1965 in an incredibly campy world of camping, quirky at it’s best. Another love story, RUST and BONE, by French director

Jacques Audiard, deals with early/middle aged love – two people finding love in the midst of very challenging circumstances. Just a few examples of how love, as a theme is big this year at Cannes.

And then onto rain – no one can believe the weather but it doesn’t seem to stop most from going about their business. I am of course, one of those. I was invited to a dinner and had the forethought to ask the hotel if I needed to order a taxi since it was raining. I was assured I did not and I could easily get a taxi when I was ready to leave. This was not to be. When I went to the front desk shortly before my dinner, they said all taxis were busy and the wait could be up to an hour. The walk was only 15 minutes so I decided to brave the downpour with my friend, buying an umbrella along the way, only after negotiating it down from 10 Euros to 2 Euros 50, much to my friend’s dismay since it was pouring down rain on us. The heels I was wearing, which were modest in comparison to most of the crazy 5 plus inch goat heels most of the women wear here, were slipping and sliding and I feared I would end up on my backside so I took them off and hurried barefoot for many blocks along The Croisette to the dinner. I made it on time and was quite refreshed from splashing barefoot through the rain and my friend was in good humor by then having witnessed all. The dinner was again a testament to the many countries, passionate filmmakers, executives and international denizens who make film a reality around the world.

The Palm d’Or will be awarded on Sunday and the jurors who decide the winners are Ewan McGregor, Diane Kruger, Hiam Abbass and Emmanuelle Devos and film-makers Alexander Payne, Andrea Arnold, Raoul Peck and Morettialong with wild card juror, French designer, Jean Paul Gaultier. I cannot imagine the gargantuan task they have in front of them but for us, we will all be able to see many a beautiful story emanating from the celluloid of this particular festival.

I have two more days to go and am excited to see what else will happen in Cannes. And hopefully before the festival is over, I can learn how to catch a taxi seeing that up until now whenever I have tried, even the empty ones snub me.

I guess that is something only the veterans of Cannes know how to do and they aren’t sharing that secret with me.

Au revoir

Wow, our Future Looks Bright!

Macy’s Glamorama was a feast for the eyes, ears and fashion minded on it’s 30th anniversary of it’s fashion show fund-raiser whose proceeds benefitAIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)and Project Angel Food.

The theme “British Invasion: The Music Then. The Fashion Now!”, gave way to a high octane visual style which featured performances by R&B artist Robin Thicke, pop duoKarmin andiHeartRadio Rising Star winners Megan and Liz in between runway shows.

The fun and cheeky show with everything British, including Big Ben, Abbey Road, a double-decker bus and the Union Jack, being bandied about did an

impressive job of highlighting the fall collections from Tommy Hilfiger, Walter Baker,Tallia OrangeMaterial Girl, bar III, Sean John, RACHEL Rachel Roy, Calvin Klein and Diesel and the debut of the limited-edition Nicole Richie for Impulse which highlights her boho-chic style.

The musical acts, visual styling and fall collections were all enthusiastically received and deservedly so. It was a fashion and music extravaganza with the zenith of the show not being the fashion or the stars but four young dancers; Charlize Glass, 10, William Simmons, 12 yrs old, Francis Bailey Munoz, 12, Camren ‘CamCam’ Bicondova, 13.

The exuberance and impressive talent of these incredibly self-possessed kids had the audience delighted. I personally could not get enough of them and so was tickled pink when, at the after party, they spontaneously started dancing right next to where I was standing enjoying my peanut butter cupcake – yum! These four weren’t performing for anyone, mainly just “goofing off” amongst themselves but it wasn’t more than a few seconds that a crowd gathered to watch these young ‘uns with their endless supply of energy rock the after party.

Charlize, William, Francis and CamCam are all gracious, smart and eager to make the world a better place, and to mention again, with an endless supply of energy. It is the energy and passion of youth that will insure our future and I have no doubt that these four alone will have a great impact. Macy’s Glamorama British invasion theme was an inspired idea, having these four future leaders shine on stage was pure genius!

By Beth LaMure for LA.COM