One doesnt need a party to have a party, darling, unless of course your Hermes and in that case by all means, a dinner the night before (Sunset Towers) plus a ribbon-cutting event with orange clad acrobats should most definitely ensue beforehand.
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As evident by previous endeavors if you truly want to make a high class splash one should phone Carlene at Bounce AEG early on and make sure she is free. Other highly advisable suggestions? Alex Berliner as your primary photog is a must. Plenty of food and a clear cut invitation advising you of dress code and means of transport available to and from the ball (slash converted warehouse in Culver City that some may have confused with the wrong side of town but is really quite ok).
So to elaborate, a call time of 6:30 (sun still shining) was the mandate for the store RE-opening on Rodeo Drive where the North bound side was curiously cut off by police barricade even though Hermes has and probably always will be on the East side which means a Northbound drop off – NTL, we circled back ’round south and valeted in front of the Rodeo Collection and trotted on across the street to see the new store.
For those who shop, you will know Hermes was long since in a temp space two doors down – which they are now done with (no doubt re-rented quickly by Jay Luchs, we’re sure).
We spotted Beverly Hills councilmen on the way in along with a spattering of press from The Hollywood Reporter and Vogue. The Marciano brothers were spotted on the third floor, (the newly opened third floor — formerly there were only two and even though we didn’t see it, there is also a #roof now!), where we decided to start our tour, and nearby the Hermes saddles, bridles, boots and whips.
In between champagne boxed lunch sets and a blue bicycle, we only narrowly escaped tragedy on the new spiral stairs (all very Guggenheim) connecting all three levels (the roof makes four but like we said, we didn’t get that far) with the optional elevator for the stair-adverse.
We were given small orange bags each with a green palm tree on the way out; some decided it was perfect to hang on a rear view mirror for California, others were unsure.
Shuttles lined the now sleepy Rodeo Drive waiting to take guests to … (though many guests opted to skip the store event and go straight to …) the elaborate after party created by aforementioned notable party planner Carleen in Culver City at a somewhat new location called 3Labs which read on the invite ‘goes til 1am’ … a shock to the system of early LA but quite a compromise for the French. Hermes still is a French branch after all, and one of the few not yet controlled by an sPA. Many of the Hermes family flew in for the affair, and rooms were booked at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (#RegBevWil) for them and their other important guests. We heard Hermes gift bags welcomed guests in their rooms and many Angelenos were asked to receive messengers at their homes for a hand delivered invite. Some say they never even got their invites, but again, it’s all very French.
We spotted the Kayne sisters at the door along with Nicole Simone (always lovely), Cameron (off on the red eye to NYFW afterwards) and Jeff, Jessica Alba with super straight hair and Cash Warren, and the fashion of editor of Le Figaro in Pairs who came for observation. All sorts of LA designers, shoppers, and influencers, and many of the French, flown in for the affair.
The party was divided into at least 6 sections — all themed to that of Prohibition Era / Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby fantismo …
1. Outdoor moonlight (though inside the tent) complit avec picnic tables, umbrellas, servers, Hermes toy sailboats racing about via remote controls, a panini food cart, a crepe cart and a juice cart (gin optional), gigantic faux moon, and a river ran along side an honest to God boardwalk.
2. Hermes escorts of the night showed us into a bright flashy room that could only be entered through square shaped tunnel-esque holes, and entered into purple light against a white washed room with more square shape pillars, each with a telescope and peephole to the next room … through a string of silver blinds wafting and waiting for you to enter … The pool room. We suspect it was the Aqualillies (quite sure in fact) that were set up on two sets of grand stairs leading to an upside down pool which may or may not have been just an illusion or video art in the sky. Caviar was abundant in this room – a prime time for a photo to shoot the man carrying a neck-support tray of fish eggs, belinis, toast points, and all the accouterments like onions and eggs and so forth. Not to be outdone by the oyster carrying fellow who had his own shell collecting pal with a bright shiny tray in tow. All in all very decadent and harkened to another era. Just when we thought the bare-clad ladies were done with their dancing, a round of men appeared in even less clothes! After some time, they stepped back and waitstaff resumed their rounds of caviar and oysters.
3. The favorite room, “The Library” was a true gentleman’s lounge; flanked with book wallpaper lining the easily 20 foot high ceilings, red wine emptied into decanters on two bars, silver carts carrying bourbon, whiskey and cognac and mixing Old Fashions, a jazz band and grand buffet with lobster, prosciutto of every kind, lamb-chops, cheese and honeys. We assume the room was a bare bones space just days earlier. We made lots of friends in the leather armchairs and couches for six.
4. Take one. Hollywood. The next room was a 1930s movie scene in progress … Directors called lights, extras grabbed their places and action began. Hopefully you were not in the way of the actors who ran through in full character … there were lots. “Craft services” set up in back had mini hamburgers, tuna burgers, sweet potato fries and french fries. Oh, and yes, a bar constructed from pine wood crates and boxes; the kind you might find on an old fashion movie set.
5. A car parked between two screens, one that filmed you and the other that displayed your “background scene” was filled with Hermes trucks and well, two at a time were meant to go in and drive along with props including Hermes hats, scarfs, and drinks if you had them. The car looked to be a Rolls Royce but after all it was just a toy car, so we think, and we will for sure report back when our pictures are developed.
6. Groucho Marx caricatures aren’t just for Bar Mitzvahs as it turns out; it was all the rage for the evening with all teh guests lining up for a particular one of three artist who stole the show with these souvenirs.
We also saw many members of the Hermes family in from Paris, along with the Hermes national team, Lynn Winter from MOCA, Merle Ginsberg en route to NYFW, Magda Berliner, Jasmine Shokrian, Christine and Gabriel Chiu, Bettina Korek, Zen Freeman, Jessica Kantor, Nicole Simone, Loree Rodkin, Melissa Magsaysay, Judy Chang, Carlos Lopez, Julian Gould, Susan Lu recently moved back from Paris, and so many more if you’d like to mention more please do so in the comments below as we simply can’t can’t can’t remember you all. Bon Soir for now! See you at NYFW!