27 May, 2011

The Duchess Reports . . .

Ruthie Sommers Tastemaker Tag Sale at One Kings Lane

The charming and adorable Ruthie Sommers will be selling lots of goodies this weekend on One Kings Lane, starting tomorrow at 8 am Pacific time!  Get up early, gram some matcha and your Amex, and your Memorial Day weekend will be off on the right foot. 

The designer, above, and a few of her covetous pieces (for sale!) below.

23 May, 2011

The Duchess Wonders . . .

What does it look like on the inside?

Dame Liz's Manse

The longtime Bel-Air residence of Liz Taylor is available for the first time in 30 years.  It's an approximately 7,000 square foot home, a 1960s ranch, on approximately 1.27 acres overlooking Los Angeles.  It could be all yours for only $8.6 million.  Shown to pre-qualified buyers only. 

16 May, 2011

The Duchess Reads . . .

Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

It becomes increasingly difficult to get things done.  The Duchess is remiss, for example, for not reminding readers of last week's Legends of La Cienega:  Celebrate Art celebration, benefitting The Art of Elysium's Elysium Project (terribly sorry--coverage here on HuffPost).  She also is remiss for failing to encourage readers to visit any number of fantastic art openings that took place this past weekend, including but not limited to Barbara Kruger at L&M Arts (bad Duchess!).  The Duchess does however read, and how!

Francisco Goldman's recent release, Say Her Name, is nothing if not completely beloved and deeply admired by its reviewers, and for good reason.  It is an earnestly and beautifully written memoir of the author's tragic relationship with his magical wife, Aura Estrada, who died too, too young, only days before their second wedding anniversary on a vacation in Aura's native Mexico.  Mr. Goldman artistically and poetically documents his personal catharsis in this heart-rending book.  The Duchess hasn't finished it yet, but that will not prevent her from attending Mr. Goldman's talk tomorrow evening at the Los Angeles Central Library at 7 pm.  Please join. 

"Hold her tight, if you have her; hold her tight, I thought, that's my advice to the living. Breathe her in, put your nose in her hair; breathe her in deeply."

Los Angeles Central Library
Mark Taper Auditorium
630 W. Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

11 May, 2011

The Duchess Admires . . .

Todd Alexander Romano

The Duchess has long admired the thoughtful, cheerful and comfortable interiors designed by Todd Alexander Romano.  A native of San Antonio, Mr. Romano has helmed his eponymous firm since 1999, after a stint apprenticing for Mario Buatta.  His vivacious personality and vibrant use of color veritably trademark each of his projects 

Recently Mr. Romano opened a showroom on La Cienega Boulevard (read more about it here on StyleBeat) that is stuffed to the gills with an uncommon array of fine furniture and objets.  Tonight there he celebrates the May issue of Lonny magazine with jazz and cocktails.  Je vais vous y voir!   

The Showroom on La Cienega

The new apartment, featured in Architectural Digest, February 2011
photographed by Thomas Loof

Image courtesy Todd Alexander Romano

Todd Alexander Romano
930 N. La Cienega Boulevard

06 May, 2011

The Duchess Wishes . . .

Everyone a Happy Mother's Day Weekend!






04 May, 2011

The Duchess Muses . . .

On Palm Springs, and the Relative Merits and Demerits Thereof

After a particularly hellatious month (April is the cruellest, as they say), the Duchess was looking very forward to a few peaceful hours away from the glare of her PC and the tinny ringing of her office phone.  Thus she and the Senator grabbed a cocktail and some Volvo time (in that order, readers) and headed out on the semi-open road Friday evening for a stay at the Riviera Palm Springs.

As the Duchess is known for her ability to get down with the geriatric crowd, she is accustomed to the thwack of iron on golf ball and the rustle of palm trees against grey hair so prevalent at La Quinta Resort, in La Quinta (stone's throw past Indian Wells).  She's been there a few times before and loves its peaceful, soporific pace.  But this time, the Duchess threw caution to the wind and checked into the Riviera, sight unseen.  Mistake.

Without going into detail after detail about just how bad this hotel experience was (45 minutes to check in, no air conditioning, no ice bucket, no corkscrew, and Sugar Ray blaring on a boombox outside of our "suite"), let it suffice to say that within hours the Duchess and crew departed the Riviera for La Quinta.  Thank god. 

Riviera pool as advertised on Web site

Riviera pool in reality (wristbands required, wtf?)

La Quinta pool, ahhh

And a great big thanks to our dinner guest on Saturday night, fitness queen Denise Austin, who gifted the Duchess with her latest, "Hot Body Yoga".  The fact that she saw the Duchess in a swimsuit before said gifting is a bit unsettling, but still, much gratitude is in order.  Thanks Denise! 

03 May, 2011

The Duchess Anticipates . . .

Los Angeles Nomadic Division ("LAND") Art Auction and Benefit Party

This Thursday night, LAND is hosting an art auction and benefit party at Palihouse on Holloway, starting at 6:30, and it promises to be a rocking time.  LAND is a non-profit public art initiative committed to curating site- and situation-specific contemporary art projects in Los Angeles and beyond.  For this benefit, they have the support of a number of fabulous established and emerging artists, who are participating in the auction, for example:

Cole Sternberg
Barnaby Furnas 
Hanna Liden
Jeremy Kost
Matt Chambers 
Naomi Fisher 
Shana Lutker

Tickets are available here in advance of the benefit, and there may be some left at the door (for a premium!).  This is a wonderful opportunity to support an organization doing groundbreaking work in the arts, and to start or add to your own collection. 

LAND Art Auction and Benefit
Thursday, May 5, 2011

8465 Holloway Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Images courtesy www.nomadicdivision.org, all artwork copyright of the respective artists. 

02 May, 2011

The Duchess Desires . . .

To Look Like This.

Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen
Getting Ready for the Met Gala 2011

The Duchess Desires . . .

This House in the Hollywood Hills

Presumably everyone who's anyone is all over the New York Times today, scouring that e-rag for news of yesterday's wild, courageous raid on bin Laden.  It's true.  So was the Duchess.  But her eyes did wander down to the Home & Garden section, where she encountered some massive Los Angeles real estate porn.

Purchased by techno-vegetarian Moby (new album release May 17) for about $4 million and then renovated for an additional $2 million, the Hollywood Hills castle once housed the likes of the Rolling Stones, and includes a guest house designed by John Lautner (left generally in tact).  This is the sort of palatial, fairy tale manse that brainwashes people into moving into the Hills in the first place.  Much better than that p.o.s. over in Abbottabad, no? 

Photographs by Trevor Tondro for the New York Times


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