Though the golden glow of the 2017 Academy Awards was slightly tarnished by the Best Picture debacle, Oscar-related events leading up to the big night provided plenty of star power, positive energy and interesting lifestyle products. Here’s a peek of new goods coming to a store near you, and some of the celebrities who were the first to try them out.
Hollywood Event planner Doris Bergman is one of the undisputed masters of the Los Angeles pre-award show fundraiser, from her selection of an always-reliable venue (West Hollywood gathering place Fig & Olive) to her curated roster of sponsors and vendors showcasing products that have a story to tell—like a great movie, of course!
Attendees of her Ninth Annual Valentine Romance Oscar® Style Lounge & Party and Post-Holiday Gift Drive included Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who penned nominated “Best Songs” for La La Land), producer David Greathouse and David Permut (producers on Best Picture nominee Hacksaw Ridge), Saniyya Sidney (appearing nominated films Fences and Hidden Figures), Oscar-winner Bruce Dern, Allen Maldanado (Golden Globe nominee for Black-ish), Dale Goldboldo (People vs. O.J.), Renee Olstead, (Grammy nominated for “Do You You Want To Know A Secret?”), Frank Stallone, Matt Walsh (Veep), Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead), “Dancing With Stars” beauties Karina Smirnoff and Edyta Sliwinska, Sam Trammell (True Blood), Steven Bauer (Ray Donovan), Lauren Makk (“FABLife”), Skincare Guru Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Michael Campion (Fuller House) and Tony Denison (Major Crimes).
As every celebration requires a few toasts to those being honored, it was fitting that the lead sponsor was BUYWINE.COM, which brought in, displayed and shared an incredible array of fine wines from Napa, California boutique wineries. Bryan David Scott (cupofluxury.com) and L.A. mixologist Flairin’ Farron, were back to fuel up guests with velvety iced espresso drinks brewed with his top grade, ethically sourced coffee beans.
Art Lewin Bespoke Suits & Tuxedos (http://www.artlewinbespoke.com) was on hand to ensure male VIPs attending events and ceremonies on the eve or day of the 89th Academy Awards were dressed to the nines. Men who prefer a more rock star-styled aesthetic bee-lined to the display from Samiah Clothing (www.samiah.com) to see her latest custom-tailored styles. My Saint, My Hero (mysaintmyhero.com) displayed their range of faith-oriented bracelets and bangles, while Twisted Silver (http://www.twisted-silver.com) strutted their stuff with a dazzling display of favorite and new designs in their eco-friendly, found object-inspired cuffs and statement pieces.
While day-spas and med-spas have been de rigeur at pre-Academy Awards events from the early days on, Doris’ team raised the bar with an impressive display from Dr. Perricone MD (http://www.perriconemd.com)—topped off with an appearance of Dr. Nicholas Perricone himself! Guests were among the first to try his new Cold Plasma line (for face, eyes and décolletage) as well as receive some of his classic skincare staples and his new The Essential Multivitamin, Super Greens and H2 Elemental Energy water. We were also impressed with Dr. Sal Nadkarni, the man behind Rejuvenation in Motion Mobile Med-Spa (www.rejuvenationinmotion.com), for his candor and consummate knowledge of the latest fillers and procedures for face and body.
There were also fun items that appealed to the kid in everybody, from the Fibrum Mobile Virtual Reality (https://fibrum.com) headsets, which takes smartphone gaming experience to the next level.
Grooming “Secrets” Revealed!
Even with event planner Amy Boatrwright surprising us every awards season with her magic in putting together the Secret Room Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, finding innovative grooming goodies never stops being exciting. As we’ve come to expect, the pampering and products for people were nicely balanced with fundraising and awareness for the Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org) and No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA, http://www.nkla.org) shelters, both dedicated to ensuring cats and dogs get the medical treatments, owners and fur-ever homes they deserve.
However, as this is part of the countdown leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night, The 2017 Academy Awards, the ladies once again pulled out all the stops with sweets and 100% arabica bean coffee from Wolfgang Puck and beauty treatments (including Botox!) from Pasadena-based Parfaire Medical Aesthetics (parfaire.com) who did a fantastic job of introducing prospective clients to their services and practitioners, and topped it off with a $50 gift certificate for VIPs.
However, the best beauty surprise of all was the return of Chaz Dean (http://www.wen.com/chaz-dean.html) the pre-awards stage at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. A decade ago, he opened his house (that is, his Hollywood bungalow house-turned-salon) to several pre-award show beauty lounges that remain the stuff of awards week legend. Although this stylist to the stars had been through a lot in recent years, he’s bounced back in a big way, with lavish new formulas for his signature product, Wen, as well as pet grooming products, a men’s line, elegant fragrances, and body care in an ever-changing offering of seasonal aromas as well as year-round scents.
Speaking of magic gardens (specifically, Chaz’s assortment of fragrances), guests learned about one of Los Angeles’ best hidden treasures, The Gottleib Native Garden (thegottliebnativegarden.com), in a stunning coffee table book. Located a few minutes drive from the SLS, this inspired hideaway open to the public features California native vegetation as well as once-lost forms of wildlife returning to this new habitat. Other nice things ripe for the picking included unisex skincare from Dermatologic Cosmetics Laboratories (www.dclskincare.com), Axia Medical Solutions (www.dermproducts.com/company/axia-medical-solutions), Dermis RX Skincare (https://dermisrx.com/), EstheProLabo HerbZyme Elixir (http://www.esthepro-labo.com), Allomind’s 3-D movie viewing glasses (https://www.wareable.com), and luxury items and other incentives to visit Croatia from the Croatian Tourist Board (www.croatia.hr/en-GB). As the event raised money for two animal rescue charities (Best Friends and NKLA-No Kill L.A. Shelters), there needed to be a sponsor offering something special for pets. Sally Snacks Venison Dog Treats (www.sallysnacks.com) fit the bill.
One for the “Millennium”
With downtown Los Angeles playing a high-profile role in Oscar front-runner La La Land, it only seems fitting that Celebrity Connected took Luxury Gifting Suite Honoring The Academy Awards, its highly anticipated Oscar suite, to the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. The event did not officially have a theme, but if it did, it would have been a carnival full of colorful prizes, delicious treats, and lots of interesting side attractions.
The moment guests entered, they were greeted by an ebullient master of ceremonies and escorted to the Rico’s Nachos on the Go (http://www.ricos.com) station, offering the same gooey goodness that has delighted moviegoers for years as a popcorn alternative. Ohana Cupcakes (http://www.ohanacupcake.com), meanwhile, offered guests their “Party in a Box,” which no doubt found their way to several Oscar viewing parties as well as morning-after coffee debates—where the decorate-it-yourself cupcakes came with a side of contemplation on the historic “Best Picture” gaffe.
Wearables also had an earthy, sustainable feel, from British Columbia-based Sandstone’s unisex bead and leather cuff sets, Berlin-based Villa Sorgenfrei’s (http://www.villasorgenfreiberlin.de) delicate, environmentally inspired pendants, earrings and watches. Letter Craft (http://www.letter-craft.myshopify.com) brought celebrity worship down to earth with its cheeky laser-cut wood portrait magnets and pins. Kiko GG (http://www.kukkia.co.jp/english/kiko) forged futuristic-but-cute Japanese aesthetic into toys and childrens’ sandals, and NV Holders (http://www.nv-tholder.com/en/t-holder), which keeps mens’ button-down and tee shirts neatly in place. Vision Sweden (www.visionhaircare.com) offered men’s grooming goods to finish their big night look.
Adults over 18 could take advantage of California’s progressive medical marijuana laws by filling paperwork with MediCann (Medicann.com) doctors for a certificate providing three months of access to dispensaries. In the immediate, they could sample several innovative products incorporating medical marijuana, cannabis, and hemp from Hemp Kitchen, a delivery service packaging a variety of foods and treatment products addressing pain relief, headaches and other ailments. The company’s spokes-chef Mike was on hand to offer non-THC food samples and explain the nutritional properties of hemp. Privee Social Club (http://www.PriveeSocialClub.com), meanwhile, offered women over 21 an exclusive and discreet club option for enjoying finer cannabis products. Bliss Edibles & Extracts’ (http://www.blissedibles.com) luxury cannibis sweets.
Turning the Page with TMG
Many movie buffs equate the Academy Awards as a golden door that opens once a year to “classic” status for the nominated films, screenplays, actors, and technical achievement. In this case, it is great just to be nominated even if there’s technically one winner in every category. And while invitees prepared for a golden night, TMG (www.tmginternational.com) used their two-day event, TMG Beauty & Style Destination Pre-Oscar Luxury Lounge, to pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of Random House Little Golden Books (http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/c/little-golden-books-75th-anniversary-sweeps).
What could be more fun than a candy buffet, a selfie-op with the forever-young Pokey Little Puppy, a manicure with a special edition Essie nail polish in burnished gold, and getting a first look at the 75th anniversary treasury of stories that never grow old? That said, there were some pampering and accessorizing opportunities for grown-up boys headed to Oscar night festivities. Products included Nelly DeVuyst (http://www.nellydevuyst.com), a Montreal-based, spa-grade line of products developed that includes specialized products for mens’ skin needs, and Eufora’s (www.eufora.net) mens’ grooming line. Y2K jewelry (www.y2kjewelers.com), displaying opulent styles inspired by the Old Hollywood (i.e. Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra) aesthetic and Gienia Design (www.gieniadesign.com), offering contemporary styles for men and women.