Monday, April 28, 2014

BritWeek LA: Christopher Guy Presented 3rd Annual Design Icon Award To Nina Campbell

Christopher Guy’s visionary founder, CEO and chief designer, Christopher Guy Harrison, presented his third annual BritWeek Design Icon Award.
Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
BritWeek Icon Award,an
Asprey trophy
The world-renowned interior and luxury home goods designer Nina Campbell, was honored at an exclusive red carpet event at the Christopher Guy West Hollywood showroom, 8900 Beverly Blvd, last Saturday, April 26th
Nina Campbell gets BritWeek Icon Award

Campbell was honored by Christopher Guy Harrison, who himself has revolutionized furniture design aesthetics with his eye-catching, flowing lines.           The Christopher Guy brand is known as a creator of the world’s most contemporary lifestyles, with a global footprint in luxury residential design, as well as in world famous hotels and stores, including most recently Harrod’s—a very short distance from Nina Campbell’s own design studio in Knightsbridge.
Maria Elena Infantino
Beatles tunes

 The award ceremony was a signature event of BritWeek 2014, which included a Beatles 50th Anniversary male fashion show by Porsche Design,  musical entertainment, Perrier Jouet Brut champagne bar, Icon Award award presentation, and celebrity transportation provided by Aston Martin.                 
left, Christopher Guy w/ guest

Each Spring, BritWeek celebrates creativity and innovation between Britain and the US, in multiple categories including film & TV, business, philanthropy, fine and performing arts, and design. was founded in Los Angeles, but have now expanded to BritWeek events in San Francisco, Orange County,  and since last year Miami.  
Past recipients of the Christopher Guy BritWeek Design Icon Award have been Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, and Royal Milliner Philip Treacy.

Porsche men's design
 Nina Campbell is based in London’s glamorous Knightsbridge district, and her client list has included Annabel’s Private Club, The Savoy Lobby (with David Linley), The Groucho Club, The Hotel Parc Victor Hugo in Paris. She is the author of six books on design and has appeared on home remodeling programs on the BBC.  Nina Campbell has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Middlesex, and numerous international awards.

Other credits include, The Campbell Apartment Bar in New York’s Grand Central Station, the New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride, Colorado, élite hotel and residential projects in Britain, the United States, Germany, China and Jordan, as well as a series of lines of bespoke furniture, wallpaper design, table linens, china and glassware, apparel, rugs and cashmere throws. 

At Christopher Guy showroom during Design Icon Award 2014
The classic, contemporary mood has ensured the Christopher Guy name is at the forefront of luxury furnishings design around the world, targeting the Middle Eastern
Market.The name continues to grow via stand-alone stores in West Hollywood, Chicago, Verona, 
Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.
In July 2012 Christopher Guy opened the flagship showroom in West Hollywood, CA which 
was followed by the opening of a new showroom at the Las Vegas Design Center in January
 2013. Last year, in May 2013 Christopher Guy expanded its presence in  US with the opening                 
 of a 20,000 sq. ft. showroom in the historic New York Design Center.

Perrier Jouet Brut to celebrate

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The 8th Annual BritWeek Kicked off in Los Angeles & will run thru May 4th

Opening speech and toast by Lord Frederick Winsor
Photos & story by Karen Ostlund

BritWeek is a non-profit organization,which started in Los Angeles in 2007 by American Idol's Nigel Lythgoe and the then Consul General Bob Peirce, to highlight the creative fusion of  between the United Kingdom and California. Britweek launched in Miami last year in March.  Categories include film & television, music, art, fashion, design, retail, sport, philanthropy and business.

                                                                          The 8th Annual BritWeek Los Angeles was launched last Tuesday, and will run until May 4th in Los Angeles.
British Nr 3 London Dry Gin menu served w Fish & Chips

 Stars attending the opening at Hancock Park mansion included Seal, Jason Isaacs, Jo Frost (Super Nanny), Cat Deeley, Jenna Elfman, Catt Sadler and many more.                             
They gathered at the outdoor garden at the Consul General’s Residence for a spectacular Midsummer Night’s Dream party sponsored by BBC Worldwide, Boots, Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows and The Times of London.
Stilt animator at BritWeek's opening
left, Brit Consul Chris O'Connor,  Sharon &; Bob Pierce, Tom LaBonge w Nigel Lythgoe

 Britweek 2014 program include the fifth annual BritWeek UKTI Business Innovation Awards, which were announced April 23rd at Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
left, singer Seal with British Consul Chris O'Connor

BritWeek Chairman Bob Peirce presented world-renowned British DJ and music producer, Paul Oakenfold, with the 2014 Creative Fusion Award. The evening was sponsored by Virgin Atlantic.
Andy Bird, Disney International Chairman, provided the keynote speech, celebrating highlighting the important of creativity and innovation in the business world.
left, BritWeek board member Michael J Krycler w singer Steve Cooke & wife Sandra

The 2014 winners of BritWeek UKTI Business Innovation Awards announced April 23rd were:
  • HEADSPACE (Social Impact) – a digital health platform on a mission to improve the health and happiness of the world.
  • Industrial Light & Magic (Technology) – serves the motion picture, commercial production and themed attraction industries. Founded in 1975 by George Lucas, it is the leading effects facility in the world, with offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London.
  • Innovate Product Design (Business Services) – specializes in helping individuals to take their new product ideas to market, providing low cost patent protection, design, prototype and marketing know-how all in-house.
  • Alexander Purcell Rodrigues (tied for Design) an award-winning, LA-based interdisciplinary design studio, driven by the diverse creative background and talents of its founder, who studied at Cambridge University in the UK and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
  • Cubic Transportation Systems(tied for Design) – a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for intelligent travel solutions.
  • Other finalists included: and PixelMags (Business Services), Focusrite & Novation (Design), Deltex and Starlight Children’s Foundation (Social Impact), Vyclone and DTS (Technology)
Right,  actress Brit Ekland w friend

BritWeek will continue its ode to the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare with a one-night-only performance, BritWeek’s Evening of Shakespeare, Music, and Love, presented by Beverly Hills Wealth Management, on April 25th, featuring 20 acclaimed actors (including Ioan Gruffudd, Jane Seymour, Malcolm McDowell, Michael York, Sophie Winkleman, and others) performing the Bard’s best world. On April 26th, the BritWeek Robertson Shopping Stroll, presented by SoCal MINI Dealers and hosted by Mischa Barton, will draw thousands out to the iconic, luxury shopping district on Robertson Blvd for in-store events, special offers and fashion previews and givaways.
That same evening, April 26th the BritWeek Christopher Guy Design Icon Awards will once again celebrate the huge influence of British creativity, honoring this year the world-renowned interior designer Nina Campbell.

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe 2014
 Returning for the fifth year as a supporter of BritWeek, Jaguar will partner to present A Villainous Affair, celebrating the British Villain with an evening of cocktails, canapés and world domination at a top-secret location overlooking the Los Angeles cityscape on Friday, May 2nd. Guests will be among the first to lay eyes on the newest British Villain in town, the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe.
left,  Stephen Wong, actress Ashley Bell w mother
        May 3rd and 4th, BritWeek will once again take over the Third Street Promenade with an exciting two-day festival.
                                                                             The festival will feature a preview the new F-TYPE Coupe from Jaguar, mini-makeovers from Boots,  the famous British gecko from GEICO.

At this dog friendly event will you be able to take your pup for a stroll down Walkers Shortbread doggy red carpet, travel to London with The Times of London and get your picture on the front page of the iconic British newspaper, and explore Scottish heritage and tradition with St. Andrew’s Society.

McVitie's Digestive Biscuits, most popular British, made of 60% wheat and wholemeal
 The May 3rd & 4th Third Street Promenade event will feature live performances, including Independent Shakespeare Company, Clan Currie Harper Glen, Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble, highland dancers, pipe bands, acclaimed British performers Desi Valentine & Luke Barnham, leading Los Angeles and UK street artists.
For full schedule visit
Daylight, people at BritWeek LA's opening reception

Friday, April 18, 2014

Barbara Lazaroff's Spago held the 30th Annual Seder Dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills

Sign at the entrance of Spago, April 15th
 Barbara Lazaroff's Spago held the 30th Annual Seder Dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills.
Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
Beverly Hills, CA – April 15th, the second night of Passover,  Barbara Lazaroff held the Spago 30th annual Seder dinner at Spago Beverly Hills. 
100% of the profit from the Seder dinner benefited MAZON, “a Jewish response to hunger”.
The dinner was officiated by Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Briar- University Synagogue.

The Westside Children’s Choir performed fresh from their appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

left, Melissa Manchester with host Barbara Lazaroff
 Lazaroff said "I began the tradition at the original Spago Hollywood as a means to bring the Jewish community together on the festive holiday, as well as those of different faiths. I believe that if we all share our traditions, myths are dispelled and communication is sparked. This leads to better understanding and tolerance for all cultures. Also, there is such a profound need in Los Angeles, so many go hungry every day, elders miss many meals and children who go to school unable to concentrate because they are hungry. This event has become a warm and delicious tradition at Spago Beverly Hills, those who attend love the Spago cuisine and their go home package of oven baked matzah’s and macaroons.
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Briar
“About 40% of those that attend are not Jewish and some experience their very first Seder at this event, where they get a sophisticated introduction to Jewish Cuisine."
Over the years, stars like Oscar Winner Rita Moreno, Lainie Kazan, Melissa Manchester, Studio & Network heads, Entertainment Industry Leaders, have attended this memorable dinner.

 Spago restaurant is located at 176 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills.
 The Westside Children’s Choir performed as an opening act


         History behind the Passover Seder dinner:
The rituals and symbolic foods evoke the twin themes of the evening: slavery and freedom.
The rendering of time for the Hebrews was that a day began at sunset and ended at sunset.
Historically, at the beginning of the 15th of Nisan in Ancient Egypt, the Jewish people were enslaved to Pharaoh. After the tenth plague struck Egypt at midnight, killing all the first-born sons from the first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the lowest Egyptian to all the first-born of the livestock in the land (Exodus 12:29), Pharaoh let the Hebrew nation go, effectively making them free people for the second half of the night.
  The Symbolic Seder plate as appetizers
 The Passover Seder plate (ke'ara) is a special plate containing six symbolic foods used during the Passover Seder. The plate was served as appetizers at Spago Seder dinner, followed by the crispy flat bread (matzos) and the classic matzo ball soup with chicken broth. The main course was a combination of salmon and steak plate.
  Each of the six items arranged on the Passover Seder plate have special significance to the retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic item used during the meal—a stack of three matzot—is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.

The six items on the Symbolic Seder plate: Maror and Chazeret: Two types of bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt. For maror, many people use freshly grated horseradish or whole horseradish root. Chazeret is typically romaine lettuce, whose roots are bitter-tasting. Either the horseradish or romaine lettuce are eaten in fulfillment of the mitzvah of eating bitter herbs during the Seder.
C t: A sweet, brown, pebbly paste of fruits and nuts, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt.
Karpas: A vegetable other than bitter herbs, usually parsley but sometimes something such as celery or cooked potato, which is dipped into salt water (Ashkenazi custom), vinegar (Sephardi custom), or charoset (older custom, still common amongst Yemenite Jews) at the beginning of the Seder.
Zeroa: A roasted lamb or goat bone, symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), which was a lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.
Beitzah: A hard-boiled egg, symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.
 Crowd at the Spago Seder dinner

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fall Fashion 2014: Sue Wong's Edwardian Romance

Sue Wong’s Edwardian Romance Collection is an inspiration from "Downton Abbey", PBS's long running British TV Series
Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
Finale runway show, Sue Wong and artist Romio Shrestha
  Designer Sue Wong showed her new collection for Fall 2014 at her Los Angeles Atelier last Friday,  April 11.
The Fall season collection is called Edwardian Romance, which has a new theme of Hollywood Glamour and a touch of Downton Abbey vintage style. Her Edwardian signature style features empire silhouettes and long hobble skirts.
 -“ The Downton Abbey look never looked more seductively and elegantly refined in beige-black-champagne gowns with shimmering lace-illusion yoke, embroidery and bouquets of floral beadwork”, said Sue Wong.

Sue Wong Fall 2014

-“The Edwardian Era has always inspired my work”.”I loved the period costumes of Downton Abbey. I have an affinity for this era and its iconography in a way that is effortlessly aligned with my fascination with seductive stories, which are embedded in  bead work that I include in my work”. 
left, actors John Savage and Frank Telfer

                      The Edwardian Romance’s color palettes for Fall 2014 will be neutrals as: sandalwood, taupe, ivory and platinum.
Jewel tones as: sapphire, turquoise and amethyst, will be combined with
Fall colors such as chocolate, red and black.

Sue Wong Fall 2014
 The fabrication used for this collection is
a variety of lace, tulle, chiffon, taffeta & feather,  enriched with the time-honored SW signature.
Center, Jewelry designer Vilaiwan with guests

 Couture techniques used for the Edwardian Romance collection are: embroidery, appliqué, hand bead work, sequins and seutache, which are accented with elements including hand-knotted beaded fringe and cascading tiered. 

Sue Wong's Edwardian Bridal Gowns for Fall 2014
 The Edwardian Bride for Sue Wong Fall 2014 is a romantic union of classic gowns adorned with floral details, ruffles, embroidered patterns and beadwork. Each gown is accented with vintage style head pieces.
Other credits: The models were wearing necklaces from Vilaiwan Fine Jewerly and handbags from Mary Francis Accessories. 
Center, Sue Wong and Pageant guests

The models were wearing Vilaiwan necklaces
Makeup was provided by Napoleon Perdis Academy, and hair-styling by TRUST! Hair Salon.
The invited guests were drinking cocktails sponsored by Svedka Vodka, Perrier and Hubert’s Lemonade.
For more info:
Sue Wong's Fall 2014 short style