Dwell magazine set up camp in L.A. this weekend, luring to downtown a respected lot of designers and some 10,000-plus design fans—and Andy and I in the swirl of it all with an A+R pop-up shop that was mobbed till closing each night.
A two-day powwow of design leaders included product innovator Don Chadwick (co-creator of the iconic Aeron chair), architect Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner, Media & Policy Center Foundation founder Dale Bell, and city of L.A. senior policy advisor Sarah Dusseault, among many others. Some 150 or so vendors set up inside the convention center, while we were invited by Dwell to showcase A+R out by registration, alongside Hennessey+Ingalls, the landmark book emporium that opened 35 years ago and is the peerless resource for books on the visual arts. The founders’ fantastic son Brett Hennessey and team made more enjoyable the tough weekend of customers—including countless who crossed over from the Erotic Convention and Christian revival also going on simultaneously at the convention center complex. Suffice it to say, the sight of a design enthusiast covered neck to toe in Dries and Marni shopping alongside a buxom babe in thigh-high stilettos and a plaid mini revealing bum cleavage was incredible!
The Museum of Contemporary Art was among those who threw parties nightly. We managed to make the opening fete Thursday at FordBrady, the cool furnishings gallery in a former Chinatown movie theater owned by Willard Ford and John Brady, who also spoke at the conference (the following morning no less!). There, Dana Harvey was hard at work at an old industrial Singer, stitching up bag after bag with the signature Harveys seatbelt strap. He and his wife Melanie pioneered this much knocked-off concept eons ago, and are finally opening a shop here in L.A. on Melrose Avenue. Harveys collaborated with P.A.D. on an outdoor chair that was unveiled at the party. So, too, was the new furniture line by Pierre André Senizergues, the French founder and environmental enthusiast of skateboard powerhouse Sole Technologies (ie. Etnies, etal), who’s re-purposing the flats from skateboard templates into dividers, coffee tables and chairs.
The place was wall-to-wall design junkies, grazing on scrummy brandade and flatbreads that were cooked up right before us by Willard’s brother Benjamin, chef and owner of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City.
It would be our only outing. So absorbed were we in the five-day event, that we collapsed each night before I could even blog. And I didn’t even pull out my camera to shoot the weekend (and that says a lot). But we got a marvelous write-up, complete with pics, on one of our fave design blogs, Notcot.
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