These Boots 'n Heels are Made for Cooking: Designer Calleen Cordero and chef Nina Clemente in the back of the mobile kitchen behind Calleen's shop.
Calleen and I hosted the dinner last Thursday to celebrate her inclusion in the 2010 California Design Biennial and, most excitingly, her new signature Fall 2010 collection of leather bags and jewelry festooned with quartz crystal, raw geodes, amethyst and turquoise.
Lisa Edelstein was among Calleen's newest pals at the dinner; the two hit it off after meeting at the CDB opening bash the weekend before.
Also there were longtime pals of both of ours (though we didn't make the connection until recently), including celeb stylists Miles Siggins and Tanya Gill; fashion showcase veteran Barbara Kramer ; Lisa Bush and Scott Vineberg of Mona Moore; Denise Apryl of A'maree's, another cult fashion shop, but in Newport Beach, Ca; and author-journalist Dana Thomas and her daughter lovely Lucie.
These sorts of dinners could always risk becoming work affairs, platforms for promoting the product or person du jour. But it was none of that. Amid candlelight and Nina's unexpected meal (all documented below), it was genial and laid-back as dinner with pals at home. In this case, the setting just happened to be a store among a nirvana of beautifully made shoes–which, for many, of us who write, style, shop and swoon for a living, is a home away from home…
and–my fave–beet chips with sunny-side up quail egg and a dab of chili.
She is the deejay. She is what she plays. DJ Emma Ford kept the pulse going.
Just in from Paris, Dana Thomas and daughter Lucie. Dana is following up her blockbuster book "Luxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster," an investigative survey of the world of haute fashion, with what will prove an equally explosive book. Cannot wait! The pair are in L.A. this week for a bit of R&R: For Lucie, that means rest and rollick; for mom, that mean 'riting,riting 10-fold. Ah, la vie of the writer! (Don't I know it).
Tasha Nita Adams's great site Mondette is an L.A. insider's secret. Absolutely love her vintage 1940's circle skirt with its chiaroscuro Mexican design.
One of the most marvelous closets in the land has to be that of Barbara Kramer. Those arm cuffs alone–with multiple chains hanging when she extended her arms–were jaw-dropping. Was happy to connect Dana and Barbara, since the latter will staging a great showcase of 20 American designers in Paris during this October's Fashion Week there.
Absolutely love this snapshot of Nina. Yes, she always looks this sparkling.
A toast by the host: Calleen Cordero raises a glass with longtime supporter Denise Apryl of A'maree's. Denise drove up from Newport Beach for evening, and it was so great to finally meet the co-vision behind the groundbreaking store she owns with her sisters and mother and is moving soon to the most incredible spot in the marina there.
First Course: Chilled essence of corn soup with chive ice and a smattering of persimmon enoki mushrooms. So refreshingly delicious on this hot night.
Each course was made with the freshest of ingredients. Second was a mound of the most flavorful butter lettuce with pear, pomegranate and sesame roasted walnuts.
For the main, we dug into black cod, just fished that morning, with a light miso glaze and a sliver of crispy skin over sweet pea. Accompanying it was a caramelized carrot puree and dill quinoa with dried currants. Mmmm.
Andy and me, and yes, this is the look of two very satisfied eaters. Or maybe I'm just happy to have him back after two weeks in the U.K.
Kira Coplin, 944 Magazine's managing editrix and her pal.
They only make it look easy: Two of Calleen's hard-working team:
Jennifer Pintor and Katy Howard
At work on the final course, a desert selection of the scrummiest whole wheat carrot cake with home-made Maple syrup ice cream; raw truffles and raspberries and whipped cream. A perfect cap to the evening.
Or maybe this was the perfect cap: Barbara, Nina, me, Calleen and our fantastic photographer and pal Donato Sardella.
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