Our Fearless Mistress of Good Times: Linlee Allen
As the last rays of hit the hilltop windows across Silver Lake reservoir, my thoughts drift to tonight’s action around the pool at The Standard Hollywood and cultural impresario Linlee Allen’s weekly exploits there. Tonight’s* is a live drawing salon with actual models posing around the deck (no word whether they will be baring it all as I did once a very long time ago for the art department at CSULB, where I also majored in journalism…but that’s for another story time!).
The Thursday hubbub is a circulating theme of novel reasons to get together and clink plastic cocktail glasses (it is the pool area, after all). And as those of you who have been keeping up on my erratically filed posts know, last Thursday’s excuse was a Fashion Spelling Bee with yours truly moderating.
Linlee did it all. She gathered a diverse panel of contestants: designers Gregory Parkinson and Jasmin Shokrian; stylists Natalie Joos and Ashley Avignone; writers Steffie Nelson and Max Padilla; and DecadesTwo.1′s Christos Garkinos.
She also came up with questions that started soft (Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s iconic quote expressing a sense of joy involves which fruit?**) and, for some, got tougher (What is the alter-ego name of photographer Helmut Newton’s wife?***).
Never mind those of us on stage. The audience was on the edge of their seats trying not to shout out the answers (or risk being promptly reprimanded by me). Christos’ cheering section included Garcelle Beauvais. And Corey Lynn Calter and Shana Honeyman were among the fellow fashion industry pals who came out to support the craziness and dine under the stars.
Garcelle Beauvais and Christos Garkinos
Journalist Max Padilla
On stage, each contestant, in order of seating arrangement, took a turn at the mike, stating their answer and spelling it out. It was all staged to be very civilized. Except that with so much chilled rosé flowing, the competition got fierce. Answers were known, but spelling slightly off, and so the neighboring contestant got the opportunity to jump up and say and spell it correctly.
I think most of us believed Max was slightly out in front through most of the heated match. Young and cute Ashley Avignone, a former Rachel Zoe protege, was certainly being a good sport with questions that were certainly designed for the (fashion) history junkie.
In the end, however, it turned out that Steffie piled up the most points, taking the top prize (a deluxe VIP weekend getaway at The Standard and bragging rights). It also turned out that Natalie came in at a very close second. Ah! If only English wasn’t her FOURTH language howled her fans in the audience—including the very glam Michelle Harper.
Much as I loved hamming it up on the vintage mike, I especially loved getting together with pals over the post-Bee steak frites. Since I’m somewhat “retired” from the circus, I then got to go home. But for Gregory, Jasmine and Shawn, the night was just beginning as they burn the oil to complete their Spring 2012 collections.
Trends might change from season to season. But the business of fashion never does… And, in the case of a chick such as Linlee Alllen or any of the pals I’ve made these many years and remain in touch with under even the quirkiest of situations (like a fashion spelling bee), cool always remains cool.
The quad-lingual beauty, stylist Natalie Joos
Rose Apodaca (me) and Steffie Nelson before the high-stakes match
Stylist Ashley Avignone
Designer Gregory Parkinson and Fashion Bee winner Steffie Nelson
Corey Lynn Calter, Emil Gampe and Shana Honeyman
*Actually last night. But life being what it is, this wasn’t posted until the morning after!
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