U.S. Kick off: The Sole Sisters of Mona Moore

Welcome to the 'Hood: Mona Moore steps onto Abbot Kinney.

"Shoes plus cocktails are like crack," cracked Tracee Ellis Ross, "a dangerous combo." That was a total understatement Thursday night at the opening bash for Mona Moore on Abbot Kinney, the first U.S. installment of the cult footwear boutique and a swellegant evening I had the pleasure of cohosting with founders Lisa Dashiell Bush and Anna Maria Varriano.

The name Mona Moore is a take on mon amour, or my love, and the adoration at the party bordered on passionate obsession among the new friends of MM–including designers Raven Kauffmann, Liseanne Frankfurt, Malin Smallcombe and Michael Schmidt along with gallerina Tara Sanrdoni, D+A host Frances Anderton and a bevy of fashion editors. As Tracee's friend Kimberly Chandler squeezed by the throng at the door with two oversized bags on her to a white Bentley parked out front, Vogue editor Lawren Howell quipped: "What recession?"
I, for one, was mad about the knee-high, wedge-heeled, pony-skin Ann Demeulemeester boots I wore for the night with a Maria Cornejo shift from Salt (another great store just a few doors up).
But, then, MM is a Cinderella honeymoon for those familiar with the transformative powers of an unconventional slipper, or, in my case, boot. Among the highly edited offerings are waiting-list, hard-to-find pairs from Phi, Haider Ackermann, Dries Van Noten, Pierre Hardy, Lanvin, Zoraide, MA+. There is also a capsule selection of the most beautiful cuffs and scarves from Dries and bags from MA+ and Parker Ochs.

Anna Maria Varriano and Lisa Dashiell Bush are Mona Moore

Lisa and Anna founded Mona Moore in Montreal's Golden Square Mile district in late 2002. It's international following broadened two years later with the launch of the online store. (Anna returns to Canada now that their L.A. baby is alive and well.) MM's amazing personal services will expand with this new store to VIP house calls and same-day courier service in the L.A. area.
The duo, along with Lisa's other half, Scott Vineberg, transformed a 1,000-square-foot former factory space and artist studio into Mona Moore, replete with Mooi "Dandelion" chandeliers, a couple of beat-up leather wingback chairs from the 1960s, a Blue Lounge metal table and a half dozen Muuto E27 pendants. And everything is in white. A couple of oversized, ornate mirrors came from a studio in Brooklyn, while the top half of a wax mannequin was picked up at an antique shop up the road. There's also a disco ball that twinkled all the more against the tubular, white neon window sign which Lisa had made locally by some ancient neon artist.
Not that any of these stylish flourishes mattered much to the frenzy opening night. As the packed house knocked back seared tuna and proseco, served up by our neighbors 3Square Cafe, and Bryan Carter poured endless helpings of Blue Angel vodka and Izze soda, boxes of just-released fall shoes were flying to keep up with demand.
Not a bad welcome to the 'hood.
Mona Moore is at 1112 Abbot Kinney (right across from us at A+R), and open at 11 a.m. daily.

Simone LeBlanc and Raven Kauffman
A+R star manager Rafael Negron and yours truly.
The urbane Cameron Silver
Marco Innocenti and Melanie Chokron
Tracee Ellis Ross and Kimberly Chandler
Hans and Patti Rockenwagner
Scott Vineberg and Lisa Dashiell Bush
Barbara Kramer
Michael Schmidt and Anna Maria Varriano
Mr. and Mrs. Conn Fishburn

Photos: Denise Malone and Rose Apodaca

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