California has mastered the art of work and play. After growing up in Monterey, California (now living in NYC) and traveling to Los Angeles for years for business, I have found the perfect blend of both work and play when I am there. During the summer I bring my girls, Ava (12) and Tallulah (4), with me on my LA work trips to make a mini-vacation out of it for them. We wake up to the ocean and I try to take as many meetings and appointments in either the ressie or lobby of my favorite hotel in Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach. It’s the best of both worlds for both myself and my girls – super chic and professional, yet laid back and relaxing. My girls have a ball while I am working! Ava loves the pool and they both love the pier that is steps away from the hotel…
Waking up to the ocean is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself, it centers and calms. The beach chic design and details at Shutters make it a little cocoon of an environment that always makes coming home from a long day of work so rewarding. The team at the hotel knows I love the ocean air and sound, so the doors and windows to my suite are always open when I arrive. There is something about the sound of the waves that instantly clears your mind and I find I get the best night’s sleep while there and it makes for optimum creativity as well.
The sand-side café, Coast, is one of my favorites for breakfast meetings, which usually consists of oatmeal with berries or egg whites. I love the quote on the breakfast menu – “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” I don’t miss a slice of the homemade cake after lunch or dinner.The red velvet always goes quickly!
In between meetings I see the beach concierge and either take a bike out to pedal down the promenade – or sit and simply watch the waves and the coming and goings at the pier. It always amazes me how much I can think to help the business of when I simply have time to sit and stare- note to self: Must do this WAY MORE.
It’s easy to get lost in the beauty.
There’s always work when I’m in Los Angeles and this trip was particularly busy with a visit to Frank Gehry’s studio and a luncheon at Mr. C to launch my new dress salon collection.
I’m constantly in awe when I visit Frank’s studio. It’s such a stunning example of where the mind can go and what the mind can create if you just let it. I took both of my daughters to visit and they were mesmerized by the colors, shapes, and the visual engagement. It’s a bit like being in a candy store for adults. Frank’s studio constantly challenges me to push the envelope further and take more risks with my own designs – we all need forces like that in our lives.
I have been friends with the Cipriani family for years and their restaurants in NYC are among my regular spots.The family has long been associated with amazing dining experiences and I was honored to host a luncheon for my new dress salon collection at their flagship hotel in Beverly Hills, Mr. C.
The event was held outdoors by the pool, which allowed me to take advantage of warm Southern California weather while retaining all of the chicness of the east coast and the editors loved it! We sampled the signature Mr. C Bellini along with beef carpaccio, yellowtail with lemon and olive oil and tuna tartar for lunch.
After lunch Sanaa Lathan and I learned how to make the famous Mr. C fresh mandarin cocktail- from Patrizio Ercolini– who is the restaurant manager, right beside the pool. I loved the history behind the drink but even more so learning how to make it from Patrizio.
After work there is always time to play on the sand with the girls before dinner. Having a home base like Shutters makes the work part of the trip seem not so overwhelming and the mini vacation part of the trip pure heaven. I wish life was always so divine!