HAUTE COUTURE leaves many people cold. But in April, Tarzana, Calif.-based Someone's in the Kitchen helped guests warm up to the new location of a chic L.A. boutique with a gala perfectly suited to celebrities.
In designing the celebration for the new Sunset Strip address of On Sunset, a high-end clothing store owned by TV soap star Lauralee Bell and tony retailer Shauna Stein, the event team had two goals. “We were hired to both market and design an event to hype the store's new location, and really bring some youth and energy to the store's image,” says Jeff Brown, SITK's vice president of creative. “Going into the event, I was under the precept of ‘fashion is fun.’”
Upon arrival, guests including Bell's co-stars and a flock of fashionistas were handed a glass of champagne and invited to take a peek at the boutique and its interactive storefront window — featuring plasma-screen televisions and live mannequins modeling the store's collections — that Brown created for the evening.
The crowd then crossed the street to elegant Le Dome restaurant, where the Fashion Police — a team of four uniformed male models — roamed through the crowd, handing out custom-designed citations that informed recipients “You're so hot the fire marshal is going to shut this party down” and “Beauty like yours can't be legal.” Inside, gobos projected quotes such as “Good clothes open all doors” onto the walls, while on the rear patio a giant scrim covered the windows and displayed video footage of models strutting down a catwalk. An ice martini bar stamped with the slogan “These boots were made for drinkin'” served frosty beverages with style. “I know we've seen the ice martini bar a million times,” Brown says, but adds that what made this one a standout was the knee-high, high-heeled boots that served as luges, with guests holding their glasses under the heels to receive a drink. Throughout the restaurant, fashion-inspired centerpieces — floral arrangements set in vintage high heels and handbags — dressed up tabletops, while flat-screen computer monitors showing images of female heads sat atop dressmaker's dummy torsos adorned with flowers.
As with any good fashion show, guests didn't leave empty-handed. At a jewelry counter set up in the restaurant, guests selected beads and pendants to make bracelets and necklaces that they then took home as party favors. Another hit: oversized fortune cookies containing gift certificates to the boutique and a fortune that read: “You're about to experience a fashion phenomenon at On Sunset” — a fitting message to brand the evening, Brown notes.
Someone's in the Kitchen 5973 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356; 818/343-5151; www.sitk.com