The Inside Report from HBO’s Luxury Lounge for The Golden Globes
Ever wonder what happens in those hard-to-get-into celeb gifting suites? We went to one and lived to tell the tale!
Do you remember the Entourage episode when one of Vince’s friends mugged a celebrity after an award show for her swag bag? Who hasn’t imagined the goings-on at those famous celebrity gifting suites? Or read the news reports about all the goodies stars walked home with after visiting one? When I was in LA, I got the chance to visit two of these exclusive events last week! (Read about my trembling visit with celebrity jewels here.)
The Friday after the People’s Choice Awards (which was also the Friday before Golden Globes Sunday!), I walked from my hotel, L’Ermitage, to the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills (see, people do walk in Cali!), where the HBO Luxury Lounge was being held in honor of the Golden Globes. At the same time at the Four Seasons, AFI was holding a luncheon. I spotted famed director Steven Spielberg walking in, looking very dapper in a black suit. I think I also spotted Kim Kardashian’s butt as she slid into a shiny black car in the hotel’s U-shaped driveway, but I’m not sure. I’ve only seen her butt once before in person.
The HBO Luxury Lounge took up almost an entire wing of the second floor. There was the Basil Hayden outdoor bar with flowers on a trellis and a great view of Doheny Drive. The bar was manned by dapperly dressed bartenders.
How do you describe the main section of the gifting suite? How about Disney World for Fashionistas? In one v. large space, you could pet super soft cashmere goodies from Magaschoni, (their spring scarves in bright colors will perk up your day!) and wave hello to a bottle of Purity Vodka—the multi-prism bottle made it look like a decorative perfume decanter. Yes, I did wave hello. Mmm, vodka!
You could also curse the fact that you’re not coordinated when you view photos on display of the uber green and serene Mountain Gate Country Club (the last time I played tennis, I tripped over my racquet … don’t ask). I chatted with fellow ex-upstate New Yorker, Elizabeth Spencer of Mountain Gate. She mentioned they had celeb members, but wouldn’t divulge the hotties you could see on the tennis courts or in golf carts. Hot men in shorts….never mind.
The lounge was like a mixer. You got to meet people, laugh a lot and pet things! I made my acquaintance with Michael Antonio shoes. I had no idea that they made vegan shoes nor did I know that high platform peep-toes could be comfortable. Let me put this way — I slipped on a pair and started to dance (I have no shame) and if a pair of shoes can let me boogie, I know they’re cool.
Other vendors in the main lounge included Gendarme, GameFly, and Boiron homeopathic remedies. That booth was consistently slammed. Everyone in LA is into taking care of themselves. I wanted to learn more about them, as I flew in sick and I’m a bit of a hypochondriac anyway.
Brahmin had a lovely selection of bags. So lovely, that I wanted to run away with the entire table. You can see from the photo of Viola Davis that she totally rocked one of their bags. Oh and the bag that Andie McDowell is holding? It’s got two leather roses that dangle from the handle.
Andie and her daughter, whom you might recognize as Miss Golden Globes
Nautica was showing off their super cute bikinis for summer (damn those Christmas cookies). When you think about it, it’s probably a good incentive to get in shape.
Bloggers and editors from the LA Times, Ok!, GLO and other publications mingled, gossiped, ate and had fun.
The L’Oreal Paris Beauty Suite had been decorated in gold and white in honor of the 40th anniversary of their “Because I’m Worth It” campaign. Jars full of mascara, lip balms and shadows dotted the suite — yours for the taking. We’re talking beauty junkie heaven. I wandered around and watch magic occur.
Bloggers relaxing in the gold-licious L’Oreal Paris beauty suite
Ramiro, an L’Oreal Paris hairstylist who comes to New York for fashion week, was busily giving women red carpet looks. Our own Heather Taylor got a chic Veronica Lake ‘do. Kristee, a L’Oreal makeup artist who has worked with Cher, doled out fab lips and bright eyes with aplomb. In the midst of this beauty frenzy, waitstaff walked around with shiny silver trays filled with pretty looking cocktails made with Basil Hayden’s bourbon.
Look at those yummy cocktails!
The next room held the Basil Hayden bar and the New Era cap and shirt display. Lots of LA sports gear and only one (sigh) Yankees cap. One!
When Ramiro was re-creating the Gucci runway look on my head, we kept seeing the cocktails floating by. This sparked a convo where we both confessed we can’t even look at a drink on an empty tummy. If either of us does, we get snockered FAST. Before you knew it, we had a bad catchphrase, “Bible study!” As in, no, we didn’t get drunk off of one drink that was my evil twin; we were in Bible study class. Sadly, the afternoon was spent screaming out the phrase, confusing the hell out of everyone and laughing ‘till it hurt. Doubling over and crying type laughing. You know you have a problem when just looking at a drink makes you silly.
Me; Me as Gucci runway by way of Studio 54 … Whoop! Whoop!
When things calmed down a slew of stars visited the suite. That is, after all the press left so they wouldn’t be mobbed, or in the case of True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, leaped on and kissed to unconsciousnes. Andie McDowell, Viola Davis, Sarah Rue, Anne Heche and family, Bridesmaid’s Wendi McLendon-Covey, Shar Jackson, Chuy (Chelsea Handler’s sidekick from E!’s Chelsea Lately), Jennifer Love Hewitt, Melissa Rycroft, Morena Baccarin, Tina Fey and more!
When Chelsea Handler’s sidekick Chuy stopped by the Basil Hayden bar, he was offered a bottle to take home. Chuy was overhead saying, “I don’t drink, but I will take one for my boss, she’s an alcoholic.”
Did I take anything home? Let’s just say I was thankful that the post office was still open when I left the suite, so I could mail my new shoes and bikini home to me!
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.