LCDQ Legends 2013: Kelly Wearstler

Last week at La Cienega Design Quarter’s annual Legends event, I went with a friend to Kelly Wearstler‘s storefront for her book signing. The store is in the high-end stretch of Melrose, only a short walk from her design studio, and was filled with all sorts of wonderful things. Here she mainly sells clothing, jewelry and sculptures. They also had a bunch of her books for sale that day, so if you hadn’t come prepared with one you already owned, you were able to pick one up then for her to sign.

In my efforts to stick to a budget, I just asked to take a picture with her. I told her I’m a design student and that I was excited to be in her store for the first time. She seemed pleased that my friend and I had stopped in to check it out. It was very cool to see her in such a casual, nonchalant state, as opposed to being all dolled up for a photo shoot.


If you don’t know much about her, Kelly Wearstler has very quickly built an impressive brand and a very recognizable style. She is responsible for several of the Viceroy hotels, including the one in Santa Monica. They are hip and young, colorful, but also classy. I’m not a big party girl, but even for me hanging out in the bar at the Santa Monica Viceroy makes me feel glamorous!

I love the way she uses bold patterns and sculpture, making the room it’s own piece of artwork.

Bright colors and gold accents make this space feel glamorous, young, and energizing.

Kelly Wearstler has a bunch of books, including her latest “Rhapsody,” and all are a delight to page through.

Do you follow Kelly Wearstler? What do you think of her style?


LCDQ Legends 2013: Susanna Salk on C.Z. Guest

Last week I was able to go to the La Cienega Design Quarter (LCDQ) in West Hollywood for their annual Legends event. I had been once before, a couple years ago, and had a great time. This year I sat in on some great presentations and discussions, on topics including how to use social networking to help brand your design business, and the state of the interior design business today.

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On Thursday I sat in on a presentation by author Susanna Salk, who recently finished book all about C.Z. Guest. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about C.Z. before but Susanna had some fantastic tid bits on her very interesting life.

C.Z. Guest was a high society debutante from Boston who is most known for her all-American sense of style, both in fashion and design. Susanna described C.Z. as having a mischievous desire to be kicked off the social register. She was friends with the likes of Truman Capote, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Joan Rivers, to name a few. She once accompanied Joan Rivers to an interview with John Gotti in prison, mainly because she was curious and thought it would be interesting.

Rather than having a traditional wedding as would have been expected, she and her husband we married at Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba, with Hemingway as the best man. This was quite a departure from high society expectations!

Many people know that she commissioned Salvador Dali to paint a portrait of her. What less people know is that she also had traveled to Mexico to pose in the nude for Diego Rivera. This was quite scandalous at the time, especially for a debutante of the her stature. The resulting portrait hung over a bar in her and her husband’s home until, it’s rumored, her mother ordered it burned. To this day no one can be certain whether it was burned or simply hides in an attic somewhere.

Susanna Salk’s book on C.Z. Guest is called “C.Z. Guest: An American Style Icon” and includes some incredible photos that have never been seen before. It was a pleasure hearing about her process of collecting these images and some of the storied she collected from the people she interviewed in her efforts to know C.Z. more intimately.

This Week I Loved…

My new cozy chair in the bedroom. (The cats love it too.)


A trip to the Los Angeles Farmers Market.


We made this killer salsa on Cinco De Mayo.

Finishing my paper on Frank Lloyd Wright.

Learning about style icon CZ Guest from author Susanna Salk at LCDQ Legends 2013.


…then meeting Kelly Wearstler.


…and hanging out with UCLA friends.


This gorgeous sunset after a rainstorm.