Party Time: Not-to-Miss Events at Legends of La Cienega

Legends of La Cienega kicks off this Wednesday and I couldn't be more excited. The event is in its fifth year, and from the looks of the line-up and the buzz surrounding the speakers, events and over-the-top window designs, it stands to be one of the best.

Every year I compare it to sleep away camp meets fashion week for the design set, because between the back-to-back hot ticket events, the free-flowing cocktails and the parade of impeccably dressed folks trekking up and down La Cienega, its a non-stop party. Plus, you always leave having learned something invaluable, and having met someone extraordinarily impressive. A complete win-win in my book.

I'm of course headed down this week, not only to party hop, but to drop some knowledge of my own. California Home+Design's panel, "Go West Young Man," takes place on Friday, May 10 at 3pm and will explore the legacy of the gay community in the city of West Hollywood. The 1940s saw an influx of creatives to the area, from actors-cum-amateur-architects to professional set decorators flocking from the East Coast. In addition to lighting up the silver screen, they transformed the houses and businesses of West Hollywood, setting the stage for a world class design district that continues to thrive today. I'll be speaking with our panelists, Trip Haenisch, Jamie Bush and and James Radin, on the topic.

But once my homework is done, I'll be hitting up a handful of the other panels and events. A few I'm especially excited about:

The Blogger Breakfast & Discussion on Thursday morning at Merida is a great idea. Having the chance to meet and ask questions of a select group of bloggers who will be covering the events is an extremely smart opportunity. And I'm a big fan of the crew they selected: Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8 and The Skirted Roundtable, Kelly Lee of Kelly Golightly, and Alissa Swedlow of The Goods Design.

Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Decor, always draws a big crowd to whatever he's hosting. On Thursday afternoon it's the Power Lunch at Rose Tarlow. The food is always great, I get to see everyone I've come to LA to see and it's fun to watch the designers jockey for a moment with Michael.

The afternoon's first panel at Janet Yonaty is Integrity vs. Ingenuity: New or Buy Vintage. It's the panelists that really sold me on this oneā€”Thom Filicia, Oliver M. Furth and Molly Luetkemeyer. Can't wait to see what they have to say on the subject.

Next up on my schedule is Crossover Creatives: Can Designers Have it All? at the Rug Company. Mayer Russ from Architectural Digest will be moderating a group that includes Chris Barrett, Natasha Baradaran, Jay Jeffers and Christopher Sharp, who will discuss branching out beyond interior design and how it can help, not hurt your brand.

I'm guessing there will be a quick change before this last event, the Legends Tribute Party at Lee Stanton Antiques. While the weather in LA is shaping up to look more like SF and less like the sunny LA I'm used too, I'm sure there's a cocktail dress in my closet that will suit the occasion. But after a day of walking (and remembering Lee Stanton's pebble-filled courtyard) I can promise it won't be something that requires 4-inch heels.

Friday morning I plan to get an early start with Cycling Through History at Dragonette. I love that showroom and hearing Michael Boodro, Kim Alexandriuk, Timothy Corrigan, Alex Papachristidis and Madeline Stuart predict the upcoming trends in design will be well worth the wake-up call.

Immediately following my own panel, Kelly Wearstler will be at her store on Melrose to sign her latest book and preview her new collection. I'll admit it: I'll be the one jockeying for position to rub elbows with this particular superstar of design.

There are so many more great events I didn't mention here, as well as the many exhibitions ("Time Capsule" at Off the Wall Antiques, featuring 50 years of WPA-era paintings, looks intriguing) and window designs up and down the block. So check out the schedule yourself and be sure to RSVP for the events that interest you. And I'll see you on La Cienega!

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