Tale of Two Cities: Fashionable Design Events in Santa Monica and Hollywood


Last Thursday Night, el 5 de Mayo, was a big night for design in L.A.: both on the Westside at Obsolete on Santa Monica’s Main Street and in Hollywood at JF Chen. The hardest part for this Angeleno wasn’t absorbing the amazing art and furniture, but just how to navigate the evening and cross town without hitting the dreaded rush-hour traffic. But I sure am glad I did. 

I started in my hood at Obsolete, where Ray Azoulay hosted an ‘angels’ party for the more generous donors to the upcoming Venice Art Walk (May 22) benefitting the Venice Family Clinic.

Of the amazing and eclectic pieces that Ray curates, one piece really caught my eye: a black-and-white photograph printed on canvas with resin and acrylic paint entitled Eye Scream Sunday by Raif Adelberg.

Also standard and equally curated, were the bartenders from Beautifulbartenders.com. They too, were part of the decoration as local art lovers mixed and mingled.


My Bill Cunningham Moment: Ray’s shoes are a combination of Oliver Twist and Paris runway.

At 8:15, I left “the Island of Santa Monica” (right about when the tides of traffic began to subside) and scurried over to JF Chen’s mega-warehouse on Highland, just North of Blackman Cruz. Who knew such a gem existed in our fair city? And the scenesters were out in droves to absorb all the newest.

Sculpture by Simon Toporovsky caught they eye of such designers as Madeline Stuart, who was among the many style mavens in attendance.

Sculpture by Simon Toparovsky.

The party also scored points for creatively served hors d’oeuvres, which included grass fed beef and silver dollar–sized fish tacos, and as seen here, pastries.



John Ellis creates images of the design world—showcasing products, interiors, architecture, people and the lifestyle they purport. More of his work can be seen at johnellisphoto.com.

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