Legends of La Cienega is a star-studded design event in the heart of Los Angeles’ design scene in West Hollywood. We were lucky enough to have some of the Margaret Carroll Interiors team in attendance this year. The La Cienega showrooms hosted cocktail parties, panel discussions, and premiered new products. Read on for some of the highlights:
California Girls – They’re Undeniable!
We kicked off the event with a keynote panel on the patio of the Harbinger showroom: The Golden State Girls of product design! Moderated by Lindsey Shook, Editorial Director of California Home+Design magazine, the panel featured product and brand designers Alison Pickart, Ariel Kaye, Katy Polsby, Serena Dugan of Serena and Lily fame.
They shared their brilliant business tips and how the California landscape and design scene influences their creative process. Their biggest architectural influences were John Lautner and Bernard Maybeck – can totally relate because we love us some mid century as much as we do arts & crafts style homes.
Architecture and Design in a Changing World at Fireside Grill
The Designing for a Changing World panel featured architects Jordana Maisie and Dan Brunn, and designer Bridget Cooper. It was Co-hosted by West Hollywood Fireside BBQ Appliances and Fisher & Paykel. Funny enough, while the scope of the conversation was meant to be about designing for the future; the conversation veered into nostalgia for methods of the past or of what remains.
They discussed the pros and cons of technology and emphasized how important it is when architecture students learn to draw by hand before becoming software wiz’s to gain a better understanding of 3d perspective.
Much of the discussion revolved around communicating with clients as well - about learning when to lead versus learning when to sit back and listen. Everyone in attendance nodded in agreement while chowing down on their New Zealand-style BBQ (IDK what was more fabulous – hearing these inspiring designers speak or the amazing grilled shrimp!)
Michael S. Smith – A Living Legend at Paul Ferrante!
Michael S. Smith is a living legend for a reason – and not just because he designed the interiors at the White House for the Obamas
. He is an incredible combination of bougie and bohemian. (That seemed to be an overarching theme of this Legends of La Cienega event). His design style and approach to his work comes from having grown up on a SoCal beach to parents with what he described as relaxed and carefree but still sophisticated cultural tastes.
A global citizen, he also spends much of the year in Spain, where he is better known as a socialite than a designer, gracing the pages of Spanish tabloids. He discussed in length his approach to design being full immersion–almost veering on obsessing with the world of the project, rather than being a designer with a singular aesthetic approach. We agree with this approach - it leads to greater variation and diversity of projects, which keeps things exciting!
Let’s talk products! In addition to the cocktail parties and panel discussions, there is the backdrop they are set in: All the grand to-the-trade showrooms lining Melrose and La Cienega. Here were the highlights:
Modern Lighting at Studio M
The Studio M lighting showroom was a vibe! Nina Magon and Matt Saunders both had lighting lines, showcased on opposing sides of the showroom. While different enough in style so as to be distinctive, both lines were cohesive in showcasing what this brand does best: funky, modern luxury.
Nina’s collection is heavily influenced by European style and makes it accessible to an American clientele.
Matt’s background in digital media heavily influences his designs. His collection is Instagram-ready!
Furniture. Fabrics. Wallpapers. Lighting. Antiques. Vintage. Oh my! What a gorgeous multiline showroom full of inspired, layered, eclectic looks that are at once luxe and relaxed.
Getting Groovy at Marc Phillips
Featuring gorgeous rugs, predominantly in neutrals displayed in a gorgeous showroom like a greenhouse. They also boasted the best window front by designer and DJ Andrea Shapiro whose storefront design paid homage to the hippy singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon.
It featured lots of shag, succulents, and audiophile vintage vinyl player with a display of retro records. She’s also a DJ and fully immersed us in her world with style and sound. Cool as can be!
Big, bright, and beautiful, the Waterworks bath and kitchen hardware showroom stands in historic Melrose Place alongside all of the upscale clothing boutiques. Even the building had great lines and was super chic. Being a designer in their showroom is like being a kid in candy store. (We get way too excited about hardware!)
Where will this weird, wonderful world of design events take us to next? Stay tuned!