Wonderful events like these make me wonder where to begin.
Let’s start with the heat. I had arrived from London on Wednesday, April 30th, just in time for a massive heat wave. Thank God! However, very little time was spent catching rays and much more time was dedicated to the beautification process. First world problems, I know; but with guest speakers such as Cindy Carrandi, Senior Executive Director of Art Production, Creative and Marketing for Sephora, and Nicole Simpson, Director of Global Education for SkinCeuticals, I had to be on my game. So the ladies at Bronzed Santa Monica gave this California girl’s tan (or lack thereof) an added glow.
While most Californians show utter disdain for heat waves, I welcomed the warmth on my skin, the beautiful sight of rows of bright green palm trees and endless blue skies that I had longed for in London.
Style 2020, the host of the event, is a styling company that was launched in 2009 by president Kathryn Moore. The lifestyle, fashion and beauty forum was held at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Once I arrived at the gorgeous venue, the VP of the company, Lisa Marmorino, instantly greeted me with enthusiasm and appreciation for The LA Fashion Blog. Check-in was efficiently organised and I was swiftly processed and sent to enjoy champagne on the terrace by the Cabana Room.
Industry insiders gathered in the palm tree shaded courtyard. Champagne trays floated through the air and conversation rolled like the California waves on the beach less than a mile away. A few of the event’s sponsors proudly displayed their product on white table cloth draped tables or in beautiful glass cases. Two of my favorite sponsors were Gloss Moderne and Black, Starr & Frost.
Gloss Moderne is a luxurious hair product company which was recently featured in Rachel Zoe’s new book Living In Style. The company was kind enough to gift the forum’s attendees with samples of their High-Gloss, Coco de Soleil Masque that is to die for! “Literally, I die.” Not only is its fragrance divine, but the masque is also sulfate, sodium-chloride and paraben free, and has absolutely added shine and softness to my hair.
As for Black, Starr & Frost; well, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, aren’t they? Speaking of which, Black, Starr & Frost, being one of the first jewelers founded in 1810 in the United States is actually featured in the song sung by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The company’s president, Nelson Holdo, was part of the event’s expert panel and I can’t stress enough how lovely he was; incredibly down to earth, radiating positive energy and super articulate. He answered all of speaker, stylist Ray Marsh's questions intelligently and with zeal.
I had the most wonderful opportunity to chat with several bloggers and designers. Among them was Lorry Plaster, the designer behind STIKELEATHER, whom I absolutely adored and who, I was thrilled to see, boldly chose to wear a backless dress. Her label STIKELEATHER is a menswear line that produces pieces with a magnetic closure which provides the clothing with a sleek, smooth and effortlessly cool finish.
Inside the Cabana room, I was delighted to be seated next to the gorgeous and stylish Annette Tang of The Versastyle. While we sipped on some bubbles and munched on poulet rôti, we also chatted with the expert panelists Cindy Carrandi and Nicole Simpson, who were such dolls! I was so pleased to discuss the artistry in fashion in Los Angeles with Cindy and discover that Nicole and I held very similar beliefs as to what constitutes beauty in this modern age. Like Mr. Nelson Holdo, it was obvious to me that these beautiful women were not only talented leaders in their respective fields but completely genuine, smart and caring individuals.
I’d like to applaud and thank the Style 2020 team for all their efforts and the panel for sharing their knowledge. I have to say that the forum was without a doubt one of the most insightful and enjoyable events I have ever attended and I’m also thrilled to inform you that all proceeds from the event will benefit the Haiti Youth Relief Fund.
I certainly hope that this forum becomes an annual event! Stay tuned for more posts from California! Xoxo G