On Saturday, April 11 Los Angeles Wine Tasting hosted a celebration event at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel for unique Rendezvous honoring unforgettable women of the Hollywood studio era featuring live entertainment choreographed in the style of Classic Hollywood spectaculars with Cabaret Versatile, fashion by Clever Vintage Clothing and an exclusive exhibition and silent auction of rare Hollywood fine photography that spans forty years, from beginning of Hollywood in 1920 to the Golden Era of the 1930’s and into the Classic Film Period of the 1950’s and 60’s presented by the Andrew Weiss Gallery and sponsored by Los Angeles Magazine benefiting the Downtown Women’s Center. While listening to DJ Marlon Fuentes’ curated soundtrack of sultry female voices, guests indulged in gourmet amuse-bouches created by Chef Olivier Rousselle and a sip by the pool of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne as well as boutique wines from around the world cherry picked by Langdon Shiverick.
As you enter the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, you are engulfed in an urban retreat on seven acres of lush, pristine property perfectly perched at the intersection of Brentwood and Bel-Air. Convenient to Los Angeles International Airport and some of the most prestigious sites in Los Angeles including The Getty Center, Santa Monica Beach, UCLA, Skirball Cultural Center, Riviera Country Club, and Pacific Palisades, the Luxe hotel offers an urban oasis in the middle of one of the nation’s largest cities, making it a sought-after Bel-Air, Los Angeles hotel.
Needless to say the celebration event was a total success, where guests got to enjoy a refined and dreamy experience with Cabaret Versatile that celebrates femininity and elegance. Dancers and singers performed glamorous choreographing and songs that represent the “je ne sais quoi” period that built the timeless legend of Hollywood women throughout the ages. From the indomitable and impressive, to the child-like innocent, or even unpredictable, these extractions of the new show Femmes (Women) is an ode to every kind of woman people cherish to this day in our influential pop culture.
In addition to singing and dancing, the celebration continued with music and fashion colliding poolside when Clever Vintage Clothing showed its unique collection of vintage garments on live models. Founders, Dave Temple and Sabino Gutierrez have dressed up characters on stage, screen and television for over a decade. Best known for their mid-century looks for productions such as Mad Men and American Horror Story, the “Dynamic Duo of Vintage” is based in Downtown Los Angeles, but travels the world buying inventory. Their most recent acquisition was a department store in rural Colorado containing over 6,000 pieces of never worn 1960’s clothes stored away for over forty years.
During the event, just before the start of the live performances by Cabaret Versatile and followed by Clever Vintage Clothing fashion show, it was a pleasure to explore these glamorous years of Hollywood with an exclusive exhibition and silent auction by the Andrew Weiss Gallery. There were total of twenty photographs on display with each one framed in black wood, mounted on tripods and set on top of the tables for everyone to see, featuring original photographs by the most famous photographers of the studio era that included George Barris, George Hurrell, C.S. Bull, Bert Stern and Kashio Aoki. Taken from 1920’s to 60’s, each photograph was signed by the original photographer and portrayed Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo.
The performance itself by Cabaret Versatile was beautifully choreographed from start to finish. Inspired by the Hollywood era, it consisted of four dancers and one singer who performed to a soundtrack provided by resident musicologist, Marlon Fuentes as he hand-picked each beat from the vaults of Verve, Blue Note, Impulse, Decca and Capitol Records. With songs like “Big Spender”, “C’est si bon”, “Fever”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and many others, the atmosphere moved from sensual and feminine to down right sexual and raunchy with many of the dancers stripping down to their very revealing bikinis. The staging of the performance took place at the designated area of the site where all the guests and the press surrounded the stage area watching and taking pictures while sipping their wine glasses. The whole atmosphere of the performance by Cabaret Versatile felt authentic to the time of Hollywood studio era, which included the singing and dancing. Los Angeles Wine Tasting and Andrew Weiss Gallery collaborated together to create one of a kind event that joins art, music, theatre and fashion in an atmosphere that evokes and compliments the time period and essence of the featured artists that emphasize the subject matter of their work being replayed instead of displayed through the experience of live performances.
Jean-Baptiste Dhalluin, founder and CEO of Los Angeles Wine Tasting, did an outstanding job organizing and hosting the entire event, complete with fine Hollywood photography and stunning performances by Cabaret Versatile and Clever Vintage Clothing fashion show all remixed with jazzy electronic lounge that was pleasing to everyone’s senses. Having a huge passion for wines and spirits, Jean-Baptiste has worked in this industry for almost fifteen years, both in Europe and the United States. As a host of educational wine events, Jean-Baptiste is also a representative of a boutique wine distributor that targets high-end hotels, restaurants, wine bars and wine and gourmet stores in all of Southern California. In the words of Jean-Baptiste, “The world of wine is a great way to meet interesting people and you are now part of it… Cheers!!”
What is the most rewarding aspect about working in the wine industry?
“Wine is very social and entertaining way to engage in a relaxed atmosphere and have fun exploring the human communications with people who share the sense of community that wine brings together. When I travel to France and other countries and visit sites, meet entertainment groups, I get inspired to create new events incorporating music, theatre and fashion that will bring a unique and memorable experience to our guests.” said Baptiste. “For every event I bring wines and spirits that are proper to the theme. For example, Femmes D’Hollywood guests enjoyed Piper-Heidsieck Chapmpagne because it was Marilyn’s favorite Champagne and the wines were reminiscent of old Hollywood era.”
At the end of the evening, a portion of the auction proceeds were donated to help the Downtown Women’s Center, founded in 1978 it is the only non-profit organization in Los Angeles exclusively dedicated to addressing the needs of women overcoming poverty and homelessness in Skiddaw. The Downtown Women’s Center mission is to offer permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability. In addition, Downtown Women’s Center happens to be one of the largest providers of permanent supportive housing for women in the United States with ninety-five percent success rate.
Finally, when asked about the next event for Los Angeles Wine Tasting, Jean-Baptiste replied. “May 16 will be our next event entitled “L’Experience Sensorielle” that will focus on the educational aspect of wine and more details are on the website. Our mission and philosophy is to educated people on wine and gourmet food delicacies, and help them navigate the world of wine with confidence, whether they are neophytes or already connoisseurs. These lifestyle events take place in a casual, interactive and fun atmosphere, providing opportunity for quality connections.” In order to dedicate more time and creativity for these lifestyle events, Jean-Baptiste had resigned from the wine sales job recently.
Photos Courtesy Jean Baptiste