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CALIFORNIA GURLS: Having grown up in Hollywood, Emma Roberts has been relatively scandal-free. That is until she hits the big screen as a pop star in the film “Celeste and Jesse Forever.” “I got to dress inappropriately and act obnoxious,” Roberts said of her character, who wears what she described as “a lot of bright bras and high heels.” Roberts cleaned up nicely in a black and white tea dress by Kate Spade New York to co-host a dinner at Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood on Wednesday. The guests of honor were her longtime stylists Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, who launched a bag collection called Westward with Kate Spade New York just the day before.
“We love bags, we buy bags,” Current said of her jump into bag designing. “Some bags [in Westward] are perfect for a portfolio, laptop and a pair of flats. Some bags are perfect for the red carpet,” Elliott added. Kate Spade New York creative director Deborah Lloyd said partnering with the stylists, who also founded L.A. premium denim label Current/Elliott, allowed Kate Spade to tap into what she characterized as the “L.A. chic that girls in New York aspire to.”
L.A. chic was on full display with guests including Jaime King, Ali Landry, Sasha Spielberg and Roberts’ boyfriend, Chord Overstreet. Other famous attendees played a role in the fashion industry. Gia Coppola recently directed a short film for California fashion label Wren, while Michelle Trachtenberg, who will portray a drug dealer on “Weeds” and a former heroin addict in “Sexy Evil Genius,” will showcase a pair of studded platform pumps she designed for Stuart Weitzman at Fashion’s Night Out in New York. Zelda Williams is testing her fashion limits for a Web comedy series in which she plays a Wal-Mart employee donning, in her words, a “superplain color polo shirt and black Dickies and comfy shoes.”
ON YER BIKE: InStyle’s annual Los Angeles Summer Soiree bash was a welcome distraction during an otherwise sleepy August in Tinseltown (of course when it rains it pours, so Alice + Olivia and Kate Spade and Current/Elliott also had parties the same night), drawing an arm-long list of actresses currently at work on TV shows or promoting movies. Jenna Elfman, fresh from promoting “Friends With Benefits,” showed off photos of her son as she said, “I’m trying to savor the last of summer.” Jessica Chastain hung out with her “The Help” co-stars Ahna O’Reilly and Allison Janney, whom she hadn’t seen since filming wrapped last year. “We had to get our picture taken in the photo booth because it’s the most amazing lighting,” said Chastain, examining the black-and-white print. “Everyone looks gorgeous.” Which was a good thing since the images were projected onto the white wall of The London Hotel rooftop where the party was held.
The advantages of an open-air party are many, including permitted smoking. “It’s not very InStyle,” commented one guest of the jars of cigarettes provided on the tables. “Well it’s relaxing and everyone was relaxed,” replied stylist Jessica Paster. One actress not lighting up was Erika Christensen, who instead filled a plastic bag with over a pound of candy from the self-serve bar on the way out. She and her date even tore into the gift bag at the distribution table before deciding they actually didn’t need the Clarisonic skin care brush and Essie nail polish. “I love Essie, but I don’t need to take this,” she said. Once downstairs in the hotel’s driveway, the reason for her desire to travel light became apparent. “We’re going to get out of here so much faster than everyone waiting for their cars,” said Christensen as she swapped her heels for biking shoes and took off on her bike.
PRINTEMPS GETS CRAFTY: Printemps is shining a spotlight on luxury with fall window displays and in-store events that celebrate top-level craftsmanship. Brands including Celine, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang will showcase a single iconic item from their collections in window displays scheduled to run from Aug. 26 to Oct. 8 at the Paris flagship of the French department store chain. The windows of the adjacent Printemps de l’Homme men’s wear store will feature leather goods by the likes of Gucci, Prada and Coach. The main Printemps store will host a workshop celebrating Gucci’s 90th anniversary, with demonstrations by artisans who will be hand-finishing some of the brand’s most recognizable handbags and offering customers a personalized initials service for a limited period. A Balenciaga pop-up store near the store’s entrance will sell accessories specially designed for Printemps, such as a yellow fluorescent python tote priced 2,245 euros, or $3,200 at current exchange. Salvatore Ferragamo is bringing a craftsman from Florence to take custom orders, while children’s wear brand Bonpoint will host garland-making workshops for kids. De Beers will present exclusively its Swan Lake collection of diamond jewelry, while Swiss watch brand Girard-Perregaux will stage an exhibition, “Tourbillon,” to mark its 220th anniversary.
BETSEY’S ELOISE DAY: The Palm Court at The Plaza was a riot of pink-striped hatboxes, stuffed animals, flutes of rosé Champagne, tiered stands holding macaroons, chocolate-dipped strawberries and scones last week for Betsey Johnson’s celebratory tea party for the one-year anniversary of the hotel’s Eloise suite, which she designed.
“I have been working my little ass off,” Johnson laughed. “I keep saying, ‘Next year won’t be the same,’ but it will. I love it, but my dream in this life is to take a month off with the grandkids, take them to Africa or something. Not just to the backyard in East Hampton.”
They certainly won’t be shacking up in the Eloise suite anytime soon. The room — which boasts, among other amenities, a sparkly pink headboard, neon sign above the bed and starts at $1,125 a night — is booked solid until next year.
“They sold out in September of last year until now,” Johnson said. “I wanted to have a party with, like, 30 kids, now I can barely get in. Though I don’t know if it’s Eloise or Charlie Sheen…when I heard Charlie had trashed a room at the Plaza, I thought it was Eloise’s, and I was thinking ‘Oh, that’s not so good….’ All the walls are hand-painted, custom fabrics, one-off prints, you know. But it was actually Denise Richards and her kids staying there, and Charlie across the hall. Luckily. Or not so luckily? Though Denise just named her adopted daughter Eloise, too.”
Johnson just found out she’ll be doing the hotel’s Christmas tree. It’s not the only big event she has to look forward to in the near future. “I’m turning 69 on Wednesday,” the designer said with a grin. “I’m a Leo. Like Obama.”