The Ladies of the Canyon lived la dolce vita Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
“If you want to talk about shoes, talk about shoes, if you want to talk about your vagina, talk about your vagina…get it out!” That was hostess and stylist Elizabeth Saltzman greeting guests with her usual candor at the Goop G. Label dinner for JJ Martin held under the moonlight at a private home in the Pacific Palisades, with a symphony of cicadas in the background.
At the other end of the long table set with La DoubleJ dinnerware and a bounty of fresh produce, fennel bulbs, kale bunches, lemons and more, Martin was also in her element. The Milan-based designer, L.A. born and bred, was clearly back in her spiritual home.
“I need to know all the different stages of your crystals,” she said, sitting down next to the city’s resident stylish earth mama Lisa Eisner, whose handmade jewelry several women were wearing along with their mood-boosting La DoubleJ caftans, dresses and party skirts made of the brand’s signature archival Italian textiles, mixed with Goop G. Label basics.
“I need to know all the different stages of your crystals,” Eisner said, adding, “Have you ever been to the Tucson gem show?”
It’s unbelievable the two women had just met, at least in this life.
“A lot of you know I’ve been on this wacky, woo woo spiritual journey for a while now,” said Martin, who has made that quest a part of her seven-year-old lifestyle brand, down to a”Spirit Tickle” newsletter where she shares wisdom from a range of healers she’s met along the way. “The whole practice is about expanding your consciousness, expanding your possibility as a human, and one of the ways you can get there is through the heart.
“I’m so grateful for all the people around this table who get my heart juices going. Just open your heart and you are connected to the divine. It’s a dumb dress, but it’s kinda not. It has a little zhuzh. It’s totally basic. We don’t do conceptual fashion, we just do joyful fashion. We decorate your table; it’s one tiny reminder to open your heart.”
After opening her first store on Milan’s Via San’t Andrea last year, the designer has been focusing on the U.S. market, which is her biggest, making stops in key cities this spring.
The gathering of eclectic West Coast women included Martin’s childhood friend Brooke Graves, whom she met at age seven in day camp, accessories designer Kendall Conrad, stylists Petra Flannery and Hodo Musa, environmental activist Kelly Meyer, her stepdaughter and Roe Caviar founder Sarah Meyer Michaelson, Le Catch blogger Marlien Rentmeester, art therapist Muna El Fituri, LACMA vice president of board relations Elizabeth Wiatt, model and actress Molly Sims, model Erica Pelosini, social maven Crystal Lourd, La DoubleJ chief brand officer Julia Leach and more.
Over market salads, poached fish and lots and lots of wine, the conversation veered from the sex differences in vegetables (fennel can be male or female) to debating the feminism of artist Barbara Kruger.
“JJ is an energy giver, she makes life better, finds the positive without being fake and brings joy while being dead serious,” said Saltzman, who is the longtime stylist of Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow.
Saltzman met Martin when she was working at Gucci and Martin was a cub fashion reporter. She credits the designer’s soulful Instagram Live sessions with getting her through the early days of COVID-19. “Sometimes when I was watching, I would say, ‘What is she talking about?’ Then, at night, eight hours later, I would realize, ‘Oh, that’s what she’s talking about.'”
“Well, hats off to Gwyneth for normalizing all this in such a great, effortless, cool way,” said Martin, thanking Goop, which has stocked her brand from the beginning. “When I met Gwyneth in Milan, recently, I told her, ‘I’m into some really weird s–t.’ She said nothing you say will scare me. It was so refreshing, I could talk about the moment I had with that entity, and this consciousness and that multidimensional realm.”
Paltrow may not have been there in body, but she was in spirit.