Markarian designer Alexandra O’Neill brought the garden party to the Houdini Estate on Wednesday night, hosting drinks and dinner for Los Angeles friends to celebrate her new collaboration with Summersalt on swim and loungewear.
There were photo ops aplenty at the Laurel Canyon venue popular for weddings, where Markarian-dressed women Rainey Qualley, Hillary Rhoda, Olivia Scott Welch, Maddie Hasson and more posed under floral arches, sitting at the lilac-decorated dinner table, holding vintage crystal Champagne coupes and more as the sun set.
O’Neill was circulating around an artfully displayed rack of pieces from the collaboration, featuring powder blue florals inspired by an 18th-century Italian relief, including Summersalt’s trademark Side Stroke swimsuit, a ruffled side-tie one-piece, a bikini and breezy poplin loungewear.
“We’ve been following her since [she dressed] Jill Biden when she skyrocketed,” said Summersalt cofounder Reshma Chamberlin of how the d-to-c swimwear brand headquartered in St. Louis teamed up with the New York-based luxury label. “If I were to get married again, I’d wear Markarian.”
The collaboration strategy has worked well for Summersalt, who has also teamed with Tanya Taylor, among others, and is known for its well-fitting swimwear made from research from more than 10,000 body scans.
“What I love is we’re dressing a different demographic every time, but still true to who we are,” Chamberlin said.
The lineup would be perfect for the Italian Riviera, where several guests are planning vacations this summer, including O’Neill.
“I would live in Rome in a heartbeat,” she said, confessing that she’d love to meet an Italian boyfriend while she’s in Ponza this summer.
Stylist Jessica Paster, who brought her pooch as a date, helped her scroll through potential matches on her phone in between courses.
The stylist set came out in force, including Brit Elkin, who dressed Emma Roberts in Markarian back in 2019 before the designer even had a website.
Rebecca Ramsey was remembering that when she first met the cofounders of Summersalt during an advertising shoot, she asked them what their dream collaboration would be, and they said Markarian.
Then, poof, it happened. Just like Houdini magic.