Louis Vuitton X Exhibit Débuts In Beverly Hills

French luxury brand Louis Vuitton launched its first traveling exhibit in Beverly Hills this summer and everyone is invited. The temporary retrospective honors the House’s 160-year history of creative collaborations with artists from Takashi Murakami and Karl Lagerfeld to Cindy Sherman and Frank Gehry. Guests can view the glamorous art and cultural show in the grand two-story building on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Little Santa Monica from June 28th to November 10th.

The impressive exhibit features 180 items from Louis Vuitton’s archives, including pieces such as early 20th-century special-order trunks, iconic monogram bags, elegant Art Deco perfume bottles and window displays commissioned and designed by Louis Vuitton’s grandson, Gaston-Louis. The exhibition will travel on a worldwide tour with stops in fashion capitals such as New York, Paris, London, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Address: 468 N. Rodeo Drive
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Ticket: Free admission


Barneys of New York Celebrates Farrah Fawcett

Last night brought together a host of famous friends from the world of entertainment and business for a worthy cause. More than 300 stylish guests gathered at the invitation-only fourth annual fundraiser/cocktail party in support of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation which was held at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. The glamorous friends included Jaclyn Smith, Melanie Griffith, Eva Longoria, Alana Stewart, George Hamilton, and Sherry Lansing.

“This event was so personal to me and it would not have happened without my close friends Jaclyn and Alana,” says Patrick Foley, a resident make-up artist at Barneys New York who worked with the late actress and style icon. His friendship with Fawcett inspired the charity event which was held at Barneys in her honor. Foley also worked with the lovely CEO of Nude Envie cosmetics, Isabel Madison, to create a limited-edition rosy-nude “Farrah” lipstick, which was launched in 2018 to benefit the Foundation.

On this night, Foley joined Foundation president Stewart, and co-host, Smith, by the store’s grand marble staircase. They welcomed guests warmly as photographers, friends, fans, and Instagrammers busily snapped photos inside Barney’s beautifully appointed store. DJ Skemaddox provided music, while party-goers bid on the silent auction items and enjoyed Champagne and pink lemonade Margaritas.

The Farrah Fawcett Foundation was created by Fawcett in 2007 after her cancer diagnosis. The Foundation supports cutting-edge HPV-related research, promotes cancer awareness and prevention, and provides resources for patient assistance. For more information, please visit Thefarrahfawcettfoundation.org.


Persians4cure – Fundraising Gala

Hundreds of elegant guests turned out to support PERSIANS 4 CURE’s Second Annual Charity Dinner Gala and Fundraiser at a posh Beverly Hills estate. The nonprofit charity, founded by Manizieh Yomtoubian, supports innovative research to cure cancer. Violinist Ramin Abrams played beautiful music while guests sipped cocktails and fine wines courtesy of Shokrian Vineyards, Darioush Winery and El Fogonero Tequila. Volare catered dozens of delicious Italian dishes with a Persian twist, such as the gourmet pizza baked in an igloo-shaped brick oven in the back garden, and the popular Tahdig, a saffron and turmeric rice dish with a crispy bottom layer. Nearby, magician Fantastic Fig delighted guests with feats of magic, with more lively entertainment provided by musicians LA Daf Ensemble and comedian K-von. The evening ended with party goers dancing under twinkling stars, topping off a magical night.


Adieu Bouchon!


It is with great sadness to see a beautiful restaurant like Bouchon Bistro close down in my neighborhood on December 31st last year. Bouchon was part of my life for nearly ten years. I will miss the early morning walks to the bakery for fresh French epi bread or a flaky almond croissant. When Bouchon first arrived in Beverly Hills, the excitement was in the air. Locals and tourists alike filled the restaurant to admire its architecture and dined at Chef Thomas Keller’s newest culinary gem. Bouchon did not disappoint, as described in the article I wrote below about the restaurant and its vibrant ambiance. The beautiful Parisian-style restaurant on the upper level and the bakery on the ground floor became a part of our lives in the city. It was a cozy place where we would meet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner– and any reason to come together. Many happy memories were shared with friends at Bouchon. Now the former space is without life and laughter. Thus, with a heavy heart, I say: Adieu Bouchon! Gone but not forgotten.


Since the restaurant opened in 2009, I’ve often met friends for lunch at Bouchon Bistro on the ground level terrace that looks onto the lush Beverly Cannon Garden and its opulent water fountain centerpiece– a prime spot for Beverly Hills people-watching. On any given afternoon, the atmosphere of the terrace looks like a postcard de la belle du jour in Southern California: casually elegant guests soaking up the breeze and sunshine while happily dining al fresco. Within minutes, Bouchon sets a scene of familiarity that echoes like a pretty chanson and filled my senses with Parisian-tinged nostalgia.

On an invitation to meet at Bouchon’s upstairs dining room, I ascended a grand staircase, passed a magnificent pewter bar and entered a packed dining hall abuzz with waiters dashing about in long, white aprons knotted at the back and worn over black vests. It was an evocation of a Paris bistro that outshines any from New York or Paris that I have visited, from the classic mosaic floor to the antique light fixtures and hand-painted murals by renowned French artist Paulin Paris. The floor-to-ceiling French doors added an aristocratic allure and grandeur to the dining room basked in sunlight. When I was an exchange student in Paris, we dined at many popular bistros and brasseries, though none as elegant as Bouchon. Yet the same esprit of happiness and comfort was at once relived when I entered the dining hall.

The ambiance feels like an urban oasis; hidden upstairs with an open terrace overlooking a garden below, the dining hall embraces guests who come to indulge in the gracious atmosphere. The quiet, yet bustling restaurant also appeals to Hollywood regulars such as bon vivant producer Brian Grazer, who was immersed in conversation with his friend, a man on the Forbes’ billionaire’s list we were told. Locals and tourists mingle comfortably with the A-listers; on a recent afternoon, a young woman celebrated her baby shower with a cake and balloons, while a tourist wearing a baseball cap, tennis shoes and carrying a backpack sat nearby.

My friend remarked at the crowded lunch scene that overflowed onto the terrace. Our waitress acknowledged it was a “typical day” at the bistro. The sumptuous variety of dishes on the traditional lunch menu beckoned our attention. The appetizer list offered a wide selection of fresh oysters, though our choice was shrimp cocktail. We also shared a tasty salmon tartar served on toasted croutons, and a garden salad of leafy greens with delicate vinaigrette dressing. For escargot aficionados, the Burgundy snails braised in red wine with a petite puff pastry was done to perfection—a must try. The food was plated beautifully and artfully presented. My friend chose a deliciously grilled Scottish salmon dish with seasonal vegetables and crispy French fries served in a cone. My favorite comfort dish of roast chicken was tender and rich in flavor.

In between dishes, the servers were constantly busy filling up glasses, changing plates and replacing used silverware for new, heated utensils. Several managers roamed the room sprinkling hellos and checking on each table to ensure that every guest’s needs were met. The fine cuisine and attentive service combined with la joie de vivre ambiance makes Bouchon undeniably the best French bistro in the city.

On the way downstairs, we stopped by the Bouchon Bakery, where rows of fresh baked French baguettes, chocolate éclairs, fruit tarts and macarons decorated the colorful display case. With each step down the grand stairway, pretty French music echoed in the air as I reluctantly slipped back to my day. But for a few hours, it was a memorable experience of being in Paris for the afternoon.


Beverly Hills Architect Inspired by Nature

The mid-afternoon sun shines through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Oak Pass residence, a spacious and airy home resembling a modernist box. The stillness of the interior is pierced by gentle steps and lively conversation between Beverly Hills-based architect Gerhard Heusch and a visiting friend. He is taking me on a tour of the 3,500-square-foot home that he built in 2000. Heusch recalls the first time that he saw the property he immediately felt its good vibes and positive energy. The location was perfect, but the city of Beverly Hills required a fifteen-foot setback for all of the hillside residents. Undeterred, Heusch implemented a graceful solution to circumvent the restriction and built ten narrow columns to raise the sleek home fourteen feet above the ground. The rooms flow seamlessly from the dining and living spaces to the kitchen. Heusch created invisible walls between the rooms by playing on shadows and light, blending them in harmony with the natural surroundings. The result is his dream house that appeals to his love of nature, simplicity, and serenity.

“Design is an expression of our time and culture. I aspire to design spaces that elevate the living experience,” says Heusch, the founder of Heusch Inc., a Beverly Hills architecture firm with offices in Paris and Buenos Aires. Born in Germany, Heusch attended school in Belgium and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

“For me, architecture is a collaborative process revolving around my clients’ needs and their aspirations,” says Heusch. His architectural career began with him working in Paris, and later on he moved to Los Angeles. After working at the prominent Dworsky Architecture firm, Heusch launched his own firm in 1991.

He is known for designing modern homes with beguilingly warm minimalist interiors that embrace and respect the natural environment. Aside from his many local projects, such as an 11,000 square-foot residence in Beverly Hills and a 40,000-square-foot, three-story retail building in West Hollywood, Heusch attracts clients from all over the world. His clients include art patrons, producers, retailers such as Chopard and Escada, luxury hotels, and restaurants from Europe, West Africa, Asia, and South America.

His designs are driven by his passion, his travels, and his creativity while incorporating his clients’ preferences. The most important common denominator in all of his design projects is his love of nature. These elements inspire what Heusch does on a project, he explains as we are sitting in a newly added 1,500-square-foot studio space that he built on the lower level of his house–to avoid the ever-present LA traffic. With a roster of international clients, his fluency in four languages has certainly been an asset. One afternoon, while he was driving on the 405 freeway, Heusch was weaving in and out of traffic in an attempt to get home sooner. He made several business calls via the car speaker phone speaking in both French and English. On another call, Heusch switched to Spanish, a language that he learned when he spent time in Argentina renovating a beautiful historic French-colonial building in 2006. He transformed it into a luxury boutique hotel called the Algodon Mansion, which is located in the toney Recoletta district of Buenos Aires. Heusch fell in love with the city and stayed for five years to work on other projects, including the Algodon Wine Estates in Mendoza.

In nearly 30 years in practice, Heusch has garnered a diverse roster of impressive architectural projects. Among his favorite designs is his own home surrounded by oak trees on a quiet hillside in Beverly Hills.