Legends at the La Cienega Design Quarter, now in its 7th year, always draws the who’s who in the world of design to the tree lined streets of the LCDQ (La Cienega Design Quarter). Design editors from around the country are asked to moderate designer panels on topics that are currently on the forefront and trending with today’s designers.
While there were so many panels to choose from throughout the two days, it was impossible to attend every event. Today’s post is an overview of the panels I was able to attend and some of my top takeaways.
The Legends 2015 Keynotes
Not Your Mother’s Traditional
MODERATOR: Jenny Bradley, Senior Design & Lifestyle editor, Traditional Home
Panelists: Elizabeth Dinkel, Thomas Callaway, Madeline Stuart
Designers Madeline Stuart, Thomas Callaway and Elizabeth Dinkel led a colorful discussion, to a filled to capacity, on how they keep their traditionally rooted designs looking fresh and timeless. As effortless as it may seem, it usually takes a creative mind to pull off a times space that does not look contrived and over done.
Dinkel balances the “new and old, antique and modern”. The contents of a room “should not feel studied, but under the radar and effortless”. Thomas Callaway left the crowd in stitches and his word of advice: “Don’t do big for big’s sake” – a mistake that many make time and time again. Bigger doesn’t always necessarily mean better.
And for those of you wondering what Madeline Stuart’s “go to” piece for making a traditional space modern? Chinese furniture – think chinoiserie…
Makers as Muse
MODERATOR: Pamela Jaccarino, Editor in Chief, Luxe Interiors + Design
PANELISTS: Betsy Burnham, Joe Lucas, Molly Luetkemeyer
The next stop for the afternoon was at the Makers as Muse panel, where Pamela Jaccarino and designers Betsy Burnham, Joe Lucas, and Molly Luetkemeyer discussed how “artisan and craft is about telling a story”, and how the artisans they work with oftentimes inspire their work and act as muse.
The Art of Up- Cycling
MODERATOR: Mat Sanders, Creative Director, Domaine
PANELISTS: Jessica Alba, Ginna Christensen of Woven Accents, Anna Brockway, founder of Chairish.com
The last keynote on the first day of Legends was on the topic of Up-Cycling. Actress and co-founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba spoke about being tasked with filling with filling her own home with vintage finds in a time where online sites geared specifically to home furnishings and decor were non-existent. She went to great lengths to make sure that every piece of furniture she placed in her home was pre-owned, to reduce the carbon footprint, and relied mainly on Craigslist to source prouct. The pieces she found were then refurbished, reupholstered, or restored her finds before placing them in her home. Since that time, online sites such as Chairish.com have popped up, making shopping vintage from the convenience of home a whole lot easier.
Mat Sander, editor of Domaine, moderated the conversation with his usual upbeat, witty, and entertaining self, and kept everyone fully engaged. Chairish founder Anna Brockway was also on hand to speak to the crowd about how and why she started her company which sells high quality vintage furnishings by putting together buyer and seller in an environment that is easy to understand and sort through. Brockway also shared some general statistics about the Chairish site. FYI -The number one most searched for item on the site? Dining chairs. The two categories that are currently trending? Brutalism and Midcentury Modern. No surprise there!
Entertaining – The Home as Social Stage
MODERATOR: Susan McFadden, California Homes
Never one to neglect her guests, Lulu Powers, the consummate hostess, started off the session by making sure each guest was with refreshing citrus spritzer in hand.
Once the discussion commenced, entertaining in the home and how it has gotten far less formal in recent years was discussed. Kathryn Ireland spoke to the crowd about her rules for entertaining at home. First and foremost, she prefers a more casual and laid back atmosphere. “No pretty rooms or silks, as I have children, dogs, and a lot of unruly friends”, joked Ireland. Don’t we all? She has her friends arrive early to help get things ready. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”
Russ Diamond of Snyder Diamond noted that the kitchen is now the hub of the house and is expanding and evolving into a multifunctional area and social space. He notes that the steam convection oven is the appliance of choice and is replacing the microwave as it retains nutrients and cooks rapidly.
Lulu Powers tips included using lighting on dimmers and providing blankets for guests on a chilly evening to set the mood when entertaining outdoors. Creating a tablescape in the center of the table, indoors or out, large or small, is a foolproof way to initiate conversation at the table, especially when the guests are not as well acquainted.
Chasing the Muse
MODERATOR: Marisa Marcantonio, Stylebeat blog founder
PANELISTS: Hutton Wilkinson, Celerie Kemble, Schuyler Samperton
The last keynote of Legends 2015 was no doubt a colorful one with Hutton Wilkinson warming up the crowd with tales of his muses, Tony Duquette, Billy Haines and Elsie de Wolfe (who apparently cut out her gloves so that her Cartier wrist watch could be seen), to name a few.
Giving parties is one of Wilkinson’s passions and he is hired for many, In fact, he was recently hired to do a party in Palm Beach with a paltry $1 million dollar budget. So excessive that the tables featured hand painted tablecloths and the hors d’oeuvres table had a hole cut out of the middle and a “merman” standing within that hole. The table was set on wheels to enable the merman to walk around the room and provide the guests with mobile nibbles, not to mention something to talk about!(see photo above)
Schuyler Samperton spoke to the crowd about her muse, the Bloomsbury Group, a group of intellectuals, writers, and artists in England in the early 1900s who gathered in a placed called Charleston, where there is no distinction between fine art and decorative art. When designing her own home, nothing was planned and things were haphazardly put together so that it wasn’t too precious and instead relaxed and even a little bit messy.
Celerie Kemble’s finds inspiration and energy from the people she calls her friends. Fashion designer Lela Rose happens to be one of Celerie Kemble’s best friends, and while designing her wallpaper line for Schumacher, Kemble noticed similarities in her line to Lela Rose’s runway collection that were completely coincidental. The friendship Rose and Kemble share has obviously been an inspiration for Kemble’s work, and perhaps Rose’s too.
In addition to these panels that I’ve covered, there was so much more, but it was impossible to be in more than one place at the same time. Always an eye opening and inspiring event to attend, chock full of information, advice, and experiences from the pros in the design industry, the Legends keynotes and panels have become an event not to be missed.
Next up on the blog- the PARTIES of Legends 2015. Three fun filled nights of parties in the LCDQ!