Taylrz Joynt Holiday Party & Toy Drive
Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th
Womens Int'l Film/Television Awards-featuring Elizabeth Grant

Taylrz Joynt Holiday Party & Toy Drive

In the true spirit of Christmas, I think it fitting that I mention that the BF and I went to the Holiday Party and Toy Drive at Taylrz Joynt Boutique on Ventura Blvd. The event featured Lousine Karibian as event producer and artist and DJ Tesslove spinning tunes in the back of the store. At the front of the store was a bin that was filled to the brim with new toys to be donated to the Bresee Community Center. It was a small festive gathering which featured shopping (at reasonable discounts), light appetizers and catching up with old friends (like owner Mary Taylor, Lousine, actress Jamie McCall and photographer Nelson Shen.)
Lousine had some of her paintings displayed on the surrounding walls of the store. She took me aside and told me a little about the two canvases that stood out the most: ‘Mother’s Flowers’ and ‘Tears of Happiness.’
‘Mother’s Flowers’ is available on a 30X40 acrylic on canvas. According to Lousine, it was “originally bright flowers in a blue vase because my Mother loves flowers in a cobalt blue vase, but I’ve retired from realism…so I completed the piece with some abstraction-ism.” Her other piece, entitled, ‘Tears of Happiness’ is her favorite and most valuable painting. “Originally, I was painting a forest in red and black colors but my Mother explained it seemed too dark and depression-like. I brightened it up with the color of light ‘yellow’ and the finished product is a face of a mother holding a newborn baby. Hence, tears of happiness for the mother has lost it’s youth and entering a new realm of motherhood,” Lousine explained.
Lousine is a dedicated artist. It shows in her work and as a successful event producer as well. Her paintings have been shown in the NoHo Arts District, along within private homes, galleries, boutiques, etc. She offers first time free consultation (local) in producing custom made art work for homes and offices. Since she has an extensive background in interior decorating, she provides her clients with design, color and texture theory in producing original contemporary and abstract art with all budgets in mind. She believes that ‘everyone should be able to afford original art work. Art is one of the essentials of culture should belong in everyone’s home whether you live in a mansion in Beverly Hills or a small apartment by Echo Park or a dorm at your college.” To find out more about this artistic prodigy, go to www.lousinekaribian.com.

SPECIAL THANKS: the crew at Taylrz Joynt, located at 13549 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Phone: (818)907-7818; J; Lousine Karibian; Nelson Shen; Rochelle Carino of Rumple Munkeh, www.rumplemunkeh.com,*who provided me with a fab dress to wear to the occasion*; Bresee Community Center *www.bresee.org*, Julia LoVan, Jamie McCall and DJ Tesslove.

Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th

I attended another Unique Los Angeles on the 5th at the California Market Center. This time, there were over 300 vendors and the show expanded by having the Eco-Green Room in a ballroom on the ground-floor. This goes to show you that the economy is slowly getting back on its feet. 300! Sonja Rasula has come a long way since I first volunteered a couple years back, when they had 200 vendors.

It was not even noon and the line of anxious shoppers was almost out the door. Upon getting my ticket, I also received a limited-edition cotton Unique Los Angeles tote, this year designed by Shepard Fairey’s design company, Studio No.1.

Most of the vendors were the same from previous shows, but I ran into some new vendors.

In the Eco-Green Room was Chime Designs, a booth with jewelry made from donated and recycled drum cymbals and scrabble pieces, designed by Leslie Wilson. Most of the drum cymbals come from donations made by Sabian and local drummers from local bands. For more information, go to www.chimejewelry.com.

I followed my eye to a booth of color… Bold, electric and very 80’s… 1981 Collection, designed by Timmery Turner is a smorgasbord of necklaces, bracelets, hairpieces and rings that are all handmade and  hand-painted. She uses vintage pieces, bottle caps, toy cars, etc to create wearable works of art inspired by the 80’s. Contact Timmery at timmery@1981collection.com or visit her site at www.1981collection.com.

In the 13th floor penthouse, I stopped by Robin Charlotte, designer Robin Humphrey takes fish who have recently died at the local fish store and then preserves and paints them in resin, turning them into charms and buckles for jewelry, belts and handbags. Her pieces are currently sold at Duet (290 Forest Ave.) in Laguna Beach or go to www.RobinCharlotte.com for more information or to make a purchase.

Headpieces are THE trend this year (and I’m hoping next as well). This was elegantly stated by designer, Jesslabelle of NbbWear (Natural Born Beauties). She has been in business since 2000 and does vintage-inspired millinery. Her headpieces can be worn day to evening or as she put it, “Whether your going to a party, dinner, doing a strip tease for your boy, or heck…. even dress up to go to the grocery store or do laundry! NBB WEAR is sure to make heads turn and “Ta-dah” the spot light is on YOU!” The peacock and embellished number she wore at the show really wowed me and I know it’ll do the same for you, dear readers. Visit www.jesslabelle.com and do shop her Etsy store at www.nbbwear.etsy.com.

I recognized my fellow Project Ethos alum, Jennifer Garcia of Vim Trousseau, who was showing some dramatic cropped black and gold Kimono jackets made from 100% silk dupioni. According to Jen, this has been the best seller was inspired by her three vintage kimonos that are in her closet. She wanted it classic but with a modern twist. The kimonos are sold at $150.00. Her latest endeavors are her one-of-a-kind handbags made from her personal collection of magazines…which is aptly named “The Glossy Queen.” She has three permanent collections: ‘Fashion Connoisseurs’- which features images relating to anything fashion, from top models to high fashion houses. Her fav is the ‘Balenciaga Bag.’ The second collection is the ‘Icons Collection’- featuring images of iconic people of the music and entertainment industry. The ‘Michael Jackson Bag’ is of course the most popular of the collection. The last collection is ‘Make a Statement’- which features a play on words. “Fun phrases so your bag can speak when you don’t want to!” Jen also has a ‘Black History’ series and ‘Superheroes’ series, which has clippings from comic books. The bags are $50.00 and also comes with jeweled straps that are removable and can be worn as necklaces. Most bags come with two straps, you get a great deal with a one-of-a-kind handbag and two necklaces. Check out www.vimtrousseau.com or contact Jen at jen@vimtrousseau.com.

I spy with my fashionable eye…handmade recycled avante-garde couture! This particular booth boasted just that as well as headpieces and jewelry. The brand is Kittinhawk, designed by Allysun Maria Dutra. She is committed to recycling and keeping her business small and community-oriented. She sources out of antique shops, thrift stores, garage and estate sales, and even out of dumpsters. I love how passionate Allysun is…not only to fashion, but to being unique, one-of-a-kind and environmentally friendly. Check out Kittinhawk at www.kittinhawk.com.

I know I’m straying away from fashion, but I stopped by two booths dealing with photography. Jen Zahigian Photography- Jen is from the Bay Area, but is making her way down to LA. Her specialties are off-beaten paths, hidden corners of the country and nostalgic roadside signs. Check out her amazing shots at www.jenzahigian.com. The other booth, I happened to stumble upon due to this digital painting of the famous motel at North Shore in Salton Sea, CA. 33 Stewart Avenue is owned by Sean Finocchio. He takes photos and then transfers them onto wood, paper or canvas. Check out www.33stewartavenue.com.

NOTE: I would like to also acknowledge the vendors from the previous shows that I ran into: Hillary Danner and Maria Newman of ECOBOOMA & Jenkins Jellies. Hillary recently opened Studio Root 66 in Highland Park, dedicated to emerging and eco-friendly designers. (5917 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 ph:323-482-1414 and www.studioroot66.com), Dust Design Co., Fleamarketgirl.com, Mojo Cosmetics, 7Lightningbolt, Dip It Designs. Dip It designer Ryan made a new CAUTION wallets, this time, with Japanese CAUTION tape, fun bottle cap rings and Chinese take-out boxes (for decoration). Lastly, Liz Abbott of Leatherette Heart created new Lady Gaga-esque headpieces with birds and feathers, along with her apparel and barrettes with kitschy charms.

SPECIAL THANKS: Sonja Rasula and the crew of Unique Los Angeles, California Market Center, J, the vendors, Sean and Celeste of 33 Stewart Avenue and sponsors.

Womens Int'l Film/Television Awards-featuring Elizabeth Grant

This particular event is not about fashion, though there were very fashionable people who attended. But rather, it is an awards showcase dedicated to women in the film and television industries…activists, filmmakers, CEOs, etc who’ve made a difference in this world and the lives of others. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the entire ceremony, but in the time I was there, I was moved and inspired by these women, some of whom have overcome all odds to make that one documentary or overcame adversity during a time when it was hard for a woman to start her own business.

One of the PR reps from Elizabeth Grant International contacted me and asked if I’d like to attend an event while Elizabeth Grant was in LA and I happily obliged. I chose to attend the Second Annual Womens International Film and Television Awards at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood; Elizabeth Grant was being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I had the honor to meet Elizabeth, who is such a beautiful and amazing woman and truly inspiring, along with her Granddaughter, Margot, who is head of  the Public Relations and Marketing Department and Marion Witz, who is the President of the company, Margot’s Mother and Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law.

Elizabeth Grant founded Elizabeth Grant International- a luxury skin care line in 1958, a time when it wasn’t “proper” or it was unusual for a woman to start a business. Her company went from one employee to now over 100 employees at the headquarters in Toronto. Elizabeth is not only a successful businesswoman, but she’s a philanthropist, playwright, mother, grandmother and professional lecturer, who speaks on success and the hardships she had to endure during the 1950’s and the difficulties she faces today. Even in her eighties, she’s still going strong as CEO of her company, even when other people her age have retired. For more information or to purchase skin care products, please go to www.elizabethgrant.com.

The festivities started off with a cocktail hour, where the waiters, wearing casual button-downs and white sneakers perused through the crowds offering little delicacies. The actual ceremony took place in the rooftop ballroom, which offered  spectacular panoramic views of the Sunset Strip and surrounding city. The Honorees of the Evening (when I was there) were: Tegla Loroupe- Founder of the Tegla Laroupe Peace Academy and honored with the Dove Award; Shohreh Aghdashloo- 2009 Emmy Award Winning Actress and winner of the Humanitarian Award; Betty Makoni- Founder of the Girl Child Network and winner of the Humanitarian Award; Judy Irola- cinematographer, one of her films being “La Dolce Gilda” and winner of the Cinematographer Award; “We Are Half of Iran’s Population”- winner of the Jury Film Award; Ruth Carter- winner of the Best Costume Award; “Madre” and “Sidewalk Sisters” were winners of the Diversity Award; “Tapestries of Hope” (Director Michealene Cristini Risley) won the Best Documentary Award; Elizabeth Grant (presented by E!s Thea Andrews) won the Lifetime Achievement Award… For those who were announced after I left, congratulations on your achievements!!

SPECIAL THANKS: J, April Jackson, Thea Andrews of E!, Margot Grant, Elizabeth Grant, Marion Witz, the presenters, Patrick Moulin-WIFTS award designer, Pillivuyt (http://www.pillivuytus.com) – Manufacturer of WIFTS award, host, Councilwoman Jan Perry, the honorees, Actress Jennifer Tilly, and the Andaz Hotel (www.westhollywood.andaz.com), the WIFTS Foundation (www.thewifts.com), photographer Zach Lipp (www.zachlipp.com)

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