DORIS BERGMAN’S 2019 VALENTINE ROMANCE OSCAR STYLE LOUNGE & PARTY
I always love returning to West Hollywood’s Fig & Olive restaurant for Doris Bergman’s semi-annual extravaganzas. So it was my pleasure to introduce all the action to my new contributing writer, Noelle Hannibal, who was my lone helper for the entire Oscars Season, direct from Montreal. (Her comments are all the ones in quotes throughout this review.)
There was so much true fabulousness at this one that I seriously do not know where to begin! Everyone was nice, the gifts were unbelievable, and, of course, the ambience was top-notch. Noelle told me that she had a smile on her face as soon as she walked in the door and it never left! I joined her in that, as did all the guests, I’m sure.
With so many Oscar Week events, I have to multi-task on most days. Noelle had asked me why I saved one whole day for just Doris’ party, but, as we had to tear ourselves away after six hours in that one location, she totally got it.
Of it all, she commented, “The ambience was warm and inviting, and the variety of companies and products was perfect. There was an elegance to the entire event, right down to the beautiful meal we were served.” (More on the fare at the end.)
Of course, we loved learning about all the products on offer at the event, but best of all, for me, is the chance to give back. We’re all asked to bring at least one gift for Wednesday’s Child, an organization that helps teens in foster care, which is such a worthwhile cause. To make-up for the guests who don’t get that memo, (even though they sure don’t mind receiving beaucoup gifts for themselves all day,) I brought a dozen for the teens, an age group who is so often overlooked. If you want to follow suit and help out, with gifts, money, or adoptions, here’s the info you need to get started: www.foxla.com/wednesdays-child.
And the gifts were divine. So many of them were new to us, but I was thrilled that some of my perennial favorites were back, too. Here are the very many highlights, in categories this time:
Diamond Veneer–OMG–I saw a woman at lunch wearing the most gorgeous “diamond” tennis bracelet I had ever seen, and when I admired it, she told me that she just received it from this jeweler with the humorous moniker, Fake Jacob the Jeweler. (The real one is in jail!) Once I picked my jaw off the floor, upon finding out that it was not diamonds but diamond veneers, I went right over to examine all of his wares. And absolutely everything he has is gorgeous! I have no idea how the guests chose from among all the shiny pieces. www.diamondveneer.com
Twisted Silver—Noelle said, “I was thrilled to meet designer Debra Mitchell, and see her amazing jewelry in person, as I had read about her here in Karen’s INAM e-zine many times. Her display was stunning and included necklaces, bracelets, and rings, all of which have a vintage feel to them.” And we were both very impressed that Debra “took the time to hand-select” the gifts for each guest. www.twisted-silver.com
S & G Thesign—We stopped in our tracks when we saw this table full of gorgeousness!!! This Italian company makes leather accessories and jewelry…in colors! Not just your usual black or brown. I loved everything I saw, which is unusual for me. But my girly-girl eyes went right to the braided bracelets, which looked to feature an infinity symbol. It turns-out that it’s not that symbol at all. It’s the initials of the designers, put together–S for Stefano and G for Gianluca. Noelle pointed-out that that logo “is incorporated into all of their designs.” www.sgthesign.com
My Saint My Hero—These wonderful handwoven bracelets each have different inspirational words. I was happy to discover a new one labeled “Serenity,” while Noelle, who’s always stressed by her uber-busy life these days, was especially taken with the one that she says, “Reminds me to take a moment to ‘Breathe’!” www.mysaintmyhero.com
Jonathan Sweet—A few pieces of this designer’s handcrafted wood furniture and accessories were on display at the event. Noelle mentioned that the oblong table featured “elegant lines and a warm, rich stain,” and she thought that the engraved wall fixture was “stunning.” They were gifting a wooden candle holder with three frosted glass votives, which Noelle stated “will look beautiful on any mantle.” www.jonathansweet.com
Liquid Nano—This is one we had never even heard of before! It’s a liquid screen protector for your phone. Each package includes a cleaner, two coatings of the screen protector, and a little microfiber cloth. Noelle said that she loves the concept since she’s “terrible at properly positioning those hard screen protectors.” I just love knowing about new technology innovations before Mr. X! www.liquidnano.com
Milena’s Boutique—Noelle was drawn to this table by the smell of plumeria, (her bestie’s favorite fragrance of all time, so she’s an expert on it,) which was coming from these candles. She points-out that they’re “made with soy, shea butter, coconut, and apricot” and “smell absolutely delicious!” www.milenasboutique.com
Hint Water and Sunscreen—This water company constantly ups its game with fun and useful items. Noelle, who is staying at a house with little kids this trip, was happy to discover the new Hint Kids juice-box-sized flavored waters. And we both were interested in their spray sunscreen; Noelle loves that it’s a spray because, as she put it, “I hate having my hands full of lotion when I’m at the beach.” Who doesn’t??? www.drinkhint.com
Spa Girl Cocktails—Since I don’t imbibe, Noelle was more than happy to sample both flavors of this fun cocktail. She enjoyed the original cucumber vodka martini, but said, “I particularly loved the sweetness of the pear one.” She also pointed-out that “it’s only forty-eight calories per shot!” That bit of good news made me almost want to start drinking! www.drinkhint.com
Buy Wine—They were offering each VIP a choice of a bottle of red or white wine from their beautiful display, which Noelle noticed was “decorated to go along with the theme of the event, Valentine’s Day.” She also noted that all their wines are “produced and bottled in Santa Rosa, California,” and told me, “In looking over their website, I was thrilled to see that they not only sell wine, but also offer travel resources, wine education and much more.” www.buywine.com
Precious Vodka—Noelle said, “It was love at first sight the second I saw these gorgeous diamond-shaped bottles” of vodka! She added, “This company’s display was simple yet effective, focusing primarily on the beauty of the bottle. Then, in sampling the vodka itself, I discovered that it tastes as good as it looks; it’s smooth and crisp, with no aftertaste. It would be a great addition to any dinner party, both in looks and to drink.” What she said. www.preciousvodka.com
Sue Wong—Noelle was immediately “obsessed” with the display of gowns from this famous designer. She couldn’t wait to get over to their display. Since they could not gift those fabulous creations, of course, Sue’s very lovely reps did the next best thing—they gave each guest a “beautiful, colorful, flowy scarf,” each of which Noelle advises “can be dressed both up and down.” www.suewong.com
Art Lewin Bespoke—Noelle enjoyed meeting bespoke suit-and-shirt-maker Art Lewin, who was on-site to meet-and-greet. Each guest received a bag with a mystery tie in it, and as everyone compared them at lunch, Noelle said that she “particularly liked the variety of the ties, especially the ones in muted tones and pastel stripes.” www.artlewinbespoke.com
Lasio Professional Haircare—This hair care company was gifting travel kits of six of their most popular products. Noelle is flying back to Canada right after the Oscars, so she was especially interested in learning about these “keratin-infused products, which are designed to eliminate frizz,” which all the guests could have used on that semi-rainy day! www.lasioinc.com
Freebird Remedies and Euphoric Enlightenments—This wellness company had one of the most inviting displays there, featuring quite the array of their CBD-infused products. Noelle said, “I love that many of their offerings are named after classic rock songs, such as Gold Dust Woman and Witchy Woman.” We were both most interested in their pain relief bars; Noelle tried one, and said it “really worked” on her sore back. A bonus is that the bath bombs and lotion bars “smell yummy.” www.freebirdremedies.bigcartel.com
La Cristallerie des Parfums—These reps from Paris were gifting beautiful bottles of perfumes, in a variety of fragrances. I couldn’t smell them because of my asthma, but Noelle tried them all, and said her fave was the Aurora, which “has a bit of a sweet, fruity fragrance.” Besides speaking my broken French with the sweet reps, (which, I’m happy to report, they got a kick out of,) I was most fascinated by the way the guests got to sample the aromas–the perfumes were sprayed on feathers, rather than on the usual paper! Oh la la. www.lacristalleriedesparfums.fr
Sugar Me Life—When we saw these very colorful and whimsical face and body products, we ran right over to this table, and chatted with the cute rep for quite awhile. He gifted everyone a bag of items he chose for them on the spot, including face and body scrubs and an aloe lip treatment. But our faves were the the bath bombs disguised as sprinkled donuts! Those were perf because Noelle said they “smell good enough to eat!” www.sugarmelife.com
Olecea Beaute—This skin care line was gifting little pump vials of their Pearl Activating Elixir. The rep told us that it’s designed to help reduce signs of aging. And who in Hollywood doesn’t want that?! Actually, people everywhere will be happy if it works, not just in Tinseltown. www.oleceabeaute.com
Quantum Rejuvenation—This place in Santa Monica was handing-out gift certificates for one of their anti-aging treatments. I’m sure that all of the show biz guests will be rushing right over there. Trust me, all these Oscars events take as much a toll on our faces and bodies as they do on our psyches! www.quantum-rejuvenation.com
Beauty Kitchen—This company had a colorful display of products. They handed out a couple of tiny samples, like a hydrogel eye mask which combats puffy eyes. www.beautykitchen.net
And, let’s not forget the Fig and Olive fare. As we mingled in the early part of the day, the amiable staff passed a variety of their signature flatbreads. This was Noelle’s virgin visit to the famous eatery, so she especially loved them, with her “personal faves” being the mushroom with artichoke, and the caramelized onion with goat cheese.
Then we moved on to the buffet lunch, which included their signature fig and olive salad, (of course!,) with a choice of manchego slices or blue cheese squares; wild mushroom rigatoni in truffle oil; crispy-skinned mini chicken pieces; and fried potatoes with cabbage, the combination of which Noelle deemed “delectable.” But, of course, as Noelle put it, “Of particular note were the bite-sized desserts, especially the little chocolate Pot de Cremes.” Those were especially yummy this time, because they a tad more liquidy than usual. I could have eaten just a dozen of those for the day and been happy!
And happy we were, with it all! Now we can’t wait for Emmys season to get here, so we can visit another one of Doris Bergman’s spectacular events!