Being that I’ve always enjoyed gifting suites hosted by Debbie Durkin since I started writing about suites, I was happy to make a return visit after about a year out of the loop. (I was out of many loops in 2010, due to my back issues.)

I think this is the first time she held it at West Hollywood’s beautiful London Hotel, on the third floor patio. It’s such a lovely site.

The best part is that Debbie fed us, which, as I’ve told you before, is not the norm. The fun vittles, prepared on-site by the hotel itself, was appreciated by guests and sponsors alike. They grilled it all right in front of us, and we were treated to adorable and delicious mini-burgers with all the fixings, chicken skewers, and best of all grilled vegetables, including whole giant asparagus stalks.

Her charity this time was Music Saves Lives, which encourages people in the biz to donate blood and register for bone marrow donations. Talk about a worthwhile charity! Its goal is so simple and at least the blood part is easy to achieve. We should all check into it.

Javier Lezama. All photos by Karen Salkin.

One of the best features of Debbie’s suites is that she assigns us escorts, or as she calls them, “Celebrity Model Ambassadors.” I sometimes get them in other suites, but not always, like I do here. I really lucked-out this time by getting the most pleasant Javier Lezama to introduce me around. This guy is a budding actor and hip-hop artist, so by this time next year, I just may be escorting him around!

There were several new products I had not run into at any suites before, so let’s get to the highlights.

GOORIN BROTHERS HATS–these unbelievably affordable fedoras, and other chapeaus, are the height of fashion right now, especially with dancers and other performers. I chose a black one with a basic black band for the krump-dancing Mr. X.

OBVIOUS CLOTHING–with Spring approaching, who wouldn’t love these almost opaque cotton tops? Once I decided on a light, minty shade of green, (I figured I’d change it up a taste from my usual blues,) the problem was choosing between three styles, all fabulous. But I decided on one with sleeves, because the past year of inactivity has given me somewhat less than Michelle Obama-type biceps. This way, everyone will be checking-out my cool new top, rather than my lack of arm muscles.

ELLE G JEWELRY–Lisa George, a proud cancer survivor, was showcasing beautiful beaded necklaces. But, I chose a bracelet that she was commissioned to design for the American Heart Association. It features light black beads with a rhinestone in the middle and a red heart hanging down.

DIRTEE HOLLYWOOD TOPS–I love when companies let us choose our own gifts from their inventory, and when I saw an interestingly-cut, lightweight sweatshirt in a beautiful, unusual shade of blue, I looked no further.

REV7 REMOVABLE GUM–when I asked them, “Removable from what exactly,” they answered right away, “Ever get gum in your hair?” ‘Nuff said–I was sold! Turns out, it doesn’t get stuck to anything! Not your pants, couch seat, dog–anything! My only question now is, “Where have you been all my life???” It’s also the first biodegradable gum. (Yes–all you nuts who always say that gum is biodegradable while you toss it out the car window have been wrong all these years!) And it tastes good, too.

MICHELLE ROY–I got a cute little elastic bracelet with beads and a rhinestone. I could wear ten of these at a time!!! So, only nine more suites visits to go.

HWHITE LUXURY BODY CARE–skin care designed for people of color, to eliminate ashy skin. Many of my pals will be happy to learn about this line.

Being that Debbie’s a lover of dogs, she always has some items for our four-legged friends. Without Clarence on this level of life, it was a little difficult for me to talk to those sponsors, but two of them are designed for canine health, so I wanted to give them a shout-out: 3 Green Dog Vitamins and Chowhound, a book with proper diets tips.

Clarence would have loved this suite!



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