French Barbecue

Isabel Marant's first anniversary on Melrose Place; plus a Martell brandy tasting


Isabel Marant and Milla Jovovich   
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Fresh off her Paris show—and just weeks shy of her much-hyped H&M debut— Isabel Marant landed in Los Angeles yesterday for a barbecue celebrating the one-year anniversary of her Melrose Place store. "It's like my little house in L.A.," the designer said of her second Stateside retail location. "I get to welcome people into my home here." The party was co-hosted by Milla Jovovich, featured a live performance by Warpaint, and drew the likes of rockers Beck and Jenny Lewis. Dakota Johnson and Gia Coppola came to greet Marant, and stylist Cher Coulter arrived with client Rosie Huntington-Whitely.

"There's a hippie tone that Isabel does that's really great for L.A.," Liberty Ross told Every new collection "is always so her." Joy Bryant had her own reason for loving the label: "When I was modeling in Paris, a friend of mine said, 'Hey, there's this designer over there and I think you'd really like her stuff, it's totally your style.' That was, like, the mid-nineties. There's something about Isabel, that as she's grown she's consistently been a trendsetter."

Over in Silver Lake, the cognac maker Martell used the historic Paramour Mansion as a backdrop for the launch of its new Caractère brandy. On hand to celebrate were Diego Luna, Rosario Dawson, Max Minghella, Kate Mara, and Andy Garcia, who collaborated with the company on a three-minute film that will premiere in early February. "They asked me to make a movie for them that focuses on men of character and vision," Garcia said. "And I happened to know such a man whose name was Israel "Cachao" López. I had a fortunate relationship with him for many, many years, first as a collector of his music, and then as a producer of his music. The movie shows our relationship, and who he was as a visionary and a man of great dignity—all the things I value."

Free booze and mambo legends notwithstanding, Mara showed up for the paranormal possibilities. "I've been super-curious to check out this house, because I've heard it's haunted," she said. As the evening went on, guests were treated to a performance by Lou Doillon as well as a sit-down dinner and tastings. No word on whether there were spirits present beyond the liquor.

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