As standard logic goes, being called a “bag lady” is a bad thing. But yesterday, at the sprawling Beverly Hills home of socialite Shanna Brooks (which is also Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s former love nest), the term was one of endearment at the ninth annual P.S. Arts Bag Lunch.
“There are worse ways to spend an afternoon,” mused How I Met Your Mother actress Becki Newton of stylists George Kotsiopoulos and Elizabeth Stewart’s yearly designer handbag auction sponsored by Dior Beauty, which raises funds for the L.A.-based arts education organization. With Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, and Ferragamo bags on offer, starting at 60 percent off their standard retail prices, we would have to agree with the actress. Naturally, Newton and fellow attendees, including designer Magda Berliner, artist Kimberly Brooks, and Two Broke Girls star Beth Behrs all clamored to get in on the for-charity deals.
“I have that sample sale mentality,” Newton explained. “So I kept doing laps to see what I could find and by the time I got back to the ones that I wanted they were gone.” Not everyone left empty-handed. Kristin Davis (pictured), who has lent her name as a host of the event since its inception, went home with a muted blue leather Chanel tote at the advice of Stewart (her stylist and the event’s co-founder). “I have a blue Chanel and it goes well with jeans,” Stewart said of the classic choice. “And I envy it!” said Davis. The most coveted (and fought over) piece of the day, however, turned out to be a brown ostrich bag by Tom Ford, which went for $6,000. By auction’s end, the crowd raised nearly $200,000 for P.S. Arts. And for one afternoon, at least, being called a bag lady was a badge of honor.
“I’ve always wanted to be a lady who lunched,” Katy Perry joked on Friday afternoon. The occasionally incandescent poster was co-hosting the seventh annual P.S. Arts Bag Lunch with event founders and stylists Elizabeth Stewart and George Kotsiopoulos, where, yes, both lunch and bags were offered—within a safe distance of one another. Held at Kristen Buckingham’s Brentwood estate, the fundraiser included a picnic, a DJ, and dozens of designer handbags sold to benefit the L.A.-based arts nonprofit, starting at 60 percent off retail. That led to some crises of a predictable variety. “I can’t decide between this Stella McCartney or Chloé,” lamented Sophia Bush. “Maybe I’ll just give them my credit card and call it a day.” Kelly Rutherford, Lori Loughlin, and Jenna Elfman all stopped by to check out bags from designers such as Lanvin, Dior, and Chanel. Stewart, whose clients include Cate Blanchett and Kristin Davis, was modest about her part in the event: “The designers make this event happen,” she said. But organizing has its perks. “There’s a Givenchy that didn’t make the FedEx and is arriving late, so I may have to snap up that one.”
Kate Beckinsale, Brigette Romanek, and Elizabeth Stewart hosted an evening of shopping at Balenciaga in West Hollywood on Thursday night. The private cocktail reception featured three cheese tarts and mini chocolate caramel treats, but the sweetest part was that a portion of the evening’s proceeds went to P.S. Arts. “I just love what [designer Nicolas Ghesquière] does because there’s always something classic and archival, but also a little off from the norm,” said Beckinsale, who’s been busy promoting her subzero thriller Whiteout, which opens today. “Now I can go hide for three months.”