Though a bout with the stomach flu kept her partner Lisa Mayock sidelined, Vena Cava’s Sophie Buhai (pictured, left) was delighted to celebrate her own return home to Los Angeles last night among friends and muses. Hosted by GenArt, the party marked the launch of their Fall collection at Barneys and their strong ongoing working relationship with the retailer. “We really see Vena Cava as being half L.A. and half NY; it’s part of the brand DNA,” Buhai explained of the design duo’s new dynamic now that she lives in Los Angeles and Mayock remains in New York. “We’ve been exposed to different environments, and when we come together to design, they come together and meld in an interesting way.”
Set against the backdrop of Chateau Marmont’s Bungalow 1, a subtle reference to the designer’s neo-noir-inspired Fall collection, guests including Malin Akerman, Into the Gloss’ Emily Weiss, Cher Coulter, and Sophia Bush caught a poolside performance from St. Vincent’s Annie Clark (pictured, right), for which Vena Cava designed an exclusive T-shirt. And while there was an exciting emphasis on the brand’s SoCal heritage (both Buhai and Mayock are L.A. natives), Busy Philipps reflected that their resonance is a result of their ability to draw from both coasts. “I have this older Vena Cava LBD that is very simple but has some great detail that sets it apart, which is the reason I keep going back to it again and again,” Phillips said. “It’s the only dress that my friend Michelle [Williams], who lives in Brooklyn, and I both own and both wear.”
Outside of his comfortable Upper East Side orbit, Gilles Mendel is capitalizing on a recent surge in popularity among the Young Hollywood set. Taylor Swift, Mila Kunis, and Malin Akerman all wore J. Mendel to the recent People’s Choice Awards—as did awards season hopeful Natalie Portman on a very prominent glossy’s cover. Strike while the iron is hot, the logic goes, and strike Mendel did, with a pre-Golden Globes fête in L.A. last night, co-hosted with Audi. Mendel himself, prevented by the vagaries of the weather, didn’t end up making the event, but plenty of well-dressed admirers did. Glee‘s Jane Lynch was the first to arrive (co-star Matthew Morrison was also in attendance), but it was Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara (left, in DVF) who was eager to talk awards show fashion. “I haven’t chosen what I’m wearing yet, but I have already narrowed it down. So whatever fits better that day, that is what I’m going to wear,” she said. Any clues as to what’s on her short list? “Dolce & Gabbana is one of my favorites; Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, those are my options.” Around her, the stars milled: Zac Efron greeted Hairspray co-star Brittany Snow with a warm hug for the cameras, while Paz Vega (in white) and Zoe Saldana (in warm taupe leather from J. Mendel’s pre-fall collection) ducked past the flashbulbs into the party.
Though she won’t be attending the actual Globes ceremony, Sophia Bush (clad in L.A.-based designer Oliver Tolentino) does have a dress awaiting its own occasion. “I have this Chris Benz that is to die for that I can’t wait to wear. So I’m really praying they let me out of work for the Art of Elysium event next weekend and I’ll get to finally wear it.”
But talk wasn’t all biz among the entertainment-heavy crowd, especially for Angela Lindvall. “I am a huge fan of J. Mendel,” Lindvall said (though she admitted that her best friend does his PR, which never hurts). Despite being the face of Prada, the model and part-time actress insisted she stays mostly out of the glare of the spotlights. “It’s the opening of a big week in Hollywood and I live in Topanga Canyon, where I’m raising my kids,” she said, “so it’s good for me to get out every once in a while.”