Monday 8/31, 6:30pm EST, JFK to LAX: After 2 glasses of wine and a few chapters of The Great Gatsby (which I am not reading for the first time), I flick on my TV (thanks, Jet Blue!) and watch episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project until we descend on Los Angeles, and I gape, open-mouthed, at the fires that burn like coals and the dark plumes of smoke that rise from the trees like ominous clouds.
Monday 8/31, 10:30pm PST, 25 Degrees: Successfully check in to my room at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, walk past the gorgeous gothic floral arrangements in the lobby, and meet the crew for gourmet burgers (I order mine done medium with burrata and roasted tomatoes) and glasses of cold Sancerre. It is my personal belief that calories consumed on travel days never, ever count. We toast to the week to come and trail off to our giant beds with crisp, white sheets.
Tuesday 9/1, 8:00am PST, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: This already blazing-hot LA morning finds me at the Bean ordering my favorite sugar-free vanilla Ice Blended coffee! $5 later, I am enjoying an iced-caffeine brain freeze and staring up at the iconic sign of our residence for the week. Did you know the 1st annual Academy Awards was held in the hotel ballroom? Or, that Marilyn Monroe lived in room 246 for 2 years while trying to get her career to take off? Her spirit is now believed to haunt the place and a mirror that hung in her room now hangs in the lobby.
Tuesday 9/1, 9:00am PST, room 1015: Courtney the Associate Producer, Sarah the Host of “The Thread” (the fashion and beauty webshow on Yahoo’s Shine website for which I am the staff wardrobe stylist), Ashley the Hair and Make-up Artist (who I absolutely ADORE and never get to see) and I convene for room service and to ready Sarah for her interview with Perez Hilton at his apartment. She rocks a black tube dress with oxidized silver beading, a black tuxedo jacket and black leather ankle boots.
Tuesday 9/1, 12:00pm PST, Perez Hilton’s apartment in Park La Brea: “That’s SOOOO weird; I, TOO, have many oil paintings of myself lining the walls of my living room!” – Ash.
There are no words. Just this family portrait.
Tuesday 9/1, 3:00pm PST, room 1015: Time for a quick lunch, wardrobe change and hair & make-up freshening before the red carpet premiere of 90210. Sarah wears a fierce deep purple Yoana Baraschi cap-sleeve dress with origami fold detail at the shoulder with a metallic tulip belt from Thread Social (shoutout NB!) cinched at the waist and black Theory pumps. Due to security clearance issues, Ash and I can’t attend (oh, well — I can’t really wrap my head around a 90210 revival, anyway) so we move down to the Tropicana bar for many strong cocktails and our friend Danielle (another awesome hair stylist and make-up artist who is HYSTERICALLY funny) meets us there! And I exchange witty banter and phone numbers with a scruffy-faced, deep brown-eyed musician.
Good times. Goodnight, Roosevelt.
Wednesday 9/2, 7:00am PST, room 1015: Meet Court, Ash, Sarah and our model — and another friend of mine — Brandy, for egg white omelets and coffees the size of our heads to prep for the day’s shoots. Today we’ve rented out room 100, a massive 3-room suite next to the pool as a staging area for various celebrity interviews and product integrations. For the Olay Regenerist cream integration (and, honestly, this cream is UNREAL good) I dress Sarah in a taupe babydoll dress from Isabel Lu with a fuschia satin bow belt from Whitney Eve and neon pink Tom Binns knock-off doorknocker earrings from Topshop.
Wednesday 9/2, 11:00am PST, poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel: Interview with Heidi & Spencer of The Hills fame. Yes, they are truly as fame-hungry and obnoxious as you’d think. And yes, Spencer wore a crown and legally changed his name to King Spencer Pratt. God save us all.
Doesn’t Sarah look adorable in her pale pink strapless Tracy Reese bustier dress?
Wednesday 9/2, 1:00pm PST, poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel: It is H-O-T out here. I’m sweating like a whore in church, and I take a few minutes of solace under this beautiful tree.
Wednesday 9/2, 7:30pm PST, valet station at the Roosevelt Hotel: As I wait for my friend Gabby to pick me up and whisk me off to El Compadre on Sunset for fish tacos and flaming margaritas, I reflect on the rest of the day: Katherine McPhee and her new Agyness Dean-inspired platinum short-cut and some chick from the Real Housewives of Orange County, followed by a swim in the pool and a leisurely early-evening nap. I am so ready for delicious Mexican food and a few cocktails. Which I enjoy both of at El Compadre and later, at a great dive-y bar in West Hollywood called The Well.
Thursday 9/3, 7:00am PST, room 1015: Eat, steam, dress, pin, blow-dry, primp… bid adieu to Court and Sarah as they go off to check out the wardrobe department of Melrose Place and interview a few of the actresses. Again, due to security clearance issues, Ash and I are on our own. To the pool we go for some quality time before we have to depart ways, again. This girl cracks me up so much – what a shame we live on opposite coasts. Oh! Fun fact — the hotel’s pool contains an underwater mural of abstract waves painted by SUPER famous British artist David Hockney!
Thursday 9/3, 3:30-9:00pm PST, food tour of LA, apparently: En route to a corporate get-together in Santa Monica I consume a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke from In-N-Out, followed by mini cupcakes and coffee in the California Yahoo office kitchen, followed by — hands down — the best sushi I’ve ever had at Katsuya in Brentwood. We sat close to the breezy street and ate scoops of tuna spiced with jalapenos atop little beds of crispy rice, bites of rock shrimp tempura tossed in a creamy sauce, baked crab hand rolls wrapped in rice paper, and tons of creative little combinations that positively blew my mind. I worked up quite an appetite in the Kitson outlet in Santa Monica where I bought a goldy-pink Shoshanna bikini and a great Rolling St0nes baseball-sleeve tee.
Thursday 9/3, 11:30pm PST, LAX to JFK: Exhausted from the week’s events and stuffed from my many meals (plus a bag of scoop candy from the airport), I close my eyes and rest my head atop my new navy U-shaped neck pillow and drift off to sleep, remembering how much I love California and hoping that it isn’t too long before we meet again.