By Alesandra Dubin Posted October 15, 2008, 12:05 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES Although its scale pales in comparison to major global fashion weeks in other cities like New York and Milan, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles is still bringing an uncomfortable crush of people to its tents at Smashbox Stuidios in Culver City this week. Some respite from the throng comes—for certain V.I.P.s, press folks, celebrities, and Mercedes dealers and customers, at least—in the form of the automaker's petite but appointed lounge tucked within the venue.
Wendy Creed designed the lounge again this year, with a springy look to match IMG's official logos and signage for this season. Big blooms of yellow roses from Floral Art topped a center decor piece, and clean white seating and cocktail tables kept the look bright. Bamboo mats covered the floors, and grass cloth served as wall panels. Bontempi USA's bubble chandeliers hung from above.
“The design inspiration is fresh and springy, just like the official theme,” said Mercedes' western regional PR manager, Larkin Hill. ”The personality [from last season's dark hues and mirrored tabletops] is so different, but we still have areas where people can group, relax, share a bench. It's cheery, clean, open.”
Mercedes-Benz's New Jersey-based manager of brand experience marketing, Lisa Holladay, said, “I told Wendy that I wanted to do something bright and fresh, and wherever possible use sustainable materials. We're [encouraging] the idea of sustainability, and that you don't have to give up luxury in order to use sustainable materials.”
Smashbox makeup artists did touchups in the space—a first-time offering in the lounge. GoodFood passed hors d'oeuvres and maintained a light buffet of cheeses, chips and guacamole, and sweets. Bartenders muddled berries and mint for signature cocktails using fresh, organic juices.