Friday, February 28, 2014

The Annual Oscar Luncheon

And BeansTalk is There

By Elaine Sanchez Wilson
BeansTalk Contributor

Fashion, food, and philanthropy joined forces to kick off awards season at the 6th annual Valentine Romance Oscar Style Lounge and Party, an all-day fete effortlessly pulled off by the expert hands of PR veteran Doris Bergman. Inside West Hollywood's swanky chic Fig & Olive restaurant, cast and crew from the silver and small screens schmoozed with vendors representing an array of lifestyle products.

Celebrities, such as former Oscar nominee Angela Bassett, William Shatner, Tommy Davidson, and Eva La Rue, strolled through a breezy and sunlit atrium adjacent to the restaurant's main dining room and bar, alongside former Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., current nominee Robin Mathews (make-up artist for Dallas Buyers Club), Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Lou Ferrigno, Dot Marie Jones, "Office" star Kate Flannery, Nicholas Guest, and Tia Carrere, among others.

The invitation-only event, hosted by Begley & Begley's 100% All Natural Sodas and presented by Whitening Lightening & Nature's Flavors, featured an assortment of women's and men's fashion accessories, body, skin and hair care lines, fine art, decadent desserts, and premiere cocktails. While the gifts were certainly luxurious (a straw hat displayed at Baron Hat's booth would reportedly sell for $10,000), the party also shone a light onto the needs of the less affluent. Guests were encouraged to donate new or gently used articles of clothing and accessories for a Valentine's Day Gift Drive benefiting “Wednesday's Child,” a weekly segment that airs on Fox 11 News, Los Angeles. Anchor Christine Devine was on hand to discuss the program, which aims to unite “harder to place” foster children from Los Angeles County with adoptive families (

“In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 30,000 children receiving child welfare services,” said social worker, William Wong. “This event reached far beyond the Hollywood ‘glitz’ and into the heart and soul.”

Also embracing the humanitarian spirit, Hollywood hat-maker Mark Mejia, president and CEO of Baron Hats (, discussed his intent to organize a medical mission to the Philippines, where he has worked with Filipino craftsmen. “This is a dying art,” said Patti Gardner, Mejia's personal assistant. “And what's happening is that Mark is trying to save this dying art.” Mejia's custom hats are hand-woven in Ecuador, take anywhere from eight weeks to six months to finish, and retail for around $10,000. They can be seen in The Lone Ranger and Django Unchained, in addition to the billboard poster for FX series Justified.

Occupying a prime spot at the entrance of the suite, designer Timmy Woods, of Timmy Woods Beverly Hills (, showed off handmade bags that double as home furnishing collectibles. Her wearable art creations, which can take upwards of 30 days to complete, are a wonderfully eccentric mix of quirk and kitsch (a pair of cat-eye sunglasses, a black-an-white striped feline, and an Eiffel Tower replica were among the items on display). “They are usually extensions of people's personalities,” Woods said, adding that if all goes as planned, she will be working on a bag for Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock. “It has to feel like it's part of you. They're very psychological.”

At Poof your Pouch (, a small crowd oohed and aahed over charming brown-and-white chihuahua Sophie, who was decked out in a pretty floral harness. According to owner Cori Stockman, the one-of-a-kind Poofs are interchangeable, are available in a wide range of flower types and colors, and retail for $40. And over at event sponsor Whitening Lightening (, president and CEO Jen Gerard talked about why her high-grade whitening gels are a celebrity favorite. “Sensitivity isn't a factor because the gel doesn't strip away the enamel,” she explained.
BeansTalk Contributor and article author Elaine Sanchez Wilson at the event.
Other participating vendors included Ooh La Bra, Silvana K Designs, Handmade Hearts by Hillel, PK’s Chocolates,  Simply Eartha, Dr. Ava Cadell, the “Love Doctor,” Monatelier, Waraire Boswell Executive Men’s Clothiers, Platinum Image Services, MiA Bath & Body, “Serenade” by Virtuoso Violinist, Daniel D, Art By Dano, Slash Salon, SudzzFx, La Curcio Skin Care Collection, My Saint, My Hero, GUESS, Twisted Silver, Perch, Lusciouss by Kendra Bridelle, Gilbert Albert, Honest Tea, Spongelle, Single Dress, Single Underwear, Tequila Azul Imperial, and Veved Ice Vodka.
Cheech & Chong with Baron Hats

Married actors Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance with Silvana K Designs

Peter Parros ("The Haves & Have Nots") with Dr. Ava Cadell, "The Love Doctor"

Tia Carrere with Handmade Hearts

Comedian Tommy Lee Davidson with Simply Eartha