The candlelit patio of West Hollywood bistro Lucques was the perfect setting for an intimate dinner party celebrating the one-year anniversary of designer Vanessa Bruno’s Los Angeles store Wednesday night. Hollywood’s in-the-know fashion scene, including Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Molly Sims, Mena Suvari, stylists Brad Goreski and Tanya Gill and Current/Elliott design duo Meritt Elliott and Emily Current gathered to toast the French designer over cocktails and a three-course Mediterranean-infused meal.
Bruno’s flagship store has seen great success at its Melrose Avenue location since its opening. While several French designers chose to plant their U.S. roots in New York (think Isabel Marant and Maje), Bruno opted to grow her brand in L.A. “I like the casual, laid-back bohemian vibe of the women here,” she said.
Dressed in a printed top, black blazer with a fur collar, black shorts and thigh-high leather riding boots, the designer oozed effortless cool, just like the women who wear her brand. And, although she was flanked by Bilson and Bosworth (two ladies she’s credited for contributing to her career for many years; Bosworth is also the star of the line’s autumn/winter 2011 campaign, a short film called LOV) during dinner, Bruno said she wanted to have this dinner “not just for celebrities, but to meet the journalists and the stylists who have taken interest in [her] work.”
After starting her eponymous brand 15 years ago, Bruno’s collections have become the go-to for young, smart women who enjoy comfortable clothes and appreciate timeless yet fashion-forward pieces (silk flowy dresses, structured blazers, slouchy suede boots and even fur collars) that can be worn all-together or mixed and matched. Her high-end collection and Athe diffusion line have developed a cultish following among fashion’s elite, especially in L.A.
Although her designs are not a staple for Hollywood’s big awards shows, don’t rule out Bruno just yet. When asked about designing a one-of-a-kind Oscar dress, with careful yet quick consideration she said, “Yes, but it would have to be for the type of woman who is comfortable NOT being tied into a strapless, corseted dress.”