If you’re looking to get the word out about your updated party space, what better way than to ask the socially gregarious and popular designer who just gave it a facelift to invite friends to lunch who’ll then invite friends to lunch? That’s the posh pyramid plan Wolfgang Puck devised to officially unveil Prive at Spago, the airy private space just south of the restaurant’s courtyard and main area. Waldo Fernandez, one of THR’s 25 Most Influential Interior Designers in L.A., designed the space, which began booking parties last year but on which he just completed the finishing touches.
“The idea was to get different ladies from different parts of town and different businesses together,” said Fernandez, whose clients have included Elizabeth Taylor and producers Brian Grazer and Darren Star. The throng of those ladies on Thursday included fellow designer Windsor Smith, fashion designers Kendall Conrad, Brigette Romanek and Rosetta Getty, fashion plates Brooke Davenport, Angela Janklow, Marilyn Heston, Julie Jaffe, Susan Campos, Jodi Guber, Julia Sorkin, Ann Crawford and Kelly Stein, art collector Rosette Delug, private art dealer Karyn Lovegrove, art consultant/advocate Bettina Korek, caterer Lulu Powers and actresses Julia Ormand, Shiva Rose and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Fernandez – who redid the entirety of the legendary Beverly Hills restaurant last year -- has given the spacious private room a wash of pale paint, a generous dotting of skylights and a trio of movable walls, replete with new murals, that allow the room to be reconfigured a half-dozen ways, accommodating gatherings from ten to a hundred. Thursday’s luncheon pushed the walls away and set ten tables with trellis-patterned black and white tablecloths, abundant floral arrangements by Kevin Lee and oversized candelabras. Models, barely old enough to vote, slunk around, sparkling in Mimi So’s jewelry, and chanteuse Jill Lamoureux serenaded the crowd in French. Puck’s food -- baby kale salad, sweet white corn agnolotti, pan-roasted Florida red snapper -- kept the women there until the end; even those ladies who had important meetings to rush off to stayed long enough for a bite -- or three -- of the strawberry creme fraiche semi freddo that was served up for dessert. “The worst thing is, I have to go to work!,” said top real estate agent Juliette Hohnen of Teles Properties. “I should have put in four hours for this.”
Puck was there to toast the designer, who also is responsible for West Hollywood’s Soho House, as well. “He made something look very modern but also traditional in a way," said the celebrity chef. "I don’t know if you can put both of them together, but he made it possible and that’s what I like about his design. I love to be in a beautiful place to go with good food. So if you have great people and great food, that is what life is all about.”