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Magnolias floating in the pool, a julep bar and a bluegrass band set the scene. Southern hospitality came to Beverly Hills on Tuesday afternoon when Reese Witherspoon hosted a ladies lunch to celebrate the launch of her brand Draper James on global ecommerce site Net-a-Porter.
Witherspoon borrowed her friend Benton Weinstock’s house for the shindig, welcoming guests as they were ferried by golf cart up the driveway. Benton, who hails from Arkansas, is a member of what Witherspoon affectionately refers to as her “Southern mafia.”
“We always sit around and work together to come up with the phrases for my tote bags. One of my recent favorites is ‘What would Dolly do?’ the Big Little Lies star said, referring to the Southern queen Dolly Parton.
Witherspoon launched her clothing line Draper James in 2015, inspired by her Southern roots in Nashville and named after her grandparents Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon.
The range includes such ladylike styles as “Love Y’all” totes ($165), cherry-bedecked sweaters ($135) and the magnolia-embroidered sundress ($550) Witherspoon was wearing to the luncheon, where that Southern delicacy to end all delicacies, fried chicken, was served, along with gilded pineapple upside-down cakes.
Witherspoon said she was ecstatic to have the line launch on Net-a-porter, a fashion website she’s been a loyal customer of since its inception, when she realized she could “order Gucci and Chloe and get it in a day with fancy London people picking it out!”
Guests included L.A. designer Monique Lhuillier, who is readying her first collection to show during Paris couture week next month; handbag designer Clare Vivier, who was carrying a pouch in gingham print, the pattern of the afternoon; and Hollywood friends including Jennifer Garner, Camila Alves, Shannon Rotenberg and more.
Net-a-porter editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans was in town for the launch, which she deemed a success, noting a few styles had sold out in the first 24 hours of going live on the site. It was the second time in a month that the London-based site had touched down in Los Angeles. The first was to celebrate a collaboration with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop timed to Mother’s Day.
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