L.A. Design Show Smackdown: WestEdge Bumps Art + Design Show From Santa Monica
Suddenly, two practically overlapping shows -- one traditional, one contemporary -- battle over boldface names as Barbra Streisand switches sides and decor tribes duke it out.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show has enjoyed design-fair domination for almost two decades and consistently has lured thousands of design lovers, along with the likes of Courteney Cox, Barbra Streisand and Lisa Kudrow into Santa Monica's Barker Hangar as they perused and purchased antiques from top dealers.
This year, however, the city's highest-profile design event suddenly is facing competition for both the buying public and celebrity attendees. WestEdge, a newly minted contemporary furniture fair, laid claim to the Barker Hangar in a move that, according to one designer, "effectively pushed the Antiques Show out of the space." Each show is throwing a benefit opening party, with boldfacers serving on host committees to boost charity ticket sales and publicity. "There's going to be a lot of scrambling to get celebs to one party or the other," says the designer. Let the competitive scheduling begin.
LOS ANGELES ANTIQUES ART + DESIGN SHOW
When: Oct. 9-13; $150 for opening-night tickets (benefiting LACMA's Decorative Arts and Design Council), $20 general admission
Where: 3Labs, 8461 Warner Drive, Culver City
What: Now in its 18th year, the Antiques Show will be held at Culver City's sprawling 3Labs Studio (where Hermes recently held its new-store-opening afterparty). "This ups the ante and creates the ultimate architectural backdrop for antique pieces, but also contemporary art as well as new, limited-edition design," says co-chair Robert Willson, owner of Downtown showroom (719 N. La Cienega Blvd.), referencing the show's move toward incorporating both the old and the new. Adds host committee member Nate Berkus: "This is going to be on a whole new level from previous years."
Who: With both events angling for Diane Keaton, the Antiques Show ultimately won that round, scoring the architecturally minded actress on its host committee. Will Ferrell, Trina Turk and Kelly Wearstler also are on the list.
WESTEDGE DESIGN FAIR
When: Oct. 3-6; $85 opening-night tickets and entire fair (benefiting Heal the Bay); $30 general admission
Where: Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
What: Megan Reilly and Troy Hanson, who produced Architectural Digest's Home Design Show in New York from 2005 to 2012, have made the move to L.A. with a fair that will include more than 100 contemporary exhibitors plus other features like a Design Within Reach reading room and a cafe sponsored by Stella Artois. "Having the two events run so closely wasn't a particular concern for us," says Reilly.
Who: Although Streisand has been a reliable Antiques Show stalwart, this year, she is listed on WestEdge's host committee, along with designer Thom Filicia and Antiques Show dependables Million Dollar Decorators stars Kathryn Ireland and Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Designer Oliver M. Furth, who is co-producing this year's Antiques Show, also is on the WestEdge host committee. Playing it both ways? "WestEdge is contemporary but less exclusively designed; whereas the Antiques Show is all about one-of-a-kind," says Furth. "Think of it as ready-to-wear versus couture, and there's a market for both!"