After a cocktail hour, attendees retreated to an outdoor area doused in greenery, where the tablescape (an autumnal mix of floral prints, bouquets, olives, and dripping candles), received as many “oohs” and “ahhs” as the store itself. Among the table for 40 were familiar Hollywood faces such as Gabrielle Union, Dakota Fanning, Cynthia Erivo, Jessica Williams, and Melanie Winskey. And on the menu, courtesy of chef Courtney Storer, the culinary director behind Hulu’s hit restaurant drama, The Bear, an assortment ranging from chioggia beets, to wild mushrooms and cod. After dessert, a passion fruit curd, guests weren’t really in any hurry to bid their farewells. It turns out the housewarming made them feel right at home.
Last night, Ulla Johnson celebrated the opening of the New York brand’s very first Los Angeles store with a garden-style dinner and dubbed the night a “housewarming.” Not because the evening was actually hosted at anyone’s home (the designer herself no longer lives in California after a short-lived stint), but because the new West Hollywood store (which opened in August) almost looks more like a home than a retail shop. The result of a two-year process in collaboration with interior designer Kelly Wearstler, the dreamy location visually evokes, if not immerses, visitors in, the essence of the brand.
Some might even perhaps call the look and feel of the new store quintessentially Californian. “I get asked all the time if I’m from L.A., and I’m such a ride-or-die New Yorker,” the East Coast-bred designer shared with the table ahead of dinner. “But I guess, I don’t wear black all the time, and I think there’s something about the work that I do—the color, the light, the sense of ease, and the free-spirited energy—that people associate with the West Coast. So I think it was a long time coming for us to open our storefront here.”