On Wednesday October 3rd, I found myself surrounded by beautiful cars, expensive jewelry, delicious wine and spirits and exhibitors from all over the world representing one of the best shopping experiences the world has to offer.
It could only be the annual Los Angeles Luxury Review presented by RAND Luxury, an International event production company that caters to the world’s finest luxury brands. Based in Manhattan, the RAND team is best known for its “Evening of Luxury” events where RAND links up with luxury auto manufacturers to support the launch of their newest and hottest automobiles.
This year the unveilings were being brought to us by Fisker Automotive and Ducati. A portion of all the night’s proceeds went to benefit The American Red Cross. The event was held at The Peterson Museum in Beverly Hills. I arrived with my photographer Gordon Carmadelle eager to see what this years event would hold. I was lucky enough to snag an invite to last years event, and was excited to be invited back.
The party had already begun when we arrived and guests were mingling and admiring all that the luxury event had to offer. As soon as we entered I was handed a drink called the TatraKiss. It was a sweet and refreshing concoction that Gordon called “dangerous,” because the taste of alcohol was barely detectable. I had to find out more about this drink.
My investigation led me to find Francisco, a bartender at Ocean Avenue Brewery in Laguna Beach. He told me the main ingredient is called Tatratea. It is an original tea liqueur that comes in six flavors and all with varying proofs starting with a light 22 percent all the way to a strong and intimidating 72 percent!
He said that Tatratea was made in Slovakia and is fairly new to the United States. Francisco also made me a drink that he assured would make me fall in love. I assumed he meant fall in love with the drink, but since there were many eligible bachelors in the room that evening, I wouldn’t have complained if he meant otherwise. The drink was appropriately called TatraLove and was made with Tatra Bohemian which was 62 proof. It was fruity but not too sweet and beautifully presented with fresh berries and hibiscus petals. I loved it!
If you find yourself in a bar that offers Tatrateas, ask the bartender for the drink that will make you fall in love and you will see what I mean. For other recipes and more visit www.tatrateas.com.
We said good-bye to Francisco and it didn’t take long for me to become distracted by some sparkly objects. Diamonds! A diamond necklace with a beautiful blue stone was what caught my eye. I tried it on and posed shamelessly. When I asked what the price was I was told it was a meager $450. For a diamond necklace? I had to have heard wrong.
Then I found out that the main stones were cubic zirconias that were coated in diamond particles hence the name Diamond Veneers. At first I was surprised and maybe a little disappointed that the necklace I was wearing wasn’t worth a hundred thousand dollars, but if I couldn’t tell the difference then it’s likely that most folks wouldn’t either. It was still pretty and sparkly and “covered” in diamonds!
If you are looking for one site where you can buy recreational products for your home, look no further than www.dazadi.com. Dazadi is a family-owned business that sells everything you could want for your home gym, game room, kids room, backyard or patio.
At the event they were showcasing a selection of arcade games for guests to enjoy. I spoke with Josh Klaristenfeld, one of the three brothers who co-founded the company 10 years ago.
He told me Dazadi started selling basketball hoops online from a small downtown LA apartment and now has grown to offer 24/7 support, home delivery and installation on over 10,000 products. I had to put down my drink to challenge Gordon on a little one-on-one motorcycle arcade action. I won!
I think Gordon was about to challenge me to another round, but the announcement came that the unveiling of Fisker Automotive’s new model was about to begin. It was either that or he didn’t want to get beaten by a girl twice. We made our way to the center of the room where Bradford Rand stepped up to welcome us and then introduced Alexander Klatt, Vice President of Global Design at Fisker Automotive.
He asked us, “Why isn’t there an exciting car that isn’t harmful to the environment?” Well now there is! The Fisker Karma was revealed. The car was sleek and beautiful and a sea blue that Klatt calls “Laguna.”
The Fisker Karma is an electric vehicle with extended range and gets a staggering 54 miles per gallon on the highway. Klatt added, “We were really inspired to create a new or the next luxury automotive era in the automobile industry and to create a car that is harmless to the environment…”
Even if it looks beautiful the real experience is driving the car. The car is very powerful but it’s silent. It goes 50 miles totally silent.
“You have never driven anything like it,” Klatt continued. “The price is about $110,000. It’s really an investment into the future.”
Visit www.fiskerautomotive.com to sign up for a test drive.
The revealing of the Ducati Monster was about 20 minutes away and there were some tasty looking chocolate samples about 20 feet away so our next destination was a no brainer to me.
Ciel Chocolatier was offering some decadent looking treats. I met Elizabeth Chung, chocolatier and owner of the shop located in Walnut, CA just east of LA near West Covina. Surprisingly she was a dentist of all things for 25 years before deciding she wanted to go to pastry school and become a chocolatier.
There were about 10 different chocolates to sample and I didn’t put up a fight when she told me to, “try them all.” My favorite had to be a piece she called a “Brick.” It was a bite of rich, smooth and soft chocolate with just a little cocoa powder bitterness.
Gordon’s pick was a piece called “Roasted Banana” that he called “exquisite.” If you are in Walnut, CA the shop is located on 20615 E Valley Blvd, Unit D or visit the website to see all the mouth watering creations Ciel Chocolatier has to offer.
It was then time to see the latest Ducati Monster model that Bradford Rand called, “not-so-eco-friendly, very dangerous, but a lot of fun.” Josh from Beverly Hills Ducati, revealed the Ducati Monster 1100 Evo Diesel Edition. Under that sheet was a beast of a bike. He didn’t have a lot to say about it, but when they revved it up it gave me goose bumps. If you want the Ducati Monster it’s about $14,000 and you could have it by Christmas. Visit www.ducati.com to put in your order.
The night was drawing to a close, so we stopped and admired some beautiful YNY Fine Jewelry known for its natural fancy colored diamonds. Encased in glass were stunning pieces handcrafted using diamonds that were blue, pink and chocolate in color. If you are looking to glam it up with these unconventional diamonds visit, www.ynyjewels.com.
I also practiced my putt with clubs from Sweet Wood Luxury Golf that were beautifully handcrafted and almost too pretty to play with. Visit www.sweetwoodgolf.com for more.
Our last stop was the Bozeman Watch Company. This booth caught my eye because it had a cowboy on the banner. Being a girl from Wyoming, I notice these things.
Christopher Wardle started the Bozeman Watch Company in Bozeman, Montana and models his watches on ones that belonged to his grandfather. If you keep these watches wound right, he says they should last 100 to 200 years!
Each piece is expertly and carefully handcrafted with very limited quantities. So if you want to get your hands or I should I say your wrist on these uniquely majestic watches go to www.bozemanwatch.com.
Gordon and I had a fantastic time at The RAND Luxury event. The only unfortunate part was that there wasn’t enough time to visit all that it had to offer. There were more drinks to taste and jewelry to try on, but sadly the night flew by. I will say one thing, Bradford Rand sure knows how to throw a party! All of the guests were having a wonderful time as were the exhibitors. I can’t wait to go back next year!
All photos courtesy of Gorden Carmadelle unless otherwise specified.
Liesl Jackson is a writer/actress/comedian/pet sitter living in the heart of Hollywood. She loves the arts, animals, volunteering, traveling, and attempting to learn the acoustic guitar. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @SillyLiesl and follow The Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch.