By Jenny Peters
So what do Emmy nominees do in the jam-packed week leading into the big awards show? They hop in the car and hit all the luxury gifting lounges all around Hollywood, that’s what!
Top nominees (and a number of eventual winners) turned out, including Tony Hale from “Veep,” Khandi Alexander of “Scandal” and “Bessie” fame (she was nominated twice in 2015!), Beau Bridges (“Masters of Sex”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”), Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) and a slew of other really famous faces, all looking for the goodies that the top suites were gifting.
Khandi slid right into the Maserati Ghibili from The Auto Gallery on display in the courtyard of Fig & Olive restaurant, at Doris Bergman’s Sixth Annual Emmy Style Lounge, which traditionally kicks off the gifting suite games. And while no Maseratis were gifted, Alexander and the other well-known attendees – including handsome Esai Morales from the fantastic HBO show “The Brink,” Steven Bauer and Elliott Gould from “Ray Donovan” (another great show), Doris Roberts, Shirley Jones, Jason Ritter, Lisa Ann Walter and Eric Roberts took home plenty of swag.
There were gorgeous couture gowns by Sue Wong, as well as her new fragrance; Arbonne Swiss skin care products; bespoke suits by Art Lewin Executive Clothiers; comfy Telic sandals; Purse Cases, made just for carrying your iPhone in style; and much more. We really loved the stunning Samiah Fine Clothing brocade jackets, but it was 90F in the shade that day, so we ended up sipping some Veved Ice Vodka instead of trying on those beautiful coats. The suite also gave back, doing a pre-holiday gift drive, collecting presents for kids caught up in L.A.’s foster care system.
Christmas came early at Debbie Durkin’s EcoLuxe Lounge #ChristmasinSeptember Presented by Shriners Hospitals For Children LA too, held at the Avalon in Hollywood. Santa Claus was even there, as nominees Khandi Alexander and Beau Bridges made the festive scene, along with “Game of Thrones” favorite Maisie Williams (she’s Arya Stark), Kevin Sorbo, and that cutie pie Miles Brown, who plays one of the twins on “Black-ish.”
How2Girl Courtney Sixx hosted the lounge and helped decorate the faux Christmas trees that adored the suite (the trees were later donated to Shriners Hospital for Children – Los Angeles). And of course, Christmas came early in terms of presents, as attending celebs took home new luggage from Chariot Travelware jam packed with gifts, including pretty pieces from Ammanii Jewelry and AmyMaireRadzik Jewelry, new footwear from Burnetie Shoes and Petite Sirah wine from Fete Winery. Everyone grabbed some goodies from the Infiniti Sweets Holiday Candy Bar and S’Mores Bakery, getting a sugar fix to keep them going on to the next luxury lounge.
So it was off to one of the most popular suites of Emmy Week, Extra’s 1st Annual Weekend Of | Lounge Produced by ON 3 Productions, which drew everyone from winner Jane Lynch, who already had her Emmy trophy from the weekend before (she won for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program for “Hollywood Game Night” at the Creative Emmy Awards) to a slew of nominees including Alan Cumming, Felicity Huffman, Anthony Anderson, Matt LeBlanc, Tony Hale, Richard Cabral, Michael Kenneth Williams and Jordan Peele (who was nominated for four Emmys this year).
“Extra” hosts Mario Lopez and Tracey Edmunds naturally made the scene, as did correspondents Renee Bargh and Terri Seymour, along with even more seriously famous faces, from Samuel L. Jackson and Gina Rodriguez to Taryn Manning, Laverne Cox, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Zendaya, Chris Daughtry, Jamie Pressly and Rico Rodriguez. They all needed a moving van to get all the swag from this lavish suite held at the London West Hollywood Hotel home, as Simmons Beautyrest gifted queen-size mattresses to everyone, while New Balance handed out their top-
notch Vazee Rush running shoes and tech clothing (and gave a significant donation to the Susan G. Komen foundation on behalf of the stars that stopped by).
There was some funny stuff, too, like a year’s supply of Cottonelle bathroom tissue and the WowWee Snap Pet, a selfie camera shaped like a little puppy. Centrum VitaMints (vitamins you can enjoy like a mint) had a huge Jenga game that drove Jane Lynch batty and Anthony Anderson liked the new Luxe on Demand Valet Parking App that he actually pretended to be an on-demand valet himself.
Other cool gifts at the Extra suite were the Hovertrax by Inventist, a “self-balancing personal transportation device” (kind of like an electric skateboard), Ultimate Ears portable speakers, small but with a big, rich sound and bottles of smooth aged Rum Diplomatico.
Naturally, there were fashion and beauty items, too – a cutting-edge Le Mieux Skin Perfecter exfoliating tool, Jamberry nail wraps, certificates for RA Bar Beauty hair services and laser teeth whitening from Dr. Sam Saleh, as well as Aquaswiss luxury watches, Bombata Bags, Jill Reno Collection Jewelry and DSTLD Premium Denim. Seriously, people needed a Sherpa to carry home everything; there was also a complementary year’s CRUNCH Gym membership and CRUNCH Live membership (online workouts), which will help at next year’s suite.
Finally, at the ever-popular GBK Gift Lounge held high atop the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, the stars got their traditional huge black “body bag” and proceeded to fill it to the brim. From presenting sponsor LifeCell, who gifted an all-in-one anti-aging treatment to the posh Belmond La Samanna in St. Martin, which gifted a three-night star in their five-start Caribbean resort, there was a lot to love at GBK.
Nominees Khandi Alexander, Alan Cumming, Beau Bridges, Richard Cabral and Tony Hale all hit GBK, along with a bunch of the gals from the Best Drama nominee “Orange Is the New Black,” including Abigail Savage, Dascha Polanko, Emma Miles, Selenis Leyva and Julie Lake. They found Oceanaut and Seapro watches, Alumine hair products, PlaqueHD toothpaste and H2V Skincare products and body treatments from Burke Williams Spa. They tasted Venetia Vodka, chowed down on seriously delicious sandwiches from Ike’s Place and played around in the Foto Spark booth.
But the best prize of all from the GBK Gift Lounge was the brimming gift bag from The Artisan Group, Valerie Guerreo’s consortium of handmade items ranging from jewelry to spa products to paper goods and more. Standouts included the Aussen Wolf Designs wrapped copper bracelet with green jasper beads; the Paper and Place funny Los Angeles-mapped handcrafted bottle opener by Erica Taylor; the delicate Hope Anchored gold necklace; and the stunning Madagascan Sunset Moth pendant from Debra’s Divine Designs. The Artisan Group’s selections are always the highlight of every awards’ season gifting suite run; it’s no wonder that this curated group of artisans have had their work appear in over 25 television shows; it’s all great stuff.