Part Two of Two. The evening of Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The Jazz Babies Fashion Show, featuring Sue Wong's 2014 Spring Collection premier had been a tour de force. And while there was an After Party, upstairs in the Mezzanine of The Cicada Club, I couldn't wait to get to the private After Party taking place at Sue Wong's personal residence, known as The Cedars (*1), in the hills of Los Feliz. I'd only read of its opulence and glamour, and seen some photos.
Tonight, I entered with some trepidation. With all the stories of all the famous people who have been here, stayed here, or lived here. Along with all the Beautiful People here tonight, that I would get to photograph. I decided, in correlation with the photos I shot earlier at The Cicada Club for the Fashion Show, I wanted this evenings photos of the After party to be more low key, even candid . Really to represent how the Party Goers would enjoy the evening on their own. "Almost" away from cameras and lights. Almost !
So before all the guest began to arrive, I began to explore Ms Wong's home, and take some pictures of the rooms and spaces. Just to have a few images for the article, AND to do a little reconnaissance in case I'm ever offered the opportunity to do a fashion shoot here myself (that's on my Photography Bucket List).
I saw the Norma Talmadge Bedroom, and the bed where Jemi Hendrix slept, and learned that Howard Hughes had been a guest and played piano. Interestingly (perhaps only to me) as I noted the paintings on various walls, and the sculpture around the home, is that I own a collections of paintings, by Julian Ritter, which was once owned by Howard Hughes. That collection is known as the Silver Slipper Collection, and I thought as to how wonderful one of those painting would look, on one of Ms Wong's walls. [Perhaps when the movie about Julian comes out, I smile to myself].
As the guest arrived each was checked in at the front door. The Champagne flowed, everyone laughing and happy, engaged no doubt in conversation about which dress from the show they would wear. Which dress would they dare to wear ?
I was excited to see Ms Wong's home from many Points-Of-View. As a Builder myself (AutryCo), who has built my fair-share of ornate and beautiful estates throughout Southern California, and as a Photographer (GregAutryPhoto). And as a man for whom fashion and art are truly parts of my soul. Combining all these disciplines I love (ie: photography, homes, fashion, and art), is a fantasy I relish whenever I get the opportunity. For I Love creating photos of beautiful women in beautiful gowns, in beautifully decorated and furnished homes.
As the guest continued to file in, all had one thing in common. That look of awe, as they stroll about the home. For myself, I love that in restoring the home, Ms Wong sought to keep the architecture authentic . As does the Romance of her fashion designs transform a woman's innocence to that of a seductress, so does the allure of The Cedars romance, as it seduces it's visitors with each and every turn, to each and every new room and cubby.
As my eye is keen to see many of the furnishing were, I'm sure, custom made for the home. Along with the fabrics for furnishing and draperies. Visioning back to bygone days of Hollywood Glamour, I thought about all those epic old Movies. All the detail in the ceilings, columns, mouldings, and the masonry fireplaces, in all their faux finishes, venetian plaster, and gilding, surely righteously has maintained the honesty and integrity of this beautifully restored and decorated home from the epic past. A past that has sprung to new life, emboldened by Sue Wong, creating again that glamour and romance that seduces us all.
Knowing the Romantic Sensual nature of Ms Wong's gowns, along with the rich ornate detailing she incorporates, well, I expected no less in her home decor. I too appreciate detail and fine craftsmanship in my homes (AutryCo) and in my Photography I dare say. The Cedars does not disappoint.
Los Feliz is one of the original Estate neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The Cedars was reportedly built in 1926-1927. The original architect and builder are unknown . In 2004 Ms. Wong purchased the home from a builder whom had done some structural restoration, and would conclude the restoration project hiring Zoltan Papp, with the goal of bringing the `Grande Dame' back to her previous glory from the days of the Hollywood Babylon, in the 1930's.
And as Sue Wong's home seduce all who enter so does her line of glorious gowns continue to raise the bar, push creativity, and allow all women a rare and special opportunity to be the seducer.
I did shoot a couple of lovely ladies, in a couple of the rooms. The images are here for you to see. After all, I needed to practice a bit.
My evening at The Cicada Club, with Sue Wong's Jazz Babies, came to a blissful conclusion at The Cedars, up in the hills of Los Feliz. And I couldn't wait to get home and look at the images I'd taken throughout the evening. And to Share, I leave it up to you to name all the folks in the pics . Enjoy !
*1 Antique & Fine Art, Summer 2007, Hollywood Babylon, by Lynn Morgan
Published on Oct 18, 2013