The Avalon Hotel hosted a one-two punch of a launch party last night. I was there for the new chef, Mirko Paderno, who has been charged with turning the servicable Blue into a more-signature Olivero. However, almost everyone else was there for the publication of “Hue” by interior designer Kelly Wearstler.
In some ways, this is savvy: The hotel gets to position its chef among lots of swank and shiny people while introducing said people to his fabulous new food. The Avalon also gets a lot more PR; it’s hard to imagine that WireImage would assign Donato Sardella to spend an evening shooting Mirko and people like, well, me, who are conspicuously neither swank nor shiny.
That said, the combination made for an odd evening. Most of the guests looked as if they belonged in Wearstler’s beautiful rooms, where it’s hard to imagine people eating anything lest the setting be marred with a greasy fingerprint. I think it was hard for them to imagine, too; while the crowd was so thick I couldn’t navigate my way from the dining room to poolside, it was easy to find waiters eager for you to pluck appetizers off their trays.
In other words, almost no one (except me) seemed to be eating; ergo, in turn, I recognized almost no one at the party except for Gwen Stefani. And that doesn’t really count, does it?
(Mirko shouldn’t feel bad about the food; no one seemed very interested in the book, either. Probably because it was a “special edition” that cost $93.)