Max Gill Design
Floral designer Max Gill does the opposite of keeping it simple. Instead, the designer embraces the complexity of wild plants by adapting them to interior environments. Gill favors foraged blooms, along with rare botanicals from local Berkeley growers. These are no ordinary arrangements, and Gill’s unique eye lends an earthy seasonality to every space he and his team touch. Next time you pass through Chez Panisse or Zuni Café and find yourself wanting to scoop up the floral arrangements and take them home, ask after the designer—it’s probably Gill.
The Plant Library
702 Harrison St Suite A, Berkeley
There are few rooms more soothing than one packed with plants. Abundant greenery is the niftiest tactic to summon nature, induce calm, or warm up a scant tablescape or too-roomy room. But buying enough plants to echo the garden of Eden is costly, never mind the time involved in finding the perfect royal fern or tallest fiddle-leaf fig. Then we discovered the Plant Library. With both an East (NYC) and West (SF) Coast presence, this smart start-up has been a godsend—and best of all, it’s sustainable. The process couldn’t be more straightforward: Pick a bevy of plants or tabletop arrangements—thriving potted cacti, evergreens, or desert greens—to pack a space as big or small as your needs demand. The Plant Library will deliver them for your event, and when you’re done, these short-term party guests are collected and rented again.
Founded by Paris-born Lana Elie, FLOOM is an online floral delivery service. It is incredibly streamlined. The site is easy to navigate and the arrangements come looking exactly how you order them. The team works with local floral designers in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles to make sure everything is fresh and delivered intact.
If you’re going to open a flower company, you might call it something sweet and whimsical. If you’re going to open a flower company with wit and irreverence, you might call it Pigsty. Which is exactly what Hope Sword did. Sword’s wild and free-flowing florals have accented many of goop's haunts in California, including Little Prince and Jenni Kayne. When this Venice-based doyenne’s not tucking in a Malibu/Santa Barbara/Palm Springs wedding tent, she’s sprinkling her zero-waste bouquets in the windows, tables, and rafters of local eateries and boutiques. (You can also stock up on Pigsty’s sleeves of blooms at the Butcher’s Daughter, the Waterfront Café, Rainbow Acres, and more—weekly.) And when she’s doing none of the above, she’s usually foraging the California hills for grasses, poppies, passionfruit vines—anything green, wild, and beautiful. Sword's arrangements are nontraditional—imagine mashups of dahlias, garden roses, protea, ranunculus. And they're so rich with shape and quirky personality, you may catch yourself waving back at one of the hand-shaped leaves in her bouquets. She's hyperattentive to detail but also flexible when working with clients. After all, it takes a certain level of vision…
A bouquet of wildflowers and roses landed on the desk of a goop editor recently, and everyone in the office gaped. The light pink and yellow flowers were stunningly arranged and so fresh you could smell them ten desks away. It was the Platonic ideal of a bouquet—thoughtful and artistic and perfect. This was our first introduction to FLOOM, a relatively new online floral-delivery service. It was founded by Paris-born Lana Elie, who has held creative roles at high-end luxury brands across the globe. The service is incredibly streamlined. The site is easy to navigate and the arrangements come looking exactly how you order them. The service works with local floral designers in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco to make sure everything is fresh and delivered intact.
Emma Feil Photography
Emma Feil is well-known around Los Angeles, and for good reason: She’s the master of candid occasion shots—be they weddings, home interiors, birthday parties, or a special portrait of your newborn. Feil manages the impossible with kids—unstaged, active shots of little ones in motion, often looking directly at the camera (not easy). Many of the pictures featured on some of our favorite websites, like Clare V and Ariel Gordon, are stellar examples of Feil’s product-based work.
We recently attended a desert feast, cooked under the stars and inches from our table by Moonrise Standard: platters of lamb so tender we could pull it apart, bowls of spicy hominy, crunchy salads, and an incredible orange polenta cake. The surest sign of a great meal: Everyone stopped talking. Feasts are typically seven courses and emphasize whatever is best that is seasonal and local. The company hosts events throughout California and is available to cater smaller-scale parties and dinners.
West Coast Music
9595 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Jim Eppolito has been running his full-service production company for over two decades: He knows what he’s doing. West Coast Music specializes in what the company describes as “record-industry quality” music for events—which could be as large as the Golden Globes or as small as an intimate wedding for less than a hundred guests. The company has relationships with big-name talent like Bruno Mars and Stevie Wonder, as well as full orchestras, dance troupes, bands, and DJs.
We have often found that the realities of hosting an outdoor sleepover have a way of stalling plans. Camp’d Out is a full-service luxury tent company that accommodates off-the-grid locations with ease. Pick a patch of desert or an unoccupied hillside (with permission, of course) and this female-founded company will handle the rest. Tents are spacious and decked out with comfortable blow-up mattresses, organic sheets, rugs underfoot, and handy storm lamps. Camp’d Out will also tailor the campsite to your event with heaters, a camp butler to help with the drinks, a fire pit to ward off the chill (and toast a few s’mores), and an outdoor lounge area to maximize the under-the-stars experience. Go big and book Moonrise Standard to cook a feast. You won’t regret it.
Night and Market Song Catering
Kris and Sarah Yenbamroong have all of LA under the spell of their interpretation of Thai street food—served with their well-curated, biodynamic wine list. Kris Yenbamroong has no formal training, but no matter: He learned how to cook in both Bangkok and the kitchen of old Thai mainstay Talésai. Not a week goes by without a handful of goop staffers crowding a table at one of the couple’s three Night + Market restaurants in Silver Lake, West Hollywood, and most recently, Venice. Night + Market Song’s flavorful, vegetarian-friendly Thai food is also available for catering. One (very appealing) option is for chef Yenbamroong to come and set up kitchen in your home to personally cook for a dinner party or small event. For weddings and larger events, the whole team gets involved. Serving plates of crab fried rice; short rib curry with crisp, oil-slick roti for dipping; the sweetest coconut sticky rice; and eye-wateringly spicy papaya salad at your party is unexpected and significantly more exciting than boilerplate hors d’oeuvres. Available in the Los Angeles area only.
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