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The School of Flaunt

Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!

What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More

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Shootings, Designers and Villa Blanca

Category: SOF Divas’ Diaries ®  |  Permalink

Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shootings, Designers and Villa Blanca


Just another day for my Flaunt Fab Posse!

It was a beautiful day for our outing! Oh and did we look flaunt fab too since we were off to Beverly Hills for the 2011 Maison de Luxe Designer Show House.

Yes, it was the usual cast of characters: myself, LB, Jo, KL and KC. We all met at the prescribed time at my home and then proceeded to take KC's big roomy Suburban out for our road trip. Just in case we needed room for some purchases the Suburban seemed to be the best choice. Planning ahead is always a good idea! And Rodeo Drive would be close by!

But getting back to our adventure. We had no problems on the freeway, flying along, laughing and sharing our holiday plans. As we got to the exit on the freeway, I said to KC, "What's going on here? Look at all of those helicopters in the air."

Immediately LB starts to laugh and says, "They knew we were coming and it is all about the paparazzi! Gawd I do so hate them." Of course we all started laughing but I said again, "No there is something going on around here."

Well, guess what? We drove a few miles down Sunset Blvd. and then came to a stop in a massive traffic jam! The helicopters were flying around over us and another big black Suburban went flying past us in the opposite lane with sirens sounding. Motorcycle cops appeared from nowhere. In the back seat I heard LB saying, "This is ridiculous. If they want my picture that badly I'll get out of the car." Of course we all started laughing again at her. But meanwhile I'm peering out the front windshield and thinking, "This is really strange and there is something going on!"

Was there ever!! A mad man with a revolver was shooting people in passing cars just about a half a mile from where we were now sitting in traffic! Yes if we hadn't stopped for a Starbucks break he easily could have been shooting at us. Well this makes for another interesting road trip. Fodder for our next party.

So we finally arrive at the Greystone Estate where the Maison de Luxe is being held. OMG, we were like a bunch of kids on a field trip. What wonderful things were we going to see?

Well, I can't tell you everything because it would be a book but I'll give you a brief synopsis of what really spoke to me. (This is not in order of my likes and there were many magnificent rooms that we surely loved and enjoyed too besides the ones I'll discuss.)

Let's start with Barclay Butera. The man himself was there and was he cute in his RED sports jacket! OOOPS - I forgot I was going to talk about the design. O.K., to say it was flaunt fabulous would be an understatement. It was luxurious casual at its best! What? Yes, the center of the room had four beautiful extra large leather chairs facing one another for a wonderful conversational seating. On the side of the room was the most beautiful tufted sofa in a gold fabric with at least fifteen pillows on it. I asked what it was called and found out that Barclay is considering naming it the Greystone since he designed it specifically for this show house! Loved the entire room! And of course Barclay in that Red jacket was not hard on the eyes either. Just saying.

Next would be Timothy Corrigan. His work was in the Grand Central Hall on the second floor! I flipped out over this! YES I did! Why? Because all of the furniture was covered in the richest of red materials with gorgeous fringe on the pillows, which also incorporated beading. It was just all too exquisite! I wanted to pull up the Suburban and load everything into it. Too bad if the girls didn't have a way home. Not my problem!

Then we went into the Library which had been designed by Barry Dixon! As we entered the room I could hear the women softly murmuring I love this. OMG, what now? Barry had taken two different materials in the same color family and had them strategically placed as draperies in the corners of the room. No there were not windows there! What a flaunt fantastic idea and a super way to softened a room and make it feel so rich. Then he had two rockers in the room, yes as in rocking chairs that had fringe along the bottom edge of the seat that must have been at least five inches long. It was so sumptuous! I wanted to add those chairs into my stash that was going into the Suburban! Everywhere in the room you looked at interesting pieces e.g. as: multiple world globes. You could only say it was perfect. Cocktails, a good book and Barry for conversation; could anyone ask for more? Me thinks not! Barry where were you when I was there?

Then there was the Card Room on the first floor designed by Michelle Nussbaumer. Now this was out of this world! Multiple shades of green in rich materials graced the furniture which was sitting on a black and white marble checked floor! Striking, puhleese! That would be an understatement. This room screamed beauty and sophistication. You just had to be there to see it! Love you Michelle!

And lastly there was David Phoenix! He designed the Dining room on the first floor. With a dining table that stretched probably at least fourteen feet it was surrounded by the most flaunt fab leather chairs you can imagine. They were large in proportion which they needed to be because of the size of the dining table and they had beautiful goose neck arms that you just wanted to stroke as you gazed at this table which had a finish to it that made you think it was covered in glass. The top of the table was decorated with swags of long greens, pinecones, and hurricane lamps with candles in them. And guess who was listed in the brochure for supplying some of the furniture? None other than Therein & Co. We should have known that the wonderful pieces in this room had Philip Brewley written all over them! Now I was in trouble for I truly needed a moving van. The Suburban wasn't going to hold all of these things.

Oh so much fun! Thank you to all of the designers who truly made our day memorable!

I just have to throw in a little extra something. There were people there selling Balsamic vinegars and Olive oil bread dips and marinades. The product is called Bistro Blends and I'm here to tell you that they are all flauntelicious! www.bistroblends.com And yes I did purchase.

But our day wasn't finished yet! Remember I said, Villa Blanca.

Well, we were leaving the Show House when a group of women stopped LB and asked her if she worked at Greystone. I was wondering what was going to come out of her mouth now? No she did not disappoint.

LB: "No darling I don't work here but we know everything." As she pointed to our group

The woman proceeds to ask her where they should go to eat and about parking in Beverly Hills. Oh Lord deliver me. This could take some time if LB is left to her own devices. KC immediately picked up on this too and said, "You all should go to Villa Blanca and they have Valet parking."

And then LB says, "If you want to, you can follow us there." Oh Gheez, the woman will pick up any stray in the world. We don't even know these people. Oh well, I hope no good deeds goes unpunished doesn't happen to us now!

So we had a group of women that we didn't even know following us to Villa Blanca. We arrive with them hot on our trail; LB waves to them as we proceed to enter the restaurant and I breathed a sigh of relief that she didn't invite them to join us.

For those of you who have never been there it is quite a lovely spot. Done in all whites, with a beautiful oversized floral arrangement, also in all whites at the door, it is most inviting! And I might add that the staff is very polished but quite friendly too.

Anyway, we are glad to be seated now and were all famished. Get the wine list out and order some appetizers quickly were our mantra. But as only LB can do she says to our waiter, "Has Lisa been in today?" I'm thinking who is Lisa? Little did I know that Lisa Vanderpump is one of the Beverly Hills Housewives who owns this restaurant!

The next thing I hear is the waiter saying, "Oh she just left but her husband is here. I'll have him come out." The waiter dashes off and I look at LB and say, "You sounded like you were Lisa's best friend. Do you know this woman?"

LB is laughing now and says, "Of course not."

OMG now her husband is coming out to say hello! And you guessed it. Who does he come right over to but me. I flashed LB a look like you better start talking to this man and now! So in five minutes time she is now Lisa's husband new best friend and he says, "I'll tell Lisa you were in and I hope she invites you to our next party."

What a day!

Alexandra and her Posse

Postscript: The School of Flaunt would like to express their sincere condolences to the family of John Atterberry who was killed during the shooting rampage on Sunset Blvd.

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