Coachella Diary: Day Two

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Top Two Photos: Hagop Photo

Back to Coachella coverage :)

After my early night I kicked off Saturday morning with a little brunch back at ShopStyle x PopSugar, but this time with CFDA, Mara Hoffman, Cynthia Vincent and Trina Turk. I had the opportunity to made this adorable little Cynthia Vincent purse and the brunch was a delightful affair, but the real debauchery began when my squad arrived.

Yes, I was no longer fated to be alone, but was joined by friends, Hagop (who acquired the instant position of “Official Photog”), Amanda (of Feast Fashion Faves), Kimberly (of According to Kimberly), Andrew (stylist extraordinaire) and Katie (All Glammed Up) all joined me. Whilst we had every intention of getting to the Rachel Zoe party (and despite being VIP’s!) we were not able to make it up the mountain as the event was at capacity when we made it to check in. So instead, Hagop, Katie and I headed over to the Sparrows Lodge where the most peaceful Coachella party I had ever attended was underway.

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All photos by Hagop, except the one of him in the middle obvi.

What I Wore: Dress: Temperly London via Rent the Runway Unlimited, Sunnies: Zero UV (c/o), Bracelet: Leigh Ann Barnes (c/o)

The Sparrows Lodge event was dubbed “The Retreat”, and for good reason. With by far the best selection of food and drink (from sponsors such as Golden Road and The Fat Radish), the best celeb attendees (Alexa Chung), live piano music and shade (a hot commodity in the desert naturally) resplendent with pillows and pretty linens – it was my favourite stop of the weekend – and that was without even indulging in the massages and facials that were available.

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Photos: 1,3,4,5,6,7: Hagop Photo.

What I Wore: Shorts & Bikini: Victoria’s Secret, Kimono: Delikate Rayne.

After a day of parties we decided hanging out at the hotel for a little while would be a good idea. Cue photo shoots galore. There is an amusing anecdote involving a security guard, but let’s just say what happens in Palm Springs stays in Palm Springs #OneCoconutTreeHill.

To wrap up Day Two we had a rather rambunctious dinner at Ace Hotel (thanks to a game of “I’ve Never”) and ended our evening at a random gay club in downtown Palm Springs.

Kelsi x

Ten Times Los Angeles was the Star of Mad Men


It’s almost come to a close. Tonight is the very last episode of Mad Men evah. Whether it will end as it has always begun, with a man falling from a window, or in one of the many conspiracy theories (Don Draper = DB Cooper anyone) or maybe to be really subversive, just with a storybook happy ending, it’s ending.

I’ve watched the show since its first episode, I truly believe that in its entirety it is a work of art. It’s proof in and of itself that those people who shrug and say “I don’t have a T.V” with a condescending smirk are basically philistines of the 21st century. From Jon Hamm’s micro expressions to the always on point writing of Matthew Weiner and team, it’s exceptional television and always a joy to watch. Part of me would love to see it journey through the 80′s, 90′s, the rise of the DotCom, Web 2.0 – does anyone else need to know what Don Draper thinks of Snapchat and Mark Zuckerberg?? But the rest of me knows it’s time.


So as I prepare to bid adieu, I got to thinking how I’d like to say goodbye, a fashion round up came to mind, but everyone and their great aunt has done one of those at this point. So I started to think about my personal experience with Mad Men. The show started when I was still acting, I remember as part of Central Casting I’d get casting notices for Mad Men all the time. The tales from set were legendary – once you were in at Mad Men, you were in, they kept their extra’s around, sometimes bumping them up – once you were a secretary there, they kept you.

I’d listen intently to the notice: “Brunette, shoulder length or longer hair (some times they wanted shorter hair and I swear I would have cut it), size 4-6″ I’d listen mentally checking the boxes, but every time, without fail, I was too tall. They wanted their secretarial extras to be tiny, presumably so Don Draper, at 6ft 2 could tower above them.


Mad Men is filmed, in part, at Los Angeles Center Studio’s in downtown Los Angeles. I’ve filmed there a number of times, and every time I was there I had to stop myself from creeping onto the Mad Men set. Just for a peek. This little stroll down memory lane lead me to thinking about Los Angeles’ role in the show. For a show that is iconically a New York City show – it’s filmed, almost entirely in Los Angeles and it’s surrounding area. Watching it as an Angeleno (especially one with a penchant for vintage dining, buildings, drinking….) can be quite the experience. So to honor the end of Mad Men, and my dynamically wonderous city, here is a round up of the times Los Angeles was the real star of Mad Men.

1) When The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Played Host to Rome and Sassy Betty

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This was really a spark of movie magic. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home to Los Angeles Opera, amongst other cultural treasures, became Rome for a night. The wide open plaza in downtown Los Angeles was an interesting choice, but when I think about warm bustling nights in Rome and compare them to warm bustling pre-opera nights, the essence is there and Los Angeles and the Mad Men team succesfully pulled of Rome (with the help of a few Vespa’s!)

2) Downtown Dinner and Drinks

mad-men-coles-3 mad-men-clio-awards-cicada Caseys_Irish_Pub_Mad_Men Caseys_Irish_Pub_Mad_Men_2 Cliftons_DTLA_Baltimore_Mad_Men Coles, Cicada, Casey’s, Cliftons (pictured top to bottom) Apart from having an enormous amount of alliteration in common, they also have Mad Men in common. All of these venues have played a part in the show.

Coles set the scene for Don to become an ad man, Cicada stood in for the Waldorf Astoria and the venue for the Clio Awards, Casey’s Irish Pub played New Yorks Iconic PJ Clarkes and Cliftons (currently undergoing renovation and to open soon, I really cannot wait!) played a Baltimore restaurant.

3) The Farralone House
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In “The Jet Set” Don Draper is whisked away to Palm Springs for a dalliance in bohemian decadence (an oxymoron maybe, but quite accurate). In actual fact he is not whisked away to Palm Springs at all, but Frank Sinatra’s former residence, “The Farralone”, in Chatsworth.

4) Los Angeles Athletic ClubLos_Angeles_Athletic_Club_Mad_Men_2 Los_Angeles_Athletic_Club_Mad_Men
In one of the more “no brainer” location swaps, Los Angeles Athletic Club stands in for New York Athletic club, allowing for Jon Hamm in a Speedo.

Thank you.

5) Millennium Biltmoremad-men-tea-leaves-biltmore

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has played host to Mad Men many times. Joan has been spotted drinking at the bar and Betty has taken tea in the lobby. The hotel is absolutely stunning and worth popping in for a peek of their beautiful lobby.

6) K-Town Drinking Densmad-men-betty-don-the-prince HMSBounty_MadMen

Korea Town – thanks to its vicinity to Wilshire and DTLA is home to a number of classic bars and restaurants that have retained that vintage feel. The Prince (also featured in The New Girl) and HMS Bounty are two of those bars, both of which have stood in for fine dining NYC style. Except L.A style. We do it better anyway.

At this point in writing this I’m ready to go on a Mad Men Bar Crawl. Who’s with me??

7) LAX112942-don-draper-lax-gif-imgur-mad-m-94ge

I love this walkway at LAX. It’s about the only thing I love about LAX. It’s so colourful and such a nice welcome home, every time I pass it I want to selfie by it, or take a photo, but I’m usually to luggage laden or tired to care. Still it was nice to see immortalized in this episode of Mad Men.

Fun fact though – the outside scenes at LAX – not LAX, but a defunct terminal in Ontario!

8) Dresden RoomDresdenROom_madmen Mad Men_dresdenroom

Dresden Room in Los Feliz happens to be one of my favourite L.A spots, immortalized in TV and Film many times, it was only fitting that Mad Men had their turn.

9) Los Angeles Theatre

Frustratingly I was unable to find a still from when Mad Men actually filmed at the Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway, but it was a stand in for NYC’s Broadhurst Theatre in Season 1 of the show.

10) Descanso Gardensmad-men-descanso-gardens

Descanso Gardens is somewhat of a Los Angeles secret, hovering above Glendale, in La Canada, it’s Huntington’s quieter, subtler sister and played a pit stop for the Draper’s on their way to Bobby’s Summer Camp and the Camp Diner in Season 6.


The list doesn’t really end here, Three Clubs? Canters? Musso and Franks? Also great locations, but lists generally stop at 10…. right?
For even more locations (Bob’s Big Boy? Rod’s Grill? Seriously SO MANY) here are some fab resources, so you can keep living Mad Men, long after it’s gone.

Discover Los Angeles Mad Men Guide
Curbed L.A Mad Men Guide
Franklin Ave

Alright. Off to watch the finale. SOB.

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Kelsi x

Coachella Diary: Day One

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I had every intention of doing one big Coachella post, you know, save you the Coachella fatigue. But 6 weeks later I’m finally getting round to posting about the glorious weekend and realizing that I have dozens of photos and I must subject you to a three part-er – but maybe I’m so late the fatigue has worn off and you’re all good.

After rolling with a big entourage (including my baby sister), having festival tickets and producing an event at the last Coachella, as I headed out to the desert, alone, via bus and train, I thought this Coachella has a lot of living up to do…. could it manage it?

To start off with it was quite freeing to know I had no real plans. I had a room booked, and a one way ticket to the desert. There were parties to attend, but no responsibilities. I hadn’t been this free in a long time.

I was there as a result of equal parts force of habit and because we were producing a digital event. We sent 20 bloggers a “Blogchella Survival Kit” from 25 participating brands and built a digital version of Blogchella (the blogger lounge we did last year) with Minds and Machines and the new DotFashion (yes, you can now get a .fashion address!). You can check out the whole site, all the bloggers coverage and the brands involved here.

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I digress. I checked into the Saguaro (p.s I highly recommend the train/bus ride to the desert – it’s quite easy!) and hopped across the street to the grocery store to grab my actual Coachella survival kit (…hahah) and took a power nap before heading to the Avalon (formerly the Viceroy) for the Bauble Bar x ShopStyle x PopSugar party hosted by Alessandra Ambrosio who has a new collection for Bauble Bar.

Coachella_DayThree_HagopPhoto_43 Coachella_DayThree_HagopPhoto_44 Coachella_DayTwo_Kelsi_5 Coachella_DayThree_HagopPhoto_42Pictured: Katie Stuart: All Glammed Up, Judy Elle: Vogue Villain & Lilian Babaian: Studs and Sapphires.Coachella_DayTwo_Kelsi_3ZOMG. It’s Rachel from Big Brother (and she was awesome FYI)Coachella_DayThree_HagopPhoto_41 Coachella_Dayone_KelsiSmith_40

What I Wore: Jill by Jill Stuart Dress via Rent the Runway Unlimited, Urban Expressions Purse (c/o) and Zero UV Sunnies (also c/o)
At the party I met up with the lovely Katie Stuart of All Glammed Up who became my partner in crime for the evening. Together with some of the other Blogchella gals we headed to the H&M party at the Parker. After the party there’s the after party. Which for me, was sushi with friends and my bed….the earliest I’d been to bed in some time!

Saturday was going to be a busy day.

Kelsi x