Jason Wu has seen and done many things— from outfitting First Lady Michelle Obama to winning a CFDA Award in 2008. But there is one thing that the 29 year-old Taipei-born, Connecticut-raised wunderkind has never done before: explore Los Angeles.
“I have only ever come work and usually am there for 48 hours, so I’ve never really seen L.A.,” says Wu.
So, upon the occasion of the designer’s personal appearance and exclusive luncheon at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills — showing his most divine looks hot off the runway —Saks took the opportunity to show Wu the City of Angels.
Saks called upon Angeleno Petra Flannery, the über stylist who outfits the likes of Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis — oftentimes in glam looks by Jason Wu. Flannery’s striking and artistic style has paved the way for her to be listed in the top three on Hollywood Reporter’s prestigious The 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood issue.
Wu and Flannery have worked together for years, collaborating on red carpet looks and shoots. Flannery has long been interested in art, which influences her sartorial choices. “I studied art and architecture in school,” says Flannery.” It all comes back to art.” Fashion, however was always in her blood: her mother’s first job was at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, managing the Pucci boutique.
On Monday Flannery took Wu around with SaksPOV LA to visit her favorite spots — hidden gems, if you will —and talked fashion, art and inspiration along the way.
First stop: Gray Gallery
Part design boutique, part fine jewelry emporium, Gray Gallery serves as a haven for Flannery when she’s pulling for shoots or seeking style stimuli. Among the brilliant ceramic pieces by Peter Lane and jewelry by Gray owner Vram Minassian, Flannery and Wu become fixated with an estate Fred Leighton gold and silver cuff topped off with a diamond-eyed owl as well as an original Boucheron brooch decorated with four jewel-eyed ones.
“I love owls,” coos Wu, for whom the owl is a brand element on accessories. “They’re night hunters who can turn their heard 360 degrees. And they go Woo Woo, which sounds like Wu Wu. They’re pretty neat.” Wu personally collects owl trinkets.
After an hour perusing the wares, Minassian gives Wu a gift — an antique sculpture. “It’s an owl!” exclaims the designer. “I’ll add it to my collection.”
8751 Melrose Avenue
Where to fine vintage and contemporary jewelry, chic and eclectic accessories, decorative objects and one of a kind pieces.
Next up: LEAD APRON
LEAD APRON, named for the lead cloak that is draped over a person during an X-ray, is a small and serene contemporary art gallery filled with a profuse number of rare art books. Run by Jonathan Schilder-Brown, the gallery houses original work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cy Twombly, as well as signed prints and multiples of famed artists of the Post-War and Contemporary periods.
Art Gallery and rare bookstore
Last stop: Milk Studios Hollywood
The recently opened L.A.-outpost of Milk Studios is the “ultimate place to shoot,” says Flannery, whose husband Willie Maldonado spearheaded the opening of Milk in L.A. which is pristine with its travertine exterior. “After a shoot, I love to sit out and enjoy the plaza.” And that’s just what Wu and Flannery did, sipping ice-cold Veuve Clicquot in the Pacific sunset.
Milk Studios Hollywood
855 N. Cahuenga Boulevard
Photographed by Tracy Boulian
In the Gallery: Jason Wu makes a rare Los Angeles stop with his recent collection at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills today for an intimate fashion show and lunch. (click ‘more images’ at the top right of the post)