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As the awards season comes into full swing, celebrities are busy running from one red carpet to the next. This week, it was to the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA for the 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, which honored the finest in cinematic achievement. Some of the winners this year were: “The Big Short” for Best Comedy; “Mr. Robot” for Best Drama Series; and “Mad Max: Fury Road” for Best Visual Effects.
The red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Awards had some new faces and some very familiar ones. One couple that has been keeping a low profile since their surprise birthday party/wedding on August 5th of this year is Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux. Jennifer is there to support Justin, who was nominated for “Best Actor in a Drama Series” in The Leftovers. She has on a sea glass colored, spaghetti-strap gown by Saint Laurent by Heidi Slimane that has a daringly deep frontal slit to make up for the straps of fabric sewn on the bustline and droopy bodice. The color of Jen’s dress is fantastic on her and her thin-strapped metallic Jimmy Choo sandals really show off her long lean legs, but the design is not so thrilling. Justin is bringing back the skinny tie, thin lapels, and pairing it with leaner leg trousers in his Givenchy black suit, which is a modern style that fits him well.
Another couple who gleamed on the red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica was newly engaged Jason Stratham and former Victoria Secret Model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Jason and Rosie also jumped onto the Saint Laurent band wagon for this red carpet. Rosie was as dazzling as her smile with her asymmetrical neckline black gown that also had killer front slit. She accessorized with a great textured black clutch, linear diamond earrings, and silver strappy sandals. Although, I bet that her new engagement ring was her favorite accessory. Jason looks very happy and debonair in his Saint Laurent tux that also had similar skinny details as Justin Theroux.
Also, following in the trend of daringly deep dress slits was mom-to-be Liv Tyler. Liv is glowing as she shows off her “baby bump” in a Cushnie Et Ochs creation. I’m not a huge fan of the Dolman sleeve, cape-like top, but Liv pulls it all off flawlessly.
We at cefashion.net had the pleaseure of interviewing Ani Keshishian, the Director of Human Resources at L.A. Banquets. At L.A. Banquets, Ani has assembled a close-knit team that keeps the business operating smoothly. In addition to the business’ success, she places high value on each employee and has established an environment that fosters personal growth. Ani embraces her personal motto, “the best attitude is gratitude”, in several charities and actively participates in the SAK Foundation.
Please tell us a little about yourself – what’s your job exactly, how long you’ve been at this, a few details about your family life, your favorite food/ dishes to see at a large catering gig, what made you decide to work in catering anyway?
I am USC alumni and I also have a BS in Psychology and MBA. As the wife of Vrej Sarkissian, CEO of L.A Banquets and Anoush Catering [Twitter accounts], I wanted to put my efforts into our personal business rather than the corporate world and allow our team to excel.
How did you become an expert in throwing parties/ celebrations in the first place? Advice for wannabes?
I love entertaining. From a younger age I would help my family throw our celebrations and got involved with each of our events, from birthday parties to weddings and more. I come from a deep culture that loves to enjoy life’s moments and that throws extravagant events for every special occasion so I grew up with people that become the greatest event professionals because of our shared passion. The biggest mistake for wannabes is that they overthink it. They overthink the event and they over leverage themselves. Really creating an environment with experts and letting them lead and do what they do best will get them to their final destination.
How many people does it take to make a successful catering service, one that runs smoothly and efficiently? What are the roles involved?
There isn’t really a magic number. The magic is in the attention to detail and the passion for what they do. At Anoush is our mission is to bring people together over an amazing meal and create memories that last a lifetime. With that passion a few people can do so much more.
What’s something about catering or working in the catering business that most people take for granted, or don’t realize is very time consuming or intensive?
How hard we work behind the scenes. After 30 years in the business we have worked on making things easy for our clients. The simplest of advice may have taken 10 years to not only know exactly what to say but also be able to execute on our side. Our chefs work tirelessly each day and our team makes everything seamless so that you can feel like a guest at your own event.
What are your general rules for throwing an event through your service? What do you expect from your staff every time?
Commitment to the guest experience and to keep a smile on your face. Every event is different and every guest has their own needs. Treating everyone the same and with a smile is the key to success.
What’s the gamut of events you serve for? How long has Anoush been in the catering business?
For the past 30 years Anoush has hosted events of all kinds. From social events to corporate parties to fundraisers and more.
What’s the biggest event Anoush’s done so far?
We have a 3,500 person catering event for the Students Run LA Association upcoming on February 14th.
What’s the funnest?
Every event is fun!
What’s the weirdest?
One thing that we have learned is that no event is really weird other than out of the ordinary. Everyone has a reason to host what they think is their ideal event. Part of the magic is becoming a part of their vision and making it a reality.
What advice do you have for people when comparing different catering services?
Do your research before you go anywhere. Ask around. Explore your options. And make a list. A list of what you think is most important and ask them how they are going to get you there.
Tell us about the sister company, LA Banquets. How long has it been around? Target customer?
L.A. Banquets has existed since 2010. We have always had the venues that comprise L.A. Banquets. They were called the Anoush Banquet Halls which is also the name for the catering company. We realized that for each to grow and expand on their own they needed to be distinct companies. We have been able to expand Anoush and make it even better than before and do the same with the venues as well.
Tell us about the different venues available through LA Banquets, and which work best for what types of events. What makes these spaces special compared to, say, a conference hall at a local hotel?
The L.A. Banquets venues are fit for every type of event and we have hosted every type of event in each. The Brandview Ballroom is an historical landmark that was built in the 1920’s. When you want to go big, go with the Brandview Ballroom in Glendale. It’s one of L.A.’s most opulent wedding venues, offering 13,000 ornately designed square feet of event space for your wedding reception, anniversary party, family reunion, corporate event, or quinceañera. It is also the largest banquet hall & wedding venue in Glendale, CA.
Le Foyer Ballroom in North Hollywood offers eye-popping elegance for up to 550 guests. It’s more than just a venue for your wedding reception, bar or bat mitzvah, or other milestone event. Le Foyer is an experience that your guests will never forget. We have customized the venue, and offer affordable options to make your special day even more special.W hen you look at the Glenoaks Ballroom, several different words or phrases will come to mind: classy, spacious, elegant, attention to detail. Gleaming, imported marble and handcrafted woodwork lend stylish, classic, and historical elegance to every inch of the venue. The marble captures every glimmer of light from the luminous chandeliers, creating a radiant, breathtaking atmosphere. Want a different look? L.A. Banquets can bring in alternate materials for the dance floor, drape the walls in your choice of fabric and color, and customize the venue to match your personal style. As our most affordable venue the Galleria Ballroom is still one of our crown jewels and you will never feel as though we have spared our quality for cheap and inexpensive options. If Jane Austen and Downton Abbey are your guilty pleasures, then you’ll feel right at home in the Galleria Ballroom. When the wooden doors open, your guests will step into a room worthy of the Darcys and the Crawleys. This classic masterpiece has a Victorian design, high ceilings, marbled foyer and a capacity of 250. Open seven days a week we invite you to take a trip back in time on a tour of the ballroom today.
Similar to previous question: what’s something about venue-operating and renting that most people take for granted or don’t realize is very time consuming or intensive?
The attention to detail that has already been put into the venue. Placement of dance floors, head tables, the design. A successful venue has flexibility and has been planned and executed well.
Do you have any specials, with either company, coming up that you would like to alert people in LA about?
Yes, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary and are offering promotional pricing for all new bookings. [Editor’s Note: Check out the LA Banquets promotions page for the special!]
I’ve always wondered: who cleans up after BIG venue parties anyway? Does LA Banquets have its own rub and scrub crew?
We do. We take great pride in our venues and want to make sure that we are in the finest of shape not only for your event but also for the tours that we give seven days a week.
Happy 2016 everyone! Time for the first contest of the year at cefashion.net! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re giving away a piece of women’s jewelry valued at $45!
Maria Shireen prides itself in producing high quality jewelry, and the items from the Bittersweet Collection are no different. Check out their shop for some examples, especially the rose gold ionized plated finish bracelet that we are giving away!
Now, there’s a few ways to enter for a chance to win. One way is to fill out the form below. Another way is to follow Maria Shireen on Instagram and then fill out the below form, making sure to enter the name/ handle(s) you used to follow MS on social media in the third text field. You can get an additional entry for following on Instagram and giving your email!
Contest is open to US and Canadian residents, 18+ years. One entry per person please. End date is January 26, 2016 at 11:59pm. Email-supplied entries may be added to the Maria Shireen newsletter subscription list upon entry. Good luck, everyone!
One of our most popular viewing events is only weeks away, the Super Bowl! As such, I wanted to send tips on how to throw the best party for the game; Anoush Catering helped in this write up of how to easily transform your MAN CAVE into an awesome Super Bowl party space. Anoush Catering is the preferred caterer at the most amazing venues in Los Angeles, and is celebrating it’s 30th year. Follow their Director and our friend Ani Keshishian’s tips below and you’ll be ready for an awesome super bowl party to remember!
1. Table Set Up – Figure out the best place to set up your table. Think about feng shui, it should be out of the way for new guests as they arrive, but convenient enough for people to serve themselves and not get in the way while the game is on
2. Invites – use online services like Paperless Post, or Facebook, use an event specific decorative design, for RSVP’ing, plus one’s and deadlines should be listed to plan accordingly, also, be specific with what you’ll provide, and what they can bring
3. The Table
Food – organize the table into different sections for an easy flow:
- Bite sized snack section – chicken wings, chili, mini meatballs, sausage snacks, chicken fingers, chips & salsa with guacamole, bean dip, bowls for potato chips, snack mix, popcorn, etc.
- Vegetable platter section – carrots, celery, cucumber, Romaine lettuce, Dill pickle
- Main entree section – create your own sandwich, buns can have team or referee flags on them, plate bun options (whole west, white, gluten free, etc.), include assortments of spreads and dressings (mayonnaise, chipotle mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, honey mustard), selection of cold cuts (turkey, ham, salami, roast beef, chicken, pastrami, etc.), toppings should be plated (tomatoes, pickles, onions, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, jalapeños, peppers, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar), 2nd entree is pizza (cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian style, veggie, etc., make sure they’re plated and not in box as the box takes up space
- Side salads section – mixed green, caesar (ramekins of ranch dressing, blue cheese, caesar, vinaigrette, croutons, bacon bits)
**Also take into account dietary restrictions with the table and have vegetarian and healthy options in addition to what’s listed above.**
4. Dessert (on same table, but different section) – football themed decorations, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, lollipops, rice krispie treats, chocolate pudding in cups
4. Dessert (on same table, but different section) – football themed decorations, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, lollipops, rice krispie treats, chocolate pudding in cups
5. Drinks – cold beer in bottles and cans (Coors, Budweiser, other high end ones), in buckets with ice on table, or in a cooler next to the table, liquor (pre-made drink in punch bowl, mixed drinks with green food coloring to look like grass, or that are colors of each team), bottled water, soda
6. Silverware / napkins – all clear plastic platters, plates and glasses durable enough to hold food, but can easily fold up to throw away, forks, knives, spoons that all match, napkins can match the desserts colors
7. Table cloth – colors of linens from the teams playing (yet to be determined per the play offs), or use a football field print. Also, have a simple floral arrangement on the table for women attendees to admire.
8. Trash – large trash can near the table so guests can throw their trash away throughout the day, rather than a large mess at the end of the game.
9. Games – create scorecards and place on the table so guests can grab for any betting (on the game, and commercials too)
10. Fun Treats – cigars on the table for the winning team to celebrate
For celebrity fashion.
On January 10th, the 73rd Annual Golden Globes was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The event is considered the kick-off to the awards season and the winners have been used in the past to gauge who will be the front-runners for the Oscars. The Golden Globes, which are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to honor excellence in TV and Film, as opposed to some of the other award ceremonies, has a little bit more of a party atmosphere with the celebrities sitting at dining tables and free to mingle during the event. There is also more of a playful fashion license when it comes to the red carpet.
For the ladies, Irish actress and model Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser in series “Outlander” is a head-turner in this sexy creation by Alexander McQueen. The black negligee-style gown is overlaid with a sheer skirt with frilly bottom and matching cap sleeves that trim the lace top. With the trend for revealing as much body parts as possible, it is refreshing to see how sexy one can look without having everything exposed. Caitriona’s pulled back hair, sparkly dangle earrings, and red lips are the perfect accompaniment.
Another unique gown was worn by Jane Fonda. She arrived to the red carpet at The Golden Globes in a couture creation by Yves Saint Laurent. Jane’s shapely figure is still evident with the dress’s full length pencil skirt, but gets lost in the textured, ruffled caplet. There is just too much going on from her chin to her waist and all I can think of is a clam shell, when looking at her.
The guys also had their fair share of poetic license when it came to fashion. American Horror Story actor Denis O’Hare made a very unusual choice in footwear to accompany his black and white check sports coat. Denis walked a little taller in these glorious platform strap sandals by Christian Louboutin, which definitely added some spice to the night.
The Rock and actor Jason Statham pulled the velvet card when choosing their tuxes for the Golden Globes. The wine color that Dwayne Johnson chose is right on trend, but it is a whole lot of velvet for a guys his size. Jason’s deep chocolate brown jacket is a nice rich tone, but I am not a fan of the shawl-collar style lapels. It just reminds me of the old “smoking jackets”
Jack Erwin should be your first stop when shopping the web for dress shoes. They know what they’re doing with a stunning selection of bluchers – beautiful, high-quality, and thoughtfully-designed.
Wait, what’s a blucher, you ask?
A blucher is a style of shoe similar to a derby dress shoe. The front part of the shoe, starting behind the toe and extending through the eyelets, is made of a single piece of leather (in other words, the leather is “one cut”).
Bluchers are named after the 18th century Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, and he commissioned a boot to provide his troops with better footwear. What a nice guy. This particular design was adopted by armies across Europe, and it has since become a fashion statement around the world.
Much like von Blücher of years past, Jack Erwin started out just wanting to create a product to be proud of. Products they needed and wanted, yet couldn’t access.
This particular shoe, the Mitch as it’s called, is part of the Foster Collection and is available in either walnut or black colors. Match the walnut shoe with a tan belt and you’ve just added some pop to those navy or gray slacks.
The Mitch has a straightforward profile for a shoe that will never shout, but dang, does it catch your eye. You could say it’s designed for the simple man. And sometimes the simple man prefers to do the talking himself.
Of course, dress codes these days are often relaxed, and a pair of Jack Erwins goes well with jeans, adding a touch of formality. Choice of shirt is up to you.
These dress shoes are fully leather lined with padded insoles, have hand-stitched leather outsoles, and are handcrafted in Spain. When your feet and reinforced stacked heels hit the pavement, the “clip clop” sounds will put some pep in your step and have you feeling confident heading to your next destination.
Be part of Jack Erwin’s journey to make high-quality shoes accessible to everyone, and check out their collection.