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Red Carpet Premieres for The Revenant & The Finest Hours

For January, there has been a lot of buzz for the new movies of the season. Two of those films have been in the action/adventure category and both have been inspired by true stories. First is “The Revenant”, which is a story that was adapted from a fur trapper named Hugh Glass’, who endured harsh conditions and events in the wilderness of Montana and South Dakota in 1823.

Revenant-LA-Premiere-Pictures leonardo dicaprio annd tom hardy Since its initial release on December 25th 2015, the film and its actors have been collecting all kinds of awards and is one of the favorites, as we approach The Oscars. “The Revenant” leading men, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, have been seen at many red carpet events and are looking very GQ-esque while hanging out together in LA. Leonardo is dressed in a more traditional style with his deep navy two-button suit jacket, but spices it up with accents of a textured grey tie and a crisp white button-down. Tom Hardy chose to be a little more flashy and less conventional in his three-piece navy suit with a modern sheen, two-tone skinny tie that was complete with a chain link tie tack, and a lapel pin. Some three-piece suits look too prom-like, but Tom does it right with this one.

Chris-Pine-The-Finest-Hours-Movie-Premiere-Red-CarpetThe other film that is soon to be released and also stems from true events is “The Finest Hours”. A daring officer in the Chatham Massachusetts Coast Guard, Daniel Cluff, and his crew set out to rescue thirty sailors who are trapped inside the SS Pendleton, which was split in two by a huge storm in February 1952. Chris Pine is one of the lead characters and is shown here with mixed sartorial results on the red carpet at the world premier. He is dressed in a great taupe-grey colored suit, but there is just something wrong about the button placement in the jacket. They are set two high, making the lapels look short, which also makes his torso appear not long and lean. Chris leaves his look a little more on the casual side with his open collar, but it would have looked a little more put together with a tie that had some purple to coordinate with his pocket square.

Holliday+Grainger+Premiere+Disney+Finest+Hours in ellie saab

In contrast, his female co-star Holliday Grianger is an absolute stunner in her exquisite black Elie Saab gown that had an equally plunging neckline, as compared to the deep slit in the front. Holliday accessorized with a chic belt, platform sandals, ruby red lips, and I imagine lots of Hollywood Tape to keep things together!

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Infographic: The Kurti Trend

Our friends over at Jabongworld, who specialize in Southeastern Asian garb, assembled an infographic for us about the Kurti, a women’s clothing option that is popular in the East but less-than-well-known in the West. Click on the thumbnail image below to open a bigger version and learn something new about modern Eastern fashion for women!

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2016 Critics’ Choice Awards Red Carpet Review

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.

jason stratham and fiancee

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.

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Paris Men’s Fashion Week 2016

Though many have grown to expect the darkness of the avant-garde style normally displayed during Paris Fashion Week, recent years have turned away from this, focusing on lighter themes and colors. This year has continued moving away from the edginess of tight blacks and whites, instead looking to colors and flowing silhouettes. These are two of my favorite shows from over the past week.

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten was the only member of the famed Antwerp Six to present a collection this week in Paris (Ann Demeulemeester’s eponymous label did have a show, but the label is currently headed by Sebastien Meunier). Unlike his colleagues, Van Noten’s energy has not shown any sign of slowing down since his graduation from the Antwerp Academy in 1980, and certainly shows none this year, as he presented a Men’s’ Fall/Winter 2016 collection full of eye-popping eccentricities and flair. Patterns and embroideries snaked and crept across coats, jackets, pants, and shirts, drawing attention with their variety of colors and shapes.

Interestingly, military patches were sewn on sleeves chests, but were turned and mirrored to create new patterns, giving a playful twist to what is normally a symbol of serious authority. Most notably, something closely resembling a bulletproof vest was adorned with a number of colorful patches, giving it the appearance of a majestic knight’s armor. Slim and loose trousers alike found their way on to the runway, sporting a variety of silky, starched, gleaming, smooth textures. While the show seemed like a mixing pot of colors, details, intricacies, and ideas, it seemed to boil down to a wearable fantasy. The beautiful uniqueness and details Van Noten adds fit with the standard format of pea coats, bomber jackets, trench coats, and button-down shirts to create something amazing and new.  

Swedish brand Acne Studios has always ridden the fine line between contemporary wear and high end fashion, with their minimalistic and highly wearable basic pieces next to their more innovative and runway-esque designs. This season continues with a blending of the two styles, showcasing simple coats, suede button-downs, wool cardigans, and pants decorated with oversized buttons, extra buttons, and buttons as seams. On top of what seems to be a button motif, there were stitched on strips of fabric and a few intentionally undone extra long cuffs on the wrists of shirts.


Boho chic inspirations were obvious here with the loose and relaxed vibes of each silhouette. Large sections of uninterrupted fabric showed off the rich textures on each garment: the visible fuzziness of a navy oversized wool coat, the softness of a casually unbuttoned suede vest, the shining smoothness of bright green pair of leather pants. Long hair, often covering eyes, and bandannas adorned heads and necks, following the hint of 80’s resurgence set by the high-waisted and loose pants many looks featured. One thing that may surprise those familiar with Acne Studios is the lack of a heavy androgyny focus the brand displayed in other recent collections. Regardless, the show stayed true to the core characteristics of the brand, with its minimalistic but unique focus.

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Interview with Ani Keshishian of L.A. Banquets & Anoush Catering

For reviews.

We at 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.

la-banquets-logo    ACC-30YEARS-2

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.

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CONTEST: Win a Steel Rose Gold Bracelet From Maria Shireen!!

Happy 2016 everyone! Time for the first contest of the year at! 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!

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