On my great shopping excursion to Beverly Hills, we drove downtown on Canon Drive past Spago and Fred Hayman’s but stopped at the Montage Beverly Hills, www.montagebeverlyhills.com just before Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s restaurant. The Montage is Beverly Hills newest luxury hotel and I was there to meet celebrity fashion stylist, Joe Katz. Joe is the hotel’s in-house stylist and he’s also the fashion commentator for the Oscars, you may even recognize him. He’s the man in charge of Beverly Hills glitz and glamour.
Beverly Hills is a 5.7 square mile city with only 30,000 residents making it North America’s most luxurious village. The streets are pristine and everything here is so perfect it’s like one giant movie set. Here you’ll find over 900 posh retailers and top talent agencies.
For a fee, Joe will shop for you. He’ll either bring clothes in to your room or take you out shopping on a one-on-one, very personal basis. He may take you to Prada, Goucci, or Armani depending on what he discovers in a 30-minute private consultation. He’ll help you shop for clothes, jewellery, gifts or will help you with a complete wardrobe make over. Joe’s fees are in the range of $1,500 for half a day or $2,400 for a full, of course depending on what you want him to do, the prices increase.
Before we went shopping, Joe treated me to a tour of one of the suites at the Montage. A luxurious one bedroom suite with 3 bathrooms, an office, kitchen, 3 balconies, a giant wall screen tv, 5 walk in closets, an intelligent toilet, automatic curtains, tv in the wall above the bathtub and of course, a personal chef. The daily rate is $7,200 per night and if you want a rooftop cabanna, that will be an additional $300 a day but includes specialty waters, fresh fruit and wi fi.
We go out shopping and Joe points out Anto, a distinctive shirtmaker. Inside the store the walls are lined with bolts of fabric and it’s said you can get a custom designed and crafted shirt made overnight if you want to pay the price.
We walk into Stephen Webster, a posh fewellery store with a long client list that includes the late Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. Today, celebrity clients range from Madonna to the Ozzie Osborn and many more he wasn’t about to list. The jewellery style is unique; precious stones covered with clear quarts to create a stunningly mysterious opaque look. Keeping my modest budget and passion for food in mind, Joe picks out a coral crab ring surrounded in diamonds for only $12,500 (it was on sale). Upstairs in the No Regrets Lounge (yes, we’re still in the jewellery store) he hands me a glass of prosecco and a few chocolates from Madamme Chocolate truffles. The chocolate shop just down the road is owned by Hasty Torres, wife of the most famous chocolatier in the world, Jacques Torres (Paris) and yes, they are divine!
In the No Regrets Lounge there is a series of black and white pictures, a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. In the room is a long black table. Here is where special client dinners and exhibitions events take place. These are mostly catered by Chef Mark Hicks of London. There is no mistaking the money in Beverly Hills, even the Rodeo Drive name on the street sign is studded in diamonds.
Our next stop is Palmaletto, a jewellery store with custom made jewellery from artisans in Milan. Here, they’re known for their clarity of stones set in rose gold. Each piece absolutely pops it’s so brilliant. Each piece in the collection I’m being shown today is comprised of one of a kind pieces known as the Cinderella collection. It’s named Cinderella because there are so many jewels on each piece that they simply cannot be sized to fit. So like the ruby red slipper, if you try it on and it fits – it’s yours. With only 20 pieces in the collection, Palmaletto is proud to have 8 pieces in their Beverly Hills store. The others are divided between Monaco, Dubi and Japan. I try on a Sergio Sylvestri bracelet costing a mere $33,000. My heart sinks at the sheer beauty of it and the fact that I’ll never own it. We walk back to the Montage and I say my goodby’s to Joe empty handed, but that’s ok, he doesn’t charge me a thing for not buying anything. Check it out!