“The owner collects homes,” one guest said.
“Lady Gaga shot her ‘Paparazzi’ video here…and I’m convinced there are a few ghosts,” another said.
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The circa 1926 Villa de Leon was the subject of much intrigue Wednesday night, when Roger Vivier took over the Italian Revival manse near the Getty Villa in Malibu for its annual Los Angeles holiday dinner, bathing it in sensual red light.
Creative director Gherardo Felloni, Laura Brown and Kiernan Shipka hosted the fete, which began on the balcony overlooking the Pacific — and the Pacific Coast Highway — with Champagne and a caviar station.
“We came for this, it’s very Roger Vivier,” said Felloni, chitchatting with Bella Heathcote about the home. “When we came for the first time a few days ago, I immediately said Lady Gaga shot ‘Paparazzi’ here, she fell from the balcony.”
Felloni has been on a swing through the U.S. Last week, he was awarded Designer of the Year at the 37th annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at a ceremony and gala dinner at Cipriani South Street in New York City. The award was presented to Felloni by Lea Michele. It honored him as he enters his sixth year at the brand, which he’s helped evolve into a full accessories house, as evidenced by the array of stunning bags, jewels, gloves and shoes worn by guests on Wednesday night, including the emerald Strasse buckle clutch carried by Jurnee Smollett, the black Cube drawstring bag toted by Zooey Deschanel, and the puffy Viv Choc bag on the arm of Brown.
“Did you know, apparently people live here?” said Shipka, dressed in an Alexandre Vauthier black velvet minidress with a side swept pink satin ruffle skirt, and I Love Vivier pumps, as she explored the dining room with its hand-stenciled ceiling.
She was chatting with Lana Condor about holiday plans. Shipka is staying close to home, while Condor is headed to the Midwest to see her fiance, which led to a discussion about pierogis, cheese curds and other local delicacies.
Eventually, guests settled in for some delicacies chez Villa Leon — polenta, scallops and pavlova. And when there was just a little too much time between courses, someone convinced the staff to bring the caviar back out. The setting was made for decadence, after all.
The 10,000-square-foot residence was commissioned by Austrian native Leon Kauffman, who made his fortune in wool processing, and designed by L.A. architect Kenneth A. MacDonald Jr., who was known for his Beaux Arts style. But Kauffman enjoyed it only a few short years before he died, and the home changed hands several times since, including being owned by a religious cult, which added to the mystery.
Shipka captured the mood in her toast: “I can’t wait to see what we get up to…this house feels like it has a lot in store.”
Launch Gallery: Inside the Roger Vivier Holiday Dinner
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