Everything old was new again at last night's "Forgotten Hollywood" party in Soho House West Hollywood. The Soho House, Huffington Post's Style and Los Angeles sections, and Chronicle Books hosted a celebration in honor of author Lesley M.M. Blume and her new book Let's Bring Back. The book is based on her popular, long-running column series in the Huffington Post about "forgotten-yet-delightful" traditions and fashions like hand-written thank you notes, hats for men, and food like star-gazey pie.
While Blume's book spans "the bacchanals of ancient Rome to the elaborately-coiffed and martini-filled New York City of the 1960s," last night's focus was on the glamour (and debauchery) of Old Hollywood. Before the book signing, Blume briefly took the floor to call attention to some of the most scandalous and fabulous relics of the city. She showed pictures of the debauched apartment complex Garden Of Allah (that the Chateau Marmont "couldn't hold a candle to"). She also talked briefly about Mercedes de Acosta, a poetess, playwright, and "intimate companion" to actresses Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, arch rivals who often fought over her.
"Mystery" is Blume's favorite relic from Let's Bring Back. Blume explained to the Huffington Post, "I think that we are in a very tell-all culture now, where privacy is shunted aside and we are so willing to share the most intimate details about ourselves in a very public manner. So much of allure in the old days was predicated on the idea of cultivating a sense of mystery around yourself, and I would love to see that stage a comeback."
Cameron Silver of vintage store Decades was also there to lend three vintage dresses to the party setting. Silver, who seems to be the very embodiment of Blume's book, said "I live in a Schindler house from 1930. I recycle vintage clothes, I recycled a vintage house, and I used to be a singer of 20s and 30s music--I'm a little nostalgic. There's a wonderful certainty about the past, and while LA is a very twentieth-century city, so much of our cultural and artistic contributions are things that happened in the deco and mid-century [time periods]."
Click here to read LA Times' coverage of the evening.