Santa Barbara Life & Style | December 2014

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MOET The Best of Bubbly!


GLAM Dresses, Drinks, & Diamonds

Vol 2. Issue 12 | $5.99


Winter Escape to


MAGAZINE December 2014 Volume 2 / Issue 12

Editor in Chief Ottocina Ryan Director of Photography Meadow Rose Photographer & Business Manager Silas Fallstich Art Director Rah Riley Public Relations Manager Kelsie Cage Staff Writer Alexandra Gonzalez Contributing Writer Christopher Dixon

On this

COVER PHOTOGRAPHED by Meadow Rose MODEL Bec Doyle with Next Model Management MAKEUP Cynthia Fuentes with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar HAIR Ashton Arroyo with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar SHIRT Elie Tahari JEWELRY Estate Jewelry COCKTAIL The Hungry Cat

Graphic Designer Lara Wyss Account Manager Taylor Golceker

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine is published by Santa Barbara Life & Style, Inc. PO Box 5072 Santa Barbara, CA 93150 For distribution, advertising, or other inquiries:


/CONTENT December 2014

10 / THAT CALIFORNIA WINTER Cozy up with warm knits, big jewelry, and bold prints on beautiful Haskell’s Beach.

30 / MOROCCAN OASIS IN PALM SPRINGS From poolside cocktails and decadent delicious plates, to cushy vine encompassed rooms with croquet in the courtyard, indulge in a Moroccan Palm Springs weekend at Colony Palms Hotel.

50 / CHAMPAGNE EVERYDAY Tis’ the season for Champagne everyday! We are featuring the ultimate selection of bubbly courtesy of Moët Hennessy Central Coast portfolio manager, and Santa Barbara local, Christopher Dixon.

56 / DRESS CODE: COCKTAIL Cocktails should be as lavish as your jewelry collection and as strong as your lip color! Get a taste of the spirits at The Hungry Cat and get in the spirit of holiday glamour.

80 / LIFE OF THE PARTY The renowned Merryl Brown of Merryl Brown Events shares her best tips and expertise on making your holiday soirée the most fabulous and memorable party of the year.

92 / POP FIZZ CLINK When holiday celebrations start popping up, we have your inspiration for shiny ensembles in classlically cool black, white and gold.

106 / STOCKINGS STUFFED WITH LUXURY Extravagance shouldn’t stop at the edge of the Christmas tree! Stocking stuffers are the best place to sneak more surprises into your gift giving this year, and we have a fun selection of our favorite items!

108 / GET THE LOOK Get the look of our December cover girl! Carlyle Salon is spilling all their secrets from flawless vintage curls to sexy smoky eyes.

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from the

Editor December is my favorite month—mainly because of chunky sweaters and holiday parties. Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties insist on spirit and decadence, prompting gratefulness as the year is at its end, as well as hopeful anticipation for what is to come.

To begin this issue we celebrate fine jewelry designer Scott Gauthier and his gorgeous handmade statement pieces that remind us why diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Then, in That California Winter we flaunt what it’s like to live on the California coast all year round. We are so lucky -- Santa Barbara never gets too cold, but cools down just enough to justify adding to our sweater collections. Whether you’re daydreaming about a warm fire at home or leaving work early for a walk on the beach, we highlight comfy sweaters that will keep you warm all season long. In Life of the Party, we talk to Santa Barbara’s premiere event planner, Merryl Brown and pick her brain for some party inspiration. She shares her expert tips for throwing a party your guests will never forget! And what kind of party would be complete without a bottle of bubbly? In Champagne Everyday, Moët expert, Christopher Dixon, fills you in on everything you ever wanted to know about Champagne, from history to pairings.

Explore the sexy side to cocktails In Dress Code: Cocktail as we pair drinks from The Hungry Cat with gorgeous jewelry that begs to be worn to a larger than life party. In Pop Fizz Clink we display our fun and wild side with seven looks that pop! White, black and gold ensembles are on the menu for a sexy night out. And finally, escape with us for the weekend as we take a trip down south in Moroccan Oasis in Palm Springs. Once the playground to legendary celebrities including members of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, Palm Springs still exudes an understated elegance so sophisticated and fresh its lure continues to speak to generations since. The Colony Palms Hotel will have you feeling like you’re in Morocco! Don’t forget to check out Get This Look! Our go-to stylists at Carlyle Salon & Style Bar show you how to get holiday party hair and make-up as seen on our December cover! I hope this issue inspires you to dress up, host your own holiday party, and fully enjoy the holiday season with a glass of Champagne in hand!

Ottocina Ryan Editor in Chief Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine



GAUTHIER Written by Alexandra Gonzalez


believe Marilyn said it best, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” And no matter which language you speak, a diamond is the universal proclamation that says, “I love you.” So when Santa Barbara Life & Style teamed up with fine jeweler Scott Gauthier for our December issue, it was truly love at first sight. The minute you step into their downtown studio and feast your eyes on Gauthier’s stunning jewelry, it becomes difficult to dream about anything else. For twenty-four years the high-end jewelry designer has been crafting one-of-a-kind pieces for clients all around the world, and his work remains unrivaled. The jeweler personally designs and molds each and every work of art, ensuring originality, as no two pieces are ever identical.

Bold statement pieces and multi-strand necklaces are just the beginning of the ingenious collection. Traditional items surprise with non-traditional twists in pieces such as a doublebanded diamond encrusted ring with a center of amber topaz. Conventional gets contemporary with a mesmerizing 14K white gold ring, complete with a black opal and black diamonds embellishment. Inspired by past creations, architecture, and the client’s vision, Gauthier’s pieces tell a distinctive story. Hidden gems and diamonds are placed strategically to give every piece its own personality and exclusivity, and each leaves the studio with the Gauthier signature trademark--a small sapphire hidden in every design!

It takes only a few foggy breaths on the endless sparkling glass displays to see how the jeweler has managed to receive so many accolades, including the Spectrum Award, The American Pearl Company’s National Design Award, Arizona Jewelers Association Award, and the ASID Design Excellence Award. If you’re in need of some seriously good gift giving this year, fall in love with art deco inspired earrings or a fabulous chrysoprase white gold ring. Gauthier focuses on creating a memorable experience and beautiful wearable art for each client, and does the job so well. This year, put Gauthier’s only California location (right here in downtown Santa Barbara!) on your shopping map to see and own these exquisite pieces for yourself.

(805) 335-2424 | 921 State Street | |



that california winter Photography by Meadow Rose Model Rachel Russell with Next Model Management Makeup by Cynthia Fuentes with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Hair by Kimberley Contreras with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Styling by Lara Wyss Special thanks to Bacara Resort & Spa

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Pants, Sachin + Babi. Ring, Saint Aubin. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura. Sweater, Closed. Sunglasses, Illesteva. Beaded Bracelets, Gold Cuff, Silver Cuff, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Coordinates Bracelet, Hawthorn Boutique. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 11

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Pants, Sachin + Babi. Ring, Saint Aubin. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura. Sweater, Closed. Sunglasses, Illesteva. Beaded Bracelets, Gold Cuff, Silver Cuff, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Coordinates Bracelet, Hawthorn Boutique.


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Sweater, Kathryn McCarron, Hawthorn. Rings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura.


Sweater, Kathryn McCarron, Hawthorn. Rings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura. Pants, Joseph, Whistle Club.

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Sweater, Kathryn McCarron, Hawthorn. Rings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura.


Vest, Velvet. Coordinates Bracelet, Hawthorn. Earrings, Rosemary Peck. Ring, Saint Aubin, Allora by Laura. Camisole, Bella Luxx. Skirt, Thakoon Addition. Beaded Bracelets, Gold Cuff, Silver Cuff, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Boots, Vince Camuto.

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Skirt, Band of Outsiders. Sweater, A.L.C., Whistle Club. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora By Laura. Boots, Vince Camuto.


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Skirt, Band of Outsiders. Sweater, A.L.C., Whistle Club. Ring, Saint Aubin. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora By Laura. Boots, Vince Camuto.


Dress, Heidi Merrick. Bracelets, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Scarf, Katia S. Earrings and Necklace, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura.

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Coat, Thakoon Addition. Sweater, Crippen. Bracelets, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Jeans, Mother, Hawthorn. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels. Necklace, Rosemary Peck, Allora by Laura.


Jacket, Thakoon Addition. Sweater, Crippen. Shoes, Common Projects. Beaded bracelets, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Jeans, Mother. Coordinates bracelet, Hawthorn. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels. Ring, Saint Aubin, Allora by Laura.

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Jacket, Thakoon Addition. Sweater, Crippen. Bracelets, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Lokai Bracelet, Lokai, Kitson. Earrings, Fantasy & Jewels. Ring, Saint Aubin, Allora by Laura.


Bikini, Zimmermann. Bracelets, Ali Grace, Whistle Club. Gold Ring, Saint Aubin. Earrings, Silver Ring and Necklace, Fantasy & Jewels, Allora by Laura. Cardigan, Velvet, Hawthorn. Lokai Bracelet, Lokai, Kitson. Beach Towel, Tide & Pool.

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Moroccan OASIS in PALM SPRINGS Written & Photographed by Silas Fallstich


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ill, the bartender, suddenly illuminates the dimly lit interior of the bar. He is lighting rosemary on fire. The ensuing smoke he traps with the shaker in a cocktail glass, lets it smolder for a few moments, then removes it; a whirl and spiral of fragrant smoke is all that’s left. The ritual isn’t one I’ve experienced previously - my last drink with fire was in another decade, on Mexican soil, before I was of age, and included Dr. Pepper. Unlike that long ago experience the sure hands and confident process by which the bartender proceeds leaves me reassured. I’m sitting bar top at the Purple Palm Restaurant in Palm Springs. I’ve been transplanted southward to the Colony Palms Hotel for the weekend and my experience just got a kick start with the 1805 Old Fashion cocktail, one of the house specialty cocktails that will tickle and tingle your taste buds, and most of all leave you a little better than it found you.

I’ve been transplanted southward to the Colony Palms Hotel for the weekend and my experience has just got a kick start with the 1805 Old Fashion cocktail...


The restaurant’s upbeat music has me tapping my feet; my eyes are glancing around the room inspecting the space before me. The area leaves an impression of authenticity and relaxation, free of fluorescent lights or unnecessary frills. The pool and restaurant almost inhabit each other. Big gate sized sliding walls can be used as partitions between the two or can create an open-air feeling. It reminds ...opened in 1936 by owner me of a scene in the movie Hidalgo Al Wertheimer, a reputed mobster where a Sheik tells his servant, “let and member of The Purple Gang... the light in” and the tent flaps open all around him to create a gazebo. the hotel was a renowned I can imagine restaurant guests speakeasy and brothel. gesturing to their waiter and saying, “let the pool in.” I say this with an air of comedy but this idea really enforces the proximity between the two spaces.

As the evening dwindles to an end the bartender and other members of the staff begin narrating some of the property’s history. The property was built and opened in 1936 by owner Al Wertheimer, a reputed mobster and member of The Purple Gang. The design was lavish in fashion and featured classic cuisine, progressive decor and a deep-water swimming pool. Many of the current design elements and the overall focus reflect the history. The most exciting element is that the hotel was a renowned speakeasy and brothel; the entryway was a hidden door that was placed behind a kitchen pantry. Wertheimer used it as a private desert hangout and gambling quarters for his gang and their friends.

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1805 Old Fashioned with swirls of rosemary smoke. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 35

Top: Chipotle braised short rib with corn polenta. Bottom: Apple grilled cheese with tomato soup. 36 | DECEMBER 2014

Top: Chinese “mochiko” chicken salad with a sesame soy dressing. Bottom: Spanish octopus with ajo blanco sauce. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 37

38 | DECEMBER 2014 can have both the comforts and leisure of modern life with the decadent privilege of a 1930’s Spanish mansion.


enovations in 2007 saw structural transformations that echo the spirit of a Moroccan oasis with subtle Mediterranean influences. The architecture and overall aesthetic create a delicate sense of marvel and mystery. What really jumps out at me are the abundance of vines and other plant life that flourish on the property. In some areas the hedging is subtle, in others it encompasses entire buildings. The plants have a symbiotic relationship with the architecture that only enhance an already elevated sense of grandeur. As I come upon a small croquet field I pinpoint why I’m so relaxed in this environment. The entire grounds seem to exist in a bubble. Little to no outside noise is heard, and the calm and tranquility reminds me of a quiet forest. Almost instantly all my day-to-day worries disappear. Back

in my room a secure and comforting sense of privacy ensues. I’m greeted by a vast mini bar, which includes an abundance of locally sourced treats. Other room amenities, s uch as toothpaste and bathrobes, don’t go overlooked. To go along with these is an assortment of indulgences: champagne service, scented candles, and chocolate strawberries, to name a few. While these small details may seem ordinary, they highlight an attitude of service the hotel has towards its guests, some members of the staff described these services as manufactured uniqueness. The extras are put in place to enhance the guest’s stay but aren’t promoted in an abrasive manner. My favorite thing about my room is the sensation it creates of meandering through a time capsule in which you can have both the comforts and leisure of modern life with the decadent privilege of a 1930’s Spanish mansion.


Secondary room and bathroom in Palme d’Or Residence.

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Master bedroom in Palme d’Or Residence.

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...there is a vintage romance feeling when you’re eating dinner at the Purple Palm or lounging poolside.

The story of the property is being maintained in not only the physical structure, but also in how the property is managed. One of the biggest connections I make with the history is their passion for food. When reading through the various histories classic cuisine is always one of the first things mentioned and not much has changed. To go beyond this there is a vintage romance feeling when you’re eating dinner at the Purple Palm or lounging poolside. My mind rolls over these thoughts and before long I feel myself drifting into a mob inspired dream. In the morning I enjoy huevos rancheros at the Purple Palm, which was christened as a salute to The Purple Gang. The tortillas are crunchy beyond belief, not in a bad way but in a surprising way. The dish is beautifully plated; an array of vibrant colors and an enchanting combination of ingredients make up the meal. All topped off with a nicely balanced crème fraîche. I’ve never had such a unique and inspired take on this breakfast. I spend my day embracing the leisure and solitude of the property. I begin my out of room experience poolside, on a chaise lounge chair that has all the comfort of a recliner. From my vantage point I can see the entrance to the spa. It offers a wide variety

of services and many of the room packages include various treatments— such as facials, aromatherapy and massages. I’m told by one of the pool attendants that the spa was the first of its kind in Palm Springs. In 1979 the current hotel owners Don and Sheila Cluff began leasing the property. Sheila, a former figure skater, began aerobics and fitness routines for the guests; at the time Palm Springs was devoid of almost any fitness programs and was viewed as a lazy community. After an immense amount of reading the day seems to slip away, and before long I’m back at the Purple Palm for dinner. I enjoy the Homestead cocktail as Will takes me through the menu, item by item. I eventually settle on the Duck Breast. I enjoy every bite; it is moist and delicious with an interesting bit of crunch. Huckleberry gastrique enhances the natural duck flavors and the portioning is perfect as the sauce enriches the dish, but doesn’t overwhelm it. My favorite thing on the plate is the braised red cabbage paired with a mustard spaetzle. The crunch from the spaetzle balances the other juicy elements. Many chefs can make a good duck, but to create a dish where any two elements on the plate can be combined with each other and be enjoyable is something special. Purple Palm Executive Chef Greg Stillman is not only creating captivating dishes, he’s doing so with a fresh focus. His seasonal menu is rooted in French haute style, and based on my experience exudes uniqueness and creativity.


Palme d’Or Residence living room.

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SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 45 of the many things the late night swim makes me realize is that the property is designed to allow guests to dictate their own stay.

After dinner I retire to my room and enjoy the comfort of my fireplace and sofa. I nod off for a while but awake in the night a bit restless. The evening is cool but the day’s lack of activity has left me alert and in need of movement. The pool is open 24 hours a day so I head there and swim a few laps. One of the many things the late night swim makes me realize is that the property is designed to allow guests to dictate their own stay. The property has a vast number of indulgences to enjoy, but what really makes the retreat special is the high quality of service and the passion the staff and managers have for their jobs. Both a quick flash into history and a decadent getaway, the Colony Palms Hotel will be a weekend well spent.

The Colony Palms Hotel is located at 572 North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California. Booking details and restaurant information can be found at


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Four blocks from the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn offers travelers an opportunity to enjoy beautifully appointed accommodations in the two Victorian Queen Ann houses and Craftsman cottages. Enjoy the wonderful homemade breakfast and renowned afternoon wine hour with local wine and hors d’oeuvres in the beautiful and lush English gardens.

(805) 569-1610 36 W. Valerio Street Santa Barbara, CA

This Santa Barbara bed and breakfast has been owned and operated by the Dunstan family for over 30 years, and no expense has been spared to ensure the best experience hospitality can provide.



EVERYDAY Written by Christopher Dixon Christopher Dixon is the Portfolio Manager for Moët Hennessy along the Central Coast and has been a Santa Barbara resident for 16 years.

I only drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I’m thirsty. - Lily Bollinger

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ive years ago, I’d have scratched my head a bit with Ms. Bollinger’s flight of fancy, thinking, like many, that Champagne as a beverage is more the province of occasional celebratory consumption than anything too regular. I mean, there are only so many graduation fêtes, romantic interludes and silly nightclub sprayfests one can squeeze into the calendar, right? If not for a possibly fateful and certainly lifechanging trip to the region of Champagne, I could still hold this view. But…I fell in love in Champagne. No, not with any would-be Coco Chanels or Brigitte Bardots of the area, but with the region and the juice itself. And when one is in love, one wants it every single day. “Champagne every day” became my mantra, with the unabashed delight I’ve found with the liquid equal to the positive ethos the expression can summon.

Let’s start here: Champagne is a place, specifically a section of Northeastern France divided into 320 villages or “crus,” each with a designation on a 100-point scale corresponding to the quality of the grapes harvested from each. The top 17 crus at 100% are considered “Grand,” while the next 42 crus at 90-99% are considered “Premier.” This is some of the most expensive land in the world, and rarely comes up for sale. So why all the fuss over bubbly wine specifically from Champagne? Why not take a dalliance with the cheaper and nouvea-trendy offerings of Prosecco, Cava and the like, you ask? To start, we have to go back 70 million years or so to when the area had been submerged under water, the oceans later receded and ultimately left behind significant chalk and limestone subsoil. Earthquakes rocked the region 10 million years ago, pushing the marine sediments of fossils up to the surface, allowing the soil to absorb heat from the sun and gradually release it

during the night. The soil retains moisture and nourishes the vines throughout the uniquely challenging dual climate of the region, having both continental and oceanic influences. Often searing summers coupled with brrrrr-cold winters test the fruits’ resilience. Unable to irrigate by law and completely subject to the conditions of a given year, growers understand that in Champagne — the most heavily regulated wine appellation in the world — many grapes won’t survive. But the ones which do are much better for it, having been exposed to these extremes, developing fanciful complexity and rich character in the struggle. The idea of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is in full bloom here. The soil also imparts a minerality to the wine that is totally unique to the area. The moderately steep, wavelike terrain in Champagne creates ideal vineyard sites, combining optimum exposure to the sun with ample drainage.



o now down to the process. The traditional method, or méthode champenoise, is what differentiates Champagne from regular still wine and most sparkling wines produced elsewhere. A first fermentation begins in the same way as any wine, converting natural sugar into alcohol while the resultant carbon dioxide is allowed to escape. This produces highly acidic base wines to be blended together by each producer in their own stylistic ways. Among 7 grape varietals allowed for blending, the lion’s share of Champagnes utilize only 3: the dark-skinned Pinot Noir grape contributes backbone and length, the similarly dark-skinned Meunier grape offers richness, while the Chardonnay grape offers elegance, citrus and floral flavors. Vintage Champagnes are derived from grapes in a single year’s harvest whereas

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non-vintage utilizes wines from multiple years. The wine is blended and put in bottles along with yeast and a small amount of sugar. The bottle is then capped, stored in cellar and aged 15+ months (non-vintage) or over 36 months (vintage). At this point, the blended wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, also known as bottle fermentation, where the wine becomes bubbly due to the containment of carbon dioxide, which is normally released as a by-product in regular fermentation. The longer the Champagne ages on expired yeast (“sur lees ageing”), the broader the spectrum of flavors, the creamier the texture, and the finer the bubbles. After ageing, the lees must be consolidated for removal. The bottles are given a slight shake and turn a couple times daily (“riddling”), with the lees settling in the bottle’s neck. The neck portion containing the lees is then frozen, the cap is

removed, the plug of ice containing the lees shoots out (“disgorgement”), and a liquid mixture of still wine and sugar is then added to virtually all Champagnes (“dosage”) to balance the high levels of acidity. Next…the cork, the wire cage, the label and the trip across the Atlantic to an ice bucket near you. Fun fact: It takes about 1150 grapes to make one bottle, resulting in about 15 million bubbles per glass! So now the next time someone posits that Champagne is so expensive, you can understand why. But aren’t most pleasures in life going to require parting with a few greenbacks? To quote Ms. Coco Chanel herself, “The best things in life are free; the second best are expensive.” With that, here are 4 remarkable Champagne suggestions to consider this holiday season. Champagne every day!

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs – Non Vintage After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi. - P. J. O’Rourke

Founded in 1729, Ruinart is the oldest producer in Champagne. The Blanc de Blancs is entirely comprised of Chardonnay grown in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims vineyards, and is made from 100% Premier Cru fruit from 3-4 different years. I feel like I have a 100% success rate suggesting this Champagne, and it’s often a revelation to even the most initiated of wine drinkers. Make no mistake, this is most definitely a Champagne with all its bonafides, but for any Chardonnay still wine drinkers out there who may not yet have embraced Champagne, this is the bubbly, vivacious lady with whom to feel fine flirting. Among the very most popular Champagnes with the French, I found Ruinart Blanc de Blancs everywhere from white tablecloth restaurants to luxury hotels to casual bistros throughout my travels in France, though they export a limited amount to the US. Ruinart now holds a patent on the original Champagne bottling style from the 1700s, which between its shape and the golden yellow color of the juice helps it stand out at gatherings. Luminous, long-lasting bubbles give way to a clean, intense combination of brioche, French toast and roasted almonds on the nose. And the taste… mmmm divine! It’s well-balanced, rich, suave, and delivers notes of soft honey flavors and minerality, plus a long sustained finished. Pairs well with langoustine, tartar and most white fish. When wary of the bigger brands out there and seeking an affordable, boutique Champagne, this is an informed choice. 93pts (Wine Spectator & Wine Enthusiast)


Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004 Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right. -F. Scott Fitzgerald The remarkable Madame Clicquot (1777- 1866) is considered one of the first businesswomen of the modern era. Widowed in 1805 at the age of 27, she defied every convention of the day to take the helm of her late husband’s small Champagne house. She personally supervised cellar activities and introduced innovative production techniques still used today. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is widely popular the world over and is an example of the house’s powerful style characterized by a large portion of Pinot Noir in its blend.

thinking pink wine in your glass somehow emasculates you is as tired as it is just plain wrong. The nose is dominated by elegant aromas of red berry and wild strawberry along with fragrant hints of violet, lilac, dried fig and cocoa. In the mouth, the fruitiness echoes the superb notes of the nose and is particularly intense. The finish is extraordinarily long. The subtle balance of structure, suppleness and freshness offers this wine an ageing potential of at least 20 years. The fleshiness of this wine will pair up well with most meat dishes.

In the case of this Vintage Rosé Champagne, all the fruit is sourced from one year— 2004 — which was an exceptional year in Champagne. It’s a blend sourced from approximately 20 different villages, a high proportion of which are Grand Cru. It’s aged for 8 years, and is a blend of 62% Pinot Noir, 8% Meunier and 30% Chardonnay. A portion of the Pinot Noir isn’t clear base wine but actually red wine from Bouzy (15%), which imparts the pink color to the wine plus more body and concentration.

Veuve Clicquot has the name, but it’s with a vintage marque like this Rosé 2004 that the juice transcends branding and delivers for the distinguished palate.

And don’t let the pink color fool you, this is not sweet! Each glass has just over 1 gram of sugar and less than 100 calories. And gents, the days of

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94pts (Wine Enthusiast)

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut 2006 “In victory we deserve it, in defeat we need it.” -Winston Churchill Well, it’s been a victorious few years for Moët & Chandon. Winemaker Benoît Gouez was named Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year (2013), the first time the honor has ever been bestowed on a Champagne winemaker. And this just-released Vintage Brut 2006 received the highest rating of any Champagne in the brand’s history. Moët & Chandon is by far the largest house in Champagne, and since they are the tall, strapping lad on the block, they are always going to field a degree of critique. There are some things to know. Holding more land than any other producer in Champagne and also working collaboratively with local growers, they simply have more quality grapes with which to work than all of their competition. Hundreds of years of winemaking experience – most notably with the world’s #1 selling Champagne, Moët & Chandon Impérial (91pt Wine Spectator) – has allowed them to do what we’d all do with nearly 3 centuries of know-how on our side…learn from our mistakes! It’s the house’s focus on and acclaim for their vintage Champagnes that makes it the pinnacle of the brand.

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This Vintage Brut 2006 is aged 7 years, sourced from predominately Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards and is comprised of 42% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir and 19% Meunier. It’s classified as an “extra-brut” with only 5 grams of sugar per liter. Initial notes of peach, mango and banana flow into more mature aromas such as white pepper, flint and marzipan before evolving towards intriguing floral and delicately botanical notes of honeysuckle and anise. The palate is composed of a preliminary crispness – notes of nectarine and currant – that give way to a succulent, creamy richness. If you’re game to try this wine, cut out all the pretense with your food accompaniment and pair it with fried chicken. Prepare to have your mind blown. This is a Champagne drinker’s Champagne. 94pts (Wine Spectator)


Dom Pérignon “P2” 1998 “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” -Dom Pierre Pérignon

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It’s hard to overstate the quality and attention to detail in this Champagne, even when compared to other quality wines. It’s like Kobe beef compared to the diner skirt steak. Or black truffle to a garden variety mushroom. Bluefin tuna to the corner market Tilapia. Or geez, maybe it’s Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” trumping John Travolta’s “Battlefield Earth.”

base wines are ever blended from one year with wines from another, and since it needs to be an exceptional year for a vintage to be declared, every vintage release is a pretty big deal in the wine world. Only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are used in any Dom Pérignon blend, meaning each different vintage is about finding the right, elegant, varying harmony between the two grapes.

This is pretty heady stuff…to start to understand this wine is to first understand the fundamentals. The Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon is considered by many to be the spiritual father of Champagne, having set a bar for quality in his time far beyond that of other Champagne producers, and having pioneered the practice of lightly pressing red grapes to extract clear juice, among other things. Each Dom Pérignon release is a vintage Champagne, so no

So what’s the difference between the regular 1998 vintage of Dom Pérignon and this new “P2” 1998 release? Once the regular vintage of 1998 had aged for 7 years on the lees, it was released to the market (2005), considered by the winemaker to be at the wine’s first plenitude. But a small portion of the same wine was held back at the winery to continue to age on the lees.

This year’s “P2” 1998 release – meaning “second plenitude” – has by now spent a total of 16 years on the lees. In effect, 2 different wines from the same year (1998), one with 7 years ageing, one with 16, the P2 with just a smidgen less sugar added, and what emerges are two strikingly different expressions of the same vintage. This second plenitude P2 is like Dom Pérignon in IMAX. Winemaker & Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy sees his role as the “discerner” of when a certain wine has reached each plenitude, noting “there is no formula, it all depends on the vintage and the maturation process. It’s not an exact science.” He expects the first P3s to be released by the end of the year (1970 & 1982 vintages), with this third stage taking place between 30 and 40 years after the vintage with “no less than 20 years on its lees.” The “P2” 1998 has an intense, full and radiant bouquet with notes of honeysuckle, orange, nectarine, peach, and hints of iodine sensations. On the palate, the creamy chewiness characterizing the vintage is channeled in a direction that is edgy yet embracing with a wave of aromatic persistence. A slightly smoky, full-energy finish balances it all out. This is an event wine. 98pts (Wine Spectator)




Dress, Adian Mattox. Ring and Bracelet, Estate Jewelry, Saks

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D R E S S C O D E :

COCKTAIL Photographed by Meadow Rose Makeup by Cynthia Fuentes with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Hair by Ashton Arroyo with Carlyle Salon and Style Bar Model Bec Doyle with Next Model Management Cocktails by The Hungry Cat


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Dress, Adian Mattox. Ring and Bracelet, Estate Jewelry, Saks SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 61

Dress, Adian Mattox. Ring and Bracelet, Estate Jewelry, Saks

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Found Broker’s Gin Fresh apple juice Absinthe Lime


Slip, Josie Natori. Earrings, Marco Bicego. Necklace, Masha Archer, Saks. Hat: Phase 3.

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Slip, Josie Natori. Earrings, Marco Bicego. Necklace, Masha Archer, Saks. Hat: Phase 3. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 65

Luke’s Blue Ice Vodka House-made lemonade Mint

Slip, Josie Natori. Earrings and Rings, Marco Bicego. Necklace, Masha Archer, Saks. Hat: Phase 3.

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Dress, 4.collective. Necklace and Ring, Estate Jewelry, Saks.

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Jack la Blue Ice Vodka Carrot juice Orange juice Fresh lemon Ginger



Slip, Josie Natori. Bracelet and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks.

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Slip, Josie Natori. Necklace, Earrings, and Bracelet, Estate Jewelry, Saks.


Greyhound Plymouth Gin Fresh grapefruit juice Candied grapefruit


Slip, Josie Natori. Bracelet and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks

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Peaches en

Peach-Infused Pisco Liquore Strega Lime


Shirt, BCBGMAXAZRIA. Fur Scarf, Theory, Saks. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 75

Shirt, BCBGMAXAZRIA. Fur Scarf, Theory, Saks. Hat, Phase 3.

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Shirt, Elie Tahari. Rings, Earrings, and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks


Shirt, Elie Tahari. Rings, Earrings, and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks

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Shirt, Elie Tahari. Rings, Earrings, and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks


Barrel Aged

Boulevardier Old Forester Bourbon Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth Campari

Shirt, Elie Tahari. Rings and Necklace, Estate Jewelry, Saks 80 | DECEMBER 2014


Written by Alexandra Gonzalez

Life of the PARTY

party planning

The holidays are here! This year we teamed up with Merry Brown Events to bring you your best party season yet.

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f you’re anything like us, you’ve been anticipating this season all year. Wintertime is synonymous with parties, and the team at SBLS will never pass up the opportunity to throw (or attend!) a grand celebration. For some holiday party fun and inspiration, we talked to Santa Barbara’s premier event planner, Merryl Brown. Brown aims for the ultimate experience and delivers just that. We made it a top priority to inspire you to throw a fabulous soiree that will leave your guests talking well into the new year. Read on to catch a glimpse of a day in the life of Brown’s hectic schedule, perfect party planning tips, and what it really takes to be an event planning guru! It’s party season, so get inspired!


When you meet with a client, what are the most important things for you to know in order to make their vision come alive? When we meet with new clients, we like to have the time to converse in order to fully understand their objectives and hone in on what the experience is that they want their guests to have at their event. We listen carefully to the specific words that keep coming up, and we also listen to the subtext, which often gives us even more insight into what we need to do to knock the event out of the park. For certain types of events, we have a long questionnaire that covers such questions as: the qualities of their ideal venue, their preferred event style, favorite colors, flowers, foods, and wines, level of formality, time of day, number and ages of attendees, etc. As an event designer, where do you find yourself most inspired? I am most inspired when I am traveling. I am also often very inspired when I am perusing an amazing book with images of costuming, dÊcor, architecture, or garden design. Finally, when I have time to quietly daydream (which is not often enough, these days as we are very busy with event production all the time), I think about my muse, Tony Duquette and all of the magic and beauty that he created! When I am in a really creative mindset, there is no end to what I can come up with! What’s your favorite stage of the design process? I love that moment when the creative process and the budget synch, when we find that perfect concept and we can make it work within our budgetary parameters! It is gratifying when we know that the dream will become a reality. My second favorite stage is when we show our clients our designs and love when it is beyond what they had imagined. The opportunity for creative expression in this field of endeavor is so limitless! It is all such a joy. 86 | DECEMBER 2014

The opportunity for creative expression in this field of endeavor is so limitless! It is all such a joy.


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Successful events also need extreme attention to detail, designs that makes sense and careful, thought around guest experience.

What’s the strangest event request you’ve ever executed? The strangest event that we ever executed was a gala filled with fairies, satyrs, forest creatures and even a unicorn! It was one for the history books! What does every successful event need? Every event needs a top-notch production crew. One weak link can truly wreak havoc on any event. Successful events also need extreme attention to detail, designs that makes sense and careful, thought around guest experience. If you could plan an event for anyone, who would it be? The fastest growing part of our business is corporate event planning. We find this work fastpaced, stimulating, and very rewarding. We really enjoy producing these events wherever they take us (we just finished a multi-day corporate event in San Diego for an international bank). My senior team and I all came from corporate backgrounds -- American Express Bank, Bankers Trust, Accenture, Deloitte, so we all particularly enjoy producing these types of events. Our last client, who we cannot name, was very high up on the list of our dream clients! What is a typical day in the life of Merryl Brown? My days are packed full of: hard work, creating beauty, making decisions, delegating, brainstorming, spreadsheets, to do lists, troubleshooting, meeting with clients and vendors and so much more. The best part of my days is working in my beautiful new office with my amazing staff, all of whom are brilliant, beautiful inside and out, passionate, a joy to work with and dedicated to making MBE the best event design and production company that we can be. My team is stellar in every way!


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I cannot possibly list all of the things that I love about this business, as this interview would never end! It is exactly my right line of work!

What’s the most difficult stage or aspect of the design and planning processes? Creating a timeline and run of show are usually an event planner’s least favorite activity, but alas, it is one of the most important ones. You simply cannot produce a well-run event without having each of these documents done at the highest level. While it is arduous to create, it is a document that we know our way around very well and is something that we are known for doing at the highest level. What has been your most successful event yet? The corporate event that I mentioned earlier was a stellar success. We had two weeks to produce five events over a three-day period for a major investment bank. We had design direction from several key players with many changes thrown our way on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. There

was a very high profile guest list, a tight timeline, a remote venue and less than optimal work conditions due to the location and logistical issues, but we mapped it out and when we arrived we were ready. Our success was reported back to us after each of the five events that we did, not only by our clients, but also by their clients who attended! What most do you love about this business? I love so much about event design and production! The creativity, the opportunity to work with and collaborate with so many great vendors, the process of knitting together ideas into experiences that will create lifelong memories, traveling to interesting new venues and figuring out innovative ways to utilize them. I cannot possibly list all of the things that I love about this business, as this interview would never end! It is exactly my right line of work!


Merryl Brown Events on throwing the

of the

PARTY YEAR Attend to the Details Remember that God is in the details. Pay attention to every single detail when planning your event. It all matters!


Be organized when planning your event. Think through every detail and make a timeline so that you have a roadmap to follow to ensure that you have not forgotten anything.

Coordinate Decor

Make sure that your dĂŠcor works with your chosen setting and not against it. Choose colors and details that make sense and work within the context of your venue.

Lighten Up

Make sure that you have beautiful lighting at your event. A chocolate wash and masses of candles will give you a gorgeous, natural look. You can never go wrong with chocolate!

Keep it Sunny

Pay attention to the weather! Have a rain plan, just in case.

Be Selective

You are only as good as your weakest link. Hire great vendors!

Push Play

Great music makes a party, though should not be too loud when guests are dining.

Get Served

Hire an excellent full service caterer to handle food, drinks and service so that you can enjoy yourself!

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Enjoy Yourself

Have fun at your event! If your guests see you having fun, it will set the tone for everyone else.



Dress, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Nordstrom. Clutch, Anya Hindmarch, DIANI. Shoes, stylist’s own. 94 | DECEMBER 2014

Photography by Meadow Rose Model Regina Schnitzer with Next Model Management Hair by Krysta Winthrow with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Makeup by Rose Serrano with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar


Dress: ASTR. Clutch, Natasha. Earrings, Zoë Chicco, DIANI.

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Dress, Adrianna Papell. Necklace, BaubleBar. Shoes, Steve Madden, Nordstrom. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 97

Jumpsuit, ASTR. Clutch, Natasha Couture, Nordstrom. Necklace and Earrings, ZoĂŤ Chicco, DIANI. Shoes, Nine West.

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Dress, Diane von Furstenberg, Nordstrom. Earrings, Lulu Frost, DIANI. Shoes, stylist’s own. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 101

Dress, Nicole Miller. Clutch, French Connection, Nordstrom. Earrings, Zoë Chicco, DIANI. Shoes, stylist’s own. 102 | DECEMBER 2014


Dress, Mason, DIANI. Clutch, French Connection, Nordstrom. Necklace, Kai Linz Jewelry.

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Dress, Mason. Earrings, ZoĂŤ Chicco, DIANI. Clutch, French Connection. Shoes, Ivanka Trump, Nordstrom. Necklace, Kai Linz Jewelry. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 107

gift guide


Stuffed withLUXURY Chanel No. 5 Perfume, Saks, $130.

Yves Saint Laurent lipstick, Nordstrom, $35.

Kai Body Lotion, Hawthorn, $30.

Tory Burch passport holder, Hermes. com, $135. Gigi New Work, All in One Bag, Black Embossed Python,, $145.

Dior sparkling nailpolish collection, Nordstrom, $75 D.L. & Compay, Soleil Collection candle, House of Honey, $50. MoĂŤt Mini-Champagne Bottle, Gelsons, $20. Charbonnel et Walker Marc de Champagne Pink Chocolate Truffles, Saks, $24. 108 | DECEMBER 2014

Tiffany T Wire Bracelet, $3,000.


o big this holiday season with tiny stylish items you really want to give away in the morning! Pint-size presents for him+her show off how much you love sharing the holidays. We gathered a few unique items, from candles and lipstick to cigars and cologne, all the perfect proportions for stuffing those stockings!

Z Zenga tie, Nordstrom, $135.

Tom Ford cologne, Saks, $112.

Davidoff Holiday Cigar Assortment, $190.

Burberry scarf, Nordstrom, $525.

Maison Martin Margiela Ipad case, Barneys, $595.

R89 Grand Safety Razor, The Art Shaving, $75. Rolex Explorer Watch, Silverhorn, $5,545.

Fusion Chrome Collection Brush, The Art Shaving, $80.

Salvatore Ferragamo Wallet, Nordstrom, $350. Hermes belt,, $695.

Cartier Cufflinks Paris, Bryant & Sons, $690. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 109










Photography by Meadow Rose



SALON Carlyle Salon and Style Bar joined Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine on set for our December fashion shoots! From dewy December beach looks to dramatic holiday party beauty, our expert artists share their favorite tools, tricks, and products. Meet Ashton and Cynthia and treat yourself to their lovely Santa Barbara salon!


by Ashton

For this elegant vintage look, I started off by using the perfect priming product for all day workable PREP curls, Davines Invisible No Gas Spray. After choosing a strong side part to make a statement, I lightly sprayed the No Gas Spray through the hair and began to curl the hair all in the CURL same direction to achieve a soft vintage feel. This happens to be one of my favorite styles and I do this often when a guest is looking for a style that is down, but

more polished. After brands that I love! I used Espresso. For a I finished curling the I prepped the skin with bolder look on the liner hair I let the curls Embryolisse LaitI used MAC Fluidline in cool and set. This is a Crème Concentrè Blacktrack. I enhanced SKIN huge tip for those silky followed by her lashes with my smooth locks MAC Studio favorite Ardell that don’t hold Fix Fluid, which gives LASH #110 Whispy HOLD curl! Next I used a matte finish. I then Lashes stacked. I Davines Invisible used MAC Mineralized have a collection Serum in the palm of my Skinfinish in Medium of many brushes that hand and lightly started and Medium-Deep to really blend and soften working my hands set all over the face, as while still keeping the through the top of the well as give the skin a colors looking dramatic. hair and gently working nice bronze glow. I used I could not resist a bold the curls over to one MAC Blush in Blush lip to tie in the side. I created a Baby for just the right whole look so I LIPS used MAC Ruby SHINE flawless smooth amount of color on look by using the cheek bone, then Woo Lipstick (one a Kevin Murphy highlighted with my of my favorite reds!) Bristle Brush. Once I got favorite highlighter by which gives a matte every curl in its place I MAC, Definitely Defined, finish. And of course used Davines Strong Hold for that added radiance. you can’t have lips like Hairspray. I then finished I did a soft smokey eye this without MAC Cherry the look with a light that was subtly Lip Liner. mist of Kevin Murphy glamorous. This I love doing all looks EYES Shimmer Shine to create a is also a great from the soft, natural, soft elegant glimmer. holiday look barely there looks My areas of expertise are when you want to glam to the dramatic WORK vintage styling, it up a bit more on the very defined bridal upstyles eyes! I primed the eyes eyes and lips. WORK for the hopeless with Urban Decay Primer My specialty is special romantic, Potion Original Shade then occasion makeup, bridal beautiful blowouts for used the LORAC Pro makeup, and I also love the everyday diva or the Palette. I used the shade sharing tips and choosing weekly event seeker, cuts Cream all over the lid. colors for guests’ that make a statement, For the outer corner I everyday wear as well! and colors that create the used Espresso and Taupe best version of you. for transition. On the For appointments call middle of the lid Carlyle Salon & Style Bar (805) 963-8787 I blended Bronze 350 Chapala St #101 and Champagne Santa Barbara, CA for a pop of For this shimmer. Lastly, look I used a variety of White on the brow bone. products from different On the bottom lash line

MAKEUP by Cynthia





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global fashion santa barbara style | 1269 Coast Village Rd Montecito, CA 93108 | 805.563.2425

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