How to eat, sleep and dress like a Hollywood heavyweight.
Written By Alexis Brunswick
AWARDS SEASON 2015: WHO TO KNOW & WHERE TO GO  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit


As awards season descends upon Tinseltown and the stakes for hobnobbery reach their annual peak, it’s not always what you know, but who you know that matters most. From the hotel and restaurant gatekeepers who help discern the riff from the raff to the boutique owners, stylists and tailors who've cornered the red carpet fashion market, these are the behind-the-scenes names you need on speed dial. 

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AWARDS SEASON 2015: WHO TO KNOW & WHERE TO GO  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

Photo Courtesy of The Sunset Tower Hotel

WHO: Tim Cunningham, Hotel Ambassador
WHERE: The Sunset Tower
As GM and hotel ambassador to the storied Sunset Tower, Cunningham is known for his attention to detail and highly individualized touch, even personally delivering one not-to-be-named starlet’s favorite dessert from a nearby restaurant daily during her stay. Meanwhile, the man behind the hotel’s Tower Bar, Dimitri Dimitrov, came recommended to hotel owner Jeff Klein by Tom Ford personally, and now he holds the key to the private, wood-paneled restaurant, which seats and serves regulars like Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez and Johnny Depp.
WHO: Phil Pavel, General Manager
WHERE: Chateau Marmont
Although clipboard-wielding doorwoman Anya Varda might be more conspicuous, it’s Pavel who holds the keys to the famed Sunset Strip hotel. He has spent more than 18 years making sure the bold-faced names retiring to the Chateau Marmont’s patio, penthouse or secluded bungalows remain pampered, but with his own personal touch. With a tasteful mix of off-duty Hollywood, Pavel reserves the secluded Dominick Dunne suite for visiting writers seeking quiet and a paparazzi-proof haven for camera-shy stars like Kate Bosworth and Kate Hudson.
AWARDS SEASON 2015: WHO TO KNOW & WHERE TO GO  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

Photo Courtesy of The Palm in Beverly Hills

WHO: Bruce Bozzi, Jr., Executive Vice President 
Bozzi has a storied list of old-school players and fresh young faces who frequent this longtime Hollywood haunt. He’s so entrenched in the scene that he even nabbed an invite to George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s Italian nuptials, arriving by boat with Anna Wintour. It’s no wonder Bozzi makes everyone feel right at home, handpicking the power-portraits that will paint the walls of the iconic restaurant’s new Beverly Hills location.
WHO: Elena Baldi, Owner
WHERE: Giorgio Baldi
Inconspicuously set on the other side of town, Giorgio Baldi has long been a westside refuge for the likes of Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow and those looking to eat award-winning Italian fare away from the Hollywood glare. With an enticingly quiet ambience backlit by the Pacific Ocean, this is the awards season location where you can actually get away from the cameras. Helmed by Elena Baldi, owner and daughter of the restaurant’s namesake, the cozy and comfortable space remains an appealing escape and unbeatable destination for homemade pasta and seasonal fare.
AWARDS SEASON 2015: WHO TO KNOW & WHERE TO GO  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

Photo courtesy of Lily et Cie

WHO: Rita Watnick, Owner and Curator
WHERE: Lily et Cie 
Rita Watnick is the best-kept secret of actresses and stylists looking to set themselves apart in a season of the inevitable dress double-up on the red carpet. As expert curator at vintage institution Lily et Cie, Watnick has amassed an enviable collection of vintage dresses and gowns that have adorned the likes of Penelope Cruz and Mary-Kate Olsen. Come January, there’s no better person to turn to to find that one-of-a-kind creation to create a singular sensation.
WHO: Harvey Mandel, Dry Cleaner 
WHERE: Effrey’s Custom Cleaners
With the most delicate touch, Effrey’s Custom Cleaners is the preferred destination for designer dry cleaning. Using the GreenEarth process for the highest quality care, Effrey’s specializes in the high-end, responsible for Tom Ford tuxs, Armani gowns and even tending to Lanvin’s intricate draping. Specializing in all fabrics, including beading, Effrey’s is an important stop on the circuit.
WHO: Tatiana Klioukina, Owner and Seamstress
WHERE: Art House of Tailoring
If anything can make or break a red carpet turn, it’s the fit of the dress, and the cut of the tux. Tucked away in the valley, Art House of Tailoring’s owner Tatiana can be trusted with even the most delicate designer fare, with a delicate (and dependable) hand that ensures a flawless fit for that star turn in front of the cameras.
WHO: Arturo Azinian, Owner and Cobbler
WHERE: Arturo’s Shoe Fixx
With a loving hand that’s tended to his fair share of Louboutins and Manolos, Arturo Azinian is a Beverly Hills legend. Helming his namesake Arturo’s Shoe Fixx for over 35 years, his storefront is always a flurry of activity. Fixing a sole, lengthening a strap, or fine-tuning a heel, Arturo – and the three generations of family that work there – ensure the shoe always fits.
Best Evening Clutch Essential
by Fiona Stiles, Makeup Artist


Editorial Director Christina Han on what to expect from VIOLET GREY’s 2015 awards season coverage.