Palm Spings in the style mix, baby!
It’s been a throwback, go forward time around here.
Initially, I was in Southern California for a high level business conference… because we are never beyond learning new ways to stretch our brand muscle. Then, The Hubs and Mr. Poodle joined me for some local exploring.
The mix of professional advancement education, meeting fellow charged entrepreneurs and a desert environment that melds old Hollywood kitschy glam (The Movie Colony & Old Las Palmas) with modern luxury (the shops on El Paseo in Palm Desert) got me thinking about the eternal reach of being authentic to yourself while remaining vibrant and inspired.
Because anything less than reaching your true you can be sniffed out like cheap perfume.
Whether in your business, your brand, your dress, or your home, alienating yourself from inspiration is a sure way to drown in the doldrums. It’s key to have both eyes and mind wide open to stay charged.
The aura of Palm Springs style is a metaphor for the ultimate in timeless style… beyond the clothing that lurks in your closet.
Somewhere at the point of where cutting edge becomes classic is where you will discover what is truly ageless, what is the next classic, what is modern, and what endures.
You see, style subtly penetrates your being from wherever you are. All you need to do is absorb all that attracts your eye and be open to possibility… that’s what I teach the ladies in the first week of the C’est Chic Crash Course.
Opening your eyes to become a sponge for inspiration is the premiere step to broaden your style potential… you never know where that certain something is to spark new ideas. The shape of a coach, the color of a flower, the texture of a stone, anything can be the catalyst for a new way to see things.
Palm Springs cool. #vintagestyle #retrocool #californiastyle A photo posted by Sharon Haver -FocusOnStyle.com (@focusonstyle) on
What to do in Palm Springs…
In Palm Springs, I found myself attracted to the ultra modern, mid-century design aesthetic balanced by the backdrop of tan desert mountains and vibrant palm trees. The Official Palm Springs Modern Committee Mobile App is a fab virtual architecture tour of the 80 mid-century landmarks, including vacation homes of old Hollywood stars, that you can download here, even if you aren’t in Palm Springs.
Back in the day, Hollywood Studios had a “Two Hour Rule” so Palm Springs became the ideal place for movie stars to have a vacation home and still be able to drive back to the set incase there was a retake. There’s over 360 Golden Palm Stars on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars of some of the noted celebrities who lived there. You can drive-by Marilyn Monroe’s bungalow, walk over Natalie Wood’s star, and have a drink and dinner in a Rat Pack party spot. Sono Bono was the city’s longtime mayor. Streets in the newer side are named after stars so you can meet someone on the corner of Bob Hope and Dinah Shore (Drive, that is). Yup, there’s plenty of Hollywood kitsch.
The golden nugget of Palm Beach style and one of the more fun home tours was inside what was once known as builder Robert Alexander’s “House of Tomorrow.” That is until it became Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s Honeymoon Hideaway (living room pictured at top) for the year the pelvis leased it in 1967.
The futuristic house is more George Jetson super cool rather than what you think of as Elvis’ style. There’s the groovy white living room with a 60+ foot white couch and kidney-shaped coffee tables, the coolest round center island that you’ve seen in a kitchen, and then the tacky pink bedroom (apparently there’s a mirror behind the headboard drapes) and the bonus of the house’s extremely low door handles (short enough for Elroy Jetson?).
What made this small group tour even more interesting was a octogenerian Elvis fan who continued to get ferklempt and bleary eyed as she sat in the same spot on the couch that Elvis once sat for a photo, touched his jukebox, or lied on his bed. Once an Elvis fan, always an Elvis fan, I guess. Then there were the two kids who locked themselves in Elvis’ closet. Complete with a dirty oven (perplexing) and propped with Elvis memorabilia, the home tour was certainly a unique experience if not fodder for an imagined SNL sketch.
Interior design enthusiasts will have a blast going in and out of the string of shops in the Palm Springs Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon Drive. I spotted bar stools commissioned for Sammy Davis and lots of high design brights and glitz. Store owners were friendly and you got a little bit of inside dish as you browsed.
The downtown Palm Springs Art Museum is both exceptional in design and houses a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art. You can spend a couple of air-conditioned hours enjoying a set 75 degrees temperature (you’ll want that in the desert sun). Some of the artists included in the permanent collection are Henry Moore, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson, John Chamberlin, and Edward Ruscha. You can also enjoy the shaded outdoor cafe with its meditation pool, pictured above. There is also a museum in Palm Desert as well as an Architecture and Design Center that was closed at the time of our visit.
We were lucky and the temperature was unseasonably cool but that desert heat was still more than we bargained for so we headed to Del Mar and let Mr Poodle have a romp around the Dog Beach. Then, we headed back to the desert for a lovely al fresco dinner at our pet-friendly resort where we could enjoy the evening breeze. Like my red Birkenstock Madrid slides, pictured above? They’re a stylish update to beachy flip-flops.
So tell me, where do you find inspiration for timeless style?
MORE: Travel posts