As we posted last week, Lost In a Supermarket was invited by Lexus to the unveiling of the latest generation of their flagship luxury sedan, the LS. But Lexus didn’t just want to invite a bunch of jaded, weary and bloated auto journos to Napa to take their gem out for a few laps around the vineyard hills — they wanted to express to the world their new Art & Design philosophy with authority. And how best to express their refreshed passion for design language than to invite a couple hundred people to the best party San Francisco has seen this summer? Hence, the aptly named Lexus Laws of Attraction fête at the Metreon rooftop in SOMA, San Francisco.
We’ve been to a lot of high-dollar auto launch shindigs, but truly Lexus set themselves apart with this one. The most salient aspect being the art they surrounded their event with — which was represented in several tiers. First there was the “Style Spy” lounge exhibiting the best works from several international street fashion photographers. Then another room was dedicated solely to Merlin Bronques, an old LIAS friend best known for his Last Night’s Party site (you know, the one with a level of erotic playfulness that makes other party sites look a spread in People). But artistically, the coup de grâce was the back room that not only contained a secret LS hidden under a shimmering silver sheet, but was paneled by photos from the one and only Ellen von Unwerth (yes, she of the jaw dropping Fräulein book ). Given von Unwerth’s history as a supermodel, it’s clear she has a way to make subjects feel natural, at home, which allows them to display a sensuality that few photographers can summon. She is truly a talent. Jason Schwartzman, Devon Aoki, Jamie King, James Bailey, Kyle Newman, Brady Cunningham and hosts/designers/curators Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan all played to her whimsy in giant billboard-sized prints hanging over the enshrouded Lexus.
Of course Lexus wasn’t going to puff out its design chest without showcasing its two most beautiful vehicles: the halo $400,000 LFA hypercar and its design cousin, the concept hybrid LF-LC (seen above). A very diverse, stylish, well-heeled and enthusiastic crowd gathered around these two vehicles, snapping shots like they themselves were the stars of the party. But that crown probably went to Jason Schwartzman, who amicably walked the crowd indulging whoever asked for a photo. Loved Schwartzman since Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (and in almost all of Anderson’s flicks), and was a big fan of Bored to Death, so it was cool to see how approachable he was. Props to the sophistication level of the crowd as well for making him feel at ease. Of course, I was more stoked to see Kristen Wiig up in the DJ booth with Fabrizio Moretti who was hired to lend the soundtrack to the event. Nice job by the Strokes drummer; too bad Wiig barely ventured from the booth. I would’ve asked for a Target Lady performance.
We’d be remiss if we did not mention the level of gastronomic decadence that Lexus generously offered to their guests. This was not an ad hoc app bar lazily thrown together — this was truly a Roman feast. Raw oysters were shucked all night over ice, fresh lobster and crab came in an endless stream, a huge Nobu-quality sushi bar overflowed with sashimi of every stripe, fresh rack of lamb and steak were served, home made ice cream stands passed through the throngs, and my personal favorite: an heirloom tomato bar. Speaking of bars, while there was plenty of non-stop top shelf liquor served, in the back room overlooking the San Francisco skyline was a unique mixology bar — crowned with several bartenders making unbelievable drinks with a vaporizer. Yes, a vaporizer. Now while I commend Lexus on this extreme level of luxury catering, the 5-minutes per drink wait made it seem a bit incongruous with the size of the crowd. Still, if you were willing to wait the 30+ minutes you were certainly rewarded.
Then came the unveiling of the LS, for which the party shut down while Schwartzman announced the moment. The sheet was lifted, and the crowd graciously applauded Lexus new design language — best illustrated with their more aggressive styling and spindle grill (as seen on the new GS). All in all, Lexus hosted a coming-out party for its flagship LS fit for Carlos Slim’s daughter’s Quinceañera. They spared no expense letting the world know it’s serious about design — but can the LS’s driving thrills possibly match its aesthetic commitment? We’ll let you know once we get behind the wheel.
One more LIAS exclusive gallery of the Lexus “Laws Of Attraction” Event after the Jump…
“Lexus hosted a coming-out party for its flagship LS fit for Carlos Slim’s daughter’s Quinceañera…”