LET IT SHINE
Luxury Review 2012
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Oct 21, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By John Grafman There was a time when flying on a commercial airliner was considered glamorous. Sadly, those days have come and gone. Odd as it might seem, perhaps the last bastion of that era seems to be the Skymall, the in-flight shopping magazine. Millions browse this catalogue entranced by all types of novel products. And similar to the Sharper Image and Brookstone stores, it’s intriguing not because of what you expect to find inside, but rather by what you don’t expect. This is also the case of the Luxury Review hosted by Rand Luxury at the Petersen Automotive Museum. While those that are attending are lured in by amazing automobiles, it’s exploring new upscale products and services that creates a unique, and exciting experience. But, the best part is, you never know what you’ll find. Perhaps the backdrop of rare museum quality Italian cars is enough of an excuse to attend, but that’s just the icing on the cake. Poking around the grand salon and halls at the museum uncovers all types of goodies. Actually, before stepping foot inside we encounter the classic lines of the wooden motorboat from Comitti Yachts, imported from Lagilo, Lake Como, Italy. Just the look of the mahogany wood used extensively over the runabout is enough to capture one’s imagination. The tradition of quality boat making stretches back to 1956 at Comitti, and it shows in the final product.
We didn’t have to go very far inside before we are offered beverages ranging from champagne, and Black Bottle wines, to tea based herbal liqueur and cocktails from Tatratea, and 100 percent organic Tequila Alquimia. And, the delish appetizers and bites from Let’s Celebrate catering company and Ciel Chocolatier set the mood for the early evening and abated our need to dash off for a meal. A tasty treat of the rolling variety comes from Fisker Automotive. Fisker is co-sponsoring this gala with the Karma on display. This originally equipped model is right at home in a fine car collection with its distinctive flair, which goes toe-to-toe with anything automotive on display from the Italians. And, from personal experiences behind the wheel, this turns the daily grind and commute into a blissful sojourn. The Karma is eco-conscious being it’s an extend range electric vehicle, but with 950 pound feet of torque this is sinfully stimulating while pondering how to saving the world. Another gem for gazing upon is the Aston Martin Ultimate DBS. This updated version is based upon the DB9 originally designed several years back. Oddly enough, this was initially penned when Henrik Fisker was at the helm of design at the magical British marque. To this date, few companies offer a product that can emotionally connect on the same level as Aston Martin does. From the raw power to the refined details and curvaceous body, this is as uncommon as a blonde Bond. On the other end of the automotive spectrum, L.A.-based Icon is unique in recreating vintage Land Cruiser FJ series, Willys and Broncos from the 60s. This meshes classic designs from the past with modern performance and refinement. For those that appreciate craftsmanship, Icon delivers.
The new LaunchPort iPad pedestal, which incorporate the proprietary wireless iPad charging technology of Dana Innovations, is about that size of a cantaloupe melon, gleams in triple-chrome plate stainless steel and elevates the tablet off of a flat table-top surface, similar to a monitor. This is ideal for viewing and freeing up space. Coincidentally, Strut is showcasing new automotive accessories of the Fisker Karma Collection, including two stunning front grill pieces signed by the artisan that created those, bespoke side vents and distinctive bumper cap inserts. Automotive aftermarket products have been the backbone of the company for year. With the addition of the LaunchPort, the company is really blasting off as a provider of luxury accessories. Some like to take control, while others like to delegate the task to others. For those that fit in the latter category, Lexani Executive Vehicles has just the ticket. The company produces extraordinary executive transport that includes the finest materials and quality, transforming luxury sedans into limousines fit for the most demanding clients. Cadillacs to Rolls-Royces are providing the starting point, which are then upgraded with rich hides, large, flat screen televisions, bars, and other suitable accommodations. For some, less is more. The crowd is hovering anxiously waiting the unveiling of a new Ducati performance motorcycle that lives up the manufacturer’s well-earned reputation. The limited edition Ducati Monster is in the upper stratosphere of sport bikes. This motorcycle might be out of place in some respects at the Petersen Automotive Museum, but its performance capabilities are right at home. A number of jewelry companies are displaying a variety of designs that rival the other sponsors. After all, one can’t wear an Aston Martin around one’s next. Diamond Veneer is combining modern styles with new techniques, which offer affordable and dazzling products. The process takes a cubic zirconia and bonds a thin film of carbon diamond particles to it. The end result is a jewel that simulates the real McCoy in material properties and in appearance.
Dannini has a line of traditional, uncompromising, handcrafted jewelry. In keeping with the company’s philosophy that jewelry is meant to be worn every day, not locked in a vault. Plus, these pieces are relatively affordable and most certainly desirable. In addition, the collection of jewelry from Tres Glam proves that the cars aren’t the only objects sparkling brilliantly. The lucky guests that are attending the Luxury Review do delve into the rocks and the Rolls, but poking about uncovers a variety of other sponsors in the Grand Salon. One of those is Sennheiser. The company’s microphones are professional grade and used by the music industry from top to bottom. But for typical consumers that aren’t cutting a record, it’s the high-end headphones that are the buzz. Not only do these parallel the mics in terms of quality, Sennheiser has a number of models on hand that suit a variety of needs. Some require power amplification, and some of the new models are compatible with iPads. However, it’s the gem encrusted set behind the glass case that the guests lust over like the crown jewels, and when it comes to sound reproduction, these are just that. Riding the wave of electric vehicles is the WaveJet. But this isn’t for the road, these are for the water. The interchangeable battery and motor can swap out between specially developed paddleboards, long or short surfboards. This little packs give water goers 30-45 minutes of continuous running time from the lithium ion battery. The personal watercrafts this can power moves 3-4 times faster than a surfer can normally paddle. This means more waves in less time. Or, paddle boarding against the wind becomes an effortless enterprise. In a city that’s bordered by the largest body of water on earth, perhaps the WaveJet offers the greatest luxury of all. Find out more at theluxuryreview.com