Just Back From Los Angeles: Giorgio Armani
'Los Angeles lives, eats, and breathes cinema—one of my great passions.'
OCCUPATION Fashion designer
HOME BASE Milan
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD Armani was recently in Beverly Hills for the unveiling of his star on the new Rodeo Drive Walk of Style. "I have been fortunate to have many wonderful collaborations with Hollywood. The United States is special to me because it was the first country to embrace my fashion with open arms."
UNDER THE INFLUENCE "Los Angeles has a sensibility that you don't find anywhere else. The warm weather and casual lifestyle have strongly influencedfashion. You often see guys in shorts and T-shirts having meetings around a pool. In Europe, they would be in suits, shirts, and ties. In L.A., it's what you can do—not what you wear—that defines your character."
HOTEL CALIFORNIA When he's on the West Coast, the designer usually stays at Raffles L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills (9291 Burton Way; 800/800-2113 or 310/278-3344; www.lermitagehotel.com; doubles from $418). "It has a sleek, uncluttered design and an atmosphere of understated luxury."
THE PLANE TRUTH "I always wear a blue T-shirt and khakis or jeans when I fly. I also never leave home without a navy blue silk-cashmere sweater." And his worst habit when traveling?"Eating everything they give me on the plane!"
NEXT TRIP London, for a retrospective of his career at the Royal Academy of Arts (www.royalacademy.org.uk; through February 15).
DON'T FORGET TO PACK "Anyone visiting Los Angeles should bring a great pair of sunglasses—Armani, of course."
—H. Scott Jolley
L'Ermitage Beverly Hills
Minutes from Rodeo Drive, this sleek, residence-style hotel is a favorite with visiting fashionistas (no less than Giorgio Armani stays here when he’s in town, and Julia Roberts makes appearances, too). A streamlined, uncluttered aesthetic prevails in the newly minted 116 suites, some of the most spacious in town. All have platform beds and fluffy duvets, flat-screen TVs, surround-sound Bose speakers, and personal lighting and temperature controls. The rooftop pool, with its teak chaises and panoramic views over the Hollywood Hills, is a scene unto itself; if you’re a VIP (or want to feel like one) book one of the two Moroccan-style cabanas, which come with stereos and drink-stocked fridges.