The Kitsch Madonna Inn, The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, And Rae’s Old-School Diner. California Dreaming With Mimi Wade

25 Nov 20

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The Kitsch Madonna Inn, The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, And Rae’s Old-School Diner. California Dreaming With Mimi Wade

The British-American fashion designer and contributing fashion editor at Tatler is renowned for her love of 1950s glamour with a generous dose of kitsch.

We caught up with her to talk festive tipples, crossing the pond, and Hollywood hangouts. (Main image courtesy of Kate Bones)

What do you like about Globe-Trotter cases?

I love the cases because they are so beautifully made and have such an old-school elegance and opulence about them.

Travel was obviously largely put on hold this year, but where are you hoping to travel with your Globe-Trotters in the near future?

I actually relocated from London to Los Angeles six weeks ago and am enjoying the new pace of life here.

"I actually relocated from London to Los Angeles six weeks ago"

Who is your style icon?

My Granny was an actress in the 1950s and 60s. She lives in Hollywood and has a vast collection of old posters and movie memorabilia, which I often draw inspiration from. I also try to somehow evoke her spirit in my work – I’m designing for that woman.

What is your packing style?

Very last-minute and very slap dash — I hate packing.

What do you never leave the house without when travelling?

Passport, phone, wallet and make-up

What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?

The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, just north of Los Angeles. It’s so outrageously kitsch and fun.

Images courtesy of Madonna Inn

"It’s so outrageously kitsch and fun."

What is your dream destination and why?

Tokyo is number one on the list of places I'm dying to visit.

What is your go-to outfit when travelling?

Tracksuit bottoms and lots of cosy cashmere.

What are your favourite LA hangouts?

I love the Chateau Marmont, a famous hotel on Sunset Boulevard, and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is an actual cemetery but they also host live events and film screenings. For shopping, there's Trashy Lingerie in West Hollywood and Sticker Planet in The Original Farmers Market in LA — it’s a family run store that literally just sells stickers. For food, I love Casablanca, which is a Casablanca-themed Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica, and Rae’s Restaurant, an old-school diner.

Images courtesy of Chateau Marmont

"I love the Chateau Marmont, a famous hotel on Sunset Boulevard"

And what are your favourite London hangouts?

Vicki Sarge in Belgravia for costume jewellery, the V&A Museum and the Curzon Cinemas. I love the French House pub in Soho and Electric House on Portobello Road. My favorite restaurant is probably The Colony Grill at The Beaumont — I absolutely adore the old-world American setting. Everything is Art Deco and the menu also hasn't changed since the 1930s. You can get really old-school things like mock turtle soup and design your own ice cream sundae. It's heaven.

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

What epitomises Christmas for you in London and LA?

I've actually never had Christmas in LA or in London! I'm usually with my family and my best friend Harriet's family in Gloucestershire.

Post lockdown, if you were to go for a festive tipple, where would it be?

I can't wait for Musso & Frank to reopen here in Hollywood.

Finally, if you could own any Globe-Trotter case what would it be and why?

I already have my dream cases — the matching set in lacquer amethyst colour, which I adore.

For more travel tips to LA, read our 'Art of Adventure: Los Angeles' article with travel writer Anna Hart from our archives.

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