How a Fashion Boss Throws the Ultimate Holiday Dinner
Turns out Lubov Azria's holiday celebrations are nothing short of epic. In collaboration with BCBGMAXAZRIA.
“I don’t cook. I decorate!”
That pretty much sums up Lubov Azria's—A.K.A the hostess with the very mostest — entire approach to the holidays. Having previously raided Azria's Los Angeles home—excuse us, estate—we had a funny feeling that her family's approach to the holiday season would be nothing short of impressive. And wouldn't you know it? We were right.
We made our way over to Lubov's bright and early (as in, 6 AM), so that the CCO of BCBGMAXAZRIA could make a meeting later on. And honestly? So worth it. We sipped from goblets of green juice (that's kind of Christmas-y, right?), while Azria shared with us on the ins and outs of her holiday traditions as she shared mugs of roobios tea with her daughter, Chloe. The short version: it involves 48 hours of being holed up in the family's at-home movie theatre (!) and a late-December trip to Cape Town, South Africa (!!). The long version? Azria values making real, concrete connection with her loved ones over the holidays above everything else. And experience over everything, too—so much so that one of her best friends once gifted her ten unique experiences to check off her bucket list, and it remains one of her favorites, ever. No pressure, right?
Of course, the level of attention to detail present at Azria's holiday parties sounds pretty much second to none on the entertaining front—we, ahem, won't know for sure until we receive an invite, Lubov—right down to the individualized notecards she hand-places at each and every table setting. And not so far from that, she has traditional Tunisian cuisine, thanks to her hubby Max’s influence and vegan meals on hand to serve guests. And when everything's said and done, she gives you the green light to pull on a pair of nice elastic-y pajama bottoms which is much needed after an Azria feast—because believe it or not, she'll be doing the same.
On her first holiday memories:
“I remember as a child going with my dad to cut down a Christmas tree. In Ukraine there was no place to buy them. Instead, you’d go into the forest, and you cut them down. [Laughs] So my dad was always very ambitious, [saying] ‘we’ll get the biggest tree.’ And then it would most likely never make it to the house, because it was too big to get it through the door! But I remember the journey and the excitement of just going there. Those were my first memories of the holidays.”
On her holiday planning process:
“Well, when sunny LA drops a degree or two I begin to plan my next getaway vacation somewhere new and warm. It doesn’t take long for me to choose a new place to go. Last year I took the girls to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and that was quite the adventure—so much art there I had no idea. Otherwise, during the holidays I make a list of all the people that I want to gift and that I want to spend time with. I want to make sure that the holidays are a time for me to connect, so that’s what I do—make a list and kind of have fun with it, too."
On her favorite holiday tradition (do try this one at home):
“I think my favorite tradition during the holiday season is when we get to sit down—first of all, spend time together—but at the dinner table. Before we actually start eating, we go around and we do this thing where we ask each other, ‘What are you grateful for? What inspires you? What about this year was so amazing that you want to share with everyone?’ And it’s so funny, because everybody at first is so reluctant, and like ‘Ugh! Gotta go.’ But later on, it opens the air up for a deeper connection between us creating an unforgettable experience that changes the way we view ourselves.
On the very best things to give (and, fine, receive, too):
“I think my favorite gift was a gift I just received which was from my best friends, and they gave me ten things—all experiences. So original, I loved it! What I like to give as gifts are things that are versatile—something you can wear and use all the time.
On what it's like to dress for the holidays in a fashion family:
“Oh my gosh, I go all out! For the holidays, I really like the drama. It’s so funny because you don’t want to show off too much, but you do want to make a statement. Max’s brother owns Joie and Equipment. And then Marine, my daughter, is married to the owner’s son of H. Lorenzo. So they’re kind of Junya Watanabe—cool and avant garde that is. But when we all get together, we all are wearing the same thing! [Laughter]”
On breaking all the rules (especially during the holidays):
“Obviously, I like to dress up. But I have fun with fashion. I always think that if you take fashion too seriously, then it’s not fashion anymore. You have to be able to play. I mean the reason that we like fashion is because we create our dreams, we create who we want to be. Rules are there to be broken, you know? And during the holidays especially, I think that’s what it’s all about. Do the impossible. Create things that are different.”
On the key to creating an Instagram-worth tablescape:
“In terms of decorating, what I like is personal touches. If you’re setting up a table, and whether there will be 50 people or 100 people, one of the things that’s important is always leaving a note. Just something. I think that’s great. Also, color scheme is so important. I prefer all white. When Hanukkah comes up, it’s kind of hard to reinvent blue and silver, because that’s not far off from the color scheme of the house. So, we add a little bit more sparkle everywhere.”
On how to make sure everyone actually has fun:
“I think to put together a great party at home, you have to invite the right people, you have to have tons of desserts, great drinks, and amazing music. I think music is what moves people a lot of the times. I think that people take that for granted. You come in and you have classical music on and everybody is kind of, they feel a little bit posh, there’s discomfort. You put on a cool, amazing eclectic DJ mix—the conversation changes, people start moving around differently. Though having the right people there is key—the ones you actually want to connect with and have fun..”
On making an at-home movie theatre sound like a really good investment RN:
“One of my favorite things to do at home with the family is just go to the movie theater and to have 48 hours of just watching all different movies. We have over a thousand movies in the movie theater, all the classics. My Cousin Vinny, which I love. Blade Runner—I’m obsessed. Constant fashion inspiration, you have no idea. So we just sit out; we cuddle, eat popcorn and junk food, and just be together.”
On the ultimate post-December 25th escape:
“So this year, my daughters and I are going to Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve never been, and there’s a calling that I have to go there. I travel somewhere new every year because I need inspiration for my new collections. Adventure is what awakens the artist in me."