It would be fitting that Neiman Marcus should have its Los Angeles debut celebration for the 95th edition of their annual holiday Christmas Book during a week of 80-degree temperatures, but if you don’t come to LA for the weather, you’re missing the point.
Indeed, after last year’s pandemic-enforced plateau of holiday events, Neiman’s took advantage of the venue with their holiday rollout, themed “Celebrate Big, Love Even Bigger,” which took place last night and outdoors at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios.
“Each year, we spend eight months creating and sourcing the gifts that will go into the Christmas Book,” said Daz McColl, the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It starts with the fantasy gifts, and then we curate a collection of other items inspired by them.”
Surrounding the perimeter, “boxes” housed such over-the-top fantasy gifts that included a Bronson van Wyck–created, roaring ‘20s party at the Apollo for you and 19 of your closest friends ($395,000) and a trip to Portugal to design your own bespoke fine porcelain place setting for 12 with Vista Alegre ($80,000), while around the corner was a Barrett-Jackson Hummer EV Edition 1 ($285,000), proving the ‘90s really are back in fashion.
“I’m really thinking about gifting experiences this year,” said Lisa Aiken, Neiman Marcus SVP fashion & lifestyle director. “I’d love to not just buy my mom a gift but take her for a day of shopping at the store and letting her choose something. It’s about spending time together.”
Also among the countless gifts on display and in this year’s holiday book are an assortment of fashions, finds, and furnishings for everyone on your list. A few of the highlights, sorting by price, high to low: a 30.86-carat Mughal Heart Diamond ($6.1 million); a ski trip to Jackson Hole’s Caldera House with Lindsey Vonn ($235,00); sequined Dolce & Gabbana boots for him ($2,645); Byredo’s new Mumbai Noise ($270); Vietri’s handpainted ceramic nutcracker cheeseboard ($170); and Neiman Marcus’ own dark chocolate–covered potato crisps ($22).
The evening’s hosts, Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple and Phil Dunster, each had their own selects. “My partner and I are moving into a new house, and I’ve been spending an ungodly amount of time looking at crockery, so the Portugal trip is really speaking to me,” said Dunster. “I never thought I’d put crockery on my Christmas list, but I’m seeing dinnerware as something really great this year.”
“I love little things,” said Temple, wearing a Dior jacket, McQueen dress, and Versace boots. “This little Versace bag [which is also part of the Christmas Book] is the best one I’ve seen. It even fits my mini highlighter and blush, and a really mini mascara and lipstick.”
With celebrating and gifting in mind, we asked everyone what some of their favorite gifts were from the previous years: “I once got a guitar. I had this silly notion that if I could play and sing that girls would fall in love with me. Once I realized that didn’t work, I just learned to play and loved it,” said Dunster.
“I love jewelry, but one of the best gifts was actually a jewelry box my mom got me,” said Aiken. “My wife got me socks with little rubber dots on the bottom last year, and they were absolutely fantastic for working from home,” said McColl.
As the night went on, DJ Alexandra Richards spun upbeat tunes (no Mariah Carey holiday album), while guests browsed gifts before there was a live performance of the holiday campaign video, choreographed by the Emmy-award-winning Al Blackstone.
Also in attendance: London Hughes, Jessica Wang, Julie Sarinana, Stormi Bree, Brad Goreski, Slick Woods, and Lisa Rinna, who ignored the weather—but not the holiday vibe—and stunned in head-to-toe red with a McQueen puffer and slinky dress paired with glittery Balenciaga boots.
“You can really see tonight in the way everyone is dressed that people are looking to celebrate more this year,” said McColl. “Just the fact that we’re all together in person this year is worthy of celebration.”