Industry Insiders: DJ Ivy, Blonde Ambition

DJ Ivy, aka Homewrecker, makes noise at LA hotspots Les Deux, One Sunset, Kress, Social Hollywood, S Bar, Viper Room, Key Club, Cinespace, V-Lounge, and The Garter. A 7 Jeans designer by day and Hollywood selector by night, she’s known for her rocking sets and smashing blonde locks. Here the hottie goes off on hustling 24 hours a day, shots with Dr. Dre, her homies, and fashion in LA.

Where do you hang out? I go to a lot of different spots for different reasons, but you can almost always find me at Les Deux at least twice a week. Fortunately, I’ve become close to the owners, staff, and promoters. We’re like one big, happy Hollywood family. I also love going to LAX, especially on Sunday nights for Banana Split. You can usually spot me singing along with the silly hipster kids on the dance floor or posted up in the DJ booth with the homies. I’ll always find at least one person I know there so I can roll solo and don’t have to worry about being bored. The music is hip-hop mixed with electro and dance — a guaranteed good time. Another favorite is Villa, generally to see my local favorite, DJ Edski. It’s an intimate setting, fairly small, but there’s something about the atmosphere that always makes me enjoy myself. They’re very selective at the door, so it allows some celebs to remain low-key. Oh, and the drinks are strong too.

What do you do? I’m a DJ by night, clothing designer by day. Some would call me a “hustler,” as it’s referred to on the streets. I am truly a self-made, hard-working woman, driven by success and motivated to be the best. I work as a designer Monday through Friday, 9-6, while DJing for Lisa D’Amato during the week, Les Deux Fridays, and various local Hollywood clubs Saturday nights. It gets a little hectic, but I love constantly being busy and having a schedule to follow. Without chaos, my life would be dull.

What do you like about nightlife in LA? I love how you never know who or what you are going to see-slash-do. It’s unpredictable — even if you originally had a game plan. One minute you could be having a casual drink at a neighborhood bar on Sunset, and the next you could be pounding champagne shots with Dr. Dre.

Anything you can’t stand about nightlife in LA? My number one pet peeve is waiting in lines to get into a club. I won’t do it. I might wait about five minutes maximum to talk to someone or approach the guest list, but after that, forget it. I’d rather go someplace I know I can get in with no problem.

Who’s in your crew? My favorite and most influential mentor is DJ Edski, a native to Los Angeles and a local favorite in the Hollywood night scene. He put me on the map in LA and gave me my first weekly residency. Since I came from the east coast scene originally, Edski also helped teach me to cater to bougie Hollywood crowds. Other industry associates include: DJ MisterE, DJ Bizzy, DJ Ammo, Mr. Best, DJ Higher, Steve 1der, The Rad Girls, The Dolce Group, Lisa D’Amato and her super smokin’ hot bikini dancers, and of course all my hot homegirls who come to most of my events.

What’s with all those pesky Hollywood celebrities? The good thing about pesky celebrities is they aren’t that pesky at all. Aside from all their quirky habits and outlandish requests, they actually bring a positive energy to most parties and events. They usually enter with an entourage, which in turn means more people for the club, and if they like you, they’ll most likely request for you to be playing future events, which equals more money and credibility. A few months ago, I was DJing at Beso and one of the owners from Les Deux came in to see me and brought Too Short with him. He was hyping me up on the ride over, so when we were officially introduced, Too Short had a lot of nice things to say. That was a very rewarding moment, so as soon as he stepped back, I started playing him a set of all his most popular hits and the crowd went crazy. The set lasted for about 45 minutes, and he loved it.

What’s something that people don’t know about you? I have a love for female pop stars. Along with my passion for music, I have a love for beautiful art. As a result, the walls of my Hollywood home are plastered with giant framed posters of inspiring female icons such as Britney, Christina, Jessica, and Gwen. Mostly Britney though.

What are three records you couldn’t live life without? Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt; Lil’ Wayne, Tha Carter II; and 2 Live Crew, As Nasty as They Wanna Be.

What’s up with LA fashion? Even though trends are consistent everywhere in the US, New York fashion is a lot different from LA. New York fashion is nothing like Sex and the City, even though television makes it seem that way. Very few women put on a Prada dress and a pair of Manolo pumps to go grocery shopping. It’s hard to dress up and walk the streets of New York because a pair of heels are destroyed in one day, whereas in LA you can hop in your car and strut down Rodeo ‘til the sun goes down. New York girls are easygoing, natural looking, and less fussy, while LA girls tend to be more artificial and high maintenance, even during the day. When I lived in New York, I had to dress based on weather and where I had to travel that day by subway, taxi, or walking. Here, I feel like I have more fun with fashion because I don’t have to consider those factors.

What are you doing tonight? I have my first night off in weeks, so I plan on going to some Grammy after-parties with friends. Maybe I’ll have another fun celebrity story to tell tomorrow.

Industry Insiders: Andrea Lawent, Hollywood Drill Sergeant

The hard-rocking owner and CEO of Made In LA Fitness dishes about dancing, cookie diets, and fellow badass Christina Applegate.

Where do you show off your Made In LA bod? 101 Coffee Shop is like my second home. It’s an old-school diner in Hollywood, with really good food and a great jukebox. I like the sushi and sitting on the roof at The Kress. There, my partner, Mike Viscuso, took the old Frederick’s of Hollywood and redid the whole thing into an entertainment mecca. I walked through the place with him as he was ripping it up, and now it’s beautiful. Finally, M Cafe De Chaya. I love the food there. They manage to create the most fantastic dishes, and all with no sugar or dairy.

How do you fill your days? At Made in LA Fitness, I own, operate, design our clothing line, hire, fire, schedule — everything. I am an ex-dancer and choreographer who has always taught. I started teaching spinning about 14 years ago and have developed a very large, loyal following, which eventually led to the opening of this establishment.

Who has inspired you? Jillian Michaels is someone I admire and respect. She has been my student for over a decade. I have watched her put her head down with no ego and work her ass off. She left The Biggest Loser, as they wouldn’t give her what she asked for and is worth. Obviously, they brought her back, as the show without her wasn’t a success. We hold bootcamps at Made In LA for members of Jillian’s website quarterly. They come from Australia, England, Canada, and all over the US. I also met Christina Applegate when I was what felt like 15 months pregnant with my first child. I was choreographing Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Dead. And I actually thought I was gonna meet Kelly Bundy. I was wrong — she is the most down-to-earth person. She then was one of my first students and has been with me for 14 years.

Have there been any recent changes in your industry? Even though of course fitness is to look good, there also seems to be a movement towards how good you are on the inside — our mental and spiritual health. I always say, “I never heard the words ‘change’ and ‘comfortable’ in the same sentence.”

What’s something in your industry that you don’t support? The gimmicky “magic bullet” diet aids: “I lost 40 pounds in two weeks,” “Five-minute abs,” “The Cookie Diet.” There is no magic bullet — it’s commitment and tenacity and showing up consistently.

What is something that people might not know about you? Being all tatted up and loving my rock music, most people think I’m tough. I’m not. I cried when my kids were little and said the pledge of allegiance. My friends call me the Martha Stewart of Hollywood as I have very conservative tastes. I must own every Polo sweater in every color. I’m prone to changing the duvets and linens seasonally, and I like Ralph Lauren and Laura Ashley bedding.

LA New Year’s Eve Parties

imageFive ways to ring in the New Year in Tinseltown.

1. Katy Perry performs at the Gridlock NYE party 2009 at Paramount Studios. $100-$200. 2. The Standard is hosting two “Gold 009” parties, one poolside and one in the Purple Lounge. There will be live music, dancing, DJs, and plenty of champagne. $25 for the poolside party, $40 for the Purple Lounge. 3. The Kress is hosting a party from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., with an open bar and three floors of dancing. $125.

4. Stone Rose Lounge is throwing a party that includes a prix fixe dinner, DJs, and magnums of Moet. $200. 5. The SkyBar at the Mondrian is hosting a Venetian-inspired masquerade ball on NYE, complete with be-masqued models serving drinks, and a Bebe fashion show. $500 and up.

Short Stack: Openings

New YorkLuxee opens in the LES. Vegan Japanophiles, rejoice! This joint is run by Tokyo culinary school Vantan and serves up tofu cheesecake, vegan chocolate cakes with avocado mousse, and savory tofu salads. ● Brother Jimmy’s opens an outpost in Murray Hill. Kristin Cavallari plays host. ● Mei Li Wah, formally known as Mei Lai Wah, reopens in Chinatown on the auspicious 8-8-08 date, yellow shirts and red hats included.

Hummus Place opens in the West Village. ● Formerly Kate’s Brooklyn Joint, La Superior — all Mexican, almost all the time — opens in Williamsburg. ● In the East Village, JoeDoe’s doors are finally open.

Los AngelesThe Counter opens its second location in Marina Del Rey, one-upping 31 flavors by offering 70 burger topping options. ● Roy’s Hawaiian opens in Pasadena, making for the 10th Roy’s in California. ● The Kress. Get Sushi-Bombed at Hollywood’s latest four-storied ode to glitz.

San FranciscoBonbon Patisserie is ready for takeout. ● Pho Ha Tien 2 opens in SOMA, ready to thrown down with neighborhood fav Tu Lan. ● Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food Restaurant opens in Berkeley. AMGFFR (longest restaurant name ever) offers kid-friendly options — burgers, fries and cookies — as well as grown-up salads and sweet potatoes. ● McTeague’s Saloon opens on Polk Street. Rusty saloon meets micro-brew, the game (pick one) is on every football Sunday.

Miami ● More sushi. RA Sushi opens in South Miami. Try the Crazy Monkey roll.

Las Vegas ● Corsa Cucina reopens as Stratta, self-titled by Executive Chef Alessandro Stratta (of Alex, also in the Wynn). ● Get dirty, err, clean at the 4,500-square-foot restaurant/bar LAVO (Spanish for “wash”) in the Palazzo .

Chicago ● Cajun/Creole Yats opens in the Near West Side ● iCream opens this week, taking DIY to a whole new level. Choose your own flavor, color, and topping. Liquid nitrogen ads to the cool factor. ● African- themed Sikia opens on the Washburne Culinary Institute campus, featuring graduating chefs-to-be. ● Dadaist Duchamp opens on in Wicker Park. Check the sweet off-street patio. ● Marc Burger fits right in with the oxymoronic classy-food-court Seven on State on the 7th floor of Macy’s. ● Ian’s Pizza opens in Lakeview. Odd combos like the mac-n-cheese slice and the steak-and-fries slice give late-night drunken revelers another spot to sop up alcohol. ● Vegetarians get ready: Mana Food Bar is open in Wicker Park.