Destinations | Perfect Weekend

Gela Nash-Taylor’s Los Angeles

Gela Nash-Taylor is co-founder of luxury loungewear label Juicy Couture. The company now has 127 stores and outlets worldwide. She is married to Duran Duran bass player John Taylor.

January 03 2010
Nicola Copping

“The light in Los Angeles is a sharp, strong, white light. To me it’s a morning place and you just fall naturally into a very healthy lifestyle. First thing on a Saturday I love to work out. I get up at 7am and go for a long power walk. If it’s very hot, I like to wear really, really short shorts and a tank top, and fun wristbands from this great store in LA called Free City.

I live in the Hollywood Hills and we have a lot of neighbours who are in the film industry. No one is in fashion in LA, apart from Mario Testino. I’ve taken Mario on one of my power walks before. I see all the actors out walking on the weekends; William H Macy and his wife, the one from Desperate Housewives [Felicity Huffman], are the ones I see most often.

When I get back, I do The New York Times crossword. It’s the hardest one of the week and I give myself 40 minutes. If John is in town, we do it together.

Horse riding is my new thing. There’s a stable in Calabasas, the Santana Equestrian Group, and another, the Los Angeles Equestrian Centre at Griffith Park. I try to ride once a weekend. I’m practising so that when I come to England I can ride my very energetic horse, Etiquette. Otherwise, one of my favourite things is taking a walk with my business partner, Pam, on Malibu beach, after which we go to Hugo’s for brunch. They do pure, organic, amazing health food, and you can have an entirely green breakfast with a green drink and green food. Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols lives there and you always see him. The other place we like is this funny, old-school Hollywood place called Comme Ça, which does a great crème brûlée French toast.

After that we always go to Opening Ceremony, which is a very cool concept store. And the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on the second Sunday of the month is great for thrifting. There’s another great vintage shop on La Brea called The Way We Wore, and Lily et Cie has gorgeous things.

Then we’ll go to The Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s one of the oldest institutions in LA. There’s a guy playing piano too loud, there are loads of film people and it has a great ambience. LA is a big movie city so, if the kids are home (my son Travis is 20, my daughter Zoe 19), we go to the movies at the Arclight in the evening. It’s the best movie theatre in LA.

On Sundays I like to plant myself in the pool, relax and read – usually about England. I’m reading a monster book of the Mitford sisters’ letters. How crazy were they? Since I started reading it I’ve renamed my two dogs. They were Sid Vicious and Violet Blue – now they’re Pig and Hen.

I also love to redecorate. When I’m at home on a Sunday I move the furniture around. That’s very relaxing. In my dining room I’ve just done this crazy display of candelabras and candles. Sometimes I listen to music, but John would tell you that I know less about music than any person he has ever met. I once told the president of Sony Music that I liked Bruce Springfield! For John it’s quite painful to have a wife like me, so I try to be quiet.

In the evening, John and I love to go out for dinner. I’m really not much of a cook at all – and that’s an understatement. We’ll go by ourselves, unless the kids are in town, when we’ll bribe and beg them to come. We go to Nobu at the Cross Creek Mall and we always eat early, at 6pm. LA is an early city; you don’t stay out late. I think people are shocked when they move here. An American editor who’d been in the Paris office moved to LA and was all uptight about LA style: “How can people wear flip-flops all the time?” he used to say. Three months later I see him at a party in a bungalow and he’s loving LA and he’s got flip-flops on. It’s an amazing lifestyle here; I love it.”

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