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September 26, 2018

Palisades Village Grand Opening Gala

Charlize Theron and Kate Beckinsale
Jennifer Meyer, Molly Sims and Kelly Sawyer
Rachel Zoe and Cassandra Grey
Billy Crystal and Michael Keaton
Jon M. Chu and Kristin Hodge
William Tell and Lauren Conrad
William Tell, Lauren Conrad
Rita Wilson
Mindy Kaling
John Legend performs at the Palisades Village's grand opening party
Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck
Susan Yeagley and Kevin Nealon

Hosting a swanky gala in a shopping center with Charlize Theron, John Legend and Kate Beckinsale is no simple feat. But Rick Caruso’s Palisades Village is not your regular mall.

For the black-tie affair—held on Thursday, September 20, in the center of the three-acre Pacific Palisades property modeled after a classic American village—Caruso went all out to celebrate the latest addition to his retail empire, which includes The Grove and The Americana at Brand.

Michael Keaton, Rita Wilson and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu were among the guests who stepped off the red carpet to be greeted by a live jazz band and cocktails from a flower-festooned bar. A rabbi and a priest blessed the three-course dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck; Billy and Janice Crystal issued both jokes and thanks on behalf of the locals; and Caruso handed out awards not only to his executives but also to an electrician, mason, gardener and concrete pourer, who all diligently made sure the mall would open on time.

As New York-based fashion designer Cynthia Rowley told a pair of Palisades residents who complimented her elegant floral-print silk dress (available for purchase in her soon-to-open store there), “Nobody’s better than Rick. He’s a retail genius and he also cares about the community.” Other tenants who enjoyed the festivities included Anine Bing, Tamara Mellon, Rachel Zoe, Elyse Walker, Bethany Mayer and Leilani Bishop from Botanica Bazaar, Fleur du Mal owner Jennifer Zuccarini, and The Little Market cofounders Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla.

“This is going to be life-changing, ladies and gentlemen, for our credit-card debt,” said comedian Kevin Nealon as the evening’s emcee.

Mindy Kaling, Riley Keogh and Molly Sims all showed support for Jennifer Meyer—who’s launching the first store for her 13-year-old brand at the Village—by donning delicate sparklers from the jewelry designer’s line. Following Legend’s soulful serenade during dessert, the memorable night ended with fireworks and a performance by Jason McGee & The Choir under the stars.

Written by Khanh T.L. Tran

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