The Gingerbread Man would feel right at home at the pop-up holiday house built by Mytheresa and Flamingo Estate.
Walk inside the Los Angeles destination and you get an overwhelming whiff of the spicy confection invariably associated with the holiday season. That’s because all the items inside this unique creation are made from gingerbread, some 2,000 pounds of it, baked in two L.A.-area bakeries whose ovens have been going full blast for five weeks.
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Holiday ready gowns, bags and shoes by Gucci, Loewe, Alaïa and more, sold at the luxury website Mytheresa, are represented by gingerbread cutouts that have nearby QR codes for purchasing.
The decor of the 1,500-square-foot space on a commercial street in Highland Park filled with art galleries, vintage clothing stores and cafés is a replica of the interior of Flamingo Estate, Richard Christiansen’s circa 1940 property on seven acres with gardens, goats, chickens and a two-story Spanish-style house where his brand creates its farm boxes, soap, candles, olive oil and honey.
At the Mytheresa x Flamingo Estate holiday house entryway, there is a gingerbread fireplace whose bricks are held together with frosting. Nearby is a gingerbread replica of a David Hockney folding screen. Behind the fireplace is a living room dominated by a lounge chair, coffee table and flowery print couch made of gingerbread that you can look at but can’t sit on.
Off in another room is a baby grand piano, also made of gingerbread. Yes, gingerbread, and it can be played when the electronic acoustics are turned on. Nearby, step into the gingerbread kitchen complete with a gingerbread refrigerator, gingerbread stove, gingerbread refrigerator and gingerbread counters covered with pink frosting and sprinkles.
To purchase the real items represented by the gingerbread merchandise, you can follow the QR code. For example, there is a Vivienne Westwood red evening dress, created out of gingerbread, standing next to a Khaite white dress, made of gingerbread, which is next to a green Jenny Packham creation, also made of gingerbread. The life-size cutouts are perfect for Instagram dress-up shots, too.
On nearby shelves you will find gingerbread shoes, gingerbread purses and gingerbread sunglasses. In the kitchen, there are home accessory items including plates, glasses and vases, made — naturally — of gingerbread after home products sold by the e-commerce player.
This off-the-wall idea to create a real gingerbread house started last summer when the forces behind Mytheresa and Flamingo Estate collaborated to open a temporary Summer Body Shop inside an auto body shop in East Hampton, N.Y.
When Heather Kaminetsky, president of Mytheresa North America, and Christiansen, founder and chief executive of Flamingo Estate, were brainstorming about their next venture, the ideas were flying. “We wanted something that was different and exciting,” Kaminetsky recalled.
They first started talking about an Italian bakery in New York where they would make little cookies in the shape of clothes. “That was the first conversation,” recalled Christiansen, an avid gardener who also founded Chandelier Creative agency. “Then two days later, we were saying, ‘Why don’t we just make a house out of gingerbread?’”
Kaminetsky’s first reaction was, “This is crazy, but OK.”
After the idea was hatched six months ago, it took the pop-up store team, with the help of 11 artists, six weeks of hardcore building and baking to get the job done. The idea of a bakery, however, lives on. Next to the holiday house, the two brands created a European-style bakery pumping out gingerbread cookies in various shapes and forms, for sale alongside Flamingo Estate’s Euphoria bath gel, tomato candles and other gifts. All net proceeds go to local schools.
To kick off Friday’s opening, there was a Thursday evening cocktail party attended by Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Kathy Hilton, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Laura Harrier, Justine Skye, Aurora James, Hilary Rhoda, Tallulah Willis, Alana Hadid, Erin Walsh, Maeve Reilly and Zanna Roberts Rassi, among others.
The Mytheresa x Flamingo Estate holiday house at 5634 North Figueroa Street is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays through Fridays, until Dec. 24.
Launch Gallery: Inside Flamingo Estate & Mytheresa’s Gingerbread House Party
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