What’s After Modernism Week in Palm Springs? Plenty!

While Modernism Week just ended, there are plenty of great events that highlight the desert’s modern lifestyle.

For fashionistas and foodies, it’s Fashion Week El Paseo 2012, March 16-24 and the companion Food+Wine Festival Palm Desert, March 23-26, all in the big white tent on Larkspur between El Paseo and Shadow Mountain in the heart of Palm Desert.

Fashion Week showcases the newest collections of top designers and fresh ideas by emerging designers from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.  The event is produced by Palm Springs Life Magazine and has grown to be one of the most popular fashion events.

Guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the “ultra lounge” before each night’s runway show. Pre-parties, after-parties, trunk shows, in-store and charity events add up to a whirlwind week of breathtaking fashions and innovative programs.

The Designer of the Week couture runway shows have featured such top designers as Oliver Tolentino, Trina Turk, Kevan Hall, Lloyd Klein, Eduardo Lucero, Juan Carlos Obando and Coleen Quen.  www.fashionweekelpaseo.com

Showcasing some of the most inspired chefs from the desert and throughout California, the Food+Wine Festival Palm Desert will take over the white tents March 23-25 the close of Fashion Week.

Over 45 fine restaurants will provide an array of tastings that have been “paired” with a varietal or brand of wine that complements the food.  Take a euphoric tasting journey through the booths as each winery will be placed adjacent to the restaurant it is paired with for maximum impact.

Restaurants from Arnold Palmer’s, Babe’s Bar-B-Que Grill and Brewhouse, and Brandini Toffee Shop and Factory to the Morgan’s in the Desert, The Tar Pit, The Tropicale and Zin American Bistro, each of their top chefs will be putting their most creative efforts towards wooing the public and out-doing each other.

Featured celebrity chefs include Sara Moulton, food editor of Good Morning America; Mark Peel, executive chef/owner of Campanile and Tar Pit; and Andre Carthen, celebrity chef on The Today Show and Hollywood Live.

This event benefits the Culinary Institute of America’s Endowed Scholarship Fund.

For more information about the Food+Wine Festival Palm Desert and buy tickets, visit www.palmdesertfoodandwine.com.

If fashion and food isn’t enough that weekend, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation is holding its Desert Spanish Weekend March 23-25with tours of many fine examples of Spanish-influenced architecture in the Old Las Palmas, the Movie Colony and other Palm Springs locales.  Actress Diane Keaton is honorary chair of the weekend.

Architect and Desert Spanish Tribute journal author Patrick McGrew kicks off the event on Friday, March 23 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. with an overview of Palm Springs’ great Spanish-influenced architecture at the Michael H. Lord Gallery, 1090 North Palm Canyon.

Opening night cocktail party from 8 – 10 p.m. is at the historic Thomas O’Donnell House (circa 1925), known as Ojo Del Desierto (Eye of the Desert), on the mountainside overlooking Palm Springs.  An exceptional example of Spanish-influenced architecture,  it was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., take the fascinating homes tour with refreshments served at the last house where McGrew will sign copies of his Desert Spanish Tribute journal.

A multi-pass weekend ticket is $150.  For tickets and information, visit www.pspreservationfoundation.org.

Join the Palm Springs Historical Society on its new Walking Tours for a remarkable trip through Palm Springs’ past.  Walks are Wednesday through Saturday starting at 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. for a one-hour tours.

The tour includes a complimentary Palm Springs themed refreshment, historical highlights and tales of Palm Springs glamorous days gone by, tour of Mid-century modern and Spanish architecture,  the Walk of Stars along Palm Canyon Drive, and free admission to the McCallum Adobe and Cornelia White House in downtown.

Cost is $15 per person.  For details, call (760) 323-8297 or www.visitpalmsprings.com

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands is now open to the public.  Some of the biggest names in politics and entertainment – President Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II and Frank Sinatra to name a few — have been guests at the winter home to the late ambassadors Walter and Lenore Annenberg.

The tour is a must-see for any architecture buff.  Completed in 1966, the stunning Mid-Century Modern home was designed by A. Quincy Jones and has been perfectly restored.  The house tour includes viewing historical photos of the Annenbergs high-profile friends and the art and sculpture collections.

Tour tickets are $35 per person.  For more details, visit www.sunnylands.org.

Pamela Bieri

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