This past weekend, I was sent to L.A. to cover the Midsummer Night’s Dream party at the Playboy Mansion for my full-time gig, More on that-and a fashion trend coming soon to Chicago-shortly, but a weekend in L.A. is nothing if not star-studded, so first, a Celebrity Spotting update, West Coast edition: As soon as I landed at the airport Friday, my cell started blowing up. “Meet at the Beverly Hills Hotel for cocktails with Damon Dash,” the text message read. Damon Dash, as in one of the biggest music/entertainment moguls on the planet? No brainer; I was in.

Without stopping to drop my bags and primp a little at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, I headed straight for the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge, an industry-insider spot where plenty of deals go down-and where The Goodbye Girl, my friend who moved to L.A. a few weeks ago, was sitting with her talent-manager cousin and the cousin’s dear friend Dash. The soft-spoken, 36-year-old music exec co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z, although he was later pushed out, and is credited with discovering Chicago’s own Kanye West. Dash told me about his high-end clothing line and a couple of documentaries he’s working on (among other things, he owns a movie production company) in between showing me photos of his kids on his cell phone. He actually had two cell phones-which is so L.A.-both of which rang constantly. He also gave me the lowdown on his rollercoaster life (he’s married to über-designer Rachel Roy) and the secret to his success: “It’s all about protecting your brand.”

After a couple glasses of mid-day pinot grigio, GG and I went back to her place to change before meeting people for drinks at the Mondrian Hotel’s Sky Bar, then headed straight to our 8 p.m. dinner reservations at ultra-trendy One Sunset, which hosted Chicago rapper Common’s record release party a week prior. After sharing plates of gourmet mini-burgers and lobster quesadillas, we retreated to my hotel so I could finally check in, then made our way to neighboring Teddy’s, the celebrity hot spot that’s played host to every major It Girl and Boy over the last few years. Despite snooty door people-and no sign of Lindsay Lohan anywhere-we stayed for a couple of Red Bull and Ketel Ones, but the DJ looked even more bored than we felt. Everyone in L.A. looks like someone, but we didn’t manage to spy any more celebs; we did, however, spot a notable trend that’s sure to hit Chicago any day: Headbands. You heard it here first, folks.

Not only did we love her scarf-as-headband look, but she posed like a true pro.

Rocking the bandana-as-headband look. Nice shirt, too, by the way.

Sweatbands aren’t just for the gym anymore.

“Cuuuute!” she said, after approving the digital pic we took of her. Confidence is king in L.A.

Variation on a theme: Bandito!

Saturday was all about shopping, then getting ready for the reason I came to L.A. in the first place: Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since I was sent to cover the event exclusively for, you can find behind-the-scenes photos and video here. However you picture an all-out bash at the Playboy Mansion, multiply that by 20, and you’re close to imagining what the night was like. I’ve been to my share of star-studded affairs, but nothing like this one-and certainly not while I was wearing a nightie (a requirement to attend).

My whirlwind weekend ended with a few chill hours Sunday at the Tropicana pool, where I spotted another headband; this girl didn’t even take hers off before taking a dip. Talk about a slave to fashion. Headbands may be the new black in L.A., but Playboy parties still reign supreme.


Photography: Sarah Preston