Midchella madness was in full swing Wednesday night as Treats magazine simultaneously celebrated cover subject Dylan Penn (who wasn't actually there) and the completion of Jim Goldstein's long-gestating (and not yet actually finished) nightclub on a Beverly Hills hill.
Treats, for those of who might be unfamiliar with it, bills itself as a fine arts quarterly though our copilot at Wednesday night's festivities found the NSFW content, mostly in the form of artfully staged photos of bare-breasted women, virtually indistinguishable from the likes of Playboy. While it is different from the mag published by the bunny hutch bunch -- if only for the $30 price tag -- we chose not to quibble with the assessment.
The comparison is one clearly on the mind of Treats founder and editor-in-chief Steve Shaw, who, in the magazine says cover girl Penn "chose to pose for our cover over 'other' publications." The Internet was abuzz last month with reports that Penn had turned down a lucrative offer to pose for Playboy.
Although the 23-year-old Penn is Hollywood royalty -- the daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright -- her name doesn't ring many bells since she grew up outside of the Hollywood bubble in the town of Ross, Calif., in Marin County. That's about to change, though, as she's currently making her acting debut in a horror movie titled "The Condemned," due out in 2015. (Filming was the reason we were given for the honoree's absence from Wednesday night's party.)
Her parents might be happy to know Penn appears in the magazine's pages with a modicum of modesty intact. On the cover that's thanks to a strategically placed Fendi bag; inside the assist goes to crossed arms, vintage YSL wrap dresses and one very artfully arranged dangling chain necklace.
While Dylan Penn seems to be ready for her Hollywood debut, Club James still has a few kinks to work out -- and Goldstein is the first to admit it. When we asked the architecture, fashion and basketball enthusiast how it felt to be done with his nine-years-in-the-making private nightclub he'd built beneath his hillside tennis court, he shrugged his shoulders.
"It's not done yet. I don't have the glass [windows] in for one," he said as he studied our outfit. "You're in short sleeves, so you're going to be cold."
Goldstein needn't have worried, thanks to strategically placed heaters and a space packed with revelers, Goldstein's hillside man cave on steroids turned out to be the hottest spot in town -- which is saying a lot for a place that doesn't have working bathrooms just yet. But you don't have to take our word for it; to read what attendees had to say about the space, search #ClubJames on Twitter.
Designed by Duncan Nicholson to fit with the arcitectural vibe of the Lautner-designed main house, which has appeared in myriad photo shoots and a few movies including "The Big Lebowski," the concrete, steel and glass space is filled with angular built-in benches and tables.
Once the windows are installed, they will be retractable and afford a stunning view of Beverly Hills immediately below and Los Angeles stretching out beyond that. The wall across from the windows is equally breathtaking -- a 2,000-inch-plus videos wall that on Wednesday danced and popped with special effects to the music cranking from a powerful sound system keyed to both a DJ booth and recessed ceiling lights.
When finished, Club James will also include office space, a kitchen, dining area, outdoor terrace, lap pool and theater.
But don't even think about trying to get your name on the reservation list -- there isn't one. It's a totally private space and a monument to its nightclub-frequenting creator who alone will decide what exclusive parties will alight in the space.
In a town where exclusivity is a form of currency, James Goldstein might have just pulled the ultimate Scrooge McDuck.