In the supremely enchanting setting of the Hotel Bel-Air, friends and fans toasted Nicholas Kirkwood last night in his first stateside event since becoming part of the LVMH family. "I think here in L.A. there's a good reason to wear high heels because no one has to walk anywhere," the designer said, as the likes of Liz Goldwyn, Katherine Ross, and China Chow took in his new collection. "I think here it's sneakers or it's your going-out shoes. It's good for me because I like to design those going-out shoes," Kirkwood added.

Hosts Emma Roberts and Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears welcomed the Brit to town, alongside photographer and filmmaker Todd Cole, stylist B. Akerlund, and Rachel Zoe. It being L.A., talk inevitably turned to red-carpet dressing and the necessity of celebrity to designers today. "I think it's becoming more and more important for me," Kirkwood said of the evening part of his collection, which caters to this clientele. For the red carpet, heels must be lighter and simpler. "But there's no dumbing down the collection to do it," he said of the process. "That's a very interesting exercise to me." And Kirkwood remains committed to it: He hinted that a Los Angeles flagship (the designer already has stores in Las Vegas and New York) is in the cards.