Culture Lifestyle

Portland’s Ladies of Paradise Aims to Extend Its Girly, Cultivated Pot Aesthetic to L.A.

It didn’t take long, once I’d ascended the stairs to a Silver Lake bungalow perched atop a hill with a view of the sunset, to find myself sitting on a cushion, sipping CBD lemonade, getting henna painted onto my hand, and watching a group of women experiment with putting hash in a hookah. I glanced around the yard at the all-girls party — a DJ set up by the entrance, a spread of THC-infused hummus and mezze plates at the center, fairy lights, beautifully embroidered cushions, joints and topicals everywhere — and realized this pot party was only the beginning of a new era of pot parties to grace Los Angeles.

It was a refreshing sort of retro-paradise, a party with all the essentials — good food, good people, good weed — hosted by the aptly named group Ladies of Paradise. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the Ladies have applied their expertise in styling, fashion, branding and event production to paint a new image of cannabis in Los Angeles, 2018.

If you’ve cruised Instagram lately (it has become a parade of cool kids and weed nerds redefining the cannabis space), you may have come across the group’s profile. It’s a compilation of trendy vintage fashion, bright and bubbly colors — mainly pink — and blissed-out models of all shapes and colors, accessorized by a billow of smoke and some sort of nouveau, pretty pot pipe, vape pen or good ol’ joint.

With their next party in L.A. themed after Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory, on Aug. 25, the Ladies often look as if they’ve stepped out of a 420-friendly episode of Austin Powers, but with a modern twist. This is, after all, where cannabis is headed in the post-prohibition era.

Ladies of Paradise packages cannabis in a completely different way than it’s been done before, but with a nod to the bubble-gum, paisley days that birthed cannabis counterculture in the ’60s and ’70s. “I think we can help reach a larger audience the way we do it,” says co-founder Harlee Case. “It’s less intimidating, more stylized, and might spark the interest of people who weren’t interested in cannabis before.”

Established as a cannabis brand in 2017, the group’s Oregon parties each draw about 250 people and feature multiple activations, musicians, cool cannabis brands, nug tools, art installations and always a fun theme, such as “Neon Safari” or “Cowboys vs. Aliens.” These events are historically bigger and more of a party than the L.A.-based invite-only infused dinners and such, like the Moroccan Nights dinner party I went to in Silver Lake.

But that’s about to change, as the Ladies plant deeper seeds in Los Angeles, looking for creative ways to curate a space where people can interact with and try new cannabis products. “I think one of the things that we’re trying to bring from Portland to L.A. is the community,” Case says. “When we go to L.A., we hear from a lot of girls, ‘You bring girls together, you encourage them to work together and collaborate.’?”

In addition to throwing parties, Ladies of Paradise has a brick-and-mortar cannabis lifestyle shop in Portland, and also offers California and Oregon cannabis clients social media content services, in-house design or packaging, and lifestyle or product photography.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Madison Margolin on LA Weekly

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Published: August 07, 2018

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