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Apr 22
By Izzie

Article written by: Vogue

Swedish songstress Lykke Li loves to throw a good party—specifically in cahoots with her close friends Gina Correll Aglietti (a chef and stylist) and Yola Jimenez (an activist and entrepreneur). The trio has for some time now been hosting regular dinner fetes in Los Angeles (where Li and Aglietti live) and Mexico City (chez Jimenez)—chill, convivial get-togethers at which Aglietti cooks, Jimenez pours mezcal, and Li sings and takes pictures.

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So much has the trio enjoyed these experiences, in fact, that they’ve now conceived a brand around them. Yola Mezcal, which is set to launch soon, grew out of the group’s desire to bottle the spirit of their soirees—a key reason why the fledgling company is headquartered in a sprawling 1950s house atop Beachwood Canyon, just beneath the Hollywood sign. (Another reason: It doubles as the new recording studio of Jeff Bhasker—Li’s partner and the father of their 2-month-old son, Dion, and the recent winner of two Grammys, including Producer of the Year.)

And so what better way to christen the new space than with a house party for the ages? Earlier this week, a crowd of the founders’ friends, including music luminaries (Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Sam Smith, Tobias Jesso, Jr.), models (Drake Burnette, Dorothea Barth-Jorgensen), fashion world fixtures (Sophie Buhai, Ryann Bosetti), and other young comers (Alex Israel, Grace Dunham)—as well as a number of curious neighbors—gathered informally over cochinita sopes and gooseberry-and-fennel plantain cakes (designed by Aglietti and garnished with herbs from the on-premises garden) to sample the smoky elixir. Of the many concoctions on offer (artisanal micheladas! Nasturtium-infused blends cooled with hibiscus-lime ice cubes!), the crowd favorite was an only-in-L.A. option mixed with raw, cold-pressed green juice. “The idea was to make the most healthy cocktail you could possibly have,” Aglietti explained.

The idea was also to transport guests—“a ’70s utopian California dream vibe with a hint of Mexico,” as Aglietti put it, though the groovy Laurel Canyon shindigs on Mad Men also came to mind—via desert-chic decor, Me Decade music, and exotic plants from succulent-purveyor-of-the-moment the Cactus Store. Everywhere you looked, the Yola slogan of “strong women, strong drink” seemed apt; even the model-esque peasant blouse–clad servers were young creatives—musicians, cult-favorite yoga teachers—culled from Team Yola’s extended friend network.

After the cocktails kicked in, Li’s new supergroup, Liv (Swedish for “life”)—a collaboration with Bhasker, Miike Snow members Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg, musician Jonathan Wilson, and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa—took to the makeshift stage in the living room, performing for the first time songs that Li accurately described as “the love child of ABBA and Fleetwood Mac.” It’s an earthier, more rock ’n’ roll direction for Li, who, swaying in her persimmon-hued one-shouldered minidress, certainly didn’t seem like she was still on maternity leave.

Postshow, Lady Gaga put on a playlist she’d made for the occasion, accompanied by late arrival Mark Ronson on drums, while Aglietti and the members of girl band Muna took turns deejaying an impromptu dance party that raged into the wee hours. At one point, Li darted into the backyard with fellow Swede and Nicolas Ghesquière muse Erika Linder for an impromptu photo shoot (coming soon to Yola’s worth-following Instagram)—staged among the agave plants she’d sown herself.

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