Photography by Trevor Smith

George Kotsiopoulos

Fashion Consultant/Stylist

| West Hollywood Hills

Whoever coined the proverb, “Style is the man himself” must have been looking at George Kotsiopoulos, a man whose list of fashion contributions runs longer than his Greek last name (ahem, think stylist, author, designer and television host). Surely you remember his hilarious knack for giving the late, great Joan Rivers a run for her money, no? The devilish duo starred alongside Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne on E!’s Fashion Police, where their side-splitting commentary quickly became as entertaining as the red carpet events themselves. While the pop culture network blessed us with Kotsiopoulos’ punchy quips for just four years, his devotion to style has been a life-long affair. In fact, long before he began styling A-listers like Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, Katy Perry and Heidi Klum (#NBD), Kotsiopoulos dressed a client closer to home: his older sister– if she only knew that these sib’ shopping trips were laying the foundation for her brother to land on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood” list… two years in a row. Jumping from fashion police to fashion philanthropy, Kotsiopoulos co-founded “Bag Lunch,” an annual fundraiser where designer handbags (from the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Christian Dior) are auctioned off to support arts education in LA’s public school system. Of course, when he’s not saving Hollywood’s carpets or curriculums (naturally, both could benefit from sartorial savvy), the master multi-tasker is designing his collection for QVC, publishing his first book, Glamorous By George, or blogging via his website, Follow That Dress. And yet, if we gave you the impression that Kotsiopoulos is all work and no play, think again– when we arrived at his Hollywood home, he was long john-clad and pajama party ready… As it turns out, Greek gentlemen do have more fun. Here, he sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on LA.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Tower Bar (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is one of the coziest rooms in LA and a quick two minute walk from my house. My favorite dishes are the grilled salmon with grilled asparagus and the filet mignon with sautéed spinach. I tend to order healthy, then either split yummier options with others or convince them to get something I want to try– like crispy brussels sprouts with bacon, lobster tacos, clams casino, pizza, truffle fries or chicken pot pie… Then Dimitri, their legendary maître’d, always caps the night off with a piping hot plate of freshly baked cookies— it’s all very adult, but never stuffy.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at my kitchen counter— I can’t leave the house without having a cup and my Nespresso gets it right every time.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Sushi Time on Beverly Boulevard (MAP IT, x) is a tiny place next to a laundromat in a mini mall and it has the best sushi in town. It’s unpretentious and affordable with a super sweet staff and quality fish.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Usually, a vodka soda with two limes or a vodka martini with olives, dirty on the side (no vermouth)— I want my martini slightly dirty and no one ever gets it right when I order it that way so I’ve learned to “make” it myself. It seems high maintenance, but I think returning a drink is worse so, when I order one, I just say, “Trust me– it’s easier this way.” However, tequila has become the new vodka in many circles (including mine) because it’s been touted as an anti-depressant so for nights when I want to get “jacked up,” it’s a tequila soda (with two limes, natch) for me. Tower Bar makes wonderful drinks with a generous pour in huge tumblers and it’s all about the glass and the pour if you ask me— it’s so gauche when a place forces their bartenders to use a jigger to pour an exact amount of their precious alcohol.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: I’ve driven by Pink Taco on Sunset Boulevard (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for years, but it never occurred to me to go there until I moved around the corner. It now feeds my current fixation on tequila.

DINNER WITH FRIENDS: My new favorites are ‘90s throwbacks: Genghis Cohen on Fairfax (MAP IT, x)– technically an ‘80s throwback, but it’s ‘90s for me– and Jones Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard (MAP IT, x). For more modern adult fare, I like group dinners at Eveleigh (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). If kids are involved, then I hit Saddle Ranch Chop House (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— I learned the hard way that kids do not care for “farm-to-table,” but they love watching people fall off of an electric bull.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: Everyone always wants to go to Chateau Marmont (MAP IT, x)– luckily, it’s just down the hill from my house and I can get always get in. I also love Musso & Frank Grill (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); it’s been around for almost 100 years and some of the servers have been there for up to 60 years! It’s a sweet slice of history.

MUSIC PICK: Oh gosh, I’m into so many genres like ‘60s French pop, disco, ‘70s glam rock, ‘80s new wave, folk, Motown, ‘40s big band vocalists, classic rock, etc. Giorgio’s (MAP IT, x) on Saturday nights at The Standard Hotel is always a fun, energetic room with a great mix of disco and early ‘80s dance music. It’s not labeled, “gay” or “straight” which just makes it fun and full of cool people. Same goes for A Club called Rhonda (x) which is a traveling, monthly club on the East side of town.

BEST BRUNCH: I’m a “breakfast in bed” kind-of-guy so brunch is not something that I do. If I ate a meal in between every meal, I’d be fat. I’d rather go to the gym, ride my bike or hike.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The patio at Saint Felix on the corner of Santa Monica and Robertson Boulevard (MAP IT, x)— this used to be the gayest intersection in California, but it has gentrified quite a bit in the last few years. LA isn’t a “walking” town so you rarely see crowds on the street and barely ever get this many subcultures mingling on one corner.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Tender Greens (MAP IT, x) for a seared ahi butter lettuce salad with roasted vegetables.

GUILTY PLEASURE: There’s a mozzarella bar called Obica (MAP IT, x) that recently opened up at Sunset Plaza and I just stumbled upon it— any place with the name of a cheese in its title is going to be a guilty pleasure. I was pleasantly surprised at the spot’s bright and open interior along with its killer city views. Sunset Plaza has always had a great European outer café vibe to it, but it has gone downhill in the last decade. I’m hoping for a resurgence since it’s right in my ‘hood.

LA’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: That, contrary to popular belief, LA is not a bubble full of, “flakes and airheads.” I’ve been here for almost three decades and that has not been my experience. LA is a culturally-inclusive city full of smart and creative people; it’s a melting pot and what’s more American than that?

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The sunshine first, the people second.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: The Pikey (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is a perfect, unassuming spot for a first date— just be sure to sit on the bar side because the overhead lighting at the tables is not flattering!

DELIVERY GO-TO: Cheebo (MAP IT, x) has fantastic Italian food made with organic and locally grown ingredients. For feeding several guests, I like to get Middle Eastern from Carousel on Hollywood Boulevard (MAP IT, x)— you can feed a dozen people for under $200 and it is yummy!

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: The Sunset Boulevard trifecta: SoHo House (MAP ITx), Sunset Tower (MAP IT, x) and Chateau Marmont.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: My house.

GO-TO GETAWAY: I love heading to either Palm Springs or Malibu because they’re a relatively short drive from Los Angeles, and yet, both make you feel a million miles away.

CLOSET CHECK: I would say my personal style is a bit preppy, a touch grunge and sometimes dapper. To shop, the Wilshire Boulevard trifecta of Barneys (MAP IT, x), Saks Fifth Avenue (MAP ITx) and Neiman Marcus (MAP IT, x) has everything you need fashion-wise, but I also love a mall and Westfield Century City (MAP IT, x) has it all— it’s outdoors, has great restaurants and movie theatres, plus it has both Zara and H&M… it’s all about the high and low.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I style my home just like I’d style myself or a client— I take a couple of statement pieces and allow them to have a moment while blending in the rest. I love color, but I have to control myself otherwise I’d be living in a clown house– a pop of color here and there does just fine. I would say that my home is strangely sophisticated, but comfortable. I don’t like everything to look, “brand-spanking new” so I prefer vintage pieces that have history and I certainly don’t mind a bit of patina. My place has a weird mix of Art Deco, a bit of ‘80s, ’60s and ‘70s mid-century modern and rustic industrial. I don’t like rooms that look the same, unless I’m browsing at Restoration Hardware (MAP IT, x). My latest addiction is Ebth (x) which has curated, online estate sales from all over the country; I’ve found some really cool, weird and amazing things on there.

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: Being on a television show for four years spoiled me [in this way] so I still have my guy, Ryan Randall (x) who comes to my house for haircuts. My guy friends also book him, but what’s really great is that he’s a genius at women’s hair and he’s great at make-up too so even my lady friends book him for at-home sessions. 

FIT PICK: Equinox (MAP IT, x) is around the corner from my house, but, oddly, I drive there! I only take the classes which are mostly cross fit-inspired, but I’ve also been getting into pilates recently. Kenny Johnson (x), Jim Jalove (x), Michael Myers (x) and Greg Louis (x) are all great class instructors who also personal train. Living in LA makes you want to be outside so I’ll mix in hikes at Runyon Canyon (x) (which is only a two minute drive or a ten minute bike ride away from me).

ULTIMATE LA MOMENT: My life has been one LA moment after another and I’m very grateful for it! CP

George’s LA

From L to R: First Row: SoHo House; Footwear at Saks Fifth Avenue; Salmon from Musso & Frank Grill; Inside Eveleigh. Second Row: Mirrors by Restoration Hardware; Bites at Tower Bar; Knitwear from Barneys; Pizza at Obica Mozzarella Bar.

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