Editor Merle Ginsberg hosts a Private Preview for the Debut of Matthew Rolston’s “Hollywood Royale” as a First-Ever Untethered Virtual Reality Gallery Experience at AKA West Hollywood 

Presented by LA Fashion Festival 2019 and Created by The Mill 

Glamour, high technology, sustainability, and style will come together in a unique form presented by LA Fashion Festival 2019: a virtual reality gallery experience of celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston’s 1980s retrospective exhibition, “Hollywood Royale: Out of the School of Los Angeles.” 

Utilizing Oculus Quest, the latest in untethered headset technology, The Mill, an international leader in VFX and creative content, has authored this first-of-its-kind moment in Hollywood history. 

Rolston’s Hollywood Royale VR gallery will debut at an invitation-only preview on Wednesday, September 18th in Los Angeles at the luxury serviced residence AKA West Hollywood, ahead of its public display on September 20 & 21 at the Los Angeles Fashion Festival, which is an innovative showcase for the very latest in film, innovation, beauty, and retail.

From Michael Jackson to Madonna, from Prince to George Michael, Cyndi Lauper and many more, the portraits of Hollywood Royale comprise a literal ‘who’s-who’ of ‘80s pop culture, commissioned largely for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone. Matthew Rolston’s influential photographic approach will be displayed in a hyper-realistic three-dimensional virtual gallery space. Preview guests will don Oculus headsets and take an intimate ‘journey’ through Rolston’s photographs, curated and guided by the artist himself, as he narrates some of the personal stories behind these timeless images.

In accordance with the theme of its 2019 season, LAFF believes sustainability shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a way of life. Sustainability can be expressed in many forms, and one of them, according to Rolston, is “the sustainability of cultural memory.” Rolston’s photographs of the 1980s are highly inflected by the visual history of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and as such, help to sustain the cinema city’s traditions of high style and theatricality.

Featured Artist: One of a handful of artists to emerge in the 1980s from Andy Warhol’s celebrity-focused Interview magazine, Matthew Rolston has since become a well-established icon of Hollywood photography. Alongside such image-makers as Greg Gorman and Herb Ritts, Rolston was a member of an influential group of photographers (among them, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, and Steven Meisel) who came from the ‘80s magazine scene. Rolston’s work has helped define the contemporary aesthetics of American portraiture; his 1980s images are notable for their glamorous lighting and detail-rich sets. Rolston’s photographs have been exhibited worldwide and are in the permanent collections of LACMA and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., among others. The works in Hollywood Royale are exclusively represented in the United States by Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.

Experience Producer: Poised as a cornerstone of LA fashion events, LA Fashion Festival (LAFF) showcases progressive ideas via an immersive cultural experience of film, retail, innovation, and beauty influences. Founded on the basis of inclusion, sustainability, and community, LAFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit platform produced by The kulturspace Foundation for forward-thinking creatives & brands to showcase collaborations and incite meaningful exchanges.

Immersion Producer: With studios across three continents, The Mill, an international leader in high-technology entertainment, content creation, and VFX, is made up of artists, technologists, and makers for all media, working at the frontiers of visual narrative. Built on the bedrock of cinematic legacy and high-profile fashion commercial work, The Mill uses virtual and augmented realities to imagine and build the future of interactive and immersive experiences.

Preview Host: Merle Ginsberg is a well-known American journalist, editor, author, and TV personality currently based in Los Angeles. Former senior style writer at The Hollywood Reporter and currently a contributing editor to Los Angeles Magazine, Merle has written on fashion, beauty and entertainment for magazines all over the world including W Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, The London Times, Women's Wear Daily, Rolling Stone, Elle Décor, People Magazine, British Elle and Glamour UK, among many others. She is the author of the bestselling book Confessions of an Heiress and the design book Hip Hollywood Homes. She has also appeared regularly as a fashion expert on a wide spectrum of television programs, among them Entertainment Tonight, CNN, MSNBC, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The Today Show.

Experience Venue: Situated on the iconic Sunset Strip between chic Beverly Hills and the world-famous Hollywood studios, AKA West Hollywood is a vibrant destination in its own right. Rising above the city, against the backdrop of its beautiful hills, AKA’s luxury serviced residences offer a sophisticated living environment catering to stays of 31 days or more. The property’s wide range of amenities available to residents year-round, includes a.lounge + terrace, a.cinema, AKA’s signature intimate screening room available on-demand, a private resort-style pool overlooking all of Los Angeles, a 24-hour Technogym fitness center, complimentary sleek custom bicycles, and a gracious Resident Services Team.


Justin Raymond Merino



Justin Merino