“What kind of plant is this?” I asked the saleswoman at the new Goop Lab in Brentwood while fiddling with a spindly, graceful plant that I can only describe as a miniature tree with long branches adorned with pom-poms of pine needles. “I’m not sure, but I can give you our florist’s number if you’d like,” the chill lady with dainty Echo Park–stamped tattoos, a breathy voice and big smile responded. Needless to say, I didn’t call the florist, but it all felt like a fitting welcome to Gwyneth Paltrow’s first IRL lifestyle store, Goop Lab, nestled in the Brentwood Country Mart because, really, where else would it be nestled?
Gwyneth’s Goop launched in 2008 as a weekly newsletter replete with the actress’s informal suggestions from places she’d traveled, eaten and shopped. That newsletter quickly evolved into a booming aspirational lifestyle website and brand boasting Goop’s very own line of vitamins, clothing and organic skincare products, in addition to interviews with health experts and articles like “11 Statement Turtlenecks We're Wearing Now.” Just this month, Goop launched its first issue of a quarterly print magazine (in partnership with Condé Nast) featuring Gwyneth herself, wearing nothing but bikini bottoms, slathered in what looks like nutrient-dense mud.
To enter the Goop Lab — referred to as a “bungalow” — is to stroll into an idyll of aspirational leisure; it's as if the various sides of the ideal woman (i.e., Gwyneth Paltrow) have been turned into individual rooms in a well-appointed, 1,300-square-foot apartment. In an entryway built as a sparkling clean mudroom/airy greenhouse, white-tiled floors are beautified with lush greenery, woven baskets and garden supplies. Take a few steps further and you’re in the apothecary, where you can — as I did — spray yourself with every facial mist and dab on every primrose-based face oil you can get your hands on. Products span from Moon Juice’s Beauty Dust to French Girl Sea Spray, and the shelves are accented with beakers filled with beady-eyed green plants, because mason jars are so 2016. Leave it to Paltrow's interior design team, Roman and Williams, to pinpoint a burgeoning trend that's sure to grace every Brentwood mom’s home in no time flat.
The fully functioning kitchen feels as if it could've been ripped out of Paltrow's Hamptons home (or, let's be real, its guest quarters) and transported to L.A. Items for sale included matcha powder, $80 linen hand towels displayed in weathered wooden bowls, and a line of Goop cooking spices ranging from turmeric powder to coriander seeds and tandoori seasoning. The kitchen’s étagère (fancy new French word I learned that means open shelf) was painted a pale pink and lined with magenta dahlias and various kitchen-esque accoutrements. To complete the vision of the kitchen, there's an ivory range with brass fixtures and quartzite countertops. The setup allegedly will be used for cooking demonstrations, although it's hard to imagine anyone doing something as ghastly as cooking food in the immaculate space (Gwynny is raw, you know).
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The living room feels like an environmental shuffle from Los Angeles to New York. The moody midnight blue wallpaper has been painted by hand and a walnut day bed is embellished with a sheepskin throw. I spot a bar cart and totally envision Paltrow holding an organic tequila–infused margarita during a girlfriends-only taco night (morning meditation to follow). The Goop Label is where things get exceedingly trickier, because even as someone who appreciates a level of refined taste, I can’t wrap my head around people — even people of means — spending $375 on a black, ribbed, long-sleeve shirt so basic you could easily buy it at Zara. I suppose she’s going for the Theory price point, which makes sense, but the approach still feels like just the right amount of the out-of-touch-Gwyneth we all love to condemn. Throw in a $895 Marni top and distressed jeans that probably fit so well it hurts, and there you have it: living room/closet à la Goop.
Like it or not, Goop’s store cements the 44-year-old entrepreneur’s lifestyle creed in living a chic-as-fuck, nontoxic, health-centered existence. She recently told Architectural Digest that the Brentwood Country Mart “has been a part of my life since I was a child,” so this all just makes so much sense. What you get with Gwyneth is balls-to-the-wall Gwyneth, and she just happens to be rich and famous and healthy and eager to share. As a friend texted me after seeing a Goop Lab mirror selfie I uploaded on my Instagram story, “If Gwyneth told me to rub dog shit on my face, I probably would.”
And honestly … I’d probably at least consider it, too.