Q&A With: Vegan Handbag Designer Cornelia Guest
The socialite spills on her spring line of cruelty-free handbags, her love of animals, and more.
May 16, 2012
New York socialite and philanthropist Cornelia Guest’s eponymous handbag line proves that eco-friendly vegan accessories can be chic. Her latest Cornelia Guest Handbag collection for spring 2012 focuses on elegantly woven satchels, canvas and straw totes, colorful crossbody messenger bags, and oversized embellished carriers—all created cruelty-free. We got Guest's take on inspirations, favorites from her collection, and her affinity for animals.
What were your design inspirations for the spring collection?
CORNELIA GUEST: Down-to-Earth and elegant. [I want] women to be able to go anywhere with my bags.
As a New York fashion icon and designer, how would you say your line fits with LA’s laid-back style?
CG: It’s classic with a twist and cruelty-free. LA is always helping animals and creating new trends.
What are your must-have pieces from the collection?
CG: My Nicolas weave bag with the Winston weave clutch inside, and my teal straw tote and Whitney tote for the beach.
You’ve been a longtime animal rights advocate. Where does your love of animals come from?
CG: I have loved animals since I was a child. I saved every bug and critter I could find. I still do now…they’ve just gotten bigger!
What is the best piece of fashion advice you’ve received?
CG: Be comfortable in your own skin…for me that’s when we are most beautiful!
On May 17, Guest will make an appearance at Bloomingdale’s Century City (4-7 PM) for a trunk show featuring her spring line. For more information, call 310-722-7101. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., LA
Bridal Bracelet That Gives Back
New limited-edition wedding piece from SoCal brand supports female Ugandan artisans.
April 20, 2012
Brides looking to put the finishing touches on their weddings will be enamored with the paper-beaded Blossom Bracelets ($39) from 31 Bits. We envision them as the perfect bridal party gifts or bouquet accessories.
And when brides buy these bracelets from the SoCal-based brand, they’ll be giving back—the pieces are made from recycled materials by women in Uganda, and also provide a source of income for these underprivileged females. Through 31 Bits’ program, the women are taught financial and vocational training and are provided with holistic care and a strong support system to help them achieve social equality. Shop online or visit 31bits.com for a list of LA-area retailers.
Valentino: New Boutique & Collection
Valentino opens a new boutique concept with a vintage-inspired capsule collection.
April 16, 2012
FROM LEFT: Opulence and glamour reign in Valentino’s newly opened boutique. A ruby-red gown from Valentino’s Spring 2012 runway.
Valentino's love affair with Hollywood spans decades. Dressing screen sirens of the past—Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn among them—was second nature for the iconic Valentino Garavani until he retired in 2008. And now, creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have brought fresh life to the label by putting their wares on fashion darlings including Michelle Williams and Florence Welch.
But it's not just Garavani's brand that is receiving a face-lift; this spring, Valentino opens its Beverly Hills boutique designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield and introduces a 50th anniversary capsule collection exclusive to the three flagship boutiques opening this year (LA, New York, and Milan). Chipperfield created a space filled with clean lines and light, airy colors, an aesthetic reflected in the label's clothing from recent seasons. Sharing real estate with the current Spring 2012 line, the anniversary collection includes 50 pieces inspired by Valentino's "anamalia" prints from the 1960s, including a cashmere leopard-print coat. Thanks to a new space and its timeless designs, Valentino is once again a must-visit on Rodeo. 324 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-247-0103.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX J. BERLINER/ABIMAGES (STORE)
Mixing Prints Goes Professional
Playing with prints in shirting and ties brings new life to the summer suit.
April 16, 2012
White linen blazer (price on request), dress shirt ($990), and printed tie ($220), Tom Ford. 346 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-270-9440
Whether pairing a notch tie with a striped shirt or a paisley ascot with polka dots, playing with shapes and texture can take spring and summer suiting to an exciting new level. Gone are the days of everything matching. This season designers from Etro to Prada combined bold shirts and ties for a playful, colorful look on the runways. With our sunny climate, the trend easily translates to the streets of Beverly Hills.
Experimenting with mixed prints in underpinnings makes for an easy, personalized statement in a sea of gray suiting. “It goes with the off-the-cuff culture of LA,” says Nigel Meiojas, a talent agent at ICM and an avid fan of the trend. “Everyone from Silver Lake to Beverly Hills embraces color and a more out-of-the-box approach to fashion. We’re just less buttoned-up than the East Coast.” Tom Ford applies the trend with the perfect prescription of fun and sophistication via dots on dots and dots on stripes—the ideal option for any suiting adventurer.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATHAN SAYERS
Tiffany Celebrates Anniversary with New Line
The iconic jewelry brand commemorates a milestone with the introduction of a new line.
April 09, 2012
Tiffany 1837 Interlocking Circles necklace, Tiffany & Co. ($8,000).
There are few things more recognizable than the robin's egg blue Tiffany & Co. box. Now when eager women open that coveted little treasure, they just may find the iconic jewelry house's latest Tiffany 1837 collection of pieces in Rubedo metal (a mix of silver, copper, and gold), created in honor of its 175th anniversary. The line features a simple, elegant cuff and ring; a padlock charm; and interlocking-circles necklaces—all of which will undoubtedly have women everywhere daydreaming of something blue. 210 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-273-8880
Tory Burch Line Includes Luxe Backpacks
Tory Burch’s spring line features a fresh and fashionable take on backpacks.
March 27, 2012
Leave it to Tory Burch to make even backpacks look ladylike and LA-appropriate. The Robinson Backpack ($295), included in the designer’s specialty spring collection and named for her parents, is made with lightweight nylon and practical pockets for easy traveling and everyday use. The tan/white color scheme makes a great wear-with-anything spring bag. Malibu Country Mart, 3939 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, 310-456-6459
Sporty Spice Footwear
Athletic-inspired accessories go straight from the spring runways to the clubhouse at Hillcrest.
March 05, 2012
White perforated-brass Kasia square clutch, Stella McCartney ($1,395), 8823 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-273-7051. White perforated sandal, Fendi ($760), South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, 714-751-1111.
While pretty pastels and ladylike silhouettes may adorn spring’s most fashionable frocks, shoes and handbags are taking a structural twist, as clean lines and sport influences dominate the accessories market for Spring 2012. Designers are taking inspiration from a range of places, from putting greens to the primary colors on a varsity jacket. Italian fashion house Fendi adorned heels and flats with perforated leather—reminiscent of a high school football jersey—fastened with bows in red, blue, green, and shiny gold. Stella McCartney’s laser-cut metal clutch in glossy white is likewise perforated on a rounded shell, a playful effect that resembles a golf ball. Meanwhile, Céline’s color-blocked portfolio—diagonally separated into four triangular sections of white, red, blue, and golden yellow—conjures up images of nautical flags and makes us think of sailing away on the Pacific.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN KLUTCH
Rebecca Taylor Happenings
Rebecca Taylor makes a Westward expansion with new stores in LA and Newport Beach.
January 21, 2012
Rebecca Taylor arrives on Robertson
“I’ve always loved the concept of a city being right by the ocean—the mixture of the forced relaxed lifestyle of the beach juxtaposed with hard work,” says Rebecca Taylor of her love for Los Angeles. The New Zealandbred designer, who opens not one, but two, Southern California stores this spring (at Fashion Island and on Robertson), blends the low-key style Angelenos are known for with dressed-up, party-worthy fashions season after season. “We’ve had our sights on the West Coast for a while,” says Taylor, “and finally, the spaces just felt right.”
Taylor’s collections always include a bit of romance. From this spring’s ethereal, glacial shades of gray to her constant use of beautiful floral prints and soft silks, her combination of cool-girl style and feminine charm suits the SoCal customer. “LA is very glamorous,” says Taylor. “With the store on Robertson, we’ve already had requests for more fancy clothing than in New York. When women dress up here, they really dress up—be it during Oscar season or for a cocktail party.” Playing off the laid-back atmosphere of the West Coast, her new outposts are lighter and brighter than her New York boutiques, featuring shining metals and sun-washed wood accents in airy spaces.
“The shapes and shades we create work well [in California],” says Taylor of her Spring 2012 collection, which is filled with neon knits and chiffon layers. 107 S. Robertson Blvd., LA, 310-734-0599; Fashion Island, Newport Beach, 949-610-0922
HMX Group's Concept Store
Beverly Hills welcomes a concept shop that is tailor made for LA ’s discerning man.
January 14, 2012
Streets of Beverly Hills carries clothing curated especially for West Coast men
A gentleman’s life in LA can easily go from the golf course to the boardroom to the red carpet all in the span of hours, requiring more than one wardrobe change. Now, thanks to HMX Group (the parent company of brands including Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, and Bobby Jones), dressing for every occasion is a one-stop, 2,000-square-foot shop. Streets of Beverly Hills, HMX Group’s concept shop, arrived late last year with a selection of clothing and accessories specifically curated for West Coast men.
The outpost is the inaugural shop in a nationwide program of Streets stores, each designed to reflect the city they are in—something HMX Group creative director Joseph Abboud (who joined the company in 2011) says stemmed from his dismay at watching the demise of local specialty stores. “We are excited about having a personal presence on the West Coast,” says Abboud. “The more we learn about the [Beverly Hills] resident, the more we can do for him.”
But Abboud is most excited about the store’s made-to-measure services. With a price point competitive with custom-tailor shops, Streets of Beverly Hills boasts endless opportunities for experimenting thanks to its strong relationships with both American and foreign mills. Says Abboud, “[Streets] is a special place for guys to experience made-tomeasure in a fun way.” 310 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-275-5013
Guide: The Best Manicures in Town
Eight wonderful places to get a top-notch manicure.
December 08, 2011
Le Posh Salon’s relaxing nail bar on Sunset
Chi Nail Bar & Organic Spa
With customers from Emily Deschanel to Diddy, Chi is a retreat where manicurists can do virtually anything you can dream up. One of the first LA spots to offer gel manicures, they also apply Minx, custom-mix glitters, and hand-paint patterns (tribal- to holiday- inspired) for a totally bespoke result. Chi’s new Downtown sister location, Ki Nail Bar & Organic Spa, opened last month. 9390 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-858-8803
Jessica Nail Clinic Inc.
A Beverly Hills institution, founder Jessica Vartoughian (the “First Lady of Nails”) has kept the hands of such VIPs as Nancy Reagan and Jodie Foster perfect for more than 30 years with her signature Natural Nail Cultivation System. Newly renovated, the spot offers serious nail TLC, followed by a brilliant polish with Vartoughian’s signature line of lacquers. 8627 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-659-9292; jessicacosmetics.com
For the ultimate of-the-moment nail art, Kleur—which consists of three übertalented young Angelenos with serious creative skills—is the go-to spot every Wednesday through Sunday at Space15Twenty in Hollywood. With a name stemming from the Afrikaans word for “color,” the girls mix vibrant tones, crazy prints, and fashion-forward inspirations (tribal designs are their most requested) to customized perfection. 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., LA, 213-986-6245
Le Posh Salon
Bringing serenity to Sunset, Le Posh boasts birch trees, beaded curtains, and a live weekend DJ, which all set the stage for nail treatments using Tasha & Co. Organics products with Essie, CND, and vegan SpaRitual lacquers. Nail styles range from traditional to runway-inspired (two-tone half-moon, reverse French). To enjoy your treatment in complete privacy, book the VIP Room. 7551 W. Sunset Blvd., LA, 323-851-5558
It’s tough to get an appointment at this tiny nail-centric bungalow on West 3rd (which has two equally sought-after sister locations in LA), where the options seem to be endless. Ombré, rubyred slipper-inspired glitter, and handmade 3-D charms are among Marie’s überpopular avant-garde manicures. 8616 W. 3rd St., LA, 310-550- 5925; marienails.com
A celebrity favorite, Nail Garden opened its vast Zen den in Brentwood this summer. Book an Indulgent Bliss Spa Combo, which includes a mani/pedi, hotparaffin hand and foot treatment, sea-salt scrub, therapeutic massage, mint cooling masque, and callus removal. They also offer Minx application and shellac and gel polishes from Gelish, O.P.I Axxium, and CND. 11677 San Vicente Blvd., LA, 310-979-0808
This Little Tokyo cult favorite for LA’s nail art-obsessed set offers super-glittery “rock star nails,” rhinestone-studded designs, and artsy works that reference Mondrian, YSL, or even Barbie’s Dream House. The sky’s the limit for these nail geniuses, who also excel at authentic Japanese 3-D styles. 244 E. 1st St., LA, 213-626-0315; nailserviceusa.com
The Nail Bar
Tucked inside the legendary Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel, this intimate, months-old nail bar is perhaps the chicest place in town for an indestructible Shellac Deluxe Manicure or a Coconut Pearl Deluxe Pedicure. White leather couches and chairs, Champagne, and Pretty Woman playing on loop combine for a lavishly indulgent experience. Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-385-7023; fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire/ spa/the_nail_bar