Roger Vivier Brings French Bliss to LA
by laurie brookins
Prismick shoulder bag with chain handle ($2,925) and open-toe Gigi Buckle Strass silk-satin sandal ($1,155), Roger Vivier. South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, 714-435-0015. BACKGROUND: Frisoni’s sketches for the South Coast Plaza boutique and the Prismick bag.
Bruno Frisoni can't wait for a little Sex on the Beach—the cocktail, he adds playfully.
It's no surprise to find Frisoni, creative director for Roger Vivier since 2003, feeling a bit mischievous. He's known for combining his sense of whimsy with exceptional craft, resulting in covetable shoes and bags sporting details that effortlessly balance modernity and tradition (that iconic buckle, first seen on Catherine Deneuve in 1967's Belle de Jour, leaps to mind). Frisoni has also quite simply loved Los Angeles "from the very first trip I took here—and to be honest I loved Hollywood even more," he says. "There is such a sexy energy about it. I also found it incredibly inspiring to be near the desert; it gives off a mood that feels free and nonchalant."
We now know which libation to have on hand when Frisoni comes to town in early May to celebrate the opening of the 1,000-square-foot Roger Vivier at South Coast Plaza, only the third US boutique for the French accessories label after New York and Miami. But Roger Vivier has long been associated with A-list Hollywood (Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, and Grace Kelly were all fans of the legendary shoemaker), and under Frisoni's guidance, the Vivier label has enjoyed recent success at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills (where he'll make a personal appearance May 4). A freestanding boutique was merely a matter of pinpointing the ideal Southern California location, says Frisoni. "I see California—and LA in particular—as a place of joy and humor, with long days of sun and long nights," he says. "This links perfectly with my collections, which are as joyful as Californians."
Spring/Summer 2012 is undeniably a bright and carefree collection, evidenced by a brilliant color palette of tangerine, emerald, and lemon yellow, along with the use of color blocking on strappy sandals and graphic prints on the house's famed Tube clutch. "I was reading a great book on African masks that [piqued] my imagination and got me going down that road," he says. "It inspired me to mix prints and play with bright colors and natural materials. Summer is about escape, and Africa came as evidence."
The new boutique also allows LA and OC fans to experience such exclusives as Rendez-Vous, a highly refined, limited-edition line of shoes and bags. "It's a traveling collection that goes exclusively to our boutiques around the world. Only a small quantity of each style is produced, which makes it so special," says Frisoni of the pieces that will be available for 48 hours in each store. And he's equally excited about Prismick, a grouping of geometrically driven accessories Frisoni based off Vivier's love of collages. "[The collection is] iconic, timeless, and beautifully crafted," he says. "It's extremely chic."
We go behind the scenes at 'Mad Men' star Christina Hendricks' cover shoot.