Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

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Category: Booth Moore

Vidal Sassoon: Remembering an L.A. style icon

Vidal Sassoon with model Peggy Moffitt

When most people think of the British-born Vidal Sassoon, who died Wednesday at age 84, they think Carnaby Street.

But he also had a role in shaping Los Angeles as a city of style.

"He opened a salon on Rodeo Drive when Beverly Hills was just coming of age among trendsetters," said Rose Apodaca, author and former Los Angeles bureau chief of Women's Wear Daily. "And he saw Los Angeles as this exciting place where rules were being broken. We know about swinging London; he saw Los Angeles as an extension of that."

He was drawn to the avant-garde fashion and art scene in 1960s and '70s L.A. that revolved around designer Rudi Gernreich and model-muse Peggy Moffitt (pictured with him above), who has worn Sassoon's famous five-point haircut since 1965.

"I can remember showing him Rudi's sketches and explaining how he and Rudi were doing something very similar by thinking architecturally and not out of the same old box," Moffitt said Thursday.

When Sassoon moved here permanently in 1973, he fully embraced the L.A. lifestyle, becoming a major museum benefactor and modern art collector, and restoring homes by Neutra and others. He was also a fitness enthusiast, early to the trend of Pilates and an avid swimmer.

"Vidal always loved Los Angeles," said Etienne Taenaka, manager of the Sassoon salon in Beverly Hills. "He used to say the street is the longest runway in the world. And he loved looking at people here. He’d say, 'Etienne, she has tremendous style.'”

Through his Vidal Sassoon hairstyling schools, he influenced people of all ages. "He was a gentleman, genuine and generous," said Taenaka, adding that a memorial event is being planned for the fall.

"He always thought of the other person, which stems from his beginnings as a very poor kid from the East End. In a number of ways, his career was all about recognizing youth and giving them opportunities. When he would walk into any of our academies, people just clamored to be with him."

To read more about Sassoon's legacy in L.A., click here.

-- Booth Moore


Vidal Sassoon in photos

Vidal Sassoon dies at 84, hair stylist revolutionized the field

Photo: Hairstylist Vidal Sassoon and model Peggy Moffitt attend a screening of "Vidal Sassoon: The Movie" at the Hammer Museum on Feb. 15, 2011 in Los Angeles. Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images.

Lucky magazine hosts conference about business of fashion blogging

They came to the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica wearing spring's flourescent bright colors, floral jeans and sky-high wedge sandals, their rainbow-manicured hands clutching iPhones at the ready to tweet, Pin and Instagram tidbits to their fashionable followers over the Internet.

Their goal? To learn how to make it--not in Hollywood, but in the fashion blogosphere--and earn up to $20,000 a month doing it.

"I want to help you quit your day job." That was Lucky editor-in-chief Brandon Holley's message in her introduction to FABB, the Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference, a meeting of old and new media hosted by the glossy on Monday. "And I want you all to subscribe," she said in a pitch for the Conde Nast magazine about shopping that launched in 2000. (Holley took over last year with a vow to transform Lucky into a "social shopping experience" by bringing bloggers into the fold.)

"In the magazine, we don't do head-to-toe looks. We are inspired by you," she said, explaining that it is precisely because so many magazines are still stuck in the old mindset of expensive, head-to-toe designer dressing that more and more women are seeking out fashion advice from blogs.

The event attracted nearly 150 attendees who came to hear panel discussions and conversations with blog stars such as Brit Morin, founder of HelloBrit and the self-proclaimed "Martha Stewart for the Digital Generation, and Sophia Rossi, co-founder with Zooey Deschanel of HelloGiggles, a self-described "online summer camp" experience. The roster of speakers also included Hollywoody digital mom-trepreneurs (Jessica Alba and the Honest Co., Soleil Moon Frye and Moon Frye) and fashion insiders (designer Zac Posen, "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant and J. Brand founder and Chief Executive Jeff Rudes). 


One of the more interesting panels, "Ways You Didn't Know You Could Monetize," got into the nitty-gritty of how the blog sausage is made. 

One way bloggers make money is through affiliates, or links, which allow them to earn commissions of 12% to 20% on purchases made through affiliate websites.

"We have bloggers who make more than $20,000 a month," said Amber Venz, president of RewardStyle, a company that helps set up affiliate deals for bloggers to earn commissions like personal shoppers do, for purchases made through their blogs with brands including TopShop, Net-a-Porter, J. Crew and Zappos.

"Getting money for stuff you're writing about, does anyone think that's not kosher?" Lauren Sherman, executive digital editor of Lucky, asked the panelists. (According to FTC laws, bloggers must disclose when they are paid--in cash, products or perks--to write about a brand.)

"We're blogging about what we want to blog about, not what an advertiser wants us to blog about," said Kelly Cook, co-founder of Snob Media, which encompasses several blogs, including BagSnob and ShoeSnob. "I'm going to find something to blog about and chances are we'll have an affiliate to click and buy it."

Vanessa Flaherty, director of brand development for Digital Brand Architects, a New York-based agency that represents bloggers, emphasized how new media darlings can build their careers beyond the digital space, through TV, book, licensing and manufacturing deals.

To that end, Cook and her partner Tina Craig talked about a line of handbags they designed for DKNY. "We came up with the styles, the hardware and the story boards," Cook said of the BagSnob for DKNY collection. "And the experience allowed us to be better reviewers of bags." 

When it comes to blog content, most panelists echoed the importance of "showing things in a positive light" and "not responding to haters" who comment negatively. But interestingly, the BagSnob DKNY deal came about as a result of founder Craig's negative review of a DKNY bag, which prompted a response from @DKNYPRGirl on Twitter, that led to a conversation, a meeting and eventually a design deal.

Another juicy discussion, featuring representatives from OPI, Neiman Marcus and Benefit Cosmetics, centered on "How Brands Work With Blogs," and the possibility that some successful bloggers could be pricing themselves out of opportunities to model, style and write about products.

Neiman Marcus' VP of Corporate PR Gabrielle De Papp complained about escalating fees for hiring top bloggers to generate content. She even mentioned an instance in which she had hired a blogger to style and appear in a fashion shoot, only to find out that person had recently completed a similar project with a competing department store.

Aimee Song, who founded the blog SongofStyle, fired back that some brands are demanding too much for too little. "There was an instance in which a brand wanted me to model, photograph and style clothes and put them on my blog, and they thought gifting me the item was enough," she said. "If a brand is willing to hire a photographer, a stylist and an editor for a shoot, than they should pay the same amount to bloggers," Song said, eliciting applause from the audience. "They get a bigger outreach from hiring us than some random model."

"But not everything should be transactional," warned Geri Hirsch, founder of BecauseImAddicted. "If everything on your blog has a monetary value, your readers will recognize it and you might see your traffic go down. We must be mindful of the tipping point."

--Booth Moore


Pinterest getting lots of interest

Web-only Everlane deals in quality without the steep markup

Top photo of Lucky magazine editor-in-chief Brandon Holley at the FABB conference at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica. Bottom photo of Jessica Alba at the conference. Credit: Donato Sardella.

'Tomboy Style' book celebrates boyish beauty

Lizzie-sharonsuhOne of my favorite new fashion books out now is "Tomboy Style" (Rizzoli) by Lizzie Garrett Mettler (left). It's a visual history of boyish beauty, with photographs of stylish women such as Alexa Chung and Marlene Dietrich.

"A tomboy is a girl," Mettler explains. "Tomboy style is about a woman who channels her tomboy childhood, and mixes masculine and feminine elements in her wardrobe. It's not just wearing men's clothes."

I talked to the L.A.-based author and blogger about her personal style, the idea behind the book and some of the great "Tomboy Style" icons past and present. Check out my story in Sunday's Image section.

Mettler also shared her must-have clothing and accessories for spring, mixing trends of the season such as colorful jeans, with classic tomboy staples such as a striped tee.

-- Booth Moore




Colleen Atwood to design Snow White inspired collection for HSN

Web-only Everlane deals in quality without the steep markup

Thomas Wylde designer plans new flagship


Photo of "Tomboy Style" author Lizzie Garrett Mettler. Credit: Sharon Suh

Colleen Atwood to design 'Snow White' inspired collection for HSN

HsncompCostume designer  Colleen Atwood ("Alice in Wonderland," "Chicago," "Mars Attacks") is making her first foray into fashion with the Atwood by Colleen Atwood collection for HSN, inspired by her work for the upcoming film "Snow White and the Huntsman."

The 12-piece collection will debut May 30 across all of HSN's platforms, including TV, mobile and the web, as part of a 24-hour shopping event tied to the film, a new take on the fairy tale that's opening June 1, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.

"It's often said that costume designers are a faceless group of people," Atwood told me Wednesday. "But we can contribute to fashion in a way that might be new and different."

Read more about the collection and what it means for the intersection of fashion and costume design in my Fashion Diary column in Sunday's Image section.

--Booth Moore


Timeline: Snow White through the years

'Snow White and the Huntsman' director: Disney turned us down

'Hunger Games' costumes come to fiery life

A look from the Atwood by Colleen Atwood collection. Credit: HSN

Web-only Everlane deals in quality fashion without steep markup

With the deluge of daily-sale blasts coming over email from designers, stores and flash sites like Gilt Groupe, plus new, lower-priced designer collaborations for such retailers as Target and H&M born every hour, when it comes to fashion today it's easy to be overwhelmed by choice and confused about what things really cost. 

Enter the Web-only clothing and accessories company Everlane, founded on a less-is-more philosophy of offering a pared-down selection of high-quality men's and women's "luxury basics" with very little markup in price. That means, for example, a garment-dyed, Supima cotton T-shirt made in Los Angeles that a designer might sell for $50 in his own boutique, costs just $15 on 

While fashion labels and retailers typically mark up prices as much as five times the production cost, Everlane saves money by being an online-only operation and passing the savings, as they say, onto the consumer, offering items at markups only 2 to 2 1/2 times the production cost.

BeltTo demonstrate the company's message of quality at the right price, the Everlane folks, who are based in Los Angeles, are hosting an online "at-cost pop-up" deal Friday at 7 a.m. PST/10 EST, offering Italian leather belts for $15, which is exactly what they cost to produce with no additional markup.

"[Flash sale sites] Gilt Groupe and Ideeli opened consumers' minds to the idea that if everyone is putting this stuff on sale, how much does it really cost to make?" said CEO Michael Preysman, who worked at private equity and tech firms before starting Everlane six months ago with co-founder Jesse Farmer.

"We're not going to be the cheapest place in the world," he said. "We’re trying to do high quality at a price point you’ve never seen before. "

So far, the site sells simple crew and V-neck T-shirts in soft watercolor shades ($15), French terry sweatshirts ($35), tote bags ($30) and reversible bow ties ($35), all with a minimalist appeal similar to that of Japanese brands Uniqlo and Muji. The info graphics on the Everlane site -- similar to something you might see in Wallpaper magazine -- explain the company's simplified supply chain, which involves production in small factories in California, Texas and New York.

It would seem that Everlane taps into several current cultural conversation points -- curation, local sourcing and thrift among them. It's the opposite of throwaway chic.

"We're not about fashion or trends. The word we use is 'taste,' " Preysman explained. There are no logos or labels, and that is by design. "There is more and more focus today on the brand versus the product," he said. "And the general complaint I hear is that people can't find quality. What does quality even mean anymore?"


Preysman's challenge, of course, is getting this message of quality and taste across to shoppers who cannot touch or try on the items he's selling, because they are only available on the Web.

And although the at-cost belt is available to all, there's currently a waiting list to shop the rest of, something Preysman insists was not a bid for exclusivity, but rather a necessary step in the early stage of the business, to make sure there was enough inventory to satisfy the demand. (Several items are currently sold out on the site.)

More than 200,000 new members have signed up since the launch in November, he said. By the end of May, when inventory levels are adjusted, the site will be completely open.


Fashion reboot: An eco-friendly wardrobe makeover

Shopping: Kevan Hall to speak in O.C., sample sales, openings

Frugal fashion: Marguerite Moreau at the Tribeca Film Festival

-- Booth Moore 

Photos and graphics from Everlane.

Thomas Wylde designer plans flagship store, new categories

Thomas Wylde collection

It had been a long time since I checked in with L.A.-based designer Paula Thomas and her rock n' roll romantic label Thomas Wylde. And when I stopped by her showroom on La Cienega the other day, I was impressed by how much her collection has grown -- in size and dollars.

Thomas Wylde is now a $10-million business and the designer has big plans, including a flagship store that she hopes will open in L.A. later this year, and a diffusion line launching in 2013.

A former model and stylist who worked with Julien MacDonald, Thomas launched the line in 2005. It was an overnight success in Hollywood, thanks to a range of skull-print scarves that were draped over the shoulders of Lindsay Lohan, Sienna Miller and seemingly every other starlet by early 2006.

Thomas Wylde collection

Back then, the collection was dominated by prints, abstractions of skulls mostly, on said scarves, silk caftans and chiffon baby-doll dresses. Thomas Wylde also included rock n' roll staples such as lambskin bolero jackets and slouchy leather hobo bags with skull stud work.

Now, Thomas Wylde has grown up. In the fall 2012 "War of Warriors" collection, the skulls and leather jackets are still there, but so are more dressed-up pieces, such as a fur-trimmed luggage leather sheath dress inspired by the interior of Thomas' Jaguar, a gray wool shift with delicate silver chain fringe at the hips, a gray reefer coat with subtle studding on the sleeves, and a molten silver goddess gown. The collection, from $450 for T-shirts to $6,000 for fur coats, is available at Maxfield, Neiman Marcus and Net-a-porter.

Gothic-inspired prints are still a signature. For fall, the print on caftans and scarves is inspired by Samoan tribal tattoo designs. Knits have also become an important part of the business, including slouchy cashmere tunics with silk print sleeves.

Thomas Wylde collection

Thomas also has a whole range of accessories, include smart-looking hats with chain-link bands, an oversized studded luggage leather clutch bag that she calls the "CFO," and necklaces with cross pendants that have tiny flashlights inside for reading menus in dark restaurants. "That may be my favorite piece in the collection," Thomas said.

Thomas Wylde collectionToday, the British-born Thomas counts Heidi Klum as one of her best clients; Skylar Grey wore one of her gowns to the Grammys, and Nicole Richie, Rihanna and Jada Pinkett Smith are also fans. 

The designer, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, says she's doubling her wholesale business every time she goes to market to sell collection, which she does in Paris. In 2010, she collaborated with Rankin on a book of photography to commemorate 10 seasons of Thomas Wylde, featuring the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing looks from the collection.

But other than that, the brand has largely stayed out of the limelight -- on purpose. Thomas doesn't show the collection on the runway, in part because she worries about too much exposure, she said, like what happened in the early days with those ubiquitous skull scarves.

"I didn't want Thomas Wylde to just be a trend," the designer says. "After 1 1/2 years of business just exploding, I stopped inviting the press. I wanted the product to reach the client because they wanted it, not because a magazine told them they wanted it."


Thomas Wylde: The name on everyone's hips

Juan Carlos Obando plots growth, new jewelry line and e-commerce 

Gregory Parkinson launches new line at Anthropologie


--Booth Moore

Photos of the fall/winter 2012 Thomas Wylde collection. Credit: Paula Thomas

Mulberry throws a monster pool party for Coachella

Mulberry party
British luxury brand Mulberry threw a poolside party and barbecue at the Parker Palm Springs on Saturday, with creative director Emma Hill hosting a slew of Coachella-bound bold-face names, including actresses Lily Collins, Kate Bosworth, Emma Watson, "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant, L.A.-based fashion designer Corey Lynn Calter and jewelry designer Suzanne Felsen.

Collins, a Coachella newbie, was happy for the break. "Last month, I was on 23 planes in 20 days," between the press tour for her film "Mirror Mirror" and shooting the indie film "Writers" in North Carolina, she said. "So I'm just excited to be hanging out with my friends."

Janie Bryant in Karen Walker sunglassesBryant was another newcomer to the Coachella scene. "I usually go to Stagecoach," said the Tennesee native, referring to the country-themed music festival that also takes place in Indio in springtime. Bryant was wearing oversized bubble gum pink sunglasses, a 1980s print playsuit and an aquamarine ring designed by pal Felsen. So what do Stagecoach festival goers wear? "A rebel flag bikini and cowboy boots," Bryant said. "Well ... not me personally."

The Mulberry event was themed around monsters. The entrance was flanked by humongous, hard plastic monster paws. Outsized inflatable creatures floated in the pool and populated the lawn. Even the lounge chairs had become creature comforts covered with beach towels bearing a hairy monster pelt print and dotted with tiny, monster-shaped pillows that proved popular props for those being photographed poolside.

But there was a method to the monster madness since it reflected the inspiration of the brand's fall and winter 2012 collection -- Maurice Sendak's children's book "Where the Wild Things Are," as well as Spike Jonze's movie adaptation of it.

Mulberry party
"I almost bawled my eyes out when I saw that film," Hill said earlier in the day, taking me through the fur, boucle, lace and tweed fall samples of the collection, which proved to be popular choices with Mulberry's celeb fans on the chilly first day and night of the Coachella festival, when they hosted an after-party at the Parker again with a performance by Kasabian.

Some standout pieces included a leather-and-lace bustier dress with tie-dye panels, a flame-colored tweed coat, a tribal-meets-Art Deco zigzag beaded flight jacket, sparkly tiger print sweaters, shaggy fur vests and monster-print sweatshirts, all in a grunge color palette of black, gray, orange and army green.

The Del Rey bag, inspired by songstress Lana Del Rey, spawned a waiting list as soon as it came down the runway at London Fashion Week in February. For fall, it comes in an immensely chic iridescent goldish green snakeprint leather, and some versions have a turtle shaped lock. The Maisie is another new bag, with trompe l'oeil details on the front and shearling or snakeskin sides. In addition, old friends the Alexa and Lily bags have been updated with chunky chain handles, tassels and studding.

Mulberry will open its first West Coast store June 16 on Grand Street in San Francisco. And an L.A. store is in the works too.


Mulberry's foxy Coachella pool party

A Mulberry menagerie makes merry at the Marmont

At Coachella festival, music and fashion are a natural fit

-- Booth Moore 

Photos, from top: At left, actress Lily Collins and Mulberry creative director Emma Hill; right, Wild Belle's brother-and-sister act Natalie and Elliot Bergman were among those attending Mulberry's monster-themed pool party at the Parker Palm Springs during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Donato Sardella.

"Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant sips a drink poolside. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.

Harley Viera-Newton, from left; Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor; Emma Watson. Credit: Donato Sardella.

Juan Carlos Obando plots growth, new jewelry line and e-commerce

Juan Carlos Obando
Los Angeles-based designer Juan Carlos Obando is in growth mode. He's planning a new jewelry line to roll out in November, the same time he launches e-commerce, and is expanding his company with a few key hires, including his first chief operating officer.

When Obando launched his collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week in 2005, he still had a day job as an art director in advertising, working with such clients as BMW, Coca-Cola, Disney and Sony. He taught himself fashion design by pulling apart vintage pieces and sewing them back together.

For the first few seasons, he was admittedly influenced by Tom Ford. As his style began to develop, his collections were often aggressively sexy, with lots of tailoring and an emphasis on hand craft. He singed, sun-bleached and even broiled fabric, all in the name of achieving interesting effects. And in 2008, he began showing his collection in New York. (Check out the evolution of his collections above. Left to right, a dress with hand-painted fish from spring 2006, a superhero-inspired jacket from fall 2008, sun-bleached frontier-style tailoring from spring 2010 and KISS-inspired leather appliques from fall 2011.) 

But only when Hollywood discovered his talent, did he really discover himself. 


"That Freida Pinto dress turned my business around," Obando said when he had breakfast last week, referring to the green, bias cut gown (above, right) the star wore in July 2011 to the L.A. premiere of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

Perhaps because of his background in advertising, Obando was more than willing to listen to what his customers wanted. And beginning in 2011, he started to focus more on the evening wear that Pinto, Miley Cyrus, Viola Davis and other celebrities were clamoring for.

"Before that, my style was a bit dark," he said. "Now, I'm known for simple, streamlined gowns in bright colors. I have an evening wear company."

He's become a red carpet go-to for L.A.'s art, society and media types, too, including Willow Bay, Jacqui Getty and Katherine Ross, a fashion consultant and the wife of LACMA director Michael Govan. 

"Seventy percent of my clients have come to me because of Katherine," Obando said. "She is intrumental in developing that strategic eye and picking the right celebrities. And she has helped so many L.A. designers -- Gregory Parkinson, George Esquivel and Johnson Hartig."

Obando, who is about to turn 35, is at a point where he can appreciate his creative journey "from what I thought my style was, to what it is, to what it needs to be," he said.


This spring, he was able to get his feet wet in the jewelry category by designing a few pieces (see above) for Atelier Swarovski, in stores and online now. (The Austrian crystal brand has been sponsoring Obando's New York Fashion Week runway shows for three years.)

For his own jewelry collection, which he hopes will hit stores in time for the holidays, he's taking inspiration from men's metal watch bands. He'll launch e-commerce at about the same time, with a selection of his signature gowns, as well as more separates, such as breezy blouses to throw on over jeans.

"It's funny as a designer how my vision has changed," Obando said. "Some people don't like the reality of what their vision becomes, but for me, I'm happy."

Juan Carlos Obando's collection, $1800 to $3500,  sells at Barneys New York, Des Kohan in Los Angeles.

-- Booth Moore


Fashion Diary: It's L.A. Designers' time to shine

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Juan Carlos Obando

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012: Juan Carlos Obando

Top photos of Juan Carlos Obando, Robert Durell /Los Angeles Times.

Second-row photos, left to right: Los Angeles Times; Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times; Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter/ For The Times; Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

Third-row photos, left to right: Viola Davis wearing Juan Carlos Obando at the 84th annual Academy Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in February. Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times. Freida Pinto arrives at the Premiere of 20th Century Fox's 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on July 28, 2011, in Los Angeles. Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Juan Carlos Obando' Atelier Swarovski collection, from the designer.

Music and fashion meet at Coachella

Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performs during "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" in  2010
Fashion has become a big part of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which starts Friday.

So big, in fact, that brands from around the globe will descend on California for both weekends of the festival -- and the week in between -- to court performers and their fans. 

The relationship between fashion and music is a symbiotic one, L.A. Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore explains in a story in Sunday's Image section. For the fashion labels, a star's endorsement draws other customers. For a band, playing at fashion events can earn enough money to pay for a tour.

And for fans, copying the clothes their idols wear has been part of the fun since music festivals began. Reporter Adam Tschorn singled out five fashion-conscious acts that are scheduled to perform at Coachella and describes their signature styles in Sunday's Image too. Grace Potter, shown here, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is one of them. She told Tschorn that she has loved fashion since she was a kid and that as a performer it's important to be ready for " our 'big moments in the sun' -- our TV moments, our big, onstage Coachella moments." We can't wait to see what she'll be wearing. 

Tickets sold out in January, but if you're planning to attend this or any other music festival this spring or summer, check out our photo gallery for inspiration on what to pack to look just right.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is scheduled April 13-15 and April 20-22.


'Herb Ritz: L.A.' style opens at Getty

Coachella: The Hives promise to be as 'Hives' as possible

Goldenvoice makes major Coachella Valley land purchase

 -- Susan Denley

Photo: Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performs during "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" in  2010. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for VH1.

Gregory Parkinson launches new line at Anthropologie

Gregory Parkinson's collection at Anthropologie
Los Angeles-based designer Gregory Parkinson has launched a new line for Anthropologie named Gregory, with seven styles priced from $170 to $464, including a tie-dye maxi dress, shifts, blouses, miniskirts and a cardigan, all with Parkinson's signature eclectic color and print.

The silk-cotton pieces are soft, with a breezy ease that's made for the beach, but they can also be dressed up to go out to dinner. 

Gregory will retail exclusively at select Anthropologie stores as part of Made in Kind, a new platform for introducing designer collections at the chain. Parkinson will also create fall and holiday collections for the retailer.

Gregory collection
A lot of love went into the collection, Parkinson told me Tuesday when we met at the Anthropologie store in Beverly Hills to look at the pieces. In other words, though Gregory may be priced a little lower than his top line collection, he didn't sacrifice his love of textile and craft. And indeed, you do get the same "touched by human hands" feel from these clothes as you do from the rest of Parkinson's work. 

The pieces were produced in China, and Parkinson spent six weeks at the production facility outside Shanghai supervising the tie-dying and appliquéing. He was impressed by the quality of the workmanship that resulted (as was I), especially on a blue coat with 30 separate surface appliqués. 

"A lot of what I do with my main line is using found, vintage and recycled fabric," he said. "But in Shanghai, I was able to do things from the ground up."

And he had nothing but praise for Anthropologie and executive director of women's apparel Judy Collinson, late of Barneys New York, who has been a fairy godmother to so many designers. "I've known Judy for 16 years, so it wasn't just 'take the money and run,' " he said of the collaboration.

For the fall collection landing at Anthropologie in July, the designer will be introducing scarves. "It's so nice to see my collection in an environment like this," said Parkinson, who has been in the fashion business for nearly two decades. "In [high-end] boutiques, things can feel more precious. And that's not how I want my collection to be perceived."

Parkinson is certainly on the move. Next, he heads to Peru to work on knitwear for his spring runway collection. Then it's off to China again to work on fall and holiday for Anthropologie. While he's there, he's hoping to take his first trip to Tibet, where no doubt he will find lots of colorful inspiration.

The Gregory collection is available at select Anthropologie stores, including the Beverly Drive, Grove and Third Street Promenade locations.

-- Booth Moore

Photos of the Gregory Parkinson's Gregory collection from Anthropologie.


Gregory Parkinson's winning style

Fashion Diary: It's L.A. designers' time to shine

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Gregory Parkinson


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