Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Events

Billabong to host 6th annual design for humanity charity event


Want to get a look at Billabong's new Spring 2013 collection? The popular skate and surf clothing brand will host its 6th annual "Designer for Humanity" event Wednesday with an exclusive sneak peek at the line's new tribal-influenced swimwear and one-of-a-kind custom pieces.

The event, which takes place at  Paramount Studios in Hollywood, is a mix of fashion, music and art. Festivities include a Billabong runway show featuring items from the new collection. Billabong collaborated with painter Hayuk on the line's swimwear. Some of the looks from the Billabong spring collection will be available for purchase at the event and Hayuk's pieces will be available for pre-sale starting that day. 

An art show titled Unlearn | Relearn with works from more than 25 artists, including Damion Silver and Chris Betting, will be on display. Three stages will be set up for performances by DJs and indie rock bands such as Walk the Moon and Imagine Dragons, and several organic food trucks are slated to make an appearance: Green Truck on the Go, the Gastrobus, the Patty Wagon and CoolHaus.

Tickets are $30 for general admission and $90 for VIP tickets, which allow access to the VIP area with free food and drinks. All ticket sales and a portion of the proceeds from an art auction and product collaboration sales will go to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which supports people, organizations and institutions who work toward a sustainable future.The event is sponsored by Verizon, Sony Xperia and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit


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-- Jenn Harris

Image credit:  Billabong

Catch the Havaianas mobile van for some custom flip flops

Havaianas mobile van

With summer in full swing, the flip-flop sandal is an essential for keeping feet cool and comfy on the beach. Sometimes, the only problem is finding just the right color to match your new maxi dress or shorts ensemble.

Havaianas, the popular Brazilian flip-flop brand has launched its first ever "MYOH" Mobile van, serving up custom sandals. Customers can choose from 10 different straps and bottoms to create their own Havaiana color combinations. 

The van, which was modeled off a retro VK Kombi, is easy to spot in bright red and features a psychedelic rainbow pattern and the classic Havaianas logo. It's slated to make appearances Thursday, July 19 in Santa Monica (Third Street Promenade at Arizona Avenue from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Friday, July 20 in Venice Beach (Abbot Kinney Boulevard between Palms and Venice boulevards from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and Saturday, July 21 back in Santa Monica (Third Street Promenade at Santa Monica Boulevard from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).  At the Venice Beach stop, style expert, author and former Los Angeles Times market editor Melissa Magsaysay will be on hand to offer style tips, help customize shoes and give away a limited number of signed copies of her new book "City of Style."

Want the van to make a trip to your side of town? You can petition for an appearance through the Havaiana's Facebook page.


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-- Jenn Harris

Photo: The Havaianas custom flip-flop van. Credit: Havaianas.

Shape Summer Beach Tour hits Hermosa Beach with Jordin Sparks


Looking to get in shape for bathing suit season but need a little extra help? Check out the fourth annual Shape magazine Summer Beach Tour coming to Hermosa Beach (1 Pier Ave.) on June 2.

From 8 a.m.-3 p.m., guests can participate in fitness classes, summer fashion shows, interactive beauty cabanas, a dance contest and more. There will be classes ($10 each) for men and women taught by Hollywood trainer Jeanette Jenkins, including Bikini Boot Camp sessions, and a surfing classes ($15 each) taught by members of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation. All proceeds from the fitness classes will go to the Skin Cancer Foundation, and all proceeds from the surf classes will go to the Jimmy Miller Foundation.

"American Idol" fans can catch Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, who will make an appearance at the event at 2:30 p.m. After your workout, head over to an after-party at American Junkie (68 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach) from 3-5 p.m., where Sparks also will be on site to sign autographs.


'City of Style' makes a fashionable debut

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-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Shape Summer Beach Tour guests participate in a workout class at a previous event. Credit: Shape Summer Beach Tour.

Diane von Furstenberg celebrates International Women's Day


Designer Diane von Furstenberg is participating in a monthlong celebration of International Women's Day, which was March 8. For one thing, the wrap-dress maven has launched a line of Proud to be Woman products to help promote the empowerment of women globally.

For the third year in a row, DVF released a Proud to be Woman music compilation play button ($30) and drop card for digital download at DVF boutiques, and iTunes. The eight-track list has songs by Ingrid Michaelson, A Fine Frenzy, Dragonette, Jasmine Ash, Miss Li, Yuna, Toby Lightman and Lissie.

Also available at DVF boutiques and online is the Proud to be Woman tote (pictured above, $40)  and an Iphone case ($25) featuring the same heart logo. Both come with a Proud to be Women compilation digital download drop card. All proceeds from the sales will go to benefit the non-governmental organization Vital Voices, a group dedicated to promoting women's initiatives.

DVF also plans a cocktail shopping event at the store in Los Angeles from 6 to 8 p.m. March 20. The event will feature a performance by A Fine Frenzy and also benefit the Vital Voices organization. There will be other events at DVF boutiques around the country throughout March.

DVF is donating 10% of sale proceeds from March 8-15 to Vital Voices. For more information, visit


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-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Proud to be Woman tote bag by DVF. Credit: Diane von Furstenberg

Fashion students at Art Institute of California stage annual show

Ai The Art Institute of California in Hollywood will stage its annual student fashion show -- this year entitled Red Carpet Vintage -- Saturday night. The show will feature student-spun homages to various eras in history, from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Judges booked for the show include Bobby Trendy from the “The Anna Nicole Show,” designer Richard Hallmarq, stylist Laurie Brucker, fashion photographer Tracey Morris and costume illustrator Felipe Sanchez.

The show is set to start at 8 p.m. on a rooftop runway at the school (5250 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood).

Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at Proceeds will benefit the Art Miguel Rocha Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which awards scholarships to students in the fashion design, fashion marketing and fashion marketing management programs.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: A look from last year's student fashion show at the Art Institute of California. Credit: Art Institute of California

Elle's Joe Zee plus Sam Shipley & Jeff Halmos to speak at Otis College on Wednesday

Joe_zeeELLEsmall Joe Zee, the creative director for Elle magazine, and fashion designers Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley of Shipley & Halmos will be talking to students at Otis College of Art and Design Wednesday in an open-to-the-public event sponsored by Vitaminwater.

Zee, Halmos and Shipley are all part of Vitaminwater's "Style Council" (who knew such a thing existed?), and are key speakers in the beverage company's nationwide school tour of top design colleges — where fashion designers and industry professionals talk to students about how to succeed in the fashion industry and answer their questions about everything from getting started in the biz to the creative life of a designer.

The live chat — which is free to anyone who wants to come (but we're guessing seats will fill up fast) — will be moderated by Rosemary Brantley, chairwoman of the fashion design department at Otis College.

The trio will also be announcing the national Vitaminwater Color Collection Competition, which invites students and aspiring fashion designers to submit design portfolios of designs inspired by the watery Vitaminwater color palette (ages 15 and up are eligible.)

The company will work with the Style Council members to select 10 finalists, whose designs will be posted on Vitaminwater's Facebook page for the public to vote on a winner.  

Vitaminwater's Style Council chat is Wednesday at the Forum at Ahmanson Hall, 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles. 6 to 7:30 p.m.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Joe Zee. Credit: Otis College of Art and Design.

The Golden Globes gifting suites — the freebie fests evolve

IMG_2061 A three-stop tour of this year's Golden Globes gifting suites proved that companies -- OPI as well as Fancy Feast -- are still dying to get their products in the hands of celebrities.

And by "celebrities" we mean a slew of B-listers and a couple of bona fide stars.

But this year, there was more variation in the types of suites being hosted.

On our tour of three suites this weekend -- Access Hollywood's annual Stuff You Must suite, Smashbox and Amika's professional suite and InStyle's Beauty Lounge -- nary a celebrity was in sight, unless you count "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrienne Maloof, whom we spotted stuffing bags of free loot into the trunk of her Bentley outside the Access Hollywood lounge. (Does one of the richest women in L.A. really need a free carton of Nerds and beauty products from the CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club kiosk.* )

Granted, the no-nonsense Smashbox and Amika suite, held at the Mondrian Hotel, was erected to gift hairstylists and makeup artists -- a fresh and fun idea -- and lured Black Eyed Peas groomer-hairdresser Jason Medina; groomer Helen Robertson, who works with Clive Owen; and Alison Gladieux, George Lopez's groomer.

IMG_2063 At the Access Hollywood suite, we missed Jennifer Love Hewitt by a hair but saw the proof in photo form. The actress obligingly posed for a picture with a Slim Fast bar. "It was so funny, she posed with it on her butt," said Micah Jesse, the chatty spokesman manning the booth.

Despite the relative emptiness of the gifting room inside the Sofitel Hotel Friday while I was there,* a public-relations representative for the Access Hollywood suite told us the following day that companies were only giving  free  products  to invited "talent."

"You only get gifted if you are walking through with an official escort," she added. "But anyone who comes in as talent and is invited as talent gets the same gifts." 

Jeremy Renner, Jane Lynch, Gabourey Sidibe, Ian McShane and Julie Benz were among the celebs who turned up over the two-day event.

Things felt decidedly more upscale at the Instyle Beauty Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, where OPI, L'Oreal and Damone Roberts Beverly Hills sponsored a pretty, tented outdoor area where glam techs offered manicures, hairdressing and eyebrow shaping.

Melissa Joan Hart, Aimee Teegarden from "Friday Night Lights" and Carrie Preston from "True Blood" were among the starlets to get primped at the event. Inside, a true sofa-and-chair lounge awaited, featuring tiny pink-and-white cupcakes and Champagne — which we crowned the best gift going.

-- Emili Vesilind

[*Updated at 1/20/2011. An earlier version of this post misnamed the CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club as the CVS lounge and incorrectly said samples were given out when full-size products were distributed. The post also implied that the Access Hollywood suite was relatively empty all day Friday, rather than just during the reporter's visit.]

Photos, from top: The InStyle Beauty Lounge; a table of hair products from Amika at the Samshbox/Amika lounge for artists.


A seminar that goes 'Behind the Seams' with a panel of L.A. fashion and retail experts

Trend Forcasting 
Anyone who has tried to break into the fashion industry or attempt to create and launch a clothing line knows how daunting the process can be. A fashion industry forum coming to Los Angeles on Saturday will attempt to assuage a lot of that anxiety, tapping industry experts such as Michael Segal, chief executive of Fred Segal; Cameron Silver, vintage guru and owner of Decades and Decades Denim; and footwear designer LD Tuttle to speak on various panels and inform attendees who are looking for a little guidance and perhaps an opportunity to network., a social-networking website for the fashion community is holding the forum, called "Behind the Seams," at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The event comes on the heels of an event held in New York, where industry notables such as retailer Steven Alan and Huffington Post style editor Lesley M.M. Blume addressed attendees at FIT in October.

"The fashion industry really does exist on both coasts," said Liza Deyrmenjian, co-founder of Afingo. "A lot of times, I feel the West Coast gets left out or isn't given enough credit for the thousands of people in and interested in fashion. L.A. has been a natural extension for "Behind the Seams" and really is the one central place on the West Coast that makes the most sense to hold the event."

Anyone who registers to attend Saturday's event can expect four seminars covering marketing, trend forecasting, sustainability in fashion and launching a line. Ticket prices range from $195 for an all-day pass to $49 for each seminar.

Visit to register.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: The trend-forecasting panelists from the New York "Behind the Seams" event, left to right: Jennifer Mankins, owner of Bird; Steven Allen, founder of Steven Allen; Sharon Graubard of Stylesight; Lesley M.M. Blume, style editor of the Huffington Post; Sally Lohan of WGSN; and Syl Tang, chief executive of HipGuide/Afingo. Credit: Nick Wolfe


Manolo Blahnik holds book signing at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills

CChiuMBlahnik_100710_005 Shoe guru Manolo Blahnik made an appearance at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills Thursday afternoon to sign copies of his second coffee table tome, "Manolo's New Shoes," which will be released Oct. 12.

Fans of the designer, who became a household name by way of shoe-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw on "Sex and the City," politely lined up in the store's spacious shoe department to have their books signed and exchange a few words with the always gracious Blahnik.

"It was not my idea at all to do another book," said Blahnik, who was clad in a dapper lavender suit, bow tie and pair of self-designed fuchsia slip-on shoes adorned with wide grosgrain-ribbon bows. "It was the publisher -- they did so well with the first one."

He added with a wink, "I didn't know it was going to be such a pain -- we had to look at all the archives and everything. The drawings are easy because I have them...but it's not easy to do a book. But some people got a kick out of the first one, so why not another?"

Blahnik, who was born in the Canary Islands and speaks with a charming Spanish-cum-British accent, added that he loves meeting his public. "It's not what people say, like 'Ah, how tiring.' I get a kick out of these [events]. My work is very lonely, in the sense that it's the manufacturer and me. So I never meet people."

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Manolo Blahnik signing a shoe at Neiman Marcus. Credit: Neiman Marcus


Weekend Shopping: Varvatos opens at Bloomies; MAC gets villianous; Splendid opens in the O.C.

MickRockA few notable happenings for a more stylish weekend:


John Varvatos opening event Saturday: Rock 'n' roll-obsessed designer John Varvatos opens a shop-in-shop at the new Bloomies in Santa Monica, and legendary music photographer Mick Rock will be on hand to take portraits of customers who spend $250 or more on John Varvatos, John Varvatos USA, or Converse by John Varvatos merch (see some famous Rock shots at right).

Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica, The Men’s Store, Level 1, 315 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. (310)-985-6400. 2 to 5 p.m.

MAC Venomous Villains exhibit Friday through Sunday: MAC Cosmetics unveils its new Venomous Villains collection for the first time in North America — a collaboration with Disney that features looks inspired by four of Disney’s most famous villains: Cruella de Vil, Evil Queen, Maleficent and Dr. Facilier. Come for the complimentary makeup applications, costume styling, live DJs and photo souvenirs.

South Coast Plaza, Jewel Court, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 546-9555. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Sam Edelman appearance Saturday: Trendy footwear designer Sam Edelman will meet and greet his fans (and sign shoes) at Bloomingdale's at Santa Monica Place.

Bloomingdale's, shoe department, 315 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. (310)-985-6400. 3 to 5 p.m.


Splendid: Luxury T-shirt brand Splendid opened its third standalone store last week at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, featuring all of the line's super-soft collections — Splendid, Splendid Mills (for men), Splendid Girl and Splendid Littles (for babies).
225 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. (949) 759-1743. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Frday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Sunday.

Gather: Katie Kay, former co-designer for leathery L.A. brand Skingraft, has opened a downtown boutique to "sell off treasures and do the dirty work for my amazing designer friends who hate the business side of this world," she said. There are unique housewares, Kay's own redesigned/repurposed furniture and mixed merch from local apparel and jewelry lines.

630 S. Main St., Los Angeles. (213) 623-5449. Call for store hours.

--Emili Vesilind 

Photo: Four legendary photos taken by Mick Rock, who will appear at the John Varvatos opening. Credit: Mick Rock.


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