Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Santa Monica

Lines from Launch LA: Field Notes serves up the write stuff

Launch LA Field Notes

New trade show Launch LA, which opened its doors at Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar, delivered on its promise to serve up a smartly curated mix of apparel, footwear and accessories that spoke to the Southern California lifestyle, but the first brand I want to highlight isn't a clothing label. It's a pocket-sized notebook.

To be honest, I've known about Field Notes for a while now, ever since my wife picked up a three-pack of the 48-page stapled graph paper memo books ($9.95) during a J. Crew shopping trip. It was part of the brand's 50-state "County Fair" collection and each of the blue, red and yellow covers (representing the ribbon colors awarded at a county fair) was printed with the name and outline of the state of California. 

At first I didn't think anyone would share my obsession with the retro-flavored, decidedly analog note-taking medium, but when I recently gave one to my sister-in-law and she immediately held it aloft and proclaimed it "so Wes Anderson," I realized she had a point.

Designed, printed and manufactured in the U.S. using the Futura typeface (this information is among the facts printed inside the back cover), they're exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to see turn up in the hands of a character from Anderson's latest movie, "Moonrise Kingdom." 

National crop editionIn a partnership between Portland, Ore.-based Draplin Design Co. and Chicago-based Coudal Partners, Aaron Draplin found inspiration to create the 5-year-old company's flagship product in the old-school agricultural memo book used by crop inspectors and farmers.

Michele Seiler, who was representing the brand at Launch LA, said J. Crew started stocking their wares several years ago. "We'd decided we didn't want to go into stationery stores where we'd be competing with a bunch of other brands, and focused on men's fashion stores where we'd be seen as a $10 add-on to a $100 purchase."

And there is a certain element of seasonal style to the books, especially the limited-edition runs of specific colors (including neon hues for summer and icy whites for winter 2011) and themed editions like the aforementioned 2010 County Fair edition (which Seiler says has been so popular that it has been brought back as a permanent offering) and a red-covered fall 2011 "Fire Spotter" edition ("celebrating forestry and tall towers").

The most recent, for spring 2012, which harks back to the memo books' agricultural roots, is the "National Crop" edition ($23.95): custom-boxed sets of six notebooks, each paying tribute to one of America’s top six (legal) crops; corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, cotton and sorghum. Each of the 7,500 boxes in the limited run also contains an embroidered logo patch. 

Is it silly to fall in love with a tiny little memo book? Probably. But it's a whole lot less silly than falling in love and not having some place to jot it down.

Local stockists can be found at the Field Notes website, which also offers an e-commerce option.


New SoCal trade show set for July 2012

Fashion critic Booth Moore shops the coast

Kendall Jenner is Beverly Center's face of FNO

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At top, three-packs of Field Notes' California "County Fair" edition memo books ($9.95) on display at the Launch LA trade show in Santa Monica on July 25. At bottom, a six-book boxed set of the brand's spring 2012 "National Crop" edition ($23.95). Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

Dosa's eco-chic fashion featured at Santa Monica Museum of Art

When it comes to feel-good summer clothes, nobody does it like L.A. designer Christina Kim with Dosa, her line of eco-friendly, human-friendly kurtas, sundresses and scarves that celebrate the handmade and the organic, as well as the ancient tradition and craftsmanship of artisans around the world.

Dosa sells at A'Maree's in Newport Beach, Barneys New York and, temporarily this summer, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, where the gift shop, Gracie, is opening an art installation spotlighting the designer's thoughtful work.

The installation is inspired by photographs of cloud formations that the designer took while flying over Acapulco, Mexico. Kim pixelated the photographs and was able to isolate 15 distinct shades of blue. She's been working with children at the Taller de Arte Papel in Oaxaca, a workshop that continues the Mexican tradition of paper-making, to create handmade, hand-tinted papers, similar to papel picado flags, to re-create the heavenly image on the ceiling of the shop.

"The space itself is very cement-blocky, like a garage, but we'll keep the door open all the time," she says. "The idea is to bring the sky into the museum, so when you enter, you're walking into the clouds."

For its spring collection, Dosa translated the hues, which range from nearly white to deep indigo, into hand-dyed textiles made from organic hand-woven Khadi fabric from India, as well as embroidered pieces made from recycled materials. Clothing, accessories and housewares range from $25 to $400.

In addition to designing Dosa, Kim has created art installations in venues in Europe and on the East Coast, but this is the first time she has done one in Los Angeles.

The Dosa installation and pop-up store opens with a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m.Saturday and is scheduled to remain through Aug. 18. Or you can visit Kim at her appointment-only store and studio space in downtown Los Angeles.

Dosa for Santa Monica Museum of Art, through Aug. 18, Bergamot Station, Building G1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. For budding textile artists or designers, the museum will host an indigo dyeing workshop July 28.


Our guide to shopping beach town boutiques from Venice to Laguna Beach

South Bay,  Palos Verdes inspire new T-shirts and more

SpiritHoods expands into swimwear

-- Booth Moore

Photo: A hand-spun, hand-loomed and hand-stitched kurta that will be sold at the Dosa pop-up shop at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, open July 14-Aug. 18. Credit: Dosa for Santa Monica Museum of Art.


Launch date: New SoCal trade show set for July 2012

Saturdays surf Launch
A new trade show focusing on all things Southern California lifestyle -– apparel, accessories, grooming products and gadgets -- is scheduled to start up next summer in Santa Monica.

Called Launch, the show is slated to debut July 25-26, 2012, at Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar and will present a juried selection of brands showing edited and best-of pieces of their spring/summer 2013 collections to buyers and industry press.

Joshua Hunter, the former editor-in-chief of action sports trade publication Transworld Business, and head of sales and marketing for the soon-to-launch Launch, envisions the show, which will have a maximum capacity of 150 exhibitors, as a kind of antidote to his own experiences on the sprawling trade show floor.

Continue reading »

Unique L.A. to draw shoppers, local designers to Santa Monica

Tight shot of shirts on rack

Attention avid Etsy perusers and indie design lovers, the Unique L.A. show is coming to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Saturday and Sunday.

Jewelry The show will feature more than 200 local designers who make everything from jewelry to T-shirts and pocket squares. There will be a DIY area (natch) where people can learn how to make brooches and headbands from recycled material, courtesy of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and photo booths to create a little souvenir of your shopping excursion.

But it’s not all just stuff to wear or make, there will be plenty to eat and drink. Food trucks will be stationed in the area as well as a beer and wine garden, which is free with admission.

Admission is $10 for adults, free for kids 12 and under. Tickets will be available at the door or online.

Unique L.A., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica.


Lanvin opening in Malibu

Rebecca Minkoff and Fashion's sweet spot

Vans, Shortamatic custom board short program is officially live

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Vendors at the last Unique L.A. show. Credit: Unique L.A.

Weekend Shopping: A. Kinney Courtyard sale and session, J Brand experts at the new Santa Monica Bloomies

13 Sales

A. Kinney Court in Venice is holding a Courtyard Session sale on Friday and Sept. 3. Eyewear will be marked down as much as 70% off retail, including makes by Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith, Mosley Tribes, Thierry Lasry, Mykita, KBL and Rare Vinatge. Session music will be provided by DJs Mathieu Schreyer and Osamu, and complimentary wine and beer will be served to over 21s with ID.

1423 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 392-3400. 6 to 10 p.m.

Jenny Dayco is having an end-of-summer sale Friday and Saturday  featuring her eponymous jewelry collection at 60% to 70% below retail, with prices starting at $10.

7428 Hollywood Blvd., #305, Los Angeles. (310) 621-0680. Noon to 7 p.m. 

Sample Sales

L.A. designers Kristinit and Anita Arze host a one-day sample sale Sunday at Being in L.A. Spa, with a percentage of sale proceeds donated to Oceana, an oceans advocacy nonprofit. Locally manufactured brand Kristinit was picked as a women’s collection to watch by Lucky Magazine. Choose from the designers’ tops, sweaters, dresses and jumpsuits, priced from $50 to $95 (regular prices $225-$450). Perfumer Sanae Barber will be selling her custom scents, while Being in L.A. is offering spa services such as facials and massages. RSVP to

2016 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 428-3221. 2 to 8 p.m.


On Saturday,  J Brand, Vogue editor Anna Wintour's favorite blues,  is having a fall fashion preview at the new Santa Monica Place Bloomingdales, Meet Jeff Rudes, the JBrand CEO, who is bringing a denim team to help shoppers find the perfect jean. Buy a J Brand pair and receive a gift with purchase. A drawing will be held for a $1,000 JBrand fashion wardrobe (no purchase necessary to enter).

315 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. 2 to 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, Happy LA   is having a third anniversary sale and trunk show featuring brand Paige Premium Denim, Christy’s of London and Bordeaux. Buy three items at the anniversary sale and receive 30% off.

542 1/1 Palisades Dr., Pacific Palisades. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


On Sunday: Frederic Fekkai  wants you to have the red carpet experience if you’re attending the Emmys on Sunday or not. Book three signature services -- blow-out, polish change and makeup – for $75 ($170 value). Clients also get complimentary glasses of champagne.

8457 Melrose Place, Los Angeles. (323) 655-7800. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

-- Max Padilla

Photo: A. Kinney Court interior. Courtesy of A. Kinney Court

Michael Bublé shows new Nordstrom some Crazy Love

Canadian singer Michael Bublé got what he always wanted in Santa Monica on Wednesday evening  -- and said as much during his performance of half a dozen songs at the new Nordstrom store in the recently renovated Santa Monica Place.

"It's a dream come true for me to play in a mall like this," he told the well-heeled crowd crammed into the shoe department on the lower level."I idolized [pop star] Tiffany growing up."

Buble_nordstrom The guests laughed along, finding it at least a little humorous that a multiple Grammy winner in the midst of a nationwide tour would perform at the opening of a mall store.

But it's not as odd a pairing as you might expect.

"Nordstrom has really been a class act," Bublé told the crowd. "They've been dressing my band for this whole tour."

The Seattle-based retailer has been doing more than dressing Team Bublé -- it's been the presenting sponsor of the whole U.S. leg of his current Crazy Love tour (which just so happens to be rolling into the San Diego Sports Arena on Friday).

The sartorial synergy can be found  -- among other places -- in a series of webisodes called "80 Suits" (the most recent one is currently posted on the singer's official website) and a dedicated section of Nordstrom's website that is merchandised to help men approximate his style.

But crooning to the crowd was more than helping out a sponsor -- it was also helping out a couple of worthy causes. The folks at Nordstrom told us that the expected 1,500 guests helped raise $150,000, which will be split between two nonprofit organizations: Chrysalis and Children’s Institute, Inc.

-- Adam Tschorn


Bloomingdale's Santa Monica gala goes for the heart

Photo: Michael Bublé performs Wednesday in the shoe department of the new Nordstrom at Santa Monica Place. The retailer is a sponsor of his U.S. Crazy Love tour. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

Weekend Shopping: Gap 1969 Kids casting call, sample sales and more

Tiiu Kuik Events

Gap 1969 Kids and the Mother Company are hosting a casting call for kids 3-8 for a new “Ruby’s Studio!” episode on Saturday, with treats, art activities and a sneak-peek screening. Gap 1969 jeans are on special: Buy one, get one for $10.

107 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

New York-based jewelry designer Michael Spirito is having a trunk show at the new Santa Monica Place Bloomingdales on Saturday and Sunday. Check out his pretty gothy handcrafted earrings made in the USA.

Bloomingdales, 315 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. (310) 985-6400. Noon to 5 p.m.


Ongoing at Sunset Junction, Zachary’s Smile promises only in-season merchandise on sale -- no sweaters -- through Aug. 31. The ZS summer collection is 35% to 75% off, including the Wilhelmina ($48, regular price $128), Kiki ($118, regular price $158) and Maria dresses  ($128, regular price $168). Vintage is 25% off, including 1970s caftans ($43, regular price $58) and huarache sandals ($36, regular price $48). 

4014 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Sample sales

On Saturday and Sunday, the Avalon Beverly HIlls hosts a sample sale for Tucker, All for the Mountain, Two Gems and Panyc. Tucker by Gaby Basora is a contemporary women’s collection of blouses, dresses, jackets and knits. All for the Mountain and Two Gems feature handmade jewelry, while Panyc has leather bags.

9400 W. Olympic Blvd. Beverly Hills. Noon to 5 p.m.

Friday through Monday, the Runway Outlet is having a sale on brands Myne, Literature Noir, Leyendecker, Bouleem, Pi Organic and Daughter of the Revolution, with items for $25 or five for $100.

2395 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 522-6192. Noon to 7 p.m.

-- Max Padilla

Photo: Tiiu Kuik in the Zachary's Smile Wilhelmina dress. Credit: Zachary's Smile

Shopping Update: Erin Fetherston at Juicy Couture, Dogeared's 'Eat Pray Love' party and more

Juicycouture_4.20.10B_low Events

The grandly renovated Santa Monica Place is open to the public on Friday (Aug. 6) and some stores are hosting grand-opening events.The first 500 guests arriving by Third Street before the mall opens at 10 a.m. are eligible for Santa Monica Place gift cards valued from $10 to $500.

Erin Fetherston, Juicy Couture’s guest designer, is in from New York to toast the brand’s fourth SoCal location (level one) from 2  to 4 p.m., where she'll sign limited-edition prints featuring a holiday sketch from her Juicy Couture capsule collection (available as a gift with purchase). The first 200 customers to stroll through Juicy Couture’s doors will also receive shop cards worth up to $50. Spend more than $200 in the Santa Monica Place boutique and receive a logo tote.

On Friday (Aug. 6), Charlotte Russe is celebrating the unveiling of its new concept store from 12:30 to 1 p.m. (level two) with a fashion show for DFFs -- a gal's best friend -- where dogs will strut the catwalk in the store's fall looks tailored for four legs. Adopt a pet or make a donation to Much Love Animal Rescue and receive a complimentary Charlotte Russe dog collar.

395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica. 

Also on Friday (Aug. 6), for the U.S.Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, Quiksilver is sponsoring a free screening of the film  “Scratching the Surface,” starring surfer Julian Wilson at the Orange County Performing Arts Center Samueli Theater. View webisodes here.

615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Screening starts at 7 p.m.

On Saturday (Aug. 7), O’Neill is hosting an hourly raffle at Jack’s Surfboards for a free pair of Bobby Martinez “Hyperfreak” boardshorts. You can also pick the $20 O'Neill "Oil and Water Don't Mix" T-shirts with proceeds donated to Surfrider Foundation "Not the Answer" offshore drilling campaign.

101 Main St., Huntington Beach. (714) 536-4516. Noon to 4 p.m.

Continue reading »

Bloomingdale's Santa Monica gala goes for the heart


Bloomingdale's opened in Santa Monica with a chic soiree Wednesday night to benefit the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute’s Women’s Heart Center. It was the first glimpse many people had gotten of the store -- one of the anchor retailers of the revamped Santa Monica Place -- which is scheduled to reopen this weekend after a two-year closure.

While the store  -- in a former Macy's space -- is small by department store standards (80,000 square feet of selling space on two levels), with an open floor plan and an industrial feel, it's awash with light! Instead of the typical black box store, this Bloomie's has enormous windows that look out on Colorado Boulevard and Fourth Street.

And they've switched up the merchandise here too -- you won’t find house wares or luggage -- the focus is on a contemporary mix, geared toward a casual, beach lifestyle, which means lots of jeans and T-shirts for women, and separates for men from preppy/Americana lines like Billy Reid, Michael Bastian, Spurr and Band of Outsiders for Sperry Top-Sider. Sunglasses get a lot of floor space, as do swim trunks by Vilebrequin. Even the display cases feel like a fresh approach; men's accessories like Canon cameras,

Continue reading »

Shopping update: 'Launch My Line's' Kathy Rose's Roseark opens in Santa Monica

Storefront Openings

Opening this week, “Launch My Line” winner Kathy Rose launches a second Roseark location on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. The new location carries jewelry and fashion, including Jennifer Meyer’s 18-karat “beso” stud earrings ($275 each), Kathy Rose for Roseark’s snake bangles ($1,100) and Emil’s (Kathy’s partner from “Launch My Line”) pleated gowns (starting at $6,000).

1111 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 395-6706. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Danish-brand Pandora, known in Europe for customizable charm bracelets and featuring more than 600 silver and 14-karat designs, opens a concept store at the Brea Mall with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Pandora is also offering shoppers a gift with any purchase more than $150 through Saturday -- a sterling silver clasp (limit one per customer). Pandora's prices start at $25 for silver charms and go up to $500 for those in gold and gemstones, including diamonds.

1065 Brea Mall, Brea. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Sample Sale

Starting Friday, Monrow, a women’s contemporary brand, which recently collaborated with Amber Valletta for a Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt, is having a sample sale. Prices range from $20 to $80 on dresses, T-shirts, and vintage-style sweats. Credit cards accepted.

1511 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Continue reading »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.