Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: The Grove

Bebe brings spring fashion out of the tents, into the Grove

_MG_4115Instead of showing to a few members of the local fashion press, Bebe chose to broadcast its spring collection to the camera-phone-toting public.

On Saturday at the Grove, Bebe kicked off Los Angeles Fashion Week with a show sponsored by Kia Motors’ Matters on Design (MOD), capping a day of test-drives and an interactive art installation by Venice's C.A.V.E. Gallery.

Shoppers lined the pedestrian-only 1st Street thoroughfare inside the Grove, enticed by the Zodiac Show's acrobats unfurling from scaffolds and stilt walkers parading down the runway. While the show’s male vocalist belted out "Another One Bites the Dust,” models strutted the catwalk in Bebe's spring 2010 looks, spiced with a few styles from the Bebe-Kardashian capsule collection.

The specialty retailer, known for black, body-conscious basics, revealed its younger feminine side by featuring frilly blouses, lace T-shirts and tights either in floral prints or Easter Egg pastels -- yellow, mint green, turquoise and magenta. The dress silhouettes included off-the-shoulder tunics or '80s-style bustier dresses. The few Bebe-Kardashian styles recalled the classic Bebe look, with sexy belted one-shoulder power dresses (see photo at left).

“We wanted it to be classic Bebe,” said Zaid _MG_3984Affas, Bebe's new St. Martins-trained senior director of design, "but also sexy, feminine, flirty and young, inspired by the young girls today. For spring, the collection is based on the florals and the mixing of colors."

"We’re excited about color and the return of the dress," chimed Kathy Lee, the brand's chief merchandising officer. 

The outdoor spectacle succeeded in attracting the attention of its intended audience -- young women. "I love the collection, it was great for spring," said Tanny Houston, a Los Angeles resident. "I would go [to Bebe] and check it out."

But not all potential shoppers bought the new frilly, feminine looks. Natasha Boone, 20, a Hawaii transplant, said, "I just wouldn’t wear most of it for an outfit -- that [frilly] material is hard to put together."

-- Max Padilla

Photo credits: Tim Regas

Today, meet Jimmy Choo's Tamara Mellon at Nordstrom in the Grove

Tamara Mellon appears Tuesday at Nordstrom at the Grove to launch the spring CHOO 24:7 Collection, featuring updated versions of Mellon’s favorite Choo styles meant to go from day to evening, starting at $415 for flats.

189 the Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 930-2230. 1:30 to 3 p.m.

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: CHOO 24:7 Lance strappy silver leather sandal, $695. Courtesy CHOO 24:7.

The foot bone's not connected to the brain bone -- is it?

UggsDelighted to be posting on this oh-so-very-soignee site, and nattering about matters that concern me on the styling streets of Los Angeles.

Like this one that's been a puzzlement to me for a long time in L.A.

During last week's heat wave, when 100 degrees was the ''cooling-off'' period of the day, I saw at least a half-dozen young women wearing tanks or camisoles along with shorts or short skirts ... and Uggs,or knee-high buckskin boots! The sidewalks were sizzling, yet from the knees down they looked as if they were trudging through a Canadian winter.

Happens every year, and everywhere from WeHo and the Grove to downtown and Pasadena and Beverly Hills. And then, in the winter, for the few days that the cold rain is pummeling and the hail arrives like frozen 8-millimeter Mikimoto pearls, L.A. women course the shivery streets bundled into Michelin Man parkas and dashing pashminas -- with flip-flops on their wet bare feet! 

Are we such frontier gals that our feet, then, are the toughest part of us? Or can we simply not bear to give in entirely to seasonal chic and surrender our feet to the calendar and the barometer? 

Your thoughts are welcome, as you may have puzzled over this yourself.

Gotta go now and choose my inappropriate footwear for today.

-- Patt Morrison   

Photo: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times

Fashion Diary: Peeking inside Zara at the Los Angeles Farmers Market [Updated]

Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

I stopped into the new Zara at the Farmers Market at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street, and it's way better than the other L.A. Zara stores. It's probably no accident. I had breakfast with the publicist for the Spanish fast-fashion brand last week, and she told me that each Zara store around the world has localized merchandise, ordered by the store manager on a Monday and delivered by Thursday. Wow.

Apparently, the brand is so nimble that if a store manager sees a lot of customers coming in wearing, say, pink jeans, the manager can put them into production in Spain, and have them on store shelves within two weeks. Double wow. No wonder high-end designers are so freaked out about their futures.

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Store news: Victoria's Secret gets the Hurley bikini

Bar Refaeli bikini hurley black bikini victoria's secret Just as the perfect little black dress can be pulled out occasion after occasion, a classic black bikini has the potential to be a timeless wardrobe staple. But as many a woman has discovered, in the world of swimwear, that "perfect" suit can be hard to find, even if you're a model like Bar Refaeli, who appeared on the cover of this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Refaeli, though, didn't have to go the "Never mind -- I'll just go with a pareo" route when her search came up empty. She enlisted Costa Mesa-based swimwear maker Hurley to collaborate on the Little Black Bikini, which hits the racks at Victoria's Secret on Tuesday.

Israel-native Refaeli says she particularly likes the way this bikini travels. "I insist on packing easy, chic pieces that will work for me when I am on the go," she says. "And the fabric dries quickly, so I don't worry about throwing it into my bag to make the next flight."

The suit retails for $120, and 10% of sale proceeds benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer, an organization that promotes early detection and an active lifestyle as the keys to preventing breast cancer.

Victoria's Secret at the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 634-9177. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.,

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: Bar Refaeli likes the versatility of Hurley’s Little Black Bikini. Credit: Hurley

Events listings: fashion at the Grove, Loomstate temporary store, more

Loomstate Temporary Store Thursday until July 11: The spring/summer eco-friendly collection for men and women designed by CFDA award winner Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn takes over this space. In store will be a screening station with Loomstate designs that can be screened onto T-shirts and bags. 9877 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 394-9440.

Fashion @ The Grove Thursday: The Grove sponsors an after-hours fashion show featuring L.A.-based labels followed by a meet-and-greet reception hosted by Barneys Co-Op. Participating lines include Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Mason by Michelle Mason, Ever, Trovata and Petro Zillia. 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 900-8080. 9 to 11 p.m.

Tommy Bahama Sip and Swim Saturday: The lifestyle brand showcases its Hawaiian-themed women's spring/summer swimwear ($120 to $150) at the Grove with tropical drinks made from its signature rum. Experts will be on hand to recommend swimsuits that fit and flatter. A portion of the evening's proceeds will go to Florida's Garden of Hope and Courage, a sanctuary for those fighting cancer. 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 930-2888. 5 to 8 p.m.

-- Max Padilla

Sale Rack: Now at A.P.C., flower power blossoms

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The Grove brings the runway to you

Trovata_rageI have always said it's a shame that runway shows, which are the single best way a designer can generate buzz and sales, are not accessible to all. Well, on May 14 at 9 p.m. the Grove is changing all that, hosting a runway show to spotlight Los Angeles designers who sell at the mall's Barneys New York Co-Op store. Barneys and Grove VIP clients will be seated runway side, but the public can stand and watch the parade of in-season spring finery from Trovata, Cynthia Vincent, Michelle Mason, Nony Tochterman, Ever and Genetic Denim, then hit the co-op store to buy the stuff and meet the designers at an after-hours shopping spree. It's like fashion week only better. Call (323) 900-8080 for information.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: A look from the spring Trovata collection. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times.


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