Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Monday

This Monday started off a bit dim, I had to forgo my morning hike which I normally do in the lovely hills of this town, because I had to grab the week by it's horns so to speak and get some errands done first thing (after drop off...but still.) So I speed downtown to: find just the right ribbon to tie up the wrist wrap boxes - navy blue silk, check; to find the elusive jump rings I've been needing to attach brass logo'd tags to clutches and iPhone pouches, check; and finally to buy small plastic bags to put wrist wrap boxes in before going in envelope for delivery, check! Don't you love when you actually find the things you're looking for on errands? Looking brighter already, but wait things get better! Waiting in line to purchase said baggies, I get an email from Rose Apodaca!

If you don't know who the fabulous & clever Rose Apodaca is, Google her. Or just take a look at her bio which I excerpted from her website below just because it's so ridiculously impressive, and I only took half of it:

"Rose Apodaca is a pop culture and style journalist and the co-owner of A+R, the design retail lab based in Los Angeles. She contributes to Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Paper, The Los Angeles Times Magazine,, Preen and other publications, and consulted on the launch of Image, The Los Angeles Times newest style section. Her first book, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour, an all-encompassing lifestyle guide written for celeb stylist Rachel Zoe, is now in paperback and hit The New York Times bestseller list in September 2008. She is currently wrapping up a biography on Fred Hayman, co-founder of Giorgio Beverly Hills and marketing architect of Rodeo Drive, as well as co-authoring a beauty book with neo-burlesque queen and style icon, Dita Von Teese."

And now you too may want to follow her every entry and twitter like I do and you'll understand why I was so happy to get an email from her with the subject line "You've been posted" and the salutation "Happy Monday", yes, indeed.

("rank right up there with oxygen" I'm still floored!!)Other exciting things are going on too, like my first English online boutique, Bodie and Fou is selling Trops like hotcakes! This is fastastic two-fold because 1. I'm selling bags in London! and 2. Bodie and Fou is a gorgeous online store run by Karine Kong and her sister Elodie. I met Karine through this blog (!) and while we've physically never met, if we ever do I'm pretty sure we'll be fast friends. I'm amazed to have made a connection like this.

Lastly, before I get the most out of the few hours of sleep available to me before the early morning hike tomorrow, I wanted to post this: Le mari decided to snap a few pictures himself of the work room filled with wrist wraps and I think they're beautiful:

bonne nuit.

Friday, November 27, 2009

wrapping up thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving at David and Greta's - it wasn't at all the Thanksgiving on the Island of Misfits I thought it was going to be. Everyone mingled nicely and the food was de lish. My fav was David's baked stuffing although, Greta's cassoulet was a huge crowd pleaser, too, oh and Snow's desserts, yum!!

Thanks in no small degree to the Real Simple piece I wrote about, I had to work today. I'm NOT complaining. Really, I'm so happy this wrist wrap is selling like hotcakes. Today, I had them all assembled - or I mean the first batch of them - is one yours...?

And, I was working on packaging.

Here're some incarnations: Using the scraps to seal the box. 1. with the left over silver using double sided tape to affix. 2. a scrap of white lovely leather. and 3. again with the scraps of the silver only with a rivet affixing the 2 sides together (too labor intensive.)

Inside the boxes are these drawstring bags containing the wrist wraps. I experimented with where to sew the CV label with gold thread. The top center position won because it was too hard to sew it on so far down on the bag!

This is how it looks when you open the box...pretty cute, no? Come on, who wouldn't want that for the holidays?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Communal Space. Desire. Action.

Voilà les laptop envelopes I made for the Community Shop at Commune, which opened this past weekend. They turned out quite lovely. They're happy, I'd say, no? Who wouldn't want that bit of sunshine peeking out of their totes when they arrive to work in the a.m. or when they pull out their laptop at security at the airport. Oh, take out my laptop, why, avec pleasure. The baby foldover clutches in the middle are perfect for holding power cables and such.

I was happy about the placement of my bags because they were right next to photographer Lisa Eisner's Greybull Nation wares. It is her collection of vintage native American beaded accessories and the envelopes next to it made for one colorful table.

Eisner, dressed way down in comfy, Saturday a.m. FreeCity attire, was there for a bit while we were setting up. She was snapping pictures, for what I heard was the NYTimes. While it may not look like it here, Lisa is actually one of my absolute style icons. And I'm not alone, she was listed on Vanity Fair's best dressed list two years ago. She pulls off glamorous/ outrageous like nobody's business and I can get behind that wholeheartedly. Here's another reason to idolize the temple of Lisa: a spread in W Magazine on her home from a few years ago.

This is Roman Alonso, a partner in Commune and also Lisa's ex partner in the, now resting, Greybull Press. Check out that site and their books, I wish I owned all of them. I imagine they're collectors items now.

There is a giant tent in the middle of the shop (bottom floor of the design firm) which they stocked with items for sale - Alma Allen for Heath Ceramics containers, Commune designed Ace Hotel blankets, and Commune/Mateo collaborated table linens. Sending Light was part of the only clothing line at the event - Free City.

The whole of Commune's interior space has the vibe where you just want to live there, especially with L'oeil de Vert scents wafting through the air, but this little section here, with the rug pillows and the lovely wooden bowls and wooden sculpture, just seals the deal for me and made it hard to leave at the end of the day - even if I'd been standing all day in my shoes!

For more coverage, visit L.A. In Bloom which featured a pretty concise post about the event.
And, if you find yourself in West Hollywood on a Tuesday or Thursday, between 2-6, stop by the Community Shop! (Very soon the laptop envelopes will be available on that site, too.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Come, Be In The Commune!

Two years ago, I had the most amazing opportunity to have a private tour of the first Louis Vuitton factory in Asnières, France. It was originally Vuitton's house where he started the company and as it grew he built a factory off the back. It is still where they construct the steamer trunks and special order bags, but the house part has been vacated by the Vuitton famille and is now - with all the furniture still intact - a private museum. The thing that struck me the most on the tour, besides sitting in the salon and being served tea by a woman (in traditional black and white maid's attire) in LV's house-monogrammed, Limoges china (mmmkay), was the ingratiating and proud (in the best way) attitude of the factory workers I met there. "Factory workers" is so not the term to be used for these people. All clad in white lab coats, even if their particular job was as seemingly banal as pounding nails into the steamer trunk, watching them do it, with such precision and grace, awed me.

As long as I've had this company, I've wanted it to be important to produce the line in America. I think it's so cool to employ people in our own community, where they can take in pride what they're part of and in the fact that they're making quality items. This old invite to my event at Taylor De Cordoba gallery back in March it says it best:

Pheww! I'm sorry. That was a long way to tell you that I'm so excited to be at this Community Shop (first image) showcasing work made in America. [Train of thought: made in France or made in America = local pride in work force = self pride to be in show about lux things made locally, get it? hmm...] Anyway, Commune, the design firm behind the Ace Hotel Palm Springs and many other lovely endeavors, has invited me to be part it. Here's more from their invite:

It opens this weekend and I hope you can make it!! I'll be featuring a collaboration I've done with Commune principal, Roman Alonso, chic laptop clutches, made either of remnant, natural or just plain gorgeous leather. Hopefully soon to be on my site as well. The other participants are better known than me and they make an awesome line-up. If you're not familiar with them look them up, you'll drool and then bang down the door to get over there.
Here's what Max Padilla in the LA Times had to say about it:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marni's arrival!

I do love eBay.

I've always wanted to be one of those women who say they can wear heels all day long, even in the house. But as hard as I try, I'm not. At some point in the day, there comes a time when I just want to take them off and throw them away. But I don't. And I put them on again the next day to be pretty.
Remember I said that I'd have to cut them? Well, I think I like them the slouchy, I-Can't-be-bothered-to-zip-all-the-way-and-folded way, instead! Hyper-chaud.

Avec le sac messenger en noir.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Holidays! (I know!!)

The December issue of Real Simple came out recently. Living in California (no seasons), after having grown up in Minnesota (4 heavily pronounced seasons), one never quite gets used to the way the holidays sneak up on you.

But RS included my wrist wrap! And it's about time it got some play. It's "cool but low-key" as they say...I'm wearing one now as I head out to my first holiday party of the year. I hope people buy it for gift season...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the Trenches

I've been thinking about doing this blog entry for a while, because my friend Midori gave me this Burberry Trench coat she found at a thrift store last month. (I know! Good friend!) Living in LA, I, of course, haven't had a chance to wear it yet, so it was a complete coincidence when we finally had a little bit of weather, HBT and Jeana and I all had the same thoughts. (And, I just saw Scott Schuman had the same thought, too. You have to scroll down a little, it was yesterday's and sartorial news passes fast.)
My question is: Should I cut it off a bit? Is the length good or dated-in-not-good-way? I promise I won't cut it myself, I'll take it to a proper tailor, if you tell me it should be shorter.

And by the way, once you see Heather's page and see that madame kooky flower pants with the fuzzy coat...well, underneath that-a-lot-going-on outfit, I got a bit obsessed with those shoes. Did my research. Found out they were Marni. Found these Consuelo Castiglioni (Marni) limited editions on eBay. Won my auction! yay. Future blog post.

I know, I know, I just admitted that I had a bit of a problem with black ankle boots in my last entry. Isn't the first step admitting a problem...And these may satisfy my urge for clogs (justifying behavior.) And, I may cut them shorter, too...;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Afternoon at Mohawk

Le mari got us (me) a new baby camera this week, so I don't have to take all my on-the-fly images with my iPhone anymore. Although, I think that was becoming my I'm going to feel more pressure to produce good pics, before I could always blame it on my phone. But it is a cutie, a baby Leica D-Lux, and I don't know anything about cameras but I know he spent a good coupla weeks researching the best in the baby-sized camera category. That's what it's called, really. So I took it down to Mohawk to say hello. There's always photographable things at the General Store - namely the owners Bo and Kevin, a pretty photogenic duo.

Bo coveted my black messenger bag, while I drooled over her Rachel Comey shoes. They unfortunately do not have my size anymore!
OOOh! That platform wooden heel would have satisfied my urge for clogs, but since they're not available, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy these.

They're Vera Wang, I know, that's weird (doesn't she make only wedding gowns?), but whatever. I haven't found any others to rival them.

Kevin on his Bberry, surrounded by lovely Kelly Lamb vessels (and a CViv work bag in the window), with his darling Steven Alan tie and handsome Generic Surplus take on traditional boat shoes - in waterproof canvas! I may have to return to purchase pour le mari.
And Baguette, all scruffy and big, lounging around the MGS.
These are the other two I'm thinking about, but come on! I. do. not. need another black bootie, even lace-up Repettos. The strappy Cynthia Vincent's are a little more urgent. But maybe after the clogs...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ode to Steven Alan and other things

Remember this?
I thought I'd reprint it because I'm trying to pay homage to Steven Alan, as I've just shipped my first order to them in NY. When I went to NY in Sept. I wrote about a meeting I'd had with a store with a two word name that I was hoping very much would result in an order, well, it was...Bergdorf Goodman? No! Steven Alan, of course.

If you've never had the pleasure of meeting the man himself, you should feel good about wearing his ubiquitous shirts all the time, because he's quite lovely. Not at all fakey fashion-y, but a real guy with a really good line and stellar stores. I shouldn't go into it, but somehow in one long meeting with him, he lead me to my most humiliating experience-to-date in this business, and then appropriately talked me off the bridge and assured me that my bags would be great in his store. True to his word, an order followed.
The shirt in first picture is the classic SA reverse seam button down. The second one is a little peasant number which has become my favorite fall shirt.

They ordered messengers, shopping totes, clutches and this black work tote, too. Perfecto for you NY birds who carry your laptop to work everyday...

I photographed it yesterday as it was leaving my house...drama sunset lighting!

This boring boxes pic is to prove to myself that they actually went out. I'm still pinching myself. Yay! Holt Renfrew on Tuesday and Steven Alan on Wednesday!!

In other news, this leather wrist wrap is about to hit the newsstands in Real Simple's holiday gift guide. Oui, I think it'd make a superb cadeau...

And in further other news, how about this version on the Trop bag in another Italian vegetable tanned leather that I got while in NY. I made this one as a sample, and I used "shake it" iPhone app pretty cute.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clare Vivier goes to Holt Renfrew

I've shipped my very first department store! Yay. Holt Renfrew, the lovely store up north, was the first biggie to pick up my line. Thank you very much, HR, you rock. Here they are at my house, about to ship off.

I liked how the bags looked all shiny and new wrapped in plastic. They reminded me of getting ready for a date. Just waiting to bump some Canadian girl's outfit to another level.

For those of you who don't know HR, according to Wikipedia:
"Holt Renfrew is a chain of high-end Canadian department stores. It is comparable to Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, and to two other upmarket chains owned by the same family, Britain's Selfridges and Ireland's Brown Thomas." Mmmm, I'm pretty sure I'd like to live there.

And, I love how a little bit of sunshine got packed up in the boxes for Canada. They probably need it about n'y a pas de quoi Canada, we have it by the boatload here.