Saturday, December 31, 2011

ABC - Amour Bonheur Chance

After a few days in the French countryside with family, we spent one day in Paris. Of course I had to hit some of my favorite shops. 
This is the big wall along the staircase at Merci. I thought is was perfect as a New Year's wish.
Amour, Bonheur, Chance. 
Love, Happiness, Luck.
What more do we all need?
 It was fun to see Merci in a winter setting.
 I think they were selling these bands which hold the magazine together. I just liked this picture for the Numéro cover.
Here's me shopping in my new Capeline hat from Comptoir.  
 Isabel's storefront on rue Saintonge is so beautiful. I walked around Paris looking for inspiration for our new storefront. We're moving 2 doors down from our current studio. But more on that later...
The letters were spinning around saying Happy/Merry Annee/noel.
We went to Marant because I became obsessed with finding a pair of sneakers to wear in Venice after I saw these by Gerard Darel. After a wild goose chase, I found out they are sold out everywhere. And so to satisfy this sneaker urge, I had to buy these Isabel ones. Only I got them in black, and a hour after leaving the store I was kicking myself for having not gotten the whites. :( 
p.s. these are NOT walking shoes for Venice. 
 This was the view from our hotel room. The fog was majestic and relentless. We never saw the entire tower during the time we spent in our room-with-view. This was taken just as we were checking out, 24 hours earlier we could see only the bottom slice of what you see in this picture. It was comical.
 Speaking of majestic, this is my sister-in-law's apt in Paris. I mean, come on! 
 Because we stay in my sister-in-law's neighborhood, the 7th, it is a nice walk to see the Tour. No matter how tour-isty (ha! get it?) it's still massive and cool and breathtaking every time. Here though, I was probably scowling, because I never like my picture taken, but I do like my black messenger bag. :)
 We all had pastries at the ridiculously cute patisserie on rue St. Dominque.
 And then we were off to Venice. This is the boat taxi from the airport to town. I'm in awe here. More pics of this incredible place to come.
Til then, Amour Bonheur Chance to you all. 
HAPPY 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in France

We arrived in France yesterday. Completely jet lagged and "on the moon" as they say over here, meaning completely out of it, we went to midnight mass at the local church to try to get in the Christmas spirit with song. 
After midnight mass, the tradition in the family is to serve hot chocolate with brioche and croissants. 
This was the table when we returned to my sister-in-law, Françoise's house. Her beautiful porcelain cups made by her talented friend Inès de Nicolaÿ and a little gift of chocolate in a wrapped box in front of each cup.
We took this picture to show the beautiful hand-embroidered table cloth. I was nervous to serve hot chocolate on such a pristine white table, but Françoise assured me that tablecloths were meant to be used, not sit in drawers and besides, all stains come out of white when you boil it. (Not for me, but I obviously didn't ace home economics.)  
Joyeux Noel everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Katie Loves the Red Messenger

Yesterday, I got a morning text from a friend: Katie Holmes is wearing your red messenger on! It turns out that she's been all over the celebrity sites the past couple of days wearing it. It is soo great on her warm-weather-winter, New York attire! I love it. We don't know where she got it, but we have a sneaking suspicion that it was the Steven Alan store in Tribeca where she frequently shops. 
Even cooler that she bought it retail! Thanks Katie, you're cute.

 From here
 Out at night from here

 Shopping with Suri from here
 In Tribeca from here
From here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Holidays

CV by MB
We're heading into the home stretch of the holiday season. Thankfully, it's been a busy one for CV. In one week, I head to France with the family and from there we will finish the year in Venice, Italy. :)
We've had such an exciting year! With these treasured gold earrings, an early holiday gift from my lovely friend Maya, I'm set.
I wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scott, Garance, Jenna & Mickey

New York Celeb sighting of the day: Scott and Garance - demigods of the fashion blogosphere, in the flesh at the J. Crew corporate HQ. I was so excited to be there at the HQ - I've admired this company since grade school when the catalogs would come in the mail and I'd fall down the rabbit hole wishing I were that kind of east coast, blue blooded beauty. They created a good dream and they commercialized old money, American preppiness like no one else. And more than I wanted whatever they were selling I wanted desperately the life of the person in the catalog.

(photo Jenna Lyons and Garance Doré from

I was also excited to go to their HQ, not only at the prospect of working with them, but also at the idea of hearing the famous CEO Mickey Drexler over the loud speaker speaking to his court, er, his employees. I'd read about it in the New Yorker in last year's profile of him, so I was fascinated to hear the genius retailer speak. I could only catch snippets of since I was in a meeting and wanted to appear to be present for it, but there was one audible message: "Jenna, I know you're in a meeting, but please stop by my office when you get a chance, I have a really quick question for you - just need your opinion on something." Yep, I was at J. Crew. And mega-talented, J. Crew creative director, Jenna Lyons was in the building. My money was that she was holed up with Scott et Garance, non? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mad Dash to NYC

As of 7 a.m. today, I'm in New York for a little more than 48 hours jam packed with meetings.
Three holiday crafty-shows and one concert in the 3 days leading up to 
Sunday night's red eye and here I am. 
Saturday night we went to see Jane Birkin sing at Cal State LA. 

I had no idea what to expect as, to me, she was always Serge Gainbourg's beautiful, sexy muse who sang slightly off key but it didn't matter because she was, well, impossibly beautiful and sexy. 
But still, I work in a world where the most coveted handbag is named after her. And her daughter is arguably my favorite style icon ever, (and she had some pretty iconic looks herself). So if she comes to town, and le mari asks if I want to go, I don't question it, I don't say I'm tired. I just go. I go and and I expect to bow my head and pay my respects to an icon of style, of music, of an era. 

So I was happily surprised that I actually very much enjoyed it. 
With a tousled bob, she wore a crisply pressed white button down, buttoned down rather far, black tuxedo pants, and black flats with white soles. In other words, for a women of 65, very chic. She sang Gainbourg's songs all in French and spoke English in between. She was great - engaging with the crowd and very humble and charming. And the whole thing felt very authentic. She's. Jane. Birkin. For god's sake.

Now I'm here. My first of a few nights at the Ace in New York. 
Stumptown coffee is in the lobby and as the line out the door at 4 pm attests, this coffee is no joke.
Delish. I almost can't wait for tomorrow am so I can get some more.

The Ace is cute. Here's my room.

The weather is very mild in New York right now, about the same temps as LA at night really. 
But the Chirstmas decs are up all over - this is Macy's: tis the season indeed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hopping Holidazzles - Let The Sales Begin!

You're all cordially invited-
For those of you in LA, I'm pretty sure there's no reason to step foot into a mall this holiday season. 
I think there's an invite for everyone:
For the Hollywood area (which includes you, Los Feliz, Silverlake, & Echo Parkers) parents, there's the Oaks - an amazing line up of artists and vendors. 
(I'll be loitering around the Duverger Macarons booth.)

For the Westsiders - there's the Resource Holiday Bazaar in Venice featuring two of my favorite artist/designers Victoria Morris and Jesse Kamm.

For the Eastsiders, there's our party at V+B. There'll be delicious food, 20% off CV and DC as well as a raffle. Who can resist a raffle? (One day, I'm going to win the free groceries at TJ's). Please let us know you're coming by leaving a comment here so we can have enough food and drink.
 For the sophisticates there's the Studio 156 party on Casitas in Atwater. 
They win prettiest invite for sure. Original watercolor? Fairly certain they win for sale with most comprehensive line-up of what-every-girl-has-on-her-wish-list. 
I'm beyond excited to spend the day with our hosts (and 3 of my favorite people): Melissa, Simone and Joanna, and I'm super excited to be at a sale with Kelly Lamb and Hansel from Basel!
Plus, they win BY FAR the award for best entertainment - Sitar and Tabla music!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Consuelo Castiglioni Makes the Masses Weep

Marni + H&M = dreamy

Most likely the best high/low collab ever.
I'm not the type to wait in line but, man, this would almost make me consider it.

Cyber Monday is almost over

Click away!
Free shipping on CV with code:
p.s. I have serious hair envy of the girls I work with.

Back From Family Time

I hope you all had a great long weekend with friends and family.
This is my family. And I had a lot to be thankful this year, my family number 1, and my business number 2. And it wouldn't be a business without you so Thank you very very much. 
(I'm not in the picture, or I am, but I'm in my mama's belly.)
Yes, I'm the youngest of 6. And this is what family bike rides were like. A little like our very own Critical Mass. We just returned from visiting all of them in MN over the holidays and it was so good to be home for a few days. Now back in LA, we here at CV are soo ready for all the holiday sales we are doing and orders we are getting out! From here until I leave for France on Christmas eve we are jam packed. So I'm drinking my coffee and we are on it. 
Hey everyone! It's CYBER MONDAY. 
As a thank you get FREE shipping on our site when you enter: 
:) xox

Monday, November 21, 2011

Refinery 29 has exclusive CV clutches

We made these 4 new clutches for Refinery 29
This is the first time we printed leopard on leather - it turned out so cool - kind of twist on leopard and polka dots - both of which I'm in love with right now.
They are adorable. Who do you need to gift in your life?
This just might be the thing you're sister, best friend, mama, neighbor, teacher is dying for. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Isabel - en vrai

Yesterday, I had probably the best celebrity sighting of the year, and we have a lot of sightings here in LA. But this one beat them all: Isabel Marant, herself, the person, en vrai, as they say. 
I couldn't believe this famous Parisian was here, in LA and in our neighborhood, at LAMill cafe!
(Photo: Terry Richardson for Russh)
Here's the thing. I'm really not one for idolatry. Nor am I starstruck, but I did think it was cool to see her, because she's a rad designer, has crazy good style and she's wildly successful in the industry within which I work.  Here's what she says the Isabel girl is in an interview with the Australian magazine Russh:
"think it’s just a woman who wants to have a strong personality but without being totally dressed up, who wants to be different but in a discreet way. And she’s usually a rather active, entrepreneurial woman, who needs to feel good in her clothes without trying too hard."
(Photo: Backyard Bill for
Bref, je l'adore. I love her.
So I geeked out. Kind of how I geeked out when I saw Charlotte in Paris.
Here's how my geekiness manifested this time:
I spotted her and her awesome grey hair and killer leather jacket, outside at a table with her friend. There was an open table next to her, I sat down. In French, I said, excuse me, are you Isabel Marant? She said, Oui, in a shy? Embarrassed? Annoyed? Shy-friendly-way?
I have no idea, but it was enough of slightly questionable response for me to call off the millions of questions I wanted to ask her: What was she doing in LA? How long would she be here? Would she come by my studio/store because it wasn't far? Did she want to be my best friend? Come to my house for dinner at least? Geek. Instead I said, "I'm a big fan of your work." And then quickly turned my head and buried my head in my iPhone. And that was it until she left her table with her friend, she turned and said "au revoir." And I said, au revoir, Isabel. Marant.
So I didn't find out why she's in California but I did read here that she may stay for a while. So if I see her again, I'll update. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zero Of A Kind

I had prepared to blog about our latest Pochette on Of A Kind today to let you all know you should click on over and pick one up, but by the time I got to the studio this a.m. it had already sold out! 
 Boom! That is the best. We sent them 60 and they sold out in 90 minutes. That's a pochette every 1.5 minute and a record for us!
 When we got the pochette back from our factory all the girls at the studio flipped, but I was still surprised by the quickness with which it sold. I guess people were in the mood for an animal print pochette today.
I love the way OAK editorializes their items with the good photo shoots and the interviews like my favorite neighborhood haunts
This time they also did a "What's in your bag" item which is always my favorite feature in magazines and what I'd decided I want to make a regular item on this blog too, starring other people's bags.
So here's the first one - mine, and barring the flotsam and jetsam of receipts, stray business cards, an old gum wrapper that also inhabit my bag, this is real, this is what I carry in my bag if you looked right now, except my phone (because it's on my desk):
p.s. as I said in that What's in Your Bag piece - I bought the Steven Alan cashmere beanie hats for the girls here at the studio, here are Bri and Saehee wearing them yesterday:
True story.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Marannabes is not really trademarked, but my good friend Karen coined the genius term, so using it here I had to give her props at the start. It means those items of clothing or accessories which either copy or perhaps took their inspiration from the insta-cred designer Isabel Marant.  Read the excerpt from Lucky editor Marlien Rentmeester's new must-read blog from her new style website Le Catch.

See, Marlien called it: It's true - I loved Marant's Dicker boot, but with it's utter simplicity, I found it hard to justify the $$$ price tag. When one night at a dinner party, Simone Le Blanc mentioned the Barneys Co-Op boots with glitter on the back, a la Miu Miu, that was it. Two of my favorite shoes of the season - combined. Sold.
So the other night, it was funny to be at my friend Greta's house and see Greta and Jeana both wearing the Dicker. 
While I was wearing the glitter version.
Off the subject, but from the same dinner of the Dickers and Glitters at Greta's, I took this picture of her Heath soup bowls with the sliced baguette awaiting the yummy soup, I documented the sliced French bread "bunny phenomenon." I didn't know about this until I lived in France: Did you know that 99% of the time when you slice a baguette, the profile looks just like a bunny rabbit? Fun fact.
Here's another pair of shoes which I bought in Paris at Le Bon Marche a few years ago, before Isabel came out with hers, but in any case are, for the moment, quelling my desire to purchase another pair of Isabel shoes.
Here's me wearing them the other day - with an Isabel dress I'll have you know. 
I'm not a complete Marannabe. :)
there are 2 post scripts to this entry:
1. Joanna sent me this post from her blog about Isabel Marant - I think very worth reading.
2. I'm still kinda dying that Marlien called me a "fashion bellwether" because she has been my LA fashion idol ever since I met her a few years ago. I actually said one of my most embarrassing lines ever to her during our very first conversation: "Lucky got lucky hiring you." Yep, I said that - I've got a gift with words I tell ya. Bless her heart she still speaks to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scenes From Week 45 at the Studio

Seems crazy we're already week 45 of a 52 week year, no?
That means we're approaching those end of year activities otherwise known as The Holidays.
We're gearing up here at CV by shipping a tons of bags to stores - the black canvas weekender, best gift for your boyfriend, just shipped to Steven Alan. Speaking of Steven Alan, their first store in SF, in Hayes valley, is opening tonight with a party. Wish I could have been there. Fun!
This bright pink clutch will brighten up any cold weather doldrums. They've gone to Cananda. Holt Renfrew, phew they're gonna need it with those winters. 
Don't worry Canadians, California sunshine is on it's way. :)
Hot Streak clutch as it has been named by Anthropologie has shipped.
I just saw this in their catalogue, I'd missed it the first go 'round. Cute.
More gift ideas to come.