Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bonne année 2010!

from here:
bonne année! looking forward to an exciting new year with you! bisous...xc

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Returns and the White Jumpsuit

Yes, it's true we actually decided to do the most unoriginal thing today - SURPRISE! go shopping (or returning, rather.) We actually got a baby sitter so we could go do so without child. But here's the surprise! This is what I wore. My jumpsuit is a 1970s French, homemade number courtesy of my friend Laetitia who was cleaning her closet recently. It belonged to her mother, who wore it in Paris nearly 4 decades ago; then Laetitia got some subsequent use of it; and now it's mine - American lady living a quasi-French life in Los Angeles, circa 2010. The Various Lives of the White Jumpsuit - in theaters soon. (Featuring proper use of the semi colon.)
Pretty freaking hot, no? And don't say no, because it is. A bit painterly, yes, but still! I can assure you I got some looks today at the Americana at Brand, in Glendale, CA. I kept wondering why people were looking at me? And then I remembered, oh I'm wearing a white zip-up jumpsuit, and they wish they were, too. ;) Yay. On another note, I'm not fond of that place (the Americana.) And I try. I'm not one of those, oh I hate malls for hating malls sake of it all. No, I didn't hold any prejudices. I tried to like it, but I just don't. But who cares, you know I'll go back, there's a always the cinema. I'll choose stadium seating within 20 min of my house any day, dancing water fountains be damned.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

To anyone who reads this blog; to the cute cashier at Barnes and Noble who knew who I was yesterday and was hoping to get a navy messenger for Christmas; to the lovely young jewelry designer who emailed me out of the blue and then came over the other day to admire and trade with me; to the smart, stylish and creative bloggers I've met because of this blog; to the friends who've listened me kvetch; and to all the amazing people who helped me out this year - you are all rad and THANK YOU! I'm so appreciative and I love that my world has expanded because of you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two Days Until Christmas (?)

I'm a Minnesota girl and I don't think I'll ever get used to Christmas in Los Angeles. I have barely a notion that it's 2 days 'til Santa Claus comes down the chimney. Does this look like a Xmas sky? This was from the bedroom window this morning, before I tore outta bed to commence black Shipping Day 09.
Jocelyn and I (with a lot-o-help from a dear friend gone rogue from her real job during her looong lunch, ahem) had a real Santa-like day. It was, by far, an all time shipping record at the ol' CViv hq. Starting bright and early this a.m., Project Make-it-there-for-Xmas gave UPS and USPS a run their money. Overnight air, two day air, we did it all - whatever it took to get the pressies under the trees for Christmas morning. Bisous to those shipping companies! I literally wanted to hug my UPS guy when he came today to haul off the packages. I had the feeling that he really cared to get those items to destinations with a real kick to his step. Sure a few things get lost every once and a while, but man, when you think of how those companies go into overdrive these coupla days to get everyone their goods it's pretty cool. So, go ahead, hug a driver.

Le mari snapped this pic of the work room today. It was not cute. It was not well-appointed today. It looked like a tornado had gone through it. And I'm on the phone and looking at my watch. I think I did that a lot today.

Here's something that happened, I have two bags that are my biggest sellers - La Trop and the Navy messenger. So not too surprisingly, I had plenty of holiday orders for these bags. What is a surprise is that as late as last Thursday, I had no navy messengers left, many orders to fill and I was completely out of navy leather as was my local source. They'd been telling me for weeks that it was coming, yes, next Monday. Oh, next Monday. No, not here yet. Next Friday. Friday, no not yet...It never came. Finally last Wednesday, when they told me that it still wasn't here and wasn't going to be here 'til after Christmas, I had to get a bit huffy. Not too huffy, just enough to say, um, come on now, I've bought a lot of leather from you recently can't you do something to get the leather here from Italy, like um FED EX it NOW??! Lo and behold, they did. It arrived Monday a.m. My sewers kicked it into high gear and made all the navy messengers for Christmas orders by today. Bless. my. sewers. Bless. two. day. air. It's been the kind of season where I've nary a thought for my own family's Christmas. I've not gotten a single gift for a loved one yet. But we do have a tree,
hung with many vintage Mexican tin ornaments like this:
And as of today - we have a stellar gingerbread house:
And I've got two days to get all the rest. Nothing is shipping tomorrow. CLAREVIVIER is closed until next week. Famille Vivier Christmas starts. (And if you're one of those people who receives a Clare Vivier item for Christmas, thank you. And please know we kicked ass to get it to you on time!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Red Hot Holidays

As I alluded in a previous entry, I shipped a big store this week. Target. One of the biggest of the big, in fact. But hold the congrats, it's only for their Red Hot Shop website - which is still huge for me, but not 4000 units or anything if you know what I mean...But it's terrific and if you don't know it, there's this link on
In collaboration with Daily Candy, they accrue "A monthly dose of chic, unique and sometimes offbeat" items which are not actually sold in their stores, but they think are interesting. Yet another way they keep that store current and way more digestible than their other big box competitors...My exclusive Target, two-toned, snaked embossed leather clutch with a red (hot) tassel and a (red hot) price goes "live" Jan. 1, 2010 (!) and we shipped the order this week!
It was a bit of a mad week - along with Target and all the other lovely Christmas bag orders, there was the wrist wrap mania shipping and London store Bodie and Fou is selling Trops like hotcakes so there were a few last minute boxes-full-o-Trops which were expedited to the UK! Can we get a few good thoughts that they receive the boxes as was promised by shipping company on Monday and that they do not get held up in customs quagmire so those lovely souls over yonder can get their desired Trops by Christmas!

Here are a few snap shots I took this week of us (Jocelyn and I) getting Target red hot clutches out the door, it may not be the typical factory you think of things from Target coming from:

Hot goldstamping each and every one by hand...

No more room on tables, sitting on floor necessary for tying REMAKE labels on each bag - the clutches are made with reclaimed leather.

Here's something I learned these last few weeks: shipping to Target involves boatloads of paperwork! Among all that is setting up my very first UPC code (is that big time?!) and making sure each bag is affixed with "do not suffocate with this bag" notice...reminded me of a great Mad Men episode, but I digress...finally, this happened:

Remember to check out red hot shop come January. OXC

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mohican holiday

There was the holiday party at Mohawk General Store on Friday night and we took some pics with the intention of sharing it here. But with all the holiday orders (yay) and a big shipment, (which I'm super excited about and I'll write about once it actually leaves my doors), and with Johnny Hallyday in the hospital, just kidding about the last one, I've been too swamped to update blog since my nail polish prediction. And after all that, I haven't been even close to having a pedicure with Chanel's latest.

Friday was a rainy, rainy day. And actually it was supposed to be the storm of the season that night, but by 6 pm when the party started, the ferocious downpour the skies were going to unleash had petered to an occasional faint mist. But the foul weather warning, plus it being the first night of Hanukkah, ensured it was probably going to be hard to get the people out for another store's holiday party.

Not that Mohawk is any other store...
In any case, it's always good for me to get out and meet people and be forced to talk about my work. And the fact that it was a "trunk show" made sure that I had to complete some new items like the clutches above. This is the natural, completely un-dyed type of leather which will become lovely, brown and rich with age and use. IT's going to be sooo cute. I'm going to have to use one to get the effect so I can photograph again.

And finally (!) I completed my "mini besace" as I'm calling it now. It is the most lovely red and perfect for when you just need a small bag at night or for shopping or something. I'll put it on website at the new year.

But weather be darned, people did turn out! Especially the die-hards...look at the bag that lady is carrying!! The crowd turned out to be perfect - tres cool mais beyond cozy at the same time, like always. Kevin, the owner, keep good music going all night and people snacked, sipped and shopped.

And like the best of Mohawk's parties, people eventually spilled onto the street for chatting before heading into the Los Angeles night...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A funny thing happened at mag night + Friday night at Mohawk

Ever think you notice the beginning of style trends? Normally I think it's something very unscientific like when I see something new 3 times in three different spots it may be something to watch. But what makes it happen? What makes it take off? What is The Tipping Point? (Darn it, I wish I'd read that book! I always think: I just have to read that book and then I'll have the key to how to make La Trop or the messenger into the global sensations they deserve to be...damn you, Gladwell! Can't you just call me and give me the major gist?! I'll give you a cut...) Anyway, remember Vamp - the dark red/brown Chanel nail color that launched ten thousand nail salons? Well, I'm pretty sure there's about to be another color to put Vamp to shame.

Last night at magazine night, (yes, that's right, my girlfriends and I have magazine night, kinda like book club only you don't have to read a book. You just have to show up with a few good mags, eat homemade soup (this time I made shallot/cauliflower), peruse, critique and covet the goodies in the glossies and chat away. Perfect night...usually;) Anyway, at mag night while I was flipping through the pages of Vogue - G said, "Stop! Look at that nail color. I want it." S. said, "Oh yeah, I saw that, I looked for the color in the credits and it's not listed." Then this a.m. on our crack-of-dawn Runyon hike, I say to HBT after she mentions her new mani, there's a pretty nail color in Vogue accessories spread and she says without skiping a beat, "Yeah, I know that color, people are talking about it." What?? Wow. Just like that. Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure a new nail color buzz has officially started. Vamp, I don't know if you're reading, but watch your back - your sexy Creme de Marron cousin may take your spot on top of nail color stardom.
In other news! If you're in Los Angeles, come to Mohawk General Store tomorrow night to celebrate their 1st anniversary and Beatrice Valenzuela and I are having a trunk show! I'll have (cross my fingers that my sewers will be done with them) my new mini-besaces in red, tan and natural leather!! They're very cute and I'll have some laptop clutches, too as well as other star carry-alls.
All obvious gifts for your bestest (future) mag night friends.

Update: Sophia left a comment on this post that color is actually called You Don't Know Jacques, by Opi. But then, I was informed from Jocelyn, who is working with me today, that she's got You Don't Know Jacques on her toes right now (she took off her boots and socks to show me, even) and it is not that. It is more brown-y. The search continues. Jocelyn also told me I should have used the words "collective unconscious" in my description of the trends developing. Okay, smarty pants.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We've got weather!

So winter is here in Los Angeles, and yes, it is cold when the high is 53˚ and the low is 37˚ and your house doesn't have a proper heating source which many many houses do not, including our 1905 LA farmhouse where a space heater is kicking out its best right behind me. You people in truly cold places may scoff at us complaining about cold, but you have heat in your house, right? Set to 65˚, right? Have compassion. Ha. Anyways, give me a cranked up space heater so I can work and all I care about is what I can wear when I leave the house. Not much. I figured out that I have very few long sleeved t-shirts and even fewer sweaters. Sure, I've got plenty of left over coats from MN and SF days, but warm clothes - I'm sorrily prepared. Where are my Rag & Bone cashmere long johns?
oh, I never bought them.
Where are the colorful layerable cardigans of my past?
Hmm...couldn't tell you.
Chunky granny cardi?
No?! humph!
Cozy scarf and navy cashmere anchor sweater?
Not even?!
When we haven't needed an article of clothing for 345 days, it's hard to find it when the time comes. I'm not the only one. I've gotten a few emails from friends today saying they're also ill equipped for the cold. One friend moved houses this year and they neglected to move any of her winter coats which she discovered today when she tried to leave the house. Another friend realized she had scarce warm clothes for her 7-year-old daughter and the one too-small sweater she managed to get her daughter into didn't come back from school yesterday.

Ahhh, the trials and tribulations of living in Los Angeles. We've got weather, too!
And, I've got some shopping to do...

(pics belong to,, and, respectively.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's the simple things I love

Like Tiger, I'm stepping out. But only on my blog. I guested for another one yesterday and it went live today. Have a look.

This a wonderful blog, if it's not already on your blog-love list, it's must add. Joslyn is devoted and creative and there's always content to inspire. I was honored to be asked to list my favs for her Friday blog, and what a fun exercise! I'm sure it was therapeutic in some way.

Here's a sample of a couple of things j'adore:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

in your stocking

I'm trying to get some last minute holiday press for the wrist wraps so yesterday I took pictures of it with the pretty packaging it comes in to send to publications. I liked the way you could see the tape on the wall of my little set - which was actually on my desk next to my computer screen. Below is how it looks cropped and cleaned. Easy peasy holiday gift...

I like how it looks saturated, too:

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.)