Sunday, May 31, 2009

bon weekend

Lovely weekend.
Thursday night there was sushi with le mari then drinks for Tasha's bday.
Friday girl's night with HBT, JS, and AC.
Sat was in store leather stamping rehearsal at Fred Segal Flair. Next time: YOU'RE ALL invited.
Then, a quick trip to the Westin Bonaventure hotel, of childhood game show fame, to pick up O who'd spent the day with Else, her sister Astrid and her boyfriend David, professors from Grinnell in town for a conference.
Sat night dear friends from SF, Bret, (lovely) Midori and D, came down on the way to the Happiest Place on Earth. Today, there was the June-gloomy Hollywood Farmer's market where there still seemed to be an uncomfortable amount of people. Then home for Argentinian sausages on the grill with salad, grilled corn, and HBT's fava bean crostini recipe and wine - just like in the old country - which sadly, at lunch these days, just makes me tired...

There was some good post-lunch ping-pong though on the newly expanded patio...

We ended the weekend at Greta and David's where we finally got to partake in this famous pizza craze they're having over there. De-lish-yum.

I heart my friends.

(First pic courtesy of Bret Lama)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

La Trop is back

Unfortunately, the downside of the blog frenzy last week was that many people were turned away from cvivs when I had to tell them that La Trop was sold out!

However, when I mentioned that I'd sold out of the bag on pre-orders alone to my eco-tanned leather source (mentioned in previous post), she said she'd sold a bunch of leather to her interior designer friends a few years ago. She didn't think they'd used the leather as it wasn't the right type to make a sofa from, so it may be just sitting in their warehouse. She'd contact them for me and ask if they'd like to sell it to me. She did, and they still had it, but there was a catch: the fire sale deal she gave me on her remnant leather was not the same she gave them years ago! It would be twice the price I paid for it, she said, did I want it? Yes. I figured that since I had to turn people away and I was already giving a ridiculously good deal on that gorgeous leather bag, (Gap sells bags, more expensive than that, I was scolded by a gorgeous well-known actress who bought one) I was pretty sure I'd sell them even at a higher price.
So, as it goes, La Tropézienne is back, but for slightly more and it is still very, very limited! If you're interested please email me:
Going once, going twice...

(photo courtesy )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picnic at Chateau Juicy

Voilà an example of a coveted invite for a garden party in LA:

10 pound paper. Check.
18 pt. A-list hosts. Check.
Second group of lovely "with" hostesses. Check.
Third group of fortunate "host committee." Check.
Extreme residence locale. Check.
Celebs in attendence. Check.

This lovely dejeuner en plein air was a benefit for one of my favorite non-profits - PS ARTS. As it says on the invite, it was held at the home of one of the founders of Juicy Couture. This is an annual event and it's a clever idea to which I give bags every year which they then auction off in the silent way. It is a coveted and precious invite and every year they have to find a residence more amazing than the last. While I'd have probably been thrown out for taking my own pictures of the place, I remembered seeing this house in Bazaar, which I couldn't find online but I found this blog.

That's the pool house behind Heather, and yes, it's bigger than your home. For the most part, those of us who wanted to catch a real glimpse of this Bev Hills Manse were out of luck. Although we were escorted through the house to the yard, there was no lolly gagging in the salon. It was how much your eyes could absorb as you sauntered through. Why, why, is the only thing my brain retains of that trip across the vast expanse of home is the elaborate, à la Juicy Couture, dog bed I saw in the foyer?! The auction was held outside on the side lawn and then we retired to the pool lawn where multiple Indian blankets were scattered under umbrellas. Next to each blanket was a decorative picnic basket overflowing with kitschy things (which no one touched) like super-sized boxes of Hot Tamales, potato chips, retro sodas and draping grapes and cherries. Lunch was a gorgeous salad buffet which we all ate sitting awkwardly and very un-lady-like on the ground in our loveliest of ladies-who-lunch attire.

Which brings me to what we wore: Heather donned at gorg Stella McCartney red number with a to-die-for turquoise clarevivier clutch.

While I went purple floral vintage - of course, from Oskar's shop, of course. I knew when I bought it months ago that it'd be perfect for this event. Only right before I left the house, something didn't feel right - too matronly - so I cut off two feet of the dress: voilà modern! Then I attended the fancy luncheon with no hem. I felt punk.

Here's the amazing artist Kimberly Brooks with Sari Tuschman, the editor-in-chief of LA Confidential magazine, trying to make the most of sitting on juicy ground.

(photo of HBT and swan courtesy Victoria Namkung.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

country livin'

In what is going down in the books as the mellowest, Mem Day weekend ever, although truthfully I have no recollection of any other MD wknd, after a busy week, the Viviers are kickin' it country style at home. Lest that should conjure up some thoughts of saucy BBQ ribs and baked beans, I should specify French country style is more of what I'm talking about. Last night, we watched I've Loved You So Long - the French film with Kristen Scott Thomas, and with tears streaming down my face at the end I can say it was a fine, subtle, stirring movie. And I recommend it especially if you've got kids or a sister. Today, aside from some random voice overs I had to do for French TV (pour le mari), it's been all about the fams and I've discovered yet again, it is possible to have simple farm life right here in mego-tropolis LA. These white nectarines were grown right here in our backyard. Oscar picked them and with a bit of help made them into a tart:

While le mari was getting himself a facial injury playing foot avec les garçons, Oscar and I met up with Heather and Alex at the Hollywood farmers market and found natural wonders:

The ridiculously cute (pink and white!) striped beets and Japanese white turnips were roasted and eaten with feta for dinner and the haricots verts will be for tomorrow.

In other news, La Trop sold completely out. Yay. It was a busy week. Thank you (again) to Else Henry for organizing the event and for working the sales and to everyone who came to the trunk show and supported the cviv line. Amongst the crowd of well dressed women at the maison on Thursday night were a stellar group of LA fashion bloggers. I've got to give another shout out to these incredibly talented and hot women (current and future constants in the blogs I love category) all of whom either showed up or wrote about La Trop, and I failed to mention in previous post:
design for less
relish small pleasures
gold and silver stars
las angelenas
love and other accidents

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Une journée à La Tropézienne

Last night, a few girlfriends and I ate at the hot new restaurant Barbrix in Silverlake and had a near perfect night. The place is getting rave reviews and for good reason, eveything we ate was delicious and the Babich red wine was yummy and Portland-priced. As we were leaving, my paper napkin (I know, I said near perfect) started fire on the table candle and as I poured my glass of water on the mounting flames, I panicked very quickly that I could be the starter of a wild fire (it's very very dry here in LA) Happily, a glass of water extinguished it pretty quickly and I didn't ruin everyone's future dinners at the new restaurant. Phew! Silverlake wild fire averted.

Today however I got an inkling of another sort of wild fire. Blogs. Blogs, as ubiquitous as they are, are still peculiar. I have good friends who say they never read blogs, even if I send them a link with something that I know they'd be interested in, or even if it's mine. They essentially say, I love you, but I'm not gonna read your blog. I get it. There's something kinda nerdy about blogging and there's a lot very self-centered about blogs, but I have truly seen the light since I've become one of these people myself: They're the wave of the future and to say that you don't read blogs, is simply resigning yourself to missing out on a lot of really good, interesting, smart, gorgeous, inspiring stuff.

But then, you know all this because you're blog readers, so why am I writing all this?

Because today I discovered the power of blogs on my tiny little scale: Yesterday I blogged about my lovely, lovely, ideal summer tote, that I call La Tropézienne because it reminds me of lovely feeling of the south of France, and today some very cool and indescribably chic bloggers blogged about my blog. (Tell me that was not a modern day alliteration...) and I had loads and loads of new fashionable readers interested in my Tropézienne.

There's Blackburn and Sweetzer, which supposedly covers all things chic in the 3rd St. neighborhood, but I've noticed that she branches outside her hood and shines light on a good assortment of chic happenings and items. LAinbloom, a blogger in LA who documents much of her life and the fashion, art, and food that populates it - in way that makes me crazy about everything. And there's Jeana Sohn a very talented painter who chronicles her life with a nice camera which makes us all desire her aesthetic and sanity. Because of these three blogs I had over 600 hits on my blogs today, and an unprecedented interest in La Tropézienne.

Et voilà how wild fires are started...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I've got your summer tote

With all my friends at Cannes this week (just kidding), it's got me thinking of the Cote d'Azur. And in particular how to create that feeling in a bag...happily I recently got this amazing leather which I've turned into my perfect summer tote. It reminds me of the kind of understated elegance and boho richness that is old time lines like K.Jacques from St. Tropez, artisan sandal makers since 1933.

A few weeks ago, soon after the trunk show at Taylor De Cordoba, I got an email from a woman named Adriana Caras. She said she'd read about my line and the fact that I use recycled/remnant leather for my bags. She used to have her own shoe/bag line and had a lot of Italian hardware and leather left over. She asked, would I like to come take a look at it? Of course! So I met her at her storage place in a squat, seedy bldg in West Hollywood which nonetheless serves as the office bldg for fabulous-fille Alexandra von Furstenberg (but that's besides the point.) Ms. Caras however was a lovely as can be. A super-chic mother of two, she abandoned the accessories trade to mother and be a consultant to other lines.

All this is to tell you that she had this leather - that I've made into one of my fav shopping totes. OMG, it kinda of makes me crazy I love it so much. She got it herself in Italy in the 90s from a tannery owned by brothers (who you could just imagine as hot) where they use only eco friendly dye processes. And this was the 90s when everyone wasn't on the "green" band wagon to be cool, they actually have been doing this process for ages. I love that. And I love that I bought it remnant from lovely Ms. Caras.

It's not on the website yet, but if you want to pre-order one just email me:

p.s. if you're in LA and want to come to my trunk show at my house on Thursday night, please rsvp to

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dōmo arigatō

So this last month has been a real learning experience for me. I did some things well and other things not so well at all. I'm talking about getting my first "big" order out the door. I basically work alone, with sewers in Burbank and friends who come over when they can, and this was a lot of work for me. Today's the day they send transporters over to my house to pick everything up. The collage above were scenes from la maison VIVIER last week. My sunny little upstairs atelier simply wasn't gonna cut it for this order, I had to spill down into our dinning room for the past week or so as packing and branding and tagging and ironing and wrapping was going on.

I kinda thought it wasn't really gonna happen all this work and then they'd just cancel it. Like, "Oh, yeah, Madame VIVIER, that order which has taken over your life for the past month, we're cancelling it." But lo and behold their freighter just called (just like I'm a legitimate business and not just some bird working out of her home trying hard to not let her five-year-old step and/or drip popsicle juice on anything) and they're picking up the boxes in a matter of time.

I mean, I don't mean to degrade my line, of course I think it's amazing and it does sell at some of the chicest stores here in LA - Mohawk, Flair and Confederacy, and it deserves to sell in the chicest of chics around the world but it's just that I've never had to put it together for such a big store before.

Sayōnara. They are gone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

light and lenses in los angeles

Mon mari is obsessed with photography these days. He's always been into it, but now it's like crazy. He's even back into film. Bought an old Nikon from the 70s off Craigslist, repaired his German, mini-Minox, buying lenses galore from Sammy's or Craigslist or eBay - only those which will work on both his digital and the old Nikon, of course. He says he doesn't have time to actually take pictures as he is working all the time, but I'll show you, he's somehow finding the time. As soon as he puts down his tv camera, tuns off the AVID, hangs up the phone or sends the last email he takes l'appareil-photo into the garden and snaps the wild life living within our confines. That is the birds, the flowers and, of course, the butterflies...

This Mourning Dove has been nesting for the last week above our outside table amongst the grape vines and bouganvillea. We've named her Jolie.

He captures a few moments inside the house when he gets a chance, that's OGV looking pretty hunky:

And again, outside the house, his office inthe backyard, when the light is right:

Looking thru the iPhoto, I see that he's even snapped a few of the dinning room table with some REMAKE clutches stock...

Modestly, he tells me it's all about light and lenses, but it doesn't hurt to have the eye, either.

Friday, May 1, 2009

name change

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to change the business name to CLARE VIVIER. Recently, I've been led to believe that my long lost, deceased, genius, cousin-by-marriage's grupo Italiano may not allow me to continue with the simple nom de famille. So this is me playing around with new logos. Although playing is not the right word. More like torturing. No, too drastic and not very appropriate, um how about anguishing over a new logo. The choice will eventually be left up to graphic design extraordinaire and my good friend Snow Kahn, the creative behind such sites as Free City Supershop, Greybull Press, amazing clothing designer Gary Graham, and the website for OK store on 3rd street. But I've got to get some ideas out for her to start with...then she can twinkle her genius fingertips on them and come up with something far more brills than anything I coulda thought of but something I'll look at and go, why didn't I think of that. It's like that with inspiring, smart creative friends - they're always in the same direction just on another track with different scenery affecting the results. (yes, I used genius two times in this short entry...sorry.)

And, on a different note, my dapper, astute (I didn't say genius, although I could have) father (see Mariage de Greta et David below for proof) sent me great this essay from the NY Times Book Review by Tom Bissell about David Foster Wallace's commencement address at Kenyon Collage in 2005 - now a published work titled This Is Water, but you can read it here.