Sailing the South Seas, yachting down the Seine or even puttering in the Pacific wharfs flowing alongside Newport’s Peninsula, Orange County attire calls for chic, coastal cool dressing. Designers from New York, Switzerland and abroad have embraced a more sophisticated take on their Resort and Cruise collections this season. Flowers abound and romantic flowing lines remain a strong emphasis. Whether your vacation plans this summer is aboard a Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Riviera, Crystal or Viking vessel, it’s apparent that cruise is a state of mind that’s taken hold of fashion’s imagination. Wanderlust channeled in clothes and accessories. Ahoy!
Finely embroidered details, flowing ruffled skirts, and thick leather accessories chanel the free spirted west for Dior’s Cruise collection. Price upon request. Dior, South Coast Plaza, 714.549.4700. :: dior.com
Yellow gold is making a big comeback in the accessories market. The Midas touch looks best in large statement pieces such as this bold cuff jewelry by designer Anne Sistron. $1,800
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Woven blue and white threads echo the ebb and flow of the blue ocean. Cape Code designer Elyse Maguire channels the bay and shimmering dusk in her latest line of knitted scarfs. $115.
Parisian salon life echoes throughout Anna Sui’s 2019 Resort collection. “As usual, we love collages of vintage florals,” says Sui. “This season we’ve planted a virtual garden full of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, zinnias, dahlias, tulips, asters, hollyhocks, English daisies, sweet William … And we’re very excited about all the delightful prints.” Price upon request.
Fendi updates the retro cat-eye sunglass frames. The grey frames with blue mirrored polarized lenses create a futuristic take on a classic look for summer. $480
Sunglass Hut, South Coast Plaza, 714.979.9139. :: sunglasshut.com
Christian Louboutin leaves his mark on the Janitag Graffiti red sole slide, which features a playful take on a traditional Italian-made Roman-style sandal. $745. Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island, 949.755.5555
High-waisted pants with pleated accents are enlivened with a romantic English garden print. Paired with a sleeveless tank adorned with ruffled accents and a tight bodice, the look feels buttoned-up and yet casual. Rebecca Taylor, Fashion Island, 949.
Robb Report horology expert James Malcolmson partnered with South Coast Plaza to honor the Best of the Best in timepieces including this cherry blossom, diamond-encrusted stunner. Price upon request. Van Cleef & Arpels, South Coast Plaza. 714.545.9500 :: vancleefarpels.com
As for adventuring, I’d rate myself medium-high on the risk scale. I once travelled to Africa not knowing a soul, and I’ve trudged shin-deep in mud through cow-filled fields in Scotland to get to a music festival. Those were good times – the kind where youth, possibility and the absence of fear of running mascara combine to create the stuff of memories. I was bare-faced, young and free. But mostly, bare-faced.
It’s true that makeup has never really been my thing. If I’m being totally honest, I’ll share with you that my beauty routine was cemented around the time Aqua Net was the hair product du jour and wet n wild cosmetics graced drug store shelves. As an adolescent, I’d peruse the latest eyeliners (Sapphire and Ice wet n wild kohl liner, where you at?) and dab on Fantastic Plastic Pink blush à la Madonna circa 1989. I’d sing along to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and toss in a couple Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers while my mom was distracted picking a Rice-A-Roni flavor for dinner. I tell you this not for nostalgia’s sake (although that’s part of it), but to highlight that things have not changed much. I still follow the eyeliner-blush-lip gloss routine, and although now I go for more of a smudged black on my eyes, the rest, down to the Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker, has remained much the same.
This would all be fine except that it’s not fine at all, at least if you consider that a woman rapidly approaching her fourth decade is still using products made for and marketed to people half her age, optimistically speaking. Add to this two young children and a phobia of all things Sephora, and it’s no wonder I have no clue what highlighting is, let alone the desire to figure it out. But one day, I heard about a company called Beauty Pie during a podcast. It’s founded by Marcia Kilgore, she of Bliss spa renown, and is based on the idea that all women should have access to the best beauty products in the world. It’s model is subscription-based, so those who become members for $10 per month can buy everything from serums to lipstick for factory-direct pricing. That means you aren’t shelling out $150 for your nightly moisturizer to pay for its packaging, overhead and marketing; from Beauty Pie, the same thing costs a small fraction of the price, and it’s formulated with the same ingredients and in the same labs that make your department store favorites.
What’s the catch, you may be thinking? Well, it is a recurring monthly cost, and for $10 per month, you can spend up to $100 on products each month, but that $100 is based on the price the product would sell for normally. For example, if you want Beauty Pie’s Super Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, which would cost $85 regularly, your remaining balance for that month to spend is $15. But it does mean that you get to buy the eye cream for only $7.17, which is pretty great. You can also upgrade your membership to increase your monthly shopping allowance, and any unused allowance is automatically rolled forward to the next month.
The real proof, however, is in the product itself. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t see the need to swap out my trusty Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub from Target for a $35 “transforming cleanser.” But in areas where I’m a little less confident (i.e. the rest of the beauty product world), Beauty Pie strikes a nice balance between anxiously roaming the aisles of Sephora, where overstimulation and panic-inducing words like “micellar” and “contouring” are thrown around like everyday vocabulary, and, well, wet n wild. It’s like someone went and found the best stuff, edited it down, and said, “This is what you want to help with your wrinkle situation. You’re welcome.” The choice is not overwhelming, though there is enough of it to keep even beauty aficionados interested, even if it is just for the quality and not the mind-numbing variety. The lipstick I tried, FutureLipstick in Knockout Punch, is satin-like and nicely pigmented, and didn’t require the trained hands of a makeup artist to apply. It glided on smoothly and evenly and in a nude-ish pink color that didn’t make me feel clown-like. I even branched out and tried Beauty Pie’s Pro-Strobe Luminizer in Beaming, which I dusted atop my tried-and-true rosy blush, and it did make my face seem brighter and like I’d just come from some dewy, misty place that caused my skin to glow. A win, as far as I was concerned. And for those more adept with makeup and all its magical powers, there are more advanced products like the Quick Colour Contour Supergel, which promises you can’t go wrong with its tint and easy applicator. It was simple enough to apply and, after a few YouTube videos for practice, I could begin to see the appeal.
Another area where Beauty Pie excels is in skincare. Despite my general lack of awareness of all things makeup, I have always believed that taking care of your skin is the best favor you can do for your looks, so I do somewhat keep up on skincare. Beauty Pie’s selection is curated carefully to supply the basics (cleansers, serums and moisturizers), plus a few extras like the Plantastic Micropeeling Superdrops that help with acne-prone skin and Fruitzyme Five Minute Facial for deep-cleansing. There is a conspicuous lack of the marketing usually associated with skincare, such as pretty packaging and mentions of the exotic ingredient of the moment (nightshade and hibiscus, anyone?) but in my estimation this is a good thing for both your wallet and your skin since the components that actually do matter are in abundance. I tried the Super Healthy Skin Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream, which is a great all-purpose nightly moisturizer with hyaluronic acids and antioxidants to get the job done well. Compared with my usual Clarins Extra-Firming Night cream ($93), it’s also a bargain at Beauty Pie’s $11.61 price ($130 regular).
This all being said, you may be the type that can think of no better way to pass an hour or three than wandering the aisles of Sephora testing out every new product that promises everlasting beauty and sourcing from the far-reaches of the planet. And if you are, then Beauty Pie may not be titillating enough. But if you know what you like and find the company’s model intriguing (value-wise, it’s a great deal), it may save you from excessive choice-induced anxiety and the existential angst that traditional makeup shopping entails. Or maybe that’s just me.
On March 7, Opening Ceremony presented its Spring 2018 runway show at a most unexpected locale. For this special event, designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim decided to forgo the streets of Milan and Manhattan for someplace closer to Main Street, U.S.A. That’s right. For one magical evening, The Happiest Place on Earth, aka Disneyland, hosted the “The Happiest Show on Earth.”
Mickey Mouse with Chance the rapper
Diplo wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney at the March 8 runway show that took place at Disneyland’s Toon Town.
Jamie Chung wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney fashions at Disneyland on March 8.
Mickey Mouse, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, and Minnie Mouse close the Opening Ceremony spring 2018 runway show at Toon Town in Disneyland on March 8.
Opening Ceremony x Disney Fashion Show at Disneyland’s Toon Town on March 8.
Disney kicks off “Mickey the True Original” campaign in celebration of Mickey’s 90th anniversary with a fashion show featuring a Mickey-inspired collection by Opening Ceremony at Disneyland on March 7.
Then again, nothing is surprising when it comes to this innovative and edgy design duo. Lim and Leon founded Opening Ceremony as a quirky New York boutique in September 2002. While they made their mark on the east coast, these California kids grew up loving ’90s culture and, as teenagers spent countless hours meandering around the mall.
Opening Ceremony was conceived as a crazy, cool idea: Leon and Lim would bring their love of travel and fashion to a brick-and-mortar boutique. It would be the place they wish existed back when they were wandering mall rats. It was an instant success. Now these cool kids grew their brand into a global company that encompasses retail outlets in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo; with ready-to-wear collections for men and women.
Opening Ceremony is also known for its myriad of innovative collaborations. A couple of recent head-turners include a 2005 capsule collection developed with style icon/actress Chloë Sevigny and a pre-spring 2018 show called “Changers: A Dance Story” written and directed by filmmaker Spike Jonze, which featured Opening Ceremony clothing. So, a collaboration with Disney is not far-fetched.
Lim and Leon drew inspiration for this collaboration collection from their southern Californian roots. They also found inspiration in Disney’s lineage of fantasy and imagination. The Opening Ceremony pieces put a luxe spin on classic Disney duds. For womenswear, the brand reinterprets vintage Mickey Mouse art. Think: Unconventional, colorful prints that are synonymous with the edgy Opening Ceremony look, emblazoned on silk dresses, taffeta pants and flirty poplin gowns.
The Mouse’s iconic silhouette inspired other outfits such as a jacquard skirt with Mickey-inspired black-and-white-sequins. Denim pants and jackets are decorated with vintage Disneyland souvenirs and embroidered city names are elegantly scribed alongside OC logos. Coast Magazine’s fashion team swooned over a wool varsity jacket with Disney and OC patches.
This limited release with Opening Ceremony coincides with a monumental Disney birthday. This year, Mickey Mouse celebrates his ninetieth anniversary. So this high-end fashion foray is simply a kick-off for the soon-to-be-announced partnerships for Disney’s “Mickey the True Original” campaign.
In the past, Disney has worked with other iconic American brands such as Dooney & Burke and Coach to elevate its signature attire. Loyal fans and fashion collectors responded in droves when Coach x Disney first launched. In 2016, crowds of people waited overnight in the parking lots at the South Coast Plaza store just for a chance to snag one of the limited-edition signature purses. The store sold out within minutes of opening its doors. If this Opening Ceremony runway show marks the beginning of this “Mickey the True Original” campaign, we are eager to see what else is in store. For the first time in forever, we can’t wait for what’s next.
Craftsmanship is at the core of the Coach legacy. Dating back to its founding in 1941, the brand created a sleek New York look that culminated in Coach’s most notable accessory: the handbag. Decades later, under the guise of Stuart Vevers, the fashion house returns to its artisan roots with the Coach Create experience.
While some shoppers may prefer to start the Coach Create design process on the web, the best way to try this customized service is in person and in the store.
At South Coast Plaza’s boutique, the Coach Create bar sets the stage for a luxurious fashion experience. A dreamy leather workshop carved out in the back of the store transports visitors to another time. Spools hang from wooden racks, large swaths of exquisitely dyed leather drape down the walls, hand-drawn pencil sketches hang decoratively on a pinboard next to a picture of a skilled craftsman who the two men working diligently behind the bar apprenticed with in New York.
The dream gets better once you discover that personalizing your bag goes beyond a hand-stamped monogram. Oh, they can do that, too. But, Coach’s supple leather hangtags are only the beginning. After selecting from a variety of letters, numbers and more than 100 custom Coach stamps – Sprightly palm trees, breezy sailboats, sweet ice cream cones and quirky throwbacks such as a cassette tape (a nod to anyone who remembers the ’90s) – clients can further customize their own unique look by adding colorful flourishes such as Western-inspired Prairie rivets, Coach’s signature Tea Roses and quirky Souvenir pins. The attitude-packed metal pins are shaped as emojis, lightning bolts and rockets. (Our fashion team thinks the Rexy dinosaur pin could be a future collector’s item.)
Coach embraced its past and remembered what had once made the brand iconic: Craftsmanship. Its roots helped revolutionized its image. Coach designed the leather goods displayed inside the store, but clients leave South Coast Plaza’s Coach Create bar feeling as if their precious piece of fashion was crafted just for them.
Coach, South Coast Plaza, (714) 979-1771::coach.com
Best-selling author of “White Oleander,” Janet Fitch delivers an impressive coming-of-age saga with her fourth novel, “The Revolution of Marina M.” In this impeccably researched epic, a young poet in 1916 is drawn into left-wing politics during the Bolshevik revolution and experiences a sexual awakening in the midst of upheaval.
Abortions are outlawed in the alternate reality of Leni Zumas’ second novel “Red Clocks,” which braids the stories of five women who each attempt to buck the patriarchy in a different way, a timely narrative that is one part allegory, one part “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and thoroughly thought-provoking. There is only one new book that Sherman Alexie has recommended with 100 percent of his soul, and it is the debut memoir “Heart Berries,” by Terese Marie Mailhot. Slim, soulful and poetic musings on her struggles with bipolar disorder and PTSD, with thoughtful meditations on what it means to be a contemporary Native American woman and a writer.
There is only one new book that Sherman Alexie has recommended with 100 percent of his soul, and it is the debut memoir “Heart Berries,” by Terese Marie Mailhot. Slim, soulful and poetic musings on her struggles with bipolar disorder and PTSD, with thoughtful meditations on what it means to be a contemporary Native American woman and a writer.
A former border patrol agent grapples with the human costs of capturing and deporting undocumented migrants in “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border,” a debut memoir by former Fulbright scholar and 2017 Whiting Award winner, Francisco Cantú.
Debut novelist Jamie Quatro explores Christian faith and desire with lyrical precision in “Fire Sermon,” a deeply affecting story of commitment, infidelity and longing from an exciting new voice. Fresh, intellectual takes on timeless literary themes revealed in an inventive structure.
Conservative commentator and former Bush speechwriter David Frum composes a compelling analysis of the lesser-known ways in which the current administration is undermining the traditions of the executive branch, and democracy itself, in “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” a critical take on Republican acquiescence from a longtime party insider.
“This violin is named after its most prominent owner, Karl Halir, who was of Czech descent and concertmaster of the Berlin Court Orchestra. The violin’s claim to fame is that with it Halir performed the world premier of the current version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in Berlin, with Richard Strauss conducting, in 1905.
“In 1987 I was living in St. Louis, performing with the St. Louis Symphony. I owned a violin made in 1732 by the great Italian maker Domenicus Montagnana. I loved that instrument dearly, but unfortunately it needed major repairs. One day I was in the repair shop and the owner of this Stradivarius was there, letting it be known that the instrument was for sale. He was convinced to let me take the violin home for the night to play, which was a huge treat for a 26-year-old kid.
“I immediately fell in love and wanted to do everything I possibly could to find a way to purchase it. I had to sell the Montagnana in order to make a down payment. This took some time, about six months. I also had to have family meetings to
get access to all the funds I needed to purchase the Strad.”
Santa wants you to be well-lit, well-rested and well-scrubbed this holiday season
Hi, Brow Tonya Crooks has plucked some of the most notable brows in Hollywood, including those of Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Mendes. Now, she’s boxed her expertise in the BrowGal Starter Set, which includes pencils in warm and ash tones, a highlighter and a clear setting gel, plus a detailed how-to guide. Tonya-trained experts are available by Skype for advice on identifying the perfect color and shape for your arches. $75 :: thebrowgal.com
Who’s the Fairest of Them All? Let there be light, we have often implored, when we struggled to pluck our brows evenly, blend our foundation without leaving lines of demarcation or create a cat eye with liquid liner. Simplehuman, the company that makes the life-changing motion-sensing trash can (recently updated to open at the sound of your voice), has answered those entreaties with its Sensor Mirror Pro. The 8-inch-diameter mirror mimics natural sunlight, which is optimal for applying makeup. Or download the app and choose among settings that include overcast, candlelight, gym, yoga studio and office. Does your favorite restaurant or the office boardroom have funky lighting that causes the makeup you applied at home to look garish or dull? There’s a fix for that: Capture the environment with your phone, then command Alexa to recreate the lighting on Sensor Mirror Pro. $250 :: simplehuman.com
Pretty Slumber “If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, we won’t put it in our products,” is the promise from Edible Beauty Australia, a botanical skin care line created by a nutritionist/naturopath. With no ingredients made from animal products and no animal testing, that’s a pledge even vegans can embrace. So we plan to step away from the party circuit at least a couple of nights this month, don our favorite PJs, slather on the Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse (yes, you wear it overnight), and get into bed with our Kindle and a cup of Edible Beauty’s Balancing Butterfly Blue herbal tea. $43 :: ediblebeautyaustralia.com
Cheese Whiz You don’t need to be a fan of cheddar, Brie or provolone — though we adore all three — to love this “farm to bath” set of soaps from Farmhouse Fresh. The aspen wood cheese box contains two wedges of four varieties of hand-poured soaps: blueberry chia seed whole milk; pistachio cream goat’s milk; lavender honey whole milk; and oatmeal goat’s milk. Place the wedges on a cheese board in your guest bathroom and give your friends something to smile about at your next holiday gathering. $124 :: farmhousefreshgoods.com
Exceptional watches are a delicate expression of practicality melded with artististic craftsmanship. The second hands mark blocks of time while evoking the constant feeling that life does not stop. No matter what we build, what we accomplish, it’s time that keeps us grounded. Steady movements married with technical expertise remind us to seize the moment and savor each minute.
Veteran journalist and novelist Martin J. Smith dives into the weirdness of the West with his wry essay collection “Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee: And Other Tales of the People, Places, and Peculiarities of the Modern American Southwest.” Many pieces began as articles for the Orange County Register.
Best-selling Turkish author Elif Shafak takes readers to modern-day Istanbul for her third novel, “Three Daughters of Eve.” A woman harks back to her college days for an intellectual exploration of divinity and the relationship between feminism and Islam.
One of the greatest hard-boiled detectives of all time is due for resurrection thanks to “The Big Book of the Continental Op,” a posthumous collection of short stories and novels by the godfather of crime writing, Dashiell Hammett. The stories appear together for the first time, thanks to the editing of Hammett’s granddaughter, an Orange County native and literary scholar, Julie M. Rivett, and biographer Richard Layman.
In the wake of her mother’s death, which coincided with the birth of her first child, poet Gayle Brandeis searches for solace with “The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide,” an inventive memoir that contemplates her mother’s mental health issues and her obsession with two rare illnesses.
Critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction author Deanne Stillman ventures back out into the desert for “Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship Between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill.” From their Wild West show collaboration to Little Big Horn, Stillman captures historic details and weaves them into a compelling narrative that reads like a novel.
Just in time for your New Year’s resolution, neuroscientist Rachel Herz examines the physiological and psychological factors that plague the hungry brain in “Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship With Food.” Yum.