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Bright This Way: Chanel, NARS and Guerlain Go High-Watt for Summer

Like the fashion world (which shows collections a full six months before clothes hit the sales floor), the beauty industry is also pushing their summer collections earlier and earlier. The department store counters will soon be a veritable rainbow of products from just about every brand, but a few stand-out collections are getting us really heated up. Whether you’re looking for brightly colored tips or you can’t resist a collaboration between two of the industry’s biggest names, start calling those counters, because these seasonal must-haves will fly off the shelves before the summer sun even starts to sizzle.

Chanel Summer 2012 Collection

Peter Phillip’s collections for Chanel Beauty are always showstopping, from his now-legendary Illusion d’Ombre collection to the release of must-have nail colors season after season. Chanel products are held in such high regard by beauty junkies that the release of an eye cream has taken on near religious significance. You, too, might have a transcendental experience when you see the ultra-wearable collection, which offers a repeat appearance of Chanel’s best-selling blush horizon in new-for-summer bronze hues and neutral shadows. And glosses are pepped up with a jolt of bright tangerine (looks like someone at the house of Coco is keeping up with their Pantone projections). This season’s piece de resistance? Delight, a bronze polish that’s sure to gain the cult-favorite status that shades like Peridot, Black Pearl and Blue Satin.

Be on the lookout, it’ll be on Chanel counters later this month. Insider’s tip — befriend a counter manager at your local department store and you’ll be able to get some of the goods before everyone else. It doesn’t hurt to make a few friends.

Guerlain and Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Collection

Guerlain and Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Collection


One of the beauty industry’s biggest names is teaming with one of fashion’s favorites in Guerlain’s Terra Azzurra collaboration with Emilio Pucci.

Inspired by the Winter Capri print from the Pucci archives, the collection features Guerlain favorites like the meteorites powder and kajal liner in Riviera-ready hues of bright azure blue, coral and terra cotta.

Each piece comes in a Pucci-print pouch, giving you a keepsake long after you use up these pretty powders, glosses and more. Our picks from the collection: The Terra Azzurra Meteorite pearls (and the midnight blue brush the brand recommends for brushing these multihued babies on) and the Bronzing Powder and Blush, a combination of bronzer, blush and highlight that’s almost too pretty to use. Swirl together for a bronzy flush or use the coral shades as a blush on their own. Either way, you’ll be resort ready with one sweep across your cheeks. It’s limited edition (of course) so we might suggest stocking up on two — or hoarding a dozen.

The Guerlain Terra Azzurra Collection will be available in stores this May.

NARS Thakoon Nail Polish

For his first-ever collaboration just for nail polish, Fran§ois Nars is teaming with Thakoon for a limited edition series of polishes inspired by the designer’s penchant for color. The duo have worked together before during Thakoon’s runway shows during New York Fashion Week, so it’s only natural that they worked together for polish, which is fast becoming fashion’s finishing touch. Taking hues from Thakoon’s collection, the six-piece collection takes inspiration from colors found in an Indian spice market (though we’re hard-pressed to identify any herbs or spices in either powder blue or cyan), there’s everything from a sunny yellow to a deep mandarin red — which you’ll only find at the brand’s Bleeker Street flagship in NY. Ladies, let the clamoring begin!

The NARS Thakoon collection will be available May 1 at

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Monday Muse: A.L.C.’s Nomadic Romanticism

A.L.C. Spring 2016

A.L.C.’s Andrea Lieberman won’t ever shed her title as a red-carpet stylist (and why would she, with that famous Versace gown she put on J.Lo?) but more and more, her line is becoming a real force in fashion. With a new investment from InterLuxe (home of Jason Wu), we’re sure to see even more from the brand, which has grown from a contemporary label to include handbags and an extended range of outerwear and more. This season, Lieberman €” who also counts Orange County-born Gwen Stefani as a client €” looked to a blend of soul and punk for an earthy collection that Ms. Gwen herself would be proud of.

RELATED: Gwen Stefani Launches New Label DWP

Spring’s mix was inspired by a Berber textile Lieberman had picked up in her travels €” only to have it stashed away in a box at her father€™s home. Upon finding it again, she created a deeply personal collection that riffed on the ’70s and ’90s €” two of fashion’s current touchstones and A.L.C.’s signature mix.

A.L.C. Spring 2016

A studded suede jacket might sound costumey but it was sumptuous and luxe, while crocheted maxis were boho in the best way possible. There wasn’t a hint of irony anywhere, just evidence of love for two decades that had their own unique take on personal style.

Prints were a major player in the collection, which drew color and pattern from that Berber fabric.

Lieberman created soft, flowing maxis with chevron prints that touched on the punk via injections of mustard, but stayed soft and feminine with lines and a gathered belt. It was stuff you could actually see yourself wearing, which is more than some brands can say, especially ones that bank on showmanship and skin-baring spectacle instead of actual clothes.

RELATED: ABC Carpet & Home Inspires BCBG Max Azria

A.L.C. Spring 2016

The shapes were pure L.A. €” think flowing shirtdresses a la Laurel Canyon’s heyday, those aforementioned maxis, dresses that went from day to night and lots of throw-and-go options ranging from dresses to separates. And where will you go? This nomad-inflected collection has everything you need to trek to Timbuktu and back, all with that easygoing nonchalance that A.L.C. has banked on. You might not be a red-carpet walking celeb, but you can look like one off-duty, especially in a collection as stellar as this one. With a richness and worldliness lacking in the contemporary market, it’s obvious why A.L.C. is getting bigger and bigger.

For more information, visit

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Monday Muse: Boudoir Dressing Inspires 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2015

3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2015

For a few seasons now, California-born Phillip Lim has been integrating organic shapes into his clothes. See: geodes, sunshine, shadows, etc. But this year, the designer was literally trapped in his bedroom. His apartment in New York was under renovation and the only habitable room he had was his bedroom. That led to his exploration of the boudoir and all of its trappings, from the quilting and tufting on his mattress to the pattern on his own quilt, and a collection that blended the comforts of home with the cool-girl, downtown style that Lim has honed after years in the business.

€œIt€™s become my sanctuary, my safe haven, and now, my inspiration,€ the designer said backstage before his fashion show. €œThe bedroom is this place where you are, at one time exposed, romantically, and on the other, totally protected, because it€™s private. It€™s very sexy for me this season. And all of the fabrics look like ones you might find in the most beautiful, most feminine boudoir.€

3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2015

The collection was grounded on cushiony block heels, which looked cozy and textural with the addition of suede and pony. The shoes — along with Lim’s bags — have been building the brand from a ready-to-wear line to a full-fledged collection that’s growing season after season.

The texture that appeared on the shoes appeared on the clothes too, which included robe coats (the bedroom’s take on outerwear, naturally) and flowing tops trimmed with suede and swingy quilting pulled from the brocade on mattresses. Raw edges and sheer panels recalled gauzy drapes and might have been a sly nod to lingerie dressing, which continued to be a major trend on the runways, but always seemed too saccharine for Lim’s downtown gals. Obi belts, which were another item we saw from designers from every Fashion Week, were loosely knotted and the girls walked the runway with behead and their jackets undone just so.

Sensuality came by way of draped pieces, which Lim said were all created on a form and pinned, tucked and folded to create curves and hug the body. Overtly sexy? You’d never get that from a Phillip Lim collection, but peeks of skin here and there were just enough to keep things from appearing too buttoned up. Cocktail dresses were loose and languid, as if the models had just rolled out of bed The last few pieces were inspired by rattan and weaving — it goes without saying that Lim wasn’t holed up in a tiny bedroom, but one furnished with some great pieces — with peeks of bright orange and yellow underneath, as if the afternoon sun was streaming through them. It was a collection that was cool, comfortable and easy. More collections like this one will keep Lim fans happy and earn him plenty of new ones. Finding a groove like that isn’t easy. Let’s just say he’s not sleeping on it.

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Guys are Getting Their Very Own Target Collab

The Target Collective

Menswear has been obsessed with homegrown labels and Americana — especially Made in the USA goods — for years now. But those heritage brand and small batch production labels have often been hard to find, since they’re usually only carried in specialty boutiques and menswear stores. But Target is changing all that. The collab-happy mega store is giving guys a chance to shop some of the biggest names in menswear and men’s accessories with its latest initiative: the Target Collective.

Past collabs have had a few items designed for guys (including the CFDA Neiman Marcus collection a few years ago, which included pieces from Thom Browne and rag & bone, and the Missoni collection as well), but the Target Collective — which launches March 15 — marks the very first time that Target will be releasing a collaboration aimed just at guys. The brands include Iowa’s Locally Grown, San Francisco’s own Taylor Stitch, irreverent stationery brand (and FTD favorite) Terrapin Stationers as well as men’s bag and accessories manufacturers Billykirk, Owen & Fred and Duluth Pack.

€œWhat excites me about this program is that we€™ve curated brands we think our guests will love, and that we€™ve worked with each brand to co-create products specifically with our guests in mind,€ said Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer at Target.

€œBy exploring innovative partnerships like Target Collective, we€™re bringing newness to our assortment and offering our guests easy access to stylish, well-crafted, quality products they€™ll find only at Target.€

The Target Collective will present Made in the USA goods from the brands, many of which already have cult followings in menswear circles and avid readers of men’s magazines such as GQ and Esquire. The collection includes accessories such as tooled leather belts, bags and travel gear as well as apparel, such as button-up shirts and graphic tees. The collection is priced from $10 to $270, with most pieces coming in under $100.

The Target Collective hits Targets website on March 15. For more information and to shop the Target Collective, visit

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Apolis OC Marketplace Arrives at Cloth & Metal

Apolis Co-Founder Shea Parton at the Cloth & Metal opening event

Cloth & Metal, the menswear mecca that gives Orange County gents a spot to stock up on menswear staples and more, just teamed up with L.A.-based Apolis for the very first Apolis shop-in-shop in Orange County, offering guys a unique one-stop shop to nab the brand’s signature pieces. Dubbed the Apolis OC Marketplace, it brings locally and globally sourced products right to Orange County.

Apolis at Cloth & Metal

Apolis, which has built its brand on offering up goods sourced and produced in developing nations and from smaller supply chains, is based on the ethos of travel and being a global citizen (the brand’s name loosely translates into “global citizen”). The brand has kept its distribution relatively small, sticking to its Downtown L.A. flagship and smaller boutiques such as Jenni Kayne, Wittmore and the Ace Hotel, but the partnership with Costa Mesa’s Cloth & Metal will be the brand’s largest permanent installation on the West Coast outside of the brand’s own store.

“We’ve been carrying Apolis in the store since we opened,” say Scott Sablan, founder of Cloth & Metal. “We are honored and excited to take it to the next level by becoming the Orange County headquarters for the brand.”

Apolis OC Marketplace

The selection at the Apolis OC Marketplace includes the complete line of apparel for men, including knit cardigans and shirting as well as accessories and a selection of candles and small leather goods.

Cloth & Metal has collaborated with Apolis as part of City Series Market Bags, a special, limited-edition line of totes bearing labels with different cities that offer Apolis products. The Costa Mesa Market Bag will be available November 24th. The bag is constructed from jute by a female artisan co-op in Bangladesh and finished here in California. The do-it-all also features natural vegetable-dyed leather straps reinforced by antique nickel rivets.

Apolis Costa Mesa Market Bag

“We are not only in love with the Apolis aesthetic,” adds Sablan. “But also how they manufacture and bring their product to their customer’s door step is what makes them truly special and unique.”

Cloth & Metal and the Apolis OC Marketplace is located at 3313 Hyland Avenue, at the OC Mix, in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit

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Save Steal Splurge: the Sleek Gladiator

The gladiator sandal is one of summer’s sexiest options. But while the straps and skin have their allure, getting into all those crisscrossing strips isn’t always the easiest. And while studs also catch the eye, sometimes it’s better to keep things simple. If you’re wearing a patterned maxi, a loud romper or you just want attention drawn north of your ankles, you’ll need a pair that’s meant to step up your duds, not stand out. We’ve got a few options that are clean and simple €” and easy to get into €” that will let your summer wardrobe take center stage and let you walk the boardwalk in style.

Save: BCBGeneration Caper Thong Sandal ($29.37)

Steal: Steve Madden Zsaza Embellished Sandal ($47.96)

Splurge: Dolce Vita Marnie Sandal ($89.95)

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The Best Trench Coats for Under $200

There are only a few items that go with everything in your closet. A Chanel bag is definitely one of them, but it’s not something that’ll fit into everyone’s budge. A trench coat, however, doesn’t have to cost a small fortune and will indeed pair with everything in your closet from your favorite jeans and t-shirt to a sundress (not to mention it’s great for a little lingerie liaison).

And now, trenches aren’t heavy or boring. Available in multiple colors and lightweight — and waterproof — fabrics, they’re a versatile piece that always look like a million bucks.