Had the pleasure to meet Carrie and Murphy Martines of The Celect at The Lab recently.
Not only are they a cool, friendly couple but they also have impeccable taste — as is obvious to anyone who steps foot inside their intelligently curated boutique. Filled with under-the-radar American and European designers, the vibe of The Celect is casual with an edge and an eye for craftsmanship.
This is no fast-fashion, trend-of-the moment, made-in-China haven — Carrie and Murphy pay particularly close attention to where the clothes are designed and made.
“We definitely ask designers where they are made,” says Carrie. “We want to make sure the price of the garments you’re getting what your paying for; that you’re not gonna get something you’re gonna wear once; it’s gonna be a piece that is more timeless and not just a trendy item; it’s going to be in your closet over a season at least.”
The Celect is the place you go when you want that uber-cool architectural minimalism akin to the likes of Rick Owens or Haider Ackermann or The Row‘s oversized knits except with a bit more whimsy. (Honestly, what else would you call these bright swimsuits by We are Handsome and these booties by Bless?)
It’s the place for fashionphiles who understand exactly what is so cool about wearing drop-crotch pants and high-top kicks. It’s not the place to look for tops cut low enough for an Orange County Housewife, Herve Leger bandage dresses or festival-wear (not that there’s anything wrong with any of that).
Carrie and Murphy — both designers with long history in the fashion game and a love of unique boutiques — have created a modern style mecca in their airy store.
The lines at The Celect — Damir Doma Silent soft wear-forever tees and dresses, Risto knits and Alejandra Ingelmo sneakers, Mark McNairy shorts and shirts, Linda Farrow sunglasses — are selected for their timeless, modern appeal.
The boutique stocks both men and women’s clothes making it perfect for the boy or girl who likes to borrow from the others’ closet.
I fell madly in love with a pink flamingo jersey by British menswear designer Katie Eary. I know it’s technically a man’s shirt but I dream of wearing it with skinny jeans, flowy white trousers or a lean tube skirt and combat boots. Of the women’s lines I crave one of Risto’s painted tees or bright knit skirt; either would work well with — and be a welcome relief from — my largely black winter wardrobe.
The Celect also carries a hefty portion of unisex lines such as Paris-based Rad Houraini. Houraini’s gray wool felt capes fall right in line with two fall trends — gray and capes! — but have an architecture that will last past this fall.
The inventory at The Celect (think selection + curation) is still evolving, Carrie and Murphy say and soon they will be stocking Rick Owens Drk Shdws as well as Murphy’s menswear line COPY.
Next time you’re at The Lab (2930 Bristol St A101B, Costa Mesa) check out The Celect.