Pepper Project: Shop with a purpose this weekend

Pepper Project's new home is stocked with  fun and affordable accessories, jewelry, scarves, home goods and even some toys.
Pepper Project’s new home is stocked with fun and affordable accessories, jewelry, scarves, home goods and even some toys.

 

The only thing better than shopping is when your purchases give back to someone less fortunate. That’s why I love buying gifts, home goods and even fantastic handmade jewelry and accessories from my friends at Pepper Project (pepper project.org).

Continue reading Pepper Project: Shop with a purpose this weekend

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Miel! A sweet new place for cool clothes

MielNothing better than discovering a new place to spend my money. Especially if that place is stocked with fresh basics and witty accessories like Miel (it means “honey” in French and Spanish!)  in Costa Mesa.

It’s a tiny space to be filled with so much style and whimsy tucked as it is in the warren of cool eateries and fun shops at OC Mix.

Miel rack

Miel girls

 

Miel/top

Miel is the first foray into retail by two SoCal girls Grace Lee and Kayla Park, old friends who met in school and share the same passion for kicky clothes with a bit of East Coast edge. They also love style on a budget so shopping here will not break the budget.

Miel carries L.A.-based Persee, Mustard Seed denim, and Lani California. The style is very much OC meets NYC with the expected drapey pants and kimonos alongside a distressed striped Tee from Rock and Rose and a made -for-the-club gold mesh shirt from Rehab.

 

Miel/mesh shirt

Jewelry is mostly from Irvine’s Bearfruit and has a delicate but edgy feel with lots of potential for layering.

Bear Fruit/Miel1

 

Bearfruit/Miel2

Bearfruit/Miel 3

Bearfruit/Miel 4

But my favorite thing at Miel are the witty clutches from Bam Forever (ok, so they maybe, kind of are rip-offs of Karen Walker’s iconic clutches from fall but they’re a tenth of the cost too!).

Miel clutch 1

I got the denim “Faster, Better, Stronger” clutch – the yellow print adds a pop while the faded denim makes it neutral; win-win! (And it cost less than $30!)

Miel Clutch2

Some of the styles skew a little young, but this is OC and no one lets age rules define them. There are plenty of basics (like the cool striped tee below) and grown up pieces like work-approp white button downs, scarf-hemmed leather jackets, cozy sweaters and the Merlot-colored bell-sleeved tunic I picked up to wear with satin evening trousers.

Miel/striped

Miel/jacket

 

 

Miel/jumpsuit

 

Miel is at 3315 Hyland at the OC Mix in SoCo. Check it out or go to Facebook/mielclothinghoney and Instagram/melclothinghoney  to see their cool style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewe

The Celect ups O.C.’s style game

 

The Celect carries delicate but architectural jewelry by Bjorg and Vibe Harslof
The Celect carries delicate but architectural jewelry by Bjorg and Vibe Harslof

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.”

 

Rachel Comey jeans at The Celect
Rachel Comey jeans at The Celect

 

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 Celect stocks lingerie by Laguna Beach's Noe and swimwear by Minimale out of Venice, Ca.
The Celect stocks lingerie by Laguna Beach’s Noe and swimwear by Minimale out of Venice, Ca.

 

A wall display of Linda Farrow sunglasses at The Celect
A wall display of Linda Farrow sunglasses at The Celect

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.

A rack of covetable Katie Eary shirts for men
A rack of covetable Katie Eary shirts for men

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.

Clogs by LA-based Sydney Brown, $475
Clogs by LA-based Sydney Brown, $475