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What’s The (Fashion) Story? “Sisterhoods of Style” in The LA Times

By Nora Zelevansky / August 12th, 2012

Meet the Smith sisters, the impossibly cool kats behind the clothing line you’re about to start hearing about constantly and seeing everywhere nonstop, Elkin.  Don’t they look like dolls here or some inexplicably updated Renaissance painting?  You might recognize their stuff from the recent cover of New York Magazine, featuring the cast of GIRLS largely dressed up in Elkin frocks.

This duo is just one of the sister designer teams—also including the Malakpour sisters behind coveted accessory line NewbarK and the Thornhill sisters-in-law behind drool-worthy new jewelry line Liv Haley—I wrote about for yesterday’s SISTERHOODS OF STYLE story in the Los Angeles Times “Image” section.

My editor gave me a heads up late last week that the story would be getting the cover, which is always amazing news, but I still get excited for the reveal of what it looks like; it’s a surprise.  I think it ended up looking beautiful!  Also, with all the book craziness lately, it’s kinda nice to focus on journalism for a sec!

Anyway, I may be in Brooklyn right now, but in spirit I’m still in LA too … only with a smaller apartment, better bagels and less Earth Bar nearby.

xo – N.

SD (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [BEAUTY, FASHION, FITNESS ETC.]

By Nora Zelevansky / April 26th, 2011

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Just wanted to post links to a few of my latest on-line stories, as they may be of interest (or at least, it may be of interest to me for you all to read, re-tweet, FB etc.).

Yeah.  I said it.

Impressed?  I'm working with my therapist to make my needs known.  And, by therapist, I mean facialist.

So, here goes:

Persephenie (formerly of natural perfume shop Blunda) just launched her inaugural beauty product line and, at the end of May, will launch her first signature fragrances.  Style.com

Chloe Sevigny and Michael C. Hall teamed up with Kiehl's to create special labels for a new white clay masque to raise money for charity!  Style.com

Maya Yogev (creator of Grai) just launched her new bag line, MK Totem.  Daily Candy

I'm clumsy.  Are you?  Read my essay on being athletically-challenged. MyDaily.com [AOL]

Take a hike – through Topanga Canyon!  Vital Juice LA

Get an ice cream manicure at The Painted Nail.  Vital Juice LA

Nursing a bruised ego.  Embarrassing moments from the workout room.  Vital Juice LA

Read away!

xo – N.

LA (CULVER CITY): THE BEST BAG SALE [LOCKHEART SAMPLE SALE]

By Nora Zelevansky / December 10th, 2010

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You may not know this about me, but, when it comes to bags (and olives), I have a selfish streak.  That's right.  Stay away or get burned.

That said, my Jewish guilt overrides that animal instinct, so I'm telling you about Lockheart's sale today and tomorrow in Culver City against my better judgement.  They have only done this sale once before and, I kid you not, the prices are SICK.

You should probably go at 11am and give them time to set up (a.k.a. I will be there when they open at 10am and you shouldn't get in my way).

I just can't help but confess.  Hopeless.

Good luck!

xo – N.

LA/NYC/PARIS (AND BEYOND): THE BEST BAGS TO COVET PATHETICALLY FROM AFAR

By Nora Zelevansky / March 12th, 2010

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It's that time of year again … soon to be a seasonal shift, when I start coveting new accessories and clothing. Eh, who am I kidding?  That's all year round.

But here are some beautiful bags that j'adore.  That's French for: I love it, but it will never be mine. LAME.

The above bag is by Maya Yogev of Grai (you might know her signature leather jackets–see below).

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Anyway, back to bags … 

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I am ALWAYS a Jerome Dreyfuss fan (and wife Isabel Marant is pretty gifted too!) and I love this bag, especially in bright blue.

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These above Bare Collection bags were instant classics.  I mean, look at the colors and the beautiful, original silhouettes!  Who wouldn't dream of toting one of these?

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This Kooba "Sophie" bag coming out in spring is a thing of beauty and it's actually on the (relatively) affordable side, supposedly at around $325.

Sigh.  Something to ponder all weekend long.  Happy Friday!

xo – N.

NYC (AND BEYOND): THE BEST NEW BAGS, IN REALITY

By Nora Zelevansky / June 30th, 2009

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Let's talk for a hot sec about how much I want this bag.

I'm an unabashed accessories–especially bag–ho, as ya'll know, but it's been some time since I've craved a purse with this intensity.

To make matters worse, Kooba's above Camille bag is somewhat limited, created specially to be worn on Bravo's NYC Prep (actually the bags will appear for the first time tonight on the show's second episode).  Now do you want it even more???

See, I went to a NYC prep.  I attended drunken fêtes in museum sized rambling apartments. My name graced fliers for fifteen-year-old promoter friends, who threw parties at Chippendale's (yup) and Club USA. I threw swanky dinners on a friend's penthouse deck, while her parents were in the Hamptons, purchasing high-end ingredients on our parents' accounts at Citarella, Zabar's and Fairway back when there was only one (gasp!) location of each gourmet shop.  There were boys, drugs, robberies, snobberies, grades, failures, what-have-you and I was even edgy in the face of it all (from an art world family, where intellectualism was prized above status and money).

Now, that's drama.

But no one EVER designed me a bag, let alone one this beautiful!  Do you think it's because I was Upper West?  I feel deprived.

Well, teens these days better count themselves lucky cause this is some seriously amazing stuff.  Am I about to sound old, raving about how youth is wasted on the young?  Now, that's just sad.

Here goes: There are four special Kooba bags total in this exclusive collection and you can buy one for yourself at Shop Bravo.  Every piece of the collection is beautiful, but I am particularly fond of the navy Camille (above) and the Taylor Bag in teal.  What do you think?

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[BAGS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: TAYLOR (teal), KELLI (berry), JESSIE (aubergine)]

Meanwhile, I'll be lamenting the timing of a childhood before reality TV and, well, before Kooba.  And that, my friends, is a whole nother kind of baggage.

xo – N.

LA (CULVER CITY): THE BEST BAG OBSESSIVE’S PARADISE

By Nora Zelevansky / March 9th, 2009

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(Lockheart Co-Founder Jennifer Tash & The New Bag Love of My Life)

I love bags.  You love bags.  We all love bags.  Those of us with souls and boobs love bags.  Personally, I'm particularly fond of the bold, unabashed colorful ones (though not necessarily busy), which make a boring old jeans and tee combo feel fresh.

So, a couple years ago, when I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer Tash, co-founder (with longtime biz partner Trang Huynh) of burgeoning bag line Lockheart at their Culver City offices, I was blown away by the whole situation:

First of all, never have I met a bunch of "bag ladies" with so much passion and true commitment to their craft.  Second of all, you walk into this bustling sort of creative, chaotic wonderland and can basically experience the life-cycle of a tote, hobo, or purse from the leather scrap and inspirational image stage to a rainbow of "rich hippie"-style samples with Lockheart's signature vintage hardware, high-end textile lining and countless innovative pockets.  (All the better to hold POCKET LINT, my dear).

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(Leather samples, Just One Of The Many Lockheart Doggy Mascots, Me Looking Sloppy Compared To Another Fabulous Bag, Just Some More Fabu Bags)

To this day, when I come by their offices to view a new season's collection or to grab some goods at one of their seriously incredible sample sales (stay tuned at POCKET LINT for info on these UNMISSABLE sales as they arise), I plan to stay for 20-minutes and an hour later I'm still touching, ogling and oohing and aahing.  Cause, even when a Lockheart bag gets too embellished for me or just doesn't quite suit my style, the techniques are fascinating and the quality is impeccable.

Most, recently, I fell in love with the above (top) pink, purple and brown Bargello Geometric Yarn-style bag, which looks like a woven thread pattern, but is actually made with leather.  And I ended up writing a story for Riviera (O.C.) about the bag's young SoCal designer, Genette Sasser, who actually started out as a shoe designer. You can read that here.

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(Bags, Bags, Bags and Genette Creating Patterns For Bags)

Anyway, these ladies have been promising to get their website up-and-running for a while, so keep an eye out cause it should be up soon.  (Meanwhile, if you google them, you'll find lots of e-stores, but specifically I found the Bargello-style clutch at Saks).  And keep an eye out here for sample sale info too.  Seriously, the sales are not to be missed.  From one bag lover to another.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST TWIST ON CLASSIC STUDS

By Nora Zelevansky / February 3rd, 2009

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Your high school art teacher, in all her woven dashiki and asymmetrical earring-clad glory, taught you the importance of negative space.

Well, LA jewelry designer Adina Reyter turns that negative into a positive with her beautiful outline-only gold studs.  Born and bred in Cali, Adina tends to embrace (and then toy with) simplicity, subtly manipulating basic shapes–sorta like a young Elsa Peretti.  I've been a fan since I wrote her Daily Candy back in the day, after she instigated that whole circle necklace trend that celebs like Jennifer Aniston wholeheartedly adopted.

Now, I know what you're thinking: a stud is no big thang.  But Adina's designs riff on traditional all gold, bezeled gemstone or pearl studs.  Think classic country-club rich bitch with a rebellious streak.  (Uh oh.  Was that too revealing? Mean Girl at heart? Psych 101 anyone?)

Most importantly, they look beautiful on.  I wore a pair of rose-gold hearts religiously (now discontinued, I think) and received endless compliments.  I also covet her new "One Twist" collection, especially in rose gold (see below). But I'm a rose gold fanatic, if you haven't noticed. Check out the "Doves" and "Moons" too because, while she suggests a shape, she doesn't beat you over the head with an obvious interpretation.  And, in these cash po' times, one key accessory can really elevate that tired wardrobe from so boring you're going to scream to lovely.

Up next: a new "Butterfly" line is launching, as well as a murmured about new lower price point collection.  Adina is in boutiques EVERYWHERE.  Just check her site: it will inevitably direct you to some of the country's best accessory shops including must-visit LA spots (and some e-shops) like Fred Segal Santa Monica, Intuition and even chic (gasp!) Valley haunts like Belle Gray and Mimi & Hy.  (Wait–I just went to the Belle Gray site and I'm kind of scared–Is anyone else?  Turn the volume up!)

Also, randomly, Adina is kinda an Amanda Peet doppelganger, no?

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(Adina, Amanda Peet–Am I crazy?)

Anyway, lots of great accessories coming out of LA right now, especially Adina's simple posts.

Tell me about it, Stud.  

xo – N.

P.S. More top LA jewelry designers: C.C. SkyeSydney Evan, Bare (by Jeet Sohal)Jessica ElliotDevon Leigh and the list goes on . . .

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