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.


By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2010

Picture 39

Monday, Monday, yawn, yawn.

Soooo … when I covered Mona Moore's Rodarte shoe party last week for, the post focused mostly on the spring collection and the fête itself, which is definitely worth checking out!

In addition to the Hawaiian cocktails and condor-inspired shoes, which you can read about at the above link, guests also got an up close and personal gander at fall's crazy collection.  And the lucky ones (yes, me & R.) got to chat for a while with kooky, cool Rodarte designer Laura Mulleavy, who reminds me more of the visual artists that pervaded my art world childhood than of any designer I've ever come across.  (Her sister and co-designer Kate seemed really lovely too, but I didn't get to corner her for quite as long.)

Laura talked about The Dark Crystal: She's obsessed with the Jim Henson cult-classic movie.  (Coincidentally, for some reason, people think I look like the main female "Gelfling," Kira.)  Laura also dished about what it's like working and living with your sister, saying that they're "basically the same person."  (They went to Berkley together and now live together.)  She also told us all about the inspiration for the fall heels and about the Rodarte approach to design:

Basically, though
known for their avant-garde aesthetic, the designers themselves kept it casual
and unassuming, showing their Northern California and Pasadena roots in comfy
plaid and tees.  Though Laura did
rock their Repetto collaboration marbled ballet flats (love!), she shook her head “No
way!” in response to wearing her own designs, explaining:  “We don’t design for a specific girl or
for ourselves, which is unusual, but it means there are no limitations.”

Those that
truly worship at the altar of divine shoes were transfixed by fall’s upcoming
Kirkwood collaborations, displayed behind protective glass at the Mona Moore’s
rear.  The shoes are inspired by “sleepwalking”
and have heels that mimic melting candle wax and light up (see above and below).

Picture 53

When it comes to Rodarte's heels, if the shoes fits, put it behind glass and stare at it, because these are simply works of art.

xo – N.


By Nora Zelevansky / February 3rd, 2009



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?

Img_about_philosophy   Amanda_Peet_026b

(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 . . .