To Have and Too Haute: After four years of dreaming and six months of business planning, renowned S.B. event designer Scott Corridan has launched a couture wedding gown label, White Chocolate Label by Scott Corridan. His first collection, for fall/winter ’08-’09, will hit the floors at five California boutiques in March-one of which will be right here in S.B. (expect that announcement in February). And if you’ve got an impatient (yet, you know, virginal and lovely) bride-to-be on your hands, check the current winter issue of In Style Weddings for a sneak peek of Corridan’s designs.
Save the Hemp for the Smoking:
Earth-friendly, fair-trade clothes are popping up everywhere these days, and this stuff ain’t your mother’s green wear. Thank god. (No offense, mom.) At Arcobaleno Trade (7 W. Haley St.), check out the new No Sweat line: union-made, organic, and, duh, sweatshop-free, the fitted tees come printed with messages of peace. And the Lotus Boutique (637 Chapala St.) just scored an incredible line of cruelty-free, organic, sustainable, fair-trade silk dresses and petticoats. Though the line, called Rene Geneva Design, is as green as green can be (using SKAL-certified organic cotton, peace silk-cultivated after the moth’s hatch from the cocoon-non-GMO soy, formaldehyde-free), it looks like style is priority number one.
The Sound of Style: There are so many reasons to love Jill Johnson’s Couture Candy (couturecandy.com)-the clothes, the clothes, the cheesecake-caliber guilty pleasure Celebrity Style Blog, the clothes-and now there’s another. (No, it’s not the clothes, but that’s an excellent guess.) It’s called Sweet Sounds, and it’s a compilation CD of tunes from a wide array of female artists-and it’s free with any purchase, mixed fresh each season. (The next one’s expected mid February.) Bonus/delightful time-suck: on the Web site, check the artist profiles to learn about their lives, their inspiration, and their favorite designers.
Spotlight on: Green Jeans
It seems we’ve finally acknowledged that we’ve reached an environmental crisis point. And, though the concept of green consumption might be a touch counterintuitive, who are we kidding? Most of us aren’t going to stop shopping. So, I suppose, it was only a matter of time before eco-fever would dovetail with this era’s other undeniable trend: denim. And one local company is making sure it happens as stylishly as possible. Created in summer 2006, Santa Barbara Jean Company (santabarbarajeans.com) lives up to its mantra, “Exquisitely designed, thoughtfully manufactured”: the duds are decidedly luxe-American-made, limited production, and handcrafted-but created with a constant eye to the environment, using organic cotton, recycled poly blends, low-impact production, and Earth-friendly vendors. The line, which includes jeans for men and women, as well as tops for the ladies, recently launched exclusively at beca:christian (432 State St.), and has quickly reached must-have status. Beca Hunter-Bishop gushed, “We’ve had the line in our store for a couple weeks and it’s literally blowing out of the store! It seems like locals have been waiting for something like this.”
Like education and dysfunctional relationship patterns, style begins in the home. With magazines. And any glossy junkie worth her stacks of back issues should check out Brooks alum Michael Thompson‘s exhibit at Brooks’ Cota Street Gallery (27 E. Cota St.). Open now through March 4, the exhibit features a collection of fashion, celebrity, and still-life images taken by Thompson-who’s shot for W, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Details, and the New York Times, and began his career working under legendary photog Irving Penn. An artist’s reception will take place Thursday, February 7, at 5 p.m. at the Cota Gallery, followed by a Q&A at the Lobero at 8 p.m. : Despite the current construction work, Susan Pitcher’s sister shops dressed and ready (1253 Coast Village Rd.) are open for business. In fact, so as not to inconvenience their customers, they’re offering complimentary private home showings, 50 percent off closet consultations, and 10 percent off any purchase throughout January. Also, in preparation for the S.B. International Film Fest, next Tuesday, January 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they’re hosting an aptly titled Wrap Party, where you’ll find the perfect finishing touch (Denis Colomb shawls, Balenciaga shoes?) to make your ensemble flawlessly SBIFFy : ahem.
Check Out: Earth Science
What if there were a line of beauty products as dedicated to being clean, green, and natural as it was to delivering immediate, excellent results? Well, as the fates of glowing skin and flowing locks would have it, there is, and the company that makes it is based right here. Five years ago, Ken Grand, founder of Alba skincare, bought Earth Science (earthessentials.com); since then, he’s revitalized the line, turning it into a media darling recommended by no less than the likes of Bobbi Brown. Here are three reasons to check out their potions, available at Lazy Acres, Lassen’s, and Montecito Natural Foods.
1) The brand-new hair masque. Made with silk protein, olive, avocado, and coconut oils, it repairs damaged hair, leaving locks soft, tangle-free, and smooth-not sticky, heavy, or smelling like a salad.
2) They use only the best, all-natural, cutting-edge ingredients, which speed cellular renewal, counter the effects of aging, and pamper sensitive skin.
3) In partnering with CarbonFund to offset carbon emissions, they’re clearly as into protecting Mother Nature as they are into using her goods for the pursuit of the pretty.