ADA bags

Au Courant: Musical Storefronts

As it is in life, so it is in shopping: The only constant is change, and I have much of it to report. Lucia Loves Luigi (502 Brinkerhoff Ave.) has confirmed a move come the end of April; in the meantime, L-3 continues to score the latest from labels including Nicole Miller, Shoshanna, and Paul & Joe Sister. : One-half of the Forever 21-Anthropologie shuffle was completed when Anthro opened the doors on its new location, at 1123 State St.; unsurprisingly, Forever 21’s installation at Anthro’s old digs is taking forever. : InSoul has consolidated its kicks at the Lux location (909 State St.), bidding farewell to Paseo Nuevo. : And Arcobaleno Trade opened its relocated doors at 1101 State Street, where, in addition to the usual global imports (and new goodies, like the Tagua jewelry line), you’ll also find local, organic flowers, organic food, and fair-trade coffee from the Hummingbird Cafe.

Tagua jewelry line available at Arcobaleno Trade.

Good ‘n’ Horny: Nothing gets outdoor-wear company Horny Toad hot and bothered like do-goodery. Exhibit A: Their “9 in ’09 campaign,” encouraging people to pick a cause (walk to work, buy local food, volunteer) and make the world a better place. Doing good inherently is groovy, of course, but the Toad isn’t above offering material incentive. Share your story at to be entered in drawings-on April 9 and 19-for a $99 gift certificate. But that’s just foreplay (or nine-play, as the case may be): on April 29, Horny Toad will blow its proverbial wad, when one lucky winner scores a $999 gift certificate. Whether the Toad will still love you on April 30 remains to be seen.

Red Carpet Swagger: Local bag lady Ada Komorniczak is poised to become a fave of the red carpet set, after taking part in one of those oft-rumored Academy Award “Gifting Lounges”-code for: you’ve achieved the kind of status that’ll have your name in boldface forevermore, or at least a solid 15 minutes, so come, take whatcha like. (The irony being that no boldface carpetbagger needs free stuff, unless of course, said carpetbagger’s boldface is a function of her byline, and her spot on said carpet is on the press side of the rope, ahem 🙂 Ada picked up new devotees in the form of Aimee Teegarden, Mira Sorvino, and Viola Davis. Regular-font folks can score her supple leather accessories at Lovebird (7 E. De la Guerra St.) in S.B., or Lily (1131 Coast Village Rd.) in Montecito.

Spotlight On: Running in Heels

What StylePhile doesn’t love a little clothing porn? And for fashion fetishists in need of a fix, Finola Hughes is a veritable madam of mod: hostess of the Style Network’s makeover show How Do I Look?, the soap opera-vetted Hughes is taking on the fashion world again with her latest endeavor, a realidrama called Running in Heels, which debuted on the Style Network this month. The show, which Hughes produces, follows three bright-eyed interns at Marie Claire as they acclimate to New York City and the indignities of work. It is, Hughes says, “definitely a guilty pleasure, escapism TV.”

Raised in 1970s London, it’s little wonder Hughes has such a passion for fashion. Despite her school uniform, she found ways to cultivate her own look: she recalls herself at age 7, sporting white go-go boots with mirrored heels; the time her aunt took her to New Kings Road and bought her a whole outfit (velvet miniskirt, matching tights, shrunken vest); the white lipstick she stashed in her uniform pocket. “I remember walking around Notting Hill Gate, thinking, ‘I am soooo mod right now!'”

State Street is a far cry from High Street, but, in the four years she’s lived here, Hughes has found her favorites. A Blue Bee devotee with a penchant for ogling the racks at dressed and ready, she also loves to hop in her car and head to Ventura-and Target. Just because times are tough, she says, doesn’t mean you have to forego that quick hit of bliss that comes with donning something new. “Nothing makes you feel better than a new top. Whether it’s something that’s really in fashion or something that costs $19.99, the following morning, you’re like, ‘I’ve got that new top to wear!’ It completely changes your look-and your outlook.”

Shop This:

Now that you’re nearing the end of your reading for the day, put on your shopping shoes and head directly to dressed & ready (1253 Coast Village Rd., Stes. 204 & 202, respectively). Do not pass go-but if you can collect $200, I’d consider doing so. Today and tomorrow, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the shops are hosting a trunk show featuring New York designer Yigal Azrou»l. A rare treat, Azrou»l will be around today only, but his designs will be there for the shoppin’ both days, and a portion of all proceeds from the event will go to the Breast Cancer Resource Center. : Stylin’ mamas should note a sweet deal from Adriana Shuman of Summer for Kids (1235 Coast Village Rd., Ste. C). The safety- and eco-minded goods are reason enough to stop by, but right now, if you make a purchase of $50 or more, you’ll score a raffle ticket and a chance to win a Fisher Price Swing, Glider, or an Evenflo ExerSaucer. And if you pony up for a piece of furniture, you’ll be entered to win an Orbit Baby Stroller (which is worth $1,200-holy baby!). The drawing goes down at the shop on April 30.

3 Reasons to Check Out: Frugal Updates

Since Finola Hughes (see “Spotlight”) is something of a guru when it comes to the science of a successful makeover, I asked her for three frugal ways to update your look. Here they are:

1. A statement necklace. Sparkle, combined with some sort of interesting fabric-netting, especially-is chic and current. And, best of all, c-h-e-a-p. “You can find them inexpensively now because they hit the runway two or three seasons ago, so now there are a lot of knockoffs.” Music to my ears.

2. An obi. Thick belts are in, but with warmer days right around the corner, skip the leather and look for a fabric obi instead. Wrapped around one of last year’s dresses, updating is a cinch. Hughes even gives her blessing on pattern-mixing: “Just go carefully.” I’ll second that.

3. The “It” shoe. Forget the It Bag. A bag, even an It Bag, has to be somewhat practical (what are your requirements for work? for day-to-day?), and a bag, especially an It Bag, doesn’t come cheap. So focus on your footwear instead. Right now, Hughes is into the updated gladiator sandal, chunkier than those of seasons past. Short StylePhiles should beware.


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