JCPenney, the quintessential American department store, has enlisted Charlotte Ronson to inject its staid racks with a dose of downtown New York cool.
Ronson, 31, sister of music producer Mark and DJ Samantha (her twin), has been designing clothes for nearly a decade, beginning with her 2000 C. Ronson collection, which introduced her trademark "tushies" (a lingerie-inspired romper), wedge heels and iPod "hoodie" scratch protectors.
By 2005, Ronson had partnered with giant Japanese apparel company Sanei International and given her line the more mature-sounding Charlotte Ronson name. Her fall/winter 2009 show during New York Fashion Week featured tough looks such as black one-shoulder knit tops and cropped leather pants.
The I Heart Ronson collection, which targets women 21 to 35, had a soft launch for spring, and its summer looks land in stores this month. The new offerings include $30 blouses with a 1980s-inspired print, $36 high-waist pink shorts, $36 "tushies" and $58 prairie-style maxi-dresses. (Ronson was scheduled to toast the collaboration here in Los Angeles with a soiree at the Chateau Marmont on April 3.)
JCPenney may have been overshadowed recently by competitor Target's forays into fashion with its Go International collection, but the Plano, Texas-based department store pioneered designer collaborations back in 1982 when it signed on the late designer Halston. And with its affordable Ronson collection, the retailer is clearly reaching for some buzz.
Poko Pano Through April 12: Swimwear line based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, holds a one-week online sale, with 25% off current-season bikinis, maillots and dresses, and savings up to $50. Browse styles such as the retro-inspired Marilyn mono-kini (regular price $175) that was featured in this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Enter promo code "pokopanolat" at checkout for discount.
Milkmade Through April 12: Abbot Kinney bungalow boutique extends its First Friday sale, taking 10% off current-season men's looks such as Trovata's retro-striped crew neck sweater (regular price $158), Corpus' canvas A-line jacket ($298), Endovanera's twill bobby pants ($273) and Vanishing Elephant's Oxford short-sleeve ($135).
1413 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice (310) 581-8890. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. www.milkmade.eu
Mirror/Dash Friday: Kim Gordon's Mirror/Dash pop-up store makes its debut at Urban Outfitter's Space 15 Twenty. The temporary spot will stock Gordon's fashion picks from other designers, music, books and art plus new looks from the Mirror/Dash collection, including two $58 cotton knit dresses -- one boat neck and one racerback. On Friday and Saturday, Gordon's personal collection of vintage Daryl K pieces will be on sale to benefit community resources for people with autism.
1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 465-1893. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. space15twenty.com
Esprit: The youthful casual label is back with a signature Los Angeles store after a decade-long absence. Esprit's new spring styles hover under $100, including an $89.50 embroidered-border shift dress, a $69.50 tie-belt skirt, $49.50 ruffled check blouse and $99.50 yellow belted trench. Esprit also invites shoppers to enter its "how we met" contest: Take a photo in the Santa Monica store any weekend (Friday through Sunday) through April 23 with your significant other, then upload it to www.esprit.com/howwemet with a vignette on how you met. The prize is a trip to Paris, Berlin or Barcelona, Spain, and a $500 Esprit shopping spree, plus another $500 in cash.
1349 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. (310) 393-7069. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. www.esprit.com
Nine West: The affordable, trendy women's shoe brand debuts its new retail concept at South Coast Plaza. An all-white interior, including porcelain tile, makes the spring collection pop. The line features gladiators, platforms, wedges and flats, all priced under $100.
3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 557-0259. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. www.ninewest.com
Luxe Boutique: Women's online retailer opens its first brick-and-mortar store in West Los Angeles. New spring styles in stock: $78 silk tops and $54 cuffed linen shorts by Kensie; $90 Matty M chiffon tops; $110 BCBGeneration dresses, $118 cap-sleeve dresses from Max & Cleo, $300 bohemian frocks by Tracy Reese.
11724 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-LUXE. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. www.shopluxeonline.com
Agent Provocateur Ongoing until Aug. 30: The Melrose boutique featuring saucy lingerie by Joe Corre, Vivienne Westwood's son, offers up its space to prospective brides who want to throw a shower while perusing the new bridal-wear collection. For a minimum purchase of $500, you get the exclusive use of the store from 6 to 8 p.m., complimentary Champagne and canapés and a naughty goody bag for the bride-to-be. Guests receive a gift with purchase. The Agent Provocateur bridal collection features the Angharad baby doll nightgown ($350), the Lois vintage-inspired bustier ($250) and suspender brief ($140), plus a $179 Agent Provocateur bridal set featuring pasties, thong panty and eye mask.
Worn to be Wild Through today: Saks Fifth Avenue celebrates spring looks from Marc by Marc Jacobs, See by Chloé, D&G, Diane von Furstenberg, Robert Rodriguez, Alice + Olivia and Elizabeth and James by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Spend $250 and get a boho Milly tassel necklace; spend $450 and receive a $50 gift card too. You can also enter a drawing for a handbag, shoes and other gifts.
9600 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 275-4211. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. saks.com
Glen Ivy: Historic hot springs spa is offering a special spring detox and pani-cure package at its Corona location and its two other Southern California day spas. The $145 spring detox package features an exfoliating sugar scrub, a warm eucalyptus body wrap, an 80-minute Swedish massage and the grotto body moisturizing experience. The $110 130-minute pani-cure includes an aromatherapy soak, exfoliation, soothing mask, massage and intense hands and feet moisturizing, plus nail shaping, buffing and cuticle work (polish included on toes). The Corona hot springs has an additional entrance fee of $35 weekdays and $48 weekends and holidays.
25000 Glen Ivy Road, Corona. (888) 453-6489 (for all locations). 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 1001 Brea Mall, Brea. 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 24320 Town Center Drive, No. 100, Valencia. 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. www.glenivy.com
Allen Edwards Ongoing through April 19: Reconsidering your long hair as the weather warms up? The 34-year-old SoCal salon is giving 25% off short haircuts only. Apply the discount to these base prices: men's haircut is $60 and up; women's $80 and up; $150 and up for an appointment with Edwards.
216 26th St., Santa Monica. (310) 394-2878. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 20855 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 887-7330. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. allenedwards.com