By Greer Wylder
3:36 PM PST, January 25, 2012
Fashion expert Elizabeth Charles just opened her third eponymous boutique in the former chic A'Maree's store at Westcliff Court in Newport Beach.
She already enjoys a loyal following of fashionistas, who appreciate her sophisticated and elegant merchandise found at her flagship New York and San Francisco stores. Her celebrity clients include Michelle Pfeiffer, Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Rashida Jones, Edie Falco, Helena Christensen and Gretchen Mol.
Charles is bringing hard-to-find elegant and stylish apparel and accessories to Orange County from up and coming designers that she loves.
"It's not that I don't appreciate a big name designer like Chloé," Charles said. "It's just that I want to find designers before they hit it big."
She prides herself on offering value to her customers by seeking out high-quality pieces with exquisite attention to detail that you'd expect from major fashion houses, but you're not paying for branding and marketing.
Elizabeth Charles' mix of designers are more affordable. For instance, she carries beautiful boots by Laurence Dacade (who also designs shoes for Chanel). His label's high-end leather and quilting detailed boots cost $1,100, whereas a Chanel boot can run much higher.
An Elizabeth Charles customer wants to look original, sophisticated and stylish — and wears denim on occasion (that's why Charles' favorite Genetic Denim brand is carried) but doesn't need a highly recognized label to define herself.
Choose from hand-treated, distressed and painted leather jackets from L.A. based designer, +Beryll; multifunctional Sedgwick handbags with straps by jewelry designer Lulu Frost that can be worn as a belt or necklace; a sexy black Cushnie et Ochs dress with precise cut-out around the waist; and coveted black leather leggings by Kevork Kiledjian.
Other designers include Vanessa Bruno, Carven, Doo.Ri, Giada Forte, Roseanna, Aquascutum, Marios Schwab, Heimstone, Todd Lynn, Rue du Mail, Thakoon, Peter Som, Preen, Rachel Comey, Rick Owens' Lilies and Darkshadow collection, Rika, VPL, Felder Felder, Wayne and Willow.
Jewelry designers include Rona Pfeiffer, Arielle di Pinto, Made Her Think, ACB, +Beryll and Lady Grey.
The store, at 1649 Westcliff Drive, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call (949) 645-2300 or visit http://www.elizabeth-charles.com.
PULL UP YOUR SOCKS
Quite possibly the greatest sock company in the world for skate, snow and surf enthusiasts is based here in Orange County. San Clemente-born Stance offers a range of sock designs from snow, casual, performance, reserve (its premium line), our favorite artist-designed collection, and cool kids collections too.
Stance socks are cruelty-free, and extra soft for optimal comfort. And just try finding more creative designs on socks. You can express your individuality by mixing and matching, and Stance sells some packs of three as a pair, so that you can wear any two.
You can also order limited-edition box sets of a dozen Stance socks hand-chosen by renowned musicians, surfers, and skateboarders such as Chris Cole, deadmau5, Mitch Abshere, and Willow Smith. Some popular designs include Sock Monkey, Captain Fin Co., Monster Surf, Relax and Sii Dawg. Although the majority of Stance designs are colorful and original, there are some classic basics too.
Stance socks can be ordered online or can be found at popular surf, skate and snow shops in Orange County, including Rip Curl in Huntington Beach, Laguna and San Clemente; Laguna Surf and Sport in Laguna Beach; Liberty Boardshop in Brea; and Surfside Sports in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 391-9030, or visit http://www.stance.com/.
Looking for an aesthetician who you can trust and who will get you the best results?
Deborah Woods-Berry, formerly the owner of the award-winning Skin Deep-The Body Spa in Huntington Beach, has relocated to Jack Winn Salon & Body Center in Newport Beach.
She has nearly 30 years of experience in the industry and researches the best treatments, products and latest advances in skin care. Deborah is passionate about analyzing problems and then finding the right solutions for individual needs.
She specializes in acne and pigmentation, chemical peels, derma planing, rejuvenating facials and full body waxing for men and women. Whether you want to look your best on your wedding day, clear problematic skin or just trying to reverse the effects of sun damage, Woods-Berry can help.
As a special for Greer's OC readers, she's offering $25 off any service through Feb. 3. All clients will receive a complimentary 30-minute diagnostic skin care consultation.
Jack Winn Salon & Body Center is at 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Suite 110. For more information, call (949) 877-9702, or visit jackwinnsalon.com.
GIVING TO LOCAL SCHOOLS
Bella Bleu in Costa Mesa, a popular boutique for affordable fashion trends, is giving back to local schools with two events on Saturday. At "Product Runway," from 9 to 10 a.m., Bella Bleu will be mentoring students from Orange County FIDM by teaching them small business and visual merchandising skills. And, they're holding a contest for each girl to style a mannequin in the store's windows.
The second event benefits Newport Harbor High School with 10% of sales going to the Newport Harbor Dance Team. At 2 p.m., a fashion show and dance presentation starts with eight girls from the Varsity Dance Team. Customers can enjoy champagne and snacks too. Bella Bleu is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Bella Bleu is at 333 East 17th St. For more information, call (949) 722-2538.
HIP PITA JOINT
Pita Jungle, the newest restaurant in Newport Beach dedicated to the art of eating healthy, specializes in made from scratch Mediterranean dishes with a twist. The Arizona-based, award-winning eatery is already a local favorite for those looking for a sit-down health conscious restaurant with fair prices, and a full bar.
We're loving the artistic hip interior, from the glazed concrete flooring, exposed white ceiling, repurposed table stands, to the second-hand chairs and stunning resin art panel. It's hard to believe this once housed a Blockbuster Video store.
The extensive menu covers special diets like vegan and vegetarian options, and be sure to try the chicken tikka masala in coconut masala served over brown rice with fresh pea sprouts; cilantro jalapeño hummus with pita; wood-fired fresh salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and wilted spinach; and our favorite pizzas: the chipotle chicken lavosh pizza; and roasted garlic and portobella pizza with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, basil, herbs, Kalamata olives and parmigiano reggianno cheese.
Other choices include hot and cold pita sandwiches, composed salads, healthy burgers, combination plates, wood-fired pizza, pita wraps and specials.
Daily happy hour, from 3 to 6 p.m., offers specials on tapas and drinks. Pita Jungle, at 1200 Bison Ave., is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call (949) 706-7711, or visit http://www.pitajungle.com.
GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily email service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at email@example.com.