Trend Watch: Stylish shoes without the pain

If you're like me, staggering heels are a challenge, even on a good day.

Corona del Mar resident Julie Johnson felt the same way and launched her own shoe line: Newport Beach-based Olivia Childs.

The shoe line is what Johnson calls the alternative to those staggering heels. Fashion bloggers and fashion followers love the shoes, Johnson said.

"I wanted to make a comfortable shoe for women," she said.

She started creating the line about two years ago and officially launched Olivia Childs in January.

The shoes feature a 2 1/2-inch wider platform heel and a rubber sole, layers of foam support and other inside layers for extra comfort and cushion. Each design has a touch of glamor, such as a bow, often found in high-end designs like Prada, she added.

They are sold in boutiques in Orange County and Los Angeles, including Antonia Shoes at the Hidden Jewel in Costa Mesa.

Johnson's collection focuses on five styles: the Jacquetta, Lulu, Gisella, Gia and Lisette. They come in various colors, like metallic black and beige, snake skin and nude. They sell for $160 to $185.

Johnson is big on combining style and comfort.

"There are so many old lady shoes and they are not stylish," she said. Olivia Childs designs are "fresh and not dated."

Her daughter, Olivia, is the inspiration behind the line's name. Even Johnson's son, Jack, has gotten in on the action — the Jacquetta is named after him.

A website is coming soon. More information is at


Viktor&Rolf; coming to SCP

The fashion designers behind Viktor&Rolf; — whose avant-garde creations have been worn by some of the biggest names, including the first lady — are making a special appearance to promote their new perfumes for women and men at Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza.

The designers will be in the perfume department at Nordstrom from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 9. Shoppers who buy the fragrances, Flowerbomb for women and Spicebomb for men, will get to meet the designers and have their bottles signed by them, a press release said. Guests also will have the chance to win a Viktor&Rolf; Flowerbombette clutch, the newest design from their Bombette handbag collection.

For more information, call Nordstrom at (714) 549-8300.

In other South Coast Plaza news, design house Lanvin opened a boutique at the shopping center, and a newly remodeled Dooney & Burke opened as well.

South Coast Plaza is at 3333 Bear St.; (714) 435-2000.


Garden show returns April 25

Speaking of South Coast Plaza, the 24th annual Southern California Garden Show returns to the center April 25 to 28. This year's theme is "The Garden as Art," according to a news release.

Landscape architects and university horticulture students will show off the displays they created around the theme. The event will also feature seminars, speakers, book signings, garden projects and a 20-foot-tall floral centerpiece by Fiesta Floats of Arcadia, which was inspired by Andy Warhol's interpretation of Botticelli's Venus.

The event will take place in the Crate & Barrel/Macy's Home Store wing at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear St. More information is at (800) 782-8888 or visit


Time to celebrate the earth

The Camp and the Lab are celebrating Earth Day with a celebration April 7.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be various displays, live music, recycling, free VitaCoco coconut water, face painting, raffles and more.

More information is at and

ALISHA GOMEZ is the managing editor of the Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent newspapers. She can be reached at or (714) 966-4618.

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