Longboarding fashion on the mark


Toes on the Nose, a Costa Mesa-based surf company inspired by the

art of longboarding, has a new flagship store in Laguna. It sells

men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, surfboards, accessories and


Hawaiian-style bedding. Its signature one-off original hand-shaped

boards with custom fabrics inlay are popular, as are its woven shirts

designed by Shag, a local artist. Ask about its custom Aloha shirts,

which can be designed for company gifts, golf tournaments, wedding


parties and tradeshows. Toes on the Nose also stocks fun accessories.

Everyone loves the Sanuk sandals, the “Blue Crush” style Creme de la

Gem chokers, Sugar floaties and cosmetics, Headhunter sunscreen and

highly polarized sunglasses from Spy and Maui Jim. Surfers and

snowboarders can practice balance training with the new Indo Board,

for $99 to $199 with instructional video. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday through Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday

and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 276 S. Coast Highway. (949)


494-4988 or toll free (877) 208-TOES.



Serena d’Italia sells exclusive Italian shoes and handbags for

less. Owner Bhagu Bhatia started his company in the 1970s on Madison Avenue in New York, catering to clients such as Barbara Streisand and

Jacqueline Onassis. He’s had other successful stores at the El Paseo

Collection in Palm Desert and Fashion Island in Newport Beach, before

moving to Broadway Plaza in Laguna Beach.


“My priorities have changed,” Bhatia says, “now that I have two

teenage kids.”

Bhatia’s secret for offering low prices is that he’s found

contacts in Italy, where his shoes are custom made, with the same

quality as high-end designers. Customers from all over the country

know of Serena d’Italia, and some order 25 pairs over the phone.

Serious shoppers go with Bhatia to his Santa Ana warehouse, where he

keeps 5,000 pairs of shoes and bags. The small boutique carries

women’s shoes, handbags and some men’s shoes. Open from 10 a.m. to 5

p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at

Broadway Plaza, 303 Broadway, Suite 111. (949) 376-4070.


One of the most affordable boutiques for trendy apparel is the new

Girl Talk! Owner Ivy Beltran opened the store in September, only

buying casual trends for juniors/misses. Beltran says her customers

don’t care about labels; they want new outfits at affordable prices.

“You can buy four or five pieces here for under $100,” Beltran


Tops range in price from $12.99 to $40, and pants are about $29 to

$59. In this season are low-waist “dirty” denims, peasant tops and

fur. Accessories include handbags and jewelry. Call for store hours.

412 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Unit C. (949) 497-4005.



The Garden Gate is a full-service flower and gift shop. Weddings

and private home arrangements are their specialty. Owner Raymond Foo

also offers delivery anywhere in Orange County and plant maintenance

and even decorates Christmas trees. Christmas arrangements are

beautifully designed with cranberries and crabapples. The gift

section is filled at Christmas with silver orbs, ornaments, handmade

Santas and elves and custom wreaths. Throughout the year, there are

glass vases from the Czech Republic, Bebe Winkler vintage pillows

from New York and pottery. Open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Call

for extended holiday hours. 392 N. Coast Highway. (949) 494-7027.


Laguna Arts is a one-stop shop for custom picture framing and art

supplies. Owners Helen and Verle Yoder carry one of the most

extensive selections of moldings in Laguna Beach -- 1,500 to choose

from. Laguna Arts also specializes in framing for conservationists;

it frames a lot of valuable works of art and restoration pieces on

the premises. Yoder put together art kits for holiday gift giving. An

oil painting kit is $69, a colored pencil kit is $39, and a drawing

kit is $35. Guest artists offer Saturday morning seminars. On Nov. 23

there will be a decorative painting seminar. Open from 10 a.m. to 6

p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at

333 Third St. (949) 494-ARTS (2787).

* BEST BUYS is a weekly feature of the Coastline Pilot. Send

information to Greer Wylder at or P.O. Box 248

Laguna Beach, CA 92652, or via fax at 494-8979.