Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Getting Candid about Zadig & Voltaire

Mr. Z and I

I know, I look serious but pinstripes are not to be taken lightly.
At the newly opened Zadig & Voltaire store in Fashion Island wearing the navy pinstripe Volly Bi blazer.

Lena Camouflage sock-style bootie.

Zadig & Voltaire shopping bags.

Phlame Deluxe leather pants & Amber Bis "Fever" slogan sweater.

 Risty Jac silk deluxe dress with Jacquard guitar print and feminine lace.

Crinkled soft t-shirt style Rollins Deluxe leather dress.

Poetic style easy to wear Tink shirt.
Buttery soft Jaden silver lambskin leather skirt, perfect for the party season and beyond. 

I'm stylishly sandwiched between celebrity stylist Mark-Alan Harmon and store director Melanie Eon of the Zadig & Voltaire store on Abbot Kinney.  Melanie was in Fashion Island for the opening and spoke to me about the appeal of the French brand from her hometown (Paris) but is thrilled to be working in Venice, L.A. after being with the brand in N.Y.C. It's possible that Mark is not only a celebrity stylist but a mind reader, because when I asked him what he'd dress me in, he picked out the pinstripe jacket that I'd had my eye on for weeks. I'm an internet stalker kind of girl. You can be too: zadig&voltaire.
I rarely have any fashion secrets. But once in a while, I come across a brand that I want to keep all to myself. That’s been the story of Mr. Z and I. He’s been my French bit on the side, for some time now. I haven’t kept him hidden from my inner circle but I haven’t been entirely vocal about him either. With the recent opening of the Zadig & Voltaire store at Fashion Island, that’s all about to change.

Zadig & Voltaire (I call him Mr. Z) is not an exclusive or under-the-radar brand (they have several locations in L.A., N.Y.C. and elsewhere) but until now there hasn’t been a presence in O.C. In Europe they're pretty much everywhere and in some places you’ll find two locations on one high street. But here, it's been relatively unknown (something that I've relished) and so it's been my little secret.

My first encounter with the brand was in Paris where the brand hails from, years ago but as far as I can remember, it wasn’t eventful. My relationship with Mr. Z was the slow simmering kind. The kind where you discover one piece of clothing at a time (that I wanted to wear over and over again). So, I kept going back for more.

Founded in 1997 by Thierry Gillier, who comes from a family with ties to the Lacoste empire, the brand is named after the French Enlightenment writer Voltaire and his book Zadig ou la Destinée (Zadig, or The Book of Fate) with Zadig the protagonist, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. Voltaire's best known book Candide is a delight and after writing this review I'm intrigued about the lesser known Zadig. (If you haven't read Candide I highly recommend it because once you read it, you’ll never quite forget it).

With a name that could be just as suited to a bookstore as a clothing line, it’s not surprising that there’s a familiarity even a “classic” appeal to this ready-to-wear collection, evident in the founder's love for the arts. But at the same time the brand is modern, with a rock and roll vibe. Their signature use of cashmere and leather transition easily from day to night; dressed up or down. I suppose it's still very French, but with a little attitude and an understated cutting-edge style. Wearing Zadig & Voltaire allows me to feel comfortable in my own skin. I'm not pretending to be someone else since the clothes allow me to be who I want to be and not the other way around. Perhaps like all great relationships, it brings out the best in me.

Although it stings my heart a little to know that soon I may be sharing Mr. Z with all of you, I know there’s room for all of us to enjoy him. But promise me that when he grows on you, you won't brag to me about how you've "discovered" a new French beau and hopefully you'll remember that it was here, that you heard about him, first. 

Fashion Island
(949) 759-1978

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Getting Personal with Ms. Mandela

Swati and I at StyleCon. (Swati's jacket is from her own collection).
Swati Mandela meeting and greeting influencers at StyleCon.

When I met Swati Mandela I naturally, addressed her as Ms. Mandela. Being the granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, her last name speaks volumes. And right from the begining, she dropped the formality, “Please call me Swati,” she said. And that’s how our interview started.

Swati has a presence about her and whether her last name is a blessing or a burden she carries it well. Although she’s gracious she doesn’t have any airs or graces, which shows she’s comfortable in her own skin. Visiting from Johannesburg, South Africa where she lives, she was the keynote speaker at StyleCon. She spoke about her family legacy, women’s empowerment and her love of fashion. Afterwards, I got the chance to ask her some questions:

SA:What are the pros and cons of your iconic last name?
SM: Oh my goodness, let’s start with the cons. Actually there are no cons. I got over that and worked through that a few years ago. I thought that it was getting in the way of me being myself. So the pros are I have a great platform. I have this amazing legacy. I have the principals and values that both my grandparents taught me and I can take that on and live my life however I want.

SA: You’ve recently collaborated on a fashion line (Swati by Roi Kaskara). The collection showcases capes, scarves and a lot of color. You’ve also called fashion your armor. If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
SM: I’d be myself!

SA: What magical power would you like to possess?
SM: I’d love to be able to see the future. If I could see what is to come I could plan, I could strategize a way forward. Sometimes the scariest thing is not knowing what’s around the corner and not knowing if you’re making the right decision. So if I could have a looking glass and see what’s coming, that’s what I would love.

SA: In terms of style, what can we learn from South African women?
SM: Right now South African women are going through an emancipation of the self and they’re going back to their roots. You’ll see a lot of women wearing their natural hair or wearing “kente” cloth and just going back to being African. So it’s not about looking to the world for answers as to who we are, but knowing we are great within ourselves and building on that. I see a lot of that happening and it’s really empowering.

SA: What’s your favorite item in your closet?
SM: My old vintage Chanel handbag that I stole from my mom! Chanel was so ahead of her time. I don’t know any woman that wouldn’t want a vintage Chanel handbag!

SA: What do you like to take back home from California?
SM: Nice clothes! (She laughs). I think great connections and the amazing people that I’ve met and the experiences. You’re blessed when you go through life and meet interesting people, that add value to your life!

Thank you.

Sabrina x

Thursday, November 2, 2017

StyleCon is Back!

Want to hang out with the cool crowd? Here’s your chance. StyleCon is back and it’s going to be packed with everything stylish. A convention for fashion and beauty lovers right here at The Hangar.

What: StyleCon fashion & beauty event.
When: Saturday, November 4th 2017 – from 9am to 5pm.
Where: The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
Tickets: $39 and includes a StyleTote with goodies. Use my promotional code: 20PERSIANORANGE to receive a 20% discount on StyleFan tickets at StyleCon.
Find out about the latest trends and emerging brands, the ‘Beauty of Empowerment’ themed event will give guests a chance to listen to expert panels on the StyleStage about entrepreneurship, networking, fashion, and beauty in today’s digital landscape. Hundreds of content creators attend StyleCon - Instagram and YouTube personalities, bloggers, industry professionals, and celebrities, including StyleStage Hosts Melanie Bromley of E! News, and Emmy award-winning NBC journalist Allyn Hoang, speakers Swati Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and India Hicks, British royal, author, and lifestyle entrepreneur, plus musical entertainment by Aaliyah Rose, mentored by Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton on the 2017 season of “The Voice.” For more info visit StyleCon.

See you there!
Sabrina x

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Retro Chic - Pacific Coast Magazine

There’s a 1970s revival taking place and this updated insta-ready version is just as potent for today, as it was when writer Tom Wolfe dubbed it the “Me Decade” on the cover of New York magazine in 1976. This time around, you’re not confined to being just a Biba babe or a disco diva but a master chameleon. Borrowing styles from past to present offers you possibilities. We’re seeing a subtle interpretation of an era where legends as diverse as David Bowie to ABBA ignited the fashion scene with glam rock alter egos and synchronized looks. Isn’t the movie “Saturday Night Fever” remembered as much for its soundtrack as for Tony Manero’s white three-piece suit and swagger?

Today’s version is still playful, minus the polyester shirts, tennis headbands and lilac eyeshadow. There’s an echo of adventure that’s fresh, but it’s no longer about the glorification of breaking the rules that the 1970s were notorious for, instead it’s about dressing without little regard for rules. There’s confidence in nostalgia, even if it’s not first hand. The “me” custodian of today bares as much or as little as she pleases, whether she’s wearing a deep cut halter-neck dress or flares and a tight tee, she dances to her own funky beat, in her sky high platforms. And when she grabs her (faux) fur coat to leave just as the party’s begun, it's because she’s got somewhere better to go to; follow her. 

Faux Real
It’s no surprise that the faux fur revolution that took off in the era of free love hasn’t taken a back seat since. What’s not to love about the soft feel, crazy colors and fun textures that a faux fur offers? With semiotic awareness, today’s faux fur doesn’t try to mimic the real thing, but deliberately celebrates its faux-ness and flaunts it. Oversized sunglasses: optional.
Patchwork in the Rye cape coat by Nasty Gal, $198, nastygal.com

Fit and Flare
Just when we got our legs around the skinny jean, fashion has taken a seventies turn with the reemergence of flared trousers in plaid, corduroy, leather and denim. Don’t put away your skinnies just yet, but incorporate your flares as an alternative look. Today’s version is fuller than a boot cut but slimmer than a bell bottom which gives you the ideal flattering combo to strut with. Pair them with a ladylike pussy bow blouse for day or a lamé top for night. Embroidered guitar strap style handbag: optional.
Le High Flare in Riverdale by Frame, $229, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, South Coast Plaza and saks.com.

Perfect Platforms
There’s nothing better to rock your flares with than a pair of platform shoes. Who doesn’t love their sturdy elevation? Not only do they help elongate your legs but they’re surprisingly comfortable considering their towering vantage. This season’s platforms are bold and chunky, just as they should be and available in a plethora of materials and embellishments making them the focal point of your look and not the side step. Nothing says 70s like the feline flash of leopard print, always considered a neutral and undeniably, something that never goes out of style. Wear them with high waisted flared pants and a solid color top or a contrasting haute-hippie style maxi dress to set you apart. And regardless of how much you love animal prints, it’s best to limit their use to one item at a time.  Long skinny scarf: optional.
Candy platform boot in leopard print by Saint Laurent, $1595, available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island. NM.com

Retro Chic - Pacific Coast Magazine