WrapStyle: South Coast Plaza Debuts New Boutiques for Holiday Season

Plus clean beauty brand Ilia gets a starring role in a Netflix movie


South Coast Plaza debuts new boutiques in time for the holidays, Cult Gaia brings Saint Tropez to L.A., and The Broad opens a free collection exhibit.

Cult Gaia Resort 24 Collection. Source: BFA

Cult Gaia’s Resort 24 Show Brings Saint Tropez to L.A.

Los Angeles-based brand Cult Gaia staged its first ever fashion show on the roof of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Titled Under The Sun, the Resort 24 collection was inspired by the ease and glamor of Saint Tropez and founder Jasmin Larian Hekmat’s everlasting love of the sun. “Yellow is the color of creation, warmth, positivity, and sunshine,” said Hekmat of the hue, which served at the backdrop for the event. 

Guests including Jenna Dewan, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and Rick and Tina Caruso along with their daughter Gigi, turned out to watch models clad in skin-baring bikinis juxtaposed with oversized sculptural raffia accessories, limoncello and lollipop colored asymmetric gowns, and fringed and beaded mini-dresses toting bags of of fresh flowers. 

Founded in 2012 the contemporary womenswear line, beloved by It-girls such as Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Behati Prinsloo and Hailey Bieber, has had a busy 2023. In addition to working on the collection and the planning of the show for almost a year, Hekmat opened her first LA flagship on Melrose Avenue in January, followed by a second in New York City in February and third location is scheduled to open in the Miami Design District in December. 

Jenna Dewan, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend at Cult Gaia. Source: BFA
The newly opened A.P.C, Balenciaga, Byredo and Graff boutiques. Source: South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza Expands its Line Up of International Luxury and Fashion Brands

The season of giving is upon us and you might want to think about heading down to the O.C. to check off your holiday shopping list this year as international shopping destination South Coast Plaza is expanding its already mind-boggling offering of luxury and fashion brands.

Luxury jeweler Graff; Swedish fragrance, leather goods and  accessories brand Byredo; French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C.; and Balenciaga are among the most recent names to join the lineup of over 280 prominent boutiques in the 2.8 million square foot retail and dining space.

The Graff boutique is a Southern California exclusive as a stand-alone store, and one of only eight Graff boutiques in the United States. The Byredo boutique is first brick-and-mortar in Orange County. The A.P.C. store is the first ever location not on a street front, while the two-story Balenciaga boutique is the largest in the Americas.

Among the other global brands coming to South Coast Plaza soon are Balmain, Bucherer, Palm Angels, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela and Alaia. Giorgio Armani, Marni, Lanvin, Cartier, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and Gucci meanwhile are among the brands opening redesigned, relocated and significantly larger boutiques in coming months, and into 2024.

To celebrate the news the 55 year old Costa Mesa company, which remains privately owned by the Segerstrom family, held a private dinner at Republique in Los Angeles at which they also announced their upcoming collaboration with The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)–the details of which will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

The Madhappy Flagship. Source: Madhappy

Madhappy Opens a Community-First Flagship in West Hollywood

Madhappy, the contemporary fashion brand rooted in optimism, has opened a flagship store in West Hollywood designed to build community through art, food and conversation. “We’ve always viewed our shops as spaces that go beyond something purely transactional,” says co-founder Peiman Raf. “We want them to allow our community to engage with Madhappy beyond what’s possible digitally.” 

The brand worked with Los Angeles-based creative studio PlayLab, Inc on the 2,800 square-foot space which features a conversation pit; a large open-air courtyard; a Local Optimist Space (named for their in-house magazine), a multimedia room that houses work from a rotation of collaborators who will design audiovisual experiences; and Pantry by Madhappy, a café concept with a curated selection of culinary partners including Courage Bagels, Gjusta, Jon & Vinny’s and Beverly Hills Juice.

Founded in 2017, the brand has also created special capsules and accessories to celebrate the opening of Madhappy West Hollywood, available exclusively at 8609 Melrose Avenue location. Luxury conglomerate LVMH acquired a stake in the American direct-to-consumer casualwear brand in 2019.

John Baldessari’s Buildings=Guns=People: Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog). Source: The Broad

Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) Opens at The Broad 

Originally planned for Spring 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog), is finally on view at The Broad. Drawing its title from a piece by John Baldessari, the exhibit showcases work by Los Angeles artists of different generations and includes over 60 works–most of which will be on view at the museum for the first time. 

The free exhibition, drawn entirely from the Broad collection, includes photorealistic paintings, photography, sculpture, and political signage by artists including Doug Aitken, Lari Pittman, Catherine Opie, Mike Kelley, Sayre Gomez, Toba Khedoori, Patrick Martinez, Ed Ruscha, Mark Bradford and Patrick Martinez.

Other featured artists include Barbara Kruger, who has a gallery dedicated to her work Untitled (I shop therefore I am) (1987-2019). The show’s title meanwhile refers to Baldessari’s monumental work Buildings=Guns=People: Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) (1985), in which the city’s notorious air quality is contrasted against familiar depictions of sunshine, beaches, Hollywood, and nature.

“The Broad collection works selected for this show span five decades, and reflect Los Angeles’ growth as a nexus for artists and as a complex urban landscape to investigate,” said Joanne Heyler, Founding Director of The Broad. “The show traces the influence of earlier generations of LA-based artists on later generations and spotlights numerous artists who illuminate deep-seated social inequities and contradictions woven into our city and its myths.”

The exhibit will be on view through April 7, 2024.

Dani Michelle. Source: Méga

Celebrity Stylist Dani Michelle Launches a Jewelry Line

Dani Michelle, the edgy, L.A. based stylist who counts Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber among her cool girl clients, has launched a jewelry line called Méga. The collection includes rings, necklaces, and bracelets in 925 sterling silver and 14K gold plating with prices ranging from $22 – $220, all designed to be stacked and layered. 

“Creating Méga is about bringing long-lasting, styled jewelry to an accessible market,” says Michelle. “It’s about layering so your clothes can do less work and your jewelry can say more.”

Michelle worked with her mother, jeweler Stacey Singer, on the design and construction of the pieces which take inspiration from her love of vintage, timeless designs that she found on constant rotation in a world where fashion is forever changing. “Accessories are the most personal part of style,” says Michelle of the line. “Trends come and go, but the timelessness of strong, styled jewelry was something that complimented every look, and exuded both mass appeal and individual character.” 

Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman in May December. Source: Netflix

Clean Beauty Brand Ilia Gets a Starring Role in May December

Product placement is a mainstay in Hollywood and beauty brands are no exception. Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream had a cameo in Succession, a bottle of Chanel n°5 perfume made an appearance in the biographical drama Priscilla, and now clean beauty brand Ilia has snagged a starring role in Todd Haynes’ latest Netflix feature, May December, starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. 

Both actresses had their own makeup artists to create their looks for the film – Heba Thorisdottir for Portman, and Susan Reilly Lehane for Moore – and in one of the most pivotal moments in the movie, Moore is seen applying Ilia’s best-selling Multi Stick, a creamy cheek and lip color, on co-star Portman’s cheeks. “When we shot that scene, I remember looking around and seeing everybody’s jaw was on the floor,” said Thorisdottir. “There’s so much going on in that scene that has everything and nothing to do with makeup. A woman’s cosmetic bag is her holy grail, and so when Gracie says, ‘Oh, it’s just better if I do your makeup,’ Elizabeth hesitates a little bit because she’s shocked by it. Most women would be because it is so intimate.”

The L.A. based brand founded by Sasha Plavsic was acquired in 2022 by Famille C Venture, a French investment firm founded by Prisca Courtin-Clarins and counts Laura Dern, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pamela Anderson and Kate Hudson among its many high profile fans. The brand also gifted the product to guests at the premiere of the film at the Academy Museum which was attended by the full cast. 

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