C. Wonder, the lifestyle store founded by entrepreneur and investor (and Tory Burch ex) J. Christopher Burch, has just opened in Fashion Valley, its second location on the West Coast. The brand, catering to what it calls “chic, charming and charismatic women,” sells clothing, accessories, home décor, gadgets, and gifts, with the average item under $50. Shopping “destinations” are divided into rooms, each with its own theme, from American Dream to English Country, Hacienda to Morocco. Many items can be monogrammed or engraved. (619/293-3370, www.cwonder.com)
Dress For Less
Want a special dress for that holiday party, but don’t want to blow a year’s budget? Check out the Del Mar Dress Company in the Cedros Design District. Partners Lisa Harrison and Mindey Morrison buy, sell, rent, and trade both brand new and barely worn special occasion dresses at deep discounts from such designer brands as Carmen Marc Valvo, BCBG, and St. John. Open since September, the boutique will give cash upfront,store credit, or a donation to your favorite charity in exchange for your dresses. Drop in for “Happy DRESS Hour” on Friday afternoons from 3:30-5:30pm when the shop teams up with Carruth Cellars for wine tasting while you try one on. (619/990-0033, www.delmardresscompany.com)
How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?
Rancho Santa Fe’s own “Gentleman Norman,” the furry fashionisto, is now a top dog. The pint-sized pooch is featured on the cover of “Gifts by Gump’s,” the retailer’s holiday catalogue. Norman, with owner Laura Martella, was in the Bay area and Beverly Hills recently to “pawtograph” his book, Gentleman Norman: How to Be a Man, an etiquette guide now in its second printing that raises money to fight Alzheimer’s. (www.gumps.com, www.gentlemannorman.com)
Signs Of Spring
Neiman Marcus’ fashion director for women’s accessories Ana Maria Pimentel was in town recently from New York to showcase resort and spring trends, including a collection of embroidered, embellished and, feathered novelty bags from Alexander McQueen. One standout is a painted python clutch with a four-finger knuckle clasp topped with McQueen’s signature skull.
When it comes to jewelry, “cool blues” are big: turquoise, lapis, and aquamarine. Pimentel says necklaces are either layered, or face framing, falling just to the collarbone. More is more when wearing bracelets, piling them on for what she calls an “an arm party.” It’s modern to wear suites of jewelry; ditto for your handbags and shoes.
We’ll see lots of lightweight, novelty leathers, whether water-colored, treated or rubberized to look matte, says Pimentel. Toss a white leather jacket by Roberto Cavalli over a bold black-and-white digitized print ball gown by Alice + Olivia. The look is young and fresh. (www.neimanmarcus.com) ANDREA NAVERSEN