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Ornately Oversized: Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Banker’s Oversized Clutch

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twelfWhile searching for an oversized clutch, I stumbled upon this beauty by Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent. The Banker’s Oversized Clutch has an eclectic charm. Subtle details like leather trim and gold grommets give the clutch a touch of luxury – while the ikat print plays of the designer’s bohemian style.

This clutch can fit everything from your everyday essentials to electronic devices. The flat panel opens to a satin-lined tie-dye print and large, zipper side pockets. This versatile clutch can be taken on a night out or complement all essentials for travel.

Five Favorites: Peasant Top

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peasant

Peasant tops are are great transitioning piece from cold to warm weather. Available in basic neutrals or super bright colors – these tops are both relaxed and casual.

Slip into a breezy peasant top and pair with your favorite denim, white and/or colored. Equally cute with shorts and skirts, marry the look with some ankle boots and a floppy hat. Peasant tops also make a great beach coverup.

Designers continue to offer peasants tops in many styles but the one constant is their flowy and breezy nature. Appealing to all body types, this top will work hard in your closet all-year-long.

Here are five favorites:

Joie ~ Meliana Embroidered Gauze Blouse: $198.00

Urban Outfitters ~ Ecote Split Back Embroidered Tank Top: $49.00

Anthropologie ~ Embroidered Aureolin Tunic: $98.00

Urban Outfitters ~ Embroidered Bazaar Cami: $54.00

Free People ~ Rolling Stone Woven Top: $118.00

How To: Headscarf

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editorial head scarf

Headscarves have been a staple in fashion for decades, and it’s easy to see why. They protect hair, cover a variety of styling sins, look chic and are a great alternative to a hat.

One can create numerous styles with a single scarf: turban, bohemian, retro, rocker. Find your favorite look and add some flavor to your next ensemble.

Tying a headscarf requires practice and patience – it never seems to go right the first time. Follow these great diagrams to find your favorite style:

  • Headband Style – A simple style that can look sweet or bold. Fold square diagonally into a triangle. Roll scarf from long edge of triangle end towards the tip of the triangle so it becomes a long thick rectangular band. Flip hair upside and place center of band at forehead. Tie a square knot under hair at the top of the neck. Pull long edges of scarf from back of neck to hang in front. Vary the thickness and placement of the band for different looks.headscarf-tying-1
  • Retro Style – A glamorous style paired with big sunglasses. Fold square diagonally into a triangle. Place center of long edge of triangle just above hairline. Cross the ends of the scarf under chin. Bring ends around to back of neck loosely and tie together.headscarf-tying-2
  • Bohemian Style – Channel your inner-gypsy and pair with big voluminous beach hair.  Fold square diagonally into a triangle. Place center of long edge of triangle at middle of forehead. Bring edges of triangle around to back tightly and tie.headscarf-tying-3

Get To Know: Angela O’Brien of Cleobella

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Cleobella is a line of eclectic bags, clutches, and jewelry that reflect the gypsy lifestyle. Bringing modern luxury to bohemian style, Cleobella uses washed leathers, vintage ikat fabrics and recycled antique hardwares, to make these hand-made/hand-crafted styles, works of art. Esteemed retailers worldwide have embraced Cleobella, as they continue to uphold a reputation of being impeccable in quality and unique in design.

Angela O’Brien, alongside her husband Jim, officially launched Cleobella in 2008 after traveling the world for a solid year. The name Cleobella comes from Angela’s Northern Ireland-born mother, Cleobelle. While in Bali, O’Brien was inspired by the unique fabrics and beads at local markets and designed the line’s first piece, the Mexicana clutch. A large wallet with several pockets and zippers, the Mexicana was perfect for day and night. It is now Cleobella’s signature piece.

Angela has since added hundreds of bags and clutches to the line, and has evolved into home decor and jewelry. Cleobella’s first retail boutique is located in Sunset Beach, California. The exotic 1,200 square-foot space is steps from the beach and bursting with beautiful bags, jewelry and clothing.

I had the privilege of interviewing local free spirit, Angela O’Brien at her Sunset Beach boutique.

MeThe first boutique/show room you decided to open locally in Sunset Beach, any plans on opening more?

Angela: We live in Seal Beach, so it just made sense.  I thought – why not just do it here and maybe branch-out later. I can see us opening a boutique in Bali. We spend so much time there and have all the resources. That would be a dream. I have also thought about opening another location in the LA area – I love the Abbot Kinny/Venice area. Also in New York – we have a show room in NYC and are there 3-4 times a year and it would be so cool to have a boutique in Soho. Someday…

Me: Tell me about CARE?

Angela: In my travels, I see so many women working incredibly hard all-day-long. For instance, in India, women pack the dung patties (manure) all day in their beautiful saris – and in Bali women haul huge, heavy water jugs on their heads. I wanted to be affiliated with a cause that would help these women. After all they are the ones who help make my dreams come true –  building and detailing my hand-beaded bags that take weeks to make. So we wanted to give back and specifically donate to Southeast Asia. It just made sense. We also donate to local charities as well because I think that is so important.

MeWhere does your design inspiration come from?

Angela: My grandmother is an incredible artist so I have grown up around art all my life. I have been painting since I was little – I paint with oils. Whenever I am designing a collection, I start with a theme or story. It helps me wrap my mind around a concept. Often times that can be a travel destination we have been to. For example we are heading to India in late October, so Fall 2013 will be inspired by India.

MeWhat was the inspiration behind Fall 2012?

Angela: It was Cleopatra goes to Bali. I was envisioning – if Cleopatra was alive – what would her experience be in Bali. The collection is very rich in metallics and suedes, but still has that bohemian, rustic chic feel to it. We just finishing Spring 2013, which was inspired by the South Pacific/Australia and consists of a lot of pastels and neons.

MeDo you try to keep up with the trends or create your own?

Angela: I don’t have access to the trend reports like bigger businesses do. I tend to sometimes fall into the right trends. For instance, if it is a certain color that I am feeling and it just happens to be the color for the season. I try not to be too influenced because then everything becomes generic and I would rather be inspired by something that is more original.

MeWho is the Cleobella girl?

Angela: I think she is playful, worldly,whimsical – inspired by life. Our bags are such statement pieces so she has a relaxed, casual style but always adds a “conversation piece”.

MeWho are some of your favorite designers?

Angela: A lot of my girlfriends are my favorite designers. Right now I am wearing my girlfriends line, Summer of 78. She is a dear friend of mine. I have a lot of girlfriends in the business and love wearing and trading product.

MeWhat is your favorite piece you have designed?

Angela: It is still my Mexicana clutch. It is still such a great seller and has become such a signature of our brand. It is very practical and I can recreate it over and over again. The price point is really good for the time and detail that goes into it and I love that no two are the same.

MeFavorite beauty tip or trick?

Angela: I am a big believer of Organic Coconut Oil. I put it on my hair, my skin – I used it while pregnant to avoid stretch marks, I put it on my baby and even cook with it. I get it from Whole Foods. I have one in my shower, by my sink and in my kitchen.

MeWhere do you see Cleobella in 10 years?

Angela: Well, I would love to expand in other categories. Home decor is my passion. Two seasons ago, we did a collection of pillows for Barneys. We took the inspiration from our bags and made them into pillows, a Mexicana, a studded Nevaeh, fringe, and a chevron design from the Hudson Envelope. Right now we are gearing up for a sale with One Kings Lane. We are doing a collection of Ecote pillows, hand-selected by me. In the future, clothing would be a dream.

Summer Must-Have: Crochet

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Crochet is one of this summer’s hottest trends. Available in an array of eye-catching tops, dresses, bottoms, swimwear and accessories, the look reflects laid-back summer months and bohemian style.

No longer personified by sweaters knitted by grandmothers, the art of crochet has evolved to the runways. Used by many top designers, the fashion reflects a 1970’s revival with a modern aesthetic. One cannot discuss crochet and knitwear without mentioning Missoni (pants shown above). Missoni has elevated knitwear to an artform. One of the first to graduate from the heirloom to the use of technology, Missoni designs are not only universally recognizable but perennial.

To keep your crochet look fresh, find pieces that can be layered with modern favorites. Try pairing an adorable crochet mini dress with some ankle boots. Or add a distressed tee or tank to a pair of crochet shorts, skirt or pants. Or add a little edge by replacing the plain tee with a vintage rock band tee.

Crochet pieces can be extremely versatile. A loose-fitting crochet top or tunic can be layered over a camisole, bikini top, body-con dress or maxi. Instantly providing weeks of wear.

During the warm summer months we often seek-out effortless fashion. Become a crochet-convert with a few of my favorite pieces:

Free People ~ New Romantics Crochet Variety Dress: $69.95 (sale)

Nightcap Clothing ~ Tribal Fringe Tunic: $275.00

Missoni ~ Phyliss Crochet-Knit Wide-Leg Pants: $516.00 (sale)

Free People ~ Crochet Monokini: $168.00

Urban Outfitters ~ Tallow Crochet Tote Bag: $49.00

Girl. By Band of Outsiders ~ Cleo Crochet-Knit Shorts: $469.00 (sale)

Weekend Ensemble: Free People

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This Labor Day Weekend experiment with some textured shorts. Suede, leather or corduroy can update a look instantly.

These Free People suede shorts introduce a bohemian vibe to an outfit. I love the colorful detailing of the belt that sits nicely against these textured shorts. Paired with a simple tee and ankle boots, you will be ready for any occasion.

Test drive a boho-chic look this 3-day weekend and try-on texture.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ashling

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