Fashion designer from Pasadena finds ‘Pleasure’ is profitable

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Simone Gonzalez has journeyed a long way from her days designing and creating signature skirts out of her parents’ home in Pasadena.

Her clothing company Pleasure Doing Business has topped sales of $2 million since March 2009, and Gonzalez and her studio team are getting reading to launch a larger clothing line at stores like Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.

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Botanical jewelry at Saturday’s Art on Palm showcase in Altadena

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Altadena jewelry maker Ellen Dinerman will be part of Sunday’s Art on Palm showcase, featuring ceramics, glass, textiles, painting, collage, woodworking, photography and jewelry by 30 local artists and designers.
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Dinerman’s work has roots in nature: Many of her pieces are inspired by the natural world, refashioned in silver or brass and accented by stones and beads.
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She told Michelle Mills of the Star-News: “Sometimes I see something and I think, ‘What a fabulous shape!’ and I can see how it would be an interesting shape translated into another material. Then I take the actual seed and make a mold of it.”
Dinerman is also a featured jewelry designer for the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, where her organic-inspired designs feel, well, natural.
Visit ellendinerman.com and shop online at etsy.com
More photos after the jump.

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Fashion weekend: Sinking ships and Betsy Bloomingdale

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The Sidney D. Gamble Lecture Series opens its 2009-2010 season tomorrow with two fashion-oriented engagements.

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    At 10 a.m., Kevin Jones — curator of the museum at downtown’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising — will speak at Art Center College of Design on “adDRESSING Titanic: Appearance and Identity in 1912.”

The lecture explores the four categories of passengers on the ill-fated ship: first class, second class, steerage and crew. The Titanic is known to have carried some of the day’s illustrious figures of fashion, from those in high society to industry trade to journalists.

Like their wearers, some garments survived the journey, while others were recovered from the site of the wreckage.

  • Jones will also lead a 1 p.m. tour at the FIDM Museum of an exhibit he curated: “High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture.”

Fashion icon and socialite Betsy Bloomingdale, widow of Alfred P. Bloomingdale — heir to Bloomingdale’s department stores and founder of Diners Club credit cards — donated 125 haute couture garments to the museum over 30 years.

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Her French couture wardrobe, purchased from 1961 to 1996, includes designs by Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferr for Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent and Andr Courrges, along with ready-to-wear by James Galanos, Adolfo Sardina, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino Garavani.

Sixty ensembles are on display, showcasing Bloomingdale’s favorite designers, her personal style and life. Colored sketches, fabric swatches, contemporary photographs and magazine layouts accompany the garments.

Forget cotton; This is the fabric of a life. (Stunning photo gallery of just a handful of gowns below)

Titanic lecture: 10 a.m., Art Center, Ahmanson Auditorium, 1700 Lida St., Pasadena. Tickets.

Bloomingdale tour: 1 p.m., suggested donation: $35 general admission, FIDM Museum & Galleries, Grand Hope Park, 1st Level, 919 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.

Red evening gown of silk crpe and organza adorned with flowers.
Autumn/Winter 1989-90. Gianfranco Ferr for Dior.
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Silk gazar, dramatic bow-evening gown.
Spring/Summer 1983. Marc Bohan for Dior.
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Gown of polka dot, printed silk charmeuse with black cotton lace and snakeskin trim.
Spring/Summer 1982. Marc Bohan for Dior.
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Black iridescent coq feathers and silk chiffon crepe dress.
1985. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.
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(Photos courtesy Brian Sanderson, FIDM Photography; and Friends of The Gamble House)

Pretty, pretty couture princess: Bianca Luce’s luxe glam

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At the intersection of Green Street and Fair Oaks Avenue is an expansive corner shop — a former furniture store — with custom apparel creations and couture carryings. Bianca Luce is the nascent fashion establishment of proprietor Ariel Yoon, who is also a designer ready to make her name.

Search the racks for a deal, or build the foundation of your wardrobe with classic investment pieces designed to last. (Like the Christian Weber trench, $325, on page 68 of Rose Magazine, and displayed on the far-right mannequin in the photo of Yoon at top.)

Or just indulge your faddish senses with the wildest ensemble — the one you know you’ll only wear for one, glorious, foolhardy night. We’ll support you in your every endeavor. Just put us on the guest list.

81 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
(626) 844-7752

(Photos by Walt Mancini)