Fields of gold: Rodarte spins an exquisite yarn at New York Fashion Week

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Color us biased, but New York Fashion Week has ended, and that means it’s time to check in with our favorite sartorial contender: Rodarte, the high-fashion label founded by Pasadena sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy.
Once again, Rodarte racked up solid praise from fashion’s top critics for their fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection. Dominated by bucolic, creamy neutrals, the showing was a nice departure from some of the more somber palettes they’ve favored — albeit, to dramatic success — in the past.
After the jump, more photos, and some choice quotes from the critics:

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Pasadena designers behind Rodarte created scene-setting costumes for ‘Black Swan’

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If you’re paying even a modicum of attention to the Hollywood awards season, you may have heard of a little film called “Black Swan.” Actress Natalie Portman is knee-deep in praise and various honorary statuettes for her lead performance in the movie. 
Pasadena sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy — the design forces behind Rodarte —  have also received many accolades for producing some of the film’s most notable costume designs.
At left, that’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy with Portman at a “Black Swan” screening in November.
They created 40 different costume pieces for “Black Swan,” from the main character’s featured ensembles down to her knitwear. (The Mulleavys were ineligible for a formal Oscar nod, because they weren’t credited in the film and weren’t members of the Costume Designers Guild at the time.)
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Laura Mulleavy said in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily that one artistic influence was Edgar Degas’ bronze ballerina.
“We always loved the distressed skirt,” she told WWD.
And, Pasadenans can get a firsthand view of the Degas sculpture, “Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen,” 1878-81, on display at the Norton Simon Museum. (Seen at right, in a file photo courtesy of the museum.)
It’s not the first time the sisters have drawn inspiration from local museums and culture. They have before cited such iconic Pasadena institutions as the Norton Simon, The Huntington and even The Raymond as personal favorites.
See some of the Mulleavys’ “Black Swan” sketches after the jump:


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Shop the block: Putting in face time at Zoey Van Jones – Brow Studio

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Tucked away in Kendall Alley, Zoey Van Jones – Brow Studio is an inviting, loft-style space with exposed brick elements, bare-bulb pendants and bright track lighting.
Leader Zoey Van Jones and her team of experts masterfully wield the tools to a well-groomed brow. Van Jones embraces an accessible, be-all-you-can-be brow philosophy.
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While all eyebrows are not created equal, they deserve to be — and Van Jones puts perfection within everyone’s reach by helping clients achieve luscious, effortless brows.
Depending on the stylist, brow shaping at ZVJ costs between $30 and $45. And the resounding refrain among satisfied clients is that, yes, it’s very much worth it.
With a world-class artistic education under her belt, Van Jones’ career as a make-up pro has included training with some of the industry’s most illustrious names. In Pasadena, she got her start at Chignon Salon, before opening the brow studio — originally called BrauHaus — in 2007.
Under its new moniker, the house of brow beauty carries on the Bauhaus design philosophy that inspired the original business name: Form follows function.
45 E. Union St., Pasadena (enter through Kendall Alley). Open Tue., Fri., Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed. & Thurs., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (626) 683-3308, zoeyvanjones.com
More photos after the jump:

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Shop the block: Skate into Billy’s Boardshop in Montrose

 
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Even outside the Montrose Village, there’s no place that does authentic skate-shop quite like Billy’s.

The store has been around, in different locations, since the ’70s and is an auteur of California skater style. Trust its staff for your practical boarding needs, and then stick around for a little something fun.
To boot, the board shop has cross-market appeal; From dresses to shoes, its casual fashion stock is alluring for skaters and non-skaters alike. And, of course, you can snag sparkly Toms Glitters here.
More photos after the jump:

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Shop the block: There’s plenty of EyeCandy at this modern, minimalist beauty bar in Montrose

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This ultramodern beauty bar is boiled down to an essence: It focuses entirely on beauty treatments for the face. Threading, make-up application and facials comprise the menu of options.
EyeCandy‘s expert threaders will design the perfect eyebrow arch for you, and its estheticians will create a facial treatment tailored to your skin’s needs. Owner Karolin Sahakian takes pride in her EyeCandy specialists, who each focus exclusively on an area of beauty expertise. 

On the retail side, Sahakian has also curated an exceptional array of sought-after luxury skin-care products — including brands like Natura Bisse, DermaQuest, Clarisonic and Colorescience.
More photos after the jump:

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Shop the block: Bella’s boutique chic on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose

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A familiar face on the Montrose shopping scene, Bella has been around for more than a decade, and the women’s boutique is now under new ownership.
Customize your wardrobe by pairing designer jeans, tops, dresses and coats with one-of-a-kind accessories, like jewelry by local artisans and handbags by small design houses.
On the comfy, casual front, look for P.J. Salvage loungewear and yoga apparel, including wraps, jackets and organic tops and bottoms.
The shop is also a great destination for gift-buying; Skip the wrapping paper and bundle it all together in a colorful, rugged Oilcloth tote or a Sea Bags carry-all made from recycled sails.
More photos after the jump:

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Rodarte: Pasadena-raised fashion designers bring Arts and Crafts style to New York Fashion Week

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Rodarte began in Pasadena, and the sisters behind the Los Angeles-based fashion label are once again drawing oceans of praise at New York Fashion Week. For their spring 2011 collection, Laura and Kate Mulleavy balanced their legendary streak of dark whimsy with wearable, well-structured, imaginative pieces, making this their most approachable showing yet.
Here’s what top fashion writers and critics are saying about the Mulleavys latest collection, which draws inspiration from the natural beauty of California:
“California dreamin’ has always been part of the story for Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters who have more often focused on blood-stained streaks from horror movies. But this time the duo looked beyond their Los Angeles studio and went back to their suburban Pasadena, California, roots. … Arts and Crafts have long been a strong focus in California. Rodarte has always been drawn to the handmade and artisanal, but this show was a fine example of designers moving their own ideas forward to become both more accessible and more desirable.”

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Video: Behind the scenes of the latest cover shoot for Pasadena’s Rose Magazine

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Pet-crazy is one way to describe our team as we planned for the cover of the latest issue of Rose Magazine.
The little guy you see in the video is Oscar, a Yorkshire Maltese, and he’s showing off his stuff with owner, Sofia Gonzalez.

Oscar is very tiny, which means he was a perfect fit for our crowded and hectic photo studio. Oscar was also kind enough to let us surround him with girly, pink, glittering pet accessories, even though he is decidedly a boy pup.

The bag you see featured on the cover is an original dog carrier designed and sold by The Shabby Dog, a local company based out of an adorable bungalow in Sierra Madre. All the accessories and dog carriers in the video are Shabby Dog products, and we were lucky to work with stylist Ronnie Grinie.
Sofia’s wardrobe includes a pink ruffled shoulder dress by Milly and a pin dot-textured spaghetti-strap dress by Rebecca Taylor.

Sierra Madre’s The Shabby Dog pet boutique is decidedly chic


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The Shabby Dog is a Sierra Madre-based line of fashionable dog products that, betraying its charming name, is far more chic than shabby.
In addition to carrying some serious handcrafted sparkle from B.B. Simon, entrepreneur Sandy Duvall and her team of in-house designers have created a luxurious collection of dog apparel, collars, leads, beds, blankets, bowls, bags and carriers.

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