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Behind The Scenes

Elena Howell’s L.A. Mid-Century Tour

Before Elena Coleman Howell started making clean-lined jewelry under the name TOMTOM, she was all about creating buildings, working as an architect for the firm Marmol Radziner and Associates. “They were the architects famous for restoring such mid-century gems as Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House in Palm Springs and another Neutra home in the Hollywood Hills belonging to this guy Tom Ford,” she notes. Her own affection for the mid-century look came from her hometown—and a movie you probably didn’t pay money to see. “Although I grew up in Los Angeles, the epicenter of mid-century modern architecture, my obsession with the style didn’t begin until 2001 when I saw the film The Anniversary Party. The movie is about actors playing actors, on ecstasy, with Jennifer Jason Leigh crying a lot,” the (straight-up hilarious) designer explains. “But what really captured my attention was this beautiful, light-filled home in the Hollywood Hills where all of the drama unfolded—a mid-century modern home by Neutra.” Here, the local places she suggests you hit up for inspiration and era-appropriate furnishings.Sheats-Goldstein ResidenceCheck Out These Homes:Schindler House and Eames House: “Most of the mid-century homes in L.A. are lived-in, making them impossible to tour. These two are open to the public and worth checking out.”Sheats-Goldstein Residence: “In grad school, a few friends and I somehow finagled a private tour of John Lautner’s property, which has made appearances in such films as The Big Lebowski. This house is amazing. I try to make my jewelry look like it. If you can’t get a tour, this video is a close second.”Dinnerware by HeathShop at These Spots:Heath Ceramics: “My husband and I registered for their dishware for our wedding. I will never regret forgoing china for this.”The Rose Bowl Flea Market: “The second Sunday of every month, score mid-century furniture gems on the cheap.”Danish Modern: “It’s not inexpensive, but you can find gorgeously restored mid-century furnishings—and you don’t have to wake up early on a Sunday to get the best pieces.” A rose gold horseshoe necklace that may just be your new lucky charm over here.
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Check Out the Sartorial Stylings of TOMTOM’s Two-Year-Old Muse

Good style—and specifically, a knack for accessorizing—might be in two-year-old Beckett’s genes: His momma, Elena Coleman Howell, is the mastermind behind the boldly architectural jewelry line TOMTOM. But when it comes to his wardrobe choices, dude’s got a mind of his own. Dive into a handful of the toddler’s top-notch get-ups. —alisha prakash “An early-morning stroll with mom. He’s wearing Ray-bans and a henley and muffin crumbs. I had basically just gotten out of the shower, and he put on his hat and sunglasses, handed me mine, and pointed to the door. It’s L.A.—he gets it. Twins!” “An early hat look—urban lumberjack motorist. Beckett is an accessories man. Other mothers have always asked me how I’ve gotten Beckett to wear hats, but I’ve always wondered how to get him not to wear hats. The kid always needs to have something on his head.” “Here, Beck’s attending his first pirate-themed birthday party. This look is gangs of Malibu. Everyone loves pirates.” “Beck’s first fedora. His favorite hats are fedoras. This was really the start of his fedora obsession. He wore that hat until it was in tatters—and then cried when we finally had to replace it. Some parents have to wean from a pacifier—we had to wean from the yellow fedora. It was tough. I call this look toddlers of Entourage.” “X marks the mustard on his face. Here, he’s attending his second pirate-themed birthday party. He’s very stubborn with his outfit choices, as all junior sartorialists should be.” See what Beck’s momma whipped up for her so-cool edition.
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