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Behind The Scenes

Clare Vivier Takes Us Vintage Shopping

Please accept the photo above as proof that the L.A.-based handbag designer Clare Vivier is an adept vintage shopper. “I didn’t even look at the label on this trench coat when I bought it. Then I got it home and saw that it was Bonnie Cashin for Sills, a line that’s no longer available,” Clare explains. She was kind enough to share her three go-to stores—two in her neck of the woods and one back in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she did most of her growing up. My Sister’s Closet“It’s in a house on a shopping street in St. Paul, and it’s basically a consignment shop for wealthy older people—so you see some really great labels. I’ve gotten a few YSL blouses recently and that Bonnie Cashin trench.”(1136 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-2819; mysistersclosetmn.com) The kind of jacket that makes any outfit stand out, from Luxe De Ville.Luxe De Ville“Luxe De Ville is around the corner from my house in Echo Park—it’s kind of like my closet. I go there the day of an event, and the owner pulls things for me I would never have tried on. He doesn’t have a lot of labels, but he has a great eye. It’s like I have a personal stylist.”(2157 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-353-0135; luxedeville.com) Kick-ass boots from The Way We Wore. The Way We Wore“It’s high-end, and the owner, Doris Raymond, has a 50% off sale every year, which is a huge thing because she has so much great stuff. I got the most beautiful snakeskin platform boots from her.”(334 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 323-937-0878; thewaywewore.com) Click here to see the piece Clare designed for Of a Kind! It’s a wallet, and it’s gorgeous.
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Clare’s L.A. Designer Posse

From left, designers Annie Costello Brown, Melissa Coker, Jesse Kamm, and Clare Vivier (wearing a Jesse Kamm dress!) with Heather Taylor of Taylor De Cordoba gallery. Like the food, the fashion scene in Los Angeles is organically grown. “L.A. has a real undertone of cheesiness, so when the city tries to put on fashion week or something like that, it usually just turns bad. But a lot of creative and cool people live here! We all help each other out and collaborate,” explains Clare Vivier, she of the cultish and minimalist bag line. “When you’re willing to help others and they’re willing to help you, suddenly you’re not on this little desert island.” These are the designing women she hangs with—and whose work she wears. Melissa Coker of Wren“She has a great, classic, girly style. It’s not over-the-top—it’s not pink and frilly. It’s like girly with an edge. Companies like J. Crew are catching on to her look now.” Kathryn Bentley“Kathryn has two lines. The first is a collection of gold pieces that offer a nice balance between rough and clean. The second is more accessible, with pieces that add a bit of boho-chicness to any outfit—they bring your look down a notch.”How Clare Vivier is adorning her right arm as of late: Kathryn Bentley black opal ring and snake ring; Grace Lee signet ring, black diamond bracelet, and gold cuff; Leslie Offer pendant bracelets.Grace Lee of Oli + Me“There’s a really young jeweler who’s just getting out there now. Her name is Grace Lee, and she’s a very talented girl and a hard-worker. I have a rough black diamond bracelet from her that’s really cool.” Annie Costello Brown“She’s at the forefront of leather jewelry. I have one of her fringe necklaces—it’s a very classic piece.”A self-portrait of sorts, featuring Clare’s Annie Costello Brown necklace. Jasmin Shokrian“Jasmin’s fashion is almost intellectual—every little thing is so thought out. She has this circle dress and circle shirt that are her signature pieces—you button them to give them shape.” Jesse Kamm“Jesse, she’s more into prints. She has a turtle fabric where you can’t really tell it’s a turtle. I have dress made from it.”Some of Clare’s own bags, in leather so rich-looking we want to eat it. Check out the really (really, really) stunning wallet Clare designed just for Of a Kind.
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Clare Vivier’s Three French Style Icons

“The first time that I went to Paris was when I moved there,” says Clare Vivier, whose bags—and special-issue Of a Kind wallet—have a certain no-fuss polish that would make those Frenchies proud. “It was really scary, but when you’re 24, you kind of just know you can do it.” These are the three women who constantly dot Clare’s inspiration board (pictured above) now that she’s back in the U.S. of A. All of the images are pulled from Clare’s files—she’s also a self-described magazine junkie. Clare made just 30 nude-leather wallets for us, and they are pretty damn striking. Click here to buy one. Clockwise from top left: Charlotte in Vogue Paris, Emmanuelle in Madame Figaro Japon, Sigrid in T Magazine. Charlotte Gainsbourg“Charlotte has a way of making faded jeans, flats, a trench coat, and a T-shirt just work really well.” Emmanuelle Alt“She looks so incredibly cool and relaxed. Her jackets are always short in the arms—you can see her wrists—and big shoulders really look good on her.” Sigrid de l’Epine“She works for Balenciaga—I love her. She’s this classic French woman, in skinny pants, heels, wrist wraps, leather adornments.”
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