Novel Ideas

Curated by Jenn Thornton

A bibliophile's lit picks for your library

Photo courtesy goop press/Grand Central Life & Style

Photo courtesy goop press/Grand Central Life & Style

Goop Clean Beauty  by The Editors of goop

A forward by Gwyneth Paltrow, the founder and face of lifestyle brand goop, elevates this beauty tome from standard to essential. Applying goop’s mindful, nontoxic approach to all things lovely, this recent release argues for clean, common-sense curatives. Anchored by savvy from goop-approved experts, it offers cosmetic tutorials, responsible product picks, beauty routine reveals and more. $30.00, GrandCentralLifeandStyle.com

A Ray of Sunshine

Photographs by Tony Florez

Capturing beautiful spring fashions along the coast at Paséa Hotel & Spa

Crepe Mockneck Tie Back Shell and Pant, available at Jenni Kayne Newport Beach. Diamond Hoop Earrings, available at Winston’s Crown Jewelers Newport Beach.

Crepe Mockneck Tie Back Shell and Pant, available at Jenni Kayne Newport Beach. Diamond Hoop Earrings, available at Winston’s Crown Jewelers Newport Beach.

White Lace Mini Dress with Black Ribbons, available at Novecento Newport Beach. Yellow Gold Cartier Diamond Clip Earrings, available at Winston’s Crown Jewelers Newport Beach.

White Lace Mini Dress with Black Ribbons, available at Novecento Newport Beach. Yellow Gold Cartier Diamond Clip Earrings, available at Winston’s Crown Jewelers Newport Beach.

Fifty & Absolutely Fabulous

Written by Jenn Thornton

Photos courtesy of South Coast Plaza

An Orange County icon reaches the half-century mark still very much in fashion

The South Coast Plaza Bridge

The South Coast Plaza Bridge

A beacon of luxury retail in Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza marks its 50th anniversary this year with all the attending ceremony one might hope for from an international shopping destination with annual sales in the $2 billion vicinity and a ballooning portfolio of luxury leaseholders that is equally prolific in philanthropy and arts patronage as it is at staging events and scoring exclusives.

Henry Segerstrom

Henry Segerstrom

And yet, even classy South Coast Plaza—the South Coast Plaza, with its 250 stores and restaurants spread across 128 acres—had to start somewhere. If “somewhere” is on the more modest side, it also indicates good foresight on the part of its owners, the Segerstrom family. In 1898, the Segerstroms landed in Orange County and acquired a parcel of land that, had they not developed it, might have proved just merely promising. But they did, and in time they also built a solid agricultural business. Just as improbable as the idea of a sprawling shopping mall would have seemed in the 19th century, is the fact that South Coast Plaza now sits on land that once grew the humble lima bean. 

South Coast Plaza ribbon-cutting

South Coast Plaza ribbon-cutting

But in 1967, this very land would prove truly priceless, as the same year South Coast Plaza (all two levels of it) officially opened, with a middle-class market May Company, and soon after, a Sears. Singer, Woolworth—all big brands for the times, but not fully indicative of what South Coast Plaza ultimately introduced, which was a new breed of American shopping center: the retail complex. In this case, one that went on to reflect the area’s change in fortune and, by the ‘70s, was paving the way to preeminence, recruiting luxury brands and securing inaugural U.S. locations and regional exclusives, like the first Nordstrom to open outside the Pacific Northwest. 

Success introduced a surge of upscale tenants, services and shoppers. The Plaza became a palace, expanding every era. Architectural extensions produced wing after wing (up went the Jewel Court, the Crystal Court, the Bridge of Gardens) and multi-million interior renovations resulted in grand aesthetic touches—ancient Egyptian motifs, marble as far as the eye could see. The finery knew no end. 

Jewel Court dome

Jewel Court dome

Success on such an unprecedented scale deserves nothing less than a 50th anniversary with the works, and that’s precisely what’s in store for South Coast Plaza in 2017. In addition to welcoming more Orange County exclusives, including Dior Homme and Stella McCartney, as well as the sole West Coast location for Gianvito Rossi and Aquazzura, South Coast Plaza will celebrate its heritage with events, exhibits and exciting collaborations. It has partnered with the likes of Gucci, Brunello Cucinelli, TOD’S and Marni for limited-edition luxury goods exclusive to its boutiques. For fall, expect a flurry of fashion fare and the release of a new collectible retrospective on the complex published by Assouline. South Coast Plaza is, as ever, the center of everything.

Cultivated Living

South Coast Plaza makes way for another iteration of Southern California’s most coveted spring showcase

Written by Jenn Thornton    

Photos courtesy of Jeri Koegl, South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza is a shopper’s paradise nonpareil, offering retail at its most refined. Here, spring brings not only the latest in designer fashions and luxury loot, but also a profusion of plant life and exquisite outdoor home décor that combine to create one of the most sumptuous displays of the season: At Home in the Garden. Sounds quaint, but this is no garden-variety affair—it’s a premier extravaganza, presented by the Southern California Garden Show and avidly attended by a growing number of home and garden connoisseurs with every show it mounts. And what a show! 

This year, At Home in the Garden—themed to reflect the trend toward designing chic outdoor living spaces—takes root April 27-30 and will feature lush presentations on three levels. Level one will host a series of outdoor-living vignettes. Each sophisticatedly ornamented scene is the result of collaboration between an emerging or established landscape designer from Southern California and a participating South Coast Plaza home store, including the likes of Crate and Barrel and West Elm, which will provide the decor. Gone are the days of plastic patio furniture; these exterior expressions are designed to elevate the outdoor living experience with plush pillows, fine fabrics, smart furnishings and designer adornments reflecting current SoCal style.

Look for greenery galore on levels two and three, where the flourish of flora and fauna will include leafy palms for a touch of the tropics, spiky succulents for a desert oasis, and sensual orchids for a little of that exotic allure. Combine these offerings with home- and garden-related seminars at various South Coast Plaza locations and a jaw-dropping centerpiece from Fiesta Parade Floats, the most honored float builder in the history of the Rose Parade, and you’ll be inspired to create the Eden of your dreams—right in your very own backyard. SouthCoastPlaza.com