Holiday Greetings


Left to right. Desiree: Dress, Lush, $36.95, Sway / Scarf, Spun by Subtle Luxury, $58, Pacific Trading Company / Blue Bird Necklace, $85, Blank Verse Jewelry / Clutch, Tracey Tanner, $89, Cameron Marks / Shoes, Stylist's Own. Anna: Dress, Tulle, $85, Pacific Trading Company / Sweater, Velvet, $175, Pacific Trading Company / Shoes, Stylist's Own / Black Falcon Necklace, $80, Blank Verse Jewelry / Belt, BCBG, Stylist's Own, $78. Paige: Dress, Cici, $165, Jade / Vintage Stole, Stylist's Own / Suitcase, Stylist's Own / Lapis Geometric Chandelier Earrings, $95, Blank Verse JewelryPhoto gallery is here.

Having spent the last year apart, three sisters reunite as the youngest returns home for the Christmas holiday from studying abroad. They're bedecked in shades of blue, a nod to their royal ancestry, but each has made it her own. The eldest sister turns heads in her sophisticated but sexy maxi dress in blue, while the middle sister indulges in black velvet and converts a sweater into a shrug. The youngest carries retro luggage, wears a body-hugging dress, and tops the whole look off with a nod to old Hollywood in a glamorous stole. She keeps her look modern with a cuff by Blank Verse Jewelry.

Photographer: Nick Chao. Creative Director: Christa Martin. Fashion Stylist: Sally Esposito. Hair: Ginger Vaughn. Makeup: Anna Wu. Production Manager: Gina Peters. Models: Desiree Amariei, Paige Harlamoff, Anna Wu. Host: Fred Keeley.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Summer 2013 Fashion Project Teaser from The Penny Rose on Vimeo.


We're off to see the Wizard of Oz during the week of June 3 when The Penny Rose introduces its Summer 2013 Fashion Project. In the meantime, here's a short film to enjoy. Movie by Deva Blaisdell-Anderson. Starring Coco, Desiree, and Anna as models. Shot on the property of Laamie Young of Blank Verse Jewelry in the Santa Cruz mountains. 

A Christmas Story

Photos: Nick Chao

A Christmas Story Look 1 (above) / Jacket: Smythe, $610 (Cameron Marks) / Dress: (Stylist's Own) / Leg Wear: Foot Traffic, "Cuban Heel" in Nude, $12 (Legs) / Earrings: $85 Blank Verse Jewelry / Stole: (Stylist's Own)

A Christmas Story Look 2 / Top: Pink Martini, $84 (Wallflower) / Skirt: (Stylist's Own) / Hat: "Genie" by Eugenia Kim, $70 (Cameron Marks) / Jacket: Tulle, $89 (Pacific Trading Co.) / Leg Wear: Foot Traffic, "Cuban Heel" in Nude, $12 (Legs) / Earrings: $85 (Blank Verse Jewelry)

This week, The Penny Rose launches its Holiday Fashion Week. We're featuring five days worth of holiday "looks" that can serve as inspiration to your fashion choices this season. Working with photographer Nick Chao and model Desiree Amariei, we spent more than a month planning and producing this photo shoot which took place over the course of one day in downtown Santa Cruz. Our theme? Christmas movies. The fashion we'll feature on the blog during this week has all been inspired by ideas, themes, fashion, and costumes from some of our all-time favorite holiday flicks.

For our first day, we're spotlighting 1940s style with a nod to the film, "A Christmas Story."

While main character 9-year-old Ralphie dons the film’s most memorable outfits—who could forget the homemade pink bunny suit that he’s mortified to wear or the cowboy getup during his Red Ryder BB Gun daydream?—his little brother Randy has a classic scene bundled in so many snow clothes that he can barely move, and the film’s biggest style icon might well be an inanimate, risqué leg lamp.

With these hilarious fashion mishaps in mind, it might seem that "A Christmas Story" isn’t the best source of fashion inspiration. But, here at The Penny Rose, we beg to differ: for the enterprising fashionista, the movie is a celebration of working-class 1940s American culture, when closets were troves of vests, sweaters, blouses, and high-waisted skirts and pants. It gives the viewer a peek into everyday life in the days when adults didn’t go out in public without a sharp-looking hat. This holiday season, take inspiration from "A Christmas Story" and shoot for a classic, put-together ode to vintage America.

Here, we reveal our vision of the woman who inspired that leg lamp. She shows off her stems (and her gorgeous face), while wearing polka dots, a pale pink bow blouse, a tweed jacket, and dangly retro earrings.

—Christa Martin and Elizabeth Limbach

Gallery is here.

Photos: Nick Chao / Model: Desiree Amariei / Fashion Stylist: Missy Schnaps / Hair Stylist: Ginger Vaughn / Makeup: Anna Wu / Wardrobe Assistant: Ellie Vilmenay / Production Assistant: Sera Michael / Filmmaker: Deva Blaisdell-Anderson / Producer-Director: Christa Martin / Location: Legs by Sockshop and Shoe Co., 1517 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, Calif. Host: Stripe

Fall Fashion—Tomboy


Photo: Nick Chao 
T-shirt: Tomboy, $20 / Shorts: Vintage, $22 / Vintage Gemstone Belt: $40 / Vintage Suede Fringe Vest: $30 / Necklace: $40 / Earrings: $14

Tomboy closes out our first annual Santa Cruz Fashion Week, and there's no better way to end this week than with a spectacular cowgirl send-off.

The Looks: Vintage pieces with a military and Southern comfort-twist were used in these looks to create comfortable, wearable, slightly edgy, sexy styles that let you shine. The military look is back in full force for Fall 2012 (see below). And cowboy boots and a Western influence never go out of style.
The Store: Tomboy is a new store in Santa Cruz that opened in June. It's the vision of two friends, owners Debbie Graves and Summer Duppen, who brought their talents together to create a store that offers fashion from the '60s, '70s and '80s.


Photo: Nick Chao 
Top: Vintage Saks, $20 / Vest: Tia Loca, $32 / Skirt: Vintage, $16 / Cuff: Resurrection Leather, $20 / Ring: Bandit Brand, $15 / Necklace: $22 / Earrings: Margery Mia, $12 / Arm band: Gypsy Jan, $26 

If a shopper at your store should invest in one fall piece, what should it be?
A great pair of boots is always a good idea. Or, a statement piece like a favorite belt, a resurrected leather messenger bag or a vintage jacket. 

What were you looking for when you bought items for the fall? 
We were really going for a more androgynous collection. We're loving the layers that come with autumn. T-shirts, sweaters, shirts, jackets, scarves, hats, jeans. While we do carry dresses and pretty little things, the Tomboy theme does run deep.

Is your store influenced much by trends?
Not so much.

In three words, describe the style of the clothing in your store.
Vintage, American spirit. 

Photo: Nick Chao 
Shirt: Vintage, $28 / Shorts: Vintage, $22 / Earrings: $14  

Photo: Nick Chao / Model: Desiree Amariei 
Stylist: Missy Schnaps / Hair: Ginger Vaughn / Makeup: Jodi Laub,
Tomboy:, 1207 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1405

Tomboy—The Movie

A behind-the-scenes video of our photo shoot at Tomboy, directed by Deva Blaisdell-Anderson. Watch it below or here.

Santa Cruz Fall Fashion Week Day 5 Tomboy from The Penny Rose on Vimeo.

Fall Fashion Giveaway: Win an item from Tomboy in the upcoming weeks on