The Curator: 5 Favorite Things

In this month's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of Cameron Marks boutique, chooses five of her favorite things.

1. I love the story behind Ace & Jig and the feel-good ethical way in which their clothes are produced. They design their own textiles and work with master weavers in India who do the weaving on beautiful old wood looms. Their Spring 2015 Ready to Wear collection doesn’t disappoint and definitely grabbed my heart and also probably quite a bit of space in my wardrobe this upcoming season. Available at Cameron Marks in February 2015.

2. It started as a blog and is now a documentary called "Advanced Style” in which blogger Ari Seth Cohen depicts seven New York women, ages 62 to 95, whose eclectic personal style and amazingly vital and youthful spirits will no doubt win a place in your heart. As we live in a world known for prizing youth above all else, the lovely ladies of “Advanced Style” show that aging can be done not only with absolute grace, but also with inimitable flair. A must see.

3. I'm a huge fan when it comes to the “Selby” series of books. The man behind the series, photographer Todd Selby, decided to turn his lens to the world of fashion this time around with his third volume called “Fashionable Selby,” which was released earlier this year. Selby takes us into the studios and personal spaces of fashion designers, stylists, models, and shoemakers, the likes of Dries Van Noten and Isabel Marant to name just a few. Diehard fashion fans will love it!

4. A few years ago, during one of my online jaunts down the Pinterest rabbit hole, I came across an artist by the name of Ariele Alasko, and have been obsessed with her craft ever since. She makes the coolest things out of wood in her Brooklyn studio including furniture, headboards and some of the best looking cheese boards I've ever seen. Most of her materials are salvaged from old barns, gutted brownstones and picked up on road trips. She’s one very talented gal.

5. Forrest Lewinger, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, is the Brooklyn ceramist behind Workaday Handmade. I had the chance to meet Forrest a few months back in New York City on a buying trip and upon first sight of his ceramic wares I had to place an order for the stores. Exquisite hand-made vessels, bowls and tumblers made from incredibly luscious porcelain, hand-painted with an indigo underglaze of spots, dots, drips, and splotches that just seem to add to their unpretentious charm and carefree elegance. Available at Cameron Marks.

Photos: style.com, blog.wall-london.com, lattepress.com, milkdecoration.com, selectism.com.

The Curator: Five Favorite Things

In this month's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of  Cameron Marks boutique, chooses five of her favorite things.

1. AesopAs soon as you walk into an Aesop store you'll be completely hooked: from the amazing fragrance that hits the senses when you first walk in, to the gorgeous, intelligent and sustainable design of the stores themselves, the products with cool utilitarian packaging, to the outstanding customer service. Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 with a quest to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body committed to using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality. My favorite product: Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser.

2.  GjelinaEasily my favorite restaurant in L.A., Gjelina has everything you look for in a restaurant—great ambiance, a hip crowd and most importantly delicious food. It's rustic but meticulously prepared—New American. Coupled with this is the decor of the restaurant—it's incredibly understated but very industrial cool. Think lots of exposed pipe work, dark walls, wooden floors, slabs of marble, concrete, and communal tables. A must. Reservations recommended.

3. LINUSThese bikes, based in Venice, Calif., are pretty much the total package. Simple, affordable, elegant bikes for riding around and doing stuff. Their styling is really quite neat, with the look of a mid-century French bike that's been updated for the 21st century. On my want list: Linus model "Mixte 8" in sage with an English leather "Brooks" seat.

4. Ear Jackets: I adore multiple ear piercings with an eclectic mix of earrings. Recently I've also come to love the ear jacket—a trend that has been gaining quite a bit of traction of late. It's where the earring backing serves a purpose that goes beyond being purely functional. An ornamental piece that clips onto the post from behind the lobe.

5. Freda Salvador BootiesI've fallen for a pair of booties. It happened one day when my great friend Pamela walked into my store (Cameron Marks) wearing one pretty, fine pair of black leather booties by San Francisco brand Freda Salvador. Perfect for fall, the "Star Bootie" is also versatile, as it has an amazing modular design feature where you can remove the cool hardware cuff when a simpler look is called for. 

Photos: 1. Freda Salvador - courtesy of www.alwaysjudging.com / 2. Ear Jackets - courtesy of honestlywtf.com / 3. Linus - courtesy of www.endlessvelolove.com / 4. Gjelina - courtesy of Elle / 5. Aesop - courtesy of www.feeldesain.com.

The Curator: Five Favorite Things

In this month's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of  Cameron Marks boutique, chooses five of her favorite things. 

1. Dior - Ready to Wear - Fall 2014 Collection

A phenomenal collection by designer Raf Simons for Dior. One that not only paid homage to the house but was mixed with the perfect amount of the designer's own aesthetic. Jackets were accentuated with lacing taken directly from sportswear, classic pumps rose from colorful sporty soles and dresses recalled the '50s Dior classics, juxtaposed by brightly colored hues and silhouettes from streetwear. 

2. Westward Leaning Eyewear

Sunglasses have undoubtably become a year round accessory and I was recently introduced to the very cool Westward Leaning. Made in California, each pair comes with a feel good message with every silhouette is inspired by a different social movement. Ten dollars from every sale is given back to the cause. Now available at Cameron Marks.

3. Goe Oil

The never ending hunt for an all natural miracle balm is over. Goe Oil by Jao Brand hits the spot perfectly. A combo of 28 plant, fruit and flower oils and butters, Goe Oil softens chapped or rough skin, removes eye make-up, and even tames and shines fly-away hair. A cure-all that works on many skin types. Plus I love the cool surfer vibe packaging. In stock at Cameron Marks.

4. The Ojai Rancho Inn

Next Cali road trip: to the small town of Ojai just north of L.A. with a must-stay at the Ojai Rancho Inn, a hippie chic hang out for artists and design lovers. A 1950s retro motel that has been transformed into a new destination with a bohemian/mid-century flavor. Let's go.


5. Angus & Julia Stone

I've pretty much developed a full blown music crush on Australian sibling folk-rock duo Angus and Julia Stone. (Being fellow Aussies doesn't hurt either.) Their amazing, new, self-titled album "Josh & Juila Stone" was released Aug. 1. Favorite song so far: "Grizzly Bear" is on continuous repeat.

Photos: nawo.com, allegrocreativedesigns.com, ourwanderlust.com, cheeseontoast.co.nz, oliviapalermo.com.

The Curator: 5 Favorite Things

In this month's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of Cameron Marks boutique, chooses five of her favorite things.

1. Michele Quan Ceramics.

I love the handmade ceramic objects of Brooklyn ceramist Michele Quan. The cornerstone of Michele's work are beautiful stoneware bells that hang from thick, earthy hemp ropes. A major ceramic crush. Coming soon to Cameron Marks.

2. Lula Magazine

An absolutely beautiful British publication with an amazingly bold and kooky take on creativity. Lula magazine's pages are full of gorgeous fashion, quirky articles and art work gleaned from a wide variety of illustrators, journalists and creators. Lula is infectious. Love.

3. Dieppa Restrepo Shoes.

My current infatuation are the refined and sophisticated gentlemanly styles of Colombian duo Andrea Vargas Dieppa and Elisa Restrepo. I think a good flat shoe, even without all the bells and whistles of its more elevated counterparts, can still manage to be a really great showstopper. Case in point—the gorgeous shoes of Dieppa Restrepo. Check them out.

4. Cuban Movie Posters of the '60s and '70s.

On a trip to Cuba about 10 years ago, I was introduced to the world of Cuban movie posters. What makes them gorgeously unique and different is that they are designed by the artist and then individually silkscreened, so it's paint on paper, as opposed to being mass-printed and based on a photographic image like in the West. 

5. Faris.

I'm pretty much head over heels for the streetwise and architectural designs of innovative jewelry designer Faris Du Graf. Her latest collection is heavily influenced from moments in 20th century modern art like the Cubist period and Mondrian minimalism. Coming soon to Cameron Marks. 

Photos: Michele Quan, nineteenten.ca / Cuban movie posters, jenslennartsson.se / Dieppo Restrepo, flickr / Faris, Farisfaris.com / Lula, quietrebel.wordpress.com.

The Curator—Five Must-Haves for January

In January's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of Cameron Marks boutique, shares her five favorite things this month.

1. Japanese "Boro" Textiles. These vintage textiles are patchwork pieces of soulful beauty, hand-stitched largely out of necessity rather than any sort of plan by the maker. As indigo cotton was far too expensive in the early 1900s for Japanese peasant workers, patchwork manufacturing came into being with the tradition of passing repeatedly mended garments down through the generations. Now, they are highly collectible heirlooms. 

2. The Film, "The Women" (1939). An outstanding classic film famous for its all-female cast (not a man in sight) starring Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, and Norma Shearer to name just a few. The plot, set in Manhattan, centers on a group of gossipy high-society women who spend their days at the beauty salon, gossipping while wearing head-to-toe fabulous fashions from the glamorous era. Jam-packed with punchy, fast paced dialogue and wit, it’s not to be missed.

3. Dry Body Brushing. This has become a daily ritual that I can’t seem to live with out. It offers beneficial effects including improved circulation and, best of all, smoother and silkier skin, as it helps shed dead skin cells. It's best to dry brush before showering by using a body brush that has natural, firm bristles. For those in Santa Cruz, find locally at New Leaf. Give it a go and prime your skin so it’s silky smooth, just in time for summer.

4. Natural Body Moisturizer: Coconut Oil. After the daily ritual of dry brushing and showering, I rub coconut oil (unrefined) all over my body. It feels and smells amazing, plus it’s completely moisturizing and nourishing. I also love the fact that it’s affordable compared to a lot of conventional moisturizers and it doesn’t contain questionable chemicals and ingredients. Tip: A little goes a long way.

5. Camino Restaurant. Set in a converted, old, brick walled furniture store in Oakland is Camino Restaurant. From the delicious peasant style food to the warm, rustic interior, to the open wood fireplace, to the church pews for seating, it's well worth the visit. Camino Restaurant, 3917 Grand Ave., Oakland, (510) 547-5035.

Images: screwballcinema.blogspot, getreal4health.comiherb.comsfgate.comshelleysdavies.comcoolhunting.com.