Eco-Fashion Pick: AmyKathryn Bag

“Hello, gorgeous.” That’s what I said upon setting my eyes on the AmyKathryn handbags at Wallflower, in downtown Santa Cruz. (Or, at least, those are the words that came to mind—I know better than to talk to purses in a quiet store.) It was lust at first sight that soon grew into a deep love once I read that AmyKathryn bags are eco-conscious and animal friendly (faux leather only). Weeks later, I’m still pining after this slouchy, summer-ready Lily Brown bag ($99 at Wallflower). Check out the line at

Giveaway—Wallflower Necklace

Lately, I've been having a thing for gold necklaces. They can make any outfit. Just pair a gorgeous piece with a simple T-shirt and you've got a full "look." Such is the case with this beautiful necklace from Wallflower, a charming, sweet boutique in Santa Cruz, Calif. This Sea Urchin Gold Spike Necklace by B. Larson is a gem. And you can win it. Just leave a comment here on this blog between Friday, Oct. 5 to Thursday, Oct. 11. Winner announced on Oct. 12. Good luck!

Fall Fashion—Wallflower

Photo: Nick Chao 
Crochet Top: Black Sheep, $48 / Corduroy Pants: Bella Dahl (5 Pocket Micro Cords), $119 / Belt: Ansaldo, $79 / Earrings: Beautiful Jean, $46 / Necklace: Julienne English, $49  

Welcome to day four of Santa Cruz Fashion Week. Today we’re featuring two looks from Wallflower Boutique, a fun, unique and colorful clothing shop in downtown Santa Cruz, Calif.

The Looks: 

You don’t have to leave your sun-filled memories of care-free days and music-driven nights behind you, despite the end of summer. Carry your effortless bohemian style into Fall with this ivory crocheted top (above and below) and skinny burnt sienna cords. Pair with dark brown knee-high boots and you’ve successfully translated the feeling of a Santa Cruz summer into an outfit. Best part? It’s just the right amount of hippie, so you can unleash your wild spirit while still being in style.

Peplums are very Fall 2012. The Alanah dress by Ladakh (below) casually masters this trend without even trying and instantly gives you an hourglass figure. This dress is perfect for a confident woman who's in the mood to have fun and turn heads. The faux suede fabric and ultra-marine color are the right amount of standout glam without going overboard. Dress it up at night for a date or wear for a trip to the lounge, and pair with heels. Or, try wearing short booties for a more comfortable, casual look in the evening. Either way, you can’t go wrong. This dress is for the bombshell in all of us.

The Store: 

 Wallflower offers a fun and care-free style catering to a woman whose lifestyle is connected to the beach and the mountains. She doesn’t need to switch purses or change out of her outfit to jump on her bicycle and go. Being environmentally and socially responsible is her concern, yet she doesn't take herself too seriously and doesn't want her clothes to restrict her from being a feather in the wind.

When possible, Wallflower invests in fair trade products and clothing made with sustainable materials. Every week the store gets new additions to its collection of one-of-a-kind handmade garments created locally by Terra Lynn, Arielle Rose, Kelly Murray, Suzanne Dyer, and Chelsea Gurnoe. Wallflower values clothing either made locally or in the United States.

Below is an interview with owner Terra Lynn on her favorite looks for fall.

Photo: Nick Chao 

If a shopper at your store should invest in one fall piece, what should it be? 
Our long-sleeve chambray button-down top. It’s our most versatile piece and has the ability to be worn with an array of bottoms or simply with a dress. Wear it knotted in the front, tucked in or left unbuttoned. This top will be your go-to basic and its light shade of vintage denim complements all the earthy tones of Fall. Best of all, it is produced in the U.S. with eco-friendly fabric.

What key styles were you looking for when you bought items for the fall? 
Fall is all about layering and it's a great opportunity to get creative and have fun mixing patterns and textures. I was looking for pieces with unique prints (everything from plaids to flannels to florals and geometric prints) on quality fabrics. I was also looking for the favorite scarf or sweater, the kind that keeps you warm and comfortable but also looks cute and is super soft against the skin. We found high quality basics to last through the winter, skinny four-way stretch denim and colored corduroy perfect for tucking in boots. For the working woman, I picked up some retro inspired dresses and blouses with cool details like flattering peter pan collars. Lastly, I was looking for garments with special details; a little velvet, leather, or lace makes a timeless piece. 

Is your store influenced by trends? 
Of course, but our store is trendy in a “Santa Cruz” way, and not necessarily in a “New York” way. Our goal is to provide our customers with something really special that they absolutely love and will feel good about for longer than just one season. At Wallflower you'll find a more practical application of trends to your favorite classics.

In three words, describe the style of the clothing in your store. 
Charming. Unique. Playful.

Photo: Nick Chao 
Dress: Ladakh (Alanah Dress) $86 / Necklace: Nora Doughtery (The Passage), $350

Photos: Nick Chao / Model: Desiree Amariei 
Stylist: Missy Schnaps / Hair: Ginger Vaughn / Makeup: Jodi Laub,
Wallflower: Shopping Web site, 103 Locust St., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-3526

Wallflower—The Movie

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

Santa Cruz Fall Fashion Week Day 4 Wallflower from The Penny Rose on Vimeo.


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

Santa Cruz Fashion Week Film Trailer

The Penny Rose—Santa Cruz Fashion Week 2012 Trailer from The Penny Rose on Vimeo.

Also watch it

Look for Santa Cruz Fashion Week on The Penny Rose from Sept. 3-7. Every day we will feature videos, photography by Nick Chao, gorgeous fall "looks," Santa Cruz stores and more.

Here's a sweet video that takes a beautiful peek at the behind-the-scenes talents of our cast and crew for Santa Cruz Fashion Week. This mini-movie was created by Deva Blaisdell-Anderson, an independent filmmaker whose most recent project includes co-directing and producing a short film, "Hotline," starring Emmy Award-winnning actress Camryn Manheim.

Peeking Into Fall


Cameron Marks (above)

Photo shoots are exciting, especially ones that involve clothing. On Aug. 19, the ladies of The Penny Rose put on a full production. A hairstylist (Ginger Vaughn), makeup artist (Jodi Laub), model (Desiree Amariei), stylist (Missy Schnaps), professional photographer (Nick Chao), filmmaker (Deva Blaisdell-Anderson) collaborated to create the first annual Santa Cruz Fashion Week photo shoot. It was the biggest production the blog has yet to put on, and I got to follow along capturing all the hustle and bustle that happened behind the scenes.

During the photo shoot day, we went to, in our opinion, some of the the best shops in Santa Cruz and pulled two fall looks from each store. (Behind-the-scenes images are featured above and below.) Starting the week of Monday, Sept. 3, The Penny Rose will feature the looks of one store per day, highlighting all that fall has to offer, right off the racks of our local boutiques. Santa Cruz Fashion Week is almost here.

But until then, here’s a sneak peek.

Stripe (above)

 Synergy (above)

Wallflower (above)

Tomboy (above) 

Photo credits for Cameron Marks, Synergy, Stripe, Wallflower: Sera Michael

 Photo credit for Tomboy: Janet Allinger