Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Amahlia Stevens “Shinning Star”

Laguna Beach local Amahlia Stevens talks about sunshine, sex appeal and why movie stars like Nicole Kidman don her sultry bikinis.

Written by Anna Curtis

This summer, feeling good in your skin means getting all the vitamin A your 
body needs. “A perfect bikini is the foundation of any summer wardrobe,” says Amahlia. “A woman can’t have too many black bikinis. They are super sexy in an understated way.”

We’re talking about Vitamin A swimsuits, of course, by designer Amahlia Stevens. And no one can resist these beauties. Maybe that’s because Stevens trots the globe for the finest fabrics and inspirations, which has led to the smashing success of her show-stopping line of bikinis and resort wear. Stevens first began designing suits for herself, then her friends and eventually a considerable base of jetsetting clientele.

There are summer essentials every woman needs. Here is where you’ll definitely find that beloved black swimsuit. “A woman can’t have too many black bikinis. They’re super sexy in an understated way.”

Vitamin A is like the LBD—“little black dress”—of swimsuits. The LBB, baby. “When I first started, Brazilian cuts were in. But the bottoms were high-cut and the tops were too small to fit me properly. So I worked with an old-school custom swim shop in Laguna to create the bikini I envisioned.” And the “California Cut” was born. It was a cut no one had made yet, inspired by the lingerie she had seen in Milan. Beautiful and sleek, with “flat” seams for a smooth fit against the skin, yet the resiliency to handle the feisty California shore break. “It was low-slung around the hips, with a nice curve in the back to emphasize without exposing too much,” she recalls. “I also added tiny metal rings for flair.” Those were the fine details that would later become the trademark look of Vitamin A bikinis.

Trendsetting, elegant and with unparalleled fit, the suits perfectly define the bodies they’re wrapped around. “They’re smokin’ hot!” Stevens laughs. “But they are not just for supermodels. Before it’s adopted, I personally try every new Vitamin A style on myself and friends to ensure it fits REAL WOMEN.” And of course you can mix and match tops with bottoms to find your own custom fit.

You could say Vitamin A leads the swim world through its innovation and unique vision. It’s a mix of natural California beach beauty and chic international appeal. “I’m inspired by the art and architecture I see on my travels,” she says. “As well as the fabulous film and fashion icons of the ‘60s and ‘70s.” Yet, it’s the travels in her own backyard—the secret coves of Laguna—that propel her creative spirit. In turn, Vitamin A suits always retain a healthy dose of California attitude: a sunny smile, with sultry appeal. They’re unique, with shimmering hues that flatter the skin tone and precision cuts that accentuate the feminine figure like nothing else. “Form follows function,” she says. “A perfect bikini is the foundation of any summer wardrobe… It’s all about the fit.”

Stevens is even launching a Green Bikini® collection made from 100% recycled nylon. While designing for eco-guru Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, the green movement took root in her heart. Since then, she has worked to develop a deliciously “clean” swimwear fabric in the U.S. “We’re very proud of the fact that, while our competitors race offshore, Vitamin A is produced right here in sunny California,” Stevens says. “We hope to turn heads and redefine the old image of ‘green as granola’ into ‘green as gorgeous, sleek and eco-chic.’” This year, the California sun shines across the Atlantic, and the label is popping up in fabulous boutiques throughout Europe. It’s no wonder why celebs like Brooklyn Decker and Nicole Kidman personally requested to be outfitted in Vitamin A on their newest film. Stevens has also dressed Chloe Sevigny on film shoots—even Jessica Alba, Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston are fans. “I love creating designs and watching them come to life on my clients,” Stevens says. “That’s a never ending inspiration.”


Local Passion for Fashion

Vintage Inspired Apparel & Home Décor

Local Passion for Fashion

Written by Jamie Hinrich

Downtown shopping on Avenida Del Mar offers a variety of fabulous fashion boutiques, like the shops Heavenly Couture and Vintage Inspired, both of which offer customers the perfect combination of styles in vogue and quality clothing.

Heavenly Couture

This charming boutique’s mission is to find the best values of modern styles for its customers. Although you might find similar designs in other shops in Orange County, here the price for any item is always $15 or less. Why keep looking for a better deal, when you can head to Heavenly Couture to find the latest fashion trends at the lowest price?

Owner Justin Ha and his wife, June, decided to open a San Clemente store since their Laguna Beach location attracted similar clientele and was thriving. “San Clemente didn’t have a low-cost clothing store such as Loehmann’s,” he says. “So the niche was wide open for Heavenly Couture.” Although the pricing is low for their clothing items, that in no way reflects the high quality of what they sell. The diverse and hip style of clothing also appeals to a wide range of ages, offering something fashionable for almost everyone.

The name “Heavenly Couture” and the use of a dove in the logo are meant to reflect the couples’ commitment to their faith and their dedication to providing customers with high quality, low-priced clothing. “We’re a spiritual company,” Ha says.

Heavenly Couture is always looking to hire qualified sales associates. For more information, inquire about employment at their San Clemente store location.

Heavenly Couture | 128 Avenida Del Mar

Vintage Inspired Apparel & Home Décor

San Clemente appeals to tourists and residents alike for having the ambiance and visual aesthetic of being an historic beach town. That’s why Vintage Inspired Apparel & Home Décor is so well-suited for Avenida Del Mar. This quaint boutique sells modern clothing in the vintage style of the 1920s through the 1980s, allowing people to immerse themselves in a bit of classic style.

Owner Laura Newhall-Allen has had a lifelong love for fashion. Growing up, her mother taught her about clothing construction and fabric, which contributed to her decision to pursue and achieve a degree in fashion merchandising and interior design. Vintage Inspired is the culmination of her longtime dream to open a vintage clothing store.

Newhall-Allen hopes the vintage clothing she offers will invoke nostalgia in older clientele and inspire younger customers to cultivate a more classic wardrobe. “I strongly believe in providing personalized customer service,” she says. “Something that’s hard to come by in today’s clothing chains and department stores.”

Vintage Inspired offers an impressive range of women and men’s fashion, true vintage accessories and even some enchantingly antiquated home décor items. The clothing is functional and sophisticated, yet affordable, which is something everyone looks for in the modern economic atmosphere.

Next time you’re on Del Mar, stop in to meet Newhall-Allen and to take a step into fashion history.

Vintage Inspired, 
144 Avenida Del Mar