Archive - September 23, 2014

The Rose Bowl Flea Market – Pasadena, CA
Jewelry Designer- Clemmie Watson
Designer John Murrough and illia

The Rose Bowl Flea Market – Pasadena, CA

~The second Sunday of every month~

Located at:
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103
(323) 560-7469

9am admission is $8.00 and children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. There is an express admission from 8:00am – 9:00am at $10.00 per person, an early admission from 7:00am – 8:00am at $15.00 per person, and a special preview VIP admission from 5:00am – 7:00am at $20.00 per person.

After six years of living in LA, I have never had the chance of exploring the famed Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena- until just recently, when the BF and I ventured to the Rose Bowl one Sunday. Of course it was everything I read about… Massive…Have to arrive early…Best vintage around…etc…

The booths sold everything and anything you could imagine. Jewelry, books, shoes, furniture, beads…and even an antique prosthetic leg. I was deliriously overwhelmed at the vintage pieces. I saw dainty hats, sequined tops, old Dooney & Bourke for $12 and Louis Vuitton purses, Prada and Ferragamo shoes…my list can go on and on. One vintage vendor I have to point out is Trini’s Treasures. Owner Trini Varela has the best variety of vintage gowns, dresses, jewelry and hats around, some pieces of which have been in the TV show, “Mad Men.” Her prices range from $10-500 and she also carries vintage designer as well. For more information or to get on Trini’s email list, contact her at

There were a few other vendors I would like to spotlight. Urai is the designer of handmade jean purses and fun sandals. The name of her company is Ramahandicrafts. Urai and her team can make up to four pairs of sandals in one day. Her sandals are also very affordable at $20 a pair. I saw my friends Sandy and Sebastian of the line, Yoga Army- selling some pieces from past seasons. I also noticed that Kami Shade and Rachel Broussard (Supastar) were also showing their lines. Sandy and Sebastian’s friend, Michaelyn “Mikie” Whitlock was selling some vintage pieces; reworked rompers for $15; original vintage, as well as reworked jewelry for a reasonable price range of $10-110.

I had an overall fun experience. Next time I know to come early (around 8am), carry cash (as the ATMs are only at the entrance (from what I noticed), bring a small shopping cart (for the larger purchases and so your arms don’t get sore from browsing the thousands of vendors and miles of walking) and plan on spending pretty much the whole day there.

Jewelry Designer- Clemmie Watson

I first heard of Clemmie Watson when I was reading NYLON magazine and saw a picture of a customized “NYLON” necklace she was sent them. I checked out her site and fell in love with her jewelry line. Native American inspired necklaces and earrings…Fender guitar pick earrings… Medicine pouch necklaces…Each piece is one-of-a-kind and was carefully constructed by Clemmie- who chose jewelry making as an artsy medium to express herself creatively. About ten years ago, she found herself at an arts and crafts store to get some string and seed beads. But as she soon realized, what started out as just a hobby, quickly turned into a happy love affair and business. She draws her inspirations from the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte, her boyfriend, the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City (where she is based). According to Clemmie, ” [the museum] houses one of the most beautiful masterpieces by Michelangelo Caravaggio, John the Baptist. I could look at that painting for hours. It is more intriguing than the most perfect sunset because it was created by man.” As far as the process of making the pieces; she uses anything from silks, leathers, precious stones (smoky quartz and crystal quartz in particular), fine chains and feathers. “I am always challenging myself to develop new techniques to make mixed-media pieces look balanced and seamless,” she adds. At the moment, her favorite pieces are the medicine pouches. “I put different crystals in each pouch. No two are alike and they’re so much fun to make because I don’t know how they will turn out,” she explains. Prices range from $40-920 on her website. The medicine pouches range from $160-700.

NOTE: All but one of the photos were used with permission from The one photo I took myself. Many thanks to Clemmie for gifting the “Silver Feather #1”!

Designer John Murrough and illia

I hate to admit, but I didn’t really know of illia until after I had the pleasure of touring the store in Venice, meeting the retail manager- Fritzie and talking with the designer- John Murrough (and meeting his dog- Gracie). The store was small, which enabled a more personable atmosphere. All the clothes and accessories exuded the highest quality in fabrics, mainly leathers and some knits and wovens. John was eager to share some background (and current) information with me. illia has been around since the 90’s and the garments at the time were made out of suede. However, John decided to take a sabbatical from the industry and went back to South Africa. It wasn’t until Spring of 2009 when illia relaunched again, with an exclusive event at Barney’s New York. This time around, the garments were mainly created out of leather. Since rejoining the fashion workforce, along with business partner-Robbie Moray, he has realized that the business had changed dramatically with the recession. Specialty stores are getting fewer and far between. The point was brought up that because of the economy, people are paying more attention to the quality of clothing. Consumers want something that’s unique and not seen on a lot of people (which is why illia stands out from other brands.) He was telling me that during one of the trade shows, he saw a very chic woman that he knew was wearing of his jackets. He found out that she has had it for twelve years. He is very passionate in his brand, being well-aware of the ‘illia consumer,’ who are usually the very health-conscious Venice women. He always wants to know what has or hasn’t sold and why, along with the fit of the garments. He focuses on a fitted, tailored silhouette with smaller armholes. Although illia is a womenswear brand, men even love trying on the shirt jackets because of the tailoring. He is constantly thinking about what the customer wants next and is usually spot on with his judgement. He credits LA as his inspiration, because the brand is all about the California lifestyle…casual yet chic. He also has a couple muses that have impeccable style and looks to them for inspiration. Although every piece at the Venice store is exquisite, there are a couple best-sellers: the motorcycle jackets and vests; because they’re made so well that they last a long time, which is what people want (I mean, wouldn’t YOU?) In the near future, illia plans on opening a few more stores (as Venice is the one and only) and creating a menswear line. The line would ultimately consist of five or six easy shirts and blazers. illia is located in the trendy Abbot Kinney neighborhood in Venice at 1638 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. The phone number is (310)450-2890.

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