Vanessa Seward's 'Charlie's Angels'-Meets-Parisian Cool Hits Melrose Place
The designer, who counts Karlie Kloss and Marion Cotillard as fans, is bringing her sophisticated denim pieces (personalized back pockets, anyone?), culottes and jumpsuits to the West Coast with her first U.S. boutique.
The first thing Paris designer Vanessa Seward did when she stepped off the plane in L.A. this week was to Instagram a photo of Charlie's Angels with the hashtag #LAInspiration.
"I always wanted to be Kelly but I think I was a bit more Sabrina," she said Tuesday afternoon over coffee, in town to open her first U.S. boutique, located on Melrose Place, near other new retail hotspots The Apartment by the Line and Rachel Comey.
Seward founded her namesake brand in 2014, after two years of creating capsule collections for French denim and casual wear label APC.
And her vision of comfortable Parisian glamour is gaining steam on both sides of the Atlantic. French stars such as actress Marion Cotillard and actress/model Farida Khelfa have been wearing her retro print dresses (very Charlie's Angels), while model Karlie Kloss was recently spotted wearing one of Seward’s French phrase tees ("Une Femme Francaise"). This week, The Hollywood Reporter's top stylist Kate Young Instagrammed a photo of the back pocket of her new Vanessa Seward jeans, personalized with her name, “Kate.”
Seward was the designer of high-end French fashion house Azzaro from 2003 to 2011, when she visited L.A. often to dress celebrities, including Natalie Portman for the 2011 SAG Awards, Carey Mulligan and Eva Mendes for other events.
"I always calm down when I’m here," she said, taking in the warmth on the terrace of the Sunset Tower Hotel. "I used to come here for red carpet, but what I’m doing now is more about a complete wardrobe. And L.A. has changed, too. It used to be a destination only for red-carpet dressing and now it’s about glamour in the everyday."
Designed by French architect Laurent Deroo, the store resembles a glam cruise ship with a dark wood interior, midnight blue lacquer displays and brass accents. There’s also a skylight to let in the sunshine, reflected in the marble underneath.
The store features a mix of the summer and fall collections at the moment, including blouses in archival prints from the Swiss textile company Abraham.
TRES CHIC: Inside Vanessa Seward's 407 Melrose Place boutique. (Photo: Courtesy)
"I found a four leaf clover print from them my first season and it sold really well," Seward said. "It’s my lucky charm."
Sophisticated denim pieces, easy ribbed knit sweaters, culottes, capes, jumpsuits, patent leather Mary Janes, '70s inspired flap bags, skinny neck scarves and lariat necklaces are also on offer. Prices range from $295 for a pair of jeans to $1095 for the best-selling modest chic Cai dress.
"I believe in sexiness, but not in-your-face," Seward explained.
The woman she’s designing for isn’t a coquette or even a gamine, but more a Sainte nitouche she said, using her French idiom of choice. "It's a prude but with a glint behind it. Coy."
Would be great on a T-shirt.
L.A. ME VOILA: Vanessa Seward. (Photo: Stefanie Keenan)
Vanessa Seward, 407 Melrose Place , West Hollywood; 323-230-6662. Monday to Saturday: 11 a.m to 7 p.m.; Sunday: noon to 6 p.m.