FitApproved Exclusive Interview – Joe Vilaiwan fine jewelry “Oz the Great” Collection

The story behind Disney’s “Oz the Great” collection by celebrity jewelry designer Joe Polthakorn Viboonviriyawong, aka Joe Vilaiwan of Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry interviewed by Joell Posey at The Cedars in Los Angeles. A red carpet favorite it is worn personally and often paired with fashion designer Sue Wong’s gowns.


Fashion On The Go – Cyclists Meets Rapha

Fashion On The Go - Cyclists Meets Rapha

By Patrick Cain

Fashion is largely about looking good, but a major part to that equation is staying in shape. There’s a problem with that though, nobody trying to get in shape should squeeze into spandex.

One of the best – in terms of joint health and caloric burn – forms of activity is also one of the greatest fashion culprits out there — cycling. Are you aware of these attires? They’re ridiculous. Though, there are some exceptions and they’re greatly based around one brand, Rapha.

Rapha’s late-20th century Italian feel was cool to begin with, but this year they’ve upped their game considerably. Their lead designer Graeme Raeburn tapped his brother to help with a new collaborative collection. This in-the-family approach is a recipe for disaster, unless your brother is Christopher Raeborn, whose ethical design slant inspired Vogue to write “”Remember the four R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Raeburn.”

Cycling world, prepared to look good.

While the Raeborn duo didn’t reinvent spandex, they did what any rational person would do: They covered it up.

Cyclists ride for hours, burning thousands of calories and work up a sweat. In doing so, riders ride with layers. Arm and leg warms that can removed easily or slid down while riding, gloves, wind vests and jackets are all used to stay warm and cool on a day that may fluctuate by 30 or 40 degrees on the ride. One of the most distinctive items in the new Rapha collection is it’s riding jacket that resembles a horse jockey’s coat.

Top layers for cyclists have a distinct flair to them. Other than to look ridiculous, there’s function to this. The brighter, flashier you are, theoretically, the more visible you are on the road. Now you can look good in a neon orange, theoretically, but something tells me nobody will be saying “black is the new neon orange” any day soon. That said, the Raeborn do incorporate orange as well as an army green and, wait for it, polka dots and stripes. Recipe for disaster? Quite the opposite, a recipe to both avoid on-bike disasters while keeping the Raeborn brand strong.

Keeping with Christopher Raeburn’s tradition, the Rapha partnership uses repurposed materials, keeping his eco-friendly feel. In addition to the jacket, the special edition capsule collection also features jeans and a Henley for the city cyclist.

For Rapha this pairing makes sense. If there’s one cycling company that constantly makes riders look good – or as good as possible, it’s the Portland-based brand. Their in house design team, which is lead by Graeme Raeburn, consistently puts out functional riding gear for both the urban and team cyclist that reminds me of 1960s Italian soccer teams.

Graeme’s designs are available year round on Rapha’s website The brother’s collection, however, is not available yet. The Spring/Summer is expected to be released April 12. The jacket retails at $450, the Henley sells for $190 and the jeans $275.

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FitApproved Meets Junc Boutique

FitApproved Meets Junc Boutique

Junc’in Jehosophat!
South Park’s Junc provides an edgy and compelling curated collection of fine – stuff.

An endlessly-looping fireplace video plays behind the counter on a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV; against the flames, dark-haired and pointy-bearded Jeffrey Parish takes on a slightly eerie look in spite of the green-walled, sparkling clean shop. No junk store this – every display is carefully curated and arranged.

But if you’re looking for fleas, you will find them – Flea is his line of vintage items – as in flea market, not fleas themselves.  A “Dr. Flea’s Curiosities” collection of items takes its inspiration from old traveling medicine shows and includes pouches labelled “Snake Oil” – just in case you were looking for some beside the china opium dolls- modern recreations of dolls that were previously used to conceal opium. Some unexpected open flames lick up from votive jars, keeping browsers alert, but a few survivors from the most recent season of Jeffrey Parrish’s self-named fashion collection are kept carefully out of the reach of the flames – keeping safe the unexpectedly romantic pieces in sheer pattern fabrics with handkerchief hems and deep necklines.  Catch it all while you can – Jeffrey changes the content, decor, and vibe of the shop constantly.

I talked with Jeffrey a few days after the tri-annual “South Park Walkabout”, a busy event which fills the streets with visitors from around Southern California, who spend the late afternoon and evening shopping, eating, and drinking in the boutique-rich area. (The next one is July 20th, 2013)

FA – What led you to start Junc? Why now?

JB – I actually started my boutique 8 years ago because I was a little bit on the bored side and feeling complacent. I wanted to do something more fulfilling than just teaching yoga. One day I was walking past
a vacant storefront in my Normal Heights neighborhood and I decided, on a whim, I’m gonna open a boutique.

I called that store Sugar LTD., and I had a very successful first year. But I wanted more room to expand my boutique to what I was envisioning in my head, and the space that I had Sugar in was far too small
and I wanted to find a bigger venue – not hot dog down a hallway big, but more the perfect fit.

That’s when I found out the old space I had my book store in was available and JUNC was born.

FA – Why South Park? What inspires you about the area?

JB – I used to have a bookstore in South Park in 1998 and when the space became available again, I jumped at the chance to be back. I love the neighborhood, businesses and business owners in the area. It just felt like
home to me.

FA – What lines/items are you proudest to carry/provide?

JB – I pride myself that my stock always changes, I don’t carry specific lines because of that fact. I am always on the look-out for unique items that fit the schizophrenic esthetic of the store. For me, it’s all about
bringing things together in a cohesive fashion. For example, I recently began selling items under the brand of Flea that highlight the oddities in the store that I love to carry, as well as up-cycled furniture that
somehow brings everything together into more of a “lifestyle” store. Recognizing my original vision.

FA – What are you wearing right now? Any/all of it available in your shop? What’s your favorite piece?

JB – Olive green skinny khakis I picked up at the Gap on sale, a navy blue super soft infinity scarf and my favorite go to V-neck t-shirt by Land Of Apparel. Both are available at JUNC. Oh and my very coveted
Chanel sandals.

FA – If you had to limit yourself to one fashion item purchase this season, what would it be?

JB – The Givenchy Men’s Spring 2013 “Mary” Bomber Jacket.

FA – What inspires you?

JB – This is a difficult question to answer. I am inspired by everything around me. My mood, music, textures, and color. Even an old rotting box-spring can provide me with endless ideas.

FA – Your shop has an unusual look and unique sense of display – what are the roots of the look?

JB – It’s not your typical boutique. It’s my personality in four walls and presenting people with things that I love, and they love it. I don’t want to be typical or the same, not a place full of things that I think people
want because its trendy or hip right now. I have it because I love it and want to share that with people.

FA – What are your insights about the San Diego fashion scene? Where do you think it’s going next?

JB – San Diego is learning slowly, but surely. I think it will take time before it’s like L.A. or New York. The more fashion forward thinking people and businesses need to find a collaborative way to talk men out of
board shorts and flip flops and girls out of bandage dresses and hooker heels. But, baby steps, right?

We hope so. Thanks Jeffrey!

Junc Life and Style
2209 Fern St  San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 283-2611

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Celebrating the Hottest New Accessory at the Launch of the Blackberry Z10

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20:  Chloe Moretz attends a celebration of the BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone launch at Cecconi's Restaurant on March 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for BlackBerry)

By Jenny Peters

Do you know the coolest accessory for spring? Forget kitten heels and super-skinny jeans, if you’re a hot Hollywood star you’ve just got to have the new BlackBerry Z10, the brand’s new smartphone that changes the game completely for that iconic company.

Which is why so many famous faces descended on Cecconi’s restaurant in West Hollywood on the evening of March 20, as BlackBerry threw an exclusive launch party for the gadget. It was such a hot ticket that we saw disgruntled fashionistas being held back by security guards; not on the list for this one, and you were NOT getting in.

That’s because all who made it past the entry gauntlet were greeted by friendly brand representatives who offered up the Z10 on either the Verizon or AT&T platform, first to use during the party and later to take home and activate (the phone goes live nationwide on March 22). And at $699 for an unlocked version or $199 with a two-year contract, it’s no wonder people were lining up to snag one.

People like Josh Duhamel, who’ll need a good phone to keep in touch with Fergie, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. He rolled in without his Black Eyed Peas spouse; instead, he checked out Tegan and Sara, the Canadian twin sisters (and musical duo) who put on a special acoustic set for the packed crowd.

Across the room, lovelies Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Christina Ricci — who looked adorable in a seriously cute Clover Canyon dress done in multiple patterns and colors – figured out the phones together, while Tim Allen and Craig Robinson joked with fans nearby.

Cutie Chloe Grace Moretz, who’ll soon be seen in the much-anticipated remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” rocked a Dolce&Gabbana outfit and was playing photographer with the Z10, snapping pics of Rachel Bilson (in demure Dior), Clea DuVall, Pia Toscano, Robert Buckley and everyone else who came close. She joined in the night’s Tweet-fest, too, sending out word that she was “Having the best time at the Blackberry Z10 launch event!”

It seemed everybody was, especially as servers kept on coming with Cecconi’s delicious signature black-truffle flatbread pizzas, Ahi tuna cones and crab cakes and bartenders kept on pouring the bubbly as partygoers wandered through different environments, joining BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben and his staff along the way, learning about all the bells and whistles on their new Z10s.


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LA Fashion Week In Pictures


By Joyce Chow

Fashion Week Los Angeles March 2013 Recap

Angeleno fashionistas, buyers and guests and their bi-annual gathering of lights, cameras, cameras and more cameras while being fashionably late is normal for virtually any fashion event held in Los Angeles today.

The Wrap Report of fashion events for LA Fashion Week showcasing the Fall/Winter collection of 2013.

Project Ethos

Best known for it’s fusion of fashion, music and art in one unforgettable evening, Project Ethos and Scion hosted “The Fate of Fashion, Music and Art” at the Avalon in Hollywood. 

Three runway presentations showcased designers Traver Rains (T. Rains) Daniel Bohbot (Hale Bob), Project Runway’s Michael Costello, Andrew Christian, Maor Lux (Maor Apparel), Michael Kuluva (Tumbler and Tipsy), Siann Marlowe (The Ras Collection), Deana Richmond (Deandri), Nine in the Morning, Pas Pour Toi, Haus of PinkLemonaid and Farah Hourani (Farahourani).

Alternative-pop band Fire in the Hamptons kept everyone rocking between runway presentations. The Main Room and Bardot galleries displayed artists Aaron Mostow, Gregg “Viz’ Visintainer, Johnie thorton, Greg Auerbach Morgan Slade, Miachael Stubbs, and Miri Chais with live art performances from Ivan Djurovic, Van Saro, and John Park.

If you weren’t able join Project Ethos for the evening, you can now catch their second season of their webseries.

Vogue Eyewear Launch with Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes, channels iconic Racquel Welch, in her new campaign in Vogue Eyewear’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection. In an intimate affair at Simon House, attendees were greeted by clusters of pink balloons and colorful Vogue party balloons serving as a step and repeat.

The latest collection of eyewear were presented on shelves stacked upon the greenery of vases in the main room and frozen columns of ice with the glasses floating in ice with the yellow orchid and tulip arrangements.

Eva, dressed in a pale yellow floral Valentino lace dress accented with pale rose, was occupied most of the evening with the press and friends poolside overlooking the city lights of Los Angeles.

Style Fashion Week

Designer Michael Cinco with an evil queen and a storybook ending with a dramatic presentation was the grand finale to close the 5th season of Style Fashion Week at Vibiana Cathedral.  After a series of breathless oohs and aahs, fashionistas rose to a standing ovation for the final walk and entrance of a Zorro inspired Michael Cinco.

Canadian designer Roxanne Nikki showcased her new collection with a collection of classic shapes, in a mostly black colored line for men and women were accented by a  classic use of leather accents and furs

Brayn Hearn presented an edgier look with eclectic and structured materials in black, white and blue with several reminding one of a pleated Roman soldier skirt with rivet accented coordinating leather top.

California Dreaming Showcase

California Dreaming Showcase was where fashion meets music and surfboards brought you to the beach with 6 designers and their California inspired fashions at Confidential in Beverly Hills. Breaking the mold of being fashionably late, this show did start on time and was nearly an hour and a half.

Nadine Casanova’s Honey Be Life Line debuted her sparkling party pants.

Eco Conscious award winning fashion designer Aros Crystos introduced his colorful flowered fashions with Native American models coached by Rick Mora from the movie “Twilight”

Sixteen year old Courtney Allegra’s colorful active wear line had the models on handstands down the runway.

Alena Dawn’s Precise Momentum sportswear brought the models out rapping and spinning cartwheels in a line inspired by punk rock, industrial, alternative and electronic music and European hate couture.

Olga Safari launched of her new clothing line Olga Safari. As Orange County’s new leading lady of beach/surf based TV series BYOB, Bring Your own Board TV series, she inspired surfboards accenting the runway.

San Francisco couture designer Josette Golatt’s brought elegance and glamour  in her free flowing sheer graphic gowns.

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Tea for Twenty: At the L.K.Bennett USA Launch with Rosamund Pike

Striking Black Ribbon pieces from the L.K.Bennett clothing line.

By Jenny Peters

It was a perfect afternoon to mix high tea and haute couture, as the renowned London luxury brand L.K.Bennett celebrated the opening of its first California store with a very proper party at the SoHo House on March 14. And it wasn’t a tea for two, it was more like a tea for twenty (or even closer to forty) of the City of Angels’ top tastemakers.

Gorgeous Rosamund Pike, the British beauty known for her roles as a Bond girl in “Die Another Day,” as well as “Pride and Prejudice,” “Wrath of the Titans” and (most recently) “Jack Reacher,” is the new face of the brand and was the host of the ladies’ afternoon soiree. But she insisted that it isn’t just her peaches-and-cream skin and posh accent that make her perfect for that job.

“I’m a very hands-on person,” Pike explained. “I’ve been working with them on some new designs. I simply love the quality of everything they make, from the tailoring of the clothes – like this ‘Lydia’ dress I am wearing – to the quality of the leathers, they come from Spain and Italy, in the shoes and handbags.”

She’s a woman who would look fantastic wearing a gunny sack, of course, but the white shift she had on was simple, yet perfectly tailored to her slim figure. Fellow Brit Zuleikha Robinson, whose standout role as the terrorist/journalist in “Homeland” still scares us, chose the line’s “Flo,” a sweet sleeveless floral shirtdress, while Teri Hatcher and her daughter Emerson accessorized with the “Alexia” clutch.

Aussie actress Radha Mitchell, she of the new television series “Red Widow,” laughed when asked if her yellow lace dress was also L.K.Bennett.

“No, my dress is Valentino. I’m trying to help him feel better about that Oscars snub,” she said with a chuckle. But she did wear a pair of strappy L.K.Bennett metallic gold pumps and carried their neutral “Natalie” clutch, which paired perfectly with that sleeveless sheath. She pored over the tables filled with the company’s Black Ribbon Fall collection pieces, including beautiful boots with clever grommet design elements and sky-high heels done in bold cobalt blue, both with handbags to match.

The L.K.Bennett shoes and bags inspired by Caroline Issa were all the rage at the tea, too, with their adorable, brightly colored embroidered motifs and pom-poms turning up on everything from flats to stilettos to their signature kitten heeled pumps, and all the way to clutches and handbags as well.

Other familiar faces at the tea who are looking forward to browsing in the new Beverly Center shop, which opens on March 20, included Oscar winner Marsha Gay Harden and actresses Sanaa Lathan, Leven Rambin, Cara Santana, Christa B. Allen. British model Poppy Delevigne made the scene, too, as well as a few male faces – Decades store owner Cameron Silver and star stylist Justin Howard.

With so many trendsetters embracing the brand, can it be long before L.K.Bennett in the USA turns into what Rosamund Pike remembers from her teenage years in Britain?

“Getting your first pair of L.K.Bennett shoes was a milestone for girls like me growing up,” she recalled. “Getting those shoes was what we all dreamed of having!”


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Neon Makes a Bright Splash at the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament

Ana Ivanovic's beautiful bright yellow Adidas style. Photo by Andy Gordon.

By Jenny Peters

Planning to play a little tennis this spring? Then make sure you’ve got your neon tech togs, or you’ll be committing a serious fashion don’t on the court.

Neon is all the rage in the tennis world these days: all it took was a trip to the California desert to confirm that fact. For at the 2013 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, every top-rated, hard-bodied man and woman had on some sort of eye-popping bright, with neon yellow leading the color charge.

We spotted it all from our perch in the Emirates Airlines VIP suite; that Dubai-based luxury carrier is one of the tournament’s main sponsors, along with Oracle, Corona, Bulova and Fila. And while Emirates eschewed the obvious trend and stuck with their signature color, handing out thousands of red caps on “Emirates Day” (Saturday March 9), both the audience and the players mostly opted for neon, that 1980s-inspired Day-Glo look, both on and off the court.

Gorgeous Maria Sharapova (the number three female player in the world) mowed down her opponents while wearing neon Nike, pairing a yellow visor with matching undershorts, covered by a kicky white and grey dress – all of those bright togs are part of the Nike “Maria” Spring collection.

Number two star (and the number one ranked woman in the BNP Open) Victoria Azarenka also sported the Nike logo, donning a yellow skirt with a purple top for one of her matches; but her best accessory was LMAFO’s Redfoo. He’s her main squeeze and attentively watched her every move from the front row of the player’s box. A tennis player himself, he even sported a crazy looking, bright yellow neon tech top accented with hot-pink-and-black animal prints across the chest during the 9th Annual K-Swiss Desert Smash Charity Event held earlier in the week at the La Quinta Resort. That groovy shirt is part of the tennis clothing line he’s designing as he branches out from making fabulous party music. Look for that in stores later this year.

But the big fashion winner of the spring tennis season is Adidas. Not only do they dress hotties like Serbian star Ana Ivanovic (ranked number 13, but arguably the most stunning-looking pro out there), French hunk Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, British favorite Andy Murray, crowd-pleasing Italian Fabio Fognini and Danish beauty Caroline Wozniacki, but they also have Stella McCartney designing the women’s line. As McCartney says in the Adidas promos, “The collection is for women who take their sport and their style seriously. Why should we have to compromise one for the other?”

McCartney’s line is chockablock with – what else? – vivid yellow, as is the company’s Adizero label for both men and women. And while other high-profile players at the BNP Paribas Open did wear a few other colors, including number one male star Novak Djokovic, spotted in Uniqlo bright green, and number two Roger Federer, who favors brilliant orange Nike-wear (right down to his signature headband), for non-pro tennis fashionistas, the spring choice is obvious.

Go neon yellow when you go to play, or just take your racquet and go home in fashion disgrace.


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Trend Watch- John Varvatos Eyewear

The forecast this season calls for sunny skies and stylish shades! John Varvatos has you covered with their latest eyewear collection chock full of trendy shapes and styles. From classic aviators to hip wayfarers, John Varvatos eyewear has designs for everyone!

The forecast this season calls for sunny skies and stylish shades! John Varvatos has you covered with their latest eyewear collection chock full of trendy shapes and styles. From classic aviators to hip wayfarers, John Varvatos eyewear has designs for everyone!

The forecast this season calls for sunny skies and stylish shades! John Varvatos has you covered with their latest eyewear collection chock full of trendy shapes and styles. From classic aviators to hip wayfarers, John Varvatos eyewear has designs for everyone!

Celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Gavin Rossdale and Dennis Quaid have all been spotted wearing their John Varvatos sunglasses this sunny season. John Varvatos Eyewear retails between $200-$320 and is available at John Varvatos stores or online at


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The launch party of the Karl Lagerfeld Watchs.

Karl Lagefeld, Katie Waissel (British XFactor), Vincent De Paul (Silver Case, The Bay), Stassi Schroeder(Vanderpump Rules), Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules), Nick Simmons (Gene Simmons: Family Jewels) and Zita Vass (Californication), Courtney Bingham, BC, Adrienne Maloof (the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)

“Every day can be perfect. There are 24 hours. It’s up to you to make it something.”

“Every day can be perfect. There are 24 hours. It’s up to you to make it something.”

Ultra chic modern black and white from the Karl Lagerfeld watches to the cupcake and candy bar and a packed boutique at Gregory’s on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Karl Lagefeld, Katie Waissel (British XFactor), Vincent De Paul (Silver Case, The Bay), Stassi Schroeder(Vanderpump Rules), Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules), Nick Simmons (Gene Simmons: Family Jewels) and Zita Vass (Californication), Courtney Bingham, BC, Adrienne Maloof (the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)

Nick Simmons (Gene Simmons: Family Jewels) and Zita Vass (Californication)

A Young Hollywood crowd came out to see the Lagerfeld watches with Tom Cruise’s son Connor Cruise dropping by in his new yellow Lamborghini. Alex Pettyfer “Magic Mike” was so low key he blended into the crowd. Katie Waissel (British Xfactor) visited with friends Stassi Schroeder and Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules). Vincent De Paul (Silver Case, The Bay) recalled with Jax Taylor the early days of modeling in Miami’s South Beach with Channing Tatum. Nick Simmons shed his long locks for a much shorter hair style and couldn’t be missed with Zita Vass (Californication). Courtney Bingham sported her new engagement ring by Nikki Sixx and visited with friends BC and Adrienne Maloof (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills).

“Every day can be perfect. There are 24 hours. It’s up to you to make it something.”

“Every day can be perfect. There are 24 hours. It’s up to you to make it something.”

Photos by Correspondent Joyce Chow

Edited by Justin Howard

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Lia Marie Johnson, Charisma Kain talking on Fashion

Do BFFs dress and think alike? How far would you go to support your BFF? Are you a slave to fashion? Sketch comedy, acting and singing plus taking Youtube by fire are Lia Marie Johnson from TV series “MyMusic” and Charisma Kain interviewed by Joyce Chow ( MBN Newsvideoweb) at WOW! Creations Oscar Gifting Suite 2013 at the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills.