I don't know what I've been doing with my life since Daiso Japan opened in Irvine's Heritage Plaza last year, but let me tell you—I've been missing out! Our art director Mindy Benham took a few of us on a field trip there a couple of weeks ago, and now we're obsessed. The variety of products is dizzying, and we could have stayed there for hours looking at each item, trying to decipher what everything was (a lot of the labels are in Japanese, and the guessing game is just part of the fun) and filling our baskets with the most random and cutest merchandise.
Ladies’ nights are hidden gems. I caught wind that Center Street Promenade in the newly hip downtown Anaheim area was hosting one last Friday night. The Facebook page promised fun, drink specials (woo!), discounts, DIY crafts, henna (sure, why not?), prizes, and more … so I decided to give it a shot. I grabbed one of my most favorite ladies (Mom), and we headed down to check it out at 6 p.m.
Orange County and the sun pair like wine and cheese. With so many outdoor shopping complexes nearby, you can shop without sacrificing your enjoyment of the brag-worthy weather. One complex that caters to all: Irvine Spectrum Center.
The Lugano Diamonds collection of unique jewelry is usually shown by appointment in Newport Beach (we profiled Moti Ferder, president and design director of Lugano Diamonds, in our February 2012 issue, click here for the article). But a new Lugano Diamonds Salon at Montage Laguna Beach will showcase Ferder's stunners without an appointment. Cufflinks and signature jewelry made exclusively for Montage will be available alongside his collection pieces.
If you remember when Halston's signature maxi dresses brought him instant fame back in the disco era, you don't have to own up to it. But you can be thankful, as we are, that what goes around comes around. Today’s Halston Heritage line maintains the same sleek, usually monochromatic, artfully draped, timeless designs that originally brought the designer fame, while also keeping the trend toward minimalism haute, hot, hot.
If you had a chance to have a recognized artist screen you a Hurley tee while you hung out with pro athletes, would you take it?
As a child, Moti Ferder remembers his father sitting at a table until midnight, sorting rough diamonds by size and quality to sell to manufacturers worldwide. So it’s no stretch to say the 42-year-old co-owner of Fashion Island’s Lugano Diamonds has been around precious gems for most of his life. “I studied and became familiar with every aspect of the business,” says the native of Israel, who spent years in a diamond factory learning how to cut stones.
Hawaiian sandal stalwart Island Sole is opening its first mainland store at Fashion Island. “Shoppers will find their ‘sole mates’ here,” says Wayne Heck, the entrepreneur-owner. While the store stocks all sorts of sandal brands from internationally popular Havianas to local Rainbows to charitable Freewaters—a newer line that uses a portion of each purchase to help provide clean drinking water to those in need—it features an intriguing distinction: It will carry the widest array of Ugg footwear outside of the brand's stores.
Everyone’s favorite one-stop-shop is getting a dose of SoCal chic with the introduction of 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target. We got a sneak peek at the collection and are already coveting its cool-but-quirky blazers and structured bags, not to mention some edgy kicks. This capsule collection from Orange County-native Lim could sell out faster than past collabs with Missoni and DVF. Target, which pioneered the high-low designer concept, will launch the collection Sept. 15, 2013.

SEE at Fashion Island
If you love trendy eyewear but not the price tags, head for SEE optical shop. The company cuts out the middle-man to bring you piles of styles at affordable prices, and you can try them all on at the new Fashion Island store. Creative staffers instantly size you up and turn you on to flattering colors and shapes you might never have chosen yourself. The Fashion Island outpost is the company’s 29th store. Cheers, to a new view in the looking glass.

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