“We only look expensive,” reads the chalkboard sign outside Talia boutique at Fashion Island. It makes men chuckle, says owner Talia Hancock. But it’s catnip for savvy shoppers who know just how to deftly mix their designer pieces with casual finds.
After a brief stint at the Shops at Mission Viejo, Hancock relocated her store to Newport Beach, where she says she has found her home.
“The customer at Fashion Island is more used to this quality, and they’re not looking for a sale rack,” Hancock says. They needn’t, since nothing here costs more than $100.
Her line of Pima cotton separates—manufactured at the same factory in Lima, Peru, as clothing from Vince, Helmut Lang, and Theory—has that buttery soft touch. Hancock also has incorporated other lines to appeal to a broader clientele.
We snagged an artfully distressed hooded sweatshirt-style tunic with rope ties ($78) and were tempted by a yummy cable-knit cold-shoulder dress ($58) and an oatmeal-hued top with blush-colored grosgrain ribbon at the shoulder ($68). Our next grab: A graphic muscle T-shirt emblazoned with “Fries Before Guys” ($38). Sorry, guys.