Annemarie Brandi, an attorney who lives with her husband in Santa Ana’s Artists Village, opened Atelier 7918 in September in Crystal Cove Shopping Center. It has a friendly, quirky vibe, mixed with a European avant-garde aesthetic, thanks to its arched windows, polished concrete floors, raw wood and marble tables, and the vintage and custom furniture. The European-born pixie, who exudes an unfussy chic, intended Atelier to be “visually provocative,” showcasing emerging designers as well as lines found online or in Europe and Asia.
There’s an asymmetric leather Mugler dress suspended in a window that’s edgy but not hard ($3,822); vibrant, whimsical print skirts by Rome-based designer Stella Jean ($700 and up); surreal Yazbukey Plexiglas clutches ($900 to $1,000) that are cartoon-level fun; and Monica Sordo’s rose-gold chokers ($550).
But Brandi’s love of fashion-forward lines—such as Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou—doesn’t mean she eschews O.C.-friendly staples such as denim and Ts. The pearl-trimmed jeans by Tokyo-based Tu Es Mon Tresor ($725) are popular items. “The key for me is to always keep looking for new designers, new products,” she says. “When it comes to fashion, everything changes and evolves at a rapid pace. Atelier 7918 strives to capture that.”
7918 E. Coast Highway