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Vivier + Bentley: Purses and Gems Made in L.A.

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Long before the waitlists for Celine's color-blocked pouches, beloved LA designer Clare Vivier was stitching her own well-made, brightly colored, and accessibly priced versions for the louche-chic SoCal set. Now you can snatch up one of your own - in any color and size you please - along with lovely handmade jewelry by Kathryn Bentley, and stow it in a great tote - all at Vivier and Bentley, the airy store-studio that opened last week in Silverlake.

We stopped by the opening night party last weekend. The shop itself takes up about a third of the overall floor space, and is filled with vintage glass display cases, sturdy wood tables, paper mobiles, and framed drawings. The whole setup begs a visitor to look closer. Bentley's intricately crafted diamond rings, candy-colored semi-precious pendants set in rose gold, and enamel arrowhead necklaces are especially appealing. Bentley was on hand to walk you through her diverse jewelry collection, and style you with some of her favorites. Her precious jewelry is delicate but tough - she uses the lost wax technique for her designs and every piece is made by hand. But she also has lots of lower priced, layer-friendly, and statement options in silver metal and enamel.

Interspersed with the jewelry, Vivier's butter-soft clutches lay in neat piles, and her signature totes hung high on the walls. Vivier's totes, handbags and clutches are utterly tempting. Before the store opened, fans had to buy online or scour the small boutiques (like Steven Alan and Mohawk General Store) that have long supported the designer. You might have inadvertently found her handbags tucked on a shelf at Theory stores, where Vivier's accessories have been insanely popular. That's because her designs anticipated the current "It Bag" backlash. Vivier's totes are perfectly sized and are done in vivid colors and neutrals, but the shapes are quiet enough to show off its wearer's personal style. The leather is sumptuous, and the bags are logo-less (aside from the gold stamped signature on the interior), offering go-anywhere versatility. Vivier's simple leather zip pouches, from petite to oversized, are especially transformable. A small pouch can stay in your larger bag until night, and the oversized pouches can fold up under the arm if you prefer a statement piece. Nothing's too femme, and the tote collection is supremely unisex.

The designers' studios are in the airy back room, with stacks of merchandise and orderly desks. We discovered their tools of their trades, from leather swatches and metal findings to inspirations pinned up on the walls. Prices range from $50-$200 for Bentley's lower priced collections, and $400 and up for jewels mounted in gold. Vivier's pouches start at $79, and bags at $135. All made in Los Angeles, and all divine.

· Clare Vivier [Official Site]
· Kathryn Bentley [Official Site]

Steven Alan West Hollywood

638 N Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 310-854-1814 Visit Website

Vivier and Bentley

1404 North Micheltorena Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Visit Website

Mohawk General Store

4011 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029 Visit Website