From proper transportation to must-have fashion accessories, here are all the things youâ€™ll need to survive the season.
Courtesy of Brie Childers for www.beachbunnyswimwear.com/
Model: Joanna Krupa
Beach Bunny SwimwearOC native Angela Chittenden has made the über successful leap from swimwear model to swimwear designer with her Beach Bunny line, which graces the pages of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue this year. Many of the suits are lingerie-inspired, while others, like this Lyin' Eyes suit in blue, grab attention with bold patterns and heat-resistant copper-toned beads. Jessica Simpson, Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria, who owns over 20 suits, are huge fans. www.beachbunnyswimwear.com
Size Doesn't MatterIf you have felt, like many bust-challenged women, that the lingerie industry has left you out to dry, there is no more reason to fear, for Itty Bitty Bra is here! Developed by Irvine resident Jane Hodgdon, the Itty Bitty Bra is designed specifically for the woman with AA, A or B cup size who wants undergarments that are stylish, but also functional. Specially developed cups, a four-hook back closure, and a padded underwire all keep Itty Bitty Bras from gapping, slipping or puckering. The bras are available in nude, black, white, pink, and patterns like polka dots and leopard print. Matching panties and camisoles offer the same comfort and affordable style. And while enhancing cleavage isn't necessarily the objective, Hodgdon says that she's received several reports to that effect. www.ittybittybra.com
Petal PusherWobbly perches, numb pinkie toes... ah, the lengths women will go for that elongated leg a great pair of stilettos can create. Now you can make that sizzling pair of Jimmy Choo's comfortable with Foot Petals, the original designer foot cushions created by Orange County native Tina Aldatz Norris. Flower-shaped and attractively colored, the Tip Toe cushions attach to the area of the shoe at the ball of the foot, preventing feet from sliding forward and toes from hanging over. Killer Kushionz run the length of the entire shoe for ultimate comfort, while Amazing Arches give padded support for flat feet. So go on, girl, don't let a mere five-inch heel stand in the way of true love! www.footpetals.com
Spec-tacular!From bejeweled to hard rockin', cutting-edge eyewear abounds from OC designers. (Given our 300-plus days of sunshine a year, are you surprised?) With styles as hot as these, we think the local eyewear industry's future is so bright, they have to wear, well, you know...
Recently seen gracing the face of Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, specs from Santa Ana-based Initium are popular with indie rocker types -- not surprising considering many frames in the company's Platinum Collection name-check pop music, like the oversized Superunknown, the very Mod Morning Glory and hard rockin' British Steel (pictured). www.initiumeyewear.com
Bill Barton and Patty Perreira, both formerly of Oliver Peoples, have elevated eyewear to a new level of luxe. The duo's Irvine-based Barton Perreira offers a pair of $14,000, diamond-encrusted frames. Other models, like the Centerfold (pictured), which retails for $425 to $600, are a more reasonable -- though no less stylish -- alternative to squinting. www.bartonperreira.com
Independent optics company Salt is invested in the idea that clean, simple design is timeless. The Costa Mesa brand's sun collection is heavy on iconic styles: oversized oval wrap frames for women and aviator-inspired wire frames, like the Nicolas (pictured), for guys. And if you think you recognize some of Salt's eyewear "models," you probably do: many of them are local surf and skate industry heavies like Quiksilver's Danny Kwock and former pro surfer Jon Rose. www.saltoptics.com
Bunny on BoardOkay, so they're not a collector's item -- yet -- but we say a Playboy surfboard is shreds. That's right, after a year of negotiations, Hugh is going surfing, or at least his now famous bunny heads are. Costa Mesa's Wallin, the country's largest private-label surfboard producer, making boards for Toyota, Hollister, The Gap and others, has won the rights to create a full line, from shortboards to longboards, called Playboy Surf. The boards, which retail for $600 to $2,000, made their debut on the E! TV show "Girls Next Door," in which eight-time world champ Kelly Slater taught Bridget and Kendra how to surf. And don't worry mom, the boards are all totally PG. www.wallinsurfboards.com
Sole ArtDVS Shoes and Laguna Beach artist and lifelong surfer Wolfgang Bloch have teamed up to keep your feet green, comfy and totally stylin' this summer with their new "eco-friendly" sandal, the Ziggy Wolfgang. Bloch's painting typically recycles simple, discarded materials like scrap metal and cardboard into things of beauty, and his sandals are no different. The Ecuadorian-born Bloch incorporated Ecuadorian coffee bags into the sandal's burlap-style top sheet. The shoe's tread is just that -- reused car tires -- and sandwiched in between is a midsole of blended cork. The rest of the sandal is made from recycled materials, or stuff that can be recycled. A portion of the sale proceeds gets recycled back to Ecuador through the Pro Pueblo Foundation of Ecuador, which assists coastal villages with education and sustainability. Walk on, dude. www.dvsshoes.com
In the Bag
Hot WheelsThey're fun, fuel efficient and easy to park (even in Laguna!). This summer, hit the road in style on two wheels.
BMW's Big Adventure
When BMW revamped its GS motorcycle lineup in 2004, few would have guessed that it would become the best-selling motorcycle line in BMW's history. Now one of the latest additions to the lineup, the R 1200 GS Adventure, may be the most thrilling, rugged adventurer tourer in the storied family line.
At first glance, the 2008 R 1200 GS Adventure is an imposing bike. The large 8.7-gallon gas tank, along with the radial engine design, make the front of the bike seem unusually large. On the road, we expected the R 1200 GS Adventure to feel like a Hummer on two wheels, but it was as nimble as a sport bike. We were able to scrape the foot pegs on the asphalt through some twisting canyons. Then, with some adjusting of the electronic suspension, anti-lock braking and stability control systems, we had earth flying as we powered up dirt trails into the hills.
Averaging more than 45 miles per gallon with a range of nearly 400 miles on a single tank, this GS makes a daily commute, weekend jaunt or a world tour truly an adventure. $16,600 (base MSRP); available at Irv Seaver Motorcycles, 607 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-3700; www.bmwmotorcycles.com
Looking for an alternative to that beach cruiser? Check out the lightweight and funky Felt Curbside. The eye-catching Sour Apple color and argyle saddle and top tube pad still say fun. The rear wheel uses a flip-flop hub which lets you easily switch between standard freewheel motion and challenging fixed-gear (or "fixie") riding, which means no coasting (when the rear wheel moves, so do the pedals). As for mpg, well, that's up to your quads. $699; available at Let It Roll, 3130 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 675-3136; www.feltracing.com
It's the S!
We're not sure whether the "S" in the new Vespa S stands for sporty or sexy, but this retro-cool scooter is both. Its 150cc four-stroke single cylinder engine packs some punch, while its "retro-forward" styling recalls the iconic ?60s and ?70s scooters that became synonymous with Mods and Hollywood trendsetters. Averaging 90 mpg with a 2.3-gallon tank, maybe the "S" also stands for "smart." $4,099 (base MSRP); available at Vespa of Newport Beach, 2902 W. PCH, Newport Beach, (949) 631-5105; www.vespausa.com