Jewelry designers, Vivian Wang and Ingrid Chen, of Viv&Ingrid, were rocking some killer flats at a launch party last week for their new Berkeley gift shop, Viv&Ingrid at Oxford Hall. The darling boutique is full of dreamy, whimsical decor and full of pretty, witty little things -- just as every great gift shop should be.
Now, designer are typically known for dressing very casually and Viv&Ingrid were no exception. They did however, step up their shoe game -- love! I really like the detailing on both pairs of flats -- the rhinestone cut-outs on the Vivian's yellow flats, and the asymmetrical line and d'Orsay cut on Ingrid's black pointies.
What Viv's wearing: Viv&Ingrid earrings; Erin Fetherston white blouse purchased from Gilt; black Sally Tseng blazer; J Brand jeans from Barney's; Loeffler Randall yellow ballet flats with rhinestones, from Shopbop.
What Ingrid's wearing: Viv&Ingrid 14k gold-filled braid hoops, Heidi Merrick dress, and black patent leather pointy flats purchased in Shanghai.
7 Style Questions for Viv & Ingrid:
1. What inspires your designs?
VW: It changes every season. Our new Fall collection was inspired by the magic and romance of the circus world (think Water for Elephants). It's a mix of old Hollywood glamour and bohemian Parisian chic. A few of my favorite pieces include a beaded rosary with a crystal encrusted ball, and pearl cluster earrings with a spike drop.
IC: Natural beauty and human creativity. I love looking at other artists' works, whether in ceramics, painting, photography, architecture, interiors, textile design, landscapes, or even poetry -- inspired people inspire me!
2. What's one must-buy (non-jewelry) find at the your boutique?
VW: Saipua -- it's the most amazing smelling soap I've ever smelled, and it's beautifully wrapped in vintage-inspired paper.
IC: Any or all of the John Robshaw scarves. Each print is gorgeous and the scarf is big enough to double as a wrap or sarong.
3. What's the best tip you can give to jewelry shoppers?
VW: Invest in classic pieces -- they never go out of style. And buy what you love.
IC: Play! Try on everything that strikes you...even if you think it might not be "you". Also, always pay for quality and don't be afraid to splurge a little! What you love never goes out of style.
4. If you had to choose to only wear one for the rest of your life -- earrings or necklaces?
IC: Necklaces...then earrings. I can't choose!
5. Which brands or shops can you not get enough of?
VW: I mostly shop in the East Bay, and love the Gardener, Maison d'Etre, Ellington & French. My secret spot for great antique finds is The Antique Society in Sebastopol -- it's where I found our vintage chandelier -- we make the trek up there once a month.
IC: Isabel Marant, Temperley London, Heidi Merrick, Marc Jacobs and, out of necessity (to balance the checkbook), Old Navy!
6. What's your most prized accessory?
VW: My Chloe Edith bag.
IC: My custom designed engagement ring -- it's shaped like a clover.
7. What's a girl to do in Berkeley?
VW: Well on the weekends I'd say people watching on Fourth St. For food, Cheeseboard Pizza, Bette's Oceanview Diner (best blueberry muffins!) and Off the Grid (every Wednesday night in North Berkeley) -- it's food truck heaven!
IC: Best view: Lawrence Hall of Science.
Best sunny afternoon hideout: Seabreeze Market & Deli.
Best street to stroll: Solano Ave -- it has 2 quaint movie theaters, an organic home-made ice cream shop, Zachary's delicious deep dish pizza, and blissful pampering at Joi Nail spa.
Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, works as a freelance stylist and covers food, fashion and fun on her blog, Curated SF.