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Beauty Featured

Tonya Hawkes Wants You to Get a ‘Little Bit Out Of Your Comfort Zone’ with Her One-of-a-Kind Statement Clutches

May 21, 2015

Photo credit: Laura Layera

In the competitive world of fashion and accessories, it’s a typical designer’s goal to do something groundbreaking and outside of the box. Well, Furla‘s former creative director Tonya Hawkes has gone above and beyond to do just that with her signature namesake collection of three-dimensional statement clutches.

The mind-blowing pieces of colorful art were on full display at last week’s Bri Holloway Presents: Tonya Hawkes Press Preview and Trunk Show, held at the picturesque Santa Monica home of BJ Dockweiler.


Photo credit: Laura Layera

The event, which presented Hawkes’ SS15 collection, celebrated the exciting addition of the designer’s products to luxury e-commerce site

“When I first saw Tonya’s bags, I thought, I have to have these,” Holloway tells skyelyfe. “Bri Holloway is all highly curated, head-turning, high-end luxury goods, but all emerging brands around the world. The reason my company was founded was because I come from Barneys, and one thing I’ve noticed over the course of the last few years is that the market is really saturated with the same products everywhere. You go to Nordstrom, you can buy a Givenchy bag. You go to Barneys, you can buy the same Givenchy bag you can buy at Neiman Marcus. So, where’s the differentiation online?”

Only into her second season, Holloway is proud to also showcase Sarah’s Bag, with Second Day and Utzon coming on shortly.

“It’s an instinct for me,” she says of selecting merchandise to sell. “You just know it. It’s a feeling. It’s like, I have to have this. I’ve never seen anything like it in the world. I need to know more about this brand.”


Photo credit: Laura Layera

When it comes to the inspiration behind Hawkes’ work, it is isn’t fellow designers from whom she gets her visions – but rather the environment in which she is surrounded.

“I love architecture and I love art,” Hawkes, who made a rare trip to Los Angeles from her home in Italy, explains to skyelyfe. “I love art history and quality products – things that are made at the turn of the century. I have visual references and I’m inspired by quality and longevity – timelessness, purity, pure form, something that’s classic but it’s a renewed classic. It’s something that’s familiar, but takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone.”

Adds Hawkes, “I’m very inspired by nature. It’s like a backbone for me – animals, plants. They’re sort of a divine creation. Everything is perfection when it comes to looking at a plant or animal. It gives me a sense of serenity.”


Photo credit: Laura Layera

But that’s certainly not to say she doesn’t admire other designers and their work.

“If you look at my closet, I have everything from Prada and Miu Miu, to Versace, to Dries Van Noten,” Hawkes says. “I’m a big Margiela fan. I’m wearing Christopher Kane today. I think when I look at something anyone else does, it has to ring true to me. When I buy other designers’ clothing or furniture or lamps, it inspires my life as a whole. But the inspiration is not direct, it’s digested and then goes through a process of elimination. It always feeds off and bounces through my internal compass to find what works for me with regards to the other things that are more stable in my life and my viewpoint.”

So, what’s her favorite thing about the bags?


Photo credit: Laura Layera

“I love that they bring people together,” she says with a smile of the luxury pieces, which have been featured in ElleHarper’s Bazaar and Vogue Italia – and retail on average for a little more than $1,000. “Every time I wear [one of my bags], people stop me and ask me about them. It becomes a conversation. I’m really a shy person, so having somebody ask me about something opens me up. I feel like it gives you a voice. It gives you something to talk to somebody about without being too brash or too forward. You give that person kind of the green light to come to you if they are the right person.”


Beauty Music

Meet ‘Edgy,’ Rising Pop Artist and Aspiring Fashion Designer Chris Bones

April 29, 2015
Chris Bones 5

Photo credit: Tarina Dolittle

Sure, Chris Bones is currently on the High School Nation Tour, but he wants to make one thing clear: He’s no bubblegum act.

The 17-year-old, who hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, insists to skyelyfe that his new music “will have an R&B-pop feel with an edgy, dangerous quality, and sort of like a Justin Timberlake feel, too, like where he does the breakdowns where the song can move into a totally different place and then come back to where it started.”

Although his perfectly executed covers of Nick Jonas‘ “Jealous” and Ed Sheeran‘s “Thinking Out Loud” have stayed true to the singer-songwriter style of sound, he swears you’ll hear a totally different side of him when his debut EP drops next month.

” ‘Stay wit It’ definitely has more of an urban feel,” Bones says of one of the soon-to-be-released tracks. “But then ‘2 Broken Hearts’ really combines that R&B element, but you still get that super dramatic, theatrical feel. It’s kind of a cluster and blend of everything I can soak up as an artist.”

Read on to learn about Bones’ love for fashion, his unique hobby and what he says he’ll definitely avoid if he hits it big:

skyelyfe: What has been the response to your Nick Jonas and Ed Sheeran covers?

Chris Bones: The response has been really great. Even some kids at the schools [during High School Nation Tour] have come up to me and told me they watched my covers and that I have an amazing voice. I just put out covers to show that this is me, this is who I am and this is how I’d do this song if it were my own.

SL: What has your experience been like overall on the High School Nation Tour?

CB: This was my first tour and it’s going really well so far. I’ve been excited to see the honest reaction from people. I feel like a high school crowd is probably the most honest reaction you can get. They will [express that] they love your music or really just hate it. The reaction has been great and I am super excited about that. I wasn’t nervous, but I was just curious to see how the kids like it. San Bernardino has been one of my favorite stops. The fans were so crazy and hyped. I mean, everyone’s been super excited, but by far they were the most. I gave out a signed T-shirt during my set and they screamed so loud. I was like, “Oh, my gosh!”

SL: Tell me about this fashion line you are working on.

CB: I’ve sketched some things. I have a couple of ideas. I’m terrible at sewing, so I don’t want to do sewing, but I definitely have creative ideas and when I’m on a big tour, I want to wear all my own stuff. It will definitely be simple stuff that packs a big punch – that natural quality with that dangerous edge. I’d say something like a GivenchyAlexander Wang mix with a black and white contrast. But Givenchy is where that edginess comes in. They always put the stars and the studs on their stuff. I want to call it Bones after my last name.

SL: How would you describe your own personal style?

CB: Right now I’m into black and white contrast. I really like black shirts with a big white stripe on them. I really like the longer length T-shirts that have the slits on the side. I just bought a pair of blue jeans that I’m going to rip. And I’m getting into sweatshirts a lot more. You could say I’m getting lazy and I really want to be in comfortable clothes [laughs]. I shop a lot at Topshop and Zara.

SL: What’s the one thing you want to avoid if you hit it big?

CB: Getting caught up in everyone telling me I’m amazing and having that quality that nothing can touch me. Instead, I want to always know that I worked really hard to get to where I am and remember that it really can all be taken away in an instant with one wrong step. I surround myself with the right people and I have a close group of friends and that’s going to stay the same. I built a lot on loyalty, especially with who I work with and stuff like that.

SL: Are there any fellow musicians who set a good example for you?

CB: There’s this band that I’m on tour with right now called Palaye Royale. They’re super cool and their style is super crazy, but they’re super down-to-earth, too, which is cool. But as far as people I knew before this tour, London Richards is super cool. And he kind of combines fashion with pop music.

SL: What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

CB: I fly airplanes. I’m a student pilot. Something about flying and being in control of the plane once you’re up in the air is really relaxing. I know it’s probably not the safest thing, but sometimes my mind will drift and I’ll just relax.


Beauty Food

St. Patrick’s Day Is Over, But Here Are 4 Fun Ways to Continue Incorporating Green Into Your Agenda!

March 17, 2015

With this year’s St. Patrick’s Day in the past, there’s no need to worry about being pinched for not wearing green, but the festive shade certainly brings a fun flare to life all through spring. So for those who want to take the color the extra mile, here are some fun ways to incorporate green into your day!


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The Chalkboard was so on point with their lengthy list of avocado toast variations to try. From a quinoa-edamame combo, to bee pollen with shredded carrots, the combinations are seemingly limitless! Avocado combined with anything is a 365-day-a-year delight!


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Juicing is the quickest way to get your necessary nutrients intake for the day, but being springtime and all, this is the perfect opportunity to make sure you don’t skip those greens! In case you need some added encouragement, Clover Juice launched a new flavor, Green Citrus, that was previously unnamed until St. Patty’s Day. The latest addition consists of spinach, kale, ginger, orange, fennel, pineapple, lemon and even dandelion!

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Green eggs & ham: not a typical dish we think about regularly, but hey, this season may be an opportunity to try the Dr. Seuss favorite. According to LA Weekly, Santa Monica’s Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe is one mean green eggs and ham-making machine! And it sounds like the folks on Foursquare agree! Bon appetit!


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With spring making its presence official on Friday, those new light green nail shades you’ve been holding out on because of last week’s rain will finally have some good use! Harper’s Bazaar calls Givenchy‘s Seafoam Green color one of its best nail polish shades for spring 2015. Meanwhile, Seventeen opts for mints and jewel tones, explaining, “Green feels fresh and fun, especially for warmer weather.” In particular, the mag suggests Ciate London‘s Pistach-Ooh-La-La, OPI‘s My Gecko Does Tricks and Butter London‘s Sloane Ranger.

Have a nifty St. Patty’s idea that wasn’t covered here? Let me know in the comments!