[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from the event.]
Walking into Julianne, a new women’s clothing and accessory boutique in Montecito’s Upper Village, captures the essence of prêt-à-porter fashion today.
Attending the store’s grand opening party on July 25 was like the excitement I feel when turning the pages of a new September Vogue Magazine. As I approached the entrance, which bears no name marquee, there were high-top tables covered in white tablecloths, musician Ray Fortune playing guitar, and a grill where executive chef/owner Danny Douglas was handmaking delicious eatables— caramelized foie gras, roasted beets skewers, ahi tuna cubes and miniature Maine lobster rolls — that complemented the passed Jose Dhondt champagne.
Julianne, at 525 San Ysidro Road, is one of the newest additions to the Upper Village commercial real estate property owned by Richard Gunner. The temperature was just perfect to linger outside and look up at the mountains or to browse around the store as many of the women did. Their male partners took advantage of the comfy couches near a fireplace that resembled a seating area in someone’s home. The setup was conceptualized by Linda Chase, a Montecito resident and nationally recognized interior designer of luxury homes and commercial spaces since 1984.
Chase, whose office is in Summerland, has created the perfect elegant and sophisticated backdrop for the high-end clothing and accessories that Julianne features, including a windblown mannequin in the front window. The beautifully appointed 800-square-foot store is welcoming in its open and well-lit design and not intimidating in the least, especially for local shoppers who favor a more dressed-down look, especially during the day.
Julianne has two oversized dressing rooms that are hidden behind a wall mural, a bar cart and several hanging sections for clothing and shelves for accessories. The well-edited space is downright gorgeous! Almost nowhere in Montecito or Santa Barbara can you see a collection of designers that reads like a who’s who of fashion icons. Carolina Herrera, Balenciaga, Alia, Dries Van Noten , Jason Wu, Lanvin and a roster of dozens of designers.
Was I drooling as I looked the inventory? You bet I was! The price point is heady, but for a special occasion or for the woman who travels to Europe, New York, Los Angeles or Chicago looking for something sophisticated that they won’t see themselves coming and going in, Julianne is the store for you.
The flagship store, Julianne, named after its owner, Julianne Stark, is located in Port Washington, N.Y., where additional sizes can be drawn from. The Montecito store is being co-managed by two beautiful, friendly and fashion-savvy women, Amanda Fazio and Lauren Reynolds.
Dressed for the evening in Julianne outfits, Fazio wore a Sophie Theallet dress and turquoise suede shoes by Gianvito Rossi while Reynolds was modeling a dress by designer Mary Katrantzou and rust suede open-toe stilettos by Gianvito Rossi. Both women were great models for their understated yet unmistakably high fashion elegance.
As I mentioned in my launch column, other high-end retailers will roll out this fall, including Jenni Kayne, Henry Beguelin and Chritina Notte. American Riviera Bank and S.R. Hogue & Co. are also neighbors to Julianne and established Montecito businesses like William Laman, San Ysidro Pharmacy, Debbie’s Montecito Coffee Shop, Jennifer Sanan’s Country House Antiques, and the offices of Deanna and Randy Solakian at Coldwell Banker.
With uber-pioneer clothing retailer Wendy Foster, Upstairs at Pierre Lafond home furnishings, gourmet deli and Pierre Lafond’s Montecito Wine Bistro across San Ysidro Road, the buzz in the Upper Village should be ample — and the jockeying for parking spaces at lunchtime will be competitive, too.
Julianne, 525 San Ysidro Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Click here for more information, or call 805.969.7100.
— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.