Your New Fave L.A. Line & Snaps From The Girl Behind It (A Gift, Too!)

When we e-introduced you to the 10 indie designers you had to meet back in September, we described Grace Chon's Love, Zooey collection in a few short words: Shut. The. Front. Door. Duds. — and we meant all five of them! During a press preview, we indulged by slipping into her slimming leather-blocked pencil skirts and paisley-brocade pantsuits (what was meant to just be a mock-up "showroom" became a full-on dressing room!).
Well, after becoming so smitten with the lineup for fall, we knew we all needed to become acquainted with the actual chick churning out such finery, too. So, we hightailed it to the wilderness, east of the urban sprawl, where Ms. Chon chills and gathers her sartorial sparks. Surprisingly — and this doesn't happen that often — we found her style to be much more low-key than the girl we envisioned. However, Chon owns a bomb, breezy, eclectic look all her own, and still rocked some of her own duds — proving their versatility. She was sure to share her sweet style insights, but the benevolent babe wanted to dish out even more. We're passing along the message in tandem with our pretty slideshow: Use the code R29ROCKS on her site through December 31 and 20% will be taken off your order (this is on top of the sale, ladies!). Now, don't you want to get to know her even more?
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Why did you decide to go into fashion?
"I've always had a love for fashion, even from a young age. I don't think there were too many things I felt strongly about, but I always wanted a say in what I was wearing. I remember a specific moment in the second grade, arguing with my grandmother regarding which dress I would wear to photo day at school — ha!"

Vintage Estée Lauder Perfume-Box Necklace, Love, Zooey Button-down, J Brand Shorts, Pierre Hardy Clutch, Rolex Watch
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What was the first piece you ever designed, and what was it for?
"It was my junior year at Otis, and the project was for Nike. The direction was to develop competition swimwear for the future, combining modern technical elements with inspiration from Greek goddesses."

What music do you like listening to when you're creating?
"To be perfectly honest, I like listening to NPR when I'm sketching."
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What celebrity would you love to see wearing your designs?
"There are a lot of celebrities out there with great style, but I personally get so much more excitement and inspiration seeing how normal girls put their own creative spins on the pieces."

What sites and magazines do you read for inspiration?
"Of course, Refinery29, and then Patternity, AnOther, Russh, Indie, and Love."
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As a native Angeleno, which places in town give you that creative spark?
"I grew up in the Foothill suburbs, surrounded by hundreds of age-old pines, oaks, and mountain-peak views. Driving up Angeles Crest Highway on the long stretch of winding road helps me gather my thoughts. Oh, and Switzer Falls is amazing!"

Love, Zooey T-Shirt and Shorts, Lanvin Belt, J.Crew Button-down
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That belt you're wearing is amazing! Did you design it?
"No, actually it's Lanvin! I fell in love with all the different details. Individually, the components wouldn't normally be my thing, but when you put all them together, the juxtapositions work so beautifully!"
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What are your favorite places to shop 'til you drop and wine & dine in Lala?
"I love Lost & Found, and Gold Bug in Pasadena always curates special and unique objects. As far as restaurants, there are so many! But, there's a hidden gem that stands out for me in Montrose called Bashan. Chef Nadav Bashan got experience at Providence, Water Grill, and Michael's before opening up his eatery."

Where do you escape to for some peace and quiet?
"The beauty of living in L.A. is that you can drive in any direction, and in two hours end up by the ocean, mountains, or the desert. I have to say I probably frequent the desert most — Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms."

Vintage Straw Hat, Love, Zooey Dress and Button-down, Cartier Love Bracelet, Kalosoma Pearl and Leather Bracelet, Hermès Leather Wrap Bracelet
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What’s your number-one rule when it comes to accessorizing?
"I prefer a much more simplistic approach when it comes to accessories. Choose one item that's the focal point, and that's it!"

What other designers do you look up to?
"Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Phoebe Philo, Dion Lee, Olivier Theyskens, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Karen Walker, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough — just to name a few.

Cartier Love Bracelet, Kalosoma Pearl and Leather Bracelet, Hermès Leather Wrap Bracelet
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We're digging all of the blue hues you've been rocking. Is that one of your favorite colors right now?
"Yes, I love blue! I've always been more of a blue girl than a pink girl."

What's the story behind your shearling vest?
"I was having brunch with a few friends at Canelé in Atwater village, passed by a vintage store, and spotted it. I'm wearing it inside out!

Love, Zooey Dress, Vintage Wrangler Vest, Barton Perreira Sunglasses, Rolex Watch
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What trends are you totally vibing with right now?
"I'm loving the mixing and matching of prints as well as just wearing head-to-toe of the same print."

What trend can't you wait to see disappear?
"The pointy shoulder pad."
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How would you describe your style?
"A casual L.A. vibe with a touch of tomboy."

What is the biggest perk of your job?
"I feel extremely blessed that I can see my creative ideas come to life."