The Cool Girl's Guide To L.A., Courtesy of Clare Vivier

Take one look at Clare Vivier's line of stylish handbags, and you just know she has impeccable taste. While L.A. has been generating more and more buzz on the fashion scene as of late, Vivier has been a constant presence out here since she founded her locally made label in 2008. "I think the quality and level of designers and brands in the city has continued to grow," she says. "I think people are paying more attention to Los Angeles... It's quite an exciting time." 

With two Clare V. stores in Los Angeles and one in New York, Vivier's fourth retail location opens today in West Hollywood. But, despite all her success, she remains humble and is quick to give credit to others. "I've grown a team of great people whom I love to be around and come to work with every day," she says. "They're so passionate about what they do, and it keeps me thriving to keep growing."

Luckily for Angelenos, the designer's innate sense of style also translates to top-notch L.A. recs. And, Clare was more than willing to dole out her local secrets. From where she finds inspiration to her favorite beauty shop, read on for Vivier's perfect picks.
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Photo: Courtesy of Aesop.
Best Shop For Beauty Products: Aesop
"I love all Aesop shops architecturally; they work with a different designer and architect on almost all of their shops, so they're always really interesting. It's always very customer-friendly — they want you to try on their products. Mostly, I just love that the products are made of natural ingredients, and they smell so delicious. The most recent thing I received from there is a travel kit called Jet Set."

Aesop; multiple locations.
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Photo: Courtesy of Marvin.
Best Service: Marvin
"I love everything about the restaurant. I love the owner, Max. He's always there and he's super friendly... He'll come and talk to you, and tell you what's new on the menu, and joke around with you. I also love the ambiance; it feels very unpretentious. The lighting is great, too. I love restaurants that are dimly lit at night... And, the food is really, really good."

Marvin, 8114 Beverly Boulevard (at North Kilkea Drive); 323-655-5553.
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Photo: Courtesy of LACMA.
Best Spot To Find Inspiration: LACMA
"My favorite exhibit of all time was probably the Calder exhibit, and the most recent one I saw was the Pierre Huyghe one. [My perfect museum-going outfit would be] a button-up shirt, cropped jeans, brogues (because I wear a lot of men's shoes), one of our fanny packs, and a cute poncho or shawl."

LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard (at South Fairfax Avenue); 323-857-6000.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cafe Stella.
Best Brunch Restaurant: Cafe Stella
"I love that it's just a neighborhood place, and we always see people we know there. It's really cozy, and you kind of feel like you're in Paris because you're in a cute, little courtyard secluded from Sunset Boulevard."

Cafe Stella, 3932 Sunset Boulevard (at Sanborn Avenue); 323-666-0265.
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Photo: Courtesy of Shutters.
Best Staycation: Shutters On The Beach
"It's so wonderful to wake up and open the French doors. It's pretty special, and you feel like you're really on vacation. I love the breakfast restaurant downstairs, and I love that they have bikes you can take to ride along the boardwalk."

Shutters On The Beach, 1 Pico Boulevard (at Ocean Way); 310-458-0030.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mary Costa.
Most Romantic Restaurant: Bestia
"Bestia is really nicely lit and kind of industrial. It's a really exciting vibe — you feel're in a big city, and I like that feeling. We always get the grilled octopus and calamari and the sausage pizza."

Bestia, 2121 East 7th Place (near North Santa Fe Avenue); 213-514-5724.
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Best Beach: Point Dume, Malibu
"It's a really family-centric beach...I go with my son, and he has fun with his friends there. In my beach bag, I'd have a sun hat, a Steven Alan beach blanket, some kind of sunscreen, and vegetables for snacks."

Point Dume, Cliffside Drive (at Birdview Avenue); 310-457-8143.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sqirl.
Best Weekday Pick-Me-Up: Sqirl
"I love their crispy rice salad and...their sorrel-pesto rice bowls. It's some of my favorite food ever. Sqirl always feels very homey and community-like. I like to go there more on weekdays than weekends because it's less crowded."

Sqirl, 720 North Virgil Avenue (near Melrose Avenue); 213-394-6526.
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Photo: Courtesy of Petit Trois/Lucy Lean.
Best Spot For Dinner: Petit Trois
"[I love] the always-wonderful wine from my friend Helen Johannesen and her band of restaurants, [including] Petit Trois. I always get the omelet or the steak frites there. The restaurant is really cute — it's very small and very intimate...I always love sitting at [the] bar. You get to watch the chefs in the kitchen, so you feel like you're just part of the scene."

Petit Trois, 718 Highland Avenue (near Melrose Avenue); 323-468-8916.

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