Ladies We Love: Amanda Thomas Designs Daring Jewelry With Luv

Amanda Thomas designs jewelry for the daring girl who loves accessorizing as much as she does — whether it be a singular signature piece or never-ending stacks of bracelets and rings. Luv AJ, Thomas’ dramatic collection, has hints of feminine subtlety wrapped in the illusion of fire and brimstone. It goes without saying that each piece is a definite head-turning addition to any closet.

And at the young age of 23, Amanda’s designs have already garnered a tremendous amount of attention from celebrities like Solange Knowles, Ashely Tisdale and the “coolest of cool” and ever-controversial, Lady Gaga.

We caught up with the super sweet adornment architect at Lucky Shops LA where Amanda filled us in on her perfect Girls Night Out, her “Judas” moment, and the art of piling it on. Read the rest of the interview and catch a peek of Luv AJ’s hazy and romantic Spring/Summer Lookbook after the jump!

How long have you been designing jewelry? Where does the name of your line come from?

Well, my name is Amanda Jane and when I was a little girl I used to sign everything “Luv, AJ” so when it came to finding a business name, it was the first thing that popped into my head. I started designing when I was 15 actually… probably around my senior year of high school, and I have officially been doing it full-time since May of 2010, when I graduated college.

Tell me about your inspiration process when designing.

Well, first and foremost, it’s the materials — I love sourcing crystals and stones and figuring out ways I can tarnish or plate them. It’s really all about how far I can push the materials. I’m drawn to vintage jewelry, so that’s where I get a lot of ideas for silhouettes and different chains and so on. I like everything to look somewhat worn and torn, like someone else has already been wearing it for 40 years.

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Trend Spotting: These Are Not Your Mom’s Pastels

With Easter around the corner, there are more fashionable ways to celebrate than by simply painting your nails with Essie pastels. Stars like Whitney Port, Leann Rimes, and Cameron Diaz show us they’re ready for spring (and Easter brunch) with pastel skinny jeans.  Think of them like the subdued, slightly more wearable version of bright skinnies. Check out some of our favorites over on SheFinds.com!

And be sure to impress your friends with your own taste of Easter with our cocktail of the month — the Jelly Beani Teani — because every girl loves a yummy martini that matches her favorite pair of jeans!

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Ke$ha Sing-Talks Her Way Into New York City’s Heart

Wednesday night in New York City, Ke$ha took the stage at Roseland Ballroom and whether or not you are completely sold on her often parodied sing-talk genre, her live performance is not one to be argued with.

The HPNOTIQ crew was in the house as the loveably clumsy electro-popper set off the night surrounded by large-scale diamonds of bright lights and sunglasses shining with neon green.

It being the first time we’ve checked out the dollar-sign embellished singer, we weren’t sure what to expect on this aptly named “Get Sleazy” tour… but Ke$ha delivered her usual almost slapstick version of a Britney Spears concert with stride.

Between rowdy shenanigans — like trying to pants her guitarist, pulling a fan on stage to only then strap him to a chair while ultimately “playing” with a guy dressed in costume as, well, his nether parts — and belting lyrics about boozing and sex, Ke$ha has definitely defined and embraced her niche market. And it would be an understatement to say that we had a blast!

And as if we couldn’t ask for anymore, the performance was topped off with confetti, the smashing of a piñata and a cover of The Beastie Boy’s “You Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party)!” which Ke$ha surely does everyday. It’s definitely safe to say that our girl Lives Louder!

Check out photos from the show below and let us know what you think about Ke$ha’s on-stage antics…

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HPNOTIQ Hotspot: The Roxy, A Girls Night Out on Rock ‘N Roll’s Big Street

Los Angeles may be synonymous with glitz and glam, which we know first hand from all of our Girls Nights Out while we were in town for Lucky Shops LA, but the City of Angels also has a hefty dose of Rock ‘N Roll — and no other place embodies that spirit better than The Roxy.

We got a chance to catch up with The Roxy’s social media rockstar, Tonya Cooke, to let us in on some of the appeal of “Rock ‘N Roll’s big street,” as well as talk about the new HPNOTIQ Bachelorette Party packages available at the club.

Tell me a little bit about the history of The Roxy and what makes it a Los Angeles staple?

The Roxy has been around since 1973 and it has housed some of the biggest musicians you’ve ever heard of. Artists would come here in the 70s and do week long residencies, so you’d have four nights with Neil Young or four nights with Bruce Springsteen and Elton John — all of these really huge acts at the top of their game, who would come and stay here for a week so people could see them four nights in a row if they wanted.

The Roxy is a really cool place because it has all these gigantic names associated with it but it still has a small venue setting. So you’re going to run into these crazy acts that would never play at a venue like this anywhere else but they opt to play here at The Roxy.

What makes The Roxy a great Girls Night Out destination?

All the hot guys that are going to show up! [laughs] I mean, it’s a good Girls Night Out destination because you’re on the Sunset Strip, around all of this Rock ‘N Roll history and there’s all of these rockstars left and right. You’re gonna see everybody hanging out at the Rainbow that’s in your favorite band and then you make your way in here and you can cozy up in a booth, see some great music and have a great night out on Rock ‘N Roll’s big street.

Describe the way The Roxy has been able to bring HPNOTIQ’s bachelorette and birthday packages, a traditionally girlie activity, into a space that is all about Rock ‘N Roll.

Well, the fact that you can get all froofy and wear boas is totally Rock ‘N Roll. There’s all different levels to the Rock ‘N Roll mentality and you can bring that into this space and still be really girly and celebrate your bachelorette or birthday party in this setting. And this is also a really great alternative to the usual strip club scenarion — it’s the party you wanna have without the raunchy. It’s really an experience that’s more special than just heading out to a bar because you can enjoy your favorite band, get all your girl’s together and have your own private booth in the middle of this historic venue.

Now we know what makes The Roxy special — what is On The Rox and how are the two spaces different?

Well, down here is where most of the big concerts are held and upstairs at On The Rox is a more intimate space with a bar and a small stage where we also have shows… but it’s more of our, um, VIP lounge.

So if you find yourself on Sunset Blvd., be sure to stop in for HPNOTIQ’s weekly party with Houndstooth Radio!

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Cover Watch: Shopping in Memphis with Ginnifer Goodwin

Ginnifer Goodwin goes back to her roots in her May cover issue of Lucky Magazine, taking us on a shopping tour of her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee with her younger sister, Melissa — who Ginnifer surprised with a HPNOTIQ bachelorette party in Las Vegas back in September.

From her favorite hometown boutique, Isabella, to “the best chocolates in the States,” shared their go-to shops in with readers, as well as how she deals with the horrors of shopping that all women deal with.

“I’m three different sizes,” said Goodwin, gesturing to her tiny waist, narrow shoulders and what she calls her “womanly” hips. “I buy things that are big and tailor them down… Things look better when I embrace my body.”

And if you want to snag the curvy Something Borrowed actress’s Vera Wang cover look, head on over to Lucky to enter for a chance to win… and be sure to check out photos from this past weekend’s Lucky Shops LA over on the HPNOTIQ Facebook page.

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Ban The Bland with Patricia Field and Win A Trip To Fashion Week

Woman have always had choices to express themselves — from their outfits, hair color, shoes, purses, cell phones, manicures, and more! — so why are we still settling for the boring and institutional look of feminine care? Well now the wait is over as U by Kotex partners with fashion visionary Patricia Field to give women the chance to have a voice when it comes to the one product we’ll pretty much always be committed to buying.

“At this point in my career, I am thrilled to have the chance to speak with young women and bring design to the bland feminine care category through this partnership with U by Kotex,” said Patricia Field, an Academy Award-nominated, two-time Emmy Award-winning stylist whose fashion career spans 45 years and who is best known for her TV and film work, including Sex and the CityUgly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada. “I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity come to life in the design contest and final products.”

In addition to introducing color and design variety on pads and liners for the first time ever this month, U by Kotex is inviting women to share their inspiration and creativity by designing a pad, accessory or inspiration board at www.BantheBland.com for a chance to work with Patricia to design a new product for 2012 and attend Fashion Week in NYC. For everyone who submits or likes a design at BantheBland.com, $1 will be donated to Girls For A Change—a national non-profit organization that empowers girls to create and lead social change within their communities.

Now we can Live Louder to the very core, so get inspired and you could be rocking a personally designed carrying tin to match your favorite cocktail!

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The Fun and Flirty Frocks of Yumi Kim

Of all the amazing designers we saw at Lucky Shops LA, one room in particular just spoke to us — with floor to ceiling racks of aqua blue, it was love at first sight with Yumi Kim.

These fun and flirty frocks are perfect for Spring and have been seen on the likes of celebrities such as Lauren Conrad, Tinsley Mortimer, Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian.

HPNOTIQ got a chance to catch up with Kim Phan, the designer behind New York City’s bright and spunky line, about how bright colors and patterns are sure to turn heads, why blue looks great on everybody and how every Manhattan girl has her own Sex in the City crew.

What is the inspiration behind this collection?

The inspiration behind the collectio is really that I always work with a lot of bold colors and vibrant prints. And I think the reason why I really like working with those things is that I really believe that when people wear something such as florals and really vibrant colors, your mood is affected by it so with my pieces, even if it’s a gloomy day you can put on a nice bold shirt and walk out the door and be like, you know what, I feel pretty. Even though it’s ugly outside, you can still feel pretty and automatically set the tone for the day.

How would you describe the Yumi Kim girl? Who is she?

See, the thing that’s really cool about the Yumi Kim girl is that because we’re based in New York, she already has that Downtown cool, vintage-inspired look. She’ll rock a pair of vintage boots with one of my frocks, and then you can see an Uptown girl rocking it in a completely different way — but it works. That’s the thing about our brand, everything is very versatile where you can dress it up or dress it down, it’s more about your own personal style.

When it comes to fashion, do you think accessories are a big deal?

Honestly, I don’t think accessories are that big of a deal and the reason why is because my prints and styles and colors speak for themselves. A lot of times I see a girl in flip flops come into my store, or a girl in pumps, and ultimately it’s the girl who carries the dress and not what she pairs with it. I’ve always been a firm believer that you wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you and with Yumi Kim, the dress will get you noticed.

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Robyn Switches It Up With Secret Show In Los Angeles

Swedish pop princess Robyn may be having the busiest week ever — kicking off a slew of Los Angeles area shows at Logo’s NewNowNext Awards this past Thursday night, then heading south for the venerable Coachella Music Festival this upcoming weekend, peppered with a pit stop at Las Vegas’ newest addition, the Cosmopolitan.

Although we were busy at the Lucky Shops VIP event the night of the network’s fourth annual installment of the awards show, the HPNOTIQ crew was fortunate to catch Robyn the following night at a secret party hosted by one of LA’s hottest radio stations, and the first to play Robyn on the airwaves in the City of Angels — 97.1 Amp Radio!

As a part of a series of Switch Parties hosted by the radio station (which was blasting on our rental car’s speakers all weekend, by the way), Robyn took to the stage at West Hollywood’s hottest gay nightclub, The Factory, to play a short set of her powerfully engaging songs.

Packed to the brim with enthusiastic fans, as well as buff go-go boys in tighty whiteys, the room went absolutely wild when the first baseline dropped and our pearly haired diva walked onto the stage, commencing the short set with “Fembot.”

And although Robyn exudes a ridiculous amount of ardor on stage, we’ll have to admit that the brevity of the performance — only four songs total — was a bit of a disappointment. Yet Robyn’s incredibly energetic presentation and enigmatic fierceness has us singing forgive and forget. And with the whirl of confetti rain during “Hang With Me,” her literal “spinning around in circles” like a dizzy fairy for “Dancing On My Own” and just her overall support of the gay community, how could we not?

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Last Night’s Party: Lucky Shops LA Kicks Off With Celebrity Packed VIP Night

Last night in Los Angeles, Lucky Magazine hosted the kick off VIP event for their first annual Lucky Shops LA — turning Siren Studios into the ultimate shopper’s paradise.

With dozens of designers including Rebecca Minkoff, Wren, Botkier, Cosabella and Theory marked down up to 70% off, LA’s fashion elite got first picks at the three day, tri-level shopping event.

HPNOTIQ served up signature cocktails like the Blue Breeze, Roq Candy Martini and Bubbles ‘N Blue to guests as they packed their shopping bags or lounged on the amazing rooftop.

The Hollywood Candy Girls were on deck doling out yummy treats from the HPNOTIQ custom candy station while celebs such as Mandy Moore, Whitney Port, Rashida Jones, Michelle Tratchenberg and the lovely Jenna Dewan (pictured here) roamed through outposts from some of our favorite designers.

And since every HPNOTIQ girl loves to stay in the know, keep a lookout on our blog for interviews from designers such as Yumi Kim, Luv AJ and Lauren Wolf, as well as Spring styling tips from Baby Phat and amazing shoe line Pour La Victoire. And speaking of shoes, be sure to sign up for fellow sponsor Hautelook’s newest venture, Sole Society — the chic new address for the shoe obsessed!

Lucky Shops LA’s First Dibbs Friday is open to the public today from 12-6pm and again tomorrow at 3-5pm for a Saturday Shop-a-Thon. Get your tickets here and be sure to follow HPNOTIQ and LuckyShopsLA on Twitter for up to the minute updates on sale items, Spring trends and a view of the Hollywood sign from our rooftop bar.

In November, Lucky Shops returns to New York City for the 9th year running and HPNOTIQ will be there to quench the thirst and sweet tooths of our favorite east coast fashionistas as well! Check out photos from the red pink carpet and last night’s party after the jump…

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Cover Watch: Ashley Greene, Emma Stone & Freida Pinto as Glamour Covergirls

Glamour Magazine features three different covers for the month of May, showcasing Hollywood’s hottest young faces — Ashley Greene, Emma Stone and Freida Pinto. With a collection of fourteen movies released between the three of them this year, their peppy covers may not exude what kind of force they truly are.

Shot by fashion photog Matthias Vriens-McGrath, each spread pops with bright Spring and Summer colors and patterns as well as the classic whites of warmer weather. And although the photos are keeping the motif of light and bright, the actresses delve into serious issues concerning their careers within the pages of the magazine.

Ashley Greene, who is best recognized as Twilight‘s Alice Cullen, is sure to let Glamour’s readers know that she’s more than just one character and hopes to expand her image with taking on very different roles in the future… even if she has to wait.

“It is difficult because people look at you as that character. I want to play a role of a 24-year-old woman, not 17-year-old girls. So I have picked a couple of films like Butter to show that. And it’s perfectly fine not to do anything for a year if I don’t find the right thing,” says Greene.

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