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Isabella: Brazilian Inspired Boutique
by Andrea Ayala

 
 

A little locally-owned coffee shop at the beginning of the block makes a good cup of coffee to kick start your shopping trip or help you relax after a full day. A used bookstore across the street can provide a fantastic book to read while you enjoy your cup of coffee. The benches that line the block offer a great place to just enjoy the warm sun.

A hand-painted sign identifies the boutique, and as soon as you walk in the door, there is the refreshing feeling of knowing you are in a place that specializes in the unique. The line of skin lotion that boutique owner and designer Rosimeire Osorio-Arndt touts is made locally. Even the hand-painted tequila bottles that adorn one shelf are crafts for sale.

 

"I always say why not be soft, feminine, sexy? You're a woman, you're beautiful!" Rosimeire is not afraid to challenge the definition of femininity, encouraging her clients to embrace the softness of being a woman without compromising the confidence that we love to own. Her own designs boast a variety different "looks." Brilliant colors, bold patterns, intimate lace, and vintage throwbacks are mixed and matched to create pieces that are unique and boldly feminine.

 

Eclectic Collection of Chic

 

Isabella also carries designs from other local designers that fit in with the everyday-life inspired "eclectic collection of chic, unique fashion for the discerning woman" that Rosimeire describes as her boutique's motto. When you buy a piece at Isabella, you buy a work of art that you don't have to worry about seeing duplicated on the woman sitting across from you on the train.  

 

Rosimeiri loves her clients and appreciates their need for a flexible wardrobe that fits the lifestyles of adventurous women. "I love when people ask me, ‘can you help me?' It's about putting together an outfit. Finding apiece and building around it. A woman can walk into the dressing room and she comes out and she looks like a goddess!" Now tell me, what woman doesn't want to feel like a goddess? And I'm not talking buying your Venus razor at Wal-Mart, I'm talking satin that always feels cool on your skin, and deliciously heavy brocade; romantic lace, and breezy cotton. If fashion is art, then at Isabella, you are encouraged to be the canvas. 


"My mind is always working in every direction"


New designs come in every 3-4 weeks, so you'll never get bored of coming back. "My mind is always working in every direction," Rosimeiri says, and while the store features mostly dresses and tops, there is a great selection of accessories to complete your look.

Designer Rosimeiri Osorio-Arndt

Fotos Stevn De Lozada

That Look Models Alina Alishoev

That Look Models Elizabeth Grzejka

Fashion Writer Andrea Ayala


 

It's Just That Sexy

Even though I would hesitate to argue for its cinematic artistry, no one can deny the incredible sexiness of the scene in Mr. and Mrs. Smith where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt dance to the intoxicating strumming of a single guitar while they seduce each other in Bógota, Columbia. Angelina brought to mind a sexier version of the classy-chic that Evita Perón emblemized for the Latin American woman. Take that one step even further and you have the eclectic mix of classic feminine elegance and modern urban chic that the boutique, Isabella, offers its clientele. Watch out Angelina, this is the bay area woman and she shops at Isabella.

Isabella is located at 152 S. Murphy Street in the heart of downtown Sunnyvale. I can't help but love the location. It's so easily accessible, and especially now that everyone is looking to reduce their carbon footprint, you'll love that it's only a block away from the Caltrain station.

There is nothing ordinary about experiencing Isabella. Whether you just want to spend some time browsing or are ready for some serious shopping, Isabella is a great experience with all the comfort of online shopping at home in your fuzzy socks, but all the classiness of a high end boutique. 



The Name of the Game is Unique

 

If you want those special pieces to plan outfits around, you know you have to shop boutiques, but let's be honest, sometimes it can be an uncomfortable experience. Browsing becomes an elaborate game of dodging paid-on-commission employees who hover over as nervously and determined as I imagine the Secret Service will hover over Malia Obama on her first date. Be at ease, fellow shoppers, no need to play the dodging game here. Rosimeire bubbles with charismatic energy that makes you feel like you're shopping with a friend. Feel free to ask questions, bring her over to the dressing room for consultation, or even just small talk. If you prefer a quieter experience on your own, you don't have to worry about having to field questions while you look through the racks of fabulous bold prints and sexy lace. As every true people person knows to do, Rosimeire leaves the ball in your court to dictate your own shopping experience. 

 

 

But you buy a fabulous embroidered jacket or a swooping bohemian dress and there's the fear of looking dated come next year. Why make the effort to buy something pricier than you'd find at a department store if you're still going to look "so last season" once Vogue tells us what the new "gotta have fashions" are in their next issue?

As Rosimeire handed me various scarves to layer into a sexy top that made me wish I was dancing away at Carnaval, she chatted, "I sell the unique, a lot of one-of a kind. What I sell, it's a fashion forever. You can put it away and bring out again in one month or ten years, and you can still wear it." As I looked at the delicate beaded lace slipping sexily off my shoulder I couldn't help but agree.


Putting it all Together



There's a time for sexy, but Rosimeire also acknowledges the need for versatility that bay area women crave, "People here know fashion," she says, "but they like to be practical too."  A gorgeous layered bohemian dress, strapless and laced up the back corset-style, could be paired with a sheer scarf and strappy heels for a night out in the city, or don a pair of flip-flops and take it out to the Boardwalk. A new line of crochet-accented tank tops offer a more laid-back look.

 

 

One of my favorite collections was a new line of jewelry made with large Brazilian seed halves accented with stunning beadwork.

 

Rosimeire also designs a new line of shoes every year, and she's experimented with lingerie designs. But Rosimeire's favorite projects are kid's clothing. "I think of my daughter when I design kid's clothes," she says referring to her 10-year-old daughter, "I see some of the stuff in the department stores and I think, ‘I don't want my daughter wearing things like that.' My clothes are fun, colorful, and organic cotton."

Whether you're looking for that special piece that you build your outfit around, the accents that dress up the basics you already have in your closet, or the basics that make up every wardrobe, Isabella is for that discerning woman or girl who just wants to have a little fun. Go on, are to be your own work of art.             

That Look Models Alina Alishoev

 
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San Jose Fashion Week ™/ SJ Fashion Week ™ is a division of That Look Magazine ™.