IF YOU KNEW SUZI

Although she isn’t a rock star, Suzi Roher has rocked my fashion world for the past two years.

A Toronto-based women’s belt designer for more than 24 years, the petite brunette from Canada hit Coast Village Road on June 7 with more than 60 styles at Susan Pitcher’s Dressed Boutique. And although belts don’t fly out the door on their own, there was enough action around cash registers and bustling near dressing rooms to imply they could.

Sipping on champagne and hors d’oeuvres, gazing upon rows upon rows of belts was like being a kid candy in a candy store. Many of Roher’s belts have elastic as part of the design and can be worn on the hip or waist and fit all body shapes. That versatility, in fashion speak, means that Roher’s belts can dress up or change any item you are wearing. She says her secret to success is, “Style and comfort are not created for size.”

While Roher usually carries about 10 styles at a time, she wields a total repertoire of about 60 (and she accepts custom orders). The abundance of choices stoked a feeding frenzy for customers at Dressed. The belts come in leather, Lucite, metal, wood, and are tooled, weathered, hammered, stressed, woven, fringed, engraved and beaded, and include unusual buckles for the finishing touch. Favorite picks were chain belts in different finishes and for this fall (already on order by Neiman Marcus) were soft leather, wide wrap-around sashes sans hardware and leather sashes with elastic backs and large wood buckles in brown or black.

Meanwhile, next door at Ready, another Susan Pitcher boutique, an edgier and more casual trunk show was going on, featuring the work of Southern California jewelry designer, Susan Zahedi.

Zahedi personally designs and makes all earrings, bracelets and necklaces she sells. Her pieces are made from gold, silver and South Sea pearls. She uses antique chains, ancient beads and coins as exciting complements to her handmade chains, clasps and pearl pieces.

Zahedi’s jewelry is all handmade using forging, twisting, and fusing and combines the ancient old world feeling with natural markings and contemporary clean lines.

”I like my jewelry to look worn, like it has been treasured and passed on through families and time,” Zahedi says. “This idea gives me a sense of history. Pieces can be worn alone but really make a fashion statement when mixed, stacked or layered and look great with jeans and evening wear.”

Dressed (565-1253) and Ready (565-0819) are located at 1253 Coast Village Road, suite 204 and 202, respectively. They’re open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday, 10 am to 5:30 pm, and Sunday, noon to 5 pm.

For more info visit www.dressedonline.com.

What’s in a Name?

Just ask Kim Phillips, who recently changed the name of her store from Aleda to Maison K, which she says she feels better reflects her store profile. On June 1, Phillips held a reception in honor of her second anniversary and the name change.

Phillips’s showroom is filled to the brim with treasures from all over the world that reflect her travels, taste and style. She offers a wide range of furniture and accessories from U.S. artisans, Africa, South America, Syria, Europe and Asia.

The boutique is stocked with luxurious fabrics that say “touch me”– chenille throws, robes, cashmere sweaters, textured pillows – and “wear me” – jewelry, shoes and handbags. Not to mention a generous selection of candles, scents, lighting, wood accessories, ceramics, glass and mirrors, plus smaller items for “the perfect” hostess gift or small treasure of your own.

Maison K (969-1676) is located at 1253 Coast Village Road. It is open Monday through Saturday 10 am 6 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.