Most fashionable Best of the Beach winner gather at Shade

Amanda Uprichard

Plunging V ruffle silk halter dress by Amanda Uprichard $193. Available at Katwalk. Ruby zoisite necklace on 14k gold fill chain by Colleen Berg $300. Available at Colleen Berg Jewelry. Champagne quartz reverse chandelier earrings on 14k gold fill wire and chain by Colleen Berg $95. Colleen Berg Jewelry. Hair by A/R Salon.

Photos by David D’Angelo
Hermosa Beach photographer David D’Angelo gathered our most fashionable BOB winners at Shade, this year’s returning Best Hotel winner, to show off why they are so popular. Voters showed us that when it comes to style, there are a few people and places they trust year after year.

Arnil Pabalan and Rodilyn Wooldridge from AR Salon proved again to be the best hair stylists on the beach. When it comes to bling, Colleen Berg’s unique, personalized designs again rang true with our readers. And voters once again recognized Spyder’s hip beach fashions, claiming this store as the top spot for men’s clothing. Readers did leave room for one newcomer, Manhattan Beach’s Katwalk, naming this trendy boutique Best Women’s Clothing Store.

When it comes to what is the Best of the Beach fashion, both style and loyalty endure.

Best Jewelry Store: Colleen Berg Jewelry

Logan cropped jacket by BB Dakota $73. Available at Katwalk. Racer back Sequin Tank by Eight Sixty $94. Available at Katwalk. Destroyed skinny jean by Divine Rights of Denim $66. Available at Katwalk Coin pearl bracelets by Colleen Berg $70. Available at Colleen Berg Jewelry. Tourmaline ring by Colleen Berg $100. Available at Colleen Berg Jewelry. Hair by A/R Salon. At the Shade Hotel

Colleen Berg puts emotion into her jewelry. Each piece she designs — including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, charms, cufflinks and pendants — has something memorable imprinted into it. Babies’ fingerprints, signatures from old letters, and even puppy paw prints make each Colleen Berg jewelry piece unique and personal. In addition to her “thumbprint” line, Berg also designs a regular fashion line of jeweled accessories.

“My jewelry is about celebrating everyone you love,” Berg said. “People who have passed away, people who are still with you. It’s also about capturing moments in time.”

Her designs have been featured in InStyle and Cat Fancy Magazines, KTLA, and Fox News’ Good Day L.A. Berg is also the official designer for the L.A. Kings Wives Club, for whom she creates necklaces with team colors.

Berg opened her Hermosa Beach store in 2001 and was inspired to create her personalized jewelry after her brother passed away.

“I had the idea of immortalizing his thumbprint for his children’s sake,” Berg said. Since then Berg has worked with thousands of families in the South Bay and beyond to create her meaningful jewelry.

Colleen Berg: 1312 Pacific Coast Hwy., HB

(310) 376-8518

Runner-up: Seymour Jewelers, 1212 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 379-5401

Best Women’s Hair Salon: A/R Salon

Madison ruffle lace dress by BB Dakota $99. Available at Katwalk. Coin pearl and silver 3-strand necklace by Colleen Berg $300. Available at Colleen Berg Jewelry. Coin pearl 6-strand bracelet $225. Available at Colleen Berg Jewelry Hair by A/R Salon. At the Shade Hotel

Clients come all the way from throughout Southern California to have their hair cut and colored by Rodilyn Wooldridge, stylist and co-owner of A/R Salon in Hermosa Beach. But our readers in the South Bay are lucky enough to be right around the corner. Wooldridge sees her clients, whether near or far, as more than just customers.

“The difference here is that we’re really good friends with our clients,” Wooldridge said. “It’s about more than just cutting hair.”

Wooldridge graduated from Flavios Beauty School in Carson, CA in 1988 and has been styling South Bay heads of hair ever since. In 1999, she opened AR Salon with her brother, Arnil Pabalan.

A/R specializes in hair cuts for women, men, and children. They also offer Schwarzkopf haircolor technique, formal styling, and the CHI Transformation System. The Brazilian Blowout, a semi-permanent hair-straightening treatment, is one of the salon’s most popular services since it leaves hair silky smooth without the use of harsh chemicals. It’s also offered at about half the price of other salons, according to Wooldridge, which makes A/R not only the best, but also affordable.

A/R Salon: 1046 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 374-4896

Runner-up: Arnil Pablana at AR Salon, 1046 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 374-4896

Best Men’s Clothing Store: Spyder Surf

Woven flannel shirt by Spyder $47.99. Available at Spyder Surf. Bootlicked bootleg jeans by Insight $72. Available at Spyder Surf. Weapon 86 black high-top skate shoe by Converse $80. Available at Spyder Surf. Hair by A/R Salon.

Sandals. Board shorts. T-shirts. Shoes. The staple of men’s beach cities apparel is captured best by Hermosa Beach’s two Spyder Surf shops, according to our readers.

Surf culture is the driving force behind the prevailing laid back style of South Bay men. The 28-year-old company carries the sweetest array of clothing, hoodies and hats, in addition to boards and other surf, skate and snow equipment.

“The products we carry make us stand out from other stores in the area,” said Gio Gulino, manager of the Hermosa Beach Pier Spyder. “We’re known for being a flagship store for a lot of smaller, unique brands.”

Brands like Insight, Ambission, locally-based Hippy Tree and Coastal City — a label created by a former Spyder manager — can all be found at the store. Shoppers can still find all the big brands too, including Billabong, Volcom, Hurley, Rip Curl, and Reef.

“Our customer service also really stands out,” Gulino added. “We try to know our customers by first name and really interact with them.”

Spyder Surf: 65 Pier Ave., HB

(310) 374-2494

2461 Pacific Coast Hwy., HB

(310) 374-8276

Runner-up: Fernando’s, 1242 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 372-7906

Best Hotel: Shade Hotel

Our readers went for luxury and beach-community style when asked to pick the best hotel from a variety of impressive hotels in the South Bay. Shade Hotel offers a relaxing respite during the day and a hip spot at which to mingle at night. Located in downtown Manhattan Beach’s cushy Metlox Center, guests don’t have very far to go for a shopping spree or a stroll on the beach.

Rooms feature two-person spa tubs, Tempur-Pedic beds, Mascioni linens, goose down duvets, balconies and “chromatherapy” lighting that can adjust from cool blue to hot red or anything in between.

The open-air Skydeck, a poolside retreat is perfect for swimsuits during the day and eveningwear after dark, is a guest favorite.

Certainly, locals love to troop to the Zinc Lounge with its distinctive wine and cocktail list, and a menu of “seasonable and reasonable” foods, presided over by executive chef Greg Hozinsky. Style magazine named Zinc one of those that “you won’t want to leave.”

The hotel has been named Best Luxury Hotel and Best Business Hotel by Citysearch, has made Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2007, and has earned praise from the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and California Home & Design.

Shade Hotel: 1221 N. Valley Drive, MB


Runner-up: Beach House Inn, 1300 The Strand, HB

(310) 324-3001

Best Men’s Hair Salon

A/R Salon

If a client asks for a hair cut that Amil Pabalan knows won’t make them look their best, he lets them know.

“I tell the truth,” Pabalan said. “By being honest, you get people to stick with you.”

While readers voted Pabalan as the best men’s stylist, A/R Salon also offers haircuts for women and children. The salon specializes in Schwarzkopf haircolor technique, formal styling, Brazilian Blowout and the CHI Transformation System.

Pabalan graduated from Flavios Beauty School in Carson in 1988. Nine years after receiving his cosmetology license, he realized his passion and talent for cutting hair and opened A/R Salon with his sister Rodilyn Wooldridge in 1999.

Pabalan and his staff undergo continual education to keep clients up-to-date on the latest styles and trends.

A/R Salon: 1046 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 374-4896

Runner-up: Floyd’s Barber Shop, 828 Pacific Coast Hwy., HB

(310) 372-3240

Best Women’s Clothing Store


After shopping at Manhattan Beach boutique Katwalk, our readers feel like models ready to work the catwalk.

The boutique carries everything from stylish dresses to the good old basics, like jeans and cute tees, as well as accessories and shoes.

“We carry trendy, up-to-the minute clothing that is affordable and fun,” owner Kat Master said.

Katwalk is located near a dozen other boutiques around the Manhattan Beach Pier, fitting into its posh surroundings without requiring customers to break the bank.

“It looks more expensive than it is,” she said. “We are a high-end boutique with affordable prices.”

In addition to carrying the latest fashions, Katwalk’s employees are happy to help their customers — whether fashionistas or fashionably challenged — put pieces together to create the perfect look.

Locals who venture out of the South Bay bubble can also shop at Katwalk’s Westwood and Santa Barbara locations. They will also make online purchases available on their website next month.

Katwalk 312 Manhattan Beach Blvd., MB

(310) 798-7399

Runner-up: BKB, 1038 Hermosa Ave., HB

(310) 376-4416

Photography: David D’Angelo/Two Stray Dogs (310) 251-7967 Art Director: Marco Ciappelli/Two Stray Dogs Set Producer: Jay Hurd/Two Stray Dogs Producer: Andrea Garst/Two Stray Dogs  Makeup: Erica Preus/Two Stray Dogs Models: Olya Milova, Jeremy Buck


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