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Matters of Taste

So what’s on the most-wanted list of S.D.’s stylish set? From Rancho Santa Fe to Mission Hills, we check in with three tastemakers on the trends, the look and next-level design.  

Amber Delecce-Forge

Patrick McInerney

Ian Hardwood

The Designer
Amber Delecce-Forge

Judging by the boldface names (Eva Longoria among them) wearing PilyQ swimwear, no vacation is complete without the label’s signature sexy cuts and cabana-chic resort wear. “It’s exactly what you need for vacationing on an island or right here in Del Mar,” says the brand’s co-founder and creative director, Amber Delecce-Forge, who spends long weekends in Hawaii, where she grew up. From her Carmel Valley offices, where PilyQ also produces a capsule collection for Calypso St. Barth, Delecce-Forge is working on her latest hit, which was inspired by a day at the pool. “Donning matchy suits with my 5-year-old daughter, Asha, garnered ‘what are they wearing’ double takes at the pool.” An elevated version of the mommy-and-me suits was created. So how does a brand top being picked up by Fred Segal, Harrods and Bloomingdale’s? It considers an expansion with a flagship boutique in the Dominican Republic.

The Minimalist
Patrick McInerney

When The New York Times set out to write about next-level minimalism, they knew exactly who to call. Architect Patrick McInerney is the master of invisible design, having created the flush wall outlets for Trufig, an O.C.-based company. When he’s not collaborating on concept boutiques in Shanghai or Beverly Hills manses, McInerney spends time with his wife and two children in his minimalist, cubist home in Mission Hills. Pocket doors—which hide clutter and bathrooms—abound. Even the children’s bedrooms are mod and sleek. “We call it zero sight line. Like our kitchen—everything is concealed. You don’t see the oven, you don’t see the fridge. It simplifies the interiors so those things you want to focus on are even more pronounced.” McInerney had so much fun designing the concrete-and-glass stunner, he’s on to another in the same neighborhood. “I like the topography of Mission Hills and the mixture of old and new,” he says. The Coronado native recalls his first brush with architecture at age 12, when his mother was commissioning the Del Mar firm Batter Kay to remodel her house in Solana Beach. “I asked Mike Batter about the job, and he said, ‘Don’t do it!’ I’ll never forget that.”

The Agent
Ian Hardwood

Ian Hardwood knows every grove and manse in the picturesque enclave of Rancho Santa Fe. So when The Real Housewives crew scouts the oh-so-private neighborhood or when celebs seek a second (or third) home, they tap this star real estate agent. “I know the Ranch and the backstory on just about every property listed,” says Hardwood with an I-could-tell-you-stories smile. It’s no wonder that Bravo came scouting the dapper agent—who’s more 007 in an impeccable mix of Gucci and Rag & Bone than your average suit-and-tie guy—for its S.D. spin on Million Dollar Listing. “I thought it was a joke at first! It’s so flattering.” Filming hasn’t been confirmed, but shooting would be tight with this jet-setter’s schedule. He’s recently returned from Mallorca and Punta del Este in Uruguay. Cape Town is up next. So what are the hot properties in the Ranch? “The big trend is the French farmhouse. Maybe this calls for a trip to do some on-the-ground research!”