By Claudia Koerner
Fans of Lauren Conrad flocked to Laguna Beach Books on Saturday afternoon as the reality star they watched grow up returned to her hometown as an accomplished author and designer.
Conrad signed her latest novel, "Sugar and Spice," and "Lauren Conrad Style" for about 200 people. Though Conrad now spends most of her time in L.A., she still has a home in Laguna and comes back whenever she can.
"It's a little more laid back," said Conrad, adding she misses the beaches when she's away. "Of course we have Malibu, but it's not the same."
Fans, many of them teens, came from around Orange County and beyond for the book signing. When it comes to style, Conrad said she encouraged girls to be creative and make mistakes.
"It's important to develop your personal style," she said. "When you're younger, I think it's easier to go with the crowd."
Laguna Beach High School sophomores Michelle Brown and Lindsey Lojacono said they were excited to meet Conrad, marveling that someone who had attended their school had become a celebrity.
"We took a really long time to get ready," Brown said, adding she admired Conrad's style. "It's not too high fashion. It's kind of California."
Lojacono said Conrad seemed down to earth, though she looked sophisticated.
"In the 'Laguna Beach' show, she was really casual," Lojacono said. "She took that and made it classy."
Newport Beach resident Annie Mortimer, 14, didn't watch the shows as much, but has enjoyed the behind-the-scenes feel of Conrad's L.A. Candy book series, which though fictional, are also about a girl who becomes a reality TV star.
"I feel kind of like when I read one of the books, it's like her experience in the TV shows," Mortimer said.
Sisters Michelle and Jennifer Faraone began watching "Laguna Beach" around the time they moved to Orange County.
"We'd watch the show and we'd know where the cool places to go were," Michelle Faraone said.
Jennifer Faraone added she admired how Conrad moved on from "Laguna Beach" to become a bigger star through other projects.
"She's made some smart business moves," she said.
credit - Claudia Koerner @ ocregister.com
~Kelli at Hills Freak
~Kelli at Hills Freak