Empowering Women and Local Artisans with Nanette Lepore

I’m not usually all that into designer goods…unless you count premium denim and super talented yet small-scale independent artists off Etsy or elsewhere…I guess technically that’s all classified as “designer” goods since it’s all higher quality with more attention to detail and less mass-production (and much of it is sustainable). However, traditional designer goods, although beautiful to look at, aren’t always all that practical for my wallet or lifestyle. I kind of see it like high couture: beautiful art pieces to admire and ooh and ahhh at, even though I might never own a piece (but who knows, right?). I don’t abhor prices, as I know what often goes into creating most of these brands. Every now and then though, a popular designer pops out to me as something special, whether it’s the designs or ethical practices. One in particular is Nanette Lepore.

Nanette Lepore’s pieces alone are uniquely beautiful. To me, they pull inspirations from a mix of Victorian, boho, and maybe even a little bit of ’70s psychedelia with uniquely amazing patterns, cuts and fabrics. Everything is so classically gorgeous, and she makes enough dark, sultry and lacy pieces to keep my attention. I’m definitely not a fan of a lot of pastel or bright girly colors or frills! Nanette Lepore is “driven by her passion for a good party and her tenacious commitment to quality craftsmanship.” Sounds kind of like I would be if I was a designer, actually. Born in Ohio to an “eccentric modern artist and a stylishly smart schoolteacher,” Nanette spent much of her childhood traveling across the country with her parents in a VW bug. She went from sewing gowns for her neighbors out of sheets to a powerful fashion empire, after marrying a painter and continuing on with her taste for bohemian style before settling in New York City.

The mission behind Nanette’s brand consists of two important items: Empowering women and quality, ethical craftsmanship. She designs pieces for the women who is, or wants to feel “serious and feminine – strong and sexy.” She also built her empire in a male-dominated industry, so she feels it is important to pass on her knowledge in taking risks to peruse a passion to other aspiring women. She loves dressing strong gals, whether it’s for a job interview or to look fierce out on the town! As far as her commitment to local craftmanship, I’ll just leave this here:

“We craft each original design in our New York City atelier, taking care to perfect the fit and paying close attention to the slightest details. We indulge in the creative process, adding intricate embellishments and painting variations by hand. We manufacture our clothing within 5 blocks of our studio. We are a vibrant and essential piece of the urban fabric around us and we maintain an untouchable loyalty to the highly skilled artisans with whom we collaborate.”

Everything about Nanette Lepore is beautiful to me…it’s on the top of my list of favorite designer brands that don’t seem to carry around the stereotypical designer air around them. Here are some of my favorite pieces from Shopbop below!

“Nanette’s mission: To create compelling high quality product with impeccable craftsmanship for the woman who’s serious and feminine – strong and sexy.”

“We’re known for our bold colors, gorgeous prints, and feminine flair. Nanette’s design theory is simple: make something beautiful. Then add one special detail that elevates the look. Something intricate yet modern – sexy. The perfect pieces for the special moments in our lives.”

“As a woman who started her business in a male dominated industry, Nanette knows how to take a risk and pursue a passion. She’s heard from thousands of fans that say her suits were their secret weapon on a job interview or their feminine battle armor on their first day at work. She knows how to dress strong women on the rise. She’s lived it.”

As you can imagine, the empire behind Nanette Lepore is pretty huge…so here are other great items to shop if you so desire!

Visit Nanette Lepore’s website to shop or learn more about the brand here.

Hollister Releases New Performance Denim Line with INVISTA

Hollister Releases New Performance Denim Line with INVISTA

Image: Hollister

If you’re just now tuning in to my blog or the denim world, you may or may not have witnessed the fight between the athleisure and denim industries over the last few years. Leggings became a popular competitor for the much loved skinny jean, and denim brands everywhere were challenged to re-invent the jean, resulting in some pretty impressive fabric technologies with the fit, feel, and shape-keeping qualities of a pair of high quality workout leggings. Brands like American Eagle, Marc Allison, Joe’s and Hudson (just to name a handful) took it upon themselves to up their competition, partnering with INVISTA, the leading innovators of these tough yet high-stretch fabrics. In 2015, Joe’s incorporated INVISTA’s COOLMAX® fabric with their Cool-Off collection, designed to whick away moisture and keep the wearer feeling cool in warmer temperatures. Other than American Eagle, I hadn’t seen much action of this kind in the world of chain store brands aimed at teens and young adults, as these fabric technologies spanned mostly across premium brands. However, that looks like it’s starting to change!

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The L’AGENCE Margot High Rise Skinny Jean

The L'AGENCE Margot High Rise Skinny Jean - Sweater Leaning

Jeans: L’AGENCE Margot in Noir, Sweater: O’Neill (similar)
Shoes: Asos (similar), Top: Weave Me Wings top by Elven Forest

Let me let you in on a little secret: no two skinny jeans are alike! Okay, I’m sure that’s plainly obvious for those of you who are already as obsessed with denim as I am or have been reading my blog for awhile. However, sometimes it’s just really hard to convey that to someone who isn’t so well-rehearsed in denim. This also explains why it’s so hard to whittle down my huge denim collection that’s been fed by all of these great opportunities to review amazing jeans with Denimology (along with my own personal purchases)! Every time I get one to review, it’s so fascinating to me to see the difference in not only fit and wash but the fabric content and its ability to stretch, hold you in, and keep its shape. When the opportunity to review L’AGENCE popped up, I jumped at the chance, and suggested reviewing one of the popular Margot High Rise styles which I kept seeing all over bloggers on Instagram. Most of those bloggers are pretty darn svelte, so I figured it would be great to show just how the jean fits on a more curvy or athletic figure like mine.

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Stay Eco Conscious and Stylish with Tortoise Denim

Considering how dirty the denim wash process is (and how much I love denim), it gets me all high on excitement to discover new denim brands who are taking on the initiative to change that. The denim wash process (what’s done to get all those pretty broken in fades on your jeans) uses a lot of water, and oftentimes some pretty gnarly chemicals. It’s typically fairly wasteful. Brands like Patagonia, Joe’s and Parker Smith (along with several others thankfully) have all taken steps to clean up their manufacturing, and I just discovered another!

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GRLFRND Custom Denim Embroidery at Revolve

GRLFRND Custom Denim Embroidery at Revolve

Image: Revolve.

Back in June, I wrote about GRLFRND, an in-house denim brand by the popular high-end contemporary apparel retailer Revolve. I’ve shopped there for so many years before I started blogging, so it was kind of exciting to see the debut of GRLFRND! I’m still eyeing and coveting several pieces, and I’m happy to see them keep several of their most popular items and expanding on the collection rather than replacing some of the ones I’ve been drooling over for awhile.

To make the GRLFRND line even more hip, Revolve has selected three pieces to make available for customization of the embroidery type! Last August, I wrote about the rising popularity of embroidered denim, and I had noticed throughout the year that the trend was not dying down anytime soon. Denim is art after all, and half the fun is being able to customize your favorite denim items and make them all your own. Whether you do it yourself or professionally through a retailer or seamstress, it’s still a whole lot of fun. Revolve has set aside the GRLFRND Daria Jacket in You & I, Karolina Skinny in Last Dance and Cindy Shorts in Nobody Does It Better as customizable items. Each of them ooze well-worn and loved vintage appeal, so I feel adding embroidery will fit in perfectly with them and add to the yesteryear-like charm!

GRLFRND Custom Denim Embroidery at Revolve - Karolina Skinny

Image: Revolve.

GRLFRND Custom Denim Embroidery at Revolve - Cindy Short

Image: Revolve.

GRLFRND Custom Denim Embroidery at Revolve - Daria Jacket

Image: Revolve.

Since I’m a decent fan of the GRLFRND brand, I figured I’d add in some of my other favorite pieces from them for those who may not be so much into the custom aspect and more curious about what they have to offer. It was hard to narrow it down, as usual. My favorites, just like last time I wrote about GRLFRND, are the Natalia High-Rise Skinny Jeans in My Heart Belongs To Me and Candice Mid-Rise Super Stretch Skinny Jean in Love Hangover. A very close third is the gorgeous washed black Natalia High-Rise Skinny Split Jean in Hot Stuff!

Shop GRLFRND denim (both customizable and the usual collection), here!

New Winter Coats by One Teaspoon

Hello all! For those of you who celebrate, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I’m not sure how many of you follow my Facebook page, but I had mentioned taking a bit of time off to enjoy family, friends, and a few adventures. I apologize for going MIA for anyone who didn’t get the message!

Anyway, I am so happy that California is FINALLY feeling like winter again…we are getting a lot more rain already than our supposed El Niño last year. When this happens, sometimes my attention shifts away from jeans (at least just a little) and more towards cute, unique, durable jackets and boots! During the holidays, I had my eyes on all the big sales from my favorite brands (of course), and One Teaspoon was one that had my attention. I always get excited when this brand releases new items, and this time it was their new and completely awesome outerwear designs. One thing that pops out to me with One Teaspoon is their use of luxurious faux fur, sherpa and suede. These pieces are totally made for rock stars, or rock stars at heart (as I often like to say)! After all, the brand’s founder and creative director Jamie Blakey states the best description of the label came from a fan years ago: “Fantastically rebellious, sex-infused old school rock & roll glamour.”

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My New Frye Melissa Tab Riding Boots

My New Frye Melissa Tab Riding Boots - Sides Close

If you’ve been following my blog scribblings for awhile now, I’m sure you are familiar with the fact that I’m a huge fan of eBay shopping! I have nothing against retail, but if you can find the same item either new or slightly used for a much lower price, why not? I have so much fun browsing for bargains, and a lot of the normally pricey items I own I found after hours of tedious (but totally worth it) research and digging. I am also a huge believer of paying a little more for goods that are going to last you for years and years on end, rather than catering to the fast-fashion market by buying cheap items that you’ll have to replace every year anyway (and thus end up paying more in the long run along with generating unnecessary waste).

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Playful Jeans to Party In from Shopbop

Playful Jeans to Party In from Shopbop

Images: Shopbop

One of the reasons I love denim so much is because I am a creative…I am basically an artist of sorts by craft. There are so many cool pieces of denim out there beyond the traditional blue jeans, and the possibilities somehow always seem endless. I always gravitate to the most unique, colorful, creative, unusual, weird and different pieces in the denim industry, and I try to get my hands on as many as possible to make dressing up in the mornings even more fun! When it comes to a night out, I know most ladies prefer to opt for the foolproof sleek, dark-washed, leg-lengthening skinny jeans to go with their favorite pair of killer heels, but why not opt for something to set you apart from the pack, to let our your playful side? Shopbop has put together a fun collection of party-worthy denim, with patchwork, fringe, distressing, embellishments, and other fun and daring details to shake up your nightlife routine a bit.

I’m definitely digging the alice + olivia Joana Splatter Paint Skinny Jeans (paint and denim always somehow seem to go hand in hand) and the Citizens of Humanity Agnes Crop Jeans in Euclid Bleach. The BLANKNYC Two Tone Raw Hem Jeans in Sliding Doors also catches my attention as I love colorblocked styles! The Siwy Mary-Jane Jeans in Crazy Train offer a fun festival-style vibe in my eyes and I’d wear them out dancing any time as well. Also, I’m sure you all remember the beautifully distressed BLANKNYC Skinny Classique in Good Vibes which has been a very popular blogger and stylist staple all this last year, longer than any denim piece I’ve ever seen out of the brand! Here are my favorite pieces from Shopbop’s Party Denim collection!

Shop the entire Party Denim collection from Shopbop here!

Help Fight Human Trafficking with Outland Denim

Help Fight Human Trafficking with Outland Denim

My heart shines every time I see an ethical apparel brand! This is what I gravitate to, and this is what I put first and foremost above denim itself when I am looking for new posts. When I find both of them in one happy package, it’s even better! Brands that donate to charities are indeed honorable, but I’ve seen something something a bit different lately: brands working directly with those who these charities assist, themselves (and thus becoming a sort of charity as well). I recently wrote about Mitscoots, a sock brand that employs the transitioning homeless among us, and now I’ve found a denim brand that does something very similar, and also for a very important cause!

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Hanging out with Nok Nok

Hanging out with Nok Nok

Tee: Basic Who’s There tee by Nok Nok, Jacket: Cropped Puffer Jacket from American Eagle Outfitters (Similar here), Jeans: Billie Zipper Jean in Lose Your Marbles by Black Orchid, Boots: Madden Girl (Similar Here), Bag: Peace & Love Bag by Nok Nok, Necklace: Third Eye Pinecones

Being a huge fan of music, I always gravitate to apparel brands that are inspired by rock n’ roll and the like. Just a little over a year ago, you may remember me bringing up Nok Nok, a London-based denim brand that excels in hand-painted denim inspired by “vibrant subcultures mixed with the freedom, hippie vibe and nightlife from Ibiza, the Spanish island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.” Of course this caught my attention, being a DJ myself and dreaming of making the notorious party capital of Ibiza a vacation destination some day. Angel NokoNoko is the designer behind the brand Nok Nok, and he and his sister Montse are both from Ibiza. Angel is actually an electronic music DJ himself! So, as you can see, I immediately felt like I could relate to this brand.

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