2015, what a year. My blog will be a year old next April (I’ve been blogging on Denimology for about a year now too), and proves to me that you really know what will come your way. Blogging has been something that I’ve kind of mulled over for awhile, because I love sharing ideas, but we all know how tough it is to stay motivated to keep up any new venture! I’ve met so many awesome fellow bloggers and found enough inspiration to really be able to call this my passion, and I hope to continue for years to come. Thanks to all of you for reading and sticking with me as I got this blog off the ground and kept up the momentum, and it’s been fun to see it grow. This was a trying year in other aspects of my life, as I’m sure it was for many of yours too, and blogging has helped me focus on things that I love an connect with like-minded individuals. So, Happy New Years! I hope everyone has had a great holiday season and will continue to do so one more time tonight…be safe and have a blast and I’ll see you all in 2015. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a break and letting everyone nurse their hangovers….and I’ll see you all on the 2nd! Cheers to a happy 2016!
Bookworm by Kartell Shelving
I love unique shelving! Surprisingly though, I haven’t really gotten creative with it at home…but for one of these days, I have several mental bookmarks stacked up. Why should the art on your walls be limited to anything within a frame? Why shouldn’t storage look like it’s not…storage? Kartell is one of those ingenious brands who seem to have solved the “storage as art” dilemma. The brand resides in LA and was born and perfected by Israeli artist Ron Arad, who studied at the Jerusalem Art Academy from 1971 until 1973 and then at the Architectural Association in London. The Bookworm bookcase is designed to flex into any shape you desire while staying durable and functional. These shelves are available in three different lengths, in five different colors: Aluminum, Glossy White, Black, Cobalt Blue, and Wine Red.
Zodiac Paintings by Annie Clark at Minted
While I’m not much of an astrology buff (but I do collect crystals and have a slight fascination with studying chakras), I do have an undying love for the unknown and the cosmos. My sister went more into the astrology direction, and as a Virgo, I’ll read my horoscope every now and then or appreciate jewelry or anything decorative that features the Virgo design (and in case you haven’t seen it, I melted over C. Wonder’s new Zodiac designs). I do also love simple, minimalist art, and as mentioned in past reviews, elements in art that have high contrast against each other. Annie Clark is a San Francisco artist with a love for paper. She used to be a wedding invitation designer at a San Francisco boutique and built up her artistic career from there. Minted, an online marketplace where independent artists can come together, gain exposure and grow their businesses, features some of Annie’s artwork, including these pretty foil stamped Zodiac prints for your walls.
Winter Jewel Tones
A popular color trend for the Fall season was jewel tones. I think that’s pretty self explanatory in itself…but it’s probably up there at the very top of all my favorite trends I’ve seen come and go. I’m not one to follow trends, I just wear what I like…but it’s interesting to see them come and go and I definitely get ideas from them rather than poo-pooing them aside. I’ve always been into high contrast looks, with complimentary colors, opposing tones and variances in brightness to round out a look. I had these shots taken quickly outside of work one day, as I decided to revisit my Agave Ava Legging in Midnight Stretch that I reviewed a little while ago. These beautiful leggings are definitely of the denim kind, and have a vibrant, rich blue that makes me fear ever having to throw them in the wash…but they are super comfortable and fun to style. I love purple and red together, but this time I went with more of an adobe brown to go with a purple cami, and some new moto boots I found off Beyond The Rack recently. They’ve finally come into use as California’s finally gotten a bit cooler and we’ve been getting some good rain! I’m crossing my fingers it continues! I used a light blue scarf to top off the look because I love the contrasting pop it gives to everything!
Jeans That Protect Your Identity by BetaBrand
Identity theft. Quite a hot button topic nowadays, with more than 10 million identities digitally stolen every year (source). Not long ago I posted about Articulate, a new line of clutches and handbags that can protect your cards and precious information from RFID scanners. Now, I’m delighted to say, we have jeans coming along to do the same thing. It was only a matter of time, I guess, considering how creative the denim industry has become! Ready Active jeans by BetaBrand designer Steven B. Wheeler have teamed up with internet security top dog Norton to create special RFID blocking fabric which lines the back and front pockets of each jean. It appears these are only for men at this point, and it probably makes more sense anyway since we women carry all of our essentials in purses (our jeans are usually too fitted for most items to begin with) but who knows what will happen after this project is completely funded! For now, these jeans are available for $151.20 in the last few days of funding before they bump up to $168! All jeans are made in San Francisco, are slightly stretchy at 88% cotton, 10% poly, 2% spandex and will ship in February.
But that’s not all…BetaBrand also has the Work-It Blazer, also protected by Norton, which features a removable hood, stretchy performance knit, and an RFID blocking front pocket.
Watches at Shoppe by Scoutmob
I love my daily newsletters from Shoppe by Scoutmob, as my regular dose of uniquely authentic independently crafted goods. They seem to really pop as a great source of quality leather items, from belts to wallets to bags, cardholders, holsters and even beer growler carriers and wrapped flasks. I just love how untreated and raw all of the leather goods look, which really adds to the authentic artisan touch that they have. I was going to write a general post about these great gift ideas but my attention focused more on the beautiful, simplistic watches offered. Most are for men, and I saw three for women, but really most look pretty unisex, depending on your tastes. The best part though? The prices. I didn’t see any watches over $70 or so, which makes me want to snag one up for myself!
It’s our humble belief that by surrounding ourselves with the authentic, the unique and the curious, our lives are more awesome. We celebrate the independent makers by seeking out their inspired goods and crafted experiences, providing meaningful ways for our users to connect for themselves. “
All of these watches are hand-constructed by Rhythm Leather with some pretty impressive leather, like the Women’s Wrap Watch which is made of bison leather. Many are made with vegetable-tanned leather. You can also choose your correct size by the half inch.
I am a big fan of wrap watches (La Mer being my usual choice) and minimal designs with faces that aren’t too bulky. I think of all of these, I’d have to choose the Sunbird watch, which is only $42! All the pretty colors it comes in makes it definite eye candy, too…and you can’t hold me back from supporting the individual artists out there.
Click on any of the individual links above for any of the Shoppe by Scoutmob watches or peruse their entire leather goods collection here.
Pre Fall 2015 Prabal Gurung at Moda Operandi
I don’t usually dabble with the high couture stuff…for one thing, I certainly am not as knowledgeable of it as I am with contemporary fashion and my main focus, denim, and for another I know it’s way out of reach for most of us. I probably won’t even think of attempting to cover Fashion Week anytime soon. However, I still do enjoy photos and videos from high end runway shows and collections due to the artistry of it all! I never understood how so many take it so literally, complaining about price or the idea of anyone walking down the street in any of the exaggerated pieces often seen in high fashion shows. But it’s art. And I admire it happily. It doesn’t have to be your style to appreciate the creativity put into it, right? Prabal Gurung is one of those brands that struck me awhile back due to their bright colors and bold, eye catching designs. Gurung is from Singapore but raised in Nepal, and moved to New York for studies at Parsons The New School for Design after beginning his design career in New Delhi. After that, he designed with Cynthia Rowley for two years, became design director at Bill Blass for five years, then started Prabal Gurung in February 2009. I remember seeing many blogs highlighting it as a promising up and coming brand to watch, and they are still going strong! Gurung went on to become a favorite for celebrities everywhere, including the First Lady and The Duchess of Cambridge, launched a Target collection, and won numerous awards and honors. Gurung will launch footwear next year, and is working with M.A.C. cosmetics this year! That was a fun little research project for me…
This pre-Fall 2015 trunk show at Moda Operandi is open until December 29th at 10am EST, and all styles are available for pre-order. Gurung describes this collection as “Something opulent with something stark.” As for the inspiration…”Korean artist Lee Ufan’s exhibition at Versalles–a striking juxtaposition of industrial elements against the palatial backdrop–inspires streamlined pieces in elaborate textures and graphic prints.”
Peruse/admire/shop/drool over the whole collection here before the trunk show ends December 29 at 10am EST.
Ethical Apparel by the Granddaughter of Roald Dahl
Most children of the ’90s remember the beloved author Roald Dahl…how could I forget? The name brings back sweet memories of staying up late on school nights ducked under my covers reading his work with a flashlight, while trying not to wake up my sister who shared the room with me. His creative legacy continues with his granddaughter Phoebe Dahl, who’s taken on a different route in the apparel market. However, Phoebe isn’t just creating another clothing line, and this is one of the reasons I’m excited to share this. Her brand, Faircloth & Supply, was launched in 2013 and focuses on “seasonless,” sustainable, handmade women’s and kid’s apparel that benefits girls in Nepal, giving them a chance at a good education with school uniforms, supplies and a scholarship for one year. The brand is based on one textile, linen (“a fabric that can lead many lives and tell many stories”), and every garment “will retain their elegant beauty and undeniable charm over time.”
One other notable fact is that Phoebe’s cousin, Sophie Dahl, has modeled in campaigns for for Versace and Alexander McQueen. Phoebe’s mother is her biggest fan, promoting her new business wherever she goes, as much as she can (source). How couldn’t you, with such an amazing cause?
Our inspiration has always been found fabric, heritage textiles, and antique treasures, such as French linens and old Japanese Indigo dyed utilitarian wear. Through this inspiration we concoct a creation that embodies grace, elegance and comfort. All of our pieces feel soft and worn. To be thrown together with anything in your closet to create a beautiful yet functional effortlessly styled ensemble. We pride ourselves on producing quintessential pieces that we hope will live, love, and travel with you.”
Dahl introduced dead-stock cotton, which basically just means it’s recycled, into her new Winter collection, and uses this along with the linen. She focuses on designs that are a bit unconventional…loose-fitting with drop crotches, oversized tunics and dresses and even bomber jackets. Dahl says, “I wanted to play with shapes that wouldn’t normally be made out of linen” (source). Faircloth & Supply also includes a kid’s line, with clothing hand-picked straight from Nepali markets.
For those who aren’t interested in expanding their closets, Faircloth amp; Supply offers straight donation amounts of $12, $25, $50 or $100 for anything from buying school uniforms for a Nepali girl to providing micro business loan to help girls start businesses making uniforms. Good deeds making a full circle. Phoebe was originally inspired after a trip to Nepal and witnessing the horrible conditions there, and realized it would take more than just trying to help from the outside. She says, “their motto is the locals know more about the social issues than we do, so instead of going in and trying to fix all of their problems, they find the people who can tell us how we help” (source).
Faircloth & Supply has already made a huge difference in donating uniforms and supplies for Nepali girls to attend school. Phoebe states, “We’ve donated upward of 900, almost 1,000 so far. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think to send a girl to school. It’s as much as if someone were to forfeit going out to lunch one day a week.” (source). I am thrilled to hear about Dahl’s legacy to impacting the lives of kids around the world being passed on like this, and I for one feel inspired to go pick up one of his books and read it from cover to cover, just one more time.
The Kuu Lamp by Kerstin Sylwan & Jenny Stefansdotter
Sometimes the simplest designs are the hardest to find…and, to design. Even in web development and the graphic design world, which I primarily reside in, minimalism is a heck of a lot tougher than it looks. The designer’s mind is often a very, very colorful one that’s tough to tone down, so it takes a special kind of skill to keep a project simple by focusing only on the precise ideas needed to keep it that way. To me, it seems these simple items are even harder to find sometimes, as the market is flooded with a bazillion examples of artists all trying to outdo each other and sometimes, even trying too hard to be different. The more this goes on, the more I am attracted to the simple things that pop up from time to time. I like solids over patterns, colorblocking over ornate designs, just big and bold and modern. I also love creative repurposing, and anything that keeps unnecessary junk out of our landfills. I have been enjoying newsletters from Hem, which seems to have a way of making home decor easy. I always like interesting lighting, and a recent newsletter led me to artists Kerstin Sylwan & Jenny Stefansdotter and their Kuu Lamps.
Bluer Denim and Leather
Bluer is one of those few genuine American denim brands that also stands by their work. I reviewed them not long ago and I have become a fast fan! For this post I am wearing the Matchstick in Soul Mate Rinse, but I’ve also reviewed the Slim Skinny High Rise in Soul Mate Medium and also a chambray shirt from the brand and I can’t get enough. The brand was started in 2013 by Agave‘s Jeff Shafer as a Kickstarter campaign aiming to bring 100% authentic, American ringspun denim to the market. The jeans are designed in Portland and milled at the Cone Mills White Oak facility in North Carolina with cotton grown in Georgia. They also offer several selvedge and raw styles, and most of the standard jeans run for under $100! Each jean has a 14-day return policy and a one year warranty. I recently took a re-liking to the Matchstick in Soul Mate Rinse and have been wearing them more often in between other reviews to see how well they break in! I’m normally not much of a fan of rinse washes with no fading or whiskering or any definition to them, but the quality of these jeans, both in appearance and quality, keeps me coming back to them over and over. I had these images shot on a lunch outing with my hubby, his dad, and some of his friends as we often do on Fridays! I’m wearing a lambskin jacket I got from Victoria’s Secret years ago, booties from American Eagle Outfitters, a Mickey Mouse top from Junk Food that came from a past Hautelook sale, and my new favorite hat I found on sale at a small local boutique.