I always appreciate the local artists…big brands are fun and nice and all, but what about the little guys? It is ridiculous how many extremely talented souls out there who are fighting for recognition, but competition can be bloody and gut-wrenching out there. When I started this blog, I thought I’d focus purely on my love for denim and a few of my top favorite contemporary brands, but I’ve always had an appreciation for the lesser known talents and the overall theme of this blog kind of fell into place once I realized how much I loved having at least a little power in my hands to get their names out there.
We’ve been ranting and raving a lot over at Denimology about Marc Allison…out of all the fast-growing denim brands out there, they are definitely one of the few in the front of the pack! I’ve done a couple of reviews for them and I am always aching to try out more of their luxuriously soft, durable denim that never ever stretches out and fits you like a darn glove! As a refresher, Marc Allison is a Los Angeles brand, founded in 2009 by husband-wife team Marc and Allison Flashberg. Flashberg previously accumulated 30+ years of experience working with other premium labels which definitely contributed to his new impressive brand! Marc Allison Jeans incorporates X-Fit stretch and Supima cotton for a truly impeccable fit and feel that won’t bag out or stretch. I remember these jeans quickly became a celebrity favorite because of this “T400” technology (which he developed with Invista, a global producer of polymer and fibers, to create a yarn that stretches in all directions) that offers four-way stretch with excellent comfort and recovery that moves with the body like a dream.
It’s that time of year again!! I am so excited! Usually this long weekend brings much needed R&R, shopping, the exciting feeling of hitting the bars on a Sunday night, or a party here and there. I actually enjoyed a 3-day weekend last weekend when I participated in the filming of the official video for Twisted Colossus, the brand new version of the classic wooden coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Those that know me best know that it’s not only jeans that get me moving…I am also a bit of a coaster nerd. I ran across this opportunity via a blog post from my favorite theme park blog! So what did this entail, really? Ohh, just riding this monstrosity 8 times, before it opened to the public…yeah no big deal. But yes, I’m obsessed!
So for this next three day weekend, I’m hightailing it up to one of the most popular transformational festivals, Lightning In a Bottle. I’m not much of a Coachella girl…it’s gotten a bit too commercial for my tastes and I enjoy the relaxing, nonjudgemental and inclusive atmosphere of these little alternative boutique festivals! You might remember a post I made not long ago of my favorite festival apparel vendors, and I’ll definitely be sporting some garb from some of them! Lucidity is my festival home, and now I get to experience another one. I am looking forward to seeing John Digweed, Random Rab, GOVINDA (a huge favorite), Opiuo, Soulular, Lucent Dossier Experience and so many more, as well as discovering artists I am not yet familiar with! I really wanted to see and support my two friends behind the name of TastyTreat, and the one and only Mikey Lion (founder of the hugely successful Desert Hearts festivals), all of which I’ve DJed with at their very beginnings! Unfortunately, they will be playing on Friday and I’m coming up on Saturday!
At Lucidity, I didn’t participate in as many workshops and talks as I wanted to, so I really hope to get down with those a bit more this time, especially some yoga! In my everyday life, I like tough, bootcamp style workouts or running, and yet I realize slowing down and doing some yoga might actually benefit me. A festival, to me, is a great time to familiarize myself with it, since that’s part of the point of those environments…to learn and grow! Lightning In a Bottle is going from this Thursday through Monday, but I’ll be there with my hubby enjoying our two-day weekend passes. One of these days we’ll do the full thing! Here’s a cool video that highlights the entire experience.
This totally seems like an out of place piece, but…just to stay in theme with my blog, here are the top Memorial Day sales from my favorite brands for those of you who plan to do a little shopping this weekend!
Marc Allison Jeans – 45% off Memorial Week Sale through Monday with code Denimology (via Denimology!) Black Orchid – 35% off sitewide with code MDW35 Level 99 – 30% off sitewide with code HONOR Blank NYC – 25% off sitewide with code LONGWKND through Tuesday Madewell – Extra 30% off all sale styles with code SWEET through Tuesday Courtshop – 30% off through Monday with code SUMMERJAM Pura Vida – Up to 50% off select items La Clé Jewelry – 20% off all weekend with code REDWHITEBLUE Paige – 20% off sitewide with code PaigeSummer2015 through Monday J Brand – 40% off select styles through Monday with code SALESTYLE True Religion – 50% off shorts and pants through Monday Siwy – 20% off sitewide through Monday with code SUMMERFUN Shoppe by Scoutmob – 20% off sitewide with code MEM20 through Monday Lucky Brand – 40% off new arrivals and more for a limited time prAna – 25% off select 2015 summer styles through Monday Hudson – 30%-70% off sale items all weekend 7 For All Mankind – Extra 20% off sale through Monday with code SALEX20 rag & bone – Spring Sale up to 50% off Agave – Spring & Summer Sale – 25% off through Monday with code SPRING15 James Jeans – 33% off with code JJMEMORY15 through Monday Revolve Clothing – Sale up to 75% off CURRENT/ELLIOTT – Additional 20% off all sale styles with code MD2015 through Monday Joe’s Jeans – 25% off sitewide with code HONOR through Monday Gypsy05 – 30% off sitewide with code MemorialDay15 through Tuesday
For those who might have been following my reviews, you can tell I love skinnies. However, I’m falling hard for flares, which are this season’s fit. What’s a girl to do? If only someone would come up with a combination of the two…oh wait. Hello, AYR! This new-ish brand blew up last year and has been a favorite of mine since. I am very happy to revisit their amazing jeans! Hudson has the Baby Boot, Joe’s had a skinny micro flare, which was very similar to American Eagle Outfitter’s Skinny Kick jean—skinny all the way down to the bottom of the calf with a slight flare at the bottom. AYR though, I think has mastered the fit, keeping it skinny but very much flare! I could write the entire review in my first paragraph here, but I won’t…read on for an AYR Skinny Flare in Jac’s Jean review!
Images: Shopbop. Sadly sold out but here’s links anyway! Rag & Bone/JEAN Leggings in burgundy, green and green
So I really hate posting items that I know have been out of stock for awhile, but that’s what I have my “Wish List” category for anyway! eBay is like a best friend sometimes…you never know what it’s going to bring around! It wasn’t long ago that I craved another beautiful piece from Rag & Bone, the Goetz Print Legging, and eBay just made that happen for possibly one of my favorite blog posts! Although I have yet to find a Rag & Bone jean or legging that fits my curvier shape without a belt (they tend to slide down on me a bit), I still love the brand for the fact that they are probably known best for their sleek, basic and classic pieces, and yet every now and then they come out with denim with unique prints and washes. Some seem to only be sold in a handful stores as limited editions like the Goetz legging, and I’m still keeping my eyes out for the gorgeous maroon version! Ombre is definitely nothing new in the fashion world but it’s not all that often you see ombre jeans hit the market. I missed the mark again with Rag & Bone upon my discovery of these pretty items above that are now unfortunately sold out everywhere! I love that they didn’t just release one ombre jean, but a collection of several different colors. I found another variety that was available below, along with a black and white one that is still available! Still though, keeping my eyes on eBay…I’d love to feature these in another style post!
Denim Expert BlueXonly Skinny Jeans Review on Denimology
Hello all! Summer might be just around the corner, and flares and boyfriend jeans might be dominating the season, but skinny jeans are always in, and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it! They still make for about 80% of my denim collection! I am always excited to see how many different ways the denim industry can throw me a skinny jean, and I just can’t tire of it. This time around I am stoked to feature a skinny jean from a brand that has recently started gracing the pages of Denimology, coming all the way from Bangladesh! So here we go with a Denim Expert BlueXonly Skinny Leg Jeans review!
Denim as a fabric is pretty amazing, isn’t it? It’s durable, wears in beautifully, and has the perfect thickness and texture for a wide variety of applications. Earlier this year, I posted about an assortment of awesome items made from denim that are anything but jeans, and items keep popping up left and right. I guess bags aren’t really that farfetched of an idea, considering they need to be tough and last through a ton of abuse, just like jeans do. I found a super pretty line of bags by Graf & Lantz, a Los-Angeles based company that specializes in all sorts of bags, either for your person or to protect your tech. The company was founded by Holger Gräf, who earned a Phd in structural engineering in Germany, and Daniel Lantz, who resided in Japan where he lived an “adventurous life” until the two joined in Los Angeles to combine the forces of their individual and opposite experiences and create Graf & Lantz. The two “set out to sculpt the world’s oldest fabric into modern and unexpected forms, crafting a definitive collection of handbags, accessories and home-ware items for men and women.” They have been quite successful, capturing the attention and adoration of “affluent urbanites”, as their website puts it, around the world! My personal attention is drawn to their collection of hand-treated Italian denim and leather bags, including a wallet! Their manufacturing process is actually pretty impressive…They started out in an apartment with a wine carrier as a prototype and overcame the common startup woe of finding quality production and meeting manufacturing minimums. Now, everything is still made in-house for better control over quality, and all materials are sourced from all over the world. Check out these beautiful leather and denim bags by Graf & Lantz at Anthropologie, below!
Today, Gräf & Lantz® has transcended its artistry in felt with explorations in colorful and modern mixtures of leather and canvas items. As they continue to venture into new design territories, their non-status quo look is always present in every piece; simple lines, sophisticated shapes, unorthodox textures and exposed stitching.” (source)
Natural materials like leather can look and behave differently from hide to hide. Making of a bag starts with the selection of felt, leather and fabric and paying attention to how it lays or what are its surface imperfections. That determines where and how each cut piece will end up on a bag. And just as each hide differs from the next, each felt lot has structural run characteristics that determine how a bag will drop and hang and stand. We like the way this makes each bag unique as it is assembled and closed by our small team of experienced bag makers.” (source)
When it comes to bottoms, I’m a 24/7 jeans girl. Rarely do I wear skirts, dresses or leggings (unless I’m at the gym or wearing the rare sweaterdress or tunic)…I just find myself far more comfortable in jeans. Believe it or not, I find them a bit more breathable (skin on skin under skirts tends to get warm) and ward better against chafing if I’m going to be moving around a lot all day. They are far more durable as well and can take constant daily wear, and I don’t have to fear any snagging if I sit on a rough surface like a bench or concrete ledge. Plus, I work hard for my figure and the last thing I want to do is hide it! It feels amazing to rock a well-fitting pair of skinnies after a great workout and they have a way of making me look and feel well put together! I still kind of reject the idea that activewear is taking over and the denim industry is taking a hit (as I said, for me is for the gym only), but there’s recently been a new contender for me that I didn’t see coming at all…flare pants. No not the denim kind, although yes those have seen a sharp rise in popularity lately over other cuts of jeans, but rather your usual soft cotton beach-style pant.
I did notice wider leg styles popping up last year in local boutiques and while attracted to the designs, I wasn’t a fan of the cut. I’m a bit of a hippy, so the intricate designs and laid back bell bottom style have always appealed to me, but never did I think I’d all of a sudden end up with two pairs of these non-denim bell pants (as represented in the bottom image) within the same month and absolutely end up LOVING them…almost as much as my printed jeans! I initially grabbed the Billabong Gypsy Den Flare Pant for festivals and local events involving friends of mine who DJ (often alongside me), spin fire, own a local hemp boutique or even a brand of essential oils, but I’m finding myself craving the next step: wearing them every now and then as part of a usual day’s ensemble. It’s so strange moving from a thick denim to a thin, stretchy fabric, and I almost feel exposed, but oh man how fab they feel at the same time, and look! I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful styles popping up lately, so I collected a few that I’m currently craving below.
Oh Hautelook…I both love and hate you. Once I vow to swear you off for awhile, you come up with a new little item that I just cannot resist. Well, at least I stay reasonable, it *was* a Sunday blowout sale, after all. Go Couture pops up quite often on Hautelook‘s weekend sales, and oh how I LOVE their designs. This Go Couture waffle hoodie in “Burgundy Lakes” was a find I don’t regret. I got it in the dead of winter, but you know how it is in California. Yeah, we didn’t have one. So, it’s been sitting in my closet waiting for a chance to be included on my daily adventures. It finally got slightly colder here, so I wore it to work and decided to catch some snaps! I just love the worn vintage look and the colors and angles! I’m wearing it with my Cheap Monday Tight jeans in raw, and still breaking them in. They are starting to fade around the creases, and I cannot wait to see how they turn out! I mention raw jeans here and there, and I’m not sure when I should stop explaining what that means, so if you are curious, check out my favorite blog dedicated to raw denim here (check out the fade archives!), and read more about what it is on a Denimology post here. Basically, every jean is raw before it gets the detailing and fading treatment to look broken in, heavily saturated with indigo dye. Raw jeans are sold so you can break them in yourself during normal wear, and are certainly coveted by the biggest and most serious of denim fans! I’ve heard it’s quite addictive. We’ll see…I’m starting with this pair and I’m already hooked. I’m wearing a pair of canvas Sperrys I scored at RueLaLa for super cheap (I know, these darn sample sale sites!), and to top off my look, I’m once again wearing a favorite accessory, my custom key necklace by La Clé Jewelry!
There are many denim brands that catch my eye…but of course it always depends on the mood or occasion. For vintage, I like AG or Joe‘s, for edgy and fun I like Kill City or Blank NYC, and for clean with a side of flash and bling while still staying classy I tend to think of Siwy! I really only have three pairs from this brand, one of which I scored for SUPER cheap on Gilt.com years ago, one given to me by a friend that’s a little too big with a super faded wash that I use for outdoor activities, and a beautiful pair of the Hannah Slim Crop that I got to review on Denimology last year (they are so AWESOME). Oh yeah and then there’s a pair of their Camilla shorts that are also a bit big, so I wear them when I’m going for a casual, slouchy look. I am subscribed to Siwy‘s newsletters, and I’m always enjoying them because there are so many new styles always popping up with super crafty embossing, embroidery, foil stamping, eyelets (a la the Hannah in Rola Bola above), zipper placement, beautiful shading and wash details, mixed fabrics, paint splattering, patching, vibrant colors (darn you Hannah in Surf City for selling out so quickly!), well placed distressing and other amazing, quality details that make the brand stand out among the rest. I was initially just going to make this post about the Hannah, possibly Siwy‘s most popular skinny, but their entire skinny line is full of these beautiful styles so I just grabbed all of the ones that warranted some ooohs and aaahs from me!