Hemp Blue Debuts at Playboy Mansion
Remember Hemp Blue? That awesome brand that ran a more-than-successful Kickstarter campaign for a sustainable, hemp denim line a few months ago (along with some tasty smelling hemp candles that double as lotion)? Well, December 5th was their day to celebrate their campaign triumph, and February 15 was all about infiltrating the swanky Playboy Mansion as part of the 2016 City Gala Fundraiser, right after the 58th Annual Grammys, for an exclusive fashion show debuting their brand new collection and new online shop. The City Gala is put on by none other than Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and benefits Community Inspiring Today’s Youth (CITY). This year, the event featured Keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson and other guests like Buzz Aldrin, Chanel West Coast, Jeff Timmons, Paul Oakenfold, John Paul DeJoria and more!
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Dark Modern Minimalist Pieces by marcellamoda
I remember rummaging through countless racks of fast fashion shops as I grew out of high school, obsessively experimenting with different looks to try and find what settled with me best. Over time I ended up getting rid of most of that evidence of excessive consumerism, settling more on that occasional piece that I felt screamed my name. Still though, as I grew older, the desire to simplify my wardrobe grew stronger and continuously battled with that voice inside that wanted to keep shopping and dropping as often as I could. I still feel that battle, but it’s gotten a lot better, and now I do abide more to the thought of buying less and spending more for those pieces that I put a little more thought into so I know they will last me through washes, wears and seasons. My style itself has kind of become more simplified too, and I’m more drawn to minimalist looks as they not only can be surprisingly more creative and eye popping in their own way, but they are easier to dress, I don’t get the “I have nothing to wear!!” syndrome as often because they work with a wider range of outfit configurations, and I just generally find them more calming. Like with denim, I am impressed how such a simple concept can be so vast when it comes to the range of creative possibilities. As I’ve mentioned before, I also prefer to support the independent designers who, rather than mass producing their wears, put thought and love into their handmade goods. I also tend to be more attracted to the darker, more street goth, rock n’ roll or punk-inspired pieces.
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Boho fashion is always in style…probably even a bit overdone at times (but who can resist a little Gypsy05 or Free People???), but still fabulously popular nonetheless. Festival season twists the look around its little finger, and I’ll admit, the two do go hand in hand when someone is seeking to live the free spirited life. I’m always feeling torn though, because as much as I love dressing a little boho here and there, and seeing what new brands have developed within this realm, I sometimes keep backing off as I see it copied and copied and copied again…it’s almost all played out, and I hate looking like everyone else. So lately, I prefer to go to the independent designers, the ones you see on Etsy who put pride in their handmade pieces. They are usually a lot more unique and one of a kind, and you know you are directly helping an artist!
I discovered One Tribe Apparel a few months ago, which is a husband-wife team comprised by an American hiker (Mitchell) who fell in love with a Thai woman (Fai) in 2013 and immediately jumped to the process of building their life together through a business. They started a hostel, but then realized how many fashionable people in Thailand’s city of PAI were embracing bohemian fashion. To them, “PAI holds a special place in many people’s hearts. There’s a spirit of artistic community and collaboration that is incomparable and leads many to come back again and again.” They realized “the mix of vibrant patterns, handmade craftsmanship and hippie soul was an aesthetic that was missing back home,” and set off to create One Tribe Apparel to bring these eclectic ethnic styles back to the West and worldwide.
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True Religion Introduces a Curvy Skinny Jean
Premium denim definitely seemed to be a niche market in its early days, in the first few years of the 2000s when household names like True Religion ruled the scene. Over time expensive denim was no longer reserved for celebrities or those with deep pockets, becoming far more accessible to the masses. Most brands out there realized that if they wanted to grow and stay competitive, they needed to realize their customer base could no longer be limited to the typical svelte socialite body type. The brands that have grown the most took great strides in focusing on fit, rather than glitz and status, and sometimes I still wonder why some haven’t bothered to budge, especially last year as the denim industry took a bit of a plunge when leggings became gave it a run for its money. True Religion is one of those brands that I remember coveting when I first saw those iconic horseshoes bouncing down the street on various behinds, convincing me that *that* must be the brand I want if I wanted a better fitting pair of jeans. I have a few pairs, but I’ll be honest, the allure wore off a little bit when I just didn’t feel like they fit me as well as others who had entered the curvy game months or years ago. I’m not even that curvy either, but I am athletic and have hips! They seemed to still be focusing more on the aesthetic appeal and status more than anything, as I started to hear less and less about this once-elite brand and saw sale after sale after sale pop up in my inbox from them when they used to have absolutely nothing going on ever in the form of any smidge of a discount. Was this the sign of a struggle? Not sure. I hoped not.
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Tailor Free Options for Jeans with Short Inseams
Ever since my obsession with denim went viral within my network of acquaintances and friends and their friends, I’m constantly asked for suggestions for the perfect jeans for certain body shapes, heights, fabric content preferences…you name it. And I love it! As silly as it might sound for me to say I’m happy to be some sort of denim guru, I am. Either way, I love to be of help with something I’m passionate about! The most common question is in regards to the best jeans for curvier body types. Fortunately, the denim industry has listened over the years, and my go-tos when asked this question are the Lovestory flare by J Brand, The Honey Bootcut from Joe’s Jeans, just about anything from American Eagle Outfitters, Parker Smith, and the Kimmie (Bootcut and Straight) from 7 For All Mankind. Other brands continue to add more to their already-amazing rosters. However, there’s still one issue that has yet to be widely addressed: shorter inseams! Fortunately American Eagle offers length options, as does Bluer and AYR (in their skinny and slim cuts), but what about those who require inseams under 30″? I’m fortunately a 32-33″ but that seems to be the baseline…even 7 For All Mankind’s much-welcomed Tailorless line stops there. I still see a market lacking for the shorter peeps! Even more so, for the shorter and curvier souls who are constantly frustrated in the never ending hunt for the perfect pair of jeans.
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The New Flex Tech Jean from AYR and ISKO Premium Denim
One of the things I love the most about the denim industry is its adaptability. It’s a hugely competitive market, sometimes feeling a bit on the Hunger Games side. Last year there was a huge threat to the industry, as athletic apparel bumped up a notch and then some, in terms of quality, casual appeal and an explosion of ultra cute designs. Suddenly leggings were the “in thing” to wear on a regular basis, hence the term “athleisure” which went along with the rapidly growing trend. I’ll admit I have fallen in love with several of them after stubbornly staying 100% loyal to my beloved jeans, like Gypsy05, Zobha, TUYA, several from Shopbop and a handful of others that break the workout/party barrier. But the music festival nomadic spirit in me and love for independent designers couldn’t resist…
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Find Your Fit and WIN a Pair of Jeans at Fitcode
I feel lucky in the sense that typically ordering jeans online isn’t too tough for me, thanks to my years of working for Denimology and generally being a little obsessed…so I know how certain brands will fit me and which of their denim cuts fit me the best. However, I realize not everyone is that geeky, or cares to be that geeky…and even I every now and then have a miss or two when shopping online. Fortunately, there’s Fitcode, a revolutionary new shopping service that matches you with your new favorite pair based on a quick and easy fit quiz! Last June, I had the pleasure of working with them, running through the fit quiz myself and choosing a pair which was generously sent to me by the girls behind the service themselves. The result was a pair of Citizens of Humanity Rocket skinnies that fit me better than most I own! Read all about my quick, easy and fun experience with the service and how it works here.
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Tank: American Eagle Outfitters (sold out), Jeans: Diesel (similar below image set), Shoes: Converse, Sweater: Old Navy (sold out, similar here), Bag: Coach Zoe Large (sold out, found on eBay), Necklace: Third Eye Pinecones
Red Jeans for Valentine’s Day and Every Day
I’m not really a bright color type of person, nor am I really a fan of red. I never really thought it fit very well with me, but there is something about red denim that is a whole lot of fun. I don’t wear it often, but every now and then I get the itch to pull out this red pair of Diesels I bought from eBay years ago. They’re the only red pair I have, other than a plaid pair from Joe’s, a burgundy leopard print pair from Current/Elliott, and a solid burgundy pair from BLANKNYC. I definitely prefer burgundy over this bright red, but today I had a change of heart (not sure if it had anything to do with Valentine’s Day on Sunday since I’m not really into the idea anyway). Either way, I figured I’d work this into the holiday anyway and have another quick iPhone shoot done while at work since I haven’t in awhile. My large Coach Zoe bag here is my absolute favorite everyday bag next to my cobalt blue Foley & Corinna Mid City Tote (which I prefer to pull out in the spring and summer). I’ve kind of been on a Converse fangirl stint again lately too, and these are my long-time-coming pair of classic black lows. The tank is from American Eagle Outfitters (also purchased awhile ago). I’m once again wearing my necklace from Third Eye Pinecones…I cannot get enough of this thing!
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Gluten Free Organic Vegan Selvedge Denim by Naked & Famous
Sometimes I often feel I’m stuck in the middle. I love the often-wasteful denim industry, but I also love sustainable, ethical apparel. Fortunately the gap between the two has been shrinking over the years, as denim brands are taking note to rising consumer demand due to increasing awareness and education. Brands such as Level 99, Levi’s, Parker Smith, and now Joe’s Jeans have made huge efforts in their use of eco-friendly fibers, cutting water waste or chemical use. Such an awesome thing to see happening within such an already-dynamic and innovative industry!
The Canadian brand Naked & Famous, well known for their super high quality raw selvedge denim, is next up to bat, with probably the most marketable earth-friendly claim yet: gluten free, organic, AND vegan. If that doesn’t catch your attention, I’m not sure what will. There are two jeans currently available, the Super Skinny Guy and Weird Guy (again, love their marketing), and both are made from 12oz Japanese Selvedge Denim dyed with natural indigo and unbleached cotton. Natural Indigo dye can be recycled and is extracted from the highly sustainable Indigofera plant. After the dye is extracted, the plant makes for a marvelous fertilizer and composts easily. The water used for extraction can be then reused for crop irrigation to produce more of these valuable plants! The vegan part might seem unimportant to us, but for many it’s everything…the back logo patch, usually made out of leather, is instead made from a heavy cardboard which mimics the feel and look of the real thing. Using natural dyes and cotton also has another aesthetic benefit, producing one of a kind variations in the fabric. Raw denim is so exciting in this manner, because every piece doesn’t only come with unique characteristics, but the rigid denim is made to break in with wear and give you a custom look based on your lifestyle and how you wear them!
Oh, yeah the gluten free part…and here’s the kicker…no flour was used in the production of these (or any) jeans. *wink* But that still means they are the entire package deal, right?!
Both jeans are available online at Tate + Yoko. Shop the Super Skinny Guy here, and the Weird Guy here.
See Naked & Famous’s news release here.
RESQ/CO for Shelter Animals at TOMS Marketplace
We’re all pretty familiar with TOMS‘s excellent business model…it definitely puts a wider smile on your face when you’re not only shopping for yourself, but also knowing you’re helping someone who needs it far more than you do! I’ve written a lot about the initiatives of this great company, including their Animal Initiative to shop poaching, sunglasses and an optical line for World Sight Day, the TOMS Roasting Co. for clean water, and bags to provide safe births and maternal health. Now it’s time to help out another kind of small voice amongst us, the tremendous amount of homeless and rescue pets in shelters all across the country! TOMS has partnered up with RESQ/CO, an online pet boutique that donates 5% of all profits to shelter and rescue animals, to help spread their reach and offer RESQ/CO products through the TOMS Marketplace! Within this collection you’ll find USA-made (handmade, actually!) leashes, collars, and a cute reversible chambray bandana for your beloved pet. The TOMS Marketplace also includes many other products charitable organizations, so while you’re at it, peruse what else is available to help better humanity and the world around us!
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