Psychedelic Tees and Tanks by Symbolika

Psychedelic Tees and Tanks by Symbolika

Image: Symbolika

I may come off as a pretty stylish gal based on all the fun things I find to share with you all here, but really oftentimes I just want to throw on a comfy pair of jeans and a tee. Fortunately, this classic weekend look is allowed at my work, so whenever I’m not feeling all that stylish I’m free to feel chill…but effortless style definitely still rules over deliberate frump! I often opt for band tees, but I’ve recently enjoyed growing my tee collection with all sorts of fun graphics. Sometimes, especially for adults though, it’s hard to find graphic tees that don’t make you feel like you’re trying too hard to be a kid again, but there are a lot of fun options on the market nowadays. Apart from band or brand tees, what much else is there? As linked above, there are several options…but Etsy is an awesome place to shop!

When I was at the Symbiosis Global Eclipse Gathering last month, I discovered mostly brands that created full-on festival style clothing, but there was such an awesome variety—several of them bridged the path between festival and everyday life, including a couple of tee shirt brands. All of them had some of the coolest graphics I’ve ever seen, that I definitely wouldn’t find in just any shopping district. Of course, they range mostly within the realm of psychedelia, but the visionary artwork in this kind of environment is all so one of a kind, and some of the most beautiful you can find. Symbolika is one of these brands! Founded in 2001 in Ibiza Town, Spain, this brand is dedicated to producing some of the most unique visionary artwork inspired by shamanic experiences, spirituality and nature. All of Symbolika’s artwork is created with various techniques and tools, whether “organic or digital”, all stemming from “spiritual symbolism to intricate sacred geometry, from buddhism to mauri tattoo art.” You can find these art pieces printed on tees, tanks, bags and more, for women and men. These amazing silk screened designs are also glow in the dark, so you can take them from the street to the party!

To be honest, I am often fairly irked to often see sacred or spiritual symbolism used in the general mainstream market, sold as mass-produced fashion items (often labeled as “boho” or “festival fashion”) to people who have no idea what their meanings are or where they come from. However, Symbolika is an independent brand stemming from the right place, keeping their designs within booths at transformational music festivals and the spiritual community within Etsy. Of course, the brand provides many graphics that can be interpreted in different ways, so if something vibes strongly with you, wear it with pride!

Here are some of my favorite pieces below.

“Since 2001, symbolika is dedicated to producing highly unique, experimental visionary and psychedelic artworks inspired by shamanic experiences, infused with elements from spirituality and nature. our vision is simple – inspire and get inspired :)”

“The artworks are developed using several techniques & tools, organic and digital, modern and classical, illustration and 3d, from spiritual symbolism to intricate sacred geometry, from buddhism to mauri tattoo art. all of those diverse and sometimes even conflicting worlds, combined with original symbolism, are balanced and enriched into unified and constantly evolving designs.”

Shop more from Symbolika, including hoodies, pins, bags, and more with these eye catching prints, here!

Ethnic Infused Street Style by Psylo

Ethnic Infused Street Style by Psylo

Image: Psylo

If you live in the western states right now, I’m sure you can agree that this heat wave we’ve been having has been quite unbearable! I have to admit that I haven’t worn a pair of jeans in weeks. It’s very hard for me to wear loose, light fabrics as bottoms because I feel like I’m wearing almost nothing—jeans give me a feeling of security. However, especially after the Global Eclipse Gathering two weeks ago, I’ve grown more comfortable wearing lighter fabrics in the heat. Even at work! Discovering all of the amazing apparel vendors at the event was great timing for me, as I found myself shopping and building wish lists with all of them more than I have the usual denim brands I love. I’m usually like this after any festival, but feeling a new sense of comfort and freedom in the heat (and year-round) with some of these designs has made them leave more of an impact in the direction I want this blog to go. I’ll always love denim, but independent and sustainable designers are such a huge passion of mine! Plus, it’s nice to break out of the usual jeans and a tee shirt rut.

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Native Print Blankets for a Cause by SoulCrafts

Native Print Blankets for a Cause by SoulCrafts

Image: SoulCrafts

It’s still been so hard to get over the festival vibes after the Oregon Eclipse Gathering! There were over a hundred vendors and I got rather excited to collect business cards and peruse their goods to share with all of you. Denim will always be at my core but I really have such a passion and a huge appreciation for independent designers, especially those who use sustainable materials in their creations. I still have to go through all of the cards I collected and figure out the best way to share them all here, but I’ll start with one that helped us out considerably during the cold nights at the event!

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The Fall/Winter 2017 Collection from Nomads Hemp Wear

OK guys, I’m back from vacation! As I’m sure you all know, we all often need a vacation from our vacation as it’s kind of tough to pick up the pace again after such a relaxing and memorable time, but the daily grind calls again as usual…as well as this poor blog I’ve been neglecting as other obligations took over and my much needed break finally arrived. For those who missed my last post, I was out for about two weeks on a trip up to Oregon for the week-long Global Eclipse Gathering to see the full solar eclipse, which was nothing short of spectacular! At the festival, I collected a ton of business cards for ethical and independent, handmade brands to feature here but it’s going to take me some time to sort through them all and gather material for a post. So, in the spirit of festival fashion I figured I would start things back up with one of the brands I am always so happy to feature, the Canadian-based Nomads Hemp Wear and their beautiful new Fall/Winter collection for 2017!

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12 Stylish Alternatives to the Classic Fanny Pack

Love it or hate it, the ’90s (and even a few more decades past) are back. Thanks in part to music festivals, now we’ve once again got bright colors, high waisted shorts and jeans, overalls, embroidery, culottes and more. I find it interesting watching fashion evolve; it seems to have gotten more minimal over the current modern years, with clean embellishmenet-free designs, toned down neutral shades and timeless pieces that probably won’t ever go out of style. That still exists, but styles that once were “out” always revolve around and come back “in,” and in they’ve come. I’ve heard many people verbally roll their eyes at this new trend, but I welcome it with open arms. The ’70s, ’80s and ’90s were about having a great time, and with the growth of music festivals combined again with a bit of political turmoil, these modern years seem to have taken that turn once again as more and more people just wanna have fun.

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Custom Artisan Leather Footwear by Soul Path Shoes

I just love perusing through Etsy sometimes, and looking at the favorite shops and items of my favorite sellers…you never know what new awesomeness you might find! It just blows my mind how some of these amazing brands don’t get the recognition they deserve, but that, as I’m sure you know, is one main point of my blog. Every year after feeling fresh and inspired by the open and limitless creativity behind Lucidity Festival (and the vendors, especially), I’m always digging even deeper into the nooks and crannies of the internet to find even more independent artists to feature here or inspire me into any possible future creative ventures. There is some ridiculously impressive stuff out there!

One of my most recent finds is Soul Path Shoes, a Canadian brand run by artisan Nathan deBridge Bowes, who specializes in custom moccasins and sandals. I mean, these pieces speak for themselves…just look at the detailing! Long ago, Nathan was inspired by searching far and wide for the perfect handmade artisan footwear that was unique, comfortable and natural, to no avail. So, he was inspired to venture on his own path into creating his own, and mirrors genuine ancient practices and pours a ton of love, patience and skill into his work. From sharpening and maintaining his his tools (like tuning an instrument, as he says) to taking the risk of tedious custom fitting, Nathan stays true to his strong beliefs on the real value of old fashioned hard work, quality and customer satisfaction which is becoming more of a rarity these days.

Nathan uses supersoft 8-9 ounce buffalo leather for the main body and trim of his footwear which is 2-3 times thicker than regular leather. He also implements a traditional moccasin full leather outer sole with a Vibram rubber sole as an option, and a removable insole of wool felt and orthotic cushioning on a leather base. Every item comes with your choice of buttons (with several beautiful metal pieces to choose from) and main color, trim and heel cap colors. Other options include additional arch support, extra trim layers, added piping, leather or Arbutus wood buttons, cuffs, other custom artwork, and so much more! How gorgeous are these?! For the amount of work and custom options put into these, I’d say they are also priced incredibly well, at around $300-$600 before any custom options are included. Honestly, I’d just buy what I see right off the virtual racks.

Here are some of the moccasins and boots that catch my eyes the most from Soul Path Shoes! As usual with most of these talented artisans I discover, it was tough to narrow it down.

“For years I searched for real artisan footwear. I knew what I was looking for: A handmade leather sandal, shoe, boot or moccasin that was unique, natural, and comfortable; classic leather footwear with timeless beauty and functional elegance. Where did I find it? I found the heart of the craft in the pride of craftsmen of days gone by, I found ideas in the functional designs of ancient civilizations… But no one I could find was making what I longed to find. Or at least not yet… It was then I knew I was on the right path, a path of discovery and creation, and a path with Soul.”

“I love the work I have chosen to do… It is a pleasure for me to work with beautiful, soft leather, and to feel a good tool in my hands as I connect with an ancient tradition of sandal, boot, and moccasin making. I love old, quality tools, and handmade tools and knives the most, as they ring with quality and carry the energy of the maker.”

“It is a skill to learn to sharpen a blade for the task at hand; akin to tuning an instrument – it cultivates patience and presence of mind, and good work may be produced only once the tool is finely honed, as good music will only be produced once the instrument is finely tuned.”

“Making good footwear is difficult, and a custom fitting is more demanding still. One need not wonder for long why this trade and these skills have nearly disappeared – it is hard work, and risky in this day and age. So I am taking the risk of doing what I believe in because I know the value of real quality, and in this modern desert where people are beginning to feel the thirst for quality, some of us are creating an oasis.”

Take a look into the beautiful artistry that makes up Soul Path Shoes.

Shop Soul Path Shoes on Etsy here or the official website, here (where you can also read up a lot more about them).

New Unisex Designs from Skingraft

New Unisex Designs from Skingraft

Image: Skingraft

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the gender-neutral, unisex thing has been spreading across the apparel world lately, and I say why not? Fashion, design and creativity have way too many possibilities to be confined within boxes! From H&M to denim brands to even Coach, brands are realizing consumer demands to not have their tastes limited to a specific category or be defined by a certain style. Personally, I feel this works best when it comes to modern, minimalistic designs, such as the dark, music-inspired Los Angeles brand Skingraft. I wrote about them about a year and a half ago and I’m still enjoying each of their newsletters that grace my inbox, watching (and coveting) every new collection they release!

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The Nomads Hemp Wear Spring and Summer 2017 Collection

Hello all! So I’m back from Lucidity Festival, and I gotta say it’s ridiculously tough to get back into the swing of things after that. I feel so refreshed, relaxed, and pretty inspired in a few other creative avenues I’ve been curious about exploring! One of which is apparel, thanks to all of the beautiful, unique, independent clothing vendors I shopped at the festival (right up my alley and a common subject on my blog). So, I think it’s only fitting I slowly rev back up my blog momentum with a post within that subject!

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The TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

The TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

Image: TOMS

Of all the charitable companies I enjoy writing about here, TOMS has got to be one of my favorites. Since their beginnings, they have been a big name bringing awareness about those less fortunate to the fashionable masses, and have set a model example for other companies with the same initiatives. Just about everyone is familiar with their One for One® campaign, where for every pair of shoes purchased, another pair will be sent to someone in need. Throughout the years, they have had other campaigns for fresh water in developing countries, to help shelter dogs find homes, to support endangered animal species, to give the gift of good eyesight, to promote safe birth for women in need, and so much more. I also love that they support artisans around the world! For their latest collection, TOMS has partnered up with a group of artists for their Haiti Artist Collective.

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Currently Craving: Gemstone Macrame Necklaces

Currently Craving: Gemstone Macrame Necklaces

Image: aguaYrai (Dominican Republic). Moonstone Macrame necklace with brass beads

I love creative people. Etsy is one of my favorite websites because I just love perusing all the colorful passions people have in the form of art, clothing, jewelry…you name it! I used to love going out for big shopping trips, but honestly now, shopping brick and mortar shops gives me a little bit of anxiety. Shopping online is far more fun to me, one reason being I can put something aside and think about it without feeling pressured, but also because I can discover all of the independent, up-and-coming artists that better fit my tastes and definitely deserve more recognition! With all of the crap going around in the world today, it’s also theraputic to me to see the passions and talents of others shining through, and I much prefer supporting them over mass-produced goods. I also find it quite inspiring!

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