So it’s been about a week and a half since my favorite event on the face of the planet: Lucidity Festival. For those just tuning in now, I am inspired so much by all of the independent apparel vendors at conscious festivals, especially this one! Since I started this blog writing about denim, it can be a difficult transition to mix a lot of these styles into my blog (although I’ll write about any of them that truly fit my style, as there are truly tons of great ones out there), but sometimes I find gems…handmade and sustainable brands that also use denim! One of these small businesses is one I saw last year at Lucidity and I was happy to see return to this year’s is Kinetic Couture.
OK first thing’s first, I know, I went MIA again, and I apologize…but be rest assured that if I was ever going to quit this blog (which aint gonna happen), I’d make a statement. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s exactly what went down—I basically had three weekends of DJ gigs, work picked up, and I took a little vacation to Lucidity Festival (which yes, involved one of those gigs)! It was nice to take a break, but was also looking forward to picking it up again. Whether I post three times a week or once or not at all, I’m always looking for new things to write about! I thought today’s post should somehow tie into the music festival spirit, so I decided to write about a staple in that community which I’ve noticed gaining traction in the contemporary fashion world: utility belts. You might know them as belt bags, or most commonly, fanny packs. However, this notably tacky piece from the ’80s has totally been reinvented!
In case you haven’t yet noticed, I’m usually not all that partial to the more mainstream “festival style” or “boho fashion,” and usually opt for more independent designers and artists (I like to call them “artisans”) found at transformational or conscious festivals like Lucidity or Lightning In A Bottle. Every time I see a more mainstream ad for festival fashion I often cringe a little, since so many of them to me seem fairly unoriginal and cookie cutter. Plus, I love supporting the small, struggling artists a whole lot more! However, I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t appreciate art in all its forms, and I also understand that my style of festival apparel may not appeal to everyone. So, when I received a newsletter from Revolve, one of the best online retailers for upscale contemporary style, about their latest Festival Vibes edit, I decided to give it a look and share my favorite pieces for those of you who may not connect with me on all of the hippie, nomadic stuff I love to share!
Before all of the stretchy, form-hugging, legging-like jeans of today, rigid (100% cotton) denim dominated the market. These vintage pieces, as well as jeans that are inspired by them, have once again re-emerged onto the market over the years as super stretchy fabric technologies exploded to compete against the growing activewear industry. Not everyone jives with those stretchy fabrics, and vintage denim has spawned quite a strong cult following of sorts. Brands like Levi’s and their new 501 Skinny, as well as brands like RE/DONE which revamps pre-loved Levi’s jeans into modern fits, have helped bring rigid denim back into the mainstream, and other premium brands have taken notice. 7 For All Mankind is one of those names that excelled in the super soft, stretchy and lightweight fabrics, most notably with their introduction of their b(air) Denim line in 2016. However, big name brands like this stay on top for a reason: they know it’s important to move with demand and stay open to new innovations. So with that said, I am excited to see a few brand new rigid styles by 7 For All Mankind!
When I look back at the Oregon Eclipse festival my husband and I attended last year, I not only think about how incredible that life-changing cosmic spectacle was…but also all of the amazing apparel vendors I discovered. I know I had mentioned I’d cover them all, but I haven’t even gotten close. I did highlight my favorites though! Eternal Mode, Symbolika, SoulCrafts and Psylo were four I hadn’t seen before that stood out to me, and it’s been fun watching these independent brands grow and come out with new designs. I am such a huge fan of earthy, boho, festival style that looks like it belongs in the desert or forest rather than bouncing around with my squad at Coachella (not that there’s anything wrong with that), because of the intricate and one of a kind creativity, attention to detail, and the importance placed on earth-friendly fabrics and processes. Plus, I always love supporting the little guys. I figured I’d revisit a favorite…I’m once again drooling at several new nomadic street style looks from Psylo!
Skinny jeans have gone through many phases over the years. Originally, jeans had minimal to no stretch, and were made as workwear with a more relaxed fit. They were made to be tough! Despite the fact that the stretchy jeans of today, which were created in part as a response to activewear becoming ultra popular (and giving denim a run for its money), were a huge hit, vintage denim is still preferred by a significant amount of denim fans. Jeans with some stretch definitely prove to be a better and more comfortable fit in most cases, but denim fabric technologies over the years has blurred the lines between jeans and leggings which has turned out to be quite the love/hate ordeal. I personally love a lot of my super soft stretchy jeans that I could take a yoga class in, but after trying a few 100% denim pairs myself, I have to say I get it. A lot of people don’t want skin-tight, figure hugging jeans, and like the durable feel of thick cotton denim.
I’m so happy to see the huge strides being made for sustainability in the denim market! Awareness is growing, both with consumers and brands themselves, about how important it is to reduce the toxicity and wastefulness that is inherent in garment manufacturing. Denim is a nasty process, from the pesticides used in the cotton to the toxic chemicals and water wasted in the wash process that makes those pretty fades we love when we shop for the perfect pair of jeans. G-Star RAW has been one of the leaders in the industry. They’ve worked with Pharrell Williams a few years ago to convert plastic floating around in our oceans to beautiful apparel, created a documentary with i-D illustrating the impact of plastics consumption on our oceans, and created a collection of jeans using only natural dyes. Continuing to plough forward full steam ahead, the brand has now unveiled a collection featuring their most sustainable jeans ever.
As mentioned earlier with my post about Hudson’s awesome new arrivals, it’s so fun to see what these premium denim brands come up with each season considering the denim market is so incredibly competitive and saturated nowadays. The creative ideas the best designers can conjure up with a material that most people find to be quite basic is so inspiring to see (and probably why my denim collection will never stop growing). Even within specific trends, it’s so rad to see the brightest minds stay afloat with fresh takes over and over again. Patchwork is one of those trends that’s not quite new, but it always feels like it is because of all the cool new styles that come out every year. I’ve written about patchwork several times, like with my review of Sonas Denim and the Pedal Star skinnies by Closed a couple of years beforehand. While this trend goes years back, it never really feels overdone. I never feel like it’s commonly revisited, despite how fun it is.
I cracked up. I hope you did too! I love getting my little curated newsletters from Etsy…especially around major holidays. Two years ago (I skipped last year) I featured a Valentine’s Day gift guide from Revolve, but this year I’m enjoying all of the creative and personal Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Etsy! In fact, I should probably feature these more often! Significant others can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially around Valentine’s Day when everyone’s expecting chocolate, fancy dinners and gemstones. Well, maybe not everyone, but it can be tough to find the perfect non-cliche, personalized gifts every time a holiday centered around love, family or friendship rolls around when our lives are as busy as they are. Rushing out to a fancy dinner also means dealing with packed restaurants, difficult-to-come-by reservations and slower service, and chocolate or jewelry often just seems so thoughtless or forced. Some people opt for DIY gifts, but why not go for something unique and thoughtful crafted by someone who specializes in such a thing, when our creative juices, time and energy are fried by our daily grinds…especially when there are adorably convenient options for personal customization?
I don’t believe Hudson needs much of an introduction, but for those who may be new to the denim game, these guys have earned their street cred. As a veteran brand that’s been around for pretty much as long as other household names such as 7 For All Mankind or True Religion, they’ve staked their claim by constantly reinventing themselves, and I am always liking what I see in every release. For me, Hudson is one of the best brands to truly accentuate the booty, with curvier fits (especially in their signature bootcut models) and well-placed back pockets. The premium denim market is seriously saturated and extremely competitive, so it’s very difficult to stay afloat and come up with new ideas on a regular basis. However, the brand has once again proven its staying power with some new releases that definitely warrant some “oohs” and “aahs.”