The folks of L.L. Bean Signature have done it again with their Spring/Summer 2011 collection. They continue to offer quality, versatile pieces that suit at an affordable price point. To top it off, L.L. Bean now offers free shipping on all orders – as if you needed that additional peer pressure. Above are some of my personal favorites from the men’s and women’s collections. I have half a mind to purchase the men’s linen short sleeve button front with the nautical tie print in a small for myself!
Monthly Archives: April 2011
Whenever we head up to Boothbay, Maine to visit Ted’s family we hop over to Damariscotta to check out some of our favorite shops. One of which is Naragansett Leathers. Shop owners Alan and Ann Marie McKinnon started their leather shop in 1969 near the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill as an escape from Alan’s government position in D.C. which was less than thrilling. In 1976 the McKinnons moved their shop and family up to Damariscotta, ME. Over the years they mastered the craft and still to this dray produce the majority of the goods their shop carries including belts, bags, sandals, and other accessories. They also have a fantastic belt buckle selection which they will fit to one of their belts for you if you wish.
My good friend James Jean (extraordinaire of The Mod Revival and Mod Rockers) has launched his highly anticipated series “His & Her’s” with fellow dear friend and stunner Cary Randolph of Fresh Every Day. The series is, “intended to channel the ever growing trend of women tackling menswear by either wearing menswear inspired pieces or taking things a step further and raiding the closets of Father’s, boyfriends, Husbands, etc., and wearing it as if it were their own garments”. Head over to The Mod Revival to read the Q&A with Cary and more photos of her looking his and her’s gear.
Jay of Red Clay Soul asked me to draw him a fox for his blog’s logo and here’s the little guy I drew up for him. I wanted the RCS fox to look soft and playful but with a bit of a fiesty gaze. Head over to RCS to see the illustration as the new logo and bookmark the site – Jay has a lot of great content! Also be sure to vote for the Red Clay Soul belt design featuring the new fox in the Tucker Blair belt contest. Voting ends Friday so don’t dilly dally!
Many of you probably already know of the fabulous Kate Jones and her jewelry line Ursa Major. Not only does Kate make the most beautiful jewelry, she’s one of the chicest and kindest women in the North East. Though a current resident of NYC, Kate hails from Boothbay, Maine where she grew up sailing and enjoying the coast of Maine with her family. And it just so happens that her family and my boyfriend’s family grew up together. Yes, small world indeed! Kate was kind enough to do a Q&A with me and answer some questions about Ursa Major, what inspires her, and her new F/W 2011 collection. The photos here are some samples of the Ursa Major F/W 2011 lookbook which you can download here.
Q. So, first things first, where did the name Ursa Major come from?
A. Ursa Major, aside from being the Big Dipper, was the name of our sailboat we lived on as a kid.
Q. How did you go about becoming a jewelry designer and creating Ursa Major?
A. Well, I guess I should tell you that I was always making jewelry as a kid . . . yes, I was the one making little brooches out of clay, and actually selling them at some local shops. I think I had a business number when I was 12 or 13. I remember trying to fill my first order of 20 brooches for this shop in Falmouth, Maine, and hitting the wall at about 8. That was my first shot at production. Years later I went to Rhode Island School of Design. I studied jewelry for one incredible year, before giving into my frustrations and changing my major to Textiles (I had plans to become an apparel designer), but every summer I’d go home to Boothbay Harbor and work in a little jewelry store called The Silver Lining. I did repair work, ring sizing, and custom projects. The owner, Tony Heyl, taught me a lot, in terms of working efficiently, tricks of the trade, and production. After RISD, I moved to Melbourne, Australia- studied fashion for a year and a half . . . it wasn’t until I studied fashion, an industry that’s much generally much more commercial that it began to make sense for me to do my own jewelry line. The idea of working in collections really appealed to me. I returned to live in Portland for a couple years, where I picked up work as a jeweler again. This time in a beautiful high end shop called Folia. I learned about working with clients on custom designs, casters, gem dealers, and…gold. Then somehow in there I started to create a jewelry line with Jay Carroll (now of Levis) for Rogues Gallery . . . call it proximity, or that I’d already known Alex Carlton for several years. That was really the beginning. After a couple years, I left Rogues and began work on Ursa Major, which was launched last February.
Q. Your sailing adventures throughout the Caribbean and Central America were the inspiration for your S/S ’10 collection, what inspired this one?
A. Yeah, I think the incarnations of my inspiration for the previous one were much more subtle. A few literal pieces like the Monkey’s Fist necklace and Milagros pieces, but in general it was probably from years of watching the horizon line at sea and looking at shells, stones, and such which had eroded and tumbled at sea and washed up on shore. Thanks to the photos in this F/W ‘11 lookbook, the inspiration is pretty clear. My mom always had a house full of amazing American Indian pieces. The standouts were this Haida mask, hopi bracelet (which I now wear everyday), and collection of Edward Curtis photogravures. But the jewelry itself, I wanted to be subtle, in part because a huge chunk of the market has been driven by this theme in the past couple of years. There’s also a little bit of Central America left in there. I thought it a natural progression to go up through Guatemala and Mexico to the American Southwest.
Q. It must be nice to be able to make your own jewelry and wear it! Are there other jewelry designers whose designs you wear and/or love?
A. Ha! It’s great. Have you seen me? I’m a walking showroom. But if I could have a collection of jewelry from anyone else it would be Ted Muehling or Alexander Calder.
Q. You’re from the coast of Maine and currently reside in New York City. What are your favorite spots in both locations to help you get your creative juices flowing?
A. Fortunately my parents home in East, Boothbay is right on the ocean, and a studio included, so I don’t have to go far. But if I wanted to take a trip I’d probably go to Monhegan Island or the Farnsworth Museum to see the collection of Wyeths. You can really put my anywhere on the water there and I’ll be happy. In the city I run around Central Park and on the West Side and that helps a lot. But in NYC all I have to do is look up at all of the variations of architecture to be inspired.
Q. Are there some design elements and jewelry techniques that you hope to try your hand at in the future?
A. I’d like to do more with enamel. In the process of trying to buy a kiln and finding more time. And right now I’d trying to come up with ways to make jewelry look eroded . . . like a sandstone sculpture.
Q. When and where will people be able to purchase pieces from your amazing new collection?
A. The new jewelry will be available this summer. Right now, to mention a few, you can find previous pieces at Castor and Pollux (NYC), Bazar (Venice, CA), Levis (Malibu and Boston), Gravel and Gold (San Fran), and me if you aren’t in proximity or can’t find the pieces you want. Working on a bunch of others at the moment. It’s always about finding the right fit. I’ll try and keep an updated stockist list for the new collection on the site, or at least my blog.
Q. You’ve been praised as one of the most stylish women in NYC (for good reason!). Where are your favorite places to shop?
A. Oh boy. I try to stay sharp with help from Zero Maria Cornejo (conveniently around the corner from my apartment), A Detacher, Assembly, and Project No. 8. But my friends in the business keep me pretty well supplied with goods for which I am always grateful, particularly the men’s stuff.
Thanks again to Kate! She has a lot of exciting projects in the works for this coming year. One of which is a small capsule collection for Julia Leach and her line Chance (which I just posted about yesterday). Kate will also be appearing in their short film series. And for all the gentlemen reading, Kate is working with a couple talented guys on on a side collection of men’s travel accessories (belts, cufflinks, and the like), and down the road she hopes to add a full men’s collection to Ursa Major. Kate also curates a blog of stunning artwork, photography, and designs that inspire her, so be sure to bookmark it along with the Ursa Major homepage.
I love stripes, you love stripes, I’m pretty sure everyone loves stripes, and Chance definitely loves stripes. For founder Julia Leach, an affinity for stripes is about the design, simplicity, and timelessness of the iconic pattern. The daughter of a French author and a midwest potter, Leach is influenced by both nautical French culture and by American sportswear. Leach also spent ten plus years as EVP/Creative Director at kate spade where she created many of spade’s most memorable advertising campaigns, pioneered their online marketing initiatives, and greatly influenced their visual brand identity and voice. Considering her background in design and what her inspirations, it should be no surprise that the classic stripe t-shirt is the icon of Chance – “the striped t-shirt is the paper-clip of style” as Leach eloquently states. This singular piece has the ability to combine, fashion, form, design, line, and function. It can take you from the sea to the busy city streets. Chance also offers classic essentials such as the striped t-shirt dress, solid t’s, the perfect pajama set, and accessories like canvas totes, fedora, and handkerchiefs. While you’re browsing their online shop, don’t miss out on their Discoveries tab – a blog like culmination of inspirations. The website as a whole is one of my favorites to date, perfectly simple and filled with delightful quotes, beautiful photos, and even a timeline of the history of the striped t-shirt.
I’m a real sucker for everyday home/office objects that have are of the best design and aesthetics so I’m always on the hunt for new resources. My good friend Tyler turned me on to Kaufmann Mercantile this past weekend and I’ve been scouring their blog and drooling over their shop’s goods for the past 48 hours straight. Founder Sebastian Kaufmann (born and raised in Germany) started the Mercantile blog in 2009 with an aim to, “rekindle curiosity and revive knowledge about the things we use every day. We want to extend the discussion of art and design to everyday objects. We also believe materials and the way they are produced (by nature or humans) can be seen as art”. In the summer of 2010 the Kaufmann Mercantile shop launched, offering well-made products that will not need to be replaced, thus providing a more environmental and design-conscious alternative to cheap trinkets that are too often consumed in bulk in homes around the world.
I found these French-made-in-Italy garlic hand-printed fabrics when looking for fun fabrics for my new apartment and fell absolutely in love. For those of you who weren’t aware, veggies (especially garlic)are great for carving and creating handmade stamps for printing fabric with your designs. Personally, I think the Legos printed scarf is amazing. I’m also taking advantage of the opportunity to brush up on my French by reading the blog.
G1 Goods is a Los Angeles based women’s brand that creates “timeless clothes for the modern woman with everlasting style”. Designer Yoonah Shoji designs pieces with a fresh faced and adventurous women in mind. Inspired by vintage pieces, the collection maintains the perfect balance between customized details and a comfortable and practical contemporary fit making them perfect for a girl’s everyday wardrobe. Shoji’s Spring 2011 collection works beautifully for both the West and East coast – faded olive military jackets with crisp white blouses give off the perfect Cali casual vibe with a bit of New England prep.