A few weeks ago I linked to Upstate as part of a weekend link round-up. I felt like I was getting a little out of control with all the indigo dye in recent posts, so I felt like a bit of restrain was neccessary. And then today I was like, eff it, I am the boss of this blog. And I love Upstate. I've been wearing their kimono around town and getting so many compliments on it that I felt it would be unnatural to not post about them.
Brooklyn-based designers Kalen Kaminski and Astrid Chastka dip dye every piece individually by hand using their take on the traditional Japanese method called Shibori. I can personally vouch in a very big way for the silk kimono ($264), and will be dreaming of those shorts ($268) and the handkerchief/scarf ($62), hoping they might make their way west...into my closet. Beyond women's clothes, Upstate also makes men's (or women's) pocket squares and neckties as well as pillows and bedding.
There's a lot of heritage backpacks on the market currently, and I must say I really like most of them, but it's probably near impossible to out-heritage Duluth Pack. The Duluth Pack's roots start with a French-Canadian named Camille Poirier, who made his way west to Duluth, Minnesota in 1870 with a little stock of leather and tools. Twelve years later Poirier filed for a patent on a new type of packsack—a canvas sack that closed with a buckled flap and had new-fangled shoulder straps.
I checked out a friend's Duluth pack today and it had aged like a fine wine. The leather, buttery. The canvas, with that sturdy ruggedness and worn-in patina. Delicious. Duluth packs are still made in Duluth, Minnesota in the same way they've been making canoe packs for over 100 years. And they're guaranteed for life. Nothing more solid than that. The Duluth No. 51 Canoe Pack ($105) comes in fifteen colorways today (I'm eyeing that navy one), but unfortunately the price has gone up just a skosh from its original $3 price tag.
Thanks for the reminder Justin Woodwater!
There are very few people in this world like Coryander Friend. And I'm not talking the typical, oh this girl is so cool, she's the coolest cool girl ever type of superlative, even though, that is indeed a truth-fact. Yes, more noteworthy than her inherent coolness, is Coryander's impressively honed aesthetic and her professional-grade depth of knowledge of objects and designs. AND! She is one of the friendliest people I've ever encountered—which isn't a trait that always overlaps with crazy-good taste. I should know, I'm a total a-hole. Just kidding. Ish. Like most people with great eclectic taste, it's hard to sum up with a neat phrase. There's definite strokes of Laurel Canyon, Industrial, Bohemian, Japanese, Mid-Century and The Natural World in there, but it's mostly undefinable. Coryander says, "The energy of my taste has always been the same, but the way I express it changes all the time."
Coryander was born and raised in rural Wisconsin and now lives in Laurel Canyon as a set-designer, curator, collector and part-time surfer. When she's not working on a movie or commercial or scouring Brimfield, you can find Coryander's vintage collection at Storefront in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to all of that (and apparently never sleeping?), Coryander's put together a pretty incredible event scheduled for this weekend called Parachute Market.
Parchute Market is a seasonal design fair based around conceptual thought and context. Its first iteration, Psychedelic Summer, is scheduled for this weekend (June 22 & June 23) in downtown Los Angeles with some of the city's most revered curators and collectors showcasing their take on Coryander's concept. Having covered design and interiors for years, I love how Coryander is bringing back conceptual thinking to the overly brand-centric design world. If you have the chance to check it out, I have a feeling it's going to be worth the trip.
Top photo: screenshot from the film Play It as It Lays (adapted from the novel by Joan Didion), 1972. Bottom photo: Joan Didion in her 1969 yellow Corvette Stingray by Julian Wasser for LIFE, 1970.
"California belongs to Joan Didion. Not the California where everyone wears aviator sunglasses, owns a Jacuzzi and buys his clothes on Rodeo Drive. But California in the sense of the West. The old West where Manifest Destiny was an almost palpable notion that was somehow tied to the land and the climate and one's own family-an unspoken belief that was passed down to children in stories and sayings."—Michiko Kakutani, from her 1979 New York Times book review Joan Didion: Staking out California.
I was thrilled to be part of Max Wastler's Things My Father Taught Me series on All Plaid Out—luckily I was dressed for the occasion. Check it out here...and Happy Father's Day!
If you build it, they will come. Or if you bitch about something on a blog, maybe someone will hear you. Claire Moseley, the designer and proprietor behind O'Harrow Clothiers, has just started a pocket square, lapel pin, and unisex shirting company out of Silver Lake. The label launched just this month and GQ has already taken notice. And why wouldn't they? Claire couldn't be any cooler. We talked shop for a while about the lack of functioning blazer pockets for women and her eye for great pocket square fabric, much of which is Japanese. I love how Claire is styling her reversible pocket squares in shirt pockets, denim jackets, and in the back pockets of jeans (Springsteen style!). And I'm really digging how O'Harrow pockets squares are 8-inch squares as opposed to the standard 12-inch square because they're less bulky, which is ideal for the girl who's hip to the square. Great price points ($29-$32 for pocket squares), great concept, and it's all made in the USA. All the pocket squares, lapel pins, and shirts are available online.
Photo via my Instagram.
There's so many of those leather man cuffs on the market, and I can't say I'm a huge fan of that look. But, I love these engravable Colonel Littleton Camp bracelets ($32) out of Lynville, Tennessee. There's something of an equestrian tradition with these bracelets (also called tack bracelets), riders engrave their horse's name or the stable or ranch name on the bracelets. I took it one step further and engraved mine with Axl and Spicoli, which I am probably alone in thinking is a real knee slapper. I'm also eyeing the Col. Littleton's double-wrap Hermes-esque bracelet ($45). I guess I'll have to engrave something earnest on that one.
I had to re-post this from the brilliant blog Miss Moss, because this is one of the coolest things I've seen all year. In the age of Instagram and digital photography, I've heard a few photographers with big careers under their belts say they're sadly ready to throw in the towel. The filters that one simple button produces on an iPhone is what some photographers have spent years honing and practicing. On the other hand, New York-based photographer Joni Sternbach, has found her specialty in a photographic process that's over 150 years old: early wet plate collodion photographic technique. The collodion process was introduced in 1850 and reigned as the format of choice for decades. Surfland is Sternbach's ongoing project of surfer portraits around the world. The aesthetic and aura of these portraits are stunning, it looks as if The Civil War is happening just outside the photo borders. But what's even more incredible is that the entire photographic process, from coating to developing, has to be done before the plates dry. This means Sternbach has no more than 10 minutes to complete everything. I'll be thinking about that next time I take a photo of my feet at the beach.
Photo via Turmado do Sao.
"I'll be damned if we're not out there breakin' our necks just like the guys...we're gettin' burned. How many issues has it been since you've seen a girl's face? About five."—Vicki Vickers, lamenting the poor coverage of female skaters to Skateboarder Magazine.
Photos by Simons Finnerty.
It was impossible to categorize this post. Icon? Scene? Uniform? All of the above. Barbara Shaum is a New York legend, but also something of a well-kept fashion industry secret. She barely has an online presence and isn't the self-promoter that has become second nature to modern generations. Shaum has just been quietly hand-making leather sandals and belts in a cramped East Village studio for decades. Like, decades as in FIVE. Shaum opened her leather shop in 1962 and has been cranking out the goods ever since. She's well into her 80s now with no plans of retirement on the horizon. And almost more impressive than that, she was the first woman to enter the male-only McSorley's Bar. This video tells the story...
Thanks Simons for leading me to this wonderful Sconiform and sharing your photos. Beyond being a photographer and a world class gentleman, Simons also works for Sid and Ann Mashburn in Atlanta, which is the only online retailer of Barbara Shaum sandals that I know of (but please chime in with other stockists if that's not the case). So if you can't get your feet traced by Shaum in New York, click on over. And according to The Mashburns, Barbara Shaum sandals really do last forever and keep looking better with age.
The Barbara Shaum Socrates Sandal ($415) shown above and The Barbara Shaum Franciscan Sandal ($415) are available for women (and men) at Ann (and Sid) Mashburn.
+ Speaking of sandals, Teva is making a comeback. I've crowd sourced this and people are on board with the return of the original river shoe's original design ($55).
+ Silver Lake's Mohawk General Store opened Mohawk Man last week. It's two doors down and too good not to check out.
+ Cool new book about TIE-DYE out this week.
+ Do you know where the word "seersucker" comes from? The answer via a Brooks Brothers tweet.
Keep up with Tomboy Style elsewhere: INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK
Photo of Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth via Jungblut.
"I bought my first bass on my birthday. I put five dollars down on a Fender Precision and paid five dollars every week. It took a long time, but I finally got it. I had a job on 57th street at Henri Bendel’s. I was the girl in potpourri at first, then I was is in stationery, then I moved to shoes, and then I was let go." —Tina Weymouth
In a recurring post I like to call: Hello, it's 2013, why aren't there a million work bags marketed to women?—here's a great bag that would fit a laptop and some briefs just perfectly, with a strap long enough for the shoulder and short enough to also carry by your side. British bag maker Jas MB is making me want to be a nine-to-fiver again. These bags are hand-made from recycled leather and are so simple and slick, and I bet they look buttery after a few years of wear. Mmmm gorgeousness. They're available for purchase online from YMC ($169).
I'm super excited to bring in a new category to Tomboy Style called Base Layer. Base Layer will look at the beauty and wellness industry through a utilitarian lens and a tomboy sensibility. I've only ever been able to tread water (if that) when it comes to beauty and health products—to be totally honest, my ultimate unhappy place might be a cosmetics counter at a big department store. There's just so much over-packaged junk and so much of it is terrible for you. Luckily, Kristi Head, an entrepreneur, packaging designer, product-maker and artist, is helping me navigate the ever-expanding ocean of beauty products. I first met Kristi when I was covering Lurk perfume oils—and we immediately bonded over our mutual hatred of overly fragrant perfume. Now she creates natural and biodegradable Lite+Cycle candles (sold at NK Shop and Steven Alan to name a few stockists). While running in Griffith Park together the other day I asked for her take on sunscreen, and the idea for Base Layer was born. Base Layer will focus on products and methods that apply to the greater beauty and wellness world that are non-toxic, effective, simple, and beautiful. The first in the series is one of the most important of all base layers: sunscreen.
by Kristi Head
It’s Summer. Go outside. Take in the sun and Vitamin D. Block out the harmful UVs. Here's how:
ROW I: Everyday Facial Sunscreens
1.ORGANIC OPTION: John Masters Organics Natural Mineral SPF 30 ($32). Protects against harmful UVA+UVB rays with no nano-particles. Reef friendly and biodegrable. Contains green tea extract and moisturizes with shea butter and jojoba oil.
2. DERMATOLOGIST LOVED: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 40 Sunscreen Cream ($28) [update: SPF 60 is pictured, but not recommended]. This one appears on the shelves at highly regarded dermatologist offices. It's very light weight, with a slightly greasy application, but soaks into the skin fast and is very effective.
3. CHEAP AND EASY: Elemental Herbs Sunstick ($8). Excellent protection with very low health concerns. It's chemical free, unscented, goes on clear and is ultra moisturizing (full of natural oils and butters). Apply on face and lips. Great for on-the-go SPFing.
ROW II: Sporty Sunscreens
1. ORGANIC OPTION: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Moisturizer ($16). With a 20% blend of zinc oxide, this is a little thick on application, but with a slight tint and blend of rich organic jojoba you never have that white residue. Plus, the added essential oils make for a bright and appealing scent. Water resistant, chemical free and made especially for an active outdoor lifestyle.
2. SURFER SPF: Headhunter Warpaint ($5-$10). Designed to meet the rigorous demands of surfers and tested on the waves around the world. And because Spicoli said so.
3. ALL-PURPOSE EVERYWHERE: Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40 ($13). This is always an widely accessible natural option. And the Hydresia? That's little capsules of oil from safflower seeds that collapse at varying rates on the skin (i.e. ultra moisturizing).
Jesse Kamm. A name that has become synonymous with high-end artisanal fashion. Since 2005, Kamm has been creating modern classics that are not only durable in material, but durable in style. The Jesse Kamm cult following reads like a who's who of cool Eastside L.A. women, including photographer Hilary Walsh who modeled for the Spring 2013 collection lookbook below.
What's so great about Jesse Kamm is that she flat out doesn't want to be a big label. And it's not political or a desire to be super indie, she simply just wants to live a balanced life. As professional success is so often attributed by personal sacrifice these days, Kamm's philosophy is more than a refreshing outlook. Indeed, Kamm and her husband and son spend their summers in Panama surfing and living in a house they built with their own hands.
Her common-sense yet unconventional philosophies also apply to fashion. Kamm says, "Vogue girls wouldn't get [my clothes] because my designs don't follow trends." Kamm believes the Jesse Kamm girl to be fiercely independent and uninterested by the fashion circus. I personally love how there's consistency with Jesse Kamm from season to season, shapes and materials repeat, collections aren't wildly different every six months. There's something so honest and genuine about her designs, you can tell she's only designing what she truly wants to wear.
Jesse Kamm's clothing consists of high-end materials with the idea that these "uniforms" can be worn non-stop: from a business meeting to a nice dinner to late evening lounging. "It's all about physical comfort and ease," Kamm says. But somehow JK makes that look so damn chic too.
And as if Jesse Kamm's surfing and house-building wasn't enough tomboy style, one of her most prized possessions is an old binocular case. Find Jesse Kamm clothing and accessories at one of these fine retailers.
P.S. A few years ago Jesse was Q+A'd on Tomboy Style too!