Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ft. Lonesome

Ft. Lonesome turns out elaborate custom Western wear chain-stitched with vintage Singer embroidery machines in the tradition of iconic rodeo tailors like Nudie Cohn and Manuel Cuevas. In some cases, Ft. Lonesome’s pieces aren’t just custom-embroidered, they’re bespoke. In addition to personal motifs that tell the wearer’s story, the garments themselves can be made of custom cut-to-fit patterns. You can also choose to have custom designs stitched onto a garment you already own and love, or purchase from FL’s Camp line of restored garments made from upcycled pieces made with quality fabrics and construction. Whichever way you cut it, they’re “tailored, personal heirloom garments.



I love the idea of cowboy day-to-night that underpins Ft. Lonesome’s pieces. The idea of, on the one hand, utilitarian denim workwear and on the other meticulously pressed, elaborately stitched shirts paired with shined-up boots — rugged to rhinestone, with Western wear you get the best of both worlds.



I’ve often wondered what kind of design I’d want if the dream opportunity to have a custom-made Nudie suit came up. Probably something involving palm trees. With Ft. Lonesome, custom western wear dreams are more within reach than ever.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
For the third time in as many years, we drove to Joshua Tree for a much-needed high desert getaway. We stayed at the same cabin as we did last year, a special spot rife with weird, wonderful, decorative details the owners have put into the place. It was originally a chicken and turkey ranch until it became a full-on hippie commune in the late 60s and early 70s. According to Green Acres’ owners, Gram Parsons (whose specter and Cosmic American music still casts a near-spiritual vibe over J Tree) and Keith Richards spent time hanging out at the ranch. A fact like this is impossible for me to ignore and imbues the place with even more mystique than that provided by the otherworldly landscape and sound baths at the Integratron. This year I read Keith Richards’ autobiography Life as a companion piece to last year’s Gram Parsons biography Twenty Thousand Roads.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

I wore my new Flax by Jean Englehart dress, we ate seitan sandwiches at our favorite restaurant in town, Crossroads Cafe, and I stopped by the new and more visible location of bkbceramics where I picked up a small ceramic dish and a post card by High Desert Test Sites. A non-profit organization with an inspiring mission to enact temporary, intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant conceptual art in the high desert, HDTS seems to embody the draw of this place and to gather the people drawn by it.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchDuring the day we passed red barrel cacti on a hike to the beautiful and serene 49 Palms Oasis before heading over to Pappy & Harriet’s and spending the afternoon traveling down dusty unpaved roads in search of the real estate listings I stalk year-round. At night, we shut off all the lights, stretched out on outdoor lounge chairs and hunkered down under Mexican blankets and in my case, a newly acquired vintage Levi’s shearling jacket, to stargaze. It’s easy to forget what darkness looks like living in a city — a fact thrown further into relief when we got back and I listened to an interview with the author of The End of Night, a book which explores how little darkness is left on Earth and the impact it has on its inhabitants. We saw some of the biggest, brightest shooting stars we’d ever seen.
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchOn the way to our second stop in Palm Springs, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park stopping at Cap Rock and Cholla Cactus Garden and watching the high Mojave desert turn into the low Colorado.
Joshua Tree Cap Rock
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tune In: Lost In The Dream

Photos by Adam Granduciel via T Magazine
I recently came across T Magazine's article on a year's worth of photos taken by The War On Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel. As the year begins to draw to a close, reflection on its best albums will begin, and for me, Lost In The Dream will almost certainly occupy the number one spot. The photos span a year the band spent traveling the world in support of the third album and show Granduciel's eye is on the level of his ear.



This session for KEXP in Seattle has some fantastic live versions of songs from the album, along with a bit of background on its making. They've certainly earned their comparisons to Tom Petty and Dylan, but I was most delighted by the strains of Roxy Music that run through several tracks like Under The Pressure  and Disappearing. If he and sometime bandmate Kurt Vile can each put out a record on alternating years, we'll be in good shape. Also, as I learned from an interview with Vogue, Granduciel is a writer characterized by anxiousness and perfectionism, always on the quest for "beautiful moments of 'hey,'" and with a penchant for eBay alerts and vintage denim — a man after my own heart.







Friday, October 24, 2014

Destination Desert Highways (& The Pool)


Debaucherous rock and roll autobiography: check. Latest Gentlewoman: check. New bikini: check. Favorite Karen Walker Anytime Sunglasses: check. Sunhat: check. Olio E Osso No. 2 Lip Balm: check.

I couldn't be more ready to spend some days relaxing in the Joshua Tree high dez and poolscapes of Palm Springs.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Test Fest: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan & Byredo Mojave Ghost


Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan Byredo Mojave Ghost

Lately I've been indulging my penchant for fragrances by buying testers. It's the perfect way to try out scents without the commitment or trip to a department store or boutique. I've found it interesting to try a few scents over the same period of time to play them against each other, tease out their different qualities or similarities, and to pick a favorite or even my next full-bottle purchase. 

Byredo Mojave Ghost


This round, I sought out scents from two perfumers that are always popping up on cool girls' wishlists and beauty shelves: Byredo's newly released Mojave Ghost and Serge Lutens' Ambre Sultan. Byredo's Ben Gorham takes an approach to developing scents that's exactingly aesthetic and up-to-the-minute but also rooted in nostalgia and dreams. Serge Lutens is a French photography, beauty and perfume creative known for styling for the likes of Vogue and Richard Avedon (also a hero of Riccardo Tisci), and I was inspired to pick Ambre Sultan after my Q&A with The Cut's Editorial Director, Stella Bugbee, who's also scent obsessed.

Byredo Mojave Ghost


I expected Mojave Ghost to be a musky, desert-y unisex scent based on the name and description, so I was surprised when I was met with the smell of sweet pear with my first spritz. I have to admit it was more feminine than I thought it would be, and it was so different from what I expected that I was put off. But of course with scents, you have to wait and see. When the tropico-floral top notes settled down, what enveloped me was a lighter, more subtle muskiness that said: refined; pulled-together; womanly; expensive; esoteric; bohemian; intoxicating.

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan Byredo Mojave Ghost

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan


Ambre Sultan I also expected to be musky, mysterious and unisex, and in this case it turned out to be closer to true. Without the floral aspect of Mojave Ghost, it was a straight-ahead but deep and moody  take on sandalwood. At first I thought it settled into whiffs of grandpa-cologne territory, but more and more it ended up feeling: feminine; powdery; rich; spicy; far-flung; powerful; soft.  

I'm not sure I could choose a favorite between these two as they offer very different and compelling moods. But I have a feeling I'll still be thinking about them both when the testers run out, and then time will tell.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Into The Fray With Marques'Almeida


Marques'Almeida

London designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida have been creating runway-worthy distressed denim as Marques'Almeida since they met at Central Saint Martins. Discovered by Opening Ceremony, their fresh take on denim has gained major traction in just a few seasons. The duo's bio states they "subscribe to the Helmut Lang school of thought, where 'fashion is about attitude, not about hemlines,'" but their frayed, devil-may-care hemlines are precisely what I like.

Marques'Almeida

They elevate the idea of distressed denim with inventive shapes like draped denim bandeau tops and simple yet striking raw-edged tees and shift dresses, some with innovative touches like metallic finishes. And they're also getting in on the recent resurgence of fun fur.

Marques'Almeida


Their designs walk the line between classic and on-trend, and achieve a balance of minimal and statement-making — something with a lot of appeal to those who love basics with a twist (and, of course, denim). They're a little bit 90s, a little bit heritage Western. So, attitude, yes, but understatement too.

 Marques'Almeida


They're set to release a Topshop collection (preview it here) featuring their signature rips and frays, as well as knits and faux furs that will be perfect for fall (if it ever comes - it's 84˚ as of this writing). So mark your calendars for October 9th!

Street style photo via Garance DorĂ©

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mojave Melon Rose


Mojave Melon Rose Cockatil | Mood Maybe
What started last summer as a dalliance has become an obsession this year - melon. Hell or high watermelon beer (its appearance and disappearance marks the summer season), mixed melon agua fresca with lunch on Fridays, watermelon mojitos at Mua, and mini seedless watermelons in our CSA— I've been all about melon in all its forms. A simple, fresh margarita is my go-to summer cocktail to make at home, so I thought I'd add some watermelon into the mix.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Byredo Mojave Ghost

Byredo Mojave Ghost | Mood Maybe




When it comes to scents, the more exotic, unisex and dusty desert-inspired the better, as far as I'm concerned. I'm still hanging on to my last bottle of D.S. & Durga's  Cowgirl Grass, using it slowly and sparingly on special occasions or whims, but ever since it became clear it's been discontinued, I've been on the hunt for something to replace it  So when I saw Byredo's newly released scent Mojave Ghost on both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar last week, I knew I had to try it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NYFW Faves

Sculptural silhouettes, organic details, hand-crafted elements, Moroccan influence, easy elegance — these were some of the common threads that ran through my favorite shows from NYFW Spring 2015.

Adam Lippes: Easy elegance by way of Morocco. The mix was minimal meets decadent. #holytassels #unrealpleats
Adam Lippes Spring 2015


Adam Lippes Spring 2015


Adam Lippes Spring 2015
Rachel Comey: Always a bit off in a jolie laide kind of way, coolly imaginative, really wearable.

Rachel Comey Spring 2015

Rachel Comey Spring 2015
Isa Arfen: Made me want to go to Palm Springs (more than usual, even). Preppy meets punky meets mid-century fringe details.

Isa Arfen Spring 2015
Isa Arfen Spring 2015Ulla Johnson: More Moroccan influence (can't get enough). A fancy baja poncho, more fringe, more tassels and shibori prints hand-crafted in Calcutta.

Ulla Johnson Spring 2015

Ulla Johnson Spring 2015

Ulla Johnson Spring 2015
The Row: The Olsens continue to master their calling card uber-luxurious minimalism in the form of long, slit tunics with organic, woven details, deceivingly simple trousers and pared-down strapless dresses with the perfect amount of volume (a little too much).

The Row Spring 2015

The Row Spring 2015
Rosie Assoulin: Her sculptural aesthetic was evident, down to woven bags that could double as ceramic vessels from distance. Assoulin's looks ride the line between minimal and maximal, casual and dramatic, edgy and feminine — they offer something new without being gimmicky. And she knows her way around anything off-the-shoulder.

Rosie Assoulin Spring 2015

Rosie Assoulin Spring 2015
6397: It's still all about jumpsuits, and 6397 knows how to do them right — in slouchy denim with heavy workwear references. Their washes are worn-in, faded and dirty in a way that feels, oddly, fresh.

6397 Denim Spring 2015

J Crew: The unerring messy-cute ponytail, oversized glasses, shoulder-draped jacket styling was on point as per usual. The J Crew girl was compelling as usual — this time in pajama dressing details and traditional textiles.
J Crew Spring 2015