While scanning my usual fashion blogs for style inspiration (oraclefox, magical creature, bleachblack, pursenboots), it feels as if everyone is in a post-Coachella haze of hippy inspired, floral or fringed fashions. One trend I’m noticing that stands out from the rest is NEON. I’m not talking about raver fluorescent from head to toe, but that little pop of color that screams “pssst…summer is here.” My usual goth-like tendencies always navigate me towards black and more black, but it’s refreshing to see a little bit of color added to an otherwise monochrome outfit. I’m really loving the neon/pop color trends in accessories…bags, shoes, sunglasses etc. Check out website nastygal. This fashion forward site has really hit the nail on the trend and the prices seem fairly reasonable. Whether it be neon nails, a coral clutch or some bright sunny shades, I’m into it. See below for some inspiration and where to pick up some great pieces.

Dress and Vest: www.lfstores.com

Shoes: www.unifclothing.com

 

Sunglasses: www.shopplanetblue.com

 

Shirt: www.lfstores.com

 

Bag: www.nastygal.com

 

Tank: www.topshop.com

Bag: www.proenzachouler.com

Shorts: Vintage Levis

 

-Jessica Lyle

 

Love what Love Nail Tree has done with tee design. Another LA brand that has it absolutely dialed with their graphics, silhouettes, and their story. I picked up a tee of theirs this weekend and after putting it on, fell in love with the styling immediately. Custom blanks with an amazing hand feel, and each tee is graced with a story screen printed on the inside of the neck in clean typography. I bought the Washing in the River tee and this is the story I found.

Sleeping amongst wolves is no man’s pastime. Man finds silence amongst redwoods, and calmness on a Kentucky summer’s night. Man gathers relief from the covers of his childhood bed, and comfort from his father’s old reclining chair. But no man rests in the presence of wolves.

Eating from the bathroom floor is like chewing fat for sustenance. Warm soup bowls from old-time diners bring forth fervent spirits, and rich slabs of succulent steak upon heavy dinner plates bring cozy rest. But no man slathers grime from beneath the sink for flavor and fare. 
Likewise, strolling through battlefields with umbrellas high and picnic baskets frothing with foreign wines and cheeses afford only the fool his just desserts. To act without tact, to run without light, and to live without care is like bringing Wisdom to the Ganges for cleansing.

Love Nail Tree has a special nostalgia about it’s design, it pays particular attention to LA fashion yet remains wearable and un-intrusives. Thought provoking and confident is how I feel wearing this tee.

Stay tuned for our coverage on their stunning jewelry line next week.

 

Love Nail Tree 

 

We love a good t-shirt and Le Beau makes damn fine t-shirts. There has been a buzz building around a recent line of tees made for girls and guys designed in New York and produced in Los Angeles. Photographer Nicholas Routzen is the mastermind behind the line. He tells us he not only took most of the photos featured on the tees, but he also designed the line himself taking into account cut and material to insure an absolutely flawless tee. His inspiration comes from immersing himself in the world of fashion and design, which he does everyday (he is a well-known photographer based in New York). It can be hard to really know what apparel looks and feels like by seeing it online, so we sent out for our favorite tee from the selection and test drove it ourselves.

Presentation

Perfect. The tee arrives in 2 days, one day before it was expected to. When we open it, it’s wrapped in a classic black paper. It already feels premium.

Details

One of our favorite aspects of the tee has to be the attention to detail. The interior neck screen print is impeccable, it’s design speaks to high fashion in the typography, but references clean contemporary in the black x. Size callouts are a simple black tag on the inside which keeps things simple. Even the hang tag feels impressive. The design on the front looks even better in person, and the screen print is solid and looks to have been produced with care.

 

Fit

This is probably the most important part and in the case of this tee, it’s by far it’s best asset. We have to admit we were a bit skeptical when we saw that the tees are made to fit girls and guys and maintain the same cut throughout, however in the case of Le Beau’s custom blank design, it’s obvious Nick did his homework. It fits perfectly; loose, but complimenting the neckline and stays fitted to the body without ballooning out. Casual but sophisticated seems to be the verdict here.

Materials

Soft as hell and buttery to the hand. It’s a pleasure to wear this with layers or by itself as it breaths but isn’t too thin. The tees are all made from 100% Modal and they are preshrunk. Modal is a type of rayon that is resistent to shrinking or fading and is a bit thinner then most cotton spun fabrics.

Overall we were really excited by what we have seen so far. Check out some photos of extremely good looking people wearing Le Beau and make sure to check out their online store. 

lebeau.co

Designed by Sean Stickley, Future Vintage is described as High End Tropical Living. We say it’s some Crosby Stills and Nash, mixed with a good trip – meets NYC on a solid night out and throw in a little european flare and you START to describe their Spring/Summer 12 line. I can’t get enough of the colors and prints, really cool stuff. I met a guy at a Bag Raiders show recently from Australia, he was wearing one of these tees, and to see the apparel in person is really impressive. Love the direction Sean is going with his designs and can’t wait to see where this line goes. Check them out online!

futurevintage.com

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the launch of this line from Quality Peoples. From the first time I came across their blog I have been a fan of what they represent. I was so inspired by their blog actually, that I emailed Ed Fladung, one of the founders of the company, and told him how much I loved what they were doing. QP just releases it’s Spring Summer Line and it looks amazing. Their blanks are so comfortable with a fit that is relaxed but modern, and they flaunt a perfect weave of classic surf vibe and fashion forward styling. The prints have a nostalgic vintage wash, allowing them to look and feel as though you’ve been travelling with them across the ocean for years. Carrying a slice of Hawaii and Mexico into the mix, which is where QP hails from, and you have a synergy that will make their brand one of the best. Make some time to check out their store and blog, not only will you be inspired, but you might end up by packing your bags and head for the sea.

qualitypeoples.com

We’ve seen quite a bit of wearable lifestyle brands out there, but there are  few that stand out from the rest. Pull & Bear is one of them. With it’s head offices established in Spain it has a European flavor but is very conscious of Western fashion. I stumbled upon their lookbook recently and it just felt right. They use great patterns; florals, nautical patterns, and they definitely turn towards classic layers and cuts. I also love their video lookbook, dreamy summer beach life spiced with a dash of poetic mystery. Macro lens waves works well to tell their story as well.

Holy smokes this gear is fun. Colors, washes, dyes, prints, cuts all scream, “Don’t take shit so serious!” Although Mowgli Surf  has playfulness in mind they haven’t forgotten the importance of comfortability, and looking good. The cuts are great (tried on a pair of the sweatpants at Thalia Surf), and they feel fashion forward, but not over the top. You can’t be afraid of color with this California made apparel line, but why would you when your brand is inspired by The Jungle Book and what Mowgli represents; a crazy kid swinging from trees, full of freedom and fun.

mowglisurf.com

TF Fall Winter 2012 designed by Karl Templer and Peter Som, discovered by Jalouse who initially covered this 70’s influenced line. Really vibing the equestrian theme incorporated into this premium women’s line.

On a recent trip to LA, I visited  the  Nudie Jeans flagship store, the first of it’s kind in West Hollywood. The visit turned into an awesome discusson on denim, fit, and Sweden (Where Nudie hails from). After learning from the best in the trade, Chris and Phil; two denim connoisseur that take serious pride in their profession, I felt it necessary to spread some knowledge about denim to those of you who were in my shoes and didn’t really have a clue.

Nudie Jeans  was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden, by Maria Erixsson, and now sells in over 20 countries. Most of you have probably heard of Nudie Jeans, and although I am a huge fan of the company and their product, it becomes extremely interesting when you dive into how their denim is made and what procedures are taken in creating such a beautifully finished product. As Phil started to walk me through all the different fits, treatments and constructions, one thing became certain; I had a hard time keeping up with him. Words I have heard used over and over, are (Dry, Selvage, Slow, Japanese Selvage) I always acted as though I knew exactly what these terms meant and nodded along knowingly, but it was evident that I was overdue for a lesson. Chris Adams quickly brought me up to speed:

Dry Denim, is when the denim isn’t washed after the fabricating and dying process. Breaking in a pair of dry denim jeans involves NOT washing them for up to 6 months or a year. Where the jeans come to life is as you wear them, the fabric starts to fade, crinkle, and crease in the areas specific to your body. You get a custom look specific to your lifestyle and how you wear your jeans.

Selvage Denim, doesn’t have anything to do with salvaging anything, the word “selvage” comes from the phrase “self-edge”, the natural edge of a roll of fabric and instead it is denim made on old-style shuttle looms and selvage comes from how the fabric is woven using once continuous cross thread; the weft. As the the weft loops back into the edge of the weave the selvage edge is created.

Slow, production is much slower than conventionally produced denim, and only the best raw materials are used, thus making it more expensive. The slow speed of the loom causes less stress on the yarn makes the hand of the denim softer and the fabric more durable.

Japanese Selvage, seems to be one the top of line types of denim. Japanese denim is known for being high quality and for often using longer cotton fibers so that the threads don’t have to be twisted as much. This gives the material a softer hand feel as apposed to rougher denims that use shorter length cotton fibers. The Japanese also have access to the shuttle looms so you get a more durable less rushed denim. The dying processes are also finished without a wash allowing for the consumer to customize their jeans with wear.

Nudie Jeans became more of an experience than any other denim shopping i’ve done and its amazing to see the difference when you purchase a high quality fitted jean as aposed to what i’ve been wearing in the past. I love the idea of learning about a product before you buy it, the result is an appreciation for a craft that can go unnoticed and also elicits a confidence and pride in what you wear everyday.

a close up look at a pair of After Treated masterpieces. 

clean lines and durable orange stitching is a Nudie signature.

Phil is a denim Genius and these guys also know their coffee.

a sneak peak into the Denim Labs.

visit Nudie Jeans online

visit their store in Hollywood

This year at Agenda, Witness This cruised for hours in search the brands that really stood out. After quite a few rounds through the massive warehouse at the LBC Convention Center, there were five different brands that left a strong impression. We made our way back to each of those booths, introduced ourselves, and took a closer look, our goal was to hear a bit of their story, their inspiration for the line and where they are headed.  These following five brands were our stand outs for the show.

 

LIFETIME

We featured Lifetime last year and here they are on our top five list again. Going into the show, we knew we were going to hunt down their booth. We had our expectations pretty high after seeing last years line and with this brand we assure you, they continue to raise and set the bar when it comes to premium lifestyle apparel. We met Mike Wilson this year, Mike is from Vancouver and manages sales in Canada, it was very cool to have him show us the line, pulling his favorite pieces off of the rack. “Let me show you this waxed canvas we are working with now!” His excitement is a solid indicator of what this brand means to the people who represent it.

Seeing Lifetime’s Fall/Winter 2012 line makes us miss the Pacific Northwest. You can see influence from Vancouver BC, where the brand was founded; canvases, flannels and sweaters woven from deep earthy colors (orange rust, Vancouver Island rain forests dark greens, foggy lake blues). The perfect mixture of outdoor ruggedness and city culture politely declares “distinguished gentlemen but I know my way around the shop and in the woods.” Practicality and longevity is equally important with Lifetime, this brand makes apparel that last a long time. We purchased a chambray button-down two years ago and it looks just as good as the first day we put it on in the store. It’s a tough world out there for apparel brands, we see them come and go in a unpredictable economy, but we are certain that Lifetime is here to stay.

lifetimecollective.com

 

WELLEN

It was impossible to look past the colors purposefully and perfectly scattered among graphics and materials hanging in Wellen’s booth. Wellen was founded by Matt Jung in 2007 and since then has grown to be a proper surf apparel line, gracing forward indy surf retailers such as Surfindian, Thalia, and Shelter to name a few. Wellen also finds it’s place in trend-setting boutiques such as American Rag. Matt showed us a bit of his upcoming line and it’s impressive to say the least. Pastels make their way in, along side lots of perfectly complimentary colored graphics and prints that push the line into a art driven, yet easily wearable line. There is a playful flavor that resonates with Wellen, whether it is the friendly approachability of the Matt and his team or the designs themselves that speak “sun, waves, and not taking life too seriously.”

wellensurf.com

 

WILL LEATHER GOODS

“Made in USA” is de-bossed beautifully on a leather patch of the first bag we pick up. It feels good to hold something made here at home, and every time we see it, we wish more people did it. Will Leather Goods is more than just Good, it’s smart, sophisticated, premium, durable and nostalgic. The nostalgia comes from the story we hear from Madelyn Krevitt, who is manning or should we say womanning the booth when we come by. She tells us about the founder William Adler who started WGD selling belts on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, CA. Bill took inspiration from western culture (saddles, gun hosters, and cowboy belts) and after he started WGD in Eugene Oregon in 1981, he began the production of hand made leather products such as belts, bags, wallets and other small accessories. Now the “Adler Family Co.” is embossed right below “Made in USA” as a reminder that you can expect solid, classic, rugged yet stylish, made in America product from Will Leather Goods.

_

Will x Tribeca Film Festival from Will Leather Goods on Vimeo.

willleathergoods.com

 

MAKIA

We had been familiar with Makia, but before this show, hadn’t taken the time to really check out the line in it’s entirety. We have to admit what pulled us into the booth was a warm invitation from Geoff Nishimoto and Camille Dizon from 722 Figueroa (LA showroom and marketing agency for Makia). After having Geoff show us the line it was hard not to get excited. The confident yet wearable colors found on the jackets brought a few themes to our attention.

1. Durable and Stylish: The idea that with Makia’s jackets you can see that they are durable and very well made, forged from the fjords of Finland, well, designed at least. The confidence that you can take these jackets down back-country pow lines all day, then put on your best going out gear, throw the jacket on top and you look incredibly sharp instead of looking like a little kid hanging out in your snowboard coat in a bar.

2. We took note of the hardware. In the past it seems that  big buttons have been reserved for hi-fashion designer sweaters and jackets that don’t necessarily speak to durability and ruggedness, but here we see them used in a way that works the opposite, they compliment the clean silhouette of the apparel and invite classic European detailing into the mix. Overall Makia understands how to make modernistic apparel for a guy who thrives on being outdoors and still wants to look polished.

makiaclothing.com

 

PUBLISH

Publish is on another level. We are so incredibly excited about this Southern California brand and in our minds it sits as one of the top  clothing brands at Agenda. We had the special opportunity to speak with their Creative Director Mike Huynh about the line and he walked us through the pieces. Each silhouette is dialed, the cut is sophisticated but still true to a casual fit. Where Publish stands apart from the others is it’s attention to detail, everything from the embroidered feather that graces the backs of some of the knits and a few jackets, to the sharp buttons and trim, speaks of a attentive designer. The materials also need to be applauded, a vest we pulled out of the rack, had three different materials constructed into one. The result is a far from bland apparel line that is impossible to overlook. Publish is also consistently pushing forward on the  comfort side. With the release of their Jogger Pant y0u can tell they have had fun with the concept but have stayed true to what they stand for. We can’t wait to comes out next from Publish because so far they have been beyond impressive.

publishbrand.com

 

Note: By no means are these brands chosen because of hook-ups or advertising incentive. Instead we approach these shows with an open mind and let the product speak for itself. The brands we feature are here because they’ve inspired us and we want to wear their gear. Thank you so much for reading.