Designer Anna Barthelme began knitting on the side as she pursued her acting career; in short time her kitchen held two looms and piles of orders for custom sweaters. The moniker pays homage to her father, a world renowned writer who used it to pen his more opinionated pieces that later appeared in The New Yorker and Esquire. Launched in 2002, Lily McNeal has become synonomous with great cashmere and merino sweaters, but I love that each season introduces more forward and unique items that push the boundary between cozy and stylish.
I love the ease with which Hayden-Harnett turned their brand into a lifestyle collection. Starting with their fabulous leather bags; this Brooklyn duo has introduced travel accessories, cosmetic cases, and now clothing. As should be expected, it's all cool...with a mod twist and high on detail. If you haven't already, check it out here.
psst: the sale items are serious deals!
psst: the sale items are serious deals!
Recently launched men's lifestyle collection John Ferdinand is already a must see. Comprised of solid silver inlaid with ebony, the John Ferdinand statement is simple, organic, and eloquent. The underlying principle of the collection is to express the story of the modern man, with each piece drawing you in to learn more and inquire about the wearer. They're totally trying to show us women up with our "pretty" jewelry but I'll still give kudos for a job well done. They've certainly inspired me to create a new category...
Brooklyn based Bahar Shahpar poured her multimedia art background into her eponymous collection. With it's underlying 'Edwardian aesthetic', the brand has a hint of vintage reprisal but shys away from becoming overly trendy. What makes the collection truly modern is it's use of eco friendly materials and sustainable production; this well edited line is produced in New York, with a focus on minimally processed fabrics, vintage trims, and natural buttons.
Makool designer, Anisa Makhoul emailed me about her collection some time ago and I've only just gotten a chance to write about it. Good thing great style is timeless...nice save huh? BFA grad Anisa is based in Portland, OR and applies her unique and humorous perspective to the collection. Each piece is all about detail, featuring alphabet waistbands, little ladies in aprons (take a close look at the gray shorts), or big bad buttons. Don't know if it's because I had similar pieces when I was a stylin' tot but Makool makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
Designed by Gilda Sampaio and Aurea Urtiaga, Brazilian handbag collection Dautore has no problem sitting stateside. Each bag is constructed using hand-worked, supple leather with the intent of 'becoming part of a woman's body, like a second skin'. To further personalize each bag, the lining is done in collaboration with selected artists using exclusive materials. I'm in heaven...
photo credit: shopbop
photo credit: shopbop
Beautiful jewelry (and photography!) from designer Shelley Koscielniak of MK Wind. Shelley mixes recycled resin and glass with precious metals and stones to create this excercise in minimalism. MK Wind looks to be an expression of nature and spirit with inspiration ranging from nature to calligraphy.
This is a slight venture for me, but I found this collection so refreshing I just had to find a connection. Meet Satu Makkonen, designer of Hau Hauz, a lifestyle collection comprised of 100% linen. Each style features a simple silk screen design inspired by nature or Finnish culture. Ok here's where I fit it into Clothes-Pin...above are bags...below are nightgowns (aka tunics in New York and Los Angeles). Enjoy...and yes there is a US distributor!
Vancouver based collection Chulo Pony is a fantasy in design. With each collection based on a fantastic old world story, the pieces take shape with rich, feminine details. A collaboration between Chris Kopeck and Crystal Heald, the duo pairs modern styles with truly vintage details...the Spring season was born from a tale of wandering puppet maker and marionette. I find the tops especially are rich in detail with lots of texture and pattern.
bargain note: there are a few items from the spring collection on sale at shopinlieu.
She-Bible is the fun-loving label of childhood friends Deirdre O'Boyle and Stacy Rodgers. Self described as two gals who work and play hard, they created a collection for a slew of women (and gents) who do the same. With am emphasis on comfortable and forgiving fabrics, the collection consists of basics with a twist. All styles are still sewn and printed in their hometown of San Francisco.
I was perusing some of the designers in the upcoming Greenjeans exhibition when I came across Janice Ho. Janice views her work as miniature worlds, 'a snapshot of a river, fruit, or imaginary flower', and then creates them in silver and gold. Textures from papers or leaves are used for contrast, and these tiny shapes move from imagination to form. I love that the styles are contemporary and delicate without being expected.
Designer Lori Naon paired her design backgound with motherhood to create tough as nails Hardware Handbags. Using eco-friendly stainless steel, nylon canvas, and industrial grommets, Hardware Handbags is a well designed, modern alternative to the carry-all. Styles include the ultimate roomy Shopper and Weekender; each piece possessing the ability to withstand groceries, gale force winds, and toddlers.
Potipoti describes themselves as a graphic fashion company inspired by the fantastic world of geometric and simple trace creatures. All items and designs are limited editions and Potipoti compares their labor of love to making a birthday cake; using love and colors that aim to provide happiness to everyone who wears them. With the popularity of line drawings and friendly monsters, I thought this was a pretty unique way to incorporate some of the fun into your wardrobe.
Designer John Brana is a resounding example of following your passion; a former VP of Finance at Charles Schwab, John re-evalutaed his career in 2003 and rekindled his passion for craft. John uses an array of metals and natural stones to incorporate into his work, with a style spanning from classic to contemporary. I adore the folded pieces in the Sea Cliff collection, using an origami technique. As I'm allergic to gold and silver, the copper pieces make me extra happy...I've got a steady eye on the bracelet above.
LA designer Freddie Rojas is behind edgy sportswear label Rojas. Utilizing fresh, bold patterns, the Rojas collection of sportswear for men and women offers a little kick in the seat. The women's line features racerback hooded dresses, brightly patterned bubble tanks, and funky suspender shorts. Makes me feel like I can ride a skateboard to dinner with the gals...how's that for sportswear??
photo credit: Lola y Maria
photo credit: Lola y Maria
Beatrix Ong has little need for introduction to people who admire the fine art and craft of great shoes. Launching her eponymous collection in 2002, Beatrix was almost immediately received as one of London's foremost shoe designers. Along with creating delectable shoes, Beatrix sought to create comfortable pieces that could truly be worn from day into evening. The full collection includes bags and a bridal shoes. For my budget minded readers....check out the sale on the site (if you feel like wrangling with size and price conversions) or ShopBop has a few styles discounted.
Lauren Bailey began her design career with a non-conventional approach...creating handbags that incorporate wellness in each design. Yoga and meditation put Lauren on her own path to wellness, and sparked the idea that she could infuse healing properties into her a= collection of accessories. Naturally occurring neodymium discs in each handbag act as magnets that are thought to reverse the negative effects caused by electromagnetic radiation (cell phones, laptops, etc). From a style perspective each bag is made from Italian lambskin and features a gorgeous array of color block options.
Prairie Underground designers Davora Lindner and Camilla Eckersley sourced the great frontiers for their aesthetic. Inspired by quilters and women of yore who made the clothing they wore, the longtime friends created a collection that incorporates comfort, wash and wear, and edgy detail. Prairie Underground also utilizes eco friendly fabric such as hemp and organic cotton... harking back to the days when simple was good, and natural and organic were one and the same.
With a background in sculpture, these pieces from designer Andrea Corson can truly be considered wearable works of art. Largely inspired by nature (caviar earrings above), Andrea's jewelry is a mix of highly polished style and organic influence. Each piece is one of a kind and custom orders are welcome. Don't forget the &more section where you can find bronze birthday candles...a neat way to celebrate without setting a cake on fire!