Monthly Archives: June 2011



HABITUAL Obsession: Succulents

Posted by The E on June 16, 2011

Succulents in a pot

Succulents are probably familiar to the Southern California dweller, but you may not have heard of them if you live in a rainy area. These typically desert dwelling plants store water in their leaves and roots, which gives them a trademark fuller, fleshier look known as “succulence”. They come in every size, from tiny little plants that can fit on a cocktail ring to giant agave plants and towering cacti. While all cacti are part of the succulent family, there is a huge variety of non-spiny succulents that are not considered cacti (seriously, there are so many).

While the different varieties come from the drier climates as far as Africa, South America, Asia and in the United States, they have become identifiable with the Southern California region because of their popularity as garden and home accents and their water saving properties. Some of our favorite varieties include string of buttons, zebra plants, black roses, flapjacks, and different types of echeveria. We love how easy they are to care for. They are drought resistant and hard to over-water. Most varieties do well both indoors and outdoors. You can also mix and match them in the same container, and fit them almost anywhere you need to – in a flower pot, on a wall, in a garden, or inside a terrarium. We even take them on the road to spruce up the the trade show booth, because they can handle being left in a car or getting bumped around a bit.

Succulents also create a lot of visual interest, because they take on so many shapes, textures and colors: concentric circles, spirals, columns and random forms of green and purple and red.  Most recently, our resident stylist spotted an ideal location for the Spring lookbook shoot in a local LA backyard. Once we saw the pictures below, we were sold!

Succulent garden, Los Angeles

Succulent garden, Los Angeles

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Inspiration: Leonora Carrington

Posted by The E on June 13, 2011

Leonora Carrington in Her Studio

We have been meaning to write about Mexican Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington, who passed away last month at the age of 94. We’ve always been inspired by the color schemes and imagination of her work, as well as her own personal confidence and fortitude. She was a bit of a firecracker, and reflecting on her life said, “I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse…I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.”

Carrington was regarded as one of the last great Surrealist painters of her era, and remains one of Mexico’s national treasures. Born in Britain to a wealthy textile magnate, she quickly went against her privileged upbringing – and her father’s wishes – to study art in Florence. She fell in love with the work of Max Ernst, whom she met at a cocktail party, and who introduced her to the prominent Surrealists including Dali, Picasso and Tanguy. Her first important exhibition came in 1947 at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York City. Attracted by the flourishing community of artists in Mexico City, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Octavio Paz, she moved there with her husband, Hungarian photographer Emeric Weisz, where they lived for nearly 70 years.

Her work frequently draws on imagery from myth, folklore, the occult, and the animal kingdom. Some of our favorite works are Portrait of Max ErnstThe Inn of the Dawn Horse (below) a self-portrait currently at the Met in NY, and Daughter of the Minotaur. Today, her canvases regularly sell in excess of $1 million.  Not many people know that she was also a brilliant writer. In ‘The Hearing Trumpet’, the two main characters are thought to be Leonora herself and fellow female surrealist friend painter and friend, Remedios Varo.

Inn of the Dawn Horse

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On Trend: Colored Fedoras

Posted by The E on June 10, 2011

Fedoras in mint green and purple

We’ve seem some awfully cool looking ladies sporting colored fedoras recently. If you want to protect your face from the sun and also add some color to your look at the same time, this is a great option.  Even thought the fedora was originally a women’s hat in the early 1900′s, it quickly became idenitifed with men’s fashion. Today it is a great way to try out the masculine trend without wearing boyfriend jeans or a garment that doesn’t show off your figure. Traditionally, fedoras are made of felt, which is a heavier weight designed for cooler months, so you may want to sub a straw version until fall comes around. Look for a great fedora in your local vintage store or hat shop. Also check out these runway looks from Australia’s Bec & Bridge.

Colored fedoras in vermilion and deep purple

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First Look: Young the Giant

Posted by The E on June 9, 2011

Young the Giant

The Real Housewives aren’t the only entertainment coming out of Orange County right now (you don’t have to admit it, but we know you watch it too) - we’ve taken a liking to Newport-based Young the Giant.   The name is appropriate, these guys are young, a group of buddies in their early 20′s, but they’ve already picked up veteran producer Joe Chiccarelli, who has worked with indie cred meets commercial appeal artists like the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and My Morning Jacket. We’re expecting big things as they find their sound and their audience. Lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia’s falsetto plays perfectly over the band’s jazz, rock, dance rhythms.  Their first studio album Young the Giant is available now.

Another sign of their potential is that they sound great live. They know how to excite a crowd with their energy and they sound like they’ve been playing together for ages. With camera in hand they bring you right on stage in their YouTube videos. Here is their rock anthem, “My Body” live at Slims.

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CFDA Honors Lady Gaga as Fashion Icon

Posted by The E on

Lady Gaga at the CFDA Awards

The Council of Fashion Designers of America handed out their annual Awards at Lincoln Center on Monday, with all the fashion bigwigs in attendance. In a relatively brief ceremony hosted by Anderson Cooper, Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez took the women’s wear designer of the year award, Michael Bastian won for men’s wear, and Alexander Wang took the accessories category.

In the junior division, Prabal Gurung won the Swarovski Award for women’s wear design, which is given to new and emerging talents, along with Robert Geller in the men’s wear category and Eddie Borgo in accessories. Perennial CFDA winner Marc Jacobs was on hand to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award.

But as is usual, even in a room full of A-list celebrity and the gatekeepers of fashion, all eyes were on Lady Gaga, who received the Fashion Icon Award. She arrived in a heel-less platform shoes, a long custom-made Mugler skirt, a black corset and a short blue wig. For her acceptance speech, she dropped the skirt, and by the the time she got to the afterparty at the Standard Hotel, she had dismissed the bodice as well, leaving only a thong with black spikes, and a sheer body suit. R&B Legend Patti LaBelle invited her on stage to sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ before the DJ took over and the newly minted Fashion icon danced into the night.

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Explained: Indigo, Now In Book Form

Posted by The E on June 7, 2011

Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World

You may have seen our Cliffs Notes version of the history of indigo, but if you want a fuller picture, check out the new book ‘Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World’. Recently published by Bloomsbury, the story is part travelogue and part history, as author Catherine E. McKinley travels to Africa to learn about her own roots and how they intertwine with the origins of the long sought after hue.

While we haven’t read it yet, the LA Times says it “gorgeously recounts McKinley’s journey to West Africa’s teeming markets and churning factories, through funerals and uprisings, to find “the bluest of blues.” Sounds promising. On a side note, even though we love the color, we don’t really love this cover.

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Made in USA: Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Posted by The E on June 6, 2011

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stylish, Portland-based coffee shop Stumptown Coffee Roasters is known for its hip décor, even hipper baristas, and an obsession with coffee rivaled only by the oenophiles. While the coffee itself can’t come from the U.S. (with the exception of Hawaii, coffee doesn’t survive here), the mini-chain was developed and grown by founder Duane Sorenson in Portland, OR.

Except for one New York café in the lobby of the Ace Hotel at 29th and Broadway, all Stumptown locations are in Portland, but the New York Times reports that Stumptown is now primed to expand to Brooklyn, Chicago and San Francisco, thanks to a new investment. Just like indy bands that go commercial, the loyalists are up in arms and implying that Sorenson is a sellout, but we’re excited to add a bit of diversity into the coffee bar marketplace. We hope to hear similar news from Chicago/LA based Intelligentsia soon!

Stumptown borrows it’s brand name from an old Portland nickname, which became part of the vernacular in the 1840′s, as the city rapidly expanded outward and tree stumps were left on the middle of the roads. Check out the Stumptown website for a really great brewing guide that shows you how to make the perfect cup at home, no matter what kind of equipment you have.

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Where to Get a Pint This Weekend

Posted by The E on June 3, 2011

Sometimes when it’s hot, the only thing that can cool you down is a cold pint of beer. Lucky for us, there are two new “establishments” (and we use that term loosely) we have our eyes on this weekend.

Earlier this year, Mario Batali, the chef with the orange clogs – and orange beard – opened his much hyped Eataly, a 50,000 square foot Italian dine-in and grocery hybrid in New York’s Flat Iron district. The most recent addition to bakery cum gelateria, cheese shop, local produce counter, veggie grill, fish counter, pasta shop, rosticceria, and espresso counter is the rooftop Birreria. The restaurant and brewpub is a collaboration between beermakers Terro Musso of Birra Baladin, Leonardo di Vincenzo of Birra Del Borgo, and Sam Calagione of Delaware’s own Dogfish Head Brewery. The beers are all brewed on the roofdeck and focus on unconventional recipes with ingredients like peppercorns, eucalyptus, thyme, ginger, and even tobacco. Open daily 5:30PM- 1AM. The above video from Feast made us thirsty.

On the West Coast, another group of beertrepreneurs is working together on ColLAboration, a pop-up, mobile beer garden at the intersection of Gower and Hollywood Boulevard. Created by Tony Yanow (Tony’s Darts Away), Ryan Sweeney (The Surly Goat), Clay Harding (38 Degrees), and Brian Lenzo (Blue Palms), the street pub will serve more than 60 craft beers this Saturday, June 4th starting at 12 Noon, and then every Friday and Saturday in July. Have beer will travel.

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Made in USA: Clare Vivier

Posted by The E on June 2, 2011

Clare Vivier Pochette

We love the clean, simple bags made by designer Clare Vivier. Clare may be French, but her signature totes, handbags and clutches are all locally made right here in Los Angeles (maybe we are neighbors?). She uses rich leather in mostly neutral tones – with the occasional pop of bright color, as in this Pochette in undyed leather with a hot pink silk screen stripe - to create pieces that balance style with utility. These can go from work to weekend in no time.

You can find them at Vivier and Bentley, a new showroom and store in Silverlake that Vivier shares with jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley, or there is a list of retailers on her website. Vivier also maintains a cute blog that shows behind the scenes of the company and her own personal style.

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Who's Got The Habit? Camilla Belle

Posted by The E on June 1, 2011

Camilla Belle in HABITUAL Teo shorts

A very cute Camilla Belle wore the HABITUAL Teo short in the wash Botanic while out shopping with her mother in LA this weekend. She paired the tie-dye shorts with a white loose fit tee and white sandals for casual and comfortable summer look. A big change from than the white Tom Ford suit she wore to the Young Hollywood Awards recently!

Camilla is making waves as an up and coming young beauty in Hollywood – you may recognize her from her roles in 10,000 B.C. or From Prada to Nada. Last month, Variety reported that she is in discussions to star in the indie comedy Bumped, opposite Kellan Lutz.

Thanks to Just Jared for spotting her for us!

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