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Posted by The E on October 12, 2011
One of the most inspiring charities we’ve encountered in LA is a Santa Monica based non-profit called Upward Bound House. While many non-profits tackle the issue of homelessness, it’s a deliberate effort to help homeless families that makes UBH special. Most people think of homelessness as a problem that affects individual adults, but in fact there are many homeless families in the United States, including over 6,000 homeless children in Los Angeles County alone. The issue is significant enough that Sesame Street even touched on the problems affecting impoverished families by introducing a new “food insecure” character named Lily on an episode over the weekend.
With transitional housing facilities in Santa Monica and Culver City, UBH dedicates its resources to help homeless families find affordable housing on the West Side of LA. As UBH Director David Snow told us, “We’re fantastically successful because of the 3 P’s – program, population and partnerships”. In addition to providing housing, UBH offers a number of community programs to tackle root causes of homelessness, for example a money management class, which teaches clients personal finance and savings to help them break the cycle of homelessness in the long term.
While many people are keeping their wallets closed in the currect economic climate, there are many ways to get involved. Upward Bound House offers a number of volunteer opportunities, in addition to accepting the usual donations. We think they are worth the effort.
Posted by The E on October 5, 2011
Los Angeles continues to reinforce its reputation as one of the premier artistic centers in the world with a new collaboration called Pacific Standard Time. Started by The Getty Research Institute in 2002, the initiative set out to locate, archive, and acquire some of the most important works by LA artists since WWII. Ten years on, the initiative has evolved into a collaborative series of exhibitions and public art events across 30 participating LA museums, showcasing paintings, sculpture, film, photography, design, performance art, and concept work created between 1945 and 1980.
You can explore all the exhibitis of Pacific Standard Time on their website, and even create a customized calendar of all the exhibits you don’t want to miss. No matter what your art preference is, there is something for everyone, and you will want to cancel that ticket you bought to Crystal Bridges. Here’s what we’re most excited about:
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970
J Paul Getty Museum - October 1, 2011 – February 5, 2012.
This is the flagship exhibition of the entire intiative and also the broadest, featuring “an indigenous strain of modernism evident in the hard-edge paintings, assemblage sculpture, and large-scale ceramics of the 1950s, the subsequent development of iconic Pop images of the city in the 1960s, and the conceptual and material contributions of Light and Space art and process painting that fostered the advanced art of the 1970s.” Whoa.
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”
LACMA - October 1, 2011 – March 25, 2012
A collection of more than of the most iconic midcentury modern design pieces, including furniture, home décor, fashion, graphic design, and industrial design. You may just want to move right in.
In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980
J. Paul Getty Museum – December 20, 2011 – May 6, 2012
This is a smaller exhibit, featuring 25 photographs from the Getty permanent collection. We love a good black and white photo, and we also love any excuse to get up to the Getty for a bottle of wine.
Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974 – 1981
Museum of Contemporary Art – October 1, 2011 – Febuary 13, 2012
The MOCA exhibit explores a tighter period from 1974 to 1981, when the modernist movement, “characterized by a master narrative of progress and succession, reached a dead end”. The exhibit explores a variety of styles and genres that emerged after art ceased to fit into any type of master category for Art Historians.
Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles 1945-1975
The GRAMMY Museum – February 22, 2012 – April 2, 2012
The GRAMMY Museum is an underrated museum mostly overshadowed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. This exhibit is a good excuse to finally make the trek. While details are still scarce, there is a lot of potential for an exhibit featuring a “wide-range of iconic images from the period… album art, handbills, concert posters, etc.” You can probably expect music, too.
Posted by The E on September 23, 2011
It appears we’re trending from the 70′s back to the 50′s and 60′s. Prada showed their Spring 2012 Collection yesterday at Milan Fashion Week, and one of the big influences was 1950’s and 60’s Southern California, an iconic era of customized muscle cars and surfer babes, made forever famous in songs from The Beach Boys, films like Grease, and books by Tom Wolfe.
Some of our favorites from the collection included dresses with hot rod flame details burning up the hem, and the throwback one piece swimsuits that still manage to flatter the figure. Ms. Prada also presented some very literal hot rod prints that could easily double as young boys pajamas, if the silhouette wasn’t so perfectly feminine. She even took the car motif into several pairs of strappy heels with flames shooting out of the proverbial tailpipe.
By the way, we are really loving how accessible the fashion business has become. Once a closed up industry reserved only for the VIPS invited to attend each show, practically every brand is making investments in digital media, streaming the runway walks live from the tents, and exciting a whole new generation of fashionistas. It’s also a fuller picture, as the public gains exposure to the creativity that goes beyond the clothes and into the styling, music and overall show presentation. For example, you can watch the entire Prada Spring 2012 Show right on YouTube:
Posted by The E on September 13, 2011
Chanel achieved the exclusive yet accessible tone of Fashion’s Night Out by introducing a series of three denim colored nail shades called Les Jeans de Chanel. The nail color capsule collection was created by Peter Philips, Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup, and designed to match the shades of your favorite pairs of jeans. Blue Rebel is the darkest tone, to go with your inky, dark wash jeans, Blue Boy is the mid range tone intended to match the causal indigo wash you would wear with a pair of heels, and Coco Blue is a relaxed, light tone to wear with your worn and faded pair. We loved the idea and we’re so excited we can finally wear denim on our nails! The polishes are available until the end of September at Chanel boutiques and online.
Posted by The E on September 8, 2011
We have a lot of friends and family in Texas, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the wildfire situation down there. This fire season has been one of the worst in Texas history. In the past week alone, the Texas Forest Service has responded to 176 fires over 126,000 acres, and they are spending $1.5 million a day to combat the blazes. Some of the fires are so large, you can even see them from space.
If you want to help, we think Red Cross Disaster Relief is always a good bet, and they also offer an up-to-date list of open shelters, resources for evacuees, and information about volunteering. The Office of the Governor also put out a great infographic that outlines some of the devastation caused by fire this year.
Posted by The E on September 6, 2011
There’s a fun video making the rounds this morning called “100 Years of East London Fashion, Dance and Music In 100 Seconds”. For all you English majors, that’s one look per year since 1911. The short was directed by Jake Lunt and created by The Viral Factory to celebrate the launch of a new Westfield shopping mall in Stratford City, London. We were excited to see so much denim in the film, especially the final shot, which shows that there’s nothing more current right now than a great pair of dark denim.
Posted by The E on August 29, 2011
Fashion’s Night Out is rapidly approaching, and this year you’re invited to join us at hip’tique, our favorite beachfront shop in Santa Monica, on September 8th from 6PM to 11PM. The event is hosted by celeb stylist Toni Ferrara, and we’ll be on hand doing a HABITUAL denim trunk show, with 20% off all styles. hip’tique has also arranged refreshments from Stella Rossa Pizza Bar and M Street Kitchen, music by DJ Miss Bliss of the Viper Room, and giveaways all night long.
hip’tique – 2727 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405 – 310.399.6106
You can also visit the Fashion’s Night Out website to find other LA Fashion events and plan an itinerary for your own Fashion’s Night Out.
Posted by The E on August 4, 2011
LA Weekly’s annual fashion issue is on stands now, and the paper explores the question, ‘Does LA Have a Fashion Identity?‘ We certainly think so.
For all of the LA style archetypes described in the article – the rocker vampire, the Morrissey, the scarecrow, the skateboarding surfer – the throughline is a great pair of jeans. Writer Gendy Alimurung relays how the average LA resident “hikes and has a dog and eats well” to get that perfect LA body; nothing shows off a great body like a pair of jeans and the right tee.
It’s the confusion about LA’s fashion identity referred to in this piece that gives LA a reputation for being one of worst dressed cities in the US. We think publications like GQ that make this claim are missing the point. LA is stuck taking the blame for the overembellished Ed Hardy look you can find on Melrose Avenue because he happened to set up shop here, but this is not an acceptable look for the majority of Angelenos. Rather, the constant here in LA, jeans, has become an increasingly central piece of a fashion forward equation, which is why you see everyone from Kate Middleton to Emanuelle Alt in the latest rise, and an army of denim bloggers behind them sharing each and every look.
There’s no dispute that New York is the hub of fashion, but the best denim in the world comes from LA. Any brand that wants to compete in premium denim has to have a presence in LA to develop the most current washes and fits and understand how people are wearing denim right now. New York-based brands like Theory, Ralph Lauren, and Johann Lindeberg’s BLK DNM have all crossed the country to develop their denim offering, and San Francisco-based Levi’s produces all of their premium lines out of LA. Even apparel behemoth GAP recently splurged on a 5,400 sq ft. design space called the Pico Creative Loft to house its 1969 denim line, and better position itself to compete with LA’s luxury denim makers.
The article gets closest to the mark when it says “Los Angeles is casual”. We’ll take it a step further, and say Los Angeles is denim, because no fabric exudes “casual” quite like denim.
Posted by The E on July 21, 2011
We just returned from a trip to Paris, where we spotted (and took home) one of the new aluminum Coke Light bottles designed by Karl Lagerfeld. There are three designs, each complete with Lagerfeld’s name and famous silhouette on the side. This is the second Coca Cola collaboration for Lagerfeld, after he designed a single bottle last year. Talk about a brand advocate – when Lagerfled lost 90 pounds in 2001, he reportedly consumed nothing but Diet Coke and stewed vegetables, and he still says “I drink Diet Coke and nothing else, night and day”. The bottles went on sale in June, and are also part of an advertising campaign for Coke, featuring Coco Rocha, Jeneil Williams and Heidi Mount. You can also find Diet Coke versions here in the States.
In addition to designing for Chanel, Fendi, and his own label, Lagerfeld has been keeping quite busy; he just announced he’ll be doing a capsule collection for Macy’s.
Posted by The E on July 15, 2011
By now everyone in LA (and the rest of the country for that matter) has heard about ‘Carmageddon’, this weekend’s closure of the 405 Freeway between the 101 Freeway in the Valley and the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. We don’t even know why it’s happening (something about drilling holes in a bridge or two?), but it is supposed to be bad, like hide your kids, hide your wives bad. It’s even become a bit of a pop culture parody, with sites like car-mageddon.com showing where to get deals in your local neighborhood, and fast-moving retailers creating a slew of novelty merchandise.
For the first time in a long time, we might actually keep the car in the garage this weekend (hoping to finish the shopping for our upcoming shoot by the end of the day), and that means we’ll either have to stay home or (gasp!) walk around our neighborhoods for a change. For those of you who will brave the outdoors on foot this weekend, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local LA shops in each neighborhood.
Hollywood – American Rag – 150 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
This is a mainstay of the LA shopping scene. American Rag features clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and even home decor items, all carefully selected by a team of buyers led by founder Mark Werts. From top global designers to niche lines, it’s hard to leave here empty-handed. Look for HABITUAL among the enormous selection of jeans in the World Denim Bar.
West Hollywood – OPENING CEREMONY – 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048
This is the queen royal of specialty stores in Los Angeles. The shop is a series of rooms, a department store in itself, some of them dedicated to specific designers like Nom de Guerre and Topshop, laid out to make the shopper feel like they are driving on LA’s freeway system. O.C. is also known for its eclectic but orginal take on merchandising and décor – just google their Tokyo outpost.
West LA – Hip’tique – 2727 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
We don’t know why you’d be shopping when you live close enough to walk to the beach (supposed to be nice this weekend), but if the sun becomes too much, walk down Main Street to an airy, hip boutique called… Hip’tique. Perfect for beach wear, day dresses from DVF and others, bath and body products, and even work from local artists. Maybe it’s better to stop before you set out your beach chair. You can find several HABITUAL styles here, as well.
Pasadena – Gold Bug - 22 E. Union St. Pasadena, CA 91103
This new store in Pasadena is one of the coolest we’ve ever been to. It’s a bit dark and witchy, but a must visit. Think diamonds hanging off of spider sculptures, pressed butterflies and bug specimens on framed canvases, bronze and pewter casted animal skull paperweights, iodized scarabs, Alice in Wonderland shadow boxes with gemstones, alchemy bottles made into chandeliers. It’s more of an experience than a store. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, there is a line just to get inside. It reminds us a little bit of EvolutionNYC in Soho, but it brings nature-as-décor to whole new level.
Silverlake – Vivier + Bentley – 1404 Micheltorena St. Los Angeles, CA 90026
This is a joint shopping and studio space in Silver Lake owned by LA hangbag maker Clare Vivier and jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley. Both lines favor a luxe, clean look (sound familiar?). The small shop also features pottery from local artists Heather Levine and Victoria Morris and leather shoes from LA designer Beatrice Valenzuela. If you are a fan of Vivier’s utilitarian, hip designs, this is the place to find her one-of-a-kind items that aren’t sold online or in other stores.
For more local shopping ideas, see Racked LA’s Racked 38, a roundup of their favorite stores in the area.