A week in Portland with Window of Imagination’s Jen Szeto

We’re completely in love with Jen Szeto’s Instagram, Window of Imagination. Her appropriately named feed gives us little peeks into her inspired life, where the San Francisco native travels to the most swoon-worthy places and takes gorgeous photos along the way. Recently, she went to Portland and, naturally, we asked if we could virtually tag along on the ride. Jen was nice enough to pen us a little travel diary documenting her adventure, on which she stopped in to visit our friends at Stand Up Comedy to outfit her trip.

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Jen wears the Electric Feathers Short Infinite Rope Dress and Suzanne Rae Kimono Dress (similar here) from Stand Up Comedy.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRIP! WHAT TOOK YOU TO PORTLAND? Portland is an amazing city. I hadn’t spent much time up there before now – it had always been just a few days stopping in and out along a road trip. I had the chance do some work travel there for an entire week, and since the trip fell close to the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I took it upon ourselves to stay through the holiday. The weather was perfect – we arrived just as a mega heat wave was dissipating, so it was pleasant t-shirt weather the whole time. We had access to a car (which was key), and we rented an Airbnb right in the heart of Alberta Arts District, which provided endless amounts of restaurants, bars and ice cream to try. And the coffee! So. Much. Coffee.

WHAT DID YOU DISCOVER ABOUT THE CITY? After being there for a week, I found many similarities between Portland and San Francisco. Like SF, Portland is really health conscious and offers a variety of outdoor activity options, healthy & alternative restaurants, and a slower paced way of living (compared to say, New York or LA). Portland is seeing a surge in tech companies and creative agencies migrating north, so they are also experiencing a population boom like the Bay Area.

Aside from that, there is just a ton of great, diverse food in Portland, which was pleasantly surprising to discover. I ate out every day and gained about 6 pounds, no joke. I was also wowed by all the fantastic boutiques in the city. There are ton in a few concentrated areas that are all very diverse and well curated. When you combine that with no sales tax, the shopping really couldn’t be beat.

window-of-imagination-portland-lbd“Since I travel a lot, I’ve grown accustomed to packing clothing that are comfortable, versatile and durable.”

TOP 5 MUST-SEE/EAT/DO SPOTS YOU’D RECOMMEND? We explored, ate, and drank a lot, and these are the top 5 things that left me yearning for more (many thanks to Britt, Helen, and Diana for the fantastic recommendations):

Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Their famous thai-style chicken and rice is so simple, yet so delicious. There are three locations for the restaurant – two food carts and one brick and mortar. The food carts serve only chicken and rice, but the brick and mortar serves up a wider variety of rice-based dishes. The magic lies in the fat-drenched rice, as it completes the dish with its extra juiciness and succulent flavor.

The soft serve at Cheese & Crack. We stopped by to try their signature soft serve, which has chocolate ganache filling at the bottom of the cone and espresso dust sprinkled on top of the ice cream. It was the perfect summer treat!

Broder Øst. During the July 4th weekend, Colin, myself, and a friend of ours escaped to the coast and explored Hood River. At sundown, we went into town and had dinner here which serves the most delectable Scandinavian comfort food I’ve ever tasted. We ordered a mishmash of things and everything was a hit. We sopped up the juices, licked our plates, and topped everything off with a few rounds of traditional cocktails. I believe there’s another location in Portland, too!

Ira Keller Fountain Park. I absolutely fell in love with this landmark. The fountain is located in the heart of downtown, and is an architectural sight for sore eyes. Heavy waters cascade from towering, mountain-like sculptures that can be observed from layered concrete platforms. On hot days you can wade through the water (though not recommended) or sit atop the plaza and lose yourself in the soothing roar. It was very quiet the day we visited, so we were able to meander without disruption.

Stand Up Comedy. It’s the most avant grade, nondescript boutique in all of Portland, which houses some of the most forward thinking labels to date. The store’s owner/founder, Diana Kim, has spent the last seven years meticulously curating her selection to perfection, carrying timeless items that perfectly compliment my minimal color / maximum volume palette. Her current location is the shop’s second home. It has unique bones and rare stone from its old jewelry store days that Diana has consciously kept intact.

WHAT HIDDEN GEMS DID YOU FIND? Well, for starters, I realized that the second Voodoo Doughnuts location in the NE is waaaaay less crowded than the one in the SW. So if you’re desperate for that sweet dough, head there.

Secondly, the floral shop inside of Alder & Co, Hilary Horvath Flowers, is one of the best places to pick up an arrangement! Hilary was very sweet and super accommodating… and while I shopped around Alder & Co, she quickly whipped up one of the best bouquets that I’ve ever received!

Lastly, if you ever feel like adventuring outside of Portland, there’s this cool little swimming hole about an hour outside of town called Mosier Creek Falls It’s tucked away from the main road but easy to access via a narrow trail. Once you get there, you’re greeted by a cascading waterfall and two picturesque pools where you can swim, mini-cliff dive and sunbathe.

window-of-imagination-portland-layers“I can imagine coming up with at least a week’s worth of outfit combinations with just these two pieces alone.”

HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARIES? Honestly, by the seat of my pants. I’m not much of a personal planner because I think it takes a little fun out of exploring. Many years ago when I was traveling through Japan, I received some great advice by one of my bed and breakfast hosts. He was a retired Frenchman living life slowly and happily with his wife, and when I checked in, he provided some great to-do recommendations during my stay. Just before we wrapped up our meeting, though, he said, “Most importantly, don’t forget to get lost.” And that has always stuck with me. Since then, I’ve tried not to over plan, but instead take a few cues from friends and leave the rest up to the internet on the day-of.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT FOR TRAVEL? I’m a forever fan of Jesse Kamm’s sailor pants – I have two, soon to be three, pairs – so I never leave home without them. Since I don’t have TSA pre-check (yet), I always wear a pair of easy slip-on shoes, like the Martiniano glove shoes, and a non-constricting tee. San Francisco has taught me how to layer, so I also never leave home without a coat (which can double as a pillow on long flights or road trips).

While you’re planning your trip, you can shop our favorite Portland boutiques in one handy place. This way >

Our favorite traveling Instagrammers share style tips and hidden gems

You know that saying, “Seize the day”? Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s also something that can seem less and less possible in adult life with jobs and mortgages and responsibilities. Luckily we get to live vicariously (and get inspired) by these women who are doing just that — living their lives out to the very fullest as they step out of their comfort zones, travel the world and share their inspired adventures with us all through Instagram. We caught up with our favorite traveling Instagrammers to quiz them on hidden gems, travel essentials and what to wear on the road.

JILL MANN AND KYLE TRETHEWEY of @ourwildabandon

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In 2013, Kyle and Jill sold everything they owned and decided to live their lives on the road. Originally from Vancouver, the two friends now call their fixed up trailer (affectionately named Billy the Kit), and wherever the wind blows them that day, home. Their Instagram feed is like a travel diary, documenting their experiences through dreamy shots of landscape and sky.

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Follow @ourwildabandon >

GO-TO ADVENTURING OUTFIT: (General) We live in vintage sundresses and a good pair of jeans and a t-shirt. (Specific) Richer Poorer just made the perfect girls shirt and it’s all we’ve been living in. Most of our denim, and Jill’s favorite overalls, are Madewell. For accessories we keep it simple, we love Wasted Effort‘s geometric necklaces (our friend from Vancouver’s line). For shoes, we love our Nisolos, they’re beautiful but super comfortable which is key since we are always on the move.

5 ESSENTIALS TO BRING ON ANY TRIP: Camera, road atlas, iPod, BB gun and dry shampoo.

FAVORITE HIDDEN GEM YOU’VE DISCOVERED: The Alvord Desert in Oregon. You can barely find this place on a map but we heard about it through friends of friends and made our way there for the last full moon. It’s stunning and vast and there are hot springs right beside it! (And you can camp for free.)

 

KARISSA HOCHBERG of @pacificgypsy

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Karissa is one half of the brains behind Pacifique Swim, a luxury swimwear line she created with her childhood best friend. She’s also quite the adventurer, as her Instagram can attest — filled with gorgeous snaps of lush green trails, snowcapped mountains and sandy stretches of beach, the feed shows this beauty literally living the free-spirited philosophy of her designs.

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Follow @pacificgypsy >

GO-TO ADVENTURING OUTFIT: Depends on the environment. If I’m somewhere hot and humid, like Central America or Southeast Asia, you’ll usually find me in this pair of faded black harem pants I bought in Thailand when I was living there, paired with a cropped tank or Pacifique bikini top and sandals. If I’m somewhere more mountainous or woodsy, I’ll be in an old pair of Levis and a vintage t-shirt. That’s kind of my daily uniform too. I never go anywhere without either my trusty leather backpack I scored at a market in Italy (which has a massive oil stain on it from me carrying leftover macaroni and cheese around inside of it… oops), or this basket purse I picked up recently on a work trip to Bali. I’m really into baskets-as-purses right now. I also usually have a pretty vintage slip that I can wear as a dress for dinner or a night out if that presents itself along the way.

5 ESSENTIALS TO BRING ON ANY TRIP:

  1. 35mm camera… even if it’s disposable from a drugstore! There is something really special about film photos that just can’t be replicated.
  2. A good book. I love Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, or anything by Kerouac or Paul Theroux.
  3. A hat, either straw or baseball.
  4. A Pacifique bikini!
  5. An open mind… be ready to seize adventures and opportunities as they present themselves!

FAVORITE HIDDEN GEM YOU’VE DISCOVERED: If I told you I’d have to kill you! Jk 🙂 Most recently I would have to say this little village outside of Ubud, Bali. There is this home that my fiancé and I rented there that is totally open air with the most beautiful, minimalistic design aesthetic and hammocks everywhere on the edge of this massive cliff into a river gorge. To top it all off, there is this unbelievable swing attached to two palm trees that swings out over the cliff… the whole experience was pure bliss, and I’m totally plotting to go back!

 

NURIA VAL of @frecklesnur

Travel Instagrammers

A “restless globetrotter,” Nuria’s free-spirited approach to life has caught the attention of brands like Stussy, Volcom and Komono, for which she’s lent her inspired vision as a creative director, photographer and model. It’s not surprising, because we’re totally obsessed with her too — her Instagram feed shows her diving into gorgeous watering holes, leaving footprints in sand dunes, and eating copious amounts of watermelon, all while staying as stylish as ever and looking like the girl of our dreams.

Travel Instagrammes

Follow @frecklesnur > 

GO-TO ADVENTURING OUTFIT: Denim overalls, sneakers and some hat!

5 ESSENTIALS TO BRING ON ANY TRIP: Music, cameras, map, sunglasses and some watermelon.

FAVORITE HIDDEN GEM YOU’VE DISCOVERED: A wonderful cenote in Mexico where we swam alone and naked, the nicest place and moment in my life.

 

MANON MEYERING HANSSEN of @thelifetraveller

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In 2014, Manon’s life completely changed — she left behind a career at a magazine and moved to Kenya with her husband for the adoption of their son. Inspired by the warmth of the Kenyan people and their talents, she created a co-op that sells handicrafts and supports her new friends. The collection, called Naramatisho (meaning ‘the one who cares,’ a name given to Manon from her Masai sisters), includes beadwork, sculpture and scarves, and each piece is as unique as it is beautiful. Take one look at Manon’s Instagram and you can feel the love radiating from the screen.

Follow @thelifetraveller > 

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GO-TO ADVENTURING OUTFIT: I love wearing simple but elegant jumpsuits/playsuits in a safari color/print or wide African dresses combined with a sporty sandal, although I mostly walk barefoot.

5 ESSENTIALS TO BRING ON ANY TRIP: I like the idea of not ‘needing’ much when going on a trip and often remove things from my luggage before leaving. Also because I love bringing cultural souvenirs with me back home to support the local community and to fill my home with stories. Always with me on a trip: an open mind, a passport, a camera plus a khanga, an African garment that can be worn as a wrap skirt, dress, (head) scarf or you can use it as a beach towel.  Nice to take with me up in the air: Alaska Essentials Travel Ease Journey Spray and a tiny rose quartz stone for good vibrations.

FAVORITE HIDDEN GEM YOU’VE DISCOVERED: The hidden village of my Masai friends in Kenya situated near Mount Kilimanjaro. In this area I feel closest to nature. I learned a lot about their lives while spending time with them and have a deep respect for the way they live. Especially the women, who make jewellery for my fair label, Naramatisho by The Life Traveller. Naramatisho means ‘the one who cares’ in Masai language and was given to me by the Masai community.

Another favorite hidden gem is a ‘sacred’ place in the south of Bali where my husband and I got married.

 

Boutique scouting and road tripping with our co-founder Adele Tetangco

Recently, our co-founder Adele Tetangco drove all around America’s Midwest and south into Tennessee. She hit up places like Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis, scouting out the coolest designers and boutiques that she could find and, of course, having a ton of adventure (and food) along the way. Here, she shares some of her fave moments, people and places from the trip.

3 Ways To Wear Our Exclusive French Terry Gary Jumpsuit

You know the saying: beauty is pain. Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret: that’s a lie. There’s nothing better than looking good and feeling good, and with a jumpsuit, you get the best of both those worlds — they are ridiculously easy to pull on and you literally don’t have to do anything else to style them up, unless you really want to (a cute shoe, some jewelry and a hat go a long way). Not to mention, you pretty much feel like you rolled out of bed and you’re wearing your pajamas in public, but in the most amazing way possible. Right now, we’re living in our Ilana Kohn Gary Jumpsuit. Sleeveless with a scoop neck, drop crotch and cropped leg, it’s the Brooklyn designer’s signature silhouette, only this time she’s done it for us in a super soft French Terry fabric that’s so lightweight it keeps us cool through sticky summer days, content on balmy nights and looking on point at all times. Imagine wearing your favorite gray sweatshirt, but all over your body. Sounds amazing, right? It is. Think weekend dressing that can seamlessly translate to the everyday and the evening. And with tracksuits trending this season, it’s also right on the mark.

For a little extra inspiration, our friends at One of a Few boutique in Vancouver styled the exclusive Ilana Kohn French Terry Gary Jumpsuit three ways. This is how we wear it.

Ilana Kohn jumpsuit layered look

Worn with Assembly short sleeve tee, Martiniano Glove in White and Clyde Room Backpack in Golden Brown.

Ilana Jumpsuit weekend look

Worn with Rachel Comey Zia Trench, The Palatines Caelum Slide in Black, Building Block Cylinder Bag in Black and Clyde wide brim gaucho hat.

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Worn with Martiniano Glove in Black, Andrea Wong Rendezvous Clutch (similar here), Muraco Wolfe Macaroni Bracelet, Catherine Hartley silver rings (similar here) and neck cuff.

9 women leading the fashion industry in Los Angeles

Forget what you know about Hollywood, California Casual and Rodeo Drive, these nine women are defining what fashion means in Los Angeles. The city has been gaining momentum as a fashion capital for its burgeoning production industry in DTLA, emerging designers refining modern femininity and the long-standing traditions of denim, and neighborhoods like Silver Lake and Echo Park bringing back the city’s indie scene. To celebrate our LA Ladies Sale, we gathered these designers, who also happen to be some of the most inspiring women we know, at a Los Angeles studio to find out the real deal of La La Land and what they love most about their sunny city.

 

CECILIA BORDARAMPE, ARE Studio

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Minimalism in the form of leather goods and apparel established in 2012. Cecilia brought her education in textile arts, photography and art history back home from the Art Institute of Chicago to create a line of distinct but subtle wares that serve as a clean slate for anyone who wears them. Each and every piece is made by hand in Los Angeles using overstock and deadstock materials.

Shop ARE Studio >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I grew up in Los Angeles, in the Silver Lake neighborhood. I lived in Chicago while attending art school for a few years, but ultimately decided that Los Angeles was where I wanted to settle.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live/work in Highland Park at the moment. I really love having my office/studio at home for the most part, especially considering the inherent comforts, like having my dog around and being able to take a break to lounge in the yard for a while.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? The close proximity to so many varied landscapes is a phenomenal thing.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The city is rich with history, despite what some may think. Huell Howser knew it.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Clean lines, simplicity and ease.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I like to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, to put it simply, so that could mean any number of things on any given day for me. Mostly, I love wearing oversize button down shirts paired with a good pair of jeans – this always feels very chic to me.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I was a serious tap dancer growing up.

 

GIULIANA RAGGIANI, giu giu

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“Weird, unisexy and nostalgic” is how this designer, newly based in Los Angeles, describes her line of quirky cool knitwear. And that’s exactly why we love it. The Central Saint Martins grad lives and designs by blending the rules of tradition and nostalgia with innovation, humor and creative freedom. Ever evolving, each season never really like the last, we’re always looking forward to what Giuliana has up her ribbed knit sleeve next.

Shop giu giu >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Transplant. Moved here exactly one year ago from Brooklyn.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? Live in Venice, split my time working between Venice and DTLA.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? LA gives me the mental space to think creatively, and I’m constantly inspired by the contrast of naivety and seediness.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? That it’s actually the city of Angels. I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the short time i’ve been here.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? My goal is to design mindfully, balancing a sense of nostalgia with innovation and humor. Above all, I think clothing should be a canvas to simply feel comfortable in your own skin, mentally and physically. Engaging your senses through textures and versatility with wear is important to me. Feeling boundless, simple and light.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Comfy ‘n’ caj.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I have a thing for hands.

 

VALERIE QUANT, LOQ

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Alongside her design partner Keren Longkumer, often based at home in Nagaland, Valerie introduced LOQ as a new, modern perspective on the classics of shoe design. The pair met while studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, bonded instantly over their shared perspective and love for shoes, and quickly found a cult following for their footwear.

Shop LOQ >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Born and raised in Orange County, went to school in San Francisco and now I’m staying put in LA.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I work from my home in Venice.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Because I am near the ocean in Venice I am able to ride my bike to the beach, local restaurants and boutiques – one of the biggest perks of Westside living.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? There is so much to discover, I’m constantly surprised about new neighborhoods that I haven’t explored and endless cultural food adventures.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Redefining classics.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Comfort focused and pared down.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I have a habit of imitating people’s quirks, faces and voices.

 

ALEXANDRA MICHELLE, Objects Without Meaning

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More interested in designing to enhance the wearer, not the object, Alex established the line in 2011 with a keen eye on creating honest, effortless clothing that don’t carry baggage or the expectations of trends. She had worked in various roles in the fashion industry around the world but found home in Los Angeles and launched the line there.

Shop Objects Without Meaning >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I’m originally from Australia and moved to the USA about 10 years ago. I lived in New York for four years before settling down in LA to start Objects Without Meaning… best choice I ever made!

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live on the east side of Los Angeles in Echo Park and work in the Arts District in DTLA. Echo Park is so diverse and has great energy. I love the cafe’s, restaurant and bars and that everything is walking distance. The Arts District is so inspiring — there are a lot of creative people everywhere. I’m so fortunate to be able to experience both every day.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I would say the weather. It’s unbelievable how nice weather just makes life easier. My second favorite thing is the people, I love the culture and diversity of Los Angeles.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The food, art and music scene are amazing. You can go watch a great band, see amazing art and eat great food on any given day!

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I look at clothing as an empty vessel, a blank slate to be filled by the many experiences and emotions of daily life.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Classic and understated. I’m a uniform wearer. Most days I’m in jeans, a shirt and sneakers. I don’t spend much time getting ready.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I was born in Australia to Argentinian parents, so I speak fluent Spanish (with an Australian accent)!

PARI DESAI

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This Canadian designer honed her design chops in the storied houses of American sportswear Calvin Klein and A.L.C. before striking out on her own in 2014. So of course her knitwear-focused line finds the perfect balance of upscale luxury and downtown cool. She also happens to be one seriously rad human.

Shop Pari Desai >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Born and raised in Toronto, moved to New York to design for TSE and Calvin Klein. Moved to Los Angeles to lead knitwear design at A.L.C., launched my own collection in 2014.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live and work in Echo Park.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Because the weather is so temperate, I love how the boundaries between outdoor and indoor spaces are fluid. This quality and the light make the natural world feel like an essential part of the urban environment.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? There is a vanguard of artists and designers working in Los Angeles right now. In terms of fashion it’s still under the radar but there are a lot of ideas being created here that feel new and relevant to our time.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Minimal, soulful, a low-key approach to luxury.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I gravitate toward beautifully made clothes that have the effortlessness of wearing a favorite t-shirt. My uniform is usually neutral but I’ll add unexpected color or texture to bring emotional contrast.

TELL US A FUN FACT! My birthday is New Year’s Eve.

 

SHAINA MOTE

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This longtime Los Angeles native spent years in the fashion industry in varying roles of vintage buyer and pattern maker to creative director before launching her own line of versatile, timeless and modern women’s wear in 2012. Emphasizing longevity, superior construction and and impeccable fit, the core of her line is all about those perfect wardrobe staples.

Shop Shaina Mote >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I was born and raised in Los Angeles and still live and work here today.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in Highland Park and work in Downtown.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? Diversity – of landscape, people, art, events, beliefs, practices.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? The Valley is amazing and weird and worth the adventure… so many hidden gems.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I aim to keep my designs versatile, well made and classic with some sort of twist in hopes of creating a piece with lasting impact, interest and relevance.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Woman on a mission! I dress according to my days duties. If my tasks involve dye house trips or factory check ins, I am likely running around town in something casual — probably Levi’s and a crisp poplin top. Design days, I try to dress in a way that inspires me or makes me feel in a creative mood. My wardrobe is mainly comprised of emerging designers’ pieces, friends’ designs or my own work. I love to incorporate other designers work into my world.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I grew up on a ranch in LA and have ridden horses my whole life. I am more at ease with those gentle creatures than perhaps anywhere else on earth.

 

JESSICA TAFT LANGDON, The Palatines

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When you spend your formative years as a designer in the studio of Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Everlane, you’re bound to learn a thing or two about shoes. Jessica moved westward to Los Angeles as she searched for American production for footwear and found an enclave of talent in Los Angeles that finally inspired her to launch her own line.

Shop The Palatines >

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? Definitely a transplant. I grew up in and around Philadelphia, and lived primarily in NYC (with some time in the Pacific Northwest, and schooling in Italy) before moving here four years ago.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live and work in Silver Lake.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I love the space – the physical space, and the creative space that this city offers. it’s a city where creativity and entrepreneurism are lauded, and with that comes the understanding that mistakes can happen. it’s a city that forgives and allows second chances, so it’s worth taking the risk.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? That it’s usually quite cloudy in June.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I don’t believe that design is particularly philosophical. Our manufacturing, employment and living habits can be based on philosophy, but design is more innate, less intellectual than philosophy. It’s about feelings and relationships, not about rules.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Contrary and constantly changing.

TELL US A FUN FACT! My feet are two different lengths – by almost a half size.

 

CONSUELO CHOZAS AND PAIGE SMITH, VereVerto

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Women have an innate ability to multitask so it’s really no wonder that the handbags created by this gorgeous duo are equally talented. Consuelo and Paige met when Paige had moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco and discovered they were both looking for a truly versatile handbag they couldn’t find. Their minimalist leather wares take you from commuting to lunch to an evening out with a few simple adjustments.

Shop VereVerto >

CONSUELO

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We moved to southern California when I was 4 years old and lived between Newport Beach and Buenos Aires. I came back to LA in 2007 after living in Spain for two years.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in a little pocket of Echo Park called Angeleno Heights. We just moved to our first studio/office this year that is also in Angeleno Heights. I’m pretty lucky because I can walk there from my house and that is a true luxury in LA.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I love that you can create your own little community within the separate very spread out neighborhoods, and walk to things and bump into friends on the street. All the things I love about European city living can in a much smaller way be replicated in each little neighborhood in LA.

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE NEW ABOUT LA? That however spread out and lonely it can seem, it doesn’t have to be that way, and exploring all the unique neighborhoods in LA makes it feel new and rich and exciting always even after nine years of living here.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Paige and I have always agreed on pairing things down, no excess frills, or loud branding, just the simple beautiful materials that shine on their own.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’m pretty classic at times traditional in the way I dress, but love being more daring with my shoes and bags.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I’m obsessed with horses and have been riding since before I could walk. We had a ranch in Argentina when I lived there. And VereVerto works with tanneries that mainly provide leather for the equestrian industry in Spain.

PAIGE

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM LOS ANGELES OR A TRANSPLANT? I am a transplant from Dallas, Texas. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for six years and before that, in San Francisco for five years.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN LA? WORK? I live in Highland Park, and I split time between work in our VereVerto studio in Echo Park and my home studio.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN LA? I landed in LA and fell in love almost immediately. I don’t know if I can choose one thing I love most, but the creative drive here is palpable, there are endless amounts of things to discover, and the weather!

WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT LA? You can’t judge LA as one city. For example, Hollywood is not a good barometer for Venice or Arts District or Silver Lake culture. LA, to me, is made up of many different boroughs, and you have to check them all out to find what you like.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? For our handbags, the old tome ‘form follows function’ works well. Our bags are whittled down to clean essentials and utilitarian needs.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’ve always relied on the shoes, bags and coats. Muted for the clothing and accents for the accessories.

TELL US A FUN FACT! I am also a sculpture/installation artist.

Shop the LA Ladies Sale this way. And stay tuned for our Los Angeles city guide as the designers weigh in on the best of the best.

 

Photographer: Eddie Chacon, Metropolis of Vice

Stylist: Sissy Sainte-Marie

Special thanks to Kathleen Whitaker for letting us shoot in her beautiful studio space in Los Angeles.

Women We Love Share Their Wedding Stories and Wisdom

We’re no experts, but we do believe this: no matter what the tradition or so-called etiquette rules, your wedding day should above all be personal and feel like an expression of you and your partner, and the life you have together. From the dress to the venue to the vows, what works for one couple doesn’t mean it works for another. Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t be scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. Which is why we went straight to four cool-girls who have recently tied the knot to find out first, what they wore, and second, what they learned along the way.

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JEN SZETO (TRENTER)

Founder of Window of Imagination, this San Francisco-based producer, creative collaborator and digital influencer recently wed her partner of seven years, Colin Trenter, at his childhood home in Kings Mountain, CA. She wore a Rita Vinieris dress to walk down the aisle (above) and the white Linden dress by Kamperett for their mini-moon in Big Sur (top).

“Colin grew up in the most picturesque mountainside home, a home that his parents lovingly shared for almost 30 years before his dad’s passing almost two years ago. We really wanted to feel like his dad was still with us, watching us get married, and we couldn’t think of any other place more fitting.

It all came together this past Memorial day weekend. On Saturday, we held a tea and civil ceremony at my parents’ house, and on Sunday we gathered 85 of our nearest & dearest and exchanged personal vows in Colin’s magical family garden. We escaped the next day and spent a few nights ‘mini-mooning’ in Big Sur.

We did most of the wedding planning ourselves, and though we were able to get everything done in two moths (thanks to Colin’s mom, our wedding coordinator, and Google Docs), we easily could have used an extra month. The planning was very stressful at times, but when the weekend finally came, I realized it was totally worth it. Just don’t be afraid to take or ask for help. One thing I’m really glad we did was we leaned on our inner circle for vendor recommendations and overall support, and we asked a number of friends to participate in our wedding (i.e. invitation design and theme, officiant, DJs, MC). Doing this made for the most personal and heartfelt experience I’ll never forget.

And, if you’re like us and plan to honeymoon at a later date, still try to take a few days off after the wedding to decompress and bask in all the love. You’re going to work really hard to put on the greatest celebration of your life, let it all sink in. You won’t regret it!”

Photo by Helena and Laurent.

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PHOEBE SUNG

Co-founder of Cold Picnic, the Brooklyn-based designer wed her partner, in life and in business, Peter Buer in May. She wore a vintage silk/linen Christian Dior skirt suit, an American Apparel bandeau bikini top, Rafa sandals purchased from Lisa Says Gah, and earrings of their own design. He wore a khaki suit by Shades of Grey and custom white Adidas sneakers with their wedding date embossed on the heel. Their dog Phillip donned a jasmine collar created by their florist, and longtime friend, Emily Thompson.

“We’d always wanted to have a backyard wedding, and originally planned to have a more classic wedding but once we started planning we realized that our house/backyard really couldn’t accommodate very many people. So we scaled down a LOT, basically uninviting anyone from out of town who wasn’t immediate family or a very best friend. We’d been so loosey-goosey about the whole event that luckily no one was angry at us!

In the end, we were married by one of our closest friends (who was ordained for the occasion) in our backyard surrounded by our parents and siblings and a tiny handful of close friends. Then we went out to dinner at a sweet little Italian trattoria nearby. After dinner we had a larger cocktail party for good friends in the area. For us it was the perfect day.

We learned a lot of lessons when planning the wedding! The first was not to plan for other people. We were worried about throwing a nice wedding to please our families, but what we realized was they just wanted us to be relaxed and happy. I think we were both lucky in that respect. We also realized that if we planned within our budget instead of really stretching, we weren’t stressed by little all last minute expenses that popped up. And finally, somehow, we found that everything always falls into place. My dream shoes arrived straight from the factory at 9:30am the day of the wedding! There was so much to do in the few days before that it was pointless worrying about anything.”

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REBECCA RAWLINSON (LEO)

Owner of Rebecca Bree, one of our lovely boutiques, the Vancouver-based stylist wed her longtime partner Rick Leo at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu in the fall. She wore her dream dress by legendary designer Carolina Herrera.

“The most important advice I can give, that someone gave me to me, was to make sure you take a minute during the reception to take a look around and enjoy the moment. It will go by so quickly so it’s important to take it all in!

Stay focused on the important things, like marrying the love of your life! The rest doesn’t really matter. And if something goes wrong, just laugh and move on. There’s nothing you can really do about it, so just go with it! I spilled red wine all over my dress during the reception! I just looked down and my stunning lace Carolina Herrera dress covered in wine and all I could do was laugh. It made everyone else around me feel at ease. And the party just kept on rocking!”

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ADELE TETANGCO

Garmentory’s co-founder wed her partner Ryan Savella in the fall in the Philippines at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort in Cebu. She wore a dress by Callahan, Rachel Comey heels and custom-made Lizzie Fortunato floral headband and necklace.

“I had a destination wedding. It was on a beach in Cebu. It was amazing and the best time ever. We made a whole trip out of it and all of our friends came. We started on in Japan, went to Manila then proceeded to Cebu for the wedding. By the time we got to Cebu, I was so relaxed from having so much fun. I stopped caring about the small details and just let everything go. We even forgot to go to our wedding rehearsal because we were relaxing on the beach. I don’t see how else I could have enjoyed the paradise that we were in if I hadn’t.”

MANDY KORDAL

Founder of knitwear line Kordal, this Brooklyn-based designer wed her partner, Alex Bayer, on January 13, 2018 in Guatemala. Over the week of their destination wedding, Mandy wore a number of beautiful pieces made by some of her favorite indie designers (and ours too!) such as Ajaie Alaie, Aurora Vestita, LOQ, Rachel Comey and Nettie Kent. On her special day she wore a beautiful dress made by her dear friend Ena Topalovic, which had a slight ‘70s vibe with an open back and flowing lace.

It was the most incredible day, filled with love, family, friends, amazing food, volcanoes, the most epic dance party, plus a late night karaoke session to end the night!

Words can’t describe the beauty of Lake Atitlan, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect place for our ceremony. Alex’s sister Ellen was our officiant, and she did such a beautiful job. Both of our moms cleansed the garden by burning sage before the ceremony. Alex’s dad and our family friend Bruce played music while I walked down the aisle, and had everyone join in to sing “Eight Days a Week” as we walked out. We decided to write our own vows, which I highly encourage, it was truly special to read those words to one another in front of all of our loved ones.”

Getting hitched soon? Check out our Wedding Shopping Guide for a little more inspiration.

Wedding dress ideas you won’t find in a bridal magazine

There are a lot of resources out there for planning a wedding, but what if you’re a bride who is after a dress that is a little unconventional, offbeat or simply more in tune with your personal style? We got you. The perfect wedding dress doesn’t always require the word in its title. Sometimes it’s hanging in the racks of your favorite boutique, just waiting for you. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite wedding dress ideas from our boutiques and designers to help you find your wedding style.

CONSIDER THE UNKNOWN It’s no secret that we’re fans of emerging designers, so of course we’re big fans of discovering someone new when it comes to your wedding dress. Our co-founder Adele Tetangco discovered Callahan through an industry colleague (seen above). The Los Angeles-based designer had the perfect dress for her destination wedding. (Lucky for you, you can buy it below.)

GO FOR A LANGUID TANK DRESS Hackwith Design House and Shaina Mote have perfect examples of why a simple, long dress with clean lines in white can answer all of your bridal prayers.

THINK BEYOND WHITE Alternative hues is trending in the wedding world, so there’s every reason to look outside of bridal salons for your dress. MNZ and Rachel Comey have options that are totally appropriate for this, as does Kamperett out of San Francisco. A splash of color on an otherwise classic white dress can strike a happy balance.

FIND STRUCTURED LACE If you love the romantic feel of lace, but not the usual bridal silhouettes, consider a midi-length with some structure. Suzanne Rae and Rodebjer have mastered the find line of traditional romantic and fashion-forward.

JUMPSUITS ARE ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA Who says a wedding dress has to be a dress?

9 multitasking shoes for the fashion-forward bride

Whenever you place the word “wedding” ahead of any regular, everyday word, things get weird. Cake is delicious and generally increases your serotonin levels, if also your blood sugar. Wedding cake, by contrast, often means overpowering levels of fondant and cortisol (that stress response thing that happens in your body when you can’t agree on something with your in-laws). Flowers grow in gardens and are a nice thing to buy your aunt when you’re going to her house for dinner. Wedding flowers require floor plans, measurements, color mood boarding and arrangements. Let’s save shoes from the same fate. Wedding shoes should be all about your personal style, the label you dream about, and they must be versatile enough to be worn again (for the OOTD potential alone). So here they are, brides-to-be, shoes that will keep you fashion-forward on your wedding day and bring you joy for years to come.

An ode to the Canadian tuxedo

Let’s face it: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake didn’t do this look any favors when they hit the red carpet in matching denim on denim outfits back in 2001. But ironically, they kind of revived it. Ever since then the Canadian tuxedo went from being mocked to being adored. Much of that, luckily, is due to style stars doing it better. From the runway to the street, the denim on denim trend just keeps building. Now? We’re pretty much sold on the fact that it’s a look that won’t ever go out of style. The fable goes that Bing Crosby was the first to sport one after getting trouble for wearing all denim at a fancy Canadian establishment in 1951. So of course Levi Strauss & Co. made him an actual denim tuxedo. While we don’t necessarily condone the literal take on this (although Caron Callahan makes something that’s pretty close and pretty amazing), we do recommend wearing the denim on denim style that feels right for you. Canadian tuxedos can involve skirts, t-shirts, crop tops, whatever feels right for your personal style really. Of course, we thought you might heed the expertise of a few people doing it so right below.

Why the slide sandal is our official shoe of summer

Go with anything, wear anywhere and works every time are just a few reasons why we love the slide sandal. Who knew that the original Adidas sport slide, the Adilette, would spark fashion’s interest when it was launched back in 1972. It was the official sandal of sport, something you wear in the showers and around the pool.

And then there was the mule. The closed-toe version goes back centuries – more of a slipper than a trend – but found popularity in the French court during Marie Antoinette’s time. As any style does, the mule went through a few iterations. Marilyn Monroe wore them open toed, the clog style took over in the ’70s and Manolo Blahnik put his signature on them throughout the ’80s.

Slides and mules first became ubiquitous in fashion in the ’90s with shower shoes in every price range and various sightings on the runway and on the red carpet, with minimalist beauties like Gwyneth Paltrow sporting a chunky mule. Today, they pretty much rule together. Maryam Nassir Zadeh‘s Sophie Slide is a bit of a mule/slide hybrid with a low, sturdy heel and sleek styling. We loved the elegant Caelum Slide by The Palatines so much we had to get our own version.