A few weeks ago I attended an opening at Church Boutique in Los Angeles and was wowed by an amazing collection of oversized dreamcatchers hanging from the ceiling. With all of the amazingness that the store had going on, I could only seem to focus on the dream catchers. Next thing I knew, my friend Lisa Guajardo and her design partner Jessica Moss approached me and told me it was their work.
The two ladies have been designing the contemporary women’s collection, Leyendecker, for about 8 years and recently decided to pursue a different creative path in their artistry in the form of these said dream catchers and much more.
I was very excited to sit down with the ladies this week and discuss the inspiration for their new line, Texa, and find out more. Their new focus on interiors and away from apparel was a natural move for the both of them as they have had a strong love for interiors and the hunt of found objects for years. The two met eachother 9 years ago and began a collaborative relationship that has stood strong. Each serving as a direct opposite point of view, their creative brains merge in what seems to be a seamless process. In their quest to have more freedom as artists and to produce something with emotion and authenticity, they are now catering to a customer that doesn’t follow the fashion calendar, but rather is looking for something unique and long-lasting. YES!!!
When we began to talk about their inspiration and their new ethos, my heart started to race as I have such a deep understanding and connection to their new creative strategy. One that doesn’t fit into any mold, doesn’t have definitive delivery dates, and isnt’ “old” once the season has passed. The train they are now on is the future and I find more and more that this is the new way of doing things. Your own way.
The basis of their new interiors lifestyle collection is rooted in the art of found objects, objet trouve, and communicates an aesthetic of contrasts: sophistication, bohemia, classic style and rock n roll. The name “Texa” is derived from the latin word “to weave”, thus creating the inspiration for their line. With their two different perspectives, references are “weaved together” to create a very unique luxury product for the modern day bohemian.
Lisa and Jessica have a love for the hunt and have collected treasures most of their life which led them to the creation of this collection. The dream catchers are made with a bicycle tire as the center (hello, genius!), and also incorporate leather, ostrich eggs, ox bone poker chips from the 19th century, egret feathers from the 1960′s, bike chain holders, bones and are finished off with hand wrapped and dyed horsehair tassels.
Texa Collection started with the oversize dreamcatchers and sparked inspiration to create a lifestyle collection to include pillows and jewelry to satisfy their customers’ thirst for this aesthetic. Creating product that has longevity and usefullness is extremely marketable in this retail environment and leads the movement of buying based on emotional connection rather than trends.
Their pillows are also created from found fabrics and weaved together to create a ying/yang of the past and the future. Materials used are vintage moto leather jackets, 100 yr old french grain sack, persian lamb and horsehair.
A distinctive quality in their pillows will be their unique shapes and sizes. From here they will also begin to design quilts, chair cushions and much more. The price range of the pillows is $1000-$2500 depending on elements and size.
They didn’t stop there…..their collection also branches into accessories that are inspired by rosary/prayer beads. They wanted to take the handmade quality of their work and design jewelry that will also communicate their vision. Rather than a cross or religious totem at the end, they attach their signature horse hair tassel to add whimsy to the delicate nature of the gemstones they are using.
The necklaces are 14k gold plate and elements include pave diamonds, leather, wood, pyrite, magnesite and of course their signature horsehair. Prices range between $1000-$2500 depending on the design.
I love how these necklaces look layered and Jessica was modeling them in the perfect style.
This is only the very beginning for Texa and I am so excited to see where they take it. The possibilities are endless and their customer base is only going to grow as quality and design wins over mass production and consumption.
Last weekend I took a quick weekend trip up to Ojai with one of my girls and it was a super fun weekend of relaxation, music and scenery. My friend had a special surprise treat for me on Sunday and took me into the Santa Barbara hills for a fun afternoon at Cold Springs Tavern. I have a serious love for “off the beaten path” places and this one did not disappoint. Located off of Hwy 154, the tavern was set up over 125 years ago as a stagecoach stop allowing long distance travelers to rest and enjoy a delicious meal. In 1941, the tavern and its property were bought and Cold Springs Tavern still remains a great “rest stop” for travelers and locals in the area. A bar with live blues, an outside area to eat and drink, and a quaint and delicious restaurant was all I needed to seal my love for this new discovery. The historical moments that are on the grounds to explore include an old “Road Gang House” built by a Chinese road gang to stay in while building a toll road through the San Marcos pass in 1868. Another point of interest is the Ojai jail that was built in 1873 placed to keep the other building company. Top it off with a tiny little shop of hand made things and a blog post was in order.
The cute little shop was hosted by master beadworker Julia Pfeifer and her collection of amazing work. She has been designing in the field of micro-beading for over 25 years which is a craft that has been almost forgotten since the 1920′s. Her work proves that history can remain in tact with each of her one of a kind collector’s pieces. I was completely mesmerized by her work and she was such a lovely lady.
The scene of this historical enclave was special and felt like nothing had been touched in over 100 years.
The music was perfect for the environment and was part of what made the place so special. A great blues band and a dance floor is all we need to let the good times roll and for the dancing to begin.
After all the music and dancing was over, we headed to the tavern and had a delicious rustic dinner in the coziest environment. Truly, I’m not sure if one thing has changed in this restaurant since it was built. It completely reminded me of my family’s log cabin in Texas and I felt right at home. The decor is so classic and every little piece hanging on the wall tells a story of the history of the place.
The day at Cold Springs Tavern was blissful and I didn’t want it to end. We met some super fun ladies and all celebrated the day together with dancing and tequila. What more could you want on a Sunday? Play on, play on….
Thanks to my girl Lindsay Lohden for the photography help.
Be sure and follow her @Lohdy on Instagram.
Last year while browsing through Gold Bug in Pasadena, I discovered a badass jewelry collection called K/LLER. I left there with a new pair of earrings that soon became the favorite in my closet. A few months later at the Capsule show in NYC, I visited their booth and was so excited to see the entire collection in person. It took me about two seconds to become a full fledged fan of co-creators Katie and Michael and their K/LLER COLLECTION.
I was inspired to use their jewelry in COREY’S Fall 2013 fashion presentation in NYC last week and it was such a great juxtaposition to Corey’s feminine aesthetic. I loved how the jewelry brought out her edgier rebellious side and showed her love of using eclectic elements in her design aesthetic. I was really happy with the collaboration and it was really great working with these K/LLER ladies! Before I left town they let me stop by their studio and hang out for a bit and talk shop. Always a treat!
The girls have been friends for over ten years dating back to their days studying furniture design at Parsons. After years of doing their own separate design work in the jewelry, furniture and lighting industries, they found themselves in eachother’s path again at just the right time. In 2010, they created their combined aesthetic to become K/LLER COLLECTION. Inspired by motorcycles, alchemy, rusted tools and androgyny, Katie and Michael have a very clear idea of who they are and you can feel it in every piece that they create together.
“ It is about the juxtaposition of hard and soft, the
dark side clashing with the sweet, and choosing vice over virtue. The adornments speak of an unapologetically gutsy rebel-yell. Gritty and unfettered yet incredibly chic the pieces are subtly bohemian with a biker-chick aesthetic.”
The collection is hand crafted in the USA with all pieces being assembled in their Brooklyn studio. They start the design process by sketching and work very closely with casting artisans to help perfect their vision before it comes back into their hands to assemble.
The line is edgy and sharp but is contradicted by the delicacy of it’s angles. Porcupine quills, fish jaws, arrowheads, horns, distressed leather, stalactites, petals, porcupine quills and feathers are transformed into delicate and dark little talismans for its wearer.
“It is about the juxtaposition of hard and soft, the dark side clashing with the sweet, and choosing vice over virtue.”
The collection is quickly gaining momentum and is currently showcased at over 30 selected stores worldwide including some of my favorites Tenoversix, Helmut Lang, Sucre, Feathers and Need Supply. Barneys New York just picked up the line for Spring 2013, and the Japanese market is on their horizon. For a full stockist, look here.
I’m so excited to know these ladies and even more excited to be wearing all of my new jewelry that I acquired during my visit! Thank you Katie and Michael xxoo
Last week I was in NYC to style my client, Corey Lynn Calter’s Fall 2013 presentation at The Jane Hotel. The event turned out so great and it was so much fun to be a part of it as everyone involved was so great and super talented. Some of NYC’s best editors, stylists and bloggers came out to toast Corey and congratulate her on the re-branding of her 12 year old eponymous line. You can read Style.com’s coverage on the event here and also read an interview Corey did on the Huffington Post here. I had a great time collaborating with the accessory brands that I used including K/LLER COLLECTION jewelry, Gladys Tamez Millinery and Seychelles shoes. Stay tuned for more on my studio visit with K/LLER COLLECTION this week on The Sche Report.
Take a look at at some of my snapshots of the night below.
It was a great night and a wonderful event! Looking forward to the next one!
Tomorrow I am off to NYC for the week to work with Corey on an event/presentation of her Fall 2013 line to editors, buyers and stylists. As you know, she re-branded her company for Spring 2013 and this is her “official” launch to the press and media. I’ve really enjoyed styling this season’s collection and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Gladys Tamez Millinery, Seychelles shoes and K/LLER COLLECTION jewelry for the show. I know it is going to be great and I’m super excited for Corey and her team.
The inspiration for Corey’s Fall collection is Smoke and Flowers and for this season’s lookbook, she sent Janell Shirtcliff from vintage website Lonely Dot and photographer Olivia Malone to New Orleans to create her vision in imagery for the collection. Janell styled and modeled in the lookbook which is what she also does on her great website, make sure you check it out here.
I love the mood that New Orleans gave to the collection and I’m excited to channel the vibe at the presentation this week. More to come next week when I return!
I had the great pleasure of visiting artist and jewelry designer, Kathleen Whitaker, last week in her beautiful Echo Park home and studio. I was first introduced to Kathleen’s work by my friend, Joanna Williams of Kneeland Co Mercado , and I’ve been coveting her earrings ever since I laid my eyes on them. Kathleen’s collection is so delicate and simple and has just the right amount of edge that makes them each so perfect. I was thrilled to have a morning with her in her home and studio and bear witness to the beautiful design aesthetic that is the world around her and the influence on her designs.
I really loved the interior design of Kathleen’s place and the color palette was so calm and soothing while still using a beautiful rich palette of purples and pinks. Her sensibility rang so true to me after seeing her place and I totally connected her jewelry designs with the items she chose to place in her home. Everything was minimal and natural but also with a sense of tradition and classicism. There was a subtle luxury to her space in moments of porcelain and gold, very reminiscent of her gold jewelry designs.
Kathleen grew up in NYC and worked in the PR side of the financial world for a large portion of her career before she moved to Los Angeles in 2002. After arriving on the west coast, she decided to take various art classes at Otis College of Design to re-connect with her undergraduate studies in Ceramics at Tulane University. One of the classes she took was jewelry fabrication and she soon started to experiment with designs for her friends and herself. One night at a party, actress Whitney Cummings spotted her jewelry and asked if she could show it to her friend and Editor of Lucky magazine, Marlien Rentmeester. The rest as they say…is history. She soon started to design on the side and transitioned into full time designing in 2009.
Kathleen’s 30 piece collection includes both earrings and rings and is made of 14k and 18k gold from her own wax castings. She has become most famous for her beautiful individual earrings that can be mixed and matched as well as worn in multiples for those with several piercings. It is so hard to decide which are my favorites as each one of them is so beautiful and elegant. These are the earrings that you wear everyday and don’t take off. The simple earrings that you want to wear with everything, all the time. The subtleties of her pieces are beyond beautiful and her ethos is completely in line with my love of classic design and handmade artisanal quality.
Of course, I had to try on several of my favorites and ended up leaving with two amazing pairs! One gifted to me by Kathleen for my recent 40th bday, and the other a bday treat to myself. I’ve been switching between the two pairs since I got them and everyday it is hard to figure out which one to leave the house in! All of the earrings range in price between $30 to $450 for each individual earring.
Kathleen is doing amazing with her collection and is in some of the top boutiques and online stores around the world including Tomorrowland, La Garconne, Beautiful Dreamers, Cul de Paris, Gravel and Gold, Chay, Tenoversix, Super A Market and Maryam Nassir Zadeh to name but a few.
Be sure and check out Kathleen’s website and see more of her daily snapshots on instagram @kathleenwhitaker
And for those of you in the Los Angeles area, you can meet her and check out her collection at The Echo Park Craft Fair on May 11th and 12th.