We spent a day hanging out with stylist and View From The Topp blogger Kate Brien in her hometown of Venice, California, and discovered that, yep, she’s got a pretty sweet vantage point.
Just meeting Hannah Henderson, co-owner of Los Angeles’s General Store, had us wanting to breathe deeper, go for long walks and wear even more denim than we already do—there’s something just so unhurried and laid-back about her. We spent a morning at her Venice Beach home and then cruised over to General Store in her navy blue Defender in an attempt to absorb some of that relaxed attitude (and style, of course). Continue reading
While the Venice canals can’t be beat, Silver Lake charms and Laurel Canyon is, well, glorious, there’s a lot to love about downtown LA too, especially these days. We’re biased, of course, seeing as our denim design studio is based in the neighborhood’s arts district, but it’s more than that: The number of pop-up brunches, cool design shops and pilgrimage-worthy bookstores seems to multiply by the week, making the gridded area the new must-see spot in town.
On a recent trip to see where all of our jeans magic happens (think stretching, distressing and applying those just-right finishing touches to get rip and repair details like these), we made it a point to lunch and caffeinate like the locals. Here, a short list of where to sip and munch when in the world’s unofficial denim capital.
8am jump start to the day: Handsome Coffee Roasters
Order the Dandy Espresso.
9am vegetables for breakfast: Juice Served Here
Order the Block Rockin’ Beets or Green Easy.
12pm lunch break: Local Table
Order the sweet potato goji salad and a turkey apple sandwich.
2pm sweet and savory desserts: Zinque
Order the caviar toast tartine, a chocolate croissant and a latte.
3pm post-meeting pick-me-up: The Pie Hole
Order the Mexican chocolate pie.
Have you heard? We’re hosting a little Pinterest sweepstakes—by pinning one of the looks from our denim love board, you could win a $1,500 Madewell gift card. You have until midnight tonight, so get pinning.
We always have our eyes on all things denim from around the globe, but our latest and greatest discovery is all-American, just like us. At his roadside shop in LA, designer Rene Holguin sews Old West–inspired accessories like leather bags, and restyles vintage jeans to create one-of-a-kind pieces. (No risk of seeing your jeans the next table over at brunch.) From sun-bleaching flea market finds to refreshing ’70s denim with methodical bleached patterns, Holguin walked us through his hands-on approach.
Psst: Before the secret’s out, stop by our New York store on 5th Avenue—we brought back a few of our favorites so you can love them too.
How has working at your father’s boot company influenced what you make?
I spent summers making boots at my father’s factory—to explain what I grew up around, at formal events he wore a tuxedo jacket on top, jeans on the bottom and cowboy boots. I still have the first pair of boots I ever made entirely by myself, and it taught me the value and consistency of something handmade, and of only making what you need.
Why the small-batch approach?
We work with a lot of found materials like vintage blankets or old leather coats, and we tailor everything. My leather comes from the same tannery in Mexico that my father went to for his, and we only make as much as we need to fill the shop, so no one else will have anything identical. What a great way to keep things going.
People obsess over the fit of your denim. How do vintage jeans become RTH jeans?
I started customizing my own denim years ago, and I wanted to give people a slouchy jean that’s appealing—not too baggy in the hips, and tapered a bit. It’s not a jean for someone who needs to look a certain way, or always look skinny. It’s an old-school jean for a confident, cool girl.
LA is known for being a denim-loving city—how does that show up in your style?
I moved to LA for the sky and the sun, and that plays a big part in my finishing process. The pants and the jackets all sit out in the sun for hours. I spread them out flat in my backyard and let the sun do its thing. We need vitamin D and so do our clothes.
What’s the biggest difference between East- and West-coast style?
Denim is so democratic—you can wear it anywhere, but the difference is in the fit. Sometimes, I’d like to tell New York to relax a little, and I’d like to say to Angelinos, tidy it up a bit. The attitude might be different, but the authenticity is everywhere.
Two of LA’s best chefs (Nancy Silverton of Mozza and Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ) will team up with the big names behind Paris’ top-rated restaurants (Inaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand, Grégory Marchand of Frenchie) for the first ever Le Grand Fooding Crush Paris-LA 2013, a two-day food festival outside of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on April 26th and 27th.The tasty spectacular is hosted by Le Fooding, an insider-y culture and culinary guide that chronicles the French foodie scene with a supremely cool, “what-to-know-now” point of view. (Think if Anthony Bourdain edited New York Magazine.) So it’s no wonder they planned this event with the same avant-garde approach they use in their essential restaurant guides.
With commemorative T-shirts designed by Shepard Fairey and French street artist André Saraiva and a portion of proceeds benefitting the LA Food Bank, it’s a soirée with so much more than cross-coastal food.
Tickets range from $50 to $125, and are available here. (A small price to pay for the closest you’ll get to visiting Paris for the night.)
1. Customers enjoy delicious treats by Coolhaus and Pressed Juicery 2. Kelly Oxford 3. Jen Lilley 4. Lizzy Caplan and Jazzi McG 5. Jayne Min 6. Happy partygoers
Last night, Nylon magazine helped us celebrate the grand opening of the new Madewell store at The Grove in LA. We served up fresh cocktails by Pressed Juicery, sweet ice cream treats from Coolhaus, tunes from DJ Lady Monix and all-night styling advice from Nylon’s West Coast fashion editor, Jazzi McG. Funny ladies Lizzy Caplan and Kelly Oxford stopped by, as well as some of our favorite bloggers, Jayne Min of Stop It Right Now and Karla Deras of Karla’s Closet. Pop over to our store locator to see where we’re opening next and like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about our next event!
As you may know, we’re opening a brand-new Madewell store in LA next week at The Grove—and to get into the City of Angels spirit, we asked our friend and in-the-know filmmaker Michelle Peerali to weigh in on her top must-see spots in Los Angeles. Check them out below.
ART: KK Gallery LA, LACMA, THIS Los Angeles
FOOD: Osteria La Buca, Black Market Liquor Bar, Superba Snack Bar
NIGHTSPOT: Bootleg Theater, Pattern Bar
MOVIE THEATER: Downtown Independent
COFFEE SHOP: Handsome Coffee Roasters
VINTAGE SHOP: The Way We Wore
BEAUTY: Chris Petroff (for color) and Kristie Streicher (for eyebrows) at Warren-Tricomi
INTERIORS AND HOME: Tobi Tobin Design
SEMILOCAL GETAWAY DESTINATION: Leo Carrillo State Park and Oxnard (LA’s version of Montauk)