Listen Up: Caroline Ventura’s Holiday Prep Playlist

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When we spent the afternoon visiting with BRVTVS jewelry designer Caroline Ventura at her studio and apartment in New York’s West Village, we couldn’t help but notice her enviably eclectic record collection—“A lot of the music I listen to isn’t current, so playing it on vinyl feels like I’m doing it justice”—so we asked her to put together a playlist to relieve us from the endless loop of holiday tunes. Here, her favorite upbeat punk and rock classics (there’s not a single jingle bell to be heard).

Caroline’s Mix

1. “Acadian Driftwood,” The Band

2. “Sweet Jane,” Lou Reed

3. “Rudie Can’t Fail,” The Clash

4. “You Wreck Me,” Tom Petty

5. “Day by Day,” E.T. Mensah

6. “The Crooked Beat,” The Clash

7. “Same Old Thing,” The Black Keys

8. “The Shape I’m In,” The Band

9. “Pressure Drop,” The Clash

10. “205,” E.T. Mensah

Stream this and all our playlists on Rdio.

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Show + Tell: BRVTVS Jewelry Designer Caroline Ventura

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We’ve long admired the jewelry line BRVTVS and Caroline Ventura, the woman behind it, whose style is our favorite blend of California chill and New York cool. We spent an afternoon catching up in her rustic, light-filled studio and apartment in New York’s West Village (fun fact: it’s a former sail maker’s factory) and shared a stroll around the block, where her number-one accessory—Darryl, her wirehaired pointing griffon—stole the show.

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My Madewell: Who’s Our Next Girl?

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To kick off the weekend, a little game of detective to help you figure out the name of our latest style crush: She handmakes her delicate-yet-edgy jewelry. She shares a last name with her childhood street. She’s a self-confessed story repeater and diehard Uber addict. Finally, she’s a California native with such an enviable look we had to get to the bottom of how she puts it all together. Wonder who it is? Check back next week to find out.

SINGER CONSTANCE VERLUCA’S FRENCH TOMBOY STYLE

We instantly fell for singer Constance Verluca. Why? For starters, she embodies two of our great loves: tomboy style and that je ne sais quoi of French-girl chic. And then there’s the fact that this Paris native borrows from the boys when it comes to both music (Buddy Holly) and fashion (Bob Dylan). It’s no surprise that during our My Madewell shoot she picked some classic pieces with a hint of rock ’n’ roll edge. Find out more about what she calls her “casual garçon” look (which translates to “low-key tomboy” in Madewell-ese), her music school for kids and her go-to concert look.

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Where are you from and how has that influenced your style?

I’m from Paris, born and raised. Since I was about 15, my style has been mostly tomboy. I live in Vans, oversized sweatshirts and T-shirts, jeans, well-worn boots—nothing too tight or itchy. I really love beautiful, quality fabrics, especially cashmere.

How would you describe your style?

Casual garçon.

Who do you think is the most stylish musician?

There are so many. Strangely the two that come immediately to mind are so different: Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson. Bob Dylan because his style corresponds so directly with his music—simple, honest and timeless. And Michael Jackson for his sophistication and imagination. I love people who have a unique, even iconic, element to how they dress.

How do you dress for a concert?  

I always wear the same thing: vintage white jeans, lived-in boots and a white button-down shirt. I always leave the top of the shirt unbuttoned and prefer the sleeves to be short.

What is your music about and what influences you?

I love the early rockers like Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley. My music starts with a base of rock ’n’ roll with different styles, like electronic or something more audacious, mixed in. I want to do something more unique and singular.

Aside from music, do you have any other passions or hobbies?

Literature, cooking and children. I run a music school for kids in Paris called Le Club Pop, where we teach and create pop-rock music.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing?

My favorite item is this vintage blue T-shirt. It was my first skate shirt and I’ve been wearing it for ten years. I wear all of my clothes very well, until they are either threadbare or falling apart! I love things that last.

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Helene Kuhn (an actress we love) on what makes her heart flutter

Parisian actress and rising star Helene Kuhn caught our eye recently for her cleverly eclectic approach to getting dressed. (What can we say? We’re Francophiles with a soft spot for girls who do the skirt-and-brogues thing.) When we hung out with Kuhn in her hometown, she brought along a case full of sweetly sentimental keepsakes that we soon learned weren’t just props. She puts her outfits together as some might scrapbook, and getting dressed every day is a little expression of love. While she had run of the Madewell closet, Kuhn talked to us about the mix of things that inspire her. Check out her personal style motto and must-have travel pants, then take a spin through some of her (and our!) fall favorites at My Madewell.

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What is the best style advice you ever received?

That it’s important to put a little extra effort in, to have at least one thing in an outfit to make you feel unique. [I have a pair of] vintage shoes that are my mother’s—she wore them in her twenties, so they feel special to me.

What is your personal style motto?

Something like, “Your clothes shouldn’t define you.” I think it’s obvious when people try too hard. It’s important to dress so you feel like yourself—no one else.

Is there a particular article of clothing that travels with you everywhere you go?

I love my leather pants. I wear them every season, like a second skin. I also always carry a silk foulard to wear in my hair or around my neck. I used to steal my mother’s silk scarves and use them as belts, and it just feels very beautiful and classic, but also quite bold and edgy. An edgy, bold classic. [Laughs.]

Do you have a style icon?

All of Fellini’s actors; I’m really such a fan of their style and of his whole world in and out of film. I’m really attracted to and moved by the ambiances that he created.

What’s the last thing you’d ever be caught dead wearing?

Honestly, there’s really nothing. I would love to try anything, everything once…especially if it’s for an amazing role.

What’s your favorite look from our Madewell shoot?

I love the coat; it’s supercool and a little rock ’n’ roll. I also loved the red sweater look. It’s been my dream to find that perfect red statement piece.

You brought a few paperbacks with you on our shoot. Would you say that you’re a bit of a bookworm?

Yes, the books in the photos are all mine. My father gave them to me, each with a handwritten message. They are my most precious possessions.

Any other pieces that are close to your heart?

I write everything in a Moleskine—in a dream world, I’d direct those writings. I also carry a camera since photographs are like my visual diary.

This NYC DJ Spins Madewell Jeans Her Way

Meet Nelleke: She’s a seasoned DJ who takes style cues from Grace Jones and once rode a motorcycle from Vancouver to Mexico. Yeah, she’s pretty great. And did we mention how awesome she looks in our Rail Straight Jeans?

Nelleke’s wearing our Midnight Glow Sweater, Silk Gatehouse Shirt, Skinny Skinny Jeans in Stockyard Wash and Dr. Martens® 1460 8-Eye Boots.

Head over to madewell.com to get to know her better, then check out our Facebook page to discover her (super-hilarious) secret to getting enough sleep after DJing.

Musical Muses: Au Revoir Simone

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

It’s no secret that we have a long-standing love for this Brooklyn-based keyboard-playing trio. Over the years, we’ve roped them into everything from contributing to our monthly newsletter to spinning records at our Soho store. Since they’re so clever and cool, we couldn’t wait to see how they’d put a wintry spin on our Legging Jeans.

Annie (left) is wearing our Snowfall Sweater and Lumbercheck Tunic Shirt. Erika (center) is wearing our Birmingham Pullover and Burnished Bolt Bangle. Heather (right) is wearing our Houndstooth Gallery Hop Coat and Shrunken Corduroy Boyshirt.

It’s the holidays, after all, so we asked them to share a few of their favorite holiday gifts—to give and to get. And in case you’re wondering how they got that band name, here’s a behind-the-scenes video that explains it all.

Musical Muse: Eleanor Friedberger

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

We love how this songstress (she’s also part of the Brooklyn-based band The Fiery Furnaces) wears our Widelegger Jeans in her own effortlessly cool-to-the-core way.

Above, watch Eleanor play “I Won’t Fall Apart On You Tonight” from her just-released solo album, Last Summer. (Isn’t she lovely? Get tons more Eleanor here.)

“My stage style is jeans and a T-shirt, rings and a necklace.”

What she’s wearing:

And how do you wear Madewell? We’re curious to see, so post pics of your latest looks on our Facebook page.