In & Out Fall Fashion pushes forward
As seen in GT’s Fall Fashion shoot this year, there is a dazzling array of trends that will show up in stores this fall. This shoot features a blend of what to expect in the upcoming season, but we also stay true to what Santa Cruz fashionistas find appealing—taking spins on these trends and personalizing them, as well as shopping locally. Everything seen here can be purchased at a local store or at a locally-run online boutique. This is all about fall fashion—in Santa Cruz.
According to Dana Norrell, manager of Stripe, a Downtown Santa Cruz retailer, the trend watch for fall 2011 involves “sexy, classic and classy,” she says. “Great neutrals mixed in with rich colors and fabrics.” Here’s a rundown of what’s in and what’s out this fall, according to Norrell:
Mad Men Redux
Polka Dot Dress: S. Sung, $425, Oakandco.com // Vintage Suede Boots: $48, Stripe // Multi-Strand Necklace: Blank Verse, $425, blankversejewelry.com // Leather Bracelet: Blackbird, $16, Stripe // Vegan Clutch: $30, Idle Hands //
Ring: J.Fein Designs: $40, Jade
In: Constellation-inspired jewelry, choker necklaces, long pendant necklaces, high waist jeans and skirts, big belts, tall socks, sweater leggings, clashing colors and patterns (like combat boots and a pretty dress, or a chunky sweater with a feminine skirt, statement rings, stacking rings, color blocking is still going strong, maxi dresses, colored pants (particularly red), prints galore—tribal and ethnic prints, geometric prints (visit Beklina.com for a look at these), plaids, ponchos, clogs and platforms (again, visit Beklina.com) and polka dots.
Out: Feather earrings, neon, jeggings, leggings as pants, and Ugg boots. “They’re still out, leave them at home,” Norrell says.
Silk Blouse: Plenty by Tracy Reese, $248, Cameron Marks // Double Zip Skinnies: Prairie Underground, $165, Cameron Marks // Leather Jacket: Ever, $695, Jade // True South Necklace: Betsy & Iya, $96, Stripe // Vintage Navajo Necklace: $40, Stripe // Chevron Drip Earrings: Betsy & Iya, $60, Stripe
As far as Santa Cruzans go, we don’t always follow the trends, and Vanessa Ambrose of Cameron Marks keeps that in mind: “I like the philosophy of wearing what suits and creates one’s own style. Being aware of the trends but not restricted by them, so to speak. We like to feature interesting styles that are up to date but they are also pieces that you could wear for seasons to come. We do like to feature a smattering of trend-driven pieces each season but I tend to allocate that category to designers with lower price points such as WESC and Cheap Monday out of Sweden and the likes of the Quiksilver Boutique Collection.”
At Stripe, you can find this same concept of taking the trends and giving them a long life, with classic, in-style fashions by lines like Dear Creatures. Over at Oakandco.com, owner Deirdre Holbrook plans to carry some pieces by Pendleton which is launching its “Portland Collection” of classic wool items with a very fashion-forward twist—big trench coats, printed skirts, cozy sweaters—think Oregon if it had a fashion week.
Fade to Grey
Dress: Prairie Underground, $165, Jade // Necklace: Laura Lombardi, $125, Cameron Marks // Charming Bracelet: Blank Verse, $195, blankversejewelry.com // Leaf Print silk scarf: Lina Rennell, $240, Beklina.com
Also at Oakandco.com, gear up for the autumn weather with a selection of jackets by Juleselin (our favorite), dresses by Filly and the always timeless fall fashion accessory—a pair of boots by Greenbees. Beklina.com, an online boutique run by local Angelina Rennell will feature beautifully made eco-friendly garments that will blend with what’s current, but retain a unique, artistic aesthetic.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion shoot seen here, log on to GT’s blog, Obsessive Beauty, for a fascinating tale of what’s involved in putting together a fashion issue.
Bring the Party
Lace Dress: Backstage, $175, Jade // Raw Stone Ring: Baghu, $40, Stripe // Chandelier Earrings: Blank Verse, $135, blankversejewelry.com // Hitchhiking Neck-bib: Blank Verse, $425, blankversejewelry.com
Starry Blazer: Samantha Pleet, $340, Beklina.com // High-Waisted Flared Jeans: Mother, $205, Cameron Marks // Shirred V Silk Tee: The Podolls, $124, Oakandco.com // Leather meets Wood Necklace: Blank Verse, $195, Blankversejewelry.com // Large “geode” ring: $18, Idle Hands // Slave Bracelet: $20, Idle Hands // Leather Headband: Blackbird, $16, Stripe // Vintage Leather BeH, $30, Idle Hands
Red Hat Sister
Blush Blouse: Love Stitch, $44, Idle Hands // Copper Shorts: LUSH, $34, Idle Hands // Manta Ray Bracelet: Alkemie, $188, Cameron Marks // Chandelier Earrings: Blank Verse, $135, // Blankversejewelry.com // Red Felt Hat: Stylist’s Own
Editor: Christa Martin | Photographer: Keana Parker | Model: Anju Lewis
Fashion Stylist: Missy Schnaps, L’Atelier | Hair Styling: Laina Welsh, L’Atelier
Makeup: Ruth Gonzalez, L’Atelier | Hair Color: Missy Schnaps, L’Atelier
Manicure: Stephanie Baptista, L’Atelier | Location: Sand Rock Farm, Aptos
Clothing supplied by:
Oak&Co, Lina Rennell, Beklina.com, Jade, Stripe, Cameron Marks, Idle Hands
Accessories supplied by: Oak&Co, Lina Rennell, Beklina.com, Jade, Stripe, Cameron Marks, Idle Hands, Nuala, Blank Verse Jewelry
K.Murray is a hit at Wallflower
Local fashion designer Kelly Murray is no wallflower. But she does sell her clothes at a cozy boutique off Pacific Avenue on Locust Street in Downtown Santa Cruz, which bears the same name. Interestingly, the wallpaper in the shop—with bright yellow flowers—sets the background for a collection of bohemian chic garments, including Murray’s work.
Her vintage-inspired lace tops, thick and colorful capes, flirtatious shorts and other one-of-a-kind pieces have defined Murray as the next up-and-coming designer in Santa Cruz County. While she may not be pushing herself out there in the business world quite yet, it’s clear that her talent and creativity speak for themselves, and will surely propel her into small town recognition and beyond. Currently, Wallflower is the only store selling her wares, but when people start finding out about Murray, that may no longer be the case.
At least three nights a week, Murray stitches together new products then brings them in to Wallflower, where she works one day a week in exchange for selling her clothing there. Occasionally, while working behind the counter, someone will snap up one of her items off a clothing rack. “That’s what I enjoy,” says the designer.
Murray launched her line, K.Murray, several years ago. She takes myriad approaches in designing her clothes, from incorporating vintage patterns, to taking apart a garment and repurposing it, to creating purely original designs straight from a bolt of fabric.
Prior to Christmas last year, Murray was told about Wallflower, so she packed up her creations into a little suitcase and brought them to the store to see what owner Terra Lynn thought of her garments. Twelve pieces sold out within a month-and-a-half: crop tops, lace tops, dresses and more. “My style is already reflected and in sync with her customer,” Murray says of the quick success. Another winning component is the affordable price tag. Tops go for $20-$40, jackets and capes for $80-$150 and dresses for $45-$75.
Murray’s vintage, romantic, bohemian and funky aesthetic pairs well with her background—she went through fashion design school in Philadelphia, but it wasn’t for the same reasons as many fellow students who hoped to launch pricey designer lines of clothing. Murray was focused on her passion for sewing and trying to better understand construction of garments. From there, she went on to work as an assistant designer for a sleepwear intimates company in New York and in 2010 she moved to Santa Cruz, where things quickly took off when she teamed up with Wallflower.
“I crashed a holiday party around Christmastime,” she says, “and there was a girl there wearing one of my tank tops. She said she got it at Wallflower. I was going to say something, but I got shy.”
Humility—it goes a long way in this business. | Christa Martin
Check out the collection, K.Murray by Kelly Murray at Wallflower Boutique, 103 Locust St., Santa Cruz, 426-3526, shopthewallflower.com.
Reap What You Sew
Judy’s Sewing Center offers sewing and fashion design classes
Eight years ago, a friend gave me a sewing machine for my 30th birthday. I stared at it, bewildered. A sewing machine? What in the world was I going to do with that? I had no interest in sewing, even though my mother had tried to teach me on numerous occasions as I grew up. So, I did what any proper career woman would (or so I thought)—I stuffed it in a closet.
Last year, I pulled it out of the closet. This happened after I looked at a ruffled knit shirt that I had purchased for $50 and wondered if I could actually learn to make that shirt, and save myself a lot of money. Pinching pennies was enough momentum for me to unpack my sewing machine. After proudly putting it on the kitchen table, I wondered how in the world it worked. Intrigued, I did some research to see if there were any sewing classes in town and I found Judy’s Sewing Center in Capitola.
Feeling intimidated by this new craft, I poked my head into Judy’s Sewing Center in January of this year and found an array of colorful bolts of fabric and mountains of sewing supplies. I met Judy Hollaway, owner of the store, and a master seamstress who has been sewing for most of her life. “I loved it from the time I could hold a needle and thread,” Hollaway says about sewing.
I signed up for Sewing 101 where you learn the basics of your machine, and how to sew in a straight line, wind your bobbin, replace a needle and so on. After that first class, I signed up for Learn to Sew classes three times a month, and have now completed seven months of classes. At $10 a class, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights, you can’t beat the price. Students can also save money by purchasing a class card for $50 and receiving six classes. “The economy is tough right now, so we want to make it affordable for people to sew,” Hollaway says.
In the Learn to Sew class, beginners start with making a pillowcase, then pajama pants, and a final item in week three. After that, you can bring in any project for your skill level. I was particularly interested in making garments, so over the last several months that’s what I have concentrated on. Now, I am working on my sixth button-down, collared shirt.
Someone asked me recently if I thought it was worth it to invest so much time into one garment. I must have looked at this person like she was nuts, because of course it’s worth it—the art and craft of sewing, making something with your own hands, the meditative nature of having to focus for long periods of time, creating what you wear—these are skills and experiences that have no pricetag.
In mid-August, Hollaway will continue teaching her Learn to Sew classes on Tuesday evenings, but she is also bringing on another master teacher who will focus solely on garment construction—Dresden Erickson, who will teach Beginning Clothing Construction on Thursday nights: Aug. 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1, Sept. 8. The Aug. 11 class is where students can learn what colors and styles best fit their body types. The other four classes are strictly sewing classes in which class members will learn how to make clothes—anything from a shirt, a skirt, a dress, even pants, if you dare. Erickson has a selection of patterns to choose from, or, of course, bring your own. It’s wise to visit ahead of time and make sure that your pattern matches your skill set. All of these classes will be $10 each, with the style and color class offered at $15. (Visit Judy’s Sewing Center in person, by telephone, or check out the website to sign up for the Beginning Clothing Construction or Learn to Sew classes.)
This summer and fall, also look for sewing tutorials and blogs online at Judyssewingcenter.com. The store also offers an enormous array of additional classes: Learn to Quilt, Serger Know-How, Learn Machine Embroidery, Bag Ladies and many others. In addition, the store sells vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, sergers, fabric, sewing supplies, and offers repair services on sewing machines and vacuums. It’s a one-stop shop.
For me, it has been a sanctuary—a place to quiet my mind every Tuesday night, where the whir and hum of sewing machines calms my restless thoughts and lets me put my hands to use creating clothing. It’s also a place where I honor the memory of my mom. She died 14 years ago, when I was 24, and I had no interest in sewing. Each time I cut out a pattern, or change the thread on my machine, I am reminded of my mom when she was my age, laying out fabric and making clothes for herself. As a child, I used to sit and watch her sew. Maybe now, she’s watching me. | Christa Martin
Judy’s Sewing Center is at 1501 41st Ave., Capitola, 95010, 464-8181, judyssewingcenter.com. Learn to Sew classes are on Tuesday nights and the Beginning Clothing Construction class is on Thursdays starting Aug. 11. Most classes are $10.
Americana jewelry finds a home in local stores
One doesn’t usually describe jewelry as having a sense of humor, but Maggie McKay’s rough, sparkly, asymmetrical necklaces have just that, she says. Her work is meant to elicit conversation and pique interest. It’s geared toward a playful woman with an eclectic, Americana aesthetic.
Think mixed media and old Western visuals, and you have a piece of jewelry from McKay’s collection, TomGirlWest, sold at Cameron Marks, Saffron and Genevieve and at Azhar Hair Design.
McKay got her start making this work 10 years ago when she attended a bead show and ended up taking home a bunch of beads, equipment and supplies. Then, it was just a matter of finding the time to sit down and see what would spring from her creative well. Two years ago, she found the time to start designing. “Every day it’s a new palette and a new canvas, and being able to play,” she says. Local stores were interested and started carrying her line.
“Each piece is a little work of art,” McKay says. “I love color and texture, and combining things.” The stuff that she incorporates into her jewelry is often found at bead shows and antique stores. She leans toward the rough feminine aesthetic, hence the name of her line, TomGirlWest.
“TomGirl to me is masculine and feminine, rough and ready, and the West is the leftcoast, and there’s a Western theme to a lot of what I make.”
The best way to wear her pieces—hang a long necklace over a T-shirt or button up, but definitely don’t pair with chiffon. After all, what tomgirl wears chiffon anyway? This is for chic women, with a tough (yet still feminine) edge.
Find TomGirlWest jewelry at Saffron and Genevieve, 910B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 462-4506, saffronandgenevieve.com; Cameron Marks, 402 Ingalls St., No. 7, Santa Cruz, 458-3081, cameronmarks.com; Azhar Hair Design, 507 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 426-6334, azharhairdesign.com.
| Christa Martin
Out of hard times comes beautiful jewelry via Blackbird
Earlier this year, Nancy Ceideburg was going through a rough patch. She found solace by visiting a favorite store. And at that store, she not only was able to pick up a treasure here and there, but also find friendship with the staff. That store was Stripe, a popular Downtown Santa Cruz store that sells the types of clothing and goods that Ceideburg adores—vintage, romantic, fashion-forward, but simple all the same. On one of these visits, the staff noticed Ceideburg’s leather cuffs, lariat necklaces and thin strands of bracelets with a button. Curious, they inquired, discovered that the creations were Ceideburg’s own, and invited her to sell the items in the store.
Ceideburg’s trademark $18 multi-purpose pieces include a long leather strip with a vintage button affixed to it, which can be used as a necklace, a headband, or wrapped around the wrist several times as a bracelet. The full line of products is called Blackbird, and, as we all know, the Beatles’ song goes like this: “Blackbird singing in the dead of night / take these broken wings and learn to fly / all your life / you were only waiting for this moment to arise.”
And that’s exactly what Ceideburg has done—arise through the difficult time in her life, learning to fly by creating jewelry. She began by experimenting with leather and soon found that it can be molded into many forms. The result—leather cuffs with slits, used as an accent piece, the aforementioned button pieces, swatches of fabric sewn onto leather bracelets and rustic-inspired necklaces with vintage beads.
Pair a bracelet with leggings and a tunic; a lariat with a plain T-shirt, skinny jeans and roughed up boots. “They make a statement on their own,” Ceideburg says. “You don’t have to over-accessorize.”
With prices ranging from $18-$24, these “statements” are thoroughly affordable and will enhance any fashionista’s fall outfit, and the creation of them has helped this blackbird sing. | Christa Martin
Blackbird leather jewelry is sold at Stripe, 107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 421-9252, stripedesigngroup.com.
The downtown retail shop expands to offer a men’s store
Ladies: This November, don’t be surprised if the men in your life get restless to do something you’d never expect them to do—go shopping. Make that clothes shopping. Yes, Santa Cruz, the fashion landscape for men is about to be sent into a tailspin. Sure, there are plenty of surf, skate and casual wear clothing options for men in this town, but there’s nothing like what Suna Lock and Dana Norrell are about to launch—Stripe Men. Just like their first store, Stripe, this new portal, focused purely on men’s clothing and goods, will be chic, stylish, handsome and creative, and, of course, it will have an impeccable décor and design aesthetic. What else would you expect from Lock, who’s an interior designer, and Norrell, who’s a fine artist?
Stripe Men will opens its doors at 117 Walnut Ave., just a few doors down from the original Stripe, which focuses on women’s goods and clothing. So what’s the new store going to be like? Think cologne, Western inspiration, vintage leather jackets, a rustic ambiance, dim lighting, taxidermy, records playing, locally made belts, office supplies, shaving products, hats, T-shirts, button-up shirts and more. Much of the clothing offerings will be sophisticated but casual, garments a man can wear to work, but with a unique twist, and not looking like Mr. Banana Republic. And of course, there will be a male staff person on hand to help customers (and their significant others) pick out items that are well suited to their liking.
As for what will now be the women’s store, expect that space to keep booming with more kitchen goods, textiles, gifts, vintage finds, Stripe original T-shirts, and a full array of bridal services including dresses, shoes, decorating, jewelry, etc. | Christa Martin
Visit Stripe Men at 117 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 421-9252, stripedesigngroup.com. The men’s store opens Nov. 1.
Some of GT’s favorite local designers continue to forge their way in the world of fashion and beauty. Here’s a close look at their stylish work
Artist Angelina Rennell got her start several years ago when she noticed that there didn’t seem to be many organic clothing options for women. Since then, she went on to launch two collections a year of stunning work that has a Scandinavian influence, and a contemporary, original aesthetic, often inspired by nature and art. She designs each garment as well as the fabric, then sells the items on her eco-friendly online boutique website, beklina.com. This fall, her Lina Rennell collection is called “Lamp” and was inspired from a lamp she discovered in a local thrift store. Every piece is dyed and hand-printed, as well as sewn locally. Several of these preview items were showcased in the fashion issue photo spread. Beklina.com.
BELTS BY SHEA
While he’s not technically a “local” per se (he lives in Los Gatos), his work is sold exclusively on Pacific Avenue at Idle Hands. Shea Nyquist makes some rough-and-tumble rustic belts that are so finely made, he really needs to increase his price point. Each one is hand crafted by the 30-year-old. Even better, he can custom make a belt for any person. He recently made one for a man who asked his girlfriend for his hand in marriage. The belt said, “Will you marry me?” Prices range from $50-$120, and to see the exquisite handiwork in person is remarkable. These are the types of belts that will last a lifetime. Beltsbyshea.com or idlehandsdrygoods.com.
Terry McInerney makes a lot of beautiful things, but one of our favorites is the leather cuff watch that she creates. It’s timeless (literally) and serves as a solo statement piece. But there’s much more to this leather designer: purses, clutches, key chains, laptop bags. Each item is hand-made by McInerney, who creates these classic, long-lasting pieces for any wardrobe. They’re sold at Stripe in Downtown Santa Cruz and on her Etsy store, etsy.com/shop/nualaleather.
Alexis Meschi charmed her way into our fashionable hearts when we originally discovered her ruffled shirts at Stripe. Nowadays, she continues to sell her work in Bay Area stores, and on her website, madebylex.com. Her collection of leather-bound scarves has been a hit—look for a new variety this fall. Meschi also has a project coming out this fall in the book, “One Yard Wonder 2.” In addition, she’s a notable blogger who inspires other seamstresses with tutorials and advice on how to create sewing projects. Madebylex.com.
| Christa Martin
A little over a year ago, I launched Obsessive Beauty, a GT blog that’s written three times a week and addresses things I’m passionate about in fashion and beauty. I try to take a different approach, veering from the self-absorbed “look at me” style of so many blogs that are out there, especially in this realm, where bloggers just talk about themselves. Instead, I focus on trying to find unique and mostly affordable items for readers. Mainly, though, it’s a place to find design (fashion and otherwise) inspiration, a site to read about the latest beauty products that actually work on yours truly, and a place to dialogue about sewing, clothing, face creams, lip glosses and the like. Recently, some of my favorite things that I’d love to share with readers include the following: Greenbees Erma Boot in Coal or Sienna for fall. Local online retailer Oakandco.com sells these boots, as do other online stores. Last year I purchased a pair in Coal, and they were well worth the nearly $300 investment—the leather is recycled and the soles are made of tires. It’s a “green” product through and through, as well as remarkably timeless and stylish. I’m considering buying a pair in Sienna this upcoming season. Other favorites? Tokyo Milk bubble bath that you can find at Saffron and Genevieve; Collette Patterns at Hart’s Fabric for sewing vintage-looking blouses; sewing classes at Judy’s Sewing Center; a pink rosette top from American Apparel that just doesn’t go out of style; wallpaper from Anthropologie; local jam from Serendipity Saucy Spreads; and the new magazine Anthology which is sold at Stripe. Check out Obsessive Beauty and let’s start talking about fashion and beauty.
If you enjoyed what you read in the fashion issue then things will only get better for you. For the second year, GT offers a slew of giveaways, items featured in this fashion issue, all for free.
How: Go to Obsessive Beauty on GT’s website and check out the Obsessive Beauty blogs. There, you will find the most recent blog, which will be up for a week or so, and will be a Win It and Wear It contest. Leave a comment telling us about something you liked in the fashion issue, and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win one of the following prizes (below). The contest begins Aug. 3 and ends Aug. 12. Winners announced Aug. 15 in the same blog.
What: A sewing class at Judy’s Sewing Center // A necklace by TomGirlWest // A T-shirt from Idle Hands // A leather charm by Nuala // Five items by Blackbird // A purse from K.Murray // A necklace from Stripe // A men’s shirt from Stripe // A 60-minute facial from L’Atelier // A hand-beaded necklace from Cameron Marks
Buy it Here
The work, classes, designs and styling found in the fashion issue can be purchased in local stores or online.
Manicure, Fashion Styling
L’Atelier Salon and L’Atelier Spa
114 Pearl Alley,
Judy’s Sewing Center
1501 41st Ave., Suite J
Short and Sweet
Pinned Pullover: Filly, $230, Oakandco.com // Cut Away Skirt: Filly, $230, Oakandco.com // Cross-over Leather Bag: Nuala, $60, Stripe // “jewel” necklace: $34, Idle Hands // Large Native American Cuff: Vintage, $54, Idle Hands // Small Native American Bracelet: Vintage, $8, Stripe
Sand Rock Farm
6901 Freedom Blvd.
Clothing and Accessories:
Oak & Co
Lina Rennell and Beklina
Blank Verse Jewelry
Also sold at Cameron Marks
107 Walnut Ave.
402 Ingalls St., No. 7
1128 Pacific Ave.
805 Pacific Ave.
Saffron and Genevieve
910 Soquel Ave., Suite B