My favourite, not necessarily trends, but pieces from the Spring/summer 2014 shows. The oversized sheer T-shirts and longer line proportions at Calvin Klein, the lace slip dresses at Stella McCartney, the graffiti prints and coat silhouettes at Celine, the tailored jackets at Chalayan and the high waisted culottes at Proenza Schouler. An exciting season ahead indeed.
LA is full of strange and beautiful little secrets. Like the hidden stairways you find all over the city, that connect the pedestrian main streets to the hills behind them. Or the Garden of Oz, an odd yet delightful psychedelic homage to L. Frank Baum in Beachwood Canyon. My favourite has to be the Chandelier tree though. Situated in Silverlake near the reservoir, I first started noticing it on my weekly trips to the nearby Trader Joe’s. Looking like something from a fantastical Tim Walker photo shoot, it always made me smile whenever I went past. Unsurprisingly it’s become something of a local landmark - but a mysterious one. I’ve always wondering who created it? Who lived there? And how much must their electricity bill be each month?! All those questions are answered in this lovely little video by film maker Colin Kennedy. Watch the story of the tree and its creator Adam Tenenbaum above.
Video by Colin Kennedy
I don’t know who this girl is, but I love everything about her look. From the oversized slouch coat to the ankle skimming jeans to the black Chelsea boots, it’s basically everything I want to wear right now. Plus she’s a mega babe. Just look at those cheekbones! I mean, what’s not to like?!
Image: Tommy Ton for Style.com
I’m really bad at shopping in LA. I think it’s because to go shopping here takes a concerted effort. You have to get in a car and drive there, where as in London it is all around you, all the time. Bored at lunch time? Just nip out the office down to Oxford street and have a rummage round Topshop. Got an hour to kill after work before meeting friends for drinks? Hit up Zara or H&M or Cos or Whistles or Liberty’s for that one piece you never knew you needed. Lets just say I did A LOT of damage when I worked near Oxford Circus and when I left London I gave 3 massive laundry bags full of clothes I’d hardly worn to the local charity shop. So I guess LA’s lack of high streets a good thing, as it means I don’t spend so much on impulse buys that I never wear again. I have become the inconceivable, a considered shopper. Who knew?! It seems very grown up. Nowadays I do most of my planning online (for best pieces and prices) before setting foot in a store and I make sure I buy pieces that I’ll wear more than once, and that work with the rest of my wardrobe. That being said, my new sensible shopping routine doesn’t appear extend to footwear. I’m still prone to buying shoes that are too small for me, thinking it’ll be ok (it’s never ok). Anyhoo, here’s some of my recent online buys, and some that have gone on the wish list for now.
My buys: The perfect white shirt from Zara that’s going to take me from the very mild fall we’re having in LA to the equally mild winter. I’ve been looking for a good tan shopper for my every day needs for ages and Zara happily came up with the goods this season. My wish list: The ultimate leather skirt for winter, courtesy of Whistles. Their leather selection is just awesome, from biker jackets and a-line skirts to carrot leg leather trousers (that’s right, carrot leg leather trousers. Don’t judge, they’re amazing!) check it out. I’ve been searching for some stylish but comfy everyday sandals for ages and these little babies from Aussie brand Kuwaii in the palest of lilac are like a dream come true for me.
LA lately, the life changing edition! This summer has been a very busy and momentous one. I got married, moved house and next month a new edition of my book launches. Like most people I’m massively guilty of comparing everything I do to other people’s achievements and sometimes it’s just nice to take a moment to sit back, take stock, and be grateful for what you have, rather than focussing on what you haven’t. A friend recently posted a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt which pretty much sums it up, “comparison is the thief of joy”. I’m trying not to let anything steal my joy these days.
Images: Griffith Park Observatory views/new shoes by Deux Souliers/ big box little box / Parker Palm Springs times/ my bridal bouquet from my favourite florist, Clementine in Silverlake/ new mini edition of my book!/ outdoor library, Beachwood Canyon style/ watching my fellow Glaswegians Belle & Sebastian at the Santa Barbara Bowl/ beach times.
Images from my instagram @londonsusie
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty over street style at the shows. The circus it’s become in the past few years is too staged, false and repetitive for my tastes. Everyone seems to be dressing to be photographed (sometimes in more outlandish and desperate ways) and the initial joy and inspiration I found in the spontaneity of those kinds of photos keeps diminishing season by season. The market is too over saturated and the public, fashion insiders and fashion observers too self aware. It makes for style and fashion that feels forced and false, rather than something that is innate and personal to an individual. Amongst this though there are still moments of simple brilliance, people who don’t have to try too hard, they just are. People like stylist Ursina Gysi above, or Stevie Dance, or Yasmin Sewell. What they all have in common is they are comfortable in their own skin and know their own style. Amongst the hundreds of street style images we’ll be bombarded with over the next month, they’ll be the type of people I want to see.
Images: Tommy Ton for Style.com
I recently came across the British sculptor Brian Griffiths while researching a piece on exhibitions in my home town of Glasgow. Known for his inventive and sometimes fantastical sculptures made from reclaimed and found objects, Griffiths has transformed items as mundane as old furniture and cardboard boxes into space ships, gypsy caravans and Viking sail boats. I especially love the orange tarpaulin covered bears head, which explores the same techniques as his current exhibition, Borrowed World, Borrowed Eyes, at the Tramway Theatre in Glasgow. Playing with the gallery’s industrial space, he’s created a maze like field of huge geometric sculptures, covered in old, painted and patched tarpaulins. Something about these giant boxes intrigues me, or maybe it’s just the muted utility tones and juxtaposition of shapes that remind me of Ben Nicholson, one of my favourite artists. Either way the results are oddly bleak yet strangely appealing. I wish I was in town to go and see it myself but sadly it finishes on the 22nd of September, way before my next trip home. If you’re in Glasgow be sure to check it out.
The perfect summer dress. It’s as elusive as the perfect pair of jeans or the perfect stripey T-shirt. A piece that you happen upon accidentally, rather than seeking out on purpose, because when you do it evades you, like some sort of elusive mythical creature. To me, the perfect summer dress is simple, casual, flirty and doesn’t try too hard.
It was cemented in my mind, bizarrely, by a series of car commercials I watched growing up in the early 90s. In what has become an advertising classic, the commercials featured a young woman (Nicole) and her dad (Papa) in Provencial France. The story of each advert goes like this: Nicole waits for Papa to be distracted while she steals his car keys and goes off on an adventure, returning the car before Papa has time to notice. The joke being that he’s aware of her escapades the whole time, while also indulging in some of this own.
Nicole is a typical French beauty, with that fresh faced gorgeousness and casual chic style all French woman seem to have. In my favourite ad, she is wearing the ultimate summer dress, a little flippy polka dot and striped button through number, that is subtley sexy and just 90s enough. I’ve been seeing more of these dresses around lately, perfected by ethical label Reformation, who make all theirs out of deadstock, surplus fabric and old vintage pieces. Everything is one off and limited edition and even better, good for the environment. They have the look nailed. If they remade the car commercial today, I know what Nicole would be wearing…
Images: Emma Elwin/Nicole Papa/Nasty Gal/Reformation
I’m in a bit of a dilemma at the moment. I have a collection of art, fashion and design books, lovingly and proudly built up over 13 years of living in London, from my time at art school to time spent working in the fashion industry. Currently, they’re all residing in storage in Scotland, and as I settle in the States I’m starting to wonder whether it’s worth shipping them over to California or whether the cheaper option would be to start the collection from scratch again, a daunting thought! If I bite the bullet and start again, I know which book I’ll be starting with, this beautiful Taschen book on Raf Simons. Edited by i-D Founder and Creative Director Terry Jones and delving into the i-D archives, the book celebrates the designers own menswear label, his work for Jil Sander and his new appointment at Dior. If that wasn’t enough to peak my interest, it even has Kate on the cover. Although it’s released on Taschen on the 15th of July, you can pre-order here.
LA Lately. Store fronts and sunbeams in Silverlake, furniture shopping in Highland Park, Chris Burden LACMA lamps, visiting the new Leica store (which is amazing!) Guisados Tacos with lovely Leonie before she left for NYC, a new restaurant on Beverly I’ve been meaning to check out for ages, more LACMA, the re-opening of Echo Park Lake (hurrah!) and The Princes Bride at the cemetery.
Images: My instagram: @londonsusie
I recently re-discovered one of my all time favourite denim pieces, a 70s indigo A-line button through skirt with pleated details. I bought it in Ibiza many moons ago, in the best vintage store in the Island, Holala and although I love it, wear it only occasionally, as it’s a smidgen too small for me (that’s how much I love it, it’s too small and I still bought it!). I unearthed it the other day however, inspired by the Whistles shoot I posted the other week, and have resolved to make it a mainstay in my summer wardrobe, paired back with white tees, varsity vests and stripes (always!). I was reminded of it when I saw these images from Zara’s May look book the other day. I just love the styling and the bareness of the shoot, taking something retro like indigo and white and making it look fresh, clean and modern. Right up my street.
Love, love, love the collages from Shop-Ghost, especially this one. I feel the chicks in the middle pretty much sum up my style - one part tomboy, one part child dresser aka right up my street!
I came across these old Stussy campaigns a while ago, while researching a feature on 80’s surfer dude styling for work. I absolutely love the brands take on girls street wear back then and also how ‘now’ they look for something shot almost 20 years ago. It’s quite a contrast to it’s womenswear offering today, which I find quite generic. I definitely prefer the older stuff so I was super pleased today to receive an invite to celebrate the official launch of the new dedicated womenswear section of the Agenda trade show, featuring Stussy Women’s. Apparently the “Stu-crew are taking it back to the 80’s for Spring/Summer 2014, with a rich array of remixed vintage Stussy prints, graphics and accessories.” I’m super excited to see what they come up with and really hope they’ve been digging into their archives to reinvent something like this. Anita Pallenberg lookalike meets 80’s skate witch anyone?! Besides showcasing various hot labels, the launch party on Friday at Space 15 Twenty features performances from Colleen Green, a live DJ set by Jen from Bleached and is hosted by one of the best bloggers in town, the ever awesome Jayne Min of Stop it right now. Not to be missed!
One of my favourite things about summer in LA is all the awesome events that take place during the summer months. From wine tasting evenings in Barnsdall Park to the Hollywood Forever cemetery screenings, there’s a host of fun, unique events that make the most of the lighter evenings and all round sunshine the city has to offer. Some of my favourites from last summer were the parties hosted by creative collective Rubifox. Designed as a collaborative way to bring their creative friends together, Janella Fox and Simone Rubi began hosting intimate parties at friends houses, featuring a mix of live music, home made food, custom cocktails and art. The lovely video above is from one of the Rubifox events that I attended, which featured a performance by the band Snowblink and personalised art work by Alia Shawkat that each guest got to take home. It was a magical, only in LA experience and one I hope repeat this summer. Although the girls are off travelling the world right now, they assure they will be back in LA soon enough to bring people together in the spirit of collaboration, the summer and good times!
Video by Maria Biber-Ferro and Rubifox