Studio Tour: Noon Design Studio

one of the things that inspired us most on a recent trip to LA was the shades of blue that we spotted everywhere, from swimming pools to the fronts of warehouses. so when we heard about Jane Palmer and her natural-dye house that specializes in indigo in the heart of the city’s garment district, we jumped at the chance to see the process for ourselves…
We certainly weren’t the first to fall in love with indigo dye, an organic compound found in hundreds of different plants. In fact, it was used by many ancient civilizations and valued for its rare blue color. “I love the look of natural indigo dye because it never looks flat,” explains Jane. “It has this uniquely inky look that glows from within.”

“Indigo dyeing is about patience because it takes a long time to achieve the desired result,” says Jane. Once the indigo has been prepared (a process which alone takes about an hour), it’s added to a vat of water, which turns an unexpected bright yellow or green.

After cloth is dipped into the vat, it also comes out yellow-green. It’s the oxygen in the air that will slowly turn the material blue. To get that rich indigo hue, the fabric must be repeatedly dipped into the vat—up to eight times to make it really dark.

To create their unique indigo designs, Jane and her team use a process called shibori, the ancient Japanese practice of folding, clamping, binding and stitching fabric to create patterns (we think of it like a really complicated version of tie-dye). The technique takes time to master; in Japan, a dyer must apprentice for years before becoming a practicing artist. “We have developed our own styles of shibori that we use over and over because we love the way they look,” she says.

Photography by Ken Tisuthiwongse.

For more of what we were up to in LA, click here.

Meet…Jessica de Ruiter
we couldn’t wait any longer for the sun (or warmer weather), so armed with Point Sur jeans, we headed to LA—the denim capital—to meet up with a few of our beach-loving counterparts. first up? stylist Jessica de Ruiter, a girl who certainly knows her way around a pair of high-waist skinny jeans (barefoot and all)…
Jessica, photographed at her home in Silver Lake, wears the Point Sur hightower skinny jean in drifter wash and an Isabel Marant blouse.

Hometown & current home
I’m originally from Toronto, but I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the past 12 years—with a stint in NYC somewhere in between.

Fashion editor, stylist and consultant.

“California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Tupac. Hands down.
Do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
Of course! A pair of Guess jeans that had the upside-down triangle label on the back pocket and zippers down the sides of the ankles. It was the mid-’80s, and I was probably six years old. It was a very important fashion moment for me.

Biggest misconception about style in LA?
That there isn’t any.

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Makeup by Lauren Andersen for the Wall Group.

To learn more about just how Point Sur denim is made in downtown LA, click here. Then, shop our entire assortment of Point Sur jeans here.

Sneak Peek: Show and Tell
as we get ready to launch our capsule collections with this year’s CFDA/Vogue
Fashion Fund winner and runners-up, we’re giving you a glimpse into their own
creative spaces and what inspires them most. (psst, there’s more to come in
the weeks ahead…)
Photography by Bryan Derballa

Check back here as we count down to our capsule launches on May 22nd for details
on how to pre-order the collections before they hit stores and online.

A Moment with…Eviana Hartman

we’ve known writer Eviana Hartman since her days as a fashion writer at Vogue
magazine and followed her as she went on to design an eco-friendly line called
Bodkin. for the time being, the New Yorker calls LA home and is at work on a
stylish eco blog that we know will be, like her, totally inspired and charming…
Tell us about where you live in Los Angeles.
In a secret pocket of Echo Park, near Elysian Park. You have to drive up a hill through
three blind hairpin turns to get to our house.   

What place in LA reminds you of New York?
I’ve learned that it’s really apples and oranges. That said, the restaurant Canelé in
Atwater Village has a certain bustling, cramped charm that feels like the East Village.   

From 2008 to 2011, you designed a line of eco-conscious clothing called Bodkin.
You did it all 
yourself, right? Tell us a bit about that process.
It started on a whim and it was a wild ride. Having been a fashion writer and editor 

for years, I wanted to make organic and sustainable clothes that had a strong aesthetic point
of view and started experimenting without any sort of business plan. One thing led to
another, and in two years it was 40 styles a season in 40 stores.

I never had more than one employee and I had to learn about everything from scratch.
Since then, I’ve returned to writing but may bring the line back sooner
or later—stay tuned!

What are some of your not-to-be-missed eco-friendly spots in LA?
Will Rogers State Park (Inspiration Point) is my favorite hike at the moment.

The Inn of the Seventh Ray is a weird, magical New Age organic restaurant next to a
creek in Topanga Canyon. It’s worth it for the experience alone.

Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away for delicious seasonal and local food in Venice. From a
sustainability standpoint, Venice is great because you can walk and bike everywhere.

The Rose Bowl and Pasadena City College flea markets for all sorts of old things.

The Detox Market on Beverly Boulevard for chic all-natural beauty and bath products.

Cosentino’s is a succulent nursery in Malibu. You can browse cacti of all shapes and
sizes while staring at the ocean across the road.

Photographs by Bryan Derballa

To shop our entire selection of swimwear and rash guards, click here.

Locals Only

while we were in L.A. we met up with four local creative guys, gave them each a
pair of our new Vans® shoes and asked them to show us around some of their
favorite spots…
Mike wears a Deus Ex Machina button-down, a Splendid Mills baseball T-shirt,
an Acne jean and Vans for J.Crew washed canvas sneakers in electric blue.
He rides around on an Arbor skateboard (“especially after a night
at the bars,” he adds).
Ken wears a vintage Pilgrim button-down, a Battenwear sweatshirt, an Apolis
Chore jacket, a pant by Unis, Moscot sunglasses and Vans for J.Crew canvas
sneakers in white. He bikes around on a custom single-speed vintage
“Brooklyn-style Dutch bike” and is rarely without his Contax G2 camera.
He was photographed at Hennessey + Ingalls
John wears a vintage Levi’s® denim jacket, an Industry of All Nations T-shirt, an
M.Nii Drowner pant, a leather wrap bracelet by Kapital and Vans for J.Crew
washed canvas sneakers in turf green.
He was photographed at POPgallery
Derek wears a vintage sweater and button-down, a J.Lindeberg jacket, a Ksubi
jean and Vans for J.Crew washed canvas sneakers in electric blue. He rides on a
custom DL skateboard. “It’s the first DL board we made in California,” says Derek,
who just relocated to the West Coast from Brooklyn. “It’s a keeper.”
Photographs by Bryan Derballa

Explore our collection of Vans for J.Crew styles here.

A Moment with… Apolis

since 2004, Shea and Raan Parton have been designing globally conscious,
stylish goods under the moniker Apolis. in addition to collaborating with them on
a pair of chambray swim trunks, we recently tracked down the always-on-the-go
bros for coffee in Southern California.
You recently opened a new retail and common space in LA’s Arts District.
Tell us about that.
“Creating a venue that brings people together—through gallery exhibits, dinners, film
releases, new Apolis collection debuts and keynote speakers—has become a really
important part of our brand. We see retail being much more similar to the hospitality
industry and want to serve as a community center.”
Tell us a bit about the collaboration on the chambray board shorts
that just hit our stores.

“After a couple of years of building a friendship with Frank Muytjens [J.Crew head of
men’s design] and Jamie Sabuda [J.Crew head of men’s branded partnerships], we
introduced them to a local manufacturing partner who has been the only domestic
factory making board shorts for California lifeguards over the past 30 years.”

Why chambray?
“We’re obsessed with the way indigo chambray ages and improves over time. This
5½-ounce Spanish chambray is super durable thanks to three-needle stitching.
This exact silhouette was previously created for California watermen in the 1960s.”

We’ve got 24 hours in Southern California. What to do…?
— 7:00 AM —
“Wake up in Venice, California. Stay at the Venice Beach House. Deus motorcycle
shop will be open; swing by and grab an espresso, courtesy of our friends at Handsome
Coffee Roasters. (We dare you to ask their barista for sugar).

— 8:30 AM —
“Then head north to Malibu for some surfing. Depending on the direction of swell
and tide, there are a lot of options, from point breaks to beach breaks. If there are no waves,
Musch Trail in Topanga State Park is great for a quick hike.

— 11:00 AM —
“Head back south to Santa Monica to FarmShop in the Brentwood Country Mart for their
weekend brunch (they serve it till 2pm). We’re partial to the homemade pastrami and
eggs. Then grab a magazine at Unionmade, and you won’t be let down by ice cream
from Sweet Rose Creamery.

— 2:00 PM —
“Afterward, head east to midtown Los Angeles. Depending on what’s currently on
exhibit, you’ve got to visit one of LA’s world-renowned destinations for art
and architecture, either the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the Getty.

— 4:00 PM —
“Then, continue farther east toward the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, where
Apolis: Common Gallery is located. Make a quick stop at 3000 East Olympic Boulevard
to our favorite shrimp taco truck, Mariscos 4 Vientos, for a quick snack. (One to two
shrimp tacos will hold you over until dinner.)

— 5:00 PM —
“Nearby grab a card for your loved one from our neighbors at Poketo and be sure
to enjoy some Belgian fries, rattlesnake-and-rabbit sausage and craft beer from our
neighbor restaurant, Wurstküche.

— 7:00 PM —
If you’re up for dessert, head across the street to Pie Hole and, please, get a slice of
their homemade chocolate crostata with a scoop of their vanilla bean ice cream.
If you’re too full for dessert and just need some caffeine to get you back to Venice,
just two blocks away is the flagship espresso bar and roasting location of
Handsome Coffee.”

Photography by Bryan Derballa

Get ready for the beach and shop our Apolis swim trunks here.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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