In the field: Kiriko

Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka cofounded Portland, Oregon-based accessories brand Kiriko as a way to turn their common appreciation for traditional Japanese textiles into a handsome line of scarves, ties and pocket squares. Read more here.

In the field: Kiriko
Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka cofounded Portland, Oregon-based accessories brand Kiriko as a way to turn their common appreciation for traditional Japanese textiles into a handsome line of scarves, ties and pocket squares. Read more here. In the field: Kiriko
Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka cofounded Portland, Oregon-based accessories brand Kiriko as a way to turn their common appreciation for traditional Japanese textiles into a handsome line of scarves, ties and pocket squares. Read more here.
In the field: Kiriko
Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka cofounded Portland, Oregon-based accessories brand Kiriko as a way to turn their common appreciation for traditional Japanese textiles into a handsome line of scarves, ties and pocket squares. Read more here. In the field: Kiriko
Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka cofounded Portland, Oregon-based accessories brand Kiriko as a way to turn their common appreciation for traditional Japanese textiles into a handsome line of scarves, ties and pocket squares. Read more here.

Test-drive: Maternity Toothpick Jean

we headed to Clic Gallery downtown with our accessories director, Titina (she’s expecting a boy in just a couple of weeks), to talk mom-to-be style (including wardrobe challenges) and our new maternity toothpick…
Titina wears a J.Crew boyfriend fatigue jacket, Hatch Collection bateau top, J.Crew maternity toothpick jean in pitch black wash and Golden Goose sneakers.


How has your style changed since becoming pregnant?
My wardrobe options definitely shrunk. I’ve always been a high-waist-denim girl—and that was the first thing I couldn’t fit into!

What has been your go-to maternity outfit?
I much prefer easy, floaty styles, so this has been a great opportunity to embrace my inner hippie! I’ve loved wearing J.Crew jeans while pregnant because they’re so comfortable. A cool maternity line called Hatch Collection also has tops and dresses that are the perfect shape for my ever-growing bump.


Any nonmaternity clothes that ended up working really well for you during your pregnancy?
I’ve managed to keep a lot of my nonmaternity clothes throughout, like my J.Crew denim jacket, boyfriend fatigue jacket and cashmere men’s cardigans.

What about shoes? You often wore high heels pre-pregnancy, right?
I turned to flats very early on! I definitely rediscovered my love of J.Crew loafers, my pointy Prada leopard flats and Golden Goose sneakers.



How did the maternity toothpick work out for you?
It’s comfortable enough to wear all day long and transitions really well into the evening with a pair of high heels. It’s also the perfect length—hitting right at my ankle. I’m due in three weeks and I’m still wearing it.



Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Joseph Carrillo.

Special thanks to Clic Gallery.

To shop our maternity toothpick jean, click here.


North Sea Clothing
we visited Neil Starr, who goes by the nickname “North Sea Neil,” in his West London studio to get a closer look at his line—and his vintage collection.
Neil Starr and accessories designer (and longtime friend) Remo Avella, in North Sea Clothing’s West London studio.


How did the idea for North Sea Clothing come about?
I started working in knits about 11 years ago. We use vintage WWII-era sweaters as the starting off point for our designs. It all began with a submariner sweater I bought in an army surplus store. We tweaked the design to give it a more modern fit. Since then, we’ve expanded the line to include bags and small leather accessories. The creative process is the fun part, but I try to design pieces I will wear myself. In fact, I test-wear everything we carry.

Safe to say you’ve always been a bit of a collector?
Oh, yes.
Tell us about some of your favorite pieces in your own collection?
The earliest Barbour and Belstaff jackets in my collection are definitely up there at the top of the list. I’ve never seen them again.

What are some of your earliest memories in fashion?
Ordering a khaki military shirt by mail order to go with a black tie tucked into the seam for a school disco. This was a classic Roxy Music, circa 1973, look.

The pieces from North Sea Clothing are handcrafted throughout England.
Tell us a bit more about that.

We use British wool for our knits and English bridle leather for our accessories. The linen for our bags, however, we had to source from Belgium because theirs is the best in the world. Some of the makers we work with here are small, so it can be difficult at times, especially when they don’t have a phone.

What has it been like to collaborate with J.Crew?
Mostly we deal with small independent retailers, so it has been a learning experience to work with a bigger brand. The team is very hands-on and enthusiastic about finding brands and products to work with, so I like that.
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To shop our North Sea Clothing messenger bag, click here.

No Logo But Your Own

our affinity for a monogram knows no bounds. in our two-part series on the topic, we’ve included a few more of our favorite stylish ladies personal items straight from their closets or on their desks. our hope is that their unique approach to customization will inspire you to take matters (and letters) into your own hands…
To see more of our favorite personal monograms, click here and read men’s style writer Glenn O’Brien on the merits of a monogram here.

Then check out J.Crew’s Monogram Shop and create your own inspired customizable pieces.

No Logo But Your Own

there’s something so delightfully unique about personalization these days, particularly amid these information-overloaded digital times we’re living in. we’re big fans of customization, and so are these stylish ladies, whom we asked to share their most treasured personalized item in their closets or on their desks. each piece gets our sartorial stamp of approval…
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Check out J.Crew’s Monogram Shop and create your own inspired customizable pieces here.

Behind the Seams: How to Make a Prints Charming

we asked our in-house print master,
David, to walk us through how he makes
his perfectly pretty patterns
A print is born: The prints usually start out as actual drawings or paintings that vary in size from large canvases to tiny little laser-cut wood panels. We turn them into digital files, send them off and they return to us in the form of lovely fabric. We also design plenty of plaids and stripes, which are done completely on the computer, but the art-based prints are really intricate and fun.

Hands on: I always prefer working on physical objects, like paintings. I love bumping around in my studio, not having exact ideas as to how things will look, what mediums I’ll use, etc. The paint itself has a randomness that you can’t get on a computer, but there are some obvious advantages to working digitally; for example, it is way easier to create a repeated image on a computer than it is to paint it into an actual piece of artwork. And, of course, it’s always nice to have an undo button.
Keeping it simple: The more complex I make things, the more difficult they are to turn into a workable, printable pattern. The director of the textile design department is the best at doing the more complex digital side of this. There have certainly been times when I’m in my studio working and thinking to myself, “Man, he is going to hate me when I bring these paintings in.” It can be a pain but sometimes it’s the price you have to pay to make a great print!
An artist’s life: My background is as a painter and a fine artist, so I grew up painting a lot of vegetation and landscapes. When I paint for J.Crew, I’m usually inspired by the vintage fabrics they source, which are pretty amazing. I talk a lot with the designers, so I’m often inspired by what they are looking at as well, and then make new artwork based on those things. Honestly, inspiration is everywhere—I just have to keep my eyes open for it.

shop all our accessories

Behind the Seams: Belt It Out

a firsthand look at how our beloved belts are made,
courtesy of our accessories guru, Liv
Buckle up: Circa is the name of the factory where most of our belts are made—it’s located in San Francisco and has been around since 1967. It operates like a family-owned business, and most of the workers have been there for years. They’re all very hands-on, which is quite lovely to see—I was lucky enough to go out there in September to witness all of the inner workings.

1. Whirl around: This is a tumbling drum, used to give the belts an aged or vintage look. Belts can go around and around on these machines for up to 120 minutes, depending on how worn we want them to appear. The drum pictured here is actually about 60 years old; Circa purchased it a decade or so ago at an auction in Italy.

2. To die for: The die shop is where all of the belt designs start to take shape—literally! “Die” refers to the metal stencil cutters, which are used to create the patterns and shapes for each of our belts (especially a perforated or cutout design), and every die that Circa uses is made out of recycled metals. The two guys in charge of this process at Circa, Porforio and Julien, have been at the factory for over a quarter of a century.

3. Leather library: This is just a small snapshot of some of the fun, bright leathers that I discovered while at Circa.

4. Sew perfect: Keow Tan has been sewing Circa’s samples by hand for over 35 years! Watching her work in person made me really appreciate the detail that goes into making one little belt.

Check out all of our belts at jcrew.com.

Wristy Business

around the office, girls are letting their wrists do the talking.
from bright hues to heavy metal, each set is completely unique.
We’re loving the look of layered bracelets at 770. Mixing friendship bracelets, beads, bangles and watches gives every girl’s wrist a collected, eclectic feel. The more color and contrast, the better. Liv, one of our accessory designers, lends a hand to her favorites (seen above) and offers a few insider tips.

Here are a few of my favorite unexpected places to find bracelets to mix and match:
-Your grandmother’s jewelry box
-Local markets—I found some great friendship bracelets at a street fair a couple of weekends ago.
-On vacation! Always check the local shops…I always find treasures there.
-If you see something you like on a friend’s arm, negotiate a traded time share. It is a great way to mix it up a bit!

D.I.Y. Cute

just in time for back-to-school, one of our stylists
shares her tips on personalizing Jack Purcells®
for little ones (we’re jumping on the bandwagon too)
Get inspired:
The shoes above were inspired by Gauguin’s paintings in Tahiti and ikat textiles from Uzbekistan. Check out the V&A museum for more ideas.

Design:
Keep it simple! The shoes have lots of nooks and crannies, and the rough canvas makes detail nearly impossible. Take into consideration the lines of the shoes and consider how your design will fit in with the stitch lines, piping and lace holes.

Color:
Use Prismacolor markers, and buy extra since they run out really fast! You’ll have to go over your pattern multiple times to get saturated colors.

Add texture:
In keeping with your inspiration, find sew-on beads, rhinestones, prong-set studs, etc. (don’t bother with stuff you have to glue). Changing the laces to a unique trim also helps add a custom touch. Each kid’s sneaker takes 1 to 1.3 yards per shoe, and you can find lots of trims and things here.

In love with these one-of-a-kind shoes? This pair and others are available at our crewcuts Tribeca store.

Behind the Scenes

here’s a first look at the making of one of
our favorite new collaborations—
Fratelli Rossetti S.p.A. “New Brera” loafer
Only a very specialized artisan is able to hand stitch the vamp of the shoe. The tassel is also handmade, out of one long strip of leather. Above, the upper of the shoe is being placed on the last.
After the shoe is constructed, it undergoes an unconventional treatment: It is washed in a washing machine! Finally, the shoe is polished to further enhance its well-worn look.

Check out Rossetti for J.Crew in custom colors you can’t find anywhere else (available now in select stores and this Thursday on jcrew.com).

(post by Tracy Rosenbaum; photos courtesy of Fratelli Rossetti S.p.A.)

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

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