Summer Reading: LA Edition

because our love affair with California is never ending…
To see women’s designer Tom Mora’s collection of coffee-table books, click here.

Meet…Alison Altomari
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. meet Alison Altomari, a food-blogging, olive-oil-making adventurer with a love of the outdoors.

Hometown & current home
Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and now, in the Franklin Hills of Los Angeles.

Food blogging, working at RTH, starting an olive-oil line, you sure are busy… Tell us more about what you’re up to these days.
It has been a really exciting time! I’ve joined the team at Summerland, an LA company that brings the farmers’ market to your front door. They’ve brought me on board to help source products and oversee the test kitchen. I help out with special projects at the incredibly inspirational RTH. Along with my fiancé, Jay Carroll, we are starting a food brand—the first product will be an extra-virgin California olive oil, which will launch this fall in time for the next harvest. And I’m always cooking and sharing photos and travel stories on À la Alison.

You love to travel—what trips are on the horizon?
New Orleans this month, Maine this summer, a motorcycle trip to Scotland’s Isle of Skye and weekend trips out to Joshua Tree whenever possible.


Your style, too, reflects your love of travel. Tell us about some of the pieces you wear from your trips.
1. The bag I carried during our shoot: a brown leather purse from Starnet in Mashiko, Japan
2. My favorite shoes: Cobra Rock boots from Marfa, Texas
3. My vintage Fred Harvey-style turquoise cuff from New Mexico

In the spirit of California, let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
“California Stars” by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

Fill in the blank: You know you live in LA when…
Your Uber tab is higher than your bar tab.

Since you’re a foodie, what are some restaurants that shouldn’t be missed in LA?
1. Breakfast at Sqirl in Silver Lake
2. Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood
3. Night + Market in West Hollywood



Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Gabi Pascua 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.

Meet…YACHT’S Claire Evans
we’ve been known to sing along to YACHT’s infectious LA love song, “Shangri-La.” so when we headed to the West Coast, we called up our friend Claire Evans, the songstress behind our favorite lyrics (“If I can’t go to heaven, let me go to LA”), and asked her to show us around the city she calls home.
Hometown & current home
Born in the UK, formative years spent in Paris, adolescence in Portland, Oregon, adulthood in Los Angeles… Tomorrow, the moon!

Occupation
I’m the lead singer/co-conspirator behind the pop group YACHT. My partner Jona and I make music, videos, apparel, apps—really whatever seems like an interesting project to take on. I’m also editor at large of OMNI Reboot, a reinvention of the classic ’80s science magazine OMNI, and I write for lots of different publications on culture, science, technology and science fiction.

Musician, science writer, app designer—any other hidden talents we should know about?
I make a mean old-fashioned.
Let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Not going to make any friends by saying this, but despite my undying allegiance to all things West Coast, I always preferred Biggie to Tupac. So, in this case, I choose the Beach Boys.

Your best-kept LA secret?
The thing about LA is that everything good is a well-kept secret. That’s partially why Jona and I made our app 5 Every Day, which gives people five interesting things to do in Los Angeles every day. Not just shows and events, but things like hikes, strip-mall ethnic food and forgotten fragments of LA architecture and history.
Speaking of forgotten fragments, do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
There was one pair of denim overalls that saw a lot of wear in the early ’90s. I was a tomboy as a kid—still am now to a certain extent—and I remember never washing those overalls, taking pride in the increasingly threadbare knees and accumulating paint splotches.

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair and makeup by Gabi Pascua 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.

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.

Occupation
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.

Smells like…J.Crew

some of our favorite scents come straight from lovely husband-and-wife
duo David and Kavi Moltz in Brooklyn: D.S. & Durga, a brand that
we’ve carried in select stores as part of our In Good Company collection
for the past few years. the next natural step in the relationship?
designing a custom scent exclusive to J.Crew.
image image image image image
MEET DAVID
David Moltz of D.S. & Durga moves fast. Within 10 minutes of entering the small
500-square-foot Gowanus, Brooklyn, studio—stocked to the gills with oils, essences
and alcohols (you walk out of there feeling like you’re floating)—we had already
crossed into the second- or third-date round of questioning. We’d sniffed a fragrance
he had designed after his ’85 Mercedes Diesel (“You gotta smell this! It smells like
my car: saffron-tanned leather, diesel gasoline”), discussed his sweater (“It’s
J.Crew”) and made fools of ourselves on camera for an ongoing video series he
shoots on his Mac (it features him and anyone who visits the studio). Plus, we
listened to his massive collection of classical vinyl. In short, David is fun and
fanatical about scents—the ideal choice for our men’s designer, Frank, to partner
with on an exclusive fragrance.

HOW IT WENT DOWN…
David
“Frank came to me with the idea about this day he had in Big Sur. He talked about
waking up early in the morning and taking a walk, smelling all the wild herbs, sage,
eucalyptus…and those scents mingling with the ocean and the kelp.”

Frank
“The California coast is kind of sacred to me, and it has been an inspiration for us in
several men’s collections here at J.Crew. It’s undisturbed, understated… It’s raw in
a way, and you kind of have to search for the beauty in it.”  

David
“We had this idea about the guys who settled that area—Big Sur, Point Lobos, Point
Reyes. They were rangers…real rugged dudes…but strangely refined. And when
they shaved in the mornings, they’d go out to gather local ingredients and plants to
add to alcohol and use as a shaving tonic. That’s what we envisioned this
smelling like.”  

Frank
“The air is rich out there—and it stays with you. I can smell it now [laughs].”  

David
“I researched this area so much that I actually wanted to continue altering the final
product, keep working. But Frank loved it so much he said, ‘No, this is it.”

Photography by Bryan Derballa

Our collaboration with D.S. & Durga, Homesteader’s Cologne Water, is available in
stores and online now.

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.
image
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.”
image
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.”
image

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.

image
— 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.

To The Top
Back
To Top