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…Lane Crawford’s Stylish Secret Weapon
you know those girls—you can’t wait to see what they’re wearing or how they put an outfit together. Lane Crawford’s fashion director, Sarah Rutson, is one of those for us. she has an uncanny eye for print mixing and always seems totally at ease. we visited her at Lane Crawford’s headquarters at the ifc mall, where we’re opening our first women’s store on May 21st and where, we confess, we may have done a little “inspired” shopping after the shoot wrapped…

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Our Collection jacquard popover is currently unavailable online, but call 800 562 0258 and we’ll try to help you track one down. To shop our entire J.Crew Collection, click here.

On May 22, we’ll be opening our first women’s Collection store at ifc mall and our first men’s store at On Lan Street, both in Hong Kong. For more details, click here.

Studio Tour: Sugar Paper

with wedding season fast approaching, we headed to the much-warmer West Coast and stopped by Los Angeles-based Sugar Paper’s letterpress and design studio for a closer look at the story behind our latest collaboration.

At Sugar Paper, stationery is made daily on antique letterpress machines (each press has its own unique history and even a name). The process is very time intensive because each piece of paper is hand-fed into the machine one at a time, leaving an impression you can see and feel. “No modern technology can replicate it,” says cofounder Jamie. “The imperfection is the beauty of letterpress.”

Founders Jamie and Chelsea both started out in graphic design, but it was their shared love of beautiful handwritten notes that brought them together. After struggling to find stationery that didn’t feel too stuffy, they decided to bring the traditional mode of communication into the modern day by creating their own line of simple paper products. And the name? “It perfectly embodies what we create,” they explain. “It’s social stationery that feels like a treat.”

“When a collaboration feels easy, you know it’s a good fit,” says the pair on their partnership with J.Crew. Using a pared-down color palette of black, pale pink and gold, as well as incorporating details like scalloped edges and tiny polka dots and custom lettering as seen on the Mr. and Mrs. card, the assortment feels just right for a J.Crew bride. And what is their favorite piece in the collection? “We’ve wanted to make a wedding planner for a long time, so when the team gave us the green light, we were thrilled.”
Courtesy of Diana Relth.

Photography by Ken Tisuthiwongse.

To shop the entire exclusive Sugar Paper collection, click here.

A Moment with…Jo Ratcliffe
for an afternoon, we stepped into the dreamy, futuristic (and increasingly busy) world of British illustrator Jo Ratcliffe, who’s been commissioned by several big-name fashion designers, V magazine and Vogue Nippon and, recently, even Lady Gaga…
Jo Ratcliffe, photographed at her Hackney workspace, wears a J.Crew Collection cashmere sweatshirt in navy.

Hometown and current home
Born in Berkshire, England. Currently in East London.

Illustrator, designer and animation director.
Tell us a bit about your background.
My training was for fine art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Everything else I’ve learned since leaving and along the way is self-taught. Sure, computers were invented back then, but no one knew we’d all be up to our necks in them by now.

How did your first big project happen?
One of my most memorable early projects was drawing images for an interview with [American comic book writer] Stan Lee. I’d worked as a receptionist for a section of Hasbro and had drawn Spider-Man a few times from the comics, which arrived in the post I was sorting. So when I was asked, I had this stock of drawings to publish.

My first big, scary job was drawing on set while Nick Knight shot the 10-year anniversary of Dazed.

What do you love most about living in London?
I fall in and out of love with London. Walking with my dog is the best bit, so if I can get to the Marshes or one of the beautiful parks, then it’s a good day!
Your studio is in Hackney—tell us a bit about the neighborhood.
1. The nice thing about my neighborhood is that most things you’d need as a creative are at your doorstep. I love the new Photographers’ Gallery in Soho.
2. Just around the corner from my studio is Artwords. They’ve got the best selection of books and magazines.
3. Towpath on the canal does great cheese on toast with a kind of honey marmalade.
4. Violet does the best cakes and pastries.
5. Little Georgia is around the corner and they do a beetroot salad which I have each time I go.

Is there a fellow artist whose work you admire?
I love the work of my friend Darren Almond. He’s based in London but travels the world taking photos. Most of the people are dotted around the world—I’m interested in the people who are experimenting with animation and blurring the line between still and moving image. I also like the work of Jesse Kanda who is an animator, director and designer based in London.

Best thing about being a creative person in London?
The weather makes you more creative when it’s constantly crap. I think it’s why so much great stuff comes from such a tiny island.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

For more of Jo’s work, explore here. (You’ll also spot more of her work in Lady Gaga’s upcoming music video, “Applause.”) To shop Jo’s Collection cashmere sweater, click here.

Our London flagship at Regent Street opens November 8th. For more on our opening in London, click here.

Hair & Makeup Test
armed with eyelash curlers and palettes of lip and eye color in every shade imaginable, our hair and makeup wizards make sure every hair is in place and our models’ pouts are photo-ready. follow our photo diary in the days leading up to our presentation for a sneak peek at what’s to come…
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Check back daily for behind-the-scenes glimpses of the action as we get ready for our spring/ summer 2014 presentation during New York Fashion Week on September 10th at Lincoln Center.

Pinterest fans, be sure to check out our Pinterest page, where we’re live pinning the lead-up to the presentation and releasing first looks the day of the show.

And, as always, be sure to follow us with #jcrewnyfw on Instagram and Twitter @jcrew for of-the-moment updates.

Life Imitates Art

sometimes we travel to places like India or Morocco in search of inspiration for our latest collection. and sometimes we find that inspiration has been staring us in the face all along—in the case of the Collection hand-painted jean, it began in our denim designer Aubrey’s very own apartment.
Denim Duo
Aaron and Aubrey are two of the design experts behind our women’s denim collection. For the last two years, these ladies have been responsible for perfecting the fit, wash, distressing and bejeweling of our denim. They’re tasked with rethinking the tried and true at the start of each season. In this case, one of the stars of our summer 2013 collection is a hand-painted jean, which just happens to have been inspired by the pair Aubrey’s artist boyfriend wears when he paints in the apartment they share.
From left to right: Artist Adam O’Neal wears his own jean with a J.Crew slim broken-in pocket tee. His girlfriend, J.Crew designer Aubrey wears the Collection hand-painted jean with a Saint James® for J.Crew three-quarter sleeve tee. Her fellow designer Aaron wears a J.Crew camp popover in stripe, fatigue popover and Collection beaded cropped matchstick jean. They were photographed at the couple’s Brooklyn apartment.
Borrowed from the Boys
After snatching Adam’s studio jeans for reference, Aubrey set to work recreating an authentic painters’ jean to show to Aaron. Her final sample incorporated no less than nine different paint colors. “I’ve always thought that I ruin jeans, so it’s nice that Aubrey saw them differently and decided to do something creative with them,” says Adam.

Six hours and twelve tubes of paint later, Aubrey finally achieved the look she wanted. “I wanted some of the splatters to be opaque and others to incorporate a few colors so it took time to get it right,” explains Aubrey. Keeping with the borrowed-from-his-closet theme, the fit is our signature relaxed boyfriend style. “I envision this being a weekend jean,” says Aubrey. “I see it paired with an oversize tee and some Chucks, or your boyfriend’s white button-down and a pair of flats.”
Photography by Shawn Brackbill.

Explore our entire assortment of denim, here.

Up/Down: This month’s J.Crew Collection

we took some of our extra-special J.Crew Collection pieces, dressed them up and
then dressed them down, totally transforming the vibe. (you’ll recognize some of
the prints, which we loved so much that we applied them to multiple silhouettes.)
here, a few tricks from our fashion director, Gayle.
Explore our entire selection of Collection pieces here.

Behind the Scenes: J.Crew Collection

an exclusive peek at our most recent
Collection shoot, courtesy of one of
our superchic stylists
We took a brand-new approach with the film this time, shooting
each photo to resemble an old-fashioned Polaroid. Our prop
stylist complemented the vibe with midcentury pieces, which
I totally fell in love with. We also mixed in some still life shots
to beautifully balance our on-figure images.
See how our entire Collection lookbook turned out here.

(quote and photo courtesy of Emily Estadella)

Behind the Scenes: J.Crew Collection

one of our superchic stylists showed us
some of the insider photos she took while on set
at our spring Collection shoot.
here’s a peek at how it all went down.
We played with a rainbow of bright colors,
then mixed in some top-to-toe neutral looks to
create the perfect landscape for spring.
Check out the entire Collection lookbook here.

(post by Emily Estadella)

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

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