Gayle’s Favorite Things

we asked our superstylist and in-house culture maven, Gayle,
to tell us a few of her favorite things. and no, she didn’t sing them to us
Sound of Music–style (we tried, we promise).
1. Ritter Sport chocolate
“My sustenance—I would live on this if I could.”
2. Glass cylinders
“Glassblowing was my absolute passion—I did it every weekend for eight years.”
3. 92nd Street Y
“My home away from home. I’ve seen everyone here, from philosopher and civil rights activist
Cornel West to famous economist Alan Greenspan.”
4. Colorful masking tape
“My anything and everything. I use it to add some whimsy to some of my more old-school pastimes: handmade birthday cards, wrapping paper and letters to friends.”
5. Louise Bourgeois
“Her passion and prolificacy are a constant inspiration to me. Her Sunday Salons at her townhouse in Chelsea are the stuff of legend—somehow, she never fails to leave me speechless.”

(image credit: left, right)

Pure Gold: Our Proofreader Goes to Hollywood

Monica, our superstar wordsmith, got to spend time with
the real stars this weekend at the Academy Awards.
read about her Oscars adventures below—including a very
avatar-esque dessert experience.
How did you score a ticket to the Oscars?
My husband, Dave Jesteadt, is the distributor of two of the best animated feature nominees, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita. Because it was the first time an independent distributor had two nominees in the category, he and his partner, Eric Beckman, were able to get tickets for us.

Best moment?
Learning that we were able to go to the Governors Ball after the awards ceremony. We weren’t expecting to get tickets, and it was an incredible treat. Wolfgang Puck really outdid himself with some amazing food—one of the desserts even required 3-D glasses!

Most exciting celeb sighting?
Bret McKenzie and Rooney Mara—they are both so talented and gorgeous!

Tell us about your red carpet look.
I wore the beautiful Faye gown from the J.Crew weddings & parties collection. I love the stripes and how they’re in alternating fabrics. My necklace is by GS Lillian, and the makeup is MAC, including their lipstick in Russian Red. I give myself a big pat on the back for doing my own makeup—liquid liner isn’t so easy to apply when you have pre-Oscars jitters!

Fashion Week: Background Noise

our fall 2012 collection sound track
We just got our hands on the playlist that our men’s stylist, Jack, and our resident music buff, Nichole, assembled to set the tone for our fall presentation. (These cool collaborators also happen to select the tunes you find yourself humming along to in all our retail stores.) From artists like Carla Bruni to bands like Vacationer, there’s a toe-tapping ditty in the below compilation for everyone. Enjoy the beat…

1. Aphex Twin, “Avril 14th
2. Chilly Gonzales, “Dot”
3. Carla Bruni, “Those Little Things (Ces Petits Riens)
4. Gotye feat. Kimbra, “Somebody that I Used to Know
5. M83, “Midnight City
6. Chad Valley, “Fast Challenges
7. The Antlers, “French Exit” (studio version)
8. Atlas Sound, “Mona Lisa
9. Chilly Gonzales, “Knight Moves
10. The 2 Bears, “The Birds & the Bees
11. Vacationer, “Gone

Fashion Week: “What Are You Crushing On?”

in honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked some familiar
faces at our presentation to tell us what they’re
crushing on this week. check out their adorable answers
(and the old-school Polaroids we snapped of them) below…
Glenda Bailey, Editor in Chief, Harper’s Bazaar:
“William Boyd’s latest novel, Waiting for Sunrise, pinstripes and oversize clutches, as they always make you look like you mean business.”

Pamela Love, Jewelry Designer:
“My fiancé.”

Anna Dello Russo, Editor in Chief, Vogue Japan:
“Lana Del Rey—I just met her and she’s so beautiful. She reminds me of Brigitte Bardot.”

Kate Davidson Hudson, Accessories Director, Elle:
“This collection!”

Phillip Bloch, Stylist:
“Whitney Houston. Especially the fact that she’s in the upcoming movie Sparkle, and everyone knows I love some sparkle.”

Lisa Salzer, Accessories Designer, Lulu Frost:
“My leopard print Madewell pumps!”

David Thielebeule, Accessories Director, Allure:
“Azealia Banks.”

Coco Rocha, Model:
“How relaxed and happy the models seem.”

Joanna Coles, Editor in Chief, Marie Claire:
“I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I have a serious crush on Ryan Gosling.”

Matthew Schneier, News Editor,
“Berocca—it’s the European version of Emergen-C, and I’m completely addicted.”

Garance Doré, Fashion Illustrator/Blogger:
“Pink lip gloss!”

Mr. Mickey, Paper Magazine:
“I’m crushing on teenagers and senior citizens. They’re the only people I can stand these days.”

Zanna Roberts Rassi, Fashion Editor, Marie Claire:
“Absolutely everything from this collection, especially the chunky pullovers.”

Nancy Gibson, Half of the design duo behind Edith A. Miller™:
“Romantic love. And, of course, I’m crushing on my heart clutch too.”

Kelly Bensimon, Model/Author/Editor:
“My green sequin J.Crew skirt. I was photographed by Bill Cunningham in it this morning.”

Richard Haines, Illustrator:
“My china markers for drawing. They’re really cheap and I love how you have to unravel them to sharpen them.”

Danielle Bufalini, Editor, Daily Candy:
“The movie Perfect Sense with Ewan McGregor and Eva Green.”

Current Obsession: A Magazine Curated by Rodarte

we’re so enamored with this issue of A Magazine,
curated by the always artful and imaginative sisters behind Rodarte,
that we’re selling it in our stores. pick up a copy signed by the
dynamic duo themselves at our Fifth Avenue, Prince Street
and 769 Madison locations.
To find out more about the creative vision behind A Magazine, visit

Spring/Summer ’12 Collection Event

for 24 hours, we’re giving you the chance (before anyone else)
to pre-order styles from our collection lookbook
photographed at our show during NY Fashion Week.
Get your exclusive private access here.

Winter Skin Wonders

Courtney, our casting manager and
resident skin-care connoisseur, shares her tips on how
to protect your skin against winter’s worst.
The products: Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish + Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Light-Weight Body Lotion
The process: Use the body polish at least three times a week to keep your skin buffed and smooth. You should always use body lotion everyday but during the harsh winter months I recommend using it even more often to protect your skin from drying out. Cold weather combined with central heating is a killer for skin so hydrate whenever possible!
The perks: The body polish is tough enough to scrub away dry patches on elbows and knees, but gentle enough not to irritate your skin. Plus they both smell absolutely delicious.

The products: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish + Aquaphor
The process: Just like with skin, the golden rule of exfoliating and moisturizing still applies. Rub away dry flakes with the lip polish whenever your lips feel about as smooth as a cheese grater (it happens to us all). Then rub on the ol’ faithful Aquaphor and voilà! Instantly smooth, kissable lips.
The perks: Fresh’s lip polish has real brown sugar crystals in it, so it feels really natural. Aquaphor may not be your most glamorous beauty product, but it’s a tried-and-true favorite that’s stood the test of time.

The products: Rodin Olio Lusso + Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask
The process: Use this supermoisturizing face mask whenever your skin needs some extra TLC, especially after being buffeted by winter winds. If you need a little extra something in your skin-care regimen, switch to or add a few drops of the Rodin Olio Lusso. Put it on morning and night for superhydrated skin and a luminous glow.
The perks: Olio Lusso is the most luxurious and effective oil out there—I haven’t yet met a woman who hasn’t loved it! As a side note, I’m dying to try their new hand cream. I hear it’s a wonder product and smells amazing. Arcona’s mask is really creamy and actually leaves skin looking firm and silky—it’s the perfect quick fix for looking glowing and camera ready before a big event or a night out.

Holiday Helper: The Laundress

using the festive activities from this month’s Looks We Love
as inspiration, the ladies behind The Laundress New York®
reveal their tried-and-true tips for solving those
uh-oh moments this holiday…
1. Makeup: “Blush on your shoulder? Lipstick on the collar? (Too much mistletoe!) No worries—apply The Laundress New York for J.Crew collars & cuffs stain bar and work the stain out with a little water.”

2. Mud and dirt: “Don’t worry about mud on your heels when dashing from store to store. Touch up patent leather with a spray and a wipe of The Laundress Glass and Mirror Cleaner to clean and shine!”

3. Tree sap: “Trimming the tree? Rub the tree sap with an ice cube and then gently scrape off the excess sap. Apply The Laundress New York for J.Crew collars & cuffs stain bar and launder at home.”

4. Static cling: “Don’t be embarrassed. Just spray The Laundress Static Solution in between your stockings and clothes and the static will be gone. Forgot your spray? Just wet your hands and wipe between the layers.”

5. Candle wax: “Too close to the flame? Hot wax can be cleaned off quickly with a blow dryer or a hand dryer. Solid wax should be ironed with a cloth between the fabric and the iron. As soon as you’re home, pretreat with The Laundress Stain Solution and launder with The Laundress Detergent in your machine.”

6. Greasy dips and dressings: “Ask your host or hostess for table salt, cornstarch or baby powder to lift up the stain. Treat further after the party with The Laundress Stain Solution at home.”

Want even more tips for staying spotless this season? Check out The Laundress’s ultimate cashmere care guide here.

(special thanks to Lindsey and Gwen of The Laundress)

Our Handpicked Holiday Gift Guide

attention, last-minute gifters: we polled a few of our departments
for a roundup of their guaranteed-to-please presents.
here’s what they came up with—we’re positive these
gifts won’t disappoint anyone on your list…

1. Vintage chandelier: “This snowflake chandelier was made in Finland by Paavo Tynell circa 1950. It’s arguably the coolest chandelier ever and available at Wyeth, the best store to daydream in.”

2. Passport to Trespass Vols. 8 & 9 by Mikael Kennedy: “The only gift we’d like better than this would be an actual Polaroid of his!”

3. f444 lounge chair by Pierre Paulin: “David Bowie owns one of these. Enough said.”

4. Oscar sofa by Matthew Hilton: “One for our dream living room—it’s the perfect mix of traditional and modern.”

5. Jielde signal desk lamp: “The best desk lamp for visual nerds. It’s sleek, stylish and comes in tons of cool colors!”

6. Patterns and colors Washi tape: “We got these as props but had so much fun with them, we’re giving them to everyone on our list this year!”

7. Princess Sovereign bike: “Classic and timeless transportation.”

8. Area Wear alarm dock: “Madman meets necessity.”

9. Hermès sneakers: “Understated decadence at its very best.”

10. J.Crew vintage solid oxford shirt: “The everyday shirt. I hate to brag, but when it comes to perfect classics, we do it best.”

11. Terrarium: “With miniature tableaus added to the tiny landscapes, these terrariums by Twig are downright adorable.”

12. Interiors by Martyn Thompson: “The ideal addition to any design book collection. Martyn Thompson’s photographs are gorgeous and the featured homes are so inspiring.” Bonus: Signed copies are available at John Derian, 6 East 2nd Street, New York, NY 10003.

13. Teepee incense burner: “We picked these up on our annual trip to the Southwest region. They smell delicious, look cute and even send smoke signals!”

Men’s Design
1. Izola maritime soap dish: “He wouldn’t buy it for himself, but he’ll be so glad you did.”

2. DODOcase™ for J.Crew for iPad 2: “The gift of the season, in our humble opinion (we love the forest green one).”

3. Hooker’s Sweet Treats: “Dark chocolate-covered caramel with sprinkles of sea salt (aka mind-blowing yumminess).”

4. Signed Rolex®: “The ultimate—it’s the James Bond Submariner model and every man’s dream watch.”

5. Swans Island® merino wool throw: “We have wanted this forever; hopefully this will be the year…”

6. Walnut Wenger utility pocketknife: “Totally timeless—a true old faithful.”

7. Oliver Jeffers painting: “He’s a talented children’s book author and an awesome painter!”

8. Maple syrup from Best Made: “Delicious syrup and the bottle is cool enough to keep out on your counter. Everything from this company is great, though; we recently bought their old-school enamel camping mugs but they also have a fantastic blanket and AXES!”

9. MIMI’lou wall decals: “Amazing decorations for kids from a very imaginative French brand.”

10. Matite d’Epoca pencil set: “Beautiful pencils in a cool envelope holder. We love simple, functional design like this.”

11. Danner® for J.Crew Mountain Light II boots: “The perfect winter boots—you can go hiking in them or wear them to a downtown brunch.”

12. Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson: “A beautiful design book.”

13. Artist prints: “These prints of icons are a dream present for music lovers and much more affordable than at other galleries.”

14. Whiskey stones gift set: “A great way to keep your drink cool without diluting it (and it makes any holiday drink look a tad more masculine).

1. Monogramming: “An easy way to brand yourself…Sorry, we couldn’t resist.”

2. Sophie giraffe: “Every baby is obsessed with this; give it to all the new moms on your list.”

3. Monocle radio: “This can sync up with your iPhone and looks so old-school cool—who says radio is dead?”

4. Ladurée recipe book: “Packaging is key—this book is almost as good as receiving a box of the famed macaroons themselves.”

5. Fouta Zina throw: “Practical, gorgeous and it gives back—it’s a gift trifecta!”

6. Unionmade campfire-scented candle: “There are now a lot of these wood fire-scented candles on the market, but none have a chic grey wax color like this.”

7. Tasting Room wine samplers: “Bring the vineyard to your backyard.”

8. Mini emergency kit: “The perfect stocking stuffer—it has everything you need. They also sell college-theme ones for your younger siblings home on break.”

9. Hugo Guinness print: “We particularly like the pigeon as a nod to living in NYC.”

10. Oribe après beach hair spray: “A product that actually gives you the ever-elusive beach-tousled look.”

11. Alden® for J.Crew 405 Indy boots: “If you need to impress the man in your life, these will do the trick.”

12. French press coffee pot: “Perfect for lovers of good design and coffee. It’s also sleek enough to leave out on the counter, like a piece of art.”

13. Unseen NYC guide: “For the New Yorker that’s seen it all and for the tourist who wants to go against the grain.”

14. Lizzie Fortunato black eagle earrings: “All she needs to dress up a simple black sweater. These are part arty and part fashionista without being too trendy.”

15. Applecrest Farm gift pack: “Fresh apples and jam delivered directly to your door? Failproof.”

Brand Creative
1. Teepee pet playhouse: “Don’t forget, your pets need a little lovin’ too around the holidays!”

2. I’d Rather Be Copy-Editing tote bag: “The name says it all.”

3. Virginia Johnson shawls: “Beautiful and warm with some of the most unique prints we’ve seen. You’ll have it forever.”

4. Little Printer: “Perfect for the techie who has everything”

5. Coffee subscription from Blue Bottle Coffee: “Our department runs on the stuff and this coffee from San Francisco is some of the best we’ve tried.”

6. J.Crew solid poplin pajama set: “You may just be watching Home Alone with your dog, but you’ll feel like Cary Grant.”

7. J.Crew Viv flats: “These are perfect for holiday parties and comfy enough to stand under the mistletoe for extended periods of time (wink, wink).”

8. iHome boom box: “For those of us who still miss the ’80s.”

9. Bon voyage banner: “So much cooler than your average party store banner (and there are many more messages to choose from).”

10. Letterpress necklace: “As copy buffs, we obviously love that they’re using an ampersand as jewelry.”

11. Calendar: “Perfect for brightening up your desk at work. Plus, it will inspire you to eat more fruit every day!”

12. Apple Magic Trackpad: “Hello, 21st century.”

(blue bottle coffee image via here)

D.I.Y. Design: Caught Blue-handed

our crewcuts designers set up shop in a Brooklyn backyard
to try their hand at indigo-dyeing our kids’
Converse® Jack Purcell® sneakers.
here’s how they created these one-of-a-kind kicks…
Indigo’s origins: Indigo is a natural dye that comes from the indigo plant and has a long and beautiful history as a dyestuff—it was mentioned in manuscripts found in India that date back to the 4th century BC!

The dye process: An indigo dye bath is a little finicky to prepare because it is a natural plant material and is more sensitive than a chemical dye bath. It’s important to presoak(1) the items that you are dyeing so that the dye can penetrate the material properly. The trickiest part of the process is getting a specifically desired level of saturation or evenness—we had a lot of happy mistakes!

Why so blue: We’ve done bright colors before, but this time it was really about the ritual of the indigo dye itself—the craftsmanship that goes into making and maintaining the dye bath; the natural, spontaneous results of the hand-dyeing process and the saturated, inky blue color inherent only to this special process.

Fun fact: The bath is actually a green color(2) when prepared—it’s only after the dyed item comes in contact with the air that it oxidizes and reveals the blue color(3).

Wear and tear: A cool part about using indigo versus other dyes is that these shoes will age like your favorite pair of jeans, with dye loss at points of wear (think whisker marks and weathered knees). They get so much cooler with age!

For big kids: Who knows, there may be an adult’s version soon. We dyed a few of our own garments and shoes with supercool results—the men’s and women’s design teams have been ogling us for weeks!

These blue beauties will be available exclusively at our Prince Street store starting today!

(Post by Rob S., Liz K., and Elsinore C.)

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

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