Meet…Sophie Buhai
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 Sophie Buhai, a tried-and-true California girl who cofounded the line Vena Cava and has a thing for high-waist denim.

Hometown & current home
Los Angeles and Los Angeles.

You recently moved back to Los Angeles from New York. What has that transition been like?
It has been fantastic. LA is a very exciting city to live in right now. The city is really evolving. It feels like a very healthy, positive and inspiring place to live. Things feel new here—and people are very supportive of new galleries, fashion companies, book fairs, food spots, etc. I like to think LA has always been this great, but there is a new energy here, and people are responding.

Tell us a bit about what you’re up to these days.
I just moved into a house, so I’ve been really getting into interiors. I’m loving early ’80s interior books, old Terence Conran books and old issues of Casa Vogue.

Since moving back to the West Coast, how, if at all, has your style changed?
I’ve gotten into being chic and effortless. I know everyone says that’s the goal, but in LA, you really look silly if you’re even slightly dressed up. There is a lot of linen, denim, gauze and rattan happening in my outfits these days.

Speaking of easy dressing, do you remember the first pair of denim you really loved?
Yes! I still have them. They are a pair of high-waist Levi’s from the ’70s that I got at Wasteland in LA. I’m a big fan of the high waist—it’s so flattering.

So safe to say you’re a vintage addict. What’s your most recent acquisition?
My mom just gave me a pair of tan ’90s DKNY Grecian sandals. They are delicate and perfect, made in Italy. It’s the classics that get me.

Five things you can’t live without? Go.
1. My boyfriend
2. Sitting in the sun
3. Pilates with old ladies every week
4. Aesop geranium hand balm
5. The wonderful Internet

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair by Sabina Yannone for Ramirez Tran Salon 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…Paloma Jonas
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 Paloma Jonas, codesigner of Valentine NYC (a line of sweet, lacy lingerie), sometime model and mom to Vedder—a Great Dane who totally stole the spotlight.
Hometown & current home
I’m from Sydney, Australia. But these days, I keep it bicoastal between New York and LA. I get the best of both worlds.

Tell us about Valentine NYC, the line of girly underpinnings you started.
My friend and cofounder, Whitney, and I wanted to create comfortable but sexy lingerie. We wanted to design pieces that could be worn every day and at an affordable price point.
You guys maintain an addictive blog too. What came first, the blog or the line?
The blog was a springboard for Valentine NYC. We focus mostly on women, but also couples, asking them things we’re all curious about but are afraid to ask: “What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?” Whitney and I think of ourselves as women on a mission to revive romance.

Speaking of romance, do you remember the first pair of denim you really loved?
It was a pair of vintage high-waist Levi’s cutoffs. It’s funny to say out loud now because they sound trendy, but at the time, they really weren’t fashionable. I still have them.

Let’s play a little either-or: “California Girls” by the Beach Boys or “California Love” by Tupac?
Beach Boys. I’m a sucker for vinyl from before my time.

Your best-kept LA secret?
Vintage! It’s not a secret, but it’s one of my favorite things about living here. Every Sunday, there’s a vintage market that travels around LA. I’ve found everything from rare furniture to perfectly worn-in T-shirts.

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.

we’ve got denim on the brain. with our new J.Crew denim in hand, we asked a few friends to pick a favorite pair to take for a spin. here, photographer Bibi Cornejo Borthwick (all 5’3” of her) gets into our vintage straight jean.

What person—dead, alive or fictional—wore denim best?
Bianca Jagger. And Jane Birkin.

Do you remember the first pair of denim that you really loved?
The OshKosh overalls I wore when I was teeny tiny.

Your father (Mark Borthwick) is a photographer and your mom (Maria Cornejo) is a fashion designer. Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to follow in their footsteps?
I went on a trip to South Africa with my dad at 16, and it really blew me away to be surrounded by such beauty. Instinctually, it felt right to document everything.

Is it true that you only shoot film?
Yes. For the aesthetic I love, I shoot film. It’s so important to me—I don’t get the same feeling when I’m shooting digital. I also love the process of shooting film—waiting for the film to develop is the best part.

Photography by Alexey Yurenev. Hair by Nathan Rosenkranz and makeup by Moani Lee.

Special thanks to the Standard East Village.

To shop our newest assortment of J.Crew denim, 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.

Discovered: Penfield Snowcap Jacket for J.Crew
our men’s designers Dan and Frank visited the Penfield archives, where they handpicked this vintage puffer jacket from the 1970s and worked with the Massachusetts-based outerwear label to bring the style back. here, Dan gives us a closer look at the time-tested archival jacket that inspired our modern update.
Our menswear designer, Dan, gives the Penfield Snowcap jacket for J.Crew a test-drive.
From the Archives
While the original ’70s jacket is boxy, we updated the Snowcap jacket to have a cleaner, sharper fit. “Jackets in the ’70s had fuller arms and rounded raglan sleeves, so we cut ours much trimmer and allowed for more movement,” says Dan. We matched the color—an evergreen—almost exactly and added a contrasting tan lining for a bit of pop. “This jacket wasn’t intended for performance sports, but it’s the ideal down-filled jacket for walking around the city or going
on a hike.”
Detail Oriented
We retained the jacket’s original details like the envelope-style pockets, ’70s-style snaps and the detachable hood. “We tried to get this jacket as close to the original as possible,” Dan says. Even the logo (lifted from the ’75 Penfield archives) was reissued exclusively for our
outerwear collaboration.

To shop our entire selection of Penfield, click here.

Discovered: Penelope Chilvers
meet Penelope Chilvers, the London-based shoe designer whose Spanish-made boots have had British cool girls hooked since 2006. we popped by her studio and new store in Notting Hill to learn more about the inspiration behind the Cubana boot.
When did your love affair with Spanish culture begin?
As a child, I spent every school holiday in the province of Girona, where I first came across rustic, handmade alpargatas (espadrilles). I’ve been trying to make the perfect raw-edged bullhide moccasin from my childhood memories ever since!

You trained as a painter. What inspired you to start your own shoe line?
I ride in traditional Spanish riding boots and I saw the potential for them to be worn not only on horseback, but also as a fashion boot. So I took the classic style and lengthened and recut it close to the ankle.

What inspired the Cubana boot in velvet? (We love the ’60s Beatles boot vibe!)
It reminds me of Spanish Gypsies in the ’60s. It’s another men’s style I’ve converted for women.
Is there a particular style era you’re inspired by?
Renaissance Italy, 1950s Africa, 1980s London… There are so many.

Do you have a London-based style crush?
I love Alexa Chung’s androgynous take on fashion. She wears our Cubana boots often and they look amazing on her.
Photography by Kasia Bobula.

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

To shop our assortment of Penelope Chilvers™ boots boots, click here.

Mark Your Calendar: D.I.Y. with Lulu Frost

hey, New Yorkers, stop by our Soho store this weekend to meet Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer and her design team, and customize your own bracelet or necklace. (and get a first look at the new J.Crew holiday jewelry collection while you’re at it…)
To shop our newest assortment of Lulu Frost jewelry, click here.

Lunch Break: Friends of the High Line (Part 2)

in honor of our latest partnership, with Friends of the High Line, we’ve created several designs for women, men and children—and 100 percent of the net proceeds will support the High Line. this time, you could say we took a long lunch break: we headed across town to the High Line and asked a few other friends in the neighborhood to come by…
Isabel wears a J.Crew for High Line butterfly weed tee, Collection pencil skirt in metallic marigold print (available in October), crystal shimmer earrings, octagon bracelet, crystal compilation bracelet and strappy mirror metallic pumps.
Kaspar wears a J.Crew for High Line vintage train tee, J.Crew Garrison fatigue jacket and a J.Crew jean.
Alicia wears a J.Crew for High Line butterfly weed tee, vintage J.Crew pleated skirt and Allie gladiator sandals. She layers a J.Crew octagon necklace with a crystal baguette necklace.

Photography by Shawn Brackbill.

Styling by Very Personal Stylist Anne Riley. Hair and make-up by Stefanie Syat.

The entire collection (part of our larger, ongoing charitable umbrella efforts, dubbed Garments for Good), which includes tees, sweatshirts and accessories, will be available at the High Line Store (located at West 16th Street), at J.Crew stores throughout New York City and online here.

Discovered: Lulu Frost Handpicked Vintage Jewels

we’re excited to launch a collection of Lulu Frost vintage jewels—a mix of one-of-a-kind pieces that jewelry designer Lisa Salzer has hand selected and designed especially for our stores. (did we mention no two pieces are identical?)
A Lulu Frost “100 Year Necklace,” which includes vintage pieces from 1860-1960, was photographed in Lisa’s Flatiron studio.

A limited assortment of of Lulu Frost vintage jewelry is available exclusively across 12 stores, including locations in New York City, Chicago, Costa Mesa, California, Malibu and Washington, DC.

To shop our assortment of Lulu Frost jewelry online, click here.

Our Men’s Hand-Painted Camo and Military Tent Tarp Shorts

meet sam and dan. together with our design team, they’ve put a lot of thought into (and logged some serious hours) creating the shorts you’ll be living in this summer. from the Stanton short in hand-painted DPM (the acronym for “disruptive pattern material,” a fancy British way of saying “camo”) to our military tent short, consider them your marching orders.
Into the Wild
First used on the Denison smock (named after its designer, Major Denison), which was issued by the British army in the 1940s, the original camo pattern was created using light green, dark green and brown brushstrokes made with a mop. A similar look was recreated by our own visual designer, Sam, with a long paintbrush. “We wanted the effect to feel more painterly than graphic,” says Sam, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before joining the J.Crew team four and a half years ago.
Bases Covered
Sam hand painted more than 200 yards of fabric (for our tried-and-tested Stanton short in a summerweight chino) over the course of a week. It took a bit of time to nail down the paint type and colors, but he eventually landed on a red ochre and a sap green. After the painting was completed and dried, we washed the fabric again to give it a worn-in feel.
Military Issue
Around the same time, our men’s designer, Dan, began working with vintage suppliers in Minnesota and California to source the material for our military tent short. (This is our third season carrying it, and this time we’ve made only 30 pairs—the most limited run of the style yet.) “We were looking for nuances,” says Dan of the tents he chose. “Stamps, repairs, stains, seams—signs they’d been worn in.”
Field Guide
The shelter-half tents went through two or three rounds of washes (since many of them dated back to the 1940s), then our team placed the patterns by hand to ensure we were maximizing the details—the signs of wear. The tents were then sent off to our factory to be assembled to our specifications.
The Real McCoy
The hand-painted camo shorts and military tent shorts arrived in our office within the same week. The team went to work numbering each pair by hand, and our graphic designer created paintbrush and tent motifs, which appear on the inside of each pair. Most important, no two are identical.
To shop the Stanton short in hand-painted DPM camo click here, and to shop our military tent short, click here.

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

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