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.



LOVE LETTERS
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.”



THE RIGHT NOTE
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.”




IT TAKES TWO
“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.

Studio Tour: Jennifer Behr

we visited designer Jennifer Behr’s new studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she crafts one-of-a-kind hair accessories. she took us through her unique hands-on (and heads-on) creation process and talked brides, bangs and making unicorn horns for Lady Gaga.
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Head of the Class
Jennifer Behr studied sculpture before starting her line of hair accessories in 2005, and this makes sense when you consider how she builds each sample by hand. “I don’t draw, so I design directly on the head. [The subject is] whoever happens to be sitting closest to me in the studio at the time,” Behr says. “We’ll wear the pieces around, and there’s always a discussion about balance and weight and comfort every step of the way.” All of the designs are hand soldered in New York. (This makes the crystal work lighter and the pieces more flexible when you wear them.) Behr has on staff a full-time artisan who diligently handles all the delicate handiwork that makes up many of the designs.
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Creativity at Work
Behr’s company has grown since she first launched it out of her living room eight years ago. She and her team recently moved the studio into an old factory building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “We think the space was previously used as a sewing factory, which seems appropriate,” she says. The centerpiece? The 10-foot-long drafting tables she found at a salvage yard on a trip home to Baltimore. It turns out they came from the drafting room at Sparrows Point Shipyard, where her father was chief engineer. “They’re the same tables he worked on 30 years ago, and now he’s refinishing them for us,” she says.
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Mane Event
Every design in Behr’s bridal collection takes inspiration from her ready-to-wear collection, which includes crystal bobby pins, hair combs and headbands, and there’s no denying brides-to-be are drawn to the line. “Headpieces have always been connected to ceremony,” explains Behr. “Plus, they’re photographed more than any other accessory at a wedding. No one can see your shoes, but your headpiece is going to be in every photograph.” According to Behr, you don’t even need a special occasion to wear one: “There’s a bit of a bangs-growing-out season right now, hence the bobby pin popularity. People are always looking for new things to do with their hair.”
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Star Struck
This marks Behr’s second season collaborating with us, and we’re carrying pieces from her fall collection as well as a few custom designs. “J.Crew gets that brides are looking for fashion pieces now rather than super-fussy, traditional bridal items,” she says. Her favorites from fall? “My personal order includes our star circlet. The Swarovski crystal stars are hand soldered onto a very delicate wire circlet, so they look like they’re floating in the hair. It’s a very romantic—and incredibly comfortable—piece.”
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To further your wedding fix, check out our “XOXO” board on Pinterest here.

To pre-order our newest collection of Jennifer Behr styles as well as shop our weddings & parties collection, click here.

To Market, To Market

a weddings & parties shoot warrants flowers—lots of them. we tagged along with our set designer
Tracy on a recent trip to New York City’s flower district (the inspiration for this month’s shoot) to learn just why you shouldn’t arrive at the market later than 7am and why Tracy never travels without her pink gardening clippers…
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IN FULL BLOOM
“I’ve been coming to Dutch Flower and G. Page for the past 11 years. Dutch Flower has this incredible mix of wildflowers and filler flowers, and Chris, the owner, always places special orders for us,” says Tracy, who has been prop styling our Style Guide shoots for more than 10 years. “Walking through the flower district, it’s so easy to pull together a palette because of the way all the flowers are arranged on racks or in tubs on the floor. Right now, I’ve got my eye on the cherry blossoms and magnolias that are blooming like crazy—they remind me of cotton candy.”
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EARLY RISER
The market keeps different hours from most businesses: It opens early, like 5am, and gets all cleaned out before noon. “Sometimes it’ll get in a rare batch of, say, Japanese peonies, but there’s a limited amount, so you want to grab those before they’re gone,” says Tracy. “I never travel anywhere without my pink gardening clippers.”
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PETAL PUSHERS
For this particular story, Tracy was inspired by the industrial baker’s racks overflowing with flowers she’d seen on her monthly visits to the flower district. For the shoot, Tracy and her assistant Brian brought in more than 200 bunches for each spread. “We used anemones in each shot, then added peonies, garden roses, hydrangeas and ranunculus to make each rack look really full,” she says. “We even used carnations to fill some of the racks. People don’t know this, but carnations actually hold light beautifully when you shoot them.”
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FREEZE FRAME
“I’m still new to Instagram, but it has become a really organic part of my creative process. (I’m constantly taking photos with my iPhone while propping.) At first I’d only Instagram still lifes in my apartment or my paintings, but I’ve since broken out, and now I’ll Instagram whatever catches my eye. Flowers are a common thread in my feed.”
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DIFFERENT STROKES
“I’m a painter by trade, so I know color and light well. That, combined with the new interpretation of pairing colors together in our office, makes for an inspiring starting point,” says Tracy, who admits she has no formal knowledge of floral design. “Slowly over time I’ve worked with the team to develop our very own look and feel—it’s much looser now.”
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Photography by Bryan Derballa
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Explore the clothes from our weddings & parties shoot inspired by Tracy’s visit to New York City’s flower district here.

Travel Notes: Beach Bliss

for our February Style Guide, we headed to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia,
where the island’s mossy Pitons and blue waters served as a dreamy backdrop for 
our weddings & parties shoot. here, a look at some of the fun on set.
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To shop our entire weddings & parties collection, click here.
Find out more about the Viceroy Sugar Beach hotel. 

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

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