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On Career Changes & Sustainability: Amour Vert

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When it comes to fashion, we all know about the guilt. No, I’m not talking about spending money we should be saving. I’m talking about sustainability. Now, I haven’t been the best when it comes to only getting sustainable brands, though I’m becoming more conscious about the clothes I do buy over time. Opting for quality as much as possible. But I’m not going to lie, how much something costs does affect my choices as much as anything else (that also goes for buying cheap things that fall apart after a few wears– turning out to be expensive in the end.)

However, there are brands that have sustainability in mind without that extra price tag. That hit that sweet spot between great quality and price that’s not sooo precious ($80-$275).

San Francisco based Amour Vert is a brand that has hit that sweet spot. Amour Vert started  by Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee in their living room in 2010 to be carried by Nieman Marcus, Shopbop, Bloomingdales and Piperlime, and earlier this month, they opened their first brick and mortar store in Hayes Valley San Francisco.   With a range of every day Contemporary clothes, you can style the label’s pieces into your wardrobe, even if the rest of your clothes aren’t eco-friendly. (Guilty!)

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(Linda Balti)

Linda Balti the creative force behind the brand (Christoph is the business savvy) was once a computer science engineer for a defense company. She missed working with people and wanted to do something creative, at the same time Christoph, and entrepreneur just sold a company and they both decided to tour the world to figure things out. During that time Christoph applied to the Stanford MBA program and got in, and Linda upon reading an article in Newsweek about how fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, decided she wanted to change the way she dressed. Back in 2008/2009, the eco-fashion movement was really just starting to get out of their hippie stage, and Linda noticed there weren’t many brands making clothes she liked to wear everyday.

“I started because I had a need, but I didn’t know if anyone else felt like I did. It was super exciting to see retailers responding to her product. Because at the end of the day, who needs another fashion brand?”~ Linda Balti

Sustainability is in the DNA of the brand. Amour Vert’s fabrics are produced in Los Angeles, even the fibers are original in content to the brand. Linda mixes wood pulp and organic cotton and finds low-impact dyes and vegetable based-dyes which create a unique texture to the fabrics. The softness of the fabric, I can attest to, the tee-shirt are stretchy and super soft! The clothes are produced in San Francisco. Not many people realize that this town is home to over 100 sewing factories, once home to  The Gap and Levi’s.

Visit them online at AmourVert.com or if you’re in town, visit the shop at 437 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

 

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(Me ogling a cropped trench above, and rocking a look in Amour Vert below.)
_MG_9596 _MG_9609Top photo via Racked SF, all other photos by my secret friend.

 

jennineOn Career Changes & Sustainability: Amour Vert
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Let’s all wear white boots after Labor Day…

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It’s been a crazy week. Everyone in the house is sick. But still a lot is going on! I really want to keep the momentum going and share with you something that I’ve been thinking about lately.

White boots.

I generally start thinking about the pair of boots I’m going to buy for the year around August. So, I’m a little early this year, being that it’s the end of July. That said, as I was pulling together my inspiration board (yes, I do that), I noticed a trend among the runways. White boots. These aren’t your Go-Go white boots of years past, they are somehow as elegant as they are fun. I used to have a pair of white cowboy boots, those surprisingly went with a lot of my outfits. So maybe it’s time to rethink the white boot, because lord knows I already have enough black boots, and brown boots… or do I?


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[All photos from Style.com]

 

jennineLet’s all wear white boots after Labor Day…
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Why the “Not-Feminist” Feminist Trend Is Frightening

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When I think of “Not-Feminists,” usually images of older men, probably not very educated. Older women, like from my grandmother’s generation. Some people who didn’t go to college, or maybe high school. Hillbillies. The religious right. Sarah Palin types.

What’s disturbing is the new generation of Anti-Feminists are young women. Young women with careers. Seemingly educated.

They also believe that they should have the right to vote. They believe in “equality.” They believe they can be whatever they want without feminist principles.

But they aren’t “feminists.”

Sure, Taylor Swift is one of these not-feminist feminists… back in 2012, she said in an interview:

I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.

She’s bubbly, talks about boys, and I get it. When I was younger, I tended to dumb down my demeanor. In fact, it’s a bad habit (drives my father bananas) I still do to this day. (See my video from yesterday). Maybe she knows what feminism is, but knows very well what identifying as one would mean. Maybe she didn’t want to politicize her work because that would cost her the “nice, non-threatening girl” image.

She’s not alone. Lana Del Rey is not interested in feminist issues. Lady Gaga “hails” men. Shalene Woodley says you can’t take power away from men.

“For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept,” she says. “I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested.”  says Lana Del Rey, “My idea of a true feminist is a woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants.” 

At first I thought, “Whoa, people need to get themselves a dictionary.” Here’s the Webster definition of “feminism”

fem·i·nism

noun \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\

: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

Do we need a new word for “feminism” then?

Somehow, the word “feminist” got confused with misandry. I’m going to make an educated guess, and say the dominant group (men) felt threatened and mistook requests like, “I’d like to own property and vote” for “I want world domination.” The feminist brand is that of an angry woman, who probably hates men. Has a chip on her shoulder. Doesn’t shave. Wants to be a man.

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I’d like to say, yeah, let’s get a new word! Woo hoo! New word! But the fact is, it’s called “feminism” because at the moment, women do not have the same rights and privileges as men. Feminism focuses on how to get women the same rights as men. Not more rights. The same. They don’t focus on getting men the same rights as women, because you know, why would a man want to be subjected to slut-shaming or having his wages cut by a third, even though he got better grades in college.

What needs to happen, like with any misconception, like remember when smoking was marketed as being “good for you?” No? Yeah, because people campaigned heavily for the truth: smoking is bad for you. The truth is feminism means men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.

 

We need to talk about what feminism actually is, rather than pulling a Taylor Swift and saying we’re not feminists, but we do believe in feminist principles.

 

jennineWhy the “Not-Feminist” Feminist Trend Is Frightening
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How to Tame Your Wild Bangs

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I have fine hair that blows in the wind. Or, even minor changes in the movement of air, my hair will move. I guess that’s great for some things, but for having bangs, wild hair has its disadvantages. For years, I had no idea what my bangs would do as soon as I stepped out the door. So, I talked to my hairdresser about my issue, and he gave me some inspirations. He didn’t tell me to do what I do, but he did make a recommendation that inspired me to try this method of taming my wild bangs.

Hint: It’s all in the roots.

Other hint: Watch this video! ;)


Eek. I always get nervous trying to do video. But also, it’s kinda fun!

jennineHow to Tame Your Wild Bangs
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Pop in to the Pop Up Shop: Haus of Half Hitch

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Sometimes when people go on vacation, they just go. There is a hole where that person was for a bit.

But sometimes, something else comes in, even for a minute and it’s a pleasant surprise.

Half Hitch Goods, a retailer that normally lives online or on an old VW Bus in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, moved into the Birch Floral shop while it’s owners went away for the month. No, we’re not talking squatting. We’re talking pop up shop.

Carrie Cailoutette, the founder of Half Hitch, contacted a few friends, fashion designers The Podolls (who we know, from a previous post), jewelry retailer Metier, and artist Emily Proud, to collaborate for the month of July to create Haus of Half Hitch. The thing you notice first about the shop is that everything is beautiful with a rich quality… not rich like, the Vatican… but rich like full. Wool blankets soft to the touch. A set of linen kitchen towels printed by hand. Easy, yet high quality clothes by the Podolls are complimented by an interesting mix of new and estate jewelry from Metier. If you’re looking for art, you really should not miss Emily Proud’s watercolors, as they are subtly beautiful and also on the affordable side.

The collaboration is true in every way, Metier helped with the merchandizing, Emily helps with the sales, coordinating everyone to help in different ways, and Carrie holds down the fort as she organizes the meeting of four different brands in one space.

“Half Hitch is meant to connect people together through gifting.” says Carrie

Half Hitch Goods is a boutique that specializes in goods with stories.  Most things are made in the US, or imported by Carrie or a few select importers.  “Half Hitch is about shopping for yourself or for someone else and considering that person deeply, considering how a product is made and what materials a product is made with, or the process. And connecting that to the person in some way, whether it’s the country of origin or the materials that the gift is made.”

Perhaps, beyond connecting people through gifts, Half Hitch is connecting people through, well just getting us all offline and in one real live place.

Haus of Half Hitch

Open from July 3rd – 30th, everyday 11-7 Mon – Sat / 12-6 Sun. Located at the Birch floral shop at 564 Hayes St. San Francisco, CA 94133. There will  also be a few more events you might want to stop in for!

  • Saturday July 19th, 2pm – 5pm // Snowcones With The Podolls. A Podolls and Podots trunk show featuring boozy or virgin snowcones served by the design duo themselves.
  • Wednesday July 23rd 7pm – 9pm // Cocktails & Watercolors With Emily Proud
  • Friday July 25th 5pm – 8pm // Gin & Jewels With Metier A special trunk show with Sheri and Trina of Metier showing off one of a kind fine antique pieces as well as modern handmade jewelry.

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jenninePop in to the Pop Up Shop: Haus of Half Hitch
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The Young Family McCartney

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You’ll have to pardon my lazy post today.

I was working on another post, for Eat, Sleep, Denim (The Beatles in Denim) and while researching, I came across this photo of Stella Mary McCartney as a baby tucked into Paul’s jacket. I just about fell out of my chair! You know, one of those moments when your ovaries burst? That happened.

Then getting lost in a Pinterest spiral, I kept finding more and more photos of the family McCartney. So much love! You could really see it in the photos. We all love our babies, our parents, our siblings, etc. but how often are we able to capture that on film (or pixels)? It’s not so easy. Anyway, this post has nothing to do with anything, but just how much I was touched by this beautiful family.

And… they are also very cool.

 

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This just about killed me with cuteness!paul_stella2 paul_stella_linda6 paul_stella_linda5 paul_stella_linda4paul_stella_linda1

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jennineThe Young Family McCartney

How the Simplicity of Alex Katz Inspires My Style

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The worlds of fashion and art constantly cross paths. Moschino’s MacDonald’s handbags nod to the pop-art of Andy Warhol, think Campbell’s soup cans and Brillo pads. Or, in photography, think that 1999 Steven Meisel editorial of Nicole Kidman reenacting John Singer Sargeant paintings. Painters may not exactly follow trends the way fashion designers do, but they do feed off of their environments, and being as most people wear clothes. Fashion does play a part.

My subject matter is not particularly interesting,” Katz says with a smile…

Alex Katz, 89, began painting in the 1950′s when Abstract Expressionism was en vogue, he noticed no one was painting people, or landscapes. So he decided to take that route. Of course, painting people, there is nothing unique about it. He told the Smithsonian in a 2009 interview, “My subject matter is not particularly interesting,” Katz says with a smile. “It’s not hot subject matter—you know, no crucifixions, no violence, no sex.” His paintings are a stripped down version of the world, which is where they become interesting. Though the paintings span fifty years, they still have a timeless quality. n a sense, his work portrays a universal truth. Even if you don’t live the life of an artist in New York, I can relate to the snapshots of his paintings. They’re like little moments in my memory.

What I find interesting about Katz’s work is that even though his paintings are about nothing really,  he finds a way to make them interesting without resorting to embellishment or gimmicky tricks. The paintings are distinctly personal (many of his paintings include is wife since 1958, Ava) yet universal. So, maybe I wouldn’t recreate a painting for one of my outfits, but in the search of my own personal style, the lesson is, that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I don’t have to resort to gimmicks to make my outfits “pop.” They don’t have to be special to be striking.

But… my style does have to be distinctly personal.

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jennineHow the Simplicity of Alex Katz Inspires My Style