Harvey Faircloth Fall Winter 2014 Look Book || Bright Lights, Big City

27/03/2014 § 1 Comment

Harvey Faircloth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah Kunkel oth FW14 by Mariah KunkelSomehow, I find myself on the other side of a really jam-packed NYFW and FW14 market, with no blogging to show for it.  I supposed that if I had something really amazing to share, you might let me get off with a light punishment…perhaps?

I am pleased to present the Harvey Faircloth FW 2014 look book, which I had the honor of shooting myself on Impossible Project polaroid film with a Polaroid Spectra ProCam.  Different from our past look books which are much more straightforward, our aim was to capture the essence of season’s inspiration: our Creative Director Christopher Rivers’ memories and favorite places of late night New York City during the late 1980s and early 1990s (“Bright Lights, Big City”).  Intimate and ephemeral, it has a undeniably voyeuristic quality — it almost feels like we’re following this girl on a nighttime prowl all over the city.

Working in Polaroid was challenging in a really great way.  Because the photographs take time to develop, I had to shoot and move on in the interest of time.  In an era of digital cameras and Photoshop, truly only having one chance was initially daunting but eventually liberating.  I first figured out how to focus and then shortly thereafter I found a way to trust myself.

I hope you enjoy it!

Photographer: Mariah Kunkel
Hair: Walton Nunez
Make up: James Vincent
Model: Kuyan Elliot (Re:Direct)

Field Notes: A Road Trip to Nashville and Back

19/06/2013 § 2 Comments

Nashville

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of hopping into a car and making the drive from New York City to Nashville — all 737 miles of it — with my lovely friend (and talented Art Director) Amelia Tubb.  Mainly because we both were itching to get out on the road and I was already dying to get out to Nashville — but when we realized it just so happened to be the same weekend that Northern Grade would descend on Music City, the decision really seemed to make itself.  The photopalooza that follows is a combination of Amelia’s gorgeous photographs and a few of my Instagrams.

Nashville Nashville Nashville

While still in the planning stages, we decided it made the most sense to make a stop on each leg, so that we didn’t go too crazy.  On the trip south, I figured the midway point in Virginia was near Roanoke and dropped a pin on an AirBnB map.  From there, I poked around the available places until I found an amazing little guest cottage near a town called Floyd.  Located off the Blue Ridge Highway — which at night was completely spooky and dark and Amelia kept making Blair Witch references — we eventually pulled up slightly (entirely) later than expected to a tiny, twinkly cottage to the rear of our host’s large home, both built c. 1880.  Comfortably furnished and completely adorable, we had little time to appreciate its charm before heading off to a peaceful sleep.

Nashville

It was in the morning light that the cottage really showed its potential for a longer stay.  No wifi, homemade granola, a lake a short hike away and the promise of an exceptionally relaxing solitude, all made for a bittersweet good-bye — especially after meeting our lovely host Susan, her husband, and their three-legged dogs.

Nashville Nashville  Nashville

Flat pouch by Kletterwerks kept our camera essentials well in hand.

Nashville

 Konker Tote and Tube Pocket by Kletterwerks.

I was first introduced to Kletterwerks by Lizzie late last year and was immediately intrigued.  After getting to know some of the great folks on the team I continue to be impressed!  A climbing equipment company originally founded by designer Dana Gleason in 1975, Kletterwerks is based in Bozeman, Montana and is currently headed up by Dana’s son.  By examining the packs his father designed in the late 70s — honoring their vintage sensibility while introducing subtle updates: similar fabrics, heritage colors, laptop sleeves, etc. — Dana3 has successfully created some great stuff that will serve you equally well on an overnight hike or a hike uptown.  And when you take into account the fact that Kletterwerks is made in Montana — right in Bozeman — the value increases exponentially.  Design updates and value notwithstanding, I haven’t stopped using the Konker Tote (above) since I came home from Nashville.  Equipped with handy compartments and adjustable straps, it’s pretty much the best tote ever.

Nashville

The guest cottage.

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The main house.
We then took a drive into the center of town for a proper visit.  In the daylight, the Blue Ridge Parkway was gorgeous countryside and Floyd was a lively little town with an artistic and musical feel.

Nashville

Nashville  Nashville

We picked up a friend on our walk.

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Roasted in Floyd by Red Rooster Coffee Roaster.  Try their 4 & 20 French Roast if you like a darker roast — I’ve already managed to drink all that I brought home with me and am badly in need of a reorder! We picked ours up at the Black Water Loft, a great coffee shop attached to a bookshop below.

Nashville

Nashville

Once we hit Tennessee, it seemed the logical thing
to go to the Willie Nelson General Store and Museum

Nashville

…and get hats.  Here I will mention that with the purchase of these hats, it brought the trip’s overall hat tally to five.  Evidently we are ladies who need options.  At least when it comes to what is on our heads.

Nashville

Hats secured, we made an immediate beeline for Mas Tacos in East Nashville– because really, the only thing I want more than a hat is some amazing tacos.  After hearing about Mas Tacos from practically everyone we spoke to before, during and after the trip, you should know that the hype is definitely warranted.  Don’t miss them.

Nashville

Kletter Day pack — really great side-loading zipper and a padded laptop sleeve.

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We then meandered across the street for some adult beverages at The Pharmacy, a rather classy beer garden and burger joint.  Now, before I go representing like I knew everything about everything, I should divulge that we received a considerable amount of guidance, help and hosting from a Mr. Cooper Samuels, of I Took the Train.  Cooper is one of Nashville’s best bloggers and someone who’s been a friend of mine for a bit, albeit of the internet variety.  So I was very happy to finally get to meet up in person on this trip.  A few of his other excellent recommendations included:

Nashville

City House, where you should get the egg on your pizza.

Nashville

Rolf and Daughters, where I happily made a meal of veggies, foie gras and rosé.

Nashville

And The Patterson House, a serious cocktail den where there’s no milling about the bar — you’re seated and attended with finesse.  I had a amazing Bacon Old Fashioned and managed a partial picture of Cooper’s hand.  No mean feat, if you know Cooper.

NashvilleUp next on the docket: Northern Grade Nashville, a men’s pop-up shop that offers apparel, accessories and gear, all made in America.  You might recall I worked the Los Angeles one, yes?  Well as Northern Grade travels around the country, one of the best features is seeing how each city has a slightly different take, as well as a slightly different audience.  It was awesome to see how an event like Northern Grade can strengthen a community of like-minded individuals interested in well-made goods and domestic production and simultaneously have a great time.

Nashville

Sanborn Canoe Co, beautiful canoeing paddles made in Winona, Minn.

Nashville

  Nashville

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Amelia making a belt with Billy Moore of Cause and Effect

Nashville

And of course, we dropped by Imogene and Willie.

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Nashville

The Leo Sawtooth in black selvedge denim.
Please say hello to my new favorite shirt.  Please also don’t be alarmed if I seem to be wearing it every single time you see me.

Nashville Nashville Nashville Nashville Nashville

Nashville

On the way back, we drove threw a horrible thunderstorm at night and stayed with my Aunt in West Virginia for what felt like exactly seven minutes.  We did, however, make time to stop at the Waffle House.  Surprised it was my first visit?  Well, we don’t have them on the west coast — we do have an International House of Pancakes, but that appears to be unrelated.  In any event, it became one of our favorite places while on the road, where locals would mix in with the transient folk like us, rubbing elbows over hash brown concoctions and yelled orders.

Nashville Nashville

Nashville

Perfect.

Photos by the amazing Amelia Tubb.
Instagrams by me!
Bags courtesy of Kletterwerks.

Field Notes || Myrtle

20/05/2013 § Leave a comment

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During my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of visiting with Whitney Bickers, the proprietress of Myrtle, a delightful boutique snuggled on a corner of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.  Featuring independent female designers and an excellent selection of vintage clothing, as well as accessories, books and other assorted gifty items, this adorable little shop feels more like a clubhouse than mere retail experience, completely due to the amount of personal attention Whitney provides her customers.  Shopping at Myrtle is akin to spending a leisurely time with a trusted friend, trying out all sorts of interesting designers and original pieces you may have never heard of before — almost like your personal, inside track to style.

Whitney and Myrtle first appeared on my radar via mutual friends Samantha Pleet and Lizzie Garrett Mettler, and while it may have taken awhile for us to connect in the non-internet world, I’m so glad we did.  Aside from being one of the loveliest people ever (ever!), her path to opening Myrtle is certainly an inspiration.  While working in the entertainment industry on the production side, Whitney came to the realization that what she was really dreaming of was having a store of her own.  With no formal background in retail, but armed with some good advice, a tiny bit of luck and a whole lot of hard work, Whitney took a leap and opened in 2011.  In the years since, this one-woman show has continued to evolve, expanding to e-commerce and one of my very favorite Instagram feeds, where Whitney tries on new store arrivals in the massive mirror you can see above, giving internet fans of Myrtle an early head’s up at stock that hasn’t made it to the webstore just yet — but the best part is that you can tell how much fun she’s having.  And of course, when she wanted to turn the camera on me during our visit, I immediately insisted on a double mirror portrait of our own…

Myrtle

Myrtle
2213 Sunset Boulevard  || Los Angeles, CA 90026 || (213) 413-0004

NYFW Recap: Nonoo Fall 2013

12/03/2013 § Leave a comment

Nonoo FW 2013 - 09

Very happy to share with you one of my favorite designers from NYFW!  Designer Misha Nonoo presented a simply gorgeous Fall 2013 collection that artfully joined her own British heritage with touches of Imperial Russia, that urgently needs to get in my closet.  With luxurious textures, military detailing and some very gorgeous fur hats by the designer herself, Nonoo spins a genteel, sporting dream for Fall in somber shades of navy, grey, and black, punctuated by a rich, regal crimson.  The show, a wintry, Anna Karenina-flavored affair was complete with uniformed guard and a massive backdrop that brought the onion domes of Moscow all the way to The Standard Hotel.

As with previous Nonoo collections, the designer’s knack for tailoring was the defining element.  Her amazing riding jackets and greatcoats, layered over everything from ballgowns to trousers, demonstrated a keen ability to refine classic shapes with modern elements — a slash here, an exposed zipper there — with great success.  Also notable was the appearance of knitwear, in the form of deliciously chunky cable knit cardigans and pullovers.

As someone who frequently joins elements of the masculine and feminine in my own wardrobe, what I like about Nonoo is her ability to take traditional menswear fabrics or shapes and infuse them with a femininity that is elegant and whimsical, but never gimmicky.  Herringbone and Prince of Wales seamlessly join lace and silk, smoking slippers are paired with a ballgown — the best of both worlds, really.

For more information, please visit Nonoo.
To view the complete Fall 2013 lookbook, head here.

You can shop Nonoo direct, or at Berdorf Goodman and Shopbop.
That amazing Spring 2013 collection is available now!

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NYFW Recap: Marissa Webb Fall/Winter 2013

25/02/2013 § Leave a comment

Marissa Webb FW 2013

With her debut Spring/Summer 2013 collection I became an instant fan of Marissa Webb. The former VP of womenswear design at J. Crew immediately caught my attention with her unexpected color pairings and smartly mixed textures, but it was her obvious talent for menswear-inspired tailoring that sealed the deal.  A self-described tomboy, Webb’s premiere offering held the exciting promise of lessons learned at the helm of a major national brand paired with a nuanced, yet ambitious, expression of the designer’s personal aesthetic.  The Marissa Webb woman is a city girl who was raised on — and still loves — classic, prep-infused styles, but she isn’t afraid of a little edge.  Or a lot of luxe.

Needless to say, I was very excited to see the Fall/Winter collection at Lincoln Center and it definitely did not disappoint.  The collection was very wearable and smartly tailored, and you can already sense a refining of Webb’s instincts as a solo designer — her keen ability to juxtapose unexpected elements has gotten even better.  High points included her outerwear and her blazers, both of which masterfully combined traditional textures with modern styles without any preciousness.  Webb also presented a high-waisted trouser and vest pairing that was remarkable, sort of like a three piece suit minus its jacket, in both windowpane wool and an ivory satin that made my inner Bianca Jagger jump for joy.  I was also happy to note that Webb decided to move into the realm of accessories, with Fall/Winter marking the debut appearance of an amazing footwear collection.  The banded pumps are calling my name rather loudly, can you hear them?

With her refreshing take on menswear-inspired style and the freedom to experiment as an independent designer, I am so excited to see how Marissa Webb continues to evolve.  I can’t imagine it will be too much longer before she’s everywhere.  I’ve also been keeping an eye on stockists since her her debut, and S/S just arrived at Barneys and her own e-commerce should be following soon.

For more information, visit Marissa Webb.

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NYFW Recap: Veronica Beard Fall 2013

18/02/2013 § 1 Comment

Veronica Beard FW 2013 - 07

You may recall we’ve discussed in the past my love for Veronica Beard, the womenswear collection helmed by two sisters-in-law with backgrounds in finance and fashion, both named Veronica Beard.  Stopping by their New York Fashion Week presentation, I was happy to confirm that the qualities that I noticed (and fell in love with) in earlier collections have become even more refined and nuanced, culminating in a luxuriously complex F/W 2013 that was heavily inspired by the pioneering spirit of the American West.

As far as presentations go (e.g., jostling for position in cramped quarters with harsh lighting and bored models) Veronica Beard was almost like a society event, a much-needed and cherished breath of fresh air during a very fast-paced week.  Upon entry at Bill’s Food & Drink — after waiting to check in behind Aerin Lauder, natch — we were greeted with flutes of champagne and small bites before heading upstairs to view the collection.  It was also my first time in the space since Bill’s Gay Nineties closed and Food & Drink opened in its place.  The update honors the spirit of the old watering hole while smoothing out some of the rougher edges with a bit of manufactured nostalgia.  While sticklers for authenticity who enjoyed Bill’s Gay Nineties probably won’t be satisfied with the changes, I believe it a very respectful refurb, indeed.

Staged among the gallery walls of the second floor, the models blended seamlessly among portraits of stately gentlemen and antique maps.  While the room was a bit full, I could tell from my very first glance that the Veronicas had put together something amazing.  Effortlessly blending masculine detail with feminine sensibility, the sumptuous textures of fur, silk and lace called to mind a woman with a maverick spirit and a taste for refined adventure, and with the collection’s saturated palette of reds, golds and greens, you could almost see her blazing her own trail through the untamed and wide open spaces of the west.

My personal favorites in the collection included the brick bi-color herringbone long and lean jacket with waxed canvas patches (shown above), the charcoal brushed tweed double breasted jacket with leather sleeves (on the model wearing the fedora below), and that gorgeous gold velvet lamé gown with its open back (shown last).  As Veronica Beard is a collection that grew up around a single blazer launched in 2010, I continue to believe that the tailoring is what the Veronicas do best, but with each collection they show all signs of the ability to truly do it all.

For more information, visit Veronica Beard.

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All images by Mariah Kunkel.

At The Weekend II

27/01/2013 § 2 Comments

ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATW ATWSome of my favorite moments spent over Men’s Market Week in New York.  Highlights included an extended visit from my lovely friend Veronika from Lark, a really awesome Vancouver-based men’s and women’s boutique you should get familiar with (not least of all because they are currently having a pretty great sale).  I was happy to made the rounds at (capsule) and also dropped by The MRket Show with Marisa to see the amazing speakeasy-inspired menswear installation created by the gents at Brooklyn Dry Goods.  I also managed to fit in an evening stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, a bit of avocado toast at Cafe Gitane at the Jane Hotel and a wander through the Chelsea Antiques Garage.  A rather full weekend, indeed!

At The Weekend

14/01/2013 § 8 Comments

QC: At The Weekend 1

A few scenes from the weekend, spent kicking around
the city in rather unseasonably warm weather…

QC: At The Weekend 1

Happened upon the Bloomingdale branch (c.1898)
of the New York Free Circulating Library.QC: At The Weekend 1

The Met…QC: At The Weekend 1

…and the other Met.QC: At The Weekend 1

The best kind of tents and street style photographers
flocked to Lincoln Center this weekend.QC: At The Weekend 1

As I mentioned, I made it to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts for an excellent exhibit on Katharine Hepburn’s costumes for stage and screen.  Incidentally, I discovered I had unwittingly purchased the accompanying book some months back: Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic.  Do give it a look, it’s quite good — especially if you didn’t make it to the exhibit!QC: At The Weekend 1 QC: At The Weekend 1 QC: At The Weekend 1

While there was plenty to love about the exhibit, my absolute favorite part was when I overheard an older couple discussing the trousers that Katharine tended to wear.  The wife, who you can see above, wore a fedora and what looked like a man’s overcoat.  When she said she wanted a pair of pants just like Katharine, her husband immediately said that he thought she would look amazing in them.  Sort of completely made my day.QC: At The Weekend 1

On my way to catch Amour at Film Forum (which I highly recommend!), I nipped into the newly opened Houston Hall to sample some of their house drafts.  Not only is it a formerly abandoned FBI garage complete with exposed trusses and industrial touches, it’s also the largest — and prettiest! — beer garden I can think of downtown.  The Standard had better watch their back.

QC: At The Weekend 1 ATW - 14Flat whites at Laughing Man Marketplace in Tribeca.
ATW - 13
QC: At The Weekend 1
Hope you had a lovely weekend!
xoxo. M.

Photos of me taken by the inestimably talented Tara Cole.

Atelier || Lotuff Leather

30/11/2012 § 3 Comments

As I previously mentioned, a few weeks ago I was pleased to accept an invite from Lotuff Leather to visit their workshop in Norwalk, Connecticut.  I was very excited to seize the opportunity to meet the fine folks behind the brand and witness firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into every single piece of leather that bears the Lotuff name.  Fair warning: this is about to be a bit of a photo-palooza, but there was just so much to see and love – I hope you will indulge me!

Lotuff, a New England-based luxury leather goods brand founded by brothers Joe and Rick Lotuff nearly four years ago, is a brand you need to firmly place on your radar.  The Lotuffs, along with creative director Lindy McDonough and a whole host of highly skilled craftsmen and women, take great pride in producing some of the very finest leather items made in America, using techniques honed over decades – and in some cases, generations – of combined experience.  A men’s brand at heart, the all-leather bags, briefcases and accessories that Lotuff creates epitomize the elegant meeting of timeless style, functionality and quiet craftsmanship.

Not only was I inspired by the passion I heard from Joe and Lindy as they discussed their values and goals for Lotuff, but they also deeply affected my personal concept of “luxury” – calling into question some of my own assumptions about the true worth of some of the high-end bags I have lusted for in the past.  My day in Norwalk reinforced the notion that luxury is not achieved by the mere application of a name or a high price point to an item.  But rather, an item is properly considered luxurious in relation to the process, materials and skills that go into its creation — and seeing up close the massive amount of pride that each of the Lotuff craftsmen and women pour into their work brought this into sharp focus.

While this fuller concept of luxury appears to have taken hold in some #menswear circles, it is interesting to note that the majority of women continue to be fine with paying top dollar for cheaply manufactured status accessories.  Indeed, it is difficult to decouple this tendency for status from womenswear’s obsession with fast fashion.  For those of us who find ourselves frequently left wanting by the “it bag” of the moment, the premiere women’s collection by Lotuff is a godsend.  And my leather-scented day spent trying out all the gorgeous prototypes?  Heaven indeed.

For more information, visit Lotuff Leather.

Please say hello to my new best friend…  In. Love.

If you are in New York City this weekend (30 Nov – 2 Dec),
be sure to check out Lotuff in person at this year’s Pop Up Flea.

Pop Up Flea
Friday, Nov 30th 3pm – 9pm
Saturday, Dec. 1st 11am – 7pm
Sunday, Dec. 2nd 11am – 6pm

Drive-In Studios
443 W. 18th Street (nr. 10th Ave.)

Falling for Fall

13/11/2012 § 5 Comments

I’ve said it before, but as a California transplant, I’ve really come to love what fall has to offer on the East Coast.  I’ve since found myself trying to explain the wonders of leaf peeping and apple picking to my West Coasters and I have to admit, it is something you have to experience yourself at least once to fully appreciate.

A few pictures from a perfect fall day spent with some of my best girls at the Warwick Applefest and picking apples at Soons Orchard in New Hampton.  (Editor’s note: I will admit that while my industrious ladybirds went on to make delicious confections with our spoils, I instead focused on procuring some apple cider to mull…and add bourbon to.  One must have one’s priorities in order.)

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