5.31.2012

Lookbook Love: Drifting Arrows at Craft & Culture

Hana Ryan is doing some cool things over at Craft & Culture, and shares my passion for highlighting indie designers and local Seattleites. Here's her latest designer feature, Leah Lawrence's Drifting Arrows.


The Pacific Northwest may not typically be considered a swimwear capital but Seattle-based designer Leah Lawrence is about to put it on the map with her new line Drifting Arrows. In the debut collection, Leah presents four impeccably edited styles in a palette of oceanic matte colors. A life of travel and time spent near the ocean inspired the designer to create swimsuits that incorporate timeless elegance into a modern lifestyle.

Born in Africa and raised on Maui, Leah grew up in vibrant cultures and dramatic landscapes. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 10 years, the designer wanted to create a line to reflect both her nomadic upbringing and Seattle sensibilities.

The theme of Drifting Arrows is “traveling without a set destination.” Leah envisioned a worldly but realistic woman. “I thought about the experience of going to the beach, swimming and then having a day of stuff to do after,” she said. “One of my primary considerations was creating suits that transition seamlessly into the outfit a woman will be wearing after the beach -- something that will be beautiful peeking out from under your clothing.”


How has Africa influenced you?
I think Africa has inspired me to travel to unexpected destinations and places that are less developed. I’m interested in areas that have more authenticity, a kind of a ruggedness and untouched quality.



Is Drifting Arrows your first design venture? 
It is! I designed swimwear in school years ago but finished school feeling kind of disillusioned. After graduating I worked as a buyer at Blackbird Ballard, a men’s retailer in Seattle, and tried to get a real grasp on the industry and how to get from point A to point B in the fashion world. When I realized it was time for me to do something, swimwear was the obvious choice.


What do you think makes a great swimsuit? 
I think a great swimsuit makes a woman feel super comfortable and sexy. That is the most important thing, honestly. You have to avoid a situation where the bathing suit is wearing the person and also create something that highlights the best assets of a woman’s body depending on what those are. Each woman is different.


Tell us about your materials. 
I source all my materials from an Italian company that makes the highest quality lycra you can get. That is what they specialize in and their testing is really, really thorough. They also offer an amazing array of colors. I’m proud to import it myself.


What has surprised you most about this process?
I worked as a buyer for a long time so I was on the receiving end of peoples’ emails and phone calls. People were reaching out trying to get me to take a look at their line and I always knew what they were doing was hard. I wanted to be really empathetic to their situation and look at everything that they were trying to show me but you can’t get to everything. I thought I already knew that was how it was going to be. But when I actually started calling stores and trying to get my thing out there, it was hard. Ultimately I got tough skin, stopped caring and would email someone a 7th time. And sometimes after that 7th time, they were like, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t see your email. I’m so glad I saw it this time.’ So you have to persevere through that and not be so sensitive.



Where do you feel most at home? 
I feel most at home in the upcountry of Maui with my family. The compound.


What are you most excited for in the future?
In terms of Drifting Arrows, I’m really excited about fleshing out the line and adding more styles, colors and prints -- really bringing my vision forward. I had to start as simple as possible with minimal styles, minimal colors, no prints. So I am excited to expand and at some point do eyewear, beach bags and give a whole story.



Interview by Hana Ryan of Craft & Culture. Photography by Mckinley Parker. Product model: Juliana @ LUSH. Editorial model: Anna H. @ TCM.


5.30.2012

Seattle: Be the first Chorus Idol!

Have you ever wanted to have 200 men as your back-up singers? Do you love to sing Karaoke? Do you sing every day in the shower and fantasize about singing at Seattle’s largest performance hall in front of thousands of people? If you're 18 or over, then Chorus Idol is your opportunity to make your dreams come true; and you should enter today.


Check out all the details at FlyingHouse.org.

Good luck!

5.26.2012

The Parallax Project by Brian Oh

My friend & photographer Brian Oh recently took the leap to doing freelance photography full-time, with studio space and everything! This is his Parallax Project. He's sending out disposable cameras to people in 47 countries and 4 states. Their only task is to use this camera to document their lives. However and whatever they capture is up to them. It's awesome to see what's come back so far. I'm looking forward to seeing more come in as the project progresses.

Remember what it was like to take pictures with disposable cameras?

Check out more Parallax Project on the BrianPhotoh Facebook page, and look out for his Kickstarter campaign to support the Parallax Project soon!






5.25.2012

Fresh Faves: Seattle Memorial Day Picks

Many of you will be running from the city for some much-needed vacation time. If you're here in the Pacific Northwest, that will probably include some time with family and nature, as my weekend will be out camping. Before you and I take off for the weekend, though, I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite Memorial Day deals and dance parties:


EVERYTHING at Actual Pain is half off all weekend with code MEMORIAL! I may have waited for midnight to order myself a couple of tanks :)

I will be dancing a great week off at HollyHood tonight at Barboza. Did you know Barboza stays open til 3:00a.m.? It does!


For all my thrifting enthusiasts - Value Village has half off everything on Monday from 9am - 9pm.

And Goodwill has .99 pink tags + 40% off blue & red tags


Finally - FREE BURGERS! I love you Lil Woodys!

Finally, I'm capping off this Memorial Day weekend at Barboza for just the best dance party in the city - Tigerbeat Mondays!


Happy Memorial Day weekend!

IFB Links a la Mode 5/24/12 - edited by Fresh Jess

I edit the Independent Fashion Bloggers' Links a la Mode once a month (every 4th week.) If you're an IFB member, Links a la Mode is a great way to be featured in the massive community. Each week, you can submit your best blog post for consideration in LALM. We (the editors) then read each submission and select 20 for that week's roundup. I'll be writing another post soon that goes more into detail in what I specifically look for when I'm going through submissions. If you're not an IFB member, take a look at some of my favorite fashion blog posts from the last month :)

DIY Days of Summer

Edited by: Jess of Fresh Jess

The bloggers are taking it to the crafts these days! What better way to get your wardrobe ready for summer than breathing new life into what you’ve got? This week’s Links a la Mode is chock full of quick & easy DIY projects for everything from crystallized shoes and Miu Miu-inspired clutches to top buns and accessories laced with neon. If getting crafty’s not on your to-do list this week, don’t fret. We’ve also got thoughtful posts on personal style, dressing for summer events, supporting local designers and blogger besties. These posts are getting better and better every week and it was hard to choose just 20 of them. Keep ‘em coming!

LINKS À LA MODE: THE IFB WEEKLY ROUND UP: MAY 24TH



SPONSOR:
Spring Sale at Shopbop: Magda Berliner, Weitzman, Rachel Roy, Badgley Mischka, Raquel Allegra, Garde Paris, Rebecca Taylor,Oliver Theyskens & Sonia Rykiel

PLEASE READ IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE
If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

5.21.2012

Fresh Style: Snapshots

For someone who gets pegged as a fashion blogger a lot, I sure don't do many of my own style posts on here. I was not one of the ones blessed with a photography background or a photog boyfriend :), plus I hate taking outfit pictures. Anywho, here are some of the pieces and things that have been in heavy rotation in my wardrobe lately. Seattle doesn't seem to know what to do with itself weather-wise, so the last couple of months have been all about layers and toting around both sunglasses and an umbrella. Increment weather conditions indeed!

Got my hair done at Swink Style Bar for my birthday dinner & dancing!
In God We Trust sunglasses (funky similar ones here) / Marc Jacobs necklace / old leather jacket (similar)

Watching my friend Sara's boutique SPUN Sustainable Collective in layered bursts of color. This orange tank was our swag from the Lucky FABB opening cocktail party at Kelly Wearstler's boutique!
H&M denim shirt / Kelly Wearstler distressed neon tank / scarf from Moksha / old snakeskin print leggings (coated denim version here) / Topshop studded flats 

What can I say? I love Alive & Well. They don't even sell women's gear. I've been living in this hoodie every time it's cold.


Waiting our turn for brunch at Pete's Egg Nest in Greenwood. I have also been living in this maxi dress and military jacket!
MinkPink printed maxi dress (similar) / Roxy military jacket / black/speckled gold TOMS / vintage crossbody bag



detail of the Roxy military jacket

AlixRose and I hung out on the Google campus in Fremont prepping for our DIY Hangout on Air earlier this month.
Uniqlo windbreaker / Sincerely Jules' Dream-Believe-Achieve tee / printed denim from Moksha / Zara platform booties

 Alix actually gave me this tee for my birthday. It's designed by one of our favorite bloggers, Sincerely Jules! I love the positivity oozing from this tee.



What are your wardrobe staples?

5.20.2012

Lookbook Love: Insight S/S '12 Womens

My lookbook love this week is Insight 51's spring & summer Untitled series. Not much to say but that it's dripping with style & edge! Let the photos speak for themselves:









5.19.2012

Inspire & Be Inspired

This is probably one of the nicest compliments I've ever received as a blogger:


Welcome to the fold, Candy Cucumber! Thank you so much for reading Fresh Jess.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Jess

5.18.2012

Styled Seattle's First E-Zine

File this under "Seattleites doing awesome things." Darcy Camden is the professional wardrobe stylist behind Styled Seattle. She's recently ventured in the e-zine world with this quick Issuu read which profiles her team of equally talented professionals; swimwear trends; accessorizing tips and even highlights a Seattleite whose wardrobe was transformed by Darcy.

Enjoy!


5.17.2012

Sneaker Peak

Working at Nike for a few years left me with an affliction towards sneakers that will never fade. Luckily, sneaks have found their way out of the gym or off the field and into the hearts of designers long beloved in the fashion industry. While shopping for a new pair of running shoes, I found myself drawn to some of these lifestyle pairs too. Missoni Chucks & neon Cole Haans? Sign me up!

I love the colorways of this collaboration of the iconic print with the classic All-Star.
Missoni & Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star (via Nitro:Licious)

Such a fantastic update to the wingtip style. Neon soles!
Cole Haan LunarGrand Wingtip

Been seeing these pop up on my favorite fashion bloggers' feet the past few months. I love the hidden wedge - great for short ones like me.
Isabel Marant Wedge Sneaker

Nike takes the season's hottest trend - floral print - and applies it to several of their most popular shoe styles.
Nike Liberty Dunk Hi

This one is coming out soon. Lots of fun for the summer time. This will look awesome paired with miniskirts and tank tops for the beach.
Kenzo & Vans (via StyleSight)





5.16.2012

Daniel Radcliffe Interviews Helena Bonham Carter

I am a huge Harry Potter fan girl. There is nothing quite like geeking out on all things HP with other equally crazy fans. I love it. My favorite character in the books and films (besides Harry of course) is Bellatrix LeStrange, the most diabolical witch on the block. In the films, Bellatrix comes to life thanks to Helena Bonham Carter, who is so absolutely perfect that it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the part.

Interview Magazine recently featured Helena Bonham Carter, in an interview by none other than Daniel Radcliffe himself. Color me the happiest HP fan in the world! They talk about all things Helena, from being raised in an exemplary family to being typecast to working with your love & the father of your children. I've posted a few of my favorite excerpts on self-expression and style below, but you can peep the whole interview over at Interview.

Photo: Peter Lindbergh for Interview Magazine



-------
On comparing yourself to others
BONHAM CARTER: Everybody has an inferiority complex when they step into a room. But then when you have children and you get older, it doesn't really matter. When I was young I had so many inferiority complexes. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't go to university. I had an inferiority complex because I didn't train. Then it gets tiring. And you do get bored of it.

RADCLIFFE: Right. And so that boredom is actually what ultimately leads you to go, "Oh, fuck it."

BONHAM CARTER: "Fuck it" is my guiding philosophy.

-------
Self-perception
RADCLIFFE: I think people see your career as almost having two halves, one where you played this kind of ingénue. And then there's a perception that around the time you met Tim [Burton], you started getting weird. But I know you'd been weird long before that.

BONHAM CARTER: I was weird right from the start. It's just that you can't ever expect people to get you. And I do think that really did mess with my head, being well-known young, when you really don't know who you are. This is how ridiculous I was: I'd sometimes go look at a written profile of me and see how I was described and say, "Oh, is that who I am?" You can't ever put your self-definition in the hands of somebody who meets you for 15 minutes.

-------

"Do you have to be the witch or the queen tomorrow?" I thought, Well, that's pretty much my life.

-------
Personal style
RADCLIFFE: Would you describe yourself as being into fashion? I know you have your style—self-expression, really.

BONHAM CARTER: All I'm into is dressing up. I love dressing up. It's like what we do for our job, get paid to dress up. So I carry on doing it in life, and I do put on a bit of clothing, and the clothing changes how I feel.

-------
On being typecast
RADCLIFFE: For me, it seems to be about getting audiences accustomed to seeing me in different things. There is never going to be one part that's going to totally separate me from 10 years in a part that I loved, you know? And I would never want to be totally separated from it.

BONHAM CARTER: I think in time, you will, darling.

RADCLIFFE: Really?

BONHAM CARTER: Honestly, people have such short memories. Absolutely.

5.15.2012

Seattle: Locavore at the Kirkland Arts Center, this Saturday




Kicking off the Kirkland Art Center’s 50th Anniversary is the second annual Locavore. On Saturday, May 19 at 12:30PM this unique event aims to combine the creativity of both art and fashion.

Eastside boutiques David Lawrence, Design 10301 and Born to Run: Barefoot Shoes, will grace the runway along with custom garments made from an artist/designer collaboration. Attendees may also look forward to KAC's current exhibition Clay? IV, local food & drink, and a VIP wine tasting provided by Gallery Wine and Art.

Join us as we celebrate local artisans in support of a vibrant, creative, and forward-thinking region.

Locavore
Saturday May 19th, 12:30PM
Fashion Show 1:30PM
General Admission $30
VIP Tickets $50

5.11.2012

Lookbook: Mixing it up with Nasty Gal

I swear, Nasty Gal gets better and better with every day that passes. It's been amazing watching how much Sophia Amoruso and team have grown the site, from back when I was losing bids on their eBay site to its funding just this March.  I can't feel bad about shopping when I know I'm supporting a badass entrepreneur, right?

These are shots from Nasty Gal's latest lookbook, Mix It Up. I'm a big fan of the mixing prints trend and the bustier/circle skirt combo is what's been motivating my workouts lately. 







Check the full lookbook over at Nasty Gal's blog.

What's your favorite trend for this spring or summer?

5.10.2012

Fresh Jess the Freelancer

It's true. I left my job a few weeks ago and am freelancing full-time. I thought about keeping low-key, but I've realized I don't owe anyone anything. Except myself, of course, and I owe everything to the opportunities that have come my way thanks to blogging and social media. I have wanted to do my own thing for so long and for me to not put myself out there is doing myself a severe disservice.

I am extremely thankful for my friends and family who've told me I should've been doing my own thing all along. It's humbling and encouraging to hear things like "I'm so excited to see what you'll do!" and "It was only a matter of time!" I am grateful to the agencies and brands who've reached out to me about full-time gigs, but I know this is the best thing for me right now. I've taken the last few weeks for some personal time, the Lucky FABB conference, and organizing my thoughts.

So what is it that I'm doing? Quite simply, stuff I've already been doing. Blogging mostly, because what I've wanted more than anything is to grow FreshJess.com to the amazing blog I know it will be. I am also writing, strategizing, creating, speaking, mentoring...doing. In short, helping tell amazing stories, launch awesome campaigns and bring fantastic ideas to life through words, networking and media.

One of my favorite Russell Simmons quotes is "Only do shit you believe in. Period." I can't tell you how excited I am to create a work life that weaves seamlessly with my blog and personal life, and most of all, to work on things I truly believe in.

  Jess Estrada Fresh Jess Freelancer
Source: thewellnesswarrior.com.au via Jess on Pinterest



For a full run-down of my services, you can take a look at my new Freelance Services page and contact me at jess@freshjess.com for more information.





5.08.2012

W Hotel Seattle Hosts LP at Symmetry Live (Giveaway!)

The W Hotel Seattle is hosting L.A.-based singer/songwriter LP this Thursday night for its Symmetry Live series - and I've got a whole hotel package to give away in conjunction with the event!

LP was named one of Esquire magazine’s Artists to Watch in 2012 and was a breakout performer at this year’s SXSW. Recently signed to Warner Bros. Records, she has created a strong buzz in the LA music scene, playing sold-out shows at the Soho House and Sayers Club. With her unique and powerful voice, she has been described as a mix of Jeff Buckley, Florence + The Machine and Janis Joplin. Check her out on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Check out all the details for the event in the flyer below, and RSVP to rsvpevents@whotels.com to attend.


GIVEAWAY:

Want to make a staycation out of the event? I've got an Exclusive Symmetry Live Package to give away for this Thursday night. The package includes: 
  • Entrance for 2 to the Symmetry Live performance 
  • Insider look with access to sound check 
  • Symmetry Live CD 
  • LP CD 
  • Fabulous Corner King Room (avg. rate $255)

All you have to do is  to enter to win.

I'll draw a winner on Wednesday, May 9th at 6:00p.m. PDT. Offer for the stay is only good for this Thursday night.  

Good luck!