Forever scouring the “interwebs” looking for inspiration, I’m particularly on the lookout for artists doing the damn thing. I love hearing stories of creatives who managed to make their passion into their life work. Recently I found out about Martine Ali. She caught my interest initially because she has designed jewelry for Kendrick Lamar, however she stocks her creations at Opening Ceremony among others. I’ll get more into that after the jump!
So why is Martine Ali cool? Well for starters, she decided to take her career in her own hands and quit her cushy full-time job at DKNY to do so. As she explained to Coveteur magazine, “I was wearing my own jewelry around the office and the fashion editor saw it, loved it, and then I started doing jewelry for the runway. I did it for a couple of seasons, and then I was like, ‘I’m going to do this for myself.” Although DKNY did help her gain her confidence in going solo. Some of her designs even made it to the runway!
After a few years of steady work and trying to get her name out there, her jewelry landed on the cover of Teen Vogue’s August 2014 issue via singer Kesha’s wrists. Soon after her pieces caught the attention of one of the more outspoken fashionistas, singer Lady Gaga. Such huge exposure got her noticed by the hyper cool retailer Opening Ceremony. Since then her popularity amongst stockiest have grown and as if the floodgates have opened, she now places collections at Sneakerhead Ronnie Fieg’s shop Kith and trendy, minimalist boutique Assembly L.A. and N.Y.
Stylistically teetering the line of goth, minimalist, tomboy and hip-hop, I most certainly dig her pieces. They straddle that aesthetic and I see why people are interested. So interested, that she can add another medal of honor to her list. Since his DAMN project released, Ms. Ali has been blessing rapper Kendrick Lamar with her awesome jewelry pieces and he is making sure they get good ware. I mean, calm girl, you are on a roll. As with everything, her hard work has paid off and her only request as of now is to one day get songstress Rihanna wearing a piece or two.
Can’t get enough of Martine Ali, catch her at the following:
Website – www.martineali.com
Instagram – @martineali
Twitter – @martineali
This isn’t the first time I have been to Barcelona. Oh no, in fact I had gone there once before many moons ago. I had eaten something prepared not quite right and got what the locals call ” la tourista”, or what I like to call food poisoning. It wasn’t fun and I hated every moment of that experience. Which also lead me to hate Barcelona. I took it that I couldn’t eat there and therefore I would starve in said place.
Not one to stay angry for long, I decided to give the place a second chance. Boy, am I glad that I did! I ate good food and had an amazing time on the beach, just soaking up the sun! I also found some amazing graffiti, as you can very well see. I have many more shots to come, so keep your eyes peeled for them. In the meantime, enjoy me frolicking along the Catalonian streets in my black and white striped dress against the black and white hands. Besitos!
Dress – Forever 21
As I’m always on the lookout for artists doing what they do best, I was more than thrilled to read about Bangkok’s Designer “Best” Patipat Chaipukdee. With his label Dry Clean Only, he is hoping to combat the over saturation of vintage tees with his unique spin. After leaving fashion school a couple of years ahead of his graduation date, Chaipukdee started his label in 2010. Forced to think even further outside the box, due to the lack of financial backing, Chaipukdee had to get crafty with found and deadstock fabric and materials. This, however, gave his designs a uniqueness that is evident in all his designs. Traveling between Asia and the U.S. hunting for old T-shirts, he always chooses tees made in the ’80s and include wildlife motifs, Nike and Adidas logos, and the names of various sports teams. He mashes them together and gives each one a new silhouette, decorates them with Italian lace and fur, and fashions them with hand-beaded embroideries from India. After several years of building up his business, the designer was picked up by international stores including Colette in Paris and Crayon in Tokyo, and last year, Beyoncé was spotted wearing one of his creations to a show at Madison Square Garden. Super dope. Final Word: I would definitely wear these shirts, I mean if it’s good enough for Bey, it’s good enough for me.
I recently attended and part time DJed a very special event parallel to the very fashionable Rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Put together by a very talented group of visionaries collectively known as French Kreatuers, a good time was had by all. Founded by the lovely Inga Grinko, the core group of the company also includes Lelde Garanca, who helps form the company’s creative vision, as well as Adrien Thibault for all the beautiful images. French Kreateurs philosophy is simple, they create a space for independent brands to shine through amidst a market of oversaturated leading brands. Thus allowing consumers who want more unique and authentic design pieces to discover and move away from the typical shopping experience.
Every so often French Kreateurs put together a Pop-Up shop to showcase these amazingly talented folks. I took some nice shots of their most recent event, in between my DJing duties. Wanna learn more about some of these amazing creators, then stay tuned.
I know what you may be thinking, whoa dere, these glasses are bit round for your big ol head! Well at first I thought the same. I figured I could never wear circular glasses, but in fact that isn’t true. These babies are made by the brand Clement Gouverneur and the representative just called me over and placed these bad boys on my face and I found them flattering. He also noted that most people do not believe they can wear round glasses, so I’m not alone. But, once you find the right size, it is very much possible and worth it to try. Ultimately, I liked the glasses and you can sense that the products are made with intense care.
Philippe Perisse won me over with his charming personality. I saw his bowties and immediately fell in love with his Alice in Wonderland theme. I mean, who doesn’t like a little bit of fantasy? His fun personality shown through his pieces. He even let me wear this amazing Kimono. Which you’ll also see more of in my future post about my DJ journey. Not only that, but this lovely Japanese woman came over and taught me how to tie the proper bow, super cool! You can tell Mr. Perisse is into taking risks and trying out new things. I love that kind of attitude and I’m sure it will continue to pay off. Like he so poignantly quoted Katharine Hepburn on his website “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun”. So true my friend, so true.
Website – www.philippeperisse.com
Up next was the beautiful jewelry by Marion Fillancq. Now I love my clothing pieces, but truth be told I’m an accessories type of girl. I think they can definitely make or break an outfit, so I’m always looking for unique pieces. Her pieces have a strong artisan appearance, that makes them seem even more special. To me, the jewelry looked like silver and gold leaves or flakes meshed together. Simply beautiful.
Website – www.marionfillancq.com
A vibrant brand called Mademoiselle Fraîche (Fresh Young Lady) was also represented at the pop-up. Their pieces were cute and definitely something a younger female would appreciate. Light airy and fun, the overall attitude of the brand definitely shown through. Founded by Ms. Julie, she claims to not be mad fresh, but I think she just might be after all.
Website – www.fraichemademoiselle.fr
I simply loved the bright colors of Gordana Dimitrijevic’s shoes. Super fun, the right person could definitely pull them off. I really like her adventurous take on footwear. The footwear almost looked like they would be worn in some fantasy land like OZ. Gordana herself has a powerful story. Leaving war torn Sarajevo to pursue her fashion dreams, where she succeeded, makes her mark all the more interesting.
Website – www.gordanadimitrijevic.fr
Upstairs were the most amazing paintings by this artist who goes by Kambiz. My father is a painter and can draw, so I’m always intrigued by folks who can draw and paint. It’s such an amazing talent. His paintings really reflected his interesting childhood where he’d transport between different countries frequently. One being Russia and the others are Iran and Persia. He has a certain focus on Persian miniatures, Persian legends and the Russian folk tales. Please just marvel at his well executed works. Stunning.
Instagram – @kambizov
Facebook – Kambiz-painting painter’s studio
Overall, the event went really well and I am so happy I was able to be a part of it. Good luck to French Kreateurs and all their future endeavors. They’re onto something and I have to say, I like it.
French Kreateurs website – www.kreateurs.com