Sometimes, particularly with online shopping, you forget the gems that lie in your own backyard. There’s a crop of boutique bookstores that have opened in our fair city, and they feature an excellent array of independent presses, zines and more. Local bookstores can be one of the best ways to learn about the heart of a city’s cultural scene. Read on to learn more about these three shops…
Farewell Books is the reinvention of what used to be Domy Books. There’s a cool story behind the reincarnation of the shop. Two of Domy’s employees wanted to save the shop from dying when Domy’s owners decided to stick with their Houston location. They launched a Kickstarter and gave all they had to reopening it as Farewell, with the same urban, arts-driven spirit as its predecessor. Their selection, while small, is killer, and they always have a cool opening or talk to attend.×
We’re featuring all of the gems used in our new collection on the blog to give you the story and inspiration behind our pieces, accompanied by original drawings from Jessica. Last week we did moonstone, next up is lapis!
Lapis’ full name is Lapis Lazuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone known throughout time for its otherworldly hue. Used in our Col bracelet, the lapis stone is surrounded by mustard yellow and turquoise Japanese glass beads. The stone has been heavily symbolic throughout history, whether it was being mined in what’s now Afghanistan in 7th Millenium BC or in Renaissance frescoes.
Here’s a quick geological breakdown: It’s a rock whose key mineral component is lazurite, with smaller amounts of calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (metallic yellow). For over 6,000 years, lapis lazuli has been found predominantly in the Kokcha Valley of northeast Afghanistan in the Sar-e-Sang mine deposits. It can also be found in Lake Baikal in Russia, the Andes Mountains in Chile, and in very small amounts in the United States.
The qualities of lapis make it an excellent polish, and can be seen in jewelry, vases, mosaics and more. It’s also ground and processed to make a “pigment ultramarine,” widely used during the Renaissance in frescoes and oil paintings. The usage of lapis as a pigment ended in the early 19th century when a synthetic version became available.×
London designer Mary Kantrazou was featured on The Coveteur recently, and we were enamored of her relaxed yet elegant style - the consummate gentlewoman! Her clothes meanwhile, are a wonderful fever dream of crazy colors, patterns and textures. Kantrazou has a fashion staple wardrobe of mostly black, chic pieces. We want to channel Mary, the designer, and Mary Kantrazou, the collection, for today’s series!
Kate Spade / Mercer Isle Small Sloan Bag
Topshop / Tile Border Midi Skirt×
Pool weather’s almost here, babes. After a long, long winter around the country, we’re finally having consistently sunny days. We’re feeling swimsuits that cover a little more for Summer 2014, whether it’s a bikini top that hits lower on the waistline or a one-piece that ties at the bust. Check out our finds below!
Lolli Taga One-Piece Swimsuit / Urban Outfitters
This one-piece is very coy! We love the bikini effect with the cutout in the middle, and the loose bow at the bust line.
Peter Pan Collar Bandeau One-Piece / Mimi Hammer
Somehow we just discovered Mimi Hammer swimwear and, WOW, are we in love. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these pieces, but this one’s kinda our favorite. It’s boyish and sexy at the same time.
You’ll pretty much be the cutest babe at the pool with this little number on. How can you resist two flamingos in love?×
What we’re digging this week…
Friends & Neighbors / Austin
Call us a little behind, but we just learned about a boutique that sounds kind of like heaven in East Austin. Friends & Neighbors had their opening party this past week in their new location on East Cesar Chavez. One of its founders was the previous owner of I Heart, a respected Brooklyn boutique. It’s a boutique meets cafe meets gallery space, and that sounds positively dreamy.×
Nancy Mungal is the designer behind the line of lovely, melancholy illustrations of young women known as Pretty Little Thieves. Here at Son of a Sailor, we’ve fallen in love with her work many times over, most recently when she did miniature portraits of each Son of a Sailor staff member. Below she talks about the inspiration behind her work and the Typhoon Haiyan pop-up shop fundraiser she and her sister organized.
One of the most successful posts we’ve ever had on our blog was a post about iced coffee. There is something deliciously seductive about photos of latte art and milk poured in iced coffee, we don’t care how many times it’s Instagrammed.
Speaking of Instagram, on the accounts of West Coast folks like photographer Bonnie Tsang, we’ve been hearing about a lot of cool shops and roasters in Los Angeles (not typically known for a coffee scene), and up and down the coast. Here are 3 roasters/shops you may not have heard of yet:
Handsome Brothers Coffee Roasters / Los Angeles
We started seeing Handsome Brothers in photographer Bonnie Tsang’s Instagram account, and we did a little research for ourselves. The roaster and coffee shop was started by three dudes whose love of coffee comes from all angles of the business: drinking it, making it, and producing it. One of the founders, Tyler Wells, got his start serving Intelligentsia Coffee at Frank here in Austin - cool!
Heartbreak Coffee / Long Beach
We first discovered Heartbreak Coffee when owner Gretchen Williams was interviewed on Design*Sponge. They started receiving attention because of stellar branding, and it turns out their coffee stands out even more. We love the story behind Heartbreak’s name, which, Williams says, is from the success that can come after many heartbreaks.
Heart Coffee Roasters / Portland
We’re noticing a little bit of a trend here with roasters and business names involving “heart” and “handsome.” Baristas must be very romantic people! Heart Coffee Roasters has a unique roasting process that uses green coffee beans and processes them as lightly as possible, retaining all of the flavors and essence of the bean.×
A while back, in late February, we were informed that American Eagle Outfitters had been selling a bracelet that looked a little too much like our Pecos hand-painted bracelet. We’re happy to update that, due to the persistence of a very good friend, American Eagle has removed the bracelet from their site, and stopped selling it.
While the design was not a 100% exact match to ours, it was extremely close. Close enough for fans of ours to be up in arms and close enough for us to question the origins of the designs. For this, we wanted to start a conversation with American Eagle.
Many, many thanks goes to our friend Robert Jung for being vigilant at getting a response. Because of his persistence and dedication in contacting American Eagle, they responded and took action. Their action in ceasing the sale of the bracelet in question shows, in our opinion, respect for small makers and intellectual property.
We’re happy that this particular matter was resolved. The support of our friends and fans has been overwhelming, and we are pleased with American Eagle’s decision to stop selling this item, and thankful that they chose to discontinue it.
Lastly, though, we would like to reinforce the idea that it is up to businesses, large and small alike, to do their due diligence when introducing a new design. Know where your designs come from. Don’t use someone else’s ideas! And for everyone, support businesses that strive for higher standards, ethics and integrity.
Thanks to American Eagle for removing the bracelet,
thanks to Robert for being awesome, and thanks to everyone else for showing so much support.×
Recently we were reading GQ’s list of quintessential style icons (e.g. Paul Newman, Steve McQueen) and their style counterparts who haven’t received their due recognition. While Muhammad Ali is often recognized for his classic, elegant style, boxer Joe Frazier is equally as deserving of attention and praise. He fought furiously and doggedly, and looked the epitome of a gentleman outside the ring.
Joe Frazier spent most every facet of his career being overshadowed by Ali, despite being an incredibly talented boxer himself. He’s finally getting some of the accolades that he deserved. While we don’t know a whole lot about boxing around here, we DO know a thing or two about style, and Mr. Frazier had it for miles and miles.
Get his classy seventies-inspired look here:
Atlantic Twill Blazer / General Assembly / stagaustin.com
Joe Frazier World Champion Tee / Darien Birks
Houndstooth Slacks / Zzkko.com×
For young folks who live in apartments or homes that they’re not ready to make a long-term commitment to, it’s kind of a bummer to invest in planting something you can’t take with you in a year or two. That’s where these DIY planters come in pretty handy.
Lately we’ve been seeing planters gussied up with stamps, stripes and neon palettes. This late spring weather is a perfect time to get last-minute gardening projects done before summer. These DIY planters are the cutest, and it just may be enough to motivate you to water them during the dog days of a Texas summer.
// Neon Craft Stick Planter from Design Love Fest //
// Eggling Planter from Frankie //
// Salvaged Sewer Pipe Planter from Sunset //×
Hello Spring blossoms! Here’s what we liked this week:
Clueless // The Dissolve
If you were a young female from 1995 on, there’s a VERY good chance that hearing Clueless immediately gives you flashbacks to a young Paul Rudd (and Brittany Murphy, RIP), Valley girls and an urge to say “You don’t understand. This is an Alaia!” The folks over at The Dissolve analyzed the movie with the dignity it deserves, because it is a great film after all.×
We’re featuring all of the gems used in our new collection on the blog to give you the story and inspiration behind our pieces, accompanied by original drawings from Jessica. Last week we did carnelian, next up is moonstone!×
Brit McDaniel of Paper & Clay recently made her Design*Sponge debut, and the piece made its way around the Son of a Sailor studio. She told her story beautifully and honestly, with a vulnerability that we can all relate to. She also just happens to be a good friend, an amazing ceramicist and a recent SOS collaborator. Read her interview below to learn more about a truly talented, lovely gal. Thanks for chatting with us, Brit!
Mary-Kate and Ashley, child stars turned successful, CFDA award-winning designers, are mostly talked about for their style quirks. In the mid-2000s they pioneered the phrase boho-chic, with Mary-Kate taking it to an occasionally parodied extent with exaggerated layers and way oversized coats.
The most admirable style attribute of both Olsens is how they completely own their look. They’re undeniably high fashion, but their aesthetic has always had a California casual and eclectic feel that never bores. A recent quote by Mary-Kate admitting that she had just learned how to brush her hair confirms this laid-back sensibility.
The Row and Elizabeth & James, the Olsens’ high end labels, have turned them into genuinely successful designers. It’s no secret that they work hard and are involved in every detail of the design process. This dedication has evolved their public persona from child star celebrities to respected designers, almost completely detached from their straight-to-video past.
If you can’t tell by the fawning we’re doing, two out of five SOS employees are huge MKAA fans. We’ve copped a thing or two from the girls’ style over the years, starting with their circa 2000 choppy tresses to now. Get the look with lots of layers, a mostly dark, muted palette, simple pieces, and sunglasses, always the sunglasses.
Get the Look:
Knot Sisters / Canyon Pant / $76
Nasty Gal / Cheap Monday Sweater / $95
Olsenboye / Wayfarer Sunglasses / $24×
It’s no secret that this blog skews a little toward the lady side of fashion and style. While that’s a large part of our business, we are also for the dudes. Menswear and menswear-inspired goods are things we love just as much, and we’ve been inspired by some of our recent finds in some of our favorite boutiques and blogs. Check out the goods below (we think you’ll take a fancy to them):
Pretty Hole Collective / Beard Splurge! / $22
Austin-based mystical apothecary collective makes local perfumes and splashes with heady scents. Their perfumes (sold as Las Cruxes in Austin and online) are delicious, and, for gentlemen, they have their Beard Splash and their Beard Splurge. It’s a mix of vetiver and southernwood oil to keep your beard in tip top shape.
Lemon Head Sports / Tan Leather Baseball / $38 / The Lodge
Opening Day passed last week, and, somehow, that always seems like the beginning of spring each year. Lemon Head Sports baseballs are hand-crafted using Horween Chromexcel leathers by Paul Cunningham in New Jersey. Keep this in your trunk (with other necessary goods) and you’ll be ready for a game on the fly.
Jack Spade / Barrel Duffle / $198
Jack Spade, brother brand of Kate Spade, has the same fun take on high ends goods that his sister does. This duffle is made out of durable Apex polyester with strong stainless steel details. We like the address label sewn on, that way there’s no confusion that this sturdy, classic bag is yours.×