NOISE | Deep Below Heaven

I'm such a fan of folk singer Malaena Cadiz. Her second album, Deep Below Heaven, dropped last week and she's hitting the road. I'll be seeing her play in downtown LA at Alchemy Works on June 13th. Cadiz's husband, Mikael Kennedy, created a photo collection and zine to accompany the album; Cadiz wrote songs in their home in NYC, while Kennedy wandered the country to shoot some of tis most remote locations—Cadiz would send Kennedy snippets of songs in progress, and he would send her images of where he was, each inspiring the other. One of the best collaborations I've heard of in a long time. Lot's of info available over at Wild Kindness Records.

All the info surrounding the album, tour, and photography can be found right here.

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SCENE | Summer Reading

Photo of French actress Barbara Laage in her Paris apartment by Nina Leen, 1946.

The great poet and author Maya Angelou passed away on Wednesday, a big loss for the world. I've never tackled any of her lengthy titles and am planning to start with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings on Friday while on a plane. Earlier this month New York Times columnist David Brooks opined on his eight favorite books (Really Good Books Part I and Part II). His list is unsurprisingly intellectually rigorous, which doesn't necessarily lend itself to a breezy summer read, but it's an interesting list nonetheless. From his recommendations I added A Collection of Essays by George Orwell to my summer list. I'd love to know: What are some of your all-time favorite reads and what's on your list for this summer?

GEAR | Seil Marschall

I'm not sure how popular the heritage movement is in Germany, but here's one label that is really impressive to me. A family business since 1896, and only in its fourth generation currently, Seil Marschall still believes in one basic tenet: Our best machines are still our hands. With a great selection of canvas luggage, backpacks, totes, jackets and boots, and all sorts of household products (like cushion brushes!), Seil Marschall definitely sets itself apart in the modern retail landscape. Although their website design leaves something to be desired (ok, a lot), its antiquated feel is somewhat endearing and consistent with their traditional manufacturing processes. I spotted one of these bags last month at Guideboat Co. in Mill Valley, outside of San Francisco, and I have to say, they are even better looking in high definition.

UNIFORM | Early Summer Duds

I love this photo by the great Mikael Kennedy. It's up on my fridge in postcard form.

That Boast Birdseye Shawl Collar Sweater ($118) pairs nicely with a pair of New England Outerwear Mocs ($300).

SCENE | 日本

Photo of a Japanese teenager outside a bar in Japan by Michael Rougier for LIFE, 1964.

I'm off to Japan and will be away next week. I won't likely be posting here, but I'll no doubt be on the Instagram. Sayonara!

ICON | Ethel Kennedy

Film still of Ethel Kennedy playing football with RFK from the 2012 film Ethel.

"A lot of parents will let their kids beat them in sports to encourage them, but she wouldn't do that. That wasn't part of her parenting philosophy."—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"We learned sports from Mummy. She taught us to ski. She taught us to play football. She made sure we weren't going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves." —Kerry Kennedy

GIVEAWAY | Taylor Stitch Caroline Shirt

Taylor Stitch is giving away one of their new Caroline shirts ($125) made from pinpoint oxford! The San Francisco label's womens designer Kate Jones says, "The relaxed fit makes it almost impossible not to wear. And the collar is the standout feature to me and ties in the casual with the sophisticated: the Jane Birkins and the Jean Sebergs of the world to the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys." I 100% agree with you, Kate, it's one versatile shirt. To enter the giveaway: Leave a comment below of what you'd pair the shirt with if you'd win! We'll announce the winner Tuesday evening after 6:30pm Pacific Standard Time.

***The winner is Michal Benik who said...I'd pair it with my Madewell "perfect summer jeans", my snake vertebrae necklace and woven flats.*** Email me: lizziegarrett(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll hook you up!

P.S. Taylor Stitch creates limited runs of most products, sign up for their newsletter if you want to be on the ball.

PROJECT | The Ten Dollar Bench

I first saw Project Room's DIY "Ten Dollar Bench" at a friend's house and remember it really struck me. Raw, simple, modern. Project Room, the L.A. design group run by Isaac Resnikoff and Lizz Wasserman, has created furniture installs for some of this city's favorite restaurants including Sqirl and Blossom. Beyond their commercial design work and shop, Project Room also kindly shares their plans for the DIY Ten Dollar Bench online so you can build yourself as many as needed.

After months of wanting to build my own Ten Dollar Bench, I finally took on the task this weekend. Had the wood cut at the hardware store, and went right to work. Let me just tell you that this is an extremely satisfying and very doable Sunday project. Download the plans to the Ten Dollar Bench right here.

ICON | Sade

Photo of Sade Adu by David Montgomery, 1980.

"I'm not anti-fashion, but I've always had a bit of a punk attitude. That's important, I think. I do my own thing." —Sade

Side note: this photo makes me never want to wear a belt again.

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GEAR | Filson Zip-Top Tote Bag

When considering carry-on luggage, most people max out on space as much as possible. Between luggage fees, lost bags, and long wait times for checked luggage, people are schlepping as much as they can with them to the gate and on to the plane. So beyond the primary carry-on bag, I am always trying to be strategic with my "personal item". My three needs for a personal item are: it needs to be big and still fit under the seat, it needs to zip shut, and it needs to have a little give. The L.L. Bean zip-tote ($29) is a great option that I have used many times—its only flaw is a lack of shoulder strap. I've also been a fan of the French-made Tampico bags, but they're made of cotton, so they're not the most resilient. Recently I found the Filson Zip-Top Tote ($285), and think it may be a big winner. It's roomy with pockets on the outside, a zipped security pocked on the inside, and cotton oil finished shelter cloth on the outside of the canvas that's really soft. Filson's lifetime guarantee speaks for itself in terms of durability, their stuff lasts forever, and if it doesn't they'll fix or replace without a question. I had to add a little something though, so I sewed on a Japanese patch by A Love Movement. Perfect. I'm ready to take it for a spin.

UNIFORM | M.Nii Tees

Speaking of striped's a Hawaiian label that is making waves in the menswear universe, but thankfully also creating some duds for the ladies. Started in the 1950s as one of the first board short makers, M.Nii's became an institution. While their women's collection is limited to woven tops (tees, tanks, and t-shirt dresses), there are definitely some board shorts for the borrowing.

UNIFORM | Short-Sleeved Striped Tee

Photos of Italian actress Paola Pitagora in 1963 by Marisa Rastellini.

Thick stripes, short sleeves.

SCENE | The West Coast, 1951.

Photos of West Coast Youth by Loomis Dean for LIFE, 1951.

In 1951 a feature article ran in LIFE Magazine that highlighted the west coast's youth as a new crop of Americans that were "brawny and buoyant" and an asset for the country's future.

"From the sun-drenched valleys of Southern California to the rain-drenched inlets of Puget Sound this new race of children, of whom some three million are now in school, have one big thing in common. It is a lust for the outdoors, and the richly scenic coast offers kids a maximum of temptation and a minimum of inconvenience in fulfilling it. The bumper crop of youth also shares a buoyant optimism of spirit, a supreme confidence in its ability to get on in the world. This current of self-reliance is without intellectual basis; it may spring in part form youth's closeness to nature, from intimately living with wind, sand, and sun."


While in San Francisco on Monday, I had the opportunity to do something I've been meaning to do for almost a year: visit the Joshu+Vela HQ. I've been a long fan of the American bag and accessories company since I discovered them a few years back. But after meeting the brand's founder, Noah Guy, a few times, I became a super fan. Everything that goes into the products is highly considered from the hand-cut copper rivets, to the vegetable-tanned leather, to the dead stock waxed canvas—each and every piece has a singular quality to it.

The Joshu+Vela HQ in the South Market neighborhood of San Francisco is small. It's actually tiny, which makes it feel very much like you're below deck on a boat. Each storage space, workspace, and desktop, however small, is thought out for maximal efficiency, just like everything made by Joshu+Vela. Their products, from the backpacks and duffles to their dopp kits and key chains provide everything you need and nothing you don't. I have no shortage of experience with tote bags and I have to say that their boat tote is one of the best in the market. Joshu+Vela just relaunched their site today with a roll out of both their classic items in a selection of five new colorways, as well as their limited goods. Check out Joshu+Vela and their new site right here.

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