cait +tiff


Leave a comment

C / Fisher Found

cher loves eileen fisher.jpg

Image via Arttrade

When Tiff was in town (sighs, wipes away single tear), we went to the Rose Bowl Flea. It’s a wonderland, full of antiques, rough-looking sunburns, teenage girls screaming at their mothers, and air plant vendors. What I didn’t expect, was to find Eileen Fisher there. Not actually Eileen, like the person, but to my absolute delight, Fisher Found had a booth at the market.

So, I didn’t know about Fisher Found, maybe because they used to go by Green Eileen, but probably because I don’t know about cool stuff like I used to. Anyway, Fisher Found is amazing, and it’s the place to find used Eileen Fisher stuff for way less than ticket price.

I want to also take a second to say yeah, I love Eileen Fisher. The company has set the standard for what it means to be a sustainable, ethical brand, and was doing it before it was cool, and before anyone asked it of them. They just see it as the right way to do business, and I think that’s awesome. Also, I used to think of Eileen Fisher as a brand that my mom would wear, and that I would not. Turns out, my mom has pretty good taste, and just how I have grown into stealing her music, her old purses, and her recipes, I am jumping on this train too. Fisher makes the best, softest basics, and the few pieces that I have, I wear to death.

The site is searchable by type of clothing, and because it’s all pre-worn, renewed, and remade, there is just one piece of each. It’s a lot like digging through piles at the flea market, but it doesn’t smell like dust and fish, and you won’t have to fight off strangers for your favorite piece. Unless that stranger is me.

Pieces that are up right now:

 

two EF.jpg

3 EF.jpg

EF dresses.jpg

Crop Sweater, Airy TankSilk Georgette dress, Cotton mini Chambray dress (the other pieces had sold out by the time I posted!)

Hope you like it as much as I do! My birthday is in two days.

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / a year ago

show

A year ago today, I was in a car with my parents on the way to Kep. I was exhausted, because the day before, I had put on my first fashion show.

I think it took me a while after the show to figure out how I felt. I know this, because people kept asking me, and I would just stare into the distance and say “good, really good.” Lies. Nothing profound came to me because it was the beginning, and no one ever realizes what is happening at the beginning.

I do, however, remember everything that went wrong with the show. Every stupid detail.

  • One of the models didn’t even walk because the dress was re-fitted too many times and I tried to save it but I couldn’t.
  • A few of the dresses that were dyed turned out too light, and I hated the sad-lavender color that I couldn’t change.
  • One of the dresses ripped before the show.
  • The makeup took longer than we thought so we didn’t have time for a proper run-through before the show and no one got touch-ups before walking.
  • I really wanted all the models to be comfortable so I ended up designing things more for them and less for me.
  • One of the shirts was made with a neckline so small, the model had to take out her hair, that had just been done, and wiggle her way into it.
  • There weren’t enough drink tickets.
  • At one point, the damn DJ came down to the runway DURING the show to take photos for himself, and missed the cue for the finale. He only came back up to his booth after seeing my head explode with expletives. He had one job. One. Job.
  • I said bad words really loudly.
  • I wanted to include more people but I was worried that the venue was too small so I had to say no to people when they wanted to come support me.

I remember being sweaty, and chugging champagne, hoping it would take hold of my brain, or at least take care of the nerves. I remember being mad at the champagne when it did neither. One of my lovely model/friends did a little toast for me before the show, and it was probably very sweet. I, of course, don’t remember anything she said, because I was SO not in the moment and instead, running through all the scenarios where everything went wrong and someone caught on fire and died and everyone hated the clothes and Anna Wintour was there and said “you will NEVER make it in fashion” in front of all of my friends who by then, of course, hated me. None of those things happened, but welcome to how anxiety feels.

The entire night I felt an inch away from tears, and it was exhausting. Fashion is so glamorous.

I did cry when my dad gave a speech at the end of the show, in front of everyone. It was a happy cry, and my heart still fills up when I think of it. I cried when I saw Tiff walk, because she was the person that pushed me into designing, and had an incredible amount of faith in me when I deserved none of it. I also cried when my mom walked, because it was my MOM and she was walking in my fashion show and how do you not cry? And…I might be crying now, whatever. Mind your business.

In any case, I really didn’t enjoy the show. But I am SO glad I did it. I was scared of it and had no idea what the power of vulnerability would do for me. Putting things out into the world to be judged has never been something I am comfortable with. I even tried to bribe my high school english teacher with two papers, so I wouldn’t have to present in front of the class. When we started the blog, I would tear through every piece I put up, scared that someone might see it and scoff. I’m sure that happens, it just doesn’t actually matter. But I would have never gotten to the place I am now, on my couch in LA, if I hadn’t done the show. The show made me a designer, for real. I designed a collection, my friends walked a runway lined with fake candles, and we had photoshoots and made a damn look book. How legit is a look book? So legit.

So I am thankful for the whole experience of the show. Would I change things? Of course, there was no world where I was going to walk out of the door and make it perfect. But it’s a place to grow from, and I like my cozy little starting point. It was kind, full of people I love, and I got free french fries afterwords. Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be perfect. I can’t handle the pressure of constantly creating perfection, I’m not Adele.

If you want to see photos from the show, they are here, here, and here. I will always be grateful that my messy little show was full of so many incredible ladies. Thanks, guys.

caitsig

 

 

 


1 Comment

C / Hey NAU..hey NAU

hey-nau

Hi guys. Tiff and I will be doing gift guides again this year (starting tomorrow, yay!) but I have found so many great companies while looking for the lists, I feel like I have to share a few more. If there is something that you want to buy, but you don’t know how to get the sustainable version of it yet, email me, and I will find it for you and put it on the internet.

The first company that I am looking at is NAU, out of Portland, Oregon. “Of course it’s from Portland” you say, “does it come with irony and a bird on it?” Good one, you. This awesome company came together a few years ago and they are making high quality technical gear out of sustainable and renewable materials. The clothing sells for about the same amount as their buddies’ stuff at North Face, but they do business in a very different way. NAU uses fabrics like alpaca wool, organic cotton, recycled polyester, and my personal textile crush, Tencel. They also work alongside international human rights monitoring groups to ensure their international production facilities meet high standards.

These are some of my favorite pieces from their current collection, and if you want to buy them for me, that is totally fine and in no way inappropriate.

white-nau

Felt Up Shirt Jacket

green-nau

Oslo Down Jacket

grey-pants-nauRandy goat light pants

red-bag-nauSmith The Roll Pack

grey-sweater-man-nauMen’s Nazca Alpaca Sweater

black-jacket-man-nauOff the Grid Jacket

utiliza-pant-nauMen’s Utilize Pant

Happy shopping! Let me know what else you want to see. Email me at caitandtiff@gmail.com.

Also, because I know it’s in your head now, here you go.

caitsig

 


Leave a comment

C / California Cozy

It has been a long, long time since I have felt chilly. Not air-conditioning on the couch chilly, but brisk-outside, wearing flannel and drinking tea chilly. Today, in sunny LA, it is overcast, 68F (20C, for Tiff) and this coffee shop is playing throwback Joni Mitchell.  I get that 68F isn’t exactly the end of days, but for someone who has been pining for sweater weather for the last five years, I am enjoying the hell out of it.

Naturally, this moment of coziness has led me to internet dive into sweaters, scarves, and jackets that I will live in for the next few months, even when it’s inappropriate. The thing is, I don’t exactly have a “closet” to put sweaters in, or an “apartment” to live in, so until I have a permanent place to put myself, these are all dream cozy pieces.

Because I care about not destroying the world with my choices (#VOTE), I am looking at eco-friendly, sustainably-made options.

randy-hoodie

Nau Clothing, Randy Goat Hoodie

 

 

 

stella

Stella McCartney, Fur Free Fur Cardigan

study-suit

Study NY, Aprés Ski Suit

dress

People Tree, Block Dress

patagonia-fleece

Patagonia, Fleece

Enjoy the coziness, even if it’s virtual.

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / Emma and Zady

emma-zady.jpg

Photo via @emmawatson

I love a good collaboration. I love it even more when it involves one of my favorite public figures and one of my favorite companies. Emma Watson and Zady have come together to promote ethical and sustainable fashion and are currently launching their collaborative collection. So far, there are only three pieces available to pre-order, but they are solid. The shiny-objects side of my brain was hoping for more items, but they are staying true to the less-is more principle, and focusing on three timeless pieces you can wear forever.

Hermoine Granger  Emma Watson has been a badass since she was like 6, and I have a ton of respect for her for using her fame-powers for good, and generally choosing to be an awesome person in an industry that does not require that of her. This collection is anther example of her pushing forward businesses that are doing things the right way, and proving what a Gryffindor she is.

 

caitsig


Leave a comment

C / reformation

ref-title.jpg

Sustainable-ish fashion companyReformation, has come back on my radar this week thanks to a conversation with Tiff. I was turned off by the company a few years ago, because it was feeling a little too Coachella-y, too waif-hipster, and too try-hard. I don’t know if it was the language they use, or the general vibe they put out, but I was was afraid I would have to attend music festival and wear offensive pseudo-Native-American gear. (Totally rational fear.) Tiff gave the argument that things are looking different these days, so I gave it another shot. I’m impressed.

ref-4

Started in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, the company strives to use sustainable fabrics, good manufacturing practices, and make awesome clothes that fit a range of bodies. What I like about them today is not only their dreamy wrap dresses, but their transparency regarding their own practices.

The website reads:ref

The company isn’t perfect, but they aren’t saying that they are. The operations are a vast improvement from the common standard in the garment industry and they have nailed the user experience. On the website, any shopper, or general nosy person (hi!), can dig around without much effort and find out which fabrics they use, the employee benefits and what they are doing to make the company better. They have even made cool visuals like this one, to highlight the garment, but also show why that dress is better than the evil dress from Forever 21.

ref-2

And it’s not just empty promises to make yourself feel better about buying a $120 slip dress that you could totally have made for $30 in Cambodia. The team at reformation uses crazy stuff like math and science to monitor their impact on the world and stays transparent about what works and what doesn’t.

Due to this giant professional crush I have on them right now, I went down the rabbit hole this morning and spent much too long perving on all their pieces, and there are a lot. They do constant design, rather than collection, which I honestly don’t feel great about. There are pages and pages of designs, and it feels like the clothing equivalent of the menu at The Cheescake Factory, it’s just too much. That being said, I am going to buy at least three of these things.

ref-white

ref-5ref-split

Untitled-1

ref-pantsref-green

This post is not sponsored, because we don’t have sponsors.

caitsig

All photos via Reformation 


3 Comments

T / client love / penh lane and khmer creations

KC-HeaderWhen you’re first starting out, you’ve got to be infinitely grateful for the clients who come to you. And even more thankful for the ones who are patient enough to understand that you are still learning.  This is when I learned that white background product photography is one tough cookie.  There was definitely more than one attempt to produce this:

KC-Product-Shots

Angkor Necklace and Turning Leaf Bracelet by Khmer Creations available through Penh Lane.

Eventually you figure things out, and that relationship with your very patient client grows into something awesome.

So I wanted to give a shoutout today to a client who first came to me out of nowhere to me last year.  Khmer Creations Jewellery Studio was first founded by one, two and then three ladies.  Antonia and Jane, who are from Australia, joined forces with Samnang to create a social business that provides income generation for women in vulnerable communities in Cambodia, and has since grown to become an all-female, locally managed jewellery design and production studio that now exports its products to Europe, North America and Australia.  Women from low-income and vulnerable communities in the Phnom Penh area are provided with an income matched to the local living wages, as well as health insurance and a safe workplace.  Not only that, but they’re also educated and equipped with skills in financial literacy and personal development.  They’ve even got a savings and loan group going on inside Khmer Creations.  Some are single moms, and Khmer Creations even has a day-care to make sure that the cutest bubs are taken care of. Penh Lane came around shortly after as a trading company that not only works with Khmer Creations, but also four other Cambodian social businesses to design, wholesale and retail jewellery and other accessories to markets around the world.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been taking editorial shots for Penh Lane, featuring models of my choosing. I picked my lady lifting buddies from Crossfit Amatak because they are a joy to work out with.  Rebekah has an infectious smile even during the toughest of workouts, Julia is always amazing conversation in between the burpees and Lyda can lift a mighty mass and look fabulous at the same time.  I knew they’d look great in Khmer Creations’ goodies.

KC-Earrings-and-Necklace

Upper: Angkor Earrings, Lower: DeVine Recycled Timber Necklace (left) and Cotton Bead Earrings (right). All by Khmer Creations.

I also got to shoot a couple of the gorgeous ladies that work at Khmer Creations Jewellery Studio.  Which was just so much fun and a big lesson in directing a shoot with my could-definitely-be-better Khmer language skills and with Samnang as my translator.

So I’m beyond thankful to Khmer Creations and Penh Lane for supporting me and my growing skills.  I can’t wait to work with you guys again!

Find Penh Lane and Khmer Creations products online and at local stockists!  If you’re in Phnom Penh, you can find the goodies at Lot369, Teahouse Asian Urban Hotel, the Watthan Artisans shop on Street 240 and at Aeon Mall!

A big huge thanks to Farm to Table for letting me run around your beautiful green space!


All photos by Tiffany Tsang for Khmer Creations. Please request permission to use. We are not liable for any accessories shopping binges.