Copyright 2017 Jeri Malone, Inc.
January 19, 2017
I’m gazing out the window at the rain here in Los Angeles. We may only get drenched a handful of days throughout the winter in southern California, so I make sure to take full advantage of each one. This particular morning, the rain is helping drown out distractions as I write.
What I will be adding to the e-commerce shop in the coming months is a culmination of both the top picks of a couple hundred prints I've been creating over the last year, and also a vision for democratic, well-designed clothing and accessories. Something I have observed over the last couple of years is that there is a need for inspiring and yet attainable product.
This inevitably opens up a can of worms. What I am offering is not fast-fashion, which is oftentimes not well designed and ends up in landfills. I am also not offering something that has a bloated price tag. I may run the risk of being perceived as a budget brand, but I am less interested in a system where the only ones who can enjoy good design are those with dense pockets. If I can only design like this, I am not a very good designer.
What most brands and retailers won’t tell you are that the product you end up buying in stores is marked up a handful of times from the initial cost of production. Not only has this put a strain on the consumer, but also the designers.
Jeri Malone is a direct-to-consumer brand. This affects the whole process of design, from the turn-around time and affordability to quality, and it encourages responsible and sustainable production practices. As both the designer and retailer, I can more quickly react to what you, the consumer, want and need. In this sense, our interaction is more of a conversation than dictation.
I want to influence and brighten the world I live in, which, in the end, can be just as fantastical as the unattainable one many of us aspire to.
A Farewell to Summer - Part 2
November 15, 2016
There are a few activities I’ll miss….
Seasonal Styling: Despite my affinity for layering, I appreciate the clothing made for balmier days. I embrace the challenge of transforming a beach cover up into an evening-ready ensemble. I appreciate the ease of throwing on embellished sandals with a playful shift dress. In a nod to New York’s monochromatic love affair, I love contrasting summery silhouettes with an all-black color scheme.
Experimentation: The carefree vibe & the myriad of (sometimes questionable) warm weather options make it the perfect time to experiment. This year, I successfully tried my first long skirt. While browsing a fabric store in NYC’s Garment district, the durable white lace fabric appealed to me… almost as much as its low-risk, $15 price tag. By eschewing self-imposed height restrictions, I finally understood the allure of ankle-grazing lengths.
My late-to-the-game crop top foray began last January, when I picked up a ($5!) maroon cotton piece from a beach-side shop in Thailand. After taking several months to muster the courage & for NYC weather to cooperate, I broke it out this summer. The fun experiment infused variety into my wardrobe, but it never quite fit with my personal style.
Manus x Machina: The Met’s breathtaking exploration of the intersection between hand-made & machine-made clothing officially closed in September. The exhibit showcased haute couture including Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Balenciaga, and innovative ready-to-wear.
Visitors were greeted by a Chanel wedding ensemble designed by Karl Lagerfeld and made from synthetic scuba knit. Fusing tech & human touch, the production process has machine-sewn and hand-crafted elements, e.g. the maison’s ateliers hand-applied the gold metallic paint, pearls, and gemstones. Chanel’s trademark suits were displayed too, both a 1960s classic & a recent 3D-printed version. According to ‘Manus x Machina’ catalogue photographer Nicholas Cope, the 3D-printed suit’s complexity was unmatched. He wrote, “At first it looks like a typical quilted Chanel suit, but then you see the detail and there are sequins layered underneath it in opposing patterns.”
Stealing the show: Issey Miyake’s colorful garment pleating, Iris van Herpen’s masterful 3D printing, and Hussein Chalayan’s ‘floating dress.’ Also amazing: Yves Saint Laurent’s featherwork, Miuccia Prada’s use of artificial flowers, and Sarah Burton’s (for Alexander McQueen) stunning embroidery.
Didn’t catch it? With the gorgeous ‘Manus x Machina’ catalogue, available on Amazon, you can ‘visit’ anytime.
Sonia Rykiel, edited by Olivier Saillard
A Farewell to Summer – Part I
The summer of 2016 seemed to come & go in the blink of an eye. September is officially upon us… despite conflicting messages from my weather app, unchecked bucket list items, and still-accruing sandal collection. To commemorate the past few months, we’d like to say a few goodbyes this weekend to the icons, activities, and places we must leave behind.
First, a special tribute to French designer Sonia Rykiel:
On August 25th, the world lost the legendary Rykiel. Unparalleled in skill and spirit, she made clothes for the empowered woman. Every fashion news outlet & Instagram account I follow covered Rykiel’s passing, but I first heard the news via a text from Jenny. She felt strongly about acknowledging Rykiel’s contribution to the fashion world, which served as the impetus for this ‘farewell’ blog post series.
Lauded by Women’s Wear Daily as “The Queen of Knitwear,” Rykiel’s talent, intelligence, and creativity propelled her to great success. She got her start in maternity wear after personally encountering a dearth of flattering options. Her formfitting creations recognized the female form, sharply contrasting the widely-accepted shapelessness of the time. Rykiel went on to become known for statement knits, expertly balancing timelessness and whimsy. Her iconic colorful stripes were infused with playful, unexpected touches, e.g. knitting the word ‘Sensuous’ onto a 1971 sweater. She pioneered now-prevalent techniques including exposed seams and unfinished hems.
In his homage, Vogue’s Hamish Bowles wrote, “With her dramatic smoky-eyed, flame-haired looks, the bookish designer Sonia Rykiel was like a latter-day Colette, Sarah Bernhardt, and Marchesa Casati rolled into one—and as powerful, independently minded, and captivating as any of them.” Rykiel’s adventurous, experimental spirit is evident in her varied endeavors. She designed costumes for French musical Les Dix Commandements, wrote books, contributed to publications, and dabbled in film and music.
Rykiel’s passing saddens us deeply. Yet we are confident her legacy will be preserved by a sartorial impact that will resonate for years to come.
Next on the blog: Part 2 of our summer farewell!
Now that we’ve introduced the Jeri Malone brand identity & our vision for future creations, we’d like this blog to share who we are moving forward. This space will act as an informal window into our day-to-day lives, especially as they relate to design inspiration, creativity, and style. You will see entries from Jenny (designer/founder, based in LA) and Alexandra (business development, NYC).
Today’s post comes from Alexandra, discussing some of her artistic icons and the entertainment they’ve inspired.
August 1, 2016
Greetings! Like much of the US, NYC has been besieged by a heat wave. When required to venture outdoors, the fountain in nearby Washington Square Park has become a mandatory stop. It provides enthralling people-watching opportunities and a welcome respite that somewhat compensates for this city's dearth of pools (or at least their inaccessibility).
As a result of the climate, a significant portion of my leisure time is spent reading in my apartment's (not-quite-powerful-enough) A/C. If you’re in a similar predicament & looking for book recommendations, here are some recent discoveries and perennial favorites that I relish revisiting:
“The Philosophy of Andy Warhol” by Andy Warhol
Striking a unique chord, this book is equal parts thought-provoking and immensely entertaining. Warhol’s treatise on life offers bite-size chapters covering love, beauty, fame, work, time, death, economics, & more. This quick read is brilliantly written and often tongue-in-cheek. My copy is full of underlines and hieroglyphic scratch marks, making it easy to skim for favorite lines including:
“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.” I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.”
“I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. A person is entitled to the lighting they need.”
“I think that having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.”
“Manus x Machina” by Andrew Bolton
The Met Museum Costume Institute’s Spring fashion exhibition focused on the intersection of handmade techniques & tech innovation (inspiring the name Manus x Machina). The star-studded Met Gala heralded the exhibit’s opening, hosted by NYC’s resident ice queen Anna Winter. Of all the glitterati decked out in homage to “Fashion in the Age of Technology,” I thought Claire Danes stole the show in a hand-sewn, light-up dress that perfectly executed the theme.
In late May, I checked out the exhibit as a friend’s +1 to an Apollo’s Circle event including a curatorial lecture, tour, and reception. My initial urge to photograph everything was thwarted by lack of phone space, so I decided to live in the moment & buy the gift shop book. I frequently flip through the well-arranged guide’s myriad of gorgeous images. The informative book also helped refresh my memory when composing Instagram captions for posts featuring striking pieces that resembled flying saucers and incorporated plastic straws.
“D.V.” by Diana Vreeland
This autobiography chronicles the life of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland (1903 Paris - 1989 NYC). It is full of adventures, amusing anecdotes, and insight into her successful professional trajectory. I first read this book upon moving to New York 2 years ago as I embarked on a professional journey to transition from consulting into luxury marketing. In this effort to gain fashion industry knowledge, I came away enamored with Vreeland’s hilarity and wisdom. She was an accomplished arbiter of taste, but I most admire how she unwaveringly advocated for fierce individuality. Like Warhol, she is eminently quotable….so here are a few excerpts to illuminate that spirit in her own words:
“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”
“Where Chanel came from in France is anyone’s guess. She said one thing one day and another thing the next. She was a peasant—and a genius. Peasants and geniuses are the only people who count and she was both.”
“Prohibition. Insane idea. Try to keep me from taking a swallow of this tea and I’ll drink the whole pot.”
We’d love to hear about your favorite summer reads & how you’ve been staying cool. Feel free to stay in touch via email (email@example.com) or social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook). Until next time!
June 9, 2016
We’re kicking off a Jeri Malone blog to keep you updated on product development, the trends inspiring us, favorite pieces, what we’re up to, and so much more. We want to show you what makes us unique by opening up about the design process.
A bit of background -- after launching in 2015, we established a presence in boutiques across the US and Paris. We recently decided to change our distribution model to be primarily e-commerce, believing in the importance of a more intimate interaction with consumers. The online model allows us to offer top-notch materials and thoughtfully-conceived designs at more attainable price points than otherwise possible.
So what’s next? We are developing playful, colorful knitwear, which will be rolling out piece by piece and in limited quantities starting later this month. Everything is made locally, either in downtown Los Angeles or right on our in-house, manual knitting machine.
Above all, we advocate living a fun and colorful life. We love to use unusual colors and fit to infuse beauty and whimsy into the everyday. More than ever, today’s cultural climate has room for irreverence and playfulness. Keep an eye on this blog & the @jeri_malone Instagram for more on the evolution and availability of our new knitwear creations.
-Jennifer Rubin, designer
and Alex Cochrane