Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Levi Strauss & Co.

Between Coachellas, Snoop Dogg livens up the Levi's Haus

Snoop Dogg
On Tuesday night, Coachella headliner Snoop Dogg seemed to be making the most of his between-festival down time, taking in the premiere of Magnolia Pictures' "Marley" (a new documentary about musician Bob Marley) at Arclight Hollywood, followed by hosting an intimate house party in the shadow of the Chateau Marmont for Levi's in celebration (which we think means in charitable support) of his Snoop Youth Football League

In between DJ duties and rapping out some crowd favorites (including "Gin and Juice"), his Snoopness, clad in an oversized blue T-shirt emblazoned with some Snoop-centric artwork, a crocheted cap in the reggae-favored stripes of red, black, green and yellow and sunglasses with a crystal Adidas logo in one corner, obligingly posed for photos with party guests (including Paris Hilton) and did his best to fill the room with his particular brand of combustible enthusiasm.

"We're gonna be doing this every week here at the Levi's Haus," the top Dogg told the crowd at one point -- which we're guessing was news to the Levi Strauss & Co. folks who use the Selma Avenue space as a VIP space/entertainment industry networking hub. (Formerly a private residence, it's been dubbed the Levi's Haus -- with a spelling that evokes the namesake founder's German heritage).

Levi's slate of invite-only, Coachella-hammocked events continues Wednesday night with a party scheduled to include performances by DJ Cheapshot and Odd Future.


Snoop Dogg X Adidas shoes: tha details

At Coachella festival, music and fashion are a natural fit

Adam Kimmel goes to the Dogg side for spring/summer 2011

Coachella 2012: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Tupac hologram end Week 1

-- Adam Tschorn

 Photos: Among those in the Haus for Levi's invite-only party were (from left) DJ Snoop Dogg himself, pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and reality TV actress Jamie Chung. Credit: Eric Charbonneau/WireImage 

Fashion focuses on water savings for World Water Day

UnitedbyblueIt's World Water Day Thursday. What will you be doing to preserve and conserve this precious resource? Several fashion brands will be celebrating the 19th annual event pioneered by the United Nations with challenges designed to bring awareness to crucial water issues.

Employees at Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco are wearing the same pair of jeans five days straight without washing them as part of the company's weeklong World Water Day Challenge. To aid its employees in sticking with the program, the company has set up cleaning stations around its office for spot-treating denim.

Levis_WaterlessLevi's is encouraging individuals outside the company to also go waterless by washing their jeans in cold water and only cleaning them every two weeks instead of weekly. Levi's, which began selling low-water Water<Less jeans in 2011, says that if all of its 13 million Water<Less products were washed every other week, it would save 14 years of drinking water for 60,000 people.

Whether it's forgoing laundry, a shower or tooth brushing, the outdoor action brand Teva is challenging individuals to give up water in one area of their lives for World Water Day.

“Teva has a long-standing passion for clean water, the source of both life and our recreation,” says Will Pennartz, Teva lifestyle marketing manager. “It is our responsibility to help in the protection of these playgrounds for future generations.”

In 2011, Teva launched its Pair for a Foot program, which aims to protect one linear foot of river, lake and ocean shoreline for every pair of shoes sold. Teva works in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Conservancy and other environmental groups to assist with water cleanup efforts.

United by Blue is even more hands-on. The entire staff of the Philadelphia-based T-shirt and bag company will be spending the day on the banks of the Delaware River for World Water Day, collecting trash. Over the course of two hours, they are likely to retrieve about 300 pounds of garbage -- from disposable diapers to soda cans and plastic bottles, the latter of which will be shipped to a California recycling facility that will turn these so-called ocean plastics into containers for Method brand cleaning products.

In almost two years, United by Blue has collected 83,000 pounds of trash from rivers, oceans and lakes as part of its business model: For every item sold, the company guarantees it will pull one pound of trash from polluted waterways.

"Waterways and oceans are 71% of the planet," said Brian Linton, founder of United by Blue, which is sold online, at Urban Outfitters and, beginning next month, at select Nordstrom's. "We live on a blue planet, so everything is united by blue. You and I and the frog and the fish and the bird and the bacteria, we all need water to survive."

Like Levi's and Teva, United by Blue is also issuing a challenge: to give up single-use plastic bags and bottles.

"One of the most common plastics we find is the plastic water bottle," said Linton. "Asking people to think more about single-use plastics is a great way for people to tackle the water pollution issue without too much effort on their part."

Fourteen billion pounds of trash end up in the world's oceans each year, Linton said. According to the United Nations, 1 in 8 people on the planet lack access to clean drinking water.


Cotton that's kinder to the planet

Trying to undress my "water footprint"

Coming soon to baby's bottom: 100% compostable diapers

-- Susan Carpenter

Photos: United by Blue T-shirt, Levi's Water<Less jeans, Teva shoes. Credit: United by Blue, Levi Strauss & Co., Teva.

Target says it will stop selling sandblasted denim by year's end [Updated]

Distressed denimMost people who wear distressed denim didn't do the distressing themselves. They bought it that way off the shelf. It's an effect often created with sandblasting, a technique that blasts crystalline silica onto blue jeans using high-pressure machines.

Cool as that makes the blue jeans look, it has decidedly negative consequences for the garment workers who make them. Breathing the air in close proximity to sandblasting can cause the incurable lung disease silicosis, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign, a Netherlands-based advocacy group dedicated to improving working conditions in the global garment industry.

Even with strict safety standards and protective gear, garment workers are still at risk from sandblasting, according to Patty Reber, director of raw materials development for product design and development with Minneapolis-based Target Corp.

On Tuesday, Target announced that by late 2012 it would stop carrying any products that have been sandblasted during the manufacturing process. Target, which operates 1,762 stores, has teamed with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to investigate responsible sourcing solutions. [Updated Feb. 29, 2012, 7:51 a.m.: The original version of this post said Target and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition were investigating sandblasting alternatives. The two organizations have partnered to identify sustainable and responsible sourcing solutions, generally, but not specific to sandblasting.]

Target's announcement follows Levi Strauss & Co. of San Francisco and Swedish-based retailer H&M which, in September 2010, collaborated to implement a global ban on sandblasting in all of their future product lines. The International Textile Garment and Leather Worker's Federation found that 7,000 garment workers in Turkey had been exposed to crystalline silica and 40 of them died between 2005 and 2009; the Turkish government banned the use of crystalline silica in 2009.


Redefining glamour on the red carpet

Levi's makes 'green' jeans using 28% less water

Target commits to 100% sustainable, traceable fish by 2015

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Distressed denim blue jeans. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Frugal Fashion: William and Kate go cowboy chic on their overseas tour

CowboykatePrince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, might have finished their overseas tour of parts of Canada and California, but we're still buzzing. We just can't get enough of the duchess and her confident, elegant style.

The newlyweds are now old pros at dressing for public appearances. While in the U.S., Catherine wore a flowy Alexander McQueen gown to the BAFTA "Brits to Watch" gala, a hand-painted silver dress by Jenny Packham to a charity polo match in Santa Barbara and a white and navy ensemble to paint with kids at an art center in L.A.'s skid row. But who knew the royal couple would look so good when they went country in jeans and cowboy hats?

These outfits came out when Kate and William made an appearance at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Canada. The look was a far cry from something the duke and duchess would wear to tea with the queen, but it's difficult to watch a lively herd of livestock in heels.

William kicked off the Calgary Stampede in a blue and green tartan plaid shirt, a pair of blue jeans and boots, while Kate wore a pair of dark denim jeans, Temperley London rodeo shirt, boots and a silver buckled-belt. The couple stayed clear of the sun in matching crisp white cowboy hats.

To get Kate's look try a white blouse with a prairie feel like the French Connection vintage grace shirt (below, left) for $39.99 at For some country ruffles try the silk georgette blouse from for $24.80.


For a rodeo, a nightclub or even a leisurely Sunday afternoon, there's no need to throw down a couple of hundred dollars for jeans. For a great pair of jeans under $100 try the Frances 18 low-rise boot cut jeans by Silver Jeans Co. for $75, Meltin Pot jeans from for $45 or the 1969 perfect boot cut jeans by Gap for $69.50.

For her accessories, Kate went the traditional western route with a bold silver-buckled belt and cowboy boots. Lasso the look with the Relic two-tone etched buckle belt from for $24 and the American Eagle Outfitters suede desert boot for $59.50.


The prince, looking more like a stylish Texas ranger in his rodeo gear, perfected the look of a modern cowboy. For a similar shirt, get the Polo Ralph Lauren slim custom-fit plaid sport shirt for $39.99 from, American Eagle Outfitters plaid button down for $39.50, Cockpit navy blue plaid shirt for $44.99 from or the eco-conscious Swell the Josh Organic flannel shirt for $39.50. from Just remember to roll up the sleeves!


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Levi's X MOCA = Limited-edition trucker jackets and a DIY film workshop

Levis X MOCA Trucker Jackets

That Levi Strauss & Co. partnered with MOCA to create and sell denim trucker jackets featuring artwork by some of the artists in the "Art in the Streets" exhibition (at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA through Aug. 8) wasn't much of a surprise to me -- the San Francisco-based company seems to enthusiastically embrace collaboration wherever and whenever it can (Brooks Brothers, Opening Ceremony and Ace Hotels to name just a few).

What did surprise me was the extensive film workshop set up in the space adjacent to the exhibition; a room crammed with so much high-tech, cutting-edge, fun-to-play-with movie-making gear that even the most sullen tween going in will likely emerge an aspiring Quentin Tarantino.

The word "workshop" hardly does it justice. Assembled -- in a room barely bigger than a few office cubicles -- are equipment stations that can create green screen special effects, slow-motion video, stop-motion and multi-plane animation. There was also something called a phonotrope (apparently a zoetrope set up on a phonograph turntable) and a table where visitors could hand-paint individual film frames.

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Your morning fashion and beauty report: Lady Gaga starts a column for V, Britney Spears wears Dolce & Gabbana and Dior holds off on replacing Galliano

Agaga Lady Gaga, columnist: Starting with the issue that hits newsstands May 12, she's to write a regular column for V magazine. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

British "It" girl Alexa Chung is modeling for Italian footwear brand Superga, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. She styled the shoot, too. [Telegraph]

Dolce & Gabbana is on a roll with pop stars. Britney Spears wears several items by the designers in publicity photos for her new album, including a sweet polka dot body suit. Last week, Kylie Minogue saw them for a fitting. [Telegraph]

I've been on the edge of my seat waiting to see who will replace John Galliano as creative director at Dior. But for a number of reasons -- legal difficulties dissolving the disgraced designer's contract, parent company LVMH's takeover of Bulgari, concerns about maintaining the viability of the latest Galliano-designed collection -- a choice is unlikely before fall, sources tell Elle

A big oops for Levi's. The jeans purveyor has agreed to pay more than $1 million in back wages to 596 employees for wage and hour violations. [WWD] (Subscription required.)  

Michelle Kessler Sanders has been tapped to be the first creative director for the burgeoning Vera Wang Group. Like the designer herself, Sanders has had experience both in retail (Donna Karan, Juicy Couture) and editorial (Vogue and most recently the New York Times' T magazine.) [Cut]

Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison quit their design jobs at their shoe brand, Sigerson Morrison, on March 15, 20 years after thay founded it. The label's parent company, Marc Fisher Footwear, is planning an overhaul of the business. [Cut]

Longchamp's opened its biggest store in Asia with a celebrity-studded party in Hong Kong. [WWD]

 -- Susan Denley

Photo: Lady Gaga, singer and ... columnist? Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


Your morning fashion and beauty report: Justin Bieber changes his hair, Kate Middleton chooses a hatmaker, Drew Barrymore exudes lasting style

OMG! Stop the presses. Justin Bieber got a haircut! Why, it was only last week when the cast of "Glee" paid tribute to his modern moptop (Puck shaking hair out of his eyes? LOL!). But now it's gone! [TMZ]

Adrew It's Drew Barrymore's birthday (number 36), and she's been a style maven for probably at least the last 20 of them. Say "happy birthday" by taking a look at some of her most memorable outfits. [FabSugar] 

What will you be wearing in spring of next year? Probably not 100% cotton. The high cost of the fiber is leading manufacturers to experiment with new blends and "alternative fiber mixes." [WWD] (Subscription required.)

And maybe not sandblasted jeans either. Two big players in the world of denim, Levi Strauss & Co. and H&M, are cooperating with the International Textile Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation to ban the sandblasting process, which can be hazardous for textile workers. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Looking for a new little something to lift yourself out of the winter doldrums? Consider trying out a new look for nails by copying one of the 30 best manicures at New York Fashion Week. [BellaSugar] 

JCPenney is planning to roll out a new slogan and logo in its commercials during Sunday's Academy Awards broadcast. Um, it seems to me that new logos haven't worked so well for some other established (one might say "heritage") companies. But only time will tell. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

L.A. Rose Vintage Boutique, which opened at the Los Angeles Farmer's Market in November, is moving to a bigger spot on Melrose. The opening is slated for March 3. [Mondette]

The first French Vogue supervised by new editor Emmanuelle Alt is slated to arrive on newsstands in early March. It will feature Gisele on the cover, dressed in Dolce & Gabbana. [Vogue UK] 

OK, this does not really strike me as news, but since I'm obsessed right now with all-things-Kate I must report that Kate Middleton has signed up premiere London hatmaker Philip Treacy to design headgear she'll wear on her wedding day. (Princess-to-be chooses top British hatmaker ... no surprise there.) It's unclear, though, whether Treacy is designing something she'll wear before, during or after the wedding ceremony. Yes, several changes of outfit are expected. [FabSugar UK]

Actor and renaissance man James Franco interviews Gucci creative director Frida Giannini (we featured her Sunday on All the Rage) in Harper's Bazaar. [Harper's Bazaar]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Drew Barrymore, who celebrates her birthday Tuesday. Credit: WireImage

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Rumors swirl about Blake Lively and 'Sex and the City,' Jana Kramer goes country and Rodarte teams with Opening Ceremony

There's lots of talk that "Gossip Girl's" Blake Lively -- a budding fashion icon -- may be the next Carrie Bradshaw and appear in a "Sex and the City" prequel. Rumors are unconfirmed at this writing. [Vogue UK]

Rodarte, fresh off helping design costumes for "Black Swan" and mounting a show at MOCA, is hooking up in a collaboration with equally cool Opening Ceremony. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

Country style is coming on strong, as Adam Tschorn has written here. Now "One Tree Hill's" Jana Kramer has signed a deal with the Warner Music Nashville label and debuted her new country single, "I Won't Give Up," on the show. [People]

Fashion journalist Kate Betts, whose new book, "Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style," has just been published, says that wearing accessible labels such as J. Crew makes the first lady seem real. [StyleList]   

Designer Tom Ford -- a renaissance man, for sure -- interviews Julianne Moore about turning 50 in the March issue of InStyle. [StyleList]

Marc by Marc Jacobs celebrates 10 years by reissuing merchandise in a New York pop-up store. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

After a five-year hiatus, designer Cynthia Steffe is back with a new contemporary line, Cluny. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

For several seasons, women have been living in the "boyfriend" this, and the "boyfriend" that. Now Levi's debuts the "ex-girlfriend" jeans -- super-snug denims for men. [The Cut]

--Susan Denley

Photo: Blake Lively in a scene from "Gossip Girl." Credit: Giovanni Rufino / The CW

For spring, Levi's X Opening Ceremony collaboration shifts into chambray


With the third seasonal capsule collection, the ongoing collaboration between denim maker Levi Strauss & Co. and ultra-hip retailer Opening Ceremony turns a year old, but if you ask us, it's looking younger than ever.

Called Levi's Chambray by Opening Ceremony, the eight-piece spring/summer 2011 collection (four pieces for men, four for women) uses lightweight indigo denim or Japanese chambray in a range of colors including the on-trend shades of orange and yellow.  (Like denim, chambray is a cotton fabric woven with a colored warp thread and a white weft thread. But unlike its coarser-feeling cousin, it has an alternating one-up/one-down weave instead of a two-up/one-down weave.)

For guys, that means pullover hoodies and pants in chambray  (including a unisex Levi's 505 silhouette), for women, pants, shirts and a jumper dress.

The collection, which ranges from $175 to $300, is expected to hit select Levi's boutiques (including the Malibu store locally) and Opening Ceremony stores (including the West Hollywood outpost) as well as both brands' e-commerce sites sometime this week.

The spring/summer 2011 ad campaign was shot by photographer Terry Richardson, and features actor James "P.J." Ransone ("The Wire," "Generation Kill")  on the menswear side, and model Anais Pouliot wearing the women's wares.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from the eight-piece Levi's Chambray by Opening Ceremony spring/summer 2011 capsule collection. Credit: Terry Richardson

Two local labels among finalists in GQ's search for the best new menswear designers

GQ magazine just announced the following six finalists for its annual "Best New Menswear Designers in America" competition:

Warriors of Radness (designer Rick Klotz)
Patrik Ervell
Riviera Club (designers Joe Sadler, Derek Buse and Greg Ullery)
Gant by Michael Bastian
Miller’s Oath (designer Kirk Miller)
T by Alexander Wang

Two of the finalists are based right here in Southern California (Warriors of Radness is headquartered in Los Angeles, and Riviera Club's home base is Santa Monica) with the rest hailing from New York City. 

All six finalists will be featured in the March issue of the men's magazine, and selections from their Fall 2011 collections will be showcased at a New York City event on Feb. 10 (which happens to be the opening night of New York Fashion Week).

Although one winner will take home a $50,000 cash prize (and bragging rights), all six will have the opportunity to contribute looks to a limited-edition Dockers capsule collection that will be exclusive to Bloomingdale's for a month this fall and featured in GQ's September issue. This is a significant change from past years in which just the ultimate winner collaborated on a capsule collection -- with the Levi's brand (the parent company of both brands is San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co.)

Now in its fourth year, past winners include Billy Reid (2010), Robert Geller (2009) and Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki (2008).

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from the runway collections of designers who have won the GQ competition in past years, including Robert Geller in 2009 (at left, Credit: ©Dan and Corina Lecca) and Billy Reid in 2010 (at right, Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times).  This year, two of the six finalists hail from Southern California.




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