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Olive Goil: Alexandra Valenti

These days everyone is a photographer, right? Instagramming, blogging, and smart phone documenting our lives, with an array of apps and filters at our disposal and in the palm of our hand.

But my dears, let us not forget that photography is an art. There are vibrant, imaginative folks who devote all of their time and talents to creating enduring, moving, poignant imagery for the rest of us to enjoy.

So let’s tip our hats and give a sweet curtsey to those who do their thing and do it well. Respect, my dears, it is all about respect.

That is why today’s Olive Goil is the absolutely stunningly talented Alexandra Valenti, an East Coast gal who moved to Austin, Texas, picked up a camera and some paints… and let her mind open wide.

Her photography, blasted, blown-out and beautiful, captures a place and time that seems to exist in a dream – gorgeous landscapes, striking models, vintage clothes…it’s a world I’d love to step right into… and never leave.

Miss Valenti does high fashion shoots with the eye of a country girl, bringing all that high falootin’ fashion swagger – straight back down to earth. Clothes and jewelry seem all the more wearable and more lovely in her photographs, shot in what you can imagine must be an atmosphere of adventure and fun.

And when Miss Alexandra adds her paints to the prints, something thrilling and magical happens. Her bright patterns and illustrated embellishments serve to transform a mere photo of a woman in a dress – to the level of fine and lovely art.

Respect my dears. Respect to Miss Valenti and to all the other photographers, musicians, writers and artists, etc etc… who remind us of the importance of authenticity and true talent… in this crazy, mixed up digital world.

Olive Loves: THVM Jeans

There are jeans, and then there are JEANS.

Now, let me make clear my dears – I am a denim lover all around. There is nothing like dressing up or dressing down that absolutely well loved and well-worn pair of jeans and feeling finally like yourself again.

I am a denim democrat darlings. I warmly, happily embrace any and all styles hewn in this classic, comfortable, eternally fashionable – fabric.

Give me boyfriend jeans, tapered leg, capris, bellbottoms, high waisted or hip hugging – all of them sound good…and look good – on me.

But, give me THVM Atelier jeans and I am over the moon.

Creating denim beauties in a stunning array of washes and colors and shapes and sizes, each one more flattering than the next – this Los Angeles-based denim company makes nothing less than wearable art.

Saffrons, rusts, pale petal blues, cropped, sleek, and form fitting, THVM are true denim geniuses. Creative, imaginative young designers that manage take the limitations of working in one fabric and dream up an array of awesomeness that you must see and try on – to believe.

Olive Goil: Michelle Vale

One of the very best things about hosting/attending Fashion’s Night Out in NYC this year was discovering fresh young talents who are continuing to push boundaries with their work. That said, I fell completely in love with Michelle Vale, who kicked off her handbag line in 2006. Beautifully crafted, utterly luxurious and boldly beautiful, Miss Michelle’s pieces are just what every gal dreams about.

She explains that the inspirations behind her amazing line as evolving out of her commitment to quality design and the deep love she has for her hometown.

“We are proud to be one of a very small handful of designers who are made in New York City,” she says, “This has always been and will always be very near to my heart. I am also proud that we offer women the unique ability to completely customize their own look by offering hardware components in both silver and gold. Our collection allows women to modify the color of hardware they want to wear on their bag and to change the way it is carried at any given moment. With fashion moving to a more polished and elegant look, the perfect bag now exists to help define that image.”

You go girl!

I took a trip down to Michelle’s showroom to see the gorgeous green purse (I have been admiring), for myself! Check out Michelle Vale’s delicious accessories! You will NOT be sorry.

 

Olive Loves: Just Say Native

So, I have settled back to the ground following the whirlwind that is NYC Fashion Week and have returned to my second hometown – the blue sky, big sun City of Angels.

I am a New York gal, as you know, born and bred, but I have to say that L.A. is the yin to my Big Apple Yang and it was with open arms that I welcomed the perfect weather, gold mountains, and white surf.

And what better way to get in the California groove than with my favorite local vintage purveyors, Just Say Native! These young ladies have a knack for sourcing the most beautiful laidback styles, everything from boho dresses to leather jackets, cowboy boots and glitz gypsy accessories.

And denim, oh the denim!

Hillary and Linde met in Michigan and moved to California to pursue all sorts of dreams, nurturing along the way their shared obsession with embroidered silks, thick hand knit wonders, Southwest wovens, wild and wooly macramé –in short, just the sort of luxe wandering traveler vibes you all know I adore!

Their selections also always contain just the right touch of rocknroll edge and disco sparkle and cosmic cowboy whimsy – from black leather to sequined satin  to butterscotch suede fantastic fringe.

So my dears, visit a golden state. Take a gander at the Just Say Native Etsy site and stock up on a sweet and mellow California state of mind.

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