WORD | Knit Wit Magazine

A month ago, I headed out to Joshua Tree with the editor and creative director of Knit Wit, the new biannual print-only magazine about fiber arts, textiles, and the people who put it all together. We rolled into the High Desert around golden hour to explore world of Lily and Hopie Stockman, founders of Block Shop Textiles. The sisters Stockman, who have recently relocated to L.A. from Boston, are two impossibly cool human beings that are creating traditionally-made Indian scarves (and bedding coming soon!) in smart, ethical, thoughtful, ecologically sensitive, community-driven, and lest we forget, stylish ways—it's almost unnerving how wonderful these two sisters are. Here are a few sneak peak photos of that story, which will be in the inaugural issue of Knit Wit, dropping this November. The magazine is otherwise packed with visuals and text by some truly talented photographers (including Marissa Macias who shot this piece), designers, tastemakers, and writers. Snag a maiden copy for yourself by supporting the Knit Wit Kickstarter. This magazine is one to keep.

ICON | Ali MacGraw

With the epitome of classic style mixed with a good heaping of tomboy leanings, Ali MacGraw wins it every decade. One of my favorite photos though, is this one by William Claxton circa 1971.

SCENE | Casa Shelter Half

Photos of Casa Shelter Half by Sinuhe Xavier.

Last week I wrote a piece about seven new and alternative places to stay in L.A., and one of them is the newly-opened vacation rental called Casa Shelter Half. Designed by the owner of the now-closed Shelter Half store on La Brea and founder of Environment Furniture, Davide Berruto, and Heather Heron (who designed the first women's line for Almond), "Casa" is tucked behind Abbott Kinney Boulevard, ideal for both privacy and convenience. It's available to rent out like an Air BnB ($600 per night, $675 on weekends) as well as for parties and events. The interior is so good, had to share more photos here.

SCENE | New Zealand

Photo of two New Zealand guides at Mount Cook, New Zealand, on top of the Tasman Glacier, 1935.

I'm in New Zealand (in the dead of winter), jumping around the North Island for the rest of the week! If anyone has any great recommendations for NZ, specifically Wellington, I'd be so grateful. Back to the blog next Monday, but feel free to follow the adventure on Instagram (@lgmettler).
Victory Hand

UNIFORM | Vault by Vans

The Vault by Vans collections are not always the easiest to come by, but I love checking to see what new artist collaborations or brand tie-ins they're releasing. Right now they've got some really cool stuff out, including a Peanuts collection, a Star Wars collection, and an OG line that is right on the money. Super fun...if you can find 'em.

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MOMENT | Free The Nipple

When I was putting together the Tomboy Style book, about three years ago now, I remember having a few heated debates with my editor about the inclusion of nudity. She wanted it, I didn't. Her opinion was that it would make the book more artful, and mine was that it might prohibit younger people from buying the book. It's not that I disagreed with her point, it's just that my whole objective was to write the book that I wish existed when I was growing up. I ended up winning the argument, but I'm thinking a lot now about why this argument had to exist at all. With the buzz surrounding the forthcoming film Free The Nipple, protests of the censorship on Instagram (even when it's "artful"), performance artists taking to the streets of NYC in the pursuit of nipple equality, and celebs like artist Shepherd Fairy (pictured above) and Rhianna weighing in, there's a lot to process. It all has me asking why our social custom is so wildly different for men and women when it comes to the public bearing of breasts? I'm not jonesing to go topless in public by any means (even on an Australian or French beach where it's de rigueur), but I certainly don't think it should mean jail time (up to three years and $2500 fine for exposed female breasts in Louisiana). In 35 states it's illegal for a woman to be topless, five of those states even include breastfeeding.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what may be the feminist issue talking point of the year.

SCENE | Cape Kennedy, 1969.

Photos of spectators at Cape Kennedy (now named Cape Canaveral) by Bill Epperidge and Lynn Pelahm for LIFE, 1969.

45 summers ago, we went to the Moon. Thousands of people camped out on beaches and on roads near Kennedy Space Center to watch Apollo 11 liftoff. Quite a scene, and just one month before Woodstock. Now I get what Bryan Adams was singing about.

GEAR | The Patagonia Tenkara Fly Rod

When I came back from a fishing trip to Wyoming, I wrote a bit of a satirical piece for Vogue.com about the role Instagram plays in our lives, using a frustrating float trip down the Snake River as a perfect example of how reality can be so wildly imperfect and stand in direct contrast to our virtual lives on Instagram. It's called Fly-fishing for an Instagram. It is (hopefully) funny and just slightly sarcastic, and was a lot of fun to write.

The real surprise of the trip wasn't that we (spoiler alert) didn't land any fish, but how much I enjoyed using the new Patagonia Tenkara Fly rod ($200-$225). We broke it out well into the day just for fun, thinking there'd be no chance we'd be knowledgable or practiced enough to score with a whole new style of fishing that was completely foreign, but this simple zen-like Japanese-style fishing rod is so simple and so uncomplicated that we all instantly fell in love. It's easy to use and easy to understand, it's completely intuitive, the way fishing, arguably, used to be. The book that goes along with rod, Simple Fly-Fishing ($25) is not only instructive, but it completely changed my outlook on the sport. It's must read for any fly-fisherman or fly-fisherwoman.

SCENE | Danner Boots

I spent the weekend with the good people of Danner, exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and getting to know the heritage boot-maker out of Portland, Oregon. This trip and factory visit cemented an idea I've explored and touched on for years: there are American apparel companies that care—about their manufacturing, their quality, their customer's experience, the longevity of their products—and there are companies that have other priorities. That may be oversimplifying a bit, but it's also been pretty clear in my experience. It's not a good versus evil thing, sometimes brands go public and have no choice but to chase profits, or a family business sells to a private equity company that doesn't understand the core customer. It's just always remarkable and inspiring to come across a company like Danner, that thrives on simple but smart principles and is still made here in the U.S.A.

Danner opened up shop in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in the middle of The Depression, but soon moved to their current location in Portland to cater to the logging industry. Over the years they've continued to innovate—Danner was the first footwear company to use Gore-Tex as an example. Today they make quality boots for outdoor enthusiasts, motorcyclists, men and women of the U.S Military, and of course, they're big in Japan.

It all starts with quality. From the leather to the canvas to the laces.

Many of the skilled manufacturers that cut and sew have been with Danner for a dozen years, they have become masters at their trade and take huge pride in their jobs.

The pride is clearly validated as Danner sets a high standard of boots that stand up to the elements and the wear and tear of time. They'll also refurbish your boots as many times as you need to keep them on your feet all year long.

Beyond just loving Danner and the people that make up such a cool company, they are expanding their women's line as seasons progress. One really exciting boot hitting stores this October is the boot from the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed and soon-to-be film Wild starring Reese Witherspoon. I'm just starting to read the book now, but it seems like the boots are a character onto themselves. Below is a little sneak peek.

It's so invigorating to have a close-up experience with a company that has made their products and their people their number one priority since the beginning. Thanks Danner!

GEAR | Rite in the Rain

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for things like space pens. Sure, I probably won't have to write something down in an anti-gravity environment, but If I find myself needing to take notes while floating at zero-g, I want go be prepared. With that in mind, I recently purchased an All-Weather Reporter's Notebook No. 148 ($5) from the storied company Rite in the Rain. Does it make sense given I am surrounded by screens in drought-ridden L.A.? No. Do I love it? Yes. But what's more is it really works, and I actually got to experience that while taking notes for a story while fishing the Snake River in Wyoming last week. The notepad got wet, and the water wicked. It was sweet.  

I'm in Portland, OR for the weekend and although I don't have much free time, I'd love any recs you guys have for PDX!

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UNIFORM | Gamine Co.

Launched just one month ago, Gamine Co. out of Boston, Massachusetts is creating workwear for women. Thoughtful, considered, high-quality workwear. For women. The company is new and tiny, but this is a big deal.

Gamine workwear is the brainchild of Taylor Johnston, the head horticulturist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. If you've ever stepped foot in this museum, you know. It is one of New England's ultimate public treasures. Johnston has always loved using her hands and being around plants and when she moved from Maryland to Boston she fell in love with the austere way of dressing in New England. "It's all about 800 year old L.L. Bean everything," Johnston said to me over the phone.

After exhausting brand after brand after brand, from Carhartt to Japanese denim, to vintage Madewell, and not finding clothing for women that fit well, looked smart, and could hold up to her job's demands, she decided to put her head down and make it herself.

Two years later, Gamine Co. was born. Johnston worked with a star pattern maker from Levi's, the oldest American workwear manufacturer L.C. King Mfg. Co. (which makes Pointer Brand), and Cone Denim's White Oak mill in North Carolina. That's a lot of American heritage name dropping right there! After extensive field trials, Gamine's first product, their Slim Slouch Dungaree ($150) was released. It's made from 13 oz. raw, redline selvage denim and is built to take abuse and get better looking with age. What I love about Taylor is her dedication to the strong tradition of American-made workwear, she doesn't want to merely imitate it and add to the waste pile, she wants to add something honest and good. And she is.

Gamine has also worked on a collaboration with one of my favorite t-shirt makers, Jungmaven, and has another denim fit coming down the pike as well. Exciting things to follow!

WORD | Salt Water Taffy

The incredibly thoughtful and generous Robyn Wilson (of Poor Porker fame) recently sent me a 1929 Corey Ford book called Salt Water Taffy. I was struck by the sentiment, she pointed out how great the photos were and I flipped through and smiled. I thought it would end up being a little design accent I'd place on my shelf, but I started reading it and couldn't put it down. It's turned out to be my favorite read of the summer. It's a lampoon of a motherless baby that grows up on a boat full of sailor men and writes an autobiography. If you're looking for something, umm, different when it comes to beach reads, this is it.

"Why you wouldn't believe it, ma'am, before that there dainty sea-robin come aboard, there wasn't one of us sailors that really knew how to cuss. We was just about as innocent a bunch of old shell-backs as ever reefed a gaff tops'l. She learned us how to swear ma'am. She learned us all the bad words we ever knew, bless 'er heart. She taught us how to drink, too, an' play poker, an' spit...I daresay there ain't a more hard-boiled crew afloat today...an' its all due to Skipper June."