Today is summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere) - the longest day of the year. It's officially summer. Kapha season is over, and we may be ready for beaches, barbecues, and fun in the sun. Well, maybe not. I have been feeling incredibly inward lately. Perhaps because I miss the ocean while living landlocked in the desert, which is a new experience for me. Or perhaps it’s because we are entering Cancer season, and I'm feeling like I need a crab shell right now. Regardless, it has been a whirlwind of a time with many shifts and a bit of chaos. Finding comfort is a year-round task, not reserved just for cold months. Yet in the summer, we generally want to transform comfort into ease. Fluidity. Movement. Effortlessness. Life does not always give this to us; however, we can use our objects and surroundings intentionally, in order to pause and practice presence (with ease). Here are some objects to practice with, as well as a playlist for fluidity and perhaps some fun. I've included a suggested practice in the first featured item of this round-up, and you can browse the Holiday Self-Care Guide for more rituals ideas here.
Observe a work of art. Whether it’s a piece you own hanging in your home, or a work pictured in a book, sit with it for 20 minutes. Set the timer. Allow yourself to be in an awareness state, which means that you will be observing what comes up without judgement. This is a neutral practice. Journal after the experience. I suggest doing this once a week with the same work for one month, so that you can track the evolution of your experience.
I first tried on Nu Swim four years ago at one of my staple Los Angeles stores, Passenger. It was my favorite and most-worn suit until it unfortunately went missing in Palm Springs on my way to NM in the fall. After originating in California, Nu Swim is now based in New York and manufactured sustainably in the USA. Their pieces are made with regenerated synthetics, mixed with natural materials "that can be worn as an uncomplicated second skin." Their fabrics are incredibly comfortable, durable, and truly feel like second skin. I’ve been loving the new color-ways, and this specific suit gives that pop of liveliness I’ve been feeling I need right now. Wear it to the beach/pool/river, or under your favorite pair of slouchy denim.
Winden is a jewelry and accessories company by my dear friend, Becca. I own the barrette shown above (that’s actually me pictured in it), and I wear it on the regular. It's the perfect small accessory for summer to keep hair off of the face when dealing with the heat. Winden is based here in Santa Fe, and every piece of jewelry is made my hand using recycled materials. The barrettes are made in France using plant-based plastic. Becca is a true artist and not only designs the pieces herself, but also works with her hands using metal and stone to create the original designs. I often find her working in her studio when I go to visit her at home. She is meticulous as they come, and I respect and honor her process. Browse more items here.
I came across Lady White Co. while shopping in County Ltd. in Silver Lake. I got to know one of the founders, Taylor, a bit because I frequented the store. I love to support businesses owned by people who are not only passionate about what they do, but who also live by the lifestyle they are prescribing. The brand started off as a t-shirt company, and has since expanded into sportswear. I own one of their tees and hope to acquire some more pieces. The sweatpants shown above are made of 100% cotton fleece and perfect for chilly summer nights here in Santa Fe. The thermal is also 100% cotton and milled in Los Angeles. It's rare to find basics made in interesting silhouettes, and this is something I value, as my wardrobe is made of transitional basics. All of their pieces can easily be unisex.
Klur is a female, black-owned “botanically based collection of high-performance skincare and multi-purpose self-care products.” The founder, Lesley, who also happens to be a dear friend of mine, formulated the line based on her clients. She's been a working esthetician for 10 years and has a wealth of knowledge on every ingredient in her line. Klur is not only an ethical and sustainable company, but also an inclusive one. All products are unisex and made for all people of all ages. Here is an excerpt from their site: "we believe that sustainability not only means addressing the long-term impact on our ecosystem but that we must also make products that meet the demands of everyday life." I love this. There is no point in accumulating and accumulating products that aren’t meant for everyday use. Klur is a highly active, yet simple approach to clean beauty. I use the Gentle Matter cleanser and Symmetry Fluid every single day. The Skin Soil pictured above is the perfect addition to a summer skin routine, in order to remove excess residue from sweat. I hope to incorporate this gentle exfoliator as well as the Brilliant Light serum into my routine soon.
I love a good summer knit. There may be no better feeling than drying off after a dip in the ocean or a pool as the sun is setting and pulling a knit over your swimsuit. Ply Knits “is a series of gentle, essential knitwear made by Carolyn Yim at her family's third-generation factory.” Carolyn uses mostly recycled or deadstock yarn to make Ply’s beautiful pieces. The simplicity and attention to detail in each piece is enviable. The Eastern T-Shirt, shown above, comes in a few different color combinations. Browse more here.
Shaina Mote is one of my absolute favorite fashion brands. This female-owned and designed company creates the most effortlessly elegant pieces that feel current yet timeless. I gasped when I saw this sheer top on my Instagram feed, as the introduction to the Air Collection, made of deadstock silk organza and satins. Shaina Mote is a sustainable brand and all pieces are designed and made in Los Angeles. They “are dedicated to fair, American made production," and “have centered [their] ethos and practices around supporting the local economy and nurturing the trades and skills found within domestic garment manufacturing." Enough said (or rather, written).
I love the name of the ceramics studio, Salad Days, because it shares the name of an album title with one of my favorite artists, Mac Demarco. Salad Days Ceramics are handmade by Lucy Coote in Berhampore, Wellington. She makes wheel thrown and hand built pieces in her home studio, with a focus on function and tactility, in order to create pieces for everyday use and enjoyment. All pieces are made from stoneware and earthenware clays. These jugs are simple and stunning and perfect for cold summer drinks.
F. Miller Skincare is owned by my dear friend, Fran Miller. Yes, I have a lot of dear friends, and three of them are featured here today. My friends make cool shit. This past fall, Fran sent me one of her tie dye tees made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton. I basically live in it. She uses natural materials to dye them with, such as sandalwood and avocado skins. Each tee is one of a kind, and I featured the Marfa above. Also browse her amazing line of skin/beauty care.
Don’t forget to listen to the playlist here.