Recap from our BARE Trunkshow

Thanks again to all our friends who made it out to our BARE trunkshow last Thursday!  We had a great time hanging with the designers, and of course checking out their never-before-seen Fall collection of bags, which was released to the public at our soiree.  Be sure to look for more great things coming from this Colorado brand, and in the mean time check out pics from our event, courtesy of Goldyn’s Sarai Nissan :)

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BARE founders Justin Biel and Grason Ratowsky

BARE founders Justin Biel and Grason Ratowsky

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Goldyn Rule / To Be Bright

We love blogger To Be Bright’s styling of the A.P.C. Etroit Cropped Jean in Indigo and Gem and Blue Custom Dog Tag Necklace, both available at Goldyn. Originally posted on To Be Bright (www.tobebright.com) on October 16, 2014.

Goldyn Rule / To Be Bright

Jeans & custom-plated jewelry are my shopping triggers and right now I’m having an obsession with waist-fitting trouser denim & dog tag neckwear. The fit is nothing but comfortable and the fact it has some hip structure makes it all the more pleasing to wear – especially with a pair of sneaks. As for the necklace situation, the dog tag is the new horizontal bar, at least in my mind. Of course, no one wants to spend expensively but here’s my reasoning for why jeans & custom necklaces are worth the extra buck for me.

When I can afford those designer pieces, I never get buyer’s regret because I know the quality I’m purchasing is worth the extra buck. As someone who’s looking to invest in things I will need to rely on for a few years – you know, when I’m broke in NYC working from dawn to dusk – I would like to know it will make it through a couple laundry cycles, so to speak. My #1 item I’ll spend the cash on is denim & custom jewelry; a great fit & a one of a kind piece = a great stylish life. That’s my motto.

You can purchase these A.P.C. jeans here and the Gem and Blue necklace here.

The BARE Facts: An Interview with Founder Justin Biel

If you can’t already tell how excited we are to showcase the super-cool bags by fellow Colorado natives BARE in their upcoming trunk show at Goldyn this Thursday, you’ve been warned…. They’re the perfect blend of functional design, art, and sustainability.  Goldyn’s own Julia Cardi sat down with BARE founder Justin Biel to talk about the collection, his inspirations, and just what exactly makes this line of bags and accessories so special.

Justin Biel of BARE

Justin Biel of BARE

JC: To start out, talk a little bit about BARE in general and how the line started.

JB: BARE started as a passion project.  Grason’s father had brought back a jute coffee sack from Costa Rica which had all these amazing prints on it and Grason was determining what kind of art project he wanted to do with the bag.  He really loved the story, texture, and idea that this bag had travelled all over the world and had a life to it and also saw value in what it could still become.  Grason watched some online sewing tutorials and built the first BARE tote prototype in one afternoon.  I saw the bag and absolutely loved what Grason had created, and the two of us decided this would be our new business.

JC: So what inspires a couple of guys to create a handbag line?

JB: We never looked at BARE with the vision of creating a handbag line.  For us, and especially Grason, everything is just art.  We were drawn to the idea of creating items that were unique, art driven, spoke to our love of travel and other cultures, and this expression came in the form of travel bags and accessories.

JC: I understand that BARE includes collections from a few different artists. Who are these artists, and what kind of aesthetic do they each bring to the line?

JB: With our Artist Collection we hand selected individuals from around the US who had beautiful contemporary abstract styles.  We chose Naomi Clark out of Brooklyn, NY, Jonni Cheatwood out of Pheonix, AZ, and our creative director Grason Ratowsky participated as the third artist.  Naomi was actually a friend of Grason’s who also grew up in Boulder, CO and now works at an art collective called Fort Maker’s in Brooklyn that is involved in a lot of public art projects, installations, and creates one of a kind art products.  Naomi has a very feminine abstract style with soft colors, and large sweeping brushstrokes.  Grason randomly found Jonni Cheatwood’s artwork and was immediately drawn to his style and thought it would fit well with his vision for the BARE Artist Collection.  Jonni does a lot of mixed media and painting.  His work is known for blending and mixing colors and typically has lots of layers.  Grason completed the artist trio and oversaw the entire vision for the collection from the conception of the idea to the creation of the bags, and oversaw the manufacturing, which led to our beautiful final product.

JC: What type of customer do you have in mind when you design the bags?

JB: Our customer is a versatile one – a person that enjoys artful products, that is drawn to items that are beautifully different, and someone that wants a bag to fit the constant flux and changes of their everyday life.  We focus a lot on people like ourselves – world travellers that want unique style and functionality in the bags that play such a huge part in their distinct personal journeys.

JC: BARE is all about sustainability in its production and materials. What does sustainability mean to you guys?

JB: Sustainability is the desire to make our products with materials and in manufacturing facilities where we lessen the negative impact we have on our environment.

JC: Is there anything about using sustainable processes that might surprise people? That might seem contrary to what people think of when they picture sustainable fashion?

JB: Sustainability does not mean a reduction in quality, craftsmanship, or innovative design.  Sustainability is a driving force for innovation in the fashion industry. It leads to the creation of new, beautiful textiles and apparel, and will continue to impact and alter the style and type of garments our world has access to for the better.

JC: Lastly, anything else you want people to know about BARE?

JB: You can expect products from BARE that are different, that tell stories, and that are produced with the intention to create value in the world.  Our products and our brand are a bit different, and that’s the way we like it.  In many ways at BARE we’re not trying to fit in, we’re trying to diverge.

Behind the Label: Get To Know BARE Artist Naomi Clark

Colorado-based BARE’s trunk show at Goldyn is fast approaching (we hope to see you all there this Thursday evening!), and as such we wanted to take a deeper look behind the scenes of this super cool bag and accessory label that fuses functional design and art…  Meet Naomi Clark, one of BARE’s key artists behind the limited edition Artist Collection.  Naomi hails from my own home town of Boulder too (and may or may not be rumored to have shared a prom limo ride with yours truly…funny how life always comes full circle, no?), though currently lives and works as an artist in Brooklyn.  If you haven’t RSVP’d to meet these fine folks and shop their latest colletion (plus get an exclusive 50% off the Artist Collection series!), you can do so here

Ryan Roche on Style.com

Ryan Roche perfectly blush palette for fall.

Ryan Roche perfectly blush palette for fall. Photo courtesy of Style.com

Goldyn’s favorite knit designer was recently featured on Style.com! We absolutely adore Ryan Roche’s pale palette and comfy knits for this fall. Roche revisits her childhood visions of the lulling colors in the Idaho sky that she beloved throughout her youth in her collection. Roche is a competitor for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund this year, among other accolades, and is sure to become a fashion favorite.

Stop by the Goldyn shop to get comfy in our stock of Ryan Roche sweaters or shop with us online here

A Look Behind the Scenes: Bare Handbags

We’re incredibly excited to announce that Colorado-based BARE handbags will be hosting a trunk show at Goldyn on Thursday, October 16th.  Get a sneak peek here through the eyes of BARE artist Grason Ratowsky, as we watch the process of creating their limited edition Artist Collection line (psst, which will be available at 50% off during our trunk show!).  Plus, come to shop the yet-to-be-released Fall collection, and meet the folks behind this incredible local company.

Editor Profile: Georgia Benjou, 5280

September means the prettiest foliage of the year, pumpkin spice lattes, and most importantly, shopping for new boots and sweaters. So recently I caught up with Georgia Benjou, venerable contributing fashion editor to Denver’s own 5280, to talk about the city’s style scene and this fall’s best trends.

Georgia has the personable demeanor and easy laugh you’d expect from a Colorado native, with none of the aloofness you’d expect from someone with a résumé that includes Chanel, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. After stints with some of fashion’s biggest houses that involved (several) trips to Paris and Milan each year, Georgia returned to Denver in 2002 for a quieter career. She connected with a 5280 editor and settled back into her home front. The rest, the cliché says, is history.

Georgia’s well-versed fashion past has kept 5280 a viable guide to the best of Denver’s style scene. So it’s with a discerning but unpretentious eye that Georgia weighs in on modern label mixing, how Denver fashion still surprises her, and too many pairs of boots (hint: no such thing).

Georgia's headshot

Georgia Benjou

As a contributing fashion editor of 5280, do you have a favorite part of the job?

I really like being on set, styling on photo shoots. The whole process of putting together a photo shoot is what I love – taking a point of inspiration, exploring it, and then working with a team to realize that. It’s always a different approach, depending on who the client is or where your inspiration point is; it’s always something new.

[In photo shoots], 5280 has taken a stand and wants the product to be locally available, and it’s interesting to see how big a spread that can be. But it’s still wearable clothing. It’s not all just runway fashion that you’ll never see in the store.

What have you found to be unique about Denver’s fashion scene, as compared to a larger city with a more established industry?

There are always stores that surprise me because of what they’re willing to branch out and take a risk on. When I first came back to Denver, there was a boutique carrying Yohji Yamamoto – they carried him for years. At the time I was seriously shocked; I would not put Yohji Yamamoto and Denver in the same sentence. But when you think about it, it totally makes sense in some ways for Denver because there are wearable pieces in his collection. There are a lot of things that are gently draped that you can wear with a cool pair of kicks, so you can definitely style it up.

And for Vanessa [Barcus], Helmut Lang works well for her; again, it’s a really modern collection that you can style up a bunch of different ways. I think that’s the key; Denver definitely has a relaxed sensibility to it. So that kind of progressive designer does well here, and I think that might surprise people.

I’ve gotten a little dismayed that from L.A. to New York to London, you see all the same stores now. It’s cool to see that Denver still has thriving local boutiques that hopefully will continue to take chances on progressive or new designers.

Sure, I’ve been to luncheons where I see women outfitted in Chanel, no doubt about it. But that’s a different [type of] person, and younger women today aren’t looking to wear Chanel head-to-toe; they’re looking to maybe take a bag and combine it with some cool Rachel Comey pieces. It’s all about how you mix it up. Having less loyalty, too, to a specific designer has really opened up that aspect of personal style.

Shop Georgia’s Essentials at Goldyn:

Do you think Denver has the potential to evolve into a more fashionable city overall?

It’s a really casual city, and I think people really prize their lifestyles here. It seems like people are either into sports, or they’re into fashion, and those two camps don’t speak. So it’s about educating people on how they can incorporate fashion into their daily lives. It’s getting people to explore their personal style more. Everyone can do a t-shirt-and-jean look here; we don’t need to show people how to wear that. Bumping that up to the next level is a bit more what people need.

What do you love about fall fashion? The season is coming up, and I think it’s everyone’s favorite for style.

Personally, I love the fall season because there’s so much more you can play with in terms of fabric. You’re not worried about staying cool, so you get to play with layering, especially luxurious wools and cashmeres; I also tend to enjoy the color palette more. I think this fall in particular is a super-strong season for outerwear and knitwear. I tend to live in knits, so I was excited to see that.

And I’m excited to see those designers who are really pushing the functional aspect of fashion. I always mention him, but Thomas Maier at Bottega Veneta – that’s one of the collections that always amazes me because it’s so wearable, and yet still so beautiful. I think Céline is the same way [even though] the price point is a whole separate story. And Rick Owens is in that category too – beautiful leather and knitwear pieces, totally wearable. It’s totally functional for modern living. So I think designers like that have really been exciting to watch.

What are some of your favorite fall trends that you’ve seen for this season in particular?

There’s a lot of beautiful knitwear this season – the very ‘70s-inspired sleek head-to-toe looks at Cèline, oversized chunky sweaters from The Row, and the tonal layers at Hader Ackermann. Whether it’s a flat, cable or ribbed kit, designers made it all about texture and tone this season.

Outerwear has been amazingly strong. There’s the shearling trend, obviously; the blanket coats, the capes; there’s just such a huge variety of outerwear pieces that were shown. Figure out what piece really works for you and your wardrobe; a shearling piece can easily translate from city to mountains, while, say, an oversized cape in winter white is the perfect city topper. I think everyone’s been anticipating another cold winter!

Then there are all the op-art prints in high-wattage color and graphic print. My favorites were at Dries Van Noten and cut in feminine shapes. It’s not something I would personally wear, but if it speaks to you and you can pull off this kind of a trend, all of that color and pattern will look amazing in the middle of winter.

On her personal style and the merits of a minimalist aesthetic…

[Minimalism] is a lot of what I do with my own wardrobe, and I think what I really like about it is you can always buy something that makes more of a statement, and still incorporate it into your closet. But the core of your wardrobe is really easy day-in, day-out to change up; it’s easy to travel with. I’m all about having a more pared-back and multi-functional wardrobe.

This season, are there any pieces you’re looking forward to buying?

I’d love a great mid-weight parka; I definitely am in need of something that’s more of a transitional piece. And new boots. (Laughs) Every time fall rolls around, I can always make excuses as to why I need a pair (or two or three) of boots. And again, I’ll probably invest in some more knitwear.

Those are my bigger pieces I’m looking at. More specific than that, I haven’t decided yet. I’m late – when the rest of the serious fashion people are shopping, when all the fall collections just ship, I find that I’m so busy working on photo shoots and writing online content that I have now become the late shopper (laughs).

Shop Georgia’s Essentials at Goldyn (again):

Are there any trends you’re not so keen on, whether it’s stuff that won’t be in fashion anymore because the weather is going to get colder, or something you’ve seen for fall that you don’t think is great?

Some of it doesn’t really seem like a “trend”. Every season rolls around, and in the fashion magazines, it’s “animal prints are in, metallics are in.” And I’m like, “OK, I’ve seen metallics for the last five years.” (laughs) But I don’t think there’s anything I thought was really awful.

Although I would say that platforms and body-con dresses, if you’re still wearing those kinds of pieces, feel really off-trend for the season. Sexiness this season is more languid, like at Altuzarra.

Then finally, season-specific or not, what are your wardrobe essentials?

In my wardrobe, I definitely would say go-to’s are my jackets, whether it’s a boyfriend cut, or a classic Chanel jacket…they’re great pieces you can play with, especially if you have a really casual wardrobe. Having something tailored that you can add and instantly dress an outfit up is a great way to maximize your closet.

Even though designers are trying to get us out of our skinnies, I have a pair of skinny black wool Jason Wu pants I adore. I especially love wearing them in the evening, because sometimes a cocktail dress feels a little frumpy to me. I even have a pair of black satin palazzo pants. I’ll pair them with a T-shirt or sweater during the day, or a silk tank top for evening.

Definitely boots of all varieties – short boots, ankle boots, tall boots – I’m big on them. I love wearing my ankle boots even in the summer on those days when it’s not stinking hot. They look cool with little dresses, skirts, jeans.

My wardrobe is so particular to me. You know how fashion authorities say that everyone needs a classic white cotton shirt – well, I don’t have a classic white cotton shirt in my wardrobe and I don’t need it (laughs).

Finally I think jewelry can really define an outfit. The way you mix it is so personal. You can buy fun pieces that you have for a season or two, and then you have the really special pieces. Some of those are investment pieces that you buy; some of them have been handed down through your family. I love mixing [high-end] jewelry with costume…I have a lot of vintage jewelry from my grandmother and her sisters, so I have a lot of [pieces] from the ‘20s and ‘30s. I think jewelry is one of the most personal ways to adorn yourself; the more eclectic the better, because that’s what makes anyone’s jewelry collection cool. Of course, Goldyn carries some amazing jewelry designers like The Woods, Selin Kent and Communion by Joy.

Shop (even more of) Georgia’s Essentials at Goldyn:

Interview with King Dude

Hello all – my name is Sarai Nissan and I just started as an employee as Goldyn. I’m a photography student with a penchant for all things spooky. My first post on the Goldyn blog is an interview with the prolific Thomas (TJ) Cowgill, the body behind King Dude and one half of the clothing line Actual Pain. Here we chat about dying young, the occult, his artistic influence and other eerie dearies such as the jeweler JL Schnabel of Bloodmilk, the fashion brand Ovate and Flying Coffin, musicians like Grave Babies and Denver’s own Munly as well as Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and much, much more.

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Thomas (TJ) Cowgill: Do you have a predisposition that makes you think you might die?

Sarai Nissan: Honestly, I think it’s because I have no interest in getting so old to the point that I can’t do what I like to do, I think that’s mostly why I don’t intentionally plan on living to be very old but that’s kind of morbid.

TC: Well, I know what you mean, but part of it is though, as you get older your interests change so vastly and you take on a different archetype of the same person.

SN: I agree, do you think you are going to keep doing King Dude and Actual Pain when you’re eighty?

TC: No, all things must come to an end. Those things will end in due time I suppose. I would like to think that Actual Pain can continue on with somebody else but it’s hard to find someone who shares my vision exactly. King Dude is a different thing and that will end. The whole thing about King Dude too is that it’s about creating an image and creating an aesthetic. But there is definitely a very religious aspect to King Dude and I am definitely a very spiritual person who believes in a lot more than what is here.

SN: What brought you into that aesthetic of the dark and occult in King Dude and Actual Pain?

TC: Nothing that I do is intentionally dark, I don’t think of it as dark but I do realize that is appears to be dark. What I tend to talk about is regular life stuff that is changed up a bit. I have had a fascination with the esoteric worlds and the hidden meaning of all religion and cults and anything that reveals the higher truth.

SN: Have there been any specific influences, not just musically, within King Dude or Actual pain that struck you in other mediums?

TC: Yeah! For example the Psychic Recovery Institute line that I designed, I was really into Dione Fortune’s book Psychic Self Defense. In my music you can draw really quick parallels from other artists and I don’t mind at all.

SN: How is it working with Emily Denton (of Stickers) on Actual Pain as opposed to King Dude being primarily your project?

TC: It’s great. She encourages me to do King Dude and I encourage her to pursue what she wants to become. She is also a seer and knows what people want. It was her idea to do leggings for example and I was like “I don’t think people want leggings.” Sure enough they did. In regards to King Dude it has always been my thing but I have had great help from a great many people who believe in us.

SN: Denver is considered an “up and coming” city in regards to music and art, how is that “scene” in Seattle comparatively or just in general?

TC: Denver has some really great bands that have stayed for a really long time. Seattle is more transient; bands tend to leave or people that are very talented. [In regards to Denver] Wovenhand. Sixteen-Horse Power, and there is Munly who does that other group Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. Slim’s son plays in The Sterling Sisters.

SN: Yeah! With Scout [Pare-Phillips]

TC: Yeah, with Scout. There is just a vast array of talent in a place like that, but you guys I think [Denver] are weirder than Seattle. I absolutely love my city and my friends that play in bands there, like Grave Babies and Stickers, Emily’s band, are amazing bands.

SN: For anybody who is interested in Actual Pain or King Dude what are some other groups or brands that you think they would also enjoy?

TC: I think the people I will be releasing records for [Not Just Religious Music] and working with Chelsea Wolfe has been a great pleasure. I’m doing a record for Foie Gras out of San Francisco, this band from Philadelphia called Dreadlords, a seven-inch for this band Bain Wolfkind.

TC: I like brands like Black Scale from Oakland also Flying Coffin from Seattle, he was very helpful the coaching needed to do my own clothing line.   And I love Ovate from Montreal, it’s very high fashion but her aesthetic and her ability to craft what she makes is really incredible. Also Jess, who makes Bloodmilk..

SN: Yes, Jess is so lovely.

TC: Yeah, her stuff is just incredible, and if you see how she makes it, I guess I like people who are very hands on in their process; all of these people that I have mentioned are very hands on and care a very great deal about what they’re doing. I don’t know too much about any other newer brands but I guess that would be it. I’m sure there’s more, I’m sure I’m missing someone. [Laughs] I could regret that later.

SN: [Laughs] I’m sure it’ll be fine. Thank you so much for talking with me, it was nice chatting!

TC: Of course! It was nice to meet you.

Be sure to check out King Dude‘s show this Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, at Larimer Lounge: 2721 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205

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Sweater Weather Has Arrived

Though every season in our home state of Colorado is undeniably pretty fantastic in its own right, Fall is hands down our favorite here at Goldyn.  Between the leaves gleaming gold and red, the nostalgic feeling of going back to school (ok fine, reality check: we’re not going back to school.  Even if you aren’t, though, one can’t help but feel the pull…), and that slight crisp chill in the air as the sun goes down, it’s a handsome season.  Plus, you know what that means, sartorially speaking: sweater weather.  Swoon!  Below are a few of our favorite new cozy knit arrivals, which include some key trends for the season like dolman sleeves, furry knits, cropped fits and oversized shapes.  Enjoy!

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Some of our favorite Fall sweaters… Clockwise from top right: Iro, Ryan Roche, and Helmut Lang

Behind the Scenes: Flight to Luxury

This past weekend one of the biggest charity benefits and Denver fashion events of the season took place – Flight To Luxury, a hangar party and runway show that benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.  We’re big fans of the Boys and Girls Club here at Goldyn, and so when we were asked to present on the runway we were more than happy to help.  The only downside of working so many runway shows, however, is that we rarely get to actually see any of our shows ourselves (wah wah, I know I know)…. From what we heard and were able to peek at it was a beautiful event, and we were pleased to hear that a lot of money was raised.  Here, though, is a peek at the way we view runway shows – behind the scenes.

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Ready for takeoff…making our debut on the red carpet at Flight to Luxury, pre-event

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Backstage with the hair and makeup team

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Goldyn’s opening look, just before heading out on the runway, featuring Oak and Andrea Li jewelry

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More Goldyn looks before hitting the runway, featuring Helmut Lang, Rachel Comey and Zoe Twitt

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Backstage craziness before the show