I visited Los Angeles for the second time this year, and perhaps this will not be the last. It proved to be a most fruitful visit and as I continue to take small steps towards discovering more of who Atelette is and what makes her, well Her. I am also gaining more and more confidence in myself. For quite a while I have felt like an imposter. Well, a certain part of me still feels this way, and perhaps that will never truly go away. But after this trip, I feel it in my bones, in the most sure way, that I know I can do this. I know I can create this brand, I know I can design and have created the garments that dance around in my dreams. This trip has been very affirming.
We stayed in charming guest house in Altadena with the most beautiful courtyard garden that looked as if it was plucked straight out of the Mediterranean. Not that I've ever been there, but it's exactly how I imagined a garden there would look. Before we checked in, we stopped at Altadena Beverage & Market where we got some simple provisions for breakfast. Can never go wrong with some cured meats, olives, and French brie, can you?
A most serendipitous thing happened while we stayed in the cottage. There were hundreds of books and there and the first one I pulled, "Women in Love" by D.H. Lawrence, contained an old piece of paper folded up and upon opening it, I realized it was my favorite poem written down. I'm not really one who looks for signs in my life, but when one smacks me right in the face, I pay attention! I mean, what are the chances?
I had lunch with my friend Whitney, who also designs and has her own label and her own shop, and it is always so good to meet up with her and catch up on life and work. We have been friends for a while, I first met her when I lived in Los Angeles and wandered into her pink and red hued shop, Myrtle, in Silver Lake.
After our various business meetings, we went out and had a celebratory dinner at the most charming little French restaurant, Loupiotte Kitchen, where I also got to meet its equally charming owner, Sarah. You know sometimes you meet people and instantly feel a kinship with their inner spirit and you really ought to be friends? Does this ever happen to you? I felt this way about Sarah. Maybe she felt the same about me. I love meeting passionate, kindhearted, salt of the earth people who I can tell carry the things they love and care for on their sleeves. It makes me very curious about them and I find it very endearing.
In the evenings we went for walks around the lovely neighborhood we were staying in. It is one of my favorite pastimes actually, to go for long walks in neighborhoods where all the homes have their own personalities and admiring all the different gardens and landscaping styles. During one evening I found a very large nearly perfect pinecone, actually it's quite all together perfect, so I took it back home with me. It now holds space on a midcentury cabinet I have along side pebbles, seashells, and tiny bits of driftwood.
During this trip we also had a bit of time to revisit some of my favorite vintage shops that I used to haunt back when I lived in LA. The vintage scene is a bit different now but was truly happy to visit The Way We Wore by Doris Raymond. I purchased several gorgeous vintage finds that will be inspiration for future chapters of Atèlette. I am particularly very excited about a late 1920s cotton embroidered day dress which I can envision with some modern updates to make it a bit more wearable for modern day.
I arrived back in the studio full of ideas and with many new contacts to circle back with. The journey continues and each day I find that I am becoming more and more acquainted with who Atèlette is, though quite aware she's taking her time to reveal herself entirely, and perhaps I will never fully know her, but just enough to be enraptured.
R O D E L L E E