Aspire To Inspire

MAKING OLD NEW AGAIN: LA’S BLISS AND MISCHIEF

I’m very excited to share with you a new project that my friend Hillary Justin (of prior Just Say Native fame) just launched called Bliss and Mischief. Hilary has been in the fashion industry in Los Angeles for quite awhile and you will always see her in the mix of any vintage apparel happening around town. She knows whats up and she takes risks. I love this girl and her new line of embroidered re-purposed vintage clothing is dreamy and so right up my alley. When I was in LA a few weeks ago, I was able to visit her cute studio on the east side of town and find out more about her new vintage venture.

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Hillary sitting outside of her studio

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The biggest saguro I’ve ever seen sits in her backyard

Hillary is a girl after my own heart. She loves kimonos, indigo, vintage Levi’s and army jackets. Um hello, this is my favorite uniform. She grew up with a mother that loved fashion and had fun with fashion which gave Hillary a great sense of perspective on design and color. She has used this influence in her designs throughout her career as a designer for various contemporary labels in Los Angeles. For Bliss and Mischief, she wanted to do something that was inspired by authenticity and her roots and looked to her colorful Uncle Phil for inspiration.

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Uncle Phil

Uncle Phil has been living in New Orleans for most of his life and is one colorful character. As you see in his look above, he is inspired by the southwest as well as Heritage western wear. He is certainly not afraid of color and his collection of old western chainstitch embroidery is beyond anything you can imagine. Uncle Phil’s perspective on fashion has inspired Hillary throughout her life and with Bliss and Mischief she is finally able to fully express her perspective on design and heritage goods.

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“Bliss and mischief makes life better… The peach skin shades of a love worn camp blanket…a few yards of deep indigo mud cloth, faded by 80 years of African sun…the swans down softness of a 1970s vintage white tee…the textured sensuality of a Japanese Boro kimono…Uncle Phil down in NOLA, struttin’ his stuff in funk and flash chain-stitch Western wear – these were the building blocks for the birth of Bliss And Mischief.” 

“I started by acting very instinctually,” explains BAM designer and founder Hillary Justin, ” and thinking about what was feeling interesting or new to me.  From those starting points, I had a color story that I was in love with – shades of blue and shades of pink. Then I added in some army green in the form of reworked Vietnam-era military jumpsuits.  The palette had me thinking about the colors of the desert and this epic, ‘I-don’t-know-how-old or how-tall’ cactus in my backyard”.

Inspired by this ancient cactus, as well as sun bled shades of Joshua Tree and the vivid embroidered details of classic Western kitsch, Justin began to rework vintage fabrics and classic pieces into pieces that feel simultaneously modern and nostalgic. The line consists of reworked vintage pieces including Japanese Kimonos, military jackets and jumpsuits, tshirts and Levi’s 501′s. She got the idea for embroidering on the pieces directly from her Uncle Phil’s closet and wanted to do it in a modern way. Uncle Phil introduced her to a talented group of folks that are still using this vintage embroidery technique and she is very happy to be helping them keep this old technique alive.

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 All of the embroidered jeans and jackets are custom ordered allowing the customer to pick which design they want on the vintage jeans and jackets that fit them. Her price points for the embroidered pieces start around $348 and go up according to the design and colors used.

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Hillary moved to California to study sculpture (one of her pieces here), but soon got into clothing design instead.

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A big fan of Japanese boro and textiles, Hillary features a few amazing kimonos in her collection. Created using vintage textiles, this item really gets me excited. The perfect jacket in every way…lightweight and versatile and just the right amount of vintage flair. I’m obsessed. The details inside the jacket and the horsehair tassel really sends me over the edge…in the best way possible.

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For now, you can only get Bliss and Mischief by ordering direct through her website and waiting patiently for each item to be created for you. I’d recommend getting on it sooner than later as this collection is surely to blow up soon and create a gigantic waiting list.

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I’m so excited to see where this collection goes and I can’t wait to get my hands on a piece of Bliss and Mischief. Everything about it is so right and so fresh. Hillary has a great perspective and I thoroughly connect to her fashion sensibility. Make sure you go and visit her very well put together website and be sure to follow her on instagram, her feed is really beautiful and inspiring from all design perspectives.

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