Friday, December 7, 2012

unique LA 2012 - holiday edition

Another Unique LA holiday event has come and gone and, as in past year, the experience was a happy medium between giddy potential and occasionally disappointing reality. Nevertheless, there was plenty of imagination and delight in the year's offerings. A few standouts:

Frigate Ties

Inspired by the plumage of frigate birds, these clever ties involve threading the colourful back end into the black front end, resulting in a lively splash. These are made in LA, and if I wore ties I would definitely get one of these.


Conceived by LA-based Carlie Tracey, who was inspired by the desire to wear summer tops in cooler weather without freezing, Ch-Armz’ delivers a surprisingly nifty and chic idea: attachable sleeves, available in a variety of striking patterns.

Also, ballerina shrugs, with or without hoods and thumbholes.

Yes and Yes Designs

Oakland-based Laura Bruland offered a nifty blend of eco-consciousness and vintage style in jewelry cut and etched, via laser, from recycled books.

And for guys, or gals, with a predilection for dressy shirts, Laura also offered cufflinks. A tad pricey, perhaps, but definitely cool and unique.

Magic Industrie

Continuing the theme of recycled vintage is Magic Industrie. LA-based artisan Ryan Hansen uses old books to design and craft magic wallets – you know, the kind where you lay money, bills, or other papery bits on top of bands in the wallet, close the wallet, and presto, your stuff is secured. For $30, I bought myself a wallet with an Egyptian motif, and I'm stil

Human Tree Robot

Just about the closest thing to a fixture at these Unique LA events, artist Mark Brunner’s Human Tree Robot consists of beautiful hand-made artwork offered at affordable prices. And yes, the art features stylized humans, trees, robots, and combinations of the tree in a lush style that is serene, mysterious, and ever-so-modestly surreal. The only apparel for sale was a t-shirt with one of Mark’s robots, and after much hemming and hawing I decided to break my “absolutely no t-shirts” rule to buy it. The reason? After seeing a few fellows wandering the floors wearing jeans, t-shirts, and a blazer, I was inspired to give the t-shirt a try. I’ll post more about this style experience sometime soonish.

There was more. My wife found herself a purse and a steampunk-ish watch-mechanism pendant. And we found jams. Did I forget to mention jams? Oh, sure, the sweet stuff is not fashion, but SQIRL jams are too exquisite not to share with you. The Blenheim apricot preserves are especially phenomenal.

And that’s it for this year’s Unique LA. For more, check out

Note: All images borrowed from their respective websites under fair use for illustrative purposes only. They will be removed at the copyright holder's request.

3 comments: said...

I always wear a long sleeved top under my summer tops for winter! :)

Mica said...

Love your round up of it, sounds like a great event! Looking forward to reading how you get on with the tshirt.
The Ch'armz are a really fun idea too, perfect for cooler climates! :)

Frederik Sisa said...

That makes sense, Jessica. I suppose Ch*Armz is about the look without the layers.

Thanks, Mica. The Unique events are always interesting. There's a similar event called Renegade, but I have yet to go to one. In any case, it's nice to see fairs dedicated to local artisans with an eco/social consciousness at work.

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