JJ is one of those woman who wears prints like they were actually made for her – as though the eclectic patterns and bursts of colors on her wares were attracted to her equally as lively personality. Aside from her infectious disposition, she also has a way with words, a journalist by trade – she contributes more than basic copy for publications like Wallpaper and CN Traveler.
She recently debuted a cool line of (very her) re-printed vintage patterned frocks of varying lengths and simple shapes, called most appropriately, LaDoubleJ. When Erik and I visited her in Paris at Hotel Thoumieux, the setting was almost too perfect – so we had some fun playing dress up, large baubles and mini-shifts aplenty….
How would you describe your approach to style?
It’s deeply personal and connected to my sense of self and well-being. So it’s always changing and morphing. The one consistency is that I am very inspired by rich, saturated colors and naturally drawn towards ornamentation. So I love bold prints, extravagant embroideries and anything that give surface interest to clean-lined clothes. The same thing is true with my taste in furniture and interiors— clean lines and alot of commotion inside the rigour.
Since living in Milan, how has your wardrobe been influenced ?
I came as sort of a car crash from New York. I was already in love with color, pattern and vintage but my taste wasn’t very refined. Being in Italy and Milan in particular really helped train my eye and develop my taste. I’ve been interviewing fashion designers, furniture designers and architects for the last 15 years. I watched everyone and everything very carefully and sucked it all up.
Your outfits are an incredible marriage of bold prints/patterns! What’s your trick to mixing so well?
There needs to be order somewhere in the mayhem. So, you’ve either got to run with a color theme, or a graphic theme within the chaos. It also helps to keep shapes simple. That’s why these La DoubleJ Edition dresses we did with the Mantero silk archive all have very simple silhouettes. If you’re going to have a big vintage flower explosion, it’s best to keep the lines straight and narrow.
Do you have a favorite accessory right now?
A dark green crocodile bag that I call “The Office.” One of our first projects was to work with a tiny Italian brand called Parmeggiani to create our ideal handbag. I despise changing handbags so I designed this to house everything a travelling journalist could ever want: millions of pockets in the red leather lined interior, an internal zipped divider, a matching makeup bag, a matching computer case, a matching mini coin purse and matching business card holders. The whole thing can travel as a big dark green unit and then be broken down as necessary (I use the computer or cosmetic case as an evening clutch, and the business card holder can also be a mini wallet). I’ve used it nearly every day for 9 months.
Who is your fashion icon?
Adele Bloch Bauer— the woman in Gustav Klimt’s mesmerizing painting at the Neue Galerie in New York.
As a fashion writer and reviewer, you’ve seen just about everything and had to have an opinion on it. How has it influenced your personal style?
It’s made me realize that you absolutely 100% need to follow your own heart and do your own thing. I’ve been a maximalist forever— even when all of my clean Celine clad friends looked at me like I had 4 heads.
Do you have a go-to look or something equivalent to your “personal uniform” ?
I’m a dresser upper. A printed circle skirt is high on the list of repeat wearings. Flat pointed shoes. Never jeans. Never tennis shoes – but occasionally a pair of brilliant white Stan Smiths worn with formal pieces that need to be tamed for day.
When you travel for work, what do you always pack in your suitcase?
My wardrobe never changes whether I’m going to the office, out at night or abroad. I always wear the same things which is why everyone stares at me when I return home to Los Angeles (they’re wearing yoga pants and running shoes to a sushi dinner in Brentwood and I’m in Milanese regalia).
Would you say you have a signature beauty look?
Red or dark berry lips on clean skin with a tiny line of black eyeliner and mascara. No eyeshadow or blush situation ever. That just confuses everything.
What is your most prized item in your wardrobe?
An Ugo Correani medallion necklace that he designed in the early 1990s for Gianni Versace. My husband bought this for me from a dealer who had stumbled upon the contents of Correani’s entire shuttered atelier in Milan. This was the start of the LaDoublej.com adventure. From there, I started following a treasure hunt of other signs and opportunities until I launched the website.
Green Jacket , Gem ; Dress, LaDoubleJ Editions / Orange dress and scarf , LaDoubleJ Editions; Strappy flat, Gianvito Rossi / Flat Mule Slide, CB Made in Italy / (Black and white dress worn as shirt) , LaDoubleJ Editions; Yellow & black skirt, no. 21; Shoes, Prada ; Grey bag, Valextra
Vintage jewelry throughout .