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Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

I’m exploring a new style direction right now that’s a mash-up of a bunch of different influences — it’s a dash of Desperado, a dash of French with jaunty ribbons from fashion houses worn as chokers, a dash of modern cowgirl (I’m always on the lookout for more western-inspired pointy boots and cool belts) and a dash of avant garde with streamlined, modern black clothing.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

This new direction came directly from the inspiration I felt during a recent vacation in Vegas. It sprung from a combination of the hot weather, visiting Red Rock Canyon for the first time, five solid days spent dressing up with best friends and stopping into shops to pick up a few new things along the way including a big, black brimmed hat.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

For me, style directions are a way to explore creativity in a new way — instead of sitting behind the computer designing, I’m encouraged to dig through my wardrobe and pull together combinations of things that I may have forgotten about and give them a new life. It’s an excuse to have an adventure with getting dressed instead of reaching for the same old uniform of a leather jacket, sneakers, skinny jeans and t-shirt.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Most directions I’m inspired by start off with one point of inspiration and evolve from there. I love looking back to see how it all comes together. Maybe it’s partially based on a particular purchase or maybe it stems from the style you spot on a musician or the colors from a piece of art.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Mine started with needing a hat to wear by the pool in the very harsh Vegas sun. Then, I grabbed a black bodysuit at Urban Outfitters when I forgot to pack enough black shirts. Then, Gala had the idea to wear the ribbons from our shopping splurges as chokers.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Here’s some inspiration for the style direction: 1. bandana, 2. belt, 3. fringe jacket, 4. girl in hat, 5. bell sleeve dress, 6. straw hat, 7. booties, 8. fringe skirt, 9. choker, 10. tassel keychain, 11. zip bodysuit and 12. Chanel ribbon.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Playing dress-up as an adult is so underrated!

P.S. The best part about the pink backdrop with roses is that it was a happy accident. My brother set it up in our dining room to shoot a country band that was touring through Portland and when they couldn’t make it at the last minute, I convinced him to leave it up!

I wore: Zara skirt (old), Forever 21 hat, Urban Outfitters bodysuit, The Horse watch and Vic Matie boots.

A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam: The Ultimate WTF Moment in The Netherlands!

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

When I visited Amsterdam, my first day was spent doing the usual touristy stuff — walking along canals, eating cheese and snapping photos of the gaggles of bikes. That day of sightseeing, while beautiful, also felt a bit cliché. I wanted more.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

That night, I went home and keyed Amsterdam into Pinterest (my favorite method for figuring out what’s cool in a city — for those of us that are more visual, it’s a goldmine of must-see sights). I knew there had to be something out there that was slightly wacky and not too far outside of the city. I only had to scroll for five seconds before the answer was in front of me: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

This wasn’t just any hotel, though. Located in Zaandam, a town just twelve minutes from the center of Amsterdam, the façade was made up of 70 stacked traditional Dutch houses. Completely mind-boggling. The hotel was right next door to the train station (convenient!) and featured a restaurant that overlooked the canal. Though we didn’t stay there, the rooms are gorgeous, featuring scenes of Dutch history across the walls.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Yes, it was absolutely worth the tram ride to visit this architectural marvel. If you’re making a quick trip like I did, there are tons of restaurants and shops surrounding the train station so it’s ideal to tie it in with lunch or dinner. And when you run out of ideas for posing in front of this crazy place… just dance.


I wore: ASOS striped scuba dress, Crown and Glory Rachel floral ears and Marc by Marc Jacobs sneakers.
Photos: Kerry Murray.

Location: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”  —Lauren Bacall

Our faces convey so much about us and I love that this dress is covered in them — a graphic, collage-style mixture of those both famous and unknown.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco

These photos were shot in our self-described haunted mansion in San Francisco and the dress felt right at home, surrounded by a mix of zany artwork.

These are a few of my favorite head and face-focused objects: 1. Mickey skull, 2. Folter faces dress, 3. face mug, 4. Fornasetti pillow, 5. male and female vases, 6. Jonathan Adler pitcher, 7. Jonathan Adler vase, 8. Fornasetti plate, and 9. Phrenology head bank.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Face-Off in San Francisco


I wore: Folter faces dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs sneakers and Forever 21 belt.
Photos: Kristin Cofer.

The Week In Pictures: 7.27.12

week in pictures

week in pictures

Welcome to The Week In Pictures! It’s been another long, looooong week but things ended on a personal high note when this tweet came through bright and early this morning. My biggest and most challenging personal project to date is finally in existence! And, it has a spine! Much more details about the design and production process is coming very, very soon!

Onto other news: not to sound completely overdramatic (ha!) but my office is now exactly the way I always dreamed of. What changed? I picked up another set of flat files over the weekend at IKEA and that one addition allowed me to really, truly get my space organized. If you’re wondering what exactly flat files are and why they’re useful, I’ll be sharing more in post next week.

week in pictures

Over the weekend, Joey was walking home and spotted a palm tree that our neighbor was getting rid of. It was a solid 8 feet tall but that didn’t stop him from lifting it onto a skateboard and pushing it home! He got some good double-takes for sure. Out back yard is beginning to morph into a tropical paradise and I love it!

week in pictures

I defaulted to two of my favorites this week: studs and stripes. I’m wearing an H&M striped tunic, Zara skirt with gold zippers and my trusty TBA wedge sneakers.

week in pictures

I joined Auntie Nubs for dinner last night and she surprised me with an oversized newsletter from Eileen Fisher that’s simply called &. The type throughout is so beautiful in its simplicity.

week in pictures

Like I said, I just got super major organized. I love being able to find everything I need in an instant.

week in pictures

Grid Index is my latest design obsession. Featuring the most intricate, stunning grids, each page is a subtly patterned masterpiece. Best of all, it comes with a disc so you can instantly access every single pattern featured in the book. I’m already dreaming up a few ways to use them in upcoming projects.

Have an amazing weekend! I’ll be working around the house and watching the Olympics in the background. Feels good to chill out and enjoy the last few days of July.

A Beginner’s Guide to Paris

week in pictures

Photo by Juliane Berry


In February, I had my first ever Parisian experience and I thought it would be helpful to share what I learned along the way. When you’re traveling into unknown territory for the first time, it’s easy to make assumptions based on your past experiences. No matter how many guide books you read, there are always little surprises. Keep an open mind — cultures as a whole are in perpetual motion and experiences vary so widely that no book can accurately sum up what to expect.


So without further ado, when in Paris:

1. It’s okay to not be fluent in French but knowing a few basics will get you far.

I am terrible at French. Between Gala and guidebooks, I was able to pick up the absolute necessities including Bonjour (Good morning / good day), Salut (Hello), Merci (thank you), Au revoir (goodbye), and most importantly, Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?). What I quickly realized is that if you are friendly and make an effort to greet the French in their native language, then follow up with Parlez-vous anglais?, most citizens will quickly gather that you’re an American and switch over to speaking English.

2. The old stereotype that the French are rude and unhelpful is not necessarily true.

Before visiting France, I was warned by other Americans that the French might be off-putting. I was prepared for the worst but found the exact opposite to be true. People in the street stopped and assisted us with directions. Shopkeepers smiled and were more than helpful. Waiters took the time to answer our questions about items on the menu. I can honestly say that I didn’t have a single negative experience.

I think that our experience was directly related to the image that we projected: we dressed up, were polite, tried to address everyone in French and demonstrated an overall appreciation of the French culture. If you show up in khaki shorts and dirty sneakers, are loud and obnoxious and don’t make any effort to speak French, you probably will be met by cold, sneering attitudes. And really, you’d have only yourself to blame.

3. If you want to blend in, dress simply and wear mostly black.

I had an image of how the French would dress and well….I was wrong. I arrived in Paris sporting my Rick Owens jacket, Wolford Bondage tights and sky-high wedges only to realize that the French are much more conservative. Perhaps I would be dressed to blend in if it was 2050. Parisians are much better put together than Americans overall, yet never come across as gaudy or too done up. They are chic in a classic, understated way. Wardrobes I saw on the street and in the shops were mostly black and gray with the occasional burst of red.


week in pictures


4. It is not usually acceptable to eat on the street.

In America, we are used to eating on the go. Time is money and wasted time is considered the bane of our existence. In Paris, the pace of life is much slower. Food and coffee are meant to be enjoyed. Always take the time to sit down at a café whenever possible and avoid stuffing your face in public. There is a wave of change slowly rippling through French society though, most notably through the influx of Starbucks. As is customary in America, coffee is prepared in to-go cups.

Note: sometimes, avoiding eating in public just isn’t possible. When Gala and I got sandwiches to go at a café one day, there were 20+ empty tables yet they were all reserved. In the end, we were forced to sit in a doorway in an alley to eat lunch. Not so classy.


week in pictures


5. Always keep Euros on hand.

Not every business (especially small shops and cafés off the main thoroughfare) accepts credit cards. Even if they do, be prepared to have an additional 1% to 3% foreign service charge tacked onto the total by your bank.

6. Pack sensible shoes.

Have a pair of footwear on hand that is tried-and-true, something that you can easily walk a few miles in without any issues. Paris is HUGE. And with arrondissements (neighborhoods) totaling 20, expect to do a ton of walking. This isn’t New York where a cab happens to be on every corner; you must be self-sufficient.

7. In restaurants, asking for a ‘doggie bag’ of your leftovers is uncommon.

Eat what you can. Nothing more, nothing less. If you ask for your leftovers to go, chances are that the waiter won’t understand what you mean — this is the exact opposite of America, where if you don’t want your scraps to go, the waiter thinks you didn’t enjoy your meal.


week in pictures

Photo by Juliane Berry


8. Don’t be intimidated by the Metro.

The Metro is very inexpensive, costing less than two Euros to ride. The ticket machines have an English language option and the lines are not only clearly labeled but also color coded. After my first few times, the whole process felt downright easy. If you get lost, most of the counter attendants speak English.


week in pictures


9. Pack a converter!

Before I left, I bought a plug-in converter for about $10.00 so that I could use my laptop, straightening iron, etc. overseas. Most of Europe runs on the same converter.

10. Watch your belongings closely along popular tourist destinations.

We walked miles a day throughout various neighborhoods and felt very safe. The only time any issues arose were when we visited popular tourist destinations. Two men approached us at the Arc de Triomph and forcefully asked to see our cameras, a woman tried to pull a ‘gold ring trick’ while we were in a popular, highly trafficked shopping area and finally, a man tried to stop us at the Eiffel Tower. These are all places you’d expect to be hassled. While in these areas, I made sure that my purse was locked and crossed over my body and kept my camera tucked away as much as possible. Use common sense and chances are that you’ll avoid the good ol’ pick-pocket.

11. Since your phone probably won’t work overseas, always pack a map.

Remember that you can’t just turn on your phone halfway across the world and expect it to work. Clearly write down your hotel name and address as well as any other destinations you may need — a taxi driver can usually read the information and safely get you to your destination. A basic map is a necessity. And remember, internet connections overseas can be ridiculously slow.


week in pictures


12. Expect business hours to be wildly inconsistent.

Parisian shopkeepers are not on duty to cater to your every whim. Without warning, they may deem a three hour lunch completely necessary. Don’t expect set hours ever, especially for small shops. On Sundays, most businesses are closed. Gala and I arrived in Paris on a Sunday and the cafés that were open were packed. We finally gave up hope and went to bed with only cookies and chips to eat.

13. If you have any special dietary needs, don’t expect them to be fulfilled.

If you don’t like dressings, strong mustards, can’t eat meat and loathe strong coffee, you may suffer. Many French menus I encountered contained meat in nearly every entree. Overall, expect to take in an astounding amount of cheese and bread.


In Closing

Planning to travel to Paris is just like anywhere else: keep an open mind, be aware of your surroundings, avoid being too picky, greet Parisians in their native language and show a willingness to adapt. It’s really quite easy to acclimate and to have an amazing time, you just have to be willing. Au revoir and happy travels!


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