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iPopCultura!

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“Mid-Century can be an ambiguous term whether it be 1850s or 1950s and my home is surrounded by those things of the past. A child of the ’60s, teenager of the ’70s, twenty-something of the ’80s—well you get the point, has provided me a wealth of influences that I pull from to create AND design for the 21st Century.” —Brian Torres

 

¡Pop Cultura! is the pseudonym for the individual Brian Torres. But, it is more than that. It is an aesthetic, an attitude and a vehicle to showcase creativity—whether it be Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Fine Art, Fashion, Cinema, Interior Design, Wine Making, or Craft Beer Brewing, it’s wherever your imagination takes you. 

With its many cultural aspects and influences, California has long been ground zero for American Popular Culture. There is so much going on, many of those creating awe- inspiring and thought-provoking work fall through the cracks. It is the mission of this entity to seek out and find artists and craftsmen who embody the spirit that YOU EXIST,  talent is abundant and endless, and there is so much to share. The spirit of ¡PopCultura!

You know those people in your life who genuinely care about your well being, the ones who always hope the best for you, are happy when you’re happy and sad when you’re sad? My friend Brian Torres is sincerely one of those friends, and I’m blessed to have him (and his beautiful wife) in my life. Not only is he a huge encouragement to me (and never holds back the brutal truth about men and their motives), he’s a brilliant creative and a walking art and pop culture dictionary. He even knows the obscure stuff. (I knew we’d be friends forever when I challenged his knowledge on one of my favorite movies, Phantom of the Paradise. He not only knew the soundtrack, he had seen it at The Fox Theatre when the venue still played films.) Anyway, as an artist himself with impeccable taste, and an avid collector, his recent venture in creating one-of-a-kind, luxury pillows for the home makes perfect sense.

Each piece is hand made with love from pristine, vintage Pendleton wools and branded with old-school car emblems and metal toys like airplanes and cars from the ’50s.    Roadkill Ranch & Boutique is proud to present his iPopCultura! decorative accessory collection during Fullerton’s next Art Walk on Friday, October 7th.

I hope if you live in the area, you’ll stop by and meet Brian. Perhaps you’ll find a pillow that belongs in your space, or perhaps you’ll strike up a cult film conversation. Just don’t talk about The Exorcist, it still haunts him. I’ve promised to hold his hand through the movie this year so he can have a breakthrough and realize how campy it is. In return, he’s promised to walk me down the aisle if I ever get married again. Such a true blue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dapper Day

 

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Do you like dressing up? Do you like Disneyland? If you said yes to both of these questions, then  consider heading over to the “Magic Kingdom” this weekend for Dapper Day.

Dapper Day is a celebration of stepping out in style. This bi-annual event at Disneyland invites all who dare to be fashionable with a high emphasis on vintage styling. Although retro outfits are not required, all styles and designs are welcomed as long as you have the mentality of wearing your “Sunday Best”.

Roadkill Ranch has become a precursor to the events, and Rockabilly and Pinup aficionados frequent the shop during this time. It’s so great to see  well dressed ladies and gentleman stopping by for a quick style fix.

A vendor called me the other day to tell me about a best T-shirt seller that reads: “Proud Supporter of Sweatpants and Messy Hair.”   I had to politely decline. I just don’t think Roadkill customers would appreciate it. (That’s for another store and another park.) They might have better luck selling me something that says, “Always dress to kill.”

The first two pictures are outfits from Roadkill Ranch, modeled by Marlena Khamrov.

The last three are from last year’s Dapper Day.

Stay Stylish!

Jules

Photo Credit: Adam Petrasek, Wing Shum, OC Register, LA Times, DapperDay.com

 

 

 

 

 

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roadkillranch.com

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For years people have been asking if Roadkill Ranch had a website. And for years, I’ve made several failed attempts to launch an online store. It’s not that I didn’t give it my all, it’s just there were always plenty of roadblocks involving inventory systems and storage space.  But now, after rectifying tech stuff and having an amazing support system, we finally did it.

If it wasn’t for the encouragement of my family and friends, my sister-in-law Rikki (who is a badass physics major, speaks fluent tech, and can single-handedly rewire the electrical in the entire store) and my incredible team, this would not be here.

With the help of my uber-cool photographer friends, Savannah Kaefer, Adam Petrasek, Wing, Brad Bethel, Aaron Son, Patrick Fran, and Damion Lloyd, there’s plenty of fun pictures added daily.

The site itself (not the merchandise) is slightly boring, we didn’t have much of a choice when it came to looks since the hosting company’s (Lightspeed)  main focus is on the robust inventory and business needs. They keep promising us a full integration with lots of bells and whistles, so this is just the beginning stage.

I know, I know, “Welcome to the year 2000.” Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of teasing between my brothers and tech friends. But hey, I’ve been busy building a brick-and-mortar for the past 23 years, give me a break. Plus, it’s better late than never.

I hope you’ll check out http://www.roadkillranch.com and share with a friend or two.

Stay Stylish!

Jules

 

Photo Credit: Adam Petrasek, Wing, Savannah Kaefer

 

 

 

 

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Three Day Weekend

 

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I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter celebrating the day Jesus rose from the dead by decorating eggs, hiding them, then lying to children everywhere about a human-sized rabbit who sneaks into their house and leaves behind an insane amount of candy in a basket.  I’m not trying to offend anyone or come across as blasphemous, it’s just that I’ve started to question a lot more now that I’m getting older. And another thing, I think it’s totally suspicious how no one has ever actually seen the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Where am I going with this? I’ve come to the conclusion, the only real thing that matters to me in life, aside from family and friends (and unicorns), is art and music (and fashion of course, cuz that’s an art form). And this next weekend at Roadkill Ranch & Boutique, we have a fun-filled, three day weekend full of art, music and fashion planned just for you.

Starting on Friday, April 1st, from 6pm to 10pm, it’s Fullerton’s Art Walk! (This is our 57th time hosting Art Walk, so I’m just exercising some bragging rights.) We are proud to present the amazing, music-inspired work of local artist and musician Kevin Dutton. Plus, Marlena Loren (of The Nesting Dolls) will be entertaining us with her ukulele and singing act. If you’ve never seen “Ukulena”, make it a point to stop by on Friday night.

Saturday, April 2nd, is our sixth annual, pre-Viva Las Vegas shopping party! The biggest Rockabilly show in the world takes place every year in Las Vegas with around the clock bands, pin up model contests, car shows and more. Get fired up at Roadkill Ranch on Saturday and pick out your Viva outfits before you head out to “Sin City”.  Tres Noir Sunglasses will be hosting a trunk show with an assortment of new styles and glasses we don’t normally stock, and Nicholle Saccione, the designer and proprietor of Nic CoCo Creations, will also grace us with her presence and her fabulous, one-of-kind, hair accessories. And, to get you into the Rockabilly mood, we’ve got live entertainment by the Marlena Loren Band (they didn’t want to say Nesting Dolls because Mikayla the drummer is MIA, but the other members will  rock the socks off of ya). Treats, sweets and Steady Clothing, Tres Noir and Nic CoCo Creations contests and giveaways await.

Sunday, April 3rd, is our second annual Day of Music fundraiser. This is my favorite event! Most of you know I serve on the Board of Directors for The Day of Music Fullerton, and it takes a ton of money to bring free concerts to the city. (Last year it took over $25,000.00.) From 12pm to 5pm,  Roadkill Ranch & Boutique  will donate 20% of the total sales directly to Day of Music. What a beautiful thing, shopping in the name of music! Guy Nelson will be performing live acoustic sets from 2pm to 5pm, so please join us! (The wine bar next door will also be giving back, so have a sip at Vino Nostra too.)

I’m sorry about my sarcasm and lack of faith in the Easter Bunny. I never meant to hurt anyone. For what it’s worth, I still believe in miracles, leprechauns, and the magical effect art and music can have on your soul!

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Dressember

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“Dressember is a collaborative movement leveraging fashion and creativity to restore dignity to all women.”

When I first heard about the movement to raise awareness about human trafficking through dresses, I was immediately interested. One of our customers who was in full pledge mode inspired me to get involved. I began researching, and realized Blythe Hill, the founder of this movement, was much like me. Our talents both lie in creative fields and the fashion industry, which some may view as unimportant.

Blythe says,”When I started hearing about trafficking, I felt an urgency to do something, and so naturally, I looked at my skill set for a way to engage. The problem was my interests and talents didn’t seem to line up with making a difference. I’m not a social worker, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a cop. I’m someone who’s interested in fashion, trend analysis, wordplay, and blogging. My interests felt shallow in the grand scheme of things. I remember feeling powerless, and thinking, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’

I was in college, and felt stifled by the lack of time for creativity, so I decided to create a personal style challenge. I came up with the idea of wearing a dress every day for a month. When I realized the next full month was December, the name “Dressember” came to me and, since I love wordplay, the deal was sealed. So I did it; I wore a dress every day for a month. And I never planned to do it again.

The next year, a handful of girlfriends wanted to do it with me. So I did it again. And then the next year, my girlfriends’ girlfriends wanted to join in. So, when women I didn’t even know were participating in it, I realized this was a good idea.

And then I started to dream bigger. I thought, “maybe I can use Dressember to raise some money for anti-trafficking.” So, in its fifth year, 2013, I aligned Dressember with International Justice Mission and decided, “we’re gonna go big– we’re gonna try to raise $25K,” which felt like a huge, scary goal. When we hit my huge, scary goal– on the third day of our campaign– I realized what had started as a few girls in Orange County wearing dresses for fun had become a community of over 1,200 women in 32 countries who collectively raised over $165,000!”

I love how she used her God-given talents of creativity to make a difference, and I’ll always be empowered by this. Last year we posted a different dress each day from the store (Roadkill Ranch & Boutique) in an effort to raise awareness and directed a lot of people to their site. This year we’ve vowed to do the same.

We haven’t set up our own campaign bank, but since all of the money goes to the same coffer, we are encouraging everyone to go to http://www.dressember.org to get involved or to make a donation.

“THE HEART OF DRESSEMBER IS FREEDOM– THAT EVERY WOMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE A VIBRANT AND AUTONOMOUS LIFE.”

The 1st pic is founder Blythe Hill.

The 2nd pic is Marlena Khramov modeling Roadkill Ranch.

The 3rd and 4th pics are of Sydney Beaver modeling Roadkill Ranch.

Photo Credit: Dressember.org and Savannah Kaefer

 

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My Cup Runneth Over

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OK! All of this red cup controversy over Starbucks choice to take a minimalist approach to their holiday cup design is just ridiculous! (Yes, I’m taking the bait!) Being a small business owner who spends a lot of time on attention to detail and planning designs, this story makes my blood percolate.

First of all, Starbucks doesn’t owe anyone anything when it comes to design. They have a topless, crown-wearing, mythical mermaid as their standard logo. Why on earth would anyone expect them to choose one religion or celebration as a seasonal logo? They can do whatever the hell they want! Geeze! A spokesperson for the company said, “Our core value as a company is to create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity. This year’s design is another way we are inviting our customers to create their own stories on our cups.” Why can’t people just take that for what it is? The design meeting probably went something like this:

Anyone have any ideas for this year’s cup design?

How about a snowman?

Been there done that.

How about a reindeer?

Been there done that.

How about snowflakes?

Been there done that.

How about we let people create their own design? We’ll leave a blank space and It will foster the imaginations of all.

Brilliant!

Or, maybe since the “red cup” by Solo has been trending for the past five years and manufacturers have been producing its image on everything from party lights, to candles, to socks, Starbucks thought they better jump on the band wagon with their red cup statement?

This all started because a guy named Joshua Feuerstein who claims to be a Christian pastor, made a video accusing Starbucks of hating Jesus. He stood in front of one of their shops with his video camera, bragging how he told the barista his name was “Merry Christmas” and tricked her into writing  Merry Christmas on the cup. He challenged everyone to take selfies and start a hostile movement in the name of Jesus. Then he accused them of not supporting the second amendment and whipped out his gun in plain sight.

Hey Joshua! Doesn’t the bible say, “Do not judge?” Have you asked Starbucks if they hate Jesus? What if they don’t? I think Jesus would appreciate it if you asked them first instead of accusing. Also, why do you want to start a combative social media movement against a coffee company? Is that what Christmas is all about for you? And showing your gun in the parking lot makes you kind of (a lot) creepy. Do you have a license for that? Also, Josh (Can I call you Josh?), your actions don’t make me want to go to church. I’m just sayin’.

And let’s not forget Donald Trump’s idea of boycotting Starbucks. Wow! Just wow! Ummm…there is a Starbucks inside Trump Towers. End of subject.

So what’s really going on here? It’s all Taylor Swift’s fault! (Yes, I have the unique ability to turn any subject into a conspiracy theory.) Taylor Swift coined the phrase “Starbucks Lovers” in her hit song “Blank Space”. Isn’t it funny how the cup this year has a “blank space”? Isn’t it funny how the hashtag #starbuckslover is used over 60k times on instagram? Isn’t it funny how her 1989 album outsold both of her last two albums in 19 weeks? And wouldn’t someone who is well aware of copyright infringement laws know better than to use the Starbucks name in a song unless they had pre-arranged it? What if this is all a preconceived, money-making scheme between two power houses, designed to fool us all? OK, there’s some food for thought. You’re welcome.

I’ll be back to focusing on fashion tomorrow. This was just brewing. I’ve attached Taylor Swift’s maniacal relationship video for your viewing pleasure. On a fashion note, her outfits are on point and Roadkill Ranch carries the red cup socks pictured above.

Cheers!

Blank Space

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Mad for Plaid

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Copyright © 2013 infinitas. Article Photo for Denim Jeans Observer www.denimjeansobserver.com All brands, product names, corresponding products, supplementary materials, graphic or photographic images, licenses, registered trademarks, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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I love everything about fall, the cooler weather, the warmer clothes, the hot drinks, the cozy fireplaces, the mountain getaways, pumpkin spice everything (OK maybe that’s getting old), but you get the idea, and plaid! Just as the seasons change, so do our wardrobes, and plaid is always a traditional staple. I’m not saying you can’t wear plaid during the other months, there are tons of cute gingham and light-colored combos available, but those big buffalo plaids and classic tartans just scream fall!

After viewing  some of the runway shows, I was glad to see the checkered styles with new twists. Look for high-low cuts and flounce detailing on blouses and jackets. Pair your traditional tartans with heavy studded jewelry and thick chains for a punkish vibe, or wear an all-over coat dress with short boots for a cool, indie look.

We think men look sexy in plaid too (that’s why Roadkill Ranch is the number one Pendleton distributor in Orange County)! Wear your Pendleton alone or layer with a white T-shirt for a dapper look.

The first picture is from the Chanel runway show.

The second picture is from the Tommy Hilfiger collection.

The third picture is M Missoni’s ad campaign.

The fourth picture is Sydney Beaver modeling for Roadkill Ranch & Boutique. We think our photo shoot is better than Missoni. (We’re not biased or anything.)

The last two pictures are of our stylish man friends (Matt Brady and Joshua Titus), modeling Pendleton shirts for Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

So grab a good book, a good cup O’Joe and get cozy somewhere (in your plaid of course). Because fashion is a feeling, and you deserve to feel fab!

PS Take quick advantage of  this weather, tomorrow may be 80 degrees again (blogging from a cute leopard chair in Fullerton, California).

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Savannah Kaefer, Julie Rasmussen, Tommy Hilfiger, M Missoni

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True Colors

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This year I’ve had the privilege of serving on the board of directors for The Day of Music Fullerton, a  city-wide musical celebration in conjunction with Fête de la Musique. It was a fun time and I really enjoyed serving the community, making new friends, and creating bonds that will last a lifetime.

As most of you know, Leo Fender (inventor of the Fender guitar) lived and worked in Fullerton for the majority of his life. His widow Phyllis Fender is still an integral part of Fullerton’s culture and is active in the community. Not only is she a docent at The Fullerton Museum for the Leo Fender Gallery, she was also our “Queen of the Day” on June 21st (the official Day of Music). And, yours truly had the honor of crowning her.

Fast forward a few weeks. I was getting a much needed mani-pedi when Phyllis Fender walked into the salon. We hugged, chatted about how wonderful Day of Music was, and discussed nail colors. (She was going for a French manicure and I was in a black and blue mood.) She began sharing with me about her latest hobby. “I’m really enjoying adult coloring books.” She said. “And when I say adult, I don’t mean nasty.”

She went on to tell me how adult coloring books are the latest rage and she finds peace and tranquility in coloring. The whole time I was thinking what a sweet little lady, as I envisioned her at home with her crayons. I didn’t think too much of it until the very next day when I had buying appointments with my book publishers. And guess what? Adult coloring books are the latest craze! Every publisher was pushing them and showing recent write-ups from The Wall Street Journal to local publications on how coloring reduces stress and promotes well being. Since I was already in-the-know (thanks to my Fender muse), I bought a few for Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

The coloring books hit the store last month greeted with positive responses. I should have posted this story weeks ago, but you know how life gets in the way? Days turn into weeks, how quick they pass (I think that’s a song). Anyway, good thing I have people in my life who keep me accountable. My friend Brent (who also serves on the board of directors for the Day of Music Fullerton) keeps me in check on my blogging. And since he rode my ass to start writing again, I’m dedicating tomorrow’s blog to his “Diva-licious” shoe collection. So stay tuned!

The first photo is Phyllis Fender being crowned on June 21st during the Day of Music Fullerton.

The second photo is our lovely “Queen of the Day” Phyllis Fender.

The last two photos are the adult coloring books available at Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

Photo credit: Joel Maus Studio EMP and Julie Rasmussen.

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Juxtapose

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Happy Sunday Funday! I’m packed up, fueled up, watered up and ready to hit the road.

The MAGIC trade show is happening next week in Las Vegas and I’ll be buying fall and holiday merchandise for Roadkill Ranch & Boutique. Yep, I’m heading into 120 degrees weather to buy sweaters and jackets. Yay me!

I won’t be blogging next week, because I’m going to be so busy having fun (I mean working). But I promise to come back with a full fashion report and lots of stories.

Check out our insatgram account @Roadkill_ranch for up-to-the-minute show excitement and more.

I hope everyone has a great week. Stay cool and stay stylish!

xo

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Double Trouble

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Two bags are better than one. It’s true, Fendi, Chanel, Chloe, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton all say so!

The trend of toting two bags at the same time is coming in hard this season. Designers are featuring larger silhouettes like a tote or travel bag as a focal point and then accessorizing with a smaller pouch or clutch. Brilliant! Thanks Fashion Industry! Now all of us fashion addicts can purchase two designer bags at once without feeling guilty and be totally justified.

The first picture is Fendi, a functional and easy look to achieve. Add a tiny novelty bag to the outside of a larger one for a funky look.

The second picture is Chanel. Drape a few cross-body bags over your bodice while carrying your main purse. (It’s all the rage.)

The third picture is Chloe. Just carry two in the same hand (no big deal).

The fourth picture is Mulberry. Cross-body over bodice and tote in hand. (My fave.)

The fifth is Louis Vuitton. Just do it, carry two (everyone’s doing it).

This is one sure way to drive handbag sales up for the season. Pretty soon we’ll see designer shoes hanging off of designer bags. Then we can buy two pair of designer shoes, one to wear on our feet and the other to accessorize our two bags. Woot!

And, if anyone tells you that you have too many handbags or shoes, get rid of that person! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life! The only extra baggage you need is CHANEL!

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