SS2014 Lookbook : Keep Going

Julia Kostreva.Julia Kostreva.Julia Kostreva.Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

This spring-summer I’m having fun experimenting and playing with a few new products.

There are oversize black & white art poster prints now up in the shop. Perfect for your living room, bedroom, or work space. And a couple new iPhone covers to brighten things up! Both of the two paint stroke iPhone designs are created from the same original artwork – the “Garden” print (see more about how I create my designs in behind the scenes at the bottom of this post).

Photography: Julia Kostreva, Jennifer Chong  - Styling: Loren Crosier

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Julia Kostreva x Need Supply.
Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.Julia Kostreva x Need Supply.

I had the great pleasure this spring collaborating with Need Supply on some exclusive products. Inspired by sea, wind, water, pools, summer travels, and for me, definitely inspired by California. This collection was made specially for the Need Supply shop based on their seasonal direction. I’ve collaborated with them in the past, but this time was truly special and a very inspiring design process!

Product art direction: Krystle Kemp, Need Supply –   Design: Julia Kostreva

Photography art direction, photography: Julia Kostreva  - Styling: Loren Crosier


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Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.
Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

Julia Kostreva.

From paint – to artwork – to design

Here are some photos around my workspace and showing a little of my process. A lot of my pattern designs are created by hand through painting with sumi ink. Then I scan the artwork into the computer and go through a design phase where I construct the artwork into a pattern, bring in colors, make repeats. Everything starts black and white, and eventually turns into something colorful.

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Monday, July 21 2014

Sophie Tajan

Sophie Tajan, Julia Kostreva Blog

Sophie Tajan, Julia Kostreva Blog
Sophie Tajan, Julia Kostreva Blog
Sophie Tajan, Julia Kostreva Blog
Sophie Tajan, Julia Kostreva Blog

Curious and feminine elegance coming from Sophie Tajan. She’s using grays in a way that are anything but faded, I love the things she contrasts. It’s like a matte silver. Subtle, beautiful.

+ Sophie Tajan

Sunday, July 20 2014


OTAAT, Julia Kostreva Blog
OTAAT, Julia Kostreva Blog
OTAAT, Julia Kostreva Blog
OTAAT, Julia Kostreva Blog

Loving these interesting shapes and playful styling from Otaat / Myers Collective. Some of the pouches are cowhide and others lambskin, and all of the colors are feminine and classic. And the chunky, satisfying zipper… so lovely. The two makers, Albert Chu (Otaat) and Jenny Myers (Myers Collective), are friends who met while studying architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

+ Otaat / Myers Collective

Friday, July 18 2014

Notions No. 2

I’ve been seeing a lot of wonderful things lately… And if you’re like me, you just want the weekend to last a little bit longer. You’ve got it – I’ve got some things to share with you.

These portraits of women by Nirav Patel are simply stunning… capturing how mysterious, captivating, guarded and yet alluring we sometimes are, revealing ourselves with a single look.

Nirav Patel, Julia Kostreva BlogNirav Patel, Julia Kostreva BlogNirav Patel, Julia Kostreva BlogNirav Patel, Julia Kostreva Blog

I’ve been loving rooms with doors or windows that lead the flow of the space, like this home in Davis, California.

California home, Julia Kostreva Blog

This room in Stockholm could carry me from spring to summer to fall.

Stockholm, Julia Kostreva Blog

or this long workspace/shop, with the very big  window door entry that takes up the whole wall to the street.

My workspace here in my home is also a hallway with doors at either end – and I love it. It has great flow and feels very energetic. It’s rare to see a hallway room… the flow is much different than a single entry.

workspace, Julia Kostreva Blog

Sometimes regular things can make for interesting shapes… like this knotted black obi belt tying back the window curtains on Metrode blog.

knot, Julia Kostreva Blog

Now seriously. I really cannot get enough the silk scarves by Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre.

silk, Julia Kostreva Blog

We express ourselves in so many ways… But how often do we use the body? We have such a span of reach. The body is wild, the body moves, the body can leave wake in its path and art from its fingertips. Charlie Ford’s movement drawings are dark and incredible.

charcoal movement, Julia Kostreva Blog charcoal movement, Julia Kostreva Blog

or this stunning photograph of  Fabienne Verdier using industrial, oversized paint brushes. You’ve got to go to her site to see videos of them in movement.

Verdier, Julia Kostreva Blog

This collaboration between Satu Maaranen and Petit Bateau is gorgeous – check out the link to see the rest of the collection which has some beautiful, expressive patterns.

Satu Maaranen, Julia Kostreva Blog

Sometimes life is awkward. Great things happening in unexpected moments, or places. Or sometimes things just don’t happen the way you expect, but it’s completely beautiful. Like this tumblr, Great Art in Ugly Rooms. I love this Ellsworth Kelly.

Ellsworth Kelly, Julia Kostreva Blog

and of course, I love everything Clyfford Still.

Clyfford Still,  Julia Kostreva Blog

 I wonder what life was like, decades ago. Totally different. Adventures with the guy you love. Hanging out by the car. Neighborhood kids. This series by Nacio Jan Brown takes me there.

Nacio Jan Brown, Julia Kostreva BlogNacio Jan Brown, Julia Kostreva BlogNacio Jan Brown, Julia Kostreva Blog

These blankets from Nipomo are perfect for weekend outings in Northern California.

nipomo, Julia Kostreva Blognipomo, Julia Kostreva Blognipomo, Julia Kostreva Blog

And last – before your Monday begins – take a little escape to black sand beaches, captured by photographer David Elliot.

black sand, Julia Kostreva Blog

Monday, June 2 2014


Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre, Julia Kostreva BlogMilleneufcentquatrevingtquatre, Julia Kostreva BlogMilleneufcentquatrevingtquatre, Julia Kostreva BlogMilleneufcentquatrevingtquatre, Julia Kostreva Blog
Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre, or MNCQVQ for short, is a french brand of printed squares of silk made in France.

I cannot pronounce their name, and I simply cannot get over these beautiful scarves. The name in french means the year 1984, which is the year that the two girls were born who started the brand. Amélie Charroin & Marie Colin-Madan create beautiful textile scarves that come from their paintings, collages, photographs, and accumulate into several collections of amazing and unique designs. This collection above is inspired by the universe of Matisse, his collages and abstractions of shapes – this quote from the artist compliments their work,

“Il y a des fleurs partout pour qui veut bien les voir”
“Flowers everywhere for who wants to see them well”
- Henri Matisse

Sunday, June 1 2014

Around here lately…

Julia Kostreva Blog

Lately I’ve been thinking about freelance. I’ve had the pleasure of a few studio visits, which I’ll be excited to share with you soon. Man. My studio. This studio space has been my first office since school a few years ago. Working as a freelancer and connecting with clients and new co-workers, and some amazing new friends, I feel like the world is a much smaller place. Ever since I started the blog last October, I’ve shared with guest posts on friends’ blogs, gotten a few emails from MICA students, and cheered on anyone who asked me about the freelance life. If you are thinking about taking the jump, and you are unsure, and you are actually kind of hoping someone will knock you back to your senses, don’t ask me because I will most certainly, without a doubt, tell you to go do it. And I’ll cheer you on from afar. No doubt, it is a cut throat life. But it’s also wonderful. No doubt, not everyone survives. I mean it. There are times every now and then when I realize how crazy (amazingly crazy) anyone is who starts any kind of business, whether freelance or a restaurant or a boutique or a studio. Isn’t it good though? Who knows, you might end up hating freelance after about a month, behind on your bills, and just go search for another job with the security of a paycheck (and a retirement fund). Or, you may fight with the best of them, and get through it, and vow to keep learning until you are old and gray, whatever it takes. But that’s the beauty of life… is that we live in chapters, and there is nothing, nothing, that is a be-all, end-all decision. Thank goodness.

Monday, May 5 2014

Playlist: Brazil

Julia Kostreva Blog

Julia Kostreva Blog
Julia Kostreva Blog

1. Brazil – Cornelius
2. Koop Island Blues – Koop
3. Gun has No Trigger – Dirty Projectors
4. Topsy – Django Reinhardt
5. Santa Fe – Geraldo Azevedo
6. Quimey Neuquen – Chancha via Circuito
7. Line of Fire – Junip
8. Take My True Love by the Hand – The Limeliters
9. Mas Que Nada – Maria Creuza
10. Brazil – Django Reinhardt

♫ Listen:  Spotify

Yep. I’m ready for an escape to Brazil. Or somewhere with some mystery and adventure up it’s sleeve. In light of that, put on your sunnies, and take a joy ride with me with this new playlist named after the (quite amazing) leading song, Brazil - this version is by Cornelius, and to close it out is a version by Django Reinhardt recorded just about 50 years earlier. Man, I’m glad it’s friday! Hope this puts a spring in your step. Have a fun weekend folks!

Also, can I just say, you have to see Sarah’s white jumpsuit.

+ photo by Matthew Frost for Jalouse
+ illustrations by Monica Ramos

Friday, April 25 2014

A home with open air

Julia Kostreva BlogJulia Kostreva BlogJulia Kostreva BlogJulia Kostreva Blog

One week we’re bathing in sunshine, the next I’m being swept away by the wind. If the wind was any stronger, I’d ask it to take me to Brazil. This beautiful Brazilian beach home is calling for me. I love that breezy attitude… hey let’s eat dinner by a completely open wall. If I ever buy a house, I wonder if I’d have the courage to knock out a wall and replace it with swinging glass doors. The air filling the house, the gorgeous light swelling up our hearts. And the open doors to the mini patio, with the hammock and tropical plants… What an escape!

+ Photos by Matthew Williams for Elle Decoration UK

Friday, April 25 2014


apiece apart sandals, Julia Kostreva Blog

Ace & Jig dress, Julia Kostreva Blog
Ace & Jig patterned pants, Julia Kostreva Blog
MNZS trench, Julia Kostreva Blog
MNZS vacay pants, Julia Kostreva Blog

Rebecca Atwood patterned pillow, Julia Kostreva Blog

Primoeza pocket dress, Julia Kostreva Blog
Ryan Roche straw hat, Julia Kostreva Blog
Ryan Roche black hat, Julia Kostreva Blog
Ulla Johnson jumpsuit, Julia Kostreva Blog

3 rings coat rack, Julia Kostreva Blog

You can count on MILLE to deliver. They just updated the shop with some colorful additions for Spring. If you haven’t popped over to MILLE lately,  hop to it. Man, it’s seriously one of those shops where every little detail is right up my alley. Those sandals look perfect – they look so easy casual and so chic dressed up a little. And the pieces for home are those little details that bring the room personality. I’ve got to make a trip out to Minneapolis sometime soon and see this gem of a place in person!

Strappy Sandals, Apiece Apart | Black Dress, Ace & Jig | Patterned Trousers, Ace & Jig| Pillow, Rebecca Atwood | Blue Pocket Dress, Primoeza | Wide Panama HatStraw Hat, Ryan Roche | Black Hat, Ryan Roche | Black Jumpsuit, Ulla Johnson | Coat Rack, Lostine

+ Shop MILLE

Thursday, April 17 2014

Favorite Jeans : Jessica de Ruiter

Jessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva Blog Jessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva Blog

Jessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva Blog
Jessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva Blog

Jessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva BlogJessica de Ruiter, Julia Kostreva Blog

Someone recently asked me about my favorite pair of jeans. Mine are over 10 years old, and I got them from J.Crew. They don’t stretch- they are just denim – and they fit perfect. It’s been all these years and I can’t seem to give them up. How about you, what’s your pair? You know, it’s tough to find a pair of jeans that you’ll hold on to for years, but there’s definitely some tricks to picking them out. Alex Yeske recently turned me on to Jeans Stories, and I absolutely love these photos of Los Angeles stylist Jessica de Ruiter. Those cropped, higher waisted, fits-a-little-loose-but-tight-in-just-the-right-places kind of casual jeans are simply timeless rather than trendy. She hits the nail on the head with these tips:

One or two inches above the ankle bone. I like to see an ankle.
It’s flattering on every body type, especially if you have curves, which most women do. 

It’s not a boyfriend – it’s not baggy –
it’s just straight enough so that it doesn’t hug your ankle or your knee. 

Lighter blues just feel right to me right now. It’s not too distressed,
just a good, really worn-in indigo.

+ Jeans Stories

Wednesday, April 16 2014

Need Supply Art & Craft

Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog

Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog
Leather Tote
Cold Picnic
Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog
Bronze Studs
Cold Picnic
Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog
Nude Leather Watch
Cold Picnic
Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog
Plant Hanger
Cold Picnic
Melon Planter, Julia Kostreva Blog
Melon Planter
Chen Chen & Kai Williams
Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva
Macrame Hanger
Cold Picnic
Doug Johnston, Julia Kostreva Blog
The 200 Bag
Doug Johnston
Cold Picnic, Julia Kostreva Blog
Shopping Tote
Cold Picnic
Julie Thevenot, Julia Kostreva Blog
Island Necklace
Julie Thevenot

Need Supply has a really wonderful grouping of products right now. It’s under the gallery “Art & Craft,” calling right to my heart! Everything is hand-made, and created in small batches. Sometimes the makers play with materials and a product comes out of their experiments, and other times they are inspired by colors, style, landscapes or movies to create their collections.

But hold on real quick. Can I just majorly swoon over Cold Picnic for a second? Ha, can you tell? I recently picked up this total blackout watch with a black face & nude leather band, and I love it. I wear it all the time. Since then, I’ve been falling more & more in love with their work – leather totes that are durable, soft… even though they have a sense of curiosity and fun to their shape and design, they are completely functional. Absolutely perfect. Cold Picnic’s pieces are among some other favorites like colorful sculptures & jewelry from Julie Thevenot, totally beautiful textures of rope wrap baskets and bags from Doug Johnston, mega-cute printed pattern leather bags from Falconwright, and silly beautiful fruit planters from Chen Chen and & Kai Williams.

+ Need Supply Art & Craft

Tuesday, April 15 2014

Mlle Mademoiselle SS 2014

Purienne, Julia Kostreva BlogPurienne, Julia Kostreva BlogPurienne, Julia Kostreva BlogPurienne, Julia Kostreva BlogPurienne, Julia Kostreva BlogPurienne, Julia Kostreva Blog

Citroen + Henrik Purienne + Kim Riekenberg. The sun is out and life is good. Really, really good. Here’s hoping yours is too. Hey! Have you got any dreams for summer holidays this year? White sands in Colorado? Mexico? Where would you go, if you could go anywhere?

+  MLLE, photos by Henrik Purienne

Monday, April 14 2014

Satsuma Oranges

Julia KostrevaJulia Kostreva

I’ve been eating a lot of satsuma oranges lately. These little guys are tart and deliciously sweet – and they make for a great snack to brighten up a late afternoon or a light citrus flavor just after a heartier winter meal. There’s a few different kinds of mandarins – there’s Satsuma, Clementine, Dancy, Honey, Pixie, and Tangerines. Of all the mandarins, the satsuma’s skin is the lightest and easiest to peel, and they’re seedless too, which makes them so friendly. You can also liven up your space with them instead of flowers for the week – they have these pretty leaves that make them look so fresh in a fruit bowl in the kitchen.

Do you have a favorite way to eat oranges or mandarins? Plain, juiced, or in a recipe?

+ photos by Julia Kostreva
+ Want more? See the Mandarin Pecan Salad recipe

Thursday, April 10 2014

Press Check

Julia Kostreva

Press check! A lot of fun stuff in the works over here! And really exciting news – there’s another Need Supply collaboration in the works, and this one I am super stoked about!! Check their site over the next few weeks, you’ll have some treats in store for you- for your desk, your bag, and the home. It’s so awesome working with their team – they are full of inspiration and really talented artists that leave me completely humbled to work alongside these guys. Above is a glimpse fresh from the presses – I’m really digging this cyan, sky, pink, nude, slate blue palette for spring. I can’t wait until I’m able to share more over the next couple weeks!

+ in collaboration with Need Supply

Sunday, April 6 2014

Studio Life

Julia KostrevaJulia Kostreva

I have some really fun news! A couple weeks ago, as a bit of a surprise, I had a studio visit with UNIQLO! Their photos should be released soon, and I’ll definitely be sharing more on the blog here when they do. I was so honored when they reached out to me. Their simple Japanese design aesthetic is right up my alley. I’m such a lover of minimalism and design – perfection in what is imperfect. Something that seems balanced is actually a little off kilter, and it’s just right that way.

Julia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia Kostreva

Above are some scenes from around the studio in the morning just before the UNIQLO shoot.  I’ve been gravitating toward functional things, storage, studio supplies, and shapes that inspire me – rather than any furniture. I mostly work with japanese sumi ink right now, because thats the easiest thing for me to keep contained in a small space but yet have some sort of big fluidity. So the artwork is big but small if that makes sense. It’s bigger and more expressive than tiny micron pens which are also clean and contained. It’s also more flexible than watercolor or guache, because, since it’s pure black, I can digitally change it to any color when I scan it in. It’s funny, I’m just noticing now that behind-the-scenes my studio is black and white, but when I bring my work through the computer, I get pretty colorful.

I had the pleasure of working with Parker Fitzgerald for the UNIQLO shoot. He has such a unique tone and voice – I cannot wait to see what he comes out with next. I’ll be so excited to share the UNIQLO shoot when it’s published, but until then, here is a behind the scenes look.

Click the image below, and wait for it to load…

Have you downloaded the new app Steller? There are so many apps coming out these days, but honestly, I am such a fan of this one.

+ photos by Julia Kostreva
+ download StellerStories for iPhone

Friday, April 4 2014

Tiro Tiro

Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva BlogTiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva BlogTiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog
Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog

Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog
Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog
Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog
Tiro Tiro, Julia Kostreva Blog


How lovely are these pieces from Tiro Tiro? Stacked rings never looked prettier. Those lines! For the necklaces and earrings, she’s using interesting materials like woven irish linen and rope along with classic forged bronze and 14k gold. I absolutely love the Cael Earrings on the bottom right.

+ Tiro Tiro

Thursday, April 3 2014

LA Visit

Julia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia Kostreva
I just came back from a really wonderful week in Los Angeles. I saw amazing giant succulents and gorgeous palm-tree spotted views, checked out the amazing japanese Tortoise General Store as well as some awesome ceramics paired with leather chairs by Ben Medansky (@benmedansky) and Eric Trine (@etrine), admired a favorite painter Clyfford Still at the Hammer contemporary art museum (and played some ping pong there with my favorite match too!), and collected books + art zines by Bruno Munari. Admission is free over at the Hammer, so if you are in the area, go check it out!

+ Hammer contemporary art museum, LA

Tuesday, April 1 2014

Bruno Munari

Julia KostrevaJulia KostrevaJulia Kostreva
Julia Kostreva

This colorful little art book by Bruno Munari recently came into my hands.  I love that a legendary graphic designer also made very silly, joyful little things too. You may recognize his famous book, Design as Art.

Brainpickings did a nice write-up about Design as Art, pulling quotes from Munari that remind us how design and art is a living thing, part of our daily lives – part of living together as neighbors.

+ Brainpickings ”Bruno Munari on Design as a Bridge Between Art and Life”

Tuesday, April 1 2014