Top 3: Leyendecker

Taking an innovative approach to designing timeless garments, Jessica Moss and Lisa Guajardo are redefining fashion as a wearable art form. “One of the things that draws us to fashion is the functional aspect of it all. We make things that are worn, not hung on a wall. The trick is making it artistic and interesting at the same time,” says Guajardo. “It’s not sitting in someone’s home; its out in the world for everyone to see,” adds Moss. “So as an art form, fashion is exciting in a way that most art isn’t. The day-to-day exposure is just insane.” Besides artistic edge, what makes the duo’s L.A.-based line, Leyendecker, so appealing is its attainability. With a reasonable price point and an ample list of retailers, the designers make it easy to score a piece from their collection.

Leyendecker formed in 2005 when Moss and Guajardo became neighbors, bonding over their common love for long-haired Chihuahuas. “Our dogs would have play dates,” says Guajardo. “We were each designing our own lines at the time and always talked about doing something together.” One night they officially agreed to start their line—and a star was born. Since its inception, Leyendecker has been focused on breathing new life into familiar silhouettes. From a silk a-line skirt bound together by thin straps at cutout sides, to a sheer wool-gauze tank with a splash of tribal print, each piece has a stand-out feature while remaining minimalist enough to layer and carry through each season. “We try to get juxtaposing aesthetics to coexist harmoniously in the same garment. In a way, our clothes are never only one thing—they have dimension,” explains Moss. “Every season it’s something new. We get obsessed with certain details and try to explore that detail to its limit,” notes Guajardo. The detail they’re obsessing over for Spring 2011? Romance. We’re already swooning.


1. LeyendeckerFelted Wool Poncho – “It’s the best on a cold winter’s day when you don’t want to get out of bed. It’s like wearing a really chic blanket! We love to wear it belted too.”

2. Found My AnimalAdjustable Rope Leash – “We love how Old World and archaic this leash is; the brass hardware just makes it so industrial. Also, 25% of proceeds go toward the Louis Animal Foundation and all the leashes are stamped with the number of animals they’ve found homes for.”

3. Dr. Martens for Opening CeremonyLily Velcro Sandal – “The unexpected combination of clog heel and strappy printed pony hair makes for a great transitional shoe.”