Meet The Designer Breathing New Life Into Vintage Outerwear

Photos courtesy of Dauphinette

Dauphinette’s sustainable pieces are the answer to your fall and winter needs

It’s no wonder that Dauphinette founder Olivia Cheng has made the tagline for her label “The happiest outerwear on Earth.” Take one look at the color palette, and you’re immediately entranced by the rainbow spectrum of brights and prints we crave when the weather is cold and gloomy.

Made for the fashion-loving, thoughtful shopper, Dauphinette is a new sustainable outerwear and accessories label that uses recycled vintage and artisanal components to create truly unique, one-of-a-kind wardrobe staples. While your eye is likely immediately drawn to Cheng’s hand-painted leather gems, the brand’s offering involves much, much more. In addition to hand-painted bags of the same caliber, Cheng does everything from hand-embroider coats to hand-press flowers onto clutches and moto jackets, and she uses the most unconventional objects—from ammonite fossils to quartz crystals—as buttons.

Launched just this past August, the label was born from Cheng’s appreciation for vintage clothing and her love for art and painting, an idea that formulated over the last two years. A self-described obsessive of everything from Impressionist art to Andy Warhol to Georgia O’Keeffe, painting these vintage finds was Cheng's way of combining her two passions. “Vintage has always held a certain magic beyond the practicality of dressing,” she says. “Wearing vintage is probably the most visually and psychologically fascinating way to interact with history, and by choosing that piece—or allowing it to choose me—I felt like I was exposing my identity to that past wearer’s emotions and energies.”

Still, her interest in using recycled materials in new ways remains the foundation of the brand. “More than anything, I wanted to share a new way of interacting with recycled materials that I wasn’t seeing in the industry, and to create a community and conversation around that,” she says.

But don’t be quick to name Dauphinette as just another repurposed vintage brand. Cheng wants you to know there’s more to the story of each piece. “I think of it more like experiential layering,” she says. “Yes, each piece begins with vintage qualities, but it’s a different energy being lent to it that makes it Dauphinette. Like other designers, I have a specific silhouette I want, a particular color. The means by which I access that product is just different. It’s a small sacrifice, not always being able to source and have patterns cut for exactly what I’m imagining, but in the end, it’s always worth it to give that piece another layer, another life.”

If there’s one thing that can convince you to opt for a hot pink ombré painted moto jacket or a coat covered entirely in hand-embroidered faces, instead of a typical, neutral “goes with everything” winter jacket, it’s the sustainability factor. Most of the pieces that Cheng works her magic on are thrifted or acquired second-hand—from all over the world; she breathes new life into pieces that would otherwise be sitting untouched and unappreciated. Still, other pieces come from sustainable, artisanal textiles. Even the scrunchies sold on her site are hand-knit by Cheng's mother in recycled yarn. “Sustainability factors into every single, seemingly small decision [for the brand]—it’s not an image thing; it’s just an ingrained part of the thought process,” she says.

Cute and mindful? How could we resist? Take a peek at some of Dauphinette’s current, colorful offering, below.

Photo courtesy of Dauphinette

Dauphinette, Mariam Hand-Painted, $495, available at Dauphinette; Dauphinette, Le Sac Bespoke Hand-Painted Bag, from $225, available at Dauphinette.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.