A Brand to Live In
I became familiar with Black Crane after seeking a brand to seamlessly integrate into my laid back lifestyle — which is nice but started to present a wardrobe challenge.
Being self-employed, I work from my home office and cafes, and occasionally a shared work space. My work day consists of writing articles, curating content, discovering and collaborating with brand partners, coordinating with creative directors, and hopping in and out of design shops for inspiration. I also travel at least 2-3 times a month.
When I'm not working, I'm either hanging out in Berlin enjoying a nice meal and wine, or traveling for pleasure. So everything I engage in is these days is fairly casual and unassuming, but there's still a lot of movement and a need for a versatile selection of pieces that feel comfortable walking, sitting, cycling, and flying in.
My challenge was that I found myself simply resorting to denim and a button down on a regular basis in the spirit of minimalist efficiency. My personal style became non-existent but since I work in design it felt hypocritical to spend my days looking borderline unkempt while preaching about the need for beauty and utility.
The Black Crane label was an exciting discovery that solved my woes by becoming a staple brand in my casual capsule wardrobe. With selections from their structured line, I feel pulled together and feminine but without all the fuss.
The husband and wife duo, Alexander Yamaguchi and Momoko Suzuki, draw from their background (in architecture, sustainability, silkscreen printing, and menswear), Japanese roots, and California lifestyle to create minimal silhouettes in breathable fabrics that have an effortless and slightly edgy aesthetic.
The jumpsuits, smocks, overalls, and other pieces in their seasonal collections are roomy but flattering, timeless with vintage inspired elements, and sophisticated without being stuffy — as effortless as jeans and a t-shirt but with much more character.
My favorite items were selected for their ability to be worn multiple times a week while engaging in different activities.
The linen kimono style jumpsuit is currently in heavy rotation. During the day I wear it with Ancient Greek flat sandals and a Building Block tote bag. At night I swap those out for Ted Baker wedge sandals and the Steven Alan Lily clutch.
For travel I recommend the 100% cotton carpenter pant. The last time I wore an elastic waist was when I was a 9-year-old, but these pull-ons have such a relaxed fit and stylish understated details that I can't imagine a better alternative when you are on the road. Pair with the travel ballet flats by Tori Burch, a Majestic Filaments tee, and James Perse cotton linen hooded cardigan.
Anytime you have a special occasion and need to elevate your look (but don't want to compromise your effortless style), go for the Origami dress. The oversized fit and unfinished hem feel relaxed, but it also features a V-neckline, hits right below the knee, and is constructed from premium cotton gauze, for an all around casually chic statement garment.
As I've gotten older I've become more discerning with the brands I patron and I often return to the same list to eliminate the time and energy it takes to research and try out something new. When I do introduce a new designer into my lineup it's because their aesthetic and attention to detail truly fill a void.
As much as I get stopped on the street with inquiries on where I got that romper, I can tell Black Crane is slowly but surely building a cult following amongst like-minded women who desire both form and function in their daily uniform.
Images courtesy of Black Crane.