LAND of distraction, an emerging independent Los Angeles label, captures the bohemian rocker aesthetic of Laurel Canyon – home to Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.
Shot on Mulholland Drive, LAND of distraction’s Collection Four look book introduces feminine looks with playful silhouettes, vintage-inspired prints and versatile color blocking to take Angelenos from “daytime pool parties to late night rockstar chasing.”
LAND of distraction’s founder and CEO, Danita Short, and the label’s creative director, Christian Juul Nielsen, discuss Los Angeles’s distinct casual-cool vibe and why Angelenos can pull off edgy styles like nobody else.
Culture Trip: Can you talk a little bit about the evolution of the brand?
Danita Short: LAND of distraction has really evolved organically. With our fourth collection, the LAND of distraction girl has become more defined while maintaining the brand’s DNA. The collection builds from season to season, creating an entire land and culture for women to feel empowered and experience a sense of adventure while wearing the brand. We are excited to see where she is off to next.
Christian Juul Nielsen: [The label] started with a big party. We held the launch party at the Chateau Marmont, which was an amazing fresh start to begin something new. Since then, we have made four collections and what started as an idea has grown into a full business.
We spend a lot of time on research and inspiration. We do various trips, from Nashville, Dallas and Austin to Warsaw, Prague and Paris. Through these trips we have built strong stories that have been very important to the development of the brand’s DNA.
CT: How does the aesthetic reflect the vibe of LA?
DS: I think we generally try to make things very easy and effortless, which matches the style of Los Angeles.
CJN: Although we are constantly traveling, the main source of inspiration is Los Angeles. We love the energy here and the chill, effortless way of dressing feels fresh. I have met amazing people in LA, which draws in talented people from around the world.
CT: How would you characterize the way Angelenos dress in contrast to how people dress in other cosmopolitan cities?
DS: LA definitely has that laid back vibe; very T-shirts and jeans, but always chic.
CJN: Because of the weather, there are many more possibilities. I love the chilled energy of Angelenos. [A typical LA look would pair] a bias cut dress with Dr. Martens – it’s kind of rude and fresh at the same time.
CT: What are some of your favorite pieces in the collection and why?
DS: We started using some textured fabric and added cocktail dresses this collection. I love them. I am also really excited about the knitwear, it feels really advanced.
CJN: I love our oversized blazers; they feel cocooning and protective, but work as a trench-like cover at the same time. I also love all of our silk styles mixed with custom rib trims. They function for day and night. My favorite is somehow the ‘EL LAY’ sweatshirt. It’s inspired by a clubbing scene from the late ’70s and captures the essence of the collection.
CT: What is your design inspiration?
DS: For this collection, it was LA in the ’70s, specifically Laurel Canyon, and the music history behind it. [Our muse] is somewhat of a ‘groupie’ and dresses up to go out but then ends up in her rock-star boyfriend’s clothes.
CJN: We were taken by the groupies of the late 1970s, who ‘borrowed’ the oversized clothes of the rockstars during the day and then got all glam for the clubs at night. The energy of Laurel Canyon is amazing; it was the home to music and style icons Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.
CT: What are some of your favorite places to shop in LA?
DS: I like vintage shopping the best, LA has really great vintage stores, super inspiring. Also, Barneys, [where you can find the LAND of distraction label] is the best.
CJN: Decades is fun – I love the upstairs back room. Also, Jet Rag, Golyester and Barneys in Beverly Hills.
CT: What’s next for the brand?
DS: We just showed the collection for market in Paris. This was our first time to Europe, where we have signed some great international stores. We hope to grow globally and we start to see more people wearing our label out on the streets. It has been very exciting to see people enjoying the clothes and making them their own.
CJN: We will be showing the next collection in February. We want to build a full wardrobe, from T-shirts to coats, sticking to the same DNA of the brand, but adding more.