In honor of National Friendship Day this Sunday, we asked friends, fashion veterans and business partners in the JOLIE/laide clothing line Andrea Linett and Anne Johnston Albert to tell us about their favorite gifts from each other.
How did this shirt come into your life? "I think Anne was wearing it, and I was like, 'This has to be for me, how am I going to get it, how am I going to pry it away from her?' And I just said, 'Oh my god, can I please have that shirt?' Because I've known her forever. 'Can I please have that shirt? I'll give you anything.' And she said, 'Alright, what do you have?' I gave her a really good gauze A Detacher top because I had two. So it was a pretty easy transaction. She knows if she needs it at any time where it is."
What do you love about it? "It makes people freak out. I don't know why. It's the perfect blue, it's super soft, it has just enough tatter… when it comes to denim shirts, it's pretty stellar. There are so many denim shirts that get it wrong. Like, the pockets are too small, or they're too thick. This is paper thin. I mean, this is years and years of wear. Even at vintage stores I've never found anything like this. It's really a prized possession."
How do you wear it? "I just like to wear it with jeans. I do, like, a Canadian tuxedo. I wear it with jeans, or white jeans, it looks really classic. I love wearing it with black skinny pants. I love wearing a blazer over it because it dresses the blazer down and the blazer dresses the shirt up."
How often do you wear it? "A lot. It's in maximum rotation, I'd say a couple of times a week, but not when it's so hot out. I bring it to the tailor constantly and I know he thinks I'm an idiot. I'm like, 'Oh, another hole. Another hole.' It's paper thin. At some point it's going to all be reinforced. I have jeans like that too. You just keep patching and patching them."
How does the shirt relate to your friendship? "Not to sound corny, but the shirt is old and beat up and perfect…not that our friendship is beat up, but we've known each other since we were 14. It's comfortable, but it's cool and inspirational, sort of like our friendship. There's never a time when I wear it that I don't know where it came from."
And how about to the clothing line the two of you are doing together? "A year ago, I was like, 'Let's just do something for fun.' I came up with the name JOLIE/laide because it's what we always aspire to. It's a French term that means beautiful without being precious and perfect…like Charlotte Gainsbourg. Which is kind of our philosophy. Like my shirt. Its beauty is in its imperfections. It's more looking cool than looking perfect…we're just rolling out pieces as we feel like it. It's everything we both want. We're not making anything we wouldn't wear, it's a very personal project."
When you see the denim shirt hanging in your closet, what's the first word or feeling that comes to mind? "The feeling is, I'm so lucky I own this. I'm never getting rid of it. It makes everything better."
ANNE JOHNSTON ALBERT
How did this necklace come into your life? "Andrea gave me this Tenthousandthings gold-bead chain for being her bridesmaid. We've been friends since high school. She gave everybody hoops for being her bridesmaids, and I wouldn't wear big hoops like that, so she gave me this necklace and it was always this thing I would never have bought for myself."
What do you love about it? "It's a simple chain that has uneven beads. It's so simple and eye-catching, everybody looks at it even though it's not flashy. It came to me in a box. I live in Massachusetts and I had come home and she sent it to me. When I opened it, I thought, it's so perfect. She just knows exactly what I would wear. I wear it all the time."
How does the necklace relate to your friendship and clothing line? "I always feel my relationship with her when I have it on. I always feel comfortable around her, it's a piece that, even though it's beautiful and fashionable, it's a comfortable thing to wear too. It's got this unevenness to it that we both like. JOLIE/laide's like that too. It's not the thing that everybody has, it's an interesting thing that you wear all the time that isn't perfect."
When you see the necklace in your jewelry box, what's the first word or feeling that comes to mind? "I don't take it off often, and I put it on when I want to feel secure about something or I'm having a big day. I don't put on a lot of jewelry, I sort of always wear the same thing. The pieces that stick to me, I wear all the time. And that's what this necklace is. It's really simple. I like that it's not precious, it's just pretty and unusual, but very understated. It's just a cool chain."