On our way up to San Francisco we stopped in San Luis Opisbo at The Madonna Inn! Conveniently it was about a half way on our journey and the perfect relaxation. There are also lot’s of cute places to visit around Madonna Inn although you might not want to leave the hotel If you stay there as it’s so magical!
Solvang is a town about an hour away from Madonna Inn so if you are coming from LA/ Santa Barbara it’s definitely worth stopping here for a few hours. It is such a pretty place full of bakeries, wineries and Danish-style architecture.
A fun thing to visit whilst around Solvang is Ostrichland! You can buy food to feed them and it was very entertaining, there such unique animals! It’s also only about 5 dollars a person so a cheap fun thing to do whilst in the area!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed for 2 nights at the Madonna Inn, which was such an amazing experience. All the rooms are decorated different with some really retro and out there décor, which we loved! We stayed In The Madonna Suite which boasts a bright floral carpet, waterfall shower and fire place! The place has so much going on with an incredible outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzis which are open until 10pm. If your looking for something a bit different and memorable on your trip this is the place to visit, It’s one we will never forget!
We then headed up to San Fran! We stayed in SF for 4 nights which was a perfect amount of time to see the sights and get a feel for the wonderful city! I really loved SF and it really is just as beautiful as in the photos with such a great vibe and so much history. There is so much to do and see here you won’t get bored, but you might run out of money. It’s a very expensive city BUT worth every penny!
THINGS TO DO SAN FRAN
One of my most favourite things we have done on the trip is the SF Love Tour! You get picked up in a painted hippie campervan which inside has shaggy carpet and beads galore. The tour guide takes you around to all the best places in San Fran and they tell you so many interesting stories and facts about the city but in the most fun and engaging way, we were laughing along for the whole tour. This was such a great way to see the city and all the things we learnt and saw made me fall in love with it more, a lot of great photo ops as well!
Another must do whilst your visiting is the Alcatraz tour. I didn’t really know what to expect but I found it so incredibly interesting. You get a headset and you walk around as it talks you through the tour, it was definitely worth the visit and you get the ferry over aswell which has really pretty views of the city.
PIER 39 SEAL LIONS
If you get chance after the Alcatraz tour head to pier 39! It’s full of seals lazing around and swimming. We were only meant to quickly stop by here and ended up spending ages here watching the fascinating creatures trying to scramble over eachother to get into the sea, it was highly amusing and worth standing the smell of them for!
One place I have wanted to visit for a long time because of the history with music and the 60s/70s. Also once home to Janis Joplin, Hendrix and The Grateful Dead which you can still visit there houses. The street has such a vibe full of cool vintage shops, hangouts and a lot of amazing spots. Definitely checkout Decades Of Fashion and also Aemoba Records!
Also on Haight Ashbury is Club Deluxe, I was recommended this place and it didn’t disappoint! Get there early for happy hour and to get a table as the music starts around 7pm. They have 2 acts on a night every night of the week. We had such a fun night here, we watched Mitch and the Royal Deuces and it was so much fun with people dancing and great cocktails!
THE PAINTED LADIES
High up on the things to see is the painted ladies. They are a row of beautiful houses in the city which are definitely worth it for the photo op. There is also a really nice park opposite them so on a nice day take a coffee or some lunch and enjoy the beauty of San Fran.
One very instagrammable place to eat is The Melt. The best grilled cheese I have had so far, everything is cheese related! I also had a side of Mac & Cheese which was equally as delicious. They also have burgers, fries etc. It’s also really reasonably priced its like a fancy fast food place but definitely worth the calories.
WHERE TO STAY
San Fran is a super expensive city so we opted for Airbnb’s as you really do get more for your money here and we stayed in two dreamy places which are both perfect for a San Fran visit in great locations.
The first night we stayed at a private room in an amazing Airbnb which is located really near Mission Doleres park so a great location in Mission. The room is decorated like a bohemian temple and is insanely beautiful and so relaxing. Gorgeous lighting, hanging fabric, mood lighting and the bed is on the floor, but we had the best night sleep here, it’s so comfy and we now want to recreate this at home! They also have a rooftop upstairs which is perfect for having a glass of wine and watch the sunset. This is such a great place to stay in the city at a great price.
The second night we stayed at Castro Villa Verde in the Castro neighborhood it was so homely and welcoming. You have the lower level of the house with your own private entrance. A big lounge at the front then the bedroom and toilet and full kitchen with patio and bonus Jacuzzi! The perfect home from home with great location and utilities! We decided to cook as the kitchen is so well kitted out and it was nice to have some home comforts when away on our trip. You feel at home straight away here!
One place I have always been fascinated by is Vegas! The bright lights, the casinos and the OTT of everything made me super excited to visit here! I actually didn’t know what to expect coming here, but it’s so much fun if you get stuck in and enjoy it. Everyone’s there to have a good time and it just makes you want to join in and do that too! We stayed in Vegas for 4 nights which was enough time to party and to chill as the weather is so nice, so some pool days were just what we needed after lot’s of driving!
ELTON JOHN AT THE COLLESUEM
This was a surprise, we went to see Elton John a the Collesuem in Cesears Palace and it was so fun! They have so many great shows in Vegas I definitely recommend doing one as it will be a highlight no doubt. Cher is also touring there at the moment, which would be another great show to see!
You have probably seen this a lot of Instagram if you have done some Vegas research. The Neon Musuem is a boneyard of old neon signs from around Vegas and is actually really interesting! We went in the day but I can imagine the night tours are really great as everything lights up! If you do go in the day take sunscreen and lot’s of water It was super hot! Top tip: don’t go on a hangover!
LITTLE WHITE CHAPEL
You can’t visit Vegas without going to check out the wedding chapels! We went to see the famous little white chapel where you can get married by Elvis in a pink Cadillac, we didn’t see any weddings unfortunately but it’s well worth visiting to get some snaps!
Probably one of the most touristy streets in Vegas is Fremont Street the under cover street which you can zip wire over and has a light show every night. The street is lined with endless bars, casinos and restaraunts and you will see some crazy characters here! Worth visiting if you are looking for a night out.
Another super touristy spot but well worth the visit especially at night is the Bellagio Fountains. It was actually so impressive and felt kind of weird as you always see it on TV and in the movies, very surreal being in Vegas in real life I feel like I spent my whole time with my mouth open in awe at everything.
HASH HOUSE A GOGO
I’m sorry to say we ate a lot of fast food in Vegas but probably the best breakfast place I went to in America was Hash House A Go Go! Perfect for hangovers and the most insane portions. So many different breakfast options aswell as main meals too, but the breakfast really is next level, you have to see for yourself. You will definitely be leaving with a box from here!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Circus Circus which my Dad actually stayed at in the 70s! Vegas is the perfect place to chill by the pool so I definitely advise booking somewhere with a pool. Circus Circus is huge and has restaurants inside, an adventure dome and live circus acts at night. All the hotels on the strip seemed really well kitted out aswell with everything you need under one roof to really experience Vegas!
You might of seen on our stories in America one of our shoots was shot at the most insane 70s pad in Joshua Tree called Moonlight Mesa Hacienda. No doubt one of the most perfect spots we have ever seen with genuine 70s everything. It gave me all the inspiration for my future pad and is absolute decor goals. We just had to interview Sasha the owner about the place and find out more…
How long have you had the Hacienda?
I actually bought the Moonlight Mesa Hacienda house fairly recently. In January of 2016. After the success and popularity of my Time Machine house I was sort of on the look out for another place in the Joshua Tree area with some of the same qualities. So when the Hacienda popped up on the market I jumped on it, basically sight unseen, just based on a google earth image I knew it was a really great and special house and location. But the house actually turned out to be even better than I had thought when I finally saw it in person a few days after making my initial offer.
What made you decide on the 70s theme?
Two things made me go with the 70’s decor. First of all the house was built in 1970 and has that great one-story, big open room layout that really lends to this feeling. But most of all the house had this great Yellow semi-shag carpet throughout the entire place. The realtor was saying to me, “well of course you’ll need to tear all this carpet out and go with something more updated” and I was like “ahh surely you jest… I’d have almost paid more for the house if I’d known how cool this carpet was!” Its next to impossible to find any colors like this in modern carpeting, or any colors of any kind for that mater.. everything is always grey or Taupe, which I hate, so I was certainly not going to “update” this awesome carpet with that boring stuff. So… I decided to make everything that I put into the house in terms of all the decor, match the style and vibe of that yellow 70’s carpet! That was my inspiration and jumping off point.
What was the hardest thing to source and where did you find it?
The #1 hardest thing to find was the authentic 1970’s wallpaper that I have used in many of the rooms in the house. I really wanted to recreate some of the motels and hotels that I can remember staying in as a kid with my parents back in the 70’s and I realized wallpaper was going to be key to really doing that. And eventually I found a great company out of Germany that makes new stuff based on original 70s patterns and its just awesome the way some of these wallpapers can completely transform your space. Im going to be super nice to you guys and reluctantly share this link with you all… which is worth its weight in 70’s Gold ! Here you go.. link – https://www.wallpaperfromthe70s.com/wallpaper-patterns/i-love-the-70s-/
Go crazy on this stuff you wont regret it!
What’s your favourite piece of decor in the Hacienda?
My favorite piece of decor in the Hacienda is hard to say.. but I really have a thing for Mexican Black Velvet Paintings of the 70’s and scoured Ebay for good ones with Desert Scenes, not your typical crying Elvis or Jesus ones, but really special Trippy Desert scenes with bright psych colors etc, so basically my entire collect of Mexican Black Velvet is my favorite pieces in terms of decor, with some of the lamps in the house running a very close second.
We love your record collection, what’s your favourite record?
Im glad you guys enjoyed all my vinyl. Honestly I keep a special stash locked away of my real vinyl gems, and its mostly all weird Exotica stuff that most people probably wouldn’t even care to listen too. But I have a lot of great Arthur Lyman records like Hawaiian Sunset, Taboo, and Bahia to name a few. And some Les Baxter ones too. And then I have a really rare Surf movie sound track double-record by Denis Dragon and alot of the other Dragon brothers are on it too. Its called A Sea for Yourself, and this record is just so good, its shocking how good it is in fact, and how little known Denis Dragon and the rest of his family are. Its bliss to listen to these records in the living room of the Hacienda in low glow of all those 70’s colored lamps.
Any updates on the horizon for the Hacienda?
There is one fairly big update not he horizon for the Moonlight Mesa Hacienda. I am going to open up the back bedroom by putting in a big 10 foot double sliding glass door in that back bedroom wall. So that bedroom will open up straight out on to the big back patio where the Fire Hot tub is etc. I think that is going to make a huge difference actually and turn that back bedroom into the best room in the house. Its also going to get some great blue-green Palm Frown pattern wallpaper throughout the entire room which I think is going to just round out the entire trip very nicely!
Any advice for our readers looking to decorate there places in a vintage retro way?
There are alot of companies now that do ok retro-inspired designs with furniture and such, but for me I dont care for retro-inspired modern stuff really, I much prefer the real deal. And so I spent alot of time on Craigslist searching and searching for many of the pieces in the house. I also study old magazines and even old “found” photographs from the period and such to see just what people really had in the 1970s house, not some bullshit Austin Powers version of the 70’s, but like real deal authentic stuff, and that is a much more subtle thing to get right, but thats just what I happen to like personally, because at the end of the day I am trying to go back to my childhood with all of this essentially. These houses really are a true Time Machine for me… Cheers, and happy Retro Decor hunting!
Stay at Moonlight Mesa Hacienda in Joshua Tree, California HERE
Follow Sasha and see his other amazing Airbnb’s on Instagram @thetimemachinesjoshuatree
See our editorial ‘Catching The Drift’’ on Cake Magazine HERE
Photography: Casie Wendel @casiewndl
Model: Marissa Vickery @donkeysalami
H&M: Breana O’Connor @breoc_beauty
Stylist: Naomi Hession @naomihession
We’re very excited our latest collection Technicolour Dreams has just launched on our site! For the shoot we styled the waistcoats with the most incredible headpieces. We came across Object and Dawn whilst searching for accessories in LA and we are so happy we found this amazing brand!
Their headpieces are so well designed and perfect for festivals. They are also interchangeable which is such a great idea as you can adapt them to your outfits. We love supporting and hearing the story behind independent businesses so we did a little Q&A with Saida from Object & Dawn which you can read below…
We love your headpieces, what’s the story behind the business?
Thank you! I was a fashion designer for many years and like many before me, got very disappointed with it after a while. I tried working in many categories and for very different brands, but always encountered the same issues- horrible working conditions for workers, no creative freedom and very unhappy people, who never left the office. So after about 10 years I decided quit to start my own business. However, I was so burned out, that I only knew what I didn’t want. Shorty after friend approached me with a business ides and my company in fashion wholesale distribution was born. I never intended to go into the business end of fashion for a long time, but it lasted almost 9 years. I learned about distribution, wholesale and many aspects of brand building during this time. So it’s not surprising that as soon as I had the confidence, I decided to start my own brand. But this time on my own terms. I was going to create great, quality product, work with real people, not factories and concentrate on individual taste, rather than producing mainstream products in thousands. Object & Dawn accessories are modular, so they can be customized to each customer’s personal preference and taste. You can build your own product! And you can do it over time, not having to spend thousands at the checkout. This is something I myself always wanted, but could never find out there. If you can’t find it- make it! Now my customers can do that too!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by different cultures and traditional techniques of making things, as much as I am inspired by the individual style. Humans used to make thing to last and we still do in some parts of the world. For example, embroidery used to tell a story of the people or families who made them. Jewelry was made to last for generations. My goal is to bring as much of that back as possible. We at Object & Dawn are currently building a sustainable, ethical production line. I want to employ old masters, tribes, women’s communities and work with real people! We want to continue to tell their stories and support traditional techniques and cultural heritage from all parts of the world. The ultimate goal is to blend the old and the new. This is why a lot of my current designs are very futuristic. We use laser-cut techniques and working with 3D printing for our future collections. Our products are made with traditional methods and techniques, but feels and looks modern even at events like Burning Man or the MET Gala!
Previously you had a successful career in the fashion industry what gave you the confidence to leave that and start Object & Dawn?
I think gave me the courage was the combination of my fashion design background as well as my exposure to the Burning Man culture and the concept of radical self expression. I had a taste of that self-expression part during the many Fashion Weeks I attended in the past, but it was always limited to fashion and trends. But it wasn’t until I attended my first Burning Man 5 years ago and made my first headpiece that I realized how freedom of expression can actually feel. I realized that there’s something huge there, something that people really crave in the “real world’, but don’t have. So I thought why not create a product that you can build up for something like Burning Man, but that you also can build down for a casual party. All my headpieces are gender neutral and they are not made for a specific occasion. You can wear one of our beaded headbands to a BBQ and then pull out some attachments from your purse, add them on and head straight to a club!
What advice would you give to others starting new businesses and pursuing their ideas?
Know exactly what you are building and be bold with your ideas. Also, being scared is OK, just make sure to never stop learning! I spent 2 years developing the concept for my brand, learning marketing techniques, social media, advertisement and PR worlds. It felt like such a scary world, even though I had already built a company before this one and had industry experience. But at some point you just have to close your eyes and jump! It will never be perfect and that’s OK, there’s beauty in that! It all always pays off at the end.
Who would you most like to see in your accessories?
The best past about my job today is that I have no limitations. I love seeing how people interpret my designs in their own way as much as I love seeing an occasional celebrity wear my pieces. It’s all about what you make with the tools we give you and that’s the best return!
What’s next for Object & Dawn?
Modular headpieces was probably the most fun way to start and it got us great exposure in Vogue and other incredible publications! But there will be other categories added to Object & Dawn with time, like clothes and jewelry. I never stop creating, it’s a matter of what I can extract out of my head and into a product and what I yet have to learn how to make. I don’t think I will ever stop now that I have tasted this type of creative freedom. This brand really is all I ever dreamed of.
Shop Object and Dawn HERE
When we left LA we stopped overnight at The Wigwam Motel, which is in San Bernardino, and it’s on route to the desert. It’s a perfect place to stop overnight with lots of good cafes and diners around AND you get to stay in a retro wigwam!
This was such a unique place to stay. You sleep in your own concrete wigwam, which is super retro inside with a bedroom, sofa, TV and bathroom. The signs outside the reception are great photo ops with Route 66 signs and they also have a lot of old cars around. I thought the rate was actually really good here for a fun night stay with lots of good photo ops for your road trip album!
The next day we headed to the desert, first on the list was Pioneertown, which is an old western town built by the owners of Hollywood for a movie and now is a great place to visit for photos and to explore. We went early in the week but apparently the best time to visit is the weekends as the place is a little more alive. It’s a must see especially if you’re in the Joshua Tree area.
We had been recommended Pappy & Harriet’s by lot of people and I honestly think it’s a must do if you are in the area, again the best time to visit is the weekends as its closed earlier in the week. I advise you to book tickets if there’s a gig on as it was sold out when we went so good to be prepared, also if your grabbing dinner get there early as there’s often a queue for a table. The vibe was really special when we went lots of people enjoying the music and the food it was a really fun night and definitely a highlight for us. Lot’s of locals still come here so it has an undiscovered by tourists vibe although it’s getting really popular now and I can see why. It also has a beautiful outside area when lit up at night it looks magical.
PLACES TO STAY
Whilst we were in Pioneertown we stayed at The Pioneertown Motel. It was so beautiful all the rooms are so stylishly decorated, it almost has a Soho Farmhouse vibe. The hotel is very relaxed and everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. It’s walkable distance to Pioneertown and to Pappy & Harriet’s, so you can go and explore by foot. The main office is so cute; the whole place is beautiful I can guarantee you will be taking lots of photos here.
After Pioneertown we headed to Joshua Tree for 4 nights. The scenery is so breathtaking with Joshua Trees and sand for days. Joshua Tree is home to a lot of artists and creative people with unusual installations dotted everywhere. It’s the perfect place to unwind and relax and we were lucky enough to stay in such an amazing mix of places, which were really unforgettable!
PLACES TO STAY
The first night we stayed in the most beautiful purple gypsy wagon. The décor inside was stunning and it has a couch and a kitchen! The secluded bedroom area accessed only by the ladder, was a lot of fun and felt like your own little bohemian den. The outside of the wagon has a cute little chill out area which we took advantage of and played cards in the evening. And above it is a stunning awning which was so nice for shade in the desert sun, and amazing for our mini collection shoot there. There’s also a fire pit which is awesome for chilly evenings. The whole place was so magical, they have really thought about every little detail in the wagon. It made for the perfect desert stay, so if you’re a bohemian at heart then this one’s for you.
One of my favorite places we have stayed in our whole trip was La Bonito Cassita. The owners who live here are artists so every area is incredible with huge sculptures and beautiful art inside and out. You have your own studio with an outside area with a BBQ, huge open plan living studio and the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The place is vibrant, creative and quirky and we really loved all the being immersed in the art of local Joshua Tree artists. The chocolates on your pillows, a welcome note and wine were a cute touch and made us feel right at home. Michele was such a great host, you get the privacy you want but if you need anything she’s always there to help. We watched the sunset at the sculpture car at the front of the building, which is called ‘The Sunset Lounge’, and with the sculptures in the background it was a truly spectacular evening. Just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to Michele, Eric and their son for saving our bacon when we got our car stuck in the desert in the middle of the night!!! They were on hand to come and tow us out and guide us safely back to the Casita – our heroes!
I have always wanted to stay in an Airstream so it was very exciting to finally get to do so in the desert! The Airstream has an outside stargazing bed with lots of blankets and cushions, which was such a nice touch as we lay there watching the stars at night. The views are breathtaking with just desert around you for miles. The airstream was super comfy and we had a good night sleep in there. It keeps warm at night, which was good as it can get chilly in the desert. It was decorated so thoughtfully inside. It has running water, a compost toilet and kitchen area with a hot plate to heat a saucepan or frying pan, which meant we could make pancakes in the morning! All in all a great first experience in an Airstream!
This was such a cute little spot to stay in. The 70s trailer is kitted out so well with a kitchen area, double & single bed, huge outside area with a BBQ and it’s decorated so retro and homely. The perfect place to chill and relax, especially in the evening with a BBQ on and a glass of wine in hand. It’s also located in a beautiful area which is surrounded by gorgeous scenery but also close to the town if you need to pop to the shop or head out for dinner.
THINGS TO DO JOSHUA TREE
This pizza joint is definitely worth a visit! They have incredible pizza concoctions such as the ‘David Bowie’ and the ‘Barry White’ . It was really delicious and moderately priced.
This place is adorable and so random! It’s a tiny museum full of crochet toys and animals, like the ones you used to have as baby! It’s on the main road right by the The Beauty Bubble Salon, which is also a great retro photo opportunity!
An outdoor art museum full of unusual sculptures and installations created by Noah Purifoy where he lived for the last 15 years of his life creating ten acres full of large scale sculptures on the desert floor. It’s such a random place and definitely worth a visit. It’s also free (but you can donate) so if you are travelling on a budget it’s a good thing to do for a few hours. Definitely captures the the uniqueness of Joshua Tree.
The next stop on our journey was Palm Springs. Our aim was to get to Salvation Mountain and this was a great stop off in between. We wanted to chill out here, which was easy as there are so many spas around!
THINGS TO DO:
There are so many spas and amazing pools in the Desert hot springs area, which are perfect to visit for a day of relaxation and pampering in the heat. We spent the day at El Morocco Inn & Spa, which was so beautiful. It has a Moroccan themed pool with Jacuzzi, complimentary coffee, cold drinks and snacks. You also have the option to book spa treatments. It was the perfect place to chill and relax and have a swim and you can book a day visit or they have rooms to stay overnight as well.
One day we also visited the Moorten Botanical Garden which is really pretty and perfect for strolling around on a sunny day with all types of cactuses and plants.
WHERE TO STAY
This was one of the most unique places we stayed on our whole trip. What used to be a water tower is now converted into a wonderful colourful Airbnb with bunk beds, a fridge, toaster and full bathroom upstairs. It also has coloured glass windows, which is so pretty with the light coming through. The décor is really special inside and it really was a magical stay. The outside was painted by an 80 year old artist which I found really impressive and each side of the tower represents a season. If you’re looking for something memorable and fun I can not recommend this place enough!
The last leg of this part of our journey was Salvation Mountain. I have wanted to visit here for a long time after seeing people post about it on Instagram and we made the long drive from Palm Springs way out into the desert to see what it was all about!
After Palm Springs we drove out to Salvation Mountain and Slab City. You have probably seen this on Instagram as it’s fast becoming a popular tourist spot. It was definitely worth the journey to visit and walk around. Slab City is a community in the desert who live without laws, running water or electricity. There are loads of cray art installations around it was super interesting to explore!
We recently did a shoot in the desert near Los Angeles with super talented musician Pearl Charles. She has been touring recently around America and working on lots of exciting things so we did a little Q&A with her to find out more!
For our followers who are new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
We like to describe it as “Country Disco”, but it’s really just some good old ’70s inspired soft/country rock with influences from the ’80s, ’90s and today.
What were your beginnings in music and how did you get to where you are today?
I started with piano lessons when I was 5 years old, then went on to study musical theater and began voice lessons at age 9. When I was 12 years old or so was when I started getting more into rock ‘n’ roll and took up guitar lessons. Playing guitar evolved into songwriting and joining various bands in college (I went to music school) until I struck out on my own with my first solo EP in 2015.
Who or what inspires you?
Although there are tons of vintage influences that I draw from constantly, I am currently obsessing over Neko Case who has been putting out singles for a new record she’s releasing this year. Amazing female songwriters who are speaking their truth in beautiful and poetic ways, whether they are modern or retro, are a huge inspiration to me.
The 70s is a very special decade for us, are there any artists from the 70s that you particularly admire?
I would say that pretty much all of my biggest influences are rooted in the ’70s one way or another. You can look at any major music scene from that time and find people I love and gravitate towards, from Laurel Canyon to Muscle Shoals (whether that’s Fleetwood Mac and Eagles or the Rolling Stones). I also love a lot of the quintessential ’60s artists/scenes that evolved into the ’70s (for example, The Beatles solo endeavors or later Grateful Dead material) that are perhaps less well-known for their contributions in that era, but are still definitely worth exploring.
How important is fashion to you and how would you describe your style?
Fashion is hugely important to me as I find it’s yet another way that I can express myself, both on and offstage. I definitely get a lot of inspiration from disco/Studio 54-era clothing for stage pieces (sparkly jumpsuits, platforms, etc), but in my everyday life I often find myself dressing the way I imagine a high school kid in the ’70s would (Nike Cortez, vintage Levi’s, vintage band t-shirts and the like).
My first piece of advice would be to just enjoy the process because you won’t always find that unique gem, but sometimes it’s more about the hunt than the catch, if you know what I mean. Aside from that, I have spent a long time getting more familiar with the patterns and materials that I am always looking for, as well as vintage fabrics in general, that way you can scan a huge rack of clothing and immediately be drawn to the right thing, so I would just say to work on training your eye to find what you want!
Do you have one piece of clothing that’s more special than the others and what’s the story behind it?
My friend Anna has a brand called Desert Sun Brand based in Belgium that is all vintage-inspired, with a lot of gorgeous embroidery a la Nudie Cohn. She and I have worked together to make a few custom dresses with my name either printed on the fabric or rhinestoned on to them. Those pieces are incredibly dear to my heart.
We know you spend a lot of time in Joshua Tree, we fell in love with the place when we stayed their on our travels! Why is it so special to you?
My parents bought a house in Joshua Tree over 10 years ago at this point, so I have been going out there for what feels like forever and I have watched it grow into the thriving artist community it is today. It was the first place I found myself drawn to listen to a lot of the music/musicians I count among my strongest influences today, not sure if it was the spirit of Gram Parsons or what, but for that reason it will always have a special place in my heart. Not to mention it’s a beautiful escape from the city to just get away and write.
You recently released your debut album Sleepless Dreamer in February followed by a tour. Do you prefer songwriting and recording or touring and playing the tracks live?
It’s impossible to say which I prefer over the other, they’re just so different and I think I truly love both equally. They just allow you to get in touch with two entirely different sides to the music making process and I think they are of equivalent importance.
What’s next for Pearl Charles?
We’ll be on tour all Summer! East coast in July, Central/Southern US in August and Europe in September! If anyone is interested they can go ahead and follow me on social media and I will be posting all the dates as they come up. Hope to see some of you hippies out on the road! @pearlcharles
Lexie Alley @lexiealley
Fara Conley @faradene
After 3 months amazing months in Australia we flew from Sydney to start our American road trip in LA. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to see all the sights, collab with people we’ve admired for a long time and thrift a lot along the way.
Our ‘Retro Guide To The US’ will feature our pick of some of the most retro things to do in America and the most unique places to stay along the way!
I absolutely loved LA it has such a great vibe with so much creativity and flair. It was really fun visiting all the iconic places I have seen for so long in photos and in the movies such as Beverley Hills, Hollywood and Venice Beach.
Here are a few of my favourite things we did here..
THINGS TO DO
BIKE RIDE ALONG VENICE BOARDWALK
A very touristy thing to do but 100% worth it! We hired bikes and rode from Santa Monica to Venice and back again. It was so fun riding around on the beachfront on the bikes in the sunshine. We used the Metro bikes rather than a hire shop which is definitely the way forward if you’re on a budget. You just need to download the Metro Bike app which was really easy and it shows you where to pick up and drop off. We did it on a Monday afternoon so it wasn’t that busy and we were riding back when the sun was setting which was really beautiful. We also had a look around Santa Monica Pier after which is really lively and definitely worth a visit.
We were on the fence about going to Universal as the tickets are quite expensive around $100 each, but it was definitely worth it and I’m so glad we went. Universal opened as a theme park in 1964 so it’s super retro itself and has a magical vibe. The rides are incredible with a lot of 4D visual rides and Harry Potter World!
It was a really fun day out with lot’s to do and see, we arrived around 10.30am and left around 7pm. We went on a Monday so it wasn’t that bad with queues but I can imagine at the weekends it gets super busy and you could need a two day pass to get around everything. You also have Disneyland in LA too, but we made the decision to do Universal.
My favourite ride was Jurassic Park – which is a water ride with an 85 foot drop at the end!! They have shows such as Waterworld which is an outdoor theatre show with water and visual stunts. They also have an hour long studio tour which takes you around some of the movie sets at the back of the park which was really interesting with 2 4D rides along the way- King Kong and Fast & Furious.
WATCH A BASKETBALL GAME
We went to see the Lakers at the Staples Center in LA, which my husband Ben was really keen to do. It cost us about $40 a ticket but they really vary in price depending on how close you want to get the the court.. It was really fun and the game had a great atmosphere! Lakers played the Houston Rockets, but unfortunately lost. Its something nice to do in America as Basketball is such a huge sport especially if you are visiting or on holiday here.
SHOPPING ON MELROSE AVENUE
Melrose Avenue is famous for vintage shopping so I spent the afternoon looking around and exploring. I headed to Wasteland and all the famous spots along the Avenue. The vintage shops were really good but on the higher price bracket, I preferred to go thrifting. There are a lot of cool wall murals to take photos including the rainbow and peace sign, a nice way to spend the afternoon.
DRIVE ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY AT SUNSET
We did this drive a lot as we were staying outside LA in Oxnard and it was quite possibly the most beautiful drive we have done so far on our trip. You drive along the coast passing Santa Monica and Malibu’s stunning beaches and it really is something else. The sunsets are always so beautiful and golden and the beaches have this special haze that looks so magical. If you have a car take some blankets and a beer and stop to watch the sunset here, you will not be disappointed! We also stopped at one of the beaches in Malibu one afternoon and saw a group of whales near the shore!
HIRE A RETRO CAR
Another fun thing to do whilst in LA is to hire a classic car, this has been something I have always wanted to do. We hired a red 1970 Buick Electra from 777 Exotics and it was so fun! The car was so beautiful with red interior and immaculate condition. The guys at 777 Exotics were also super helpful making the process really easy. They also have newer sports cars on their site, but we loved there classic car section, it was so hard to pick!
RETRO DINERS / BARS
I am fascinated by all the old school American diners so was super excited to visit a few. The food was great, the portions were big and the décor was just as retro as I expected, here are my favorites!
Café 50s was one of the first diners we visited in LA and I think it has to be my favorite. I really loved the whole vibe and they have a great menu with vegetarian options and savory / sweet whatever your feeling! This place is kitted out to the max inside, old signs, retro merobillia and lots of colour. The outside is super cute too and perfect for that insta shot!
One of the most famous diners in LA is Mel’s Diner in Hollywood, they have 8 different diners in America and the first one was opened in 1947 in San Fran! This place is decorated so perfectly retro with mini jukeboxes at your table, retro seats and all the American food you could want. A must visit if you’re visiting Hollywood with a great retro light up sign outside. Keep an eye for our interview feature with the Grandson of Mel who founded the Diner chain!
GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNES
An amazing retro bar to check out is Good Times At Davey Waynes. This bar is super 70s and retro where you walk through a fridge to get inside. It’s such a popular place and they play 70s all night long, even the toilets are retro as hell! So put on those flares and head here any night of the week for a guaranteed good time!
FAIR OAKS PHARMACY
I found this place on Instagram; it’s in Pasenda, which is a really nice area in LA especially the old town. This place is worth visiting for American diner food and they also have the best ice cream with all sorts of sundaes and combinations! The outside and the inside are perfect for some retro shots.
There are a lot of In-N-Out Burger joints around and it’s definitely worth a visit! There is always a queue in there because it’s so cheap but really good and fresh, you even see them slicing the potatoes in a machine behind the counter! The staff all wear retro uniforms and the whole place has a really retro vibe, it’s been around since 1948! I’m vegetarian so always get the grilled cheese which is really great and only around $3, I’m super sad to say I was really disappointed by the fries here though but my husband really enjoyed the burger!
Our next stop is out to the desert to Pioneertown & Joshua Tree which we are super excited about to finally get on the road and explore!
We recently did a shoot with the incredible Sloan Peterson. The Australian artist was a dream to work with and looked unreal at Walkers Run in all of our vintage pieces. She’s been super busy touring America but we caught up with her briefly post tour…
For those new to your music how would you describe your sound?
How did you come to form the band? Where did you all meet?
Well the band kinda changes from time to time but at the moment we have Jess on bass Leroy on Guitar and Jenno on the drums all friend of mine that play in their own/different bands (Jesse Redwing, Leroy Francis, Lime Cordial) they are all the top playas in my eyes so i’m glad to have them be apart of this with me.
What were your musical beginnings?
I started playing piano just learning by ear when i was really young, then would learn classical piano of the sample songs off this cheap keyboard my parents gave me. I picked up guitar at 16 and have been trying to navigate it since 🙂
What artists / decade inspire you the most?
I’m very much a 50’s-70’s style french girl going to late dinner parties in my beret. Being Inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Elvis, Francoise Hardy, Brigette Bardot and so on.
Exhaustingggg and greasy (from all the food)
What was it like being on tour with a band full of boys?
I feel like a mother constantly whining about something and them always ganging up on me.
What’s your favourite piece of clothing you own?
My Adidas tracksuit
play? And do you have any fun festival survival tips?
Coachella, stay backstage & take advantage of whatever is free haha!
You’re one of the leading lights in the Sydney music scene at the moment, who else should we be looking at for from Sydney?
Maddy Jane, Clews, Jesse Redwing, The Dandelion.
What’s next in the pipeline for you? Any plans to visit us over in the UK?
we have played so far and just getting ready to release song new music soon! Hoping to get to the UK next year 🙂
We have had the pleasure on our journey of meeting some of the most creative people and visiting some of the most unique and inspiring places all around the world.
In Australia we got the chance to shoot at the incredible Walkers Run. We came across this place on Airbnb by chance when searching for locations and I could not believe my eyes. The decor and whole place is so visually pleasing and everything was created by the owners Rob and Ruth. It really is one of the most unique spaces we have ever visited and something very special.
Rob and Ruth used to work together in Wellington, NZ when Ruth was Robs PA at EMI records, and they rekindled their romance 15 years ago after meeting up again, having not seen each other for 30 years, at a mutual friends funeral in Sydney.
Rob had a very successful career in the music industry which we found fascinating after seeing photos on the walls of him with the likes of Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger! Amongst other incredible things he travelled the world whilst he was tour manager for Tina Turner! Rob’s also responsible for artist signings including Savage Garden, Tina Arena, Keith Urban and James Blundell. His career earned him top positions as head of A & R/Promotions for EMI Australia, and Director of International Operations at Capital Records Los Angeles.
Rob discovered the 30 acre spot in Bucketty not long before they met again and together they have spent the last 15 years creating their ‘Funky Wild West’ in the Aussie Bush. Pairing Ruth’s creative background in the textile and furniture industry and Robs ability to build ‘just about anything’ it made them the perfect dream team to create and develop what they have today. A quirky, inspirational, magical space which we will never forget.
They recently opened their home to guests via AirBnB and have had visitors come and stay from all over the world. It really does feel like you’re getting lost in the Wild West but you’re only 90 minutes outside of Sydney!
The spectacular views from the decking is endless green and so perfect to relax on with a glass of wine.
You can book their place on Airbnb HERE and follow Robs and Ruth’s amazing place below…
Keep an eye on our site for our shoot from Walkers Run, coming soon!
Photography: Dan Hilburn
Model: Sloan Peterson
Hair/Make Up: Amy Chen
Our next part of the journey started in Brisbane, we only past through for one night but managed to go to the Botanical Gardens in the day which was really magical and to the Gallery Of Modern Art to see the ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ exhibition which we had seen advertised everywhere. It was really captivating and colourful definitely worth the visit!
We stayed at Tryp in Brisbane which is located in Fortitude Valley. The hotel is very cool and modern with lots of graffiti and outside courtyards in your rooms. The rooms are super modern with cool coloured lighting, colourful bathroom sinks and futuristic decor. Super comfy beds and rain showers are also very important! I loved how all the rooms have different graffiti in them so the whole place is very colourful and urban. Also downstairs they have burger chain Churr Burger where we went for dinner. Best burgers ever! I had the veggie burger and added Mac and Cheese and it was incredible. Churr also has graffiti and an amazing outside courtyard area. The whole place was really well thought out decor wise, a great place to stay if visiting Brisbane!
We stayed for one night at the beautiful Mt Warning Rainforest Retreat. We stopped in the Water Lodge which is open plan with a beautiful Balinese feel. The decor is really something else and you are set amongst trees and nature so it’s so peaceful. The Water Lodge boasts an open plan BBQ area with an outdoor hot tub, fully equipped kitchen and a suspended king size bed. All the decor is Balinese with beautiful ornate doors and details everywhere. They also provide fresh bread in the morning which is a really nice touch. This is the perfect place to go to chill out and relax in a beautiful space, it would be amazing for a honeymoon! We found it so hard to pick which one to stay in as all 3 lodges look amazing, they have Water, Air and Earth which are all beautiful in their different ways. I found on our east coast trip the hotels were missing some uniqueness that we found in other countries so this was really special, you actually feel like you’re in Bali in your time at Mt Warning Rainforest Retreat which was really nice!
We had heard lot’s about Nimbin and it’s hippie vibes so we were excited to visit. It’s a colourful small town full of shops and cafes. You can easily pass through here on a day trip to see everything but a definite must see whilst doing the East Coast. Lot’s of photo opportunities here, colourful shops, hippie campers and a cottage full of sunflowers, so pack your camera and your hippie attire!
We stayed at The Two Figs Retreat in Nimbin which was a 2 bedroom cottage with stunning grounds and a lake. The house has very art deco vibes which is really cool and the outside looks super 70s. The place is really well equipped with a full kitchen and washing appliances. Such a nice place to go and chill out, by the lake, having a BBQ in the courtyard or dinner parties with friends. It’s also really close to Nimbin about ten minutes drive so you can go out and explore in the day. The place has two rooms so perfect for families or friends to stay. They also have a compost loo which is very rare and so good for the environment!
Where do I start with Byron Bay. One of my favourite places I have been on the trip and hands down the best place in Australia that we visited. It has the coolest vibe and the most amazing beaches I have seen in Australia. Everyday we would go to the hill by the main beach and watch the live music and sunsets. My favourite beaches were The Pass and also Whites Beach in Broken Heads which is about a 20 minute drive, but worth the walk down the cliff! Also check out Folk coffee shop in the day and Tree House for dinner, both super Instagrammable! What I loved about this place was you can walk around the town by foot which is really nice after travelling to places that are too big to do this.
This was one of the best hostels I have stayed in, such a nice vibe and with clean and good facilities. It’s right on the beach and they have lot’s of activities to do including a surf school at the hostel that does daily lessons. We did one and it was so much fun it definitely give us a taste for surfing, we even managed to get up on the boards in a few hours thanks to the great teachers. Ben who runs the surf school was super helpful so ask for him if you go! The hostel also has a swimming pool and a super cute cafe where you can get breakfast and lunch. It’s also walkable to the shops and restaurants which is great for travellers as you can get around so easily! We had the best few days here!
The next stop was Jagundami Guest Resort near Coffs Harbour. This beautiful retreat was exactly what we needed for a night of luxury and relaxation. It boasts beautiful bohemian decor and an open plan feel. The gardens are beautiful with lot’s of bamboo and gorgeous plants it also boasts an amazing outside hot tub which is perfect for summer evenings. The host Judith is the most wonderful lady who runs the retreat and leaves items in the fridge for you to enjoy such as butter, bread, bacon, eggs, chocolates, wine. So thoughtful! The kitchen is so well equipped with everything you need to cook so we went shopping before, enjoyed dinner and then a glass of wine in the hot tub, heaven! We only stayed one night so didn’t get to explore the area (we have heard it’s beautiful) but when your in such a wonderful place as Jagundami it was nice to just kick back, relax and enjoy our stunning surroundings.
Our first stop in Sydney was at Veriu Broadway situated super central the hotel is modern in style and super sophisticated. The rooms are super spacious with all the mod cons you need! Large kitchen area, huge TVs, balconies. Was such a nice hub to have after a long day exploring the city. The cafe downstairs is also super trendy and a great place to work, plus the coffee is amazing! We had such a good stay here, the perfect place if your travelling with work or visiting the city on holiday.
Set right in the heart of Newtown we are so glad we stayed here at the start of our Sydney journey as we fell in love with Newtown it’s very similar to east London with its cool vintage shops and trendy bars. This place is like an urban jungle inside with the courtyard covered in greenery and with a neon graffiti floor, all the way up to the open ceiling is graffiti and plants it has a really urban feel. The rooms are so well equipped with full kitchens and big TVs. The beds are also super comfy! All the decor, paintings are so on point. You also get a free mini bar if you book online now! Which included beers, wine, soft drinks and snacks which was such a nice touch! It’s such a great place to stay if your coming to visit Sydney as it’s in such a cool place with so many places to eat, shop and drink and so easy to get around the rest of the city from Newtown station!
Our last stop in Sydney was at YHA central hostel which is set in the middle of the city right by central station so super convenient for getting around. The hostel itself had a really great set up with lots of activities and entertainment. On the top floor they have a pool and sauna which has amazing views of the city. On the 5th floor they have a huge kitchen, eating and chilling area along with cinema which is free and has movies on every night. They also have different activities on each night which is great for meeting new people in the city. They also have a cafe on ground floor which has really reasonable and good food and is open all day. This hostel is perfect for experiencing Sydney city easily whilst you can still get to the beach in under an hour aswell. The rooms were spacious and clean as was the whole place, one of the best hostels we have stayed in on our trip!
Our next route along the east coast was from Airlie Beach to Noosa I was really looking forward to this part of the trip as we were doing Whitsundays and Fraser Island trips so we were super busy!
Airlie beach is a small place which is really nice as you can walk around everywhere it has a cute little beach and a free lagoon which was very popular when we went! They also have lots of restaurants and bars with a big party scene if you are after that. We stayed here for one night before heading on our Whitsundays trip would definitely recommend stopping here for a few days. We stayed at the YHA hostel which is situated right in the middle of everything you need and has great facilities.
One of our highlights was the 2 day Whitsundays trip we did. We went with Red Cat ride to paradise and spent a little extra where we actually stayed in a resort rather than on a boat and it was incredible. The place you stay as is a millionaires mansion with a pool, hot tub, free kayaks and paddleboarding and so many chill out areas. I could not recommend this more! You also get a cooked dinner which was amazing! You go out snorkelling one day and the other day you do Whitsundays Beach. Because it’s slightly more expensive you get a crowd aged 25+ we met some amazing people and everyone was up for having a laugh in the evenings and sitting by the fire.
1770 / Agnes Water
After Whitsundays we did the 7 hour drive to 1770. We had crazy storms while we were there but I found there wasn’t a huge amount to do here so only advise staying a day or 2. We did the paperbark forest walk which was really beautiful. Also recommend The Getaway Garden Cafe such a cute vibe!
We stayed here for 2 nights, the staff are really helpful and you also get free toast and coffee in the mornings. You can book lots of trips through the hostel such as kangaroo sanctuary visit, surfing and sunset trips. We had an apartment which was super clean and spacious with good facilities and kitchen area. There isn’t many places to eat in the area we found so advise staying somewhere where you can cook or if you have a car definitely head to The Getaway Garden Cafe.
We then did our trip to Fraser Island which was one night 2 days and we went on the Fraser Dingo tour. This tour is really good as you get to self drive the 4×4 on the beach and for the whole trip which is an incredible experience! You can either camp or stay in a hostel for the night we chose the hostel which was really fun. We did the 2 days one night tour which was a perfect amount of time to see everything. On the first day we got the ferry over to Fraser and then drove the 4×4 off and to start the journey. We then headed to the lagoon which was really fun as you can float all the way down it and relax. The next day we went to Lake Mackenzie which is really beautiful with super clear water and saw the shipwreck on the beach. It was really fun driving around in the pink 4×4, a must do if your doing the east coast!
One my my favourite places along the east coast was Noosa! The most stunning beaches, definitely recommend doing the coastal walk it was beautiful. Go to dolphin point to see if you can spot any dolphins and jump into the fairy pools. There are so many beaches here and they are all stunning, the town is also full of amazing places to eat and drinks. We stayed at Harmony Hill which was really near Eumundi and I absolutely fell in love with the place. They have the famous markets on Saturday mornings which is really hippie and they have lot’s of live music and amazing stalls. The whole town is very picturesque!
We stayed at the beautiful Harmony Hill B&B whilst visiting Noosa which was really beautiful and peaceful. They have gorgeous grounds with amazing views of Noosa. The guest house is an old restored railway cabin which is so cute and it has it’s own kitchen so you can cook and relax. It’s decor and the whole place is really special and the owner Fizzie was the kindest and most helpful lady we have met along our travels. They also have an outside pool if you fancy a dip and outside bbq for hot afternoons. I recommend having a car so you can go out and explore the area in the day, Eumundi is so beautiful and your only 20 minutes from Noosa. This really was one of our favourite areas along the east coast, so much to see and do. A very relaxing place to stay and unwind!