Madeline was that girl in your history class you always wanted to be friends with, but you weren’t quite sure how to talk to her. You admired how her eclectic style spanned eras and genres, and how she never failed to pile on accessories haphazardly, but perfectly. Yes, she’s what they mean when they say effortless style.
Now that girl has a fashion blog called Jean Greige. Some days she rocks and she rolls, some days she wears a straw hat and a dress, and some days she looks like she time traveled from the 90’s…but most days, she mixes it all together. And that’s why I love her. Madeline experiments with her clothing and it doesn’t seem like there will ever, ever be a moment where she says, “I can’t pull that off.” Plus, she’s hilarious.
How old are you and where are you from? I’m 24 and I currently live in sunny ol’ Los Angeles, California. My hometown is the ever-glorious Fresno (people think I’m kidding, but I really love that place!).
What’s one really amazing thing you’ve experienced in life. Or three!
1. Going to my first punk show when I was a freshman in high school. I think it pretty much changed my life.
2. Moving to San Francisco. I was working at a photo lab in Santa Cruz and had about $700 to my name, but knew I wanted to go to school for Fashion Design in San Francisco. I drove up there one night to see a friend’s band play and met some people who were desperately in need of a housemate. They were so desperate, in fact, that they let me move in for dirt cheap! I packed my friend’s rickety van up with as much stuff as I could cram in (mostly clothing, naturally) and moved there with about $50 to spare after paying my first month of rent. It was spontaneous and lucky, and one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
3. I live in an apartment building. Every day after I take my dog on a walk, I remove her leash and just let her run from my building’s elevator to our front door. She is so stoked to just run down that hallway in reckless abandon, her ears flopping up and down, her legs knocking into each other. It’s impossible to watch that and not be overcome with pure glee. And I get to experience that every day! It’s amazing.
What’s the meaning of life?
Have fun and try to make the most of it. Do as much as possible! I need to heed my own advice more on that one…
How many tattoos do you have?
Ten, but I only like three of them. You know how your parents always tell you that you’ll regret your tattoos? Well, my parents are pretty rock and roll (my dad is covered in tattoos from neck to knuckles) and they never told me that! So, I got a bunch of tattoos when I was 18 without realizing that your taste changes pretty dramatically over time. I actually had to get a cover-up done already. The original tattoo? A unicorn doing kung fu. I don’t know why I thought that would be a good idea.
How do you spend your time besides looking amaze, hanging with Brit, and vintage shopping?
I work like a mad woman! I plan and direct photo shoots and put together marketing materials for a jewelry company. A lot of my life is spent in front of a computer or at photo/video shoots. My two favorite things to do are eating and shopping, so when I’m not shopping, I’m definitely dining. I also like to do little DIY projects.
Why and when did you begin your fashion blog?
I started my blog in January of this year. I really wanted to capture a part of my youth, I think. A lot of people I know are going through quarter-life crises right now, and I was not immune to that. It’s a scary age where you are technically an adult but still want to be young and carefree, and dress like a weirdo. I thought that having a blog would be a great way for me to explore myself through something I love: fashion. As it has developed, I find myself also using it as a platform to discuss the things about fashion that aren’t often addressed by people who love fashion. A lot of my content has to do with the way fashion interacts with the world socially and politically, which is a perspective that I had not seen in a lot of fashion blogs.
Where did the name Jean Greige come from and what does it mean?
Jean Greige is an homage to Jean Grey from X-Men, because I’m pretty nerdy. Also, I like that “jean” kind of refers to denim, which is a California girl staple. “Greige” is pronounced just like “Grey”, but is an industry term referring to the raw materials used to make apparel. Since that’s where my background lies, I thought it was a perfect fit.
How would you describe your style?
My style is eclectic, versatile, and retro. My looks span every decade from the ’60s – ’90s, usually piled into one outfit! I think that it’s mostly Henry Rollins meets Goldie Hawn.
The $30 Rule is this: if I want something and it’s under $30, I’m allowed to just buy it. If I want something and it is over $30, I have to think about it for at least two weeks. The rule is still in full effect! Most of my clothing is secondhand, which means that it falls under $30. I get most of my pieces from thrift stores and recycled clothing stores. I tend to splurge on shoes and jewelry, because you get more use out of them. I think this is a good rule for people to have, with the $30 changed to whatever dollar amount with which they feel comfortable. It keeps us from living beyond our means!
What are some fashion blogs you follow?
Oh my gosh, I read so many! This is going to be overkill. I think the bloggers to whom my style is the most similar are Margaret Shaw from Fashion Litter and the infamous Jessica of Vintage Virgin (at least I would hope that I am similar to them — they are amazing!). I also obviously love the blogs of my friends Brit and Nicki, who are rad hot girls. Other personal style blogs that I love are Devore le Beau Monstre, Things on Hangers, Strutt, Hal-coholic, and NYane. I only follow two inspiration-oriented fashion blogs, which are The Teeth of the Moon and Holy Ghost. They are SO good.
Name three things you own you can’t live without, and three things you wish you could own. No price limit attached!
I will keep it fashion-y on this one!
When I get dressed, I can’t live without: jewelry, heels, and a motorcycle jacket.
Do you think the advent of fashion bloggers is changing fashion? If so, how? Where do you see it going?
I think that fashion blogging is making fashion more accessible, and is providing alternative forms of inspiration to fashion followers. With so many different voices in the fashion community, there is more opportunity for a variety of aesthetics and designers to thrive and reach their target market. I think that it allows for more healthy competition in the fashion marketplace, and generally makes the world of fashion more exciting! I think that in the future, the possibilities will be even more widespread and the relationship between the runway and the street will be interconnected, with each influencing the other in equal parts.
Thank you for your time, Madeline!
All images provided courtesy of Jean Greige