Interview: Jean Greige

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.

 

When you started your blog, you said you had a $30 rule. Does it still exist? How do you get great stuff at $30 or less?

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.

If I could own any three fashion-y things, it would be: Rodarte’s lace-up leather shorts, Chloe Sevigny Boots, and Topshop Contrast Sleeve Leather 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

About Sarah

I'm a recycled fashion enthusiast, as well as the official Crossroads Trading blogger. I have a penchant for cameras, pumpkin flavored-anything, midi skirts, throwback TV shows, music festivals, and beaches.

Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    love all these outfits :)

  2. she’s very interesting with an intricate sense of style..very versatile girl overall…great fashionista!

  3. What a wonderful interview! Good questions and really great, inspiring and well delivered answers! Very beautiful name(Madeline) with a really beautiful face and style to match it! :-)

  4. thanks so much for this interview!!!

    <3Meghan

  5. loved this interview thanks *<: )

  6. love your style

  7. Brittani Larson says:

    I found Madeline/Jean Greige on Chictopia and instantly fell in love with her style!! I constantly follow her and I am so happy Cross Roads did an interview with her. She is super inspiring!! Thanks CrossRoads for never disappointing me!!

  8. LOVE the outfits

  9. Her outfits are all very lovely, and the way she styles her hair definitely adds to them!

  10. Her style is super cute androgynous and i love it. I wish I could pull off outfits like that. I also love her accessories and how she mixes them together and they work. I am obsessed with those yellow shoes in that first photo.

  11. You are a model right? haha you better have a career in the model industry soon lol and i love the sooo many rings!!!

  12. Your style is gorgeous! I love it! You were right about the tattoo thing, that’s why I’m waiting a few years before I commit to the designs I have in mind! :) It’s nice to see another pale girl like myself, in the fashion world.

  13. The model is exquisite! She’s pullin’ off all of these looks! The colors just pops right off of her!

  14. i adore her clothes :D

  15. I love it! It’s like hobo meets rock.
    This reminds me of a style I’m working with: pastels with studs and leather.
    I love to mix in a bit of the Native American look like Jean is doing!

  16. super chill style – love it

  17. always looking for a new style blog to follow….she is great, and looks like lady gaga’a kid sister!

  18. What a doll!! She is so LA- a little Samantha Ronson, a little Kate Bosworth….a a lot of fabulous… I love it!

  19. Love all of the accessories and the style is so cool!

  20. stephanie says:

    Scrolling down the pass, I couldn’t help muttering “oh my god oh my god” over and over. This girl has a style down that is so easily recognizable and beautiful. I think I need to go shopping today.

  21. That necklace is AWESOME!

  22. Love her style & the fashion photography! Thanks for the great post.

  23. Monnica Rae says:

    I really want the shoes in most…no wait- all of the pictures!

  24. I love her $30 rule! I do that too!!!

  25. lara kornel says:

    I love her style, rock and bohemeian at the same time!

  26. Mela Bennett says:

    Love her outfits and fashion sense. :). She would fit in very well with midtown (Sacramento)

  27. i love her sense of style, and i wish i could do my hair as well as she does hers!

  28. I love the $30 rule. But I don’t know if I could wait 2 weeks. That takes will power!

  29. Really amazing style and grace about you. Love the hats and clashing patterns and styles. Bravo!

  30. What a great interview. Now I’m following your blog!

  31. Shiloh Benoit says:

    ” If you got it !, Flaunt it “!!

  32. I have that same long silver cuff as her! I can definitely tell she’s an avid thrift shopper it’s the best way to get a style unique to yourself. Cool girl!

  33. Patricia Wheeler says:

    Very interesting interview. Love the $30 rule. Will have to incorporate.
    Love the jewelry.

  34. I love all of this! She inspires me to express myself more fully through my wardrobe!

  35. cristiana says:

    fun fun fun!

  36. Heather Brown says:

    cute tights…and all…;)

  37. You re so adorable!!! <3

  38. oh yeah

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