Blaine Halvorson's Hypnotic LA Studio / MadeWorn

By Bridgett Rowley

Blaine Halvorson's Hypnotic LA Studio / MadeWorn

This Southern belle's brain almost exploded when I walked into Blaine Halvorson's MadeWorn studio in Los Angeles. The space was nothing short of magical. The former Junk Food Clothing owner has an indoor/outdoor studio tucked away behind an unassuming gate on Fairfax Avenue. The "by appointment only" studio opens up to a rock & roll wonderland fused with a mystical vibe from another world. I knew the mothership had called me home when James, my informal studio tour guide, a former pro snowboarder turned producer started talking music. We shared a mutual admiration for Ryan Adams' unparalleled songwriting.

I was beyond intrigued by MadeWorn prior to arriving. I had been lusting after a handpainted Guns & Roses leather jacket that I saw on MadeWorn's Instagram.  We walked into the first room which was sensory overload on so many levels. We stepped into the dimly lit, woodsy incensed filled room. There were free standing painted canvases throughout, large vintage dolls  and hand cobbled shoes displayed on old wooden shelves. The haunting music was the perfect backdrop for the brilliant insanity. 

As we left the first room, we entered a second room that had vintage tees from legendary artists. The menagerie of Halvorson's collection spans from famous bands like AC/DC, Queen, Guns & Roses, Def Leppard & Metallica, just to name a few. The logos are printed on weathered tees and vintage leather jackets. I squealed when I spotted The Cure tee neatly folded on a shelf. Halvorson's lookbook was resting on the glass display case. It is a tactile and visual masterpiece. A work of art that adorns the KISS logo on the cover and Bowie cutout images inside. It must have taken him hours to conceptualize the lookbook and days to bring it to fruition with every handcrafted detail.

As we passed through the outdoor studio, there were stacks of Jim Morrison tees sprawled across a long picnic table. Each one waiting to be put through the MadeWorn process, from sanding to distressing, each shirt, uniquely it's own. The Southern California sunlight poured across the table illuminating the custom Def Leppard jacket that was mid production. I wanted  that one too.

We walked into the third room where Chili  Pepper tees were stacked on a table and ready to be shipped out to customers. They had just finished designing a custom jacket for Rihanna. A Poison tee was being embroided with an embroidery machine. The sewing machines brought back fond childhood memories. My Mother and Grandmother are talented seamstresses. I grew up with the rhythmic sound of these types of sewing machines.

The next room had long tables with perfectly folded tees. There was the most amazing Stones vintage leather jacket and an iconic Metallica jean jacket hanging on the wall. Sexual innuendos are found strategically throughout the studio. James said the sex doll was at the Fred Segal pop up shop. Don't you just hate it when you miss the life size sex doll? 

The final room was a well organized stock room. I picked out a Rolling Stones tee with the famous red toungue logo trimmed in a subtle silver metalic ink. It smelled of the MadeWorn signature woodsy incense.  I wore it a few days later as I checked out of the swanky Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Most of the other guests were in their Jimmy  Choos and their finest couture. Several people complimented my MadeWorn tee as I sashayed through the lobby. 

My background as a designer has allowed me the privilege of visiting several studios through the years, but this space was special in so many ways. MadeWorn's current pop up shop at the trendy Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue and their upcoming presence at Paris Fashion week speaks volumes of Halvorson's raw talent. 

Rumor has it that Elton John stops by just to chat. I get it! Hell, I wanted to pitch a tent and just hang out. That tells you all you need to know because this high maintenance belle doesn't even camp.

There's so much more to tell you about MadeWorn. This is the first part of a four part blog series. Stay tuned for more next week.

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Check out their latest pop up shop at Fred Segal in Los Angeles