• DIY Candy Just In Time For Halloween

    It’s that time of the year when we start hoarding candy like bears preparing for a winter hibernation; from fun-size Snickers to candy corn, October and beyond is definitely the sweetest time of the year. So, we asked Jami Curl, owner of Portland-based Quin Candy and author of Candy is Magic: Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes (release date: April 18, 2017, Ten Speed Press) to give us her favorite fall candy recipe.

    “These maple orange caramels are perfect—warm maple and bright citrus combine to create a unique (and delicious) treat—great for Halloween but equally impressive as the winter holidays roll around,” says Curl.

    Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.00.07 PM“Caramels are always the best selling item at Quin. We make a salty, a sweet, popcorn, chocolate and vanilla bean versions. People just love them,” says Curl.

    Maple Orange Caramels: The DIY downlow

    For total success in candy making, I insist upon the use of a kitchen scale. Using grams as a measurement may seem persnickety, but accuracy is the quickest route to the perfect candy.

    You’ll note in the instructions that I advise you to “poke” the sugar and “swirl” the pot rather than stir the sugar or stir the contents of the pot. Agitating the sugar too much will make it more prone to crystallization which will result in a candy that is more granular than perfectly smooth.

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    (Makes approximately 117 1-inch square caramels)

    —483 grams light corn syrup
    —800 grams granulated cane sugar
    —200 grams heavy cream
    —100 grams maple syrup
    —18 grams pure vanilla extract
    —10 grams finely grated, fresh orange zest
    —5 grams kosher salt
    —250 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

    Lightly butter a 9x13 baking pan, preferably one with straight sides.

    Weigh the corn syrup directly into a heavy-bottomed pot then set the pot over medium-high heat. Allow the corn syrup to warm until it liquefies and then starts to bubble. Once it has bubbled a bit in one spot, swirl the pot to distribute the heat.

    Add the sugar, about one-third at a time, sprinkling it over the corn syrup. Using a heat-proof spatula, poke (no stirring) the sugar down into the syrup after each addition. Keep watch to make sure no giant lumps of dry sugar remain before you add the next installment of sugar. If you see lumps, keep poking. Once all of the sugar is added and has been poked down into the liquid so it’s wet, stop poking.

    Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, orange zest and kosher salt. Stir to mix, then set the pan over low heat to warm up. You’re not looking to boil the cream. The idea is to simply warm the ingredients so they are not cold when they go into the hot sugar.

    Meanwhile, let the corn syrup and sugar cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the mixture is dark amber in color (the color of a copper penny). Time-wise, you’re looking at 13 to 15 minutes for the caramel to reach the target color. At first the sugar will turn pale brown, then darker brown. This may happen in spots around the pot, so it’s important to swirl the pot as the sugar cooks. Once the sugar is a uniform color, cook it for a second or two longer until you feel good about the color, remembering that you want it to match that dark amber target.

    Turn off the heat and very carefully add the warmed cream mixture, immediately followed by the butter. Whisk the candy for 5 minutes, or until completely emulsified. This means that the fats have been completely mixed into the sugar with no chance of separating. The mixture will be homogenous, with no oily separation or bits of anything burnt floating around. After the 5 minutes of whisking, pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow it to cool and set – this will take a minimum of 3 hours, but I like to let it sit overnight.

    caramel cutting

    Cutting and Wrapping

    Remove the candy from the pan by using a small spatula or butter knife to lift one corner edge up – continue to move along the edge of the candy, lifting and loosening as you go until the slab of caramel is loose and can be lifted (or tipped out of) the pan. Set the slab on a cutting board and score and then cut it into 1-inch squares.

    Wrap each square in cellophane by placing the square of candy into the center of the cellophane, wrapping both ends over the candy, then twisting the ends of the wrapper to enclose it. Wrapped candy, when kept in a cool/dry place, has a shelf life of up to 6 months.

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    Candy queen Jami Curl in a cotton candy wig. Photos by Maggie Kirkland

    2410 SE 10th Ave
    Portland OR 97214

  • Johnny Was : Traveling into Fall

    The fall season is the perfect time to add special pieces to your wardrobe. Ponchos, jackets, 830 asset1tunics and other layers are abundant and add depth to your closet. Exploring embroideries, plaid prints, and mastering textures, like velvet, can bring a worldly dimension to any wardrobe.

    Fall is definitely your chance to stand out, but also the perfect time to build style with flexible pieces that can shift, as the temperatures often do. Global touches, warmer colors and beautiful artisanal signatures abound in the Johnny Was fall collections. A bonus—investing in these pieces now can make the transition to holiday a seamless affair.

    Our Rebekah Kaftan ($298, right) which can be worn as a dress or as a layering piece over a slip, is the perfect selection for the season. Beautifully embroidered, with a long row of pearl buttons, the rich colors signal a fresh take on a new level of style.

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    When you’re looking to improve on easy base layers, the Sassi Velvet Draped Cardigan ($325, left), available in grey or lavender, adds subtle print, texture, and luxe flavor to the basic white t-shirt and jeans. This cardigan transforms easily into the extraordinary.930 asset1 (1)








    The Greisely Hoodie ($508, right) is a foolproof toss-on-item for a brisk fall morning. With beautiful signature touches of Johnny Was stitching and deliciously subtle earth tones, this jacket delivers an elegant dimension of cozy comfort.

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    The polished plaid look of the Sissa Dress ($328, left) brings the Southwestern Trend to the forefront. Long and lean, with a sense of timeless freedom, dress it up as a jacket or wear it alone over boots.

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    Rich colors and boho-luxe styling bring the Patchwork Shirt ($235, right) to life. The flawless fall lace detailing gives this classic a beautiful touch; playing perfectly over black leggings or denim.



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    The Hanne Kaftan’s ($278, left) intricate detailing makes it a stand out piece for fall. This beyond elegant piece is the ultimate addition, flowing into in to your holiday wardrobe without hesitation.

    At Johnny Was, we believe fall is a time to explore your wanderlust, take trips, and check out that new place that has everyone talking. Have a suggestion on where our next Day Trip should be? Drop us a line at social@johnnywas.com and share YOUR thoughts on where the adventure should take us.

  • Burning Man 2016 captured by JW designer Biya Ramar



    “I’ve been going to Burning Man with my friends for so long, fifteen years, that I feel like I know everyone and it’s my home,” says Johnny Was designer Biya (all the way on the right in the feather head dress).

    Once a year in the late summer, thousands upon thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for a week, create a temporary metropolis that celebrates community, art and individualism and call it Burning Man. While this event isn’t for everybody (it’s the desert, be prepared for dust storms, soaring temps and vast distances) the level of creativity —whether it’s your outfit or your artwork—is awe inspiring. It’s been described as “Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland” and seems to grow in size, scope and boundary-pushing self-expression every year.

    Here, Johnny Was designer Biya Ramar shares her stunning pics from this years event. For most of us, it’s truly the road never travelled so enjoy the eye candy.


    The theme for this years Burning Man was DaVinci’s workshop. “To me that meant unfinished things so that’s what I had in mind when planning my outfits. I was also inspired by metals so wore lots of gold and silver,” says Biya, who designs the Johnny Was Collection, Biya and the Pete & Greta collection at JW headquarters in Los Angeles.

    “One of my favorite things about Burning Man is the sunrise, I don’t really see them normally because I live in the city; in the desert they just stunning.”


    Biya’s daughter, Thai, also came along and her brilliant costume was made my JW Senior Designer Amy McNeil-Valentine. “I could only work on it during the evenings and on weekends so it probably took me about two weeks,” says McNeil-Valentine, who used fake flowers and feathers to create this one-of-a-kind look.


    “There were so many animals featured this year. This giant crow was amazing, the texture of it felt like it was made of car tires and it looked just like a huge version of the real thing. So good.”


    Biya’s daughter Thai in another stunning creation, and one of 70,000 participants who attended this year. “There’s a magic to being at Burning Man. I never think about the things like the dust and the hot weather. Every year it just feels like coming home.”


    One of the most amazing aspects of Burning Man, everything is cleaned up and burners are required to “leave no trace”. After a week of art, music and nightlife the desert is restored to it’s solitary self. Until next year.

  • Day Trips with Johnny Was—Atlanta




    Atlanta is a hot spot for all things beyond southern. History, music, food, culture and special sites make this a top destination for anyone looking to experience one of America’s greatest cities. So throw on our Butterfly Scarf, featuring the Official State Flower of Georgia, the Cherokee Rose, and follow  Johnny Was to The Big Peach!

    If you're going to be near our store on Avalon Boulevard in downtown Alpharetta this weekend, check out the Wood & Wire Songwriters Festival.  National songwriters from all over the United States collaborate and perform, filling the downtown with a great vibe and fantastic tunes.

    Next on this city’s stage is some “trip-worthy” southern cuisine that is taking our plate to another level.  Atlanta Magazine’s Carly Cooper sent us drooling when talking about the famed H&F Burger.

    “I'm not normally a burger person, but the Holeman & Finch burger completely lived up to the hype. I first tried it when only 24 per night were offered, and only after 10 p.m. The long wait--accompanied by the delicious drinks--made it even more rewarding when it finally arrived. “


    Her fave spot for Southern fare is Wisteria. “It's a cozy spot on the edge of Inman Park with delicious grits and then best mac 'n' cheese.  But if fried chicken is what you're after,  JCT Kitchen is the best in town.”

    Carly’s also respects restaurateur Ford Fry (left), “A chef, restaurateur, and all-around nice guy, he went on an opening spree last year, leaving the city full of tasty, cool options.”   Her faves include No. 246 in Decatur and Beetlecat in Inman Park.

    rsz_photographyAward-Winning & Atlanta-based Photographer, Jamie Maciuszek thinks it is hard to narrow down favorites since “Atlanta has so much to offer.”  His personal top spots include the Georgia Aquarium, “the largest in the Western Hemisphere,” and he thinks everyone should visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights.  His “Best Places for Taking Photos” are the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Jackson Street Bridge “looking west for the best shot of downtown Atlanta. Centennial Olympic Park is another must-see stop for tourists and also a great place for photos.”   (This is his photograph "Roller Coaster,” featuring the Peachtree Building  in Atlanta.)

    The Johnny Was Phipps Plaza team recommends getting a ticket for the Hearts and Hands Gala, a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Atlanta on October 22, 2016.  This event continuously raises awareness and funds to support the RM Houses where families with a sick child in the hospital can stay—nearby and at no cost.

    Sounds like this city has it all covered.  Atlanta, we’ll see you soon!  #johnnywashere

  • October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month



    At Johnny Was, we support those women and families who have been affected by the disease.

    The newly released Johnny Was 2016 Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf was designed in the spirit of finding a cure and inspired by hope.

    For each scarf sold at Johnny Was Retail Stores or on johnnywas.com, between October 1 and October 31, 2016, a scarf will be donated to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. A monetary contribution will also be made to the ACS to honor the cause. This is the second year Johnny Was has created a scarf and given one for every scarf purchased.

    American Cancer Society Discovery Shops help support the fight against cancer through the sale of high-quality, donated merchandise. For more than 50 years, the Society has owned and operated these specialty resale stores, featuring items such as clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, artwork, antiques, collectibles, and other household items.

    Visit www.johnnywas.com/shop-for-a-cause for more information.

    Established in 1987 in Southern California, Johnny Was designs timeless clothes and accessories that reflect an effortless elegance and embrace a relaxed lifestyle. Artisanal design and hand craftsmanship defy trends and cross cultures, giving the clothes a global appeal. Small details enhance the bohemian spirit of the brand and are incorporated with exquisite embroidery and luxurious fabrics. The brand includes a full line of fabrics, signature prints and detailed accessories; including unique scarves, handbags, jewelry, fragrance and belts. Johnny Was operates 17 retail boutiques and can also be found at premium retailers and on the web at www.johnnywas.com. (The American Cancer Society does not endorse any product or service.)


  • Day Trips with Johnny Was

    It doesn’t matter where you live, fall is always a favorite season. There’s a sense of renewal in the air; fresh beauty with crisp breezes, changing leaves and a distinct sense of change. It’s a great time for reflection, inspiration and, of course, updating your wardrobe.

    We were inspired by the season to visit three idyllic locations, showcase our gorgeous new collections—and flaunt our first love, Southern California. We hope they inspire you to pull on your favorite jacket, recharge your spirit and take a day trip with Johnny Was.

    Our first spot is closer to home—the Santa Monica Mountains, thirty miles from our Johnny Was headquarters. Brimming with century-old oak trees and beautiful, fragrant flowers, this is what Southern California beauty means to Johnny Was.

    Then we hit Malibu Creek Park with over 8,000 acres of rolling acres of tall grass plains. This jewel is the perfect spot for horseback riding, fishing or just absorbing nature’s beauty.

    Our last stop was LA’s most spectacular outdoor places—Malibu Pier. With the Pacific Ocean glinting in the background, this is the perfect location to pull over and enjoy the view. Surfers from all over the world come to test their skills at the adjoining Surfrider Beach.

  • How to Make a One-Of-A-Kind Kimono


    At JOHNNY WAS we are known for our trend-defying clothing, bohemian spirit and gorgeous details, but did you know that with each collection, we also painstakingly make a few one-of- a-kind kimonos? “We did the first one three years ago,” says JOHNNY WAS founder Eli Levite. “Designer Biya Ramar and I played with some of our silk scarves, sewing them together in different combinations, and ended up using over 30 of them, and it took a week to finish!” The result is a custom silk kimono, that can easily hang on a wall as a one-of- a-kind piece or art, or worn as the ultimate in bespoke lounge wear.

    When it comes to the creation and design process, not much has changed since that first kimono was sewn a few years back. Ramar and her team of designers will work upwards of a week in our Los Angeles design studio, sorting and piecing together just the perfect combination of scarves for the body, sleeves and trim.

    “We were surprised how quickly the first one sold so now we make a couple at a time, and probably sell 20 a month,” says Levite. “I have one hanging in my home and it’s stunning. This type of design reminds me of antique, hand-stitched kimonos from 200 years ago.”

    For pricing, please call our Santa Monica store at (310) 656 - 0600.

    1 Designers Biya Ramar and Amy McNeill-Valentine, discuss scarf combinations for an upcoming one-of-a- kind kimono.
    2 “We have over 500 exclusive scarf and print designs,” say Levite. Coming up with the right combinations that work together and tell a story can take many days.
    3 Seeing as each Kimono is one of a kind, every single print and trim have to be cut individually.
    4 After a paper pattern is generated, they are placed and re-placed until the perfect color combination is found.
    4A Once placement is finalized, each pattern piece is ready to be cut and sewn in our Los Angeles design studio.
    5 Our experienced sample makers pay great attention to every line to form the structure of this beautiful artwork.
    6 Every piece of a kimono is touched by a hand, and inspected to create the beyond-beautiful finished product.
    7 ”Everything we do is about being different to everybody else. When they are finished, these kimonos are true works of art,” says Levite.

    For pricing, please call our Santa Monica store at (310) 656 - 0600 or contact our Online Customer Service at 1.866.942.8806 M-F 9am - 5pm PST or email info@johnnywas.com for questions.


  • Boho Winter Looks Styled By Our San Jose Store

    Boho Winter Outfit Styling Tips

    We took a break from the pre-holiday prepping to stop by our cozy, colorful store at San Jose's Westfield Valley Fair to get some boho winter outfit ideas. The relatively mild Northern California winter calls for lots of layering pieces, like tunic tops and cardigan sweaters, in boho-chic prints and embroidered patterns. Click "READ MORE" to meet the Johnny Was San Jose team and discover their top 3 boho winter looks!

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  • SHOP FOR A CAUSE: Contribute 15% To Support Breast Cancer Research

    Johnny Was Clothing Loop E-Gift Box

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we’re proud to offer customers an exciting new way to shop for a cause! For any item sent as an e-gift from JOHNNYWAS.com from October 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015, JOHNNY WAS and Loop Commerce will contribute 15% of the sales price to the American Cancer Society. ACS does not endorse any product or service.

    Look for the pink “E-GIFT THIS” button on our product pages to send any item as a thoughtful, personal gift – even if you don’t know the recipient’s size, color preference, or address! E-gifting on JOHNNYWAS.com, powered by Loop Commerce, works like this:

    1. You select a gift and purchase it using the “E-GIFT THIS” button.

    2. The recipient receives a notification of your gift via email.

    3. The recipient opens the gift online and can easily adjust the size, color, or even pick another product entirely.

    4. We ship the gift directly to the address the recipient provides.

    E-gifts can be scheduled to be sent for up to a year in advance, and are great for birthdays, holidays, or just because! And better yet, this October only, each e-gift you send contributes to the fight against breast cancer.



  • Boho Fall Looks Styled By Our Palo Alto Store

    Boho Fall Looks Styled by Johnny Was Palo Alto

    As summer fades into fall, we journeyed up the California coast to our Palo Alto store to gather some Fall dressing tips. Opened almost a year ago, our store at the Stanford Shopping Center has become Silicon Valley’s destination for unique, beautifully-crafted bohemian clothing and accessories – and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of the neighborhood! Click READ MORE to meet the Palo Alto team and discover some chic Fall looks they’ve put together for us…

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