California Dreaming by Jaja Hargreaves aka July Stars

Jaja Hargreaves is the brains behind July Stars, the fashion blog with a truly intelligent and contemplative opinion on style and fashion. 

It’s the summer and as everyone knows that means friends and family making travel plans. I have just returned from three weeks in France and already I find myself invariably contemplating my holiday pictures during my “office” hours. I’ve only been back a week. Once I start looking I have to force myself to stop. Literally, I have to deliver an ultimatum. “Admire two or three snapshots and switch off iPhoto”. I’m supposed to be working not dreaming of the South of France, evening walks through the heavily scented pinewoods of the Calanques and the sunset over the Cap Canaille. 
While I slowly immerse myself back into London life it is Laetitia’s turn to enthusiastically leave reality behind and experience a Californian adventure. I have a romantic image of that state. A patchwork of vivid pictures: Bret Easton Ellis’s brutal neon lit LA filled with alienated characters lubricated by sex, drugs, money, murders, celebrity and the 80s culture. I also think of Robert Doisneau’s photos of Palm Springs, turquoise swimming-pools, golf courses, car parks, glamorous old ladies and palm trees. Another key aspect is of course the innovative and individual architecture from the thirties to the seventies. What I’ve learnt about California and LA in particular resembles the books and films I’ve watched. It may not always be accurate but it amplifies the mystery. West of Sunset by Dirk Bogarde, Sunset Boulevard with Gloria Swanson, Hugh Holland’s images of kids during the skateboarding revolution of 1976, this is my little guided tour of LA, a sort of modern myth.