cacti malena style


This year’s Summer Solstice falls on June 21st, and we at Malena hope you’re able to stay up until midnight, dancing in a flower crown, ripping off your summertime clothes, warmed by a bonfire and driving away any potential evil spirits with your revelry. Even if you can’t hold a full spate of pagan rites on Sunday, though, Malena wishes you a long summer of celebrations. Here are a few ideas for making this summer as gorgeous and memorable as it can be.

Possibly our favorite summer activity here at Malena is lying in the sun-warmed grass–or in the hot sand, or in hammock in a quiet spot, or anywhere you can get a spot to yourself to stretch out with nothing but the birds and the butterflies to keep you company–with a good book, and nothing to do but plough through it for as long as you like. Summer reading, to us, doesn’t necessarily mean pulpy page-turners, though those can be fabulous. Perfect summer reading is anything that transports us into another place, another time, another consciousness, because summer is a time for travel, whether physical or of the imagination. A few summer releases we’re most excited about: our favorite living sci-fi genius China Mieville’s Three Moments of an Explosion; John Ashbery’s new books of poems, Breezeway; and William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life; and Hold Still, a memoir by photographer Sally Mann, famous for her intimate and exuberantly beautiful images of her family. Tell us in the comments what you’re looking forward to reading this summer!

Summer fashion might be our second-favorite indulgence of the season. In the warm months, as far as dressing goes, it’s the little things that matter. Whether you start with a white T and cutoffs, or a simple sundress, all that summer looks require is a special accessory or two–a light cotton/silk scarf in a gorgeous color, a hat to keep the sun off your lovely face, a special pair of handcrafted sandals, or a simple but striking necklace, and you’re done. As far as summer beauty regimes go, may we recommend sunscreen, a swipe of red lipstick or a coat of (vegan!) nail polish in an unexpected color, and your go-to hairstyle (for a little inspiration on that last one, you can’t beat these shots). Throw your book and a swimsuit in a weekend bag and skip town the first chance you get. Then send us a picture of you in your summer finest.

When you get where you’re going this summer, or even if you stay local, some of the best summer evenings we’ve had involve watching the sun go down late from a rooftop, a backyard barbecue, a blanket in a city park, or wherever you can kick back with friends with a cool drink in hand. Have a drink (clink), but what should you sip? Our French friends have taught us to rarely say no to very cold glass of rosé, but when we’re feeling a little more ambitious, nothing is more refreshing and gorgeous than a drink made with some of the bounty of fruit that will surround us for a few short months. Try something boozy with cantaloupe or peach, or a nonalcoholic thirst quencher with watermelon or cherries.

We would be the last to suggest that your summer need be “productive” in the typical sense, but for us at Malena we think longer days and, if you’re lucky, a break from work, are the perfect occasion to learn something new. We’re making a commitment to pick up one new skill this summer and we hope you’ll join us. Learn to stand up on that surfboard or those waterskis for the first time, master a flawless cartwheel, make a friendship bracelet, build a solid campfire, brew your own root beer, make a shibori coverup for the beach … big or small, summer’s the time for adventures, and there’s no adventure as thrilling as realizing you can do something you couldn’t before. So make one of those little dreams come true for yourself this summer, and then tell us all about it. That way, when the summer comes undone, you’ll have sweet memories to last you through til the next one.

By: Genevieve