Delicate Handmade Treasures by Dakota Jinx Add Glamour to Sustainable Garments
An admiration for glamourous clothing has been a characteristic of Los Angeles native Dakota Jinx Falkenburg Solt Locke’s personality for as long as she can remember. While the Rhode Island School of Design graduate pursued a degree in fine art with a focus on painting, one of the experiences that strongly shaped her brand, Dakota Jinx, was spending time among the glamourous fashions found in the closet of her aunt—model, actress and radio personality Jinx Falkenburg.
“She inspired me as a young girl. I would go into her closets and dress up and go crazy,” Locke, who worked with & Other Stories and Nasty Girl, remembered. “She was a super-special, magical person. This line is her encapsulated in the collection.”
Housed inside of Locke’s former West Hollywood, Calif., living space within a building that resembles a castle, the Dakota Jinx salon invites clients to experience the magic that she felt as a child. Adorned with works of art created by Locke and photos of her beloved aunt, the salon promotes not only elegance but also comfort for a couture experience. By sourcing locally and manufacturing in Los Angeles, Locke has created an elegant approach to eco-friendly garment making.
“Everything is made to order. I am not buying in excess. It’s all sourced here and made in downtown Los Angeles. I purchase my materials locally. I work with local sewers, cutters and manufacturers,” she explained. “It’s personalized and customized for you.”
Beginning its March 2019 debut with romantic pieces that were meant for every consumer but beloved by brides, Dakota Jinx featured its Raquel Bias-Cut Silk Dress in varying lengths; a Boudoir collection of tops and panties with delicate details such as pearl and tulle; and crocheted knits such as the Georgina Rose Crochet Dress, a full-length, long-sleeve garment adorned across the top with pink roses. All pieces are handsewn and hand-knit, depending on the garment.
This attention to detail is also apparent in Locke’s approach to customer service. She works with clients through online orders, ensuring accurate measurements, but encourages them to visit the salon for the best fit. Because her custom approach to her line allows Locke to manufacture in an array of sizing, she has created pieces in sizes XS–XXL.
“When clients come to the space, I want it to be a wonderful experience,” she said. “They try it on and we take measurements. It’s collaborative, so if someone loves this kimono but they want it in a solid color, it’s totally doable.”
Her most recent Noir collection is a step away from the brighter pastel slipdresses that serve as a core element of her collection. Still relying on romantic inspiration, the collection includes pieces such as the Nova Noir Dot Tulle Dress, a sheer black, high-neck, long balloon–sleeve garment with velvet dots, meant to be worn over one of Dakota Jinx’s slipdresses. The black Monique Velvet Bolero Jacket features ostrich-feather trim, a frog closure and silk lining, creating an elegant look as an outerwear piece or chic suiting when paired with the Liv Velvet Trousers.
“You can choose and say you love the silk suit but you want it in black—it’s doable,” she said. “There are the signature, staple pieces that will be in the collection forever but adding newness and changing fabrications.”
As growing numbers of Hollywood’s sought-after professionals such as Emma Watson and Bryce Dallas Howard become more vocal regarding sustainable efforts and remain committed to these messages by partnering with designers who create eco-friendlier formalwear, there will be greater efforts toward these greener garments. In addition to local sourcing and manufacturing, Dakota Jinx relies on a zero-waste model.
“All of our headbands are made from the scraps from cutting bias. Since you cut on an angle, there are triangle shapes on both sides of the fabric, so we take those and create the headbands,” she explained. “We don’t throw out any silk and use it wherever possible.”
This mindful approach to fashion extends into other pieces. Using humanely sourced feathers sourced from Los Angeles’ Mother Plucker, Locke creates delicate handbags using upcycled scraps for the pieces, which feature marabou trim.
“We change up the prints inside. Now I am doing an ostrich one as well,” she said. “It is zero waste; I don’t throw out anything.”
Other accessories include jewelry that includes gold-filled chains and ear posts to avoid the allergens that could threaten a client. For her floral crowns and ribbon ties, Locke sources certain materials from outside of Los Angeles as she found a partner whose work and heritage she valued.
“Flowers for the floral crowns are handmade in New York by M&S Schmalberg,” she said. “I love that it’s a mom-and-pop shop that has been around for 40 years. This kind of workmanship—you don’t see it that often anymore.
While Locke’s approach to made-to-measure styles doesn’t align with a traditional retail presence, she is open to exploring boutique opportunities. This winter, she will partner with Japanese retailer Qoo Vintage on exclusive jewelry pieces designed for the regional market.
“I am creating a special order for them,” she said. “The marabou bags are two-toned in more-funky colors. We’re doing headbands and some special jewelry pieces that are exclusive and customizing the tote bag.”
Available online at datkotajinx.com or by appointment, Dakota Jinx is priced from $15 to $550.