It took 20 crates, shipped from the Netherlands to Los Angeles, for Amsterdam-based label Extreme Cashmere’s recent sartorial – and culinary – takeover of Just One Eye, a concept store housed in a vast, gallery-like space in Hollywood’s buzzy Sycamore district.
In them were the ingredients for hosting a dinner in Extreme Cashmere’s distinct style – each fashion week, its team invites guests to impromptu-feeling home-cooked dinners and lunches, and have also hosted gatherings in cities around the world – including their own green-glass wine tumblers, table cloths, linen napkins, salad bowls and cutlery. They even shipped over (albeit in the cabin of the plane, rather than in the cargo) the maître d’ from Zoldering, their favourite restaurant in Amsterdam, alongside a chef with whom they’ve long collaborated.
Extreme Cashmere’s Los Angeles takeover
‘If you rent stuff, if you rent your plate, you glass, it’s different,’ says the brand’s founder Saskia Dijkstra. ‘If you have your own, it makes people feel more welcome. It’s about showing how important your guests are to you, so you want to serve them in the best way that you can.’
Extreme Cashmere was founded by Dijkstra – who previously worked in garment production for a number of fashion brands, including Jil Sander and Joseph – on a simple premise, to create the perfect cashmere jumper with ‘no concessions’ when it came to quality, fit, colour or finish. The result was their now cult ‘crew hop’ sweater, which is crafted from meticulously sourced long-fibre Mongolian cashmere with the slightest stretch, and now comes in a multitude of hues (see our pick of colourful cashmere gifts).
‘I want everybody to have a sweater that when you put it on, you just feel perfect,’ she previously told Wallpaper* on a visit to Extreme Cashmere’s canalside Amsterdam headquarters. ‘I want to make the best sweater. That’s why we’re here.’
Since then, the brand has expanded to create a near-comprehensive all-cashmere wardrobe, which comprises not only cashmere jumpers, sweaters and cardigans, but dresses (a recent collection was inspired by haute couture silhouettes), slinky vests and party tops, as well as a new range of lightweight cotton-cashmere T-shirts. Photo shoots from the brand have attested to the versatility of its collections – and its signature material – depicting pieces everywhere from poolside parties in Ibiza to the ski slopes of St Moritz, and even an Ohio basketball court.
In Los Angeles, Dijkstra and her team created an ephemeral restaurant at Just One Eye – which was open for dinner, as well as a day of dining – alongside a curated selection of objects from Extreme Cashmere’s latest collection. ‘There’s a lot of cashmere in Los Angeles,’ explains Dijkstra, noting that the fabric is the perfect material for the temperature drop each evening. ‘There’s nothing more comfortable when it gets chilly than cashmere. There’s not another fabric that can give you that feeling.’
As for how to host an Extreme Cashmere dinner – which now has a word-of-mouth lore within the fashion community – Dijkstra says that like her sweaters, there should be ‘no concessions’. ‘If you serve caviar – not that we ever serve caviar – it should be the best caviar,’ she smiles. ‘You have to take care of everyone. The minute they walk through the door they should have a drink. The menu should have something for everyone, for vegetarians, for if you have allergies.’
On this occasion, dishes included gnocchi with stracciatella, radicchio with blackberries and beetroot, duck broth, tomato americain – a vegetarian version of filet americain tartare, one of the dishes which won Zoldering its Michelin star – as well as Extreme Cashmere’s famous grilled cheese sandwiches made with Dutch cheese that the team hand-carried to the USA (I can attest to the last, which has saved me from many a fashion week slump).
‘A lot of people know we make beautiful sweaters, but we also want them to have a nice evening,’ Dijkstra continues. ‘When you get to know people like that, they will keep coming. What I wish for is that when we invite people for dinner, it’s never something people should feel they have to do. It’s more like – great, Extreme is hosting. Let’s go there, and have a fun night.’
Extreme Cashmere is available from MyTheresa, and retailers worldwide, including the brand’s website.
A selection is also available from Just One Eye.