LIFESTYLE with Jacob Hand.

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This was a collaboration I did with photographer Jacob Hand a couple of months ago.  Testing is always interesting because sometimes the pieces come together easy, and other times it takes a little bit of muscle.  Thanks to Kate Levinson Locations, we landed this amazing home, I mean jaw dropping amazing, in Bucktown.  Thanks to Zsofia Otvos with her hair and make up skills, we were able to do the models up right and proud, and thanks to me, I was able to blast the hopes of any color out of the wardrobe.  That was my plan, man.  This test for me, was an attempt to create more “normal” images or LIFESTYLE (all CAPS because I can only yell that word in a mocking tone.)  Since I’m a self-proclaimed color junky, I decided to challenge myself while keeping the overall aesthetic cohesive in only selecting wardrobe void of any hues.  With a couple of models not showing up or being more than an hour late, Jacob Hand, the lighting sorcerer, was able to role with the never surprising testing punches, and create some photography magic.  Lastly, a BIG thanks to Jacob for making it all happen and giving the crew something they can be proud to walk away with.

I’d eat documentaries for breakfast everyday if I could.

After seeing Senna last night, it has been confirmed… There’s nothing better than a good documentary.  I’m not even saying in the realm of film exclusively, more like there’s nothing better in life.  When I was doing my silly (yet very satisfying) project of watching a film a day for a year, I did my fare share of working in some wholesome documentaries, which brings me to my second conclusion: watching documentaries is the best thing you can do for stay at home research in the world of wardrobe styling.  You get to explore a portal to a world that you would never normally be able to be a part of.   For instance, I didn’t know the Donkey Kong champion looks like a limo driver, which in my mind is good to know.  I also didn’t know what someone who was obsessed with 80’s pop icon Tiffany in 2010 would look like a serial killer.  Again, good to know.  This beats doing research through feature films because all the characters have been painstakingly calculated from a bunch of super creative people, while a documentary shows you as it is, undoubtedly from a perspective, but without too much idling in the wardrobe department.  Documentaries are 90 to 120 minutes of solid spying that burn a deep hole in my memory for stereotypes that I can pull out of my hat upon job requests.  Thank god for Netflix instant stream.  Oh, and make sure you see Senna.  It will take you on a memorable ride.  If nothing else, you get to stare at this handsome chap for 2 hours.

My afternoon with The Style Rookie

I close my eyes and imagine that I’m fifteen again, hanging out with my best friend, listening to Pixies and Pavement records while talking about our major obsessions of the moment, Jordan Catalano (My So-Called Life) and Courtney Love.  The reality of what was previously stated is true, except it’s no longer 1994 and I’m old, I’m hanging out with someone half my age who knows nothing about me while I know too much about her, and she just happens to be Chicago’s biggest gift to the current fashion world.

I was asked by photographer, Peter Yang (!!!) to accompany him to take pictures of Tavi Gevinson, better known as The Style Rookie for New York Times Magazine.  No styling was necessary for obvious reasons, he was just nice enough to ask me to join him because he knew I’d lose my cookies in excitement.  I’ve posted about Tavi before, but let me recap her awesomeness for you: At the mere age of 15 she already has a famed blog, has  a magazine in the works with Jane and former Sassy editors called Rookie, and is invited to sit front row at a myriad of fashion shows at New York, Paris, and any other Fashion Week you can think of.  Her blog, The Style Rookie, gained her notoriety at 11 years old with her reviews of designer’s collections and self portraits of her personal style, and is now looked at as one of the most influential names in fashion.  She brushes elbows with Ann Wintours, discusses fashion concepts with Rodarte, yet showed up back at her house for the photo shoot after a sleepover party with friends.  I have to be honest, the first time I read her blog, I didn’t believe that a pre-pubescent teen could write so well.  I truly thought that their was a savvy mom out there who had the smarts to use her daughter as publicity bait and dress her in clothes a suburban mom wouldn’t be caught dead in.  The question of Tavi’s legitimacy had left me long ago, and spending the afternoon with her only brought confirmation on how precocious this teenager really is.

Seeing how I was not granted a formal interview and curiosity was the steam engine to my million questions I asked Tavi, I feel weird going into too much detail of what was said because little does she know that I’d be writing a blog post about her.  I’m writing this post, selfishly, out of my own personal excitement.  I just had to share.  Tavi Gevinson, when you’re old enough to get a beer and it’s no longer weird that I’m twice you’re age, I’m here waiting to be your best friend, or at the very least, listen to Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and recap 90’s pop culture.

Here’s an interview with Tavi conducted by Katie Couric for Glamour Magazine, HERE.

Here’s some of Tavi’s famous looks from ages 12 to 15.

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Your room, your space

As a kid, your room was the only space that was “yours” and you took great pride in making it your sanctuary of everything that was important to you at the time.  Your room defined you, with thumbtacks holding all that was important (magazine tears, friendship bracelets, passed letters from homeroom (that may be telling my age too much)), for everyone to see when they entered.  Then you grow up, shop the home section at Marshalls, and buy a bunch of filler, generic framed pictures of plants you never heard of.  Maybe it’s because you now own more than 4 walls, or maybe it’s just simply no longer a priority, or maybe it’s that we’ve all seen Hoarders on A&E, and fear that we’ll become obsessed and start decorating the inside walls of our stoves.   Here’s some inspiration of adults who are still big kids and choose to wear their hearts on their eggshell covered walls.  A little inspiration for your Monday afternoon.

Chloe Seveigny’s room many moons ago.

Misha Hollenbach’s home taken from The Selby.

Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson’s wall of crowns (not an adult, but she’s awesome.)

Photos taken by Backyard Bill of Hickey Freeman’s room.

India Salvor Menuez, by Backyard Bill.

LA Designer Catherin Hammertine.

Competitive Sales

Some people enjoy the 12 am jaunt to Walmart on Thanksgiving night to explore what they missed in early 90’s sweaty mosh pits, others prefer to do it from the comfort of their own home.  The thing is, online sales have become just as competitive.  My elbows sometimes feel bruised when I open the new Gilt Groupe sale at 11 am to only find that someone stole my something that I didn’t really need at a damn good price.  Here are some places to steal some deals, and smash against some online bodies. – New merchandise is updated from 10 am to 12 pm. – Check for new sales at 11 am ET.  Membership required. – You have to be a member, and then you have to stick up your dukes at 12 pm ET. – 11 am ET.

Milk Magazine

Whether we like to admit it, the French sure do know how to make a good-looking magazine.  I legitimately lost a full night of sleep after going through every corner of imagery on Milk Magazine’s website.  It put my head in the right place for the project I’ve been working on.  Kid’s fashion (does not apply to real life kids, but for wardrobe styling) doesn’t have to be “for kids.”  I think it’s most successful when their look projects the future of the child’s personality as an adult, with touches of natural cleverness that only a kid could come up with.  It’s kind of like adults who speak in baby talk to a 5-year-old.  The kid can handle your real tone, there’s no need to dress up your dialect in airplanes and bows.  You just need to speak the future.

Here’s a sampling of their amazing covers.

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