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Annette Lin

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Shop L.A.: local Californian design at Vivier & Bentley

"The emphasis of [Vivier & Bentley, formerly owned by jewellery designer Kathryn Bentley and bag designer Clare Vivier*] is mostly local L.A. designers and artists, like these ceramic hanging pieces are by a woman named Heather Levine and like the stained glass and handmade shoes, they’re all people who live in Echo Park or Silverlake [suburbs of L.A.]. And then we have other lines mixed in as well that are not so local. But I mean like the chocolates are from people in Topanga and they’re really neat, Zenbunni**, they make jewellery and all kinds of different things, they’re kind of just like, I don’t know, a hippy power couple…so we’re trying to promote people in the neighbourhood.”

How do you find these designers? Do people come to you?

"Not… I mean that’s starting to happen a little bit and we are starting to seek people out but originally it was just people who were like, friends of Kathryn and Clare. And fellow like-minded artists and people who were making things in the neighbourhood who were just friends. So yeah, we’ve started bringing in a line of baskets… from Brooklyn which is something we got tipped off to. It’s not local and it’s not a friend, but something like that, we’re interested in bringing in." - Elizabeth / Vivier and Bentley

* Clare has since opened her own store, literally two shopfronts down. Interview to come. 

** Spicy chai flavour recommended. 

Theysken’s Theory

Hanging out on Melrose

Interview: Kym Ellery reveals the story behind her collection

An unlikely source of inspiration helped make the Ellery show stand out at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

Kym Ellery’s guilt over discarding a soft toy from her childhood, a bear named Delicatessen, was the driving force behind the collection, according to the show notes.

Apart from Mickey Mouse-style silver ear headbands, one could hardly tell - the inspiration was subtle, but clearly inspired Ellery in all the right places. Fabrics were folded unexpectedly to give the gentle impression of a tummy while boldly rounded shoulders took their cues from the cuddliness of a bear to give tailored pieces a sense of intrigue.

The result was a collection that was directional and sophisticated, not saccharine, as nostalgia-inspired collections can sometimes be. Perhaps the guilt played into it? Whatever the case, the show was certainly a stand-out in a week of Not Another Floral Print. I asked Ellery to tell the full story after the show: 

So this resort 2012/13 collection was inspired by Delicatessen, your teddy bear. Can you tell me more? How old were you when you first got him/her?
Well he was one of a collection. I used to collect all these bears (which I haven’t really told anyone yet) and he was one of them and he was the one I saved up for the longest. I went on a trip when I was about 11 and purchased him.

What did he look like?
He was brown, and he was…. he was perfect. He had a pointy nose.

Aw. Where did the name Delicatessen come from?
There’s a famous bear named Delicatessen and I was so into him at a young age that I named him after the famous bear Delicatessen.

Oh! I’m a big bear person too but I didn’t know that. So what, when you were 18, you just thought ‘time to move on’?
Well I just went through a phase of cleaning out my life, I’d just moved to Sydney from Perth and tossed everything out. I was heartbroken.

At the Ellery show

Zimmermann at MBFWA / backstage

To see the collection on the catwalk, check out Xiaohan Shen’s vid of the Zimmermann show on Xssat.

Behind the scenes: Manning Cartell at Australian Fashion Week

Stylist Peter Simon Phillips talks about the #SS12 collection: 

What were you thinking when you styled the collection?
I was… thinking about who the girl was from the collection.

Okay, so who was the girl?
She was inspired by Frida Kahlo, so we kind of made a bit of a hardcore Latina bitch… can I say that? Just a strong type of woman.

A hardcore Latina… I don’t think I’ve ever met one of those.
You haven’t? Well you’ve just met 21 of them.

image

The wedding

Weddings: a sweet celebration of love, happiness and two wills bending to become one, or a night to be endured of cheesy dance hall classics, tasteless food* and boring speeches?

My little sister Karen’s was definitely the former. 

Karen and I first met at church two years ago, back when I could barely string a sentence together in Spanish. I met her family at church and long story short, I ended up moving in with them and sharing a room with her. 

I can safely say that without Karen, there is no way I would be back in Mexico.  As my translator and somewhat of a guide, she took me out, introduced me to all her friends, showed me how to catch the bus everywhere (604 baby!) and really made my time in Mexico more than just an exchange. And then, of course, as a sister she listened to me worry about the boy I had a crush on (he’s now my husband), comforted me when all I wanted was to hear some English, dammit, and threw a surprise birthday party for my 21st - complete with piñata. 

And so of course there was no way I was going to miss her wedding. 

I nearly did though. 

On the day of the wedding, we’d all gone to get our hair and make-up done. After, I’d gone out for lunch and to run some errands. But Mexican punctuality combined with my punctuality**  meant I arrived home at pretty much the time my family was planning to leave. I had my outfit planned out - one of the benefits of traveling is the pre-planning, and anyone who’s been to Mexico would know there was no guarantee I’d be able to find anything that wasn’t tight, made of Lycra and covered in diamantés  - so I threw it on, grabbed my essentials and ran out the door. 

Unfortunately, my essentials in Mexico covered only a small coin purse with enough money to get me through the day, but not my wallet. I was in the car on the way to a temple wedding, and I didn’t have my temple recommend. 

Since we were already running late***, I asked my family to drop me off by the side of the road so they could keep going and hopefully make it on time. I would take a taxi back to the house, grab my recommend and meet them there. 

I hailed the first taxi and told the driver I would pay the meter fare**** if he drove as fast as possible - a pretty good preposition, considering the fact that it was peak hour. We drove back to my place, I threw all dignity out the window to hike up my dress and jump over the fence and ran in to get my recommend. In my mind I thought, ‘Temple ho!’

Then came the ‘Oh, expletive' moment. My mind had been so concentrated on getting my recommend that I'd forgotten to grab enough money to pay for the taxi. I wanted to die, but instead I started crying. 

¡No llores!" said the taxi driver (he was a really kind hearted bloke). I didn’t know what to do. If I went back, I wouldn’t make it to the wedding on time - not a good idea when I’d flown all the way from Sydney for this moment. If I kept going, I wouldn’t have enough money - I only had a 50 peso note and maybe some loose change, in my estimate probably 60 pesos at most. Not enough for a ride I was expecting to cost at least 200 pesos. And I didn’t want to have to borrow money on arrival because I had already caused enough trouble, but it seemed like that was the only option. 

I decided to keep going. Thanks to the driver’s knowledge of the city roads, we made it in pretty good time. When we got to the temple, we were on the other side of the road but he said he would do a U-turn and drop me off inside, so I wouldn’t have to run as far in my heels to ask for money. I took out the 50 peso note and tipped out my coins to see how much I would need to beg or borrow (not steal).

Ten peso coin. Another ten peso coin. Two five peso coins. 

The meter read 101 pesos. Perhaps I wouldn’t need to borrow as much I’d thought. 

Two plus two plus one. I grouped the two and one peso coins into groups of five. Five, ten… Fifteen, twenty. I had a hundred pesos. No manches. The meter read 102.50. Including my 50 and 10 centavo coins, I had enough. 

I said to the taxi driver “Tengo 102.50; ¡aquí esta bien!”  I didn’t want him to keep driving lest the metre go up. He looked at me, with my hands holding all my coins, and shook his head in a way that said, ‘You are either crazy lucky, or crazy.’ He dropped me off on the temple grounds anyway. By the time we got there, the meter read 105. But 102.50 was fine. 

The wedding itself - all three parts - was  the epitome of Mormonism with a Mexican twist. The civil ceremony, held in a tiny Sunday school room (the hall had been double booked and was filled with balloons and disco music when we arrived), was beautiful as Karen and Gus completed their paperwork with that cheerful and almost oblivious bliss that only comes on your wedding day, and the religious ceremony in the temple was even more so.

The reception was more Mormon than Mexican, i.e. it finished at 11 and there were definitely no borrachos; but there was still dancing, 50 more people than were invited, and a gorgeous candy  buffet put on by our tía Karla that involved copious amounts of candy hearts (besos!), Hershey’s kisses, marshmallow twists and a tower of cupcakes topped with two paper figures that were meant to carry pictures of Karen and Gus, but due to fact that they’d forgotten to give Karla pictures of themselves, carried images of two totally random telenovela actor-looking people. 

But did that matter? Not really. At the end of the day, I asked Karen if the wedding was what she had wanted. Her teal-colored shoes were on the floor. One of her sisters couldn’t make it from Canada for the wedding, but her oldest sister and beloved brother-in-law was there, her family was there, her best friends from school were there and all the people from church who had seen her grow up were there. She had a massive grin on her face, and her eyes lit up as she responded, “”. And that was what mattered most. 

* and the ubiquitous and, quite frankly,  offensive steamed vegetables.

** well, lack thereof on both of our parts.

*** and feeling like absolute dirt because this was also my fault.

**** you normally bargain a set fare with taxis In Mexico, which is really convenient if there is a lot of traffic

Meet meat meet Vera from VeraMeat

I met Vera Balyura outside Hemingway & Pickett, a store in LA’s Silver Lake district that is run, funnily enough, by an Australian (owner Toby Burke Hemingway is from Melbourne). The store was hosting a trunk show for her label VeraMeat, and the slender, hauntingly beautiful designer was at the door personally to greet guests with her gorgeous companion Fred (a girl, by the way). 

Fascinated by her quirky jewellery, I nabbed her for a few quick questions. She was lovely, and I cannot say enough how much I’ve fallen in love with her pieces. I mean c’mon guys - a dinosaur eating fried chicken? ‘Sif not cool. 

So you’re a jewellery designer. How did you start?
I started off making things for myself. I was modelling at the time, and I’ve always made stuff with my grandfather, like miniatures and stuff so I just wanted to just make things for myself that I kind of wanted to wear. And then a stylist saw some of my stuff and she was like, ‘Oh’, you know, ‘I’d love to feature this’. And she worked with Nylon a lot and so she said ‘You really need to make a line,’ and so I did, and I sent it to her and they ended up featuring me so it was really great.

It’s just something I enjoy doing for myself and I kind of then got into the swing and it grew and grew and grew and now I have a store in Manhattan and other stores like this (Hemingway and Pickett) carry my stuff.


Are you originally from New York?
Yeah. Well I was born in Europe but I grew up in New York. I’ve lived there for over ten years, I went to school there and everything but yeah, I come to LA a lot and my sister lives here and I need excuses to come here.

Yeah? Why do you like LA?
I like the weather the most.

Funny, that’s what most people say about Australia.
The weather!

It’s so good. I’ve actually been to Sydney and I love it, I like the ibises and the bats in the park, it’s very inspiring. Fred looks like a little bat so…



Is Fred your only pet?
She is, I used to have a little bluebird with a red belly, it was really interesting and I used to just let it fly around and I had the window open and  it would leave and everything and then about a year and a half after I had it, it was just sitting on the windowsill and it was kind of like looking at it me and I could tell it waslike, ‘Can I go?’ and I was like, ‘You can go if you want.’ So he went outside, and then he came back every few months to visit me.


Oh! Do you still see him?
Well that was when I was in Brooklyn and now I’ve moved to Manhattan so…

He’s probably gone back and seen new people in your apartment and been like, ‘Who is this?’
I know. He doesn’t see me anymore. But he was such a beautiful, beautiful little treasure.

So have you always loved animals?
Yeah I have, especially unique animals or animals that I feel like me pick me. I have a lot of weird animal stories.

Like?
Well animals, like even really mean dogs that don’t like anyone, they really like me. And for some reason they’re very calm around me.

Like me and my friend went to this insane asylum just to check it out and it was closed [but] we went to take photos, and one of the family members of the family that watched it - he used to be in the asylum, he stuttered and had a lot of issues - he was there by himself …

He came with this huge pit bull on a chain and the pit bull was just barking ‘ar, ar, ar,’ and then he let it go off the leash and it ran towards us, but it went right past me towards my friend and my friend was terrified with his hands up and I was like, ‘It’s okay, come here,’ and he just sat next to me, like super calm.

Wow.
It’s fun. I don’t know why it is, but it just is.

So animals are where you get most of your inspiration from?
Well, I just make things I want for myself, mostly.

And where does the ‘meat’ in VeraMeat come from?
Yeah, the meat comes from me laughing [while] walking near the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York) after work and thinking, ‘What’s honest, that I love [and] yet think is funny?’ ‘Meat’ came to mind as it’s something hard to like these days as being vegan is the politically correct thing yet my body type doesn’t allow that nor does my blood type. Long story short, I just thought ‘VeraMeat’ and started laughing. Then I knew I would have to stick with it.

Also, my company is the ‘meatier’ side of jewelry - more interesting subject matter and better materials.

[And some] fun news - Werner Herzog the director just picked up a VeraMeat Edward Scissorhand necklace for good luck!

Susie Lau of Susie Bubble X Portable


Soft-spoken, charmingly self-deprecating, intelligent and passionate about all that is good about fashion: Susie Lau of Style Bubble comes to Australia for Portable (which, I might add, is my new go-to for all things quirky, gorgeous and beautiful about film. Watch some of them. You’ll never go back to Youtube again.) 

Head to Portable for tickets + more info. You really shouldn’t miss it. I know I won’t.

/ Style Bubble

Silver Lake swagger: Rodarte X A Magazine, Clare Vivier clutch, locally made bitters (Taken with instagram)

(Source: threequartersized)

Taken with instagram

(Source: threequartersized)

Agave fields in Tequila (Taken with instagram)

(Source: threequartersized)

Huichol artesanias

Huichol beading in San Luis Potosí, SLP, MX

Xilitla

Style on the streets of Xilitla

“ Life is a party. Dress like it. ”

—    Lilly Pulitzer (via goincoastal)

(Source: livealiittle, via prettystuff)