Astrid Chastka and Kalen Kaminski are the creators of Upstate, a line of clothing and accessories that feature Shibori, a Japanese method of dying using various techniques. Where I come from, we call it tie-dye. They make every piece themeselves, turning each one out in their new studio space in Brooklyn, which makes every piece one of a kind.
I’ve become a fan by watching my girlfriend wear the scarf my mother bought her for occasions of all stripes. I’ve also admired their collaborations with Archival Clothing and Fairends. Recently, they shared their fall lookbook with me, and I was compelled to interview them.
Recently, Liz Patelski and Lisa Panza, two designers I’m fortunate enough to call friends, launched the first collection for their line Remi Canarie. To say the two LPs have had an eventful year would be an understatement. Not even a full 365 days after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they have traded in their mortar boards for something a little more elegant, a well-thought-out, complete line of classics for today’s world-wise, modern young woman. More »
Whether it’s an “awful” corduroy hat he and some buddies each bought on a late ’70s ski trip, his high school jean jacket with sleeves destroyed by a dog and lovingly darned by my grandmother, or a custom-made oxford cloth shirt he bought to commemorate a new job and a move to the big city — one which both my brother and I wore while in high school — I cherish the hand-me-downs from my dad more than anything else.
Upon meeting the Hovey sisters some years ago, it was this bond with their parents, with their past — and the fact that our families both hail from Kansas City – that connected us immediately. And since then, it’s been such a thrill, as a fan and a friend to see their style mature into a full blown business and now a book from Rizzoli.
Every time she uploads an image to Instagram or to Tumblr, I think to myself it’s ridiculous to think the world doesn’t know this woman’s photographs. Carolina Mariana is one of my favorite photographers, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite people.
Though the certificate says “English-Writing,” by eschewing my non-fiction professor’s urges to stick to a more common narrative form in my senior seminar class, I was effectively a screenwriting major. Where others wrote of period pieces in dreamlike bucolic settings or modern tales of their disdain of suburbia, I favored the explication of an well-executed exterior shot or the baritone notes of a heavy-handed voice-over. At its root, the screenplay is driven by well-crafted conversations. Even today, you’ll notice so many of my stories begin with dialogue (one of my mentors, Tom Chiarella, quite literally wrote the book on dialogue).
And while Cameron Crowe and Billy Wilder before him will forever be the writers to whom I most dearly cling when coming up with my own quirky turns-of-phrase, and while I will forever aspire to write with the intelligence of Aaron Sorkin or Noel Coward, I know I’ll never have the knack. Yet, there is one writer, one so esteemed in my mind that she will forever remain the most influential on my style and certainly the most approachable, both as a writer and as a person. More »
On Valentine’s Day, The New York Times featured a 28-year-old leather craftswoman named Alya Kazakevich whose Chinatown shop, a.b.k Custom Leather Craft, with its “…potted plants, old sewing machines, vitrines of vintage belt buckles, and cool Russian military coats, sailor shirts and blankets sent to her by her parents in Belarus” sounds like my own version of heaven. More »