Friday, December 30, 2011

Rising Stars: Designers, Sonia Agostino and Nicole Jordan of Tableaux Vivants

If you skipped Art History 101, the significance of Sonia Agostino’s and Nicole Jordan’s fashion-forward label, Tableaux Vivants might be lost on you. A tableau vivant or, “living picture” was a popular art form in the 19th century, before film and television could bring life and color to images. Costumed actors and artist’s models theatrically lit in a drawing room, at a lavish wedding, or coronation, would act out a famous painting, drawing, or sculpture for an audience. A century later, Agostino and Jordan breathe new life into the idea of the “living picture” with Tableaux Vivants, a line of luxe latex garments, each one handmade. Says Jordan, “Our clientele is interested in having people look at them, so they become a living picture. At a party, wearing one of our garments, you’re elevated from being a human.”

It’s no wonder that some of Tableaux Vivants’ celeb clients, including the fashion house VPL, Kate Lanphear, and Lady Gaga are often described as otherworldly. “We’re fashion, not fetish,” adds Agostino. “Latex is a sexy fabric, but this is high fashion, not street wear.” The designers like it when clients mix their latex garments with other fabrics in their wardrobe. “This type of styling makes it easier to incorporate latex into everyday wear,” says Agostino. “It looks totally sexy to pair some latex leggings with a casual shirt. Add some heels and viola!”

One look at the label’s FA 11 and SP 12 lines, and you’ll see that the aesthetic is on par with Givenchy or McQueen and not something you’d find at a sex shop. And although by nature, latex is made to fit the body, not all pieces are skintight. In fact, many include elegant drape work or are takes on classic fashion staples, like the trench coat Tableaux Vivants made for VPL’s FA 11 runway show finale, which Tilda Swinton was photographed wearing in W Magazine
Graduates of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Agostino and Jordan started Tableaux Vivants in 2009. They were able to finance the operation themselves because they had low overhead costs due to the special way the garments need to be constructed – by hand. “Because everything is handmade,” explains Agostino, “I was able to transform my dining and living room into our studio when it’s time to work.” They work with suppliers for materials in the UK and throughout Europe, sourcing the best suppliers for the intense labor they put into each latex garment. There’s no factory, just the two designers and their avant-garde fashion-forward aesthetic. Once word hit the streets about their label, stylists like Keegan Singh, Joe Zee, Patti Wilson and Victoria Bartlett started pulling pieces. Bartlett was so taken with the design team that she commissioned 8 latex garments that were shown on her FA 11 runway for the finale. 

In addition to being the avant-garde darlings of top stylists, Agostino and Jordan made savvy collaborations early on with talent that fit the label’s aesthetic. One of their first projects was commissioned by US Elle Style Director, Kate Lanphear, who asked Agostino and Jordan to participate in Lane Crawford’s Heritage Collection “Tribute to the Trench.” “We worked for five straight days on those hand-rolled tubes for our coat,” explains Jordan. “When Kate came to our studio, here is this fashion icon, and we hadn’t slept for days!” 
Then came an unlikely client: Disney. The duo was commissioned to create pieces for a TRON LEGACY pop-up shop in Los Angeles that was open for a month before the movie came out. “This was to get people excited about the movie,” explains Agostino. “Furthermore, Disney felt that incorporating women’s fashion would get a larger female clientele interested in the movie.” Along with designing 7 garments for the pop up, Agostino and Jordan created a fashion film to showcase the designs as they had interpreted them – commissioned by Disney. 

In addition to being a client-based fashion label, the designers hope to make Tableaux Vivants a “go-to company for custom costumes and garments for TV, movies, and commercials.” Video lookbooks, which are all the rage these days, are a perfect vehicle for houses like Tableax Vivants, because viewers can see how the garments move on the body. Recently, the designers teamed up with stylist Tom Van Dorpe for VMan Magazine to create items worn by Adriana Lima; the shoot was documented in a fashion video that’s candy for the eyes.

But you don’t have to be a supermodel or Gaga (who has made it her mission to promote her favorite up-and-coming designers) to wear Tableaux Vivants. Says Jordan, “Everybody has that feeling when you’re out and about and you feel like you’re in a music video doing something for the fabulous moments in life.” Agostino adds, “And there are so many opportunities to have a surreal day in New York City.”

When wearing your latex garment, the designers suggest applying Eros Bodyglide
because it goes on clear, and is kind to the latex, although baby powder works as well. To care for your garment, they recommend washing it in a tub with lukewarm water every time you wear it, especially if you use a lot of lotions or self-tanner. People can view the designers’ guidelines for caring for their latex on their website. Agostino says, “Our garments require you to love and care for them, but if you do, they will love and care for you.”

Thanks, Tableaux Vivants! (to all my readers, J’adore the boned corset and pink pencil skirt from SP 12 … and my birthday is coming up) xox BG!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide

My rule of thumb for giving gifts ... Give something the recipient would love, but wouldn't normally get him or herself

Here are some of my favorite picks

  • Mink Earmuffs from the Fur Salon at Saks … A little luxury for the ears
  • Agent Provocateur … Fantasy lingerie with ranges for all tastes, naughty and nice
  • J.Crew Cashmere Socks … Warm tootsies are a must
  • Kate’s Paperie Eco-Friendly Letterpress Journal … For taking stock and saving trees  
  • Fresh Sugar Body Polish … The best body scrub for all your parts 
  • Ernest Sewn Custom Made Jeans … The perfect fit guaranteed 
  • Judi Rosen Unearthened Large Necklace … Because crystals continue to rock, and this one comes on a 24-inch silver chain
  •  Diana F Lomography 1960s Cult Camera … So retro! (don’t forget the 35 mm film) 
  • Illustrado: A Novel by Miguel Syjuco … This prize-winning novel about art and identity is seductive, lushly written, oh, and brilliant 
  • Jo Malone Bath Oil Set … A talc-free fragrance that as earthy as it is luxe

  • TOMS One for One – New Eye wear Collection … Not only cool shades, but this is philanthropic gift giving
  • The Art of Shaving Travel Kit … Because he loves his baby face when he’s on-the-go
  • iPhone 4 Birdseye Maple Custom Case … 300 limited edition cases by a fantastic artist – not your ordinary skin
  • Ricky Powell’s Public Access: Ricky Powell Photographs 1985-2005 … Just cause
  • Chrome Soyuz Waterproof Laptop and More Bag … Women aren’t the only ones who carry their wares around the city
  • Ben Sherman Achilles Boot ... Because Jay-Z is over Timberland
  • Mad Men Seasons 1-4 Disc Set … Every man dreams of being Don Draper, and Season 5 doesn’t premiere til March
  • WeSC Voodoo Revenge Te-shirt … Because you LOVE his friends
  • Tribe Skateboard … Follow the Tribe, the finest wood from this Brooklyn-based company
  • Dave’s WEAR House Cheap and Unique Valve Caps for Your Bike Rims … Stocking stuffers with style and function
  • ecofö synthetic-fur Belgium made Bearskin rug … Faux fur never felt this good first thing in the morning on cold feet
  • Chic Shop by Hillary Thomas Design Large Telephone Wire Platter in Rainbow … Never lose the car keys again
  • Photo Session with Fashion/Portrait Photographer, Charity de Meer
  • Photo Session with Photojournalist/Candid Portrait Artist, Peter Pabon
  • petit h by Hermès … Upcycled discards from the fashion house’s production facility turned into offbeat, whimsical collectibles
  • We-Vibe … Because adults like unwrapping toys just as much as kids, and this one has guaranteed “buzz”
  • IN GOD WE TRUST Crosley Spinerette Turntable … Plays records and easily converts vinyl into digital audio files; software suite and audio editing available
  • s[edition] … This online art shop sells prints of today’s most notable artists’ works, like Shepard Fairey’s Peace Guard

happy holidays from Beautiful Garbage xox

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pamela Love Trunk Show at Reformation LES

This Saturday, 12/3 from 3-6 PM, Check out artist/jeweler/designer Pamela Love's Trunk Show at the LES REFORMATION, 156 Ludlow.

New York native Pamela Love received her BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in film production with a concentration in art and public policy. After graduating, Love applied her studies and creativity as an artist’s assistant and as an art director and stylist for photo shoots, music videos, and films. Throughout these projects, Love often had difficulty finding jewelry that suited her taste. As a result, in 2006, she began making her own pieces, working primarily out of the basement of her own Brooklyn apartment.

It wasn’t long before her innovative, distinctive creations caught the attention of trendsetters worldwide, and her newfound passion became a full-time business. Now working from a studio on 29th Street in New York, Love works with an in-house team who manage all production, public relations, online, and retail sales.

Pamela Love draws her inspiration from many of her favorite artists, including Joseph Cornell, Lee Bontecou, Hieronymous Bosch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Francesco Clemente. Her creativity is further fueled by her passion for nature and science, as well as astronomy, astrology, religion, magic and folk jewelry. Her deep connection to the American Southwest also continues to be a driving inspiration behind her artistry and craft. Passionate about both her design and practice, she continues to experiment with unique and exotic materials, while exploring new techniques to make her challenging and extravagant designs a reality. Love defies traditional categories of fine or costume jewelry through the use of materials ranging from brass and leather to 14-karat gold and precious stones. Her collections, like Love herself, blend mystery with romance, reminiscent of stories both whimsical and dark.

Beyond the success of her own individual line, Pamela Love has collaborated with designers such as Marchesa, Twenty8Twelve, Yigal Azrouel, Frank Tell, and Zac Posen for their runway shows and presentations. She worked with Opening Ceremony and Spike Jonze to create a jewelry line inspired by his film Where The Wild Things Are, and has produced custom jewelry for HBO's hit TV show, True Blood. In an effort to become more eco-friendly, Love has worked with designer Rogan Gregory to create the sustainable jewelry line Rogan vs. Love.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lucky Stars

Someone bumped me and I spilled champagne down the front of my dress.

"Beasts in here," said Vincent Frand, dabbing my chest with a napkin. "That's putting it mildly. This 80s downtown art scene of ours is a miraculous disaster. But you..." he paused to take a drink. "You," he began again emphatically. "You just have to be a part of it. Don'r you?"

"The whole star bit -- I'm not playing into that."

"Oh no?" 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rising Star: Indie Culture Producer, Lauren Rayner

Lauren Rayner

BG: You wear so many hats: Producer, Director, Writer, Web and Graphic Designer, Marketing/PR Guru. Which is your favorite?
LR: I can't pick just one hat?! I like to pile them all on top of my head, even if it's not really a good look. This is an unhealthy conversation. However, if I had to choose, I would say "Producer" because a producer really needs to be able to take on any aspect that might happen. And I love the challenge. For example, on set of Moving Forward our make-up artist had something come up mid-shoot and unfortunately had to leave us and I had to take on her role make-up the actors until we could hire someone new for the next day. And then half of our art department had other commitments during the shoot (Hey, it's New York! We have 9 lives...) so I took on those  responsibilities mid-shoot as well: pulling props and dressing the set. Producing, especially in regards to film, has to be my favorite because I can't pigeonhole myself with this position. It's everything and anything you make of it. Producing is hard though ... sometimes I like to be the director or writer and just purely create without the other pressures of producing. 
BG: Can you explain your role in the short film Moving Forward?

LR: I was one of three core producers on this film. Joshua Weber was the Executive Producer (as well as the writer and director), Trisha Solyn was a producer (and also the cinematographer), Jason Van Der Brand served as an Associate Producer, and I was what I would call a Managing or Line Producer for this project. A few responsibilities included handling hiring crew and casting, (all in collaboration with Josh and Trish of course) fundraising/marketing, location scouting/securing/permitting, SAG short film agreement contracting, petty cash wrangling, and keeping the actors and crew happy by working to ensure we had nutritious meals and proper transport on set for the entire seven day shoot. Honestly, the best part about producing this film was that we were such a dynamic team and worked really well together. We accomplished a lot with very little resources available to us.

Producer Lauren Rayner on the set of Moving Forward with Writer/Director Joshua Weber

BG: How did you raise money?
LR: Ah yes. That is always the quandary. Fundraising is one of the most difficult aspects of any venture, but this is was mostly a passion project, meaning that it was largely self-funded by the writer/director and a small, focused group of investors/donors. Fundraising for a short film is a tricky business because it is unlikely to generate much of a revenue stream which makes it a hard pitch to investors. Our plans for this film was for it to take the festival route as a short film entry, which nonprofit donors can find very intriguing and a great project to be a part of.  We also held a small fundraising open bar party with a raffle a few months before the shoot so we could drum up some support for the film which helped us cover some initial start up costs.

BG: Tell me about the story of Moving Forward. Do you think in light of the Occupy Wall Street grassroots phenomenon, Moving Forward will especially resonate with audiences?

LR: In a nutshell, Moving Forward is about bringing political corruption down from within. After years of playing by the rules and getting nowhere, Thomas Adder is about to make a name for himself overnight. Four years ago as young, ambitious strategist at the forefront of a winning New York City gubernatorial campaign, Thomas believed he was working to elect a man that wanted to change the face of the city he loved. All too soon he realized he was wrong. Following the triumphant campaign for Reese Jennings, Thomas was given a swift pat on the back before being cast aside with knowledge that in the political world you are either working to fight corruption or part of the problem. Thomas chose to leave the team and now, four years later, he will face the newly re-elected Governor, he has come to despise. With renewed vigor, Thomas is the only man that still believes in their original campaign slogan, “Moving forward to make a difference,” and is willing to do whatever it takes to remove the corrupt Governor from office.

This film will definitely resonate with audiences, especially during these turbulent political times. It does not subscribe to any particular political party; we really tried to leave that part ambiguous and make the story very character driven rather than promoting a specific political agenda. The film is a character study about right and wrong. It's right to bring this Governor down, but by the time the main character Thomas figures out how to do it ... well, has he grown just as evil as the man he has in his sights to take down? That will be for the audience to decide!

BG: Did you feel that as a woman you experienced any obstacles in the film making process or do you feel certain female gender qualities enhanced your experience as a filmmaker?
LR: I don't think I faced any particular obstacle that I wouldn't have already faced as a woman in everyday life anyway. Although, I will say, except for the two actresses, Trisha (director of photography/producer) and me made up the only females on set. I do not wish to make any generalizations, but the film industry is still very much so a male-dominated one with men writing and producing most more than two-thirds of the major films released today. However, independent film is so different. The team usually really knows and trusts each other (because in NYC the film world is much smaller than LA) and many of the people have all worked on many shoots together before! At least this was my experience with the team for Moving Forward; and it was a great one.

BG: Your production company, Lauren Rayner Productions, states in its mission, that "Narratives can be created out of anything: stage, film, dance, music, web-design, visual art, and any combination thereof. These art forms are innovative and they are genreless; these stories are linear and they are emotional."I feel like that versatility/flexibility is totally in sync with our postmodern catering economy. So, what's next for your production company?

LR: Next up, I am on the producing team for DELUSION a new feature by TreeFa Films about a struggling actor who gets into the underground world of massage and ends up in Budapest (we're still in pre-production and shot some preliminary scenes in May 2011). Also, I will be fundraising throughout November for a short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp called The Days God Slept, an ethereal, almost dream-like piece set mostly in a strip club. Looking forward to location scouting for that!

Thanks, Lauren xox

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Artist Studio Visit: Alexander Eagleton

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to visit artist Alexander Eagleton's Williamsburg studio. This bi-coastal painter/sculptor/3D artist was in town for the invitation-only Creator's Project in collaboration with Vice Magazine and Intel. The highly anticipated event took place in DUMBO, and was a showcase of art that combines music, interactivity, and multimedia visuals. Eagleton, whose company Dynamite Laser Beam provides music and sound for high-profile advertising and entertainment conglomerates, is prepping for a personal studio tour later this year. Here's a sneak peek of some of his latest works. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NYC Men of Style: Episode I

NYC isn't only renowned for beautiful women. It's arguable the fellows here are unlike any others in the world. More than swagger, style in this city is constantly evolving, with men and women taking it to the next level.  Here are five of my favorite NYC men ... men whose style always stood out to me. They  share nuggets of personality, aesthetic reflections, and let us peek into their wardrobes and/or suitcase.  Feast your eyes ... Know a NYC man of style? Message me. Episode II is in the works with some super cool men who've already signed on. I smell a calendar coming on ... it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. XO BG

Chris Daish: Model/Philanthropist


BG: You're a Ford and Wilhelmina model. How did you break into the industry?

CD: Before heading off to the States for college I was in a sex shop in Kings Cross (Red Light district of Sydney) having a booze- infused argument with my then partner. I left the store to get some air, and the sales assistant turned out to be a scout, and suggested to my girl that I get into modeling. Reluctantly, my girl gave me his card the next morning and encouraged me to give it a shot. After a couple of weeks I called him, and started shooting in the few months before leaving for college. Cast forward a few years, I got scouted along my travels to NYC and London and decided it was meant to be. Modeling has provided a great opportunity to travel and compliments my other career pursuits in life. I was signed with Ford from 2002-2009 in NYC, then moved over to Wilhelmina in 2010.

BG: Who do you admire as a designer? As a muse? What's your favorite designer-muse combo?

CD: In all honesty, my fashion savvy is close to zero. The roaring 20s was such an elegant period, permeated by social decadence with the appearance of a woman's knee due to shorter skirts. For men, the classic suit cuts of the debonair gentleman were pretty cool. Chanel's vision of the Breton stripe conceived from the uniforms of sailors and fishermen of the time makes perfect sense to me. As for today, any young designer who has a social conscience by honoring local producers and eco-friendly products, and has the guts to create something entirely new and innovative, for me, that’s inspiring. My favorite muse of all times has to be Edie Sedgwick. Andy and the Factory days created a visual evolution with a continuum of dialogue between bohos and intellectuals, and was just plain cool. So Warhol/Sedgwick is my combo!

BG: Female models are criticized for their weight, skin, hair and nails. Are male models under the same physical pressure?

CD: I guess the young runway/editorial guys feel the pressure to stay unrealistically thin, but being a seasoned clean cut catalogue guy, my personal pressures are limited. I grew up playing sport and living in the ocean and feel best when I have meat on my bones. Working out of Germany, Australia and South Africa is ideal because there is a large market for bigger blokes … so my daily dose of Ritta Sport dark chocolate in Hamburg is an asset. After living in a library and drinking Red Bull for two weeks for my finals at Berkeley, I worked in LA for a couple of months. My agent there told me immediately to get a tan and go to the gym (she was on the money). Other than that, the only criticisms have probably come after I've left the building. Ha!

BG: In addition to modeling, you're an active philanthropist. Tell me about your philanthropic work.

CD: I spent a period throughout college volunteering in the kitchen of Glide Church, which is a radically inclusive non-denominational church offering services to the homeless people of San Francisco. Through Housing Works, I worked as a volunteer outdoor therapist in East NY, coordinating and leading weekly cultural and leisure activities throughout NYC. The idea was to get my clients out of their comfort zones and expose them to a multitude of possibilities and experiences.  I’m a freelance consultant to Seeds of Africa where I help develop and put together fund raising events. Every holiday possible, I volunteer at the local church or do my own food runs around Manhattan, because not every person is in the mental or physical state to make it to the shelters/churches to get fed or embrace another loving human being. I myself am a long way from my family and know how it feels to be alone on these special days.

BG: In a city like New York, where self-indulgence is pretty much unavoidable, what motivates you to stay involved in humanitarian work?

CD: I hail from Australia, a relatively functional social democracy, and since moving to America at the age of 20, I’ve had every possible opportunity a person could have bestowed upon him. I’ve had amazing people come into my life and, consequently, have never felt truly alone over here. At the end of the day, I have two arms, two legs, and can manage an uninhibited smile (most days). There are too many glaring discrepancies within the education and health care systems in the U.S., and too many homeless and disenfranchised citizens to ignore. It’s my duty where possible to help those in need and be part of the solution.  

BG: Favorite spot to EAT/DRINK/RELAX:

CD: Blue Ribbon Bistro, (still the best!) ... oysters at the bar at Balthazar, coffee at Blue Bird or Mud Café. To relax: a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to powerHouse Bookstore in DUMBO and some sun in that little park. A trip to the New York Public library at Bryant Park to research an artist or something entirely new to me. Writing poetry in Central Park and skyscraper gazing.

BG: Describe your personal look:

CD: Repetitive. Old jeans, block color t-shirt, my Nikes or Converse. I’m a creature of habit; was given a Saint Christopher necklace by my best friend as I’d just endured a rough patch. I’m not a jewelry guy, but wearing it diligently. Let's see just how saintly this guy really is!

BG: You're always traveling. What's in your suitcase?

CD: Shoe bomb, box cutters, plastic explosives … you know. I travel light. Stuff that I can part ways with if I see the heat coming around the corner. Always some reading material. The New Yorker and a good book. Four undies, four socks, two jeans, three t-shirts, a nice suit. One sweater. One pair trousers. One pair dress shoes. Minimal toiletries. Chocolate. Very military indeed.

BG: Asides from beauty, you've got brains – Berkeley-educated brains. What's the last thing you read?

CD: Cormac McCarthy’s The Border Trilogy (for the third time).

BG: What will you be wearing Fall/Winter 2011?

CD: I’m currently based out of Newport Beach, CA, so if I decide to stick around, flip flops, a t-shirt and a pair of jeans … got to love So Cal! My beloved NYC how I love thee … but maybe my skin just ain’t thick enough for your brutal ways this winter round (insert - walking down Broadway in the dead of February).

BG: What's one item a woman can rock to look sexy as hell?

CD: I like girls who have their own sense of style. Elegance and grace cannot be discounted. A girl with compassion, a head on her shoulders who can look good wearing a potato sack is my kind of gal.  

BG: Would your mom approve of your look?

CD: More like my lack thereof … yes, my MUM (I’m Australian and we do things differently down there) would love me any way, shape, or form without restraint …  and would love to see me for that matter; it's been a while.

Two non-profits Chris is involved with are Seeds of Africa and Housing Works.

NYC Men of Style: Episode I

NYC isn't only renowned for beautiful women. It's arguable the fellows here are unlike any others in the world. More than swagger, style in this city is constantly evolving, with men and women taking it to the next level.  Here are five of my favorite NYC men ... men whose style always stood out to me. They  share nuggets of personality, aesthetic reflections, and let us peek into their wardrobes and/or suitcase.  Feast your eyes ... Know a NYC man of style? Message me. Episode II is in the works with some super cool men who've already signed on. I smell a calendar coming on ... it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. XO BG

Alex Corporan: Marketing Consultant/Editor/Photographer
Photo Credit: Peter Pabon

BG: You're a marketing consultant for several urban and skate brands including 5boro, Chrome X-Large, and Etnies. *P.S. I just heard about this amazing X-Girl shoot and I’m really excited for the new stuff. Back in the day I was obsessed, but I think that’s because I had a huge crush on Kevin who used to work at the shop on Avenue A ... but I digress. What's a marketing consultant exactly?

AC: It’s someone who helps brings direction and recognition to a brand. It’s someone who cultivates relationships and seeds out product to tastemakers and influencers for different brands. The list could go on forever; there are so many variations of this title.

BG: Last fall, through the amazing powerHouse Books, you published FULL BLEED a collection of NYC skate photography that got rave reviews from skaters and art folk for being raw and legit. Tell me about your involvement in the process and how you made it happen? It's hard to get a book deal these days!

AC: It came from the one question that people who don’t know much about skateboarding always ask me, which is, “Where do you skate in NY?” One day, the idea just popped into my head; why don’t I show people by doing a book of photography? The idea is that NYC as a whole is our skate park, especially because we never had proper skate parks back in the day. So, I started calling photographers I’d known from 25 years of being in the skate industry. It was a four-year project, and by the third year, I realized that I needed help; the project had become bigger than I’d imagined. So I teamed up with my partners, Ivory Serra and Andre Razo, and they helped me knock it out. The next step was to get it published. We had a list of publishers to meet with, and the first one in line was VICE. We showed it to them and, instant connection. We didn’t even bother going to the other publishers because it just felt like a perfect partnership. Little did VICE know it’d take 19 versions of FULL BLEED before the final version went to print! It was hard to pick through thousands of photos and get it right, but I believe we did it.  VICE/powerHouse has been extremely supportive, promoting FULL BLEED to its fullest.
BG: Do you think in terms of fashion, anyway, skateboarding has changed over the past decade, and if so, how? 

AC: It has changed a lot throughout the years. It went from super vibrant and baggy in the 80s to even more baggy and colorful in the 90s. In the mid-90s the colors turned more earthy, and the form got more fitted. In the last decade, I don’t know what the hell happened with guys skating in their girlfriends’ jeans. But currently, I see it going to form-fitting work wear clothing with neutral colors.

BG: What other projects do you have in the mix-up?

AC: Recently, I helped put together a pocket-sized magazine called Wrenched: NYC issue. It's the second installment of the Wrenched magazines. I'm also working on a project with my personal photo archives, which span the last two decades. I have a couple things up my sleeve. They will surface soon enough ...

Photo Credit: Peter Pabon
BG: For men, Fall/Winter 2011, what's the look to go for?

AC: Form-fitting military look and stylish suits.

BG: And For men on-the-go like you, how do you combine practicality with style?

AC: I just know what would look good together depending on the day.

BG: What's the one essential item all dudes should rock?

AC: Belts.

BG: Favorite place to eat:

AC: My two favorite restaurants are Ideya and Mekong

BG: Tell me about some of your style influences.

AC: For casual wear, I’m a fan of Ben Sherman and Marc Jacobs tops and jackets. Most of their stuff is not too loud and fits really well.

BG: What’s one item that a woman can rock to look sexy as hell?

AC: Altered men’s t-shirt

BG: You'd never rock:

AC: Spandex jeans. “YIKES.”

BG: Greatest vice.

AC: Anything fried.

BG: To sum up NYC fashion in a phrase or two you'd say:

AC: There’s never a dull day in NYC fashion; everyday is a surprise.

BG: Would your mom approve of your style?

AC: She should; my style is pretty clean cut.

Check out Alex’s blog, Peanut Gallery and his book, FULL BLEED.

NYC Men of Style: Episode I

NYC isn't only renowned for beautiful women. It's arguable the fellows here are unlike any others in the world. More than swagger, style in this city is constantly evolving, with men and women taking it to the next level.  Here are five of my favorite NYC men ... men whose style always stood out to me. They  share nuggets of personality, aesthetic reflections, and let us peek into their wardrobes and/or suitcase.  Feast your eyes ... Know a NYC man of style? Message me. Episode II is in the works with some super cool men who've already signed on. I smell a calendar coming on ... it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. XO BG

Gabriel Urist: Jeweler

BG: Describe what you make.

GU: Jewelry. It's often sports-related.

BG: Can you elaborate?

GU: I'm a jeweler. A customizer. I'm a therapist. I help people have things they want; get the things they want made. I like to make things from ideas.

BG: What's the inspiration for your current line?

GU: It's not so much about the season of the fashion cycle, but more about the individual. I do have collections and lines; many of them are based around basketball because I love making things for basketball fanatics. Basketball is my favorite art form; I want to offer fans something a little more sentimental than a foam hand or a jersey. 
BG: Describe your latest project:

GU: Peach pit rings, which tie into my affinity for basketball. Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891, when he took peach baskets from his farm and put them up on a pole to give the boys something to do when it was cold outside. So I’m making rings out of peach pits because peach pits are a really cool material to carve. It’s something new and I’m working with a lot of local farmers.

BG: You’re also an accomplished metal-smith. That sounds so Chaucer. But you’re a pretty modern boy.

GU: I’ve used silver, gold, platinum, titanium, palladium, stainless steel, aluminum, wood, canvas, photographs, plastic, vinyl; all different types of materials, mixed mediums.

BG: You’ve collaborated with Altoids, Alife, Converse, Futura 2000Haze, New Era, Supreme Wu-Tang, and then there’s your relationship with the MLB and NBA. What’s your favorite collaboration?

GU: I don’t want to give anyone more shine than anyone else.

BG: Fair enough. As for your jewelry, you’re renowned for your impeccable logo-likeness and sick detailing.

GU:  I’m good with my hands.

BG: Describe your personal look:

GU: I love my eyes. Some of my favorite features are my legs. I was playing basketball and someone broke my pinky finger, so that's jacked up. 

BG: What influenced your style growing up?

GU: The Fab Five, skaters, graffiti writers, music makers and the freaks.

BG: And now? What kind of look do your rock, clothing-wise?

GU: All my clothes have been given to me. As long as it's new I like it. Old stuff is stupid.

BG: And accessories for the urban, athletic man?

GU: Nothing goes better with team apparel than bling.

Gabe at work in his studio, wearing Gucci protective eye wear.

To view Gabe’s collected works, visit his website, Gabriel Urist Jewelry

NYC Men of Style: Episode I

NYC isn't only renowned for beautiful women. It's arguable the fellows here are unlike any others in the world. More than swagger, style in this city is constantly evolving, with men and women taking it to the next level.  Here are five of my favorite NYC men ... men whose style always stood out to me. They  share nuggets of personality, aesthetic reflections, and let us peek into their wardrobes and/or suitcase.  Feast your eyes ... Know a NYC man of style? Message me. Episode II is in the works with some super cool men who've already signed on. I smell a calendar coming on ... it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. XO BG

Jon Newport: Skateboarder/Lower MGMT/Radio Personality/Slumerican

BG: Describe your personal look:

JN: Skateboarder, hip-hop, redneck.

BG: You’re originally from Georgia. What are some southern influences on your style?

JN: Chilling at a BBQ.

BG: Aside from your wardrobe, you’re known for having crazy ‘dos. This year you’ve rocked a Pantera, the Bud Bundy mushroom, frosted tips, and some-kind-a-blue. What’s up?

JN: Jenna Perry is my personal hair stylist. She takes care of all my hair-cuttery.
BG: Back in the 90s I read an interview where Mike D said he was all about taking fly fashion risks. What’s a Jon Newport fly fashion risk?

JN: I don’t consider anything I do a risk. I just wear clothes. 

BG: What were your fashion influences as a kid?

JN: In skateboarding, Plan B and the skate video “20 Shot Sequence” and in music, Hieroglyphics, Outkast, Native Tongues.

BG: Describe a typical day.

JN: That depends on if it’s my day or a Yela day. If it’s my day, I wake up, shower, hit the streets and go to a café for Americano. I’ll skate past dark, have a cocktail with dinner, then hit the streets again and go out all night. If it’s a Yela day and I’m on tour, like this summer’s VANS WARP TOUR, I’d wake up from the hotel and repack the van, get food, drive who-knows-how-many-hours to the next city …

BG: You drive?

JN: I sit in the back. Bad kids sit in back. Then it’s off to sound-check, the show, after-party, bottles, you know. As “lower management,” I have to make sure we all make it to the next hotel, the next city, next show.

BG: Favorite city:

JN: Barcelona.

BG: Besides skate, what do you do to stay in shape?

JN: Work at Lil’ Frankies, running dishes and glassware up and down stairs all night.

BG: Catch phrase of 2011:

JN: Yer killin it kiddiee kahhhh.

BG: Favorite brands:

JN: Polo, Sperry, Fruit of the Loom.
BG: Favorite spot to SHOP/EAT/DRINK/RELAX:

JN: Walmart. Fox Brothers BBQ in AtlantaDown by the river and down by the river.

BG: Accessory of choice:

JN: Snapback hat or beanie.

BG: What’s a special skill no one knows about?

JN: I’m an undercover chef.

BG: Biggest vice:

JN: Drinking. Is that a vice? What’s really a vice? That’s a subjective question.

BG: Last thing you read:

BG: Would your mom approve of your style?

JN: No.

Check out Newport on Ballers Eve Radio, every Wednesday from 10-12 PM, EST and stay tuned for more from this Slumerican.