Brands We Love: Lipstick Queen
If there’s one name to know in punk music today, it's that of Mish Way, frontwoman of White Lung. White Lung originally got their start in Vancouver, and just released their third record, Deep Fantasy, on Domino Records. We recently had a chat with Mish, discussing the resurgence of punk music, her style icons, and everything that contributed to the recording of their new record. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one - it’s a heck of a good read.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile
Hey Mish! How have you been lately?
Fuckin' great. We just played this festival called Fuji Rock, which is held out in the mountains in Mount Fuji. Huge festival, it was great. I was only there for like 36 hours, so we went out, they took us into the festival, we played, we did some press, we went back to Tokyo, we partied with our friends, and then we went home. It was crazy. Japanese crowds are amazing. Everyone who worked at that festival was so polite and respectful and on point. Every piece of gear was perfect, everything you wanted was perfect; it was just very, very lovely. I'm all about the professionalism and they just blew me away.
You recently released Deep Fantasy on Domino Records. Tell me a little bit about the recording process for the record and where you drew inspiration from.
Well, we recorded the record in Vancouver with Jessie Gander, he's our guy. We started writing this record, and recorded half of it in December before I moved down to LA for a bit. Half of the record was written in isolation, which was really beneficial for us. We never heard any of the songs live until Heather and I went up and tracked it. Our guitar player Kenny played both bass and guitar on the record because we kicked out our old bass player. He did both, because he's a genius. The record was done a lot in the studio because we were playing more with tone and trying to piece together a rock record with a missing member. But it actually worked in our benefit because everyone was only bringing their best material forward. When we did work as a group, we couldn't just jam things out live, it had to be a little more calculated, a lot more thought out, and it worked for us. And the inspiration for the record, I just didn't want as much sugar on this record as the last one. I'm not sure if I achieved that, but I personally really wanted to write really strong, accessible vocal melodies that were aggressive and strong but still really catchy.
Deep Fantasy is full of slick and fast punk tunes that sound like they are totally timeless. How do you feel about punk music coming back and being more popular again? What was your goal when creating this record?
To me, punk music never went anywhere because that's the scene that I grew up in. Maybe it's having a resurgence in a more mainstream fashion now, but for us, those are my peers and that's who I toured with. We always put ourselves out into the atmosphere, and that's the great thing about punk - you can do things on your own and you don't need anyone else. That's the whole point of it, you know? I think it's great that loud music is coming back in a more popular way. I think people need it. Our world right now, we're doing everything in subtweets, you know? Punk music brings out true excitement and anger and expression. Even when you're watching a punk show, that energy is exhilarating and exciting and I think in a world where we're all so concerned with feeling and doing things on the sly, it's so complicated, and such a mindfuck, to have a form of straightforward, direct, and confident true expression. That directness is maybe what's so appealing. It makes me happy. The more the merrier. We've never been one of those bands that's been like, Keep us secret. There's nothing wrong with that. A lot of people in the punk scene don't feel that way.
White Lung's shows are extremely energetic and clearly elicit a physical response. For you personally, what do you feel is the key to putting on a meaningful live show and connecting with the people in the audience?
As we play venues or bigger stages, like festivals where there's this complete disconnect, I really had to learn how to convey what I'm doing in a bigger way. Put a little more musical theatre into it, you know what I mean? I've never been one that looks people straight in the eye while we're performing. I like to touch people and get involved there, but I don't necessarily look at people. I like to lose myself and forget what I'm doing. That's what makes a good performance for me. I'm aware that there's people watching me, but if I'm hyper-aware, and I see someone's eyes or something, it takes me away from what I'm doing. In the past I would always have my hair in my face. For me to put on a really good show I need to be completely lost in what I'm doing. It's this completely unaware trance that's happening, and that's when I perform the best. That's when I act the craziest, and that's when I don't care. People like to see you lose control and like to see power. That's how I feel when I'm on stage. I feel really powerful, I feel really excited, I feel really nuts. That's just what the music my bandmates are playing evokes for me, and I think we build from each other. Everyone has their role, but I like my front people to be front people. If you're paying money, I want to put on a show for you. It's exhausting but it's the best thing in the world.
Who have you been listening to on your own lately, while on tour or just in general?
I actually just deleted everything that was on my iPhone and I'm getting all this new stuff. I'm listening to a lot of, and this is probably because of my boyfriend, David Allan Coe's first record called Penitentiary Blues. Pink Mountaintop's new record I'm really into. I'm also listening to this compilation of all these Turkish garage bands from the '70s that I listened to years ago rediscovered again. Also a lot of weird old soul stuff, like Helane Smith and Joanne Garrett; all these old Miami soul artists I'm really enjoying right now. As for new bands' records, Mormon Crosses are coming on tour with us in September, and there's this band Love from the UK that I'm really into. I'm so eclectic with my tastes, I'm always searching for new old music. That's what I was doing yesterday for hours, just scouring old blogspots. People still have all this great shit up they uploaded from super old albums; it's so good.
I know White Lung was originally based out of Vancouver, but I've noticed you've been spending a lot of time in LA lately! How has this city played a part in your music and writing?
Well, now we're even further spread; our guitarist just moved to Montreal. When I was in Vancouver writing that first half of the record, I was very unhappy and I knew I was making this big change and was gonna try and move. I'm back and forth between the two still. I just really needed a step away from what I was doing in Vancouver. I was extremely unhappy and coming here gave me kind of a breath of fresh air. The second half of the record is a lot more positive than the first, and of course all of the songs are mixed up, but LA just put me in a better headspace. Everyone's gotta escape from the place they grew up in. I grew up in Vancouver, and I've been fortunate enough to travel so much that it was okay for a home base for a while, but it finally got to that point where I was sitting here bored out of my mind. I was done. I didn't have any work anymore and I was being paid in all U.S. dollars so what was the point? I really am a lot happier here, I just needed a change of scene. You can't not be happy in LA. It's a city where if you're already established, it's a really good place to come, I love it. I'm a West Coast person.
Now let's take a minute to talk about style. You do a lot of writing on the subject and how it relates to music. Some say there wouldn't be one without the other. How do you feel about the two and how they constantly work together or can they be separate?
They can be separate things, for sure but I feel like at least for me, the way that I use style in my performing helps me get into my character. Being on stage, you're exposing one very specific extension of yourself. Style and fashion is a great way to embody that and amp that up and really give yourself that extra boost to feel good. People are staring at you on stage, so you want to look and feel good to bring out even more confidence and put on a better performance. I used to have a really big issue with fashion, because I never had any money and I had to be creative with it. I would just feel so frustrated with it. When you follow the rules you feel frustrated but then you realize no one who's got great style follows rules. And, as I got older and got more comfortable with myself, I embraced fashion in a different way. I love it now. Being a female, too, gave me this total leg up with style. It can be frustrating when we're all having those days where you wake up and you hate everything in your closet and you hate your body, whatever, but those are the best days because you've gotta figure out a way to get around that. That's like a weird female thing, but it's an interesting part of it. Style is really important to me and has become more and more important as I've gotten older and I think it has a lot to do with confidence. All the people that I know who I think have the best style, they're just wearing whatever the hell they want, and it looks good because they feel so confident. I think the person with the best style in rock and roll, hands down forever, and will be Jennifer Herrema. She dresses insane. It's because she's made this self and this character and no one can pull off what she does. She looks incredible.
Who would you call your #1 musical style icon?
Probably Jennifer Herrema. And Judy Cole of Dead Moon. She picks one outfit that she wears for an entire tour. It's so cool, she'll just wear that every night and it's like her uniform. It's so badass. I've always loved Courtney Love and '90s style. The whole babydoll Kinderwhore thing, that was great. I think Jennifer Herrema is probably the most inspiring to me because she found this really great stride of hitting the mark between sexy and kind of butch. She's got this real fear in her style, I don't know. Little funny things, you know. If you can pull butch and sexy together, those are my two favorite things I'm always drawn to.
For the past two years, our music blogger Maddie Sensibile has been our go-to gal out on the West Coast. With an eye for casually cool fashion and a knack for blending high-end and low-end pieces, Maddie's been a never-ending source of inspiration for us all. Since she's always on top of the latest music releases (she's like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to attending shows), we gave her her own column, "I'm With The Band," to give her the chance to chat to and photograph all the most talked about musicians. For this About A Girl, since we've been so inspired by Maddie for so long, it only made sense to feature her and let the whole world know a little bit more about our favorite girl.
Photography by Emmanuel Olunkwa. Styling by Rachel Ritter.
Hi Maddie! Can you talk to us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Hey! Yes. I’m 20 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA. I’m currently in my final year of college, studying Photojournalism and Anthropology. I’m a bonafide music lover and spend most of my time thinking about that!
Tell us a little bit about what you do for Urban Outfitters. How did you get involved with the Urban Outfitters blog?
I’ve been a freelance writer for the UO blog for about two years now. During the Rookie Road Trip in 2012, I met some incredible people that got me involved with the blog team, and it has been an incredible partnership ever since! I’m currently writing mostly music-related things for the UO blog and have my own column, “I’m With the Band.”
What other things are you working on in your spare time?
Right now in my spare time I am mostly working on my post-college plans which will probably include graduate school, and I also am hoping to start some sort of new lifestyle website or magazine in the next year or so. I really want to evolve my fashion blog, Obsessee into something new.
How do you spend a day off? Can you walk us through a daily routine?
Usually, when I’m not in school or busy doing something else, I like to go around LA to art museums or find new places to eat with my best friend Maggie. She always finds the best places! I’m a total foodie. I also have been really into comedy lately and enjoy going to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Franklin Village. The Cinefamily is also great, over on Fairfax. I just saw The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night there. The theatre itself is an old silent movie theatre, but now it draws interesting crowds for the quirky movies they show. As far as a daily routine goes when I’m not going out, I usually wake up, play with my dogs for a good while, and spend a lot of time on the web blogging or watching Kyle Mooney’s YouTube videos, then I’ll usually go to dinner with a friend or something later in the day. I’m guilty of enjoying being a couch potato from time to time.
You live in California. How has that shaped your tastes?
In the last two or three years I’ve become really close with people who like going to gigs and being surrounded by music. This has really helped me immerse myself in the scene here. There’s always something to do and see, whether it be in Silverlake at Lolipop Records or in Orange County with Burger Records. I think the huge wave of DIY record labels, like Burger and Lolipop, has helped people realize they can play music and be serious about it. These DIY record labels are run by extremely genuine people, which I think allows these young people new ways to produce music and put themselves out there. I think living in Los Angeles has given me a sense of freedom because there are so many creative people here. Someone is always up to something new, which is very exciting. There is a sense of purpose here, which has definitely driven me to be cultured and curious when it comes to music, fashion, art, etc.
Were there any bands your parents turned you onto that made you fall in love with music at an early age?
Funnily enough, I learned about music and everything I currently love through my own research. My parents always talk about Fleetwood Mac, though. I’d say they’re my parents’ favorite band, and one of mine too. My dad actually saw The Rolling Stones with me last year, and he’s been talking to me a lot more about rock and roll since then. We both really love Led Zeppelin, as well.
Who are some of your current/new favorites?
Lately I’ve been listening to a ton of Fleetwood Mac, specifically their Rumours record, and Stevie Nicks’ The Wild Heart. I’m also into the Talking Heads, Television, Led Zeppelin, and The Gun Club. Other, “newer” favorites for me are Arcade Fire. I’ve been listening to their new record Reflektor ever since it was released in October. That record was such a new direction for them and it is so great to dance to. I've also been listening to The White Stripes a lot, since I’m sad I never got to see them live! Seeing Jack White live, though, has filled the void. I can’t complain. The “newest” band I’ve been heavily listening to is SKATERS from New York City. I actually spoke to them last October for UO when they opened for Palma Violets in LA, and I just love their attitude and everything about them. My other go-to bands of the moment are The Babies, Twin Peaks, Mac Demarco, Real Estate, Drowners, Blood Orange, and Angel Olsen.
Your blog Obsessee focuses more on fashion than music. When did you first find yourself becoming interested in fashion?
I really became interested in fashion my freshman year of high school and then it really expanded from there. Initially I paid attention to the runways, and then it grew into a love of couture and all things ornate. I used to be into being really trendy and always wearing the newest thing, but now my love of fashion is more so a love of fashion as art. I don’t post on my fashion blog as much as I used to, but I still love to share my inspirations on the main blog, and I post more often on my Tumblr, which is more of a stream-of-consciousness for me.
How would you describe your personal style? Where do you draw your own fashion inspiration from?
My personal style mostly draws from musical icons and street style photos. British people specifically inspire me; they are so carefree with how they dress and have such a “whatever” attitude when it comes to their style. They’ll look so put together, but really they just threw on some cool leather piece that they’ve had in their closet for years. There is a book by author Sam Knee called A Scene In Between that has really become a style bible for me. The book is essentially a book made up of photos from the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s of the British music scene of the time. Knee shared photos of everyone from Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Orange Juice, and The Smiths, who all felt inspired by the ‘60s, but the look they created was grungier and all their own. A Scene In Between really explains how I see my style. It is always evolving, and always pulls from different eras, and you want to look like one person from, say, the ‘60s, but you’ll never nail it, so you just add your own touch. Music will always inspire my style because there is also a certain look that goes with a type of music. Bands like The Beatles and Nirvana really solidify that thought, in my opinion. I really love Bobby Gillespie’s style and Mick Jagger’s, from the earlier days of The Rolling Stones. My style is minimal, androgynous, and includes lots of stripes.
You’re also a talented photographer. When did you first become interested in photography? What cameras do you like to work with?
I started learning about photography in middle school when a few other friends of mine became interested in it. I took a liking to fashion photography early on, then moved onto art photography. I mostly like to work with film cameras, usually just little cameras I can take with me anywhere. I specifically like this one Canon AF35M camera I bought for $20 a few years ago. It has never let me down! It was Canon’s first point and shoot camera, which is super cool to me. When shooting film, it is really fun to play with older cameras, and toy cameras, as well. I do shoot digital more often when it comes to my work at school, and I admit, I may be a convert! But right now, shooting film and working in a darkroom is my “happy place”!
Are there artists, photographers, etc that you admire?
My favorite artists and photographers are Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Alia Penner, John Altoon, and Nan Goldin. I met Stephen Shore a few months ago and I was so starstruck. I think his work is my favorite because it incorporates aspects of both art and photojournalism and is very open-ended. Shore’s work really focuses on the open-road which I really love. His early color photography is so vibrant and always excites me when I see it.
Do you have any advice for other young girls who are looking to become journalists/photographers?
My best advice for girls who want to be successful in the future is to always let people know that you are willing to work and put out the best work that you can. That will always be noticed and that is what has helped me the most in the last few years. Making yourself and your career goals known will always help you achieve your goals.
What are your plans for the future? How would you like to be remembered?
I’m hoping after college and graduate school I can work as a journalist who focuses on mostly music and art. Right now I’m also very interested in museum studies and becoming a museum curator. I’d love to work somewhere like the EMP Museum in Seattle working specifically on music history exhibits. I’m hoping I can use my studies in anthropology to help me with that. I’d like to be remembered as someone genuine and as a creative professional!
If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!
Spooky Black - Pull (prod. Kid Hnrk)
Happy Friday! Here are some of our favorite internet tidbits from the past week. Check 'em out and then go out and have a great weekend.
1. This write-up on Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson in NYMag takes a look at her life post-high school, as well as her upcoming play This Is Our Youth that will be opening for previews on Broadway later on this month. As always, Tavi is extremely well-spoken and fascinating.
2. Recently, we've become very interested in the projects of Nicholas Gottlund. Gottlund is an artist who splits his time between LA and small-town Pennsylvania, where he runs a small publishing outpost called Gottlund Verlag out of a book bindery that's been in his family for generations. Along with publishing the work of other artists, Gottlund's own work is beautiful in its experimentation and versatility, and his current show, "Always," is at PLHK in Chicago. Check it out if you get the chance!
3. There's a new exhibit by the radio DJ group Chances with Wolves opening at Pioneer Works this weekend – if you're in the area, make sure you give it a look before it closes September 7th.
4. "Say You Love Me" is the newest song from Jessie Ware and it's kind of ripping our hearts out (in a good way).
5. Finally, we've been really into the Tumblr of Charlotte Audrey Owen-Meehan. Her aesthetic is super cool and very inspiring.
Gather Journal is a food magazine that's about way more than food. The beautifully art-directed and smartly-executed biannual journal uses food and the idea of coming together around a meal to center recipes and stories around a theme. Inspired by their latest issue, "Caravan," which takes cues from deserts near and far, we partnered with the journal to create a special pop-up store inside Space Ninety 8 this month. The pop up, in Brooklyn through August 25, includes Gather's curated selection of desert-inspired items; it's a wanderlust-inducing assortment packed with handmade dreamcatchers, found crystals, and perfectly gauzy tunics.
This week's installment of Local Beauty takes us to Denver, Colorado, where we're visiting the natural apothecary of Fig + Yarrow, a small-batch beauty line made from organic ingredients. We spoke with the brand's owner, Brandy Monique, about creating color from natural sources, minimalist branding, and her daily beauty routine.
Determined to make every design count, ourCaste is setting out to change the way everyone sees menswear. Creating a brand identity that perfectly blends the laid-back California lifestyle with the more rugged design aspects of a sportswear brand, ourCaste creates clothing that makes the wearer's "life easier," no matter how that may be. We spoke to Michael Quinones, one of the co-founders of the company, to learn a little bit more about their California lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how ourCaste was formed.
ourCaste is a constantly developing idea to create a brand identity and menswear collection around the lifestyle we grew up with. The core group have all been close friends for just about a decade now. At its purest form, ourCaste is a brand built of the sub-cultures and lifestyles that we grew up with. Whether it be pushing down the sidewalks and asphalt, strapping the car with more boards than it can hold to go surf some crap waves, or hopping on the bike and smashing up PCH just to get our knees in the breeze, all these things are pinnacle in developing what we’d represent at ourCaste. As we’ve gotten older, there have been new passions introduced to our lives. An obsession for design and typography, the drive to push ourselves athletically any way we can, and the desire to go farther down the trail than those before us have become extensions of those pillars we grew up with. The lifestyle portrayed is our daily interaction with the world around us, and the product developed is the uniform used to be prepared for whatever it is that we are doing.
How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic?
We’ve always had a desire for clean and timeless silhouettes with wearable patterns and functional details in product. We follow “function over form” wherever we can, and we like meshing functional fabrications and details with more contemporary styling. The dichotomy of something that looks great and performs in harsh conditions is epic. Typography, notably the French and Swiss in the '60s, is the cornerstone for everything we do graphically. The spacial relations between letters and numbers are always interesting and helps to perfect the ability to see clean lines in everything else. We spend a lot of time prepping and developing our print assets to really represent the brand aesthetic correctly every day. Photographically, we lean on a slew of friends to provide great imagery. Guys like Brooks Sterling, Drew Martin, and Mark Underwood are constantly pushing themselves in whatever conditions present themselves to provide epic content.
What makes you guys different from other surf/skate brands out there?
I think we are at a time, both age and experience-wise, where we have a life lived in the late '80s and early '90s with the strong presence of surf and skate, but we were young enough through the 2000s to really have a refined take on product and aesthetics that the era brought. It’s the harmonious balance of these two that separates us mentally. Product and ability-wise, we’ve made the decision to design with a purpose. It’s easy to develop a bunch of wovens just for the sake of needing to sell them, but we try to develop those pieces to make whoever decides to buy them’s life easier. Whether it’s by using moisture-wicking Storm Cotton or adding armpit vents and eyelets, we try to keep a purpose to the product. I think that makes a big difference.
What are some fashion/culture trends happening in the surf world that you love?
I love that surf is going small again. What I mean is that there is a massive influx of young brands that are shaking the trees. For the past decade, it’s been the big guys that control the world. We will always have a massive respect for the giants that paved the way and created an industry for us, but it’s nice to see fresh blood, fresh product, and fresh ideas on the floor. I also really like that product is getting smarter. Like we’ve been developing for over a year, and we're starting to see a lot of new brands (and old brands) adapting to this idea that we’ve been doing of hybridizing the “tech / athletic” categories with surf / skate / contemporary.
We see that your office HQ is right across from the ocean. Is everyone always running out to surf?
If there is swell or warm weather you can guarantee it! A large reason we choose the space is for its location (obviously). We weren’t going to be able to afford a really big or new space up the hill with the rest of the industry, so we said why not be the first one to open shop down the hill in Newport? It’s been great. We get a lot of friends stopping in and it’s just a ripping environment to be in day after day…plus, the surf is consistent!
What are you guys currently really into (movies/music/clothes/etc.)?
Our office seems quite confused musically. We’ve been full bore on Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, El Michels Affair, and the older Horrors albums this week. Every now and then you’ll hear Maya Jane Cole or Odessa find its way in. Wu Tang is always in weekly rotation. ASAP, Trap Lord, Flatbush…lastly, our friends at Youth Machine have been pushing Cashmere Cat hard and it’s growing on us. Clothes-wise…a little looser everything. I think that just comes with wanting a little function out of life. A tech shell with some chinos or black denim is always a good look. Some of us in the office run all that with some Nike Frees, while others still prefer to wear our friend's boot brand, Broken Homme. Just all depends! We mix and match a lot. It’s a genre blurring environment, which we dig.
What are some of your favorite spots to hit up in Newport?
Ooooooo, I’m gonna get crucified for bringing the underground above on this first one, but I couldn’t care less. The morning banger is AL CAP! Almost every morning someone in the office is at Al Cap for an Almond Power, bagel special, or Acai bowl and some coffee. Lunch is spread amongst a ton of spots. Trader Joe’s is a good call, so is Mother’s. There was a pretty bangin’ BBQ spot on 17th but it went out of business. Malarky’s has a good burger, too. Bear Flag is pricey, but always worth it. For nighttime stuff, I guess the Goose is back on the deck of fun stuff, and so is Mesa. Pitfire has a “speak-easy” if you can imagine that, but they actually make super good drinks there.
What’s next for ourCaste?
Head down and keep plowing. We got a ton of work to do…ain’t no time for slowing down anywhere in the near future.
After growing up around beauty products her entire life, the next logical step for Lisa Winarick was to co-found her own beauty line. Keeping only the most natural ingredients in mind, Lisa's brand Doll Face focuses on making beauty products that work well with all skin types, using as few synthetic ingredients as possible. We spoke to Lisa about her favorite products, the brand's secret cocktail of ingredients, and her own skincare routine.
Tell us a little bit about how Doll Face started. What's the story behind it?
Our family has been in the beauty business for three generations, and taking care of my skin was passed down from my grandmother and then reinforced by my mom and aunts who all have taken amazing care of their skin. I have so many memories of special beauty days spent around the kitchen table with my mom and sisters. My dad would come in and say, “Wow, look at my beautiful doll faces!”
There are so many clinical brands out there and I thought that taking care of your skin should be a positive, feel-good experience. I've always felt that skincare should be about beauty and glamour, not medicine and problems. Because of that, Doll Face was born! We want women to feel empowered and good about themselves starting from the moment they wash their face in the morning.
You emphasize thinking "outside of the obvious" in sourcing ingredients. Can you share some examples?
Each product contains its own “cocktail” of ingredients, a blend of both natural and scientific, that have been carefully chosen and blended to provide the best possible results. We created our own skin brightening and exfoliating fruit enzyme complex called FruitActiv that we've formulated into all of our cleansers. We discovered Buriti Fruit Oil on a trip to Brazil. It’s an amazing fruit extract that acts as a super anti-oxidant. In its native Amazon basin, it’s called the “Tree of Life” because of its healing properties. We feature it in Nourish, which is our everyday moisturizing lotion.
What three products are in the Doll Face "starter kit," i.e., three products you'd recommend to a new customer, and why?
That’s easy…our Invigorate gel cleanser, Nourish lotion and Soothe under-eye serum. It’s the perfect "little black dress” for your skin; you can’t go wrong. This combo works on all skin types, takes only minutes [to apply] and your skin will look and feel clean and fresh!
What is your own skincare routine like?
I do the 3-step “starter kit” myself, plus I alternate our Brilliance face polish with our gel cleanser 2-3 days a week for extra exfoliating power. I also use our masks once a week to make my skin feel super smooth and glowing! The Reveal peel is loaded with pumpkin and papaya enzymes to maximize its gentle, yet highly effective exfoliating power. It's yummy to put on.
What are your top three tips for skincare, either improvement or maintenance?
I’m a big believer in exfoliation…it really is the secret to keeping skin smooth and radiant. Also, every skin type benefits from a moisturizer; it’s what keeps skin soft and supple and helps fight lines and wrinkles. Lastly, once a week you deserve a little “break," so indulge in a great mask. Put it on and just relax and let the stress slip away…if only for a little while! Also, never go to sleep without taking off your makeup and cleansing your face. It’s absolutely the worst thing for your skin.
Our UO x Lonely Planet Instagram contest ended a couple of days ago, and the winner of the big trip for two through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala was @aabbydowd! Her incredible winning picture, posted above, filled us with awe and terror (a lot of terror, if we're being honest), so we reached out to her to find out a little bit more about the story behind the photo. Read her story below, and thanks to everyone for their incredible submissions!
"My winning photo was taken last June just outside of Interlaken, Switzerland at Stockhorn - it's a 134 m (or 439.633 ft.) jump out of a cable car over a lake framed by the Alps. Switzerland is a lot like New Zealand in that there is a never-ending list of extreme sports for people to choose from if they are searching for one hell of an adrenaline overload: skydiving, bungee jumping, canyoning, paragliding, skiing, white water rafting, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on.
Now, I like to think that I'm a girl who feeds off adrenaline, but the idea of jumping out of a little box with nothing but a rope to keep me from plummeting almost 500 feet to my death was a pill I was having a bit of a hard time swallowing.
When we were on our way to Stockhorn that fateful afternoon, I was nervously rambling to one of the guys who would be assisting with my plunge out of the cable car, when I said, 'I'm really nervous. It might take me 20 minutes to work up the guts to actually jump.' His response? 'We do a five second countdown and if you don't jump, we push you out.'
Oh, okay. Cool.
Ultimately, the definitive quote to encompass this picture came from the woman who was helping all of us into our harnesses. She said, 'Just pick a point, look straight ahead, and jump. This is a mental game. Don't let your mind win.' The entire thing—from jumping out of the cable car, bouncing twice, and being reeled into a small rowboat—only lasted about eight seconds. When you look at the sequence of photos from that day, the rope just keeps going and going until I look like a tiny speck at the end of a piece of dental floss. If that's not some perspective, I'd love to know what is. I’m 23 years old, and out of all 23 years, those eight seconds were absolutely the most profound.
Needless to say, the day ended with more than one celebratory beer." —Abby
Bottom line: easy, menswear-influenced style is always cool. Inspired by classic muses, we asked for expert advice from writer Lizzie Garrett Mettler, the founder of Tomboy Style whose eponymous blog and book chronicle women who blur gender lines by mixing rugged sensibility with understated elegance.
We challenged Lizzie with a daunting task: to share her own top five tomboy style icons. As she explains, her picks pull from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and all "relate to each other in some way [with] a style that is boyish, unfussy, and seamlessly balances masculinity with femininity. Most importantly, what I love about these tomboy icons is they never look like they’re in costume or trying to make a statement; they just always looks completely themselves."
1. Tina Weymouth
During her tenure as the bass player for The Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth was subtly androgynous. Her paired-down punk wardrobe of tight t-shirts tucked into high-waisted jeans, a New Wave hair cut, and that Fender Precision bass guitar over her shoulder just made her oozed cool.
2. Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin embodies the French tomboy look, the je ne sais quoi that most tomboys’ style seems to envelop. Her hair was always tousled and her style always minimal, yet somehow with little adornment and effort, Birkin always looks the height of chic. The fact that one of the most coveted ‘it” bags (the Hermes Birkin bag) is named after her and she casually adorns hers with stickers and worry beads and wears them out until no longer usable, is another example of why she’s the ultimate tomboy.
3. Ali MacGraw
Ali MacGraw has that girl next door look that makes her super relatable and so incredibly classic that her look will never be irrelevant. On screen she was known for playing tomboys like the sporty tennis racket-wielding Brenda Patimkin in Goodbye Columbus, the tough-as-nails Jennifer Cavallari in Love Story, and bank robbing Carol McCoy opposite of Steve McQueen in The Getaway; off screen her tomboy style and spirit are just as present.
4. Jean Seberg
What the late actress Jean Seberg did for the striped boatneck shirt and short hair may never be fully credited. Seberg was originally from Iowa, but embraced French style in a way that charmed everyone, even the hard-to-impress Parisians. Her gaze may have won the hearts of her lovers, but those outfits won over tomboys the world over.
5. Patti Smith
Patti Smith’s style is both authentic and incredibly purposeful. Everything she wears is always just so, from the bandana tied around her wrist to the pins on her lapel. She has noted that she even made early choices as a child about what cloth she preferred (flannel and not polyester). Even though Patti Smith looks like the type that couldn’t care less about fashion, she read French Vogue and would shop on Fifth Avenue. Once she bought a green silk coat from Henri Bendel and then immediately threw it in the washing machine to complete the look. She knows how to make things her own.
Book images originally published with permission and © Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion by Lizzie Garrett Mettler, 2012. Top image of Patti Smith performing at Cornell University, 1978. Licensed under Creative Commons.
L.A., listen up! Next Friday, August 22, we'll be throwing another one of our fun-filled AFTERFEST parties! This time we'll be setting up shop at Los Globos (3040 Sunset Blvd.) from 9pm-3am, and we will be hosting performances by Ramona Lisa and Kindness. As always, Dave P. and Sammy Slice of Making Time will be there to DJ throughout the night to keep the masses dancing. Attending the event is free but you must RSVP beforehand as space is limited. Make sure to arrive early to guarantee admission and we'll see you out there, L.A.!
I used rubber artist’s blocks and a carving tool (both can be easily found at art supply stores) to carve the designs. Then I rolled ink over the carved pieces and printed them onto paper. The patterns were recreated by hand again in India for printing the fabric yardage.
Can you share more about what went into the second step — the traditional block printing that you developed in India?
All textiles in this collection use traditionally simple yet beautiful Indian cotton sourced from smaller local mills.
These textiles have been printed with a block-printing technique that dates back over 400 years in this remote area of India. We carefully created hand-carved wooden blocks...which were then hand-printed on narrow, seven meter tables; the printing process, techniques and materials are what is traditionally used to print Indian saris. The look and feel of this hand-printing process is wonderful and consistently inconsistent, providing a warm human element.
Calling all local artists! This fall, the newly created UO Marketplace will provide local college artists with a platform to sell and promote their work. UO will be selecting college students to curate their shop in their local Urban Outfitters store. That means that you'll be able to sell your goods in a storefront, free of charge!
To be a part of the marketplace, you will need to submit a photo of your work, along with a quick profile on yourself (including what school you go to) to email@example.com, which will then be reviewed and hand-selected by the team at Home Office. The deadline for these student submissions is 8/29, so hurry and get your ideas in before it's too late! All the artists chosen to participate in the marketplace will receive a $100 UO gift card, along with the chance to sell their goods online and in-store. We're constantly being impressed by what students can turn out, so show us what you've got!
"I think I forgot to tell anyone I dyed my hair blonde" are the first words out of Erika Linder's mouth when we meet. Standing on a street corner outside Blue Bottle coffee in New York, the 24-year-old Swedish model's recent travel schedule has been, in a word: insane. She's on the heels of a shoot in Paris followed by a week in New York followed by 24 hours at home in Los Angeles and back to New York on a night's notice; somewhere in the middle were three days in the Cinderella suite at Disney World. (Long story.) After this: Toronto. Then Big Sur. We'll forgive her lapse in hair updates.
Tell us more about growing up in Sweden.
[Points to the giant field we're shooting in:] This is my vibe. I grew up probably two hours away from Stockholm, on what was basically a farm. It was our house and a farmer's house. It was everything you imagine: When we got food, we would get it for like two weeks to stock up...we had cows, horses, chickens, all that.
Do you think about going back there?
I've never been a big city fan. I have a vision for how I want things to be: my goal in life is actually to just get a cottage in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. People always ask, 'What do you want to do with your modeling career?' and I'm just like, 'I really just want that house.' Sweden is so beautiful, especially the countryside. So, for sure I plan to move back. I don't know when, but later.
You were scouted as a teenager but didn't have any interest in modeling at the time, right?
I got scouted when I was 14 outside a concert in Stockholm. I was such a tomboy. I mean, I still am, but back then, when you're 14? I imagined that being a model was more about being a princess. I played soccer and could never have envisioned myself in this industry. So after high school I went to university but I didn't know what I wanted to do.
What did you study in school?
Funny enough, I studied law. Then I studied language — Japanese. But don't ask me to say anything in Japanese.
What! Law and Japanese? What were you thinking you'd do?
Yeah...I know. I don't know why I did that. I thought it was cool! Anyway!
Then I finished school and graduated and then was at that age where — like everyone else — I was like, 'I want to travel.' So I returned to the thought of modeling and realized maybe I should just try it. I didn't have any expectations. My first photoshoot was dressed up as Leonardo DiCaprio for Candy magazine [in 2011]. And then it just kind of took off.
So your first job was modeling as a male — was that a hard thing for agencies to get behind?
The first year was pretty hard because people didn't know what to do with me. I get it. I mean, I'm a girl! So when they started pushing for me they were like, 'You have to be this, this, and that. You have to walk in heels.' I get that they pushed me for that. But at the same time I had my own vibe and was like, 'Well I think I want to shoot as a guy because that's how I started off.' I always had a vision that I didn't want to change myself. I still wanted to be me.
But then I went to LA for the first time like two years ago and was really embraced — that's how I kind of became more of a 'character model' I guess. That's how it started off: LA pushed for me and that's why I am there now.
It sounds like you've really been able to maintain a lot of freedom over what you do.
Yeah, for sure. I feel like people are wanting me for me. It's funny, I can go do the most girly shoot in Malibu, running around in a bikini, and then the next day I go shoot a suit story. I like to keep a balance between them because it's so much fun to be able to do both. And to see the pictures afterward because it doesn't look like me at all!
It messes with you, though. I did this shoot where I was a girl and a boy in the same one. And when I saw the pictures I was like, 'Oh my god.' I'm used to seeing myself as both a guy and girl but both in one frame…I don't get it. It was weird. Then they used part of it as a commercial where I'm making out with…myself? I actually saw it for the first time when I was at a theatre waiting for a movie to start. It's playing and I hear this dude behind me say, 'You can totally tell that's a guy.' And I was like, '…Well, I guess I'm doing something right!'
Do you think about using that versatility you've developed in your career to do other things? What are your other creative outlets?
I play guitar, drums, and piano, and I have been writing music since I was six years old. When I was a kid, I literally thought I was Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. I still love Nick Carter.
Nick Carter! Such a rise and fall!
But Nick Carter in the 90s! He was the best! I am such a 90s kid—he's my man-crush Monday every day.
With his big middle hair part?
Oh my god, yes [moves her hair to be parted down the middle a la Nick Carter]. It's so funny, once I did this to my hair and said to my friend, 'Who am I?' and she said, 'Aaron Carter.' And I got so pissed off.
That is incredible.
It's terrible. Anyway, I grew up playing guitar. I'm scared of doing it professionally or whatever, because I don't think I'm ready for that. It's something I want to do. But right now I just do it as a meditation. I go home and play guitar.
I also have a movie coming out that I will start shooting in November. Have you seen "Big Fish"? It's kind of like the weirdness level of that. I can't really tell the story, not because I'm not supposed to but because I don't really get it, honestly. But I'm excited about having that coming up.
What's a typical day when you're not working?
I play guitar, I go to bookstores...this is so boring! I go to Skylight Books in LA, that's my favorite. Right now I'm really into biographies. It's nice because you don't have to be reading it 24/7 to stay in the story. I read mostly men's biographies, recently Marlon Brando and River Phoenix. I have actually read...a Nick Carter biography.
What? When was that even written?!
I don't know! I Googled it!
Speaking of 90s babes, let's talk about the Leonardo DiCaprio thing.
Oh man, yeah. Well, people ask me about it now—'You know you look like a young Leonardo DiCaprio?'— and I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah...I know! I've heard it before.' I mean, I love him. One of my favorites. I just think people have adapted Leonardo DiCaprio as my male persona or something. I do love getting into that role, though.
How did you get into character for the Katy Perry video [Linder stars in Perry's "Unconditionally" video]?
Oh man, one of the weirdest things I've ever done. First off, I had to get really emotional for it, which I just could not do. So I went into the bathroom and Googled "Lion King Mufassa dying." And, like "My Dog Skip."And I put stuff under my eyes to where they were like, stinging and watering. Everyone knew I was full of shit.
It's great you've been able to do a lot things other than just "model."
It's crazy because I don't do what models do. But I want to do it anyway, even if I'm not 'modeling.' I'm shooting as a real person, a figure. It's not just "a guy" or a "girl." I'm going with what is. Whatever comes at me I'm just going to try to do my best.
One of my absolute favorite things to do every year is head up to the Bay Area to go to Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. This year, the festival featured some highly notable names like Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, The Flaming Lips, and The Killers, as well as newer favorites like Jagwar Ma and Woods. While you’re not catching a band play, there are literally so many other things to keep you busy. There’s this incredible stand-up comedy tent called The Barbary, a digital detox zone called summer camp for adults, and not to mention Chocolands (literally all dessert all the time)!
Golden Gate Park is no ordinary park. When at the festival, you feel like you’re surrounded by an unbelievably beautiful forest that you never want to leave. Seriously, I didn’t want to leave. But to commemorate my visit, I snapped a ton of photos over the weekend with my Polaroid camera. Above, you'll see a shot of Woods who I started the last day of the festival with, and one of the many cool homes around the park. See the rest of my photo diary below! —Maddie
Now celebrating its 25th year, Merge Records is the unlikely success story of two young musicians that went on to put out some of the most prolific indie rock of our time. Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance met, formed a band, dated, didn’t date, toured together, started a business together, and forged their own way in the music industry. Decades later, the two entrepreneurs talked to us about the early days of Merge, Superchunk, and just what it takes to make it all work.
Hi Mac and Laura! How did you two meet?
Laura Ballance: I am pretty sure we met at Pepper's Pizza (R.I.P.) in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1987 or somewhere around there. Mac was working there, and I started working there too.
Mac McCaughan: We probably met at a show in Chapel Hill or Raleigh in 198…6 or 7? We had a lot of mutual friends and were probably at a lot of the same shows. Then we ended up working at Pepper’s Pizza at the same time (in Chapel Hill).
How would you describe yourselves in just one word? How would you describe each other in just one word?
LB: I would describe myself as stubborn. I might describe Mac that way too. Perhaps I should use the word “determined” for the both of us.
MM: Me right now? Stressed. In general…active. Laura in one word…this is too hard! No one should have to be described in one word.
How old were you when you started the label? What kind of sacrifices did you make in order to keep a business running at such a young age?
LB: I was 21 when we started the label. We worked hard to keep the business running. It took a lot of time and energy on top of touring with Superchunk, which we were doing a lot of at the time. We also kept other jobs for the first few years… I think Merge had been in business for about ten years before we were able to start paying ourselves.
MM: I was 21 turning 22 the summer we started Merge. Nothing felt like a sacrifice at that time because it was all for fun; it was what we wanted to do. We sold records and tapes but it didn’t feel like “now we are starting our business that will be our job for 25 years.” Laura sacrificed some space in her house where the boxes of records were.
Can you tell us about a funny/weird/memorable moment from the early days?
LB: For a long time the “Merge office” was in my house. We had a lot of great times having 7-inch stuffing parties, where people would come over and we would drink beer, watch movies, and assemble 7-inches. One time I was also rushing to get some packages made to send out right before I needed to head to Kinko’s where I worked, and the tape gun fell off the shelf. Without thinking, I reached out to catch it, and the serrated blade fell right on my thumb and gashed it pretty bad. I probably should have gone to get stitches, but I did not have time before I went to work. I still have a scar that looks like a cartoon shark’s mouth on my thumb.
MM: Putting the records together was memorable, bands coming over and stuffing records into sleeves and sleeves into plastic bags. Very satisfying.
When Merge Records began, did you have any idea it would turn out to be so prolific? What were your initial goals?
LB: When we started Merge, I had no idea it would last even a year. I really didn’t even think about it. It just seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. That said, some of our idols were Dischord and Sub Pop, and obviously they were in it for the long haul. Our goals at the time were to document the local music scene and also to put out our own records.
MM: Our initial goals were just to put out this music by ourselves and by our friends’ bands. It was to have a cool label like the cool labels we liked growing up: Dischord, 4AD, Factory, K, Sub Pop, Cherry Red, Rough Trade, Teen Beat.
Were there advantages/disadvantages to running a music label in North Carolina? Not exactly the hub of the music industry!
LB: I feel like there were plenty of advantages to running Merge out of North Carolina. The rent was cheap, not too much competition in terms of getting attention, and we had and have a strong vibrant local music scene complete with lots of bands, great college radio, awesome clubs and promoters, and excellent record stores. People used to ask us all the time when we were going to move to New York City or Los Angeles. I think we would not have lasted five years if we had done that. But maybe we would have gotten to work with Pussy Galore…
MM: People would often ask when we were moving to NYC or LA, which seemed like a backwards idea to us; one reason we could exist was because we lived in North Carolina, paying NC rents and having plenty of space to practice with the band and stack boxes.
What were the advantages/disadvantages of being artists yourselves and running Merge from a musician’s perspective?
LB: The main disadvantage of being artists and running the label was trying to pay attention to the label while being a band that toured a lot. Now that is all easier because Superchunk does not tour as much, and I don’t tour at all anymore because of hearing damage from too much loudness. The advantages of running a record label as an artist are myriad! I feel like we are more in tune with our artists and what they might be going through as artists since we too are artists. We have gotten to experience all aspects of the record business from the side of the artist as well as the side of the record label. It’s good for perspective. As touring artists, we also got to see and meet a lot of bands while we were on the road and make connections that we would not have made otherwise. I don’t think Merge would have grown the way it did if we had not also been in the band.
MM: I think the obvious advantage is that you can see things from both sides; this is good for us, and it’s something the bands we want to work with can recognize as well. The downside is when you have to put on the “business” hat and negotiate with bands, or their managers—that’s my least favorite part of doing this.
You’ve taken a lot of chances on unknown bands—is supporting entrepreneurs and emerging artists important to you?
LB: Supporting developing bands is really important to us. It’s the best thing we can do as a record label. Working with known bands is great and all, but helping to lift a new or unknown band out of obscurity is most rewarding for all involved.
MM: Yeah, I think one of the most satisfying things about having a label is working with a band from before anyone knows about them, and watching as people discover their music and come to love them like we do. It’s also great to get to work with bands that we’ve been fans of for a long time—e.g., getting to put out records by The Buzzcocks or The Clean (David Kilgour’s new solo album is out in August!)—which we never could have imagined when we started. But yeah, working with emerging artists is an important part of having a vital label for us.
Arcade Fire was unknown when you signed them, and turned out to be one of your biggest success stories. What was it about them that struck a chord with you?
LB: Arcade Fire write amazing songs, and that first demo we got from them was just full of great songs that were full of this incredible exciting raw emotion. What we look for in every artist we put out is the ability to write great songs, and they certainly have that in spades. Plus, they are a great live band.
MM: Well, as any fan of Funeral will tell you, it’s an incredibly immediate album, both emotionally and musically. Musically it reminded me of some bands that were very formative for me—New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen—but then with these epic pop songs that were clearly coming from their own universe. Seeing them live was another level altogether.
If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently, if anything?
LB: There are some small things, but across the board, in the big picture, I am happy with how we have run Merge.
MM: I’m sure mistakes have been made over the years, but in general it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone better. Of course there are albums or artists that we think have been overlooked and deserve more attention, but you can’t spend too much time regretting the things that didn’t go as planned. There’s too much work to do in the present.
What advice would you give to the young entrepreneurs out there today?
LB: Don’t expect anything to be handed to you on a platter. If you want to do something, you are going to have to go out there and work hard to make it happen. Social networking alone does not success make.
MM: Keep your day job! Seriously. We did, for quite awhile.
Exciting news: our store in Westwood Los Angeles just doubled! And here's a first look.