• Obsessions: Renegade Craft Fair

    Ah! It’s freezing in New York (Literally, the highs have been middling in the '30s), but that didn’t stop tons of makers from hauling their cute wares to the Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend. The second annual winter fair was held at Skylight One Hanson, a beautiful venue in Downtown Brooklyn that used to be the Old Bank of Williamsburg, and now looks like a lovely, gutted Gringotts. Of course, Renegade’s winter installment is for buying gifts—whether you do traditional winter holidays or secular Secret Santa with your gal pals. Here’s what some of the Renegade makers had to say about gift-givin’ and gift-gettin’.
    Interviews by Maitri Mehta

    CARU SKINCARE
    Who: Dominique Caron
    What: Caru Skincare, a line of eco-friendly, beautifully packaged natural skincare.
    Years at Renegade: This is her first! Dominique only started selling in March of this year. Before that, she was just making soaps for friends and family. Dominique makes all her skincare treasures in Astoria, and she taught herself (damn!) by taking classes on herbology and aromatherapy. 



    Favorite product:The French Green Clay Soap. It’s the first soap I made and it’s still my favorite.”
    Best stuff to gift: “Soaps--especially because you can plant the packaging and wildflowers will grow from them!”
    What you're gifting this year: “I’m making custom skincare products for all my friends.” 

    CALYER CERAMICS
    Who: Michelle Smith McLaughlin
    What: Sweet ceramic spoons, catch-all dishes and more in soft colors. Handmade in Brooklyn at Choplet.
    Years at Renegade: This is Michelle’s first year (she and her other crafty friends had a booth-decoration-making party, with wine of course).



    Best stuff to gift: “I like the jewelry dishes as gifts. They’re pretty little things that are also functional.”
    Best or worst gift you’ve ever gotten: “My parents bought me a plane ticket to the south of France for an art intensive, where I got to draw, paint, and travel to so many wonderful museums.”

    AHEIRLOOM
    Who: Amy Stricker Mowat and her husband 
    What: Digitally produced, geographically accurate state and country cutting boards. They also make cute ornaments and other kitchen miscellanea for the holidays.



    Most popular item people buy as gifts:The Michigan cutting board. People really appreciate that it includes both parts of Michigan.”
    Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: “Once, my husband gave me one single earring--on purpose. They were sold individually, so he thought they were supposed to be worn that way.”
    Gifts you're giving this year: “I like to gift from Etsy, usually pretty housewares, like cloth napkins.”


    GREENWICH LETTER PRESS
    Who: Beth and her sister Amy who come from a long line of letterpressers. In fact, they are third-generation printers.
    What: Greenwich Letterpress’ home is their brick and mortar shop in the West Village. They’ve been there for eight years, selling their hilarious and beautifully illustrated stationery and greeting cards.



    Best gifts to give:
    “Everyone loves the enamel pins. They’re affordable, and we love pop culture ephemera.”
    Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: My ex-boyfriend gave me an iPhone…which I kept. But I was really excited to get rid of it when I upgraded. It had bad juju.”

    Renegade is on the road! Next stop: Austin, TX on November 30 - Dec 1. If you’re in ATX and planning to go to buy some gifts, you can plan your visit here.
  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has lots of loved ones they want to snuggle up to today, and if not, we wish everyone luck on hiding in the spare room with a bottle of wine until the day is over. Either way, we love y'all.

    And if anyone is braving the sales tomorrow, be careful! No flat screen T.V. is worth losing a limb over, yo.
  • I'm With The Band: Kate Nash

    Ahead of the last gig on her recent tour of the United States, I caught up with singer-songwriter Kate Nash at The Fonda in Los Angeles to talk (amongst other things) about the release of her third record, Girl Talk, which came out earlier this year. Kate told me about her biggest role model, her experience at Reading Festival, and what she is most looking forward to about the holidays. Interview and photos by Maddie Sensibile

    Maddie: You released your third record, Girl Talk, earlier this year. What was your mission when creating this album?
    Kate:
    When I was actually writing the record, I wasn't really thinking at all, because I was going through a lot of emotional crap. I didn't have any other way of being powerful, so I just wrote songs. I would go into my house and just explode how I was feeling. It was the only way I could be that honest when I was writing songs. 

    I knew what the attitude of the record was going to be, but I didn't know how I was gonna make it until I started writing the songs. Playing bass made it sound really different. I wanted it to be an indie version of Destiny's Child's Survivor album, and bring together all the work I've been doing over the past couple of years… a really empowering album for young girls.

    Maddie: Your opinions on feminism are definitely clear and very positive for young women. Growing up, did you have a role model, or is there one that is still important to you?
    Kate:
    Yeah, I would say my mum, really. I've got two sisters, they're both here [in L.A.] actually. My mum and dad were very open-minded. My mum was very much a debater, and taught us to argue and be challenged. She would always open debates and discussions growing up. That had a really massive effect on me. She's just a really strong woman. She's a nurse and she worked in a cancer unit when she had cancer [herself]. She's so strong, but really motherly and nurturing as well. She's my biggest role model.

    Maddie: Speaking of being a role model, you're very close with your fans. Why do you think its so important to maintain this relationship?
    Kate:
     Because you can. It's so easy now, it almost feels pretentious if you don't. There's a line where you should be able to switch off and have time to chill out and zone out or whatever, but there are so many opportunities now to connect with your fans, and it's a really nice thing. I have the sweetest fans as well. They're so nice, its ridiculous. They're just really nice to each other, and [have] become best friends across the globe.

    It's also been really cool because I got dropped from my record label last year, and to see how supportive my fans are...it's great. As an artist nowadays, you don't have to rely on a record label or a radio hit. With things like Twitter and Instagram, and just meeting your fans, they'll always support you for that. I feel like I'm not just writing songs to be cool or to be a musician. I've always believed in revolution and change, and connection with an audience. 

    Maddie: Your Girl Talk tour shows have gained some serious notoriety, stage raids included. What's the best gig you've had this year?
    Kate:
    I guess Reading [festival] was crazy. I was so nervous about it because I haven't played a UK festival for a few years. When I went to the tent, I was like, No one's going to be there! I'm really scared! And then the tent was packed. I could see people in the audience, either friends or fans that I've recognized from shows on the tours we've been to.

    There's this band called The Tuts from the UK that have opened up for us a bunch. They're insane. Really, really fun. Nadia [Javed, vocals] will, like, crowd surf and get dropped. She doesn't care about looking stupid or anything. I've seen her slam down trying to crowd surf and failing, being stuck over the barrier. At festivals it's really hard to get over the barrier, there's like ten men lined up, and everyone was trying and getting carried off, but somehow Nadia managed to run on stage. We were all laughing so much while we were playing.

    Me and Kate

    Maddie: Who are your favorite artists or songs to dance to at parties?
    Kate:
    Mariah, first of all, is my queen. I love Mariah Carey so much. Beyonce, "Countdown," when I saw how many times I played that on my laptop, I was like, in shock. I have literally played that the most out of every song on my iTunes. Eminem, a bit of Slim Shady, you can't go wrong. Usher, R&B, Ashanti, maybe some N*SYNC, some Britney. P!NK. I love that Missundaztood album.

    Maddie: You always wear the coolest outfits for every performance. What's the best thing you've worn on stage?
    Kate:
    Recently, I wore this costume by this designer called Bas Kosters, and it's literally made of, like, a thousand tutus. It's insane. You look at it and think, How could that be flattering? But somehow, it is. I went down on the floor after one of my songs, and one of my guitarists was just cracking up. It was just like tutus and a head. I want him to design something for me. He's from Amsterdam, he's always dressed up in crazy makeup and outfits.

    Maddie: What's on your Holiday wishlist? 
    Kate:
    I'm obsessed with space at the moment. All I want are presents to do with space. It could be, like, pajamas that have planets on them, or one of those planet things that spins around, and a telescope. I'm so into Chris Hadfield. I've got his book and I'm going to his book signing in London.

    Maddie: And the best gift you've ever received? 
    Kate: It was the weirdest Christmas ever. I was 14. I had food poisoning, and I wanted these jeans from this store River Island. They were, like, bootcut jeans that were blue down the side and white down the middle, and covered in glitter. I was so excited for these jeans. We were opening presents and I was, like, puking in a bucket, and opening presents. My family was trying to still include me in the day, and I was just sitting there pretending to have a good time, even though I was destroying the atmosphere. Those bootcut jeans were like my favorite thing ever.

    Maddie: Are there any family holiday traditions you're looking forward to?
    Kate:
    My mum makes the best Christmas dinner ever. My dad cooks the turkey on the barbecue outside. He wears a chef's hat in the garden. My mum is really obsessed with decorating the house as well--there are baskets of pine cones that have been spray-painted with silver and gold, and decorations everywhere. My dogs are like the kids now. We have Max and Molly, two Labradors, and Max, his face on Christmas! He smiles! He puked last year from excitement before anyone had opened presents. I just like going and eating and drinking during the day, and watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since The Hobbit Two is out this year, I'm really excited.

    Maddie: Tonight is the last gig of you tour. What do you have next on the books?
    Kate:
    I'm releasing a Christmas EP called Have Faith with Kate Nash this Christmas. I'm just going to go home [to the U.K.], and maybe do a Christmas show around that. I was in a movie last year, and that's coming out this week, so I'm going to go home for the premiere of that. As soon as I've done that stuff, I'm just gonna slob out, watch Lord of the Rings and get my mum to feed me.

  • Happenings: A Benefit for The Rail Park

    On Wednesday, December 4, The Walkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sharon Van Etten and others will be playing a benefit show at Union Transfer, right here in Philadelphia. The show's proceeds will be going to Friends of the Rail Park, a non-profit that has been working to create a three mile park along the former Philadelphia and Reading Rail line corridor. For a look at the space they're trying to transform, check out the video below. Along with the performances, the musical portion of the night will also be MCed by Daniel Ralston of the Low Times podcast.

    To purchase tickets to this event, click here.


  • I'm With the Band: Albert Hammond Jr.

    You may know Albert Hammond Jr. as long time member of The Strokes, but he also has a totally noteworthy solo career. Albert recently released his new EP, AHJ, on his friend and bandmate Julian Casablancas' new label Cult Records, and it's a solid, five piece collection with some of AHJ's best and catchiest tracks. We sat down with Albert to talk about his musical process, what it's like working with Julian, and whether or not he's ever gotten carried away with his tour rider. Interview by Maddie Sensibile

    Maddie: Hey Albert! How has your solo tour been going so far?

    Albert: It's been wonderful. I've had a lot of really great turnouts.

    Maddie: Let's talk about your new EP, AHJ. What does it feel like to have both your own material and new music from The Strokes out this year?
    Albert: To be honest, I didn't even really think about it. I enjoy all the processes that it takes to make music, from the studio to playing live, so it's always good when you're working and having fun.

    Maddie: Growing up, what made you want to become involved in music?
    Albert:
    I never really wanted to do music - I only got into music around twelve or thirteen. I just kind of fell in love with Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison. There's no real reason; it's hard to explain that feeling of falling in love with something. It's not really an emotion that has a reason. It just exists.

    Maddie: This is your third release as a solo artist. What do you like most about being able to create everything yourself?
    Albert: I don't feel like I'm on my own. I work with Gus [Oberg] quite closely, and we usually bounce ideas. It's not something I wanted or I craved. When I have breaks, I write new music, and I just get so excited about something that it ends up getting recorded. It's kind of a funny thing to get really excited about something in your bedroom, or a new idea you're coming up with, and then continue that excitement through the recording process. It becomes so fulfilling that you can't wait to show people and then you're in this cycle.



    Maddie: Did you enjoy being able to work with Strokes bandmate Julian Casablancas in releasing the EP?

    Albert: There's nothing like working with your best friend. As soon as he had a label, I kept on having these ideas of wanting to do different stuff, but he wasn't ready for it yet. Then he came back and he was like I'm ready, and I was like Let me show you something new, and then it just built up. It's really exciting to be like that. It kind of feels like when we used to live together back in the early days, you know. We end up talking the same way we would when we're working together. It's more of a conversation, less of anything else.

    Maddie: How did you come up with the cover art for the EP, the growling Rottweiler?
    Albert:
    We had one beforehand that we all liked that we didn't use, so we were looking at other ones, and it just kind of came together. It just felt so fitting. There's no big reason or statement. The way I view work is that you look at stuff and everyone has different ideas, and then all of a sudden something just comes together, and it's better than everything else and everyone likes it.

    Maddie: Yeah, you just know it's right.

    Albert: Yeah, it's the same way you do music. The best idea is the one that wins and floats to the top.

    Maddie: What is your favorite thing to do in Los Angeles?
    Albert: I'm so bad with these lists. I don't like favorites - it's like tying you down to something. It's so weird because I could say something and never go back there again! One of my favorite things to do when I come to L.A. is to see Nick [Valensi] and his kids.

    Maddie: If you weren't playing and creating music, what do you think you'd be doing with yourself?
    Albert: That's a beautifully hypothetical question. If I could say anything... I remember the stuff I like. I like the idea of learning how to fly, and I love to cook, so maybe I would do something with that. I went to film school and I love movies, so maybe I would do something with that, too. I also like using my hands, so maybe I'd do construction or something. Hypothetically there are a million things. I would've loved to have been an athlete.

    Maddie: What's a song you've been feeling lately, or a favorite song of all time?
    Albert:
    "Goodbye Girl" by Squeeze.

    Maddie: Best vinyl record you own?
    Albert: One of my favorite records is Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon.

    Maddie: What's the craziest thing you've ever put on your tour rider, on your own or with The Strokes?
    Albert: It's gotta be crazier with The Strokes. It's going to be so boring, but when it gets crazy, you bring what you need yourself. By the time you can afford crazy things, you don't even need a rider, and that's what's so funny about it. By the time you make money, people are bringing you free clothes. But we don't ask for anything crazy. Lots of ice. For some reason, when we're in New York, people can't believe how much ice we ask for.
  • Read Your Heart Out: Janet Morales & Stu Eli

    For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

    This month, we spoke to Janet Morales and Stu Eli, the talented husband/wife team behind the perfectly curated Three Potato Four. With their adorable family, and a store filled with amazing vintage finds, we thought they'd be the people to ask for their favorite books to cozy up to.




    Janet and Stu's choices:


    Welcome to the Monkey House
    This is one of our favorite collections of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut published in the 1950s and '60s. We first read it in high school and still feel nostalgic each time we get a chance to re-read it. Each story is a commentary on society's ills, and explains some part of humanity - the good and the bad. His stories and observations on life are intense, strange and moving. We love the story Harrison Bergeron.


    Dear Photograph
    We come across thousands of old photographs in our buying trips for the shop and always like to imagine the story of the faces captured in them. Each page in this book (which started first as a blog) takes an original old snapshot and lines them up with their current present-day setting. Dear Photograph lets us see the past set against the present and with the passing of time the nostalgic warm memories each photo gives us.


    Wildwood
    Sometimes on a cold winter night, we like to read a book that takes us to an imaginary world. Wildwood does just that with a story so wonderfully written and illustrations so detailed you'll easily be transported into a secret forest of wonder, danger and adventure. Written by Colin Meloy from The Decemberists and beautifully illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis, it follows a girl named Prue and her journey to find her lost brother.


    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    This is a favorite classic of ours that tells the story of a young girl named Francie growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 1900s. It's one of those books that stays with you - about the struggles of life, the complexities of people and determination to carry on and see the positive through the most difficult times. One of our favorite quotes is from this book: "They lived comfortably and it was a good life they had…happy and full of small adventures."
  • I'm With The Band: Maddie

    Our L.A.-based freelancer Maddie is so in love with music we were like "Why don't you marry it" and gave her her very own column, "I'm With The Band." Whenever a cool band rolls into town, Maddie will be there to chat to them - and she'll get the pictures to prove it. We'll be putting up Maddie's most recent interviews in the coming days, so stay tuned.

    To find out a little bit more about our favorite fanatic, read on!




    First concert attended: NSYNC.

    First big band crush: Green Day when I was 11.

    Favorite concert experience: Seeing The Rolling Stones in May was THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!

    Favorite album of 2013: Arcade Fire Reflektor.

    Most BFF-worthy band: Haim.

    Most exciting 2014 tour: Apparently Outkast are reuniting at Coachella next year...

    Guiltiest pleasure: ONE DIRECTION. (Also want to see them next year.)

    Favorite shows ever: Arcade Fire at Coachella 2011 (first time I legitimately cried seeing a band), Franz Ferdinand at the Fonda April 2013, Palma Violets Echoplex August 2013, The Vaccines at the Troubadour Sept 2012, Arctic Monkeys Ventura, CA May 2013, New Order Coachella 2013, and Stone Roses Coachella 2013. There are so many more but those are the biggies!


  • Music Monday: November 25, 2013

    With three remixes this week, we'll be sure to keep you groovin', right up until Turkey Day. —Corbin

    Jamie XX - Untitled
    This Jamie XX tune that was ripped from a RBMA "Late Night + Day Berlin" mix really shows what Jamie's been up to, and it has that Burial-esque beauty we've all come to love. We're excited for an official release on this, and to hear more from Jamie. His tropical-inspired, broken house music is a great way to stay warm this wintery Monday. 

    Haerts - Wings (Shlohmo Remix)
    Shlohmo remixes have become few and far between. (Check out his track "Later" to get a sense of his style.) His remixes have a similarity to Clams Casino, but are different enough to let everyone know that they're certainly listening to Shlohmo. This is a huge, slow, gorgeous track. The original "Wings" is a lot different from this version. 

    Boat Club - Memories (Saint Etienne Remix)
    What struck me first about this song is that it sounds like a Scandinavian soiree. Boat Club, the band from Gothenburg, Sweden, home to many balearic greats, originally released this EP in 2007. Saint Etienne (LDN) only recently remixed it to promote the EP's reissue on Cascine. Solid remix.

    Basecamp - Rydia (Joe Hertz Remix)
    Annnd, this is the third remix for this Music Monday. Joe Hertz has definitely made a name for himself with these remixes. This one is a bit more reserved than the classic Deep House stuff, but in a good way. This is also consistent with the warm sound we're looking for this winter.

    Milosh - Slow Down
    Many don't know that the duo Rhye is actually headed by two men. Some confuse Mike Milosh's sultry, Sade-like vocals for a woman's, but he is, in fact, a man. His three previous albums have a gorgeous vibe, with a soft, intimate sound. Milosh's new album Jetlag is on NPR as a stream right now. This track, with a video featuring his wife Alexa, helps to pull the heart strings.

  • Nom Nom November: Sue Chan of Momofuku

    Momofuku brand director Sue Chan's world is filled with rotisserie duck, popcorn cake, Lucky Peach and all the wonderful things that seem to spill out of the minds of David Chang and Co. Also, she wrote her university thesis on food deserts! Here she tells us about her entree into the food world and shares a favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

    Tell us a little about yourself…
    I was born in Taiwan, I grew up in Southern California, and then moved to New York for college. Every step of the way, food was a big part of my life. In Taiwan, I would go to the Night Markets with my parents. In the suburbs of Southern California, I watched an incredible amount of Sara Moulton and Martha Stewart. Chino Farms was our local farmer's market. In college, I wrote my thesis on food deserts in New York City, and I spent five weeks as an extern at The Spotted Pig. Five years ago, I started at Momofuku as an Office Assistant. After six months, I became Dave [Chang's] assistant. Now, I'm the brand director for Momofuku.

    How would you describe the world of Momofuku?
    We're a big family. Dave and his business partner, Drew Salmon, put their employees first before profit or sales. It is also a world that has grown in the past two years to include locations in Sydney and Toronto.

    Is David Chang as weird and wonderful to work with as he appears?
    Dave has played a lot of roles in my time at Momofuku: Boss, mentor, brother. It's all been weird and wonderful in the best of ways. The biggest lesson I've learned from him is to challenge the status quo.

    Are you involved with Lucky Peach? (We love that magazine!)
    I love Lucky Peach, too! And, I love the guys behind it even more: Peter Meehan and Chris Ying. Peter is my intellectual shaman. I hope my sons grow up to be like them. My team oversees their publicity and events, so we get to work with them on a daily basis.


    What is your idea of the perfect meal?
    Any meal is made perfect with good company.

    Winter is upon us…how do you stay cozy?
    I drink a lot of tea in the winter. Dave's friend, Tina Chai, introduced me to Fortnum & Mason's Jasmine Green Tea.

    Where are your favorite places to eat out?
    I'm drawn to restaurants with simple food, an interesting wine list, and a warm, casual atmosphere. Right now, Estela is my new obsession. It's the kind of place where you bump into all of the friends that you want to see. I also love Marlow & Sons, especially for their Chicken Liver Pate with a glass of wine from their natural wine list. You also can't go wrong with a restaurant from Alex Raji. I order the Uni Panini every time I visit El Quinto Pino.

    What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
    I like to cook anything that I can find at the farmers market.

    Tell us about the Toklas Society for Women in Food and Hospitality you're involved in. It sounds like an amazing project.
    There are so many badass women in the food world who are often not in the spotlight, and are still doing incredible work. Through events and digital content, we provide a platform where they can tell their story and talk about their professional experiences. We hope these stories will inspire, educate and promote personal as well as professional growth for other women in the industry.

    Saturday nights or Sunday mornings?
    Saturday nights.

    Milk Bar or Ssäm Bar?
    Both, because you can have it all at Ssäm Bar: First, the whole rotisserie duck, followed by Christina Tosi's Milk Bar Popcorn Cake.


    Kimchi Apple Salad from the Momofuku Cookbook

    This recipe is pretty easy, and it's super versatile for any style of holiday party. For a smaller dinner party, make individual servings, which is always impressive and a big hit. For a cocktail party, make them into canapes by serving bite site portions in a Chinese soup spoon. If you are cooking for a buffet or a potluck, double the recipe and plate everything on one large platter.
  • UO Exclusive: Brianna Lance & Friends

    Designer for the Reformation and one-third of girl-group Bad Girlfriend, Brianna Lance is a Lower East Side lady with inimitable style, bags of charm, and a knack for taking super selfies. We met Brianna at Reformation's New York City HQ, where she brought along her girls, Kamaryn Potter and band-mate Savannah King, to play dress-up in Reformation's exclusive collection for Urban Outfitters and share their essentials for the party season.

    Check out our exclusive interview with Brianna: About a Girl with Brianna Lance.
  • Friday Download: November 22, 2013

    This week I barely had time for the internet, which is weird because the internet is like my family. Thank god I was still able to catch some of the more important moments, like Vulture's "Fame in 1998" series. 1998 forever, dudes. Katie



    1. Vulture's "Fame in 1998" Series
    Like I said, Vulture was really speaking my language this week with the whole "Fame in 1998" series they did. There's an incredible Van Der Beek interview about what fame was like in '98 (no cell phones!), an entire Titanic timeline ($2k "heaven dress" reproductions!), and a re-printing of a Nancy Jo Sales article on Leo's partying, which seals her fate as my favorite, pop-trash journalist.



    2. Outkast Reuniting
    Apparently Outkast will be reuniting at Coachella next year! Go watch all of their music videos to pump yourself up, especially "Roses." (That video is from 2003, BTW, so also have fun feeling like an ancient troll monster as you watch it.)



    3. Comedy Central Orders Pilot for Chris Gethard Show
    Well, lookit that. The Chris Gethard Show, a NYC-based cult comedy program, will be submitting a pilot to Comedy Central. If you've never heard of the show, check out some of the clips online - this live proposal was so touching, they just shut the show down right after. So cute. It's a great show, and a Comedy Central slot is totally deserved for these guys.



    4. Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone"
    Good ol' Bobby D released an interactive music video for "Like a Rolling Stone" and it's amazing. I cried, for some reason? If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth playing around with - you can flip through 16 television stations, all of which have different personalities singing "Like a Rolling Stone." (My favorite station is the one with Danny Brown.)



    5. Kanye West "Bound 2"
    Last but not least, and my favorite thing of this week, the video for Kanye's "Bound 2." Words can not express how much I love this video. And Kanye.
  • Fine Print: Allie Brosh

    Allie Brosh is the best blogger in the world. And no, we're not biased. It's just a fact. She's currently wrapping up the tour for Hyperbole and a Half, her brand new book named after her blog, but she still found time to chat to us about her fans, Thanksgiving and that dead fish story.
    Interview by Katie Gregory



    How’s the book tour going? You’re almost done now, right?
    Yeah, I’ve gotten to be home now for a couple of days which was nice! It was about two and a half weeks of total insanity. Fun insanity, the real rewarding kind, but at the end of the day I was just exhausted. I feel like I’m crashing a little bit now.

    I saw that you’ve been signing books for seven hours at some of the book signings!
    In Brooklyn, at WORD bookstore, that one was six or seven hours long. And in Seattle at the University bookstore, that one went super long. There were some signings that went until 2 in the morning. It’s amazing that people stayed that long.

    Have people brought you any amazing gifts?
    I’ve gotten some really cool gifts. Somebody in Brooklyn brought me a dinosaur costume! I wore that for the rest of the signing. And then someone in Seattle brought me this necklace she made that had a Wellbutrin molecule on it. It’s really cool. I’ve gotten a bunch of really neat stuff.

    I actually ask people while they’re waiting in line if they’d like to do me a drawing. I bring a big stack of printer paper and hand it out to everybody. Some people write letters, some people do drawings – I’ve collected piles of these from all of my signings. I’m going to wait until the very last signing and then I’m going to go through all of them and read them. I’m excited about it.

    Are you going to go back to writing on your blog once all of this settles down?
    I’m going to write on my blog. I’m going to do it the same way I’ve been doing it. Like once I find an idea I have that I think is worthy, I’ll put something up there. I don’t want to write just to fill a time constraint, you know? I don’t want to publish on a schedule because I feel like I have to. When I publish something it’s because I think it’s really good. I have a few ideas, a few posts I’m working on, so when those are done I’ll post them up once I finish them. But I also want to write another book.

    Is there any one blog post that people seem to mention more than others?
    It seems spread out between a few of them. I know a lot of people relate to the depression posts. I talk to a lot of people about that when they come up and I sign their books. And then there’s the “ALOT” post. I know a lot of people found me because of that post. That’s one of my first ones that ever went viral on the internet. [Laughs.]

    I think I first found you because of the “How to be An Adult” post.
    Oh yeah, a ton of people relate to that one. And then there’s a small subset of people that just love that noodle cartoon I used to do, the Spaghatta Nadle. The silly little noodle has a cult following. [Laughs.]

    I personally love the post where you have to kill your pet fish.
    I have a surprising number of stories involving dead fish for some reason. There are a few that I’m working on and I’m realizing as I’m writing these posts that, yeah, I have five stories that are totally different from each other that involve dead fish in some way.

    Now that the Holidays are coming up, I can't help but think of your post The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas. Are events like that easy for you to remember, or do you need to consult family members?
    I remember them pretty well, but I also consult my family for some of the details. The Kenny Loggins one, we actually have a video somewhere of the actual play. We haven’t been able to find it, but I know that we filmed it and I know that I’ve seen the video. The last time I saw it I was young but I remember watching it. So, there is video footage of that somewhere that I’m hoping we can find someday and show people. [Laughs.]

    That would be amazing. Do you have any Thanksgiving plans yet with your husband?
    Gosh, we don’t do the whole turkey thing, really. Just whatever we’re feeling. Like we might make tacos? [Laughs.] A nice, taco Thanksgiving. They’ll be fancy tacos, of course.



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  • Urban Eats: Marble & Milkweed

    Started by former pastry chef Briar Winters, Marble & Milkweed crafts beautiful organic and fair-trade teas from a clawfoot bathtub in her apartment in New York City's Lower East Side. From a Green Glow Elixir of Sencha leaves and spearmint to a Modern Chai of South Indian vanilla beans and cinnamon, it's hard not to just see pictures of Marble & Milkweed's teas and want a cup. In addition to selling tea, the shop also sells odds and ends for your dream tea time, like pure botanical fragrances and drinking crystals. Looking at the site, we practically have our kettle already on the stove. —Hazel
  • Obsessions: The Death of Pop

    English band Death of Pop have cultivated a perfectly shoegaze sound with their swirling guitars and ethereal vocals that call to mind veterans of the genre like Chapterhouse and Ride. Though the group has yet to release a full album, their Bandcamp page is littered with jangly pop earworms like "Sun In My Eyes" and "What A Day." Be sure to keep your eye on these indie Brits, as their underrated singles keep getting dreamier. Hazel
  • Model Moment: Anais Pouliot

    While in town for the 2013 Holiday Surprise Party shoot, angel-faced model Anaïs Pouliot chatted to us in-between takes about her career and what she gets up to on her days off. Ally

    Name: Anaïs Pouliot
    Current location: NYC
    Hometown: Terrebonne, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec, Canada
    Height: 5'10"
    Agency: The Society
    Astrological sign: Cancer
    What you were doing before you started modeling? I was a high school student.
    How did you get discovered? I went with my parents to an agency in Montreal. They immediately took me.
    What was your first big break? Working for Prada, I believe.
    When you're not working, what will we find you doing? Cooking, reading, pilates, yoga, hiking…
    Favorite food? Any good homemade food.
    What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Make tea or coffee.
    What's your off-duty beauty routine? In the morning: Cleaning my face, applying a little bit of concealer under the eyes and some mascara. At night: Making sure all makeup is removed and applying a nice hydrating cream.
    What's your number one beauty tip? Curling my eyelashes! It makes my eyes look more open and awake.
    Do you have any special skills? I can run in high heels!
    What's your life motto? Try and try until you succeed.

    Now, strike a pose!


    Follow the lovely Anaïs on Instagram and Twitter @Anais_Pouliot!
  • Homebody: Bianca Green

    DENY Designs is a constantly changing collective of talented artists, one of whom is Bianca Green. Bianca's cozy DENY textiles are currently being sold online at Urban Outfitters, so we decided to find out a little more about her and what she does to keep cozy during the winter months in her home city, Berlin. —Katie



    Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I am an artist, dreamer and color addict. Born in Rio de Janeiro, I lived in San Francisco, Montevideo and now back in Berlin. My passion for travel allows me to get inspiration from all over the world. But I do not only travel to countries. In my mind, I travel to places that don’t have names. I enjoy combining reality with fantasy, creating images that will color your life and hopefully make you happy.

    Which design from your DENY x UO collab is your favorite?
    I love them all but as a travel addict, I would say the “LOUIS ARMSTRONG TOLD US SO” Duvet Cover. You fall asleep and dream about all the wonderful places you want to travel to, or remember the lovely ones you’ve already visited. That way you will definitely wake up with a smile on your face.

    Who are three of your favorite artists?
    Olaf Hajek, Alfons Mucha, Frida Kahlo.

    What are some things you do to make your own home cozier in the colder months?
    I have a lot of pillows and blankets on my sofa and bed. So cuddling up is a must. I also love tea all year round, but when it gets cold outside, I tend to drink even more. I bought this beautiful old “grandma” teapot from the flea market, so my tea tastes a little better now.



    Any amazing thrift shops or flea markets near you?
    Yes, yes, yes! I have been to all flea markets in my area. The most famous one is basically my backyard: the “Mauerpark Flohmarkt” is a must-visit here in Berlin. But my favorite is at Akronaplatz; it’s tiny but it has the most amazing treasures. I bought my kitchen table, a stool, a side table for my printer and many, many vintage picture frames there.

    Where are some of your favorite cold/colder-weather spots in your city?
    Home. When it’s super cold and rainy outside, I like to stay in, drink lots of tea and eat good food. If it’s just cold and not raining, I like going out for dinner with friends, movies or to book stores. They tend to heat up the stores so you feel comfy, sit down to read and sometimes get lost.

    When you’re curled up at home for the night, what do you like to do?
    Draw, sew, read, watch movies and drink more tea.

    What’s your favorite comfort food?
    Chocolate cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate soufflé, chocolate ice cream, chocolate muffins, chocolate brownies, chocolate cake, AND pure chocolate.
  • Beauty DIY: Shimmer Eye Makeup

    Need some beauty inspiration for the upcoming winter months? Here are two easy and fun eye makeup tutorials - a colorful cat-eye, and a glittery smoky eye. Even the biggest makeup novices will be able to pull these simple tutorials off!

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  • Music Monday: November 18, 2013

    Music Monday! Let's all try to get through this week together. We're so close to Thanksgiving, y'all. —Corbin

    TCTS - These Heights
    Joe Goddard fronted Greco-Roman records has been releasing quality EPs left and right for months. TCTS was previously featured on Music Monday a while back with a remix they did, and this particular track is just as good. It has that disco-dancey-indie vibe that gets you ready for a Friday night or a Monday morning.

    Sons Of Kemet - The Itis (Micachu Remix)
    This track makes me think of the Avalanches' work. They're allowing a sample to stay very lo-fi but are still bringing it into a contemporary sound. This track grooves, and stays very easy on the ears throughout. Micachu is a new name for me, as is Sons Of Kemet. This will certainly encourage me to listen to the new Sons Of Kemet LP Sons.

    Sampha - Happens
    Where to begin with Sampha? SBTKRT? Drake? Sampha has been all over the place in the past year or two. First the SBTRKT LP with him on almost every track, and then the killer Drake track "Too Much." "Happens" was released as the B-side to the "Too Much" instrumental.

    Octa Octa - Further Out
    This track is a straightforward, late night clubber. This one is good once it gets its legs. With minimal dance tracks like these it almost takes "patience" to get to where you need to go with them.

    DrDr - Don't Break It  (KAASI Remix)
    This is one of those smoothed out, UK garage-dance numbers. Need I say more? I'm new to both artists present here, but it's good.

  • First Look: Get Cozy

    With our First Look feature, we will be previewing the latest UO photo shoots. This month we're getting warm and snuggly at a cabin upstate, where every day is Sunday and every day is sweater weather. 

    With the temperature dropping to numbers that we can only count on our fingers and toes, we're preparing ourselves for winter's arrival by getting nice and cozy. But, when you think about it, what is cozy? By definition, it is an adjective originating from early 18th century Scotland, used to describe "a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation." When used as a verb (cozies, cozying, cozied), its description starts to get rather...intimate: "Give [someone] a feeling of comfort or complacency. Example: She cozied him, pretending to find him irresistibly attractive." Who knew the Scots were quite the lovers? (Coco Chanel, apparently).  


    So, as I begin my quest to find a Scottish man in South Philadelphia, I am consumed with getting cozy in its truest sense. It's more than just a word, it's what love affairs are made of, and it's what inspired Chanel's iconic tweed knitwear and Scotland's timeless Argyle and Fair Isle sweaters


    Cozy is...


    … warm pumpkin pie with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream.
    … waking up to the sunrise and letting its warm rays lull you back to sleep.
    … wearing your boyfriend's cologne when he's not around.
    … putting a hot water bottle under the blankets right before you get in.
    … making an emergency trip to the corner bodega in your pajamas (no judgement!).
    … putting your bra and underwear in the dryer for ten minutes before wearing them.
    … sleeping in front of a fireplace (even if it's electric).
    … wearing every layer in your weekend bag, laying outside wrapped up in a blanket, and looking at the stars.
    … drinking red wine and watching Garden State for the second time in one day, just because.
    … letting your best friend leave her legs over your legs on the couch.
    … going to a diner in the early hours of the morning and keeping on your animal ear-shaped hat, despite the odd looks you get from your server. Oh and two more hot ciders, please!
    … candles around your bubble bath, your favorite album, and a very long story from once upon a time.
    … two packets of marshmallows to every packet of powdered chocolate mix.
    … keeping your socks on—even when everything else is off.
    … the moment you lay your head to rest, every day of the week. 

    Thanks, Scots! —Ally

  • Person of Interest: Katie Gallagher

    Designer Katie Gallagher was the host for our exclusive ArtsThread party last week, so we took the opportunity to ask her what advice she would give to young, up-and-coming fashion designers.

    1. Go where the action is
    My initial thing was to move to New York. I was studying at RISD in Rhode Island, and everybody said to move to New York. I told two of the designers [at the ArtsThread event] who live in London that to start, they should probably come to New York. You can't go to L.A. or anywhere else. They told me they wanted to come to the U.S., but I said Nope, you only have to come to New York! It's good for young designers and design in general.

    2. Get an internship 
    There's not any kind of formula. I interned, of course. I interned for Anna Sui and threeASFOUR. Anna Sui was really good for me because Anna Sui was really corporate, and it taught me all the different areas in Midtown to take fabric to, and other things. I used to write down addresses for god knows what reason, but it was just in case I ever wanted to put buttons on a shirt and not have to do it myself. threeASFOUR was kind of different because it was more avant-garde. I was sewing for threeASFOUR and doing a lot of hands-on work, which was really different from the corporate world of Anna Sui. My advice to young designers would be to try to get a medium [balance] of both of those [worlds] if you can. threeASFOUR is really special, and I don't think it's easy to find that in New York. It's like interning for me, where you have to do a lot of actual labor!

    3. Get involved in initiatives like ArtsThread 
    I just really liked seeing the clothes [the winning designers created]. It's really important for young people to get exposed this way. It's something that I never had, and it would have been amazing. My favorite piece from the UO x ArtsThread collection is the black jumpsuit because I would wear that.