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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

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.” 

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.”

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.”

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?
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?
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?
 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'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?
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?
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?
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? 
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
"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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

UO Behind the Scenes: Mr. Kiji

Recently, Mr. Kiji, a Japan born and New York raised artist, installed an epic mural in one of our busy Manhattan stores. We spoke to him about how it all came together.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a creative person who focuses primarily on illustration, graphic art and animation. I’ve lived all over the place. I currently split my time on both coasts as well as a fair amount of time abroad.

How did you decide what you wanted to do with this particular mural?
I find working at a large scale very appealing. A large scale piece can take over and define the viewers' environment. A smaller piece tends to require the viewer to make a choice to come close and engage the art. I like that bigger pieces interact with the viewer, a passerby and the environment.

I have several styles ranging from illustrative and literal to more formal and abstract. In the past 5 years I’ve come to really enjoy doing much more formal and abstract graphic large scale works. They tend to rely on the play between color and form and speak with some universal form and color language. I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling internationally this year. I find myself drawn to the simplified personification of a nation, culture or people in their flag.

How long did it take you to install this mural?
It took eight days to paint the twelve panels in my studio, and about three hours to hang it onsite. It was a bit of a nail biter when it came to the install because it was the first time I’d gotten to see the entire piece.

Any complications, or was it smooth sailing the whole time?
With every project there are always bumps and setbacks but that’s part of the process. I come from an industrial design background and find that each project has problems to solve and therein lies the fun of figuring out how to execute a design. It can be a bit frustrating but ultimately a huge measure of why I personally like a piece.

What’s your favorite thing about New York City?
It’s the quintessential metropolis. We have seasons unlike LA. We have an amazing subway system, beautiful parks, and bars are open until 4 am. We have every type of food from around the world. Some of the people come just to dine at the finest restaurant but ultimately stay for the pizza.

Where can we find you online?
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my website.

Nom Nom November: Gather Journal

Gather Journal, a James Beard Award-winning indie publication dedicated to good food and good conversation, is a feast for the eyes and the appetite. On the eve of the magazine's issue four launch, we talked to editor and co-founder Fiorella Valdesolo, and asked her to share a recipe from the cozy, Cocoon-themed issue, perfect for your Thanksgiving table. 

How did you get involved in the wonderful world of food?
I am a longtime lover and appreciator of all things food-related, but a relative newbie to the so-called food world. My entry point was through Gather Journal, a biannual recipe-driven magazine that I co-founded with my friend, the amazing Michele Outland, in the summer of 2012. The response since our launch has been greater than we could have ever imagined and we are having such a blast dreaming up the content for each issue. Our latest edition, the fall / winter 2014 "Cocoon" issue, is released on November 15th.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?
I can always get down with a bloody steak, oysters and a great bottle of red, but usually the best meals have everything to do with the company; if I'm sharing food with the people I love, that's pretty perfect.

What do you like to cook at home?
I'm first generation Italian and my repertoire at home definitely reflects that. There's a lot of carb love in my house.

Where to you love to go out to eat?
That list is constantly evolving but some of my favorite spots in and around the city right now are Battersby, Locanda Vini e Olii, Nightingale 9, Saraghina, Calliope, Buvette, Ganso (the Chez Jose pop-up in Williamsburg), and breakfast at Fort Defiance.

Sweet tooth or salt fiend?
Salt, salt, salt.

Your guilty food pleasure?
Anything deep fried.

Tell us about the new issue of Gather
The theme for the new fall / winter 2014 edition is Cocoon, and we explore every incarnation of the word—there are recipes that impart a warm, cozy, cocoon-like feeling, and those that visually mimic its wrapped and bundled form. We explore the idea of metamorphosis and renewal through the lens of food; devote a chapter to all things delicate, soft and silken, pay homage to the everlasting appeal of comfort food, and get up close and personal with butchery casings in a weird and wonderful way.

What is your most memorable food experience?
Gosh, that's a tough one. The few times I've managed to score a reservation at the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare I'm blown away by the food. I had an incredible meal at this tiny, inexpensive restaurant in a village in Piedmont, Italy. Also, anything my nonna cooks is always memorable.

Winter is upon us! How are you keeping cozy this season?
An oversize cableknit Nili Lotan sweater, No. 6 shearling clog boots, and plenty of whiskey and ramen.

Serves 8 - 10

The season’s bounty is on glorious display in this moist cake of juicy, nestled-together pear halves, and currants, figs, and cranberries that have taken a nice, long whiskey bath. We like to think of it as a lazy, fall fruit cake—short on effort, long on pleasure.

1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp dried currants
4 dried figs
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 cup rye whiskey or bourbon
1 & 3⁄4 sticks butter, softened, divided
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 pears, halved and cored
1 & 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1⁄2 cup whole milk

1. Simmer cranberries, currants, and figs in whiskey with cinnamon stick 5 minutes then let stand 1 hour or overnight. Drain, reserving liquid. Slice figs in half.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Smear a layer of butter using 3⁄4 of a stick on bottom of pan. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange pears, cut sides down, and dried fruit over sugar.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat granulated sugar and remaining butter with an electric mixer until pale and light. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla and reserved whiskey. On low speed, beat in half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour. Gently spread batter over fruit.

5. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in its pan set on a rack 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate to cool completely.

UO Exclusive: ArtsThread

For fashion graduates, the bridge between creative school work and seeing their clothing on the backs of people in the street is often a long (and very wobbly) one. It’s a competitive profession, and making a name for yourself in the industry can be a daunting prospect, yet there is such a wellspring of untapped talent that deserves to be seen. Enter ArtsThread, the world’s leading online network for young creatives. ArtsThread began life as a magazine that highlighted the best of graduate talent and, five years later, it's become a support system for more than 20,000 graduates, helping over 1,000 of them to launch their careers in the fashion industry.

"I believe what we're doing here is correct, because it's coming from a level playing field," says ArtsThread co-founder Alex Brownless. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from—the talent shines through." This season, ArtsThread has teamed up with Urban Outfitters on Make It, a unique series of design competitions, aimed to launch the careers of emerging talent worldwide. For the first installment, we put the call out to fashion students across the globe to design a garment for Urban Outfitters Winter Holiday 2013 collection. Here, we introduce the winning designers, who just happen to be five adorable British girls who have created the perfect party outfits.

Meet the Designers

Name: Kate Hinchliffe
Hometown: Manchester
College: University of Salford
The winning garment: Kate Chiffon Tunic Dress

On seeing her finished design in-stores: It's bizarre! it's quite surreal, but really exciting at the same time. I've just recently graduated so it’s amazing. The dress has already sold-out online!

On the ArtsThread experience: Everything's all a bit up-in-the air when you graduate, and you're like, Oh, what am I going to be doing now? ArtsThread has helped me know that I want to be doing this. I definitely need to be doing this. 

On her winning design:
The design for Urban Outfitters was taken from my final [university] collection, which was called Apartment Apparel. It was really inspired by me, because I'm quite a relaxed person. I like to just put something on and feel sexy in it, but not in-your-face.

On dressing for the party season: I don't really do sequins. I'm quite simple. Like silk jumpsuits, silk dresses. I went into Urban Outfitters today and spent my winnings: I got a nice black leather pinafore dress from there, so I'll probably wear that out.

Name: Joanne Miller
Hometown: Liverpool
College: University of Salford
The winning garment: Joanne Silky Jacket

On winning the competion: It’s overwhelming. I couldn’t take it for the first couple of weeks! I was just busy doing things, and then all of a sudden I’d be like, Oh my god! I’m going to New York! So yeah, it’s been really exciting.

On coming to New York for the first time: I hadn't been here before, so this is really exciting. We’ve just been here a day. We got here yesterday but I was really jetlagged, so we went to bed and woke up early this morning and went to Urban Outfitters straight away. I want to do a lot of sightseeing and a lot of shopping.

On choosing her winning design: I wasn’t going to pick that design, because it said on the brief that it should be a party dress, but then I spontaneously sent in the jacket design to see what would happen. And it won!

Name: Nicolette Nadimi
Hometown: London
College: Ravensbourne
The winning garment: Nicolette Plaid Dress

On graduating college: It's quite overwhelming, but it's very exciting because you don't know what's coming. You have to keep motivated—it's all about keeping yourself going. ArtsThread is great. It gives you a platform, which is always wonderful, because you don't feel like you're on your own as much.

On her winning design: I wanted it to be quite traditional, but something that really inspires me is embellishment, so that's why I added the lace and the layering. I imagined what I'd want to wear, and what other people may want to wear when going out to a party. I wanted something comfortable, that you could dress up or down. I quite like a ’90s T-shirt and I wanted to mix that with '80s punk.

On dressing for the party season: I love to go to an underground rave, but I also like to get dressed up and put heels on and feel glamorous. Sparkles are always great and I love layering.

On living in London: London is really exciting. I think it’s a place where fashion reaches out to a lot of young people. It's a place where, if you want to, you can express yourself, and be who you want to be, so it's really wonderful walking around and seeing everyone's different styles. It’s a great place to be if you're creative.

Name: Natalie Deryer
Hometown: Crowborough, East Sussex
College: Manchester Metropolitan University
The winning garment: Natalie Mesh-Inset Jumpsuit

On finding out she'd won: I was on holiday and I got a voicemail from Alex, and he was like, “Hi, that competition? You’ve won!” I had to listen to it over and over again because I didn’t believe him. I was gobsmacked for about a week. 

On seeing her finished design in-stores: We went to Urban Outfitters today, and then we had to find the items because they were dotted around everywhere, so we were running around and when we saw each others' we were like, “It’s here, it’s here!”

On her personal style: I like shopping vintage but then mixing it with high street style. A sleek look mixed with something a bit different.

Name: Charlotte Sowerby
College: Northumbria University
Hometown: Northumberland
The winning garment: Charlotte Fringe Maxi Dress

On choosing her winning design: I shop at Urban Outfitters a lot, so I really relate to the UO customer because I am the customer. I just designed what I wanted to see in there. I’m influenced a lot by music subcultures and cultural references. I think I was listening to Fleetwood Mac when I designed the dress, so there’s some of that in there, in the fringing.

On seeing her finished design in-stores: We went to Urban Outfitters and in the first store mine was in the display at the front, so I got my picture taken next to it! It was amazing because I’d never seen my design in a store before. 

On her musical muses: My university collection was based on The Birthday Party, which was Nick Cave’s band in the '80s, and I designed another collection at uni that was inspired by shoegaze: My Bloody Valentine and that psychedelic '90s kind of feel. I’ve got a very broad taste in music and I like to work all that in there.

Want to see your design for sale at Urban Outfitters? Stay tuned for more details on our next ArtsThread competition, launching in December

Happenings: Globe Pop-Up Shop at Space 15 Twenty

This weekend at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd), Australian clothing, skate, and surf brand Globe are opening up a pop-up shop that will open officially on November 17, and will run until November 24. Globe's shop will feature the brand's Holiday 2013 collection, plus accessories for men and women by Bing Bang NYC jewelry, bags by Summer Bummer and more.

For the pop-up shop, Globe also created an excellent short film entitled "Ice Cream", starring Stazia Lindes and Dion Agius. (Watch it below!) Stills from the short film will also be on display at the shop, bringing the retail-meets-gallery space to life. RSVP for the opening party, which will be happening on Saturday November 16, from 7PM - 10PM at Space 15 Twenty. Since the shop will only be there for a week, you won't want to miss it! Maddie

Nom Nom November: Sydney Kramer

During the month of November, we will be featuring some of our favorite women in food, gathering their tips on how to keep cozy this winter and sharing a recipe for your Thanksgiving feast. First up: Sydney Kramer, the talented Brooklynite behind food blog Crepes of Wrath. Kramer is a whiz in the kitchen, with a creative take on comfort food (her sea salt chocolate chip cookies won her the Anderson Cooper Cookie Challenge, no less). As a lover of Thanksgiving, we chatted to Sydney about her favorite Holiday dishes and the best Brooklyn dive bars to hit up on Thanksgiving Eve.
Interview by Katie Gregory

(Photos courtesy of Sydney Kramer)

When you were young, what dish did your family make every Thanksgiving?

My mom always made her famous chestnut and sausage stuffing. I loved it and I still do. I usually make it every year now that I’m on my own. I have been known to shamelessly stand in front of the fridge gorging myself on cold stuffing at midnight. It is as delicious cold as it is warm and this is a scientific fact. I still look forward to stuffing the most. I love foods with lots of flavors and textures, so stuffing is my jam.

What is your favorite dish to make these days? Is there anything you make sure you cook every Thanksgiving?

I love making something new for Thanksgiving every year. Last year my favorite dish was David Chang’s fish sauce Brussels sprouts, and this year we’re shunning turkey in favor of fried chicken with crab macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie. Thanksgiving is a holiday about exciting food, and eating the same thing every year seems like it would get pretty old, which is why I’m sharing this waffle stuffing with you fine folks.

Do you go out the night before Thanksgiving? What is your favorite dive bar to hit up?

Last year we just stayed in and had a few drinks, but I personally love a bar around the corner from my apartment called The Tradesman in Bushwick, which we may end up at this year. We also love Burnside Brooklyn, where you can play shuffleboard and eat cheese curds any day of the week. The night before Thanksgiving is devoted entirely to preparation for the next day. I can’t go hard in the club two days in a row, so I always leave Wednesday night for baking and chopping and getting myself ready for what I believe is the best day of the year.

The Recipe:

Waffle, Maple & Sausage Stuffing
with cranberries and walnuts

Total Prep & Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

10-15 waffles (I used 10 large Belgian waffles, which is about 8 cups), cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds breakfast sausage (think Jimmy Dean’s – this is America!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, finely chopped
5 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground sage
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, finely cubed
Sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Use your favorite waffle recipe to make your waffles, or buy frozen Belgian waffles. Cook them according to the package directions. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, cube the waffles into bite-size pieces, then place on two baking sheets and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp. Allow to cool completely.

2. In a heavy bottomed pan, crumble in your sausage and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove sausage from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat, then add in the chopped onions and celery. Cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the toasted waffle cubes, sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, cranberries, salt, thyme, sage, and 4 cups of chicken stock. Toss together, and add another cup of chicken stock if necessary. Pour in the maple syrup and toss to combine.

4. Press the stuffing into a well buttered 9 x13-inch pan (if you have extra, divide the stuffing between the 9x13-inch pan and an 8x8-inch pan) and drizzle with additional maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden and crispy. You may need an additional 5 minutes or so, depending on your oven. Serve warm alongside your Thanksgiving feast!

UO Exclusive: Blood Orange x AfterFest presents Making Time

Blood Orange released their highly anticipated sophomore album Cupid Deluxe yesterday. Check out our exclusive interview with frontman Dev Hynes: Blood Orange x AfterFest presents Making Time.

Making Time's Dave Pianka sat down with Hynes before our CMJ AfterFest, held high above the West Village on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel at Le Bain. Pianka and Hynes talked about being a tourist in New York, the brilliance of Janet Jackson, and why artists should raise their voice on social media.

Cupid Deluxe is out now on Domino Records and available here on iTunes.

Homebody: Wesley Bird

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

Photos courtesy of Wesley Bird

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Wesley Bird and I'm currently dwelling in West L.A.! I am a full-time designer by day and an ultra-doodler, obsessive letterer and illustrator by night. I'm madly obsessed with my Yorkie (Tom Sawyer), my apartment, and black leather jackets.

Which design from your DENY x UO collab is your favorite?
Hmmm, this is hard... I feel attached to them all equally! But since I have to pick a favorite, probably the Saltwood Shower Curtain or the True Sign Throw Pillow.

Who are three of your favorite artists?
Top of my list will always be Steven Harrington. He is beyond rad and fully inspires me, not just through his art but his insane work ethic. Dan Cassaro and KAWS easily make up my top three.

What are some things you do to make your own homes cozier in the colder months?
CANDLES EVERYWHERE! I'll probably end up torching my apartment one of these days. And tons of fur blankets. And as weird as this may sound, Lava Lamps.

Photos courtesy of Wesley Bird

Any amazing thrift shops or flea markets near you?
I feel super lucky because I live close to tons of really great ones in L.A. The Rose Bowl Flea is pretty much the jackpot of all fleas. Good friends of mine have scored the most amazing treasures there. And this isn't really a thrift shop or flea, but there is the tiniest little shop on the side of the road on the way to the Grand Canyon from Cali called The Skull Shack. It's exactly what it sounds like: tons of really amazing and different sun-bleached skulls. It's one of my favorite discoveries.

Where are some of your favorite cozy spots in your city?
I love the Fall/Winter here! It's so foggy in the mornings. Urth Caffe, Intelligentsia Coffee, and Groundworks are my favorite cozy drink spots. I'm also obsessed with galleries and museums, so I hit those when it's cold outside. Known Gallery on Fairfax is always a good choice.

When you’re curled up at home for the night, what do you like to do?
I'm a homebody, so coming home at the end of a long work day is the greatest feeling in the world! I snuggle up next to my dog and drink tea and sketch with reruns of Sons of Anarchy on the TV. Throw in some homemade pizza and we're golden.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Dark chocolate with sea salt. I've recently started to make my own at home and play with adding different ingredients. This week I made a batch with blackberries and honey. It's safe to say I might be addicted…


Friday Download: November 8, 2013

It's Friday, so here are some end-of-the-week internet clippings for you! You know, to get you through that last hour of work. —Katie

Nathan Rabin: R.I.P. Blockbuster
Blockbuster is closing its doors tomorrow... forever. It's weirdly sad? Nathan Rabin also thought it was weirdly sad and wrote this great piece for The Dissolve about all his fond Blockbuster memories.

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
Cut Copy released their new album this week and if this (GODFORSAKEN) time change is already starting to kill your spirit, then this upbeat album will perk you right back up. And Consequence of Sound wrote a great review about the album that tells you everything you need to know. (But if you're not into reading about music, the link above takes you to the album's Spotify page.)

Malls Across America by Steidl
This is a photography book about mall fashion in the '80s. Pretty delightful, right? The perfect coffee table book, TBH. Check out some of the preview shots in this post; I am obsessed with the Tape World store pictured above.

The National "Lean"
The National put out a new song for the Catching Fire soundtrack, and it's pretty National-y. If this wasn't already made for a movie, I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn up in several Zac Efron movie trailers. (And none of that is a bad thing. The National, and Zac Efron, rule.) This soundtrack is shaping up to be prett-taaay, prett-taaay good.

Arcade Fire "Afterlife" video (Live at the YouTube Music Awards)
I still have no idea what the YouTube Music Awards were. Does anyone? Like, where were they? Why were they? This Spike Jonze-directed Arcade Fire video from the event is pretty cute, though. Greta Gerwig is a national treasure.