You've seen them on Tumblr, you've seen them on Project Runway and now you can see them all over the Urban Outfitters website! Of course we're talking about the Pretty Snake Crazy Kitty Sweaters! Here we talk to Joe Segal, the designer and man who makes those magical cat prints come to life with fuzzy sweaters and 50,000 (yes I said 50,000) googly eyes a year.
(Photo by Maddie Flanigan)
On display now at The Gallery at 543 (5000 S. Broad St.) in Philadelphia is the exhibit Found Objects by Randall Cleaver.
As a sculpture student who graduated from Penn State in 1981, Randall became accustomed to using found and salvaged pieces in his art, and that tradition has carried into his current work. On display at 543 are some of Randall's amazing clock sculptures, made completely from found or salvaged materials. Most of the clocks also have a component that moves; the slinky on the clock above is shifted from hand to hand, and the grim reaper clock (below) has a pendulum and moving arm piece.
They're so, so much fun to look at, so if you find yourself in Philadelphia, make sure you check out the exhibition! It will be up for the remainder of the month. —Katie
WAH, remember MacPaint? From like, the Jurassic era of computers? It's here! On the 2013 internet! Look at that shadow font! SO MANY NOSTALGIA EMOTIONS COURSING THROUGH MY BODY OVER THIS!
This is great. I'm either going to get really good at computer drawing in black and white, or I'm just going to write "POOP" and "BUTT" in shadow font all day long, because it looks so neat. —Katie
(via The Hairpin)
It's Friday the 13th so you know what that means... it's time to dig through your couch and old purses for some change to take to TD Bank, so you can scrounge up enough money to get a $13 tattoo of something FT13th-inspired!
Walking down the stairs to the basement lounge at The Raven (55 Gansevoort St.), I could just FEEL that I was in Katie Gallagher's presence. Or, at least, I felt like I was walking around in a place that lived in a far corner of her mind. The lights were dim, the walls were covered in soft velvet, and everywhere you turned you were blinded by a bright stage light or the gaze of an ethereal being (hint: model) lounging on black leather couches, picking away at bowls of candy corn. It was official: photographer Katie McCurdy and I had landed smack-dab in the middle of the backstage preparations for Katie Gallagher's New York Fashion Week presentation.
In the pop-up space at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd) this month, you'll find a whole new creative experience, presented by Hand-Eye Supply. During the rest of August through the first few weeks of September, Hand-Eye Supply, a retail store from Portland, Oregon that focuses on helping communities design and work together creatively, will be taking over the space to open The Pop-Up Institute for Craft & Ingenuity.
This new shop will be stocked with crafting and DIY supplies and tools, plus throughout the month there will be educational opportunities and events that Hand-Eye calls "a physical manifestation of our aspirations." Sounds pretty cool, right? If you're ready to get your DIY on and let those creative juices go wild, attend the opening party this Friday, August 16th at Space 15 Twenty from 6pm to 9pm! There will be live letterpress printing by Tabletop Made, and music by Neil Schield of Origami Vinyl. RSVP here. —Maddie
Christina Mullen is a creative writer, costume designer and comic book lover hailing from UO's hometown of Philadelphia. She's also my sister. As you can tell from the photo above, her love for comics started at an early age. As she got older, it became her "thing," and I began to be dragged into "just one more" comic book shop for her to browse in as she picked out crazy cool comics I never even knew existed.
Introduce yourself & tell us what you do at UO!
I'm Heather, and I design prints at UO!
What are you wearing today?
The dress is vintage, shoes are Office London and the bee necklace is Alex Monroe.
As a print designer, do you like to wear a lot of patterns, or do you tend to stick to classic looks?
I'm constantly thrifting for vintage patterns but wear fairly few or more understated prints, perhaps because I work with them so much. Recently I've been collecting an excessive amount of '90s floral print dresses, much to the annoyance of my mum who, growing up, couldn't get me out of ripped jeans and tees and into any kind of 'pretty dress.'
It's getting warm out there! What are you excited to wear this summer?
'90s daisy prints, overalls and cropped tees.
If you had to dress like a single fictional character, who would you pick and why?
It's hard to single out one! Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years; Lindsay Weir from Freaks & Geeks; Angela Chase from My So Called Life; Dawn Wiener from Welcome To The Dollhouse; and Tai Frasier from Clueless. There's no one more stylish than an awkward teenage outsider.
Where can we find you online?
Tumblr and Pinterest!
It's the final round of Janine and Aretha from Floss Gloss' nail art series! Using inspiration from May's Bazaaaaar Pop-Up shops (R.I.P.!), our favorite summer trends, and products from our site, the duo has created three unique and easy-to-follow nail art tutorials. To go out with a bang, they stepped their game for a great grand finale. With the experience you've gained from Rounds One and Two, you should be totally prepared to try out this awesome nail art guide like it ain't no thang.
It's finally June which means it's time for a brand new pop-up shop to hit Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles! This month, the boutique Assembly New York and label 69 will be traveling across the country for a very cool pop-up shop that will feature some incredible designers from New York and L.A. Work from designers and artisans Hansel from Basel, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, and Rachel Craven, plus many more, will be available in this gallery meets retail environment. Aside from the shop itself, the pop-up shop will be hosting events throughout the month of June, including movie nights and artistic workshops! RSVP for the opening party on Facebook, which will be held from 6pm-9pm, this Friday June 7th with music by Pharaohs and Lovefingers. —Maddie
Urban Outfitters & Arts Thread are proud to introduce the Make It Design Competition! We like to party, but we need your help getting ready! Design something amazing for our Urban Outfitter girl to wear to a party this winter. Five winning designers will receive an incredible prize package and have their pieces sold at select Urban Outfitters stores! Can you make it?!
Make It Design Competition
Rachael Curtin is the production manager at Della, and we recently spoke to her about how she came to work at Della, her favorite places in Ghana, and her newfound tolerance for spicy food.
Where did you go to school? What was your major?
I went to the University of Notre Dame. I majored in French and minored in European Studies. Naturally I never imagined I would be working at a place like Della, though I never knew anything like Della existed. Now I can safely say we were meant to be.
How did dorm and college life prepare you for living in Ghana?
When deadlines come, it’s like finals week. Sometimes it lasts quite a bit longer than your average end of semester freak out, though we manage it!
How did you become part of the Della team?
I first heard about Della while teaching English on an island east of Madagascar. My roommate heard about the job from a manager who was about to leave Della. Knowing my hobbies and interests, she recommended I apply for the position. I did and haven’t looked back.
What is your favorite Della product?
Definitely the bralette. I love that every square inch of the piece was touched by at least 60 hands. They were a labor of love, from the actual making of the batik cloth and the cutting, pinning, and sewing to the adjusters, buttons and button holes. To wear one is an absolute treat. Although I wear it here with a knee-length high-waisted white skirt, I can’t wait to go back to the US and wear it with some high-waisted jean shorts. Those don’t fly here because in Ghana we do not show thigh!
What’s your favorite place in Ghana?
Ghana is scorching hot, so I love to be near the ocean. There is a beautiful area where Lake Volta meets the sea and you need a boat to go anywhere. On a recent trip, a friend and I had to put his motorcycle in a canoe to get to our hotel called Meet Me There. It was well worth the hassle, with a diving platform off the restaurant into a lagoon, a five dollar a night beach hut and a wild ocean front, free of tourists.
What’s a typical day like for you in Hohoe?
A typical day involves a lot of walking/running/biking around town, various Della-related people coming to me to tell me anything from we lost a screw to there’s a goat in the office, and I brief the women on the day’s expectations after greeting them all and answer any questions they might have about anything.
What’s your favorite Ghanaian dish?
When I came, my diet consisted of mangos, popcorn, random sautéed vegetables and “red red”, which is a mixture of black-eyed peas, cabbage, ground up cassava, palm nut oil and fried plantains. Everything I ate was free of fish and not spicy at all. Now, I go out to restaurants with a plethora of international food choices and end up ordering something Ghanaian off of the menu. I order my salads with sardines now, and my rice with extra spicy sauce. I find that I enjoy the food more and more with time, although I do wish I had a bag of Cheetos and some Greek yogurt right now…
Would you recommend traveling and working abroad?
Certainly. I’ve traveled and worked abroad in three different countries, and each one has shaped me in different ways. They were perfect stepping stones to Ghana, and I only hope there will be another one. I’m generally a pretty easy-going person, and it might be because of that. Ghana has definitely presented a fair share of challenges, but I’ve never felt that I couldn’t tackle them head-on. Maybe it’s because I know climbing to the summit of Piton des Neiges was a lot more difficult?
Shop Della x UO
(Photo credit: Colin Leaman; Model: Allie Teilz)
Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh are the owners of Osei Duro, an ethical fashion line that is run out of Ghana. We talked to them about how they got their start, where they source their materials from, and how they'd like to expand their line for the future.
How did you guys meet and what made you decide to start Osei Duro?
MM: We met in high school—we both had an interest in fashion and textiles and human expression through clothing, but we lost touch. I had been doing design at a small company in Montreal and I decided to travel around the world and research different textiles. I ended up doing capsule collections in different countries and saw an opportunity to do something on a larger scale. Molly and I met back up at our high school reunion and that’s when I asked if she would be interested in working with me. It grew from there.
Was starting an ethical fashion line something you initially set out to do?
MK: We were both interested in that, yeah. We were interested in the politics of production and transparency and doing something that we ultimately felt good about. And then figuring out what that means has been a process as the line develops.
Was there any specific reason that made you guys decide to work out of Ghana?
MK: There was a list of reasons. Maryann had gone to a bunch of different countries that produced their own traditional textiles and Ghana had other components that made it an easier place to start. There was also always the idea that our business could expand into other nearby countries.
What in Ghana inspires you for your clothing?
MK: People in Ghana dress really fearlessly. Things that North Americans tend to shy away from are really normal there, like lots of color, lots of print, and lots of dramatic shapes. That kind of expression and fearlessness is exciting for us to be around.
MM: They also have a lot of unique fabrics which is one of the main things that I love, and they also have a lot of traditional textile techniques, like batiking, which we’re really attracted to.
What are some of the different techniques you use to create your materials? Is there anything native to Ghana?
MK: Weaving. There’s a lot of hand weaving. Besides the batik [for dyeing], which just means wax, there’s other dye techniques. We don’t really do much, if any, tie-dye, but there are other methods that are similar to Japanese shibori, like stitching the fabric and then dyeing it. There’s also marbling. There are so many different things.
MM: We also do hand crochet. A lot of hand crochet.
Do you guys travel to many other places besides Africa to gather inspiration?
MK: Not as much as we’d like to. Maryann is living in Vancouver and she’ll make little trips within BC, and I’ll make trips within southern California where I live. We did travel around West Africa, though.
And did you pick up any other materials there?
MK: Yeah, we’ve bought fabric in all of the countries that we’ve been to around Ghana. We were sourcing a certain handwoven fabric from Togo for a while that we couldn’t find anywhere else.
MM: We're planning on expanding our countries; potentially production, but also textiles.
Can you tell us about some of the people you employ and how you go about finding people to work for you?
MK: The way we found people would be the same way you find people here, mostly by word of mouth. There’s nothing like Craigslist there, so it’s more a matter of talking to people, meeting people, and spending time with them and getting to know them. We work with a small factory that’s owned 2nd generation by a Ghanaian woman – she inherited it from her mother. We work with her, as well as all the people that work there for her. On the smaller scale, we work with individual tailors and seamstresses in our neighborhood. We work really directly with them and they’ll do smaller scale productions for us.
When we do large crochet productions, there’s a woman who organizes all of the crochet and that stays really cottage industry. Everyone who does that does it on a real informal level, so she organized all of these women out of their homes to do the crochet.
Does it take a long time to do all of this by hand?
MK: We try and give ourselves plenty of time. With dyeing we try to give enough time so that it can really be a process with the dyer. We’ll give her an idea, she’ll give us a result, we’ll maybe change something, maybe the result will be different than we thought but we like it better—it’s a real back and forth.
What are you guys excited to see with the pop-up?
MM: There’s another designer involved called Della—she works out of the Volta region in Ghana. I met a couple of her interns on a trip last summer which is how I heard about her, so it’s exciting to be able to meet other designers who are doing similar things.
Do you have any big projects lined up for the future?
MM: We’re in the process of designing 8 new bags and we’re working on another collaboration with the artist Megan Whitmarsh to design the prints. Those will be ready to launch in a few months.
MK: We’re also starting to do research about adding more traditional textiles from more countries into our production capacity which is really exciting.
Any particular textiles in mind so far?
MM: We’re criticized for our fall collections as being too summery because we use a lot of light fabrics and bright colors that are associated with summer in North America, so we’re thinking about using some South American wool to balance out our fall collections.
What’s one thing you want people to take away from your brand?
MK: I feel like it sounds clichéd, and I hesitate to even say it because it feels so clichéd, but clothing production can be transparent and still be exciting. The design doesn’t have to be compromised for the clothing to be thoughtfully made.
(Photos by Betty Sze for Models.com)
Opening this week at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is this year's Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Ah, if only I could make it out to NYC this summer! The exhibit, which will run from May 9th to August 14th, brings together original garments from the beginnings of punk in the 1970s, and high-fashion pieces by iconic designers that will continue to push normal boundaries, like Vivienne Westwood and the late Alexander McQueen, to name a few. There are several rooms to the exhibit, namely one being dedicated to Blondie, The Ramones, Patti Smith, and Richard Hell, and another containing original items from Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's Seditionaries London boutique, where the Sex Pistols used to get their clothing from in the early '70s. This show sounds too exciting for words (especially if you're a fan of the foundations of punk rock like myself)! —Maddie
(Photo credit: Svenja Trierscheid)
Buki Akib is a Lagosian menswear designer, and we recently caught up with her to talk about style in Lagos, her favorite materials to knit, and what she's most excited to see at our Bazaaaar pop-up.
Hi Buki! Can you give our readers a little background on yourself?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. I grew up and studied in London. I studied fashion at Central Saint Martins in London, and I am currently living between Lagos and London.
Did you grow up knowing that you wanted to go into fashion design?
No, I always knew I was going to be an artist, which I feel I am. Fashion is just another medium I use to express my art.
How did you get your start as a designer?
I first enrolled in an illustration class at Central Saint Martins and a tutor advised me to try the fashion course, which I did, and it was there that I discovered knitting. It was a love and hate relationship, but I felt very connected to creating a fabric from just a ball of yarn. I was also assistant stylist during my studies at CSM. I really loved working on editorial shoots - they're a great space to be super creative.
What is the fashion like in your hometown of Lagos?
I have always said growing up in the city was an introduction to fashion. Lagosians take pride in what they wear. Our traditional clothes have such history and beauty.
Can you tell us a little bit about the clothing?
The Lagosian attire for Yoruba men (the southern tribe), where I'm from, usually consists of the Buba which is a box shaped shirt made out of cotton that will either hit shy of his hips or hang long to his knees; Sokoto, which are trousers that are usually quiet loose; and Agabada (this is the master piece): It's an oversized, flowing robe with wide arms and beautiful embroidery around the neck and chest area. This goes on top of the Buba shirt. All my collections are always inspired by the these simple silhouettes, textures and colors.
What are some of the techniques you use in your designs?
I work on the knitting machine and hand knit. I love mixing different colors of yarns to create luxurious fabrics. I have a technique where I use a contrasting type of yarn to apply on to the fabric I am knitting on the machine. (You need to really see it!) It's laborious but it looks so beautiful.
Are the patterns you work into your clothing traditional Nigerian prints? What about the materials you use?
Yes, it's called aso-oke. It's a hand-woven fabric that is woven on a small loom. The fabric is made out of cotton, silk and sometimes lurex.
Do you work closely with people in Nigeria to create your fabrics and clothing?
I work very closely with really talented weavers in Lagos. We try to develop and recreate this ancient technique.
What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
I love working with all materials, from tassels to waxed cords to lurex yarns. Give me anything and I will knit it.
What's been the most unique material you've knitted something out of?
For my AFEFE collection I knitted a wire shirt and mixed it with different color cotton yarns. It looks magnetic in the light.
BUKI AKIB AFEFE Teaser 2013 from BUKI AKIB on Vimeo.
Your clothing has been featured in numerous fashion shoots. Have you gotten to travel anywhere out of the ordinary because of that?
Last year I was part of an exhibition in Frankfurt and had a chance to drive down to Baden-Baden (south of Germany). The scenery there was just breathtaking.
What was it like there?
Baden-Baden scenery is beautiful because it's located in the northern foothills of the Black Forest so all you see is hills upon hills. We had driven onto this residential area upon a hill (we were lost) and that's where I saw the view. Very peaceful to look at, especially when you have a busy mind.
What's one thing you want people to think when they see your line?
What are you excited to see with the pop-up?
Unfortunately I can't be physically there, but just seeing all the artists' work is exciting. Of course the big treats are Theophilus London and Jagari Chanda.