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Happenings: Salt Surf Garage Party

This Saturday, April 19, from 6pm-9pm, Brooklyn-based brand SALT SURF will be hosting a garage party at Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St.) in Williamsburg. Along with free grilled cheese and Jarritos, there will be a live performance by The Mystery Lights, a surf movie to kick back and watch, and a raffle to win some of SALT SURF's coolest gear (pictured below). Raffle winner will be announced at 8pm and must be present at the time winners are announced, so make sure to stick around!

SALT SURF has also been working hard on a short, documentary-style film about the brand. Shot by Rapt Studio, the film focuses on SALT SURF's founder Nabil Samadani and the culture surrounding his unique line. Although not being released until next month, a short teaser for the film is available to watch below. To learn even more about SALT SURF, make sure to check out our full feature on the brand.

Read the full SALT SURF feature

UO DIY: Flower Crown with Lisa Przystup

Lisa Przystup, a floral designer drawn to the wild over-growths of the countryside, is the talented woman behind James's Daughter Flowers. Her flower crowns can be seen in our recent Stone Cold Fox feature, as well as at Space Ninety 8 this month. Since we're so clearly smitten with her creations, we decided to find out a little more about her and to get some tips for making our very own crowns.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Hey Lisa! How did you get into flower design?
I was working as a freelance writer and I had noticed what seemed to me to be a certifiable trend of lovely, stylish Brooklyn ladies getting into floral design and thought they would be perfect fodder for the New York Magazine’s The Cut’s Style Tribe column. After visiting the designers' studios and interviewing them, I just fell for flowers. I found myself buying cheap bodega flowers and augmenting them with a few precious and expensive stems from Sprout Home. I realized that I actually really enjoyed doing this, and that I wanted to learn more and get better. This past fall I assisted a florist and quietly decided that maybe I would give this a go.

How did you get involved with Space Ninety 8?
I met this lovely crew of super inspirational women when I ended up modeling for Helen Dealtry’s lookbook (a featured Brooklyn designer at Space Ninety 8). These ladies all have studios in Greenpoint in a courtyard that is just so chock full of talent: MCMC Fragrances, Odette, and Bailey Doesn’t Bark all call Dobbin Mews their creative home and they all happen to be featured in Space Ninety 8. These little enclaves are really what make creating in New York so special.

Where do you pull your inspirations?
The wild overgrowth and lines found in nature. The MET. The astounding work of other super talented florists who are light years ahead of me.

How To: Make Your Own Flower Crown

- Floral wire
- Floral tape
- Wire cutters (to cut the wire)
- Sharp scissors or flower clippers (to cut the flowers)
- Household scissors (to cut the tape)

Flower crowns are so much fun and really easy to make. You’ll need floral wire and floral tape – you can find this at almost any floral supply store online. I recently found this great twine covered floral wire that is heftier and provides a sturdier base for the blooms.

1. Wrap the wire around your head for size, leaving a little extra length. Clip it and fashion two u-shaped hooks that you can hook together – these can be bent and adjusted to size.

2. Now for the flowers: you’ll want some greens for filler and then a handful (it’s really up to you) of about six different types of blooms of various sizes. You’re going to start by trimming the stems, leaving them about three inches long and making small mini bouquets - grasp a spring of filler and one to two flowers, wrap the stems in the floral tape (leaving three to four extra inches of tape) and set it aside. Repeat varying the blooms and greens – once you have a handful of these mini bouquets you can start attaching them to the crown.

3. Take your first bundle and attach it to the wire crown using the extra tail of tape – wind it tightly and securely. Add your next bundle with the flowers covering the stems of the first set you attached, this way you’ve camouflaged the stems. Repeat. You can fill the whole crown with blooms, leaving the larger ones toward the front of the crown or you can just fill half of the crown. Where you stop is entirely up to you.

For the crowns I made for the Stone Cold Fox shoot I chose not to fill the whole crown with blooms – I liked that the negative space drew more focus to the blooms that were there.

You can mist the crown with water and put it in a Ziploc bag to keep in the refrigerator until it’s ready to wear. The sad reality of flower crowns is that they won’t last long – the flowers have no water, so they pretty much have a shelf life of two to three hours. Cherish them.

Read the full Stone Cold Fox feature

Meet the Designer: Jason Woodside

Spend a day with artist Jason Woodside and you'll leave grinning from ear to ear. From hanging out in his color-saturated studio, to getting a caffeine fix at his new coffee shop Happy Bones, to having a cheeky glass of wine with lunch at Buvette on a Monday afternoon, the Florida-born, New York-based painter oozes good vibes. This month, Woodside collaborates with adidas on a hyper-color pop-up shop at Urban Outfitters' new Space Ninety 8 concept store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

In addition to his collaboration with Space Ninety 8, Woodside also recently lent his talent to charity, designing and hand painting a new pair of adidas Stan Smith shoes (pictured below) that are now up for auction on eBay. The proceeds from the auction will go directly to Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides underserved children and families with "a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential." To read our full feature on Woodside, click here.

Space Ninety 8 Market Space: Local Made

As part of Space Ninety 8 Market Space, the Local Made pop-up showcases 44 artists and designers from the Brooklyn area. Independently minded, handcrafted, and one of a kind pieces are available from the very hands that made them, with unrivaled attention to detail and craftsmanship. Below, we spotlight some of Brooklyn's independent brands and makers you'll find at Local Made. Visit Williamsburg's Space Ninety 8 to see all 44 artists under one roof or click here to read our artist feature in full.

MCMC Fragrances
Created by Anne McClain, a graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France, MCMC Fragrances is a boutique fragrance brand and studio based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Species by the Thousands
Founded in 2005 by Erica Bradbury, Species by the Thousands is a Brooklyn-based jewelry and lifestyle line influenced by outsider worlds.

(Photo credit: Jody Rogac)

New Friends
Established in 2012 by Alexandra Segreti and Kelly Rakowski in NYC, New Friends design and produce weavings, textiles and housewares.

Mighty Real Skin
Created out of a love for aromatherapy and skincare that's 100% natural, partners Salvador and Enrique make each of their essential oil blends in NYC in small batches.

Emily Miranda
Making her first piece in metal in 2010, Brooklyn-based Emily Miranda continues to make jewelry inspired by nature and fantastical creatures.

Created by illustrator Kaye Blegvad in 2010, Datter Industries creates subtle, narrative jewelery in an endeavor to turn drawings into wearable art.

(Photo credit: Julia Newman)

Brooklyn Herborium
Founded in South Brooklyn in 2013 by moms Molly and Emma, Brooklyn Herborium is a complete line of healthy skin care and home care products.

First Look: Space Ninety 8

Space Ninety 8, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn concept store from Urban Outfitters, opens its doors on Friday with an adidias pop-up shop in collaboration with the painter Jason Woodside, a Market Space featuring a curated selection of goods from Local Made artisans and designers, one-of-a-kind Urban Renewal vintage and a dedicated shoe shop (among many other things). We took a sneak peek at the space before the grand opening, where a team of young merchandisers from across the country was busy custom-building fixtures, hanging lights, handwriting signs and decorating the multi-story space with crystals, ceramics and plants.

Danielle, Store Merchandiser

Hi Danielle! Where are you from? I'm from the Roosevelt Fields store in Garden City, New York. 

What's been the best part about setting-up Space Ninety 8? Working with some of the most talented people in the company from all around the country and collaborating and pulling inspiration from each other. And working with the product—there's a lot of special one-of-a-kind pieces here. 

Do you have your eye on anything you want to buy? A Himo Art macrame wall hanging and the beautiful marbled ceramics by Bailey Doesn't Bark

Chris, Display Artist

Hi Chris! Where are you from? I work at the Studio City store in Los Angeles. 

What do you love about Space Ninety 8? I really like the space itself—it's unique. I feel like we translated the concept well. It has a really different feel [to other stores]. 

Anything you have your eye on that you want to buy when the store opens? The vintage metal shirts. 

Hard at work setting-up the rooftop bar, Top Deck

The view from the top

Erin, Store Merchandiser

Hi Erin! What store are you from? East Village, NYC.

What's your favorite thing about Space Ninety 8? The Urban Renewal shop.

Have you seen anything you want to buy while setting-up? A pair of Modern Vice boots. 

Ricky, Market Space Team Lead at Space Ninety 8

Hi Ricky! Where are you from? I'm a Brooklyn local.

What's the best thing about Space Ninety 8? The exposure for local artists. I'm an artist myself, so it's really nice to see.

Do you have your eye on anything to buy when the store opens? All the Salt Surf stuff!

Trevor, Store Merchandiser

Hi Trevor! Where are you from? The DTLA store.

What's the best thing about Space Ninety 8? It's an exciting concept—it's a lifestyle center! It's a cool place to hang out. I love the localization with the Market Space and the artist collaborations. I feel like you could spend hours here and not just shop. 

Anything you've got your eye on to purchase? There's some really special vintage mens pieces and the jewelry by young local designers. 

Urban Renewal Vintage

Nabil from Salt Surf setting up shop

Skateboards by Salt Surf, part of Local Made at the Market Space

Local Made: Cold Picnic

Cold Picnic is partners Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer, who craft bags, art, textiles and more in their Brooklyn studio. Carrying on the tradition of storytelling through symbols, Phoebe and Peter make each piece by hand, seeking out objects from the past.

As part of Williamsburg's Space Ninety 8 Market Space, Cold Picnic has created custom wall hangings, macramé plant hangers and leather goods for our Local Made pop-up. Get the scoop on Phoebe and Peter's cool, nostalgic vibe and colorful creative process. Read the full feature here.

First Look: Teenage

The new documentary Teenage, which opened this weekend in New York City, takes a look at how different youth subcultures scattered across the world and throughout centuries have helped define teenage culture today. Through beautiful, super-8 archive footage paired with the recreations and narrations of four different teens, Teenage creates a vibrant "living collage" of history in a way that no documentary film has done before. (Check out some of our exclusive .gifs from the movie, posted below.) We talked to Matt Wolf, the director of the film, Jon Savage, who wrote Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, the book that served as the basis of the film, and Executive Producer Jason Schwartzman, about the movie, what they were like as teens, and why adults forget what it feels like to be a rebellious youth. Hazel

How did you all connect to make this movie?

Matt: I read Jon's book and I thought it was very compelling and that it could be a great film. He had just finished the Joy Division film and I had just finished this movie called Wild Combination about Arthur Russell, so we swapped DVDs and started talking. We thought we could work together so we started a sort of Skype relationship. Eventually I went to Wales with a hard-drive of footage and we started the process of etching out what the film could be. 

Jason: I saw Matt's film Wild Combination and I loved it; I remembered watching it many times over the course of a week after it came out. One person I was eager to show it to was this friend of mine, Humberto Leon, who has the store Opening Ceremony. Humberto said that he was friends with Matt Wolf and later [Opening Ceremony] wanted short films for their store opening in Japan, so he hooked Matt and I up and we made one together. It was during the shoot for that that he told me about how he was going to make a movie based on this book by Jon Savage and I was excited about it. 

In terms of how you, Matt and Jon, envisioned the film, did you have a clear idea of what the film would look and feel like? Did you two know from the beginning that you would want to use archival footage and take this in a more artistic direction?

Matt: We could have done a multi-part television series with expert historians and talking heads, but early on we knew we didn't want to do that. I had accumulated about 70 or 80 hours of archival footage at some point while we were piecing together the film. I had a residency at an artists' colony, and everyday I edited a compilation mix of archival footage to contemporary music. That was a really important part of the process for me. It made this "living collage" style we were going for.

Jon: Matt and I discussed early on that we didn't want the film to be from the point of view of adults, we wanted young people's own words. So Matt and I developed a narration where we took quotes from the book or wrote quotes that gave the teenage point of view—how it actually feels to be young. In general, the film is pretty much how we wanted it to be from the start.

Who is the audience for Teenage?

Matt: Teenage, to me, is an art film in a sense. The film is also an incredible music experience. I see the film almost like a record, and the narrations are like the lyrics to the record. You can just sort of sit and experience it without looking at it. I hope fans of music are a fan. And the film isn't really about your typical teenager, it's about the exceptional young people, people who think against the grain. I wish I had seen this film when I was a teenager.

Jon: Me too. Because then you realize you're not alone. 

Jason: I almost wish they would show this in schools because I think it's exciting. Also, I remember Matt came to my house with a rough compilation and narrated it for me in person, and even when he wasn't talking it was beautiful to watch. 

When you were going through all the footage and even watching the film now, was there a certain quote or piece of footage that really stood out to you?

Matt: The thing that was a big break-through for me was the color footage of German swing kids. The story of the German swing kids is the most moving to me because it was the story of how pop culture and politics collide. These young people were smuggling American music and culture as a way of expressing themselves but also as a subversive tactic to resist the Nazi regime. It's so punk. There's also this quote towards the end of the film, from a letter to the editor for Seventeen Magazine, that says, "I love being seventeen. I wish I could stay this age for awhile. Seventeen is that perfect spot between adolescence, which means you're going somewhere, and adulthood which means you're on the downgrade."

Jon: [laughs] I'm totally downgraded! I love the quote, "My world is speedy and they're old." That's from a book called Middletown, which is about this couple who went to a town in the midwest for a year in the 1920s and reported what they found. But, my favorite bit, is the footage of the Chicago swing jamboree in 1938 with 200,000 kids going mental. And it was an integrated audience, which is amazing, because black American music was incredibly important.

Jason: You know what's wild, and it just occurred to me, is that it blows my mind that you [Jon] wrote this book without seeing a lot of this stuff. The book and the movie, they're companion pieces in a way. Jon wrote this book without having seen a lot of it and Matt made that possible. 

Matt: We were really rigorous in making sure that everything in the film is based on historical truths and uncovered history. We based the narration on primary source quotes and based our characters off of real people. That rigor is really important to us as filmmakers and historians. 

Jason: Another great thing about the film is that it doesn't get into all the stuff you already know. These are the people and the stories that seeped through everything.

There was a line in the press release I was really interested in about activism and rebelliousness, and how you point out that adults today sort of forget what it feels like to be a teen. In your opinion, why do you think there's that separation?

Matt: At the core, I think it's that teenagers represent the future because they're going to live in the next era, and that creates a lot of hope and anxiety for adults. They project their fears onto young people and it leads to a desire to control them. But why do adults forget this need for freedom and self-expression and revert to this need to control? I think it's out of fear.

Jon: And also people get beaten down by life, they really do. People get into habits and raising a family. It also depends on temperament. I've always been a guy who's interested in the present and the future. A lot of my work is in the past but when I was a kid I was into stuff that was really cutting edge, which is why I'm excited about the film. You have the everyman histories, the history of the normal people, but when I was a kid I hated the normal people. I never wanted to be normal EVER. With the book and the film I was interested in the exceptional people who make the change. Because, if there's no change there's just entropy and then everything turns to shit. 

Matt: When I was a teen I was a gay activist, and I remember publishing this underground newspaper and dumping it in the middle of my quad and then going to the bathroom and just barfing. I didn't even think about it as brave, it was just this immediate need to express myself. As I get older I think about what people will think of me and I try not to think that way, but with teenagers, they just purely express in a very visceral way.

Jason: I do remember being an adolescent and feeling angry and sad and not knowing why. As you get older, adults need to find a reason for why you feel all these things. I have a daughter now and whenever I meet a parent of an older kid they go, "Just wait 'til she's 13!" And it's like, why the "just wait"?

Jon: It's part of that experience of separating from your parents and joining the world of your peers. 

Matt: When you're young, a lot of the time you're oppressed. I think with this film, it's really about a formative period in history in which young people were facing an unprecedented amount of oppression from their parents and the government. They were really just struggling for basic forms of recognition and to endure these struggles and define yourself under judgmental and high-pressure critique from adult society leads towards revolution.

UO Beauty: On-the-Road Hair

With her beaten-up cowgirl boots, artfully thrown-on tie-dye wrap skirt and perfectly disheveled hair, Diane Birch is the epitome of the smoldering singer-songwriter. She oozes equal parts elegance and earthiness; style and soul, and somehow manages to make ‘I’ve been touring for days and have barely slept, never mind washed my hair’ scenarios look seriously attractive. How, we wonder? And so, we grilled her about her on-the-road beauty tricks, musical influences and her new album Speak a Little LouderAnd, with the help of hair stylist Sera Sloane, we show you how to create her I’m-with-the-band textured hair in our exclusive UO Beauty Video
Photography by Mike Persico

Hi Diane! How long have you been a touring musician?
I guess I’ve been making music seriously for about six years…scary! [laughs]. And I’ve been touring on and off for the last five years.

What was your first touring experience like and how did you become comfortable with life on the road?
When my first record came out, I sort of got thrown into the whole thing. I hadn’t really toured with a whole band before and suddenly I was doing things like opening for Stevie Wonder and playing festivals. It was really exciting. I was a little freaked out at first because I wasn’t really prepared for it, but I think with anything you do, when you’re repetitive about it, you get into a flow and you learn your craft. So just doing it and practicing at it has made me a lot more comfortable. I love feeding off the crowd and the energy of the people.

Do you like being on tour?
I like being on the road a lot. It gets a little draining after a while and the novelty kind of wears off. I find myself dreaming about wanting to do laundry or get a coffee on my corner and wake up late, but it’s really fun, there’s a high energy to it. It’s fun to always be in new city and meeting new people and you never know what’s going to happen. I think to have a break in-between is definitely the best scenario.

What are some essentials for the road?
I definitely like to make it feel as homey as possible. I’m really into smells—I love incense, I love perfume. Every time I’m in a hotel room I’ll burn some incense or some sage and I’ll put my oils around. Sometimes I do yoga if there’s room in the hotel or else I just resort to eating multiple bags of chips during the day and scrap the whole health thing for a while! But I try to keep myself feeling good, because although it sounds really glamorous to go out to crazy parties every single night, it’s not really realistic when you’re working hard everyday—you also need to be healthy. I definitely like to take care of myself. Pampering as much as possible and finding people in different cities to give me a massage! 

How do you take care of your hair when you’re travelling?
Being on the road, you definitely have to be prepared to not be able to change in your hotel room or find even a bathroom with good lighting, so you have to be ready in the morning to have everything you need. I wear a lot of hats! If I feel like I hate my hair that day, I just throw a hat on. I use a lot of dry shampoo because sometimes you don’t have time to wash your hair, and that tends to be the perfect cure for grease or flatness. I use a lot of coconut oil—I use it all over my body and if my hair starts getting dry I put it on the ends, so that’s an all-purpose balm that I use. I do blow-dry my bangs pretty much every day, as much as I can find a hair dryer! If the rest of my hair is totally whack, but my bangs are still fine, I feel like I have some control. That’s the general routine.

Tell us about your new record…
I was excited to finally release my new album in October. And it’s great. I’d been working on it for such a long time and there had been a large gap of time between the release of my first record, so it was this big letting go of all of this energy and emotion tied to it. It was really fun to finally get out of the studio and get on the road and start seeing a different side of the music that I created. 

How would you describe your sound?
I don’t really know how to describe my sound; I’ve lost the plot even trying to understand what I do or make! I sort of embrace this emotional side of myself and I’m liberated by being able to express myself in all facets of emotion with my music. I have a definite pop sensibility—it doesn’t evoke the most modern pop but I’m inspired by classic pop: ’70s, ’80s, ’90s…. Even ’80s adult contemporary…I want to be like Phil Collins, basically. I love Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, and I’m inspired by a lot of female artists on this record: Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner. Women who were really okay with being vulnerable and that, in a way, was being powerful.

What’s up next for you?
I’m going to be doing a lot of touring in the coming months. I’m going to Asia, Europe, England…so that will be a lot of fun. I’m working on some side projects and doing other things, musically, that I guess people wouldn’t associate me to do, so it’s great for me, because my whole goal as an artist is to not be pigeonholed in one area. I have a lot of friends in music and I’m really excited to do different side projects and put out EPs and things like that. A lot of that stuff is to come soon.

Get The Look!

Fine Print: Katie Heaney

Katie Heaney has a hilarious Twitter, a feature on The Hairpin, and she’s also a regular writer for BuzzFeed. To top it all off, Heaney’s first book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date, was released earlier this year from Grand Central Publishing. In it, Heaney tells the tale of being the odd woman out; for some reason, even though she’s a total catch, she's just never been in a relationship. It’s not a book of woe, but a story of how it’s empowering to invest instead in your female friendships. I recently chatted to Katie about her book, her best friend Rylee, and her favorite Mr. Darcy.
Interview by Maitri Mehta. Photos c/o Katie Heaney.

First of all, congratulations on writing the book! Have guys from your past come out of the woodwork since you published it?
Thanks! Not really. Most of the feedback I’ve gotten has been really positive emails and tweets from women thanking me for writing the book. I’ve gotten a few messages from dudes, some creepy, some polite, but I usually just ignore them.

One of the main characters in your book is your real-life best friend, Rylee. How does she feel about being a part of it?
Rylee knew about the book from the beginning. Sometimes it was hard in college. I think that despite her having a different dating life she never thought it was weird that I wasn’t seeing anyone. It wasn’t something that came up a lot, even. It was more her struggling to understand why I didn’t WANT to be with anyone.

How long have you and Rylee been friends?
We’re coming on nine years! It’s been work at times, but part of the challenge of finding the right BFF is finding someone that also wants a very committed, loyal relationship they can devote time to, even if one or both people are also in romantic relationships. Finding the right best friend is just as tough and just as important as finding a significant other.

You wrote this book in "real-time." Was that weird?
At first, but by the end it was more like journaling mixed with being aware that I was writing a book. I was always hoping that it was going to be a good finished product, something that people would want to read. I still considered it a project to be finished that was very much separate from my actual life (even though it was my life I was writing about!). It’s good that I didn’t really have the chance to go back and change it.

How did you choose which dudes and experiences to write about?
I have to say I chose the crushes I had that were more substantial, more romantic, or just more interesting.

Who’s your favorite Darcy?
Obviously Colin Firth from the BBC miniseries.

Same! He’s the only choice, really. What do you think of the enormous statue of him in his long johns that was built in England?
I think it’s totally creepy and it doesn’t do him justice.

Who was your first kiss?
I can’t remember his name. Maybe Eric? It was at a frat party while I was visiting a friend during my freshman year of college at her school. I never saw him again!

Who’s your favorite Austen heroine?
You know, I always say Emma, but in a way I kind of hate her, too. She thinks she’s being helpful and great but then all these guys fall in love with her, and she’s just perfect, and oblivious, and annoying. I love the book but god, Emma kind of sucks. I’d be so jealous of her if we went to college together.

I hate to even ask (because it’s horrible to talk about out loud), but do you use Tinder?
I mean, I’ve been on OKCupid, and I have Tinder on my phone, but I’ve really only used it to test out a story or as a half-assed attempt to please my friends that think I should have it. I don’t like it at all!

What do you want people to take away from Never Have I Ever?
Young women shouldn’t feel bad about being single or wanting to be single and actively not wanting a relationship. It’s perfectly fine to prioritize other things in your life.

Better Together: Katie and John

Meet John and Katie, who defy the old adage that couples shouldn't work together. John is a men's stylist at Urban Outfitters, while his other half is a freelance photographer from New York, who shoots people and fashion with a beautifully authentic eye. Here they share their story as creative and romantic partners. Read the full feature here.

Better Together: Monica Ramos and Leah Goren

If you don’t know them by name, you probably know Monica Ramos and Leah Goren through their work or have purchased their items on Etsy. Monica and Leah, both Brooklyn-based, share a studio with lots of light, plants and snacks. Between illustrating for publications like The New York Times and designing book covers, they also work on sticker packs, make a Sad Girls Zine, and do impressively accurate drawings of what they wear to the studio. Here’s what they had to say about being better together, as friends and as artists.
Interview by Maitri Mehta

Totes by Leah and Monica

So the feature is called Better Together— how are you ladies better together?
Leah: That’s so cute! Before I moved in here I worked at home by myself, or I guess with my boyfriend, but he’s not an illustrator so I was basically alone. It’s amazing to have Monica around to talk to about my work.
Monica: She keeps me from being a total bum.
Leah: It’s good teamwork to get here at a good time and make coffee or tea and talk about what we’re working on—
Monica: And share frustrations.
Leah: It makes us feel like we’re part of a bigger picture of illustration work rather than just being cooped up alone. You can go crazy working alone.

How long have you been in this studio?
Leah: Almost a year!
Monica: I was working in my living room before. It was so depressing! I would be there every day and I wouldn’t go out.

Where are y’all from?
Monica: The Philippines.
Leah: San Diego. Both warmer climates.
Monica: People think I’m from California, I think because how I talk.
Leah: We were talking about moving to California some day, but we’d ALL have to go, because otherwise it’d be too lonely.

And you two met at Parsons?
Leah: Yes. We were trying to figure out what class it was but it’s all kind of a blur—
Monica: I think we met in a printmaking class because I remember Leah did all these block prints of girls’ faces—
Leah: We were making .gifs! I don’t even know anymore! We have a lot of friends from school but I don’t know when we all met. They just showed up at some point.

How did you decide to move into a studio together?
Leah: I started here with Rachel [Levit] and some other friends, and then we convinced Monica to move in.
Monica: I was actually really resistant because I was so comfortable in my living room. I was like, I’m just never gonna leave. But no, it’s been so good. I feel like a normal person here [laughs], with a place to do work.

Catdish by Leah

Alpacas by Monica

What are you working on right now, individually?
Monica: I have this one group show in Copenhagen, it’s about swimming. And a few months later I have another duo show also in Denmark, and I’m hoping to fly there.
Leah: I got an editorial thing this morning! So I worked on sketches today. It’s for an essay. I’m learning things about writing today. It’s a quick turnaround as usual, and then just answering emails, always.

I get bad email anxiety, do you?
Monica: If I answer an email at 1 AM, is that bad?
Leah: I don’t think it’s bad, I think it just means you’re on the clock all the time.
Monica: But not like, 4 AM, right? 4 AM is bad.

What are you working on together?
Monica: We’re working on a ceramics pop-up show, which is how we spend most of our time—
Leah: Yeah, I think it’s the most fun thing I do, because it doesn’t feel like work. Not that my work isn’t fun. We’ve been taking ceramics for maybe a year, or a little over. I started just making things with my mom who’s an art teacher and then taking actual classes in New York.
Monica: I took one class in high school, because my grandmother on my dad’s side used to have a ceramics studio, and then I started maybe half a year ago here in New York because Leah was taking classes and it seemed like a lot of fun. They had all this cool stuff! We just hang out at the ceramics studio, talking and making things. I mostly make a lot of alpacas.
Leah: She’s notorious at the studio for her alpacas.

Ceramics by Leah and Monica

Is it hard making art for business?
Monica: Yeah, it’s strange. Because you want to pursue something like illustration and then you’re like, "OMG I’m gonna love my career," and then it ends up giving you stress at the same time.
Leah: It puts an edge on it, yeah.

Do you guys talk to each other about your own personal projects?
Leah: Yeah, I would say since we’re still just starting out, two years out of school, there are a lot of questions we have to figure out and apply, like pricing and how to answer clients’ questions. Even more basic stuff like, “Is this sketch good?”
Monica: It’s reassuring, too. It helps just being in the same room as people who are doing things that are creative. I think it’s a pretty tough industry to get into and it’s nice to see other friends at the same point. We’re all trying to get to the same place. I don’t know what I would do if not for the studio at this point. I feel so at home here.
Leah: And we’re always so excited for each other when we get jobs! And we also get really mad at things together.
Monica: Also, Leah has been helping me get better at Instagram! She is amazing at it.
Leah: No, you’re really good at it, but you don’t post enough. I grade her Instagrams. "A minus."

Illustration by Monica

Illustration by Leah

What do y’all like to do together that’s not work?
Leah: Go to Vanessa’s Dumplings.
Monica: Yes, dumplings.
Leah: Go to the movies, buy plants… we love to go plant shopping.
Monica: We had a poker night before! We also love to go to ceramics together.

Tell me more about your pop-up shop.
Leah: It’s gonna be in Greenpoint!
Monica: Originally we were thinking of doing a gallery show but then as we were making things it just seemed like a lot of the things were functional so it would be better as a pop-up.
Leah: I think even though Monica does more group shows in a fine arts context, I think our ceramics are more commercial and it makes sense to sell them that way.
Monica: And we wanna be more in control of how our ceramics are sold.
Leah: I think having these nice little home objects that are decorative and affordable is relevant to our interests right now, and we have some other friends who are putting stuff in the show, like quilts and jewelry.
Monica: We’ve been talking about shelves. It’s a totally empty space so we get to put whatever we want in there. It’s gonna be so much fun.

Studio Visit: New Friends

Using a handmade frame loom and wooden comb, Kelly Rakowski and Alex Segreti of New Friends design studio craft weavings, textiles and housewares that combine historical tradition with contemporary visual culture. We visited them at their space in downtown Brooklyn to see where they weave their magic. Read the full feature here.

Wish List: Maitri's Valentine Wish List

Obsessions: Maitri's Wish List

V Day? More like ME DAY! If you’re anything like me you’re always looking for an excuse to treat yourself, and what better day than Valentine’s Day to show yourself a little (more) love? Even though I have a sweetheart this year (Vice President Francis Underwood on House of Cards, thankuverymuch) I think it’s just as important to say, hey me, I love you. Here’s a wishlist of all-black everything because roses might be red but black is better (not bitter) and eternal. (And so is loving yourself!) Maitri

Cold Picnic Talking Rocks Ring
Who needs a significant other to buy you jewelry when you already have impeccable taste? This irregular stone ring is gorgeous. If you like you, then you should def put a ring on it.

Coolgirl Catmaster Sunglasses
If you plan on spending Valentine’s Day drunk as all get out with your girlfriends, you’ll need some sunglasses to shoddily hide your hangover tomorrow.

Skull Candle
No better way to say “death to love” than through home decor.

Anna Sui Nail Polish
Black glitter nail polish from Anna Sui is made exponentially better by the adorable, dress-shaped packaging.

Deena & Ozzy Cutout Buckle Boot
After a long, hard (SO HARD) winter of wearing very utilitarian but not-very-cute Doc Martens, I am so excited for spring and, consequently, shoes that don’t make me look like a morose clown from the 1940s. I love these cutout bootie heels.

Madame Scodioli Solid Perfume
Do yourself a solid and get some of this solid perfume. The Laudanum is a more heady, masculine scent, and you can throw it in your bag to use wherever you go.

Dark Jewel Flask
Bad date? Stiff drink. Good date? Celebratory drink. Can’t afford the bar? Bejeweled flask. It’s a tough holiday to get through. You deserve a drink.

Better Together: Wiissa

New York City-based photography duo (and romantic couple) Vanessa Hollander and Wilson Philippe form Wiissa. We first discovered them a few years ago when they won our Crush video contest, and since then, the pair has been busier than ever. Now in college, we caught up with the twosome to find out what they've been up to recently, their favorite places to shoot in the world, and their favorite music (complete with a special playlist, just for us). Hazel

How did you two first meet?

Vanessa: We first met when I was 14 and he was 15. We both lived off a little island right off of Miami. As soon as we met we started hanging out and then we were together a week later. That's when we made nicknames for each other. I started calling him "Wii" and he started calling me "Ssa." I don't why, but we had already started calling ourselves Wiissa for some reason! Then a year or two later we started taking more pictures together and we decided to call ourselves "Wiissa." 

Were you two already passionate about photography before you met or was working together what fueled it?

Wilson: I think beforehand we kind of liked photography but when we met, we grew up with each other and learned from each other. We really got into taking photos when we started doing it together.

Vanessa: Before that, we just took shitty macro pictures and made Photobooth videos and stuff [laughs]. After that, we started taking more photos, and we got our first film cameras together.

How would you say you two influence each other when it comes to making art?

Vanessa: We just literally can't do it without each other.

Wilson: Yeah.

Vanessa: Photography-wise, Wilson's probably more technical, and I think more about the overall ideas. When we come together, we make what we make!

Wilson: If I were on my own, my work would be really perfect technically, but it would be boring. If Vanessa were on her own, it would be super conceptual. It would be all blurry and stuff [both laugh].

How would you two describe your aesthetic?

Vanessa: What we always strive for is "colorful." We want to get in as many colors as possible. Our photos might be nostalgic, because we're nostalgic for times we haven't lived in. We like to recreate those times through styling. 

What has been the most enjoyable project you've done together?

Vanessa: This summer we went on a road trip through France. It was just us two and literally all we did was take photos. It was the best. In France, each city is completely different from the last. We were out on dunes, cliffs, waterfalls. It was something different every day.

Wilson: We also had two months of freedom to do whatever we wanted. I was driving my grandma's car around and looking out for places. 

What are you two doing when you're not taking photos?

Wilson: School.

Vanessa: Yeah, we're both students. He goes to SVA and I go to Barnard. We try to do that as little time as possible [laughs]. We both intern, as well. He's interning with Adam Green and I'm working at a record label called Cult Records. We love going to concerts, too. 

Any particular gigs or bands playing shows you're excited to see coming up?

Wilson: I think the Arctic Monkeys are coming soon.

Vanessa: The band Yuck, who I really like, is playing next weekend. We also just got tickets for Governer's Ball, so that's super exciting. 

What are you two currently obsessed with?

Vanessa: I'm obsessed with The Libertines and Pete Dougherty. I sort of revived my 8th grade obsession. Music for us is the biggest inspiration for everything. We both love '60s French aesthetics, so we tried to tap into that in France. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg are always one of our number one obsessions. 

If you could photograph any band, who would it be?

Both: The Strokes

What's coming up for you both?

Vanessa: We're looking to get more into commercial stuff. We have some photoshoots for the record label. We're doing something soon with Julia Cumming's band Sunflower Bean. 

UO At Home: Alice and David

Artists Alice Waese and David Flinn's Fort Greene home is full of life: abundant plants, a coterie of cats and colorful textiles. It's no surprise that the seeds of both their multidisciplinary endeavors are planted and fostered here, as they spark off each other to weave their respective magic. We take a peek inside their home and find out what makes them better together. Read the full feature here.

UO Beauty: Do The Twist

Braids don't have to be uptight and complicated. With the help of New York hairstylist Sera Sloane, we embrace a simple, lived-in braid that feels fresh for spring. "The messier, the better," says Sloane of this relaxed, updated take on the style. "You don't want to see perfect lines." Watch our video and see the rest of the feature here.

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The Fresh List: BRRCH Floral

Twenty-six-year-old floral designer Brittany Asch is refreshing the notion of traditional blooms and bouquets with her youthful and creative take on floral arrangements. We chatted with the Brooklyn-based founder of BRRCH about her favorite flowers, her influences, and just how one breaks into the world of floristry. Words Katie Gregory. Photographs by Katie McCurdy

Have you always been passionate about flowers?
Floral arrangements were definitely not something I was "passionate" about, but I have always loved flowers, plants and paintings of flowers. I was just so completely preoccupied with other endeavors growing up and the only florist in town was this small shop in a really sterile room that was not appealing to me in any way.

So how did you get to where you are today?
I was raised on this track to be in some aspect of the entertainment industry. Acting class every Friday, dance lessons probably eight hours a week after school, singing lessons one hour every week, the whole shebang. I was being groomed, as they say. I had a change of heart after attending Berklee College of Music and felt like there was something else I should be doing, not because I didn't love music but because I didn't love the industry. When I realized that I could actually work with flowers in an artistic way and that it was a job, it totally knocked me over and I was hooked. I am glad I discovered it when I did, though. My previous experiences have definitely played a big role in the work that I do and the way I create. Life moves you in very unexpected ways. Maybe one day I'll be in a biopic about a florist who sings and it will all make sense.

Who or what inspires your floral arrangements?
Different things depending on the day. Japan, the UK, France, the jungle. The ethereal and the fantastical. Royalty and rock & roll. Decadence and grit. I'm super inspired by Tim Walker, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson and so many others.

How would you recommend someone interested in floral design get started?
If you're in a city, go to your local flower shop or bodega and buy some stems you like and arrange them in a way that pleases you. If you're not in a city, go walk in your backyard or on the side of the road and pick some things. The only way to get started is by actually doing it. I'd say that goes with everything. You should also get used to heavy lifting.

Any other floral designers you admire?
I really like Azuma Makoto’s work. I freelanced on a job with Thierry Boutemy once and he is a force, too. There’s a ton of really talented designers out there. Exciting times for the world of floristry.

What are some of your favorite flowers to use for spring?
Magnolia, dogwood, fritillaria meleagris, bearded iris, greens, and all of the flowering branches.

What is your favorite flower?
Probably an heirloom garden rose or water lily. But I can't really commit to just one flower. I really love blushing bride protea, forget-me-nots... I just had to stop myself from naming 50 more flowers. I'm not a favorites kind of girl, never have been.

Best smelling flower?
An heirloom garden rose, for sure. True tuberose is intoxicating as well.

What's the “It” flower of the moment?
I feel like the peony is the eternal "It" girl. She's just so agreeable. I've yet to meet a person that says, "I hate peonies." I don't think that person exists. I just made that person up.

Do you have any tips for creating a springtime floral arrangement for a beginner?
Daffodils, daisies, and buttercups. Tie them with a bow.

Where are some good places to source inexpensive flowers?

Bodegas, grocery stores, and farm stands.

Any "dont's" when it comes to floral arrangements?
Don't cut the stems too short. Don't make a dome shape (flowers are meant to be appreciated, not suffocated). But the most helpful “don't” tip I can give to any aspiring florist is this: Don't follow all of the rules of arranging. Make your own.

Fake flowers: Can they ever be done right?
Have you seen that Alexander McQueen dress covered in flowers? That is an example of fakes done right. I'd say yes.

Is baby’s breath totally not cool anymore?
I think until recently baby's breath was really the opposite of cool, but it's currently having an underdog renaissance. I appreciate that. You go get 'em, baby's breath.

Fine Print: Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton, the man behind the Humans of New York Tumblr and book, is living proof that sometimes (just sometimes) getting canned is the best thing that can happen to a person. After getting laid off from his finance job several years ago, Brandon decided to move to New York to take photographs of strangers, and thus the incredibly moving Humans of New York blog was born.
Interview by Katie Gregory; Photos by Brandon Stanton

Hi Brandon! How are you doing?
I'm great! I'm sitting in the sunshine and feeling pretty good right now.

Are you currently in New York?
I am. It was freezing yesterday, but it's a little bit warmer today.

I saw that your book has been selling out like crazy everywhere and you had to actually make more books to fill the demand...
[Laughs] Yeah, it's been doing really well! It's very exciting.

Were the people in the book shot specifically for the book, or were they just a part of your ongoing series?
No, they were part of my ongoing project. I've taken over 5,000 portraits and the main focus is the blog. I post about 5 or 6 of these portraits on the blog every day, and conduct little interviews. I've been maintaining the blog for 2 and a half years now, and have over 2 million followers on social media, so my main concern is gathering content for the audience. The book was kind of a highlight reel of that with some new material.

Were you surprised by the demand for the book?
I was surprised, not extremely surprised, because it was definitely more than I expected, but at the time that the book was published, I already had a lot of fans on social media, so I knew that there was a large audience. Every time I raise money for charity on HONY the audience has been very, very engaged, so I anticipated that the book would sell well, but this well I didn't expect.

How do you decide who to approach for your shots?
You know, I try to keep that pretty vague, even to myself. I try not to look for anything in particular. New York is very diverse and I want the diversity to be represented on the blog. I just try to keep an open mind and approach people randomly and find out what I can about them.

Has anyone ever been openly hostile after you've approached them for a photograph?
I'll tell you, when I first started I was doing a lot of candid photography and I would not ask, and really the most negative reactions came when I did not ask someone and they kind of just saw me photographing them. Now that I've started asking all the time, some people can still be kind of rude, but I don't think that anyone's ever been hostile.

Do you keep in touch with any of the people that you've photographed?
I'm very hard-working, so I don't socialize a ton outside my very small group of friends, and I would say I've definitely developed some acquaintances out of people I've photographed, but there have been so many people that it's hard to start close friendships with a significant amount of them.

Do you have any tips for someone just starting out in photography, the way you did?
My tip is to just do it as much as possible! These digital cameras allow you to take, literally, thousands of photographs every single day. When I first started out, not only was I taking photographs of everything that interested me, but I was photographing everything like twenty times from different angles. Just that repetition and doing it over and over again gave me a feel for what looks nice and what my aesthetic is. I just taught myself through that process and by making thousands of mistakes and thousands of tiny corrections.

And I saw that last year you tried to match people up for holiday dinners...
That's funny you mention it, because I was going to put something up on that a little bit later this week! My girlfriend usually coordinates that and she's really been bugging me to do it. It worked out well last year. We matched up about thirty people, and our audience was about 10% of the size it is now, so I think it'll probably be a lot bigger this year. We're excited to see.

Shop Humans of New York book

Night Owl: Dani Zorzy

Drinks, brunch and exhibitions are a few of the categories that scroll across the top of the Beverly's website. Bordering Chinatown and the Lower East Side, Beverly's is the cool creative's go-to bar since, well, it's owned and run by cool creatives. We talked to Dani Zorzy, artist-slash-Beverly's bartender, about her go-to holiday cocktail, and her essentials for the party season. Sarah Kim
Photos by Minnow Park

What do you do?
I’m a visual artist. Right now I’m putting myself through grad school and bartending. How would you describe your art? Tongue-in-cheek. Playful. A juxtaposition between the heartfelt and romantic against the crass and humorous.

Where and what is Beverly's about?
Beverly’s is a bar about the neighborhood. It’s a great balance of effortless chic. It's laid back with good music and of course, art, all of which are intrinsic to the lower east side. We have curated shows that rotate every few weeks and throw lots of parties.

What makes it different from other bars?
The people who run it and the people who work there. It’s real creatives making a hang-out for the community they are a part of. Good people attract good people.

How do you transition from working in the studio on your art to working as a bartender?
I usually bring some clothes and makeup with me or have a bag already at my studio. It’s really important for my work that I live a balanced life, which means sometimes I have to stop what I’m working on and go out with friends or go bartend. It’s those interactions that I draw my inspiration from anyway.

What do you always make sure you have before a long night out?
Confidence. It’s always been and will always be the hottest look.

What makes a good party?
Good friends and good music. I feel like I can show up anywhere with my friends and just have the best time dancing.

Any make up tips or tricks?
Who doesn’t use their iPhone to fix their make up? Seriously. That’s the modern day compact mirror, ladies.

What's your go-to lip color?
Red. It’s classic, and there is a red out there for every girl, no matter your skin tone or hair color.

Best part about bar tending?
You meet so many people! People are so much more open to the person serving them drinks, than say, the person next to them. There’s that element of trust there.

What’s the most popular holiday cocktail at Beverley’s?
Hot Toddy! It’s a cozy way to warm up.

You'll need:
2oz. of bourbon
Honey, lemon juice, simple syrup and hot water
*Coat the bottom of a mug with honey
*Add about 2 oz. of lemon juice and some simple syrup
*Add hot water and 2 oz. of bourbon
*Stir and garnish with a lemon slice

Real talk: Where do you go to eat after the night is done?
Honestly, we close early (around 2AM, but most bars in NYC are open 'til 4!), so it's more about where we go party after. There are some other cool bars in the neighborhood but more often than not my friends convince me to head into Brooklyn.

Any hangover cures?
Brunch with your friends talking about how last night was weird with a big Bloody Mary or Michelada and torturing yourself with hot yoga. It gets those toxins out. Just be sure to drink plenty of water!

What's your favorite touristy holiday New York attraction?
The tree! It really never gets old. You’re walking there and so annoyed by all the tourists that don’t know how to cross the f-ing street and then you get there and you see the tree and it's so fantastic and glittery that you feel like a tourist in New York all over again.

Get Gifted: Maitri's Wish List

Get Gifted: Maitri's Wish List!

Ah, Christmas-time—a season that makes me very bitter because I am an atheist from a Hindu family so I’ve never done the gifting or getting. Luckily my birthday comes not long after, so I always try to treat myself to a few things. Because I suffer from severe buyer’s remorse, I made a very concerted effort to convince myself all the items on my wish list are practical or reasonable in one way or another. (Spoiler alert: they are neither.) Maitri

1. This Is How You Lose Her
This stunning illustrated version of Junot Diaz' latest masterpiece is just outrageous. GIVE IT HERE!

2. Paddywax Apothecary Candle in Vetiver and Cardamom

"I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

3. Soap Revolt Organic Solid Lotion Bar

'Tis the season for my eczema to take it to the next level. I love the no-nonsense packaging of this hand cream. Lavender scent to relax ya.

4. Urbanears Headphones in Berry

It's almost the year 2014 and I still don't know how to make earbuds stay in my ears, so I'm making the switch to headphones. I like the monochrome pink - it's berry cute, ha ha ha. I'll use these to pretend I'm listening to hip jams on the L train when really I'll be listening to Harry Potter on audiobook.

5. Zodiac Nameplate Necklace
To declare to all the world that I am a stubborn little seagoat and I can't be tamed. [Editor's note: As hard as I tried, Polyvore would not let me pull in the Capricorn necklace. Stubborn indeed.]

6. Deena & Ozzy Tassel Square Backpack
Bulky winter coats are not conducive to shoulder bags. I like this little square shape with the tassel zippers. Very Ten Things I Hate About You.

7. Fashion Flap Journal

A new year, a new journal! Ideally when I start new diaries I hope to fill them with my dreams, desires, insecurities, mixed with poems and sketches - a stream of consciousness self-portrait. But eventually they just degenerate into scratchy to-do lists and bewildered questions to myself like, "Did I pay my credit card bill?! Check on this!!!" At lease this journal is beautiful and stately with a pen-holder so it will always look dignified even when the contents are not.

8. Moon Bath Light

This precious ball of ambient light shaped like the moon just delights me!