ARMOUR MAGAZINE ISSUE 16
THE SUCCESS ISSUE ‘HIGH’ FASHION RIP RAMS SUPPER CLUB SENIOR COLLECTIONS
“ FAS H I O N I S T H E A R M O U R TO S U RV I V E T H E R E A L I T Y O F E V E R Y D AY L I F E . T O D O A W AY W I T H F A S H I O N W O U L D B E L I K E D O I N G A W AY W I T H C I V I L I Z AT I O N .
“ Bill Cunningham
A S S T. E D I T O R S
L I LY S U L L I VA N
M AC K AY H A R E CAIT SCHWARTZ
C R E AT I V E D I R E C TO R LEAH NORDMAN
A S S T. D E S I G N D I R E C T O R SABRINA ROBERTS
DESIGN DIRECTOR JACQUELINE PIFER
A S S T. P H O T O G R A P H Y D I R E C T O R S J OAC H I M VAT U R I
EDITORS DANA BERGER KARALENA DAVIS KLARA KOBYLINSKI P R I YA N K A R E D DY
A S S T. M A R K E T I N G D I R E C T O R E M I LY B L U E D O R N
A S S T. W E B D I R E C T O R
WEB DIRECTOR STEFANI REY
FASHION DIRECTOR AMANDA BASS
CONTRIBUTORS ZOE BECKER
K I M AYA H E M D E V
C R I STA L T H O M A S
LY R I E W A N G
A L I C I A YA N G
M A D E L I N E M O N TOYA
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR EXPLORING SUCCESS AND INGENUITY IN AND AROUND THE WASH U COMMUNITY
How is success defined? Success is something that everyone, in someway or another, strives for. As we began to develop the content for this issue, it was clear that what inspired us was the ingenuity of those around us. Over the past few years at WashU we have learned how wildly talented fellow students, classmates, and friends are. From work produced within classes to passion projects that turn into businesses, people both in and outside of the WashU community are constantly striving to reach new heights. The incredible works of those around us have prompted Armourâ€™s staff to do experimentations of our own. Our cover shoot, shot with a professional photography drone, is unlike anything we have ever done. We pushed our aesthetic, style, and subject matter in provoking directions. What you see is a collection of the successes of our peers and attempts at breaking past systems into new methods of thought. As Armour moves forward, so do some of our staff members, myself included. I began working on Armour staff as a freshman, prompted by the founders to become more involved. Armour
has been a creative outlet and means of exploration and one of the best parts of my experience at WashU. Combining my love of print media, fashion, and my graphic design major, Armour has always given me the best of all worlds. My experience has been one of challenges and excitement and would not be complete without many staff members and contributors that have made my job as Editor-In-Chief beyond my wildest dreams. I especially would love to thank the seniors that I have worked with since the beginning: Amanda, Jacqueline, Leah, Priyanka, and Stefani. Their drive and creativity is limitless. Although it is a sad goodbye, I know Armour will be in good hands moving forward. Thank you for an amazing few years!
A peek behind the curtain of WashUâ€™s theatre department
A collaborative St. Louis design studio
100% Cotton The socioeconomic importance of the graphic t-shirt
Conversation Starters Intriguing clothing that speaks for itself
Westminster Press Printmaking studio and queer art space
Supper Club Gourmet food, eclectic company
Photography, collage, and identity
Quality Control Mental pressures of being an artist
Artists and the spaces that motivate their practice
Emerging music label and blog
Milan Fashion Week
Physical and emotional assurance in what we wear
RIP Rams Gone (to Los Angeles) but never forgotten
Los Angeles streetwear
Merrill + Forbes
The final collections of Sam Fox Fashion Design seniors
Metallics at play
Drone ‘High’ fashion
A Sam Fox professor’s take on the cover of Armour
Armour by Artist
COSTUME SHOP A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN OF WASH U’S THEATRE DEPARTMENT
photography J O A C H I M V A T U R I
WESTMINSTER PRESS PRINTMAKING STUDIO AND QUEER ART SPACE
written by L A U R E N H U E N N E K E N S photography Z O E B E C K E R
Situated on the lively and eccentric Cherokee Street, Westminster Press exists as a unique combination of art gallery, consignment shop, printmaking studio, and queer art space. Nicholas Curry and Tucker Pierce, graduates of Wash U., launched Westminster Press the summer prior to their senior year, a feat that is impressive on its own. On a whim, the pair signed up for a local art fair and the project developed from there. Inspired by the lack of queer art spaces in St. Louis, Westminster Press is Curry and Pierce’s method of affording opportunity underrepresented artists in the city. The process of creating Westminster Press required navigating the role of the responsible artist, learning to be a creative who maintains a sustainable practice. Since the launch of Westminster Press, Curry and Pierce have curated two exhibits. Their most recent, entitled Art. Work., runs from February through April. It explores the concept of art as a process, contemplating the relationship between craftsmanship 12
and fine art through mediums such as ceramics, printmaking, and weaving. Such production-oriented processes such as these reveal the laborious work required of an artist, something that Curry and Peirce explore in their own art. The process of curating shows first requires developing a concept, followed by circulating the resolved idea through word of mouth in order to find artists to feature. Curry believes that while our art community in St. Louis may seem small, it continues to grow as Westminster Press delves deeper into it, discovering new artists to represent as they go. Beyond curating the gallery space in Westminster Press, Curry and Pierce also utilize a roadside space to display the art. The expansive window and display box along the street makes art accessible, allowing those who pass to engage with art “on the go.” Curry and Pierce’s consignment shop in Westminster Press includes work of 30 consignment artists as well as their own art.
The consignment shop boasts a wide array of crafts such as pins, prints, and pillows. All the makers are St. Louis artists working within the community. Pierce specifically makes St. Louis neighborhood prints, zines, patches, and what he playfully termed “fun gay things,” such as suggestive pillows and sexual prints. Working on Cherokee Street holds meaning for Curry and Pierce, who both feel that they are reviving an art space with a significant history since the location was previously an antique shop. Cherokee Street is a supportive hub for the art community in St. Louis, an incubator of sorts. Curry and Pierce note that “Cherokee is very supportive of Cherokee.” Customers, artists, and admirers alike are excited to see work like theirs and are invested in seeing queer art spaces thrive. Beyond being a highly supportive community, locating themselves on Cherokee has tuned them in with other makers and the craft fair circle, assisting them in finding new craftspeople and artists to feature both in their consignment shop and gallery space. What distinguishes Westminster Press from the rest of the Cherokee Street community is Curry and Pierce’s dedication to bringing inclusivity and recognition to queers. When asked what how they define queer art and queer space, Curry talked of embracing all groups and efforts that fall outside of the norm, offering a space that lauds and brings awareness to difference. This celebration makes room for all queer experiences and expressions, offering opportunities to artists with marginalized identities. Within Westminster Press, Curry and Pierce have mostly explored queer in terms of gender and sexuality, but hope to bring other forms of queer identity into their space in the future. Westminster Press is a “labor of love” for Curry and Pierce. A beautiful gallery and shop filled with intent, Curry and Pierce are two responsible artists who dedicate their free time to the creation of a powerful and purposeful artistic space for the larger St. Louis community.
WESTMINSTER PRESS IS LOCATED AT: 3 1 5 6 C H E R O K E E S T R E E T I N S T. LO U I S 13
Quality Control written by S A N G – J I N L E E
A CONVERSATION WITH JANE KYE ABOUT THE MENTAL PRESSURES OF BEING A YOUNG ARTIST
Everybody wants to be the next Basquiat, a homeless manturned-artist-turned-superstar whose craft greatly impacted the world. If given the opportunity to trade places with Kanye West (or any well-established pop icon), most would hastily agree due to the allure of fame and recognition. As our society becomes increasingly connected (I apologize for using that phrase – it’s a newly forming cliché that honestly hurts me to write), it is exceedingly difficult to distinguish oneself from the thousands of posts each day by artists claiming to be “the next big thing.” There is an idea that you die twice in your life – once when you leave your physical body, and again the last time your name is spoken. As Internet space fills with thousands of new creations and stories each day, the human desire to be distinct and remembered continually grows. For many young artists, this struggle is a driving force in their work and career as emerging creative minds. There seems to be a misconception about art students – that they somehow made a “smart choice.” Instead of a college education full of hours of studying, they are rewarded for their thrift store fashion and conceptually vague Instagram posts, enjoying a stress-free college experience of drawing and painting. I want to make it clear that I am not trying to rep how “cool” Sam Fox students are or urging you to “stop hating on us because our paintings have feelings too.” Rather, I hope to shed light on the process and give depth to the experience of receiving an arts education. Jane Kye, a freshman majoring in Communication Design (which focuses on how designers can communicate emotions and ideas through visuals), provides a glimpse into the mind of an artist navigating how to define oneself in the art world. 14
“Art is something I always want to do. I never feel obligated to do it,” Kye begins. “It’s something that’s my own. When I was younger, I did art to avoid pressures in a sense.” As many people grow up drawing, the sense of free enjoyment and pleasure in coloring is deeply rooted in our minds even as we mature. While most people have been to an art museum, significantly fewer people have been to a studio to observe an artist at work. In regard to art, most of the times we only see the outcome and not the process that it took to get there. For Kye, art evolved from a playful pastime into a profession. “In order for me to get to where I am now, for three months in the summertime I lived in New York by myself. I worked from 3 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and on Sundays I went to my internship. No rest – constantly working. And that’s when I realized you have to put in that work. I feel like for me and a lot of Sam Fox kids, the majority of us went to a liberal arts [high] school. Very few of us went to an actual art school, so we’re used to being the stars of our school in a sense. I guess to an extent we had to work hard by applying to art school but I didn’t realize just how much work had to be put into my work. I was just so used to doing it a little bit more than half-assed, and people would consider it really good.” Artists quickly become aware of their work in comparison to those around them. Creating a work of art and presenting it as your best effort is one of the most vulnerable states you can put yourself in. If you fail a calculus test, you can blame it on careless mistakes or a lack of studying. Conversely, if your piece pales in comparison to that of your peers, there aren’t many excuses available to you. For that
“ALWAYS STAY SCHEMING. NEVER TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PLAN. JUST D O I T, A N D T H E Y W I L L S E E I T. ” JANE KYE
moment, they produced a better work than you. This mentality can be extremely discouraging for new Sam Fox students. Most Sam Fox freshman come in as the most talented kids from their respective high schools so the new pressure and talent environment that is Sam Fox can shake their foundations as an artist. Kye offers a more positive perspective on it: “I feel like self-discovery or finding your artistic statement shouldn’t be a pressure per se. It only becomes a pressure when you start thinking about money, time, and other people. But if you think about finding yourself genuinely to be the best artist that you can be and because you want to know more, then it’s something you’re just going to subconsciously do.” The idea of the artist as an individual is a relatively contemporary idea – first introduced through works such as Rodin’s Gates of Hell (1880-1917) and new wave avant-garde artists in the modern era of art. “Ultimately, as cheesy as it sounds, you do have to believe in yourself. You have something to offer that no one else can because no one has had the same experiences you have.” Kye continues to explain, “I know this isn’t a street article, but that’s something that is so inherently in my identity – even if it’s not directly in my artwork there’s always going to be some part of Philadelphia with me so that’s what I have to offer. I think that the problem with our generation is that we want to live big and do big things, but we don’t want to put in the effort or work to get there because we’re so used to things coming instantly to us. Doing that whole summertime thing, I understand now why artists go crazy. In a sense some things can be pretty useless,
but it’s not good to think that way. You never want to think that you’re wasting your time, you always want to make the best of everything – especially when it comes to school. You can’t really do anything to change it, and there’s always a lesson that can be learned.” On top of the pressure to improve one’s craft, there is the pressure to succeed for the sake of survival that exists within any profession. Kye “always [has] the mentality [that] if I don’t do this then I’m going to fucking die.” This pressure, coupled with the diminished confidence of being new to Sam Fox’s rigorous environment, can have a crippling effect on an artist’s productivity. “It’s always hard to be an artist in a sense because you have to be well rounded. You have to be a social person in order to network and be inspired through interacting with people. You have to know a lot of things to always stay inspired, and if something is toxic to you and hindering you from what you love then you have to take it out. Everyone becomes their own in their own time. It’s something my sister used to tell me—more work and less stress. There are some people who just sit on their asses all the time and complain when they could be using that time to actually work or do something. It’s definitely nice to rant and to see injustices, but sometimes you just have to work.”
FINDING INSPIRATION EXPLORING THE SPACES THAT INSPIRE THE WORKS OF FOUR ARTISTS
YIRAN ZHANG “I want to say the Pulitzer calms me more than it inspires me. The giant white negative space, rendered with delicate light and shadow, has an incredible beauty in it. My favorite detail is the shallow pool outside surrounded by reflective windows, generating a thin layer of steam in cold winter. It calms me down as if it were a Zen temple: it’s a space that allows me to meditate, to review myself, and settles all the sediments in my life. When I walk around and stare into the art pieces, the reflection of myself (image and sounds) in this huge clean piece of vacancy reminds me of my sole existence. Especially when I feel frustrated or anxious, it helps revitalize my artistic creativity. Being able to frequently visit a beautiful modern architecture piece like this is such a great fortune for us, and as future architects, it is also quite encouraging to see a well-designed, well-built, well-maintained modern space like this.”
MAX BUSKSBAUM “I really got into the outdoors by going to a sleep-away camp in Colorado. My family always vacationed in Colorado, so I’ve always been around the outdoors. It wasn’t until I started going to camp that I really began to appreciate the mountains and began organizing my own hiking/backpacking trips. Since going to camp in Colorado, I’ve been all over: California, Bolivia… I feel connected to the wilderness because I’ve had some of my most memorable moments while out on backpacking trips, good and bad. It’s a great way to disconnect from the normal distractions of life. It sounds pretty cliché, but it really does strip away all the superfluous stuff that goes on in day-to-day life, like checking social media, worrying about social things, etc.” 16
interview D A N A B E R G E R , G R A C E G I L B E R T photography K L A R A K O B Y L I N S K I
CHLOE KARMIN “All the vintage sketches and empty dress forms really give me a second wind when it’s 2 am. Whether I have sketches due the next morning or I’m just playing around with a new piece of fabric bolt of new fabric. Oh, and the books. There are so many books on everything costume, theatre, fashion, construction, wigs and makeup. In Hesoid’s Theogony, creation came from chaos or the lack of order. There’s no question this room is chaotic. I think it’s the clutter and all the treasures hidden in the happy mess of props, work materials, and on-hand inspiration.”
CHANTAL JAHCHAN “My country is simultaneously the most beautiful and the most tragic place in the world. Of all the places I’ve ever been (and I’m not denying my obvious bias here), Lebanon has the most fascinating natural landscapes, from its vast mountains adorned with pine trees to its beaches flanked by the glistening Mediterranean Sea. But it’s not the landscape alone that makes this place so remarkable, it’s the people; Lebanon is home to a religiously diverse people who have learned to coexist beautifully.”
“ CONVERSATION STARTERS
” photography K A R A L E N A D A V I S written by J A N E T H I E R
Since the dawn of high fashion, clothing has never simply been a way to cover the body, for in all its drama, beauty, and rebellion, it is not just a visual art, but a form of conversation. The second that fashion week models teeter off the runways in their couture gowns, social media is abuzz with passionate response, and, throughout history, fashion has fueled conversation across the world. Christian Dior, for example, made conversation with his “New Look” silhouettes in 1947, ushering in a new age of fashion design in Post-World War II France. However, it is not only these iconic looks that make a statement, for the term “statement” has taken on a relatively elastic meaning. What everyday people choose to wear and express themselves 18
with can provide the most interesting conversation of all. For these people, fashion often holds value beyond the simple money worth of the piece itself. Whether it’s from a high fashion retailer, or from the corner thrift shop, pieces with unique stories behind them spark new connections and create new channels of conversation that include not only fashion, but culture, history, and identity. In our own Wash U community, numerous students have pieces that garner attention from friends and passerby. Here are a few of them and their stories.
“A LOT O F M Y S T Y L E C O M E S F R O M M Y D A D, W H I C H I S A FUNNY THING, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE MOST PEOPLE’S D A D S A R E W E A R I N G A T- S H I R T O R W E A R I N G S O M E T H I N G F R O M R E I , O R T H E Y J U S T H AV E T H AT ‘ DA D ’ A E S T H E T I C . B U T M Y D A D ’ S W AY C O O L E R T H A N I A M . W E W E R E W A L KING BY JUST SOME STOREFRONTS, AND THERE WAS THIS OLD, KIND OF WACKY LOOKING FURNITURE STORE AND WE LOOKED IN THE WINDOW AND THIS JACKET WAS JUST SITTING ON THIS OLD KHAKI COUCH. WE WA L K E D I N A N D WA L K E D U P TO T H I S O L D, TAT T E D - U P G U Y, W H O WA S J U S T S I T T I N G O N A C H A I R , R E A D I N G THE NEWSPAPER. IT WAS KIND OF UNCLEAR IF HE WORKED THERE… IT SEEMED LIKE SOMEONE JUST LEFT [THE JACKET] THERE, BECAUSE IT WAS CLEAR T H AT T H E STO R E D I D N ’ T S E L L C LOT H I N G, S O W E JUST BOUGHT IT OFF HIM FOR A COUPLE BUCKS. MY D A D S P O T T E D I T, T H AT ’ S W H Y I S TA R T E D W I T H T H AT. HE ’S A VERY BIG INFLUENCE ON ME .”
WE LOOKED IN THE WINDOW AND THIS JACKET WAS JUST SITTING ON THIS OLD KHAKI COUCH.
“WHEN I WAS IN SIXTH GRADE, I WENT ON A MONTHL O N G T R I P T O I TA LY W I T H M Y M O M . O N E O F T H E STOPS WE WENT TO WAS VENICE. WE FOUND THIS QUIRKY SHOP ON THE CORNER OF A STREET I DON’T REMEMBER, AND THEY HAD THIS CLOWN BAG. IT HAS A SMILEY FACE ON THIS SIDE, AND A SAD FACE ON THE OTHER AND WE JUST THOUGHT IT WAS P E R F E C T. A S A S I X T H G R A D E G I R L , I J U S T L O V E D I T. I WAS TWIRLING AROUND ONCE AND I ENDED UP S C R AT C H I N G I T S N O S E . A N D A F T E R T H AT, I K E P T IT IN MY CLOSET FOR THE LONGEST TIME BECAUSE I T H O U G H T I R U I N E D I T, B U T N O W I W E A R I T A S A F U N P I E C E . A N D I T H A S M E M O R I E S F R O M I TA LY.”
THIS SCARF IS A BIT OF A MYSTERY... IT JUST SHOWED UP ONE DAY AND I’VE HAD IT SINCE.
I SPOTTED THIS DENIM SKIRT TUCKED AWAY IN A VINTAGE STORE IN FLORENCE. IT’S MOSCHINO, BEDAZZLED, AND FITS LIKE A GLOVE.
“THIS BRACELET WAS MY GRANDMOTHER’S, AND IT ALSO HAS MY MOTHER’S AND MY AUNT’S NAMES AND B I R T H D AY S W R I T T E N O N I T. I ’ M N O T V E R Y S E N T I M E N TA L , S O T H I S I S A Q U I E T E R WAY F O R M E TO K E E P M Y F A M I LY W I T H M E .”
“I SPENT TWO SUMMERS WORKING O N A C AT T L E R A N C H I N M O N TA N A AND EVERYTHING OUT THERE IS VERY PRACTICAL AND VERY DUR A B L E . I T ’ S V E R Y H O T, I T ’ S V E R Y EXTREME. THERE WAS A MUSIC F E ST I VA L I N T H E TOW N W H E R E I WORKED. IT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE... IT WAS KIND OF L I K E A C H A R I T Y O R GA N I Z AT I O N I N R U R A L M O N TA N A . T H E R E W E R E A LOT O F S H I RT S L I K E T H I S , T H AT H AV E K I N D O F B E E N R E- P U R P O S E D AND THERE ARE DIFFERENT LOGOS ON THE BACK. THIS ONE HAS FIVE RED ANTS ON THE BACK .”
featuring D A N A B E R G E R , L I A N G I L O T H ,
JACQUELINE PIFER, RUBY ROSE, SO A RYU, SAM SCHNABEL
photography N I K K I F R E I H O F E R , J O A C H I M V A T U R I foreward A M A N D A B A S S 24
01. HICKORY SMOKED BEETROOT GOAT ’S CURD, BLOOD ORANGE FENNEL
Armour goes behind the scenes of the elusive s u p p e r c l u b s t a r t e d by f i ve Wa s h U s e n i o r s . Every couple of weeks, four individuals receive anonymous emails inviting them and a guest to an elaborate four- course dinner prepped, cooked, plated, and served with the utmost care and attention to detail. But supper club i s n’ t j u s t a b o u t d e l i c i o u s f o o d , i t ’s a b o u t facilitating conversation and bringing people together in an environment completely new. Check your inbox , you could be next .
02. RED LENTIL SOUP HOUSE–MADE BREAD TURKISH PEPPER, LEMON 29
written by K A T E L E V I E N
I have always been a creature of habit. I eat the same three meals every day; the only variation you’ll see is the type of pasta I decide to cook that night. It’s not that I don’t love to eat. Lets be clear, I once came in first in a rib-eating contest. And if you take me out on the town I’ll try to order something interesting, but that order will always resemble or incorporate my core food groups of bagels, taco salad, or rigatoni with meatballs. The prospect of this dinner with the Supper Club made me nervous. Many of my friends had eaten with the Supper Club and had absolutely loved it. It’s all very cool; a group of five students get together each week and cook a four-course gourmet meal from scratch for a group of eight strangers. Of course my friends all loved it… but they eat brussel sprouts and fish! The list of foods I hate is longer than the line at Harry’s during Welcome Week. I was terrified that I would get there and they would serve me some delicacy consisting of pine nuts, pureed salmon mousse, and caviar and that I’d either be forced to eat it, or worse have to refuse them and be incredibly rude. I don’t mean to beg for sympathy, but the plight of the girl who hates everything at the dinner party is a severe one. But I was going and I had to at least try. I vowed to take a bite of everything, oo and ah with the rest, and then slyly force the rest of the plate off on the friend I invited along. Furthermore, my delightfully monotonous meals are always eaten with the same people each day: my roommate, my close friend, or Netflix. Meeting new people is great, but it’s not always the easiest. I was nervous about the food, but I was equally nervous about forcing conversation with people I didn’t know. “Are you ready to awkwardly interact with strangers?” I asked my friend right before I opened the door. Upon entering, the setting wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I had expected. The living room had been cleared except for a beautifully set table by the fireside. The entire scene was lit with an assortment of candles, a low lighting I was grateful for as it masked my nervous sweats. We were immediately greeted by one of the servers shaking up a mint-lemonade cocktail, and as everyone filed in I was thankful to have a drink in my hand. Luckily, I knew someone among the party (the great thing about Wash U is that its scene isn’t big enough to allow for a group of eight people to congregate that haven’t met before). After a few minutes of awkward small talk the ice was broken and the conversation began to flow naturally. We all ended up having a lot of fun together because
the other great thing about Wash U is that you can’t find a group of eight people that aren’t interesting. Eventually, the first course arrived, and it was my nightmare realized. Goat’s curd with blood orange slices and beets, dressed with a fennel salad. There is nothing on that plate that you could convince me to eat alone, and when you combine the sweet oranges and the savory curd, forget about it. But I wanted to try. I took a bite, mixing all the components together to get the full effect… and it was amazing. Truly divine. And every course that followed was equally delicious. There was Turkish lentil soup with homemade bread, and herb crusted lamb chops. One of the chefs “got bored” that day and decided she had to make two desserts. No one complained when they were offered brûléed lemon tart and a chamomile panna cotta with lemon lavender shortbread. Even Gordon Ramsay couldn’t have found a negative thing to say about this meal. They should just quit school now, move to New York, and start the next hip restaurant that gets so big that Donald Trump wants to put his name on the menu. The entire experience was wonderful. I met new people and ate till I had to unbutton my pants. I am truly impressed and appreciative of the operation these students are putting on. The terrifying thing about the Supper Club is that they give someone like me no choice. But the amazing thing about the Supper Club is also that they gave me no choice. You should never close yourself off to certain types of food just because you decided a long time ago that they were gross or that pasta was always superior. It was refreshing to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I tried dishes that I would never eat on my own and I loved them. Next time I go to a new restaurant I’ll be sure to think twice before picking spaghetti pomodoro over the sweet potato and cauliflower quiche. Honestly though, I’ll probably still get the spaghetti. Creature of habit after all.
03. LAMB CHOPS H E R B C R U S T, C A B E R N E T R E D U C T I O N WHITE BEAN PUREE
04. MEYER LEMON TART RHUBARB REDUCTION
CHAMOMILE PANNA COTTA LEMON LAVENDER, OLIVE OIL SHORTBREAD
SKIF INTERNATIONAL A COLLABORATIVE & ENERGETIC S T. LO U I S D E S I G N S T U D I O SPECIALIZING IN KNITWEAR
photography K L A R A K O B Y L I N S K I
SKIF has been a mainstay in the St. Louis fashion scene since 1994. Sitting inconspicuously amongst quaint Italian restaurants in The Hill, the quiet facade of the brand headquarters belie the bustle within. SKIF churns out each and every garment in this unassuming warehouse space on Marconi Avenue. Specialists in knitwear production, designers produce easy-to-wear garments free of sizes and constraining proportions. Somewhat androgynous in appearance, SKIF knits offer styles to fill the closets of both men and women. Garments are not only handmade in St. Louis, but also often feature the designs of local artists. Michael Drummond, a Project Runway alum, adorns sweaters with one-ofa-kind airbrushed abstractions and Q Liu paints and screen prints figural representations on shirts and dresses. SKIF not only influences local fashion culture, but also expands its reach well beyond the city it calls home. Hundreds of boutiques around the country dedicate shelf space to the sweaters, pants, and footwear which reach even the most worldly customers such as Fern Mallis, founder of NYC Fashion Week. Founder Nina Ganci allowed Armour to snap a few photos as we explored the unique and eclectic space.
100% Cotton: The Socioeconomic Importance of the Graphic T-shirt written by M A C K A Y H A R E
apitalism’s spindly fingers are small and unflinching, creeping into every facet of modern life and sprinkling it with a dusting of factory soot and broken glass like some perverted fairy gone off the deep end. Even though we have been able to reach new peaks of technological and social advancement at the helm of this all-devouring machine, we have lost a little bit of our humanity in the spirit of consumption. Clothing—much like personal hygiene, cosmetics, food, etc. – has fallen under the spell of consumerism’s charming smile. What was once a method for warding off environmental effects from our fleshy, hairless limbs has morphed into a perverted form of ever-present advertising. It just so happens that the most readily visible flat plane of our chests have become widely contested ad-space. Rooted in the anti-political mood of the 50s and 60s, graphic t-shirts quickly eschewed their origins in favor of more profitable pastures once the words “bottom line” and “opportunity cost” came into play. Like our failing infrastructure, the graphic t-shirt industry props up this cultural wasteland with cracked brick and graffiti scrawled trusses. In order to understand the hulking monstrosity that is the t-shirt industry, one must first delve into the origins of screen printing. During the 50s, the invention of plastisol ink allowed screen printers the ability to produce full color t-shirts. Plastisol ink is a plastic-based ink which bonds well to fabrics; however, it does not dry on its own and must instead be heat-set. Andy Warhol’s use of the screen printing medium influenced a number of likeminded artists to accept the technology into their own works. Whether on canvas or cotton, screen-printing gave artists a multitude of mediums they were able to print on. These prints were high-fidelity and readily reproducible. The crispness and clean quality of screen printing allowed for artists in the 1960s to shout their political messages loud and clear. As time went on, water based inks came to market and screen printing equipment steadily grew cheaper. Water-based inks don’t use any nasty solvents or require the user to heat-set or cure them, and they can be washed down the drain. The advent of water-based inks opened up screen printing to the masses, igniting an eruption of t-shirt brands and upstarts during the DIY revolution of the 90s and 00s. T-shirts were implemented by the American government in 1913 as undergarments for soldiers, and the public didn’t fully accept t-shirts as standalone clothing until the 1950s. Like all popular products, graphic t-shirts began on the fringes of culture before being devoured by the mainstream and contorted into an entirely new entity. This brings us to our present cultural moment: t-shirts are considered a staple of consumer culture, but even the word “staple” does not justly fit how important they are. Graphic t-shirts aren’t beholden to one style of dress or genre of thinking. In fact, all clothing genres incorporate the graphic t-shirt as a vehicle for communicating something about the
respective culture or individual. In this way, the medium of the graphic tee isn’t the message; because graphic t-shirts have become so ubiquitous, the presentation of the message doesn’t influence the meaning or impression of the message. Graphic t-shirts are an emergent solution produced by the clothing industry to answer the question of “how do I distill an identity to a series of shapes and lines on a surface?” In the context of an entire outfit, a graphic t-shirt can speak volumes about a person’s class, ideology, and social affiliation. While other pieces of clothing have thoroughly lost their cultural association by way of reproduction to infinity, the graphic t-shirt never belonged to one social group or the other and therefore remained constant over time. Graphic t-shirts are a hollow hole through which the individual can project their constructed self-identity. A multiplicity of meanings can be portrayed by graphic t-shirts at the same time. For example, wearing a shirt by Supreme makes the wearer appear affluent, in the know of up-and-coming streetwear brands, and in some ways “cool” because of the scarcity of Supreme clothing in the market. Opposite of this, someone wearing a t-shirt made by a no-name Walmart brand bearing the text “Don’t touch me till I’ve had my morning coffee” connotes an entirely different range of characteristics. This high and low class dichotomy is entirely constructed by ever-present external forces. When someone is displaying something prominently on his chest in the form of a graphic t-shirt, he carries all the history and associations of a brand or type of style with them. This is different from art, as people don’t necessarily associate an artist’s body of work with one type of culture. And there are rarely diehard groups of people who enjoy all works from a particular artist and will valiantly defend them, even going so far as to absorb that artist into their personal identity. Even if graphic t-shirts and art are essentially the same thing, judging art and judging a t-shirt couldn’t be more disparate processes. Take a work from the Modernist painter Mondrian. In a gallery setting you understand that an artist has used the forms of stark black lines and blue, red, and yellow squares nicely arranged on a canvas. On a t-shirt, you see a brand using a work by Mondrian to communicate a high-class aesthetic by representing themselves with the work of someone else. One can never see how the art is functioning on a representational level, but instead only see how the style of the art and the style of the brand align. Graphic t-shirts help unify a person’s outfit and act as a definitive way of projecting out into the world the image one hopes to portray. They are based on the associations of the brand rather than the content of the art on display. In this way, graphic t-shirts are merely an extension of our hollow consumerist culture; a culture in which the person doing the talking matters more than what exactly is actually being said.
Manipulative concept M A C K A Y H A R E , M A X F I S H E R ,
Digital images of our identities rarely bleed into the realm of the physical. In this way, the dialogue between our actual and our manufactured selves is one-sided, as information can only move from reality to compression and abstraction in the digital realm. For this project, we have explored a reversal of this relationship by taking the artifacts of our online lives and filtering them through the medium of cut paper collage. We have thus constructed a re-imagined version of ourselves that collapses our internet personas with reality.
photography L E A H N O R D M A N interview L I L Y S U L L I V A N
C O T E R I E
COTERIE / NOUN / A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH SHARED INTERESTS OR TASTES
COTERIE IS COMPRISED OF BRIAN MAXWELL, CONNOR ROACH, JACK ROSENBERG, AND WOODY SOKOLOWSKI.
LS: So tell me how Coterie started, where you got the name, and what you all do for it. CR: It was over the summer. Brian and I were living together in L.A., chilling way too much. I would always put together these playlists just for fun and send them to people. One of them got super popular on SoundCloud, so we thought okay, how can we do something with this to make it more official? It was a hobby at first. Brian started making a website, teaching himself how to code, and I was like, what if we make a music blog? I got in touch with Woody and Jack and it all came together. Our intention was to have a lot of content: music, articles, playlists. We also wanted to get involved in events, artist management, and down the road releasing records on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc. JR: Yeah, starting with exclusives and artist premieres and content like that. CR: We also wanted to offer an alternate going out experience here in St. Louis. People get what they expect when they
go out to a lot of these events around St. Louis, and often times get a lot less than what they pay for. We are trying to facilitate an experience focused on the artist that is coming and the vibe of their music. That is our intention behind all of it. WS: We’ve always been interested in finding music and managing talent and we’ve always been doing it in some way, so now we are all just doing it together. CR: It’s not about how much money we can make. It’s the experience. We want people to feel like they got $20 worth out of a $3 event. BM: Everything in L.A. was music centric. You could go out and pay a $5 cover and see five or ten DJs play. We would go see live artists all the time, nearly every night, essentially for free. CR: We kept thinking there has to be a way to get the same music being played in L.A./Chicago/N.Y.C. out to St. Louis, because we know people will appreciate it even if they haven’t heard the music or aren’t familiar with these people yet. 41
COTERIE TAPE #016
GIRAFFAGE - MAKE YOU LOVE ME
FREE N LOSH - THE RIGHT SONG F T. T E R R E L L M O R R I S
SWELL - WE’LL BOTH BE OUT SOON
BEN PHIPPS - DON’T LOOK BACK F T. A S H E
BASECAMP - COMFORT ZONE
M U TO. - T H I S G I R L F T. M . M A G GIE
JARREAU VANDAL - RABBIT HOLE F T. B M B S PA C E K I D & J E L A N I BLACKMAN 8.
JEAN DEAUX - FATHER TIME PROD. BY TIM SUBY
JARREAU VANDAL - NOBODY E L S E F T. B R A S S T R A C K S & N I YA WELLS (PAT LOK REMIX)
LOUIS FUTON - WASTED ON YOU F T. R O Z E S
K A S K A D E - W H AT E V E R F T. KO L A J (NEUS REMIX)
SAINT WKND X MIDWAY - SET IT OUT
M OT E Z - D O W N L I K E T H I S F T. TKAY MAIDZA
HAYWYRE - MEMORY
MAT ZO - SOUL FOOD (CLUB MIX)
LS: How did you get the name Coterie? JR: That was all Woody. We were just seshing like this and it sort of just happened. WS: We wanted it to reflect a small group of people with a specialized interest. That’s kind of the definition of the word Coterie. CR: We went through so many names. It started as Groove Juice and then we were like wait – that can’t be a thing. So we started talked about names, but it was all Woody. BM: The first step and the real inspiration was trying to switch up the initial brand. We were making these dope playlists, but we didn’t want to call them Groove Juice. We had to figure out another name for it. WS: And we wanted it to encompass more than just music. BM: We were “The Monkeys” for a while from these fucking emoji monkeys we started off with. WS: The three wise monkeys, you know. CR: We did a lot of planning in Jack’s apartment. Woody came up with the name out of nowhere. He was all “what about this French word?” JR: Woody only learned like three words while in Paris. Pain au Chocolat and... Coterie. CR: It all came together after that. LS: Where are you gonna take it from here? What’s next?
JR: Those are our more immediate goals and it’s been working out. Artists that we post about have been sharing what we post and supporting us in other ways as well. CR: SoundCloud and Instagram specifically are where we get the most love. We recently did an interview with a producer/DJ duo out of London called Stööki Sound who played the Pageant. We’ve received a lot of great feedback and support from that, so we’re trying to get more opportunities like that. LS: How do you find new music? CR: A lot of hours per day searching on the internet. JR: To find super random stuff, we follow an artist we like on SoundCloud, look at who they are following and liking, and repeat that process. CR: I listen for so many hours a day and most of the shit sucks. 90% is really bad and 10% is okay. We write about 2% of it. We write about two articles a day and post a few Instagrams. Twitter is great too. Lately I’ve been saying everyone needs to get back on Twitter. It provides live updates so if someone drops a song you see it right there. LS: Favorite song of the moment? CR: Cruel Intentions by JMSN is definitely my favorite song right now. Don’t sleep on Gallant either, he’s probably the most talented male vocalist out there right now. Check out his track “Skipping Stones” with Jhene Aiko. JR: Right now, the new ZHU song is good (“In The Morning”) and also lots of Darius, Saje, and Mat Zo is making a bit of a comeback.
BM: Because we’ll all end up in different cities, Chicago, L.A., STL, we have the opportunity to expand it outwards and diversify more. Initially the whole goal was Mexico…
WS: I’ve been listening to a lot of Anderson Paak.
WS: North Dakota.
BM: Louis the Child.
BM: North Dakota? JR: I heard that’s the second best Dakota. CR: Our goal is to expand the music side, but also expand into other areas. There’s a blog conglomerate called HypeMachine that takes over 800 blogs and based on what those blogs are posting ranks what the most popular songs are in real time. It’s not the Billboard ranks, you won’t see Bieber at the top for 100 weeks in a row because he’s already getting an insane amount of coverage. Our job now is getting accreditation from HypeM, which gives us more legitimacy amongst artists, managers, and other bloggers.
YOU CAN LISTEN TO COTERIE ’S MIXTAPES AND READ THEIR BLOG POSTS AT WWW. WEARECOTERIE.COM.
RIP RAMS GONE (TO LOS ANGELES) BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
photography L E A H N O R D M A N direction S T E F A N I R E Y models M A R C U S M E Y E R , K AT E LY N TA I R A
MERRILL + FORBES CONTEMPORARY MENSWEAR BRAND ON THE STREETS OF LOS ANGELES, SHOT BY A FORMER WASH U STUDENT
photography S A M H A K E
TO SEE MORE OF THIS COLLECTION VISIT WWW.MERRILLANDFORBES.COM @MERRILLANDFORBES 53
YUNG LADIES A LIFESTYLE BRAND FOUNDED BY LEAH NORDMAN AND STEFANI REY
LS: Talk to me about how you got the name Yung Ladies, as the brand is new to the scene. How did you guys get started? SR: It comes from our Instagram names which already have “yung” in them and so it felt like a natural move to include the yung, it was one of the starting points of the brand. LN: We thought about a lot of names and the ladies came from, you know when you are younger and your parents are always like, “what are you doing young lady?” or “stop that young lady.” SR: It’s used to reprimand somebody. LN: It really belittles women. When we looked it up in the dictionary it was defined as a term for a “girl not far advanced in life, a sweetheart.” Yung Ladies is the antithesis of that. Its a girl who is multi-faceted and complicated and isn’t told what to do. SR: It also really references pop culture today and what it means to be cool or relevant. A lot of musicians have yung in their title. LN: How it started is weird to talk about because it was such a blur, honestly, it escalated really fast. I was trying to build off of what I was working on last semester and I asked Stefani to make me a website to sell the stuff I had already made. SR: And then I just became super invested in it. That was a Friday, and Monday I showed up to class and told my professor I changed my thesis. LN: And that was it. Now we are here.
LS: Okay so talk to me about the brand identity. What is your style? LN: Yung Ladies for us is a more exaggerated version of ourselves. It’s the more empowered, vocal, and open version. I think the Yung Ladies brand is built so that anyone can be part of it. As women we need spaces like this dedicated to being authentically ourselves and speaking with our own voice. SR: Its exposed, it’s more transparent. We post about real struggles and what everyone deals with. LN: Social media identities can be a means of empowerment. Your identity and the way your represent yourself on the internet is a powerful thing because the internet is a space for women to have agency in the way they present themselves. SR: I think what makes YL successful is that it comments on social media identities as something curated but simultaneously shows an exposed side of what it is to be a 22 year old girl therefore critiquing the way popular culture represents young women. LN: Representation is complicated. Representation is never truly authentic and I think that’s what this project is saying. The photos we post may be realities but they are ultimately curated. It’s a curation of a moment and that’s what social media is, curating your life. Yung Ladies is complicated because it occupies this gray area of new media representations and essentially branding of the self. SR: ....and then how do you sell yourself or your lifestyle as a brand?
LS: I suppose that’s where the product comes in, can you talk to me more about the actual product you are selling? SR: Stylistically, what we are producing is definitely influenced by street culture brands in the way we are using the logo simply on our items like shirts and hats. LN: The clothing is a physical manifestation of our brand identity and means of distributing the brand and the lifestyle. It’s a tangible thing that you can wear and be part of the culture. SR: Running a business and wanting to be successful is something that is obviously very dominated by men. Young girls are not taught to desire success in the same way. We have meetings, we have to plan things and track orders, and manage finances. LN: Turning a profit and making money is huge for us as a means of empowerment. LS: Can you talk about the role of feminism in Yung Ladies? LN: Feminism comes in all forms, it’s not a narrow conversation. For us it means being able to authentically represent yourself or it means wearing a broken heart. Feminism as something “popular” or a fad is so dumb, and it’s so much more than the one trope of the man eating and bra burning vindictive woman.
probably wondering who are these girls, but through this, in our own way, we are disseminating our ideas of female solidarity. SR: The reach is happening, Instagram is such a great platform. Just the other day Ryder Ripps liked one of our photos which is nuts. Fame is something that could happen so quickly. You never know what is going to be famous and what is going to be the next biggest thing. Maybe Yung Ladies will be. LN: This issue is about success and it’s funny that we are in it three weeks into starting this project. But I think Yung Ladies is successful just in the fact that it exists. Like, if it gets big and we make a ton of money that one definition of success. But we have found something that we are truly passionate about. My dream is that Stefani and I work together for the rest of our fucking lives and make Yung Ladies and run this business. We want people to be a part Yung Ladies and feel empowered to be the version of themselves that they want to be. THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED FEB 7, 2016 B Y L I LY S U L L I VA N .
SR: Tropes of women and negative representations are things we are working against. But it’s been fun to do. LN: Sometimes like a really buff man, like sexiguy1000 will follow us and I get a little rush. Someone who we don’t know is out in the world looking at photos of us and is 56
“FEMINISM COMES IN ALL FORMS, IT’S NOT A NARROW CONVERSATION.”
Finding Comfort in What We Wear written by D A N A B E R G E R illustration S A R A W O N G
I used to bug my mom for always choosing flat shoes over heels, pants over dresses, neutral color over prints, Eileen Fisher over anything else. My mom worked in the fashion industry in her 20s, but I never really considered her a source of fashion inspiration or a style role model. When I made fun of her style choices, she would concede and then profess of how she used to be fashionable. She used to wear neon blazers, bright prints, and even wore dresses sometimes! Now she just wears what makes her comfortable. I passed off that statement as an excuse. While my mom epitomized an unimaginative and lackluster form of dressing, my grandmas epitomized style. My mom’s mom wears trademark large round sunglasses with bold layered jewelry. My dad’s mom has platinum blond hair extensions and sports platform heels on a daily basis in her home in the Santa Fe desert. Meanwhile, my mom wears boring straight-legged pants, lace-up loafers, and simple knit sweaters.
comfort comes first. I gravitate towards clothes with slouch and minimal distractions. My favorite boots slip on and slip off. They’re easy. But they also put my mind at ease when I’m getting ready for early morning studios. I know my feet won’t hurt, I know they’ll pair with any of my pants or skirts. They’re versatile, reliable and consistent. They might be bulky and scuffed, but I feel good in them. My mom is no less “stylish” than my grandmas. All three women have defined their style through a uniform. One grandma may prefer skinny leather pants, the other houndstooth sweater sets, and my mom black wool pants, but they have discovered their preferred fit and fabrics. They manage to strike a balance between comfort and personality. I’ve only come to realize the impact my mom’s process of dressing has had on me as I’ve come to understanding my own identity, and choosing what to wear to put my mind and body at ease.
I used to think bold colors, patterns, and trends were the pinpoints of style, but I’ve come to realize that true style involves finding physical and emotional comfort in what you wear. I used to yell at my mom for never wearing color, but I now admit that my favorite article of clothing is a black t-shirt. A soft rayon tee with a flutter short sleeve and a slight slouch. I love this black t-shirt almost as much as my waterproof, fleece-lined, zip-up jacket, or my Blundstone boots, also black. My favorite jeans are loose; my favorite bra is not a bra but a simple black bralette. Black is my favorite color (don’t underestimate the difficulty of coordinating multiple shades and textures of black into one outfit). Like my mom, I find comfort in simplicity. I have far too many uncomfortable shoes and on-trend clothes that I thought I needed, but don’t. I always go back to my basics, what makes me feel the most comfortable. I’ve realized the importance of dressing for myself, dressing for how I want to feel. Physical 59
AND NOW, AN EDITORIAL ON LIPSTICK
photography S A N G - J I N L E E direction C A I T S C H W A R T Z models L E O N A C H E N , D A N A R O B E R T S O N
hat do crisp white cotton, creamy blush leather, and thick chocolate knits have in common? Well, at first glance the visual distinction between pieces in WashU’s senior fashion majors’ thesis collections were all I could see, the commonality invisible. Between the three of them, Priyanka Reddy, Haley Moore, and Amanda Bass – the WashU 2015/ 2016 fashion majors – they cover an impressive spectrum of sartorial variety: from pleated culottes, to flirty whimsical negligées, to raw edged oversized sweaters, respectively. However, as impressive as the range is, I was particularly fascinated by the uncovered common thread amongst each collection. As I spoke with each designer, I asked them to tell me about the inspiration for their collections. Each story had common themes, heritage, and history – through people or place – which the designers translated into modernity with fabric, shape, and texture. All three collections take something old and make it new, take something from the past and re-envision it into the future. For her senior thesis, Haley Moore chose to create an intimate apparel collection. In creating her collection, she too pulled from the past. Her grandmother left her a collection of negligées which included a beautiful white piece, so Haley began her collection with a base of white cotton and jumped off from that. With a collection described as morning loungewear, for “drinking coffee or mimosas,” Moore has truly captured an at ease, confident, youthful, quirky feeling all while paying homage. The collection plays with sheer mesh, colorful embroidery (floral and animal motifs), and interchangeable construction. Many of the pieces have detachable and interchangeable components that Moore created through the use of peek-a-boo paneling and buttons. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, Amanda Bass was inspired by the Grotesque motifs found around the city
alongside espresso machines, plates and plates of pasta, and hordes of tourists. Florence is a city which has maintained its strong artistic heritage while simultaneously embracing modification and modern amenities. The city has a true duality to it, a blending together of the past, present, and future. In her work, Amanda does a similar thing—taking cues from the Grotesque motifs, with their decorative ornate absurdist qualities, and creating something modern and innovative. Her pieces took form with hybrid juxtaposition of patterns and shapes, maintaining the whimsical quality of the inspirational motifs, as well as their macabre edge. With lots of dark tones, fun patterns, and an abundance of texture, Amanda’s collection captures a past era of art while innovating for the future. Priyanka’s collection blended together two very different pieces of inspiration. After visiting “The Sultans of Deccan India” exhibition at the Met, she was inspired by the block print patterning and ornate texture of the imagery. Additionally, Priyanka found inspiration in minimalist architecture with its clean lines and streamlined shapes. Taking these two sources of inspiration out of the past, Priyanka has created a collection of sportswear separates in muted tones fit for a creative, mature eye, blending an appreciation for the ornate designs of past eras with a modern sensibility for tech-era clean lines and visual simplicity.
photography G R A C E W A N G written by E M I L Y B L U E D O R N model L I Z Z I E H A L P E R makeup C H L O E K A R M I N 65
MILAN FASHION WEEK photography P A U L I N A G A L L A G H E R
MET路AL路LUR路GY NOUN: THE BRANCH OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONCERNED WITH THE PROPERTIES OF METALS AND THEIR PRODUCTION AND PURIFICATION
photography L I L Y S U L L I V A N model B E L L A Z I N N jewelry R O B I N B A S S J E W E L R Y , IVY HILL BOUTIQUE
HIGH FASHION AN EXPLORATION OF LAUMEIER SCULPTURE PARK FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF A DJI PHANTOM DRONE
photography J A C K F R E E D M A N model C L A I R E T H O M A S
“ I’M FEELING A BIT BUDDHIST A B O U T “ S U C C E S S ” L AT E LY.
“ Ken Botnick Professor of Art
The Success Issue