SEPTEMBER 2012 Issue • 208
P E E BL
the future of
FASHION ASHLEE BROOKS MARKUS LACARIA JAMES GEORGE III
n i p e ble inside
18 60 60 2 BLEEP
ON THE COVER Ashlee Brooks is lighting up the fashionistas in Dallas with her new line. Ready for fall and debuting her spring line for 2013 as well, check out our ‘Revealing’ interview with Brooks. BLOGGER WE LOVE
Mickey Sery has an eye for style and knows what he likes. Through his blog, he’s making sure other guys are are in the know as well.
THE BLEEP LIST
Each issue, Rachael gives you five things you should know about. This issue, she outlines the five fall fashion faux pas to steer clear of, no matter who is telling you they look fierce.
JAMES GEORGE III
Thereâ€™s a lot to choose from when it comes to jewelry, but the newest and trendiest pieces in New York are those made by Gavin and Maria. The Forgery are making a name for themselves by finding beauty in unlikely places. This song-and-dance man has been lighting up Broadway for years. His new line of clothes will now make you look great during the day and at night when you go see his show.
38 BLEEP 3
Markus Lacaria is debuting his new line of footwear and these comfortable shoes actually do go with everything. Find out all about his trek around the globe to make sure his products are the highest possible quality.
Letter from the Editor I went into a store in the fashion district this afternoon and when I was looking at row after row of colors, metallics and textured beads, buttons and sequins, I thought about how easy it would be to get lost inside one of these places. I don’t even make clothes or have any real reason to be in those stores, but the people in this issue do. These folks use these zippers to hold their art together and use these rhinestones as the final shine on their wearable masterpieces. In our culture, the “industry” and “celebrity” parts of fashion often overshadow the clothes themselves. Even the designers have become familiar faces on reality TV and on red carpets with their clients, to the point where their celebrity is overtaking their craft. These fresh-faced designers are letting their art speak for themselves. From classic, to trendy to edgy, we’ve got it all covered. I’ve been really impressed by these designers over the course of the past month. Getting to see not only their work, but also see how deeply they care about their craft has been inspiring. Unless you are some sort of nudist (no judgment - be who you are), we all wear clothes every day. This is art that’s tangible, wearable and changeable on a daily basis. I can’t think of any other form of art that exists in that way. I feel like I should quote ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ here but that’d be a bit cliché...no matter how much I want to do it. But how do I really know this stuff is good? Because I want it. That’s why. The jewelry that The Forgery is making? I want it. The Luigi Sardo shoes? I want all of them. I know this stuff is good because I want them. And you will too.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief
This new dance company is making art in unconventional spaces. Rooftops, parks and beaches are all places where they are proving you donâ€™t need a formal stage to make something of meaning.
FROM PRINTS TO PAINTS
Michael Krasowitz started with photography but turned to printmaking and painting. Heâ€™s creating images that are interesting and complicated.
Another Ben Humeniuk cartoon!
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Brinson Editor at Large Julie Freeman Design/Decor Editor Lisa Sorenson • Culture Editor Rachael Mariboho Business & Audience Development Manager Sarah Rotker Cartoonist Ben Humeniuk Cover Photography by Colton Scally Contributors: Danielle Milam • Alex Wright • Charly Edsitty • Amy Stone Holly Renner • Colton Scally Featured Photographers: Kevin Thomas Garcia All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
by Rachael Mariboho
One of my favorite things about Los Angeles is that you can wear anything you want here, as long as you wear it with confidence, and no one will care. Individual style is celebrated, or at least tolerated in L.A., and I’m a big proponent of people wearing whatever makes them feel good. However, there are a few fashion trends that not only are not complimentary to women; they are actually damaging to society as a whole. Here, in no particular order, are BLEEP’s five failing fashion trends.
While it is officially called a romper, these one-piece mini unitards are more akin to an infant’s favorite article of clothing. While there are many reasons I could give for why I hope this trend disappears, the main two are simple. No matter your size, a romper is never going to be the most flattering outfit you could wear. More importantly, what woman wants to take off her entire outfit to go to the bathroom?
4. Celebrities Taking Pictures of Themselves in Swimsuits
Yes, I am talking to you Kim Kardashian. I understand that when you have no real talent or reason for being famous, taking a picture of yourself in a swimsuit and then releasing it to the world by way of Twitter may seem like a good way to keep people talking about you. Demi Moore did it and it certainly got her publicity. But the problem is that other media outlets start force-feeding us these pictures. We get it. You look good in a swimsuit and have enough leisure time to pose for your own camera. This does not make you more likeable; it just annoys those who don’t follow you on Twitter. So please, celebrities, stop tweeting pictures of yourselves in swimwear, unless you are Ryan Gosling, then feel free to tweet a picture everyday.
3. High heels with no heel
When I first saw Lady Gaga and Victoria Beckham teetering on these bizarre and really tall heelless high heels, I thought, “those are strange and a little ridiculous, but fashionable, wealthy women need to wear strange things sometimes.” But when I saw knock-off versions of these shoes being sold in a boutique at Hermosa Beach California this summer, I realized this is a trend that needs to be nipped in the bud. There are enough problems in this world without the average woman, who probably has no helpful bodyguards, trying to walk in shoes with no heel.
2. Celebrity Children’s Fashion Focus
I understand that all children, even those born to celebrities, need clothes to wear. What I don’t understand is the media’s intense focus on what these children are wearing or the thousands of dollars being spent on a four-year-olds wardrobe. Yes, Gwen Stefani and Rachel Zoe make their sons wear cool hats from a bygone era, and Suri Cruise has an amazing collection of high heels for one so young; knowing this does not make anyone smarter or (gasp) more fashionable. So please, let these kids be kids and free the rest of us from feeling jealous about the clothes Harper Beckham gets to wear.
1. Leggings as Pants
This trend was actually chosen by our editor as a look that needs to go, and I concur. Leggings have become the 21st century version of sweatpants. No woman, no matter how thin, needs to be wearing skintight, sheer pants to work, school, or on a date. There are more flattering, not to mention comfortable and functional options out there.
Bonus Fashion Tip: Feathers in the Hair
Are you a bird? No? Then you don’t need to put feathers in your hair. 8 BLEEP
Mormons An Open Book by Anthony Sweat Danielle Milam
4 out of 5 positive signs Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment believed statement about Mormons or the Church to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that of Latter Day Saints. Then it gives a True or False and searches for meaning. – Mitt Romney explains the reasoning behind it. So, do Mormons wear special underwear? Yes…but you’ll have to read In case you just woke up from a very, very long the book to find out why. sleep, let me catch you up. There’s this guy running for Among the fun diagrams and pictures, there president. His name is Mitt Romney. He’s a Mormon. are also boxes that encourage you to go to different From the huge success of “The Book of Mormon” on web sites to connect with real Mormons or hear their Broadway to the TLC show “Sister Wives,” the media stories. I get it, this guy is using this opportunity to has been buzzing about Mormonism. However, this witness to his readers, but honestly, after seeing at press simply leads us non-Mormons to confusion. least one of these boxes in each chapter, it just got Do Mormons really wear special underwear? Why old. do they baptize dead people? How come they don’t Sweat uses QR codes throughout the book drink coffee? Do they still practice polygamy? to provide extra material. I appreciate this idea but Luckily, this book has the answers to these question the use of QR codes to achieve this goal. questions and the questions you don’t even know to QR codes have been around for a few years and they ask. Written by a Mormon, it breaks down the walls of haven’t really caught on. It made Sweat seem slightly secrecy that seem to shroud Mormon culture. out of touch, but I still respected him as an expert on The book is formatted beautifully. Visually, it’s what he is writing about. enjoyable to read because of all the color pictures Not being a Mormon, I found myself enjoying and diagrams that this book but questioning its accuracy. I turned to an accompany the text. old friend from high school, Brad, who is Mormon The text is broken down and was raised in this faith. He read through the book into short snippets that and said, “This book accurately portrays mainstream talk about one issue at a LDS views and beliefs. Some of the things I couldn’t time. I also appreciated explain better myself.” the writing itself. Sweat Must Read For: Anyone curious about how Mitt broke down confusing Romney will be affected by his faith if he wins the topics into easy to presidency; non-Mormons with Mormon friends; understand language or anyone wanting to know how accurate the and with a good sense Mormon South Park episode really is. of humor. My favorite part Want more book reviews? was the “MORMYTH”. Check out www.daniellesviews.blogspot.com These boxes would pop up throughout the book and present a commonly BLEEP 11
E U S S I Y A W D A O BR
MICHAELFROMKR 14 BLEEP
RASOWITZ PRINTS TO PAINTS BLEEP 15
When did you start creating art? I created my first images at the age of seven or so at an art school in the Bronx that my mom enrolled me in. I obtained my first camera at around 12 years old and worked with photography for many years, eventually incorporating printmaking into my photography. Eventually I found photography limiting in the imagery I wanted to create.
the detritus from their homes. There was an old door that I transformed into a portal into another world. I was also experimenting with bringing my hands close to the camera lens and throwing the image out of focus. This abstract series made me consider the potential of photography outside the document of events and objects into the expression of feeling.
How did you continue to learn about art? What did What was the first piece you can remember you do to grow? meaning something to you when you created it? I had been working on pen and ink images for many I was exploring an area where people would dump years. As I was getting a bit more stable financially, I 16 BLEEP
started printmaking again, which I had to abandon after college due to expenses. During this transition, I went from using a ruler to draw the pen and ink lines to drawing freehand. The shapes became more organic and I was able to produce imagery quicker. When I began using color, particularly painting, I felt I had to almost start over. I began drawing from the figure and studied painting with a variety of teachers. Quickly, I went from acrylic to oil, and began studying under painting as a method to create the threedimensional quality I observed in old master painting. I also studied fresco, egg tempra, and encaustic to understand these processes. At what point did art become your passion and the thing you wanted to pursue? I believe this has been an evolution. I worked as a commercial photographer during these past years, and continue to do portraiture to pay the bills. In the last few years, I have made a commitment to put as much time into creating non commercial imagery, it just kind of took over my intention most days.
now? This idea of creating spontaneously has a sense of adventure of the inner mind which I always find inspiring. I never know where an image is going when I start and I am always amazed by where it went by the end. Always keeps me coming back. Where can people see your art? I will be participating in the 4Heads art fair on Governors Island through the month of September. I will be showing a series of monochromatic images as well as creating live while the fair will be going on. I am showing with Marion Royael Gallery in Beacon NY. My current website is www.michaelkrasowitz. com. Also I post on Facebook when a new work is made, so please feel free to friend me there.
When did you have your first art show? I was pretty successful showing my printmaking work right away, participating in juried shows around the world. Why do you create? I believe that the ultimate purpose of the creative process is to learn about yourself. The manifestation of the object created brings to light a language which transcends the ego-based consciousness of our dayto-day existence. I use the phrase “Trompe le Esperit”, which translates to “fool the mind.” Art can show us things which can teach us about ourselves. I also believe that this is the truest form of expression, in that the prejudices of the individual are mitigated via the process. As the imagery is shared with an audience, the inherent search for truth, whether subjective or objective, can be perceived by the viewer. What does art mean to you? What inspires you BLEEP 17
revealing â€˜Tis the season. For fashion. While the fashion industry braces itself for the whirlwind that is Fashion Week in America, Dallas based designer Ashlee Brooks takes time to tell us what happened behind the scenes at her Fall 2012 runway show at LA Fashion Week, shares her thoughts on fashion television and gives us an exclusive sneak peek of her Spring 2013 collection.
COLTON SCALLY JUAN LERMA JERRAD TRAHAN COURTNEY FARMER KIT JOHNSTON
CHELSEA MURRELL ADAM GEORGE
writer & photographer creative director & fashion stylist Amrel Styling Company hair stylist & make-up artist Jerrad Trahan Beauty model model The Campbell Agency styling assistant photography assistant
Jan Dress, Ashlee Brooks Collection. Earrings at CoutureRocksOnline.com BLEEP 19
What drew you to fashion? Do you remember that moment that you decided that you would pursue your dream to become a fashion designer? I have known since I was around 6 years old that I wanted to design clothing. I actually used to draw clothing on the walls of my bedroom and my parents would paint back over it as I finished! I always loved dressing up and dressing up my sisters, going shopping and looking at the inside of garments to see how they were made. Do you think you have a handle on what your aesthetic is, or does your style evolve as time passes? Who is the woman you have in mind when you design? My overall aesthetic is always the same: classic styles with modern twists. I design for the fashion forward woman who doesn’t settle for “off the shelf” fashion. I do however design my collections on how I am feeling in the moment. I use my feelings as inspiration. Fashion television is extremely popular right now. These shows have created huge stars like Christian Siriano... But some designers on these shows are left pigeon-holed as a “personality” and not given proper credit in the industry by buyers and larger stores. Could you give me your thoughts on what shows like Project Runway, America’s Next Top Model, and Fashion Star have done for the fashion industry? I think these shows are great because they can actually show others the full design process. People who aren’t familiar with the process see how things are made that are hanging in their closet. I think this idea is fantastic. I am still pursuing being part of a television show, it is something I am (and always have been) interested in.
Custom Ashlee Brooks Collection Limited Edition Gown Spring 2013. Earrings, Cuff, Ring all at CoutureRocksOnline.com
Custom Ashlee Brooks Collection Gown Fall 2012. Earrings by Jordan Rose.
The past few decades have ushered in a new era with fashion. Celebrities more often grace the covers of fashion magazines instead of models. Many designers’ careers are launched on the red carpet. Which star would you be most proud to dress for a red carpet event? I would love to dress celebrities on the red carpet, especially Taylor Swift or Rihanna. This is a great opportunity to showcase what I can do and the versatility of everything. I would love to be able to partner up with a celebrity and use our talents for good causes and charity events. Image is a ubiquitous word in the fashion industry. How important is it that you create and maintain your image as a designer? I think it is extremely important to stick to my aesthetic as a designer but I think the overall image can and will evolve as time passes. Critics, buyers and fashion bloggers are paid to be opinionated. How much does other people’s advice and criticisms play into your collections’ designs? I definitely take it into account but my vision is pretty clear. I do think that it is important to have a brand manager or consultant that can give information on buying trends, etc. What’s a bit of advice you’ve been given that you’ll never forget? Never, ever give up. The only people that won’t succeed are the ones who quit. And finally, congratulations again on being selected to show your Fall 2012 collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week! How was that experience, and what other oppurtunities have come from it? Being chosen to debut my collection at LAFW was unbelievable, an experience that I will never forget. I made so many contacts from the show and had a boost in online sales. I was also chosen to attend WWD MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas in August. There were only 12 designers chosen so that was a HUGE opportunity that I would not have had if I had not shown in LAFW.
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a new type of
PROJECT JAMES BROWN III HAS BEEN A STAPLE IN THE BROADWAY COMMUNITY FOR YEARS, BUT NOW HE’S GETTING ACLAIM FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN HIS VOICE AND DANCE MOVES. HE’S MAKING THE CLOTHES THAT HIS CASTMATES WANT TO WEAR ON THE RED CARPET AND HIS FRIENDS WANT TO WEAR OUT ON THE TOWN. NOW YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON HIS WORK AS WELL. PHOTOS BY RYAN BRINSON.
“I’ve been inspired in the past by Christina Hendricks’ character on Mad Men, Kelly Carlson’s character on Niptuck, Lindsay Lohan’s character in ‘Mean Girls’ and Cruella Deville.”
Where did you grow up? I was born in Baltimore, MD but raised in Orange County, Calif. (Dana Point) What were you interested in as a kid? ‘What wasn’t I interested in as a kid’ is a better question. I ran track for 12 years through college (Brown University), gymnastics, theater, football, science/math nerd, religious studies, psychology, medicine, the beach, girls, music and of course, fashion.
At what point did you start working with fashion? I started working with fashion officially in the fall of 2010 while in Toronto for our out of town tryout of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Photo by: Dirty Sugar Photography - Jason Weston
When did you start taking notice of what people were wearing and how it was constructed? Pretty young actually. My grandmother taught me how to use a sewing machine and how to hem my pants when I was about eight years old and that secretly got me interested.
What did you do to learn more about how clothes are constructed? At first I taught myself from logic, books and YouTube. I later took classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. That is where I gained a major portion of my industry knowledge. What are your design influences? What’s your process when you start working on pieces? Typically I am inspired by characters in movies, TV and theater. I love to design garments that I think those characters would wear in the real world. I’ve
been inspired in the past by Christina Hendricks’ character on Mad Men, Kelly Carlson’s character on Niptuck, Lindsay Lohan’s character in “Mean Girls” and Cruella Deville. I start with researching photos and then get to sketching. I take a psychological character based approach to design. I want to design clothes that make people look and feel confident, sexy and powerful. When did you start performing? I started performing in musicals in 7th grade. My first show was playing the “King of Hearts” in Alice and Wonderland. I started performing professionally in the summer of 2001 dancing with Michael Jackson. What was your first Broadway show and what did that teach you? My first Broadway show was The Frogs at Lincoln Center. It really set up the rest of my career to this point. I was “dance captain” in a Susan Stroman show which really taught me how to be an efficient D.C.. I also learned to tap on that contract through private lesson with our associate, Tara Young. Those lessons were to prepare me to go straight into The Producers after we closed The Frogs. I learned a lot about creating new musicals and the business from working closely with Stroman, Nathan Lane, Stephen Sondheim and the countless other creatives. I also learned how important listening was to being a good actor and a good business man. How do you juggle being a performer and being a designer as well? How have the two intersected? The up side to performing on Broadway is you tend to have your days free, and that is when I am most BLEEP 35
productive with designing and growing that craft. The two disciplines have intersected in allowing me to design for fellow actors for opening nights and using them as models for shoots. I’ve designed a few pieces for some of the Broadway Bares events and I starting to get some interest in designing or manufacturing costumes for full productions. Have the shows you’ve performed in influenced your design aesthetic at all? Priscilla Queen of the Desert influenced some of the opening night dresses I designed for the ladies in the show. I took some of the sequins and color inspirations and infused them in my designs.
Photos by: Seth London
What’s happening now with your designs? What
are you working on/what’s the inspiration for the collection? Well my main focus is growing my World of Alfa line. It’s a web based tailor made clothing line I started with my father James Brown Jr., actor Boris Kodjoe and his brother Patrick Kodjoe. Alfa’s mission is to make the luxury of highest quality, handcrafted, custom-made clothing and accessories affordable for everyone. You design the garment of your choice using our sophisticated interactive 3D product design page, choosing the fabric, style, cut, fit, notions, color, contrasts and every other detail. Your creation’s pattern is generated and the garment is handcrafted and personalized according to your size, design details and specifications and shipped directly to you. We currently custom make
men’s suits, button-downs, jeans, ties, and women’s button downs with more women’s choices on the way. Check us out at www.worldofalfa.com. I also designed a mini fall collection inspired by large houndstooth men’s suiting fabric, “Cruella Deville”, and the character of “Kimber” on Niptuck. That is for my James George III collection. What’s next? We are continuously adding sale representatives to our company to have a piece of Alfa and its profits. Those interested can sign up on our website www. worldofalfa.com they can request a sales kit (fabric swatches, tape measure, etc.) to push the product and get a commission on the sale.
What’s your dream? My dream is to have a wildly successful fashion line that has mass market appeal and also touches on the artistic side of fashion. My other dream is to produce amazing theater and film and design those projects. How can people get your designs/find more information? Follow me on Twitter @JamesGeorgeIII for up to date info on my work. Please visit www.worldofalfa.com to purchase your own tailor made suit or jeans for very affordable prices. You can also check www.JamesGeorgeIII.com if you want me to design your own made-to-measure design for a special event.
he orgery GAVIN GRYMES WAS BORN AND RAISED IN VIRGINIA WHERE HE WAS INVOLVED WITH THEATRE IN HIGH SCHOOL WHILE ALSO BEING INTERESTED IN ART. AFTER SPENDING TIME WORKING AS A PERFORMER AT BUSCH GARDENS, GOING TO SCHOOL FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN, AND MODELING IN NEW YORK, HE MET MARIA COOPER WHO HAD MOVED TO NEW YORK FROM NEW ZEALAND. AFTER GOING TO SCHOOL FOR PSYCHOLOGY, SHE USED HER LOVE OF INVENTING AND CREATING TO BEGIN CRAFTING JEWELRY. TOGETHER, THEY ARE CREATING THE FORGERY.
Jewelry photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia Photos of Gavin & Maria by Ryan Brinson
When did you two first meet? GAVIN: We were at a fashion show and both liked each other’s hair. We locked eyes and knew we were forever friends. MARIA: It’s corny, spying each other across the room, but we connected. At what point did The Forgery come into being? MARIA: I’ve been making jewelry since I came to New York, so for six or so years now. Gavin is the fashion talent and I enjoy making things. GAVIN: I’m like, ‘Ooh, that’s pretty. Let’s make that!’ Now how the hell do we make that? MARIA: We just liked making things for each other. We would be out and about and people would comment on what we were wearing. GAVIN: It got to the point where people were asking us what we were called. MARIA: [Our answer was] yeah, we’re not a thing yet. GAVIN: But we’re making things together so, okay, I guess we’re a thing. MARIA: It had enough momentum that we knew we had to get ourselves together. How did you land on this name? MARIA: It was sort of a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. We had all this good product but it happened before we were ready. A forgery comes with that question, ‘Is it real or is it not real?’ GAVIN: We were forced to materialize things that we weren’t really ready for so we thought this name fit. Where does the inspiration come from? MARIA: I think the thing I love the most about New York City has been the consideration of style. I love how bold people are here and how accepting the community at large is. I feel like we both have a shared talent in creating. Either one of us is on the conceptual end of things. GAVIN: It kinda starts with found objects that we both are inspired by. We bounce ideas off each other and we eventually land on something we both think is really cool. MARIA: The current collection has a couple themes that come across. First is a sort of obsession with crosses, even though neither one of us is extremely religious. A lot of the other iconography from the collection comes out of the fishing and whaling industry. There is so much beauty in things that are vintage, and then you think about 40 BLEEP
MARIA: There’s probably not just one thing but I think moving toward supporting ourselves with the jewelry would be the biggest thing. We have that sort of classic New York life where we are dealing with the realities of this city and juggling many different What’s your style like for the line? things to pay our rent and such. MARIA: We both favor an eclectic style. I don’t design GAVIN: A pop-up shop is a goal. We have some online really girly jewelry. retailers that have sold our stuff but to have a pop-up GAVIN: It’s pretty androgynous and has got a rustic shop that’s just ours would be really great. edginess to it. MARIA: That and a solid crew of great retailers that are selling it. Maybe the dream is to keep being able Where are you at right now? to decide what we want to do and be confident that MARIA: We’re in the formative stages right now. we can do it. GAVIN: We’re getting a lot of awesome hype and we’re fine-tuning. We are getting our look-book done. What’s it like knowing that people are wearing the MARIA: We’re kind of playing catch-up with the hype. things you make? We have a solid, small collection we’re happy with and GAVIN: A turn-on to be honest. I was working one we’re hoping over the new few months to add to it. night, and Maria had sold something on her own. GAVIN: We’re also enjoying that it’s just our hands on Someone came into my work wearing one of our it. We’re making it. Each piece is worked on by us. pieces and I turned into a little kid, I was giddy. Maria: Both of us like to be involved and have our MARIA: I feel like we might always be like that. We are hands on it. giddy. I hope we never get over it. It’s really an honor when people choose your stuff. Especially in jewelry What’s your goal? and accessories. There’s a lot you can choose from GAVIN: We have lots of goals. and we never want to take that for granted. the fact that they were used to kill these amazing creatures, we find there is beauty in things that can also be awful. GAVIN: We don’t like things that are too pretty.
FIND THE FORGERY ON FACEBOOK! WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BYTHEFORGERY BLEEP 43
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IN 2008, WHILE LIVING IN SOUTHPORT, AUSTRALIA, MARKUS LACARIA STARTED LUIGI SARDO. INSPIRED BY THE BEACH CULTURE AND POPULARITY OF CANVAS SHOES, LACARIA DESIGNED A SHOE THAT EMBODIED THE AUSSIE LIFESTYLE. IN MID-2011, THE DEBUT LUIGI SARDO FOOTWEAR COLLECTION WAS RELEASED AND NOW ON THE EVE OF THE RELEASE OF THE 2012 COLLECTION, WE CHAT WITH LACARIA ON HIS INSPIRATION AND WHERE HIS LINE IS HEADED.
What’s your background? Where did you grow up, attend school, etc? I am Canadian born and raised, and my parents are Italian. I grew up in the city of Toronto, as well as an area just north of the city called Woodbridge. I went to Humber College in Toronto, and then Griffith University in Australia. I studied Economics and Marketing.
imaging, manufacturing processes and international business practices. I really attribute all of my growth to my uncle letting me be part of his company. I also ask a lot of questions, and speak with anyone I can in the industry past and present.
Tell us about Luigi Sardo Footwear. Where does the name come from? What was the first piece you designed? When did you realize you had a knack for fashion? The name comes from my nonno (which is What got you into the ‘grandfather’ in Italian). His biz? name is Luigi Oggiano and I’ve always enjoyed he is from the province of wearing nice clothes, and Sardegna, in Italy. Short having an individual sense form for people from of fashion growing up and Sardegna is “Sardo”, so still today. Fashion is very the name Luigi Sardo is a new to me, and I don’t tribute to my grandfather really understand it. So I and where he is from. My would not consider myself nonno is a remarkable man a fashionable person, but who sacrificed what he rather I am interested in had to in order to provide design as a whole - which for his family, and he is happens to encompass the textbook example of fashion and other classic Italian men’s style. completely un-related So Luigi Sardo represents industries. all the elements of family, I got into this business independence and classic because of my passion for design, so I guess I’m trying Italian style that inspired me to create this brand. translate that into a career. I also love shoes, obviously. The first piece I designed was a t-shirt, using old photos of my grandfather in his youth. It was an all You are a young designer but have accomplished over print on a t-shirt pattern I developed with a lovely much. How did you get to where you are now? Italian seamstress while I was studying in Australia. I’m 25 years old and have been developing Luigi Shout out to Gina in Southport. Sardo as a brand for five years now. I started by researching manufacturing processes and trying to What did it feel like to know that footwear you’ve understand the back end, before trying to attempt designed is being worn all over the world? the front end. Growing up, I was lucky to be part of It’s great to know people feel good wearing shoes a growing family business started by my uncle in the I’ve designed. The feeling of a new pair of shoes when printing industry. As part of a his operation, I learned your going out is so fun, so it’s great to be a part of a wealth of knowledge about machinery, graphic that feeling with others. It’s the reason I design shoes BLEEP 49
and love shoes so much.
really like being on the floor, because I learn of ways to improve the product and new approaches to design. What does your new line consist of? What’s the I’ve actually watched factory workers create Luigi process when you’re designing a line? Sardo products, and in the process, teach me about The latest 2012 collection is my second collection, sewing and construction which have later influenced but it seems like my first, because of the versatility my design of other products. It’s the best part of what and depth of it compared to the first. This collection I do, getting to work with craftsmen and tradespeople is rubber outsole casual footwear who are committed to quality for men. So there are the classic and their output. colourways that every gentleman requires, and some fun and unique In your travels, what cities ones as well. From low cuts, mid cuts have the best grasp of fashion? and high cuts, the collection covers I think Australia is the coolest all seasons and offers similarities in terms of fashion sense. I lived across models in terms of upper there for a year and fell in love materials and colourways. with wearing flip flops all day My process in designing is to first and boardshorts. Climate is a identify a need or a want. Once I big factor, because it’s hot there figure out what I am catering to, you don’t wear much clothes. either a need or a want, I can develop Also when you go out into the a solution to it. With the 2012 cities, business environment collection, the need is for a man to and nightlife, there is this fun have a selection of casual shoes in sense of being casual and classy his arsenal that can be paired with that couples with your outfit the different outfits to create a classic general vibe amongst people. look. What inspires you? You are passionate about quality I’m inspired by classic Italian control and making sure your style and old-fashioned values. designs are executed properly. Also, my grandfather’s legacy, Explain how you do this. chivalry and creating useful Product quality and control is an products for people. operations issue, which is really where I thrive in terms of being What’s your dream? comfortable and knowledgeable. To be happy, have a family For every product that Luigi Sardo and enjoy a modest living. I’m releases, I inspect the manufacturing a simple man I guess, as my facility to assess it’s level of quality and develop a grandfather was. Maybe retire by the ocean sometime business relationship with them. This means I spend in a town in Italy. a lot of time in China and overseas when products W W W.LUIGISARDO.COM are in production to ensure quality and compliance. I 50 BLEEP
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www.redpenguingallery.com BLEEP 53
anah 54 BLEEP
hata THIS NEW DANCE COMPANY PREFERS SAND OVER STAGE. WE CHAT WITH NATALIE TEICHMANN ABOUT WHY ANAHATA DANCE COMPANY IS DIFFERENT THAN THE REST. PHOTOS BY KELLY P. WILLIAMS BLEEP 55
When did Anahata dance start? ANAHATA Dance began in 2009. I was recovering from a hip injury that had taken me away from dance for about a year. It seemed too intimidating to return to dance classes right away, so I chose instead to rent studio space and begin dancing on my own – giving myself classes, strengthening and even choreographing. Shortly thereafter, two friends of mine from college moved to Brooklyn. I had worked with one of them, Michael Eckblad, in the Dance Film realm while in undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He told me, “If you ever decide that you want to have a dance concert, you could use our apartment. It would be the perfect venue.” This simple sentence was the beginning of ANAHATA Dance. I will always be grateful to Michael and Amelia West. Because of them, I began asking friends to come dance with me. I created my first piece knowing there was a venue for presenting the work – which is huge in New York. I was suddenly 56 BLEEP
flooded with ideas and asked three friends to help choreograph pieces for this concert. We had our first concert on September 26th, 2009. The concert began inside the loft apartment. One of the pieces traveled through an open window in the apartment out onto the roof – the audience followed the dancer through the window and watched the second portion of the show on the roof. Then, the signature piece, “Over Rooftops” ended with the dancers running out through the window, down the stairs of the building, and to the park across the street, where we concluded the concert with a 7-minute group finale piece. In total, we presented 10 dances, with four choreographers (including the current Associate Director of the company, Lauren Rosenstein), 16 dancers, and had approximately 100 audience members. I feel very proud about the beginning of ANAHATA. Why the name Anahata? Anahata is the Sanskrit term meaning “unstruck
sound.” It is also the name of the fourth chakra, the heart chakra, in yogic philosophy. The heart chakra is where love and emotional expression are housed. There are several reasons I chose the heart chakra to be the name of the dance company. First is that yoga is very important to me, both in life, and in my choreography. I feel that body awareness, dancer longevity, proper anatomical alignment, and healing body practices are vital for dancers. I am constantly checking with my dancers to make sure that they feel safe performing the movement material that I set on them. Secondly, the literal translation of Anahata is very interesting when talking about dance. Dance often relies so heavily on music, or is paired with music to “bring the music to life.” But dance itself is rhythm. You can’t hear the rhythm when you watch dance without accompaniment, but you can clearly see the drive, pulse, and meter behind the movement. Most importantly, though, I chose the name because of my philosophy about dance. To me, dance is a mode of expression that can reach a universal audience. It is not bound by language/translation limitations. I feel that there are certain ways that human beings fundamentally communicate that cross cultural and religious boundaries. When you stand in front of a
stranger from anywhere in the world, it is possible to tell when they are sad, when they are hurt, and when they are joyful, even if the way of communicating this is very different from your own. I feel that dance can carry meaning within the movement. And I feel that it is important to utilize this expressive component. To me, connecting with other human beings through dance is what makes dance such a beautiful art form. Do I think that there is value in abstract, cerebral dance? Absolutely. But I choose to focus on the emotional expressive aspect of the art form. You say that the company “does not discriminate based on technical skill level or previous accomplishments.” Explain why that is and how that’s put into practice. I believe that in order to be a captivating performer, one whom you cannot take your eyes off of, so much more than just technique is required. You must be an intelligent person, aware of how your breath is flowing while you are moving, aware of how quickly your heart is beating, what your fingertips, eyelids, and toes are doing, and which of your 639+ muscles are flexed, which are relaxed, and how much flexion is in each. I also believe you must feel some attachment to or be inspired by some idea behind the piece you BLEEP 57
are performing, even if that inspiration is just knowing what body part is initiating the movement. So many dancers come to auditions fresh from college, believing that the height of the leg, the stretch of the foot, the power behind the movement are the things that make an excellent dancer. These things are true. However, when a dancer comes to an audition, even if they cannot “perfectly” execute the skill I am asking them to, but I feel something when I watch them dance, I gravitate towards them. I ask them to try other skills instead, give them concepts to express through their movement, and try to cultivate this expressivity. To me, a beautiful performer is one who feels something while they dance and are able to express that to an audience. I would rather have an inspiring dancer than one who can do a quadruple pirouette but cannot express through movement why that pirouette should be watched. Describe the dancers in the company. What’s the dynamic like? I love my dancers. We have had an interesting year, so the dynamic has shifted. I was working closely with a group of six dancers for about four months this year. The rehearsals were very special. We had time to experiment, improvise, play, and they shared a lot 58 BLEEP
with me. It was so incredible. Now we are working with 18 dancers for our upcoming concert. Although there are so many and it is impossible to get to know everyone thoroughly, it still feels like a very safe, fun place to dance. The dancers joke around during rehearsal, but they are very serious when we get down to the business of working. I think they feel comfortable enough to share when things aren’t going well, or when they are. It just feels good to be in the space with them. Things will shift again this fall as our Associate Director, Lauren Rosenstein, will step back in to choreograph new work after a six month sabbatical. We will have two different styles of choreography. I think this will make a sort of electric dynamic. What types of dance do you focus on? We are a modern dance company and we tend to stick to that style. What do you think the message of Anahata is? Everything you do in life, do it because you love it. Live each moment with passion and joy. Why is this dance company different from other dance companies?
I think ANAHATA is unique because our goals are about creating work that is meaningful and relevant to our current interests. Becoming a largely successful company with thousands of followers isn’t really what drives us forward. It is about doing the work because you love it and expressing ideas that move us.
very exciting. You are actually physically closer to an audience – there isn’t a clear distinction between the proscenium space and the viewing area. I think that I need to mention Reverie, our Spring Concert that took place in May, 2011, as a performance that stood out as well. It was our first self-produced concert. It was a very big stepping stone for both What is the goal of Anahata? Lauren and me as choreographers and professionals My goal is to move, inspire, touch, or communicate in the dance world in New York. I think the dancers with at least one viewer in every performance. If very much enjoyed it and felt accomplished as well. someone is able to take something away from our performance or is moved by something in the dance, What’s coming up for the company? then we have been successful. I believe Lauren’s goal On Saturday September 8th, at 2pm, we will be is to have the audience fully enjoy themselves during performing the world premiere of “How It Is Infinite,” a performance. our first full-length work, on location at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, NY. There are 18 dancers in the Are there some past performances that stuck out piece, and we will perform on the sand and in the as being important for the company? sunshine. You can visit our website for more details I think our first concert, the Astoria Dance Festival and directions to the beach: www.anahatadance.org. at the Bohemian Beer Hall and Garden, and our This performance is free! performance at the Sculpture Garden as a part of the Also, stay tuned for our open rehearsal showings, Outlet Dance Project in Hamilton, NJ were some of annual Christmas Party, our February fundraiser and our most memorable moments as a company. concert preview, and our Spring Concert next May, which will feature entirely live accompaniment on Why do they stick out? stage. Performances in unusual/outdoor venues are W W W.ANAHATADANCE.ORG BLEEP 59
Mickey Sery has a knack for style. So, after being asked about his favorite music, styles and trends of the moment, this New York City blogger is helping guys keep up with what’s current and what’s next.
R E G G O L B e v o l we BLEEP 61 PHOTOS BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA
Where did you grow up? part. Music is a big part of my life so talking to artists Stone Mountain, GA. It’s about 30 minutes Northeast still gets me nervous like a fan. The best interview of Atlanta. had to be with Martina of Dragonette. I had been fans of Dragonette for about three years already and When did you move to New York? I was able to interview her before the band blew up In 2000, a week after I graduated college. in the U.S. with the song “Hello.” I was scheduled to interview Martina the day after I got back from a trip At what point did you start blogging? though Spain. Well my flight home was cancelled I was consistently being asked by other guys where so my new plans had me calling her shortly after I I bought something, what music I was listening to touched down. The first words out of my mouth to and my feelings on certain trends. My friend Suzie, her were an apology if I sounded crazy and using jet who manages GoRadio.com, helped me realize a lag as an excuse. When she found out I was just in fun way to answer these questions was to create a Spain, she got all excited since she loves it there and website. I decided on SERIALLY since it was a riff on we just started talking about everything Spain. It was my nickname “Mickey Serial” and the layout I picked like I was talking to a friend. was made up of panels like a comic strip. Who do you blog for? When you first started posting, what were the I write for guys who have an interest in expanding posts about? their sense of style. When I was deciding on the format for SERIALLY, I created the line “Style for your sounds, your space What do you do outside of the blog? & yourself.” That gave me the structure to keep my Besides helping men with their style on SERIALLY, posts focused on music, design and fashion. In the I also edit closets. I help guys go through what they beginning I was very adamant about the posts having already own and suggest what they keep, what needs to remain in the sounds, space & self order. If I had a to be tailored and what they should sell or donate. music piece ready but had just done a design piece During the edit we discuss their personal shopping then I would crank out a fashion piece quickly just to style and see how they can make their life easier by stay in that order. I was driving myself crazy adhering adding a few key basics or just knowing what to look to that order. for when shopping. Along with editing, I also help guys sharpen their How has your blog evolved? style with personal buying. Whether it’s meeting with I feel like SERIALLY has more of a voice now and I see them for a day of shopping or picking out possible it as a way to really help guys. In the beginning I might items at sample and online sales, I enjoy helping have written on a store that you should visit. Today I guys conquer the sometimes intimidating world of go through that store and create a most stylish finds fashion. list or find the best items under a certain price point to help save you time and money. What’s your goals for the future of the blog? I’d like to see SERIALLY grow into a one-stop site Why do you continue to blog? for men’s style with a loyal following. Oh and also as I still have guys asking me for advice, so I still write. a way for me to get free clothes. Free clothes never hurt. Any exciting opportunities open up through the blog? W W W.SERIALLY.ORG Interviewing bands has to be the most exciting 62 BLEEP
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bleepquiz James Brown III
Designer & Performer
I am...constantly growing and learning. I’m here because...my parents worked really hard to give me every opportunity in the world to do whatever my heart desired. They exposed me to the world and now the doors are wide open to me. What makes me happiest is...when my friends and family are happy and healthy. The color that best represents me is... purple. It combines the qualities of blue and red. Blue being a calming color showing creativity, intelligence, wisdom, truth, strength, and loyalty and red being a very strong color or pride, passion, sex, and power. Purple is the color of mystery, stability, royalty, magic, luxury, and power. What I hope to accomplish today is... to make positive decisions towards continued happiness and success, and to make someone smile. My best friends are...my foundation, my support, and responsible for a lot of my happiness. I can’t live without...smiling, without my freedom, my determination and chicken. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be...an Oscar winner. 100%. If I wasn’t me, I’d be...a spy in the C.I.A. I like it best when you...smile and do the job you are paid to do. God is...a tricky entity. He’s always changing in my life, but essentially I suppose he is what we believe he is or isn’t. If you Google “God is...”, the results are shocking and the first thing that pops up is “God is Imaginary” 50 simple proofs to show he doesn’t exist. TRICKY. I’m hungry for...life and chicken. I cry…A LOT! But for sentimental sports victories. Style means…presenting one’s self physically in a way that represents them mentally and emotionally. Style is physicalizing one’s inner beauty. I want to go...to all of the Tennis Grand-Slams in one year and Olympics 2016 Brazil. The most obnoxious sound in the world is... styrofoam rubbing together. I’m cringing just typing this. Sirens are a close second. What makes me weak is...my little brother Maxwell. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about...singing, healing my ruptured achilles tendon, getting stronger, and fashion. I crave...TV and awesome movies. My inspiration is... Elie Saab (My favorite women’s designer ever. Gorgeous.), color, movies from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s. BLEEP 65
The September fashion issue of BLEEP Magazine featuring Ashlee Brooks, James George III, Luigi Sardo and The Forgery.