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‘2139’ is Published by TOWNES Printed in Southern California by Typecraft All Rights Reserved. 2014, THE GENERAL INC., the Authors and Photographers 2



This is a periodical inspired by the convergence of modern-day Japanese style with California’s iconic design aesthetic. These are the same principles at the core of COLONY 2139, a new lifestyle collection driven by today’s intrepid pursuit of the Modern Home, Work and Life ethos. As COLONY 2139 seeks to integrate the social lines between home and community, personal and professional, and aesthetics and accessibility through its collection of essentials and inspirational objects, ‘2139’ will do the same from an editorial point of view. The vision is reserved and somewhat muted, thoughtful and reflective, and always anchored by interesting personalities and their stories, which illuminate the world with creativity and intrigue. We hope you enjoy the issue.




Created by: TOWNES 2139 Placentia Ave. Costa Mesa, CA 92627

With: Gloria Noto - Managing Editor Dustin Beatty - Contributing Editor Raluca State - Copy Editor


Sarah Anne Hartzog - Writer

Jordan Minardi - Photographer

Maggie Davis - Photographer

Lani Trock - Photographer

Isaac Sterling - Photographer

Mic Becker - Photographer














































Los Angeles florist Yasmine Khatib creates one-of-a-kind floral arrangements that have the weight and drama of a 16th Century


Dutch Still-Life painting, with a delicate balance that is both deliberate and instinctual. She speaks softly and steadily, a trait one can easily see mimicked in her work.

You have such an idyllic profession, how did you end up here?

When you have a project do you set out with a specific flower

I’ve always really loved flowers and I’ve always really wanted to work

in mind or do you let yourself be inspired by whatever you

in a flower stand. When I was younger I would pass this one stand


in Laguna Beach that was covered in vines and was super charming.

It really depends on the season. Poppies always. I’m really fickle so

So one day I saw a help wanted sign and I had my brother take me in

it’s hard for me to choose a favorite of anything. But if I were really

and they saw that I was 15 and of course, turned me down. And then

pressed to choose it would be some kind of poppy, there’s so many

three years later I saw a similar sign at a different stand and started

different varieties. I love tulips and there are so many varieties, there

working there. I thought it would be part-time while I was in school, I

are hundreds that are double petaled!

didn’t think it was something that I was going to do. A lot of the work didn’t require much intellectually, and I didn’t want to fall into what

Having flowers in the home is such a special thing and can

I grew up seeing a lot of women do, a sort of frivolity. I feel like I’ve

really change a room but I feel like people don’t take the time to

always been sort of combating these things. I love being domestic

consider them like they did fifty years ago. What about weekly

but I’m very much a feminist in every way. So I had a hard time really

floral delivery?

considering that as a career. I thought I’d finish school and go on to

Yeah. I’m considering it. I was so opposed to it for so long because

grad school. And then I realized that it’s not totally frivolous, and I just

I do everything on site and if I make an arrangement I would never

had these hang-ups that were really dumb.

trust it in transport to look the way it did when I sent it out. I’m super particular but now I’m thinking of doing it. I’m mostly just being selfish!

I think that people have that conversation a lot about work in general, sort of what is it all for? So did you go to graduate

Do you have a garden?

school in the end?

I don’t, I very much just have weeds. Yeah...I feel really guilty about

No. I totally dropped out (laughs).

using so much water and so it would be hard for me to have anything but cacti, because my job already uses so much water already.

Your arrangements look like a Dutch Still Life painting...were you an art history major by chance?

Where do you source most of your flowers from?

Thanks! Yeah! I almost brought you a different tulip today, they’re a

I try to source as many as I can from California, because at least

really rich purple, almost black and called Queen of The Night and

there are some environmental rules and wage laws.

they were used in a lot of those still-life paintings. That’s nice that that’s something that is detectable.




What is your favorite type of project to work on?

Is there anywhere that you’ve been where you’ve thought to yourself,

Well photo shoots are my primary thing but I also really like doing dinner

“this might be better than California?”

parties, they’re more mellow. I like something that’s more intimate where

No. Never. California! Whoever mapped out this beautiful state took

I can spend a lot of time on my work. I’m bad at mass producing things.

up a whole lot of land! Very diverse land! But I love New Mexico, it’s

I never make arrangements that look identical. Even if I have a wedding,

so striking. I spend a lot of time in Arizona...such an underrated state.

I make sure the composition is a little bit different, even if no one but me

Unsavory politics but the landscape is incredible! It’s like being on Mars!

notices. I don’t like uniformity...that’s probably one of the reasons I don’t

I actually went to a place an hour east of the Mojave that really did feel

do many weddings (laughs)!

like Mars. It was strange and really inspiring because I realized how much I can complicate things. There is something so beautiful about how

Is there any one, or few things you consistently refer to for

simple it was. So clean. And I think sometimes floral arrangements can

inspiration? A song, photo, etc.?

look busy. I felt really inspired and refreshed coming back to everything.

No...I kind of let the flowers inspire the arrangement. And there are stylistic changes too that depend on the people, like if it’s a dinner party.

Do you ever have a hard time living in a city but doing work that

If I have carte blanche, I let the space and people affect my choices. But

revolves around nature and greenery?

nature, obviously, being from California.

I always want to move to the country but I just know that I would eventually get bored. I definitely get sick of the city but there’s so much that is accessible. I really love LA. And it keeps getting better!





Geyser #9

Working in painting, collage, sculpture, performance, photography, sound, installation and video, artist Suzy Poling activates a multiplicity of surfaces to summon multimedial realms expanding materiality and unseeable forces. Through digital effects, augmented repetition and interference, experiential environments emerge from layered myriads, pulsing colorizations, or the strategic deduction and interplay between elements of light and scale. In looking at the stream of conversations occurring within her work— whether through the lens of framing natural phenomenon, the transdimensional spaces captured through large-format renderings of miniature mirror sets, or through the topographical labyrinths of her paintings and prints — exploration permeates continual discovery.

Geyser #2


Geyser #4


Geyser #1



Geyser #8


Geyser #3




If you happen to be cruising along the Los Angeles streets and a mint condition vintage Mercedes rolls by it’s entirely likely that it has been lovingly restored by J.G. Francis, owner of Mercedes Motoring. With an absolutely impeccable eye for detail and luxury craftsmanship, Francis collects low-mile vintage Mercedes and brings them back to their original glory. He also makes a pretty good case for ditching your Prius and embracing the cool of a classic piece of automotive history.





Owning classic cars is often a really nostalgic thing for some people, do you trace your love of this back to any sort of childhood memory or otherwise nostalgic influence? I think my love for cars began around 14 when I would sneak my dad’s 1979 Chevy Luv pickup out of the driveway late at night, go pick up my cousin and joyride. It wasn’t about the make or model back then, it was about the freedom, the risk of getting caught, the fun. I still get very nostalgic for Chevy Luvs. I can’t think of anything that’s quite as satisfying as just cruising around in a classic car with the windows down, in this gorgeous California sun. Is there any iconic movie, photo, etc. that embodies this vibe for you? If you’ve never seen the Randy Newman Video, “I Love LA” go watch it immediately. I’m not joking. Is there any other vintage car that comes close to the advantages of the Mercedes’ that you specialize in? Any plans to work on other makes? I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Porsche. No plans currently to build other cars, but I’m sure it’s in my future. I’ve dreamed of building a Volkswagen Notchback for myself for years. It sounds like doing this as a profession was a bit of a tangent from a previous formal education. What was “the plan” previously? The previous plan is really the same plan I have now: to see the world and wrap as much adventure and love into my life as possible. Instead of doing finance, writing or environmental engineering like “previously planned”, I’m building cars to help reach my dreams now. I feel lucky to have a career I love, which also lends itself to travel and adventure. Your interiors have an amazing attention to detail and appreciation for the original glory. What informs your style and attention to detail? The interiors are mostly the vision of my best friend & business partner, Sean Johnstun, aka Fat Lucky’s. He’s a master craftsman with a sewing machine. I can count on one hand all of the masters I’ve known in my life. I feel proud and lucky to have him as a friend. He’s taught me a lot about life, business and building cars. I read that you fell into this by a chance purchase, did you then learn as you go or did you have a foundation for already understanding this whole process? I’m self-taught for the most part. That said, I’ve been highly organized and detail oriented since I was really young. I remember when I was about 6 y.o. I peeled off all the labels in our pantry so all the cans looked uniform. It was very visually pleasing, but Mom was not happy. Have you ever had that moment when you’re in some old guy’s garage and he pulls back a tarp to reveal an amazing gem of a find? I saw an original Shelby Cobra sitting outside on a farm in Texas once. It was covered in dust and looked like the windows had been half rolled down for 20 years. There was a roof over the car, but no walls, it was basically outdoors for the most part. A fighting rooster was chained to it. At that time the car must have been worth around a million dollars. Probably worth twice as much today. Has there ever been something that you walked away from and then regretted later? Not that I know of. If I have a chance to buy something I really want, I usually get it. That’s not to say I haven’t missed out on a lot of cars, it’s just that I generally don’t walk away from a car that I want. There have been many times someone has beat me to the purchase. I don’t have too many regrets.






What’s your process in getting to the finished product? The process is slow and tedious and we constantly strive to refine and make it better and more efficient. That’s the main goal around here when it comes to the finished product, to continue to get better and better at what we do. I think it’s safe to say we achieve that goal constantly. Sometimes I see cars we built even just 3 or 4 years ago and I recognize how we’ve become better. That’s always a good feeling. I’m always trying to rationalize buying a classic car but it seems like having a kid, never a good time and money just keeps disappearing. What’s your argument against that thinking? You would be surprised by how reliable and practical these cars are. They can be used as daily drivers the same as any new car. In my opinion they are far more reliable than new cars, and a great investment since their value is always appreciating. You can’t say that about very many cars out there. Generally, it’s the exact opposite since most cars are quickly depreciating. I’m 40 years old and I’ve been driving old cars since I was 16. There are certainly nuances that come with driving cars that are 30-40 plus years old, but I think those negatives are highly outweighed by everything else (i.e. inexpensive to register and insure, very safe, ultra reliable, appreciating, the diesels get fantastic fuel milage, and the obvious reason.... you get to drive a rad old car that you’ll never get sick of jumping behind the wheel in and hitting the road) What are you currently driving? 1973 250C Coupe 1973 280 C Coupe 1973 206D Hanomag Camper 1975 300D Sedan 1979 250T Wagon






It’s not often that you meet someone blindly and feel welcome almost immediately. Enter the husband and wife team behind Stephen Kenn. I recently had the awesome pleasure of hanging out with Stephen Kenn and Beks Opperman in their impeccably appointed downtown Los Angeles space that serves as a tea room/home/showroom/pop-up coffee shop, giving every other mixed-use space a swift kick. Kenn’s pieces are so clean and modern in design, but also equally warm and inviting that within twenty minutes I was resigned to cancelling the rest of my day and just hanging out there. I learned that Kenn, who serves as the designer behind his eponymous line, is much more than a designer. While his passion is palpable he is also enthusiastic about using design to connect and better understand one another.




Your aesthetic is obviously very nostalgic, where does that influence comes from? About six years ago I was told about a warehouse in East LA, that housed a ton of military stuff, and my very first denim company was called, Iron Army and very intentionally we didn’t want to draw any inspiration from Army at all because that was more taking the concept of Army and talking about it in strong community but because of that connection I was told about this warehouse and when I walked in there it was insane. It was overwhelming! So much military stuff! And seeing it in that volume, you started to really realize that this is a fraction of what was produced for the war and put it in perspective a little bit. Like the idea of Ai Wei Wei’s exhibit where one sunflower seed made out of porcelain is representing a person in China and you just see a sea of it, your brain can’t fathom that type of volume. So I would walk around in there and I would start to pick things up and look at them and nothing was being monitored so I would sit there for hours and journal and be immersed in this and as a result I fell in love with the material and the history that was embedded into every single piece. Then I would take these pieces and over time I would reinterpret them into different things. So I started cutting them apart to learn how they were made… taking them apart stitch by stitch and laying them out in terms of a pattern and making more contemporary bags. So take a big duffel bag and cut it up and make a backpack out of it, bring in leather so it’s a bit more modern and contemporary. And that led to a company called, Temple Bags. And as I would use that military fabric for bags I started to realize that nobody is using this material in an interior design sense and I had this concept for a sofa. So, some designers start with concept and then source materials and for some the material is the ah-ha moment, which it sounds like has been the case for this collection? For this collection for sure. We wanted to first experiment...does the design framework support a material that doesn’t have so much history and character. Like, is the design strong enough to stand on its own or is it just a military fabric? Our first collaboration, outside of the military fabric, was in partnership with Simon Miller Jeans. We hand-dipped canvas in indigo and then did [the frame] in plated antique copper to replicate a rivet. Now still there’s an emphasis on process, which we still always want there to be in all of the collaborations and new versions that we make. Process is very inspiring. When people understand how it’s made they’re going to apply that same sort of ingenuity to their own project. If I’m going to design something I want it to inspire someone to do what they do well. You know what I mean? Otherwise I’m just adding to the noise of everything else out there. Which leads me to, how did you end up making sofas? When I got interested in furniture I took apart a sofa and saw how it was made. There’s all these components and I felt like this is so interesting to me, and we just cover it up! Like we upholster it and hide the guts of it. So I wanted to expose the guts of it and use different materials that are more interesting. The belt is referencing a belt from the Swiss military that would be wrapped around packmules and they would walk with the soldiers and carry all their supplies. So that’s the belt at the back of the furniture.


You’ve had a couple different brands. How has your design evolved? When you’re younger and you’re a designer a lot of the insecurities of the idea of

“I’m not legit” plays into over-designing something

or designing something that is a little bit flashy so that you’ll get noticed. And I think as I’ve grown and had so much opportunity to design in new categories and finally get the opportunity to design under my own name and my own products I get to strip all of that away and make the best version of a sofa or bag that I can. I’m not going to play by the rules of what’s seasonal or trendy, I’m just gonna go with excellence. And in that I feel like I’ve made the best stuff I’ve ever made. You recently worked on a collection exclusively for COLONY 2139, The Bowline Collection, where you traveled to Japan to work with and get to know their team. How has that cultural experience affected your design process? I’ve admired Japanese culture for most of my life and only recently have had the opportunity to travel and see the streets first hand. Not surprising to me, but most definitely inspiring, is the attention to detail and subtle narrative with almost every environment, be it a retail shop, restaurant or public park, there is a story that carries meaning. This thoughtfulness is so attractive to me, and I strive to study its significance and infuse it into the objects that I design. How did that affect/change your thoughts on design, perhaps from a more philosophical standpoint? My experiences in Japan were very relaxed. I had the opportunity to explore and observe. Watching people line up single file at a bus stop or bowing when introduced to someone was so interesting to me. The respect that people showed each other was manifested in such a physical way. Western culture is much more relaxed about our personal space and these initial introductions, and yet I think we have a lot to learn about the significance of a greeting. While at the same time I heard over and over that people had a harder time opening up to one another and sharing some of the deeper thoughts or questions with one another which seem to surface often in western conversations. I believe there is much to learn from each other’s cultures and am excited to continue my friendships with the COLONY 2139 team as they have inspired me to pursue my craft with excellence.

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Come and escape the blaze of the desert sun in the shadow created by the architecture of the Mid-Century. In the shadows you can hide, in the shadows you can have a conversation with tone, line, and light. Come with us to Palm Springs. Into the desert. The getaway to getaway.

















Duality is a common thread for many artists. The on-stage personality and the off-stage person behind it. The ego and the alter ego. The image of the performer and the reality of the creative spirit within.


Caitlin Moe grew up in the southern heat of Gainesville, Florida. She started playing the violin at the young age of four and studied classic music for most of her childhood in the south, honing her talents on an instrument known for its roots in solitude and personal passion. Margot lives in New York and Los Angeles. Her heart still belongs to the classical world but her talents lay far beyond its borders. And while the violin remains her calling card, she is busy expanding her range with a thriving solo singing career, a wildly popular role as one half of The Dolls alongside DJ Mia Moretti, and the coolest gang of girlfriends either coast has ever seen, with whom she collaborates regularly on various projects and creative endeavors. Where the childhood passion and the modern-day maturity collided is where the magic happened. “When I moved to New York, I was told classical wasn’t cool, violin wasn’t cool, you should become a singer. When you’re that young and you’re unsure of what you want to do, things like that will have an effect on you,” Margot explains. “The more I grew into myself and my writing, I realized that the violin and the classical music aspect were my two strongest tools. It took time to discover that but the more confident I became in my artistry, the more I embraced it and the more excited I am to share that part of me.” And she will be sharing that part of herself on a much grander scale this year and beyond; first, she and Moretti opened for Katy Perry on the Asian leg of her new tour in April and May. Then she will go back to working on her debut solo album, a work in progress that debuted with the well-received single “No One’s Gonna Miss You,” that released last summer and the follow up, “Isn’t She Lovely,” that debuted this spring. And then she has the Conversations Collective, a creative collaboration that focuses on supporting and launching personal projects from her closest girlfriends and confidantes. “There is something so beautiful and powerful about women helping women. They are 100% my greatest muses and my greatest influencers.” But we couldn’t stop the conversation there. Here is a little more with the lovely Margot Moe…





What made you gravitate to the violin, in particular? It’s been said it’s the closest thing to the human voice. What role does fashion play in your life? Professional and personal? It’s a powerful outlet of expression. For artists, it can help set the tone for a performance. You said you’re spending more time in Los Angeles lately – what attracts you to the city? There’s a huge resurgence going on in LA right now and I feel it every time I am out there; there’s something to be said about California that you can’t get in New York. As an artist, you have space to create and you get to walk outside and feel the sunshine on you every day. For me, especially, I love going out to LA to work. I write a lot in NY and get most of my inspiration from NY but I find myself physically creating in LA. What are your favorite things to do when you’re in California? Watching the LA Phil at the Walt Disney Hall or the Hollywood Bowl. Driving up the coast listening to classical KUSC 91.5. Flea markets and estate sales are the best places to find gems. I almost bought a grand piano at an estate sale once but didn’t know where I could put it. I still wish I would have just taken it. Modern home, work and life - what defines each one for you? They’re all one and the same. Describe your personal style in three words. Simple, moody, classic.


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COLONY 2139 Presents

IDLE TIDE Spring Summer 2015

An exploration of the juxtaposition between controlled environments and natural settings.


























Dotted across the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles are monuments standing firm on foundation of personal vision and timeless creative expression. Often, the storied careers of Richard Neutra, Edward Killingsworth and Frank Lloyd Wright are woven into the narrative but in the last fifteen years Barbara Bestor has staked her claim on the landscape preceded by a male-dominated canon of architects. Bestor


and her namesake firm, Bestor Architecture have not only designed but supervised the construction of LA’s most unique structures making her one of the city’s most sought after visionaries. A growing number of collaborators also layer her interior projects adding multidimensional character and soul. Barbara is an open book and her enigmatic personality serves as a beacon of inspiration for the women she has supported and anyone reading this interview.

You’ve been quite busy since the release of your Bohemian

Sometimes that looks like it’s going to happen especially on Sunset

Modern book almost ten years ago. What are some recent

Boulevard, which is zoned for high density with relatively tall


structures. I think that it’s going to bring up the issue of preservation

I went to Istanbul, Mali and more recently Morocco. Those are the

for people who never thought of it before in terms of quality of life.

kinds of places I like because they tend to reinforce a desire to

I don’t see it being like Beverly Hills where you can’t build anything

make three-dimensional spaces that have a lot of two-dimensional

but I wonder if it will be worth it for developers to spend more money

activity in them. Istanbul was a trip that directly preceded doing the

to do something interesting and careful but still dense.

Intelligentsia coffee space and there was this one Greek restaurant in Istanbul that was very influential. It was upstairs in the spice

A lot of people agree with the idea that it’s better to re-populate the

market and it was like an old 50s jet-set hangout. The blue and

core where there is public transportation and people riding bicycles.

white tiles were carpet-like that went up and down the benches. It

It’s discordant with single-family residences, which is what we’re

wasn’t particularly seedy but had kind of a seedy luxurious feel to

used to so we’ll have to figure out what works for us. I’ve always

it. I’m sure it had been around since the 1600s. I really liked the

liked Tokyo and how they use small lots. That’s what inspired the

juxtaposition and the technique. I got the same feeling once in Paris,

Blackbirds residential project I’m doing in Echo Park.

which blew my mind because it was all about transparency, reflection Is there a progressive planning commission in LA?

and dematerialization.

I think so; it’s definitely not regressive. I think it can be a struggle That has to be exciting for you to glean those influences from

for any politician to balance development and bringing money

your travel and appropriate that into a space like Intelligentsia

into a neighborhood to preserve a quality of life. The Los Angeles

or another project you’re working on.

Preservation Society participates in identifying buildings that are an

Your backdrop is never going to be as faded as that but LA still has

interest to save; however, there is nothing that legally binds them

a fair amount of fadedness—a kind of ersatz landscape with stucco

to that. There might be interesting buildings on Sunset that are on

and brick. I think there is a lot of mileage in giving us a sense of our

the survey to save but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I like

own history and not making things look older than they are.

Curbed for helping to raise awareness about stuff like that.

In the past you’ve spoken very fondly of the Echo Park, Silverlake

Do you think of your role as an architect as having a personal

and surrounding neighborhoods, which has been your home for

responsibility to improve the community?

over 20 years. Are you happy with the direction it’s headed and

Oh yeah; I don’t take on projects I feel are a bad idea. For example,

do you still see LA as a place for progression and opportunity?

if someone had a Schindler house and wanted to do something

I’m happy with where those neighborhoods have ended up but there

freaky to it I’d question why they bought a Schindler house in the

were a lot more lost opportunities back in the day. Many of those

first place. I have to care about the project and we do a fair amount

have been taken up. I certainly worry about social justice and a

of retail and restaurants that I’m into. I’ve even taken on pro-bono

balanced population. That’s what gives a place its energy—different

projects that I thought were really cool. It works best when someone

people interacting on a daily basis. I do think we’re at a tipping point

is passionate. You end up losing a lot of money if you care and they

and it would be a bummer if it turned out like Tribeca.

don’t because you’re always trying to convince them of something. It’s a waste of time.



Can you walk us through some of these projects in your own words: The Alta Dena House, House Over a Wall, the Glendower House and the Show House? The Alta Dena House is this beautiful house in the city with the same name; it was done by an architect in 1959 whose name I can’t recall. The house had a beautiful living room but all the other rooms were a little small so we were hired to do an addition. The home went up to the hills so we wanted to add onto the part that was hidden from the trees and not that visible, but to expand bedrooms and the kitchen. We basically restored the existing tall living room and did a very subtle addition to the back, which was fairly seamless. The kitchen was redone on MDF where the original house had all this plywood. House Over a Wall is one of my favorites. It was for this guy Alex McDowell and his wife Kirsten Everberg. He invented this thing called 5D which is an academic approach to envisioning the future. We went through the exercise of imagining an addition but we ended up starting from scratch and building a new house. We got to play around with a completely open living area on the ground floor and these interwoven bedrooms that included little cabinets between the kids’ rooms that opened between each other. It’s also on this knoll at a dead end that has a panoramic vision of the Griffith Observatory. I’m waiting to shoot it someday. Glendower is also a house I built from scratch. That one is more like the House Over a Wall—a little more sculptural and overly contextual of being like a new house on a hill. Also, it’s two doors up from a Neutra house, three doors down from a Schindler house and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis Brown house is right up there too. It’s very much like a modern case-study view house perched on a steep slope. You enter from an angle and you see across the length of the longer diameter of the rectangle all the way back outside to downtown. The main view of the house is actually an outdoor room like a porch between the kitchen and dining room. The view is incredible and we were able to fit a whole swimming pool in with the way we organized it to the topography. I think the Show House was probably the first house I ever did nestled in the Echo Park woods on stilts. There is a lot of conceptual stuff like a window over the insulation and the framing kind of like those cows you see in agricultural schools where they have the window over their stomach so you can see them digest grass. It’s the most basic 2x4 construction the city will allow but I have added onto it twice now. It was originally for a couple as their live/work space but they had children and it keeps growing.


Are there any unsung heroes—projects that you’re proud of that haven’t received a lot of attention? I did a restaurant called Lou inside a crappy mini mall in Hollywood that got a little press. It seemed to attract a lot of creative people on dates. We made curtains from this 70s fabric designer and adapted Herman Miller shelving for the bar. We built some things from cork floors and everything seemed really graphic. The bathrooms were really modern too. I took Doug Zell by there before I did Intelligentsia. You included Lautner’s “Silvertop” house in your book with a short paragraph about your affinity for the space. Did you ever think that you would someday be working on it? No, I didn’t. My role is more stewardship and not allowing anyone to mess anything up. There are two parts that were already screwed up in the 70s like the kitchen. The master bedroom was also falling apart so those are what we are redoing which is not that different from the older version—plans that Lautner had for that house. We’re not going to try and make it like what Lautner would have done but something related in an architectural way. It’s a really good learning experience around my office to see the level of craftsmanship and the quirky details. I’m actually taking some clients by there to see some of what I’m calling the ‘special effects’ of the house. That reminds me of my first house where I installed a garage door in the kitchen that we could operate from bed to let all the dogs out. I see how powerful special features can be for people; it’s fun for them and that hedonism is kind of exciting. I like the idea of bringing more hedonism into my projects not be stripped down. How concerned are you with the preservation of iconic buildings? Take for example the Neutra VDL Estate that I’ve always understood needed outside support to keep it intact. I support it and belong to that community but I feel there are a lot of people who are more active. A lot of them are historians and their purview is writing about the buildings so they can get historical status. It can get complicated because owners don’t want them to get listed. Once that happens it restricts what you can do to the house. There is a very active modernism community in LA and they focus more on preservation. They’re the reason why the Cinerama Dome didn’t get knocked down. It’s usually easier to do that with institutional buildings than houses. The civilian population doesn’t seem too concerned about stuff like that but if you own a Killingsworth you’re pretty proud of it like you would be a classic car. ARCHITECTURE PHOTOS COURTESY OF BESTOR ARCHITECTURE



Right now I’m interested in the preservation of buildings from the 70s

house and her offices for Nasty Gal. Patti Peck with Beachwood Café.

and 80s. I’m not going around hunting them down but I have to give a fair amount of talks about that stuff. I am doing one soon on multi-

I always intended to have my own firm for primarily feminist reasons.

family housing and I was learning from a historian friend of mine about

When I was in grad school there were no women-owned firms. There

this thing in 70s Santa Monica where there was a town ordinance

may have been a couple that were more corporate but women had

that would let people develop on two lots. You could do four houses

minority ownership and they did all these public buildings. However,

or townhouses like condos. That only existed for a ten-year window.

they had no respect design-wise.

Frank Gehry did some, as did pretty much every well-known architect at the time. Stuff like that is more middle class and you can get density

There still aren’t a lot [of female firms] but architects like Zaha Hadid

and design. I feel like people need to know about that kind of thing.

or Sejima from Japan although she is a partner at SANAA. You just have to go for it but it can be a bit onerous to do it on your own.

After I do the talk I want to do something for Curbed to get the word out because it might spark interest in terms of where developers could

I do feel like my design props are high in the civilian universe but in

go because that worked. It led to good architecture.

architecture land I’m not super high up because I’m not conceptual. I don’t mind but I am aware of it even though I’m involved in academia;

I feel so proud of LA’s design history and I’m still learning. I don’t

I just don’t want to be an academic. I’d just rather build buildings.

think we’re in danger of having the same issues as Beijing where everything is just knocked down. There was a boom in the 80s and

That might eventually change if I were to do art museums. I’m looking

the preservation societies freaked out because everything was just

at the next decade and I’d better start doing more institutional art

getting decimated.

museum stuff because otherwise I will never get that super high status. But I kind of like street status so I don’t know if I will bother.

You’ve also been able to prop up the perception of some very powerful women in our community like Clare Vivier and Trina

Looking back at mid-century design 60 some odd years ago,

Turk giving them space to realize their dreams. Who are some

which was extremely fraternal. Does that exist these days as

others we should be watching?

robust as it was back then?

Jessica Koslow from SQIRL, Sofia Amoruso—you know we did her

I don’t think designers are as interconnected as they were back then.



Some of my heroes are people like Lina Bo Bardi, who I have a big

Would the Silent Disco project be an example of that?

poster of. Greta Grossman the LA designer and architect. Debra

That was mostly on us and I worked with Julie Chow on it who did

Sussman who I did a show with last year.

really cool projections. That was a very specific context of being in an architectural school in an ultimate peer review situation. I had to stake

You don’t really see a big community within architecture and design

out my turf because of politicized aesthetics. It was very, very rough

and you would think the opposite with furniture but it doesn’t happen.

and atmospheric done with a lot of technology. Everything was laser-

The people who are most connected are usually faculty.

cut with crazy circles inset in this rough plywood. We also worked with Beats so you could plug in your iPod and turn it into a disco anytime

I feel like I have a little bit of scene because of people who used to

of day. It was just us being artists.

work for me. They’ve gone on and started their own thing. Any interest in expanding into more of those projects? You








I actually like the boring parts of architecture —problem solving. I like

architecture with artist James Welling and in the past you’ve

thinking of where the doors and windows are going to go. I actually

worked with artists like Geoff McFetridge and garden designer

prefer not to do pavilions—one-time experiences. I just want to do

Stephanie Bartron. Are you often afforded the ability to bring

things that become a part of people’s everyday life that makes them

others into the fold who help you realize your vision beyond the


structure? Almost









collaborations and bringing in other points of view. It makes things interesting if you have different visions co-existing in a kind of catalytic atmosphere. We don’t just create spaces we create atmospheres and it’s not like


one person can do that by themselves.






Photographer and artist Tasya van Ree has long been known for her

but also for her subtle sense of serene style and signature aesthetic.

voyeuristic sensibility behind the lens. Her pieces give you the sense

Long, flowing hair, often topped with a wide-brimmed, eye-catching

that you are secretly spying on a world of beauty, sensuality, whimsy

hat. An easy wardrobe comprised of effortless staples and basics. A

and style that enhances the notion of the every day in a stunning

natural physical beauty that is enhanced not by products or effort,

manner. A look at an otherworld, if you will, that inspires, engages

but by happiness and a meditative approach to the world and her

and excites.

place in it. A sensibility that is all her own.

But it’s when we turn the lens onto the artist herself that the really

She is always busy working, preparing for a photo exhibit at the Leica

interesting facets of the story emerge.

Gallery this fall, another one in Paris in early winter and, beyond that, Art Basel in December and select collaborations with brands in the

Tasya van Ree moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1990s from her native

fashion space in the meantime. But today, we see her at home among

Hawaii to “experience first hand what it was like to lose herself in the

the trees of Los Angeles’ famed Laurel Canyon. A charmed existence

illusion of it all.”

that involves a lot of travel, day dreaming, creative experimentation and a daily morning ritual that involves a cup of hot tea and a quiet

But we get the sense she found herself in the end.

mind. An existence that is all her own.

She quickly built a following for her powerful, personal work and

That is what we see when we turn our lens on Tasya van Ree.

soon became recognized not only for her incredible artistic talents




You are a photographer and an artist. Do the two co-exist for you, creatively? Or do you treat them as separate channels? I think if you have an artist’s spirit, everything artistic will exist inside of you, inside of your world at the same time. Sometimes each medium presents itself in a singular fashion, and other times they intertwine within one another. I guess it all depends on the narrative that I’m trying to convey. Sometimes it takes more than one medium to tell the story. Describe a career highlight and why it was so special for you? Being in love and documenting that process through art and photos. There’s nothing like it. What is exciting to you in the art/photography world today? Any particular artist? A movement? A new technique? I feel like something grand is about to present itself… the idea of not knowing what that is is very exciting. Modern home, work and life - what defines each one for you? Each one has to give me a sense of infinite existence… that’s all that matters. How does being in Los Angeles influence your career? Pros? Cons? There’s an intricate and powerful creative energy that flows through Los Angeles. It can either give you life or take it away. What is your favorite thing about the California lifestyle? California gives you the space to breathe… breathing is very important in the creative process. Describe your personal style in three words. Japanese and Dutch. Describe “California style” in three words. Imaginative / Intelligent / Innate If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be? In a beautiful countryside/mountain village/artist home in Japan. Dream…









It’s not everyday that you get the chance to meet a librarian; in fact, for many the image of one might conjure up a feeling of nostalgia for when books were the only medium for discovery. Their tactile nature and passion for preservation is what drove Ben Lee Ritchie Handler to follow a career path that makes a lot of sense as we connect the dots from his roots in punk rock, record collecting and art. Some might say he’s the closest to time travel that anyone will get with special access to centuries of information and art at his fingertips. Ben’s roll at The Gagosian gallery in Beverly Hills ensures that art society progresses with a sense of identity and fortitude. He gave ‘2139’ a peek of what goes on behind the closed doors of the elite gallery space and explains why the role of an archivist is so important to the world.



Your path to becoming the first professional Gagosian librarian was pretty unorthodox; in fact, you’re the only archivist with that title, right? What led you here? There have always been awesome people within the gallery who have filled the librarian role in some capacity, but the professionalization of the role is new. Since I’ve joined the team, we’ve hired two more people with the degree in New York: Robert Smith (who also sings for the Cure) and Arielle Cohen. I love them. I was an English Literature major as an undergrad and I was also into punk rock. I’m also an avid collector of books, records and comic books. I toured with a band called The Blood Arm for a while, and when I realized I wasn’t going to make it being an MC for a rock ‘n’ roll band, I started looking back at my interests and taking inventory of my life. I’ve always been good at cataloging things so I applied to graduate school for library and information science. If you’ve ever visited a library school you realize it’s filled with punk rockers, social libertarians and people who are all about equal access to information for everyone. I focused a lot of my attention on cataloging things I liked: rare books, music and art. Nick McCarthy from Franz Ferdinand introduced me to Kim Light and helped me to land my first archivist job at her gallery. I’ve also worked at The Hammer and the library at LACMA. Through a bit of luck, Christine Nichols of C Nichols Project introduced me to Deborah McLeod, one of the directors at Gagosian Gallery, we hit it off, and I’ve been working here the past four years. You really can’t ask for a more inspiring work environment. I’m surrounded by awesome people and an ever-changing scenery of fantastic artists I grew up learning about. Had you been seriously collecting rare print up until this point with an eye on specific artists, books or zines? I started to gravitate toward the art crowd while I was an undergrad at UCLA. My roommate was Nick Lowe (the painter, not the musician), and he was best friends with Ry Rocklen. Jon Pylypchuk, Benjamin Lord, Matt Johnson and Jonas Wood were all around peripherally as well. They were always doing cool stuff—going to art shows, writing weird raps, doing weird performances—which offered other opportunities to hang out with creative types in addition to the zine culture and hardcore, punk, and indie shows to which I was accustomed. I never collected anything because I thought it would be valuable. At first, I would acquire things by proxy through Nick; he would leave artwork for which he had traded his own at our apartment, forget about it, then when I would ask what it was, he’d say “Roger Herman…It’s rad. I don’t know what to do with it. Do you want it?” And I wanted it! This was what got me started collecting art in general and gave me insight into what was going around. Later, I started collecting editioned art prints. I had already collected silkscreened rock posters for a while—I still love them; there are posters from The Need, Rocket from the Crypt, and Sonic Youth framed and hanging in my house now—so it was a natural progression. I love the accessibility and the democratic nature of the print. People like me and my wife can afford to buy prints! You can go to Printed Matter in New York and get a Raymond Pettibon print for a pittance compared to one of his drawings. You can come to the Gagosian booth at the Printed Matter Los Angeles Art Book fair and buy an Urs Fischer print—one of the most sought after living artists—for a fraction of a fraction of the percentage of the market price of one of his paintings. Prints are populist, attainable, and awesome.







Where else do you see this accessibility?

Tell us more about the library and its significance to Gagosian

I think that the visual arts have always played a role in music in general


just because of the tactile nature of LP collecting. You get a twelve-

What you see in a show represents about half of what goes through the

by-twelve inch piece of artwork with every record you buy. Most vinyl

gallery. There is always fantastic stuff coming in and out on consignment.

collectors will tell you that half the fun of listening to records by one’s

The sales staff has to be able to know everything about a work or an

self is spacing out while looking at the cover art—I’ve probably spent

artist at a moment’s notice. All of our sales staff have backgrounds in art

1,000 hours staring at the cover of ELO’s “Into the Blue.” (Did I say that

history, but if a Picasso or Basquiat comes through, for example, they

out loud?)

have to be able to know all the literature that has been written about it. If the piece has appeared in a book or a catalog, or if it was part of an

It isn’t so difficult to make the leap from audio to visual for an obsessive

exhibition that has a catalog then that makes it more desirable, and it

collector. A lot of times I would buy a book on an artist after discovering

deepens one’s understanding of the work’s significance. A painting that

her/his work on the cover of an LP. I think a lot of people are familiar with

is on the wall is somehow sexier if it has been in a book. The library

Raymond Pettibon from the Black Flag days and both Pettibon and Mike

demonstrates that the artworks we carry are documented players in the

Kelley from Sonic Youth. Mark Ryden used to do the Sympathy For the

grand narrative of art history.

Record Industry covers. Good art transcends medium. Many picture a librarian pushing carts full of books or punching At the same time that does beg the issue of context and

checkout cards. What sort of duties does your roll entail?


A hefty portion of my day is spent with our image archives. Gagosian

If you are someone who is collecting art in any form, you’re paying

has thirteen galleries worldwide with a couple of pop-up galleries, a

attention to the language of genre. Pettibon and Kelley’s visual language

bookstore, and a restaurant. We have salespeople and clients all over

is iconoclastic and irreverent; they work with music of that ilk.

the world, so when an artwork comes in everyone in the gallery has to know about it, and perhaps most importantly, what it looks like. To

Furthermore, in the age of digital media, the act of buying books, prints,

accomplish this, we have a standardized system for photographing the

and vinyl is almost iconoclastic in and of itself. The people who go to art

work and distributing the images throughout the Gagosian universe.

book fairs and record stores like Wombleton and Amoeba are reacting against the proliferation of digital media. They want things that can be

The gallery library is my baby. For the nearly four years I’ve been with the

touched, pulled off of a shelf, hung on a wall, that don’t exist in the ether

gallery, I’ve been working with interns from the UCLA graduate program

ad infinitum.

to cultivate and catalog our library, and make it as useful as possible for our staff.





What are your favorite books in the gallery?

I’m not alone in this line of thinking: The LA Art Book fair attendance

I love Ed Ruscha’s box set of all his artist books. Each of them is a

has swelled from 18,000 people the first year to something like 35,000

beautiful, cultural-touchstone—he pretty much gave birth to the

people this year. Sure, you can go shoot a photo of a book and find it on

contemporary artist book—and he made this gorgeous box set to house

Amazon, but the fair has so many people from small presses that barely

them all. They look like a city skyline when they’re all in place within it.

have an online presence. It’s intimate. It’s real.

My favorite Gagosian publication is probably Richard Prince’s Bettie

What steps would someone need to take in order to start a valuable

Kline. Apparently, the abstract painter Franz Kline worked next door

art book collection?

to the fetish photographer who made Bettie Page famous. In the book,

It’s not worth it to start collecting anything but stock options if you’re

Prince pairs photos of Page with the Kline paintings he imagines they

looking to get rich. There’s not really any one way to go about starting

inspired. It’s hot.

a collection, other than to buy what speaks to you. Most book stores are filled with people passionate about the medium—don’t be afraid to

We also have the Sotheby’s reprint of the Zervos Picasso Catalogue

talk to the people behind the counter; if they’re there, they love to talk

Raisonne, which is impressive both in enormity (there’s thirty volumes)

about books. Andrea Urban runs the Gagosian book store in NY, she’s

and research. Another gem is the catalog for Duchamp and Breton’s Le

a wealth of information! Dagny Corcoran at Art Catalogues at LACMA

Surréalisme en 1947, though ours is missing the foam breast.

knows everything about everything! For more of a sampler platter, mark your calendar for whenever an art book fair is coming to your town. And

Are you ever concerned with the death of the archive as some print

of course, you can always pop-in Gagosian in Beverly Hills and ask for

becomes more and more obsolete?

me at the front.

It is more important to have an archivist now than ever before because it’s so much easier to produce more and more information. People create

with reckless abandon and assume that everything will be available with the click of a mouse, but it’s not so simple. Archivists are needed to navigate these retro systems for storing and then searching things. The library and bookstores are also still crucial. Contemporary art is experiential, and books are too. Reading a Kindle doesn’t work for an art book, just like listening to a record isn’t the same as having something pop up on iTunes.




the other side, as in doing interviews, photo shoots, etc…it is so weird for me! Shooting for this magazine was my second photo shoot ever and I just kept telling the photographer “can you tell me if I look super lame, or have a ‘stone-cold-bitch’ face or I am smiling too big?!” I have always placed other

Interview by Sarah Ann Hartzog

people in front of the camera, so for it to be my turn seems so foreign. I also

Photography by Lani Trock

am shocked at how many people are interested in what I’m doing and want to support me by featuring my work. I am TRULY so extremely GRATEFUL.

Julie Van Daele is the creator behind stationery line, WELL RECEIVED.

For designers there tends to be specific references that are always

Which is being, well, just that. In large part due to her fresh aesthetic,

circled back to in some way. Do you have something that is like this for

which deviates from the often cutesy world of stationery and favors a

you? A song/photo/texture/etc?

more minimal design with references to unique materials and textures.

I think that the reason WELL RECEIVED seems so easy for me to create

Van Daele draws from her former experience as a publicist to make her

is because my focus is to have the brand serve as an extension of my

not only a designer but a business woman.

everyday life. If you came to my house and took a look at my kitchen, living room, bedroom, closet, etc you would laugh and say “ahhh this all makes

Designing seems to always come from some nostalgic place, where

sense,” all of my close friends and family weren’t surprised one bit when

does your passion for design come from?

they saw my first collection for WELL RECEIVED. They just laughed and

My passion is best expressed through the design and art of WELL

said, “of course this is what you would design! It’s so Julie!”

RECEIVED. Ever since I was little, my mom made us write thank you notes after every birthday party, holiday or any special occasion where we were

We live in such a disposable culture that I feel like we’ve all forgotten

given a gift. The simple thank you letters always were so appreciated and I

the rules of proper correspondence. Educate us! What are the rules for

have forever carried that with me throughout my life.

being timely in regards to thank you notes, etc? I love that you use the word ‘disposable’…it couldn’t be more true. With

I also have to credit my years in New York City. Being there for four years

technology today, everything is so short lived and fleeting. I look back at

were some of the most formative years of my life, opening my eyes to so

some of the letters I have from my parents, my husband, my best friends

many amazing and different people, places, ways of thinking, trials, failures,

and so often they serve as such an encouragement to me in times of doubt.

growing experiences and so much more. I think New York really helped

I can’t say enough about the power of a hand-written letter versus the act of

further shape me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t trade those years! If

a sending a text or quick email.

anything, New York is the nostalgic place that has influences on my passion to create and take this risk with starting WELL RECEIVED.

So…here are my tips: 1. Pick a card that is reflective of you and the person you are sending to.

It’s interesting to take a fine and somewhat delicate craft and juxtapose

Sending a note is personal, so make it personal.

it with minimal finishes such as marble, concrete, leather, etc. Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

2. Did I mention, make it personal?! – don’t have your assistant write it!!

For the TEXTURED series with the marble, concrete, leather, etc, I drew

Write it yourself and mean it!

a lot of inspiration from architecture and design, pulling from mid-century modern design, to Scandinavian, to other modern and minimal design. I

3. Send a note for anything and everything! People really appreciate it! No

have a ton of amazing coffee table books that I have collected over the years

matter who they are…they appreciate it!

and I tended to reference them a lot for this series. I also drew inspiration for these type of cards simply because there is a void in the market place

4. Keep the ‘thank you’ timely. Send it within a week of receiving a gift,

for sophisticated, modern and timeless stationery. Either cards are super

attending a dinner, etc. I hate the rule for weddings that you have a year…

cutesy or super sarcastic, both which are not my jam! With my designs,

COME ON PEOPLE…we are not that busy to sit down and write a thank

I like to say that I design for the ‘creative types’ of the world…designers,

you note within a week of receiving a gift! You took the time to sit down and

architects, artists, stylists, editors, etc.

open it, so take the time to say, “thank you!” Make sure you write more than just ‘thank you’…be specific for what you are grateful for, what you enjoyed,

Where are some places that you’ve been that visually inspire you?

how you used the gift, etc

Travel as a whole truly inspires me. I am dying to get to Tokyo and Scandinavia purely for their design, attention to detail and aesthetic.

I love the idea of your metal box sets because they have so many potential uses, is there any product expansion in the future for WELL RECEIVED?

You previously worked in PR, what is it like changing hats and being on

I would love to get into designing cool, home/office items, but before I launch

the other side of the conversation? How does that change the process?

into anything else, I want to get the stationery and boxes up and running!

Ha this is a great question…It’s funny because I have to credit my background in PR for the success that this company has seen in such a

few short months. I have contacted a lot of people that I used to work with and re-established so many connections and in turn everyone has been so supportive and willing to help in every way. It truly has been one of the biggest blessings to see so many people from my past career come out and want to help! And, in a way, I’m not totally out of the PR world as I am a one woman show and have to not only design and produce WELL RECEIVED, but also get the brand out into the press! Now, as for being on








By now we’ve all either had the pleasure of eating at Downtown LA’s crowning jewel, Alma, or we’ve read Jonathan Gold’s coveted anointing and dreamed about going. Owners Ashleigh Parsons and Ari Taymor have brought restaurant excellence to LA by way of previous experiences in France and San Francisco. Through their Alma Community Outreach initiative they are proving capable of much more than owning a Restaurant of the Year*. I sat down with co-owner and the woman in charge of Alma, Ashleigh Parsons, to learn more about what drives their philanthropic mission.




When you and Ari were in the Bay Area was outreach something you

inspired by the food movement there and also recognized that the city

were interested in there as well or has it been since your move to

was already saturated with excellent concepts. LA was different. Not only

LA? What was the catalyst for action?

is this city spread out geographically but there is also space here to

My experience in San Francisco was definitely a major source of

create your own restaurant concept. In our minds, LA had the space for

inspiration for the outreach program. After college in 2008 I got a job as

us to cultivate something authentic, something of our own.

a program coordinator at a free, after school program in the Tenderloin. One of my responsibilities was organizing the outings for Saturdays. We

Alma opened in 2012, right at the beginning of a really fast growth period

did a variety of things from pumpkin picking to art museums to park

for DTLA. What is it like to watch a former food desert become a cultural

visits and one Saturday I decided to take them to The Ferry Building for

hot spot? It’s wild to watch how it’s changed, even over the past year.

the infamous Saturday farmers market. We roamed around, all 25 of us,

We opened Alma knowing that the Ace would be across the street but

ages 5 to 23, and I watched them as they held the apples in their hands,

when we opened the doors, there was barely anything surrounding our

tasted the frog hollow pears, sucked honey from the honey sticks. Their

small restaurant space. Foot traffic didn’t exist and sometimes it felt like

reaction was tangible. We bought $25 worth of fruit and returned to the

the apocalypse when standing outside the doors of Alma. Now it’s so

Tenderloin – at that time, a designated food desert – to make a fresh

different. The other night I had to pick up ice from the corner store in the

fruit salad. The students loved it so much they were asking for thirds and

middle of a Saturday service. The Ace Hotel was having an event and

requested that we return to the market again as soon as possible. This

several other theaters were open. When I walked into the street, for a

experience coupled with observing the less than ideal lunches they were

brief moment I thought I was in New York City. Downtown LA is becoming

served in school and the hot chips and coke combo they bought from the

more bustling each day and with the rapid developmental growth, the

local liquor stores after school, made me think a lot about food justice

increased foot traffic and colorful energy will only continue. It has been

and food access during that time.

a really unique experience to watch it shift over the past three years.

I was also simultaneously becoming increasingly interested in the slow

What do you think downtown is still missing? What is it doing right?

food movement happening in San Francisco, Ari and I were occasionally

Great question. Downtown LA has yet to figure out its identity. It has

putting on small 8 to 10 person Alma pop-ups for friends and family. We

grown so quickly that it hasn’t quite caught up with itself and it probably

had lofty plans of opening a restaurant someday, somewhere and in my

won’t for several years. This means that there are several very different

mind it made perfect sense to couple that restaurant with an outreach

identities, which makes the vibe really rich and really diverse. I like

program. In 2012 when we opened Alma, the outreach program was a

that about downtown. It has a lot of soul. We could use a really good

part of that business model and has been ever since.

steakhouse, like a really cool steakhouse.

I read that you have a Masters in Education from Harvard. So, what

How does being amidst the ongoing evolution of a neighborhood

led you to working in and ultimately owning a restaurant?

change what you do, from either the restaurant or company

My Masters in Education is focused on human development and


psychology, essentially how we as human beings learn and interact

I think it just keeps you in constant evolution, which is something Ari and

with each other and with our world. For me, I was not interested in the

I both value. We don’t want to remain stagnant. We want to interact with

education that occurs within the academic setting but rather the learning

and react to the culture and climate of downtown specifically and of LA

that occurs beyond, in settings like after school programs, internships,

more generally. Especially in the restaurant world, it’s crucial to remain

art classes, music classes, etc. While I never imagined I would actually

relevant and the way to do that is to pay attention to your surroundings all

own a restaurant, when the opportunity presented itself, it made sense

the time – the type of music people listen to, the type of art people like,

to me that by owning a restaurant, I could also use that pool of resources

the way they walk, talk. This approach remains true with the outreach

to reach out to the local schools and community and educate students

program. Schools are constantly shifting, staff changing and for myself

by helping nurture their relationship with food, with gardening and with

and for the board, it’s pertinent that we are in constant conversation


about how we fit in with the school culture and how we meet the needs of the administration, teachers, parents and students.

Did you guys have your sights on LA or did the opportunity present itself? We both worked three years in San Francisco and we were both really


How does the physical restaurant play into Alma? Are there any plans

beginning cooking lessons and planting a garden. When the school is

to incorporate the professional kitchen into a lesson/internship/

ready and has the infrastructure to support a program like Alma , we

work program type of thing?

can maximize the benefits to the teachers, administration, parents and

We love interacting the students with the restaurant whenever we can.

students and for us, that is the most important.

About two weeks ago, one of our board members, the principal of one of our schools and two of the students who are really interested in the

What’s next for Alma?

culinary world came in to enjoy the full tasting menu. It was a super

Focus. Right now the restaurant and the company are in the incubation

awesome experience for us and for them.

Moving forward, through

periods of their lives. Both have existed for three years and while there

internships, projects, etc. we would like to incorporate Alma as a physical

is an instinct to grow and move quickly, we are realizing that focusing

space into Alma.

inward will yield the most results. This means that Ari is working with his chef de cuisine, Brian Maynard, to ensure that the kitchen staff are

Alma is focused primarily on the Rampart area of Los Angeles, are

trained and able to remain consistent every single service that we are

there other areas of LA that you would like to reach?

opened. This means that I work with the front of house to help them

For us, it’s about the partnership, it’s not about the number of schools

deliver an excellent service to our guests that exceeds most services in

we are in or the location of the school. We really enjoy working in the

Los Angeles as well as the country. This means that we are in constant

Rampart area of Los Angeles because it is within five miles of Alma and

communication with, Courtney Guerra, our farmer, about what we learned

it feels right to be working locally. That said, the key factor is that the

from last year’s growing season and how we can improve in the coming

school is open and asking for a garden / cooking program and that we

year. This means that with Alma, we focus on our three partnerships that

feel we can deliver a high quality program that meets the needs of the

currently exist and give them the attention and care that they deserve

administration, teachers, parents, and students.

so that everyone involved learns and grows and becomes more capable and empowered.

What are some of the challenges you face in getting the community, parents, students, teachers, etc. on board with the company?

*2013, Bon Appetit Magazine

We’ve learned so much over the past three years with the program,

especially as it has grown. At times we have been overly enthusiastic and have planted an edible garden in a school that perhaps does not have the staff or the personnel to support it. It is important for us to make sure the school is ready and open to the program. As we learn, we are realizing that it is really important to survey the partnership before






What does the title “Creative Director” mean to you, personally? How


do you define that role? I think the title varies according to the company. When I was at a design company it was a different endeavor than at an experiential agency. Design

Interview by Raluca State

is everywhere and permeates most decisions in our company and the

Photography by Isaac Sterling

creative director is ultimately the person with a creative background helping make decisions that drive the company and our work.

“I actually really love to drive.” The seemingly never-ending grid of Los Angeles streets are not a passionate point for most typical Angelenos.

Modern home, work and life - what defines each one for you?

But Matthew Goldman isn’t your typical Angeleno.

Home is comfort, love, personal time. Work is means, achievement, contribution.

Co-founder and creative director of A-Ok Collective, Goldman has long

Life is the balance between home and work and hopefully it’s fun.

had his pulse on the city of angels’ heartbeat (he’s an LA native…a rare species) and has turned his personal experience, style and creative

How does being in Los Angeles influence your career?

vision into a thriving business in his hometown and far beyond. He and

The pace of Los Angeles leaves something to be desired sometimes but

his team work with brands in fashion, design, art, music and more – think

the consistent level of comfort is a wonderful thing to have. I think you can

Samsung, Ace Hotels, SKYY Vodka and many more – to create experiential

find pros and cons anywhere and one’s outlook has more to do with how

events that bring people and culture together, online and off, and engage

environment and everything else affects you personally. But I would say that

them in a way that is creative, relevant and authentic. It’s their inspired

LA’s pros outweigh its cons and I’m happy that more and more industry, talent

approach to modern-day marketing, events, design and technology that

and everything else is coming to enjoy our mild, perpetually perfect climate.

keeps them one step ahead of the pack and keeps Goldman more than content in the driver’s seat.

What’s coming up next for A-Ok? We’re working on a series at The (newly renovated) Standard hotel in downtown LA, a bunch of projects for School Night and a nice series of client-based projects. We’re working more and more on film marketing projects which has been fun and we’re also excited about some tech projects on the horizon!


Describe your personal style in three words. Conviction versus influence.







Chances are if you’ve seen a picture of Johnny Depp wearing a hat

Fine millinery relies heavily on traditional hand-made techniques,

in the last few years, it came from the inimitable Los Angeles based

which consumers don’t often understand. Your line has had so much

milliner, Gladys Tamez. Her list of cool clients doesn’t end there. With

success, what do you think is the secret to educating consumers to

the growing popularity of custom millinery, Tamez serves a large


celebrity and stylist clientele as well as informed shoppers that are

It’s a challenge because pictures alone don’t effectively show the level

focused on quality, hand-made pieces to cherish for generations.

of quality or lack thereof. It’s really a tactile experience and many people have their favorite hat but have never handled or worn a hat made with

I previously read that you discovered your passion for millinery

this level of quality craftsmanship and detail. There is a learning curve

randomly, while on a trip to Spain. What lead you to this discovery?

where once you might have thought that that 40 dollar hat was nice its

What were you doing previously?

just because you might not have handled and worn a truly fine specimen

I had a somewhat successful ready-to-wear line that was burning me out

but once you have you’ll know forever so educating clients and buyers

and along with that the economy was crashing and I had just met my

and even sales associates is critical. My goal is to have the hat be where

future husband so it was an exciting and transitional time that had its

it belongs alongside the purse and shoe in stature. A hat must be prized

challenges, but also a happy time where I was looking to the future in an

and cared for with as much attention as we give those other essential

open way. So when we were traveling in Spain and I by chance stumbled

accessories. An irony is that men seem to already have this obsession

onto this simple but timeless 200 year old atelier, and it just resonated.

with high quality hats and my male clients from the beginning seemed to

I had had a love for hats and millinery but it wasn’t until I saw the range

have an understanding and knowledge about materials, fabrics, bands,

and complexity of hat making and its unexplored potential that I decided

silks and grosgrains. I learned a lot working with these male clients. It just

to learn more about the process and see what I could bring to it from a

pains me to see anybody who has nice shoes, nice clothes, good style, a

design standpoint.

quality purse, or whole look topped off with with a mass produced hat. It’ll destroy and cheapen your look. It’s unnecessary, and I know with a little

How did you learn this process?

education that they’ll realize its worth it.

I learned by working closely with various mentors who had expertise in different facets of millinery. Each had their own approach and came from different schools of thought. Some of whom I still work closely with like, Lydia Marinas, who has great knowledge of materials and construction


with 40 years of experience. I was very fortunate for my mentors and their patience and for them to take such an interest in me so I was very focused, attentive and appreciative of them sharing their expertise and techniques. Hat making can be a secretive and competitive affair and milliners don’t like to share their secrets so I feel blessed that I had those opportunities.











How long does it typically take you to make one hat?

on it and I wear it sometimes and people continue to buy it and to use it

It ranges depending on material and complexity of design but I can say

in editorials but it’s like anything I design in that it has to be modernized

that each and every hat is made in my studio under my supervision by

and feel contemporary and not be just like the one Jackie O or whoever

crafts people with hat making wisdom that goes back decades. There is no

wore. Fashion is always looking forward and backward but I’m much more

inventory, hats are made to order whether it be a single custom bespoke

interested in timeless design and how people wear hats than chasing

design or a run of 200 for a store in Milan. There is no way to make hats

trends. I prefer to make trends and make hats that stylistically will last

of this quality in a factory setting. No machine is stamping out hats. Only

forever. That’s what good design should do.

hands, steam and sweat. I find most designers often circle back to one focal source of What are some of your favorite materials, trims etc to work with?

inspiration, be it a song, photo, movie, etc. What is this source, for

Beaver is the top of the line and has such strength and durability but is


also forgiving and willing to be molded into any shape. It’s waterproof,

My husband’s big hazel eyes.

natural, traditional and can last for generations if given even the smallest amount of care. But I only work with materials that a reach certain level

You’ve worked with a number of high-profile clients, which type of

of quality and that can also meet my design standards as relating to color

client is the most exciting to work with?

and form. These materials are actually mediums that inform the hat and

Honestly I love working with all people. I love people. I’m a happy,

that put it into the realm of sculpture. Each has its own beauty and feel to

outgoing person and a Gemini so I get really engaged with my clients, my

it. The one material I don’t use is 100% wool because it lacks structure and

retailers and my theatrical work with stylists and costume designers. Just

looks and feels cheap. I’d be open to it but I have yet to find a wool that

about anybody with a passion and need for a hat will get my full attention

meets my minimum needs.

and creative input. It’s exciting and flattering that so many celebrities and musicians wear my hats but there is a whole world out there just waiting

You’ve created so many styles, which is your favorite?

to be exposed to high quality craftsmanship of hats at this level and that’s

I’ve really enjoyed working with the singer SIA on her hats that incorporate

who I hope to connect with.

hair. I’ve always loved surrealism and Isabella Blow is one of my muses but I never want to make pieces that are clownish or silly or just for a laugh, I

What is in the works for GTM?

need and require some elegance so that balance and its challenges really

First up is my summer collection which is hitting stores worldwide next

inspires me.

month. The collection is called “It’s A Wonderful Time” and is inspired by the photographer Slim Aarons. It’s a fresh look at classic straw hats with

There are so many gorgeous styles of hats over the decades, many

a style and look for everyone. Look for it on my website soon. I’m also

of which seem dated now, like the pillbox. What is your process like

working on a line of hat luggage and that is a fun and exciting process.

when reinterpreting or modernizing an older style? For me it’s not so much what is in style or out of style but who and how someone wears the object. I have a pillbox hat that has subtle little ears





Written by Dustin Beatty

of his seminal records and parts of The Great Pretenders. An

Photography by Maggie Davis

adept listener can hear that Smith has left a few impressions on

Styled by Michael Comrie

Mini Mansions as has the golden age of experimental rock ‘n’ roll back in the 60s and 70s but by no means do they borrow directly

Mini Mansions have commandeered a ship and are sailing at a steady

from the genre. “We’re post, post, post psychedelia—drugs and the

clip towards the island of Catalina off the coast of California—a

artform. So much of that is engrained in the current lifestyle that

dream venue for the three-piece to perform. Suddenly, the vessel

it’s no longer sub-culture,” says Parkford pointing to the fact that

strikes something close to shore sending the band scrambling for

for a band to be genuine they have to push those boundaries on a

firm ground. Actually, only a part of this is true; Mini Mansions hope

contemporary level. “Back in the 60s and 70s they were feeding off

to play on Catalina someday and keyboard vocalist Ty Parkford

that open-mindedness, whether they were doing the drugs or not.

often wonders if the exchange between an interviewer and an

Talking about intangible things back then was groundbreaking. Now

artist ever goes deeper than the initial conversation. “We have this

you have to choose this fine little grain and sprout your identity. I

moment and I might not see you ever again but I always wonder if

think if we were a band in the 70s we’d only be big now. We’re less

the interview seeps into your subconscious or if you ever dream

graceful than a lot of the psych-pop bands back then,” he adds.

about it,” he questions. The Great Pretenders took about two and a half years to write, A good story means something to the band who just released their

sequence and record so Mini Mansions have been living with it for a

first album called The Great Pretenders which sounds less like a

while performing many of the songs live long before they were ready

sensationalized diary entry and more like an outpouring of self-

for release. “We created exactly what we wanted to and listened to

disclosure. “It’s always nice for me when people explore the lyrical

it a million times and the next step is to play it for other people

content,” says guitarist and vocalist Michael Shuman. “You get to

and have them enjoy it,” says Michael. For now they have a break

experience the more real side of someone through those. I love

in sunny Southern California but they will be touring over summer

listening to other artists, reading their lyrics and hearing about love


and pain. It’s important for people to see us for who we are; however, the record is called The Great Pretenders and it’s also masked with a

As for the salvaged records they’re forced to listen to after their

bunch of bullshit,” he adds, lending an air of contradictory mystery.

shipwreck on Catalina: “’If you were stuck on a desert island…’ is

“It’s a really bi-polar record and emotionally aggressive in the

actually the worst question to be asked in an interview. Why would

content. Personally, I’m more into escaping myself to find myself.

you be bringing your favorite records to an island in the first place

You might say I try to convert my problems into fantastical things

and everyone knows you’re probably going to hate them after a

that don’t exist. The last track, ‘The End Again’ is more reflective of

week,” Ty laughs when asked about bad interviews. Who knows,

me as a person. It’s about the universal issue of repeatedly going

right now he could be having the same dreams where The Great

through the same experience over and over,” Parkford adds.

Pretenders is the only LP that made it to shore.

California is home for the psych-pop trio who between Mini

Mansions and other side projects seem to be never not be touring. Lucky for them, a friend owns and operates New Monkey Studios in Los Angeles, once used by the late Elliot Smith to record some






Written by Dustin Beatty

of what they think they sound like. Nonetheless, she lights up when

Photography by Maggie Davis

asked about her other love—human rights. “I don’t want to sound

Styled by Michael Comrie

didactic so I’ll just say: Human Rights Watch, East Congo Initiative and Human Rights Campaign are great organizations to start with.

IO Echo makes a wall of sound on a sea of reverb punctuated by

Awareness is one way but there needs to be more synergy with

poetry fathoms deep. Describing their music beyond that might be

leaders on a national level in the execution of their judgments,” she

bombastic after digging deeper with Ioanna Gika and Leopold Ross.


They also seem to be magnets for creative collaboration. Ross’ life however is centered on making music and for good reason. After forming a few years ago, Gika and Ross garnered the attention

IO Echo’s other half remembers jamming with his older brother and

of MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch who saw them play during his stint

subsequently landing a role creating scores for film and TV. “I feel

in Los Angeles. The art-smart personality asked them to curate a

lucky that I’ve been able to do that because it wasn’t something I

sound and vision experience at the museum. London-based fashion

envisioned. In a way I kind of built myself towards that growing up

designer Henry Holland loved Ioanna’s look so the two partnered up

because when I was 16 I stopped listening to music with lyrics in it.

on her becoming the face of his namesake brand, House of Holland.

I got really bored with singing at the time; I don’t know why. I just

Director Harmony Korine gave them the freedom to score an art film

started listening to bands like Mogwai. They changed my life. My

that garnered serious attention when they played live alongside a

interest in instrumental music set me up to move into that field,”

screening at Art Basel. “In a way, everything with the band has been

he adds. Soon audiences will hear some examples of this in ‘Triple

cause and effect,” adds Gika. “If someone sees something we’ve

Nine’ directed by John Hillcoat and in Michael Mann’s upcoming

done and it resonates with them it’s usually natural if they want to

action drama, ‘Blackhat.’

bring us into their world. It feels wonderful to be approached to do a collaboration and I think Los Angeles is a great place for artists.

On top of all this Gika and Ross are busy writing and recording their

People seem to be pretty open-minded here.”

new record where the only secrets that can be divulged are that there will be less reverb and Gika’s prose will be front and center.

Passion can often be limitless and Gika takes time to be pointed

As for future collaborations, “Working with Enya would be ideal;

and purposeful when asked what life is like outside of music. “I

I just love her,” says Gika. That doesn’t seem entirely unrealistic

was one of the youngest people to be accepted into a Shakespeare

given that IO Echo have a lot to say with their music and beyond.

analysis program at a university in England, and then I went on to get a bachelors in English literature and writing from a university

in the United States. I also did a summer program at a separate university in semiotics analysis within Hitchcock films,” she says of her education. You wouldn’t be able to tell this unless you asked, as most media seem to focus on her modeling career and signature fashion sense. Also, IO Echo’s sound traverses so many genres it’s easier to press play after a few keystrokes than belabor the specifics








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LANGLEY FOX HEMINGWAY- MODEL / ARTIST We know her last name goes down in iconic literary history, and she has the genes of a family full of beautiful faces, but she has taken full advantage of her good fortune and has gotten to work with it. In addition to creating a modeling career that has featured her in top magazines and campaigns, she has also


created incredible drawings for personal projects and brands that have included Marc by Marc and Louis Vuitton. If you’ve spent time with this lovely creature, you can’t help but be taken over by a dreamy, curious, and extremely talented young soul with a strong understanding of beauty in many forms.


NATALIE SHIRINIAN - AN INTERIOR DESIGNER’S BEST FRIEND Natalie is the powerhouse behind some of the most acclaimed niche interior designers.

Heading her company NES Creative Services, she provides full

service PR and creative to designers such as Apparatus Studio, Nicole Fuller, Sasha Eisenman and Brian Thoreen to name a few. With offices in Los Angeles and New York, NES specializes in customized PR campaigns, creative brand


strategy, product launch campaigns, social media consulting, and event curation. Natalie founded NES Creative Services with the intent to bridge the gap between fashion and interiors. In addition to her agency, she also writes for The Work Magazine, The Huffington Post, and is the contributing editor for California Homes. Keep your eyes open for her co-founded documentary Entry Pictures which will feature some of the most acclaimed designers who have crossed over from the worlds of fashion and interiors (scheduled to release in early 2016). 131

LANI TROCK - PHOTOGRAPHER / GODDESS When Lani takes a photo, you can expect an image that shows you the true magic of the present moment. Her use of light and texture reminds us of what a Caravaggio painting would look like come to life (and with a bit of natural light added). Not only does she capture life’s gentle moments, but she is also heavily involved in a community outreach program founded by the owners of


Alma restaurant, whom we also feature in this issue. Lani brings life and soul into her work that always feels like the perfect California day.


NATHALIA MARGOT - AKA TIT When Nathalia isn’t heading the PR division of the music agency MANIMAL, she is working with her own record label Lose Lose Lose, curating art shows or musical performances around Los Angeles and painting her own large sale pieces under the moniker TIT. Creativity pours from her through every avenue, making her one of LA’s strongest women in the underground art and music scenes.



JUSTIN GAGE - ALL THINGS MUSIC The Aquarium Drunkard blog, which started out as an easier way to share music with his international friends in 2005, has now grown into one of the most current influential music sources. And like most ideas with ambition and great taste, once the ball starts rolling, it becomes unstoppable. Ten years later, Justin has launched the well respected record label, Autumn Tone Records, has a radio


show on Sirius XMU and puts on special music events in different parts of the country. His ability to find rare tracks or unknown artists is what separates him from others along with his special mix tapes he creates and shares for free. If you are curious about discovering new music, he is your main man.


SEASON KENT - MOVIE MAGIC MAKER When you watch a film, the mood is set completely by the music being played. You may not even realize it, or even hear it, but without it something just doesn’t feel complete. Season is the woman who marries the directors vision with your emotions and gets the feelings across. She has chosen the soundtracks to some of your favorite films like: The Fault In Our Stars, Revenge, Arrow, The Flash,


The Spectacular Now, Fury, End of Watch, The Fighter, Limitless, Dear John. Next time you watch a film, pay attention to how the music makes you feel and see what we mean.


DJUNA BEL - STYLIST She was named after the writer, Djuna Barnes, who created a completely, new style of writing in her time. So it’s no surprise that stylist Djuna Bel is also known for creating a style that is all her own. Having styled shoots for Flaunt, iD, L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia, and Bullett means she brings fresh ideas to the table with an attitude that is fun and flirty. Djuna adds a rock and roll throw back with a


modern edge that everyone wants to have, and not to mention the looks of a runway model.


MORGAN KIBBY - EXPERIMENTAL COMPOSER Morgan is a woman who will take you on a journey of sound and dance be it with projects like the band M83, her solo project White Sea, scoring films such as Bang Gang, collaborating on remixes with other artists, and producing albums for bands such as Wildcat Wildcat. This woman is dominating the music scene from every angle while maintaining her unique sound.




Ichiro Yamamoto - THE GENERAL INC. Jayson Payne - Design Intern Michael Felix - Studio 1317 Palmetto COLONY 2139 Retail Team

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‘2139’ is Published by TOWNES Printed in Southern California by Typecraft All Rights Reserved. 2014, THE GENERAL INC., the Authors and Photographers 139


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2139 ISSUE TWO  

This is a periodical inspired by the convergence of modern-day Japanese style with California’s iconic design aesthetic. These are the same...

2139 ISSUE TWO  

This is a periodical inspired by the convergence of modern-day Japanese style with California’s iconic design aesthetic. These are the same...