ISSUE 2, VOLUME 1 AUGUST 2012
ART & PRODUCTION Manfred Westreicher Creative Director
Brett Davis Photography
EDITORIAL Brett Davis Editor
Joey Cook of Cincinnati Pomegranates
Chicken Lays an Egg
Photography by Claudia Susana
An interview with vintage seamtress Tracy McElfresh DESIGNER
Self trained or school? Iâ€™m a 3rd generation seamstress, my grandmother Norma Acosta came to the United States in 1963 from Puerto Rico and worked in the sewing sweat shops of NYC. My Grandmother taught my mother and my mother taught me. I also worked at Hancock fabric for 8 years and had free reign on model garments so I have a lot of hands on experience with real people, shapes and sizes. Where do you live and work now? I live in Dayton, Ohio and I have an Etsy shop where my dresses can be seen, I teach and host fashion and craft events. I also am a private nanny of 3 wonderful girls. How did you ďŹ rst get involved in design? I have sewn since I was a young child, although at 28 I realized I could make dresses however I wanted. I started making them every chance I could. There was a time when I also loved fine arts and I had to choose a path. Both are time consuming. People raved over my dresses so it was chosen for me.
Model: Leah @ Wings Model Management
Where do you ﬁnd inspiration for your work? Art galleries, fashion history, historical galleries, black and white films and at my local fabric store. In three words how would describe your style? Cheerful, free spirited and fun!
Are there speciﬁc fabrics and patterns you especially attracted to? I like them bright and busy!
Who are some of your favorite designers? Muriel King (Stage Door), Hubert de Givenchy (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and just about any black and white film costume and wardrobe designer. What projects are you currently working on? A tea party style wedding dress for the lovely Daytonian Jesy Kessel.
What do you love most about your job? The feeling of having no concept of time when I am working.
Any advice for aspiring designers? Don’t be afraid, learning is hands on and you just have to do it. There are no failures only learning experiences that builds confidence. What are your plans for the near future? The sky is the limit, no job to big or too small. Get out there, meet people, go to big events or host them and surround myself with successful people.
The theme for Issue II is Vintage. What does vintage mean to you? Why do you think people are drawn to “vintage” these days? Vintage is huge because it is so cool; I personally feel it’s a classic style that never goes in or out. I love the way the 50’s sundresses with wide circle skirts fit curves and are comfortable.
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An interview with Joey Cook of Pomegranates MUSICIAN
Hit shuﬄe on your iPod. What are the ﬁrst ﬁve songs that come up? Okay, this might be embarrassing, we’ll see… 1. “Another New World” by Josh Ritter. I actually love that album of his, So Runs the World Away. 2. “Comfy in Nautica” by Panda Bear. When I revisited this a year ago or so it didn’t sound as exciting as when I first heard it. I still think Noah Lennox is brilliant though. 3. “You’ll Be in the Air” by The Microphones. This was the first song I can remember hearing by Phil Elverum. A guy I worked at a skatepark with put it on a mix for me and this song and “The Moon,” from the same album, are what made me actually want to start recording music. Thanks again Joe, wherever you are. 4. “Meet Me in the Basement” by Broken Social Scene. An example of one of many “new albums,” I threw on my iPod because friends were talking about it, but I don’t really listen to that much anymore. I do like most of this album (Forgiveness Rock Record), and I really loved “You Forgot it in People,” but I just can’t really tolerate too much of them at one time anymore, for some reason. 5. “Electric Feel” by MGMT. I, along with everyone else in the universe, listened to this album until my ears bled. When Congratulations came out I had no idea what to expect, but for me it blew their first album out of the water. I wish a song from Congratulations had come up so I could go on and on about how genius and underrated I think that record is.
The theme of Issue II is Vintage. Who is your vintage celebrity crush? Haha, I don’t know if this is vintage or not, but Susan Sarandon was a total babe in Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you could open for any band/musician in history, who would it be? Why? Man, this is really hard. Opening someone for Crazy Horse would have been incredible. I wouldn’t even care if I got to meet Neil Young, I would just love to have been able to see them. Also, I know we would all love to do more shows with French Kicks, Jookabox, Javelins, Islands, Peter Bjorn and John…the list is too long to even start. Your favorite venue to play? I’ll only go outside of Cincinnati to be fair, but The Black Cat in DC came to mind immediately. They have awesome food, the nicest most accommodating staff, great sound… everything. Also, we recently played at The Milkboy in the City of Philadelphia. It’s a new place that was amazing! Again, super generous kind people, great food and drinks, and a great sound guy. I feel bad I can’t remember his name right now… Most fan requested song at shows? People always seem to respond when we go into “Thunder Meadow”, “Everybody Come Outside” and “50’s”. The
new record hasn’t come out yet, but those that have heard “Pass Away” really seem to get pumped when we start that one too. Craziest tour story? Let’s see… on our first tour we ended up driving through the night from NC to Richmond, VA and didn’t have enough money for a hotel. I’m not sure what we were thinking, but after a really stressful drive we ended up sleeping on the ground in a park. I woke up to a dog sniffing my face. If dogs weren’t my #1 non-supernatural fear this wouldn’t have been quite so alarming. Looking back, that’s really more of a stand-out memory than a crazy story. Sorry.
What’s your favorite Pomegranates’ song to perform? Why? “Skull Cakin’” is a lot of fun because I don’t have to sing, and the bass part is really easy, so I can just run around and act like a jerk. “Pass Away” is a lot of fun because I get to do this super high falsetto harmony with Isaac at the end. Also, I like playing “Something Everybody Wants,” from the new record, because I think it’s really pretty and it’s powerful to me. It’s a nice low in the set. And it’s fun to sing. What do you miss most about Cincinnati when the band is on tour? I might get into trouble here, but I don’t really go out
when I’m home. So, I miss being able to draw or record whenever I feel like it. And I miss making money at work, which is really more just feeling anxious than actually missing something, haha. When Emily is home I miss her, but she’s been at school for the past four years so I always just miss her anyway. Really, I generally feel pretty content on the road. I’m with three of my closest friends playing music, meeting people, and getting free beer. Oh yeah, and sleeping on the floor. My bed is what I miss most when I’m on tour. Do the Pomegranates have groupies? Whenever I hear the word “groupie,” I imagine some woman with huge teased blonde hair, a half shirt, and leopard print capri leggings with a huge belt made out of bullets. In my imaginary scenario she’s usually trying to perform some inappropriate or unacceptable act to or with one of the band members. Pomegranates does not have groupies. What are the Pomegranates’ plans for the near future? Our new album, Heaven, comes out on June 5th. We’re going to be touring hard for that, hopefully with someone that more people come to see every night than us, haha. That’s as far ahead as we’re looking right now, I think.
Joey Cook Jacob Merritt Issac Karns Curt Kiser
An interview with the chix of Chicken Lays An Egg
Tell us a little about yourself and Chicken Lays An Egg. Chicken Lays an Egg is a fashion performance troupe and specialty boutique; a colorful tribute to all things vintage and cool. Besides providing Northside with fun and handpicked recycled vintage wares, we also throw fashion shows, fashion flash mobs and are the people’s choice and self-proclaimed highlight and finale of the Northside 4th of July Parade. There are a lot of people who we consider part of the ‘Chicken Team’ but there are three of us owners; Dana Hamblen was the original Chicken then her sister Maya Banatwala and Jessy Baum became official Chicken Chix when we moved to Northside almost three years ago.
How would you describe Chicken Lays An Egg’s style? Bright, funky, unique, modern, accessorized, FUN.
What inspired you to start the store? We love shopkeeping, creating looks and meeting our fun customers (many who have become part of our “Chicken Team”). We also enjoy adding color and sparkle to the Northside neighborhood and promoting our gay/trans/everybody-friendly aesthetic. It’s been an amazing adventure and we’re so happy to make looking amazing and unique accessible for everyone.
If you had a time machine what year would you go back to and why? Dana: The summer of love or sex pistols era Britain, the golden years of hippie and punk. Jessy: I would love to experience the late 60’s, early 70’s. Maybe get into some disco…I do love shiny clothes. Maya: Yeah, probably the same. I would love to be rollerdancing to some disco.
Is there any meaning behind the name? Chick”en\, n. [syn: poulet, volaille] 1. A young bird or fowl. 2. a domestic fowl bred for flesh or eggs. 3. slang for cute, sexy, young girl or boy, marked by or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest.
Vintage celebrity crush? Endora, the mom on Bewitched. We even briefly had a fish named in her honor that lived at the shop.
What’s the whackiest outﬁt you’ve sold in your store? A brown jumpsuit with this amazing mushroom print. Luckily we got to use in one of our fashion shows first. Most popular items? Dresses, hats, men’s shirts, ashtrays, costumes, cool knee socks are definitely some of our most popular items. We’ve got a pretty good selection of things for weird, last-minute gifts too.
Favorite old movie? Dana: Auntie Mame, Cabaret, Clockwork Orange, Edward Scissorhands. Jessy: Oh god yeah, Auntie Mame is one of the greatest movies of all time. â€œYou've got to LIVE, LIVE, LIVE!!â€? Maya: Anything Alfred Hitchcock, but Psycho is probably my favorite."
new mural for the back fence, lots of surprises. You'll definitely want to stay tuned. Our Facebook page is the best place to find out about our events and check out pictures of our new stock.
What does Chicken Lays an Egg have planned for the near future? Oh, we've always got a few tricks up our sleeves: a new remodel of the store, a mobile chicken pop-up shop, a flash-mob fashion show in an Over the Rhine park, 4th of July Parade extravaganza, a fall fashion show, a
Model: Kendall @ BMG Make up Artist: Galvin Mason
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An interview with Claudia Susana PHOTOGRAPHER
Tell a little about yourself I’m originally from Canada. I’m from Vancouver. My mom is Mexican, so I’m half Canadian, half Mexican. I’ve lived most my life here though. We moved to the U.S. when I was 8 months old. I have an older brother who is super into politics. He’s working in Jerusalem now. He works for Catholic Relief Services. He’s the good one in the family. I’m the black sheep, I think. I always say he’s the brainy one. I’m brainy too, but in a more conniving way. I jumped around colleges a lot. I went to UC for a second and then stopped going. Then I went to NKU for a year and half. And then I transferred to Xavier.
your parents knock sense into you. Or you knock sense into yourself and say, “That happens to one in a million people. Like being a rockstar.” But, as a kid I always liked taking pictures. Whenever we’d go on field trips they’d put us in a group. We were given different tasks and I always, always (because I’m super bossy) would say, “I’m going to be the picture taker because my grandpa’s a photographer and it runs in my family.” I never really had my own camera until I bought my first point and shoot in college. I kept upgrading and upgrading and upgrading until I decided to get something nicer. It was a building curiosity.
Self trained or school? Self trained.
Where do you ﬁnd inspiration? Life in general honestly. As much as I grew up loving writing, there are things about my childhood that point to me being a visual person. The fact that we moved around so much growing up really influenced me. Born in Vancouver, then moved to LA, then Pittsburgh, back to California to Irvine and eventually here. And every summer growing up I was in Mexico City which is a very rich and colorful place. I draw my inspiration from life experiences really.
Where do you live and work now? I live here. I work as a freelance photographer and as a copywriter full time at Possible Worldwide. How’d you ﬁrst get involved in photography? My grandpa was a very serious amateur photographer. But he got published. He did mainly documentary and landscape photography. And he developed his own stuff. I don’t know if I got anything from him. I feel like all little kids like taking pictures growing up. But it’s one of those things, where you think about it for a second growing up, “Oh I’d like to be a photographer,” but then
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How would you describe your style? What sets you apart from other photographers? My style’s pretty organic. Definitely nostalgic. The way I grew up and constantly having to leave things behind is a
huge influence on that. In terms of what I have that other photographers don’t... I don’t know. I don’t want to sound like an asshole. For fashion I have a different perspective than one would expect in fashion photography. I’ve been told by a couple people that I have a photojournalistic style. I guess I’m more direct. I always try to engage my subjects rather than posing them and not talking to them. Because that’s just awkward for everyone. I try to talk to them and make them laugh. I find those moments between poses are usually the best shots. What’s your favorite photograph that you’ve taken? My favorite image is constantly changing. Right now I’m
obsessed with this shoot I did in Mexico City. It was my first shoot with a guy and girl at the same time. It was kind of unexpected. We were in a huge national park near Mexico City. There was a beautiful convent and a bunch of trails. I was looking around and the guy model climbed this old wall. The girl model, Rhianna, walked over and I took the shot. What is it you like most about photography? There’s just something about documenting and telling stories that’s really exciting to me. As long as my photos make people feel something I can feel pretty good about it. And if it leaves people speechless then that’s pretty good too.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? Make a lot of noise. Nobody’s going to hand anything to you. You have to keep emailing and calling people no matter how many non responses and rejections you get. More often than not they will probably be non-responses. Keep getting in people’s faces and keep shooting. And don’t get stuck in your ways, especially in editing. The first couple years of my work are very muted. The past couple of years I’ve been trying to go crazy with color. What are your plans for the future? The next year I’m going to build my momentum. At the beginning of 2011 I said, “This is my year!” I kind of felt disappointed half way through. But in retrospect, Wonderful Machine signed me and they’re super picky. And through them I’ve gotten a lot of exposure and have met clients. This year I’d like to translate that into getting more fashion work. What does vintage mean to you? Why are people drawn to vintage? Film vs. digital? To me it’s pretty simple: anything that reminds you of a previous time. And it doesn’t have to be that far in the past. There’s the classic sense of vintage, but to me vintage means nostalgia. In terms of fashion vintage, the trends are very cyclical. People have always looked to the past for inspiration. There’s always something curious about looking at things that don’t exist anymore. There’s something comforting about the past. I never grew up with Teddy Ruxpin, but I like the idea of Teddy Ruxpin. It was a teddy bear that had a tape deck in his chest and he would sing to you. There’s something very comforting about old toys. I own a couple polaroid cameras and a Yashica T4. I don’t fall on either side of the film/digital fence. The majority of what I shoot is digital. Post processing is my darkroom. If you have the technology to make a photo look better, then you should do it. I don’t understand the debate. There are qualities in film that you can’t reproduce digitally. I like using both. I have a toy camera that I use for double exposures. I’m not sure where the resurgence came from. Sadly I think it’s that hipster mentality.
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Clothing Designer: Gunnar Deatherage Make-up: Juliette Bennett Hair: Dylan Kremer Model: Leah @ Wings Model Management
Clothing Designer: Barksdale Wings: Stephen Sunday Hair & Make-up: Erica Stewart Model: Kim @ Sigal Models
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Model: Echo Nittolitto
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Headpiece: Evigheden Hair & Make-up: ChĂŤla Olea Model: Polina @ Fashion House
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Stylist: Jeanette Converse Hair & Make-up: ChĂŤla Olea Model: Simone @ Direct Model Management
Stylist: Carlos Ruíz Hair & Make-up: Chëla Olea Models: Simon & Rhianna @ Paragon Model Management
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ISSUE 2, VOLUME 1 JULY 2012
Published on Aug 9, 2012