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Style, et Cetera

fashion masochist the designer’s muse

No gig could be sweeter than providing sartorial inspiration, right? rachel baker gets invoked. this. Before invoking my inner control freak, however, I remind myself that as a muse, mine is to be inspiring, not demanding. This peaceable outlook lasts until we make our grand entrance, when I spew to everyone within earshot, “I’m wearing Sam!”—which translates loosely as “Don’t blame me if I look awful!” But once the compliments start gushing and photographers angle to get a shot of us together, I’m back at ease. I find myself growing addicted to my inspirational superpowers, but also spread thin. I’m expected to hop out of work to “collaborate” whenever the moment strikes. When Sam holds a trunk show for his holiday line, I’m tapped to DJ. I’m needed to inspire with musical stylings and besides, my namesake skirt has a prime window spot. After splurging at the Barneys sale, I sprint over to show off my scores. The dress I plan to wear on a big date the next night, the Master feels, would look better a tad shorter (read: from knee-high to mid-thigh), and he’s willing to sacrifice sleep to make that happen. After two weeks, I’m so hooked on the gig that I find myself shirking other responsibilities to get my fix. I appreciate his sacrifices but no longer have any left to give myself. If only musing came with a salary and health benefits.

SEEN A COOL Tattoo LATELY? THIS KID PROBABLY DID IT. Fast becoming a fixture among the city’s subdermally decorated elite, 21-year-old tattoo artist Danny LaFace has inked his life- and death-themed designs on countless local hotshots, including the Celtics’ Gabe Pruitt (a skull with a crown and wings) and the Revolution’s Shalrie Joseph (a skull with Joseph’s signature dreadlocks). This month, LaFace, who does his booking via MySpace, Facebook, and cell phone, will art his most high-profile canvases to date: Paul Pierce’s beefy frame and Fantastic Four star Chris Evans’s photogenic chest. myspace.com/the kidlaface brittany jasnoff

28 boston february 2009

illustration by hanna melin

p h o t o g r a p h b y r. m a r l e y

couturiers have long had “muses,” stylish, high-profile women from whom they seek inspiration, and on whom they showcase the fruits of their inspired labors. Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn. Alexander Wang and Erin Wasson. Marc Jacobs and Posh Spice. When Braintree gown maker Michael De Paulo, once known for his more matronly outfits, teamed with local bombshell Tonya Mezrich to dress her for red-carpet events, it was win-win: He got exposure outside the graying debutante circuit; she got a new frock for every night. After a few less-than-subtle hints, I get local fashion wunderkind Sam Mendoza to take me on as his muse. Wholeheartedly. We must, he insists, spend substantial quality together time to ensure the essence of my style—my soul!— imbues his inner consciousness and, thus, his designs. So we buddyshop on Saturdays, cocktail after work, and give each other wake-up calls every shaky morning. The night before our public debut at a fashion-centered gala with pricey tickets and a boldface guest list, Sam works into the wee hours finishing the “Rachel” skirt: a tweedy number that’s kneelength with a long train in back, paired with a sheer black chiffon T-shirt. As a cocktail-mini kind of girl, I wouldn’t have chosen something like


Style, et Cetera