sustainability | ethical fashion | eco culture
Cover Photography: Sandifer Photography www.sandiferphotography.com Model: Lindsay Danger Art Direction: Andrea Krystine Hair/Makeup: Rachel and Macy Oxsen Headpiece: Love It - www.loveitshop.com
XIFER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: HEATHER PETREY SONIA WEKSLER Music: 88:88
Editor in Chief/Creative Director: Andrea Krystine andrea@REFIXMAG.com
Contributing photographers: emily sandifer IZRAS PRODUCED BY: ECOLOGIQUE FASHION For advertising inquiries or submissions email: email@example.com
REFIXMAG.COM twitter: @REFIXMAG FaceBOOK: /refixMAG
06 Letter 09 Life of an Urban Yogi Interview with Urban Yogi founder Susana Wolds
12 Breathe LA Event Coverage
17 Sole Sisters Interview with Jill and Tracey
Spiritus of Compassion Couture
22 Saving the World in Stilettos feat. The Compassion Fashion Project
24 Between the Light feat. Piece x Piece, LoveIT
36 Cruisin the MVP Melrose Trading Post
39 Hi Paul Interview with sewing artist Paul Nosa
44 Paint me a Dream feat. Michelle Lowe Holder, Junky Styling, Henrietta Ludgate, Traid
52 All Natural: Inside & Out Sonia Weksler of In-Stead
57 Spring Style Guide by mygreenlipstick.com
62 Half Empty the fashion industryâ€™s impact on one of our most precious resources
64 Exclusive ((REFIX)) feat. MSSNGDGTS &
The Broun Fellinis Produced by Ecologique Fashion. Editor-in-Chief- Andrea Krystine. refixmag.com
04.19.12 - Vol. 3
“Arc of Stones” MSSNGDGTS feat. Broun Fellinis ReFix
t. 88:88 a e f k c a e Tr Exclusiv
IT’S A CYCLE
A constant theme that had been running around in my head while putting together this issue was “regeneration” and a deeper look into supporting a locally grown economy. Just as the earth is naturally capable of regeneration, so are all species that live on it. Regeneration itself is the process of renewal, restoration, and growth that makes organisms and ecosystems resilient to natural fluctuations or events that cause disturbance or damage. Composting is a prime example of regeneration -in one of its more elementary forms- an apple is grown from a tree (birth), you consume it from the earth, then dispose of the waste nutrients back into the earth (death), until the earth then replenishes itself with the life of yet another consumable object (regeneration). The universe repeats this pattern throughout its creations... echoing through our bodies. The awareness of these patterns in nature may seem so foreign to us being that we live in a 21st century technologically “convenient” bubble. Continuing to live in such a way that we do as a society now does not contribute to this pattern and therefore threatens disharmony. Meaning that the earth will have a tougher time sustaining itself not to mention us. Eliminating waste and carbon trails, promoting uniqueness, and being socially responsible allows us all to acknowledge our deeper connection to one-another and to the earth. Embracing a more localized and shared economy, for example, may enable us to attain the goods we need to survive while supporting our communities, thus creating a regenerative cycle of efficient resourcefulness, support, and love. In this issue, we explore items that help to reestablish collective, regenerative production; from alternative free-energy, to organic tips on how to maintain your health in an urban environment. Of course fashion continues to be our main focus, and with that comes the influences of the eco fashion culture of London, in addition to that of the US. Trending from Europe, fashion collectives are also sprouting up on American ground, reviving the cooperatives of the past that flourished through their shared resources. By completing the circle, and restoring natural cycles, we are all capable of generating benefits for our earth, our communities, and our lives. xxoo, Andrea
sustainability ethical fashion eco culture
Join the movement.
w w w. re f i x m a g . c om
walking the middle path Our interview with Urban Yogi founder Susana Wo lds
Dancer's Pose: Opens the heart, builds strength and balances the brain Photography and hair by Joanne Janc
From daily rituals, to a love for street art, Susana lets us in on the life of an urban yogi. When did your relationship with yoga begin? One day when I was in Nicaragua, I was staying at a hostel doing a little bit of yoga, taking some time by myself on a balcony and there was this storm coming in so I was just breathing, going through my sun salutations, and my warrior postures and whatnot, and eventually I was balancing in a dancers pose and there was thunder and lightning and rain everywhere and I was forced to stay very still in concentration. And I don’t know, that was just a very beautiful moment, and one that really personalized my practice for the first time and that’s really stuck with me ever since. So, how can one maintain yogi-ism in our 21st century urban life? Living in close proximity to others and to things that are always happening 24/7, our system takes a pretty severe beating from all that- whether it’s sensory overload, to toxins in the air that we breathe to, stress from the circumstances of life in an urban environment- our work, our relationships, our body absorbs all of that. It’s as if we are all little television sets and we all have little antennas and we can receive the frequencies that other people are putting off. And so yoga is such a nice break away from all that. Typically when you are going through the day, in this urban jungle, you are putting energy out- you are showing up to work or you’re relating to people and yoga is the opposite in that you are showing up to a place where you can just be alone, on your mat—even if there are other people in the room—your first step is to go within. 09 refixmag.com
Would you suggest to us some poses that are good for common daily ailments? If I wake up one morning and I’m very low energy, I might prescribe myself a headstand just to get the blood flowing to my brain—it’s better than a cup of coffee. If I’m feeling weak or scared, and I feel like I need to muster up some courage, I’ll put myself into a warrior II. I’ll bend my knee over my ankle, straighten my back leg, reach my arms out to the side, and I’ll breathe. Or, if I’m feeling burnt out or something, I’ll do a restorative yoga practice sitting down on my mat, forward folding, letting my spine round, and just holding that for a few minutes. It’s like I can refill my cup. What about food and yoga- Is there a diet specific to the yogi lifestyle? So there’s a sister science to yoga that’s called Ayurveda and it’s a centuries old practice that basically brings your body back into balance depending on your own nutritional needs, your behavioral patterns, and how you relate to the world around you. So Ayurveda is about eating foods and emphasizing things in your diet that will bring your unique body type back into balance. And the easiest way to do that, for anybody, is just to eat with the seasons. Each season represents a new set of circumstances that the body has to adapt to. So right now we are coming into Spring, and the things that happen to be growing from the ground right now (organically) are foods that are naturally detoxifying for the body… like spring green vegetables- eat those, eat them in multitudes because they will detoxify you and help your body shed the weight of winter. So it’s things like that, yoga and other sciences that accompany it, they are technologies that bring us back into balance allowing us to return to a more optimal health. It’s so simple, but it’s so profound at the same time. What inspires you? Creatively speaking, what has really inspired me for a long time has been art.. and street art in particular. I remember back in –what was it?—the late 90’s around San Diego when I was seeing Shepard Fairey’s OBEY posters around town and I was so intrigued. I even busted out a sharpie and was making these little star pictures that I wanted to re-paste all around town.
ndbite u o s w e i ve interv i s u l c x e Click for
Figure 4: Strengthens the core, cultivates balance and opens the hips Photography and hair by Joanne Janc
And… I never did (haha). But street art was such an interesting phenomenon to me because it took art, which had always been confined to the walls of a gallery, and it just put it out into a public space and said ” HEY, art is for everybody”. And I feel really the same way about yoga, and its been really interesting to watch the trend of people practicing yoga picking up in the last five years. There have been some organizations and companies out there who have really brought yoga to the mainstream and I couldn’t be happier about it. In fact, I don’t know if I’d be a part of it if it weren’t for that movement of bringing yoga to everybody. How is Urban Yogi making the effort to be ecologically sustainable? San Diego is a car culture, for the most part. What this means for the yoga community, and teachers in particular, is that we drive great lengths to get from one class to another. To ameliorate this situation for my studio, I only hire instructors who live within five miles of Urban Yogi. Most of my marketing is directed to people in my zip code, who live downtown and walk everywhere. You won’t see my flyers in Ocean Beach, for example, because there are amazing studios there and I’d rather people stay in their neighborhoods. If clients arrive from another part of town, I give them a $3 discount per class if they arrive by bicycle, public transit or carpool. Part of sustaining a new business is keeping your material costs as low as possible. Instead of finding the cheapest versions of what I need to stock my space, I found alternatives. Vintage neckties instead of straps. Old yoga mats for bolsters, bound by rubber bands from my organic veggies. Things like that. I despise desposable things, so I’ve had to get creative. For shopping bags to give to customers, I used gold spray paint to Urban Yogify some old plastic bags from grocery stores that had been sitting under my sink. They look rad, and that’s something people remember. Another element of sustainability that I’m devoted to is the use of materials in my space. I tell people to breathe deeply all day. I will not use anything toxic that will weaken their cells. We painted our walls with VOC free paint. I use all natural soaps, incense, candles, cleaning products, you name it. I research my mats and only offer PVC free, non-toxic, and biodegradUp-cycled dream catcher by Susana Wolds able options. Some business owners will tell you that they can’t afford the “green” option when it comes to running or stocking their shop. They’re missing out. When you fill your space with things that were made with the health of your body and our planet in mind, you can feel it. It fills your space with a higher vibration. Whether the conscious mind realizes it or not, we respond to energy. People will return to your shop, your restaurant, your studio or whatever if it feels good. It’s worth the investment and resourcefulness. Any final words Miss Wolds? To me, Urban Yogi is a great reminder to find some mystical in everyday life and to wake up and count your blessings. When you can’t rely on the systems that are around you- economically, politically, environmentally whatever, you still have yourself. And so invest in yourself, invest in your well-being cause that’s the only thing that you have. And then take care of each other.. feed each other... share the love. refixmag.com
The Urban Yogi storefront. Come as you are. Urban Yogi is located at 540 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. Classes for all levels of experience are available 7 days a week. View our schedule and offerings at www.urbanyogisd.com Join our commUNITY on Facebook
Breathe Los Angeles
Moods of Norway taking the runway
by Heather Petrey a.k.a. LAFashionSnob
I was invited to attend the first unofficial kick-off fashion event for LAFW- “Attire to Inspire” fash-
ion show presented by Breathe LA, held at the Conga Room at LA LIVE. The show featured designs by
Moods of Norway, VBN Clothing and Yotam Soloman. Before the show started, the over 400 guests were invited to partake in cocktail hour and a silent
auction. Moods of Norway was my favorite show of
the evening. This was Simon, Peder and Stefan’s first U.S. fashion show for their line and it was great to be apart of it. The collection “Cocktail Mountain-
eering” boasted rugged-meets-preppy looks for their mens and womens looks. I must say, they really
know how to dress a man in subtle floral prints! I
also loved the mixture of velvets and knits with dress shirts and bow ties.
fashionable guests pose at the step-and-repeat
Moods of Norway
The second collection to stroll down the runway was an eco-friendly contemporary
menswear line called- VBN Clothing (Vicarious by Nature). The duo behind VBN- Kirk, Devon and Eric decided to mix different classic styles for their Fall 2012 collection, like thin scarves, sweaters, loose chinos with rolled up hems (my personal fave) and surf wear. For more information on VPN, go here. The last line to present was LA-based designer
Yotam Solomon, who also strives in making avant-garde clothing for the eco-friendly life-
style. That evening he also debuted two menswear looks. The blazers were smartly tailored and perfect for a red carpet event. My favorite look was the strapless red knee-length dress with simple draping. Yotam showed a finale dress- a simple light blue and white
dress with tiered skirt. The color of the dress represented the sky, because Yotam designed that dress specifically for Breathe LA- a nonprofit organization, dedicated to im-
proving lung health and air quality in Los Angeles. The dress will be later sold to benefit
the organization. Check out more information on Yotam Solomon here. The event proved to be a huge success, as over $40,000 was raised for the organization.
Check out Heatherâ€™s blog at http://www.LAfashionsnob.com
Yotam Solomon and model for Breathe LA Fashion Show finale
Our interview with the sisters of Compassion Couture - Jill & Tracey Spiritus In 2008, for the love of animals, Tracey Spiritus decided to go cold turkey and give up animal products all together by becoming vegetarian. Her sister, Jill, followed in her footsteps. Once this lifestyle change had begun, Tracey and Jill found that it wasn’t the sacrificing themselves of burgers or leather that taunted them-- it was finding ways to enjoy their passion for fashion and shopping that posed a challenge. In addition to their passion for animals, Tracey and Jill were also very environmentally concerned. They particularly had a difficult time finding handbags and shoes that were animal-friendly, but also made of sustainable materials. Many of the products that they came to find were “vegan by default” in that they didn’t contain leather, but were made of cheap, synthetic materials that fell apart very easily. And then the energy efficient light bulb went off! If they couldn’t find a place where they could purchase these veggie + sustainable products, then they were going to open up a shop that would: an online boutique for products that encompassed their values. And so, Compassion Couture was born with a mission to change how the world views ethical fashion and to make ethical handbags and shoes accessible to the masses. refixmag.com
Clio - Cri de Coeur
Where are you located? Long Island, NY What do you do? I most recently worked as a marketing associate for a digital start-up company. I gave that up to focus 100% on Compassion Couture. Your favorite color? Pink! What describes your style? An eclectic mix of trendy, classy and comfortable. I love
When we decided to start the business we
following the latest trends but if I don’t
agreed that if it ever negatively affected
agree with what the industry comes out
our friendship, we would stop doing it.
with, I make my own trends!
Our friendship is too special to sacrifice
Your favorite non-meat treat?
over a business. So far, we have been
I know it’s not the healthiest, but I love tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole. On
successful in making compromises when necessary.
any given weekend you can find me usu-
What are some of your fave accessories this Spring?
ally vegging out to this at least once.
My favorite shoes this season are wooden
What inspired you to start Compassion Couture?
wedges. In my opinion, wedges are not
My sister and I have been talking about starting a business for a while, actually. When we came up with the idea for Compassion Couture, I was ecstatic because the business is based on so many of my passions including making a difference in the world including protecting animals (I’m an animal lover – especially bird lover!) as well as shopping! It doesn’t get any better than that! What’s it like working with your sister?
going out of style anytime soon! Year after year, I rely on them to give me the height of heels without hurting my feet! We have one wooden wedge up on the site now by Cri de Coeur and are expecting another pair from the vegan/eco brand Mink shortly. I’m also obsessed with the color Papaya this season, like this Matt & Nat bag . I think a lot of bold and neon colors are sure to be a hit this season including bright pinks, blues and greens.
We are best friends but we are two different people and we have different opinions and working styles. Of course we are going to have disagreements but we have been able to work them out by communicating better. Devo - Matt & Nat
Name: Tracey Age: 33 Where are you located? I very recently relocated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn from Long Island. What do you do? My full time job is in commercial real estate finance and the rest of my time is pretty much occupied with working on Compassion Couture. I also love mountain biking and will be training shortly for the Chicago marathon this October. Your favorite color? Blue What describes your style? Sophisticated and chic.
Nicholas bag- Cornelia Guest
Your favorite non-meat treat? Tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole. What inspired you to start Compassion Couture? The dream of opening a boutique that I was looking to shop at.
St. Croix- OlsenHaus
I wanted a store that carried only high quality and stylish, cruelty-free accessories. After being frustrated with not being able to find this place, Jill and I decided it was time to create it ourselves. It was also important to us to buy from brands that are conscious of their impact on the environment and society (which seemed to be lacking in a lot of vegan accessories) so that was another aspect we felt was necessary to incorporate into our shop... What’s it like working with your sister? It’s definitely been a challenge since we have very different working styles and ideas, but I think that has also helped us because when we combine our thoughts and compromise, it actually balances out our decisions. At the end of the day, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be in business with.
Precious - Hearts of Darkness
What are some of your fave accessories this Spring? As far as a going out pair of shoes is concerned, I think the Precious from Hearts of Darkness takes the title. Not only is cork a big trend this season, but I’m a sucker for any heels that have a platform in the front. I find this makes the height of the heel less strenuous plus makes my legs look longer. They’re perfect to wear out at night paired with skinny jeans and a loose-fitting top. On the other end of the spectrum are the St. Croix by olsenHaus, which are going to be my casual everyday sandals this season. You can’t beat comfy flats for lounging around during a lazy, summery day. Because I’m pretty much never home, I tend to need a versatile bag that will fit my whole life in it. That’s why I couldn’t resist the Nicholas bag by Cornelia Guest. If I pack it efficiently enough, this tote can double as my weekender, plus it’s classy enough for me to use for work.
saving the world in stilettos
In the search for a way to make the biggest impact in her own community, Meredith Corning took on a subject that touched her personally, and combining it with her passion and experience in fashion illustration, established an organization that brings creative women together to tackle a very real issue- domestic violence. What eventually became the Compassion Fashion Project has a simple, yet impactful mission: to supply women in need with clothing, accessories, and personal care products especially to those living in domestic violence shelters. As a grass roots initiative, The Compassion Fashion Project (CFP) began as a blog promoting creative ways to help women by encouraging the use of local resources available to the readers’ own talents. Adhering to the philosophy, “we can all do something” created a cult following for the project and support from artistic communities across the globe.
Photo from left to right: Dawn Scott (news anchor), with Meredith Corning, CfP Director
As with any organization, funding is key to making a difference in a measurable way. In fact, it is pivotal to survival. CFP explored the avenue of becoming a registered charity, but because their organization was global, it felt too complex and in some ways slightly restrictive, in achieving our goals. So instead, in 2011, along with Meredith’s business Partner, Michelle Fitz, they collaborated to form CFP Consulting—a cooperative that enables them to do what they would normally do as salaried employees, for clients. CFP Consulting has two offices based out of the United Kingdom and the United States, specializing in Project Management, Branding, Web Development and a full Marketing, PR and Fashion Consultancy practice.
The CFP motto is ‘Consulting with a Difference’ and the ‘difference’ is that they purposefully dip into any profits to fund their social enterprise. CFP is also able to provide free consultancy services ranging from fundraising, events management, project management and creative services to charity campaigns. “This was a key objective for us because as most will understand, for every dollar raised for charity, only a fraction of that money will actually benefit the cause directly.” Say Meredith. “In doing our part, we help to ensure that every penny raised is maximized and the costs to the management and campaign execution for charities are kept to a minimum.” At the heart of CFP, there will always be a focus on domestic violence causes. Their hope is to also be able to come into women’s lives before these types of experiences happen by partnering with employment services, speaking about glass ceiling issues, and providing women a place to tell their triumphs and their downfalls. “Although some naysayers would tout us as ‘just another domestic violence outlet’ or ‘a bunch of women whining about their pasts,’ I knew better. We were coming from a place of sharing personal experiences and more crucially, how we overcame, triumphed, and persevered. Much of healing is about giving back and if we could help just one person, our efforts would be well worth it,” says Meredith. Meredith Corning is the director of fashion consultancy and creative services for CFP Consulting and The Compassion Fashion Project (CFP). She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-s e h -t d n ehi b r o f lick
Urban Yield Dress, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com Unknown Destination necklace, LoveIt; www.loveitshop.com
eo d i sv e n ce
between the light Photography: Emily Sandifer
Hair/Makeup: Rachel and Macy Oxsen Art Direction: Andrea Krystine Model: Lindsay Danger Wardrobe: Piece x Piece Accessories: LoveIt Shoes: Charmone
Featured Designer, Elizabeth Brunner salvaging samples, creating season-less collections, telling her story. Where you are from? San Jose, CA What’s your favorite color? I tend to be drawn to muted colors so, anything muted I love. What’s your favorite textile & why? Because I work with so many different textiles my favorite changes all the time. Right now I’m in love with boiled wools. How did Piece x Piece come about? It came about after an internship at a local design studio. One of my many duties as an intern was to sort sample fabrics. One day I was asked to get rid of boxes full of sample fabrics because they weren’t needed anymore. This is a common practice with design studios because sample fabrics are only needed for a season or so, after that they are thrown out. When I was interning this bothered me and I asked if I could take the boxes home instead, which I was allowed to do. After a year of the box sitting in my garage, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
Cubic Crop, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com necklace, LoveIt; www.loveitshop.com
Civil Raven Short, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com
Cubic Crop, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com Caravan earrings, LoveIt; www.loveitshop.com
City Matrix Tie, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com I Want Candy earrings, LoveIt; www.loveitshop.com
What does a typical day consist of for you? It changes everyday but mostly I answer emails, check the news, update FB and Twitter. Then it’s a day of paperwork, sewing and samples, samples, samples.
What was the inspiration for your most recent collection? My collection is the season-less so it doesn’t change from season to season. That doesn’t mean that I’m not adding new pieces or coming up with new ideas all the time but what it does mean is that I don’t worry about following different trends each season. The collection is modern & timeless, just like the women who wear the line.
Mini Skylark Wrap, Piece x Piece; www.pxp-sf.com BohĂ¨me headpiece, LoveIt; www.loveitshop.com Monarch shoes, Charmone; www. charmoneshoes.com
What advice can you give to designers just starting out? What is your story? I learned early on with Piece x Piece that the story about why and how I started it was going to really drive the business. It’s great that you want to be a designer but really think about what it is that your trying say with your collection and why we should care. That may sound harsh, but the truth is if you don’t have a good point it’s really hard to get people’s attention.
What is your favorite quote or mantra? “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
˜ Ram Dass
cruisin the Trading Post - Los Angeles, CA by Heather Petrey a.k.a. LAFashionSnob
If you are in the LA area and have not been to the Melrose Trading Post yet…I HIGHLY recommend you go. Granted, the traffic on Fairfax is some-
what of a nightmare, but once you turn into the entrance to the flea market, you are greeted by a friendly volunteer who directs you to the free parking (yes, I said FREE) on the soccer field.
Once you walk back to the market, you’ll pay your
$2 admission, which goes directly to support programs at the high school. Voila! Now that you’re in, you’ll be immersed in the world of vintage, re-
purposed furniture, clothing, accessories and various random knick-knacks. As a MTP virgin and avid
vintage junkie- I wished that I had brought a wad of cash with me, as I saw so much and my budget was so small…this time… Luckily, there is an ATM available, but beware of the $3 fee.
Aside from all the vintage goodness, I spotted one vendor- Industrial Vintage, with a fascinating recycled jewelry collection. The owner- Beth Gellar, takes old bus tags, key tags (from old hotel rooms) and random old key chains and charms and turns them into fab bohemian-style necklaces, etc. for her
line, “Personal Numerology.” One style of
key tags in particular comes from a beach resort in New Jersey and are naturally patinaed by the ocean. The bus tags come
from a school bus company in Wisconsin.
Prices for the collection range from $2045. Beth does not have an online shop at
the moment, but next time you’re at the
Trading Post, check out her booth. If you need a necklace sooner or whatnot, feel free to contact her at:
The Melrose Trading Post can easily be an all-day affair, so
bring comfy shoes, sunscreen,
cash and your friends. I would suggest being creative in your
wardrobe as well, as I spot-
ted a lot of innovative outfits
and street style photographers
and bloggers. Bring your appetite as well, for the MTG offers
a small food court. The best
place to get some yummy grub would have to be the GC Crepes. They are also known for their fresh-squeezed
orange juice (which is quite good). So, with all this being said, are you excited to check this place out!? The prices are great! I bought a pair of vintage sheer, pleated palazzo pants for FIVE BUCKS!!! I saw vintage sequin tops for $10! Vintage Dooney & Bourke purses for $15?! SOLD! How amazing is that!? From my observation of the vendors I shopped at, people were super friendly and helpful (and willing to bargain).
Melrose Trading Post is held EVERY Sunday from 9am-5pm, rain or shine. There is FREE parking and admission is $2. For more info, check out the website: http://www.melrosetradingpost.org refixmag.com
Check out Heatherâ€™s blog at http://www.LAfashionsnob.com
“All the questions of the universe can be answered with a sewing machine”
Meet Paul Nosa- a humble and talented dude from AZ. Touring the U.S., he shares his hand-made patch art. Asking people to think up scenarios in ’5-words-or-less’, Paul sews his quirky interpretations on the spot and free-hand... eh, I mean free-stitch. But it’s not just his art that is impressive. He creates these clever threaded pieces of goodness on a contraption he designed and built himself- the “Solar Sewing Rover”: a portable sewing table powered by a solar panel connected to a bicycle electric generator. Hi Paul. Tell us a little about your back-
sewing --its pretty much impossible to be a perfection-
ground and where you’re from. I’m from
ist with a sewing machine-- so it forced me to be kind
Tucson, Arizona and I’ve been doing art for most of my
of imperfect with crooked lines. I think that’s one thing
life… a lot of drawing. I always keep a sketchbook. I
about sewing art that people really respond to.
started painting and getting into music and all sorts of different activities…and people really liked my draw-
You’ve done drawing, you’ve made candles,
ings, but no one really bought them. I’m sort of a
you’ve done embroidery and then came out
perfectionist. Not sort of-- I am a perfectionist (haha)
with a clothing line, and then that all led
and what I’ve learned is that I don’t think people really
to your patches and your sewing art? Well,
like perfection in their art. They like it in graphic design
the patches... someone suggested I make a patch and I
obviously, but when it comes to pure art I think perfec-
was like ‘no why would I ever make a patch?’. It
tion causes anxiety with the viewer. So when I started
wasn’t until Venice Beach that I decided to make
patches. They have a lot of rules and regulation- you couldn’t sell functional art. It was absolutely wrong to say what is art, what is functional. So what is ‘functional’? “art on shirts” which is what I was doing. Or, for example, if you had a clock with a painting in the back you couldn’t sell that. Jewelry was also considered “functional”. That was a point when I was thinking well maybe I should make little canvases …and then I thought oh, well they’d consider them patches and rule them out also. Tell us about your “Fishtown” series and why I see so many aquatic little creatures in your creations. What originally happened was when I was getting into art in college, what I started doing was making abstract art. I didn’t like to draw anything that anyone could identify. Right before I started sewing, I was purposely not doing faces or anything anyone could see other than these squiggly lines. Then, I’d just started doing faces for the first time, drawing them, and then when I started sewing I begun with abstraction and then the little faces started showing up in the sewing. And then fish and other aquatic creatures… and then they all became interwoven and that’s how the whole “Fishtown” developed. What’s the most interesting “five words or less” request you’ve gotten? There was this one “swimming through the day”- a sun and an ocean and someone swimming to the other side and at the end was a moon, and “communicating through music” that I really liked with someone playing guitar and the other one playing banjo and a multi-colored thread between them. Other than your sewing art, what other projects are you working on? Right now, I’m getting into video a lot. I remember as a child I always wanted to do videos and now in this digital world it’s like- why not? I’m trying to do a video with long exposure although I’m having a hard time being minimal with it. I’ve
photos of patches: top: swimming through the day bottom: healer left: communicating with music right: love everywhere forever
photo: The Rover at Maker Faire, New York done a couple practice attempts and every time it’s kinda cool looking, but too much. I have to figure out a way to limit it. Basically, it’s stop animation, but using long exposure, flashlights, candles, lasers, and all sorts of lights. Tell us about your school bus aka “mobile music venue bus” and How it uses solar powered energy. Originally as a drummer, I was always tired of taking my drum set down or apart to go to the venue, setting up at the show, playing the show, and then by the end of the night when you’re done you’ve gotta take the drum set apart and then take it home and set it up.. it’s a lot of work for a drummer. One of the things I thought about was: what if I had a moving van or some sort of mobile venue so the drums could just be bolted to the floor and be permanently set up? And that led to this whole thing of looking for a moving van or box truck and eventually purchasing a school bus so we could play shows out of it. Recently, I’ve been playing more guitar when I’m on the road. It’s easier to bring around because it’s more portable. To play the shows on the bus I needed the solar panels. It’s really handy to have your own electricity! And so those solar panels were powering what? Amps and LED lights… the lightshow. It was a really great experience. We did it for about 3 years. I think it could come back, but right now there’s so many other things going on. It’s a lot of work- its much easier bringing out the sewing machine.. that’s much more of where I’m at currently.
you also created the solar sewing rover- a solar powered sewing device on a bicycle. can you tell us a about what inspired you to design and tour with it? Well originally, when I got into the sewing, I realized there was a need for people to see the sewing in action. When I took the bus around for a sewing tour, in 2005, I had this bicycle cart that was pretty huge- it was big enough to set up my drum set on it. We had an amp on the bicycle cart and we would have a mobile band—so I guess I’ve always been into this ‘mobile’ idea. So anyways, at that point I constructed a little clothing rack so that I could have a portable boutique to display my sewing art so people could see it, and that worked but it would be really great if the sewing machine was there. That would require a deep cycle battery, inverter.. and a whole rebuild. For the first version I used a radio flyer wagon – I called it the “solar sewer”. That worked for about two years and during that period I was like ‘this is great people can see me sewing’ and that’s when I created the “5 words or less concept”. It was nice, but jimmy-rigged in the sense that it needed a lot more ergonomics and drawers to make it a proper workspace. I thought about making a better version of it. I even though about making a 4-wheeled bicycled RV rig with sleeping area or bicycle cart, and a huge sewing apparatus. But, I realized that even making a small version was a huge financial endeavor and I didn’t know if a huge bicycle RV would work in the end. I thought it’d probably be smarter to build a small version instead of a big version. It took a year of planning, $2000, and when it came down to fabricating the rover it took me 45 days of intense labor- cutting aluminum, grinding it and sanding it, and going to the welder and showing him what I wanted to do. So it’s solar powered, but you also have a bike connected to it? and I noticed you are peddling sometimes between sewing. what percentage of the energy is coming from the panels and what energy is required from bike peddling? I use a 50 watt panel. On a really good day I can make 4.5 amp hours and the sewing machine uses one amp every hour. So I could sew for 4.5 hours if I got a perfect sunlight ratio. I’m not sewing constantly so the solar panel works great and I’ve done it for months where I just use that one solar panel. At this point, I have a second solar panel on the roof of the van in case I need to charge it on my way to where I am going. The idea of the bicycle generator was to sew anywhere and anytime and for night time events. The bike generator, in contrast to the solar panel, makes 1 amp every ten minutes and so it’s unlimited sewing time, really. What are your thoughts on alternative energy? Well, that was one of the motivating factors for me starting my sewing tour… to show people the possibilities. It’s an alternative energy making people go ‘hey I can make a bicycle generator, I can do all the things I need to do by myself’ which inspires people to be more selfsufficient. We need to develop anything beyond fossil fuels… its just such a waste and it’s a limited resource and it’s killing the earth. I just saw this thing about a wind generator that’s really cool that doesn’t use fan blades or any sort of motor or anything that turns. Basically, the wind hits it and it causes a thin little piece of plastic to vibrate and oscillate at its natural frequency and then the edge, where it’s connected, pushes a magnet up and down and it causes electricity. The guy who designed it is working with third world countries for lighting… powering little LEDs and radios. It’s really inexpensive and easy to make yourself. It’s really inspiring is what it is. You are touring again this year (if you can get enough funding). We are crossing our fingers that you do! Where will you go? Well I’m gonna start off here in Tucson, drive to L.A. with a whole bunch of places in between- up the coast to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle… across to Chicago, Boston,
photo: Paul and his Sewing Rover at the Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago (2010) New York, DC, and Maryland, Pittsburg and Philadelphia. I meet all these people on the road and they invite me to sew at their art gallery, their event, or party… so there might be a few extra stops. Its interesting because it is still unique to people when they see someone drawing with a sewing machine. Usually they think its done by computer. Even the sound of the sewing machine gets them curious as to what I’m working on. Why are we here? Why am I here? Why am I sewing right now? I went around and asked people I knew- also random strangers- ‘what’s the point of doing anything’ . One of my favorite answers was ‘so I don’t die’ (haha). On a deeper level, for me personally, when I was in New York at Maker Faire, I had a realization about why am I doing this, and I realized that there is a part of making art that makes me feel truer to my sense of myself. That I feel more like me and be more like my self when I’m making art and that is really the motivation for me to make art- to become closer to the self. It took a lot of time to figure that out and finally verbalize that. You have stated: “It is my firm belief that all the Questions of the universe can be answered with a sewing machine. Explain. Every penny I have has come from the sewing machine: the clothes I am wearing now are on me because I fixed them with the sewing machine to make them presentable; the blankets I sleep on were sewn with the sewing machine and so on. The sewing machine has been the answer to so many things in my life. What advice can you give to young artists out there? I’d say, uh, ‘put function in your art’ (haha). That might not apply to everybody. Another piece of advice, from my own error, is you should keep a mailing list! Because those people who are interested you wont be able to get a hold of them later. I also hope people can use their imagination- they have a real hard time of it it seems. It’s my goal to get people to think creatively. They want their ideas to be good and they censor themselves. When you censor yourself you aren’t saying anything. Its about-- and this might seem cheesy-- getting in touch with the inner child and letting the idea be what it is… working with it and not judging yourself.
paint me a dream Photography: Izras
Photography Assistant: Olivia Segal Styling and Art Direction: Magdalena Marciniak MUA: Polly Mann using Dermalogica Skincare Models: Heather @ Eclipse Model Management & Symon @ AMCK Models
Necklace and cuff, Michelle Lowe Holder; www.lowe-holder.com
Jumpsuit, Junky Styling; www.junkystyling.co.uk coat, Henrietta Ludgate; www.henriettaludgate.com necklaces, Michelle Lowe Holder; www.lowe-holder.com
Top, Henrietta Ludgate; www.henriettaludgate.com waist coat, Junky Styling; www.junkystyling.co.uk necklace and cuff, Michelle Lowe Holder; www.lowe-holder.com
Shirt, jumpsuit & hat, Junky Styling; www.junkystyling.co.uk cuff, Michelle Lowe Holder; www.lowe-holder.com shoes, Traid www.traid.org.uk/
Skirt & top , Henrietta Ludgate; www.henriettaludgate.com waistcoat, Junky Styling; www.junkystyling.co.uk necklace and cuff, Michelle Lowe Holder; www.lowe-holder.com
Jumpsuit, hat, & necklace, JunkyStyling; www.junkystyling.co.uk
All Natural: Inside & Out by Sonia Weksler a.k.a. Eco Thug Growing up, they used to joke around that my first words were monosodium glutamate. It might sound funny but as kids we were allowed to add anything we wanted to the shopping cart as long as it didn’t have those forbidden words on the label. Later, high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils found their way onto to the list of ingredients we were discouraged from ingesting in my family (long before it became popular to say no to trans fat). The philosophy was that eating whole, homemade from scratch food nourished our bodies and kept us healthy. Although we ate well (besides when subjected to school lunches) and stayed away from certain known-to-be-terrible substances (there wasn’t public knowledge about GMOs and petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers then), it didn’t occur to us that the rest of the products we were buying and slathering ourselves with were impacting our immune systems and the health of the planet. Sure our mother kept us from shaving cream because it shares an ingredient with antifreeze, but it took us years to find out we should also beware the negative effects of sodium laurel (and laureth) sulfate, the active ingredients in engine degreaser that are found in shampoo and other body products. It also took us a while to realize we were washing our clothes with slow working poisons. Perhaps simply because no ingredients are listed on the Tide bottle we continued to use (and love) it. We looked forward to the scent of freshly washed laundry and our things certainly seemed clean. When I moved out on my own and found myself buying laundry detergent, the name brand I grew up enjoying the smell of was a tacit default choice. From time to time I attempted to try out more eco-aware alternatives and quickly switched back because they didn’t smell “fresh” enough - didn’t have the comforting fragrance I associated with clean clothes.
The phenomenon of a smell being able to call forth memories is something to consider when it comes to why we buy the same household products our parents used or that we ourselves have grown accustomed to. The human olfactory system works directly with the part of our brain that stores and processes memories, the part that handles associative learning - so it makes sense that scents are able to evoke powerful emotional responses. The chemical composition of the smells we breathe in is also something worth thinking about. While natural essences from plants have healing benefits when inhaled or applied to the skin, synthetic fragrance has the opposite effect. It is derived from petrochemicals and assembled by chemists in an attempt to mimic smells that exist in the world. When we inhale synthetic fragrance (found in nearly every body product marketed to us) we are taking in hormone disruptors that compromise our cells’ ability to clear out toxins. Even the Cancer Prevention Coalition admits that perfume is an indoor air pollutant. Products made from synthetic fragrance may seem more affordable to consumers (it can be produced cheaply and easily), but the health issues related to using them must also be taken into account. Not only is inhaling certain chemicals detrimental to our immune system, having them on or near our skin (our largest organ that absorbs more than half of everything it comes into contact with) is really damaging too. Anything that penetrates our skin goes directly into our bloodstream, so when we apply product to our bodies (or clothes, or hair) we have a choice, and a chance to give our system something really good instead of toxic chemicals. The beauty of knowing this is that we can consciously choose to use cleaner (non-toxic) alternatives, organic versions, and homemade substitutes. The possibilities for natural beauty and health remedies are truly limitless. It can be as simple as replacing our toothpaste tube with a brand that doesn’t have propylene glycol (also in antifreeze and hydraulic fluid) or even making our own with ingredients like virgin coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint oil, and stevia. Leveraging the healing properties provided by nature can be fun and easy - and ultimately is a return to simplicity, to our roots. For centuries, essential oils have been used to relieve tension and detoxify the body, and are actually able to improve our immune system. I was originally introduced to plant essences in the naturopathic capacity - to treat a recurring respiratory infection. My mom sent me a potent formula made of ingredients like Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Oregano, Thyme, Peppermint, Ginger, Clove, and a few other unique ingredients. Defense Action, as it is called, actually prevents bacteria and viruses from being able to attach to our mucous membranes. It is also worth mentioning that essential oils make delightful perfumes and have aromatherapeutic properties that are able to enhance the body, mind, and spirit. When I feel like I might be coming down with something, I am also armed with oregano oil (handmade really is the best because you get a little extra passion, love, and creativity infused into the flavor) as well as instructions (from the practitioner who blends these powerful healing oils) to double up on each dose of probiotic, take 500mg of vitamin C every half hour, and to drink lots of water with several drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed in. The goal was to give my immune system the strength to overcome infection without the use of antibiotics, which kill good flora and inhibit the body’s ability to heal without them - a pattern that began for me as a very small child when I started having respiratory issues. This focus on strengthening my innate defense mechanisms led to my eventual immersion in alternative approaches to healing. Although yoga, meditation, getting plenty of rest, and playing outdoors whenever possible keeps me pretty healthy, I also see an acupuncturist and chiropractor to regularly balance my body. When I do get a cold, it doesn’t get a chance to go to my lungs because I keep powerful medicine on hand that I buy at a Chinese herb store, which seems to take the illness away instantly (without harmful side effects!).
The choices I make with regard to what I put on or into my body are part of a lifestyle I subscribe to, a commitment to choosing products and foods I know are good for me and the long-term sustainability of the planet. Shopping local is an important part of this because I am able know the source of what I am buying - what it is made of and who is creating it. I find interacting with local artists, farmers, and businesses especially rewarding, and ultimately goods don’t have to travel as far to get to me. In a lot of cases the items are handmade and one-of-a-kind. All of this results in reduced environmental impact and more support for the local economy.
What I eat is extremely relevant to maintaining my health too. Food that is grown locally is in season, at its freshest, and corresponds to my body’s needs during that time of year. A seasonal diet sourced from local, organic farms nourishes a natural connection humans have to the earth that was almost severed with the onset of industrial farming. We must realize that food (and body-care) has only been packaged with filler ingredients in the last hundred years, around the time we saw disease rates start to rapidly increase. So much ancient wisdom has failed to be passed on to the generations that currently inhabit the planet, but the truth is in our cellular memory, in our DNA, and is not so lost that it can’t be found again. The world we live in today is unique in that both ancient wisdom and highly developed science and technology are accessible and can be utilized together in innovative ways. We are responsible for our own health as well as for the health of the planet that will be left for future generations. This is a critical time; if we continue abusing our natural resources and using products that contaminate everything they come into contact with, there will be grave consequences. If we are to survive as a species, we must consider the world around us and ask ourselves how we can do better. For more wisdom from Sonia Weksler, check out www.in-stead.org
2012 SS Style Guide Gone are the days when a single colour or hemline dominated the new season. SS 2012 embodies a whole host of variations to delight in.
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A pale & interesting kaleidoscope of dolly-mixture shades such as peach, spearmint green, icy blue, sweet damask rose, and bitter lemon were in abundance on the catwalks and are sure to wet your appetite. If you canâ€™t decide (after all they are all so mouth-wateringly good) then combine a mix of pastels in colour-blocked layers or delicate washes. If brights are more you, then apply the same rules but with a bigger splash of colour!
& pa les
The peplum is a big story this season â€“ the focus is on the waist and this is a great way to dress it up. Go with the femininity of this look in delicate colours and fabrics, layered lace, or pretty frills, or add a darker edge in black to achieve gothic glamour . If your budget wonâ€™t stretch to a whole new wardrobe, add a belt to a blouse & create your own peplum! White is of course always in style in the summer months. This season go for broderie anglaise, lace & sheers and maybe even a few frills. If white scares you a little then go for a lacey look in nudes and pastels and bring two trends together at once!
s e i t f i f e h t & s r e w flo You may however fall head over heels for florals a delightful mixed bunch. Choose from printed posies, beaded blossoms, or flowers under layers of organza as shown by Christopher Kane – whichever you choose you’re sure to put a spring in your step.
Why not add a touch of Vintage Americana - another hot look this season. Think vintage car prints, preppy checks, ice cream shades and dream of the affluent 50’s.
Another big trend this summer is Africana. The usual animal prints are still big news â€“ big cat spots take you on a walk on the wild side, while Zebra stripes add a freshness all their own. Added to this however is an extra dimension: beading, rafďŹ a work add embellishment and ancient techniques and ethnic prints add new ideas into the mix.
ap art y
Not up for all things wild and wacky? Then seek peace and calm in the pajama party trend. Seductive and sensual it breaks free from the bedroom and has become an alluring eveningwear option. Slouchy silks and satin offer a relaxed after hours glamour. The new season is a world of so
many different looks. Something
for everyone. All gorgeous, all to be
fallen in love with and all will set your style pulses racing!
Enjoy your summer of love!
half empty by Andrea Krystine of Ecologique Fashion
What the fashion industry has done to one of our most precious resources and what a few in the industry are doing about it. Water. All forms of life depend on it. As humans, we are made up of 70% of the stuff, requiring 1-7 liters a day for our bodies to function properly. It’s fundamental to photosynthesis, respiration, and our metabolic processes. Water is also essential for maintaining hygiene and preventing us from illness. Additionally, water makes our skin beautiful, flushing away the toxins associated with our polluted surroundings. Being that water is such an important factor in our lives, shouldn’t we be less carless about its preservation? Between using a constant flow while brushing our teeth and washing our prized automobiles, to taking hot relaxing baths and filling our swimming pools and water guns, the resourcefulness of h2o is something that many of us take for granted. While many Americans may have lost the value of these experiences due to their busy work schedules, their addiction to social networks, or the fact that they are simply glued to their mobiles, one billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s 1 in 8 people! Much of this due to the fact that over 2.5 billion currently lack access to sanitation methods, leading to one-half of the world’s hospital beds being occupied by patients suffering diseases associated with the lack of clean water. The fashion industry alone produces 70 million tons of polluted water per year. From commonalities such as chemical contamination from synthetic fiber production to the toxic run-off of standard dyeing techniques, our fashion statements are creating a huge faux pas on our world’s most precious resource. When it comes to growing textile fibers, water consumption is also a concern as the ever-popular cotton, for example, takes about 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough to produce just one pair of blue jeans. In response to this phenomenon, Levis Strauss & Co. recently launched their denim collection water<less™ introducing “a platform that looks at manufacturing in a different way”. “It’s really about looking at design as one continuous circle to ensure we reduce the impact on the environment.” explains Erik Joule, Senior Vice President of Global Merchandising and Design of the Levi’s® brand. Levis water<less™ products reduce water use in the finishing process by up to 96% for some styles. By removing water from their stone wash, reducing the number of washing machine cycles, and incorporating ozone processing into garment washing, Levis saved over 172 million liters of water in developing the collection-- equating to enough drinking water for 157,000 people for one year.
Levis has also teamed up with Water.org-- a non-profit founded by Gary White and Matt Damon in order to provide safe water and sanitation to developing countries-- in launching an interactive campaign encouraging people to “Go water<less”. In addition to shocking facts on water usage and some helpful conservation tips, the campaign includes the collaboration facilitating the access of clean drinking water to a small village in Ethiopia. Throughout the campaign it is recognized that people in underdeveloped countries spend a large part of their day walking to collect water- taking time away from their work, education, family… their livelihood. Like Levis, there are others in the industry recognizing a chance to minimize their unfashionable impacts on the environment. Fast fashion leader H&M, the world’s largest user of the ever-thirsty organic cotton, is making strides towards cutting its water footprint-- conserving 13.2 million gallons of water by streamlining its denim manufacturing. But should we really be pointing the finger solely at the industry when the epicenter of the issue may be closer to home than we think? Recent Levi Strauss & Co. research shows that, in addition to the wasteful growing process of cotton, an increased water impact actually takes part once the garment has been purchased-- through household care. With the average North American household accumulating 400 loads of laundry every year, the energy and water required to wash a garment has more devastating effects than that of the garment’s manufacturing processes. Having clean water shouldn’t be a luxury limited to those in developed countries. Clean water is a right and should be accessible to all who exist on this planet. Raising the industry standard is essential, but in order to support that shift we must all make some changes starting in our daily routine. Would it shock you to know that the average American uses 571 liters of water per day? Being conscious of the amount of water we consume, and working towards using only the amount that we need, is the first step in water conservation. The realization that more than half of the world’s population will be faced with a water-based vulnerability by 2025 is alarming, but also reminds us of our responsibility to each other. If we all take the time to make small concessions, it will benefit not only current developing countries, but also the lives of those in the future.
“Arc of Stones” MSSNGDGTS feat. Broun Fellinis
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Exclusive ((REFIX)) In celebration of their 9th release “BLAM!!!”, MSSNGDGTS (aka 88:88) delivers to us a remix featuring the elegant, post-modern space jazznoise of San Francisco trio the Broun Fellinis. For 20 years the Fellinis have been stretching sound outward and beyond the normal status quo pop song constraints. Kevin Carnes and Kirk Peterson form a rhythm section that is equal parts groove generator and space time distorter. Together, they weave a dense, multi-directional tapestry of angular beats, tectonic basslines and rhythmic atmospheres which are haunted by the exploratory, brooding tenor saxophone of David Boyce, a true conjuror of late night smoke, dark obsession and spiritual redemption. The remixed track is available exclusive to ReFix readers prior to MSSNGDGTS’ EP release. Along with several other tracks inspired by the 90’s, time travel, psychedelic dub, and film, the self-released “Heady EP” will be dropping Sunday, April 22nd embodying a musical painting that pays hommage to the tape-cutting practices of the past. For more about MSSNGDGTS (aka 88:88), see www.checkouthtewebsite.com For the Broun Fellinis, check out www.kevincarnesmusic.com refixmag.com
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