Category — Mad Crushin’

Mad Crushin’ On Buried Diamond and GIVEAWAY!

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You’ve probably seen Buried Diamond’s one-of-a-kind charms all over Instagram and Tumblr. These colorful collectibles featuring three-eyed kitties, green witch fingers and little pink mouths studded with braces are in such high-demand, every single time Buried Diamond’s H.B.I.C. Martha Moore Porter makes an announcement about a shop update, they sell out in a matter of minutes. No joke, I’ve literally set an alarm on my phone so I don’t miss out on grabbing the pieces I’ve got my eyes on.

It’s no mystery why Martha’s creations spark this gleeful mania. Yes, they’re cute as hell, but when you’re wearing one of her designs, your mood automatically lifts. My BOOS, I am so excited to share this fun edition of Mad Crushin’ featuring an exclusive interview and GIVEAWAY with Buried Diamond. Learn all about this CHARM-ing lady and then make sure to enter the giveaway at the end. Details and prizes below!

What inspires your art?

I love small things, miniatures of any kind, teenagers in New York, girls on Tumblr, folk art, vintage toys, dollar store party favors, candy & kandi!

How did you get the idea to make your famous charms?

When I made my first charms, I was craving big, bold, chunky jewelry, but most chunky jewelry is either rhinestones or silver & natural stones. I wanted something colorful and also sort of goofy. I wanted to make physical objects that looked and felt like my drawings and paintings. I was working in corporate fashion at the time, and it was important to me to be myself and dress professionally, meaning walking the line between being expressive with my outfits and looking appropriate in big meetings…jewelry was a great place to be crazy. I made a magic eye necklace first, and I loved wearing it. The charms came next. I have a gold charm bracelet that means so much to me, and I think looking at that kind of charm got my mind going. And I have a plastic charm necklace from the 80s. I call them “jingle jems” but I don’t know why, maybe that’s what we called them where I grew up (suburbs of Kansas City)? No one else seems to call them that. Anyway, those are a huge inspiration. They contain such potent magic.

Do you have any favorites?

My favorite is always changing! I love the hands, but they are the hardest to make. I really love my earlier necklaces, because they are more wonky and less refined than the jewelry I make now. I love my first attempts/samples of new designs for the same reason. Once in a while, I make myself a charm and that’s it – it’s one of a kind. Obviously, those are really special to me.

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Five things you are currently obsessed with:

  1. San Pellegrino sparkling water in the big bottle. I’m usually dehydrated but I like to drink this water!! Just a little bit of fizzzz!
  2. Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I find it so comforting. I went to boarding school and in college I would often visit my very formal grandmother in Connecticut, so the character Rory Gilmore really resonates with me. I’m almost done with my binge and I don’t know what to do next.
  3. Huf International socks. I love how they look but also they are perfect socks for wearing under your winter boots or for around the house at night when you don’t want your feet to get cold.
  4. Iron-on patches. I started buying them for my jean jacket, and I got addicted! They are a fun way to get a small piece from a lot of designers. Some current favorites are from my pals Killer Acid & Chris Uphues, and of course my own Buried Diamond 3 eyed cat.
  5. My eyeball pants & cigarette pants from my collaboration with Print All Over Me. I don’t like to wear pants, but these were so ridiculous I could imagine myself wearing them, and in the end, they really work for me. I wear them all the time as my more casual outfits.

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How would you describe your personal style?

I always think I dress “normal” until I arrive somewhere and I’m the only one in like, a neon outfit. I like to play with texture and novelty, and I am not afraid of color. The brighter, the better. For the most part, I wear a steady uniform of fit & flare, and then I add accessories. I don’t leave the house without a charm necklace and hand earrings, and maybe an eyeball ring, and no matter what time of year, I have a candy colored cardigan in my purse. I’m usually only wearing a couple accessories, but they are high impact.

What are some of your wardrobe staples?

  • Skater dresses in bright white, black, and leopard print.
  • Mesh shirts for layering in the winter. They are great under a sleeveless or strapless dress. I have a spiderweb one that adds something special to any outfit.
  • My Toga Pulla boots. Never have I loved a shoe like this. I feel they were designed specifically for me.
  • Green cashmere cardigans. I can’t get enough! I have at least eight. J. Crew is my drug of choice, and I always run them through the washer & dryer once to get my ideal fit.

Do you collect anything?

I am a charm keeper, a magnet for small objects. People I have only met once or twice always find a way to pass me some little trinkets for safe keeping. My collection grows all the time, and it inspires & delights me. I’m always trying to fight my natural hoarding instinct, but I think collecting small items is not too dangerous (jk I have a LOT of small items).

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Who are some female artists, designers and otherwise that you admire?
There are so many! Tumblr and Instagram are always opening my eyes & exposing me to amazing women! A very short list of women who inspire BD are: my mom (she quit being a lawyer to raise cashmere goats and knit crazy textiles), Liza Lou (specifically Backyard and Kitchen—I saw them when I was in middle school and I was captivated), Lisa Frank, Mrs. Grossman’s & Patricia Field.

While working in fashion for 8 years, I was fortunate to work for companies that were started by strong female entrepreneurs, and their stories inspire me. In chronological order, I worked at Diane von Furstenberg, tibi (Amy Smilovic), DKNY (Donna!), and Kate Spade Saturday.

Can you tell us about the transition from working at a day job to doing Buried Diamond full time?

Transitioning from a full time 9-6 job in the fashion industry to working on BD full time was a seriously big deal and it was carefully plotted! It was a tricky balancing act. After working in the industry for a few years, I started to realize that in my career as a textile designer, I didn’t see how I could grow past a certain point. I didn’t see anyone with a super senior textile design job anywhere in the fashion industry, and that bummed me out. I also needed a greater outlet for my creativity (though my “office jobs” were always creative). I remember telling one of my BFFs that I was going to start socializing less and making more. I also started saving money pretty aggressively. Early on, I didn’t have a specific plan, but I knew I needed to make one.

I opened my Etsy shop in 2011 with a variety of products including charms, and I want to be really clear: No one bought the charms! But I kept making them. I just wanted to, and I knew that someone would catch on at some point! Eventually I got some traction. I can’t pinpoint when people started actually purchasing charms. I started selling in Pygmy Hippo Shoppe in LA. Emi, the shop owner, was really encouraging, and she spread the word about BD out there. I learned to take better photos and create better images. Lena Dunham bought some pieces and posted about them on Instagram. At that point, I started feeling awkward about balancing work and BD, but I was not ready to do BD full time yet.

Eventually, sales were good, and I realized I could do my own thing full time and squeak by financially. I sat down for some real talk with my accountant and we set a timeline. I looked at my deadlines and responsibilities at the office, and I made sure the date would work. When it was time, I gave a month notice. A lot of people were not surprised I was doing it, but I got some resistance, too. Don’t listen to the haters! It is amazing what is possible when you make yourself available to opportunity. Once I started doing BD full time, a lot of amazing things came my way, and for the first time, I could say YES with no reservations.

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Do you have any advice for women who would want to make the same kind of shift?

Saving money before you do it is an absolute must!! My accountant really holds my hand – I don’t think I could figure a lot of the financial stuff out without her help. So line those things up first so you can concentrate on creativity. For artistic people, getting paperwork organized is not fun, but it will allow you to focus on the parts of running a business that you enjoy.

What’s next for Buried Diamond?

I’m meeting with an artist friend this week to discuss an upcoming collaboration. I can’t say who it is yet, but it’s going to be a great combination of imagery! I just got a huge batch of custom beads that I had produced, so I’m starting to create new products with those, which is thrilling, because I wouldn’t be able to meet demand if the beads were all hand made. I’m also learning how to file my quarterly sales taxes. Doesn’t that sound exciting!? ♥♥♥

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*******AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!*******

Martha is gifting AL readers with the following Buried Diamond goodies, which you can see beautifully displayed in the photo above:

  • pink hand earrings
  • green eye brooch
  • rainbow eraser
  • strawberry magnet
  • lips sticker
  • iron-on eye patch
  • iron-on 3 eyed kitty patch

All you have to do to enter is follow Buried Diamond on Instagram and leave a comment below (or on my Instagram post) and I will choose the winner via random.org, this Thursday, February 12th. To get an extra entry, repost the contest on Instagram using the hashtag #ALlovesBuriedDiamond. This giveaway is to US readers only. Good luck!

***UPDATE*** The winner is @lisabronwyn!! Thank you all who entered!

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February 9, 2015   12 Comments

Nailz Week 2: Mad Crushin’ on Clara Biznass

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Claire Beaudreault aka Clara Biznass is my favorite type of ladycrush. As a professional nail artist, rapper in the band Hand Job Academy, and writer at XO Vain, Claire is no doubt one of the most badass babes there is! SHE DOIN’ TINGS. ALL KINDS OF TINGS. Obviously I wanted to stalk/get to know her better, and especially, talk to her about… NAILS! Take a lurk at the interview below!

What are your top five mani essentials?

1. Duri Rejuvacote basecoat. Scandalous choice because it totally contains formaldehyde, but nothing else repairs my nails! I guess if it can keep a dead body preserved…

2. CND Solar Oil, it smells like almonds and cherries, keeps your mani fresh, and (shhh) hides imperfections in Instagram photos!

3. Butter London Nail Foundation, it dries really fast, does *not* contain formaldehyde, and looks good by itself.

4. Everyone probably says Seche Vite topcoat, right?

5. I love reppin’ polish lines that I have a personal relationship with! The Floss Gloss ladies are the baddest broads and I love their business approach, plus their colors are so hot. I keyed a show at NYFW SS14 for Maki Oh and worked with Londontown; the coverage and richness of the formula is on point. And I’m working with MINE, a lacquer made with REAL PRECIOUS METALS. You can have real silver and gold on your nails! It comes in an Austrian crystal bottle and is redefining luxury. 

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What’s your pick for a good holiday nail?

I don’t really do holiday nails unless it’s Halloween! I did a lump of coal manicure when I first started doing nails that was pretty funny. Bah humbug, lolz.

What would be on your Mani Mixtape?

The first song that comes to mind is “Hands” by The Raconteurs. Weird, I’m not really crazy about that song. Oh, “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame because when you have your nails done, everything is no hands! And because Waka is the greatest. Kid Sister “Pro Nails” of course, and Gangsta Boo because she has a color with Floss Gloss now, “Nasty Trick” is so perfect. My friends Ratchet by Nature have a song called “Candy Nails and Glitter” that actually shouts me out, hella flattered.  Katy Perry did an amazing discontinued color with OPI named after the song “Teenage Dream” so that song because there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. And NIN “Closer” because, Nine Inch NAILS. I am really showing my goth side in this interview.

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Favorite nail trend right now? Any you hate?

Kinda basic but all of a sudden the moonicure/half moon/reverse French/1930s/Dita Von Teese/Imelda Marcos manicure looks really fresh to me. And I LOVE that cool girls are now doing a full on, possibly ironic, porny pink & white acrylic French manicure. I don’t think I hate any nail trend! Y’all do y’all. Wait–water marbling is a pain in the ass and I don’t think it looks that cool.

What are your wardrobe staples?

Most of my clothes are from Uniqlo. They know how to make half-Asian butts look big! And Heattech has made my winters so much more bearable. Black skinny jeans, ankle boots, black leather jacket, Vera Meat hand necklace and vampire teeth ring. Gold earrings because I mix gold and silver, screw the rules! Or Timbs and jeans and this grey sweater of my boyfriend’s that has a million holes in it and looks like it was expensive once.

Who are some females that you admire?

Oh gosh. My bandmates for always inspiring me and being so damn good at what they do. My mom for being an artist, encouraging me to be an artist, and being really expressive in her dress. My sister because she passed the bar exam and runs marathons like ringing a bell. Gina Edwards and the other amazing celebrity manicurists I’ve had the opportunity to work with who have taken me under their wing and taught me the tricks of the trade. Anaïs Nin, Frida Kahlo, Marina Abramovic, my Tommy Boy “labelmate” Queen Latifah, Margaret Cho, Loretta-fuckin-Lynn. I just saw “The Punk Singer” about Kathleen Hanna and she is super inspiring and admirable.

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photo credit: Laura June Kirsch

How would you describe your personal style?

I try to dress like a French woman who long ago ran out of fucks to give. Like, I don’t do anything to my hair, I don’t wear a ton of makeup on regular days, I actually wear pretty boring clothes. If you have tattoos and good jewelry and accessories, you don’t have to wear flashy clothes. I can’t find the exact quote but I think Tina Knowles said something along the lines of “If you have a good bag and good shoes, the rest of your outfit doesn’t matter as much.”? Probably saying that totally wrong. Then again, I think hot pink, gold, and leopard print are neutrals. When I’m performing or making a video it’s like dorky hip-hop Rockabilly. Our mutual friend Matthew once told me I looked like the lovechild of Patty Hearst and Sacajawea and that was an awesome compliment.

If you weren’t doing nails and Hand Job Academy, what would you be doing instead?

Probably acting and writing. Which I do anyway, just less often because I’m busy with the band and the nail game. Playing the drums in a garage band. Flirting with the idea of getting a Master’s in performance art or creative writing.

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photo credit: Gabrielle Meit.

Any upcoming projects or anything you can tell us about?

Hand Job Academy is working on an EP for early Spring. More videos, more shows. We definitely want to tour in 2014. Travel is huge for me, I’d love to travel for nail jobs too! Maybe with my unofficial business partner Shirley aka Scotch Tape and Rhinestones, together we are “1.5 Asians.”

Follow me on Twitter @ClaraBiznass and Instagram @fngrblstr!

♥ ♥

December 18, 2013   1 Comment

Nailz Week 2: Mad Crushin’ On Pushy Nails

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Everybody get your claws out, ’cause it’s time for another rendition of NAILZ WEEK! If you missed last year’s party, Nailz Week is where us lovers of fancy talons can celebrate all things Nail Art! I’ll have  interviews with badass nail artists, talk about my fave movies, and end it with a fun giveaway! Today I’m kicking off the shenanigans by talking to  Whitney Gibson of Pushy Nails. I’ve had the pleasure of getting my nails done by Whitney and it’s always a good time where we gossip about our fave hunks (Andre 3000 and Ryan Gos,) and listen to the sweet sounds of St. Mariah. 

Can you tell me a bit about your background and how you got started doing nails?

I started doing my own nails as a hobby. I’m an artist- I draw, paint, take photos, sculpt, you name it- so I took to it quickly. My friends started asking me to do their nails and since many of them work in film or fashion, that eventually lead to me doing nails for the projects they were working on. Initially, I didn’t see myself doing nails for work because I didn’t want to be stuck in a salon all day, but once I realized I could work on set, everything changed for me.

What’s your favorite nail trend? Any you hate?

My favorite trend right now is probably what I would call adult nail art. I’ve been using a lot of sheer polish and negative space to get that ‘nails did’ feeling without compromising the chic-ness. That’s not to say that I don’t like bright, funky colors– I do! I just like the idea of having nails that you love that you can wear to work, too. In terms of what I don’t like, I like it all! I love that people get crazy and express themselves! The only thing that skeeves me out is duck tips– acrylic nails that flare out like duck feet. I just don’t get it.

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Nails by Whitney Gibson for Sephora Formula X.

What are some of your favorite polishes right now?

In life and nails, I love a high brow/low brow blend. I love the new Marc Jacobs polish, but I get down with some dollar store polish too. I’m always on the prowl for colors I don’t have. Floss Gloss’ new color, Gangsta Boo is the perrrrfect red. And Sephora’s new Formula X is amazing! They have something like 200 colors, so many different kinds of glitters, and their cremes are sooo creamy.

Whose nails are you dying to do?

My dream client is Ryan Gosling. I give a great file and buff and I’d show him the care and consideration he deserves. Jokes aside, I’d loovvvve to do Tavi Gevinson’s nails. I’ve been following her career forever and I think she’s such a hero for girls. And Bad Gal Riri because duh. And of course, Gwen Stefani is like every girl’s ultimate dream client because she’s been into nail art since before nail art was hot.

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Camo nails by Whitney Gibson for Sephora Formula X.

What would you put on a Manicure Mixtape of your Favorite songs?

I like to listen to hip hop when I do nails. It makes me feel like I’m at a barber shop in the hood. I mix in some down tempo R&B to keep things from getting too hyphy.

Mani Mixtape :

*My Man by Lady Bee
*Pro Nails by Kid Sister (obligatory)
*Treehome95 by Tyler the Creator 
*Go All Night by Kelela
*Wildfire by Sbtrkt (the one w/ Drizzy and Little Dragon)
*Creep by TLC 
*Shorty Swing My Way by KP and Envyi
*Juke Juke by Chance the Rapper 
*Moving On by Mya and Silkk the Shocker
*Body Party by Ciara

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Who are your style icons?

My style icons are all over the place. I’m OBSESSED with Janet Jackson circa Poetic Justice. The braids, the baggy jeans and boots, the crop tops. Swoon. Basically any R&B singer from the 90′s is good for me, stylistically. They were so good at mixing masculine street wear/sportswear with feminine curves, long nails and bold lips. Inversely, I love the clean lines and androgynous silhouettes of Scandinavian women. Lykke Li, for example, is a fashion killah. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Solange. She’s my queen.

Current crush?

The aforementioned RG forever and ever, no matter how cliche. Sam Rockwell drives me crazy because he’s so weird. And I love a redhead so Archy Marshall (King Krule) could get it, too. Plus his music is the bomb. What’s Frank Ocean’s ex boo thang’s name? Willy Cartier? He foine. Oh and there’s this LA-based model who is the most physically attractive man I’ve ever seen. His name is Victor Ross and you are welcome in advance.

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My most recent manicure with Whitney: Hologram Barbie nails!


Five Current Obsessions:

1. I’ve been binge watching Key and Peele. Jordan Peele is the funniest human. Also, that show has a tight wig game.
2. Sports bras. I own probably 40.
3. See-thru clothes. I’m making myself the most amazing sheer wardrobe with the help of my wonderful mom.
4. I’m obsessed with this side project I’m working on with my friend, crazy talented producer Jon Mills. I’m a little shy, so I won’t say too much, but let’s just say I’m a nail artist/rapper/full time freak.
5. Food. LA has an amazing food scene. I’ve been craving the chicken sandwich from Son of a Gun for days, but I live on the eastside so I get my fix at Canale, which has an equally impressive fried chicken masterpiece.

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Any new projects you can share with us?

Upcoming nail projects– I’m working on some nail-related jewelry and maybe some tees, trying to get some tutorials up on the webz, and generally just trying to make art with rad people!

♡ Follow her Tumblr at pushypushynails.tumblr.com and Instagram @pushypushy ♡

December 9, 2013   1 Comment

Nailz Week: Mad Crushin’ On Madeline Poole

Queen of nails Madeline Poole should have an art exhibit for all the colorful creations she’s put on other people’s hands. Her blog is a feast for the fingertips, showcasing everything from her Misfits manicures to literal Cheetos fingers. You can see Madeline’s work in various commercials, videos, and editorials, including an upcoming shoot she did with Ke$ha for Wonderland Magazine. To help celebrate NAILZ WEEK here on AL, I chatted with Madeline about some of her favorite nail polishes, her current crush, and her new nail sets that you can buy at Sephora!

I know you are a self-taught nail artist and also have a background in painting. Can you tell us about that and how you got started doing nails?

I was just painting my nails one night because I didn’t like my outfit and I really wanted to represent Hello Kitty somewhere so I painted kitty on my nail. I used my acrylic paints, not nail polish….. and it was really easy. So I continued and elaborated and seriously within a week I was a “nail artist” and I haven’t stopped.

What’s your current favorite nail design?

Currently into ALL of these looks but especially the cubic one in the center, really enjoying finding vibrating colors for each quadrant.

Any trend you can’t stand? The caviar one creeps me out personally. I think it triggers trypophobia in me. 

Ew I’m so with you on that… totally don’t get the caviar thing or the crackle for that matter. I mean it was cute for a second but it reminds me of a bad Victorian bed frame.

What would you put on a Manicure Mixtape of your favorite songs? 

I definitely like listening to R&B when I paint nails. Makes me feel relaxed and salon-y. And this song: special Fergie present from Total Freedom.

What are some of your favorite polishes right now?

I love Ginger + Liz “Health is Wealth” and “Jeggings,” Nubar glitter stripers, and Orly “Fancy Fuchsia”.

Who are some female artists, designers and otherwise that you admire?

Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni, Kelela Mizanekristos (an a-mazing singer), and Nagisa Tushima of Disco Nail.

Is there anything you collect?

I do have a miniature collection, but it’s pretty minimal and I’ve lost a lot of it over the years.  It’s mostly doll food and accessories. I had this amazing miniature PC computer with a mouse and everything.  I’m trying to think, “What do I have a lot of?” and all I can think of is the 10+ empty coffee cups in my car.

A fictional character you identify the most with? 

Pikachu.

Who’s your current crush? 

Mykki Blanco in the “Wavvy” video. OMG.

Your five current obsessions:

Argan oil, my Kansai Yamamoto dragon sweatshirt, H20, jeggings, my friend Ashland.

Any new projects that you can share with us?

YES! My new nail polish kits with The New Black, they’re super cute. There are three kits, each kit has 4 colors and a striping brush for detailing (the longer bottle in the center.) They are available on sephora.com.

For booking: contact Vanessa@nailinghollywood.com and follow Madeline on Instagram and Twitter @MPNAILS!

September 4, 2012   4 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Laurel And Hector Vintage And Giveaway!

BE WARNED…you might fall in love with this bodacious Australian babe, Kee Kee ! She is a serious vintage collector who even travels the world to find extra special pieces for her vintage shop, Laurel and Hector Vintage! Find out all about this mod goddess and enter the giveaway at the end to win some L&H goodies!

How did you start Laurel and Hector?

Being completely obsessed with clothing and having it take over the whole wardrobe (my poor boyfriend has 2 draws in our 3m wide wadrobe) I thought it was about time I made this into my job: sourcing fantastic clothing for hot babes all around the world! Gee wizz what a job! And when I say hot babes I mean it…seriously I wanted to make out with you when I saw you in the Orange Psychedelic dress!

Can you tell us more about how you source your items in different countries?

Australian vintage is so blerg! It’s very 80′s and it’s pretty crud, so I first thought why don’t I bring back some quality vintage from my travels for my friends. Then my friends network grew into followers of 60′s & 70′s fashion so now where ever I go in the world I am constantly scanning stores and snarling at other girls like a dog with a bone when I haven’t finished going through a rack (haha what a meanie). I mostly source from Japan because I’m O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with their clothing! They have an array of great quality vintage plus it gives me a chance to hang out with my Japanese friends for a month at a time. This year I will also be throwing Spain into my buying trip as I heard they’re like an untapped gold mine of incredible 60′s &  70′s vintage. Also a great excuse to lounge on a Spanish beach during European summer.

 

Since you are also a big lover of Tokyo like I am (WAH I WANNA GO BACK), what are some of your favorite spots/things to do there?

Oh my lord, Tokyo! What isn’t there to do!! Every time we go I drag my boyfriend to my FAVOURITE restaurant, it’s called Alcatraz ER where you get handcuffed in the lobby by a mad scientist who leads you to your jail cell and order delicious cocktails & dinner from a sexy nurse. They have a half time show that scares the crap out of me, it changes every time and it’s so dramatic.  Last visit I was stabbed with an oversized foam syringe by a masked mad man! I also love going to live gigs in Tokyo, they have the best rock ‘n’ roll scene! I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with the 5.6.7.8′s during their Australian Tour earlier this year who have extended an invite for some karaoke & cocktails during my upcoming trip! I am so excited, our friends at Club Heavy Sick in Hatagaya will be setting that up for us.

 If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people/things, who or what would they be?

French designer Pierre Cardin (when he was in the 60′s) & guitarist Poison Ivy (when she was in the 80′s) from The Cramps. They would have to do some serious time travel to bone but they would make one heck of a baby. I adore the 60′s look and often try to pull it off however because I am quite chaotic and untidy there’s a little bit of punk rock in the way I dress, plus I think I’d totally get all my sass from the queen of attitude, Poison Ivy.

You’re also a lingerie designer! Can you tell us more about that?

For the past two years I have designed for Elegantly Scant, an Australian boutique label, but sadly I am saying goodbye to take on L&H full time. I’ve had so much fun learning about the construction of delicate lingerie and the types of fabrics that make up a perfect bra. We would spend a whole week fussing over what bow to use, it’s that involved!!

Who are some female artists, designers and otherwise that you admire?

I look towards Vivienne Westwood’s earlier years in her “Let It Rock” shop, which later changed to “SEX.” I like how she evolved the punk look into a fashion statement providing iconic 80′s bands with outfits. Her contribution to the community helped form their identity. Also Jean Shrimpton as a style and fashion icon, her face is immaculate and was definitely made for the 60′s. How can you not love her!

Is there a particular decade in history you feel a connection with?

I am a 60′s lover, as you can see in the collection on L&H. I adore mod dresses, the colours used during this iconic period and the fabrics sourced for their simple a-line dresses. They were so adventurous in the 60′s and did it with immaculate style. I often imitate mod makeup & little beehive ‘dos; the higher the hair the closer to god as Dolly Parton says!

Tell us about your pug Booga!

Naw! Even saying his name gives me heart eyes! He’s a fat little pug who turns 5 this year, party time! Full name; Booga Eggy Pop, I really wanted to name him Egg but he wouldn’t come to it, so Booga it is…and my love for my dream husband, Iggy Pop, shows! He’s getting quite a big name in the Australian fashion world, starring in music film clips for Sparkadia, he’s modeled for Miss Shop, an Australian women’s fashion label, and this week he’ll be photographed for an Australian music festival called Field Day where he’ll be dressed up as a unicorn!!

Is there anything you collect?

Mod dresses!! I have a large collection of quality original 1960′s mod dresses. One is a Pierre Cardin in lime green (my honey that I never wear in fear of staining it!) I am also in love with an original late 60′s floor length, purple maxi dress with a see-through lace top. The latter is a little extreme so I’m waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it out without looking like I am over-the-top obsessed with the 60′s…those kind of people scare me. Quality crystal specially in vases, liquor bottles & ashtrays are also a weakness of mine.

Your five current obsessions:

1. Best Friends Breakfast Club.  I made this up due to my love for hungover weekend breakfast. Here’s the rules: anyone is invited, the cafe is chosen by quality of coffee & eggs, first person to wake up texts the whole gang, then we meet at about 2pm once we’re dressed & ready to go.

2. Bikram Yoga.  I haaaaaaated this sweaty stink pit the first time I went. Also I can’t event straighten my legs when I touch my toes so even more reason to hate the place. Then I found myself going back everyday! So now it’s my nightly ritual and I’ve dragged along friends who are now just as addicted! (I still can’t straighten my legs but I can do a killer backwards bend.)

3. Menji Mushroom Japanese treats. These delicious little suckers can only be bought in Asian grocers over here but are in abundance in Japan. I get these whenever I pass a grocer that stocks them, they are so god damn delicious.

4. Instagram…I know, I know…..such an obvious one but it’s my little bedtime story every night. I was never one for the text in children’s books, give me the images any day! At me baby @keekeeflamingo, haha!

 5. Silk knickers. Once you go silk you never go back.They are so amazing they feel like you’re wearing nothing at all! 

What’s next for Laurel and Hector Vintage?

HUGE buying trip in Spain & Japan, which I think I’ve narrowed down the taste & style that my fans are loving. I’m also shooting with some very talented Australian photographers in the next few weeks, can’t say anything until the shots are out. Also collaborating on a few live photography exhibitions, live music & fashion markets. It’s all happening baby.

♥♥♥

GIVEAWAY TIME! Laurel and Hector Vintage is giving away a super cute Noir Satin Bow Tie and a pair of pink “Can’t Find My Mind” sunglasses! Just leave a comment below describing how you would wear the prizes below! I will pick a winner on Friday! GOOD LUCK HOT BABEZ. And make sure to keep up to date with all the L&H gossip and to see Booga dressed as a unicorn by following them on Facebook, Tumblr, and of course Instagram (@keekeeflamingo)! And of course…go shopping here!  All dresses are currently 20% off! Use DRESSDISCOUNT at checkout!

EDIT: I HAVE CHOSEN A WINNER! (via random.org) It is…. #16: SOCIALITE DREAMS! Email me at marie[at]agentlover.com to claim your prize!!

July 30, 2012   23 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Motherland And Giveaway!


Claudette Double Heart brooch by Motherland

So lately I’ve been super obsessed with wearing all things Motherland (as seen in this recent outfit post) and then found out that Melissa Aquino, the creator of Motherland, is obsessed with Jayne Mansfield just like yours truly. We are currently in the middle of a lengthy-email exchange about the secret and spooky places in LA (which coincidentally goes with the timing of this Hollywood Mysteries piece I wrote for Rookie) and I fear (hope) this email is never going to end and/or culminate in some sort of epic Hollywood Thelma and Louise-style adventure. Basically there’s a whole lotta obsession going on around these parts (what’s new.) Anyway, this is OBV a real down ass chica with AMAZING TASTE so of course I wanted to interrogate her and learn more about her jewelry! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end so you can win this super cute sequin double heart “Claudette” brooch!

What inspires your jewelry?

Los Angeles, kitschy/creepy artifacts hoarded in your grandparents’ basement since 1962, bright neons and tropical colors, and being a kid in the late 80s/early 90s. For example, I went on this recent mental tangent/inspiration bender remembering my hometown’s awesome drugstore: Hello Kitty and wax lips abound! Such a good place to spend your allowance.


Constellation bracelet by Motherland

Can you tell us about some of your favorite pieces?

The Constellation Bracelet is whimsical, when I wear it I feel like I’m 7 and playing dress-up/princess/wizard (what? some kids have weird imaginations). The Wendy Necklace is a permanent fave of mine because I am a cherry FANATIC. I’m also stoked about the Claudette Double Brooch coming to the shop, it’s my most complex design yet and really feels like my own. Plus, my first foray away from bracelets and necklaces! All in all I love to wear everything – usually each creation comes to fruition because I wanted a piece for myself.

If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people/things, who or what would they be?

I’d say my style of jewelry is a nice mix between Little Orphan Annie and Barbarella. In terms of my own personal style, I like to wear clothes that make me look like the love child of Divine and Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.


The talented lady behind Motherland, Melissa Aquino wearing the Wilma Necklace.

Who are some female artists, designers and otherwise that you admire?

It sounds silly, but I’m really into the female blog community that’s sort of shaped itself over 10+ years. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been watching the same faces for that long! I love that we all hang out on the internet and Instagram like freaks on glitter-coated PCP. There’s so much creativity out there and I love following and supporting that scene. Some recent favorites for jewelry are The Vamoose (Kathryn is OG and her pieces are incredibly timeless), Cities in Dust, and Boo + Boo Factory (how wild is her stuff?!) Other general favorites are The Loved One (duh), and SWANclothing – so unique. Also, in terms of visual artists, I am OBSESSED with everything Celia Rowlson-Hall touches. She is genius.

Is there a particular decade in history you feel a connection with?

All of them, really. Sometimes I have SPOOKY life feelings and swear I lived through the 50s/60s because I’ve spent entirely too much time pretending I did. Also, I’m really into the 90s, mostly because of the nostalgia factor. Life just seemed so much better then..and neon.


The Jeannie Necklace

What music are you currently listening to?

After years of burning myself out on My Bloody Valentine, I’m having a much-needed revival. Also, Leonard Cohen’s first album, Ty Segall, and Beat Happening because I’m ALWAYS listening to them.

What are your wardrobe staples?

I love interesting shoes because they can put together an otherwise-simple outfit (same goes for jewelry, my first and one true love of course). Also, I kind of hate jeans and typically wear grandma slacks or skirts.


Amazon Necklace

Is there anything you collect?

I have a pretty intense stuffed animal collection that will soon take over my boyfriend’s half of the room, probably. I really like stuffed animals and talk to them and stuff – I know it’s weird as hell but I have no intention of stopping. Also, I am one of those psychopaths who collects vintage poodle ephemera. I also want to start collecting vintage engraved/monogrammed jewelry with other people’s names on it, like “Merle” rings and “Betty Lou” lockets.

Your five current obsessions:

Eatpastry vegan cookie dough because you can make as little or as many cookies as you want, and eat the rest later! Plus, no eggs so I won’t die if I eat out of the container (it happens). Souvenir graphic tees from the 80s/90s with puffy screenprinting. Bolo ties. PINK. The golden pekingese I see walking in my neighborhood every day.

What’s next in the world of Motherland?

I have a permanent case of star fever, so there will be lots more star items to come. Also, I’ll be branching out and trying my hand at making rings and a few bolo ties because they’re awesome. Lastly, I’ve been trying to create the ultimate-and-not-boring/cliche fruit charm bracelet for about 6 months now…one day it will be perfect!

And now for the giveaway! Motherland is giving away a Claudette Double Brooch to one lucky AL reader! Just leave a comment and if you want tell us about your favorite old Hollyweird tale and you will be entered to win! The contest is open to US readers only. I will choose the lucky winner on Friday! Good luck muchachas and muchachos!

UPDATE!! I have chosen a winner via random.org! The Claudette brooch goes to LUCKY NUMBA 6- ASHLEY!! WOO HOOO! U GO GLEN COCO. Email me at marie[at]agentlover.com to claim your prize!

June 26, 2012   29 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Gabriel Hounds Jewelry And Giveaway!


Where The Wild Things Are ring by Gabriel Hounds

Today are doing a VERY ESPECIAL’ Small Business Sponsor Spotlight and giveaway with  Gabriel Hounds, an LA-based jewelry shop that specializes in Victorian, Art Deco and Punk-inspired jewelz and accessories. Brooke MacBeth, who is the goddess behind Gabriel Hounds, is also a former entomologist, a former goth AND a fan of Mi Vida Loca. See why I love her?

What inspired you to start creating jewelry?

I wanted a hobby so I taught myself how to bead and wire-wrap.  I started beading when I was a teenager then took it up again in my 20s.  It was an off/on thing for me until about two years ago; I saw a pair of earrings I thought were cute and decided to make my own version of them, and after that I couldn’t stop.  My head was filled with ideas.  After a few months I wanted to go beyond the techniques I knew so I enrolled in some classes– precious metal clay, lost-wax casting, metal fabrication– and I got a degree from the Gemological Institute.  Now I have a pretty amazing setup at home.  I love it.

If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people/things, who or what would they be?

Coco Chanel and Charles Darwin.

Who are some females- artists, designers and otherwise that you admire?

I’ve always been obsessed with Coco, ever since I was tiny; My mom, who is really stylish and an interior designer and taught me a LOT about color; my sister Elizabeth, who is one of the most fashion-psychic people ever; Jessica Joslin, who makes these brass-and-bone sculptures that are incredibly intricate and beautiful; Anna Wintour, because it’s pretty awesome to be so legendarily terrifying, but also Grace Coddington, for making everything she touches so beautiful and interesting; my amazing friends, for their support and wisdom and just being rad.


Crystal Hematite and Sterling Silver necklace by Gabriel Hounds

Is there a particular decade in history you feel a connection with?

Probably the 1920s because they seemed like so much fun and I *love* that period in jewelry and design.  Other than that it’s not so much decades but time/place things, like 80s New York (I just watched Desperately Seeking Susan and it’s still SO GOOD and reminded me of how much I wished I could have gone to Danceteria).  I love the Victorian era’s sentimental and superstitious thing– everything was just loaded with symbolism, from the gardens to the jewelry to the clothing, and I find that amazing.  So much coded behavior.

What music are you currently listening to?

For a few days I was listening to that Florence and the Machine song “Seven Devils” because of Revenge, haha.  But I think my summer jam is “I Love It” by Icona Pop.  My husband also found this hilarious song and video called Stupeflipe Vite by a French band called Stupeflipe.  I love that Grimes album.  I’ve also been listening to a lot of dubby stuff.  Bass is good for working.  And early 90s techno.

What are your wardrobe staples?

I’ve been really into dresses lately.  But I’m a big believer in always carrying a great bag and having great sunglasses– right now I’m carrying a black Alexander Wang Kirsten bag and giant blue Alexander McQueen sunglasses (both gifts from my awesome husband).  I got this amazing silver dragon brooch at the Pasadena City College flea market a little over a month ago that I pinned to the bag.  One day I was out and realized later it was gone– I was heartbroken, because I’m a dragon and this is my year!  I called all the places I’d been and no one had found it.  I knew it was gone.  But a couple of hours later, I got a phone call from a girl at one of the stores I’d been in– she found it!  So I went and picked it up and soldered it in place, and it’s going to stay there as long as I want it to.  Jewelry is important!  I feel like that dragon is a lucky talisman and I want to give that feeling to people with my jewelry.


♥ The lovely Brooke wearing her own creations; the Hematite and Sterling Silver Bib Necklace

Is there anything you collect?

Tons of things.  I love collecting and collections.  Jewelry, obviously; I have a small collection of Victorian mourning jewelry.  I have some great watches (one thing I don’t make).  I have a LOT of books.  I also collect antique poison bottles, Catholic art and statues, and natural history type stuff– mounted insects, bones, antlers, taxidermy.

Your five current obsessions:

Upholstery.  I’m teaching myself how.  Photography.  Teaching myself about that too, but also enlisting my husband and friends.  My new kiln!  Haha, I can only think of three, because I’ve been REALLY obsessed with the upholstery thing.  I’m giving my office/workspace a makeover.

Do you have any advice for aspiring jewelry designers?

Just go for it.  I had only made two things in four years when my sister told me to open an Etsy shop.  So I did, and it turns out I really love it.  Keep learning, keep going, and just keep making stuff– it doesn’t always have to be jewelry.  Be creative and have fun.  Some people are going to hate your stuff, but some people will love it, and that’s a great feeling.

What’s next in the world of Gabriel Hounds?

More– I’m just going to spend more time with it and see where it goes.  I have a lot of exciting new tools and equipment to use, so I’m hoping I can go a little more nuts than I have before.  I’m looking forward to it!


♥ Custom lyric nameplate necklace by Gabriel Hounds

And now for the giveaway! Brooke is giving away a personalized lyric nameplate necklace to one lucky Agent Lover reader!!! What lyric would you want on it? Will it be one of Thee Purple One’s? Morrissey? Justin Biebz? PAWLA ABDUL?! Just leave a comment with your favorite lyric below and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be chosen on Friday! Good luck MY BEWZ. And don’t forget to *like* Gabriel Hounds on FB here!

UPDATE 6/15: The winner has been chosen! #16 LINDSAY GIBSON YOU ARREEEEE THE LUCKY WINNA!!! Email me at marie[at]agentlover.com to get your necklace!!!!!

 

June 12, 2012   32 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Aurora Lady And Giveaway!

Aurora Lady is a portrait artist and girl power soldier living in LA. When we first met, we immediately bonded over our unabashed love for Drew Barrymore and Mariah Carey. Her new collection, Cathedral of Rebellion, celebrates the bad girls we all adore and in this interview with the lady herself, we get to learn about all the things she loves! We are also giving away some goodies from the new collection so make sure you read about how to do that at the end of the post!

What inspires your art?

I go through very obsessive, neurotic phases, and I these phases totally inform my content. Right now, I’m getting Spring-y: loads of pastel colors I find in the Pasadena Rose bushes, stray cats that have different colored David Bowie eyes, Scorpios, blended peach margaritas at this bar called Amigos, podcasts about politics and  sex, talking with a friend so intimately that you start crying, and women who rock muumuus and caftans (Mrs. Roper and Stevie Nicks). My favorite, though, is talking to other women who have cultivated their style, and then finding out about their influences. It’s the best way to dig deep and look for inspiration.

If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people/things, who or what would they be?

My style would be a cross between Steve Martin circa 1979 with the white suit and bunny ears, and Drew Barrymore circa 1993, when she was a bad girl who took everything off, except her dark red lipstick. And even though I’ve been consistently in love with both of these people and their respective styles for decades now, it’s really their attitudes that just sent me over the moon. I like people who know exactly who they are, but aren’t held back by that self awareness.

Who are some females, artists and otherwise, that you admire?

My latest collection, “Cathedral of Rebellion”, is a love letter to seven women who have made their mark on me, in one way or another. They are all completely different and I completely love them. There’s Marie Antoinette, Lydia Deetz, Marilyn Monroe, Lindsay Lohan, Lolita,  Courtney Love, Mary-Kate Olsen: they’ve all had a hand in my consideration of the type of woman I am. They’ve each had their highest of highs and lowest of lows, and that’s what’s kept me attracted to them. I adore people in pop culture who know their own humanity, who aren’t solely pursuing a perceived perfection. My biggest girlcrush right now is this woman in Canada named Jessica Luxury (also a Scorpio!), and I’m pretty sure she’s gonna rule the world. She’s a sex positive body activist and is so smart and clever on every level. She’s like my power animal– even reading her Facebook updates make me wanna work harder, be more present, and love with every bit of  my humor and strength. Jessica and her partner host their own sex show called “Heavy Petting”. AMAZE! When I moved from Fresno to Los Angeles, I made an effort to make friends with women who were focused on their careers and living their dreams. Now, my girlfriends are the people I look up to and admire, because they’re constantly making killer projects, creating lifestyles that empower them and other folks. They are complete badasses and keep me moving forward. I could sing their praises til the end of time—instead, I make sure I talk ‘em up on my blog and hope that their love is embraced by my readers.

Is there a particular decade in history you feel a connection with?

It’s more like certain elements and ideas from certain decades are what I connect with, and it’s mostly through memory. I’m old enough know that I have really beautiful, romantic ideas about the pop culture I grew up with in the 90’s. And I feel really appreciative of the 40’s and 50’s because that’s when my grandmother came of age, and I was close to her. My mother was definitely a product of the 60’s and I saw that in the things she gravitated to, and now I am drawn to as well—it’s so strong that when I am watching older Angelica Houston movies, sometimes I pretend that her and my mother were friends, or were connected on some cosmic level. I do my make up like my mother did hers, not because she taught me, but because it links me to her on a daily basis, and she learned how to do hers at a certain time. I think people might automatically view it as an homage to a certain era, but most of the time, it’s just a singular way to share something with someone I love.

What music are you currently listening to?

I’m really into the new Exit Music. I can’t wait to get that album! I also really love Fun.’s “Some Nights”—I’ve always adored Queen and I think Fun. is a fantastic progression in that style.  My husband and I are really into record hunting; last year we got set up with a record player and now vinyl is pretty much all we listen to.  We’re sticking to a lot of the classics right now: Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend” and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Damn the Torpedos” are pretty much always on rotation. And, of course, “Rumours” from Fleetwood Mac. That album has officially seeped into my bloodstream and is now a huge part of me. Now I’m starting to collect the vinyl versions of the CDs I loved as a teenager: “Last Splash” from the Breeders and “Exile in Guyville” from Liz Phair. I still can’t get through a listen of “Exile” without wanting to write a letter to some dude. Only now, it’s different dudes for different things. That would be a pretty fun ‘zine to make, “Letters to Dudes in the Key of Exile.”

What are your wardrobe staples?

I adore vintage clothing! I know that’s vague, but it also gives you the idea that I just like things that have a history to them. My staple would probably be this fake black leather biker jacket that I found at Goodwill on La Brea. I wish I had about 8 of them, so I could decorate them different ways! I also love dresses—lightweight, puffy a-lines, and long polyester maxi’s from the late 60’s are totally my jam. I love my little black vintage ankle boots. And I would consider make up a wardrobe staple: I love a strong penciled in brow paired with whatever Lime Crime lipstick I happen to have in my purse.

 Is there anything you collect?

How about hearts?! I’m actually very against “collections”, personally. I constantly take stuff to the Goodwill and it freaks me out to know that I’ll be saddled with certain possessions for the rest of my life. Collections generally make me very depressed. It’s part of why I like the internet—I enjoy cataloging and organizing in an intangible manner. It’s the only way to keep collections truly tidy.

 Your five current obsessions:

The color of Lime Crime’s Airborne Unicorn lipstick (I want this pink/purple hybrid to be my hair color!), iced chai tea soy lattes from Lovebirds Café in Pasadena, starting or not starting another zine focused on feminist discourse, DIY sewing projects that utilize crafts made by people I don’t know (like quilts or crochet or embroidered towels refashioned into skirts or black metal drum kit cases.)

 Do you have any advice for aspiring lady artists?

Eliminate the static! Find a job that allows you to showcase and use your talents, and if you don’t have that job yet, create it. Don’t waste time on people who are dream killers—seriously, break off all ties from them and get the hell out. Be ruthless and use every moment to work on your art—even if you are working a desk job, have notepads next to you so you can write down every idea, and listen to podcasts that inspire you while you are pushing papers. Wake up an hour early to draw before your commute. Use your sketchbook at lunch and take notes on everything.  Talk to EVERYONE about what you are passionate about, and don’t limit your social circle to other artists! Your vision is needed and there is room for every sort of perspective. Look for opportunities to help others—ask what their passions are and connect people. Most of all, just keep going and don’t get discouraged. I mean that. It’s really, really easy to say I’m never going to get anywhere with this, and stop. That’s a sad way to live. If I had given up, I’d still be living in a podunk town, wishing I had had the guts to go balls to the wall and make money off my art.

What’s next in the world of Aurora Lady?

I just did a collaboration with my favorite makeup company ever, Lime Crime, and I have some more partnerships coming up. This is so exciting for me and has been a huge goal of mine; it’s terrifically nausea-inducing to know it’s finally happening! I’ve got more portrait projects on deck, and I’m working on a show in downtown L.A. I’m also doing a St. Antoinette sticker campaign—look out for her face on the streets! She’s going to be everywhere!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! One lucky reader will win a set of all Cathedral of Rebellion buttons, plus a signed Cathedral of Rebellion print of their choice! Just leave a comment below! Comments will be closed on Thursday at midnight and I will choose a winner randomly on Friday! Good luck! MORE GOOD NEWS!: Aurora is offering 20% off to AL readers with the coupon code: secretagentlover

EDIT: The winner has been chosen! #22 Kitty! Please email me at marie[at]agentlover.com to claim your prize!!!

May 21, 2012   23 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Hansel From Basel and Giveaway!

You’ve probably seen their kneepad stockings if you don’t have them in your tights drawer already (you do have a tights drawer, don’t you?) But if for some reason you haven’t heard about Hansel From Basel, don’t fret, because today we are Mad Crushin’ On Hannah Byun, the lovely lady holding the reins at this Los Angeles-based hosiery company that got its start in 2007. Hannah, who studied art history and studio art at UCLA, is both Hansel From Basel’s founder as well as the talent behind their whimsical designs. Not only will we get to learn about her inspirations and obsessions, but we are also giving away one of Hansel From Basel’s adorable accessories! Make sure you read about that at the end of the post!

What inspired you to start Hansel From Basel?

I always wanted to design, and knew how to make socks because I came from a family of sock makers and was the most immediate thing I could create and design. I came up with the name Hansel from Basel as a nickname for myself, kind of like my alter ego.  It was Hansel, and I was obsessed with all things Swiss when I was little and Basel, being in Switzerland, was a perfect fit.

What other artists, clothing designers or otherwise, do you admire?

Artists: Cy Twombly, Egon Schiele, Carravaggio.
Clothing designers: Miuccia Prada, Dries van Noten, Rachel Comey.


The amazing Hannah Byun!

If you could describe your personal style as the love child of two people, who would they be?

If Annie Hall was a man and married Jane Birkin, that’s the love child of personal style I would be.

What are your wardrobe staples for the summer?

Rachel Comey dresses. I just got their lovely carrot pants that are perfect for the summer!  And my linen overalls.

If you could jump into a time-traveling DeLorean a la Back to the Future, what era would you go back to and why?

I would go back to 1920′s in Paris! A super inspiring and timeless city.  I think one of the most artistic periods of the 20th century.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I always loved Amélie, Orlando, L’Avventura.

Have any of them inspired the Hansel From Basel aesthetic?

All the movies are so tasteful and we try to make the line just as tasteful and artistically a bit odd to standout.

Can you give us your five current obsessions?

The smell of geraniums, my Saveur bread magazine that I read very slowly, home decor, Penny (the HFB office dog), Klaus (friend’s red lion-haired bunny.)


Penny and Klaus the bunny!

Do you collect anything?

When I can find them, Danish wooden shoe polishers (not an easy random find) and lipstick. Shu Uemura is my favorite.

What’s next for Hansel From Basel?

We are launching our first kids line!  Hansel From Basel Kids.  We are so excited!  There will be cute little socks and tights for the little ones and it’s coming out for Fall/Winter 2012!

And now for the giveaway! One lucky PAL OF AL will win this cute polka dot envelope clutch!

Just leave a comment and if you’d like, mention your favorite Hansel From Basel item! Comments will be closed on Thursday at midnight and I will choose a winner randomly on Friday! Good luck!

EDIT: THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN! LUCKY NUMBA SEVEN: CRISSY!!! Congratulations on your Hansel From Basel polkadot clutch! Email me at marie [at] agentlover.com!

May 14, 2012   18 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Francesca Lia Block

Photo credit: NICOLAS SAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

When I first discovered Francesca Lia Block’s work, I was fourteen- the age where I really started to discover my own personal style and interests…and began to worry a little bit less about being ‘weird.’ I remember I was in the school library when I randomly came across Weetzie Bat,  the first installment of FLB’s popular Dangerous Angels series, about a girl named Weetzie, her two gay best friends Duck and Dirk, and her Secret Agent Lover Man living in a dreamlike Shangri-LA. Its pages were filled with magical, glittering imagery, vivid characters and beautiful sentences that could be sung like songs: “He kissed me. A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven’t eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs.” This is what a daydreamin’, teenage girl wanted to read you know? Sitting in that library, I never could have imagined that years later this book would still have such an effect on me, to the point where the name of my blog was inspired by one of her characters. Without further ado, I present to you my interview with the wonderful Francesca Lia Block!

You recently collaborated with clothing company Wildfox Couture. Can you tell us more about that and how it came about?

I have always wanted to do a clothing line. When I was a little girl I salivated over European Vogue magazines and drew sketches for designs. I always play dress up with my characters in my books as well. Kim and Emily of Wildfox told me I had inspired them when they started their line and we became friends. They also sponsored our screenplay reading of Weetzie Bat at Book Soup in August 2010. We decided to do a mini collection, based on a short story I wrote for them online, about Ella, a pink-haired fairy girl, Cherie, a free-spirited French gypsy and a blond witch named Dahlia. I am so in love with these clothes. This is really a dream come true. I love Wildfox.

A friend of mine recently discovered old ‘zines from a Jayne Mansfield fan club that would meet in Hollywood in the 80′s. It reminded me of my favorite part of Weetzie Bat, with Vixanne’s coven of Jayne groupies. Being a fan of Jayne myself, I’ve always been curious- what inspired that particular scene in the book?

It was that fan club! My friend and I went to a meeting. It was strange, very cult-like. It inspired that part of Weetzie. I’m glad your friend found the zines because sometimes I think I hallucinated the whole thing!

Why do you think Weetzie has become an influential icon for girls over the years?

To be honest, I am surprised at how enduring she is. I guess because she is loving and sweet and vulnerable but also not afraid to be herself. Plus she has mad style sense. :) Weetzie <3s Wildfox.

If Weetzie was a teen girl in today’s social media-powered world, what would she be doing? Would she be a Tumblr punk? A fashion blogger?

She’d do it all but then she’d get mad and shut down the computer and make cookies and collages. Then she’d take pictures of them and post them and the cycle would begin again…

How do you stay positive when facing obstacles that are out of your control like what is going on with Bank of America and your home?

Taking care of my children really grounds me and keeps me sane. Also, the support of my friends, running, yoga, meditation and always writing!

You are such an inspirational role model to so many women, who are some ladies you admire?

Thank you! Many of them had tragic lives–Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Frida Kahlo. I admire that they produced so much beauty in spite of (or maybe because of?) the pain they suffered.

What are some of your current obsessions?

As of today? Cinna played by Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games, my Wildfox hoodie that says “Sleep Under the Stars” worn under a leather jacket, my pale pink Wildfox sweatshirt that says PUNK in black, white jeans, my silver Nike Air Force Ones, Iggy Pop’s high school yearbook photo, Butter non-toxic nail polish in gold glitter, changelings.
 Every day: my kids, my dog, my friends, my house, poetry, fiction, film, music, faeries.

Do you collect anything?

Does dust count? No, seriously, I guess cute shoes that don’t hurt, although I don’t mean to, Wildfox T-shirts, little goddess statues.

Have you ever had a supernatural experience?

Yes. The white horse I mention in ECHO. That really happened to me after my dad died. There was another incident with a note from my dad that literally blew into my hands in the desert years after his death. I slept in a haunted house once.

Do you think you will ever write an autobiography about your magical life?

I would like to ,yes, if there is ever interest?

Since you are an LA native I’d love to know – What are some of your favorite lesser-known places in LA?

I have an app on here that tells you everything!

Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on right now?

Well, Pink Smog the Weetzie prequel and Love Magick, an e-book anthology I edited just came out. I am awaiting the arrival of my adult psychological faerie thriller The Elementals from St. Martin’s Press in October and working on Love In The Time of Global Warming, an apocalyptic Odyssey with a female lead.

♥ ♥ ♥

Keep up with Francesca Lia Block on her website, her blog and help support the efforts to save her home at Save Francesca’s Faerie Cottage.

March 26, 2012   11 Comments