Couple We Love: Sissy Sainte-Marie and Eddie Chacon

We’ve got a serious couple crush on this Los Angeles-based duo. They’ve worked with some of our very favorite designers – Shaina Mote, Imago-A, Older Brother, Assembly, VereVerto, Loeffler Randall, Objects Without Meaning – and the coolest magazines like Nylon, Numero, Oyster, Dazed & Confused and Flaunt. And behind the camera they’re just as inspiring. We sat down with power couple stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie and photographer Eddie Chacon to quiz them on their creative process, their style and secrets to a successful marriage.

FIRST, CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON WHEN YOU GOT MARRIED, WHAT PART OF LA YOU LIVE IN, THE BASICS? We live in Los Feliz and just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET? At a bar. They didn’t have Tinder back then.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER? We can spend endless hours planning before a shoot. On the other hand, we can choose to be completely spontaneous when we get to set and there’s that trust that it will work because we know one another’s process and vision.

Photographer Eddie Chacon and stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie
Photo by Jeffrey Teng.

DO YOU FIND THAT IN SOME WAY YOU’RE ALWAYS CREATING TOGETHER? DO YOU EVER STEP AWAY FROM THAT PART OF YOUR LIVES? No we never step away. Creating together is a constant part of our relationship.

CAN YOU SHARE SOME SECRETS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE? Salt of the earth advice from my grandmother: “Just be good to each other.” And from Eddie’s mom: “When she’s down, you lift her up. When he’s down, you lift him up.” And from Joni Mitchell: “All I really want our love to do is bring out the best in me and in you, too.” With that in mind, we compete to see which of us can be nicer to the other one.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY OR NIGHT TOGETHER IN LOS ANGELES. Not much can compare to a night at home watching Netflix with the fireplace on and our two cats nearby. For daytime, we like a nice long drive out to Malibu or noshing at some of the many new restaurants popping up all over LA.

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SISSY:

TELL OUR READERS MORE ABOUT YOU, HOW YOU BECAME A STYLIST. I left the teaching profession after 10 years. A friend was letting go of her vintage business and I took over her inventory and started slinging rags. I used my vintage to style early shoots for Eddie. One thing led to another and I guess I’m for reals a stylist now.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT WHEN YOU FIRST DISCOVERED YOUR LOVE FOR FASHION? No, I can’t remember a specific moment. I just know I compulsively thought about it until I eventually gave myself permission to pursue it as my bread and butter. Not until my late thirties though.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CURRENT SOURCES OF INSPIRATION? Demna Gvasalia these days. And Phoebe Philo eternally. I always love what Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran are doing. And Maryam Nassir Zadeh is still super inspiring.

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Sissy for Shaina Mote SS16.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH VINTAGE. Since I spent all those years digging through thrift stores, I no longer enjoy the treasure hunt like I once did. New fashion feels so refreshing to me now. But for vintage, I let other people to the sourcing and I’m happy to pay the markup. I know the time and energy that goes into it.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I wouldn’t know how to describe it. If I see something I love, I say, “That’s so mama.” Whatever that means. I call myself mama. When I was young, I used to pray to be edgy and weird but I’m not edgy and if I’m weird it’s in ways I have little control over. I’m allowing myself to be drawn to what I’m naturally drawn to, which seems to be the conventionally pretty, the ladylike, smart, feminine, timeless things, with some whimsy and rottenness here and there.

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Eddie and Sissy for Oyster Magazine.

BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Wear things that look good on you. Like no duh, right, but that’s hard advice to heed when you’re young and figuring it out and want to be everything to everyone. And once when I was younger, I came across the term “mutton dressed as lamb” and that sounded like the most horrific sartorial folly ever. Don’t be THAT person, I thought. I’ve always looked for older women who remain elegant, tasteful, and sexy in a dignified way, and true to themselves, as inspiration.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? I never thought these words would cross my lips (or fingertips) but I’ve become obsessed with jeans and t-shirts. I have moments of pretty dresses and peacocking. I pretty much wear my Vetements jeans and a simple top everyday. But let’s see once summer hits and we’re into triple digits.

DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLE ICONS THAT INFLUENCE YOU? All of them at one time or another. If I can channel a style splice of Sade meets Caroline Bessette-Kennedy, I feel good.

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Eddie and Sissy for Numero Russia.

EDDIE:

WE HEAR YOU WERE IN A BAND? TELL US MORE! I spent most of my life as a musician. My proudest moments being my song “Wounded Bird” that I wrote and sang for the soundtrack to the movie True Romance and my hit song “Would I Lie to You” from my record Charles and Eddie, Duophonic in the early ’90s (yes, I’m a one hit wonder). These things were a boyhood dream come true and I’m still incredibly gracious that these things happened.

HOW DID YOUR CREATIVE WORK EVOLVE OVER THE YEARS? My father used to always say, “Just focus on the rung of the ladder in front of you. One day you’ll look up and be surprised how far you’ve climbed.” I guess this is me. I have just been moment to moment trying my best to say the things I want to say in the way that’s truest to who I am my whole life. I have had tremendous failures and lots of crazy hair-brained endeavors but at the end of the day it has led to a very happy life and a wonderful marriage so I can’t think of a better payoff.

WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS FOR A SHOOT? I try to remain focused on what I’m inspired by personally and how can I contribute or add something to that sauce. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel but I do aspire to put my own spin on my subject matter. I tell myself, you don’t need a camera to make great photos. I ask myself “What do I want to say?” and then I pick up the camera. I’m realizing my process is mostly cerebral not physical.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’m not sure I have one. Age-appropriate regular guy? When in doubt, I let Sissy dress me.

Visit sissysaintemarie.com and metropolisofvice.com for more.

Cold Picnic’s perfect Valentine’s Day is basically our dream date

Just like there are women that inspire #squadgoals (our Brooklyn Babes for example), there are the couples that gave us #relationshipgoals. Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer, the dynamic duo behind Cold Picnic, are one of those couples. It was love at first sight when they met in Boston in 2006 at fashion school. They launched Cold Picnic together in 2010 and it was love at first sight for us when we discovered the quirky, cool line of housewares and accessories. They also happen to be as adorable and charming as they are talented. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we quizzed them on romance, their plans for Feb. 14 and gift ideas for your main squeeze.

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR IDEAL DATE NIGHT. WHERE DO YOU GO, WHAT DO YOU DO? Peter: We always plan romantic dates after openings or parties, and then end up getting a bit drunk and go home to takeout and movies. Which is actually my ideal date night. 🙂

HOPELESS ROMANTIC OR STAUNCH REALIST? Phoebe: Definitely somewhere in between.

DO YOU GUYS CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY? Peter: We’ve always used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to go out and eat A LOT. Now that we’re in New York, we usually go to Flushing, Queens and overdo it on dumplings.

WHAT’S THE BEST RELATIONSHIP ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Phoebe: It’s always fun dishing about new relationships with friends but after a few years I prefer to keep the dish between my partner and me. As for advice, I think everyone knows what’s best for them. Or at least what they want to do, even if it isn’t good for them!

SO PETER, WHAT ARE THE BEST KIND OF GIFTS A GUY CAN GET FROM A GIRL? The kind of gift I always want probably isn’t what other guys are into as I love to bake! The best present Phoebe got me was a Cuisinart. But a good pair of sneakers also goes down pretty well!

PHOEBE, BEST GIVE EVER FROM PETER? Peter usually gets me Valentine’s Day flowers. It’s difficult for him to surprise me, since we spend all day in the studio together. Usually he’ll say “I need to go out alone for a while,” and come back and say, “Don’t look in the closet until tomorrrow.” Never much of a surprise, but still. The best gift from him ever would be our dog, followed very closely by an engagement ring.

Don’t miss the markdowns from Cold Picnic in our Brooklyn Babes Sale! And you can read more about this adorable duo in our Choose Day interview here.

Photos by BriAnne Wills. Shot on location in Brooklyn at the Samantha Pleet studio.

Couple Crush: Thunderwing Studio

When Garance Doré taps you to create her own personal stationary suite, it’s tantamount to winning a badge of honor from the fashion industry. Based in upstate New York, Thunderwing Studio is run by creative duo Nic Taylor and Jennifer Brandt-Taylor. The couple’s multi-disciplinary design studio teams up with clients in the fashion (boutique superstar TENOVERSIX is another client), lifestyle, publishing and hospitality industries. Plus, they’ve started their own collection of prints that sell in boutiques all over North America like Charlie & Lee. Nic is an award-winning designer and tenured professor at the School of Visual Arts. Jennifer is an author, a previous Waner Bros. consultant and runs a website dedicated to celebrating the printed word. Here they share the behind the scenes scoop, design tips and their secret to running a business side by side.

YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOME AMAZING CLIENTS. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A PROJECT? N: Every project is different — with different clients, different audiences, different objectives — and we welcome that. Variety and appreciation of flux is what inspires us. We work with equal parts process and intuition. Jennifer likes to say that we are design psychics. I have a more strategic approach, and somehow, that synthesis makes the work incredibly gratifying.

WHERE DO YOU SEEK INSPIRATION? N: Traveling. Music. The unbroken braid of human creativity.

ANY DREAM PROJECTS?

N: Always partners / collaborators with true vision and honesty. As for format: Hotels. Restaurants. Album design. Sacred spaces.

J: Movie titles. Interiors.

Elizabeth Sankey of pop duo Summer Camp on stage style

Made up of husband and wife team, Jeremy Warmsley (the multi-instrumentalist) and Elizabeth Sankey (the voice), Summer Camp is the dreamiest indie pop duo from the UK. Before the two paired up, Jeremy had a rocking solo career with two critically-acclaimed albums and Elizabeth was (and continues to be) a journalist and writer. You can see her work in the likes of NME, Guardian, LOVE Magazine and VICE. It’s hard to pinpoint Summer Camp’s inspiration; their sound and aesthetic draw from an array of eras in American pop culture. But we can’t stop listening. Mega-babe Elizabeth gave us a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the dream team as they put the finishing touches on their third album, Bad Love, out next month.

Power Couple: Lizzie Fortunato + Peter Asbill of Songza

If you asked us about our favorite things, Lizzie Fortunato Jewels and Songza would definitely make the cut of “Things We Would Need on a Desert Island”. So when we found out that two of the founders also happened to be one of New York’s coolest couples, our love for them went next level.

Lizzie Fortunato is part of the twin sister duo (her sister Kathryn heads up sales and operations) that founded the NYC-based jewelry and accessories line in 2008. Since then her gorgeous statement necklaces and mixed media bracelets have become a cult favorite with the industry’s most influential style stars. Peter Asbill co-founded the internet’s best playlist source with a music streaming service called Songza. Just two years after launching the mobile app, they were snapped up by Google.

We caught up with them to find out how they met and the playlists we should be streaming.

LIZZIE

HOW DID YOU MEET PETER? We met on a blind date and were actually set up by a good friend of my ex-boyfriend! Scandal!

WHAT IS INSPIRING YOUR DESIGNS RIGHT NOW? It’s typically fine art, architecture and travel that inspires my work — but the process is always accompanied by music. I tend to design in the middle of the night and prefer having music in the background as opposed to TV or anything else. I listen to a huge range of things but “Vintage Reggae” on Songza is a personal favorite when I’m working.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER FAVE PLAYLISTS ON SONGZA? I love “Songs to Raise Your Kids To” for classic hits (it’s a great long drive or dinner party soundtrack). I also love “Unexpected Best Night Ever”. I have to take credit here because this playlist was conceived when Peter and I were out to dinner one night and I suggested that he “needed a playlist for those times when you don’t think you’re going to stay out late and you didn’t even put heels on but you ended up having one of those epic 4 AM mornings”.

WHAT THREE THINGS ARE YOU COVETING RIGHT NOW? We just moved so I’ve been shopping primarily for housewares, but I’m really obsessing over light fixtures from One Forty Three (I’m dying for two of the brass swing lamps for either side of our bed… Hint, hint Peter!) and artwork by Sally King Benedict. I also love the new clogs out from N0. 6 — they seem perfect for fall adventures in the city and upstate. Oh and one more thing — pretty much anything from the new Rachel Comey store on Crosby. That whole store is heaven.

PETER

HOW DID YOU MEEET LIZZIE? On a blind date at Barrio Chino on Broome between Orchard and Ludlow. She was very late. But very cute.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR SONGZA? By listening to our users! They told us that they needed a quick and easy way to have the perfect music for every moment.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE PLAYLISTS RIGHT NOW? I have so many favorites! I love “90s Bachelor Pad” because I love silky smooth, light pop hits from the ’90s. And because it’s the perfect season for it, I’m really into “Poolside Chic” right now.

LET’S GO SHOPPING. WHAT THREE THINGS ARE ON YOUR LIST? For clothing? A button down from Barque, sneakers from Generic Surplus, and some Made & Crafted Levi’s, please!!

songza.com

lizziefortunato.com

Shop Lizzie Fortunato on Garmentory

Meet the Designers: LACAR

Settling in Vancouver after years of world travel, the couple behind the architectural jewelry of LACAR still have plenty of adventures ahead.

Paris, Dakar, Berlin, New York City, Brazil… to say Shira Laye and Morgan Carrier have wanderlust is a bit of an understatement. The girlfriend/boyfriend design duo spent years dating across the Atlantic before coming home to the west coast of British Columbia to start their own jewelry line. They brought back inspiration from Gothic and Renaissance art and newly honed expertise in metalsmithing and combined forces to launch LACAR in 2013. We had to find out more.

Shop LACAR > 

 

Lauren Toyota on going vegan and food blogging with her BF

When she’s not interviewing celebrities for MTV Canada, Much Music and eTalk, Lauren Toyota is in the kitchen, literally “cooking up vegan love”. She started her blog, hot for food, in 2009 when she began to transition into being a full-time vegan and wanted to share her journey, and some seriously delicious recipes, along the way. (We recommend trying her vegan buffalo wings, they are no joke.) A few years later she sat next to John Diemer on a cross-country tour bus and found her foodie equal. The adorable couple has been blogging together ever since. We had to find out more so we quizzed both of them on their story.

LAUREN

TELL US ABOUT HOT FOR FOOD. I started hot for food blog in late 2009 when I started to transition into veganism. I was getting really into eating this way and I had a lot of time to cook, test recipes, and take photos. Blogging was a good motivation to stick with veganism and share my story, recipe ideas, and even the struggles at the beginning. The blog didn’t get serious though until I met John. It was amazing to have someone around who was as in love with food as I am! It only made sense for us to go on this journey together, share our travels with people, and spread more vegan love.

ANY TIPS YOU CAN GIVE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO GO VEGAN? If you’re interested definitely try it one meal at a time. Then go for a week, maybe even two. You will notice a huge difference in the way you feel in only one to two weeks. And I urge you to try some of the vegan products on the market right now, especially those from Daiya, Gardein, Sol Cuisine, and Earth Balance. Things have come a long way and I promise that you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.

YOU TRAVEL TO TRY OUT VEGAN RESTAURANTS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SO FAR? The best meals we’ve eaten on a trip have been in Las Vegas. It’s also the city that surprised us the most with being so vegan friendly. I never would have thought I could eat whatever I wanted in a city like that, but they have everything! The Wynn Hotel on the strip has 14 to 16 restaurants all of which have their own custom vegan menus. We ate like kings while we were there.

HAVE YOU INTERVIEWED ANY VEGAN CELEBRITIES? Unfortunately I have yet to bond with any vegan celebrities. Kermit The Frog might be the closest I’ve come though, since he’s against eating pigs! But I hope I can meet some true vegan ambassadors one day soon. I would love to meet Ellen DeGeneres or even this high profile vegan chef, Tal Ronnen. But out of all the celebs I’ve met my favorite interviews were with Regis Philbin, Will Ferrell, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and One Direction.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VEGAN MEAL?
I am a sucker for some vegan “chicken”. My fave meal is the southern combo from The Hogtown Vegan in Toronto. It’s fried vegan chicken with sides of sautéed collard greens and vegan mac and cheese.

JOHN

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Lauren and I met on set while filming the Much VJ Search last year. She was hosting and I was hired as a freelance sound mixer. It was a cross-country bus tour with stops in all major cities along the way. We sat together everyday on the bus and used the 12-hour bus rides to get to know one another; it was the longest first date ever!

HOW DID YOU MAKE THE SWITCH TO BEING VEGAN? I would like to say that I quit meat and dairy cold turkey but I feel like that’s a bad euphemism for a vegan to use! But actually it was a very fast transition and both my love for Lauren and food made it a really exciting time for me. I would spend most of my nights trying to cook up veganized versions of my favourite dishes for Lauren to try. If anyone is having trouble making the switch, just do what I did and fall in love with a vegan.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VEGAN MEAL? If I know Lauren she’s probably going to say the southern combo from The Hogtown Vegan which is a close second next to Lauren’s famous mac and cheese. It’s the perfect combo of creamy, rich and tasty!

hotforfoodblog.com