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.

Exclusive: The Palatines x Garmentory x Sissy Sainte-Marie

Inspired by our mutual obsession with denim, and its designer roots in the Los Angeles Fashion District, we’re excited to introduce you to the perfect summer shoe. Seriously. Designer Jessica Taft Langdon created the Palatines’ Caelum Slide in Slate in a special limited edition quantity just for us… well, you. She and stylist extraordinaire Sissy Sainte-Marie became fast friends after some mutual admiration on social media, so she was the perfect person to style and model this special collaboration.

Shop The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide >

“I love this Palatines slide so much,” says Sissy. “I have it in three colors and wouldn’t mind having three more. They look good with everything and have the ability to dress up what needs dressing-up and and dress down what needs dressing-down.”

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“As is very typical for me, the inspiration came from the material itself,” explains Jessica. “I saw a small stack of beautiful hides at a leather supplier here in LA. The color, natural finish and softness hooked me, and I bought all of the remaining stock. I’d put it aside in the studio, and knew I’d find a good use for it eventually.” Enter Garmentory and our need for all things denim and we found the perfect fit for the almost indigo hue. “It’s as easily wearable as a favorite pair of jeans. And since all of our shoes have a very soft leather lining, they’ll mold to your foot, in the same way that your Levi’s shrink to fit!”

Shop The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide >

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Another detail about The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide we’re so excited about is the impeccable comfort and fit. There’s a hidden thong that keeps the foot from sliding and your toes from cramping so you’ll be wearing these babies allllll summer long.

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Only a few of these slides are available, so don’t hesitate. Shop Now

Meet the Designer: Jessica Taft Langdon of The Palatines

We all know that shoes can make or break an outfit, but what if they give you blisters every single time you wear them for more than 45 minutes? Shoes for show are one thing (and we all have them obviously) but shoes for real life are what The Palatines does best. Jessica Taft Langdon is the designer behind the emerging Los Angeles footwear line. After developing an extensive and impressive resume working for heavyweights like Alexander Wang, Catherine Malandrino, Coach, Everlane, and Proenza Schouler, she fearlessly took the leap to launch her own label. Settling in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood after living in Philadelphia, New York City and Milan, Jessica began with the firm assertion that every style would tap into the American sportswear spirit and be produced locally. Meticulous construction in Los Angeles and ultimate comfort are paramount. The result is nothing less than effortless, elegant and cool. No Band-Aids required.

We’ve teamed up with Jessica for a special collaboration (watch this space), so we sat down to find out more about her shoes and her life in Los Angeles.

 

The new denim rules with Sissy Sainte-Marie

You know how we love our denim here at Garmentory, so we teamed up with Los Angeles-based stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie to dive right into the blue. We’ve long believed in the power of a pair of jeans (or, you know, 10), but with key updates to fits and silhouettes and fashion’s latest love affair with head to toe denim, it’s a whole new world of indigo. We’ve finally embraced the Canadian tuxedo in a real way, and mom jeans, cropped flares and wide leg silhouettes have eclipsed our desire for skinny jeans and boyfriend jeans. Here, Sissy shows us how the new rules are done right now.

 

Above: Terrible Records t-shirt; 69 jeans from Assembly Los Angeles. Earrings are Sissy’s own from Faris. Shoes throughout by The Palatines, a sneak peek at our exclusive collaboration available May 5th.

 

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Creatures of Comfort quilted jacket (similar here) and pants (similar here).

HOW CAN WE APPROACH CLASSIC BLUE DENIM IN A FRESH, MODERN WAY? I’m no authority, but what I’m drawn to in my personal style is matching sets, Canadian tuxedos, dark denim with white stitching, and although the idea of “dressed up denim” is nothing new, I am loving well-worn denim with fancy blouses, statement shoes, and bold accessories. I dislike the concept of “saving things” for good or for special occasions. Let those fancies come out in the sunshine! Pairing with lived-in denim is a great way to make maximal, overstated pieces accessible in the daytime.

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Silk Denim jumpsuit (similar here) from Otherwild Los Angeles.

WHAT ARE THE KEY SILHOUETTES TO LOOK FOR? Sailor pants, dorkified fit (flooded, flared, and FUPA), mom jeans, dad jeans, moppa jeans. Let your skinny jeans go, unless you’re one of the few people they flatter.

WE LOVE ALL THE DECONSTRUCTED DENIM WE’RE SEEING. ARE THERE ANY TIMES A FRAYED EDGE ISN’T APPROPRIATE? Other than to a wedding, court, or maybe a country club, a frayed edge can go anywhere.

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Objects Without Meaning jacket (similar here) and jeans (similar here); Nancy Stella Soto top (similar here).

HOW SHOULD WE BE INVESTING IN DENIM? If your jeans cost twice your rent or mortgage but you wear them hundreds of times, it’s a good investment. Also, well-curated vintage denim taken to your tailor for fine tuning is a good investment.

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE PIECES FROM THE SHOOT. I like to wear things that feel good against my skin and the Creatures of Comfort quilted sailor pants and light jacket are the softest cotton. And the pants have such a flattering fit. And Shaina Mote’s dark denim swing trench coat with white stitching is perfection.

Shaina Mote trench and pants (similar here).

Meet the Designer: Hackwith Design House

Designer Lisa Hackwith has been redefining the notion of minimalism since she started her namesake label in September 2013. Instead of seeing it as a streamlined aesthetic that favors simple silhouettes, a neutral palette and monochrome styling, she views minimalism as a kind of lifestyle where we mindfully select clothing that we will wear over and over again. Eschewing conventional approaches to retail and design, Lisa launched her brand by releasing a limited edition collection of two to four styles every Monday, with only 25 pieces per design. Her goal in this is to keep garment construction close to home, while maintaining a close eye on the quality of every piece. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband Dustin who works as the Brand Design Director for Hackwith Design House, and their adorable Rottweiler Samson. We’re huge fans (and, spoiler alert: have a special collab up our sleeve), so we couldn’t wait to sit down and talk shop.

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Pennyweight’s Elise Joseph shares her shopping wish list

Elise Joseph wore bright white Rachel Comey Mars boots on her wedding day. If the Nashville-based art director and creative consultant hadn’t already charmed us with her eye for curating established and emerging designers, interiors, art, photography and music, we would have fallen for her right then and there. Elise started her blog Pennyweight back in 2009 and since then has collaborated with amazing people like Kinfolk, Steven Alan and Warby Parker and found her style featured in Refinery29, The Sartorialist and Fashionista. Clearly we have a #girlcrush, but she’s also one of those amazing, talented and stylish women we like to quiz on things like style philosophy and go-to outfits. So we asked and she answered.

Elise also happened upon those Rachel Comey wedding boots right here, so we asked her to share her Garmentory shopping wish list too.

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TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU. I am a creative consultant – I help designers (primarily in the fashion industry) with branding, marketing, social media and creative direction. Each day is a little different – some days I am styling a photo shoot, other days I am developing mood boards and concepts, and other times I am researching strategy and ideas. I also create digital content for brands and run my own business and blog called Pennyweight.

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE PHILOSOPHY? Less is more.

DO YOU REMEMBER A MOMENT WHEN YOU FIRST DISCOVERED A LOVE FOR FASHION? I got really into denim during middle school – it was a pretty big deal that my strict private school dress code allowed jeans those couple of years. But I always struggled to find the perfect fit – I was super tall and lanky (hello early growth spurt!), so everything either swallowed me or hit way above my ankles. I think that was when I started dreaming about having my own clothing store, which is a dream I am finally fulfilling later this year.

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WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Be comfortable. Confidence is sexy and I think it’s important to be comfortable and feel good in what you’re wearing.

WHO IS YOUR STYLE ICON? I have a lot of style icons – I really admire strong, kind women who are paving their own way. My current inspirations are Jesse Kamm, Alexa Chung and Leandra Medine.

WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL WARDROBE STAPLES? I’m always aspiring to a seasonless wardrobe, and pieces that I can wear over and over again. For me, it’s a reversible silk blouse (has to be machine washable!), a perfectly worn-in white boyfriend tee, high-waisted jeans, a structured leather handbag, gold studs and Rachel Comey boots.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE NASHVILLE STYLE? Nashville style is really diverse – we still have lots of cowboy boots and hats (we are the home of country music after all), but it’s really so much more than that. I serve on the board of the Nashville Fashion Alliance, an organization working to build infrastructure and nurture the eco-system of our regional fashion industry, so it’s super exciting to see all that’s happening here. We have some amazing designers in town – Elizabeth Suzann, Han Starnes, imogene + willie, Jamie and the Jones and Ceri Hoover are a few of my favorites.

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Visit elisejoseph.com for more with Elise. 

Like free stuff? Click over to Elise’s Instagram for a special giveaway! And follow her too because she’s rad.

Photos from top: Elise is wearing a Baserange Turtleneck Tee, Black Crane Wide Top and the LOQ Andorra Boot. Keep scrolling for her current wish list.

 

Meet the Designer: Nettie Kent

The first thing that will strike you when speaking to jewelry designer Nettie Kent is how she might just be the epitome of the word vivacious. Spend even more time with her, and you can’t help seeing the world through rosier glasses. An artist through and through, Nettie dipped her toe into a variety of different crafts – painting, sculpting and writing – before settling in and finding her calling with jewelry. She lives primarily in Brooklyn with her husband and fur babies, but also spends several months a year in her hometown of Martha’s Vineyard, a place that strongly influences her designs today. Using recycled metals and both semi-precious and precious stones, Nettie’s sculptural designs have gained her an avid following of fans, like us. We caught up with her to find out more about her foray into jewelry design, her bohemian childhood, and which fellow designer she likes to spend Sunday brunch with. Hint: We love this designer too!

Meet the Boutique: Lynn Louisa

Tucked away on a charming street in Georgetown, Lynn Louisa is kind of a goldmine in Washington, DC. Owner Gabby Klingman stocks the shelves with up-and-coming and sought-after lines like Rachel Comey, Ganni and Just Female. A seasoned veteran of the fashion industry, she opened up shop in 2014 after her she and her husband made the move from Seattle to the country’s capital. Gabby previously worked in a ton of varied roles in retail – from buying to wholesale – and wanted to put her experience and her passion to work in a boutique of her own. Her eye for new lines and cool-girl brands quickly built a loyal customer base, many of whom she now counts as close friends. We caught up with her to talk about starting a business, the evolving style of DC and the joys of being a homebody.

Woman We Love: Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee

“Vivienne Westwood said it perfectly, ‘Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.'” Lee Vosburgh is on a closet mission. First discovering tips for her own wardrobe, the Canadian style blogger has been focused on showing her readers how to edit their closets and curate a collection of outfits that they really love. Her philosophy is that our clothes should excite us and move us to explore ourselves through the medium of clothing. Oh, and we should actually wear them. Meaning that dusty pair of platform sneakers that you bought on a whim? It’s time that they hit the road to make room for styles that make you feel like you. Read on for Lee’s style wisdom and all the reasons she’s a woman we love.

Meet the Boutique: Baby & Company

Located around the corner from Seattle’s bustling Pike Place Market, Baby & Company is still somewhat of a hidden gem. Originally opened in 1976 by Baby and Uri Burstyn, the boutique has long been known for its pioneering spirit in the city’s fashion community and has been a go-to destination in the city for elevated clothing and accessories. Flash-forward forty years later and what sets this boutique apart from the pack is its unwavering commitment to the slow-fashion movement. Jill Donnelly and her husband Wayne took over in 2012 and gave the Seattle boutique a modern facelift: think clean, minimalist lines, cool gallery walls and a European atelier vibe. Today they curate a cool collection keeping with her philosophy that quality and ethics are not optional, they are non-negotiable. We sat down with Jill to talk about the highs and lows of running a business, their philanthropic efforts and her personal approach to style.

Shop Baby  & Company >