Los Angeles-based Deradoorian on collaborations and stage style

When Tina Fey left SNL to get in front of the camera with 30 Rock, we didn’t realize we could love the woman even more. But there’s something kind of awe-inspiring about a rad, talented woman striking out on her own for the first time and killing it. Ahem, Queen Bey. One of our favorite indie artists Angel Deradoorian hit the road for her first solo tour this year after five years with The Dirty Projectors and working with some amazing artists like Bjork, David Byrne and Animal Collective’s Avey Tare with Slasher Flicks. The multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter hails from Los Angeles and left home to pursue a music career at age 15. It takes more than classical piano training to get the courage to do that. We’ve got music on the brain with the Grammy Awards coming up this Sunday so we had to get inside hers. Angel talked to us about working with others, being the boss and her stage style.

YOU’VE COLLABORATED WITH SO MANY COOL MUSICIANS AND PRODUCERS OVER THE YEARS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT? I feel like I have been singing on songs for producers/friends more than I would call it a collaboration. There is definitely some creative back-and-forth between us, but I consider a lot of those experiences serving their artistic goal. I really enjoyed working with Rostam Batmanglij, Ariel Rechtshaid, Flying Lotus, and Kindness. They’re all very unique artists with very interesting visions. No favorites in particular because they’re all so cool.

As far as what I would consider a collaboration right now, I have a small improv band with my friend Butchy Fuego who plays in the Boredoms and Liars. He plays drums and I play synthesizer. I also recently participated in the Redbull Music Academy in Tokyo and collaborated on a song with my friends Dorian Concept and Nightfeelings. That was a fun experience to record a song and have multiple contributions on it.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO TOUR ON YOUR OWN FOR THE FIRST TIME? This is my first full US/Canada tour as a solo artist and it feels great! I’m on the road with my sister/best friend, Arlene [on drums and backing vocals]. It’s the most chilled out, laid back tour I’ve ever done. Traveling in a car is sometimes my favorite way to tour. It’s been quite different in the sense that I am tour managing and leading this operation, but I like learning more directly how all of this works. The shows have been really fun to play as well because I’m finally getting to show others what I’ve been working on for the last few years. I feel a different connection with my music and like the freedom of expressing it however I choose.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR STAGE STYLE. We call this the uniform tour since we are traveling in a car and can’t bring a full-on cabaret wardrobe. We’ve got the sleek black look with black boots, the spiritual dashiki look with black boots, and finally the gas station attendant jumpsuit look with black boots.

WHAT’S NEXT AFTER THE TAIGA TOUR WITH ZOLA JESUS? I’m trying to figure that out now. It would be great to continue touring and go overseas with this music. I’m living day to day right now, and it feels right.

Check out Deradoorian’s music on Sound Cloud here.

Photo by Chad Kamenshine.

Candids and Instagram with photographer Jonathan Nafarrete

Named one of the “Top Instagram Users that Advertisers are Dying to Work With” by Business Insider, Jonathan Nafarrete has seriously mastered the art of the candid. Follow him now. Based in Los Angeles, he works in digital advertising by day and takes to the streets with a camera during his down time. His photojournalistic style was honed shooting for publications like The Guardian, Daily Mail and LA Times newspapers. But we had to know how he manages to find all of these incredible moments off the job. So we asked, and he answered.


I walk the beaches and streets of Los Angeles almost on a daily basis and always choose to shoot film. Never with any real intent, only just to see what may appear during these walks. I pace slowly with my headphones on, music blaring. The headphones keep people from bothering me, asking me for change, inquiring about directions. It is then that I can focus visually and also helps push me through the often monotonous times of seeing very little and capturing even less.

For me, shooting on the street has always fed my perpetual need to collect things. I have collected furniture, art, vintage clothing, domain names, cameras… you name it. I am in a constant state of searching and finding the items that are discarded or thrown out. In the case of street photography, these are the moments that are overlooked and happen in the blink of an eye.

Every photographer needs to do it for themselves. Discover what the world looks like to them and disregard all the emphasis placed on celebrity, sex and violence by the media on a daily basis. I have shot some very violent situations as a photojournalist in the past but what I love about shooting on the street is the order I can make of my reality. It often feels like I am directing a movie and I can visually see street actors in my mind moving into their places. I slowly watch as the scene unfolds, “Places everyone.” And at that moment – instead of yelling “Action!” – I press the shutter and freeze the scene.


People We Love: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

When we spotted their retro pale yellow truck at a Lucky Magazine boutique crawl a few years back, we knew Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was on to something. Not only is their artisan ice cream made from scratch in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with fresh and natural ingredients, but their stylish truck has fashion editors running for the ice cream man. Founded by Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill in 2008, they now have six trucks and three stores around New York and Los Angeles bringing artisan ice cream to the masses. And they’ve got a book deal. With summer around the corner we’ve been craving ice cream, like a lot, so we got the scoop (get it?) on the business of Van Leeuwen and their Bali-inspired flavours from co-founder and owner Laura.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BUSINESS OF MAKING ICE CREAM? There’s three of us, myself, Ben and Pete. Ben and Pete used to drive an ice cream truck around the neighbourhood. Back when Ben was in college, that was one of his summer jobs and Pete did it as well. So they would drive around the neighbourhood in Connecticut and sell ice creams – ice creams on sticks, so yummy but nothing particularly special.

They made a lot of money doing it – it was a very lucrative summer job. Ben saved enough money to take himself around South East Asia. Fast forward to 2006 when Ben was in his final year of college – he had this idea one day, this realization that there were all these ice cream trucks in New York but none of them were serving particularly special ice cream, in kinda cute but not beautiful trucks. He thought “Why doesn’t anyone scoop good ice creams off trucks?”.

I was still living in Australia then but was planning on moving over here. Ben called me one day and was like, “I think when you get here we should start an ice cream truck business.” I mean none of us have any formal culinary training but we’re definitely all very much food enthusiasts. It kind of grew from this crazy simple idea into writing a business plan and starting to toy around with recipes at home and finding places that would eventually make the ice cream. We came up with the recipes at home but then we needed somewhere we could make it all large-scale. We bought our first two trucks and had them retrofitted into what they are today.

WE LOOOVE THE COLOUR OF YOUR TRUCKS. Thanks! It was hard to find that colour because we could see it in our mind’s eye, this sunshiny-yellow. We’d go through all these Pantone books and we couldn’t quite find the right kind of colour, in regular paint books. But we ended up finding it in this vintage General Motors book. It’s a vintage car colour.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR SPECIAL FLAVOURS, LIKE THE SWEET STICKY BLACK RICE? Sticky Black Rice, I’m not sure if you know, but we also have a restaurant in Brooklyn, called Selamat Pagi. It’s an Indonesian restaurant. We opened that up about 18 months ago. I’m from Australia and when Ben and I were back visiting my family we would sometimes go to Bali because it’s so close and once you get there it’s really cheap. It’s an amazing place. We really fell in love with that style of cooking and that kind of flavour profile. One of the dishes you see over there is Sticky Black Rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan or vanilla bean. Once we started doing that for the restaurant it was kind of natural that the two departments would merge and we would start creating flavours geared from Selamat with the Leeuwen process.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK THAT’S COMING OUT. It’s a cookbook with about 60 ice cream recipes. It’s the type of book we wish we had when we were getting started. That’ll hopefully come out in the spring next year. We’re just testing all the recipes right now. It’ll be out with Ecco Press which is part of HarperCollins.

IS THERE A FLAVOUR THAT YOU GUYS LOVE BUT DOESN’T GET A LOT OF LOVE? It’s interesting actually. We have limited space in our freezers, particularly on our trucks, so in order to do special flavours we need to not do some of the other classics. We’ll still run specials but they won’t be available all the time, but the best flavours are cinnamon, hazelnut and palm sugar. We think all three are incredible but people do tend to go with what they know. Vanillia is 100% our best seller.

We have a lot of people who are really devoted to those flavours and are so sad that they can’t get them all the time now. Those flavours deserved more attention than they got, but I’m excited to make room for more special flavours. Recently we’ve been doing a goat’s cheese with berry compote which is incredible. Also, a milk chocolate with salted marcona almonds.


Photographer Max Wanger on fatherhood and inspiration

In a list of things that bring us heartfelt, tear-in-your-eye joy, Max Wanger’s photography would definitely be in the top five (along with Pharrel’s hat collection). The Los Angeles-based photographer has the ability to capture the sweetest moments in life with super stylish composition. We first discovered him after stalking blogger Joanna Goddard’s engagement photos and have been part of his massive following ever since. He’s famous for his wedding photography and was using those gigantic balloons before they were a must-have for brides to be, but his lens of looove has turned to a new adorable subject lately: his one-year-old son Dash with his wife Margaux Elliott (also a photographer). With Father’s Day approaching we caught up with Max to talk fatherhood and inspiration.

YOU’VE BEEN A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR SOME TIME NOW. YOU’VE CAPTURED A LOT OF MOMENTS IN OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO DOCUMENT YOUR SON’S LIFE THROUGH YOUR OWN LENS? It’s invigorating. I have the most amazing subject in front of me every single day. And all I want to do is take pictures, capture moments, find ways to tell stories. He makes me want to be better in every way. And he’s made me much more aware than I ever have before. Just as he is seeing things for the first time, I feel like I am too – that’s pretty amazing.

HAS BECOMING A FATHER CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK ON HOW YOU WORK? OR HAS IT INSPIRED YOU DIFFERENTLY? It hasn’t changed how I work, but it’s changed my perspective on work and what’s truly important. Becoming a father is the greatest gift and experience – it’s hard not to be more inspired in everything I do.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL OF THE PHOTOS YOU TAKE OF DASH? HE’S ONE LUCKY GUY. I don’t know! It’s already overwhelming and I wish I had come up with a better organizational system from the start. Right now I have photos saved on hard drives and in folders on my desktop and on my phone – they’re everywhere. One day, I hope to get it all sorted and then make some sort of book. We have friends who make books every year as a way to look back and remember. That might be a fun thing to do – we just need to find the time!



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Style Crush: Fashion blogger Sincerely Jules


Jules is based out of Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her blog, Sincerely Jules, she’s contributed to and featured in major publications such as Glamour.com, Elle.com, Lucky Magazine, E! News, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan Latina. We #want those leggzzz.