Anna Gray’s Go-To Spots During New York Fashion Week

Did you know that I moved to New York as a totally clueless 18-year-old with a college acceptance letter, side bangs and stretchy purple Urban Outfitters jeans? Entire inner worlds are destroyed and rebuilt between the ages of 18 and 28 anyway, but imagine living that out in New York City. But I didn’t die and here I am, bedecked in cool-girl garments, mostly emotionally sound and holding an iced almond latte ready to show you around. (The purple pants are long gone, I promise). The first thing you learn in this here town is that lifespans are short. Favorite bars, vintage stores, restaurants, fast first year friends? All gone. The key is to visit favorites often, experiment with new places and avoid serious attachment. A bit like dating, for some.

Anyway, here are my favorite places that are still around. Though they did just open a Starbucks on the corner of St. Marks Place and Avenue A, so  this is probably the end of NYC as we (I) know it. Swing by any of my below go-to spots  during Fashion Week and you might catch me hiding out.

Aurora Vestita skirt; Catzorange bag; Vans sneakers

6th & B Garden: Okay, this place will be here for awhile because it’s a city sanctioned non-profit. Also, it looks like all of your secret garden dreams come true. There’s a treehouse! Drink your morning coffee in here and make a calm memory you can return to when you’re sprinting between shows.

Still House: I swing by Still House before any birthday/baby shower/wedding to pick up something small, beautiful and reasonably priced. Their ceramics and minimal jewelry are great. It’s a tiny shop so browsing is quick – i.e. it’s a great place to kill the tiny amount of time you have before your next appointment.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mogador: A classic since 1983. You’ve probably been here but I’m putting it on the list in case you haven’t. Delicious Moroccan food, reasonable prices and it’s on my block so you’ll likely run into me and we can talk about how great it is! Go on off hours like 3:30pm to avoid a long wait.

Oliver St Coffee: From the team that made Mr Fongs (more on that later), Oliver Coffee is a kind reprieve from the usual laptop-crowded cafe and also the mayhem that is fashion week. The magazine selection is great, they have obscure Asian snacks and the coffee/tea/milk options are plentiful.

Coming Soon: Fabiana and Helena are women with taste as excellent as their dispositions. They carry Chen & Kai, Concrete Cat, Fredericks and Mae, to name drop a few. They have lots of small cute gifts, so even if you’re in for the long haul of fashion month you can snag a souvenir. I go in for gifts but want everything for myself.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mr Fongs: Too many of my favorite bars have closed in New York but it’s okay because now we have Fongs. It’s cute, they have snacks and banquettes and the bartenders are nice. I highly suggest going when it’s still sunny out, it looks prettier.

Starstruck Vintage: Great vintage that requires a little digging but not too much. Sunglasses, dresses from all eras, and the bag selection is solid. Their vintage tees are outrageously expensive though! It’s on the west side, so you can stop by when you’re heading east after leaving the piers.

Kes NYC dress

Text by Anna Gray

Photography by Chloe Horseman

Seven Must-Follow Women on the Front Lines of New Zealand Fashion Week

Before the weeks-long tour de fashion cities — New York, London, Paris, Milan — that make up “Fashion Month” kicks off in September comes the lesser-known New Zealand Fashion Week. Initially an industry-facing trade show, NZFW has evolved in recent years to a vibrant hotbed of local as well as international talent showcasing their collections to thousands of fashion-focused delegates and style-savvy attendees. (Including us this week! Follow along on Instagram for all the fun.)

In celebration of this season’s NZFW, we want to introduce you to seven badass kiwis running the scene. From a baker to an illustrator, these ladies are killing it creatively while exposing just how good New Zealand style is. Get ready for your girl crushes to begin.  

 

CAITLAN MITCHELL, PHOTOGRAPHER AND EDITOR

Caitlin Mitchell was born into the NZ fashion scene, literally: Her parents began one of New Zealand’s first fashion magazines, NZ Apparel, back in 1969. Caitlin’s teen years led to her modeling, eventually inspiring her to try her hand at the other side of the camera as a photographer. A graduate of Whitcliffe College of Arts and Design with degrees in fine arts and business, Caitlin now runs the magazine her parents founded with her siblings while continuing to shoot fashion editorials, musicians, scenery and more. Steeped in fashion from birth, Caitlin has naturally developed her own signature style, incorporating pom pom statement heels, chunky oversized cardigans and the cutest berets, making her an NZ must-follow (especially during fashion week!).

Follow @caitlanmitchell

 

MARY MAGUET, MODEL

In her own words, Mary Maguet is an “int’l model by day, and a goofball by night.” Born in Kenya, Mary came to New Zealand when she was two years old. She was scouted as a model on a Sunday morning at her church and has quickly become one of the most sought-after local models. She is a NZFW runway vet and has modelled for many notable names such as Karen Walker and Lonely Lingerie. To top it off, she is a total sweetheart and has amazing style. Follow Mary strutting her stuff in not just New Zealand but New York, Milan, Hawaii, you name it.

Follow @pinkishlymojotastic

 

FRANCA CHRISTINA, CERAMICIST

We predict this style queen-ceramicist is going to blow up in no time. Based in Auckland, Franca works on her exploratory project of beautiful ceramic objects. From geometric vases to a unique cheese platter and mug duo, her pieces are the perfect home additions. Just like us, she is a huge fan of emerging designers. Just head over to her Instagram feed where you will spot Paloma Wool pants, a Kowtow striped jumpsuit, Suzanne Rae’s to-die-for white pumps, and so much more. We highly suggest you take a peek and steal some style inspiration.

Follow @franca_christina

 

HARRIET + CARTER WERE, PHOTOGRAPHER/KNITTER + BAKER

Meet New Zealand’s coolest twin sisters, Harriet and Carter Were. Both women are creatively-charged, expressed in distinctly different mediums. Harriet is a dual photographer and a knitter; She shoots editorials, photo series, interiors, and a does a portrait project called ‘Lonely Girls’ for Lonely Lingerie as well as knitting texturally-complex clothes and accessories. Carter is a baker known locally for her organic sprouted bread —a recipe that took her two years to perfect! — and seeded sourdough, which she sells through her company Were Bros. Each gal flaunts a compelling Instagram feed: Harriet’s full of lush photography and images of her knit work, and Carter’s an artistic homage to beautiful food. Consider them NZ’s Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Follow @harrywere + @werebros

 

KELLY THOMPSON, ILLUSTRATOR

Kelly Thompson came into illustration by way of fashion photography, inspired by the models she shot. With a feminine and delicate style, Kelly’s illustrations quickly gained an online following and she now works as full-time freelance artist, speaks at creative events, is the founding director of creative consultancy and illustration agency Maker’s Mgmt, and is constantly collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With 23K IG followers and counting, her posts are the perfect mix of OOTD shots, illustrations, and creative inspiration.

Follow @kellythompsoncreative

 

GEORGIA PRATT, MODEL

We may be slightly obsessed with Georgia Pratt’s dreamy style and scruffy dog, Vito Valentino. Trained in fashion design, Georgia was scouted from the shores of New Zealand back in 2012 and has since emerged as a sought-after model. The Auckland-born beauty has walked the runway for Christian Siriano and Tome, starred in Lane Bryant’s Plus Is Equal campaign, and was named alongside Candice Huffine and Katy Smye as the “Models Out to Change Plus-Size Fashion” by Vogue. It’s safe to say, Georgia won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Head over to her feed for refreshing snaps of beauty, fashion and everyday life.

Follow @jojacalled

Woman We Love: Zarina Nares

You would be forgiven for thinking Zarina Nares was a contemporary of Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald. After all, the quality of her voice is of a different era — a gorgeous, throaty warble meant for listening to on a crackly vinyl or through the haze of a dark, smoky club. Nevermind the fact that she is only 21 years old. Songs to Sway To, the New York-born, Los Angeles-based musician’s new EP, is a timeless piece of work that at once haunts, rouses, and delights. The sometimes-model — who’s arresting gaze and pillowy lips have bewitched designers like Maria Stanley and Desiree Klein  — just wants to move you.

“I have just these very distinct memories of seeing someone perform or hearing someone, and going, ‘I want to do that,’ because it would just make me feel a certain way,” she says. “I want to do that to somebody else.” Meet Zarina.

WHAT WAS INSPIRING YOU WHEN WRITING SONGS TO SWAY TO? I guess they’re all sort of love-inspired, but I don’t think they talk directly about a specific romantic relationship, more just about different feelings in love and then different feelings that come with that. “Playboy”’s a bit cheeky, I think. It’s kind of about being a young girl in LA and dealing with older men who think it’s appropriate to treat you in a way that I don’t think is appropriate. And I usually, probably once a month, will write a song about that type of situation, because I feel like it’s something that comes with living in LA and being a young woman, which is unfortunate. And then the other songs are really just about being in love and the different ways that we feel that. You know, being in love is not necessarily always a happy feeling, but it isn’t necessarily being heartbreak either.

LOVE IS ONE OF THOSE EMOTIONS THAT NEVER SEEMS TO HAVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER. Right, yeah. And it seems like with every experience with love you still don’t understand it, you know? It’s in a way it just can’t really be learned or taught. I feel like every experience with love is like a new experience, no matter what relationship you’re in, whether it’s a friendship or with a family member. It’s just always weird and confusing. And so I think that’s why so many musicians write about that. They say ‘love-crazy’ or ‘love makes you crazy,’ but it’s true, it makes you do so many weird things and act in such weird ways and so I think just writing about that, especially as a young girl experiencing a lot of feeling for the first time, writing about that is just a way of making sense of all of that.

BLUES IS A GOOD GENRE FOR THAT, TOO. DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU FIRST REALLY RESONATED WITH IT? There was a clear moment in my life when my idea of music sort of shifted. I was a musical theatre kid. Like, super not cool. I thought I was put on this earth to play Sandy in Grease, was doing classical vocal training, and studying opera. And then in an English class, in sophomore year of high school, we were studying poetry and my teacher opened one of the lessons playing “You Don’t Know What Love Is” by Billie Holiday. And that was just a complete shift for me. I remember crying in class and it was the first time, I think, that I felt truly affected by a song. And that sort of opened up this whole new world of music and what music’s purpose is.

YOU’VE GOT SOME GREAT COVERS ON YOUR SOUNDCLOUD: “(SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY” BY OTIS REDDING, “YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON,” BY THE SUPREMES. WHAT IS IT ABOUT SOULFUL MUSIC THAT YOU’RE DRAWN TO? I think what is so special about jazz and blues and soul is — it’s so hard to describe — but I genuinely feel something inside me light up. It’s just magical and it feels like there’s just this connection that I have with the music. I mean, I can dance to other stuff and enjoy listening to other music, but it’s just something about soulful music. It’s just so honest, it pushes every single button inside me. And I think also I’m a very sensitive person. I feel a lot and I react very strongly to things that happen to me in my life, just in general, so I think that’s just the type of music that comes naturally with that, in a way. I just remember there’s been so many points in my life where I have just these very distinct memories of seeing someone perform or hearing someone, and going, ‘I want to do that,’ because it would just make me feel a certain way. It was powerful. And I would be like, ‘I want to do that to somebody else.’ I just think that’s the music that feels natural to me and I could eventually make someone else look at me and go, ‘Wow, I want to be able to do that.’

YOU POSTED A BEAUTIFUL PHOTO ON INSTAGRAM ON FATHER’S DAY OF YOUR DAD [JAMES NARES] BUSKING IN CENTRAL PARK IN THE ‘70S. WITH HIM BEING AN ARTIST AND A MUSICIAN, DID HE PLAY A BIG ROLE IN ENCOURAGING YOU CREATIVELY? Yes. Without a doubt. Both my parents, really, but my dad was constantly encouraging myself and my sister to be expressing ourselves, and creating things, and doing things that made us happy. He’s an extremely supportive person. He moved to New York City when he was just under 20, I think, in the ‘70s, from England, and just started painting and working on his artwork. And so I think he’s just very understanding of that feeling and that necessity for me, because that’s what I did — I moved to Los Angeles when I was 17 to pursue music and so, in a way, I feel like I’m following in his footsteps.

YOUR MOM DID BEAUTY CREATIVE DIRECTION FOR BRANDS LIKE CHANEL, TOO. WERE YOU CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED BY MUSIC, ART AND FASHION GROWING UP? Yeah. I had a very unusual upbringing. It feels completely normal to me, but yeah, you know, I grew up in New York City, which already is kind of an interesting place to grow up for that reason. There’s just so much going on, all the time. We grew up living with my mom in Tribeca, my dad lived in Chelsea, but he would come over every night for dinner. Tons and tons of fashion photography books lining all the walls. Just anyone you could possible think of, my mother has their book. And then magazines everywhere. At one point, I think we had every Vogue from 1990 to 2010, or something. Vogue, and W and Harper’s Bazaar, and Interview — just tons of magazines everywhere. And then my dad, always coming around and taking us to his studio, and we would go to gallery openings on Thursday nights in Chelsea. I was saying to someone the other day, ‘I grew up running around gallery openings from the moment I could walk to, by the time I was 10, eating snacks after school in an advertising focus group about what the next Calvin Klein fragrance should be named.’ So it was just a lot of creativity around me at all times. And, truthfully, it just seemed normal. But now, I consider myself very lucky and really grateful to have been given the life that I’ve been given.

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT ENVIRONMENT SHAPED YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS STYLE? I think growing up with a mother who works in fashion, we were always pretty up to date on what was cool or trendy and what not. But, I think also my parents are both just, like, effortlessly cool-looking people. And while they’re stylish in their own ways, they’re very much individuals, and I think that’s really what’s shaped my style. I wear what makes me feel good and my mom would always say, ‘If you feel good in your outfit, you’ll have a great day.’ She loves to wear Chanel. She’d always be in her Chanel mini-dresses and I think I have that in my mind, always. And I find that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started dressing more and more like my mother. My mother walks into a room and generally stands out. In New York, where everyone wears black, my mom would always be in a hot pink mini-dress or something. And gold jewelry.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Well, a friend said this once to me and I like it: a modern-day Edie Sedgwick, maybe? I like something that I can wear during the day and then go to a party as well and it still kind of works. But, yeah, I guess fun and colorful. Mismatchy. Lots of prints and patterns.

DO YOU THINK WORKING IN BOTH FASHION AND MUSIC WILL LEND A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO EACH OTHER? I think that the two worlds are very different, but I think they both help one another. A lot of people will ask if music has helped build confidence for modeling, which I think is so funny, because I’m like, ‘no, it’s the complete opposite.’ Modeling has completely built confidence in music, because modeling is like playing house for a living. It’s just getting to play pretend, which is so fun — you get to dress up and be a new person each job, depending on that magazine or whichever clothing company. And music is really just the complete opposite. It’s everything stripped away and it’s just myself not getting to pretend to be anybody else. I think both things are slowly helping me build more confidence in myself, which is good, and I think as one thing helping the other — I hope that modeling helps music more. My goal, really, is to one day just get to be a musician. Modeling is very fun, but music is really just what I know in my heart I’m meant to do.

FINALLY, WHAT’S BEST SONG TO SWAY TO AND THE PERFECT OUTFIT TO SWAY IN? [giggles] It would have to be “You and Me” by Penny & the Quarters. And perfect outfit to sway in… Gosh. I would say a mini red dress. Nothing body con, ever, if you’re planning on swaying. I mean, no body con in general.

zarinanares.com

By Yasmine Shemesh.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Casting Call: Brittany Simpson

When we found out Brittany Simpson had a Friday Night Lights tattoo (her inner arm reads “Texas Forever”) and that she had just as much sarcasm in her as she did knockout beauty, it was clear we had found the model for us. Get to know our Fall editorial bae in the woods.

HOMETOWN? Ladner, BC, Canada.

ASTROLOGICAL SIGN? Taurus.

FUN FACT? I’m an extremely awkward person and make up the weirdest excuses for things. I’ve turned down a date with Leonardo DiCaprio by saying I had to catch an early flight in the morning and have used the excuse “moving to Toronto” to get out of jobs, leases, and relationships. I’ve never been to Toronto.

PERSONAL WARDROBE STAPLES? Acne jeans and converse.

DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION? Norway. My mom’s Norwegian and my boyfriend used to live there.

FAVE SPOT IN VANCOUVER? Six Acres.

LAST NOVEL YOU LOVED? Anything by David Sedaris. I have re-read his books so many times.

FAVORITE FILMS? Titanic and Stepbrothers.

DAILY SOUNDTRACK? My iPod on shuffle, which can be very dangerous. Anything from Garth Brooks to movie soundtracks, so I usually keep it strictly to headphones… but I love Garth Brooks, actually.

DRINK ORDER? Iced americano, beet juice or Negroni.

STANDBY SNACK? Tamari almonds.

HOW DID YOU START MODELING? WERE YOU DISCOVERED? I was 16, sitting in a Starbucks by an agent from NEXT. I was with them for years before switching to NOBASURA a few years ago.

FAVORITE SHOOT TO DATE (ASIDE FROM OURS OF COURSE) AND WHY? Lifetime Collective, shot in Portland. Everyone on that trip was a friend and hilarious, so we had the best time even though I got very very sick due to modeling outside in winter and going to strip clubs at night with early morning call times.

Find Brittany at Nobasura Rad Kids or on Instagram.

Crystals 101 with Audrey Kitching

Audrey Kitching is one part mystic babe and two parts social media mogul. Scouted by a modeling agent at the age of 14 in Philadelphia, she has since built a business as a blogger, designer and art director. Audrey’s pink cotton candy hair (she had it before Nicole Ritchie and Rihanna did) and eccentric style are what made people notice her on and offline. When you start scrolling through Audrey’s social media feeds, you’ll notice a few running themes: her positivity, self-confidence and commitment to energy healing. We have reason to believe that her veins pump glitter.

Some people believe that energy healing can help with physical problems, mental health issues and more by enhancing energy flow and getting rid of disturbances in the “human energy field” or aura. Audrey isn’t the only one who’s keeping tabs on her spirituality: Miranda Kerr sleeps with Rose Quarts, British denim brand, Blaak, infuses some of their styles with lapis lazuli crystals, David Lynch preaches the benefits of transcendental meditation, and Gwyneth Paltrow is known to do a Reiki session now and again. With energy healing going from fringe to in vogue, we wanted to know a little more. We talked to Audrey about her practice and how it even impacts her approach to getting dressed in the morning.

Mari Giudicelli on effortless style and the beauty of a white t-shirt

Model, muse and recent fashion grad with an eye for vintage shoes, Mari Giudicelli has the kind of style that takes years to perfect. The New York City-based Brazilian mixes high and low like a pro and her closet is home to an enviable mash-up of vintage. Plus, she’s got that strong brow and It girl shag down to a tee. We’ve had our eye on her since we spotted her scrolling through the vintage site Where I Was From. We suspect that modeling for brands like Maryam Nassier Zadeh and Rodebjer has also helped shape her personal style but that whole effortless thing just can’t be taught. “I kinda dress like a homeless person a lot,” she said recently. Watch your back Mary-Kate. Mari just signed with Ford Models so you’ll be seeing her lovely mug a LOT more. She’s also a talented photographer and having just graduated from fashion design school is about to design her own line of shoes. You know how this works: start watching this beauty NOW.

YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE AMAZING MULTI-TASKERS. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT ALL THE THINGS YOU’RE DOING NOW? I moved here to go to fashion school and when I was in my second semester a photographer found me on the street in the East Village and that’s when I started modeling. Many people started reaching out and I managed to shoot between classes and on weekends. It wasn’t easy, nor planned, but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing designers, and to be able to choose to work only with people whose art I really appreciate.  This past month I signed with Ford Paris. They have me on their talent board, which is super awesome.

I just graduated, so now I’ll have time to really focus on my projects. I’m obsessed with vintage shoes. I love fashion history, and it’s something I’ll never stop studying. I also design footwear and I’m coming out with my own line soon.

In my free time, I photograph, write and celebrate life with friends as much as possible.

Seasick Mama on indie pop, stage style and disco

Marial Maher, better known as Seasick Mama, is a woman of many talents: singer, songwriter, performer and model, to name a few. The Brooklyn-based indie pop singer’s voice is as sweet as a summer’s day laced with serious undertones of badass. Her musical abilities shatter the notion of what it means to be a pop artist. Her first EP, Dead Like Money, is an awesomely playful experience where every track has its own story and genre. It’s hard not be intrigued by the siren. Her persona riddled with complexities lures you in: a self-proclaimed exhibitionist with a dash of the reserved. We chatted with Marial about how she got her start in music, her style and some personal stuff too.

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING MUSIC? When I was really young, my dad used to get me to stop crying by playing the blues on his guitar, throwing in poop jokes and not being very serious. So I think naturally, I have always taken a relaxed approach to music. I started to sing with him at local bars to build confidence. Then when I moved to NYC. I got a job at Sticky Audio Labs and I started writing songs.

ON YOUR LAST EP, ‘TIP TOP SHAPE’, YOU WORKED WITH SOME REALLY AWESOME PEOPLE: DAVID SITEK (TV ON THE RADIO), SAM FARRAR (PHANTOM PLANET), PETER WADE (MNDR), LESTER MENDEZ, AND JOEL SHEARER. HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE? It was a little stressful at first because they were strangers when I walked through the door. But at the end of the writing sessions I made some really cool friends – and really amazing songs! They all had their personal impacts on my life, especially Peter Wade. He is a great songwriter (we wrote “Man Overboard” together.) He definitely made lightbulbs pop off in my head.