May 15, 2009

lalala

I'm back from LA and it was an amazing time! I think I'll just go through day by day with a bunch of posts. We arrived Friday night and Saturday Laura and Kate of Rodarte and I got together. SPOILER ALERT: It was ridonks fun.

My dad and the friends we were staying with and I met them at their studio. It was extremely cool. All of their books were arranged by color, and Kate said they had a storage unit rented out for the REST of their books. When we got together for lunch on Wednesday, Laura’s first reaction to the Aubrey Beardsley book I got them was “Now we have a green book!” There’d be a title on Christian Dior right below one about Norwegian Black Metal, right next to one about Picasso, right next to one about anime. Lots of figurines and stuffed animals were everywhere. They had a Barbie version of Tippi Hedren in The Birds with crows attacking her in her lovely well-kept 60’s outfit, though Kate noted that when they saw her after being attacked by lots of birds that they thought “this is more our style!”

Possibly more pictures of the studio soon, they're going to email me with a yay or nay because I might've gotten stuff from the next collection in the pictures by accident.She showed us the clothes they keep there to send out to magazines and such. I can’t even describe how magical it is to see the dresses and skirts and jackets in real life, and to hear what they have to say about their own creations as well. My pictures of the clothes are super crappy and now I don't even know why I took them when the ones at their site are so much better..

oh the louboutins...

With a number of designers, it doesn’t seem very hard to imagine what their things are like in person.. with more minimalistic clothing, there are less surprises, but the details in the Rodarte clothes are amazing. I didn't know they disguised their zippers in lots of beads! Let me refresh your memory: silkscreened leather, marble painted fabrics, and hand dyed silk tulle. They developed all of the dye shades themselves, too.

there was an entire room with hip high boots laying out to dry.. They talked about how many female designers are often expected to say that they’re creating the clothes they would like to wear, but Rodarte is more about creating an entire world with a piece of clothing. When they were kids they would do things like climb book cases and do their own thing and make their own fun and were'nt really into what the other people in their grades were. When I told how I could’ve founded badatsports.com they said they could’ve as well. They said their mom once gave each of them a journal; that Kate drew lots of dresses in hers and Laura mapped out their entire house, down to every detail like the keys. My dad asked her how she thought being an English Literature major affected how she designs, and she said that you get used to analyzing almost everything, and that she now pays more attention to detail. We talked about that, and how Kate majored in Art History, how not studying fashion can affect design. I think that in fashion it’s important to draw inspiration from so many different sources and that every season there seems to be one designer that’s able to fill the “I was inspired by the 80’s!” slot, or the 40’s, etc. Um, pretty sure Star Wars and Japanese slasher films are a different kind of thing, and I think by combining such unique references they've created clothes that really haven't been seen before, cannot be easily duplicated, or be classified into labels. Even Comme can be classified, but Rodarte doesn't fit just one. I also think that there are a number of designers that seem to be weird just for the sake of being weird, or just to be anti-trend. Comme is weird but it's conceptual. Rodarte is weird but it's innovative.

Anyway, their studio was incredibly rad. I told them Todd Selby would go nuts and they just happened to have gone to school with him (DUH, right?) and turns out Kate is the one that told him he should go into photography. We looked at Etsy and I showed them my favorite sellers, Angie and Yokoo. I also showed them some of my favorite blogs, like those belonging to Belle, Elizabeth, Hazel, Laia, Jen, and Karl, and they really liked all of them. I was wearing a pair of leggings that they thought were cool that K over at Nice and Shiny made me so they saw her blog too.

After a while we (Laura, Kate, and myself, by this time) left the studio and headed to their awesome friend Wendy’s store in Chinatown called Ooga Booga, listening to one of the mixes they made me in the car (and their tracks are just about as varied as their bookshelf). We browsed the store (completely epic place, carries stuff like Slow & Steady Wins the Race and some vinyl) and they got incredibly rad zines. If I WANTED to be a bit of a BRAGGART, I would tell you about how they said the one I made them was the best one they’d ever seen, but y’know, WHO wants to be a BRAGGART?! (I am awful. I’ll stop.) Next we headed over to Olvera Street, the oldest street in the United States (tourist alert! Hawaiian shirts! Sunscreen! Cameras!) where we met up with Wendy. edit: ooooopsydoops, oldest street in L.A. Same thing! Not really! Carrying on.

the oldest house in the u.s., yo

We went into a store there that had lots of Mariachi hats and fun stuff and they got me Mexican bingo cards and tiny bows and we agreed that I would pay them back by paying for Chicago goodies when we act like loser tourists over here. We also got confetti eggs but didn’t explode them because-as Laura remembered-it would’ve been littering. Then I tried Mexican hot chocolate for the first time and OH MAH GAWWWW. Find it. I don’t care what you have to do-FIND IT. I wonder if there's a Mexican hot chocolate mafia.

When it was time for lunch we were deciding between two restaurants on the opposite sides of the street from one another. We went to the one that looked more festive and I think it may have been the best decision ever made? The Magic Castle-super secretive castle in L.A. for magicians, srs biz beyond belief-came up in conversation and the man at the table by us goes, “Excuuuuuuse me, but were you talking about the Maaaaaaaagic Castle?” He happened to be a member for 40 years and was incredibly nice-he gave us-a bunch of strangers-a lifelong pass. He also did some magic tricks for us. It was like a movie, that little episode. The restaurant on the other side of the street should be avoided at all costs, what with it being on the opposite side of the street and all. Ew, right? So gross.

After lunch (where they talked about going to the Met, and Steve Martin playing banjo for them, and when they met Karl) we went to an Indian Powow in a cornfield. It was amazing! Watching the dances and hearing the music and everything. Laura and I bought beaded bracelets and mine happens to match the airplane seat I am currently sitting in. We got Hawaiian shaved ice from this woman that put this special cream on top. She said her mom would always use it as the special ingredient and ask the kids to leave the kitchen when she put it on. When the woman’s mother turned 80 she finally told her the recipe and it tastes so. so. good.

We then made a quick stop at Union Station, just to go inside and immediately feel the old Hollywood air. LA is like a museum by itself just because of all the landmarks. Driving around yesterday I saw the liquor store that Cher from Clueless gets mugged outside of! Such rich history!

The last stop was Opening Ceremony, where we walked into a party without knowing what was going on. There was this Hello Kitty clubhouse and all these Hello Kitty figurine machines, and we got the Halloween ones (nerds). There was also this room entirely covered in legos, not like when you go to Legoland and everything is built to look like it’s made out of legos, but LEGIT legos that the people working there covered the walls in entirely. All those years of toddler stupidity in which I could only manage to play with the big ones, fulfilled. The only thing I was good at coordination-wise as a toddler was I think punching this one bully in preschool. But that’s for another time, yes? I mean, ONE LIFE-ALTERING STORY AT A TIME, PLZ. MY GOSH.

Star Wars and glow in the dark stickers on the ceiling!

More rad stuff at the store.

Aghhhh Jeremy Scott's Keith Haring pink moto jacket afhhhh so beautiful

At some point it came up that Natalie Portman will be one of those actresses that’s still accepting awards at 70; someone that really makes a mark in Hollywood, that is remembered not notoriously but for being a great actress. I feel the same way about Laura and Kate’s label- the house of Rodarte will be around for forever. They told me about when they were invited to Coco Chanel’s old studio, this event where a number of hands in the industry were invited to come and be in this lasting presence she had. Karl told them that one day people will be visiting their studio in the same way and, quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.