Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heroin Heroine

First, I apologize for not posting yesterday. Life has been a bit crazed as of late - but it's all good. And today's post is a little different as well. My friends at American Apothecary started designing t-shirts (like the one I'm wearing above) that showcase drugs that are now illegal or unhealthy but were once considered medicinal such as heroin, cigarettes (given to asthmatic children) and cocaine. With these daring designs, they hope to expand the public’s knowledge of our dubious pharmacological past and encourage people to consider what the future opinion of today’s widely prescribed drugs will be. Personally I think we're turning our children into zombies or speed freaks by deciding that they're all suffering from ADHD instead of admitting that they just need to get outside and burn energy. Leave those drugs to the club kids that really need them! (I'm kidding...kind of)

Anyways, I’m giving away two of these great shirts to two readers. All you have to do to enter is make a comment below or follow me -  @katya_NYC and @a_apothecary on Twitter! I've never done a giveaway before, so if you like this one I'll do others. ps the t-shirts are ridiculously soft as well. xo katya

Friday, May 28, 2010

Collective Cutie

Seen at the Collective party. I'm loving the suspenders and the simple black and white.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New glasses by Selima @ EVA Boutique

I used to live in Soho. Way, way back in the day - and hands down my favorite shop was the Selima Optique on Wooster Street. Now that Soho has become an upscale mall (it's newest resident a Croc store!) I avoid it like the plague. So I was thrilled that Selima Salaun opened a shop within EVA, a fantastic boutique on the Bowery that carries some of my favorite local designers like Katie Gallagher and The Twentyten. This photo is Stephanie Pappas, the founder of EVA, wearing the ZIA sunglasses that Selima made specifically for EVA New York. I love the old school drama of these glasses. I also love Stephanie's leggings? Tights? They seem like leggings because they don't have feet but they have the sheerness of hosiery...and for some reason I find this utterly intriguing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sweater Girl


I thought this girl was so cute I had her stand on the bench so that I could take her photo. (it was a bit crowded -though I'm sorry I missed her shoes.) Admittedly, denim shorts with black tights of some sort is not uncommon but these particular tights are really cute. And the homespun charm of the sweater works for her...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kenzo says you might as well dance

A Q&A with designer Kenzo MinamiKENZOMINAMI.PORTRAIT.ACE2010(C2_Small2)
I met Kenzo Minami awhile back at a party at B.East. He was dj-ing at the party and I liked his energy and overall vibe. Later I learned that dj-ing was just a small part of what he's about. Kenzo is a majorly accomplished artist/designer and the more I learned about him the more intrigued I became: he has been commissioned to do work by a variety of companies from Mercedes-Benz to Converse to the Tribeca Grand Hotel. He's also had both solo and group shows and in 2007 was chosen as one of 35 people for “Johnnie Walker Blue Label Celebrates 35 Under 35” which was designed to celebrate the brightest young minds across a broad cross-section of disciplines including artists, writers, music executives, comedians and designers. Oh! And he also designs t-shirts that are sold at one of my favorite NYC boutiques Seven! So I'm psyched that he took the time to answer a few questions for me and that in turn I can introduce him to those of you unfamiliar with his work.
(click below!)

 If people ask you the question “What do you do?” how do you answer?
Graphic Designer?

WSOGMM1 - Kenzo's piece for Exit Art
What are you currently working on?
I have work in the upcoming show/benefit for Exit Art Gallery on June 7th. It's with an amazing collection of artists including Nan Goldin, Yoko Ono, Bill Viola, Swoon, among others and Special Guest Host Michael Douglas.
In addition I'm working on multiple pieces for other shows. And I really have to update my website and finally planning to start on that as the next top priority.

You've also done work recently for the ACE Hotel, which is one of my favorites in New York. How did you get involved in creating work for them?
It goes back to long before the one in Portland was opened, and one of the very first solo project I did years ago when I was still mainly doing broadcast stuff.  When I did the a few projects with Nike in 2003, I met Alex Calderwood (who eventually opened Ace Hotel) who was involved in the projects through the agency Neverstop back then. When he opened Ace Hotel in Portland, they contacted me if I would do a mural for it - and I did.  And when they opened one in New York, we talked about doing another one for it also - and 2 years had ended up passed till I did one this past March.  

Turbine of Life mural
Can you tell me a little bit about the mural / your thoughts behind it?
Yes, it's called Turbine of Life. I went through a very stoic or almost bland period creatively, dealing solely on academic or meta level themes (about creation and process of the pieces themselves, what it is to graphically construct, or regarding where we are in our visual culture). Then I snapped out of it and went for something more emotional, positive, and in the direction of "Forward" as oppose to everything being in retrospect or in comparison or referenced.  So this was the piece I was picturing: this turbine, springing out all these lives and living organisms.  This in my head was about the nature as organic based machinery but also about human scientific attempt to reboot the nature. 

You seem to have successfully created your own career path/avoided a corporate route. How did you manage that?
I don't think I necessarily "avoided" the corporate route - I think (and would like to think) that I had a healthy and balanced relationships with corporate projects and essentially corporate clients.  As much as I was very specific and careful of the tone I was setting and balancing between art and commerce, I was also fortunate to work with people who really wanted to do something cool in the world of advertising or corporate media and gave me a freedom.  And as much as I had freedom and fortunate environment to work within, I think I consider myself as a designer rather than artist and I do definitely come from design back ground (I studied industrial design and started my career as a set designer) - so I never had any emotional or artistic conflict with potential restricted condition I could had been working with (even though I cannot say that I experience too much of it, as I mentioned), and I think this created the condition of mutual respect and understanding of creative territories.  

And regarding creating my own career path - again, I was very careful of every move I was making and really pondered  every step I was taking and tried to make sense of the whole. It was a balancing act of so many different elements, but at the same time, there was no way of me doing what I was trying to do if it wasn't for all these people who gave me chances and opportunities.  So I am not sure how much of my career path I "created" on my end even though I did try my best to be on top of it and it has progressed in the way that I intended it to and hoped it to - There are so many people I owe my career to and should give credits to. 

Okay, and now some easy questions! What are you looking forward to in 2010?
The summer!

What are your top 3 favorite places to go out in NYC?
I really don't go out to particular places anymore except a few coffee shops when I take a break. Blue Bird Coffee Shop on East First Street, Gimme Coffee on Mott street, And La Colombe on Lafayette street. I really wish that they would open an hour or two longer (if not whole night) - they all close around 6 p.m. or something, and I often miss them by the time I step out of my studio.

What music are you currently listening to?
Alton Ellis. Aphrodite's Child. Nick Drake. John Cale. Susumu Hirasawa  Young Marble Giants. Van Morrison. Bob Dylan. The Blue Hearts. Soutaiseiriron. Nino Rota. Boz Scaggs


Are you still dj-ing?
Not at the moment.

Best advice you’ve ever given or received?
Not the advice I received personally, but after all the pondering and agonizing, I reached the point in my life that I generally try to live by these 2 quotes and sayings. One is "You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." by Woody Allen. And the other, which sort of came as a surprise to me is this very common and old Japanese saying "We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." I never payed attention to it until I saw the English translated version - which puts it in complete new light and perspective, since this was such a regular and common saying to the point that it is banal and almost lost any significance when we say it in Japanese. It was one of those thing your uncle said to justify drinking and partying. But then, when I really thought about it, this really sums up how I feel about life, as the other side of same coin of saying by Woody Allen. In the way that there is no point in thinking why we are here. We are already here, so we have to start the whole topic from the basis and the idea of "might as well". In original Japanese version, it actually says more of "We are either dancing fool or fool who watches it, so it's pity if you won't be the one who dance." In a way, having one saying from true New Yorker, and the other from Japanese as mottos for my life makes sense considering that I lived half of my life in Japan and second half so far in New York.

"Rose" + "Money"


I meant these pieces as a pair loosely.  I usually jam-pack an artwork with multiple themes and sub-themes like a puzzle, but with these, I just wanted to simply suggest one simple theme for each.  And 2 things we all are paying attention or have them in our collective consciousness at the moment seem to be ecology and finance - nature and money.  

the end

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seen at Rivington Hotel

Last night there was a little fashion show at the Rivington Hotel. This boy was in the audience but I liked the boxy jacket with the ripped jeans and here he from the show itself coming soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baschti near the window

Baschti is looking beautiful in pale blue and sea green. And his sneakers are swell as well...and that's all I really have to say today :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to wear white lace

This is something I have been thinking about lately. I have a white lace top I bought at a thrift shop and I've been thinking how I can style it so I don't look like I'm fresh from my First Communion. I think this girl has it right: she is wearing a dress made of white lace but paired it with a wide belt and darker tights and boots to make it appropriate for an evening out. I think for a daytime look she could play with paler colors as well but keep with the strong waist/bold belt concept. Or leave it as a simple shift dress and add more jewelry and fun flat sandals...the possibilities of a good piece are endless...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Keeping with Color

Thought I'd continue with yesterday's colorful post and add another. I love her "international" sweater vest and little heart bag. I think that if she's going to work the bow it could be a bit bigger. But overall I applaud the color in both their outfits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Style Defined NYC on Stylish Kids in Riot

Check out the write up on Stylish Kids in Riot ;)and see more nightlife photos on xo katya

@ IN*TANDEM Magazine Launch Party

Last night I went to the launch party for IN*TANDEM Magazine at Sutra in the East Village. This is Julie, one of the Creative Directors and she is one of the hottest girls on the scene. I love to photograph her and was psyched with her full-on embrace of color in this insane dress! I have been obsessively reading Excess: fashion and the underground in the '80s, and I think Julie personifies some of the best of that decade with a very modern twist.
Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The '80s

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Casually Cool - NY street style

This is Walt Cessna (on the left) with a friend. I love how they're so casually dressed but still have great details like Walt wearing a cross body bag (although the bag is kind of hidden here) and his friend wearing multiple patterns. The whole pattern thing can be tricky so it's great when you see it done right.

Sloane SALE

details here

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seen at Sloane

I have been under the weather lately so not going out as much as normal. So today stopped by Sloane to return a jacket I borrowed from Brian and show him the Taff! segment. (which we all watched even though none of us knows German!) I knew I would be able to take photos for the blog there and I was right. This is Lauren, who is also a designer as well as a very cool girl. And she's perfectly dressed for a rainy city day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

still seeing spots

Spots...dots...polka shots...this is the last photo I'll post with the dot theme. But it does beg the question: where is this coming from? And do we like it? My jury is out. I do think the shiny retro shoes are cool...what do you think. Dots: hot or not?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh you beautiful boy

This creature is chic chic chic. When I first took the photo I honestly thought it was a girl. And only later upon review realized that was not the case. And this is not the first time this has happened! I love the fluidity of gender with these gamine like boys. And the handbag is brilliant as well... now where are the girls being mistaken for boys who look as equally fabulous? I think I'll have to go find them...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Too Styley Boyz

Two different boys, two different looks. Boy One (on the left) is looking oh-so-pretty in pink: from flowers in his hair to flowers on his boots. Boy Two is channeling an early hiphop street style from the colorful Keith Haring tee to the gold sneakers, cap at an angle and pose. (if giving me the finger is considered a pose - which is done so frequently it has lost all ability to offend!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to wear a dress with jeans and not look like a hippie 101

Okay, so that's an absurdly long post title...but, it is what it is. Anyways, remember a few summers ago when dresses over jeans was really popular in that Cali/surfer girl kind of way? Usually worn with flip flops and sometimes looked okay but other times was just a bad idea depending on the combination? Well the way gallerist Elizabeth here is wearing it, it totally works and doesn't look out of place in an art gallery in New York. And here's why: the dress is really simple and the jeans are tight enough to almost be leggings. (I won't say "jeggings". I think that's a really retarded word) I also love how she has the jeans unzipped over her shoes. A good solution for those of us who are vertically challenged. (aka short)

And can I also talk just a moment about the hair? I love super short hair on women. In fact any hair that isn't shoulder length or longer. Okay, I don't hate long hair and my hair used to be super long for years it's just and predictable. I'm excited to see some of the punk influence popping up in hair but I'd love to see a bit more variety out there 
Detail shot of the shoes/jeans

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who wears short shorts?

Short shorts are "in" this summer and I have to admit for the most part this is a trend I love. First of all it's a great way to recycle jeans that you're tired of/have worn out. Secondly if they are denim they can go with just about anything and they are easy to dress up or down. They are, however, an item of clothing that can easily be a fashion don't if they're too short (your rear is hanging out) or everything else you have on is small and you look cheap. In my opinion if you're going to wear short shorts with sexy heels (as opposed to chunky platforms or flats) do it like this girl and wear opaque tights. I also like how she has looser things on top - a flowing scarf and layers - to balance it out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brooklyn Royalty Reigns at Kingdom - Opening Thursday!

& you're invited to the Grand Opening

Bob Bland and friend, both wearing Brooklyn Royalty line.

There are two females called Bob that I know in NYC. One is *World Famous* BOB, a burlesque performer. The other is Bob Bland: designer of the Brooklyn Royalty line, entrepreneur and major player in Brooklyn's Indie design scene.  Bob Bland and I met about a year ago at fashion week and later I had an exhibition of my photography work at her gallery space The Arsenal. This Thursday will be the Grand Opening Launch of Brooklyn Royalty's first boutique (aptly named) Kingdom. (click below for all the details!)
At Kingdom you'll be able to score some of Brooklyn Royalty's incredibly supersoft denim which you can customize by choosing both the color and optionally have it overlayed with a metallic wash that you can select as well. Bob will also be adding custom t-shirts in the near future: choose a screen from one of the BKR designs, ink color and t-shirt and it will be ready in little over an hour.

Since BKR is synonymous with high quality, exclusive designs that are artisanally made & printed right here in NYC, they have extended that aesthetic to the entire boutique. While offering the largest range of Brooklyn Royalty styles available anywhere, Kingdom will also feature the work of local darlings Gina DeSilva,Mary Savel,Keen O'Calder,ASTALI,Necks Tuesday,Jawmaker,MelanyBE,Caja Jewelry,Donuts by Dinna,Lovely Corporation,Milagros Melendez,Amber Ibarrache,Fancy Sexy Me
and more! From bespoke leather bags to jewlery, from dapper mens accessories to handpainted ladies dresses; Kingdom will be the final word in great local design that you can't find anywhere else.
Want a cocktail with that fashion? No problem! Kingdom vaults the Williamsburg shopping experience to a whole new level by featuring live DJs and a full bar in the space! Open all day and serving a variety of inspired cocktails, premium draughts and of course, champagne, there's no better place to kick back and peruse the racks than Kingdom during happy hour. (4-8 pm weekdays, 12-4 pm on weekends)
Here are the details for the Grand Opening - Make sure to RSVP!
When: Thursday, May 13th
Time: Press Preview//6-8pm, Public Opening {RSVP Only}//8pm-12am
Where: Kingdom
170 North 4th Street {btw Bedford & Driggs Ave}
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Nearest Subway: Bedford L
What:Shopping Party, Meet The Designers, Free Brooklyn Cocktails {courtesy of Maker's Mark}, Intoxicating Vegan Treats by Glamorous Sweets, DJ Set by Cowboy Mark {Kill Devil Hill}, Live Rock Show byFood Stamps {L Magazine Top Pick}, Party Photography by Nicky Digital, Crazy Designer Discounts and more... Cost:FREE!
RSVP:, Subject Line: RSVP

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NYC nightlife icons


Yesterday I posted a photo of Patricia Field and received an interesting comment from a reader. She said she hated everything that Patricia was wearing but still thought she looked amazing. Part of what makes great style is this ability - to wear what you want and push boundaries of what others find acceptable and do it with such confidence that at best you get people questioning their own concepts of style, and at worst you don't care what others think. There were so many at Kenny Kenny's opening that successfully push these boundaries that I wanted to show a few more today.
Me with Kenny Kenny -love the topknot and eye makeup
Amanda Lepore is an iconic presence in NYC nightlife and always looks amazing. She is like a Barbie Doll come to life and is also extremely warm and unpretentious.
Vanity Society (on left) is a millinery and accessories designer as well as an entertainer and Patrick McDonald (center) is perhaps the most famous Dandy in New York and was recently on reality TV series Launch My Line. Vanity Society looks different but always dramatic every time I see him while Patrick has honed a very specific and sharp look. Two different tacts to create great personal style. (I don't know the lovely lady on the right!) Love or hate these looks, they're truly their own icons and for that I give them the mad props.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Patricia Field @ KennyKenny Opening

Not only do I love Patricia Field for dressing club kids through the ages but I love that she dresses like a rock star herself. The lavender satin motorcycle jacket is great but the jeans are beyond brilliant. I don't know if they came this way or she made them herself but I am utterly inspired. I dare you all to try this at home as well! And check out the detail shot below.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Seeing Spots


I saw these two girls the same night and I thought it interesting to see the same dot pattern twice in a night when I never normally see it...upcoming trend or mere coincidence?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kenny Kenny Photo Opening

This is a photo I took of the legendary Kenny Kenny one night at Vandam. If you don't know Kenny Kenny all you really need to know is that his parties are some of the best in NYC and have been for ages. (which is impressive in the fickle nightlife world) He is also a really really charming person - which can also be a rarity in the world- and I personally adore him. Photographed all the time, he has also gotten behind the lens and there will be an opening reception of his work tomorrow. Collective Gallery. 173 CANAL ST @ MOTT ST , 6-9 pm. Stop by and see nightlife royalty before the sun goes down.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Matchy-match to the max

Matching your handbag to your shoes is considered strictly old school and can bring up the dreaded whispers of being too "matchy-match". No one wants to look like they tried too hard. So what do we think of hair matching a faux flower? (or vice versa) Trying too hard or really clever?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hippie Chic

I normally hate anything that could be considered "hippie". And I'm not even sure I like this dress. But these girls had a great energy that made you take notice. And the fact that they're model pretty made the guys in the background take notice as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kalae All Day

I saw the singer Kalae All Day in Soho and had to take her photo.
Continuing with my recent shoe obsession I thought I'd show you her Adidas sneakers in more detail.
I also like how she personalized her bag with quotes from De La Vega