OUT THERE — ISSUE No. 02

We’re excited to present SUPER NASTY magazine, a biannual fashion publication inspired by the Nasty Gal way. Our mission is to spotlight emerging and iconic talents as well as connecting common spirits across the globe, sharing our love of fashion, personal style, unexpected stories, and stellar imagery. SUPER NASTY celebrates the dynamic nature of the digital age, all while providing an intimate portrait of you—our fans, supporters, customers, and friends.

Contributors

  • Delaney Allen

    Delaney Allen, Photographer delaneyallen.com

    Delaney Allen is a Portland, Oregon based photographer. Having grown up in Texas, he has now immersed himself in the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. When not underground, either in his basement or a cave, he can be found spending days alone in his car in searching for what's out there.

  • Jeanie Annan-Lewin

    Jeanie Annan-Lewin, Stylist thebookagency.co.uk

    This born and bred Londoner puts Hello Kitty, unicorns and cakes squarely in the “Likes” column, but when it comes to what’s out there, she’s a bit more grounded: “I’m not sure, are we talking about space?” Maybe her feet-on-the-ground approach is why the fashion assistant-turned-stylist has been so well loved by very real establishments like i-D, Wonderland, Nylon and Flaunt.

  • Tim Barber

    Tim Barber, Photographer tim-barber.com

    Tim Barber’s an iconic photographer of New York City, capturing strange and beautiful moments in fashion and daily life. He runs online gallery and image archive tinyvices.com, and believes more questions are always out there.

  • Imogene Barron

    Imogene Barron, Stylist imogenebarron.com

    Freelance stylist, creative director, and consultant Imogene Barron wears so many hats, we’re unsure how she managed to get her fingerprints on nearly every major cool-lady publication between here and Syndey. As if running with the likes of Oyster, Russh and Monster Children we’re enough, her latest publication, Junk Magazine, will also be released soon.

  • David Black

    David Black, Photographer davidblackphotography.com

    In between crazy-impressive gigs and collecting top honors from the likes of the Art Directors Club of New York, photographer David Black continues to put us all to shame with his enviable bicoastal lifestyle. Maybe splitting his time between New York and L.A. is the impetus for his belief that adventure is, in fact, what’s out there.

  • Lucy Bridge

    Lucy Bridge, Makeup Artist lucybridge.com

    Ever since London-based makeup artist Lucy Bridge was a kid she had an overactive imagination when it came to physical presentation, an obsession that’s now transferred into pushing her color palette as far as she can take it. While she considers anything that’s “normal” to be out there, her unique, experimental work never crosses into excessive or overly nuts. Beauty comes naturally to her, and isn't forced.

  • Guillaume Boulez

    Guillaume Boulez, Stylist lucybridge.com

    Vichy-born, Parisian-schooled, and New York-dwelling stylish Guillaume Boulez caused his initial stateside in 2004 with the design collective threeASFOUR. He later joined the team at Zac Posen before his current gig, styling and consulting for various fashion entities in both Europe and the US.

  • Felicity Byrne

    Felicity Byrne, Photographer felicitybyrne.com

    Felicity Byrne is a babe of the woods, but now splits her time between Sydney and Los Angeles. She owns Six Wolves creative agency and sometimes she takes pictures. She believes Cool Ranch Doritos are out there.

  • Maja D'Aoust

    Maja D'Aoust, Writer godismyboyfriend.com

    White Witch Maja D’Aoust began her witchery at a very early age, having her first out-of-body experience at age two. Ever since, she’s avidly pursued all subjects operating behind the veil, from university studies in biochemistry to shamanism, psychology, and astrology. Currently she conducts private readings through godismyboyfriend.com and teaches Magic School at the Besant Lodge in Hollywood. She believes that magic is out there, everywhere, for everyone to use and experience whenever they like.

  • Carson Fisk-Vittori

    Carson Fisk-Vittori, Photographer fisk-vittori.info

    Carson Fisk-Vittori is an artist living in Oakland, CA. She is currently exploring the idea of anthropocene, a new term denoting the current geological era characterized by the significant effect of humanity on the earths ecosystems. Carson is the current artist in residence at Real Time & Space in Oakland and is part of the collaborative identity 'Aliens 2'. She thinks weather modification, indoor jungles, virtual weather, color-changing LEDs, concrete gardens is out there.

  • Laia Garcia

    Laia Garcia, Writer laiagarcia.com

    Laia Garcia was born and raised in Puerto Rico and now lives with her black cat Kahlo in Brooklyn, where she works as a freelance writer and stylist. She's into monochromatic dressing, feminist Tumblrs, and apple juiceboxes. She still believes the truth is out there.

  • Minna Gilligan

    Minna Gilligan, Illustrator minnagilligan.com

    Artist Minna Gilligan is based in Melbourne, Australia and works primarily with painting, drawing, and collage. Her practice speaks largely of fleeting, personal encounters with the past and present, which manifests in a tumultuous reconciliation of both. She’s a staff contributor for Rookie magazine and blogs at minnagilligan.com. Everything in your wildest dreams and far out fantasies is out there, which she supposes is why she spends so much time staring into the distance.

  • Stephanie Gonot

    Stephanie Gonot, Photographer stephaniegonot.com

    Stephanie Gonot is a photographer and curator living in Los Angeles, CA. She regularly organizes photography events in the Southern California area and can be found roaming various grocery markets for interesting food props and snacks. She used to work in a gourmet ice cream sandwich truck and she thinkgs that 3D printing is out there, adding “amirite?”‬‬

  • Brandon Harman

    Brandon Harman, Photographer brandonharman.tumblr.com

    Brandon Harman is a world traveller and all around cool guy. When he is not chasing outlaws on motorcycles he is slurping up Vietnamese food in Silver Lake. He believes the truth is out there.

  • Jess Holland

    Jess Holland, Writer

    From her home turf in East London, the very accomplished Jessica Holland is a freelance contributor to newspapers and magazines worldwide, including the Guardian, Wonderland and The National. What’s out there? Oh, just those giant-headed aliens from Mars Attacks! “They’re just biding their time.”

  • Romain Bernardie James

    Romain Bernardie James, Photographer romainbjames.com

    Paris-based photographer Romain Bernardie James always sees the brightness in his subjects, which makes sense because to him that’s exactly what the future is like. He wishes there’s something exceptional beaming itself out there, like maybe some welcoming three-eyed dudes, good food, flying cars, and all those things we’ve seen in science fiction movies. And he also hopes there is teleportation, because he hates public transport and doesn’t drive!

  • Catherine Losing

    Catherine Losing, Photographer catherinelosing.co.uk

    Yorkshire-born and Hackney-based photographer Catherine Losing won our hearts with her brash style, overt use of color, and the fact that she loves photography that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And what does the photography world’s court jester this is particularly out there? The floral Daltrey oxfords she shot for Super Nasty!

  • Hasisi Park

    Hasisi Park, Photographer hasisipark.com

    Hasisi Park was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, where she currently works as a commercial photographer and filmmaker. What is out there? “You are out and I AM in.” Too rude? OK fine, the U.S. is pretty out there!

  • Bec Parsons

    Bec Parsons, Photographer becparsons.tumblr.com

    Bec Parsons creates intimate and iconic imagery that works like a loudspeaker, amplifying the voice of the girl in her picture. Meanwhile, Bec remains an elusive and distant observer, separate from the mainstream fashion pack, yet still relevant in the world of eminent style. She believes the hungry night is out there.

  • Saga Sig

    Saga Sig, Photographer sagasig.com

    Photographer Saga Sig grew up in the countryside of Iceland in a national park where she was so fascinated by the magical colors of the Icelandic nature she started capturing the beauty with her camera—and she hasn't stopped since. Now living and working in London, she’s been featured in Dazed & Confused, Vogue Japan, and Nylon. She believes the unknown is out there.

  • Daniel Thomas Smith

    Daniel Thomas Smith, Photographer danielthomassmith.com

    Former pharmacologist turned photographer Daniel Thomas Smith specializes in fashion and digital image manipulation. He’s worked for Dazed & Confused and i-D, and supposes he could never truly know what is out there. In fact, pondering such a thought turns him philosophical, because for something to be out there it has to beyond the limits and edges of one’s own mind and imagination. And that’s why he loves collaboration—other people take each other to unique and “out there” worlds.

  • Rosanna Webster

    Rosanna Webster, Illustrator rosannawebster.com

    The multi-disciplinary artist Rosanna Webster was born and raised in London, where she studied as an illustrator before delving into collage, film, and photography. She won’t be stopping there, however, as she portends that there’s just a little too much out there that she hasn’t seen yet.

  • Maya Wild

    Maya Wild, Illustrator mayawild.com

    London-based artist and illustrator Maya Wild is known for her trippy multimedia portraits of musicians, but she also designs her t-shirt, sticker, and pin collections for everyone from Die Antwoord to Adidas. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, which could be why she happens to believe that the truth is what’s Out There.

  • Qiu Yang

    Qiu Yang, Photographer qiu-yang.com

    Striking color, thoughtful staging, and lighting just this side of insane are just a few of the reasons we’re all about Qiu Yang’s photography. His approach is one part off-the-wall maverick and one part studied master, plus when we asked him what was out there, his retort was, “I am not really supposed to say, but I am completely lost.” So there’s that.

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Past Issues

  • Out There - Issue No. 2

    OUT THERE — ISSUE No. 2

    The second issue of SUPER NASTY explores the theme of “OUT THERE” in its full and vast interpretation. What is out there? Where is it and how far can we take it? We’re knocking down our usual boundaries and expanding our scope into any and all new frontiers we can lay our hands on; and in the process, we’re finding that girl of the future who kicks ass and travels through space. Let’s take action and uncover some mysteries this time.

    View Issue No. 2

  • Best Friends Forever - Issue No. 1

    BEST FRIENDS FOREVER — ISSUE No. 1

    Our first issue celebrates the kaleidoscopic nature of friendships, special bonds, and partners-in-crime. Super Nasty's BFF issue is made by friends for friends a trip through the open roads of fashion, art, music & culture.

    View Issue No. 1

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Super Nasty fashion magazine

OUT THERE — ISSUE No. 02

The second issue of SUPER NASTY explores the theme of “OUT THERE” in its full and vast interpretation. What is out there? Where is it and how far can we take it? We’re knocking down our usual boundaries and expanding our scope into any and all new frontiers we can lay our hands on; and in the process, we’re finding that girl of the future who kicks ass and travels through space. Let’s take action and uncover some mysteries this time.

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Super Nasty Magazine Spring Fashion Issue 2013

From the Editor

Here we are in our second issue of SUPER NASTY.

We've aptly named this issue OUT THERE because, hell, I'd like to think we're pretty "out there." We sell clothes, sure—but at the end of the day, we're weird. We're not your average fashion freaks or pop-culture fangirls. We're different.

From a piece on Futurist cooking to a beauty story inspired by—what's that?—none other than ectoplasm, which looks...divine. Trippy babes from London to Sydney to our own sunny Los Angeles share their lives and crash pads with us. We unveil our second Nasty Gal Collection, replete with crop circle-inspired embroidery. And I've dug from the archives my pre-Nasty Gal photography—little did you know that I once chased monks with Hasselblad, right?

What's especially OUT THERE is the incredible group of contributing photographers, stylists, artists, and models we've worked with throughout this issue. Our creative family evolves day by day, and I'm grateful to be collaborating with such talent.

So sit back, drink your yerba maté through a toilet paper roll, and learn a little. Or roll your eyes. Tear out the pages and build a castle. Hijack it into outer space and send me a postcard:

Nasty Gal, P.O. Box #811640, Los Angeles, CA 90081

Sophia Amoruso

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Food as art by photographer Stephanie Gonot

Girl Talk: Hiding In The Roses

How The Futurists and Chef Christina Tosi Taught Us to Play With Our Food.

Words by Liz Armstrong | Photograph by Stephanie Gonot

We think, dream, and act according to what we eat and drink.
–F.T. Marinetti



<br Art imagines what we strive for, then conspires with time to make it possible. When the Futurists, a group of Italian artists in the 1930s and ’40s, expressed their vision and artistic manifesto, they insisted the perceived world is in constant movement. And our fuel—our nourishment—drives us, said Futurist founder Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who wrote and published much of the group’s ongoing declamations. “Moving objects constantly multiply themselves,” went a popular tenet. Multiply and conquer! And…bake?

“Futurist cooking will be free of the old obsession with volume and weight,” Marinetti said, and in 1930 he declared pasta unfit for modern Italian diets. Can you imagine if some dude made such a definitive statement about hamburger buns? No one would care! So it seems insane that a literary art guy denouncing pasta as a gross distortion of the very notion of food would cause a national ruckus, but it did. Even the head chef to the king responded to the naysaying in a newspaper article, stating, basically, he agreed that pasta is “a threat to the intelligence.” Thus began a wave of rising up against “depressing, saddening and monotonizing foods,” as Marinetti put it. And out came cheeky philosophical essays about heroism, freedom, history, marriage—almost anything—masquerading as recipes for the ridiculous, over-sensory, and semi-disgusting. Stuff like white rice cake covered in rose leaves, decorated with frog meat and cherries.

A couple Futurist restaurants did open to explore these recipes, but the full-on dinner parties were often improbable, if not impossible. They called for dishes served on accordions, guests dressed for a sleepover with pajama fondling for dessert, trumpets blasting loud enough to tear raw meat to shreds, and waiters spraying people’s faces with lavender perfume every time they took a bite.

The crazy thing is, what we now appreciate in gourmet cuisine is not too far off from what the Futurists conceived as off-the-charts shit. Almost a hundred years ago, the Futurists started that whole wild dinner party trend, with menus boasting, among other things, consommé of roses and sunshine, ice cream on the moon, spun sugar rain, little salad at daybreak, and fruit gathered in Eve’s garden. Now the idea of rose broth, or lavender-scented plates (hello, dish soap), or space ice cream, or risotto with oranges isn’t far-fetched. It’s all real, happening now, and accessible. We need ridiculous, far-out gateways that are borderline gross to push us to imagine what our future can truly look, feel, and taste like.

It’s best not to label Momofuku Milk Bar’s honcho Christina Tosi as any certain “type” of chef except awesome. Still, there’s something about her experimental, playful style that suggests she bakes like a Futurist. With renowned sweet concoctions such as Cereal Milk (flavored like the best bits from the bottom of the cereal box) and Compost Cookies (they’ve got everything), Milk Bar’s earned a rep as one of the most exciting bakeries in the country. And a thrilling dessert trumps a pretty one any day.

Super Nasty: What do you feel is implied in your recipes?
Christina Tosi: The beauty of a cookbook is that you can make hundreds of pages explaining the depth of a recipe: inspiration, inception, general approach to food, cooking, seasoning, presentation, how to serve, how to eat the final product. In just a single recipe so little is implied. I try to bring my voice to every recipe we put out there, a serious one when it matters, but overall have a “don’t take yourself so seriously” vibe in the kitchen.

What do you feel like is hidden?
No matter how hard you want to make a recipe for the people, there are always variables in a kitchen that are different and you can’t account for them in any given recipe. Cooking and baking are such hands-on activities, it’s hard to describe texture, size, shape, smell, and color through abbreviated descriptions. How do you describe when something’s “done”? In our kitchen, there’s a time and a baking temperature for everything that goes in and out of the oven, but it’s not done until it’s done. Sensory cues and changing variables can never really be implied in recipes. I wouldn’t say they’re “hidden” but they often get “lost” by nature.

What would be your fantasy dish incorporating roses?
A bowl of rose ice cream, but not granny’s perfume rose-y. It’d be an idealized sweetness of rose with a hint of its natural aromatic. There are some pretty baller rose syrups you can get only in Europe that come pretty damn close to my fantasy rose flavor in an ice cream form.
I love creating idealized versions of what food or non-food items should be.

Ooh, what about a fantasy version of a non-food item then?
Pine needles are not necessarily edible, but they can easily inspire a pine needle sugar that is less perfume-y. It’d be more of an idealized flavor of the aroma we all love—an evergreen forest across a sweet channel. It’s all about balance and not going too far and really staying true to the inspiration and an “Is it the most delicious possible final product?” mantra. Pine needle lemonade? Yes, please!

Please make that! Do you have a dream set of circumstances around which you’d get to prepare or present a dish?
I love a good creative challenge. Most times, our creative juices flow best when under strain, limited resources, and restrictions. How do you create something out of nothing? Back yourself into a corner and see how creative you can get. My circumstances would be few: sugar, salt, butter, flour. I’d smoke the flour and make it into a loaf of smoked brioche. You don’t have to have access to everything to make something special. I’d rather have access to nearly nothing.

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Model Sidney Williams, musician Ionna Gika of IO Echo, and artist Kesh talk about their favorite Los Angeles hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Los Angeles: Kesh

Photographs by Brandon Harman


When people talk about California girls, they’re talking about the ones who’re free-spirited, colorful, and don’t give a you-know-what. We picked a few of our friends who fit the bill to give us an inside tour of a city that’s as wildly varied as our own tastes. Here, artist Kesh, model Sidney Williams, and musician Ioanna Gika show us around town.

Artist Kesh (just Kesh!) paints in bold, larger-than-life strokes, whether with her super graphic visual art or her assassin-meets-anime style.

Where’s the best time, every time?
My home. My studio. The cave. It’s where I create my work. Where my friends come to visit. Where we dance. Where we party. It’s my perfect environment. I love it.

To post up for people watching…
Go to the airport. You’ll find some real gems there.

Culinary choices?
Anything open 24 hours pleases me. I’m nocturnal so I eat at strange hours. Fred 62, LA Café, Astroburger… Anything that caters to my timing.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
Big Bear is beautiful. I’m going to the Grand Canyon next.

Best day trip?
Joshua Tree. Extreme nature. Extreme beauty.

When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…
I make a slight effort for Fashion Week. New York and Paris. It’s only fair when you see the work put into the shows and the clothes.

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Los Angeles, CA
Model Sidney Williams, musician Ionna Gika of IO Echo, and artist Kesh talk about their favorite Los Angeles hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Los Angeles: Sidney


Model Sidney Williams has often been validated by her work with Hedi Slimane, as one of his muses and in her cheerleading appearance in his video “I Love USA.” All we need to know is that this California girl is intriguing and gorgeous.

Where’s the best time, every time?
Laser tag. An obstacle course that glows in the dark, plus laser guns? It’s a good time.

To post up for people watching…
Usually I spot crazy people in the car driving next to me.

Best day trip?
San Onofre, a fun place to go surfing that doesn’t get overly crowded.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
Solstice Canyon, a hike in Malibu with a couple of waterfalls you can venture into.

When it’s “me time”…
I go to a nail salon and get my fingernails done. If I’m really feeling crazy I’ll get my toes done, too.

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
If I’m on a date, I like to go to Jody Maroni’s.

Where to spend necessary alone time?
On a bike ride or in my sleep.

No one will know who you are at…
Neptune’s Net. The only people who eat there are the local surfers or a gang of friendly bikers.

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Model Sidney Williams, musician Ionna Gika of IO Echo, and artist Kesh talk about their favorite Los Angeles hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Los Angeles: Ioanna


Front woman of new-wave group Io Echo channels Japanese watercolor.
How, you may ask? When not wrapped in a kimono disappearing into her own world, Ioanna Gika escapes into the real world’s deepest, most fantastical pockets.

Where’s the best time, every time?
The Griffith Observatory. It’s fun to grab a friend and watch the space movies and peer at the moon through the Zeiss telescope.

Culinary choices?
I have two favorite foods in this world and they are sushi and space ice cream. I go to Sushi Ike for an amazing omakase experience, and I go to Shintaro to enjoy their delicious Japanese-style tapas. For that freeze-dried Neapolitan stuff I have a dealer in Downtown LA in the gift shop of a hotel. I say “dealer” because it always feels like a shady transaction and I’m pretty certain I’m the only one who buys the stuff!

When it’s “me time”…
I don’t always have time for this, but sometimes I take walks in my neighborhood, specifically as it’s getting dark. Since it’s only just nearly getting dark, a lot of the people haven’t closed their curtains for the night yet, so I’ll totally peer into people’s windows to see what their art is like, dining room furniture, et cetera!

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
Girlfriend, don’t you know? Never look for action. BE the action!
The date will come.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
The “Batcave” in Bronson Canyon. There’s a hiking trail that leads up to it, which legend says is where the intro to the original Batman was filmed. So cool!

When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…
The Magic Castle! It’s a magic club in a Victorian mansion down the street from where I live. It’s strict formal attire and SO MUCH FUN.

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Futuristic, floral and athletic fashion trends

Right Now:

RIGHT NOW: Splash

All Words by Laia Garcia | Photograph by Carson Fisk-Vittori


Five hundred years from now, everything is metal and shiny. Perfect machines. We ran out of space above and now explore the depths of the ocean below, where we live. So much is undiscovered! We’ve been able to decipher what lies beyond the sun, even beyond the galaxies–ours and everyone else’s–but the deep remains a mystery. It’s our mystery, and we celebrate it. Down below, things shine from secret sources. And you create your own light—with the silver shadow on your eyelids, the reflective shimmer on your shorts, the holographic sandals that light up every step. You shimmy in sequined dresses, dive deeper in scuba styles, and swim faster in suits with curves that mirror the moon’s phases.

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Futuristic, floral and athletic fashion trends

Right Now:

RIGHT NOW: Athletic Club

Photograph by Qiu Yang


Let’s get physical, but leave the pastels, big hair, and leg warmers behind. Let’s push things forward and get graphic with bold colors, racing stripes, and contour graphics. There’s healthy competition among all the patterns you can wear—which one is the heavyweight? Crop tops and strategic cutouts show off the killer bod you’ve been building at the gym. You know how to work all the mesh and performance-wear to really make ’em sweat. Sneakers are a must at all times—they go with everything, and besides, it’s best to keep it casual.



RIGHT NOW: Bouquet Riot

Photograph by Catherine Losing


Make love, not war. Put a flower in the barrel of a gun and then set it off. Let the petals explode in your heart, all the colors running through your body. You can stop and smell the roses, yes, and also the azaleas and the gardenias, and when that isn’t enough you can wear them, too. Bunch them on your head into a crown because you are queen! Pile them on your body in a pattern of lace so others can follow the perfumed path you leave behind. Accent with one blossoming piece to carry a little nature with you while you run around the city, or go wild with color and texture because you just exploded your dollhouse. Contrast prints and trims, and embroider your intentions into the mesh of your dress. Go bold on the eye and easy on the lips; speak softly and let your style amplify your imagination in bloom.

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Girls! Girls! Girls! Band heads up the Paris DJ scene

Studio Soundtracks

Girls Girls Girls

Photos by Girls Girls Girls©


As legend goes, a bunch of girls in Paris got tired of listening to their boyfriends…

…DJing all this nerdy techno and house and getting super into their “skills.” So, led onward by DJ Louise Chen, they decided to make their dreams come true and throw a party with music that would make them want to dance all night long. Geek out in that girl kind of way where you just want to grind to, like, Usher.

“Anyone can throw a party with their friends in their living room and have a great time,” says Betty Bensimon, “but it takes a certain skill and vision to put together a party that people will actually remember and talk about for weeks after.” She’s part of the ever-morphing Girls Girls Girls, an all-lady international DJ collective based in Paris, which basically means she’s a pro at having a blast.

Once every two months, a bunch of wild girls take over a club in Paris and play records—there’s a band manager in London, radio and TV presenters in France and Switzerland, a writer, a guacamole connoisseur, an art history student, a rapper, an architect. On any given one of these nights you might find, say, Florence and the Machine showing up with her entire band and crew, or ringleader Louise Chen up on the decks singing along to Christina Aguilera. “What binds our crew together is a profound love of music,” she says.

They get around, too—besides their regular parties in Paris, they’ve torn it up in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, London, Cannes, Mauritius, and Tokyo. And they’re recruiting ever further, to “export the concept and the party to as many places as possible,” says Chen. “You know, the usual world domination stuff.”

Three tracks to take the party to the next level.
“Vanessa” by Doc Gynéco, a French rap song from the 90s… Jeremih’s “773 LOVE” … “Donde Está la Biblioteca” by Troy and Abed from Community.

Dream guests to explode the night.
Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Drake, T-Boz, Blue Ivy Carter, Jem & the Holograms, and Morgan Freeman would come and tell a story.

Skills or intuition?
Keep an open mind and never be scared to let someone know you admire what they do.

Make plans or keep it moving?
The “No Plan” Plan is the Grand Master Plan.

High influence or amateur hour?
Highly influential amateurs.

Winking or batting?
Groping.

Strange Daze…
Nicki Minaj showed up in a helicopter made of gold and bought us all shots of cotton candy-flavored Jägermeister. Some dude magically turned into a leprechaun. And someone danced to a techno song.

Moving or momentum?
Moving, always dancing. Or, alternately, moving through the space-time continuum on a Segway.

Dig in deep or take it further?
Dig in deep deep inside deep deep deeeep inside. It’s very important not to choose.

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New York Stylist Haley Wollens and top Fashion Illustrator Jo Ratcliffe

Artsy Fartsy

Haley’s Comet

Words by Emma-Louise Tovey


Always at least a bit ahead of her time, Haley Wollens blazes bright and leaves a trail of space dust.

There aren’t many people who consider a career as a stylist and director in New York City to be an escape to a quieter life, but that’s Haley Wollens for you. After working for M.I.A. for eight years in a variety of roles all over the world—including video, graphic design, styling, and documenting—she realized it was time to return to the stable chaos of her hometown.

Wollens, a 26-year-old cool beauty, grew up two blocks from St. Mark’s Place on the Lower East Side. She now lives in Williamsburg and shares a second-floor workspace above a boxing gym in TriBeCa. In her corner of the L-shaped studio there’s a stark computer desk directly adjacent to jumbled samples from obscure designers Wollens has discovered on the Internet. There’s just enough space for her to push her chair back from the desk and sprawl her Timberland-clad feet out in front of her without crashing into the abyss of orange, black, and pink behind her.

She began working in fashion at age 18 on semester breaks from the Savannah College of Art and Design, during which she worked for a who’s who in a variety of what’s what, from creative styling for nightlife and food aficionado Simonez Wolf (aka Chef Sez), to assisting Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg. Throughout it all she also had all that time with M.I.A. While the rest of us were still getting our heads around our liberal arts classes, Wollens moved to Los Angeles to work on the launch of M.I.A.’s record label. When she stopped working for the artist and moved back home in 2010, Wollens says, “I was completely drained emotionally, physically, and mentally. I did not feel particularly inspired to do anything. So I started DJing.”

There could’ve been a fourth attempt at graduating college, after the previous three design majors in fashion, motion media, and, later, graphics fell short of culmination due to continual job offers from M.I.A. But Wollens needed to DJ to regroup her creative energy. Even though she hadn’t previously tried her hand at the turntables, she argues, she did have quite a bit of experience dancing at parties. “I feel like that’s all you need,” she says. “We’ll see if anyone asks for the degree.”

After a year, Wollens decided producing records wasn’t really in her immediate future, so she started shooting editorials again with her friend, photographer Julia Burlingham. The styling work began rolling in again, for V Magazine, Dazed & Confused, AnOther magazine, The Fader, DIS magazine, and The Journal, among others. And she just finished doing the costume design for the film IRL, to be released late this spring, starring Sky Ferreira.

Now, her oddly compelling Second Life collage-vibe video for Blood Orange’s track “Champagne Coast” has her pinned as a director. Here, she takes the audience on a virtual tour through the private residences of some badass girls jamming to their boom boxes and TVs before a night out with their crew. “I have a thing for sexy, strong, cool girls,” Wollens says. “It’s always been really important to me. NYC is so about promoting these rich girls, and I’ve always felt very strongly about promoting my own girl, what I think an ‘It girl’ is—the girls I think are incredible, stylish, beautiful, smart, funny, interesting. So I cast a bunch of dancers and artists who do their own thing.”

She was thrilled with the end result and has since decided video is where it’s at for her, at least for now.
“I really get to have the full picture,” she says, noting that directing combines bits of all the mediums she’s been fascinated with for so long. “But I always say that I’m saving painting for when I’m 40, ’cause I want to have something then,” she says. “I feel like I’m going to need it.”




Artsy Fartsy

Conjuring The World: Get Pulled into Jo Ratcliffe’s Elegant Atmosphere.

Words by Jessica Holland | Illustration by Jo Ratcliffe | Photo by Ben Toms


When you interview someone, you’re not supposed to interrupt every five minutes with “ME TOO! YES! I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY!” but Jo Ratcliffe—a fashion illustrator who looks like a hybrid of model and rock star in black clothing and multi-colored sneakers, with pixie-ish features including long, pale-pink hair—makes it impossible to resist. She’s soft-spoken and petite, and when I switch on a voice recorder
at her Dalston studio she says she feels awkward being taped. But as soon as she starts talking about the things she’s passionate about, like the way art can conjure up intense feelings and whole imaginative worlds, she lights up, and I start enthusiastically chipping in about my writing ambitions as though we’re friends from way back.

It’s almost two hours later that the tape runs out, but by then she’s on a roll, and
I scribble notes on scraps of paper as she tells me about the way it feels cycling along an abandoned railway line at twilight in the mist, with no one else around. She says her favorite way of clearing her mind after a deadline is wandering around a gigantic shopping mall to soak up the “euphoric” atmosphere. “It sounds bizarre,” she says of the mall fixation. “I’m slightly obsessed.”

As a kid from a working-class family, Jo would draw constantly, and ended up going to the iconic Camden art school Central Saint Martins. She never imagined she could make a living from her talent, until a flatmate, then art director at Dazed & Confused, persuaded her to add some illustrations to a fashion spread. She took out a loan to buy a computer, taught herself Photoshop and Illustrator, got offered more magazine work, and was snapped up by an agency.

Since then, she’s worked with some of the most famous names in fashion and pop. Remember the shimmering, neon-glowing cover for Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”? That was Jo, and her Twitter account got a boost last summer when the pop star tweeted in caps-lock about how “INCREDIBLE” she is. Now, Jo says with a smile, “I’ve got a lot of followers who like One Direction.”

For that project, Jo drew inspiration from the “trippy” Alice in Wonderland cartoon movie and the hyperreal photos of David LaChappelle, but her style mutates with each new piece of work. On a windowsill in her studio there’s a witchy record cover she drew for a metal band; nearby are gorgeous collages of models and flowers that she made for a Nina Ricci ad campaign. She’s turned Lily Cole into a wild, mythological creature for the cover of Dazed, added animated creepy-crawlies to a video of Kate Moss for the French fashion house Balmain, and painted a dead mouse into the mouth of Sofia Coppola for the ultra-exclusive magazine Visionaire. (You can buy the issue online for a mere $195.) More recently, she came up with a strange, funny video for Jimmy Choo called “Angel Panda, Devil Panda,” a kind of mash-up of fashion promo, 1980s video game, and surreal Japanese cartoon.

It’s a portfolio as vibrant and contradictory as the artist herself, but what ties it all together is Jo’s swooping, elegant drawing style and her tendency to subvert prettiness with a dash of something unsettling. It makes sense that she’d “kill to work on a Tim Burton movie,” and that she’s a huge fan of the graphic novelist Chris Ware, who mixes crisp, beautiful art with pitch-black humor. She’d like to follow them, one day, into a more narrative art form. “I’m interested in creating characters at the moment,” she says. “I’d really love to make art that touches people emotionally, to tell a story. Hopefully that’s what all this will get me to.”

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Out There Stories: Tall Tales

Collages by Minna Gilligan



The Secret Batshit Insane Route

Reader Submission by Lindsey Knoblock

There are two well-known routes to the Peruvian archaeological site of Machu Picchu, an iconic sacred settlement deemed “The Lost City of the Incas” high in the Andes Mountains: 1) Take the tourist train from the colonial party city of Cuzco, a three-hour trip for $71, or 2) Book a five-day hiking tour on the Inca Trail, a much more ambitious trek with a much higher price of $500. For those not interested in making existential choices and/or travel on a thin wallet, I have a possibly viable alternative: 3) The secret batshit insane route.

My friend Jenn and I were recent college graduates, low on funds, and high on worldly bravado. It took nearly 15 hours, involved about five different modes of transportation, and cost us no more than $15 to get to Machu Picchu. I was counting on my minimum-wage burrito-joint savings to see as much of South America as I could. Blowing the money right away would mean heading home to move in with my parents, so the funds had to be stretched.

Freshly released by the Incan gods after a three-day party stint in Cuzco, Jenn and I trudged to the bus station late in the afternoon, hoping it wouldn’t start raining. In my purse was a beer-stained notebook with some scribbled directions from a dreadlocked dude we’d met in a bar the previous night.

We boarded the bus and got comfy. At 2 AM we were off on the second leg of the trip, a minibus ride to a small pueblo. We were packed into a 12-seater minivan from the 1980s, driver possibly drunk, and we stopped frequently by the side of the road to pick up even more passengers. Just when we thought it wasn’t possible to cram in anyone else, we swerved over to collect some more men. Jenn and I looked at each other, telepathically certain there was no chance they’d fit. They didn’t open the car door, but we heard heavy footsteps above us. They were riding on the roof.

No way I was sleeping through this—things were just getting good. The sound of mumbled Spanish plus radio static was the calming antidote to very real fear that the bus could slide off the (magical) mountain at any second. We became fast friends with a hippie couple from Colombia who were obviously out of their element as well and we all agreed to stick together for the rest of the way.

When the ride ended at 6 AM, the four of us had hot coffee and a spaghetti breakfast in town on a muddy porch—al fresco dining at its best. Some locals pointed out the way and said there was a camion passing by that we could hop on for free. “Free” always sounds good. And by “camion,” they meant “bus,” right?

No, they meant a large, open-air flatbed truck, the kind for transporting items, not people. Dozens of preteen school kids hopped right up in there and grabbed the sides for stability. We were stuck in the middle, holding the kids’ backpacks for dear life as we bounced along the dirt road, laughing hysterically.

Next, we discovered that we had to cross a river…sitting in a wooden bucket attached to a rope. We kind of flipped out at this point. There were rushing rapids down there, and rocks. And we definitely weighed more than the little kids crossing via bucket. Who would treat our injuries out here, assuming we even survived?

We did the courageous thing and made a guy go across first. After he made it, I kicked my fear in the ass and got in the bucket. I had recently eaten a roasted guinea pig (a local delicacy), so I had bravery for days. Needless to say, we all Indiana Jones-ed that river and survived; I suppose this story would have taken a really dark turn otherwise.

We had an hour walk following some train tracks to the town nearest Machu Picchu. If we had any sanity left, from here we would’ve paid the $12 shuttle bus fee to the peak to visit the lost civilization, but no—we hiked up the trail in the rain. The only time we took out our wallets was to buy a 25-cent cheese sandwich from an indigenous woman tending to her hijos on the mountain steps. Finally, we got to our destination. But you can read about Machu Picchu anywhere, right?



Made-Up Princesses in Nonexistent Languages

by Musician and Filmmaker Ariana Delawari

My mom is a wild one, an Afghan Sicilian redhead Sagittarius Year of the Dragon from New Jersey. She speaks six languages and used to travel the world alone in the 1960s. She’s met and befriended pretty much every badass historical figure and cultural icon imaginable, just by being herself and ending up in the right place at the right time. Currently she lives between LA and Kabul, but in her youth, she lived everywhere from Kabul to Tunisia to Spain to London—literally all over the world.

In 1960, she was living in Los Angeles and attending UCLA, and she and her sisters wanted to go to the Academy Awards. My mom thought it would be an awesome idea to write to the Academy saying that some Indian princesses were traveling to the United States to attend the awards and needed tickets. Relatives who were living in India sent the letter for a legit postmark, and shortly afterward, she and her sisters received an official invitation from the Academy.

At this point, they realized that they had to properly present themselves to really pull it off, so they ordered a limo, rented a room in the hotel hosting the official after-party, and had three brightly colored custom silk saris made with matching dyed silk heels. My mom and her sisters were gorgeous—they literally looked like Bond girls. When they showed up in their fancy silk getups as mysterious Indian princesses they were the talk of the night. But they couldn’t speak English or they would blow their cover, so they pretty much wandered the awards and party without speaking.

At one point, a news station decided to interview them. My mom was supposed to be the one who spoke since she was fluent in Dari (an Afghan language) and spoke some Hindi as well, but she totally froze. So my aunt fully invented words on the spot and did an entire interview for press in a made-up language. They got back to their hotel and laughed all night.

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When Water Holds

Reader Submission by Gwen Buckley

It was just a wave. All five of us had passed out on the Hawaiian sand, blithe spirits dipped in red wine, and we all immediately jolted upward when it hit. It must have been two in the morning.

The ends of our sleeping bags were soaked. The wave had carried one of my hiking boots up to the picnic table at the edge of the sand, so I obediently went to fetch it, still wrapped in my bag. The beach was part of a state park; we were not welcome after hours and were especially not allowed to camp. But who would ever know? At least we had bypassed the beach described by a local graybeard as “sacred.” I would rather upset the park rangers than the Hawaiian gods.

The others followed the beckoning of my wayward boot up the beach, where we dried off and regrouped. It had been a long week of carefree adventures, during which these four strangers had become my friends. They each had been living in Hawaii for at least six months and left their work on an organic farm for a week to show me the cultural and environmental jewels of the Big Island. We had visited a naked drum circle, hot springs that collided with the ocean, and a breathtaking valley with endless waterfalls, wild horses, and empty beaches. Despite my hesitancy to spend spring break in a foreign place with foreign people, there was no question this trip was a success. It was my second to last night and already I was dreading departure.

My tall friend tousled his salty hair, confused by the rogue wave. “It’s supposed to be low tide around this hour,” he said. As if on cue, the wave hit again. Instinct moved faster than logic; seconds later I was standing on top of the picnic table, holding onto a tree as water rushed around my limbs, up to my neck. The others had been swept into the straggling underbrush lining the shore. I could see the panic in all eight eyes as they hung onto the branches.

Maybe it was the adrenaline or the lingering wine pulsing through me, but time quickly disappeared and soon we were trekking barefoot over lava rock in knee-deep water. We moved quickly to higher ground and found a boarded-up building. We hoisted ourselves up a tree and into an open window to rest.

Dawn brought another awakening: Hundreds of fish every color, shape, and size thrown across the rocks beyond the shore. Our bare feet led us back over the lava rock, past fish flopping in residual puddles. None of us had seen the land like this. Goats trotted by, confused yet ecstatic at the sight of the banquet. It was as if the sea scooped up its life and plastered it across the shore, like in a museum or a zoo, purely for show.

I wandered across the rocks parallel to the shore, hopeful that my hiking boots would turn up. Two packs had been found, one eight feet high up in the brush, the other half-buried in the sand. I then came across a small tide pool, startled to find a sea turtle with a shell that must have been three feet in diameter. Two of us lifted this turtle and carried it back to the sea.

Two of my friends who had left earlier to retrieve the car now returned, running across the rock with excitement. “There was a 9.0 earthquake in Japan!” one yelled. “We just survived a tsunami!” He showed us a tin box of pakalolo—a survivor gift from one of the locals. Holy shit, we were survivors.

I still couldn’t grasp what I had just been through.
A tsunami? “I think we deserve a gourmet fish dinner on the farm tonight!” my friend exclaimed. His culinary schooling kicked into gear as he scampered across the beach, gathering plump fish and tossing them into a beaten cooler. There was no better way to celebrate our survival and my last night on the island than a fresh fish dinner handed to us by the sea.



When Thoughts Are Flowers

by Artist and Zine Queen Maggie Lee

He followed me out of Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles and asked me if I liked the game Go. How did he know? Had we played a match online before? He was a video gamer in a hunter green yin-yang floral T-shirt, with braces and messy, dirty blond hair, smoking a menthol Davidoff cigarette.
I got nervous. My thoughts became a bunch of flowers—all types of flowers … blooming peach-toned roses, a flower .gif I saw on my friend’s website earlier that day, the one on his shirt—and they were all interweaving, then swirling into the most wild, heavenly, apocalyptic flame.

We found ourselves walking the streets of Chinatown at twilight. “It’s warmer in here to chill,” he said, and we continued our conversation at a coffee shop. We sat on the couches and talked about everything. He told me how he was sitting in a position for three hours this one time and forgot what he was doing, then tried to get up but couldn’t for at least one more hour. I told him how I went back home to New Jersey and the house painters found a squirrels’ nest in a hole on the side of the building, and that inside their nest they had used my stray sock as a blanket.

Dreams do come true. The planets had aligned for this one-millisecond sparkle in the universe. We were now making out and existing in the matrices of a skewing alternate dimension, in slow motion. I told him that his eyes were shaped like cute almonds and he told me that my beauty was a fine-art masterpiece. How could one be so perfect?

We lay on our sides like puzzle pieces, watching The X-Files, drinking red wine (which kind? I am not too sure but it felt fancy). I held the base of the stem and licked my index finger, running it along the circumference of the rim with pressure to create wineglass music. First I went slow, prolonging the sound. He closed his eyes and said the frequencies were stimulating his pineal gland, and when
I went faster, he began to lose himself in hypnotic meditation. I told him that I used to work in an Italian bistro that was rated by Zagat so I knew all about that kind of stuff.

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Beauty tips from Emily Weiss, Stacey Nishimoto,  Madeline Poole, Daniel Moon, Nico Guillis, and Lauren Pantin

Lessons From The Pros

The Good, The Bad, And The Kitchen Sink. Beauty Experts Get Experimental

Photograph by Stephanie Gonot


Madeline Poole

Nail Artist

If I leave my face clean of everything for a few days, when I do decide to put on makeup—like when I’m going out or for a special occasion—it’s really shocking and magical! Also, I’m using olive oil a lot lately. I like it as cuticle oil, it’s a good lubricant to remove press-on nails, and I’ll rub it on my boots to polish them, too.

When I was younger, like middle-school era,
I was really ashamed of my thick black eyebrows and tried to dye them with Sun-In and bleach. It was an interesting look at first when they were all consistently blond, almost see-through, but when they started growing back they were a kind of leopard fur pattern and were very difficult to hide. Any time I’ve played with my eyebrows, it’s been a disaster—I still have a bald spot I have to pencil in.



Daniel Moon

Colorist

It was my first time ever doing hair inside the Chateau Marmont. A client requested I come to her room to bleach her hair. I tend to leave
a trace of color everywhere I go, so I made sure to be extra mindful here. I carefully set up, mixed, and applied—mission accomplished. My client went to rinse. Just when I thought I was in the clear, I looked down to see fluffy bleach clouds on the carpet, and I freaked. All I could think was bleach and tone, bleach and tone. So I looked into my bag and formulated until I had a perfect color match for the carpet. Problem solved, another happy customer.

After experimenting with every color in the book (primary, pastel, muted, neon), I thought, what’s next? Since my current influences include the future and robots, what came to mind was metal hair. While in an arts and crafts store my eyes were drawn to glitter—plenty of colors and plenty of sparkle. I bought several jars, bolted home, and mixed it with honey. Now I have another thing to add to my “How to Socialize as Unicorn” list.



Nico Guillis

Makeup Artist

My best natural beauty experiment lately is a coconut oil and aloe vera gel mask. After showering, apply pure organic coconut oil to the face and neck, massaging it like
a moisturizer. Over that, apply pure organic aloe vera gel (make sure to keep it in the fridge). The gel dries and tightens the skin, locking in the oil. Leave it on for 10 to 30 minutes, then wash it off with face cleanser and glow like summer!

Speaking of summer, the best trick for avoiding sunburn is to not shower when you get home from the beach or pool, because the heat opens your pores and that’s when you really get red. Instead, apply fresh, mashed-up avocado to the areas of your body that are really red and hurting. After massaging it into your skin, lie on a towel for an hour, then gently wash it off with a towel and cold water. Wait until morning to shower and
I promise you will be tan instead of burnt.

My worst beauty experiment happened during my quest to find the best face self-tanner. One time I had a thought: wouldn’t a body tanner on my face kick it up a notch and really give me that glow I desired? The self-tanner I tried had shimmer in it. Let’s just say I was a little too sparkly and bronzed for my liking! There was a reason it was made for the legs.



Laurel Pantin

Glamour Associate Editor

My best beauty experiment was the first time I used Jolene (basically mustache bleach) on my hair. At that time I had a really short little buzz cut and it blended my roots perfectly. Unfortunately, that also became my worst experiment, since I kept using Jolene even as my hair grew out. It turned my hair yellow—totally fried it.

I’ve also used ketchup to get the green tint out of my hair after swimming in chlorine
a lot. When I was a kid I’d put literally anything that was in the fridge on my skin—egg whites will really tighten your pores, but steer clear of mayo on your face!



Emily Weiss

Into the Gloss Founder and Creative Director

Taking scissors to my own hair is my best and my worst beauty experiment. Best because it starts out great; worst because then you think you can just keep on cutting and cutting and you don’t always wind up looking so hot!



Stacey Nishimoto

Makeup Artist

I was fourteen and makeup was not allowed whatsoever in my household. One afternoon I was ditching class (OK, that was every afternoon), hiding in the school’s library reading about the history of fashion, and I came across chapter on beauty and how glamorous ladies in the 1920s used to shape and darken their brows with burnt matches. Totally intrigued, I went straight home after school, shut the bathroom door, and started to light matches one after another until I got enough soot to create these huge Joan Crawford brows. Just when I was about done with my masterpieces, my father swung open the bathroom door and yelled, “What’s that burning smell?!” I jumped, totally startled and totally mortified. When he saw me, my dad was like, “What the hell? That is so cave-like!” I was in big trouble. The only thing prehistoric about that situation was that I wasn’t even allowed to wear clear lip gloss. Now I’m a full-on makeup whore. Thanks, Dad!

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Artist Phoebe Collings-James, musician Charli XCX, and drummer-singer Keex Akika Matsuura share their favorite London hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

London: Pheobe

Photographs by Dan Wilton


London girls: London’s so much brighter with artist Phoebe Collings-James, musician Charli XCX, and drummer Akiko Matsuura in town. They channel the city’s appreciation for nostalgia and eccentric prowess like pros, pulling inspiration right and left until they’ve created a style of their own. Get to know their secret places as they take us on a tour of their city.
Artist Phoebe Collings-James doesn’t shy from the controversial or conceptual when it comes to matters of the heart—romantic and otherwise. Explicit yet demure, her provocative work demands response, though for such edginess, she’s got a super soft spot.

Where’s the best time, every time?
An old-fashioned pub in Notting Hill called The Cock and Bottle. It’s very traditional, has a cash-only policy, and the only food they serve is ham and cheese.

Culinary choices?
Rita’s in Dalston—get the chicken roll, macaroni and cheese, hot wings, and Phoebe Flynn Oliver’s salted caramel tart for dessert. It’s very naughty but highly addictive. Wash it all down with a slushy margarita or a Negroni.

When it’s “me time”…
A tie between the steam room and sauna at Shoreditch House or the Turkish baths in Bethnal Green. Go to get hot, naked, and energized!

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
Ha, cruising! I guess I would head into Soho—most fun nights start there.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
Lyme Regis with my best friend Aurelia’s mum. They live in a beautiful house with fantastic gardens and lots of pigs and hens. They even have a little Shetland pony who acted like he was in a rodeo when I tried to sit on his back!

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
A bookshop: Claire de Rouen or some other little one around Tottenham Court Road. People treat bookshops a bit like libraries—they’re always calm and quiet, and a good place to collect your thoughts.

Best day trip?
I want to say Paris, as it sounds chic, but it’s probably going to watch T4 on the Beach in Weston-super-Mare. I’ve gone two years in a row.

When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…
I’ve recently rediscovered the Savoy Hotel, as it just completed its remodel and is more gorgeous inside than ever.

No one will know who you are at…
Trader Vic’s tiki bar inside the Hilton Park Lane. It’s very flirty! They sell a drink called a Rum Giggle that comes in a shell with two straws as long as your arm and will literally have you on the floor laughing.

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London, UK
Artist Phoebe Collings-James, musician Charli XCX, and drummer-singer Keex Akika Matsuura share their favorite London hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

London: Charli XCX


Spicey girl Charli XCX started her own band on a playground when she was eight years old, and never stopped bringing the party—she’s now lighting up clubs around the UK.

Where’s the best time, every time?
I have the best time wherever I go! I usually find my favorite places when I’m on tour. Last time I was in New York I went to my friend’s punk karaoke night called Fuzz. It was at this bar called SWAT, where these super cool live punk bands played and everyone sang Britney in karaoke afterward.

To post up for people watching…
Walking around everywhere. When I first started playing shows at age 14, I would travel up to London to play in the rave scene in East London. I was just a little kid from the countryside so when I saw all these super amazing freaks in platforms and glitter I was like, WOW. Everyone always looked so fierce and killer. It was like being in Party Monster!

Culinary choices?
I’m obsessed with Mexican food. Luckily, there’s Santo in West London.

When it’s “me time”…
Home is the best place for that. When I want to chill out, I’ll just go back to my place and put on my favorite movies— The Craft and The Addams Family—and just totally chill. I think it’s important to do that sometimes, otherwise you can go crazy.

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
Ah, I never do that. I’m waaaay too awkward!

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
My grandparents live in Brighton, so I love to go to the beach there. It’s just so beautiful and British.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
My parents’ house outside of London. They always just let me do my thing and don’t bother me. It’s nice to have some space.

No one will know who you are at…
I love the idea of running away to Japan. I haven’t been yet and I can’t wait to go. I’d love to go on a date and get lost in one of the arcades, among the flashing lights and the sounds and the games!

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Artist Phoebe Collings-James, musician Charli XCX, and drummer-singer Keex Akika Matsuura share their favorite London hangouts

Nasty Gals In The Wild

London: Akiko


Wild girl drummer and vocalist for bands like Pre, Comanechi, and the Big Pink, Akiko Matsuura also known as Keex keeps London colorful with her out-there style and penchant for stage diving performances.

Where’s the best time, every time?
New York City and Los Angeles are my favorites! I like big cities, so a weekend in the country just doesn’t cut it.

To post up for people watching…
All my friends are freaks ‘n’ geeks. I can hang out only with people who make me feel like I’m normal.

Culinary choices?
Floyd’s in East London, one of very few places that creates inspiring, tasty food with a menu full of fresh ingredients that changes every day. Plus the owners have great taste in music.

**When it’s “me time”… **
I just stay in my room on my own, play some records, do my nails, and get some good beauty sleep. Major chill time.

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
It always happens somewhere I don’t expect, like behind a dingy nightclub or at a random house party. So there’s not really a certain place.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
Springfield Park is very friendly and beautiful. When you walk through, you almost forget you’re in London. I sometimes bring sunflower seeds to feed the squirrels—they’re so curious! In summer when it’s sunny, I’ll go there for a picnic or to play badminton.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
That has to be my bedroom—my own cocoon. Were you expecting an answer like the desert, a graveyard, a forest, or an old church? I would get so lonely if I went somewhere else alone!

Best day trip?
If you could count spending a whole day in Garlic & Shots then it would have to be there. It’s a metal bar in Soho where every drink comes with garlic in it. They have some fucked-up concoctions, but it’s a lot of fun. I heard garlic’s good for the libido too! The only downside is that by the time I’m done, no one wants to kiss me…

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Tiffany Nicole and Jessi Wade of the music duo Dark Sister

Studio Soundtracks

Life After Sundown

Dark Sister elevate their BFF status into their wildest dreams.

Words by Jessica Hopper | Styling by Meaghan Mullaney | Photographs by Kava Gorna


Before Tiffany Nicole and Jessi Wade became a band, there was no purposeful plan other than friendship. And then “Dark Sister done came through and popped out of us before we had time to think about it,” says Nicole. “One moment we were just drunk and delirious; the next thing we were writing a song about our periods. Then we were recording. Then we looked each other in the eye and decided we were actually living our dreams.”

Their unctuous, lo-fi rap songs feel like private in-jokes formed in their bedrooms in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that they’ve decided to turn loose on the world. They flip from high irony to dead earnestness (oftentimes in the same verse), making their work playful but not jokey, intellectual but casual. The wild energy between the duo and their devotion to their friendship shapes Dark Sister’s entire pass-the-mic dynamic. The transcontinental twinsicle are simply elevating their BFF status to creative expression.

“People would always tell us we would be best friends. That’s actually what happened,” explains Wade, who used to click through Nicole’s MySpace profile with a kind of reverent awe. “After we got the first couple awkward sushi dates out of the way, we plunged into a whirlwind of nonstop 24/7 chillarious hangouts, and eventually got matching tattoos.”

As major hangs mutated into creative partnership, they issued a four-song EP, Swag Hag, in 2011. On their Tumblr, they describe themselves as “Riot Grrrl R&B from Tennessee,” but the influences they cite—black metal extremist Burzum, Marilyn Manson, and Bone Thugs—do a better job of getting at just where their polyglot, post-gothic, antisocial pop is coming from.

Though Nicole split for New York just as Dark Sister really starting to coalesce, she’s headed back to Tennessee to reunite with Wade and go hard for 2013. The lure of big city plans was great, but touring and engaging in full-tilt shenanigans with your best girlfriend will always be the bigger opportunity. “Home is when Jessi and I are together in the car, on the way to our next show,” she says.

And that sisterhood is all the more necessary as they continue beyond the fellowship of the Murfreesboro scene. Irreverently playing with a genre where authenticity is heavily codified incubates a bit of an us-against-the-world vibe that’s crucial for Dark Sister’s solidarity. “Just by being who we are—Caucasian females who happen to rhyme words together over beats—we have been dismissed, ridiculed, and compared to artists whose music is strikingly different, but whose gender and color is the same,” explains Nicole. “If someone wants to dismiss what we have to say because we are ‘white girl rappers,’ then they need more help than we can offer.”

They’re interested in crossing and pushing boundaries—even in the context of what most would essentially consider party music. Their song “Strange,” says Nicole, “is our own way of humorously looking at ourselves, mirroring the environment around us, and contemplating the seeming absurdity of us trying to fit into the ‘rap’ genre—which has been riddled with homophobia, sexism, and a slew of other negative and toxic paradigms.”

Through songs of positive fuck-you and intense live sets, Dark Sister are finding catharsis and a rabid fan base. (Their Facebook wall often features pleading mash notes employing excessive amounts of exclamation points.) But as their profile rises it’s only their own artistic satisfaction they are after. “Celebrity is unimportant to me,” says Wade. “I desire to express myself. I’ve just been appreciating the perks of making something people can relate to, rather than creating something with the hopes of fame on my mind.”

Still, if Dark Sister brings fame and riches to their doorstep, it’s not like they’re gonna reject it. Wade says she’d settle for some Pomeranians and a castle to live in, and Nicole has a noble plan: “If others choose to empower me and give me celebrity status, I will do my best to use it for good and not evil. I will buy lots of donuts and spoil my pugs and my ugly boyfriend.”

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Tiffany Nicole and Jessi Wade of the music duo Dark Sister

Their unctuous, lo-fi rap songs feel like private in-jokes formed in their bedrooms in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that they’ve decided to turn loose on the world. They flip from high irony to dead earnestness (oftentimes in the same verse), making their work playful but not jokey, intellectual but casual. The wild energy between the duo and their devotion to their friendship shapes Dark Sister’s entire pass-the-mic dynamic. The transcontinental twinsicle are simply elevating their BFF status to creative expression.

“People would always tell us we would be best friends. That’s actually what happened,” explains Wade, who used to click through Nicole’s MySpace profile with a kind of reverent awe. “After we got the first couple awkward sushi dates out of the way, we plunged into a whirlwind of nonstop 24/7 chillarious hangouts, and eventually got matching tattoos.”

As major hangs mutated into creative partnership, they issued a four-song EP, Swag Hag, in 2011. On their Tumblr, they describe themselves as “Riot Grrrl R&B from Tennessee,” but the influences they cite—black metal extremist Burzum, Marilyn Manson, and Bone Thugs—do a better job of getting at just where their polyglot, post-gothic, antisocial pop is coming from.

Though Nicole split for New York just as Dark Sister really starting to coalesce, she’s headed back to Tennessee to reunite with Wade and go hard for 2013. The lure of big city plans was great, but touring and engaging in full-tilt shenanigans with your best girlfriend will always be the bigger opportunity. “Home is when Jessi and I are together in the car, on the way to our next show,” she says.

And that sisterhood is all the more necessary as they continue beyond the fellowship of the Murfreesboro scene. Irreverently playing with a genre where authenticity is heavily codified incubates a bit of an us-against-the-world vibe that’s crucial for Dark Sister’s solidarity. “Just by being who we are—Caucasian females who happen to rhyme words together over beats—we have been dismissed, ridiculed, and compared to artists whose music is strikingly different, but whose gender and color is the same,” explains Nicole. “If someone wants to dismiss what we have to say because we are ‘white girl rappers,’ then they need more help than we can offer.”

They’re interested in crossing and pushing boundaries—even in the context of what most would essentially consider party music. Their song “Strange,” says Nicole, “is our own way of humorously looking at ourselves, mirroring the environment around us, and contemplating the seeming absurdity of us trying to fit into the ‘rap’ genre—which has been riddled with homophobia, sexism, and a slew of other negative and toxic paradigms.”

Through songs of positive fuck-you and intense live sets, Dark Sister are finding catharsis and a rabid fan base. (Their Facebook wall often features pleading mash notes employing excessive amounts of exclamation points.) But as their profile rises it’s only their own artistic satisfaction they are after. “Celebrity is unimportant to me,” says Wade. “I desire to express myself. I’ve just been appreciating the perks of making something people can relate to, rather than creating something with the hopes of fame on my mind.”

Still, if Dark Sister brings fame and riches to their doorstep, it’s not like they’re gonna reject it. Wade says she’d settle for some Pomeranians and a castle to live in, and Nicole has a noble plan: “If others choose to empower me and give me celebrity status, I will do my best to use it for good and not evil. I will buy lots of donuts and spoil my pugs and my ugly boyfriend.”

Page 60: Jessi wears Lee Denim Vest, Cap & Jewelry Model’s Own.

Page 61: Tiff wears Vintage Versace Buggin’ Jeans, Nasty Gal vintage top. Jessi wears American Apparel Crop Top, Baroque Pants Model’s Own.

Page 63: Jessi wears Nasty Gal Vintage Gold Gang Bomber Jacket Bodysuit, Stylist’s Own

Tiff wears Nasty Gal Vintage Orange Alert Mesh Tunic Beanie, Stylist’s Own

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Photos by Delaney Allen

Essay

Strange Attractors

Words by Liz Armstrong | Photos by Delaney Allen


“Whatever you love, you can find it,” the cabdriver told me. We’d just bonded over a mutual appreciation of 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz, igniting that spark you get when you find someone in an unexpected place who appreciates the same obscure thing you do. He gushed the whole ride about Persian poetry and the beauty of the Persian language, schooling me thoroughly. Some people call this coincidence. Others would fully agree with the cabdriver: If you love it, you can’t help but find it. It comes hunting for you in the dark.

Real life confirms this over and over again, when we’re paying attention. Think about that friend, those days, those phases, where there is just fantastic experience after fantastic experience, or even total drag after giant bummer. Those times when chaos permeates every move, or when incredibly good luck abounds from some limitless source. When everything seems to mysteriously converge on one point—be it an ancient Iranian poet, or bananas, or a certain film, or whatever—it’s because you are somehow, in some way, focusing on it, beckoning it to come teach you.

In these heightened circumstances, it’s easy to see that you’re clearly honing specifics. In day-to-day life though, during those long stretches of time when things feel normal, these convergences can feel a lot more random. The truth is, there’s sense in all of it.

Isolate one facet of your life—say, your romantic behavior, or the way you save and spend money—and draw its trajectory out, on paper or in your mind. Perhaps you get money and immediately spend it. Or maybe it’s more protracted, like you crush out on someone and spend a long time chasing them, and eventually, once they fall in love with you, you’re over it. In the short term, your drawing might look like you’re all over the place. But over time, tracing this one particular set of behaviors, you’ll see that a kind of pattern emerges.

Just as in real life, it turns out that in science very few things work in absolutely perfect cycles, but they do have some kind of order. For example, we know that certain weather patterns produce seasons, but inside those seasons we can’t forecast all that much too far in advance. Even though we know the earth makes one full rotation per day, and one whole trip around the sun in 365 days, the precision of any planetary orbit doesn’t involve a straight line—it wobbles and wanders.

These phenomena, and a whole lot of others—friction, social conditions, magnetic fields, population growth, the economy—illustrate the nature of chaos theory: “dynamic systems that have sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” This means that even the tiniest bit of influence, over time, has major implications on a system governed by its own rules. Up close, it doesn’t make any sense. On a large scale, it totally does.

In chaos theory, the almost unexplainable force around which all information organizes itself is due to a “strange attractor.” Each system has one, and the strange attractor defines the system’s trajectory, path, or shape. This would be your love life, your spending habits, or your love for Hafiz. A strange attractor is special and wild in that it never ever touches back on the same point twice. It looks like it pulls in whatever it damn well pleases, but actually, over time, makes a great deal of sense.

Probably the most complex strange attractor in the universe, managing as many systems as it wants at any given time, is you. It’s also your dad, your best friend, the lady harassing you with unsolicited phone calls …it is every single person. We each magnetize our own situations, generate our own synchronicities, create our own patterns based on other patterns, never quite repeating the same move twice.

There will always be unknown forces, challenges, whatever you want to call them. Knowing that sets you free. There’s no “what if such-and-such” happens, because the “what if” is implied everywhere, in everything. So if you can hold still long enough amidst what feels like noise, you can reorganize everything that’s going on in your life. You can decide what you want your patterns to look like. You may not be able to reshape who you are entirely—but you can certainly take a different path.

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Model Anja Konstantinova, actress Isabelle Cornish, model Rachel Rutt, and stylist Imogen Barron share their favorite Sydney places

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Sydney: Anja

Photographs by Felicity Byrne


When a fashion-forward metropolis develops in the middle of pristine ancient landscapes perched on the edge of a gorgeous harbor, some interesting people are going to pop up. We tracked down a handful of them—model Anja Konstantinova, stylist Imogene Barron, model Rachel Rutt, and actress Isabelle Cornish—to share their favorite places in town.

Where’s the best time, every time?
My happy place would be the Cat Café in Tokyo. Time spent drinking tea and playing with cats? Couldn’t ask for more.

To post up for people watching…
I’m a big Instagram fan. I’m a woman of few words so Instagram really works.

Culinary choices?
Lentil As Anything in Melbourne for amazing vegetarian food; Sushi Suma in Sydney for Japanese.

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
I already have a date, but when I’m cruising, I’m sitting at a local coffee shop, people watching.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
The closest thing to paradise I’ve ever visited was Tulum, Mexico.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
My mum’s house—lots of good food and comfort.

**When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…

To be honest, I’m not very girly. I’m no good at being fabulous!

It’s a good thing model Anja Konstantinova loves the spotlight, because she’s got it. The cat-obsessed, near-feline beauty has worked for the likes of Vogue, i-D, Oyster, and Jalouse.

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Sydney, AUS
Model Anja Konstantinova, actress Isabelle Cornish, model Rachel Rutt, and stylist Imogen Barron share their favorite Sydney places

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Sydney: Imogene

Photographs by Felicity Byrne


Stylist Imogene Barron has impeccably reliable taste for keeping it weird and making it pretty, which is why she’s worked all over the place: Oyster, Dazed & Confused, Russh, her own magazines Love Want and Junk.

Where’s the best time, every time?
My hometown, Avalon, and the area between Avalon and Palm Beach—it really is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The beaches, the water, the energy up there…everything is so chill.

To post up for people watching…
If you’re in the mood, Kings Cross on a Saturday night is the ultimate freak show.

Culinary choices?
I am a bit of a foodie and there is so much great food in Sydney. On the north side it doesn’t get better than the Boathouse in Palm Beach for breakfast. Follow that up at Barrenjoey House, right around the corner, for afternoon drinks and even dinner. Their steak and chocolate soufflé are beyond amazing. City side, fouratefive has the best bacon in the business, and for dinner I love Wafu, an organic Japanese place where you have to be a member to get a table. You also have to finish all your food, otherwise the owner yells at you and you most likely won’t be allowed back to eat again. It’s next level and well worth the torture—just make sure you don’t over-order!

When it’s “me time”…
I have a favorite Thai massage place in Surry Hills, but when I’m in Sydney I also like to visit my colorist Monique at Que Colour. She makes me feel like a million bucks!

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
My mum’s house in the countryside in Berry on the south coast of New South Wales is beautiful and feels like you’re a million miles away from anywhere. It’s also 45 minutes from the pristine beaches of Jervis Bay, some of the whitest sand and clearest water I have ever seen. Truly magical.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
The walk up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach, where the views are breathtaking. I have a secret rock on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Central Coast. If it’s the right time of year, you can watch the whales migrating along the coastline.

When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…
That is most definitely not my thing. I prefer having beers at the pub with my nearest and dearest, most probably wearing my favorite sweatpants.


Rachel

Hong Kong-born, Aussie-bred model Rachel Rutt is someone you can sit around and talk boys with, then go on magical adventures to secret gardens before getting extravagantly overdressed to make a scene at the local cinema. In short, the kind of the girl everyone wants to be best friends with.

Where’s the best time, every time?
Marrickville Markets. I go every Sunday.

To post up for people watching…
Silverbean Cafe in Enmore. They create great designs in your coffee foam if you bring a dog.

Culinary choices?
Mamak in Chinatown. It’s Malaysian, and there’s always a 20-minute queue, but it’s worth it. They make their roti fresh in the window.

When it’s “me time”…
I go to Gordons Bay for a swim. It’s paradise.

When cruising, maybe looking for a date or a little action?
The Cricketers Arms Hotel is probably Sydney’s coziest pub. You can always find a friend there, and usually a good boogie too.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
Bankstown City Gardens.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
My garden. I water the plants and hang the laundry and feel pretty peaceful.

Best day trip?
Blue Mountains, Katoomba. It’s gorgeous, and if you’re looking for home furnishings, it’s the place to go.

When really doing it up and purposely getting fabulous, the no-fail place to be the best dressed is…
Probably the local cinema. Nobody dresses up there, so if you do, you’re guaranteed to be stared at. I love it.

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Model Anja Konstantinova, actress Isabelle Cornish, model Rachel Rutt, and stylist Imogen Barron share their favorite Sydney places

Nasty Gals In The Wild

Sydney: Isabelle

Photographs by Felicity Byrne


Though she’s got all the attributes of a total star, model and actress (and possible mermaid?) Isabelle Cornish prefers nature to the noise of the city. She dreams big and appreciates a great escape.

Where’s the best time, every time?
Home in Newcastle for the weekend, up on the top of Magic Mountain, which overlooks almost the whole town! My friends and I always picnic there as the sun sets.

To post up for people watching…
Central Station is always good to see what’s happening with people in the world around you.

Culinary choices?
Gelato Messina in Surry Hills. The dairy-free sorbets get me every time!

When it’s “me time”…
I love to get a fake tan to girlie out! It always makes me feel like I’m glowing. Amy Erbacher’s salon is the best.

Favorite spot to get in touch with the land?
My dad lives on a farm in the Hunter Valley, a beautiful wine region, so it’s always fun to head there to ride motorbikes or see the horses. If I’m stuck in the city or have to be in Sydney, I will usually escape to Centennial Park and sit under the trees and watch ducks swim in a pond and people ride by on horses.

Where to spend some necessary alone time?
Going to the cinema late at night always makes me feel relaxed and happy—the outdoor Opel Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park is a great spot. Otherwise, I like to sit with my iPod at the beachside rocks in Clovelly.

No one will know who you are at…
I’m a vegan, so my favorite little restaurant is the Nourishing Quarter in Surry Hills, a super cute and delicious place that feels like you’re eating in someone’s home—all mismatching tableware and such friendly service!

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Photographed by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso

Globetrotter

Armed To Bless

Photographs by Sophia Amoruso


I once considered dropping out for God. I’ve always been attracted to people who’ve rejected everything to pursue a single passion. Loners, dropouts, eccentric billionaires. Monks. For me, it was either Nasty Gal or a radically ascetic, monastic existence. God optional. While I’m not upset that Nasty Gal won the toss, I do often dream ofa life surrounded by conviction, cause, and not much else.

I was enrolled in photography classes when I first lived in San Francisco. Near my apartment there was this building, the architectural equivalent of my favorite loners. It was what it was without a lot of concern for anything around it. I eventually showed myself in. It was a Russian Orthodox church. On Sundays maybe four people—total—attended service. If the interior could have had its way, it would have shed the disused choir balcony bequeathed to it by previous inhabitants—some sect given to the decadence of things like choirs—and been perfectly happy existing as little more than a large, stark, choirless, and balcony-free wooden room.

Russians forgo even pews in their churches; parishioners stand for the entirety of service, which is intense, but I grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and appreciate the unorthodox beauty of orthodoxy. Stripped-down simplicity brings majesty and power to what few ornate flourishes the Orthodox allow themselves. My religious upbringing allowed me to connect with Mother Maria, the sweet, soft-spoken woman who lived just behind—and one floor up—from the altar. She enjoyed discussing the nonsecular world—the world most of us are most familiar with—as a horribly gluttonous place. In her vernacular, the word “worldly” rang with deep aversion whenever struck. She seemed neither jealous of, nor angered by our Worldly World, but she was terribly concerned for it. Her concern was that the many distractions afforded by a Worldly World very likely keep us from exploring our true spiritual roles in life. I think she might be right.

Mother Maria eventually agreed to let me take some portraits of her and to photograph the church. Soon after,
I received a call from her. It was a request: to photograph the funeral of the old priest who suddenly passed away. The funeral was simple, and beautiful. The priest peacefully laid in a handmade wooden casket with just a satin sheet stapled to the interior. Few people attended. I took some photos.

I moved to Portland, and a year or so passed before I decided to really go for it and spend some solid time chasing monks. I drove down, and saw Mother Maria again. I saw the old cast of characters—Father James, who was the new priest, and Brother Eugene, an old man with a white beard and a great mind. Brother Eugene invited me out to Santa Rosa, where he lived on small plot of land, in a trailer, set against the backdrop of his farm, the spoils of which he sold at markets on Saturdays. On Sundays, he went to church. Brother Eugene lived alone; you can apparently be a monk in an Orthodox faith without surrounding yourself with “brothers” or “sisters.” He did, temporarily, however, host a recovering alcoholic who lived in a tent. He showered with well water. He fed me farm-made borscht, and we talked about the Worldly World.

I left Eugene and headed to a monastery in Point Reyes, where a dozen or so guys lived on the most beautiful property. I met a novice, someone who’s potentially deciding to become a monk and chooses to live with “brothers” before committing. He was dipping handmade beeswax candles, working quietly in a modified freight train shipping container with one end hacked off for ventilation. On this open end, the monks had installed a screen to keep the bugs out, but that screen allowed a divine view. It overlooked the lush farm, the monastery, and the stunning landscape of Point Reyes. It was such a beautiful place. The monks lived such a beautiful life. In abstaining from the worldly indulgences that the rest of us abuse for fun, the Russian Orthodox monks of Northern California have found humanity and peace that few of us will ever know.

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Photographed by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso

Globetrotter

Armed To Bless

Photographs by Sophia Amoruso


I once considered dropping out for God. I’ve always been attracted to people who’ve rejected everything to pursue a single passion. Loners, dropouts, eccentric billionaires. Monks. For me, it was either Nasty Gal or a radically ascetic, monastic existence. God optional. While I’m not upset that Nasty Gal won the toss, I do often dream ofa life surrounded by conviction, cause, and not much else.

I was enrolled in photography classes when I first lived in San Francisco. Near my apartment there was this building, the architectural equivalent of my favorite loners. It was what it was without a lot of concern for anything around it. I eventually showed myself in. It was a Russian Orthodox church. On Sundays maybe four people—total—attended service. If the interior could have had its way, it would have shed the disused choir balcony bequeathed to it by previous inhabitants—some sect given to the decadence of things like choirs—and been perfectly happy existing as little more than a large, stark, choirless, and balcony-free wooden room.

Russians forgo even pews in their churches; parishioners stand for the entirety of service, which is intense, but I grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and appreciate the unorthodox beauty of orthodoxy. Stripped-down simplicity brings majesty and power to what few ornate flourishes the Orthodox allow themselves. My religious upbringing allowed me to connect with Mother Maria, the sweet, soft-spoken woman who lived just behind—and one floor up—from the altar. She enjoyed discussing the nonsecular world—the world most of us are most familiar with—as a horribly gluttonous place. In her vernacular, the word “worldly” rang with deep aversion whenever struck. She seemed neither jealous of, nor angered by our Worldly World, but she was terribly concerned for it. Her concern was that the many distractions afforded by a Worldly World very likely keep us from exploring our true spiritual roles in life. I think she might be right.

Mother Maria eventually agreed to let me take some portraits of her and to photograph the church. Soon after,
I received a call from her. It was a request: to photograph the funeral of the old priest who suddenly passed away. The funeral was simple, and beautiful. The priest peacefully laid in a handmade wooden casket with just a satin sheet stapled to the interior. Few people attended. I took some photos.

I moved to Portland, and a year or so passed before I decided to really go for it and spend some solid time chasing monks. I drove down, and saw Mother Maria again. I saw the old cast of characters—Father James, who was the new priest, and Brother Eugene, an old man with a white beard and a great mind. Brother Eugene invited me out to Santa Rosa, where he lived on small plot of land, in a trailer, set against the backdrop of his farm, the spoils of which he sold at markets on Saturdays. On Sundays, he went to church. Brother Eugene lived alone; you can apparently be a monk in an Orthodox faith without surrounding yourself with “brothers” or “sisters.” He did, temporarily, however, host a recovering alcoholic who lived in a tent. He showered with well water. He fed me farm-made borscht, and we talked about the Worldly World.

I left Eugene and headed to a monastery in Point Reyes, where a dozen or so guys lived on the most beautiful property. I met a novice, someone who’s potentially deciding to become a monk and chooses to live with “brothers” before committing. He was dipping handmade beeswax candles, working quietly in a modified freight train shipping container with one end hacked off for ventilation. On this open end, the monks had installed a screen to keep the bugs out, but that screen allowed a divine view. It overlooked the lush farm, the monastery, and the stunning landscape of Point Reyes. It was such a beautiful place. The monks lived such a beautiful life. In abstaining from the worldly indulgences that the rest of us abuse for fun, the Russian Orthodox monks of Northern California have found humanity and peace that few of us will ever know.

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Photographed by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso

Globetrotter

Love In Any Direction

Photographs by David Black


It’s liberating to have a set of wheels and just explore the West Coast. My girlfriend, Stella, and I try to hop in the car as much as possible and head out and see what we can discover. No matter where you travel to, you’re going to find something. When Stella and I first met, I immediately thought we should find an interesting place to do a photo shoot. I thought the central coastline would be the ideal place to go. It’s kind of rugged, intense, and gorgeous there—visually dramatic, with a lot of history. Our simple shoot turned into two days of traveling, and before I knew it we’d fallen in love. It happened en route, and it’s been like this ever since.

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Story by Lindsey Ortega

Globetrotter

Made in the Fade

Reader Submission by Lindsey Ortega


The Baja my parents tell me of is one I can only dream about. They reminisce about catamaran races that lasted for days, primo Puerto Nuevo-style lobster, and caravans of young Americans camping on the beach. My dad loves to talk about the time they entered a sailing race after drinking all day. They got really far out and thought they were kicking ass, going super fast, hanging off the edge, having the time of their lives—and then realized an hour into it they were going in the wrong direction. They came in last place, but it was a party anyway.

Baja is that little strip of land right below San Diego, accessible after a long, coastal drive winding along insane cliffs hugging the Pacific Ocean. On one side it’s arid, mountainous, and full of cactus and olive trees; on the other it’s a sheer drop down to what looks like untouched ocean—I’m sure people have made it down to those beaches, but how?

Every part of the trip down there, no matter how trivial, holds a significant memory, from the rush of excitement
I get when we cross the border, gazing out the window to catch every second of the gorgeous drive, to the musty sea salt smell that remains locked up in our house until that moment when the door is opened and all the fresh air pours inside. Everything from falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves to trips to the fish taco stand… it’s all part of the simple narrative.

Back in the day, my mom would go down there to party with her friends. After she met the man who’s now my dad, they bought the house where she partied the most. This became our family’s home, a truly original half-Shasta trailer, half-cinder block cabana built in the 1970s. It was demolished recently for a rebuilt home that is bigger, brighter, and outfitted with all modern amenities—a TV, stereo system, and even a telephone. Many of the original neighboring trailers are still intact, a neighborhood juxtaposition of new and old and really outdated, the latter are often seemingly abandoned.

Even though the modern aspects kind of stick out like a sore thumb among faded pastel colors and Western-themed hippie stuff, they truly heighten the nostalgia. I love vintage. I love concepts of man versus nature, the uncharted ruggedness of it all. I even love the desertedness, because it means I feel all that more separated from Los Angeles. It’s not real life; it’s fantasy. The days are longer, because there’s not really anything to do. And that’s exactly why you go there.

I think Baja’s concept of time will never change. Life runs on a different clock there, one much slower and more unreliable than the one we’re used to in our daily lives. I recently spent a mere 24 hours down there with my sweetheart, and even in that short period there was no existence of any time or place, other than the house and whether or not it was still daylight (our only gauge for how much longer we could lay out at the beach). There was no travel itinerary. We swam, weathered ourselves in the sun, grilled steaks for dinner, and drank beer until we were tired enough to go to sleep. This is a routine that I am safe to say has stayed the same, even since the days before I was born.

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Zodiac readings and astrology from Nasty Gal

Super Nastrology

Words by White Witch Maja D’Aoust | Illustrations by Maya Wild



Aries • March 21 – April 20

If you’re itching for more of the unpredictable and the strange, you’re in luck: there’s no rest from the weirdness for now. As chaotic rouser Uranus continues his strut through your sign, it’s best to keep your head on tight. The revolution rash that’s been breaking out around the world is hitting you, and the theme is the individual vs. the institution. Open your heart to love. March is the most intense, when Mars hooks up with Uranus to bring some upheaval, but thanks to April’s Venus trails will smooth it all over, so don’t panic! April brings a cutie pie to romance with, and by May you can start all over again with a better attitude on the solar eclipse.

Taurus • April 21 – May 21

Spring is party time for the bulls. With so much activity in your house of extended networks, this is no time to lollygag. Contacts made now will make you bigger on the scene, so take up all invites! This will help later this summer, when Saturn’s retrograde pressure makes you want more progress, and Neptune in your tenth house adds extra career confusion. Try not to make major decisions in terms of changing jobs, even when you feel pulled to do something bigger. Make sure you know what is involved before, like, quitting your job to do Reiki at Coachella. As for your relationships, um, possessive much? You want security and commitment so bad you are willing to kill for it. Try a conversation before freaking out!

Gemini • May 22 – June 21

Bling bling! You are blowin’ up! Jupiter’s still in your sign so Geminis are seeing a huge increase in all that is YOU. This might make your ego pretty big, so try not to toot your own horn tooooo much at all the events that will be focused around you. Spring sees your career on point, with so much energy in your tenth house it’s nutso, and with Mars in Aries in your house of networks, get ready to meet some power players who will influence your community. Make sure to handle your scandal when it comes to romantic decisions—especially when it comes to your body and health. Tip: Align with the kind ones; stay away from those throwing temper tantrums.

Cancer • June 22 – july 22

Even though you are the mama for everyone, be on the lookout for dude drama this spring. Or if you have weirdo-ness with your dad, this could be a good time to put it to rest—if not with him, within yourself. Do a ritual to rid yourself of pattern relationships under his influence. If the structure of a relationship where someone exerts control over you isn’t working, it’s a good time to let it go up in smoke. If you can do that, your next relationship will be a more symbiotic partnership. (Yes, a bit of a stretch for caretaker Cancer to imagine.) Look for the Lunar Eclipse on April 25 to help bring your relationships to that level! Tip: Any ants in your pants might enjoy crumbs of research about spirituality and religion.

Leo • July 23 – August 21

Family structure and reliability make the top of your to-do list. You may find yourself hankering to get your living situation more stable. If you have some booyakasha with your pops, deal with it now or get taken over by it. Relationship stress escalates with the lunar eclipse April 25, so that’s a great night to exorcise family patterns you see yourself projecting onto your dates. Care for bones and teeth—if you need to go to the dentist, just go. There’s a way ridiculoso amount of activity in your eighth house, ruling secrets and psyche, so tend to your family, and then dive deep into your desires. Right now you can meet a lot of important peeps, so go out and make the effort.

Virgo • August 22 – September 23

Be wary of playing martyr in your close relationships and partnerships. You want to just sink in—make sure you’re on the same page first. Don’t give it all up to entertain some emo, vampire-y, co-dependent thing you will wake up from three years later and be all like, Whooooa, where did I go? BOUNDARIES is the key word—quit walking on eggshells and speak your mind. No need to get bitchy, a li’l throat clear when something inappropriate is going on can work wonders. With Jupiter in your tenth house of career, its time to go big or go home, especially with Internet mega-reach-a-lot-of people things. If you can put yourself out there in a major way you will be seen. Do it now! Why are you still reading this? Scoot!

Libra • September 24 – October 23

Saturn’s scooted into your house of finance, so you want to crystallize your get-rich dreams and accumulate meaningful, practical objects. Time to get your budget together and at least pretend you’re a grown-up! Pressure’s on as Saturn retrogrades this spring, so try not to spend ginormo amounts of money. Living situations continue to flux; thankfully, you probably got the worst of this LAST spring. Your daily habits need a drill sergeant with all kinds of Pisces energy making you daydreamy. Don’t slack off too bad—keep some things on a schedule. Spotlight’s on self-confidence issues, as you have been struggling to find who you really are outside of partnerships. Focus on YOU first.

Scorpio • October 24 – November 22

If you’ve been an eagle kind of Scorpio, Saturn is rewarding you with big-time karmic earnings. If you have been a scorpion kind of Scorpio, get ready to let go and hang back. It’s time to learn the processes of elimination and letting go, particularly of grudges, baggage, and possessive practices. The lunar eclipse on April 25 could cause you to start a fight with your sweetie, so hang low that day? Till June 25 you may have some gnarly ego stuff to deal with, so remember to hold on to what’s left at the end of the day and use your higher self to navigate. Jupiter’s helping make breakthroughs in your views of cycles and creation/destruction whirlpools. Maybe figure out the key to transcending them?

Sagittarius • November 23 – December 22

Sag sisters are learning the hard lessons of getting a responsible budget—bor-ring! Pluto in Capricorn in our second house is busting us left and right with frivolous spending, and you won’t get away with it, so don’t even try. TRUE love is hitting hard as earthquake god Uranus hangs out in our fifth house of romance and creativity. We have Jupiter’s help in our house of marriage and partnerships, blowing it up like a squeaky animal balloon, so if it seems too good to be true, who cares, just roll with it and bask in its glow. This also brings some moody times: keep it together and don’t have a needy freak attack.

Capricorn • December 23 – January 20

How’s that Pluto been treating you since 2009? Well, it ain’t over yet. If you’re early in the sign, the good news is you probably already had the ego destruction. If you’re later, put on your snowshoes and get ready to tour the tundra of self-reliance. Good thing Saturn’s helping you out in your networking house, make sure you have something to show the tastemakers coming your way. Use springtime to get something in the works so there’s something to invest in. Come June, you may want more than you can afford, and you might feel entitled to it. But hold up just a minute and focus on building your job. Do all your spending on the real and you’ll come out of it OK.

Aquarius • January 21 – February 19

A second house full of planets in Pisces can put you into la-la land with what you think you deserve, but ixnay on the shopping sprees. If you buckle down the next two years you will EARN lots of great stuff, so just wait a little bit and focus on your job. Take advantage of Jupiter in your house of romance, which can mean lots of flirty fun. Jupiter makes everything BIG, so look for sweepy off your feety. Come summer you’ll have to crack down as Jupiter moves into your house of discipline. Anything you felt work-wise in October will be amplified this spring as Saturn goes retrograde. Art, writing, and music are all highlighted for you right now, so get to work.

Pisces • February 20 – March 20

With Venus and Eros joining the Sun in your sign this March, there is not much people can do to resist your dreamy vibes. Be careful cruising around if you’re in a relationship ’cause you will be getting numbers slipped under the free drinks! It’s a good thing those drinks will be free too, because with Uranus and Mars duking it out in your house of earned income, it might be chaos that wins, so careful on the ol’ wallet. If you’re thinking of going back to school, or re-engaging with an institution you may have left behind, now is a good time. Make a move to a better place and reconnect with fam.

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