Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss work their mic game at the cinemgraphs shoot.
We can't believe the time has come, but Season One of House of Style is officially in the books! It seems like just yesterday we were on a Paris Fashion Week adventure with our newly-named hosts, Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls. And boy did they keep things entertaining the past few months. When they weren't high-fiving at the Cinemagraphs shoot or rocking glamorous locks backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, they were shooting Holiday campaigns and strutting the runway as iconic musicians for Jean Paul Gaultier. You know, being fiercer than fierce supermodels along with their hilarious and stunning model BFFs.
Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls show that funny can be fierce.
Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace welcomed us into her home for our twelfth episode of House of Style. She gave us a tour of her closet (which she shares with her supremely rad wife, Heather), talked to us about her style evolution which covers everything from Mossimo for Target to Maison Martin Margiela. We showed you a little of her beauty closet where she revealed that she's been an ardent Clinique customer for years and her favorite fragrance of late: Stella McCartney. That's only a small portion, though, of everything she shared with us and because we refuse to sit on this footage, we're releasing it all in this very special bonus clip.
Laura Jane Grace is the founder and lead singer of the Florida punk rock band Against Me! Laura came out earlier this year as transgender, a decision that was many years in the making and a story that MTV News and Rolling Stone covered this past summer. We knew we wanted to talk to Laura further about the experience and we were thrilled when she invited us into her home for this episode of House of Style.
The way we see it, fashion can be trivialized. At times, it can be inconsequential, but it can also be overwhelmingly pressing when you consider it a way to express yourself. Especially if the way you want to present yourself is a secret. Not to get all, "In This Very Special Episode of House of Style...", but we thought it was important to talk about what it's like to accept how you want to look (especially when you're torn on how it'll be received) and what it feels like when you go out and do just that.
Justin Van Hoy was an artist. He was also a founder of THIS gallery in Los Angeles, as well as the editor of a beautiful book featuring contemporary California art called Milk and Honey. For this season of House of Style, we’d always known that we wanted to include an episode about art and when our frequent collaborator Todd Oldham mentioned Justin’s then as yet released book, we knew a segment on the L.A. art scene would be perfect.
Justin was kind enough to invite us into his studio where he walked us through the works of art that were important to him and told us stories about why. He showed us a framed poster that had hung in his father’s bedroom in high school, a portrait of his grandparents, and the scads of books that comprised his sprawling library. It’s funny because you’ll see that it’s near impossible to capture the backdrop and his face in a single frame since Justin’s a good foot taller than Todd and our crew. Fittingly, his nickname was 'The Dutch Giant.'
So you know how stars, they're just like us? Well, in this bonus clip from the House of Style we shot with Mae Whitman and Rachel Antonoff, Mae goes on this wicked windy tangent about Friday Night Lights because she's beyond besotted with Tim Riggins who is played by Taylor Kitsch. Of course the whole time she chinwagged we NODDED EMPHATICALLY as our cameras rolled with the full intention of saving all this footage for SOMETHING since it's our civic obligation as keepers of a patch of internet to invoke Tim Riggins whenever possible. That, and the s*** was just HILARIOUS because of how heartfelt and genuinely moony she is over the whole thing.
Actor Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins in 'Friday Night Lights.'
Photo: Getty Images
In this episode of House of Style, we tasked actress Mae Whitman and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff with finding the perfect dress for every occasion. We thought it would be a lovely service piece that would illustrate the wonderful relationship between the two intelligent, vibrant women considering that Mae has appeared in Rachel's look books and has worn a great deal of her bestie's wares for various events. Of course they could've rattled off the requisite, "First Date," "Meeting The Beau's 'Rents," "Picnic" categories, but since they're real-life humans with faces and brains with non-borg frames of references, they came up with truly, nuanced, helpful scenarios.
There's "Going To an Opera With A Black Swan Fancy Vibe." And, "The Dress To Impress A Hot Dude You Hope To See At A Party But Your Boycrush Kisses Another Girl So You Go Cry Outside On The Curb Yet Still Feel Like A Princess With Your Butt Kinda Showing But Only In The Way That You Might Want For That Moment." And also, "Non-Binding Holiday Dress Where You Plan To Eat Alarming Amounts Of Food Without Compromising Comfort" and of course, the "Dress That You Wear To The Twilight Two Premiere Only To Eat S*** Going Down Some Stairs So That Blood Is Literally Oozing From Your Leg." Obviously, I do not need to parse the utility of knowing EXACTLY what to wear for each of these predicaments.
Nasty Gal is an LA-based, e-commerce juggernaut founded by Sophia Amoruso and the origin story is inspirational stuff. Sophia's always been a huge fan of vintage clothing and started selling some of her wares on eBay in 2006. About a year-and-a-half later, she made the crucial decision to branch off to start her own website and made a cool $72,000. She reinvested all of it back into her company and business quadrupled each subsequent year with 2011 seeing $28 million in revenue. This year culminated in Nasty Gal launching its own house line during fashion week duly called Nasty Gal Collection. Now, if that doesn't light a fire under your ass to pursue your dreams, I don't know what will.
Shirley Kurata is an L.A.-based stylist who styles Peter Jensen look books, a slew of fashion editorials for magazines as well as music videos for Beck. She also works frequently with Zooey Deschanel, Elijah Wood and Miranda July. It’s basically the dream, especially when you consider that she’s super tight with the enigmatic Mulleavy sisters and styles their Rodarte runway shows. We’ve climbed into her brain with this interview with Rookie Mag, and the fine folks at Refinery 29 did the internet a solid when they photographed her home but by then our appetites were good and whet (hmm… why does that sound so tawdry?) on the prospect of rummaging in the hallowed confines of Shirley’s closet!
Shirley was incredibly accommodating and patient as we pored over her belongings with our massive cameras in tow and we’re really lucky because a peek at the deconstructed puzzle pieces really does provide a legend or else a secret decoder ring to the method behind a classic Kurata look. Shirley’s described her aesthetic as “mod secretary” but her personal style sort of reminds me of science textbooks in the ’70s. You’ve got swaths of color (usually hues that were HUGE for appliances or Corningware from the era), with accents picked up by the addition of a hat, or pair of opaque color-saturated tights, or else a belt or another accessory that mirrors or harkens back to another color or design motif, like, polka dots. It’s like how color, pattern or shape is used in an infographic; no aspect of an ensemble is accidental and everything works in tandem. It’s not overwrought, it’s just that there’s a clear point of view and a decisive, considered throughline for the eye to travel.
As fashion shows go, Victoria’s Secret’s fashion show is a MONSTER. This year’s airs on CBS on Tuesday, December 4th but the show itself went down last week and the scene backstage was bananas. Just think about it, for the 2012 jam you’ve got performances from Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars not to mention hoards of gorgeous models, as well as thousands of feathers, gobs of jewels, miles of hair extensions, and a heaving throng of press.
No big deal.
Well, except that we had a House of Style segment to shoot. Our hosts Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss were busybusybusy and in between hair, makeup, and being ferried to and fro, we were able to catch up with them to gossip about what goes into being a VS Angel.
Unsurprisingly, Joan and Karlie, as well as a number of other girls we interviewed, were working out like maniacs to prep for their scanty ensembles but it's not just about getting all skinnyminnie about that one unforgiving camera that shoots straight up into your chin and nose from the end of the runway. Heaps of the models focused on balance and core exercises because everything is so DAMNED heavy. Joan's wings were 15-20 pounds easy. And it's not just about looking poised in an enormous flower costume, it's about looking poised in an enormous flower costume atop 6" heels. Ambitious stuff.
This Betsey Johnson clip makes me really happy. It's just a little Easter Egg from the House of Style segment that we shot with Betsey that didn't make it into the final cut earlier this week. I wanted to share it with you guys anyway because she voices what I'd long suspected which is that her talents can occasionally be overlooked because she prides her designs on being fun, approachable and sometimes zany. We love to think about contemporary fashion as being this wonderful egalitarian thing especially now that all the hot, cool girls mix high and low and vintage and everybody who's ANYBODY is doing a capsule collection with an affordable purveyor bla bla bla but sometimes it means we don't pay enough respect to people who have been cutting shrewd silhouettes since forever at the price-point that Betsey Johnson has always played in.
In this clip, she talks about what it would look like if you selected all her designs--spanning all the decades since the '60s and all the trends she's experimented with--and showed them as a timeline all in black and how it would be an accurate depiction of some of the most enduring and elegant silhouettes through history. She's a generous designer who makes clothes that forgive flaws (and often has pockets!!!) and that's what I enjoy about her. Also, she says "Sharon" in this clip because that's our producer and while we could have cut it out we didn't 'cause Betsey was on a roll and dropping science.
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