Choppers, Chicks & Slick Threads: ODYN VOVK SS13 Video

With anyone remotely interested in fashion being inundated with New York Fashion Week tweets, street style photos, Instagrams and Facebook check-ins at every Manhattan hotspot, here's a welcomed open-air breather from the sartorial Cirque de Soleil at Lincoln Center: ODYN VOVK's video "A Silent Grey" for their latest collection.

 Brainchild of designer and chopper enthusiast Austin Sherbanenko, the Los Angeles-based mens label puts the "male" in malevolent with subtle designs that are the strong, slightly twisted silent type. His pieces are predominantly black and use unique materials like sail cloth and army canvas that are waxed and/or oiled along with animal skins like ostrich, alligator and even, yes, fish leather (how? no clue). Odyn Vovk is rugged in a way that completely turns its back on the prevalent New England/dust bowl looks that seemingly every masculine, stylish man has as his default outfit. Instead, it's the refined graduation from goth, punk or metal that sheds all the studs, chains and subculture frills and heads towards runway edge without venturing into the asexual dsytopian futurism of Rick Owens or Mugler. 

OV is very much grounded in the now, and their latest fashion video shot by Jon Ryan Sugimoto reflects a no-parents-no-schedules-no-rules existence far from all the catwalk hoop-jumping that's been happening this past week. While the clothes are not so much the stars as the motorcycles (because really, how can they not), the video is selling a laid-back lifestyle of sweet bikes, leggy girls, aimless adventures through the LA jungle.

Dripped: LA Fashion Week Runway Soiree And Trunk Show, March 15th!

KidViskous will be selling jewelry at Pop Tart Gallery's Dripped Trunk Show and L.A. Fashion Week event, come by next Thursday March 15th for shopping, djs, runway shows, performances and general fashion debauchery. 

We're pricing pieces to go, most items will be $3-$10, nothing over $25!

Yes, credit cards accepted ;).
Note: There is a $10 cover with RSVP y'all.

The space is particularly amazing, and home to LA's polysexual hard-partying Rhondavous event, and was previously owned by Prince! This is gonna be nuts!

TUCO Valentine's Day Online Sample Sale

One of my fave new t-shirt lines is having a 40% sample sale on their whole stock for Valentine's Day, so I had to share. We featured TUCO as one of our 12 Days of Xmas selections, so jump on this shit quick! Use the coupon code "KISSFROMAROSE" at checkout (omg, I love you Jenny), sale ends midnight on 2/14/12. Check out for more!

You Are Invited: A Current Affair Pop Up Marketplace Returns!

A Current Affair returns for it's third edition for spring! Curated by vintage dealer Richard Wainwright and Joey Grana, designer and owner of Scout, with additional vintage selection by Emmy Award-winning costume designer David Zyla. This is not your usual extremely marked-up flea market pickings sale: Along with more than 25 local vintage retailers and private dealers, you'll find choice vintage clothing, jewelry, eyewear and more from labels like Balmain, Halston, Chloe, Comme des Garcons and Lanvin. ACA alumns Weltenbuerger, and Reclaimed In L.A. will be returning with a new addition of rustic jewelry line Alkemie.

Be sure to come on Saturday evening for an exhibition of 10 vintage looks curated by Zyla, and hi, OPEN BAR sponsored by Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, Izze Sparkling Juices and Smartwater. Note: admission is $10 at the door each day, but considering the kind of one-of-a-kind pieces you'll find, it's more than worth it.

A Current Affair
Cooper Design Space
860 South Los Angeles Street, Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, April 2 from 6pm-10pm
Sunday, April 3 from 10am-5pm.

Raw Geronimo Brings The Rain At Popomomo's LA Fashion Week Event

On Sunday, despite the heaviest rain Los Angeles has seen this season (heavy for us, probably nothing for New Yorkers), dedicated fashion enthusiasts packed out the Mandrake bar for clothing line Popomomo's LA Fashion Week event. Performing that night was the line's latest campaign star, musician Laena Geronimo, shot by an amazing photographer and personal friend of mine, Job Piston.
The photographer with his work

Raw Geronimo

Popomomo stands for "post-postmodern movement" and boasts collections made locally of only sustainable and/or organic fabrics. The simple, feminine and delicately architectual designs are as sustainable as the material they're made of: They can be worn and accessorized in so many ways, expanding the pieces' longevity. Having previously designed for Urban Outfitters and Free People, designer Lizz Wasserman no longer wanted to be restricted by the gaudy limitations of disposable trendiness. Popomomo is at its core completely season-spanning, not to mention good for the environment.

Watch a clip of Raw Geronimo's performance. Sorry the lighting and sound is weird!

Click through for more:
Piston met Wasserman through her husband, whom is an artist Piston attended school with, and she approached him for the project. The inspirations behind the collection were artist and writer Eve Babitz and musician Patti Smith: "a dark and sweet 70's, grey day LA vibe." For the shoot Piston said, "Lizz wanted the model for this collection to reflect its design references: a writer, a musician or cultural figure from an artist community...We were very lucky and excited Laena agreed to work with us."

While Laena Geronimo is better know as the bassist for 60s throwback sweethearts The Like--replacing founding member Charlotte Froom--she also plays violin in Swahili Blonde, plays percussion, violin, vocals and keyboards with Dante Vs. Zombies, occasionally plays bass for Residual Echoes, all on top of her own band, Raw Geronimo. In a coincidental overlap, while Geronimo has modeled for the LA-based Popomomo, her bandmate Z Berg from The Like has modeled for an LA line called Geronimo (no relation).
Perhaps it's not just the "cool" factor that draws designers and artists together, but the dynamics of shooting an artist v.s. a model. Of the Popomomo shoot, Piston recalled, "Some models are particular about their 'good side,' or what angles they're photographed from. There were no restrictions on which angle Laena preferred to be shot from. On stage, the audience observes you from 180 to 360 degrees...She's a natural character and that element made the images truly collaborative."

I've said many times how fashion and music are close relatives that beautifully play off eachother. And if anything, designer/music collaborations make for more fun events than a traditional runway show. With the whole band clad in Popomomo, Raw Geronimo rocked their brand of sweet-to-stomping psychedelic rock, heralding influences from Devendra Banhart and fellow LA band Warpaint--and of course a bit of The Like. While the Mandrake has a large sign that says, "No Dancing Allowed," that combined with the rain didn't deter fashion revelers from having a good time.
Photographer Job Piston with Lizz Wasserman

Piston & Geronimo with yours truly. Such cool last names.

Banksy Is Dead: Banksy Hits LA For His Oscar Nomination - UPDATED

One of Banksy's most recent pieces

In anticipation for the Academy Awards on Feb 27th, cloak and dagger British graffiti artist Banksy has returned to Los Angeles with new work. The quasi-Banksy documentary "Exit Through The Giftshop" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature with Banksy as director. I say quasi because the documentary is mostly about Thierry Guetta, the man also known as graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash. I haven't seen the film until recently and what I take away from it is that Mr. Brainwash is nothing more than a plagiarizing megalomaniac. The only controversy in his work is if Guetta knew what he was doing, or if he was just self-delusional. Banksy along with comrade in arts Shepard Fairey reluctantly and practically out of pity helped Guetta with his debut art show that ended up grossing one million dollars in sales in it's first week. Suffice to say, Guetta was a genius for finagling his way so quickly into the realm of graffiti art royalty. Banksy made it clear in the film he was not pleased, and the film might have been purposed to expose Mr. Brainwash for who he is and how easily art can corrupted into a wildly profitable money making scheme. Let the film be a warning to any Mr. Brainwash art buyer.
 Guetta/Mr. Brainwash at his solo exhibit in NYC, Feb 2010

Click through to see more of Banksy's latest work:

But the timing of Banky's recent return to Los Angeles mirrors the hype he created for his 2006 art exhibit "Barely Legal" which drew thousands of viewers including the very top of the A-List. In the weeks before the show opened, Banky's pieces popped up seemingly overnight, particularly in Hollywood along La Brea Ave, creating a media frenzy and more than a few confused building owners. I mean, Banksy's no dummy: he's a master of harnessing hype and controversy, particularly about his art and his own intentions. His opening credits for The Simpsons last year is a perfect example. It's still not clear if the choice was flagrant self-promotion, an exposé on the animation industry or just a vehicle to get people thinking.

The same can be thought of his recent work before the Oscars. Is he just making fun of the whole idea of Hollywood awarding itself? Banksy is predicted to win the category, so he in turn could be no better than the celebrity audience. I'm not trying to knock Banksy, I love his work. But I can't help but raise questions and attempt to decontruct him. I imagine Banksy and Daft Punk shopping for napkin rings at Crate and Barrel together, masks off, with no one the wiser. UPDATE: The Academy flat out refused to let Banksy accept the award in disguise if he were to win. This is due to the fact security measures would be compromised. Since no one knows who he is, any number of strangers can claim his identity. That in and of itself is art to me! So my original idea of getting a bunch of randoms to dress in black hoodies and monkey masks and see who can infiltrate the Oscars couldn't work.

POST OSCARS UPDATE: Bansky did not win (understandably as the other nominees had much more affecting topics), and no, Justin Timberlake is NOT Banksy.

With all of Banksy's success, it must be a constant battle to retain his reputation as a street artist. Success is in direct conflict with the significance of the street art movement. One of Banksy's pieces was cut right out of the wall and replaced by a sign:

When people are revolting against street art, not because it "ruins" the walls, but because the art itself has been "ruined," who then become the rebels? Has Banksy turned graffiti into the equivalent of leaving stacks of cash on the street? Does monetary worth render graffiti art meaningless? Whatever Banksy's intentions may be, he's coming dangerously close to losing credibility.
More of Banksy's recent LA works
3 new pieces confirmed on Feb 22nd:

Mouthpiece of Los Angeles Fashion for Europe

A few months ago, I was commissioned to write several articles about the state of Los Angeles denim and fashion for Style In Progress magazine based in Austria. Myself and my good friend, art photographer Job Piston, set out on a interesting day touring several places around Los Angeles in a stretch Escalade limousine full of buyers from the top boutiques in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

This trip included a tour of the Rose Bowl Flea Market's best denim inspirations led by denim guru Adriano Goldschmied, who I later interviewed at the Modrian Hotel in Hollywood. Adriano is a truly fascinating and inspiring man, building multiple empires from nothing and is still predicting the future of denim well into his 60s.

Monkey in the middle

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Click images to zoom

Mike Hodis of Rising Sun had a extraordinary boutique that mirrored the denim shops from the early 1900's, making exact replicas of those styles using the same vintage machines and fabric. The workshop is located in the back of the store like how they were in old times--and he also drives a gorgeous original Ford automobile from the same era.

HLNR, the first eco-friendly boutique that features massive solar panels and a unique selection of clothing mostly from Japan.

6 LA brands making a statement from the past 5 years: Skin.Graft, Wren, Dimepiece, JOYRICH, Wilfox Couture and Lead Derby