Everyone once in a while you are walking to grab green juice and stumble upon heaven. And sometimes that heaven is called By:Fashionaholic.
No funny quips, no witty anecdotes… just please let me live here?
Everyone once in a while you are walking to grab green juice and stumble upon heaven. And sometimes that heaven is called By:Fashionaholic.
No funny quips, no witty anecdotes… just please let me live here?
First and last letters to Grandma. You will be missed.
I was wondering if we could be penpals. Let’s write each other letters about our life. Mom said you played tennes. Could you write about that? Love, Becca”
We checked out the plot today. Dad seemed happy with the positioning of the tree. It felt a bit reminiscent of your courtyard. The family went for lunch after but I could barely eat a thing. All I wanted was plain french toast, no challah and no berries, just as you would like it. I wanted to discuss the antics of your sneaky floor mates at the village, the ones who would kick you beneath the dinner table when you took too strong a stance against the inedible ham sandwiches. I wanted to walk the botanic gardens, playing Barbara Streisand on my phone while you hummed along and taught me about the Kennedys. I wanted to play our millionth game of gin rummy, only to beat you by one point and listen to you call my father, complaining that I was being cruel to my grandma. But instead I sat amongst your children and grandchildren, listening to their many memories of the finest woman they knew.
P.S. And no, I’m sorry but you may not steal Craig. I still won’t allow it.”
Minor acts of defiance and/or just minor acts:
1. People were getting worried. Danny was over 20 minutes late. Peering over the fence of the Lido Deck, Alex could see him crossing the street with what appeared to be Aldi bags dangling from the prongs of a shuffle tang. As he approached, the crew could see these were not plastic grocery bags but rather white silk sacks, hand-stitched with the Aldi logo. Danny removed a wooden replica of a Tang container, masterfully painted to mimic the OG 50s packaging. He began scooping out piles of his homemade orange powder and sprinkled it over everyone's drinks. "Sorry I'm late, but I couldn't bear the thought of showing up empty handed to our first game of the season. By the way, f kombucha, Tang is the future."
2. Laura met Ashley whilst lounging on hammocks at Lollapalooza, both too drained by the youth around them to venture back to any shows quite yet. Laura overheard her lamentation on the number of tube-top-and-glitter-thong outfits flouncing about in the most perfect Tiffany Blum-Deckler voice and was immediately captivated. "Dude, I'd know that Valley-girl drawl any day," Laura said, introducing herself. Ashley offered Laura some smuggled crackers, who in return offered her an air-conditioned apartment for the night. When they got back that evening, Laura opened the front door, revealing an array of papier-mâché animal masks. "My friend is going through a Schiap phase," Laura commented, making up two plates of spaghetti. Ashley graciously took the noodles and plopped down between two flamingo headdresses, nodding in approval. "My kind of people."
3. Craig: "Well you know me. Give me a full Adidas track suit and a hint of tiki and I'm on board."
Becca: "But do you think it's too much like..."
Craig: "Like the firebird red from Royal Tenenbaums? I thought that, but no, not with the right accessories. It should work."
He pulled down a pair of giant plastic sunglasses and posed in front of the teal tinsel. He was right, it worked.
4. Ellen had always declined the invitation to complete Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire. Not for fear of exposing her true self to the readers, nor for a lack of original answer, but rather because she had never admired anyone or anything before (and she would rather watch SYTYCD reruns with Becca every day for the rest of her life than leave something unfinished). Upon catching a glimpse of Missy Robbins' temperature controlled pasta storage room, she called up VF to fulfill her public service of telling the world intimate details about herself. "Which living person do you admire most?" "The architect of Missy's pasta closet, who, as of last night, is also the architect of my pasta closet."
5. Nick and Kathleen shared a knowing glance as they walked the sacred ground, recalling the rumors they heard over the years. Rumors of legends past who walked these same concrete paths, expertly nudged biscuits to unfathomable victories, and ever-so-slightly raised their tangs in victory. Finally, they stood in the hallowed halls of the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. Kathleen scanned the competition and let out a soft gasp as she made eye contact with a bearded man dressed in a surprisingly heavy jumpsuit for the balmy Florida weather. "NICK," she whisper-shrieked, "that's Jonathan Schnapp!" "I double-dog dare you to challenge him," Nick said with a grin. He hadn't even finished his sentence before Kathleen had introduced herself, passed Jon a shot (of Tang) with a cupcake (to chase), and planted the seed to open a Chicago branch of the v hip Royal Palms Shuffle Club minutes from their new flat.
6. Having tired of the same old archaeological paths he hiked all summer, Alex took the internet. He typed in "Dali - Cool Shit," forgetting the Cypriot Dali is not top of Google's mind. Rather than local breweries and picturesque sunsets, he was offered a myriad of tours through St. Petersburg's Salvador Dali Museum. As Alex scrolled through images of melting clocks and cheeky lobsters, he was struck with how little he really knew about the painter. He called up the crew and asked them to meet him in Florida for a highly education expedition to the museum. The excuses flooded in. "Idk, hurricanes." "It's hot." "I was going to brush my dog." There was only one way to drag these kids to the pinnacle of heat during Chicago's peak season: "we can shuffle every day."
It has been two years. The words aren't really coming but I do keep thinking about dreams.
Dreams I have by day:
1. Walking my fleet of future husky puppies down the streets of West Loop, spoon of peanut butter in hand.
2. Sipping champagne with Christophe & Sarah-Linh Tran while we chat about the coolness of Japanese-meets-Parisian-normalcy.
3. Leaning against a stained glass window as I wear dad's Repeat 3peat shirt to my first day on the job as Louis Vuitton's Creative Director.
Dreams I have by night:
1. Walking through the neighborhood next to the old high school. Aaron walks about 10 feet behind me. I look back every few minutes to see his big old grin. I look back and he is gone.
2. Sitting on the end of my bed. So is Ginny. We just sit a while.
Pretty sure I'm not alone in my recent search for comfort. Maybe that's why I spend my days basking in the consistency of illustrating pixel-sized crushed red pepper flakes on a fake pizza. Or trying every bowl of matzo ball soup in the city to find the most heartwarming (spoiler, even the worst ones make happy).
1. Kaito was riffing on soup dumplings when he first fed Virgil. He was "doing homework" at his dad's restaurant, which actually meant downing a fresh bucket of Popeye's in the back of the kitchen whilst challenging the cooks to a dumpling fold-off. No one took the bait, but one did ask that "if you're gonna hang around here, at least help out. And stop eating that trash." Kaito jumped on a station, not to help prep, but because he took great offense to the blow on what was, and still is (in his opinion), the single greatest bucket of chicken in town. He dug out a thigh, carved off the meat, and eventually shoved a honey drenched chicken concoction into some dough and steamed the shit out of it. Proud as could be, Kaito presented the cooks with his latest invention. One brave soul took a bite and spit it back out. "You're better than this. Get back to prep." And so began the first of 396 days of recipe testing. The end result was a super concentrated chicken broth dumpling with a sprinkling of dehydrated honey coated cracklin chicken skin all sitting over a lightly spiced broth dubbed "k8o's xiao long bao." The first public facing dish was sold to a young architecture student and Chicago native. The man said nothing, but when Kaito went to collect the bill he saw something bleeding through the receipt. Written on the back (in perfectly Sharpied Helvetica) was "RELATABLE. REVELATION," signed "VIRGIL ABLOH." Which Kaito promptly scanned and made into matching patches for the crew. Thx k8o.
2. Chow was on his biannual trip to London when he befriended his neighbor seated in 54D. The two bonded over the hilarity of both bringing near empty luggage across an ocean in hopes of returning with a stash of British goodies. However, it would seem their taste in loot was slightly different. While Chow sought out the sweet Ribena of his childhood, 54D looked to score a suitcase full of limited edition Abloh x Murakami t-shirts. Having very few plans aside from purchasing said Ribena, Chow was easily convinced to join 54D at the "Future History" show, Abloh and Murakami's Gagosian collab. Little did he know, he signed up for a 15 hour wait in the bleak London rain before entering the exhibit. The pair settled in for the long haul, using their empty suitcases as makeshift shelters. They told stories of their loved ones, reminisced on days in the sun, and painted vivid pictures of the delicious food waiting for them when they make it back home. 54D spoke of specialty cronuts filled with heirloom tomato jam. Chow, never one to interrupt, had to interject. "Pardon me, friend, have you never heard of Dunkin' Donuts? Two words: Boston Kreme. Boston Kreme with green sprinkles for St. Patrick's Day, Boston Kreme with Orange and Black sprinkles for Halloween, ones with tiny pink heart sprinkles for V-day... All the sprinkles, all the cream. None of that fussy jam." An argument ensued over the merit of boutique vs. chain fried dough and the two agreed to part ways whenever the dreaded wait ended. After what felt like an eternity, the gallery doors opened and sneakerheads poured inside. In an attempt to blend in, Chow removed his shoes and began asking strangers to sign them. He strolled up to a seemingly popular man, handed him the New Balances and asked for a signature. Abloh looked him up and down, said "yeah, I like you man," and scribbled his name on the shoe. Chow very politely thanked him and peaced out to get on that Ribena and catch his flight home. Where yes, Kaito and I were obvi waiting at the airport with Dunky's in hand.
3. Though sitting shiva is typically a 7 day event, my 18 year old self felt two months was more appropriate. So June of 2009 ushered in eight full weeks of a California Pizza Kitchen BBQ-chopped-chicken-salad-hold-the-chicken only shiva diet. I haunted my parents' basement, practicing my moaning (a la When Harry Met Sally) and eating my ranchy avocados. To call this comfort food would be a gross understatement. It was much closer to a deep obsession with the unwavering consistency of a chain salad, down to the order in which the veggies were arranged. There was no truer reminder that normalcy did, in fact, still exists and I was v. determined to find it in the bottom of that salad bowl. To my surprise though, it was not this dish that provided the solace I sought. Rather, it was a flavor I knew long before the creation of CPK (my b, I just looked it up and this place was actually founded before I was born). It was one passed down for generations in my family. That flavor was matzo ball soup, and a simple one at that. When my friend's mother came by, words weren't exchanged. It was merely a hug and a large blue pot which she set in front of me. As she lifted the lid, I melted. The monotone contents brought me back to brunches at Max & Benny's, playing shuffleboard in the Florida heat, and late night dance rehearsals. It was matzo ball soup that brought me back to reality and revived my appreciation for a balance of comfort and abnormality. So it was only fitting that upon my return from another shiva 7 years later I would open my freezer to find a small tub of matzo ball soup nested between two Dilly Bars, courtesy of these two gentlemen pictured above.
As a kid, I aspired to be two things: a fashion designer and a softball MVP. As a semi-adult, I live with 1 bf (Craig) & 2 bffs (Ellen and Danny) and draw about a fake universe in which both of those things are true. Well, in the words of my girl Sandra's dad in While You Were Sleeping, "life doesn't always turn out the way you plan."
1. It was 2011 and I entered your typical Hallmark movie love story. I walked into a beer pong tournament full of strangers, heard my favorite song blasting from the turntable, walked over to see who put it on, and my life was never the same. "Hey," I said (smooth, I know), "this song rocks." "No," Craig responded, "its fucking awesome. Listen, this might be a little forward but it is just so nice to meet another human who shares my affinity for Dennehy culture... Would you want to play softball sometime?" Did I ever. We played every Thursday for the next 5 years, slowly gathering a crew of the fellow Dennehy-loving softball-playing kids in town, aptly named Team Dennehy forever more.
2. We met Tomas at the neighborhood cafe whilst designing our softball team's 2017 hat. Ellen and I were in a heated debate over the proper ratio of sequin to chunk glitter for the cap. I was about to win the argument when we were interrupted by a man far too chic for the streets of Chicago. "Pardon," he said, "but I am in need of a bit of a glitter expert. You two seem to have some strong opinions, would you care to help with a project?" Never being ones to shy away from a sparkle-related conversation, we happily agreed. And so was born Bottega Veneta's gigantic glittery clutch at London's Chiswick House, along with a beautiful friendship rooted in glitter, black forest cake, and a regular delivery of neckties for the boys to "spiff up the old softball tank," as Tomas would say.
3. The August 24th 2017 Dennehy win at Welles Park recitation by our captain, N. Heins:
"History was made that cool late summer evening. Over at Welles Park, with Dennehy up to bat in the last inning, the sun burned orange as it began to set, literally and figuratively on the squad. With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the 7th, Dennehy's season rested on the shoulders of S. Lauer. Lauer didn't disappoint, ripping a single through the left side of the infield. With the tying run on base, up came team skipper, the beating heart of Dennehy, N. Hynes. Hynes had walked on three pitches earlier in the evening, taking advantage of the league's dubious and perhaps misogynist rule that when a man accomplishes such a feat, the woman behind him can choose to take a walk as well. In both instances, the following batter, B. Goesling happily took the walk. In both instances, this caused the opposing team to bleat like slaughtered pigs. So with the bases loaded and two out, the opposing team pouting like babies, up came pitcher T. Lorenz, who had so far twirled a four run gem. Lorenz lined a shot down the line for what looked to everyone to be the game winning hit but alas it was waved foul. With the patience and will of an aged samurai, Lorenz worked the count to a third consecutive walk, tying the game at 3 a piece. Catcher A. Suo went down valiantly grounding out to the pitcher and Dennehy was headed to extra innings. In the top of the eighth, with a man on and limited visibility, a line shot was picked out of the dark by stalwart first baseman E. Ross, who quickly doubled off the runner, sending Dennehy to the plate with a chance to win. Top of the order, center fielder C. Quinn started Dennehy off right with a shot up the middle for a base hit. Ross then lined a shot to left field for the first out. Left fielder D. Lally hit an opposite field base hit and Quinn advanced from first to third. Up came the MVP. M. Bunzol had carried the team offensively this season. To wit, he knocked the only three non-walk runs in the game on two majestic dongs. Bunzol would not disappoint. He flew out to center and that was all Dennehy needed. Quinn scampered home, the salty ass opposing team refused to shake hands and committed petty theft, and Dennehy's legacy was cemented in history."
4. After the win, worldwide demand for tanks shot up and letters started flooding in. Mr. Brian Dennehy himself asked for a signed jersey, preferably one worn the day of the game. MoMA expressed interest in changing up their latest exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern?, to include the full Dennehy collection (in the curator's words, "the presentation shows clothing and accessories with profound impact on our past and present culture, but these Dennehy tanks are the future"). This offer nearly had me, however Danny insisted that we hold out. And on December 20th (yes, I too believe it was a Chanukah miracle), we got what we had always wanted. The snow-soaked envelope from Chicago's 16" Softball Hall of Fame. In exchange for the team's entry to the C16SHoF, the youngest team ever inducted might I add, we would provide the organization tanks, tees, hats, patches and basketball shorts from the team's mighty 5 year history.
5. To celebrate the joy and magic the latter bit of this year brought, the Haus of Dennehy celebrated in the only way we know how, with many ceramic dinosaurs covered in glitter and wearing santa hats. So long 2017, I intend to forget all but that win #champs.
Everything changed this year but I can't seem to do a damn thing about it. I am still churning over the same sketches I made in the middle of the night July 1st 2017. Two girls sipping tea on the patio of The Allis. Two girls gazing up at a German periodontist bathed in the warm light of a crystal chandelier in the grand entrance of The Allis. Two girls sprawled over the steps of the Allis à la Vanity Fair (a weirdly common composition for a couple of 25 year olds regularly seen in matching Target rompers). Basically, I have filled a very ugly jar with one year's worth of every iteration around two girls declaring their massive potential in life at The Allis.
1. I keep going back to The Allis. I mean not actually physically going there. I would be so poor. But I keep revisiting those off-hued chairs in my mind. It was March and Gin proposed a night of our favorite activity, pretending to be really classy over martinis in the West Loop. This was back in the day when this blog, and hers, were just grand concepts over espresso and Pellegrino every Sunday morning. As I drew myself in sequins she would write essays on the normalization of panic disorder in daily conversation. Even as we left the coffee shop and drifted to Soho House, it was hard to detach ourselves from these potential outlets. I continued to talk about my favorite shade of black while she gently pushed the conversation into the troubles of quarter-life crises. She had this incredible ability to be extraordinarily open about her insecurities, in turn making her the most confident lady on the face of the earth and drawing other incredible humans toward her. Which is likely why the most graceful, motherly German periodontist by way of Seattle sought us out that night. She claimed there were no available seats while she waited on a friend, but I saw right through that. She just found two girls in need of successful woman insight and decided to change some lives. This mystery woman asked us to recount our painstakingly millennial conversation of self-doubt and replied with heaps of advice on fighting harder to become exemplary people, absorbing all the knowledge we can in every state of happiness to lead to more thoughtful decision making, and rising above our definition of self-worth to take what we want from life. Then she looked up, saw her friend and promptly bid us adieu. Our next coffee trip began with Ginny's plans to quit her job and pursue Library Science, or as she put it "a life of educating children through the power of books."
2. I bought the jar some time after July 1st. This was only the second jar of its kind in my backpack. The first one is stout and glass with a red plastic top. It is full of paper cranes and shreds of notes and a single marble. I was 18 when I got it. Fast forward 7 years to sitting in my friend's car after and unsuccessful trip to the burbs and I declared the need for another container of some sort so to Foursided we went. I don't know what I was looking for but I can tell you I left with a mason jar covered in bumble bees. A year's worth of scribbly sketches of two girls at The Allis now live inside of an overpriced bumble bee jar. I fucking hate that jar.
3. I am friends with a very cool boy named Chauncey. He is an opera singer in Boston (I told you he is cool). I recently spent two hours crying in a recital hall as he sang his way through four languages of beautiful lyrics. I was very confident that I never had and never would hear anything so beautiful for the rest of life. Then he broke from character to tell us he had one piece left, a piece near and dear to his and all of our friend's hearts. He referenced the dedication in his pamphlet and spoke to the legendary spirit of Ginny before easing into the most stunning rendition of Edelweiss. In that instant I realized the power of letting someone else in on those most intimate and necessary art forms we use to honor the ones we love.
I have spent a solid year trying to reconcile my fear of publicly grieving with my desire to create even a fraction of a tribute Ginny. Today, one year later, I want to take just a shred of what I learned from you and make the world a tiny bit more open to the gamut of emotions humans feel each day, whether that be grief, pride, or just really really really heartbroken. I love you Gin.
Apparently there is this super poignant word in Portuguese that describes my mood since July 1st. The word is "saudade," or a "bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that is now gone." Nice uplifting start to the blog, hm? Welcome to full-transparency day at The Future Is Ok (If Not A Bit Saudade). **Cue the Fado, Kaitlin.
1. It was surprisingly warm last October and my summer saudade was still in full swing. I was living in acute awareness of how to feel feelings. 2009 was the last time that mood struck, though it wasn’t til 2012 that I met the film manifestation of this “feeling feelings” vibe when my boss/professor/bff introduced me to “Wings of Desire.” But, like I said, this was 2016. I was all feely and my new friend from Milan was in town and it was my turn to pick the movie for our backyard projector night at Kaitlin’s so naturally I chose Wings. Two hours passed and we found ourselves in lawn chairs on concrete slabs staring at a lit rectangle of siding in silence. We did the only thing two designers and a psychologist could do after such a viewing, meditate on the human condition. Kaitlin mulled over whether her love for fruit rollups stemmed from her mother's disapproval of candy. I joked about my collection of expired Xanax I had been too anxious to take. Buehrle (yes, that would be a dog named after a White Sox pitcher) lapped up some spilled Kombucha, probably contemplating how fermentation is basically bringing the dead back to life. Art proposed a toast to escapism, grabbed his swatch book and promptly left.
2. I took a solid four weeks to update my address when I moved. It was a bit of a miracle that this little package, wrapped in a page from AnOther, got to my house at all, let alone in time to use its contents. Inside were two plane tickets with “dinner @ my place Thursday - dogs OK” scribbled on top. I was hesitant but Kaitlin reminded me that we never say no to one-way flights to Milan for a potentially sketchy dinner. Fast forward a few days to us ringing Art’s door, being ushered in by a woman wearing her weight in feathers and my immediate gratitude for Kaitlin’s insistence we attend. Art and guests, namely Miuccia and Luca, rushed past small talk and began dropping rich, personal questions over apricots and prosecco. What experiences have softened you? How often do you reflect on conflict? In what do you find beauty? Though Buehrle seemed nonplussed, I was a bit taken aback by the honesty and sincerity with which the crew was chatting. “As of late, I suppose I am finding it in transparency,” I stammered. “Transparency plus those uncomfortably intricate patterns born out of nervousness.” Miuccia chewed on this for a second, turned to Kaitlin and asked “dear, how would you increase transparency in the coffee bean supply chain?”
3. The strongest memory from my last trip to Milan is crying in front of a closed Artemide showroom. I was wearing gold Adidas and a nude shift dress and it was really fucking hot and all I wanted was to immerse myself in that light. Specifically I wanted to sit under the warm hug that is the Mercury lamp and thank Ross Lovegrove, wherever he may be, for inspiring me to pursue design as a career. Turns out that is not an option on Sundays. Having vowed to never make that mistake again, I fashioned a little morning tradition of cappuccinos followed by a lengthy stay at Artemide. For three straight days. It was no wonder Kaitlin was so excited when we hopped off the tram at Nendo instead that fourth day. I must say I was a bit excited too. Mushy layers of blurred transparents swept across the floor. I was reminded of the indecipherable mesh of anchor points in an Illustrator file. I thought about time I said my dream house would be one large room of lightly stacked paper. And then I ran into a tub of floating vases, each one lightly tinted. “This is the dream,” Kaitlin said. Sure is, girl, sure is.
Guys. Real life. I attended the most magical event. In the midst of New York Fashion Week (already dreams coming true) I stepped inside the home of my most beloved interior design inspiration (second only to my rockstar of a sister) and was greeted with... black.
Enter Kitchenaid Limited Edition Black Tie Stand Mixer.
1. 53 texts plus a couple dollars later and my favorite ladies, Fei Wang and Jessica McConnell (the ultra talented Color, Material, Finish Designer and Senior Manager responsible for the creation of the new Limited Edition Mixer) and I were decked out in the creme de la creme of LBDs. Though the dresses were intended for the highly anticipated Black Tie event later that evening, it was generally agreed upon that they were even better suited for our downtown dessert tour of sticky buns, macarons, triple chocolate cookies and two more rounds of sticky buns. Turns out dessert for 30 shared between 3 is the perfect appetizer to an 11 course meal.
2. Black caviar spread over black blinis sat next to my black sangria atop the most expertly jam-packed table of flowers, art books, mini globes, oil paintings, candles and most importantly, stealthy black stand mixers. The genius that is Ken Fulk did it again. Every inch of his newly revealed Tribeca loft was thoughtfully staged to make all of our grandest Instagram dreams come true (good thing I spent 3 hours putting on fake eyelashes). Though Mr. Fulk was unable to attend, his representative, a 1/2 lb Chihuahua, was the most gracious host and scored me an introduction with the one and only Gail Simmons. Big shout out to my fave podcast Prince St for giving me some quality background on the queen of Food Network, leading to my gem of an opening line "I hear you really hate tongue." We can wait and see just how successful of a conversation starter it was when the next season of Top Chef hits.
3. As thrilling as it was, the main event of the night was in fact not meeting Gail. Or the miniature chihuahua. Or the electric violinist, the candied black walnut tartlets, the pastry chef kickline or the burgundy mohair armchairs. The real star of the evening was the first ever monochromatic black Kitchenaid stand mixer. And when I say first ever, I mean both the first ever in this color combination and the first ever made of the exclusive 500 on the face of the planet. Matching our outfits, our souls and our matte black nails but a million times cooler, this mixer came to play. According to John McConnell (Senior Design Manager for KitchenAid small appliances), "the Artisan Black Tie's classic design and bold, all-black finish represents a modern and sophisticated take on the classic Stand Mixer." Well said Johnny boy, well said.
My least genuine thoughts related to Germany.
Berlin, Germany: I was nearly done dragging my friends through Künstlermagazin (trading out my chunk charcoal, once called a "wildly impractical travel supply" by my dear friend Ellen, for the more sensible willow pencil) when I first met Karl. He was conducting some intense colored pencil competitive research. I was debating the best hue of black for a European vacation. It was love at first sight. Or more accurately I was in awe at first sight. I believe he was in need of a color consultant on his new collaboration with Faber Castell and my "Blue Black or Green Black" monologue caught his attention. Either way, we sensed an immediate mutual respect. He whisked me, my three friends, two cats and one dog off to Stein for two exquisite months of analyzing colors, tagging along to Chanel fittings and Fendi shoots, playing with Legos and becoming lifetime besties. Come November 1st, the project came to a close and he sent us on our way with one very beautiful, very unique and very expensive box of colored pencils in hand. Give it up for a most prized possession award.
Tokyo, Japan: As thrilling as I found two straight months of debating the intricacies of a pigment to be, the girls were getting a bit antsy. Catching wind of their boredom, Karl surprised them with tickets to Tokyo. Laura and Ellen passed out immediately upon boarding the plane. Sonu, however, was so psyched to be headed to Japan and beyond jacked on coffee that she sat up binge watching Project Runway All Stars Season 1 whilst powering through crossword puzzles for 6 hours until she was very abruptly disrupted by a paper airplane. She turned to the sender, pleasantly surprised to see that it was not obnoxious children but rather a well dressed gentleman. He gestured for her to open the plane. "Surreal 26 down" was scribbled inside. She looked to her crossword and sure enough, clue 26 read "Webster's Word of the Year" and "surreal" fit perfectly. The two struck up conversation, ten hours later they were in Tokyo and twelve hours after that Sonu escorted Tomas to the Plaza Hotel for his World Monuments Fund Honor Award. She wore Bottega Veneta, of course, but the true key to her ensemble was a small hairpin engraved with her own initials "SJ".
New York, United States: When the ladies returned from Japan they requested a quick alteration in our itinerary. Tomas had offered himself up as tour guide to the most nostalgic of American German bars, under one circumstance: we take a detour to Cologne. I quickly obliged under a single condition of my own: we take an additional detour to Ghent (one never forgets one's first cup of mint tea sans the tea). All parties agreed and we were off to Cologne's Brauhaus, off to Ghent's Cafe Den Turk and eventually off to New York, pets and Tomas in tow. Many planes, trains and Uber rides later, we finally happened upon Loreley. It was a perfect replica of our earlier stop in Cologne and entirely unrelated to our visit in Belgium, though that detour was certainly worthwhile. "This can be your home away from home" Tomas explained, for all the nights of missing Germany that lay ahead of us. To this day the group of us still make the trek out to Manhattan each year in hopes of living out our German dream once more. Although seeing as it has not yet been a year, we have not had the pleasure of reuniting. I'll be sure to keep you posted as to how our first anniversary visit goes.
On to the clothes!
Today is the 27th birthday of this fine, fine human. I would like to invite you all to join in the celebration with Jeo-party, Craig edition.
1. ANSWER: Craig bumped into Telfar Clemens while purchasing this brand of paint. QUESTION: Martha Stewart.
The decision to get serious about his future home left Craig with a beautiful Bucktown three flat, all new appliances, and hideous yellow walls. Many facetime sessions, Restoration Hardware visits and one notable trip my color lab later, he finally made his final outing to purchase many buckets of the perfect paint. As he stood in line holding the fine-tuned swatch, he began to panic. Does he even like gray? Was he about to make a huge mistake? He set it down on the counter, took a step back and stared down the piece of paper. As he glared at the paint, a man walked up to request four samples of various Martha Stewart swatches, one of which was the very same color as the piece sitting on the counter. Craig looked up, delighted by the world's confirmation of his color choice. Telfar grabbed his samples, looked over and threw Craig a supportive nod.
2. ANSWER: Craig received all-access passes to New York Fashion week from this design duo founded in 2002. QUESTION: Who is Proenza Schouler?
Back in college, Craig flew out to Christie's to bid on Helen Frankenthaler's Green Arena (it was 2012, we were very into green). Lazaro and Jack were also at the space, perusing some work and debating the merits of Tommy Boy. Craig, feeling his deep rooted love for Dennehy bubble up, chimed in with his hot takes on the film. 4 hours of diving into Chicago versus New York born actors later, the trio had entirely missed the auction. Jack and Laz felt so bad about Craig's loss of the piece that they demanded to make it back. Despite Craig's sincere declaration that the lively debate was well worth the miss, they insisted that when the right time came they would be there to make up for it. The pair never bails on their word, following through in the form of two coveted New York Fashion Week passes in Craig's mailbox last week.
3. ANSWER: Craig won the greatest number of consecutive Jeopardy games with this many wins. QUESTION: What is 76?
After many weeks of rocking a recluse life, Craig lured me out with those two tickets to New York for my second true love (looking at you for that first place spot, b-day boy), fashion week. Little did he know, NYFW is a full time job. After 8 hours of schlepping through the city, carrying my five microns worth of sketches, and coming down with a serious left eye twitch from to the strobes, Craig made it through day 1. As a thank you, I gave him the oft fought over position of choosing our dinner location. So naturally I found myself at Crif Dogs. As I scanned the menu of hot dogs, hot dogs and more hot dogs, I heard a familiar voice from the door: "young man from Chicago, Illinois and my favorite guest to date..." "George!" Craig exclaimed and jumped into Trebek's arms. "I told it's you not to call me that," he laughed, then sat down and proceeded to eat 4 Jon-Jons whilst begging Craig to come back to the show. Though he refused the offer, Craig did invite him to join us the next night for some birthday festivities. "I'll raise you one," Trebek said. "What do you say to a round of Craig themed Jeopardy for that party of yours? I'll host." Craig agreed under strict terms, AKA that Alex promise to try a slice of his famous Pizza Pizza Pizza (pizza topped with bagel bites and pizza rolls). And so Jeo-Party was born.
Today is Fan Art day on the blog. So I drew my #1 fans (that is how fan art works, right?). Meet Kelly and Felice, the two most supportive friends and/or the two people who most enthusiastically demanded this blog exist.
1. Felice was midway through his 6 month Milanese bread baking apprenticeship when he was tasked with locating the freshest lemons Italy had to offer. He hit up the local farmers market, but his mentor only laughed. He drove the Amalfi coast, his mentor denied the selection. He scoured the fields of Sorrento, yet once again his mentor wasn't satisfied. Late one night, he received a call from a man up in Novara. "Ciao, ciao, ciao," the man said. "Your nonna tells me you need lemons." "I do... " Felice said, skeptical taking lemons from a stranger, and even more so from one in the entirely wrong region. However, he was feeling hopeless and agreed to come by the following morning. To his surprise, he was greeted by tennis legend Sergio Tacchini, sporting a bright red jumpsuit in a foyer full of gorgeous lemon trees. Felice brought back a satchel full of lemons for his mentor, and one of Sergio's youngest trees for Kelly. Both were ecstatic.
2. Kelly, Felice and Fitz (their Corgi babe) were religious attendees of Parco Sempione's "Projection at the Park," during which the three would snack on prosciutto and watch classic film noirs. One week in late September, the park district forgot to mail the notification. Only the most avid fans, those with the date already marked each month sans reminder, were in attendance on this particular night. As the trio approached the park they were greeted by two couples, one large family and single, incredibly well dressed man. They sat down next to this man, offered him a cut of their mortadella and a friendship was born. Since that historic night, Dell'Acqua, Kelly, Felice and Fitz have met up each September at that exact spot for a midnight viewing of "Last Year at Marienbad."
3. Kelly was showing some ceramics at a gallery in Naples when she met Francesco Clemente. He was taken by the abstracted interpretations of her favorite art critics. "Why the critics?" he asked. She explained her interest in creating about those who love the craft. "The fans of art deserve to be in art," she concluded. Francesco was nearly as struck by the beauty of these words as he was by the beauty of this young woman. "Miss, may I paint you?" She obliged, but only under the circumstances that she could curate her own outfit (a tasteful Rochas, naturally). Kelly later went on to provide creative direction for Clemente's famous model series, helping each of the woman to look and feel like themselves.
Now a look at their clothes!
I don't like summer. Ok, I like the resort lines. Otherwise, I don't like summer. This guy does though. Meet Summer Craig, AKA the happiest Craig.
1) In 07' Craig was rocking summer break back home in Chicago. It was any normal day, sipping rosé at the recording studio with a few friends. The guys were arguing over some lyrics when out of nowhere, Yeezy dropped the mic and yelled for Craig to call me up. "Sorry man, Becca's out, she's hiding from the heat," Craig said, shaking his head at the idea of someone being a self-proclaimed winter person. T-Pain burst out laughing, not buying it for a second. "What, she shy?" he asked. "Yeah," Craig scoffed, "summertime shy." Ye's face lit up. He grabbed the mic with one hand and threw the other to the sky, "SUMMERTIME CHI" he sang, ending the argument over that elusive last line of his soon to be masterpiece. He still shoots Craig a text every time "Good Life" comes on the radio. (By radio I mean Spotify. It is 2016 now).
2) When we got to Rio for Louis Vuitton's 2017 Resort Show, we were met with a horrifying realization: our AirBnB didn't allow dogs. Not even Felicia, Craig's ultra cute Klee Kai puppy. As Craig went into fix-it mode, I went for the more mature move of crying hysterically on a Brazilian street corner. I was still sobbing on the curb, clutching the pup to ensure she knew that she was still lovable even if that heartless man didn't want her to come inside, when Craig's legs appeared in front of me. The legs were not alone though. I looked up to the sight of a well dressed Craig (Chanel? On the very day of the LV show? Blasphemy.) and a very very well dressed Nicolas Ghesquière. "Nic has a dope boat. And he likes dogs." Nicolas nodded, picked up Felicia, and sauntered down the street to his yacht.
3) I have been working late so Craig has taken on many of my evening responsibilities, most importantly taking Odette (my dear cat, seen here walking down the streets of Chicago) to her weekly playdates with Choupette Lagerfeld. During the third week of walking O through the busy River North intersections of bachelorette parties and young businessmen, tragedy struck. One of the bachelorette's heel broke, causing her to fall midway through the street, and subsequently forcing cyclists to veer off in every direction. An innocent yet speedy bike messenger flew straight into Odette, knocking her from the curb. Craig scooped her up and ran to the closest building. He buzzed the intercom and pleaded for help. The quiet Brit on the other end let him in and cleaned up the poor cat. After 20 minutes of tending to Odette and diving into deep conversation with Craig, Odette's savior invited him out for a drink. He respectfully declined, explaining that he was headed to Choupettes place. Another 20 minutes later the two showed up at Lagerfeld's door. "Sir," said the savior, "my name is James and I'm a big fan. I was hoping we could discuss an idea." To make a long story short, Craig is single handedly responsible for the creation of Dyson's latest hairdryer, most notably recognized for it's debut with Choupette Lagerfeld.
Now a look at our clothes!
My sisters (ok, sister and sister-in-law, technically) are truly the most devoted of sisters. In addition, they are the most devoted of designers, yogis, chefs and cat moms. I can think of about 47 more fantastic traits to describe these ladies, but for the sake of time I'll just jump into a few anecdotes.
1. As 2010 approached, Stephanie Izard had three things on her mind: goats, Chicago and matchmaking. She was well on her way to winning at two of the three things, but 2/3 is simply not good enough for Steph. She was determined to match the best couple Chicago had ever seen. Stephanie began badgering her beloved yoga guru, Jamie, to try out her new West Loop hotspot (said yoga guru was a bit uncertain about pig face on a menu). At the same time, she starting dropping hints to her Wednesday night cooking bud, Sarah, that it was time to put herself back out there. When Jamie was finally convinced she would not die from a meal full of goat and Sarah was open to meeting the one, Stephanie invited the two to an investor's tasting party of the new Girl and the Goat menu. However, when Sarah and Jamie arrived, it was just the two of them. Well, the two of them and all the leche cakes. Long story short, they married last year and Stephanie always wins.
2. Sarah and Jamie were walking their baby big cat, James, down the streets of Trastevere on a pre-wedding getaway (because post-wedding honeymoons are so 2000 and late) when a mustachioed man stopped them in their tracks. "Ladies," he said, "your baby big cat, I must draw him." One year later, James was the face of Gucci's latest campaign.
3. Jamie and Sarah built quite the bond with Alessandro Michele after the year long tiger collaboration. When Michele was ready to renovate his kitchen, Sarah was not the obvious choice, she was the only choice. Mood boards of dark blue florals, dusty pink tubs of paint and majestic tiger portraits filled the project books. Slowly but surely their meetings drifted from renders to the cultural differences between Europe and America and eventually to deep debates on the swapping of gender motifs and the beauty of a label-free world. Sarah was the first to receive the notice that Gucci's next line would be entirely genderless. He concluded the message with a simple invitation for Sar to "go buy your wingtips, my dear."
Now for the genderless fest of Gucci and Prada in today's post.
Welcome to my collection of thoughts on many forms of Georgia. It is almost entirely false. Or just entirely false. You choose.
Georgia May: I was traveling a lot back in '13. I was also going through a series of fantastic hair days. On one of my many transfers in Atlanta I ran into Andre 3000. He pointed out that my hair was "begging for a party." I split my last King Sized Reese's, passed him the bigger half, and replied "sure is." Later that night at the swiftly imagined Charlie's Angels Theme Party, I was stopped in my tracks by an actual angel. (Ok. It was Georgia May Jagger. But let's be honest, she is straight from heaven.) We struck up casual party talk, argued over the best C.A. episode (Angel In Hiding, obviously) and took the obligatory selfie with Andre. It only took five minutes before I realized I had been making eye contact not with Georgia May, but with her gorgeous white leather vest. I finally gave up polite conversation and demanded to know where she got that vest. This real life angel burst out laughing, handed it to me and said "H&M girl, take it, its yours."
Georgia On My Mind: I am 25 years old which means I am obsessed with The Eater. So naturally, on a recent trip to Georgia I worked through nearly every stop on their "heatmap" of essential Atlanta restaurants, ending the journey at Holeman and Finch. One legendary burger and one too many Victory Laps later, I was challenged to put on an impromptu tribute show to one of my greatest heroes, Ray Charles. Out of fear of disrespecting my idol, I graciously accepted, climbing onto the bar with my fork-microphone in hand. Though standing atop the bar may not have been appreciated, the intention was kindly understood. The night ended in a restaurant wide sing-a-long to "Hallelujah I Love Her So."
Tbilisi, Georgia: My world tour of fashion weeks ended recently in the capitol of Georgia. A combination of the unreal beauty of Tbilisi and an overexposure to the runway nearly lead me to the Dry Bridge instead of Tamuna Ingorokva's show. Resisting the urge to shop was the single greatest decision of my life. What I encountered at the show was so much more than clothing. After months of schlepping across the globe, I finally felt home. Richard Serra's beautiful pieces, which had been so engrained in my memory from years of visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, were right before me. However, this time I saw them in the form of beautiful clothing rather than drawing. My amazement only continued from there with heavy Avtandil shoes I nearly stole off the model, the rich textiles of Lalo, and finally a hearty meal of eggplant stew. I have strong reason to believe I will be left with only one complaint of Georgia for the rest of my life, the regular use of walnuts in the cuisine.
Now a look at the beauty of pairing Georgia's H&M with Georgia's Best.
Welcome to a special Mother's Day Issue! Meet Lisa Goesling, mother, artist and overall extraordinary human being. This is an extra special blog post. For the first time in "The Future Is Ok" history, everything you are about to read is true (mostly). Lisa is such a baller (sorry Mom, I know you hate that word...) that no made up story could be more interesting than one of her many real anecdotes. So without further ado, Lisa's legit life.
1. Lisa came from a traditional family in which law and medicine were the assumed career paths. (Sidenote: when I say traditional, I mean as traditional as a family of the midwest's mahjong queen and the casual singing pal of Danny Thomas can be). Lis, being the rebel she is, decided at the young age of 6 that law wasn't for her. She dove headfirst into her art career, selling homemade coloring books to the neighborhood kids. After years of collecting her friends' allowances, she set off to the big city to train at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago along with many other institutions and immediately took the art world by storm. These days she can be found perusing the gallery scene with the great Susan Aurinko, residing in the artist homes of Key West and showing at the prestigious Zhou B Art Center. Basically, she is real life famous.
2. That "traditional family" mentioned previously was not only one of singing and tiles, but also highly productive dog training. Sheba, Lisa's German Shepherd and number one bestie, was the best student of the family's impressive teaching techniques. Sheba brought in the newspaper each morning, ate strictly kosher dog treats, and carried her own leash on their daily walks so as to allow Lisa to photograph the surrounding flowers.
3. As if being a distinguished artist and dog best friend wasn't enough, Lisa is also the poster child for incredible mothering. Through her years of residency at the Merchandise Mart, she always extended an invitation to join. She would etch the most ephemeral florals while I sat on the floor drawing long legged people in very expensive clothing. About once a week I would look up from the floor and ask to venture out for a field trip, code for "can we please go look at the pretty lights again?" Before I could finish my sentence, we were at the entrance of Lightology, Artemide or Luminaire, examining the beautiful fixtures. It should be noted that these lights did not change often enough to merit weekly visits, but being the amazingly accommodating mom she is, she would never turn me down.
Now for a look at her stunning artwork and our beautiful clothes.
Meet Virginia. AKA Ginger. AKA Ginny Babe. Around here, she is known for making the impossible possible. For example:
Example 1. Queen Elizabeth II, Ginny's summer neighbor and close confidant, was vacationing with her corgis last week when she received an urgent call to return to Kensington Palace (Prince Harry needed a cameo for his retaliatory Invictus Games video). The Queen hated to turn down the smack down of the century, but couldn't bear the thought of leaving her pups alone. It took exactly 96 seconds from the time Ginny saw the Queen's text to the time she was at her door, leash in hand, demanding the Queen make a stand for her country. The Queen was so appreciative that Ginny walked away with a coveted Launer bag that afternoon. YAS QUEEN.
Example 2. Azzedine Alaia had Ginny in an uproar upon hearing his heartfelt sentiments regarding slow fashion and true craft. "THERE ARE NO RULES!" she shouted, "AND TIME DOESN'T EXIST!" (It should be noted that Ginny recently read up on Einstein Time in The Big Leap). By the end of their extensive conversation on the pressures of traditional fashion seasons and importance of detail, Azzedine had rescheduled his show to early April. Ginny, of course, made the trip to Paris to attend the event, decked out in the designer's sublimely beautiful pieces.
Example 3. She collects a pile of my words each week and carefully crafts them into these coherent sentences. Although we do not have any spare Launers to give her, I hope she knows that "The Future Is OK" will be forever grateful.
Basically, she rules. It's ok to be jealous, I know I am. Now to check out her look of the day.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE IS OK! It only seemed appropriate to start the blog with a personal introduction. So ice breaker time? Obvi. Here is my "Two Truths and a Lie" of an illustration.
1. Josep Font is, without a doubt, one of my greatest inspirations in sculpture, CMF design and fashion. As fate would have it, I had the good fortune of running into him at the Ballet Madrid last fall. Our friendship was instantaneous. Not only am I delighted to have a new pen pal, but my closet is also pleased with its recently acquired collection of Delpozo.
2. As is true of any good Chicagoan, I have a deep appreciation for molecular gastronomy. However, my severe tree nut allergy often limits to purely visual appreciation. Which means I can, at any given time, be found walking around Alinea's "Progression," asking diners to describe their incredible food to me while I eat nut-free granola bars. Sidenote: on top of being the only one not partaking in the meal, I will likely be the only one to disobey their request to wear "informal attire... without heels." Because Saint Laurent.
3. My #1 gal pal/cat, Odette, and I take leisurely strolls on the reg.
I'll let you go ahead and decide what's real and what's fantasy. But enough about my life, let's take a closer look at what my alter ego is rocking today.