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interview

21

Richard Chai Q & A

New York is revving its engines for the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, so what better time to talk to Richard Chai on the eve of his Spring 2014 collection debut? We sat down for a lightening fast chat with the designer. 

Jenny Bahn: On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressful are the weeks leading up to fashion week?

Richard Chai: The weeks leading up to MBFW are about a 7, but quickly turns to a 10 the week before.

JB: Inspiration for this upcoming season?

RC: For Spring/Summer 2014, I have been playing with this idea of soft geometry, creating this juxtaposition between angular prints and softer, more fluid silhouettes. 

[MORE]

JB: Who is the “Richard Chai Girl”?

RC: She is sophisticated, spirited and an individual.

JB: Every woman should have what three items in her closet?

RC: A great coat, a classic menswear inspired blazer and an effortless dress.

JB: What’s your most indispensable tool as a designer?

RC: For me, it has to be a No. 2 pencil for sketching.

JB: What is one item you might need delivered in an hour using eBay Now during MBFW?

RC: An iPhone 5 charger.

JB: If you could be a fly on the wall at the atelier of any other designer, past or present, who would it be?  

RC: Rei Kawabuko’s Comme Des Garcons Studio.

(Photos courtesy of Charles Roussel. Text by Jenny Bahn)

15

Our New Fav Almodovar Woman, Blanca Suarez

Ever since I was a little girl, I watched Pedro Almodovar films, and learned about womens’ dark quirky sides through his humorous (and unapologetic) mind’s eye. Sure, his females were a mess, but they were sexy and fearless all at the same time.

Meet Blanca Suarez, one of the stars of Pedro’s new film opening this week, I’m So Excited. The plot follows a plane malfunction that threatens the lives of every passenger, all of whom consequently confess their sins to one another (insert mayhem). Blanca has already turned heads with her jaw-dropping performance in Almodovar’s previous film, The Skin I Live In.

I met up with Blanca in Soho to chat about her exploding career, and asked if she cared to conquer Hollywood a’la Penelope Cruz. ”It’s not a goal, but an option,” says the breathtaking beauty. “And it’s part of a bigger dream which would be to work all over the world.” Hope to see you soon on this side of the pond, Blanca! 

Jauretsi: How does it feel to be an Almodovar woman?

Blanca Suarez: I don’t know how to answer really that question… but one thing [I’ve learned] is that for Pedro to let you into the circle, to trust you, you have to open up totally and entirely to him and to believe what he says. To be able to get the results that he’s gotten with women, you have to believe what he does, even if there’s a lot of suffering and a lot of tears, and be totally open to his direction. 

[MORE]

J: How did you get started in acting?

BS: When I was little, I took theater classes and of course I always had a dream of acting, of being in films, but I knew it was very complicated so it wasn’t something that I put all my energy into. I was at a little school and I did other things too and then one day I did a test and they picked me and from that moment I said “Wait a second, this isn’t that hard.” So, in a sense, I didn’t have to really work that hard at it. It just sort of happened. 

J: What do you do on your off time?

BS: Actually, I just try to rest more than anything. I try to just turn off and go on auto pilot. I go to the movies a lot and, more than anything, just try to rest and take a vacation. If I do stuff, I might do a lot of things, but all improvised, just sort of spur of the moment. 

J: What was the most educational moment as an actress under the guidance of Pedro?

BS: There’s no specific moment on the set, but definitely months later being at home and starting to reflect on what you did and becoming aware of what you did. You feel proud of what you did, maybe a little bit unsure because months later you think “Oh, I might have done this thing differently. I might have made different choices.” It’s a feeling somewhere between pride, excitement, and emotion that you have worked with someone like Pedro and realizing only afterwards. It’s also that beautiful moment, which actually happens a lot when you’re promoting a film months or a year later, and you’re seeing all the people you worked with again and it brings back all the memories of doing the film. At the same time, you’re realizing when you’re done with this promotion, you’re done, the film is over. 

J: What do you most want to see in New York?

BS: The first time I came, some years ago now, I saw all the obligatory things… Empire State, for example. On this trip I’m just trying to walk a lot, not necessarily see the cultural or touristy things… see what real life in the city is like. 

J: Have you ever had any close calls on an airplane before?

BS: After seeing the film, I think if I did have a close call I would handle it in a different way. I think panic could be transformed into something else.

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I’m So Excited opens in theaters Friday, June 28 

(Photo: 1. Photo and Text by Jauretsi 2/3. Film stills courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic)

4
Meet Eric Villency
Eric Villency is an incredibly diverse, passionate, and creative soul. As Principal for the family company, Villency, Eric spends most of his days designing and manufacturing a myriad of gorgeous products. Other projects include the recent renovation of the historic Ritz Carlton Palm Beach. The interdisciplinary designer shared a few minutes with The Inside Source to discuss his recent design coups as well as his expertise recommendations from his favorite car hunts (set your eBay alerts!)
Jauretsi: As Principal of the Villency Design Group , a long standing family business, what is the one trait maintained after all these years? By that token, what fresh thinking do you strive to bring to the heritage of the brand?
Eric Villency: Being a creative design company, we are constantly evolving and working on new projects. Fresh thinking is inspired by our people, our clients and the world around us so change is constant.  Our reputation and heritage is based upon… [MORE] quality and the proficiency of our work. Today we design and manufacture a dizzying range of products, from Spin bikes to hair dryers, to glass bottles, apparel, and electronics among a host of other categories. The amazing support staff we have dedicated to quality control, logistics and fabrication has allowed to explore these new creative fields and it’s gratifying that that ethic has enabled new opportunities and projects.  
J: Can you put into words what is your Style Modus Operandi? Your closet in a nutshell?
EV: I learned everything about fashion from my Grandfather. He had a fantastic sense of style that was very masculine and effortless. Things I think about are quality over quantity and attention to detail always resonates with me. My mainstays tend toward classic and I try to inject some personality and individuality by mixing in some color or pairing vintage with new and high with low.  
J: What are the top 3 things you believe every man should possess in his closet?
EV: A well tailored Suit (versatile enough to pair with jeans), a great pair of shoes (they are something you wear every day), and a sweater stylish enough for the office and socializing afterwards, but also practical enough to travel in — think the special service sweater from Triple Aught Design 
J: What are your passions on the side? In other words, when not working, what do you spend the most time doing?
EV: I have a young son so spending time with him is a priority. Outside of chasing him around, I love being physically and creatively active. Creatively I love to fix up vintage furniture and when it’s time for some training I favor running, biking and swimming. It’s been great working on so many wellness projects lately like the Soul Cycle spin bike, fitness apparel, and the Organic Avenue glass bottle because my two passions for design and health came together.  
J: iPhone or Blackberry?
EV: Iphone. But would love to work on a new design for the Blackberry (just saying….) 
J: iPad or Powerbook?
EV: Both… 1/2 of my life is spent working on designs and the other half is showing them to people  
J: What is your favorite app? Why?
EV: Uber… Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night are a factor any longer for scoring a ride home in NYC with this app. Easy to use and easy to love
J: Tell us how you found your ‘95 LandRover, and why you chose the model?
EV: I was looking for a vintage beach truck for awhile.  It is a classic model that has brawn and style. It hasn’t been sold in the United States for some time but it still turns heads (and for me the key on these old cars is having the V8, otherwise while they may look great they can perform like a golf cart).   
J: Are there any other car models you obsessively search for?
EV: I love reworking anything vintage. Great platforms to have some fun with and are the International Harvester Scout, Ford Bronco and the Dodge Power Wagon.  All have serious potential and I’m hoping one will be my next project that I can get ready in time for summer.  
J: What is next on your plate of projects?
EV: We are working on some exciting projects for Rockstar Energy, the CFDA, Equinox, and a few new international hotel projects.  
(Photo and Text by Jauretsi)

Meet Eric Villency

Eric Villency is an incredibly diverse, passionate, and creative soul. As Principal for the family company, Villency, Eric spends most of his days designing and manufacturing a myriad of gorgeous products. Other projects include the recent renovation of the historic Ritz Carlton Palm Beach. The interdisciplinary designer shared a few minutes with The Inside Source to discuss his recent design coups as well as his expertise recommendations from his favorite car hunts (set your eBay alerts!)

Jauretsi: As Principal of the Villency Design Group , a long standing family business, what is the one trait maintained after all these years? By that token, what fresh thinking do you strive to bring to the heritage of the brand?

Eric Villency: Being a creative design company, we are constantly evolving and working on new projects. Fresh thinking is inspired by our people, our clients and the world around us so change is constant.  Our reputation and heritage is based upon… [MORE] quality and the proficiency of our work. Today we design and manufacture a dizzying range of products, from Spin bikes to hair dryers, to glass bottles, apparel, and electronics among a host of other categories. The amazing support staff we have dedicated to quality control, logistics and fabrication has allowed to explore these new creative fields and it’s gratifying that that ethic has enabled new opportunities and projects.  

J: Can you put into words what is your Style Modus Operandi? Your closet in a nutshell?

EV: I learned everything about fashion from my Grandfather. He had a fantastic sense of style that was very masculine and effortless. Things I think about are quality over quantity and attention to detail always resonates with me. My mainstays tend toward classic and I try to inject some personality and individuality by mixing in some color or pairing vintage with new and high with low.  

J: What are the top 3 things you believe every man should possess in his closet?

EV: A well tailored Suit (versatile enough to pair with jeans), a great pair of shoes (they are something you wear every day), and a sweater stylish enough for the office and socializing afterwards, but also practical enough to travel in — think the special service sweater from Triple Aught Design 

J: What are your passions on the side? In other words, when not working, what do you spend the most time doing?

EV: I have a young son so spending time with him is a priority. Outside of chasing him around, I love being physically and creatively active. Creatively I love to fix up vintage furniture and when it’s time for some training I favor running, biking and swimming. It’s been great working on so many wellness projects lately like the Soul Cycle spin bike, fitness apparel, and the Organic Avenue glass bottle because my two passions for design and health came together.  

J: iPhone or Blackberry?

EV: Iphone. But would love to work on a new design for the Blackberry (just saying….) 

J: iPad or Powerbook?

EV: Both… 1/2 of my life is spent working on designs and the other half is showing them to people  

J: What is your favorite app? Why?

EV: Uber… Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night are a factor any longer for scoring a ride home in NYC with this app. Easy to use and easy to love

J: Tell us how you found your ‘95 LandRover, and why you chose the model?

EV: I was looking for a vintage beach truck for awhile.  It is a classic model that has brawn and style. It hasn’t been sold in the United States for some time but it still turns heads (and for me the key on these old cars is having the V8, otherwise while they may look great they can perform like a golf cart).   

J: Are there any other car models you obsessively search for?

EV: I love reworking anything vintage. Great platforms to have some fun with and are the International Harvester Scout, Ford Bronco and the Dodge Power Wagon.  All have serious potential and I’m hoping one will be my next project that I can get ready in time for summer.  

J: What is next on your plate of projects?

EV: We are working on some exciting projects for Rockstar Energy, the CFDA, Equinox, and a few new international hotel projects.  

(Photo and Text by Jauretsi)

8

Art Basel Chat with Photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya

By Jauretsi

Ruvan Wijesooriya is super close with LCD Soundsystem. As their friend, confidante, touring buddy, and in-house photographer, Ruvan has captured LOTS of moments with the band, including a recording session in “The Mansion,” Rick Rubin’s Hollywood recording studio. The guys celebrated Ruvan’s latest book release, simply titled LCD, with a huge bash at Art Basel 2012. As the “man of the night,” Ruvan took a few moments with The Inside Source to discuss life on the road, recording ghost envy, and his next moves. 

Jauretsi: Now that the book is being released, how many years had it taken for you to reach the end of this road? Looking back, how does it feel to see the body of work?

Ruvan Wijesooriya: It took me seven years. I like looking back through it because I can see myself getting to know photography through the years… [MORE] — like where the experimental side led and where the portraiture side became developed. You can also see the band getting older and more “adult.”

Q: You shot the guys recording in “The Mansion.” Did you ever encounter any ghostly vibes in the notorious home?

A: Yeah, we all wanted there to be ghosts more than there were, but there were certainly closing doors and stuff that was odd, but there was no proof of ghosts. We realized the ghost — if there was one — was gay and pretty psyched to have so many guys around. In 1913 or something the owner of the house killed one of the housekeepers for having an affair with his son. The overall vibe was great and it was kind of a juvenile time for everyone. Most of us were single dealing with recent breakups.

Q: Now that LCD is retired, what creative endeavors do you foresee they all will be moving towards now?

A: They’re all DJ’ing, that is for sure. Gavin and Matt Thornley are doing The Crystal Ark, Pat is doing sculpture again and being more of a family man. Nancy is DJ’ing and figuring out what else she wants to do. James is making films, producing songs for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and doing more individualistic projects that are taking him around the world.

Q: What do you look for on eBay traditionally?

A: Old film and weird cameras.

Q: What’s next on your plate?

A: I move to London in a few days to shoot a big project for Burberry. I’m also doing book projects about Sweden and another about Afghanistan. They could not be more opposite, Sweden and Afghanistan. There’s a yearbook I came up with and shot in Afghanistan that someone else will be releasing in the next two months.

(Photo: 1. Book Cover 2. Nowness Feature. Both courtesy of Ruvan Wijesooriya. To purchase the book, $29.95, visit Powerhouse Books)

9

An Awesome Guy

By Jenny Bahn

Part illustrator and part childrens’ book author, Dallas Clayton’s life is like being invited into a parallel universe, where everything is fun, spontaneous, and wonderfully possible. In a word, childlike. The message he puts before his audience — both children and adults— is always to stay positive and grounded in self-confidence and avoid the status quo. Clayton is a true DIY publishing success story… [MORE] (which you can see for yourself in the Google ad he stars in). Clayton began to publish his own books independently (and give them away for free) after being turned down by publishers for his first book — aptly titled An Awesome Book! — Eventually, the world took note. An Awesome Book! was an awesome book worth reading.

In just a few short years, Dallas Clayton is a runaway success, with multi-book publishing deals and TV commercials. More importantly, however, he remains an inspiration, proof that talent, hard work, and a whole lot of fun can get you anywhere in life. The Inside Source sat down to talk with Dallas about getting started, old inspirations, and a healthy addiction to fancy pens. 

Jenny Bahn: When did you start doodling, writing, all that?

Dallas Clayton: I started writing ‘zines when I was a teenager. Going to punk shows and stuff, selling them to strangers. That carried over when I moved to LA. I would sell ‘zines on the street out in front of galleries and shows and places where people gathered, then eventually I started getting writing jobs. I wrote my first kids book, An Awesome Book!, four years ago. That was the first real thing I ever really drew. 

Q: What were your favorite books growing up as a child?

A: I’ve always been a big fan of Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl. Those two were amazing to me. Powerhouses. 

Q: What supplies does a writer and illustrator such as yourself require to get the job done?

A: I guess I could do everything with a computer at this point, but that’s really no fun at all. Lots of paper and pens and weird Japanese markers that cost way too much money and make me out to be some kind of marker nerd every time I go to the art supply store. Honestly, I’m still learning as I go, so many years from now this answer will be totally different than today. Hopefully it eventually involves supplies that glow in the dark. 

Q: Who inspires you?

A: People who make things for no real reason other than it makes them happy. Also, people who are brave enough to share those things with others. 

Q: Most awesome moment of your career so far?

A: I’d say, generally speaking, every time I wake up to a new email or letter from someone in another country I’ve never been to letting me know that what I did inspired them, or that they read my books to their kids, or that I’ve been able to help them keep going in some small way — those are like Olympic gold medals to me. Super magic. Unbeatable. 

Q: If you had one thing to shout from the top of a mountain right at this very moment, what would it be?

A: “Keep up the good work!” Hopefully everyone would hear it… except murderers/ robbers. 

(Images: Courtesy of Dallas Clayton)