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SKINNED

WINTER 2012/13


creative JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS SOPHIE CÉCILE XU photographers CHAUCEE STILLMAN JASON CHEN JENNA STAMM JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS LUCRECIA LAUREL SEAN GOMES SOPHIE CÉCILE XU WIL ALEXANDER ZACHARY GROSS

On the Cover

fashion HOLLY SMITH JACQUI DAVIS MORANTI SHAKIYAH DRAYTON words RYAN HAMPTON production ANNA RISING THINKBLOT MEDIA

connect HELLO@STARDUST-MAG.COM FACEBOOK.COM/STARDUSTMAG TWITTER.COM/STARDUSTMAGXX photographed by SOPHIE CÉCILE XU model GABRIELLE BLEVINS (MAJOR NY) dress VINTAGE COURRÈGES earrings AOKI BOUTIQUE necklace ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS

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THE SKINNED ISSUE CONTENTS

08 22 24 40 52 56 72 92 96 102 112 118 126 152

CUIR THE SHOES GEOMETRIC LAYERED STRATUS LOUNGE STILL FUR STRANGE FRUIT CHANEL CAMOUFLAGE GEORGI GEORGIEV HOME BARK DANNY FOX

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o

change

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and you for yourself

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will be free xxxo,

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featuring BRUNA & NICLAS

photographed by WIL ALEXANDER styled by JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS

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BRUNA wears: weaved jacket VINTAGE jumpsuit AOKI BOUTIQUE bib necklace AMRITA SINGH NICLAS wears: leather pullover VINTAGE pants NIGEL HALL leather necklace AOKI BOUTIQUE saddle belt WILL LEATHER GOODS

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hooded lace dress VINTAGE HELMUT LANG suede skirt VINTAGE necklace and bracelets AOKI BOUTIQUE


sweater SUGARLIPS skirt RUGBY NORTH AMERICA harness EXPECTATIONS clutch MARTINE SITBON tights HUE wedge boots TESSA the skinned issue

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jacket YVES SAINT LAURENT sweater RYKIEL HOMME shorts BURRO boots RAG & BONE belt VINTAGE HELMUT LANG hooded snood ASOS


photographer WIL ALEXANDER stylist JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS assistant stylist JACQULINE DAVIS MORANTI hair JOHNNY JAMES makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI models NICLAS GILLIS (DNA) and BRUNA MENEGHETTI (Major)

faux fur coat VINTAGE dress VINTAGE HELMUT LANG necklace CURATED GOODS the skinned issue

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jacket HIFA shirt GORGEOUS jeans APRIL77 necklace AOKI BOUTIQUE

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suede patch sweater VINTAGE pants LEVI’S gloves COLE HAAN boxers CALVIN KLEIN 16 stardust - mag . com

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faux leather vest THREAD & SUPPLY top BAND OF GYPSIES faux leather shorts LUCCA COUTURE pants YVES SAINT LAURENT velvet gloves VINTAGE necklace AOKI BOUTIQUE bracelet CURATED GOODS clutch CHARLOTTE RONSON the skinned issue

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hat CULTURED COUTURE jacket CHRISTIAN LACROIX shirt PIERRE-HENRI MATTOUT bowtie VINTAGE


leather trench coat VINTAGE grey wool vest SANTOS FERGUSON jeans NUDIE JEANS fencing mask CULTURED COUTURE boots VINTAGE CESARE PACIOTTI necklace AOKI BOUTIQUE the skinned issue

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right: ON BRUNA: jacket SUGARLIPS blouse KRYSTAL K leather skirt MISS SIXTY gloves CLUB MONACO leather choker with brooch CUSTOM MADE ON NICLAS wears: leather vest VINTAGE sweater KEMBREL skull tank MONO B jeans DIOR HOMME

stylist assistant JACQUI DAVIS MORANTI hair JOHNNY JAMES makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI models NICLAS GILLIS (DNA) and BRUNA MENEGHETTI (MAJOR)

jeans CHEAP MONDAY python boots VINTAGE


stylist assistant JACQUI DAVIS MORANTI hair JOHN JAMES MULLER makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI models BRUNA MENEGHETTI (MAJOR NY) and NICLAS GILLIS (DNA) the skinned issue

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THE SHOES words by RYAN HAMPTON photographed by GAVIN WATSON

T

he French duo The Shoes have been creating their own unique brand of electro-pop dance music since 2009. To call them an overnight success might be an overstatement, but given the volume of accolades and awards they've received in such a short amount of time, it might not be too far from the truth. Their song People Movin' was given "single of the week" status by NME in 2009, the video for Cover Your Eyes won the "Innovation Award" at the UK Music Video Awards in 2011, they received three nominations at the Antwille Music Video Awards, and Les Inrocks hailed Crack My Bones as one of the ten best albums of 2011. And that's just scratching the surface. Most recently, The Shoes added two more UKMVAs to their growing stack of awards for the video Time To Dance, which was directed by Daniel Wolfe and featured Jake Gyllenhaal as what the band calls "an insane hipster killer." When another interpretation is suggested, that the character simply doesn't like people who dance, either because he himself can't dance or is just too afraid or inhibited to dance, Guillaume Briere, one half of The Shoes, is noncommittal and suggests that even he and band mate Benjamin Lebeau are unsure of the character's motivation. "That's Daniel Wolfe's magic touch. People ask us a lot of questions about the

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Stay the Same and Time to Dance videos, because [they] absolutely want to understand them! This is awesome because it means that these little parts of movies have real impact on people. Even we don't have all the keys." That the Time To Dance video won the awards and has been viewed over two and a half million times on YouTube since its debut in early 2012 is no surprise. The song itself is catchy and energetic as hell and the video is shot like an independent feature film starring a marquee Hollywood actor. "We wanted to push this concept of 'mini movie' further," Guillaume continues. "When Daniel told us it was Jake, we couldn't believe that." Despite their many critical and commercial successes in the public eye, it's a single live performance that Guillaume calls his favorite moment of 2012. "Our sold-out show in l' Olympia in Paris, the most legendary venue in France, [was] very emotional. All the guests of the album [were] there, and Woodkid [appeared] as a surprise guest." In 2013, The Shoes plan to increase the momentum they've been building over the last few years. In addition to recording and releasing a second album of their own, they'll be doing a lot of production work in collaboration with other artists. "Some of them are newcomers and rising stars and some of them are really famous," Guillaume says. "We can't stop working on music!"

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GEOMETRIC featuring

MANON & VALEN photographed by LUCRECIA LAUREL styled by MARIE VIAL


sweater VINTAGE socks AMERICAN APPAREL shoes SONIA RYKIEL


ON MANON: latex blouse VINTAGE shirt AMERICAN APPAREL leather shorts VINTAGE tights WOLFORD shoes SONIA RYKIEL ON VALEN: dress VINTAGE wool sweater SAINT JAMES shoes and socks AMERICAN APPAREL


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bodysuit WOLFORD wool dress AVテ右 sunglasses MERCURA NY tights FALKE

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leather shirt MAJE turtleneck sweater UNIQLO skirt VENTCOUVERT necklace TATTY DEVINE hat VINTAGE


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jacket VINTAGE skirt ASOS shoes ADIEU hat VINTAGE wristbands AMERICAN APPAREL


sweater VINTAGE bodysuit VINTAGE pants AMERICAN APPAREL shoes MELLOW YELLOW hat VINTAGE wristbands AMERICAN APPAREL

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leather top MADEMOISELLE TARA wool dress AVテ右 sunglasses MERCURA NY


photography assistant LOLA ROQUEPLO makeup AYA MURAÏ models VALEN CUSTER (MAJOR EUROPE) and MANON DEFEVER (NEXT PARIS)

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Sty l e a nd s ubs ta n c e f o r t h e f u n k y a n d f a b u lo u s

Aoki Boutique 115 South 22 nd Street Philadelphia (215) 568-2024 w w w.ao kib o u t iq u e .co m

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WARMTH

photographed by SEAN GOMES styled by JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS

featuring GREG & TROY

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tuxedo jacket VINTAGE hooded jacket SANTOS FERGUSON scarf TED BAKER the skinned issue

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jacket MARC JACOBS turtleneck BARBOUR pants EDWIN hat, gloves and necklace CURATED GOODS


trench coat HELMUT LANG cardigan OLIVER SPENCER scarf CURATED GOODS the skinned issue

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fur coat VINTAGE sweater UNITED COLORS OF BENNENTON


leather jacket R&O denim jacket SANTOS FERGUSON sequined sash CURATED GOODS pants DRIES VAN NOTEN the skinned issue

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jacket BURBERRY sweaters BARNEY’S jeans LEVI’S scarf CURATED GOODS


jacket VINTAGE sweater TIM HAMILTON shirt ARSNL jeans EDWIN beanie DSQUARED the skinned issue 47

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coat PAUL SMITH hooded cardigan ROSASEN scarf CURATED GOODS


varsity jacket AUSSIE & DAVIS turtleneck ROBERTO COLLINA sweater TYRANNY CLOTHING blue tank H&M jeans EDWIN

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jacket MARC JACOBS vest KENNETH COLE top POCKET CHANGE ties CURATED GOODS


cardigan VINTAGE sweater ARMANI EXCHANGE jeans EDWIN cap and arm warmers CURATED GOODS

stylist assistant SHAKIYAH DRAYTON and JACQUI DAVIS-MORANTI hair and makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI model GREG PETERSON (Q MODELS NY) and TROY CANTANA (FORD NY) the skinned issue

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STRATUS lounge Situated atop The Hotel Monaco, Stratus Lounge is more than just another hotel bar in Philadelphia, it's a destination hangout for a mostly young and modern crowd looking for a place to unwind and socialize. words by RYAN HAMPTON photographed by ZACHARY GROSS Just beyond the standard narrow room with accompanying long bar and requisite TVs hovering above, you'll find a genuine outdoor rooftop lounge, featuring a large island centerpiece outlined with comfortable couch seating. The rooftop itself is the main attraction, perfect for large gatherings or a relaxed evening with a few friends, with a fireplace and carefully placed heat lamps promising to keep customers warm and the open space fully operational during the colder months. The only disappointment is the high, cumbersome wall that prevents any chance of viewing the city from above. Perhaps to make up for this, the outdoor area is bookended by two cozy, almost private, rooms—Vapor and Mist—one

mirroring the other in style, layout, and decoration, and both offering a more intimate experience for couples and smaller groups. In each room, you'll find random books filling the shelves, couches lining the walls and corners, and a few small tables offering a chance for close conversation over cocktails and small plates. In the center of the Mist room is a table just large enough to accommodate a modest-sized group. But, aside from the elegant surroundings and relaxed vibe, why bother to spend time at Stratus Lounge? That's easy. It's all in the cocktails. The Stratus, the lounge's signature cocktail, is a fruity mix of grapefruit vodka, maraschino liqueur, hibiscus syrup and prosecco that goes down smooth and easy

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The rooftop of the lounge

without even a hint of the alcohol. It's so tasty, you'll ask for your second before you've finished your first. Despite its name, I found El Diablo to be not quite as fiery and spicy as the sinister name or my insistent waitress suggested it to be. Made with tequila, pineapple juice and jalapeno, it's a much milder concoction than you'd expect from a drink containing tequila and jalapeno; still tasty, still fruity, just not nearly as tasty and fruity as the Stratus. Rounding out my mini-bender, the Besito might be the next best thing to the Stratus,

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offering an even balance of pucker and punch with a strong citrusy aftertaste that you can sit back and relax with. Now for the bad news: Don't go hungry. While the cocktails and atmosphere are more than enough reason to spend time at Stratus Lounge, the food isn't going to make you want to stick around too long. Although reasonably priced and made for sharing, the Chilled Grilled Vegetables and Olives dish was uninspired and served with bread as tough and chewable as a sneaker, and the thin crust pizza (Spicy Sausage, Spinach and


Apple Cider Doughnuts

pecorino) left an undesirable aftertaste that only El Diablo could vanquish. Don't go hungry. You've been warned. So, who goes there? Aside from the tourists staying at the hotel, (e.g., the awkwardly cute couple wearing matching blue sweaters—God bless 'em—white shoes, and baggy blue jeans tucked away in a corner of the Mist room; the middle-aged guy in the plaid shirt and white cowboy hat standing precariously, uncomfortably, alone with his cocktail), I found a mostly hip, professional crowd, ranging from their late

The Stratus - the lounge's signature cocktail.

twenties to mid thirties, in business casual dress laughing and drinking on a chilly November evening. As you might expect, the later the hour the denser the crowd, but with so much space to work with, it's doubtful you'll ever feel suffocated no matter how busy it gets. In the end, Stratus Lounge adds up to a great neighborhood destination that can easily cater to the locals of Philadelphia as well as South Jersey residents looking for a unique hangout just over the bridge.

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photographed and styled by SOPHIE CÉCILE XU photography assistant ERIN KELLY

ST ILL


dress VALERIE STEVENS necklace and bracelet VINTAGE MONET

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dress, necklace and ring VINTAGE


robe VICTORIA’S SECRET metal and lucite bracelets CURATED GOODS


lingerie OSCAR DE LE RENTA necklace CURATED GOODS


jumpsuit ASOS necklace and ring VINTAGE nail polish AMERICAN APPAREL


lace tights AMERICAN APPAREL bracelet and ring CURATED GOODS


dress COSTUME NATIONAL bowtie VINTAGE


blouse VINTAGE brasserie KIMCHI BLUE necklace, bracelet and ring CURATED GOODS


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T H E B E T T E R B O U T IQ U E W W W. K E MB R E L . C O M

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FUR featuring GABRIELLE photographed by SOPHIE CÉCILE XU styled by JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS


rabbit fur jacket VINTAGE handmade dress VINTAGE tights HUE ring ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS the skinned issue

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cape, handmade dress and fur collar VINTAGE hat EXPRESS


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BEAUTY NOTE: face MAKEUP FOREVER HD FOUNDATION #115 AND CAMOUFLAGE CREAM N1 liner MAC FASCINATING AND RIMMEL WATERPROOF GEL 001 BLACK brows SMASH BOX TAUPE/SOFT BROWN cheeks NARS NEW ORDER shadow NARS FATHOM AND MAC CHARCOAL BROWN, CARBON, BRÛLÉE, AND KID lashes MAYBELLINE “THE FALSIES” VOLUM EXPRESS VERY BLACK lips MAC PREP N PRIME AND SEPHORA MAT06 AND MANIAC MAT 1257A highlight BENEFIT HIGH BEAM


lace dress VINTAGE hat VINTAGE LESLIE JAMES feather necklace AOKI BOUTIQUE the skinned issue

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suede coat ANNA SUI dress ALI & KRIS earrings CÄRA shoes FREDERICK’S OF HOLLYWOOD


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rabbit fur coat VINTAGE dress STRANGE FRUIT mink headband VINTAGE the skinned issue

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fur coat and blouse VINTAGE wool vest TABITHA


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rabbit fur jacket VINTAGE sweater VINTAGE leggings ARYN K purse VINTAGE CHANEL


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coat LOUIS DIACO pleated shirt IVAN GRUNDAHL mink collar shirt VINTAGE skirt RD INTERNATIONAL tights HUE stone bracelet ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS the skinned issue 87

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wool coat MAX MARA sheer dress VINTAGE HELMUT LANG leggings ARYN K necklace ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS

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stylist assistant SHAKIYAH DRAYTON hair and makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI model GABRIELLE BLEVINS (MAJOR NY) the skinned issue

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curated goods

ROMEO GIGLI

w w w. s hop cur ated good s.com

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curated goods

J. LINDEBERG

w w w.s hop cur ated good s.com

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KRISTIN HASKINS-SIMMS TELLING STORIES THROUGH FASHION words by RYAN HAMPTON photographed by SOPHIE CÉCILE XU

T

here's an old punch line people use when somebody asks them for directions: You can't get there from here. This could easily be said when referring to the career path of Kristin Haskins-Simms, now a fashion designer with her own brand, Strange Fruit, but who started out as an English Major at the University of Pennsylvania. Maybe you can draw a line from the first point to the last one, but rather than a straight line you would see a jagged, circular one that included stops in Paris (to study French), in Rhode Island (to earn an MFA in graphic design at RISD), in New York (to work in an advertising agency), in Connecticut (as a Visiting Assistant Professor), in New York again (for a short stint as a contestant on Project Runway), and then back in Philadelphia, which brings it all full circle. It seems like an awfully long and complicated way for a writer to become a fashion designer, and I can't help but wonder how one discipline informs the other. "I used to always love to write stories," Kristin says. "Even as a child, I'd draw something and I'd create a story around it. And I feel that I've carried that into my own design, that each line or each piece has its own narrative. It's nothing too complex, but I do feel that it's good to have a diverse base. That way you can draw from several sources so it's not just one dimensional." The stories Kristin tells with Strange Fruit mostly concern women, women who want to look great and be comfortable

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and who don't want to sacrifice one attribute for the other. After being struck with how visually stunning the garments are in Strange Fruit's fall collection, one immedi-ately notices how comfortable the women look and how confident and assured they are because of it. "Comfort is very important to me," she says. "You can look fabulous, but you have to be comfortable. My primary concern when designing pieces for women is fit. I definitely want to make certain that they are for everyone. I can make anything in any size and it will look good on any size woman. Everybody is shaped differently, so I do consider that a lot." Kristin's own story includes a grandmother who taught her how to sew and develop her own sense of design at a very early age. "She was the only immediate person I knew who sewed and designed," Kristin says. "She was an excellent and amazing seamstress. She made all my clothes, even my prom gown. I still use her home sewing machine, which is the last machine she ever used, and some of the pieces on my website were made with her machine. I think, in a way, I've channeled her, and I always think about quality because when I look at some of the things she made for me that I still have, I kind of reverse engineer it and look at the seams and the quality of work that she did. She didn't go to school for it. Just over time, out of necessity, she had to learn how to sew. I think I really draw from my grandmother, and even my great grandmother who made quilts, which I still have. So, it's a family influence." Even to this day, Kristin finds her family influencing her work to a great degree, though now it's through her husband

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“You canbutlookyoufabulous, have to be comfortable. � and her son. She talks about this more once it's suggested that her style would translate very easily to men's garments. "I would love to design clothes for men," she says. "A couple of my pieces are loosely based on a man's jacket, and a guy actually tried one on and it looked great and I thought, 'My goodness, a man can wear that jacket!' I mean, with a couple of adjustments, I could make that for a man. And my husband, who's a bigger guy, I'd love for him to wear more fashionable garments, but again it's a size thing. Everything is made for a skinny man. And I look at certain designers, like Stella McCartney, who I admire, and Alexander McQueen of course, who really understand cut, fit, and quality and have carried that into women's lines, so I'd like to try to do the reverse. I'd love to design for men. I kind of design from life and what's most immediate, and not just for me, but now for my family." Kristin's present is much like her past, except now all of it seems to be happening at once instead of in incremental steps over a long period of time. Her work continues with Strange Fruit, she's in the process of opening a new manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, her involvement with her community is ongoing, primarily with the New Directions for Women program, and now she's raising a family of her own. Where does she find time for it all? "Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing

enough," she says, laughing, "because I've just been in mommy zone for so long. And I'm watching Sesame Street with my son and I cannot believe that people like Gordon and Maria, people who were there when I was a child, are still there. And they look good! It's amazing that I can watch these same people so many years later, but now I'm watching them with my son. So, again, it's everything coming full circle."


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words by RYAN HAMPTON photographed by ZACHARY GROSS

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CHANEL The 2.55 Chanel bag—created in February of 1955, hence the name—was introduced by Coco Chanel as a simple, yet elegant, black handbag that instantly became an iconic fashion accessory. The double-chain shoulder strap, a refinement of the thin strap Chanel had previously included with her bags, combined practicality with luxury, and the quilted, checkered pattern of the bag’s exterior, not to mention the intertwining Cs above the clasps (one facing forward, the other facing backward), were such a hit with consumers that Chanel was initially unable to accommodate the tremendous demand. Over the decades, the 2.55 bag has remained mostly unchanged except for a few minor revisions (including Karl Lagerfeld’s introduction of different colors and fabrics), but the demand has been steady, resulting in four-figure price tags for the vintage version.

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ADORN BOUTIQUE 1314 FRANKFORD AVE PHILADELPHIA WWW.ADORNBYSARAHLEWIS.COM

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CAMOUFLAGE featuring NATALIE photographer JENNA STAMM stylist HOLLY SMITH

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wool dress VINTAGE collar and necklace FAKINGFASHION.COM

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blouse LUCCA COUTURE dress VINTAGE JPGJEANS bracelets CURATED GOODS


sweater METHOD A silk blouse CHRISTIAN DIOR houndstooth dress FAKINGFASHION.COM

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cardigan blouse THREADS 4 THOUGHT jumpsuit, skirt, and bracelets AOKI BOUTIQUE belt VINTAGE BETSEY JOHNSON


jacket and clutch VINTAGE blue lace dress VINTAGE ANNA SUI boho dress VINTAGE

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fur jacket VINTAGE dot blouse LAVENDER BROWN floral skirt AOKI BOUTIQUE full circle necklace ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS headband VINTAGE


skull blouse AOKI BOUTIQUE sweater dress VINTAGE BETSEY JOHNSON cicada earrings VINTAGE

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cardigan and dress LOBO MAU floral leggings DEX necklace SWAROVSKI


striped blazer AOKI BOUTIQUE dress VINTAGE BETSEY JOHNSON bracelet LAMB necklace ADORN BY SARAH LEWIS

assistant photographer ZACK GROSS hair and makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI modelthe NATALIE GEMPEL NY) skinned issue(MAJOR 111

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GEORGI GEORGIEV

BUILDING BROKEN WORLDS FROM MEMORY words by RYAN HAMPTON

On an unseasonably warm evening in early December, Georgi Georgiev is smoking a cigarette at the top of the stairway leading to his apartment building. He has a reddish-brown beard, and his hair, although not quite long enough for it, is knotted at the top in the style of a Japanese samurai. There's a plump English bulldog hobbling up and down the steps between us. Georgi tells me his dog's name is Bart and invites me into the workspace of his apartment. I follow closely behind Bart, who waddles as he walks and keeps turning his head and looking up to make sure I'm coming along. As we settle in, I ask Georgi if Georgi Georgiev is his real name or if it's as made up as I think it sounds. Georgi, who maintains a serious expression and has a series of delicate, historical lines on his face, looks at me with stern eyes and smiles. He says the surname Georgiev is as common in Bulgaria as Johnson is in America, and he smiles and nods when I suggest that Georgi Georgiev would then be the American equivalent of Johnny Johnson. At eighteen, Georgi moved from Bulgaria to France to study art in Bordeaux

but dropped out after only one semester and spent the remainder of his two years there selling paintings on the streets of Paris. After returning to Bulgaria and studying French and English linguistics for four years, he came to America. He was only supposed to stay for three months, but he fell in love with New York and wanted to continue his education there. He attended LaGuardia Community College and then transferred to the School of Visual of Arts to finish his degree as an art major in the summer of 2012. He lives in Brooklyn, tends bar in lower Manhattan, and teaches photography at LaGuardia Community College. Georgi ushers Bart out of the room and places a makeshift barricade in front of the studio door to keep him away. He then removes three photographic portraits mounted on boards from a large case and leans them against a desk on the floor in front of me. The pieces on display are large in size, ranging from twenty-five inches by twenty-one inches to thirty-seven inches by twenty-eight inches, and are constructed from hundreds of tiny tiles that connect to

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make an abstracted portrait of a person's face, similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Each tile is a photo cut from black and white contact sheets that Georgi either shot himself or found discarded while at school. "I had all these negative contact sheets that I don't usually use," he says. "They just get buried somewhere or thrown away. And while I was in school they were cleaning out the lab and there were boxes and boxes of old contact sheets from past students that were left there for maybe twenty years, and I wondered why they would throw them away and thought maybe there was something I could do with them." He says the process is similar to the working method of a famous painter from the 1970s and 80s, a painter whose name he can't quite remember at the moment, even though he's able to give a fairly vivid description of him from memory—a bald and bearded man who suffered from a disease that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. "I can't remember the name," he says, "but I'll find it for you." The final portraits are rebuilt versions of photographs that Georgi has previously taken of his subject. While the original

photograph may take only a fraction of a second to capture, the constructed portrait can take weeks of long hours of tedious work to create. Rebuilding the portrait from scratch allows Georgi the time to become closer to the piece instead of simply taking the shot and moving on to the next one. "It's a challenge to find the images and put them in the right place," he says. "For example, here you need one that is half dark and half light, and then you need one that's almost but not completely white next to it. It's fun looking for them, and it brings a sense of satisfaction once you find a piece that matches. It's rewarding." We're interrupted by a knock at the door, and while Georgi is away it gives me a chance to take a closer look at each portrait. In one, a young white woman screams in anger or pain, her mouth open like a chasm that spills into darkness. In another, a young black man stares directly at us, defiant and confident, his eyes wide and focused, almost as a challenge. In the third, a man with a full face and thick mustache appears to be in quiet contemplation, albeit with a confused, penetrating gaze. All three portraits feature the face of the subject up close, as if we're standing mere inches from a mirror but looking at an unfamiliar, dis-

“I’m trying to show you not what things are,” he says, “but what they aren’t.”

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torted version of ourselves. The mirror is broken, shattered, and yet the reflection remains. Perhaps all three portraits capture the subject in the moment just after they've broken the glass, showing them in various states of regress—anger, defiance, and confusion. The mosaic of the images forms the subject and the distortion of the subject, as if the solidity and mutation of the form are one and the same. Each fragment is a building block that not only creates the subject but the world the subject inhabits, a world where we're not what we think we are or how we present ourselves to be. "Those images are taken at different periods of time by different people," Georgi says. "Some of them are mine and some of them are from other people, and they deal with completely unrelated things. But when you see the whole piece, you have all these little stories that are happening within it, because every image has something to say on its own." Even if the smaller images don't relate to each other or the subject in an obvious way, they still suggest a personal history and the memories that go along with it. The recreations are imperfect, like describing a person from memory rather than using an exact depiction of the

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person as reference. "This one is a very good friend of mine," he says, referring to the subject of the third portrait. "I have a certain image of him in my head, but I can't really have a photograph of him in my head, I just have these little pieces of him, and I've known him for so long that, in the end, I have a general idea of who he is and what he looks like. So this is more like a memory of the person." Our memory turns reality on its side, inverts it from the truth, and manipulates it into something we only perceive as being familiar, and this is part of what Georgi hopes to portray in the portraits. "I'm trying to show you not what things are," he says, "but what they aren't." Georgi and I speak casually as I prepare to leave, mostly about the weather and how cold it is outside. Bart, his English bulldog, joins us as we walk down the narrow hallway and out the front door. Georgi stands at the top of the steps, his long hair blowing in the wind as he tries to re-light his cigarette. I pass through the gate onto the sidewalk and turn back to remind him to call me if he remembers the name of that painter. Georgi smiles, strokes his thick black beard, and says, "Chuck Close."


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CASE photographed by JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS

nightstands left UNITED FURNITURE right AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE


lounge chair WIELAND FURNITURE


lamp UNI


chairs left BRENNER right UNKNOWN


dresser AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE


sofa UNKNOWN


W W W . B E S T R A N G E F R U I T. C O M

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BARK photographed and styled by JUSTIN-JULIUS SANTOS

featuring ROCCO


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cape VINTAGE sweater tunic RAG & BONE shirt UNIQLO pants AMERICAN APPAREL boots CORCORAN

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wool peacoat JUICY COUTURE undershirt H&M sweater TIM HAMILTON jeans DRIES VAN NOTEN sequin scarf SANTOS FERGUSON


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wool turtleneck BOSS BY HUGO BOSS graphic tank LOBO MAU denim cutoffs VINTAGE LEVI’S pants AMERICAN APPAREL suspenders VINTAGE blindfold LA COQUETTE


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denim overalls OPENING CEREMONY FOR LEVI’S scarf VINTAGE boots DR. MARTENS


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denim jacket LEVI’S vest WILSONS shirt CALVIN KLEIN pants AMERICAN APPAREL scarf VINTAGE gloves CURATED GOODS boots VINTAGE


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hoodie YOKO DEVEREAUX wool cape VINTAGE turtleneck UNITED COLORS OF BENNETTON jeans APRIL77 boots DR. MARTENS gloves CURATED GOODS the skinned issue

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wool turtleneck SISLEY lace handkerchief VINTAGE


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wool peacoat APC shirt LOBO MAU under shirt JOCKEY pants VINTAGE fur boots VINTAGE mittens JCREW

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vest VINTAGE sweater POLO RALPH LAUREN hat VINTAGE jeans LEVI’S boots HELMUT LANG


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leather patch sweatshirt VINTAGE turtleneck DOLCE & GABBANA jeans DERBY HOUSE boots VINTAGE the skinned issue

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jacket ROCHAMBEAU turtleneck UNITED COLORS OF BENNETTON skirt CUSTOM MADE sequin arm warmers VINTAGE boots CORCORAN

photography assistant ZACHARY GROSS stylist assistant SHAKIYAH DRAYTON and JACQUI DAVIS MORANTI hair and makeup DOREEN IPPOLITI model ROCCO CORTESE (Q MODELS NY)


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240 Church St. | Old City | Tues - Sun 12-6 pm 703 W. Girard Ave | Northern Liberties | Mon - Sat 11-6pm Philadelphia www.culturedcouturegaller y.com

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HIS NAME IS DANNY FOX, AND HE WANTS TO MAKE YOU FEEL SPECIAL. words by RYAN HAMPTON photographed by CHAUCEE STILLMAN

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W

hen I meet Danny Fox outside of his Philadelphia studio apartment, he's not exactly what I expect "Danny Fox" to look like. The Danny Fox I meet is tall and lanky with a pale complexion, and despite the pale complexion the experience is more like looking at my own reflection than at the rugged, former high school quarterback I imagined "Danny Fox" to be. If this Danny Fox owns a football jersey, it's buried deep in a closet somewhere, because the wiry gentleman inviting me inside his home looks more car mechanic than ex-jock; just about everything he's wearing is dark blue, from the pants to the hooded sweatshirt to the battered cap, like a uniform. In fact, aside from his thick-framed glasses, the lone accoutrement to distinguish his appearance is the carefully primped handlebar mustache—not quite Salvador Dali, but far from run-of-themill—that extends from either side of his thin face. Once inside, he greets me warmly with a smile and a handshake and quickly apologizes for the clutter— his fault—and the cat smell—not his fault. He tells me he's cat-sitting for the weekend and suggests going to a nearby café where we can talk and escape the odor. As I walk through the doorway, I tell him I don't notice anything out of the ordinary in the air, that the clutter is no more than can be found in most city apart-

ments and that I'd like to talk to him where he does much of his work. Besides, I like the music coming from his speakers: Early-era Modest Mouse. As we get situated, he points out some of the older works hanging on the walls—silkscreen prints, stencils, typographies—even though he's mostly known for, and I'm mostly intrigued by, his calligraphic works. "My grandfather taught me calligraphy when I was a kid," he says. "I was the school"s calligrapher from junior high all the way through senior year." But it took a long time for Danny to make the connection between his calligraphy and the art he was trying to make. When he moved to Philadelphia from his childhood home in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, he immediately became enamored with the city's graffiti and wanted to be a part of the scene and make a name for himself. The only problem was that he found himself imitating, not emulating, what he was seeing. "I was trying to 'do' graffiti," Danny says. "I was just missing the whole point of it. Graffiti isn't a style, it's an act. Like, I could do the most beautiful penmanship, but if I put that on something illegally, that's graffiti, it's not the style of letter. And I was missing that. I thought I had to make the letters as crazy as possible, but I was missing a step because I didn't understand design

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It kills me that I can’t just write on everything. or typography or anything. So I did a bunch of really bad stuff for a long time, and then once I realized that the skills I had as a kid doing calligraphy with my grandfather blew ninety percent of everything I was looking at out of the water, I was like 'wait a minute, I've had this the whole time, what have I been doing?' Once I realized that, I started doing it for the right reasons, and things got better." From there, Danny branched out and began working in various media, including commissioned calligraphy pieces on store windows and bedroom walls, which can take a few minutes to a few hours to create. In the beginning, Danny traced his own work from projections on the wall, but now he's able to work directly without any crutches. He shows me his favorite tool, a Copic wide marker with a special calligraphy tip that he uses for much of his work. "There's zero room for error with this," he says. "It's the most permanent stuff I've ever seen. If you make a mistake, you just have to go with it, mess the whole thing up and incorporate it into the piece. But I try to never make a mistake. I concentrate real hard, knowing that there's no way to cover it up."

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I ask him which discipline he is most passionate about, whether it's the calligraphy or the silkscreen prints or even his custom, handmade jewelry, and his answer doesn't surprise me. "I think it's just making something. It doesn't matter, it could be with crayons or whatever I have around me, but I'll never be bored. I just like making something." Even with chalk. Danny takes the somewhat permanent and anonymous act of graffiti to a much more temporary and visible extreme by creating art with chalk whenever and wherever—parks, sidewalks, street corners—the mood strikes him, whether it's born from joy or necessity. What once were drawings—hearts, angels, whatever— have increasingly given way to writings—mostly gibberish or cryptic nonsense—meant to conjure a smile, not confusion, from the viewer. Either way, working with chalk in public places helps Danny find a strange balance of notoriety and anonymity. "I still have that graffiti itch, and it kills me that I can't just write on everything," he says, laughing. "So, if it gets particularly bad, I can go out with chalk in broad daylight and I don't have to hide from anybody, which is actually better, because then people are super happy to meet you and they wouldn't have had that


chance if you were sneaking around at two or three o'clock in the morning." When a person is lucky enough to stumble upon one of these impermanent works of art, Danny wants them to have fun with it and not take it so seriously. I ask him what his intention is with his art and the reaction he hopes to induce from the viewer, which prompts him to refer specifically to the chalk drawings. "I really like the whole thing of finding treasures. Like with the chalk, if you find one it makes you feel special that you found it, like you know about something that someone else doesn't know about or you're seeing something that most people will never have the chance to see, like it was made just for you." As I get ready to leave, Danny mentions another art form he's beginning to master, the art of bending the truth, and asks if he should exaggerate his statements or invent a few anecdotes from whole cloth to make his story seem more interesting. I tell him it's not necessary, that his story is fine as it is, and then ask him how he got trapped into watching his friend's cat—a cat, by the way, that I never do see. Without hesitation, he smiles and says, "I'm a good person," and closes the door behind me as I walk away.

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STARDUST Magazine is

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STARDUST Magazine Issue 2 SKINNED  

STARDUST Magazine Winter 2012/13 | SKINNED View cover shoot film at http://vimeo.com/55175388 www.stardust-mag.com www.facebook.com/stardu...

STARDUST Magazine Issue 2 SKINNED  

STARDUST Magazine Winter 2012/13 | SKINNED View cover shoot film at http://vimeo.com/55175388 www.stardust-mag.com www.facebook.com/stardu...

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