Monthly Archives: February 2010

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Gravel & Gold makes me want to have a store again. This little gem, tucked away on a backstreet corner of the Mission in SF, feels far from its surrounding neighborhood. Owned and run by three beautiful and enchanting young ladies and filled with a collection of goods made mainly by local jewelers, printmakers, knitters, textile makers, and all around craftspeople, it’s what I daydream to be the ultimate roadside shop on top of a Pacific-facing hill along northern route one.  Saint James shirts, Al’s Attire hats, Postalco stationary, Osborn/ Woods deadstock posters, the Shelter Publications books, vintage blankets and home goods… the shop is a well considered curation of purposeful, easy-to-love goods. OTP approved and admired.

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Rode bikes through the park to Sunset a couple weeks ago. We stopped by Mollusk Surf Shop for David Wilson’s art opening The Great Beach and Father Sky. Beautiful drawings of the beach, the dunes, the moon… The frames were made of wood found on the beach. I got the zine, Shells. Its up until mid-April. After the show all the kids brought a wheel barrel out to the beach with a car battery and a stereo for beach fire and dance party. This New England kid is loving the West Coast.

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AMISH ABSTRACTIONS

Last weekend I went with a friend to the Deyoung Museum in Golden Gate Park to see the Amish Quilt exhibit, Amish Abstractions – 75 mind-blowing, psychedelic quilts, all made by hand, by Amish women, in the midwest, between 1880 and 1940. Imagine you’re the driving through Holmes County, Ohio, and you stop on the side of the road to buy some homemade pies off a buggy from zipper-less, chin-strapped Abraham. You and Abe get to talking and he ends up inviting you over to his place for more pie and coffee. You pass the barn, meet the similarly simple black and white clad family with in their simple house with simple furniture and simple things. Passing one of the bedrooms you catch a glimpse of this mathematically perfect sonic explosion of color, erupting against its stark backdrop, so out of place, yet so perfectly tucked into one of the two twin size beds. Maybe you’ve seen or heard of these before. I hadn’t. Those Amish ladies really know how to let go. Express yourself, girl.

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I have two Amish stories. Once I was traveling by train from Portland, Oregon back to my job as a stone carver in Oberlin, Ohio. I love taking the train but this time I had no choice – it was right after September 11th and there were no planes in there air. I had two days to sit alone on the train with no phone, no friends, just my nickelodeon quad camera, the cometbus omnibus and a fifth of whiskey. I made friends with an Amish kid who was with his family on their way back from Mexico. They had taken their mother there to see an “experimental” doctor to help her with her brain tumor. There was some procedure they could do there and not here in the US. We were getting on alright until his old man noticed my t-shirt which said “The Beast, Kings Island”. No good and no more Amish friend.

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Another time, long before that, I lived in Florida. There was a decent sized Amish population in that town that rode bikes to get around and owned a couple family restaurants. There was this one gas station near the bridge that went to the island. On the weekends I’d see these groups of Amish girls go into the bathroom there and come out all done up in make up, skirts and lots of hairspray – an inspiring transition…

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OC X LEVIS UNION SQUARE SF


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I’m finally coming up for air after a week of putting together the Opening Ceremony shop on the first floor of the Levi’s San Francisco flagship. The room, which took this place of my own road trip collection of  American goods, Stars and Stripes, took me away from anything I’ve done or am used to doing. I really got to have fun with creating a visual for Humberto’s story behind the collection; kids who dye their own cords a rainbow of colors and wear them in the city all winter,  rip them into shorts and head out on a road trip upstate (it’s all about road trips right now isn’t it?) to find a whimsical wonderland of rope swing fun, camp fires stories and oversized ladybugs… or something like that. More pictures after the jump including a few of Levi’s own style guru, Benoit Tordeur, showing us how to best express yourself in a corduroy tuxedo.

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locLast week the Levis Cords by Opening Ceremony collection launched in New York.  This Saturday, 2/20, we’ll bring some of that OC vibe to our San Francisco Levi’s Store with an installation on the first floor. Below is a fun video featuring kids flying around in the brightly colored corduroy to music by Pictureplane and a first look at our little animation bit. Enjoy!

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Because Valentines Day is just around the corner. XO

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eatrac

You don’t have to answer that… The boards are a place to give context to all the inspiring images I don’t know how to give context to on the blog. Click here for the one I just put up, and check back for more. Make sure to click those play buttons.

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Kapital does for me what Bruce Weber does for a million American teenagers and gay men – it creates the world I want to live in. A few years back my good friend John Shimazaki showed me a look book that  was strange and fascinating, depicting air force fighter pilots chasing a stuffed rabbit and jelly fish floating over the desert sky. When I went to Japan I stumbled upon one of the stores. I was taken by not just the quality of materials, the level of attention to detail, originality and craftsmanship, but the textures, the smells, sounds and spirit. The connection went beyond just admiration for a brand.  It tapped into strong emotional channels. It made me feel nostalgia for something I knew I hadn’t known. It made me feel excited for certain possibilities, not really of where a product could go, but where you could create an entire world. My trip to see  Tokyo quickly turned into a trip to see the five Kapital stores in Tokyo –  all the same and all very different. For about a year or so after it was hard for me to even talk about. I would only mention it to friends that knew of it or that I knew would appreciate if I told them. Now its all okay. People know. Some people get it and some don’t. I’m cool with it. Below are some images from my favorite Kapital collection, Totem Life. Their latest is here.

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ShipsSeas007

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