We’re SO stoked for Zo today! After a year in aesthetic stasis, her personal website, Biorequiem, has finally relaunched with a gorgeous new look. Our favorite cosmonomad is a busy bee; she barely has time to initiate her patented Zobogrammatronicambient energy battery recharge system, let alone find a spare moment to whip up sexy new design and code, so she enlisted Nubby Twiglet (our awesome Coilhouse Indie Ad Grid designer) and Star St. Germain to help her. And now the proud mama crows “here it is – hussied up, blushing and ready to be sent out center stage with a brisk slap on the ass.” Huzzah.
You’ll find all sorts of goodies at Biorequiem 5.0. Art! Photography! Illustration! Memoirs! Bewbz! Chihuahuas! Anthropomorphic cybercows! Go get some.
Ah, the iPhone, near ubiquitous accessory of the hipster elite and tech obsessed, it seems to be everywhere. When I first arrived at the Catacombs I expected to see the vile object somewhere in its vast warrens, and prepared myself to deal with people intently glazing the surfaces of tiny screens with their filthy finger oils, not bothering to make eye contact. I was not to be disappointed. In fact, one of the first sights to greet me upon my arrival was that of Miss Ebb. She was in an alcove off the main hall. The entryway had no door, but in its stead a yellowed and moldy sheet was hung. This was pulled to the side and I could see Zo sprawled upon a filthy mattress; a soiled nightgown, which at one time may have been white but had long ago darkened to a grimy beige, clinging to her emaciated frame. Her loyal servant girl, Jing Hua, knelt in stoic silence at her side, tending an enormous, ornately carved opium pipe. The odor coming from that alcove smelled of the drug and sweat and urine, all combining into a faint but unmistakable scent, like death.
Zo was gazing languidly at her phone’s screen and it was several seconds before she noticed me. Slowly raising her head she looked at me through half-closed eyes and from her chapped and crusted lips she said, “I’m in Paris. I told everyone on Twitter that I was, so it must be true,” before her head lolled back and she let loose a loping, dizzy giggle. She stopped suddenly, as if she had forgotten what she had found so funny, and let the phone slip from her fingers. She then rolled on her side and Jing Hua, obviously aware of her mistress’s subtle signals, placed the pipe in her mouth, letting her inhale deeply. I turned as she exhaled a massive plume of thick smoke and continued on down the hall, the sounds of a dry, spastic cough echoing behind me, having gotten the distinct impression that this particular conversation was over.
As I walked I thought that there had to be something to Apple’s gadget, if even a spaced-out dope fiend could navigate its surface competently while in the midst of chasing the dragon. It was interesting to note, then, The New Yorker — that bastion of culture and obtuse cartoons — touting that the cover for this week’s magazine was digitally crafted by artist Jorge Colombo using Brushes, and recorded with Brushes Viewer so that we can all see how absolutely mind blowing and future-fabulous it is.
All sarcasm aside, I actually wish they could have filmed his fingers as he painted it. I can’t help but think that my own, clumsy digits would allow for lines too fat and globular for even The New Yorker’s Impressionist leanings.
On Friday, agent Q and I took a trip to Huntington Library and botanical gardens. The newly-open Dibner Hall offers a permanent collection titled “Beautiful Science” that’s dedicated to some of humanity’s most significant discoveries in astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light. The exhibit features an astounding array of manuscripts and artwork. Early visual representations of the world and the body were my favorite aspects of the show. All that imagination poured onto paper, attempting to solidify what could only be imagined at the time was very inspiring. There is also an adjoining exhibit of Charles Darwin’s botanical exploits in relation to his ideas of evolution. Included are Darwin’s actual hand-written logs and sketches, along with plant samples he harvested on Galapagos Islands. The Huntington is an enormous estate, we were only able to cover about one third of the perimeter! I intend to return soon and check out the Greene & Greene exhibit. Some of my photos from the gardens, here.
And what’s to be worn for a trip such as this? December in LA is as mild as one can imagine, with occasional cool winds and sparse rain. And with the museum being rather warm inside, the natural answer was “layers”. As we made our way through paintings and gardens I gave Q a crash-course in photography and snapped some photos of him, as well. We took over a park bench for nearly an hour doing so, much to the confusion of other visitors. Admire his man-fashion skills! Check out the boots I’ve been wearing non-stop for months! My fashion mantra since dying my hair black has been “raincloud”, as illustrated by the endless shades of gray that have taken over my wardrobe. Must be the season! Without further ado, the pictures, below.
This edition of Z!ST is brought to you by Space Channel 5 and everyone’s inner intergalactic mercenary. It’s been a while, and I’ve had time to accumulate some excellent tidbits to share with you. One of the few troubles with being, shall we say, not-so-tall is the eternal bunching of garments around the waist, which has led to my rabid love of cropped jackets and shrugs. As a bonus, this particular piece comes with pink contrast stitching that matches my glasses. And with the slow onset of fall The Layering begins once again – I couldn’t be happier.
At a glance it may be unclear why this admittedly bold outfit would suit a woman on a mission, but I assure you, it’s all perfectly functional. A hood to conceal your identity, an array of shiny baubles to distract the enemy, heels with protective padding for your best kicks all make for fine mission gear. To the untrained eye you might look like a space hooker, but worry not – that never stopped Aeon Flux or the Silk Spectre.
It has dawned on me that in a few days I’ll be off to New York City for the second Dances of Vice festival. And here I was, still trying to understand what happened to 2008 – somehow it’s nearly fall, yet my brain is someplace in April, griping about the onset of summer. Regardless, I’m excited – the festival dress code is described as “decadent” and by the whiskers of Munchhausen, it’s been too long!
There is a persistent dichotomy within my wardrobe, a battle between the slick and the elaborate. Of late, the theatrical had given way to the modern and monochromatic, so it was the perfect time to welcome the extravagance of a three day costume event. Still, spending mountains of cash on clothes I’d scarcely wear, alluring as the concept may be, wasn’t feasible. In the best interests of my wallet, it was decided to compose costumes from the current contents of my closet and to make matching accessories. Result: photo-documentation and suggestions on how to make your own Rococo gear.
To acquire supplies, I braved LA’s garment district. The plan: accessory components for three outfits. The spoils: yards of velvet ribbon, fake flowers, beaded appliqué and two ostrich feathers. My inspiration for the costumes was, as I mentioned, Rococo. This period’s fashion embraced the ludicrous with wasp-waist corsets, towering wigs, crinolines and bows absolutely everywhere. I echoed some of this sentiment, see below.
1. Velvet bow with a hair extension clip sewn to the back. I treated all the ribbon edges with glitter nail polish, to prevent fraying.
2. Matching stockings
3. Vintage brooch, silk flowers, ribbon
4. Extra ribbon, never know when you might need one
My affection for Los Angeles is a drawn out, turbulent affair. I stay, for now, because of the nuances not found anyplace else, entirely unique to this place. Case in point: say you’ve got a party to go to and that party is Lenora Claire‘s birthday bash, held at Houdini’s mansion on Friday the 13th. You know for a fact that there will be: music, monkeys and circus acts. What do you wear?
When presented with an invitation to an event you know will be off da hook, as the people say, you’re given a choice to be understated/classy, or to concoct an outfit that will be admired by the drag queens in attendance and leaves a trail of jewels wherever you tread. My choice was made when I found a dress I’d forgotten about, a dress with a story worthy of a party with monkeys.
It was years ago at a now-closed deathrock club called Ghoul School. I complimented a perfectly obliterated girl on her pink dress. A vintage hand-beaded number dripping with faux pearls and diamonds, it was as out of place among the torn fishnet and leather as its tall, brown-haired fresh-faced owner. My compliment was met with an unexpected gesture of generosity: with one multi-step maneuver the girl slipped out of the dress, signed the hem, handed it to me and wandered off. Inexplicably, she was wearing a striped bikini underneath. My heart sang a song of gratitude.
When I saw Mer the night of Lenora’s party she said I looked like a cupcake and I knew it was right. Now I bring you a re-creation of the outfit as masterfully captured by secret photo agent Yoon. You can read a bit more about Lenora’s party in this LA Weekly article. Hit the jump for more.
This installment of Z!ST is brought to you by two things I find myself missing more often than not: film and coffee houses. Kris Krug from Vancouver was here a few weeks ago and, to my happy surprise, used film for most of our photos. We shot at Cafe Muse – a relatively new coffee-zone that stays open ’til midnight and, staying true to its name, provides a guitar & piano to its patrons. There is live music, beverages and excellent food at this oasis amidst the dusty clamor of Santa Monica Boulevard.
Words can hardly express how elated I am at the concept of a real cafe within walking distance in my neighborhood, especially one that stays open past 8pm. Hollywood, for the most part, is a city of soulless cardboard franchises, thus it’s a treat to finally have a place nearby where I can station, laptop and coffee in hand, for an evening of writing, sketching, whatever. Such places are utterly crucial to the sanity of the few of us still breathing in this palm-infested desert metropolis. These simple pleasures shouldn’t be so rare.
Oh yes, the outfit! A rare but welcome instance of simplicity appreciation. Usually not a proponent of stirrups, I made an exception for these leggings, in part due to the fact that I found them at a home appliance store in Koreatown. Click on for shopping informations and more photos.
Traveling on business usually leaves no time to explore your surroundings. Spare moments are generally dedicated to little more than sleep and maybe a bath. However, should you have a few hours between meetings, what better way to spend them than exploring some industrial areas around town! Especially if that town happens to be Denver, Colorado, which was the case with this particular excursion.
Who knew that within a few driving minutes we’d be greeted with the foreboding towers of a power plant, intricate and doomy enough to echo the painting of our beloved Yakov Chernikov! Photographer James Stolzenbach and I swiftly snapped as much as we could before being kindly asked to leave by a burly trucker. He came completely out of nowhere, truck and all, and I suspect dark powers were at work. That and video cameras.
Dress: Crystal Candy at Common Era, Denver Fingerless gloves: random sock shop in Tokyo Striped socks: Target Boots: Luichiny on Melrose, LA
Make up by Breanna and Sally of Beauty Box, lips by me*
*I used MAC Liquidlast liner on my lips. Please, do not do this unless you have a powerful make up remover within reach. This stuff does not come off otherwise. At all. I had to use my fingernails.
The muses of fashion sing again as we enter spring here in Angel City. To celebrate the turning of the tides agent Yoon and I had ourselves a little roadside picnic near the ever-fragrant LA River.
For this momentous occasion I picked a simple knit dress, thumb leggings and high heels with steel-plated toes – a sensible choice should one need to escape the local packs of roaming hobos on foot. In daylight hours these [equally fragrant] folks keep to dark shelters under bridges, sale with only glowing eyes indicating their whereabouts. Still, treat one can never be too careful when choosing footwear.
Eyes: my usual cobalt eyebrows in a Ben Nye shadow, a hint of drugstore iridescent green shadow on the eyelids to echo the shoes, liquid liner, Urban Decay “Heavy Metal” glitter highlights Skin: Pür mineral powder Lips: Nyx coral lip gloss Nails: NYC enamel in Times Square Tangerine Creme Dress: Final Touch $30 at Angel on Melrose Ave Leggings: H&M Bag: shop near Asakuza Temple, Tokyo Gloves: Harajuku, Tokyo Shoes: Naughty Monkey $30 on Amazon