Of a Kind

Not to get all what-to-wear-to-Coachella on you or anything, but come on: This wispy Black Crane dress was built for a music festival. —erica

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Track Star: SZA

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The Vibe: The 23-year old rapper from St. Louis started making music just a few years ago, and, hey, she’s already been signed to Top Dawg Entertainment. She’s like a female Miguel, with a hypnotizing voice and dark beats, and her style has a coolest-girl-at-recess mood.

The One-Song Intro: “Babylon”

The Look, Recreated: This jersey tee from T by Alexander Wang, a pair of leather gym shorts by Capulet, and some classic Cheap Monday canvas high-tops. —maitri mehta

 More music! If you click right here!

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Of a Kind

Zigzag, zigBAG. Into it, Kuu. —erica

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Go Way Back: Polka Dots

Ok, did you know that the polka dot has its roots in the Central European dance?! US EITHER. (Yah, now it seems pretty obvious—we know.) Get more on its spotty (heh) history below. —bea koch

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The Origin: Polkamania hits the world in the mid-19th century. As the folk music and dance craze spreads from Europe to America, so does the popularity of the dotted pattern that covers the dancers’ dresses. And they’re not just dotting the dancefloor, either—check out this Frédéric Bazille painting from 1867, “Family Reunion.”

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The Evolution: A certain sweetness factor means polka dots are often relegated to the realm of swimwear and pajamas. Here’s Miss America 1926, Norma Smallwood, rocking a spotty maillot.

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In 1928, Disney introduces the most fashionable rodent the world’s ever seen: Minerva Mouse. Originally dressed in blue, Minnie gets a makeover in 1931, and it really sticks..

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The U.S. government harnesses the power of the polka dot when it creates the way-iconic Rosie the Riveter campaign to encourage women to join the workforce during WWII. And, hey, that scarf is both fashionable and practical: It keeps hair away from industrial machinery in the factories.

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When Christian Dior introduces his New Look in 1947, he’s all about popularizing a fresh silhouette. But he also succeeds in dressing up the polka dot, which he uses frequently in his designs, like the dress from 1954.

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One, two, three, four! Tell the people what she wore! It’s 1960, and it’s alllll about Bryan Handy’s song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”

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In 1962, DC Comics introduces Polka-Dot Man, whose spots can morph into weapons—and even a getaway vehicle!

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Basically everything Julia Roberts puts on in Pretty Woman is memorable. But legendary costume designer Marilyn Vance’s fave item? This dress (with a coordinating hat, natch) that Vivian wears to the polo match.

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Gwen is everything in that polka dot dress from the 1996 music video for “Don’t Speak.” Seriously, check it over here.

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The Right Now: It seems like polka dots are everywhere these days, but we’re giving top props to Dolce & Gabbana for their SS2013 menswear collection. As usual, those guys take a go-big-or-go-home approach.

What’s the deal with gingham and leopard print? Get the scoop here.

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Of a Kind

Re: those April showers: How’s about this Terra rain coat? —erica

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Of a Kind

Spotted Beast Rug by Thing Industries for Of a Kind

BUY / 60 of a kind / $138

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Thing Industries

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It all started with a chair. In 2008, Bridie Picot tried (unsuccessfully!) to buy one of Matt Smith’s sacrificial chair prototypes at a furniture fair. A few years later, when she decided to start her own furniture line, she looked him up, and the pair launched a collaboration that spans seven time zones and 9,000 miles: She’s based in NYC, and he’s in New Zealand—where she grew up. “We send a lot of emails,” Bridie laughs.

If a continental divide seems like a bit of a deterrent, you don’t know Bridie and her endearing—and enduring—sense of possibility. Heck, before launching Thing Industries in 2013, she’d never designed furniture before, but frustrated with the limited market for affordable, cool-looking finds, she got to sketching.

“I like simple pieces that solve a problem,” Bridie explains. “But just because it’s functional doesn’t mean it can’t have a sense of humor.” Take, for instance, that first chair…that actually isn’t a chair at all. It’s a place to toss clothes and bags—which is probably something you already do with some of your seating. There’s also a birdhouse-shaped shelf that bookmarks a paperback just so and a set of triangular tables that can be arranged this and that way. So what’s next? “More! I think I’ve got about twelve more collections just in my head,” Bridie adds. “So we’ve got to get those out.”—alex ronan

thingindustries.com

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Bridie Picot Takes Us Inside Her Upstate Getaway

Oh, yah, you can do a whole lot with a small space.

The first weekend Bridie Picot spent at what she calls her shack in the Catskills, she googled brown bears. “I saw one crossing the road and wasn’t sure how scared I should be,” says the lady behind the cheekily functional home line Thing Industries. She quickly got over the fear factor, and now she spends almost every weekend there. Here, you’ll see why. —alex ronan

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I first found the developer, Catskill Farms, with a plan to build my own place. But they had already built the shack. No one wanted to buy it because it was too small. It’s about 500 square feet and has only one bedroom.”  

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“I wanted the furniture to be simple and easy to move around—good for having lots of people stay over. I have a sofa from the Danish line Busk & Hertzog that folds out to a queen bed. I had nine people staying over for Thanksgiving. It’s tight, but it’s fun. This little fireplace heats the shack in about 20 minutes flat! You can also cook things on top of it, though I don’t fancy that because of the potential for mess—so usually I use the top for heating water with herbs. In the winter, it works as an old-school humidifier.”

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“I have the storage worked out pretty well, and I hate clutter. A few of the products in our second collection (launching in May) are designed for just that purpose: having people visit and giving them their own space for ‘putting,’ as my niece calls it.”

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“I’m from New Zealand, so naturally I’m fond of sheep. Coincidentally, the sheep is also my Chinese zodiac animal thing.”  

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“When I walk in, I feel totally relaxed, bordering on lazy. The house is really close to the Delaware River, which is my all-time favorite place to swim. I love the seasons up there, the neighbors, the potential to have chickens and bees. Inside the house, my favorite thing is the picture window in the bedroom.”

Bridie made us a spotted rug that’s totally fierce.

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Head to Narrowsburg—the Catskills Destination Bridie Picot Loves

Get out of town (or at least pretend to).

How does Bridie Picot clear her head? The whiz behind the way-cool home line Thing Industries ditches NYC on the weekends for a teensy town in the Catskills called Narrowsburg. “It is set on the Delaware River with a great metal bridge that connects New York to Pennsylvania and looks totally Stand By Me-ish,” she says. “You see lots of people floating down the river on rafts and tubes in summer. They’re usually a little sunburnt and hung-over the next day.” This is what to do when you’re not out on the water. —alex ronan

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The Heron
“This is one of the few places to eat in Narrowsburg, but it just happens to be one of my favorite places to eat in all of New York state! Marla and her husband started it about two years ago, and we usually end up there at least once a weekend. Their crispy eggs at brunch are to die for. Even when my car was stuck in snow in my driveway, I was ready to walk four miles for those eggs.”
(40 Main St.)

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The Big Eddy Toy Co.
“Possibly the cutest toy store ever. It has a very well-curated selection of kids’ toys that you’ll probably want for yourself. I bought my niece a fart book from here that she and the rest of the family thoroughly enjoy.”
(60 Main St.)

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Nest
“Opposite The Heron is a really great interiors store owned by an ex-Vogue design director. It’s filled and with amazing vintage finds and new things. She also carries some gorgeous swim cover-ups and floaty summer dresses—it’s perfect for a quick shop before you throw yourself in the nearby Delaware River for a summer swim.”
(15 Main St.)

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Kristal Bowl
“Five bowling lanes, a jukebox, lots of neon, and cheap cocktails make for a good night whenever we have friends up—actually, even if we don’t. Great fries!”
(9202 New York 97, Callicoon)

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Maison Bergogne
“Housed in a beautiful old bus garage is an antiques store with some amazing taxidermy and vintage furniture. During the summer, it’s home to the Big Eddy Farm Stand, a super-cute mini farmers’ market run by local teenagers. They do a great Fourth of July float, too.”
(226 Bridge St.)

Bridie made a carpet that’s so stinkin’ cute you’ve gotta have it.

 

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Couple Up: January Jones and Ashton Kutcher

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What are these two most remembered for? The fact that he told her she should probably stick to modeling. Oof. But, they were so young! Just look and their toothy smiles, their fresh faces, and their outfits. —erica

January Jones: A fancy little Ben-Amun bobby pin, a jacquard Kenzo dress, and a thin Demylee cardigan.

Ashton Kutcher: A rumpled Save Khaki oxford, a tweed blazer from Steven Alan, and some Yuvi man jewelry.

More duos past their expiration date over here…

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