Of a Kind

I’m kind of all about the fabric of this Alex Mill shirt. You dig? —erica

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Of a Kind

If I was looking for a first-day-of-school outfit, this Kiely Kimmel amazingness would most definitely be in the running. —erica

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Go Way Back: Panama Hats

Somewhere between a clichéd fedora and an old-timey boater cap sits the Panama hat, which can somehow do beach or city without looking out-of-place—or trying-too-hard—in either setting. Its magic: It can deliver some tomboy edge to any getup, and it’s been doing so since the 1600s. Read up on its 400-year backstory, below. —maura brannigan 

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The Origin: First, let’s get to the bottom of that name: The Panama hat as we know it doesn’t actually get its start in Panama, but rather, in Ecuador. As early as the seventeenth century, straw hats—a hot commodity in Asia and Europe—are shipped to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing off to their final destinations overseas as a total marketing gimmick—because the term “Ecuador hat” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

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The Evolution: Once the California Gold Rush hits the West in the 1850s, the American demand for Panama hats skyrockets. Why? Many of the movements’ miners travel through the Isthmus of Panama en route to California, picking up a hot new accessory along the way.

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And now the U.S. government gets on-board: President William McKinley orders the purchase of thousands of ‘em to combat the hot-weather fighting conditions during the 1898 Spanish American War. 

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In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt visits the construction site of the Panama Canal and is photographed wearing the local headwear.

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Call it the Teddy Roosevelt Bump, because shortly thereafter, Panama hats become a movie-wardrobe staple. Casablanca, anyone?

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As the decades wear on, political bigwigs—including another Roosevelt, Franklin Delano—begin showing up at fancier events in the hat. In an era without A/C, the style is a way for a dude to keep his melon cool.

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The silver screen’s all over it. The hat makes prominent appearances on Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Paul Newman in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge—but no women…yet.

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That is, until a fresh-faced Sigourney Weaver appears in the 1982 film The Year of Living Dangerously as a British embassy officer who has a tumultuous love affair with Mel Gibson in Indonesia. Her accessory is practically a costar.

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Throughout the eighties and nineties, women really get in on the fun. Check out this epic pic that ran in Italian Vogue during that time.

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The Right Now: Panama hats earn themselves a particularly impassioned 2013 blog post by the Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine. She becomes the unofficial-official patron saint of the style, which does the rounds at the spring 2015 New York Fashion Week shows (and on sidewalks everywhere this summer).

Lots more where this came from! Click, click.

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Of a Kind

Rose Gold Rounded Nasta Earrings by Fay Andrada for Of a Kind

BUY / 40 of a kind / $90

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Tool Time with Fay Andrada

Hammers and files and oxy-acetylene tanks—oh my!

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See those gadgets and contraptions above? Fay Andrada uses all of them to create her namesake line of impossibly slick jewelry. And now that you’ve met the whole big happy family, check out how Fay puts them all to use, filing, forming, soldering, and polishing before hand-washing each piece. —jackie varriano

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Filing
“Cutting and filing is the first step. You make your shape, and then you have to refine it with the files. The paint stick with the paper on it is actually called emery paper, which is what jewelers use for a really smooth edge. I like using a metal file as much as possible because it’s not a product that I’m buying and then throwing away, and when I use the steel files, I’m also not grinding off the emery or whatever into my lungs.”

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Forming
“The top hammer is called a planishing hammer. The top head is round, for a bumpy texture, and the flat head is an all-purpose hammer. I’ve used that for everything I’ve made. That’s the first hammer I bought. I bought a lot since then, and they were instantly fired. It was beginner’s luck.”

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Soldering
“My hand is holding a torch attached to oxy-acetylene tanks—one oxygen and one acetylene. You open the red gauge and use the sparker to light it, and then you add pressurized oxygen, which intensifies the flame to a blue cone that can be small or large, but really concentrated.”

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Polishing
“This is the polishing phase. On the left is a steel brush that is slightly more aggressive than the brass brush on the right. You use brushes to just tone down a glossy finish by very, very gently scratching it up. The bottom-center item is my total go-to for everything ever—it’s a Scotch-Brite pad— and the thing on the right is my drill. It’s basically the same tool dentists use.”

It’s time to see what Fay made us with those tools—check out these rad earrings!

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A Tour of Fay Andrada’s Sick Apartment

How one big room became a home.

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When Fay Andrada, who makes intriguingly simple metal jewelry, and her husband Ben moved into their little corner of heaven in Williamsburg, there was no electricity. A former bakery converted into three tenant spaces, their pad was formerly occupied by an eccentric artist-slash-carpenter. “He had salvaged everything in the place,” says Fay. “He built window walls and all these shelves made of salvaged wood and branches. It was insanity when we first saw it.” Since taking the reigns two years ago, Fay and Ben (and their rescue dog Chip, pictured up top) have added, you know, power and have made the quirks work to their advantage. Take a look at what they’ve done with the place. —jackie varriano

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The apartment is one large space, but Fay and Ben have carved out little rooms. The stars of the dining room (if you will) are a table handed down from Fay’s parents and a bar cart. “Ben really liked the idea of a proper bar to make a proper cocktail, even though he hardly ever drinks them,” Fay explains. Her favorite thing in the room: what’s on the walls. The grid is made from back issues of Architectural Forum, a magazine her dad collected. “Back in the sixties, they did these really basic screen-printed covers. I have piles and piles of them, so I change out the grid every year.”

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This is just a portion of Fay’s Finnish glassware collection—awesome, right? Minus the antique orange egg cups in the top-right corner, it’s all from the designer Iittala. “Everyone knows I like my Finnish glass,” Fay says.

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The kitchen is Fay’s favorite room in the house—she makes breakfast for herself and Ben every morning before heading to the studio. The tall bakers table, topped with a butcher’s block, is a score from a trip to Maine. It happens to be an old table from Tim Horton’s, from way back when the restaurant used to bake in-house. “I’ve tried to find another one for my studio, and it’s almost impossible,” Fay notes.

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Much of Fay’s design aesthetic was influenced by her parents, especially her architect father. The painting behind the television? It’s one of two her dad painted in his lifetime. As she explains, “It’s definitely older than me. The colors always bothered me growing up, probably because they didn’t match, but now I really like them.”

Fay has some not-so-normal hoops ready to hang with your lobes.

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Couple Up: Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson

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If these two were a high-school couple, they would be pictured in the yearbook under the header “Best Beach Hair” (and, ok, probably “Best Smiles” too, those jerks). Here’s a tribute to those Owen-plus-Kate days of yesteryear… —erica

Owen Wilson: Super-dark Acne jeans, a navy Everlane polo, and a long-sleeve tee from James Perse.

Kate Hudson: Ripped Current/Elliott jeans, a Rachel Zoe vest (worn as a top), and a lariat necklace by Vanessa Mooney.

More match-ups right this way.

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Of a Kind

If you’re at that point in the season where you’ve worn through the soles of your sandals—hey, it happens—these Carrie Forbes suckers are here for you. —erica

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The Insider: Kristen Joy Watts

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Let us tell you what: We seriously double-tap Kristen Joy Watts. As an art-and-fashion-savvy member of Instagram’s community team, she’s in charge of discovering new talent, creating cool new content, and brainstorming fresh ways to collaborate with the likes of Vogue (see: #metgala) and the Frieze Art Fair New York (see: #emptyfrieze). Obviously, we wanted—needed!—to know more, so we asked Kristen to get real with us. mattie kahn

Q: Spill: What’s your favorite Instagram filter?
A: The city usually inspires the filter. I’ll probably use Hudson at about half strength, for example, when I’m in Vancouver next weekend—a bit of blue for a rainy place.

Q: What makes a good Intagram, do you think? 
A: We often feature tips from the community on the Instagram blog, and that’s a great place to start. I think great photographs have to be beautiful—but they also have to have what Roland Barthes called punctum: a photograph’s personally touching, even wounding, quality. Maybe it’s a hair askew or a slightly crooked horizon line—imperfections that haunt you.

Q: What’s your favorite landmark in NYC? 
A: Does Momofuku count?

Q: Where do you head for the best slice of pizza in New York City? 
A: On one of Scott’s Pizza Tours.

Q: Which Of a Kind designers do you have your eye on right now? 
A: I’m looking at the Chen and Kai (@ChenandKai) planters in my kitchen. 

Q: What’s the last viral video that made you cry-laugh?
A: This got me.

Q: Any guilty pleasures you’re willing to admit to? 
A: I think a lot of people would say that they like Boyz II Men, but not a lot of people still listen to "4 Seasons of Loneliness" about once a week. 

There are more completely amazing people to be found right here!

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Of a Kind

Have you eyeballed Lauren Manoogian's sweaters yet? Because they’re the sorts of things you’d probably wear for the next three decades. —erica

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