Sophie Monet Throws a French Dinner Party…in Venice Beach

Pull up a chair.

When she’s not getting all creative in her woodshop, whipping up pieces for her nature-fueled jewelry line, Sophie Monet Okulick is probably getting fresh in the kitchen. Proof: Check out the a delicious evening she hosted for her buddies that was inspired by a trip to the South of France—with a pit stop at the Cannes Film Fest on the way, naturally. —genevieve ang

The Inspiration

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“I went to France two weeks ago upon invitation from my best friend (and neighbor!). We went to Paris for four days and then headed south, where we stayed in a château in Vence, a small medieval city. It was basically a culinary tour—we love food so much, and there was just so much eating to be done. We would be eating one meal and already discussing what to eat for the next! We had heaps of mussels, grilled fish, cheese, ham, and lots of fresh produce and berries all day. We actually snuck a gigantic roll of cheese past customs on the way home.”

The People

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“I’ve lived in Venice Beach for four years now, and my best friends are the people who live around me. We are all creative people, and we love to cook—we have a very open-door policy and cook together almost every night. I also invited some French friends. There’s actually a big French community in Venice Beach. My friend Louis took these pictures—he’s also my food-taster, to test for French authenticity!”

The Décor

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“I think the trick to a good dinner party is lighting. For this party, I obsessed over these five stemmed, silver candelabras that I bought at a flea market in Pasadena—super-high-impact and whimsical, and they added a classic French touch. I also used linen napkins and Crow Canyon enamelware. They are white enamel plates with blue trim that have a very rustic, French feel. And of course we had to have flowers! Peonies are my favorite right now.”

The Music

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Father John Misty for a mellow, low-key party, and then Disclosure after dinner to really get the party started. I also really like some old-school Hawaiian music on vinyl—something about the island music and Venice Beach goes together so well.”

Sophie compiled everything into a handy Spotify playlist here!

The Food

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“For drinks, it’s rosé wine all the way—I love Côtes de Provence ones because they are drier and super-yummy.”

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“The highlight of the meal was the mussels. It’s a super-simple and summery recipe that anyone can make. I ate so many of them in France.”

Classic Moules Mariniere

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dry white wine
6 pounds mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 warm baguette

Directions
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add olive oil. Add onion, shallots, and garlic and stir until soft and aromatic. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and stir for 1 minute. Add wine, mussels and parsley, and stir together, coating mussels in sauce. Cover for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan periodically to combine the flavors. Once all the mussels have opened, serve in deep bowls with a fresh baguette for dipping. Discard any mussels that don’t open! Serves 6.

The End

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“We end the night with a neighborhood stoop party—everyone’s invited!”

Sophie’s necklace is a total stunner—check it out.

 

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A Rough-and-Tumble Canoe Playlist

Bring on the Waylon Jennings and the Merle Haggard.

imageWillie! And friends!

Is there a musical genre that sounds more badass (and pure awesome) than “outlaw country?” Because that’s what inspires Natalie Davis and her line of handcrafted leather goods, Canoe. Below, a dozen songs—many by artists who live around her neck-of-the-woods, Austin, Texas—that get Natalie going. Listen to the whole shebang on Spotify! —meghana gandhi

“Mother Blues” by Ray Wiley Hubbard
“‘The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, those are really good days’—this is my mantra for 2013.”

“Just Breathe” by Willie Nelson
“Cover of a Pearl Jam song—and a beautiful rendition. Willie is the patron saint of Austin and a living legend. Last year, I saw him perform for the first time in Canyon Lake with my mom and my husband, and it was truly amazing.”

“Born to Be Loved” by Lucinda Williams
“Lucinda’s songwriting is really poignant and raw, and her voice is slightly rough and beautiful.”

“If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt

“My husband and his mom danced to this at our wedding, and it was really touching.”

“Bowspirit” by Balmorhea

“I listen to the Austin-based band Balmorhea when I am writing or thinking through tough problems.”

“Waltz” by Mother Falcon

“Another Austin-based group—an ensemble orchestral band with amazing energy that’s so fun to see live.”

“Dancing Barefoot” by Patti Smith

“Thanks to my roommate from freshman year of college, I was indoctrinated with Patti Smith daily. I am so thankful for that. She is always in the back of my mind while I am designing—what would Patti Smith do?”

“Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings
“This song embodies the classic country theme of sacrificing for love. I love the live version with Willie Nelson singing with Waylon.”

“My First Gun” by Crooks
“This is an Austin-based band that I’ve gotten to see perform in some classic honky-tonks around town. The first time I met the frontman was at the farmers’ market, and I thought, ‘This guy must be in a country band.’”

“Clementine” by Sarah Jaffe
“I listen to this on repeat and find myself humming this song while tooling leather.”

“Emmylou” by First Aid Kit
“These girls have my heart. They’re Swedish folk singers who really capture the spirit of the Southwest. Their songs get stuck in my head for days at a time.”

“I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink” by Merle Haggard
“When I’m having one of those days where nothing is going right, I put this song on. You can’t help but tap your foot and sing along.”

See what Natalie made while humming along. These two-tone leather wallets are really something special.

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Rock Out With a Lo & Sons Playlist

There’s a reason the names “Derek” and “Jan” start with D and J.


Derek!


Jan!

When Derek and Jan Lo aren’t making killer travel totes and overnight bags with their mom Helen, the brothers are likely DJing on New York’s Lower East Side. (Yes, we totally wish the Lo matriarch was in the booth, too.) To show off those skills, they’ve pulled together a compilation of songs inspired by their Of a Kind edition, the Windsor Camera Bag. “I think what really makes our bags special is that we’ve managed to bridge conflicting ideas in an elegant way—it’s extremely hard to find that balance of style and substance,” Derek explains. “So we chose music from modern artists who either have paved their own path in a unique way, or bridged genres in a creative and sophisticated fashion.” —olivia seely

To listen to the whole playlist, head on over to Spotify.

“Machu Picchu” by The Strokes
Jan: “The bassist used to sometimes DJ at the same L.E.S. bar where I used to DJ—obviously his night was way better.”

“L.E.S. Artistes” by Santigold
Jan: “Later, when I was living and DJing in Beijing, it often tripped me out realizing small and interconnected the world is. Thanks, interwebz!”

“Cherry Wine” by Nas, featuring Amy Winehouse
Jan: “Who can’t relate to that yearning for that something real, which definitely seems more elusive as one gets older and more successful?”

“Mushaboom” by Feist
Derek: “If you don’t feel a little cheerier after listening to this, you are not human.”

“Groove Me” by Maximum Balloon, featuring Theophilus London
Derek: “One of the few electro-rap tracks that gets me going.”

“Lost” by Frank Ocean
Derek: Stories make the best songs.

“Get Free” by Major Lazer
Jan: “After Hurricane Sandy, the song definitely took on a different level of resonance with the imagery of the levees breaking.”

“Myth” by Beach House
Jan: “Happened to re-listen to this song with some friends right before Sandy, back when the hurricane reports still did not seem fully real.”

“Get Some” by Lykke Li
Derek: “This is like an emo version of ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll,’—yet it’s so good.”

“Staring At The Sun” by TV On The Radio
Derek: “It’s so damn dramatic, poetic, and just plain epic.”

“Faster” by Janelle Monáe
Derek: “My favorite modern-day jitterbug beat.”

“Video Games” by Lana Del Rey
Derek: “Anthemic love song.”

“Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear
Jan: “I remember first mixing this song in after a mini Southern rap set—and the hipster kids lost their proverbial shit.”

Get the edition Lo & Sons made us! This camera bag is as cool as they come.

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The Musical Stylings of Kristina Angelozzi

This designer even dresses some of the musicians she rocks out to.


Kristina’s BF’s band, J Roddy Walston & the Business.

Not only is Kristina Angelozzi’s main squeeze the drummer for the bluesy, rock band J Roddy Walston & the Business, but the creative force behind the Americana-inflected line Fischer has also outfitted a slew of her favorite up-and-comers­ like The Lumineers and The Mates of State. “Music and fashion are both these creative formats,” she says. “So it’s nice to dress likeminded people. It’s like, ‘Here’s what I do, and I respect what you do.’” And the very in-the-know maker was down to share a cherry-picked playlist just for us. —mattie kahn

1) “Moonbeams” by Princeton: “Listening to this is like laying on the beach and wanting a margarita—but not quite caring enough to get up.”

2) “A Picture of Dorian Gray” by Television Personalities: “This song inspired me to read the book by Oscar Wilde, which inspired me to listen to the song some more.”

3) “Let’s Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones: “When I drink enough to brave karaoke, this is my go-to.”

4) “Aiko-Aiko” by Jullie D: “From the compilation album Hot French Chicks in the Garage.”

5) “Thinking About You” by Radiohead: “My musical taste began and ended when I was 15. I still love this.”

6) “Girl Next Door” by Nervous Eaters: “Sappy-meets-sleazy in this late-seventies punk love song.”

7) “Talkin’ ‘Bout You” by The Animals: “Eric Burdon. Done.”

8) “Use Your Language” by J Roddy Walston and the Business: “Love this for the slide guitar and steam engine drums (that’s my boo!).”

9) “Slug” by The Ramones: “Sweaty, summery haze. Yeah…I don’t really believe it’s about a slug either.”

10) “The Birds Were Singing with All Their Might” by Love is All: “It kind of sounds like how a bird might feel flying.”

11) “Eviction Party” by Darlings: “Gotta rep the Brooklyn music. And who doesn’t love a little immature reckless abandon?”

12) “Gamma Ray” by Beck: “This is the song I’ll put on when I ride to outer space.”

13) “Grazing in the Grass” by Hugh Masekela: “Never fails to make me wish I could dance.”

Come back tomorrow to see (and score!) Kristina’s Of a Kind creation. Getting on our email list is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out!

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The Less Designer Makes Us a Necklace and a Playlist

Yes, this edition comes with a soundtrack.


Albums from Alyssa’s collection.

In honor of her deep love of music—the jewelry wunderkind’s favorite pastimes include snapping pictures at friends’ shows and rocking out to the same songs she fell for at thirteen—Alyssa Lesser put together a playlist that represents the essence of her Of a Kind edition—download it here. Of her mix of glam-rock and post-punk tracks, chosen to reflect the necklace’s high/low versatility, she explains, “These songs should be listened to at full volume while dancing around your room, preferably in a giant T-shirt with your neighbors watching you through the window.” —maggie dolan

It’s key to see the rockin’ necklace behind the music, right? Well, it’s right over here…

1 - “You’re my Best Friend” by Queen
“I usually name my pieces after bands, and I named this necklace Mercury after Freddie Mercury. This song is really happy and a good to start any playlist.”

2 - “Mystic Lady” by T. Rex
“I love the space-age-y stuff that T. Rex and Bowie got into. I think about that a lot when I design jewelry. I feel like the stones I use can have a moon-rock vibe.”

3 - “Digital” by Joy Division
“I always dance around in my room to this. Ian Curtis and the whole look of the band is super inspiring to me.”

4 - “Summer Holiday” by Wild Nothing
“This is one of the only newer songs I have on the playlist. Wild Nothing sounds a bit like The Smiths with a slight Shoegaze-y feel. I like bands to be progressive, but I also like bands that sound like my favorite bands.”

5 - “Let’s Go to Bed” by The Cure
“This is the best song ever. At school, we listen to the Cure a lot when we work—well, a couple of us do until we get overruled with Lady Gaga, and then I leave the room.”

6 - “C30, C60, C90, Go!” by Bow Wow Wow
“I have named two necklaces after their singer, Annabelle Lwin. She was provocative and had loads of energy. The band’s music still sounds really modern even though it came out a while ago, which is cool. I want to make stuff that can last in the same way.”

7 - “Starman” by David Bowie
“He is my favorite artist ever. This song has these celestial qualities, and the necklace has a similar vibe. I picture Bowie wearing it with a silver lamé spandex jumpsuit with chest hair peaking out.”

8 - “Falling in Love with Myself Again” by Sparks
“This isn’t a glam song, but it sounds like one. I love how all the Sparks albums sound a bit different.”

9 - “I Just Don’t Know What to do With Myself” by The White Stripes
“I was going to put a Dusty Springfield song in here, but I killed two birds with one stone with this cover. The White Stripes are one of my favorite bands of all time. They are both amazing human beings.”

10 - “Sunday Girl” by Blondie
“Debbie Harry has definitely been one of my biggest style inspirations my whole life. She always had the best hair and could walk on stage in a T-shirt and underwear and look awesome.”

11 - “Femme Fatale” by Velvet Underground
“Andy Warhol! I love the color he used and the texture in his paintings. I loved how he put himself together and the aesthetics around him and his whole crew.”

12 - “Baby It’s You” by The Shirelles
“This is a good, mellow fade-out song. I love the simplicity and innocence of songs like this—they are so innocent that they almost aren’t innocent anymore.”

Click here to download Alyssa’s playlist.

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A Super Special Matt Singer Playlist

Or is it a mix? Either way, it’s sick.

We’re here to give you the full Matt Singer experience. And that means supplementing the awesome (and very rock ‘n roll) leather lighter covers he made for us with a playlist that highlights songs that kept him fired up while he was concepting them. “It started off with song titles or bands that have ‘fire’ in the name, and then I expanded on that, adding songs that I was just really responding to,” the menswear innovator explains. “If I could put together the perfect concert right now, these are songs that would get me really excited for various reasons.” There is some old stuff (“I’ve been listening to this Richard Hell & the Voidoids song since I was 15.”), there are new jams (“I literally just discovered ‘Friend Crush.’”), and there are crowd-pleasers (Ol’ Dirty Bastard!). Click (or right-click) here to download the whole, 20-song shebang titled “Lighters Up!”—a Lil’ Kim reference if you didn’t catch it—and check out the track list below.

Dying to see these lighter covers? We feel you. Click here to eyeball the graphic set.

“Dystopia (the Earth Is on Fire)” by Yacht
“Saturday Night” by Cheeseburger
“Champion (Remix)” by Buju Banton
“Don’t Move” by Phantogram
“We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire
“Wildfire” by SBTRKT
“Don’t Watch Me Dancing” by Little Joy
“Blank Generation” by Richard Hell & the Voidoids
“I’m Straight” by The Modern Lovers
“Got Your Money” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard
“French Navy” by Camera Obscura
“Something In Common” by Free Energy
“Left in a Hurry” by Cannon Bros
“Penthouse Suites” by Wise Blood
“Friend Crush” by Friends
“Sleep All Summer” by St. Vincent and The National
“Dreams Come True Girl” by Cass McCombs
“Hairdresser on Fire” by Morrissey
“Communion” by Maximum Balloon featuring Karen O
“Johanna” by Iggy and The Stooges

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