By: Nadia Carmon
Photo Credits: Holly West @ Holly West Photography
MUA: Ashley Gannon (Ashley Gannon)
Wardrobe: Mather Louth
Poet's Heart Ring: Blood Milk (blood milk jewelry)
Shot at Wonderland Studios (Wonderland Studios OC)
Conversation with Brandon Boyd, of Incubus, for the first interview of symbols Magazine. This man is inspirational. He's using his celebrity for change and that's all we can ask for in times like these.
An Interview with Andrea Spratt
By: Toi Green
symbols Magazine (sM): “Kucoon is Anti-trend”… I love that statement. What is it about trend culture that makes you anti?
Andrea Spratt (AS): By the time it is a trend people are bored so it is better not to pay attention to trends.
sM: Your designs are insanely beautiful. The level of polish added to an alternative, edgy and somewhat dark, yet ethereal garment is amazing! Where does that come from? Are you a fan or darker subculture?
AS: My line has changed as I have changed. In the beginning I was defiantly inspired by an underground culture. I was into the electronic/rave scene, first in Washington DC and Baltimore area as a teen and then later in Los Angeles when I moved here in my early 20’s. I found a community of creative’s in LA called “burners” and we would throw wild all night parties in the warehouse district back when no one cared. There were no rules and there was no dress code, but the crazier the better. Creating costumes for this crowd was what I lived for. I found inspiration in finding flawed pieces while thrifting. I would deconstruct and reconstruct until it fit perfectly. I would create one of a kind pieces for one of a kind people. Eight years later I have found more of a balance between the badass and conventional part of my designs. Comfort has always been key but it is now essential in all my pieces. The word I am most drawn to when describing my pieces is, whimsical.
sM: I discovered your clothing line at Lucidity and was surprised by the stark contrast of Kucoon vs. what you would consider “typical” festival wear, yet it still works. Why do you think that is?
AS: I come from that world, I lived the festival life for a long time. I know what women crave when they are walking in the heat of the day, what makes them feel sexy but not trying to hard, the layers they need when the sun goes down, the feeling of dancing without anything interrupting your flow, what they want to wear to carry their possessions without loosing things,
Kucoon is for the girl that gets attention but doesn’t have to try to hard. It is a line that is fun, sexy, comfortable, and also makes sense.
sM: What is it about festival culture that resonates with you? Why do you call it home?
AS: Back when I first started getting into festivals, they consisted of a small subculture and I did feel a sense of family there. But it was very much a world outside of my reality, it was challenging and this is what I liked about it. It was a raw and heart opening environment in which the invitation to explore was everywhere. I never thought of going to Burning Man or festivals as going home, quite the opposite. I am an extrovert but I like my alone time. I also like toilets and showers as well as clean sheets.
sM: I find that there is a decompression period that one goes through after leaving festival life. What do you wish there was more of in everyday life that made it easier to transition after leaving?
AS: I am really glad I don’t live my life like I was at a festival and I am really glad my friends don’t either. You stick around and you see the underbelly of the festival world. Another word for decompression, for most, not all is detoxing. I have been able to take the best part of what I have learned from going to these events and integrate them into my life. I have an incredible community that constantly inspires me and I love what I do. I defiantly miss dancing but my baby keeps me on my toes. I dance with her all the time.
aM: I know this is like trying to decide which child you like best, but which festival(s) do you look forward to every year?
AS: I think the mecca is of course, Burning Man. There is so much talent and I am always blown away by all the hard work that goes into putting this event together. Every camp brings something special and it is all for the purpose of connection. Lightning in a Bottle will always have a special place in my heart, the Do Lab does an excellent job of giving people what they are looking for.
sM: I read that you sometimes draw your inspiration from other cultures. I can see the Native American inspiration. Are there any other cultures that are particularly interesting to you?
AS: I spent my formative years in Japan; that would be another culture I find inspiration in.
sM: What elements of Japanese culture resonate with you?
AS: I would have to say their genuine interest in dressing to express themselves. Not in a way where they are sexualizing themselves or following trends. They are almost anti-fashion.
sM: Looking at your line, it seems that the sizing of most items could even be worn by plus sized women. Was that intentional? If not, Do you think that you’d be inspired to create some pieces in expanded sizes?
AS: I am always down to make plus size pieces, but when I have made large pieces in the past they do not get bought at a festival. Many of my pieces are see through, or cropped so that doesn’t always attract a plus size lady. Also, most of the pieces that I bring to festivals are samples, my website offers larger sizes.
sM: Most of your online clothing pieces are crafted to order. Do you feel that each piece is just a bit more special that way? Maybe organically different and somewhat one of a kind for your customers?
AS: There are a couple reasons I do this, for my business model it makes sense and environmentally there is little waste this way. I make all my pieces in Los Angeles and my sample maker has been working with me for over 9 years. Yes, I feel like it is special.
sM: Do you do custom work?
AS: I used to but I hardly do anymore, usually I do not make enough for it to be worth it. I have a bad habit of underbidding myself. It always takes longer then I think it will.
sM: Congratulations on becoming a mommy! Have you already started designing things for little ones?
AS: OH YAH!
sM: What do you see yourself creating for little ones?
AS: I am all about baby harem jumpers, sleep sacks, and hoodies… soon to come.
sM: Do you see yourself creating another line? Maybe for men or something completely different?
AS: I hope to have a men’s designer on board soon.
sM: What is it about menswear that you find appealing to your brand?
AS: I see more men making athletic clothes acceptable to wear socially. Women do it with yoga wear, leggings and such. I want to bring that element to men as well.
sM: What can we expect for Fall/Winter 15?
AS: I can’t tell
sM: You are no fun… not even a little hint?
AS: I am sooo fun.
sM: Besides designing what are you passionate about?
AS: Humans, The Great Outdoors, Fuzzy Creatures, Travel, My Family, anything Art.
sM: What do you see for Kucoon in the next couple years?
AS: A bigger team, more wholesale accounts with bigger companies. I would like to see KUCOON become a lifestyle line and include products for the growing number of nomads out there. Festival life not just a summer time thing anymore.
" I know what I had to do just to get up front, so that’s just the given circumstances. If I was, a white singer doing metal, maybe it would be easier-- “easier”-- for me, but, maybe I wouldn’t stand out as much." A conversation with Militia Vox
By: Toi Green
"Patterns and shapes and their construction and formulae are just geometry. What makes sacred geometry sacred is its application."
by: Toi Green
By: Toi Green
symbols Magazine: What was the first item of clothing that you ever made? Do you still own it?
Sadie Clayton: When I was younger I used to buy fabric from Ikea and transform it into a dress by just wrapping it and distorting it round the mannequin. I used to tie a knot round my neck then sew the back, finishing with the little details-- the buttons, I’m obsessed with buttons. I then sewed a few huge amazing vintage buttons on.
sM: Besides Gareth Pugh, who are your fashion icons?
SC: I’m little unsure nowadays; a lot of designers seem to be going with the same aesthetic. If I was to say any, I would say Claude Montana and Jean Paul Gaultier. Other than a designer, Caryn Franklin is one of my idols. She is an amazing, inspiring woman.
sM: You mention architecture as a major inspiration to you. What is it about it that inspires you? Are there any other inspirations?
SC: In regards to the architecture, it’s the shapes within the structure which the artist has thought about and put together that fascinates me. As really that’s what I do with my sculptural pieces, they are shapes which are placed together. I’m more interested in product design now, that is what inspires me at the moment, along with healing stones.
sM: Working with copper initially, having to actually find a metal worker to craft it just right had to be a trying task. What made you decide to go so grand?
SC: Finding a good reliable metal worker was a task no one will ever be able to comprehend, that was a whole job in itself! I have him now, his name is Steve, and he is amazing. He gets me and gets really excited, the end products are always successful with him. I’ve also thought big, I’ve done big and decided I wanted to be known for something just as big, so creating the sculptures was exciting, but in copper which no one had done before in fashion. It was always gold, silver, brass etc. I love copper!
sM: What kinds of things can you do with copper? How do you know what to do with it? How to manipulate it?
SC: Anything if you put your mind to it. My next collection will reveal that, so keep following. I don’t really know what to do with it, but that’s the beauty of it-- experimenting and discovering new things. What I have done for next season is a huge development in the copper world.
sM: Are you interested in any other metals or textures?
SC: Yeah, I like a lot of textures, that is my thing. All my wovens I use are all textural. Not really other metals, but just now I’m obsessed with healing stones and crystals their texture and colors are beautiful.
sM: Which do you prefer-- design for editorial or ready-to-wear?
SC: Of course editorial, I love it! That’s what I am made for. However ready-to-wear has to be done-- that’s the money-making game! I like to do a mixture of both in my collections. I love the challenge of editorial and how it’s so grand, yet the ready-to-wear is an even bigger challenge for me because I have to think sensible and sellable!
sM: What have you made for yourself recently? Or if you were to have something designed for you, what would it be and who would design it?
SC: I’ve made a skirt recently and some jewelry for myself for an event. I’ve just been heavily concentrating on my AW15 collection. I’d love Jean Paul Gaultier to design something for me, a sculptural corset.
sM: You mentioned that your newest collection is heavily influenced by the number three. What is the significance of that within you?
SC: Within numerology my number is six. Three is a multiple of six and I have always been intrigued by asymmetry; having an odd number can lead to asymmetric forms.
sM: How was your experience at Fashion Week this year?
SC: Phenomenal. I showcased my debut show at LFW in February, AW14, and then my most recent SS15 both shows were fantastic. Of course SS15 was bigger and better-- more people, more looks, more coverage. I loved it!! I can’t wait to showcase again this season.
sM: Besides your SS15 collection, what can we look forward to from you in 2015?
SC: Well I certainly don’t want to give too much away, but there are some really exciting things in the pipeline and keep following to see the new editions of Sadie Clayton, possibly including some color!
"I find record shopping really therapeutic. Just going in and kind of immersing myself in looking for music and switching off auto-pilot to my brain and just kind of focusing on something different." A conversation with Sam Poggioli
by: Toi Green
“It’s one of those materials that when you’re wearing it and touching it. It gets hard not to feel kinky. It’s hard to keep your brain from not going that route. And that’s for people that are into or not. That’s what the material does.” ~ A Conversation with Laura Petrielli-Pulice
by: Toi Green
photographer: shannon laurine
art director: christine lunday
model: nikki howard
mua: des arellano
hair: gercy galang
wardrobe: voyeur by vex clothing
retoucher: jennifer esteban
“I just think the future of fashion is in technology. I’m thinking of ways technology can help us further advance what we wear. How will that contribute to what we wear, you know. If I buy one more thing without pockets for my phone I’m going to die. It’s the technology age, why can’t they put a pocket it in for our phone, in our clothes.” ~ A conversation with Autumn Lin K.
By Toi Green (Lasha)
Photos by: Graphics Metropolis
“I want people to remember no matter what the time. They are who they are. They feel what they feel. The music is good for a reason. That’s it.” ~ A Conversation with Ronan Harris
By Toi Green (Lasha)
Photos by: Levan TK
“The fight is to keep things alive. The fight is on the outside. The fight is to get back up and find funding. That is the fight. You can have some creative arguments, whatever, that’s fine, but you have to cut the crap and get to the real shit, which is making this band happen....”~ A conversation with Louise K. & Anna L.
by: Toi Green
Photos by: Sasha Prilutsky and Morten Bertelsen
“I think in a very general sense what’s next for us, for the species, is to finally accept [our] consequences for actions. We sort of try to live in this naïve bubble, where we pretend that our actions don’t have consequences. I think, kind of like a crystal meth addict at the end of a binge, we’re being confronted with the consequences of our actions, and so I think we have to start simply behaving in a way that is keeping in line with ideally trying to prevent consequence.” ~ An conversation with Richard Hall
By: Toi Green (Lasha) and Amanda Brattebo
Concert Photos: Levan TK
Gallery Photos: Brian Erzen
“Industrial music can and should be difficult to listen to. So a great industrial band can’t just go write a standard love song. They have to address humanity from a different angle.” ~ An interview with Eric Gottesman
BY: Toi Green
Photos by: Andrew Gottesman and Paul Brousseau
“[My life] it’s kind of like a long crazy strange road,” Bill Leeb starts out by explaining. “I’m committed…and yeah, for the most part I think it’s pretty exciting and pretty fun, and [I feel] pretty fortunate just being able to do what I’m doing,” and what he’s doing is working and drawing in fans from around the world.. ~ A Conversation with Bill Leeb
By Toi Green (Lasha)
Photos by: Troy Sabotka
“It’s easy for me to hit what I aim for. But I do feel there is still something that I don’t have control over. It’s something inside me that really dictates what I’m going to do. I might think that the next album will be this or that, but when I sit down that’s when the decisions are made. So I have no idea...” ~ Jørgen Munkeby
by Nadia Carmon
Photos by Levan TK
“As a violinist, I need to protect the time which I dedicate to it as an intimate moment, far from the electro-rock sphere. To play the violin is a moment of relaxation, a suspended moment.”~ An interview with Engus & Eléonore
by: Toi Green (Lasha)
Acrylic paints and markers (At the moment)
What techniques do you employ to create?
It varies from piece to piece. Usually I have a small idea or feeling I want to convey and then start sketching and the piece starts to form itself. I will use reference photos for elements of pieces but mainly it comes out of imagination.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I’m not sure if anything inspired me. That would suggest I had a choice. I’ve been drawing since before I can remember.
What inspires you to create?
I find inspiration everywhere from a movie, to a news article, to a conversation with a friend.
Do you create to appeal to an audience or to please yourself?
I only create for myself. I tried a few times to do pieces purely for someone else aesthetically (some early commission work) and it ended up being terrible. I will only do a piece how I want to do it. If people like it then I’m flattered, but I am happy just the same looking at it myself and seeing that I was able to create what was just a thought in my head. I’m usually surprised by which pieces people prefer to other pieces, so obviously I am not on the same page as what other people like about my pieces.
What do you consider beautiful in this world?
I find humanity beautiful; I feel it has become rare these days to find genuine kindness, selflessness, love, and compassion between humans. I am often shocked by my reaction to complete kindness amongst humans. I am genuinely overwhelmed and happy when I see or experience it. Moments later I am saddened by the realization that kindness shouldn’t surprise me at all; It should be common place.
If there were one thing that you’d like people to take away from your art, what would it be?
Art is uncontrollable; Especially peoples reaction to it. Whatever people take away from my pieces is their own experience. Who am I to say if it were the right or wrong reaction? I suppose in a perfect world, I would like people to have an emotional connection to a piece instead of just thinking its pretty.
“When I make music, I open myself up inside and then pull something out which is a combination determined by what I am feeling and how the music makes me feel at that moment. After that, I am done and I don’t ever go back and listen.” ~ An Interview with kaRIN & Statik
by: Toi Green (Lasha)
“It was a little bit like setting off this bomb. We’d been talking about being in this band forever. And by the time we finally got together and started writing songs it was just, it was a really intense cathartic release and I think some of that translated to the record.” ~A Conversation with the Band
By Toi Green (Lasha)
Photos By: Levan TK
“Upon entering the world of September Mourning, you will find yourself in a paranormal dreamscape that is September’s existence, fully under her control. She welcomes you--but beware, your soul and destiny may never be the same.”~ An interview with Emily Lazar
by: Shanice Williams and Toi Green (Lasha)
“It’s always got to be the voice [my favorite instrument] because no matter what, the voice is direct communication from person to person…We live in the world in which we all communicate with similar voices and we hear birds chirping, and we recognized cellos and violins and what not.” ~ Andre Mistier
by: Toi Green