Youth Gone Wild
The MisShapes: style revolutionaries or hipster hair/skinny jeans/80’s revisionists simply in the right place at the right time? I’m not sure. But, I will say this- the striking, early-twentysomething NYC club promoter/ DJ trio’s new book documenting the wild looks that made their club so fabulous, is an extremely fun flip thru. It’s not ground-breaking and probably doesn’t deserve all the kudos it’s getting from the fashion world, but it does capture the youthful exuberance of the club scene. And for LA fashion heads like moi, it also amplifies the New York mystique.
And yet, a lot of the looks aren’t so different from the meticulously/ironically messy ensembles we see out here in Cali- Tuesdays at Cinespace, Club Moscow, Check Yo Ponytail, Bang!, etc. (I’m waiting for those books).
I met the trio last week -and though haters may not agree- but they do have the “It” factor, especially the girl, Leigh Lezark (a fellow LL!). She really is gorgeous. Greg Krelenstein seems to be the most laid back and we like how did away with obligatory MisShapes black hair and went white blonde. Geordon Nicol was the most vocal of the three. We chatted a bit, but it was too loud. I called him the next day, but we had reception issues. Finally we did an email Q&A (see below), and I found his answers to be quite sharp. Turns out the MisShapes success is no accident. But now that the trio are internationally almost-famous, where does that leave their club? They say it will go on, but a little birdy told me it may be ending soon. Time will tell...
Read more in this week’s Nightranger.
SC: How did you guys come up with idea to do a book?
G: It wasn't really a conscious decision initially. It wasn't until about one year into the party did we start to notice similarities in the photos to images from books like We're Desperate and Fruits. At that point we thought it would be cool to really push that aesthetic and get great fashion portraits on the walls. About a year ago, I was transferring my files to a hard drive and realized we had over 200, 000 images. It was then I thought we really needed to do something with them other then just have them on the site. It would have been such a waste to let them disappear into the ether of the World Wide Web.
SC: How long did it take you to go through all the photos?
I've been editing them since the beginning for the web, but like say Mark Hunter, we know those photos like the back of our hands, for it only took me a few months to go through everything.
SC: What is the difference between LA and NYC nightlife-wise? What are the similarities?
I think it really depends where you go out to. There are great parties in both cities. I think New York has a bit of an advantage because it's a city that lends itself to a younger audience. There are more colleges and universities in New York than LA, and New York has the advantage or convenience. It's so easy to get from party to party, and in LA there are only a few things really going on at night and most of those places cater to an older audience, bottle service crowd or celebs. However because LA has that disadvantage, you end up with incredible house parties, and DIY type gatherings. I think each has its charm, but New York for me has a more riotous fun energy to it.
SC: Who from your NYC crew is traveling on the tour with you?
Myself, Greg.K and Leigh (The Misshapes), Sophia Lamar, Jackson Pollis, Pink Enemy and about 20 of our friends from both new York and LA.
SC: Why no IDs/names of people pictured in the book?
Well for one, I think it would be impossible to correctly ID everyone; there are thousands of people in there! Secondly it's not so much about a who's who, it's about everyone as a collective, the style and stories you might imagine behind the anonymous faces. We put a kind of list of musicians and artists on the back as a type of "where's waldo".... like find your favorite musician...
SC: What do you want people to "get" out of the book? Is it just about the fashion or something more?
For us it's about a few things. A document that shows a wonderful period in fashion and nightlife in New York City for both us and thousands of others who were a part of Misshapes, a fun picture book for those who couldn't be there, simply to enjoy the faces and style of various individuals, and if nothing more, a great example of young people immigrating to the greatest city in the world to cultivate something bigger than themselves... something I think so many people living in smaller cities dream about.
SC: Misshapes club still going on right now?
It is. Every Saturday and one off events on a regular basis both in New York and around the world. Dates are on www.myspace.com/themisshapes
SC: Future projects for all 3 of you? (Heard about an H&M ad...)
Yep, in the H and M ads for the Cavalli collaboration, we have a satellite radio show this fall, the book tour finishing here in America then Canada and into Europe for the fall, and then Asia later in the year. Plus all our fashion week obligations in New York, London, Milan and Paris. We have an exhibition in Paris at Colette and another in Japan later in the year. We are also expanding our (web)site to be more interactive with more content outside of the Misshapes photos. We really want to help promote other new acts, bands and artists.
SC: What are each of your fave tunes to spin right now?
Phillipians, Similou, The Teenagers, M.I.A and the new Siouxsie record Mantaray.