REBECCA MOY – VISUAL ARTIST & PAINTER
CLAIRE MCCARTHY – ESTATE SALE BUYER & OWNER OF SOCIALISTE
If Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold existed outside the realm of ‘The Wonder Years’, magically befriended the Marx Brothers and found themselves tossed into the 21st century, a twist of fate would have undeniably led them to discover Claire and her apartment. Set against a nostalgic backdrop of vintage Zenith radios, carved wooden animals from the 60s, record players, ‘Star Trek’ Barbie and Ken figurines, 1920s cabinets, a plethora of books from every era of literature, and even a vintage gumball machine, Claire’s space speaks a language of its own. Infusing a little of that charm from your grandparents house or a really great secondhand shop with her own unique sense of style, Claire celebrates the essence of culture and, most importantly, the beauty of American life. Delicately standing in a thrifted tank top and silk blend skirt from the Suq al-Medina in Aleppo, Syria, this vintage collecting, quirky, awe-inspiring ball of wit and energy expressed her love for “all weird things in moderation,” the importance of family, her ever-evolving love for fashion and vintage garments, and the endless infatuation she has with Groucho Marx. Tucked inside and what seemed like miles from the ‘doom and gloom’ of February in Chicago, Claire took my mind on a journey through some of America’s greatest generations.
MATT KASIN – FILMMAKER, STYLIST & OWNER OF GAUDY GOD
Inspired by American filmmaker John Waters, king of the utterly filthy yet fabulously controversial subculture known for its radical themes centered around Americana’s debaucherous behavior, it is no surprise that when Matt greeted Brian and I in a perfectly overzealous Versace ‘get up’, he very much reminded me of a beloved Waters character. Maybe it was his flamboyant suit jacket, decadently polished nails, or the afternoon round of Bloody Marys we guiltlessly indulged in, but as I stood there in complete awe of Matt (and his hair), among a copious sea of acid-washed denim and sliced and diced tank tops, I was oddly taken back years ago to the evening when I was first introduced to Waters’ Pink Flamingos. Delightfully jarring and with a mind just as complex and intriguing as a Waters’ film, Matt truly embodies what it means to be ‘The Gaudy God’. More than just a mixture of vintage pieces and original designs, Matt’s one of a kind label, Gaudy God, represents expressionism, undeniable confidence, fashion as a religion, and remains the absolute epitome of high meets low, in a vivaciously expensive bad taste manner. Always in a ‘blonde state of mind’ and never doubting the sleaze factor that he incorporates into each of his handpicked ensembles, Matt brings out the secret (and not so secret) gaudy side in all of us.
Nail artist, stylist, filmmaker, designer, and vintage label owner, Matt is a true muse. Fully equipped with a face almost too gorgeous to look at, this jacket-orientated, no pants-wearing, fur and denim-loving soul truly knows how to do the one thing we all find ourselves in search of – escaping the mundane cycle of life through his unique and ever-evolving sense of style. Intelligent and colorful, adding a shoulder pad here and a wedge there, nobody gives clothes more pizzazz, personality or life than Matt Kasin himself.