August 21 2014

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3 posts tagged "Mike Mills"

Objects Without Meaning Aims to Give Resort, Well, Meaning


omw-dressObjects Without Meaning designer Alexandra Michelle has quietly stepped up to the plate. The Australian, who moved to Los Angeles in 2005, launched OWM in 2011 while still manning her high-end childrenswear brand, ESP No. 1. (She says it’s “winding down” now, but the website is worth taking a look at if you get a kick out of super-hip kids clothes.) Michelle, who was a womenswear designer for mass retailers in a previous life, started OWM as a denim line. The Boy Zip—a cropped, stretch-free jean with a strategically placed back yoke—has become a favorite with market editors and bloggers alike. “It was hard the first season, persuading women to wear jeans without stretch,” Michelle said. “But I’ve won them over. It’s awesome to see real girls talking about them on Instagram.”

Since then, Michelle has expanded into dresses and separates, enlisting artist-director Mike Mills, whom she had collaborated with on a past film project, to design a print for her Fall 2014 collection. Mills’ wife, Miranda July, modeled for the lookbook. (And to add even more starlight to the whole production: Kim Gordon, arguably the most validating celebrity endorsement an indie designer can get, is a fan.)

While Resort repeats some of the silhouettes that have performed well for OWM early on—including a boxy jumpsuit in a custom zigzaggy print (pictured, below) and a waisted slipdress that flatters instead of conceals curves—there are new elements, too. A tiered dress in a blown-up orchid print (pictured), for instance, is a bit fancier than what Michelle has done previously. “I’ve added more feminine shapes, but they’re still effortless,” she said. The designer also enlisted YZ PLZ, a brand-new jewelry line out of L.A., to create chunky ceramic necklaces. The end result makes for a solid entrance into the world of Resort, helping to further establish the Objects Without Meaning ethos. “I wanted it to be a bit more playful, but keep things minimal and simple,” Michelle said. “I always think less is more, right?”


Photo: Courtesy of Objects Without Meaning

Band Of Beginners


“There’s death, it’s not all gumdrops and rainbows, but I walked out of the movie theater in this perfectly melancholy state,” Band of Outsiders creative director Scott Sternberg says of Beginners, the new film by his friend Mike Mills, starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent. Sternberg hosted a screening of the new flick in Los Angeles last night, for pals like Miranda July and Liz Goldwyn, the first of what he hopes will be many Band movie nights to come. Next week in New York, Opening Ceremony will oblige with an East Coast screening, too.

Beginners is based in part on Mills’ life; McGregor, Mills says, plays a character who “shares some things with me: We both do graphic design, we both often figure out what we’re thinking by drawing, we both have dogs, and we both did record covers for a very real band named The Sads.” (They also both also wear a lot of Band of Outsiders. Sternberg provided the character’s wardrobe for the film.) In Beginners, McGregor’s character, Oliver, finds love just as his world is rocked by his father’s announcement that he is gay and has terminal cancer. “It’s really a life-affirming movie—it’s about how you start over and how do you forget your bad habits,” Sternberg tells

Mills, for his part, is no beginner. He’s directed music videos for Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth, lensed the previous feature film Thumbsucker with Tilda Swinton and Keanu Reeves, created the brand identity for Kim Gordon’s much-loved fashion line X-Girl, and developed textile designs for Marc Jacobs. In addition to the movie, he’s also releasing a book, Drawings From the Film Beginners, of his illustrations (which appear as the work of “Oliver” in the film), launching next week at Opening Ceremony.

Photos: Courtesy of Band of Outsiders

A Portrait Of Portrait Artist Mike Mills


You know Mike Mills. If not the man himself, then surely you know his work: Perhaps it was the lips-and-cherries print he made for Marc Jacobs that caught your eye, or his What They Bought photo exhibit at Colette. Maybe you own a copy of the Air LP Moon Safari, whose sleeve Mills designed, or maybe there’s an X-Girl T-shirt with a Mills illustration lurking in the back of your closet. If you saw Thumbsucker, starring Tilda Swinton, you know Mike Mills—he directed the film. If you’ve enjoyed music videos made by Sofia Coppola, or Patrick Daughters, or Shynola, you know Mike Mills, because he co-founded the Directors Bureau, the company that produces their work. And if you happened to be driving around Hollywood in 2007 and saw a wild animal staring at you, uncannily, from on high, then you know Mike Mills, because he’s the guy who mounted the billboard. All of which is to say, even the most casual culture consumer will have had the chance to encounter a Mike Mills creation at some point in the last 15-odd years. His work is only slightly less prevalent than his influence. Now, much of his output has been collected in the book Mike Mills: Graphics Films (D.A.P.). Co-edited by Mills and Aaron Rose (Beautiful Losers) and published this February, the volume does yeoman’s work condensing Mills’ adventures through many kinds of media into a story of one journey through certain obsessive themes—love of music, alienation, adolescence, flags. All of this and more will be up for discussion tonight at the Hammer Museum in L.A., where Mills is to be interviewed by Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy as part of Los Angeles Art Weekend. In the meantime, Mills gives a sneak peek into his headspace.

The fact that you’re going to be interviewed by the Rodarte girls makes intuitive sense to me. On the other hand, it really makes no sense at all. How did you wind up on this bill together?
I kind of like that you think it’s a little off. I don’t actually know Kate or Laura that well—I mean, I mostly know them socially, and I’ve always had great conversations with them, so I guess I figured it would be more interesting to have them conduct the interview than any of the usual suspects. They’re super-smart, they both studied art…I don’t know, there’s not much more to it than that. Unless it’s some kind of midlife crisis thing. That’s always possible.

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