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Darlene and Lizzy Okpo regularly respond to emails at 5:30 a.m.
The Bronx-born and -raised sisters behind clothing line William Okpo (named for their father) are readying their first-ever solo presentation for New York Fashion Week, and sleep is not in the cards.
In today’s Inside Story video, we catch up with the women during preparations. They show us around their Brooklyn apartment/studio (where the living room floor subs as a pattern-making table), let us peek at mood boards for the upcoming collection, and tell us how it all came to be.
As if they aren’t already inspiring enough, Darlene and Lizzy are just 25 and 22, respectively.
Which might further explain why their sleep habits resemble those of babies.
For more information, go to williamokpo.com. To place a custom order (before the line hits Opening Ceremony in October), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our woman about town, SuChin Pak, likes things. Lots of things. And in this new series, she’s showcasing three of them each week. They could range from a YouTube video on foot massage (that’s right) to her favorite outfit at that moment. Check back every Tuesday for a new video.
To check out Pak’s picks, go to the-gypsy-wagon.com, coyuchi.com, and youtube.com.
Usually, when we film an In the Kitchen video, the purpose is to teach viewers to re-create a recipe.
But during our shoot with Eddie Huang, chef at Baohaus in Manhattan, five minutes into making his pork bao he said, “Honestly, people can’t do this. If you want to do that, try Momofuku.”
Which sums up what drew us to Huang in the first place: His memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, out now. Huang, whose parents are Taiwanese, grew up in Orlando, moved to NYC, and became a lawyer, a hustler, a stand-up, and a restaurateur.
The book’s appeal is Huang’s honest, funny description of his experience growing up Asian-American, and finding both solace and strife in his Chinese heritage. We promise it’s like nothing you’ve ever read.
Like his baos, he’s inimitable.
Fresh Off the Boat is available at amazon.com, $14.
There’s no place like home for the holidays. Unless it’s someone else’s massive Manhattan townhouse, replete with a huge Christmas tree and 4-year-old twins singing “Jingle Bells.” (Yeah, we’ll take that.)
It belongs to Candela designer Gabriela Perezutti. In today’s Inside Story, she gives us a tour of the space she shares with husband Austin Hearst and daughters Olivia and Mia.
The house is currently decorated for the season, but evidence of Perezutti’s upbringing on a cattle ranch in Uruguay remains. We especially love the black and white photos of her mom on horseback.
They make us happy in a million ways.
For more information on Candela, go to candelanyc.com.
Two truths and a lie about New York designer/boutique owner Michele Varian: 1. She’s one-third of triplets. 2. She was born on Christmas Day. 3. She’s married to Crash Test Dummies lead singer Brad Roberts.
Okay, they’re all true. Sue us. Then watch today’s Inside Story video, in which we tour Varian’s Soho loft.
The vintage-inspired space is filled with knickknacks from her worldly travels, instruments used by her husband to compose, and — the good news — items you can buy from her store.
Every nook is filled with something eye-catching, to the point it almost feels like you’re on a movie set (say, Hugo mixed with The Royal Tenenbaums).
But we all know fact is better than fiction.
To shop Varian’s store, go to michelevarian.com. For more Inside Stories, check out designer Heidi Merrick’s Silver Lake bungalow, actress Mindy Kaling’s closet, and designer Rebecca Minkoff’s light-filled loft.
Before we bring you today’s regularly scheduled content, we want to mention our thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. To make a financial donation to help with disaster relief, go to redcross.org.
The appeal of dressing up as Honey Boo Boo tomorrow night is obvious (but you’d have to eat Cheetos the entire time to be realistic).
To get the necessary props, you’d need to elbow through the nightmarish Halloween store crowds and spend a Benjamin on wigs and boas.
Instead we’ve assembled ten costumes you can make with stuff around the house — from Fifty Shades of Grey and Ermahgerd Gersberms to something we’re calling “Gingham Style.”
None of them requires you to chug go-go juice (sorry).
But you’ll still be the queeeeeeeen.
Check out our videos from Halloweens past to see how to dress up like Shark Week or a Kraft Single (yeah, that’s right).
There are celebs, and there are celebs.
In today’s video, we meet up with our favorite member of the latter: Uggie, a.k.a. star of The Artist, who takes time out of his busy A-lister schedule to show us how to do everything.
From spicing up your marriage to avoiding your landlord, he’s been there, done that. For further proof, check out his eponymous new autobiography (that’s right), Uggie.
And to answer your questions: Is he humble despite his millions? Yes. Is he shorter in person? Maybe just a little. Is he really a toddler dressed in a canine costume?
We didn’t get that kind of access.
Uggie is available at amazon.com, $10. For more gratuitous animal footage, check out our videos on turning your dog into a painter and giving a canine massage.
The last thing we taught ourselves was the “Gangnam Style” dance. Someone thought it was the MC Hammer (so you can imagine how good it was).
New Yorker Rachel Brown, on the other hand, taught herself to sing and play guitar during her junior year at Harvard. Now three years later, Wyclef regularly joins her onstage and she’s opened for John Legend.
For today’s video, we invited her to our office to perform the cheerful “Bumblebee,” accompanied by a six-person band (before you ask, that crazy thing is called a kora).
The hype is justified. Notice she’s even picked up the ukulele.
Can’t touch that.
Brown’s debut album, Building Castles, is available at itunes.com. To see more performances, check out our sit-downs with Christina Courtin, Karen Elson, Freelance Whales, and Eliza Doolittle.
You’ve put one too many birds on it (thanks, Portlandia). What’s next?
Flowers, as inspired by the micro florals on the fall 2012 runways at Suno, Paul & Joe, and Band of Outsiders, to name a few. In today’s Easy Does It video, we asked L.A.-based DIY expert Kate Albrecht (a.k.a. the beautiful Mr. Kate) to show us how.
All you’ll need is fabric paint (in four or five fall-ish colors), a fabric pen, tinfoil, and a surface in need of sprucing up. We did shirts in the video, but feel free to use totes, pillowcases, etc.
We’d never want you to feel pigeonholed.
For more DIY ideas or info on Mr. Kate, go to mrkate.com.
Los Angeles is full of secrets, from who’s gone under the knife (everyone) to what really happened that fateful night (which one? Exactly.).
Tinseltown designer Heidi Merrick has nothing to hide. For today’s Inside Story, she lets our cameras into her idyllic home, anchored deep in the Silver Lake hills.
What did we discover? Her cherublike daughter, Hiver, jumping on her canopy bed; an Ikea piece she transformed with bright blue paint; and enough light to make sunglasses an indoor necessity.
The place is as much outdoors as in, which is one reason people live in L.A. anyway.
That’s public knowledge.
Shop Merrick’s fall collection (and the pillows you see in her house) at heidimerrick.com. To ogle more homes, check out Lela Rose’s dog elevator, Rebecca Minkoff’s Zen den, and Kaelen Haworth’s DJ booth.
For most of our New York-based staffers, a dishwasher is a source of pride.
For designer Lela Rose, it’s an elevator in the shape of a Monopoly house for her dog, Stitch.
The gracious Texan-turned-Tribeca resident shows us around her unlike-anything-we’ve-seen apartment for today’s Inside Story video.
Her home, which she’s lived in for three years with her two children and husband, has tables that come out of the floor and ceiling (to accommodate 66-person dinners she hosts for Edible Schoolyard NYC), a room lined entirely in gray felt, and a closet that, well, you have to see to believe.
Rose even has a cavernous space in her basement dedicated to tasting tequila (we hear Mario Batali’s gotten comfortable there a time or two). Alas, it was too dark for us to shoot.
Which is, perhaps, for the best. Because someone might’ve ended up in the dog elevator.
Channel Rose’s elegance at lelarose.com. To learn more about Edible Schoolyard NYC, go to esynyc.org. For more home porn, check out designer Kaelen Haworth’s downtown dream loft and designer Hillary Taymour’s DIY decor-flanked pad.
We love a good rags-to-riches story, especially when it’s true, well deserved, and recounted by the convivial and talented Marcus Samuelsson.
His autobiography, Yes, Chef (out yesterday), starts with the journey to live with adoptive parents in Sweden after losing his birth mother to tuberculosis in Ethiopia and ends with the opening of Red Rooster Harlem, the restaurant where Obama digs the cornbread.
In honor of the moving tale, we asked Samuelsson to make his favorite childhood dish: the tastiest gravlax (cured salmon) sandwich this side of Scandinavia, just like his adoptive grandma used to make.
It’s a lunchtime treat.
And ensures your afternoon has a happily ever after.
Yes, Chef is available at amazon.com, $16.
Contrary to popular belief, the greatest part of working at DailyCandy isn’t brainstorming Michael Fassbender puns, weird cubicle decor, or morning Scotch tastings.
It’s getting the word out about fledgling businesses — and watching them take off. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our third annual Start Small, Go Big Contest.
Through August 3, enter your small biz idea for the chance to win a trip to New York City, website and email write-ups, callouts on our social networks, and a spot at the DailyCandy Academy, where you’ll get advice from big shots like Spanx founder Sara Blakely and designer Jonathan Adler.
We’ll choose a winner in the categories of food and drink, fashion, health and beauty, home, and digital and tech. We can’t wait to spend hours going through the entries.
You might even call it a (Fass)bender.
Enter now at dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig.
If the saying “the camera adds ten pounds” is true, then we have a new one: A webcam adds fifteen, plus about 50 shades of creepiness.
To find out how to look more like ourselves (and less like an online predator) over Google video chat and Skype, we ask L.A.-based photographer/director Matthew Rolston for tips. In today’s video, he tells us how to sit, position the camera, and light our face for maximum attractiveness.
We’re in good hands with Rolston, who was discovered by Andy Warhol in the early ’80s. He’s photographed everyone you can think of, from Angelina for the cover of Rolling Stone to Alexander Skarsgård in the buff, covered in fake blood.
That’s the kind of creepiness we can get down with.
For more information on Rolston, go to matthewrolston.com. Then watch our video on how to pose for a still photograph.
If we had a penny for every time we purchased makeup and used it just twice, we’d be rich enough to hoard more junk.
To help simplify our needs, we enlist eco-conscious makeup artist Kristen Arnett. In today’s Inside Story video, she shows us her personal beauty closet, including the five daily essentials you need in your cosmetics bag (and nothing else). Not only are they effective, they’re free of harsh (to you and the earth) chemicals.
Arnett knows her stuff: She’s been powdering famous faces — from Jude Law to basically every model you can think of — for years, using the most natural items on the market.
Instead of every item on the market.
For more information on Arnett, go to greenbeautyteam.com. Want to keep watching? Check out designer Chrissie Miller’s collection of rock ’n’ roll tees, nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s fridge contents, and designer Kaelen Haworth’s New York apartment.
At 16, our prized possessions included a crush’s Drakkar-soaked scarf, “going out” pants from Express, and Antonio Sabato Jr.’s autograph.
Chrissie Miller, designer of downtown-based clothing line Sophomore, however, had good taste from the start. In today’s Inside Story, we peek through her rock ’n’ roll-inspired wardrobe, from a jean jacket she bought in high school (and still wears) to a vintage tee collection she’s been accruing since she attended a Madonna/Beastie Boys concert at age 8.
Miller also shows us a few of her favorite mementos — Woody Allen’s autograph, for one — and the first records she ever owned. You’ll feel cooler just by watching.
Enough to cancel out years of silk camisole tops.
For more information on Sophomore, go to sophomorenyc.com. Want more Inside Stories? Check out a jewelry maven’s personal stash, fashion designer’s NYC apartment, and nutritionist’s refrigerator contents.
After a quick poll of family traditions, we found that every Christmas one editor’s mom tops Jell-O with birdseed to honor her grandma, who did it by accident years ago.
On the less weird (but just as charming?) side: Kentshire’s Carrie Imberman, whose grandfather started the NYC-based antique jewelry and furniture powerhouse in 1940.
In today’s Inside Story, in which we peek inside our favorite people’s homes, Imberman shows us some of her collection of artwork and gems — from a secret society’s symbol-filled drawing to faux diamond earrings from the 1840s.
If you’ve ever perused Kentshire, you know it’s something special; if you haven’t, it’s like an online museum, and you should check it out.
It’s not just for the birds.
For more information, go to kentshire.com. Want to keep snooping? Check out designer Kaelen Haworth’s NYC apartment, nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s fridge, and actress/writer Mindy Kaling’s closet.
Plans this Friday? If not, make a date for romance.
What: The Lucky One, the new movie based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook; Dear John) about a U.S. Marine (Zac Efron) in pursuit of the unknown woman (Taylor Schilling) from a photo he finds while abroad. When he returns home and shows up at her door, a steamy relationship develops against the odds.
Why: Destined love that endures well past the credits.
When: In theaters Friday.
Where: Find locations and showtimes online at theluckyone.warnerbros.com.
Learn more about The Lucky One online at theluckyone.warnerbros.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a fake band who lip-synched about Twitter trends while playing video game controllers and cowbells.
To make up for our April Fools’ shenanigans, we bring you a truly special (and real) On the Couch performance by Amadou & Mariam, a blind husband-and-wife duo from Mali.
In the back of our office, they play “Cherie” from their new album, Folila, out yesterday. We are moved by their sound in person, and the album, featuring collaborations with Santigold, TV on the Radio, and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is just as incredible.
This is the first time the French-speaking pair, who now resides half the time in Paris and the rest in Mali, have performed the song in the United States.
And unlike “I’m Trending,” by @#, we hope it’s not the last.
Folila is available online at amazon.com, $12. Want to keep listening? Check out our videos with Freelance Whales, Lily & the Parlour Tricks, Karen Elson, and Christina Courtin.