Tête à tête with Hala Matar - Kenzine, the Kenzo official blog

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Our fifth installment of the Cityguide series is Arts. Last but not least, let’s take in a couple of film programs on offer at the LACMA.

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Everything need a little lift now and again, with the huge monetary injection provided by super patron of the arts Eli Broad, LACMA has been undergoing a ten-year face-lift, also known as the Transformation. Designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the first phase of the project - the BP Grand Entrance open-air pavillon filled with lampposts and visible from Wilshire Boulevard, as well as the three-story, 60,000-square-foot Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) - opened in early 2008. The BCAM’s inaugural installation featured works by Richard Serra, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons (one of Broad’s favorites), and many more. 
Be sure to take some time and see the LACMA’s impressive collections of Asian and Islamic art, as they are amongst the most significant in the world. If you’re in the mood for different art forms, come enjoy the live jazz during summer months or take in a movie or two at the Bing Theater.

Note: With more than 100.000 art objects dating from the ancient times to the present day and located on twenty acres in a complex comprised of seven buildings, the LACMA is the largest museum in the western United-States.


From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).

See our map on Pinterest!


5905 Wiltshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Curson avenues. 323-857-6000 www.lacma.org


For Spring/Summer 2014, Carol and Humberto mixed punk and minimalism to create the graphic prints and cuts of the Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

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Growing up in Los Angeles during the golden age of Californian punk, the duo was inspired by this aesthetic encompassing music, fashion and visual arts. The famous black and white logo drawn in ink of a cult band from the Orange County scene is called to mind and revisited in the collection in both tops and straight-leg shorts. This scene also conjures up the thought of waves drawn with a black felt tip pen, which were ultimately reproduced on tops and accessories.

This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our third category is food.

Let's follow up with a second destination: Coleman Family Farms!

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When you come across this stall at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market it’s as if you’ve stumbled upon a cornucopia of biodynamic greenery. With unique produce like broccoli spigarello, arugula selvatica, New Zealand spinach, amaranth, chocolate mint, cherimoya, Portuguese kale, Syrian oregano, and red dandelion (that’s just the tip of the iceberg), it’s no surprise that Coleman Family Farms, now overseen by Romeo Coleman, is the go-to for top chefs and foodies alike. And if you’re ever stuck on what to make for dinner, patriarch and not-so-retired Bill Coleman is great at providing simple and delicious recipe recommendations. In fact, all the Colemans are! Those in need of a different type of greenery can find Bill’s wife Delia next to the lettuces, creating beautiful floral arrangements to take home.


Coleman Family Farms is at the Santa Monica market on Wednesdays : Arizona Avenue and 2nd Street 8:30am - 1:30pm


From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).


See our map on Pinterest!



This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our third category is food. 

Our first stop is Cool Haus for an ice-cream sandwich!




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If you have a penchant for sweets, Cool Haus is the truck to find. Savvy businesswomen with licenses to drive, owners Natasha and Freya have transformed the simple ice-cream sandwich into a masterpiece. Sustainable, handmade, and organic whenever possible, their flavors are fun and the combinations delightful. Try candied bacon ice cream on chocolate chip cookies, or go for the classic Mies Vanilla Rohe (vanilla and chocolate chip cookies) or a Richard Meier (meyer lemon peel ice cream on ginger cookies); you can even eat the wrapper. With treats so big you’d consider missing dinner and going straight to dessert, Cool Haus is giving the Good Humor man a serious run for his money.


Today you can find Cool Haus at this address from 12PM until 10PM: Pasadena Storefront 59 E. Colorado Blvd.


Check Cool Haus locations day by day here.


From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).

See our map on Pinterest!

Carrie has been the guitarist and singer in band Sleater-Kinney since the early 90s. She has also been co-starring with Fred Armisen in Portlandia for 4 seasons. We interviewed her last week on West Coast culture and music scene and she gave us a playlist for an hour drive in L.A.

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Angel Olsen - Hi Five

Kendrick Lamar - Backseat Freestyle
El-P and Killer Mike - Sea Legs
Foxygen - No Destruction
St. Vincent - Bring Me Your Loves
Ike and Tina Turner - It Ain't Right (Lovin' to be Lovin')
David Bowie - Fashion
King Krule - Border Line
John Maus - Hey Moon
Fire Engines - Get Up And Use Me
Dicks - Off Duty Sailor
Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles
Ministry - The Missing
Misfits - She
Blood Orange - You're Not Good Enough
Ornette Coleman - Theme From A Symphony



California is the inspiration of our Spring/Summer collections and Carol and Humberto’s home state. We interviewed some inspiring friends to define the essence of the golden state, and Carrie Brownstein was definitely one of them!  Carrie became known as a guitarist and vocalist in band Sleater-Kinney in the early 90s and she is currently co-starring with Fred Armisen in Portlandia. Today, she shares her thoughts on the West Coast culture and music scene. 

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KENZINE: You were born in Seattle, according to you, what were the cultural specificities that made the West Coast the birthplace of American counter cultures?

Carrie Brownstein: I think the West Coast has always embodied an outlier status. Even from a migratory standpoint, the west is about pioneering, reaching the edge. But what's next, what do you do when you reach the ocean? You have to find new edges, break new boundaries. In the rear view mirror is the rest of America; on the West Coast you have the luxury of looking back, borrowing or being inspired from what is behind you, but also fucking up or messing with what didn't. It's about innovation. There is also a landscape to internalize out West: rugged, vast, the desert and the forest, vibrant colors and oppressive grays. If you combine all of that external variety into a person, someone sensitive like an artist or a scientist, what you get are freaks and freakiness, and I mean that in the best way possible.

K: How would you describe the differences between Northern and Southern California?

C.B.: Southern California is defined by exposure and Northern California by concealment. So, in SC you get people either basking in or aiming for exposure, you get art, music and novels that deal with the effects of over-exposure, what it feels like to live in a place that is a signifier as much as it is a geographical locale. But also, artistically and communally, there is the urge to create shelter, to carve out pockets of stillness and quiet. When I think of that I think of surfing or Summer goths, or punk rock, or underground restaurant culture, or skateboarders, people putting these figurative umbrellas up over the spotlight, shadows to live in and be inspired by. And up in NC, the mainstream grew out from the fringe. Those who were hiding out were found, were accepted: queer culture, pot-growers, radical thinkers, tech nerds. So, up north the trajectory is an outward journey, while in the southern part of the state it's a journey inward. What a weird, cool tension. 

K: Another important theme for KENZO this season is overfishing and that leads us to the important causes to fight for... In the 90s, you plaid a big part in the riot grrrl movement which started in Olympia, can you tell our readers (especially the youngest) what it was about and which values you were fighting for, as women but also as musicians?

C.B.: I think women wanted to carve out a space for ourselves in the music scene. At the time, the punk and indie scenes were very male-dominated, there weren't as many women playing in bands, there was a very distinct and gendered line in music. What defined music and the notion of a "rock star" was maleness. To be a musician who happened to be female was to not just be outside the scene, but to be outside of music itself, as if music wasn't intrinsic to being female, as if it wasn't innately owned. So, a lot of women felt like they had to claim music, and to do so, they had to rewrite the rules. Bands like Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile sang about the experiences of femaleness, which were of course the only experiences they knew. And they did it in a way that was bold and fearless, they really galvanized the narrative, inserted their own stories and perspectives into the lineage of songwriting. They cleared a space so that subsequent bands could sing about whatever they wanted, could dismantle the notion of music or sounds as belonging to a single gender. My band, Sleater-Kinney, came along at the tail end of this. And I am so grateful that the space had already been fought for. We really just wanted to be considered a band, free to define ourselves however we wanted.

K: How did you make the music scene or even the world change?

C.B.: Hard to tell. All I know is that I look around and see so much amazing art--from fashion to film to music--that seems to draw from some of those 90s and 2000s musical moments, that sort of unequivocal line-in-the-sand feel, everything at stake. Except what's wonderful now is the aim for accessibility. So much about having to fight for something is that you greet the world with a punch, with a fist. You're on the defense, having to define who you are by everything you're not. Whereas now there is a sense that the strength is representational, there is an inviting quality to art right now, a sense of participation and generosity.

K: In 2009, you worked on the soundtrack of the documentary film ‘!Women Art Revolution’ by Lynn Hershman Leeson, do you still consider yourself as a riot grrrl or a feminist?

C.B.: I consider myself a feminist. And I just read these lines in the new Lorrie Moore short story collection that really sum up how I feel about feminism: "As a feminist you mustn't blame the other woman," a neighbor told her. "As a feminist I request that you no longer speak to me," Kit replied. Basically, I'm not interested in using feminism as a way of making other women feel bad. And I like the idea that men can be feminists. They can. It's merely one lens of many through which to view the world and phenomena.


K: The fourth season of Portlandia has an impressive list of guests, could you reveal us something fun that happened to any of them when you were shooting?

C.B.: Steve Buscemi and I were filming the end of a very epic sketch called 'Celery'. We play husband and wife who are on a yacht, sailing off into the sunset (well, more like sailing off on a river under the grey Portland skies). We went about 100 yards and hit a sandbar and we both nearly went overboard. I wouldn't exactly say we make the show very safe for our guest stars, but we do make it fun. Steve had a great time, it's always an honor to work with him, he' so brilliant. We really do feel lucky that so many musicians and actors want to come up to Portland and work with us.


Carrie wears our K jacket and a blouse from the resort collection.

This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our second category is 'markets'. 

Redecorate your house in the fashion of Dangerous Liaisons at the SANTA MONICA AIRPORT OUTDOOR ANTIQUE AND COLLECTIBLE MARKET!

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One of the best flea markets in the L.A. area, the Santa Monica market is where L.A.’s best-versed antique lovers come to buy anything from high-end collectibles to eccentric odds and ends. You’ll find vendors here on the first and last Sunday of every month, come rain or shine, selling everything from Victorian to mid-century era antiques, clothing and jewelry.



From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).

See our map on Pinterest.

This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our second category is 'markets'. 

Alleviate the guilt of your retail therapy at MELROSE TRADING POST aslo known as the FAIRFAX HIGH SCHOOL FLEA MARKET. 

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Every Sunday nearly 200 ecelectic vendors come to sell their wares in the parking lot of Fairfax High School. Overseen by the Greeway Art Alliance and run by the Greenway Friends of Fairfax High School, wich is right next door to the high school, it is the most successful ongoing fundraising event in the history of the LAUSD. While you’re here, hang out in the food court, listen to the jazz band, or stumble upon something amazing that will be undoubtedly turn your friends pea green with envy. An added bonus is the off chance that you’ll run into a celebrity or two – only the most die-hard of L.A.’s rich and famous are savvy enough for this flea.

7850 MELROSE AVENUE. www.melrosetradingpost.org


From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).

See our map on Pinterest.

Hala Matar is a young director from California. We shared her short film 'Automobile Waltz' a couple of weeks ago. Here's her playlist for an hour drive in L.A.


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KENZINE: Your playlist for an hour drive in L.A?


1. Bernard Herrmann – North By Northwest Prelude
2. Philharmonia Orchestra/Efrem Kurtz – Masquerade: Waltz
3. Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft

4. Charles Mingus – Track A - Solo Dancer (Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!)

5. Chet Baker Quartet – I Fall in Love Too Easily
6. Leif Segerstam – (K)ein Sommernachtstraum
7. Budapest Festival Orchestra – Rite of Spring, Part II (The Sacrifice): Introduction
8. Beach Boys - Heros and Villians
9. The Yardbirds - For Your Love
10. Nino Rota – Ballerina Night
11. Air - Don’t Be Light



California is the inspiration of our Spring/Summer collections. It's also Carol and Humberto’s home state. It was the perfect excuse for us to try and define the essence of the golden state with the help of some inspiring locals and one of them - of course - was Hala Matar.  Hala is the director of the short movie “Automobile Waltz”, that we released this month.  Today she explains the relationship between music and landscapes in California and talks about a cliché: listening to the radio while driving in Los Angeles.


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KENZINE: Like the "Automobile Waltz", your first film "Streetcar" already took place in a vintage car. What is so special about cars for you as a film maker?
Hala Matar: Infinite tracking shots, talking reflections and clouds of smoke. Cars can also transverse time and place because playing music in a car often bring back memories so you are always in between the past and present when you are in a car.


K: When you think about L.A., what kind of music comes first to your mind?
H. M.: Baroque Pop and Progressive Rock.


K: Could you explain the particular relationship between L.A. and music through the fact that people listen to the radio in their cars all the time?
H.M.: I wish it was a shared experience and we were all listening to one station but unfortunately it is very individualistic - based on your taste and mood on a particular day. So your soundtrack is always in flux.  Also, we are listening to the radio less and relying more on our digital libraries. So you end up spending hours absorbed in your thoughts to a soundtrack you created which I find terribly lonely.  L.A. is terribly lonely. The music I associate L.A. with is based on my early impressions and romantic notions of the city rather than what I am actually currently listening to.


K: How much time do you spend in your car each day?
H.M.: 3 to 5 hours.


K: Listening to the radio in a car brings us back to an image inherited from movies about the 50s where couples go to Mulholland Drive and drive-ins and make out. Do you think that cars still carry this unconscious feeling in L.A.?
H.M.: I was first going to say no under the assumption that Geico didn’t exist in the 50s but it actually did.


K: Do you think it also stands for a certain image of freedom in the American culture?
H.M.: Driving a car definitely, because you can take off and drive across the country whenever you feel like it. However the radio is the antithesis of freedom because someone is telling you what to listen to and what to buy.


K: Does it refer to the same thing in cinematographic terms?
H.M.: Route 66 in bright sunlight or the ending of fear and loathing.


K: In France, radios are not satellite so you have a very poor choice - 10 radio stations maximum, depending on where you drive. I know the diversity of radio stations is amazing in L.A., which one is your favorite and why?
H.M.: I have not graduated to a high tech hybrid or Tesla, those have millions of stations. And since I don’t listen to pop music, there are only 2 stations I can bare, oldies on K-EARTH 101 or Classical KUCS. I choose classical, because that’s what I grew up listening to in my mother’s car. But I usually tune into my Spotify - the greatest invention of all time.


K: Musicians from all over the world often talk about a "perfect album for driving in L.A.". What does it take to satisfy those criteria?
H.M.: Lots of 60s, lots of sunshine, a splash of old Hollywood coupled with suspense and murder. And if you are really high tech, you should program it to go along with your route of travel and time of day.


K: Do you think it brings something additional to music to be listened to on radios?
H.M.: Listening to music in the car is my favorite listening experience because it is the best state for daydreaming. What else is there to do but pay attention to the road? However, that poses a risk when you are driving because you have to focus and can never really be on auto-pilot. That is why I would much rather sit in the backseat and have the ultimate self-indulgence experience than be the driver.


K: Does music need to be very loud in your car? Do you sing while listening to the music?
H.M.: That’s a good one! I am a very nervous driver; in fact I only started listening to music quite recently. I worry that it would distract me from the road, so I keep it on low volume. Put me in a convertible in 5 years and I’ll start singing.


K: Can you think about your top three favorite moments where people sing in their cars in movies?
H.M.: The car scenes in "Pierrot le Fou" are pretty funny. Kirk Douglas’s suicide attempt in "The Arrangement" is pretty epic. He does not even need to sing. I can’t think of any others. "8 ½"?


K: Can you tell us a personal story where you're singing in your car when stuck in traffic and something fun happens?
H.M.: I’ve only been driving for a year so I don’t have many entertaining stories, but I can tell you of a terrifying one: I was driving around listening to Devendra Banhart and was immersed deeply into one of his song. I didn’t notice that I was headed towards the entrance of a freeway. Freeways are my ultimate fear. I have never driven on one and never plan to. So I stopped my car in the middle of the freeway entrance turned on the light hazard. I had to reverse and drive in the opposite direction of the traffic to get to the “safe road”. All the cars stopped and waited for me to pass. It was a miracle. Jacque Tati would have been impressed!


K: Is there a kind of music that's particularly appropriate for driving in L.A.?
H.M.: I would have insisted on the 60s but I drove around to Frank Sinatra yesterday and that was the best driving experience I had so far.


K: Do you listen to different kinds of music when driving in Echo Park, on Sunset or on the Pacific Coast Highway? Do you think that the landscape influences your choice?
H.M.: My music choice depends more on my mood or the song/album I am addicted to and much less on the landscape surrounding me. I usually listen to a song or an album on repeat for 3 days until I have had enough of the song then move on to a new obsession. I don’t explore the different landscapes as much as I’d like to due to my fear from driving/freeways. For example I don’t have the courage to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. However the time of day definitely has an influence. I tend to start off my day with upbeat music and end it with suspenseful soundtracks or Russian composers.