Crown (Heights) Jewel

During Pauline’s last visit to New York, in the midst of the madness of New York Fashion Week, we took a little trip (read: escape) to the heart of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to visit a newly opened urban oasis. Acupuncturists and alternative health practitioners, Justine Lynch and her husband Tom McCauley, have created something truly special in Mountaintheir ‘hybrid space featuring healing food, acupuncture, naturopathy, Chinese herbs and classes for the community. The unique sanctuary offers the complete package whether you’re looking to stop in for nourishment or looking to expand your horizons through Mountain’s workshops – this holistic center is as whole as it gets.  As someone who’s always in search of ways to take better care of myself, I took a moment to get some expert advice from Justine herself. Here are some of her pearls of wellness wisdom. Enjoy, and next time you’re in Crown Heights, make it over to the Mountain.

 
1. With the relentless stresses and temptations of city living, New York can be a challenging place to maintain wellness. What’s one piece of advice for how to stay on track?

One piece of advice is tricky for me, that’s why we opened MOUNTAIN! We believe that health is found through a synergy of care. Healthy food, alternative medicine such as acupuncture and naturopathy , movement arts like Yoga and Qi Gong and herbal tonics and formulas all create a prism toward realizing our potential for well being.
If pressed for one thing I would say quiet. To find a moment of quiet each day where we can remember what is really true about life. This is the most important ( and it’s free!).

2. Mountain is many healthful things from a kitchen to a classroom, as well as a dispensary for herbal supplements. What is your response to naysayers who are supplement skeptics?

I rarely try to convince naysayers of much. It usually is energy not well spent but…Supplements in the form of herbal remedies have been around for as long as humans have walked the earth. Our Direct trade Chinese herbal remedies are ancient formulas and are connected to a long traditions of healing. Our naturopath uses food based supplements like probiotics and digestifs for her Eating for Meaning programs. These are not fad remedies or promises for a quick fix. They are taken via a licensed prescription and ask for compliance and follow ups. It takes a certain willingness to apply these formulas, a certain attention and consistency, but they are extremely powerful!

3. With chillier weather around the corner, what are some foods/supplements that can help keep nasty colds at bay?

That’s a great question! In the area of food, I would suggest our Tonifying Chicken Soup. A long simmer chicken stock from organic pastured chickens with local vegetables, local grains and Chinese herbs for vitality and strength! You might also try our Green Dream cold-pressed juice to increase cleansing and detoxifying.

The gut is 90% of your immune system, so a good quality probiotic or food based culture is essential. I always have essential oils on hand to open the orifices when congested. Our Mountain Essential Oil blend contains a balancing blend of oils that can both ground, ease and clear.

4. From kale to coconut oil, certain foods tend to get trendy and have their 15 minutes of fame in our quest for the fountain of youth (and health). Do you have any current obsessions that might be underrated?

Dare I say it? Fermented Cod Liver oil is a mini obsession. Pretty vile stuff, but this Autumn I will be doing shots of it each day, chased with a hit of local grape juice. It delivers natural forms of important fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D and K. The fermentation process enhances the nutrient content, which can vary widely from batch to batch. The oil also provides essential omega-3 fats in their most bioavailable forms. It is likely that oil is naturally lower in toxins, although it may contain traces of biogenic amines, which can be problematic for certain sensitive individuals.

On a less yucky note Tom has been baking brownies with whole cacao nuts. They are super crispy and everyone around MOUNTAIN has become addicted. The antioxidants and focusing power of these Raw Cacao Brownies is off the chart!

5. What would you say is the best way to start the day? And the best thing to do before bed?

Best way to start the day with twins or without? Haha…

In the mornings I start the day in quiet, a window, a tree outside of that window, and a cup of green tea. I always eat breakfast with protein in it. This is the way I have found to regulate my appetite and energy.

Best way to end the day? Avoid computers for at least an hour before bed. A gratitude list or prayer and something warm to drink. Everyone talks about not eating too late but, if you suffer from insomnia try warm local milk or almond milk with raw honey and cinnamon and something small like sourdough toast or oats. Often our nervous systems are so fried in New York that we have to treat ourselves like a baby and put the baby to bed…

6. What do you most hope to accomplish with Mountain?

Really MOUNTAIN is a place to approach health through integration. A synthesis of treatments, experience and education. MOUNTAIN is in service.

I hope that MOUNTAIN can help to redefine health away from fads and towards traditional healing techniques that have stood the test of time. I hope MOUNTAIN can become synonymous with a place for peace in our urban chaos. Lastly, I hope that the life of MOUNTAIN is a small force of good for individuals, community and for the environment.

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Lighting & Objects | Bec Brittain

I have been looking at home and lighting design inspiration for the shop. In my deep Pinterest search for  hanging lights I came across Bec Brittain. While her work is WAY to expensive for shop lighting, it was hard not to fall in love with it.  Her lighting and objects truly bridge the gap of form and function. These everyday objects of lighting and mirrors become the center focus, and an art piece in its own right. The Vise lamp also happens to look very much like a hanging spider…quite apropos with Halloween right around the corner. You can hang it right next to your jeweled Damian Hirst Skull to make it the most expensive Halloween decor ever!

-P-

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Images | Bec Brittain.com
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She’s Something | Marcia Patmos

Those who have followed fashion designer, Marcia Patmos, know she’s no stranger to sumptuous fabrics, stemming back to her days as co-founder of cashmere brand, Lutz & Patmos.  In 2011, when Marcia went out on her own to start her eponymous label M.PATMOS, she brought her knowledge of luxurious materials along with her. Today, her New York-based brand is thriving. A little Brooklyn and a little Upper East Side, the collection is much more than just cozy knitwear with perfect everyday ‘basics’ and standout statement styles. Her outerwear designs are out of this world, with the chicest of furs and tailored coats.

Her silhouettes are timeless and the collection is as classic as it gets while still managing to feel fresh and modern and incorporate unexpected details – so basically, it’s hard not to want every piece, every season. Shots of color and modern shapes aren’t the only tricks up Marcia’s stylish sleeves.  Reversible coats, tops and dresses make Marcia’s designs as versatile as they are refined. The Boerum Hill Brookynite also considers local manufacturing and conscious design, with portions of each collection being made in the USA and sustainable.

But don’t just take our word for it – Marcia has received a long list of notable accolades. In 2011, she was awarded the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, then recognized by the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge in 2012.  Fast Company named M.PATMOS one of the “top 50 most innovative fashion companies in the world,” and just this year, she won the prestigious 2014/2015 US Woolmark Prize.  Others who’ve recognized Marcia’s talent include Manolo Blahnik, who collaborated with Marcia on a multi-season capsule collection of footwear, and Club Monaco, who tapped Marcia as one of their muses, continuing to work with the designer on an ongoing basis.

We met up with Marcia at her friend Justine Lynch’s new healing sanctuary in Brooklyn – an ideal setting given Marcia’s penchant for yoga and organic living. We caught up over tea and gluten-free almond butter filled cookies and here are some things she had to say:

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WATS:You’ve traveled the world for your craft – throughout the US, to Europe and Asia. In which city have you found yourself most inspired?

M: I have recently been to Shanghai, mostly for business, but I tagged on time to explore as well.  The city has an incredible mixture of old and new.  There is such rapid development that it is scary and exciting at the same time.  The French Concession area is so charming and quaint and fun to explore.

Two of my favorite places to travel to are Buenos Aires and Tokyo.  Buenos Aires is Paris meets Mexico City, it is grand and European, but grittier and more rustic.  Tokyo is incredible and inspiring in so many ways; I love the feeling that there is always tradition balanced with experimentation in aesthetics – from food to architecture.

For shorter distances, I like going upstate, or to the nearby coast to take a nature break and to visit friends and family.

Is it challenging to incorporate eco-conscious materials in your collection while maintaining your signature luxe factor?

M: I think of it as less of a challenge and more of an element of design within the collection.  We have found such great suppliers to work with and have established nice ways of incorporating eco-conscious materials and sustainable practices into the line. I think that currently, artisanal and hand-made items define the luxury goods market in many ways, which makes the work we are doing more relevant than ever.  The key is keeping the pieces modern and chic.

Your color palette is something that stands out in each of your collections as you seamlessly mix neutrals and statement hues.  Where do your color inspirations typically come from?

M: Everywhere.  New York City is so full of color inspiration.  I especially like construction sites, finding the occasional pop of an orange construction fence or a bright blue tarp amid the overall neutral tones.  Textiles and folk art from other cultures often use colors in ways that are different and exciting to me.  Art always inspires as well, so visiting galleries and museums is an integral part of creating a color palette.

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What are some of your favorite things, as well as some of the challenges, behind designing your own label?

M: I always enjoy the problem solving aspects of design.  For example, if we are working on a piece that we want to be reversible, there are various elements that need to be worked on to make that piece both beautiful and functional.  Problem solving is pretty much the key to running a small business as well ; )

Despite your crazy schedule and long hours, you still take time to take care of yourself.  How do you manage to incorporate wellness into your daily routine?

M: I always have a green juice and healthy snacks with me.  I incorporate yoga, biking, kickboxing, walking, hiking into my week and make sure to try to add sleeping and relaxing on weekends into my schedule.  Once you prioritize these things, it becomes part of the routine.  Feeling good and energized is essential to keeping it all going.

What are some of your favorite local Brooklyn haunts?

M: I like The Annex in Fort Greene for coffee, Fort Grey and Bird for browsing/shopping.  BAM Rose Cinemas is my favorite place to see a movie.  If I want healthy food, I like Sun in Bloom in Park Slope or Mountain in Crown Heights.  The best Middle Eastern food is at Damascus and Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue.  Henry Public has a turkey leg sandwich that is amazing.  Rucola is one of my favorite restaurants and it’s right across the street from my home.  Ferdinando’s Focacceria in Red Hook is great, old school Brooklyn Sicilian restaurant – worth a visit for the arancia (rice balls).

If you were asked to recommend one signature M.PATMOS design to a customer, which must-have would it be?

M: It is hard to choose, but if we are looking at knitwear, then definitely our Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater or the Cashmere Birdseye Stripe Sweater.  You can’t go wrong with slouchy cashmere!  The Deluxe Grandpa Cardigan is all in the details: suede patches, placket and buttons in a super luxe knit loop terry.  We also using a lot of Italian doublefaced fabric, like for one of my favorite Fall pieces, the Reversible Tailored Coat.

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How do you get into the zone when designing a new collection?

M: It is important that I clear my head beforehand.  Seeing a movie, taking a yoga class or going on a bike ride are all really great for this.  Then I start by looking at things for inspiration: going to galleries, taking in some nature or just walking around the city.

You’ve worked on some pretty high profile collaborations.  What would be your dream collaboration? 

M: I have been really interested in doing a deluxe home goods or textiles collaboration.  I have also been dying to do men’s again.

What can we expect to see from M.PATMOS this winter? 

M:There is a new M.PATMOS for Club Monaco capsule that just hit the stores – super luxe and amazing – chunky cashmere, shearling, South American merino hand knits and more.  Our Resort 15 collection will be in stores in November.  We worked our signature designs in a more neutral and muted pastel palette.  There will be some great new handmade baby alpaca, patchwork fur and easy draped tailored pieces (made in the USA) on our website.  Then, for Spring 15, we have an exciting collaboration with Ryan McGinness!  So there is a lot coming up!

And Lastly Marcia, What is…

Something you Love:
husband

Something you Hate:
yolk

Something you Fear:
News

Something you Learned:
roundhouse

Something you Want:
vacation

Something Secret:
secret

Who is your “She’s Something”
yourShe'sSomething

Can You Draw Us Something?

Marcia Sketch MarciaSketch2

Photos | Meredith Eves Flynn
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Little Somethings | RAINBOW & SNOW

My latest obsession for my little love is the Copenhagen kids shoe brand Rainbow & SNOW. Like their name, they offer the perfect kiddy footwear for all seasons with quality and style that mom and kid both appreciate. Their debut AW14 collection is now out in stores and finally on my girl’s feet. See the video below made for Papier Mache that captures the poetic beauty that is Rainbow & Snow. Yours, C

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Visionaire x Gap

Tis the season for collabs! Yesterday Casey featured the Disney x Wood Wood collaboration; and today the final few tee’s and sweatshirts from the Visionaire x Gap project drop at Frieze London. These final few sweatshirts and tees will be joining the ever growing list of artist who have collaborated with the brands, and for the first time they are doing sweatshirts…and you all know I’m a sucker for a sweatshirt. I’m eying the more subtle one, the water scene by Massimo Vitali.

xo -P-

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Collab Alert: DISNEY x WOOD WOOD

Ahh The Collab…Just when things start to get a little dull one of the fashion brands around the world decides to join up with an opposing force to bring you something a little unexpected and add some buzz to a season. In this case, the popular Danish streetbrand Wood Wood teamed up with likes of Disney- well Mickey to be more precise- to offer us some cool pre-spring threads. Now of course D & W.W. has not reinvented the wheel here, but they have certainly brought us a little something different with their stretched, marbled-take on the iconic mouse in playfully sporty silhouettes using innovative embossing techniques and creative textile layering. The collab has been under tight wraps the last few months so we are excited to share the campaign since seeing the collection back in August. Im happy to say a few of the below pieces will be offered at Mr. Larkin come November. My only concern with this collection actually lies with my 4 year old- I know my (very strict) rule of *No Disney Characters on Our Clothes* will now be thrown out the window once she sees me sporting the dress, but I guess it will then be time to break the news that double standards unfortunately do exist. Yours, C

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