You were just baking in the South of France for the last couple of
months. How was that different from your pastry makin' experience in the states?
The beauty of my experience was obviously working with French pastry chefs, but I learned an astonishing amount because they seem to have a no nonsense attitude when it comes to teaching someone the ropes: they are not passive aggressive like Americans can be. There is this inspiring level of excellence in France when it comes to food and if you're doing something incorrectly, they're matter of fact about it, tell you, or scream at you while demonstrating the correct method of execution. I appreciated the almost military-esque intensity of the chefs in France, and all while making dessert. AMAZING!
Did you manage to get involved in nightlife when you were there? Or
was it an intentional hiatus?
This was an international hiatus for me. Baking in France was a catalyst for leaving NY for a while, re-examining my role in music and focusing solely on pastry. After France, I went to Morocco and Egypt for three weeks. Needless to say, I miss being on the road and living a simple existence but I'm excited of what New York will bring me, both in music and pastry.
Restaurant business plan in thirty seconds or less.
Can't give a way too much here but...Rock and Roll bakery.
Fashionable Bystander: Justine D.
The sweets lovin,' NY nightlife guru shows us the sequins and furs that keep her looking the part.
How is the current event culture different from when you started
producing the Motherfucker party over ten years ago? Do you think there is
a current equivalent?
Unfortunately, there is no equivalent to Motherfucker. We started in 1999 and the landscape of NY nightlife was very different then. The city was still grimy, dangerous and unpredictable. I like to think Motherfucker was born out of that New York City. It was basically a safe haven for like minded freaks, me being one of them. Currently, parties tend to be formulaic and a bit contrived. Celebrities, bottles, etc. At some parties the music is secondary which I never understood or agreed with...there are a few promoters out there pushing the social envelope though.
I don't think New York will ever be the same due to the influx of money, but perhaps the club scene will find it's way back to it's once decadent self. There are always new people doing innovative things in this great city, it's only a matter of time.
Do you attribute your style to your experience in the scene?
I have remnants of my "clubbing" years dispersed throughout my wardrobe, mostly in my old band tees. My style is comprised of several different elements stemming from pop culture, musical references and certain films. What's interesting though, in nightlife you can often meet true artists/personalities...people who live this alternative, non mainstream lifestyle on a daily basis. It's usually expressed in their clothing, makeup, hairstyle and even dance moves. It's a way of life for them but inspiration to some fashion designers. I think the ability to check your inhibitions at the door, so to speak compels people to dress up and play a role of some sort. Fashion and nightlife are creative forms of escapism.
On that note: Spring clothing item you can't wait to surface?
My United Bamboo navy and white gingham blazer with short shorts to match.
Your vinyl collection is famously extensive. How did you start the collection?
Collecting started with my parents. My mom and dad were music collectors of sorts, although not as obsessive as I am. As a child I listened to my mother's pristine Motown and 60's rock 45's. My dad's 45's were a wreck but I still listened to them, I liked the audio "crunch" of records at a young age. Becoming an avid music fan by way of cassettes and Cd's started at 13 and vinyl at 19.
Did you ever buy records for their cover?
When crate digging through thousands of records with my old record buddy Mike Goodstein, at times we bought records based on the artwork and year. It's a hit or miss way of finding records but very humorous. You never know what you're going to get!
You have an equivalently large collection of dolls. Any particular reason for the obsession?
Well, I have an obsessive personality. I don't know where this comes from, probably my mother. It's a drug, collecting that is. I must have all of it and more than other people. I like to research things, so collecting to me is a very specific form of studying what I've become addicted to at the moment. From Princess Diana & Prince Charles commemorative wedding plates to my records and for the past 5 years, my Japanese pose dolls.
Does it ever creep guests out?
Yes, it's creepy. Before visitors step into my home I usually say, "please do not judge me." While away from NY for the past three months, I lived a very basic life. Distraction free, possession free. I've decided to get rid of my doll collection. I'm holding on to a dozen or so but I'm selling over 100 dolls. The records however, are staying.
Favorite part about your hood?
Riding my bike around Prospect Park during the warmer months.
All photos by Crystal Gwyn