PaperCity Magazine

July 2013 - Houston

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HOLLY FULTON EMOJI DRESS FROM LABORATORIA Ali Rapp later his daughter Sylvia Whitman. Both locales served as lures for the creative class of expats who flooded post-war Paris — the hotel's proprietress and the bookseller have owned their City of Lights destinations since, respectively, the 1950s and 1964. Both hotel and bookstore rest in the shadow of Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, in the celebrated 5th Arrondissement (or Quartier Latin, as it is often known), giving rise to the film that Wilkins would make after four trips to Paris and a gestation period of more than four years: Kilomètre 0, Life in the Shadow of Notre Dame. "Kilomètre 0 invites the viewer to participate in an intimate journey of discovery," says Wilkins, whose inaugural cinematic endeavor interweaves vignettes starring "the well-known proprietors of Shakespeare and Company and the Hotel Esmeralda, as well as other distinguished writers, poets and intellectuals that have been magnetically drawn to this small corner of Paris … Serendipitous events that led me to meet these impressive individuals and to be welcomed into their community inspired me to fulfill my dream of making a documentary film." Running 31 minutes and 36 seconds, the film melds its creator's life-long passion for cinema, literature and art, and taps Houston's talent pool to contribute to the movie's evocative sensibility. Visual artist Seth Mittag created the droll animation sequences, which lighten the mood, while Two Star Symphony and Marcus Hughes collaborated for the pitch-perfect soundtrack. The little film's reception has been surprising. After applying to a dozen national and international film festivals, Wilkin's entrée was accepted at two — a rare feat for a cinematic debut. The first named Kilomètre 0 an Official Selection for the Artisan Festival International this May in Cannes, where it was shown along with shorts from Russia, India, Australia, France, Sweden and the U.S. Come fall, it will be screened at Artisan Festival International's Hamptons venue (September 12 – 15). A Paris showing is planned later this year at Shakespeare and Company. Closer to home, Wilkins is in talks with Aurora Picture Show to present her vision to Texas audiences. Of her creations, the filmmaker says, "Kilomètre 0 is a realization of my life-long interest in film, literature and the arts. I lovingly dedicate this documentary to my Francophile grandmother, Minerva Alicia Gil, a poet herself and the most influential person in my life." To follow Wilkins' short, click to Catherine D. Anspon Jermaine Rogers ALI RAPP OWNER, PROTAGONIST, DESIGNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ALI RAPP; COLLABORATOR WITH ANNA SUI; FRESH FACE OF NEW PERU FASHION MOVEMENT. JERMAINE ROGERS FOUNDER, OWNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF JERMAINE ROGERS; FAVE OF NIKE AND KID ROBOT; UNRELENTING ARTIST; POSTER KING OF AMERICA. Speaking with Jermaine Rogers, one gets a sense of a man at peace with himself. The self-taught talent, best known for his original artwork that has graced posters and album covers of bands ranging from Led Zeppelin to Neil Young and Radiohead, has returned to his hometown after spending much of the last 10 years living in Brooklyn. Rogers' incredible success during his 20-plus year career has made him a sort of godfather to the next generation of street artists — a long-shot success that few would have predicted during his start in '90s-era Houston, where he gave pen and ink to the bands that played at Numbers. Today, Rogers is a very busy man, with commissions for firms such as Nike and Vans, plus an upcoming collaboration for NYC-based Kid Robot, an exhibition at Scion Gallery in Los Angeles and a new collection for his label Dero72 on the horizon. As an artist, he feels unbound by process, noting that art is about the expression you create. This ethos is reflective of his oeuvre, which moves from sculpture to drawing, vinyl toys, leather work and poster art, all distinguished by a personal neo-Gothic/new Victorian aesthetic comparable to fin-de-siècle talents of another day such as Aubrey Beardsley. For Rogers, art is not a job but a way of life. It is the language he speaks, a visual language that stays true to his beliefs. He notes that there is a tendency to move away from art as we grow older; the pressures of life can supersede a career in the creative sphere, but he feels that we owe it to ourselves to remain true to what we believe in. "The day you were conceived was the day you defied incredible odds, and we owe it to ourselves to be happy" is one of Rogers' mantras. Rogers grew up in Houston but left the city for Seattle after seeing a U.S. Army commercial that asked: "When will you write your own story?" Upon his arrival on the Pacific Coast, he was inspired by seeing others creating and selling art for musicians and recognized a way to carve out his own career. While the road was not always a smooth or even a straight one, he continued on as he defined and challenged himself as an artist. Now back in his hometown, the king of the concert posters feels Houston has a similar energy to what he experienced in Brooklyn years ago. With his career firmly in place, Rogers is free to do what he does best: explore visions and create art. To peruse his output, tap Steven Hempel   There's a saying that you don't get lucky; rather, you make your own luck. In the case of designer Ali Rapp, perseverance and talent guided her through the difficult transition many artists face after college. While she was still a student of photography at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, the birth of her son, Alex, led her to leave school and pursue work as an independent designer. After an exhaustive trek to find a home for her work, Rapp admits she was close to giving up. But she took the advise of her mother, Peruvian designer and role model Meche Correa, and kept pushing. The first break came when Vice magazine asked her to produce 500 pieces for its store. Less than a week later, a chance encounter while browsing Anna Sui's SoHo boutique led to what has become a 10-year collaboration with the designer and the creation of the Ali Rapp for Anna Sui line, most recently seen on the Spring 2013 catwalk. Currently hard at work on her latest collection, Resort 2013, Ms. Rapp has created knitwear, clothing, totes, dolls and anything else she can dream up for the Anna Sui label. The collection draws inspiration from characters created during her childhood and vibrant colors from her native Peru — whimsical, droll pieces with an almost irresistible quality. Anna Sui herself praises her frequent collaborator: "I've always been attracted to Ali's adorable, young-at-heart sensibility. Over the years, she has created for me the most charming totes, turbans, caplets, hoodies and dolls … all featuring her iconic naive cartoon character that everyone loves. It's been a privilege and joy collaborating with her." Rapp is constantly on the go, designing in Houston while managing production in Lima and collaborating with Anna Sui's team in New York. The media darling is a favorite of editors who've featured her designs in Lucky Magazine, Vice, Vogue Japan, Elle Girls and Teen Vogue. Rapp is excited about the fall launch of a new line of accessories bearing her name, and there's even talk of a Texas boutique to showcase her instantly identifiable aesthetic. The collection, which includes totes, clutches and iPad cases, points to a bright future for the designer. Find her work online at Steven Hempel "I'VE ALWAYS BEEN ATTRACTED TO ALI'S ADORABLE YOUNG-AT-HEART SENSIBILITY. OVER THE YEARS, SHE HAS CREATED FOR ME THE MOST CHARMING TOTES, TURBANS, CAPLETS, HOODIES AND DOLLS ... ALL FEATURING HER ICONIC NAIVE CARTOON CHARACTERS THAT EVERYONE LOVES. IT'S BEEN A PRIVILEGE AND JOY COLLABORATING WITH HER. – ANNA SUI ON ALI RAPP

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