smart, beautiful, cool and just happens to be this week’s Guest Hunter, meet Signe Yberg. As a teenager in the late-80s, Signe spent her hard-earned babysitting money on records and clothing from New York City’s vintage stores and downtown boutiques. Poking around in shops, going to concerts, and people-watching on the city’s endlessly inspiring streets, Signe became acutely aware of how style communicates personality and character. She experimented with a variety of her own personal looks and reveled in the expressive nature of wardrobe. Often, she and her friends would pool their treasures, turn on the stereo, and play dress-up. A passionate creator, Signe styled, applied makeup to, and took pictures of herself and her friends, later developing the film in her own darkroom. In the 90s, as a student at New York University, Signe turned her interests to Art History and Cinema Studies, further honing her eye and appreciation for color, pattern, form, and costume… and how they all come together to tell a story. Today, Signe realizes she has always been a stylist, and her influences continue to come from film, fine arts, music and (as always) the people she encounters on a daily basis.
Signe is a lifelong New Yorker, currently lives in Brooklyn, and is an avid cyclist and ceramicist. So, be sure to keep reading, you’re guaranteed to be wowed and inspired by Signe’s picks…we sure were!
I’m going to impulsively say ABC Home is my favorite store in New York City. I like to open the heavy doors, step inside, and pretend I’m on vacation, wealthy, and the owner of multiple homes, each with its own style personality. In this dream world, I have a luxe-hippie beach bungalow, a nouveau-rustic treehouse in the woods, a modernist teepee oasis in the desert, a snow-covered castle filled with old mirrors and twinkly lights, a minimalist urban zen loft… you get the picture. Conveniently, I can decorate all of my homes at ABC! Seriously, this mecca of all things chic and desirable is my version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and I go into a full-on sugar high when I visit. The play of colors, patterns, textures, shapes, scents, sounds, shadows, and lights makes me giddy. I usually just buy a candle or bowl but thankfully the store is nearby so I can revisit my fantasies any time during business hours.
In the game room of one of my homes I will have these ping-pong and coffee tables from Akke Functional Art. I don’t even play ping-pong but I’m sure someone I know does and I imagine the table would come in handy. While guests wait their turn to play, they can lounge on pillows on the floor and strum the “strings” of the coffee table, which actually resonate with sound!
My favorite things to put on are unfussy, idiosyncratic, and casually elegant — and I like to wear them over and over again, so they feel familiar, like an old t-shirt or good luck charm.
I’m drawn to copper jewelry because it is warm and unpretentious, and it ages beautifully. This Molten Token necklace by Deborah Rice is right up my alley. It is simple but very special (each necklace is one of a kind), and the combination of melted copper and brass discs with waxed cotton is sculptural, like miniature wearable art.
My go-to accessory is a large lightweight scarf. I’m rarely without one, I’ve got an entire drawer full of them, and this giant square with a bird of prey printed on it makes me say to myself “I need one more.” It’s from a new store in my neighborhood called Beautiful Dreamers.
I only want one thing for Christmas, so pay attention to this: The Surf Shack Kaftan from Loup Charmant. It reminds me of sunset on the beach, shortly after my last ocean-dip of the day, when I wrap myself in something cozy while waiting for the stars to come out and the bonfire to be lit. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
The first time I went to nerdboyfriend.com, I said to myself, “Dammit, why didn’t I think of this idea?” Basically, it’s a photoblog of stylish dudes from the worlds of film, music, tv, art and literature, with links to where to get the look under each picture. It’s brilliant and simple, and it’s become my favorite men’s
fashion site. What I like so much about this site is the variety and quirk. It’s also useful, which is key. Wanna cop Marlon Brando and Dick Cavett’s style from 1973? Go on and build that nerd boyfriend with a couple of clicks!
You can tell a lot about a man from his ride, and in my neck of the woods, that usually means his bike. Where does a gentleman with a taste for vintage style and elegance go to find his perfect two-wheeled, leg-powered vehicle? Matthew Bowne of Cicli Devotion has an expert’s knowledge of all things cycling-related and he can find you the perfect frame, rare components, or even build you a meticulously and accurately restored complete bicycle. You can find him at ciclidevotion.com.
Guys, I know what you’re thinking: “The world doesn’t need another denim line.” But when that denim is hand-stitched in Brooklyn in multiple washes and fits AND you can buy it in a shop located across the street from your favorite restaurant, doesn’t it make the decision to buy a new pair of jeans while waiting
for your table a helluva lot easier? I say yes. You should say hello to blksmthdenim.com. Added bonus: Loren Cronk, the owner of Loren and designer of BLKSMTH jeans, repairs denim perfectly, so there is no need to walk around town with your skivvies showing.
I don’t have kids, but I do have a niece and nephew. Next time I go to their house, we are SO making a blanket fort. Livingroomfort.com has great photos for inspiration, and also a few handy tips for construction. This site reminds me of a massive fort my dad built for my brother and I when we were kids. My parents were the caretakers of a castle used as a Unitarian house of worship — it was the 70’s and we were hippies — and my family and I lived there. In one of the unused rooms, my dad covered the entire floor with an elaborate maze of refrigerator and washing machine boxes that he and my mom had scavenged from local homes and businesses. It was awesome. Long live the children’s fort!
Once we have ours set up, we can start crafting. First order of business: make a dreamcatcher. If we get frustrated, we’ll switch to sock puppets and write a play to be performed to guests in our fort. Then I will most definitely be ready for some grown-up time.
I live in Brooklyn and it’s no secret that I will do anything to avoid getting in a car or on the subway to eat a meal, especially on my day off. My perfect day of neighborhood noshing is as follows:
1. Breakfast at Egg in Williamsburg. I mentioned earlier that I don’t like pretension, so all of my favorite meal spots are hassle-free, simple, and delicious, period. I also don’t like long lines, so if you want to be seated quickly at Egg, it’s best to go right when they open (7am weekdays and 8am weekends) to ensure no wait and fresh biscuits. I’ve been eating at Egg for years, and I’m at the point where I only order the Eggs Rothko. It’s that good. It’s your mom’s egg-in-a-hole but better (sorry, mom). If you like a giant, flaky, buttery slice of brioche toast with a fried egg in the middle, covered with cheddar cheese, you will be in heaven. But there’s more: broiled tomatoes, kale (or sausage for you meat-eaters), and a giant crispy tater tot on the side. You will need time to work off this meal…
2. Next up: hang out in the park, wander in and out of shops, bike along the waterfront, maybe head up to PS1, and then get back on your bike and make your way over to The Lobster Joint in Greenpoint for lunch. I know people with huge amounts of foodie cred have already written blog after blog about lobster rolls, so I won’t add my two cents, except to say they’re delicious here, order the lobster corn bisque to start, sit outside at a picnic table under a leafy canopy if you can, and marvel at how much you love this sleepy little stretch of Greenpoint. Relax and breathe deeply.
3. You may need a nap after all of your biking, strolling, and eating, but eventually, you will have to eat again. For dinner, I suggest Cafe Colette, in Williamsburg. It’s got it goin’ on: cute retro-euro styling, beautiful people, and an irresistible menu of food and cocktails. On top of that winning combination, the energy feels both chic and neighborhoody, and you can sit in the main dining room, the semi-open back patio, or by the sidewalk. The people-watching can’t be beat wherever you are. While you take note of how many attractive people live in this part of town, start with a cocktail and then order anything on the menu, which they change seasonally, so I suggest trying something new every time you go… which means you have to go a lot… and, trust me, you will.
I’ve had a transcendental experience while lying on the floor of PS1. I was staring up at the square opening in the ceiling known as “Meeting,” an installation by James Turrell. At times, I wondered if the changing shades of blue that I saw above me were the sky or a piece of silk that I could reach up and touch. As the seconds, then minutes, then more than one hour passed, I felt elated, rejuvenated, relaxed, inspired. Yes, you have looked out of an open window before… but not like this one. I promise.
I have a serious girl crush on Miranda July. Aside from her impeccable visual aesthetic (I already told you I love quirky details), she knows the intricacies of human relationships; desire and loneliness; and the need for personal freedom, creative expression and contact. It’s as if she illustrates my thoughts and gives words to my feelings, and if I were one of her movies, it would be Me and You and Everyone We Know. I enjoyed literally every second of it and was sad when it ended and I had to leave her magical world. If you haven’t seen it, do so, right away. ))<>(( forever