Two for the Road: Adam Green & Lissy Trullie

A small portrait of Adam Green adorns the entrance to his East Village apartment, the words “Kafka Lives” written across the top of the framed sheet of paper, painted over by what look like smatterings of diluted watercolor red. “Pete Doherty painted that with a syringe,” says the 28-year-old singer-songwriter. “He wanted to use my blood but I said he had to use his own.” Seated in his living room next to friend and collaborator Lissy Trullie, downtown New York’s latest hope for rock salvation, he motions to a different, napkin-size painting: “Beck’s grandfather did that one.”

imageClick here for a free download of Lissy Trullie’s track “Boy Boy.”

No wonder Trullie, 25, comes around so often. The willowy rocker, with strawberry-blonde hair and Holly Hunter’s baritone dipped in nicotine, has begun devoting more time to home entertaining with a circle of friends that includes Mark Ronson, Chloë Sevigny and her DJ brother Paul, the Virgins’ Donald Cumming, photographer Ryan McGinley and model Cory Kennedy—to whom credit should be given for introducing Trullie to Green, her then-boyfriend.

On October 20th, Trullie will re-release her critically acclaimed EP (complete with 4 new tracks) Self-Taught Learner (Downtown Records), a spirited rock record that brings to mind Debbie Harry’s style and verve. Green, whose star skyrocketed with the release of Juno, the soundtrack to which featured songs from his now-defunct band the Moldy Peaches, is at work on his next record. Later this month, they will embark on a two-week tour covering nine cities across the U.K., a decision that was cemented after actor-jeweler Waris Ahluwalia challenged Green to cover Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” The bathroom at Santos Party House transformed into a rehearsal space, where they met, “drank a forty and learned the song really fast,” says Trullie. The cover, a favorite among the crowd at Trullie’s shows, was so well received that they decided to record it for her album.

Over tall cocktails in the comfort of his reassuringly lived-in apartment, littered with musical instruments, tossed-aside sketches and Garfield paraphernalia—figurines, drinking glasses, a cookie jar and his debut solo album, named after the orange sloth—Green gives his guests a preview of his new collection of introspective songs. “I usually stay in,” he says, “drinking and painting.” Trullie, scanning the room, agrees: “I think that every young kid goes out a lot when they first move here. But I’ve become a bit of a homebody, which I’m not ashamed to admit.”


Photo by Danielle Levitt. Styling by Bryan Levandowski.

Left to right: Tank top by Gap; jacket by Ben Sherman; Adam’s own jeans; dress and jacket by Dolce & Gabbana. Hair and makeup by Tracy Alfajora for Chanel Cosmetics.

Moises de la Renta: Fashion Scion Gone Solo

Moises de la Renta could very well be a reality television icon by now. With Fashion God Oscar de la Renta as his father and a velvet rope lifestyle, he certainly fits the I-wish-I-was-him credentials. But Moises opted for a real (and respected) career in design/photography. And if his recently launched, painfully hip website for his bad ass womenswear fashion line MDLR is any indication, his career choice was wise. We met up to chit-chat for what I thought was drinks at the Thompson Hotel, but to my surprise, I was greeted by the man about town in a room full of models getting ready for their close-ups in an MDLR photo shoot featured on It was all lights, cameras, and action, mixed with plenty of cigarettes, blaring background noise of the sub-par performances of MJ’s classics from the previously aired BET Awards, sexy leather biker jackets complete with gilded MDLR zippers — and, in true rock star form, an Iggy Pop vs. David Bowie debate.

Let’s cut right to the chase. Why should people care about MDLR? I want to bring something a little different to the table. My aspiration is to show people almost a beautiful and glorious gloom — that it’s OK to be melancholy. I want to speak for the lady in the corner of the club, you know what I mean? She’s just chilling, doing her thing.

I’m going to need you to specify on the type of club girl though — not a Marquee girl, I hope. You’ve ever been to the Roxy in 1985? That type of girl.

What inspired you to start the line? The situation here is that, you know, it’s about having fun … creating. That’s all it is for me. What got me into this was really advertising, looking at old Jil Sander ads and stuff, and just looking through the magazines — that’s kind of what got me into photography. Inadvertently what made me get into fashion was that it was a way I could do photography. But it’s cool for me … it’s just a way I can create a world.

The newly launched MDLR website has a music section. What does music have to do with your collection? Music is definitely my inspiration — rock ‘n’ roll. The reason I came here to New York was listening to all that old time jazz — Iggy Pop and Patti Smith and all of that. It was good stuff when I thought that was how New York was gonna be … and it’s not. It’s a bunch of posers.

So is that why you chose DJ/model/musician/all things It-Girl Lissy Trullie to model for your look book? You know, Lissy Trullie to me — especially with her album, Self-Taught Learner, check that out, that’s good stuff. It’s exactly that — self-taught learner. That’s our generation. It’s just about doing your thing, going out there, not being scared, bringing something to the table. And just being you. That’s it, man.

MDLR captures the vibe from the youth of old downtown New York. Is New York an inspiration for you? New York is a young city. It’s always about the youth. This is where it all began. This is the city of liberation and freedom — creative freedom. I want to represent the independent woman — she’s cool, she’s chilling, doing her own thing, having a good time. She may go out on her own. She doesn’t need her girlfriends, she doesn’t need her guy to pay for the bill. She’s just an independent, modern woman just doing her thing.

But more geared to the pretty faces rocking vintage concert tees in the smokey basement of Lit than Sex and the City, right? Rock ‘n’ roll is a big part of my life. I just woke up and listening to Green Day’s Dookie, just a side note … But anyhow, it’s definitely for the girl who likes to have fun, for the girl who feels like a rock star even though she may not be. My clothes are just about having fun and being comfortable with oneself.

Speaking of a pre-Giuliani New York, what do you miss about it? New York used to be about coming together. It didn’t matter about how much money you had. I think there’s a little more of a commercialism. Obviously we do live in a time that is somewhat dictated by money, but at the end of the day, I think on the flip side of the recession is that it brought people together — it brought creative people together, and a lot more people are willing to collaborate. It’s more about just creating good things, man. It’s not really about the commercial appeal of making money, because there’s not really any money out there. So people just wanna have fun and have a good time, so I think that’s great.

So where do you party nowadays? I miss Beatrice … we want it to come back, but I don’t think it will. Jane’s cool … I’ve been hanging out a lot there. Chloe’s alright. Avenue is a cool little bar.

I’ve seen you prep it up and get all vintage rock star. How would you describe your personal style? Lots of black and jeans. I don’t know … comfortable American I suppose. I just like to be comfortable, so for me that means a nice pair of 511 skinny worn-in black jeans — it doesn’t really depend on my mood. Most of the time I’m wearing the same thing. I have five black jeans and who knows how many black tees.

Where do you shop? I like vintage stores. I like Tokio7, Barneys. I like What Goes Around Comes Around. And I like Jeffrey’s.

What Goes Around Comes Around and Jeffrey’s? That’s like saying you like Jessica Simpson and the Rolling Stones (which is totes cool in my book, by the way). (Laughing) No, Jeffrey’s is where I get my candles and all that Diptyque shit. Not clothing, but sometimes shoes.

Describe your perfect date. A bottle of red, St. Marks, some sushi. Maybe a film at the Angelika.

Favorite restaurant? Westville’s pretty cool. But I like to go to Cipriani’s. (laughing) Just joking. But I do like Da Silvano. I love it there … actually, I like Bar Pitti better — it’s lighter.

I’ve seen the Polaroids scattered all over your studio, and I know you enjoy shooting your interesting friends. What inspires your photography? Life and death. My favorite photographers are Annie Leibovitz, Bill Brandt and Irving Penn.

MDLR is a far cry from your father’s sophisticated feminine gowns. What does it take to be considered a rebel? I don’t really consider myself to be a rebel. But Stephen Hawking’s a rebel. Anyone who’s willing to challenge the current state of being is a rebel to me … anyone who stands up for change, stands up for others, for what’s right is a rebel.

So you’re a rebel in the making. Is there a fine line between making bold choices and trying too hard (a.k.a. a poser)? I hope one day I can change certain things about the fashion industry and maybe be a rebel myself. I don’t know, I just try and do my thing … that’s all. And hopefully, by staying true to myself, some changes will be made. And yes, there is always a fine line. If something’s not you, don’t rock it because the clothes pick the person, ya dig? So if you’re rocking an outfit that you don’t feel, you’re probably trying too hard and should throw on some jeans and a button down. Less is more anyway — simple is chic.

It’s your Fashion Week show. What music will you be playing, and who do you want front row center? I’d like Iggy Pop to be playing. They’re both great but Bowie bit a lot from Iggy when he first came to America and was trying to be all “raw” and “rock ‘n’ roll.” Iggy Pop is fucking raw power man, and Zombie Birdhouse is one of the best and most underrated albums ever, but so was Bowie’s Low. But Iggy still tops it in my book. It’d be cool and kind of a diss to be playing Iggy but have Bowie in the front row.

Pop Quiz: Lissy Trullie

Only once every decade, at best, does an artist come around who epitomizes the age-old adage, “too cool for school.” Just try and take your eyes off the edgy and alluring front-woman at a Lissy Trullie concert, we dare you. Bringing fans her rock-that-is-not-so-much-rock sound and her new stint touring the States and Europe, audiences around the world will be wiping drool from their gaping mouths once they get a glimpse at this young, waify performer. Here she is taking our pop quiz.

How would you describe your sound? It’s like guitar driven rock with out that much guitar and not so much rock.

How did you get started as a musician? I started with the xylophone (it’s rumored to be a gateway instrument).

What’s your favorite venue? In NYC I really love Santos’ Party House and Williamsburg Music Hall.

When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up? For a period I really wanted to be a marine biologist, but then I started playing the xylophone–the devil’s instrument.

Are you superstitious? I have my own paranoid superstitions. (She refrains from sharing what those are).

If you could have any super power, what would you choose? To be able to have any super power I desired.

What restaurant would you eat at every day if you could? I used to eat at Lovely Day everyday, but it closed due to a fire. I’m not home enough anymore to have an everyday spot.

Have you ever been arrested? No! I’m really not that bad ass.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Love Swedish Fish.

Where do you go out in New York City? I don’t really have a regular spot. I still like to go to Sway on Sundays. But since I’ve been gone on tour, lots of new things popped up which I have yet to go to.

How many times a day on average do you think about sex? Um….

When you get good news, who is the first person you tell it to? I usually make a couple phone calls but no one ever picks up so I end up telling my deli guy (I don’t think he cares).

What do you always watch if it’s on TV? Golden Girls.

What do you normally sleep in? I’m never a ‘never-nude,’ if that’s what your wondering.

Where’s the craziest place you’ve had sex? Ear.

What’s on your computer wallpaper? A picture of a piece of clothing I embroidered for a friend… It looks very cult-ish (Waco style).

If you could be any literary character, who would you be? Peter Pan

Where do you really want to be right now? The future.

What’s the first job you ever had? I was a TA for an art class when I was 14.

What’s the best advice you ever got? If you can’t bend you can only be broken.

The Punk World of Moses de la Renta

Earlier this year, a few images leaked from Oscar de la Renta’s son Moses’ debut fashion line, MDLR (the latter’s initials). Musician Lissy Trullie played muse and mannequin to the fledgling designer, whose premiere collection is decidedly more punk than Park Avenue (although his father’s knack for sharp tailoring and elegant silhouettes hasn’t been lost on Moses, who was adopted by the designer at a very young age). Now, thanks to MDLR’s newly updated (and well worth a few clicks) website, the entire FW09 look book is available for perusing.

In fact, the online portal (essentially a candle-lit crash pad dotted with MDLR staples, empty wine glasses, a cigarette-butt-filled ash tray, and Chekhov) features one of the most innovative approaches to a fashion website I’ve seen in a while. Click music and choose tunes from Suicide and Patti Smith or The Dirtbombs. Sadly, the video section is “coming soon.” As for the clothes, there’s lots to pique one’s interest: a textured black hoodie lined with vibrant, graphic fabric, chic 50s-esque dresses all cinched at the waist, a leather motorcycle vest sure to be a hit with the Trullie adoring crowd, and a covetable handbag that calls to mind an origami fortune teller.

Lissy Trullie Teams with Oscar de la Renta’s Designer Son

imageFashion runs in the blood in the de la Renta family it seems. According to New York’s The Cut, Oscar’s offspring Moises de la Renta is an aspiring designer whose line, MDLR (his initials), debuts this season. While the line is by no means cheap, most of Moises’ garments will retail for under $1,000, which means MDLR will be far easier to justify purchasing than an item from the original de la Renta. As for the collection, expect “a little black dress, a Swiss-dot hoodie, stretch-leather pants, and a biker jacket with removable sleeves.”

In other words, it’s straight rock ‘n’ roll. And who better to select as the face for a rock-infused line than fashion’s new “it” muse Lissy Trullie? The downtown DJ and musician may have provided the live soundtrack to Philip Lim’s Fall 09 show and starred alongside Cory Kennedy and Harley Viera Newton in Sophomore’s latest look book. But thanks to a chance meeting with Moises at Beatrice, she’s also the face of MDLR. Is Lissy the new Aggy? Perhaps — she also walked in Luella’s fall runway show at London Fashion Week. At this rate, full Trullie ubiquity will likely be achieved by the time next New York Fashion Week rolls around.

Sophomore Debuts New Look with Cory Kennedy & Pals

imageChrissie Miller, designer to the downtown it-girl set and scion of celebrated astrologer Susan Miller, has released images from her latest look book. Photographed by Cass Bird (a seasoned Miller collaborator), the book showcases Sophomore’s SS09 collection sported by a slew of Miller’s friends, who often double as models for the line. Included in the mix are Cobrasnake protégé Cory Kennedy, musicians Lissy Trullie and Harley Viera Newton, and rock offspring Alexandra Richards.

The photos showcase Bird’s inimitable Kids-meets-The Virgin Suicides aesthetic. The clothes are classic Sophomore — cute tanks and tees and a signature black miniskirt, most of which are adorned with zippers or buttons. Altogether, the look book epitomizes the kind of lackadaisical hot, summer afternoon of which I am in feverish (literally, I’ve had the flu all week) anticipation.

Lissy Trullie Takes Our Pop Quiz

Earlier this year, Elle magazine featured Lissy Trullie in a black-and-white (save for a shock of red hair) spread on punk couture. It’s no surprise they would use her. With doe eyes, downtown rocker-chic style and legs that won’t quit, the DJ/indie musician is admittedly easy on the eyes. But then, she opens her mouth and husky soul pours out – as well as swaggering personality. A regular DJ at the Beatrice Inn, the D.C. native began performing with her band a little over a year and a half ago, and with her music—retro, dancey, and definitively New York–she’s been in high demand. Last week she played four CMJ gigs, including a packed Le Royale, but she took some time out to opine in our internet questionnaire.

Have you ever seen a dead body? Actually yes, I have. What a fucking question…

What should we do with stupid people? It depends where/what they are doing. If they’re running our country – get them out. If they are in your class at school, hope for the best. But if you’re smart, you know you don’t need to waste your time worrying about the stupids.

How long do you think you will live? That answer changes day by day. Today I feel like I have a good shot at 70.

What was the first thing you did this morning? Ran late for an appointment.

The color of carpet in your bedroom? Wood.

Last person you went out to dinner with? To my astonishment I went to meet my friend Chrissie and we ate dinner with Eve.

Are you spoiled? I hope not.

Do you drink lots of water? No.

What toothpaste do you use? Colgate. I tried Rembrandt to make my teeth whiter but it didn’t work.

How do you vent your anger? Trust me, it’s dark.

The last compliment you received? A guy at the venue we are playing tonight (the Studio at Webster Hall) said he really liked my music. Then he said he also liked my legs so…. I dunno if I trust the first part of the compliment.

What are you doing this weekend? Recovering.

When was the last time you threw up? A VERY long time ago. I have a phobia of throw up, much like a fear of flying. I think in all I’ve thrown up less than 10 times in my teenageadult life. Is your best friend a virgin? Nope. But I know some really good guys that are Virgins.

What theme does your room have? I hate clutter. I have a single bed, a far too large old painting from my mom of a bishop playing chess, a print from photographer Sarah Ball, instruments lying around, and books. My dream is a giant empty room with a little bed.

When was the last time you were at a party? Yesterday.

Are you a mama’s child or a daddy’s child? My Dad wasn’t around, I’m not saying that in a bitter way. So by default I’m a mama’s girl. She’s the most balls out woman I know.

Would you ever join the military? No.

The last website you visited?

Who was the last person you took a picture with? David Sims.

Last person you went to the movies with? Erin Krause and Hilary Roseman. BUT this is a crazy story. There was a seat open next to me, and an old man sat down and started to masturbate! It was awful, he looked like he was 90 years old.

What did you do/will you do for your birthday this year? I’m going to have a joint birthday with a group of Pisces.

Number of layers on your bed? 1.

Is anything alive in your room? My cat.

Today, would you rather go back a week or go forward a week? Forward. Desperately.

What are you looking forward to right now? Getting over a broken heart.

Music for a Cause @ Le Royale

Last night at Le Royale, our nightlife columnist Steve Lewis recounted prison parables to attentive ears, comparing his nine-month stay to a pregnancy. “The last three months, you can’t wait for that baby to drop,” he said. Behind him, Takka Takka began their set of space-rock, kicking off our own rendition of a CMJ showcase. See, when we do it, it’s for something. Music for music’s sake is just a good time. But music for something can be a revolution, man. That’s the modus operandi of Music in Motion, and while no despot was overthrown, we did manage to raise a few bucks to help out rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. See the full gallery, and hit the jump for more details.

The leggy Lissy Trullie played the middle slot, and she sang with the swagger of someone who’s as cool as she probably is. Emerging New York band Young Lords finished it off with some proud American rock. In between sets, Andy Rourke, former member of the Smiths, fiddled around on a laptop in the DJ booth and managed to extract songs from it, including his own classic “How Soon is Now.” Five of our editors designed their own Patrón-based cocktails, with names like the “Anna Winter” and the “Argentine Ice Tea.” The latter editor who designed that is, indeed, an Argentine. The former thinks he’s Anna Wintour. But the drink of the night, alas, was Patrón Silver straight, on the rocks, with a squeeze of lime. All of the proceeds went to Music in Motion, and all of the leftover party people went to Lit.