[UPDATE: This story was originally published on August 30.]
You know those couples who just ooze glamour out of every pore? As in, their unmentionables most likely match (or strategically mismatch) their natty, risk-taking getups? Well, we know one that will throw you into a style frenzy: Get to know designer Corey Lynn Calter and her other half, Glenn Kaino, an artist with a sick collection of his own.
The twosome met in a downtown speakeasy in '97 (naturally), and have been plugging away at building a family and illustrious careers ever since — her line's now in over 200 stores (Patricia Field discovered Calter on the street), and his work has been featured in the Whitney Biennial. And, if you happen to wander inside their vivid Los Feliz home, you'd easily intuit that it's a match made in design heaven. So, come on in and see where these two trendsetters hang their hats — trust, you may just want to turn squatter.
Photographed by Molly Cranna
Tell us about how you two met.
Glenn: "We met at a secret speakeasy in downtown L.A. I saw Corey and knew right then that I had to meet her. So, despite her being alongside a towering, six-foot German girl and herself being a head taller than me in heels, I decided to walk up to her and ask her out. Her response? 'What are you, 16?' It was love at first bite!"
On Glenn: Dolce & Gabbana Suit, Steven Alan Shirt, Vintage Tie
On Corey: Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Suit, Prada Sunglasses, Dries Van Noten Heels
What are you working on at the moment?
Corey: "I have some exciting things in the works for Spring '13 that you'll be hearing about soon! I'm also heading to Paris in late September, then Istanbul and Japan to gather inspiration."
Glenn: "I’m excited to be representing the United States in the upcoming 13th International Cairo Biennale. So, several trips to Egypt are scheduled."
If you co-wrote a book about your life together, what would the title be?
Corey: "What We Said, What We Thought We Said."
Glenn: "And Then What We Said That We Said."
What's your advice for people who want to decorate their home, but don't know where to start?
Corey: "Do a floor plan — even a rough one will prevent you from buying the wrong size or scale furniture. Also, always buy a test can of paint and try it on the wall first — the cost of a new can of paint is better than living with a color you don't like."
Seen here: Julie Mehretu Print
Do you know the history behind your home?
Corey: "It was built in the '30s, so it has real personality — it just felt right when we looked at it. I could move to a new house every two years and totally redo it. I love all areas of interiors: Modern, Victorian, Spanish — I welcome it all!"
Seen here: Jeff Koons Blue Balloon Dog Plate, Sterling Silver D.L. & Co. Skull
Your home has a good mix of color, prints, and patterns. How did you decide on each room’s decor and ambiance?
Corey: "The house is a big Spanish-style home built in the '30s, so it has a lot of personality of its own. The house is dark though, so I really wanted color to bring the feeling of light. Print and color mixing is natural for me, and it's been a fun challenge to make sure things feel right in this grown-up house."
Zandra Rhodes Dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs Shoes, Vintage Necklace
If you could own any piece of art, what would it be?
Corey: "Anything by Gerhard Richter."
Glenn: "How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare by Joseph Beuys. I don’t know how I could have it, but some lawyer these days can figure that out! As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t want to own it, just borrow it."
Seen here: Maison Martin Margiela Silver Snow Globe, Vintage Ram Head Table
What is your favorite piece from your collection?
Corey: "A Julie Mehretu print that hangs in our dining room."
Glenn: "A small Polaroid diptych from William Cordova, and the museum pins from the 1993 Whitney Biennial from Daniel J. Martinez."
Seen here: Samon Takahashi Print, William Cordova Polaroids
What's the one item you'd grab if your house suddenly caught fire?
Corey: "My kids and nothing else. I believe things are temporary — although I like looking at them while they last."
Are your daughters creative like you two?
Corey: "Yes, Stella is conceptual — she can paint quietly for hours, which is about all she does quietly! And Sadie is a very creative and prolific artist, quickly moving from one project to the next."
What are some parent/daughter activities you like to do with your kids?
Corey: "They like being outside, so loads of beach and nature trips."
Glenn: "They also love to be in the studio, so lots of time is spent there working on new projects. We do painting, casting, and photography — just experimenting."
It looks like your family spends a lot of time in the kitchen, why is this room such a warm place in your home?
Corey: "The kitchen has been a gathering place everywhere I've lived, and now that we have kids, our kitchen still remains a focal point. The kids love to make concoctions, and it’s where we do most of our catching up about each other’s days."
Seen here: Neon Sign Purchased at The Rose Bowl
What's the biggest misconception about the art and fashion worlds in L.A.?
Corey: "I think the biggest misconception about fashion in L.A. is that it isn’t relevant to the field. That said, I don’t believe it can or should be compared with other cities, I believe it should be seen as it’s own center of style and be an originating source of ideas and production."
Glenn: "Similarly, people have long felt that the L.A. art community was subordinate to New York and was a step down in quality and energy. Shows like the Hammer Museum’s Made In L.A. project are really important to pivot the conversation and reveal the amazing work being created here."
Seen here: Bruce Leroy Sign by Glenn Kaino
What’s the most amazing one-of-kind piece you’ve both recently purchased?
Corey: "I would have to say a book called Ghosts Of My Friends I bought on the street in Paris. It uses people’s signatures written in fountain pen and then the paper folds and mirrors the signature like a Rorschach test. It has signatures dating from 1912."
Glenn: "A few years back I bought a chess set that Duchamp played with, and I have one of Andy Warhol’s big shot polaroid cameras."
On Glenn: YSL Shoes, Vintage Levi's Jeans, Steven Alan Blazer
On Corey: Corey Lynn Calter Dress, Chanel Bag, Phillip Lim Blazer, Chanel Bangles, Michael Kors Shoes
What's your L.A. shopping secret?
in Pasadena has amazing gifts and objects of beauty, and New High (M)art
has the best selection of unique items. Miho, one of the owners, has a great eye and her taste level is very on point."
in Venice is a great place for interesting things, but I also like the used bookstores on Brand Boulevard in Glendale."
You two definitely have your own styles, but we want to know, who gives whom fashion advice?
Corey: "I think Glenn defers to me on fashion as I defer to him on other things. Glenn has the kind of build that looks good in clothes, so it’s fun to shop for him!"
Where do you find the ultimate inspiration around town?
Corey: "There are some pretty interesting people around my office in Downtown L.A. I love to see people express their own style, even it is not in line with mine. I get inspiration from events, art openings, and stylish dinners, of course!"
Glenn: "For me, it's meeting people and learning about things from all around the city!"
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would it be?
Glenn: "Until recently, I would have invited Chris Marker over for a drink, but he passed — so I’ll say Vito Acconci for the same drink."
Corey: "I'd invite Sonia Rykiel over and I'd cook her one of Glenn’s family recipes."
Where do you go for date nights?
in The Valley and other sushi spots."
Vintage Blouse, Corey Lynn Calter Pants, YSL Shoes
Corey became tight with San Francisco's most famous tattoo artists when she first moved there from NYC in the early '90s. Hanging out with Freddy Corbin, Bob Roberts, and Dan Higgs inspired her to get inked. Now, she's in the market for beautiful lettering done by Sunset Boulevard's own Mark Mahoney.
What's your best piece of advice for readers to thrive in each realm?
Corey: "Work hard and believe in yourself."
Glenn: "Imagination is a perishable skill — you need to keep using it to continue to know how to use it. That’s why art and fashion are so vital to this world in crisis right now as a means of generating new knowledge. Keep coming up with new ideas and believing that they matter. A great magician once told me that nobody will believe in his art more than him, so it was his responsibility to believe in himself more than anyone. Dream big and believe even bigger."
Corey: "Sounds so much better when he says it, I’ll coattail on his answer!"