[UPDATE: This story was originally published on January 25.]
Sometimes you can tell just by looking at someone that they've got so much more going on below the (sartorial) surface. Such was the case when we first laid eyes on the stunning Sissy Sainte-Marie Chacon at a vintage pop-up shop last fall — we immediately realized there had to be a juicy backstory behind that blunt bob and unique look.
And, as it turns out, the online-boutique owner is one-half of the hubby-wife electronic-sound phenom, The Polyamorous Affair. But, the plot thickens: She and her equally attractive partner, Eddie Chacon, also shoot avant-garde fashion portfolios in their Los Feliz home — and they've both got amazing personal style, to boot! Yeah, with all that creativity commingling, these two pretty much epitomize the notion of multi-platform artistes. So, we had no choice but to further investigate the pair's inspiring wardrobes and abode in person. Take a look at what we discovered….
Photographed by Lani Trock
How did you two meet?
"I was sitting with a friend at the rooftop bar at The Standard, Downtown
and Sissy and her two friends asked if they could join us. We chatted for about 15 minutes and both walked away that night thinking we'd met 'The One.' It didn't turn out to be that easy reconnecting. Missed emails, lost phone numbers, and total confusion went on for three months before we actually saw each other again. We got married shortly after that and haven't been apart since."
On Sissy: W/// by Weltenbuerger Dress, Vintage Alexis Kirk Earrings, Vintage Chloé Jacket, Marc Jacobs Shoes
On Eddie: Geoffrey Beene Jacket, GPPR Shirt, THVM Pants, Urban Outfitters Boots
What do you think is the key to a long-lasting, loving relationship?
Sissy: "I'd say we're fiercely supportive of each other's dreams and goals. I think that's key — it has to be like the line in the Joni Mitchell song where she says, 'All I really really want our love to do, is to bring out the best in me and in you, too.' I think mixing business and pleasure can work well if the business is truly the passion of both."
Can you explain what you love about your spouse in five words or less?
Eddie: "She's more fun than anyone."
Sissy: "Treats me like a queen."
How are the two of you similar and different?
Eddie: "I'm a neat freak, Sissy can tolerate clutter. We meet someplace in the middle."
Why did you decide to lay your roots in Los Feliz?
Eddie: "I had my heart set on a '20s Spanish hillside house. I just always thought of that as the quintessential L.A. home. Eighteen years ago Los Feliz was fairly off the beaten path, so it was a lot more affordable at that time. I can remember my friends saying, 'What do you want to move out there for?' It definitely wasn't the Los Feliz of today."
Sissy, you moved into what was previously a bachelor pad — tell us how you put your own unique spin on things without overriding Eddie's aesthetic.
Sissy: "A big part of why I fell for Eddie was because of his aesthetic — it's super regal and romantic. He was open to my ideas and my touches for our home. The house was a bit like a museum for the first couple of years. It took a while, but together we made it more cozy and livable."
What are three items in your home that you simply couldn't live without?
Eddie: "Our two cats and our coffee press."
Describe the best dinner party you've ever hosted.
Eddie: "Actually we're more cozy types. So, nothing is better than just powwowing with a couple of friends over Sissy's great cooking and a bottle of wine. Lately, we've been having friends over for spaghetti and clams, lobster claws, and King Crab legs."
How would you describe your overall vibe?
Sissy: "Just trying to be myself."
Eddie: "Silly, serious, lived-in, cozy, and a work in progress."
On Sissy: J.Fraiche Vintage Top, Vintage Pants, Future Eyes Glasses, Sainte-Marie x Desiree Klein Trench Coat, Vintage Ferragamo Shoes
On Eddie: Earnest Sewn Shirt, Julia and Ben Pants, Urban Outfitters Shoes, Timex Watch
Sissy, tell us how your vintage business began.
Sissy: "We moved to Europe for a year in 2010, and when I came back, I would've rather died than go back to classroom teaching. It was time to follow my heart. I've been addicted to thrifting since I was 15. It's my true passion to hunt for amazing pieces, but I can't keep everything I find. My vintage business supports my habit and allows me to share my treasures with vintage lovers worldwide."
What has been your favorite find of all-time?
Sissy: "Probably the '80s Chloé dress I found at Salvation Army for $3.95 and sold for $395."
What's your top destination for vintage shopping in L.A.?
"We actually find a lot of unbelievable bargains on new designer pieces at Crossroads
. I've found Opening Ceremony shoes for $18, Dolce & Gabbana and vintage Versace for $30 — the list goes on. We trade in for store credit, so sometimes we get things virtually for free. The store receives new items constantly, so we go embarrassingly often and are super selective."
What are your favorite haunts in the 'hood to eat, drink, and be merry?
"Breakfast and happy hour at Figaro
, lunch at Machos Tacos
, cookies at The Trails Cafe
, coffee at Intelligentsia
, and dinner at Farfalla Trattoria
if we've got a jingle in our pockets."
Sissy, you had a New Year's resolution to wear less black — how's that going?
Sissy: "Last year's resolution was to wear more color because I thought my wardrobe was boring, and wearing color would be fun and flattering. But, by December, I had filled my closet with more black and neutrals than ever. That's just what I feel good in. This year, my resolutions have more to do with appplying an outlook of abundance and exuberance. So far, it's going great!"
Eddie, you have a penchant for naming all of your clothes. Tell us some of the funny names, and how that little idiosyncrasy developed.
Eddie: "I don't remember why or when I started doing that. I give everything and everybody nicknames. I call my cardigan 'mountaintops,' my eyeglasses 'fuzzies,' my sunglasses 'shinies,' and my blue-striped denim coat 'jailbird'."
Sissy, your hair is always impeccable. Can you tell us your tricks?
Sissy: "My friend Veronica Valdivia cuts my hair. I don't use any styling products — I just have really wiggy hair!"
Are there any publications or sites that get your juices flowing?
"We're inspired by Thomas Persson, editor in chief of Acne Paper
, and Ezra Petronio, editor in chief of Self Service
magazine. They both have an ability to say and convey so much beauty with such admirable simplicity. It's something to aspire towards. We very much respect how much goes into making something great, and always want to know more about the people who create the things we love."
Vintage Judith Roberts Jacket, Zara Top and Shoes, Vintage Pants, LuvAJ Ring
You have quite the collection of books. Tell us your must-reads.
"A long time ago I went through a phase where I was obsessed with finding vintage editions of all the great classics. I enjoyed having them and they also fit the aesthetic of the house well. The last great book I read was Just Kids
by Patti Smith. I hardly ever read fiction, only biographies and autobiographies. I love true stories of other people's lives."
"I'm in the midst of Annie Leibovitz At Work
right now. I love reading about an artist's process."
What was the inspiration behind the name The Polyamorous Affair?
"We were experimenting with the idea of polyamory at the time. We also felt polyamorous with our musical influences — we loved so many genres of music. Affair, with its multiple meanings, suited and contradicted the word polyamorous perfectly."
On Eddie: Vintage Cardigan, Desiree Klein Pants, Vintage Issey Miyake Shirt, Aldo Shoes, H&M Socks
What do you feel is the common thread of your art in music, photography, designing, and styling?
Eddie: "Reserved decadence — refined, but rotten."
Where do you come up with the visuals for your dreamy videos and avant-garde shoots?
Eddie: "I like the creative process to be loose and playful. I'm disciplined but also very much respect my stream of consciousness. My ideas come from everywhere."
You recorded “Theme From Cat People” for the David Bowie tribute album. Is he an inspiration of yours? Who else gets your wheels turning?
Eddie: "We chose to cover that song as much for Bowie as for Giorgio Moroder, who produced the original. Both of those guys get our juices flowing, as well as Marc Bolan, Bryan Ferry, and Hope Sandoval."
You have an album recorded with the producer of Best Coast at the helm, but you're waiting on the release. What's the reasoning behind that?
Eddie: "Bobb Bruno took our latest batch of songs to the next level. We'd like to make the music available at some point. I think records have to be framed the right way for them to matter — right now we're not sure how to do that with this batch of songs, and we don't want to just recklessly throw it out there. Good music deserves those considerations."
On Sissy: Vintage Turban, Sainte-Marie x Desiree Klein Dress, VPL Bra, Loeffler Randall Shoes, Madewell Ring, Vintage Modernist Cuff, Desiree Klein Bracelets
On Eddie: Pointer Jacket, Vintage Ralph Lauren Shirt, THVM Pants, Urban Outfitters Boots
What does your ultimate fantasy scenario look like from five years from today?
Sissy: "More of the same. It would be nice to win the lottery — we could use a new couch and a swimming pool. We're happy and healthy and our only real desire is to maintain the freedom to create and enjoy each other."
Both of you have decided to focus less on your music and more on working as a photographer-stylist duo. Why has this become all-consuming?
Eddie: "I was fortunate to have a 35-year music career and felt that there wasn't that much more for me to say or achieve. I felt I had met my goals and then some. Having said that, I still relish the opportunity to work with people whom I respect and admire. Photography fell into my lap, but right away I felt like I could apply everything I'd learned in music to it. It's just a different instrument for me. It's gratifying to know the principles, yet be new to the form. Only time will tell if I've completely finished the music chapter of my life, but right now this feels right."
What's the greatest joy this facet of your life has brought you thus far?
Sissy: "Spending our days together doing what we love."