VMS Digest: Vol. II

Things to love from August 2016

VMS Digest, Vol II - August 2016

It’s the last Friday of the month, so you know what that means! Time for another installment of VMS Digest, my new monthly roundup of the best articles, links, memes, and companies you need to know about now. I hope you enjoy!



WHAT MAKES A MCMANSION BAD? // Paloma shared a link to this Tumblr over on Facebook, and I had way too much fun reading the posts! Especially this one, on what makes McMansions such bad architecture. Not knowing a ton about architectural terms and best practices, this was so interesting to read!

ALL ABOUT LEE // A totally dishy, curl-up-with-a-cup-of-coffee weekend read about Lee Radziwill, and her complicated relationship with her sister, Jackie Kennedy.

OFFICE TOUR // Do you like reading Man Repeller? I do! So I loved seeing this little tour of the new MR offices, as featured on Architectural Digest.

BREWMASTER // Fun personal anecdote: Joe has been brewing kombucha at home for the last couple of months. And I have to say — he’s really mastered it. With all the amazing summer fruit that’s been available, he’s come up with some amazing flavors. Better than anything we could ever buy! So it was with great pleasure that I sent him this behind the scenes piece on Health-Ade Kombucha, which you’ve probably seen in your local grocery store. Especially because the way they brew is exactly how we’re doing it at home, too: glass canister, cloth cover. I think we’re officially west coasters.

THE DREADED INTROVERT HANGOVER // Ugh, I knew this was a thing! For anyone else who is also an introvert, you’ll totally recognize the symptoms of introvert hangover.

SLEEPING ON AIRPLANES // No, not for passengers — for the crew. Did you know that many planes have a secret crew cabin, with multiple beds? This behind the scenes look at airplane crew quarters was oddly fascinating.

More digest, below! View more

What is VMS Digest?

A new-ish monthly feature sharing my favorite links, posts, articles, and things you simply have to know about.

Read last month’s here.

Crushing On: Sarah Laskow Designs

beautiful fan gradient pattern by sarah laskow designs | via @victoriamstudio

Have you ever found yourself on Instagram, going down a rabbit hole of new accounts to follow, then found yourself completely impressed and inspired by one of your discoveries? Such was my reaction when I came across Sarah Laskow’s Instagram. My buddy Rebecca had mentioned her in a post (they’re working on a collab together…more on that in a minute!), which led me to her feed. What I found was a treasure trove — I mean, just look at the patterns above and below. Aren’t they beautiful? I couldn’t get over the detail, the colors, and found myself wondering, “Does she take custom orders?” 

embroidery pattern by sarah laskow designs

I clicked over to check out Sarah’s website (a sure sign of a converted Instagram fan), and lo and behold, home girl is a crazy talented embroidery and embellishment artist. She’s worked for some of the top fashion brands, and now, on her own projects and custom orders (brides-to-be, you may have just found your source for custom embellished bridal sashes!).

I was so interested in Sarah’s background and how she learned to make her incredible designs, that I got in touch with her over email. She was kind enough to agree to an interview for the blog, sharing more info on embroidery vs. needlepoint, learning her craft before and after design school, and what it was like to work for designers like Alice + Olivia. I hope you enjoy!


Q: Ok, let’s start with some basic vocabulary, because I’ll totally cop to tuning out when I learned about handicrafts in Girl Scouts. Is all needlepoint work considered embroidery? And is all embroidery an embellishment? What else falls in the “embellishment” category? And, what makes something crochet versus knitted? 

SL: So embroidery is really the umbrella term. Needlepoint is a type of embroidery that is done on grided fabric using a cross stitch in each square. My work is not needlepoint, though I do sometimes use a cross stitch. The difference between embellishment and embroidery is more nuanced. In India, anything applied to the surface of fabric (thread, sequin, or beads) is considered embroidery. In American fashion we generally call thread work “embroidery,” and beading and sequins “embellishment.” Lastly, knitting is done with 2 or 3 straight needles, and crochet is done with one hooked needle.


Q: You attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and studied Apparel Design. How did you begin focusing on embroidery and embellishments, and specifically learn how to apply these techniques? 

SL: While I was a student at RISD I had no idea there was such a thing as an embellishment designer. There were no classes about embroidery or beading. For my senior thesis collection, I drew inspiration from the Masai tribal beading in Africa (total appropriation, but I didn’t know it at the time) and spent weeks beading all my garments with tiny seed beads which you could not even see once the models were up on stage. The critics hated my collection and I felt like a failure. It would take me a few years in the professional world to figure out that my obsession with meticulously applying beads could be useful. I started as an Assistant Evening Wear Designer. We often had dresses that we needed to hand apply beads and stones to. I realized quickly that was my favorite part of the job.

More from Sarah, including her work for Alice + Olivia and sneak peeks at her upcoming collaboration with Rebecca Atwood, below!

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August Playlist

august playlist by @victoriamstudio

Hi, friends! So, should we discuss that we’re currently in the last full week of August? Who else is seeing a chiropractor for the whiplash 2016 has given them? With the calendar turning to September and Labor Day weekend but a week and a half away, we’re officially headed into fall. But I gotta tell ya — autumn still remains my favorite time of year. And I have so much on the calendar over the coming months that I can’t help but be really, REALLY excited. Trips to Tahoe, wine country, Hawaii…all good things.

This month’s playlist is kind of an eclectic mix of music, but what can I say, recent releases I loved were all over the map! I had to throw some vintage Flume on the playlist too, as I’m going to his concert later in September. Any fellow SFers going?

Enjoy the playlist, below! And pop back by on Thursday and Friday of this week…I’ve got a really cool interview to share with you Thursday, and August’s VMS Digest on Friday!


(And listen to more playlists here)