Every wonder what happens to the cool, uber-talented peeps who leave the Twin Cities? Do they spend a lifetime weeping in gutters over the Minneapolis of yore? Or do they carry on like brave soldiers, leaving trails of art, music, and creative brilliance behind them like breadcrumbs? Well, wonder no longer. We're pleased to introduce l'étoile's latest people creepin' feature: Local Goes Global. A “Where Are They Now” if you will, 'Local Goes Global' is a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of some of our favorite expatriates.
The first subject of our new series is former Minneapolitan, Sarah Ditty, who left our ranks to study in London a few years back. Founder of the ethical fashion blog Launderette, Ditty scours through the slew of high fashion trends on a mission to “clean up dirty fashion” finding looks that are both aesthetically appealing and socially/environmentally sustainable. A fave among the l'étoile staff, Sarah saturates her posts with thoughtful writing, gorgeous images and signature wit. That's why we weren't surprised that her more personalized Tumblr account, Gold Dust Woman, is chocked full of the same aesthetically pleasing, (self-proclaimed) pseudo-intellectual fodder, with a hint of chimera. Sift through archives of esoteric pop culture references, forgotten video ad footage, provocative quotes and hauntingly beautiful images.
But wait, before we lose to you a phantasmal world of fascination, peep our petit interview with the London-based Tumblr mastermind and all-around charming bella herself, Sarah Ditty, who – can we just say – is our total across-the-pond girl crush.
l'étoile: Once upon a time you called Minneapolis home. What's your connection to Minnesota and what made you decide to pack it up for London?
Ditty: Minneapple born and raised, err, suburban-reared. Even though, I now live in London, I'll be eternally in love with and indebted to the Minneapolis 'joie de vivre' and comfy Mid-western smile. Just to get a little T.S. Eliot on you – don't barf just yet – “home is where one starts from.” I moved to London to do a master's degree in Globalization – it was more like the Marxist Political Economy. It was the most intellectually exhilarating magical nerd-fest of my life. I stayed after graduation to be employed at an economic policy think-tank. And now somehow I have found myself working in the fashion industry. Oh the paradox! So now, I am the Head of Supplier Relations - Europe for a NYC-based business called Source4Style, which is an online destination for fashion and interior designers to search and source the world's latest sustainable materials. Plus, London's amazing. There's nowhere else like it – gritty, raw, grim, real and yet so magical, beautiful, historic. I like the constant juxtaposition of elements and moods. London is f-ing moody, and I can just be whoever I want to be.
Illustration of Sarah Ditty by George Folz
l'étoile: Where do you find the images, videos and quotes on Gold Dust Woman and what inspires their collage-esque pairings?
Ditty: Ooohh a collage?! I never thought of Gold Dust Woman as a collage of sorts, but I like the imagery of that. I started it because I am constantly collecting images, videos, poems, song lyrics and other fodder on my computer in a series of complex folders within folders. The poor thing is about to explode like an overstuffed suitcase! Gold Dust Woman was really just meant to be a curation of the many things that inspire me from day to day. I didn't really think anyone other than me and maybe Amy Roark would read it. I feel pretty jazzed that other people might actually look at the thing from time to time. "Gold Dust Woman" is my fav Fleetwood Mac song, and Stevie Nicks' style is a MASSIVE inspiration on me – minus the coke addiction. So seemed natural to name it after that. I have thousands of photos saved on my computer from over the last few years. This is actually bad because I can never really credit anyone – oops, sorry! Usually, I just find an image in my arsenal that suits my mood and then I will think of a word or a writer that also fits that mood, do a little search and find some text that seems fitting. A lot of the videos I post have to do with relationships. Sometimes, I write poetry and post it as well. God, how f-ing vain is that?!
l'étoile: What are three blogs you frequent the most?
l'étoile: What's on repeat in your playlist/on your decks?
Ditty: Hardest question ever, at the moment.... “Wild Combination” - Arthur Russell; “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)” - Talking Heads; “Slow” - Twin Shadow; “Sea Talk” - Zola Jesus; “Blackberry Song” - Kurt Vile; “Sweet Leaf” - Black Sabbath; “Cloudbusting” - Wild Nothing; “White Doves'”- Young Empires; “Nadine” - Fool's Gold.
l'étoile: Current reading material?
Ditty: At the moment/recently.... First as Tragedy, Then as Farce - Slavoj Žižek; “Howl” Ginsberg; Illuminations – Rimbaud; Books vs Cigarettes – Orwell; “Life is Elsewhere” – Kundera; Just Kids - Patti Smith. Magazines: Monocle, Vogue, Pop, Elle Collections, i-D, Purple, Dazed, etc...
l'étoile: Describe your blog to newcomers in one sentence.
Ditty: A bit of mind-f-ery and other daily life inspirations...
Well, we're obsessively hooked! Thanks, Sarah!