Rose & Munns

When I found out the ladies of San Francisco-based RosenMunns would be in NYC for a couple of weeks last month, I jumped at the chance to have a hang out session and see their fall collection while they were here. What was intended to be a short look-see turned into hours of amusement that involved donuts, cheap mexican beer, and a mock photo shoot. From all this I learned that Sydney Rose and Ashley Munns have personalities that are just as colorful and spirited as the clothes they create under their combined last names, and luckily they were down to answer some questions for this little blog!

Rosenmunns Fall '09

IM: So I find your tumblr very amusing and I can tell you guys have a great sense of humor that translates into your work, like the "I ate mary kate" t-shirt and nipple ring top for example. These pieces tend to get the most press too, both good & "controversial"- how do you feel about that?

ROSE: I think humor is the inspiration that brings the most interest and intrigue to our concepts each season. In past seasons, we poked fun at trends by severely exaggerating fits and prints and we have presented playful images and lookbooks all along, but we absolutely take what we do very seriously. I think humor on top of thoughtful concepts makes our designs more successful. It is sometimes tough when press or consumers miss the joke and bash us, but it is also helpful because RosenMunns is as much reactive as we are proactive so we welcome any and all feedback and use it to advance our concepts.

I ATE MARY-KATE shirt, Fall '08

MUNNS: Controversy is something I’ve dealt with my whole life in some way, shape or form, so I think humor is a way I deal. This humor inevitably leads to more controversy- it is a vicious cycle. Instead of fighting it, I am learning to just openly embrace it. Syd has helped me do this. We make it a point to be open and free with our outrageous ideas, sharing them all with each other. This approach invites creativity and expression, so humor always creeps in during this process. Confidence is something that helps in the humor department also. If you are a confident person, and aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you aren’t afraid to take risks and tend to be more playful or just downright funny.

IM: There's one hat in your fall collection that definitely reminds me of Blossom. Was that intentional? Can we expect more accessories out of you in future collections?

ROSE: When we found that amazing wood-grain velvet fabric we were inspired to make that hat. I loved taking the rigid quality out of the wood and seeing the grain in a new way: draping and melting on a head. This was the concept with the hat and skirt in the velvet woodgrain and also with our psychowood printed dress, tank, and pants. As far as RosenMunns breaking into the accessories game- neither Ash nor I are big jewelry people, but we both think accessories like hats, bags, socks, undergarments, etc will make or brake an outfit so we plan to work on more of these elements in the future. Past RosenMunns accessories included the Fall 2007 leather crop tank that Anica Boutique sold as an accessory, and then the socks we made exclusively for No. 6 Store last season.

MUNNS: It was not intentional, but the Blossom reference is alright with me. Sydney has this crazy talent of paying insanely special attention to detail on many levels. She really knows how to seal the deal on an outfit and make it next level. I am always on the lookout for bits-n-bobs that add personality. I'm not all that into all the bells and whistles usually, but I can see accessories in our future and hope that it will make RosenMunns more accessible.

IM: Who are your current style idols?

ROSE: I am constantly inspired by the lunatics on the streets of San Francisco, and I'm really loving what my 5 year old niece is picking out these days too. These style "idols" are a bit abstract, so a more concrete answer might be the resulting person if Tilda Swinton and Skeeter from Doug made it in the General Lee. Also, Missy Elliot is supa dupa fly...

MUNNS: My inspirations are a mixed bag and a can of worms. People have recently told me I’m channeling Rob Zombie so maybe he is somehow worked into the equation, but it wasn’t a conscious decision. I feel like most of my style idols are found at the grocery store buying cans of cat food in the “15 items or less” line.

IM: If you had to sum up your fall collection, not with one WORD, but with a song, which would it be?

ROSE: It's more of a mixtape: Michael Buffer- Let's Get Ready To Rumble, Whitney Houston- Love is a Contact Sport, The Rolling Stones- Rock and a Hard Place, T. Rex- Nameless Wildness, Airbourne- Runnin' Wild, Ike & Tina Turner- Knock on Wood, LL Cool J- Mamma Said Knock You Out

MUNNS: Jock Jams but with the visual of Skip Spence holding an axe

IM: I think I was introduced to Rosenmunns by way of that collaborative project you did last year with Anica and Light Vision (which my friend Yui in Japan ended up purchasing!). Are there any more cool projects/collaborations like this in the works?

ROSE: Thanks so much Yui! We hope you like your huge porku-pin sweatshirt! (BTW that’s my friend Angie on the swim pin.) We had so much fun making that sweatshirt for the pin party with Anica and Light Vision last year. We are so fortunate to be represented by the most talented people in the most brilliant shops and we love working with our stockists on special projects. In February we worked with the lovely Lydia Rodrigues of Project No. 8 who styled Marya Wethers in our nude sparkle shorts for a Dance New Amsterdam performance in NYC. We are also just finishing up an exciting collaboration with MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) in San Francisco where we worked with the great Ben and Chris Ospital to make three exclusive pieces, which will be sold at MAC starting next week!

IM: I can tell you guys are pros at thrifting real gems (like those clear boots!). Do you have any recent finds you're especially stoked about?

ROSE: Just yesterday I found a pair of nameless vintage track pants that are black with yellow stripes and they are the perfect cut- a real touchdown. I found a t-shirt for Ashley that has a 3D bloody baseball and the caption "play till it hurts" on the front. I also had the pleasure of joining Rati Sahi of Anica Boutique on a vintage buying trip recently so she has some really great finds in the shop right now!

MUNNS: I’ve got shoes that are like Suzanne Sommers for QVC or something. They are my never nudes. Syd finds stuff like my sporty baseball t-shirt, my scent stopper hunter’s camo pants, my orange shell jacket that is sorta Armageddon (yes, I just referenced that movie and yes, I saw it three times in the theater when I was in high school during a Steven Tyler stage). My friend Rian found me pants at a thrift store across from the White Castle in Bushwick- a rad pair of fake blue rattlesnake jeans that are Bad Blake meets club kid. Also, I’ve got my eye on this magic 8ball keychain at the market across the street. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a whistle necklace on St. Marks when we were in New York City….next time.


Krista from Light Vision, who was hanging out while I was there too, was such a pleasure to meet! She's pals with RosenMunns (moved here from SF last year) and super hilarious. We had an impromptu photoshoot grabbing any props we could find in the apartment Syd and Ashley were staying in, like this jar of candy...

The fabric used in this tank was amazing up close- the floral reminds me of this 70s wallpaper my parents had in our bathroom growing up.

They found this rubber monster hat in a Halloween clearance bin at Kmart and it is the coolest thing ever- I even went myself to see if any scary costume remnants were left, but there was nothing but junk-filled Easter baskets :(

Once I tried on the patchwork pants, it was a done deal- I ordered them on the spot! They are the most comfortable things ever and I can't wait to rock them this fall.

Be sure to check out RosenMunns at these stores if you live in NYC or California and online at Anica & Light Vision!


HAL said...

best post ever amanda. you look so badass in those patchwork pants!! i covet the flag bikini. xo


sweeeeet. i ended up buying a new cam for light vision, tis the one u have (so in love with it)

cristalette said...

oh man, you guys are KILLING ME! wish i lived in ny or was just there or whateverZ.
hang tuff kiddoz

Ally said...

love this label!!!! thanks for the post/interview, great to find out more. also those pants are perfect for you. all in all, WOW

t. said...

ahhh soo goood! :)))))))))))) goodie good good good

aaronpurdie said...

the prints are amazing!! and the panelled pants and the oversized* printed coat!!
Please look into bringing this label to the Australian market!!


ashley said...

thanks again so very RosenMuch for the interview amanda! and we want to go to Australia! We really dig the Aussies!!!