Karla Subero Pittol, is ONE OF 'EM
Yup, she is! Meet Karla Subero Pittol, artist, Gemini, chef/owner of Chainsaw, and one of my very BEST friends. Born in Venezuela and raised in the valley, Karla and I met in middle school when we were 12 years old. We went from ditching class and smoking weed in high school, to briefly rooming together in a small flat in Paris after graduating college, now both planted back in our lil big ole town LA. Like me, Karla’s got a work- hard-play-hard mentality. We're both Geminis, of course, so you know we RUN IT Renaissance. I’ve seen her kick ass in many a different jobs - from her staging days in Paris, to becoming an award winning pastry chef, to walking 10+ dogs at Runyon Canyon, to starting Sosia Flora her spectacular floral design company, and then to finally opening her own pop-up food place/bar in Echo Park, Chainsaw. And If you’ve ever seen, or tasted any of her creations (most recently they've been ice cream, and pie) then you can confirm that she so generously offers a stroke of her beauty to anything her heart-finger touches!
I had the pleasure to sit down with Karla (as I normally do), in her newly zhuzhed garden. Karla was just finishing up trying on all of her (mostly hot pink) clothing for an instagram story sale when I arrived, so I ran back out, to grab a bottle of wine from our fav women owned shop, Vinovore. I came back to Karla and Ruby, still zhuzhing the garden, and some Krispy Rice + a bottle of Love You Bunches + tectates + truck tacos later, we finally get down to fashion!
R: How do you decide what you’re going to wear everyday?
K: My Gemini energy kicks into gear first thing every morning, there is always a duality to the way I do things. Some days I wake up and know I’ll be getting my hands dirty, which is most days when I’m working honestly, and I’m excited for that.
When I start the morning in my work state of mind, I think of what I have to do throughout the day and make my first choice based off of my first activity -- whether it’s yard work or kitchen prep, I go for something that's not precious. I still make choices fluidly enough so that whatever I’m wearing can transition throughout the day or be a pulled together look with the simple addition of a little lipstick. My work uniform usually consists of a tank top and work pants that I wouldn't be upset getting a bit of wear and tear in. A Pansy bra to hold my titties up and an ARQ tank, or a sports bra, a pair of Ben Davis trousers, or vintage Levi’s to rough it in, and a beat up pair of Nike Cortez. I do still try and protect my clothing so I throw on an apron and do the best I can!!
If it’s not a work day, I dress for my mood. I listen to music non stop and whatever genre/era I’m listening to the most heavily guides my look. Especially when I’m by myself, music feels like my partner. I lean into whatever energy those artists are feeding me that day and dress to that. Lately it's been a lot of soul and blues, so things that feel really luscious and sly, which stylistically for me translates to lots of silk and leather and bare skin. Yet, sometimes the vibe is an old punk band shirt and trousers and that’s just my day there and then. Also, just how you can put about any 80’s synth-y billboard hit to Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer (try it, it’s insane) you can put just about any one of my looks over a pair of black leather square toe + heeled boots.
I consider myself a bit of a chameleon when it comes to my fashion choices, and beyond the jams the inspiration for that is in just about everything I see. For example Ruby, my dog, just binge watched Emily in Paris ~I was just there for support~ and now I can’t stop with the beret!
R: What do you look for in a garment before making your purchase?
K: My whole entire life has been dictated by my budget, which is why I’ve always thrifted -- even before it was the socially conscious thing to do. I have always had to thrift because it's what I and my family could afford. I don’t always know what I’m looking for and I find joy in going blindly into vintage shops and finding that one thing that sings to me. When I’m doing that sifting I’m usually seeking out high quality materials like silk, leather, cotton/canvas, linen, non cheesy satin + lace, or something that's structurally sound. I’m looking for things that I can tell had a life before me finding it, and will keep giving life through my use of it.
In my older adult life, I have finally accepted that I am allowed to buy new clothing too. It was difficult for me to get to that point though, because clothing has always been such a luxury for me -- something that I want, but don't necessarily need. I'm at a place now where I’ve allowed myself that luxury, so I really read into a brands ethos: I like to know where they’re sourcing from and make decisions based off how they’re making the clothes, how they’re paying the people who are making them, and I question whether the clothing is contributing to the problem, or whether it is a brand that is finding solutions.
R: What do you feel the most beautiful wearing?
I feel the most beautiful when I put on something that’s just for me. Anything that I don't have to do any dirty work in makes me feel beautiful because I've made the choice to wear something special and I don't have to think about it getting destroyed. Usually that turns into some variation of a lovely dress, or a delicate vintage blouse plus a bangin pair of shoes ~ anything I can wear just for the sake of wearing, I feel beautiful in.
R: Who/what are your biggest fashion influences ?
I try to immerse myself in visuals often, so my fashion choices are definitely guided by art, art books, painting, visuals/media with strong color ways that I'm connected to at the moment and that add something to the narrative of how I feel and how I'm representing myself. I’m also so inspired by the people around me! I take cues from my friends who dress so beautifully and confidently. When I see people making bold choices and pulling off things that I would initially be too afraid to try, it really encourages me to take a chance and make a similar choice myself because I’m so in awe. Seeing the homies and people around me make big statements through clothing totally inspires me to try new things when I dress.
R: Is there a relationship between fashion and food? How do they connect for you?
K: As a chef I know I must be seeing food differently than someone who doesn’t cook creatively. I can break it down like this: The manipulation of ingredients/materials into a wholly new form is art. Therefore food is art. The manipulation of textiles/materials into a wholly new form is art. Therefore, fashion is art. So they all really play together within the same realm. Anything I do stylistically in food can certainly be translated into another creative or aesthetic space. The things I cook, just like anything else that I make, become a visual representation of myself and my ideas. I hope that any dish I create mimics some of my style choices, and that those choices are felt beyond just the flavor. The connection really does come down to stylistic choices. For me, style is a solid bridge between food and fashion.
The way I style a plate and the way I style myself is wholly connected to whatever I'm feeling creatively and emotionally. Any sort of project or research that I’m working on at a given time is also what gets reflected in the food I create or in the things I'm wearing. I think that subconsciously I choose to leave whatever style I’m operating in very open ended, and that’s because I’m working within my realm at that moment and I'm always changing what that means to me.