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nounou LOVES...

irini arakas

this month’s edition of nounou loves… is guest edited by gotham-native irini arakas.

as a designer, a stylist, and head of brand and content at floral and event design house, lewis miller design, this multi-hyphenate mother of a sweet (and salty) six year old, never stops creating and finds endless inspiration in her hometown and beyond. 

with her diverse range of interests and projects, we are always curious about what’s catching irini’s eye. this month she is letting us in on what she’s collecting, designing and looking out for. we promise it will be impossible not to discover something new!

flower flash...

i flash new yorkers, not in a pervy way, but with flowers… these larger-than-life, street art installations, made with fresh-cut blooms, pop up all over new york city — in litter bins, draped on bus canopies and subway entrances. they are random acts of flowers and kindness. they are joyful, transient, strangely heart-wrenching gestures made for the public. their sole purpose is to remind new yorkers that they are deserving of joy and beauty. sometimes they only last for a few hours as passersby are encouraged to take a flower. the flower flashes wake us up to the fragility and brevity of our own lives. they are an homage to nature and to our sense of humanity.

things i love...

i’m mad for ceramics. i love freyja crow’s candlestick holders and butter dishes, dan mccarthy’s face pots, beholder’s spikey vessels and francesca di matteo’s loopy works of art are also dreamy. anything that feels slightly off is just right to me. 

creative growth is a favourite destination of mine, and an endless source of inspiration. they are a non-profit organization based in oakland, california that advances the inclusion of artists with developmental disabilities and provides them with studio space and gallery representation. aurie ramirez, one of their artists and a fave of mine. i am lucky enough to own some of her paintings and drawings. they are dark and inky but also very romantic and playful. i also love john hiltunen’s animal collages. 

it would be remiss of me not to shout out an nyc street artist, corn queen - she is aces. her work is cheeky, wheat pastes of pigeons taking a bubble bath or dressed as a nun eating fritos. i am obsessed. 

the magic...

i once read somewhere that “the magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding”. i love flowers and i love what i do but this past may  i felt a really strong pull to go back to making jewelry that i just couldn’t avoid. designing and making my necklaces again has been so fulfilling and a very grounding experience. i feel connected to myself in a way that i hadn’t for a very long time. 

culture club...

gunning for that mom-of-the-year award but i’ll settle for a core memory, i will be pulling my daughter out of school (shhh….!) and flying her to los angeles to see kiss kick off their farewell tour at the hollywood bowl this month. 

back in nyc, the new gilder center at the natural history museum is a wonder and a total vertiginous shock to your system. new yorkers love to complain about new buildings popping up but this one, a litte-gaudie-esque, is a poetic slam dunk. the exterior is made of white-pink granite and the interior looks like the opening of a giant cave. i also love that it was designed by female architect jeanne gang and there is an enormous interactive butterfly vivarium inside.

favourite shops...

starhawk design studio in greenpoint, brooklyn is a gem. tom, the owner, is a tie-dye wizard and will make you custom pieces. if you can dream it, he can dye it. the quality and color combinations are phenomenal. he is a true artist. 

blue tree is by far the most magical shop in all of nyc. located on the upper east side of manhattan, they carry incredible carved lucite boxes by artist joyce francis

when i go to la this month, i’ll be hitting one of my favorite areas, little tokyo and shopping at one of my favorite stores, called monkey pants. if you love hard-to-come-by japanese figurines, plushies and kid’s threads, they have the stuff you just can’t find in the states. spitfire girl in loz feliz is also a must visit. 

i just discovered these amazing kids books in my neighbourhood bookshop. written by fausto gilberti — if you have a budding, young artist in your life these make great gifts. the overall message is for kids to know that it’s okay to be a little disagreeable, a little anarchy and “otherness" is divine.

my local...

the ear inn on spring and washington streets is one of the oldest drinking establishments in the city and is always bubbling with interesting people of all ages and vocations. on any given night, the place feels like a great dinner party, except instead of a giant table, it’s a whiskey-soaked bar. you’re shoulder to shoulder with strangers, eavesdropping on interesting conversations. i missed that so much during covid. listening in on little snippets of someone’s life — it’s just delicious. i am very happy when i walk into that bar and see it bursting with people again.

fall wardrobe staples

la lona x prova - “stay nice”

“i designed these bags with a non-profit called la lona. each one is handmade by women and children in refugee settlements in Uganda out of of local yarn and unicef feed bags. my favorite sayings are: stay nice, nyc forever and not today."

marfa stance - parachute parka coat

"my favorite new find and my one major fall splurge. made of japanese nylon, i feel cool and cozy when i wear it. what more can you ask for…?"

adidas - super stars in cloud white

"i’m a forever 'shell toe' junkie." 

prova - mickey mouse necklace

"my newest confections, sold exclusively at blue tree. they’re made of vintage pvc figurines, swarovski findings, bone beads from kenya, venetian glass, a real mashup of so many elements i love."

beauty cabinet

ole henrikson - lip peptide treatment

"my addiction to lip balms started early with cherry chapstick, then rosebud strawberry lip salve, but my new go to is this one by ole henrickson"

guerlain - vol de nuit parfum 

"what my mother wore. i love it so much. i don’t even smell it on me anymore, it’s become part of my dna. "

dr sturm hyaluronic serum

"every day essential…"

redken - frizz dismiss with instant deflate

"nothing beats this for those balmy work trips to palm beach and it smells like coconut. "