ngelica and Ben, real as they are beautiful, are the kind of couple that movies are made of and evocative of Ben’s favorite t-shirt with the Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg graphic that says Bonnie and Clyde . They met while working at the hip Coffee Shop in Union Square and were “just friends” living together for a year, until a friend told them both that one “liked the other.” Six years later, Angelica found out that she was pregnant on the day that she was spreading her mother’s ashes in front of the vegan café that she had owned. She felt all of her sadness wash away, knowing that her mother was there. Ben touchingly remembers putting his feet onto the floor immediately after she told him the news and feeling the blown away feeling of life changing forever, he says that he has had a rebirth since. Soon after their roof fell in over their bed, but they weren’t in it. Is someone writing their screenplay?
The river that runs through Angelica’s grandfather’s village in New Mexico was named after the town that her grandmother was from – a time warp, Angelica says. It’s the kind of simple existence that the young Brooklyn mom wouldn’t mind living in one day, although Berlin, where Ben once lived while pursuing his music career, remains an option for its present purity of the arts. Angelica’s mother is her biggest influence, a “true lover of life and food, extremely giving and exciting and never afraid to be herself,” as her daughter recalls. She was the sort of free spirit that is deserving of the name, the kind that a designer would would emulate on the runway and the kind that makes Project Runway look like the uninspiring empty filling of space that it is. At times, she was in high-waisted pants with a shirt tucked in and wrapped leather sandals, or skirts worn high with Peruvian socks and Birkenstocks or clogs. At other times, she dressed like a man to avoid being noticed. Always with a camera over her shoulder, her long dark flowing hair and arresting beauty in the vein of Ali MacGraw, she could be wildcrafting or picking herbs in Sedona and then, on an impulse, drive three hours with her kids for dim sum in Phoenix. While some wear Pendleton in search of genuine design, Angelica was wrapped in the scratchy but handsome prints throughout her childhood.
Take 3: One of Anglelica’s most prized dresses is one that her mother wore when she was pregnant with her. There is a photo of her mom in it, standing in the Aravaipa Canyon creek where Angelica was born. Angelica was my assistant for three years when I was a stylist and there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t bowled over by her inner poise and effortless stylish charm. It was a shock to me during this interview that she said that she was inspired by my outifts. Both Ben and Angelica have that actual careless, unaffected ease in their clothes that comes with knowing who you are. You are so comfortable with life that you don’t need much and what you have looks like alot. She, in her Burberry trench with a layer of flannel, the better-than-Celine-for-a-lot-less modern take on a classic clog and her hair in a bun, or in one of her multiple vintage Indian dresses and heirloom jewelry piled on, with each piece having a meaning. He, in a loden military trench with a layer of flannel or a fedora, Uniqlo jeans and a pom pom necklace from a friend that he makes masculine and serious. Every picture tells a story, and the one of Ben’s white Vans – the same ones, like much of his wardrobe selections, since he was ten – and Angelica’s blood red moccasin booties from the source in New Mexico tells this one.