#121: Kaitlin Phillips

Kaitlin Phillips drops in to tell us about Naming Your Child "Money", Harvard Lampoon Merchandise, Natural Rock Spring Water Ice Cubes, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Kaitlin Phillips to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute her good taste.

Kaitlin Phillips is a publicist who's probably most known for her writing, entertaining Twitter account @yoloethics, and being a regular at Lucien. She writes reviews for Bookforum and Artforum, reports on parties for New York magazine, publishes her diary with n+1, and during COVID she wrote a column for Spike Art Magazine called “For Immediate Release”. Her recent party was covered in The Cut for a piece titled It’s ‘It’-Girl Night at Kaitlin Phillips’s Apartment. She also does a radio show for Montez Press Radio called Insider Baseball. Kaitlin has great taste and lucky for us, she’s here to tell us what she’s been into.

Without further ado

Kaitlin Phillips (instagram, twitter)

🥔 Granrud’s Potato Lefse

My mother is Norwegian, and makes lefse for every holiday. Lefse is basically a sugary potato tortilla that you coat in butter, dust with white sugar, roll up, and stick in the microwave. I grew up going to church bake sales in Montana, where people were very judgmental about lefse. (It’s a sin to use instant potatoes.) If you want to make your own, the gear is quaint and niche. My mother is always gifting new couples lefse irons, lefse sticks, lefse-themed aprons, perforated lefse rolling pins, etc. 

I don’t make lefse, and I don’t plan on it, but I order some every year for the holidays. They sell out extremely fast near Christmas, so plan about 6-8 weeks in advance. Comes with ice in the mail. 

🏫 👕 Harvard Lampoon merchandise

I like merchandise that you can’t buy. The Harvard Lampoon, like Lucien, makes sweatshirts that are not for sale. A TV writer sent me mine, which is Celtics themed. Pretty sure you can ask any TV writer in America to hook you up, they all went to Harvard… Pair with a hat from The Drift, another Harvard byproduct. I’m sure they’re for sale, though I can’t know for certain, as mine was free…

I’ve lifted quite a bit of Dalton merch off friends, I recommend that too. 

🎵 Labi Saffre - Bless the Telephone and You’re Lovely 

I thought Labi Saffre was a woman, he’s not. Nice quality in a singer. Anyway, these are two of the best love songs ever written. I first heard You’re Lovely on repeat on mushrooms. It’s :32 seconds. I recommend the experience. 

🛒 🦗 La Boutique Fantasque

During covid, in the 6th arr. in Paris, a woman who used to own a children’s store opened a curiosity shop called La Boutique Fantasque. A few weeks ago, I stopped by and bought an ornamental cricket cage and a few yards of fabric with horses printed all over it. (Apparently it’s good luck to trap a single cricket and keep it in your kitchen.) She also sells specialty Christmas ornaments. Her instagram doesn’t really capture what she’s doing, I recommend visiting in person. If you email in advance, she’ll have a friend come translate for you. 

And while in Paris… why don’t you have dinner with Donatien Grau, who works at the Musee d’Orsay, at Voltaire, which is across from the Musee d’Orsay. He’s a local and it’s a locals’ restaurant, the only kind of restaurant I like. He’ll force you to order this salad he invented, it’s disgusting—salmon, uncooked mushrooms, avocado, slathered in some mystery white cream sauce—highly recommend the experience.

✍️ Sam Frank 

I prefer the writing of writers who never publish. Sam Frank is one of the best who publishes the least. He’s probably going to be publishing even less, because he’s doing well in crypto. Sad! Start with this piece in Harper’s where he hangs out with some libertarians and this piece in Triple Canopy about how his dad failed to do what he might have done. Or email him. 

📽️ Henry Jaglom

Henry makes a lot of low key insufferable navel-gazey films that I really enjoy. Last Summer in the Hamptons (1995) is his best. A matriarch presides over her family, who are all somehow involved in the theatre. It makes you wish you grew up with intellectuals in a house by the sea. Eating: A Very Serious Comedy about Women and Food is so annoying, it’s just women saying they’re fat at a party in Los Angeles, but my friend and his wife have the poster in their dining room, and it’s a great poster, I recommend getting it. 

He’s alive, Henry is, my translator friend knows him, she’s his muse, though she’s turned the camera back on him, her documentary on him needs a place to screen, if you’re a gallerist, get in touch. Support living artists! 

🧊 Natural rock spring water ice cubes

Natural Rock Spring Water Ice Cubes are a bag of ice cubes like any bag of ice cubes. But I really like the idea of drinking ice cubes from Maine. And I like that the packaging says “cocktail style ice cubes.” Here’s their copy: “The spring water used in making this ice is protected by acres of Maine conservation land and evergreen forests. The natural mineral content in our premium spring water produces a harder clearer ice with no sodium and no aftertaste. When you use natural rocks ice to chill your favorite beverage, you taste the drink, not the ice. The original spring water ice, since 1990.” 

These are summer ice cubes to me, best paired with Creme de Cassis and seltzer and, like, a porch. Wear Asia Luna bug spray. I’m not sure it works, but it smells nice. 

📚🍴 How I Learned to Cook by Barbara Shark 

A book critic friend of mine’s husband’s parents live in Boulder, and they have all these great intellectual boomer friends who make art but don’t have to make money. Or so it seems. I may be wrong... Anyway, one of them is Barbara Shark. This is like Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin, but no one has ever heard of it. I think it’s out of print because it wasn’t ever really in print. I don’t even cook, for the record. 

🛒 📱 Jemima Kirke’s mom’s instagram

Jemima Kirke’s mom used to own the West Village boutique Geminola. Now she hawks her wares on instagram: weird bits of lace, chintzy lampshades, delicate tablecloths with tassels, everything is pale peach or dusty mauve, completely out of style, I love it all. Also if you need a velvet dress for Christmas parties, just dm her, she has hundreds. I think she’s just selling everything in her house. 

📸 Brent McKeever

Brent is my favorite photographer right now. He shoots a lot of grainy hot girls writhing around on the floor. His muse, this girl named Zaina that I sometimes see at Lucien, is a great muse. He often works with his friend the stylist Myles Xavier. Any image that the three of them are involved in is perfect. Friends working together is such a New York thing... when it works, it works. 

💰🧒 🤑 Name your child Money

My two favorite living American writers — Fanny Howe and Mary Robison — both named female characters Money. Fanny imagined it was long for “Mona,” Mary, that it was short for “Monica.” I will be naming my child Money Phillips, no middle name. Anyway, you should read their books. (I have a lot of ready demands on whatever partner is dumb enough to procreate with me. Like, whoever has a child with me will have to drive me to a random hospital across the stateline into Montana in my third trimester, because I need my child to be a fifth generation Montanan. It’s a great source of anxiety to me that my dad lied to me growing up and said I was fifth generation. I was fourth.) 

🤰If you’re pregnant, or have an STD

Oh and if you’re pregnant, or have an STD, I recommend Faina Gelman-Nisanov, my gynecologist, she’s the best doctor I’ve ever had… 


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