City Stardust

Window display at Curated Goods during the October 5 launch of Stardust Magazine’s first issue, “Birth”

Philadelphia has a patch of night sky all its own thanks to the launch of the new fashion magazine, Stardust.

It began as an impulse. Photographer Justin-Julius Santos – who once visited Paris for a three-week trip that turned into six years – is no stranger to making decisions for the here-and-now. And so with a phone call in the middle of the night to friend and fellow photographer Sophie Cécile Xu, Stardust went from wish to reality.

The impulse led to a supernova of creative energy, as Santos and Xu worked tirelessly to release the magazine in just two months.

“We started a magazine the same way anyone would have started a fanzine 20 years ago,” Santos said. “Cut and clip. Paste. How much cash do we have? Should we have a bake sale?”

Odds and ends at Curated Goods.

Old-fashioned tactics aside, Stardust‘s first issue, “Birth,” received an online launch. The seasonal magazine will live in print only in the final issue, which will be released as a book every winter starting the end of next year.

“The whole concept of Stardust is young,” Santos explained. “No money, extremely creative, thrifting and mixing a Prada bag for $100, mixing luxury and everything together.”

Launched on October 5, the first issue’s design is white and minimal – a decision that kept the two-month deadline within reach while keeping the theme of birth frosted throughout. Models sport pieces from affordable brands like Urban Outfitters and H & M, and local stores like Sazz Vintage – yet style glistens with a crispness and individuality that could leave you swearing off magazine stands for good.

Expect even more from the next issue, as the Stardust team plans on shoots in Paris and New York. While Philadelphia remains the focus of the magazine, the goal is to bring the wider world of fashion much closer to home.

“We call it Philadelphia International,” Santos added.

You can find the headquarters of the new magazine at Curated Goods, the Northern Liberties vintage store owned by Santos.

Exhibition of photography by Justin-Julius Santos at Curated Goods in October.

Stumbling into the boutique is a bit like climbing into the attic of a Victorian home and finding a treasure trove of curiosities – minus the dust.

The space may be small, but the possibilities are endless. Propped up on the couch in place of a pillow, you’ll find a copy of Karl Lagerfeld’s “Visionaire No. 23: The Emperor’s New Clothes,” tucked into its custom wooden case and tied with a copper-colored satin bow. Scattered amidst Japanese robot figurines and Elizabethan portraits, you’ll spot a pair of dark blue velvet gloves to compliment a vintage find from the clothing rack across the aisle.

You’ll even find eye candy on the walls, as the store rotates photography exhibitions every month in the hopes of promoting local artists.

“Curated Goods is anything and everything I love: from shells, to crazy wedding dresses,” Santos exlained. “I’m attracted to really obscure stuff.”

Even stronger than his passion for finding eccentric odds and ends is Santos’s admiration for the younger generation. With Stardust as an example, he hopes to see young creatives shoving fear aside in pursuit of their goals.

“Life – you don’t know where it’s going to take you. It’s long and short,” Santos said. “Whatever you want to do, do it while you’re young. It gets so much harder. Don’t be scared, try everything once, anything once, before you say no.”

Elaine M. Erne, co-founder and co-director of Star Wheel Printers, received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.  Erne’s drawings and prints have been featured in numerous invitational and juried national exhibitions. The Lives and Traumas of Stuffed Animals is a series of comically disturbing depictions of Mr. Bunny and his friends under siege. The series is made up of very large graphite pencil drawings, woodblocks, etchings, and lithographs. Although there is a playful side, the underlining theme is fear, cruelty, and survival.  In recurring distressful situations people often become like dolls, presenting a steady happy personae no matter what is happening.  Though the circumstances represented in the work are not real, no stuffed animals were hurt in the making of the work, they capture the aura that surrounds a person who has no control but will not give in.
Elaine M. Erne
Elaine M. Erne

Elaine M. Erne, co-founder and co-director of Star Wheel Printers, received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh,…

Elaine M. Erne, co-founder and co-director of Star Wheel Printers, received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia,…

Elaine M. Erne, co-founder and co-director of Star Wheel Printers, received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Erne’s drawings…

Cathleen Cohen is a Philadelphia artist and poet who creates works on paper using watercolor or aqueous media. Her topics range from abstract expressionism to figurative paintings to portraits.
Cathleen Cohen
Cathleen Cohen

Cathleen Cohen is a Philadelphia artist and poet who creates works on paper using watercolor or aqueous media. Her topics…

Cathleen Cohen is a Philadelphia artist and poet who creates works on paper using watercolor or aqueous media. Her topics range from abstract expressionism to figurative paintings to portraits.…

Cathleen Cohen is a Philadelphia artist and poet who creates works on paper using watercolor or aqueous media. Her topics range from abstract expressionism to figurative paintings to portraits.…

Peter Treiber's abstract expressionistic light painting photographs.
Peter Treiber
Peter Treiber

Peter Treiber's abstract expressionistic light painting photographs. …

Peter Treiber's abstract expressionistic light painting photographs. …

Peter Treiber's abstract expressionistic light painting photographs. …

Kristin Osgood Lamelas’ mixed-media paintings reference aerial views of specific landscapes and images of cells from her own body, creating a micro/ macro relationship.
Kristin Osgood Lamelas
Kristin Osgood Lamelas

Kristin Osgood Lamelas’ mixed-media paintings reference aerial views of specific landscapes and images of cells from her…

Kristin Osgood Lamelas’ mixed-media paintings reference aerial views of specific landscapes and images of cells from her own body, creating a micro/ macro relationship.

Kristin Osgood Lamelas’ mixed-media paintings reference aerial views of specific landscapes and images of cells from her own body, creating a micro/ macro relationship.

Donna Quinn
Donna Quinn
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