We headed over to Casco this week to talk to Lloyd and Kevin Keene, the brothers behind the indispensable Villa Agustina, the cultural space/party destination where you probably spend most of your weekend nights (and maybe mornings). The Keenes are also a prominent Panamanian DJ duo — Check out the K.E.E.N.E soundcloud here. The owner of the Villa Agustina space, Maria, has allowed the Keenes to throw parties there since 2010 and all of Panama City should thank her for it. She also let us open up the big blue doors Tuesday morning and chat inside with the Keene brothers.
Lloyd showed up first with an oatmilk, oatmeal cookies and lots of cool stories. (Notable but not included: his dad once built a car from scratch. It took 12 years.) Kevin came just before we had to head home for work but we got to talk a little while speeding down the Cinta Costera.
Charlaine Thomas is a diseñadora industrial from Panama City. We talked to Charlaine about her necklaces on Festival Abierto’s first day but sadly only had snack money with us. We then obviously thought about nothing but necklaces all day. On the second day we went back and were disappointed to not see her at the same spot. Then, while we were sitting on the hill above the stage eating sandwiches, Charlaine walked up with a basket full of jewelry. Perfect. If you just need one of these necklaces or bracelets (we definitely did) email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer, a social media volunteer at this weekend’s Festival Abierto in Parque Omar.
Filed under day, dusk, night
Jacqueline Brandwayn is a Panama-based Colombian-born artist whose recent show “Beautiful: A celebration of being a woman” premiered at Espacio Panama last week. We liked it lots. (See some photos here.) Brandwayn has made her mark on Panama (particularly on Casco Viejo, where she has her studio) both literally and metaphorically. Besides being a painter, Jacqueline is a street artist, whose distinctive leg stencil graffiti is visible all over Casco. Jacqueline has a background in graphic design and photography, the latter of which she studied at Emerson College along with advertising. During the week, Brandwayn designs the accessory line for Converse. (Jacqueline, how do you do it?!)
We visited Jacqueline’s studio last weekend at the Santa Familia community center in Casco. It’s a beautiful space and so close to the ocean that “When is the tide is high you can listen to the breaking of the waves,” Jacqueline said. We first spoke in her current workspace, then moved to her old studio upstairs, where there was (and still is) no door. “One time I came in at night and there were seven crackheads hanging out.” She moved downstairs.
Those awesome little legs are a necklace Adrian's boyfriend made from Adrian's old toys.
Adrian Carrillo López is a vestaurista from Panama. You can check out some of his styling work here. He’s also a part of the P.I.M.P. collective or Producciones Independientes de Moda de Panama. He also designs for Panamanian designer Sara Bassan.
When did you start working for Sara Bassan? I started when I was about 18. I met Jamie Luna who was doing what I do now. He showed me how to draw. I used to do it like manga, with big eyes. He showed me how to make it like fashion design. When Jamie left her, she called me. She’s a great boss – she leaves me time to do other projects.
What’s her clothing like? Los diseños de Sarita son por una mujer sofisticada. It’s expensive but it’s not really expensive if you see the quality of how it’s made. It’s un servicio muy personalizado. The clients come in y yo diseño varias opciones. Sometimes people say to me, “oh, so then it’s your work.” But no, yo diseño bajo del estilo de la marca de ella.
Do you eventually want to have your own line? Yeah, actually yo voy a empezar pronto con t-shirts.
What’s your own style like? Yo me considera como hippie de la moda. Creo que es el propósito de la moda de disfrutarte, de expresarte. Es porque me pongo cosas como esto [the necklaces]. Hah, basicamente esta es como puedo describirme. I like what the Sartorialist does, he goes to Fashion Week and takes pictures of the audience, more than the high fashion. Because a member of the audience takes inspiration from the runway y eso informa su propio estilo, according to their life and their clima. To me that’s what is the most important part of fashion. Making it your own.
Angélica Castillo aka Miss Balanta is a graphic designer, fashion consultant and blogger originally from Colombia. See her blogging at work at missbalanta.com.
We’ve heard a little about something you’re doing called “Panayork.” We’re way into that New York-Panama connection. Could you tell us a little more about Panayork? I was living in Barcelona and everyone was asking me why are you moving to Panama?! So I told them, I’m not. I’m moving to Panayork. There are so many cultures and so many people coming together here.
What’s your favorite thing you’re wearing today? This blouse. I got it at Espacio Vintage. It’s actually a man’s t-shirt. A Miami Vice man’s t-shirt.
What do you recommend in PTY? One of my favorite places in Panama ever is Casco. So many new things going on here: fashion, art and music. All kinds of culture. I call it the Casco Village of Panayork; I only go out of the bubble when it’s necessary.
[Laughs] The last time I was interviewed in English was for German TV and it was like ahhhh.
See more of Wednesday’s opening after the jump: