Get your fix on signature SoCal style with Meredith Shank of Okay Mama as she talks to Cosabella on everything from festival fashion to 90’s Brad Pitt.
You’re an actress, a model, and a furniture dealer: how do you manage these different activities?
I started dealing vintage furniture precisely because I could do it in between auditions and castings. Make my own hours, buy what I like. It feels good to be in control of something, whereas in acting, so much of it is out of your hands.
What’s your favorite style when it comes to furniture?
I like Americana; I like old wooden trunks and saddles and Navajo blankets. But I have also been going through a very serious rattan phase. Kind of colonial era Southeast Asia…slash your granny’s porch in Florida.
Who’s your fashion icon?
Easy. Brad Pitt, early 90s. I’m even thinking of going blond.
Which fashion trend do you think will be strong in 2017?
I feel like, across the board, 2017 is going to be pretty revolutionary…I think that people are going to demand more social and eco-conscious fashion. But I’ll take some glitter with my activism. Also stars. For some reason all I want this year is some jewelry with stars on it.
What festival will you attend this season?
To be very honest, I’m not a big festival junkie! I prefer to see shows in dark rooms at night. That being said…I will probably go to Coachella this year.
What’s your everyday look?
Levis, white T-shirt, old brown boots. But I have been actively trying to dress like a girl. A good summer dress and sneakers can serve you pretty well all day.
Must-have item of the season?
A chic backless one piece bathing suit.
What do you have on your playlist right now?
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd, Wicked Game – Chris Isaak, Don’t Go to Strangers – J.J. Cale, L’appuntamento – Ornella Vanoni. We Can’t Be Beat – The Walkmen.
And I can’t stop listening to Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. I’m serious, if you need to get pumped up, that’s the jam.
Who’s your interior design icon?
I don’t have a favorite interior designer. Recently though, I went to Sri Lanka and visited two of architect Geoffrey Bawa’s homes, and was very impressed by how he designed and decorated them.
Next, I want to go to Mexico City and see Luis Barragan’s home studio.
What’s your festival outfit?
I could spend every day in cut off Levi 501s…whether or not they’re still cool. And a vintage cream silk tank top. Especially if it’s hot.
The best thing about living in Cali?
Proximity to the ocean, the desert, the mountains! I also live in a small town. Just outside LA, Topanga is a place where people really do know each other’s names and meet up at the local spots.
Where do you find the best pieces of furniture for your store?
Craigslist. For sure. Especially outside LA. People don’t care so much about the value of what they have. They just want you to help them get it out of their house, and they’re happy to see how much you like it.
Which old movie you would’ve liked to act?
Paris, Texas and The Philadelphia Story.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Chapstick, hair tie, check book. Everyone makes fun of my check book but I can’t tell you how often it’s come in handy on the go. Especially when old buying furniture.
Photography by Jennifer Steele. Shot at Meredith’s Topanga home 2016.