Get to know this uber fun Recess Films director and photographer - and her insanely long Starbucks order
Alexandra Gavillet's Instagram is an explosion of colour. Mostly used as a showcase for her still portrait work, it's chock full of imagery that's vibrant, dynamic and, more than anything else, downright fun. Her Essential List is a bit of the same and, upon reading today on a Wednesday morning, blew away a few humpday cobwebs. The pictures of her dogs also helped.
She also works in moving imagery and is repped by newly-launched Recess Films. Commercially she's worked with the likes of Adidas, Virgin Records, W Magazine, Refinery29, Complex, L'Oréal, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and New York Magazine. Despite that, she always finds time to binge through crates of La Croix and scary movies with her sisters.
Get to know!
o Place of birth: Evanston, Illinois
o Hometown: Winnetka, Illinois
o Staycation: IMPORTANT. Our generation glories not sleeping and only working but taking time to relax is crucial for efficient working! SO after a long nonstop run of shoots + early call times, I buy a 24 pack of La Croix, hang on my couch with my sisters and binge watch scary movies.
o Vacation: Firenze is my favourite place in the world. I need to go back like, tomorrow.
o Pet: Two golden retrievers that look like puppies but are secretly 8 and 10?
o Place of work: Upstairs office space
o Place of workout: Been running down Santa Monica Blvd on a three-mile run // Y7 Yoga for the recharge.
o Side project: I started #UNMUTED in 2016 — where we bring influential figures to speak about topics they believe in, in public spaces, guerrilla style. I work on this with my partner Alyssa Buono, who is the creative director of #UNMUTED.
o Mode of transport: Uber // Jeep Wrangler // sometimes I may or may not Bird to Starbucks (hint: I do)
o Bonus Travel Essential: Black tracksuit ALWAYS. Comfy and chic for the 11-hour flight.
o Artist: My favourite art is music. My favourite artist is Stormzy; his music, message and videos are beyond inspiring and enlivening to me. I also love the illustrator and writer Mari Andrew who makes incredible and relatable art for the modern woman. Also Petra Collins vision and work are such an inspo to me.
o Musician: Some artists I have been listening to lately are — Kojo Funds, Weslee, Nusky, NSG, Not3s, Tokyo the Producer
o Film director: Always was influenced by Wes Anderson’s use of colour + movement... And Nancy Meyer’s ability to make people feel good.
o Photographer: Lillian Bassman (LOOK HER UP! No one ever taught me about her but she was a queen during the Cecil Beaton era...), Nick Knight and Deborah Turbeville.
o Film: I love movies that make me FEEL GOOD. ‘It’s Complicated’ is one I know line-by-line... In true Gemini fashion, I also love to terrify myself with movies — I think I’ve seen every scary movie made in the US... But I don’t wanna have a favourite or else that will curse me.
o Series: ‘Insecure’ is the best show ever created. ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is my fav show. And ‘Real Housewives of [insert any city]’ as not even a guilty pleasure, pleasure.
o Commercial: THE BEST COMMERCIAL IN THE WORLD — it’s so gorgeous and pure and free-ing and refreshing... And the casting is so impeccable!
o Music Video: Simple and impactful, incredible raw performance. I think about this video three times a week. So inspiring.
o Video Game: I always pretended to like video games to fit in with my three sisters. My faux-passion for video games was short-lived upon my discovery that my sister never actually plugged in my control and I had been unknowingly ‘playing’ as the computer characters.
o Board Game: I LOVE CATCHPHRASE! And the card game BS... I’m really good.
o Book: My Dad gave me Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ when I was 18 heading to college and it changed my work ethic forever. ‘The Originals’ is an incredible book for young hustlers. And ‘Tools of Titans’ is my fav book - you can open any page and find a dose of inspo on it. I also LOVE Ashley Graham’s book, ‘A New Model’.
o Graphic Novel: Lillian Bassman has a gorgeous book called ‘Women’, which I borrowed from the NYU Library and have yet to return... It’s been a few years. Oops.
o Podcast: Amanda Seales’ wisdom is so needed during this time, I highly recommend a listen to her incredible podcast ‘Small Doses’. Also I LOVE NPR’s ‘Hidden Brain’ — amazing podcast that gives insight as to why we do what we do, human tendencies, etc. Jonathan Van Ness’ podcast ‘Getting Curious’ is EVERYTHING - his voice and energy give me life + the topics he addresses have truly opened my mind.
o Newspaper (off or online): NYT. BBC World Service Radio & WBEZ Chicago Public Radio Station.
o Magazine: Vanity Fair. Nat Geo.
o Bonus Culture Essential: Soundcloud is how I discover all my music - by following DJs and listening to mixes. Mixes are such an amazing way to enjoy all different genres and vibes of music. “People who like good music know how to hunt it down.” - JME
Food and Drink
o Breakfast: Whole grain toast, one egg + pancetta + pepper jack cheese + apples + four cups of coffee + tangerine juice + water (I eat like I’m training for a marathon in the AM but I’m just tryna get this work in!)
o Restaurant: IZAKAYA in West Hollywood. Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax. La Esquina in NY (LES one). Bon Chon Chicken in NY (Fidi one).
o Cheap bite: Larchmont Wine & Cheese sandwiches are bomb.
o Working lunch: Honestly I don’t really do lunch meetings. I love coffee meetings + save the food for socializing with the homies later.
o Favourite Dish: Spicy Fusilli @ Jon & Vinny’s
o Signature Dish: That I make? I make an amaze blackened salmon.
o Snack: No such thing as a snack with me, I’m whole damn meal kinda gal.
o Guilty Pleasure: ICE CREAM was created for one thing: pleasure. I love ice cream @ Salt & Straw (LA). Petee’s Pie in NY is absolutely insane (their pecan pie is mad).
o Bar: Tijuana Picnic in NY is amazing! Virgil is super fun in LA.
o Booze: Mezcal or Pinot Noir
o Not Booze: La Croix & Essentia Water
o Bonus Food: Big Mama’s Pizza in LA is SO GOOD!
o Bonus Beverage: Venti Iced blonde roast quad sugar free vanilla latte with extra ice + cinnamon powder. That’s my Starbucks order. How annoying do I sound?
o Phone: An iPhone X with a cracked camera (how ironic)
o Computer: 2017 15” MacBook Pro
o TV: Samsung + SONY
o Headphones: Beat by Dre - wireless - big headphones to blast and drown out noise
o Camera: Canon MK 4. S/o to my lovely tech and bff Brooks Digi for the hookup.
o Soundsystem: Sonos One - although it’s acting quite funky these days and I truly believe it’s because my neighbours hacked into my system to turn it down (there have been a few noise complaints...)
o Pen / pencil: Cannot be choosey, because there’s def a pen monster that follows me around and eats my pens bc I’ll buy a 1000 pens and the next day they’re GONE. The pens I get from Fedex always stick around though.
o Where you document an idea: Voice memos, Notes, Moleskine. I have so many damn notebooks and not enough pens.
o Casual Clothing: Tracksuit // Jumpsuit
o Smart Clothing: Leather jacket makes me feel sassy
o Footwear: Love me some swaggy new Nikes
o Watch: iPhone
o Collection: Perfume (Jo Malone, Nest, Le Labo)
o App: Nike Run Club, Astrology Zone, Cavier, Twitter, Gmail
o Website: Refinery29
o Work program: Lightroom. I don’t retouch images so no Photoshop for me.
o Digital work tool: Evernote is fab.
o Analogue work tool: I write loads of random thoughts & lists and ideas during the day — love my Moleskines.
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: Vitamin E oil changed my life. It makes your skin GLOW.
o Bonus Kit Essential: Caudalie Beauty Elixir Spray refreshes the hell out of my face and makes it cute and dewy. It’s SO GOODY!