How Natural Colorist Audrey Louise Reynolds Creates Her Beautiful World

By Courtney Balestier |

© Todd Selby

We’ll admit it: We’re girl-crushing on Brooklyn-based Audrey Louise Reynolds. Can you blame us? The color artist, who has collaborated with everyone from her BFF Pamela Love and Repetto to Sam Shepard and Shezad Dawood, creates dreamy fabrics using colors derived from natural sources like seaweed, clay and turmeric. ALR, her line of natural food-based dyes, was developed after spending years in the kitchen cooking. We spoke to the food-loving entrepreneur about where she gets her inspiration from and what she can’t live without.

What’s a typical food day?
I start my day with Stumptown coffee. For lunch I run down to Court St. Grocers and grab a Mr. Cays sandwich or a Goddess salad and continue my day without feeling bad. At Frankie’s, [her boyfriend’s restaurant], I’m obsessed with the shaved brussels sprout salad with ricotta salata. I have to be very good about what I eat during the day so I don’t lose momentum. It’s hard sometimes, we’re abusive to our bodies with the pace of life in New York and the way we all work. The fashion industry is a great example of “we’ll just work and work and work and not take a break,” and then it’s 3:30 and you’re having a meltdown.

Caviar has changed everything, the fact that I can hit a button on my phone and get exactly what I want — which is usually a Saltie’s Scuttlebutt sandwich.

Do you cook at home a lot?
I love to cook. My boyfriend and I think it’s hilarious, he’ll follow a recipe exactly, and it’ll be amazing, and I’ll just throw it all together and somehow I’ll turn around and it’ll come out of the oven and be perfect and we don’t know why. He’s like, “How did you do that? You broke every rule on the way to doing that.”

If Frank and I have both had a crazy day, we’ll order in. We probably get Thai from Kao Soy two or three nights a week, or Numero 28. That’s the best pizza ever. I used to drive into the city just to get my pizza.

How would you define your style?
I think I’m the girliest I’ve ever been: I’m loving wearing long dresses and putting on clothes that make me feel like a beautiful woman. I’ve always been a big fan of mixing vintage with modern and new designers. I accessorize, but I don’t over-accessorize — maybe one or two rings, a necklace and a bracelet.

I have a vintage Celine pussy bow blouse that I love to wear when I’m in a bad mood. I adore Christian Wijnants and Eckhaus Latta, Dieppe Restrepo and Fruit shoes, and Arielle de Pinto jewelry.

Who’s another female maker who inspires you?
My best friend Pamela Love is endlessly inspiring and always doing things the right way. It’s really refreshing and beautiful when you go to her studio and see that all of the stuff is being handmade. Her prices compete with prices of people who are having their product mass-produced in China. I love her new fine jewelry collection. Dani Griffiths, who owns Clyde, is doing a great job with her hats. She’s supporting the local economy and making a wide range of hats.

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m doing the Freehand LA hotel with Roman + Williams, dyeing bedspreads, pillows and linens. I have been doing custom bridal stuff for private clients that has been so fun, like fermented vats of pale pink roses with fresh-caught rainwater. We’re hand-making dresses and having rose healers chant over the finished garments and having them infused with Reiki. It’s a very big obligation, as a woman, to be entrusted with making someone’s dream dress.

Check out more what Audrey is creatingwith ALR here.

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