Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High Fashion Fun: How LANVIN's Newest Campaign Changes Everything

I am obsessed. Obsessed with LANVIN's Fall 2011 campaign featuring two gorgeous models (Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman) dressed head-to-toe in ornate floral and no doubt absurdly expensive creations dancing to Pitbull (Gasp! Not even a recent hit... "Calle Ocho" from 2009)! I first noticed this awesomely addicting campaign as a print spread in VOGUE's September issue and at first, couldn't figure it out. I took an extra minute to decipher the story behind the image, then realized the models were in mid-dance and, god forbid, possibly having some "innocent fun". In contrast to Prada's serious(ly) underage models dressed like they are bored 40 year-old school girls--LANVIN LOOKS LIKE A PARTY.

The best part is the 1-minute video, which changed my entire perception of the high fashion world, and literally oozes with brillance--from the music, editing, styling, direction. That spot could not be anymore perfect than it already is, except watching it a few hundred times more. I may be biased a little since it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Wii and Kinect dancing games, which I'm guessing was the inspiration behind this idea.

Famous fashion photographer Steven Meisel shot the campaign and you can see the entire print campaign and video here. What tops off all this brilliance is LANVIN's Artistic Director Alber Elbaz makes a very cute cameo in end. Watch the spot here:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting For Hurricane Irene [PHOTOS]

I went up to my 7th-floor roof around 7 p.m. today to take a look at what mother nature had in store for NYC and you could see a long stretch of dark grey clouds looming over Manhattan from the Financial District. An obvious sign that the rain was coming soon. Besides heavy rain, I'm not expecting too much action in the area that I live in Williamsburg but have taken the advice of Mayor Bloomberg and am staying indoors the entire weekend. It's a good thing my coffee table has about 30 different new magazines and I just received the second and third books of the Hunger Games series... my weekend is set.

My friends and I took advantage of our last night before the storm and cooked a huge ass dinner. We decided our 'last supper' should be nothing short of epic and made bacon mac n' cheese with four times the recommended amount of bacon, BBQ pork ribs, spam musubis (a Hawaiian hurricane staple!) and blackberry buttermilk cake! Epicness indeed.

So far everything in my apartment feels strangely normal and familiar--cooking dinner, UFC prelims on TV and I even got to video chat my family earlier today--but I know the eerie black shadows on the other side of my taped up windows is something I've never experienced before.
The general attitude about Irene.
Stay safe New York!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Magazines, A Girl's Best Friend

Every boyfriend should know the best way to pacify their girlfriend is to give her a stack of magazines, particularly Fashion magazines. THAT should keep her busy for a few hours. Well, what do you know, I came home tonight to a 6-inch stack of September issues of Vanity Fair, Lucky, Entertainment Weekly, Nylon, Fast Company, NY Mag, People Style Watch and Cosmopolitan, which definitely shut me up for more than a few hours.

Although I'm a sucker for magazines, the only time I buy them is when I'm at an airport waiting for a layover flight, but when I see them in doctor's offices, laying on people's coffee tables or in the cashier aisle at Duane Reade, I can't help but pick it up and flip through it like a kid on candy withdraw. Flipping page by page, my eyes scan the ads, pictures, spreads for "things". These "things",  I now realize are the "cool beautiful things I want".

I might be part of the small percentage of females that don't online shop, ever. I'm not on Gilt or Banana or Zappos. I do not do the online shopping. So today when I felt the familiar urge to want something new and beautiful, it felt exciting. As a teenager I would clip out my favorite fashion spreads or dresses or jewelry out of magazines and make collages. I know there's digital versions of that like Polyvore and Tumblr--digital versions of collecting images that inspire you--but it just doesn't feel the same, feels almost forgetful or lost with the billions of images stored in the cloud. Which is why I still keep a sketchbook overflowed with clippings, stickers, cards, etc. next to my bed. 

With the increasing reliance on your Facebook and Twitter "anchoring" communities to feed you content--the content often feels repetitive and old. I admit that it felt refreshing to read features in Fast Company about David Lauren, neuromarketing and China's high school system. These are topics I probably wouldn't have otherwise stumbled upon online (unless I followed @FastCompany, which I do now). My point is, I respect publications that make an effort to curate good stories, topics and photo spreads, and there is magic left in print after all.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Balls Everywhere: The Meatball Competition Dinner Party [PHOTOS]

Yes, I have the maturity of a 9 year-old and still find "balls" funny. I also have a serious issue of turning every dinner party into some form of competition. Is it to much to ask my guests to judge their dinner based on taste, presentation and originality? I need to layoff the Food Network for a bit.

Last night, I held the first annual Meatball Competition Dinner Party! Attendees were required make some form of meatball--or bring beer. We ended up with 5 different meatballs, all delicious, and a lot of beer. The whole idea for "battle of the balls"came about this past Thursday after the LMFAO concert when we ordered a "pot of meatballs" from Spitzer's Corner in the LES and was slightly underwhelmed by the small quantity. Also, I recently couldn't get a seat at The Meatball Shop on Bedford Ave. so all of this ball-related frustration led to probably the best dinner party I've had in a while.

I'm already brainstorming my next food-themed competition... Dumplings? Pot pies? Sushi?

Below are photos of the preparation and meatballs. Ball app├ętit!
Ben's Turkey Meatballs with Leek Sauce
 My Curried Meatballs with Potatoes
Here's the recipe I used: http://soupbelly.com/2010/10/27/curried-meatballs-and-potatoes/
 Sean's Traditional Italian Meatballs sans Sauce
 And, Jason's large Buffalo Balls with Bourbon Reduction
Sadly I forgot to take a picture of Sean's Teriyaki Balls before everyone ate them. Yes, they were THAT good.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Party Rock Is In The House Tonight

Teenagers today are lucky that they didn't have to live through the "Macarena" dance craze, instead they get cooler moves like the "Shuffle" thanks to LMFAO. I'll admit it, I'm a pretty big fan of the duo. I can't say that I haven't tried to Shuffle (unsuccessfully) or get really excited when Shots goes on at a club. This past Thursday, LMFAO headlined Billboard's Summer Music Blowout at Pier 36 in New York and also marked the sixth week that LMFAO's hit song "Party Rock Anthem" was #1 on the Billboard chart.

LMFAO knows how to throw a party, first by throwing fist full of glow sticks into the audience, then launching inflatable zebras into the crowd, not to mention Quest Crew was part of their back up dancers (I love Hok! Such a big fan since So You Think You Can Dance days). The free concert was awesome and I'm pretty sure everybody had a good time. You can watch their performance of "Party Rock" here: http://bcove.me/gqvhjybk

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Favorite Stride Record: Karate Kicks On A Park Bench, Break It for $500

This has to be my favorite record yet, #51: Most Karate Kicks On A Park Bench in 30 Seconds. Probably because this is what I do every Saturday at McCarren Park. Kidding. My favorite are the Karate noises... classic. I'm a bit bummed I can't break this record since I work on Stride. But if I did, I would totally break the record and win the $500 prize. HIIIIIIIIIYYAAAA (flying kick, air suspension for 5 seconds).

Monday, August 8, 2011

London Riots Illustrate Exactly What's Wrong With Society Everywhere, Not Just London

Photo from http://www.guardian.co.uk/
As Londoners witness the looting and burning of their own buildings and the rest of the world watches in confusion, the dire state of the London riots brings the issues of class division and high unemployment into the spotlight. But it's way more than that. It's an issue of how "excessive consumerism", celebrity worship and status symbols has driven society all around the world to forget about the real things that matter in life, such as education, patriotism and community.

An article by Alexandra Topping of the Guardian ("Looting 'fuelled by social exclusion'") summed it best:

A generation bred on on a diet of excessive consumerism and bombarded by advertising had been unleashed, he added. "Where we used to be defined by what we did, now we are defined by what we buy. These big stores are in the business of tempting [the consumer] and then suddenly these people find they can just walk into the shop and have it all."

This is a wake up call to big corporations, media networks and marketers that push excessive consumption and high value on material things on society, which at this rate, will run the world into ruins if not through riots than through the depletion of our resources. Forever, our generation has been taught to want more. It is reminded everyday through music videos, magazine covers, billboards, reality TV shows and websites of what we don't have or should have. We have been brainwashed to think that these material objects define our happiness, when it shouldn't.

Especially during hard times like right now, where people are struggling to pay bills, buy food or provide for their children--brands, companies and entertainment have a social responsibility to look beyond selling goods or services but how they can better the lives of their consumers. The bright side of the recession is that it has taught me that I don't need very much to live happy. This combined with the revival of the localized businesses, grass roots marketing and the idea of a self-supporting community are signs that society is slowly changing its consumption habits for good.

I am not advocating for people NOT to spend money on luxury items or that it is wrong to want things. I am advocating for people's energy to be channeled towards more positive causes like the well-being of their families, community and country--and this includes the government and big corporations.

I remember about five months ago, I had read about how even in one of the worst disasters in Japan's history, the Japanese people did not resort to looting. That fact stuck in my head. Sometimes it's not what you do, it's what you DON'T do that can have the strongest impact. Sadly this is not the case in London, and the worst part about the recent riots is that nobody will come out a winner.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

There's No Better Friday Night Than One With Britney

If Femme Fatale was a club, I would go clubbing every night. Tonight I attended my first paid Britney Spears concert at the IZOD Center in New Jersey (the only other Britney concert I've attended was a film-for-TV-special on Waikiki Beach about a decade ago). It was everything I imagined it would be--non-stop dancing, strobe lights, sequined bras, fireworks, sassy dance moves and lots of gay boys in attendance. I am a long-time Britney fan and was pleasantly surprised by the entire production--the lighting, costumes, song choices and just Britney's ability to get a crowd going the way she used to. I loved every second of it!