Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas & a Merry New Year!

Dear loyal readers,
it's that time of the year again. Mariah Carey's bells and whistles have been getting me in the Christmas mood since early November and now Christmas is finally here! I will not be releasing any more articles for 2013, but I will be back January 6th 2014. I have a lot of exciting things planned for 2014 and I can't wait to share them with you.

Fireworks from Last Year's New Years Eve Party

I wish you and your loved ones Happy Holidays and I'll See You in 2014!
Much Love,
& Family

Monday, November 4, 2013

4 the Love of Music #6

I do not know if it is the month November but this month is an indie turned pop edition of 4 the Love of Music. It's not really mainstream pop but pop as in underground bands/artists who have one or two radio hits. This month I will have music by Brett Dennen who just released his 5th album, also The Lumineers who brought out their Deluxe Edition, Imagine Dragons and Of Monsters and Men who have been rocking out all festivals all year!

'When I Do Not Feel Inspired...I Can Only Speak My Heart'

Last week Brett Dennen released his album 'Smoke and Mirrors' - October 22nd to be precise. When Brett is releasing new music rest assured...there's magic happening. Before the release of 'Smoke and Mirrors' Brett had Q&A's on his Facebook and I was lucky enough to be one of the fans who got 2 out of 3 questions answered. I asked him what I always ask musicians who have a different sound - but they never answer, so glad he did - which is "how did you find your sound?". He answered: 'It takes time. Picking and choosing what feels right. Sometimes it's more about what you don't play.' I've been a Brett Dennen fan since Heaven came out and I've really been looking forward to a new album because they're all so personal and honest. He's most of the time talking about 21st century problems, love or just the adventures that life has to offer. That's not too bad for a 34-year-old folk singer and songwriter with five studio albums. Brett calls this album 'back to basics' saying: 
'I wanted to return to folk and acoustic music I loved when I began writing. I decided to tap into my memories and explore new emotional territory as honestly as I could'.
Why the name 'Smoke and Mirrors'?:
'I called the album Smoke and Mirrors, because one of the major themes of the album, lyrically, is that things aren't exactly as they appear to be. If you focus on how you think things should be, then you can't see them for what they really are,'

The first released song off 'Smoke and Mirrors' is Wild Child, it's more of a radio hit - which the first song almost always is. The highlight of the album for me is really 'Only Want You'. It's a love song about choosing the connection over the the tough times you can face when in a relationship. It's a mixture of things that make this song amazing...like the female vocals in the background, the lyrics and the reggae touch. I'm never worried about lyrics with Brett because he has just a simple and clever way of writing his music. If it's one thing this album isn't missing it's great lyrics. 

You can listen & get 'Only Want You' for free on NOISETRADE!

Brett Dennen -
Album: Smoke and Mirrors

'In the End it All Comes Down to Credibility. I Had None So I Will Die with the Secrets of the Sea'

Yay! My all time favorite song FINALLY has a music video. My favorite band just can't stop doing AMAZING things like releasing a deluxe edition of their album (which I have been waiting for since I heard the album!), getting a track on The Hunger Games' Catching Fire Soundtrack and now releasing their third music video from the self-titled album that came out in 2012. The album version of Submarines is not my favorite song - rather the Submarine live version from the HearYa Live Sessions - but this will do! It's animated and now it's mine and yours...enjoy!

The Lumineers - 
Album: The Lumineers (Deluxe Edition)

'I Take it in but Don't Look Down'

If you used to watch the TV-serie Partners you probably already know this song because it was the theme song. But if you didn't this is a really great way to introduce yourself to the band Imagine Dragons. Imagine Dragons' "On Top of the World" is like The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" - you first love the song and then you fall in love with the band. It's really catchy with the claps and the background vocals and it's a great song to get you or keep you in a great mood:

Imagine Dragons -
On Top of the World
Album: Night Visions

'And as the World Comes to an End, I'll Be Here to Hold Your Hand'

Of Monsters and Men was a must-check-out band at this year's Coachella and they did not let down. They formed O.M.a.M. back in 2010 and they released their first studio album 'My Head is an Animal' in 2011. They - for the most part - have the same fans as 'The Lumineers' and 'Mumford & Sons' and they even share a radio station on iTunes. My favorite song of theirs is "Love Love Love", and I'm basically in love with Nanna's soft yet sharp voice...I just can't get enough! I would advise to listen to all the songs on My Head is an Animal, because they have a whimsical side to their music that I can really appreciate. Like the song 'Dirty Paws' starts with 'Jumping up and down the floor, My head is an animal. And once there was an animal, It had a son that mowed the lawn. The son was an ok guy, They had a pet dragonfly. The dragonfly it ran away. But it came back with a story to say.' All I can say: I can't wait for that video! For now we are going to have to do it with their animated video-game-like music video's which they have released 2 of including 'King and Lionheart' and 'Little Talks'.

Of Monsters and Men -
King and Lionheart
Album: My Head is an Animal

See you in December for the 7th and final edition of 2013 of 4 the Love of Music.
Much Love,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Suit & Bow-Tie

About a week ago I saw the movie 'Baggage Claim' and even though it was possibly one of the worst movies made in 2013 (or ever), my Fashion-self can't seem to forgot the only good part about the movie. Also unforgettable is the mediocre comedy throughout the entire movie and the bad acting from the lead actress Paula Patton. The weird thing is...I remember Robin Thicke's wife being really good in Deja Vu also starring Denzel Washington and I just don't know what happened or at least what went wrong...

The Fashion was good or at least acceptable and I'm not talking about the extremely handsome men in the movie, but I'm talking about the character Sam.

Sam is the character played by Adam Brody in Baggage Claim. 
What's so special about his character? Well except for him being the only good thing to happen in this movie, his bow-tie deserves an honorable mention. Here's why:
In the beginning I felt really bad about giving him an honorable mention, as I am a huge Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) fan and we all know Chuck is the King of bow-ties. But...Gossip Girl has ended and as I move on...I want to say...the world needs more bow-ties.
Don't just wear them (in blue) when you've done something wrong and you're going on TV to "apologize" - *cough* Chris Brown - but wear them to special occasions. Or...casually like Adam Brody's character Sam.

Jill Scott - Adam Brody
I'm a sucker for bow-ties especially if they have a cool print on them but it wouldn't be right if I only complimented his ties since he looked good throughout the entire movie. I love prints and I just loved how they mixed the different prints in one outfit. Like the plaid suit with the striped bow-tie (above) and the polka dots shirt with the striped tie (below). His character was hilarious and it was great seeing him look good doing it.

Adam Brody
Adam Brody

If you have any plans to go and see this movie...I wouldn't! If you're an Adam Brody fan I'd advise you to go, but that's probably the only reason. I really enjoyed the Fashion in this movie but it's a shame that that was the only good thing about it.
Much Love,

Friday, October 4, 2013

4 the Love of Music #5

Summer is over and out and school is in.
I start this Monday at school and I will start blogging again. The last edition of 4 the Love of Music was back in June. Now I'm back with the 5th edition and I have a lot of new bands and songs I can't wait to share with you. These four songs are all songs I have been enjoying all summer.

'One Day You Screaming You Love Me Loud, the Next Day You're So Cold'

Just like Jay & Ye and Robin Thicke & Pharrell, JT and JAY Z are starting to make a happy combination. Starting with Suit & Tie and now Holy Grail...could this be the year of bromance music? If you're not planning to listen to this song at least do it for 1) JT's amazing vocals 2) JT's extra handsome look 3) JAY Z's artistic value. If you listen to the song and then watch the video, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about! The amazing visuals, vocals and beat almost make you forget that this song is about JAY Z's love/hate relationship with fame.

Jay Z ft Justin Timberlake -
Holy Grail
Album: Magna Carta... Holy Grail

'Only Hate the Road When You're Missing Home'

I'm still in the process of checking all of Passenger's music but I don't have any complaints yet. The lead singer's voice is really good and the lyrics are amazing. It's easy on the ears and I really enjoyed this song:

Passenger -
Let Her Go
Album: All the Little Lights

'And I Was Tired of Giving You More than You Gave to Me'

These siblings have made my summer. The Oh Hellos consists of Maggie and Tyler Heath. I actually found their album for free on noisetrade and I really fell in love with their album 'Through the Deep, Dark Valley'. They're inspired by some of my favorite bands in the industry like The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. They are another example of why I love Indie Bands so much. Indie bands always look for that unique sound that will make you remember them. They make music for themselves and they won't let go of their creative side for anyone. In return I want to share their amazing music with you and if you like them please continue to support them by sharing their music with others. Their album is a bit diverse so I'm pretty sure you will find at least one song you'll like.

The Oh Hellos -
The Truth is a Cave
Album: Through the Deep, Dark Valley

'I Look to the Skyline and Said: How Many Falls Until I Fly?'

This 22-year-old British singer-songwriter-pianist released his first studio album 'Long Way Down' last June. Tom Odell makes the kind of music everyone can relate to. His album is quite enjoyable especially the tracks like 'Another Love','Supposed To Be', 'I Know' and 'Can't Pretend'. More impressive is the way he writes his lyrics. It's almost like he's writing a story and then singing it. And the cherry on top: his piano-playing skills. He is one of the reasons why singer-songwriter is a separate genre. The kind of soul and feeling you put in to a song about a story that really happened to you makes it sound way more special than someone else just sing your song.
Peter has it...the voice...the face...the talent. I can't wait to hear more.

Tom Odell -
Supposed To Be
Album: Long Way Down

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4 the Love of Music #4: The Summer Edition!

Happy Summer!
I hope you are enjoying the sun and sand with music in the back. This edtion - the 4th edition - of '4 the Love of Music' is themed 'summer music'. So every year I have a summer theme song and it's most of the time a song I can't stop listening to. Summer hits aren't really about good heartfelt lyrics but more about eccentric beats that make you feel relaxed and ready to have fun!
My summer theme songs of the previous years include:
- Ni**as in Paris by Jay-z & Kanye
- My Love by Justin Timberlake & T.I. 
- Wanna Love You by Robin Thicke & Pharrell
- Whine Up by Kat Deluna & Elephant Man

'You & I can Find what the World's been Looking for Forever...Friendship & Love Together'

One thing that makes Summer even better...L.O.V.E. One of sweetest and most romantic songs I can actually remember from when I was really young is a song by India.Arie. At that age it was something new for me and I was totally blown away by her soulful voice and new point of view of love. When I heard the song Bubly by Colbie Caillat I immediately thought of India.Arie's song. That's why I connect both songs to summer romance whenever I hear them. India.Arie makes love seem so easy and fun in 'Can I Walk with You':

India.Arie -
Can I Walk With You
Album: Voyage to India

'Nobody Knows What the Future Holds and It's Bad Enough Just Getting Old'

 Everyone knows Summer is also Festival Season! And in my opinion Festival music is the best kind of music. Sometimes they don't make sense, but that doesn't matter because everyone is just there to sing along  and have fun. Indie bands don't normally have the tendency to bring out 'crappy songs' with 'crappy lyrics' so that's what makes festivals so amazing. Coachella ended earlier this year, but festivals like Glastonbury and Lollapalooza are summer festivals. They had amazing line ups and one of them is Vampire Weekend. I've been a longtime V.W. fan and their latest album Modern Vampires of the City came out earlier this year. It has a couple of great songs, two of them being 'Diane Young' and 'Ya Hey'. They performed 'Diane Young' at this year's Glastonbury and here it is:

Vampire Weekend -
Diane Young
Album: Modern Vampires of the City

'You & I - bloodlines, We Come Together Every time'

I first discovered Jessie Ware when I was watching this years Coachella. She was on Solange Knowles' 'people to look forward to on Coachella' list so I had to check her out. By the time her album Devotion came out, the track 'Wildest Moments' was on iTunes' 'songs we really enjoy' list - also known as the free track of the week. The lyrics are pretty good but I didn't really get the video...until now. I quickly fell in love with Wildest Moments as Jessie describes a relationship involving two people who aren't meant to be together - singing 'two wrongs, no rights'. There's a certain irony in it as she continues 'we walk the line'. In the last verse she describes how she misses their 'wildest moments' and she's also wondering 'what if''. That explains her turning circles in the video, their relationship is back and forth. In this case, simplicity is key!

Jessie Ware -
Wildest Moments
Album: Devotion

'I Feel So Lucky, You Wanna Hug Me. What Rhymes with Hug Me?'

If two people on this planet should be working more together their names are: Robin Thicke and Pharrell. I mean whenever their forces unite, magic comes out. Their last hit 'Wanna Love You' was also one of my 'summer songs' a couple of years ago. They did it again - this time with T.I. - and I love it in an 'on repeat' way. It's really more of a either-really-love-it or really hate it kind of a song, which sounds like every summer hit. This is my 2013 summer theme song:

Robin Thicke ft Pharrell ft T.I. -
Blurred Lines
Album: Blurred Lines

It's always summer in my country, so it's sun everyday, but music is the only thing that really changes around this time because she weather is most certainly not. If it's even possible it can get hotter in august. It's great to spend these days surrounded by water!
Much Love,

The previous editions of '4 the Love of Music':
4 the Love of Music #1
4 the Love of Music #2
4 the Love of Music #3

The next edition of "4 the Love of Music" will be released on: Sunday August 4th 2013.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

(2)4 the Love of Music #3

When a new month starts, it's certainly time to get ready for another edition of '4 the Love of Music'. This time I failed to release it on time due to my busy school schedule. Sorry!. Like every edition, this one also has a theme and it's: 'a celebration of life'. I had another theme in mind for this edition but I came across a very inspiring person that made me change the theme. His name is Zach Sobiech and this edition is dedicated to him.

'Life Is A Short Trip, the Music's for The Sad Man'

I feel it's very appropriate to include Beyonce in this edition since she headlined Gucci's 'Chime for Change: Sound of Change' concert. This song is one of my favorite covers, the refrain is originally by Alphaville but Jay-z put his own spin on it for his album 'The Blueprint 3' and Mr. Hudson sang the refrain in that one. This is the part where Beyonce comes in... As Jay-z headlined Coachella in 2010, Beyonce also put her own spin on it and slowed down the intro of the beat and sang the refrain. It's really amazing to hear 3 artists sing one song totally different. What's even more amazing is the live effect. Everything sounds better when it's live and raw. No one better than two amazing performers to sing/rap this amazing song.
P.s. I loved Jay-z and Beyonce's chemistry on stage

Jay-z featuring Beyonce - 
Young Forever (Live)
Coachella 2010

'Changes Come & We All Know That We Can't Stop Them,
But I Hold The Memories & I Will Never Drop Them'

Brett Dennen is one of my favorite artists and musicians of all time. He's remarkably talented with honest writing and a beautiful voice. He mostly sings about 21st century problems, but this song is about life after death. The lyrics are amazing and he's singing about watching over someone who's still on this planet. California born folk musician and songwriter Brett Dennen knows a thing or two about bringing out a meaningful song that will make you melt if you listen to the lyrics. He's also one for the music not the money. Two of his songs were on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack and much more series. His most famous songs are 'Ain't No Reason', 'Make You Crazy' and my personal favorite 'Heaven'. From his self-titled album, I bring you:

Brett Dennen -
When I Go
Album: Brett Dennen

'The Heart's I Have Touched, Will Be the Proof that I Leave'

Last year's World Humanitarian Day Beyonce started a campaign 'I Was Here' which was about doing something good, somewhere for someone else. A lot of singers, designers and actors including President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck, Gucci and Stella McCartney have helped Beyonce reach 1 billion supporters on August 19th. It truly was a moment of history I was glad I witnessed. For this campaign she released a video where she performs 'I Was Here' live at the UN's headquarters. If the song and the lyrics aren't amazing enough wait till you see the amazing visuals and her long sleeved glittered white dress. What truly adds a bit more heart and the message Beyonce was trying to sent out was the video of people helping other people. Here is a moment captured forever in my mind:

Beyonce -
I Was Here
Album: 4

Who is Zach Sobiech?

Zach is a teen who was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 14. He wrote and sang a song 'Clouds' which was a Youtube hit. The song can be seen as his goodbye letter, since writing letters weren't his style. The video has more than 7 million views and a couple of covers. Sadly Zach passed away on May 20th 2013 at the age of 18. Weeks before his death celebs such as Rainn Wilson, Rachel Bilson, Wes from The Lumineers, Phillip Phillips, Jason Mraz, Ashley Tisdale, Sara Bareilles, Bryan Cranson, Sarah Silverman and Jason Derulo lip sang a tribute video. This video has almost 3 million views. Zach set up a fund called 'The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund' and all proceeds benefit the fund. They've made over $350,000 already and you can purchase the iTunes #1 hit here. Zach is a true inspirations and I hope he has inspire many more make a step in the right direction!

Zach Sobiech -

I am dedicating the 3rd edition of '4 the Love of Music' to Zach, who simply wanted the world to know that you don't have to find out you're dying to start living. I want to help him spread this message since he is no longer with us. He is a reminder that we should all live out our dreams.
Much Love,

The previous editions of '4 the Love of Music': 
4 the Love of Music #1
4 the Love of Music #2

The next edition of "4 the Love of Music" will be released on: Thursday July 4th 2013.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Resort 2014: Black and White Sachin + Babi

This Resort 2014 is really more about looking out for designers that I'm not familiar with. Starting with last week's Clover Canon's Resort 2014 Collection, I'm now heading in a direction that's slightly the opposite. 
India-born couple and designers Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia from Sachin + Babi's womenswear label made a collection that will certainly set a trend very soon. They combined two trends that I predicted in '2013, the Year of...?'. Those are the classic black and white effect and floral prints. Their collection is simply relaxed enough for a Resort collection with a modern twist.

Sachin + Babi's customer is a woman with the spirit of a world traveler, who is a downtown girl at heart and embodies the artistry of design with effortless confidence - said the designers. Totally recognizable in this collection is the world traveler and downtown girl at heart part that probably is the most wanted request from customers yet often not well executed.

Babi and Sachin Ahluwalia

My Favorite Look:

My favorite look contains the trends that I was talking about earlier. Floral prints with black and white combined is certainly the best of both worlds. Considering that one world is the modern floral and one is the everlastingly classic black and white trend. Not only do I see myself wearing this - I love shorts - but this entire look is perfect for summer. The long-sleeve shirt with striped black and white and a huge spot of yellow and purple floral print make this look a bit more serious but the black alligator shoes and the floral short give it a summer feel. 

Here are my favorite looks:

Black and white clearly set the mood this season for Sachin + Babi's collection. The combination of these 2 contrasts is my favorite because you can do a lot with them even though they're so plain. They go great together but you can really make a statement when you use black and white in different fabrics. Sachin and Babi didn't add a lot of volume but you can add a lot of volume to both black and white because they are so plain.
The collection has dresses, maxi skirts, full skirts, knee-length shorts, crop tops, leather jackets and shorts. My favorite looks were the looks that had some kind of twist. Like the look with the white shorts with black stripes and the orange long-sleeve. It goes really well together and I love the vertical black stripe that both of the pieces have. The other look that is also one of my favorites, is the short-front-long-back black dress with a laced V-neck. The dress is perfectly fine by its self but the twist with the glitter metallic sequin skirt under it is truly clever. It's a great way to make an LBD more energetic.

Looks I didn't like:

I simply didn't like these looks because they don't fit in this collection and the separate pieces also don't go together.

I really felt like Sachin and Babi made each piece work within the collection, that makes it really difficult to pair it with another piece from another collection or designer. With that said who needs another designer when this collection holds a couple of soon-to-be-trends.
Much Love,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Resort 2014: Tribal 'Clover Canyon'

I am so ready to celebrate the fact that I can add Clover Canyon to my favorite brands list. I have just only heard about their brand 2 days ago and they are fairly new to the fashion industry. Giving the 2 years that they've been at this, they surely seem to know who their customers are. This season they took Resort to another level reaching for the customer that wants to turn heads when she walks out the door!

Inspired by Fifties Cuba - cigars, fruit and mosaic tiles - Rozae Nichols took care of the showstopping collection that looks amazing together as well as apart. Let's see what else she has mastered in this collection.

I couldn't choose one so here are My 2 Favorite looks:

As I couldn't choose my favorite out of this amazing collection, I simply chose the two looks that I want the most in my closet. Both of these looks are simple yet eye-catching and they have this personality of their own

Prints are truly a must for every Resort collection, without it being too busy for the eye. Clover Canyon made sure that the looks also had a Caribbean feel to them so that they also look relaxing. Another way to make the prints less busy is to make them symmetric and that's what Clover Canyon did. Even though the collection is cohesive you can split it in two: the black & white looks with a pop of color and on the other side the basic brown looks with the darker and subtle colors. As I love the contrast black and white and bright colors in between I enjoyed that part of the collection more.

They also styled the looks simple so that you really focus on the detailed collection. I loved the red lipped model, the customer who would buy and wear these pieces would also be bold enough to go for a red lip.

I love the entire collection but the 8 looks that are under 'the rest of the collection' are simply out of proportion or not well combined. When you work with these kind of prints volume or ruffles can't really play a big role in the pieces especially not around the arms or waist.

Here are the rest of my favorite looks:

Here is the rest of the collection:

Some brands design their collections based on two to three customers, but that most of the time fails to keep the cohesion of the collection. Clover Canyon however has one customer - which I like way more - that would wear one of these looks to the mall, one to a concert and one to an art gallery. 

More importantly someone needs to call Solange Knowles to tell her that I'm ready for her to rule the red carpet in one of these pieces!
Much Love,