Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beautiful Things: Peter Beard. Photography and collage collide.

I had the chance to flip through Peter Beard's book in Taschen this afternoon (god forgive me for spending part of a Saturday at the Grove).Though I spotted it on my way out and only had a moment with it, I was captivated by the imagery. Nudes make me happy. Collage makes me happier. Beard's work does the trick on both counts.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Harry Potter...only better...via the wonderful art of puppetry!

I have never seen a Harry Potter movie. Nor have I read a book. Nor do I think I will.

However, I could probably watch this video over and over and over. All. Day. Long.

I have never seen a Harry Potter movie. Nor have I read a book. Nor do I think I will.

However, I could probably watch this video over and over and over. All. Day. Long.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Pictures: The Posters Came from the Walls (a doc on fandom. and Depeche Mode. and crazy folk.).

Some people are fans. Some are super fans. Some are obsessed. 'The Posters Came from the Walls' explores fandom in its wildest incarnations. It's screening this weekend in Los Angeles. And I cannot wait to see it.

‘I am no-one without listening to music’ 
‘We are Depeche-ist. Like Communist, like Fascist’
‘Our hobby is Depeche Mode’

The Posters Came From the Walls
Screening January 29 - 30

Silent Movie Theatre
611 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

Check the screening schedule and purchase tickets.

art in LA: Culver City Gallery Tour (c/o Art Los Angeles Contemporary)

Tonight marks the start of the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair. The programming looks incredible with activities and exhibitions in every neighborhood of the city. As a semi-Westsider now, I'm excited for tomorrow night's Culver City happening...

Culver City Gallery Tour

6-10 pm, Friday
Galleries in the Culver City will be open for visits.
6pm: LAXART presents exhibitions by Artemio and Kamrooz Aram.
7pm: Peres Projects screens SSION’s first feature-length film, BOY.
8pm: Honor Fraser hosts an exhibition walkthrough with artist Gustavo Godoy.
Participating spaces: Blum & Poe Cherry and Martin Honor Fraser Kim Light/LightBox David Kordansky LAXART Maloney Fine Art Nicodim Gallery Peres Projects Susanne Vielmetter

[Image Credit: Sharon Lockhart at Blum & Poe]

Bye-bye Ugly Betty.

She may have been 'ugly' (by what standards I'm not certain). She may have worn inappropriately bold ponchos to the workplace. But I definitely didn't expect such an early departure from 'Ugly Betty.' Granted, I was not one of the show's biggest fans. I recall watching the entire first season one evening on Hulu when I couldn't fall asleep and never really finding myself able to engage with the show's slightly corny humor again. But still--the idea of a humble, true-to-herself, young lady from some outer borough of Manhattan (was it Queens or the Bronx, I can't remember now) making it--was appealing and inspiring. In honor of the show's cancellation by its network, ABC, I may wear a brightly colored, ill-fitting shirt tomorrow--one that says 'I may have bad style, but it's my own goshdarnit, and you better take me as I am. Because my ugly self is probably smarter than your well-heeled version.'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Design Dish: Sonia Rykiel [doesn't really] design for H&M. Again.

While the behind the scenes of the creation of Sonia Rykiel's new collection for H&M (the last was a tacky Bebe-esque lingerie line) is cool-ish enough, it proves my sneaking suspicion that the big name designers H&M (and other mass stores like it) partner with to bring luxe to the masses, have little to nothing to do with the real design work. Which would explain why the final collections are always a far cry from the actual brands' feel, fashion and quality.

Do watch til the end of the video though to catch the snazzy presentation of the line. Models riding their hearts out on bikes that don't go anywhere. Fantastic.

[via New York Magazine]

Tech Crush: Okay, okay, okay Apple. I get it.

Alright. I give up. I think I finally get it. Apple, I may cheat on my PC with you.

The mystery of the Apple Tablet.

The Kindle came. It may as well have left. The Sony Reader launched. It's out there somewhere. And today the Apple Tablet is being revealed to all sorts of nerdy hoopla. I'm not certain why I'm supposed to care more than I care about, let's say, a new stiletto silhouette from Christian Louboutin. But because there's no big news I don't want to be apart of...I will join the millions of speculating fans in wondering what the Tablet will hold in store for us...and moreover what it will mean to me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Skin Deep: American Apparel recalls its new nail lacquers. Oops.

It feels like just last week that American Apparel's own collection of nail lacquers hit stores. Ah, perhaps that's because it pretty much was.

The polishes are available no longer as there were 'quality' issues with the glassware. Oops. I guess the brand that's so accustomed to creating flimsy, barely there clothes couldn't create a functioning glass bottle.

[via New York Magazine]

Volcom wants to send you to Hawaii. Cause the surf's up dude.

To promote its Pipeline Pro surf competition, Volcom is using Culture Jam’s revolutionary CMS program, PromoJam, to create a viral buzz around the event. Fans are directed to Volcom’s Pipeline Pro Twitter Contest page where they can tweet for a download of Volcom’s ‘BS!‘ movie, gain access to a live webcast of the competition, and a chance to win a trip to next year’s Pipeline Pro (um, in HAWAII, dudes!!), along with other great prizes.

Tweet to win, friends.

[Full disclosure - I work for Culture Jam. So no, I can't win the trip. But you can!]

Sounds: Vampire Weekend is getting me through the work day.

Vampire Weekend recently released their sophomore album, Contra. I have recently started listening to it.

You can too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

art in LA (and beyond): Gronk's hotness in black & white.

If you missed the closing night of Mondo Gronk at the CB1 Gallery in Downtown LA this past weekend, the exhibition travels next to Madrid. After that, you can catch Gronk's sexy black and whites on exhibit back at LACMA come 2011. Yum.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We Like To Party: Paper Mag + Converse bring art and expression to Los Angeles.

Yesterday, Paper Magazine and Converse hosted the pub's annual 'We Love LA' bash, this time with an art twist. While the evening festivities at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood promised live music, DJs and a livelier tone, I also sensed they'd be accompanied by a buttload of sweaty, young hipsters so I opted for the lower-key daytime fare. The lovely Ana Calderon DJed. Canvas tote bags were available for stenciling and creative expression thanks to Karen Kimmel's Art of Exchange. Costumes, photo opps, and murals were available for the children and daring adults over 20. And daylight didn't stop an open bar courtesy of Yours Truly's favorite vodka, Grey Goose.

[Image Credit: Jessie B. R. ]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dirty hipsters finally get the media attention they deserve.

If The Hills met Spike Jonze, fell in love, and brought the homeless man from 7-Eleven in for a threesome...their baby would look like this terrible idea for a reality show about Silverlake's young, wealthy hipster set. Curbed LA reports that producers are now casting for this very show.

The Craigslist casting ad reads as follows...
A new Reality Show is casting Silver Lake's rich, wealthy, hipster GUYS and GIRLS 21-30 whose personal style is homeless chic: Guys with beards, ratty hair and raggedy yet stylish clothing – and Girls dressed in fashionable, vintage hippie-type garb accessorized with large sunglasses and oversized tote bags. You must be incredibly involved in the Silver Lake social scene, enjoy a sensational nightlife Silver Lake style and be very outspoken with a vivacious personality. You must also hang with a racially diverse, intriguing group of friends who all live in Silver Lake.
Wow. Finally a chance for the East side's trust fund kids to 'work' for a living. And bring their hipster minority friends into the mix as well. So they can all buy more ripped jeans to store in their manses. Classy.

[via Amber of Words Done Write via Curbed LA]
[Image via Yeah Right Radio]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The RSVP Line: CITY LABS Community Service Fair

You want to do good. You intend to do good. But most of the time, you end up sitting on your ass, catching up on Snooki's adventures on The Jersey Shore. So, for once, get your butt in gear and find out how to do better. This Saturday, head on over to Downtown's California Market Center for City Labs.
Come to this fun one-day fair to browse, discover and connect with 50 local non-profits -- organizations doing great things who need your support to maintain sustainability.
$5 suggested entrance donation = free drink ticket + raffle ticket!
Aside from roaming the 50 non-profits, check out cool offerings:
* Free Workshops :: including 'Going green without breaking the budget' w/, and Create Your Own Story Book w/826LA
* 'Craft for a Cause' area presented by Causecast :: pack and assemble food boxes for the city's hungry
* Pop-Up Tiara Café
Find out more at

Cindy McCain joins the fight for gay marriage...

...conveniently after the '08 elections, yes. But though some will give her crap for this, I salute her. I also think she looks sort of hot...for an older chick, that is.

[via Mediabistro]

Do Good: score tickets to Coachella in an artsy-fartsy, clean-green way.

You're pretty handy with a paintbrush, you love the earth (in a totally platonic way), and you're dying to go to this year's Coachella (we've all seen you seat dancing to Jay-Z on your ride to work). But, sadly, tickets are expensive and you wouldn't dare to go without VIP access, you poor, broke snob, you.

Enter, Global Inheritance's 'Get TRASHed' contest.
We invite you to submit your artwork and be considered to design one of the 20 recycling bins featured at Coachella. What's even better is that the non offensive redesigned bins will be placed in schools throughout Southern California after Coachella to inspire the future recyclers of the world! Next steps? Send us a link to your artwork, concept and/or website.
Find out more and enter to win on Global Inheritance.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For lovers and burger lovers-Valentine's Day at White Castle.

Southern Californians. I should start by letting you know the bad news that there are no White Castles in our state. But for the rest of the country, I couldn't be more envious. This Valentine's Day, y'all will know romance like I have only dreamt about. I am imagining hearts swooning, bottles popping, men on their knees and couples living happily ever after. How can you get in on the sweet V-Day action, you ask? White Castle is taking ressies. That's how. Per the burger chain's site, you can...
Wow your special someone with tableside service, flowers and candlelight, in a place made famous for late night cravings. We’ll even upload a photo of your romantic rendezvous to our website.
A square bun, flimsy meat patties, and candlelight. I may have just died a little inside. Call your nearest White Castle now to book your burger dinner for two. With timeslots as early as 4 p at some locations you can get in, get out, and get down with your honey before sundown.

[via Guest of a Guest]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The coast of California. The good, the bad, the blonde.

During the many glorious days off between the end of my last employment and the start of the new, I decided it time to finally explore regions North and South of Los Angeles. Having moved here more than 4 years ago I deemed myself ready.

Jetta packed, travel partner obtained, and trunk stocked with diet colas, I headed first up to Santa Barbara and then down to San Diego. Unlike my last trip to Seattle, I did not plan meticulously. Nor did I document my trips ad nauseum. I just went, I saw, and I did my best pretending to be a person who is without OCD and can 'go with the flow.'

Here are some of the things we did, saw and learned in our travels...


Santa Barbara is not the place to visit if you like bright lights, big cities or much to do. Santa Barbara is a town of leisure--an activity I'm generally foreign to, but could possibly learn to love. As far as I can tell, the residents of Santa Barbara spend their days playing beach volleyball, drinking wine, shopping on State Street, and doing absolutely nothing of note in Montecito. Save the college students who spend their days drinking and possibly drugging in Isla Vista.

I recommend...

Visiting the Gaviota Hot Springs where you will see Springs that are indeed hot and possibly naked men jumping in should you visit at the same time as my travel partner.

Enjoying a drink at the Four Seasons Biltmore where you will have a view of the ocean and awkward training sessions.

Hiking the mountains above Santa Barbara where you will have a view of the entire city, the valleys, and the ocean.

Traveling outside of the city for wine tasting and letting someone else drive so you can see, well, your life continue after Santa Barbara wine tasting.

And eating at the Cold Spring Tavern where [a friend of a friend of a friend told me that] you will have a view of bikers and that you should enjoy said view with a Coors Original and a shot of whiskey. It was my intent to sit on a biker's lap and while I saw no bikers I did enjoy my lunch at the quaint, historic little restaurant off the beaten path of SB.

Many friends also recommended that we stop at the Solvang Restaurant for Aebleskivers (pancake/waffle/donut like treats). My many friends did not inform us that the entire town of Solvang closes at about 3 pm. I went to Solvang and all I got was this crummy picture of a video tutorial on making Aebleskivers through the restaurant window. Yeah, I know.


To be fair, I cannot really offer commentary on San Diego. We did not make it further than Del Mar, which is an upscale beach town just North of the city itself which is a little bit luxurious, a little bit suburban, and a whole lot of blonde.

We went for a birthday party--a three year old's birthday party which is the only kind I'd travel for. Besides saying with absolute certainty that I haven't been to a finer third birthday party (my own was sans jumper), I can say only this about Del Mar...

The pinnacle of the Del Mar shopping experience is a Chico's at the Del Mar Plaza

I do not fit in in Del Mar. I am neither fit and petite, nor with child. I do not own a pair of Uggs.

The Del Mar racetrack will be the place to see and be seen come July, provided you enjoy betting and own a big hat. I do happen to own a big hat. And I will be attending.

Brigantine has the best fish tacos around. Supposedly. I do not eat fish but this is what I hear and I believe it.

Culture Jam. Innovative social media start up. Music marketer. My new employer.

In a perfect world, I'd lay on a beach all morning, hike in the afternoons and break for yoga and pasta lunches in between. In a slightly less than perfect world, I have to work to put the gluten free bread on the table. But in this slightly less than perfect world in which I am apparently not a woman of leisure, I have found an incredibly perfect job and for that I am grateful. I have begun work this week as the Marketing & Editorial Director at Culture Jam, a new social media start up in...wait for it...Santa Monica. I know I've never been a West Side girl. But...I am now.  

Culture Jam is a collection of groundbreaking concepts centered around creating a new value proposition for digital content creators and their fans. If you create culture for your fans, or if you are a fan of culture, Culture Jam will soon be your online destination of choice. Launching in 2010, Culture Jam will change the way content is distributed and consumed online.

PromoJam CMS is a versatile enterprise-level Twitter promotion builder and content management system that allows you to easily build branded viral marketing Twitter campaigns for your company, client, brand or artist on your own. PromoJam creates “tweet-of-mouth” campaigns that optimize the potential reach of each end user by leveraging the collective power of every user’s sphere of influence. Our intuitive plug and play technology makes creating and launching Twitter promotions as easy as one, two, three.

Recent PromoJam Clients have included Pearl Jam, Alicia Keys, Diddy, Rihanna, Muse, Live Nation, Regina Spektor, and TRV$DJAM. And upcoming projects we're working on include clients in film, fashion, sports and consumer products.

Check out our latest promotion with Pearl Jam and get a FREE download of the band's live version of 'Just Breathe'.

Follow Culture Jam on Facebook.

And stay in touch as Culture Jam brings online content to the next level.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year's Resolution: pretend to train to run a marathon.

I'm a little late for New Year's Resolutions, I know. But publicly declaring aspirations which one knows one will likely never see fulfilled is never inappropriate. Several days ago, I decided that it would be grand to attempt to run a marathon in 2010. Now, this is not the type of resolution one makes lightly. Quitting carbs--easy--just throw the bread away and substitute with hunks of cheese and gobs of peanut butter--delightful. Being 'nicer' to people--a little less honking of the horn and cutting folks off on line should suffice. But running a marathon--that's tons and tons of bloody work for, like, months at a time.

But in an effort to keep to this resolution which I may or may not have been tipsy while making, I'm looking at the bright side--the reasons why training for a marathon--or at least pretending to for a week or two--is worth my time.

1. Running sheds pounds, or so I'm told. And I've got a few pounds left to shed. Should the physical and mental benefits of training take precedence over superficial weight loss--sure. But...well, I have no excuse. I simply care more about the fat busting.

2. There are some really snazzy outfits out there for running. Tonight, for instance, I dropped over $300 at Lululemon, the overpriced outfitter for yuppy yogis and stylish runners. To put this in perspective, this is nearly half my monthly rent. But the pants I bought just shaped my butt so nicely. I had intended to hit the gym in my new gear this evening. After forgetting the shopping bag in my backseat, I decided eating dinner was far more pressing. I will workout tomorrow...I'm sure...possibly.

3. There is community to be built while you and your newfound running buddies kill yourselves over 26 godawful and unnatural miles. I look forward to start training with my enthusiastic friends--those who don't yet know I can't run over a mile and don't really like to sweat. I envision post-workout smoothies and rendevous at coffee shops to pore over running magazines. It's just the actual running together which I can't quite wrap my head around.

[Image Credit: BBC]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Design Dish: Unhee's Suzy Yun on Fashion and the Future

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Unhee designer Suzy Yun for Style Section L.A. In a city inundated with aspiring young fashion designers, Yun stands out as smart and self-aware and her 2010 Spring/Summer collection, fresh and inspired. This will mark the LA native and Echo Park designer's first foray back into fashion after a brief hiatus in production and so far I'm terribly fond of what we see. Yun shared her thoughts with me on L.A.'s sense of style (comfy), her fave spots for food and fashion, her admiration of FIDM student style, celebrity fans of Unhee (Selma Blair's been spotted in her jumper) and the merits of 'side boob' (she's a fan). I'm looking forward to seeing more side boob and other striking fashions from Yun in 2010 and beyond.

Read the full piece on Style Section LA.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Shop: There is no godly excuse for TubeFlops.

I was in Santa Barbara this week. And while I'll get to all the amazing parts of that trip in a later post, I need to get the worst part of the adventure off my chest. In an outdoorsy store on State Street--you know, the type of shop that sells hiking shoes and godawful tie-dye yoga pants and straw hats with detachable water bottles--I came across TubeFlops, or what may otherwise be described as the most offensive shoe to ever enter my line of vision.

TubeFlops are, as the name might imply [if you're the type who appreciates cutesy contractions like Brangelina and Cockapoo], part tube sock, part flip flop. And they are awful. The only possible explanation for their purchase is if you are dying for a pedicure in a cold-weather climate. To which I'd suggest you skip the foot grooming before stepping into these monstrosities.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Design Dish: Video killed the print ad. Dior goes viral with Marion Cotillard.

A few years back, Nicole Kidman starred in a dramatic short film that passed as Chanel No. 5's TV ad campaign. Pop star Britney Spears is hocking Candies' ugly mules on the side now. And Beyonce sang about upgrading to Direct TV service in a recent ad. These days, celebs are taking money for pretty much any and all endorsements. And brands are getting savvier with their ad dollars, employing big names to sell their stuff and taking their campaigns to the web where consumers can spread their gospel for them.

Dior is the latest brand to channel major Hollywood star power to move large leather bags. And the star is Marion Cotillard, the young actress who's been winning hearts and Oscars in Tinseltown lately. Cotillard is not a new ambassador for Dior. She has already appeared in shorts on, with an upcoming installment directed by David Lynch, and in print ads. But now the brand will take it next level with the making of a music video. Franz Ferdinand penned the music and lyrics, giving the project music cred.

The video will go public on January 14th. Watch for it floating around Cyberspace somewhere.