For my latest BuzzFeed video, I worked with makeup artist Marlaine Reiner and model Cara Marie Ruetz to create twelve unique makeup looks to represent each astrological sign. Check out the video (and some stills) below! What's your sign?
I grew up being told there are fashion "rules" I should never break. Who made these rules? Why are we following them?
In my latest BuzzFeed video, I got together a group of stylish women who break "rules" with their fashion choices. Give it a watch below.
Wear what YOU want...and rock it.
P.S. If you enjoy the music, make sure to like my band Coco and the Macarons on FB. We'll be releasing more music soon!
It's no lie that I spend 90% of my shopping time in thrift stores...and the other 10% in those jungles called clearance racks. Some days I crave that "new outfit" feeling, but on a shoestring budget. The solution? Find one new, inexpensive item and work it into a fresh ensemble.
Today's thrifty bargain? A $4 clearance rack top!
I paired it with:
- My tight black skirt (this is a miracle worker because it goes with literally anything)
- My black boots (which have seen a lot of painting days...)
- Fishnets (because why not?)
- An assortment of rings/bracelets
I had a lovely day shooting a fashion film with Cara Marie Ruetz today! Stay tuned for more stills from "a little star."
Model: Cara Marie Ruetz Makeup/Hair: Theresa Reish
Don't know what to say this Valentine's Day? Let #Frenchgirlpoetry say it for you. Print these free valentines and give 'em to your lover, ex-lover, neighbors...
Still don't have a gift? Why not give them a copy of "because you're now banging a French girl" or "All The Boys I Never Kissed" ? Head on over to Amazon (or your friendly Los Angeles bookstore) for a copy.
Some days you feel as if you've fallen out of a black and white french film. Not a bad feeling....
This ensemble came from a $5 crop top I found at Crossroads, a lovely UNIQ skirt (thanks Catherine!), my trusty "Beatle boots," and a few accessories.
Off to a poetry reding! Allons-y!
"All The Boys I Never Kissed" is now available via Amazon and select Los Angeles book stores. Check it out! For more #Frenchgirlpoetry news make sure to like www.facebook.com/frenchgirl poetry
Every once in a while I find gold...buried deep in a clearance rack. I found this velvet Free People romper at Nordstrom's Rack for (drumroll please) $16. I added a long fish necklace, Nine West boots, and some tights for a groovy look.
Feeling a little Joan from Mad Men...
I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon capturing the mesmerizing movements of Katrina Sarah Miller. We spent time in silence, as she danced to the music of an abnormal LA wind, and time in conversation, as Katrina spoke to her relationship with contemporary dance. Check out the photographs and conversation below.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing 10 years ago and since I had too much energy, it was a great method of releasing it and calming me down [...] I began dancing after a very dark time in my life. Begin in motion was so freeing, I realized the fragility of my life and the strength I didn't even realize I had.
What do you feel when you dance?
When I dance, I forget everything and my heart is pure. I learn from these feelings and this balance.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the body of knowledge dancers have created and am dedicating myself to strengthening my technique so I am able to interact with these different styles more.
Exciting news: iconico is going to be making a psychedelic, sixties fashion film! Well, that is if we can raise enough money in time...
Check out the groovy campaign below as well as some cool perks you get for donating. Unable to donate? You can still help us out by sharing this video/campaign on social media and with your friends/family. Thank you!
There are really no words to describe Dolly Spectra other than...Dolly-esque. She is a singer/songwriter, an alter ego, an interactive artist, a style, and a performance. I had the opportunity to sit down with Dolly to discuss the evolution of her music and style. From David Bowie epiphanies to the philosophy of pink hair, we had a lot to talk about.
I first saw you perform at a punk showcase a year or two ago. I was about to leave and then you came on stage and I was blown away. I just started dancing right by the exit sign.
That’s fucking awesome.
You just have such great stage presence and energy, as well as a really unique style. Can you talk a little about how Dolly Spectra came about? Musically and as a sort of performance persona?
Thank you. Yeah, I feel like Dolly is just an exaggeration of the way I’ve always been I guess. It’s just a culmination of my influences. I’ve always been one to sing and I got really into songwriting in high school and college and I’ve always really been into music artists and bands that do have a sense of style [...] I’m really into early 70s British Glam like David Bowie and T-Rex. And that kind of trails all the way up into late 70s early 80s sort of post glam into New Wave stuff. [...] I’ve always been into that kind of thing and it comes through in my music and in my stage show and everything else I do I guess.
Dolly has a very distinct visual look as well. How has that evolved since you started?
It’s evolved a lot. I’ve always had a thread running through it where I know what is Dolly-esque and what isn’t, you know? [..] I’m really into mid-century modern space age aesthetic and also polka dot. But not in the retro sense of young women back in the day but I’m really influenced by sort of crazy, artsy old ladies with ridiculous glasses and lots of lipstick. I think that’s wonderful. You look at David Bowie and Marc Bolan and they’re completely iconic and, you know, I resonate with that. I’ve been really into bold shapes and bright colors and looking sort of like, who’s that artist who did the Duran Duran album covers? Patrick something.
Oh man, yeah, I know who you’re talking about. I’m blanking on his last name though.
Nagel? It’s like bagel with an N. Patrick Nagel. That guy did all of these illustrations of women and everything’s very angular and sharp and 80s looking and I’ve always wanted to look like one of those illustrations, low key. Growing up I always had a penchant for anything brightly colored and kind of almost like stick it to the man looking I guess. I cut my hair really really short when I was in high school and I always wore lots of like bright pink and bright green. Alien green. I don’t know if that’s a product of growing up in the 90s with all the Lisa Frank stuff going on but I love that stuff too. So yeah, it might seem all over the place but it has a thread running through it.
Was there ever an epiphany moment for you? A time when you knew this is what you wanted to do? Or was it a more gradual process?
I mean as soon as I saw a live video of David Bowie playing at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1973 I was immediately like, oh my god I need to start a band. I was fourteen years old and running around like, how do I make a band? How do I find people that play drums? [...] But it was a long and arduous process getting to a point where my music actually sounds good and I have an identity. It’s been really cool just coming to this level where I actually kind of know what I’m doing.
What was it like getting there, to that level?
You know it took a while. I was in several bands. I kind of had wanted to be in a band rather than be a solo artist because I was really into punk rock and stuff and there was a certain aesthetic and attitude that came along with being in a band that was really attractive to me at that time. Coming from really boring suburbs of Virginia, you know, I needed a little bit of punk escapism. So coming to USC was really the only reason I came out [to California], to be in the popular music performance major program in the Thornton School. And that sort of turned my whole world around [...That’s] when my sort of ideas came to fruition and when I was really starting to think: I know enough now to be a solo artist and sort of run my own thing. And that’s kind of what I want, is to have a band attitude when I’m playing shows and stuff but to just have it be focused on my artistic vision. [...] I want to just do my own thing and really just amp it up in terms of having an image that I can dictate. But I still co-write a lot because I think it’s really fun. and I collaborate with a bunch of other types of artist.
Do you find yourself bringing the same musicians in when you’re recording or doing shows? Or trying new people?
A lot of the times it’s a mixed bag because the first few things that I ever recorded to really put out was just me noodling around in Logic with a bunch of synthesizers. It was just like super DIY. It was stuff I really, really liked but it sounded like nothing I was performing live because it was completely electronic. And then I decided, I gotta ease up a little bit and let go of the reins a little and bring in some really stellar musicians [...] I’ve been recording a lot of material with this guy in the UK who’s actually a huge influence of mine and probably one of my favorite vocalists and songwriters ever, Fyfe Dangerfield He and I just ended up meeting and we hit it off and he wanted to work with me and I was like, oh my god are you serious? So whenever I go over to the UK I'll end up at his flat in Stoke Newington and we’ll just sit and eat giant grapes and write weird shit.
You have a move planned to London. It sounds like a lot of your influences come from british musicians. Is England a place you’ve always had in mind to move?
Definitely. If it was up to me I would have moved to London for college but of course my parents were freaking even to just let me go across the country to California let alone be in a different country but yeah I have always really loved it out there and always really like the culture and I’m obsessed with british music and british comedy [...] I went over about a year ago this past summer as part of the USC Pop study abroad program to this place called the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. We were put into bands and I clicked with my band immediately. We all kind of became best friends within the first day and we started writing some really cool songs. [...] It was really fun to get their input because they have the same british influences and the same sound so I can really trust them with what kind of thing I’m looking for just because it’s ingrained in their culture. I’ve always loved it and then I started working with Fyfe and met Nigel, who is my manager out there now, and it all just sort of came together.
That’s so exciting. Kind of touching on the Dolly style again, I’m curious where do you get most of your clothing? Do you do a lot of thrifting?
I’ve started to do a lot of that recently. I mean when I was in high school and my parents still paid for my clothes I sort of shopped wherever I wanted. I got my prom dress from the Betsey Johnson store. Love Betsey Johnson. She’s probably my favorite upscale clothing designer. Favorite jewelry designer is Tarina Tarantino. Not a big surprise there. But when I started buying all my own stuff and realized I needed a lot of different, really interesting outfits for all the things I’m doing. I shop a lot at Buffalo Exchange and places like that. Anywhere where it’s cheap. When I shop I like, shop. I go and I’m there for two hours and I comb through and look at every single piece. I’ll probably spend two hours and come out with five different things.
Kind of like a treasure hunt. A full out expedition.
Definitely. And I do the same thing with vinyl records and books. So whenever I’m in amoeba people will hate me because I”ll be in there for five hours. But it’s the same thing with clothes, I just have to really be on the search for things that are going to fit me really well. Not only in terms of my body but in terms of my aesthetic and with all the other stuff that’s going on in my wardrobe. It’s really an interesting tightrope walk to have a bunch of different really loud items in my wardrobe, to piece them together into something that’s cohesive. Especially now that I have pink hair, it takes everything and amps up the loudness. There are certain outfits that would look absolutely ridiculous if I wore them now so I have to downplay them because my hair is now like zany and I look like, I don’t know, if Florence Welch started doing a lot of acid.
Was it any other colors before?
It was just brown. That’s my natural hair color. I’d always wanted to dye it crazy colors. I’ve really come into my own spiritually over the past year [...] in terms of allowing my daily life to be filled with things that make me happy. Because if I can be sustainable and healthy mentally and within myself then I can generally be more productive. All of the other stuff falls into place if you just take care of yourself. It’s important to me to be happy with my everyday life and a part of that is looking at myself in the mirror and seeing that I have pink hair. Subtle like, well not subtle, but little changes you make make a big difference.
Definitely. I mean that’s what iconico style is all about as well. Your clothing, how you dress, how you dye your hair, that’s a performance in itself. It’s like childhood dress up just you’re no longer a child.
That’s a thread that runs through a lot of what I do [...] this essence of embracing a childlike wonder. It’s important to just plan and have fun. Even adulthood should not be beyond that because there’s something missing in your life if you don’t just goof around and have fun and be bombastic and wild somethings.
A lot of the best creative work comes from taking that “adult” filter off.
And I mean, you seem like when you’re performing you’re having a lot of fun.
Oh totally. It’s a blast. I love a good gig. There’s nothing better than a good gig.
Do you have a favorite one?
Oh my God, that’s a difficult question. There are some that I feel like I performed at really well and there are other ones where I had an amazing experience with the audience. A performance that was very well received was when I first played at Femme Fest. It just was a really fun show that went really well. They put me right before the headliner who was flown in from New York, so that kind of felt good to be just a local act that was in an all day festival line up that was put right before the festival headliner. And my band was really stacked. I called the best guys in town for that gig [...] Probably the best gig experience I’ve ever had was actually just earlier this month when we had that party at the Free Gumbo house [...] Most of my set was cover songs which is not something I thought I would really thoroughly enjoy but like I hand-picked them and I picked them with my band. I sent them a list of 10 or 20 songs I wanted to cover and they voted from there and we ended up with a list of songs that everyone in the band really likes and they were all really stoked to play.
I’m so glad Rock Lobster made the list. I’ve never seen anyone cover a B-52’s song and I was like, oh my god she’s the perfect person to be covering this song.
Hell yeah. I was so happy to be covering Rock Lobster and I’d been wanting to for a year but I’d never had the opportunity to really just go for it. We did Closer by Nine Inch Nails, which was hilarious and really fun, especially being half naked and covered in ridiculous body paint and like this crazy super Burning Man looking shawl.
What does the future have in store?
Well I’m moving to London and I’m sort of on the train to being more legit. I still feel like I’ll have a DIY air to everything I do because I just like being really hands on in all of the elements that I do. But you know having a manager that [..] has a bunch of connections and is like, oh yeah let me put you on a festival in Croatia. I’m just like, okay, yeah [...Making Dolly Spectra] not only a personal artistic project but also a viable business, so I can keep doing it full time, is a really big step for me. I’m also going to keep writing with Fyfe. And I’m starting up the UK Free Gumbo branch [...] I’m hoping to eventually get a warehouse space in Shoreditch and throw a bunch of crazy parties there. Yeah, I don’t know exactly what the future will unfold but I feel like Bowie put it best when he said at one point, I don’t know exactly where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring. That’s kind of also what I’m getting at. I’m stoked because it’s all really fun and I’m glad I can keep doing it.
Awesome, well thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. It definitely sounds like you're headed in an exciting direction. I expect nothing boring from you. And if I ever find enough money for a plane ticket to Europe I plan on crashing one of those warehouse parties.
Check out more about Dolly Spectra here
It's been a weird weekend. I got caught in a torrential downpour (ok that's an overstatement, but when you live in Los Angeles, precipitation of any sort is considered a downpour). I danced until 2:30 in the morning with complete strangers (no I was not wearing heels). And I ordered something other than a black coffee (A "flat white"? I've basically reached barista status).
The crowning achievement, though, was pulling together an outfit that accurately fit my odd vibe...which can be musically summed up by Radiohead's Lotus Flower video (you're welcome).
Red floral skirt + dragon kimono + $6 Converse knock-offs = lotus flower funky
I had a wonderful weekend photo shoot with the beautiful Izzy. You can check out the full, photographic series on iconico style's tumblr.
What I love most about Rookie is its ability to simultaneously entertain and empower girls. It embraces the quirks inside every teenage girl and reminds her she does have something legitimate to share with the world. And more importantly, that she can be her own role model.
"I think it’s freeing to realise that you have your own consciousness and can choose whatever you want to include in your world," Tavi wrote in one of her editor letters, "That you are your own best friend, and can even be your own role model." Words to live by.
Every girl at the event embraced this independent Rookie spirit and, of course, style! Check out some of the fashionable Rookies I met...
Great hanging with you Rookie readers!
Can't find the words to express your thoughts this Valentine's Day? Let #frenchgirlpoetry do it for you. Print these poetic valentines for your lovers, ex-lovers, or noisy neighbors.
Download the printable valentines of your choice below...
And don't forget to check out These Are Not Love Poems this Thursday @8pm at Stories Books & Cafe!
It's a lovely day in LA. This calls for a floral celebration! Check out this pink ensemble for brightening a Monday.
My chapbook because you're now banging a French girl is now available on Amazon.com! Order your copy today.
And don't forget to like the book's Facebook page!
As a child, I always loved exploring my mother's closet. I became enchanted by her black boots, long necklaces and intricately-patterned dresses. It's no wonder why this is my favorite dress (and why I love to pair it with vintage black boots and a long necklace). I always eyed it in her closet and was so excited when one day she decided to hand it down to me. Merci Maman!
A tableau of accessories...
Have a lovely rest of the weekend!
I recently spent a lovely morning on the East Side of LA speaking with the talented Caitlin Notey--frontwoman of the band Huxlee and first-place recipient of this year's John Lennon Scholarship. We talked over bagels, coffee and some heavy pug breathing courtesy her new dog, Tillman. You can read the conversation below.
When did you first start playing and writing music?
I started playing guitar in college, pretty much, and writing in high school. In my first band I wrote some lyrics but [...] I started writing full songs senior year of high school.
How did Huxlee come about?
I got to college and had my solo project [...] Caitlin Notey, which was my band, and some songs and we played for like two years and there just came a point, I think sophomore year, where I realized I didn’t like what was happening and I was also really miserable and depressed and horrified at how the world worked [...] so I took like a year off from doing any performing and just listened to a lot of music and wrote with some other people and started exploring what sounds I wanted to make [...] By the end or by junior year I kind of figured that out and started anew. [Aldous] Huxley is the name of an author who wrote a book called Brave New World that I like and I named it after him.
Can you talk a little about the process of forming a band, finding the right people? Every time I see you live you all just work so well together.
Thank you. Well it’s an interesting process because I was in the [USC] Pop program and there are so many people to chose from because everyone is really, really good. But Huxlee is weird; it’s a weird sound and it’s like I’m weird and make weird sounds and I just wanted people who were down to try new stuff and feel uncomfortable with the arrangements. Also I’ve know Cary Singer since I was 11 and we’ve been playing music for a really long time and he’s just unbelievable, so naturally I’ve been playing with him this whole time. Nick Chuba is the best [...] he is my only gateway into any sort of world of programming and we work well together because I think we are just pretty open and honest and nice to each other [...] Mac Sinise just has the perfect feel for the vibe. He plays with fluidity and power at the same time, it’s really cool. A.J. Novak s just king of precision so his percussion parts just always sit right in with Mac where they should. And Joe Scolari, bass player, is my neighbor and I met him through my manager and he is actually the sweetest person on the face of the earth and he’s really a mellow, calming presence in the band. And his playing is obviously perfect and he just works really hard and is super supportive and awesome. So they’re all gems of people that are so gracious, awesome and talented.
Yeah, definitely. Sounds like a good balance. How often do you practice together?
Only before shows. So when we have something on the books then we book rehearsal. I don’t know if that’s a good thing to say or not. Whatever.
One of my favorite songs is Crooked Tree. The first time I heard it I remember the banjo being unexpected, but it worked so well. You have that in a lot of your songs and it works in seamlessly. I’m curious when you started playing banjo and when you started incorporating it into songs.
So I started playing banjo because I wrote that song. I was in a band briefly with Aman Alem and Cary and Brandon Woodward and I wrote that song and I played it that first show and I had bought a banjo a week before the show and was like, 'I’m gonna learn this part.' I practiced that part a lot for a week and luckily it’s pretty similar to the guitar. I totally, you know, played it like a guitar player [...] I don’t actually play banjo [...] but I love the way it sounds, it’s just the cool tinny texture that’s not usually put in the places where I like to hear it.
What is your songwriting process like?
It’s different for different areas of my life because I do a lot of writing outside of Huxlee for other people and for film and TV. When it’s for Huxlee I don’t force anything ever. Like if I feel something, lyrics and a melody come, then I let it happen, kind of work with it, nurse it for a while. But it’s always organic, I don’t believe in writing every day for a creative project [...] a lot of people say to write every day for their personal projects [...] that would kill me, that would just destroy me. And also because a lot of the things I write about are intensely emotional things for me and, I don’t know, that would just be dangerous territory.
When you are writing, where do you find inspiration?
Ok, so there’s nothing more annoying to me than having a song be just one hundred percent a cathartic therapy session for an artist. That’s just, shut up no one cares, but like making that problem or that feeling relatable to others is amazing [...] People like Fiona Apple for instance, I forgot the question by the way, but now I’m going to talk about Fiona Apple for a little while because she’s great. All of her songs are so intensely personal and specific yet the way she presents them lyrically with the arrangements are so relatable to everyone. That is a goal of mine: to be able to not alienate people and include them in my experience and make them feel supported and connect with them. What was the question?
No worries. Where you find inspiration. But I think you pretty much answered it. Since we're on the topic of inspiring artists, do you have any musical icons?
Blake Mills. Blake Mills is my musical icon forever and always. And that is all.
How would you describe your style?
Well, I’m sort of like a really strange combination of a tomboy and a hopeless romantic so I think that sort of encapsulates my musical style and also what I wear.
What’s up next? Do you have any big hopes? Dreams? Plans for 2015?
No. No hopes, no dreams, I’m done now, I’m just gonna sit here. No, I have hopes and dreams. I want a record deal. I would like to be signed to a label, given the correct circumstances. I want to tour as an opening act for a band, anonymous, I don’t know what band that would be but I want to write more and record and just keep doing everything I’m doing and just sort of take it to the next level.
Well I have no doubt you'll achieve that. Thanks Caitlin!
Give Huxlee a listen at http://huxleemusic.com
Not even sunny SoCal is free from the wrath of Stormageddon. I fell asleep last night to the sounds of a torrential downpour slamming my house from all sides. But when I woke up I realized a silver style lining to the storm....rain boots.
That's right, Los Angeles, it's time to rejoice and dust off those rain boots. Don't have a pair? Try these stylish ones on for size:
You can't get much more stylish than these floral boots from Anna & Zero. They're like feminine Doc Martens for the rain!
And if you're looking for something more simple and understated, it's clear to see these will go with any outfit (clever, huh?).
I'm off to splash in some puddles...
Black + White = The perfect combination!
I absolutely love wearing black and white. The combo can create an outfit that is simple, elegant and bold all at the same time. This duo can also draw attention to what I like to call a"POP piece." Perhaps you have a piece of brightly colored jewelry you'd like to show off. A neon purse? Or, in my case, a blue hair streak!
And check out this great thrift-store purse find. I added a black strap to make it even more functional.
I met up with Charles Mai, Co-Founder and Creator of Skyed Apparel, to discuss his idea behind the brand and hopes for the hat line's future.
First off, why hats?
When I was a kid, my grandma specifically came up to me when I was nine years old, and I still remember this, she said 'Charles, you really look good in hats.' Seriously. [...] So ever since I was nine, I started wearing a lot of hats [...] A lot of people consider this as an accessory, but for me it's like the focal point of my outfit. [...] When I was in high school, me and my other friend who went to the same boarding school, JR [...] we decided we could make hats better and have our own style which we wanted to express.
When did you launch the company? Can you give me a little more background on how it got started?
It was launched last November. Yeah pretty recently. [...] The company actually started when JR called me one day and was like, 'Charles, let's do something together.' [...] We shared the idea of really exploring your human capacity in a way and we knew [...] what we wanted to do: put this vision in the hat brand. Every brand has their own culture and so that's why we chose the name Skyed. To us it meant that you know it's more than just the sky. The sky is the limit, but it's more than just sky. So it's the past tense of sky.
Do you design the hats?
I do design the hats and it's a process of choosing the right fabrics and the right combinations and the logo and the patch itself. I'm going for more of a simple feel but also have some details in it like the details of the same leather buckle and leather patch to have a similar aesthetic.
Do you have a favorite hat?
My favorite hat is actually one of those floral hats that I first designed, the Bloomed hat. I think why I really like that hat is it's one of my first designs and also I'm a floral guy and it's something that's pretty popular now a days.
What's next for Skyed?
For me, my vision is to have my own retail store [...] I have a vision of how I want to set up the stores in order to allow people to come into the store sand know exactly what kind of culture it is already [...] I feel like having an E-Commerce store you are able to do that but it's more of a two-dimensional thing. In order to put those hats into a retail store, it's like a three-dimensional thing with sense, so that's a different level [...] I think that's the vision: to be able to share the culture with everyone physically, tangibly, throughout the world.
Anything else you want to add?
Skyed is not just a hat company. It's a vision and our mission is almost as important as our hats. It really represents the culture behind it. Not only does it look good, it represents something bigger.
Hats off to that!
I'm ready to flaunt the newest edition to my extensive hat collection: The Skyed "Dreamed" hat...
To check out all of Skyed's hats and get one of your own, visit their website.
Photos courtesy Amy Hanson
Nicolette Daskalakis is the voice behind iconico, a style blog that celebrates fashion as an artistic form of self expression.
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