May Soundtrack: The 1975 takes 2014

CAROLINE CARDOSO

IMG_6247The second I heard about The 1975 I knew I had to see them live, so I ran straight to my computer and purchased a ticket to see them at Terminal 5 in New York. To begin with the venue was perfect; the crowd general administration area was open with tables and chairs on the balcony levels for 21+. I’m usually not a huge fan of the opening acts, but these two under-the-radar bands had me ready to check their tour dates.

IMG_6224With tickets already sold out around the country, American indie pop band from Los Angeles, Sir Sly, made their way onto the stage killing it with their first song “Gold.” The gorgeous Landon Jacobs took the stage with instrumentalists Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen, filling the venue with their vocals and music. The band originally made music anonymously, not letting the world know of their amazing talents. The trio later generated tons of buzz and built their way up to top The Hype Machine chart, eventually revealing their identities. With a mixture of a The Neighbourhood feel and one of a kind vocals, Sir Sly is definitely on my “Get Hooked” music list.

The second opening act came on stage following about 30 minutes behind Sir Sly. Their new debut album ‘Language & Perspective’ releases on June 24th, 2014 and you can bet I’ll be watching the iTunes countdown until it is available to purchase. Bad Suns, an indie rock band from California, blew me again after already being blown away by the first act. The band opened with theirIMG_6246 song “Cardiac Arrest,” and I’m not ashamed to say the song has been in my head and after the concert ended. The songs to follow are just as amazing, only leaving me wanting more when they left the stage.

The plus side of this of course this was the anticipation of keeping my eyes on the stage, looking out for the long awaited act of the night to perform: my guilty pleasure, The 1975. Smoke filled the stage and the band members slowly entered the crowds view. As the screams escalated, you knew Matthew Healy had finally made his appearance; if you don’t fancy yourself a little Matty Healy, you’re lying. With his floppy hair, ripped jeans, and open shirt revealing is tatted chest, Healy killed the night with The 1975 members. Once they reached my favorite song “The City,” with processed bars and catchy lyrics, I knew the concert could only go up from here. The Manchester band is worth the hype and if anyone ever has the chance to catch them live in concert, take it, take it, take it!

Photos by: Caroline Cardoso

Happy Birthday Valentina! The Russian fashion designer’s top 10 best looks

CAROLINE CARDOSO

This day in the fashion world: Russian fashion designer, Valentina was born (1899)

On May 1, 1899, the iconic Russian fashion designer, Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina Schlee, entered the world to later start a fashion revolution. The fashion designer known by solely her first name made clothes for social and theater personalities in the 1920′s through the 50′s. Valentina began her career when she opened a small couture dress shop called Valentina’s Gowns on Madison Avenue, New York in 1928.

Today we celebrate some of her most famous and beautiful work. In the words of Valentina herself, “Simplicity survives the changes of fashion. Women of chic are wearing now dresses they bought from me in 1936. Fit the century, forget the year.”

Valentina’s Top “Best Dressed” Looks

10. Ms. Valentina keeping it professional with a fancy white blouse paired with a black knee length pencil skirt and black flats.v1

 

9. Valentina keeping warm for the cold Ukraine weather with a body length winter coat, black leather gloves, low black heels, and a retro, striped pillbox hat.

v2

 

8. Going simple yet chic, the Russian designer showing off some skin with a mesh dress, black satin gloves and low black heels.  v333

 

7. Pearls make everything classier.v4

 

6. Keeping warm, again, Valentina sporting a furry, warm winter peacoat with more black accessories.v5

 

5. Getting ready for an elegant night out.v6

 

4. Adding a pop of color. When Valentina opened her first fashion house in Manhattan in the prestigious Upper East Side, she offered her clients free-cut blouses, skirts and capes, made of expensive fabrics of subdued colors.v7

 

3. Elegant as always, Valentina looking all dolled up in a slimming dressed with a beaded v-neck-line and he classic look, black gloves.v8

 

2. Dressed in one of her own dresses paired with a dramatic fur coat, hat, and hand muff, leaving the seen with her husband George Shlee.v9

 

1. Last but not least, Valentina’s black and white gown paired with pearls and white satin gloves. Classic.v1010v10

Photo courtesy: http://viola.bz/

They aren’t Freedom fries, they aren’t French fries… But they’re Belgian fries

CAROLINE CARDOSO

In Brussels, “frites” are more than just “fries”.

IMG_1647On my recent trip to Belgium, I explored fashion, culture, and of course the beautiful buildings and architecture. As always, I could not stay away from the food (who would?) When

many run to McDonald’s or grab a bite at the diner and order a side of fries, they refer to them as “French fries.” And in 2003, Chairman of the Republican party of the Committee on

House Administration, Bob Ney, renamed the favorite menu item in Congressional cafeterias to “Freedom fries” in response to France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq after 9/11. So what are they then? French fries? Freedom fries?

They’re Belgian fries. In 1781, Belgian journalist Jo Gérard said there was a family in Belgium who started the tradition. There are also rumors that they are “Flemish fries,” but before I start a food fight between the Flemish and the French, we’ll stick to their true name: Belgian fries.

Wandering through the streets and alleyways of Brussels, Belgium crowded with rushing Belgians on mopeds, confused tourists, and the best bf4dressed Europeans in all of Europe, I came across the best place on the street to pick up a package of true Belgian fries. Just like the famous Belgian waffles, these friteries, as they call them, can be found at almost every corner in the hustle and bustle of Brussels streets. The friteries
serve them with the typical Belgian way to eat them, with a side of mayo; you can also have them with ketchup, special sauce, and almost any other dipping sauce you can think of (depending on where you go of course). 

Granted you won’t be able to get the real deal here in America, but the trip for the food, the fashion… the chocolate, and the city itself is a must. Next time you go out for a quick bite or run by the diner, ask for some Belgian fries… the looks you receive are almost as priceless as the first bite.  

Photo courtesy: Aimé Mpane and Jean-Jacques Chaussier

Take a Glimpse into Galadriel’s Mirror

CAROLINE CARDOSOcc

From fine gold and silver jewelry, to colored stones and shells, Galadriel’s Mirror in Martha’s Vineyard , Massachusetts has it all. Every summer I walk in to find something new; whether it was a waxed and polished shell found on the shore, or a pair of handmade earrings, I was never out of luck. The secrets of the wampum jewelry and pearl earrings lie behind Galadriel’s Mirror on Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs.

cc2As you make your way through the small shop, you will find yourself in awe of the different shells and crystals the store has to offer. Between the various types and sizes of starfish, and the different colored quartz priced at only $9.50 a piece, every item has it’s own unique look. You can even purchase shell items that have been carved and shaped into ordinary household such as napkin rings, vases, and even small dishes that can be used in the kitchen or to hold earrings on your dresser.

Adding to the collection of minerals and shells, you will also find a diverse variety of jewelry–and a chance to make your own! If you have a passion for making jewelry, these glass beads and shiny pendants will surely catch your eye. The shop has every color bead and charm from black and white, to purple and green. The beads can be purchased in small containers or by the strand.

If you’re making your way down Circuit Ave. stop by Galadriel’s Mirror to take a glimpse of handmade, custom jewelry, shells, quartz crystals, and more!

Galadriel’s Mirror, INC., 35 Circuit Ave Oak Bluffs, MA, Summer hours: daily 9 am – 11 pm, Off-season: daily 10 am – 5 pm, (508)-487-9437

Photos by: Caroline Cardoso

April Soundtrack: Stages and Who?

CAROLINE CARDOSO stages

Discovering new music is my guilty pleasure; and I’m not ashamed to say most of the time I waste procrastinating my writing usually goes towards me jamming out in my room to a good Fall Out Boy song or dancing around to some Miley Cyrus. Before we close the door of April behind us, I think it is time to express my most recent obsession. My playlist grows and grows every day, but recently I discovered a band called Stages and Stereos–no, my love for boy bands will never die. Being an alternative rock, indie girl myself, the second I heard their song “Small Town Favorites,” I fell in love. Relating to their feelings of being in a small town, I felt the song take a gentle start, but later charged up guitars to highlight the “to hell with it” attitude that insists the guys are ready to show everyone what they’re really made of; and I think we’re ready to listen.

Probably one of the most overlooked bands in the alternative rock world, Stages and Stereos never fails to catch my attention when shuffled on my playlist with their hollow drum rhythms and strong yet delicate vocals from their lead vocals Daniel Lancaster. The band almost reminds me of a young Neon Trees: electronically fueled indie rock, a taste of alternative punk, with all of the potential needed to cross into mainstream music.

Although they officially released in September of 2013, I don’t think it will be long before we hear them on our car radio; keep an ear out! 

 

Photo courtesy: Stages and Stereos Facebook page  

Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion: Out with the old and in with the new

CAROLINE CARDOSO

Top designer collaborations have reached ‘fever pitch’ this season bringing attention to the fashion industry underdogs.

kedsFrom floral Keds, to cutting-edge spring accessories, new designer collaborations have surfaced and become the hot topic of many fashion magazines and blogging sites. Blogs like Refinery29 have evoked many readers to sink in and devour these brand new trends and fashion movements.

“Whether you still line up for designer collabs or have had enough of the hype, it can be hard to resist the siren song of high-end flair at bargain-basement prices,” D.C. editor of Refinery29 Holly E. Thomas wrote.

These ‘bargain-basement priced’ fashion deals excite not only the designers and companies cooperating together to construct these pieces, but also the shoppers. According to Savoir Flair’s Grace Gordon, collaborations are what bring a thrill and excitement to the fashion industry as a work of art.

 “Collaborations mean the coming together of two radically awesome sectors,” Gordon wrote. “We’re so excited that we’re talking it up now, because fashion is nothing without eager anticipation.”

 Like Thomas and Gordon, many others agree that lower-end designers and fashion companies co produce with upper-end designers have created positive and beneficial economic profits for both of the designers in the midst of their collections. Keds’ recent collaboration with Kate Spade, creating new and lively sneakers, has made becoming a “fashion industry underdog” a recurring pattern and an example for how particularly unpopular—and sometimes even forgotten—companies and designers are beginning to receive greater recognition for their products and even offsetting an introduction to these products to a contrasting audience. According to Refinery29 author Samantha Yu, the buzz about this vibrant and fun spring sneaker collection is exhilarating and refreshing to the industry.

“Hearing that Keds is launching a new collaborative collection is so exciting, it’s almost like hearing that Tinseltown is a real-life shop in NYC,” Yu wrote.

 These ‘Tinseltown collabs’ may be presented as a dream to those in the fashion industry, but these relatively new spring and summer collections create opportunities for companies, designers and even stylists to show off their skills and creativity. Celebrity stylist Kate Young, also known as Hollywood’s most powerful stylist by The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, decided to extend her fashion knowledge and create a line of clothing affordable for those purchasing items from lower-end designers and fashion companies. Target recently teamed up with Young to develop the line Kate Young for Target—making her style advice and vogue-like-attire available to the public and not just exclusively for celebrities. According to Young, taking her fashion apparitions off the red carpet and onto Target racks broadened her horizons as a stylist.

 “[Being] a stylist, I work hand-in-hand with designers on the creation, styling and fitting of their collections,” Young told Harper’s Bazaar. “I’ve been exposed to the design process for many years. With Kate Young for Target, I’m thrilled to have the chance to create an entire collection based on my design aesthetic and vision.”

 kateThrough her experiences from working with multiple well-known celebrities, such as actresses Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz, Young decided to take on a new image with her fashion-savvy mindset and trendy visions. Young is now beginning to receive additional attention from women other than Portman and Weisz and is helping the public to express  their inner Hollywood star fashion sense and style by enhancing her skills.

 “With this collection, I wanted to design standout pieces that allow women to experiment with fashion and create their own red carpet moments,” Young told Marie Claire.

 According to Elle Magazine, a celebration was thrown to kick off the start to Young’s line with Target. Throughout the event, some juicy gossip was spilled from one of her ‘a-lister friends’, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.

 “I’ve just started working with [Young] as a stylist but I’ve already noticed her own personal style, which is really down to earth, smart, and sexy,” Gyllenhaal said. “[It] really comes through in the clothes that she chooses and also in the clothes she designs.”

 Additionally, fashion companies, such as Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, have also become the talk on the streets in the fashion market this season, brewing up an array of opportunities to arrange collaborations not only for designers and stylists, but even performers. Recording artist Rihanna has created a new summer line with River Island for their Rihanna for River Island fans, launching on Saturday May 25, 2013. This summer collection brings renovations to the spring line and includes a load of brand new designs, which made its debut back in February at London Fashion Week.

riverIsland at London Fashion Week, to say I was pretty darn amped would be an understatement,” Glamour’s online style editor Nikki Ogunnaike wrote. “Whether it [was] chic and edgy or all around ‘cray-cray’, I [couldn't] wait to see what she put out.” “When [Glamour’s fashion news editor] Amy [Wicks] broke the news that Rihanna would be showing her fashion collection with River

 Like some stylists and other fashion companies, River Island came up with a way to promote their new collab collection to their fans and even encourage new shoppers to test out their fresh summer looks. The store posted a contest on their website called “Rihanna for River Island: Wear Spring to Win Summer”. The contest requires the public who are participating to show off how they carry out the spring collection by following @river_island on Instagram and uploading a photo of themselves wearing an article from the collection with the hashtag #rihannaforiverisland. Five lucky winners were chosen on Friday March 22, 2013 to receive an exclusive piece from the new Rihanna for River Island summer collection. What better way to influence new fans than with free giveaways of a brand new collection?

 According to Grazia Daily UK, after Rihanna’s debut at London Fashion Week for her collection with River Island, she feels that by giving her line a ‘laid back’ feel, it opens more doors of opportunity to stretch her visions on new designs.

 “Everyone can wear this line. It’s not costume, it’s not too sexy. It’s very easy and laid back,” Rihanna told Grazia Daily UK. “I designed every piece in the collection so I could wear it and I think my fans trust my style so they’ll have fun with it.”

 From stylists and recording artists promoting their new collections and fashion lines, to lower-end companies collaborating with higher-end companies to create diversity in the fashion market, designer collaborations have become an even bigger fab this season than ever before. The spotlight is no longer only on the “Jimmy Choo’s” and the “Prada’s” of the fashion industry. With collaborations like Kate Spade and Keds, the underdog crowd is starting to rise to the riches and outset trends and new styles to pull new buyers to feed into the new ‘top dogs’ of the industry—and maybe influence other designers to take larger risks, like young London designer Georgia Hardinge who has recently stepped into the shoes of Rihanna by joining the River Island Spring/Summer 2013 Collaboration bandwagon.

 “It’s amazing to me that I’ve got a range in River Island. It’s been so well done, I’m really happy with the collection and with the lovely fabrics they’ve brought to it,” Hardinge told Grazia Daily UK.

lily

 Along with new inspired designers connecting with large fashion companies like River Island, models like Lily Aldridge have created clothing lines to add a little spice to their careers and guide them into a whole new direction. Popsugar has listed Aldridge’s collaboration with Velvet by Graham & Spencer one of the top new designer collections “must-haves” this season. According to Vogue  the collection takes a spin of the Victoria Secret model’s “mix of boho rock-and-roll glamour” and a “laid back luxe” to reel in a younger crowd and audience.

 “It was a very natural collaboration. I’ve been working for Velvet for 10 years so when they asked me to do this it was an easy yes,” Aldridge told Vogue. “As a model you have such an amazing glimpse into fashion and what the designers are creating and how it fits. I wanted to create a line that was cool and easy to wear. You can wear every piece of my collection for day or night.”

 By starting this line with Velvet, Aldridge tells Vogue that it has been an inspiration to continue in the fashion design market.

“I would love to keep designing. I love fashion and to create a line like this makes me very proud—I wasn’t sure how to start it, but I’m so happy that my first venture was with Velvet,” Aldridge said.

 By looking at the ratings for collections like Lily Aldridge for Velvet by Graham & Spencer and other new spring and summer collections expected to debut this season, it can exhibit the importance designer collaborations have on the fashion industry; not just the upper-hand stars get their names in the headlines. From lower-end and “occasionally forgotten” companies, well-known recording artists and celebrity stylist, and runway models, new 2013 collaborations have taken the ‘fashion market underdog’ title to an entirely different level. So, why not update your closet with these hot, new trends—including others. Check out these new collabs hitting the streets this spring and summer before it’s too late!