Monthly Archives: November 2009


Who knew Pharrell Williams [of The Neptunes] designed high-end chairs? In collaboration with Domeau & Peres, the mega-producer has created two versions: last year’s “Perspective” and this year’s “Tank.” We all knew Skateboard P could cook up a mean space-&B beat, but, who knew the cat had a Starck side? “Tank” is on display at this December’s Art Basel in Miami, FL.

photos courtesy of billionaire boys club blog


My sophomore year of high school, I arrived to my place of work at the time (I only worked retail once – go figure) with cornrows. I was told to cover them up with a Von Dutch hat, that I was “scaring customers” or to leave work early. Sounds like discrimination now, but, at the time I was just afraid of getting my ‘rows ruffled. I had them done for homecoming so I wasn’t about to destroy them with a trucker hat. I concluded that my boss was a tool, didn’t take his advice, and was “relieved” of the position a week later. Reflecting back, it was one of the most defining moments of my teens.

The tanks are out. Vengeance is in motion. The little white boy that could is in control now.  I’d like to go back today and see how things run now that Obama’s in charge. Have things changed? The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 1 is dedicated to all those who have doubted difference. Those who think one couldn’t live beyond his/her stereotypes. Those who halt potential with their tunnel visions. This one’s for you…and you…and you…

I’ve compiled a collection of the hardest-hitting tracks never before featured on the blog straight from hip-hop’s underground. Spanning the globe, from Prague to New Orleans, New York to Alabama, the mixtape boasts 24 cuts above the rest. A hood mentality fluxed by rock, pop, soul, techno, and punk: the set is bonafied bonkers. Call it that bullet through your chest music. Featuring artists you’ve heard of and unknowns soon to break, the mix is concocted to blow all the non-believers to the street. Get ready to detonate your subwoofers. Remember where you heard it first & njoi. (Click the link below to download the .zip file)

Smoke & Mirrors presents…
The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 1
An MH Mixtape

View the tracklist after the jump. Continue reading

These Eddie Borgo‘s S/S 2010 cuffs remind me a great
deal of the latest Givenchy couture collection…

photos courtesy of eddie borgo &


The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 1 – an MH mixtape
–stream (below) & download here

A collection of tracks selected from across the globe never before featured on Smoke & Mirrors. There’s something from Prague (DJ Wich), Philly (Freeway), New York (B.I.G., Big Pun), N’Orleans (Juvenile), Alabama (G-Side, Rich Boy) and one from the Arkansas’ Forrest City Federal Prison (T.I.). If you have an imeem account you can sample some tracks (by clicking here) before the mix drops tomorrow.

Guaranteed the funkiest shit out.
Real rap. No filler.


Remember K’Nex? Photographer Ignacio Lozano sure does. He used the 90’s toy to outfit his model for “Connected,” an eye-catching series he did for Hop On The Spiral Bitch. Human scaffolding? Snip, snap. Click, clack.

photos courtesy of hop on the spiral bitch


The Row S/S 2010 lookbook
photographed by Swedie (represent), Hanna Liden

reminds me of…Parsons Senior Thesis, Spring 2009

Glad the twins know what they’re doing.

(top) photo courtesy of supreme mgmt

Has the R been reading S&M?
Dean dun-did-it! A week or so after featuring Dean Quinn‘s magic on the blog, he gets his long-awaited break. Dressing Ri-Ri in one of his signature bugle beaded creations for Good Morning America yesterday morning further cements him as the “designer to watch.” Congratulations.

photos courtesy of (top) just jared & (bottom) another mag

Can’t believe this was made in the ’70s. Looks like it could be Binns.
But, it’s Monet.

track anatomy: do not disturb

Before Vicky B[eckham] realized she couldn’t sing and subsequently gained tabloid fame in the states, she got together with then Roc-A-Fella CEO, Damon Dash, to record this devastation. Butchering The System’s original, Beckham must’ve realized she couldn’t actually be serious. It’s most likely the reason she hung up the girl group lipsynching to develop her fashion persona. [She chose not to release the single stateside and instead did their Roc-A-Wear ad campaign] At least Posh can dress.

“This Groove” – G-Side & Burn One
Don’t sleep on G-Side. Mad love for ‘Bama.


Croc Wallets x Comme des Garcons

Comme des Garcons
knows what’s what. How do you make a profit during the holiday season? Retail as much mid-range crap as you can. Get them dollars.
Stephen Jones Millinery Fragrance x Comme des Garcons


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Song of the Day: “Walking On Broken Glass” – Annie Lennox

The first music video I had ever seen was Annie Lennox’s “Walking On Broken Glass.” My dad let me watch it since he liked her Diva album so much. It was 1992 and for some reason, I still hold the memory dear. Perhaps the video’s Mozart theme inspired my love for the eccentric Amadeus? I wasn’t old enough to understand I was watching a young John Malkovich or a former Eurythmics member, yet the costumes still stuck with me. The song has one of the most addictive, symphonic beats ever crafted. It’s still confusing to me why the beat hasn’t been sampled one hundred-plus times by hip-hop producers. This my jam. Lennox is like Phil Collins: they both receive little credit for shaping the current pop soundscape.



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World Premiere: “Microphone” – Slaughterhouse

The hottest posse in the game is back with the hottest cut of the year. “Microphone” is a lyrical gutting: Michael Myers, Freddie Krueger-type-shit.
Say hello to the hearses



Topshop x Louise Goldin. Be sure not to cross your legs, ladies.

photos courtesy of nitrolicious


Berlin eyeglass maker, Mykita, teams up with Marios Schwab to create my favorite shades of the S/S 2010 season. Named “Jane” and “Hamilton,” the classic frames once made famous by Lennon get an industrialized remixing.

photos courtesy of the independent & mykita blog


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World Premiere: “I’mma Do It” – Fabolous (featuring Kobe)

One of the best rap songs of the year gets the video treatment. Fab’s “I’mma Do It” has a beat that sounds like an epileptic organ and a hook sung by a crazy person. The rapper‘s laissez faire flow has never sounded so ferocious. Even the feds are after him. Be sure to check out F-A-B-O at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza on December 12th. Remember when…


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World Premiere: “Make Me” – Janet Jackson

Janet is back, this time breaking it down in the hottest of 2010 fashions for her latest video “Make Me.” The dancing is flawless, the set is futuristic (the sister ship to Scream perhaps?), and the song’s one of her freshest yet. Todd Lynn must be a very happy man. I’m sure smiling.

photos courtesy of tfs & wwd

shit.list : spring.10

da shit lists, s/s 2010

With Candy Pratts Price’s contract at ending soon, Jackson and I thought we’d take a jab at her job. We’ve widdled down her S/S 2010 accessory report (the reason you won’t find McQueen‘s wild platforms anywhere is she rarely sways from the retail-ready) into three separate lists: Jackson’s favorites (shoes, bags, and jewelry), my footwear picks, and a list delegated to my favorite jewelry and handbags. Don’t call them it lists – they da shit lists. Our choices prove once and for all that opposites do, in fact, attract.

Jackson’s Shit List

1 Alexander Wang / 2 Gucci / 3 Pierre Hardy / 4 Alexander McQueen / 5 Bruno Frisoni / 6 Camilla Skovgaard / 7 Givenchy / 8 Eddie Borgo / 9 Jil Sander / 10 Celine / 11 Alejandro Ingelmo / 12 Gucci / 13 VBH

Marcus’s Shit List, pt. I (Footwear)

1 Dolce & Gabbana / 2 Cole Haan / 3 Dolce & Gabbana / 4 Trussardi 1911 / 5 Bruno Frisoni / 6 Dries Van Noten / 7 Maria Francesca Pepe / 8 Loeffler Randall / 9 Aperlai / 10 Santoni / 11 Hermes / 12 Devi Kroell / 13 Salvatore Ferragamo / 14 Givenchy / 15 Ralph Lauren Collection / 16 Manolo Blahnik / 17 Pierre Hardy / 18 Viktor & Rolf

Marcus’s Shit List, pt. II (Handbags & Jewelry)

1 Fendi / 2 Jackson (not featured in Pratt’s report) / 3 Fendi / 4 Nancy Gonzalez / 5 Mawi / 6 Louis Vuitton / 7 Maria Francesca Pepe / 8 Taher Chemirik / 9 Philippe Ferrandis / 10 Viktor & Rolf / 11 Alexander McQueen / 12 Dries Van Noten / 13 Polly Van Der Glas (not featured in Pratt’s report) / 14 Tom Binns
photos courtesy of


This is too cool. I’ve seen this done in the U.K. for Beyonce, but…Janet? It seems in honor of this week’s Number Ones album release, Flash Mob America took over The Grove in Los Angeles for an unexpected afternoon shopping dance break to induce some shock. P.S. The results for all-time favorite Janet song are in. You chose the 2001 smash “All For You.”


Does this mean I won’t look like a total fool walking ’round the city in my duvet?
Vilsbol de Arche‘s down comforter suit must’ve been made with hibernation in mind. I like. G’nite.

photo courtesy of vilsbol de arche gallery

MH.edits : nov.09 / fashion focus:

Edit. In honor of this month’s Smoke & Mirrors feature in ELLE magazine (p. 340, December ’09), “MH.edits” dissects the outfit I styled exclusively for the shoot as done in the “fashion focus” posts. So glad I had the opportunity to style myself – as myself! Having access to the unlimited racks of designer duds was a total dream come true. You’ll usually find me with a scarf somewhere on my person, so, when I was asked to assemble a look that included at least one Hermes scarf, I was set. Inspired by years of watching my favorite musicians incorporate scarves into their personal styles, my look was prompted by memories of Steven Tyler’s scarved mic stand, Janet Jackson’s handkerchief (from the “Alright” video), Mozart, Keith Richards, Prince, and Axl Rose’s headband. It was all about celebrating my love for music and fashion – which is what S&M‘s all about. The result’s a combination of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, today and yesterday. An homage to rock & roll. Thanks again to everyone at ELLE for coining me a “tastemaker” and making the whole experience so enjoyable. Such an honor. (Cheers to my fellow featured bloggy baby, Krystal, at whatisrealityanyway)

ELLEfeature11 Hermes polka dot silk scarf (worn as headband)
2 Corpus velvet motorcycle jacket
3 Ralph Lauren Collection silk organza blouse
4 Hermes silver collier ring
5 The Row french grey leather leggings
6 Hermes metallic brocade scarf (worn as handkerchief)
7 Chloe suede lace-up booties


World Premiere: “Ten Strikes” – O’Spada

Got to support my people! Cheers to primo pop music! The Swedes have been popping off real hard lately – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and now O’Spada. The only condonable hipster music around comes from the homeland. No pun intended. Skål!


Georgo Phillip Pecenikov‘s bear trap cuff wins hands down for hunting season’s grizzliest accessory. Use it as a grill to achieve a piranha effect or wear it on your wrist raw.

(top) photo courtesy of a+r


World Premiere: “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” – Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is unarguably one of the few hitmakers of our generation. Even my mommy knows that. She hasn’t sounded her best since her debut album and hasn’t found her peak since (in my opinion) “You Don’t Know My Name.” But, that could all change. Her latest single release, “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart,” finds Keys giving in to the years of inevitable Stevie Wonder comparisons with melodic 80’s sounding synths and love-letter lyrics. Glad she lost the braids, or…

photo courtesy of telegraph uk


Placement in art is as important as placement is in music. Ask Christian Marclay: the artist-slash-musician who’s also the proclaimed “inventor of turntablism.” The guy compiles classic LP covers to make compelling exquisite corpses as he does scratching up symphonies on the 1’s and 2’s. The New York artist examines gender and race in his works, clashing iconic faces with unknown bodies.


Miss Janet in Todd Lynn
Miss Janet in Todd Lynn
Miss Janet in Todd Lynn
Miss Janet in Todd Lynn


waitisovaAna Locking‘s S/S 2010 menswear collection is awe-worthy.
This jacket especially.

photo courtesy of tfs


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Song of the Day: “Scandalous” – Mis-Teeq

European R&B trio Mis-Teeq never quite saw the fame they had overseas when crossing over stateside with singles “Scandalous” and “One Night Stand.” They’re responsible for some of production duo Stargate’s (Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Rihanna) earliest material. Now separated, Mis-Teeq is just another group forgotten at the bottom of the dollar bin.


AJ Fosik‘s paint, wood, and nail sculptures look like Nicktoon versions of Chinese New Year masks (specifically Aaahh!!! Real Monsters). The Philly artist’s three-dimensional creations hang everywhere from Paris to San Fran. There’s always been the perception that art with eyes will follow you. With Fosik’s, I sure hope not.
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photos courtesy of aj fosik flickr


miguelitoWorld Premiere: “I Go Off” – Beanie Sigel (Featuring 50 Cent)

The wack rap ringtone killa, Beanie Sigel, is currently in a between-label limbo involving two of rap’s heaviest hitters: 50 Cent and Jay-Z. On the new street single, “I Go Off,” 50 does hook duty while Beanie shows Jay what he’s missing by dropping the Roc alum from his new venture. 50 takes on Hova at the track’s close claiming he’s forgotten his Marcy upbringing to become a pass the Grey Poupon elitist. The battle begins…

STILL trying to find me a pair of Alena Akhmadullina‘s F/W ’09
goat hair bell bottoms.


Kids make the best subjects. They’re androgynous, full of expression, and perfect for sample size. Ryan McGinley shot a set of energetic children in full-fledged F/W ’09 ready-to-wear for the latest issue of Purple magazine. It’s by far one of the best editorials of this year. Where they chaperones at? [Top: Rodarte / Middle: Chanel / Bottom: Givenchy]


photos courtesy of purple


Song of the Day: “Faded” – Soul Decision

Face it. Boy bands were just one of the many predicaments that came with the 1990’s […the Lawrence brothers included]. Today’s song is from the only boy band I’ve ever seen live. They opened for Christina Aguilera at a Six Flags in seventh grade. Considered it to be some of the best cheese life had to offer. Still sort of do. [I swear… if the blonde frontman winks at me one more time I’m gonna have to buy the CD single.]


Picture 313
Mariko Mitanovski
‘s heavily referenced neo-gothic looks rocked the independent loop of this past London Fashion Week. I’m a die-hard fan of ruff collars (see below) and regal design, so, it’s no surprise he’s garnered my attention. He is currently at work on his second collection to premiere February 2010.28
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Picture 312I’ve been obsessed with Antonio Palladino‘s precious metal creations since I saw them on the main floor of Barney’s New York my freshman year of college. His sea creature cuffs, earrings, and rings are sublime. Have a look, have a drool, but not so fast: they’re all worth more than Fort Knox.
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The dying craft of couture has found its new emperor. Search for Stephane Rolland on and you’re bound to come back with ‘no results’. That’s why I’m glad to see someone’s (other than my own) eye was caught by his spring Haute Couture show. That someone being Mariel Haenn, Rihanna’s super-stylist, who dressed her client in one of his most stunning creations to accept the “Woman of the Year” award at this year’s Glamour honors at Carnegie Hall. Looking like a crumbled pile of paper planes, the gown exhibits there’s still relevance within the few houses of couture in existence today. Hopefully the man whose experience boasts being both creative director for Balenciaga’s menswear division and ten years designing for coutourier Jean-Louis Scherrer, sees his dues. Bring couture back. [To Ri-Ri: I could’ve waited longer had “Wait Your Turn (Wait Is Ova)” been good.]

Picture 310photos courtesy of tfs


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World Premiere: “Pat Your Weave” – UCB
(Featuring Wale)

You’d think I just got back from (visiting the O’s in) the capitol, the way I’ve been on a D.C. roll lately. With all the representation on the blog recently you’d think I knew the mayor. Having posted Amerie and U.S. Royalty, today premiering Wale and UCB’s video for go-go anthem, “Pat Your Weave” – I can’t say it’s political. Wale‘s debut drops tomorrow.

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9118_546385651957_34601972_32437480_2478626_nSong of the Day: “Every Summer” – U.S. Royalty

I saw D.C. rockers, U.S. Royalty, live this past spring at Pianos and couldn’t get this one song outta my head. (Big ups to Chris) It’s got the power to transport any listener back to 75 degree summer evenings with mini Colt 45’s and bonfires even in 30 degree weather. Their EP is out now.


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doodle portrait by Jackson Moad


hair2Bubble Machine ‘Do by Stephanie Moye, photo x David Yellen.
I hope that shit’s battery operated.


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Catching the attention of Dazed stylist, Nicola Formichetti, St. Martin’s designer Ara Jo, looks to have been inspired by one of my favorite mockumentary characters of all time: Mr. G [Summer Heights High]. Can’t wait for Lilley’s next venture Angry Boys!

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Picture 301World Premiere: “Shakin’ It For Daddy” – Robin Thicke
(Featuring Nicki Minaj & Ester Dean)

There’s been a bit of a blue-eyed soul shortage on the airwaves as of late. Justin Bieber just ain’t cuttin’ it! Thank god Thicke’s back with the Polow-produced whisper-popper, “Shakin’ It For Daddy,” featuring rapper of the moment Nicki Minaj. Cowabunga!

Picture 298The cat looks like Ellen.


I just recently came across designer Dean Quinn‘s Central St. Martin’s ’09 BA collection and fell head over heels in love. Inspired by Blade Runner and window blinds, the collection resembles a toned-down version of Nicholas Ghesquiere’s S/S 2007 space odyssey. Using rows of intricately placed bugle beads to achieve three-dimensional shadows, Quinn approaches fashion as it were a science project. The toughly tailored results are like something out of the future.


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Song of the Day: “Real Big” – Mannie Fresh

Bad rap isn’t hard to come by, so, one must really evaluate the type of badness they’re into before flooding their ears with mounts of the horrendous. Are you one for the flagrantly offensive? Is excessive material name-drops your thing? Clap on. Most would have a hard time placing Mannie Fresh of the Big Tymers anywhere near Zack Morris of Saved by the Bell and his monstrous cell phone, but, Fresh makes it real easy in his ’07 video for the hilarious “Real Big.” Clap off. Bad rap at its finest.

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I haven’t been secretive about my undying love for Haider Ackermann. This insane silk scarf with long red tassels further cements his genius as the best money can buy.

photos courtesy of lvr


amerie-margielaWorld Premiere, Pt. I: “Dangerous” – Amerie

Amerie‘s never had the best voice. But, she’s got the production to help you forget. The fact that she’s a softy vocally can make her either sound organic or pitchy. Rich Harrison took her strained soprano and placed it above big band D.C. drumkicks to make “1 Thing” her biggest hit to date. On her latest effort [In Love and War], the underrated songstress scraps the ballads to build bulk with what put her on the map in the first place – that big bang.  Fueled in part by live guitar backgrounds and heavy percussion, “Dangerous” and “Higher” are unquestionably two of the best R&B tracks of the year. Amerie’s lacking vocals just make them feel that much more real.

World Premiere, Pt. II: “Higher” – Amerie



Picture 293Who knew Bally made something worth buying?
Really feeling the pebbles.

photo courtesy of lvr


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In anticipation of Janet‘s follow-up to greatest hits compilation, Design of a Decade, entitled Number Ones (featuring the new single “Make Me”,  hitting stores and the web November 17th); Smoke & Mirrors wants to know your favorite Janet hit. Take the poll below. Results will be posted the day of the album release.

…you are now witnessing the birth of a blog…

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Big news for Smoke & Mirrors! Things just got SERIOUS.
The blog’s blend of hip-hop and high fashion caught someone’s attention…
Look for your boy in this month’s issue (December) of Elle.
Pics will be up soon. You won’t be disappointed…
More big things to come. Spread the word