Monthly Archives: February 2010

artist spotlite: tanlines

“Real Life” – Tanlines

The first time I heard Tanlines, I looked like the baby below. I was dumbfounded to have found a non hip-hop Brooklyn-based band I liked. If you’re a Pitchfork regular, you’ve probably read time and again of their recent rise. They’ve been making their rounds amongst the web’s indiesphere throughout the past year and have finally dropped a single worthy of Smoke & Mirrors inception. “Real Life”, the title track off their debut EP, plays like a prelude to paradise. If Washed Out‘s brand of rhythmic lo-fi evokes Cali burnouts, Tanlines sends you straight to sundazed Ibiza with their tropical, conga-driven compositions. Creating tribal thumpers in Brooklyn, NY may sound like a hard stretch, but these boys have more than mastered a technique unto their own. Don’t call it dancehall. Using synths often equated with Lil’ Jon or hip-hop producers, Tanlines skims past the inevitable hipster label and creates a new sect of danceable wonder in the process. If you’re planning on attending SxSW this March, be sure to wave hello. Remember where you heard it first MF.

T  H  I  Z  Z  I  N



photos courtesy of blackbook


Hungarian designer Adel Kovac’s Love Carpet F/W ’09 collection is a hard sell (especially since it’s unbuyable). Call it clepto-chic.

photos courtesy of coolhunting


Song of the Day: “I Like To Move It” – Reel 2 Real

Let’s take it back to nineteen-naughty-four for this rowdy Jock Jams classic…  They’d play this shit in gym class and watch kids go straight epileptic (think Baby Sinclair)! We had no idea what the rasta-toaster was saying (still don’t), but he sure helped us cats get phyzicallay fit. And for that, a thank you’s in order.


Today marks the start of a new category on the blog: cur8.
Consider it an ongoing, daily un-themed moodboard…
or a way for me to slowly unload my overflowing jpeg folder.

photo courtesy of vogue paris


Todd Lynn / Fall 2010 / London Fashion Week

Former Roland Mouret designer, Todd Lynn, has developed over the past two seasons (last Spring and this Fall) a study in substratal futurism, borrowing influence from two opposite sides of mankind: primeval and space-age. For Spring, he lent the popular power shoulder a prehistoric purpose with Viking-like horns. Fall saw the silhouette morph closer to caveman territory, trading in tin horns for ice age-appropriate fur pagodas. Lynn’s tailored leathers looked as aggressive as ever, perhaps for client, Miss [Janet] Jackson, who was seated (sans backup dancers) in front row. Based in starship gray’s and muted putty’s, the ominously-toned Lynn palette has never felt so aptly matched to his vision. Teetering on the brink of yesterday and tomorrow, Lynn has synthesized survival with style as his signature.

photos courtesy of nymag
(Find this review and more on tFS)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remember Harriet the Spy?
It was because of her that I carried around a marble composition notebook filled with secrets for an entire year of elementary school. 2010: Watch her lay things down Smoke & Mirrors style in the passenger seat of a van with Dawson’s Creek. (Yeah. You heard me right.)


photo (top) courtesy of
via charles anastase / fall 2010 / london fashion week


My favorite time of the season…
February 19-24, 2010.
Look for updates all week long.


Damon Dash Gallery Opening / 172 Duane Street / February 19, 2010

Arriving to a line wrapped around the block twice, I was happy to have finagled my way past queue to view Damon Dash‘s first foray into the art market. The atmosphere was trumped by an overwhelming capacity signaling NYPD to shut things down before 9pm. Hip-hop’s troubled businessman can still draw a hell of a crowd. Heralding art’s freshest faces is another story altogether. The collection saw the usual range of urban-edged street art reeking of Basquiat, walls strewn with stuffed taxidermy-like animal heads, and inanimate metallic objects set across the floor. Perhaps the most eye-popping work was a series of storybook illustrations hung towards the back of the salon, featuring ghoulish depictions of bears, possums, and rabbits by toy maker Heather Gargon.

clutch by Jackson

photo (top) courtesy of gabriel fortoul
& (bottom) courtesy of julia chesky


New York Fashion Week / Fall 2010 Collections

Since Marc Jacobs’ prime (approx. ten or twelve years back), there’s been a dwindling sense of excitement and intrigue at New York’s portion of fashion month. I’m happy to say that for the first time in a decade or so (even with a confused state of mourning McQueen), the excitement is back with new designers’ spirit to breathe fresh life into an otherwise creatively-lagging commercial-centric market. (Anna spotted at a newcomer’s show? Pretty much unheard of… until now.) It may feel this way because it’s the first fashion week I’ve been officially invited to cover – but, hell, it’s not as though I hadn’t spent the last ten years of my existence anticipating 12:01 am when posts the day before’s collections. It was truly remarkable to see the actual fashions on living-breathing (barely) models instead of 2D jpegs for the first time. What a camera lens and a few flash bulbs can do to manipulate the appearance of a piece is rather astounding. Since Thursday, I’ve been lucky enough to attend and support a roster of young New York talents worthy of turning the stigma toward the American scene on its head… to view the collections I hit up and their subsequent reviews click on their titles below. Njoi.

Day One:
Frank Tell, Julian Louie, Tim Hamilton Redux Menswear
Day Two: ADAM, Ohne Titel, Prabal Gurung
Day Three: Altuzarra, VPL

photo courtesy of stylelikeu

Wardrobe: Zara velvet power shoulder blazer, Helmut Lang leather leggings, Rick Owens tee, Alexander McQueen skull print scarf, Estate rings (miscellaneous), Jackson spring ring, Ann Klein vintage lion necklace, Jackson goat hair and leather clutch

Fashion Week Snaps:
Julian Louie fall presentation at Milk.

My girl Lucy and I at Prabal. Congrats Stephen!

Beau and Lucy before Prabal Gurung show.

Backstage at ADAM

With designers, Harold and Stacey, at their Odilon presentation.

Acne leg bangles!

Cushnie et Ochs wedges are shaping up to be the best of the season.

Model line-up at Rad Hourani.

My girl Whoopi front row at Calvin Klein.


photos (bottom) courtesy of catwalking, tfs, &
(McQueen gone is still too surreal for words.)


Altuzarra / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

Paging Michelle Pfeiffer… As if last season never happened, Joseph Altuzarra went back to the dark side for his latest fall collection shown during New York Fashion Week at Milk studios. Looking like remnants of Edward Scissorhands, Catwoman, and Kiss of the Spider Woman costumes placed in a blender, the collection boasted some of the season’s most ferociously sexy looks. With only three colors used (black, creme, and a vivacious red), Altuzarra must’ve been under the vampire spell as well (see: Dracula cape). His sutured-together leather catsuits even evoked a DIY punk sensibility usually seen overseas in Westwood and Yamamoto collections. Perfecting his strict taut-tailoring, he presented the week’s most jawdropping pantsuits and coats in the season’s hottest materials: blood red velvet, black wool, and goat hair-detailed leather varieties. The opening few looks made a major impression since they so resembled Jackson’s goat hair clutch I toted throughout the week. Perhaps the most cohesive collection from New York, Altuzarra has finally found his light in the dark.

photos courtesy of


World Premiere: “Love King” – The-Dream

With Sade sitting atop the album charts this week, it seems R&B may be creeping back to its prime (last time it was at its full peak was in the mid 90’s when Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” ruled the charts). Smoke & Mirrors favorite The-Dream continues the winning streak (perfecting his hit formula), releasing his latest single “Love King” today, off of his supposed last LP of the same title. He’s even declared four singles and four videos ready for release between now and the album’s street date (May 17). Sounds like the man’s been working ovetime since his Grammy snub. Get psyched!


Prabal Gurung / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

Considering Oprah chose a red Prabal gown to don on her holiday O cover, it was no surprise watching seats fill up fast at Gurung’s latest collection shown at Bryant Park’s Salon tent this past Saturday. Front-rowers included Anne Slowey, Anna Wintour, Zoe Saldana, and Rachel Zoe – a pretty decent set bearing it’s only his second offering. The show started late due to the amount of demand at the door. A blaring soundtrack comprised of jilted Gaga and Ke$ha tracks set the stage for what one would think was a pantless ode to glam rock. Instead, cascading down the catwalk came a handful of supremely sculpted black and white wool-cashmere coats, asymmetric satin dresses, and iridescent blazers, fit more aptly for Oprah than anyone on the tracklist. Gurung’s silk love affair hinted back constantly to Lanvin’s biggest blockbusters: using curved seams and double layers, the collection mirrored much of Elbaz’s genius without the level of master craft. Gurung hit the highest notes with his dual-toned pants shown in tight bootcuts second to the scrunchy lambskin PG-shaped (by Daniel Storto) gauntlet gloves featured last week on’s Style File blog.

photos (bottom) courtesy of (gloves, first 2) & tfs (last 2)


Vodpod videos no longer available.
Song of the Day: “Toop Toop” – Cassius

New York Fashion Week brings out the caffeinated kind of fluster in people.
And this song sounds exactly how it feels. Call it aural crack.


ADAM by Adam Lippes / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

You may not equate ADAM with my style, but in fact, Buffalo’s own Adam Lippes has inspired much of what I think and do. Since working in a little jean boutique in our hometown of Western New York that sold his initial works under label ‘Adam+Eve,’ I’ve been inspired to look beyond the confines of my upper-middle class suburban upbringing and dream bigger. The first ADAM show I was invited to attend was this season’s at Bryant Park’s Promenade tent. To my surprise, Lippes flipped the script. His usual colorful spirit was re-toned to fit a more alternative, fashion-forward woman with a palette of puttys, caramels, and ochres. Outside of his comfort zone, Lippes raised the bar on his collection with attainably styled, comfortably chic clothing (heavy wool cable sweaters, maxi dresses, and cashmere-knit jodhpurs). Beyond his scope of basics, Lippes may have finally found his place in a higher echelon of fashionista’s closet, turning out pieces understated enough for multiple wears. Citing parachute jumpers as his main inspiration for the collection, Lippes’ line undoubtedly matured in its effort to fly higher.

photo (top) courtesy of jordan bach


Ohne Titel / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

In receiving my invitation to view Ohne Titel’s latest collection, I assumed the invite’s sole image wasn’t just for decoration, that it symbolized some sort of topographic inspiration. Was I wrong? Varied terrains came to mind when their mesh-as-lace insert leggings made their way down the catwalk. But Flora Gill and Alexa Adam had other influences up their sleeves and flip collars: Edwardian-militaristic looks ruled their runway this time around. Some looks even sourced from Donna Karan’s marshy palettes to update pantsuit classics. Their aesthetic mix of tech and 19th century garb gave Titel a leg up on the overdone military bandwagon. Overall, the collection was a stellar one with plenty of wearable options (wide-leg pants, obi belts, slim blazers) to survive ever-shifting plate tectonics.

photos courtesy of


Frank Tell / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

Looking to Frank’s pre-fall pieces and his most recent collection revealed on Friday evening, Tell has officially tapped into exactly what his good-looking-bad-girl demographic wants. He knows they desire wearable daily items that can easily be done up to become a showstopping outfit for the evening. As if he had a checklist for each collection, this season’s list included: Croc-stamped lambskins and suedes, funnel necked silhouettes accentuating the skinny, dangling buckles, perfectly placed grommets, and a slew of heftily wrangled knits. The mod-mindset he spoke of in his designer statement appeared in his palette of baby blues, tans and nudes, and an especially ashy slate gray. One of the highlights this season was undoubtedly Tell’s choice of male model Martin Cohn who walked second down the runway. Others included his Star Trek-inspired wedges courtesy of Raphael Young and jewelery picks by Pamela Love. Overall, the tribal-future fest was a perfect concoction of toned-down eccentricities fit for the downtown-via-uptown sets.

Find more pics from my review on The Fashion Spot here.

photos (bottom) courtesy of nymag
Continue reading


Tim Hamilton Redux Menswear / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week

The boots were crazy! They looked as though they’d been melted.

Special thanks to Kevin. Missed you kid.


In Memoriam L.A.M.

Look for New York Fashion Week Fall 2010 coverage coming this week.


Rest in peace Alexander McQueen
I will always love you.


U ready?


Have been intrigued by Viktor & Rolf‘s couture doll side effort ever since I bought this book a few years back. Their latest collection of porcelain dolls commemorate their most noted designs brilliantly.

???? Tilda ????

photos courtesy of fashion indie


Song of the Day: “Supa Dupa Lemonade (Freestyle)” – Big Sean

Featured G.O.O.D. Music’s Big Sean awhile back (and rather recently). Now he’s rhyming over Gucci‘s piano clinks (by Bangladesh) for his latest freestyle – did life hand him lemons? Where the album at, kid? This spiked lemonade’s got me ready.


This stingray skeleton bracelet by Lauren Wolf is severe.
Severely testing my will and wallet.

photo courtesy of lauren wolf jewelry

Casadei‘s patent sculptural sandals fit for …

1. Annette Atkins

2. Deee-Lite

3. Jenny Mac


Tribute: “It’s So Hard” – Big Pun (Feat. Donell Jones)

It was ten years ago today that rap superstar/family man/street prophecy/fashion icon, Christopher “Big Pun” Rios (a.k.a. Big Punisher), lost his battle against McDonald’s. He may have been the cat that just happened to pass away once B.I.G. and ‘Pac made it trendy, but alas, he did have some primo product of his own during TRL’s peak relevance (see: “Still Not A Player” and “How We Roll“). It was after his death, though, that his work helped put a face on South Bronx’s hip-hop scene (see: Terror Squad, Fat Joe, & Remy Ma) and ultimately helped it thrive into the mid-00’s (see: “What’s Love?” and “Lean Back“). His tribute video for “It’s So Hard” pretty much revolutionized the votive-holding vigil platform for the rest of hip-hop’s fallen to follow. I hope to have my own street mural in the Bronx when I die (only mine will be with a Swedish flag motif) solely because of Pun. Rest in peace, papi.


Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” jacket x Zaldy
…that never was.

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” electro-pants x Zaldy
that never were.


photos courtesy of tfs & blackbook


Mentioned how ridic these were awhile back.
But now, they’ve garnered an entirely different inner meaning altogether
thanks to Angelina and the Jersey Shore!
photo (bottom) courtesy of the cut


Remember in pre-school when we’d make paintings with vegetables? So did Alexander McQueen when he teamed up with Liberty of London to recreate-slash-remix his infamous skull print scarf. It’s made using potatoes. I’d like to buy one just to grace it with some marble-paint for the ultimate in Pre-K fashion!

photos (top) courtesy of liberty

No, it’s not a kazoo. It’s an Hermes yacht designed exclusively by Wally. It’s pretty much a floating island… so it naturally solves the dilemma of growing trees at sea.


Song of the Day: “All Night Long” – Faith Evans (Feat. Diddy)

I remember around ’97 it was Prodigy (and their brand of tech) that was prophesized to take over music forever. However, it was Sean Combs who would officially tune the mainstream ear after B.I.G. left the earth without a hip-hop hero. His crew over-realized the extent to which consumers look to music for status, fantasy, and showmanship. Through this, they unearthed a street music genre with an admittedly lux approach: “what sounds good – looks good – is good.” Bad Boy‘s first lady, Faith Evans, was essential to bringing the franchise a safer more feminine perspective. On the Puff-produced “All Night Long,” she imposed a state of R&B relief to hip-hop that’s been tough to reproduce sincerely thereafter. It’s a track that over its twelve year lifetime has been played on everything from mini-discs to walkmans, iPod’s to Pandora, yet still offers the perfect sense of Diddy-bopping solace. It has a bassline that instantly transports you back to the shiny suit heyday of champagne sipping, club shoot-outs, and chinchilla skins.


You’ve heard of high chairs…
well, these are heel chairs.


Be glad.
Betony Vernon‘s sperm rings go on your fingers.
Not your face.

photos courtesy of paradise found


Prada Menswear A/W 2010

photo (top) courtesy of tfs

artist spotlite: b.o.b

“I Am The Man” – B.o.B (Feat. OJ Da Juiceman & Bun B)

Atlanta native, Bobby Ray, has been generating buzz since signing with T.I.’s Grand Hustle Entertainment (of Warner Music Group) and releasing numerous mixtapes under the name ‘B.o.B.‘ in 2008. Now, he’s on the heels of wrapping up sessions for his debut album, B.o.B. presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray, due out May 25, 2010, and is getting the streets ready by leaking countless underground gems worth a listen… or ten. Especially “I Am The Man,” which samples Clooney’s twang wail from O Brother, Where Art Thou? and verses by OJ Da Juiceman and Bun B. With mentions of Tonka trucks and jumbo sized gumbos, it’s like a country boy’s dream come true (minus Taylor Swift).