Monthly Archives: June 2010

the-dream: the.last.romantic

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DREAM WEEK is in full effect


fashion focus:

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MH x StyleLikeU

Special thanks to the entire StyleLikeU team for the terrific feature! What an honor. So far, the reactions have been nothing but great. So surreal since it’s usually me interviewing others. Look for updates this week on Smoke & Mirrors for more clothing credits and behind-the-scenes pics. View the entire post here and make a comment MF!

photos courtesy of elisa goodkind x stylelikeu


on Smoke & Mirrors kicks off today…
expect unheard tracks, new videos, album analysis + more.
If you haven’t already – cop LoveKing now!


Rest in Peace The King of Pop

photos courtesy of Henry Leutwyler x Steidlville


World Premiere: “Who Dat” – J.Cole

In J.Cole‘s first official video since his Roc Nation/Sony Music co-sign, he plays something of a messiah; turning the hood into a flame-ridden epoch, led in part by what looks like the lyricist’s graduating class. The clip gives Drake a run for his 463,000 first-week sales, although I doubt Cole will debut to numbers as grand come time for his album release this October – especially since people are likely still wondering who dat? Let us review.

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shit.list : fall.10

da shit lists, f/w 2010

While the fashion industry offers you options for their Pre-Spring/Resort season (I’m still waiting for a better term for the made-up retail season), they’re doing themselves a slight disservice by placing Fall to the side. Who can remember what they did last weekend, let alone last fashion week? That’s why S&M‘s here to remind you of the items ready to hit stores in the next month or so. Jackson and I have whittled down Candy Pratts Price’s F/W 2010 accessory report (corresponding with the 10 best F/W 2010 collections posted) and added some lust-worthy pieces from Luisa Via Roma’s inventory to create four separate lists. But don’t call them it lists – they da shit lists. Our choices prove once and for all that opposites do, in fact, attract. We did both come to a mutual agreement on one thing – the handbag of the season (above)… hailing from the inimitable house of Celine. (Click to enlarge images)

Jackson’s Shit List, pt. I (Handbags & Jewelry)

(Clockwise) 1 Balenciaga / 2 Dries Van Noten / 3 Givenchy / 4 Celine / 5 Givenchy / 6 VBH / 7 Reed Krakoff / 8 Ralph Lauren / 9 Reed Krakoff / 10 VBH  / 11 Jackson / 12 Valextra  / 13 Alexander Wang / 14 Reed Krakoff / 15 Louis Vuitton / 16 Celine

Jackson’s Shit List, pt. II (Footwear)

(Clockwise) 1 Chloe / 2 Alexander Wang / 3 Burberry Prorsum / 4 Dries Van Noten / 5 Prada / 6 Calvin Klein / 7 Marc Jacobs / 8 Balenciaga / 9 Celine / 10 Pierre Hardy / 11 Viktor & Rolf / 12 Roger Vivier / 13 Ralph Lauren / 14 Chanel / 15 Hermes / 16 Christian Dior / 17 Christian Louboutin / 18 Versace

Marcus’ Shit List, pt. I (Handbags, Jewelry, Accessories)

(Clockwise) 1 Diane Von Furstenburg / 2 Proenza Schouler / 3 Jackson / 4 Vivienne Westwood / 5 Givenchy / 6 Gareth Pugh / 7 Jean-Charles de Castelbajac / 8 Maxim Sharov / 9 Aurelie Bidermann / 10 Proenza Schouler / 11 Givenchy / 12 Dolce & Gabbana / 13 Maxim Sharov / 14 Dominic Jones / 15 Alexander McQueen / 16 Delifina Delettrez / 17 Fleet Illya / 18 Maison Martin Margiela / 19 Maison Martin Margiela / 20 Giuseppe Zanotti / 21  Giambattista Valli / 22 YSL / 23 Ann Demeulemeester / 24 Dolce & Gabbana / 25 Aurelie Bidermann / 26 Bottega Veneta / 27 Givenchy / 28 Chanel

Marcus’ Shit List, pt. II (Footwear)

(Clockwise) 1 Viktor & Rolf / 2 Aperlai / 3 Rochas / 4 YSL / 5 Alejandro Ingelmo / 6 Nicholas Kirkwood / 7 Balmain by Giuseppi Zanotti / 8 LD Tuttle / 9 Calvin Klein / 10 Rochas / 11 Nicholas Kirkwood / 12 Givenchy / 13 Marc Jacobs / 14 Brian Atwood / 15 Alejandro Ingelmo / 16 Maison Martin Margiela / 17 Maison Martin Margiela / 18 Celine / 19 Maison Martin Margiela / 20 Devi Kroell / 21 Finsk / 22 Pierre Hardy

Honorable Mentions: coming soon
View last season’s selections here.

photos courtesy of, lvr, & hint


World Premiere: “Slow Down” – David Banner & 9th Wonder

You know it’s a 9th Wonder joint when it sounds like you’re riding top-down
through the city during summer.



photo courtesy of juergen teller x nymag

Preview The Roots‘ 9th studio album, How I Got Over,
in its entirety before it drops June 22nd here.
Early favorite: “Hustla”

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Song of the Day: “Straight Outta Compton” – The Roots & Ice Cube

on Jimmy Fallon


drawing courtesy of sonia rykiel

track anatomy: time to get drunk

“Drunk In The Club” – Bei Maejor

“Time To Say Goodbye” – Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman


Hairball by Little Willie, photo x David Yellen.
(perfect to attend The Finals in)


Franco Patricio

MH x Thierry Mugler,
photographed by Franco Patricio

Song of the Day: “Too Funky” – George Michael


photo courtesy of tFs

Thank Me Later
– Drake

You know hip hop has changed when you listen to Drake. He’s unequivocally ushered in hip hop’s post-Kanye, Twitter landscape; a place where the internet plays as much an influential role as it did the first time you could download Eminem alongside Morissey free of charge via Napster. He’s used the internet as a source of promotion (So Far Gone mixtape is the most downloaded in history and spawned his overnight success), artistic tapestry (see his own blog), and open-source playpen (how else would he have found Francis & The Lights?) unlike those before him. He’s grown up with a post-racial, post-college-radio ear (he’s half-white and Jewish on his mother’s side) that’s as much influenced sonically by Eminem as Morissey, as much hip hop as easy-listening; a desegregated sense of freedom and willingness towards genre eclecticism that came with the advent of digital music piracy. He’s the mixed result of desensitized racial and social boundaries, an affluent suburban upbringing, dorm rooms, and fast fame. He’s an artist that’s broadened hip hop’s tense with unsuspectingly genre-defying, self-pondering narratives that could easily make any emo collegiate jealous.

His first-ever commercial LP, Thank Me Later, is a devoted introspective debut. An album that track-by-track expands to immerse you. From first listen, you can tell it’s important – and not because Pitchfork told you so. The first song, “Fireworks”, plays like a continuation of Alicia Keys and Drake‘s duet, “Unthinkable,” atop echoing drums. How many of our parents’ marriages lasted?, Drake asks in the song’s final verse. It’s a generational question that wouldn’t of sounded so real had it come from the corner. What would have ultimately come across as pussy, is in Drake‘s case real. He can play both Jay and Sade. “Karaoke”, produced in part by Francis & The Lights, is a sublimely delicate listen to which Drake flexes his lightheaded melodramatic croon. Perhaps the most solid track on the album, it isn’t something you’re apt to find on just any hip hop LP (scratch that – 808’s and Heartbreaks tried and failed), moreso a track off of Phil Collin‘s Face Value. It’s here, where Drake finds solace – part-sung, part-rapped, the song is a testament to his talent and versatility. The Aaliyah-sampled “Unforgettable” is another gem, even if Drake is outversed by his feature, Young Jeezy. The Jay-Z-assisted “Light Up” sounds akin to The Roots’ politico raps, but becomes very much Drake’s own when a somber subtly-sung, lo-fi chorus kicks in. The disc’s most ill-fitting tunes come shockingly from the most veteran producers – Swizz Beats and Kanye West. “Fancy” sounds like an outdated Blueprint flashback and “Find Your Love” goes in the wrong direction entirely. The album’s greatest heights are achieved when Drake lays his soul out to dry amongst the most ambient of backgrounds (produced by Boi-1da, Omen, and 40) reminiscent of Boards of Canada and the xx. There are even portions where he sounds partially submerged. Listen to The-Dream‘s triumphant duet, “Shut It Down” (above) or “The Resistance”, to hear what I mean.


painting by michael zavros


Song of the Day: “We Fly High” – Elite Gymnastics

For all my late-90’s memory lapse-rs, Elite Gymnastics is here to remind you of the charm that was Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – the oddly fantastic Coppertone rant that when placed over a Pure Moods-y backtrack became an international Billboard blockbuster. Elite’s version may in fact be more comical than Baz’s – speaking on everything from Jim Jones, stretch marks, and cough syrup to frozen foods and techno crowd caveats, all atop Boi-1da-like drums.


Oh, you fancy huh?

photos courtesy of eatdrinkchic


Smoke & Mirrors’ curated list of highlights from the F/W ’10 collections in stores soon

Now is the perfect time to roll out my selections for best Fall/Winter 2010 RTW collections because who really cares about Resort anyway? Summer just fucking started. Slow yo roll.

10. Marios Schwab / Fall 2010 / London Fashion Week
Schwab examines his Austrian heritage with a little yodel-ay-ee-oooo.

9. Burberry Prorsum / Fall 2010 / London Fashion Week
You gotta love human teddy bears. Plushy love.

Balmain / Fall 2010 / Paris Fashion Week
Stop hatin’ on Decarnin. This Prince-fused collection is like a dream come true for me. The only problem is I’d have to find it at a Ross For Less to afford it.

Haider Ackermann / Fall 2010 / Paris Fashion Week
Word on the street is Janet‘s been shopping Haider‘s latest for herself and backup dancers. World tour costumes, perhaps? I could totally see it.

6. Neil Barrett / Fall 2010 / London Fashion Week
Britain’s answer to Alexander Wang gets his girl spot on – and by the looks of her gloves, bitch came to fight.

5. The Row / Fall 2010 / New York Fashion Week
The Olsens grew up for their first NYFW showing ever, creating one of the more unique takes on American minimalism post-Calvin Klein.

4. Emilio Pucci / Fall 2010 / Milan Fashion Week
Peter Dundas’ latest silhouette is funky, flared, and fringed. Pucci’s never looked so perfect.

3. Gareth Pugh / Fall 2010 / London Fashion Week
The gothic avant-guardian only gets better with time. Pugh‘s neoprene-backed leather jackets are arguably the season’s most unsung hero.

2. Balenciaga / Fall 2010 / Paris Fashion Week
Call it ‘retro-futura’: the melding of new-age materials with yesteryear’s aesthetics. Think peculiar color pairings, 50’s kitchenware/home good motifs and 60’s Pan Am graphics done in techno fabrics. Count on Ghesquiere to push us forward by referencing the past.

1. Dries Van Noten / Fall 2010 / Paris Fashion Week
Dries provides the most pristine print and color pairings of his career. Sophistafunk, ladies and gentlemen.

View Da Shit List (Accessories) F/W 2010 here.
Honorable Mentions: coming soon
View last season’s selections here.

photos courtesy of & (#2)

artist spotlite: francis and the lights

“For Days” – Francis and the Lights

Francis & The Lights is Drake’s slow song secret weapon. Track 2 of Thank Me Later stands as proof. The little-known NYC band, led by Berkeley-bred “Francis Farewell Starlite” (who has a voice that lands him sonically between the lines of Adam Levine and Phil Collins), creates lush synth-laden compositions worthy of Human League. The fact that Drake is a fan and has commissioned them to open for him on tour speaks volumes to both artists’ versatility. Francis’ Cantora Records debut, It’ll Be Better, positions them as something of a second coming of Spandau Ballet, Peter Gabriel, or ABC. With the kind of sheeny pop songwriting Hall & Oates once pioneered, F&TL appeals to even the most discriminating ear with their self-proclaimed obsession with simplicity. Their most inspiring read? Strunk and White’s Elements of Style – which eased them into “doing things simply and omitting the needless.” (Village Voice, Feb 25 2009) If Private donned fancier rhythms and kicks than once before, Francis simplifies those 80’s eccentricities in their refusal to be categorized. Perhaps this is the reason for Kanye and Drake‘s devotion: just as “Darling, It’s Alright” is Bryan Ferry, “Going Out” (especially it’s opening few bars) is as much KCi & JoJo. You can stream their entire album here.


Check out my 28th Annual CFDA Awards recap
now on VEVANT


photos courtesy of tFs & comme des garcons

He’s managed to clock the highest number of mentions on the blog to date
(yes, he even ousted Miss Jackson)

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Watch The-Dream make the magic that is: LoveKing.
Any doubt of his genius, proceed here.


Going somewhere?

photo courtesy of tFs


I know everyone’s downloaded Drake‘s debut now that it’s leaked. (As did I.)
But, I’ll save the commentary for once it’s officially released.

That would be.. June 15th


A work of art.
The Pierre Hardy F/W 2010 La Colorama Graff Hi-Top


Song of the Day: “I Get Doe” – Glasses Malone

Take it from Malone – keep working your overtime’s.
The moral of this recession is money still matterin’.


Rest In Peace Tobias Wong


Iris Van Herpen is still churning out stunning stuff. Peep her ish here.

photos courtesy of iris van herpen


World Premiere: “Make-Up Bag” – The-Dream (Feat. T.I.)

Louis, Prada, Hermes, Fendi, Valentino – hell, they all make plenty.
If my proposed solution to The-Dream’s latest lady drama didn’t appease, try his new video on for size.

The-Dream‘s supposed final solo album, Love King drops June 29, 2010

S&M fave, Ciara, attended last night’s “The Artist Is Present” Closing Gala at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in none other than Givenchy Couture to accompany friend and designer, Riccardo Tisci. The LVMH/Givenchy-sponsored event honored the visiting performance artist, Marina Abramovic, and gave Ci a platform to begin promoting her latest effort, Basic Instinct, to the masses. My girl is all grown up and looking beyond beautiful.

Song of the Day: “All Talk” – Kid Cudi
(Feat. Chip tha Ripper, Christian Bale, & LCD Soundsystem)

Kid Cudi and Chip tha Ripper put their spin on LCD Soundsystem’s 9-minute “Dance Yrself Clean” instrumental and surprise – it’s better than anything Cudi’s released on his own since “Day N Night”. His debut album didn’t do much for my ears. Sad since I was all about his A Kid Named Cudi mixtape. My advice for the Kid’s next steps go as follows: quit the singing, or in your case; droning, keep to the hipper-than-thou beats you rap so well over, continue painting pictures with your flows, and ditch your A&R.


The next time I’m in Amsterdam, I’m staying hurr…

photos (bottom) courtesy of inntel hotels


This was MTV’s homepage last week…Ha.

S&M brought it to you a year ago today.
Have a second look at Curren$y here.


photo courtesy of bless x john smedley