Category Archives: ish


This version of the blog and URL will no longer be updated…
follow your urge over to
for the reincarnation of S&M
xMH and AOL StyleList


Go see Ceremony…in theaters now!
Read my interview with director, Max Winkler, on V here.


photos courtesy of farm6 flickr



As if I didn’t wake up to my face every morning, my friends felt the need to plaster it all about the web this week. Alex Catarinella, a fellow freelancing pal, gave a nice Q+A with yours truly on the What Goes Around Comes Around blog (one of my NYC go-to vintage emporiums), and my boy, Jordan Bach, shouted me and the latest mixtape out on his personal blog, TheBachBook. Have a look. Thx boyz! It means a lot. Find a snippet of my conversation with ACat below…

Q: How has your passion for urban music influenced your fashion?
Music is always a part of my psyche. But it’s funny because the whole idea behind my blog and its title is that I fool a lot of people when they first see me – it’s Smoke & Mirrors – or all something of a facade – they think “oh, that kid’s an indie rock fan or is really into this, that, the other” – when I grew up primarily listening to black music. I consider my second mother to be Janet Jackson. I love hip-hop and don’t really dabble much into what ‘my look’ provides as my musical preferences. I wear skinny jeans and bellbottoms, vintage rock tee’s and heels, have long hair, which to most would signal “rock fan” – but honestly, I just love the silhouette and floppiness to it. I do, though, have an homage to hip-hop on my right wrist – it’s a fake Jacob watch that’s too ridiculous not to wear. Haha. I think the idea of unexpectedness is something fashion preaches. I like the fact that you have to get to know me to reveal you were wrong about me all along. Smoke & Mirrors is just that: What you see isn’t always what you get. This little white kid from Buffalo, NY, CAN and DOES love what you thought he couldn’t. It’s empowering in that way and it’s something I live by. [Read the rest here.]


Apologies for the lack of posts in the past week.
Things were broken, but now they’re fixed.
Expect new ish this evening. xMH

Big ups to Ark Music Group…



OOF! There it is…

It was ten years ago today that the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’ entered our vocabulary. And for that, we thank you Miss Jackson.


George Condo
‘s “Mental States” Exhibition Opening
@ The New Museum, NYC

Read my full post on V here



View the trailer for visionary creator of street style photography,
Bill Cunningham‘s biopic, after the jump.
The doc debuts at New York’s Film Forum, March 16, 2011.

Continue reading


Featured my friend Therese Ohrvall’s gloomy film noir-inspired photography awhile back when she shot me for her chilly series, “Making Friends.” Now she’s teamed up with Finnish photog, Joel Jagerroos, to become Scandinavia’s new force to be reckoned with. Therese+Joel‘s moody work can currently be seen in The Wall Street Journal with other projects in the works. Peep their new joint website here. It’s like watching an Ingmar Bergman flick without having to sit through it!

photos courtesy of therese+joel photography


Janet Jackson Barbie
(complete with reveal)
and 16 other versions they should make next

Vodpod videos no longer available.


If you’re in Toronto this Xmas, stop by the windows at the downtown Bay flagship (on Yonge and Queen Street) for some Marie Antoinette-style holiday magic. The Baroque paper wigs worn in the custom art installations were created exclusively for the landmark luxury retailer by the Paper Cut Project based out of Atlanta. You may have seen their work gracing Jeffrey NY’s mannequins or at Hermes‘ store openings in Asia in the past, but for this project they’ve taken to amping up the volume on Mozart’s powdered wig.

photos courtesy of (top) paper cut project & (bottom) hudson bay co.

fiend4.5: holidaze.edition

Giles “Eyes and Ears” Ring

Alexander McQueen “God Save McQueen” Scarf

Roberto Cavalli Shearling/Fur Floor-Length Coat

Tom Scott Knit Slippers

Kara Ross Snakeskin Chest Ring

Michael Jackson’s Limited Edition “Vision” DVD Set

Minimarket Wooden Drape Suede Wedge

Alaia Leopard Wool/Cashmere Cardigan

Alexander Wang F/W ’10 Pearl/Velvet Blazer

Celine Wool/Goat Coat

Alexa Rudolfo “F’D’Bois” Candle

Alexander McQueen F/W ’10 “Moth” Bag

Van Gogh Mug

Corporate Identity Blanket


Boucheron Snake Two-Finger Ring

ODB x Ben & Jerry’s “Maximum Security Ice Cream”


A very Smoke & Mirrors Thanksgiving
-enjoy DRAKE LIVE @ Radio City Music Hall below as a Turkey Day treat-

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Click the coupon above to
gitchur JACKSON bags before dey gone kids!
Our boy T @conventnyc is having one helluva sale.

Got a chance to speak with members-only National Arts Club curator, Stacy Engman, at this past Friday’s “Tarot Deck Art Project” unveiling. Read the full report on V here. Scroll down to view various artists and designers Tarot card interpretations.

Kehinde Wiley and I

Vivienne Westwood’s “The Chariot”

Ultraviolet’s “Page of Pentacles”

Ryan McGinness’ “Ace of Cups”

Andres Serrano’s “The Hierophant”

Aurel Schmidt’s “Seven of Cups”

Christian Louboutin’s “Nine of Cups”

Patrick McMullan’s “The Hanged Man”

Nate Lowman’s “Ace of Swords”

Nick Knight’s “The World”

Gareth Pugh’s “Death”

Philip Treacy’s “The Magician”


Song of the Day: “Switch” – TLC
Hope your halloween was as hilarious as minez


Jason Alper’s Proletarian Drift and the Enfranchisement of the Bourgeoisie


Andrea Grant may just be the most interesting figure in fashion. The Canadian beauty is editor-in-chief of popular fashion site and forum, The Fashion Spot, yet her truest calling comes in the form of a comic book. (You read it right – comic book.) I had the opportunity to join her in world domination at this month’s Comic Con at New York’s own Javits Center. Grant lives as two (or three?) alter-egos… there’s the Minx (illustrated by L. Rey Arzeno) – her pin-up-inspired vigilante character, whose life is led battling traditional villainous comic book fare: “elaborate conspiracy, ancient prophecy, and devastating betrayal”… and then there’s the internet’s own Ready to Where?, which finds Grant as herself (or rather, editor-self) conquering fashion columns, runway shows, and of course, pretentious VIP’s. What’s so Smoke & Mirrors about Grant’s double life? Obviously the fashion, but, also the idea that there’s something under the surface; something unexpected and genre-defying. Did I mention Minx‘s arch rival is BC-based alterna-hip-hop group, Swollen Member‘s Prevail? Pretty rad if you ask me.

cover image courtesy of copious amounts press


Click ‘Like’ on Wonderland magazine’s Facebook page through this Friday, then @ them in your status to enter to win a free year subscription! Click the image above to be forwarded to their page. Good luck.

pro.nails: fashion.wk.ed

It all started with this one post.
Since then, “pro nails” have become a S&M mainstay.

images courtesy of sophy robson’s blog


Most banned goods at JFK airport: 

photos courtesy of taryn simon’s “contraband” x cnn

Rest in Peace
Corinne Day

image courtesy of


The blog has been around for a little over a year now and things are only getting better, so, it’s the perfect time for an UPGRADE! What can one expect from the new Smoke & Mirrors? An entire page dedicated to original content – including fashion editorials, new mixtapes, more from the “rappers in ready-to-wear” series, exclusive fashion week coverage and more. If you’re interested in collaborating, contact muah at


When in need… sell your ISH!
Check out the pieces for sale now at the Smoke & Mirrors ebay store.
S&M will return Tuesday, August 17th


WhatIsRealityAnway? + Smoke & Mirrors =
Krystal Simspon + Marcus Holmlund =
B  L  O  G     L  U  V


Rest in Peace The King of Pop

photos courtesy of Henry Leutwyler x Steidlville


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


Rest In Peace Tobias Wong


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

photos (bottom) courtesy of inntel hotels


Spotted: Miss Jackson‘s new ‘do
London, May 19, 2010


…I wish this would happen when I go out…


Friend and fellow Swede, Therese Ohrvall, unveiled her Parsons ’10 photo thesis series this past week. Her compositions are chillingly beautiful to say the least; like eidolic stills from an Ingmar Bergman film – cinematic as they are sinister, cold as they are swallowing. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in one. View her e-folio here.

photos courtesy of making friends x therese ohrvall


You’re not a certified gangster until you’ve sat amongst
the white, middle-American audience of the
biggest O.G. in the business’ own talk show.

click thumbnails below to view S&M @TheMarthaShow


Blue Dream ‘Do by Steven Noss, photo x David Yellen.


The Smoke & Mirrors Effect:

unlikely proliferation of gangsta mentalities relating to high fashion, hip-hop, R&B (as seen on Bleach Black,, SNL, Hedi Slimane’s Rolls obsession, and Givenchy’s latest muse Ciara)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dame Dash‘s America Nu magazine
launches this Friday



Having gone to college in New York City, some of my best friends have been much like… Paulina Rubio (a.k.a. TCK or third culture kid). Not a bad thing at all, considering they have the sickest pads, the most unintentionally sexy accents, can drink you under a table, and are quick to offer up a cig when your carton’s empty.


Happy to see fashion’s picked up on the pro-nail phenomenon.
My job is done.

photo courtesy of another mag / marian newman via gareth pugh f/w 2010


Birds of Paradise ‘Do by Kevin Carter, photo x David Yellen.


If you haven’t already, I suggest indulging yourself in what calls the ‘most offensive‘, culturally prideless 44 minutes of all time. While it may arguably be true, I can’t help but helm T-Pain‘s first cartoon musical the ‘most offensive brilliance’ I’ve seen since Don’t Be A Menace in South Central While Drinking Juice in the Hood. Only one thing: what’s Teddy Pinder gonna do when he gets in trouble with the law? After lampooning Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Oprah, he’s got no one left to defend him! Cochran’s gone.

Part One
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Part Two
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Part Three
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dedicated to all the struggling strippers


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Happy belated birthday Bieber!


What’s in an expression? If faces are embodiments of the soul, then illustrator, Hannah Lee is like their House Speaker. Her works, having been featured in Bust, Bitch, and Time Out New York publications, have the ability to single-handedly bring illustration back to the forefront. There’s something unwittingly fashion (and thus, commercially viable) about Hannah’s illustrations, perhaps even a tad Toledo-esque. Her pop cultural dealings are more than apparent (she’s played with hip-hop and indie rock, lifestyle caricaturizations, political faux pas, comedic doppelgangers, and dorm room norms) and her humor enormous. Her depictions of dress, specifically street style, prove her tireless attention to social constructs and subcultures, inner meanings and self-actualization. Having attended Parsons School of Design with yours truly, Hannah is of a burgeoning generation of talents experimenting with underused mediums.

photos courtesy of hannah k. lee

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.)


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

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.