Looks from Kaye Applewaite, Yunxiang (Sharon) Zhou, Yoonsung Choi and Isabel Simpson-Kirsch's collections at the Parsons' 2013 Fashion Show.
Photo: Courtesy of Parsons
Yesterday afternoon, I zoomed over to Pier 60 all the way over on Manhattan’s westernmost edge in the swampy summer heat to catch Parsons’ 2013 Senior Fashion Show. It was well worth it, not only for the Lobster Roll that I scarfed afterwards at Chelsea Market or the champagne that I managed to cadge after the event but because it’s always super exciting to see what the fash-youngs have up their sleeves.
The excitement was palpable. It feels like graduation but without the stupendous relief. Sure, your parents are there and you’re stoked to see your friends but there’s still this high-pressure live performance to get through. Plus, the finalists have been announced from your class but not the winners so you can sense the competitive energy throughout the room (for the winners, here's the official release). And, well, it’s fashion kids so you know that everyone was stunting in admirable outfits despite the truly prohibitive heat. Ensembles that you know they’ve been planning for several weeks at least.
The thing about a show like this is that it’s the distillation of two years of effort (fast track notwithstanding). The students spend hundreds of hours learning about technique, construction, and how best to narrate their vision and voice in a precise and appealing way. Without getting into the whole commerce vs. poetry thing, the most interesting aspect of watching a young designer at this point is that despite how early it is in their career, when a designer’s great, you can tell. The confidence is unmistakable and their message is complete. It really is that whole, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action” Michelangelo thing. The seeming facility with with they retrieve the message from their brains and cajole fabric to behave in that manner can be breathtaking.
Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
You guys, I am officially, 100% not worried about the future at all. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, and met a GRIP of #sciencebabies who basically have the whole overpopulation, disease, natural disaster thing under control. Seriously. I am basically poolside writing this entire post in a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses because I am so relaxed now.
So, the way ISEF works is that 1,600 pre-college kids from 60 countries descend upon the Phoenix Convention Center floor and it's row upon row of roped off booths where each contestant presents their project. Apparently, it's untoward to refer to the shindig as a "science fair" what with more than $3 million in grants and awards at stake, but basically everyone's competing for the Big Prize, a.k.a. the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award. The competition is fierce since these dudes have already SMOKED school contests, regional contests and state contests.
The cool thing about the day I visited is that it was the day after the official judgement (postscript: these are the winners) so the vibe was a little more chill. No one yet knew who had won but everyone had presented and tap-danced their faces off the day prior, so they got to unclench and hang out a bit. I even saw a little mild-grade flirting which was cute, reassuring and terrifying when you consider what that means for the following generation of SUPERGENIUSES. Hopefully, they'll be kind rulers.
Photo: Courtesy of Jennie Lamere
Have you ever had that thing where you straight-up have to kibosh Twitter on certain nights because everyone you follow is The Worst when it comes to spoilers? I'm a binge-watcher vs. an appointment viewer so Sunday nights are dicey since that's when 92.7% of the people on my feed turn into freakin' comedians when it comes to cracking on PLOT POINTS and PORTENTOUS DIALOGUE as if it doesn't count as a spoiler when it absolutely does.
Of course, I say this with love because the flipside is that I'm the weirdo who hoards shows and watches multiple seasons at 3 AM as if this is acceptable behavior for an adult human. Anyway, all the ire can finally desist because this incredible genius, Jennie Lamere, invented a browser plugin called Twivo that, get this, BLOCKS ALL THAT INCONSIDERATE NOISE based on tags, keywords, your show title and character names like, Joffrey B****face Baratheon.
Jennie is 18 years old, just finished high school (we talked Friday, which was her LAST DAY and her birthday woo hoo!) and created the software at a hackathon in Boston last month where she SMOKED all the dude competitors and won working solo. She was the only female to submit a completed project and even then one of a very few women who entered in the first place and when we heard about her at MTV Style, we were so inspired that we all dropped our regular beats (romper market research and Rihanna hair, obvi) to stalk her online. Jennie's favorite shows are Dance Moms and Pretty Little Liars but she has a slew of other hobbies as well (like the ROBOTICS team), so we caught up with her to talk about how she got into coding, what it feels like at a hackathon when you're under a deadline and what she's learned so far.
Chris Kelly and Chris Smith of Kris Kross in the "Jump" music video.
Photo: Courtesy of Sony BMG Music
In 1992 there were two kinds of trends. Stuff that actually reached me living all the way in Hong Kong before the Internet and stuff that entirely escaped my notice. As a seventh grader going to British school, I thought Kris Kross was the greatest. Shipping tariffs were astronomical for CDs, all of our magazines were about six months behind, we had one bootleg English-language channel that showed music videos infrequently, and we knew that they'd never tour us so it was awesome to be able to at least bounce in time and wear clothes backwards. Of course this was only on weekends since we had to wear school uniforms that featured little neckties and grey blazers.
There was an art to it. Your jeans had to be massive but in a certain way and they had to sag really low because, "everything is to the back, with a little slack/'cause inside out is wiggity wiggity wiggity wack" etc which meant you had to wear boxers which was sort of a rarity in my school since boxers were really American and those kids had their own school. It was an easier transition for the skate kids since they were already wearing 34" jeans (for the record, Chris Smith wore 36" and Chris Kelly wore 34" at the time) or chinos but the American kids had an advantage in full-out mimicry since they could have family members ship in things like wool varsity jackets and massive jerseys.
11:19 PM — So that's it guys. HAVE A GOOOOOOOD NIGHT.
11:18 PM — That has to be the quote of the night. "What's the opposite of humbled..." brilliant.
Joss Whedon at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
11:17 PM — LOL. "WE ARE BIEBERED TO BE STANDING HERE." Joss Whedon, despite his hoodie under a blazer ensemble, is a genius.
Brad Pitt at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
11:12 PM — BRAD PITT!!!!!!!! And his two chains. And his ponytail. And his beautiful Brad Pitt face.
Selena Gomez talks about her performance outfits.
Sequin short-shorts, mullet dresses or frothy tulle skirts? There is absolutely no telling what Selena Gomez will wear for her performance at tomorrow's 2013 MTV Movie Awards but we did manage to snag three hints and a VERY beguiling bonus clue about what to expect. As you know, the stunning Spring Breakers dynamo took a year-long hiatus from music to focus on her acting career, but Sunday night signals Selena's worldwide debut of "Come & Get It," the first single from her impending summer album and we cannot wait to see what she wears.
Whoa. Big news in fashion as Nicola Formichetti parts ways with Mugler after two years as creative designer. According to the hot fashion goss, the Gaga collaborator and Kim K stylist may be landing at Diesel, in either a creative director capacity or for a "major collaboration." In any case, we've covered Nico's tenure at Mugler over the seasons and while I'm a huge fan of his fluid, elongated silhouettes and exoskeletons-in-outerspace aesthetic, it's his continued dedication to social-media stalking the exact the same musicians we do (ahem, Azealia Banks and G-Dragon) that keeps him on our radar. Plus, the new music that's debuted at his shows as a result of these Internet unions, ranging from Lady Gaga's "Government Hooker" at A/W 2011, to his collaboration with aforementioned K-pop star, G-Dragon, for A/W 2013 mens, is also major.
Buzz Bissinger looking subdued.
OK, for those of you who have not read the GQ feature on the writer of Friday Night Lights, who spent over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS ON GUCCI CLOTHING, go do that right now because it is amazing. It's just a tremendously well-written and fascinating train-wreck of an experiential essay. The TLDR is that the Pulitzer Prize winning 58-year-old who sold 2 million copies of the MEGA-HIT, Friday Night Lights, a book that went on to be a movie and an incredible television series (TAYLOR KITSCH WE LOVE YOU. Tami Taylor, also) at 35, had the gnarliest mid-life crisis that was triggered by the empty nest of his kids going off to college, and his wife leaving to work in Dubai. In the last three years, he's spent no less than $587,412.97 on designer clothes and accessories and spouts tallies like the following:
I own eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.
YOU GUYS, HE SAYS HAUTE COUTURE JEANS! Obviously, this merits further discussion (especially he's since gone into rehab to kick his shopping habit), so pop-culture pundit and fellow MTV Style writer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd and I went in. The following is an incredulous Gchat conversation in which Julianne and I curse a lot because we are FLOORED that this dude and this article exists. Also, look at this gallery to get an idea of what Buzz looks like in his clothes. It's PRICELESS.
Woman in tech?
OK for those of you who don't know, Complex just published a list of "The 40 Hottest Women in Tech" and it's kind of a sh**show. In full disclosure, I used to work there and genuinely adore some folks who presently do but as eyerolly as I've been with "Hottest Asian Porn Stars" and "Hottest Republicans," I have to admit that I'm bummed out by this latest gallery. Like, I get it. They're traffic warlocks and people gotta do what they gotta do and I'm certainly not ruffled at the prospect of an SEO gambit that knocks the horrible AskMen.com article off the top slot in searches for "hot women in tech." I'm just disappointed that it wasn't at least backed-up by an otherwise awesome list championing the sincere gains made by women in a male-dominated industry. Check out this intro:
Technology has been a boy's club for most of its existence. Just another unfortunate repercussion of the patriarchy. But that's been slowly changing, and over the last decade we've seen a number of wonderful, intelligent, and cunning women make inspiring strides in the field of technology.
Promising, right? But then the gallery kicks off with Marina Orlova the host for YouTube channel HotForWords. In the portrait, she's wearing a seemingly painted on bra-sized vest with a tiny necktie and no shirt. She's cited as the "popular internet sensation" who now hosts a show on "Sirius Satellite Radio for Maxim." And then there's Sara Jean Underwood, formerly of G4TV's Attack of the Show. It seems the accomplishment that the 'Plex dudes felt most apt in calling out insofar as her contribution to the industry is that she went on to be a Playboy playmate. SAD. FACE.
OKAY: The views expressed in this blog post are not necessarily those reflected by Viacom and its affiliates or more than two members of MTV Style, but ERMEHGEERD The Best Dressed Person at SXSW according to me and my eyeballs has to be Solange. Festivals in March in Texas can be a horrorshow in terms of weather. Not only do you have to account Mercury-bustin', hot-ass afternoons but you have to sling a light layer and tote a more serious jacket because the temperature can vacillate something like thirty degrees on the same day. I went to college in Texas so I know this. Solange grew up in the Lone Star so she knows this. The difference between me and Solange is that I opted purely for function when I rammed a rando array of cotton shapes into my suitcase (I relied heavily on accessories which works but is admittedly a tad amateur) and she packed a keenly-edited melange of printed suits and vibrantly hued, shrunken, basics that looked exquisite and popped against the dusty landscape of shorts and tees. More importantly though, she looked elegant, effortless, and COMFORTABLE while she danced and sang her face off during the handful of appearances she had slated for the week.