Caption: Geniuses, NBD
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.
I picked out these outfits, NBD.
First off, I need to give it up to Complex for discovering the incredible amazingness that IS the Dress Up! Drake iPhone app. Thanks to their killer sleuthing skills, I unearthed a whole PLETHORA of celeb dress-up goodness that has (apparently) existed since 2012. You can style everyone from Joe Jonas to One Direction to Adele in tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories, and—if you're lucky!—hair. But the best part about these Happy Girl Dress Up! apps is that they're all free—the only catch being to get the premium outfits (a.k.a. the way, WAY better ones) you have have to pay more. *high-fives entire world* I had to take a couple of these bad boys for a spin, so I obviously downloaded Joe's app first (sorry world, he's my ~one~).
Some of the rad stuff that we can (finally!) score, thanks to Hukkster
Photo: Courtesy of Hukkster/OtteNY/Net-a-Porter/Opening Ceremony/House of Harlow
Earlier this week Time Inc. released its Top 10 Startups to Watch in 2013 List, and we've got to admit: between all the key players in tech and social media these days, the fashion world was disappointingly underrepresented. But alongside emerging businesses such as Grouper and ArchetypeMe, ONE glimmery style startup managed to snag a spot on the coveted list. Meet Hukkster, the new platform aimed to change the way we shop online. But before you go tightening your grasp on your wallet and clutching your credit card with the jaws of life, hold up! Ironically enough, Hukkster's not about making you splurge more—at least, not technically—it's actually about helping you score the pieces you love for less.
The time has come for us to talk tech. With prom inching ever closer, we want you feeling fully prepped when you step down the stairs and off into the night. Lucky for you, this kind of prep doesn’t require an over-sized purse packed full of electronics. Without totally dating us, when we were going to prom, we were forced to lug around our parents hulking huge digital cameras to snap quality pics. The added baggage was such a downer, especially when we were boogieing on the dance floor, but guys! It’s 2013! The future! And now most of us are lucky enough to be carrying around these amazing mini computers in our pockets. All hail the iPhone, the saint of communication and savior of quality mobile images (we heart Androids too!). With a little lipstick and your trusty phone stocked with these awesome apps, you’re good to go. Check 'em out below!
DRAKE PHOTO BOOTH
Iggy Azalea loves the Drake Photo Booth.
Photo: Iggy Azalea's Instagram
Dateless on prom? Have no fear, Drake Photo Booth ($.99) is here. Part goofy, part great, this app provides you with a variety of Drizzy M************ Drakes to lay over your prom pics. Hey, might as well create some imaginary memories too!
Hey Miley, where'd you get that jacket?
You didn't ask, but in case you're wondering what we dream about, there are a few things, and only one of them is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Another thing we definitely fantasize about is an app that would make it easier to identify the provenance of people's clothing. Can you imagine? You could be walking down the street, see the perfect whatever that you've been looking all over for walking by, and just creepily hold your phone up to the person and instantly have all the information about where their perfect whatever came from. Yeah, so, that might be awkward, but it would also be SO RAD (and totally easy for people who regularly take creepshots/secretly photograph dogs in sweaters on the train). We've become totally addicted to song recognition app Shazam for when we're out at a party and hear an amazing song we've never heard, and the possibility of being able to apply it to other facets of our lives sounds, frankly, too good to be true. Welp, we've got good judgement, because that whole fantasy? It's just that, but the upside is that the technology necessary to make it a reality MIGHT not be so far in the future.
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.
The Google x adidas "Talking Shoe" in action.
Photo: Via ArtCopyCode
Between Google Glass on the runway, designer smartphones as the norm, and model cams during Fashion Week, there's absolutely NO question that fashion is on a fast-track to Techsville these days. But despite all these crazy-cool innovations, the latest project in the pipe just might be the wildest one yet. Google and adidas have joined forces on a new sneaker that, thanks to some super slick features, is capable of turning into a smart-talking shoe with a major personality. Sure, the futuristic concept might SOUND all Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and whatnot, but it's actually way simpler than you'd think. Here's the lowdown: the aptly-named Talking Shoe seems like regular 3-stripe adidas at first glance, but once you look closer you'll see that there's speaker connected to the tongue that's capable of speaking 250 phrases...in a highly dignified British accent, we might add.
What makes the 10-Year Hoodie so special.
Photo: Flint And Tinder USA
"Buy less, but get more." Sounds great, right? But when you think about the way that a lot of us shop these days, not a whole lot of people are adhering to that way of thinking these days. Jake Bronstein, founder of Flint And Tinder USA, is trying to change the way that many people think about clothing, and it turns out, people are REALLY listening. Jake started a Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness about "planned obsolescence," and to sell the product that he created to fight it, called "The 10-Year Hoodie." So, first off, what's planned obsolescence? Think about it from the point of view of a manufacturer: if you make a product that lasts a person forever, or that lasts them a really long time even, they're probably not going to come back and buy another one before their first one has worn out. So instead of making products that last a really, really long time, which wouldn't be all that hard, manufacturers intentionally leave some things a little undone, making the product wear out faster. Of course every piece of clothing wears out on its own and you can't expect it to last forever, but intentionally giving items an expiration date so consumers are forced to come back and buy more? Kinda shady. Flint And Tinder decided to start with something super basic and pretty unglamorous, the zip-up hoodie, and make it last 10-years, at least. But not only is the sweatshirt really well made and without any intentional shortcomings, it comes with free mending, so if it shouldn't last the promised 10 years, the company will fix it for you. Pretty cool, right? Even cooler is the fact that Flint and Tinder started their campaign on Kickstarter, and within hours had met their funding goal. Now, with 41 days still left on the campaign, they've raised $304,893. Crazy, huh?
The runway at New York Fashion Week.
In the old days, bloggers, fashion fans, and editors in the making alike counted on Style.com to keep up with the shows if they couldn't make it to New York Fashion Week. Flipping through images from the shows was like the high school fashion fan's daily meditation, paired with daydreams of the day that they would not only be able to go to New York, but also be able to sit front row (or sit at all) themselves. But those were simpler times, and the fashion world had not yet become the egalitarian (sometimes) free-for-all that it is now. Fashion Week has become fashion month; the tents have become Lincoln Center; everyone from the old standby designers to the scrappy up-and-comers, to everyone else in between has a show; and now, as of this season, all of the shows taking place at Lincoln Center can also come directly to your computer, iPad, or other device via Mercedes Benz Fashion Week's official livestreams. Both at newyork.mbfashionweek.com and facebook.com/mbfashionweek, the streams will allow you to watch tons of shows, right along with your favorite bloggers, editors, and photographers. Want to feel like you're sitting with us at Rebecca Minkoff, Mara Hoffman/, Charlotte Ronson, and more? Here's your ticket, and it's a lot cheaper than a flight to New York, a lot warmer than being here, too.