Articles on this Page
- 04/22/14--11:30: _London Grammar Is G...
- 04/23/14--15:30: _Musician Frankie Co...
- 04/24/14--07:30: _This Woman Draws Em...
- 04/24/14--10:30: _Will the Real Fred ...
- 04/24/14--10:30: _Duck Sauce's "NRG" ...
- 04/24/14--13:20: _10 Must-See Art Sho...
- 04/24/14--14:45: _Murakami's Jellyfis...
- 04/24/14--16:00: _Premiere: Imaginary...
- 04/25/14--07:30: _This Little Boy's R...
- 04/25/14--11:20: _Listen to Devonte H...
- 04/25/14--12:00: _What Your Favorite ...
- 04/25/14--12:30: _Have A Nice Day At ...
- 04/25/14--12:45: _Oldie-But-Goodie Fr...
- 04/25/14--13:00: _MCM: The 'It' Acces...
- 04/25/14--14:00: _Watch Mary-Kate and...
- 04/25/14--15:30: _The Best, Worst and...
- 04/28/14--06:00: _Michael J. Fox Resp...
- 04/28/14--09:00: _Nicole Richie's Suc...
- 04/28/14--10:30: _Brooke Candy Debuts...
- 04/28/14--12:45: _Tribeca Film Fest 2...
- 04/22/14--11:30: London Grammar Is Gonna Dominate Your Summer Music Playlist
- 04/24/14--10:30: Will the Real Fred and Carrie Please Stand Up?
- 04/24/14--10:30: Duck Sauce's "NRG" Video Is the Weirdest Infomercial You'll Ever See
- 04/24/14--13:20: 10 Must-See Art Shows Opening This Week
- 04/24/14--14:45: Murakami's Jellyfish Eyes Film Debut Coming To NYC In June
- 04/25/14--11:20: Listen to Devonte Hynes' Dreamy New Palo Alto Track
- 04/25/14--12:00: What Your Favorite Emo Bands Look Like In 2014
- 04/25/14--12:30: Have A Nice Day At Bushwick's Smile Face Museum
- 04/25/14--12:45: Oldie-But-Goodie Friday: Usher's "U Don't Have to Call"
- 04/25/14--13:00: MCM: The 'It' Accessories Brand the Celebs Are Crazy About
- 04/25/14--14:00: Watch Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen On Ellen
- 04/25/14--15:30: The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week
- 04/28/14--06:00: Michael J. Fox Responds to E!'s "Fun Fact" About His Parkinson's
- 04/28/14--09:00: Nicole Richie's Success Keeps Sprouting
- 04/28/14--10:30: Brooke Candy Debuts Her Steven Klein-Directed Video, "Opulence"
- 04/28/14--12:45: Tribeca Film Fest 2014: Bevy Smith Rates Her Top 5 Films
Incredibly beautiful clip from a band that is going to be BIG -- and we haven't said that since we tipped you to HAIM several years ago. Whether you're already a fan of London Grammar, or have never heard of this young trio from Nottingham, England, you'll love this video directed by Giorgio Testi (The Kills, Blur, Rolling Stones etc.). What at first seems like a simple, live performance of "Sights," will surprise you with a little reward in the end. Also, check out the cool '30s deco cinema, The Troxy, in London's East End used as the location for the shoot. And, finally, HERE's a great remix of the song by Tourist.
Growing up in New York City, Greta Kline, a.k.a. Frankie Cosmos, was thrown into the music world -- literally. While attending her first-ever rock show at the Knitting Factory's old location in Tribeca (it was No One and the Somebodies), her brother Owen, without warning, told one of his friends to crowd surf his sister. "I wasn't expecting it," she recalled. "His friend just came over and scooped me up and threw me into the crowd. It was really crazy." It was then that Greta fell in love with all the wild, free-for-all of NYC's music scene. Now 19 and embarking on a music career of her own, the young artist has been quickly winning over fans with her addicting guitar pop, heard most recently on her just-released debut album, Zentropy. And although Greta's the daughter of renowned actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, her vibe is anything but that of a stereotypical, spoiled Hollywood kid. Down-to-earth and with a style that reminds us of an 21st century indie reincarnation of Millie from Freaks and Geeks, Greta can also be seen playing alongside her boyfriend, Porches frontman Aaron Maine. (And, in fact, it was Aaron who created the name Frankie Cosmos after the poet Frank O'Hara and his love of the, uh, cosmos.) Below, we talk to Greta about her debut album and why she calls her act a "doggy style band."
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Pretty recently. I did a year of school at NYU and I really liked it, but I was in two bands -- my band and Porches -- and we were going away for weekends and playing shows and recording an album, which was pretty hard to balance with classes. I managed to do it, but I was sitting in a car writing an essay while going to play a show in Philly and it got kind of exhausting, so I took off this year. I still don't know what I'm going to do. I think I'm following the music path as long as it's happening.
How'd you come up with the name for your album, Zentropy?
I made up the word while we were making the album. Hunter, the guy who recorded our album, was a really zen guy and had a really zen attitude. I was super uptight and worried about sharing my songs and having other people have input on my album. Eventually I had to develop a zen attitude to be able to finish the record.
In your album you mention that your father is a fireman, which obviously isn't true. But at the same time, you album comes off as really personal.
A lot of it is just storytelling. I mean it's all based on real emotions. Some of it is autobiographical. I don't think any of it is pertinent, because a lot of the songs are from a couple years ago, so now they don't even seem autobiographical. A lot of the love songs' concepts are not relevant to my current love situation. I want my songs to be relatable. I don't want it to just be like "me, me, me." So it's definitely not all very personal.
How did you come up with the fireman story line?
I just kept thinking about what if my dad was a fireman. I think it related to the fact that my dad is sometimes away for 8 months out of the year working. I mean my dad doesn't actually put his life on the line necessarily, but just the idea of having a brave parent who is doing something that you look up to. I think it's a metaphor for looking up to your parents and also being worried about them eventually dying. Not to compare my dad's work at all to the work of a fireman, but I definitely look up to him and see him as a brave, strong person.
On Facebook you mention that your band is a "doggy style band." Where did that come from?
I kind of see everyone in the band as a dog. I see myself as my dog. I see Aaron and his brother, who are both in my band, as their dogs. They have two dogs that remind me of them. Gabby, who is in my band also, has a dog. I don't know. We just are like a bunch of dogs.
Dream ride. [via F You No F Me]
Very Important News. [via Rats Off]
We're oddly mesmerized by this GIF of Drake lint-rolling his pants Tuesday night at the Toronto Raptors/Brooklyn Nets game. [via Gawker]
Of all the couples Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play -- the gently fussy Peter and Nance, the erotically fussy Lance and Nina, the suffocatingly fussy Kath and Dave -- it's the fictional Fred and Carrie who give Portlandia, now in its fourth season on IFC, its most brilliantly surreal moments. On the surface, they're just as calm and well-spoken as the actual Fred and Carrie were when we called them up last week. But calm, well-spoken people usually don't sleep in adjacent twin beds with their initials on the headboards, or form doomed love triangles with a strange Seattleite (heartbreakingly played by Chloë Sevigny, in several Season 3 episodes) or teeter on the brink of insanity after choosing to go offline and live in "social bankruptcy."
Now that Fred's busy leading the Late Night with Seth Meyers house band and Carrie is finishing up her first book, we thought it would be a good time to look back on the wildly popular series (someday soon, every last iteration of human neurosis and naiveté might have its own easily shareable Portlandia clip) and figure out just where the real Fred and Carrie end and their characters begin.
Are you guys together right now?
Fred Armisen: No, I'm in Los Angeles.
Carrie Brownstein: I'm in Austin, Texas, doing some edits on my memoir.
FA: How does it end? Do you have an ending for it? How does it end?
CB: That's a great question. [Long pause.]
Carrie, is Fred breakable, or does he go so deep that he never cracks up mid-take?
CB: No, Fred is breakable. There's ways I can break him. Any time I'm angry or scream, Fred will laugh.
And Carrie, your ability to switch from total poise to screaming lunacy has become one of your signatures. Fred, what's your first memory of Carrie unleashing the beast?
FA: It was immediate. Our first ThunderAnt video we did, without warning, she came up with the name of the show and then her character -- not asking me, "Is this the way it's done?" She immediately commanded the sketch. And then we went out to shoot something where she's cleaning up graffiti on the street, and just the way she did it was the perfect combination of surprising and also there was an edge to it, a little bit of anger that right away I was really into.
Tell me about the Chloe Sevigny storyline from Season 3. The dynamic between the three of you was one of the most poignant things you've ever done on the show.
FA: I think we just wanted to throw something into the relationship between Fred and Carrie that sort of tested their friendship -- sorry to use them in third-person, but that's the only way I can think of it -- so we just wanted something to shake that up. Otherwise it would have been more of the same for that season. We just thought, "Let's put it to the test." And then, for Season 4, we wanted it to be its own thing. It was good for a runner for Season 3, but for Season 4 we want to have a fresh start.
What was your vision for Season 4?
CB: I think we did want to focus more on character. In terms of the writing, it just seemed like a way of opening up the possibilities where it was less concept based. We realized that people and their lives are more interesting than ideas. We thought about all these characters we already felt affection for and who the audience related to, and we realized that there are whole worlds that we could explore, in terms of who they were and what they've done in the past and what makes them tick and what puts them in conflict with their environment. So that was a motivating factor and really drove most of the writing for Season 4.
How clear is division between you Fred and Carrie and third-person Fred and Carrie?
FA: The first thing I can think of is that the Fred and Carrie characters are just a little more dumb. Not really dumb; just moments where they can't think very clearly. They become obsessed, like when they didn't want the Olympics in Portland. That's all they thought about the whole time. I don't know what to call that, but whatever that is, it's different than what we really are.
CB: I guess there's sort of a gullibility.
Do you ever struggle to decide whether to use Fred and Carrie, Dave and Kath, Peter and Nance or any other Portlandia couple in a given sketch?
CB: I think we work to make them distinct enough that we know which material and stories will suit them best. Sometimes we do have debates within the writers' room, trying to determine whether a certain character might bring out a more interesting dynamic for a story or might get to the center of the situation or expose a certain kind of truth that other characters might not if the characters are too broad, or... you know, we try to figure out which characters would make the situation the most relatable.
If you had to describe each other to a stranger via one Portlandia sketch, what would it be?
CB: That's an interesting question. I mean, I think in some ways I might choose when Fred plays himself. Gosh, I don't know which sketch captures Fred! No, I take that back. I would probably choose the "Feminist Bookstore" sketches. In real life, I think Fred has that intensity and also that ability to surprise and be tangential and funny, and I think that would be a good way of showcasing Fred. Although he would be a woman, but that's fine.
FA: I have the benefit of getting to think about it for longer, but definitely I would say -- we did these little interstitial pieces called "The Milk Advisory Board," and there's something about the way that Carrie is in that -- facing ahead, straightforward, just making comments -- that to me seems like the real her: intelligent and factual and then able to say these funny things, but without drawing attention to them. A very subtle and direct way of talking. Something about that struck me as very much like the real Carrie.
Who would you most like to have as guests on future episodes?
CB: It's difficult, because we can rattle of a lot of interesting actors, artists or musicians, but the people we end up getting on the show are the people that are supposed to be on it. We've just been so lucky. I don't really know who'd be the one person that I'd love to have on the show. It's like, these are the ideas that stem from the material, like Jello Biafra [in the Season 4 episode "Pull-Out King"], and then it just feels like it was an inevitability the whole time.
FA: I want to add to Carrie's point that we never would have guessed that Martina Navratilova would have been so perfect for the show, but she was ideal, and we never would have guessed that from, like, a list of our heroes. So that's what we still hope for: those surprises.
Below, ThunderAnt pays a visit to Glenn Danzig in a video the debuted on Papermag.com in 2009.
Stop what you're doing and run over to the "As Seen On TV" department at Walgreen's and pick up some NRG! Or just call 1-844-NRG-DUCK! Do it! Do it! Duck Sauce never fails to entertain us with their over-the-top videos, and this faux infomercial for "everything gel" had us rolling on the floor. From their album, Quack, A-Track and Armand Van Helden score another winner with this ridiculous clip directed by Dugan O'Neal. Pop Quiz: What are they watching before the ad kicks in?
Oscar Murillo's candy factory opens on Thursday, April 24th, 6 to 8 p.m., over at David Zwirner Gallery (519 West 19th Street) and will be operating until June 14th. During the installation, "A Mercantile Novel," thousands of candies will be produced and the public is welcome to grab a few and pass them around to hungry New Yorkers. (See one pictured above.) There's even a special website to document the exhibit. The London-based artist, Morillo, collab'd with a candy company called Colombina that's from his native country, Colombia.
The Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas and the National Film Board of Canada of put together a cool, interactive installation called "Circa 1948" that's only open from April 23rd to the 26th down in Tribeca at the Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination (121 Varick Street). The projection-mapped, immersive environment "attempts to evolve a new visual and narrative language" using emerging technology. The closing party is Saturday night.
If you love "smileys" like the one shown above, be sure to check out The Smile Face Museum -- and read our post here -- (228 1/2 Boerum Street, Brooklyn) before it closes on Sunday, April 27th. :)
The Dillon Gallery () (555 West 25th Street) has a great show up now by one of Andy Warhol's superstars, Ultra Violet, called "The Studio Recreated." It includes all kinds of art and personal stuff like books, records, tapes etc. and is a "celebration of the 50th anniversary of Warhol's Factory. Check it out before June 3rd
Galerie Perrotin and Dominique Levy Gallery (909 Madison Avenue) are opening the first New York exhibition in ten years by the acclaimed French artist Pierre Soulages on April 24th, 6 to 8 p.m. On view through June 27th, this important show features fourteen recent paintings from the artist's ongoing Outrenoir series alongside works created in the 1950s and 60s, all on loan from major museums and private collections.
"The 80s: Past + Present" opens on April 24th, 6 to 8 p.m., at Bleecker Street Arts Club (305 Bleecker Street). The group show was curated by Keith Miller and includes works by CRASH, Tom Slaughter, Ronnie Cutrone, Scott Kilgour and Michael De Feo -- all linked to the '80s NYC art scene.
The Quin Hotel (101 West 57th Street) is launching a "art's residency" program this week with an exhibition by the photorealist painter Eric Zener in the hotel's lobby. The California artist also has an exhibition opening on Saturday, April 26th, 6 to 8 p.m., at Gallery Henoch (555 West 25th Street) that is on view until May 17th.
On Saturday, April 26th, 7 to 10 p.m., there's a reception for the opening of a joint exhibition, "Unextinguished," featuring works by photographer Martha Cooper and the New York street artist Elle at Bushwick's MECKA Gallery (65 Meadow Street). Look for a large-scale, site specific installation and check out the above shot of Elle, hard at work prior to the opening. It is up until May 10th.
The second Rock 'n' Roll Poster Bowl is this Sunday, April 27th, from 2 until 7 p.m. at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg). The show features hundreds of examples of poster art spanning fifty years from various dealers and there will also be artist signings and special guest; all brought to you by the incredible DJ Uncle Mike, Moonset Gallery and concertposterauction.com.
There's also a Brooklyn Zine Fest this weekend at the Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn Heights) with 75 writers, artists and small presses on hand to entertain your brain.
On April 29th, 7 p.m., the Storefront for Art and Architecture (97 Kenmare Street) opens an exhibit called ""Letters to the Mayor" that features 50 letters written by international architects to the political leaders of more than 20 cities around the world. The letters -- offering various ideas, concerns and desires -- will be on view until May 24th.
Luxury carpet purveyor Carini Lang (335 Greenwich Street) jumps into the street art market with a big group show called "Back Against the Wall." Twenty artists including Cost, Elle, Baser, Stinkfish, Earsnot and Rae contributed designs for fifty "graffiti-inspired" carpets that were hand woven in Nepal. They look great, but they're not cheap; one designed by Cost is going for $60,000
And finally, don't forget that the first New York edition of the Lost Lectures (with Hyperallergic) is this Friday, April 25th, 8 p.m. at a top-secret venue. Tickets are HERE. Note that Amanda Lepore has been added to the line-up.
Takashi Murakami's debut film will premiere in eight US cities in May and June. The acclaimed Japanese artist know for his colorful -- and sometimes controversial -- paintings and sculpture makes the leap to the big screen with Jellyfish Eyes, a film that's been described as "a genre-defying adventure set in a post-Fukushima world." The New York City screening is set for June 1st, via the Film Society of Lincoln Center, with tickets going on sale here on May 15th. Tickets are available now for screenings in Dallas, Boston, Seattle, Washington and Chicago thru local cultural institutions; and L.A. and San Francisco tickets will be on sale soon. Go here for info regarding screenings in all eight cities. Meanwhile, check out the trailer.
"Scarlett Duvall" will appear on the band's forthcoming full-length debut (as yet untitled), out late fall, and keep an eye out for more releases from the group this summer. In the meantime, check out the video above, and sang the single HERE.
Watch a little boy become unbelievably ecstatic when Grand Rapids Griffins hockey player Jordin Tootoo gives him his stick. Gahhh. [Gawker]
An amazing super cut of reporters mispronouncing Lupita Nyong'o's name. Oof.[Hypervocal]
Stephen Colbert paid tribute to Stephen Colbert on the Daily Show last night.
What happened? Where am I? [TastefullyOffensive]
Frame worthy. [Reddit]
Pump up the jam! Have a great weekend. [Mlkshk]
Listen to the entire soundtrack here.
Now that everyone's been obsessed with the '90s for a couple of years now, it means that the mid-00s are officially "uncool." They're still too recent that there's not yet any nostalgic caché and yet far enough away that the styles look, ten years later, embarrassingly irrelevant. There are any number of trends and labels you could pick on -- Uggs, Von Dutch, metrosexuals -- but, for our money, there probably was no more regrettable fashion moment than the emo scene. (And by no means are we leaving ourselves off the hook -- it was pretty hard to resist the charms of flat-ironed, side-swept bangs, guyliner and lip piercings back in the day.) Now that the majority of our favorite "post-punk" rockers are well into their '30s, we had a hankering to see what these dudes (and a few ladies) look like now. See which of your favorite Top 40 emo bands successfully transitioned into the 2010s and which ones seem like they're stuck in a 2004 time capsule (we're looking at you All Time Low).
Fall Out Boy
Panic! At the Disco
Saves the Day
Taking Back Sunday
All Time Low
Plain White T's
Watching Usher show off his six pack on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday reminded us that he used do it all the time and sometimes he'd reveal a lot more. For example: Today's oldie clip for "U Don't Have To Call" begins with him lying in bed wearing nothing but his boxers, when Puffy calls to insist that they "go out tonight." (Why does he reach for his peen as soon as he gets the call?) Anyway, the song peaked at #3 on the pop chart back in 2002 and it was written by, guess who, the "happiest" man in the world, Pharrell.
You can't flip through an US Magazine, scan celebrity social media accounts or even ride the L train without spotting the bag brand MCM's signature logo. Their leather monogrammed backpacks are the current carryall of choice: Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Lindsay Lohan, Ludacris, Johnny Wujek -- we could go on -- all have been rocking the luxe leather gear. Selena Gomez can't stop carrying her Boston Handle bag and Beyoné's been spotted with two different totes on her arm.
Mode Creation Munich, its full name, originated in 1975 as a luxury German lifestyle brand, specializing in leather goods, with headquarters in Switzerland, before being taken over by Sungjoo Design, a South Korean franchise company for brands like Gucci, Sonia Rykiel and Yves Saint Laurent, in 2005. The brand's unique blend of meticulous German quality and craftsmanship and pop-y, on-trend Korean point-of-view is what makes their bags so classick. If you haven't noticed them yet -- just wait.
Best Ode to Drake of the Week: U Could Do Better. Artist and Internet cool girl Grace Miceli curated an online exhibition inspired by the sensitive rapper. Though there's a lot of questions that come up while scrolling through the works on Art Baby Gallery ("Why isn't every art show ever Drake-themed?"), I just want to know where I can get a pair of those 'Worst Behavior' underwear. -- Gabby Bess
Most Surprising Example of the New York Times Style Section Actually Being Two Years Early About a Trend: THE MAN BUN! It's here, queer(-friendly), get used to it. -- Abby Schreiber [Photo by Natalie McMullen for The Awl]
Other Smartest Animal of the Week: Green Herons. OMG LOOK THEY'RE SMART, TOO. WOW. -- TCM
Most Popular Girl of the Week: Emma Stone. Her Vogue cover hit stands, she got bangs -- and everyone LOVED them -- and she has been killing it on the press tour for The Amazing Spider Man 2, which premiered las night. She looked flawless, obviously. -- Maggie Dolan
Regardless With a Capital 'R' of the Week: Terry Richardson's Facebook messages to a model promising a Vogue spread in exchange for sex turned out to be from an imposter. Still. -- Elizabeth Thompson
Ugliest Art Show of the Week: Most Important Ugly. The photography exhibition centered around makeup theory, empowerment, and identity by Arabelle Sicardi and Tayler Smith opens tonight at American Two Shot. -- GB
Holy Mother of God of the Week: The hot garbage pile of racist obliviousness that is Avril Lavigne's new music video for "Hello Kitty." Woof. -- ET
Most Convincing Reason to Rock the Canadian Tuxedo: 3.1 Phillip Lim's new denim capsule collection. It dropped this week and is basically all denim everything amazing-ness. -- MD
Most Morbid/Fucked Up Headline of the Week: "25 Dead Cats Found Hanging From Tree In New York." Yikes. -- AS
Penis Prank-Induced Insanity Video of the Week: This one. Don't look down. -- TCM
Most Inspiring Diva Move of the Week: Mariah Carey citing that the inspiration for her new album is from listening to her greatest hits. All 1,000 of them. She tells Billboard: "A friend of mine made me a playlist with 1,000 of my songs on it called 'The Ultimate MC Audio Collection.'" Ultimate diva goals. -- GB
Tweet of the Week: This one. -- ET
Raccoon of the Week: This tubby one who loves to get down! -- ET
Fastest Way to Get That 2008 Election Feeling Back: For Spacious Sky, the new short premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival directed by Coy Middlebrook and starting Andres Faucher (also known for http://myteevee.tv/). Last viewing is Sunday at Tribeca Cinemas -- don't miss it! -- MD
Here's Michael J. Fox responding to E!'s deeply dumb "fun fact" they shared about his Parkinson's on the Golden Globes' red carpet. This is a master class in being a stand-up human being. [Uproxx]
How do we own this? [Mlkshk]
Jaimie Foxx sings a list of unsexy words in a super-sexy way on the Tonight Show.
Hope you kids saved room for dessert! [AfternoonSnoozeButton]
Where do you live, Twitter senstaion BaddieWinkle, and when can we hang out with you? Love the Been Trill t-shirt. [ClearlyDope]
A romantic montage of cats and their lovers for all of eternity, lap tops. [TastefullyOffensive] How do we own this?
Will. je. suis. [Mlkshk]
Nicole wears a dress by Valentino, skirt by Alberta Ferretti, belt by Emporio Armani, earrings by Anita Ko and Jennifer Meyer and bracelet by Gaydamak.
"Look!" screams Nicole Richie. "Look how hot Iro is!" Iro is Nicole and her husband, Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden's German shepherd. "I just look at him sometimes and think he is so manly and strong. He's everything a woman could ask for, so you know, I understand if Joel gets jealous." We're sitting in the Richie-Madden's enchanting L.A. backyard, which features a pool, garden and terraced stone wall, on possibly one of our most formal hangouts to date as I attempt to interview my best friend of 15 years for the cover of Paper.
I want to find out what Nicole does when she's not admiring her dog or bouncing around to '90s hip-hop in the car with me. Apparently, she's really busy. "I wake up around 5:30, before the rest of my family, and that's my time alone," she says. "Then I spend some time tending to my garden." She and Joel have two young children: Harlow, their six-year-old daughter, and Sparrow, their four-year-old son. Nicole is the creative director of her super-successful fashion brand House of Harlow 1960 (named after her daughter). She also has an eponymous top-selling fragrance and is gearing up for the VH1 iteration of her AOL reality web series #CandidlyNicole, based on her hilarious Twitter account (Time named the account one of the best of 2013). "People who type with their iPhones on loud are barbarians and probably killers" is one of my favorite tweets of hers because I couldn't agree more. So is "I would rather get a colonic in front of everyone, than parallel park in front of anyone." Her distinct language kills me. And she does all this while managing to make bold, tasteful fashion choices and have really great skin.
OK, it's truth-telling time. When Paper asked me to interview Nicole I was a little concerned. Not because I've known her since our pre-texting high school days when we lived and died for our two-way pagers and this could be weird, but because I was afraid I would finally have to admit that I'm her biggest fan. So guys, between us, as the interviewer here (I have great skin too, by the way, but I make terrible fashion choices) I am not super impressed by Nicole's ability to balance so much, so gracefully. I mean honestly, I'm more impressed by people who drink the recommended amount of water than I am by Nicole on a day-to-day basis.
Nicole wears a blouse by Nina Ricci, skirt by Marchesa, earrings by Jennifer Meyer and Martin Katz and rings by John Hardy.
As if she weren't busy enough, Nicole and the Richie-Madden family have been growing their own fruits and vegetables for the past six months. Every day Nicole tells me how "great and calming" gardening has been. Now they have, like, an entire Whole Foods in their backyard. I make her walk me through everything she's growing (mostly for you guys because she's tried before and I don't care). "We have apple trees, blueberry trees, lemon trees, strawberries, butter lettuce, arugula, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, mint, thyme, oregano and sage." Lionel Richie (Nicole's dad, for the two people who might not know) guest-starred in an episode of #CandidlyNicole on AOL and expressed equal enthusiasm for gardening. But Nicole clarifies that her dad is "more of a landscaping type of guy, and I'm more of an edible garden person."
A green thumb isn't the only thing Nicole gets from her pop-star dad. "Music plays a huge role in my life and is a huge inspiration for my brand," says Nicole. "It's constantly surrounding me at all times." Which also explains how her Pandora stations are always, always on point. Me? I get way too nervous to choose music at a party with normal people who have varying musical tastes, let alone at Nicole's where there are always professional musicians around. I really don't know how she handles the pressure! If I could steal anything from Nicole, it would be her ability to have the best music on for any occasion. "I have a few favorite stations," she says. "On the weekends we have Louis Armstrong radio on, which I would highly recommend to anybody. When I'm outside gardening, I listen to a '60s playlist, a lot of the Kinks, a lot of America--I love 'Sister Golden Hair.' And then I also play 'House of the Rising Sun' radio a lot." The music doesn't stop or change when the kids are around either. "I want them to be educated in music and get to know music," she explains. And yes, she admits that they are "obsessed with Frozen" right now--it's the soundtrack to their morning commute to school--but they've also known about the Beatles and Cat Stevens since they could walk.
In many ways, it seems like Nicole's life is coming full circle. She's raising her kids in Hollywood, the same stomping grounds she grew up on. "The best part about raising kids here is that I was never told that being gay or mixed race was different at all. It's such a big melting pot, and everybody is so open-minded and welcoming here, I don't know where else I would raise them." Though Madden was raised in suburban Maryland, they see their different upbringings as a blessing. "We've obviously gone back and forth because we did grow up so differently, and there are aspects about the way he was raised that I wish I'd had and vice versa. We just apply both of those ideas to our family."
Having exploded into the public eye with Paris Hilton in the 2003 reality series The Simple Life, she's now back to reality TV--on her own terms this time--with #CandidlyNicole. The VH1 version, like the AOL series, will feature Nicole interacting with professionals from different industries, questioning them in her quintessentially irreverent way. "I met with Telepictures--they had been a fan of my Twitter--and we just wanted to have a fun platform to dig deeper into the things I was talking about."
Nicole wears a dress by Donna Karan, earrings by Jennifer Meyer, bracelets by Jenny Packham and rings by Swarovski and John Hardy. Pink pouf and floor cushion from Badia Design Inc.
Above: All shoes by Christian Louboutin. Star necklace by Lanvin. Sunglasses by house of harlow 1960.
Above: Dress by J.Mendel, shoes by Oscar tiye. Dress by Dior, shoes by Jimmy choo and Nicholas Kirkwood. Bracelets by house of harlow. Dress by Alberta Ferretti, shoes by Brian Atwood.
Twitter's a big part of Nicole's life. She's been able to use social media to talk directly to her fans and take some control over what people see and hear of her. And she loves keeping up with other funny tweeters. "Kelly Oxford, Jenny Johnson, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman...I'm always looking to laugh, so anyone who can make me do that, I'm down."
Nicole says she chose to do the show on the Web first because she felt like it was a safer place to try things out. "I found myself interviewing people in a very non-traditional sort of way. I love stepping into people's worlds and seeing different walks of life, but I wasn't sure if people were going to get it or not." They did. The series had 20 million views, averaging one million views per episode. But does she like reality TV? "I love it!" she says, with zero hesitation. "We have some great ideas for the show. I'm so excited to step back into that world because I have so many questions, just for myself."
Nicole's vibrant personality and personal style have made her a household name and brand. Los Angeles generally isn't considered the center of the fashion world, though Hedi Slimane, who is currently the creative director for Saint Laurent Paris, and Greg Chait, the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund winner behind the Elder Statesman, both have studios here. But Richie is a pioneer in the fashion industry out West, creating the de facto boho-chic look for hip, style-centric Los Angelenos. She's always been ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion. I have so many memories of her wearing things like scarves on her head and oversized sunglasses that I thought were crazy and then seeing everyone else wearing them six months later. She became interested in fashion when she was 10 years old. She was a competitive figure skater (it's her coolest secret talent) and started creating her own costumes with her dad's costume designer. In March she released her first clothing collection for House of Harlow 1960. (She has been designing accessories under the name since 2009.) The entire line looks and feels so Nicole with its gauzy everyday blouses and embroidered peasant dresses, that the clothes couldn't have been created by anyone else. "I love L.A. style because seasons don't really play a role. I'm able to wear whatever I want, whenever I want," says Nicole. "It gives me the opportunity to experiment and try new looks."
Top photo: Nicole wears a dress by Oscar de la Renta, shoes by Brian Atwood, sunglasses by Ray-Ban, earrings by Jennifer Meyer, ear cuff by Repossi and rings, bracelet and earrings by Jenny Packham. Bottom photo: Nicole wears a dress by Lanvin, necklaces by lanvin and John Hardy, hand bracelet by Gaydamak, arm bracelets by Martin Katz and rings by Martin Katz and Repossi.
Iro walks by again and catches Nicole's attention. He is a really handsome dog, I'll give him that. But then there are her two nameless turtles. "Sparrow wanted turtles for his birthday, so I got them for him, and he has not looked at them since," says Nicole. "I hated these turtles. I wanted nothing to do with them. They don't even have names. They were just pointless pets sitting in this cage." That is, until Nicole started going down a Pinterest black hole where she was inspired to build the reptiles a new home. "I legit invented the 'turtle coop,' and then I built them the most beautiful outside lagoon that you have ever seen," she boasts. "Now they're mine. No one takes care of them but me."
Aside from turtle coops, Nicole has a deep interest in designing for the home and for her kids. She has plans to expand her empire to include home goods and children's clothing, for which she has a secret weapon. "Harlow's interested in what I do, and I'm going to bring her in and show her. But more importantly I really respect her eye," explains Nicole. "Nobody knows kids better than an actual kid. So I'll be using her eye when I move into kids' apparel."
The idea of becoming a grown-up has always scared me. I describe myself as a "bossy tween" but Nicole makes real-life adulthood look fun and not at all scary. "My idea of being a grown-up was living behind a white picket fence and changing who you were--getting a bob and wearing beige," Nicole says, "but I found freedom through my brand and being myself and being able to do it my way." Which is really the essence of House of Harlow 1960. "I really just want to empower people to feel like they're strong enough to make their own decisions."
At the end of the day, Nicole, Joel, Harlow and Sparrow are a normal, traditional family. Joel might be covered in tattoos, and Nicole's hair might be purple, but it's all part of her ethos: do it your way. When I ask Nicole what she's most proud of, she answers quickly. "My family, my work and my turtle coop." OK, fine. I'm a little impressed, but no one needs to let her know.
Styled by Jeff Kim.
Hair by Andy LeCompte for Wella Professionals at The Wall Group.
Makeup by Lauren Anderson for AVON at The Wall Group.
Photographer's Assistant: Matt Petranovic
Stylist's Assistants: Kate Keegan-Cook and Carly Reasner
Prop Stylists: Justin Rocheleau and Rachel Rockstroh.
OUR MAY DESIGN ISSUE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE DEVASTATINGLY CHIC FOLKS AT THE COVETEUR! FOR MORE FROM OUR COLLABORATION, CHECK BACK HERE AND ON THECOVETEUR.COM.
"Opulence" is the title track off of Candy's forthcoming EP (out May 6) and was written with help from Sia and produced by Diplo. Check it out, above.
What does a Mensch, General Tso's Chicken, the Knicks, Nas & Jon Favreau all have in common? They were featured in the 14th Annual Tribeca Film festival and were my favorite flicks I saw at the fest.
1. Time Is Illmatic
Time Is Illmatic, a documentary about Nas's seminal album "Illmatic" kicked off the festival with with raw insight into the making of not only the record, but also the poet, the brother, the son, the man -- Nas himself. First-time filmmakers One 9 and Erik Parker directed and wrote/produced the doc, respectively, and did a great job at giving the audience entrée into the environment that shaped Nas, Queensbridge Projects. Like a dysfunctional family, Queensbridge was depicted as a place simultaneously filled with violence and chaos but also love and support, a place that allowed Nas to explore his musical talent and ultimately launch his career. We also met Nas' Hennessy-swigging brother, Jungle, a man with a "thuggish" exterior and a heart of platinum. A highlight of the film, each time Jungle came on the screen I automatically leaned forward because I knew I was going to either laugh or cry. Other bright spots included extensive concert footage from the '90s -- including an epic clip of a baby face Nas performing "Live At The Barbeque" -- which were a nice complement to the rapper's current-day concerts performed in sold-out arenas. The film ends on a "you never thought that hip-hop would get this far" note as we see Nas with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discussing the "The Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship," an endowment at Harvard. In 1994, Nas asked, "Whose World Is This?"and twenty years later, it's clear the rapper made it his very own.
2. When The Garden Was Eden
I haven't followed basketball since I aged out of being able to have sex with the players but...I thoroughly enjoyed this b-ball film. When The Garden Was Eden focuses on the Knicks' glory days of winning two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. Although I was a baby during that era, I grew up with memories of the Knicks' "Dream Team": the peacock Walt Frazier, the pragmatic WASP Bill Bradley, current Knicks team president Phil Jackson, the no-nonsense Willis Reed and the scout-turned-history-making coach, Red Holzman. Even if you don't like basketball, you're drawn into the story of how this underdog, racially and socio-economically diverse team managed to win two championships against better teams, all with the backdrop of Vietnam, civil rights protests and an overall anti-establishment movement surrounding them. At the end of the film you'll be cheering for this ragtag crew and wishing you could witness a Cinderella story like this again. C'mon Phil Jackson, let's hang a 21st century banner from the Garden's rafters!
Watching Chef I didn't know what I craved more, sex with Jon Favreau or a Cuban sandwich. I devoured this sweet story about a hotshot chef who's lost his groove, his wife (played by Sofía Vergara), and ultimately his heart and how he embarks on a road trip to gain them all back. With his son (a precocious Emjay Anthony) and his funny sidekick/line cook John Leguizamo, he takes over a rundown food truck, given to him by his wife's ex-husband (played by Robert Downey, Jr. in a hilarious cameo). Favreau & Co. drive cross-country making artisanal comfort food and building a social media following, which fuels his business and ultimately allows him to bond with his son. The film also has a kick-ass hip-hop soundtrack and tasty tidbit roles by the busty & breathy Scarlett Johansson as a hostess/side piece, Dustin Hoffman as an overbearing restaurateur only interested in making money and not great food and Bobby Cannavale, smoldering as Favreau's sous chef.
According to Webster's a "mensch" is a person of integrity and honor and according to first-time director, Mike Myers, Shep Gordon is a SUPER MENSCH. This doc is a love song to entertainment manager Shep Gordon, the man responsible for Alice Cooper's career, getting Teddy Pendergrass off the "chitterling circuit" and the creation of the "Celebrity Chef" genre. The film features a parade of stars (Michael Douglas, Alice Cooper, Sly Stallone, Fab 5 Freddy and Mike Myers) trading stories, some outrageous, others sweet, about their friend Shep. In his later years, he realized that he spent too much time creating a life for his clients and not enough creating one for himself, and so by the time the doc ends, we learn that Gordon adopted four black kids (the grandkids of an ex-), retired, and now pals around with the Dalai Lama seeking enlightenment in preparing food. Oh, and he has an open door policy at his dream house in Maui. Hey Shep, do you think I could stay over for a week? I promise to help out with the cooking!
5. The Search For General Tso
From the chic, perennial hot spot Mr. Chows to the corner takeout Chinese restaurant with plexiglass, versions of General Tso's chicken are ubiquitous in America. The filmmakers could have done a straightforward piece on the history of the dish, but instead they smartly decided to tell the story of Chinese Americans through the prism of food. They start out taking us to China's Hunan Province to find out whom General Tso actually was but the story really gets cooking when they explore the Chinese immigration story to America, which starts during the California Gold Rush. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act is signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur, prohibiting further Chinese immigration and forcing Chinese Americans out of the labor force and unwittingly creating generations of entrepreneurs mainly in the food and laundry forces. The newcomers were resourceful and through a network of already-established Chinese Americans, the recently-arrived immigrants were able to map out what areas in the country were safe to establish businesses and what areas to avoid. They also learned to adapt their traditional Chinese cuisine and tailor it to the more homogeneous (a.k.a. bland) taste buds of the average American. It seems that necessity is not only the mother of invention but of General Tso's chicken as well.