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Our 24 Favorite Looks at Afropunk Fest

afropunk18.jpgThis year's Afropunk Fest was filled with everyone from skater boys pairing oversized t-shirts and super baggy blue jeans with a head fill of dreadlocks to women and men in colorful head wraps, dashikis and afros. Printed outfits could be seen everywhere, ranging from traditional African Agbada dress to vibrant Indian saris. Jewelry designer duo Coco and Breezy wore matching leather outfits with close-cropped blonde hair and gold encrusted grills (á la Beyoncé in "Yonce") while Lolawolf frontwoman Zoe Kravitz came out in a white crop top, short light blue jeans, a plaid shirt tied around her waist, a felt hat and an orange Chanel bag. We spotted her hanging out with Cara Delevingne after her set (Cara was rocking a gold chain, in case you were curious).
Elsewhere around the fest, we found a guy dressed in a see-through, gold mesh long short (he said he made it himself), gold crown, and white Timberland boots. He told us, "My look is very biblical; I like to look somewhat like a futuristic Jesus."

But just as exciting as the fashion were the hairstyles. There were women in wigs (every color of the rainbow), weaves, locks, twist, and crownrows. One woman named Lauren told us that she had sown yarn into her hair and braided it for a fuller look.

Here, we gathered together some of our favorite looks spotted throughout the two-day festival held once again at Commodore Barry Park.


Scenes From Rashaad Newsome's 'King of Arms' Art Ball

Last night Pier One on the Upper West Side was transformed into Rashaad Newsome's 'The King of Arms Art Ball,' an art-themed vogue ball the artist throws annually. "I do it as a way to subversively teach art history to the ballroom scene community" says Rashaad, who wore an all white dishdasha and matching white baseball hat to the festivities. Like traditional ballroom scene competitions, Rashaad's art ball included categories like realness, runway, sex siren, and performance -- but with a twist. The five categories were refashioned into tributes to different artists and each came with a description to inspire the competitors. Those who walked in the 'Samuel Fosso Realness' category were instructed by Rashaad to "think what would come out if you put Yohji Yamamoto, Raphael, Rick Owens and Yinka Shonibare in a blender." Or competitors who walked the 'Face' category were told by the event's host, star MC Kevin Prodigy, to "use your mug as a canvas and beat it." If they did not follow the rules or fell short of the standards of the judges (which included Ian Isiah from Hood by Air, and Hector Xtravaganza from the doc Paris is Burning) they wouldn't get their 10's across the board and be chopped from the competition.

The most exciting category of the night was the $2,000 grand prize in the 'Performance' category, which drew the most competition. Themed around the "flash dancing" Nicholas Brothers, dancing stars during the Harlem Renaissance, competitors performed in teams of two and incorporated everything from tap to classical ballet into their vogue performances. It was Boots Prodigy from the House of Prodigy and Alex Mugler from the House of Mugler's night. At one point Mugler climbed onto Boots' back and vogued from atop him before the two held hands and duck walked in unison up the runway. They won the category -- but only once could take home the grand prize.

MC Kevin Prodigy had earlier instructed the competing teams to "pick their partners carefully because whichever team that wins will then battle each other for the cash prize." After flawlessly dropping, dipping, and giving a perfect hand performance, Alex Mugler reigned supreme. After the performance, Rashaad -- playing the role of the king of his ball -- knighted Alex with a black crown attached to a leather baseball hat.

But the night wasn't all about performing -- it was also about fostering a sense of community. As Rashaad, whose work is often centered on elevating the way people in the ballroom scene are depicted to the larger community, put it, the ball was "a fun way for me to work with my family." Scope more pics from the night, below.

Rashaad Newsome poses with one of the competitors

The judges


Kilo Kish's New "Locket" Video Left Us a Little Blue


Former Beautiful Person Kilo Kish dropped her gorgeous Across EP back in July, and today we get the first video for it. Directed by Phillip T. Annand, we see Kish hanging out in a beautifully decorated, colorful room surrounded by a rotating cast of people. (And one dog.) Yet Kish seems totally tuned out, and in her own head. Indeed, sometimes when there's a lot going on around you it can feel even lonelier. Check it out above. 

Morning Funnies: The Emmys Edition


Sarah Silverman showed off her weed vaporizer pen to Giuliana Rancic. She must have been vaping in her limo because the speech she gave later on made no sense. [Vine via Gawker]

lenaemmys.gifLena Dunham was giving face (or something) on the red carpet. [via HuffPo]

Jimmy Kimmel's ribbing of Matthew McConaughey was awesome...

Screen shot 2014-08-26 at 8.01.32 AM.png...but what was even more awesome was the fact that McConaughey and his True Detective co-star Woody Harrelson showed up to the awards dressed like the Butabi brothers from A Night at the Roxbury. [via Pop Sugar]

Billy Eichner took Seth Meyers along for some "Billy On the Street" action where he asked a bunch of New Yorkers what they thought about the Emmys including who their favorite Emmys host was ("Jimmy Fallon" "Right answer!"), their feelings on Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany and Mindy Kaling each getting snubbed and whether they would donate to a fund benefiting the cast of Big Bang Theory. [via NBC]

juliaemmyskiss.gifWhile on her way to accept her Emmy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus got ambushed by her one-time Seinfeld love interest (Tim Watley!), Bryan Cranston, who planted a big one (actually, many big ones) on her. GET A ROOM YOU TWO! [via HuffPo]

Weird Al performed a medley of TV theme songs, adding his own lyrics to the scores. It...was okay (but we'd rather listen to him skewer "Royals" and "Fancy" thank you very much). [via NBC]

For reasons unknown, Gwen Stefani totally effed up the pronunciation of The Colbert Report. [via Vine]

10 Alt Comic Illustrators You Should be Following on Tumblr

If your comic book knowledge doesn't go beyond Chris Pratt's newly defined abs in Guardians of the Galaxy don't worry. We're here to help. With styles ranging from hilariously absurd to beautiful watercolor panels, here's 10 of our favorite illustrators that will turn your Tumblr feed into the perfect comic strip.

1. Simon Hanselmann

tumblr_nautp5aLMr1ru22woo1_1280.jpgAustralian illustrator, Simon Hanselmann is best known for his comic book characters Megg, a depressed witch, and Mogg, her best friend/black cat. They're both huge stoners. Hanselmann's comics can get dark and existential but he's definitely got a wonderfully weird sense of humor. Like, check out this Drake owl.

2. Ellie Andrews

Ellie Andrews blends her classic style of hand-drawn comics with clean lines and geometric shapes. We love the t-shirts that she designed for ASOS and are big fans off her attention to (butt) detail.

3. Will Laren

tumblr_n8cj7rsDzi1rofn59o1_500.jpgWill Laren is known for his hilarious monster comic series. With his offbeat sense of humor, it's hard to tell what the punchline will be.

4. Ben Marcus

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 5.23.47 PM.pngChicago-based artist, Ben Marcus makes comics that feel inspired by all things trippy, alien, and David Bowie.

5. Aidan Koch

Aidan Koch's comics are minimal watercolor landscapes and abstract vignettes. But even without a narrative, it's easy to get lost in the worlds that Koch creates.

6. Nicole Genelli

tumblr_n1z5ak5mfo1sgqpwno1_r1_1280.pngNicole Ginelli's comics are hybrids of Duggie Field's future aesthetic and nail salon art. We love her use of bright colors, graphic vectors, and 80's inspo.

7. Laura Callaghan

tumblr_napz94dGGx1rcby08o1_1280.jpgLondon-based illustrator Laura Callaghan draws girls that love Wuthering Heights and Frida Kahlo. If they weren't just illustrations, you would want to be BFFs with them. Callaghan's latest comic, First Date -- that recounts the hilarious horrors of online dating -- is a must read.

8. HTML Flowers

Grant Gronewold, aka HTML Flowers, has such a great acid-trip, sketch book style. His Tumblr serves as an invitation into his secret world full of magic and flowers.

9. Sarah McNeil
il_570xN.623627362_ndi5.jpgSarah McNeil's illustrations are charmingly twee. Her Tumblr, "Secret Pretty Things" is a pastel dreamland. We love her zine Plant Feelings because plants are people too.

Ginette Lapalme's Tumblr is a colorful and crafty haven. In Lapalme's world, everything is small, cute, and has eyes. We'd love to live there permanently.

#TWERKUMENTARY: Watch the Trailer for a Documentary about Twerking


What do E-40, Kreayshawn, Chippy Nonstop, Khia, and Too $hort have in common? They're all, apparently, twerking experts.

Miley Cyrus may have retired from twerking but the butt-shaking obsession has officially reached critical mass. Spaghetto -- an LA-based director who has shot music videos for the twerk princess herself, Brooke Candy -- is making a documentary about the dance move.

The Kickstarter-funded project hopes to have a "deeper conversation about empowerment, freedom of expression and the undeniable influence that music and the Internet have on genres, cultures and the internationalization of trends." We're not so sure about that -- Kresyshawn doesn't really seem like a qualified twerking scholar -- but from the looks of it, we can definitely count on a lot of booty bouncing.


Listen to a Remix of J. Lo's "Booty" Featuring Iggy Azalea

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 12.55.53 PM.png
[via Instagram]

Last week former Paper cover girl Nicki Minaj dropped the video for her poetic ode to the butt, "Anaconda," and today another Paper cover star is getting into the ass game: Iggy Azalea. The rapper appears on a new remix of J. Lo's A.K.A. track, "Booty," spitting lines like "They're begging me to drop down on them but right now Iggy on the top / the last time the world seen a booty this good, it was on Jenny from the Block."

While we're feeling the drum machine, snake charmer-y production and chanting that sorta sounds like it belongs to B-more rap princess Rye Rye -- and not to mention the fact that La Lopez has one of the most famous rears in the game -- this track doesn't quite manage to topple Minaj from her booty throne. (I mean, c'mon, Nicki rhymes things like "daffodils" with "half a pill" and follows up a reference to salad tossing with a line about Balmain.)  But "Booty" is still damn catchy so give it a listen, below.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj's "Bang Bang" Gets a Video


Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J's new video for "Bang Bang" reminds us of what we thought living in New York City would be like when we were ten: people in funky tank tops dancing in the street, parties on rooftop helipads and dark apartments with weird neon palm tree lights. There's no big plot here -- it's just the ladies having a good time. And even the hit-you-over-the-head product placement can't kill the fun vibes. Check it out, above.

Chelsea Handler and Ellen DeGeneres Have a Nude Shower Fight


Former Paper cover girl Chelsea Handler ended Chelsea Lately last night but, apparently, not before she gifts the world with more shower fight segments. Here, Ellen DeGeneres talks some major shit to her. 

Someone posted this video to Reddit with the description: "My friend is recently unemployed. This is what he has been doing with his time." What follows is a pants-peeingly funny MASTERPIECE. Keep on livin' unemployed recorder dude. [Uproxx]

A supercut of the 50 best celebrity ice bucket challenge videos. Go for the Tina Fey, stay for the Oprah. [TastefullyOffensive]

Rick Rubin's ice bucket challenge is insane. [Uproxx]

colbore.jpgThe Colbert Report updated its intro to reflect Gwen Stefani's WTF Emmys pronunciation. [Uproxx]

10BMD.jpgKanye-quote-needlepoint is definitely a craft genre we'd like to know. [Mlkshk]

nickjonaslorde.png  Shout out to our awkward girls. [Laughterkey]
Spike the cockatoo feeds Great Danes some treats. Good job, Spike! [TastefullyOffensive]

tumblr_na2bg6zEgd1tevtzfo1_1280.jpgHappy Wednesday from the best gravestone ever. You know Kay was the BEST time. [LaughterKey]

Lia Ices Chats About Her New Album and Premieres Her Video, "Higher"

iceslia_large.jpgOver the course of two albums, Lia Kessel -- better known by her moniker Lia Ices -- made her name as a singer-songwriter. Now with a forthcoming record, Ices, out September 16th via Jagjaguwar, comes a new vision, one that more closely mirrors the artist's self-description as a "psychedelic hip-hop pop" musician. Produced in collaboration with her brother Eliot over the course of two years living in the Hudson Valley, Ices brings a wide variety of instrumentals, experimentation and people together; it takes the listener from north of New York City to San Francisco and Jamaica with a constant sense of levity, expressed both in the lyrics and lofty sounds. 

The day after an earthquake hit her home in Northern California, we caught up with Kessel and spoke about everything from her musical collaborations to poetry and traveling. Read on to hear her thoughts and to watch the exclusive premiere of her new music video, "Higher," which features kaleidoscopic visions of the artist and her brother as they explore Jamaica.

What were your inspirations on Ices?

The album is inspired by a lot of things but a lot of it is this feeling of levity and lightness. It was really important for me to go inside and learn a whole new set of systems -- I got really into software, technology, and making my own beats. That's really a positive force and it's very freeing. I think the energy of what it actually felt like to experiment and push myself as a writer and musician is the positivity in the album.

What inspired you to start this experimentation and learn these new processes?

My last album, Grown Unknown, has a very '70s singer-songwriter kind of vibe, but the more I toured, the songs naturally started to extrovert themselves. When it was time to write again, I was like, "I want to make an album with [my brother] Eliot," who I've always played music with. We're very in synch and we're great foils for each other.

Tell me about working with your brother.
We moved to the Hudson Valley together two years ago. He's an amazing musician, but we also bounce ideas off of each other like crazy. We got really into making sounds and playing with beats. We let all of our influences come in, all of the random shit that we like. We like hip-hop and we like Persian pop. We wanted to make a classic album and we didn't stop until we were satisfied, which is kind of crazy now that I think about it.

During those two years did you still travel or were you rooted in the Hudson Valley?

I think this is where the levity comes in. I was really committed to the project, but I was going back-and-forth between New York and California. My fiancé lives in San Francisco, so I would have crazy work binges in the Hudson Valley, get on a plane, spend time with my love partner, and then have to go back. It became a strange ritual.

When you look back on those two years, what is one of the formative moments that you'll remember?

A big one was the first time we had a production session with Clams Casino in Brooklyn. It was for the song "Waves" -- the last song on the album. Eliot and I had taken such a long time with that song and it was already so epic and powerful. During our session with Clams, I remember thinking, "This is what this album is about." The deeper Eliot and I go and the more we can communicate that, the people we collaborate with can go there immediately too. That makes the project much deeper and more meaningful. It's not just me.

What were the biggest differences between working with a partner versus working on an album alone?

It's more fun just having the days pass. You can also work longer because it's not just you and your brain. If you're really in synch with someone and speaking the same language, you get places faster. Eliot and I keep each other in check. Like the hook for "Higher," Eliot played that on the guitar and I was like, "That's it," and he was like, "What?" Maybe if I wasn't there he wouldn't have thought that was a cool line, but he's the one that played it. It's a really good give and take.

"Higher" by Lia Ices

Was there anything else different about this recording process?

I used to think I shouldn't listen to other music while I was writing my own music. I kept it really exclusive and private, but I totally let that idea go [this time]. We listened to so much and we let so much come in. I think all of these influences find themselves in there, but it's us coming through a filter of what we like. I'd also only really written songs on the piano and vocals -- to see songs on this album that were inspired by a rhythm or sounds we had made opposed to more poetry or word-based things, that really switched it up.

Did you find yourself going back to anything in particular?

We were always going back to Spiritualized. We were going back to Link Wray and some of those early American blues singers. We were digging for strange Persian or Pakistani sounds. A lot of hip-hop, new and old, and getting into those production techniques and why those feel great and what's actually going on.

What's next going forward?

I think Eliot and I have found a way that we work. We're going to make music as Benny Sagittarius, which is our production moniker. I think that is going to be a great umbrella for more Lia Ices albums and things beyond Lia Ices like producing other people. We're also working on an instrumental mix tape. But this album also seems like what I want to sound like for a while. It's a statement album. It knows what it wants to be. I always challenge myself and my practice, but I think this feels right. 

Do you think there's one song on the album that was really defined by any particular moment or experience?

"Higher." That's our Jamaica song for sure. The way we felt there, just kind of letting yourself be in different places and cultures, but also realizing that can feel familiar at the same time. That's a big idea in the album -- go outside of yourself, explore, and travel.

Where are some of the places that you've visited that have been really influential?

California has been really influential. I finally moved here. Just the energy and the people -- there's a sense of openness. A little bit of the Wild West is still here. You can make your own life and do what you want. People create these crazy lifestyles and it's great.

Last question: how would you define your philosophy toward music?

The philosophy is to not have a philosophy. I think it's just to keep working, to show up everyday. No matter what, be there. That's half the battle. And the value of experimenting is invaluable. That's when great artwork can happen.

You can catch Lia Ices playing Mercury Lounge on 9/17 and for a complete list of tour dates go HERE.

Donatella Versace's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Might Be the Best One Yet


Just when we think we've seen enough ALS Ice Bucket challenges to make us feel grouchy and cynical and think to ourselves, "Let's just write a check, plop it in the mail and call it a day," we're graced with Donatella Versace going under the bucket (or, in this case, two fancy ass urns). Resplendent in an all-white ensemble and flowing platinum locks, Donatella nominates Pedro Almodóvar, Pharrell and Prince before getting doused with freezing water by two shirtless Adonises wearing Versace boxers and gold medallions on their chests. Perfetto!

[h/t The Cut]

Courtney Love Brings Anarchy to Hollywood

Courtney_Love_Paper_Cover.jpgHollywood couldn't produce a script with more twists than the tale of Courtney Love Cobain. Hers is a life marked by showbiz triumphs, heartbreaking tragedies and epic feuds. Now she's made peace with (most) of her enemies, and reunited with her daughter. Is this an older and wiser Love? Sure. But that doesn't mean she's mellowed. With a return to acting at age 50, and new songs with a punkier edge, the grunge goddess proves that she'll always be more than just doll parts.

IT'S a sweltering summer afternoon as I climb the steps to the Hollywood home of Courtney Love Cobain. I knock, the door swings open and "Miss World" herself appears before me. She's wearing black skinny jeans, flats and a tattered Enfants Riches Déprimés T-shirt that probably costs more than a down payment on a car. Her blond hair, worn long and mussed, flows freely like a tribute to either Stevie Nicks or Rapunzel. She's on the phone, but places the receiver on her shoulder.

"Alex," she says, "what's your last name?" I tell her, and she relays it to whomever she's speaking with on the phone. "He doesn't know who you are," she informs me. "Come inside."
I follow her into the living room, and sit down. Love waltzes into another room, and continues her phone call. Her manager greets me. "Courtney's talking to David LaChapelle," he says. "She'll be with you shortly."

As I wait and fidget with my iPhone, I notice a bound manuscript, The Girl With the Most Cake, on the coffee table. It's Love's long-awaited memoir. I'm tempted to skim for a salacious passage, but resist. From the next room, I can hear Love on the phone with LaChapelle, dishing Internet-crashing quotes that I wish I could print, but shall remain off the record. Her hyperactive white Shih Tzu, Sugar, gnaws at my shoelaces and occasionally jumps on my lap. After 15 minutes, Love reemerges, pulls a cigarette from a pack of Marlboro Lights and lights up.

"Let's start," she says. If I had a seatbelt, this is where I'd buckle it.

20140728_RP_PAPER_1188_v2-MM.jpgCourtney wears an AF Vandervost jumpsuit. Cartier bracelets worn throughout.

MY interview with Love is, at times, less of a conversation and more of a one-sided game of Trivial Pursuit. She spouts obscure facts like a Jeopardy! champion. My first question - "How's your day going?" - elicits a 15-minute response that touches upon Buddhism, celebrity court cases, dentistry and cheese.

"If you Google 'Courtney Love' and 'cheese,'" she says, "you'll see I've been talking about cheese for 25 years. I have a nutritionist who told me there's an opiate substance in cheese. I haven't done drugs since 2005, but I'm battling a cheese addiction."

For a rock star who's famous for feuding, it's a positive sign that Love's biggest grudge match in 2014 is with dairy. And after remaining relatively quiet since the release of the last Hole LP in 2010, Love is enjoying a landmark year. In April, she released "You Know My Name" and "Wedding Day," two of the punkest songs in her catalog, as if to prove she can still rile up a mosh pit. "Wedding Day" in particular features some of her most eardrum-piercing screams.
"I just have a big voice," Love shrugs, and then stands to demonstrate. "I can DO THIS!" she thunders. "It's a TOOL! And I can USE IT!" What Maria Callas is to opera, Courtney Love is to screaming.

April also marked the 20th anniversaries of her breakthrough LP, Hole's Live Through This, and the death of her husband, Kurt Cobain. Almost 20 years to the day of Cobain's suicide, Love delivered a brief but moving speech at Nirvana's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in Brooklyn.
"This is my family," she said from the podium that night, before hugging Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Cobain's former bandmates who Love has feuded with in the past. "I just wish that Kurt was here." Love noted that she prepared a speech for that night, but scrapped it at the last second.

"It was really emotional," Love says of the induction ceremony. "I didn't want to cry in front of all those people. On the left side of the stage, there were people who were booing me, which was scary. I just thought, Yuck, this is weird. So I didn't focus on the punters. I focused on the community."

Michael Stipe, a friend of Love's for more than two decades, gave Nirvana's induction speech, and stood by her side onstage. "For Courtney," Stipe told PAPER via email, "fearlessness was never an issue. For her, it was how to position the power that fearlessness offers, and then to make that power work to everyone's advantage. That is true evolution, and I believe she has achieved it."

Frances Bean Cobain, Love and Cobain's 22-year-old daughter, was unable to attend the induction due to illness. Love and Frances have endured a rocky public relationship, and Love insists that's behind them. Now, she beams when talking about her daughter. "She's great and we're doing better than ever," Love says. "Part of the reason I'm in L.A. is to be close to her. We just went to a no-kill cat shelter together, and I got a new cat. I haven't named it yet. I'm picking it up next week."

This summer, Love has also celebrated two milestones: her 50th birthday and landing her first notable acting gig in more than a decade: an against-type role as a preschool teacher in the final season of FX's Sons of Anarchy.

"It's a challenge to be 50 and starting over in acting," she says. "But I'm focused. I mean, look at this house." Love gestures at the room with her cigarette. "It's a corporate rental. It's not a me house. I'm here to work. I don't go to events. My excuse for not going out is that I only have one couture gown. I don't even want to be doing this interview."

Courtney wears a Diesel dress, Bond NYC ring and Augustin Teboul headpiece.

why is Love talking to PAPER? "The reason I'm doing this," she explains, "is because the first press I ever did was for Interview and PAPER, for a [1986] film called Sid and Nancy."

Before breaking out in the early '90s, Love toiled in obscurity for more than a decade as a struggling artist. She even studied under a then-unknown film director, who would go on to direct Last Days, a 2005 film loosely based on Kurt Cobain.  

"I've known Gus Van Sant since the late '70s," she says. "He was teaching a film class in Portland, and my stepfather would take me. I was the only girl in that class. Gus had just moved to Portland. I've known him since I was a preteen."

"I have been told by Courtney about the class that I had taught," Van Sant said by email. "I did teach a class but I don't remember Courtney specifically, and it seems like I would have, unless she was being very quiet and shy, which doesn't seem possible. Courtney has always been a friend, partly because of our past Oregon lives being intertwined."

In the 1980s, Love landed in the Big Apple, where she tried in vain to launch her career as an artist. "My New York years were not a success," she says. "I was a big hustler. I worked in Times Square at a peep show. I squatted in the basement at [punk venue] ABC No Rio. That's before they had cement floors. I was sleeping on dirt. Once a month, I'd have to get up on stage while [drag queen performance artist] Lady Bunny would throw fish at me. I was covered with hamburger meat and was being beaten with fish - fresh mackerel and flounder."
IF being covered in raw meat makes Love a proto-Lady Gaga, it shouldn't be a surprise that Love has become a role model for a younger generation of performers. Recently, Lana Del Rey has come under fire for inserting the lyric "He hit me and it felt like a kiss" -- a reference to a 1960s doo-wop song by The Crystals (co-written by Carole King) -- into her song "Ultraviolence." But it's nothing new: Love's been covering that controversial song for 20 years. Two years ago, after Del Rey covered Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box," Love tweeted to the young pop star, "You do know the song is about my Vagina right?"

"I've talked on Twitter with Lana," Love says. "I went out with Miley the other night, who's great and grounded and has a very deep voice. They usually come to me. Brooke Candy sought me out. Even Sia, we talk on Twitter and text. The only one who hasn't sought me out is Katy Perry, which is fine."

may be in the midst of a creative renaissance, but don't expect two of her most anticipated projects until next year at the earliest: her memoir and a reunion of Hole's classic lineup.

"It's a disaster," Love says of the current draft of her book. "A nightmare. I never wanted to write a book in my entire life. It just sort of happened. And I have a co-writer, but it's just not working. One of my rules about the book is that it has to stop in 2006. What happens from 2006 on in the book is my personal business. I've been discreet from that time on, and I want to keep it that way."

As for a Hole reunion, Love is optimistic that she, Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf der Maur and Patty Schemel will play in 2015, and she insists that her strained relationship with the band is a thing of the past. "It's more important for me to act right now than to play rock 'n' roll," she says. "Me and Melissa and Patty and Eric have rehearsed a few times. In order to pull that off, we'd have to make some music that's relevant to now, and we'd have to get a modern producer. I'm not going to do the oldies circuit. My relationships with Melissa, Patty and Eric are all great. At this point in my life, no one is my enemy. Any grudges or issues with that past? I'm done with it."
Love takes a drag off her cigarette and continues.

"The only person I'm concerned about is Corgan. I'm like, what is your problem?"

At the mention of the Smashing Pumpkin-in-chief, Love's manager, who's been sitting across the room looking at his phone for the past hour, perks up and points at my recorder on the coffee table.

"You can turn that off now," he says.

"No," Love says. "You can say that. I just wish he'd mellow out. That's all. We're older. Get over it."

Her manager stares at me, and then at my recorder, then back at me. I turn it off. The interview is over.

Courtney_Love_Paper_4.jpgCourtney wears a Paula Cheng dress and Grey Aunt sunglasses. Hat by Rossalino.

A few days later, Love calls me from her room at the Bowery Hotel in New York. She apologizes for the rushed ending of our conversation. On the phone, she's less harried. "I prefer New York so much better," she says. "I've never learned how to drive, so it suits me here." I figured that living in Page Six's hometown would cramp her personal life. Love disagrees.
"I'm looking out my window now," she says, "and I don't see any paps. Even if they were there, I'd know how to avoid them." She pauses. "How do I put this politely? I like having a boyfriend, and I don't like exposing my boyfriends to my celebrity. I've had meaningful relationships in the past 20 years, not just Kurt. But all the public wants to read about is Kurt, and being a movie star, and a fall from grace followed by a rise. I tend to be attracted to guys who don't want anything to do with all that. I don't like guys with tattoos. If you're an investment banker or a hedge-fund manager, the last thing you need is to be in Page Six."

Hold the phone. Courtney Love has a no-tattoo rule? "Yeah," she confirms, "I don't date guys with tattoos. Tattoos turn me off."

Love imagines she'll move back to New York in the fall, possibly to act in an off-Broadway play. "I'm on a quest," she says. "That's why I went and got a life coach, an acting coach, an Alexander method teacher, a voice coach, a karate teacher, a trainer. I have a whole situation so I can get my confidence back."

Courtney Love may never have been the girl with the most cake, but she's always hustled to get the next slice.

Styling by Prince Franco
Hair by Louis Angelo at Garren New York for Kerastase
Makeup by Christopher Ardoff at Art Department
Stylist Assistants Bryan Ferrari and June Lei
Interns Haley Sherif and Katy Miller

Welcome to the Feral, Freaky World of Brooke Candy

All I want is to go to Brooke Candy's house. I imagine some insane Beverly Hills mansion with black roses lining a perfectly manicured driveway. The "butler" will be some glamazon goddess wearing a necklace of live snakes. Then on my way there I get a text. "Change of location. Meet Brooke at studio." What? I punch in the new address as my dreams evaporate into freeway smog. "It's not a big deal," I assure myself. "I won't even bring it up."

Within 30 seconds of meeting Brooke Candy I bring it up. Candy has a dainty, Betty Boop face. Her smile spreads from cheek to cheek like wildfire, fire being key because Candy is both hot and warm. "Do you have a car?" She asks. "You can see my house after the interview... if you drive me." Brooke Candy -- hustler to the core -- needs a ride home.

Brooke Candy (her real name) is from Agoura Hills, California. Her parents divorced when she was eight; her mother worked as a pediatric nurse and her dad, more famously, as the CFO of Hustler. Candy recalls being a little kid and hanging out in Larry Flynt's office: "[It was] so gaudy and amazing. I'd eat ice cream and watch TV and just go from that to being with my mom, who had nothing. It was strange... It's this whole idea of duality that I'm just obsessed with."

brooke_candy_paper_2.jpgBrooke wears a Diesel jacket covered in crystal brooches, Patricia Bonaldi romper and jewelry by Erickson Beamon, Alexis Bittar and Rodrigo Otazu and Assad Mounser.

Oh wait -- I just got super ahead of myself! Do you even know who Brooke Candy is? She's a pop singer-rapper! She was in a Grimes video! She used to be a stripper! She's gay! No wait... she's bi...?  "I identify as Q. It stands for Queer or Question mark."

But Candy's latest, and most seemingly transcendent iteration, is fashion darling. Her most recent music video, for "Opulence" from her debut EP, which was released in May, is directed by fashion photographer Steven Klein ("He's part of my spiritual gang") and styled by Diesel's new artistic director Nicola Formichetti (as is this cover story). Gaga's former stylist first spotted Candy wearing a metal bodysuit, platform sneakers and butt-length hot pink braids in the Montreal-based singer and Tumblr sensation Grimes' "Genesis" video. Candy is also now the face of Diesel accessories. "[Nicola] was one of the first people to ever stick [his] neck out for me," says Candy. "He told me I have the soul of a Japanese girl."

The opening shot of the video features a bald Candy killing a man in her stilettos, later she dons a diamond-encrusted Hannibal Lecter mask. There's an orgy, a car crash and, later, shots of Candy sitting on a throne with two hairless cats. How is decadence not dead yet? "The video is meant as satire," she says. "It's based on the  story of the Golden Calf. Decadence is peaking. Everyone is slowly awakening. Even me. I think we're moving into a period where spirituality is going to be much more prevalent than fucking cash flow. I don't give a fuck about anything in excess. I just want  to make art and help people. That's it. 'Opulence' makes fun of all that."

As a performer, Candy swings somewhere between Lil' Kim and Riot Grrrl. The type of performer you'd expect to find in some underground sex lair hissing at you from atop a chandelier. In real life, however, Candy talks like any other 25-year-old. "I believe in sexual freedom, I promote it, but me personally? I haven't had sex in six, eight months, maybe longer. I think to have sex you should be in love... I'll meet the love of my life when I meet the person who can see through every layer I have that's meant to distract you and throw you off. I've been mistreated and abused my whole life, so I have these barriers up and I'm waiting to find the person who sees through that."
Despite Candy's dad being a bigwig at a huge, flashy corporation, Candy climbed her own way up the financial ladder, supporting herself with what she refers to as "dirty jobs." "I worked at the Hustler store, a weed store, lived on the street..." Later, she worked as a stripper and underground rapper.  "I've never gotten any help from my dad, no way. If he had helped me I'd be, like, sucking my thumb in Texas or something with a bunch of girls in Juicy Couture sweatsuits."

Brooke_Candy_Paper_4.jpgBrooke wears a Diesel dress, Reem Acra jacket, hat, necklace and ring by Rodrigo Otazu and bracelet by Kyle Hopkins.

In 2013 Sia, the avant-garde singer-songwriter turned pop chart sensation, came across Candy's Instagram account. She told Paper in April, "I saw a lot of myself in [Brooke] and I thought I had to help her not make the terrible decisions I had made." The two hit it off and now she's the executive producer of Candy's forthcoming debut album, out early next year, on their shared label RCA.

"I don't believe in 'selling out,'" says Candy about entering the mainstream. "I'll wear the glitter that'll get your attention because underneath that, I actually have something to say... Pop music gives me this huge platform to reach tons of people and actually stand for positive change. I don't think that's a problem but a lot of people see that as threatening." 

And with that, we leave the studio and head to Candyland. As we pull up outside a Spanish-style West Hollywood apartment complex, Candy cautions: "My house is crazy. It's dark, it's creepy, I have like dead animals and stuff everywhere." The car parked out front has a shattered windshield. "My friends told me to make sure I wiped my prints," she jokes. As I enter, disappointment sets in: it looks to me like a standard one bedroom. There's a sectional couch and bananas in the fruit basket. Sure, there are eccentricities -- crystals, candles, a skull here, a bunch of wigs there -- but it's only when I step into Candy's bedroom that my dream is realized. The walls are black and decorated with leather whips. Opposite her bed is a vanity table so extravagant and mesmerizing, I half believe I'll see a younger version of myself staring back at me. Here is the portal of transformative magic I've been anticipating. This is where I can see Candy changing from a warm-hearted pussycat into a badass lady lion. I think back to our early conversation about duality. Brooke just happens to let these two selves coexist simultaneously.

Hair by Wesley O'Meara at Brydges MacKinney for AG Hair
Makeup by Sammy Mourabit at Streeters for MAC Cosmetics
Nails by Julie Kandalec at Bryan Bantry Agency for Paintbox.

Makeup Assistants Nicole Cho and Kaya Hall
Hair Assistants Dallin James, Katherine Ostergaard and Daisy Schiff
Stylist Assistants Haley Pisaturo, Ian Milan and Derek Murdock
Interns Haley Sherif and Katy Miller.

Designer Zana Bayne On Accessible Bondage Gear and Food Nostalgia

ZanaBayne1.jpgIn our new series, Ladies Who Lunch, cook, co-founder of catering company bigLITTLE Get Together, Paper Beautiful Person and Marc Jacobs' personal chef, Lauren Gerrie, will be whipping up lunch -- and conversation -- with some of our favorite New York City gals.

I love leather as much as the next girl, but when I first saw the work of designer (and Paper Beautiful Person) Zana Bayne, my mind was blown with how sexy yet restrained her pieces were. Born in Seattle, Zana's family moved to Marin County when she was a pre-teen before eventually settling in San Francisco proper when the designer was in her teens. Not one for high school, Bayne began taking classes at UC Berkley and at 16 took the high school proficiency test in order to graduate early. After some time in the arts she moved to Berlin for four months with an eventual goal to live in NYC. When she arrived in the Big Apple she started out in retail while continuing to make the harnesses she had first designed in San Fran to supplement her income (and which she sold on garbagedress.com, her original blog). With rapidly increasing interest from customers, she launched an etsy store, which has evolved into a slick, e-commerce site that shows off her expanding collection of harnesses, handbags, and even men's accessories.

We sat down together in the Brooklyn apartment Zana shares with her boyfriend, photographer Todd Pendu, and whipped each other with fetish toys... just kidding! (But wouldn't that be fun!) We talked about fashion, travel and nostalgia food.

Chicken Curry Salad with Cashews and Radish
*Not Picture: Pea and Mint Puree with Pho Broth

When I think of leather and harnesses it seems so stiff, but your work is so sensual and delicate.

Traditional bondage harnesses are meant to keep you from moving, but my work encourages movement. My pieces always promote that. I design for myself in mind, but I like to imagine other women and how they would wear things.

A lot of celebrities are fans of your work. What have been some of your most surreal celebrity moments?

When Marina Abramovic wore one of my pieces for V Magazine -- that was a serious art school freak out. Also when I met Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons. She came to visit my studio with her team and ended up buying herself pieces, which was so flattering. Like next level. Then to round it off, BEYONCE! We got to watch the show stage side, which was magical. I also made Lady Gaga full body harnesses for her and her nine dancers for her show, which was cool.

Home and food -- what do they mean for you?

My mom is probably going to kill me because she is such a good cook, but as far as being a little kid [and remembering food], there is this salad dressing by Newman's Own [I'd have] on a simple green salad. It's this flavor that's so specific. I never had ranch and I don't like it, so the vinegar dressing is my childhood. I was such a picky eater as a kid. I would wipe the sauce off of pizza. Also Jewish holiday food is very nostalgic. Christmas we would always have lasagna -- I could just eat ricotta out of the container, it's so good.


So what is you favorite thing that your mom makes if she is such a great cook?

Interesting bruschettas. She always uses great farmers' market ingredients. When I go back to SF I like getting tacos in the Mission or ice cream from Swensen's. Oh, and triple chocolate -- I am a sugar person.

What's your favorite sweet thing?

Can't go wrong with plain old Hershey's kisses or super fudge chunk ice cream by Ben and Jerry's. I work right near Dean and DeLuca and I try to avoid their pastry section but they have a banana cupcake with whipped nutella frosting [that I love].

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

St. Bart's or the Amalfi Coast. Or a car trip from Monaco up the coast of Italy. I don't know how to drive so Todd, who is a great driver, will man the wheel.  Mediterranean flavors are my favorite so I know the food will be amazing

Favorite NYC restaurants?

I love Fatty Crab and Barrio Chino.

Favorite condiments?

College me would say ketchup because as a kid I never had it so when I was in college I put it on everything! I don't do mustard or mayonnaise.

What are your food nightmares?

Avocados, sandwich tomatoes, and mustard!

If you could learn how to make any food or dish, what would it be?

ANYTHING. But to be specific, I think I should learn how to prepare fish properly. Also how to present food -- I can't even put crackers and cheese on a plate nicely.

If you could have lunch with any other woman, who would it be?

My best friend. She's pregnant in London right now and it would just be good to have lunch with her.

Last question: what is the biggest misconception about you?

I think a lot of people see leather and they think of it as niche or S&M. I'm all about finding a way for people to integrate my work into their lives. I love all sorts of people and I have humor about what I do.

Grimes Channels Dante's Inferno In New Video, "Go"


Grimes first teased out a new track, "Go," at NYC's Governors Ball music fest at the start of the summer before releasing the official studio version a few weeks later. And today, the pulsing, glitch-house track that the singer originally wrote for Rihanna gets an official video. In it, we alternately see fish-eye shots of Grimes dancing in a dark club, close-ups of her getting a piggyback from a masked man in a dystopic-looking wasteland, and panoramic cuts of the singer hanging out in the desert with a sword-wielding Blood Diamonds, who's featured on the song. (Grimes is no stranger to surrealist-looking landscapes -- there's definite shades of the desert scene in the singer's "Genesis" video, which starred our current cover girl Brooke Candy.) Co-directed with Grimes' brother Mac, the singer explains that the video is actually an homage to Dante's Inferno, with her taking on the role of Dante while Blood Diamonds plays Virgil. She says:

It's our take on Dante's inferno. The circles of hell reflect more contemporary issues though.  We shot a bunch at the salton sea which is basically an apocalyptic wasteland filled with dead fish because of human carelessness, the bullet hole hallway a la korn freak on a leash etc etc.   If you look closely you can find clues.  Haha, but in the usual fashion it is also abstract enough to just be a trippy visual accompaniment to the song.
Whether "Go" will appear on an upcoming follow-up to 2012's Visions is anybody's guess but here's hoping there's more tracks like this to come.

Watch Fred Armisen Star in J Mascis' Trippy Video for "Every Morning"


In his Funny of Die produced video for "Every Morning," J Mascis is a religious cult leader who benevolently passes out questionable Kool Aid to his followers, The Space Children of the Forest. The music video is styled as found footage, chronicling the cult's last days.

In psychedelic-chic looks, they prance around the forest and do weird hippie shit in naive bliss. Then, on a fateful afternoon, Fred Armisen emerges from the forest to teach the cult about the Internet, or what the Internet was in the 70's -- an over-sized calculator. But still, nothing was the same...

Watch the video for "Every Morning," above.

Jimmy Kimmel Reunited the Cast of Friends to Perform a Sexy New Scene


Jimmy Kimmel got Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow to come on his show and perform some sexxxy Friends fan fiction he wrote. Some are more enthusiastic about it than others... [via Jimmy Kimmel]

Heads up, there's a hot new 'fart remix' of Nicki Minaj's monster jam, "Anaconda." It's subtle and beautiful. [via YouTube]

tumblr_navr8k1bc51rn7bzro1_1280.jpgA+ [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]

tumblr_n2uq1nBDR11qaw0cco1_500.pngWho wore it best? [via Afternoon Snooze Button]

Screen shot 2014-08-28 at 8.08.07 AM.pngGOOD ANSWER. [via Instagram]

Rilo the Yorkie likes to tenderly pet his human's face. [via Tastefully Offensive]

A defense of fedoras: "they rule harder than you, dipshits!" [via Rats Off]

Happy Thursday, y'all! [via Trill Adam Clark]

Zola Jesus Returns with a New Music Video for "Dangerous Days"


The last time we talked to Zola Jesus she was having trouble sleeping. She had just come off of her live performance at the Guggenheim with JG Thurwell and was getting ready to tour her fourth studio album Versions.

Now she's back with the lead track for her latest album, Taiga. The video for "Dangerous Days" is a synth-pop dreamscape where computer glitch meets mountain fog and sunlit forests. Watch Zola Jesus is give off some serious goth goddess vibes, above.

Surprise Visits from Chance the Rapper, Graffiti Walls + More In Jhené Aiko's Summer Tour Diary

Throughout the summer, we're following around some of our favorite bands and DJs as they head out on tour. In each installment, these road dogs will be sharing a photo diary and sharing stories about what they do, see, and hear and eat while criss-crossing the country and the globe. Next up: Jhené Aiko, who shares photos from her whirlwind three day weekend at Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Day 1: At Lollapalooza for the first time and waiting to go watch Eminem.

IMG_1680.JPGDay 2: Sound check at the official Lollapalooza after party at Reggie's in Chicago

IMG_1661.JPGDay 2: Adding to the graffiti wall at Reggie's during sound check.

IMG_1690.JPGDay 2: The band! At Reggie's

Day 2: Before showtime at Reggie's with a surprise visit from Chance [the Rapper].

IMG_1746.JPGDay 3: Before showtime at Lollapalooza.

Aiko's debut album, Souled Out, arrives on September 9 via Def Jam.

Miranda July Wants You to Have a Threeway with Her New Messaging App


Have something important to tell a loved one? Instead of saying it yourself, download Somebody -- a messaging service app by the queen of magical thinking, Miranda July.

In world where actually talking is the least desirable option, Somebody is a relief and a reflection on the way we communicate. "I see this as far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk," says July in a press release.

The app allows you to mediate bad (or good!) news through an unrelated third party near your location. Somebody, July's short film that accompanies the app, shows what happens when avoidance is taken to the extreme: a marriage proposal by way of a random restaurant server and an emotional breakup delivered by a bystander in a park.

Watch the video, above, and download the app to start outsourcing all of your problems to the nearest stranger as soon as possible.