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Our 10 Favorite Designer Muses of All Time


Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.36.10 PM.png1. Grace Jones and Azzedine Alaïa
Forever immortalized wearing Alaïa's clothes in the James Bond film A View to Kill, Grace Jones is one of the Tunisian designer's most famous muses. Alaïa's body-con clothes perfectly highlighted the singer's sculptural body in film, photos, her daily life and even on his catwalk.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.40.31 PM.png2. Inès de la Fressange and Karl Lagerfeld
La Fressange was the face of Chanel before supermodels like Linda, Christy and Naomi stormed the Parisian catwalks. Lagerfeld admired la Fressange because of the way she simultaneously embodied the image of the international woman while also remaining quintessentially French. The two had a falling out when la Fressange was named the face of the Marianne, the national symbol of the French Republic, but the two reconciled their friendship as demonstrated by la Fressange's Chanel Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk appearance.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.42.22 PM.png3. Madonna and Jean Paul Gaultier
There will probably never be a more famous stage outfit than Gaultier's cone bra he created for Madonna's 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. The piece launched JPG's career into the international spotlight and solidified the duo's relationship as designer and muse. Gaultier would go on to create costumes for Madonna's Drowned, Re-Invention, Confessions and MDNA tours and Madonna even walked for the designer as a model, most famously in his Spring/Summer 1995 collection.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.43.10 PM.png4. Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy
Audrey Hepburn is the ne plus ultra Givenchy girl: she was Givenchy's muse, friend and biggest supporter. The two met during the shooting of Hepburn's film Sabrina and Givenchy would go on to design her wardrobe in many films including the iconic little black dress Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hepburn was Givenchy's greatest inspiration and she famously said of his work, "His are the only clothes in which I am myself."

BFA_6146_707888.jpg[Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com]

5. Marina Abramović and Riccardo Tisci
Since taking over as Creative Director of Givenchy in 2005, Tisci has revitalized the brand by changing the direction and aesthetic from that of its founder. With this change came new muses who resonated with Tisci's romantic outlook for the house and one of his greatest sources of inspiration is the world famous Serbian artist. The two have collaborated on projects like the ballet, Boléro (Abramovic created the scenography while Tisci design the costumes), and Givenchy hosted the party celebrating Abramović's MoMA piece The Artist is Present. He also cast her as a model in the Givenchy Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.

BFA_11273_1375322.jpg[Photo by Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com]

6. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nicolas Ghesquière
Gainsbourg, the Anglo-French daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, and Ghesquière have had a long relationship as muse and designer spanning Ghesquière's years at Balenciaga and now at Louis Vuitton. Truly embodying Ghesquière's designs, no matter what house he is designing for, Gainsbourg has modeled for the Balenciaga perfume L'Essence and in Series 1 of the Louis Vuitton campaigns under Ghesquière's creative control.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.55.31 PM.png7. Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen
Blow is credited with discovering McQueen when she saw his Central Saint Martins MA collection and immediately bought the entirety of it. As McQueen's biggest supporter, she helped launch him into the international spotlight, which led to his appointment as Creative Director of Givenchy in 1996. She was the first to recognize his incredible talent and together the two left an undeniable mark on the fashion community and the world at large.

BFA_7493_876797.jpg[Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com]

8. Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs
Coppola and Jacobs met backstage at one of the designer's Perry Ellis shows in the early '90s after the future director asked her mother if she could arrange for them to attend. The two became fast friends, bonding over similar tastes in art and music and a designer-muse relationship was born. Coppola almost exclusively wears Jacobs' designs on the red carpet -- including the gown she wore to accept her 'Best Original Screenplay' Oscar for Lost in Translation -- and more recently, the two collaborated on a short film for Jacobs' scent, Daisy, which, in fact, Coppola was the first ever face of.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 1.01.20 PM.png9. Charlize Theron and John Galliano
Theron and Galliano made a show-stopping entrance to the AngloMania Met Gala together enrobed in silk and sequins and since then, the actress has often been seen wearing his designs on the red carpet and she was even named the face of the Dior fragrance, J'adore, while Galliano was still the Creative Director.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 1.03.03 PM.png10. Loulou de la Falaise and Yves Saint Laurent
Model, collaborator, friend and, of course, muse, la Falaise wore many hats while working with Yves Saint Laurent. The two met in 1968 while la Falaise was working at the British society magazine, Queen, and not long after, Saint Laurent began sending her boxes of his clothes and they were bonding over a love of Proust. In 1972 the designer invited la Falaise to work for him and she would go on to spend the next three decades by his side.

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Hear Ty Dolla $ign's New West Coast Track With Kendrick Lamar

ty-dolla-sign-my-cabana-video.jpgTy Dolla $ign's latest, Free TC, is out September 4. But between now and then, there's "L.A.," an ode to the city featuring, appropriately, Kendrick Lamar (in "rapping his ass off mode"), maybe the most famous L.A. rapper of the moment. With an assist from R&B duo D&D (who, according to Spin, have changed their name to Blaq Tuxedo), it's a perfectly pleasant, sunny look forward to the long, hot months of 2015.

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Lilly Pulitzer's New Prints Include Fat-Shaming Cartoons

photo via The Cut

Earlier this morning, The Cut posted a slideshow of photos from their tour of the Lilly Pulitzer offices -- you know, the people who have already gotten ample flack for the ideas of class and privilege their candy-colored resortwear capitalizes upon. But now you can add another category of people Pulitzer apparently does not have time for, namely, fat people. 

As noted by The Cut, the above cartoons appear in an employee's cubicle, a little malicious thin-spo to remind you why exactly you're on a misery-inducing celery-only diet 'til July. Granted, this may be only the views of one Pulitzer employee, but it's the type of thing that might create a very uncomfortable office environment for anyone struggling with their body image.

Best case, these images, one of which says "you should probably just kill yourself," are anti-fat-shaming reminders about how hard women can be on their bodies -- though they definitely seem way too aggressive and, well, un-funny to be well-plotted satire. 

So much for Pulitzer's recent re-launch, which also garnered lotsofcriticism for hiding all the plus-sized looks online, instead of making them available in stores.

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The Bachelorette Episode 2: Thank God for Amy Schumer

1432606160000_us_abc_320.jpgHello! I hope this recap finds you discussing hookups over spa water, just like Chris Harrison and Kaitlyn. "If I'm feeling it I'm going to go for it," she tells Harrison at the beginning of the episode, which is clearly foreshadowing all of the confirmed coitus we've been promised. The fact that this season seems to be one big lead up to a single woman sleeping with and subsequently being shamed by the guys she's dating is a good troll, however. Point to you, ABC.

Back at the mansion, the grown men are all super-excited to be sharing bunk beds. We immediately identify all the traitors who chose Britt (Jonathan, Kupah, Tony) and speak of the angel! Cut to Britt looking Pac Sun-d out on the phone with her mother. She is very, very understandably upset, and it's pretty cruel that they chauffeured her away without letting her say goodbye to anyone. Hark, what's that? A knock at the door in the form of Brady, Britt's own personal knight in shining amour. These two seem a couple episodes away from sharing their hopes and dreams with one another in minute-long segments every other episode, so good luck to them.

They always make the men physically compete with one another on group dates, and this time they're just straight-up punching one another in the face on a group boxing match with Laila Ali. What's the worst that could happen?! Daniel has a look of wild terror in his eyes, as if he just realized what he's doing with his life. Naturally, he fights the most muscular guy (Ben Z.) first and when he loses self-deprecatingly spits out some pretty depressing gender stereotypes in a monotone ("What's in those gloves, teacups?") so I don't really know what's up with Daniel. In a David vs. Goliath match Jared takes on Ben Z., who outweighs him by 55 pounds and gives him a hospital visit after hitting him in the head.

Later, mid-group date, a note arrives demanding Kaitlyn meet someone at the bottom of a very long, dark staircase. Naturally she goes and lying in wait is concussed Jared. His head trauma earns him a makeout but the first date rose goes to Ben Z., who is the perfect combination of boring and hot for this show. If he sticks to his gentle giant routine, I could see franchise potential in Ben.

The first date goes to Clint because he gave Kaitlyn a picture of Chris Harrison riding a triceratops, which is extremely sound logic. They're treated to an underwater photo shoot which Kaitlyn says are "all the rage" but are they? Does anyone know anyone who does this? I want to hear all about them and what else they enjoy. Giselle the conceptual underwater photographer makes them do some spiritual BS before they take some truly awful pictures, because they are underwater. Clint gets a rose.

Cut to Tony the healer with the mysterious black eye who's preaching poolside. "The foundation I want to establish my forever on does not start with me beating your ass," he's seen saying to a bemused Corey regarding the boxing date. "Love is selfless and love is given, it's not something you fight for. Love is as perennial as the grass." Tony acts like being one of the many guys who go on group dates is some type of personal invocation from Kaitlyn, and is excited to be able to question her on why she might be right for him.

Feeling icky? Don't worry, Amy Schumer is here to MC the comedy club date, and I'll let Joshua the industrial welder take it away: "We're talking about an excellent comedian here. She's dirty and funny as hell." She's also brought along Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, and Bridget Everett to help a dude get a joke.

JJ is "supremely confident" about this group date, and nothing says "I will not be funny" like a former investment banker. Case in point, JJ's first joke:

"What do you call a bull that's sleeping?"

"Bull dozer"

JJ has a hilarious conversation with Amy. It's truly amazing to watch someone be so confidently unaware. His pickup line is "Hi, I'm JJ. Divorced with a kid and I live with my parents" WHICH IS TRUE. And you know what? That's fine-ish! Life happens! What's not fine is that JJ fundamentally doesn't understand that this would not be the most compelling thing for a lady to hear. He also tells Amy to "wait a sec" which makes me wish he'd had to fight Ben Z.

Amy has a great summarization of JJ and the majority of people who go on this show: "JJ is a sweetheart. He's just missing charisma, humility and sense of humour."

At the cocktail party Tony commits a cardinal sin in the Book of Bachelorette and lets everyone know he doesn't understand the concept of reciprocity.

"I'm recognizing in her that she has what it takes to maintain the relationship I'm looking for. I'm not here for her. I'm here for us. My heart means just as much to me as her love means to me." Mic drop! "I'm not here for her?" Wash your mouth out, Tony.

JJ would put $50,000 on getting the rose tonight, and unfortunately that happens. JJ sucks. Know who doesn't? Joe from Kentucky! He drops some sincere southern charm after drawling "Well, I'll be" after his makeout with Kaitlyn, putting him on the good list.

Kupah self-immolates by telling Kaitlyn he didn't ever really feel a connection with her and infers that she only kept him around because of his ethnicity. He then proceeds to tear her down to the guys within earshot, and she attempts to send him home. He somehow feels like her telling him how she feels is "not fair." And then proceeds to dig his grave.

Kupah: " I don't want to go home. You're hot."

Kaitlyn: "There's more to me than that."

Kupah: "I don't think it's bad."

Kaitlyn: "I'm telling you it's bad."

He then proceeds to freak out in the driveway, we're led to believe he's going to have some type of physical outburst, and we don't get to see the rose ceremony.

What do we get instead? Why, it's America's Most Wholesome Couple, Britt and Brady. They're here for some good, clean fun and I'm happy to report they've hung out, like, every day for a week and enjoy teasing one another with ice cream. If I were a betting man like JJ, I'd bet $50,000 that anytime anything particularly slut-shame-y happens with Kaitlyn we'll be treated to a squeaky-clean montage of Britt and Brady. Look, they're at the petting zoo! Roller skating is a great time! Who doesn't love volunteering at the animal shelter?

Until next week!

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Icona Pop Debut New Siren-Laden Single "Emergency"

Just in time for the beginning of "Song of the Summer" watch, Swedish duo Icona Pop have a new track, "Emergency." Filled with synthesized sirens, ample "woohoo" hooks and jazz-inspired vocals courtesy of fellow Swedish popstar Eric Hassle, it's an infectious, sugar-sweet song with that slight Icona Pop kick. And like "I Love It," it feels like excellent remix fodder, so keep your ears peeled for new flips this summer.

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Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield On Her New Album, her Walking Dead Placement and Her 75% Pronounceable Band Name

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.02.55 PM.png

Waxahatchee's Cerulean Salt was the kind of album that snuck up on you. What seemed at first like a collection of punchy indie-pop and unguarded acoustic ballads eventually wormed its way into your life until it became an old friend, always there with a wise word or a dollop of empathy to remind you that we're all just trying to figure it out. 

So expectations were not small for the follow-up, but Katie Crutchfield, the songwriter behind the project, was determined to not let the pressure get to her. Born and raised in Alabama and now living in Philadelphia after a spell in Brooklyn, Crutchfield and her producer/bandmate Keith Spencer decamped to Long Island to make Ivy Tripp. Bigger, bolder and at times spookier than its predecessor, the new album sees Crutchfield moving to a new label, indie powerhouse Merge, and crushing the idea of Waxahatchee as merely a vessel for folk pop. (Suffice to say, the current live version of Waxahatchee has three guitarists, including Crutchfield's sister and former bandmate Allison, who also plays with indie punks Swearin'.) I called Katie at home in Philadelphia a few days before the release date to talk about the new album. Obviously, The Walking Dead also came up.

So your album comes out very soon. How are you feeling?

I feel good. The stream is up, the secret's out. I've been finished with it since the summer, so I'm ready for the world to have it.

Is it weird knowing that people were waiting for something from you for once, and knowing there were expectations out there?

It's an adjustment. It's a little strange, but I think I did a pretty good job with not letting that overtake me. Everything for me happens pretty slow. I feel like a lot of the time today, they make a record and then immediately they just shoot off into the galaxy. For me, I just feel like everything is really gradual. So I feel like I had a lot of time to sort of adjust and not to... this happened at a time when I feel relatively comfortable and confident in my work. I guess I'm not too worried about people's reactions, because I feel like I've made a record that I can stand beside and feel good about.

Your last album [2013's Cerulean Salt] was released on a small label. It felt like a very intimate, revealing album. And it really seemed to catch on over time. After having had that success, did it inspire you to keep being more honest? Or did you get a little intimidated by how many people knew who you were and really connected with what you were saying?

That's kind of like the key to all of it: I feel like I can't let the changes affect the way that I write. What I have really tried to with this record is figure out how to not think about all that stuff -- how to make the record that I was going to make, even if nobody was listening. Of course, I'm affected by it. But I'm just trying my best to... that's kind of why went off to Long Island and made the record and just sort of took a bunch of time off from touring and playing shows, and I reworked my whole band. Also, when I made the record, I didn't have a label, and that was a conscious choice, too. Just to be a person making music, with no one checking in there, or asking me what I was doing.

Do you have a day job at the moment, or at the time?

No, I've been fully employed by Waxahatchee for a little while now, which is pretty cool.

When did you get the sense that this is something you can make a career out of, for lack of better term?

I felt something was right when Cerulean Salt came out. I quit my job then, so that must have been two years ago now. Almost exactly two years ago, I quit my day job where I was a nanny. There was no way I could've kept a job because of how much stuff I had planned. And then, after all that touring, things sort of picked up unexpectedly.  

I know you've been making music for a long time, both with this and with other projects, but when did you get the sense that you can spend your life being a professional songwriter and that would be just what you do?  

I don't really know. I don't think I consider myself a professional musician until this year. It's just something I always did. I started writing songs when I was about 15. I fell in love with it immediately. As soon as I started doing that, it felt like what I wanted to do all the time. It was a social thing at first: just hanging out and playing shows with all my friends. But I was always really proactive. I think to the outside world -- to my parents, to my teachers -- I appeared to be such a fuck-up. I was drinking and smoking pot and just sleeping through school and flunking out. But all the while, I was writing records and booking tours and playing shows and printing merch and making sure that my band was doing all of this stuff all the time.

Do your parents now kind of trust that you made the right decision?

Oh, totally. It's a scary thing for your kid to be like, "Yeah, I just want to play music all the time." A lot of parents are like, "Do you think you're going to make money doing this?" And we were like, "Fuck that, we don't care about making money. We just want to make records." And that was a little scary for them, too, probably. So it's nice -- I think it's nice for them to see us be able to keep our heads above water and do what we really want to do. I mean, I think that's all that anyone's parents want for their kids -- to be happy and to stay afloat doing something that they love.
When people write about an album, they obviously bring their own stuff into it. But I remember a lot of reviews for your last one talked about how this seems like a person writing about living in a smaller college town, and how you can be in your own little world, and it can feel like it's closing in on you. This album seems a lot broader in terms of the viewpoint. What were you thinking about when you were focusing on the lyrics?

I wrote a lot of Cerulean Salt... I mean, I already was in Brooklyn, but I was writing it about a time where I was just in smaller cities. I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a while, which is a college town, when I went to Birmingham. A lot of that record is about that experience and that time of my life, even though I had already moved away. And this record... yeah. I try to keep things vague enough where I don't really blow up anybody's spot, but a lot of things are about actual experiences that I've had with actual people. With Ivy Tripp, it's more about observation -- things that I observed on a grander scale, and things that I've seen, and things that I've just observed about certain people's behaviors. That was a challenge for me, and that was something I had wanted to try and see how it turned out.

So your sister has been joining you on tour. How is it playing with her again, after both of you doing your own thing for a while?

It's cool. I mean, it's a different dynamic. We've only ever been in bands before that were very democratic. Everybody kind of gets to have their say. So I have to delegate everything and it's interesting. It's like a new dynamic for that, but so far, it's working out great.
Everyone gets a say, but you get the final say?

Exactly. Which is kind of nice for me.

People will often knock indie rock, or whatever you want to call it, as a boys club. In these past few months, your album's out, there's a new album Speedy Ortiz, there's Courtney Barnett, there's Joanna Gruesome. A lot of great, strong, female artists making music. Do you think indie rock is seeing a bit more gender parity?

Honestly, I feel pretty fortunate to be making music right now. I've experienced a lot of bullshit in my life when it comes to misogyny in the music world. A lot. Every woman, every queer person, every trans person, every person of color has. Except for white, cisgendered men, everyone playing music functions in a world of bullshit. So I don't want to downplay that by saying I'm so lucky. It's been difficult for me and much more difficult for other people, I'm sure.  But, I think it's really fucking cool just to be making music in a time where I think the best music happening right now is being made by women. I'm sure everyone's still experiencing some bullshit, but it is sort of cool to feel like, oh yeah, women are kind of running things right now.

So what was it like seeing someone sing one of your songs in The Walking Dead?

That was weird. That song ("Be Good") is a song I wrote a long time ago and I think that, for me, those scratchy, lo-fi, aesthetics makes it sort of bearable, because it's so sweet and sugary for a song that I would play. So that layer of scratchiness kind of makes it listenable. And hearing it  the way that it was played made me feel sort of strange. But I think (Walking Dead actress Emily Kinney) has a pretty voice it was kind of cool. It was just a little strange for me.
Hearing it in that clean, straightforward way, did it still feel like your song?

Not really. I think that's kind of the nail on the head. Yeah, it just didn't feel like my song, really. Which is fine. 

Did you actually watch the episode it was in or did you just hear what they did with it?

I didn't watch it. I don't have cable. When it was on, my mom or somebody sent me a video of that part, so I saw the part, but I didn't see the episode.
On average, when you talk to your fans or people who don't know you but you're just talking to, how many people pronounced your band's name correctly? Like, what percent?

Hmm. 75 percent.

Oh. That's higher than I would have guessed.  I had pronounced it wrong for quite a while before someone corrected me.

Oh, it's OK. Fifteen percent say it incorrectly, and then 10 percent sort of look at me and try to say it, but aren't sure if they're saying it correctly, and then I just tell them: You say it exactly how it looks.

Ivy Tripp is out now on Merge Records. Details here.

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Trans Model Hari Nef Signs to IMG

photo by Kathy Lo

One of Paper's Beautiful People Class of 2015, Hari Nef is a verifiable triple-threat who's been making waves this past year as one of fashion's frontrunners, and it looks like the bigwigs are finally noticing. As of today, IMG Models, one of the largest agencies in the game, have signed Nef, with "Model Industry Gatekeeper" Ivan Bart taking to Twitter to personally congratulate her. 
According to Fashionista, this is a huge move for industry leader IMG, as Nef will be their second trans signing (after Valentijn De Hingh, though she doesn't appear on the online roster). And as an #IMGirl, Nef will also be in good company, surrounded by the likes of Ali Michael, Gemma Ward, Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid.

Congratulations, Hari!

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Red Bull Music Academy Goes Out With Arthur Russell and a Bang

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Yes, the folks at the Red Bull Music Academy are always ready to party.  But they're also willing to keep everything in perspective by putting together great events that take a look at the history of New York City nightlife.  They somehow managed to fill the entire month of May by thinking both backward and forward.

Now everything winds down at this weekend's "Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell" at BAM (30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn) on Friday and Saturday, May 29th and 30th, 8 p.m., with Sam Amidon, Cults, Lonnie Holley, Devonte Hynes, Redding Hunter, Little Scream, Thao Nguyen, Richard Reed Parry, Rubblebucket and Jake Shears.

Russell died from AIDS in 1992, but as the list of performers at this weekend's tribute attests, he is still influencing young artists. He was an accomplished musician who worked in every genre: disco, classical, experimental -- you name it -- and collab'd with everybody from Allen Ginsburg to Bootsy Collins.  

He also was one of three founders -- along with Will Socolov and Juggy Gayles -- of an indie record label called Sleeping Bag that only existed from 1981 to 1992 in a tiny office on Broadway up near Lincoln Center.  Their catalogue includes several records by Russell ("Go Bang" by Dinosaur L) and other artists you can still hear on a night out clubbing in NYC including T La Rock, EPMD and Joyce Sims.

They had another great artist, Kurtis Mantronik (aka Mantronix), who's appearing at RBMA's "Sleeping Bag Records: Go Bang" party on Saturday night with label mates/friends Nicky Siano, Morgan Geist, DJ Scratch and The Awesome 2 at the Good Room (98 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn) in Greenpoint.  

You can make it an entire Sleeping Bag weekend -- and then start dreaming about next year's Red Bull Music Academy.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday's Arthur Russell tribute are available HERE and tickets for the Good Room party may be available at the door.

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WTF Is Kylie Jenner Talking About? We Break Down the Chemtrail Conspiracy Theory

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.40.43 PM.png[Photo via Instagram]

If you follow Kylie Jenner on Twitter, you might have noticed something odd pop up in your feed yesterday evening. It was a photo, presented without comment or context, of airplane contrails -- that cloud-like vapor formed in a plane's exhaust -- in a cloudy sky. Innocent enough... or is it?

The text accompanying the picture poses some hard to answer questions: Why did I see 75 planes spraying white stuff into the sky on my 15 minute drive to work? Who pays for this and why is it happening? Is something being exterminated here? Is that something me? Does this have anything to do with why Honey [sic] Bee's [sic] are Dying [sic] off really fast? etc.

Since then, breathless headlines have been popping up that say things like "Kylie Jenner comes out as a chemtrail conspiracy theorist" and "Famous Teen Kylie Jenner Unravels Global Conspiracy In Her Spare Time." If all this seems like... a lot to process, have no fear: we're here to break down just wtf is going on.

What is that picture all about?
Whether or not she's fully on board with this, Kylie is promoting the questions commonly asked by believers in chemtrails.

What's a "chemtrail"?
Great question. Theories about chemtrails were popularized in the mid-90s by Coast to Coast AM talk show host Art Bell, well known for host scientist guests with what we'll call dubious bona fides. The popular theory goes that chemtrails are the visible remnants of the government using commercial and private aircraft to spray chemicals throughout the atmosphere. It's a sinister interpretation of the contrail phenomenon. According to Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia, a contrail "is a type of cloud that is formed from the vapor contained in the exhaust of a jet when it is flying at high enough altitudes for cold temperatures to cause the vapor to turn into ice crystals like cirrus clouds."

Why the hell would anyone want to spray chemicals on us?
Another solid question. There are a lot of theories about why the government or Monsanto or a secret cabal of international financiers might want to spray chemicals. Global SkyWatch, a website by "a 40-something year old male...living in Maine" that's dedicated to educating the public about the "largest crime against humanity in human history" has a  four-pronged theory that chemtrails are a means of large-scale vaccination through chemical misting, population control, agricultural control -- that's where Monsanto comes in -- and centralization of power. There are variations on these themes but it hits all the major points. Basically, it boils down to "the government is lying to us and trying to manipulate the population."

But is there evidence?
Kinda. Proponents of the chemtrail theory point to a few things usually. First, the perceived increase in instance of persistent airplane contrails, which can spread out into cirrus clouds over time. That's true and explainable by the fact that there are just a lot more flights now. There's also this YouTube video called "BUSTED Pilot Forgets To Turn Off CHEMTRAILS while landing" showing an airplane trailing vapor clouds as it hits a runway. There's other evidence, like higher rates of certain diseases and more presence of chemicals like barium and mercury in the soil and air, but it's a lot to go through and is circumstantial at best.

But that pilot is totally busted!
Not really. That plane is exhibiting a phenomenon called "wake turbulence," which is visible when a plane is flying through especially damp weather. You can see a lot of examples of it here. It was also a major plot point in Top Gun, as Goose dies when Maverick gets caught in a jetwash. RIP Goose.

Hmm ok. I've also heard about cloud seeding. What's that?
So this is a part of the theory that's true. Cloud seeding is a process of dispersing chemicals -- usually silver iodide -- to increase the chances that it will actually rain. China did it to guarantee clear skies during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics. It's debatable whether or not it actually works. You can read more about it here.

So the government isn't controlling the weather or secretly vaccinating us?
As with any conspiracy theory that relies on the government's ability to pull off a large-scale hoax that's noticeable only by people that alternate conspiracy videos with katana care guides, this one is probably also not true.

Either way Kylie's picture has received 4,300 retweets at the time of writing but, other than telling her fans that she just "reposted the pic" and "know[s] how to spell responsible," her account has fallen mysteriously silent on the subject. Either she's a 17-year-old who saw a picture and posted it without thinking too hard about it or she just blew the lid off a massive conspiracy happening right before our very eyes. We'll let you decide.

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Justin Bieber Covers Boyz II Men -- In a Fedora


Justin Bieber's recent campaign to rehabilitate his image, and maybe go back to being considered some kind of actual pop star instead of a global joke, has had its ups and downs. Sure, his car karaoke with James Corden was endearing but it reeked of calculated attempts to reform himself, what Hannibal Buress described during Bieber's Comedy Central roast as an "extremely transparent attempt to be more likeable in the public eye." Like Buress, we hope it doesn't work.

Now, in the latest attempt to be what the kids are calling "cool," Bieber has covered Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You," one of the creepiest recorded pop songs not named "Blurred Lines." The performance has all of the hallmarks of Bieber 2 (or is it 3?) point 0, including a decided lack of horrifying hair, a shirt, and not being arrested. And it isn't musically terrible, indicating yet again that Bieber's stardom happened for a reason (in addition to his hair).

But that doesn't mean that it should win anyone over -- the song itself is still pretty horrifying, and Bieber seems to think it's a good idea to hump the floor during the performance. Perhaps worst of all, he's wearing a fedora, the widely-recognized uniform of horrible men who believe themselves to be entitled to sex for no reason other than their not being horrible predators (at least, not explicitly). By this point, there is no good excuse for wearing such a hat -- not only has the MRA signifier been around long enough to ward off any good person thinking of donning one, the only man who currently pulls them off is Matt Bomer. Justin Bieber may have found an identity even worse than raging id teen star: a crooning "Nice Guy."

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Shamir's Call It Off Relationship Hotline Is Live!

Earlier this year, XL darling/Muppet extra Shamir announced a love advice hotline, bluntly named "Call It Off" in honor of his eponymous single. And earlier today a video of a few of those responses finally surfaced.

Highlights of this edition include Shamir sternly shutting down a scuzzy scumbag phoning in to ask about his "too many bitches on deck" situation, as well as a lady who asks what to do with her skeezy boyfriend who texts other people "I want to rub my dick on your shorts" (WTF?). This plus all the emoji/subtext closed-captioning and adorable "Shamir shocked" faces is well worth the watch. Not to mention the fact that lil' Bailey actually doles out some great advice. 

Stop trying to find a reason to keep y'all together...IT'S TIME TO CALL IT OFF.

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Watch Mick Jenkins' Hypnotic New Slow-Motion Video for "P's & Q's"


If the last few years were any indication, Chicago would basically be out of young, promising rappers. Pretty much everywhere you look, there's a Chicago MC making moves, whether's any of the members of Save Money (Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Leather Corduroys, etc.) Alex Wiley, or Lil Herb, to say nothing of the more straightforward, now-practically elder statesmen drill pioneers King L and Chief Keef. But there's still a working fount of creativity in the city.

Mick Jenkins' EP The Water[s] was low-key one of the better rap releases of 2014, moving beyond its obvious aquatic metaphors (and debt to Kendrick Lamar) to tell a rich story supported by Jenkins' low growl. Now, he's back with "P's & Q's," the first video and track from his follow-up, Wave[s]. Produced by rising Chicago producer Kaytranada (who has also done good work for Mensa), the track is an alliterative slow burn, with a video (directed by Nathan R. Smith) that manages to succeed as an understated instantiation of the long-take trend. Embedding on the video is disabled, so check out the video for "P's & Q's" above and listen to "Jazz," one of the best cuts from The Water[s], below.

Image via Noisey.

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Decide if Jason Segel Makes a Convincing David Foster Wallace in the Trailer for "The End of the Tour"

The-End-of-the-Tour header.jpgBiopics are, generally speaking, bad. At their best, they don't really attempt to dramatize the life of their subjects, instead using historical events as a lens for an independently gripping story and clearly signalling an interpretation of a real person, rather than a hollow stringing together of details that fit into a traditional three-act structure. And a biopic of a recently deceased, widely revered writer should, on its face, probably be an even worse idea, without much of the critical distance required to extract meaning from a celebrated, complex life. But here we are, encountering the first trailer for The End of the Tour -- a movie based on Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, journalist David Lipsky's account of a five-day road trip with David Foster Wallace for a Rolling Stone profile that was never published. 

To its credit, The End of the Tour, which reportedly focuses tightly on those five days, isn't a full biopic. And it has a pretty good pedigree -- directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) and written by playwright Donald Margulies, the movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as the insecure Lipsky and Jason Segel as Wallace. (If you don't think Segel has the potential to play this part, catch him in the criminally underseen Jeff, Who Lives at Home.) Still, that doesn't necessarily alleviate justified anxieties about the possible ways one could misinterpret or depict the author of Infinite Jest -- anxieties that aren't necessarily alleviated, but are at least substantially muddled, by the debate surrounding the film's relation to Wallace's estate.

From the trailer, The End of the Tour looks, for good or ill, about like what you'd expect. It's hard to get a bead on Segel, or Eisenberg, really -- they're both such well-known actors, with such well-defined mannerisms, that it seems like it will be difficult, to say the least, for them to do the feat of biographical interpretation required for anything more than a vanity embodiment of celebrity. (Wallace's well-known cadences coming out of Segel's mouth sound a bit bizarre.) Still, The End of the Tour has received excellent reviews from its debut at Sundance, and if there's a certain hokeyness to it all, well, so was a lot of Wallace's writing. Maybe we'll all be surprised.

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Cher Stars In the New Marc Jacobs Campaign


Cher in the new Marc Jacobs ad by David Sims as seen in WWD today

A photo posted by Katie Eleanor Grand (@kegrand) on

Even the most cynical fashion people let loose a squeal of delight when Marc Jacobs appeared on the Met Gala red carpet with none other than the lady, the legend -- Cher. The non-stop parade of one-named divas -- Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna -- suddenly seemed a little less special next to the superstar who's been a household name for 50 years. So imagine the hysteria created in fashion circles today when the first photo of Cher in Jacobs' Fall 2015 campaign was leaked. The designer has a history of using celebrity models like Victoria Beckham, Miley Cyrus and Winona Ryder and for this campaign, he tapped photographer David Sims to shoot Cher in a dress and gloves inspired by Diana Vreeland's apartment. The image was unveiled in today's WWD as well as Instagrammed by Jacobs collaborator Katie Grand who creative directs all of his campaigns. Even in a season filled with other campaigns starring living icons -- Joan Didion in Céline, Joni Mitchell in Saint Laurent -- Cher and Jacobs leave them all in the dust.

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Miley Cyrus' Tweet Got a Netflix Show Renewed (Kinda)


Netflix's Grace and Frankie, which stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda (in an almost-9 to 5 reunion) as frenemies forced to support each other when their husbands (Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen) come out as gay and plan on marrying, was just renewed for a second season. According to executive producer Marta Kauffman (one of the creators of Friends), that decision might have been in part due to an unlikely source: Miley Cyrus, who tweeted in support of the show recently. All power to Miley Cyrus!

Except not really. As fun as it would be to believe that Miley Cyrus' Twitter was single-handedly responsible for bringing Grace and Frankie back, it probably was not. Every Netflix original series has been picked up for a second season, even the extremely bloated, terrible ones that no one watches, largely because the initial investment on making the show is substantial enough that there's no reason not to give it another few episodes to build an audience. (Particularly when Netflix isn't dependent on the immediacy of Nielsen ratings.) You'll also notice that Kauffman thanks Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer (and the man largely responsible for the fourth season of Arrested Development) before Miley. 

Sorry to spoil the fun, but there is another possible benefit to connecting Miley with Grace and Frankie -- maybe she'll get to act on the show's second season?

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Disclosure Premiere "Holding On," the First Single Off Their Sophomore Album

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.23.20 PM.png
The Lawrence brothers -- AKA Disclosure -- are back with a brand new track, "Holding On." The first single off of their much-anticipated (and as-yet-untitled) sophomore album, "Holding On" features vocals from Grammy Award-winning jazz singer, Gregory Porter. And though the track at its core is a dense 2-step loop with a nostalgic, '90s-tinged nod, it's greatly enhanced by Porter's velvety, jazz-ballad vocals, which seep into the song and amplify the bubbling synthwork to truly transcendent level. Listen to it below.

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Watch Jenny Lewis Exorcise Her Past With Some Help From Her Friends

jennylewis1.jpgBefore she was in Rilo Kiley or had her own successful solo music career, Jenny Lewis was a successful child actor, appearing in, among other things, Pleasantville, The Golden Girls, and Lucille Ball's last sitcom. Now, in the music video for "She's Not Me" (off last year's The Voyager), Lewis manages to put comic distance between her child self and her present, with assistance from several friends recreating her roles. Everyone from Fred Armisen to Zosia Mamet to Feist shows up in the video, which you can check out below. [Via Vulture]

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"We Wanted to Carve Out a Vision of Not Just What We Can Have, But What We Should Have": Inside 5 American Utopias

utopias1.jpgRabbit Island, photographed by Rob Gorski

Utopians are a diverse bunch. There's little agreement to be found across the broad landscape of individuals striving to transform society, save for two important factors. First, don't call them utopians; most of them hate that. Second and more important is the consensus that
society is fundamentally -- but not irreparably -- broken.

For many, the answer is to scrap it and start again. And there's some real hope that, given our collective knowledge, capabilities and hindsight, perhaps we can actually build a near-perfect world. Of course, the notion of what constitutes perfection is every bit as diverse as the individuals involved -- and so too is the question of what went wrong in the first place.

We reached out to five wildly different American organizations. Some are utopias of the mind; some are deliberately transient; one hosts a signature event called the "Strap-on-a-thon." Each is fascinating in its own right, and each offers a valuable lesson about how things could be different.


Rob Gorski bought his perfect world on Craigslist. "I happened to be at jury duty in lower Manhattan," explains the New York City doctor. "It was a Jewish holiday and no court cases were being argued. For some reason, my mind went to northern Michigan, because I have family ties there. I was poking around and it was complete luck that I saw a listing for an island."

After some hesitation and strong discouragement from concerned friends, Gorski purchased the 91-acre swoosh of forest -- located in Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area -- deeming it the perfect laboratory for some high-minded concepts regarding land development, society and art. The island became the namesake for the Rabbit Island Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to rethinking development. As a Manhattanite, the notion of continual subdivision is particularly troublesome to Gorksi.

He handily refers to Rabbit Island's driving principle as "conservation 2.0: the marriage of the Google map with Kickstarter and the nature conservancy. Using those three concepts, we look back on the history of our mistakes and try to figure out how we're going to redefine land use." Gorski asserts that technologies like satellite mapping and online crowdsourcing efforts, when combined with lessons learned from generations of land mismanagement, can lead to better models for land usage.

The space is also home to the Rabbit Island Residency, a rolling community of four to six artists a year representing disciplines from filmmaking to architecture to cooking. "We're creating a culture to give the artists the opportunity to come and spend time on a wilderness island. You have fear, boredom, awe, fish, lake, water. These rare things that we never get to experience anymore, you have them all in one setting." 

Fittingly, the artists must create something that will disappear once they are gone. "I think that's a microcosm for all of the decisions that we should be making in our daily lives. What am I going to do today? What am I going to make today? What am I going to sell today? What am I going to buy today? And whatever I choose to do, how am I not going to fuck up everything around me?"

utopias4.jpgCamp Beaverton after a rainstorm, 2007


It's hard to believe that, just nine years ago, Burning Man couldn't count a queer women's group among its ranks of hundreds of theme camps. There was no space at the weeklong celebration where lesbian and trans women could go to escape the trappings of male-dominated society. "Just as it is in the regular world," says the group's de facto spokesperson, who goes by the name of Glo.

Glo describes Camp Beaverton with the sort of reverence most often reserved for nonexistent places. But since 2007, it has been very real, if only for one week a year. "You can be whoever you want to be," says Glo. "You can dress or not dress as you want. You can explore your own boundaries."

The camp hosts thousands of visitors drawn from Burning Man's 50,000 attendees, according to Glo. Much of its popularity comes from the exposure it gained with the 2013 documentary Camp Beaverton: Meet the Beavers. "Now we've got this global community," says Glo. "We do relationship workshops, art workshops and sex-ed workshops. A lot of the workshops are for female-identified [people] only and are also trans-inclusive. There's a fisting workshop and there's a female ejaculation workshop. There's also our party, which is called the Strap-on-a-thon."

At the center of it all is the Beaverdome: "a 35-foot geodesic dome that is for women only, trans-inclusive. It's beautiful lighting and fans and pillows. You can lay out and there's safer-sex supplies. You can come and get away from the energy of Burning Man, which is similar to the energy of the world."

Once the week is over, Camp Beaverton, like the rest of the festival,  is broken down and packed away. "That temporary nature is really important," Glo adds. "After the week, it's all gone to dust, and you take that with you. And you also get to connect with these people the rest of the year. It's realizing that there are a bunch of amazing, crazy people who're just like you. These people that I have been camping with for the past seven years are some of my best friends -- my family."


"If you're going to break away from your government and found a new government," explains Joe Quirk, "you are, by definition, a libertarian." The Seasteading Institute has no official political position, but the philosophy has deep roots in the nonprofit, thanks in no small part to Patri Friedman, the former Google software engineer and grandson of American economist Milton Friedman.

Quirk, one of two full-time staff members and a self-proclaimed "seavangelist" who quite literally wrote the book on seasteading (due out in 2016), met Friedman at Burning Man some years back. "Patri explained that on a fluid frontier, if citizens are mobile, you would have governments competing to attract citizens," says Quirk.

The underlying concept of seasteading is a society of dwellings that can float from place to place -- a watery free-market society whose citizens drop anchor with the nation best equipped to suit their needs. What sounds like the basis of a Kevin Costner film took its first steps toward legitimacy in 2008, when Friedman co-founded the organization and garnered the attention and funds of Silicon Valley.

It's fitting, then, that he describes the institute's mission in tech startup terms. "Seasteaders bring a startup mentality to the problem of government monopolies that don't innovate sufficiently," Quirk explains. "I think of seasteading as a technology to let future governments evolve with a speed akin to other technologies."

The institute has already begun taking its first steps toward life on the waves. "We've initiated our Floating City Project," says Quirk. "That will be modular platforms floating in the territorial waters of a host nation, which will grant us substantial political autonomy." He also describes negotiations with multiple host countries, though he's unable to name names. "If these succeed and are economically and environmentally sustainable, it will set a good example that will attract innovators to solve the deeper engineering challenges of being on the high seas."

utopias3.jpgArcosanti, photographed by Alfonso Elia


"I'll be here," Jeff Stein writes as we plan our interview, attaching an image of a sunrise over a lush valley and the words, "78 degrees." Stein's not above a little bragging when it comes to Cosanti, a foundation he's been involved with since 1975, or Arcosanti, the "urban laboratory" it administers.

The foundation is the seemingly impossible dream of Italian architect Paolo Soleri, who arrived at its name by combining the words for "things" (cosa) and "before" (anti-). In 1970, Soleri began construction on a seemingly inhospitable patch of land in central Arizona, 70 miles north of Phoenix. The space would become home to Arcosanti, the experimental community Stein calls home, along with 80 or so year-round residents. "At that time, it was some really empty desert," explains Stein. "It allowed Paolo Soleri to begin making experimental buildings that had these spaces that connected them. It was an example of how you could live in the Sonoran Desert without burning a lot of fossil fuel to warm or cool yourself."

Arcosanti was unquestionably ahead of its time, a study in developing a society focused on sustainability. "It's an organization that thinks about issues in the opposite way of the Nike slogan, 'Just Do It,'" Stein laughs. "The Cosanti slogan might be, 'Just Think About It.' Think about how many resources are necessary, how it's going to change the lives of the people involved in it right now and what it's going to do to people seven generations out."

Arcosanti boils down to "understanding where you are and how to live in that place," Stein continues. "Not importing single-family houses out to the Sonoran Desert, but using your imagination and lessons from other life forms who are already living in the desert to create architecture that works in its place."

utopias2.jpgThe Feminist Utopia Project; artwork by Amy Jean Porter


"The idea for this project started a few years ago while Alexandra and I were undergrads and both of us were working on feminist causes that we care a lot about," Rachel Kauder Nalebuff begins. "We realized as we graduated from college that we would probably spend the rest of our lives fighting to maintain these basic fundamental rights. We were curious what it would mean as feminists to be fighting for demands that were actually visionary."

Nalebuff, who published a best-selling anthology of first-period stories at age 18, teamed up with Alexandra Brodsky, Feministing editor and founder of the student-empowerment organization Know Your IX, to launch the Feminist Utopia Project. Together, they started asking feminist writers, artists and activists to articulate their notions of the perfect world -- forgetting, for a moment, the real-life obstacles.

"We're not trying to trivialize the work of maintaining rights," Brodsky explains. "But we just felt that, because navigating today's political landscape is about making compromises and choosing between decisions that someone else has laid out for you, misogyny wasn't just restricting our day-to-day lives; it was restricting our imagination. We wanted to carve out a vision of not just what we can have, but what we should have."

In October, the project becomes a book titled The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. And while the pair might not be building an actual utopian stronghold anytime soon, Brodsky suggests that the exercise might be just as helpful.

"The writers, artists and organizers that contributed to the book, they're living in the real world," says Brodsky. "They're being catcalled on the way to work where they write about a world without catcalling. By giving contributors the freedom of not being politically feasible, that allows people to build their own islands in their minds."

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Here's Your First Look at the Point Break Remake


First off, you should know that I did love the original version of this film. Point Break came out in 1991 and starred Patrick Swayze as the leader of a gang of surfer/criminals and Keanu Reeves as a young FBI agent who infiltrates the gang. If you saw it, you'll remember two scenes: the bank robbery and the crazy leap from the airplane. For this update, Luke Bracey plays Keanu Reeves...sorry, that's Johnny Utah, and Edgar Ramirez plays Bodhi/Swayze. The new film also used every extreme-sports dude on the planet as stunt men and, while there is apparently still some surfing (and thievery), it looks like we'll get everything from rock climbing to BASE jumping thrown in for good measure. Coming on Christmas Day, 2015.

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All of the Best Instagram Posts from Cannes

Missing the spectacular red carpet fashion and swaying palms in your Insatgram feed from Cannes? Same. If you're still looking for your fill of beautiful movies stars in beautiful clothes doing fabulous things by the sparkling sea, we've highlighted a few overlooked accounts below that were a treasure trove of Cannes coverage, including photographer Greg Williams' ridiculously beautiful behind-the-scenes images and shots from the official Cannes account. Scroll through below and soak in the glamour..

Photographer Greg Williams' black and white portraits were stunn-ing. 

Cate Blanchett

Natalie Portman

Just Tom Hardy eating breakfast!

Benicio Del Toro and Catherine Deneuve looking ~chic~.

The official Cannes instagram account had some gems too.

#Redcarpet Youth by Paolo Sorrentino #Cannes2015

A photo posted by Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes) on

Jane Fonda

Antonio Banderas #Redcarpet #Cannes2015

A photo posted by Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes) on

Antonio Banderas

Les voix originales/The original voices of Inside Out (Vice-Versa) by Pete Docter #Photocall #Cannes2015

A photo posted by Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes) on

Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith. (Phyllis!)

Matthew McConaughey #Photocall The Sea of Trees (La Forêt des Songes) #Cannes2015

A photo posted by Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes) on

Bearded Matthew McConaughey

Lea Seydoux, Press Conference The Lobster #Cannes2015

A photo posted by Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes) on

Lea Seydoux

Meanwhile, Salma Hayek wines best Celebrity Cannes-Grammer Ever

This club sandwich went down in less than a minute. #Cannes2015 #giantsandwich

A photo posted by Salma Hayek Pinault (@salmahayek) on

Au revoir, Cannes! Until next year....

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