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Paper X Tumblr Present a #NYFW Bash With Jeremy Scott at the Moschino Flagship!

PAPERxTUMBLR_EVITE_V5-fans-signing.jpgFor almost two decades, Paper's current #LuxInFluxe cover starJeremy Scott has been ascending the runway ranks for his wild, whimsical, pop-culture-influenced designs that, gasp, have actually put a little fun in fashion. In 2013, Scott's star reached even greater heights when he was named creative director of Moschino and the rest is Cheetos ball gown history. Throw in his recent gigs designing the MTV VMA's moon man (as well as co-hosting the VMAs pre-show) and dressing pop stars from Miley to Madonna to Katy, and everything's coming up Jeremy. Our friends at Tumblrcouldn't agree more, and are presenting Scott with their third-annual Fashion Honor Award-- which celebrates designers whose work has left an indelible mark on fashion and the internet -- at the stunning Moschino flagship store this Wednesday evening. 

While the first half of Paper, Tumblr and Moschino's party with Jeremy is invite only, the second half of the evening, from 6 pm -7 pm, is open to everyone and will feature Mr. Scott himself signing his epic Paper cover.

Come on by! Hang with us and Tumblr in the Moschino store, and get your NYFW on.

Lindsay Lohan Pens An Essay On 9/11, Shares Thoughts On PETA And Michael Jackson

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 3.34.58 PM.png
photo via Instagram

On Saturday, actress/experimental poet Lindsay Lohan wrote an Instagram essay, sharing a few personal thoughts on September 11th with a semi-coherent ramble somehow related to Michael Jackson, PETA, Oprah and the Hollywood machine.

In between a slew of hashtags advocating forgiveness and love in what could possibly be applicable to the 9/11 tragedy, she puts a personal spin on it all by shifting the focus from New York to the LA/TMZ celeb-buzz complex, all amongst some excellent Daily Affirmation quotables ("the most beautiful life comes cheap") we think hint at the "personal strides" she's been making as of late. And while we're not 100% sure what exactly she's saying, we're happy she seems to be reflecting on her past lives and not killing deer in the process. Yay Lindsay.

Read the entire conspiracy theory essay below.

they always come back. I love you NYC 💋they always come back. I love you NYC 💋 #godblesstheworld #michaeljackson #rip miss you as my real only private friend. For you: god, for all hurts and wrongs, please let me forgive, Allah please let me be forgiven, and all forgive themselves. Please and thank you. (Someone I was with the night before several towers fell, it felt like not a curse, but more like a spell.. What we think in America is not always clear, we don't have @peta commercials / you just kill deer....with this being said, I'm a girl with a reputation mislead... Like a diamond in the rough, you, now, for 25 years have seen me on TV and screen.. So i am programmed 🔺to stand tough. Black or white - in life, rather than love we create a fight of an ideal situation of an unexceptional, yet unacceptable future that @TMZ @Eonline @HarveylevinTMZ & #harveyweinstein ..couldn't and wouldn't even care to describe any thought of the people we forget to help when a franchise film comes out and, If money means more than freedom- than stay in California. If helping others is a passion, talk to angelina jolie... If you want to be a brilliant actress, work wth Meryl Streep ...at the end of the day- republican or democrats --- BE HERE NOW @oprah and live with integrity. Or go to sleep. The most beautiful life comes cheap. Stop fighting and using artists for distractions. It's boring... 🙏 #UnitedNations

[h/t Jezebel

Rihanna Just Launched Her First Puma Collection With Grungy Creeper Hybrids

photo via Puma

Fashion icon and resident badgirl Rihanna has finally unveiled her first Puma collection -- and the highlight is this incredible grungy creeper hybrid shoe that's perhaps inspired by the GHE20G0TH1K kids. And despite a previous Rihanna phase that left a sour taste in the mouths of innovators such as Venus X, Rihanna's Pumas are undeniably fresh. Puma by Rihanna is available for pre-sale tomorrow via Puma's website and will be sold exclusively from a pop-up boutique at 312 Bowery Street in SoHo from September 15 - 17. 

[h/t Vogue]

Rihanna's #NYFW Style Evolution: A Timeline

Is there anyone more eminently watchable than Rih in our current fashion moment? A recount of her various #NYFW guises below would suggest no.

Rihanna-Rachel-Bilson-posed-Zac-Posen-September-2007.jpg2007: The Teen Queen Phase

Just call her @goodgirlriri. Here she is sitting pretty in a citrus bubble dress with OC sweetheart Rachel Bilson at the Zac Posen show in 2007. Possible ice breakers: Sidekick™ bedazzling, the can't-lose housing market.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 6.05.07 PM.png
2008: Nothing Comes Between Me and My Proenza phase 

Upping her fashion bona fides, Rih attends the Fall 2008 Proenza Schouler show and cozies up to icon Brook Shields; game recognize game.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 6.13.07 PM.pngPhoto by Patrick McMullan

2013: The Lady in Red phase

The key to a fashion week after-party look is matching your dress to the red solo cup as seen here at Alexander Wang in 2013.

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2013: The Weimar Cabaret phase

In here life is beautiful! Channeling a punk Sally Bowles at the OC show in 2013, you can't fault Rih for giving good reference.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 6.25.28 PM.pngPhoto by Patrick McMullan

2014: Bucket Hat Bad Gal

One of the best photos of Rih ever, snapped at the 2014 Alexander Wang S/S '15 show. No pants, no problem. She's just Bad Gal.


February2015: Hey, Baby Girl Phase
Dress? Children's top? Does it matter? The overwhelming evidence points to Rihanna being able to take a plastic bag and making it a showstopper, as she does in this whisp of a thigh-skimming baby doll dress at friend and costume designer Adam Selman's spring 2015 show.

February 2015: High Pony, Giant Coat phase

When in doubt? High pony, giant (Chanel) coat.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 6.39.41 PM.png
February 2015: The Serenity Now phase

So calm, so cool at the Yeezy Adidas show in February, which was one of the more circus like fashion week moments in recent memory, and what better seat mate for color commentary than Alex Wang

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Photo by Emanuele D'Angelo/BFA.com

September 2015: The No Comment Phase

Enough said.

Mr. Mickey's Fashion Week Favorites Day Four

Fashion addicts rejoice! It's NYFW week and our resident sultan of style, Mickey Boardman, will be presenting his daily fashion week highlights. Avant-garde sihouettes, eye-popping accessories, stylish socialites and well-built hunks: You'll find them all here. So tune in every morning to see the things that make Mr. Mickey flip his wig.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.46.36 AM.pngJeremy Scott was feeling the B-52's and John Waters this season. With the debut of the documentary Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer and his September Paper cover, Jeremy is having quite a month!

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.45.39 AM.png(And we had to throw in this shot of Sebastian Sauve looking dapper in black and white Jeremy Scott men's. Wowzer.)

WMagazine.jpgW Magazine and IMG Models had a wild dance party at 1 World Trade Center to celebrate their model contest and look who came -- the one and only Mariah Carey!

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.40.16 AM.pngZac Posen is known for his hard lines and extreme tailoring but this season Posen showed a softer, more relaxed side and I LOVED it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.44.33 AM.pngTommy Hilfiger did a preppy-rasta hybrid that was adorable and, as always, the set, complete with tropical island in the middle of a man-made mini-ocean, was amazing.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.38.22 AM.pngThreeasfour showed a parade of their wildly inventive separates and the menswear was particularly outstanding.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.42.22 AM.pngOur favorite look at Rag & Bone was this tangy orange ensemble. Like Anna Wintour, we love a little color!

ThisIsNewYork.jpgThe high-fashion party people, including Ladyfag, came out to This is New York at Tribeca Grand reminding style addicts that NYC is number one when it comes to nightlife.

BrandonMaxwell.jpgBrandon Maxwell, best known as Lady Gaga's stylist, showed a collection of sexy, super chic clothes at Mr. Chow.

Premiere: Kolidescopes' End Of Summer Anthem "Back To You"

Got the end of summer blues? We feel you, and so do Kolidescopes, the new duo of producer Dan Dare, who has worked with Charlie XCX and Marina and the Diamonds, and Australian producer Yeah Boy. "Back To You" is a (literally) finger-snapping elegy for "those days in the sunshine," but the soulful thump these two bring keeps things from getting too mournful. You stream it below while you get used to Autumn.

"Me and Johnny met when my manager's showed me his stuff and I loved his style. He moved to London from (Australia) and we got in the studio for a day, then ended up doing two or three sessions a week," says Dare. "We've made at least 10 songs together for Kolidescopes, which I'm sure you'll hear very soon. Lots more music to come!"

"Back To You" is available from Waxploitation Records as part of their new singles series.

Model Melanie Gaydos Takes to the Streets In This '70s Punk-Inspired Fashion Shoot

"I would like to make a difference for human beings in general so that they can achieve a deeper level of connection and understanding of themselves," model Melanie Gaydos tells us in a new interview. The rising model, who has a rare genetic condition called Ectodermal Dysplasia, is adding a much-needed breath of fresh air to the industry not only for her unique features but also for her thoughtful message and desire to inspire others. We had the chance to publish photos from a new '70s, punk-inspired shoot with photographer Amber Asaly and you can go HERE to read more about Melanie's thoughts on modeling, diversity and avoiding objectification.

Disclosure Enter the Hypnosis Chamber In New "Jaded" Video


Disclosure have been teasing songs and videos left and right in the lead-up to the release of their sophomore album, Caracal, on September 25th and today we get their newest video, "Jaded," which features vocals by the duo's own Howard Lawrence. The video is the third part of a trilogy that began with "Holding On" and "Omen" that shows what happens after a rave in the not-too-distant future gets raided. Here, we see one of the young ringleaders enter an interrogation room where she's greeted by a hypnotist while older, French-speaking men watch from a hallway outside. The video cuts back-and-forth to images of the other kids at the party -- as well as the Lawrence brothers -- and then winds up in the desert. Give it a watch, above.

Caracal is out September 25th via PMR/Island

Facebook Is Coming Out With A Dislike Button, But There Are Risks

Facebook Dislike Button .png
Photo via Tweaktown

Facebook will soon be getting a revamp, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier today that the popular social networking site will soon be adding the much-demanded "Dislike" button to their system. 

The button will provide users with the option to express empathy during upsetting or sad situations -- the kind where pressing the "Like" button doesn't quite seem appropriate. "Not every good moment is a good moment," explained Zuckerberg. "It's important to give people more options than just like."

However, there are worries about potential misuse, as a "Dislike" option could very well encourage cyberbullying and antagonistic sentiment re: certain brands and products. Because as Mashable brought up earlier this year, a "Sympathy" button may be a better option -- though we suppose only the trolls will tell. 

Belgian Superstar Stromae Choreographs A Struggle With Cancer In His New Video For "Quand C'est"

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Superstar singer/rapper Stromae is known in his native Belgium for creating gorgeous, emotive pop gems accompanied by unconventional video imagery, and his latest offering "Quand C'est?" is no exception. 

A unique choreographed take on battling cancer, Stromae spends most of the video skulking around a stage avoiding the hands of death that attempt to grasp for him from the background. A haunting, melancholic song in and of itself (obviously), the visuals feel immensely appropriate in their stark minimalism and shadowy starkness -- with Stromae channeling a puppet unable to shake the grasp of this uncontrollable and unpredictable disease. Watch the stunning video below.

[h/t Fader]

Asia's Obsession With Plastic Food Continues With #FakeFoodCore

photo via Taobao

Fuck NYFW, because from the continent that spawned sproutcore comes a bevy of new food-themed accessories (including tempura shrimp and dumplings) to amp up your hairstyle. 

Dubbed by our friends at Dazed as #fakefoodcore, we're thinking this has to be a continuation of Asia's love of plastic food, which has been the cool thing to put on phone cases, erasers and more for the past few years. And while our knowledge of these, uh, inedible accessories may have originated with items from Chinese mega e-retailer Taobao, we've also stumbled upon a Japanese online store solely dedicated to fake food items called Fake Food Hatanaka. Peddling everything from cookie barrettes to okonomiyaki headbands to buffet necklaces, we're pretty stoked to order one of everything from this site. Someone get a street style snap of my sashimi necklace when it comes, please.

photos via Fake Food Hatanaka



Gypsy Sport Designer Rio Uribe On Bros, Anna Wintour and Escaping to "Planet Haturn"

uribe.jpgPhoto by Jonathan Grassi

There's something special about Rio Uribe, a member of Paper's Beautiful People Class of 2015 and the young designer behind Gypsy Sport, one of the buzziest fashion lines currently based out of New York City. So special in fact, that after a studio visit, Anna Wintour made it a point to personally reach out to IMG to help fund and secure a MADE Fashion Week S/S 2016 runway show for the Los Angeles-raised wunderkind. The show, which begins at 2pm today at Milk Studios, is for more than just bragging rights, it will be a major factor as to whether Gypsy Sport, and not the nine other emerging fashion lines in the running, will bring home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award on November 2nd. Whether it's editors like Wintour or kids on Tumblr, Gypsy Sport has been getting fans left and right, who appreciate the much-needed color and playfulness that Uribe's designs are adding to the streetwear scene, one long-dominated by the moody, black-and-white palettes from brands like HBA.

While the artistry, skill and vision put into his clothes speak for themselves (Uribe previously spent six years at Balenciaga), it doesn't hurt that his previous shows and presentations have gotten gangbusters attention like his debut Washington Square Park Spring 2015 guerrilla runway or February's DIY "Cirque D'Sport" show at Clemente Soto Velez on the Lower East Side. We had the chance to visit Uribe's Garment District warehouse basement studio and talk to the designer ahead of his show. Read his thoughts on everything from the art of being a bro and his fantasy universe, "Planet Haturn," to dragonflies and the advice he got from Anna Wintour.

You've been working so intensely over the last year especially. Do you feel like you're in your own fashion bubble sometimes?

Yes, though I don't think it's a social bubble. I think it's more of an energetic thing. We call it "Planet Haturn," a space that's more mental than anything.

What would an alien being or any space traveler see after breaking through the atmosphere of Planet Haturn?

You'd first come through very iridescent clouds and gases. Once you get through that layer, it would look a lot like Earth, but there are rings around it -- you know, our symbol -- the two hats rotating. The continents are more like squares, hexagons and circles, very geometric. The cities would be palatial with futuristic architecture but with ancient references, like the pyramids.

And the people?

The people are us -- those who buy into the Gypsy Sport brand. We're accepting of everyone. It's not a classism type thing. I don't like the term high-end because that implies there's a low-end. I don't think that describes my Gypsy family and me.

AW15Campaign1.pngAn image from Gypsy Sport's Fall Winter campaign.

Do you think "high-end" and "high-fashion" are synonymous?

I like high fashion, I just don't like high-end, mostly because of the money issue. I want people to buy our special pieces for a few hundred dollars, but I also want people to be able to buy a cap or a T-shirt for their friends. This may force us to go more in a lifestyle direction, where we'll create things for your home or for sports or other activities, but that's cool. We like having to think outside the box.

Has the meaning behind the name of your brand shifted or evolved since you launched in 2012?

Gypsy Sport, before anything else, was about third-world sensibilities or about an artifact you'd find on another planet. It's not so much about "gypsy" or "sport" individually, but how the words, when combined, become something unique. You could put any noun, adjective or pronoun before sport and it could become something interesting. I think I've seen Poncho Sport, which I remember from my time in Mexico and I wanted my line to have that vibe.

What does sport mean for you?

Fun. Active. Ready to wear in the full sense of the word. Not necessarily evening or "occasion wear," which is a big thing. It's sportswear and streetwear at its root. Gypsy is about subcultures and how to target those I related to or belonged to without neglecting others. Gypsies, as people, go beyond race, gender, religion or nationality.

It's become more of an idea or a lifestyle.

It has that bohemian implication.

Have you ever received criticism over the political correctness of that word?

Yeah, but I basically tell them what I just told you.

Body image is a big issue in fashion right now. How do you approach body image with a word like sport in your title?

When I was young, I told myself that if I ever started a line, it would be plus-sized because I saw that my mom could never find anything to wear. I realize now that if I'm casting, the models just have to feel real. Sometime I think the clothing can be a little too dreamy, or tough to sell, but if it's on someone you would maybe see on the subway, it makes it relatable. That's what some of these "Nodels" are to me.

Would you say you're helping to take a little of the "bro" machismo out of sport?

We did a campaign last season called "Bromance" about two tight friends who are ride or die -- that was the alternate title -- who take an endless subway ride and get lost together. It wasn't completely a gay thing. It was a lot of things -- more romantic. Bro-ness should evolve, but it shouldn't lose its masculinity. No, you don't have to be a macho standard to be a bro. You can be an edgy, hot lesbian maybe. I don't know.

Gypsy Sport has blurred gender lines from the beginning but can you talk about the idea of doing a "women's line" and how that would stand in contrast, not only to your summer men's show for instance, which used all male models, but the brand's mission?

The whole genderless or non-gender specific design was almost an afterthought. I like the idea of designing for women as much as men. My process is built from divine inspiration in a way and then created with what resources I have, which is what gypsies do. I consult my team on most of the steps, and then when the piece is completed, my stylist Lester Garcia and I decide if it should go on a man or a woman. Sometimes we feel more butch or more femme, but it's never just for boys or girls.

Your benefactor is a Chinese immigrant who is helping to provide you with this cool working space and he had a similar benefactor decades ago, an old Jewish tailor who provided him with work and lodging. How mindful are you of this cool narrative and can you already see yourself doing the same a generation from now?

Aside from being alternative and global, I like that Gypsy Sport is American -- all these different nationalities helping each other out. I would love to see Gypsy schools or education centers where young people can learn a craft, something between the Ali Forney Center and Booker T Washington.

Let's talk about the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. You have so much momentum behind you. Tell me about the people you've been working with on the road to the announcement of the winner.

I had a very cool meeting with Ken Downing, who's the fashion director and senior VP of Neiman Marcus and also Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. They were so cool and honest to the point where I felt comfortable asking any question. They even tried stuff on.

How'd they look?

Pretty good. They made it work. [laughs] One of them had some interesting things to say about commerciality, the other about creativity, but I think they appreciated the balance we're trying to strike. Jenna Lyons came in, too, and hung out when we shot this campaign. She met the models. She was very cool.

AW15Campaign6.pngAn image from Gypsy Sport's Fall Winter campaign. 

Take me through the first time Anna Wintour came to the studio.

She came in with an assistant and Mark Holgate, who I really respect. He's also a judge on the panel. She looked great and wore her sunglasses and was super nice, sweet and genuine. I didn't feel intimidated at all, surprisingly. I was really able to pick her brain a bit and I think she had fun too.

What's the juiciest nugget you pulled from her?

She likes dragonflies. [laughs]

And she helped secure this show at Milk right?

In a major way. I asked her opinion about whether or not I should have a show. She said I absolutely should. I told her I was thinking about doing it here in the studio, atelier-style. She stopped looking through the clothes, pulled down her glasses a little and said, 'absolutely not.' [laughs] She sees something bigger for us, which is more validating than anything. 

Can we talk about a few of the "nodels" you've used in the past, perhaps one or two that have become instrumental to the GS family?

Absolutely. Fishbonez is one of the most influential break-dancers and circus performers out there and he really carries the GS brand with him. Also, I have to throw out Seashell's name. She's a really young, cool muse. I fell in love with her immediately.

Everyone always says it's practically impossible these days to be a young working artist in NYC -- studio space is too pricey, the rent is crazy -- but here you are doing it.

New York is tough for everybody. I think you just have to hit the ground running and don't sleep. There are always opportunities knocking at your door. You just have to recognize them.

This city seems to be treating you pretty well.

We have a love-hate relationship just like everyone else, but that's what "Haturn's" about. It's a rotation. It's balance. You take the good with the bad, but if you make the good really good, you can swerve the bad.

Scenes from Galore's Generation Bombshell Party With Kylie Jenner at Up

Last night, a gaggle of models and just generally genetically-blessed young people came out to Up&Down for Galore's 'Generation Bombshell' party with special guest, Kylie Jenner, the magazine's current cover girl. Kylie had support from her boyfriend Tyga, sisters Kendall, Khloe and Kourtney and friends Justine Skye and Pia Mia, who each performed live in the club along with Tyga. Take a look at pics from the night, below.

Kylie Jenner

Kourtney Kardashian, Justine Skye and Kendall Jenner

Sofia Richie

Shanina Shaik

Kendall Jenner and Tyga

Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and friends take in a performance by Pia Mia

Cotton candy courtesy of Wine N Dine app

Gia Genevieve, Jacob DeKat and friends

Meet the Gay Muslim Filmmaker Who Risked His Life to Complete His Pilgrimage to Mecca (and Made A Film About It)


Parvez Sharma is a gay, Indian Muslim filmmaker based in New York and known for his controversial subject matter. His first film, A Jihad for Love, was a documentary about gay, lesbian and transgender individuals in the Muslim world. His second and latest movie, A Sinner in Mecca, is about his pilgrimage, or hajj, to Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca in 2011, shortly after Osama bin Laden's assassination. Both filming and homosexuality are forbidden there, which made documenting his journey highly risky -- most of it was surreptitiously recorded on his iPhone. Sharma and his husband were uncertain he would even return.

The movie offers an incredibly rare insight into hajj for non-Muslims and delves into Mecca's surreal and contradictory world: Sharma goes from fighting his way through swirling masses of fellow pilgrims, to finding respite in an air-conditioned, luxury mall, right next to the Kaaba (the most holy site for Muslims, which they must face during prayers, no matter where they are in the world).

Surviving the journey did not completely allay their fears as Sharma now faces a considerable amount of hate mail and threats on a daily basis. The bold filmmaker talked with Paper Magazine about the undertaking, Saudi Arabia's secret influence on ISIS and what it means to have a Starbucks in the middle of Mecca.

The trailer for A Sinner in Mecca

Why now? What prompted you to do your hajj and make this film at this point in your life?

Well, number one, the hajj is my highest calling as a Muslim and I was fulfilling that and I was ready -- this was the right time. The other reason is that I'm a troublemaker and being the troublemaker I am, I thought being there a few months after Osama bin Laden's death and in the year of the Arab Spring would be an appropriate time to be in Saudi Arabia. It was a time of turmoil and change in the region and I wanted to be in the region at that time. As you know, bin Laden's Saudi Arabia's most infamous son. So, yeah, there are all these connections.

Did this pilgrimage and the making of this film help you reconcile your religion with your sexuality?

Yeah, I mean, I was okay with my sexuality already. I was done with that in my previous film [A Jihad for Love] when I came out as a gay man. This film is about me coming out as a Muslim and about claiming Islam, but this time on my own terms, and that's exactly what I'm doing. I even say it in the film.

You say in the film, "I've emerged from my hajj a better Muslim." Aside from fulfilling the ritual, in what ways did you personally feel like a better Muslim? Do you feel closer to Allah?

I definitely felt closer to God. There's a huge sense of accomplishment that happens to every pilgrim when they finish their Hajj, if they've done it properly, and I certainly felt that. Most importantly, I feel that I can now, having earned the highest title in the religion, I can make my voice heard legitimately this time, calling out for change. And this change is urgent and it's important and it's not happening. And the change within Islam starts from Saudi Arabia because that is where the problem is.

Parvez at Mecca.JPGThe filmmaker during his Hajj

There was this moment -- probably my favorite moment in the film -- where you're discussing the absurdity of a thriving Starbucks next to the Kaaba. I want to know in what ways you found the presence of this Starbucks symbolic.

Well, the Saudis and their Wahhabi ideology, which I'm extremely critical of, have carried out a deliberate destruction of Islamic history. And this has been going on for decades -- it's not new. What they're doing is that they're removing all of the history of Islam because they think remembering any of that amounts to idol worship [which is forbidden]. And they're building these garish shopping malls and seven star hotels in its place. So, for me, it's Mecca-Vegas. It's unrecognizable and it's very unfortunate that they're doing this and Muslims around the world are not saying anything about this because very soon, if the Saudis are allowed to continue, none of the history of this religion will be visible anymore. It's a landscape of destruction. Where you see the construction, I just see destruction.

When you talk about change and giving a voice to your religion, do you think this is what people need to be aware of -- this obliteration of Islamic history in Saudi Arabia?

Well, more importantly, I think the thrust is that Wahhabi Islam in Saudi Arabia is at the roots of the ideology for ISIS and, before that, for Al-Qaeda. And not many people know this and this is really important to point out, that this Islam is what the Saudis are teaching to their children in schools. That this Islam, of course, as I said, influences how ISIS thinks about the world. And, unfortunately, what the Saudis have done is that they have exported this version of Islam all around the Muslim world. And they have made Muslim societies, wherever they've exported this, increasingly conservative. So, the face of Islam has changed because of this Saudi project of Wahhabi Islam and that is what really needs to be confronted. That's my message in the film, at least.

And how have they been so successful at exporting it?

Because of the oil wealth of the country, which is enormous, and also because Mecca and Medina are located in Saudi Arabia. The king of Saudi Arabia appended the title "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" to his name. And that, for the Saudis, is the biggest thing: that Mecca is contained in their hypocritical and problematic kingdom.

A_SINNER_IN_MECCA_1.JPGA scene from A Sinner in Mecca

Do you feel the film achieved what you wanted it to?

It's a newborn, it is achieving a lot. It's getting tremendous reviews. But, unfortunately, there's also a huge amount of hate mail. I wake up to it everyday. And that is troublesome to me because it's happening so early in the life of the film and I'm still learning to deal with it. I expected that to happen maybe at a later stage in the film['s life], but this is all new and it's just launching into the world. And this kind of negative reaction and backlash I'm having from the Muslim world is making me extremely uncomfortable.

Is there anything that you would like the reader of this interview to know that isn't necessarily touched upon in the film?

That's interesting. [Pause] Well, Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the Ground Zero of Islam. And I say that in the film and it's the beating heart of the religion. Millions of Muslims make this pilgrimage every year and it is important for audiences or readers of your piece to know that this film is a call to action. And the action is that more Muslims around the world need to speak up against Saudi Arabia. There needs to be immense debate about how Saudi Wahhabi ideology is the roots of the ideology of ISIS and these are discussions that are urgent. These are discussions that Muslims need to have amongst themselves. And I feel that time is not on our side. I feel time is running out.

Does that mean that you are not optimistic about the future of Islam?

Well, I'm just one person. I cannot make a huge statement about the future of Islam and there are many kinds of Islam as well. But I think I'm not optimistic about things changing anytime soon because the Saudi project to export their Wahhabi ideology is even more successful than their project to export their oil -- and that is where the danger lies.

A Sinner in Mecca is currently playing at Cinema Village in NYC; you can also find more screening locations HERE

"That's Not Who I Am": Model Melanie Gaydos On Industry Objectification And Ectodermal Dysplasia

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.56.04 PM.png
photo by Yuki Takeuchi / via Instagram

NYC-based model Melanie Gaydos is having a pretty good year. In addition to walking several shows for NYFW and self-booking a ton of others, she's been inciting a flurry of press as of late for her success as a model with a rare genetic condition called Ectodermal Dysplasia, which affects her pores, hair, nails and teeth. Gaydos, however, refuses to allow that to define her as a model, actress and artist, which has also meant deflecting the tone-deaf reactions of narrow-minded agencies, photographers and fans. Check out our Q&A with her about single-handedly revamping model beauty standards and taking no prisoners in the process. 

So why did you start modeling initially and how? 

When I first started modeling, I actually started on Craigslist. It was just a summer job, because I moved to New York to go to Pratt for drawing and painting. This guy asked me to shoot at a club and it was my first shoot and it was actually so scary, it was one of the most nerve-wracking shoots I'd ever done, because I was so new -- but I looked at Craigslist because in New York City if you're like "indie" and looking for work, Craigslist is always a good starting point. I met a lot of really cool fashion photographers who were just looking for unique people to shoot. I guess a lot of people just take very well to me because they're so used to shooting your stereotypical lookbook models who are like really boring, so they're happy to meet me. And I knew that I could make money at it because all these fashion people weren't gonna find anyone else like me.

Do you have a favorite shoot that you've done? 

My favorite art photographer I've ever worked with was Christian Martin Weiss. We always do really fine art stuff that's really inspired by like Renaissance painting. And we just get along really well; if you look at my portfolio, probably 75% of it is his photography. His work is really dark and romantic, just like me. But in general, when I'm working with an art photographer, they're like "Oh, you're like the perfect fashion model," so I've realize that I'm really my own genre right now. I don't know, we all respond to things differently.

What about agency stuff?

I was talking to IMG earlier this year because after I walked in NYFW, one of the models was talking about me, so an IMG booker approached me. But eventually they decided I wasn't appropriate at the time. It's like weird for me to say, but I was really upset by it, especially since I've been told "no" all my life and I'm normally pretty used to it. But I guess I was just really excited for IMG because Kate Moss and all the Victoria Secret Angels are signed to them and I thought it'd be kind of my "in" to the fashion industry. But I'm learning that I'm not them, I'm my own person, even though I'm still open to an agency and applying to a few more. But I'm thinking more and more that it's not such a big deal to me, because I mean, I've already gotten so far and have done so well self-managing. I'm thinking I need a talent manager more than anything.

That's interesting. Everyone's been going crazy for "inclusivity" in the fashion industry as of late. What are your thoughts on that?

I mean a lot of fashion people actually don't work with me because they think I'm a gimmick -- like I'm just a trendy thing right now. And I admit there's been a lot of campaign in the last two years where they've had girls [like me] for the shock value, but then after that campaign, you don't see those people working with them again. You know the objectification is all a part of everything. 

The issue is people judging other people because they look at someone who they don't identify with [and it freaks them out]...I get so much fan mail, but a lot of it is like back-handed compliments like, "I came at first to make fun of you, but then I started listening to you...and realized that we're more alike than I thought we were. It just showed me how shallow I am and how uncomfortable I am with myself," and I'm like, "Oh, well I'm glad that your life is changing...". 

People have said that about some people like Miley Cyrus though. After all, there's been backlash for what some people interpret to be a faux-altruistic patronage kind of thing.

Actually [Miley and I] are friends. She followed me on Instagram a few weeks ago. Miley was honestly someone I wasn't sure what to make of --I didn't really like her up until this past year when she came out with the Happy Hippie Foundation. I think that's really cool, because she just started taking on more social responsibility. Before I was really freaked out by how she had like midget strippers on stage and the little person said that it was a miserable experience for her and that she felt objectified, while Miley said, "Oh, all these women wanted to be there for a reason. I was giving them a platform to truly be themselves and to own their sexuality." But I think over the past few months she's been coming around...even since she's writing to me. 

You also mentioned being in a rut earlier, right?

Yeah, I was mostly bummed out because I didn't really have a lot of fashion work going on here in New York and I've been working on a lot of film stuff like a lot of horror movies. Horror movies are really easy for me to do, but I only really like to do them in like a strong mindset, particularly if I have a friend on set. Otherwise, if I just show up to set, I get kind of stuck in my own [head]. I meet directors who love the shit out of me because when I'm put in a certain light...it's really easy for me to transform into whatever creature that they want. And what people fail to realize, even with fashion modeling, is that just because I look a certain way doesn't mean that's my life. I think it's just because other people don't get it because they're not living in my body. When I was younger, I was definitely sort of trapped in that because I felt like [horror movies were] where I kind of belonged -- there was nothing on the outside that I kind of identified with. It's what I related most to because I was in such a dark mindset, but now, I'm like struggling because when I'm in Fashion Week, like fashion models are like, "I'm really proud of you and your work" and "Oh, I really like your dark, goth stuff." And like, okay, maybe I have that image that I've retained and sure I can play it up, and maybe if I conform to that ideal I'll make a lot of money, but to me that's like selling out and that's not who I am. 

Do you feel like that'd almost be too easy? 

Yeah, I mean the horror movies are just like an easy thing for me. People who are doing horror movies, they see me and know I've done that before, but I don't promote it yet because I don't think people are ready to look at me and have an open mind. A lot of my career now is trying to convince society that, "I'm just like you!" And that's not something I live my life thinking about, but it is a large part of my career, especially in the fashion world. There are a lot of models that try to look like aliens now and it's cool to shave your head or whatever, and I'm like, "But I really am an alien and I don't have to try!" They think they can simulate that ideal without actually having to live it. 

Hahaha shit I do in the Hollywood Hills ;) <3 Ph. @juliashoots #imwaaayup #ifeelblessed #melaniegaydos

A photo posted by Melanie Gaydos (@melaniegaydos) on

Yeah, there has been a lot of that going around.

I think everyone's true motive comes out at some point, like a lot of people ask me what my childhood was like and yeah, my elementary school was pretty terrible. But someone once told me that a real friend would never ask you what it is you have [or stuff related to that] because they see you for who you are, and I totally agree with that. Obviously I'm in the fashion world, so I have to talk about this kind of stuff, but even today I have some people who I think are my friends and then they ask me something like that, and I mean I'm kind of like...it makes me think differently about them. I'm not a model because I have Ectodermal Dysplasia, I'm really not. Even when I first started art modeling, it wasn't even a thing that I talked about until I started doing interviews and it became this big media thing. Obviously, it makes me who I am today, but I don't feel the need to rest my head on the pillow of Ectodermal Dysplasia. I would like to make a difference for just human beings in general so that they can achieve a deeper level of connection and understanding of themselves, because I truly believe that if you're so comfortable with yourself then you wouldn't have a problem with anyone else.

Yeah, and I think you touched on it before like the objectification of your image. How does that make you feel, just being objectified in an industry that already objectifies so much? 

I used to be really upset by it, especially when I went to a fashion photographer and their end results were these scary, intimidating pictures. Now I don't take it personally because I know a lot of people just pick what stands out most to them, and I'm kind of the opposite of their life. But if I do a shoot and feel kind of fucked up about it, I'll take it as is 'that's what that photographer is and that's who they are at this time.' I used to think that a lot of fashion people, that once they shot with me, they wouldn't want to work with me again, but, it's the same exact thing with art people. With art people, they're supposed to be really open minded and creative, but they only [draw and paint] me one way...I think really great photographers can work with anyone and can take them as they are. It used to shock me a lot when I looked at photos and I looked like a creature or a dark fantasy character. I just take it for what it is, obviously I'm not that person. 

But obviously, they want to get that image so I might as well give it to them. But I've been learning how to make the best of that situation and it's really just about me connecting to the photographer as a person and trying to get them to see where I am as a person. I really want to do a swimsuit shoot, because it's something nobody thinks I could do. Visually, I'm like the opposite of someone like Gigi Hadid or Taylor Swift, but I'd like to kind of play with my own self-identification and morphing. Because I can be a chameleon and shift into whatever. Maybe it goes past the physical and it's a lifestyle thing. People are really into Gigi and Taylor because that's the lifestyle that they exude. You know, like Gigi is a Cali girl. I guess I just want my life to be like that so I'm not stuck with some darkness. I honestly feel like some people would rather me sit in the corner, in the dark, hating my life forever, because that's how some people respond to my life and modeling career.

How do you combat that?

This year, I'm really working on finding myself again. And that's why I started modeling, actually. I stopped wearing a wig when I moved to New York and that was a really big thing. I didn't know how to style myself or dress or anything just because the way I saw myself completely changed, because all my life I had like over 40 wigs. I wouldn't wear wigs every day necessarily, but just having hair was something to sort of hide behind. And I started modeling because I hated my life at the time and I knew I was at a plateau -- if I kept going in that same mental state I was at, I probably would've done something drastic. And that's something I do, whenever I'm feeling stuck. I really try to change it. 

So this year, I've been really working on being super confident with who I am and breaking new barriers. And it's really hard for me to do, especially with people who are my friends now in New York. A lot of people still don't get it, they can say they're so open to me and what I do...they really love what I represent, but they're not ready to actually take it in and apply it to their life and really think about it. Like I saw a Facebook thing about someone posting pictures of overweight people dancing and make fun of them and I was just like, "How can you possibly say that you're all about who I am and what I represent when you're making fun of someone?" It's really weird to see that a lot of people are like that. That they're just not self aware.

Click HERE to see exclusive photos of Melanie in a new '70s punk-inspired shoot

Watch Out: Your Twitter Thirst DMs Aren't Safe


Sliding into someone's DMs on Twitter -- hitting up their direct messages as a not-so-subtle way of maybe scoring some date/Netflix time -- is a powerful new form of networking with your body. It's a tentative step after months (or years) of thirst faves, a hilarious meme, and a handy way to expose creeps. And now, a class action lawsuit alleges that DM sliding isn't safe -- or, more specifically, that direct messages on Twitter aren't safe, because Twitter's algorithm reads and occasionally modifies them to increase its traffic statistics.

The Hollywood Reporter's story on the suit doesn't suggest any serious concern about employees of Twitter actually going in and reading the depressing, deeply thirsty DM you send at 11:47 PM last Friday night. But still, it could happen. And that should be enough for all of us to run scared back up the slide. If only someone could save us with a power slide....

Scenes from Bushwig

Bushwig, the three-day long extravaganza of glitter, off-kilter makeup, wigs, and face for days, returned to Brooklyn this past weekend with a celebration of all things drag and fabulous. Inspired by the original drag festival, Wigstock, Bushwig brought together queens young and old, traditional and more, uh, experimental to soak up those end-of-season summer vibes and performances by Macy Rodman, Big Dipper, Frankie Sharp and many others. Our photographer Santiago Felipe was on hand to capture all the madness -- take a look at his photos below.

Ivy Ferriya

Raul de Nieves

Felix And The Future

Jake (Bottoms)

Diego Montoya & Rify Royalty

Cherry Pepsi

Charlene (MC) & Horrorchata (Founder of BushWig)

Manifestany Squirtz

Merrie Cherry

Mark Dommu

Sasha Velore

Scarlet Envy

boy georgia

Mary Jo Camole-Toe

Twin Sisters

Junior Gaultier (Pup), Frankie Sharp & Tim Young

Lady Bunny

Reggi Regina


Amber Alert

David Serotte

Lana Del Rey Drops An Old World-Inspired Track Called "Salvatore"

Another day, another new Honeymoon track, because earlier today Lana Del Rey premiered her new single "Salvatore" on BBC Radio1.

Predictably lazy-hazy and oxy'd-up in its drawling vocal delivery -- this time Lana inserts a little Old World Italian flair with some solid mandolin strumming and a commitment to rolling her "Rs". A nice little number to soak up the last rays of summer with, for sure. Though maybe her publicist should tell her that at this rate she's gonna run out of songs pretty soon...


See Shamir Ride Around In a UFO In His "In For The Kill" Video


Shamir pays homage to the "Balloon boy" UFO hoax in his latest music video, "In For The Kill," which sees the young artist reading around in a Michel Gondry-esque UFO, crashing into powerlines and causing chaos as a result. The track comes off his debut album, Ratchet, out this past spring, and the video was directed by Anthony Sylvester who collaborated with the singer on videos "On The Regular" and "Darker." Give it a watch, above, and catch Shamir at Bowery Ballroom on November 16-17 with HANA. (For a complete list of tour dates, go HERE.)

[via Rookie]

Noooo: Facebook Events Have Read Receipts Now

ajaisdd.jpgWhat an awful day for tech news/our internet habits. First, Twitter DMs are potentially unsafe, rendering your thirsty "U up?" messages public, and now Facebook has turned on read receipts for event invitations -- meaning that if you get asked to attend your extremely annoying friend's birthday party s/he can now tell if you've looked at the event (or the guest list). There's basically no way of getting out of awkward questions about poetry readings, community theater performances, open mic nights, and improv shows. Everything is horrible. Just get used to auto-replying "sorry, have other plans" while raging with the fire of a million exploding suns. Or you could go louder...