Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Sam here, and I've got something to share: today I had to repeatedly tell myself not to stare awkwardly as I was debating whether or not the girl in front of me, with golden locks and thick-black-rimmed circular glasses, was the artist, Aurel Schmidt. After waiting for the L-Train for a good ten minutes I came to the conclusion it was. Schmidt is one of my favorite artists, and therefore obviously is Canadian. She is 27 year old and back two years ago or so was written up in Interview in a piece about up and coming young New York artists. Flash to 2010 and Schmidt is currently showing at the Whitney Biennial, which will be up till May 30th. She is best known for psychedelic yet delicate illustrations of cigarette buds, condoms and surreal monster-like faces. In addition to all of this awesomeness, she just came out with a t-shirt line for Opening Ceremony with her illustrations and was on the cover of the November issue of Tokion with a giant banana covering her boobs (She's done some quirky banana smiley face drawings, hence the banana).
All in all Schmidt is adorable and I am still slightly overly excited that I saw her on the train- intermittently gazing up from the Vice: fashion issue I stole today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Art Attack: I Pilfer Because I Love...

There I was, in February of 2009, ('Picture it... Sicily') so confident that I'd never simply re-post the work of others. Here I am, in April of 2010, pilfering the crazy amazing artwork of my friends. My excuse? Can't help it I spose... I, dear readers, am an creativity clepto. While at the height of my stealing spree... here are some of the coolest works I've rounded up...

Amazing fashion collages from my new online friend, Mon Agenda de Mode.
Like DIY + Dada all at the same time! Bravo!

My friend (and header illustrator!!!) Lauren Tamaki made this Movie Map for an assignment. She mapped out all of the movies she'd ever watched - graphed their emotional effect - and made it look amaze all at the same time! Sheesh!

Tis all, folks! Stolen. Posted. Done.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reading Rainbow: Just Kids

The one thing I hate about reading a good book is that I seem to zoom through the lines and pages until the words basically slip through my fingers. Page 100, page 200 and then oh, shit... the void. This is the kind of experience I had while reading Patti Smith's recently released memoir of her life with photo god and unfortunate 80s-death-by-AIDS poster boy, Robert Mapplethorpe. While their relationship, first as lovers and then as friends, spanned almost three decades, Patti focuses largely on their first years together, when the two, mythical in their own right, waded the waters of the legendary New York scene in the late 60's and early 70's. 'Elders' like Andy, Holly, Lou and Bob weave in and out of the plot, catapulting the two into the big time.

I love that Patti shares the early years so candidly, that the two had nothing but each other, that they were so broke they could barely eat but managed on dreams alone. It's as if she's coaxing creativity, right? That after years of working in a creative field that's certainly not even close to as simple as 1-2-3, passion and undeniable talent really do get you somewhere! (It might not be the Chelsea Hotel, but it may just be Brooklyn, if you're lucky)

In honour of the volumes of work that the two produced together, check out some of my favourite Patti by Robert portraits below! No doubt you'll recognize some of her classic album covers (Horses, Wave etc), but knowing that these came out of the loving gaze of a friend is even better.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

WWOD: 2010 Census

I know, I've been the worst blog contributor ever. It's been months since I've said anything and now I'm back and, uh, complaining? Sorry guys - it's Robin, and I'm here now, and I'm going to try real hard and make it up to you!

Not only have I been missing from the blog, but so has our favorite man of power - Obama! Despite what all of nasty those critics say, we still think Obams is tops and has done a stellar job thus far in his presidency. That being said, we're going to revisit one of our very neglected sections and ask everyone's favorite rhetorical, not-so-politically themed question, What Would Obama Do?

On Tuesday, April 13th NPR (that’s National Public Radio for your Canadians) ran a story that I was a bit grossed out by it. Truth be told, I think Obams would feel the same.

If you listen to the piece – which I would recommend – you’ll find that it discusses how low the return rates are for the U.S. census specifically in large cities like New York, specifically in everyone’s favorite hipster enclave to make fun of and then frequent on the weekend, Williamsburg.

Now being a Greenpointer myself and therefore a nearby northern neighbor, I suppose I shouldn’t make too much fun of the 'Berg and for the most part I don’t. But here’s the thing, and listening to the NPR clip will really get you going with this one, the return rate for the U.S. Census in Willamsburg is 30%. If it’s been a while since your last math lesson, then I’ll have you know that that means that 70% of people in Williamsburg have not submitted their Census (Censei?) forms.

Being someone who likes to fill out forms (either I’m super anal about being organized or just so narcissistic that I enjoy answering questions about myself) I filled out this form in the first five minutes that my second level apartment received it. When I stopped to confirm with my roommate that she had no Hispanic origins, she requested I fib a bit and say that she did. On the census? No! was my answer. This is the census! If there’s one thing we’re not going to lie on, it’s the Census.

I’ll let the NPR story give you the rest of the info. Sure, they only talk to a few folks, and sure – a large percentage of Williamsburg’s population is made up of Hasidic Jews who are just as much to blame for not filling out their Census forms. The thing is, I’m not sure why the people of Willliamsburg – or anywhere, for that matter – can’t just fill out a quick form, pure and simple. Or really, if you’d rather, I’ll do it for you.

In this case, we hardly need to even ask "What Would Obama Do?" because the guy is the one who's asking practically asking you to fill out the form. But that's not the point. The point is that he would fill out the Census without even thinking about it because it's his civil duty, and it's just what you do.

So come on guys, do the damn thing and fill out that census!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shameless Self Promo... NOW Magazine likes My Style!

Check me out, y'all! I'm in this week's Style section of the Toronto-based weekly newspaper, NOW Magazine! Thanks to my friend Stefania Yarhi, who's got her own awesome blog, TextStyles, I'm looking like a bright and shiny new penny! Yay!

What's that? You want to see the whole feature? Here ya go!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How To Dress Like: Isabella Blow

With Gaga-mania at a fever pitch, it's hard for self referential fashion folk to remember that the highbrow whack-job look was actually patented and paraded by another of the industry's most unattractive leaders, Isabella Blow. The Tatler editor who was equally famous for discovering the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl, and her penchant for wiry, larger than life headpieces drank her way through a bottle of weed killer in 2007. The way I see it, the fascination with hats was simple enough, she didn’t think she was pretty and I guess if we were all as clever as she, there would be no need for botox – just shrouds, veils, poofs and dye.

Let's attempt to break down some of her most notorious photographed and front-row looks (ed's note: I saw her Chinese garden McQueen hat at the MET during the blogmode exhibit last year and I have to say, it's pretty near an original Da Vinci in my books):

1. Dress pretty normal from neck down. Drop a pretty penny though. Choose something tailored, slightly tight-ass schoolmarm, and most likely McQueen.

2. Look to your left. Grab the first object you see and put it on your head. A plate is fine, a mug would be better. A pack of cigs... even better.

3. If that don't feel hardcore enough for you, go searching for a plant or a live animal (a lobster preferably, as long as it's not slaughtered near Snookie).

This is actually a pretty historically relevant so extra points for you! (aristocratic women in the late 1890's - early 1900's wore full animals on top of their hats, raccoons, birds, rodents... oy vey!)

4. Tulle, chicken wire, or bubble wrap handy? Perfect veil material...

5. We're almost done, but let's not forget the finishing touches... know an up and coming totally brill artist-cum-designer, designer-cum-artist, rich boy-turned-rebel or rebel-turned poor boy?

Introduce them to your high flying life by bringing them to the castle of your friend, the Duchess.

6. Finally, stay away from pills and pesticides... we can't afford to lose another of fashion's greatest visionary whack jobs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

Were you guys a little disappointed by Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland? Is it just me or were expecting a whole lotta trippy and what you got was a messagy CGI children's story that kind of hurt your eyes? Regardless of how you felt about the flick, these recently discovered (to me at least) old-as-shit versions of the classic tale are goddamn amazingly eerie and unexpected... far from the cries of the techno studios, that's for sure. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Toronto Fashion Week, The Rest of It... Kinda

The rest of Fashion Week was sort of more about which shows I didn't go to, rather than the ones that I did, which was partly due to my intentional skipping out on the 'tents' and partly because of ill-Jewish-Holiday-timing (note to the organizers: Passover is kind of, like, a big deal...) Anyways, aside from my totally AMAZE recap for Interview, here's the only thing I cared about (or rather, feel like talking about right at this moment...)

Last Friday night, co-owners of the amazing Toronto boutique, Carte Blanche, Tania Martins and Dan Augustino both debuted their Fall 2010 in-house collections in videos at a throwdown free-booze party which looked more like an abandoned factory but in actuality was a condo showroom.

Pink Cobra's Fall collection was business as usual for Tania, as her eye (and hand) for ultra covetable LBDs and sexxxed up see-through oversized shirts was just as sharp as ever. Tania debuted her collection in the creepy yet sexy video 'Maneater' (directed by Derek Blais and Carly Bangs), where a model with the uncanny likeness to Tania herself chows down on what we are lead to believe is a human carcass. Eww. Ooh!

Together with partner Corey Gibbs, Dan's debut Cult de Laissez Faire for Fall was just what every toughed out whisky drinkin SOB (buying in 2010, mind you) could ask for. Low-crotched, bagged and black seperates that recalled Mohammed Ali and Alex Wang just the same. The video was like the 2010 version of those old Frankie Goes to Hollywood t-shirts (you know, Frankie says RELAX1) in hyper-speedy and hollogrammed form.