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THE FUTURE ISSUE

DC’S BUDDING FASHION FUTURE

MELISSA

AUF DER MAUR ON OBSESSIONS

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

GRACE

JONES

FEARLESS FASHION ICON

GIRLS

CAN, TOO

5 Amazing Women Who Are Breaking Stereotypes

MS MR

CAVEMAN On the Future of Music

MOST-WANTED

BEAUTY


: K S A E W

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM

What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

HAIR, MAKEUP AND MARIAH CAREY James Cornwell, Hair/MUA, Stylist, Art Director Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder


PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CULTURE OBSESSED Editor-In-Chief & Creative Director

Jacqueline Law

FASHION AND BEAUTY Fashion Director Jenny McFarlane Beauty Editor Susan Linney Fashion Editor Sinta Jimenez Fashion Assistant Audrey Leon Fashion Contributor Emma Fisher Fashion Contributor Merin Guthrie Fashion Contributor Kat Hernandez-Linares Fashion Contributor Bridget Marowski Fashion Contributor Natalie Sieukaran Fashion Contributor Honor Vincent

MUSIC Music Contributor Megan

Friend

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

TABLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY CONTENTS

Film Editor Matt Cohen Features Editor Sarah Marloff A&E Contributor Caroline Cullen

Arts & Entertainment Photo Editor Joshua Feldman Contributing Photographer Jesse Fox Contributing Photographer Kate Reeder Contributing Photographer Sarah Kimble

ADVERTISING

Director Lisa Nobles advertising@meetsobsession.com

PUBLISHER

Meets Obsession Media LLC 1-888-588-2146 editor@meetsobsessionmagazine.com

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

Photo by Kate Reeder; Model; Tonita; Hat; authentic Peruvian; Earrings, The Chic Shack

See full editorial on page 42.

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What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

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PSYCHOLOGY

Michael Stahl-David & Michael Stahl-David, Actor Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder


Editor’s Letter

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Welcome to the February/March issue of Meets Obsession.  We hope you enjoyed our premier issue, and we’re excited to be bringing you our second issue.  The magazine is still in its infancy, and after getting off to a great start with our first issue, we have a lot of exciting adventures and projects on the horizon to share with you.

12 Living the Sweet Life:

How Three College Friends Changed the Entertainment Landscape of Washington D.C.

16 The Icon Archives: =

Grace Jones

Obsessions in Portraiture

19

27 Tech and Fashion:

Strange, Awesome Bedfellows

30 Have Does Washington D.C. a Future in Fashion?

A Look Inside The District’s Budding Fashion Industry

36 The Future of Music and the Modern Beauty’s Most Wanted: 9 Sinfully Stylish Mug Shots

42

Musician

54 Girls Can, Too

Five Amazing Women Who Are Breaking Stereotypes

59 Spring Trend Report 61 The Cult of Fashion:

How Reality TV Glamorized an Industry by Ignoring the Work

London Calling Peru

MO reached some important landmarks over the last year, including hosting our first “Obsessions in Portraiture” photo exhibit and launch party at L2 Lounge in Georgetown last October. Actor Michael Stahl-David and Musician Melissa Auf der Maur were among the many who participated in our series, which was photographed by Kate Reeder (see some great photos from the event below).   But although we’ve had a blast this past year, this issue is all about the future, both yours and ours. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it,” and that’s exactly what this issue is all about. We are living in an important time; a time of change for everyone. With technology and fashion fusing together like never before, fashion is redefining itself. Musicians are creating a different kind of sound—with old and new, and the use of technology. Culture is changing. These are exciting times for all of us, and we can’t wait to share with you some upcoming trends in the world of fashion and culture. In our latest issue, you’ll find in-depth interviews with modern musicians The Archive and MS MR, among others, in which they discuss the future of music.  We’ll also take you on a journey that explores the future of fashion as we look at the latest technology-inspired trends in the fashion world. But it doesn’t stop there. From beauty tips to our fave futuristic fashion finds, we’ve got you covered. And speaking of the future, our future at MO has never looked so bright… in the coming year, even though we will still maintain a website, we’re moving from a daily publishing blog platform to focus on a quarterly print publication, as well as developing more digital applications that will make MO more readily available for our readers who have smart phones, e-readers and tablets. What do these changes mean for our readers? It is our hope to bring you greater accessibility and the flexibility for viewing MO on a variety of platforms to help you keep up with current and future trends throughout the world of fashion and culture. From all of us here at MO, thanks for your continued readership, and welcome to our future…enjoy!

Photos from the obsessional photobooth at Meets Obsession magazine’s “Obsessions in Portraiture” photo exhibit and launch party at L2 Lounge in Georgetown. Photos: Sarah Kimble

Jacqueline Law

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

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MY DAUGHTER

Melissa Auf der Maur, Musician Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder


: K S A E W Obsessions

BOOKS

otographed re Series Ph

in Portraitu

SURFING

Svetlana Legetic Founder, BYT.com

Kurt Braunohler Comedian, TV Host

DAN ST. GERMAIN

NEW YORK

Dan St. Germain Comedian

der

by Kate Ree

Sophia Chang Illustrator

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

STORAGE

Susannah Hornsby Writer, Blogger

MAPS

Dash Speaks DJ

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: K S A E W

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What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

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CATS

Saryn Chorney, Editor-in-Chief of Pawnation.com Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder


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What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

SPANDEX

Adira Amram, Performer Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder

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What Are You Currently Obsessing Over?

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SHOES

Victoria F. Gaitรกn, Artist Obsessions in Portraiture Series Photographed by Kate Reeder


Carven

$695, jades24.com

CAP IT!

Marni

$299, barneys.com

Spotted on every fashionista worth talking about, cap-toe shoes are one of this season’s hottest trends. From high heel pumps and booties to loafers and flats, the style can be translated into any shoe type.

Pour La Victoire $210, shopbop.com

Cap it off with our roundup of our seasonal shoe favorites.

L’Autre Chose

- Jenny McFarlane

$198, YOOX.com

Elizabeth and James

Zara

$325, shopbop.com

$100, zara.com

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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Left to right: Sweetgreen founders Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru. Photo: Kate Reeder.

Living the Sweet Life How Three College Friends Changed the Entertainment Landscape of Washington D.C. 12

Starting a business is a lot like starting a band. It takes more than a few dedicated individuals working hard to achieve a common goal, it takes more than hours of practice and a 24/7 commitment, and it takes more than living your values day in and day out. It takes a unique and rare chemistry among one another; a creative ebb and flow of ideas that can only exist between like-minded individuals. Of course, it takes all of those other things as well.

But as Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman -- founders of D.C.’s salad and culture titan Sweetgreen -- will tell you that above all else, it takes a special working bond among one another in order to succeed. “Really, it’s recognizing the value of the people you surround yourself with,” says Jammet. “It’s all about finding a perfect complement to your skill set.” In five short years, Sweetgreen has grown from a quaint, trendy but tiny M Street salad shop in Georgetown to something of a local phenomenon, with 13 restaurants

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

spanning three states and the District of Columbia.

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

It also puts on one of the area’s biggest and best music festivals, the Sweetlife Food & Music Festival, which, in the three years of its existence, has featured performances from the likes of The Strokes, Crystal Castles, The Shins, Kid Cudi, Avicii, Explosions in the Sky, Fitz and the Tantrums, Hot Chip, Lupe Fiasco, Girl Talk and tons more. But how did three wide-eyed business school kids go from squeezing every last dime into a 500-squarefoot salad shop in Georgetown to the District’s hottest young entrepreneurs and festival planners? Well, it took hours upon hours of hard work, dedication and perseverance, sure, but as Neman points out, “It all started with our love of music.” A love of music and a love of food, of course. Neman, Ru and Jammet first met at Georgetown University, where they were all enrolled in the business program. As freshman, Neman and Jammet were neighbors in the same dorm, and they soon became friends with Ru through classes. The three quickly “bonded over food, or rather, the lack of good food in Georgetown,” Jammet remembers. As Business majors the three of them all took the same entrepreneurship class, which would eventually inspire them to come up with the idea for the first Sweetgreen. “There was no place in the area to go eat healthy, good, trans-

2011 Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. Courtesy Photo.

parent food in a cool setting, so we thought, ‘Let’s build one ourselves,’” Jammet recalls as one of the earliest ideas for developing a plan to open up a restaurant together while they were still in school. Jammet also says that all three of them “came from entrepreneurial backgrounds...and from an early age[they] all found the value in that.” Thus, the idea for all of them to go in on opening their own restaurant at such a relatively young age never seemed far-fetched to them. Come senior year, Jammet, Neman and Ru began moving forward with their restaurant plan. “The first thing we did is make tshirts that said ‘Sweetgreen’ and

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

started wearing them every day,” says Jammet. “None of us had many classes senior year, so this project became our focus.” As self-proclaimed foodies and purveyors of wholesome, healthy living and local produce, they had an idea of what they would serve, and the angle they would take would become the Sweetgreen menu we know today. But their first big stepping stone was to find a place to house their new restaurant. Neman lived across the street from a vacant store space that was a perfect location for the first Sweetgreen. But locking down the location was no easy feat. “We found this perfect place on

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

LTURE OBSESSED

2011 Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. Courtesy Photo.

33rd and M Street; Jon kept trying to call the landlord, but she wouldn’t take a meeting with us,” remembers Jammet. “She thought we weren’t serious because we were so young, so Jon called everyday for something like 30 or 40 days, and finally she agreed to take a meeting as long as we stopped calling her.” Of course, that meeting would prove to be a monumental one for the trio, as something about Jammet, Neman and Ru sparked something in the landlord, and she told them to come back with a proper business plan and they’d talk. Soon after, they started negotiations with an architect and began looking for investors for their restaurant, which also proved to be more than difficult. “Proving your business to someone when they’re going to write a check is a huge thing,” Jammet says.

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But they were victorious in their efforts. Jammet remembers, “We raised the money and opened our store, a little later than planned, about two months after graduation.” The Georgetown location became a huge success, and the trio was looking to open a second location in Dupont, but they knew if their business was to succeed it would have to become more than restaurant. It had to become a brand. “Music, from day one, was a really important part of the company,” Jammet recalls. “There’s an emotional connection with music, so we wanted to create that same connection with food in our stores,” adds Neman, and this was to become a central part of Sweetgreen’s success. Neman recalls the early days after the opening of the Dupont Circle location being difficult; no one was coming. “So we decided to buy a gi-

ant speaker from Guitar Center and start playing music outside to attract people.” He adds, “We pointed the speaker towards the circle and started blasting music and invited our friends to come check it out, and it created this energy.” They did this a few weekends in a row, and it became a huge hit. Soon they decided to put on a full-on block party in an empty parking lot behind Dupont Circle and booked some DJ’s and local bands to play. It was a smashing success. They then decided to take it to the next level and put on a music festival in the same lot. They booked smaller local bands alongside national acts like Hot Chip and U.S. Royalty in what was the inaugural Sweetlife Festival. But the next year they went even bigger, booking Merriweather Post Pavilion as the venue and The Strokes, one of Neman, Jam-

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met and Ru’s favorite bands, as the headliner. It was a huge success.

them, is the most successful thing we’ve done,” he adds.

gether as friends, partners and as a company.

But for Jonathan, Nic and Nathaniel, the success of Sweetgreen and the Sweetlife Festival goes beyond a successful music festival and a number of locations to the values they promote.

There’s no question that the future is looking bright for the Sweetgreen guys.

“It really is like a band,” Neman adds, “you need chemistry to work off each other.” 

“If you ask what the Sweet life is,” says Jammet, “it’s the intersection between passion and purpose.” Two years ago, the trio came up with a list of core values that defined the company, a move that has become the basis for Sweetgreen’s unique brand. According to Jammet, the values “were things that [we] always talked about and taught our employees, and as we started to grow, we wanted to put these down on paper to ensure that every decision we make goes through these filters...having these core values, understanding them and owning

They just opened their seventh D.C. location at City Vista downtown, and I’m sure they have plans to open more locations, but for the time being, nothing is set in stone.

- Matt Cohen

As Jammet puts it, “We like to let things grow organically out of our core business,” which is how the Sweetlife Festival got started. Like a band, Sweetgreen started out of a shared “love of music,” says Ru, and as a band their work is completely organic. They bounce ideas off each other, and if it feels right, they go for it. It’s a method that’s proven successful for them in the past and is sure to be successful for them in the future, because they trust each other, and trust their abilities to grow to-

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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n o ic s e v i rch A

Ph

Grace Jones is an unmistakable beauty with an unapologetic style; the ideal formula for icon status: strength, power, eye and individualism. She’s too cool to care what anyone else thinks (about her, or otherwise). She is the kind of woman who, when questioned by The Guardian about a request to collaborate with Lady GaGa, quipped: “I’d just prefer to work with…someone who is not copying me.” Her penchant for outlandish exhibitionism has made an impression worldwide. When Joan Rivers asked Jones about her wildest costume, she throws out the time she flashed a prime minister while wearing only a necklace made of animal teeth at a Parisian party. The word “fierce” was made for Grace. She began her business as a model and quickly catapulted to fame with a top 10 music career in the late ‘70s. She went on to see success in her role as an actress, including her brief and memorable appearance as alter ego Strangé in Boomerang, an Eddie Murphy movie from ’92.

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r Studio

vens fo

rie Ha oto: Ma

collection is copping Grace’s style? Maybe, yes. Find the video for Grace’s 1981 “Pull Up to the Bumper” where she sports a remarkably familiar slim-fitting, cropped pantsuit. Take a cue from this artist and erase your fear of judgment from peers and acquaintances.

Photo: Marie Havens for Studio Havens

She approaches style with an aggressive, raw bent – lots of skin (hers or whatever pelt she favors at the moment), spandex, black, red and chrome. Grace is concerned with standing out, not fitting in. Just ask famed photographer John Paul Goude, who partnered with Grace to put on a Halloween show in ’78 that featured raw meat (GaGa, what?) and a Bengal tiger.

Try marrying her love for anything geometric and leather - then push it further. Grace gives us permission to go over the top; none of this Coco Chanel, “Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry.” Grace is no lady, there is no teatime. Put down those white gloves and pick up that fierce attitude. 

Could we venture as far as to say Prada’s Fall 2012 Ready to Wear • MEETSOBSESSION.COM

- Pleatherette DC

s

Haven


THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

Lizzie McQuade Nadine Comb $128, Boticca.com

Embellished Gold and Silver Jacket $137, Missselfridge.co.uk

Photo: CHR!S

Maison du Posh Metallic Python Leather Knuckle Clutch $998, Forzieri.com

Studio

Vivienne Westwood Resin Armour Ring $148, Farfetch.com

Pho

ns for e Have to: Mari

Enio Silla for Le Silla Booties $245, Yoox.com

Haven

s

Alexander McQueen Stirrup Buckle Black Suede and Leather Boot $711, Shirise

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| THE FUT URE ISSU E MEE TS OBS ESSI ON MAG AZIN E | WIN TER /SPR ING 2013

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CULTURE OBSESSED

FEATURE

CREATURE KNITS Take a walk on the wild side this season by adding a creature sweater to your wardrobe mix. UMPER WOLF J rt take R E F P LU pop-a ARKUS be.com offers a

Cheeky and grown-up, these knits are a welcome departure from the floral prints that have recently ruled the runways. We especially love how transitional they are for the warmer, but still cool, spring months.

wardro Lupfer Markus wolf. $336, Myd a b , ig on the b

M

MULBERRY

OPENIN Show off G CEREMON Y SWEA yo TER sweater ur mischievous from Op s ening C ide with this ere Openin gceremo mony. $135, ny.us

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MONSTER SW Mulberry’s sh EATER aggy monster comes to life in slouchy sweats this soft, hirt. Who knew ogres could be so chic? $308, Mulberr y.com

TER WEA a sly S A I d ARS t an -INT louchy fi X O s F m ND as a TLA eater h orter.co R O p w P s S a l L o WIL , Net d wo N & al-hue tif. $215 I B AU oatme ox mo f This • MEETSOBSESSION.COM

- Kat Hernandez-Linares


: D E T N A W T S O BEAUTY’S SM s t o h S g u M h s i l y t 9 Sinfully

MO has launched a manhunt for nine glam gals who are running fashionably amok. It’s beauty bedlam, and we’ve put out APBs—and will stop at nothing to nab these unlawfully chic ladies. Keep your eyes peeled; the fugitives are so wickedly trendy we’re almost considering joining their gang. Which begs the question:

Are these ladies criminally insane, or just crazy, sexy cool? PHOTOGRAPHY: Jesse Fox MAKEUP: Rachel Lisa for MAC Cosmetics HAIR: Katie Brown DeLong for Parlour Salon WARDROBE: Bessi Bruns for On The Prowl Vintage MODELS: Anh Tran, Ashley Marie Bowman, Kayla Essex, Kelsey Tadlock, Nomi Boutross, Riana Topper, Taylor Thompson - Susan Linney

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VANESSA “FOXY CLEOPATRA” LAWSON MO-0FXY857-3 DOB: 6-17-87 HT: 5FT 5IN

WANTED FOR: PACKING EXTREME WHITE HEAT

Don’t let her Beyonce-in-Goldmember style fool you. This suspect’s brightening white eyeliner, presumed to be Stila’s Empress Smudge Stick, will stop you dead in your tracks. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Empress, $20, Stilacosmetics.com

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: D E T N A W T S O M S ’ Y T U A E B Mug Shots h s i l y t S y l l u f n i S 9

MARY “MOD OVER MATTER” MICHAELSON MO-0XT751-1 DOB: 8-23-89 HT: 5FT 9IN

WANTED FOR: CRIMINAL MOD MISCHIEF Known for rocking ‘60s styles and defacing modern fashion, suspect was last spotted on the run in these cool Jeffrey Campbell Platform Boots. Jeffrey Campbell What Shoe in Blue Nubuck, $100, Singer22.com

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RITA “COLOR CRAZY” WORKMAN MO-06CRZ1-6 DOB: 7-10-90 HT: 5FT 6IN

WANTED FOR: WILLFUL FAILURE TO FOLLOW FASHION RULES Defying all mainstream fashion edicts, suspect was last seen sporting a heavily smudged smoky eye in three shades of Too Faced’s Exotic Eyeshadow. Too Faced Exotic Color Intense Eye Shadow Singles, $18 each, Toofaced.com

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LUCINDA “RETRO RED” JONES

MO-22XY751-9 DOB: 10-09-89 HT: 5FT 7IN WANTED FOR: CRIMINALLY CRIMSON LIPS Suspect was last spotted at a downtown department store, working the MAC counter for extra samples of Ruffian Red. Mac Cosmetics Ruffian Red Lipstick, $15, Maccosmetics.com

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TINA “SLEEK AND SMOOTH” CRAWFORD MO-2XBZ731-0 DOB: 05-13-92 HT: 5FT 8IN WANTED FOR: DEFYING FRIZZ She’s way too stylish to be an innocent beauty bystander. Suspect is armed with an amazing, geometric mane, which she’ll protect at all costs. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Cream, $4, Drugstore.com

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FAYE “GRUNGY” FRANK

MO-2XBZ731-8 DOB: 05-13-92 HT: 5FT 8IN WANTED FOR: INDECENT 1990’S-ERA EXPOSURE Suspect was last seen wearing wine-stained lips and plenty of flannel, picking up a vintage pair of Dr. Martens. Dr. Martens Tadita Black Darkened Mirage Boots, $140, Dmusastore.com

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JULIE “PLUM PRINCESS” JAMIESON MO-0MCX857-9 DOB: 1O-31-89 HT: 5FT 6IN

WANTED FOR: DISORDERLY VICTORIAN-GOTH CONDUCT Suspect has concocted a drop-dead gorgeous mixture of Gothic style and Victorian-era chic. She fashionably conceals her fingerprints behind these Lanvin Leather Gloves. Lanvin Lambskin Opera-Length Gloves, $1,175, Bergdorfgoodman.com

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CINDY “TOO PRETTY IN PINK” CHAPMAN MO-07PYT1-4 DOB: 8-07-90 HT: 5FT 8IN

WANTED FOR: POSSESSION OF EXTREME PINK HUES Suspect is reportedly Sanrio obsessed and goes nowhere without her NARS Yorokobi Super-Orgasm Set. NARS Yorokobi Kabuki Super-Orgasm Set, $39, Narscosmetics.com

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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KAREN “CRAZY CAT-EYE” SILVA

MO-05PL51-7 DOB: 2-22-87 HT: 5FT 6IN

WANTED FOR: UNLAWFULLY LONG LINER LENGTH

Suspect has a history of liquid liner abuse and is considered dangerous—when armed with Benefit’s Magic Ink Eyeliner. Benefit Magic Ink Liquid Eyeliner, $20, Sephora.com

WARNING: Suspects may be heavily armed with this season’s most-wanted beauty products.

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Get your shovels ready, ladies, because it’s time to start digging for gold. The shiny hue is everywhere, and we’ve got a plethora of gleaming treasures to uncover. Give any outfit a glam overhaul with these coveted, gilded creations.

BE BOLD

This Hervé van der Straeten statement necklace will ensure your neckline gets the attention it deserves. $1470, Neimanmarcus.com

SHAPE UP

An interestingly shaped bag, like this gold pyramid wristlet by Jil Sander, always makes for a great conversation piece. $520, Stylebop.com

GO COVERT

You can keep your compact at home with this hidden mirror ring from Maison Martin Margiela. $490, Stylebop.com

GO TRIBAL

This southwestern-inspired Pamela Love cuff will look dazzling with almost everything! $1,025, Pamelalovenyc.com

ADD ALTITUDE

We’re obsessed with these scaled gold platform pumps by Alexandre Birman. $950, Alexandrebirman.coms

JINGLE ALL THE WAY

This Anya Hindmarch clutch is sure to make a statement —its flap is covered in beautiful metal bells. $1435, Anyahindmarch.com

- Jenny McFarlane

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FRINGE BENEFITS

For a super luxe look, try wearing this pair of Aurélie Bidermann Zia earrings with a simple and sexy black dress. $850, Aureliebidermann.com


THE ROAR OF THE 20S:

HOW TO GET GREAT GATSBY GLAM It’s official: The countdown to Baz Luhrmann’s big-screen adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is on. While we wait for this shiny and stylized take on the classic Jazz-Age tale, we at MO are getting seriously obsessed with the era. So channel your inner flapper with us and check out our top picks for getting Gatsby glam. The delicate art deco design on these bottles screams Great Gatsby style. And all three fragrances smell divine - they’re citrusy, spicy, and magically musky. $135, Nordstrom.com, select Nordstrom stores

Perfect a dark, bold eye with this black lash-boosting mascara.

$23, Sephora.com

Ev so ery sh me s roar ap er ing er iou 2 0 an d b s fla s pa lus ppe rty h. r s gir $4 p 0, ark l ne e M all le w ds a yb ea ith t go uty h o .co is t d-t rip im m le e g po lo wd w. er Giv hig e y hli ou gh r f ter ace ,

Sexy, smokey eyes were a staple of this champagnesoaked party period. Get the look with this shimmering grey shadow. $8, Lorealparisusa.com

You can’t be a 1920’s star brows. We love this hi let without beautifully ghly pigmen sh doubles as ted pencil th aped a brow brus at h. $48, QVC.

This violet-hued powder produces an amazing matte finish. And the oh-so-sweet compact looks like something right out of Jordan Baker’s purse.

com

Capture Daisy Buchhanan’s polished pout with this deliciously creamy, crimson-colored lipstick. $19, Tigiprofessional.com

$22, Besamecosmetics.com

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- Susan Linney

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These shiny high-top wedges from ASOS could be from another dimension. $76, ASOS.com

ith nal w o i s imen ee d e-future g. r h t Go -th rin oho from this g Lotoc oma.com r in look Luisavia , $873

9 FAB FUTURISTIC

FASHION FINDS

urn f Sat this o s g rin with r the ur neck lar. $17, a e l W o S co nd y arou gold ASO rose .com S O S A

Princess Leia meets the twentyfirst century—couldn’t you see her wearing this Miss Selfridge dress? Missselfridge.com

with Maison Accessorize smartly ofold bracelet. Martin Margiela’s tw margiela.com, $390, Maisonmartin Stylebop.com

Get intergalactic-chic with this Daniella Kallmeyer dress. $455, Daniellakallmeyer.com

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- Bridget Marowski

o u look t co as yo e-gold is d o t od os Give a n in Topshop’s r p.com e r h u t s , Top o the fu 0 2 1 $ . s t or panel sh

h Lucia pen wit . $531, o e id w d studs ur ears Keep yo i’s spikey, curle viaroma.com lch luisa Odesca hi.com, c l a c s e Luciaod

iss n’t m . a c t foils s tha c kis allic lips i m s t me a co Blow ip Rock’s L with auty.com e $6, B

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N O I H S A F D N A TECH , Awesome Bedfellows Strange

United Nude’s 3D Lo Res Shoe design

Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Though what first comes to mind when you think of technology may not be soft fabric and gowns, it is one of the most interesting new frontiers of tech. And looking at the lines that have cropped up in the past decade, it’s hard to argue that technology hasn’t added something a bit magical to fashion. Once fashion moved in to the realm of mass production, it was a short road until the industry started developing as quickly as technology—nylon, rayon, elastic, polyester and spandex are all relatively new fabric innovations (late 1800s-mid 1900s) that made entirely new cuts and shapes of clothing possible. We’ve since moved on from the plastic age, and now from the runways to flash sale sites to the corporate offices of Pepsi, designers have been embracing the new methods of design and production available to them with the sophistication of computers and computer graphics. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important digital revolutions to have hit the fashion industry since 2000, and the programs,

machines and designers that made them happen.

PRINTS IN 3D

Being able to print out a necklace isn’t something most people would find necessary. But since the invention of the 3D materials printer and the sophistication of CAD and design programs, designers have been using a technology meant to print circuits, for shoes and jewelry. Nervous System creates jewelry and housewares based on biological patterns—algae, neurons and xylem—that are coded and printed rather than sketched and sculpted. The results are impossibly lacy cuffs, and earring and necklaces that look just like microscope slides; something that has never been done, and has never been possible before. The company also has a revolutionary approach to sharing design: they publish their programs (the equivalent of a blueprint or pattern for their pieces) for anyone with a 3D materials printer to use and replicate. Another company to utilize computer programming in their designs is United Nude. Though they do carry more traditional footwear, their most recognizable and iconic

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shoe, the Lo-Res, is created using a digital modeling technique that cuts the shoe from a single piece of rubber. Andreia Chaves also uses a 3D printer for her shoes. She designs with algorithms and equations more than she does with pen and paper, and the footwear she creates shows it (they’re more suited to museum display than actual wear). Chaves’ Invisible Pumps are created in three parts: a printer creates the cage-like nylon shell of the shoes and Andreia melds this shell with a more traditional pump to form a solid piece before attaching mirrors to the geometric, angular frame. The finished product is a shoe that reflects its environment so well it’s about as visible as the CGI on Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility.

OLD LOOKS, NEW METHODS

Fabrics with elaborate cut-outs, brocades and embroidery patterns used to be marks of wealth and expensive taste. Now they’re available pretty much everywhere, thanks to the mechanization of fabric production. Laser-cutting, though seen everywhere from H&M blouses to Alexander McQueen leathers, is a fairly

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N O I H S A F D N A H C TE lows l e f d e B e m o , Awes Strange

of these pieces looks like it’s made of repurposed material at all, and the price point— though a teensy bit expensive for things that are technically made out of garbage —is a step in the right direction prestige-wise.

RESPONSIVE

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nyl new technique used to cut on bra cel precise lines in all type of fabet rics, effectively allowing designers to create lace out of anything. ga, have been using more and more futuristic materials (PVC, Commercial embroidery machines metallic weaves, hard plastics) in have also recently been computheir work of late. terized: digital files of embroidery patterns are uploaded to the maAnd though big designers have chine, and can be replicated perbeen pushing themselves with unfectly and cheaply thousands of conventional materials for a long times over. And rather than have time, it’s never before been possomeone making sure the machine sible to use recyclables in a highdoesn’t go haywire in the middle end way that wasn’t kitschy or, of a run, there are watchdog prowell, recycled-looking. grams than can also be installed in to the machine to stop it, start But will.i.am and Coca Cola’s reit, and alert someone if something cent Ekocycle project aims to partgoes wrong. ner with fashion brands to create pieces made from exclusively recycled materials, and to make buyODD COMPONENTS ing things made from exclusively Perhaps in a nod to the sci-fi movrecycled materials cool. ies set in our own day and age

(which we have fallen woefully short of in terms of flying cars and robot best friends), designers like Marc Jacobs, Marni, and Balencia

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The first fruits of the partnership are a pair of Beats by Dre headphones that retail for $349 and a New Era hat for $32. Neither one

If you live somewhere smoggy (i.e., almost anywhere urban), you’ve probably seen air quality reports. They’re usually pretty nerve-wracking because A, you sort of have to breathe and B, it’s hard to avoid going outside. If you want to keep closer tabs on that kind of thing, Nien Lam and Susan Ngo invented as of yet aesthetically clunky t-shirts adorned with anatomically correct lungs or a heart that change color as carbon monoxide levels (pollution levels) rise. In a more designerly realm, there’s Stijn Ossevoort and Diffus. Stijn’s Flare dress, adorned with flowers that light up as gusts of wind hit it, and Diffus’ gown has a cloud of bubbly lights that pulse faster and faster as air pollution (again measured via carbon monoxide levels) gets worse.

FAUX REAL

Maybe the most important shift in fashion has been less about dramatic aesthetics and more about a subtle, massive shift. Though the use of fake fur, leather and suede has been common in more affordable stores for a long time, designer brands have continued to use real leather and fur, as it’s generally more durable, softer and more expensive than the fake stuff. With the growth of higher quality faux rabbit, fox and mink furs that

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU have come about because of better polymer technology, there’s more flexibility for the more up-market brands to choose what sorts of fabrics they work with.

ion design forever, but it’s only recently that programs like Photoshop and Illustrator have given designers the tools to amp them up.

Most obviously signified by Stella McCartney’s vocal and contractual pledges not to use fur or leather in her designs, the entire high-fashion industry has re-evaluated itself a bit (Chanel and Ralph Lauren recently used fake fur in their lines).

Mary Katrantzou is the most prominent of this new school of hyper-realistic prints, and she uses a computer for nearly every step of the design process. She develops her prints and her cuts at the same time, so that everything fits together seamlessly.

The shift can also be attributed to social media in a way—animal rights groups like PETA are active and effective users of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and have never been shy about calling out or pouring red paint on fur-wearers. Between the campaigns and celebrity endorsements, it’s quickly become less glamorous to wear a real mink, and it’s a mark of respectability on a certain level for a brand to use pleather and faux fur.

Christopher Kane is another designer who is not afraid to use his computer as much as he uses his sketchbook—he was the one who started the whole galaxy print thing back in 2010. Since then, he’s moved on to more abstract interpretations of futurefocused clothing: bright neon lace, “ghost fabric” made of 70% aluminium organza that is so delicate it seems to float around the body, and plastic-encased heat sensitive fluid trims. As undeniably genius as they both are, neither Katrantzou nor Kane as they are would be possible in a time before 2000. 

Mary Katrantzou spring/summer 2013

Lady Gaga tested the ire of the internet recently when she wore a seemingly real, giant fur coat to Bulgaria and was photographed in it. PETA and scores of other weekend activists took to Twitter and Facebook to harass Gaga, and her reply, “For those press and such who are writing about whether or not my fur is actually real, please don’t forget to credit the designer HERMES. Thank You! LOVE, gaga,” leads to a quick Google search that yields the information that the furs in the collection the coat was from (Hermes’ Autumn/Winter 2013) were high-pile fake furs—so close to the real thing that even PETA couldn’t tell.

The result is some of the most original work ever to be seen at Fashion Week: Katrantzou’s first collection, dresses that followed the lines of antique perfume bottles, gave way to her breakout 2011 collection of dresses made to look like windows into luxurious houses, replete with complementary trims. And that brought her partnerships with TopShop and Longchamp in the space of three years.

SERIOUS TROMPE L’OEIL

Prints have been a staple of fash-

- Honor Vincent

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

LTURE OBSESSED

Does Washington D.C. Have a Future in Fashion? A Look Inside The District’s Budding Fashion Industry

After the catastrophe that resulted from MTV’s “The Real World XXIII: Washington, D.C.,” a joke picked up speed with Washingtonians about the District’s double-faced coin: there’s Washington on one side— the nation’s government, a political locus and home to over 160 monuments and memorials, and D.C., a thriving and distinct urban center with a bad rap, is on the other. And no one outside of the city was aware that this creative “D.C.” side existed. Within the city limits today, if you travel far enough in any direction from “Washington,” you’ll find a patchwork of economically developing neighborhoods that are home to an array of creative entrepreneurs from all sectors – visual, performing and literary artists, musicians, foodies, and D.C.’s newest wing: fashion and style entrepreneurs. These are the Washingtonians who are changing the face of the city fondly known as “Hollywood for Ugly People.” The nation’s capital is beginning to look and act, well, stylish. And the designers, retailers, bloggers, fashionistas and assorted glitterati that are now choosing to make the city their home are responsible for the change.

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


Designer Virginia Arrisueno of DeNada exhibits her collection at Pink Line Project’s Temporium. Courtesy Photo.

“We don’t have to be the boring sea of navy JoS. A. Banks/Ann Taylor Loft everyone thinks we are,” says Erin Derge, co-owner and one half of the Gingers who founded the local, and eco-friendly, boutique Ginger Root Design.

Rag & Bone in Georgetown to Zara in Penn Quarter and Jimmy Choo in Friendship Heights. Not to mention a new wave of home-grown fashion and style entrepreneurs has begun to spread throughout the District as well.

Up until the mid 2000s, D.C. did its best to cultivate a reputation for a staid, conservative style; a city that couldn’t be bothered with the whimsy required to find a well-tailored suit.

When President Barack Obama moved into the White House, he ushered in a freshness of vision that gave Washingtonians license to revise what they wanted their city to look and feel like, a time period that would ultimately set the stage for the bootstrapping of the bourgeoning D.C. fashion community we see today.

“It was about seven years ago when the luxury magazines came to town and new retailers like Intermix came into the market, that things really started to change,” recalls Aba Kwawu, owner of local fashion consulting firm Aba Agency. Intermix is now just a bit player in a cast of national and international retail characters that range from

After eight years under the thumb of the Bush Administration, Obama’s promise of hope and change was infectious in the nation’s capitol. Everyone agreed: a new administration meant a new influx of people, and these new people were go-

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

ing to be different – out went old, conservative Texas and in came the young, brainy, artsy urbanites that defined the Obama team. A renewed energy began to drive the creative class. With an already thriving theater scene (the nationally-revered Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theater Company and the behemoth Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts all call the Capitol home) and the flagship location of the Smithsonian Institution, D.C. was primed for the resurgence of this community. To boot, despite dire predictions, D.C. remains largely immune to The Great Recession that wracked the nation shortly after Obama took office. The mothership that is the Federal Government, and all of its associated businesses, manage to keep the local economy largely afloat. During this era, D.C.

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

LTURE OBSESSED project directors used the creative class to connect heavyweights like commercial real estate developers and the government with the new wave of young, liberal and— this part is key— affluent consumers who were choosing to make D.C. their home. While art diplomats like Hughes started work, the social media maven-cum-party mogul Svetlana Legetic, founder of the media empire Brightest Young Things, buoyed the financial impact of the aforementioned model by introducing major sponsorships like Vitamin Water to the formula. These companies brought the marketing dollars and presence necessary to raise the profile of the whole operation.

Ginger Root Design storefront in Washington, D.C. Courtesy Photo.

gave rise to lynchpins like crossdisciplinary arts philanthropist Philippa Hughes, founder of The Pink Line Project. Hughes brought a rare quality to the creative community – the ability to forge relationships that transcended the entrenched boundaries between the creative, commercial and government sectors. She also propelled a new creative model in D.C.: the Pop-Up. Soon pop-up art spaces —temporary projects that sometimes last a month, or frequently only a weekend, wherein artists produce work— abounded in vacant storefronts and the oddest places (a food truck museum, the old police evidence warehouse). With the creation of the first Tem-

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porium in 2010, located in the surging (read: gentrifying) Atlas District, lead by Hughes and funded by the D.C. Office of Planning, a “Plug and Play” business formula was created. The Temporium instilled an idea that moved beyond the paradigm that visual, literary, music and performing arts encompass the totality of what D.C. has to offer creatively. Fashion design and retail became an essential element in the success of these temporary projects. Temporiums, pop-ups and niche local boutiques were key to developing the climate required for local designers, retailers and style entrepreneurs to grow into independent businesses. Pop-up

As a result, D.C.-based fashion and style entrepreneurs began to get more and more attention from the people who had the dollars to fuel their growth, and the D.C. style community as a whole started to look legit in the eyes of Washingtonians. Many company owners found their start in the now pervasive pop-up model, such as Cathy Chung, founder of the gem-like vintage boutique Treasury, and the aforementioned Erin Derge and Kristen Swinson, the duo that started Ginger Root Design. They were able to turn a popular following gained from temporary projects into a loyal customer base as they established their own dedicated storefronts. When the traditional publicity outlets failed to keep up with the rapidly growing creative community, home-grown media compa-

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU nies, like Legetic’s Brightest Young Things and the publication you’re currently reading, began to pick up speed. Inspired by the new, stylish D.C., a legion of fashion bloggers took a page from The Sartorialist and set up shop in the District. D.C., and the surrounding areas are now home to more than 400 bloggers, many housed under The Capital Area Fashion & Beauty Bloggers (CapFABB) umbrella. Piggybacking on the success of the retail-focused Temporiums, entrepreneur Nicole Aguirre was able to secure backing from the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the local government’s funding arm for the arts, to begin publishing Worn Magazine in 2010. Worn was the first print magazine devoted exclusively to D.C. fashion and style. Aguirre says, “I have found the D.C. community to be incredibly supportive of Worn Magazine. I’ve received two grants from the DCCAH, we’ve been covered in the Washington Post numerous times as well as most of the local blogs, our launch parties are very well attended and have sold out at over 500 guests.” Even though the drive and energy behind these ambitious, creative entrepreneurs’ companies was palpable, they began to clash with one of the region’s major limitations: D.C. may be a city of ideas, but it’s not a city with the means of production. Fashion designers in particular are stymied by this lack of infrastructure – garment districts, factories, wholesalers – that bring their ideas to life. “The reality is that its hard for local designers to access ma-

terials, production services, workspace – most designers I know spend a lot of time and money going to New York to buy materials, or traveling abroad to outsource their labor,” says Holly Thomas, editor of Refinery29’s D.C. branch and owner of the playful, ascendant Butler & Claypool. And all of D.C.’s fashion and style entrepreneurs are impacted by a government that, even though it has begun to fund style-focused projects at times, has trouble understanding this niche economy’s needs and, more critically, has no processes in place to quantify its impact, an indicator necessary to make the case for more and better resources. “The government has been – and this is going to be incredibly tactful – confusing at best, frustrating at worst. DCRA is incredibly difficult to navigate. We might still be lost in the maze if Jackie Flanagan from [local boutique] Nana hadn’t drawn us a little map of where to go, in what order,” says Derge. These challenges gave rise to an entrepreneurial Darwinism that demands more than great style; it requires planning, marketing and business savvy, and, most importantly, perseverance. Entrepreneurs are forced to respond to the unique conditions that D.C.’s customers, government and industries have created. In other words, it’s a clusterfuck of magnificent proportions. Perhaps because of that, many of D.C.’s most successful style entrepreneurs began their careers in other sectors. These aren’t kids just out of design school. They

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combine know-how gained from corporate arenas with style to produce sustainable results. “Fashion is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about, honestly,” says Pranav Vora, founder of menswear company Hugh & Crye. “I love consumer products, and in this case, it happens to be a men’s dress shirt… I would love to see more companies launched out of D.C. – and I mean companies, not ‘fashion lines.’ I think designing in D.C. without a clear market strategy is a dangerous thing, which can lead to very talented individuals being discouraged here.” The oddities of Washington’s style scene are ultimately what make it an exciting and unique place to be, and what sets it far apart from the geographically close but spiritually divergent fashion industry in New York. The greatest indication of the ascendant nature of D.C.’s bourgeoning fashion industry is that more and more entrepreneurs are starting their businesses in the District, and then choosing to stay put. It’s now unbecoming to say that you’re only using D.C. as a stepping-stone on the road to Manhattan. Aguirre says, “D.C. is home. The community is supportive and I feel needed and appreciated. This wouldn’t likely be the case in a much larger city where magazines and shops are a dime a dozen. I have lived in cities all over the world, and I still choose to be in D.C. because of the quality of life and the opportunities available here for growth.”  - Pleatherette

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THE FUTURE

OF MUSIC AND THE MODERN MUSICIAN - Megan Friend Art—like society—is constantly in transition.

ously morphing and reinventing themselves.

Throughout history, artists have drawn insight from the past and used it to shape their work. Because of this, art is able to embody the shifting political, social and mental landscape of society in a very important way.

Musicians, now more than ever, are finding inventive ways to combine and infuse literary, cinematic and visual inspirations into their music.

During the 1970s, Led Zeppelin poetically captured the psyche of America in their music. With echoes of war and increased rebellion against corporate masses, along with their blues-rooted musical archetype, they didn’t just create music, they became a platform for raising awareness and diving deep into the depths of human conditions and imaginations. Their songs depicted the nature of society at a given time. More importantly, their music has transcended time. Other musical innovators such as The Beatles, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Lady Gaga have also pushed the boundaries of music by infusing an air of ultramodern unconventionality into their music, performance and overall technique. In the late 90s, technology allowed individuals to engage with music like never before, making it more accessible, but perhaps, in some sense, less sacred. And as technology moves at the speed of light, mediums of expression and creativity are continu-

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But where is the future of music going? What genres, styles and instrumental trends will resurface or invent themselves? What will the “role” of the future musician be? With the dire political, social and environmental chaos of today, will we see an influx of artists reverting back to social activism as they often did in the 60s and 70s? Or, will the art of performance die out and leave the musical landscape to become completely digital? In hopes of finding some answers, we asked some note-worthy modern bands where they think music is headed and how they’re channeling futuristic visions into their sound.

THE ARCHIVE Tell us a bit about the history of the band. How did you all get into making music? Well, oddly enough, it was very happenstance. Everyone had been working on different musical projects, and we

all met up, hung out and developed a focus on what we wanted to do collectively. What do you love about music? The other day we were talking about the power of music to change people’s perspective, which we’ve seen in past decades. Coincidentally, we happen to live in a time where people may be more receptive to that kind of shift. In the near future some folks will definitely be accessing higher con-

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PHOTO: CAIT DAVIS

The Archive sciousness and if our music is instrumental in that, then all the better. What inspires you in the world? How do you incorporate these inspirations into your music/your musical craft? Driving to the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish, it’s unfortunate that music has become very processed and slick. We’d like to deliver music that is melodic and listenable, but that also sends a clear, defiant rebuttal to the culture of overproduction

and over-processing. We believe there is an audience out there that’s looking for more substance in the artists they listen to. Where do you think the future of music is going stylistically, thematically and in terms of performance? We’ve clearly seen a shift in the music business since the proliferation of file sharing. That said- live performance is a huge factor. As far as we’re concerned, a band that can’t perform live isn’t really worth their salt. Performance will be the new norm,

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almost like it was back in the beginning of rock n’ roll. What do you believe is your job as a musician: To entertain, to instigate revolutions of thought and action? Maybe both? As musicians, entertainment is always a factor. Also, you’d like to think that instigation and provocation are in order, but after reflection maybe enlightenment is a better title for what our music is trying to accomplish.

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PHOTO: SHERVIN LAINEZ

MS MR Tell us a little about MS MR? What are you guys up to these days? Right now we’re traveling around Europe being debaucherous and wreaking havoc, one gorgeous city at time. With our debut album on the horizon for release this May (2013), we’re gearing up for what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting and bizarre years of our life. Describe the creative process of writing and composing music? We create music in one of two ways. Either Max starts with sort of an audio sketch of a track and Lizzy will write a top line and lyrics over it; or Lizzy will write a rough a cappella track and Max will write the track around that. After we’ve each laid out our initial ideas, we spend loads of time editing each other’s

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contributions, so in the end our visions sort of seamlessly weave together to create a finished song. Explain the idea behind your song “Hurricane”? Most of the songs we write are quite metaphorical or philosophical, but “Hurricane” came out of our own very literal experiences and relationship to Hurricane Irene, which hit Manhattan in 2011. It was the fastest we’ve ever written a track. We didn’t overthink it – it just flowed out of us in a very visceral and reactive way. What inspires you as an artist in the modern world? We’re both very inspired by New York - Lizzy often writes lyrics and melodies while walking around the city. It’s home to so many incredible bands, so there’s a real sense of

community and exchange between artists that’s definitely inspiring. Music is powerful to us because it allows us to tap into our innermost emotions, while simultaneously removing us from our immediate world. It can be both an entirely personal, private escape as well as a platform for unity. Where do you think (or hope) the future of music is going both thematically and stylistically? As a result of the Internet, music is less and less geographically bound, meaning there are more opportunities for the cross-pollination of sounds and genres... Ultimately, we have no idea how music is going to evolve, but that’s what is so brilliant…

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What is “Caveman” up to these days? We spent the summer playing some festivals, hanging out together, and we just finished recording our second record. How would you describe your musical style? How has this developed over the years since you began making music? I’d say our music sounds like us. The more you get men singing in a room together the more things develop.

In what direction do you think the future of music is going stylistically and thematically? I think people are playing the music they want to play. And it’s coming from an honest place.

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A lot of people trying their own thing.

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Describe how the new mediums of technology available for musicians today have helped you discover new levels of your musical craft? I think new technology helps get ideas out faster, though it gets annoying staring at a screen sometimes. But it depends what new technology we’re talking about...

Name three artistic figures from the past that have somehow influenced you as an artist and/or as a person. George Harrison, Michael Jackson and Winston Churchill.

be, and the finer points of removing the flowers from your poetrywhich can be especially liberating when you’re trying to describe something beautiful.

Oedipus What is “Oedipus” working on currently? After a year of touring, we’re doing our best to relearn how to stand still for a moment, and realize it’s normal to wake up somewhere and know where you are. The travel is fun, but finally getting a chance to get into a room together and really write new music is a relief. How have new mediums of technology available for musicians today helped you discover new levels of your musical craft?
 Aside from the relative ease of laptop computer recording—which makes sketching music while you travel

much easier— the most useful thing expanding my idea of music has been the social functions of applications like Spotify. Being able to browse my friends and fans playlists, and using them as a filter to discover new music has really revitalized my life as a music fan. Name three artistic figures from the past that have influenced you as an artist and/or as a person. Charles Bukowski, in verse and prose, made me understand the beauty of self-deprecation and the grotesque. Bradley Nowell of Sublime showed me exactly how poignant being plainspoken can

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

Seamus Conley, a contemporary painter, showed me with his work how surreal realism can be, and how to shine a light on the mundane in order to reveal the extraordinary. I wish I were nearly as talented as any of these people. I’m working on it. In what direction do you think the future of music is going stylistically and thematically? Music is constantly hybridizing, like language. There is a collision between electronic music and acoustic folk music which is happening right now, and it is fascinating. I think it is about to be the whole game.

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Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on these days? I just finished recording my second full-length record and I’m halfway through the demos for the third. I’ve been on tour as the backup singer for the Cranberries most of this year, and that’s allowed me a lot of downtime to write. Hopefully, I can find a little home for it in the New Year. How do you blend different types of music into your own? I have a jazz background, so I think a lot of my melodies have jazz flavors. I’m really influenced by Depeche Mode and the Cure, so I think some of my drum sounds come from them. Other than that, I try to just go with the flow when writing. What role do you think technol-

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ogy plays in the creative process of art today? Right now I’m super inspired by beats and electronic sounds, which obviously has a lot to do with technology. My musical thought process has developed mainly through technology. It’s given me the capacity to explore different sounds for the sake of inspiration. Who in history do you believe has re-defined and created musical revolutions of thought, style and platform? Roger Linn, the creator of the first integrated drum machine. He is, as far as I’m concerned, the most influential person in electronic music and styles. Where do you think the future of music is going? What do you think your role is in the future of music? I choose not to comment on the

state of the industry. I think it’s a fruitless endeavor to try and make sense of it. A lot of people would argue that there’s no new music coming out and instead, we are regenerating old styles. I disagree. I think it’s wonderful that we are circling around major musical changes in history. The reason being that the music— although laced with certain sounds and arrangements of those eras— also has a distinct “sign of the times” feel about it. My role? I don’t know how to answer that. All I can say is that I am one small ant in a huge ant farm. All of us are trying to keep our promise to create and be passionate about the talent we’ve been given. 

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM

PHOTO: JESSIE SARA ENGLISH

Johanna and The Dusty Floor


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- Susan Linney

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simple--I'm eup anymore. is h c it b y t Q: My beau 't afford high-end makbrands--the ones broke! I can y of buying drugstore and pigment. But' I'm warlways lacking in quality I try are a products outme? d e t n ou c is d up snob like any decent, Are there would satisfy a make there that YC ty Snob in N u a e B e ok r -B

Brighten up your face, cheeks and décolleté with this high quality Wet n Wild illuminating powder. $4, select drugstores

A highly blendable, light-reflecting blush that smoothes and highlights any skin tone.

NYX’s long-lasting liquid foundation provides the same kind of matte coverage you get from pricier bases. $8,

Nyxcosmetics.com, select Ulta stores

New York, in s s le y ut a e nd B Dear Broke a sure one that I'm . . n io t s ue q d y goo This is a ver ys. lots of out these da b a g in h c it b people are lity products ua q e r a e r e h nd many s is that t The good newat don't cost a fortune. A your local out there th sitting on the shelves of at to look of them are you do have to know wh drugstore. But for. ands o bring you br your buck. t h c r a e s e r le We did a litt the best beauty bang for that give you

This $10 E.L.F. palette is packed with 100 highly pigmented shades. That’s just 10 cents a color!

Why opt for just one when you can have all three of Essence’s new fall shades for a less than $10? $3 each, Ulta.com, Ulta stores

Don’t feel like toting around an entire palette? Try this terrific Wet n Wild eyeshadow trio that has how-to instructions embossed on each shade. $3, select drugstores

$10, Eyeslipsface.com, Walmart, Target

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Model, Sydney; Dress, Friend of mine carnival skirt dress ($298); Vest; Elliatt – available at igedo.com.au ($134); Hat, vintage; Bracelets, authentic Peruvian bracelets; Necklace (top), vintage; Necklace (middle), BCBG; Necklace (bottom), vintage

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


Peru Fashion and London Punk meet in a juxtaposition of traditional and modern. PHOTOGRAPHY: Kate Reeder ART DIRECTION: Jacqueline Law FASHION DIRECTOR: Jenny McFarlane MAKEUP: Christina Spence HAIR: Holly Burnham STYLISTS: Donte McGuine STYLIST ASSISTANTS: Audrey Leon and Shashanta Moore MODELS: Chelsea Taylore, Meredith Meeks, Sydney Holden, Tonita Nwagbara, Yvonne Tolker

Model, Sydney; Dress, Friend of mine carnival skirt dress ($298); Vest; Elliatt – available at igedo.com.au ($134); Hat, vintage; Bracelets, authentic Peruvian bracelets; Necklace (top), vintage; Necklace (middle), BCBG; Necklace (bottom), vintage

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(Left) Model, Chelsea; Blazer, Sandra Weil - available at Shopbop (originally $434, now $132); Pants, This is a Love Song live in darkness leather ($393.80); Sweater, This is a Love Song purple crop sweater ($85); Sash, Authentic Peruvian neck sash; Shoes; Zara (Right) Model, Yvonne; Jacket, Awamaki Lab Patacancha Anorak ($370); Skirt, Friend of Mine zigzag skirt ($330); Gloves, Jessica Simpson leather gloves; Sweater, This is a Love Song green crop sweater ($85), Necklaces, push BY PUSHMATAaHA

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


(Left) Model, Yvonne; Jacket, Awamaki Lab Patacancha Anorak ($370); Gloves, Jessica Simpson leather gloves; Sweater, This is a Love Song green crop sweater ($85), Necklaces, push BY PUSHMATAaHA (Right) Model, Chelsea; Blazer, Sandra Weil - available at Shopbop (originally $434, now $132); Sweater, This is a Love Song purple crop sweater ($85); Sash, Authentic Peruvian neck sash; Shoes; Zara

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(Left) Model, Tonita; Scarf, Pretty Persuasions – available at South Moon Under ($29); Blazer; Elliatt Yellow Penelope – available at Minx Boutique ($79); Harness, Friend Of Mine – available at Wasteland ($188); Hat, Dsquared (runway exclusive); Ring, Lillian Crowe ($130) (Right) Model, Chelsea; Blazer, Sandra Weil available at Shopbop (originally $434, now $132); Pants, This is a Love Song live in darkness leather ($393.80); Sweater, This is a Love Song purple crop sweater ($85); Sash, Authentic Peruvian neck sash; Shoes; Zara; Ring, push BY PUSHMATAaHA

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


(Left) Model, Tonita; Scarf, Pretty Persuasions – available at South Moon Under ($29); Blazer; Elliatt Yellow Penelope – available at Minx Boutique ($79);Hat, Dsquared (runway exclusive); Ring, Lillian Crowe ($130)

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(Left) Model, Meredith; Sweater, 525 Made in America Spacedye Pullover Sweater – available at South Moon Under (originally $118, now $34), Shoes, Dolce Vita; Pants, Friend Of Mine Black Latex Leggings ($89); Jacket, This Is A Love Song Studded Leather Sleeve Jean Jacket ($288) – available at Wasteland; Hat, authentic Peruvian (Right) Model, Meredith; Sweater, 525 Made in America – available at South Moon Under (originally $112, now $59), ; Gloves, Jessica Simpson; Shorts, Friend Of Mine lace back laser front leather shorts ($330); Necklace, The Chic Shack; Headband, authentic Peruvian

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


Model, Yvonne; Jacket, Awamaki Lab Patacancha Anorak ($370); Skirt, Friend of Mine zigzag skirt ($330); Gloves, Jessica Simpson leather gloves; Sweater, This is a Love Song green crop sweater ($85), Necklaces, push BY PUSHMATAaHA

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! ! Model, Meredith; Vest, This is a Love Song Silver mini wildfire vest ($275) – available at Koshka; Skirt, This is a Love Song change my orbit skirt ($159) – available at Urban Outfitters; Shoes, vintage

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


(Left) Model, Meredith; Sweater, 525 Made in America Spacedye Pullover Sweater – available at South Moon Under (originally $118, now $34), Shoes, Dolce Vita; Pants, Friend Of Mine Black Latex Leggings ($89); Jacket, This Is A Love Song Studded Leather Sleeve Jean Jacket ($288) – available at Wasteland; Hat, authentic Peruvian (Right) Model, Sydney; Pants, Friend Of Mine Red Latex Leggings ($89); Shirt, Mustard Neely Sweater; Jacket, This Is A Love Song Jean Studded Vest (originally $196, now $138) – available at Revolve Clothing; Shoes, Rue 21; Hat, authentic Peruvian; Skirt, vintage

! ! 57


Model, Tonita; Shirt, Friend Of Mine mandarin textured swing crop top ($148); Skirt, Change My Orbit skirt by This is a Love Song ($159) – available at Urban Outfitters; Necklace, The Chic Shack; Jacket, Motel Rocks ($129); Bracelet; Forever 21

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


(Left) Model, Yvonne; Shirt, This Is A Love Song spun around shirt (Originally $86, now $52) – available at Revolve Clothing (Middle) Model, Chelsea; Muffler, faux fur black muffler; Shirt, This Is A Love Song shirt in Orange ($110) (Right) Model, Tonita; Jacket, Motel Rocks ($129); Shirt, Friend Of Mine textured swing crop top (originally $149, now $89; Bracelet, Forever 21

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

O O T , N A C IRLS

G

5

ho W n e m o W Amazing

ypes

reot e t S g n i k a e Are Br

d scantily-cla h h it w s u s ra bard with the Sa ulture bom d c n p A . o s P r . e n d e gra ’ve om a war on w how far we atty second r c g e e in b t k h li m g e g fi m in e e t ar to r d ac Politicians times hard another an e e m n o o s g ’s in it , k s ac Kardashian women att im K d n a , is ok just Palins, Sno more than e ’r e w t u B s, Os. come. , artists, DJ ers and CE s e h t t o le h m t , a s r e e t gh ; we’r n. ctors, fire fi lass ceiling o g d , a s t r r recognitio s e u y in o a w t g o la a g e g e ’r in w e t W ime figh it’s about t ofessionals d r n p a ) , g s r n e u d o n (y nte X-Game co , s n ia ic s u m - Sarah Marloff

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM

Professional Skateboarder Amy Caron. Photo: Lisa Whitaker

LTURE OBSESSED


Lady AIKO, The Graffiti/Street Artist The Manhattan-based artist—who originally hails from Tokyo—began her love affair with graffiti in the late 90s. While she was working on her MFA from New School in New York, she joined forces with two other students. The three of them eventually became known as the street art collective, “FAILE.” “FAILE was like a school for me,” AIKO told Meets Obsession. “I lived with them for five years, examining techniques of printing, painting, collaging, stenciling and wheat pasting in the classroom, at home and in the street.” During that time, FAILE traveled the world with their art. “It was such beautiful team work,” AIKO sums up, but eventually she left the group to pursue her art independently as Lady AIKO.

Since then, her work has been commissioned for both coasts and exhibited throughout the world, including Rome’s Marco, Shanghai’s MOCA and the Brooklyn Museum. Though she is a recognized artist throughout the contemporary art and street scene she notes, “As an Asian female artist in this worldwide scene, I am one of very few successful cases. And I’ve had bitter experiences, too, because the street art and graffiti field is a maledominated world.”

lenges.” At the end of the day, AIKO stated, “Street art is for everyone. It doesn’t matter who we are; nationality, age, gender, rich or poor.”

Yet, the mixed media artist—whose work is a blend of graffiti, street and pop art styles combined with traditional Japanese aesthetic—has no regrets about her chosen field. “I enjoy working in this environment very much. My past helps me create a deeper message, which no one else can make. I love chal-

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

Unstoppable Memories, Lady AIKO

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O O T , N A C GIRLS

ists, she’s experienced moments— sometimes even years—of wanting to walk away from it all, but she just can’t seem to let them go. “I have a love affair with drumsevery time I try to quit, they find me again.” In fact, she’d been on a drumming hiatus for two years when she met Kiyomi McCloskey, the guitarist and singer of Hunter Valentine. “I tried to leave drumming three times, and I’m still playing. Music will be part of my life forever.”

Laura Petracca, The Drummer Petracca, one of the two original members of the all-girl band, Hunter Valentine, says that as a group, they’ve definitely come up against sexism. “A lot of times men don’t expect you to be good musicians,” Petracca told Meets Obsession about playing live shows—which is what the band is known for. “So it’s funny seeing how they respond to us after they’ve heard us play. There’s a lot of ‘WOW! You’re actually good.’” For Hunter Valentine, the first four years—out of the eight they’ve been together—were the most difficult, but Petracca says it’s gotten infinitely better. “Today, it’s a lot more subtle. Mostly guys in other bands will offer to help us set up our equipment before shows, but you never see them doing that for other guys. I find it condescending, and really, I’m just like, ‘Go get me a whiskey, how ‘bout that?’”

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Coincidently, all four members of the band are queer, and while they’ve dealt with their fair share of sexism, rarely have they received anti-gay feedback. Petracca can only recall one or two times when they actually had to deal with homophobia. “Sexuality and music kind of go hand in hand, but being queer doesn’t have a lot to do with it,” explained the drummer. “We try not to identify ourselves as a Lesbian-Rock Band...We’re a band and we happen to be gay,” explains Petracca. “But I’ve found that being a lesbian in the music industry has made it easier for me because sometimes guys look at us like we’re on the same level.” Petracca, who’s 31, has been playing the drums for as long as she can remember. “My mom says I was a big kicker in the womb,” Petracca joked. “But I didn’t really get into it until my teens.” Like many art-

Similar to music, cooking—Petracca’s other love in life —is another profession dominated by men. She doesn’t let it faze her though. “Kiyomi and I, we’re tough girls. I know I work twice as hard because there are so many men, and as a girl you have to prove yourself even more. But that’s what makes it so much more worth it. As a group, I think we’ve definitely helped pave the way for up-coming girl bands.” The ladies of Hunter Valentine—Petracca, McCloskey, Vero Sanchez, and Somer Bingham— spent the summer touring the country in preparation for their release of “Collide and Conquer,” their second full-length album. Additionally, the girls can be found on the current third season of The Real L Word. Petracca concludes, “Over the past eight years we’ve had a lot of good and bad experiences, but being in a male-dominated field excites me. It makes it more challenging. My closing statement: girls can do it and I think we can do it better because we have to work so hard for it. Because our pathway is harder, we end up better at it.”harder, we end up better at it.”

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

PHOTO: VINCENT GALLEGOS

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

Ebony Dumas aka Natty Boom, The DJ Tulsa, OK, native Ebony Dumas came to D.C. in 2005 after graduating from the University of Pittsburg. She began deejaying two years later after she joined forces with a group of women to start the organization known today as Girls Rock! DC. “I kept noticing that all the DJs I saw on the scene were white, cisgender, straight men, and the spaces they were creating didn’t feel safe for queers or black people,” Dumas explained to Meets Obsession. “At Girls! Rock I met a woman who wanted to teach me how to DJ, and I decided that I wanted to learn how to do it and do it better.” In Dumas’ experience, men reign over the field of deejaying. For example, common “Top 100 DJs” lists will only mention two or maybe three women. Or nightclubs tend to advertise the rare female perform-

er with her tits out. “I’m fortunate to be around a good group of people from different backgrounds, color, and sex so sometimes I don’t see it that much until I go out in it.” One of the more difficult things about being a black, queer female DJ is that many of the people in power (such as club owners) tend to be men, so they don’t usually understand the importance for reaching out to different DJs and creating safe spaces. Dumas once attempted to hold a Female DJ Workshop in one club owner’s space and the owner “just didn’t get it. He was like ‘what’s the big deal?’” says Dumas. “People in power don’t have to think outside their existence, so a lot of times, they don’t.” Today, Dumas is part of Anthology of Booty, a five person, queer, women-of-color DJ collective. “Together with Booty, I try to make

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

cool shit happen with the added goal of creating a safe space,” says Dumas. When Booty throws a party they put in a lot of effort to make the space comfortable and accessible to everyone. The collective talks to the owners and the bartenders and also makes all bathrooms gender neutral. “This is another thing a lot of promoters don’t get; it’s like they have blinders on and think that no one actually gets harassed in bathrooms.” In addition to her work with Anthology of Booty and as the singular Natty Boom, Dumas also works part-time at Transformer Art Gallery, does the occasional drag king performance, and was the host of this year’s Capital Fringe Film Festival Review. Her advice to her younger self and to upcoming girl DJs? “Be open to anything, be ready for anything; but also listen to your gut and your values.”

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THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU

© Rob D

Photogra

Whit © Lisa

phy

aker

LTURE OBSESSED

nne Faber

© Hollya

Photos from left to right: Professional Skateboarders Kristin Ebeling, Amy Caron, Jennifer Soto

The Skaters of Lisa Whitaker’s MEOW Skateboards Lisa Whitaker has been skating for nearly a quarter of a decade, but in the early 2000s Whitaker stopped skating in contests and started filming them. She specifically focused her camera on the up-and-coming girl skateboarders, such as Amy Caron and Vanessa Torres. By 2003 she’d created GirlsSkateNetwork. com–formerly thesideproject.com —in order to fill the void in female skateboarding coverage. After nine years of running the site, filming skaters and co-producing Villa Villa Cola’s “Getting Nowhere Faster” (the biggest female skate videos to date), Whitaker found the spare time to create MEOW Skateboards. “With the economy getting tighter it seemed like more and more of the girls were losing sponsors, contests, exposure and opportunities,” Whitaker explained to Meets Obsession on why she started MEOW with an all-female team. “I felt there was a piece of the market that wasn’t being represented and I wanted to make something that the girls could feel a part of.” The girls of Meow consist of

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16-year-old Jennifer Soto, 27-year-old Amy Caron, 23-yearold Kristin Ebeling and 26-yearold Vanessa Torres. They are four of the top female skateboarders in the country, and all of them agree that Whitaker is doing something groundbreaking for girl skateboarders. “Growing up, what kept me skateboarding was her website,” Ebeling, who’s been skating for ten years, admitted to Meets Obsession. “I really respect her.” During the summer, Ebeling works full time teaching kids to skate at the YMCA in Seattle because she thinks it’s important for the next generation of skaters to see that girls and boys of every race can be a skater—it’s not just a white male sport. “As a kid I was drawn to everything edgy, but I got excluded a lot for being a girl,” says Ebeling, who was called “JLo” at the parks and originally wasn’t sponsored because she “wasn’t pretty enough.” It wasn’t until she attended Skate Like a Girl – an all-girl skate con-

test – when she was 18 that she finally felt at peace about being a girl skater. “Girls almost automatically get an ‘Awe’ factor when you nail something. It used to piss me off, but now I try to use it to my advantage. Skating can be exclusive, and it’s even harder when you’re a minority. So if something makes you stand out then people will gravitate to you, and you can use that to create change.” Today, Ebeling is the key person behind the national non-profit Skate Like a Girl in Seattle, and she’s also started a Wheels of Fortune girl’s skate contest, and was on MTV’s “True Life: I’m going to Skatopia.” Caron, of Long Beach, CA, notes that in the twelve years she’s been skating she’s definitely seen an increase of girls at skate parks. “When I started out there weren’t too many girls at the park, and if you saw a girl you reached out,” Caron told Meets Obsession. “Now there are tons of girls at skate parks. In the last five years or so it’s become more like just skateboarding.” Soto agrees that being a girl on a board can be intimidating, but she ignores the negative comments. “I just want to skate. A skater is a skater,” she told Meets Obsession. “It doesn’t matter who you are.” But she also added that girls shouldn’t limit themselves just because they’re girls. “If you’re a girl and you’re scared you should push yourself more, that’s what motivates me. I’ll throw myself down anything, especially if I’m scared of it.” 

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


Spring TREND REPORT Photos from left to right: Marissa Webb SS13, Son Jung Wan SS2013, Custo Barcelona SS2013, Alice + Oliva SS2013.

LADYLIKE RETRO PRINTS AND CUTS The 50s are back, and you can thank Alice + Olivia, not just “Mad Men,” for that. A modern modesty is sure to inspire your spring wardrobe. The retro feel of wide-flared skirts, peplum tops and collared dresses in sunny, playful palettes brings a youthful sweetness to old feminine standards. GORGEOUS NEUTRALS Son Jung Wan’s gorgeous collection proves that you can rock a bold statement even in pretty neutrals and soft whites. An effervescent sensuality comes

through in slim-waisted silhouettes and softly flowing tops that drape beautifully against the body. POPS OF NEON Neon remains a trend again this season with pops of color all over Marissa Webb’s chic and trendy collection. Try a neon green blouse under a navy blue short suit to add a bright twist of fun. Or even pair some neon socks with cut out oxfords just that tough of fun .

Effortlessly trendy and easy to do, mix some leopard spots with chevron stripes and go against the grain to welcome the warm weather.  - Sinta Jimenez

MIXED PRINTS Get funky like the Custo Barcelona collection and mix your prints for an anything goes style.

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

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STOCKISTS 525America 525 7th Avenue, 10th Floor New York, New York 10018 212-921-5688 525america.com Awamaki Lab awamaki.org BCBG 1100 S. Hayes St. Arlington, VA 22202 bcbg.com 703-415-3690 Daniella Kallmeyer daniellakallmeyer.com Dolce Vita 111 S. Jackson St. Seattle, WA 98104 dolcevita.com 888-529-3167 Dsquared 632 West 28th St. 9th Floor New York NY 10001 212-244-5080 dsquared2.com Elliatt us.elliatt.com +61 2 8065 1666 Friend of Mine NYC Showroom - Studio M friendofmine.com.au 646-410-0727 Jessica Simpson jessicasimpson.com 888-906-1430 Koshka 155 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90015 shopkoshka.com Lillian Crowe lilliancrowe.com Minx Boutique 64 N. Lexington Ave Asheville, NC 28801 minxasheville.com 828-225-5680

Pretty Persuasions 2885 N. Berkeley Lake Road Suite 21 Duluth, GA 30096 678-999-6189 prettypersuasions.net Pushmataaha pushmataaha.com Rue 21 Arundel Mills 7000 Arndl Mls Cir St 132 Hanover, MD 21076 Rue21.Com 410-579-1644

HIS

&

HERS

BEST IN SHOW

From rich red boots to pretty printed trousers, we’ve selected our favorite showstoppers of the season. The best part? We double the fun by showing you his and hers versions.

Sandra Weil Emilio Castelar 185 No. 6 Polanco, Mexico City sandraweil.com South Moon Under 2700 Clarendon Blvd r440 Arlington, VA 22201 southmoonunder.com 703-807-4083

N.D.C. Made By Hand $398, yoox.com

Acne

$550, openingceremony.us

Shopbop shopbop.com 1-877-SHOPBOP The Chic Shack the-chicshack.com

Topman

Anna Sui

$140, topman.com

$594, net-a-porter.com

Nixon

Marc By Marc Jacobs

This is a Love Song thisisalovesong.com Urban Outfitters 3111 M St NW Washington, DC 20007 202-342-1012 urbanoutfitters.com

$75, revolveclothing.com

$175, bloomingdales.com

Wasteland shopwasteland.com ( 888) 925-2323 Zara 1025 F St NW Washington zara.com 202-393-2810

Acne

$420, acnestudios.com

Sacai

$531, ln-cc.com

- Kat Hernandez-Linares

Front Cover: Model, Meredith; Sweater, 525 Made in America – available at South Moon Under (originally $112, now $59), ; Gloves, Jessica Simpson; Necklace, The Chic Shack; Headband, authentic Peruvian Back Cover: (Left) Model, Yvonne; Jacket, Awamaki Lab Patacancha Anorak ($370); Gloves, Jessica Simpson leather gloves; Sweater, This is a Love Song green crop sweater ($85), Necklaces, Push. (Right) Model, Chelsea; Blazer, Sandra Weil - available at Shopbop (originally $434, now $132); Sweater, This is a Love Song purple crop sweater ($85); Sash, Authentic Peruvian neck sash; Shoes; Zara. Photo by Kate Reeder.

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• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


THE CULT OF FASHION

Photography: Sarah Elizabeth Kimble, Model/Hair/MUA: Lauren Ruth Ward, Stylist: Rose DiFerdinando, Assistant: Pablo Van Winkle

How Reality TV Glamorized an Industry by Ignoring the Work

It started with two shows: “Project Runway,” a Heidi Klum-led gauntlet of runway design, and “America’s Next Top Model,” a Tyra Banksled gauntlet of runway modeling. Nearly a decade later, fashioncentric reality shows are almost as big a genre as music reality shows, and they have about the same approaching-zero success rate as the years go on. So why do we fixate on these shows? Is it the visuals, the competition? Or maybe it’s something more like what “American Idol” of-

fers: a chance to escape—a fantasy world where anyone can launch a fashion line, run a company or walk a runway. But where the fantasy of talent shows ends where your own talent does, shows like “Project Runway” or “Fashion Star” make the promise of a glamorous life to anyone interested in fashion, with slim to no disclosure about what the realworld limitations or hurdles may be. The world of fashion, whether it be at a magazine, on a runway, or in a showroom, has been the subject of television fantasy since the days

MEETSOBSESSION.COM •

of television sitcom, “Just Shoot Me!” For so many girls, the lure of catwalk flashbulbs, editorial spreads and dressing celebrities comes from Bravo and MTV. They see Lauren Conrad effortlessly navigating an internship at Teen Vogue while still having the time to stare significantly at friends in outdoor cafes, go to school and head out at night. Or Rachel Zoe, who seemed to only panic superficially and effortlessly

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as the hyper-edited conversations had on film. Even those first two challengebased shows, “Project Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model” (and all of their progeny, like “The Cut,” “Fashion Star,” “Launch My Line,” “Make Me a Supermodel”) where the anxiety is palpable and the stakes are higher, are still farcical in that they skip the most trying parts of a designer’s and a model’s career: the time before the breakthrough.

FASHION STAR -- “Finale” Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ronnie Escalante, Nzimiro Oputa, Kara Laricks, Elle Macpherson, Nicole Richie, John Varvatos -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

manage her styling business while maintaining an archive of clothing worth millions. And of course who could forget “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw, the relationship columnist and spiritual mother of all of these shows, who worked from home and owned a thousand Manolos. When a person as impossible as Carrie becomes an icon, it presents a certain set of reality-adjustment issues for people who idolize her, but she is still fiction and so she isn’t so dangerous. The problems come when the business and all of its facets are turned in to a tenepisode romp with predominating themes of instant-gratification triumph. Here’s the thing, though: the fashion industry, whether you’re an intern or a designer, is so free of instant gratification that all of those reality shows should be considered caricatures.

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“When I was at FIT, all of the people in my classes acted like they were on TV,” says Jenna, a former student at the New York City fashion school. “They barely talked to each other, they all dressed up every day and they didn’t seem as in to classes as they were into what everyone else was wearing. It was a toxic place…I dropped out.” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “The Hills” and Kimora Lee Simmon’s “Life in the Fab Lane” seem to depict essentially incapable women who whine and throw themselves around in between café visits. It was the fashion industry blown up to celebrity proportions, and then shaved down to fit what people wanted to see: people stroking fancy clothes, women skittering around in high heels, and the main characters inking their dream deals and getting their dream jobs. Sure, there were snafus along the way—the time Whitney Port fell down on national television, for one—but they were about as real

Though the structure of these shows attempts to mirror these trials, they don’t. The distinction is that while reality show contestants are fighting for a goal that they have a real chance(1 in 20, at worst)of achieving, real people are fighting with millions of other people for dwindling jobs and projects, and without the carrot of prize money in front of their noses. “I think many people don’t understand what goes in to being able to make a dress or a shirt when they go to fashion school,” says Eliza, a seamstress from Los Angeles. “Many of the girls I’ve met who want to be designers can’t make most of the things they design, and that’s very different from when I started. They are not prepared for how difficult it is, most of them.” There is nothing about the rise, because the true rise—not the calculated game show models—isn’t something you can easily capture on screen. It’s only feasible to invest in following people who are already famous or who have agreed to compete, and in doing so, the producers of reality television will never really be able to

• MEETSOBSESSION.COM


THE FUTURE ISSUE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 | MEETS OBSESSION MAGAZINE

LTURE OBSESSED

PAPER FOR THE FASHION & CU depict the people who are slogging away. Besides, who wants to watch slogging? One ex-magazine intern, Alyssa*, who worked at Lucky and Elle during college, was particularly disappointed by what she saw on TV after her internships. “I feel like in the media, the fashion industry is held up as this big, amazing world that anyone can break into if they try hard enough. It’s not, though—no one I know from my internships is working in fashion. All we ever did was deliver and pick up samples and organize the closet. Meanwhile, Lauren Conrad went to Paris as an intern. I don’t understand why they make everything seem so great when there aren’t close to enough jobs in fashion.” Another issue that is barely (or never, honestly) made cinema verite is the fall of the industry in general. A few decades ago, the fashion industry was one of America’s largest for jobs and production, and in recent years it has shifted overseas to such a great degree that over 90% of the clothing most Americans buy is now imported. This was brought to national attention when people realized that the Team U.S.A. Olympic uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren had been produced in China, but the hubbub around the issue quickly died down. At the intersection of fantasy and the real world come clashes, though—Diana Wang, a former intern at Harper’s Bazaar is suing Hearst in a class action lawsuit because she believes that as an intern, her time was abused

in that she was not taught editorial skills so much as delivery skills. Alexander Wang, fashion wunderkind, has been accused of running sweatTHE RACHEL ZOE PROJECT -- Pictured: (l-r) Brad Goreski, shops, which he has Taylor Jacobson, Rachel Zoe -- Bravo Photo: Brian McDermott © NBC Universal, Inc just formally denied. Louis Vuitton complains passionately That most designers have to work in ads and editorials about the under other designers namelessly, flood of counterfeit purses on the hoping that the time is right when market, and yet they continue to they set out to launch their own produce their products in Chinese lines before they’re a Tom Ford or facilities where scraps and pata Diane von Furstenberg. terns are used to make fakes on the same factory floor.And women like That being a model involves a spell Kate and Laura Mulleavy probably of breaking down of one’s identity, wouldn’t make it through a “Project eating far less than is necessary Runway” style competition, given for life, and almost certainly being their unorthodox approaches and swindled by managers and casters. how introverted they’re purported to be. But there’s no denying that They will, in short, not know what they’re brilliant—so should Heidi they are getting into, and only Klum and company really be the once they’ve graduated will they arbiters of design on TV? fully realize that it’s not a world of “cut-throat” women who will Teenagers looking for a career pat you on the back and hand you path will not see this. They will see plane tickets after they make you the fairytale trajectories of Carcry. rie Bradshaw, Lauren Conrad and Brad Goreski. They will first view All the while, the Heidi Klums and the fashion world from behind the Tyra Banks’ will persist, telling cameraman’s lens, and they will everyone that all they need is a litflock to FIT and FIDM accordingly, tle luck and a little elbow grease for many of them without knowing the corner office and the front row how to sew a button. seat at Fashion Week. “What everyone has to get is it’s not how you No one will tell them that the jobs dress or how dramatic you are,” they want, as they imagine them, says Alyssa, who is now working do not exist. for a PR firm. That it takes fashion editors years “You really have to work so hard. of work or family connections There’s hours of work, and one day to get to where they are, and that it might pay off… If you’re in [fashtheir offices are markedly less ion] but if you don’t really love it, swank than “The Devil Wears you don’t have a chance.”  Prada” would insist.

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- Honor Vincent

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THE FUTURE ISSUE

DC’S BUDDING FASHION FUTURE

MELISSA AUF DER MAUR ON OBSESSIONS

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

london calling

peru

GRACE

JONES

FEARLESS FASHION ICON

GIRLS

CAN, TOO

5 Amazing Women Who Are Breaking Stereotypes

MS MR

CAVEMAN On the Future of Music

MOST-WANTED

BEAUTY


The Future Issue