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fashion + culture stanford university spring 2014

letter from the editor T

here’s something to be said about deadlines. I don’t know about you, but no matter how well I seem to plan things out, I’m always scrambling to finish everything in the minutes before a due date. Case in point: this letter from the editor. It’s 3:20AM, two hours and forty minutes before our deadline to submit this issue to the printers. I’m sitting alone on this slightly lumpy, purple couch in the entryway of my dorm. I’m perched atop two (slightly scalding) laptop chargers like a mother bird while I navigate editing photos on one laptop to working on layout on the other. Welcome to the glamorous behind-thescenes at MINT Magazine. Of course, we’d be nowhere near this point without the near-mythical leadership team and tireless staff of writers, photographers, and models. To the flawless human being that is Emma Coleman, who worked on every single layout in this magazine, to every single person on the contributors page…thank you. For this issue, we decided to focus on the dynamic aspects of fashion and culture. We sought to explore topics like fad diets, transgender models, third-world garment sweatshops, and even the shocking influence of Pantone’s color of the year on everything from couch cushions to cropped cardigans. We brought you the best makeup tips for this spring and summer, and a completely nouveau storybook-style fashion photo editorial. Dress in the latest with Coachella fashion as described in If you’re looking for some jammin’ music, check out featured artists The Skariginals, Mutual Benefit, and Wiley Webb, as well as a ready-made spring playlist.

There’s so much more inside this issue that we can’t wait for you to turn the page. We all have deadlines, but take a break from whatever crunch time you’re going through and enjoy your copy of MINT Magazine’s first print issue. What you’re holding in your hands is proof that through every minor (and sometimes major—attempting to ship 450 magazines to my Stanford P.O. Box is apparently not allowed?)

setback, we’ve pulled through, and so can you. There’s no better form of inspiration than the deadline. Stay minty,



ASHLEY OVERBEEK editor-in-chief EMMA COLEMAN art director SYDNEY MAPLES photography director JULIA MARTINS copyediting director


KARINA EL BAZE VILLANUEVA ZABREEN KHAN writing directors JESSIE ALVAREZ web director LILY LIAO JESSICA SPICER modeling directors SELINA HER promotions director MOMOTA IMAI financial officer MADELEINE HAN IRENE HSU story lookbook layout

spring quarter 2014

COACHELLA While music junkies along the gold coast may count down the days to Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, fashion-enthusiasts everywhere also greatly anticipate this two-weekend spectacle that marks the best spring fashion of the year. A fashion week in itself, Coachella invites everyone—from big name fashion industry moguls to everyday Stanford students—to come together and showcase their “effortless” style. So, free spirit or not, don’t leave planning your festival look to the last minute. Keep an eye out for Coachella style experts, such as Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Bosworth, and Vanessa Hudgens, who embody the spirit of festival fashion. But because we know you are busy balancing your spring courses and tanning on the green, here is a fail-safe checklist for Coachella 2014.

>layered bracelets

>flowing hair

CHECKLIST >floppy hat >round sunglasses URBAN TOPSHOP

>loose sweater >crop top >long necklaces GEMZIAN ARTFIRE TOPSHOP

>denim cutoffs >crossbody bag >sandals



by samantha neuber

TRANS/cendence TRANSGENDER IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY Let’s face it. The fashion industry has a problem with diversity. I know it, you know it, and they know it.


nd I’m not just talking about the racial diversity of the models. Body diversity, among others, joins racial diversity at the forefront of the polemical debate surrounding the fashion industry’s penchant for homogeneity. However, another one of the fashion industry’s deficits in representation is beginning to come to light: the lack of transgender models. Much like the racial and body diversity issues, transgender representation in the modeling and fashion worlds is making strides towards improvement (though it is worth noting here that these issues have a long way to go).

On January 31st of 2013, Barney’s New York released its spring campaign, entitled Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters, shot by photographer Bruce Weber, which features a cast of seventeen stunning transgender models in a variety of black and white photographs. Barneys also stated explicitly in the campaign statement that they are in full and open support of the transgender community, and that they hope to dispel stereotypes and foster acceptance of transgender people through their intimate campaign ( Accompanying the photos are interviews, in both text and video form, with the models on their

intimate campaign (thewindow.barneys. com). Accompanying the photos are interviews, in both text and video form, with the models speaking on their experiences both as transgender people, and as transgender models. The campaign has received considerable media attention and, on the whole, enthusiastic support. Up until now, transgender models have not been very present on the fashion scene, a scene that has historically been dominated primarily by slender, Caucasian, cisgender females. While Barneys’ campaign may be the development that has garnered the most media attention as of late, a very close runner up is the online petition for Victoria’s Secret to hire Carmen Carrera as their first transgender model. Carrera, who first captured public attention as a contestant on the third season of the television series RuPaul’s Drag Race, is both a model (signed with prestigious Elite Model Management and who was recently featured in a spread in W Magazine) and a trans-equality activist who has used her recent media attention as a platform to speak about transequality and transgender representation in beauty and entertainment industries. While Victoria’s Secret has yet to respond to the plea, hope is not lost—the petition, initiated by Carrera’s fans, boasts a signature count of over 46,000, a number that

grows daily. But Carrera’s petition and Barneys’ campaign aren’t the only positive developments in trans representation. In recent years, transgender model Lea T, best known as the muse of Riccardo Tisci, Italian creative director of Givenchy, has graced the pages of French Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair, Givenchy campaigns, and even a cover of Love Magazine in which she locks lips with supermodel Kate Moss. America’s Next Top Model, too, has taken steps towards transgender inclusion. Model Isis King, contestant in both the eleventh cycle and seventeenth (AllStars) cycle, was the show’s first transgender competitor. Despite being eliminated early on in cycle eleven, King’s return for cycle seventeen is an encouraging sign for more transgender inclusion in fashion and modeling industries in the future. However, something is missing from this argument...what about the trans male models? While steps are being made towards more trans inclusion, not quite as much can be said on the male modeling front as on the female. Perhaps this is a result of the fashion industry’s diversity problem, or perhaps it merely stems from the fashion world’s focus on women’s fashion and female models. This curious disparity, however, is a whole new issue that would be impossible to tackle in the

Carmen Carrera in her W Magazine spread called “Showgirl”

the limited words of this article. What I can say about the issue, though, is that I hope I’ll be able to say it is no longer an issue soon. So, although Carmen Carerra’s thriving career, Barneys’ groundbreaking spring campaign, Lea T and Isis King making waves—not to mention the various other trans models making names for themselves in the fashion industry— are all things to celebrate in terms of transgender representation, we certainly cannot say that fashion’s diversity problem is by any means solved. We’ve got a long way to go before transgender models are as accepted as any “regular” model would be, before it is not big news that a department store advertises with all transgender models, before we must to petition a

Katie Hill (left) and Arin Andrews (right) from Barneys’ New York spring 2014 campaign Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters

What I can say about the issue, though, is that I hope I’ll be able to say it is no longer an issue soon. ‘

company to consider hiring a transgender runway model. Though there may be a long road ahead of us before we reach equal representation in fashion, as spring and summer roll around we can hope to see new, diverse faces on the runway and on the pages of our favorite magazines.


n the 1930s, women of the upper ech elon of society maintained their hourglass figures with the grapefruit diet. In the 1970s, the Atkins diet became a new staple name, asking its followers to forgo carbs (yes, even the carbs in fruit) in order to shed some pounds. In the early 2000s The South Beach Diet was released, and women cleared the shelves in an attempt to learn how the ladies of Los Angeles kept supermodel shapes. So what’s America’s latest diet obsession? In one word, free. Americans will do whatever they can to lose weight while not actually feeling like they have to cut back on what they eat. The latest way to do this has to been restrict certain food groups, choosing to go gluten free or dairy free when they have no medical reason to do so. Celiac disease is a medical illness where sufferers are intolerant to gluten. Eating gluten, which is found in most staple breads, cookies, and cakes, can make the person feel nauseous or in some cases, even vomit. However, only 1 in 100 Americans suffer from a form of gluten intolerance. So why do we have aisles dedicated gluten free foods? Up to 25 percent of our population wants gluten free foods, even though they do not suffer from the medical condition . Instead of trying to navigate through the plethora of processed foods and separate

the good carbs from the bad, some Americans – especially college students – find it easier to eliminate an entire staple ingredient.

Americans will do whatever they can to lose weight while not actually feeling like they have to cut back on what they eat.

The trend has taken off recently due to its endorsement by high profile figures in the entertainment and fashion industries. On Dr. Oz, actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she has eliminated not only gluten but also wheat, eggs, soy, dairy, meat, and sugar from her diet. The combination of Paltrow’s appearance in a beautiful, tight dress that shows off her figure and her claims that the diet has resulted in increased energy make it hard to not want to follow suit. Designer Victoria Beckham similarly vocalized that she avoids gluten, and has encouraged others to do the same. The list of celebrities who have gone gluten free includes Lady Gaga, Elizabeth Hasselback, Miley Cryus, and Billy Bob Thorton.

and so it end a story lookbook by Madeleine Han and Irene Hsu photography by Ashley Overbeek and Sydney Maples



hen the letters in her easy reader etched their seriffed tails into the flesh of her memory, she stopped needing. The baritone rumble of her father pronouncing fairytales and the gentle lull of her mother crooning rhymes were replaced by silence. Deep, velvet silence, fluffed with thought, plush with unspoken imagination, tousled occasionally by the ruffle of pages. Silence settled like snow in the room, all around her, and yet never within her. Within her was the inner voice voice which spoke the words of German folklore and as though plucking them from branches, earthy and full. She savored the syllables like fruit. And it wasn’t until she was thirteen that she realized the voice was not hers.


he grew older, and he did too. Between them, there were only the rustling pages, froufrou,

he called them in his voice in her head, a voice coated thick with French. As each year settled over another, she built a world around him, melded the loops of lowercase g’s into gauntlets and gardens and good men are hard to find. The voice slunk like a cat on Sunday over long a’s, clinging onto the edges of hooked t’s and stretching over the rumble of deep, throaty r’s.


nce in a while, she stopped mid-sentence in a book—and asked the voice in her head in a voice of her own. She was met with silence. Not the velvet silence that upholstered her room, but blankness, as though speaking to the nothing present-not-present in mason jars, there-not-there in the gaps between her teeth. And then she would scoop her book into her arms again, flipping back to the page, I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. and he returned, as though he had never slipped away. One day, I too, will slip away, she thought, and I, too, will return—with him. And when she was twenty, she lined two suitcases of books with the pleats of her skirts and chiffon of her blouses, squeezed her belongings into plane compartments, and the next day, lighted upon France, where a little chalet nestled at the base of Mt. R-- waited.


he next morning, she awoke, slid on her slippers, and padded out into the uneven streets. She wandered up and down the winding streets, eyes flickering toward the cotton and linen fluttering on clotheslines above her head in the light breeze, feet shuffling against the cobblestone of streets worn uneven by pattering rain, fingertips tracing the stitches between wood and stone. Day after day, she basked in simplicity, but even simple pulled her away from velvet silence and frou frou and voice, and she left spines and leather jackets dusty. There is no friend as loyal as a book.


he never stopped looking for him, but days unfolded like pages, weeks into months, months into years. Time was narrated less and less by him, more and more by the clinking milk bottles early morning, children playing la marelle ronde behind the boulangerie, the yapping spaniel that followed her home one day. On Rue de J-- that April, she strolled along the curb, passing the little fountain and the pots of germanium lining the stores. She plucked words off signs like fruit, feeding them to the voice in her head—he was starved, desolÊe, she pleaded, in the past months. He obliged, and slurped on soupe du jour, gulped down boucherie, pressed besoin d’aide, between his lips before swallowing. She looked up and found herself outside a bookstore.


he bookstore was initially quiet, like the tinkle of chimes in August. Bonjour madame, monsieur, she greeted the same gentlemen in tweed caps and ladies with brooches lingering among shelves like the musk of pages on fingers. She passed word for word for page for bill for au revoir for quiet, tinkling chimes and gossamer hours with old friends, Flaubert and Saint Exupéry and Baudelaire, bookended by warm baguettes of the mornings and laughter of children of the evenings. Le beau est toujours bizarre. Then they came to her with complaints of indigestion, or sleepless nights, or helium snaking through their ear canals and into their heads, or men in their skulls banging against the walls of bone, or pain, they whimpered, the pain. Never mind Charles and Faustus, she cured aches and scrapes and melancholia with, Have you consumed enough poésie? A dose of beauté? Ask her anything, was passed around the village like bread and wine—ask her everything. What were books but remedies for the soul, absorbed through the eyes and spreading like fumes through the bloodstream to the very core, the very coeur? What were books but ages of the past, interlocking like fingers as though in prayer?


oday was someone she had never seen before, crisp and clean like the letter K. He did not mingle, but he darted, and his motions passed through her eyes beyond the pages of Fleurs du Mal. “Bonjour,” she called, “Bonjour,” he stated, the word bubbling from his throat and escaping between his lips, nearly lost in the breeze like loose sheafs. She felt her thoughts shuffle as though filing away voice with face with name when she realized that in her thoughts he had no face; as in, in her thoughts he had no name; as in, in her thoughts his was the voice she had been searching for all this time, had grown up with and had wished upon and had rebuilt her life around; as in—here he was now, handsome and dark and simple and everything his voice could ever have promised. All this in the moment he shot from door to shelf, gaze roaming the room glancing everything but her.


ll this, and then the next moment he leaned in, his hand slipping from shelf to jacket, cloth binding and gold letters flashing—then gone— all this, she saw, all this, the voice in her head. He gave her a once-over before taking off—voler à l’étalage, the word surfaced from her memory, spoken not by the voice but by her, she cries as he steps out the door. And so it ends.

Although celebrities like Beckham may be a slender size 0, correlation is not the same as causation. In fact, studies have shown that going gluten free results in no long-term weight loss. With the rise in popularity that gluten free foods have experienced recently, the types of gluten free options that exist have risen along with it. The various gluten substitutes placed in bagels, cookies, and sandwich breads utilize fats and sugars to replace the taste lost by gluten, making it a yummy but not-so-healthy alternative. Furthermore, followers of the gluten free fad are more likely to not get their daily dose of vitamins, specifically calcium, zinc, vitamin B, and magnesium. Additionally, foods without gluten have less fiber. Since fiber helps keep you full longer, avoiding gluten may end up making you hungrier. Nonetheless, Americans seem to choose to stick to these trends. Gluten can even be found in foods you wouldn’t expect, such as soy sauce or certain lip balms, so on the first week someone goes gluten free, the options often seem restrictive. A college student may think that she will be living off of kale salads for months. However, as we start to find the loopholes in the diet (ice cream doesn’t contain gluten, after all), the pounds start to return.

We need to stop relying on high profile figures in the fashion and entertainment industries to dictate what the best path to a healthier body is. Rather than going gluten free, we should strike a balance between whole grains, carbs, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Now that sounds tasty.


1. “Lost In My Mind” The Head and the Heart This indie folk-rock band from Seattle, Washington, will be making their second appearance at Coachella this year. Charity Rose Thiele, the only female of the five-member band, adds a unique touch with her adept vocals and violin skills.

2. “Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard” Klangkarussel This song has a jazzy electro vibe and a happy “sing-along” chorus. It’s the type of song that you’ll want to blast in the car on a sunny afternoon with all the windows rolled down.

4. “Atlas Hands (Thomas Jack Remix)”’ Benjamin Francis Leftwich

3. “Walk On By (Sound Remedy Remix)” Noosa This up and coming DJ is recognized for his ability to smoothly transition between powerful lyrics and an upbeat drop. Although he tends to play more trap at his live shows, he often plays at small clubs/theaters in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, so be sure to go check him out.

Thomas Jack is an underground tropical house artist. His unique and innovative sound ranges from relaxing songs such as “Atlas Hands,” to even funkier tracks such as “Booka Shake.”

5. “BaDINGA!” TWRK This is the ultimate party song—one you should definitely add to your Friday night playlist. It has a fun drop that gets everyone dancing.


onbelievers c o m mo n l y dismiss fashion as nothing more than a particularly colorcoordinated strain of narcissism. This admittedly not-totally-mistaken condemnation finds purchase in such cultural embarrassments as the exaggerated sensuality that permeates popular fashion blogs, supermodels’ proclivity to subvert proper nutrition for the boon of reed-like legs, and those T-shirts that say “Célfie.” In clinging greedily to beauty ideals, couture often disfigures its name. I insist, however, that a concept of fashion as merely the practice of preening is grossly deficient; fashion’s visual nature does not prevent it from containing unseen dimensions. We can turn to the intimate world of personal tyle to supply at least one of these hidden elements and, by doing so, hopefully provide fashion with at least one intention nobler than vainglory. Though we certainly dress – albeit to varying degrees – to impress, I believe we spend energy

MODER TALISM permeating personal compositions of clothing for more than aesthetic appeal. We do so for liberation. Clothes empower us by allowing us to fabricate how we want to be seen and, ultimately, who we want to be. When donned, clothes infuse confidence into our everday endeavors. I can furnish a personal example. I rarely transact my day without my mom’s gold wedding ring on my right ring finger and a silver companion on an adjacent digit. Partially motivated by aesthetic convictions, I sport these accessories to express a heterogeneity I find beautiful. More deliberately, though, I wear them because

RN DAY SMANS they augment my perception of myself. I imagine that, in their multiplicity, they might belong to a lady that has yet to settle into the single-ringed life of domestic partnership – a lady that derives self-assurance in all situations from her remaining ability to choose. When I wear my rings, I am that lady, and I proceed with less caution. Lest I reduce the importance of this concept to a couple of accessories, I’d like to point out that similar talismans have served humanity since its genesis. Ancient Egyptians believed phallic ankh amulets would grant them with eternal life, and costume played a significant role in Native Americans’ religious reenactments of mythology.

Such talismans exist today. After all, what’s more significant than the presidential power suit? At some primitive point, we decided that certain garments and accessories possessed special powers, and that they might impart those properties to us. Even the configurations in which we wear specific articles can be enabling – don’t tell me that rolling up your sleeves doesn’t make you feel more prepared to write an essay or wrestle a pig. In addition to salvaging fashion’s good name, the concept of the talisman serves to introduce and promote personal style as a tool. I suggest that you henceforth consider your token Stanford sweatshirt as not only complementary to your khaki shorts or lightwash skinnies, but also as a means to channel the productive university student you supposedly aspire to be, as a utility equal to your MacBook in practical capacity. A cardinal crewneck could very well indeed work psychological magic. It is a time-tested truth that the connotations of fashion’s form enhance its functionality. Use it.

by: Marin Reeve

COLOR “That sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. In 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean trickled on down until you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think you’re exempt from the fashion industry when, in fact, that color was selected by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.” (The Devil Wears Prada, 2006) Fashion is fabric, texture, art, but most of all, fashion is color. It seems amazing that designers around the world can somehow coordinate a similar color palette, unifying the fashion industry. A few years ago, mint took the shelves by storm – there were mint-colored leggings, sunglasses, wallets, everything. As the quote by the worshiped Miranda Priestly in the hit fashion movie The Devil Wears Prada shows, there is a method behind the madness. Twice a year, a small, little-known New Jersey company named Pantone decides on the “color of the year.” For the summer of 2014, it is the color 183224, or radiant orchid. Pantone invites a diverse assortment of experts from many industries – fashion, furniture, and automobile to name a few – to a secret meeting place in Europe. In a drab room, purposefully chosen so as not to influence color decisions, the experts each present and debate over “the new black.” In 2012, this was “Tangerine Tango,” a color worn on the red carpet by Emma Stone and Beyoncé, while for 2013 it was “Emerald.”

Inspired by colors in recent fashion, film, technology, art, and travel destinations, Pantone’s findings are published in Pantone View, a $750 publication which fashion designers, supermarket chains, florists, and other consumer-based companies purchase. From a collection of over 3000 hues, Pantone selects nine colors per season, as well as one primary color of the year. Pantone’s influence can be seen far and wide. In past years, Pantone has paired with companies like JC Penney and Sephora to create special colored items. It is not just fashion designers who have begun to include radiant orchid in their collections, but also the furniture, automobile, and appliance companies. Keurig now offers a radiant orchid coffeemaker and furniture companies have created lamps, throws, and rugs in radiant orchid with furniture in a darker, more elegant eggplant. The purpose of Pantone’s “color of the year” is not to pressure the fashion-forward to completely change and remodel their closet to accommodate the new color. Instead it is an attempt to broaden closets, encouraging the industry to introduce more pieces in forgotten yet remarkable shades. “Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative, and embracing purple – one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love, and health” (Pantone) May your year be filled with confidence, creativity, and an abundance of radiant orchid. by: Bradley Wo





he fashion world has seen no shortage of exclusivity, and 2013 was no exception. Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, has openly and unabashedly stated that Abercrombie is only interested “in people with washboard stomachs” and “cool, goodlooking people.” Karl Lagerfield, creative director and designer for Chanel, has expressed his belief that the hole in social security is due to diseases caught by people who are “too fat” and that “nobody wants to see curvy women on the runway.” And lately Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, has come under attack for his less-than-tactful response to complaints about the poor-quality of Lulu’s yoga pants, claiming that “some women’s bodies actually do not work for them.” Why is it that these men are governing a world that is primarily geared towards impressionable, young women? Why do we even let them? After all, our bodies are our own. They are as customizable as they are impressionable; sizes should not factor into the equation. It is unfortunate that our culture is so geared towards the future, and our focus often turns toward what we could be versus what we are, what we could look like versus what we do look like. Sometimes, as a woman, I feel perpetually stuck between seconds and scales. If I could, I’d wish this feeling away in a heartbeat.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t want to see sizes. I want to see laugh lines and visions of my loving parents. I want to see birthmarks (there’s a reason they’re called “angel kisses”) and shades of pink in my cheeks. I want to content myself as a byproduct of my experience as a breathing being; my ride so far has been short, yet already so thrilling. I think that the ideal world I hold in my head is less concerned with changing the opinions of CEOs like Mike Jeffries and more concerned with seeking empathy in the realm of fashion. I believe that empathy is a crucial yet undervalued trait in authoritative figures, and the fact that fashion has such a powerful influence on people of all ages only emphasizes the need for empathetic leaders in this industry. I’d like to see more people running the show who truly understand what it feels like to be young and vulnerable, and I’d like this understanding to take up billboard space. I’d like to help create a world where we aren’t offended by our own anatomy. We seem to thrive best when we are not in a competition with ourselves. Perhaps 2014 will bring this ideal world a little closer. I will keep my fingers crossed.




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FASHION on-the-go



Calling all online shoppers, this app is for you! Searching through each of your favorite websites to find the right pair of shoes can be a bit of a drag. ShopStyle does the heavy lifting for you, compiling all the products and websites onto one interface. You can even place filters on which brands you’d like to see. Better yet, you can request sale alerts for the products you want that may be a tad bit expensive. No matter how often you online shop, ShopStyle is there to help.


Snap Fashion


Style Book


Walk in My Closet

Want to know where that one-of-a-kind studded dress on Pinterest is from? Snap Fashion gives you the answer. You can take or upload a photograph of any piece of clothing and it will search its databases to find where you can purchase the same piece or a similar one. It’s quick and easy, helping you find all the clothes you wish you had. Snap Fashion is the Shazam for fashion addicts.


Fashion Kaleidoscope

With Fashion Kaleidoscope you will never again spend hours sorting through style blogs and celebrity fashion reports for the latest trends. The app gathers the top posts and shows them to you in one stream – from street style to Red Carpet couture. It then tells you where you can find similar looks! You’ll save time, but still receive all your essential info.

Though we may deny it, sometimes picking an outfit in the morning can take too much time. If you want to sleep in for an extra half hour before class, Style Book can help! All you have to do is upload pictures of your clothes and you can plan your outfits ahead of time. An-

Walk In My Closet combines two important features in one. Not only can you create a virtual closet, but you can also earn some cash for the clothes you no longer need. Walk In My Closet allows you to add pieces to your virtual closet as you browse online stores. It’s a wish list that combines items from all your favorite websites.

It’s lightly drizzling when Uché Uba shows up at the front of Sigma Nu, his frat, dressed in head-to-toe black.




espite the depressing weather, he flashes a grin. Clad in a slick leather jacket, kicks, and well-fitting black denim, he cuts a striking image. In some ways, he’s dressed like a New Yorker but he swears off their modeling scene. An Oregon native, Uba noticed how New Yorkers “are so homogenized. Currently they have this all-black, skinny, depressed bones-sticking out, clavicles popping-out … hipster skinny look. I’m so over it.” Uba had spent the summer of 2012 modeling in New York thus is no stranger to New York culture. “I was pushed to my limits in New York style.” Designers and photographers recognized that he was a West Coast model. “One of the reasons why I will not work in New York is because they are so homogenized. That look is not only

depressing but it’s also genetic. I don’t think it’s something that people can just attain.” Ironically, during the college process, Uba had considered Columbia due to the New York industry access. He’s grateful he ended up coming to Stanford. “Stanford has its own beauty and network that I would never turn down.” Uba’s currently a pre-med junior – and also a 6’ 1” Nike model. In fact, he flew to a Nike shoot this past Snowchella weekend in preparation for a global buyers show. Students like Uba prove that it’s possible to be in the high fashion industry and in college, especially at a place like Stanford. He’s been taking at least 20 units per quarter and switched to STS from the HumBio track in order to combine his interests such as biotechnology,

business, and marketing. “I feel like I’m on a faster beat but I’m still doing the same thing as the rest of us. We’re all on the same grind.” Uba has similar professional contemporaries, such as Lyndsey Scott, Victoria’s Secret model and coder. Scott graduated from Amherst in 2006 with dual degrees in computer science and theater. In a Quora post from last December, she described herself as “kind of a nerd.” In fact, she got better grades in computer science. Like Scott, Uba plans to stay in school. “Education has given me this platform where anyone, regardless of socioeconomic background, is on that same playing field,” he said. “I will never give that up. I don’t care if it ruins my career.” So far, his career seems to be just fine. He began modeling at the age 14 and signed with his second, current, agency, Option Model and Media, a boutique agency in Portland, Oregon. He switched agencies in 2010, in search for a more close-knit agency that, according to him, would be “integral to my development.” His big break came in 2012 with a Nike deal. Uba had some portfolio work containing athletic shots, given his high school sports background. First he shot Nike Football, which evolved into Nike Track work. He did a Nike Finish Line campaign, resulting in huge six-foot posters of him all around Finish Line stores. Since then, modeling became a bit easier to fit into his college schedule since he no longer had to go to castings bookings and would instead get direct bookings.

Wanting to enter the European market, Uba spent fall quarter abroad in Barcelona. Looking back, he wished he had considered London or Paris because of the presence of more black models, let alone residents. After two weeks of “go sees,” Uba was stressed that he made no progress since his arrival. Then he was told that modeling agencies in Barcelona just don’t have ethnic models. Uno Models, one of the top agencies in Spain, told him “if we hired you, you wouldn’t be working a lot… you’re guapísimo, don’t let that get you down.” “Barcelona was the worst. America’s also not doing that great,” he said about race in the industry. Eventually he was approached with a gig for the Timberland store opening on Passeig de Gràciam, the 5th avenue of Barcelona. He couldn’t turn it down given his unlucky streak of shutdowns beforehand. Ten models, including Uba, donned Timberland apparel and walked around the city showing off the brand, ending the day with a Timberland party. “I’m kind of the black sheep of the scene for what the market is looking for, but Tyson Beckford has done it, Tyra Banks has done it, Rob Evans has done it.” After Stanford, Uba hopes to move to Los Angeles and enter the acting industry. In preparation for his “last frontier,” he plans on taking acting classes here. “I’m ready to do something that I know is going to be hard. As opposed to modeling where you learn with time, for acting, you need to be practicing everyday.”


When asked about labor practices in overseas garment factories, Uba paused. “I feel bad about it but I can’t bash my clients… one day I’m going to have enough electricity to make an impact, that’s my goal. There’s definitely not perfection in current manufacturing practices.” Despite the reputation Stanford has for being in the Silicon Valley bubble, Uba’s noticed the changes on campus in relation to the arts/fashion. But he reminds students to continue caring about the apparel industry: “Those who don’t think that fashion is a salient issue forget they are wearing clothes.” pak, 499,12

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by: Soo Ji Lee MRT_INSP_FOCUS.indd 12

22-01-14 10:02



this L.A.-based band is captivating music lovers everywhere with their upbeat, happy music and energetic live performances. It has only taken a few months for popsteady band The Skariginals to establish a presence in the Los Angeles music scene. Formed by fun-loving music students at USC and Cal Poly Pomona, The Skariginals’ upbeat, beachy, feel-good music and high-energy performances attract a wide audience. Their debut EP “Part of Your Balanced Breakfast” has put the spotlight on The Skariginals, who have booked dozens of shows and earned airplay throughout the US and Australia. Their single “Magic of the Moment” claimed #4 on Ska Parade Radio’s Top Songs of 2013. Most recently, The Skariginals opened for Andy Grammer and released a cover of No Doubt’s “Underneath It All” with YouTube star Drew Tabor. MINT got the chance to chat with drummer Ryan Mowrey about the journey and what’s next.

How did the band come together? My longtime collaborator Brayden Wiggins and I formed the Skariginals in May of last year. I had this idea for a ska band brewing in my brain for about two years. I showed him some of the songs I was working on, and he enjoyed them, so we started writing some of this ska and reggae music and eventually had a collection of a few original songs. It was late March by the time we had enough material to do some shows, so we set a goal for ourselves to play a gig with a full band by the end of May. We got an opportunity to play the Cal Poly Pomona Battle of the Bands and took it! From there we talked to our good friend Josh who played guitar in our high-school band, recruited the man who introduced me to ska, Kurt, to play bass, and got Brayden’s hall-mate John, who played saxo-

phone with him in jazz band. We threw together a set and played an awesome show. We didn’t expect such good crowd reception on our first show,

but people wanted more. We decided to make it a full ska band with horns and picked up our friend Brian on trombone and his brother David on trumpet. By June we had solidified the current lineup and were entering the studio to record our debut EP.

What exactly is popsteady music? Popsteady music is pop songwriting backed by ska, reggae and rocksteady sounds. You hear it all time with artists like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, No Doubt, Dirty Heads, and more. For example, “I’m Yours,” “The Lazy Song,” “Underneath It All,” and even “One More Night” incorporate elements of reggae into their arrangements. Popsteady takes mass-appealing music with pop songwriting and fits it to reggae and ska sounds. Anyone who is interested in being lifted by music will find popsteady appealing. The vibe and atmosphere created by the styles of rock and reggae are very unique in their ability to make its audience feel good, whether the song is more relaxing or trying to get you dancing. The Skariginals’ application of popsteady is intended to reach every listener and make them happier, whether they’re connecting to a lyric, absorbing the vibe and atmosphere in the song, or getting totally amped with the pounding drums and high tempos. What groups are your biggest influences? We’re very influenced by the 3rd Wave ska acts like The Aquabats, Mad Caddies, Goldfinger, and Sublime. A

lot of us grew up listening to bands Reel Big Fish and Blink 182 as well. In our songwriting, we’re very influenced by singer-songwriters like Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, Allen Stone, and John Mayer.

What makes The “Skariginals” original? The Skariginals are all about positivity and maximizing our audience’s happiness. If you come to a live show, you’re going to have an awesome night filled with singing, dancing, games, and friendship. If you listen to our record, our energy and lyrics will put you in a good mood. We’re spreading love and celebrating life through music, and there’s no one else out there that shares our purpose. What have been the highlights so far? It was a big moment for us when we completed our EP “Part of Your Balanced Breakfast.” We had hardly spent any time together as a group, and yet we already had this amazing record to develop our band with. It was a joy to be in the studio; the energy was always up as we tracked these songs Another highlight was our single “Magic of the Moment” getting the no. 4 Song of the Year on the semiannual ska radio show “Ska Parade” run by Orange County Ska legend Tazy Phillips. We also made the number one spot of his weekly broadcast multiple times and stayed in the top five for four consecutive weeks.

Recording the music video for “Magic of the Moment” was also a blast! We were in Newport Beach all day, shooting performance footage on a dock and playing around on the beach. It was an all around great day with our friends and we are super happy with the product! What’s next for The Skariginals? The Skariginals are working on a whole new batch of tunes right now for our second EP, to be released this summer. They’re sounding awesome and we can’t wait to get back in the studio! We’ve also just released our cover of “Underneath It All” with Drew Tabor and are planning to shoot a music video in the coming month to support that. It’s going to tell an awesome love story, people are totally going to dig it!

For more on The Skariginals, like them on Facebook and check them out on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

by Cat Davidson



We are members of a generation that spends far too much time in front of the mirror. Our hips are too wide, our stomachs too fat, our arms too flabby. When we run out of body parts to criticize, we create more and increasingly absurd obsessions, like achieving the all-important “thigh gap.” We know how ridiculous it is, but we’re all guilty of it. These criticisms are, of course, disturbing by-products of magazines, television, and other media, which seem to encourage unrealistic standards, mainly through images of models that are not only excessively skinny but also immaculately airbrushed, pinned, and tucked digitally. Even plus-sized models are required to have Barbie-like proportions that are physically impossible for the vast majority of us to attain. Two summers ago I joined the breeding grounds of such destruction as an intern at a Los Angeles modeling agency. The main stereotype of Hollywood entertainment industries is that people are shallow, critical, and obsessed with perfection because culturally, that’s what it takes to “make it big.” I entered the job hoping to debunk some of these notions. Instead, I found that these clichés were disturbingly true. People were two-faced and inauthentic. The models weren’t radiating with a digitally-enhanced glow, nor were they ethereally beautiful – they looked emaciated and beaten down. One commented cynically: “If the apocalypse ever comes, I’ll be fine because I’ve been trained to go for days without food.” Meanwhile, my boss was on the phone with another model who was having a breakdown after a designer told her she was chubby at a fitting. I saw the girl the next day – her legs were the size of my wrists. It’s easy to see these girls as the enemy – after all, it’s their bodies that uphold the standard. But the truth is, they struggle just as much as the rest of us – probably more. Watching a model’s eyes widen in longing as my boss devoured a hearty sandwich from a local deli, I had a hard time understanding why a girl would subject herself to such sacrifices. But when chatting with the models, I sensed how genuinely passionate they were about their work, even if it meant saying goodbye to carbs. When sorting through images from

Even if you think someone else has “the perfect body,” at the end of the day we’re all dealing with the same demons.

photo shoots and runway shows, I marveled at their sheer artistry. They were – are – vehemently dedicated to their craft. We all have to make sacrifices for our careers. Unfortunately, their dedication means jeopardizing their health. Understanding these truths makes it easier to relate to models, rather than making them victims of our evil eye. Modeling is their passion, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their dreams from slipping through their fingers. They aren’t the ones setting the unhealthy standard – they’re just girls following their dreams, like everyone else. It’s the designers that we should hold responsible. They are the ones with the power; they choose who walks the runway, and what size she should be. They’re at the top of the food chain: they hand-select which models to hire, and if they sought other body types, then agencies would accordingly represent girls of various sizes. Now, to the girls of the world: we all have to stick together. This means not using others’ figures for “thinspiration,” or mocking girls who are heavier, or criticizing others as “too skinny” and labeling them “anorexic.” Even if you think someone else has “the perfect body,” at the end of the day we’re all dealing with the same demons. After all, even L.A.’s top fashion models struggle with this – often times, much more than we realize. We should look to one another for support instead of seeing each other as competition. Make sure your friends know that they too are beautiful; we’re in this together.



f there’s one trend that will never go out of style, no matter the year, no matter the day, no matter the season, it’s sunglasses. Sunglasses are not only a great way to do the obvious and protect your eyes from the California sun, but they can also make any outfit instantly pop. They can make your sweats and pony tail look sporty chic. Better yet, they can make it look as though you got those 8 hours of sleep you’re supposed to get, when in actuality, you only got 4.

Sunglasses are great way to change your look up no matter your style, and they give you the perfect excuse to be someone else for the day. If you’re a hipster who wants to channel her inner Audrey Hepburn, wear a pair of cat eye sunglasses! The best part is that you choose. And there’s no better time than the spring to pull out your latest pair, head over to the green grass, and soak up some sun.

by: Elizabeth Cusick











Don’t have time for elaborate, polished makeup, but wish you looked just as flawless? Here are three easy, time-saving techniques that will make everyone believe you woke up like this (cue Beyoncé). 1. Defined brows Filling in eyebrows can take a long time, especially for the perfectionists out there. On a busy day, take white or light beige eyeshadow and apply it underneath your eyebrows and in the inner corners of your eyes. This trick creates the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes and enhances the contrast between your eyebrows and lids… in less than thirty seconds! 2. Perfect skin Ever notice that your face makeup looks impeccable on the way to your morning class, but becomes blotchy as the day progresses? Try this miracle product: Makeup For Ever’s HD Microfinish powder. This lightweight, one-shade-fits-all product will hold your makeup in place and eliminate pores, creases, and imperfections. The best part? Only a five-second application time!

3. High cheekbones Contouring with bronzer can take a while, especially if you’re looking to achieve a fully blended look. For the same glossy, high cheekbone effect, use a highlighter stick. Simply apply the stick along the top of your cheekbones and smudge with your finger. MINT’s personal favorite, Benefit’s Watts Up Stick, has a sun-kissed shimmer that will brighten your face on your busiest days.

When you’re on the beach and in the sun, less really is more. Nobody likes having to fuss over running mascara and thick makeup when they’re relaxing in the heat. Sometimes, going bare is best, but if you want to put in some prep time before going out in the sun, here are five ideas. 1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! First and foremost: sunscreen. Whether you’re prone to burning or not, it’s essential to wear SPF, especially on the beach. Apply all over before heading outside, and keep a bottle of at least SPF 15 in your beach bag. Neutrogena’s UltraSheer DryTouch is light and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. 2. Simple Coverage It’s usually not necessary to use heavy foundation on the beach. Letting your skin breathe and soak up rays is refreshing, and anything super thick is likely to wash off in the water. If you want to add

d some color and coverage before going out, try using a favorite tinted moisturizer. Many tinted moisturizers have SPF in them, including our favorite from last season’s issue: Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer (SPF 30). Liquid foundation also works nicely when blended with a facial sunscreen before applying. This will lighten the consistency of the foundation and give you double the benefit. 3. Go for the Bronze A simple, unobvious way to freshen your look is to apply bronzer to your face, neck, and collarbones. This won’t leave your skin sticky or your pores clogged, and will give you a little extra glow. 4. Easy Eyes Be careful not to overdo your eye makeup before heading outside. While it might look awesome at first, it likely won’t be able to keep up with your time in and out

of the water. Waterproof is definitely your best bet for both eyeliner and mascara. Try Benefit’s BADgal waterproof mascara and liner – if you buy them in the “double the bad” set, you save $10. It’s also good to keep makeup remover pads in your bag, just in case your makeup starts to run.

5. All-In-One Lips It’s easy to forget that our lips can burn, too. If you want to leave them bare, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. For added color, try Fresh’s “Sugar Lip Treatment.” It has SPF 15, and comes in a variety of shades that both tint and plump your lips. This

The spring 2014 season for high fashion in London and Milan was filled with bold colors and exciting prints. Here are some of the most prominent fashion trends and some suggestions for their respective street fashion applications. FLORAL – Entering the warmth of spring, with an eye to vacationing in summer, floral has emerged as a print in several high fashion collections, including Phillip Lim, Missoni, and Louis Vuitton. Opting for bright designs and floral pieces commands attention. This shirt has a more subdued floral pattern to balance the outfit out. If you’re looking for more of a pop of color, then this hat will do the trick. CAMO – Camouflage has done anything but hide on the runways this season. Made up of neutral tones, camouflage still has the power to make a statement. This season, camouflage has been used as a print for pants, trench coats, and briefcases. The camouflage of street fashion is typically brighter and more defined.

For a simple crew… DAPPER – The dapper, well-kept gentleman look, harking from Britain’s Victorian Age, has been featured in several shows this season. With an emphasis on slim-cut suits and blazers with dramatic patterns, the dapper look finds that careful balance between classy and badass. A more useful, everyday adaptation to this look would be a blazerstyled coat. Losing the frills of metallic patterns for more rugged zippers or leather trim can dress up an entire outfit. STRUCTURED PATTERNS – Although black and white may sound boring and uninspired, the classic patterns of gingham, plaid, and stripes have become bolder this season. No longer do the pinstripe patterns play a supporting role to brighter color pieces, this season, these prints stepped forward as the focus of the outfit. For a more relaxed look, shirts only partly covered by a print provide the same fashion effect without the eyesore. Even better, black and white prints paired with a good pair of jeans can never go wrong. COLORED SHADES – Sunglasses with colored rims have premiered on several runways this season. They’ve worked as a tool to either bring an outfit’s color scheme together or provide an offsetting shade for color blocking. Sunglasses are always a must. Either go for bright colored rims or, if you’re feeling a bit more secretive, a pair with mirrored lenses.


t’s a sun-kissed Sunday afternoon when I climb the stairs to the third floor of Sigma Nu. I make my way down the hallway, find the door I’ve been looking for and knock softly once. The door opens and a slim, tall guy with tousled curly hair and glasses greets me with a smile. He’s wearing an Electric Daisy Carnival t-shirt and orange shorts, and immediately complements me on my thrifted blue china-plate print backpack.

This is Wiley Webb. “Want to sit outside on the balcony?” he asks, “Today is unbelievably beautiful.” And so our interview began. Impulsively, I decided to leave my tape recorder in my backpack and instead grabbed my laptop to follow Webb out into the sunshine. I spent our time together feverishly typing, my fingers racing against Webb’s words in order to preserve

BY: ashley overbeek

everything he said before it vanished from his mouth or my memory. It was an experience within itself. But in a way, I was glad to have transcribed the interview in such an intense and present manner. Like all ideas, conversations, and good songs, it was fleeting and ethereal, and all the more organic written down in real-time. So I present to you, a stream-of-consciousness

style interview with twenty-year-old Stanford Product Design major and DJ, Wiley Webb. One of his latest remixes, a funky fresh version of Roar by Katy Perry already has over 100,000 views on YouTube, along with original tracks like Humour and Ambrosia. In the past he has performed at nightclubs in San Francisco with the likes of 3LAU, as well as on campus during events like Snowchella with Digitalism.

Webb began by recalling the pivotal moment when he first began getting into dance music. I started my common app essay with “At my first rave…” Life sort of began after that Seeing electronic music in a live environment, go-go boots, LA rave culture Stumbling into Alice in Wonderland Made the blips and woops seem even more real. Webb’s music taste has grown and transformed throughout since his first rave experience as a freshman in high school. The first dance song I ever bought Everytime We Touch by Cascada

to it. A collage of feelings and images I try to find art pieces that match that emotional goal Sounds are pretty separated out where they are Following six threads at once Like right now there’s: Your voice People talking The plane overhead Leaves rustling People walking on the sidewalk below us Birds, mostly over to the right… All of those threads, I like separating them out. Webb’s love affair with music has had its own bumps along the road, but nothing has ever stopped him from enjoying it.

Now he classifies his taste as, Increasingly more eclectic With Appreciation for human soul in music Webb continued to define the presence of a “human soul” inside a dance track: It’s a culmination of dynamics Rhythm Flexible loose rhythm Nothing too quantized, nothing too on the grid Having melodies feel natural and sung Those are my three pillars of humanizing music: Dynamics Rhythm And pitch So my upcoming songs involve a lot of live musicians and I’m shaping all of that rough vivacious human flavor into something truly different. The auditory experience is just one aspect of Webb’s music I think of things very visually. Like I’ll describe sounds to collaborators and call them: An exploding cherry tree Which has a sound that has an emotional connotation

It’s always been a pleasant thing Some songs are incredibly difficult and frustrating to finish It’s really hard to solve these intangible issues Like if it needs “more energy” Finishing Ambrosia last year, freshman year, in the spring Of course there have been some pretty shitty shows, but Worst case I’m playing music to an empty room and I still get to enjoy the music On the conception of his music, Webb points to his song, “Humour” in particular, recalling that the Melody came to my head during a shower: That’s my first and only shower song Riffing around on the piano to find chords to support it Other melodies to support it Making voice memos on my phone to get those ideas down Notating in Logic (which is my software) And then sound starts to become part of the equation Browsing through thousands of sounds, writing ideas and visions of sounds, where you want the end goals to be, I have some pretty funny notes that would sound like nonsensical, abstract poetry to anyone but me.

We spoke about relating something familiar to a variety of abstract ideas, and I asked Webb to compare his music to a type of food… It’s complex, really thick and rich Memorable I’d say it equates to good toro hand roll with some kind of fatty rich goodness and a little bit of crunch And if the fish is fresh enough, some nice subtle complexities. … a country… I haven’t succeeded with my past releases, but my upcoming tracks have really ethnic feels But from an abstract philosophical

view This dance of simplicity and complexity and perfect naturalness and subtle richness All of which comprise the ideals of Japanese aesthetics. … and a landscape. I’d say my old music is more like a busy city But the new stuff is more like a perfectly tended tea garden Or one of those stunning coastlines that seem too good to be true Too good to be true? Pretty much sums up everything that encompasses Wiley Webb’s enchantingly ethereal

personality and music. To listen and learn more, visit www.

which hopes to strengthen their own economies, now too have to follow in history’s footsteps and endure a transitioning period that includes sweatshops, among other things. Krugman proceeds to claim that not only are sweatshops vital to the good of an economy but also beneficial to the workers. Despite wages being low to our standards, sweatshops pay more than most other jobs in developing countries. Demanding these companies to increase their wages A few weeks ago, I was enjoying dinner in Palo Alto with two friends when a seemingly meaningless comment caught my attention. While discussing the culture shock of moving to the Bay Area, one of my friends (an international student from Indonesia), made the point that what she has found the most surprising about living in America is clothes’ source of origin. “All my favorite stores have clothes that say ‘Made in Indonesia’ which is weird because back home we don’t have any of these stores. Indonesians don’t even get to buy the clothes we make!” As most conversations tend to go, this one soon drifted to other unrelated topics but my friend’s comment stayed in the back of my mind. Sweatshops are not a novel creation. They’ve been around for decades and are likely to exist for as long as a free trade economy dominates our world. Prior to last fall, everything I knew about sweatshops came from the horror stories one finds in newspaper and online articles: inhumane working conditions, greedy CEOs, alarming low wages, etc. This idea of sweatshops being an evil and greed-driven production of globalization was challenged when I enrolled in International Relations 1. One of the readings for the class, a book entitled In Praise of Cheap Labor: Bad Jobs at Bad Wages are Better Than No Jobs at All by Paul Krugman, made the arguments that sweatshops are not only not bad but rather essential and beneficial. To defend his standpoint, Krugman argued that sweatshops are a crucial aspect of any developing nation. This is true historically: Britain and the U.S. had sweatshops during the Industrial Revolution, and the Asian Tiger countries went through an era of sweatshops before becoming the thriving economies they now are. Nations like Indonesia,

“Is it not hypocritical to practice our freedom of expression through our clothing while simultaneously restricting the freedom of others?” would simply drive them to other developing countries with less regulation or move them back to industrialized countries, leaving millions of third world country citizens unemployed. From a logical standpoint, Krugman’s rational makes sense. In theory, sweatshops are providing a way for millions to survive. Yet, what Krugman didn’t tackle in his argument is the ethical nature of the issue. Are we, as consumers, not in part (or fully) to blame for the existence of sweatshops? Is it not hypocritical to practice our freedom of expression through our clothing while simultaneously restricting the freedom of others? Furthermore, if we are to blame, is there anything that we can do to fight this cycle? At the very least, shouldn’t we feel guilty for buying and wearing what we do? Or should we be proud to contribute to the employment of millions? It is, at least, something to consider when it surfaces during a dinner conversation. Bon appétit. BY: Eddy Rosales Chavez

mutual benefit

If you heard Mutual Benefit’s music, you’d recognize their intricate, dreamy, folk-pop music that mixes lush watery tones with lo-fi banjo, guitar instrumentals, and homemade sound. The up-and-coming band, composed of Jordan Lee and a rotating collective of his friends, self released a number of EP’s and singles in the past. Their newest LP, Love’s Crushing Diamond, was released last October. The album is a piecing together of field recordings that is both raw and incredibly comforting. Lee’s love of loops and glittering sounds, along with some very well executed harmonies, brings a whimsical wholeness to the album. The Mutual Benefit tumblr page describes the band’s music as “the magic of ordinary moments,” a sentiment that I think perfectly captures the feeling I get while listening to the album whilst walking across the quad. At the risk of sounding like a petty fangirl or a bad poet, I’ll leave my description there, but I won’t hesitate to recommend his prior releases, which have followed me through my high school career and have consistently pointed me toward the magic of the ordinary. While Love’s Crushing Diamond was originally meant for a small cassette pressing, its immediate demand caused Other Music Recording Co./Soft Eyes Records to pay attention and re-release the LP on a larger scale. Luckily for me, that meant a tour as well. The nomadic Jordan Lee had an odd habit of avoiding the West Coast and performing in his friends’ houses, which meant that I always missed out on his shows. This past month, I finally got to see Mutual Benefit live at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, and the show did not disappoint. While many of the sounds that make the album so beautiful

cannot be faithfully recreated live, the band’s reimaginings of each song were at least as poignant and beautiful as the recordings. Lee was eager to point out that the band’s popularity was both unexpected and still very new; unaccustomed to having an audience on a balcony above him, Lee joked that that was where he generally looked when he got nervous and now he didn’t know what to do with himself. This vulnerability and humility made the emotion in the songs feel all the more real. The show’s encore, which Jordan Lee purely announced as opposed to following the traditional encore script, just so happened to be a song called “Here” from his 2010 release, Drifting EP, and coincidentally, the first song of his I had heard. In that moment, I couldn’t help but agree with the song’s lyric, “There’s nowhere I want to go, except here.” BY: Jessie Alvarez

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is the most profitable festival in the United States. In 2013 it raked in $47.3 million, selling over 158,000 tickets in just 20 minutes. Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice founded Coachella in 1999, and he helps to produce the best three days of the year, every single year. Consisting of two stages and three tents, Coachella features music genres ranging from rock to alternative to hip-hop and electronic. There are several art displays, including paintings, sculptures, and even intensely decorated trashcans and recycling bins that add to the beauty of Southern California’s desert landscape. But what exactly does Coachella have that differentiates it from other music festivals and, ultimately, makes it so appealing? Coachella’s atmosphere is truly one-of-a-kind. The promising Friday morning sunlight attracts every type of music lover to the valley, beckoning

them to join the crowd and live together in the beautiful movement of music. Coachella’s lineup is the most diverse of any music festival. There’s a sound for everyone, allowing fans to unite in an all-encompassing, blissful atmosphere that is just as addictive as the music itself. Once you go to Coachella, you always go back. As usual, this year’s lineup does not disappoint. Coachella often reunites bands that fans never thought they would see live again; for example, in 2012, Coachella closed the weekend with rappers Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and even a hologram of Tupac! Sure enough, this year, OutKast’s reunion is one of the most highly anticipated sets of the weekend. Weekend one (April 11-13) and weekend two (April 18-20) feature the same set of artists, with headliners OutKast, Muse, and Arcade Fire. Among other popular artists are Pharrell Williams, Ellie

Goulding, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Ray, Bastille, Grouplove, Zedd, Calvin Harris, and Disclosure. However, besides OutKast, this year’s headliners do not seem to be getting much hype. Popular artists aside, Coachella hosts a gold mine of underground and up-and-coming groups worth noting. For instance, the folk band The Head and the Heart will be following up their 2012 performance with a second appearance at Coachella this year. Electronic artist Dillon Francis will be performing his second consecutive set, as well as Skrillex, who collaborated last year with Boys Noise as the booming duo, Dog Blood. Alesso, Girl Talk, Zedd, and the Knife will also make their second overall Coachella appearance this spring. At last year’s Coachella, the electronic Sahara tent was completely remodeled, shocking everyone with its increased height and LED light

“In 2013 it raked in $47.3 million, selling over 158,000 tickets in just 20 minutes”

fixtures. The event’s decision to upgrade these facilities reflects electronic dance music’s growing culture and popularity. The tent was able to shade thousands more electronic lovers from the desert sun, but fans still poured in from the sides as they bobbed their heads to the beat of the bass. Performing under this supersized tent in 2014 are even more electronic artists: Martin Garrix, the artist of “Animals,” will preform on Friday, along with Duke Dumont, Deorro, and Flume; Saturday’s electronic highlights include Mogwai, Chvrches, RL Grime, TJR, and Fatboy Slim; Sunday’s DJ’s include Flossradamus, Duck Sauce, Adventure Club, Krewella, Showtek, and many others. Needless to say, the electronic scene at Coachella is continuing to step it up. Other artists to look forward to are Chance the Rapper, Capital Cities, The Naked and Famous, MGMT, Tom Odell, Chromeo, AlunaGeorge, Galantis,

Daughter, and Banks. No matter what music style you prefer or whether you want to explore the popular or underground musicians, you can craft your unique experience at Coachella. This music festival has something for everyone. No matter what song you are singing to, you will find yourself drifting in harmony with all other Coachella goers, getting lost in the rhythm of the music, the sway of the palm trees, and the unity of friendship. Even if you can’t make it to Indio this year, be sure to watch the live stream on YouTube, and become a part of the truly amazing experience that Coachella creates. BY: Carly Olszewski


MINT Magazine: Spring 2014  
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