MusicArtist to Watch: Surrogate

In fall of 2007 I had just started working at a college radio station and fancied myself somewhat of a music connoisseur. I was required by the station to play one local band, and I plucked an album, chose a track and clicked play. That fine day is when my love affair with Surrogate officially began.
This band is the prefect blend indie pop and folk, with a side of quick–witted lyrical genius. With two full-length albums already under their belt, these guys are delivering again with a new EP, titled Diamonds and Pearls. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of their new EP, and boy, it does not disappoint.
The CD opens with the beautifully melodic “Pearl,” and the tune “Old Life” has quickly become a staple in daily music playlists. Really, the whole EP is excellently crafted and composed and I give it a 9/10. It’s great to see such an amazing band progressively get better and better with age.
 Diamonds and Pearls EP will be released on iTunes this Friday, and let me tell you, this is a must have for your music library. 
Check out more Surrogate on their facebook page and hear some tunes on purevolume.

BeautyNails by The Biebs!

What can’t this mini-mogul do? This Justin Bieber beauty craze comes in a small and colorful bottle. What could it be? No, it is not a love potion to make The Biebs fall head over heels for you! Tap into your inner Belieber with this fresh line of nail polishes in an array of colors! The 17 year old designed a line of polish for Nicole by OPI called One Less Lonely Girl Collection this past October. Although it has been out for a while, I can’t wait to get ahold of a few bottles of my own! With his signature purple and plenty of primary colors in the mix, this line has clever names such as One Less Lonely Glitter, One Time Lime and Give Me the First Dance. 

Personally, I love the glitter shade on the top left. It has chunks of multi-colored glitter and would be perfect layered on top of a light blue polish. I love statement polish and these shades are not for the faint of heart. They would make the perfect gift for the Bieber-loving teen (or adult!) in your life.

I think that Justin wants his nails painted, in the shade of Step 2 the Beat of My ♥. What do you think?

FashionParis Fashion Week Fall 2011: Alexander McQueen

Who wouldn’t want to be a bondage queen in a priceless dress? Not sure I would even if I could afford it, but it’s an interesting thought.

Fall 2011 has not yielded the best of collections from many designers and I’d go as far as saying that some of the shows bored me, not to death, but pretty close. However, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQuen (Alexander McQueen’s replacement) has kept his legacy alive quite easily, despite what the skeptics have said. 

The impossible task of replacing McQueen has been overcome by Burton’s steady and assuring feminine influence to the brand. And although this collection did not WOW me away, it did reassure me that McQueen’s legacy is not even close to dying. 

To say that the dress above was intricate would be an understatement when used to describe the layers of lavender chiffon used.

Here, the pieces of the bodice and on the shoes recall the puzzling way that mosaic pieces fit together. This also reminds me of Spain in the summer time! Or is that a stretch?

I have to admit I don’t think mideaval times could get more chic than this.

What do you think of Sarah Burton’s work as Alexander McQueen’s replacement? 

CelebrityLove It or Hate It: Blake Lively As the New Face of Chanel Mademoiselle Handbags

 Move over, Lily Allen: Blake Lively is upping the ante as the new face of Chanel’s Mademoiselle handbag line. 
Much darker and more serious than Lily Allen’s previous campaign, this shoot reveals an edgier side to the bleachy blonde persona we’re used to seeing from Miss Lively. It also brings a more pensive, alluring attitude to the bags than did the playful shoots of Lily Allen, shown below.
The Chanel brand has long been know as the epitome of timeless chic, and is also credited with the invention of the “Little Black Dress.” Simple, comfortable, and elegant are the staple designs that have made Chanel famous since Coco herself began designing in 1910.
Continuing in Ms. Chanel’s footsteps, the brand has been advertised by some truly beautiful actresses, athletes, and style icons, including Catherine Denevue, Estella Warren, Carole Bouquet, 
Nicole Kidman (who won the title of most money made per minute by an actor for this ad), Bar Refaeli,
Kate Moss, Kiera Knightly, Marilyn Monroe (who claimed that No.5 was her favorite thing to wear to bed!)
 Vanessa Paradis, and Claudia Schiffer.
That’s a lot to live up to! 
Chanel pics from: herehere, and here.  
Here Blake is (above, wearing Chanel of course!) at a dinner celebrating her new ad campaign and (below) with Chanel photographer Karl Lagerfeld, and I can definitely see the makings of a Chanel girl. There is charm, elegance, beauty, and joy evident both in her demeanor and in her actions.
Yet I wonder: has she shed the traveling pants too recently to be in league with other Chanel icons, or does she have the makings of another true legend?

ArtOne Sweet Artist: Kari Radasch

Let me introduce you to another wonderful artist and craftswoman that I have had my eye on for a while; the delightful Kari Radasch!
A few years back, when I was enjoying a short residency at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, I was introduced to the lovely functional wares included in the center’s dish collection. It turns out that Radasch (who lives in Maine where the center is located) is closely affiliated with Watershed.
Intrigued by the playful pottery that has a girly sense of “sugar and spice and everything nice”, it is my pleasure to show off some of her gorgeous Redware.
 About her work, Radasch says, ” In life I am most drawn to that which is decorative, celebratory and outrageous. I am touched by such joyful trimmings as architectural embellishments, yard art,
ornamental cuisine and confections. . . “
Three colorful platters. How much fun would it be to serve on these?!
These lidded jars are to die for!!!
Like all makers, Radasch reflects on the importance creating has to her life. “I believe that I am a potter by chance, but a maker at my core. Through a series of circumstances I ended up in the ceramics studio, though I could have easily ended up a jeweler or furniture maker had a few minor things been different.” 
Check out these glorious stacks of pots, and take a look at Kari Radasch’s shop!
Tell us, are you a maker? Do you find you are driven to create?