FashionHoliday Outfit Inspiration: LuLu*s Channels Old Hollywood!

‘Tis the season for parties! And dancing! And fabulous dresses and glamorous getups! This year, bring back all the romance of Old Hollywood in outfits inspired by some of film’s most iconic looks.
 
 
Pull up the horses and Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland and the Peppy Peplums Scarlet Red Dress!
 
 
 
 
Channel Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in the Rubber Ducky Last Dance Pink Dress!
 
 
 
 
 You can be Leslie Caron in the 1958 Gigi with the Night They Invented Champagne Ivory Dress.
 
 
 
 
Or Rita Hayworth in the 1946 Gilda in the Aryn K Strike It Rich Black Sequin Maxi Dress.
 
 
 
 
 
Kiss me Kate! Try the Blaque Label Supernova Blue Sequin Dress like Kate Winslet in 1997 Titantic.
 
 
 
 
Julia Roberts in the 1990 Pretty Woman with the Dynamo Strapless Red Dress.
 
 
 
 
 
Christina Aguilera in 2010′s Burlesque and the Balsam Fir One Shoulder Green Dress.
 
 
 
 
 Add a pixie cut and the Sequinner’s Circle Silver Sequin Dress to play Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 Two for the Road.
 
 
 
 
Why not channel your inner Ginger like Miss Rogers in the 1944 Lady in the Dark? You’ll be dancing in no time in the Blaque Label Energizer Hunny Black Sequin Dress.
 
 
So many choices; so many dresses! Roll out the red carpet and let the party begin!

MusicArtist to Watch: Said the Whale

On the next installment of Artist to Watch, we have our next band from our digital album, Said the Whale. We found this gem via word of mouth, and let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed. This Vancouver-based band captures the best of west coast indie-pop. We caught up with keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown for a few questions.

I noticed Said the Whale was featured in a CBS documentary about breaking into America. Do you think that is truly important? How do you think it’s going?
Yah! We have been doing well in our home country of Canada, and it’s really awesome to have such great shows and amazing Canadian fans!  But it’s very important to get your name out into the world, especially America. The US is so musically strong and for us to build up a fan base in the states would be very beneficial. We’ve only toured the western and northern states, as well as Texas for a festival called South by Southwest, so we still have quite a few states to play. The shows have been quite small, which is only natural, but everyone’s extremely friendly and receptive to our music. One can only hope that they tell their friends about us and the next time we roll into their city, we make a couple more fans.
 
How has Vancouver inspired you?
I’ve lived my entire 23 years in Vancouver, and it’s such a beautiful place to grow up. There’s so much to see in and around the city because of the location. Natural beauty is what usually inspires me, so being close to the mountains and ocean really helps. There are also tons of local Vancouver bands that we have become friends with who are musical geniuses and continually motivate us to write.
 
How do you hope to inspire your fans? What do you want fans to get out of your music, especially “Gentleman.”
Whenever I see shows, it makes me want to be on stage, even if I performed just the other night. It also makes me want to improve. Music is a crazy thing because you can express yourself to thousands of people at a time. I’ve had fans come up to me saying they used to play piano as a kid, put it aside for some reason, and because they saw me play they want to have another crack at it. That’s ridiculously exciting to me. So I hope I can inspire people to pick up an instrument, whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth time.
 
We try to write songs that our relatable and move the listener in some form. Some of our songs are upbeat and danceable, others more emotional. There’s quite a diversity to our music since we have two lead singers, Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft, who are the songwriters and each have their unique style. Our song “Gentleman” is a tricky one for me to answer a question about because it’s from the male perspective. Tyler (the writer of the song) describes it as “a little personal song about getting burned by a girl.” There are four guys in the band, and I can say that they’re all gentleman.
 
What would you be doing if you weren’t (or when you’re not) making music?
Before I joined the band I was studying sciences at the University of British Columbia. I was interested in going to veterinary school, but music has always been my passion. I’m thankful that I’m in the band and pursuing what I love because I now realize that being a veterinarian isn’t what I want to be. When I joined the band I didn’t have time for school, so sometime in the future I’d love to go back and possibly get a degree in teaching and teach music. I knew that school would always be there, but being asked to join a band that I loved was a one-time thing for me. When I’m not on tour or doing band things, I teach piano as well as take time to see friends and family. It’s rough being on the road for about seven or more months out of the year, so it’s great just to relax and spend time at home.
 
What’s it like being the only girl in the band (and how is touring)?
Being the only girl in a band is maybe the greatest thing. Some people would call me crazy, but I love being the only girl. You get a lot of attention. When you put two or more girls together for a month on the road, you’re bound to have drama. We hardly ever have any drama between band members, maybe a disagreement from time to time. I’ve grown up with an older brother and a lot of guy friends so I’m used to being with guys all the time. We also tour with tons of bands that are all guys, so sometimes I’m the only girl amongst 15 talented men, lucky me?
 
Any good touring stories?
Usually things that happen to us on tour turn into inside jokes or ones that we can’t quite publicize. But one that recently happened to us in March is quite appropriate. We were touring for the first time in the states and during our first week our trailer that we keep all of our instruments and luggage got broken into. We had played in Sacramento that night. It’s possible that they followed us to where we were staying and waited until we were asleep. Luckily they didn’t take everything, but we had over $8000 worth of gear stolen, including one of my keyboards, two coveted acoustic guitars, two glockenspiels (bell kits), cymbals, guitar pedals, and three suitcases (one of them being mine that had all of my favourite dresses, including one that I was to wear for the Juno Awards in Toronto a couple weeks later). It was an unfortunate event, but it created a lot of buzz, which also helps get our name out there and was included in our CBC documentary “Winning America.” We also ended up winning a Juno Award for Best New Band (I had to find a different dress to wear). That tour was bittersweet for sure.
 
Best show? Of course, that begs the question … any disaster shows?
Best show, oooh that’s a hard one. There isn’t one show that stands out for me. Most shows in Canada are wonderful. But there are so many factors to take into account: fans, sound, our performance (musically and visually), etc. I can name some cities that I love playing in: Vancouver (of course!), Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and St John’s (because bands rarely tour that far east, and so their fans are eager and awesome). I guess I just have to wait to name American cities because there are still so many we have yet to play in. We have had some unfortunate things happen during shows, like bad sound on stage, but we don’t let that affect us. People are there to see us play, sometimes for the first time, so we try our best to put on a great show every time.

 

How does fashion inspire you?
Fashion can totally change how you carry yourself. I love being able to dress up for shows. It’s funny, I used to wear skinny jeans and a t-shirt for shows to fit in with the guys, but now I go for the dresses or skirts and rock them with sneakers. It’s fun to play up being the only girl, but comfort is always key! I usually see what the venue’s like and figure out what I want to wear. Sometimes I even try to remember what I wore the previous show in that city so that I don’t double up on outfits.
 
What else inspires you? Other artists?
I touched on this in a previous answer, but other artists are probably my biggest influence, especially Canadian musicians. I’m a huge fan of Metric, Tokyo Police Club, Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta, Mother Mother, Aidan Knight, and so many more. I recommend you go out and buy their albums and/or see their shows!

Favorite movie?
Funny you should ask this. I just watched the most amazing independent film last night called “Incendies”, which is probably my new favourite.  It’s an adaptation of a play about two twins who discover they have an unknown brother after opening their mother’s will. They embark on a journey to the Middle East to entangle their roots and find out what happened to their brother. I will say no more because I don’t want to give it away. It really captivated me like no movie has before. 
 
What’s next for Said the Whale?
 
We are getting ready to tour the states again! It’s a one-month tour starting on the east coast, hitting cities all the way down to Miami, across to Austin, and then up the west coast. I’m really excited for this tour because I haven’t been to the east coast (and neither has the rest of the band), so it’s new territory for us. Tour dates can be found on our website: saidthewhale.com. As for albums, we have a 4-song EP called “New Brighton” which will be released November 8th, and a full length album (name not released yet) which will come out March 6th, 2012.
 
One last thing: Thank you LuLu*s for featuring us on your blog! And on behalf of Said the Whale, I hope that everyone enjoys our song “Gentleman!” Maybe see some of you on the road.
***************************************************************************************************************
 
Want more? Don’t worry, anytime you order from us, you get access to our free digital download! For now, you can suffice with their Island Disappear EP below!

http://saidthewhale.bandcamp.com/album/islands-disappear

FashionTrend to Try: Sculpted Shoulders!

Are you ready to try some sculpted shoulders?
 
Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but between Lady Gaga, Rhianna and tons of other fashionable celebs, the pointy shoulder thing has gone from extreme to mainstream. Ranging from large conical protuberances down to a little pinch and tuck, I think there is a padded/pointed/sculpted shoulder for everyone!
 
Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and Naya Rivera of Glee.
 
 
Rhianna went casual in this sculpted sweater dress, and Anne Hathaway is looking positively divine in this glamorous sequin gown.
 
 
So, are you ready?

InterviewsAngels We Were: An Interview with Photographer Paul de Luna

 
 
I think the pictures do all of the talking, but I am so excited to introduce you all to the breathtaking world of Paul de Luna. I caught up with him via email a few weeks ago, pestering him with all sorts of questions about these stunning pictures, and he was so happy to let all you in for a sneak peek of a photographer’s mind.

The three shoots here are each so different and lovely that I had to include them all. The last one you may recognize from my Fallen Angel post in September, and I was so excited to learn of the story behind the lens.

Now sit back and enjoy!
 
Meliae
 
 
For some reason, Yeats’ “The Stolen Child” comes strongly to mind here, mixed with a little bit of “Ever After” and Hans Christian Anderson. Who is this girl, and what’s her story?
 
The Stolen Child is an excellent reference, although it wasn’t part of my inspiration.  That poem, however, is rather similar to Baudelaire’s “L’Invitation Au Voyage,” which was.  There are a lot of elements and subplots at work in this story.  Our relationship with nature plays a huge part in all my work, and here I used the metaphor of the Meliae (ash-tree nymph) mourning the impending loss of her world by unknown destructive forces.  She, being a descendant of Gaia, is tasting one last time the beauty of the world around her knowing that it – and consequently she – will soon disappear.  She implores us to save her knowing full well that we will not. This is her swan song.  It’s easy to extend that metaphor to encompass of lot of things in our lives, and that is my intention.
 
Did you style the outfit as well? I notice there is a lot of layering going on, all with different textures and colors. It seems like there is a lot of thought put into the composition of the outfits.
 
There is definitely a lot of thought put into the styling in all my shoots as that is an essential element of the narrative. Plots, subplots, counter-harmonies and alter-themes are all prevalent in my work and the layering helps to express that.  I work closely with my stylists, but they know how to style way better than me.  To be cheeky I will quote Oscar Wilde who quipped, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” 
 
 
 
  
Angels We Were
 
 
 
 
  
The voice-over in this vignette really tied the whole story together. It wasn’t until I watched the video that I connected the “wings” on the model’s clothes with the idea of angels the title references. Are these angels fallen from grace? Fallen from love? Fallen from innocence?
 
I don’t believe that the artist and audience necessarily have to be in agreement on a work’s meaning. I envision and then create both the universe and the characters who live and breathe and dream in that universe; and then I set them free for you to speak with them, to let their universe to collide with yours.  Essentially, it’s not important what I think.  Having said that, for me this story is about the impending loss of innocence as told by someone looking back at themselves – knowing what was to come, but unable to prevent the fall.  
 
They also wish to recapture or remember that sense of freedom they once had before becoming aware of the sense of judgement associated with the knowledge of good and evil – essentially, angels on the edge of falling from grace.  On that note, I’m aware that most people see my work as romantic to the point of sweetness but the truth is there is an extremely dark and melancholic undercurrent running just beneath the surface. For me, my work is extremely tragic, and I can’t look at it too long without getting depressed.
 
Many people go for a sunny, light-infused theme when they’re at the beach. I was particularly drawn to this shoot because it wasn’t like that; instead, it was misty and overcast. Why did you choose to do this?
 
Most of my creative decisions by now are visceral and intuitive, and images just suddenly appear in my head – often at the oddest of moments. I was recently telling someone that I constantly have about 10 movies and 5 soundtracks of my own design constantly playing in my head; it’s really quite a cacophony in there.  While creating the universe of Angels We Were, I felt that things shouldn’t be too clear – they are in a place lost in time and space where there is no reference point beyond the hazy memory of a dream.
 
 
  
Fallen Angel
  
 
 
This is one of my favorite of your shoots; in fact, I featured it a few weeks ago on our blog. Obviously, it’s shot in Paris – my guess is the banks of the Seine? Is there a reason you shot it in Paris, or were you lucky enough to be there for something else?
 
That was an extremely challenging shoot as nothing seemed to want to cooperate for us.  It was indeed mostly shot near the Seine, and I was in Paris both for this and other reasons.  Paris is phenomenally inspiring both aesthetically and culturally, and the Parisians (French in general) have a profound comprehension and tolerance of and respect for the creative process and all the eccentricity it entails.
 
Our culture tends to belittle art as an unnecessary luxury while they view it as an essential – and sublime – part of being human.  Knowing French is a huge plus – not only because the French are reluctant to speak English – but because if you do not you will be missing out on a wealth of knowledge and inspiration which can only be found through being a part of and eavesdropping in on their conversations.
 
There is something very tragically beautiful about this whole shoot (I keep hearing Lara’s Theme in the background), especially when culminating with her lying on the ground. What’s the story?
 
Loss of innocence obviously seems to be a recurring theme in my work.  I suppose I often capture that brief moment just before oblivion, where eternity exists in a moment and all things are understood. Beauty, ugliness, joy, pain, love, hate, good and evil unite and the character is whole again, for an instant.  And then disappears.
 
Also, why the feathers? They’re gorgeous and they add something I didn’t expect at all; what’s their significance?
 
Again, angels or ghosts of angels constantly appear in my work, and here the feathers represent her wings ripped away during her tragic plunge to earth and now their remnants fall around her and back onto her stripped arms, flightless, while she lays dying on the banks of the Styx trapped between heaven and hell.  While pictures supposedly capture a only moment, in mine I often try to interject distinct echoes of the past and the approaching roar of that which is to come. 
 
 
 
In all of your shoots, there seems to be an underlying theme of either quiet melancholia, or a really deep-seated peacefulness. 
 
Melancholia and peacefulness are unlikely twins and they both live simultaneously in my work.  There is little more painfully beautiful than the peacefulness of melancholic solitude.  I am definitely aware of a constant emotional and ontological thread running through all my creative work.  In a way, all these girls are variations of the same archetype.  The refrain from Baudelaire’s L’Invitation Au Voyage is very prevalent in my work: “Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté, Luxe, calme et volupté” – “There far away, is nothing but order and beauty, Luxury, calmness, and voluptuousness.”
 
Do you choose specific models for specific shoots?
 
Absolutely. To the point of being exigently tedious in my castings.  Each one must be a muse through and through.
 
In all of your photos here, there are layers of wispy light – usually a misty grey or white, rarely sunlight – or pale leaves or other shapes added on top of the photos. What’s the purpose for that, and do you consider it a trademark style?
 
I’m profoundly influenced by the Impressionist painters – Matisse, Monet, Manet, Morissot, Renoir, Pisarro, Degas … the list goes on.  If anything, I consider myself to be an Impressionist photographer; and I follow much of their techniques very closely, from composition to the color palette and mixing of natural light to the emphasis of emotional impact over detail.  Another important factor in my work is that the effects are done optically at the time I take the picture and not in Photoshop via various physical filters and vignettes that I create.  The word “photography” translated from the original Greek means “drawing with light,” and essentially I approach photography as if I am a painter, light is paint, and the camera my brush.
 
How did you get started with photography?
 
I was heading off on a 5-week backpacking trip through China many years ago and the night before my father gave me his old Canon AE-1 film camera.  I read the manual on the plane, put some film in, and crossed my fingers. Putting the camera up to my eye, I felt alive …
 
Do you have any future ambitions in photography? Anybody you’d really love to photograph?
 
I would love to just be able to travel the world with my only possessions being just a backpack and a camera to preserve life and our world that is constantly disappearing, and in between come home to my family on the beach and surf and appreciate them all day, every day.  In the future I will be making more films.  I would love to photograph Nelson Mandela and my grandfather who passed before I became a photographer.
 
If you’d like to see more of Paul’s work, check out his site at pauldeluna.com.

BeautyBeauty How-To: Reverse Tips Manicure

 
Ladies, it is time to flip things around! The Reverse French Manicure is an awesome trend that I have had my eyes on for quite some time. Recently, I was finally brave enough to try it and I am absolutely enthralled with this amazing nail trend.
 
What I love most about it is that you can mix and match colors and add a number of variations to keep your nails looking sassy and amazing without over-doing the trend.
  


 What You Need:
 
*Top Coat
*Base Coat
*Two Different Nail Colors
*Sheet of Computer Paper
 
Process:
 
 1. Apply a base coat on your nails
 
 2.  After base coat has dried, apply a layer of your first polish. Let dry.
 
 3. Tear off an end of the computer paper and use the straight edges as a stencil.
 
 4. Place it near your cuticle with some space reserved for you other polish to show.
 
 5. Paint your other polish on the end of your nail with the paper as your barrier. This provides for a neat and clean divider. I would suggest a dark color to cover the other polish completely on top.
 
 6. Once dry, apply a top coat. 
 
 

Feel free to use a glitter polish instead of another color to add some variation to your look. You can also choose where you paper divider lies if you wish to have something other than a straight border. 
 
Can you think of any awesome combinations for this nail trend?