Notes On Style

Music and Style Musings

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The Best Blowout You’ve Ever Gotten?

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I’m on a quest. Ever since blowouts became a thing (or at least, ever since I realized you didn’t need to get your hair cut to get that after-salon look), I’ve been searching for the best blowout. I’ve been to blowout bars a couple of times with great results, and I’ve been to many a local salon for a quick session before a big event. Every time I’ve felt great. But recently, I got a blowout that not only made me feel great, it made me feel PHENOMENAL.

The place? The Red Door in Union Square. An Elizabeth Arden salon and spa, The Red Door recently launched catering to the urban girl on the go (and ahem, a much younger clientele than generally associated with Red Door salons). The quick “express” services mean you can get in the door and out, even easily popping in on your lunch break. 

I met with Sheila for my blowout to try out the salon, and maybe it’s my Midwestern/Southern roots, but I wanted volume. Lots of movement. In other words: go big or go home.

Sheila gave me exactly what I wanted, and then some. I like leaving with a bit of a bigger blowout than what I would typically wear, because my hair tends to fall over a couple of hours–and this is a look I wanted going all night long. The look turned out big, full of body and with some curl at the bottom. I loved it.

I’d love to hear where/when you’ve gotten your best blowout (or haircut!). Leave a comment below!

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My Thoughts on Eva Chen as EIC of Lucky Magazine

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When Eva Chen was announced as the new Editor-in-Chief of Lucky magazine, my heart skipped a beat. Like many, I incessantly followed Eva’s updates on every medium imaginable: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, vimeo, and more. I tore out her articles and saved them for reference. And I smiled when she was featured as an expert in, well, anything covering the media or beauty industry.

Am I interested to see where Lucky goes from here? You bet. Am I hoping it thrives? Definitely. Am I one of the few left of my generation that loves print? I think so.

But the one thing that continues to baffle me is the focus on Eva as a “digital native,” or the first EIC of “our generation.” True enough, Eva’s attention to social media is inspiring. She’s incredibly gifted at showing a glimpse into the industry, with behind-the-scenes snapshots and nuggets of information. She knows how to connect with users and be candid about her brand experiences, without disparaging any reputation. She’s witty and smart.

But like all current EIC’s of large magazines, her start (and a sizable amount of her focus) has been on a print magazine. She has never held a true, strictly digital position on a masthead. And while she has tons of digital experience, especially thanks to her “special projects” position at Teen Vogue, those have been (from what I can tell) a melding of print and digital components. All which will serve well as Lucky’s EIC, but again, do not completely speak to the first EIC of “our generation.”

Our generation is digital. Our generation is mobile. Our generation is clicking on an article via social, or devouring the latest story on their tablet.

Which leaves me to wonder: Will a digital editor ever make that leap to becoming the head of a brand; of a magazine? And would they want to?

Most digital editors go on to lead brand initiatives solely on the digital side. They become “Directors of Digital” or “Editorial Director of Digital” or something akin. And then… they might leave. Often to head to brands not tied to a print product, but rather, commerce. And that can give them a big increase in their paychecks.

But as EICs increasingly become the “face” of a brand – making TV appearances, schmoozing and getting the name of their brand out there – rather than acting as an “editor” in the traditional sense of the word, it would be an interesting turn to see a digital editor make the leap from a digital director to EIC. For who’s to say that a digital editor wouldn’t know the brand in a more holistic way than say, a print editor?

I’m excited to see what Eva does with Lucky. And I’m even more excited to see her continue to connect with fans on social. But I’m definitely interested to see if (and when) a digital editor gets to jump to the top of the masthead of a magazine that has both a digital and print component – a true EIC of “our generation.”

Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below!

Music Monday

Hi friends! Sorry I missed last week, but here’s what I’ve been groovin’ to lately:

“1957” – Milo Greene

“Blame” – Right Away, Great Captain 

“Crystal Clear” – Opus Orange

“American Daydream” – Electric Guest

“Myth” – Beach House

“Sweater Weather” – The Neighbourhood

“When We Were Young” – Sucre

“WHALE” – Yellow Ostrich

“Clementine” – Sarah Jaffe

Music Monday

“Happy Pills” – Norah Jones

“Stronger” – Kelly Clarkson

“Desperation Breeds…” – Andrew Bird

“Shadow Days” – John Mayer

“Cold Blooded” – The Pretty Reckless

Music Monday

“Boom Boom” – Rye Rye

“Disparate Youth” – Santigold

“Dead Oaks” – Now, Now

“The Kids Were Wrong” – Memoryhouse

“Every Little Thing” – Soft Swells

Music Monday

“Brooklyn” – Theo Katzman

“Someone Like You” (Adele Cover) – Walk Off The Earth

“The Understanding” – Jones Street Station

“Comeback Kid” – Sleigh Bells 

“Little Numbers” – BOY

Taylor Swift in Vogue

Taylor Swift Vogue

Here’s the thing about Taylor Swift: She’s so damn relatable that she almost fools you into thinking she’s just the girl next door who is, you know, just super pretty and talented and then BAM – she’s on the cover of Vogue, and you realize f*ck, this girl is on a whole other level.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Swift’s cover girl prowess… I mean, she is literally one of the faces of Cover Girl cosmetics, but — the bangs! That hat! The eyeliner! She’s been amped up to Kate-Moss-meets-Brigitte-Bardot status, and keeps up appearances with quick-as-lightening interview references to model Karlie Kloss and Rodarte.

In the interview, her perspective on changing trends and being “in” — mostly in reference to growing up in Pennsylvania wanting straight hair and, with the advent of fame, her fans curling theirs — is enlightening. It’s the kind of thing that would make you say, “Tay, you know why they’re curling their hair,” and she would probably protest or say something like, I know but it’s so weird (and then, let’s get real, she’d write a song about it).

I think the most interesting part of the interview (besides her current relationship red-flags which are pretty awesome slash would really only help those who are also famous, since they reference Google searches and privacy issues), is when Prabal Gurung compliments her on how she’s handled fame.

“That kind of made my day. People don’t usually compliment your character,” Swift says. Which I think is very odd, or I should say, odd coming from her. Her character is the number one thing that I think people would praise her for. It’s the reason why people listen to her songs, why people come to her shows, and why people generally support her: because she seems like a good person, who delved into our diaries (er… would-be diaries) and captured our angsty and romantic thoughts and feelings, gave them some catchy lines, and put them to a nice melody.

Read the entire interview here.

Music Monday

“Some Love” – A Lull

“If I Wanted Someone” – Dawes

“Home” – Mumford & Sons

“Power” – Das Racist ft. Danny Brown and Despot

“Polish Girl” – Neon Indian

“Bloom” – The Paper Kites (I’m a little infatuated right now. Check out their full EP, Woodland)

Music Monday

“Featherstone” – The Paper Kites

“LES” – Childish Gambino

“How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” – Bombay Bicycle Club

“Love Love Love” – Avalanche City

“Solid Ground” – Maps & Atlases

“Make Me Proud” – Drake

Teen Movie Remakes That Shouldn’t Be Made But Probably Will

This is a little off-topic, but I wrote this up and thought I’d share. (Is it sad that I could’ve kept going with this topic?).

Alright, so we all groaned when we heard Dirty Dancing was being remade, right? Just making sure you’re with me. And if you thought Footloose being made into a musical with hip-hop choreography was absurd, we’re definitely on the right track. But Hollywood is a moneymaking machine. And they know, just as much as we all know, that remaking an original with an uber-identifiable name has a greater chance of putting butts in seats – excited teens and roaring curmudgeons comparing it to the original – alike.

So, being the teen media fan that I am (no judging), I’ve decided to beat Hollywood to the punch, (making their job a bit easier I dare say!) and spell out the storylines for the next Hollywood teen remakes. Get the popcorn ready — I like mine stale, like the premise of these movies.

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Original premise: An undercover kid agent has to protect the daughter of a scientist who figured out something important that bad guys want to rule the world, or something. He falls for her, and realizes that while he’s awesome at spying, he isn’t so awesome when it comes to the ladies. Blah, blah, they fall for each other, he’s suspended from the mission for some reason I don’t remember, she finds out he’s assigned to her and is pissed, she gets kidnapped, he saves her from the villains without the backing of the CIA and all is forgiven. BAM.

I know what you’re thinking: This thing came out in 2003! But c’mon, it’s been eight years since this effing movie came out.  Not only that, but it starred Frankie Muniz and Hilary Duff. Let’s recap: He became a race car driver and is now thinking about running for office of something or another in the state of Arizona and she’s gone on to star in a Gossip Girl scene where she makes out with a girl! (Oh and she’s married and pregnant for Christ sake.) It’s time to pump some fresh blood into this sure-to-be winner.

New premise: A kid (someone cute but kind of dorky, like that kid on Nickelodeon who looks like a young Andy Samberg, Matt Bennett) finds out he’s been recruited for the CIA and needs to befriend the daughter of aforementioned scientist (Stella Hudgens, Vanessa’s little sister, in her breakout role).  Plot twist alert: In protecting her (and yep, falling for her), he finds out that he can read minds! (That’ll totally be teased in the trailer. Hello, X-Men fans!) Another plot twist: Just kidding! He just got a hold of the scientist’s invention halfway through the movie without knowing – mind reading serum. Crucial movie scenes include that at a school dance (this is the moment when the audience realizes how dorky but endearing he is and duh, someone’s gotta drop it like it’s hot) and a product placement for some kind of tech product (the next iPad which Matt uses to hack into some sort of database, preferably on a skateboard at the same time?) or social media network (like Twitter, where Matt finds out that Stella is weirdly into him, since we’re all into over-sharing these days.)

Save the Last Dance (2001)

Original premise: White girl wants to be a dancer. Mom is working a shit ton cause it’s Mother’s Day or something and she’s a florist. Girl looks for mom at audition, mom dies on the way there. She moves in with dad in the big ol’ city, and learns about hip-hop from awesome black guy. Falls in love. Faces haters. Cue “True Colors”.

This movie was standard sleepover-watching material from 2001-2011. Yes, I realize that’s this year. People are still playing this shit and trying to dance and quoting lines like “That top is country and you look country in it.” Everyone loves dancing movies. Everyone loves movies where couples overcome all odds to be with each other. Let’s not mess with that.

New premise: Exactly the same. Well, new dialogue. And a new location. But other than that, it’s pretty cut and dry. Parents dead, girl moves (AnnaSophia Robb) and meets awesome guy (Diggy. Yep, Rev Run’s son.) She gets schooled in swag. Updated hip-hop moves. Lots of cameo appearances, preferably by all those teen stars (I’m looking at you, Biebs) who call each other big/little bros and sisters on Twitter ALL THE TIME. Hey, keep it all in the family am I right? (Soundtrack note: “True Colors” has to be sampled in a rap song.)

Now and Then (1995)

Original Premise: Oh dear lord, where to begin?  Just check out the imdb site and save yourself (me?) the headache. Or, you know, see the movie. I guess to give a quick overview, the three things you definitely need to know about this movie are:  There’s a character named Crazy Pete, there’s a Vietnam vet scene with Brendan Fraser (in his glory days), and Cloris Leachman plays a grandma who is pretty much off her rocker and loves to gamble. If that doesn’t get you to go re-watch this movie RIGHT NOW I don’t know what will.

But in all seriousness, everyone loved this movie, right? It’s the type of movie where you can immediately assign friends to characters and pretend that your lives align perfectly, even if they totally don’t at all (Well, okay, maybe just girls did this. Wait, is that being gender-insensitive?). Anyway, it’s time to flashback to the simpler days. Clearly, I’m talking about the early 1990s (as opposed to 1970, as in the original).

New premise: There really isn’t one, just a few slight changes: Samantha (Victoria Justice) is still a sci-fi writer (with touches of political conspiracy theories), but Teeny (Dakota Fanning) isn’t so much a movie star as she is a reality star who has a huge twitter following. Chrissey (Kay Panabaker) and Roberta (Debby Ryan) are still boring. And as evidenced by my character choices, instead of 13 year olds, they’re teens about to enter high school. And instead of Indiana, the girls grew up in Florida, or somewhere on the water (beach scenes!) and Devon Sawa/whatever-his-name-in-the-movie-is is played by Tyler Posey. Or Taylor Lautner. (Or someone else cute with that skin complexion?) Doesn’t matter. There’d probably need to be a fair of some sort. Since early ‘90s, let’s definitely get some sweet R&B tunes in there, you hear me?

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Original Premise: Girl best friend loves guy best friend. Both are poor, from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks sort. Guy wants popular girl. Popular girl decides to give him a shot. They like each other, but she realizes she needs to stop relying on guys (what?) and backs out, especially after finding out that the girl best friend is in love with said guy. Guy realizes he loves best friend.

Oh, the romantic hopeful’s Pretty in Pink. Or realist’s Pretty in Pink? Or the holy shit am I the best friend who’s in love with his or her best friend and they better get together…. Pretty in Pink? Anyway, tough luck Duckie, Watts played your game – and won.

New premise: Guy (Josh Hutcherson) falls for super-pretty, super-popular girl (Lucy Hale), with the help of BFF (Emma Roberts). (I know what you’re thinking, but let’s get real, the new Watts has to be super pretty too. She could like, cut her hair or wear glasses, as ipso facto that makes for teen movie ugly.) Popular girl ends up falling for him, despite protests from the popular crowd. Guy takes a chance and asks her to prom. She says yes. She then goes with another guy, because SURPRISE she isn’t nice like the audience thought she was. It’s okay though, because BFF is there (and dolled-up) ready to rock out at prom. Kiss. End movie. (Don’t hate me just cause I changed Pretty in Pink’s ending to a more real life scenario).

Lastly, who’s up for a new Bring it On? I don’t know about you, but the last four just didn’t do it for me…