Monday, November 30, 2009

We've moved!

You can now find us at our new and improved website, The Glass House. Even better content on a more comprehensive site. Thanks for your patience and your continued support!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Luxe for Less Pt. II

With yet another expectedly fabulous fashion collaboration hitting stores soon, I thought it best to give notice of the union of London based accessory designer Jimmy Choo and H&M this season. The collection slated to be available Nov. 14th will bring apart from accessories and shoes, a line of garments for men and women. From what has been seen (courtesy of images leaked before the launch), the women's lines is sprinkled with plenty embellishment, studs, and animal print. Men get an array of denim in solid washes, accented belts, boots, bags and even a few smart suits. A great number of the pieces exude the 80's punk feel that Choo (and many others) have been re-embracing as of late. As a whole, alot of the items I've seen thus far do a divine justice when it comes to maintaining the high-end image while being set at a lower price. If stiletto Gods are to begin a trend within with these collaborations, I vote Blahnik and Louboutin next.

I love these, charcoal can be infused with almost any other color to set a fierce palette for any ensemble. My toes have high hopes that the construction of these won't be subpar.

This blue is gorgeous, the suede...fills me with many emotions.

Jimmy even graces us with a thigh boot. [refer to my last post for synopsis of this style and how to wear. not suggested for the prude at heart.]

That bag. Made for a man, coveted by moi!

Accessories bring closure to a look, these belts don't look too disappointing.

One of my favorite washes for the colder season, these men's denim Choo's are sophisticated and fresh. To retain the darkness of the wash, jeans should be cleaned inside out in cold water with a mild cleaner like Woolite Dark.

With the 14th around the corner, you won't have to anticipate too long much longer my lovies...


B. Zarr

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Revenge of the Retro Kids

This is going to be a weekly column opening up the world of vintage and thrift clothing to regular ladies and gents because we all know somebody who can rock anything from the thrift store and make it look great. I plan to touch on everything from alterations/tailoring, thrift stores in the area, clothing styles during certain decades, street fashion and the idea of not following trends.

Personally, I love thrifting because when I come across an item from the 50's that I know no one else has for $5, I am giddy and I start thinking how I can make it mix into the fashion of today. I want this column to help people be more daring in their clothing and accessories in this conservative town. You can still rock a vintage piece and be very classy. Plus, it's always better to be overdressed. Vintage and thrift clothing also is a great way to express your own individuality (take note "hipsters") with out conforming to the American Apparel and Urban Outfitters mannequins. AND you didn't get ripped off on the price.

It's very easy to wear a top from the Gap but then wear a vintage skirt from the 70's and look great. You would benefit from tucking in the skirt, but the right shoes and accessories will pull it together. Color is a great way to add personality, don't be afraid of it, or crazy prints for that matter (think 60's and 70's).

I will be trying to capture some great streetwear too, it doesn't have to be vintage but it does have to show that this person isn't afraid to use their body as art and let their style speak louder than their words.

Send in any suggestions to me about great vintage/thrift stores or any comments!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Saturday 10/24: Deep in the District @ Indulj

If you're from the DC area and didn't attend Howard University (there's only five of us who do each year), then the HBCU and its homecoming have probably never been on your radar. I won't expound upon the reason why that is in this post but it looks like things are a little different this year. Several HU Homecoming events, whether official or unofficial, are featuring some of the best rappers rhyming in and out of the DMV. This Saturday, Suite Nation and Studio 43 will be hosting what looks to be a noteworthy event as a lifestyle contribution to the country's largest college homecoming. Deep in the District will feature the lyrical skill of Studio 43 verbal phenom, XO, and still life in art form by Barbie Bibiana. Deep in the District will also serve as the host for Everyday Pple's 2nd Anniversary. Although the event is called Deep in the District, this will only offer the unfamiliar just a touch of the many emerging talents brewing in and around the Capital Beltway. It's a daytime event so you're still good on time to get pretty for the Saturday night parties. I wanna see plenty of faces, new and old, so show yourself!

In preparation for the event, I want to share this artistic gem Studio 43 dropped on us this morning that further emphasizes the shift in the dynamic of the arts & entertainment scene in DC.

XO "All I Had" (LaLa) from KENNY BURNS on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Album Review: Noisettes Wild Young Hearts

In the pantheon of black girl rock, Noisettes frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa stands out with a style all her own. She’s got the avant-funkiness of predecessors Grace Jones and Betty Davis, the badass gospel growl of originator Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and the electro-dub weirdness of contemporaries Janelle Monae and Santigold. But what sets Shoniwa apart is her ability to effortlessly meld all these influences while carving out a distinctive rock and roll sound that defies categorization.

The Zimbabwe-born, London-bred singer/bassist is something of a rarity in the indie world. She’s a sista who shreds, shakes, and shimmies with equal parts punk abandon and soulful bravada. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition, but one that Shoniwa deftly navigates with an explosive voice that is at once raw, theatrical, and oozing with charisma.

She’s already been dubbed an it-girl in the UK, which makes sense considering she has all the makings of a star. Right down to the exotic-sounding name, striking looks, and colorful back story complete with childhood circus arts classes, a single mother who was a social worker/music promoter, and a brief stint as a burlesque dancer.

But she’s more than just a quirky Brit with a bouffant-fro. She’s the very heart of the Noisettes, bolding leading the band into next-big-thing territory alongside guitarist Dan Smith and drummer Jamie Morrison. The three came together after meeting in art school and cut their teeth playing warehouses and punk squats throughout London.

In 2007 they released
What’s the Time Mr. Wolf, a promising, if uneven, debut featuring a frenzy of stripped-down garage-rock. Now after years spent toiling in the underground, Shoniwa has declared “Indie is boring, dead and over.” Ready for a musical makeover, the band signed with Island Def Jam and hooked up with producer Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys).

The result is
Wild Young Hearts, a pitch-perfect collection of buzzing guitars, retro soul, and electro-disco beats. The band playfully experiments with just about everything on here and while the DIY grit of their early days may be gone, in its place is a fuller, more expansive sound. It may not win over indie-punk purists, it’s pretty much my dream album with everything I love all rolled into one.

The album kicks off with the stellar title track “Wild Young Hearts.” It’s a jaunty slice of 60’s girl-group pop anchored by Shoniwa’s powerful vocals and punctuated with handclaps, sing-along harmonies, and wall of sound reverb. “
Never Forget You” treads a similar path, with Shoniwa sweetly cooing to an old flame Ronnie Spector-style over sweeping strings and vintage melodies.

The group completely switches gears on “
Don’t Upset the Rhythm”. The track thumps with a steady dance-rock tempo as Shoniwa commands listeners “Go baby, go baby, go.” The party continues on “Saturday Night,” which builds slowly before erupting into throbbing drums and new wave synths. Elsewhere, they get downright folky on acoustic numbers like the To Kill a Mockingbird-inspired”Atticus”.

The album may admittedly frustrate some listeners with its constant genre-hopping and newly-minted britpop sheen. But for the rest of us, the album feels less like opportunistic cherry-picking and more like a band continuing to evolve and explore new sounds. Wild Young Things proves the Noisettes are more than just another indie band. And my new hero Shingai Shoniwa once again proves that black girls rock.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Video: Pato Pooh - Follow Me feat. Adam Tensta (Nintendo Lives!)

Sweden got flows...period. With Adam Tensta being the biggest name in Swedish hip hop and the most well-known out of Scandinavia this side of the Atlantic, the country's fusion of electrons into the organics of Hip Hop is real. Adam teams with Pato Pooh, another Stockholm native by way of Chile, on the Super Mario energized "Follow Me" to take it back to the 80s but keep it futuristic at the same time. I've been on a old school video game kick thanks to the Durkl store in DC and "Follow Me" does everything to keep my nostalgic high going. Speaking of Adam Tensta and Durkl, you can hear him on "Dopeboy" feat. Eboi (another good dude) on the Judah x Durkl produced Survivor Series Vol. 1.

Also watch Eboi give listeners a piece of his mind on this freestyle over "Follow Me" as a part of the My Best Friend Is My Grind Freestyle Challenge. There's mad talent on either side of the Atlantic so let's push to get the visibility up so all worthy talents can be heard.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wale Gets Personal & Tabi Goes Pop in WaPo

If you missed it, the Washington Post goes inside DMV hip-hop in this Sunday's Style section. The article mostly gets it right as it describes Wale's ascent to stardom and the age-old struggle for local music to break free of go-go's hold. It also features up-and-comers set to blow up in Wale's wake like Glass House regulars Phil Ade, Kingpen Slim, XO, and production team Best Kept Secret.

If you've been following the latest wave of DMV hip-hop, then most of the article will be old news. And if you've been a fan of area MC's for a while now, you'll wonder why longtime faves like Kev Brown, Kokayi, Oddisee, and Head-Roc are missing (not to mention countless others who've been on their grind for years). The article gives credit to old-schoolers Nonchalant, DC Scorpio, and Stinky Dink but makes it seem like nothing else existed between then and Wale.

The rest of us know the city has always had a vibrant hip-hop scene and thankfully it's now coming to light for all to see. How much of that is due solely to Wale is up for debate. The article makes it clear that there's already been some backlash by crabs-in-a-barrel types (including a local radio station that previously bumped Wale joints but now pokes fun at his success).

But perhaps the most WTF-worthy part of the article was Tabi Bonney revealing that he's just joined forces with Will.i.Am to create a pop supergroup called CryBabies. It's a long way from "One Track Mind" but DC hip-hop is finally blowing up. With or without go-go's help. Check out the article