Monday, June 29, 2015

Style Inspiration: First Aid Kit

Johanna and Klara Soderberg of First Aid Kit -- of their band name, they said it represents music at a means of consolation: a "First Aid Kit for the soul."

Swedish folk duo and sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg make beautiful, melodious music in their band First Aid Kit. You may have seen them recently on one of the final episodes of The David Letterman Show playing a gorgeous rendition of one of Dave's favorite tunes, Simon & Garfunkel's "America," (a cover they have actually played for Paul Simon, to a standing ovation by the man himself). They look like they belong at Woodstock, with their flower child style and ethereal harmonies, which put them on the map back on 2008 with their YouTube cover of the Fleet Fox's song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song."

First Aid Kit performs "Emmylou," for the song's inspiration, Emmylou Harris at the 2015 Polar Music Prize.

Despite their country and folk music sensibilities, they admit they did not grow up with country music at all and for their latest album, Stay Gold, were influenced by the tastes of their friend and fellow musician Conor Oberst, citing Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons as influences for the record. Oberst himself had an influence on the sisters at a young age:  "I heard the Bright Eyes song 'The First Day of My Life', and it was a revelation," Klara says. "I felt like, 'This is it, this is music.'" (Source)

They are currently touring all summer, see if you can catch them here.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Friday, June 19, 2015

Music: Natalie Prass "Bird of Prey"

Color chameleon: Natalie Prass in her video for "Bird of Prey"

Natalie Prass is a name I have been seeing everywhere lately, and with good reason. The talented singer-songwriter just released a colorful and whimsical music video for "Bird of Prey," from her self-titled debut, directed by Malia James of the Dum Dum Girls. It seems she's always kept good company, having formerly played keyboards in Jenny Lewis's backing band and recently toured with Ryan Adams.  With looks reminiscent of a young Karen Carpenter, a sweet Diana Ross-like soprano and the soulfulness of Laura Nyro, Prass has forged her own path -- and is getting plenty of praise along the way.
The 29 year-old was raised in Virginia and moved to Nashville at nineteen to pursue a career in music. Her love and appreciation for an older sound was one that she hasn't compromised.
"I was having meetings, going to bars, talking to people in Nashville about music. This was 2011. When I said, 'Brill Building, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Stephen Sondheim,' people were like, 'What? You're trying to get strings and horns, are you crazy?'" (Source)
Prass is currently on tour in the Europe and the U.S. through the fall. Check out the dates here.

Photo Sources: 
1, 2, 3

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Through the Lens: Emma Stone is 70's Chic in the WSJ

Cali Cozy: Emma Stone in a The Elder Statesmen cashmere blanket scarf, photographed in Malibu.

This latest issue of the Wall Street Journal magazine featuring Emma Stone on the cover is a little puzzling because I feel like the styling is very fall fashion, with the actress all wrapped up in cozy knit sweaters and blankets. Not gonna say I'm not a fan though -- it looks so 70s, reminiscent of stylishly laid-back quality of Ali MacGraw, the effortless boldness of Bianca Jagger or the All-American charm of Christie Brinkley.

Stone talks about working with Woody Allen, turning down an all-female Ghostbusters reboot, and her intense childhood anxiety -- and how acting helped to remedy that: "There’s something about the immediacy of acting. You can’t afford to think about a million other things. Acting forces me to be a zen master." Read the rest of the interview here.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Through the Lens: Alexa Chung for Harper's Bazaar UK

Flower child: Alexa Chung photographed by David Slipjer and styled by Leith Clark.

Alexa Chung's fashion sense somehow manages to be both quite modern, but also rather reminiscent of style icons of the '60s, like Anita Pallenberg, Jane Birkin and Marianne Faithfull with a little bit of Brigitte Bardot.

She looks beautiful as the July 2015 cover girl for Harper's Bazaar UK, dressed in furs, frills and feminine floral by Burberry Prorsum, Simone Rocha and Erdem, surrounded by hydrangeas and nature. Said Chung of her style: "I think my style is a balance between masculinity and femininity. It's a sexy way to dress because it's confident. A bad outfit can really get me down. If I'm wearing something really normal and boring, it's like torture."

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Through the Lens: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Is Hollywood just running out of ideas, or is the reintroduction of the old to a new generation just something that will hold continual fascination? Either way, I'm excited about is Guy Ritchie's interpretation of the 1960s series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander. The trailer seems to promise lot of action, intrigue, witty banter and awesome costume design by Joanna Johnston.
"The 1960s is probably the last time we had any sense of fashion," Hammer said. "Men wore suits every single day. Women wore dresses. People really took the care to dress well and present themselves as fashionable." 
Said Vikander: "It makes you happy being surrounded by such pretty, well-dressed people." (Source)

The Cold War spy thriller is set to be released in August and centers on the unlikely alliance between a CIA operative (Cavill) and a KGB agent (Hammer), as they join forces to stop a mysterious criminal organization.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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