We sure like to know & tell, and our YES list is full of fascinating & favorite things from 2011.
More cool stuff, people, and music that we emphatically endorse and you can proudly enjoy…guilt-free!
The internet provides the real must-see TV with the belly-laughing & compelling web series, Pretty.
Pretty is well, “pretty pretty” as Dawn Davenport would say from the cult classic, Female Trouble. It’s so wrong, it must be right…a drop down, drag out, John Waters-style (pre- and post-Divine) twisted hilarity for the masses and a hidden gem that you may or may not be already watching.
Here is the premise of the series, Michael Champagne (Sam Pancake), a proud pageant dad, only wants to see his 6 year old daughter Annette win the Miss Star Eyes Pageant. It’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about who’s PRETTY.
The kiddie pageant world is so cleverly mocked and ridiculed for this laugh out loud show which centers around Michael’s daughter Annette “Dakota” LaChondra Champagne (excellently played by the very grown Stacy McQueen) and the misadventures of her crazy, mixed up family.
It’s a funny and well written spoof with a stellar cast. Guest stars have included Joan Van Ark, Genie Francis, Kimberly Elise Cox, and Kirsten Vangsness as Meredith Champagne. Created, written, and directed by Steve Silverman and produced by Velvet Candy Entertainment.
Now in its 3rd season (season 2 was on fire!), be sure to watch and support it online at http://www.prettytheseries.com especially if you’re a fan of Sordid Lives, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Absolutely Fabulous, then you’re in pretty darn good company.
Check out an episode here:
Niki & the Dove are Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf of Sweden. Getting together in February 2010, Malin and Gustaf have spent the time since writing together, figuring out just how pop music works and then discovering new ways to break it.
With their 3rd EP The Drummer, they have delivered great things. Niki & The Dove’s songs are full of magic and light but with an unsettling darkness hidden beneath the surface. It’s pop music but a world away from the production line aesthetics of much modern chart music.
It’s kinda like a cool explosion of Kate Bush mixed with Stevie Nicks over restless electro and decadent synthpop beats…super sexy and wicked!
Dried Green Mango is the new fried green tomato. This new take on the classic dried mango has been making us salivate with pure delight.
Made from mangoes that are picked while they are mature – fully grown – though not yet ripe. Much of the world’s mango is picked at this stage. As it travels to its final destination, it continues to ripen, eventually developing the sweetness for which mangoes are renowned.
To make this unique snack, when the mature-yet-not-quite-ripe green mangoes are picked, rather than being shipped and allowed to ripen, they are peeled, sliced, sweetened and dried within 24 hours of harvest. This process results in a very tart, yet wonderfully sweet snack that’s really unlike anything else we’ve tasted.
Calling all GaGa monsters and Nicki Minaj followers, it’s time to get schooled on the original style setter, Diana Vreeland.
The subject of the must-have fashion book called Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (and upcoming biopic/documentary film) by Lisa Immordino Vreeland celebrates the life of the high priestess of fashion, and chronicles Diana Vreeland’s rich life and 50 years of international fashion.
Diana Vreeland (1903–1989) was an American original whose impact on fashion and style was legendary. Beginning in 1936, when she became a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and as editor-in-chief at Vogue, Vreeland established herself as a controversial visionary with an astonishing ability to invent and discover fashion ideas, designers, personalities, and photographers. She started the Costume Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art department responsible for its inventive fashion exhibitions.
She is even more vital and relevant today than at the time of her death in 1989. While her reputation in the fashion world is renowned, the actual breadth of her career and extent of her reach is immeasurable.
The true gold standard of fashion and style credibility, Diana Vreeland is responsible for launching many iconic careers, establishing countless trends that have stood the test of time, and bringing an unprecedented and incontrovertible perspective to the fashion world that has scarcely been seen since.
Real quoteworthy, she coined the terms “Pizazz”, “Youthquake” and “Beautiful People”. A woman with many brilliant thoughts and phrases she is known for expressing the following: “The best thing about London is Paris”, “Never fear being vulgar, just boring” and my favorite “You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody.”
Pick up the book, it’s truly fierce and fascinating! Retails at $62 and published by Harry N. Abrams Books. An upcoming Diana Vreeland exhibition at Venice’s Fortuny Museum also opens in March 2012.
Yes, I meant sconces.. and not scones! Getting under great light never looked so good until now.
New styles and contemporary designs in home lighting update this interior staple with coolness in metal, ceramic, and even Murano glass that offers distinctive styling.
Unique curves and an elegant white glaze finish give the Jonathan Adler Ceramic Reform Sconce its fashionable appeal. Body is crafted from ceramic and covered with a soft white linen shade with rolled edge hem.
Uttermost Alita Collection Silver Leaf Wall Sconce has stylish silver leaf finished metal strips that strike a kinetic pattern up front. An antique stain add drama. A champagne fabric inner shade promises warm illumination.
Revenge was all the rage on television and it was a big trend. ABC’s Revenge, Sons of Anarchy, and Once Upon A Time were the most blatant with nothing as you’d expect, lots of drama, and more plot twists and turns.
Getting back at someone or making someone pay, while not the most coveted traits to aspire to or living zen-ly, it did inject new life onto the small screen and the major networks with a healthy dose of obsession, betrayal, intrigue, flashbacks, and backstabbing thrown in that captivated and kept you coming back for more.
Here’s hoping the Ewing clan and Dallas reboot slated for 2012 is equally promising with a more karma-is-a-bitch attitude, and perhaps a more comedic, bigger the hair the closer to God, Texas-sized parody! I’ll keep my fingers crossed with wishful thinking for the latter (or I’ll just tune into instead to other big remake In Living Color on Fox which we know will be funny).
#7 Industrie Magazine
If you’re serious about fashion (like WE are), then Industrie is the no-nonsense magazine dedicated to the major players in style. It’s a real front row and in-depth backstage look into fashion.
Industrie aims to shift focus away from current collections and trends and provide a considered insight into the culture of fashion. This magazine is unique because it documents the individuals who influence fashion and critically examines the ideas which shape it.
Industrie goes behind the scenes to chronicle the personalities, visionaries, stories, power brokers and defining moments in fashion and takes readers beyond the glitz and gloss and delves right into the heart or guts of fashion with thoughtful discussions and fresh, exclusive interviews intertwined with snapshots, editorials, and short articles.
Industrie magazine is published twice a year.
VERAMEAT is for the adventurous…if you’re looking for some badass jewelry, iconic and twisted pieces, often inspired by animals and popular culture then you’ll most definitely feel this.
Each piece of jewelry mirrors a self-sufficient life form with a sculptural presence. Hand-crafted in New York City from such fine materials as ecologically sound recycled silver and pure 14k gold, VERAMEAT designs are artfully refined contemporary heirlooms to inspire your own individual flair.
VERAMEAT is Vera Balyura, a teller of winding tales in search of the extraordinary. Born in Ukraine, she recalls woodcarving with her grandfather, horseback riding in Utah & moving to New York to be a high fashion model all before the age of 14. Each design reflects a personal (yet universal) inspiration—from traveling the world, making music, maritime sagas, botanical structures of light, futuristic visions of rogue spacemen in beer, and before history.
Spice up your life and stimulate your senses with two good aromas for men…34 & Atelier Vanille Insensée are scents that truly last all day, but manage to not overpower. I fell in love with both of these at first sniff.
34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Diptyque is a rich and solid fragrance which is suitable for men and women, named after its first Paris boutique location.
It’s a fragrance that has an innovative and complex signature that is neither feminine nor masculine. This scent combines black currant, tuberose, and eucalyptus and was developed around a chypre backbone, the base notes of wood and balms add comfort and create addiction.
Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne has an electrical current runs through the subtle sweetness of Madagascar vanilla, jasmine and fresh lime to bond with rich oak moss, woods and spicy coriander. It’s fresh, and not sweet.
Handcrafted leather cap, and removable pump allows for splash or spray use. Atelier Cologne’s Colognes Absolues are couture aromas which are concentrated formulas with a distinctive and long-lasting presence.
#10 The Black Belles
“I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside” Morrissey once sang, as I and millions of others in a seven nation army sometimes feel.
With jet black hair, makeup, and clothes, The Black Belles are enchanting, kick-ass rock n roll Joan Jett would be proud of, goth/rockabilly girls and garage rock!
Jack White (of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather) has his signature sound all over this album and his influence is everywhere. The Black Belles’ bewitching, garage-rock sound is simple & energetic with crunching, wah wah guitar riffs, fuzz pop distortion, thumpy drums, and dark emotive vocals.
This all-female band are the cat’s meow! There’s no one out there like them right now, and we can’t wait to see what else they have up their black velvet and lace sleeves. Their self-titled debut album is out now on Third Man Records.