Category Archives: N.E.R.D.

Countdown to Fashion’s Night Out


Glamazons,

The Fashion industry knows when to party. In a glorious attempt to revive the industry in a recession, Vogue, NYC & Company and CFDA are hosting a series of star-studded events called Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) on September 10th. The idea started as a celebration where shoppers can interact with the famous faces behind their brand of choice. FNO has since become the largest shopping event in NYC’s history with hundreds of stores offering discounts, parties and celeb-driven fetes. Vogue’s EIC, Anna Wintour, shared her excitement about the host of retailers, style icons and celebrities (including Diddy and the Olsen twins) that are participating in the event:

“Little did I think when the idea of Fashion’s Night Out was first dreamed up this past March during the Paris collections that we would have over 700 and counting retailers, designers, and brands joining us on the night of September 10,” she shared. “Of course, I’ve always known the New York fashion industry to rise brilliantly to a challenge, but I am absolutely thrilled, awed, and more than a little proud that it has reacted so brilliantly to this initiative. There is so much planned that we could shop till dawn and still not see and do everything.”

FNO’s extravagant retail events are sure to revitalize consumerism as shoppers will be more likely to buy a Billionaire Boy’s Club shirt if Pharrell is working the register (seriously, he will be ringing up clothes that night!) or a Chanel handbag that they can…gasp…custom-design! To help navigate the long list of participating stores, Racked.com came up with a top-ten list. Check it out (below) and hit Fashion Night’s Out facebook and twitter page (@FNOnyc) for updates. And you know the Glamazons will be on hand to cover the celebration! See you at H&M or Juicy or Barney’s or Chanel (ahhh…too many places to go in just one night!).

Top Ten Events During Fashion’s Night Out On September 10 (via Racked.com):

10. Rag & Bone
Guys, this is for you: Rag & Bone will turn their Christopher Street store into an Irish Pub, complete with free beer, a sawdust floor, and a live Irish band. We might just end up calling it a night here. 100 Christopher Street.

9. Adam Lippes
Not content to party until 11pm, Adam’s Meatpacking store will stay open until 1am with free cocktails. He’ll also have special edition personalized T-shirts for sale, and in case you’ve missed them thus far—the Havaianas customizing crew! All proceeds from the sale of the Havaianas will go to the 9/11 fund. 678 Hudson Street.

8. H&M
Even though all area H&Ms will stay open late, it’s the Herald Square store that’ll celebrate the most. Surrender yourself to their stylist and then pose for their “celebrity photographer.” Your photo will then be projected onto their big billboard overlooking the Meatpacking District. 1328 Broadway.

7. Kirna Zabete
It’s Kirna’s 10th anniversary, so they’ll be celebrating double-time by bringing in Narciso Rodriguez, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Thakoon Panichgul, Jason Wu, and Peter Som to debut their exclusive items for Kirna. Want to snap up a Wu sketch or a Proenza Schouler tote bag? This is the place to do it. 96 Greene Street.

6. Juicy Couture
With Anna at Macy’s, it’s only proper that Hamish Bowles be at Juicy, right? He’ll be at their Fifth Avenue flagship to read from the works of Noel Coward as shoppers lounge in a “gentleman’s club, reminiscent of founder Gela Nash-Taylor’s eccentric English manor (featured in Vogue’s September issue).” 650 Fifth Avenue.

5. Chanel
Actually hosting two large events at different stores, Chanel will cater to both the rich and the poor. At 139 Spring Street, they’ll debut the jade nail polish with free mini-manicures and a DJ set by Alexa Chung. Meanwhile at 15 East 57th Street, for the first time ever, Chanel will have a create-your-own-handbag studio. “Choose your favorite lambskin color, lining, hardware, and chain—and be among the first in the United States to own a customized, monogrammed Chanel classic bag.” Oh yes, and there will be champagne of course.

4. Bergdorf Goodman
If this doesn’t get you to BG, then nothing will: Andre Leon Talley hosting a fashion game show with “teams led by Donna Karan, Linda Fargo, and Robert Verdi.” Also, Annie Leibovitz will be around, Padma Lakshmi will host a cook-off with Cynthia Rowley and Peter Som, Zac Posen will be selling his paintings, Alexander Wang will drop in and Isaac Mizrahi will hold a talk. This is some crazy shiz right here; make sure to jot down the exact times for the event you most want to see. 754 Fifth Avenue.

3. Alice + Olivia
Right alongside the Fashion Week tents in Bryant Park, the Alice + Olivia boutique will become a photo studio, with auditions to be a model in the Alice + Olivia presentation the following week. Hopefuls won’t be left to their own devices either; they’ll get pro hairstyling, makeup and wardrobe styling before stepping in front of the camera. Here’s something for the resume. 80 West 40th Street

2. Opening Ceremony
In the spirit of Chinatown, OC will take their celebration to the streets, with special-edition items sold out of the backs of vintage automobiles (example: a Thai truck sporting Band of Outsiders gear). In addition, you’ll able to meet and greet with the designers behind Rodarte, Band of Outsiders, Proenza Schoulder, Fendi, and of course Alexander Wang. Munch on food from neighborhood restaurants and enjoy DJ sets by “friends” of Opening Ceremony. 35 Howard Street.

1. Barneys
As expected, Barneys will be killing it during Fashion’s Night Out, hosting such famous faces as the Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen bartending, Isabel Toledo, Alexander Wang for runway lessons, Juan Carlos Obando teaching salsa and more. Oh yea, and they’ll be teaching knitting and hosting a fashion green market curated by Vogue editor Tonne Goodman. There’s too much to list here; click above for all the details. 660 Madison Avenue.

Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Style.com.

A Day in the Life: Estelle and the Fashion Against Aids Collection

Hey Glamazons!

The fight against Aids has a new face: Estelle…and Katy Perry and Yoko Ono and N.E.R.D. Pop’s most conscious stars rallied together to design original pieces for H&M’s and DAA’s (Designers Against AIDS) Fashion Against AIDS collection (25% of the proceeds go to AIDS prevention initiatives). The launch event took place at the new H&M store on 86th and Lexington on Wednesday where guests, including yours truly, sipped Belvedere mixed drinks, jammed to tunes by DJ Kiss, swiped free condoms and shopped before the store opened to the public (and with a pretty discount…lucky, I know!).

Strewn across 80’s-inspired tees and drawn in graffiti and bubble letters, the message of Aids prevention and awareness was still resonant. My favorite, of course, was Estelle’s fitted, black and white tee, which reads “Life is too short, have sex, be safe,” and features a socially responsible, long-legged black girl in a purple trench and gold pumps. Estelle, herself, was dressed easy, breezy in a Matthew Williamson for H&M colorful maxidress (that I HAVE to own) paired casually with a crisp denim jacket and a Chanel bag. Talk-show diva Andre J chose a bodysuit designed by Roisin Murphy, fishnet tights, a fur and a fierce pair of peeptoes. (Love it!)

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Our fave Britain-to-Brooklyn gal showing off her fab new design.

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Estelle chatting it up with Andre J.

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His shoe game was so severe.

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D.J. Kiss spinning in a fab strapless dress.

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The red carpet in front of the new H&M store on 86th Street and Lexington. LOL @ the girl to the left yawning. Fashion/event-planning is a tiresome job.

Check out some tees from the collection below and be sure to buy your fave, available NOW, at your local H&M store. C’mon, it’s for a good cause!!

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Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Getty Images.

A Day in the Life: Kelis (Nas and N.E.R.D.) Was Here

Hands down, one of the best things about this job—next to free products and meeting celebs—is the industry event. Whoever came up with it is truly a genius! The first and most important advantage: it’s FREE. Which is great for an entry-level budget. (And bad because I’m so spoiled now I wouldn’t pay a $25 cover to see Tupac resurrect himself from the dead in front of an audience at Madison Square Garden). 

And they’re always sponsored by a liquor company, so the specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres are complimentary as well. That means the sponsors feed me and transport me to a state of inebriated bliss, then ambush me with ads and samples of their new product. And now every time I think of Adidas, let’s say, I’ll remember my full stomach, delicious cocktail and untouched bank account and of course, I’ll give it rave reviews in the magazine, right?

Tuesday night at the Smirnoff Experience/Cornerstone party was no different, atleast at the beginning. Ferocia and I undergo our normal glam routine so we don’t look like we spent the day working like field slaves. The flats are replaced with sky-high heels (hers, knee boots; mine, peeptoe booties) and liquid eyeliner and boldly-hued lip gloss wake up our tired faces. MAC’s tinted lipglass ($14, maccosmetics.com) works wonders. 

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Trust me, you should’ve seen what I looked like before the lip color! Love it!

This takes longer than expected of course (I’m on permanent CP time) so by the time we meet up with Beautylicious and cab it to Capitale, the line of industry insiders, inhumanely beautiful models and Faux-Rells (the trucker hat, fitted shirt wearing N.E.R.D. frontman wannabes) stretches down and around the block and keeps going. Umm, four words: hell to the no. 
At times like these, I’m always contemplating turning around, pulling off those devilish heels and tight leggings (I finally got them from H&M!) and crawling under my covers. But luckily, we spot our Uberlife friends near the front of the press line (which of course, is shorter, they treat you like royalty). And after standing for what seems like a century, we ambush our way into the club. Scrumptious pink lemonade and Smirnoff concoctions await us at the bar. And to our left is the cutest, most adorable glamazon ever!

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Love the red glasses!
She stops us for a polaroid photo op and poses the question: If you were a cocktail, what would you be?

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I want to say Poison (cue Bell Biv Devoe, big booty and a smile!) but we have to represent for the blogs so we go with Beautylicious, Coutura and Ferocia.

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So glam!
And then the concert starts.

The token black VJ over at MTV, Sway, comes out and warns us all that this is not your regular industry event, this is “real hip hop.” Despite the fact that his beanie hat looks like it would pop and explode if he stuffed one more dread inside, I have to agree with the man.

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He goes on to introduce Jamal Woodard, the actor who plays Biggie in the upcoming film, “Notorius.” Spitting image! He performs the first verse from “Juicy,” as everyone raps along word for word, followed by a verse of his own (he wasn’t bad, believe it or not).

The legendary Grandmaster Flash makes an appearance and immediately puts any DJ-turned-celebrity to shame. He spins everything from Rapper’s Delight to Dope Boy Fresh…and the entire crowd can’t stop moving! Then a couple of independent label rappers come out and do their thing and one message is clear: hip hop is alive and well. 

Next up, N.E.R.D. They put on an amazing show and pull out all the stops from groupies to guitars. Ferocia has more on that later (she got to know Pharell real up close and personal ;-)!
And finally, DJ Green Lantern starts playing “Made You Look,” and Nas slips onstage to the roar of the crowd. He starts the set with songs from “Untitled,” which he casually refers to as “the nigger album,” even though his record label famously forced him to change the title…comedy. 

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His rendition of “Black President,” (produced by Green Lantern) is especially moving given that we are 30 days away from the election and the rest of the country had watched the second presidential debate earlier that night. And Johnny Polygon comes out to add his smoldering, husky vocals to the song…truly a beautiful moment!

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After teasing us with the first few seconds of “Street Dreams,” he starts “If I Ruled the World,” to the delight of the packed room. In the middle of his second verse, he says “Are you coming out baby?” facing the group of people on the left of the stage. And without as much as a glimpse of an asymmetrical cut, I know Kelis is coming to join him. I can barely contain my excitement!! I’m happier than a gay man in a locker room! Clearly, almost everyone at the club feels the same way…
Of course, Miss Info was there and caught it all on film!

And then, I realize this is their first public appearance together since wearing matching N-word shirts to the Grammy’s. And that it comes amidst a swirl of rumors of marital strife and infidelity. This is much more than a random appearance onstage. This is deliberate.

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We’ve all read the stories plastered on blogs and whispered over restaurant tables from NY to LA. It goes a little something like this: Kelis is cheating on Nas (who is too fine for that, btw) because he spends all his time smoking and reading instead of indulging in a more exciting, fast-paced Hollywood lifestyle. The plot thickens with a sex-tape featuring Kelis and some mysterious man that allegedly took place post-wedding vows. Plus, as somebody in the crowd points out, she’s slept with both Pharrell and Nas, who performed one after another and even were onstage together at some point during the show.
My take? It’s not my business or anyone else’s. They’re entertainers and both amazing at their craft. He’s a rap legend, she’s a swagger icon. And that’s where it ends. The prying and speculation is intrusive and really disrespectful.
I don’t know when it occurs to me—maybe after the kiss he plants on her cheek as she walks offstage, or when he turns to her and raps “I love you, love you baby,”—but at some point, it becomes clear that we are either witnessing a marriage crumble or a strong couple stand up for their union and reputation. And that’s when a usually vapid, sometimes superficial industry event gets personal and sad.
But Nas seems determined to quell pesky rumors about his marriage. He lovingly quips that he’s her biggest fan and says matter-of-factly that “a lot of girls have been biting her style.” Umm, can you blame them?

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Kelis is the bad girl’s bad girl. The few celebutantes that hint at risk-taking run back to the status quo as soon as they end up on a worst-dressed list. Kelis, on the contrary, could care less what anybody thinks about her. She’s onstage in front of a crowd of industry heavyweights sipping on a half-full glass of wine and looking…well, let’s just say “dazed.” 

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She’s wearing a tie-up black jumpsuit with dainty white trim on the pockets, a black lace bra, white lace stockings (the kind your mom used to put you in for Sunday school) and pearls. Unstudied glamour. Stylish and fierce. This is a girl who knows what she likes, from designs shaved into her close-cropped cut to plaid blouses with leopard boots. She won’t make apologies for any of it.

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And matching her fiercely independent spirit to a tee, Nas ends his segment with a middle finger to McCain. You gotta love them! I miss the era of celebrities who boldly took a stand regardless of what criticism or praise they garnered as a result. Say what you want about this couple, they’re not afraid to be different.

All in all, it was an amazing night, from the performances to the cocktails to the hors d’oeuvres (especially the hot dogs and mustard, lol, you know i love food!). But at the end of the day, Sway was right: the event was free and sponsored (thanks, Smirnoff!), but far from “industry.”