She wears sweats to the club bc she don’t give a f*$k

Brittney Scott loves diner food. “I linger here a lot,” she said. “Here” being Brite Spot: a popular diner located on the corner of Sunset and Glendale, famous for its pies.

Scott ordered veggie chili over cornbread—a fitting choice for a rainy Thursday evening. She came to the interview sans make up, dressed casually in an oversized sweatshirt with her hair tied up in a bun resembling her twitter avatar, B6 Sad Girl. Make up, however, is unnecessary, as Scott’s natural beauty possesses a Classical Hollywood quality—bearing a striking resemblance to starlet Rita Hayworth.

With over 7,000 Twitter followers, including big names like Snoop Dogg, Skrillex and Major Lazer, Scott’s life resembles a rave wonderland. She regularly hangs out backstage at EDM shows, parties with the world’s top DJ’s and has even hosted multiple episodes of a webseries produced by Vice.

Although selfies are the currency of the Twittersphere, Scott is actually quite camera shy. Sure, she allows her photo to be taken, but that doesn’t mean she will be pleased with the result. Scott doesn’t think she photographs well—which is how B6 Sad Girl was born. “One day I was like, I’m really over this, and I just like downloaded this app and drew a dumb picture.”

Boredom, she says, prompted her to draw “her friends and stuff.” And it wasn’t long before Scott started receiving requests from her fans, asking her to draw their portraits. “I have a few 100 people in my inbox right now waiting for me to draw them,” she said.

Scott accepts submissions to her email, which is listed in her Twitter bio. “send selfie 2 ladiesndrank01@hotmail.com,” it says. Typical LOLspeak.

Despite the demand for her work, Scott doesn’t charge for the drawings—most likely a deliberate decision, as she is well aware of the marketability of her artwork. When asked why she hasn’t replaced B6 Sad Girl with a different photo or drawing, Scott replied that not only was she reluctant to take a picture of herself, but she also expressed an interest in marketing and branding. In her own words: “I was like, ‘I wonder how far this could reach.’”

And reach it did. Although it sounds counterintuitive, drawing for free is most likely the reason Scott’s following blew up so quickly over the past year. As she tries to figure out the best possible business model to leverage her art into a career, making herself accessible to fans has given her brand of art room to continue its growth without losing momentum.

Part of this journey to make art into a career has led Scott to try her hand at producing an art show of the work she has done over the past year. “I’m hoping that will actually break me in, where I can actually do art as a profession,” she says.

Scott is producing the show independently and has been working on putting it together over the past few months. The process has been slow going because she has had to do everything herself—from printing and framing the drawings to finding and paying for the location—all while holding down a regular full-time job and keeping up with all the drawing requests.

“I’ve approached galleries,” she said, “and there is this whole system of the art world that I’m just not a part of because I don’t know it and it’s also very old school. And then there is also a struggle for digital art.”

Indeed, while the pace has been slow, the pieces are coming together as she recently found a venue she likes—a vacant retail space in Hollywood.

“It’s just been hard,” she admits, “because I wasn’t pursuing art and so I didn’t really know what I should have been doing and I still don’t know what I should be doing. But also I would have never got into it for it to be a profession…so it’s kind of just fallen in my lap and if it could turn into something, great. And if not, I’ll just figure out other ways…”

Scott may consider herself an “accidental artist,” but there is nothing “accidental” about her artwork. Everything about it is deliberate and more importantly, honest. Though shy on camera, Scott has no problem showcasing her vulnerabilities via artwork. B6 Sad Girl’s is more than just a physical representation of Scott—she is an emotional likeness as well. The frown on B6 Sad Girl is an amalgamation of Scott’s emotions and experiences, beginning with her aversion to being photographed and ending with her I-don’t-give-a-f*$k-yes-I’m-wearing-sweats-to-the-club attitude. The frown isn’t so much an expression of personal angst as it is a challenge for others to find a way to embrace themselves.

The Future is Now – BCBGMAXAZRIA 2014 A/W Collection – NYFW

Leather and fur bring to mind Trinity’s bodysuit in The Matrix Trilogy and the enormous coat worn by Rachael in Blade Runner. Comprised exclusively of dresses, skirts, long tunics and coats, Max Azria’s 2014 A/W collection reimagines cyberpunk as an expression of the present and how technology has shaped the lives we live here and now.

Using bold, asymmetrical lines and a neutral color palette Azria creates minimalist designs that can be worn during the day and into the night. The transitional quality of these designs—including the dress with the striped black leather tunic on top and chiffon skirt on the bottom—is indicative of how technology and the ability to connect all the time has resulted in the spontaneous collapse of all communication barriers. When we are at work, we are also at home. When we are alone at home, we are still connected with the rest of the world. Armed with mobile phones and laptops, each individual is, at once, more powerful and vulnerable than ever before.

Azria’s designs, however, provide us with a possible solution to this technological paradox for their transitional quality eases the burden of the connected cosmopolitan lady—allowing her to prioritize the more important decisions of life because no matter what, she’ll always look fabulous.

Body as Monument – Rebekka Ruétz 2014 A/W collection – MBFW Berlin

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Rebekka Ruétz’s 2014 A/W collection breathes new life into the myth surrounding Old Hollywood style icons Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. Rather than directly referring to them by name—a point that may or may not be intentional on Ruétz’s part, but would most likely sit well with the glamorous yet notoriously private Dietrich and Garbo—Ruétz draws inspiration from the architectural tradition of art deco in order to recreate the distinct masculine-inspired style of dress favored by Dietrich and Garbo.

Ruétz builds out her collection of long-sleeve blazers, high-collared blouses, trousers and overcoats using bold lines and symmetry, both of which are expressive techniques intrinsic to the art deco tradition. Each line is reinforced by deep shades of black, navy and brown, occasionally accented by gold and white.

The geometric quality of these designs generates a powerful image of the female body, likening her to a monument. Leather cutout vests layered over evening dresses (pictured below) give rise to patterns that bear a striking resemblance to the tower of the Chrysler building—an art deco style skyscraper that has been a prominent component of the New York City skyline since the early 20th century. The decadent beading detail on the vest brings to mind Garbo’s onscreen portrayal of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was executed by a firing squad after being accused of spying for the Germans during World War I. Adhering to the body-as-monument paradigm, Garbo’s resurrection of Mata Hari is, at once, a celebration of the latter’s legacy, yet also an acknowledgement of the female body’s fragility when placed at the mercy of patriarchy. Similarly, Ruetz’s vest encapsulates the fragility and strength that characterizes the true condition of the female body.

*Please be advised that the photo at the top of this article was taken by me during the show.

Lena’s Ladies: Reminding Us How Fashion Really Is a Fairytale

Any successful designer can say that he or she has “fans” or “patrons.” Lena Hoschek, however, has the privilege of being surrounded by a community of creative individuals whose style designates them as designers in their own right.

Meet some of the incredible ladies I photographed before and after the Lena Hoschek show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

*If you are pictured in one of the photos below and wish to be mentioned please do not hesitate to contact me!*

Mame, No Need to be Ashamed – Lena Hoschek 2014 A/W Collection – MBFW Berlin

The air was thick.

Considering that Mercedes-Benz and IMG put on fashion shows around the world year-round, you would think that they would know how to prevent the temperature of a room from skyrocketing as it gets filled up.

via Scene

Rita Hayworth’s famous performance of “Put the Blame on Mame” in the
1946 film noir ‘Gilda’ (via Scene)

In retrospect, however, the heat was actually a fitting welcome to Lena Hoschek’s celebration of noir and pin-up culture in her 2014 A/W collection. Hoschek’s trademark sweetheart necklines, form-fitting pencil skirts and dresses are design elements that actually date back to the 1940s and 1950s. Loosely curled hair and the incorporation of evening gloves into the collection call back to Rita Hayworth as the femme fatale Gilda. Archival footage, projected against the back wall of the runway, depicting women in various states of undress, functions as a dynamic pin-up backdrop for the entirety of the show. All in all, Hoschek engineered the perfect playground for women who get turned on by vintage.

Despite Hoschek’s transparent emulation of specific noir and pin-up conventions, classifying her collection as pastiche would be a mistake. In fact, she has no problem reworking noir and pin-up so that it fits her aesthetic philosophy. The first look that she puts on the runway—a nude sequin dress with a scoop neck and gathered skirt—appears in stark contrast to the aesthetic conventions she has just set up with the video backdrop. True, the dress is stunning, but at the beginning of the show, it appears out of place. However, as the show progresses and Hoschek adds in yet another trademark—her cheerful floral patterns, of course—it becomes clear that Hoschek is attempting to remove the taboo from noir and pinup so that her fans can feel comfortable with embracing their darker fantasies.

In addition to the nude sequin dress at the beginning of the show, other stand out pieces include: a sheer black polka dot dress layered over a full coverage bra, high-waisted briefs and garters; high-waisted floral patterned crop pants paired with a bright red bustier and cardigan; two negligee inspired cocktail dresses, one black and the other fashioned out of a floral pattern; and finally a gray dress and a champagne evening gown, both of which are adorned by trails of translucent leaves.

The scope of this collection and the overall vision of the label seems to indicate a strong crossover potential to the United States. Whether or not Hoschek is interested in making such a move remains to be seen. Unlike specialty retailers such as Betty Page Clothing and ModCloth, Hoschek has the credentials to capture the interest of a much larger portion of the high-end market. Fingers crossed.

Clean. Bold. Loose. – IVANMAN 2014 A/W Collection – MBFW Berlin

Ivan Mandzukic seems to have struck a fine balance between austerity and casualness with his latest collection.

The 2014 A/W IVANMAN collection is mostly comprised of loose-fitting overcoats, blazers, sweatshirts and high waisted trousers. Not only are these loose-fitting garments synonymous with casual attire, but they also reinforce Mandzukic’s minimalist design philosophy: clean, bold lines. Many of these lines have been built into the design of each garment. Still others, however, are developing in real time–as loose-fitting garments readjust with the slightest touch, creating a new fold in one place just as another disappears.

Mandzukic’s reverence for form sets him apart from his contemporaries. Fashion has a tendency to not only hold the past in high regard, but also try to recreate it. Precedent, however, doesn’t seem to bother Mandzukic: as demonstrated by the use of turtlenecks and striped collar pieces in this collection, so as to accentuate the structure and length of each model’s neck. A bizarre, yet admirable flourish. Admirable because it has us wondering what will come next. Not just for Mandzukic and IVANMAN, but rather for fashion as a whole.

* All photographs were taken by me, Shipra Harbola Gupta.

It’s Time to Celebrate the Greatest Year of the Early 21st Century

Friends, dust off your Juicy Couture terry cloth sweats, Von Dutch hat, Tiffany heart necklace and Coach ‘Signature C’ armpit bag because 2014 isn’t just another year. It marks a decade since 2004—one of the greatest years in the history of early 21st century popular culture.

Here are 14 pop culture milestones from 2004 that you need to celebrate EVERY DAY during 2014 because they made you, me and pop culture into what it is today, for better and for worse.

 

14) ‘Desperate Housewives’

Life was much simpler when it was just Sunday nights with the ladies on Wisteria Lane.

Then Bravo got involved. [Enter ‘The Real Housewives.’]

13) ‘New York Minute’

Before Mary Kate and Ashley went into the business of designing apparel and accessories for rich old ladies, they made this cinematic gem with Eugene Levy. It was the Olsen Twins final film together, before they traded in their teenage fans for an older demographic that just happens to come with a thousand times more disposable income.

12) Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show Controversy [a.k.a. Nipplegate]

The genesis of the now ubiquitous term, “wardrobe malfunction:” A strange combination of words that are not only indicative of America’s Puritan tradition of sexual repression, but also take “beating around the bush” to the extreme.

11) ‘White Chicks’

Who could forget the scene in the car where Terry Crews sings along to ‘A Thousand Miles?’ Back in 2004, it was just funny. After frequently recreating this scene in my own car—sometimes swapping out Vanessa Carlton for Michelle Branch or Avril Lavigne—watching Terry now is like looking in the mirror.

10) ‘Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County’

A reunion is definitely in order. If not on MTV, then definitely on KTLA.

9) ‘Leave (Get Out)’ by JoJo

JoJo and I were both 13 when this track was released in 2004; a track where she just happens to sing about how she wants her boyfriend to get out of her life because he cheated on her.

Let’s be honest, when JoJo recorded this track, she probably didn’t understand cheating any more than I did. But hey, the chorus is catchy and has a strong feminist message so maybe her momager—by the way, I’m completely making this next part up—thought, “Why not. She’s got a mature voice and she doesn’t have to say any cuss words so no harm done. Girls of all ages will like it. 10 years from now, she’ll look back and probably still like it too.”

I have no idea whether JoJo loves or hates the track that made her famous, but I will shamelessly admit that as an adult, I still listen to it on a regular basis.

8) ‘Goodies’ by Ciara feat. Petey Pablo

In this sexy, Crunk/R&B feminist anthem, Ciara partnered up with rapper Petey Pablo, who dropped the dirty-nasty-but-oh-so-good single, ‘Freak-a-Leek,’ the year before.

Producing your debut single in a genre that tends toward misogyny and collaborating with an artist who recently released a song that explicitly objectifies women? Sorry Bey, Ciara beat you to it.

7) Britney & Kevin got married

via People

Their marriage marked the beginning of the Trainwreck Era for Britney. This photo of the newlyweds is the first in a series of less-than-flattering paparazzo photos taken of Britney through expensive windshields.

During the three years between the release of In The Zone (2003) and Blackout (2007), Brit showed us how not to live. With help from the right people, she managed to pick up the pieces and get back on track. With a bunch of hit albums under her belt and a successful stint as a judge on ‘The X-Factor,’ Britney just started her residency in Vegas. Lindsay, enough is enough. It’s time for you to take a hint.

6) ‘The Notebook’

This is where it all began: the world’s love affair with Ryan Gosling and Hollywood’s unhealthy obsession with positioning Nicholas Sparks adaptations as star vehicles for attractive, up-and-coming actors.

5) ‘Lost’

This show turned J.J. Abrams into a household name and made it okay—maybe even sort of cool—to participate in a fandom.

Look at us now: we’ve gone batshit crazy for a fantasy television series complete with swords, dragons and made up languages.

If that’s not progress then I don’t know what is.

4) ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ by Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell

This track is the perfect combination of smooth and nasty. It still gets a crowd going.

Pharrell, I still love you but ‘Blurred Lines’ are for amateurs.

3) Facebook

The launch of Facebook is an event that most of us only care about in retrospect. When Facebook launched back in 2004, most people didn’t care. Back then, it was all about MySpace and Xanga. Even for people who didn’t directly participate—such as a dweeb like myself, whose mom refused to let her sign up for MySpace.

2) ‘Mean Girls’

I think I can speak for everyone on this one. We want a cast reunion on Ellen. Announce it already. Ellen, don’t bother worrying about whether or not Lindsay will bail last minute. Let’s face it, her work ethic isn’t great so chances are, she will bail.

But who cares! The effort is what counts. It’s still a party with Tina, Amy, Rachel, Amanda and the girl who plays Gretchen Weiners.

1) ‘Yeah!’ by Usher, feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris

Take that and rewind it back. Even Usher knows that he can’t top this track. Why do you think he says, “If you want to scream yeah / Let me know and I’ll take you there,” in his 2012 single Scream? Sure, I’m close reading and adding meaning where I see fit.

Ten years may have passed, but it doesn’t matter where I am. Whether I’m in the car with the windows down, at the kitchen table on a saturday morning or at a club–I’m still screaming Yeah!

And if you read this far, I know you are too.