Tuesday, December 24, 2013

RantingRedHead


Name dropping, game dropping, etc
This edition of RRH focuses on rap and designer names lovechild.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jay-zs-tom-ford-song-582367

It started in the '90s when everyone in the rap industry began wearing Calvin Klein and it has only grown exponentially out of control since then. It seems to me that as soon as a rapper gets their moment in the spotlight they feel inclined to have to name drop the biggest designer labels of the moment. For example 'Tom Ford' by Jay-Z, 'Fashion Killa' by A$AP Rocky or 'Christian Dior Denim Flow' by Kanye West. Now my issue is not that these songs are being made by rappers but simply why do they feel the need to have to throw these designer names into their songs when most of the time these rappers do not come from this kind of lifestyle, they've only recently joined it. We can go back to Harlem in the 1950's and justify this sort of consumerism with dandyism. Men and women would wear high quality suits, dresses, shoes and jewelry despite not actually being a part of the upper class based on their income and location. It was a way to say that even though I may not live with the upper class I still hold a high standard for myself and if I can't make that $ I'll at least look like I do. This act of dandyism is clearly still prevalent, just look at boys who are obsessed with their sneakers and snapback's or girls and their purses. But when I saw A$AP's 'Fashion Killa' music video where him and Rihanna are walking through major designer stores trying on clothes and there is a break away moment at 3:06 where I'm assuming it's doing a flashback to A$AP before he was the superstar he is today and he is free-styling with friends on the street. No designer duds to be seen, just A$AP before fashion became such a major part of his persona. My mind was racking for reasons the director decided to include this scene in the video. It made no sense to the storyline and is not included in the original recording of Fashion Killa, so why????? Was this an attempt at making a subdued statement on what's happened to A$AP now that he is famous vs. who he was before the fame? How the fashion industry and it's bougie-ness been forced upon him so he can be successful? I was talking to a friend about these thoughts and she quickly cut me off saying how she finds it completely ridiculous that these rappers name drop these designers, make songs dedicated to them but in reality the designers don't give two flying fucks. Their sales don't change just because Jay-Z made a song about Tom Ford because the people buying Tom Ford were buying it long before Jay-Z mentioned him and the people that now know Tom Ford's name because of that song are still oblivious to who exactly the man is and what he does. Hell, I know a friend who got asked if Tom Ford was a strand of weed because Jay-Z name dropped him. Smh...... Getting back to my point, designers aren't changing their campaign model types or the people they send down runways because they are now mentioned in a rap song, they are just getting free press and the rappers are only looking like one more sap in the industry. It would seem more beneficial for rappers to stop designer dropping and take that money to support the community they came from that they use to give them street cred as a hard core gangster rapper. Just a thought to ponder the next time you're jamming out in your car to 'Tom Ford'.
Disclaimer: I jam out to 'Fashion Killa' practically every day, I am only questioning the video direction, not the awesome-ness of the song.
-Yours Truly, A Ranting Redhead


Work It Work It

New music video out from one of my favorites Adi Ulmansky~
"Work It"

check it>

Friday, December 20, 2013

No Fools

Hello little girl, 

That heart you abused. That mind you overused. That time you diffused. 
Holding your breath. Don't hold it alone. Your visions, Jacked from the crevices of your fragile soul, are waiting to explode. 
The magic within the tools life provides for destined change, sit to your left and to your right.  
The balance of the universe is restoring itself. 
Slowly but surely. 
NO FOOLS.

Sincerely,
The future. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RantingRedHead: Basel and The Elite


VIP: Very Ignorant Person?? Art Basel Miami brings out the best and the worst in people. An attention crazed city and its local animals love nothing more than a good VIP night out. Well, miss Ashley Garner sums up her South Beach x Scope Art Fair VIP experience. Here is a taste of the Basel madness...



Basel and The Elite

This year at the world famous Art Basel I had the pleasure of working the VIP check in desk at the SCOPE art fair. My experience was nothing short of eye opening and extraordinary. I got to be within arms reach of the ground-breaking designer Rick Owens and his badass wife, work some of the biggest parties of the week and meet more than a handful of amazing and inspiring artists. However one thing that I did notice while I checked in the VIP’s is how much people are obsessed with entitlement. Even if it just means saving $25 people crave the VIP status and that is definitely accentuated during a time like Basel. They like to think that they are important even if they haven’t actually done anything to gain that importance other than be friends with the “right” people. Not that I’m hating at all, I for one am all for the VIP lifestyle but I like to think that I would work/do work my ass off to earn it. During Basel week you see the greedy devil come out in every single one of us. We determine who is worth hanging out with/keeping around based off of what art show or party they are able to get us into free of charge, but what does that really say about us outside of this strange time warp they call Art Basel Miami Beach? It doesn’t mean much, at least down here in the art fair’s hosting city. After the madness ceases we all seem to forget who was “important” that week and life goes on per usual: we pay for our own beers and usually have to work the parties to get into them. What is my point in all of this? Only to remember to stay humble people. Just because your card may be black of say VIP on it doesn’t mean you have the right to treat other people like shit or like they are less of a human being than you just because they didn’t manage to get their hands on a similar exclusive card. I have found in my time of meeting celebrities that the ones that are the most successful are usually the ones that are decent and understanding human beings. I pray that I remember that as I move to New York City in less than a month; I would hate to come back home and find myself being the big headed fake New Yorker, I cringe at the 
thought…..

-Your's Truly, A Ranting Redhead

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Olan Mills by Diane Rosser

ft Alaska 



 




Featured Artist: Adi Ulmansky



Stoked to share one of my new favorite artists Adi Ulmansky;  producer, writer, rapper and beautiful badass. Hailing from Israel, she has seen and been influenced by many corners of the world. Her sound is fashion buzzed, culturally infused, and raw. I had the pleasure of an interview with the sound, lyric, and beat genius herself. She is a gem! Get with it..


Full Name: Adi Ulmansky
Age: 25
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
First memories of music:
When I was really really young (I mean a tiny baby), my mom used to lift me up and put her lips on my bald head and sing. She has a beautiful voice and I can actually remember the warmth of her lips and how it used to calm me down and helped me fall a sleep (not cause it was boring! lol but cause it was relaxing.)
Influences growing up:
Well when I was a child I used to listen to a lot of nineties pop bands like TLC, Destiny's Child and the Spice Girls, but later on I started playing the guitar and got more into rock music and listened mostly to Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and that kinda thing. Later on I discovered the amazing work of electronic music and really got into acts like Autechre, Aphex Twin and producers that are more updated like Hudson Mohawke, Lunice, James Blake etc. now my main thing is the combination of hip hop with electronica and ethnic elements.
What impacts your sound and visions:
I guess what impacts me the most is my home country Israel. I'm really inspired by all the authentic, arabic - ethnic vibe that Israel has and I'm trying to use this inspiration to make the best out of this whole complicated political situation, which is totally depressing and sad.
When did you start producing your own music:
I started producing about 3 years ago but I got my music out first only a year ago - my first mixtape was released January 2013 and I released my EP Hurricane Girl August 2013.

Inspiration behind the name of your new EP Hurricane Girl:
I think the name and the whole ep in general captures a phase that I was going through in my life - I had a really hard few months in my personal life, and the ep kinda show both aspects of what I was going through - from feeling super sensitive and breakable to being this fighter girl that won't let you tell her what to do or treat her as a pretty face - I guess I kinda felt that the name "Hurricane Girl" represents this contradiction and describes what I felt like.
Favorite track off of Hurricane Girl:

It's hard to choose between Was It You and Work It 



My favorite track off of Hurricane Girl is 'Work It'. It's strong, honest, and basically telling everyone this is how it is, fuck off. What was going through your mind while writing that track. How has the opposition you've faced in the industry made you a stronger and essentially more badass person:
Well I wrote this song referring to a specific Israeli radio broadcaster that really didn't believe in what I was doing a few years ago and I just felt like now it's time to take this bad energy and create something useful and strong out of it.
I always really liked songs and artists that express their anger in their music, like Eminem for example, and I feel like this song really tells what it's like to be part of the industry, how you always get criticized and gotta be strong to move on and believe in yourself. Being a girl I guess it's even a bit harder cause for me I used to feel like people would first of all think that I'm all about my look and it drove me crazy cause apart from being a girl I also produce, write and compose all of my music and beats lol! So the sentence "Another pretty face" refers to that 




If you could describe your aesthetic in one word (or a bunch of words):
In one word - a mix
In a bunch of words- a mix of lots of different cultures and aesthetics - from grunge and emo to japanse harajuku and arabic princesses.
A particular show that you’ve performed that has stood out among the rest:
I guess the one I was the support act for Disclosure in London.

You have incredible style. What role has fashion played in your career/life? Its significance to you:
I guess I'm just a visual person. I've always been. That's why I put a lot of thought into my music videos and the whole visual design. I enjoy fashion just as much as I enjoy creating music. Fashion played a role in my career cause it got me to do a shoot and an interview for ASOS fashion up app and also TOPSHOP so.. it's nice
Whats up next for ADI?:
Gonna release 2 music videos soon and also working on new music and really cool collabs!

Favorites
Film: Oldboy
Musician: tough question!! Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Diplo, Kitty Pryde
Color: purple and pale blue
Food: pizza (even though i'm allergic to gluten:/)
City: London and NY
Cartoon character: Jigglypuff
Item of clothing: my super high platforms
Quote: “So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa




Lets Go Out








Jacked Fashion Party Dress
Model Diane Rosser 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RantingRedHead

Appreciate the bitches in your life this Thanksgiving! This weeks RantingRedHead does just that. An observation on the world of video taking over the world of fashion is the centerfold topic. 

 


"by 2017 online video will account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, with users viewing the equivalent of 5 million years of video every month"

I’ve always been the type of person that is obsessed with videos. I’m always the first one to come to my friends asking if they had seen the latest music video, tv show, fashion campaign, comedy bullshit, so on and so forth. However I must admit that I was surprised to hear the news earlier this week that i-D and Dazed and Confused magazine are going to be launching a massive video section to their digital sites that will be having a new artist take over each week. For the longest time fashion magazines have been terrified of technology for the sake of the possible end of the print magazine. I am one of those very people that are nervous for the end of the print magazine as I treat them like my most precious books and there is obviously something about a print magazine that the digital version will never be able to match to.
That got me thinking about how prevalent videos are in today’s society. According to the article on the Business of Fashion site discussing this new video section on Dazed Group’s pages they threw out the statistic that by 2017 online video will account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, with users viewing the equivalent of 5 million years of video every month. Holy shit. Video has been on the rise for quite awhile now with Youtube and app’s like Vine and Instagram making it easier and easier to get interesting and inviting shots so I really shouldn’t be so surprised by these stat’s but when number’s are throwm in your face like that you can’t help but have your jaw drop sometimes. Clearly video work is the most up and coming thing right now so to me that is how I justify my massive amounts of time spent watching it: cultural studies I say.
All of this leading me into my conclusion for the week: wtf was up with Kanye West’s ‘Bound 2’ video and btw if you didn’t already know Nick Knight filmed it. Wtf Nick Knight, you’re better than this! This bull shit, fake ass, poisonously depressing series of moving images that are probably going to hit the top of the charts and get way more airtime than the BEAUTIFUL video of bursting colors of smoke dancing in Olafur Arnalds ‘Ljosio’. But that’s the world apparently: unfair and all about who you know. I don’t fucking accept that and will continue going around ranting about how horrible I think bad videos are despite who’s name is behind them. There is so much potential with video as a narrative that can make people connect to the art on an even deeper level so why waste that on a shitty superficial video I ask you, WHY?!??? Hopefully i-D and Dazed will make the most of their new video channel, we can only hope though. In the meantime one little piece of advice I have to give anyone that can’t quite decide where they want to head in the industry: make sure you know Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, it could be the difference between you having or not having a job soon enough. Also here is a video I made from my collaboration with Jacked Fashion a few weeks ago featuring my current female empowerment song ‘Hard Out Here’ by Lily Allen. Enjoy bitches.
-Your's Truly, A Ranting Redhead


Monday, November 25, 2013

Featured Artist: Ian Honoré


Newest contributor to Jacked Fashion, Ian Honoré brings a mind refresher to the table focusing on the essence of movement throughout life, personal identity, and growth. The artists mind exposed, shedding light on important and often forgotten truths.

"My critique is aimed at this binary in place that treats childhood as an antechamber to becoming a real person, a dignified human being, an adult. I'm concerned with these dehumanizing tactics used against children to usher them into a monolithic, oppressive set of cultural logics and values. A human life cannot be compartmentalized into sections."
-Ian

 "if I was left to dream and play as a child through my growth, perhaps I could've saved myself years of studying postmodern philosophy to unlearn all the absolute lies I was force-fed. Perhaps I could've been light years more developed in my artistic practice. Maybe I would be more acutely attuned to the shifts in consciousness we are continuously going through, knowing very well that a single frequency of consciousness is a myth that we perform with “good manners”, speech, and body language." -Ian

I like to do drugs. Not the bad ones, just the good ones. The ones that take you places. The ones that take you on trips. I also practice art and philosophy, which are a lot like trips. Tonight we’re in the Mushroom Kingdom on our way to the seaside. A friend has invited us to go sailing.

I had forgotten that the dock is behind a church. We pull into a spot in the parking lot at the House of God and I can't help but laugh at the irony of the situation. I crane over and say "oh my god, we're the bad kids you're supposed to stay away from, the ones you're not supposed to become". Nothing could be closer to the truth. Between just four of us existed fierce Black power, raging homosexuality, polyamorous promiscuity, gender defiance, punk-anarchism, questionable hygiene, haywire sleep schedules, and six “useless” undergraduate majors. And it seemed so absurd to me that my lifestyle and worldview through which I've finally been able to grow into my own skin is precisely what is so desperately hidden in the deepest of closets from children.

“Good kids” must be manicured. They aren’t exactly manufactured with our cultural presets. On the contrary, children tend towards the erotic and the surreal. Children play with their junk when they feel like it and play in fantasy worlds of their own forging. They have to be reprimanded or spanked to curb their “indecency” and their minds "straightened out" by learning Western master narratives on what constitutes "the real world", "true knowledge", and "legitimate identity". They're taught to be estranged from their own bodies and to associate shame with pleasure (especially via masturbation) and that any fanciful interpretations they may be culminating around the world they live in is not merely incorrect but daft, in other words, "childlike". Children are typically encouraged to be mildly imaginative so long as the adults in their lives are perfectly reassured that the tots are aware of what is real and what is merely fiction, that they understand that their imaginations are cute and fun but in the end null and irrelevant for anything other than escapist child's play, which of course, must and will be outgrown.

Children are shamed for being children. They tell each other to grow up and are dismissed by their elders as incompetent, their perspectives unviable contributions. Much of youth is wasted away with the yearning to skip to glorified adulthood. They are more than willing to discard their "childish" notions and "angsty" counterculture fads in an attempt to assimilate. And of course once one has reached a certain age and hasn't moved on from fantastical worldviews or pink mohawks and female hairy armpits, you'll either be institutionalized as insane or barred from employment from anywhere that isn’t an alternative nightclub or tattoo parlor. This isn't to say that there aren't valuable and essential qualities associated with adulthood whatsoever or that a ten year old has the same mental capacity of a 25 year old. My critique is aimed at this binary in place that treats childhood as an antechamber to becoming a real person, a dignified human being, an adult. I'm concerned with these dehumanizing tactics used against children to usher them into a monolithic, oppressive set of cultural logics and values. A human life cannot be compartmentalized into sections. As beings that exist in time, our history spans on a continuum. In ultimate paradox, there can never be a stable "I" to reflect upon because we are in a perpetual state of change, yet any given moment in our life is just as much our “true selves” as any other. Phrases like "I wasn't myself that day" or "I couldn't believe the words coming out of my mouth" only scratch the surface of how fluid, transitory, and contradictory the Self is.

A sense of the real, a singular world or knowledge independent from humanity is equally problematic. There is no common ground from which humans could possibly arrive at a legitimate sense of normal behavior and thinking. It is forcefully extracted from us by a bourgeois class. Any counterexamples from cultures that have been miraculously (virtually) untouched by global capitalism would of course be discarded as insubstantial. They're simply savages! What do they know? They’re swiftly dehumanized for the benefit of keeping the sanctity of our precious Western worldview. Otherwise, we’d have to face the fact that our reality is a mere version of versions upon which no original can be located.

Reality and normalcy are texts. They're stories. Obviously there is an observable world that we agree is stable, the ‘external world’, but humans do not have direct access to it. We process stimuli with a human chemistry and the product is an image, an interface of the world in our minds (all before we give these perceptions cultural meaning, further multiplying and complicating what constitutes “the world”). What you are seeing on your computer screen is not what is being registered by your computer. It is in interface for what would otherwise be an entirely incomprehensible world of code.  In this way, psychedelia is the literal transportation to other worlds. Our human chemistry that generates an arbitrary interface of the world is completely rewired and another equally arbitrary (and equally legitimate) world surfaces. Psychedelia isn’t seeing things that aren’t in the external world, it is literally the processing of the world as something other than a human and therefore seeing it for the first time, as a child. Unlike an intoxication that pulls you away from lucidity, psychedelics simply generate an alternate perspective of the actual world, an alterlucidity.

Yet, without some kind of referent of an "actual world" (as opposed to a real world, with implies that any other way of looking at the world is false), we would have no means from which to relate to one another. So how do we arrive at a point where we aren’t forced to experience the world identically yet find ways to bridge common grounds for relatedness? The answer to this very abstract dilemma is precisely what we violently exorcise out of children.

Children propose worlds. Children don't always play nice; they're children. But when they do, they'll take turns authoring a world. And usually even after a premise is set, detailing becomes a collaborative effort. These are usually called "games", another way adults have robbed children of their immensely powerful practice of world making. Unfortunately, by the time children can speak they've already been tainted with hegemonic culture and will begin implementing it immediately. But I can recall a time when the boy didn't get to have all the action as knight in shining armor while the girl waited, bored, for him to decide he was through fighting and come up and "rescue her". Sometimes there was a princess who was a secret agent and the boys were the bad guys to whom she briskly handed their asses, all before teatime with the duchess. In this world, patriarchy is dead. In this moment, women are enabled and powerful and have dynamic gender identities. The “real world” remains, yes, but on the outside, if only for an instance (in Feminist jargon it could be related to creating safe spaces). This fight among ten year olds did not end rape culture and gender-based discrimination. But "The World" was refracted into worlds and a glint of what could be became real. And any time we can envision change and what the world could be through artistic and philosophical inquiry, we are reprising what little we can from the resin of our forsaken childhoods.

Maturity is valuable. Emotional stability and increased intellectual capacity are good things. But if I was left to dream and play as a child through my growth, perhaps I could've saved myself years of studying postmodern philosophy to unlearn all the absolute lies I was force-fed. Perhaps I could've been light years more developed in my artistic practice. Maybe I would be more acutely attuned to the shifts in consciousness we are continuously going through, knowing very well that a single frequency of consciousness is a myth that we perform with “good manners”, speech, and body language. In many ways a psychedelic trip is a caricature of the critique of reality that theory offers and the transport to alternate worlds that art effects. In my experience, I’ve come to find that the relationship between the three are inexorable and together they constitute an attempt to reprise my childish train of thought and rekindle that old desire to “vivre autrement”, or “live otherly”.

-Ian Honoré is an artist, curator, and the founding director of a non-profit alternative art-space organization in Miami

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

RantingRedHead

Round two of RantingRedHead! A weekly post by fashion artist Ashley Garner! This weeks topic: ARTSY. I hope you all enjoy this humorous, intelligent, and fantastic piece as much as I did. <3


The question of “artsy”
What the hell is artsy? Is it a state of mind, a lifestyle, a moment, a photo, a painting, a celebration or an insult? I always considered artsy to be a good thing, a compliment of sorts. Whenever I was told that I was “artsy” to me it meant that I was creative and pushing boundaries; exactly what I wanted to be doing. I saw the label of artsy as the highest label to have below that of a fine artist. But then one fateful day I saw a friend on facebook post a photo that was in black and white and not very interesting outside of a random shadow crossing their face and they captioned it as “I don’t know what I was trying to do but I felt like it came out artsy and wanted to share it.” Immediately I was pissed. First of all to put your interesting/bad photo out there for all the world to see and then claim that you “thought it was artsy” is such an intense insult to the art world that I don’t even know where to begin with that argument objectively. 
If you are taking a photo I would hope that you consider that tool to be an art and thus the frame of your photo to be a canvas for your art piece. To claim that your photo is “artsy” should be redundant because it’s supposed to be artsy in the first place. So to say that you think your photo is artsy comes off to me as an insult, like it’s too creative, too out of the norm and you are embarrassed by it and don’t want to take full ownership of your out-of-the-box thinking. 
After this one artsy encounter and eventually getting over it I had yet another one with yet another photographer. This photographer posted a photo that I considered to be incredible compared to all of their previous work. It was visually challenging, interesting, multi-faceted, and unrealistic and seemed to have a depth to it that would keep me staring at it for hours. Their caption for the photo went a bit like this, “I’ve been in a weird artsy mood lately….My mind is weird. Deal with it.” Now I had no issue dealing with the fact that the photo was a bit out of the norm but it was like they were trying to demean their “artsy-ness” to a negative connotation as being weird and misunderstood and all in all bad. I was once again offended and retaliated stating that I thought this photo was one of the best photos I’ve ever seen them create. They responded saying that they were glad that I liked it but it was too “artsy” to be accepted in fashion photography but they “hope to make it more so in their future”. WTF. I don’t accept this answer because to me fashion is an art and to demean fashion photography to not being artsy is like a slap in the face to its true artistic quality. I mean fuck, if the photographers who are documenting fashion claim that they don’t think artsy and fashion belong in the same category what the fuck is going on with fashion photography today? 
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule but I am very concerned about the future of fashion photography and the interpretation of the word “artsy” as being a negative, un-marketable thing. There is no market without art and there is no art without market. I say let’s get together and make artsy the future of normal. Who’s in?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Individuality

"people are not good to each other"
-Charles Bukowski

Be especially good to someone this week.
xo
Alaska

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Featured Artist: Petite Meller




Parisian sound princess Petite Meller understands aesthetic like the alphabet. The way that she orchestrates her sound as well as her most recent music video 'Backpack' displays refreshing, inventive, and pure jazzy pop pleasure. She's my new girl crush and definitely one to watch. Grimes meet your foreign kid sister.



Natalie Melissa ft Alain Gerard

The essence of fall in the city is examined through this lovely photo set by photographer Natalie Melissa. Darker tones hinting winter is arriving mesh with a golden glow reminding us of the present moment. This is definitely a time of year for internal reflection before the rebirth of spring. Let your mind wander and let your bones rebuild. 

Model: Actor Alain Gerard
Photographer: Natalie Melissa
Location: NYC



"What I love about spontaneous shoots like this one is that you never know whats going to happen and the majority of the time it turns out to be this incredible story. I obviously have some sort of an idea of what I want to do at the conception but it's just an idea. The idea was I wanted a polished, British indie cinematic feel to it.  I was very lucky to have Alain Gerard, an amazing actor who happens to be a good friend of mine agree to be in the shoot. I love working with actors, they give such amazing gestures that go exactly with what you are trying to convey in the picture. The whole tone of this short series, from the colors to the gestures and clothes, give off exactly what I wanted but with a bit of GQuesque to it. One of my favorite shoots so far."
-Natalie Melissa