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  • 09/30/14--21:00: Keeping Up With The Eclipses
  • As anyone who reads this column knows, the Kardashians are in tune with the universe this year. Last week, the clan hit Paris Fashion Week, with Kendall walking catwalks, North West sitting front row, and Kim deftly avoiding a surprise tackle from an overzealous fan. Like Kim, you too are in danger of being swept off your feet by the cosmic energy this month, as two eclipses come in to topple the patterns we have been clinging to. The good news is, even if you risk a fall, there will be positive energy around, and just like Kim, you and your designer outfit will survive without as much as a scratch. Maybe you'll even get some publicity, too!

    Liberation vs. integration will be the theme of the lunar eclipse on October 8, when the sun in partnership-oriented Libra opposes the Moon and Uranus, planet of freedom in Aries. The energy of this eclipse makes me think of the life-long love affair of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, who prized their independence despite being inextricably linked by love, attraction, and intellectual bonds. On this eclipse, think about what partnership means to you. Consider how maintaining individuality and freedom within a relationship can actually strengthen it, rather than weaken it.

    "I wish that every human life might be pure, transparent freedom" - Simone de Beauvoir, The Blood of Others

    The solar eclipse on October 23 occurs when the new Moon in Scorpio briefly blocks out the radiant light of the Sun. This moment of darkness will help us consider how we can bring more light in to our lives this fall. The Scorpio eclipse helps heal wounds we have developed and break bad habits that block us from achieving our full potential. There may be a sense of loss or longing around this eclipse, but think of this void as a space to be filled with new energy.

    Consider your words carefully all month long, because Mercury will be retrograde from October 3 until October 25 in the signs of Scorpio and Libra. In Scorpio, Mercury retrograde can cause us to say insensitive (although honest) things that we regret later, and in Libra, Mercury becomes sensitive and a little bit wishy-washy. Try not to take negative words personally, and give your friends a second chance to be kind in the retrograde re-wind.

    Shop all Astrology IRL here 

    Plus, look out for our Cosmic Numbers series, where Morgan gives tips and predictions for specific calendar dates, all month long.


    (September 23 - October 22)
    I know that the Middle Path is your preferred way of being, but this month you may have to set aside your pursuit of Zen in order to tackle the drastically varied energies the universe is sending your way. There will be an eclipse on October 8 in the sign of Aries, which falls directly opposite your Libra sun in your 7th house of partnerships and relationships, sending you challenges in this area of existence. This past spring Mars in Libra prompted sweeping changes in the way you give and exchange energy, and this eclipse comes in to see if you kept up with the new rules you laid out for yourself earlier in the year. You will receive support from your ruling planet Venus in Libra all month long, giving you an upper hand even if the eclipse proves to be a hectic moment. Throughout the month, Uranus, planet of surprise, will be making positive aspects from your 7th house of relationships, making your relationships with B

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    There's no stopping the supernova that is Miranda July. The prolific artist, writer, and filmmaker has never been afraid to cross boundaries or try new things, and now, she's teamed up with the design studio WELCOMECOMPANIONS to create The Miranda, a take on the classic namesake bag—with a twist, of course. 

    Neatly laid out like an antique doctor’s kit bag, in lipstick-red leather, it's a smart and eclectic piece that could be the first, fully-realized art piece-slash-fashion accessory. 

    Looking back to when the LA-based accessories company approached July to create a piece for its Classics line, she already had an idea in mind. "I thought, 'Well, if we’re going to do this, let’s go really extreme and do a limited edition version that almost makes fun of the idea of a namesake bag,'" the creative told OC. 

    In coming up with the bag, July was meticulous in thinking about what to include. She thought, "'What are the things I want near me?" So like my security blanket (which I actually do have) and a picture of my son (although not wanting to expose my real son, I have a fake picture of my son). And the hidden $20 bill, because I do often find myself having no cash at all, and that would be really useful to have in a certain spot." Yes, readers—the bag actually comes with a Jackson tucked inside a secret pocket, handy for every "cash only" bodega you come across. 

    The Miranda is also outfitted like an emergency kit (more like a superhero's utility belt) with specific holders for bobby pins, an ultra top-secret jump drive for inspiration, a bottle of Calms Forte homeopathic sleep aid, and a special pocket for one almond, which July says is her favorite: "I get low blood sugar easily, and almonds are the best thing, so there’s one almond-shaped pocket for an emergency almond." There is also a pouch filled with multi-purpose cards, promising to help you communicate, to help you defuse any tricky situation in July’s distinctive dry, funny language. How many times have you wished you had this calling card, to hand off to an annoying party-goer: "Let’s be honest, the conversation we are having right now is not that interesting for either of us. I suggest we shake hands and go find other people to talk to." 

    There are also a few interesting business cards tucked into other pockets—like one for Albert Einstein. Writing these clever (and really funny) cards came easy to July: "I tried to write off the top of my head, and then there was an editing process. So, it was the same as any other writing process. But easier, I guess, because they were short." The cards will also be sold individually at OCLA, so you can think like the actress even when you’re without... The Miranda.

    Like all artist’s editions, the bag was produced in a super-limited edition of just 100, all exclusively sold at Opening Ceremony. There’s even going to be a "secret" OCLA launch party happening this week, that July was mum on: "There are a lot of cool things about the launch party, but it’s a private party, so I’m not sure...  maybe I can tell you about it and you can use the information later on." 

    Always leaving us in a cloud of suspense, that Miranda... 

    Stay tuned for event coverage from Miranda July's party, hosted in our Opening

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    A long time ago in NYC, before GHE20 G0TH1K, Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air threw a weekly party called "The Black Bunny" at one of the last actual club venues, Happy Valley. Each week, a particular club anthem was played, and that's when you knew the party had officially started, but not in a "turn up" way, but moreso, a "let me check myself; it's about to get real sexy" type of way. As soon as the first beat of Remy Ma's 2005 single "Conceited" dropped, the club knew to bring it, as if they were being filmed in a slow-motion, glamorous '90s hip-hop video. That visual is forever burned in our memory as a defining New York moment and, in many ways, the origins of HBA. 

    For 26-year-old Oliver and his generation, Grammy-nominated American rapper Remy Smith (who performs under the name Remy Ma) is a fashion and social icon. From her signature hairstyles to the overconfident message of female domination in a male-driven world, she is a source of inspiration to Hood By Air's now-classic dissection of urban, masculine, and feminine paradigms. The roots of this concept likely originated long before Remy, now 34, served a well-documented prison sentence after turning herself in for involvement in a shooting incident. 

    Meanwhile, in the six years the rapper was serving time, Oliver was steadily hustling in his climb to success. The rap star connection between the two was imminent, so Opening Ceremony had the designer fill her in on what she's missed and further explore their perspectives on style, including what Remy calls "couture hip-hop." Check it out in the video above. 

    Stay tuned... we're rolling out "Part 2" of this series next week. 

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    Oculus, carpal, and cranium sound like the last words you heard before dozing off in middle-school bio, right? Well, they're back. But this time, it's as part of some of this season's least boring fashion. Anatomy—hands, lips, eyes, noses, and everything in-between—informs some of our favorite fall collections, from the likes of Kenzo, Opening Ceremony, Raf Simons, and Venessa Arizaga.

    In a time when Body Worlds exhibits are popping up in different cities and #freethenipple campaigns have taken over social media, the human body is more exposed—and relevant—than ever. This season, Opening Ceremony looked to Antwerp, Belgium and the significance of the human hand in the city's name to create a collection full of floating digits and texturized fingerprint motifs. It's a scientific fact that the human hand is made up of 27 bones, but it's also a fashion fact that we wish there were 27 different color variations of the OC Cube Hand Crewneck Sweater. The hand also makes an appearance in Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby's collection, in the form of ornately-manicured fingers adorning sweatshirts.

    Moving upwards in our anatomy lesson, the Venessa Arizaga Death In The Tropics Necklace features a skull crafted from antique gold. The Cheero Danboard Power Plus charger, meanwhile, comes complete with a printed face in a wide range of colors. Feeling more risqué? You can bare it all, gluteus maximus included, with the Delfina Delettrez Front/Back cufflinks, the perfect cheeky touch for any button-down. 

    Want more anatomy? Check out our slideshow above. 
    A model in the Opening Ceremony Cube Hand Crewneck Sweater in black multi, from the Hart + Lëshkina Fine Art editorial Opening Ceremony Tiny Hands Embroidered Ergo Sweatshirt in grey melange and Criss-Cross Hands Triple Pocket Trousers in marble green multi Venessa Arizaga Death In The Tropics Necklace in antique gold

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    Here at OC, we are struck by how often we end up in everyday conundrums. The ones that land you in the thick of semi (or full-blown) awkwardness, or maybe, the doghouse. 

    So, we turned to Simon Collins, the
     dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons, who after six years in his plum perch, just announced plans to step down at the end of this year. Translation: More time to divulge lessons from a lifetime of Fashion Weeks and seasonal wardrobe changes. 

    Q: Who are all these "fashion bloggers" that preen and parade outside of Fashion Week hubs, waiting for someone to notice them? Are you only important as your last street-style photo?

    There are lots of people who willingly or otherwise get labeled "fashion bloggers." The literal meaning is someone who writes a web log about fashion. I’ll try to explain a few of the different types:

    Fashion Blogger (Actual): There aren’t too many of these. They are people who know a bit about fashion, write about it, have a point of view, and have people actually read what they write. Some are respected and followed widely. They can dress in a certain way, or "follow fashion" as it’s sometimes known. They can earn lots of cash for liking things.

    Fashion Blogger (Who Wear Short Dresses): There are people who mainly post pictures of themselves wearing skimpy dresses. They may or may not write copy, as the people who follow them tend to be occupied with other things when the new picture is posted. Men who aren’t very interested in fashion make up a large part of their readership. They can earn lots of cash for wearing things.

    Fashion Blogger (Who Are Sentient Bipeds): These people congregate around places where they think fashion is happening, then desperately posture and grimace in the hope of being photographed, usually by each other. They can sometimes count up to eight and they wear curtains for clothes. There was once one who knew the English word for pants. Jimmy Kimmel featured some of them recently on his "Lie Witness News" segment. They can earn large sums from hapless corporations who are trying to "reach millennials."  

    In conclusion, actual bloggers are as good as any other venerable fashion writer. The others are an entertaining and harmless distraction. Rather like a petting zoo.

    Q: Are fall's new beginnings overrated? What's the value in longevity these days?

    How anyone can bear to live in a city that isn’t New York is entirely beyond me. I don’t just mean that everything is in NYC, but ponder for an instant the changing of the seasons.

    Late September means green leaves turning to red to brown and falling gently to nourish Mother Earth. Or whatever. What it means to me and thousands of others is: WARDROBE CHANGE. 

    So why do people persist in buying trashy clothes and wearing them for a mere season? It’s a mystery to me. Legend has it that Einstein had multiples of one uniform outfit, and he simply rotated the same things every day. 

    Seek quality gear that not only makes you look good but will tickle you season after season as you pluck it from the depths of Manhatta

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    Can't find the perfect hat to complete your favorite looks from the Opening Ceremony Fall/Winter 2014 collection? Fear not—four of this season's signature prints and motifs can be seen on fitted caps from the newest Opening Ceremony and New Era collaboration. 

    Taking from the collection's Fall/Winter inspiration of the city of Antwerp, Belgium and its relationship to the human hand, each separate New Era fitted hat displays a complementary take on this season's looks. On select cap styles, you'll find hands emerging from a multicolored cube and grasping for the unknown, while zoomed-in fingerprints and a multicolored marble effect consume the fabrics of the remaining styles. Each hat is also finished off with a square rubber Opening Ceremony logo—so you can let folks know what team you're reppin'.

    Cover that mop with any of the New Era styles and complete your look with any outfit of your choice—but the Terazzo Amorphic Front Jacket, Embroidered Cube Hand Hoodie, and Fingerprint Jacquard Bomber Jacket might just work best to complete the print-on-print ensemble. Just sayin'.

    Shop all Opening Ceremony men's and women's 
    Scattered Hands New Era 59Fifty Fitted Cap in sienna multi Cube Hand New Era 59Fifty Fitted Cap in marble green Terazzo Printed New Era 59Fifty Cap in aqua multi Cube Hand New Era 59Fifty Fitted Cap in burnt red multi

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    Calvin Klein campaigns make you dream—or wish you dreamed—in black and white. In the right mood, a trip through the company's advertising archive has the effect of a psychotropic. Though the world around us is a spectrum of color, gaze long enough at the shadowy frame of a 17-year-old Kate Moss or, indeed, the brooding brow and conspicuous bulge of soccer player Freddie Ljungberg, and you'll soon be convinced that gorgeous, young bodies—and their clothes—are most covetable in an achromatic world.   

    The brand's Fall/Winter 2014 women's collection, now available at Opening Ceremony, is a tribute to this palette. Rendered almost exclusively in ebonies and creams, with the occasional splash of grey or ecru, it's a reminder of minimalism's significance apart from trends or nostalgia. Not that there isn't a hit of the label's '90s glory in the clothes, particularly the transparent fabrics, monochromatic separates, and occasional raw hem. In Opening Ceremony's campaign video shot by Sandra Winther, Norwegian beauty Ragnhild Jevne dances between strands of fabric, channeling the 1992 Obsession ad where Kate Moss peers through transparent cloth into then-boyfriend Mario Sorrenti's camera. She whispers, "Obsession..." We're still hooked. 

    Shop all Calvin Klein Collection Women's here

    The Abiba Jacket in ivory paired with the Opening Ceremony Margot Snap Boots in bone white The Alvia Embroidered Gauze Dress in black paired with the Opening Ceremony Margot Ankle Snap Boots in black 
    The Ager DB Long Coat in white/charcoal paired with the Opening Ceremony Margot Snap Boots in bone white The OBSESSION Logo Sweatshirt in grey/black The Arno Colorblock Jacket in grey multi 

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    Twenty-one year-old Vic Mensa is the kind of musician you can't get too comfortable with. One minute he's channeling his inner N.E.R.D. on the hazy "Orange Soda," and the next he's putting two middle fingers up to the rules of genre with his dancey, Disclosure-beats-meets-Twista-flow banger, "Down On My Luck."

    Hailing from the music-centric city of Chicago—an area that has churned out hip-hop greats such as Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Kanye, as well as house legends Frankie Knuckles and DJ Rashad—Mensa is set to add his name to your playlist, with a flow that's in turn syrupy and aggressively in your face. Since emerging onto the scene with his highly praised mixtape Innanetape last year, Mensa has climbed the ranks of the online music-media world and has established himself as a Chicago rapper to watch, garnering a spot on the coveted XXL Freshman 2014 cover.

    Last Friday, as he was gearing up to open for Iggy Azalea here in New York, we caught up with Mensa to talk about the music he grew up on, his first gold Nikes from Opening Ceremony, and that one time he got to perform with Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn.

    CHLOE DEWBERRY: Give us a little bit of background on what first inspired you to get into music.
    VIC MENSA: The first music I got into music was the sound of African drums because my pops is from Ghana. I remember being 5 years old, whilin’ out to the drums in my kitchen. Before I was into rap music, I was a huge fan of Nirvana; that’s one of my favorite bands to this day. When I started listening to rap music like Jay Z, I was still listening to rock music like Arcade Fire and The White Stripes, so it’s always kind of been combined to me.

    How did growing up in Chicago influence your sound? 
    I take inspiration from every city, everywhere I go. I think that the idea of a city is inspiring. There are so many people from different backgrounds all thrown on top of each other, and it’s inspiring because everyone and everything has a story, a texture, and a sound to it. You put it all together in a city like Chicago and you end up with something unique, so that’s why my music is different. Chicago is bigger than the sum of all its parts. It’s just a real magical vibe to me; it’s in the cement, the air, and the water. 

    There’s been a lot of spotlight on the hip-hop talent coming out of Chicago lately. What do you think separates Chicago's hip-hop scene from the rest? 
    We have something to say that’s different from a lot of people. I think there’s a way that I put things across and the music that I combine my words with that transcends boundaries that a lot of people are limited to. I can relate to hood shit because I’ve been around that, and I can also relate to private school kids and music school kids and bring that all together. My music reaches people that gravitate toward real shit more than anything. It’s also for the kids that just listen to the radio; it’s for everybody. 

    Do you remember the first CD that you ever bought?
    Probably some bullshit like Bac

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    Here at OC, we are struck by how often we end up in everyday conundrums. The ones that land you in the thick of semi (or full-blown) awkwardness, or maybe, the doghouse. 

    So, we turned to Simon Collins, the
     dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons, who after six years in his plum perch, just announced plans to step down at the end of this year. Translation: More time to divulge lessons from the French. 

    Q: Define "je ne sais quoi." Just give it a stab.... ​​

    This week saw me in the City of Light for the bi-annual bun fight otherwise known as Paris Fashion Week. In between black cars and blackened caverns, I reflected on what makes the French so French, that special je ne sais quoi.

    As an Englishman and with only the English Channel between us, I have a special insight into our Gallic pals. For example, a Frenchman—should he be fortunate enough to be strolling Le Marais with a beautiful woman—will do the following:

    1. Wrap his arm possessively around her shoulders.
    2. Press every available part of her body tightly against him as they walk.
    3. Hold a cigarette in his free hand. 
    4. Look like he would rather be absolutely anywhere else in the world.

    Furthermore there is a certain heavy-lidded insouciance that the French like to call their own. It's not, but they are rather good at it. Half-close your eyes, bottom lip out, pout (or moue if you're able), shrug your shoulders, head on one side, and say "boh." You will be welcome as the lost son of Yves Montand.

    To begin to really understand the French, or rather les Parisiennes, you need to address the language barrier. Imagine yourself in a grande brasserie trying to order une omelette in French. You know the words, you know how to pronounce them, maybe you've even mastered the heavy-lidded insouciance. But when you do your part, the waiter simply lifts his Gallic nose, raises an eyebrow, and says, in a rich chocolate mousse of an accent, "Ah, do not understand yew. Eet ees better yew speak Eeeng-lish."

    This level of haughty disdain takes years to master and can only be addressed by a flood of over-sincere, syrupy inanity. "Oh gosh, I'm so terribly sorry. Listen to me with my poor French. How can I ever compete with your perfect English? Thank goodness you're able to help me through the ordeal of ordering. Paris is famous for its wonderful waiters, of which you are clearly the king..." etc. You know how it goes. You won't make friends but, tant pis, you'll at least even the score.

    And that, mes cheries, is je nais se quoi. ​​Simon Collins. Photo by Evaan

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    Let me begin with a confession: I once spent eight consecutive hours in Le Bon Marché, and it wasn't because I was working there. Suffice to say it was 2006, I was on a gap year in Paris, and my grandmother—aka, the most tenacious shopper in Dallas—was in town. The experience was dazzling, hypnotic, even spiritual. It ended only after my impatient 14-year-old brother erupted in a fit of rage.

    Le Bon Marché invented modern shopping. This sounds like a fabulous claim, but it's also a true one, as books like Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project and Émile Zola's Au Bonheur des Dames attest. Curious readers, I highly recommend you peruse these two texts, but in the meantime, I'll break it down. Before the 1860s, unless you were extremely rich, shopping was a bit of a bore (as was the clothing). Le Bon Marché transformed it into entertainment, with an enormous, theater-like space featuring an art gallery, lavish window displays, restaurants, and of course, more pretty clothes than had ever been together under one structure. It also revolutionized the business of retail, implementing then-controversial practices like returns, fixed pricing, and casual "just browsing," which—shocker!—actually improved sales. In a way, Le Bon Marché was also feminist, as one of the first public spaces in Paris where women could venture unaccompanied or work semi-respectable (though underpaid) jobs.

    What's the point? Recently, Opening Ceremony opened its first-ever pop-up at the historic department store, which, 145 years after it moved into its space on the rue de Sèvres, is still glamorous, creative, and, in certain ways, subversive (its grocery section stocks Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, impossible to find elsewhere in Paris). Of course, the real reason you should go is our newly arrived Fall/Winter 2014 men's and women's collections, as well as pieces from the Opening Ceremony & Magritte, Thierry Boutemy for Opening Ceremony, and Mickey Mouse / Opening Ceremony collaborations. The shop-in-shop isn't quite the same as an experience at Opening Ceremony, of course. But, if any other retail enviornment shares the OC philosophy of injecting discovery, adventure, and pleasure into shopping, it's Le Bon Marché. 

    Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
    24 Rue de Sèvres
    Paris, France 75007
    Le Bon Marché's Opening Ceremony pop-up, featuring a curated selection of our Fall/Winter 2014 Opening Ceremony collection. Photos courtesy of Le Bon Marché In addition to the curated selection of Opening Ceremony collection, the pop-up features pieces from the Opening Ceremony & Magritte

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    This season, our kawaii girl Kiko Mizuhara has teamed up with us for a third time, earning her a rank among the upperclassmen of Opening Ceremony collaborators. You may remember the stand-outs from her last collection (pizza-printed tops and bottoms, shiny quilted sweatshirts) that had everyone from Rihanna to Beyoncé repping her line. Our obsession with Mizuhara is longstanding, what with her designing and acting chops (see the coming-of-age Norwegian Wood and the manga pop horror Helter Skelter). Even her Instagram feed has us mesmerized, with a colorful stream peppered with beauty GIFslookbook shots, and selfies with her adorable Scottish Fold cat. 

    This Fall/Winter '14 collaboration continues to crib inspiration from that bad-girl delinquent archetype (sukeban in Japanese), playfully interpreted to make for looks that incite more fun than fear. Satin sailor jumpsuits and faux fur jackets emblazoned with the names of fictional cliques will have you begging to be initiated into Mizuhara’s glittery dream posse. You'd fit right in at some hidden gem of a bowling alley, decked out in the Disco Ladies Satin Bomber Jacket (the embroidered bowling balls can attest to your strike skills even if you have none). Perfect your stone-cold resting face while discreetly peeking over a K Print Fur Muffler. Friendly reminder: you don't have to be an actual badass to look like one. 

    Kiko Mizuhara models her namesake collection for Opening Ceremony, in the video above 

    Shop all Kiko Mizuhara for Opening Ceremony here
    Kiko Mizuhara wears the Disco Ladies Fur Jacket in off white/blue, Sequined Long-Sleeve Cropped Top in black, and Metallic Leather Mini Skirt in crystal silver. The K Print Fur Muffler in blue rests on th

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    Today is National Techies Day—the holiday launched in 1999 by and CNET to shine that bright light on hardware-obsessed geeks everywhere. In the words of Steve Jobs, "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes." Below, Opening Ceremony's tech buyer shares five gadgets that are not only useful and life-saving, but s-l-e-e-k and fun to use. 

    1. Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones 
    I have a giant head so I generally stray away from headphones and opt for earphones, but Master & Dynamic's Over-Ear Headphones are my exception. Beautifully made, the MH40s all-metal body not only feels and looks great, but really offers that solid build quality you rarely see with other plastic options. The sound profile is great too—never too bass-y, and it's been awesome listening to viral marketing champ Aphex Twin's new album, Syro, on it. 

    2. Leica C Camera  
    This camera is definitely an eye-catcher. Cameras are always function first, but no one has really done a great form and function quite like Leica, a company that has been at it for 100+ years. Don't let its iconic look fool you, the C Camera is a modern digital camera with Wi-Fi built in to allow for remote control—not just to take a photo, but full manual control of iso, aperture, and zoom.

    3. Roolen Breath Humidifier 
    Winter is coming and so is dry skin. Avoid it with Roolen's smart humidifier. You might not be able to control your hissing radiator from keeping your room extra toasty, but with Roolen's humidifier you can at least prevent that dry throat in the morning. Unlike your hotter-than-the-sun radiator, Roolen knows when your room has reached its optimal humidity level. Trust me on this, a humidifier will change your life in the winter.

    4. Fujifilm Instax Share Printer 
    Ever wish there was an easy way to print photos on your phone? Instantly? Wirelessly? At the park? With no reception? Well Fujifilm listened and came up with the Instax Share, which creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows up to six devices to connect and print on mini-instax film. 


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    Your favorite classic sneaker just received a new stylized touch—fingertip touch, that is. This season, OC and adidas Originals teamed up to reissue the brand's classic sneakers in fresh motifs, including these white-and-grey fingerprint Stan Smiths. Taken from our FW14 collection, the curving lines are the perfect, subtle update to the four-decade-old shoe. Did we mention they're leather? Our feet have been waiting for this remix for far too long. 

    Shop all adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony here The OC Pony Fingerprint Stan Smith Sneakers in white/light grey  

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    Solo eating establishments—the truly great ones—require a precise atmosphere. Some are quiet and discreet. Others are unexpected and lie in plain sight. But they can all be difficult to find in a metropolis. Alex Vadukul presents a new one here on the first week of every month. The first in the "Eating Solo" series: East Japanese, a restaurant that makes conveyor belt sushi not only fun, but a worthwhile solo experience. 

    What is so calming about watching endless arrangements of raw fish on rice move along a conveyor belt?

    Maybe it’s the glowing fluorescent lights on the belt that blink like camera shutters when sushi plates pass by. The hypnotizing, river-like movement of the loop that becomes your setting for pondering life. Or, perhaps it's that you can do this all in relative peace without anyone’s disturbance: the purpose of servers here, where customers pick their food off the belt, is not essential. Aside from getting seated and requesting your check, someone can eat here with hardly any bother.

    You’d think the immediacy behind conveyor sushi belt restaurants—or “kaiten-zushi” as the service is called—would yield more such restaurants in Manhattan, an island that values immediacy above all else. But there have only been a handful of such establishments in the city over the years. I enjoy my solo sushi-gazing sessions at East, an affordable midtown Japanese restaurant that may be the city’s best-known conveyor belt spot. It opened 30 years ago, a manager said, and the belt was installed 15 years ago, taking a page from Japan, where the kaiten style is popular.

    The premise is simple. Varieties of sushi, rolls, and dessert on small plates travel along a moving belt that wraps around the sushi bar and restaurant. Plates have different colors indicating the price of the item. Waiters add up the total at a meal’s end. A small feast at East with two large mugs of beer ran me just above $30.

    It may seem improbable to find a solo-eating refuge in Kips Bay, which neighbors Murray Hill, an area associated with hard-partying graduate students and dozens of fraternity basement-like bars. In fact, the restaurant throbs with such clientele most of the time, but on Sundays and Mondays or during weekday off-hours, East is a calmer establishment. It's just you, your thoughts, and the never-stopping sushi belt.

    Longtime locals seem to know East’s bar is an excellent solo haunt, fitting for after-work decompression or a moment of peace. On one recent Monday night, the bar was sprinkled with solo eaters: a middle-aged man with spectacles, an older man texting a friend on his phone, a lady with blue hair who stared deep into the belt’s glow.

    East’s sushi is not top-flight sushi and does not purport to be. It is affordable and passable sushi ideal for those craving raw fish or the taste of Japanese cuisine without pretense. However, the salmon sushi, which there seems to be more of on the loop than any other, is the standout. Thinly sliced and fatty, it may be the best-quality bite on the belt. Classic rolls, like spicy tuna and Philadelphia, also rank well, as do most of the other traditional sushi staples.

    At times East attempts to reach higher. I was taken aback, for example, when a plate of sliced abalone still in its shell passed me by. It’s a mollusk I’m more accustomed to seeing in fine sushi establishme

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    When is a bag not a bag? When it’s The Miranda. That was the sentiment last night at Opening Ceremony's launch event for Miranda July’s namesake, a collaboration with Laurel Broughton’s LA-based accessories label WELCOMECOMPANIONS. What is it, then? An art object under the guise of a bag. “I think she’s a gay man,” July said with a laugh when asked about who might typically buy The Miranda. “Perhaps a designer himself, who just likes it as an inspirational collector’s item. Quite frankly, that’s my first thought, because the truth is, it’s hard for a woman who actually spends money on bags to buy one she knows she can’t really use.”

    In actuality, The Miranda bag is a fully stocked kit containing items that can help you be more like Miranda July: a separate pocket for a bottle of Calms Forté homeopathic sleeping pills, a tiny pocket for a single almond (for those emergency low blood sugar moments), bobby pins, a USB flash drive, a place for a picture of loved ones, a swatch of cloth to act as a miniature security blanket, a hidden pocket for an emergency $20 bill, and a set of multi-purpose business cards with sayings on them (e.g. “Please use a lot of lubricant” or “I can’t understand you because my cell phone has a bad connection. I’ll have to call you back.”) The messages aren't so unlike those you might recieve via July's new app, Somebody, which facilitates strange yet sincere encounters with strangers.

    July was reticent at first about even making the bag, but by fully customizing it, she was able to make the object funny and a little awkward—like July herself. “I think I was a little embarrassed about having a namesake bag,” she said. “There was part me of that was like, ‘I’m going to get so mocked for this.’ And yet, I was like, ‘Screw that. I really want to do it. When is this ever going to happen again? But let me at least point to the fact that it’s kind of uncomfortable and embarrassing.’ My way of doing that is by overdoing it. Like, ‘Okay, if this is The Miranda? I’ll really make it The Miranda. Here’s me: can’t sleep worth shit right now.’”

    What’s the one thing in Miranda July’s real bag that was left out of The Miranda’s arsenal of objects? You guessed it: “I don’t have my period,” she said with a laugh, “but I will.”

    Handbags, in essence, are utilitarian objects, meant to carry around a woman’s most personal belongings—things she literally can’t leave home without. Which is why July invited three artists—JD Samson of the band JD Samson & MEN, art photographer Catherine Opie, and singer and actress Molly Ringwald—to display the contents of their own bags at last night's event, as a realistic nod to the cartoonish utilitarianism of The Miranda.

    Samson, who also DJed the launch, normally carries a tote bag with a Sharpie, stones, crystals, and

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    It’s a collection made for problem solvers. Brought to us by Russian designer Artur Lomakin, of label Forget Me Not, and indie brand Chaos Reigns, Standard Deviation presents seasonal staples in simple, modern silhouettes with multi-functional-yet-avant-garde features. Lomakin borrows the somber, subtly sophisticated designs and neutral palettes from his cult-followed label and infuses them into a collab of minimalists’ dreams.

    In the chilly autumn mornings, when getting out of bed seems impossible, find solace in knowing each one of these go-to pieces will cover any wardrobe indecision. The hooded coat, for instance, is perfect for transitional weather, with detachable sleeves if the mercury decides to rise. A boxy tube top is reversible, with navy for one day and grey for another. The calf-length wool skirt not only features an elastic waistband but a top-to-bottom front zip. It’s not just fall fashion made easy—it’s made ingenious.

    Shop all Standard Deviation here

    Tube Top in grey Reversible Top w/ Pockets in blue/grey Elastic Waist Pants w/ Pockets in black Hooded Detachable Sleeve Coat in blue Zip Front Skirt in black

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    When it comes to hemlines, the debate is usually over length: Are you feeling long, short, or maybe it’s an in-between midi? But rather than mini versus maxi, this season designers are re-thinking the bottoms of skirts and dresses in wonderfully weird ways. It’s not so much about how much to cut off, but rather what artistic shapes and silhouettes can be created.

    Take Yulia Yefimtchuk’s spin on the Pencil Skirt. Whereas you’d expect a slit up the thigh, instead the Ukrainian designer chooses to hack away, creating square shapes that reveal the leg in a unique way. If you prefer an even sexier interpretation, Anthony Vaccarello’s debut at Versus features a high-low leather skirt with cut-out dots that run up the leg. Given his penchant for daring silhouettes, this version shows off plenty of skin and begs for a stiletto heel. And should you seek a more creative take on the hemline, look no further than Litkovskaya’s ribbon cut-out dress, which features draping and cut-outs to form an unusual zigzag shape. Need to see more? Check out all of the weird hemlines in the slideshow above.

    Yulia Yefimtchuk Cut-Out Skirt in white Anthony Vaccarello for Versus Cut-Out Leather Skirt in black This Jacquemus La Ju Fente Oreille in sky blue draws its inspiration from children’s artwork and is covered by a white cut-out called an “Oreille” (French for ear) due to its resemblance. Opening Ceremony Theroux Keyhole Pencil Skirt in black Laura Laurens Draped Sides Long-Sleeve Dress in black Litkovskaya Ribbon Cut Out Dress in wine Coperni Femme Long-Sleeve Dress in navy/white Laura Laurens Big Pocket Skirt in black

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    Givenchy and Hepburn, Saint Laurent and de la Falaise... the relationship between designer and muse has been integral to fashion history. In Under the Influence, we ask our favorite contemporary designers to photograph the people, places, or objects that inspired their own collections. This time, Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders shares how Nicole Cari, BoO's VP of marketing and communications, impacts his creative process. In the past, we've described Nicole to Scott as peanut butter to jelly, and we're sticking to it...

    Years ago, we also featured Nicole as your muse. Describe the staying power. 
    Nicole is just solid—a Steady Freddy, an Even Steven... um, yeah.

    How do​es she influence you?
    She is not shy about sharing her opinions.

    ​Has the relationship between designer and muse​ changed as you've both evolved?
    It's pretty much the same, but we're both a bit older and wiser. ​

    If Nicole was only a boy OR girl, which would she be?
    In the old Band vernacular, she'd definitely be more of a Boy. girl [in comparison to Sternberg's more feminine womenswear collection formally called Girl], but both sides are there. ​

    You and your muse work incredibly closely​, from fabric selection to show concept. What's the most surprising thing she's ever said to you?
    I'm always surprised at how both of our tastes and interests evolve. ​

    Tell us about shooting the polaroid campaigns with Nicole.

    It's such a lovely, quiet, easy process. I can't remember a shoot that sucked. The day is pretty short—maybe four hours—and we're usually at an iconic LA location where people don't normally shoot, so there's not the feeling of a normal fashion or TV/film shoot. ​

    If you and Nicole threw a dinner party, who else would come 'round?
    Our buddies. Not like a bunch of famous people or anything like that.

    Where did you shoot these photos?
    Jeana Sohn shot them in Nicole's house in Echo Park.

    In another life, my muse was:
    Martha Stewart​ ​

    Shop all Band of Outsiders men's and women's 
    Nicole Cari, Band of Outsiders' VP of marketing and communications and Scott Sternberg's muse. Photos by Jeana Sohn 
    In the previous image, Nicole wears the Flower Merino Wool Dress in black

    "Nicole is just solid." -Scott Sternberg
    In the previous image, Nicole wears the

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    The pop-up: a temporary, usually more creative and collaborative space brand's use to market their product in a fresh way. Sure, it might have become somewhat of an overdone concept, but London doesn't care—popping up isn't slowing down. From hairdressers dabbling in drinks to Frenchies making brunch extra special, the best of the best pop-up eateries and drinkeries are giving East London some serious cultural cred. Lucky for you, we're here to give you the lowdown. 

    1. Nomad Pop-up Indoor Cinemas 
    While many outdoor cinemas head into hibernation now that summer's come to an end, The Nomad is reluctant to let them go. Instead, it's doing indoor pop-up cinemas, holding residencies at various spaces across London. Having already kicked things off with a screening of cult-classic Zoolander at The Hoxton, Shoreditch, it will be amping things up through the month of October with screening at The Lookout, Hyde Park, where it will feature spookier films just in time for Halloween, including Ghostbusters, The Wicker Man, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Blair Witch Project. Book tickets for you and your boo now. 

    Nomad Pop-up Cinema, 
    The LookOut, Hyde Park
    Westminster, London W2 2UH

    Screenings run until October 31st; book tickets online

    2. Bleach Bar 
    The Little Pony pastel hair trend may have faded off of the catwalks, but it's still going strong in East London. Bleach, the salon that could easily be credited with starting the whole thing, is still a roaring trade as ever. Now, Bleach Bar, the pop-up located a few doors down from the Dalston salon, is open for 10 weeks and promises good cocktails, bar snacks, and an atmosphere likened to a psychedelic acid trip with a nod to Enter the Void. Intriguing to say the least.

    Bleach Bar
    428 Kingsland Road
    Dalston, London, E8 4AA

    Open Thursday-Saturday from 6 PM to 2 AM; closes October 11th 

    3. Breddos Tacos
    Though more of a residency than a pop-up, Breddos Tacos still falls under "temporary" status... and more simply, East London's best Mexican food. Hidden under an arch in Haggerston, Breddos does good guac, great Mexican pork sliders, winning buttermilk chicken, and even better chili and mango frozen margs. Make a pilgrimage before its six-month lease is up. 

    Breddos Tacos
    Arch 339-340 
    Acton Mews, London E8 4DG

    Closing date to be confirmed 

    4. Le Bun at The Old Bengal Bar
    We love a brunch, especially when it's a 1 PM affair with burgers, fries, and cocktails. Hence it's music to our ears that luxury French-American street food duo, Le Bun, is doing a month-long residency at The Old Bengal Bar near Liverpool Street. Diners can swing in on Saturdays and Sundays through October expecting Le's Bun's signature dishes, including the Le Bisque Mac (yum), Le Benedict Bun (double yum) and Le Duck Frites (off the chain).

    Le Bun at The Old Benegal Bar
    16 New St. 
    London, EC2M 4TR

    Open Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October

    5. Cuervo's Hacienda
    at The Hoxton, Shoreditch
    Popping up just in time for London Cocktail Week,

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    “Here in Colombia, it’s gold and war,” Laura Laurens told OC. “I wanted to put those ideas in the same territory.” Take a look at the Bogotá-based designer's latest collection, new this season to Opening Ceremony, and you’ll see both of those politically-charged themes. War can be seen in the dark, durable military fabrics, made in actual army-owned factories, while each piece has been painted with thick, gold-foil brushstrokes.

    All together, the collection is a work of abstract expressionism. Which makes sense, because Laurens is first and foremost an artist, and she approaches design with an artist’s sensibility. “I’m not a fashion designer,” she said. “I started as an artist and then by mistake I ended up doing clothes.” It makes her something of an anomaly in a world where designers often attend fashion-focused colleges, then proceed to internships, only later developing their own collection.

    Laurens carries that unusual perspective into the design process. “The way I approach every collection is from the concept. It’s not from a trend. I always start like an artist. I say, 'Okay I’m going to start with this fabric. Okay, I want to transform this fabric.' I create the universe.” 

    Another special signature of Laurens’ dresses, jackets, skirts, and overalls are the gathered bunches of fabric that almost look like black flowers. “It’s presenting the conflict in another way,” Laurens said, “a process of reconciliation in the fabric. Clothes are a language without words so if you go deeper into the concept of those clothes, they are talking about a history, a people, a country.”

    The designer's own fashion story begins with dance. “I used to dance ballet, and we made our own costumes—tutus—that’s why I was always in contact with fabric, from performance. That’s where I learned about patterning and cuts. I learned to pattern directly on your body. The way I approach the body—it’s dimensional.”

    What kind of real, dimensional person does she imagine wearing her clothes? “The kind of woman that's beautiful, but not an evident beauty. You have to look at them and take your time.” Laurens’ clothes are evidently beautiful. But the more you know about their story, the more beautiful they become. 

    Shop all Laura Laurens here

    Long-Sleeve Cropped Top in black/gold
    Overalls in black
    Draped Sides Long-Sleeve Dress in black
    Big Pocket Skirt in black

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