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    This summer, OC got you Tipsy and Tan. Now, we're just getting you tipsy. Meet Fridays at Five, our cocktail series where mixologists at New York City’s white-hot new restaurants create OC-exclusive drinks for our readers. Drinking on the job? Don't mind if we do...

    January: the month of renewed gym memberships, juice cleanses, and vows to never-do-that-one-thing-ever-again. But just because we’re in the first month of a new year doesn’t mean we have to stop drinking — we just have to drink better.

    Enter Sheltering Sky, at McCarren Hotel & Pool. The rooftop lounge, dimly lit with candles and boasting some serious skyline action, created a smoky, tangy cocktail that won’t break your resolutions. 

    Name: Tintin Huss

    If this drink had a soundtrack, what would it be?Cell Mates” by Mariachi El Bronx 

    Drink of choice: Dirty martini

    Hangover cure: Dirty martini

    Best date advice: Go to a lively place where you feel comfortable and where you know the bartender. If the bartender knows you, they’re going to want it to work out.

    Worst pick-up: A friend was talking to a customer once and they were hitting it off, so they decided to go into the bathroom. He was about to go down on her, only to find that she was, well, a guy. Instead of freaking out, he just got up and politely said, "You know, I don’t think this is going to work out."

    What not to do to your bartender: I can take a lot, but don’t annoy or bother other guests. I take that more seriously than anything you do to me.

    Exclusive Recipe: Smoke & Mirrors
    OC Alcohol Scale*: 6
    “It’s a sour. It’s very light.”

    2 oz mezcal
    ¾ oz lemon juice
    ¾ oz raspberry syrup
    ¾ oz orange juice

    Shake all ingredients together, strain over ice, and garnish with an orange peel.

    *OC's Alcohol Scale ranges from 1 ("like sippin' from a juice box") to 10 ("take me home—right now")Smoke & Mirrors. Photos by Jessica ChouCarefully measure out your separate ingredients. Shake all ingredients together.Strain over ice.Add the finishing touches!Garnish your cocktail with an orange peel.  

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    We know—Mondays plus rainy, inclement weather make it difficult to get out of bed. That's exactly the kind of discontent Gerwin Hoogendoorn felt after three of his umbrellas broke in just one week. Determined (and probably soaked), the Dutch industrial designer set to work, developing the ultimate wind-resistant umbrella: the senz, an aerodynamic, kite-shaped contraption that adapts to changing gusts, withstanding up to 50 m.p.h. gales. 

    What's more, the umbrella's unique, asymmetrical top curves above your line of sight, so no more head-on collisions down busy streets. The buying team at Opening Ceremony oohed and aahed so much, we even put our name on it for a limited-edition, OC version of the senz. 

    Check out the video above to see how the senz works! 

    Shop all senz for Opening Ceremony here
    senz for Opening Ceremony OC Logo Automatic Umbrella in black

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    Harmony Korine is an original. If you’re reading the OC blog, you know this. You’ve been watching Korine’s movies ever since you had to hide in your room to "study" and watch the weirdo-core masterpiece Gummo (1997) with your best friend who heard it was so sick, and you had to slip it past the rental clerk at your local video spot since you weren't exactly of age. And his film Spring Breakers was 2012 to a T.

    What’s less known is that when the 42-year-old American director is not making movies, he’s furiously producing paintings in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. And if you love Korine’s work, a lot of the same unhinged, crass qualities echo in his art—but they just take a little more time to find. In fact, the paintings are more like visual treasure hunts than paintings at all.

    Harmony Korine: Raiders opened at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills this past weekend, a collection of paintings that are redolent of immediacy and experimentation. At first, when you walk into the gallery, you see several large-scale checkerboard paintings. These are the same checks found on Vans skate shoes, a gallery representative tells us. But upon closer inspection, the paintings are less paintings than assemblages. Hidden under syrupy globs of paint is the top of a paint can, and there’s a texture to the canvas provided by crumbled pieces of paper.

    Korine wanders into the gallery as we're looking at the paintings. “I created most of these in basements and warehouses,” he says, clearly relishing the ability to return to the nasty, gritty, hands-on making that he earned his reputation for as an independent filmmaker in the ’90s. 

    Elsewhere in the gallery are a series of striped paintings. These are enticing in their use of color palettes: some in chilled-out blues and greens, others explosive in Technicolor. Sneaky bits of silver spray paint belie his skater roots again, peeking out just enough to feel like an Easter egg when spotted. 

    Upstairs at the gallery hangs “Raider Burst,” which looks like a tie-dye T-shirt exploding from the wall. And then, there are several of Korine’s figurative paintings—maniacal, clown-like sunbursts surrounded by even more maniacal sycophants; an abstract dog standing in front of what might be a dark wizard; smiley faces that take incredible artistic liberty. There’s a sense that Korine is dabbling in non-narrative work that is more interpretable than his films—that, instead of spelling everything out in high-definition, he'll allow the viewer to dictate what's in front of them. 

    The thing that rings most Korinesque is the freedom of the paintings. Like the artist’s frenetic, surreal films, there is a sense of gestural action in the works. “Franz Kline’s nightmare” and “Sol LeWitt after a head injury” are two thoughts that come to mind at various points. It’s easy to see that Korine uses nontraditional painting techniques, favoring sticks, sponges, and fingers instead of brushes. His canvases aren’t primed (in fact, they’re actually packing blankets). Paint is globbed and pooled instead of intricately brushed.

    And it’s all with a sense of playfulness we’ve come to expect from Korine, almost more than his most recent films. “This,” he says, ami

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    Edible masterpieces, like the Mondrian cake or the Matisse parfait, have some new competition.

    OC's web studio recently got spoiled by a direct delivery from our friend Victoria Zagami, owner of Park Slope-based Made In Heaven Cakes. Inspired by the surreal flowers and foliage in Opening Ceremony’s Pre-Fall 2015 line, Victoria created an insanely chic cake that was *almost* too beautiful to eat. Think six layers of fondant-covered vanilla that take their shape from the OC Showroom platforms and highlight the painted leaves and sea anemones in our recent collection.

    "Can we eat it?" more than a few staffers whispered, eyes wide, as the box lifted to unveil the marshmallow-scented, massive dessert. Not an uncommon remark: As a second-generation bakery, Made In Heaven has been whipping up art as confection for 17 years now, with Victoria's recent, fashion-angled spin tailored to everyone from Eva Chen (a Chanel baby cake?!) to the Jacquemus designers. "I was drawn to the art of cake decorating because it combines my two passions: food and art," Victoria says. "I have been doing this for the past six years and I am always finding new ways to challenge myself."

    Now, please excuse us as we make cake a very necessary food group. #Whatdiet? Well, it's not even our birthday! Model is wearing the Opening Ceremony Palm Collage Striped A-Line Coat in pelagic blue.

    Six layers of vanilla cake, held together by fondant and pure love.
    The painted leaves are an ode to Pre-Fall 2015's pattern—seen throughout women's latest arrivals.
    2015 Resolution: Eat More Cake.

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    Last night's Golden Globes saw a flurry of celebrity reunions, surprise wins, and most importantly, showstopping fashion. Yes, even with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's healthy supply of zingers and Prince (!), all eyes seemed to be on the red-carpet looks, those plunging necklines, and those lovely, ahem, "globes."

    Kate Hudson took on the role of 2015's blonde Elizabeth Hurley with her snow-white Versace dress, American Sniper star Sienna Miller donned a plunging metallic Miu Miu, while Best Actress nominee Rosamund Pike slipped into a spaghetti-strap, cut-out Vera Wang confection, reminiscent of something Amazing Amy might wear. And of course, lest we forget the queen of cleave: J. Lo dazzled in a signature low-cut gown that Jeremy Renner couldn't help but notice (side-eye).

    But don't let Hollywood fool you: you don't need a fancy dress commission to show a little skin, even in the dead of winter. (Also of note: You don't need a trip to Mexico to get that high-wattage golden glow, either—we're doing just fine with Jergens). Here, nine of our cleavage-baring, super sultry picks to recreate last night's look at home, at your own risk. 

    Check out our slideshow above to view the critic's picks! 

    Mugler Silver Detail Cut-Out Sides Blazer in black (available in stores and online soon) and Silver Detail Cut-Out Sides Fitted Pants in black.  Walk of Shame Long Slip Dress in gold Isa Arfen Bra Top in espresso Rachel Comey Low-Cut Cross-Back Swimsuit in cherry Atsuko Kudo OC-Exclusive Back Strap Detail Latex Mid Knee Dress in black/red Yulia Kondranina

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    Director Alexa Karolinski and designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have been collaborating on videos since 2012. This past Saturday, they teamed up with Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art for a "retrospective" screening of these films and to premiere their newest short, "Pigeon," featuring the Eckhaus Latta Spring/Summer 2015 collection and guest starring the barely-covered Jane Edwina Seymour and a flock of pigeons. Even though only a single pair of jeans is featured here (well, jeans and a macaroni-and-twine blouse), the video is an evocative presentation of the sentiment and artistic license behind the designers, who share a fine arts background from RISD. 

    Perhaps this atmosphere was made possible with the help of a special supporting character—vibrant, downtown LA. Watch the video; be prepared to raid your nephew's arts and crafts supplies. 

    Shop all Eckhaus Latta here


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    Many people spend their entire lives carving out a niche for themselves. The Brooklyn renaissance man Isaac Nichols, on the other hand, managed to form his only several years post-graduation. After teaching himself ceramics for fun, his pots um, grew. Boobs. The pots grew boobs. Since then, the one-man show behind Universal Isaac has toiled to keep up with a burgeoning demand for his special variety of terra-cotta handiwork. But not without some, you know, bumps and curves along the way. Here, the potter talks to us about life as a breast man. 

    Shop all Universal Isaac here and check out the mini lookbook above, created especially for OC by photographers Laura Perlongo and Blaise Cepis.  

    JANELLE ANNE: One of your pots is named Adam. Is he a friend? A muse, maybe?
    ISAAC NICHOLS: Adam was my adopted brother. He read The Wizard of Oz books to us and let us sword-fight with real sticks and broken golf clubs. In child safety terms, he gave no fucks, which I think, in hindsight, won our respect.

    I also liked the name Adam for its biblical reference, as well—being the first human-dude to inhabit this place. I came up with this idea to construct a world of super hippie, New Age pot characters. Think I just spent too much time reading the Dr. Bronner’s label, and thinking about yoga and how it’d save my life. 

    You’ve got a signature breast style that doesn’t feel hypersexual, yet appealing—how’d you strike that balance?
    Thank you. I think it had a lot to do with what I was around. I'm not mentioning names here, but: Mandisa Wright. They're Mandisa's breasts—or at least the first ones were. I’ve made a lot now. I’ve spent days now—literally, days—trying to make beautiful breast pots. It’s like each new pot was another attempt. What I learned was this: There’s some serious beauty in what’s imperfect. 

    How do you feel about the nickname “Boob Potter”? Better than the possibility of "Pot Head"?
    Ha! I was resentful at first, but then I embraced it. I don’t think I could deal with "Pot Head." A decade ago, I would’ve had to call the brand “Power Pots,” or something more overtly associating breasts with female empowerment.

    Speaking of female empowerment, what do you think your boob pots would say if they could talk?
    Jeez. “I’m up here"? 

    Have you ever made custom boob pots or faces to, you know, match your clients’?
    Ha! That's funny. I mean, if Je

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    Walking up the narrow staircase of Manhattan's Half Gallery, the townhouse-cum-art gallery run by Bill Powers, you're greeted with a small, framed drawing by Ed Ruscha, one of the several pop artists in the Ferus Gallery Group that frequented the walk-in Los Angeles artwork, The Beanery (1965). If you remember—the recreation of that nostalgic, dirty '60s American diner was not only a frequent subject of Ruscha’s drawings, but continues to be celebrated as a life-size installation by the late Edward Kienholz, complete with papier-mâché customers and the sound and smell of bacon frying.

    Blair Thurman, the visionary behind Half Gallery's latest show, Rascal House, first discovered Kienholz’s installation as a child through his mother, the former director of the ICA Boston. After a recent trip back home, he began to think of painters Justin Adian, Stéphane Kropf, and John Armleder—a trio of friends who also happen to create pieces that relate back to Barney’s Beanery. Adian, whose canvases stretch over foam pieces reminiscent of diner booth cushions; Kropf, whose use of glow-in-the-dark paints create a texture similar to a wad of chewing gum on the bottom of a diner table; and Armleder, whose “furniture paintings” are based on the interior of diners.

    Thurman decided to create a sculpture based on a diner booth, with each of the artists creating different sections. “It’s a collaboration with artists that fit together well. We all used to work together, assist each other. There’s stories and life connections here that may not necessarily be made with a regular curated project,” Thurman told Opening Ceremony, at the recent opening of Rascal House

    The diner booth—part neon, part glow-in-the-dark "gum wad"—with multicolored cushions and a glitter-and-resin tabletop, is the singular object on view. And in this particularly intimate setting, complete with fireplace and antique molding interiors, the installation gives off a surreal, domestic vibe—an ode to not only Kienholz' memorable work, but friendship as well.

    Rascal House will be on view until February 4th 

    Half Gallery
    43 East 78th Street
    New York, NY

    The diner booth—part neon, part glow-in-the-dark "gum wad"—with multicolored cushions and a glitter-and-resin tabletop. Photo by Cecilia Salama 

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    In the second installment of "Mr. Mickey’s Fabulous Guide To Airport Gift Shops," Mickey documents his favorite finds at McCarran International Airport (LAS), enroute to Ariel Foxman's bachelor party. What happens in Vegas... gets hauled back in the carry-on. Read on for his airport philosophy, and check out his jazzed-up iPhone snaps in the slideshow above to inspire your own shopping spree. 

    "The funny thing about Las Vegas… it's all about VICE, which I love. The whole entire city is on the same page. It’s all about spending your money and doing bad things. I’m a shopaholic and the thing I am concerned about is not having enough time to spend at the gift shops. But, it'll be ten in morning and every fucking store in the Vegas airport is open. 

    My parents live in Tampa, Florida now. When I visit that airport, it's like, I don’t really need a Tampa, Florida anything—but I would really love a "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" Hello Kitty T-shirt. It's genius. And Las Vegas is the best for this kind of thing—the glitz and the glam and all that kind of stuff. There were tons of things.

    In any store, I love a big, giant novelty candy. I love a giant bag of M&Ms or a Tootsie Roll pillow. One time, I purchased a giant Sugar Babies for Michael Musto for his birthday.

    I like the nutty gift shops. I like the kitsch and the candy. Like a Las Vegas lollipop (it reminds of the time I was in Phoenix, Arizona, and they had lollipops shaped like cactus or super spicy kind of things). Where else can you get a weird dog purse or a sparkly, hot pink flask? Normally, a flask that was stamped with the Vegas logo would be too easy, and that's not what I'm into. But if gift shops get a little bit creative, they can have fabulous stuff."

    — as told to Jeanine Celeste Pang  

    [Vegas] is all about spending your money and doing bad things. Captions by the author
    Where else can you get a weird dog purse...

    ... or a sparkly, hot pink flask? These are all things that are kind of a gag.
    I like the nutty gift shops. I like the kitsch and the candy and all that kind of stuff. 
    A Las Vegas lollipop! 
    It’ll be ten in morning and every fucking store in the Vegas airport is open.

    Everything is bigger and better in Vegas. 

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    Wizened skin pulled taut, shiny and plump with silicone. Rows of suburban McMansions, their halls lined with paper-thin sheets of white marble. A precocious child reciting one-liners in front of the camera, having been force-fed these zingers by their momager just moments before. These are a few things that scare and fascinate John Waters. 

    Beverly Hills John, the legendary artist and cult filmmaker’s latest exhibition at Chelsea's Marianne Boesky Gallery, is the 68-year-old's attempt to understand the dark side to fame, aging, show business, and wealth. The exhibition itself is sprawling and ambitious, its pieces ranging from photography to sculpture to a 74-minute remake of the artist’s 1972 comedy Pink Flamingos (entitled Kiddie Flamingos, with the original cast, including the infamous Divine aka "The Filthiest Person Alive," replaced by children). A terrifyingly Photoshopped image of Waters, a mock-up of what the artist would look like if he had a complete plastic surgery overhaul, is reminiscent of the portraits by artist Cindy Sherman: a creature straight from the uncanny valley. (Of course, Waters' pencil-thin 'stache is still intact.) 

    In the show, Waters’ distorted book covers, like the one for the sensational '30s Southern novel, God's Little Acre, are fashioned after their real-life versions. What's more, the artist created splashy tabloid front pages that give respected modern icons the scrutiny of young starlets (think a a “250-pound” depiction of writer Joan Didion, clutching a sandwich on the beach, in “shocking new photos!”).

    In spite of all his poking fun at literary circle and Hollywood alike, the artist turns the finger back on himself—trying to figure out his place in pop culture by both looking back at his previous works and jokingly considering his “next move.” In these musings, however, Waters solidifies the role he has always held with unwavering aplomb: an American icon whose POV is as biting as ever. 

    Beverly Hills John is on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery until February 14 

    Marianne Boesky Gallery
    509 West 24th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    MAPBeverly Hills John, 2012. Photos courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © John WatersLibrary Science #8, 2014

    Brainiac, 2014

    Mom and Dad, 2014

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    It’s no secret that Opening Ceremony surrounds itself with the most unique personalities in the game—staff included! If you’ve walked into any of our brick and mortars, you’ve definitely said hello to a few friendly faces. As part of our weekly #OCFaves series, get to know our team as they pick out their favorite new arrivals and turn 'em sartorial.

    Who: Bianca Correa from OCNY women's shop
    Where are you from? Staten Island, New York
    Tell us what you’re wearing here: Bianca wears the Toga Pulla Knit Side Leather Jacket in black, T by Alexander Wang Two-tone Spandex Criss-Cross Knit Top in black/viper, and Isa Arfen Slim Cullotes in haribo. 
    And your personal twist: My T.U.K. Creepers
    If this outfit were any TV or movie character, it would be: Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club
    Sum up your style in one word: Bohemian goth— I can't think of one word
    Favorite fashion slang: Flea
    Song or mixtape you’ve been obsessed with lately: "Red Wine" by Bob Marley
    Last movie you watched on Netflix: The Butterfly Effect
    iPhone or Android: iPhone, but if I could choose something else, it would be the old-school Motorola Razr 
    iMessage or FaceTime: FaceTime
    Last moment that made you truly LOL: I read USA Today article about a dog taking the bus by itself, and then getting off at a stop where the park was.
    Last good art you saw: The World of Tim Burton exhibit in Japan—it was incredible!
    Favorite spot to people watch: There's crazily dressed people all over, but if I really had to choose, it would be Union Square.
    Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Milk Bar
    Biggest fashion pet-peeve: When people try too hard and wear an entire outfit by the same designer
    Favorite emoji icon: The alien
    Favorite #hashtag to use: #screams

    Bianca wears the Toga Pulla Knit Side Leather Jacket in black, T by Alexander Wang Two-tone Spandex Criss-Cross Knit Top in black/viper, Isa Arfen Slim Cullotes in haribo, and her own shoes (items not linked are available in stores and online soon). Photo by Michael Elijah  Isa Arfen

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    During a month that might as well be crowned, “The 31 days of Netflix binges and skyrocketing Seamless bills," getting motivated to dress warm, stylish, and cozy isn't easy. We feel you, which is why we've compiled a shortlist of frosty-blue and winter-white softwear, along with a few accessories and home accents to keep those warm fuzzies comin'—more winter wonderland, less Polar Vortex. 

    And for those of you brave enough to head out into the cold, we threw in our latest slip-ons (you know, for that quick bodega trip to restock mulled wine ingredients) and a special pair of touchscreen-tip gloves to keep those fingers toasty. Because while these subzero temps won’t last forever, you should definitely style yourself in heavenly, winter-ready pieces that will. From left: Opening Ceremony Slip-On Platform Sneakers in oasis blue, Calvin Klein River Rib Knit Turtleneck Tank in white, Kara Metallic Pebble Leather Small Backpack in silver, Opening Ceremony Exclusive OC Logo Gloves in mint and black, Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera in white, Alexander Wang Cash Half Cardigan Stitch Sweatpants in TK , Giles & Brother Classic Skinny Railroad Spike Cuff in TK, Joomi Lim Small Cuff With Spheres Bracelet in rhodium/ruthenium, 11+ Sound1 Bluetooth Speakers in white, Le Labo for Opening Ceremony Rose 25 Candle in white (all items not linked available in stores and online soon). Opening Ceremony Slip-On Platform Sneakers in oasis blue Kara Metallic Pebble Leather Small Backpack in silver Opening Ceremony Exclusive OC Logo Gloves in mint and black

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  • 01/13/15--21:00: We Went Bananas For Proenza
  • Introducing Brooklyn-based illustrator Heather Pieske, and her fruit. It all began with a lonely banana left out of the fruit bowl and a chance meeting with a wayward black marker. We loved it, especially thinking to our smoothie and juicing-inspired Pre-Fall 2015 Collection, so we asked Heather if she would do a little doodling for us. 

    This first picture in "Fruit Art" is an homage to an abstract print featured in Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Spring, like this long-sleeve tee, online and in Opening Ceremony stores now.

    Come back next Wednesday for another installment featuring the season’s most fresh looks and other witticisms. No low-hanging fruit, we say. 

    Shop all Proenza Schouler here!
    Beginning at the end of the month, there will be a new, separate series entitled Serial Box. The posts will feature Heather’s drawings alongside creative stories from young writers and friends. Shop all Proenza Schouler hereArt by Heather Pieske ​

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    Proenza Schouler’s new collection induces a nonexistent—or still undiscovered—kind of synesthesia. To see the accordion, iridescent-black pleated skirt is to suddenly hear the lyrics “Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane" languidly float through your brain or, to hear the sound of that viscose substance, crinkling at a dinner party. This then produces two desires: the first is to wear the skirt and kick your legs around as if in a chorus line, the other is to grab the fabric in fistfuls in an unsuccessful attempt to reproduce that delicious sound.

    This may not have been Proenza’s intention—the collection was inspired by surf and skate culture—but to us, each piece has a visceral effect. The athletic inspiration serves its purpos, with easy, relaxed silhouettes and dynamic fabrics accommodating the spectrum of normative to somewhat intense physical activities. An abstract printed shirt brings to mind Internet wormholes or bouldering (cotton supports both endeavors). Then there is the pale, lavendar chiffon blouse with a sash that ties at the neck. With a matching skirt, the chiffon flows off the body like water streaming in a river while the blown-out feather print conjures images of jagged rocks. The resulting inclination is to lie in water a la Virginia Woolfe. Or, at least, sit on the floor of an abandoned shopping center.

    Shop all Proenza Schouler here and check out our Proenza banana doodle here Feather Print Crepe Chiffon Top and Feather Print Pleated Skirt in lavender/black Long-Sleeve Printed T-Shirt

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     OCTV Presents: "The Hat Trick Turn Up," directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Deidre Schoo of "Flex Is Kings"

    Earlier this week, as a Jamaica-bound J/Z train lurched above ground and into the winter sun, two male dancers began to perform in a subway car. If you've taken public transit, you may have seen a similar set-up—the flexin (Brooklyn), the b-boyin (NYC), the krumpin (LA), the turfin (Oakland), the jookin (Memphis)—or perhaps a freestyle appropriation of all these. You recognize it by the flashy, turbo-charged case of showmanship, accessorized by a boom box and a flat-brim, in and out with the closing doors and the jangle of change.

    The only difference is that this duo, Showoff, 24, ("the nickname is pretty self-explanatory," he deadpans) and Dre, 23, aren't kids without agenda. Both are professional flex dancers first, and friends second, having met at a past Battlefest.

    "Everything is dance; it's my form of self-expression," Dre says. "We call it 'mind-labbin.' Even when I'm not dancing, I use my imagination and make up dance moves in my head, and then go home and try 'em out. It's where the best moves come from." The dedication is paying off: The Brooklyn-born Jamaican, whose professional career just touched seven years, will be one of 18 dancers featured in FLEXN, a Peter Sellers-directed performance to debut at Park Avenue Armory come March. 

    On this day, aside from the whirring train, there was no music. Showoff, a gifted bone breaker, and Dre, who specializes in tutting and hat tricks, were their own choreographers, rhythms drummed up inside their heads and executed with the instinctual boop, bap, bing, bong, foop, fop— sound effects that would escape their lips; heads and shoulders moving in choreographed ticks, like a hyped-up pocket watch. 

    The most common misconception about the dance form? "Flexin has nothing to do with flexibility," Showoff says. "It stemmed from the BCAP channel's 'Flex in Brooklyn', a TV show about young, talented people who came out of the ghetto to dance." 

    "I'm about to modd you!" Showoff shouts to Dre, using a popular slang word that means something like "mad" or "amazing" or "one-up," depending on the context. The two were going especially hard for the camera, of course (watch the above video to view), but these performers thrive off friendly competition, competing in multiple Battlefests a year. 

    Aside from gaining confidence in themselves, the two admit that it's always nice to garner attention from new fans. When we broach this subject, Dre gets a little shy, breaking into a Cheshire grin to reveal a delicate gold grill on his bottom teeth. "The attention from girls—that's always nice," he ad

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    “Emotion plays a big part in art,” says Australian-based artist Ta-ku. “The more you can emotionally connect with your audience, the more it feels somewhat tangible to them.”

    And that’s exactly what his music does—evoke deep, sometimes inexplicable feelings. His EP, Songs To Break Up To, is exactly as it sounds: a poetic commentary on the breakdown of human emotions, with tracks like "We Were In Love" flaunting crispy production against a beautiful melody. The self-professed “observational” artist blends moody and down-tempo EDM with nostalgic R&B, with occasional samples borrowed from artists like Jhene Aiko and Kendrick Lamar. Shaped by his earliest musical memory of listening to "Stevie Wonder’s 'Isn’t She Lovely' on [his] dad’s record player and the vinyl skipping, the producer is drawn to themes of devotion, life, and letdown—translating those themes into lush musical landscapes. 

    Being raised listening to classic funk and jazz, his interests shifted to cult neo-soul artists like Nujabes and J Dilla, driving forces behind the release of 50 Days for Dilla. The compilation had Ta-Ku (aka Reggie Matthews) releasing one beat for 50 days straight, using similar production methods to the late San Fran music legend, as well as incorporating OG Dilla samples. "Dilla was the producer that made me start messing with production,” says Ta-ku. “When I first heard 'Fall in Love' by Slum Village, I just had to find out how to create that sound. The drums, the warmth... everything about it was so engaging.”

    And fittingly, the artist's Instagram feed demonstrates that appreciation for aesthetics, featuring his mesmerizing photography with a subtle comedic factor between the layers. The LOL-worthy Insta vid of Reggie crying in bed to Drizzy Drake’s track "2 On Thotful," touches upon his love for the Canadian songbird, who is also notorious for being a soulful personality. “Drake is the modern-day Elvis, though a lot of people will be angry at that statement. Even I am.”

    Check out Ta-ku's Aussie slang definitions: 

    Bogan: "The guy who drove his ute to school and did burnouts on the oval" 
    Derro: "Someone who failed most classes in high school" 
    Battler: "Someone who grinds and works hard for everything they have"
    Munted: "Highly intoxicated"
    Durry: "A bad habit"
    Devo: "How I will feel if I dont get to see Drake when he comes to Perth"
    Brewies: "Beer, mate"
    Goes Off: "Australia's answer to the 'Turn Up'" 

    Australian musician, Ta-ku. Photo courtesy of the artist 

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    There’s going to be a "massive" party on Prince Street this weekend.

    Check out McNally Jackson this Sunday evening for Tiger Beer and AsiaDog, and to celebrate an epic anthology of gay erotic manga with our good friends behind Massive, Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins

    For this occasion, I had the chance to ask Anne about the book and what ignited her interest in such a niche subject. She said it all started when Chip Kidd enlisted her help with understanding a collection of Japanese manga artist Gengoroh Tagame’s work. "My approach to some of the artwork is based on some level of voyeuristic fascination,” she says. "But actually, once I discovered this genre of manga—how deep it went, how rich it was, how beautiful and important for gay men—I knew it was imperative for it be brought to a Western audience, if only for one reason: to celebrate the Asian masculine male persona.”

    I was also super interested to ask Anne what words proved most difficult to translate. In this case, it was the sexual sounds. She says, "The rote onomatopoeia used in Japanese is not just phonetically implausible in English; it's much more nuanced because of the spelling system. I don't know if this will make sense, but you can describe gasping in Japanese much more accurately.”

    I love this.

    To chat with Anne Ishii or Graham Kolbeins IRL, stop by McNally Jackson, Sunday January 18 at 7 PM for the launch of Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It 

    McNally Jackson Books
    52 Prince Street
    New York, NY 10012
    MAPPre-game faces: OC contributor Fiona Duncan and McNally's Matt Pieknik in archival Massive x Opening Ceremony 

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    For Fall/Winter 2015, Opening Ceremony celebrates photography. This season, OC co-founder Humberto Leon pays tribute to his longtime friend, Spike Jonze. Emerging from personal conversations between Leon and Jonze, the collection focuses on Jonze’s earlier and lesser-known body of work: his prolific photography, much of which has never been viewed by the public. As seen through the OC lens, Jonze’s photography features the birth of the skateboard and BMX subcultures, when a young Jonze documented the rise of street skating for magazines and videos, and leads up to his capture of early Sonic Youth tours and his breakthrough video for Beastie Boys, "Sabotage."

    This season, the OC man inhabits this realm, marching to the beat of this influential period before Jonze became the renowned music video and film director of today. With access to his photography archive, Opening Ceremony translated sequenced shots into textile art, combining multiple exposures of one movement into a recurring double silhouette and double-layer detail. This effect appears in the collection through seam lines, double sleeves and double plackets, in separates like shirting, jackets, and knitwear.

    In stark contrast to today’s instant yet ephemeral smartphone images, Opening Ceremony highlights the medium of 35-millimeter photographic film through the collection’s prints, created in varying proportions through motion blur techniques and an interplay of collage formats and contact sheets. These prints are expressed not only through digital printing techniques, but also in jacquard fabrications where the art is woven into the fabric, as seen in the black-and-white enveloping overcoat and knit sweaters.

    As its story began with archival film, the collection also honors the storied technology brand, Kodak with a select capsule. Kodak’s classic logo is translated as bold, primary-color graphics on T-shirts, while jersey and fleece separates breathe new life to film’s heritage. Silhouettes are updated with looser proportions and feel, as represented in the lightweight, nylon twill bomber jacket that seems to float away from the body. The color palette ranges from neutral tones, including warm browns, cool khakis, atmospheric greys, and midnight navy, to stark black with contrasting touches from Kodak’s classic color wheel.

    Footwear includes a rubber-wrapped “dress” shoe with a wide-strap closure in off-white and black leather or suede. Also featured is a high-top sneaker boot with a bold sawtooth sole. Accompanying footwear are New Era caps, beanies, and scarves in OC’s Fall/Winter 2015 prints.

    The collection hits stores and online soon; meanwhile, shop all current Opening Ceremony here Images courtesy of Opening Ceremony

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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, stepped down at the end of last year to launch "Simon 2.0," as he calls it. Translation: More time to talk about how to dodge an email, or properly behave on an elevator. 

    Q. I think we've become expected to check, and respond, to email 24 hours a day. Is there a polite way to tell people,"CTFD—I'll get back to you, when I get back to you?" 

    Now this is a tricky one. You see, there are some people in very, very high up places who get back to you within four minutes. I’ve experienced this and I'm frankly in awe of them. I’m talking about people who you see on telly a lot and run enormous enterprises (no names, but very familiar "fashion" haircuts…). They get back to you because they want to get back to you. Having been on both the right and wrong side of some of these people, I know that you can also get a response... never.

    But what about us mere mortals? My advice is to cut and paste the following responses, but don’t say I told you: 

    “I’m so terribly sorry, but I want to do full justice to this fine question you've posed, so a speedy response simply wouldn’t be sufficiently respectful. I hope you’ll grant me a fraction of a moment to be able to offer you an answer befitting the magnitude of the question.”


    “Look, I’m a bit mad busy at the mo’ so would you mind terribly if I got back to you tomorrow which I promise to do? Thanks awfully.”


    “Listen—I’ll get back to you when I’m fucking ready and 'til then, back the fuck off.”

    Finally, a couple of acronyms you might find useful:

    tl; dr — "too long; didn't read" and my person favorite NMFP — "Not My Fucking Problem"

    Q. The other day, I found myself leaning up against a stranger on the elevator for a full 20 seconds before noticing, being so engrossed with my iPhone. Thank God he was good-humored about it, but when I looked back, I noticed he was checking out my screen of text messages. Can we talk about proper elevator etiquette?!

    You cheeky minx! So, it took you 20 seconds to realize you were bumping-and-grinding with the victim, who you then go on to accuse of reading your (no doubt) hilarious observations of America's Got Talent? I think you got off lightly. When in public, you should try and control your base instincts. There are special clubs for your sort, you know...

    That said, a shortlist for How To Behave In Elevators: 

    — Don’t speak
    — Don’t make eye contact
    — Face the door
    — Don’t touch anyone (see above)
    — Carefully assess who, when the elevator gets stuck and you are trapped for four days, you will 1.) befriend 2.) kiss and 3.) eat (when rations run out).Simon Collins

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    For Pre-Spring 2015, Jonny Johansson of Acne Studios decided to simplify his creative direction. What you’ll notice this season, beyond the earthy color palette, is a practical collection of casual day- and weekend-wear that still plays into the brand’s devotion to that element of novelty.

    For those damp, early- to mid-spring days, Johansson made sure to include a sensible, yet noteworthy seasonal staple: the nylon jacket. And this season brings you three distinct styles, each with its own thoughtful detail. Take the Tony Face Jacket, for example, with its contrasting button and functional drawstring to keep out the cold. Or the Stacy Face Short-Sleeve Jacket with its...short sleeves and insulated nylon lining.

    The collection also taps into other contemporary style preferences, such as chic durability with the Isherwood Denim Short-Sleeve Shirt, and even tinkering with gender codes with the flared Rhys Heavy Twill Shorts (that almost give off a skirt-like vibe, we aren't mad), and finally, refined comfort with the Johna Sweatshirt and Sweatpants. Subtle luxury and quality-made basics—simply the best. 

    Shop Acne Studios for men here and women here  Tony Face Jacket in burgundy Isherwood Denim Short-Sleeve Shirt in bleached denim Stacy Face Short-Sleeve Jacket in black Rhys Heavy Twill Shorts in navy Tony Face Jacket in light brown Standard Face T-Shirt in white

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