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    The Armory Show, an international platform for modern and contemporary art, hosted a slew of different galleries from around the world with a focus on African artists and perspectives this past weekend. Kehinde Wiley, El Anatsui, and Mickalene Thomas were just some of the notable highlights of the The Armory’s ever expansive collection of African artists and viewpoints alongside artists from every other hemisphere. Take a look at some of our top highlights from the show.

    Modern & Contemporary
    Over at Piers 92 and 94, which both feature modern and contemporary art, a flurry of activity was buzzing throughout. From Janet Fish’s photo realist liquidic blue Windex bottles to Valerie Jaudon’s painterly strapwork patterns and YBA stalwart Marc Quinn’s prismatic Labrador Sound Thaw, the assortment was refreshing throwback to some gems from art history class you may have forgotten. Jesús Rafael Soto’s optically intriguing sculptural relief consisting of precariously balanced color blocked thin beams inspired a further look into the Kinetic Sculpture. Antony Gormely’s mild steel rings ornately constructed into a sinuous corpse-like forms, one suspended in the body of the other, invoked a sense of fragility and resulted in a complex kaleidoscope of shadows.

    Armory Focus: African Perspectives
    While walking through the convention center, spotting highlights from the In Focus theme wasn’t hard. From Kehinde Wiley’s large-scale paintings such as Equestrian Portrait of Prince Tommaso of Savoy-Carignan at the Roberts & Tilton booth to Jose Alberto de la Cruz Diaz and Luis Nunez at Galerie Daniel Templon to new pieces from Njideka Akunyili Crosby at Victoria Miro Gallery, to Mickalene Thomas’ Portrait of Din #4. The Tiwani Contemporary booth was also a highlight, with paintings on the wall from Francisco Vidal showcasing historic icons ranging from Gil Scott Heron to Angela Davis.Dan Halter, Patterns of MigrationPhotos by Angie ChuangMarc Quinn, Labrador Sound ThawValerie Jaudon, FermataTom Wesselmann, Claire’s Valentine BannerJanet Fish, Windex BottlesDean Byington, Divided CityJesús Rafael Soto, Untitled

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    Handbags are just like cherished antique furniture: once you find a piece you love, you stick with it. The antique vanity passed down from your mother will most likely travel from house to house. And hey, that floral couch you just can’t get enough of might even make its way from your college dorm room to your first apartment. So why should handbags be any different? If your clutch or backpack is timeless (and durable), it should make it through any closet and outfit change.

    Our Spring/Summer 2016 is Inspired by the notion of the ideal home, and this sentiment couldn’t ring more true in our latest Spring/Summer 2016 handbag collection, where previous classic styles meet newly-introduced shapes and fabrications. Our signature hand detail makes its grand return in the form of zipper and magnetic strap closures— this time in a gold-hardware finish. OC’s beloved Lele and Lynx handbags are also back in a stark white or a natural Vachetta leather finish, which mimics the natural aging of leather furniture. The new Nev Zip Clutch is sleek and slim, complete with a detachable shoulder strap and an Opening Ceremony Varsity Jacket keychain.

    It’s time to treat shopping like you’re investing in a piece of furniture. Luckily, the Opening Ceremony Spring/Summer 2016 was designed with this very notion in mind.

    Shop all Opening Ceremony women’s and men’s
    Lele Vachetta Leather Mini Shoulder Bag in natural, Lynx Shiny Calf Crossbody Bag in white, Misha Vachetta Leather Wallet in natural. Photos by Matthew KellyNokki Vachetta Leather Crossbody Bag in natural and Nokki Shiny Calf Crossbody Bag in whiteLele Shiny Calf Mini Bag in white

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    The Kenzo girl is a well-traveled globetrotter whose number of certified stamps on her passport mimic the amount of outrageous prints in her closet. For Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016, Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon added to the frequent flyer miles and gave her a plane ticket to Japan—home to Sailor Moon and her magical girl group of Sailor Senshi, to be exact.

    Sailor Moon’s quintessentially feminine approach to dressing was apparent in Kenzo’s latest collection, but the true influence came through in subtle details. A classic duffle coat is deconstructed and then reconstructed with exaggerated proportions and dramatic details, including a hood that more closely resembles a super kawaii bonnet. Ruffles and ruching are present throughout and the Sailor Moon influence is more obvious in pieces that incorporate sash details in pockets as well as a leather jacket that emulates a Japanese schoolgirl collar. This inspiration also carries through to the accessories, where handbags resemble schoolgirl satchels with tassels and toggles appear throughout.

    Always tracing back to Kenzo’s iconic roots while having respect for where the Kenzo girl has traveled in the past, this season dug up some print favorites. Reworked florals such as the iris and dandelions and the classic tiger print are accompanied with psychedelic checks and spurts of neon coloring. If Sailor Venus and Sailor Mars went digging through the Kenzo print and fabric archive, it would be the exact result of what Fall/Winter 2016 has turned out to be.

    Shop all Kenzo women’s and men’s
    Photos couresty of Kenzo

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    We all have that moment where Friday night rolls around and a Netflix binge is the primary “event” option. In order to cure your major case of FOMO, we’ve teamed up with The Mirror Cube, a happenings site that features events recommended by artists. With their expert panel of visual artists, actors, writers, and directors, The Mirror Cube brings you the lowdown on what shows, screenings, and exhibits you should check out each week in New York and Los Angeles.

    NY: RadioLoveFest 2016 at BAM
    March 10-12
    Picked by: Lauren Cohan
    What: WNYC and BAM host live tapings of radio programs featuring visits from special guests.

    Why Go: This year’s RadioLoveFest schedule includes some of your favorite live NPR shows like Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, Death, Sex & Money, Selected Shorts, and The Moth. WNYC’s Brian Lehrer will interview with Citizenfour filmmaker Laura Poitras and that documentary’s subject, former intelligence officer Edward Snowden. There will also be film screenings at BAM Rose Cinemas and free live music performances at BAMcafé.

    NY: Golden Days: The Films of Arnaud Desplechin at Film Society of Lincoln Center
    March 11-17
    Picked by: Brady Corbet
    What: Film Society of Lincoln Center presents a retrospective celebrating the films of My Golden Days writer-director Arnaud Desplechin.

    Why Go: French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin is one of the great talents of international cinema, and this series features Desplechin’s 1996 breakthrough My Sex Life..., the César-winning melodrama Kings & Queen, Desplechin’s English-language debut Jimmy P., and the holiday family drama A Christmas Tale, which New York Times critic A.O. Scott called “altogether marvelous.”

    NY: Beach House at Webster Hall
    March 14-16
    Picked by: Jake Hoffman
    What: The Baltimore-based indie dream-pop duo headline three consecutive nights at Webster Hall in the East Village.

    Why Go: Beach House released two critically acclaimed albums in 2015—Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars—and they’ve been selling out every show on their current tour. If you’re fortunate enough to score tickets, you can also vote for the songs you want to hear at the concert via a “setlist creator” feature on the duo’s website. If you’re unable to make it to the Webster Hall shows, Beach House will be performing intimate “installation” sets in NYC on March 23 & 24.

    LA: Carrie Mae Weems: Coming Up For Air at MoCA Grand Avenue

    March 10 at 7 PM
    Picked by: Aaron Stern
    What: Los Angeles Filmforum at MoCA present

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    Time and time again, outrageous fashion pioneer Vivienne Westwood proves that punk is not dead. When she isn’t combating the global climate crisis in her collections, the iconic English designer is also handing over the reigns to her husband and design partner, Andreas Kronthaler. During the Paris Fashion Week show on Saturday, the longtime collaborator took center stage as he presented his first official collection for Vivienne Westwood. Channeling more of a ethereal punk as opposed to the plaid-loving rebel synonymous with the brand, Fall/Winter 2016 proved to be more of a spiritual journey than anything. Both male and female models graced the runway. Accessories proved to be the highlight of the show, with female models accessorized in headdresses embroidered with the word “OM,” while details featuring angry unicorns, swirling prints, and the word “Zen” on a multitude of jackets and outerwear throughout the collection. Men wore thick-heeled boots while the ladies stuck to platform creepers, featured in an array of bubble gum pink and a swirling ornate print.

    Under the direction of Kronthaler, it appears as though the Vivienne Westwood design house is finding its inner zen.

    Shop all Vivienne Westwood Red Label herePhotos courtesy of Vivienne Westwood

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    There is a pivotal moment in Creative Control, where one of the film’s secondary characters pauses during sex to take a snap of his girlfriend while mid-thrust. With a simple click, he has already sent it to his friend. With this single moment (and the remaining hour and a half), Creative Control reminds us that like it or not, this is the world we live in. You can accept all of life’s daily memes or you can spiral out of control. Simple as that.

    Creative Control takes place in a New York City that looks similar to the one creative agency playboys and gentrifying Google execs currently inhabit, with the added plot twist that it takes place exactly five minutes in the future. With this simple time adjustment, technology has advanced to include basic improvements and augmented reality glasses… but the New Yorkers who inhabit the city are just as lost, anxiety-ridden, and connected (to their phones, that is) as we are in the present.

    Even though director/lead actor/co-writer Benjamin Dickinson’s new film takes place five minutes into the future, the plot and recognizable characters feel scarily relevant and close to home. The film’s central character,  David (played by Dickinson), stars as an overworked advertising executive who is working on a high-level marketing campaign for a new generation of Augmented Reality glasses, created by a character played by Jake Lodwick, the real-life co-founder of Vimeo. While tapping into the “technology genius” of the marketing effort’s celebrity guru, Reggie Watts (playing a film version of himself), David struggles with the relationship with his yoga teacher girlfriend and quickly becomes entranced by his best friend’s girlfriend Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen).

    Shot in a stark black and white by cinematographer Adam Newport-Berra, Creative Control displays the mediocrity of everyday life, with a surprisingly calming soundtrack from composer Drazen Bosnjak that also features spurts of classical Baroque music, contrasting the chaotic downfall David is experiencing. While his yoga teacher girlfriend begins to discover herself through yoga and ahem, tantric sex, David is left wandering around the empty expanse and overpriced condos of the “new Brooklyn.” As time passes, he becomes so entranced with Sophie, he uses his augmented Reality glasses to develop a life-like avatar of her à la Spike Jonze’s Her. As virutal reality becomes harder to recognize than reality itself, the film viewer has to ask themself, if yoga isn’t the antidote to end anxiety and uncertainty, then what is? 

    Creative Control entertains the question, but perhaps the solution is that there is none. We’ll just have to ask Siri for now.

    Creative Control opens in theaters on March 11 

    Watch an exclusive clip from Creative Control below 

    Creative Control from Opening Ceremony on Vimeo.


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    Starting yesterday at our OCLA location, we revealed an in-store installation dedicated to the Coach 1941 x Opening Ceremony collection of exclusive handbags. In addition to the selection of exclusive bags, coin purse styles, and more, there are also clothing items from the heritage brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection on display (and available for purchase, of course).

    Taking notes from Coach’s archive and their Spring/Summer 2016 collection there’s no shortage of print in this enigmatic display evoking all elements, histories and aesthetic of this American heritage brand. Blush-pink blossoms and pastoral patterns play off of shocking pink and highlighter-yellow mannequins. Bolts of color outline sleek displays against a flurry of ornament creating clean a visual balance and a new chapter to Coach.

    Stay tuned for more information on the Coach 1941 x Opening Ceremony exclusive collection.

    Starting Monday, shop all Coach 1941 x Opening Ceremony online.

    Check out the new Coach in-store installation at our Opening Ceremony LA location
    Photos by Lee Thompson

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  • 03/10/16--21:00: Indigo Injection
  • Ripped, studded, deconstructed and tweaked out to max we’ve taken denim-on-denim to a fully altered state. From Lisa Marie Fernandez’s denim bathing suits to Acne Studios’ Cubist-inspired deconstructed crop tops consider this your gateway to an indigo haze. For the ultimate one-piece hard hitter check out Otho’s deep blue overalls or Mo&Co’s jumpsuit. Whether you’re going easy or all out on denim there’s a little something for everyone.

    So what’s all this noise about denim-on-denim only to the next extreme? Whether you’re Bing Crosby and it’s 1951 rocking the first ever Canadian, Texan (whatever your preference is) tuxedo or you’re Katy Perry in 2014 vying for a worst dressed at the MTV VMA’s, there’s always something ingenuous about denim-on-denim overkill. While some consider this silhouette more of a ‘statement’ or a sheer act of sarcasm, here at OC we’re putting the blue jean agenda on reset.

    Veering away from kitsch and cacophony, details like simple studding, radical fraying and every prism of blue wash imaginable are redefining how we wear denim. Unlike those denim corsets of yesteryear or predictably destroyed jeans of the early 2000s, the design is more thoughtful. Severity doesn’t necessarily have to be intentional it can be innate.

    Sure, this year’s prerogative for patchwork (denim) may be cusping and feel like just another Instagrammable provocation, but rest assured our binge for blue twill isn’t gonna feel like yet another reckless bender.

    Get your full denim (shopping) fix hereOpening Ceremony Celebrates Pearl River Denim Jacket in indigo, Vivienne Westwood Classic Cotton Stockinette Box Vest in white, Rachel Comey Studded Denim Pants in indigo, J.W. Anderson Logo Bag, and Opening Ceremony Shiny Calf Zan Leather Booties in white. Marques'Almeida Fitted Denim Frill Top in light blue, Marques'Almeida Asymmetrical Ruffled Skirt in light blue, Marques'Almeida Ostrich Feather Leather Shoulder Bag in yellow. SHUSHU/TONG Cropped Denim Camisole Top in denim, Nehera

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    For Spring/Summer 2016, Madrid-based designer Pepa Salazar channeled her love for Japanese artistic concepts—anime, in particular—into a collection adorned with silky sheer off-the-shoulder tops, asymmetrical tops, and barely-there transparent skirts. “This collection is a study of volumes, where geometric forms mix with more feminine shapes to reach a certain maturity,” says Salazar.

    Below, we chat with the designer about inspiration, high school style, and the coolest place to visit in Madrid. 

    Shop all Pepa Salazar here

    Name: Pepa Salazar
    Hometown: Valencia, but I am based in Madrid
    Astrological sign: Sagittarius
    Hidden Talent: I’m a ballet dancer
    What was your style like in high school? It was the 2000s, so tiny low-waist pants with turtlenecks. All lycra.
    What's your current Spring/Summer 2016 collection inspiration? The collection is made of 14 looks, in pink, red, and black. Regarding the shape, different techniques are developed. The first is a really structured one made of straight panels, with superimposed textiles to create contrasting layers. The second one revolves around geometric volumes and how they work with the body. The last is based on the superposition of seemingly incomplete layers, which end up forming the garment like a puzzle. This collection is a study of volumes, where geometric forms mix with more feminine shapes to reach a certain maturity.
    Do you have a design muse? My friends
    Coolest place to visit in Madrid: Malasaña is the young area full of cool bars and shops
    If you were to do another job besides designing, what would it be? Psychiatrist or ballet dancer
    What's your go-to karaoke song? “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears
    Four nouns that define you: Cat squeezer, anime fan, prawn lover, and shower singer
    Click through the slideshow to see all products from Pepa Salazar   Off-The-Shoulder Button-Down Shirt in red Off-The-Shoulder Button-Down Shirt in black Asymmetrical Waterfall Top in pink Transparent Buttoned Skirt in pink

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    You know when parents drive around with those “My Kid Is An Honors Student” bumper stickers or constantly gloat about your job “promotion” at family reunions (or any chance they get, for that matter)? You could say we officially “feel” them.

    Considering four OC brands were announced as LVMH Prize 2015 Finalists last spring (two of which—Marques'Almeida and Jacquemus—were winners), it’s safe to say we’ve had a case of extremely proud parent syndrome. And it’s destined to continue.

    This past Friday, the eight finalists for the LVMH Prize 2016 were selected— and we were more than happy with the results. Five brands—including AALTO, Alyx, Vejas Kruszewski, Wales Bonner, and Y/Project— were selected as official Finalists this year and will compete for the top prize on June 16. Considering OC’s founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are judges, these brands have family members (aka mentors) to impress.

    Stay tuned for more exclusive content with each of the finalists on our blog and social media platforms before the winner is announced on June 16Congrats to the 2016 LVMH Prize 2016 Finalists. Designer images courtesy of

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    Did you ever look at Opening Ceremony’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection and think to yourself, Damn, that Sonic Youth printed trench coat is so sick... if only I had a skate deck to match?

    If so, you’re in luck. The creative team behind Girl Skateboards have heard your plight and created a line of skate decks, tees, and a sweatshirt that act as an extension from last season’s Photos by Spike theme. Skate decks featuring everyone from Björk and Beastie Boys to Karen O. and Nirvana are available for mounting on your wall or riding down the halfpipe.

    Shop all Girl Skateboards x Opening Ceremony hereShop all Girl Skateboards x Opening Ceremony here 

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    In honor of Vans’ 50th anniversary, we are celebrating the brand’s checkered past with a special collection now available at Opening Ceremony stores and online. Below, we document the iconic brand’s legacy and share our thoughts on why Vans serves as a constant source of inspiration both personally and professionally.

    In our industry, it’s somewhat difficult to talk about Vans without also talking about the nostalgia these shoes immediately evoke. My earliest memories of wearing Vans put me in slip-ons, Rowleys, or Half Cabs. I think back to aimless summers, parking lots, tall grass, and skating with friends. I remember punk shows (getting kicked in the face with a pair of red Authentics comes to mind), girlfriends, driveways, and biking around town. My Vans were checkered, solid, had holes in them and drawings on them. More often than not, I would find gum or little rocks lodged in those waffle soles.

    It’s hard to separate the shoe from such nostalgic sentiment because it’s been an absolute staple for 50 years now. As Vans hits this half-century mark today, we can’t help but marvel at their staying power. The shoes are just as relevant now as they have ever been, and this is the product of a sincere brand identity and a loyal following that is continually growing. The impetus behind Opening Ceremony’s ongoing collaboration with Vans is a recognition of this identity, and a sincere desire to partner with a brand that has nurtured a creative aesthetic for so long.

    Many of OC’s iconic collections—from Magritte to Thierry Boutemy— have involved a partnership with Vans. As our brand continues to evolve, Vans remains one of the truly unique labels and a source of inspiration for us both personally and professionally. We are proud to have partnered with Vans through the years and offer them the utmost congratulations on their 50th anniversary.

    Shop all Vans Vault men’s and women’s

    Shop the Vans 50th Anniversary collection here

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    We all have that moment where Friday night rolls around and a Netflix binge is the primary “event” option. In order to cure your major case of FOMO, we’ve teamed up with The Mirror Cube, a happenings site that features events recommended by artists. With their expert panel of visual artists, actors, writers, and directors, The Mirror Cube brings you the lowdown on what shows, screenings, and exhibits you should check out each week in New York and Los Angeles.

    NY: Christopher Owens at Union Pool
    March 18 & 19
    Picked by: Soko
    What: The singer-songwriter and frontman of GIRLS plays sets of solo material at Union Pool in Brooklyn.

    Why Go: Owens’ latest record, Chrissybaby Forever, has earned him some of the best reviews of his solo career, with DIY magazine calling it “an incredibly poignant return to form.”

    NY: Nasreen Mohamedi at The Met Breuer
    March 18-June 5
    What: The first U.S. retrospective for the late Modernist, Nasreen Mohamedi.

    Why Go: This comprehensive exhibition of Mohamedi’s work is one of the inaugural shows at the new Met Breuer, an expansion of the Met’s Contemporary collection, which is housed in the former Whitney Museum space. A highly influential South Asian artist who emerged in post-Independence India, Mohamedi’s main focus throughout her ouevre was intricate pencil and ink organic and line forms on paper.

    NY: Punch-Drunk Love at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
    March 19 at 8 PM
    Picked by: Jess Manafort
    What: Composer Jon Brion and Wordless Music perform Brion’s score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love live with a screening of the film.

    Why Go: When Brion and co. brought the event to Los Angeles, Joanna Newsom was on hand to sing Harry Nilsson’s “He Needs Me,” which features prominently in the film. This time out, Norah Jones will join the fray for her rendition of the song.

    LA: Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium at LACMA

    March 20-July 31
    Picked by: Lili Peper
    What: A new exhibition exploring the late artist’s career through early drawings, collages, sculptures, and photographs.

    Why Go: One of the most anticipated LA art shows of 2016, The Perfect Medium shines a light on Mapplethorpe’s immersion in the artistic and sexual undergrounds of New York City, and it incorporates his more experimental work in various media. This show presents a much broader look at Mapplethorpe’s art and goes far beyond the frankly sexual photos for which he’s perhaps best known.

    LA: Petite Noir at Echoplex
    March 22 at 8:30 PM
    What: The South African singer-songwriter performs live at the Echoplex in Echo Park.

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    As part of our 2016: Year of China focus, we’ll be rolling out a special edition of our New To OC series to introduce some of the emerging Chinese designers we’re proud to carry this year.

    When one thinks of a traditional sneaker, a calfskin sole isn’t the first fabrication that comes to mind. Footwear brand Purlicue aims to change that mentality. The Chinese brand serves up a series of leather wrapped sneakers whose leather soles can be replaced once they have been sufficiently worn down. From leather wrapped sneakers to laceless Chukka styles, Purlicue designer Su Junhua takes the classic sneaker design and turns it on its head. Below, we meet with the designer who’s bringing new meaning to the term high quality sneaker.

    Shop all Purlicue here

    Name: Su Junhua
    Hometown: Guangzhou, China
    Zodiac Sign: Ox
    One Chinese superstition no one knows about: If people wash their hair before the end of the day on Chinese New Year it’s bad luck.
    What is your current Spring/Summer 2016 collection inspiration? Well, the excess portion of the shoes can be trimmed as you wish... or remain as it is. The materials include calf leather, sheepskin lining, and rubber and calfskin sole. Once the sole has a bit of wear, the rubber material can be seen deliberately. Extra soles can be added on directly to the shoes before wearing them.
    Coolest place to visit in China: Traditional Chinese farmers markets
    Favorite traditional Chinese food dish? Chinese BBQ
    What's your go-to karaoke song? Songs by Eason Chan
    What makes you feel most at home where you currently live? Enjoying the silence in my home
    What do the Chinese characters in your name mean? Junhua means super handsome in Chinese haha: )
    What Western pop culture topic was popular where you grew up? Western movies
    Click through the slideshow to see all products from Purlicue Sand Sneakers in sand Leather Strap Sneakers in natural Laceless Chukka Sneakers in black Leather Wrapped Sneakers in natural/black

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    Last night’s turnout for the Vans 50th Anniversary party at House of Vans was a culmination of the brand’s core following since it was founded 1966. Young kids, older fans, skaters, people who have never picked up a skate deck, hip-hop heads, Yeasayer followers, girls in Sk8-hi sneakers, guys in Classics, and Nas diehards were all out in full effect. Everyone from skate legend Christian Hosoi to Vans Vice President Steve Van Doren even came together to help the brand usher in a new year. And there was lots to celebrate.

    Upon entry, guests walked through a living history tunnel of Vans, which displayed everything from old sneaker styles, to images from Thrasher magazine spreads, checkered guitars, and more. After making their way through the House of Vans skate area, guests were treated to free Roberta’s pizza, mixed drinks with clever names like “Warped,” and endless photo opps in the back outdoor area. The sounds of Questlove could be heard ringing from the stage indoors right before Yeasayer took to the stage to crank things up a notch. The highlight of the night was a live performance from Queens legend Nas, who introduced the Vans fam and performed many of his classics. It ain’t hard to tell, but guests were loving the performance almost as much as the sneakers that kept them up and jumping on their feet throughout.

    The real VIP of the entire celebration? All of the Vans sneaker styles, of course. From Half Cabs to Rowleys, slip-ons, and Sk8-His, guests paid tribute from head-to-toe.

    Happy Birthday, Vans! Fifty never looked this good.

    Click through the slideshow above to see some of the best moments from Vans 50th Anniversary celebration at House of Vans.

    Shop all Vans Vault men’s and women’s
    Photos by Elvin TavarezNathan Fletcher, Vans Vice President (and son of co-founder Paul Van Doren) Steve Van Doren, and Anthony Van Engelen Christian HosoiGuest with Vans’ Mike Hastings

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    “They slip in and out real easy, like blunts
    you can get different colors, like rainbows
    Since 1966, Vans had set a trend
    I got a blue pair, yeah, in a size 10
    Get your grown man on, when you wear top-siders…

    Slip ‘em off, slip ‘em on, cuff in my pants
    So they don’t get torn in the back
    It’s a punk rock shoe, with a logo in the back”

    And so goes The Pack’s 2006 hyphy hit “Vans.” The hit track not only helped introduce a whole new audience of sneaker enthusiasts to the classic shoe, but The Pack rapper Lil Uno spit some serious truths when he mentioned that Vans have set a trend since 1966.

    On March 16, 1966, in the town of Anaheim, California, Paul Van Doren opened The Van Doren Rubber Company, the first brick-and-mortar Vans location bearing the original name. The Van Doren Rubber Company’s original styles sold in the store were unique in the sense that the company would manufacture the shoes on the spot and then sell them directly to the public. The popular story goes that during The Van Doren Rubber Company’s first open day, 12 customers purchased sneaker styles in the morning and picked up the finished products later in the afternoon. This first range of Vans styles would come to be known as Authentics.

    During the ‘70s, skateboarding culture began to play a major part in the development of the brand’s sneaker styles. In 1975, skate icons Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta designed the “Era” style, which would become the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders thanks to its padded collar, sticky waffle sole bottom, and distinct color variations. Fast-forward two decades later, Vans would help finance the production of Peralta’s award-winning Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary, which showcases a Vans sneaker on its poster as well as on the feet of various skate legends throughout the film.

    By the late ‘70s, a new trend was taking shape: young kids were beginning to color in the waffle sole bottoms of their shoes and Vans took notice. In 1982, Vans Slip-Ons had their official mainstream debut thanks to Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli character in the cult-classic film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Spicoli sported black-and-white checkered slip-ons, inspired by waffle sole doodles, throughout the movie, and they even appeared on the cover of the film’s soundtrack. Leave it to a pair of Vans to beat out Phoebe Cates’ bikini-drop moment.

    In the late ‘80s, Vans expanded its sneaker styles to include a line of wrestling, basketball, and skydiving shoes. Yes, there is such a thing as skydiving sneakers… But by the mid-’90s, Vans returned back to its roots with the introduction of the brand’s first 46,000 square-foot Vans Skatepark in Orange County. The brand would go on to open skateparks around the coun

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    From Salvatore Ferragamo to Sergio Rossi and Guiseppe Zanotti, Italy is known for its footwear designers and their sleek creations. But this season, BFFs turned design duo Dorothea and Ginevra, the designers behind women’s footwear brand Oz Hunters, are giving established houses a run for their money their chunky platforms, rounded toes, and unexpected fabrication. Below, we catch up with the designers to talk Japanese legends as inspiration, Tuscany hot spots, and the simple joy of cooking tagliatelle.

    Shop all Oz Hunters in stores now

    Hometown: Born and raised in Rome
    Astrological sign: Scorpio
    Hidden Talent: Collecting Polaroid cameras
    What was your style like in high school? Lots of oversized sweatshirts, military boots, denim jeans, and T-shirts
    What's is your Spring/Summer 2016 collection inspiration? This season, we were inspired by the Japanese legend, Tanabata (meaning Evening of the Seventh) that celebrates diversity, love, and endless time. This celebrated folktale tells the story of two deities, Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair. According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, whom are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.
    Coolest place to visit in Tuscany, Italy: Montalcino has amazing Tuscan landscapes and the best wine! Pistoia has a very cool music festival called Pistoia Blues. This year, The National will be playing in July.
    If you were to do another job besides designing, what would it be? Cessna pilot
    What's your go-to karaoke song? “Il Veliero” by Lucio Battisti, an Italian singer from the ‘70s.
    Four nouns that define you: Marvin Gaye-lover, leather enthusiast, traveller, and Shabu-Shabu eater

    Name: Ginevra
    Hometown: Born and raised in Rome
    Astrological sign: Taurus ascendant Leo, or horse according to the Chinese
    Hidden Talent: I can inflate my belly and look pretty much like a pregnant woman. It's how I skip bathroom lines.
    What was your style like in high school? As we say in Italian: poche idee, ben confuse.

    Coolest place to visit in Tuscany, Italy: Abbazia di San Galgano at Chiusdino (Siena) and Sorana (Pescia). Truthfully, Sorana is not such a cool place, but up in the hills there's my “once a week restaurant.” Be sure to eat a plate of fagioli di Sorana, the best beans you'll ever taste...and Fiorentina, and Ravioli. Yes... I do love food.
    If you were to do another job besides designing, what would it be? Either a junk dealer or an airplane pilot. Both kinda family business. Or a chef. Yes, I know nowadays it's predictable, but I really love cooking (and eating, of course). I suffer a fatal attraction for markets and every kind of kitchen tool. In a way, I’m the young version of an Italian grandma who cooks every night for her family, prepares tagliatelle every Sunday, and cuts the chicken throat in one perfect shot. I'd definitely love to make a living out of this, maybe...
    What's your go-to karaoke song? “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
    Four nouns that define you: Compulsive hoarder, post-dusk serious eater, martini dry virtuoso, and cast iron pan addict

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  • 03/21/16--21:00: Jazz Cartier Takes On SXSW
  • Austin’s annual South By Southwest festival can sometimes turn into a shit show of packed crowds, heavy traffic, and tech bros. But what the festival lacks in outdoor air conditioners and WiFi towers it most definitely makes up for in late-night tacos, outdoor bars, and of course, one-of-a-kind live performances from first-time SXSW billed artists. One of those first-time performers this time around was Toronto-based rapper Jazz Cartier, aka Jacuzzi La Fleur, who kicked off a string of performances fresh from the plane (after performing at the Vans 50th Anniversary party in his hometown). In between Black Gladiator mosh pits or jumping onstage with Skepta and drinking with singer Kehlani, Jazz still found the time to ring in his birthday with a special performance at The FADER FORT.

    Check out his 96-hour day-to-day experience below and see pics from Jazz’s SXSW tour diary in the slideshow above.

    Thursday, March 17

    2:45 PM: On Thursday, we flew in from Toronto after the House of Vans' 50th birthday party. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience having to pull an all-nighter and then head to Texas. But we made it to the Mohawk for our first show and it was the perfect start. The energy was there and performing for smaller crowds is always a thrill.

    7:29 PM: Found myself with some fine models. And TOKiMONSTA. We killed a bottle of Henny and snacked on some Torchy’s Taco's and Pocky sticks. Checked out some new K-POP beats and discovered I'm really into it.

    10:37 PM: Was smitten with AlunaGeorge at the Calvin Klein party.

    11:24 PM: New Era show at Emo's. Black Gladiator mosh pit. Met Ghostface Killah, Lil B, and Cappadonna, which was sick. I was really drunk by this time.

    1:20 AM: First night at The Illmore, and to be honest, it was quite a blur. I'm pretty sure I blacked out.

    Friday, March 18

    1:15 PM: One of the highlights of my SXSW was the Apple Music House. The El Peppinos were to die for.

    3:15 PM: Avoiding bees, doing some press. It's hot AF out.

    6:00 PM: Tory Lanez at FADER FORT was a good time. Happy to see him do his thing.

    9:20 PM: It rained, so we went back to the Apple Music House and kicked it with Kehlani: dranks, dranks, dranks. Met Trinidad James and jumped onstage with Skepta.

    Saturday, March 19 (Jazz’s birthday!)

    12:00 AM: Happy Fleurday to me.

    2: 35 AM: I found myself back at The Illmore, but this time I was performing. This was probably the highlight of my SXSW. I ended up swinging from the ceiling fan and brought in my birthday the best way possible. S/o to Yung Jake, EMI , Rex Kudo, Ramriddlz, YesJulz, Swae Lee, Slim Jim, EearZ, and the sea of other people who were in the building.

    1:15 PM: I made it to my agent's brunch alive by the grace of God, talked to my mama, and then headed to The FADER FORT.

    3:20 PM: FADER FORT was crazy for me. I'm at a point where mos

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    Record hunting with someone is always a telling experience, but doing it with Bryndon Cook is an inviting portal into the musician’s eclectic soul. Whether he’s digging out Miles Davis and Janet Jackson records one moment or scouring the piles for Todd Rundgren LPs the next, no genre indicators or “Rock/Pop” signage can keep Cook, better known by his stage moniker Starchild & the New Romantic, from discovery. “I’m really into the history and lineage of black music: funk, R&B and soul. But I’ve also always loved the music that people would consider ‘white people stuff’” Cook explains.“I mean, I’m a product of the ‘90s, so I’ve got all of the Blink 182 and Korn CDs.” These unexpected musical influences come together in holy matrimony just in time for Crucial, the Brooklyn-based musician’s new EP release.

    Crucial is an eight-track effort with slow burners that simmer with longing while being injected with rhythmic synth breaks and guitar riffs. Seeing as Cook picked up the tenor saxophone in fifth grade before switching to strings and percussion while joining symphonic, marching and jazz band in high school, this should come as no surprise. “When I started thinking about making music, I was listening to a lot of artists like Pharrell who were really visionary,” says Cook. “They have a vision for what they want to do and they use tools they have around them to execute that vision.”

    Simultaneously, Cook was executing a vision of his own when he moved to New York to study theater while honing those one-man-band musical skills. He didn’t realize it until a chance encounter with fellow musician James Blake outside of the aquarium at the American Museum of Natural Museum a few years ago (seriously), where Blake made Cook realize he may have a legit calling in music.

    “[James] was super nice and gave me his email. We exchanged music and he got back to me like three weeks later with this long reply,” Cook gushes. “He went through everything and was like, ‘I can hear your influences, I’m really into this.’ And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

    From there, Cook took to playing with close friend and Chairlift frontman Patrick Wimberly, who would go on to introduce the musical hopeful to a community of like-minded and genre-bending artists and musicians. It wasn’t long until Cook started to collaborate with the likes of Dev Hynes, opened for Kindness, and acted as Solange’s guitarist on her True tour all while being welcomed into this diverse community of creatives. “I kind of saw something I could be a part of that was bigger than myself,” Cook admits when speaking of the welcoming crew. This was the breaking point, the well, crucial, moment where Cook took what he had learned in these whirlwind experiences and transitioned it into Starchild & the New Romantic. Thus began his career as as a solo artist—including his latest Crucial EP release.

    Crucial has drawn comparisons to the early work of Prince, but Cook insists that the icons’s glossy and overly-produced approach wasn’t key in creating this record. “I try not to pinpoint it all,” says Cook. “There were a lot of elements in it, but the final product kind of encapsulates more of a feeling than an era. I wanted it to sound ‘not perfect.’” Tracks like EP opener “All My Lovers” offer up a soothing intro that gives off serious Anita Baker vibes, while the highlight “Slammin Mannequin” interrupts with a Ten City-like intro an

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    Here at OC, we take pride in our relationships with each other. How lucky are we, as kooky, creative individuals, to have found not only a workplace to thrive in, but a network of equally kooky and creative individuals to thrive with? Whether you are a designer whose pieces are hanging on our racks, an artist whose work is installed on our floors, or a sales associate representing OC culture everyday, you are a member of this crazy ass family.

    Which brings us to James Flemons. The OCLA alum, who began working the sales floor during the day and moonlighting as designer Phlemuns by night, has now turned the latter role into a full-time gig. It wasn't too long ago that the same guy who now collaborates with Solange was taking custom orders from the rest of the sales staff. Fast forward a few years and you can now find Opening Ceremony on Phlemuns' list of stockists.

    This past Saturday night, Phlemuns made its Los Angeles Fashion Week debut. The collection, inspired by the music and style of ‘90s house group Deee-lite, was a colorful mix of prints and plaids. Many pieces alluded to being multiple garments, with longer sleeves sewn onto shorter sleeves and shrunken sweater vests sewn onto turtlenecks. The recycled denim pieces, a Phlemuns signature, were the most elegant, taking on the forms of trumpet skirts and wrap dresses. The madcap mix of the collection perfectly echoed the diversity of the models, some of which traded in walking for two-stepping or shimmying down the runway. And then there was James himself, dancing behind the models at the finale and making sure to high-five his dad before heading backstage into the sea of reporters and photographers.

    Trying to catch up with James after the show turned out to be near impossible, but rightfully so, having just shown the most buzzworthy LAFW collection in recent history. However, I was able to catch up with James's mother (and first sewing teacher) Stephanie Childs, who explained to me she had fashioned the top she was wearing out of fabrics used on a certain Phlemuns jacket (that is currently in store) as an homage to her son.

    Mama, he made it.
    Photos by Nathaniel Santos 

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