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April 21 2014

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On the Rise: Kid Cudi and the Male Crop Top

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2014 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2One of the most talked about fashion moments of Coachella’s first weekend didn’t belong to Pharrell, Beyoncé, or Jay Z. Kid Cudi had that honor when the rapper stepped on stage in an athletic red crop top with cutoff jean shorts, exposed BAPE briefs, and a gold bolo tie necklace, no less, providing the Internet with days of fodder. Some got angry, others were just confused, and a few went as far as to predict that Cudi’s provocative top is destined to spark a trend.

Those in the latter group aren’t far off. Crop tops for men have been gaining steam on the runway over the past few years. Just as the midriff-baring top went high fashion for women—receiving an update from designers like Proenza Schouler, Prada, and Topshop—younger eccentrics and established brands alike are reimagining it for men. Four years ago in Milan, flamboyant label Frankie Morello showed two versions of the abs-flashing top, one graphic tee reminiscent of Wham!’s namesake crop top and a knitted take that left less to the imagination. That same year, Calvin Klein sent out cutoff outerwear and cropped T-shirts stamped with the brand’s name. Copenhagen maximalist Astrid Andersen followed suit the next year with her own cheeky cropped muscle tee. Since Andersen started experimenting with it more over the past two seasons, other designers like Hood by Air, J.W. Anderson, and Sibling have been chiming in with their own renditions, taking the crop top from the Muscle Beach days to the catwalk.

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Hood By Air Fall 2014 Photo: Yannis Vlamos/IndigitalImages.com

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Astrid Andersen Spring 2014 Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The male crop top has an even longer history in pop culture, being championed by everyone from Prince to Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But it’s been on hiatus for nearly a decade, until Kid Cudi brought it back this past weekend. Whether the rapper is channeling a throwback look or a runway trend, it’s an indication that mainstream rap is continuing to evolve to become sartorially more inclusive—Kanye West weaving high-fashion references into his verses; A$AP Rocky embracing forward-looking, androgynous looks; and some even embracing womenswear, like Atlanta upstart Young Thug in his leopard peplum dress. Coachella, it seems, has become the premier location for rappers to take big style risks—remember when Ye wore a Céline shirt on the very same stage three years ago? Cudi, who was once signed to West’s label, GOOD Music, is now breaking down hip-hop’s rigidly masculine boundaries in his own way.

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Playlist: Ellie Goulding’s Best Songs

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elliepostBritish-born singer Ellie Goulding has some big news.

Sure, her debut album, Lights, went triple platinum when it hit the U.S. in 2010. And yes, the singer-songwriter won the hearts of her bourgeoning international audience when she performed a chilling cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” at the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011—a rendition that was heard stateside when Goulding appeared on NBC’s SNL. In 2013, she took home an MTV Movie Award for Best Song of the Summer, for the Calvin Harris-produced track “I Need Your Love,” then recorded an exclusive track, “Mirror,” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

But today Ellie Goulding joins Style.com’s Style Map, a network of contributors from around the blogosphere, and we are honored to have her. To celebrate her new gig, here are our ten favorite Ellie songs.

Exclusive: The Line Makes a Bid for the Art World

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theline1Having barely marked its six-month anniversary, The Line just got one step closer to offering a 360-degree curated life. Vanessa Traina Snow and Morgan Wendelborn’s immaculately edited concept shop has partnered with online database Artsy (which counts Larry Gagosian and John Elderfield among its advisers) to venture into the world of art dealing.

Beginning today, The Line will offer a selection of artworks by the likes of Jeffrey Hoone, Werner Bischof, Sandra Iliescu, and Lauren Seiden. In keeping with the brand’s pared-back approach to lifestyle, the initial collection will be just seventeen pieces. The impetus, as Wendelborn tells it, was an organic one: “We opened [brick-and-mortar counterpart] The Apartment by The Line with our favorite pieces from partners, friends, and family and were getting an overwhelming response from customers who wanted to purchase the works. We’ve always seen [the brand] as an experience our community and customers can engage with on their own terms, so offering art makes [it] that much more holistic.”

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Werner Bischof, Swiss Mountain Peaks, 1941, giclée print. Lauren Seiden, Raw Wrap 8, 2014, graphite on paper.

As to walking the often-perilous line between aesthetics and commercial viability, Wendelborn added, “We used our values, stylistic framework, and POV to incorporate the works into the space, so even though we are selling these pieces, it was very important for all of them to have a story, have meaning, and align with the aesthetic of The Apartment by The Line.”

All seventeen pieces will be available for purchase at theline.com and artsy.net, but for those who are just browsing, an installation of the pieces will be on display at The Apartment by The Line beginning today. The exclusive images debut here.

The Apartment by The Line, 76 Greene Street, 3rd Floor, New York City.

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Photo: Courtesy Artsy

Watch Sky Ferreira’s New Shoppable Video for “I Blame Myself”

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In case there was any doubt that the worlds of music and fashion are becoming increasingly intertwined, Sky Ferreira’s latest video offers more proof. Created by the online retailer SSENSE and System magazine, the visual clip for “I Blame Myself”—a slow-burning, diaristic pop standout from Ferreira’s debut album, Night Time, My Time—is a new breed of music video that allows viewers to shop the clothing worn by the artist. The first entry in this series was Iggy Azalea’s 2012 video for “I Think She Ready.” But while Azalea’s video featured somewhat distracting pop-up tags with links to items of clothing, SSENSE’s newest effort with Ferreira’s “I Blame Myself” is a smoother experience, directing viewers to a landing page where the clothing can be purchased.

Who better to be the champion of this new genre than Sky Ferreira? She’s a natural fit, considering she’s worked between the worlds of music and fashion as a singer and as a model for Saint Laurent, Forever 21, and Redken, among others. Fittingly, in the video she wears clothing from designers who often cite musicians as muses. Among them: Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, and, of course, Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane, who provided the bulk of her wardrobe, from the fashion house’s iconic metallic-dotted tights to a lips-emblazoned chiffon blouse which appeared on the runway for Spring 2014.

“It’s luxe, but it looks like anyone can wear it,” says Ferreira’s stylist Ian Bradley in a behind-the-scenes video, referencing a metallic Saint Laurent crop top.”[Sky's] willing to experiment and have fun with it,” Bradley adds. “No matter what she does, it always looks really cool. You want to be that girl.”

Paper Mag’s Kim Hastreiter Records a Rap Song to Celebrate Spring Cheer

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Every spring for the past ten years, Paper cofounder, editor, and publisher Kim Hastreiter devotes a page in the magazine to “reasons to be cheerful,” a roundup of zeitgeist moments from fashion and pop culture meant to provide a spring awakening after a long winter. The annual column is inspired by Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ 1979 song of the same name, and although Hastreiter thought herself witty for the throwback reference, it turns out that for the past decade the joke has been on her: “I asked everyone in the office if they got the reference, and all I got were blank stares. Everybody at Paper was born after 1979! Nobody knew what I was talking about!”

So for this year’s addition, Hastreiter went for something a younger generation might understand more easily: a rap. “Fashion can be so, so serious,” she told us. “I hate the fashion mentality ‘one day you’re in, one day you’re out.’ Fashion isn’t one thing. How can someone be a genius one season and not the next? I just wanted to squeeze in as many things as possible to make people smile.” And squeeze them in she did: Despite the unforeseen recording challenge of “just having to speak so quickly,” Hastreiter’s rap contains references to Jeremy Scott’s Moschino debut, Erykah Badu’s Givenchy campaign, and Chanel’s supermarket runway spectacular—all things that have certainly been making us smile lately.

Today, Style.com debuts the song and video from Paper‘s spring issue. Sadly, Hastreiter refused to comment if there would be more raps in her future. But who knows? “I love the power of the Internet. Anyone can do anything. Even I can make a rap song and put it out. The Internet gives power to the people.”