Girl crush of the moment finds us worshipping at the feet of emerging poplette Natalia Kills, whose album Perfection is currently on general release. She’s everything a hag could wish for in a pop star, and commands a hella glam bad girl presence. She has an attitude-heavy sound is matched perfectly with a vampish look. The video for Wonderland, a catchy bass-heavy electro-influenced track, sees her throwing a nightmarish dinner party wearing a bunny mask, before a masochistic tussle with riot police and execution by a man in a white suit and mask. Bizarre, yes, but fabulous. Signed to the same label as Gaga herself, she has certain parallels with the Mother of Pop in the realms of the surreal, yet she is entirely her own woman in sass and style. Unearthed by Pea Will.I.Am, they dueted on Free which sees hers explore wardrobe that’s both more typically sexy and out-there ecclectic than before. While the leotard and those strappy boots are pin up material, she slips efortlessly into high-waisted pants and bra or puff-sleeved blouse with a waterfall of a statement necklace. Will.I.Am isn’t our favourite artist; he has a slightly weird, try-hard vision (see the body-builder bits in Free) and makes predictable, low-quality pop. But what we love about Natalia is the exact opposite; though clearly a pop product, she’s believable, with genuine attitude and talent to back up her packaging. We even loved her when she was a record-label puppet as Verbalicious back in 2005, (should we be embarrassed or her?) but luckily she sacked that deal for the pressure to release predictable, cheesy rubbish. Will.I.Am, we reckon,can personally be accredited with the awful direction that Chezza’s album took, which only suggests further that Kills is a girl who stands up for herself. Or do we just want her wardrobe?
Category Archives: Cover Star
Kreayshawn is flava of the moment thanks to her current hit single “Gucci Gucci”. While name-checking some serious fashion labels, this tattooed, film school drop-out gives it up for street style and self-made chic. With a radical styling, all crop-tops, baggies plastic glasses and gigantic earrings, she cuts a cheeky, androgynous ghetto fabulous figure that’s matched with her fun and zesty lyrics. Once a weed-dealer, she raps about drugs and second hand clothes, and having shot music videos herself, knew the value in releasing Gucci Gucci on Youtube with a gnarly video that sees her swaggering around her hometown East Oakland and swigging from bottles at a Skins-esque party. Having only been performing for around 5 months, the video saw her land a record deal with Columbia and get nominated for an MTV VMA, where she also hosted the “Black Carpet”, interviewing slebs on fashion and pre-show nerves. Kreayshawn is definitely more rogue hit-maker than serious rap material, but has strong Girl Power credentials. Born Natassia Zolot to mother Elka Zolot, guitarist for the famous Bay Area garage-punk band the Trashwomen, she directed music videos for Lil B and formed the White Girl Mob with V-Nasty, her fellow female hip-hop hipster on the video. Most talked about lie from Gucci Gucci? “I got the swag / And it’ pumping out my ovaries”. Although she clearly doesn’t take herself too seriously, it would be a shame if this pint sized potty-mouth wasn’t anything more than a one-hit wonder.
This month’s posterboy has been bending gender rules all over fashion since his break at the menswear Paris Fashion Week in June last year, but recent scrapes with the media, including the Dossier Magazine controversy, make him a hero in our eyes. Landing runway spots for Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons, John Galliano and Paul Smith, he this year starred in womenswear shows as well as the boys’ version thanks to his size zero frame, high cheekbones and full lips. 2011 also saw Andrej Pejic being voted 98th Sexiest Woman in the World by readers of lad’s mag FHM, yet backlash against him from the magazine itself opened a Pandora’s box of complex and damaging attitudes . In an article withdrawing Pejic from the list, FHM made out that he had somehow maliciously decieved voters, and scoffed at his dreams to walk for Victoria’s Secret: “pass the sick bucket”. The article was spiteful and barbaric. Not only deeply intolerant of the transgender identity and a gross insult to Pejic himself, it denies (rather hysterically) the possibility that male readers would fancy Pejic knowing he was a man. Luckily, FHM had clearly fucked up and the article was swiftly wiped from the website; find a print-screen below.
Most worryingly, it shows just how much male sexuality of the testosterone and tits-gawking variety is in fact media-controlled. Only in instances like this, when the cracks show, do we ask ourselves how homophobic and misogynist are real men versus the blueprint set out for them by tacky magazines such as these? Heterosexual men deserve better representation than the press give them as it’s the lad’s mag culture that validates sexist and homophobic behaviour. Andrej Pejic is beautiful and shows there isn’t one mould of how to live your life; he doesn’t just play with androgyny like our icons Agyness Deyn or Freja Beha Erichsen, he almost escapes definition altogether, inhabiting a space between man and woman. The Serbian Australian was not even sure his agent knew he was a dude when he was spotted at 17 while working in McDonald’s as he had been playing with his gender identity from the age of fourteen. Yet clearly, this kind of gender0guessing beauty should be celebrated, along with the sheer balls it takes to resist mainstream stereotyping. As, apparently, he tweeted on the announcement, “only 98?”. Continue reading
Emma Watson never used to be a style icon of ours. As child-star turned multi-millionaire, her gross income left us cold. Surely anyone with that amount of dollar can look a star without much thought nor talent, with stylists on hand. Yet since her graduation from Hogwarts, she’s proving a feisty contender. Her appearances both on an off the red carpet have shown someone with a true eye for style. Of course, here at Gender Bending HQ, we love the boyishly pretty haircut most of her recent style headway, which shows off her fine features and doe-like eyes. This is style over sexy, fashion over fear. With it, she cuts a stunning figure against the other A-listers who opt for luscious, buoyant locks (Cheryl Cole, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé spring to mind). No, this is keeping it cool and quirky.
A big bug-bear of ours was that Watson was always way too pretty to play Hermione Granger, who in the novel, boasts brilliant intelligence but also buck-teeth and wild frizzy hair. Hollywood can’t represent ugly women because they’re a bunch of moronic, profiteering chauvinists. However, even the pretty ones aren’t left unscathed. The Chop is a genuine move for autonomy. “For nine years, I was contractually obliged not to cut my hair”, she told Vogue. “All the things normal girls do, I couldn’t. So when I got the chance to change my appearance, this is what I did.” It’s no coincidence Britney shaved her head in a mad act trying to jump the relentless treadmill of “sexy” global product. Hair is a fundamental personal and physical representation of femininity, and both women had to submit their’s to corporate control. She also “begged” bosses to arrange filming around her university schedule; though she’s dropped out of Brown’s, she has no plans to stop studying. Fighting for your right to style and academic development? Gotta give it to her.
In February 2010, the fashion industry was shaken by the sudden and dramatic suicide of Lee Alexander McQueen, whose inspiring work put him leagues ahead of his contemporaries. As the documentary McQueen and I shows, McQueen was theatrical and visionary, putting on shows of epic proportions. He seemed irreplaceable, yet Sarah Burton stepped immediately into his shoes to steer the team through a grief-stricken time to complete the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection shown in March last year. Officially named his successor in May that year, she was perfect for the job; she had started as an intern and became head of womenswear design in 2000. She more than understood McQueen’s vision, having learned practically everything she knew under his leadership. Since, she’s done two breathtaking collections and is rumoured to be designing a certain Wedding Dress that would amount to a serious event in fashion history. Yet for all McQueen’s tortured talent, it’s Burton’s cool head that makes her such an inspiration. She never planned to carbon copy McQueen’s taste for exuberant shows: “in that way, I can’t try and pretend to be Lee.” Instead, she focused on what’s important – the clothes: “the creation of modern, beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee’s vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy”. Though on (republican) principle, we won’t be watching The Wedding, we’re allowing a bit of fuss for The Dress, and as a super-cool and fiercely talented young British female designer (and there aren’t enough of those, despite fashion’s largely female following) there can’t be a better choice than Burton.
Jessie J’s debut single “Do It Like A Dude” had us shakin’ our crotches for weeks – the theme of playing men at their own dirty game and the pounding beat was right up our street, and her funky V-neck one-pieces and Henry Holland for Pretty Polly suspender tights made for some truly wicked styling in the video. Get set 2011; this is the year for the Landaner to take over the pop scene, having already released Price Tag, a funky yet ethical follow-up single on the materialism hounding our modern world today with B.o.B. Her debut album Who You Are, from which this week’s release single of the same name comes, proves no less fabulous. She’s already landed herself a Critic’s Choice Brit Award and with that short sharp chop and fierce bling/punk/futuristic image, we’re definitley keeping our eyes on this new heir to power-pop.
June’s poster girl is late to the game, and we only have ourselves to blame. André Leon Talley, where have you been all my life?? I only caught up with Cycle 14 of America’s Next Top Model this week since the summer holidays have started and there’s time to be sucked into watching episodes back to back. The new judge is, in the words of Tyra, F.I.E.R.C.E. He’s replaced Miss Jay, runwaycoachanddivaextraordinaire, but in his spare time he’s the Contributing Editor at American Vogue and is consequentially one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry, making or breaking the careers of all kinds of starlets, designers and models and photog’s alike, all of which was caught on candid camera in the documentary The September Issue. He was the hot ticket who introduced MObama to Jason Wu and had us all swooning that we’ve finally a First Lady who knows fashion.
That said, he clearly has a sparkling sense of fun in joining fashion’s flagship in trash TV. On Tyra’s show we really love him for being just as crazy as the lady herself, uber-camp (watch here as he introduces a new word) but also his extrème sohistication; he constantly drops french phrases in now and again, and no wonder since he has a Masters in French from the prestigious Browns University. At the same time, he makes himself approachable to the point of being the big ole teddy bear on the panel, total constrast to megabitch Janice Dickenson, and often softens criticism with compliments, declaring in one radio interview his aim is to build the girls, not break them. André judges each photo with his own high fashion, artistic critical eye; kind but intelliegent? Yeah, make that the extact opposite to Janice.
Plus he’s just way too cool for school, might have once worked for Andy Warhol y’know, back in the day and his style is to die for – his gorgeous silky kimono-style robes are a dream and give him a royal air he plays up to so well, and the accesories are just wild. He has some fabulous necklaces with animal fangs on, wore a giant pirate hat and mask for Marc Jacobs’ holiday party and we loved the ANTM panel when he had a cane with him and gesticulated with it. Genius! Best of all is the Anna Wintour style wearing-sunglasses-indoors-and-at-night-all-at-once-even-when-trying-to-see-shit-like-shows. Can’t get more high fashion than that, baby. His biography ALT A Memoir is definitely on the summer reading list – way better way to waste away the days than watching Youtube videos back to back, we dare say….