outside lands!

This is weekend I had the ultimate pleasure of spending 3 beautiful sun shiny and clear skyed days in Golden Gate Park listening to some great live music and hanging out with good friends at the Outside Lands music festival here in SF. I swear, there’s nothing better on a summer weekend. Some of acts we saw: Ellie Goulding, Bob Schneider, OK Go, Muse, Black Keys, Sia, Erykah Badu, Josh Ritter, Major Lazer, Little Dragon, Beirut (pictured above, 2nd from bottom), and of course, my favorite, Arcade Fire (last picture above).

Now I’m busy spending the week catching up on sleep and doing my life errands- grocery shopping, laundry- all the while wishing I was back laying barefoot on a blanket on the grass at the park with friends, listening to some guitar strings and drum solos…

son of a gun


My jam du jour: I just can’t stop listening to Oh Land’s ‘Son of a Gun’. Apparently I currently have a thing for blonde euro singers (also see here). Oh Land (rel name: Nanna Øland Fabricius) is a Danish singer song-writer currently living an oh-so-hip life  in Brooklyn. She also happens to be meget (that’s danish for very) fashionable in a “Bjork meets David Bowie” kind of way. I mean, seriously, is there any other way? You’re officially cooler than me. Witness here.
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Happy Thursday, we’re over the hump and weekend’s in the foreseeable future!

xx, Tara

stern grove

one of the glorious things about this little foggy city san francisco is that there is always something going on to see and do, rain or shine. this past sunday i finally made it to stern grove, a little park tucked away in the southwest corner of the city above sf state and lake merced, off of 19th ave. every summer they put on free sunday music festivals in the amphitheatre hidden in the grove. my friend likened the location to being in fern gully for a day, a fern gully with hundreds of sf-ers sprawled out on blankets toting picnic baskets, and BYObeer and wine. it’s too bad the grove shields you from the sun, as i wished it was about 20 degrees warmer, but enjoyable and a perfect sunday activity with good friends, no less. if you live here in SF, or are visiting on a sunday, i think you should go! The SF ballet is performing in a couple weeks! (we saw the awesome afrocubism group, and unfortunately i just missed neko case and the dodos last sunday).

bright light



Recently I have become a little obsessed with Brit singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. I was lucky enough to get to hear to perform her own stuff (including the infectious ‘Lights‘) live at Coachella last month, but lately I have been discovering her vast array of beautiful and unique covers. I love the raw, endearing sweetness in her voice (along with her accent) that takes these songs to another place beyond the original version. Almost anyone can do a cover, but in my opinion it takes an exquisite voice and talent to make you love the cover just as much (or the same, in a different way) as the original, especially when she chooses to take on such already amazing songs and artists.

Here are some of my favorites, with links to listen, and also to download where I could find…

Ellie covers Bon Iver’s Wolves:  listen here, download here

Ellie covers Dolly Parton’s Jolene:  listen here

Ellie covers The Knife’s Heartbeats: listen here, download here

Ellie covers Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead (featuring Starship): listen here, download here

Ellie covers The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition: listen & download here

Ellie covers Mumford & Sons’ The Cave: listen here

Ellie covers Rihanna’s Only Girl: listen here, download here

last, but not least… the cover she sang for Wills & Kate, Elton John’s Your Song (endorsed by the Sir himself, and thus included on her album): listen & download here

 

*plus, isn’t she so adorable? I loved that at Coachella she handed out star shaped sunglasses. I may have a little girl crush on her!

c’mon and get happy


“I look forward to the day the paparazzi provokes me and I attack them.”  – Rachel Berry

Yay! It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and I am counting down the hours until I get to jump in the car and head North on a relaxing lake filled camping trip with some girlfriends. But before I leave I wanted to post a couple of pics of what I did/saw last night: Glee Live! Before you laugh, or make fun, or pass judgement, just know that it was about the funnest hour and a half of my life. Loved it. Singing, dancing, bad coordinated outfits, pyrotechnics and glitter confetti, Finn in a letterman jacket doing a lot of air drumming, Artie in a wheelchair (when said actor is not actually bound to chair, he’s a good sport), a little Katy Perry, a little Beyonce, a little ‘Friday’, a lot of cheesy classroom themed set props. I am pretty sure me and my three girlfriends were grinning from ear to ear the entire time. P.S. Lea Michele really is the second coming of Barbara Streisand, and I loved that we got to hear her sing ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade.’ Incredible. The whole thing would have been that much better with a cameo by Gwyneth, but I’ll settle for the Warblers doing ‘Teenage Dream’, most notably, Blaine Warbler. If you haven’t caught on to the campy greatness of Glee yet, then I highly suggest you add season 1 to your netflix cue. You’re really missing out on a good time.

cheers to you all and have a great long weekend!

xo, Tara

p.s. i wore this tee shirt as an homage to this great glee/lady gaga moment (which they performed live in those tee shirts)

tee: urban outfitters, jeans: gap, scarf: gap, headband: old BR belt, shoes: h&m

 

Cannes Film Festival Fashion

The Cannes Film Festival officially started Wednesday evening in the South of France, and the fashion has come out in full force. I always love seeing what the ladies wear at this annual week long plus (11 days this year) event as it is always the best of current couture.

The Festival’s Opening Ceremonies included the Gala Premiere of Woody Allen’s new movie, Midnight in Paris, starring Rachel McAdams, her boyfriend Michael Sheen and Owen Wilson. Rachel wore an amazing Marchesa embroidered lace sheer tulle gown right off the runway from the Fall 11 show. It has a sweeping tulle mermaid tail and train and capelet sleeves. Gorgeous. I love how she paired it with neutral nude makeup and soft blonde Old Hollywood side parted waves. She looks stunning.

 At the photocall for her movie on Wednesday afternoon, Rachel wore a white Maxime Simoens Couture dress with floral embellishments. She paired it with casual middle parted hair, pink lips and cheeks, and simple nude pumps. I think she looks so flawless for this occasion.  

 Earlier today in France, stepping out in her third fab look, Rachel wore an adorable gold Monique Lhuillier outfit – sequin embroidered bustier and raw silk trousers from the Spring 2011 RTW collection- to the premier of (official selection frontrunner) Sleeping Beauty

 

Also spotted at the Sleeping Beauty premiere…

Alexa Chung in Vintage Balenciaga

Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein (wow!)

**I just love her and Josh Jackson as a couple, they’re so darling

Sleeping Beauty star Emily Browning in a lace Valentino dress

and then there is Cannes Jury member Uma Thurman at the Opening Cermony in a show stopping white-hot feathered Versace gown from the Fall 2011 collection and Chopard jewels.

 

 …

Check out the trailer for Allen’s romantic comedy set in the City of Light Midnight in Paris here & Official Selection frontrunner Sleeping Beauty, described as a dark, subversive and dramatic retelling of the classic fairytale by Jane Campion of “The Piano”, here

coachella snapshots

this is the story of a san francisco girl and her friends who travelled to indio, california on a weekend in mid april to attend the coachella valley music festival. it all started with palm trees and ended with sunsets, and there were plenty of accessories and temporary tattoos in between.

 Highlights of the festival included Arcade Fire’s Saturday night show (Glowy Balls! If you haven’t seen the youtube footage of the glowy balls falling from the sky onto the crowd and creating a moving light show, you need to watch it here, and then watch the creation of here). I was lucky enough to be up close in the ball pit for the performance and am still in awe when I watch footage of what it looked like from farther away. The band had such an amazing energy – they were so happy to be there- and they really killed it. My other favorites were the great Mumford & Sons, Robyn’s dance party in the heat of the day, Ellie Goulding, Erykah Badu, Angus & Julia Stone (adorable, and she plays the trumpet!), Ratatat, Cold War Kids, Cut Copy & the enchanting The National. So much amazing music, such beautiful weather (not too hot), all around a glorious time. If you haven’t been to Coachella but have had an inkling to go, I highly recommend it. Plus, if you’re like me, you get to dance a little with Penn Badgley :-).  The temporary tattoos were courtesy of the H&M Conscious tent, which has been transformed into a lush and moist rainforest, a haven from the heat. They handed out tons of water and even had a vanity primping station, thanks H&M!

coachella bound

… 

This afternoon I’m heading south to Indio, California for Coachella.  I couldn’t be more excited: 95 degree weather, a Palm Springs house with a pool, sundresses and sandals, a beautiful green lawn to lounge on, excellent people watching, and of course, 3 days of amazing music. Pretty much heaven, and exactly what I need right now. Pictured above are all my weekend essentials: easy dresses and skirts, colorful tribal inspired accessories, plenty of sunscreen, fashionable shades, a wide-brim sun hat, gilded flat sandals and a water bottle.

These are the bands I am most excited about seeing:

Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, The Black Keys, The Tallest Man on Earth, Angus & Julia Stone, Empire of the Sun, Lauryn Hill, Jenny(Lewis) & Johnny, Nas & Damien Marley, Cut Copy, Two Door Cinema Club, Ratatat & Robyn

fun fun fun!

black swan

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  ~William Faulkner

I finally saw Black Swan and it kind of blew me away. I thought it was amazing. It’s not one of those feel good or make you laugh or watch all the time snuggled up on the couch with hot chocolate kind of movies, but it is one of those movies that leaves an imprint. It was one of those movies that kind of haunts you for awhile after you see it.  It is very disturbing at times but is really beautiful in its own way.

The  movie is described as a psychological thriller/film noir set in the demanding and disciplined world of ballet. The movie deals with a lot of heavy emotional themes: the pursuit of perfection and that perfection isn’t always going to cut it, mother/daughter competition/resentment, religious stigmata,  duality of black and white/ good and evil. One of the major themes in the story that I found myself identifying with as everything unfolded is the idea of the destructive nature of intense self-discipline – becoming your own worst enemy. Haven’t we all been there where the thoughts in your own head can simultaneously push you to be the best version of yourself and also way over the edge? The pursuit of perfection can back fire. This is what you see happening to Natalie Portman’s character, Nina as the movie progresses.

We will be seeing a lot if Natalie during award season this year, because she will surely be nominated for Best Actress (already has for a Golden Globe). The girl deserves it, she really brought it. Her ability to play -literally and figuratively here-the black and white swan so perfectly is amazing to watch on screen. She is what makes the movie so emotionally gripping and haunting.

And my vote for Best Supporting Actress (sorry Mila) goes to the costumes. The.costumes.were.amazing

In case you didn’t hear, the sisters of Rodarte (see features I have done on their work here and here) did all of the costumes for the Swan Lake ballet production in the movie (which is like no Swan Lake I’ve ever seen…) as well as two gorgeous gowns for Winona Ryder’s character (in black) and Natalie’s character (in white) for a Ball.  These two ladies had to design and construct tutus – not an easy task. I love what they did. Tulle, feathers and jewels, oh my! The white swan is all soft and pretty – the tutu skirt was covered in angora fur and the swan feathers are clean and fluffy and perfectly white. The black swan costume is more harsh – netting coming out everywhere and spiky black feathers. The topper on the costume is a tiara crown made with burnt copper metal pieces shaped into talons and stalagtites. The visual look of these incredibly constructed tutus and headpieces really added to the beauty and visual nature of the film. The costumes with their level of thematic detail and construction took the movie to another level in my mind. They were literally a supporting cast.

On a side note: Can we also talk about Winona Ryder in this movie? Wow. She’s in it for about 3 scenes but her character single-handedly creates a presence and tone in the movie that sets the stage for all of the drama. She’s totally great.

Screen shots of the Rodarte costumes below. I love that the Mulleavy sisters shared their initital sketches of the costumes in the online world. Beautiful work.

If you can handle intense movies and appreciate beautiful costumes or just the world of ballet, I highly recommend this movie. ♥

Kate Mulleavy’s sketches of the key costumes

 

  

  

  

  

life after love

I am interrupting this week’s planned programming to have a moment with Cher.

I will admit it here. I have alway had a thing for Cher, like a big thing. I mean, the woman is effing fabulous, always has been, always will be. I grew up a Cher lover (I know, right, as if I’m a gay male). My favorite movie growing up (aside from Troop Beverly Hills) was Mermaids  (yes also starring a young Winona Rider and an even younger Christina Ricci and that boy who played Jake Ryan in 16 Candles), and that Halloween costume I wore this year was actually partially inspired by the New Year’s Eve mermaid costume Cher wears in the movie.

So, you can imagine my thrill to see Cher back on the big screen in the Burlesque movie (which I have yet to see) and also, delivered to my door on the cover of the December issue  of Vanity Fair magazine.

I read the article a couple of days ago and learned a lot about Ms. Cher. I actually never knew her whole God-Given name (Cherilyn Sarkisian, although no matter) or much about her tumultuous relationship with Sonny Bono, or the fact that she has had a number one single in every single one of the past FIVE decades. All interesting stuff. However, I was mesmerized by the vintage photographs included in the article of her holiness and was prompted to google her to find more vintage fabulousness. I mean this chick is pretty amazing. She was Lady Gaga long before Lady Gaga was even born. All hail lady Cher.

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