Shero of the Week: Annie Lennox

Annie

For her powerful voice.

For her bold lyrics and bold imagery.

For being a voice for the voiceless.

For this quote:

“There’s this youth culture […] it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting – women, especially – when they reach my age. We’ve got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we’ve got wrinkles, or whether we’ve put on weight or lost weight, or whether we’ve changed our hairstyle. I just find that so shallow.” ~Annie Lennox, turning 60.

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Music & Style :: Coco O. of Quadron

Danish duo Quadron, which consists of the lovely Coco O. and Robin Hannibal, are my current music obsession!

4082bc80aee7530b1fc75b69a0d7008aI listen to Simili Life at least 5 times a day and this new album (link to preview, below) is AMAZING!! I cannot WAIT to see them live! I mean, follow that link, listen and tell me you don’t want to feel that power in person?!?!

For my money, their new album, Avalanche, might be the best sophomore effort since D’Angelo’s Voodoo. I hope Coco and Robin continue to make absolutely beautiful, soulful, soul stirring music together!

As much as I appreciate Coco’s voice, her vintage inspired style is pretty fucking awesome, too!!

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Coco-O

Click below to hear a preview of Quadron’s latest masterpiece, Avalanche
via NY Times :: Press PlayAvalanche by Quadron via NY Times, Press Play

Carmen & Geoffrey

Yesterday, in my dance fever post, I included this photo of Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder.

I posted it, even though they were not dancing, because I knew that they are both dancers.

Their impact on that world is massive and eternal. More so than I even knew at the time. Truthfully, before I read about Carmen & Geoffrey the documentary on Shadow & Act, I had never heard of her and only thought of him as my beloved Punjab from Annie.

Well, cut to last night. With that dance post heavy on my mind. I needed something to watch while I (finally, after much procrastinating) ironed the kids clothes for the next day. I clicked over to Netflix and put on C&G because that gorgeous picture of them was still on my mind.

WHAT A FASCINATING STORY!!

I was riveted to the TV! I stayed up, waaay too late, because I simply could not wait until the next day to see the film in its entirety. There should be classes taught about these two. Seriously. The amount of work they’ve done, barriers they’ve broken and longevity they’ve maintained is truly astonishing. There are, to me anyway, parallels in their lives and those of another powerhouse couple: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. While Carmen and Geoffrey continue to enjoy a long and happy marriage, and Frida and Diego did not, their creativity, talent, drive and equal levels of success in their respective fields is quite similar.

Very few artists are appreciated and celebrated in their own lifetime like these four were. Carmen and Geoffrey have stacks and stacks of awards and accolades. They branched beyond dance and performed in film and theater productions. Geoffrey is an amazing gifted painter and director. Shows that he choreographed in the 60s and 70s are still performed. Carmen has taught throughout her life and at over eighty years old, she still dances and performs. Often.  Learning about these two should be required for all artists for their lives are a lesson in staying relevant and happy. Their loyalty and support of one another is rare, too. Geoffrey was still calling her his goddess and muse at nearly 50 years together. Carmen still a frequent subject of his paintings. She still performs work he choreographed, wearing a dress he created just for her.

If you have a Netflix subscription, consider watching this beautiful film about these two extraordinarily interesting people and the highlights of a life lived completely on their own terms.

Don’t Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

“Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)” is my favorite Noisettes song!! Though equally loved songs like “Never Forget You” and the hard rocking “Don’t Give Up” and “Scratch Your Name” might be more your flavor.

It’s musical inspiration week at the Sew Weekly. I was inspired by the beauty above, Shingai Shoniwa. I’ve already blogged about how much I love her style. A small part of me wanted to go for one of her more avant garde looks which might be comprised of headdresses, feathers, winged jumpsuits, hot pants, bustiers, glittering fringe and/or exaggerated hip & shoulder details complete with face paint and bare feet for maximum jumping, thrashing and cartwheeling ability. I could also go with one of her chic or casual looks with a trim sheath dress, short-shorts or high waist pants.

But then I saw the new Victory Patterns on Kristiann’s Pinboard (she is so freaking nice I want to buy TWO of every pattern in her shop!!) and I HAD to have ROXANNE!! I knew with a funky print and a teeny, trim skirt I could have my Shingai inspired look and wearability, too!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

These pics (and the one at the top) were taken in Fort Greene Park. I spent a huge part of my childhood playing, cooking out, sledding, snowball fighting, relay racing and more in this park! I’m standing in front of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument you can view a full shot of it here.

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The Facts
Fabric | A rayon blend (I have NO CLUE what it’s blended with) woven ($2.39 a yard) for the top, quilting cotton (free) for the contrast and a stretch rayon blend ($2.39 a yard) for the skirt. The rayon blends are from Fabric.com and the I got the quilting cotton at a BurdaStyle sewing club meetup.
Patterns | Victory Patterns, Roxanne and none for the skirt.
Year | Current! Very, very current! I bought the pattern the same day it was released. It was PERFECT for this challenge!
Notions | Thread and elastic (the skirt waistband).
Time to complete | Two hours or so for the top. I struggled with the collar a bit. This was due to my tendency towards sewing inconsistent seam allowances. I had to resew one collar piece so that they matched and then I was too stubborn (or tired, really) to follow the (very simple and clear) pleating directions. Don’t sew when tired, peeps. The skirt was dead simple, but it was try #3 for a bottom. Number one: pants cut with the stretch going the wrong way @^$*^@#@!! Number two: a black knit version of this skirt which didn’t look great with the blue. It worked out in the end.
First worn | To take my little daughter to swimming lessons. I hope I didn’t look like a Real Housewives wannabe with red lips on in a pool at 10am ;o)
Wear again? | Hell yes!! I LOOOOOVE tops like this! The skirt is a bit too snug so it rides up. It’s okay for wearing with long and loose tops like this, though.
Total price | About $20 including the cost of the pattern, which I will definitely, definitely use again (and again!). I mean, LOOK at the back!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

PARTAY IN THE BACK, BAM! You might not have noticed the modification I made (unintentionally, but it’s really perfect as I normally can’t tolerate high, closed necklines) so I will point it out to you.

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The slit should be at the back of the top on this version, not the front. Remember what I said about sewing while sleepy….Rather than get really peeved and throw the top down in defeat, I took Shingai’s advice. I didn’t let it upset my rhythm!!

Go baby, go baby, GO!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The pics were taken by my Missy, again. We snapped SO many, I had a hard time choosing, click here for more!!

EDITED TO ADD
When I look for completed versions of patterns I always wish the seamstress said more about sizing. Antoinette asked me about it in the comments. I answered there, but I’ll include my tidbits here, too:

I made the size 4 with no mods, except for the mistake with the neck opening, and I love the fit. I can’t really compare it to the Big 4 because I haven’t really sewn enough current patterns to be sure of my “regular” size.

My high bust measurement is 34 1/2, which is the listed bust for size 4 of this pattern. But the actual finished size of the top is closer to 42 inches (with the pleats relaxed) rather than the 50 listed in the pattern size.

I hope that helps someone!

Music & Style :: The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa

This absolutely gorgeous, fashionable and fierce woman below is lead singer and resident singing-upside-down badass Shingai Shoniwa of the British band, The Noisettes. I can’t even stand how amazing her personal style is. In editorials she is regal and often evocative of Grace Jones. And on the red carpet she is fearless and fun in a way that most can’t pull off.

On top of her beauty, style, outstanding natural hair and killer physique she has the most amazing singing voice I’ve heard in a very long time. She can rock out on guitar with the best of them and has legendary live performance status for her manic stage presence and, as I stated above, ability to sing (better than most stars standing still) while dangling upside down. They’re set to release a new album and I HOPE they tour the US and come to NYC. Check her out and please click the vids to hear a sampling of her talent.

Style & Music :: Yuna & Kimbra

I recently had the great fortune to become familiar with the work of these women. Along with beautiful, deep, soulful voices, both women are stunning and stylish in their different ways.

Yuna gives us an undeniable bohemian feel. Her colorful head coverings and her loose, covered up style is conservative without being in the least bit boring.

And Kimbra’s bold, often 50s inspired, looks are a feast for the eyes. She is at once sensual and slinky and quirky and cheerful.

Do yourself a massive favor and check out their work.

Source: youtube.com via Portia on Pinterest

 

Settle Down :: Cameo Lover

Source: yunamusic.com via Carlia on Pinterest

 

Deeper Conversation :: Decorate