Madonna Girl Gone Wild

Previously a pluralistic anthem, “Girls Gone Wild” now “Girl Gone Wild” has been officially released as a lyric video online.

A warm ombré of purples, magenta, and orange, are the canvas for Helvetica Neue Ultra Light, which fashionably diagrams the track’s lyrics and contagious beats. This one really makes one really itch for summer.

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Esca

ESCA

A star-studded line up of chefs behind the scene does not always mean a good meal. But at Esca, Mario Batali partners with Joe Bastianich and Dave Pasternack who The New York Times has dubbed, a “fish whisperer.” Inevitably, the result is a great example of upscale seafood rectitude.

It was here that I had my first taste of crudo, an Italian take on serving raw fish. Akin to ceviche, much of the fresh fish is seasoned with simple spices or citrus-based ingredients.

Reminiscent of conventional street seafood, the French Fries of the Sea (little silver fish rendered crisp) are a great starter to share.

Maccheroni Alla Chittara

Most notable is the Maccheroni Alla Chittara; a homemade guitar cut pasta with sea urchin, crab, and green onion. Comparable to caviar but rendered luxuriously by way of brine and olive oil, this dish is simple, hearty, and sophisticated.

Desserts are not a concession here. Putting any Starbucks’ frappuccino affogato style to shame, Esca’s Affogato Di Gelato is worth every caloric hike. Think vanilla gelato and mascarpone, doused with brawny shot of espresso.

Esca
402 W 43rd St

(between 9th Ave & 10th Ave) 
New York, NY 10036

Amanda Mair

Amanda Mair

Amanda Mair is hardly 17. But she is gap toothed, Swedish, and sounds like what you’d like to be hearing when seeing dust specs drifting in the sunlight.

This is what good pop music should be—catchy, with immaculate production, and formidable lyrics. While the music is written and produced for her, Mair, is spellbinding. Signed to the influentially Swedish Labrodor, she is one act to look out for. “Doubt” has undisputable Kate Bush nuances, yet it is uniquely creative.

Florrie

Florence Arnold

On a whim you’d equate Florrie’s sound with the short-lived Euro pop everybody gets into on occasion. On first listen you’ll realize the beats are quite infectious, presenting themselves as ingenious and unique. At that point you’re just waiting for some really bad English vocals to surface—perhaps heralding from an Eastern European nation, whose heart is set on finally winning the Eurovision contest, but Florrie doesn’t fit that kind of mould. She is vocally, lyrically, and musically, very accomplished. Her song, “Left too Late,” is a touching serving of electro pop, sound tracking a fashionably transient airport moment, or even a crotch rocket speeding on a motorway in Europe. A look into her abridged but impressive discography, alludes to the artist’s multi-faceted styles. “Call 911” has a compelling hook and the rap on the track is reminiscent of The Ting-Tings.

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A British bombshell, Florrie promotes her music mostly through social networking and a DIY style of music marketing. Unsigned, a lot of her material is available for free download on her website, and her partnership with Fred Falk, the French Based house producer just makes her cooler than any other songstress on the scene these days.

She admits to having a penchant for the Spice Girls, loves Ladureé macarons, and has used fashion as a propellant to advance her career. To promote her single “I Took a Little Something,” she worked with director Justin Wu and partnered with Dolce & Gabbana who furnished the video’s complete wardrobe. The results were stunning, both visually, and musically. Simultaneously riding the waves of fashion and music, Florrie, also known as Florence Arnold, is now the face of Nina Ricci’s L’Elixir perfume. For the advert, she covered Blondie’s “Sunday Girl.”

Yet behind all the opportunistic collaboration, which is funding her music project, Florrie most certainly isn’t, is a manufactured act. At the young age of 24, she has paid some notable music dues. Springing from an instrumental background, she played the drums for acts like Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue, and the Pet Shop boys.

Whether Florrie will get signed is a matter that is yet to be determined. Nonetheless, her current MO seems to work really well. Since the digitization of music and the readjustment record labels are undergoing, music acts across the world are coming up with different strategies to do things their own way. In Florrie’s case, the fact that she’s yet to be signed but continues to gain a lot of momentum, is part of what keeps her really interesting.

Pinterest

Pinterest Logo

As social media continues to be a part of daily life, we have become a generation that is now accustomed to the character limitations of Twitter and the short life span of a status update. Similarly, many of us have reconciled our Facebook privacy issues and the anxiety its Timeline feature has generated. In fact, as Facebook approaches its 10-year mark on cyberspace, it has truly become remarkable, how social media has already redefined the digital experience.

With curating being the buzz word of 2011, it continues to be a recurring theme this year. Moreover, one can’t help but note the latest social media platform, Pinterest.

Only last year, the virtual pin board seemed like a digital scrapbook, better reserved for soccer moms who turn to become more green and tech savvy. Yet over the past six months, the site has mushroomed with its number of users. Its unique social media purpose is asserting itself as a viable social media tool (Google+ is still trying to figure this one out). Particular areas of interest such as design, fashion, and food have manifested themselves in the most delicious and eye-catching forms. Who needs character limitations when a picture is a worth a thousand words?

For the many taste makers out there, and these days, lets face it, everybody thinks they are one, Pinterest is a curating tool. A lifestyle editor, the platform works by simply displaying or “pinning” a series of different images. It speaks of a lifestyle narrative that is much more dynamic than a single vintage photo taken via Instagram. As a designer I am ecstatic at the potential the site can serve for inspiration. I am always collecting screenshots of type treatments, colors, or graphics that capture my attention. I could share this with other designers and see what other people have put up as sources of inspiration themselves.

Finally, on the branding front, I couldn’t help but wonder how brands, businesses, and organizations will use Pinterest. I think we’ve definitely passed the stage where everyone felt pressured to be both on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, many brands have gotten a good grasp on the differences of each platform, and some have chosen to have a presence on one over the other.

For the big corporation or the artisanal-boutique start up, Pinterest offers an opportunity to present brand ethos. The beauty with the site is that it does not require much time to maintain. Unlike other platforms, Pinterest’s sharing component provides a longer life-span for any activity performed, percolating buzz across the network and ultimately the web.

Proposed Identity: UNRWA Film Competition

UNRWA Faris Habayeb 1

The keffiyeh provides protection from direct sun exposure and also shields the mouth and eye area from blowing dust and sand. Palestinian refugees are no strangers to the exposure of harsh environmental and metaphorical elements. The icons in the proposed UNRWA Film Competition identity are an abstract representation of the patterns found on the traditional textile. However, more importantly, they allude to youth and growth; all the while being captured by the lens of a recording camera.

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UNRWA Color Block Faris Habayeb

UNRWA DVD case Faris Habayeb

© 2012 Faris Habayeb