Tag Archives: Maryland Fashion Blog

Musically Chic: Robert McFreshington of FREEState Workshop

30 Jul

When I have the time to enjoy live music (of course, I had more time to do this during my college years), I am always on the search for the next group of musicians to feature for my annual “Musically Chic” series.  I admit I have been wanting to feature Robert McFreshington and his crew that makes up FREEstate Workshop for a few years now. 

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FINALLY . .. the interview is here with a man some call Fresh or Fresh Competition! The British born EMCee began his journey with the Maryland music scene back in 2006. It was in October 2009 that he established FREEstate Workshop, an audio, video production, promotion and clothing line company all wrapped into one.  Just this year, FREEstate broke one million views on Youtube. Besides being the mastermind behind a company that supports local music, he’s gets killer style points in my book. 

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Think FREE, speak FREE, live FREE.

How did you know you wanted to be a musician?

“Music has been my savior since I found out about the holy trinity of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding,” McFreshington said. In my youth I was a chorus and played woodwinds throughout school. I started writing poetry at the age of 10 years old, this was my outlet, my escape and yet also the way I faced and dealt with my problems.

As Hip Hop grew through the 80’s and 90’s I began freestyling (real freestyling, not reciting written lyrics and calling it freestyling) for fun around the neighborhood. I grew up in Brooklyn Park, city zip code but considered Northern Anne Arundel County. I still have a tough time calling myself a rapper, more a poet who happens to rap… an emcee, master of ceremonies, commander of the stage.”

 

What do you remember about your first live performance?

“My first live performance was at Denafest,”  McFreshington said. Denafest is an annual benefit concert started by Aaron Hooper of the band Pasadena. This event still continues, this year it is the last weekend in August. I wore a black blazer, fitted cap low and rocked the stage in front of a crowd that had no clue who I was. MacG (John McGowan) one of my producers, rocked the electric guitar wearing the Burger King Mask. I remember pondering the thought “How many times I was going to mess up.”

The answer was 3, we videoed it to learn and grow as artists. One thing I did learn is it is not a good idea to smoke a blunt to the dome before you go on stage to perform a hip hop set. It is very faced paced, trying to fit as many songs as you can in a 25 minute window and cotton mouth can be a major difficulty.”

What do you love about performing? 

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Musically Chic: Carousel Rogues

23 Jul

Get to know Carousel Rogues!

They were formed in 2006 with singer/songwriter Caitlin Nethery, Zach Anslemo and a few friends.  Actually, I learned more about this awesome local band from last year’s featured Musically Chic artist, Matt Hutchison

Luckily, I was able to get in touch with lead vocalist/guitarist, Caitlin Nethery to talk girly fashion stuff and of course, music! 

“I love writing and playing music, and making art that goes along with it,” Nethery said.  I write garage rock-pop, but I also sing in a funk band and play with an early music ensemble (mostly 16th century music).  I teach piano and song-writing, and I truly enjoy my job most days.”

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How did you know you wanted to be a musician?

“As a little girl, most of my play time was spent picking out tunes on the piano or drawing, ” Nethery said. My favorite toys were my suitcase record players and my mom’s discarded 45s.  On car rides, I would listen to my mom sing harmony with music of the 50s and 60s and it wasn’t long before I was singing with her.  I guess you could say I was just “born that way,” but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I couldn’t imagine studying anything else for 4 years in college, or doing as a vocation.”

 

What do you remember about your first live performance as a solo artist?

“My first live performance with Carousel Rogues was at a little coffee shop called The Mudd Puddle in downtown Frederick, Maryland,” Nethery said.  Our gear was mostly terrible, and I stared at my left hand the entire time while I played guitar, ha!  For a long time, I’ve struggled with feeling bad about drawing attention to myself, so the live thing can be really tough for me.  I’ve had to learn to be okay with the fact that I’m naturally a little bit shy and passive aggressive, both on and offstage.  I also really enjoy performing when I’m in the right frame of mind.”

 

What’s the best part of performing live?

“I love that when I play live, I am getting the chance to say something important in person, as it were,” Nethery said. The older I get, the more I just want to write about important things.  I want to carefully consider who my song is for as I write it, and while I play it on stage.  Those kinds of things deserve to be communicated in person I think.  I really like getting the chance to share a little bit of the stories behind the songs as well, if it’s the right crowd.  You never know when someone is really going to relate to your music and your story. “

 

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Describe your personal style in five words or less.

“Neo-Victorian meets tough and tender,” Nethery said.  I love high frilly collars on blouses and dresses because I love anything Victorian era!  I love pastels and soft dresses, but I also love pieces that have structure and more aggression.  I have a spike bracelet that I wear almost everyday–it looks so tough; I love it!  Sometimes I’ll pair it with a sweet little dress for the juxtaposition, and I think it reflects my personality.  The guys are both lower maintanance.  Dan is usually in a vintage tee shirt and hoody, though he wears a tie at shows a lot.  Zach is like a hipster grandpa!  He can honestly wear anything.”


     

Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“My stage style is the same as my personal style, but it’s stepped up a little,” Nethery said.  I’ll spend more time on my hair, make-up, accessories and overall look for a show.  This is important to me because I think that visual art just helps to further express whatever the music is communicating.  As an artist, what I want to communicate stays pretty consistent, whatever the medium. “

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Anything else you want to share?

“Whenever I am demoing a new song, I use whatever is handy,” Nethery said.  Sometimes my percussion is high-heeled stomps and hand claps; sometimes it’s a broken toy tambourine.  On our new record, there is a song that has growly guitars and lots of swagger, then abruptly shifts to early instruments in the chorus, which is about as acoustic as you can get.  It’s like Weezer crashing the renaissance festival.  The pallet for each song ends up being pretty eclectic, and the way I go about fashion is very similar.  I’ll use whatever is handy.  A nice ribbon becomes a choker.  
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I learned to do so many things– drawing, song writing, singing– by listening and imitating.  In a similar vein, I would LOVE to write a song for the credits of a Disney film and also do voice-over work for a Disney film.
Zach (husband and guitars for Carousel Rogues) and I live in a 108 year-old house in Brunswick, Maryland.  We recorded most of our first record here, and I also run a song shop out of it.  People can commission an original song from me and I will write, produce and record it for them.

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CAROUSEL ROGUES PLANS FOR SUMMER 2014 “Well we have been sitting on our second record for months, and we can’t wait to release it.  Hopefully that will happen this summer.  We are also working toward moving to Nashville.”

 

 

Check out CAROUSEL ROGUES here:  FACEBOOK  WEBSITE

Musically Chic: Frenamie

23 Jul

Do you know about Frenamie?

They have been featured in  DC Nation’s Battle of the Bands, Shockwave Magazines Band of the Month and featured in the WBAL Baltimore’s Top 40 Bands.

Ms. Charm had a chance to catch up with their lead guitarist, Nick Taylor,  to talk about his unforgettable style and his love for his band. 

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If you had to describe your personal style in five words or less, what words would you pick?

“Jocular opulent old school mess,” Taylor said. 

Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“My stage style is basically how I dress cause why tone down the debauchery, I’m comfortable this way so there it is,” Taylor said. 

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What’s the best part of performing live?

“I love when I’m playing live,” Taylor said. The feedback I get from the crowd and playing with whomever it may be, I just love playing. Its so much fun!”

     

What are your plans for the summer 2014, well music wise?

“In 2014,hopefully we will put together some new tunes and possibly an album, we are always striving to create some funky rock stuff to get the butts moving,” Taylor said.”

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Anything else you want to share? It can be random.

“I would like to say that Abby Kase the front woman of frenamie is going to marry me on September 27th of this year and that all of you should pray for my poor unfortunate soul,” Taylor said. Just kidding sugar!!”

 

Check out more about Frenamie here:

Facebook

 

 

Check out Matt Hunichson here:  FACEBOOK TWITTER WEBSITE

Boulevard of Chic II on August 9th & BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

9 Jul

Boulevard of Chic (BOC) II is Baltimore’s only fashion truck rally and shopping event is coming back on August 9 from 12-7 at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor! Get ready for a bigger, better, and a more exciting event!

Guess what?!  

Ms. Charm is taking the runway and will be giving you an exclusive behind the scenes coverage of this event! 

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BOC is about more than shopping; it’s a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit that has created a national trend in mobile retail. Our mission is to bring savvy entrepreneurs and artists together with fashion-forward consumers to promote the “Shop Local” trend. Experience a variety of mobile boutiques, fashion retailers, food, beauty products and services. Make it a day with the girls, get your shop on and support local businesses.

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Musically Chic: Shelby Blondell

2 Jul

 Who is Shelby Blondell? 

She is young musician singer, songwriter, and performer from Linthicum,MD. For the past two years, she have been taking on her career to the next level promoting herself as a performer, singer and songwriter. She has had amazing opportunities to play with Howie Day, Aaron Carter, Ginny Blackmore, He Is We, The Scene Aesthetic, Plug in Stereo, Carter Hulsey, 2AM CLUB, Tiffiany Alvord, Sonia Leigh, Alex Goot and Luke Conard.

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“But to me music is more then a note, chord or melody,or who I’ve played with; it is a feeling,” Blondell said. 

What do you remember about your first live performance ?

“Growing up I always did things like the talent show,” Blondell said.  It was just over 3 years ago when I decided I wanted to take music to the next level. My first show was at Recher Theatre. I had spent so many nights there watching other bands and now I had the opportunity to stand on the same stage. I was in my senior year of High School; I remember all of my friends and family coming out and even some teachers. I was so nervous backstage; no one had really heard my original music before. I remember the walk onstage and how the nerves suddenly left once I picked up my guitar.”

 

 

What’s the best part of performing live?

“The best part of playing live is being able to connect to an audience, Blondell said. For me,  my music explains an emotion. My hope is that through a line or a word there is a part of a song that an audience member can connect with even if it is just because they find it catchy. When I play live the best feeling is seeing someone in the audience smile, dance or sing along. It the greatest pat on the back! It makes me feel like my hard work is paying off. ”

 

What musical artists are you inspired by? 

“I am influenced by all kinds of music,” Blondell said.  Through my music the biggest ones that shine through would be Sara Bareiles, Gavin Degraw, One Republic, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

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Describe your personal style in five words or less.

“Live,Laugh,Love,Dream,Believe, Blondell said. These five words are actually a statement that I use frequently when I perform or describe myself. I think we should all live to the fullest, laugh whenever we can and always love ourselves and one another. We should all chase our dreams and as long as you believe anything is possible.

 

Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“I’d say my style is the same,” Blondell said. I always try to be the same cheerful and upbeat girl. Although I’ll admit when offstage I tend to be more shy at first. ”

What do you look for when picking out a stage outfit?

“When picking a stage outfit I first take into consideration the venue and event,” Blondell said. For instance when I played at the Meyerhof my Baltimore Soundstage outfits were a no go! I like to make sure that my stage outfits still represent myself but they are a little more upscale then what I would ware on a normal day. ”

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Shelby Blondell PLANS FOR SUMMER 2014
“Summer 2014 will be filled with NEW MUSIC,” Blondell said.  I have a new EP that will be released as well as a lot of surprises at upcoming shows!”

 

Check out Shelby Blondell here: 

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
WEBSITE

Musically Chic: Cecilia Grace

25 Jun

Get to know Cecilia Grace! 

Sisters Cecilia 19 and Tessa, 15 are Cecilia Grace. They arrange and write their ow songs. Lead singer, Cecilia Grace was even Fox 45’s and Z104.3’s 2012 Baltimore Idol winner. They perform all around Maryland, Florida, Boston, and Nashville as a duo. 

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What do you remember about your first live performance?

“I remember my first open mic about 5 years ago,” Grace said. I played with my older brother at a small cafe in my town and we sang some of our favorite covers.”

What musical artists are you inspired by?

“We love Maroon 5, P!nk, The Civil Wars, Taylor Swift, and many others,” Grace said.

 

Describe your personal style in five words or less.

Fresh, different, easy-going, fun, and bold

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Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“Not really,” Grace said. When I am going to perform, I put a little more effort into my look (hair, makeup, accessories, etc). But in general, I still have the same style.”

What do you love about playing live?

I love that for just the few minutes that I’m on stage, I can connect with people,” Grace said. There’s something about looking into the eyes of people in the audience and feeling like we are sharing a story together.

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What do you look for when picking out a stage outfit?

I look for something that stands out; usually either on the edgier side or on the hippy side, ” Grace said. Anything with boots, lots of color, and bold lips!

 

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Anything else you want to share?

“We got the chance to open for Capital Cities at Loyolapalooza in April,” Grace said. It was such a fun experience. My whole band coordinated with maroon as our main color. We hope to do stuff like that again!”

 

Cecilia Grace PLANS FOR SUMMER 2014
“We’re planning to take a trip to Nashville to tour open mics, Cecilia Grace said. Also, we’re going to try to tour some places in DC.”

 VIEW performance schedule here. 

Check out Cecilia Grace here: 

FACEBOOK
WEBSITE

Musically Chic: Josephine Olivia of Blacksage

11 Jun

Who is Josephine Olivia?

She is a musician that performs Baltimore and in Annapolis in two major bands including Blacksage. Her original tunes are often described as creepy sexy lullaby jams from Baltimore. Peep her debut EP “Sixtape”. 

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What do you remember about your first live performance as a solo artist?

“I used to play music down by the docks in Annapolis Md with friends, but that was some years ago,” Olivia said.  I stopped playing for a couple years and about last year picked it up again but with more drive than before. I played my first show back at Two Boots in Baltimore- totally acoustic- I was mortified. My nerves are still pretty bad even though I play pretty frequently.

I remember thinking that I had 30 minutes to an hour worth of material, but by the time I actually got there and started playing, I realistically only had about 15 minutes…so I repeated the set again, got my free pizza and got out of there.  Haha. It’s really incredible thinking about that first show and thinking of how much work I have put in to all of it.”

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What musical artists are you inspired by?

  • Johnny Cash
  • Kurt Vile
  • Neil Young
  • Coco Rosie
  • Billie Holiday
  • Prince
  • dinosaur jr
  • Ariel Pink
  • Fleetwood mac

I have always loved Joni Mitchell like I said before my mom always played her albums. I remember listening to Dido and Jewel when I was growing up- and Nora Jones. I am inspired but Many different artists because I think each one in its unique way teaches me a little something about myself and that’s what music is about- connecting with people.

What’s the best part of performing live?

I love playing live because of how “in the now” it is,” Olivia said. I am never as spontaneous as I am when I perform. There’s almost something Zen about it- there is so much build up for me in the 30 minutes before I get on stage and once I am up there it’s almost out of body- like I’m not even there, but watching myself perform. I love connecting with people while performing.

I love being able to sing songs that I have written that are seriously intimate like windows into my life and to have people feel it and hear it and maybe even understand/ feel that same way too- it is a really special time for me.

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Describe your personal style in five words or less.

“To sum it up….I’m more of a casual friday person…but on monday,” Olivia said. I think my style ranges from a few different things….bohemian, vintage, casual, weird, witchy/occult…It’s hard for me to really sum it up because I think each day it kind of changes. “


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Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“I think most times I perform I like to dress up- each band I am in I kind of tweak my style to fit it- so for Blacksage I wear more witchy occult stuff, my solo acoustic I wear dresses mostly in black because that’s usually my go to, and for softeyes i wear very girly floral stuff a lot,” Olivia said. 

What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why? 

“I love my black bell sleeved romper because I think its sexy,  fun and witch, Olivia said. I love my kimono with lace and florals because dancing around is fun in it, and I really love my chiffon floral dress because Its sophisticated but still young and fun.”

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Anything else you want to share?

“If there is anything I can say from the last year that I have learned it’s that it is so important to do what you love and believe in,” Olivia said.  I am miserable when I am not playing music- I have found something that truly makes me happy. And if anyone can feel that way- they should never stop. Keep working hard no matter what. And celebrate the little victories even just internally. But make sure you pay credit where credit is due.”

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Josephine Olivia PLANS FOR SUMMER 2014
“Blacksage just put out our first EP, Sixtape through Friends Records, so we already have a bunch of shows booked,”  Josephine Olivia said. My solo music I have put somewhat on the back burner just because I have been so floored and excited about the other projects I am in. It’s also a lot easier to just pick up where I left off with that one as opposed to the other projects because a lot of other people are involved. Softeyes is in the process of recording our EP also to be released through Friends records. And expect a Josephine Olivia EP through Friends Records as well! It should all be out within the year.!”

Performance Schedule 

 

  • Blacksage playing May 24th (david lynch fest at windup space)
  • Josephine Olivia May 25th at Club k in baltimore
  • June 26th Windup blacksage
  • june 27th richmond
  • July 20th (Ratscape) Blacksage

 

Check out Josephine Olivia of Blacksage here: 

BLACKSAGE BAND SITE

BLACKSAGE FACEBOOK
SOLO ARTIST SITE 

Fashion Awards MD: Vote for Ms. Charm’s Chic in Fashion Blog Category! #FAMD

7 Jun

Ms. Charm’s Chic is on the official ballot for Fashion Awards MD 2014!

Vote here now until June 13:http://fashionawardsmd.com/?page_id=2094

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You can fill out one ballot per computer. (There are two voter’s ballots for each show. One computer/person may fill out each form, once only). 

Why should you vote for Ms. Charm‘s Chic? 

  • 1. My blog isn’t about me it’s about my hometown’s fashion scene. 
  • 2. From my blog to social media, I promote all things local fashion. 
  • 3. Most of my free time is often used to brainstorm the next new post or interviewing cool fashionistas around town 
  • 4. For almost five years (5 years in Feb 2015) my lovely blog has been my passion and has helped me get through very hard times in my life (from unemployment to figuring out what to do after college) 
  • 5. I love what I do and will blog for many many more years! 

I am so honored to be recognized by my hometown for the third  year and I am so thankful for my readers nominating for me!  

Introduction to Musically Chic Series 2014

4 Jun

Last year,  I introduced Ms. Charm’s Musically Chic Series!

 

It was so cool to get to know so many local musicians of different genres and share their style stories. If you missed “Musically Chic Series 2013“,  take a look  here: https://mscharmschic.wordpress.com/?s=musically+chic+&submit=Search

Musically Chic Graphic 2014

Again, I hope to inspire you to support Baltimore’s evolving music scene and to explore how fashionable local musicians can be!

Take a look back at the Musically Chic Class of 2013:

 

 

First installment begins next week!

 

Career Series : Caprece Jackson-Garrett of Bonneau Caprece LLC

28 May

 

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Ever wondered what it takes to be a professional fashion event planner? Well, meet Caprese Jackson-Garrett of Bonneau Caprece LLC. She is a Baltimore socialite (well, to me) that provides strategic marketing, PR, and event production services for events like Wear It Out Baltimore and The Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series.

 

 

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Mmmmmmm…I Love Baltimore! The Baltimore I live in, where every genre of the Fine Arts – Fashion, Music & Song, Film, Painting and Dance — is thriving underneath the surface of it’s finally dissipating surface image “Wire” and crime image. So I decided to DO what I CAN to lift Baltimore’s brilliant creative energy to the Light for it to be seen!

To provide much needed platform opportunities and exposure for Baltimore’s A-mazing industry-standard fashion community and performing artistes, Kellie Easton and I co-founded “Wear It Out Baltimore” http://www.wearitoutbaltimore.com in 2011. After the Civil War until the Great Depression, then once again after WWII until the late 60’s Riots. Today Baltimore is emerging once again as a centerpoint of the fashion industry, seemingly unbeknown to the politico and business community, with Fashion-related disciplines being taught in eight area learning institutions, I can think of at this moment – MICA, Baltimore School of the Arts, The Design School, Stevenson, BCCC, Morgan, Coppin, and City Neighbors School.

To bring attention to Baltimore’s historic and continuing legacy as a pulse point for the creation and evolution of Jazz, America’s Classic Music Standard –I established the “Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series “Jazz @ The Grand,” in July, 2013, which is evolving by leaps and bounds heading towards its 1st Anniversary. Why should visitors, conference goers, those in-town on business, and tourists in Baltimore end up going in Washington, D.C. when they want to hear Jazz in cosmopolitan ambience? Stir-It-Up! That’s what I Love to DO!

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Once upon a time I covered the Collections in Paris and Milan as a general interest-fashion journalist based in Paris, France for five years, modeling here and there! Not too long ago I was a press secretary at City Hall during the O’Malley Administration for the Council President, and I established the events department at The Living Classrooms’ Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park from scratch!

I wake up every morning, an “Empty Nester” UN-LEASHED on a mission to ‘stir up!’ as many platform opportunities as humanly possible for the incredible wealth and breadth of pure creative talent proliferating without pretense, especially on behalf of Baltimore’s emerging industry-standard fashion community and vast pool of outrageously gifted Jazz Musicians. I want the world to be inspired by the U-ber Artsy and totally Un-pretentious, Super Cool Baltimore I live in, Love and desire to share with the World!

P.S. My favorite color is Orange. My favorite restaurants are Tapas Teatro and Petite Louis. My favorite place to have a cocktail is at The Wit & Wisdom Bar @ The Four Seasons. I’m a Chronic Fashionista!

What inspired you to start your own business?

The economic implosion. Encounters with mean-spirited, unappreciative, insecure, standard work environments. The desire to ‘Flex’ on behalf of efforts that fuel my passion, interest me, and are worthy of my time, skill set, energy and considerable enthusiasm!

What did you do to prep for owning your own business?

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