MICA Fashion Star Spotlight: Aqeel Malcolm

28 Jun

The “Ms. Charm’s Chic tradition” continues with sharing the fashion story of recent MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art, graduate. Some alumni featured on Ms. Charm’s Chic include: Erin Sudeck, Jordan Matthews, Christy Chong and Skylar Wilson to name a few.

 

I am happy to add Aqeel Malcolm to this list.

 

“I’m fascinated by the link between fashion and identity,” Malcolm said.   There is a tremendous amount of history and culture embedded in textiles and fashion, and there have always been a relationship between fabric, clothing, and the human body.  Before I discovered my love for Fiber art, I use to be an Illustration major.  My first class as a freshman at MICA was Intro to Illustration, and while in that class I immediately knew illustration was not meant for me.  So I dropped the course and enrolled into Intro to Fiber instead and absolutely enjoyed it!  That’s when my interest in art pertaining to the body began.  I changed my major to Fiber with a studio concentration in Experimental Fashion.  Not only was I taught how to pattern and construct garments, but I learned other processes that have allowed me to create the type of work I make today.”

 

Photo by JohnSisk

Photo by John Sick

At MEDIUMRARE during MICA Fashion Week this year, Malcolm showcased a unforgettable collection that turned hair into a wearable garment. 

“Fringe, my collection from MEDIUMRARE, was inspired by the barbershop,” Malcolm said. I’ve began weaving fabric with hair one year before I created this line and I wanted to further explore the connection between hair and masculinity.  I used the barbershop as inspiration because it is a space created specifically for male grooming but it’s also a space for men to interact with each other.  Growing up, I’ve experienced a lack of intimacy between me and the men in my family and that is why I wanted to investigate how masculinity is construed today.  Hair comes in many textures and colors.  Whether kinky, curly, straight, or wavy, hair is a material many humans experience.  Hair acts as a metaphor for intimacy and connectivity.”

 

 

Photo by John Sisk

Photo by John Sisk

 How would you describe your experience within MICA’s Fibers program? 

“There’s no doubt that my experience within MICA’s Fiber Department was incredible,” Malcolm said. I’m going to miss the resources and tools that are available in the department, and at the school.  Also, It was fun seeing the many approaches, ideas, and styles from each artist in the community.  Many of my peers were so driven and each person had a clear vision for their work.  Everyone, both faculty and students, were supportive of each other.  I’ve made connections and friendships that I believe will last a lifetime.”

 

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

What has been your favorite class you have taken at MICA? Why? 

It’s difficult to chose only one!  Most of the courses I’ve taken at MICA have been very valuable.  During my freshman year I took Intro to Fiber with Valeska Populoh and that was when I realized I wanted to make work relating to identity.  In Intro to Fiber we were introduced to weaving, sewing, screen-printing, knitting, crocheting, basketry, dyeing, and more.  During my sophomore year, I took both Surface Resist Dyeing with Chrissy Day and Garment Design and Production with Melanie Lester in the fall semester.  I think these two classes were the most valuable for the kind of work I’m interested in making.  However, Woven Imagery with Mary Smull was perhaps my favorite class since weaving is my primary focus in my studio practice.  I enjoy building fabric from scratch and controlling every thread in the process.

 

 

How has your garment design skill evolve over the years? What was the first garment you made?  

“Considering that I’ve never sewn or designed garments before coming to MICA, I think my garment design and construction skills have improved tremendously during my years as a student,” Malcolm said.  The very first garment I made was a short-sleeve button-down men’s shirt.  I used silk organza, black felt, and lace fabric.  I screen printed barcodes onto a sheer silk organza material, so when the barcodes were scanned with a smartphone or scanner it would read “Masculinity.”  It’s uncommon to see shear, or revealing, fabrics such as lace and silk organza used in menswear.  I wanted to challenge our perception of what’s trendy, or acceptable, for a man to wear.  It was such a strange combination of fabric but I really believe this was the starting point for me as an artist and designer.  I’m definitely going to revisit it and try to push it even further.”

 

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

What are your plans for your future after you graduate from MICA? 

“I graduated from MICA on May 18,” Malcolm said. I will be interning at Kova Textiles in New York City this summer until August.  I’m continuing to experiment with weaving techniques on the loom while also building my portfolio.  Eventually, I’m going to apply to artist residencies and possibly go back to school for a MFA in Textiles, Fiber, or Material Studies in the future.  For now, I’m focusing on networking and finding other opportunities to showcase my work, and of course I’m looking for a job.  I plan to stay in Baltimore for at least another year before I venture off.”

Musically Chic: Hunter Hooligan

28 Jun

Who is Hunter Hooligan?

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Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I’m Hunter Hooligan and I am a singer and songwriter in Baltimore.  I am a passionate storyteller and my goal is to tell the story of our times within music.  I make what I like to call Post-Genre Pop— meaning that I pull from a lot of different influences to make my music.  I love jazz and blues, Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith, but also alternative electronica and top 40 pop, M.I.A. and Kesha.  When I’m working on my own music, I try to let each song tell me what it needs.

 

How did you know you wanted to be a musician? 

I could sing before I could talk.  So, from the very beginning of my life, music was very important to me.  It’s a huge part of my identity.

 

What do you remember about your first live performance?

I would sing at all of our family get togethers on holidays from a very early age.  Music was a centerpiece of who I have always been.

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What musical artists are you inspired by? 

The list is really too long to be comprehensive: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, the Shangri-Las, Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, The Velvet Underground, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Divine, Queen, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Cher, Madonna, David Bowie, B.I.G., Gil Scott Heron.  Just to name a few.  And any list of artists I am inspired by would be remiss without some contemporary people who inspire me: Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Kesha, Erykah Badu, M.I.A., Florence + the Machine, Junglepussy.  I really like people who are very self-created and yet so true to themselves.  I love artifice that expresses an inner truth that can’t quite be captured otherwise.  I also tend to just love female artists.  I think there is so much misogyny in the music industry and women in music are constantly discredited and undervalued, but I think women’s perspectives are so important.  I think women have always been doing incredibly interesting things with music.

 

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

Childish, expressive, improvised, adaptable, ever-changing.

 

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Who are some of your favorite Baltimore musicians? What do you love about the Baltimore fashion scene? 

I love DDm/Bond St. District, TT the Artist, Mighty Mark, Schwarz, Abdu Ali, Rye Rye, Beach House and Future Islands.  I love the diversity of the Baltimore fashion scene.  You have someone like DDm who might show out in some gem-studded Nikes and TT who’s hair might be blue one day and then blonde the next, or Abdu Ali who might be in a dress or an amazing head piece, or Beach House who has a very ethereal style.  There’s SO much happening here and people don’t even realize.  The fashion here is crazy and artists’ personal style here is so well developed, brave and individual.

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

Not really.  My stage clothes are interchangeable with my personal clothing.  But my personal clothing is quite performative sometimes as well.  It really just depends.  Style, clothing, fashion are all tools for me.  They help me express what I’m feeling in the moment.  I’ve performed in a very witchy, all-white, flowing kind of ensemble, I’ve performed in very structured suit jackets with epaulettes, I’ve performed in a white t-shirt and denim cut offs.  My personal presentation has very much to do with how I feel in the moment and not any steadfast allegiance to a personal style preference.

 

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What do you love about playing live? 

It’s a chance to meet new people and it’s a chance to bring the music to life.  I love working in the studio and I love the writing process, but when you are playing live, those songs take on a new life.  It’s very special.

 

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

Something that reflects how I feel, but also the sound of the music.  Right now I’ve been performing material from my acoustic EP, Proof of My Youth.  The sound of that music is very free and on-the-run.  It reminds me of the desert and the highway.  It has momentum to it, it has an urgency to it.  When I play, I wear things that help me get in that mindset— leather jackets that remind me of the highway, little tshirts I’ve gotten at gas stations, denim cut offs I like to wear in the summer because I would rather be naked, honestly.  I love jewelry.  Lots of fake gold.  But also silver and gemstones— lots of rings of turquoise or amethyst.  A friend gave me a silver Louis Vuitton lock pendant and I hung it on this cheap silver chain from a thrift store and I love that mashup.  I love taking expensive pieces and mixing it with cheap, tasteless pieces.  Why do we value some objects so highly over others?

 

What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why? 

There’s a suit jacket I love.  It’s a sleeveless, black velvet piece with matching silver epaulettes.  That’s a go to for me.  I love performing in that— it’s somewhat of a signature piece for me.  I have this chainmail scarf/headpiece that I love to wear when it feels right.  There is a leather jacket that my grandmother’s boyfriend gave to me, which he wore as a young motorcyclist in the 1980s, going across America.  It has pins and things all over it, emblems of the open road.  It has a lot of sentimental value and so I love wearing that.

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What are your plans for the summer 2015, well music wise? 

I recently just spent a week in the studio working on some new material to complete the EP I released digitally in November.  This summer I will be re-releasing it as a physical disc with five new songs.  I worked on those in the studio and finished them up, now this EP feels truly complete.  I naturally tend to favor longer collections (twenty track albums and that kind of thing) so a five track EP didn’t feel finished to me.  There are 10 songs now on the release, but I still consider it an EP and not an album.  That’s important to me.  This is not my debut album, but it is still an excellent introduction to who I am as a singer and songwriter.  These 10 songs say a lot about me as a person.

 

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

I’m working with quite a few new producers and I’m very excited about the direction my music is taking.  Things are really coming together and I urge everyone to stay tuned….

Check out Hunter Hooligan here: 

Hunter Hooligan Twitter

Hunter Hooligan FACEBOOK

Ms. Charm’s Adventure at Towson Town’s PANDORA Re-Grand Opening

21 Jun

Since I was a teenager (hey, I’m still in my 20s), I have been in love with the PANDORA brand. It’s a brand that captures moments in your life that you can carry on through generations.

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Hopefully, one day I will have a daughter that I can make a charm bracelet for and past down all of my PANDORA treasures. Let’s turn this around because I am starting to get highly emotionally just thinking of that.

When I arrived at Towson Town Center’s PANDORA, I was greeted by a familiar face (the lovely Heather) and she told me about their amazing new campaign #TheArtofYou as well as their summer collection.  I even took a photo by the jewelry tower that was filled with great gifts!

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Of course, I wanted to take a tour around to see all the new jewelry. Not to mention there was refreshments and delicious bites for all guests!

Okay, for a while I had been wondering . . .

WHAT IS MY RING SIZE?

Not that I’m getting engaged or married anytime soon. But, I think it’s important for any woman to know her ring size just in case there is a guy that likes you a lot in your life.  Anyway, I took some time to check out PANDORA summer collection of rings.

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My eyes were instantly drawn to: Shimmering Delicate Rose Ring, Clear CZ

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I went over to the front register in search of finding out the answer to my ring size question.

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It was answered . . . Ms. Charm wears a size 5 ring!

To the lucky guy that wants to give me a ring someday, well I will direct you to this post for hints.

After finding the most gorgeous ring, I started to think about my Mama and I figured why don’t I surprise her with something.  I found these beautiful post earrings.

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It was a fun shopping adventure as always!

*I’m happy to see that the North American headquarters are located in Downtown Baltimore! It’s so cool when a international fashion company makes it home in Charm City.  So, go and check out PANDORA newest pieces here: http://estore-us.pandora.net

Musically Chic: The Last Year

21 Jun

Who is Niki Barr of The Last Year

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First, let’s look back at how Niki Barr first became interested in pursing a musical career. When you have a house filled with family members playing instruments like the drums, bass, guitar and keys, you can’t help to be influenced. Add being introduced to vinyl and tapes of bands like REM, Depeche Mode and The Cars, there is no doubt that the desire of becoming a rock star would enter into your  mind.

“When I was in elementary school, my music teacher encouraged me to sing, Niki Barr said.  I think he realized I had a pretty good ear for pitch and singing.  I probably have him to thank the most for making me believe that music wasn’t just a passion of mine, but something I could actually be a part of making.  I tried a lot of different instruments from piano to clarinet to drums, and finally guitar.  The guitar made sense to me because I could play and sing at the same time and from the age of 15 and on, I started writing my own songs.”

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What do you remember about your first live performance?

“It was scary,” Niki Barr said. To this day, I still struggle with social anxiety.  I think all the performing I’ve done has helped me manage it better, but it’s there.  I played often on the weekends throughout high school, just me and my guitar.  I remember my first performances as a teenager were at local bars and coffee shops. I vividly remember the smelly, crusty house microphones and 5 to 7 people in smoke-filled bars.  Things used to race through my mind, like “what if I forget the lyrics?” and “what if my voice cracks?”.  To be honest, performing in front of 5 people is WAY more scary than 1,000s of people.”

What musical artists are you inspired by?

  • Hole
  • Garbage
  • Bjork
  • The Breeders
  • No Doubt
  • Alanis Morrisette
  • PJ Harvey
  • Poe

 

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What’s the best part of performing live?

“The audience, Niki Barr said. I like watching their faces light up when the big chorus hits.  I like the uncertaintly of knowing whether they’ll respond to things I say in between songs.  I’m sure it’s the same feeling broadway actors get on stage.  No one show is ever the same.  It’s exciting!  The studio is for organized chaos.  Our live show is just chaos.  Things break, someone gets hurt, someone gets pissed off that things are breaking.  It’s fun and scary all at the same time. “

 

Describe your personal style in five words or less.

On Stage: Pre-Loved (usually find my stuff at consignment or thrift stores), Spontaneous, Vibrant
Off Stage: Sophisticated Rock Chic


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

“It does a bit, Niki Barr said. My personality is much louder on stage and my style tends to match that.  I’ll wear a short skirt with leggings, colorful crop top, faux fur, and colorful makeup.  Off-stage, I actually don’t like wearing makeup at all.  I may use some concealer if I didn’t get enough sleep or some highlighting on my cheeks and eyes, but that’s about it.Some stage pieces do end up in my “casual” outfits.  For example, I have a white studded faux leather jacket that I love and wear it all the time.”

What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why? 

This is tough because I try not to repeat outfits as much as I can, even if it means changing out one piece.  Overall, I have my go-to items for comfort.  I don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions on stage and I don’t want to think about anything else, other than performing.  I always wear a pair of boots.  I have a really cool pair of silver metallic boots that I love.  They’re very flashy and cut through our often dark stage show.  I also like any top that’s low-cut.  I’ve got small boobs and I like the way low-cut tops look on me.  Otherwise, I like tops that show off my arms.  I work out a lot to keep myself sane and my arms show it.  I feel strong in tops that show off my arms.

 

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The Last Year PLANS FOR SUMMER 2015

We’re finally releasing our full-length record!!  Yeah!!  We have a bunch of tour dates coming soon, too.  We also started a video series called the “Living Room Sessions”, where we film and record our version of a cover song in our living room.  So far, we’ve done a song by Sneaker Pimps, The Cardigans, Fiona Apple, etc.  These are all on our YouTube Channel: tlyofficial.  Our next one will probably be a song by The Cars.  We also just started a Patreon page to help fund our Living Rooms Sessions and future music videos.  You can check it out at Patreon.com/TheLastYear

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Check out The Last Year here: 

The Last Year SITE

The Last Year FACEBOOK

 

 

 

Ms. Charm Adventure: Creative Impulse’s The Art Triology on June 13

14 Jun

I was beyond honored to be an official blogger for the Creative Impulse’s The Art Trilogy event. I was so happy that I could bring my Mama along to enjoy some dance, music and fashion. 

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With my custom Jordan Matthews outfit on, I sat front row to some excellent dance performances from The Creative Impulse dance members to dancers from Dunbar High School to a fierce dancer from my college alumni, Towson University.

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To view the whole Creative Impulse’s The Art Trilogy event, check out: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg8G_Bx8LZUjsxxnKuizQmMp4P3aXmPk2 or https://www.youtube.com/user/1pwilso

Here are some my highlights from the show below: 

  • T2 Boutique Fashion Showcase with Creative Impulse Competition Team
  • Brand Spotlight: New Vintage By Sam

 

 

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  • Brand Spotlight: Virt Ink

 

  • Brand Spotlight: Boho Chic Charms

 

  • Brand Spotlight: Shi. Styles

 

  • Creative Impulse Competition Team performing to “Glory”

 

  • Diana Ross, Towson University Alumni

 

  • Creative Impulse Dance Off

 

 

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To view the whole Creative Impulse’s The Art Trilogy event, check out: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg8G_Bx8LZUjsxxnKuizQmMp4P3aXmPk2 or https://www.youtube.com/user/1pwilso

Musically Chic: Adryelle

14 Jun

Who is Adryelle?

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Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am an electronic dreampop solo artist from Baltimore, MD. I use a loop pedal during my live performances. I also tour regularly around the area and surrounding cities.
How did you know you wanted to be a musician?
When I was little I would listen to alot of music in my mom’s car and I always liked to sing. I grew up in a very musical family as well and have always been surrounded by it. When I learned the guitar I started writing music. I wrote alot of poetry so I would put my poems to music. 
What do you remember about your first live performance?
I would play in church alot when I was in middle school, but my first live performance where I played original music was at an open mic in Baltimore and a few of my friends were with me. They had to push me up to the front to play my songs because I was so nervous. I just remember feeling so much better after my set was over, but I was also glad I did it because every show got easier and easier.
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What musical artists are you inspired by?
Alot of female artists like Bjork, Tori Amos, Patti Smith, and also Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie…. There are soooo many!
If you had to describe your personal style in five words or less, what words would you pick?
Hmmm, in five words: Bohemian, Eclectic, Grunge, Retro and Quirky
Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?
No, I pretty much dress the way I dress on stage as I do personally. I might wear more makeup on stage though :-).
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What do you love about playing live?
I love the energy and also connecting with people. 
What do you look for when picking out a stage outfit?
I look for something interesting but also something comfortable.
What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why?
Right now, a vintage 1970’s black dress and I also like to wear a plaid shirt, jeans and boots. Also, anything all black.
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What are your plans for the summer 2015 , well music wise?
Well, right now i’m in the process of writing another album so I have been trying to focus on that. I may have an album release by the summer, so keep an eye out!
Anything else you want to share? It can be random.
Everyone has a dream, find out what yours is and hold on to it, follow it and make it happen!

~ Adryelle

 

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Check out Adryelle here: 

Adryelle SITE

Adryelle FACEBOOK

Introduction to Musically Chic Series 2015

7 Jun

In 2013,   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 2014″,  take a look  here: https://mscharmschic.wordpress.com/?s=musically+chic+&submit=Search

 


Again, I hope to inspire you to support Baltimore’s evolving music scene and to explore how fashionable local musicians can be! Yes, there will still be fashion features and fashion event coverage on the blog. 

Take a look back at the Musically Chic Class of 2014:





First installment begins next week!

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