Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pharrell Williams – a true renaissance man

Pharrell is 41! Yes, I typed that right and you read it correctly, he is in his early 40 and was born in 1975, on April 5th)!!! Can you believe this guy? How dare he look so good and make me think he is almost a decade younger? It’s shameful really! He obviously made a pact with the Devil to never get old! 

That and  the fact he is amazing at everything he does: he sings, writes songs, he is a drummer, rapper, fashion designer, record producer and philanthropist. There's really no other logical explanation for all this Pharrell magic!


He has his hands in everything. Pharrell and childhood friend, Chad Hugo, represent The Neptunes record production team. He is also the vocalist and drummer of the hip hop and R&B band N.E.R.D (Nobody Ever Really Dies) with whom he released four albums. Chad Hugo and Shay Haley are the other members of N.E.R.D. In 2003 they were responsible for 20 percent of songs played in the U.K and 43 percent of those played in the U.S. Crazy right?  

Before The Neptunes, he was in a band called Surrounded by Idiots with Chad and fellow Virginia Beach native, now renowned producer Timbaland.
 
 
In 2005 he co funded The Billionaire Boys Club (amazing name!), Billionaire Girls Club clothing labels and the Ice Cream Footwear and T-shirt brand. His designs are sold in his own boutique in New York City. He designed for other companies like Topshop, Gap, Timberland, etc.

He is also a partner in Bionic Yarn, a textile firm from New York that develops environmentally friendly fabrics using recycled plastic bottles.

He owns a media venture that includes elements of entertainment, music, fashion and art called i am OTHER and in 2011 he launched his own You Tube channel ) as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative. On his i am OTHER dedicated website he says: "I serve and represent the OTHERS because I am one myself". The "others" are anyone who has ever felt different, noncompliant, hard to define and un-categorized.
He has his own record label named Star Trak. Can you tell he is a fan of Star Trek? If the name of his label doesn’t convince you, maybe the fact the he often uses the Vulcan salute will!

In 2008 he co-designed some jewelry and glasses for Louis Vuitton and worked on furniture with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin and Domeau & Pérès. 



But it all started with The Neptunes and the numerous hit songs that they created for various artists. He met Hugo in seventh grade on a summer band camp. I guess it was bromance at first sight: back then Pharrell played the keyboards and drums, while Hugo played saxophone and they were both members in marching bands. It was truly a pair made in geek heaven!

They were snatched by producer/songwriter Teddy Riley after they entered a high school talent show that was held near Riley’s recording studio and after graduating from high school they were signed by Riley.
You can blame The Neptunes for songs like Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" (after becoming a world-wide number one hit this song catapulted the group into the limelight), Nelly's "Hot in Here", Babyface’s "There She Goes, "Madonna`s "Hey You", Beyonce's version of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and Kelis first album - Kaleidoscope. He also worked on Justin Timberlake's hit album Justified and this are just a few of the many artists he collaborated with. 


And who can forget the feature that Pharrell made on Daft Punk's fourth album on songs like "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself to Dance". Let’s not forget about Pharrell’s collaboration with T.I. and Robin Thicke for the hit "Blurred Lines". “Both songs are for people who need a break. There's a lot of fucked-up travesty in the world. Sometimes you just need a Hallmark card. Sometimes you just need to shake your ass.” he confesses about writing these songs! This year has definitely been his year and the number one position that "Blurred Lines" held for weeks was only endangered by his other song "Get Lucky".


He is obviously one of the greatest artists and writers of this generation. He can deliver a song for every mood possible: from catchy songs, meaningful ones to dance all night kind of tunes. In his vision: “Music has been the skeleton key that's opened every door of every opportunity that I've had”. And along the way he ensured 17 top 10 hits, a No. 1 album and seven Grammy Awards.

He is also a philanthropist who built a $35 million after school center in his hometown, Virginia Beach. He also has a charity foundation called From One Hand To Another that helps youngsters between the ages of 7 and 20 from at risk communities.

 
As for his personal life, I’m sorry to report, girls, but this cutie pie is taken. He married his long-time girlfriend, model and designer Helen Lasichanh in 2013. They have a son together, Rocket Man Williams (the "Rocket's Theme" songs for Despicable Me were written in honor of his son). This guy has a thing for amazing names, doesn’t he? He is very private about his wife and child, even though he sometimes gushes about his son calling him his "greatest co-production".


Pharrell was voted the "Best Dressed Man in the World" in 2005 by Esquire. His sense of style is exquisite! I can honestly say that I have never seen a man who can pull off so well basically everything.
His unique outfits make him one of the most stylish men on the planet. He is so comfortable in his own skin and everything he wears and does exude that confidence: he got married in a tartan tux (while his wife to be wore a matching navy wedding dress), for God sakes! 


And jewelry never looked so good on a boy! He loves accessories a lot - he always accessorizes his outfits with long necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings or all of the above. He is particularly in love with a set of necklaces, you can see he is wearing them every chance he gets: the Chanel rosario type necklaces with green and white beads on a gold chain, they are indeed very pretty and work with almost everything.

He owns some fierce hats as you might have noticed: from bowler hats, to caps or even ranger hats, he wears them all! I mean who can’t forget the odd hat that he had on at the 56th Grammy Awards? After that countless GIFs, Twitter accounts and memes were made just because of that hat. Pharrell is possibly the only one that could pull of that hat, and by all accounts he did! 

At 41 he still looks like teenage ready to skate his way true Time Square. I guess that being a skateboarder himself and having a professional skateboarder as a brother (Cato Williams), as well as the fact that he built a half-pipe inside his home, is a true statement to why he loves this style.

His fashion choices are complex and fresh, he is not afraid to mix different styles and take dangerous risks that always seem to pay off. He is at his best when he wears his slick costumes paired with amazing accessories - a true style icon with an effortless and refined look. Pharrell knows how to shine in anything: from three piece costumes to a pair of shorts with socks.

Jewelry, crazy colors and prints, leather jackets, fur, funky hats and cool shoes and sunglasses, everything is allowed. You know that he is genuinely into fashion and that this side of his personality didn’t just come out as he got famous and got access to basically everything he wanted because he was sporting unique outfits, experimenting with different styles and pushing fashion boundaries since he first came into the game. 
He has fine tastes not only in clothes but also in cars: he drives a Ferrari Enzo and a Mercedes SLR McLaren. Pretty cool, right?

 
As hard as I tried, the only juicy news I could find about Pharrell was that he and Will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas were involved in a legal dispute over the phrase "I am other".

While Pharrell tried to trademark the name of his company I Am Other,  Will.i.am responded by suing him because he thought that people would confuse Pharrell`s company with his own I.Am.Symbolic.

Some nasty things were said, more from Will.i.am`s side who’s claiming that Pharrell has a history of not respecting intellectual property (bullshit if you ask me). As it happens, at the time of the trial, he was involved in another intellectual property lawsuits, namely the one he and Robin Thicke's had to face against the estate of Marvin Gaye be ( 'Blurred Lines' was called out for being too similar to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”). Will.i.am threw another low punch by referring to the name of Pharrell`s record label, Star Trak Entertainment for his obvious origins.

It seems though that they agreed to settle the battle. Pharrell later said this about the conflict: "I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions", and called the lawsuit ridiculous.


Great news for The Voice fans out there: it seems like Pharrell is set to take over a judge’s chair the next season! He will be joining Adam Levine and Blake Shelton and replacing Usher on the show (also Gwen Stefani will replace Shakira). I can’t wait to see him on The Voice. He is such a nice person and so talented - he is going to be a great addition to the show. 

Adam Levine sure seems excited to work alongside Pharrell, already saying that he can’t wait for Pharrell to join him ("He's so lovely - an unbelievable talent actually"), and has also warned him to "get ready for the rollercoaster". 

 
In 2014 Pharrell was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He was one of only three musicians who got included in the list, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus being the other two.

Who can ever forget his recent and extremely emotional interview with Oprah, when he was brought to tears after seeing video montages that fans of his Happy single made. He started to cry happy tears the moment he saw the home made clips, he was very touched seeing how many people were affected by his song. How can you not love that? He had to say this about his “breakdown”: "Why am I crying on Oprah … It's overwhelming because I love what I do and I just appreciate the fact that people have believed in me for so long that I could make it to this point - to feel that."

It’s hard to believe that this song wasn’t an instant success. When the song was first released on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2 in June 2013 people didn’t react to it in the same way they reacted when the track was released out as a single in November.

Pharrell himself admitted he has been overwhelmed by its success:”Zero airplay, nothing. And the next thing you know, we put out the video on November 21st. All of a sudden, boom! I mean, when I say 'boom', [I mean]…'boom'. And we were like, what's happening? Ok, first of all people are putting up their own videos. It was like, no longer my song."


And did you know that Happy was originally recorded by CeeLo? Unfortunately for CeeLo, his version was never released because it was voted out by his team. In Pharrell’s opinion CeeLoo`s version was even better than his: “He sounded amazing on it. I mean, he burns my version! But the... how do I say this diplomatically?... The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [Cee Lo's] album at the time ['Magic Moment' in 2012], so they elected not to do that song."

In other news Pharrell recently asked fans from all around the world to help him finish his new book called Inspiration. There is no word yet regarding the release date, but the book will be made available after fans have helped him fill in the gaps. The fans who help him will receive a credit in the final book once it is published. Some of the earnings from the sale of the book will go towards From One Hand to AnOTHER, Pharrell’s nonprofit charity founded to help at-risk youths in American communities. 

 Almost every artist that worked with him has only good words to say. Pharrell seems like a true charmer and a genuine nice person. You can even go as far as to say that he is the person that everyone wants to work with. He has made a name for himself in music, art and fashion and I’m sure he will continue to entertain with his many projects!

   Photos and gifs, : 1, 2, collages made by Sara

Has anybody make it till the end of this article? How do you feel about Pharrell?



Sunday, July 13, 2014

The green maxi dress

I rarely feel overdressed – when you’re a part time fashion blogger these lines get blurred and you start believing this is how everybody feels about clothes. You do have rare moments of lucidity, but they are short lived and far apart!:))))


So if you happened to see me in the subway last Sunday dressed in this maxi dress and wondered where I was going, well, there was no wedding or prom involved – I was just meeting someone and thought I should break my new Miss Grey dress and take some pictures too (cause that’s what I do). I told you I was excited to try it on a few articles ago so here I am. I wish it was just a few centimeters longer, but, hey, you can’t have it all.

I also tried something new with my hair – a super silk, long ponytail that felt strange but looked good with the outfit. Sara said the only reason it didn’t felt like myself was because I’m not a 70’s model (I am in my head so the joke’s on her).:))))

Looking back, it was a bit much, even for me, but there are so many dresses to wear and not enough time to do it! The dress is obviously great for a summer wedding with the lace detail at the front and the choice of fabric and it will eventually be used for one of those!:))) In the meantime, I’m happy to entertain the good people of Bucharest who ride the subway or just innocently stroll in downtown Bucharest.


Dupa cateva sfarsituri de saptamana ploioase, am avut in sfarsit ocazia sa fac cateva poze cu rochia verde semnata Miss Grey de care va ziceam aici. Este perfecta pentru o nunta de vara, dar eu n-am avut rabdare sa astept ocazia potrivita si am scos-o la plimbare oricum.

Nu stiu voi cum sunteti, dar eu mereu port sandale sau incaltari fara toc la rochiile lungi oricat de elegante ar fi - nu mi se pare ca merg cu ceva inalt in cazul meu. Ceea ce-mi place mult este ca rochia asta se misca - materialul este super fluid si din aceasta cauza o auzi fosnind delicat tot timpul - e ca si cum ai avea propriul fundal muzical.:))) Si eu am simtit mereu ca am nevoie de un soundtrack.

 I’m wearing:
green maxi dress/ rochie lunga verde - Miss Grey (here)
  flat sandals / sandale - New Yorker
  clutch, ring / geanta cutie, inel - random brand
  ponytail extensions / extensii -  Irresistible Me
 clutch / geanta - random brand
earrings /cercei - here
sunglasses /ochelari - here
 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Impresii de la Digital Divas 2014

This is a post about an event organized yearly here in Bucharest that celebrates the beauty and fashion blogosphere called Digital Divas. Since I don’t imagine many of my abroad readres were going to be interested in me detailing it, I wrote it in Romanian.

The red dress I was wearing that day is on of my favorite bodycon dresses. I’m a bit fixed on red lately because I think it goes well with my gosthly complexion!:)))) Do you agree or not so much? 

 

Nici nu stiam daca sa mai pun sau nu articolul, avand in vedere ca a trecut deja o luna si mai bine de la eveniment, dar cum era deja scris de saptamani intregi, am zis sa nu va privez de asemnenea scriitura de calitate.

Dupa experienta de anul trecut, când am participat la evenimentul Digital Divas pentru prima data, am fost tare curioasa să văd cum au evoluat lucrurile anul acesta și dacă chiar putem vorbi de o evolutie.

Adevărul este că după ediția trecută, mă așteptam la ceva mai mult feedback din partea persoanelor care au participat, oricum mult mai mult decât cele câteva articole pe care le-am citit pe câteva bloguri, mai ales dacă mă gandesc la numărul mare de participanți. Poate tocmai din această cauză organizatorii nu au învățat din greșelile trecute.  Anul acesta am observat insa ca s-a scris mai mult si sper ca asta sa conteze.

Locația evenimentului a fost Palatul Ghica, un loc tare frumos și numai bun pentru câteva sedinte foto. Nu ma judecați prea aspru - de cand am blogul am inceput să văd fiecare loc în care ajung ca fiind fie bun sau nu pentru fotografii. Sunt sigură că multe dintre voi simțiți la fel ca mine. Din pacate partea ce ține de organizare a avut câteva hibe majore. Înțeleg faptul că atunci când organizezi un eveniment nu poți cunoaște întotdeauna numărul exact al celor care chiar vor veni, dar cu siguranță ai in minte un număr de persoane care se apropie destul de mult de numărul real. Tocmai de aceea, nu pot să înțeleg de ce au existat persoane care au trebuit să stea în picioare pe durata evenimentului, mi se pare inacceptabil să mergi la un eveniment care ţine câteva ore bune şi să nu ai unde să stai. Eu m-am numărat printre norocoasele care au prins un loc pe scaune, dar vă spun sincer că nu aveam de gand să rămân dacă nu găseam un loc unde să mă aşez. Din celelalte puncte de vedere organizarea a fost ok: spațiul era frumos amenajat, detaliile precum cabina de selfies sau cupcakas-urile răspândite prin toată încăperea au fost grozave, scena bine amplasată și partea tehnică impecabilă.

Cand vine vorba de speakers, trebuie să vă mărturisesc că nu am fost impresionată. Nu sunt genul de persoană care să fie a hater by nature, încerc și sper să reușesc să nu îmi formez impresii nefondate şi nu îmi place să judec oamenii fără să îi cumosc. Am menționat aceste lucruri deoarece vreau să se înțeleagă clar că nu mi-a displăcut cineva în mod special, dar nici nu mi-a trezit cineva interesul – cu cateva mici excepții - și tocmai aici este problema.

Nu ştiu cum sunteţi voi, dar eu vreau să merg la evenimente care mă inspiră astfel încât să pot spune la sfârșit că am plecat de acolo cu ceva în plus.

Sa vorbim insa ce cele cateva excepții! Mi-a plăcut în mod special Andreea Badala de la Murmur, mi se pare un om cu capul pe umeri, care știe ce vorbește, are o perspectivă reală asupra lucrurilor, a muncit mult pentru ceea ce are și cunoaște și partea bună, dar și partea rea a realității. De ce spun asta? De fiecare daca când merg la un eveniment de acest gen, aud cel puțin trei speakeri care vorbesc ca și cum totul in viață este numai lapte și miere și nu există lucruri grele, obstacole, lupte cu tine sau cu situatiile in care esti pus și în acele momente simt cum nu pot să mă identific cu aceste persoane pentru ca nu par să traiască în acceași realitate cu mine. Sunt de acord că există enorm de multe lucruri minunate care trebuie apreciate, dar, în același timp, eu nu pot să privesc o persoană ca fiind autentica atunci când omite cu desăvârșire lucrurile dificile. 

Alina Gavrila Bortun a fost un alt speaker care mi-a plăcut - la început am fost puțin șocată de intrarea și abordarea ei, dar la sfârșitul discursului mi-am dat seama că nu mi-am privit niciodată telefonul sau nu am trimis nici-un mesaj de când și-a făcut ea apariția pe scenă. Și da, mă număr printre persoanele la care cred că se referea un anumit speaker atunci când ne-a atras atenția să lăsăm tehnologia in pace în timpul discursurilor și nu imi este ruşine să recunosc asta. Dacă un discurs nu este suficient de interesant, astfel  încât să îmi atragă atenția de la celelelte surse de interes, nu este vina mea. Sunt sigură că vă amintiți cu toţii orele interminabile de la școală atunci când erați forțați să ascultați un profesor plictisitor şi sunt sigura ca daca Facebookul sau Instagramul existau pe vremea aceea, ați fi făcut la fel ca mine și ați fi evadat in virtual.:)

Lucy de Boer, care a fost invitatul special, a fost o altă surpriza plăcută, mi s-a părut o persoană rațională, cu picioarele pe pământ si foarte draguta. 


Unul dintre motivele pentru care m-am cam plictisit în timpul discursurilor a fost şi faptul că aproape toată lumea a discutat până la epuizare despre personal branding. Şi aproape toată lumea a avut acelaşi lucru de spus. 

Admir orice persoană care are curajul să urce pe o scenă în faţa unui public numeros şi să ţină orice fel de cuvântare. Personal sunt înspăimântată de public speaking şi cred că majoritatea coşmarurilor mele implică într-un fel sau altul o cuvântare publică. Asta-i motivul pt care ma gandesc de doua ori inainte sa fiu răutăcioasă, sunt convinsă ca toţi cei prezenţi cunosc foarte bine lucrurile despre care au vorbit şi a fost vorba mai mult de o incompabilitate în ce mă priveşte. 

Un alt lucru care mi-a atras atenţia a fost faptul că foartă multă lume vorbeste de o adevarată echipă atunci când îşi descrie activitatea de pe blog. Deşi acesta este un lucru demn de admirat, din punctul meu de vedere vorbim aici de un alt nivel, de editorial, unul care, din nou, nu îmi descrie realitatea. 

Din primul moment în care au apărut blogurile de modă, am fost mereu mai atrasă de cele care prezintă o realiatate „approchable” cu care sa ma pot identifica şi nu un spatiu aspirational cu haine de designer, echipe de makeup şi hairstyle, fotografi profesionisti şi specialisti în prelucrare şi photoshop. Cand vine vorba de povesti, prefer să citesc o carte, să ma uit la un film, să merg la teatru sau apelez la orice alternativă de genul acesta.   


Înainte să am blog şi să fiu invitată la tot felul de evenimente eram convinsă că acest tip de întâlniri sunt perfecte pentru socializare, networking şi iti dau ocazia să cunoşti o mulţime de oamenii noi şi să vorbeşti pe viu, ca să spun aşa, cu toate persoanele pe care până atunci le cunoşteai doar virtual. Din păcate, personal, nu am participat decât la un număr foarte mic de evenimente unde chiar aşa stau lucrurile. Cu toate că numărul celor prezenti este foarte mare, aproape toţi vin cu propriul „anturaj” şi este foarte greu să abordezi pe cineva fără să pari un ciudat. Mi-am dorit de multe ori să vorbesc cu anumite persoane dar vizualizam deja scena în care eu intru intr-o conversaţie şi mă prezint după care toti ochii sunt pe mine insostiti de tăcere completă. Aşa că nici de data asta nu am avut ocazia sa vorbesc cu mai mult de 4-5 persoane noi! Noroc cu oamenii pe care ii cunosteam deja!

Despre nominalizări și câștigători nu pot să comentez mai mult decât să spun că și anul acesta categoriile au fost făcute fără nici o logică. Sistemul de auto nominalizare a fost o idee interesantă, dar prost executată. Sunt de acord cu această metodă de formare a categoriilor, dar trebuia cumva completată cu o altă metodă prin care organizatorii sa definitiveze listele prin selectia blogurilor inscrise si adaugarea altora relevante. Au existat categorii în care au fost prea puţine bloguri nominalizate şi altele cu prea multe. Categoriile in sine sunt iar o problema – mi se par prea vagi si prea putine pentru diversitatea de bloguri existente. Chiar sper ca anul viitor cei care se ocupă de acest aspect să realizeze că ceva nu merge şi sper să găsească o formă mai coerentă de organizare. Felicitări câştigătorilor! Până la urmă am mers acolo ca să celebrăm bloggingul si oricine are un blog unde depune efort, merită apreciere. Am auzit insa destule comentarii încât să înţeleg că nu toată lumea a fost de acord cu alegerile juriului, eu una nu am fost surpinsă cand vine vorba de castigatoare si anul acest chiar am fost de acord cu multe dintre ele.

In concluzie, m-am distrat mult mai bine anul trecut decât anul acesta. Iniţiativa nu-i rea si merită apreciere, dar sunt foarte multe detalii la care trebuie lucrat. Sper ca timpul sa le rezolve pe toate si să existe si un an in care o să am numai cuvinte frumoase de spus! This year is not that year though!

 I’m wearing:
red dress / rochie rosie - Asos
 earrings, bracelet, ring / cercei, bratara, inel - romwe
pink leather jacket / geaca piele roz - random brand
   pumps / pantofi - New Look
 

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