March 17, 2017 – New York City artist, Beth B, has known and worked with Lydia Lunch since they were teenagers. They grew up in the late 1970s New York music/film/art scene and brought their radical visions to the underground where they broke boundaries, both shocking and enticing their audiences with their uncensored music and films.
Together, they are now embarking on a Kickstarter campaign to fund a film documentary called LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over.
This project will capture the voice and visualize the extraordinary, outrageous work and life of spoken word artist and singer, Lydia Lunch. The film will follow Lydia on the road back to her hometown of Rochester, New York. On tour, backstage, and in interviews, this film will reveal the radical mind, the visceral music, and the edgy, philosophical, and humorous personality of Lydia Lunch.
Lydia Lunch is an icon/poet of the New York City No Wave art scene. In 1976 at the age of sixteen, a teenage runaway, Lydia Lunch, arrived in New York City inspired by the ravings of Lester Bangs in Creem Magazine. The Velvet Underground’s sarcastic wit, the glamour of the New York Dolls, and the poetic scat of Patti Smith’s Piss Factory all influenced her. In 1977, she founded the hugely influential No Wave band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Lydia went on to star in legendary underground films like Beth B’s “Vortex” and Richard Kern’s “Fingered.”
Beth B is known for being one of the most recognized artists from the No Wave art scene of the 1970s. Her independent film called “Vortex” was a legend in underground film making. This was a time before the internet when films could only be screened with a 16mm projector. Beth B remains an icon of the New York City art scene.
This Kickstarter project seeks to raise $50,000 for Beth B to film Lydia on tour with her band, RETROVIRUS. Lydia will be performing her spoken word while Beth B will be interviewing pivotal people in Lydia’s life: people like Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth and JG Thirwell from Fetus.
Please contribute! No contribution is too small! LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over, with its wit, honesty, balls out, mouth open attitude, will help us all to kick the ball forward, toward a future in which we truly have liberation of the mind and body and a new sense of healing from trauma.
Heather Verran is a top fashion designer currently living in New York City. Her designs for Shape magazine are slick, inspired and full of energy. Heather has created innovative products for Gap, American Eagle, Nordstrom and New Balance, just to name a few. The Hollywood Press Corps had an exclusive opportunity to interview Heather and ask her a few questions about fashion design.
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I decided to become a fashion designer to see if I could merge the world of art, movement and design with clothing. To make clothes was always second nature.
I learned couture sewing techniques from my mom and my grandmother. We made nearly all of our own clothes, and the scraps were used to make outfits for the dolls that my grandfather carved for me. He would also build the garment racks for my “runway” shows.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
It always means a lot to see my vision out there in the world when someone casually walks by me wearing a look that I designed. In addition, there are other favorite moments such as: seeing the creative process unfold into a collection, the energy and buzz of the sample room, and I love to draw.
What did you think when you were asked to design a collection for the Shape magazine brand?
I thought, wow, this is an integrated strategic partnership that connects two leaders in their specialized categories to create a unique and energetic opportunity for women.
Shape magazine is such a powerful brand, with 11 million readers and they engage millions more to look, feel, and be amazing.
Apparel Bridge, the licensee has been making active apparel globally for the past 35 years and is a family-owned, world leader in one-stop manufacturing with a unique vertical model. They have been manufacturing apparel for the world’s largest retailers for 35 years, producing more than 400 million garments. They control all production steps to avoid the middleman, with no extra layers in the process. They employ a top team of scientists think about performance of a fabric before it is even created which gives me the ability to create fabrics that no one has ever seen before. Apparel Bridge is eco-friendly and fair-trade practices add value to clients worldwide which is very important to be.
It sounded like the perfect opportunity for me as I completely align with Shape magazine’s mission to exercise your right to be beautiful. The clothing gives them an opportunity to feel beautiful while doing so. The partnership gives me the ability to work towards the future of performance clothing at a price that is inclusive to most women.
What were your inspirations for the designs you created for the shoot?
The Fall collection that I am shooting today was inspired by a hike that I took last summer. The heat had peaked and along the path were these beautiful granite cliffs. I used a photo of one to create a print for the first collection. The palette was chosen from photo, the deep blue lines, the rust and the shots of silver. I chose fabrics that had a similar texture and feel.
Later that day, as the sun was setting, the fireflies came out. This inspired the second collection. I designed a print that was from a photo of them bouncing in the woods and added thermochromic technology to the fabric. Thermochromic is when the print disappears when exposed to heat and sunlight, just like how you never see fireflies in daylight.
The third collection, I was watching women train for a marathon back home in NYC. The cool greys and textures of the city I found to be stunning, albeit in a hi tech and cool way.
How did you select the materials you used?
I selected the materials by what emulated the texture, surfaces and color of my inspiration- rocks, fireflies, the streets. The other main consideration is the handfeel of all materials, making sure everything is soft and comfortable.
Were the materials difficult to work with?
No. I carefully select and create the materials that I know have the correct properties to function, fit and wear well. I have been trained by the best chemists and fabric experts from all over the world. At Shape (Apparel Bridge) I have an amazing group of scientists and fabric experts always excited to develop what ever I dream up.
What was it like working with Shape magazine ?
They are an amazing group to work with. We are a great collaborative team all in alignment to bring forth the Shape active wear brand to a sophisticated, functional, fashion forward brand at an attainable price point.
What do you think of yoga pants? Gym wear?
I love seeing the evolution from how basic and plain yoga pants used to be all black and one or two silouhettes to how stylish and fun they are today. Performance fabrics, techniques, seaming, and prints have changed the game. The moment for gym wear as a part of everyday is now. I don’t see that changing. They flatter any woman and are so comfortable.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue doing what I am doing, the opportunities are endless here as we have just started.
Fashion is an individual’s self expression. When someone creates a uniques look that everyone loves and wants to emulate, it becomes fashion. There is a collective consciousness about what appeals to us at any given time.
Fashion comes from all walks of life.
How do you stay up to date regarding fashion?
I live in NYC, and it is all around me. With active wear, it is less about the runway that it is about beauty, well being and performance. I look at music,emerging artists, nature and fashion.
How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
I take the original inspiration from the collection, and build a narrative around it. It is usually focused around one activity, such as rock climbing, running, tennis, skiing, etc.
I cast the model that is on brand for the magazine, who is upbeat and happy, fit, not skinny, athletic and naturally beautiful.
I select the appropriate photographer, one who best fits the overarching theme and trend. I review with them the location and give the art direction so they can prepare the set or the lighting.
After the crew has been selected I create a shot list with the outfit, shoes, hair and makeup for each look.
The Hollywood Press Corps recently got a chance to interview Brooklyn-based Future Wave band, The Fantastic Plastics. They just dropped a new single and they’re calling it , “We are Obsolete.” The track is just one cut from their forthcoming full-length album, Devolver.
1. What is the concept of The Fantastic Plastics?
We are from the present time that the people of the 1950s / 1960s envisioned when they dreamed of the 21st century. People 50 years ago had such optimism for the future. They thought the future would be a panacea as opposed to the dystopia it has become. We are from that optimistic future, that alternate dimension, transported here and now that we are here we will make it all better.
2. What are your influences?
We are equally influenced by music, books and movies. Most of our influences do not exist in this dimension. However, since arriving, we have found inspiration in Gary Numan, DEVO, Kraftwerk, B-52s, and The Ventures to name a few bands. From the literary world, we are mostly inspired by William Gibson’s Nuromancer trilogy and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. When it comes to film we take fashion inspiration from Barbarella, 2001 A Space Odyssey, THX-1138 and many more from the genre.
3. Have you ever been to Japan/do you know any words in Japanese?
We have not been to Japan, but it is our goal to get there soon. They seem to be the closest society to that optimistic future we spoke of; especially in fashion and design. Of course we know the phrase: domo arigato Mr Roboto.
4. If you could be any instrument what would it be?
The “Holophoner” from Futurama.
5. What is something that would surprise people to know about you?
Trans-dimensional travel has caused us to constantly crave something you people call a “Cheez-It.”
6. What are your thoughts on New York City fashion?
We love that NYC fashion is such a mix and that you can express your creativity and personality through fashion without judgment. However, on the other hand, this is also a very corporate city, with a larger number of people who feel the need to conform in that world. This is why people from other cities equate New Yorkers with always wearing black. We are just hoping to influence more people to wear silver futuristic space suits on a daily basis.
7. What does “gentrification” mean to you?
Supposedly it means progress but we find that hard to believe. They destroy and tear down old buildings that have stood in some cases over 100 years and replace them with cheaply made glass boxes. We’d like to see self-sustaining architecture. Buildings covered in solar panels with garden rooftops meant to last hundreds of years and off the grid completely. That would be progress.
8. Can you tell us about an interesting experience on the New York City subway?
We could tell you many, but most are x rated and or involve things that would turn your stomach. We once did a photo shoot on the subway for our “Outsiders” EP that involved us wearing some huge furry neon insect masks and silver space outfits. We were amazed that nearly no one batted an eye or gave us a second glance. That right there says a lot about New Yorkers and NYC Fashion.
9. What was the last book that you read?
UBIK by Philip K. Dick. It is a trip to read. We read somewhere that Michel Gondry was trying to adapt it into a movie. Fingers crossed.
10. Do you have any words of wisdom for your fans?
Keep Moving Forward
This was such a fortunate experience to interview the Fantastic Plastics! Stayed tuned to the Hollwood Press Corps for future announcements regarding the upcoming album, Devolver.
(New York, NY) NYC-based electro-pop star, Alek Sandar, takes a stand on social media with his latest single, “P.O.R.N.” This club-ready track features transgender advocate, performer and socialite celebrity, Amanda Lepore. This pairing was inspired by Lepore’s lifestyle of transforming herself into the ideal looking woman with a perfect shape. The aim of the track, according to Sandar, is to show the world that through our self-absorption and public self-expression on social media, life becomes pornography. As the first
generation to have this in-your-face pressure to get “likes” and “followers,” this single seeks to open eyes on many levels and hints that society is missing the real message behind music and behind life because we’re all too busy comparing the stats, rather than creating a dialogue.
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria and raised in Germany, Sandar is well-known in Europe and currently making his American debut. Sandar is a top music producer in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria and the Balkans) and has made hit records for various artists, including Kimbra, Oscar Loya, Frankmusik, Andrea and Jérémy Amelin. He’s also the co-founder of Berlin-based dance-pop label, Splendid Sound Records, and has produced music for Universal Music Germany and Payner Music Bulgaria. Having only been in The US since 2009, he’s already played major venues in NYC, including Webster Hall during NMS New York Music Festival in 2012 and Terminal 5 in 2014. Along with his close relationship with Amanda Lepore, Sandar has also become friends with celebrity personalities like Richie Rich, Patricia Field and Susanne Bartsch.
Alek Sandar creates sex-centric, high-energy music that’s heavily influenced by pop, EDM and hip hop, with Balkan, Arabic and Eastern European-infused musicality. With hit his prior singles, “Creature in Me,” “Say That You Love Me,” “It Ain’t Over,” “You and Me (feat. DESS aka Desi Slava) and “Peaceful Place” (a duet with Balkan superstar, Andrea), Sandar’s new album has been highly anticipated by fans all over the world. Don’t miss “P.O.R.N.” and stay tuned for more singles throughout the summer!