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Taking a Page from OC | Listen Up!

opening ceremony

This is Taking a Page from OC, a series in which we mine the essentially-out-of-print, highly collectible, Rizzoli-published Opening Ceremony—a 350-page book dedicated to the story of the iconic New York fashion brand. Dive into the world of Opening Ceremony via Pop-In@Nordstrom x Opening Ceremony, our current Olivia Kim–curated shop.

miapolaroidOC cofounder Humberto Leon with M.I.A.

Maybe you first heard about Opening Ceremony while Googling Omarion’s varsity jacket in the music video for “Post To Be”?

Or maybe you know music has always been a vital entry point into the brand.

Here are some key OC/music connections from the Opening Ceremony book, with tracks from individual artists.

Shop: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Opening Ceremony

Dance party this way….

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ALL POSTS Culture Interviews Music

DJ Mia Moretti Curates Your Holiday Playlist

Mia Moretti With holiday parties, you set the table and then you set the mood—that calls for a different kind of platter. For some, it’s the 1960 jazz classic Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas; for others, it’s Mariah’s chart-shattering and enduring Merry Christmas. For DJ Mia Moretti, it’s a little vintage here (Betty Wright, Elvis), a bit of bleeding edge there (Florence + the Machine, Elle King), a few crate-digger rarities (Margo Guryan, The Twistin’ Kings) and even some surf rock (The Invaders) that gets the atmosphere primed for a party.

Moretti grew up a precocious Los Angeles youngster encouraged to follow her interests, which have taken her around the globe in artistic pursuit. Now she’s an on-demand DJ, opening for artists like Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry, playing festivals and industry parties and curating runway soundtracks for emerging NY designers such as Jonathan Simkhai and Timo Weiland. Each season she performs alongside violinist Margot as The Dolls for Alice + Olivia. As the New York City-based artist took a breather from Paris Fashion Week, we snagged a specially curated holiday playlist and her thoughts on music, creativity and style. Oh, and Mimi made the cut, too.

For starters, how was Fashion Week and what can we expect to see you wearing Spring 2016?

Milan and Paris fashion week were both incredible. It’s always very inspiring to see the clothes come to life on the runway the way the designer envisions them. The Philosophy show by Lorenzo Serafini was one of the collections I could see myself stepping into every piece of. It’s feminine and playful, with just the right touches of sexy. 

Can you tell me about how you chose and sequenced this playlist for The Thread?
Speaking of playful, I wanted to have a little fun with this holiday playlist. I started the set with one of my favorite Betty Wright tracks of all time, “Tonight Is The Night”. You have to listen to it for yourself, but I’ll tell you, it’s not the night before Christmas she’s singing about. This track sets the tone for the rest of the set, which is a mix of my favorite Christmas renditions by the likes of Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey and the Jackson 5, and new releases such as Florence + The Machine’s “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”—not a traditional Christmas song, but a beautiful track with massive emotional range—just like the holidays.

This way for more Q&A + holiday tunes

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Culture Music Style

The Soundtrack to Nigo’s adidas Originals Sweatshirt | Listen Up!

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This is a good outfit with styling moves you should copy this fall: the long t-shirt layered underneath the shorter sweatshirt and jacket; the apparent socklessness; the rolled cuff, high enough to show a full commitment to rolled cuffs and not some lame half-measure.

But enough about the outfit. Let’s focus on the sweatshirt.

Designed by Japanese streetwear legend and DJ Nigo, this is a sweatshirt to listen to. Yes, listen. Because it’s printed with graphics ripped off from ’80s rap, made into adidas logos.

Which ’80s rap logos? Step into the old-school, below.

Shop: adidas/Nigo sweatshirt |  bomber jackets | Varvatos jeans | adidas Tubular Primeknit

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ALL POSTS Interviews Music

Nicole Willis on 1970s Music, Analog Recording and the Impossibility of Unique Human Experiences | Listen Up!

Nicole-Willis-photo-balconyPhoto by Jimi Tenor 

Nicole Willis hails from New York City, where she grew up singing Burt Bacharach songs and listening to Malcolm X speeches on WWRL AM. Now she pumps throwback soul music out of her longtime home base in Finland with her band The Soul Investigators, peaking in her third decade of recording and performing.

Her new album, Happiness in Every Style, is perfect for fall, something like an audio sweater. The New York Times praises its “even-keeled, simmering grooves.” We concur. The whole album sounds comfortable, perfectly played, completely in the pocket–and enduringly warm from Willis’ alto voice to the analog tape on which it was recorded. For best results, buy the vinyl.

Listen to the uplifting single “One in a Million” below. And below that, check out our interview with Willis about crusty styles, Carole King–and disabusing oneself of the notion of originality.

Click here for the Q&A

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Young Thug Dances With All of the Models | Listen Up!

thuggertwirlLet us officially end the season with a ceremonial last blast of “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” And while it plays, let’s fondly remember how its steel drums and soulful vocals soundtracked all our parties and BBQs.

It’s fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have one last go-round with the song of the summer, right?

Ready for Bella Hadid, Imaan Hamman and mad leapgrogging?

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ALL POSTS Fashion Week Music Street Style

Twin Shadow’s Runway Music for Public School at NYFW | Listen Up!

twinshadowIt’s not a Public School runway show without a soundtrack by Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr. He’s done them all going back to 2012, becoming an essential piece of the New York City brand along the way.

For the show that just occurred at New York Fashion Week—and which our Senior Writer Laura Cassidy attended and covered excellently—that music takes the form of an original 9-minute dance mix.

Most Twin Shadow music is pop rock. This is a bunch of drums and squeezes of chipmunk soul. It’s a change of pace and it’s great. ’Nuff said.

Shop: Public School

–Andrew Matson

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ALL POSTS Music

Vancouver Vibing with Niña Mendoza | Listen Up!

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Image by Ameris Photography

Niña Mendoza’s suit by Manuel Mendoza

We’ve been rocking with 100% Vancouver deejays lately, with our new store opening September 18 in that majestic Pacific Northwest metropolis.

One recent set by Vancouver’s Niña Mendoza gave us life (shout out DayShiftSEA, one mile from Nordstrom HQ in Seattle) and we highly recommend her funky, right-now-meets-1983 mix “Love For Free,” promoting her September 10 show with Dâm-Funk. It’s been sustaining us throughout the week.

Stream the mix below and download it here so you don’t kill your data while you’re in the gym. Hit READ MORE for the track list and Vancouver-focused Q&A.

And if you’re in Vancouver, catch Niña Mendoza Fridays starting in September at the Projection Room inside the Fox Cabaret.

Love For Free Mix • Niña Mendoza by Blueprintlive on Mixcloud

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Chastity Belt’s Lydia Lund on Greenhouse Gardening, Surfing and Existential Doubt | Listen Up!

chastity-belt-team-shotPhoto by Jesse Codling

It’s been a breakout year for Chastity Belt, the Seattle band which has grown into its voice in the past few years and was recently written up in the New Yorker on the strength of its album Time To Go Home.

Musically, that voice is droning and jangly. Ideologically, Chastity Belt is feminist, with a viewpoint that is often funny but with songs that can also be serious and direct about everyday existential crises.

We took pictures at Capitol Hill Block Party and later phoned guitarist and sometime singer Lydia Lund (far right in the photo) to talk about “Lydia,” a what-does-it-all-mean song which lands someplace…indistinct.

Other topics of conversation included avoiding seasonal affective disorder by gardening, feeling the ocean’s power while surfing–and we learned about the taste of the Peperomia plant.

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Tuxedo Talks Old-School Mixtapes, Gold Record Plaques and Suiting Components | Listen Up!

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Photo by Kyle Johnson

Parties crack and moods lift to the sounds of Tuxedo, the west coast duo whose 1980s funk is inspired by the past and crystalized in the present by Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Cohen) and Jake One (Jake Dutton). If the group’s eponymous album is not in your summer music rotation already, we recommend it.

The singer and producer are old friends and hip-hop collaborators. They’re both deejays, too, and initially bonded over mixtapes each had made focusing on artists like Bernard Wright and David Grusin. The shared affinity is central to Tuxedo.

We spoke to them on tour about how Tuxedo fits into this current retro moment in pop (Mark Ronson, Daft Punk) and which piece from their custom Klein Epstein Parker tuxedos Jake One accidentally left at home with 30 minutes to showtime.

Shop: tuxedos

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ALL POSTS Music Video

Eskimeaux’s Gabby Smith on the Unlimited Human Voice, the Importance of Failing and the Liquor Chocolates of NPR’s Bob Boilen | Listen Up!

eskimeauxImages by Manuela Insixiengmay

In a contemplative mood this summer, we’ve been reaching for OK by the New York City band Eskimeaux, an album that makes us believe again in the power of turn-of-the-millennium indie rock. We listen while we read Rookie Magazine and The Le Sigh, and think maybe it’s not a dead genre. Maybe instead it’s a not-broken, doesn’t-need-fixing staple.

We met with bandleader and sometimes solo performer Gabby Smith in an undisclosed greenhouse to talk about the weird ambient music she used to make, her upcoming video session for NPR and the value of tenacity in one’s artistic process.

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