Tag Archives: Interview

Interview: Alexandra Metal Clown, The Game Changer!

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This week I caught up with the fashion extravaganza that is, Alexandra Metal Clown. She’s a fashion blogger from Maryland U.S.A with stand out style and an infectiously positive aura. She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fashion. She is fearless and fierce. It almost seems blasphemous just to refer to Alexandra as a fashion blogger, she’s a fashion pioneer.

She’s a game changer. A walking art piece.

Hi Alexandra! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Thank you, I am excited to be part of your blog! I’m Alexandra Merino also known as AlexandraMetalClown, I am 22 years old, i live in silver spring Maryland! I’ve been sewing and making all my clothes since i was 13 years old! I’m a total metal head,obsessed with my cats and all things wacky! 

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I ADORE your sense of style. Have you always been fearless when it comes to fashion or was it a gradual style evolution?

I have! even when I wasn’t making all my clothes and wearing all the rainbows and extravagant pieces,I love fashion always have,and I always picked out what i wanted to wear no matter what was trendy or cool at the time! I just wore whatever I wanted,which lead me to start sewing and making all of my own clothes because the clothes at the mall and stores just weren’t doing it for me! i needed more,i wanted to express myself with more colors and patterns and they weren’t selling that at the malls! before I started making all my clothes i was still very colorful,i would wear lots of layers,leggings,leg warmers even two skirts at at time even haha 🙂 I’m not afraid of taking risks with my clothes.

You make most of your own clothes, which is very impressive! Where do you get your inspiration from and how much planning goes into each look?

I am inspired by everything and everywhere I go,i can be walking down the isle of a grocery store and get inspired by a certain food and want to make an outfit of it,or inspired by it!! i feel like for me,i have so many ideas that at times it can be overwhelming and any little object or thing can just inspire me! so I’m constantly writing down ideas for next outfits i want to work on! each look is so different,i look so different everyday so the process for each outfits depend on how detail i am getting! but most of the time each outfits takes like about a week or less to make! even sometimes i can a full outfit in a night, what takes long is not the actual sewing,but of getting the whole look together,getting all the supplies i need, matching earrings,shoes,wig,nails,purse! so its all the little details that can take time and not the actual sewing.

You post so many wonderful looks online and get a great response from fans. How do you deal with the attention outside of the internet, when people see your creations in public?

I actually do get a lot of negative response online BUT I delete anything negative or i don’t respond to anything negative online because I don’t like to feed into the craziness and negativity of others! I feel like i do that because in “real life” I can’t escape it,i just cant delete people and or their comments,when they are saying it to my face! I get LOTS of attention when I go it,at times it can be very chaotic and overwhelming but I’ve been doing it since i was 13 years old ,so i am very used to all the looks,stares,5 billion and one question about my appearance,all the sneaky people trying to take photos or asking me for photos haha! It’s a mix of both negative and positive attention! the most popular question i get from people is “are you going to a party?” and “why are you so dressed up” haha I don’t mind the questions but I also get a lot of aggressive people with very cruel comments and I will never understand those people but I try my best to ignore and still be kind to everyone…kill them with kindness I say.


140411_JohnPhan_497What advice do you have for people who are afraid to go “outside of the box” when it comes to fashion and personal style?

I would tell people at the end of the day, you’re all you got! you have to look at yourself in the mirror and see who is it you want to be and not be afraid and love yourself and accept yourself no matter how you look or what you think other people want you to look like,and really just be yourself cause the worst thing you can do is lie to yourself and not love yourself! honestly….its not the clothes…its the confidence within yourself and once you have that,you are not even thinking about “well should I wear this” “what are people going to say” ! and it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks about you,especially when it comes to your choice of fashion,if you like the way you look,go for it! there is no such thing as right or wrong fashion or a sense of style.

You inspire so many people with your amazing style and eye catching outfits, but who/what inspires YOU personally?

I’m inspired by many things, metal music,the 1940’s and peoples confidence,really wacky and silly artwork and objects ! but if were talking fashion, the first person who comes to mind is, Anna Dello Russo! she is absolutely wonderful! she has SO much fun with her fashion,and I love that cause i love doing the same!

DSCN2288What does fashion mean to you?   

It means total and complete freedom! anything goes! you are in control!

What’s in store next for Alexandra Metal Clown?

I hope soon to get my own website,so i can have an official blog there,also with all of my work (photo shoots) that i have done and that I’m working! I’d really like to take on modeling full time and show case all my outfits and other amazing designers 🙂 I plan on doing many things but mainly I just want to be happy and keep doing what makes me happy, which is sewing and creating.

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Alexandra’s Facebook / Instagram YouTube Blogspot

 

Beauty & Brains: Michael James Interview

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One of the first youtubers I ever laid eyes on was Michael James. I remember watching his VLOGS way back when youtube was a relatively new website and I thought he was the coolest person on this planet. To be honest, I was totally RIGHT! Michael James really is a rare jem. His unique style and positive outlook on life really inspired me to be as creative as I want to be on youtube and just be myself. His channel has blossomed into a beautiful place full of inspiration and education for men and women alike. I caught up with MJ himself to find out a bit more about his past, present & future. 1521379_586217081463140_385890285_n

What inspired you begin filming videos to upload to YouTube?

This is a question that I’ve always spent a long time pondering over – If I’m painfully honest I can’t remember the EXACT reason as to why I started posting videos on YouTube. But it started while I was in college, I always found myself in absolutely ridiculous situations, both good and bad – generally because of my appearance.

It seems going to college everyday in 8 inch pink platforms, leather trousers, asymmetric dresses with 22inch long turquoise hair would attract quite a lot of attention. What some people mind find bizarre about me is that I generally dislike attention unless I have personally invited it. However I am fully aware that alongside an image like mine just comes unwanted attention, it is a fact. But I am also proud to say that after years of evolution both physical and mental – I am now proud of myself, and attention does not bother me so. That was a little bit of a tangent, I do apologize haha.

Generally I began to film these ridiculous adventures, events and scenarios I would find myself in. I then started to put them together and upload them to YouTube, named under a self-titled series ‘The Complicated Life’. It ran for 2 years and I filmed a total of 24 episodes, people that watched these videos learnt what my life was like – I suppose they enjoyed it as it’s still going today!

You create so many beautiful and unique make up looks on your channel, where do you get your inspiration from?

The process for my video or make-up creation is usually very simple. For my comedy style videos the idea usually comes from a reaction I have to a specific thing. I NEVER intend to make a video with any sort of malice against someone, and I will check several times before publishing it to make sure I don’t offend anyone.

That being said, I can poke fun at a wide range of things and behaviours – one thing that always annoyed me so much when I was a late teenager was the general opinion that ‘Chavs’ had about me, 9 times out of 10 it would usually be painfully judgemental, horribly rude and hurt my self-esteem. Thus was born the ‘I LOVE CHAV MAKEUP’ video, in which I splat my face in orange eye-shadow for that delicate sun kissed glow they are so famous for. As I’m sure you can tell, I also have a very dry sense of humour, it has been described as ‘so dry it’s DESSICATED’ before – which has also lead to some comedy creations, sarcasm – is my virtue.

For make-up and other creative related videos my inspiration usually comes from a ‘problem’ or ‘issue’. Most of the time nowadays I have specific types of videos or looks requested, for example ‘how to attach false eyelashes’ or ‘an unusual, sexy Gothic look’ In which I reflect over what I have done before, and what is currently ‘on trend’ in regards to those looks. I then dig deep into my education and brainstorm for artist’s that represent that specific feeling, for example – Francis Bacon is a particular favourite of mine, a homosexual artist, working in a time when it was highly illegal. He created portraits of tortured bodies and people being distorted beyond recognition. That all sounds very intense in a single sentence but to convert that into a look that isn’t only eye-catching, but wearable – and also quite straightforward to create is usually the difficult part. I generally simplify things as much as I can, shape, colour, contrast and emotion etc. That’s basically quite a long way to explain how I get from a simply request, to sourcing inspiration, to brainstorming, simplifying and then coming up with something like my video ‘Gothic Tears’.

Of course, I do get requests to ‘recreate’ statement looks that celebrities, musicians or        personalities have. Which is also fun! But a lot less work-intensive.

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Are you self-thought in regards to make up artistry? And do you believe a person needs to under-go proper training in order to become a successful makeup artist online & otherwise?

I truly believe the phrase ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way.’ – people get into their careers or dream jobs by so many avenues or routes in this digital age. It can be difficult to know where on earth to start. While I believe being trained in the basics of makeup in a way that you feel super comfortable is most beneficial, you are also going to have to do all the work yourself – and sometimes that can make you frustrated and overwhelmed, but also incredibly proud when you are happy with something you’ve created.

For example, I first realised make-up artistry was a viable avenue for a career when I worked as a junior hairstylist in Brighton – I worked for a small chain of hairdressers and heard that a woman was coming in to one of the bigger stores to have her hair done for a wedding photo shoot. I asked if I could assist for whoever was doing her hair for that shift. They had hired a make-up artist to come in and do her make-up simultaneously and I very much fell in love with the whole transformation.

But, still to this day – that has been the only time I have been ‘formally’ trained in make-up. I believe if you really have a deep passion for whatever it is you want to do, it’s not a case of ‘if’ but a case of ‘when’.

You have such a unique style and look. I love it! What has been your biggest fashion regret/mistake?

I think my Nu-Rave phase of my late teens could quite nicely be erased from my mind haha, bright red skinny jeans with pink stilettos and blue hair? Not a chance now.

But equally, I very much try to live without regret, because without the experiences and decisions I made and had I wouldn’t be who I am today. But right now I feel like I’m on the right track to where and who I want to be.

Describe your personal style:

A fantasy super-villain from an alternative universe where magic and sorcery exist.

Name your top 5 make up essentials:

Ah! Only 5!? are you mad!? Okay.

5TH – the least important for me right now is lips colour, I currently really enjoy a plain lip.

4TH – Eyelash curler – sometimes I can go without!

3RD – Very important is Contour and Highlight! Even if I’m not wearing any base foundation, a primer and some contouring can really make a difference.

2ND – a GOOD skincare regime! Moisturiser (oil free) and a good silicon primer! THEN a good medium coverage foundation (My favourite is Mac Studio Fix Fluid NW10 mixed with a tiny dash of Face and Body in White to help it match my skin tone perfectly.)

1ST – FALSE EYELASHES! They’re just so ultra pretty. I mean… Just so pretty!

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How important is creative expression to you? What other creative outlets do you enjoy?

Creative expression is ALMOST more important to me than breathing. I feel very trapped inside my own body/mind if I don’t have some sort of creative outlet – my favorite artistic quote relating to creativity is by Pablo Picasso:

“We artists are indestructible; even in a prison, or in a concentration camp, I would be almighty in my own world of art, even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.”

The first time I read that it was like my mind was blown, I think being specifically taught ‘art’ in such a general term can be quite toxic to young minds, that quote made me realise that my entire life could be a piece of artwork, not just what I could create with crayons and paper. It evokes quite a dark feeling in me that rages to strive forward and create anything, whenever I can – regardless of what society says ‘I should be doing’

Aside from make-up I particularly enjoy watercolour painting and digital art – I really enjoy creating graphics, illustrations and animated visuals for my videos (and any other project I fancy doing) I also very much enjoy problem solving, whatever the problem may be – though most of the time it ends up as a highly flamboyant answer that might not be any help to anyone. But I don’t mind!

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What advice do you have for people who watch your videos who feel like they have to mask their true identity (in regards to fashion, gender etc.) to conform to societies standards?

My advice is that nothing externally is ever worth how you feel internally. Society isn’t a tangible object, I’ve had it used very often as a threat against me, for example before I really had a stable idea about my career path I would often get asked ‘How will you get a job dressed like that?’ – thus turning ‘society’ into a cold hearted weapon to destroy individuality that should be celebrated.

I believe that society can only give you it’s cold hard sting if you let it – I don’t believe in saying ‘I don’t care what people think of me’ because I do, I just care about what the right people think. However those people might not be the same people all life long, but that’s okay – life is a roller-coaster and I want to be able to experience every bump and turn even if I don’t enjoy it. It’s better to live and experience than just exist.

Also I think people forget, just because you ‘don’t have a job’ or a perfect life plan formed yet, life doesn’t just simply end – everyday can be whatever you want it to be.

Do you have any advice for people who are maybe thinking about starting their own YouTube channel but are too afraid/self-conscious to do so?

I think the best advice I can give when it comes to doing something like YouTube (but this can also apply to many other areas in life) is that even small steps forward is progress. Also Mark Twain said a FANTASTIC quote that I try to point out whenever the situation calls for it – “Comparison is the death of Joy.” – because it really is, If I allow myself to get sucked into a negative mind frame where I compare everything I have done to someone else, for example a much bigger youtuber – my self evaluation will be utterly distorted and difficult to shift. Everyone does something a different way, and nothing worth having is easy to get. I very much enjoy reading auto-biographies, mostly to learn that successful people are not so different to you or I, everyone’s life story has a beginning, a middle, a twist, a romance, a horror and a tragedy, but also comedy, feel-good and an end chapter.

Personally, I like to watch youtubers who evolve before my eyes, someone who captures my attention , really enjoys what their content is about and is still exploring their thoughts/feelings and opinions. People who solidly believe one thing, never change and are completely closed off to discussion and alternative opinion only usually get one reaction from me, and that’s clicking the ‘X’ button.

What are your goals & aspirations for your YouTube channel this 2014?

I really hope that 2014 is a good year for me! I’ve had a bit of a rough ride these last few years, so I think it’s about time where I can get to a position and really sparkle. I’ve just signed with a wonderful new management company in London, which has really opened my eyes to just how insanely magical life and the internet can be. Ultimately in 2014, I would like to work with a handful of youtubers that I find creative, inspiring and good-people. While further developing my style and interests, with the fantastic group of beautiful people who enjoy and relate to the content I love to create.

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A Chat With Rebecca Creighton!

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Rebecca Creighton shot to fame on the X-Factor back in 2010, where she auditioned in front of the daunting Simon Cowell, along with judges Louis Walsh, Katy Perry & Cheryl Cole. She sang a rendition of Pixie Lott’s hit “Cry Me Out” and blew the judges away with her beautiful singing voice. She received four big yes’s from the judges and hasn’t stopped progressing since!

I caught up with the rainbow haired singer to find out more about her musical inspirations, style icons and where she gets her undeniable drive and motivation from.

 

Hi Rebecca! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

You appeared on the seventh series of the X-Factor joining the girl group Belle Amie. What was it like singing in front of the scariest man in show business, Simon Cowell? 

As scary as it was at first I loved every minute of it! When I entered the Xfactor all I wanted was for Simon to hear me sing. He is a lovely man.

Since moving forward with your music career and going solo, have you found the dynamic of your work has change much?

Just a little. My heart was always set on being a solo artist. I prefer it this way.

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What inspired you to become a singer?

My family are very musical , my dad used to always play guitar in the house and there was always music blaring out of someone’s room lol . I grew up with music around me.

On your YouTube channel you post a lot of beautiful cover songs. Do you also write your own music or do you prefer taking much loved songs and making them your own?

Yeah I write / co write a lot . I love recording original music I also love being involved in creating the music too. So in the mean time I put a few covers on my YouTube channel.

You always seem to be working on new songs and projects. Your work ethic is very admirable. How do you keep motivated and what advice do you have for people who are striving to make it in the music industry?

I just try to keep focused. The music industry is one of the hardest industries to break. So all I do is work HARD and believe in myself.

You supported NEYO last year in the 02 Arena in Dublin. What was that experience like?

I LOVED supporting Neyo in the 02, especially in my home town Dublin. I love performing in front of a BIG audience and I loved Neyo since he released his first record, he is a cool dude too.

How would you describe your unique style and who is your fashion icon(s)?

I just wear what ever im feeling on the day lol , I am working out a lot lately so i’m constantly in gym clothes which sucks because I love dressing up. I never really plan an outfit. I love bright colours and love 1940s & 1950s inspired outfits. LOVE Dita Von Teese, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga.

What artists inspire you & why?

Michael Jackson, Beyoncé ,Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, Pink. Michael was just an absolute legend in my eyes and he inspired so many artists that are out today. All the girls are untouchable. Their work ethic is insane they are limitless.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Would have to be the whole Xfactor experience. Iv learned so much from it and met so many amazing people.

Can you tell us what we can expect to see from you this 2014? 

Definitely my Album (loads of music) 🙂

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Fashionista Fact File: Audrey Kitching

I’ve had the pleasure to interview one of my biggest fashion inspirations, Audrey Kitching. Audrey is a Designer, Stylist, Model, Entrepreneur, Fashion Journalist, Blogger & Style Editor at Large for Buzznet.com. She’s one of the most well known fashion bloggers on the internet.

Her amazingly unique style and personality has gained her a massive following online. She’s an internationally published model and has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion.

I’v been a big fan of hers for years. I remember seeing Audreys’ work for the first time ever on Myspace, where she posted pictures from fashion shoots and her every day life. She was catapulted into the lime light as an internet sensation and hasn’t slowed down since!

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Marianna Harutunian Interview

Marianna Harutunian is one of the worlds most sought after jewelry designers. Her successful career is a testament to her hard work and creativity. She has created designs that have been worn by some of the most famous people on the planet. Her impressive client list includes Lady Gaga, Cher, Nicki Minaj, P!nk and Justin Bieber, just to name a few! Her creations have also been featured on many successful t.v shows like True Blood, Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. Oh and did I mention her work has been published on the pages of top fashion publications such as Vogue Hommes Japan and V magazine.

I think it is safe to say that this woman is a force to be reckoned with.

I had the chance to chat with this amazing lady and find out what goes on inside the creative mind of the Martha Stewart of accessories!

Hi Marianna! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. Your story is almost like a Cinderella story, it even involved a slipper! A pair of embellished slippers, which belonged to your Mother. These slippers are what sparked your interest in beading & jewelry making. What was it that attracted you to want to create embellished and beaded designs specifically?

Marianna: I have always loved to create pieces that make people wonder. I guess my thrill is seeing people’s faces when they look at my work.

Your parents seemed very nurturing of your talent. I read that your Father closed the deal on your very first business order, after you created your first necklace. Being an entrepreneur, you have had a lot of success with your designs and have a lot of celebrity clients. Was it a fluid journey to success or did experience any closed doors along the way?

My family has been so supportive and amazing throughout my journey. And yes we have struggled in many ways with sleepless nights and putting it mildly I had no time for a social life for a while. I am blessed to have met amazing people who have also helped me along the way as well.

You create a lot of custom designs, which are unique to each client and are made with beautiful precision. So far, what has been the most challenging piece that you have created?

My first couture body piece was the most challenging and exciting. I was asked to make a body piece for singer PINK for her ‘U+Ur hand’ music video. The challenge was they needed it in 4 days. Well excited as I was I guess I didn’t think twice and literally didn’t sleep much for 4 days and nights and I made it happen. Was very excited to go to Pink’s home for the fitting and I was also invited for the taping of the video.

Can you tell us who was your first major client and what piece was it that they wore or had custom made?

My first major client was for fashion designer Bob Mackie. I would make the pieces that he incorporated in his collection for Cher, Diana Ross, and others. Most of the bling you see on Chers costumes are the pieces that I made.

My favourite piece by you is the Jesus Thorn Crown, which was featured in Lady Gaga’s video and in Vogue Hommes Japan. Several of your pieces have been featured many famous music videos.

Do you usually commission the pieces specifically for the music videos or are they creations you made for your shop that caught the interest of certain celebrities?

The Thorn crown is also one of my favourites. What usually happens is a stylist might catch my work on a celebrity and they will find me and let me know what they are looking for. Most of the time they are looking for original pieces so I am used to creating in such short notice. I love a challenge.

I love that you make jewelry to make people feel glamorous and happy when they are wearing your designs. How important do you think accessorizing is when putting together a outfit/look?

Well I think your accessories is what makes your outfit. I have noticed with my clients that they come to pick out their jewelry before they pick out what outfit they will be wearing. I love the stories I hear when women or men get so much attention by wearing my pieces. This lets me know I’m doing something right.

Your designs are constantly evolving and are so beautifully extravagant. Being an artist, I am sure you experience “idea droughts” every now and then. What do you do to keep yourself inspired and keep ideas flowing?

My brain is always overflowing with ideas. My father says I’m the Martha Stewart of accessories. I can look at any object and want to make it some form of accessory. I don’t look at my competitors or what other designers are doing. I’m usually in my own world just creating unique pieces for everyone’s taste.

Finally, what can we expect to see from you in the future? 

I’m hoping to open up more stores in the US and would love to see my pieces in chain stores. I would also like to do more charity work. I’m planning on visiting Childrens Hospital before the holidays and give out toys and jewelry to those cuties.

Marianna’s wonderful designs are available to purchase on her etsy page.

You can also find out more about her on ilovemariannas.com

xoxo

I’m Sorry…

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Some Weird & Silly Facts About Me!

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