The annual Met Gala is a big event for current A-list celebrities and high fashion designers. A glamorous night of avant-garde trends and couture pieces, the Met Gala continuously impresses fashion bloggers all over the world, leaving them drooling at their computer screens, spilling their Soy Chai Lattes in shock of their favourites being appallingly dressed, and clicking through photo after photo of their ultimate #goals and ideal futures…
Being a time to present themselves to the public and essentially drop our jaws at their beauty, the Met Gala is treated with the highest respect that it deserves. Latest collections are worn or a couture dress will be donned. During the night, Rita Ora said, “Nothing comfortable is worth wearing to the Met Ball,” and I find this questionable considering the fact that she looked one of the worst dressed there…
Last year’s gala was a standout. The “punk” theme worked so well with highlights being Katy Perry, Nicole Richie and Miley Cyrus pre-Wrecking Ball. This year was a lot different. The theme was “white tie,” requiring attendees to wear simple, minimalistic and ties that are WHITE. (Which pretty much all of the men ignored.) The guest list peaked with a lot of up and coming hotshots such as A$AP Rocky, Kendall Jenner and Lupita Nyong’o and the “regulars”: Kimye, Anna Wintour and Kristen Stewart.
Like all events, in life, there is good news and bad news.
It seems somewhat illegal to have to call Beyonce ‘bad news’ especially after all of her amazing and inspirational feminist work recently with Pretty Hurts and basically, her whole presence in life, but it seems like Queen Bey didn’t really get it this time round. Along with Lupita Nyong’o in Prada, she wore a 20s inspired dress with a deep V-neck by Givenchy. Sorry Bey, it didn’t seem to work. Maybe next time.
BadgalRiri, (better known as Rihanna) and Cara Delevingne were beautifully dressed in Stella McCartney. Rihanna knows how to work it, she got everything right in that outfit and I simply cannot fault it. However, is it solely due to the fact that, yes, she is BadgalRiri? I don’t care. I loved it. Cara D seemed to have dressed herself better than all of the men put together in a simple chic, androgynous ensemble.
Zoe Saldana is a really striking woman and I will repeat that sentence over and over until she appears in my mirror and then, I will lean over and tell her that she is in desperate need of a new stylist. I do not understand what goes on inside her stylist’s mind, but they really should be fired for letting her wear this problematic Michael Kors dress. Zoe, you look like a lamp.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de La Renta has once again rocked up to an event thinking she is lookin’ fly when, in actuality, she is not lookin’ fly at all. That’s okay though, I admire her persistence. SJP, you are not Carrie. I repeat; you are not Carrie.
Dita Von Teese, or as I like to call her, The Most Predictable Style Icon Alive, stayed true to her boring aesthetic in Zac Posen. Kudos Dita, you’ve got a small waist and a crazy hairdo. Now move on before you sell out even further than you currently have with Target. (Can I get a Targét? No.)
Alexa Chung, what went wrong? Did she iron her Nina Ricci? And the shoes? Even the security guard in this picture (below) is like, “Damn Alexa, are you sure?” I can’t believe I’m talking shit about Alexa Chung, I hope the fashion bloggers don’t come to burn me at the stake. Just for this, I’ll go read her pretentious book ‘It’ and like all of her current snaps on Instagram.
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield looked really, really cute. Not so much a fashionable cute, but more of an ‘aww’ cute. I can’t say I’m a fan of the whole two toned skirt and top ensemble trend, but I did like Emma’s Thakoon top (its great to see Thakoon excel in high fashion these days) and I would definitely wear it (with the same lack of bra that she did. Onya girl.) Her shoes though? Sigh.
Personal favourites of the Gala would have to be A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman. Have you ever seen such a pretty pair of people? I certainly haven’t. Iman’s TopShop dress was cut so divinely, and she managed to pull of the silk number much better than everyone else who tried. A$AP was looking slicker than ever, by the way. Look at him, posed just to the side, not even really holding his girl’s hand. This is what I need.
Meanwhile in the Met, Karolina Kurkova has turned into an umbrella.
Posted by Selena
None of these photos are property of UTW.
The super cool Korean students are sitting at every table inside. It is customary to stand in a queue at CJ for lunch and dinner. Be patient, don’t leave. West of Elizabeth St, the selection of good affordable food dwindles and offices take control. CJ provides the flâneur with an eating haven, stay in the queue.
Other than corporate junk and Hare Krishna joints, not many in the city can compete with the prices at CJ. I’m easily enticed by cheap food, and Korean usually exceeds my student budget, however CJ is both incredible value and delicious. The Pork Bulgogi Don is a mere $6 and it isn’t just slop dumped in a plastic bowl, the food is presented nicely and there are even oranges on the side. Someone stole the oranges before I could eat them, but they did have a nice shape. In a sweet sauce the pork is stringy and generously served, cooked to a signature Korean style. That is accompanied by a slab of rice and a little salad (but donburi fanatics would already know this.)
Next time, I’ll order the sizzling Chicken Bulgogi covered in cheese that was landing at each table, I’ve heard it’s the CJ specialty. A woman with blue hair and astute fashion seemed to enjoy it. I take it that this particular CJ is not the video game character, though their Lunch Bar is also carrying substantial momentum and attracts an eager gang.
Shop 2/ 391 Little Lonsdale St (9602 1155)
Open lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
I sat at the rooftop of a building off the pulsating vein of Melbourne’s Swanston St. Jim Jarmusch’s new film “Only Lover’s Left Alive” was projected into the skyline. The screen was surrounded by Melbourne’s skyscrapers with blue, red and purple neon lights advertising each buildings importance in the city. Australia Post, Telstra, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank’s gold and black emblem could all be seen high above in the dazzling sky. The view reminds me of the Tower of Babylon, a structure ninety metres high, created by a generation of humans migrating to the east after the great flood in order to summon god to earth. The sky-scrapers surrounding me also remind me of human’s persistence to create structures larger than themselves for other’s needs.
My mind trailed form the movie screen several times. Helicopters flew above, birds rapidly migrated through the cool night perhaps returning to their families, lights flashed from the tips of sky-scrapers into the night. I remember seeing at the top of a dull, white, roughly thirty-storey skyscraper three big silver numbers. 1, 5 and 0. It fascinated me that this building which served most likely one purpose: for workers, deserved such a big number. I thought of all the homes or apartments or public services an architect could design on this large block of land capped with the number one hundred and fifty. Instead this single number represented a massive block, which occupied perhaps 30 square metres of land merely represented a block of workers offices. I began to wonder why then this building deserved this number. I thought of the urgent letters from around the world which must have to be posted to the building everyday. The senders would need an address and a number. I thought of the workers who must travel interstate weekly for meetings discussing this or that, they would most definitely benefit greatly from this number in order to search their directory’s or tap into google maps. This large number suddenly had a purpose, I had engaged in a self-dialect and contradicted my thesis to reach a reasoning that this building deserved to live amongst the stars. I smiled briefly.
As my eyes trailed downwards from the large number I looked at the countless number of floors and windows and lights, some switched on others off. It reminded me of Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Marx believed in a capitalist-driven society the worker becomes alienated both from material objects around them and themselves. Marx thought when humans saw material goods they saw the beauty and fetish of the object and not the labour of the workers in factories or sweat shops. Marx borrowed Immanuel Kant’s idea concerning the categorical imperative, an essential moral principle, to develop his theory. Kant believed humans must never be treated as means only, rather as ends. The boss or the owner treats humans’ labour as a means to producing objects or capital. The workers’ soul is sold and given an exchange value based on their effort to labour, their means. Staring past the flicking images of film, into the hundreds of windows and offices which surrounded me I suddenly did not feel amazed by humans triumph but disjointed. These megastructures are filled daily, possibly for some nightly with humans from many backgrounds who may never connect with the worker on the floor above or the cleaner in the toilets, workers who may be filled with happiness or sadness, loneliness or love and never connect with the human they can see from their window one hundred metres away.
As my eyes returned to the screen and comfort, I was reminded of an incident which occurred a couple of weeks ago. I shall describe the event with as much precision for it is necessary. I commute by train to Flinders St. and catch a tram out of the city to and from school everyday. It is a tiring and sometimes boring commute. On a sweaty Thursday afternoon I had successfully caught the 3:38 train to Flinders and just hopped on my homeward bound tram. The tram stop at Flinders is large and allows a space for trams to halt before the intersection to let the flow behind the tram continue. If the tram halts in this space before the lights it cannot let any passengers in. On this particular day I had decided to stand close to the back of the tram near the doors of the relatively new number 8 tram. I was very tired and music played in my ears turning my mind elsewhere. I stared out the window and noticed an Asian couple rushing toward the trams doors which had just closed. They banged and shouted to the point I could hear them above my music. I continued to stare at them until I realised they were helpless and I could not help them in any way, only stare at their despair like an neutral spectator. As the tram continued its journey and I forgot the couple and stared out at the city’s streets swarming with people in the sun I felt the disjointment cities constantly create. The old man I see from the tram who helplessly falls how can I help?
The city is a strange environment, a place of animals and disconnected humans lost in their personal gains, music, phones and dates to attend. I was reminded of this point through the bright flashing lights of corporations and the large number one hundred and fifty adorned to its dull thirty storey office. Jarmusch’s film ended and more zombies were created. I walked the seven flights of stairs back to where I belong amongst the disjointed.
Posted by Digby // Photos by Chas
It’s become something of a rite of passage in recent years, attending Groovin’ the Moo. A constantly popular grab-bag of JJJ high rotation acts, cheap tickets, and the fact that the festival is all ages has piqued the interest of many of Australia’s teens, and as such, GTM has sold out consistently for the past few years.
As to why this has happened, I have no clue; in my opinion, Groovin’ is one of the most unpleasant festival experiences currently on offer in Australia. The crowd is often extremely young or extremely disrespectful, and the mix of artists is often quite weak, showcasing what’s popular in Aus hip-hop (Allday, and an awfully virile set from Illy), jangly indie pop (The Jungle Giants, who seem to hit a median age of about 13, both in the band and in the crowd), slacker rock (Violent Soho & Loon Lake) and bro-ready electronic (What So Not).
In my opinion, the lineup wasn’t great; however, GTM had trump cards. In previous years, I’ve gone to the festival solely on the strength of a few acts, and this year it was Cults, Disclosure, Andy Bull and Holy Fuck (a curio on the lineup, certainly) who lured me in.
For the most part, it was worth it; despite the weather, the artists I wanted to see put on a great show. To its credit, Groovin’ the Moo is a well oiled machine at this point, with there being no fuss on entry, and high quality fabric wristbands being issued to punters (at Big Day Out earlier in the year, fairly flimsy paper wristbands were issued, which says something about the financial states of each festival).
Andy Bull started off proceedings admirably, and pulled a significant crowd. His tragic 80s indebted pop was anchored by his lack of theatrics on stage. Clad in simple attire and sunglasses, he was having fun with his band, but never let it get in the way of the music. The set was well put together, and although the drop-hungry crowd grew restless on occasion, the even spacing of hits such as ‘Dog’, ‘Baby I Am Nobody Now’ and ‘Keep On Running’ kept interest alive, and a mid-set cover of Tears for Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ was a welcome addition.
New York band Cults won the prize for biggest tragedy of the day; their set was extremely sharp, but their scheduling, placed at the same time as crowd favourites Violent Soho, meant that their set started with numbers of around one hundred, and dwindled throughout the set, until only about forty-odd people remained for set-closer ‘Keep Your Head Up’. However, the small crowd provided a personal atmosphere and it was a highlight of the day. Despite struggling with sound issues, lead singer Madeline Follin (below) is a delight on stage, and once the mixing issue was cleared up, she sounded great too. Singles ‘High Road’ and ‘Abducted’ were dropped early in the set, but the whole thing felt like a greatest hits set. It’s always eluded me as to why Cults aren’t at a stratospheric level of fame, and this just added to the mystery; they were on top form, especially on songs such as ‘You Know What I Mean’ and ‘I Can Hardly Make You Mine’.
Later on, The Kite String Tangle drew an admirable crowd, especially for such a new act. The crowd seemed disinterested at some points, but hits such as ‘Given the Chance’ and his cover of Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’ proved that Danny Harley’s woozy downtempo pop, however derivative it may be, is a winner. Things got serious after Kite String Tangle, as rain started pouring down outside the tent and punters keen to wait for What So Not and Disclosure packing in. Peking Duk were popular with a crowd who needed to dance to stay warm, creating zany brostep anthems out of Disney tunes, and Wave Racer was a winner with slick house, endearingly shy behind the decks.
Canada’s Holy Fuck were an anomaly on the lineup, and it was interesting to see that they had such a late set, given the lack of recognition. Mutters of ‘Who the fuck are Holy Fuck?’ and ‘Is What So Not on now?’ were heard in the minutes before the four piece walked on stage, and the questioning crowd didn’t let up for the entire set; aside from a few fans around, nearly everyone in the crowd was in the tent for the two following acts. This was another disappointment of the day, as Holy Fuck, with an extremely tight set, were essentially mistreated as a support act. Despite the lack of interest the crowd showed, they performed fairly well. Like an evil, parallel universe version of Cut Copy, Holy Fuck provided funky, bone shaking dance jams which sounded fit for an apocalypse. The four band members stood close together on stage, (pictured below) and it was truly electrifying watching them play together, with no player taking the spotlight.
What So Not, despite the anticipation, didn’t put up an amazing set; the absence of Flume, the duo’s more famous half, meant that the necessary star-power to hype up the crowd wasn’t there. However, Emoh the less known half of What So Not, performed admirably, but you couldn’t help but feel cheated when Flume tracks, such as his recent remix of ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Hyperparadise’ were dropped without their creator present.
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for; Disclosure. fresh from a victory lap world tour which featured sets headlining Coachella’s Sahara tent, were about to come on stage. Anticipation was peaking as the duo’s eye-catching face insignia was projected around the tent and their gear was wheeled on stage. The fact that Disclosure play live with drum pads, percussion and a bass made this set one of the day’s more captivating, especially compared to the (relative) boredom which can come from watching Wave Racer sulk around a table for 45 minutes. Opening with ‘F for You’, the Lawrence brothers (below) proved their headliner status as they powered through nearly every song on their debut album, and each song got the same reaction; complete mania. Every song was fantastic, but some stood out, including ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’, ‘White Noise’, the one-two punch of Jessie Ware collaborations ‘Confess to Me’ and ‘Running’, and of course, their Sam Smith-featuring powerhouse, ‘Latch’. Nothing elicited the same reaction throughout the day as ‘Latch’ did. As the familiar Zed Bias sample began, levels of hysteria topped off in the tent, and they carried through even after the set was finished. In the line for the cloak room afterwards, Disclosure were the only thing on people’s minds.
Overall, Groovin’ the Moo does have good qualities, but it’s too often weighed down by sub-par acts. However, the artists who truly did put on excellent sets were well worth the price of admission. It was excellent seeing Disclosure, who could easily sell out arenas, playing on the same bill with local acts such as Violent Soho and Andy Bull, but the festival still suffers from issues which probably won’t be fixed any time soon. However, they probably don’t have to be fixed; no matter what my verdict on the festival is, GTM will likely continue to sell out every year for the foreseeable future, as it should. There needs to be a space in the festival market for regional gig goers, and Groovin’ has turned what could be a niche festival into something huge.
Posted by Shaad
From Chairlift’s debut Does You Inspire You? I knew that good things were going to come from the synth-pop duo. Their song Bruises played in every shop and on every station, with Caroline Polachek singing the catchy lyric “I tried to do handstands for you”. Chairlift was so lovable, and continued to impress me throughout their whole career.
However, Caroline Polachek has strayed from Chairlift’s grasp and has quietly created something under a new name; Ramona Lisa. I love it, but is the public ready for this avant-garde approach to electro-pop?
Arcadia is a blissful and somewhat kitchsy album created in the confines of Caroline’s bedroom. I was nervous that Arcadia would sound too raw or unfinished, but it is tied so well together with the help of former partner from Chairlift, Patrick Wimberly. (It makes me happy to know that Polachek and Wimberly are still strong.)
One of my favourite things about Arcadia would have to be the atmosphere it provides. When I’m listening to this album in its entirety, I feel like I’m swimming underwater… It’s strange? Tracks such as “Getaway Ride” and “Dominic” remind me so much of Studio Ghibli soundtracks, especially My Neighbour Totoro.
It is a comforting album to me, however I believe it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Some songs are vague, but that also is the power of Arcadia; it is so mysterious that it requires a couple of full listens to actually comprehend on the spiritual level that Polachek intended.
Her lyrics are simple, but still as cute and effective as they were in Chairlift’s second album, Something (2012). “Forgive me if I was too forward too fast… Dominic, you and me are a perfect disaster” from the track Dominic is a little insight into the perhaps messy yet joyful lifestyle that Polachek lives.
Caroline Polachek has kept so true to herself in Arcadia. Polachek makes a great role model for young women. It’s a very intimate album, and each song is personal and holds messages that I feel a lot of girls could relate to. It astounds me to think she created such a heavenly album in such a way. Arcadia is versatile and brilliant, and I look forward to seeing more from Ramona Lisa in the future!
Posted by Selena
Playlist by Selena, Chas, Shaad and Digby @ under-the-wire.tumblr.com
(Mix photo taken by Shaad D’Souza)
1. Evoke The Sleep - Nun
2. Shriek - Wye Oak
3. I Won - Future ft. Kanye West
4. Habit - Ought
5. New Bitch - Iggy Azalea
6. 1998 - Chet Faker
7. Palo Alto - Devonté Hynes
8. Backwards and Upwards - Ramona Lisa
9. No Rest For The Wicked - Lykke Li (ft. A$AP Rocky)
10. Ramona - Velociraptor
11. We Are The Same - Lurch & Chief
Lana Del Rey’s new LP “Ultraviolence” is soon to hit, with West Coast as its lead single. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, the instrumentation is strong, driven by a slow drum beat and rhythm guitar. Del Rey’s vocals are soft and calm, complimenting the meandering track that signals a change in style for the upcoming album. As before, the lyrics are questionable, concerned with some troubled love, but I can look past this; West Coast is perhaps her finest song.
Her first album Born to Die is seriously overplayed at work, two years after its release. I find the production on many of its electronic-based songs to be fairly stale. It is sad considering Del Rey possesses and interesting, versatile voice. Video Games and Young and Beautiful from The Great Gatsby soundtrack, are far more appealing for their minimalistic tone that place more emphasis on live instruments than digital sounds. West Coast succeeds by too taking this path, which lends itself to Del Rey’s vocal range.
Lana Del Rey is in a position where she can serve up total shit on Ultraviolence and it will still sell massively. It’s is nice to know that a pop artist of such stature is maintaining the integrity to at least attempt to produce music of worth.
Posted by Chas
9-piece soul band Saskwatch have been creating sweet songs since 2009. Their sound is very mature and intensely beautiful. The release of their new album Nose Dive has set the bar for this Melbourne band and showcases the brilliant talent and innovation they are bringing to the Australian music scene.
Nose Dive may not appeal to mainstream listeners, as it is something out of the ordinary. However, I feel like this is definitely an album that I would buy and listen to and quite possibly never get sick of due to its emotional diversity; one minute you’re tapping your foot to their funky beats and the next you’re in helpless tears on the ground. (Well, I sure was.)
(Nose Dive Album Launch - Basement Discs) - Photo By Selena
I’ve loved Saskwatch since they formed, and seeing their album launch party in Melbourne’s Basement Discs was a very exciting and emotional experience for me. Nose Dive resonated with me for two main reasons. Number one would be the fact that it is modern soul. In my opinion, Australia doesn’t seem to get to hear nearly enough soul and Saskwatch’s debut reinforces just how capable they are of owning the label of “Australia’s most exciting new soul band”.
Number two; the lyrics to this album are empowering. Nkechi Anele (lead vocalist of Saskwatch) writes some intense and sentimental lyrics to add punch to each track. Call Your Name is definitely a standout from Nose Dive; the lyric “I wish I could be the one that you’re still thinking of” broke my heart and now, all I want to do is find Anele and hold her hand. That is Saskwatch’s power; they have the ability to connect with an audience so exquisitely; whether enjoying them live or at home.
Nose Dive seems to have a song for every occasion; whether you’re in the mood for a rocking power ballad (Now That We’re Alone), a dance with your mates (Hands) or an intense breakup song (Left Me To Die), you will feel content, as if Saskwatch formed just for you.
(Mix photo taken by Selena Repanis)
The hamburger is an ultimate symbol of American power. They are big and sloppy and rocketed to recognition in the era of mass-production following WWII. Humans have a tendency to simplify their lives via easy consumption, which can be seen in the interest of celebrity scandal reports and domestic cases, instead of terrible atrocities in the developing world. Requiring no cutlery or grace, everybody loves the hamburger, and the super-corporations have pushed its popularity to every continent. Andrews Hamburgers in South Melbourne, Australia is both a product and antithesis to America’s global food domination.
At the twilight of the health food craze, emerged the antipodal obsession in Melbourne with American-style food. A heavy focus on fatty, deep-fried meat has seen the opening of diner-inspired and Souther BBQ restaurants in many ‘cool’ commercial districts. I don’t condemn their presence - it is delicious food, hence the surge - but it comes at a cost to the places that have been serving an Australian interpretation of the American cuisine in a trendless manner for many years. This interpretation is heavily influenced by another large-scale migration post-WWII, the European flight which was vital to the formation of Melbourne’s ‘multi-cultural’ society. In particular, the huge Greek population (Melbourne has the third most Greek inhabitants in the world) revolutionised fast-food in the city’s fish and chip shops and milk-bars. 57 years ago, Andrew Georghiou, a young Cypriot, took over a take-away business that already bared the name Andrews and his iconic burger recipe remains.
An Andrews staple is ‘The Lot’ burger, a whopping fulfilling mass at $11 which comprises a beef patty, egg, bacon, cheese, tomato, cooked onion, lettuce and tomato sauce. It is not an attractive burger and my strongest recommendation is to eat it straight away, there is so much packed inside the bun that it will crumble to a soggy mess if confined to its paper bag. My burger unfortunately fell victim, cheese stuck to everything, the patty evacuated at the bun’s rear, but its flavour is too timeless and wholesome to be brought down by sticky fingers. I became sentimental; old photos of Andrews staff with renowned Australian rules footballers adorn the wall, reminding me of eating a burger during the thrilling 2005 Grand Final in which the Sydney Swans (formerly South Melbourne) were victorious. The decor is from another era, practically unchanged since its inception and it is still (hopefully always) a family run business of integrity, of love for their food.
This humble establishment embodies peaceful Saturday afternoons amongst the community in Melbourne. I, along with countless others, have a connection to Andrews that cannot be broken by the new crop of burger joints. Of course, they are not that archaic; there is a vegetarian patty option and a sleek TV playing modern music videos. Craving crowds flock to Andrews, be sure to set some time a part, grab a hamburger and head to a park, letting the circular goodness free the mind and stomach of any worries.
144 Bridport St, Albert Park (9690 2126)
Open 11am-9pm, Monday to Saturday
Posted by Chas