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Been on the road this past week for work in Quebec City. While I was there, I got to see some amazing shows including Tegan and Sara (hello dreamy sunset!), Serena Ryder, Mozart’s Sister and Phantogram (best show I’ve seen this year, hands down!! In case you haven’t checked it out yet, go read my 5 Questions With: Sarah Barthel of Phantogram here). Happy to be home for a few days before heading to NYC!

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Photos by @Offner

Forever 21 southwestern trim denim jacket

H&M blue and white polka dot dress 

Wave necklace from Etsy

Converse – Chuck Taylor Dainty (get them here)

Karen London Gypsy Ring (get it here)

5 Questions With: Sarah Barthel of Phantogram

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A few years ago, while I was working at Indica Records, my boss at the time dropped an EP on my desk and wanted me to tell him what I thought. He had been sent an EP from a band in Saratoga Springs, NY called Phantogram. After my first listen, I was right away drawn to their unique blend of dark cinematic electro pop and the singer’s dreamy voice. I had the chance to go see them live not long after and immediately knew the band was poised for greatness! I was incredibly lucky to work with the band at the beginning of their career in Canada. Not only are Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter incredibly talented, they’re also some of the nicest people in the biz. Fast forward a few years later, with the release of their second full length Voices, Phantogram is now headlining every big festival, selling out venues around the world, playing on all radio formats and taking the world by storm! I couldn’t be prouder of what these guys have accomplished over the past couple of years! One thing that I noticed since I started following the band, is that Sarah always has the best style on and off stage. She always has the coolest moto jackets, leather pants and accessories. Sarah and the rest of Phantogram will be keeping busy this summer playing festivals across North America and Europe. Make sure you go see them live if you haven’t already, they will blow your mind! I beyond thrilled to present to you this week, my 5 Questions with Sarah Barthel of Phantogram:

1) Who were some of your role models or people you looked up to growing up?

David Bowie
Prince
Mariah Carey
Whitney Houston
Aaliyah
James Brown

2) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today?

I spent a lot of time at Salvation Army as a teen looking for old t shirts and jackets. Usually went for classic jeans and chucks.
I tended to dress like a Tom boy growing up. I always wanted to pierce my face somewhere but was too much of a pussy to do that so I ended up piercing the hell out of my ears haha. I always loved keeping a classic look and dressing it up with accessories. I still think that way now. I’ve definitely evolved my footwear by graduating to heels from chucks but I like to keep my look simple with dark colors and dressing up my look with a cool leather jacket and heels with some cool jewels.

3) Has the band’s increase in popularity influenced or changed your personal style? If so, could you tell us how?

Yes definitely. I love the opportunities I get when brands or designers want to dress me. I never got those opportunities before because we weren’t a recognized. Now people want me to wear their clothes so I get to have fun with my style

4) How do you pick out your clothes for tour and stage? What are your tour must-haves?

I usually like a few different looks for a tour. I definitely like to walk out of stage with a cool looking jacket with intentions to take it off after a few songs. 
Must haves: heels that aren’t too scary to run around in!
Bold gold jewelry 
Hair straightener
Dry shampoo

5) Who are some of your favorite designers and/or brands?

All Saints leather
Jeffrey Campbell
J brand
Jeremy Scott 
St Laurent 
Modern vice
Kill City
Oak

Wishing you continued success! Thanks Sarah!

5 Questions With: Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere of SPRINGSIOUX

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Springsioux is a Paris-based brand and concept store. I first heard of them through Offner a few years ago. What started off as a small brand of t-shirts by founder Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere, has evolved into so much more. Over the past couple of years, Pierre-Antoine developed the brand with his girlfriend and business partner Alisa Gusakova. Today the Springsioux line includes silver jewelry, high end fur and leather pieces designed in collaboration with Parisian designer Quentin Veron, ponchos and t-shirts designed in collaboration with Parisian tattoo artist Eddie Czaicki, etc. Last summer, they inaugurated their concept store in Le Marais, the coolest neighborhood in Paris. Since then, they’ve had countless artists, models and celebrities come to their shop. Nikki Sixx, Bradley Soileau, Sarah Barthel from Phantogram and Miss Kittin, are just some of the people that have been spotted wearing Springsioux. They’ve also organized a ton of events at their shop for Paris Fashion Week, the launch of their special collections, etc. Pierre-Antoine and his team are currently working on a collaboration with a famous French DJ that will be out soon. They’ll also be launching a coffee corner inside their Le Marais shop, which might also include their very own blend of coffee inspired by South America. I’m excited to present to you all today, my 5 Questions With Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere of Springsioux:

1) Can you talk to us about about the idea behind Springsioux? Your mission?

I created Springsioux at the time when I was in a new wave band in Paris. The goal was to link music and fashion together. Then, I went on tour in Russia and Alisa (tour manager/girlfriend) joined Springsioux to help develop a silver jewelry line based on the Native American culture. We want Springsioux to be more than a brand, it’s a spirit, it brings together people from different backgrounds to create something strong and different from mainstream trends. That is where our motto “alive in the darkness” comes from. We don’t present collections every season, we prefer to create something when the time is right, depending on our inspiration but mostly on the people we meet. That’s why we love to do collaborations with other designers or artists!

2) Where do you draw inspiration for your Springsioux designs?

It’s a mix between traditional cultures (Native American, Mexican…) because there is something mystical in them and we try our best to make their heritage last by creating the most authentic designs, and also rock n roll subcultures. For me, the best example of rock subcultures and fashion are Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood with the Sex Pistols because they found the right balance. 

3) Who are your style icons?

The 80’s have a huge influence on us and I would definitely say… Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe), Grace Jones but I think the most important thing is attitude. Our “Springsioux man” can wear a skirt and still look masculine and mysterious and our “Springsioux woman” is strong and provocative.

4) What has been some of the most memorable moments thus far with Springsioux?

We went through several ups and down but some moments are forever engraved in our minds like when I received a phone call from a friend telling me that he saw Nikki Sixx wearing one of our rings during a festival… and also when we had pizzas and beers with all our friends on the floor of our empty store in Paris just after signing the lease!

5) For those who don’t know, you used to be in a band and you’re a big music fan. What are some of your current favorite artists?

Recently I discovered Black Atlass and I have to admit that the guy is just incredibly talented. I also love Phantogram and Coldcave, but when it comes to live music, I’m more into the louder stuff! One of my latest musical crushes is: The Balconies that I discovered on this blog. I think people just need to see them live, they will understand that I’m not exaggerating or falsely promoting them. These guys really give everything they’ve got on stage, from the first of seconds of their set, you feel like you’ve been slapped in the face!

Merci Pierre-Antoine!

Band T-Shirt #DailyOutfit

The long weekend is just around the corner!! And the countdown to my next big trip is fast approaching. Europe in T-2 weeks! I’m so excited!

I can’t wait to share with you all my next 5 Questions With interview on Sunday. I’ve got another amazingly talented lady that I’ll be profiling. Make sure you check the blog on Sunday to see who it is! I’ll give you a clue: Vancouver!

Last night, I was lucky to attend the HAÏM concert in Toronto at the Kool Haus. I’ve been a big HAÏM fan ever since their first couple of singles, before any official EPs had come out. One of my friends in LA had introduced me to them during one of my many trips. I was right away drawn to their infectious mix of pop and rock! Every time I wanted to see them live, I just missed them by a day or so. Yesterday, they finally came to Toronto. Though there aren’t too many bands left on my “To-see list“, they were definitely one of them. Last night, they absolutely SLAYED the Kool Haus. I’ve seen them perform on a whole bunch of television shows, livestream concerts, etc. and always thought they gave a good show (though lately, I had seen a few more so-so performances) but last night, they went above and beyond my expectations. Anyone who’s ever doubted their musical chops, their ability to sing, etc. was silenced at the show. My ears are still slightly ringing and my voice is pretty shot today from all the singing I did last night but man was it worth it. Wow! One of the best shows I’ve seen in a while!

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Over the years, I’ve amassed a ton of band shirts either via work, friends, etc. Though I have given most of them away now, I’ve kept a few that are more meaningful to me. When getting dressed this morning, and still on a high from last night, I figured it’d be fitting to plan my outfit around a band t-shirt. I happened to find this old Phantogram tee (one of the bands I personally can’t wait to see live again!!) I got when I was working with the band at Indica Records. I paired that with my rad new Modern Vice White Handler boots, some rock n’ roll Springsioux jewelry and my off-white moto jacket. Voilà!

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Photos by @Offner

Modern Vice Handler Boot (get it here)

H&M off-white quilted moto jacket

Springsioux Shaman pendant (get it here)

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

H&M grey skinny belt 

Combat Baby #DailyOutfit

So stoked on the new black combat boots I received from Nasty Gal last night! I’m a big fan of the brand and its’ founder Sophia Amoruso. Talk about a lady who’s a go-getter and who knows exactly what she wants!

Excited to pair my new boots with one of my favorite lace dresses, my new earring cuff and some printed tights!

Today’s epic track is a brand new tune from Phantogram called “Bill Murray”. Voices comes out Feb 18th!

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Photos by @Offner

Forever 21 beige lace dress

Nasty Gal Shoe Cult Diverge Combat Boot (get it here)

Forever 21 southwestern trim denim jacket (get it here)

Pamela Love High Tide Pendant (get it here)

H&M cross & ear cuff 

H&M patterned tights (get them here)

Coldest Day #DailyOutfit

Today was potentially the coldest day I’ve seen in Toronto since I moved to the city a few years ago. Keeping warm with some tea, fresh juices, good tunes (this new track from Phantogram is killer!!) and thinking of the warm California sun! The countdown begins shortly!

Today’s look: Beige x patterns x Springsioux!

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Springsioux Bison Cross pendant (get it here)

Springsioux Shaman ring (get it here)

Springsioux Lady Muerte ring (get it here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Urban Outfitters bleu and grey southwestern print skinnies

H&M beige lace knit top (similar one here)

Je voudrais être une princesse boots

Top 10 Albums Of 2013

Can’t believe yet another year has passed! And what a great year 2013 was for music, not only in Canada but internationally as well. Coming up with a Top 10 list is never easy and though this is the list that I chose for my blog post, I’m sure I’ll change my mind a few more times before the year ends. These are my favorite ten records of the year, all genres combined!

I created a special playlist on Deezer with tracks from each record. You can listen to it here: Melsays’ Top 10 Albums of 2013

10 – Jimmy Hunt – Maladie D’amour

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60s/70s sounding romantic French pop. A fantastic lyricist and great production.

9 – The Strumbellas – We Still Move On Dancefloors

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The perfect combination between the folk tradition and pop. Catchy and uplifting throughout. Made me want to dance!

8 – Basia Bulat – Tall Tall Shadow

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Beautifully orchestrated and touching record. Her voice still gives me chills every time I hear her sing. Profoundly moving.

7 – Sebastien Grainger – Yours To Discover

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Beyond cool and original 80s inspired rock with incredibly catchy melodies.

6 – Phantogram – Voices

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The perfect electro-indie pop record. These guys blow me away each release with huge tracks every time.

5 – Koriass – Rue des saules

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According to me, Quebec’s finest rapper. Clever and effective MC with great underlying beats.

4 – Drake – Nothing Was The Same 

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One of the records I listened to most this year. Love the sincerity and variety in this record. Super strong follow up to the excellent Take Care.

3 – Young Galaxy – Ultramarine

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Grateful that a band like Young Galaxy is present in the Canadian music scene. I totally fell in love with their sonic universe on this record.

2 – Shad – Flying Colors

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Why Shad isn’t more popular baffles me. The wittiest, most positive and smartest rapper in Canada and one of the top rappers in the world if you ask me.

1 – Haim – Days Are Gone

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The most beautiful pop record that came out this year. These girls can’t be stopped. Catchy tracks, vocal melodies and killer music all along.

Honorable mentions also go to: Jordan Klassen, Katy Perry, Klô Pelgag, Les Soeurs Boulay, Justin Timberlake, Autre Ne Veut, Tegan and Sara and Chvrches.

What were some of your top records of the year? Anything I should check out? Let me know!

xo

Gemeaux Travels #DailyOutfit

Today is yet another travel day! I’m off to Montreal this weekend for this year’s Prix Gémeaux gala. The show that I work on received a nomination.

For the occasion, I’ll be wearing a brand new RUDYBOIS dress from his new SS14 collection. Here’s a little sneak peek.

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I decided to get some custom nail art to match the dress from the talented Esther Mulders.

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I’ll be posting pics of the final look early next week! 🙂

Today, two of my favorite New York designers Pamela Love x VEDA, finally announced their collaboration together. They’ve paired up for a rad line of biker jackets that I had seen in the Bing Bang NY offices in the spring. The jackets are simply irresistible! I want one!! They’re now available for pre-order here. DREAMY!

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Running on very little sleep since I went to Miami last week, so I was in dyers need of a good pump up track! I was stoked to find out that one of my favorite bands Phantogram, (I really miss working with them, they’re some of the nicest people!) released a brand new track from their upcoming record Voices. Their new track is a definite hit! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the record! The track is called “Black Out Days“, you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/phantogram/black-out-days-6

Off to Montreal! Wishing everyone a fab weekend! xo

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 Forever 21 Ribbed Trimmed Fishnet Sweater (similar one here)

Uranium gold tripple thick ring (from their upcoming fall collection)

Forever 21 leopard print harem pants (similar ones here)

Verameat vampire crown ring (get it here)

Verameat Peace Hand necklace (get it here)

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

This Week’s Ear Candy

Happy Friday!

Hope you all had a wonderful week! Here’s this week’s ear candy:

One of the bands I had the chance of working with while I was at Indica Records is being talked about a lot lately. I’m talking about Phantogram. They’re some of the nicest people I’ve had the chance of working with. Things are going really well for them. This week, Big Boi featured them in his livestream and has also been promoting them a lot. Phantogram collaborated with him on a few tracks and apparently some more songs are the in works. So excited to hear more from this collaboration. In the meantime, here’s a rad track they did together called “Lines” –

https://soundcloud.com/big-boi/lines/s-nw1DA

Also, have you seen their latest video for “Don’t Move”? So hot!

Earlier this week, the Montreal duo Omnikrom launched a series of videos for their brand new mixtape Pitché dans le wow. They released 9 videos, one for every track on the record. I love the duo’s sense of humor and overall swagger. Even if you don’t speak French, Omnikrom can definitely interest you with their great raps, beats and their funny videos.

The Toronto-based trio Eight and a Half released this week a remix of Stars‘ track “Backlines”. Eight and a Half is comprised of two ex-members of The Stills and one ex-member of Broken Social Scene. They released their self-titled debut album last April, an album I definitely recommend checking out. Here’s their excellent remix, stoked to hear more remixes from them in the future!

https://soundcloud.com/youarestars/backlines-eight-and-a-half

That’s it for this week! Have a jolly weekend!
Mel xo