Haute Music: VIA Presents Onra

720 Records is situated on Butler St. in Lawrenceville,  the burgeoning creative neighborhood of Pittsburgh increasingly becoming composite of galleries, quirky eateries, studio spaces and bars with good draft lists and great music.  Perusing 720’s vinyl offerings, it was easy to see why the VIA Presents crew chose this little record store to stage an Onra show. The music in the racks was all Chuck Chillout, Graffiti Rock alum, Erykah Badu, and miscellaneous Dilla projects.  The store offers vinyl geeks a palette of thoughtfully selected tunes, and threw off those music geek vibes that went along with a crowd of creative dance-aholics. Some were there to dance, others to be inspired, but everyone got what they came for.

Pittsburgh based audio artist, Discuss started off the evening with his sometimes languorous, and sometimes fast paced sonic bravado.  His set came in waves of tempo pushing ups and ethereal ambiance that built tension, exploding into blankets of beats and glitches and wa-wa’s.  The complex tempo changes eased the crowd from social gabbery into focused dancing and set the mood for the rest of the night. There were moments of piano prominence, a warm glittering homage to the classical amidst the electronic sound scape. The moments that put the ‘I’ in the oh-so reductive label IDM, which should be avoided in a discussion of Discuss, whose very name denotes all-inclusiveness.  The undulations of his set propagated a sort of think-motion. He’d momentarily unwind the crowd to the point of near sedation, and then gradually work the collective body movement back up with a distinctly techno backdrop to complex layers of throbbing melody; at once peaceful and serene and simultaneously dance inducing.

The V component of VIA, the visual accompanying the audio, was provided by yet more local talent.  For Discuss’s set we got the video art of Laurie Trok whose visuals were more than complimentary to the languid, enveloping sound scape.  She worked primarily in black and white as well as shades of grey; not to say that the sounds lacked color, if we can even relate sounds to colors, though trying to do so is kind of what VIA is all about.  Her shades of gray video art complimented the note of seriousness in the music. If bright color had been prevalent, the mood might have gone towards kitsch but she kept it subdued and slightly vintage with soft, blur-tinged shapes, a dada-esque geometric montage.

Discuss

 

After a brief interlude with music provided by DJ’s Nicerec and Harry Lurker, the electro-pop/chillwave quartet Golden Ages took the stage and as a multi-member act brought a lot more noise, sometimes raucous and sometimes beautifully chill.  Their sound has been compared to the likes of Fuck Buttons and Animal Collective but also holds a certain touch of the 70’s electronic sound spread by Neu! Think Nagativ, rock ‘n’ roll strings poking through a wash of cacophonous synth but also picking up the pop and living up to that Animal Collective comparison.  Artist Di-ay Battad took over the visuals for Golden Ages and her set was a little more playful than Trok’s as she reached for organic and curvilinear shapes, the images were reminiscent of strange plant life and water droplets, which worked well with the pop tones emanating from Golden Ages’ amps.

 

Golden Ages

 

Finally, in the stifling heat of the back room at 720 Records, Onra and sonic cohort Buddy Sativa began their set with My Comet, a synth-drenched, throbbing ode to vintage funk and smooth R&B.  It declares from the beginning in a robotic sort of way, “I want to hear future funk,” and then breaks open into the smooth waves of Onra’s hip-hop, funk, and electronic blend, keepin’ it futuristic but still old school kind of funky.  His set was mostly the instant crowd pleasers, tracks that pay tons of homage to Dilla; songs like Send Me Your Love, which has all kinds of cheesy R&B flavor, note the repetitive use of the word ‘baby,’ but the cheesiness is all part of the fun.  It’s still irresistibly sexy and the packed crowd danced all the way up to the track that he played off of Chinoiseries, and then some weren’t sure what to do.  It definitely still grooved though, just in a slightly globe-trotting RZA sorta way, a quilt of Chinese and Vietnamese pop music mixed with modern dance beats, an example of Onra as some kind of dance inducing musicologist.

 

The party relocated to the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern where the second part of the double feature was held.  Having fallen on a Wednesday, the night of Pittsburgh’s decade old weekly drum and bass show – FUZZ! gave Onra’s deejay set a storied local significance, Polish Party House meets Vietnamese Parisian producer – globalization at it’s finest.  His deejay set proved his massive range of musical tastes that goes from weird to vintage to pop and while he dropped the poppiest song a bass lover would want, Big Boi’s Shutterbug, he backed it up and framed it with tribal bass keeping Shutterbug still very Onra-like.

 

Onra

 

As an evening of blended together art forms, the audio with the visual, VIA succeeded in creating an experience like no other. It was a smart, thoughtfully produced party that emphasized local talent, and simultaneously introduced music fans to an amazing international producer.  Getting Onra as both an accomplished beat maker, as he demonstrated with his set at 720 Records, and also as a crowd pleasing deejay at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, was kind of the best way to experience him, both polished and freewheeling.  There was no doubt that the crowd loved him as they clung to the dance floor, blissfully unaware that the bartenders had stopped serving.  No doubt he would’ve had the BBT rocking for at least three more hours.

 

 

Article By: Kate Magoc

Photos by: Lindsay Mullen

HAUTE NYC © 2011

A Haute Minute: Italian designer Pamela Quinzi

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting the Chelsea style house of Italian born fashion designer, Pamela Quinzi. Pamela was such a gracious hostess, letting us play dress up with all her gorgeous shoes and dresses. She revealed how she has only been living in New York for only a year, but is infatuated with the city. Born in Rome, Italy, Pamela moved to Milan after high school to study in Europe’s most prestigious fashion university, ISTITUTO MARANGONI.

When asked about her feelings on New York, Pamela replied, “After 10 minutes in Time Square, I knew I had to live in New York! This city bring to my life so much energy every day and inspires my work. I spent the summer in Manhattan and I returned to Italy to pack up my apartment.”

HAUTE NYC: How did your passion for fashion design begin?

Pamela: I really think I was born to be a fashion designer. haha Since I was very young, at the age of 4 years old, I started to designs dresses and shoes. I still have a book that my mom did for me collecting all my small sketches!

 

 

HAUTE NYC: Where do you draw inspiration from your designs? Does your own style have any influence on your creative mind?

Pamela: I love the history of fashion. My style reminds me of the baroque allure; all the embroidery, lace, crystals, and the feeling to be a princess! But now, I am a  New York pop princess!

HAUTE NYC: Where can we find Pamela Quinzi designs? What are your plans as a designer for the upcoming year?

Pamela: Right now, I feel very lucky because you can find Pamela Quinzi Design in one of the most fashionable and trendy shops in Manhattan, MODALISTAS, located at the Limelight Market on 6avenue and 21st street! I’m also planning to sell my collection online very soon! I will have more fashion show to promote myself in NY and in Italy! My collection doesn’t really have a season. They are unique pieces, handmade art creations. At least, I like to call theme like that!

 

For more of my interview with Pamela Quinzi, check out frockOn.com

Check out Pamela’s design page – www.pamelaquinzidesign.com

Article & Photos by: Angela Samartano

Haute Around the World: Memories of Miami Fashion Week 2011

Last Saturday, March 5th, I had the pleasure of attending the Miami Beach International Fashion Week Events, and boy was I in for a treat. The events started with the Culinary Style Café which was a showcase brought to us by Chef Alberto Bogado from chic restaurant BARU Urbano, located in the Downtown, Brickell area of Miami. Stella Artois, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Goya, Johnson & Wales University, and Joy Wallace Catering Production all came together to give us a taste of Chef Alberto’s culinary delights. Some of the treats included Pan Roasted Filet Mignon in Baru sauce with root Vegetable Hash, Tostones stuffed with cheese and Hogao sauce, and my personal favorite, the Milo Brownies. So next time you are in Miami, make sure to make a pit stop at BARU Urbano and satisfy those taste buds!

After my belly was satisfied I headed over to the fashion shows, which completely captivated me. I was able to attended two different shows, each had a mixture of designers from all over the world. The first event was the Pret-A-Porter Style Showcase featuring Eccentric Apparel-USA with special guest “models,” LUXXE Collections-USA, Boston Proper-USA, Mariela Allaix-Argentina, Marina Makaron Moscow-Russia and Bata Spasojevic. Spasojevic was just recently the winner of the MBIFW designer competition at Banja Luka Fashion Fair in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was my favorite of the two events, which included Eccentric Apparel’s models, which happened to be dogs! These were some fashionable pups, wearing scarves, hoodies and coats of all sorts of fabrics and designs.

My second favorite designer was Marina Makaron, who used the paisley print to all avail. Her designs featured silk and chiffon scarves, full of abstract floral prints. This designer was very retro inspired, reminded me of the ever fabulous Emilio Pucci. I could definitely wear her designs to the beach or even with a maxi-dress.

The second showcase was the Copa Airlines Showcase featuring Claudia Bertolero-Peru, Federico Visuetti-Panama, Marcelo Quadros-Brazil, Eduardo Gonzalez-Colombia, and Giovanni Scutaro-Venezuela. This showcase was something out of this world. I completely fell in love with Giovanni Scutaro’s spectacular wedding dress, headpiece and all. He made me want to find a man and go get married in this exact dress. But for now I can just dream of wearing such a magical dress.

 

 

Article by Magen Martin

HAUTE NYC © 2011

Haute Chick: Jessica Leone

Born & raised in New York City, our featured Haute Chick Jessica Leone gives a little insight into how real New York girls stay looking haute!

1. How do you describe your personal style?

 

My personal style is effortlessly sexy. I feel most comfortable in a pair of great tight, skinny jeans, a v neck and great flats or flat over the knee boots. When I go out though, as you can see, I usually wear a tight and fitted outfit with some sky high heels that I’ll only be able to wear while I’m young (lol). I think the most beautiful part of a womans body is her neck and chest area, I usually like to accentuate that part of myself by wearing tube tops and off the shoulder shirts. I’m not into the long necklace trend either, a bare neck and heavy ear rings are my favorite. Most importantly, if a shirt or skirt or pant is uncomfortable I won’t even bother wearing it. You must be comfortable in what you’re wearing to look sexy or else it looks forced and fake.


2. Do you think living in NYC affects your fashion sense? Why or why not?

 

Living in NYC absolutely affects my fashion sense. Being a New York girl I am instilled with the confidence to wear the newest trends and pull them off. In New York we also love our dark colors. I fight picking up the dress or the shirt in black and I always try to take another color but-sorry, it just the sexiest! In New York we’re also very big on chunky layering, great shirts, jackets, scarves, wraps and chunky boots. New York women have a certain sophistication about the way they walk and the way they dress that can’t be found anywhere else!

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