Hot Chip Remixes & Remasters Denim

Jeans, still wet with yellow paint, are tacked onto a gray canvas, which is tacked onto a wall on the sprawling top floor of EMI’s downtown Manhattan headquarters. Hot Chip’s Al Doyle, already quite lanky, sits on the edge of a chair struggling to cross 12-foot prosthetic legs, while bandmates Joe Goddard and Owen Clarke cradle his cardboard ankles to keep his shoes from slipping off. “We found, like, a big cardboard pole,” says lead singer Alexis Taylor, not quite sure how to explain the inspiration for the temporary installation he and his band have just created. The four electro-pop musicians (the fifth, Felix Martin, is back in their native London) begin to laugh at the silliness of it all. But, as is also the case with their musical approach, they’re game for just about anything.

Since the release of their debut album, 2005’s Coming on Strong, the boys of Hot Chip have consistently churned out big-hearted electro ballads with a distinctive, keyboard-driven beat. Their fourth studio album, One Life Stand, reaches for something more holistic: “We’ve always found it difficult to produce a record that sounds like it was made in one stretch,” Taylor says, while encasing his art project in a green border made from denim. “With this one, we somehow managed to get beyond that.”

One Life Stand is out now on Astralwerks.

Photography by Reynard Li. Grooming by Stephanie Flor for Artists by Timothy Priano.

iFidelity: iPhone App Reviews

Corcoran: The powerhouse real estate group makes one of the most difficult things about living in a competitive real estate market — finding a new apartment or condo — much, much easier. A simple, user-friendly interface allows squatters to comb through regularly updated rental and sales listings, complete with each agent’s contact info, in New York, the Hamptons and South Florida. It also lets you get a sense of the neighborhood and discover the coolest bars, restaurants and shops around each property. So if the mood strikes, you can drop in on an open house, land a $5 million penthouse and then find the perfect lunch spot to celebrate securing your new digs.

IMDb: The Internet Movie Database has long been the go-to site for anyone completing that fifth degree of Kevin Bacon, or trying to answer a don’t tell me, I know this one, this is gonna kill me-type question about the silver screen. The IMDb app doesn’t have any new features, but it does allow users to navigate the site’s contents with a few button clicks, which is essential for movie geeks, amateurs and those desperate for conversation starters.

Kayak: Kayak is a shopping comparison engine for all things travel: hotels, car rentals, airfares, vacation packages and so on. It uses information from a considerable number of websites — not just carriers or rental services, but also other pricing aggregators like Orbitz and Expedia — and compares their deals. Looking for a place to crash after a long night out in South Beach? One button. Need to call your airline to cancel a trip home, keep the credit and snag a low fare to the beach? Another button. Plus, $2 gains access to the “First Class” version of this app, which, aptly, searches out first and business-class fares.

Lose It!: Instead of sinking in a swamp of iDetritus, this app — a calorie counter made simple — has somehow separated itself from the pack. Lose It! sheds the more convoluted math of calorie counting, keeping things light by focusing on what you ate, how much of it you ate and how much you can continue to eat to reach your specified weight goal. Hey, it’s either this or taping thinspirational photos of the Olsen twins to your fridge.

Hipstamatic: Yes, it’s yet another photography app, and yes, it has the word “hip” in it. But clichés aside, Hipstamatic allows shutterbugs to create some pretty incredible shots, which can be distorted using several “analog” camera effects. Buy additional treatments at the in-app store — separate lenses, flashes or films, different ways to “develop” your pictures — and capture Kodak moments without Kodak or the blurriness often associated with the iPhone.

USPS Mobile: Despite providing one of the best deals in America — you can send something across the country for less than a dollar — the United States Postal Service has had to contend with dwindling envelope-lickers since the advent of e-mail. To keep up with the times, USPS has released a great iPhone app that tracks parcels from your phone, locates nearby offices and mailboxes and looks up zip codes with its user-friendly interface — all so we don’t have to go, well, postal.

Star Wars: Trench Run: Long before the world’s population devolved into Avatards, people were nuts over some guy in an X-wing blazing through another galaxy, far, far away. The Star Wars: Trench Run app — which puts players in Luke Skywalker’s seat for the climactic space battle from the original Star Wars — is a throwback to simpler times of old-school arcade fun and Jedi fever. Use the iPhone’s accelerometer to steer your aircraft, take down Imperial Forces and save the universe before you miss your train stop.

Lightspeed Champion Remixes & Remasters Denim

Should we open up a window, yeah?” Devonté Hynes asks, giggling. Known to music fans by his stagename, Lightspeed Champion, the 24-year-old Brooklyn-based Brit aims a loaded spray-paint can squarely at a pair of cutoff jeans. Once part of the short-lived dance-punk trio Test Icicles,Hynes went solo in 2006. (He said of the split, “We were never, ever that keen on the music.”) Since his 2008 debut as Lightspeed, a high-concept baroque pop album titled Falling off the Lavender Bridge (a project he is rather keen on), Hynes has collaborated with the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Florence + The Machine, the British Film Institute and even an X-Factor finalist.

This month’s Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is a 15-track rock opus filled with complex orchestral arrangements. It’s an ambitious, sweeping album, as engrossing as it is bittersweet. That’s all well and good, but Hynes is already on to the next thing. “I just recorded a demo for another song in my bathroom last night until my friends made me leave the apartment to go out,” Hynes says, laughing. “I just can’t seem to get away from making music. I suppose there are worse problems to have.”

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Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is out now on Domino.

Photography by Alexander Wagner. Kayla Michelle.

The Black List: Alexa Chung

Oh, it’s on all right. MTV canned her talk show late last year, but don’t expect Alexa Chung to take the news lying down. We asked the model, television host and indie fashion goddess — who recently teamed up with Madewell to design her debut clothing line — to purge her angst with a list of things she simply cannot abide.

1. I hate that bad reality TV is so incredibly gripping. 2. I hate online bullying. Those little comment boxes can brim with the most vicious, acidic and pointless remarks. 3. That I have a far-from-pretty voice. This, coupled with the fact that karaoke is basically my favorite activity, makes for some very sad evenings. 4. That I can’t seem to work out my shoe size in America. In England, I’m a size 6. (Yes, I’ve tried an 8.) 5. Surprise encounters. I immediately turn red when I bump into someone I wasn’t expecting to see. 6. Meat. 7. A lot of the music that dominates the charts. 8. Bad manners. 9. When people talk about The Wire beyond season one. I haven’t finished it yet! 10. That I’ve already read Lolita for the first time.

Behind the Scenes: Beauty from Our Women’s Denim Fashion Shoot

Our blue-jeaned beauty Josefin Hedström, of Marilyn New York (and of Swedish descent) puts a little edge in A Little Blue, our denim spread in the March issue. We paired a simple neutral make-up palette to compliment her good genes/jeans. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how to recreate her face using Make Up For Ever.

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Skin: We wanted her pretty skin to be the main focus, so she’d take on the earthy babe in blue jeans look we were going for. Start with an awesome skin prep, like Make Up For Ever’s HD Elixir. Instead of a regular lotion, it’s an intense serum that absorbs quickly and adds a slight sheen or radiance to clean skin. Once that has soaked in, layer its partner, HD Foundation over and blend with fingers.

Contour: Since we’re going for a mono-color palette, a neutral contour takes the place of color on cheeks. First absorb excess moisture with a translucent powder to avoid streaking the contour. HD Microfinish Powder is light and won’t add that mask-like layer that powder can. Once the foundation is set, dust Make Up For Ever’s Mat Bronze to forehead, chin and along the cheek bone. It is oil absorbing and lacks that beachy shimmer some bronzers have, to give an 80’s effect to an otherwise bare face.

Eyes: I like to use bronzer on my lids, but if that’s a little too matchy-matchy use Make Up For Ever’s Shadow in 127. It’s a simple neutral shadow with just a hint of sheen. Skip eyeliner (unless you go the way of Adam Lambert and would die without, in which case use a brown or taupe). Finish off look with a few Individual lashes on the center and outer lash line.

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Barbarians at the Gate: New York’s Door Deciders

Gone are the days of the grunting, cross-armed, meathead bouncer. Inspired by the example of revered nightlife fixture Gilbert Henry Stafford, the current generation of doormen are sophisticated and stylish toughs who adorn — and block — New York’s tightest doors.

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Aalex Julian, Simyone Lounge and Abe & Arthur’s – “In the end, the man makes the clothes. It’s not always what you wear, but how you wear it.” Aalex wears blazer and shirt by Tom Ford, jeans by J Brand.

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Richard Alvarez, subMercer – “People need to wear their clothes rather than be worn by them.” Richard wears leather patchwork jacket by Maison Martin Margiela, vest and tails by Norisol Ferrari Bespoke.

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Binn Jakupi (right), 1Oak/a> – “Clothing is an integral part of setting the tone for the place that you represent, and it is of the utmost importance that you do it with your own style.” Binn wears shirt and tie by Dolce & Gabbana. Genc Jakupi, The Box – “The Box, being about performance and extravagance, requires a more theatrical form of dressing up.” Genc wears suit by John Varvatos.

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Wass Stevens, Avenue – “People are dressing up more, finally. I think it’s great.” Wass wears suit and shirt by Isaia, tie by Barneys New York, cashmere overcoat by Gucci.

Photography by Adam Fedderly. Grooming by Tracy Alfajora for MAC Cosmetics.

4 Fashion Icons Reanimated as Denim-Clad Zombies

Most people have and love at least one pair of jeans, but here are four fashion icons who would only ‘do’ denim over their dead bodies. Illustrator Jonathan Zawada obliged them.

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Donatella Versace Age: 55 Occupation: Chief Designer, Versace

Style Mantra: Versace created a one-off design using recycled denim in celebration of Earth Day, but when it comes to her own personal style, she says, “It’s black slim trousers, a wraparound black top, a leather jacket and heels, always heels.”

Caught Dead Wearing: Complemented by a leather handbag dangling casually from her right humerus, we put Donatella in a midriff- and décolletage-baring denim zip-up over a shredded tank, as well as slim-fi t jeans. Humerus, indeed!

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Alber Elbaz Age: 49 Occupation: Artistic Director, Lanvin

Style Mantra: Even though he designed a capsule collection for Acne jeans two years ago, perennial penguin Elbaz told London’s The Observer in 2007, “I always wear a dinner jacket.” Caught Dead Wearing: So we made sure to keep him in one, albeit a dinner jacket made from denim—offset nicely by matching pants and his trademark oversize bow tie.

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Daphne Guinness: Age: 43 Occupation: Stout Heiress

Style Mantra: The skunk-haired couturier muse once wrote, half-joking, in a column for The Times of London, “All right, I’m going to Topshop. I’m going to close my eyes and ears, and maybe I should have a stiff drink.” Caught Dead Wearing: Nothing screams ready-to-wear louder than a busted pair of overall cutoffs with a floor-length chambray scarf. Plus, the dangling earring on her right matches the dangling ear on her left.

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Valentino Garavani Age: 68 Occupation: Legendary Fashion Designer, Lifelong Tanner

Style Mantra: The sartorial god once described his personal style to us as follows: “In spring and summer, I like light pants with gray, brown or navy jackets. I’m super-classic.” Caught Dead Wearing: With that in mind, we let him keep his tie, but dipped into the casual side of business-casual with thigh-revealing jean shorts and a denim vest accessorized with a smiley-face pin. Viva the dead Valentino!

Not an Editor’s Letter: Liam Gallagher

I’ve always been into clothes, and I take inspiration from so many people. Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones and George Harrison from the Beatles looked cool; Paul McCartney always looked like a nerd, but we forgave him for that because he had a top voice and wrote top tunes; Jimi Hendrix always looked pretty wild, which I liked. Kids these days, they don’t really know that period. I started my own label, Pretty Green, with the hope of bringing late-’60s British classics to the masses.

There’s nothing modern here — it’s not a ’90s line. I came up with the idea while sitting around the pool one day with not a lot to do. It was just shoes at first. I got a few guys to help me, and now we’ve done a deal with Clarks. No huge changes, just making them a bit more mine: lower the heel here, do this there. So that was cool. Then I realized I could really start making clothes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not doing anything new with these clothes. But I am tweaking it a bit. When I get it right, it feels really good. And it means I don’t have to buy new clothes anymore.

Here’s the thing about jeans: You can go around the block and get all these new designs, but you always come back to Levi’s. I check out what’s new and what’s out there, but it’s always about Levi’s. All this True Religion shit — I don’t want to start going off, but I don’t like designer jeans. Stick with Wrangler jeans. If they were good enough for the cowboys, then they’re fucking good enough for me. D’you know what I mean? I feel really good at the moment. If I weren’t doing Pretty Green, or working on this new record, I’d probably be sitting around being pretty bitter. But life’s too short.

Blazer, shirt and jeans by Pretty Green