style / interview / tech

Aneta Genova: Accessories Designer Extraordinaire

Aneta Genova: Accessories Designer Extraordinaire

Meet Aneta Genova, Tribeca-based accessories designer and teacher who mashes up technology with the fashionista. Aneta teaches Accessory Design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and freelances as a designer at Ralph Lauren.


I love that she intersects both fashion and tech and was intrigued with our conversation about that convergence at this year's SXSW. She's the creative mind behind a collection of it-iPod cases, giving style to our gadgets.


Not only does she make our gizmos more fashionable, Aneta is paving the way in design innovation and was one of three instructors who led a competittion (sponsored by MCM Luxury Handbag) at Parsons on wearable technology where students design objects with controllers, solar panels and LED lighting. 


Aneta recently finished writing the first ever Accessory Design college textbook, presenting the process of design from concept and inspiration to sketching and manufacturing. Her book features the work of designers from all over the world, as well as students from various colleges. 


Rockerista caught up with Aneta for a little Q&A. 


How would you describe your personal style?

I vary my style depending on my mood and the event I'm going to. I am always conscious of what would be appropriate and what kind of people would be attending. I can be tomboy one day and a lady another. I really like dressing up and down. I enjoy the power of accessories. A pair of high heels and a gat with a feather can completely transform an outfit.



What is your approach in designing accessories for technology? What do you seek to accomplish with your finished product?

While I was designing I was always thinking of very distinct personalities and how different people dress in a completely different ways. I would name each case after a person I knew and would create a style that would fit their personality.




I’ve seen a few creative cases for the iPad and Kindle. Do you have any plans to bring some style to tablets?
I am currently content with having my gadgets naked. I enjoy the technology as it was created. But am already getting a small itch and a desire to make some new styles.


What new technologies or applications do you use in producing and showcasing your works?
I am a big believer in highly customized websites to showcase ones portfolio of work and strongly believe in the power of social media in promoting it. Blogging and especially Twitter has been my best tool when trying to reach a wide audience!

Top and skirt designed by Jovana Mirabile, one of Aneta's graduating fashion design students.


What’s your point of view on the geek or tech lifestyle within the fashion world?
Geeks are still not quite in in high fashion, but that's why it makes an even stronger case if one wants to be unique and create a strong personal style. A pair of well chosen frames and a button down shirt paired with a vintage skirt or pants can create a great combination.




You can keep up with Aneta on her blog, Bobbin Talk, where she is currently featuring the collections of emerging young designers, including the fashion collection thesis presentations of graduating fashion design students from Parsons this year.

Aneta also has a website where she teaches Accessory Design e-courses, FashioneTutor



Photos: Courtesy of Aneta Genova




You may also be interested in Kestrin Pantera: Rockerista Triple Threat.


Jo Marzan

Tags: style / interview / tech

What's your most favorite thing in your entire wardrobe?

Hands down my hat with feathers! I have a grey fedora style hats with a long peacock feather and a vintage jewel which always brings endless compliments. I notice when I wear it people are nicer to me.

What's on heavy rotation for you?

I am actually listening to some of the American Idols contestants songs. My favorites are James Durbin and Casey Abrams. On heavy rotation I alway shave the classics,like the Doors, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones.

What's your favorite gizmo, website or app?

The Hipstamatic photo app has been my best friend for the last few months.


music / style / look / listen

Look+Listen: Sleigh Bells

Look+Listen: Sleigh Bells

Hey kids! Welcome back -- hope you had a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend! I'm Kristine and I'm back with our second Look+Listen


I’m super pumped that Sleigh Bells are here in San Francisco this week to finally belt out hits from their 2010 debut album Treats. Krauss and Miller are so epic on stage, that they’ve sold out two nights at The Independent and had to add another show on Wednesday at The Rickshaw Stop.




I caught a glimpse of Sleigh Bells at Coachella in March. The Brooklyn based duo, singer Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek E. Miller, know how to downright get a crowd roaring and romping. Echos of sludgy riffs and honeysuckle vocals seriously had me throwing fist-pumps throughout Tell ‘Em and Riot Rhythm. Mix in Krauss’ no fuss body shaking antics, the pair attacked the audience song after song leaving me wanting more. And more we get this Wednesday at The Rickshaw Stop.





I can’t wait to see them tomorrow and to sport some serious Sleigh Bells style.



Our Sleigh Bells Look

   Outfit details at Polyvore.



Take a listen to the fabulous duo here!


Sleigh Bells - Tell 'Em by Sleigh Bells


Sleigh Bells - Riot Rhythm by Sleigh Bells



Photos: Pitchfork, Sleigh Bells on Myspace, NME Music




You may also be interested in Look + Listen: Lykke Li



Tags: music / style / look / listen


music / interview

Geographer: An SF Indie Fave

Geographer: An SF Indie Fave

San Francisco has a knack for churning out some of the sweetest indie sounds ever. Geographer hit the SF music scene in 2008 with debut album, Innocent Ghosts, and has been a local favorite ever since. Their second album, Animal Shapes, turns up the indie pop and you find yourself head-boppin and bum shakin before you even know it.


They're just one of those bands that hooks you on the first listen and satisfies by the last. Their unique pop-sensibilities come through layers of electronic synth sounds mixed with warm folk strums and Brian Ostreicher's rad drumming -- all tied together by Mike Deni’s haunting vocals and dramatic accents of cello from Nathan Blaz.


Rockerista got a little Q&A action from Mike Deni this month. Enjoy!




You’ve had a number of live shows over the past year from the Stars Tour to Noise Pop and SXSW. What’s been your favorite, most memorable show by far?

One of our favorite shows was when we played Austin on the Stars tour.  We had just come from Denver, where we had to sleep the night in a roadside motel because the freeway was closed on account of a blizzard.  This is after we had gotten two forced tows up the mountain pass (hauling a trailer with a minivan up snow-covered mountains--not gonna work).  So we had 3 days of just driving with no shows, cooped up in the van, and when we got to Austin all that pent up energy exploded on stage and we just had an amazing time.  The place was big and packed, and people were really feeding off of our energy.  It was an incredibly exciting atmosphere, and they cheered like crazy for us when we were done.  I remember looking at Brian and Nate backstage and just saying, "Wow.  That was...worth the drive."



For me, both albums are an instant pick me up. Though I know that the writing process for Innocent Ghosts was therapy from your past -- how is it for you to see people dancing around to what was originally pain from your loss?

Well, yeah, God, I don't know.  It never struck me as odd.  I don't make songs to make people feel sad, I make them to try to transport them into a place, to bring a challenging emotion into focus, but always in a pleasurable way.  I'm not the kind of guy that likes really viscerally disturbing art.  And while I love pushing up against those fences, I never like going through them.  So for me, pop that aspires to be art should still be pop.  Not at the expense of the notion behind it, but neither should the notion overshadow the form.  You can write a book about boredom, but if it's boring, I don't want to read it.




The cello just works so well. I love it as accent and as core in some of the solos. I know you’re not an orchestra band, but do you guys ever think about testing out other instruments?

We operate under two opposing schools of thought.  One is: throw everything at the wall and we'll figure out how to play it later.  The other is: play within our confines.  And the cello is one of those confines.  We strongly feel that limitation can be the lynch pin of creativity.  But humans adapt.  And those adaptations are often unique and innovative.  So we like to box ourselves into different corners and see what comes as a result of that.  Have we considered bassoon?  Sure.  Will we ever use it?  Only time will tell.


I’m reviewing a lot of stage style lately, was there ever an act or artist who’s stage style and aesthetic stood out for you?

Wayne Coyne's white suit I just think is fantastic.  And the fake blood and the confetti.  I also really enjoyed Washed Out's stage presence.  He just seems like he's having a great time.  What I respond to most in stage presence is that the person cares about and is lost in what they are doing.  I'm always impressed with people who can really work a crowd, but what I care about most is that the artist is right there with you, going through something as well.



Geographer fans will be happy to know that the trio is busy writing and recording for the next record. They are also filming a music video with David Dutton for the "Kites" single.


You can catch them live at Mezzanine on June 4th for the Live 105 BFD Pre-party with Vaccines, Innerparty System and Surfer Blood Saturday, and DJ Aaron Axelsen.


And if you haven't already, take a listen to some of Geographer’s tunes on Tricycle Records, and stay connected with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Jo Marzan

Tags: music / interview

What's your most favorite thing in your entire wardrobe?

A black wool shirt someone gave me instead of throwing away. I thought of throwing it away myself, but the style came back around, God bless it.

What's on heavy rotation for you?

Steve Reich: Drumming

What's your favorite gizmo, website or app?

Band Page


music / style / looks

Alison Mosshart Rockerista Looks

Alison Mosshart Rockerista Looks

I caught The Kills show at the Fillmore last week. Amazing. I think it was my fourth or fifth time to see rock goddess Alison Mosshart live. Man, does she know how to pulse and shake to Jamie Hince's guitar or what?!


Another one of my all time fashionista faves, Alison’s got rockerista style like nobody’s business. From her tossled Joan Jett black hair to her distressed tees, leopard jackets, and funky boots - this won’t be the last time you’ll see us post about her!


Here are three wearable looks our Rockerista stylephile, Nicole, put together from finds across the web.




Alison's Classic Leopard Sweater and Gold Boots!





Leopard Sweater Cardigan - Forever21; The Kills Tee - Domino Records; Victoria Beckham Denim Glossed Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans - Net-a-Porter; Antik Batik Bongo embellished leather shoulder bag - Net-a-Porter; Lyric Culture 'Can't Buy Me Love' Long Pendant Necklace  - Nordstrom




A feminine play on her puffy tutu skirt from the Interview Magazine spread.



Layered Tulle Puff Bubble Skirt - Frockaholics; Embellished Kary Tee - All Saints; Maiden leather jacket -  French Connection; Aurélie Bidermann 18-karat gold-dipped swan feather earrings - Net-a-Porter; Roberto Cavalli Gold-plated jasper ring - Net-a-Porter; Brian Atwood Claudette Studded suede sandals - Net-a-Porter; Jalsa Python Bean Clutch – Endless




And of course her classic jackets and distressed tees.






Burberry Paneled nubuck skinny pants - Net-a-porter; Oversize muscle tee with print - YouHeShe; Catherine Malandrino Black Cropped Jacket - StyleBop; Soixante Neuf Petite Turquoise Horn Necklace in Gold - Pink Mascara; Anita Ko Spike 14-karat gold stud earrings - Net-a-Porter' Jeffrey Camble Two Timer Wedge  -; Matt & Nat Commix Nappa-Style Bucket Bag - Endless




The Kills just finished up the first part of the US tour and are heading to the UK to start their European leg, followed by a few Australia and Japan dates. They'll be back in August to rock Ohio and New York. Hope you don't miss em! We'll be following Alison's style around the globe!



Photos:, Pessimiss, Zimbio, Interview Magazine, Nylon Mag

Looks styled by Nicole Weiss using Polyvore.




P.S. I was looking for her heart wrenching performance of 'The Last Goodbye' at the SF Fillmore and stumbled upon an even BETTER one from SXSW -- the live recording for KCRW radio. Check that - drawing up such raw emotion. I love how her lips hang off the microphone, and how you can feel like she's ready to hang her heart up on their too. Yeah, you can feel the weight of it on this one.


Jo Marzan

Tags: music / style / looks


music / style / interview

Richard Evans: Behind the Album Covers You Love

Richard Evans: Behind the Album Covers You Love

“Record covers are perhaps the timelines of our lives. They remind us of where we were, what we were doing, who we were with; they mark our student days, our holidays, our growing up, and our coming of age.”

- Richard Evans, The Art of the Album Cover



In this day and age of all things digital, it’s interesting to see how our relationship with the album cover has changed. One of my favorite things I used to do when I got new music was check out the art detail and read through all the liner notes. That was very much part of the whole experience.  Admittedly, nowadays, I rarely take the time to appreciate it as much. Do you still?


Richard Evans is the creative visionary behind many classic album covers for such greats as The Who, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, and The Kinks. I’ve had the privilege of working with Richard on a few projects for The Who and I’ve learned first hand why many artists trust him with their visuals. He is a natural at adding that final flair to a band’s music. That, and he has a great sense of humor.





In his latest book, The Art of the Album Cover, Richard takes us on an intimate journey of the life of the album cover and narrates through several decades of its evolution. Aubrey Powell, his former boss at Hipgnosis, writes a beautiful foreward describing Richard’s talents -- from shoe designer, whose works worn by Elton John, George Harrison, and The Osmonds -- to album cover designer and ultimately becoming The Who’s Creative Director.


The book is beautifully written and the visuals inspire me to find ways to keep album art alive -- whether I pause more to appreciate it in its new digital form or in its vintage state as a vinyl collection or art to hang on my walls.


Richard shares his point of view with Rockerista on album design, fashion and style, and stories from his days as a shoe designer. I hope you enjoy spending this time with him as much as I did.




So, what are you currently working on?


Well, right now I'm designing a ten CD box set of Louis Armstrong which includes a 200-page fully illustrated book and comes in a crocodile-skin monogrammed suitcase. Lots of fun to do and great to go back to the earliest days of jazz.


Can you describe your creative process for album cover design? How do you approach it?


Each album cover project is quite unique. There's no real formula for designing a package other than familiarising yourself with the artist and their music and having a passion for what you do. I've always been very fortunate that in all the hundreds of album covers that I've designed, I've always liked the music. Some obviously more than others, of course. Step forward The Who.



I generally approach a project by having an initial meeting with the artiste, manager or record company people to ascertain any first thoughts or specific ideas or concepts that they may have. Quite often I am left to come up with ideas from a blank canvas, but again in the case of say, a particular concept album the artistes themselves might wish to be involved. For example, last year I worked with Robert Plant on his Band of Joy album and Robert came to me with a specific idea that he wanted me to realise and bring to life for him.


If I am given a blank canvas I generally find out if there is an album title already sorted out, and I often ask for a set of song lyrics as they can usually be a stepping off point for ideas. Sometimes I am sent work-in-progress tapes or discs although these days, due to internet piracy and so forth, that doesn't happen so much. These days I might be invited to listen to a play back either at the studios or at management offices. Very rarely am I present at the actual recording. This is because at the recording stage, the artistes are not usually thinking about cover designs so early on.





Reflecting back at your work as The Who’s Creative Director, which album or general artwork is your most favorite to this day?


Gosh, there is so much to think back on. All those greatest hits, those t-shirts, those tour programmes. Album covers? Hmm, well I'm fond of The Who Singles Box which I thoroughly enjoyed putting together. I'm also fond of Endless Wire. I was in the process of moving house at the time of Endless Wire and I created it on a laptop at my kitchen table! and I loved working with Peter Blake on Face Dances too, back in 1981. He'd been one of my heroes for a very long time so it was particularly nice to meet him, work with him, and become friends.




Before your work at Hipgnosis, you were a shoe designer -- can you describe some of the styles of shoes and boots you designed? What made you gravitate towards shoes?


I studied fashion design at art school and when I left I was a fashion illustrator for a short while until I realised I wouldn't get rich doing that! I then began designing and making leather and snakeskin belts and clothes, including a floor-length python skin coat for Marianne Faithfull in around 1972. Hmm, I wonder if she's still got it? I then progressed into designing stack-heeled boots in crazy colours and leathers with appliqué and ridiculously high platforms. I sold several pairs of my shoes and boots to Roxy Music, Elton John, and George Harrison – and guitarist Rory Gallagher, who would run into my place saying "I'm going out on tour tomorrow, I need boots in size 7" and he always wore green boots because he was Irish and he swore they brought him luck. One day in 1972 Polydor Records phoned up and said 'we're sending The Osmonds round to see you' and a big limo pulled up outside with security guys and escorted 15-year-old Donny, his brother Wayne and their father in to my showroom. Nice people, they bought loads of shoes and boots. Oh, and Redbone came to see me. Remember them? 'The Witch Queen of New Orleans.' One of the very few native American bands.





After a couple of years of designing footwear and having fun my backer pulled out because I wasn't making him any money and my friend Aubrey 'Po' Powell stepped in and said 'well, come and work with us at Hipgnosis' – so that's how I got out of shoes and into jackets, so to speak.



Which decade do you think was the best for music and fashion?


It's probably the decade you come of age in. For me that was the 60s and 70s. The first time I saw the Who was when I booked them for an art school dance. I think we got them for about £400 or less. And I remember Pete being very stylish and clothes conscious. Ten years later when I was working with them, I think the first thing that Pete ever said to me was "So where did you get those shoes from then?" or something similar. He'd been eyeing me and my footwear up in the recording studio canteen.


When buying a new album - one of my favorite things I used to do was to read the liner notes. In your book, you describe the new digital album covers as “the grandchildren of the LP cover." Do you think this generation of digital covers lessens the experience for the music fan?


It probably does. As I said in my book, and as my friend Po said in his introduction, in the days of vinyl buying the latest album was a very important part of your week. On Saturday you went to the record shop and bought your 'sounds'. You carried them down the street under your arm. You were proud of them, and proud of the cover. You got home and pored over the liner notes, checking who the producer was, who designed the cover and so on. The funny thing is, I still do that to this day, checking this and that, seeing who did what, etc.



When I'm designing a cover I sometimes think of that guy in, say, Boise, Idaho for example studying the record or CD cover and noticing some little graphic or doodad that I've put in to the design and saying to himself "Hey, that's cool." That's why I sometimes hide secret messages in the package too. Such an old hippy that I am!



“The golden age of the album cover may well be long gone, and perhaps the record sleeve is deservedly putting its feet up somewhere, but great art for music packaging will continue to be created by designers today and far into the future, whatever shape or format the delivery of music may take.” - RE



For more on Richard and his wonderful works of art, take a visit to his website, You can also purchase his book at Amazon.


Now...if I can only find a way to get those funky boots back on the market!




All photos courtesy of Richard Evans

Jo Marzan

Tags: music / style / interview

What's your most favorite thing in your entire wardrobe?

A pair of blue suede shoes. And beautiful silk handkerchiefs that my wife paints and I wear in the top pockets of my jackets.

What's on heavy rotation for you?

Well, I'm constantly listening to blues music, both old and new stuff. This week, for example, I'm listening to Blind Willie McTell from the 1930s, and I'm listening to Pinetop Perkins, who recently passed away. I play blues harp and apparently I'm pretty good at it, so I'm told. I also listen to a lot of classical music such as Vaughan Williams and E J Moeran, lots of English composers. New bands? I've been playing a bit of Beady Eye – although Liam does seem to be rewriting the John Lennon songbook ;-) I've latched on to the Carolina Chocolate Drops too, and Laura Marling, folky stuff,oh, and this morning I have been listening to the title track from the new Fleet Foxes album. My taste in music is right across the board. I care little whether it's old or new stuff. I'm listening to Satchmo too whilst I design his box set. He was such an old rascal, you know. Smoked dope from when he was a young kid until the day he died.

What's your favorite gizmo, website or app?

Gadget: A Swiss army knife. You know, a friend of mine once designed a French army knife – all the tools were cork screws!

Web Sites: Here are three: