Tag Archives 2014

Ed Letter: Oct/Nov 2014

The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the escalator at the Crowne Plaza in Times Square for Couture Fashion Week was how beautiful everyone was. Like, everyone: the beaming hostesses, the clusters of guests, the sharp businessmen and reporters, and, of course, the models. Around six of them were getting ready for the shows in one of the ladies’ rooms, leaning in towards the mirror to adjust their lashes and hair, and I felt like I was in that episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza stumbled into that secret underground club filled with beautiful women (which seemingly disappeared by the end of the episode, so who knows if it ever even existed). They all towered above me, which I wasn’t used to (with my wedge heels on, I stood at about 5’10”, which isn’t exactly short), and were all legs and topknots and lip-gloss. I found myself smiling politely while I touched up my own makeup beside them, trying not to stare.
If anything, Fashion Week is one huge gathering of beautiful, interesting, and creative individuals. I wondered: did I now fit into that mold, now that my name was stamped on the guest list like it’s stamped on the top of our masthead? (At least my boyfriend certainly thinks so.) Either way, the three-day event at Couture Fashion Week was one filled with extravagant fashion, beautiful faces, and tons of talented singers, dancers, and performers. It was a whirlwind for me, between tweeting when LTE allowed, snapping photos, having my own photo taken (thank you, photographer from Runway Life magazine, who thought my H&M dress was super classy, and Julian, the sweetest intern ever), and having drinks with a new friend (hello, Neglah from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology). Interested in exactly how beautiful everything (and everyone!) was? Check out page. 25 in our Oct/Nov 2014 issue for exclusive photos.
Now on to the magic that is our current issue: for Oct/Nov, we’ve set our sights on fall, which is easily my favorite season of all. I adore everything about it: brisk mornings, ankle boots, stylish coats, light scarves, and the beautiful foliage (thank you, Mother Nature). From the best fall fashion trends to hairstyles and must-have accessories, our beauty and fashion departments have got you covered. Meanwhile, our entertainment and music departments have gathered some of the coolest shows, films, and music to check out this season. So whether you’re a fashionista craving the best summer-to-fall transition pieces, or if you’re going to be a couch potato and binge-watch the best dramas on television, at least do it in style. You know I will.

Megan Portorreal
Now I want to hear from YOU! Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send me an e-mail at [email protected] or tweet me @meganportorreal for the fastest response! I am also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.
Ed Letter: Oct/Nov 2014: Photographed by Julian Alexander

What to Look Forward to at NYC Comic Con


In 2013, New York Comic Con attracted over 133,000 attendees, making it the second largest pop culture and comic book gathering in the country! This year promises to be even bigger and better. Comic Con has been extended to a full week of pop-culture festival fun starting on October 3 and ending with the three-day ticketed event at the Javits Center. At every corner of all five boroughs of the city there will be concerts, gaming events, comedy shows, lectures, food tastings, podcasts, and more, so be sure to check them out.

What to know what to look forward to at NYC Comic Con? Throughout the Show Floor at the Javits Center, you will be able to shop for comics, snap pictures with your favorite cosplay characters (my personal favorite is Wolverine), purchase original illustrations in Artist Alley, and venture in The Block. The Block combines collectible toys, fashion, art, and design of the underground pop culture scene.

Are you a Marvel Comics fanatic or obsessed with The Walking Dead? Perfect! At NYCC you will be able to meet many comic, entertainment, and literary guests like Patrick Stewart from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or a special guest from the hit show Breaking Bad. For your absolute must-meet or you’ll die individuals, set aside some time so you can get an autograph from them during their assigned time slot.

The amazing Panels offer the ability to learn skills from game creators or speak with some of the cast of a hit TV show or movie. It’s also a great way to end the day after walking around the floor all afternoon.

For first timers to get the most out of their experience, be sure to download the official NYCC app on your Smartphone to determine panel details, autographing schedules, exhibits, giveaways, and contests plus so much more.
 Image courtesy of newyorkcomiccon.com

Ed Letter: Aug/Sept 2014


Summer is a strange thing: we wait all year long for it, and once it arrives, it seems to be gone again in the blink of an eye. June rolls in quietly like an old friend, July comes in fits of heat and fireworks, and then August—August is a sneaky one. Suddenly you realize you took the summer for granted and let it drift on by, and you scramble to cram in everything you’ve ever wanted to do into four short weeks. You find yourself planning a lot more than being spontaneous and groaning at “Back to School” commercials (whether you are still in school or not, you will forever remember the panic and denial these commercials caused). And worst of all, you find yourself looking at the calendar all the time. In July, you didn’t know if it was Tuesday or Wednesday. In August, you know what day it is exactly, as well as how many days you have left. Finally, September feels like waking from a strange dream.
While cherishing the last few days of freedom seems to be on everyone’s agenda this month, we at Cliché are also looking ahead to my favorite season of all: fall. Something about donning ankle boots, silk scarves, and light sweaters makes me feel so cozy and at home. While the hot, sticky summer makes us strip down to the least amount of clothing deemed socially acceptable, the fall brings back the endless options of accessorizing and layering. However, perhaps my favorite thing about fall is walking (or running) through a field of freshly fallen, crisp leaves. The world gets a little redder, and a little golder, and that is all right with me.
In this issue, in combination with the end of summer and the beginning of fall, we give you some beauty tips to replenish your tired skin from sun-soaked days and beautiful fall collections that are giving us serious cases of lust. We are also incredibly honored to chat with Mayim Bialik about the new season of The Big Bang Theory, premiering next month. With all that said, September doesn’t sound so bad after all.
Megan Portorreal
Now I want to hear from YOU! Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send me an e-mail at [email protected] or tweet me @meganportorreal for the fastest response! I am also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.
“Ed Letter: Aug/Sept 2014” was originally published in Cliché Magazine’s Aug/Sept 2014 issue

Guardians of the Galaxy Review


When I’m watching a summer blockbuster, I’m looking for a few things: action, hilarity, and a good story with charismatic characters; these three things are usually key in the making of a hit movie. Guardians of the Galaxy meets these expectations and, cliché as it is to say, brings more to the table, making this end-of-the-summer flick worth your hard-earned shillings. Speaking of which, GotG is making millions this weekend, more than it was expected to make, and I’m not surprised, when taking into consideration its competition, that it’s breaking records this week. I’m not saying that GotG is by any means the lesser of less-than-entertaining movies out this weekend–even though one could interpret that–but what I will say is that this movie has a lot going for it beyond the explosive spectacle that sizzles screens and fills summer seats, things such as:

1. An Awesome Mix of Music
Besides the usual superhero theme, there’s a soundtrack of 60’s and 70’s hits brought to us courtesy of Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord, the formerly portly recently ab-having funnyman actor Chris Pratt, and his ancient walkman–or, at times, played on his interstellar space scouring starship’s tape player. Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” ooga-chaka’s as we’re introduced to Star-Lord, who appears to be on a treasure hunting mission, and later on The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which is enjoyed by the Vin Diesel voiced character Groot, who is loquacious yet very concise when picking his (its?) words. The music does more than make heads bob in the theater, it plays a big part in Star-Lord’s personality and history (his mother made him these mixtapes before her passing and his abduction from Earth). The mixtape is Star-Lord’s personal theme music, and accompanies him on his escapades and death-defying dilemmas.

2. D’epique (The Epic) World
What made this film so inviting was the use of a wide variety of colors, seen either on the grand scale of these alien worlds or the countless lives that filled it, both of which were abundantly over stimulating to my senses. There is never a dull moment; each frame is filled with warmth and life, and when there is a lack of it–for example the dank doom-filled den of this film’s antagonist, Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace–it serves only to highlight the lively world  of the Guardians and why it is important to save it from the evil forces of the galaxy. A rainbow of different species filled several scenes; there were red or blue aliens, gray ones, and pink–most of which were created using practical effects–and at one point, Star-Lord is doused in an orange liquid, giving his skin an oompa-loompa John Boehneresque glow. Furthermore, Rocket and Groot, the former voiced by Bradley Cooper, complimented the colors of Drax the Destroyer, played by the hulking Dave Batista, who is colored a dark skinned hunter green whilst Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, bears a light-skinned grass green. The Guardians have an earthy palette of colors that make them appear less than superhuman, and more so… normal, despite being, you know, not from Earth. Which brings me to…

3. The Motley Defenders
These are not your hyper-charged superheroes–they aren’t The Avengers. So bear with me for one moment… These Guardians of the Galaxy are damaged goods. They’re not genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Tony Stark. They’re not norse god of thunder, Thor. They’re not the beloved national iconic superhuman, Captain America. Rocket the Raccoon is a product of animal experiments! Drax the Destroyer’s entire family was tortured and killed by Ronan the Accuser (the main bad guy). Gamora is the adopted daughter of a genocidal tyrant who not only destroyed her entire family, but who also forced her to become a living weapon, rapt with guilt and also witness to many of her father’s bloody atrocities. So… yeah, they have issues for the most part–except Groot, Groot is chill. At one point I was banking on Groot to give a Fast and Furious picnic speech about the importance of family, but it was, thankfully, shown rather than told during the run of the film. This motley crew, these vagabonds, were seemingly destined to meet, and hilarity and drama ensued from the moment these characters first met. There was grade-A banter between these characters, especially during their impromptu prison break (one of many daring escapes), and I believe this speaks greatly to their characters. Each encounter not only tightens the bonds they have with each other, but also makes them much more human and appealing to us, the viewer. I’m still amazed at how this movie was able to smoothly incorporate all these characters into one film.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review: Featured image courtesy of Marvel.com

Ed Letter: June/July 2014


Photo Jun 18, 9 23 18 AMExactly two years ago when I first became the new Editor in Chief of this magazine, I was putting this thing together at my kitchen table, collecting photographs from talented, generous photographers, and writing articles with a small group of friends at my university. Although I still sometimes work from my kitchen table, now I have a whole team backing me, lending their support, thoughts, and passions—and I couldn’t be more grateful. The day I launched my first issue, I had a small celebration at home—with a few drinks and a delicious cake—and I wished that, someday, this magazine would be where it is today.
To celebrate Cliché’s 5th birthday and the long-awaited arrival of summer, I wanted this issue to be about fun—because what is fun anyway, if not doing something you love, something that makes you happy? I’d be the first person to defend the idea that you can have fun all by yourself—by reading an exciting book, putting together new outfits, practicing new hairstyles and makeup tricks, and the list goes on! And for those who crave the warmth of company and laughter, head to the beach this summer, go traveling, and share some of your favorite music with someone special. I encourage everyone to just do what they love this summer, and just have fun.
The people I know will be having fun this summer include Ethan Thompson, former American Idol contestant, while he tours California to promote his debut EP (read my interview with him on pg. 134), our beautiful cover girls Serinda Swan (pg. 106) and Nicky Whelan (pg. 114) as they further their careers, and the ton of other musicians, actors, and artists we interviewed this issue. And we can’t forget our writers, who will reporting on their favorite summer findings and activities—both in this issue and on our blog—as well as soaking up some sun. More than anything, I hope this issue inspires you all to let loose and enjoy the summer.
And as far as anniversaries go… here’s to many more.
Megan Portorreal
Now I want to hear from YOU! Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send me an e-mail at [email protected] or tweet me @meganportorreal for the fastest response! I am also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.
Ed Letter: June/July 2014 was originally published in the June/July issue of Cliché Magazine

Rihanna’s Risque Ensemble


Yesterday I began seeing various Instagram posts of Barbadian beauty, Rihanna, dressed in a dress that bared it all. The 26 year old singer has been known to let it all hang out on the red carpet before, but Monday night’s get up for the 2014 CFDA Awards, definitely takes the cake.
The bombshell stepped out in a glittering, completely sheer fishnet slip dress that exposed her nipples and her nude G-string underwear—which was the only thing keeping Rihanna from wearing nothing but her birthday suit. She accessorized with matching sheer elbow-length gloves, limited edition cats eye moonstone and diamond earrings and an imperial topaz and diamond ring by American jewelry designer Paul Morelli. (E! Online)
Rihanna’s outfit was custom made by designer Adam Selman, and 216,000 Swarovski crystals covered her petite body. Rihanna is being awarded with Fashion Icon Award for pushing the envelope, and if this fashion choice isn’t proof that she is utterly fearless when it comes to fashion, then I don’t know what is.
Because Rihanna’s risque ensemble has created so much buzz via social media over the last few days, there has been mixed reviews on whether or not the dress is chic or simply trashy. However, Rihanna had a few choice words of her own defending her sexy dress.  When asked if she was planning on wearing her Adam Selman creation out after the fashion awards, the “Diamonds” singer responded: “Why? Yes I am. Do my t-ts bother you? They’re covered in Swarovski crystals!”
I think Rihanna’s dress did show a bit much, but for the sake of fashion I think it was absolutely fabulous! It’s great to be comfortable in your own skin, and Rihanna’s overwhelming confidence is amazing. You go Rih-Rih!
(All Images courtesy of E! Online)

Comedic Genius Chris Rock To Host 2014 BET Awards


Apparently not everybody hates Chris. BET announced today, May 14th, that comedian Chris Rock will host the 2014 BET Awards and critics and fans alike couldn’t be more excited.
“We’ve been trying to make this happen for a VERY long while, and we’re ecstatic that Chris Rock will be the host of the BET Awards for the first time,” said Stephen Hill, president of Music Programming and Specials at BET in a statement. “Mr. Rock is a comedic genius with a rapier wit who is a keen observer of pop culture.” (MTV News)
The hilarious comedic veteran will be bringing his talents  to the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, where he’ll serve up the laughs before, during and after Hollywood and music’s biggest stars accept awards for their blockbusters and chart-toppers. Some stars who you should expect to see are Drake, Jay-Z, and Beyonce, who are all nominated for 5 awards each for their albums Nothing Was The Same, Magna Carta Holy Grail and Beyoncé. Pharrell and August Alsina are respectively nominated for 4 awards each.
Chris Rock who happens to be a huge fan of hip-hop, says that he is excited he’ll finally get a chance to host on of his favorite award shows.
“I watch the BET Awards every year,” Rock said later in a statement. “It’s one of my favorite award shows combining people from movies, sports, TV and music. Where else can you get Rick Ross and Michelle Obama in the same room?! The BET Awards is like a party where nothing is off limits. My peers have done the show now it’s my turn.” (MTV News)
Comedic genius Chris Rock to host 2014 BET Awards? I can’t wait to laugh until my stomach hurts. Award shows are nothing without a good host, and I know that Chris Rock will definitely bring the funny. The awards show will broadcast live Sunday, June 29 at 8 p.m. on BET. Make sure to be tuned in, this is one award show you won’t want to miss.
(Featured Image courtesy of Facebook/BET Awards)

The Best Of The 2014 Met Gala Red Carpet


So yesterday night was the Met Gala, the single most important fashion event of the year. Red carpet regulars include Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marc Jacobs and Chrissy Teigen just to name a few. This extravagant event kicks off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s yearly Costume Institute exhibit, and the stars all always ready to wow the paparazzi with some stunning couture looks. This year the theme of the night is a tribute to Charles James, America’s First Couturier, meaning bright colors and lots of over the top gowns. There were a lot of celebrity couple sightings on this year’s red carpet, as well as a lot of beautifully fabulous singles. I have put together a list of celebrities who I felt shined brighter than the rest and look absolutely amazing. Here is The Best of the 2014 Met Gala Red Carpet.

To kick off the fabulous couples, we have Beyonce wearing Givenchy Haute Couture alongside her dapper husband Jay-Z.


Next is the soon to be newlywed couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The fashionable pair are both dressed in Lanvin.


Next up is sultry singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigan, who are both adorned in sleek Ralph Lauren.


Now we’re focusing on some chic celeb divas and who better to start with than the playful songstress Ms. Janelle Monae.

She is regally dressed in Tadashi Shoji.


Next up is the beautiful Victoria’s Secret angel, Adriana Lima, who dominated the red carpet in Givenchy Couture.


Here is the lovely Zoe Kravitz who wasn’t afraid to show a little skin in her daring Top Shop dress.


Glee star Lea Michelle definitely stood out in her gold Altuzarra ensemble, looking radiant as ever.

Talk about some ultimate celebrity eye candy! These and many other fashionable stars all looked top notch last night. Just looking at some of these beautiful gowns makes me swoon, and I can only imagine the price tag on some of these designer ensembles. But price means nothing to celebrities during this iconic event. It is all about showing out and looking your best while doing it. I hope you all enjoyed my red carpet best dressed list. I can’t wait to see what looks hit the red carpet next year.

(All Images courtesy of HarpersBazaar.com)

Lupita Nyong’o Named Most Beautiful Of 2014


Lupita Nyong’o has been creating quite a buzz in social media lately. She won an Oscar for best supporting actress in the movie “12 Years a Slave”, signed a deal with Lancôme to become its first black ambassador, and now People magazine has deemed her “Most Beautiful person for 2014”. This Kenyan beauty joins a cast of Hollywood A-listers who have headed the list, including Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise and Beyonce. During the 2014 awards season, Nyong’o was praised for being one of the most fashionable on the red carpet, but she really began making headlines in February after she delivered a moving speech at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon.
Lupita says “I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful, I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin.” (CNN) She also told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that she was moved by People naming her the most beautiful. “I’m flattered, but flattered sounds like such a flighty word, you know? I’m flattered with, like, gravitas under it,” she said. (CNN)
Lupita Nyong’o named most beautiful of 2014? This is a true Cinderella story. She can be viewed as a positive role model for girls of all ages. Our perceptions of beauty are often clouded by the media, and Western society’s interpretation of what being beautiful means. It is important to be comfortable in the skin your in, and more importantly to love yourself for who you are. Lupita proves that no matter how dark or light your skin is, true beauty is more than skin deep, and she truly embodies what it means to be beautiful inside and out. Congrats Lupita!
(Featured Image courtesy of People Magazine)

Ed Letter: April/May 2014


This time last year, I had one eye glued to my senior portfolio and the other on a map of Eastern Europe, planning for my first overseas vacation. The excitement and anxiety was palpable as May 15 inched nearer and nearer. Although I am no longer in school (I graduated Magna Cum Laude) and I’m not jetting to Prague any time soon, I am still tremendously excited for spring. To say, “It was a long winter,” would be an understatement.
Perhaps one of the issues we at Cliché love putting together the most is our Spring Issue—simply because it is beaming with optimism. After being wrapped tightly in scarves and wool coats for the last five months, the promise of warmer weather is always exciting and hopeful. From new outfits (and an excuse to show some skin again) to outdoor adventures and pending music festivals, the arrival of spring is, quite literally, a breath of fresh, floral air.
For our April/May issue this year, we’ve gathered our favorite spring beauty essentials (from eye shadows and lipsticks to hairstyles and perfumes), our favorite new music obsessions, and some of the coolest fashion pieces to accessorize your new looks. We even photographed the strikingly beautiful Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Smallville) and Nikki DeLoach (MTV’s Awkward) for our covers, who, we feel, have the perfect balance of effortless talent and fierce beauty. Be sure to check out both our interviews with them to get the inside scoop on their popular television series and their star-studded personal life.
What am I particularly looking forward to the most about spring, you ask? Well, the first half of the final season of AMC’s Mad Men, of course, and Coldplay’s highly anticipated sixth full-length album, Ghost Stories. And don’t even get me started on The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
With that said, I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Megan Portorreal
Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send an e-mail to [email protected] or tweet her @meganportorreal for the fastest response! She is also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.
Ed Letter: April/May 2014 was originally published in the April/May issue of Cliché Magazine

Band of Skulls Himalayan Album Review


English based rock band, Band of Skulls debut their latest album. After their initial success in 2012 with Sweet Sour, the band is ready to tackle new territory. Band of Skulls, consisting of Emma Roberston (Bass,Vocals) , Matt Hayward (Drums) and Russell Marsden (Guitar, Vocals) bring a thunderous new album,their third to date with Himalayan. They’ve tapped producer, Nick Launay, who has worked with Yeah,Yeah,Yeahs, Arcade Fire and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
The title track is a grooving, mellow jam that blends both Robertson and Marsden vocals beautifully.  “Asleep At The Wheel” harkens back to the hard rock of the 70’s with some elements of the song reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. “Hoochie Coochie” is another track that brings a vintage glam rock vibe while also a nod to the old blues staple. Soaring vocals help anchor the track from reaching retro nostalgia. Stand out tracks are seen in “Nightmares”, which has a plodding, heavy riff alongside a memorable chorus. “Cold Sweat” goes in a slightly different direction, with Emma Robertson taking the lead on vocals. It slowly builds and erupts in the middle of the song with a hip-shaking, head-banging riff then goes back into a waltzing melody. “Heaven’s Key” takes a similar format to the last track with Russell Marsden delivering a soulful vocal. “Get Yourself Together” closes out the album, the band taking a laid back approach here, with lyrics like, “I just need your love/to feel brand new.” Overall, the new album is solid from first to last track wit the band finding and locking into their sound. Casual fans and new listeners alike will find themselves reaching for this album.
The album will be released April 1st,2014 and can be found on iTunes.
Band of Skulls kicks out their tour April 1st and it runs through July. They will be hitting cities from Nashville to Sydney, for more information visit: http://bandofskulls.com/
All images are public domain. 

Best of The Best: A 2014 Festival Guide


Best of The Best: A 2014 Festival Guide 

Winter blues got you down? It’s that time of year again to start buying your tickets and booking your hotel rooms for festival season. From the West Coast to the East and everything in between, below are the festivals you don’t wanna miss out on in 2014.

SXSW (March 7-16)


One part music festival and one part film festival, this year’s SXSW is one to not be missed so make sure you buy your badges early. This year’s lineup includes Kurt Vile, Chance The Rapper, Warpaint and many more.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://sxsw.com/

Ultra Music Festival (March 28-30)


The festival that’s perfect for all your EDM needs. This year the Miami based festival’s headliners are David Guetta, Diplo, Carl Cox and MGMT.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/home

Coachella (April 11-14)


The festivals to end all festivals, this year’s lineup consists of Outkast, Arcade Fire, Beck,Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, The Replacements and Skrillex. Don’t miss out on the Outkast reunion as well as the other major headliners.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://www.coachella.com/

Sasquatch (Part one May 23-25 and Part Two July 4-6)


This year, the west coast festival will feature two separate headliners and lineups. Outkast, The National, Kid Cudi, M.I.A, Neko Case, Foster The People will all be making appearances at the festivals first round of festivities. The second showcase will feature Soundgarden, Frank Ocean, Broken Bells, Gogol Bordello and many more. Both parts look equally promising for music fans of all kinds.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://www.sasquatchfestival.com

Governor’s Ball (June 6-8)


Despite halicious weather last year, the festival continued on while this year’s lineup looks equally as promising as the last. Headliners include Jack White, Vampire Weekend, J Cole, The Strokes and Outkast.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://governorsballmusicfestival.com/

Firefly (June 19-22)


Firefly came about in 2002 but despite being a youngster compared to other festivals, delivers this year with a jam packed line up. Headliners include Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Pretty Lights and more.

Ticketing and lineup information at: http://fireflyfestival.com

Feature image courtesy of Jamey Hopkins