Screw It

Images by Ambush Design

"Fasten, Operate, Distort, Loosen, Adjust, and Tighten!" is the motto behind new Japanese-based accessories brand Ambush. I usually don't post collections in their immediacy, since there are other sources who do so more efficiently, but Yoon and Verbal's new offerings entice a sense of curiosity that merits a well deserved observation. "Screw It", is the title of their new collection, expectedly, translates to silver and golden screws and bolts fasten onto S&M black leather hats, rings, pins (shown above affixed to a black blazer), cufflinks, and chokers that could be easily worn by your Rottweiler. Taking a more friendly approach, the screws dyed in blue and red, come affixed around a leather belt, cuff, and chain necklaces, that vaguely brings back memories of yore, when one was manipulating legos. 

Similarly to previous collections, often depicting a cartoonish vibe, these baubles almost feel like an indicator of a new possible route Ambush might be heading to. These accessories feel erotic, almost fetishistic. The photographs, taken by Sam Butts, lend an approachable sensibility counterbalancing the hardness some of the pieces give off. I'm personally tantalized by the rings, that would sure provide difficulty when you find yourself in front of a sink, but style blissfulness triumphs over nuisances any day. Applause all around for Tokyo's finest. 


Miss Little Havana

The Queen of Latin Pop, as we know her, is reclaiming her throne. Gloria Stefan is someone of a Donna Summer or Madonna to the Latin community (or at least in Miami). She has been part of a movement, along with luminaries as Tito Puentes, Celia Cruz, Carlos Santana, and Hector Lavoe, of spreading, celebrating, and educating the world of the rich diversity in Latin music. Gloria, especially, has been a key leader of the Cuban American migrants in Florida, and advocate for immigration rights, and event performed duties of hostess when president Obama visited her in Miami. Although her political views do not conflict with the message or merits of her artistry, it's pleasant to find artists who stand for what they believe in.

Miss Little Havana is her 26th album (astonishing accomplishment is an understatement), and her first English-speaking album since 2003. This Pharrell-produced album is filled with the familiar Estefanism; conga-infused, hip-swinging latin sounds, and melodramatic ballads, yet it places Estefan in a niche, as a few relevant latin artist in today's market. As you might have heard before, "WEPA" is her contagious single being played in your television screen and radio emissions as you read this. It's slowly becoming a latin anthem. How can those merengue-pop ("like merengue in the streets"!) sounds not entice a sudden movement of hips or feet? Maybe I'm being biased because I'm latin. 

I'm throughly mesmerized by the Miami-based artist LEBO's album artwork. It sort of looks like an explosion of melted popsicles metastasizing into abstract figures of exotics birds. The small conga drums add a sense of  a humorous symbolization of Estefan's beloved Havana. I'm equally please to see her in a frizzy fro a la Diana Ross. The whole image brings nostalgic memories of 80's Estefan, yet it's also pragmatic, vivid and full of life. 

Gloria Estefan, a woman of a certain age, has been making the round of national televised shows in looks that are age appropriate, without appearing to grasp with Menopause. She showed up at The View, in a gorgeous deep purple silk shift and matching stilettos (possible Oscar de la Renta), she performed live at The ALMA Awards in a demure black ensemble with beaded lace bolero, and a olive green number at The Rachel Ray Show. She seems to know what silhouette works for her, knee-lenght shifts with a soupçon of décolleté. And it's paying off. There is nothing more desperate than women, of a certain age, trying to compete with 15-year-olds. 

Now, get on the treadmill, and press play.