Stylistgate: Haenn Not Responsible. Culprit Revealed!

On Monday, Coilhouse posted a news item about a Mother of London knock-off worn by Willow Smith to the American Music Awards. There’s been an update! Widely-read pop culture blog JustJared has reported that the person responsible for the yellow replica is Brea Stinson (@breabstar on Twitter), a fashion stylist represented by Balan, Inc. Coilhouse has been unable to reach Stinson for comment.

Meanwhile, stylist Mariel Haenn, who’s often been credited with dressing Smith in the past, and who was mentioned as a possible suspect due to that styling connection, was not involved in the wardrobe-sourcing or creation of this garment in any way. Haenn and her stylist partner, Rob Zangardi, were responsible solely for crafting Rihanna’s look for the AMA’s.

Huge, heartfelt apologies to Mariel and her team, and thanks to Jared for getting to the bottom of this styling mystery.

History Of The USSR For Children

Coming from such an educationally backwards country I appreciate this brief history of the USSR told with the aide of LEGO mini-figs which explains that much of the Soviet Union’s establishment was the product of a strong desire for kisses. Likewise, “Everybody was afraid of him because of his moustaches that were tickling.” really helps put the brutal regime of Joseph Stalin into perspective.

Good Night, Ingrid Pitt

Ah, Ingrid Pitt. Lovely lady of the eternal night. You were something else, something special and rare. In an era when most actresses with your theatrical aspirations (and world class bosom) were clamoring to be Mary Sues, you became Madame Bathory. You were brave, you were brazen– a survivor and a sex bomb and an joyful ham. We loved you for that.

Ed Brubaker’s comment on your passing: “All nerd boners are at half-mast today” would most likely have delighted you greatly, rather than offended. Of Hammer’s cult following and your own near-mythic status as his reigning scream queen, you once said “it is divine, because people just love them; it reconfirms me and it keeps me alive for ever — like the vampires I play.”

Sleep well, Countess. Thanks for all of the scares, titillations, and smiles.


Oy vey, what a month. At the center of a Venn Diagram where Two Hipsters and a Bong, On the Bro’d and the Bullitt (With Cats) videos overlap lies this wretchedly cynical postmodern I’ve-just-been-gut-punched-but-all-I-can-do-is-laugh internet gem du jour, “Killing Hipsters”:

Jeff Goldblum! NOOOOO! (via Dusty)

Hurts so good.

Dutch Candy Horrors

Update: So Nanna in the comments points out that Bon-Bon is not, indeed, Dutch but Danish which means that I’m an idiot and everything in this article is wrong. Everything except the part about Dutch toilets.

Above, dear reader, you will find a collection of five commercials, circa 1990, for candies produced by Dutch confectioners, Bonbon. These sugary delights have names like Ape Snoten and Smul-Tietjen which crude internet translation informs me is, roughly, Boob Feast in English. That particular treat features a nightmarish and considerable buxom, anthropomorphic cow milking another, non-anthropomorphized cow after which her heaving breasts explode from her shirt making for what must be a record holder for most fetishes in a television commercial. This is only one in a series of ads featuring a plethora of bodily fluids and functions. Please do not let these commercials affect your opinions of the Dutch, however. Yes this seems odd, but no doubt there are more than a few aspects of our culture that would confound the citizens of the Netherlands. No, we should instead save our condescending judgment for their bizarre and unholy toilets, equipped with “inspection shelf”.

Monster as Metaphor: John Allison, Webcomics Genius

Art by John Allison

Devoted and cultish readers extol John Allison as “a rare gem in the often hard-to-navigate web comic underbelly.” Though you may not presently be reading John Allison’s current endeavor, Bad Machinery, chances are that you are perhaps already familiar with him through his older works, Scary Go Round (2002-2009) or Bobbins (1998-2002), or as an artist/chum linked to through one or more of his contemporaries.

Fans of Jeffrey Rowland’s Overcompensating for example, will recognize Allison as “The Englishman” , a British gentleman of dubious distinction who  occasionally happens upon the scene to politely antagonize the regulars. Or, through Dumbrella Collective alum, R. Stevens, mastermind behind Diesel Sweeties and 8-bit illustrator of our charming editrixes here at Coilhouse. Maybe  even through one of the dynamic guest strips he has provided over the years to one of your long-time favourite web comic artists.

Marked by clever, peculiar dialogue, absurdist humor, dotty characters (and delightful ladies fashion!), mysterious happenings and hi-jinks, and a dense mythology (though compelling and completely addictive, to which  anyone who has begun to peek  through his archives can attest)  –  John Allison’s story-telling genius is unmistakable.  And  in a medium where visuals are the reason most viewers show up in the first place, the exquisitely charming, highly stylized art is “as big a draw as the comedy”.

Scary Go Round, “Bulgaria”

Described as “postmodern Brit horror”,  Allison’s previous comic, Scary Go Round followed the hapless denizens of Tackleford, a fictional British town beset by all manner of supernatural activity including, but not limited to: zombies, space owls, the devil, and portals to other dimensions.  Though Scary Go Round ended in 2009, a few of his beloved characters have moved on to Bad Machinery, which picks up in Tackleford 3 years later.  The focus is on an entirely new cast of sleuthing schoolchildren attending Griswald’s Grammar School, whose well-intentioned energies may be causing more problems than the mysteries they solve  – but they throw themselves into it all with much vigor and aplomb.

Bad Machinery Flyer Art for Thought Bubble

Coilhouse recently caught up with John Allison about his new endeavor; see below the cut for our Q&A in which John talks about the transition between old stories and new, the state of web comics today, and the meaning behind the monsters.

FAIL-tastic Mother of London Forgery at the AMA’s

UPDATE 11/24/10 11:45 PM: reports that the person responsible for the yellow replica is Brea Stinson (@breabstar on Twitter), a fashion stylist represented by Balan, Inc.

Stylist Mariel Haenn is not responsible for this look, and was not involved in any aspect of Willow Smith’s styling for the AMA’s. I’ll be following up with a new blog post to clear up any confusion.

You guys all know Mother of London, the fashion label of designer and artist Mildred Von Hildegard. We’ve featured Mother of London in Coilhouse issues 01, 04 and 05, and we previously blogged some of Von Hildegard’s incredible creations here and here. Yesterday, an outfit very similar to one of Mother of London’s most iconic pieces appeared on ABC’s American Music Awards, worn by 10-year-old pop star Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett. Yet the poorly-made yellow garment was created by an unknown designer without Von Hildegard’s knowledge or consent.

Mother of London knock-offs are nothing new. But the innocuous ModelMayhem fashion shoot or occasional Etsy neckpiece doesn’t damage Von Hildegard’s business nearly as much as a replica for a mainstream celebrity. Von Hildegard makes her living by loaning out pieces for music videos (Kerli, Natalia Lesz), commercials (Got Milk?), and by doing celebrity styling (most recently, she has dressed The Black-Eyed Peas, Juliette Lewis, and, in an outfit ironically similar to young Willow’s knockoff, adult performer Belladonna). Despite some of these big-name clients and her notoriety in the alf-fashion world, Von Hildegard remains a struggling independent designer. Now, she will never be able to loan out this top, one of her signature pieces, to any other celebrity, as it’s been seen on ABC and covered by dozens of mainstream fashion blogs. “Sad thing is,” Von Hildegard says, “I could have totally made her a G-rated version of this top and would have enjoyed doing so! I’d never heard of Willow until today, but she’s cute and interesting.”

The designer of Smith’s outfit remains unknown, but several blogs attributed the design to Willow Smith’s official stylist, Mariel Haenn, before the Mother of London connection was made. Celebrifi wrote, “the outfit, which included a grey one piece, a belted one shoulder top and slouched boots, was more than likely a custom made creation from stylist Mariel Haenn.” So far, Haenn only claims credit for styling Rihanna at the awards, and has advised bloggers to “check ur facts.” Responding to a Coilhouse inquiry, Haenn wrote: “To be honest I have no idea who ‘styled’ her or the designer. Wish I did. I don’t ask my clients who they used when I’m not available.”

Coilhouse will continue to investigate. In the meantime… WHIP YO HAIR GIRL:

(via Mer, thanks!)

BTC: Cats and Dogs and Electronica

Good morning, comrades. Know what goes great with coffee? Tunes. Know what else? Toonses:

McQueen-sized awesomeness.

Oh, hey, know what makes Holy Fuck‘s adorable-yet-badass music video even more enjoyable? The fact that their music’s actually comparably rad! The Toronto-based band’s Red Lights EP has become yours truly’s favorite drive-to-work soundtrack lately, number one with a Bullitt, baby.

But just in case those kittehs didn’t get you smiling/shakin’ ya ass awake, here’s a classic canine electro chaser, of Pleix and Vitalic:

The FAM: VBS Meets Issei Sagawa

Warning: This film is not for the faint of heart, the faint of stomach, or the easily offended. Make the decision to click the play button accordingly.

On June 11, 1981 a Dutch student named Renée Hartevelt arrived at an apartment at 10 Rue Erlanger She had been invited there by a classmate at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris, France. The classmate was 32 year-old Issei Sagawa. Not long after she arrived he shot her in the neck with a rifle while she sat at a desk with her back to him. Afterward he had sex with her corpse and, over the course of the next two days, proceeded to eat much of her body.

He was held without trial for two years after his arrest until he was declared legally insane (and thereby unfit to stand trial) by French psychiatrists and confined to a mental institution. While there, his account of the crime was published in Japan as In The Fog. His new celebrity was no doubt a determining factor in the French authorities’ decision to extradite him to Japan. There, he was examined once again by psychiatrists who declared him sane but “evil”. Due to a technicality, in which Japanese authorities cited the lack of certain papers supposed to have been provided by French courts, they found it impossible to hold him and on August 12, 1986 Sagawa checked himself out of the mental institution.

For the past 24 years he’s been living in Tokyo. He is still a minor celebrity and has written over twenty books, mostly having to do with his own crimes or commentary on the crimes of others. He’s also been in a few exploitative films and sells his paintings, most of which are portraits of women. This is where VBS meets him then, seemingly running out the tail end of his notoriety and not particularly hopeful for the future. Vice does a commendable job in staying completely out of the way and letting the man speak for himself. Sagawa, for his part, has spent most of his life reflecting on one event and, as is usually the case with interviews of murderers, he has no real answers to provide.

Throughout, Sagawa speaks at length about his disgust both with himself and the public whose interest in the macabre has allowed him to flourish for so long. The last few minutes are of him describing how he would like to die in excruciating pain. It would have been easy for VBS to leave us with that sentiment; the image of the fiend undone by the horrors he has committed. Instead, the last image we see is of Renée Hartevelt, from whom everything was taken and whose death has made everything in Issei Sagawa’s life possible.

Indulge, Explore, Support Our Advertisers!

In this post, we’d like to introduce and honor the companies and artists participating in our Small-Business Advertising Program as of Issue 05. We’re not doing this because it’s part of the ad deal; in fact, our FAQ plainly states that advertising and editorial do not mix. We’re doing this because we’re genuinely awed and inspired by the incredible mix of people who’ve come forth to advertise in this magazine, and think you will be, too.

Through this program, we’ve discovered phenomenal new places to shop, found new places in our cities to explore, and even made new friends. Our list of advertisers has always been very eclectic, but as of Issue 05, with the help of our ad managers Samantha and Allie, this list exceeded anything we ever imagined.

We invite you to explore beyond the cut, where a wondrous array of music, art, clothing, literature, graphic design, technology and sculpture await. There are absinthe cocktail recipes, a glitter-covered worm, skull jewelry for cats, weird paintings of cats, corsets, spats, photographs, magazines, records, dolls, monsters… and much, much more.

Support our advertisers this holiday season if you can, leave an encouraging comment about something you saw here that you liked, and spread the word. Without you guys, none of this would be possible. Thank you!