In case you haven’t noticed…
See you back in the fall LOVER HEADS!
In case you haven’t noticed…
See you back in the fall LOVER HEADS!
This Monday marks May 1st, the fateful month ice cream shops officially open for business, if they aren’t already.
On the topic of the colour black—or rather the absence of colour, I personally try to limit wearing it (female sacrilege I know!) and it certainly isn’t the most appetizing of hues, n’est pas?
Fact: I’d rather drink bath water than eat black licorice—no joke.
While black ash ice cream surfaced last spring, the trend will fully permeate the foodie zeitgeist for summer 2017, ceremoniously making its way to an ice cream shop near you.
Black is the new Vanilla…
I’m always fascinated by the genesis of trends and how they find their way towards mainstream utopia.
In the case of black ice cream, all roads lead to the sheer inventiveness + complex flavour combinations found in Japan. Places like Hakodate and Otaro, which are found on the northern island of Japan just below Sapporo, and Saitama which is closer to Tokyo.
Flavours like soft serve black squid ink, black sesame, black curry and deep espresso have been Japanese ice cream mainstays for years, as have wasabi, miso, + basil flavours. In some instances the black colour is created by bamboo charcoal powder, which is known to known to absorb impurities and excessive odours.
50 Shades of Grey…or Black?
Black Sesame Soft Serve ↑
While the crux of black soft serve combinations seem to take on a matte texture, the black sesame soft serve can fluctuate from a darker to lighter grey. *Click on each photo for some of their respective flavours.
…and simply by proximity, Vancouver and Los Angeles are well known to have adopted an abundance of Japan’s and all of east Asia’s culinary delights.
Case in point Little Damage in Los Angeles has a black almond-charcoal soft serve that is taking over Instagram. Dubbed as “Goth Ice Cream,” the sweet treat is cheekily being referred to as ice cream that’s as “dark as your soul,” including their handmade black waffle cones.
But if we are giving credit where its most certainly due, huge kudos needs to go out to Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in NYC for premiering the viral phenom that started it all, black Coconut Ash ice cream. The owner Nick Morgenstern, achieved the colour from a form of coconut ash activated charcoal, that wait for it—tastes like coconut and may temporarily dye mouths inky black. Fetching, really!
And lastly, black ice cream has landed in la belle province of Montréal courtesy of NDG’s Ca Lem—which means ice cream in Vietnamese. Ca Lem offers up an assortment of Asian flavours like taro, red bean, green tea, coco ash and black sesame. Unfortunately Ca Lem is only opening in mid to late May, but trust me, they are worth the wait!
*Click on photos for respective flavours.
Will the black ice cream phenom have staying power in North America or is it a here-today-gone-tomorrow-Starbucks Latte, coveted soley for its Instagram potential?
Time shall tell, my kittens!
“I scream you scream, we alllll scream for BLACK ICE CREAM!”
Unicorns are having a BIG moment.
One would have to be pop culturally myopic to have not clocked in on the Instagramable boom of unicorn-everything as of late. From #UnicornFood to the stand alone #Unicorn hashtag signifying the originality of someone or something—this trend is currently flying through the digital landscape by the nanosecond.
Humans have long been fascinated with the mystical & mythical (or is it?) tale of the unicorn dating back to The Bible. As one legend describes it, the fiercely dangerous and exotic hybrid animal could not be caught unless “a virgin held it to its bosom“—which strikes me as rather PERVY?!
Personally, I’m much more inclined to evoke a childhood Hello Kitty/Hello Pony-esque version of the unicorn. I want to go on a Never-Ending-Story ride on one or French braid their hair, even though a straight braid is all I’m capable of. I also like the idea that it could be male or female, or ideally—genderless.
…Also, in my flight of fantasia, unicorns tinkle glitter rainbows and poop FUNFETTI…ummm ’cause they can!
Wait a minute, now that I think about it—I totally need all unicorns to be GIRLS!
Being a unicorn can simply lend itself to magical thinking, to being undefinable & ageless, to a visual of Drew Barrymore giggling as she sneaks extra popping boba on her cotton candy FROYO ← I mean how presh is that last one?
However you interpret the legend of the unicorn, enjoy this seminal pop culture list of the latest trends and inspo that you can incorporate into the ***magic*** of your everyday life!
While the “unicorn trend” surfaced back in 2016, the culinary #UnicornFood trend has been exclusively a 2017 phenom!
As you can see, the emphasis here is on the sweetest of confections—from macaroons to the Insta famous #UnicornCake to my personal favourite a healthy blue algae #UnicornLatte from The End Brooklyn.
I’m convinced this is what Zsa Zsa Garbor’s orgasms would have looked like through Kirlian photography ↓
…Serve your unicorn delights with an ‘electroplated’ flatware set courtesy of Urban Outfitters and this party train is just getting started!
I’ve always been super clear that when a trend ends up on the shelves of your local pharmacy—it’s simmering towards oblivion, if not sudden death.
That being said, there’s always the exception to the rule—and the #UnicornHair colour trend just isn’t letting up.
While I would always recommend a colourist before a DIY job, for those of us on the aging accelerant train towards hair BREAKAGE (totes opposite of a party train!) I would recommend the ease and convenience of a wig!
Wearing a wig these days ain’t no big THANG—think Gwen Stefani, Rhianna and that obscure-unknown Kylie Jenner for modern day touch points.
Unicorn Hair Totally Care…
Plastik Magazine’s Plastik Store has some super fun versions. Left: The Unicorn (natch!), Top: Cotton Candy & Bottom: Pastel Dream
And, AND…all of the STAHHHH‘s and Hair & Beauty Bloggers swear by UniWigs. They have an enormous assortment of human and synthetic hair wigs, extensions, toppers and pieces that can be easily shipped all over the world.
Their Trendy Wigs selection can give you the unicorn hair of your dreams, plus I love the idea that many of them come with realistic roots + prestyled textures and layers! From L to R: ‘Lucy‘, & ‘Tonya‘.
While there are bounties of unicorn makeup examples on the web here’s some brand new products + a whole ‘lotta inspo to get that ethereal glow.
Anastasia Beverly Hills “Moon Child” kit can be used all over your GORGEOUS self and Tarte Cosmetics just launched their “Unicorn Collection” of playful horned make up brushes, ‘lights’ mascara and highlighter compact.
…These Unicorn Tears products are absolute staples for the worlds hottest beauty bloggers. Too Faced Lip Crème in you guessed it “Unicorn Tears,” Farsali Primer in “Unicorn Essence” and JUST ANNOUNCED Pat McGrath will be launching this “Cyber Clear” eye gloss (also for cheekbones and lips) on April 11tth, 2017 exclusively at PatMcGrath.com
But truly the Farsali product shot does little to show off the sorcery of what Unicorn Essence can do, so I give you this demo by YouTube juggernaut Isabel Bedoya.
*Please excuse the “Night at the Roxbury” sounding ear-hemorrhoid playing in the background.
And lastly for some full makeup inspiration check out the following examples for next-level incandescence. L: Instagram’s beauty doyens @johannaherrstedth and R: @ohmygeeee (also wearing a Uni Wig!) *Notice the highlight on cupids bow and nose.
Truth be told there’s far too many literal translations of #UnicornNails out in the digital ether, and the bulk of examples are painfully tacky. Nails in the shape of stiletto swirling unicorn horns?
…I’d prefer the swallowing of my own vomit, thank you very much.
Instead, I offer up the Spring 2017 nail swatches from Soho New York’s titans of nail art Paint Box Nails with enough INSPO and variety to last you throughout the entire summer!
Are we there yet? Were just rounding the corner to our last installment, which is Unicorn STYLE.
Again, any lazy hack could point you towards boardwalk tees with iron-on unicorn EVERYTHING, but this is a piece of about tapping into the radiance of your own imagination.
LITERAL has no place here.
Instead, I do what the best trend spotters in the industry do, make connections and introduce previously untapped ideas.
A huge trend that is taking shape for Spring 2017 is the HOLOGRAM sneaker. All of these examples conjure up the fantasy and alchemy of the unicorn, and look at YOU SUPERSTAR, YOU’RE SO ON TREND!
…Should the hologram sparkle not suit your strut, these new Nike Air Max LD-Zero in baby pink should do the trick!
…for summer brides-to-be who see themselves more as a show stopping ingénue, how drop dead G-g-g-g-orgeous is this Marchesa tulle gown? Add on those sparkly Chuck Taylor’s and you’ve got yourself a ‘Unicorn Bride!’
Kimonos are still coasting on a trend high and Montreal expat Rita Ghanimé infused her design expertise & undeniable sensual allure to her custom Made with Love line. This season Ghanimé’s kimonos are inspired by Anäis Nin and moonlight refracting sequins that she will ship from her home base in Los Angeles.
…and lastly accessorize like a boss with these go-big-or-go-home Gucci dazzlers, a suggestive unicorn top-knot bun (the scarf need not be Gucci ladies) and Kate Spade’s Jeff Koonz inspired Unicorn Balloon Clutch!
That’s it for me, now please excuse me as its time to lay down for a ***Unicorn Dream***…which is essentially me frolicking around with Charlie Hunnam in an sea of Lucky Charms marshmallows set to Enya’s “Orinoco Flow…”
Ohhhhh shut your gorgeous…
Who among us isn’t a quasi shut-in during the bleakest month of February—spooning ones cat as if she/he/non-identifying/were your emotional LIFE RAFT + the only reason to get out of bed in the morning to face the overwhelming dark sludge of ones existence?
Ohhh, just me? *clears throat nervously…
**MARCH** is the most opportune month to reinvigorate your POP CULTURE diet and get up to speed on all of the latest need-to-know releases & cool hunter happenings!
It’s time to STOKE that inner fire
leave the darkest recesses of my duvet & pillow fort as the world around me you begins to thaw for the coming spring!
The Montreal en Lumiere festival is continuing on until March 11th and **TONIGHT** is Nuit Blanche—a culturally edifying array of guided tours, workshops, installations, parties, performance art, gastronomy and films just to name a few! Open until 3am, there is a king’s ransom of stimulating and inspiring offerings (over 200 FREE activities!) adroitly sprinkled across Montreal in an easy-to-navigate landscape. This year Nuit Blanche has joined forces with Montreal’s 375th Anniversary for an “Expo 67” themed evening of programming that is sure to add a memorable dimension to the annual indoor/outdoor event.
Dress warm kittens, ’cause baby it’s cold outside!
Grammy award-winning artist/producer duo The Chainsmokers (how cu-uuute is Drew Taggart?!) have been dropping Hansel + Gretyl-esque musical bread crumbs over the past year like “Closer” and most recently “Paris.” Finally, their debut album Memories Do Not Open [Columbia] is set to release April 7th, and will feature “Paris” as well as 10 additional never-before-heard tracks from the hit making duo.
I feel like I may have willed this next one as I have been dreaming of a NEW Jamiroquai album forevs?! Ok fyyne, I don’t have that much power but Jay Kay is BACK after a 7 year absence and according to the response on my Instagram, the world is COLLECTIVELY thrilled by this! Ok, FYYYNE, just 65 of mainly my friends but whose counting? Be sure to download the e-n-t-i-r-e Automation [Virgin/EMI] album when it drops on March 31st, like any good 90’s kid would do.
…I can’t for the life of me control the rest of you impatient millennial maniacs!
On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Simmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye. Nobody has heard from him, save for a recorded telephone interview he had with TODAY’s show Savannah Guthrie about a year ago. Missing Richard Simmons follows documentarian (and former Daily Show producer) Dan Taberski as he tries to piece together CSI-style what happened to the famed fitness guru. The six-episode (so far) podcast which has reached #1 on the charts has gripped listeners but I think it’s all “a bunch of horse pucky”—something Simmons would totally say, at least in public. Apparently behind the scenes he has quite the potty-mouth.
The man gave us his glorious lubed up legs and 24-7 glittery gay-enthusiasm for decades—all-the-while concealing his own lifetime battle with depression. Can’t we let him have some WELL DESERVED alone time without making him into an absolute mockery?
For SHAME people, For SHHHHHAME!
*But listen to the podcast anyway, cause its ‘hella entertaining.
Sleeping Reading is truly one of my life’s greatest joys. Here are 2 spanking new reads to stimulate ‘yo synapses for the month of March.
One Day None We’ll All Be Dead and None of this Will Matter [Doubleday Canada] is a collection of brilliant essays by Canadian Buzz Feed editor Scaachi Koul. And just because that holier-than-thou “real journalist” smarty-pants would never deign to follow me back on Twitter, I can still take the high road and give praise where it’s due. *Curtsey.
Whispers… “what. a. thunder. c**t.”
South and West [Penguin Random House] is penned by none other than THE Joan Didion and details her account of a visit to New Orleans back in the 1970’s. Both non fiction titles are available on March 7th at my favourite place in the world besides my own bed, Chapters Indigo.
Toronto friendsicles: (I’m bi-provincial if you didn’t know), you must attend this ONE DAY ONLY cereal pop-up café—CEREAL BOX CAFÉ on March 10th, at 867 Dundas, St W Toronto, ON.
Between the hours of 5-10pm you can choose from some of your favourite childhood or adulting cereals, some unknown international flavours “Chocella from France anyone?,” toppings akin to the ones found at your favorite frogurt spot, and AND your choice of 8 different types of milk including STRAWBERRY!?!?
Don’t dare miss it!
Comedian Dave Chapelle flexed his comedic A-game on his debut SNL appearance back in November 2016—raking in the seasons highest ratings (6.2 million viewers). A day later I tweeted that Chapelle should “get his own show back” and that this time he would definitely take the $50 million that he famously gave up in 2005 before fleeing to Africa.
Even better than I predicted, Chapelle was offered $60 million for three separate hour-long Netflix specials. The first two of said specials—Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin were already pre-taped shows done in 2015 and 2016. They both premiere on Netflix on March 21st and here’s a video preview.
No word on the yet-to-be-taped all new 3rd special, but you will hear about it here first, so stay tuned!
So there you have it, some of the latest cool-quotient consumables for the month of March.
Now thread that pop culture needle lover heads!
If you’re just tuning in tadpoles + kittens, you might recall that the last of the mammoth motif trends was the pineapple?
…And in the revolving door of trends where EVERYTHING changes and if you aren’t careful you could be guilty of being “sooooo 5 minutes ago,” this years appliqué-on-everything is… THE STAR!
Designer-to-the-stars (how Meta!) Elie Saab dedicated her ENTIRE ready to wear Spring/Summer 2017 collection to the star trend from head to toe including accessories.
Designer Rixo London have some amazing cosmic love Spring 2017 offerings…
…St Laurent is stylishly on trend with their stunning black denim skinny jeans and pink star appliqué leather sneakers.
…And super sexy + edgier than thou Canadian jewelry line TOVA has a wall-to-wall STAR STUDDED S/S line (*I’m running out of clever metaphors here) and can be purchased through their Instagram @tovastore
…How about some star nail inspo to go along with the trend? Cute for the toes too!
And lastly, but not least-ly—Emma Stone owned the 2017 Golden Globes red carpet wearing this g-g-gorgeous diaphanous silver star dress by Valentino.
…and this brings me to you-saw-this-coming-from-around-the-corner SEGUE of the title track from Emma Stone’s + Ryan Gosling’s LA LA LAND…
“CITY OF STARS…”
You heard it here FIRST friendsicles! The STAR TREND is totally a thing. So get on it!
“…Might not know it now….Baby, but I are, I’m a star…”
**Newsflash** 2016 was a stinking pile of doggie doo doo—lit on fire and left on everyone’s front porch leaving an inescapable STANK that permeated throughout the entire year.
The never-ending yarn of loss, social injustice, terrorism + the congealed, rotten stench of the Trump campaign spooled on and on with seemingly no end in sight?
The crushing weight of (attempting?!) to condense it all was simply too overwhelming for me come deadline time.
Looking back, once 2016 took my idol Prince—I effectively went into “I’m officially dead inside” auto-pilot, and everything blurred into oblivion shortly thereafter.
…I’m still not done bawling my eyelashes off FYI.
Little did I know it would be a full year of mourning beloved musical artists, writers and personalities that shaped the tapestry of my LIFE’S PATCHWORK QUILT. Artists taken suddenly and without warning—Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Carrie Fischer and her mother Debbie Reynolds—not but 24 hours later? Singer Sharon Jones (I thought her Cancer was in remission?!) Alan Thicke? Harambe the Gorilla?!?!
For the first time in years I had SEVERE creative fits and starts trying to write my annual ‘Best of’ review.
A review, which by way, brings alllllll the boys to yard and makes my traffic stats skyrocket.
But I couldn’t pull it together—I couldn’t feign genuine enthusiasm. My stabs at humour + time-honoured recipe of wittier-than-thou nomenclature felt hollow and quite frankly, disrespectful.
What good could my picayune “best of list” + a couple juvenile GIFS do, for a world drowning in the daily BRINE of horror and sadness?
And, AND!!—If I don’t address some of the REAL issues I’ll feel irresponsible, but if I delve into them too deeply I’ll need a Kanye 5150 stay of the ‘exhausts’ and the ‘tireds’ cause its. all. too. Painful.
At its core The Pop Culture Rainman™ is an entertainment blog—long on comedic intelligentsia and short on tackling hard news à la Christiane Amanpour. That’s not to say I don’t personally step in deep puddles, but I prefer to stay on-brand whereas this blog is concerned. Either way, I felt mud-stuck and didn’t have a clue on how to balance funny, with say, the growing panic of what was happening in Aleppo!?
I wanted to crawl into a dark corner with a bag of weed gummy bears, 3-ply tissues and a clickity lamp.
…I simply didn’t have it in me to hold up 2016’s hair while it threw up all over the universe.
It (((still FEELS))) like a terrible Sophie’s Choice of abandonment. I work tirelessly year-round collecting photos and text, preening and priming, for what I pride myself as being a list like no other and it was all for naught.
I feel like I Mariah-New-Years-Rockin’-Eve’d all of my dedicated + loyal followers (all 27 of you!), and I sincerely apologize. I mean haven’t you read enough reductive lists fawning over the slushy, syrupy soft-serve that NBC’s This Is Us has coughed up? Aren’t you tired of the year end/new year Instagram posts from basic b’s that think they are being WAYYYY DEEP with #GoodVibesOnly hashtags?
You deserve better than that. We all deserve better than that. I pride myself on curating a list that is a salve to the onslaught of surface tripe out there. I promise to be back next year.
‘Cause even if 2017 isn’t able to serve it up on its finest Reynaud dinnerware, at least we know it can. never. get. worse.
In the meantime, have a look at my Instagram as I did cover a lot of the past years trends there.
Before signing off, I do have to say a few words about losing Prince. If you haven’t read my piece Prince Can We Talk—doing so will help give you context.
I thought I would honestly get to finally meet him in person in 2016 after months of talking strategy with his personal publicist. After a lifetime of fandom. After 5 concerts and 3 on stage appearances with him. After a bedside declaration to my dying mother in her last weeks.
Prince was the Swiss Army KNIFE of MUSICAL GENIUS. It’s like LOSING a COLOUR, or losing a LETTER OF the alphabet permanently. It’s NEVER going to be the same.
I will still name my first book Pop Life after Prince. The only difference will be that, meeting Prince will not be the tying up of my life’s work, like I had planned.
But perhaps that is the grand lesson. We are never done learning, growing and disrupting are we?
Prince certainly wasn’t.
I wish you Heaven 2017,
The **holiday season** is officially upon us! To mark this most momentous and joyous of occasions I am giving away 2 book sets of the years most pop culture worthy titles—with a healthy dose of Canadiana, ’cause really—there’s no place like home!
I can’t extol the virtues of reading more; whether for pleasure, inspiration, relaxation or to buttress the ’ol noggin —it’s one of my life’s simplest and yet, greatest pleasures!
As a book purist, I love the tactile feel of REAL books, and I’m bringing that gift to you courtesy of Indigo Chapters & Pop Culture Rainman Reads!
TAH DAH! It’s the Razzle Dazzle of READING!
Check out these incredible titles! Each gift pack will include:
The Best Kind of People Zoe Whithall
What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?
With exquisite emotional precision, Canadian award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.
*In the interest of pop culture, many have compared it to a modern day “Ordinary People.“
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer
#1 New York Times Best Seller
“Amy Schumer’s book will make you love her even more. For a comedian of unbridled (and generally hilarious) causticity, Schumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance.” —Vogue
Born To Run Bruce Springsteen
The fiercely private Bruce Springsteen opens up about his strained relationship with his late father, his on going battle with depression and life on the road as lead singer of the tight knit E Street Band since 1972.
“Richly rewarding…Bruce Springsteen proves that he has takenon life fully engaged both in living and examining it, and in doing so, he’s delivered a story as profoundly inspiring as his best music…It’s alternately brutally honest, philosophically deep, stabbingly funny, and, perhaps most important, refreshingly humble.” —Los Angeles Times
Shoe Dog Phil Knight
For all you sneaker heads and high top kick lovers, read all about the sneaker brand that changed the game forever. In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands
Canada Mike Myers
In this instant national bestseller, comedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 53-year relationship with his beloved Canada.
Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: “no description of me is truly complete without saying I’m a Canadian.” He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.
Contest is open to Canadian residents only
Must Be 18 Years or Older
Must follow me on either Instagram @reneepopculturerainman or Twitter @popculturerainman or follow my blog The Pop Culture Rainman.
For Instagram you must write “I want to win the chaptersindigo pop culture giveaway from reneepopculturerainman” #MakeItMerry #PCRReads on my Instagram or your own with a photo of the books
For Twitter you must write “I want to win the @ pop culture book giveaway from @popcultrainman #MakeItMerry #PCRReads on my Twitter or your own with a photo of the books
For Blog Comments just post below in comments section. No need to post the photo!
Do the above on at least one social media channel or in the comments section on my blog. Don’t forget both hashtags!
Winners will be randomly chosen and announced by December 19th, 2017.
RESULTS UPDATE! The Winners of my Pop Culture inspired MULTI PACK Book giveaway is Ophelia Chang from Twitter and Zara Alexis from my blog The Pop Culture Rainman! Congratulations to the Winners!! Happy Holidays EVERYONE!!