Monday, June 1, 2009

Fashion Fatale: Theo Kogan Answers Ten Cruicial Questions

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Summer is about to begin, and what better way to ring in the season than with one of the hottest women in rock and roll, Theo Kogan? I have to tell you, when I asked the amazing Theo if she'd like to do an interview for Slacker Chic, I never thought she'd say yes. After all, she's one of my idols and I put her on a pedestal higher than Elvis, The Beatles, or Siouxsie Sioux (and Siouxsie Sioux is pretty fucking cool). I was nervous that if she did agree, that old adage about never fraternizing with your idols would come into play. However I am happy to report that the saying could not have been further from the truth. She graciously agreed and was an absolute doll about the whole thing. In my eyes, that spoke volumes about who she is as a person. Most artists love to talk the talk, singing about equality and just being so-and-so from the block, only to shun, well, just about anyone that isn't Rolling Stone.
Believe me, if anyone's got room to celebrate success, it's definitely Ms. Kogan. Our girl has been doing her thing since '87 when she joined forces with fellow Fame students to create the influential punk band, the Lunachicks. One listen to songs like "Binge and Purge", "Don't Want You" "Dog Yard", or "Less Teeth, More Tits" (my personal faves) and you'll know why the band gathered an enormous cult following even after they disbanded in 2000.
Not one to leave her fans high and dry with no new tunes, Theo released a sel-titled cd entitled "Theo" in 2001 before banding together with husband Sean Pierce to form the incredibltastic "Theo and the Skyscrapers" (or TATS for short) in 2003. While Theo still maintained her bad ass punk rock infused vocals, the band's first cd, appropriately titled "Theo and the Skyscrapers" boasted a more upbeat, electro infused sound that made my ass want to get up and shake my mothereffing groove thang. (For examples, check out "Lay Em Out", "Doppleganger Death Disco" and the Blondie-esque "First Bleach") The band followed up their self-titled album with 2007's "So Many Ways to Die" which featured more experimental tunes such as the hauntingly beautiful "New York", the pop-punk "Jealousy Died" and the twistedly terrific "Ghost". (I really insist that you give that song a listen.) And if you don't believe me, simply visit their myspace at
myspace.com/theo to listen to and download tunes.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the band boldly went where no other band has gone before with their rock opera (for lack of a better term) "Screen Test"? Boasting an original soundtrack by TATS, the show, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world, is a visual feast for the eyes thanks in part to Rob Roth who had a hand in producing the inventive, imaginative and utterly incredible work of art. I'd attempt to describe it to you, but seeing as how I've never seen anything like it, I'm at a loss for words. And that's saying something because these days there isn't much that hasn't been done before.
As if her impressive musical career wasn't enough, Ms. Kogan boasts a pretty impressive resume in the world of fashion and beauty. Just like she does in her music, Theo shook up the fashion world becoming one of the only heavily tatted women around to nab serious campaigns. She has worked with major designers such as Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein, proving there's more than one face of beauty.
In an effort to further promote this healthier outlook on beauty, Theo along with celeb makeup arist Allison Burns created Armour Beauty. (Visit
armourbeauty.com to check out the goodies!) Dubbed as the brand that blends high end fashion and rock and roll, this cruelty free brand seeks to make women look and feel like the best versions of themselves, rather than simply telling them to become copycats of someone else. With names like "baby jane", "kashmir" and "barracuda", it's easy to see the inspiration behind the products. And at $19, they can make you look and feel like a rock star without having to spend like one.
But enough of the bio. Here's ten questions with Theo. I do hope you enjoy!
Slacker Chic: You have undeniable style. Who are some of your style icons past and present?
Theo: Certainly the women and men of '70's punk, Iggy, Leigh Bowery, Nina Hagen, Divine, Vivienne Westwood, both of my grandmothers and I always look to Japan. I feel I have a bit of the Japanese style aesthetic- or at least I like to think so.
SC: How do you use style to help define where you’re at both musically and personally?
Theo: It can't be helped really, and it's usually unintentionally intentional. The silliest things inspire me sometimes. But I always just ‘do it’, know what I’m saying. There’s no stylist telling me what to wear.
SC: You’ve modeled for some of the biggest names in the fashion world representing a different, alternative view on beauty. Yet despite models like you, Jenny Shimizu and Omahyra Mota snagging campaigns, there continues to be a skewed view on the industry’s definition of beauty. Why do you think fashion is so resistant to a different type of woman?
Theo: It's not resistant it's just a little scared. It goes in waves month-to-month or year-to-year... ‘Edgy’ and conservative back and forth on the seesaw. We see it happen over and over. I guess the majority still wants to see' regular' beauty as supposed to ... irregular? Haha! Fashion is a fickle pickle, sweet and sour!
SC: Let’s talk about some of your many, many awesome projects. What inspired you to begin Dark Daddy Records?
Theo: Taking matters into our own hands in the circle of DIY. The Music industry is floundering and it's better to just do it than to wait around or sell your soul and then wait around for it to happen. I can’t do that selling of the soul stuff.
SC: It’s not often that you see husbands and wives working together side by side as partners so cohesively, yet you and husband Sean Pierce seem to make an unstoppable duo. What’s been the secret to not driving each other bat shit crazy?
Theo: Aw thanks! We give each other plenty of space and do tons of our own projects. Autonomy within is the key.
SC: You have also collaborated with Rob Roth on several projects-from the artwork on your solo record to Theo and the Skyscraper’s self titled album to the amazingly indescribable Screen Test. How did your collaborations come about and what do you think makes you guys such a great partnership?
Theo: Thank you again! Rob and me became friends and began collaborating pretty quickly very inspired by each other. I think it's ultimately our trust in each other's talents and abilities that make us work so well together. A mutual admiration society of sorts. ;)
SC: You also have a cosmetics line, Armour Beauty with Allison Burns. Could you tell us a little about what separates your brand from all the others currently on the market?
Theo: Aside from the gorgeous colors and it being the only gloss I wear now? Haha! Armour Beauty has 14 shades in two collections, 7 opaque and 7 shimmer. Its often hard to find gloss without shimmer- (sparkle) so we wanted to offer opaque gloss with no shimmer as well as beautiful shimmery colors .Not only are they rockin’ high fashion colors - but stay on (unlike many glosses that slide off after 10 minutes-- and moisturize - formulated with a natural base of shea butter, avocado, mango and olive oils and butters, grape seed oil and vitamin e! They are named after some of our fave rock songs, rock and pop icons and two '80's hair metal clubs on the east and west coast.
And we launched the line with our black lip gloss, called Femme Fatale in Spring 2008 before the black lips on the Runway craze began!
SC: As a fan of Theo and the Skyscrapers, my IPod is begging for new music. When do you think we can expect a follow up to TATS last album, 2007’s “So Many Ways to Die”?
Theo: Right now we’re in the writing process but no date set yet.
SC: And I have to ask, do you think the Lunachicks will reunite at least briefly like you did for shows in 2002 and 2004?
Theo: Ya never know, but I don't want to get anyone's hopes up.
SC: Finally, you’ve managed to accomplish so many amazing things and have your hands in so many fabulous projects. When the hell do you find time to sleep?
Theo: I love to sleep! Its one of my favorite activities and although sometimes it is difficult to get, I love it with all my heart. Sleep and water are the keys to health and good skin.

Once again I want to offer a thousand thanks to Theo for taking time out of her superbusy schedule to talk to us. To keep up with Theo's latest music and beauty ventures, be sure to subscribe to her twitter at twitter.com/TheoKogan. There you can get updates on Theo's latest ventures including her upcoming gig as a free-lance beauty writer for Nylon and her blog which is set to launch this summer!
Screen Test Trailer:


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6 comments:

Judy said...

OMG that show (screen test) looks amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know she had a new band! Awesome interview!

Steve said...

Judy said...
OMG that show (screen test) looks amazing!!!
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I agree. It reminds me a little of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain. I wonder if they were influenced by that?

Creole Lady Marmalade said...

I fucking love this woman.

Athletiart said...

The screen test is wild! You should see what this Latina Fashionista/Performance Artist is doing with her vintage leotard collection:

http://athletiart.blogspot.com/

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