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Reengineered Beats Studio headphones launched

Each pair of the new Beats Studio headphones is precisely tuned with new custom digital software called the Beats Acoustic Engine (BAE), to deliver a reengineered and reimagined Beats sound experience.

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Beats Studio

Appreciate good music like never before with Beats Studio headphones. Lighter than its predecessor, the new Beats Studio headphones are built stronger, more comfortable and packed with intelligent features.

Each pair of the new Beats Studio headphones is precisely tuned with new custom digital software called the Beats Acoustic Engine (BAE), to deliver a reengineered and reimagined Beats sound experience.

Every detail in the new Beats Studio was specially crafted to create a streamlined look, feel, and fit. The new design features lighter materials, increased strength, improved flexibility and an acute attention to detail. There are no visible screws. There are no straight lines. The new design also features an ergonomic adjustment mechanism around the ear cups that enables them to adjust to the head without restriction via a single floating pivot.

The new Beats Studio features adaptive noise cancellation (ANC), which switches between two modes. In music mode, sound quality and noise cancellation are perfectly balanced to deliver a premium listening experience. When unplugged, the headphone provides a more aggressive noise reduction experience. All of the materials – from the ear cups to the headband – work in concert to isolate sound and improve the acoustics of the new Beats Studio.

No more changing batteries needed. The new Beats Studio is a noise- cancelling headphone with a rechargeable, 20-hour, Lithium-Ion battery. Charge it in any USB port or outlet. A 5-light LED battery fuel gauge indicates how much charge is left while an auto on/off feature automatically shuts down the headphone once it is unplugged.

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MSI-ECS is the newly appointed distributor of Beats Electronics. For availability, email marketing@msi-ecs.com.ph or call (+632) 6883180 to (+632) 6883183.

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Our guide to dressing for a big night out

To help you with this, we are going to talk you through our guide to dressing for a big night out. Keep reading to find out more.

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Photo by Amy Shamblen from Unsplash.com

So, you’ve got a big night out coming up but you aren’t sure what you are going to wear to it. This can be a very tricky decision, especially if you don’t know what other people are planning on wearing. Many women decide to buy a new outfit for a big night out but there are so many different styles in stores that it can be hard to narrow down the options. 

To help you with this, we are going to talk you through our guide to dressing for a big night out. Keep reading to find out more.

The Dress

If you are going on a big night out then you might want to think about finding a dress. With a dress, you only need to buy one piece of clothing and you don’t need to worry about finding trousers or a skirt to go with it. If your big night out is during the festive season then we suggest that you go for something sparkly. A little black dress can work really well and show off your curves. 

If you aren’t someone who likes to wear dresses then you can also go for a skirt and top combination. What about a jumpsuit? It is up to you but just make sure that you choose something that you feel comfortable in and that you can easily accessorise.

The Shoes

Arguably the next most important part of dressing for a big night out is the shoes. Not only do you need to make sure that you are choosing a pair of shoes that are going to match your outfit and make you look great but you also need to be able to walk in them. For a big night out, you should consider going for a double strap knee high boot. These will be comfortable and look really great with your chosen outfit. Make sure to try everything on and make your shoes as comfortable as possible. 

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The Accessories

The next thing that you need to focus on when you are dressing for a big night out is the accessories. This can include everything from belts on your outfit to the jewellery that you are going to wear. Long earrings that dangle down to your shoulders can be a great look during the festive season but they also work throughout the rest of the year. Make sure that you add some rings and potentially some hair accessories to really complete your look. 

Not only do you need to make sure that you are choosing a pair of shoes that are going to match your outfit and make you look great but you also need to be able to walk in them.

The Handbag

Finally, you need to make sure that you have the right kind of handbag for your big night out. The handbag needs to go well with the outfit and be the right size. If you can avoid bringing a lot of stuff with you then you can go for something a little smaller and classier. For those who need to bring all of their makeup with them, amongst other things, a larger handbag might be necessary. Make sure to try your handbag with your outfit and try to match it to your shoes.

Final Verdict

If you are going on a big night out soon then you should make sure to follow our guide to finding the right outfit. Everyone has a different style so it helps to try on things and make sure that they fit and look great on you. Don’t forget your handbag and your shoes as these are extremely important. Follow our tips and tricks and you’ll be sure to have a great night out and look great when you are there.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Why is it that fashion looks to queer icons for inspiration?

The question of gender expression through articles of clothing only scratches the surface of what can be defined as an exploration of identity through style. This is why queer fashion – notable icons in particular – is so crucial.

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It’s about mold-breaking, looking beyond the conformist approach to fashion and seeing how far you can stretch the concept of aesthetics.

Throughout the long and tumultuous history of queer culture, it was predominantly associated with the edge, adventurous creative endeavors on the margin and those who were mired in aesthetics perfectly understood that this is where the ‘cooking pot’ of trends lie. This has been true for far longer than many would care to admit, and it holds today in particular when the cultural landscape has become so eclectic and thrilling.

Photo by Rochelle Brown from Unsplash.com

Blurring the lines

The lines that divide genders have always been a point of great fascination to people around the world – for better or, sometimes, unfortunately, for worse. In the age of consumerism when cheap but fabulous rags are a dime a dozen, and turnover of trends has become dizzyingly fast, it is only natural that such fascinations have become especially inflected.

Unfortunately, a majority still considers that certain fashion markers are sex-coded; but why wouldn’t your average guy experiment with arguably feminine Moon Magic jewelry, or your average gal with decidedly masculine leather shoes if it compliments their overall style and need for self-expression?

It might sound like a trite and banal question, especially if you consider how far our culture has come in embracing queer fashion. The unanimous viewership clamor for new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, when compared to its modest beginnings, is proof enough. It has become, as Matthew Schneier rightly put it in his article, a true niche touchstone.

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However, this is exactly why its visibility is so crucial. It is a testing ground that steers the zeitgeist, and its most lavishing, daring aspects ‘trickle-down’ slowly through the filters of culture until they manage to reach absolutely everyone.

However, the question of gender expression through articles of clothing only scratches the surface of what can be defined as an exploration of identity through style. This is why queer fashion – notable icons in particular – is so crucial.

The historical identity play

Marginalized identities usually have the bravery to rile against the status quo in every conceivable way, clothing included. Furthermore, the threat of encroaching bigotry creates inner friction that encourages daring creative expression.

You need to look no further than the history of notable marginalized individuals from queer culture, starting with Fanny and Stella – which were otherwise known under their birth names of Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton. In 1870s London, the age of rising conservative sentiments and cruel devaluation of individuals through mass-industrialization, these two individuals flaunted their individuality by attending more than a few social events in women’s clothing.

The duo, which was also a theatrical act, ended up prosecuted for ‘sodomy’ and salacious behavior. Still, their story persisted and reverberated through time, encouraging other individuals to express their identity and unique outlook through their clothes.

From Oscar Wilde to Derek Jarman, Chevalier d’Eon to Coccinelle, and further – queer and transgender individuals broke and redefined style across all facets of art and culture. Their unwavering ability to dispel stereotypical views kept people transfixed.

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And yet, even in the day and age when a culturally astute population has largely embraced queer, non-binary and trans voices, in fashion and otherwise, there is still so much ground to cover and ceilings to breakthrough.

While mainstream design houses do keep a close eye at the queer community for inspiration, a more direct, unfiltered exposition would be of great benefit for queer individuals that aspire to become fashion icons (and no, it is not merely and exclusively about models, but about artists as well). 

In conclusion, your honor!

There is no culture without the margin, and queer fashion is all about pushing the boundaries and buttons in equal measure. As we all know, bigotry and stereotypes have a stubborn habit of suffocating true self-expression, and while we do have a long way to go, this is also an appropriate time to be optimistic.

The visibility of queer, androgynous, trans and non-binary individuals is increasing, and their impact on fashion culture is undeniable. You can’t turn a blind eye on the unadulterated, unapologetic explosion of self-expression.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

How to look like a Steampunk woman

If you love Steampunk, you are a person of specific tastes. This has been a niche genre with a steady stream of followers for decades now, and it appears that the trend will hardly change in the foreseeable future.

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Photo by Noel Nichols from Unsplash.com

If you love Steampunk, you are a person of specific tastes. This has been a niche genre with a steady stream of followers for decades now, and it appears that the trend will hardly change in the foreseeable future. Thankfully, individuals such as yourself get more and more opportunities to share their enthusiasm for Steampunk with other like minded people, and when any such opportunity comes, you’ll want to look the part.

Here’s how to look like a Steampunk woman.

Purists and enthusiasts

Steampunk outfitters can be divided into two groups of people – the purists and enthusiasts. Purists are all about recreating consistent Victorian outfits with a few eye-popping Steampunk embellishments, while purists adore the aesthetic approach and its outlandish, rebellious appeal.

For starters, it would be both fun and financially feasible to go with the second approach. It casts a wider net when it comes to items and accessories you can purchase.

For example, Steampunk clothes have a utilitarian side to them, so it shouldn’t be particularly difficult to seek out items of clothing all around you that have specific purposes.

Truth be told, most of such clothes do not align with the idea of a Steampunk outfit, but you can stumble upon a real gem. Believe it or not, safety metal instep shoes can be a rather impressive part of your Steampunk outfit.

Still, no matter how cool something looks, no matter how well it meshes with the rest of your clothes, you should make an effort to fulfill that basic tenet of Steampunk fashion – stick to the Victorian industrial era as much as possible.

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Victorian appeal – Where to start?

The best place to start is the basic material and fabrics. As a Steampunk lady, you’ll want to steer away from modern blends unless they work well at imitating traditional textures which have been used during Victorian times.

This includes wool, cotton, silk, leather, velvet, corduroy, suede, and lace. When it comes to trinkets, accessories, and paraphernalia: timber, metal (iron, tin, copper, silver, gold), and glass. Avoid lead at all costs, naturally. Denim should be avoided as well since it wasn’t available at that age.

Once again, if you want to save up money before venturing all-in on the style, you can look into items that are already available to you and see if they, in some shape or form, align with the Steampunk aesthetic. Better yet, see what you can do to create your own DIY Steampunk trinkets

The good news is that your closet already contains some materials and garments that have the necessary qualities – especially if you have an opportunity to dig through your grandmother’s old stuff.

Then again, certain items are practically a must, so you’ll ultimately have to splurge on these basic Steampunk garments.

Essentials

If you cannot find an appropriate blouse in your closet, seek out typical Victorian blouses made out of ruffled material, with puffy sleeves and, possibly, a nice collar. If you can, avoid zippers and go for buttons or lace (not the fabric, but a cord for tightening).

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Corset goes over your blouse, and you should count it as an essential – you’ll rarely see a fully-fledged Steampunk outfit without one. Whether it’s underbust or overbust, you can go crazy with styles here, so let your imagination run wild and browse extensively before you hone-in on the purchase.

Waist-down, you’ll either go with a dress, pants or leggings. Victorian-inflected lace works wonders here, and you have just as many choices as you do with corsets. People can be very imaginative when it comes to Victorian garment design and you can easily find very interesting dresses without spending too much.

Now, boots are important, and this is where a lot of your budget will go. Avoid open toes and stick with buckles and cords for fastening. Zippers are a no-go here as well, and while it is true that this was technically invented by 1901, they simply didn’t look as modern.  

Now, since hats were in style during this era, it also wouldn’t go amiss to own one – a top hat, bonnet, wedding hat, church hat, Kentucky Derby variant, the more era-appropriate yet over the top – the better. Aviator glasses are a popular accessory as well, and they often go hand-in-hand with hats.   

Conclusion

As you may have gathered, Steampunk is too broad a notion to cover in a singular article. As a cultural phenomenon that crosses media, culture and – indeed – fashion, there’s just too much to take in. And you know what: that is the beauty of Steampunk!

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Discovering every facet of this niche genre is an adventure in and of itself, and the community is thankfully accommodating, inclusive and pleasant. At the end of the day, should you feel as if you’ve hit a dead end with your Steampunk outfit, you can always turn to the community that is willing to share their experience and knowledge.

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6 Christmas gifts for your partner that aren’t underwear

Check out some of our ideas on how you can give that special someone a truly creative and unforgettable gift this festive season.

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Photo by @benwhitephotography from Unsplash.com

Buying the perfect gift for your partner can be tough, and it’s easy to fall back on something boring and unoriginal like chocolates, alcohol or lingerie, but there are so many unique options out there that can help you show your love and originality. For those keen to share their pride in their sexuality with others, there are now so many cool gifts you can buy that will help you show your love for your partner and incredible sense of style and taste.

Check out some of our ideas on how you can give that special someone a truly creative and unforgettable gift this festive season.

MAKEUP THAT WILL SHOW THEIR PRIDE

For your makeup loving partner, consider buying an eyeshadow palette that supports the community and leaves them looking beautiful and sparkly. This stunning selection of shades will give them bright, bold looks that they’ll be truly proud of. 

A SEX TOY FOR THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

You can put some spice into your relationship and give your partner a gift that you can both benefit from by selecting the perfect sex toy. Check out the range of lesbian sex toys from Wet For Her to find the perfect toy you’ll both be able to enjoy well into the New Year.

A RAINBOW DRESS THAT’LL STAND OUT

The rainbow is the accepted symbol of pride, so why not show your partner how proud you are by buying them a stunning rainbow dress this Christmas? There are numerous styles on offer so that you can pick something that will flatter them and fit in with their style.

For your makeup loving partner, consider buying an eyeshadow palette that supports the community and leaves them looking beautiful and sparkly.

PRIDE PET ACCESSORIES SO EVERYONE CAN SHOW THE LOVE

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If they’re an animal lover then give them a beautiful pride accessory for their furry friend this Christmas. This gift will allow them to show their pride in a unique way and involve their beloved pet in a way that most other gifts just don’t. 

JEWELRY WITH A NAUGHTY SECRET

For the woman who wants to wear her heart, and other parts of her anatomy, on her sleeve, consider jewelry that doubles as restraints and naughty toys. There are loads of styles and types to choose from so that you can get something that’ll look good and feel great.

A MUG TO SHOW OFF THEIR WIT

Funny mugs with cute slogans are an office staple, so for Christmas this year buy the love of your life a witty mug that will show their pride in their sexuality and hilarious sense of humor.

Whatever you choose to buy, remember that it’s the thought that counts. Your partner will appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into choosing their gift, as opposed to the money you spent, so even if it’s not expensive remember that a thoughtful gift will be appreciated and make them happy. Christmas is a time for joy and goodwill, so don’t stress over your gift giving and instead enjoy spending the festive season with those you love.

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Fashion for men: Creating your perfect winter style

For men it can be a hard to find clothes that are practical, hardwearing and still look great, but brands are beginning to come around to needs of fashion-conscious men, so with a little perseverance you can easily put together the perfect winter wardrobe.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Unsplash.com

As the seasons change it’s important that you start wearing warmer clothes to keep out the chill. Staying stylish and cosy can be tough, but with the right wardrobe staples and accessories you can create looks that will really stand out from the crowd. For men it can be a hard to find clothes that are practical, hardwearing and still look great, but brands are beginning to come around to needs of fashion-conscious men, so with a little perseverance you can easily put together the perfect winter wardrobe.

Check out our ideas on how you can look good and stay wrapped up warm this winter.

WHEN SHOPPING, THINK ABOUT HOW EACH PIECE WILL FIT INTO AN OUTFIT

The key to styling your winter wear is to try to combine statement pieces with classics, such as a classic black shirt from Hugo Boss, which will quickly become a wardrobe staple. Timeless classics will make you look smart and neat, so make sure that they form the bulk of your wardrobe. When you’re shopping for new clothes it can be easy to have your head turned by lots of brightly coloured pieces, but these are often hard to style and will only go with certain specific outfits. Have lots of flexible, classic clothes in your wardrobe so that you can create unique looks every day. Remember that your clothes will be worn both in smart situations, such as company board meetings, and more casual events like nights out at the pub, so buy classic clothing you can style to suit your needs and mood.

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THINK ABOUT THE FIT YOU WANT

Whenever you choose a new item of clothing, think about how you want it to fit your body. In summer you might be wearing baggy t-shirts to stay cool, but in winter you will want your t-shirts to fit closer to your body so that they keep you warm and hide well underneath multiple layers. To avoid buying the wrong fit make sure that you try on every item of clothing before you buy it, or, if you’re shopping online, check the company’s return policy so that you know you can send back anything that isn’t right. When trying on clothes, consider how you will be wearing them and try to work out if they fit properly in all areas so that you can buy the perfect garment.

SET OFF YOUR OUTFIT WITH BOLD ACCESSORIES

Just because your look is timeless and classic, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Offset your look and really stand out with a statement accessory. This can be something small and discreet, like a signet ring, or larger and more obvious, like an eye-catching Christian Louboutin bag. Whatever you choose, make sure that you team it with a classic style so that it really stands out and makes an impact.

Shoes can make or break an outfit, so make sure you find the perfect pair that will show your unique style and keep your feet warm as you trudge through the winter weather.

PATTERNS AND MOTIFS NEED TO BE WINTER THEMED

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If you’re a fan of patterns then you can still rock them even in winter, just make sure that they suit the season. You’ll look out of place in a Hawaiian shirt standing in the snow, but a casual checked shirt will look great and keep you warm. For smarter occasions consider a classic striped shirt so that you can showcase your creativity and flair whilst still looking presentable and neat.

INVEST IN A QUALITY COAT

In the cold weather a coat will be worn daily, so make sure that you invest in a quality item that will last you for years and can be styled with any outfit or for any occasion. When shopping for a coat, think about where you are going to wear it and how cold you’re going to be. You might consider buying a rugged, outdoor coat from a brand like Canada Goose, or you might want something trendier from Dior. The key considerations should be comfort, warmth, fit and style. Pockets, hoods and other aspects need to be thought about too, so that you come away with the perfect coat to see you through many winters. 

FINISH YOUR LOOK WITH THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR

Shoes can make or break an outfit, so make sure you find the perfect pair that will show your unique style and keep your feet warm as you trudge through the winter weather. Try to find a stylish pair of shoes that are timelessly classic, such as this selection of gorgeous Givenchy trainers from SSENSE, so that you can wear them time and again and still look stylish.

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There’s so much choice out there that it can be overwhelming, but by following these tips you will be able to craft the perfect warm wardrobe to see you through to spring. Remember that comfort is crucial, and if in doubt go with your initial gut feeling: you were probably right the first time.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

A POC queer superhero? Ylva Publishing says ‘Why not?’

Ylva Publishing – a small indie publishing house – decided to turn into a graphic novel “The Power of Mercy”, a lesbian book by Fiona Zedde, about a black queer superhero.

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LGBTQIA superheroes are finally – FINALLY – getting some opportunities to shine, even if by doing so, they face even more scrutiny. I’m thinking of the likes of lesbian-identifying Batwoman, of course, who – described as the highest-profile gay superhero to appear in comics (and then TV show) – may be as effective in kicking villains’ butts, but are also dissected because of who they are/sleep with/choose to love.

And we’re not even talking about the race of the superhero yet, which is another layer that – apparently – merits scrutiny if one is a superhero; and even a fictional one at that…

At least for Ylva Publishing’s CEO, Astrid Ohletz: “We certainly need more women of color and lesbian superheroes represented in popular culture.”

And this is why Ylva Publishing – a small indie publishing house – decided to turn into a graphic novel “The Power of Mercy”, a lesbian book by Fiona Zedde, about a black queer superhero.

The Power of Mercy” tells the story of Mai Redstone. To her family, she is weak. But when she dons a mask and becomes Mercy, a rooftop-climbing chameleon with at least nine lives, she finds her power. But when Mercy is called in by police to a murder case, her whole world threatens to crumble. The dead man made her childhood a hell. She is torn between giving the murderer a medal and finding the killer for her family. Amid it all is enigmatic Xóchitl, awoman with dangerous secrets who claws her way into Mai’s life.

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Forty-three-year-old Zedde, a Jamaican-born, award-winning author of over 20 novels, splits her time between Atlanta and Madrid. How readers interacted with her book inspired the graphic novel.

“After The Power of Mercy was published as a novella with its very cool illustrated cover, a few readers wrote wanting to know if there were plans to make it a graphic novel,” Zedde recalled. “They were so eager to devour the story again in a new form. When I mentioned these responses to my publisher, she didn’t immediately laugh them off. A few days later, she gave me one of the best surprises I’ve had in a long time.”

“I thought, why not?” Ylva Publishing’s Ohletz said. “It’s a brilliant story and it really lends itself to being told in art. We certainly need more women of color and lesbian superheroes represented in popular culture. And it’s great we have an ‘own voice’ author who brings us amazing women of color lesbian superhero. This is so important because even though the ice has started to melt for these kinds of superheroes in our entertainment, we are not nearly where we need to be.”

The graphic novel will be created by the team at Streetlight Graphics, under artist Glendon Haddix.

Zedde hopes her book will inspire readers to seek out more stories like “The Power of Mercy”.

“I want to leave the readers with a hunger for more graphic novels and stories like this that reflect people of color and powerful queer women. My biggest wish-list take-away: that these types of stories are not only valid and wonderful but they also sell well.”

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So for now, move just a little, Batwoman (and LGBTQIA characters) to give space for more characters made for and by LGBTQIA people…

Check out “The Power of Mercy” graphic novel from Ylva Publishing.

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