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Look Who We Met: Singer Allie X

Just before the elevator doors open, I envision poofs of Technicolor confetti. That seems like the only entrance befitting for LA-based singer-songwriter, Allie X, whose quirky electro-pop single “Catch” makes you want to sing into your hairbrush-microphone like no ones watching (listen below). It’s sonically textured, layered with dark lyrics and do you need more of an endorsement than Katy Perry tweeting it to her 51 million followers? During our hour-long chat, we got the scoop on how Perry actually discovered her and how rebelling from the music industry is paying off:

So you’re self-releasing instead of going through a big record company. How does that work? Why take that path?
Because I can. I have the material and I have the attention of the public, so I can curate it and control all aspects of the project. The climate and the landscape of the music industry is rapidly changing, so I’m experimenting with how far I can take things. It’s a gigantic game but I don’t want to be anyone’s b**ch, so I’m playing it the best that I can with the tools that I have—good music and good content.

Katy Perry tweets about you to her 51 million followers. What was that like? Where were you when you found out?
I was in Topanga, Vancouver and when I saw it on Twitter, I squealed! I was writing a song that I haven’t yet released, Katy’s heard it, and she ended up tweeting about it the next week.

How did she even hear about you though? What’s the connection?
It’s never been publicized properly, actually. People assume that it’s an LA thing, that we have mutual connections or something. But she actually found me when she was surfing through what she calls “the k hole of Tumblr.” I release a GIF with every song and that’s what caught Katy’s eye!

So how important is social media to you?
It’s the weapon that I have as an independent artist, it’s incredibly important. I’m no social media guru but I’m really making sure that I put in the effort and have various channels to communicate my ideas with the people who are into what I’m doing.

Do you interact with your fans?
In my own way, yes. But as an artist and as a human I need to maintain a sense of privacy. It’s not like I’m going to be taking selfies in the bathroom or talking about getting waxed—that’s just not going to happen.

Your outfit is so complex, do you work with a stylist?
Yes, the incredibly talented Krissie Torgerson who’s based out of LA. She does some work for MSMR, too. I think with anyone that I work with, I provide the initial blueprints and then they help me refine it. Photographer Logan White did the same thing with my GIFs.

What do you wear when you’re performing on stage? How important is comfort?
Things that make me feel confident! I’m like the most egocentric, overly confident slash cripplingly insecure person that I know. So I just try to bring out the really egocentric side of myself on stage. It makes me feel like I can just [takes a bite].

—Brooke Mazurek, InStyle Assistant Editor

Photo credit: Sarah Balch for InStyle.com; Logan White

Look Who We Met: Charles Michael Davis of The Originals
Who: Karen Levy, Entertainment Editor; Janelle Grodsky, Associate Editor; Stephanie Samson, Special Projects Editor; Tiffany Faure, Editorial Assistant; Tessa Trudeau, Editorial Assistant
Star: Charles Michael Davis (of the CW series “The Originals)
Where: West Coast Bureau of InStyle
Tiffany Says:  “We were treated to a visit from heartthrob Charles Michael Davis, star of the CW’s spin off series “The Originals.” On the show, he plays the role of Marcel Gerard, the powerful, self-proclaimed vampire king of New Orleans, but in real life Davis could not be sweeter or more down to earth.  
We chatted about everything from his Netflix queue (he’s currently hooked on The New Girl) to his surprising daily workout regime—the former college track star does everything from ballroom dancing to Muay Thai to keep his body in tip-top shape! Before leaving, he struck a pose with the March issue for the West Coast Bureau’s new Instagram account (@InStyleLA) and made all of our hearts swoon.”
Be sure to check out “The Originals” on the CW every Tuesday at 8 PM!
Photo credit: Janelle Grodsky

Look Who We Met: Charles Michael Davis of The Originals

Who: Karen Levy, Entertainment Editor; Janelle Grodsky, Associate Editor; Stephanie Samson, Special Projects Editor; Tiffany Faure, Editorial Assistant; Tessa Trudeau, Editorial Assistant

Star: Charles Michael Davis (of the CW series “The Originals)

Where: West Coast Bureau of InStyle

Tiffany Says:  “We were treated to a visit from heartthrob Charles Michael Davis, star of the CW’s spin off series “The Originals.” On the show, he plays the role of Marcel Gerard, the powerful, self-proclaimed vampire king of New Orleans, but in real life Davis could not be sweeter or more down to earth.  

We chatted about everything from his Netflix queue (he’s currently hooked on The New Girl) to his surprising daily workout regime—the former college track star does everything from ballroom dancing to Muay Thai to keep his body in tip-top shape! Before leaving, he struck a pose with the March issue for the West Coast Bureau’s new Instagram account (@InStyleLA) and made all of our hearts swoon.”

Be sure to check out “The Originals” on the CW every Tuesday at 8 PM!

Photo credit: Janelle Grodsky

Look Who We Met: Olympic Figure Skater Ashley Wagner 

"As a lifelong Olympics fanatic, I was beyond thrilled to meet the lovely—and wonderfully outspoken—Ashley Wagner. The Sochi Olympics bronze medal-winning figure skater stopped by the InStyle office to show off her new accessory from the team figure skating competition (it’s heavy in person) and to chat fashion, beauty and, oh yeah, ice skating.

As I divulged my fan-girl status over the Olympics, she surprised me by doing the same about InStyle. ‘I grew up on the magazine,’ she revealed. It’d be like 5 a.m. before skating practice and I’d be eating my oatmeal and flipping through InStyle!’ We then shuttled her off to the fashion closet, where she oohed and aahed over the latest styles, like I did over her triple lutzes and toe loops. To each her own.”

—Pam Majumdar, InStyle International Assistant

Photo credit: Alex Reside for InStyle.com

My Favorite InStyle Moment: In Montauk With Alec Baldwin
Photo caption: InStyle photo crew in 2000, including Angela Matusik, in green coat center, and Alec Baldwin, far right.
During my first stint at InStyle, from 1994 to 2003, I interviewed countless celebrities. I covered film festivals, award shows, and best of all edited the Man of Style column, which allowed me to sit down and probe male icons about serious subjects like grooming and footwear. The one that I love to recall the most was a story we did with Alec Baldwin in July 2000. Today, as the media world is a buzz with the news that he is “retiring from public life” it seems worth officially remembering.
The interview, which took place in Baldwin’s Upper West Side apartment, was the kind every writer hopes for when hitting the record button with a subject. A natural raconteur, Baldwin can speak at ease on just about any subject you toss his way. This Q&A was light fare, and he seemed delighted that someone would care to ask his opinions on things like the art of shaving and how to dress best when in Washington, D.C. But the thing that set Baldwin apart from most actors is that he so clearly embraced the joy of conversation: He wasn’t just interested in himself, he wanted to have a discourse, to make it a two-way street. It’s that same curiosity one can hear when listening to his WNYC podcasts, Here’s The Thing. Baldwin is a man who likes to talk—and he’s very good at it.For the photo shoot, we met Baldwin a couple of days later in his then-home turf of Montauk, Long Island. At the time he was married to Kim Basinger and he freely gushed over both her and their four-year-old daughter, Ireland. As evident from the way his eyes sparked when talking about Basinger and from the hearty belly laughs that were produced when he spoke on the phone with her, he was a man in love.A consummate host, Baldwin insisted on showing us around the seaside hamlet, leading our caravan from one location to the next. I sat in the passenger seat of the car he drove, hoping to secure a few more tid-bits on the record before the day was done. For our last and final shot, we were searching for a hidden beach drive—a really hidden beach drive. We must have driven back-and-forth on the same stretch of beach road five times looking for the turn-off. Baldwin, clearly the biggest alpha male present and visibly frustrated, called the location company from his cell phone while driving to ask for directions. “We don’t have time for this,” he said in his gruff papa bear voice, “We’re losing the light.” (It’s a moment I relive every time I’m in the car with my husband and the GPS fails. I always say, “Lets pull over and and look at the map” though we never do… Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.)Eventually, we found the beach turn-off and scrambled over the dunes to take the photos. The twilight hues were perfect, and of course, those images ended up being the best of the day. When it was all over, Baldwin graciously agreed to pose for a group photo (above), though he so clearly had had enough of us and just wanted to get home to his family.In his Vulture piece about his desire to retract from public life, Baldwin does not say he wants to stop acting. And for that I am grateful. Perhaps one day he’ll make a movie he needs to promote and will gingerly step back into the public relations game to call attention to something of which he’s proud. If and when that happens, call me, Alec. We’ll have a nice chat. —Angela Matusik, InStyle.com Executive Editor

My Favorite InStyle Moment: In Montauk With Alec Baldwin

Photo caption: InStyle photo crew in 2000, including Angela Matusik, in green coat center, and Alec Baldwin, far right.

During my first stint at InStyle, from 1994 to 2003, I interviewed countless celebrities. I covered film festivals, award shows, and best of all edited the Man of Style column, which allowed me to sit down and probe male icons about serious subjects like grooming and footwear. The one that I love to recall the most was a story we did with Alec Baldwin in July 2000. Today, as the media world is a buzz with the news that he is “retiring from public life” it seems worth officially remembering.

The interview, which took place in Baldwin’s Upper West Side apartment, was the kind every writer hopes for when hitting the record button with a subject. A natural raconteur, Baldwin can speak at ease on just about any subject you toss his way. This Q&A was light fare, and he seemed delighted that someone would care to ask his opinions on things like the art of shaving and how to dress best when in Washington, D.C. But the thing that set Baldwin apart from most actors is that he so clearly embraced the joy of conversation: He wasn’t just interested in himself, he wanted to have a discourse, to make it a two-way street. It’s that same curiosity one can hear when listening to his WNYC podcasts, Here’s The Thing. Baldwin is a man who likes to talk—and he’s very good at it.

For the photo shoot, we met Baldwin a couple of days later in his then-home turf of Montauk, Long Island. At the time he was married to Kim Basinger and he freely gushed over both her and their four-year-old daughter, Ireland. As evident from the way his eyes sparked when talking about Basinger and from the hearty belly laughs that were produced when he spoke on the phone with her, he was a man in love.

A consummate host, Baldwin insisted on showing us around the seaside hamlet, leading our caravan from one location to the next. I sat in the passenger seat of the car he drove, hoping to secure a few more tid-bits on the record before the day was done. For our last and final shot, we were searching for a hidden beach drive—a really hidden beach drive. We must have driven back-and-forth on the same stretch of beach road five times looking for the turn-off. Baldwin, clearly the biggest alpha male present and visibly frustrated, called the location company from his cell phone while driving to ask for directions. “We don’t have time for this,” he said in his gruff papa bear voice, “We’re losing the light.” (It’s a moment I relive every time I’m in the car with my husband and the GPS fails. I always say, “Lets pull over and and look at the map” though we never do… Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.)

Eventually, we found the beach turn-off and scrambled over the dunes to take the photos. The twilight hues were perfect, and of course, those images ended up being the best of the day. When it was all over, Baldwin graciously agreed to pose for a group photo (above), though he so clearly had had enough of us and just wanted to get home to his family.

In his Vulture piece about his desire to retract from public life, Baldwin does not say he wants to stop acting. And for that I am grateful. Perhaps one day he’ll make a movie he needs to promote and will gingerly step back into the public relations game to call attention to something of which he’s proud. If and when that happens, call me, Alec. We’ll have a nice chat.

—Angela Matusik, InStyle.com Executive Editor

Look Who We Met: Yael Stone from Orange is the New Black
"As an Orange Is the New Black fan, I was reeling with excitement when I heard that Yael Stone, aka Lorna Morello—the short-haired bus driver and BFF to all inmates at Litchfield—was dropping by our office for a quick chat. And I was delighted to discover that Stone is just as chirpy as her character, minus the Brooklyn-Italian accent (she’s from Australia!). When we handed her a copy of our March issue, she gushed over how beautiful Nicole Kidman—a fellow Aussie—looks on the cover.Sans jumpsuit, Stone is quite the style maven herself. Acclimating to the cold weather in Queens, where she now resides, the actress kept her look put-together yet practical in a pair of slim-fit printed Zara trousers, a black tuxedo blazer layered over a bright yellow button-down, a statement necklace, and Guess flats. Since there was no orange in her outfit, we kindly asked that she pose with one—and, ever the good sport, she did. For this, we grant her visitation rights anytime.”—Claire Stern, InStyle Editorial Assistant
Photo credit: Alex Reside for InStyle.com

Look Who We Met: Yael Stone from Orange is the New Black

"As an Orange Is the New Black fan, I was reeling with excitement when I heard that Yael Stone, aka Lorna Morello—the short-haired bus driver and BFF to all inmates at Litchfield—was dropping by our office for a quick chat. And I was delighted to discover that Stone is just as chirpy as her character, minus the Brooklyn-Italian accent (she’s from Australia!). When we handed her a copy of our March issue, she gushed over how beautiful Nicole Kidman—a fellow Aussie—looks on the cover.

Sans jumpsuit, Stone is quite the style maven herself. Acclimating to the cold weather in Queens, where she now resides, the actress kept her look put-together yet practical in a pair of slim-fit printed Zara trousers, a black tuxedo blazer layered over a bright yellow button-down, a statement necklace, and Guess flats. Since there was no orange in her outfit, we kindly asked that she pose with one—and, ever the good sport, she did. For this, we grant her visitation rights anytime.”

—Claire Stern, InStyle Editorial Assistant

Photo credit: Alex Reside for InStyle.com

Look Who We Met: Bella Thorne 

"With subzero temps, polar vortexes and perpetual gray-snowy skies in New York, the last thing I’d want to do is expose my skin. Bella Thorne, however, doesn’t mind. When the triple-threat actress, singer, dancer squeezed in a visit to the InStyle offices during her busy New York Fashion Week schedule, she arrived in a cropped H&M sweater accessorized with a Coordinates bracelet (it showed the latitude and longitude of her Florida hometown).

This type of ab-baring, anything-but-timid outfit wasn’t a one-time deal, either. “Crop tops are my new favorite thing to wear,” she told me. “I had ‘em on at the Alice + Olivia and Lacoste shows, too.” After chatting with her, it’s clear her warmth radiates from the inside—every single editor she met received a hug, myself included.”

—Brooke Mazurek, InStyle Assistant Editor

Head on over to InStyle.com to see all of Bella Thorne’s best looks.

Photo credit: Alex Reside for InStyle.com

Look Who We Met: Susan Gregg Koger, Founder of ModCloth

"This morning we got the sunniest visit ever from the founder of one of our long time (since 2002!) fave sites, the retro-haven and designer-collaborative site ModCloth. The always adorable Susan Gregg Koger popped in from San Fran to catch us up on new goings-on with the site and app, including killer crowdsourced fit capabilities, a cool Portlandia contest coming up (spot on, amirite?!), and then we oohed and ahhed over cat bedsheets, polka dot bathing suits, and polka dot business cards. At ModCloth, it’s all happy all the time.” — Isabel Gonzalez-Whitaker, InStyle Fashion Features Editor

If you don’t already, follow Susan (@SusanGKoger) and ModCloth (@ModCloth) on Twitter.

Who We Met: Singer Christina Perri

Who: NYC InStyle Staffers (from left): Jennifer Ferrise, Claire Stern, Andrea Cheng, Marianne Mychaskiw, Kim Peiffer, Josephine Cusumano, Sharon Clott, Grace Gavilanes, Kelsey Glein, Jennifer Davis and Sarah Balch

Where: NYC Office

Kelsey says: “Yesterday, we were treated to a visit from adorable singer Christina Perri, who previewed four tracks for the InStyle team off her upcoming album. We all know Christina from her “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years” fame, and were excited to see what she has in store for her next record. Honestly, she is prepping some amazing tracks—we were truly moved! While the majority of details is still under wraps (the album won’t drop until spring 2014), we can say that the new mix of songs include the ballads Christina is known for, as well as some upbeat tunes. We’re particularly excited about a secret, to-be-announced duet and “I Believe,” a song she debuted earlier this year and decided to include on the record. It was so interesting to hear the story behind each song she shared with us, and really get a look into her soul through the music. Christina also dished about her love of SoulCycle (which we knew about from her Instagram and string of tweets) and her fans (aka “penguins”). We loved having her!”

Photo Credit: Sarah Balch for InStyle.com

Flashback! Remembering When We Met Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy
Charlie Hunnam has been the talk of the town ever since he was set to star as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. He rocked headlines once more when news broke that he backed out of the gig. But we knew him before all of that went down.
"The last time I sat down with actor Charlie Hunnam was in Park City, Utah in 2011 when he was promoting his film The Ledge at the Sundance Film Festival. He was such a cool guy! We chatted about how he grew up playing rugby in Newcastle, England—his hometown that he doesn’t visit often since his move to Los Angeles to film his hit FX show Sons of Anarchy. What we also learned: Charlie is a cozy weather kind of a guy. ‘Living in LA, I kind of miss the cold weather,’ he told me. ‘I love the opportunity to break out the hats and the scarves.’ Case in point: His bundled-up outfit here!”
—Karen Levy, Senior Entertainment Editor, LA Office

Flashback! Remembering When We Met Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy

Charlie Hunnam has been the talk of the town ever since he was set to star as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. He rocked headlines once more when news broke that he backed out of the gig. But we knew him before all of that went down.

"The last time I sat down with actor Charlie Hunnam was in Park City, Utah in 2011 when he was promoting his film The Ledge at the Sundance Film Festival. He was such a cool guy! We chatted about how he grew up playing rugby in Newcastle, England—his hometown that he doesn’t visit often since his move to Los Angeles to film his hit FX show Sons of Anarchy. What we also learned: Charlie is a cozy weather kind of a guy. ‘Living in LA, I kind of miss the cold weather,’ he told me. ‘I love the opportunity to break out the hats and the scarves.’ Case in point: His bundled-up outfit here!”

—Karen Levy, Senior Entertainment Editor, LA Office