Neiman Marcus hosted a mini SXSW of their own during the festival, presenting an impressive lineup of panelists and artists at their Rainey Street headquarters for their Make Some Noise campaign.
Championing “bold women with bold voices who are shaking up the status quo and leading the way forward,” Neiman Marcus presented afternoon conversations with Freida Pinto, Rebecca Minkoff, Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR, Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson and more.
Unlike the gated walls of the Austin Convention Center, you didn’t need an expensive badge to gain access to these inspiring women. I’ve never had a SXSW badge and have never felt at a loss accessing so much great music, though there’s many times when I would’ve loved to be able to sit in on a panel discussion here or there.
While so many brands jump on the party/music bandwagon, hardly any integrate this panel discussion component into their events. Seeing Neiman Marcus take charge in this department in such an expertly executed fashion was both unexpected and exciting.
As for the showcasing artists, the talent was equally on par. I attended Friday’s party which featured performances by Meg Mac, Christine and The Queens, Melanie Martinez, Milo Greene and Marina and the Diamonds.
Meg Mac is an Australian pop singer who I’ve been championing since first discovering her last summer, including listing her as one of my SXSW Artists To Watch. Needless to say, Mac was high on my list of artists to catch during the fest and I’m glad I did. Her powerful voice translates just as dramatically onstage as on record, and she’s a delight to watch live.
Following was French pop sensation Christine and The Queens, whose setting her sights on America with the release of her first EP in English, “St Claude”, slated for release this April. ‘The Queens’ turns out are two voguing male dancers who join Christine on stage. There was posing, there was glitter and there was plenty of attitude.
Melanie Martinez turns heads with her multi-colored hair, which was a bluish-green for this performance. She’s paving her own way since appearing on The Voice. Playing songs from their new LP Control, Milo Greene seemed seasoned with their new synth-pop sound.
Closing out the evening was British darling Marina and The Diamonds. The crowd danced and screamed when the singer played dance-inducing hits “Froot,” “Bubblegum Bitch” and “Primadonna Girls” begging the question, is it asking too much to want the world?
Featured image via Neiman Marcus. All others by Gillian Driscoll