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Transmutation was the word that came to mind the first time I saw milliner Sahar Freemantle's Magpie inspired Ugly Lovely collection.

A narrative of claws, animal horns, feathers, shredded snake skin, fossilized beetles, dried butterflies, bird skulls, etc, gave me the impression that if I wore one of her ingenious creations, I could morph into this intelligent bird.

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Raised on a farm it was commonplace for Sahar to see animal carcasses, skulls, rotting fruit and vegetables and it is in this milieu of birth, death and decay that she discovered beauty in the extraordinary.

While studying at Edinburgh College of Art she found passion in high drama, Schiaparelli hats, insect art and taxidermy receiving her degree in Costume Design and specialising in Millinery.

The Magpie is the only non-mammal species to have the ability of self recognition in a mirror test.

And they are are also the ultimate recycler known for thieving and collecting found objects for their nests.

Zinner has also remixed Single Frame's song, "People are Germs," in addition to appearing in the music video. Zinner studied photography at Bard and also in Paris, France.

In 2007 he also re-mixed The Hives's song, "Tick Tick Boom", which was used as a B-side for the release of their single "T. He has released four separate collections of his work: No Seats on the Party Car (2001), Slept in Beds (2003), I hope you are all happy now (2004) which features an introduction written by director Jim Jarmusch, and Please Take Me Off the Guest List (2010).

One of those chance encounters, with a Bard graduate named Nick Zinner, turned into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who, in a New York minute, became poster children for the Great Gotham Rock Resurgence of the Early Aughts. ) So, in 2004, when Karen suddenly packed up and moved to — of all freakin’ places — Los Angeles, she shocked her friends, family, and bandmates. Karen’s boyfriend, British video and film director Barney Clay, who divides his time between New York, London, and Los Angeles, donned a letterman jacket (’50s) and glazed his hair and face Tin Man silver (um, futuristic ’80s? A lifetime’s worth of loved ones and creatives jammed the room in varying degrees of ironic garb, guzzling (sponsored) alcohol, cheering Karen on as she whacked away at an aluminum-foil piñata, and digging into twin birthday cakes, one reading KO, the other 30.

“It was a pivotal moment in my life when I moved there,” she tells me six weeks after the birthday party, over dinner and wine in the East Village. Sweetest of all for Karen was the live karaoke band that assembled for the occasion, a dream team of pals from the NYC indie-rock scene: Zinner on guitar, the Blues Explosion’s Russell Simins on drums, the Walkmen’s Walter Martin on keyboards, and Sammy James Jr. “I was such a huge fan of so many of those guys when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were coming up,” she tells me.

In May 2011 Zinner was commissioned to curate, compose and lead a performance 41 Strings in NYC to celebrate the 41st Earth Day.

An exhibit – 1001 Images – of Zinner's photographs was mounted in NYC in October 2010Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License; additional terms may apply.

On a wintry evening in late November, Karen O celebrated her 30th birthday by throwing herself a party in the city she had fled. “There was no mistaking who the birthday girl was that night,” Karen says.

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