Sweet, sassy, molassy! Brittney Townson and Lindsay Darling are the girls who dominate the 1 and 2s as Bangs and Blush, Toronto’s most stylish DJ duo. I met up with these trendsetters at Clinton’s, their self-described home away from home and location of their oh-so-fabulous weekly dance party, Shake Rattle Roll. Nothing makes the two giddier than seeing a three-piece suit or a beehive hairdo walk in through the door. And so, I was slightly nervous upon meeting these trendy ladies, notorious for dressing to the nines. Should I wear a vintage frock? Sport some red lipstick? Upon arriving, my fashion anxiety faded as these two girls greeted me with a huge smile, instantly breaking into a fast-paced conversation about their love of music, fashion, and all things girly.
“I wasn’t always a girly girl,” confesses Townson, whose transformation into the second half of Bangs and Blush almost reads like a love story. Back in the late 2000s, her idea of going out and dressing up included rocking a pair of Chuck Tailors and blending in with Toronto’s infamous “too cool for school” crowd. Then came the fateful day when she met her better half, Lindsay Darling, at Tattoo Rock Parlor. Darling was in the DJ booth with her then-partner hosting a soul dance party that encouraged folks to dress dapper and dance their pants off. Townson (inspired by the groovy style) was hooked. She introduced herself to Darling and glittery sparks ensued. Soon, Townson began doing promotion for the dance party, bringing her graphic design skills to the team. The two found out they were more than just friends, but rather, kindred spirits in mod dresses. The girls’ love of all things retro became the foundations of the über popular, Bangs and Blush. They also operate a killer fashion blog inspired by the tunes and era that they adore so much.
Of course I had to ask these ladies where they love to shop in the city. Hands down, Cabaret. “That store is magic and the owner is magical” says Darling with a sigh. We also discussed the pros and cons of American Apparel (good for staples, never a full outfit), Value Village, (a “hit or miss”), and vintage Etsy (ahh-some!).
Inseparable since 2009, they finish each other’s sentences, swap clothing, and their DJ style reflects the organic nature of their friendship. The two tap in and out of the soundboard fluidly, watching to see what tunes make the crowd shimmy and sweat. Encouraging folks to make an event of going out for a night on the town, egos are checked at the door and replaced with strappy dance shoes and banging hairdos. The two are not afraid of looking silly, as evident in their monthly night, FUCK IT, a dance party dedicated to guilty pleasures. What makes the folks jive the most? They laugh and tell me it’s The Little Mermaid. If you don’t find yourself grooving to Under the Sea, check out their night, BEATLEMANIA, on the first Friday of every month at The Piston, where the two play “a shit load of Beatles” and 60s rock and roll.
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