From the commentary on the red carpet to the supermarket checkout, the 2014 Oscars fashion script will be no different at the 86th Academy Awards this weekend.
But what we can learn from the red carpet parade: how does the interplay work between the major fashion houses, celebrity worship and global media? And has it always been this way?
In 2009 I was asked by a major newspaper to comment on the good, the bad and the ugly outfits at the Oscars. A ritual of judgment that fuels negative commentary and by virtue sells more media.
I wrote only positive critiques and distinctly remember writing that the favoured trend of the day was wearing a grin and that reflected happiness is the best fashion accessory that can be worn.
My commentary did not run in the press. It was no doubt not worthy of generating newspaper sales because I didn’t abide by the cat-fight antics inherent in this ceremony.
The armchair critique of Oscars fashion is part of a broader cultural trend equally fuelled by the plethora of reality TV shows where we all can be expert on food, romance, health and renovations.
This has been an entrenched custom in fashion for a number of years where the best and worst dressed lists appear across the globe with glossy magazines, daily newspaper editions and fashion blogs all competing to capture our attention.
If we revisit 1950s Hollywood, the Oscars ceremony was a very different and a decidedly tame affair. Historically the stars of a film would be most likely dressed by the wardrobe supervisor at the film studio.
The alternate option was to purchase a preferred gown from a local dressmaker or store.
It did, however, start to change as described by New York fashion commentator and creative director of luxury department store Barney’s, Simon Doonan, who titled his blog page on January 14 this year Frockophany! and stated: “In the late ’80s, [ ... ] fashion and celebrity began to flirt with each other. By the ’90s the two copulated … and the red-carpet designer devil-baby was born.
“The fashionification of Hollywood began in earnest.”
What Doonan refers to is the massive marketing cogs that moved into motion, whereby major fashion houses with obscene marketing dollars to invest started offering the Hollywood glitterati dresses gratis.
Doonan writes in this same article: “Why would designers fling free gowns at the only people on Earth who actually need them, and can afford them?”
The reason is that every media outlet around the globe has access to information about which Hollywood celebrity wore what. Charlize wore Dior Haute Couture, Angelina wore Elie Saab, Cate wore Armani Prive and Nicole wore L’Wren Scott – depending on which red carpet event you are channelling at the time.
Selling Hollywood allure
The outfits adorning the stars are often straight from the catwalk and not even released for retail sale at the time of the ceremony.
Seeing them worn gives the public the impression that the star validates this look and you too should aspire to have something this desirable, this fabulous.
It is a marketing tool to attract those who can afford them to aspire to look just like Charlize, Angelina, Cate and Nicole. It is a blatant attempt to sell more lipsticks, handbags and perfumes to give the world entree to Hollywood allure.
In one night the designers’ PR machines go into overload to make their label the most noticed.
A recent article in London’ Sunday Times by fashion editor Claudia Croft announces that some high-profile designers are rejecting the Oscar circus “because the huge fees that actresses demand to wear a designer’s creation on the Hollywood red carpet were not worth it”.
Snubbing the trend
It could, of course, backfire. What if not only the mass press but armchair critics across the globe watching the Oscars exclaim: “Oh my goodness, did you see what she was wearing?” Followed by judgmental remarks such as, “what was she thinking?” or worse: “what a dog”.
There is a perception that as long as the designer’s name is out there the world is hearing of the brand and when buying their lipstick they will subliminally respond to the likes of luxury brands Dior, Chanel, Prada or Balenciaga.
I don’t abide by this sentiment and it fits within the same myth that any publicity is good publicity. Good publicity equals good publicity and bad publicity is just that!
I do, however, pay tribute to those actors who decide to shun the whole media circus and subsequent fashion roller-coaster.
English actress Helena Bonham Carter channels her own Goth style no matter what the fashion trend. In 1998, Sharon Stone adorned a plain Gap shirt from her husband’s closet with a Vera Wang skirt.
As a result, Gap probably sold more shirts than any other designer that year.
And the blokes?
Most of the discourse and interrogation of Oscars fashion appear to be focused on the female.
What about the men?
A quick scan of websites shows that most men adorn a traditional tuxedo, with few exceptions.
This is not about to start cash registers ringing in fashionland. Reader in Cultural and Historical Studies at London College of Fashion Pamela Church Gibson acknowledges that there has been a cultural shift in men’s fashion interest since the 1980s with aligned interest in referencing celebrity style icons.
“Although there is strong male interest in celebrity figures … the most widespread imitation of celebrity through body shape, dress and adornment, which for the most is gender specific [is young women] … Internet sites are not dominated by men in search of masculine styles of celebrity dress to copy.”
For 2014 the buzz is now well under way, with websites and magazines destined for attracting attention at supermarket checkouts starting the roller-coaster by guessing who will wear what.
Post March 2, around the world a plethora of copies of the dress worn by Charlize, Angelina, Cate and Nicole will fill mass fashion racks on high streets globally, unless of course we exclaim: “What on Earth was she thinking?”
Karen Webster is Associate Professor, Deputy Head of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University.
Go to nzherald.co.nz/entertainment for all the latest Oscar buzz.
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Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor, died at age 110 on Sunday, a family member said. The accomplished pianist’s death came just a week before her extraordinary story of surviving two years in a Nazi prison camp through devotion to music is up for an Oscar.Herz-Sommer died in a hospital after being admitted Friday with health problems, daughter-in-law Genevieve Sommer said.Jewish Holocaust victims ‘remembered always’: Stephen Harper Photo gallery: Remembering the Holocaust “We all came to believe that she would just never die,” said Frederic Bohbot, Montreal-based producer of the documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. “There was no question in my mind: ‘would she ever see the Oscars.”‘The film, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke (also based in Montreal), has been nominated for best short documentary at the Academy Awards next Sunday.Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin — Theresienstadt in German — where inmates were allowed to stage concerts in which she frequently starred.An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were moved on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed. Herz-Sommer and her son, Stephan, were among fewer than 20,000 who were freed when the notorious camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.’Always laughing’Yet she remembered herself as “always laughing” during her time in Terezin, where the joy of making music kept them going.”These concerts, the people are sitting there, old people, desolated and ill, and they came to the concerts and this music was for them our food. Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,” she once recalled.Alice Herz-Sommer and Frederic Bohbot, producer of the film The Lady in Number 6. (Paul Parsons/Canadian Press) (The Canadian Press)”When we can play it cannot be so terrible.”Though she never learned where her mother died after being rounded up, and her husband died of typhus at Dachau, in her old age she expressed little bitterness.”We are all the same,” she said. “Good, and bad.”Caroline Stoessinger, a New York concert pianist who wrote a book about Herz-Sommer, said she interviewed numerous people who were at the concerts who said “for that hour they were transported back to their homes and they could have hope.”"Many people espouse certain credos, but they don’t live them. She did,” said Stoessinger, author of A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor.”She understood truly that music is a language and she understood how to communicate through this language of music.”Herz-Sommer was born on Nov. 26, 1903, in Prague, and started learning the piano from her sister at age 5.As a girl, she met the author Franz Kafka, a friend of her brother-in-law, and delighted in the stories that he told.She also remembered Kafka saying, “In this world to bring up children: in this world?”Alice married Leopold Sommer in 1931. Their son was born in 1937, two years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia.’A very, very hard time’ for Jews”This was especially for Jews a very, very hard time. I didn’t mind, because I enjoyed to be a mother and I was full of enthusiasm about being a mother, so I didn’t mind so much,” she said.Jews were allowed to shop for only half an hour in the afternoon, by which time the shops were empty. Most Jewish families were forced to leave their family apartments and were crammed into one apartment with other families, but her family was allowed to keep its home.Herz-Sommer poses in 2007 with Caroline Stoessinger who compiled Herz-Sommers’ memories in a book, A Century of Wisdom. (Polly Handcock/Associated Press) (The Associated Press)”We were poor, and we knew that they will send us away, and we knew already in this time that it was our end,” she said.In 1942, her 73-year-old mother was transported to Terezin, then a few months later to Treblinka, an extermination camp.”And I went with her of course till the last moment. This was the lowest point in my life. She was sent away. Till now I don’t know where she was, till now I don’t know when she died, nothing.”When I went home from bringing her to this place I remember I had to stop in the middle of the street and I listened to a voice, an inner voice: ‘Now, nobody can help you, not your husband, not your little child, not the doctor.”‘From then on, she took refuge in the 24 Etudes of Frederic Chopin, a dauntingly difficult monument of the repertoire. She laboured at them for up to eight hours a day.She recalled an awkward conversation on the night before her departure to the concentration camp with a Nazi who lived upstairs and called to say that he would miss her playing.She remembered him saying: “‘I hope you will come back. What I want to tell you is that I admire you, your playing, hours and hours, the patience and the beauty of the music.”‘Other neighbours, she said, stopped by only to take whatever the family wasn’t able to bring to the camp.”So the Nazi was a human, the only human. The Nazi, he thanked me,” she said.Artistic sideThe camp’s artistic side was a blessing; young Stephan, then 6, was recruited to play a sparrow in an opera.”My boy was full of enthusiasm,” she recalled. “I was so happy because I knew my little boy was happy there.”The opera was Brundibar, a 40-minute piece for children composed by Hans Krasa, a Czech who was also imprisoned in the camp. It was first performed in Prague but got only one other performance before he was interned.Brundibar became a showpiece for the camp, performed at least 55 times including once when Terezin, which had been extensively spruced up for the occasion, was inspected by a Red Cross delegation in June 1944.The opera featured in a 1944 propaganda film which shows more than 40 young performers filling the small stage during the finale.In 1949, she left Czechoslovakia to join her twin sister Mizzi in Jerusalem. She taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory until 1986, when she moved to London.Her son, who changed his first name to Raphael after the war, made a career as a concert cellist. He died in 2001.Anita Lasker-Wallfish, a friend, said Herz-Sommer was still lively during a visit last week.”She was a real optimist,” she said, adding that the pair used to play Scrabble together frequently until Herz-Sommer’s eyes failed her. “She was feeling very unwell and she went to the hospital last Friday. I think she had enough.”She added that Herz-Sommer lived a modest life, and would probably balk at the media attention directed at her death.”She didn’t think of herself as anybody very special,” she said. “She would hate any fuss to be made.”
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Photos Courtesy of Dior
Because the world can’t get enough of Jennifer Lawrence and her terrible haircut (let’s just be honest—it’s terrible), her third Dior campaign images hit the internet this weekend to the joy of fanboys and fashion lovers everywhere. Shot by Patrick Demarchelier, these photos have a softer look than her previous campaigns images; here Lawrence poses in a coat and couture dress with pink tone bags and a “nude” face. “I love Photoshop more than anything in the world…of course it’s Photoshop. People don’t look like that,” she told Access Hollywood about her Dior images. At least she’s being honest.
And while no one is above a little Photoshop, Lawrence is sort of putting everyone else to shame. Starting Wednesday her gorgeous face will be all over the Dior site; the print campaign will debut in Marie Claire U.K. Thursday before making its way to the U.S. in the April issue of Vanity Fair. Along with the release of the campaign online, Dior will be including a video where the Oscar-nominated actress talks about her visit to Dior to pick out her red carpet gown for the event. “Now I get the haute couture thing,” she says in the video, “It’s a big deal.”
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Tracey Benson Photography
“I never knew I had such feelings inside of me,” Lopez, 40, told PEOPLE before hosting a fashion show to launch the new Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Saturday.
“No matter how rough my day has been, when I get home and hear my children yell, ‘Daddy!’ I feel so much better.”
One of the best times is first thing in the morning when everyone is energetic and ready to roll out a new day.
“I always have breakfast with the kids,” Lopez tells PEOPLE of his daily life in Los Angeles.
“Courtney usually cooks a breakfast of waffles and oatmeal, and we all seem to be in a good mood. Both of the kids giggle, and it’s so much fun watching Dominic eat his baby food. He just loves it, and he’s getting chubby.”
At the end of the day, when Lopez returns home from work, he enjoys sitting down to dinner with the family. After catching up on the news, the doting father gives Gia a bath and brushes her teeth.
“Dominic goes to bed, then Gia and I read or play or do something to wear her out because she has an abundance of energy,” Lopez, who bought his daughter flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day, says. “She loves to sing and dance and has become a real night owl!”
On weekends, Lopez likes to take Courtney and the kids to the park for strolls and out to eat at various restaurants. Gia even gets to see movies and ice shows with her dad.
She also enjoys lots of fun family activity at Disney World in Orlando, the city where Lopez shoots many episodes of Extra, often for more than a week at a time.
“We really love traveling with the kids,” he shares. “We take DVD players to keep them occupied. And Gia loves to move around to new places and see different things. Both children have passports already.”
Lopez is so happy being a father, he is even thinking of expanding his family further.
“Being with Gia and Dominic gives me the chance to be a kid all over again,” he says. “All of a sudden I have two amazing playmates. I can’t imagine my life without children.”
– Linda Marx
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Oscar Pistorius, the celebrated athlete who became a murder suspect, said Friday that he is consumed by grief on the first anniversary of the day that he fatally shot his girlfriend in his home.The rare statement by the double-amputee runner came ahead of the March 3 start of his trial for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, shot in her boyfriend’s bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day.”No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved – and continues to love Reeva,” said Pistorius, who told a court last year that he mistook Steenkamp for a dangerous nighttime intruder. Prosecutors allege the track star, who is out on bail, intentionally killed her after an argument.”The pain and sadness — especially for Reeva’s parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow,” Pistorius said. “The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”Possible life sentenceThe statement from Pistorius, 27, was unusual because his uncle, Arnold, has normally been quoted in statements from his camp, which has sought to shield the runner from intense media and public interest in a case that transfixed many people around the world.Steenkamp’s mother, June, plans to attend the trial in Pretoria, the capital. No members of Steenkamp’s immediate family have attended any of Pistorius’ previous court dates. Pistorius also faces other firearms-related charges.On Wednesday, the spokeswoman for Pistorius said he reached a settlement with a woman over an alleged assault case from 2009 because his lawyers advised him he could not fight civil and criminal legal battles at the same time. He was arrested and accused of causing an injury to Cassidy Taylor-Memmory, a guest at a party at his house five years ago, after allegedly slamming a door and then punching it.Pistorius was the first double-amputee to run at the world championships and the Olympics. He faces a possible life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison before the chance of parole if he is convicted of premeditated murder in Steenkamp’s killing.A judge will deliver a verdict. There is no trial by jury in South Africa.
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Three iconic hairdos are being celebrated in a series of limited edition T-shirts for this year’s Shave for a Cure campaign.
The T-shirts, sporting images of Danny and Sandy’s dos from the musical Grease, David Bowie’s 1970s mullet and artist Frida Kahlo’s trademark bun were designed by Sam Yong, who illustrated double-Grammy winner Lorde’s breakout album.
The T-shirts are a collaboration between World and Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).
Shave for a Cure is LBC’s annual fundraising event, in which thousands of people pledge to shave their heads in exchange for donations from family and friends.
The $40 T-shirts challenge wearers to “use their hair for good” during Shave for a Cure Week which runs from March 17-24.
They are sale in all World outlet stores and on the World online store.
World are also designing an exclusive ‘Brave’ T-shirt which will be available in late February for the first 500 people taking part in Shave for a Cure who raise over $500.
“World are honoured to have the opportunity to work with this important charity and create something that we hope people are proud of and find fun to wear, figure out who the hairdo belongs to and choose your favourite,” World’s Benny Castles said.
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This article is from: Harlem World. Vado supplies the internet with his new extended play, Sinatra. Guests onboard include Rick Ross, French Montana, Ace Hood and more. Download Mixtape | Free Mixtapes Powered by DatPiff.com
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Photo Courtesy of The Luxury Collection
“Much like travel, photography is most powerful when it is an immersive experience that elicits the emotions, memories and moods of a destination,” Christensen says. “Exploring Peru with The Luxury Collection was particularly special because they uncovered hidden treasures of the country that I have never experienced before. I have always considered myself a global explorer, so this is my dream job!”
“Through her photography, and throughout her career as a model, Helena Christensen has always shared a singular perspective on the world around her,” adds Paul James, Global Brand Leader for The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W Hotels Worldwide. “We are thrilled to work with her as our newest Global Explorer, and look forward to inspiring travelers together to experience and celebrate the world’s great destinations.”
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Canada to play women’s soccer friendlies vs. Germany, Japan Both games to be played at B.C. Place StadiumThe Associated Press Posted: Feb 05, 2014 3:51 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 05, 2014 3:51 PM ETCanada’s national women’s soccer team will host Germany on June 18. (Martin Meissner/The Associated Press)Related StoriesCanada, U.S. to play women’s soccer friendly in Winnipeg Canadian women’s soccer team settles for draw with Brazil Canada falls to U.S. in women’s soccer friendly The Canadian women’s soccer team announced two more international friendlies to its 2014 schedule on Wednesday.The national team will host Germany on June 18 before facing Japan on Oct. 28. Both games will be played at Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium.Canada announced two other friendlies earlier this week — May 8 in Winnipeg against the United States, and Oct. 25 against Japan in Edmonton.All four games will be tough as Canada continues its preparations ahead of hosting the 2015 Women’s World Cup.The U.S. tops the current FIFA world rankings, followed by No. 2 Germany and No. 3 Japan.Canada lost 1-0 to the Americans in a friendly in Texas on Friday.
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In recognition of the 20 year anniversary of his debut, Illmatic, Nas is reissuing the classic LP on April 15. The double-disc remastered version will also feature rare gems and remixes. In addition, Nas will also be dropping the documentary Time Is Illmatic, which will highlight the creation of the 1994 album and kick off a tour this Spring performing at Coachella and The Kennedy Center in D.C.
Tracklisting: Disc 1: Remastered original album
1. The Genesis
2. N.Y. State Of Mind
3. Life’s A Bitch
4. The World Is Yours
6. Memory Lane (Sittin’ In Da Park)
7. One Love
8. One Time 4 Your Mind
10. It Ain’t Hard To Tell
Disc 2: Demos, Remixes & Live Radio
1. I’m A Villain (previously unreleased)
2. The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show on WKCR October 28, 1993 (previously unreleased freestyle)
3. Halftime (Butcher Remix)
4. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Remix)(promo single)
5. One Love (LG Main Mix)
6. Life’s A Bitch (Arsenal Mix)(promo single)
7. One Love (One L Main Mix)
8. The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)
9. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Stink Mix)(UK single)
10. It Ain’t Hard To Tell (The Laidback Remix)(UK single)
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