The Golden Globes red carpet experienced a blackout this year, and in the best way possible. Stars joined together in solidarity for women who have been sexually assaulted, a topic that has been in the news almost daily since last fall when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Many have shushed the celebrities, saying that wearing black is really the least they can do, but if you’re going to minimize every action that a person takes then how are you contributing positively to the conversation? The point of everyone wearing black was to continue the conversation on sexual assault and inequality and that was definitely achieved.
From a sartorial standpoint, I love black. It is the most chic color and really looks good on everybody. As a New York resident (but not yet a New Yorker, I hear there’s a date requirement on that…), black is practically my daily uniform and I never tire of the color. I often look at red carpet looks and say “oh, it would be nicer in black”. The Golden Globes then provided me with my dream red carpet, where everyone was dressed exactly as I’d desire. I’m just going to ignore the two actresses who chose not to wear black because their reasons for doing so can be roughly conflated with wanting attention all in the name of “female empowerment”. Instead, let me focus on the positives and all of the amazingly dressed stars. What a way to kick off award season!
I don’t think 2017 has been a very “look”-filled year. I have been compiling this post for the duration of the year and upon looking back, only a few of the looks that I initially selected stood out to me. In terms of the more recent ones, I love Kim Kardashian’s Tom Ford suit. I wish she wore things like this more often. The oversized style suits her well and I love a woman in a suit. I also loved the little matching two piece worn by Elsa Hosk at the VSFS After Party. A lot of the girls in attendance wore cute outfits there actually. I look forward to seeing how the red carpet evolves in 2018. There are already talks of all of the female actors wearing black to the Golden Globes in a form of protest so I am curious as to whether or not that happens. What was your favorite look in 2017?
I still love Kanye West. I went through a phase last year where I refused to even think about him because he spoke out in support of Donald Trump. However, after those comments were made he had a bit of a breakdown and disappeared from the public eye. Since then he has periodically reemerged, taking care of his children and hanging out with his wife. He has also been holed up in Wyoming recording a new album. Whilst I don’t think it will be of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy caliber (nothing ever will be), I am excited to hear his new sounds and see what he does.
I have always been a fan of Kanye’s music but more so his style. He paved the way for the high-fashion sartorial choices made by hip-hop artists nowadays. He wore the Givenchy skirt (leather kilt, whatever) back in 2012 and faced ridicule. In 2016, Young Thug wore a dress for his album cover and got nothing but love and some memes. In honor of Kanye’s ever-changing but solid style, I decided to take a look back at my personal favorite looks of his. He goes through various eras style-wise, often related to the current album he is working on. Right now we are still very much in the Yeezy era which isn’t directly linked to an album (it started slightly before TLOP was released) but more so in relation to the Yeezy line he designs for Adidas. Yeezy is now a minimalist lifestyle philosophy for Kanye. It will be interesting to see the next step in his evolution. Will he go for some more maximalist styles going forward?
Fashionista.com posted an article pointing out the new trend in publishing of conducting in-depth conversations with people, usually the cover stars of the magazine, entirely via text messages or email. Instead of face-to-face meetings, the stars are providing all of their answers in writing. This way their words cannot be changed, taken out of context, or misinterpreted. But is this the end of a traditional profile? Is that sad or not?
I think it is sad if you want to get any genuine emotion or unexpected answers from someone. Social media has made us uber conscious of our words. People choose their own captions which they can go back and edit at any moment. Celebrities no longer have “gossip” because they control what goes out there. As the title of the famous blog goes, Pop Culture Died in 2009. The birth of social media killed the celebrity as we knew them. No longer were they an enigma. They became real. And real people can be in control of their actions. Crazy gossip no longer holds much clout the same way it did ten years ago because people can go on Instagram or Snapchat and prove where they were, what they were doing. As a famous person, this new way of business is probably great. It gives you a lot more control of your image and what is said about you.
I just think that this is kind of boring. If I were a writer who had been assigned a cover story with a great star, I’d take great delight in meeting up with them. For one, you can establish a lot more of a backstory and set the scene at the beginning of the piece. Plus, you get to meet the subject and learn a lot more about them as a person than you can via messages. You will never get a true sense of their personality digitally. Seems like a strange step in publishing and I hope this isn’t the future.
Teenage girls are the best. I would know, being one myself. We have a unique ability to obsess and become fanatical over celebrities in a way that our male counterparts cannot. Although I have grown out of it now, when I was a young teenager (say aged thirteen to fifteen, your formative years) I had a strong obsession with two hip-hop artists, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. In the case of Lil Wayne, I imagined marrying him; with Nicki, it was friendship. I adored these two stars and kept up with their every move. I actually had a fan blog for Lil Wayne on Tumblr, which somehow amassed almost 5000 followers, more of a following than I’ve ever been able to grow on my personal social media platforms (except Twitter back in the early days when it was super easy to grow a following through follow-for-follow schemes and whatnot). I have long since grown out of my adoration for these artists. In fact, I follow neither of them on social media now. However, I will never forget the buzz I used to get when I saw new pictures of them, especially Minaj.
Nicki Minaj’s outfits used to be so exciting to me. I used to try to predict what she was going to wear. I particularly loved her style when she was working with Rushka Bergman. It was when she became high-fashion, ditching the outlandish, avant-garde costumes that she wore from 2010 – 2013 and began moving into a more refined and understated look. This partnership has since dissolved and Minaj is back to wearing more out-there pieces/revealing looks, but it was fun while it lasted. One thing I used to do was go through the ready-to-wear shows at the end of the season and pick looks that I thought Minaj should or could wear. I still have various posts on this blog from that series actually. Here is the most recent one from the Fall 2016 season.
In the recent seasons, I’ve developed more of an interest in menswear or simply male celebrity styling. I’m slightly sick of seeing naked dresses and Balmain on red carpets (although Balmain is fading away, as mentioned in this flashback post) so I like to focus on what the men are wearing. They have a lot more opportunity to play with their looks nowadays, especially since the rise of Gucci has made it more and more acceptable for men to wear ornate pieces formerly reserved for females. Gone are the days of men just wearing a simple tuxedo. That doesn’t cut it anymore.
One stylist who I think styles men particularly well is Ilaria Urbinati, whose clients include Rami Malek, Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), and Riz Ahmed – basically any guy who people have been crushing on recently. She manages to dress her men in a way that gets them the same level of attention as females get. For example, Donald Glover’s brown velvet suit (Gucci, naturally) from the Golden Globes earlier this year was just as talked about as many of the female looks, and is, in fact, the only look I can actually remember from that awards show.
Another male celebrity who I think is killing things looks-wise is Harry Styles. Yes, his style is extremely reverential. A mash-up of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with a little bit of Bowie thrown in there. However, it works. It doesn’t seem entirely inauthentic, and the added effort is actually appreciated. He doesn’t dress like every other guy on the street and that’s rare. Harry Styles is practically the face of Gucci. He wears the brand so often that it is ubiquitous with him. Sometimes he even has custom pieces made. He also has been wearing the Scottish brand, LOVERBOY by designer Charles Jeffrey a lot in the past few months.
To find out where all of Styles’ looks come from, you need not follow his stylist Harry Lambert (who is rarely mentioned in articles about Styles’ styles). Instead, there is a dedicated fan account, Harry Wore What, with 36k+ followers on Twitter and 20k on Instagram who tirelessly chronicle his every look, finding out the designer and sometimes stockists of the pieces he wears. Normally these type of fan accounts remain faceless. However, the duo behind this account were interviewed by Fashionista.com on what it takes to run a fan account and honestly the amount of time and effort it takes was not surprising to me.
Harry Wore What is run by two teenage girls, sisters in fact, from Toronto. Still in high school, the girls juggle school work with their social media work. Honestly, it’s like a part time job. They source high quality images of Styles from his public appearances and scour the web to find the origins of his outfits. Sometimes they can recognize the item by the designer (e.g. Gucci by the logo or the overall styling since recent collections have all followed a similar theme) and other times it involves a lot more investigative work. I think it’s great because it allows them to mix their interest in fashion with their role as a fan, learning more and more about the fashion industry along the way. What may have began as a hobby for the duo is actually a great thing to put on their resume. Not only have they built a loyal following (valuable), they have shown research skills, dedication, and time management. The article gave no mention of if the girls have managed to monetize the account yet, but honestly wouldn’t it be great for them to be paid for their work? They do what PR companies dream of, giving credits to brands that may not normally receive them whilst sharing it with an audience of devoted fans.
Harry Wore What is not the only fan account out there, but it is the biggest name focused on Harry Styles. Each of the Kardashians have a similar fan account, allowing their fans to keep up with their closets and where every piece is from. Nicki Minaj has one. Really, it’s commonplace as our voracious appetite for all things celebrity never ceases. Fans want to dress like their idols. If Harry Wore What means more guys start dressing like Harry Styles, I’m all for it. Until then, I’ll settle for just seeing photos of him because as I said before, he is killing it. We all need a little bit of Styles in our lives.
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to honor Rei Kawakubo, the legendary designer of Comme des Garcons, for their annual summer exhibition. The exhibition opening coincides with a fundraising gala, intended to raise money and awareness for the museum, more specifically the costume department, which has turned into a media spectacle in the past few years. Often touted as the most exclusive event in fashion, I’d argue that the Met Gala’s guest list this year was the most random and even disappointing in recent memory. Furthermore, the red carpet was also rather disappointing.
Comme des Garcons is avant-garde, out-there, fun, conceptual. It is not sexy, naked dresses. It is not pretty prom dresses. I understand that celebrities always want to look good but sometimes I wish they would forego the boring, normal gear that they could wear on any red carpet and fully indulge in the theme. Rihanna did this, of course. As did Caroline Kennedy, along with Pharrell and his wife. You also don’t have to wear the designer to be on theme. Understandably most of the celebrities in attendance were brought by a brand (e.g. Calvin Klein and the squad including A$AP Rocky) and as a result were dressed by said brand. However, you could still push the boat out a little.
I didn’t realize how infuriated I was with the whole Met Gala thing until this morning. I was walking home and I just felt irritated, then I remembered all of the things I’d seen the previous evening. First of all, the guest list of this event was nonsensical. What purpose does Migos, Wiz Khalifa, Kylie Jenner etc. serve at this event? Why did The Weeknd and Selena Gomez have to walk the red carpet together and continue their charade? Why did the person who coordinated the timings of arrivals schedule the aforementioned couple right after Bella Hadid’s family, The Weeknd’s ex-girlfriend and last-year’s entry ticket to the event? Everything was for clicks. And that’s how fashion is right now and it just drives me crazy. Fashion has become pop-culture in the worst way possible, no better than tabloid magazines. I could talk about this for hours (and honestly sometimes I do in real life) but I don’t want to drone on and on. Instead, see below my favorite looks of the evening – some on theme, some not:
Instead of compiling this post at the end of the year, I’ve decided it is one that I’m going to add to all throughout. So as I write this introduction it is the 9th January 2016 and things can only get better. Last year, I adored Rihanna’s vintage Dior look, Nicki Minaj’s VMAs outfit, and Kim Kardashian’s Vogue CFDA Fashion Fund show look (her best look of both pregnancies). This year I am wondering what “moments” will occur. Will there be many looks worth remembering? Only time will tell…
Honestly, 2016 was not a year for “looks”. There was a lot of looks done by various celebrities that were just the same. A lot of naked dresses. Surprisingly, I found that Kim Kardashian served the most memorable looks. It’s rather disappointing to me because she’s not someone who I’m too fond of in terms of fashion. I often like the clothes she wears but find them ill fitting. Maybe at the end of 2017 she will be dominating my list once again, but with her lack of public appearances since October that is looking unlikely.
Wolves is one of the Kanye West songs that I rarely listen to and it’s just because I don’t like Sia’s voice so I usually skip the song once it gets to her part. I’m glad he added Vic Mensa back in though. I like him. However, since the music video/Balmain campaign has been released I felt the need to watch from start to finish. Honestly, I really like it.
The lighting in the campaign highlights the clothes in the best possible way. The model selection is stellar. The art direction is on point. Kim looks beautiful, even when she is crying. Overall, I just found the video so visually appealing. The collaboration with Balmain made sense too and didn’t feel forced or awkward. Everyone looked like they were meant to be wearing the brand, not that they had been forced to, especially in the club scenes.
I’m excited to see the actual campaign images in magazines. There have been quite a few released so far via Instagram but it will be nice to actually see them on paper. So far, I think they’re the sort that I’ll tear out of the magazine and stick on my wall. I don’t even care about Kim Kardashian being in fashion anymore. She seems sweet and rather harmless really. Besides, if you had the opportunity to do what she does, wear the designers she does, go to the shows she does, wouldn’t you take that opportunity too?
Directed by Steven Klein
Creative Direction (of Balmain) by Olivier Rousteing
Concept and Creative Direction by Pascal Dangin
A couple of weeks ago I received my daily newsletter from Vogue, that day entitled “What The Hell Happened to Personal Style?”. To give you the gist of it all, basically the writer was disappointed in the homogeneous, Kardashian style that has swept the nation and is worn by millions of young girls every day. They were sick of neutrals, topknots, and bodycon and missed true style icons like Kate Moss being lauded instead of those who work with a stylist. The latter point is what I’d like to hone in on.
The idea of working with a stylist seems strange to me, especially if it is for a non-red carpet occasion, but you cannot underestimate the power of a celebrity stylist. Think about what Rachel Zoe did back in 2004/2005! Nicole Richie had a major makeover and suddenly became an international style icon. This was a woman who was often ridiculed and thought of as just a famous-for-being-famous, reality tv star suddenly transformed to a real star. You cannot discredit Zoe for that. Nowadays it is Monica Rose who is spreading the same effect through her work with the Kardashians/Jenners and their gang of friends like the Hadid sisters. Just like the band of Zoebots who were constantly photographed this time a decade ago, Monica Rose’s clients often wear very similar looks today. It doesn’t help that they are currently some of the most talked about women in the world right now.
In the article the writer says Kate Young’s work with Selena Gomez is different because it is a “creative partnership”. Unfortunately I don’t agree with this. I don’t think what Kate Young does for Selena Gomez is any different than what Monica Rose does for her clients (although Selena does look so incredible now). Both stylists are picking “off-duty” looks as well as outfits for official appearances. I don’t have a problem with stylists doing this for clients. In fact, I think it is a super smart thing for all celebrities to do – a good branding move. However, I really do hate when people cite the celebrity’s personal style as their inspiration because I really don’t think it is their personal style at all. If your stylist has to pick out your clothing, whether they pre-pick your outfit or just provide you with pieces that would work well together, I don’t think it is your personal style, I think it is just a style. To me it is about those who the look originated from getting credit, but that rarely happens.
If I were rich and famous, I can’t imagine that I’d want a stylist. It would probably make things easier for calling in looks for events but then again there are some celebrities who do it all themselves and still manage fine: Diane Kruger, Dita von Teese, Blake Lively (for the most part), January Jones. Dressing yourself every day should be straightforward and actually fun. However, maybe if you’re getting photographed everywhere you go you’d want to look photo ready at all times. Perhaps that’s why celebrity personal style seems manufactured.