Tag: beyonce

Met Gala 2016

I was super excited for the Met Gala this year, mainly because I’ll actually get to see the exhibition for the first time ever! From the previews I’ve seen, the Chanel bridal look with the immense train is a stand out piece, along with some newer offerings from brands like Dior (under Raf Simons) and Prada. I’m excited to see it and explore the differences between handmade, laborious pieces and technologically created. I’m sure it will be marvellous.

An invite to the Met Gala is one of the most coveted in fashion. Nowadays I feel that celebrities attend just to attend, not because they have anything to do with fashion. Next year I hope that they trim the guest list slightly to people who have an impact on/interest in/some stake in the fashion industry but given the increased commercialisation of the event I doubt this will happen. Perhaps it is a good thing given that it is a fundraiser for the museum itself. I wonder if any of the celebrities in attendance actually donate anything to the Costume Institute, other than their presence on the red carpet?

I have to say, this is the event of the year where you can get off with taking the biggest risks in terms of fashion, not somewhere you would need to water it down. In my opinion, a lot of people could’ve pushed the theme a little further than they did, have fun with it instead of wearing straight off the runway dresses, but overall I think it was a good red carpet, although not as good as last year.

Since Manus x Machina (hand vs machine literally; man vs machine in simpler terms) is the title of the exhibition, I expected lots of silver, robotic, slightly futuristic looks and we got plenty of them. The element of the theme that I was most looking forward to was a fully technology created outfit, perhaps some 3D printing. I had hoped for some Chalayan (a true boundary pusher) or even Iris van Herpen. As far as I’m aware, neither of the designers were represented. Instead there was a helluva lot of Balmain and Louis Vuitton. I did like cool uses of texture (embellished latex on Beyonce, for example) and also the celebrities who totally switched up their look for the occasion (Zendaya’s hair looked amazing and also Kim Kardashian really suited lighter eyebrows).

In a dream world, I would’ve attended the opening wearing vintage couture, perhaps Galliano’s Dior (see above Fall 2006 looks), as something to represent the manus section of the exhibition. In a society increasingly reliant on technology (e.g. think of the havoc caused when emails go down in the office), I’d like to think man could come out on top. Or you could do a combination, how about a machine made dress hand-embellished? The clash of the two techniques and the way in which we will adapt to suit is important. And as the sub-title of the exhibition says, we are in the age of technology. However, I am obsessed with couture and the craft behind it. Let’s hope it is an art that never dies.

My best dressed

Amber Heard in Ralph Lauren Collection
Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein
Lady Gaga in Versace (PS – I wish she had taken this even further)
Kendall Jenner in Versace
Kate Upton in Topshop
Alexa Chung in Thakoon
Beyonce in Givenchy
Anna Ewers in Jason Wu
Aja Naomi King in Prabal Gurung

And the best look of the entire evening…

Bella Hadid in Givenchy

 

All images from E! Online and Elle Magazine

Best Looks of 2015

Now that the year has ended and I’m feeling very retrospective I thought it’d be fun to do a round-up of looks worn by the famous folk that I loved this year. I started off by compiling a list off the top of my head and then did some more digging around too. I’ll try not to include looks that I’ve already spoke about on here before for fear of being repetitive but if something is so good I might just have to include it.

What constitutes a good look is tricky. I often feel myself wanting to “up” my looks in daily life and dress a little better. For example, I feel I should accessorise better or wear heels instead of flats but then other times I think what’s the point if nobody’s looking. Also, when you’re getting dressed at 7am the effort levels are low.

Celebrities have more opportunities to dress well and that’s why I love them. Everyday, mundane tasks are rarely photographed (unless its the Kardashians, in which case their grocery shopping will be a headline on the Daily Mail website) so it is usually the bigger red-carpet events or at least occasions that require a little bit of effort. But hey, if they want to go in full on glam and heels just to go shopping then more fool them – at least they have a car service to take them from A to B, no need to worry about hauling their bags on the train!

In no particular order, see my favourite looks of the year:

Beyonce photographed in New York wearing Cushnie et Ochs, DSquared, and Givenchy – May 2015
Nicki Minaj at the VMAs in Labourjoisie – August 2015
Kylie Jenner at the Balmain X H&M launch in the brand – October 2015
Bella Hadid at Chrome Hearts Celebrates Art Basel – December 2015

 

FKA Twigs in Alexander McQueen at the Brit Awards – February 2015
Rihanna in Dior at the Annual Diamond Ball. The wrap is so old Hollywood glam. I love it – December 2015
Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party – February 2015
Julia Roberts in Givenchy at the SAG Awards – January 2015
Beyonce in Proenza Schouler at the Grammys – February 2015
Kate Bosworth in Oscar de la Renta at a “Still Alice” screening – January 2015
Kim Kardashian in Altuzarra, Tom Ford, and others at the Vogue Fashion Fund event – October 2015
Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace at the Critics Choice Awards – January 2015
Kiernan Shipka in Dior at the Emmys – September 2015
Rihanna in Dior at the brand’s show – October 2015
Selena Gomez in Givenchy at the AMAs – November 2015
Beyonce in Givenchy at the Met Gala (I’m sick of naked dressing but this was insane) – May 2015
Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein in Cannes – May 2015
Nicki Minaj in Mugler at the BET Awards – June 2015
Zendaya at Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 Gala – December 2015
Chrissy Teigen (an angel) in Solace London at the CFDA Awards – June 2015
Blake Lively in Roksanda promoting Preserve – April 2015

 

An icon in the making, the sweetest kid in America, North West in Balmain for a ballet lesson – May 2015

 

American Vogue on YouTube

American Vogue on YouTube. I bet that’s something you never thought you’d see a decade ago…

The most famous fashion magazine in the world has a strong online presence nowadays. Strange to think that an institution that started in the 1800s is still at the forefront of fashion so many years later. A common criticism of American Vogue is that it is dated, and I think it can be fair to say that of the magazine. The few issues that I’ve read haven’t been brilliant but the editorials have been good. I feel like maybe the magazine is aimed at adults and the YouTube channel is trying to capture a younger audience, perhaps hoping they’ll be Vogue subscribers in the future?

The YouTube channel is actually one of my favourites. It is filled with interviews with both celebrities and designers, behind-the-scenes videos, make-up tutorials, models, and advice. My particular favourite series is 73 Questions. In it, a subject (usually a celebrity) is asked 73 quick fire questions, often in their home or workplace as they lead us on a tour around in a single continuous shot. It is very clearly rehearsed and can sometimes look a bit stilted, but the idea is good. The questions are usually fun and the subjects have been interesting, but predictable, so far. The most recent video was of Iggy Azalea and she actually came across well in it. For someone who receives so much bad press, she handled herself well and seemed quite friendly (and she had a nice car…). The Victoria Beckham video was the funniest in my opinion, and sparked a hilarious parody which Victoria herself even liked.

However, the ultimate best video, and the most unexpected, was Serena Williams’ 7/11 cover. You know the Beyonce video where her and her friends are just dancing around in a hotel room having a good time? Well Serena Williams, the April cover star, did her own version and it was hilarious. And you would never expect that from Vogue, right?

If you haven’t already, check out the channel. It is brilliant.

Also, watch these… 

Celebrities as Fashion Designers

This is a risky, and always hot, topic. It was brought to my attention again after it was announced that Beyonce and Giuseppe Zanotti were collaborating and then I started thinking about whether I should write about it or not. It is a topic that I’ve touched on quite a few times but never really gone into much depth about. Perhaps now is a good time to do so.

Celebrities as fashion designers is not a new thing, although it does seem to be a bit of a trend at the moment for everyone to be a slash something; by that I mean a model/actor/designer/singer, or something along those lines. People can’t settle for honing just one craft and have to get involved in every opportunity that is presented to them. I mean, I can’t blame them. If I were a celebrity and had the chance to become involved in a wide range of exciting projects whilst making money off of doing so, I would. However, I often wonder if the celebrities who act as designers actually care about what they are doing, or if they’re doing it for a little bit of exposure and a chunk of cash.

Kanye West x Adidas Originals
Kanye West x Adidas Originals

Kanye West, for example, truly seems to care about fashion, but he is an anomaly. He has a passion that is unrivalled by most other celebrities who design lines. His most recent attempt was not his first. Kanye designed a couple of collections back in 2011 and 2012, both of which were met with little critical acclaim but were, nonetheless, attempts to break into fashion. Then for the Fall 2015 season, Kanye designed the most viewed collection on Style.com of the entire season. He beat out Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent, and even Valentino who pulled the Zoolander stunt. Now, I personally didn’t like his Adidas collection and I still think that it is completely overpriced (you know, he claims that he is bringing fashion to the masses but the masses can’t afford his prices), but I have to admit that he has done a good job. He has gained more attention for this collection, even outside of the fashion world, than most designers could only dream about. But is that all he has to offer? Most of the attention was probably due to the hype that he had built over the past few months, his wife, and his brilliant front row crowd. But I do think that I’m being a bit unfair in criticising him like this. Kanye cares. He hired graduates from top fashion schools to work on this collection, he claimed to have done a bunch of research, and he is trying to bring fashion to regular kids who can’t afford all the designer shit that he and his wife clothe themselves in. I appreciate that, and people who try to democratise high fashion deserve to be lauded because we all know that it is so elitist. However, Ye designed astreetwear line which is traditionally cheaper anyway. Enough about Kanye though, it is celebrities in general that is the issue.

Kanye West Spring 2012
Kanye West Spring 2012

My problem with celebrity designers is that they have no formal training and just seem to waltz into jobs. Now some top fashion designers didn’t go to fashion school or just dropped out and they have been successful because they worked hard to get to where they were, so I can’t use that in itself as a criticism. The main thing is that they don’t care, they haven’t worked for it. It is just an extra project, a side project. Whilst a celebrity is launching their own brand and becoming an overnight success, young talented designers fresh out of fashion school are struggling to get by and can’t launch their own collections. If they’re lucky, they’ll get a low-paid job in a fashion house that can hopefully help them branch out eventually. If they’re unlucky, they won’t be able to follow their passion and will end up doing something completely unrelated to make some money. And formal design training does still matter. Without knowing how to properly construct a garment, how to make your ideas go from your head to paper to fabric, you will be considerably less skilled than those who do and often are just a glorified stylist. You have to have real natural talent to be able to succeed as a fashion designer without any training. Celebrities rarely have this training and rely on a design team to create the collections for them, yet their name still gets put on the label at the end and they are the ones who get all the credit. That sucks.

Front row at Kanye West x Adidas Originals
Front row at Kanye West x Adidas Originals

Some celebrities are probably a lot more involved with the design process than I’m giving them credit for, and many do care about it more than I’m suggesting (I hope), but I still think that jobs of fashion designers should be left to those who have trained for them. You wouldn’t let anyone plumb your bathroom or do root canal on you without knowing they’d trained for it, no?

Going back to the Beyonce collaboration, she is said to be very involved. It is only one pair of shoes that is getting made, so it’s not the same as a whole collection. She’s meant to have a very strong idea of what she wants, so let’s give her credit for that. Beyonce has also secured a deal with Topshop to design an activewear collection that she is also meant to be heavily involved in, calling it a “partnership”. I hope Beyonce truly does care about these collaborations and is involved from start-to-finish, not just giving it final approval. But then again, Beyonce doesn’t seem like the type to do something half-assed so I’m not worried about her.

Vogue’s Lack of Cover Diversity

UPDATE: This post has been edited to remove Jourdan Dunn from the below list as it has been revealed that she is British Vogue’s February cover model. Definitely a step in the right direction although she does look eerily whitewashed. Lets put it down to the Instagram filter right?

As we bring in the new year and move into the future, it is only expected that we reflect back on the past. Vogue, both its US & UK editions, rather innocently posted an image of all of their covers from the year of 2014. However, this move prompted much backlash. Why? Because of the lack of model diversity. For British Vogue, there were zero women-of-colour; for American, there were just a few (including Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o and Joan Smalls who was on the multi-model September issue cover). British Vogue has no excuse. They had 2 Kate Moss covers, 2 Cara Delevingne covers and actually, to their credit, a few models – but no non-whites. It may seem slightly trivial to call such attention to a matter as, seemingly, small as models on a magazine cover but really it is a big deal. Now, I do think it would be slightly unfair to call the Vogue staffers racist but their actions aren’t far off. It is not like there is any shortage of beautiful women-of-colour out there: talented models, actresses, and singers.

Can we call this racism? I think so. Unfortunately, 2014 was the year that we all realised that racism really isn’t dead. I rather naively thought that it wasn’t as rampant as it was 50 years ago but have been proven completely wrong. The high profile cases of police brutality against blacks in the USA have brought global attention to the issue and have led to widespread outcry. It is so fucked up, that’s the only way I can describe it. When you highlight major issues like that, it sounds rather silly to complain about models on a magazine cover but it is actually a major issue in its own right. In Britain, we are a very multicultural society; even more so in London, where British Vogue is based. From looking at the magazine covers from the past year, you would never know. There is zero representation of anybody that is not white and that really doesn’t make sense. I mean, at least American Vogue did a little bit better but really, it is still not good enough.

Instead of harping on about race issues, something that I feel completely under-qualified to do, I am going to suggest some suitable models/celebrities who I think are deserving of a cover. As I have said previously, there are plenty of women-of-colour who could/would/should be on the cover of Vogue but I am going to offer up a few suggestions.

  1. Naomi Campbell – It seems insane to even have to suggest Naomi, especially since she is one of the biggest supermodels ever. She is on the same level as Kate Moss, I’d say, who had 2 covers this year and countless editorials all throughout. Just to let you know, Naomi hasn’t had a British Vogue cover since the August 2002 issue.
  2. Imaan Hammam – Technically she has already graced the cover of Vogue in the past year but it was a multi-model cover and this time around she deserves a solo. I think Imaan is one of the most stunning models of recent and clearly has success ahead of her. She is Dutch but of Egyptian and Moroccan descent and has what is perhaps the best hair in fashion at the moment (those curls!!). PS – She’s in the Givenchy campaign this season which I have another post coming up about…
  3. Malaika Firth – Another British model who has only made it big in the past year or two, Malaika has walked many shows and has fronted campaigns for Burberry (alongside Cara Delevingne) and Prada, where she was the first black model to star in a Prada campaign in almost 20 years.
  4. Kerry Washington – Perhaps one of the most stunning actresses EVER, Kerry Washington has held her own in her part in the US-TV drama Scandal, a role in which she has received much acclaim (An Emmy, A SAG & A Golden Globe). She also made it onto TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People in the World list in 2014.
  5. Beyonce & Solange – This seems a bit too dreamlike but how amazing would a Beyonce & Solange shared cover be? The sisters would contrast each other with their totally different styles (Solange, edgy and very-much fashion/Beyonce, laid back and casual). Also, everybody knows that Beyonce rules the entire world so why not share some of that with her sister?

Solange Knowles at Art Basel Miami

Solange’s name has been in everybody’s mouth since the infamous elevator incident involving herself, Beyonce & Jay Z. However, not all of what has been said is negative. Somehow Solange has risen from the ashes like a phoenix and her popularity seems to have surged. I, for one, am unfamiliar with her music: I have always known her as Beyonce’s sister or the cheerleader from that Bring It On film (which I used to be obsessed with when I was younger). In recent years, Solange has emerged as a sort-of fashion icon with her personal style being commendable. She is unafraid of bold prints, bright colours and all around avant garde style which makes her an inspiration, especially to me as a very minimalist, borderline boring fashion-wise girl. Her wedding photos, complete with a wedding party all in white, were straight out of a high fashion editorial – except they were not staged, that is just her life.

This month, Solange attended Art Basel in Miami. Art Basel is a show for modern and contemporary art with many exhibitions and chances for collectors to, well, up their collections. However, all sorts of people attend (mainly the rich and famous) and it really becomes a showcase, not just for the actual art, for the clothes that the guests are wearing. Although it is an event for the art world, fashion and music people manage to creep in. Solange was probably the best dressed person there. She wore all types of colours (my favourites being the teal and citric yellow) and some hands down brilliant looks. Even if you are not a fan of Solange as a person or an artist, her incredible style as of late is undeniable.

GALLERY OF HER BEST ART BASEL LOOKS

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