Celebrity & Red Carpet, Fashion

Kanye’s Best Looks

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?

In a Supreme pull-over and Air Jordans | Paris, October 2012

In a camel coat | Paris, January 2014

In fur and a hoodie | Paris, January 2014

Wearing Yeezys | New York, April 2016

In camel | New York, February 2016

In a custom Saint Laurent jacket | Paris, January 2014

In a blue overcoat | Paris, September 2013

In a Louis Vuitton fur scarf | Los Angeles, December 2008

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

Text Message Interviews

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.

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Celebrity & Red Carpet, Fashion

Met Gala 2017

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:

Rihanna wearing Comme des Garcons

Naomi Campbell in Alaia, with Edward Enninful

Pharrell Williams & his wife Helen Lasichanh in Comme des Garcons

rami-malek-2017-met-gala

Rami Malek in Dior

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Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren & Balenciaga

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

Michelle Monaghan in Paco Rabanne

Sofia Coppola in Marc Jacobs

Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang

Donald Glover in Burberry

Lara Stone in Christopher Kane

Solange in Thom Browne

Michael B Jordan in Ralph Lauren

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

Best Looks of 2016

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…

Lupita Nyong’o in Proenza Schouler – January 2016

Selena Gomez in Cushnie et Ochs – February 2016

Gal Gadot in Prada – March 2016

Rihanna in Gucci – March 2016

Michelle Obama in Givenchy – April 2016

Carine Roitfeld in Givenchy & Alexandre Vauthier – June 2016

Emily Ratajkowski in Jason Wu – June 2016

Kim Kardashian in Celine – June 2016

Rihanna in Vetements & Balenciaga – July 2016

 

North West – August 2016 (Yes, a toddler is inspo)

Naomi Campbell in Brandon Maxwell (VMAs) – August 2016

Kim Kardashian in vintage John Galliano (VMAs) – August 2016

Kim & Nori in Vetements - September 2016 Note: Nori killed it a bunch of times this month.

Kim & Nori in Vetements – September 2016 Note: Nori killed it a bunch of times this month.

Michelle Obama in Versace - October 2016

Michelle Obama in Versace – October 2016

Kendall Jenner in Labourjosie - November 2016

Kendall Jenner in Labourjosie – November 2016

Beyonce - December 2016

Beyonce – December 2016

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.

Here’s to 2017!

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Advertising, Celebrity & Red Carpet

Wolves – Kanye West x Balmain

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

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Celebrity & Red Carpet, Opinion

Personal Style/Celebrity Stylists

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.

Kylie’s outfit in this photo is exactly what the writer of the Vogue article hates; cut-outs, bodycon, neutral.

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.

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

Favourite Looks from Cannes 2016

A dream of mine is coming true this summer. I am going to the French Riviera! Whilst we are staying in Nice, we will be doing a day trip to Cannes. Yes, the celebrities will all be gone once the film festival is over but the place will be just as glamorous and exciting.

There is something about Cannes that just works for Kendall Jenner. This time last year she wore that exquisite purple Calvin Klein dress and just looked insanely stunning and now this year she has worn a really cool Versace gown. I love this entire look. I really don’t understand why she’s here with Magnum ice-cream but whatever, I suppose you need an excuse to actually attend events at Cannes if you’re not in the film business. She also wore a fantastic Elie Saab dress and also a Mathieu Mirano fringed dress which was pretty awesome too.

I also thought Blake Lively with her little baby bump looked fantastic. First in the Ferragamo coat dress and second in the Atelier Versace gown. Finally she wore a gold, belted slip. I had a dress so similar to this that I gave away a few months ago (it looked nowhere near as good on me, I blame the super pale skin) but now I wish I had kept it so I could recreate this look.

Lily-Rose Depp wore an off the shoulder Chanel look. Every single time I see a photo of her I am blown away at how stunning she is. It makes sense given her parents but it still blows me away. I wish I looked half as good as that at 16.

Kirstin Dunst wore white Dior Haute Couture. 

Eva Longoria wore Pamela Rowland.

Irina Shayk was in Miu Miu. There are feathers on the back!

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Celebrity & Red Carpet

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

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