Archive | January, 2012

SAG: Good Fashion with a Message

31 Jan

Alright, so I just adore awards season…especially when they recognize the work of films that I love. Sunday night was a celebration of fashion and social change. “The Help” left with three of five film awards and a precursor to the Oscars!

First, let’s talk fashion and then I’ll give my take:

Girl. You look fine. Seriously though Viola Davis in this Marchesa gown couldn’t be more stunning. Traditional colors (black and white) are always a perfect choice, but I love how Davis chose to incorporate a bronze detail which only makes me love this more.  It’s a different feel from her risky high slit and dark plum color at the Golden Globes, but the femininity is a great change of pace.

Alexander McQueen perfectly captures Emma Stone’s Hollywood appeal. She is quirky, young and just adorable all the time. I loved her work in “The Help” as a gutsy young writer willing to take major risks in hope of revealing the shameful side of white-middle class America. This Black dress is perfect on her petite frame, but the shoes. The shoes are where it’s at. I love love love them. A girl can dream, right?

Marchesa did something right this season because I’m in love. Now, I know we are talking about “The Help,” but I can’t help but touch on some of my other favorites and Sofia Vergara, yea, she is one of them. I am obsessed with her amazing red carpet choices. Everything she wears accentuates her feminine curves and in today’s Hollywood of too tiny twigs, it’s just what should be publicized. She went with a midnight blue at the Golden Globes, but this fuchsia is just fab-u-lous.

Now, I suppose that with a stud like Clooney on your arm, it’s hard to not look good. Way to go Keibler, I approve.

A Message worth Sharing:  

“The Help” is a civil rights drama set in the 1960s and it brings forth major issues which African-American women faced in the homes of white suburbanites. While the civil rights movement may have happened over 50 years ago, some issues are still extremely prevalent in our society. This film reminded viewers that prejudice and racism are not a “thing of the past” and it continues to affect the lives of millions. While the U.S. may have passed laws which aim to eliminate racial discrimination, it hasn’t stopped. Whether indirect or not, many Americans of different racial, cultural and social backgrounds face discrimination in their daily lives. I support the message of this film and it has become evident that it sparked chatter throughout the generations. Social media was slammed with comments on the film’s message…and this leads me to my overall message: People tend to forget how they arrived in their current state until reminded. We must not forget the past because it has shaped us, but forgive and move forward into prosperity and hope.

Just as Clay Shirky mentions, “People who come together to share their knowledge as a way of getting at what they do…” Humans are distinctly individual yet also distinctly social and when the opportunity arises to share thoughts and ideas, they jump. The fact that people chose to share their thoughts and allow “The Help” to impact them in some way represents our unwavering desire to share with the premise of civic or social action. I love the Washington Post’s article “SAG Awards: From Hattie McDaniel to Viola Davis, still winning for playing “The Help.” It describes the progress made to a more united and indifferent state. In 1940, when Hattie McDaniel’s won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Across in “Gone with the Wind,” she wasn’t even allowed to sit with her costars. Now, Davis is being continually praised for her exquisite performance in “The Help.”

I’ll leave you with this:

“There’s no need to be delicate. I grew up in the Bible Belt. I realized that even though I had never really experienced bigotry, to be silent is to be passive.” – Octavia Spencer

Use your voice, it’s a powerful tool for change. 

The Key to Success: Moderation

25 Jan

Today I’m going to incorporate my two most favorite items into one post: Current Events and Fashion. Now, most people are following the upcoming 2012 elections and in particular the GOP primary. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that fashion and politics are basically my favorite things. I don’t find this combination in any way odd because politicians should take a word of advice from the fashion world… or my fashion world. Moderation is the key to success and less is almost always more.

Political Moderation – live a moderate life and not a life of luxury (sorry Mitt Romney but a mere 14% in taxes from an income of nearly $22 million, you’re kidding right?) … If you plan to run for office not only will these lavish details be revealed, but social media (and media in general) will plaster them everywhere.

How can you be the president of a country with a struggling economy when you’ve managed to find every tax loophole since you earn in the “top percentile.” News Flash: Americans (well most average Americans) aren’t fans. The bottom line: Moderate political views and moderate lifestyles are what people will relate with. I have a feeling that social media is going to play a pivotal role in the outcome. I mean seriously, Obama built his 2008 campaign on social media and grassroots efforts… and WON.

Style Moderation: you don’t have to own the “top brands” and douse yourself in extravagant brand logos to make yourself a fashion icon (hence my girl Michelle Obama…she wears brands that normal women can afford). During the 2008 campaign she wore a White House Black Market dress and the world went nuts over this  now infamous frock which sold out in stores across the country. When you dress with the mantra of  “less is more” your appearance becomes something that others can understand. Americans want to relate to a public figure’s style, we want to dress like those who we look up to and ultimately, we want a politician who is at our level because then the public has a notion that their priorities will be based on the improvement of the American situation.

Now, communications has become the backbone to a presidential campaign and we can find out what Kim Kardashian is wearing simply by signing on to twitter.

So, what does this mean?

It means that our world is grossly connected and the dangers are ever-present. As Clay Shirky discusses in Cognitive Surplus, if you have the means to communicate a message or anything at all, people will talk. Therefore, through technology people have been given a voice to discuss the issues that are most important to them (politics, fashion…it’s your prerogative). However, there are some implications associated because technology can be fabulously dangerous. Social media can be a connection and a disconnection at the same time. It can update you on world “happenings,” but separate you from the dinner conversation you decided to check-out on.

Next time your mom tells you to put the phone away during dinner; she’s doing it because those twitter updates… yea they can probably wait.

How to: Military

21 Jan

Personally, I find military inspired pieces a great way to dress clothing items down for daily wear while adding eclectic flare to your overall wardrobe. I find the best way to wear these pieces is to take one and make it the focus of the outfit. You don’t want too much going on or it takes away from the dynamic. I stick with a few major colors: khaki green, beige, blue, white, gold and silver embellishments or accessory “hardware.” The best pieces to bring into a look are the traditional belts and jackets. I stay away from the cargo pant simply because they are difficult to pull-off and I’m personally not a fan. You don’t need a lot of items because a few good pieces will pair off with different wardrobe basics. Here are some basic military inspired items which I LOVE:

This naval jacket is fabulous because you can pair it with a dark wash skinny jean and a statement heel. It’s important to keep things simple because, in all honesty, less is more. Stick to a basic color palate and let the jacket speak for itself.  Furthermore, a khaki skirt doesn’t have to be your grandma’s kind of look. It can be the highlight of your outfit. Personally, I would pair it with a white basic tee in order to maintain the simplicity.

This ankle-boot is a fabulous way to incorporate “military inspiration” with minimalism. I love the brass buttons and the color is fabulous for Fall and Winter. You can also go with a bootie in a beige or tan color which would be a transition color spring/summer color.

Lastly, while celebrities may have stylists, they can sometimes provide inspiration to your daily looks. See how these three stars pair military inspired pieces together and create a simple, statement outfit. Sarah Jessica Parker is (of-course) my favorite because she blends girly and tough by adding a lace skirt with a leather double-breasted khaki jacket.

 

So, just as Coco said “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Keep it classy.

Calling all Fashionistas: It’s Award Season!

18 Jan

Award Season is upon us and that means I’ll spend hours looking at the best/worst dressed list (often disagreeing with the “fashion” critics.) Don’t you find it ironic that those who judge celebrity looks often dress in the most outlandish of ways? Well, let’s talk colors. I personally find that shades of wine or plum, alongside pale pinks and vibrant blue hues are the best colors on the red carpet in 2012. Actually, I find these colors fabulous every season, but at the moment the fashion world seems to be in complete agreement!

Can we note the absolute perfection of  Michelle Williams in Jason Wu velour (which I’ve been continually reminded by my best friend is coming back into style…and honestly I’m not upset about this because as a child I wore my fair share of velour dresses. It’s just so soft!). This gown hits her in all the right places with the cinched belt accentuating her fabulous figure and the textured fabric design adding dimension to the overall simple design.

 

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Couture and Kate Beckinsale in Roberto Cavalli look perfect in pale pink. I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off of these gowns because Theron is stunning in a daring choice with a high slit (which I think may become a trend this award season) and Beckinsale’s gown perfectly combines structure and movement. The upper bodice on Beckinsale’s Cavalli gown adds shape and definition to her figure, while the lower portion flows out creating the most beautiful silhouette. On the other hand, Theron took a chance with a Couture gown and scored a perfect 10. The side-bow is my personal favorite because it adds dimension (and excitement) to a simple design while the cinched waist and high side slit only accentuate her fabulous figure. I give full kudos to Beckinsale and Theron on mastering the pale pink hue.Of course, I can’t talk about high fashion without touching on the shoes (at least once). Theron’s shoes are absolutely AMAZING. While some (aka me) might choose the shoes first and pick a dress to compliment them, not everyone is in need of a severe shoe-intervention.

Viola Davis looks stunning in a Emilio Pucci wine one-shouldered gown which highlights her Jimmy Choos with a high side slit (see, the trend).  This gown accentuates her fit form in a simple, sophisticated manner. I loved her performance in The Help and when I saw her on the red carpet in this number, I couldn’t help but feel giddy. The flow of the gown provides the perfect amount of movement and hits her in all the right places. She gets a 100% stamp of approval from me. If I were a fashion critic, and most agreed with me on this one, I would nominate her Best Dressed Golden Globes 2012!

Now, I can’t discuss the Golden Globes without touching on my man George Clooney. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I LOVE CLOONEY. My mother is likely convinced that I have all 3 Ocean’s movies memorized. So, of course I love to gawk at his well dressed demeanor on the red carpet. Men all over the world could take a few pointers from this magnificent sight. Clooney is well-groomed and wearing a traditional tux (of course he chooses the bow-tie, as any man should).