Friday, 31 May 2013

A New Project

A couple of weeks ago, I got an offer to do some costume work on a television pilot. I am over the moon with the project. The budget is small, but the opportunity is huge. It's also a short amount of time to make it happen. The first days of shooting are coming up, so creating a whole wardrobe would be out of the question, but creating a few pieces for key characters can be done. When I met the director and got a copy of the script, I wasn't completely sure of the total vision, but I was totally willing to explore and find out what the vision was and what part I can play in creating it. I read the script and started shaping the wardrobe based on the characters. Then I researched the time period (1960's- 1970's) and for each character, I made a basic look and built from there. Notes are put together and yesterday, I took the first trip to the costume shop. Taking pictures of a few dresses and slowly shaping the wardrobe, the director comes over to check on my progress. I show him a few pieces and the script gets a bit of a flip. He didn't want so much color and so much pretty. He wants the look to be more dark, futuristic (in terms of what they thought would be the future in the 60's & 70's) and very clean lines. This throws a monkey wrench into the plans, so with that I jump back into making more notes and rereading the script, looking for the dark places where I can make the look work. I'm gonna make another trip to the costume shop to really shape it all up. As I go through the storyboards for the first scenes, the wardrobe starts to come together. Knowing that he wants everything to be slightly darker, I'm trying to work on some dark things with a little pretty in them for good measure. That is, if the series gets picked up. This is only the beginning and I can't wait to get into the thick of this. There is so much more to come. Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Eurovision Song Contest

Last night was the biggest night in European music. Last night was the Eurovision Song Contest, a contest that unites and divides Europe in the course of two hours of drama, wind machines and modulations. The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology. The first contest took place on 24 May 1956,[1] where seven nations participated. As the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends. The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s led to a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete for the first time. This process continued into the 2005 contest, in which both Bulgaria and Moldova made their debut. Liechtenstein and Vatican City are the only European countries not to have participated; the most recent major European country to take part was the Czech Republic which made its debut in the 2007 contest. San Marino took part in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, Serbia, together with Azerbaijan. Last night, Denmark had the winning song and Eurovision 2014 will take place in Copenhagen. It is also one of the things that fascinated me about Europe and I was obsessed about seeing it. Once I moved to Berlin and then saw my first full Eurovision telecast (that was the year Lena won for Germany with "Satellite"), I was hooked and seeing Berlin go crazy with excitement (I went out with friends afterwards), hooked me even more for each country has the same kind of pride that they would have at most sports events when the home team wins!!! It's infectious!!! Now, all of my European friends roll their eyes, the minute I bring up the show. This show is the biggest source of cheese and politics, wrapped up in two hours. It's like a soap opera, but it's so much fun!!!! Some of the songs are quite cute and catchy, others are downright horrible, but it's all over the top. Even the fashions created for these 3-4 minute productions can be amazing or god-awful. I enjoy it for the amazing fashion ideas and I say that it's the most gayest show next to a Madonna concert. There are more gay men on stage, backstage, and in the arena watching the show from every country than in every Gay Pride celebration combined (okay, I'm exaggerating)!!!!! Not only will I be talking about the music, but also the fashions that creates this spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest. Let's get started. One of my favorites is the entry from France: Amandine Bourgeois- L'enfer et Moi. I absolutely love the dress she's wearing!!!! Totally reminds me of Tina Turner. It's all leather fringe and very rock and roll, which fits the song!!!! Another one I loved a lot is the entry from Moldova: Aliona Moon- O Mie Live. This song is beautiful and the look is SO Lady Gaga-ish!!!!! The whole style of this is quite theatrical and forward!!!! Love the lighting and the projections onto the dress!!! AWESOME!!!! Now this one from Romania surprised the hell out of me!!!! This is Cesar- It's My Life. This is theatrics at it's best and instantly made me think of Klaus Nomi (German edgy countertenor opera singer). This why I tune into the Eurovision Song contest!!! To see the theatrics and drama!!! Loved the cape he wore and the song was quite interesting as well!!!! This song I loved from Azerbaijan: Fareed Mamedov- Hold Me. Pretty cool song and I love the back of the dancer's dress. I love that it's shaped liked a vertebre of an animal!!!! Simply amazing!!!! Loved his look as well!!!! This was another favorite of mine. This is Italy: Marco Mengoni- L'Essenziale. Beautiful song and beautiful man!!! Totally made me think of Eros Ramazzotti, an amazing Italian singer who has released work in Italian and Spanish. I will be looking out for any other music that Marco has, because I just LOVE his voice!!!!! This is another song I liked and I loved the theatrics of it (well, I was sure it would pull the gay boys in because of how gorgeous the singer and the dancers were). This entry is from Ireland: Ryan Dolan- Only Love Survives. Love the toughness of all of the leather and his sweet smile that can disarm you. Great pop song!!! He's another artist that I will be looking out for!!! This was another cool song as well!!! This was from Iceland: Eytour Inga Gyunnlyoygsson- Eg A Lif. Loved his suit and this entry from Bjork's homeland was beautiful and quite theatrical. Totally makes me curious to see Iceland and I would love to hear more music by Eytour. I may be totally surprised by what I find. Now here are a few that I didn't like. It was more than the fashions, it was the songs. They didn't move me. The first one is the winner. This is the entry from Denmark: Emmelie de Forest- Only Teardrops. I didn't hate the song, but I didn't love it either. Her performance was pretty cool, although I would have loved to see some drama (hello, no wind machine, no theatrics???). Another one I wasn't a fan of was Germany: Cascada- Glorious. As much as I like some of Cascada's music (Evacuate The Dance Floor is my favorite of theirs), this was a knockoff of the previous Eurovision winner, Sweden's Loreena- Euphoria and I always feel if you're gonna rip something off, then do it and flip it and make it yours. Don't rehash what they did and put your name on it!!!! I also hated the dress!!! Love a beaded dress, but this one was horrible!!! She looked better in the semi finals!! I didn't like this one either. It's The Netherlands: Anouk- Birds. I have no issue with the use of birds as metaphors, but this song (to me) made no sense. Maybe if she sung it in Dutch, I would have got it. This also lacked drama (hello, no wind machine????) Loved her rock chick look, though and her backup singers were AMAZING!!!! This one here from Lithuania: Andrius Pojivus- Something. The song is quite cute (loved his leather bomber), but his accent is quite thick, making his English a little hard to get. I wonder what the song would have sounded like in either Latvian or Lithuanian. I didn't hate the song, but I didn't love it either. Well, that was my take on some of the songs and fashions from the Eurovision Song Contest. I look forward to seeing the show in Denmark in 2014. I'll also probably do another post talking about all of the Eurovision songs that I like and include all of my fashion Hopefully, all of the links work. If not, search them all out on YouTube. Either way, let me know what you think. Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The BAFTA Awards

Sunday night was the biggest awards night in the UK for television and film. It was the BAFTA Awards. The BAFTA Awards are Britian's answer to the Emmy Awards. They are voted on by their peers (fellow actors, mostly) and every British actor worth their salt wants one. I, even want one and I'm no longer acting. As you know, whenever there is a red carpet, I will be covering it from the safety of my computer. The British actors and musicians are known to have a more theatrical sense of style, but in this situation I am completely baffled. If this is the night that is the cream of the crop for British television and film, then a good portion of the actors here didn't get the memo. I had high expectations for this red carpet and I was terribly let down. As usual, I will talk about the ones I liked, the ones I'm on the fence about and the ones I didn't like. This time around I'm gonna start off with the ones I didn't like. Here is Tina Malone. This whole look is horrible!!!! It looks like she is stopping into Tesco on the way to a hen party. The stockings are the one thing that is getting on my last nerve with this look!!! I know the British can be quirky and eccentric in their style, but this is horrible!!! The only thing I like is that the dress is black. The shape, however is unflattering and none of this is working for her. The next look I didn't like was Holly Willoughby. She is a beautiful and quite funny television hostess and her curves are to die for, but in this dress you don't see them. The gown is a gorgeous color, but it looks like it's too big in places. It doesn't have to be skin tight against the body, but the whole bodice although draped very nicely makes the dress look too big. It may also be because of the angle that this was shot. She kept the look simple, but this dress makes her look like she has a small pouch where her stomach should be. Another dress I didn't like is Sarah Millican. She also looks like she's running to Tesco for eggs and milk and realized that she was supposed to go to the BAFTA's. This look (in my eyes) is way too casual for an awards show. She looks like that she couldn't be bothered to make the effort. Why bother going, if you're not gonna make an effort??? Another one I wasn't a fan of is Sarah Lancashire. Beautiful woman, but the nude top washes her out. Love the full skirt, but not with this top. The top has too much volume and it needs to be in any other color other than nude. This is Anita Rani. Love the suit, but not for this event. It's dressed up, but not enough. She looks like she had just come her job at an art gallery. The next one is Maria Anastacia Keogh. Beautiful woman, but I HATE this dress!!! It looks like two different dresses cut in half and sewn together. I'm all for mixing things up, but there is too much going on with this. Next up is Maxine Peake. Love the pants, but the jacket and top are horrible. She looks like she's going to a PTA meeting. The jacket is a little too winter-y for a springtime event. Now, we go into the ones that I'm on the fence about. I liked them, but something didn't work for me. Either the styling was wrong, or the piece would be better suited for a different type of event. First up is Sienna Miller. Love the dress, but it looks like a day dress and it screams "The Ladies Who Lunch". Sienna is usually edgy and bohemian, but this dress had no punch. I felt it was missing something, maybe a belt, maybe a jacket but it needed something. Another look I'm on the fence about is Miranda Hart. She is a brilliant comedian and actress. She really made an effort, but killed it by wearing a flat shoe, dragging the look into Casual Land. Because the jacket is a black and white print and her pants are black,I would have gone with a red or yellow shoe (heel) to give it a pop of color. This is another look I'm on the fence about. This is Millie Mackintosh. Great dress, if it were the MTV Video Music Awards or the opening of a nightclub in Ibiza. It's a little too clubby looking. Beautiful dress and it fits very well. I'm on the fence about this look as well. It's Kate Fleetwood. Beautiful spring dress. Perfect for a garden party. Too casual for the event. Now we're coming to the pieces that I really liked. Short or long, they were perfect in my eyes. The first one is Jenna-Louise Coleman. Loved the pale nude gown on her. Fits perfectly and she looks amazing!!! Another one I liked is Claudia Winkleman. It comes to the knee and it's dressy and sexy!!! Love that she wore a nude shoe with it. Gorgeous!!! Another dress I liked is on ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. Draped well on a dancer's body, with a little bit of shimmer she is totally serving up Greek goddess. This is 2 time BAFTA winner on Sunday, Olivia Colman. LOVE LOVE LOVE the color of this dress and it comes to the knee. Amazing!!!! This look I liked a lot as well. It's Laura Whitmore. It's a bold choice to do a print or stripes on a red carpet. This is one dress that doesn't need any accessories to overpower it. It catches your eye and it's quite chic. So, these were my choices on the BAFTA's. Some may like it, some may not. Let me know what you think. Stay fashionable and sexy!!!

Monday, 13 May 2013

David Bowie Is

As I sit back and reflect on my trip to London, I have all sorts of thoughts and feelings about the David Bowie exhibit "David Bowie Is" at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It is an amazing exhibit, full of "Sound & Vision." The exhibit is a view into the life, musical and theatrical history of David Bowie. The book and the exhibit is an explosion of color, style and it's full of inspiration. I suggest that if you're ever in London, please check out this exhibit!!! You won't be disappointed. There is always a line to get in, but it moves fairly quickly and it's accompanied with a headset, giving you a total audio-visual experience. The headsets are controlled to the rooms and as you walk through them, you are hit with the music that we all love , but we also have rare interviews with his long time producer, Tony Visconti, his early costume designers, Freddie Burretti (who designed costumes for the Ziggy Stardust Tour and designed the man dress on the cover of "The Man Who Sold The World" album), Kansai Yamamoto (who designed costumes for the Aladdin Sane Tour) and Natasha Korniloff (who designed costumes for The 1980 Floor Show Tour). David has always been an inspiration to me visually and musically. He always manages to touch a part of me and opens new doors for me to step into his vision. My favorite period of David's will always be the 1970's, because he really pushed the envelope with gender play, style and color. It was always a visual assault on the senses when he did something that shocked (wore a man's dress on the cover of "The Man Who Sold The World", wore a very short, white kimono with a long cape on the "Aladdin Sane" Tour), but it also drew you in because it made you curious. It made you question everything you knew before, and made you see something completely different. The music and the videos also helped to shape the story of David Bowie. The costumes helped seal the visual aspect of David Bowie, whether he was Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke, or even in drag (he played female backup singers in his video for "Boys Keep Swinging", giving each one a character: one really old, one really glamorous, and one in a tight 50's bun), he always managed to give you a little bit of himself, even when he was absorbed in the characters, especially of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. David Bowie is one of the few artists that inspired me to create so really over the top things to wear to the clubs, back in my club kid days. I would sketch them out and when I had enough time, I would get the fabric and create them (usually on the night that I was gonna wear them). In moving around, I have lost all the sketches and all of the pieces I've made to symbolize that time in my life. I was still a beginning designer and I didn't really know all of the rules, but whatever I knew, I threw it in there and made something beautiful. Whenever I put any of his music on (mostly his 70's stuff) and I'm sitting down with my sketchpad and my headphones on my ears, I get right into the frame of mind of the song or even the time period when the song was done and it explodes on the page. I also can get inspired by the fabrics that are available and something beautiful will come from that. David Bowie, Elton John, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry and Dale Bozzio (lead singer of Missing Persons. She was the Lady Gaga of the 1980's) are my design inspirations. They always wore something, I've never seen before or since and that gave me the dream to want to design for them in any capacity. To this day, I still do. As the 80's and 90's came into play, David got more experimental with the music and less with his look, venturing into electronic music, soul, dance, even drum and bass. Although he had some interesting costumes at this period (mostly suits of different colors) really enforcing the Thin White Duke character, but with a bit of a glossy sheen to it (having a tan and looking sun kissed all throughout the 80's), the look was more in the background and he was much more confident in his persona, no longer wanting to hide behind a character. One of my favorite looks at this time is the Vivienne Westwood Union Jack coat that he wears on the cover of his album, "Earthling." He also wore the jacket on the corresponding tour, which was a dream come true for me, because I had the most AMAZING seats (third row center), and it was the first time that I was seeing him live. Screaming my head off, singing along and really taking a closer look at all of his costumes (mostly jackets), looking at all of the details and seeing how I can put my own spin on it. I know that David is retiring from touring, but I would love to see him on stage again. He's in the place where he will make music when he feels he has something to say and perform on tv shows, but he won't do a full scale tour again. Either way, I have the amazing memory of seeing him in concert. Now, the only two people I need to see in concert now is Bryan Ferry and Dale Bozzio. Check out the exhibit if you can, or get the book and revel in the magestry of David Bowie over and over again. I know I will!!!! ( Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Met Gala- Punk: From Chaos To Couture- Part Two

I've taken some time and gone through some more of the pictures of the annual fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. I also took some time to check out some of the best and worst dressed lists. I didn't agree with a lot of them, but I did manage to get through all of the pictures (and I'm sure that there are more out there) and I found many more that I liked and a few more that I didn't. Let's get started. This is Blake Lively in Gucci Première. LOVE LOVE LOVE the glamour of this gown. It also have a bit of a punk edge with the ruffles looking slightly shredded. It fits her beautifully!!!! The next one I loved is Uma Thurman in Zac Posen. Now, Uma can sometimes be a hit or miss on the red carpet, but I love her eccentric choices, The color is quite beautiful on her and the fit is just gorgeous and glamourous. Amazing gown, Zac!!!! I would have never thought that it would be so striking in green. I thought I had more pics of this gown, but this is the only one I was able to find. The next gown that I loved, which I mentioned in my last post is of Christina Ricci in Vivienne Westwood!!!! LOVE IT!!!!!!! I managed to find more pics, so I have to show them off!!!! Another gown I loved is on fashion model/actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci. This gown is totally a femme fatale look. Revealing, but not overly so, leaving a lot to the imagination. Very sultry and seductive. LOVE IT!!!!!! Here is another gown that I LOVED!!!!! It's Sarah Jessica Parker in a headpiece by Phillip Treacy and dress by Giles Deacon. Absolutely love the over the top-ness of this whole look!!! If you're gonna serve it up, girl SERVE IT UP!!!!! I love how she is always willing to go for it when it comes to fashion. This is the kind of fashion girl that I love!!! Amazing, simply amazing!!!!! Sarah has come a long way since "Square Pegs" and shows no signs of slowing down. Now, this look I'm all about because its one of my favorite male models wearing it. It's Tyson Beckford!!!! I have no idea who designed the jacket, but when I saw the picture, I melted!!! Not only because he's gorgeous, but because the jacket is gorgeous!!!! I love a man who will take a chance with fashion and serve it up with confidence. Another gown I loved a lot is Amanda Seyfried in vintage Givenchy. I love this gown because it's a bit of a departure for her. It's a little more edgier than her past gowns and it's still quite glamorous and she looks comfortable in it, which is a plus because if you don't look comfortable in what you're wearing, how can you rock it with confidence??? Love the drama of this gown as well. You go, girl!!!! Here is Beyonce in Givenchy. LOVE LOVE LOVE the glamour of this gown!!!! This is a gown to make an entrance with. Some didn't like it, but I loved it. Very glam and reminiscent of early Versace, which sold me in spades!!!!! Now, this is where things will get a little brutal, because these are the ones that I didn't like and I'll explain why. Let's start with Ivanka Trump in Juan Carlos Obando. Now, Ivanka is a beautiful woman, but this dress makes her look like a guttersnipe in a bad production of "My Fair Lady" or "The Pirate Queen". It looks like she slept in Central Park and woke up just in time to get to the gala. Ivanka, I have to say this: "You're Fired" for showing up looking like that!!! Another one I didn't like is Alicia Keys. I don't know who designed this dress, but I would never put these two fabrics together in the same piece, unless I was doing an edgy leather jacket. The top in leather, the skirt in sequins???? Really??? Both parts are fighting for attention and neither one got it. Alicia is a beautiful woman with curves, but this dress is horrible. I would cut it and use the leather as a top, with another skirt and use the sequined skirt with another top. Here is another that I wasn't a fan of. This is Sofia Coppola in Marc Jacobs. Sofia is a very talented and beautiful woman and I love that she is wearing Marc Jacobs, but I hated the fact that she didn't really make an effort for this. She showed up in her pajamas. This is like going to Walmart in your pajamas!!!! This is a trend that needs to stop NOW!!!!! I would have rather you not decide to go, if you're gonna show up in your pajamas. Why do people in their right mind would EVER hit the street in their pajamas????? Now, here are my honorable mentions. These are the ones that I really liked, but not as much as the ones I've featured. Nonetheless, they deserve to be showcased. Let's start with Coco Rocha in Emanuel Ungaro by Fausto Puglisi. I know this is a leopard (or cheetah) print dress and I know this is on the worst dressed lists, but I love the fun that's in this dress. I also love her attitude!!! She rocks it with confidence and that's what sells this look to me!!!! She is also one of my favorite models and her energy is just amazing!!! She is one of the eccentric girls that pulls me in every time!!! Another one I like a lot is Solange Knowles in Kenzo. While Beyonce is more glam, Solange is much more eccentric and edgy and both girls rock what they wear with confidence. Solange also owns this look and rocks it with confidence. Although I thought she would be more punk with her look, she does this really well. You go, girl!!!!! Rock out your natural!!!! Now, this is my girl Chanel Iman!!!! She is one of the hot girls of the moment!!! She never fails to impress me with her off work looks. This girl does know fashion and I love that she is quirky and eccentric. She always looks like she's having fun. I don't know who did her dress, but I love it!!!!! Last, but certainly not least is another one of my favorite model/musician, Karen Elson. She's another eccentric woman that gets my attention because her looks are so striking to me. She's married to Jack White of the White Stripes and she's a musician in her own right. Karen never fails to show her confidence and I love it!!! I don't know who did this dress, but I love it. I love anything she wears!!!! Well, these were my choices for the best, worst and honorable mentions. No matter what anyone says, rock your look with confidence. We may not all have to like it, but as long as YOU like it, that's all that matters!!!!! Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!