Almost Married: Liam and Miley

When I first read the ‘Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth story’, that the two got back together I thought that Liam had hit a brick wall in his life and that he is now at a phase where he feels like he wants to ruin his career with some bad decisions in life. I have never been a big fan of Miley Cyrus – I mean, I think she sings awful, and looks-wise I try to avoid looking at Miley Cyrus on the cover of every magazine as much as I can because with age, she seems to be getting worse in the beauty department, rather than aging gracefully.

I think Miley is maybe trying to milk her Hannah Montana days for all its worth because conventionally she isn’t pretty at all anymore, even though she is only twenty four. Miley also sings really, really bad these days and her performances on stage is very unpretty. I don’t feel that it is the right thing to do but that’s just my opinion regarding all of that – not every celeb sings well or looks that great or performs glamorously on stage, but still cruise along in Hollywood like that.

I think that one can say the same thing over and over again, or one can simply zen out from totally mental tinseltown celebs sometimes propping up on the cover of every magazine and gossip sheets – I always want to, and like to zen out because what are you gonna do? Celebs are going to act a little bit mad, I think it’s a part of the game sometimes with all of them, just because they are in the public eye.

Sometimes I think that some people have a thorough misunderstanding of hairstyles and which one looks good in the flesh and Miley Cyrus is a very good celebrity example of that. And it’s not just that: I mean Miley is known for her “wild” ways and they are more often than not, a total sight for sore eyes. I really don’t know what got into Liam actually that he decided to “romance” the American music artist once more. Miley is actually engaged to him again, despite Liam’s family disapproving of his romantic equation with her. That is just pure shocking that Liam doesn’t even listen to his family over “the subject of dating Miley Cyrus”!

Liam and Miley are instead talking about having a baby, already and adoption might be in the cards and you-won’t-believe-it, it may even be from Haiti, given Miley’s past track record of caring for children in the Caribbean state. Apparently, the couple have been on and off again for years but I seem to have missed it all. It had happened around 2010-2011 because the two began dating in March 2010 and Miley Cyrus reportedly even proclaimed in June 2010 that her Can’t Be Tamed music album was mostly scripted about her relationship with Liam. Liam never spoke about Miley actually once the two broke up in 2013 and now the two are dating again – I personally liked the romantic rumours circulating around Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence more. I think it was a little bit along the lines of the Katy Perry and Orland Bloom romantic equation – it was inspiring, to say the least.

The Mystery with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley recently won the ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ award at Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards. It was one of the biggest surprise wins: I was expecting to find people I had never heard of win but I guess Rosie managed to impress enough with her business acumen. She displayed it, at her best, for Marks & Spencer, for which she has designed numerous lingerie collections year after year. The collaboration ranks on the scale of ‘Topshop X Kate Moss’ somewhat because it has been there for so long but what is odd is that she actually has a directional approach to her business.

Rosie chose Marks & Spencer because she views it as a thoroughly British brand, recognized by almost everybody in the country – that is true because it is hard to escape the shopping experience in the British high street store for Brits. Fuelled by her love for vintage night-slips and lace boleros, and knowledge as a supermodel (having previously modeled for famed lingerie labels, such as Victoria’s Secret), Rosie’s contribution to the sales of lingerie at Marks & Spencer is noteworthy and it has even made her lose interest somewhat in modeling.

What does it really take to be a supermodel? How does one go about becoming one? Is it really any different from all other 9-to-5 jobs?

Rosie is inspired more these days in building her brand, conducting meetings, and piking an opinion on matters – it seems like such an early start for a British supermodel, who is really fresh from one long term collab. Granted she has done her homework in demonstrating that she can diversify her brand into offering cosmetics and as such but even then you can sense the uncontrolled eagerness in taking her brand to new heights. Having started out lighting people’s cigarettes as an intern at Profile Model Management, Rosie was suddenly picked up to be a catwalk model at sixteen. Rosie had to say goodbye to the classroom (and that God-awful internship experience IMO, peppered with humiliating tasks) for that, and went on to walk the ramp for DKNY and Ralph Lauren. I found it very strange how Rosie started out in modeling. There is no proper structure to the whole thing – what kind of potential did Rosie exhibit that made her standout amongst so many women around the world, who also probably had aspirations to be a supermodel just like Rosie?

It’s no joke. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley got picked up to be a supermodel because an agent simply saw she had potential to be a model, whilst she was interning and that also making coffee and carrying out other such scanty tasks, at the London-based modelling agency. There must have been something that impressed about Rosie for her to have that glittering modeling career but no clue as to what, and I have never been a fan of this lack-of-transparency-approach that surely props up in modeling. Having aspirations to be a model is certainly a grand thing but I think a certain level of transparency should be exhibited by supermodels, who should behave responsibly because at the end of the day, modeling is still a job, that brings home your bread, even though it is in the public eye.

Models start out by going to modeling agencies, preparing a great portfolio of modeling-materials and then depending on how much they can impress on their skills, an ordinary girl goes on to become a catwalk model or model for magazines, such as Harper’s Bazaar. It is all great that Rosie likes to have a directional approach to her brand – for cosmetics, which is aptly called ‘Rosie for Autograph’, she uses her familiarities with make-up as a supermodel to craft an enormous 51-piece palette, and she has also decorated the container with rose-gold touches. But when it comes to being a supermodel, I don’t feel Rosie should be regarded as a role model. Doutzen Kroes, started out by following the conventional standard of what it takes to become a model, and I feel that women like Kroes are far more inspiring than Rosie, and her non-transparent mystery as a supermodel.

Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik: The New IT Couple

When two worlds collide in romance, what is a girl to do? Let’s just imagine…

My first memory of Gigi Hadid is perhaps that photo shoot she did for Vogue, where she recreated Anna Wintour’s first ever Vogue cover, adding a youth angle to it. That is one of my all-time favourite magazine covers from the ’80s, so to see it get recreated featuring Gigi was a truly insane experience. Gigi, is without a doubt, an up-and-coming model, having been cited as a rookie by Sport’s Illustrated (2014), referenced as “Fashion’s Popular Girl”, and also because she has walked the ramp for brands such as Chanel and Max Mara. Fashion aside, the 21-year-old model is also known to make waves with her dating life: Gigi has dated music artist Cody Simpson (and even starred in his music video) and Joe Jonas (off the Jonas Brothers), in the past. I don’t remember much catching either of those two romantic episodes on the gossip waves, I have to admit, but I do vaguely remember Jonas’ infamous romance with Taylor Swift (Gigi’s BFF), back in 2008.

The Makeup Bag & Goss

 

Gigi has been photographed an awful late with Zayn Malik, these days. I remember checking out Zayn’s single “Pillowtalk” (from his debut solo album “Mind of Mine”) after he quit One Direction, and I don’t count it as music I want to really have around. Zayn, shockingly, quit One Direction because he wanted to exchange his celebrity life with something more ordinary – the news broke at the heels of the 23-year-old taking a hiatus from a touring episode with the band, owing to stress. But apart from that, the only time I have noticed him in the press was when he was photographed with Gigi Hadid. If reports are to be believed, then Gigi and Zayn, are going very strong, despite the public “breakup-and-makeup-and-breakup-and-makeup”. Gigi and Zayn fought regularly on her birthday, they have had troubles over correspondence and accommodating each other in their lives. During breakup, Gigi is known to grow sad, and she has moments in her life when she yearns for Zayn because of their formerly close relationship, and attempts to rework the relationship another time.

The last time I had read about such a fuss happening over Zayn Malik’s private life was when he was engaged to Perrie Edwards. Zayn and Perri broke off the engagement late last year, after dating for four years but rumours are circulating that one of the singles from his album is about Perrie. It’s titled “iT’s YoU” and the music video stars a blonde Balenciaga model, sporting thick black eyeliner or wearing a bikini, and the music video is rumored to be Zayn’s reflective thoughts over the breakup. But that’s all in the past now, and clearly the absurd “triangle” never appealed to me much, without Gigi thrown into the angle: it must be a very hurtful experience to have your boyfriend proclaim all this publicly about his ex, when Gigi does not shy away from displaying a whole lot of PDA, with Zayn. She has filled in the breakup spaces, with a greater amount of candour in her conversations with Zayn and apparently breakups in the two’s relationship are fueled by intolerable lies by Zayn. I think the two make an interesting-enough couple to constantly read about when hungry for gossip, but apart from that, it looks very atypical Hollywood romance for Gigi, to me: short-lived, (suddenly) confused and filled with too many adjustments – I’m really a big fan of not one of those types of romances there!

Condé Nast & His Magazines

The life and times of the man behind major publications, such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and House & Garden

When I hear of the name Condé Nast, more than a visionary man, what comes alive in my memory are the publications he nurtured during his lifetime, from Vogue to Vanity Fair. But I knew he was a man because I have been a faithful subscriber of fashion magazines practically my whole life. Upon Nast’s sudden (and untimely) death in 1942, The New York Times described him as a creative person who knew how to use printing to catapult himself and a civilisation into a certain shade of greatness. Vogue, one of the foremost fashion magazines of today, was a dying weekly back in 1909 – the time when Nast chose to purchase it. The 24-page weekly was to be a class act in Nast’s mind; it was to be a publication that breathed life into what is fashionable for that particular era. All his life, Nast was the subject of intense competition from fashion magazines that held very little fame for too long but had a huge liberated audience to enjoy it, and also financial loses because of the Great Depression.

Vogue, Vanity Fair & Condé Nast

 

Vogue was good with promotions, Nast’s enormous parties were both classy and meant business, and Vogue was the first publication to have double-page colour printing. In 1914, Vogue crossed the Atlantic even though there was a world war to think about. WWI had actually raised sales figures but then the business sadly got dented as shipping (sans the absolutely vital ones) were banned from the United States of America to Great Britain. Nast surprisingly was one of those revolutionaries who always believed in his own work. So, rather than abandon the success Vogue was garnering across the Atlantic, Nast created British Vogue; this helped to keep afloat the injections of British fashion influence on Vogue itself, somewhat and with so much success at his feet, Nast purchased House & Garden (1915), launched Vanity Fair (1913) and bought himself a penthouse in Park Avenue, on the 86th Street.

Born in 1873 in New York City, Condé Nast was the third child for William, who left his family for Europe. His mother, Esther was left without an income, as a result, and so had to move her family from New York City to St Louis, a town where she had grown up in. Nast, was a bashful, Catholic boy, who grew up to be an enormous advocate for women, filled with bountiful amounts of charm. It is so strange to hear about Condé Nast growing into a man, with a passion for bettering women’s lives. His profound desire to charm women, which sits on the side of that, is deep-rooted in the lifetime of affection he had for Esther. It’s all speculative talk if that desire came from his personal experiences but its rather odd (and rare) in the Nast family.

Wilhelm Nast, Condé’s grandfather, is the founder of German Methodism in the United States of America, and it is a religious faction demanding dutiful dedication. His son, William Nast, was keen on sophisticated European tastes, fine tastes, luxury and fashion. Condé went from the countryside back to his hometown to create Vogue, when he was only 36 years old. This was the roaring twenties so the shock to see an episode like that unfolding is very difficult to fathom but hear the story out: Condé’s spinster aunt once appeared in Missouri, with the desire to put one of Esther’s two boys through college. Condé beat Louis at it with the help of his vegetable garden patch because it had managed to impress his aunt with its tidiness and orderly upkeeping. His aunt then put Condé through Georgetown, where he got lucky and met Robert Collier, of Collier’s Weekly. Because of the two’s friendship, in 1900, Nast earned a job as an advertising manager in the infamous publication.

At Collier’s Weekly, Condé managed to rake in profits for advertising substantially and he was living and breathing “the successful dream”. Nast, in his early days in publishing had acquired plenty of experience with Collier’s Weekly, in both the publishing industry and economics. With Vogue, as such, Condé was never interested in mass circulation because it necessarily wasn’t going to evolve into a profiting venture. And it was so hard to do that as well, with women’s magazines dominating in numbers for markets for readers who were fast feeling the effects of freedom. When Condé managed to buy that house in Park Avenue, it resembled his tastes enormously: it was a duplex penthouse, where the ballroom fronted 18th Century Chinese wallpaper. Condé’s whole life inside that house evoked sentiments from his magazines, be it House & Garden or Vanity Fair. Parties of the roaring twenties meant flowers, waiters, rearranging furniture, people being sent off to spend the night in a local hotel, and guests such as Fred Astaire, Cecil Beaton and the Marx Brothers. His parties from this era (1925 – 1942) often got into conversations within the spaces of the two major wars.

Tall enough at 5ft 8in, Condé was often spotted in a three-piece suit and (probably) a starched collared shirt. Condé was always a kind and quiet figure, more interested in having a successful party, than the glamour of the party. But when the Wall Street crash happened, Condé lost his empire: in the night dated October 1929, stocks for Condé plummeted from $93 to $4.50 but he never mentioned any of this to the society he would be close to. The final decade of his life was spent at the top of his company but he no longer owned it and it was a secret Condé kept from the world. Since in Great Britain, the Depression hadn’t managed to hurt as much as in America, British Vogue weathered the storm better. This convinced press magnate Lord Camrose to lend $1mn to Condé to purchase back most of the publication’s shares. After his death, the Newhouse family bought Condé’s company, and even though it was hurtful to lose Vogue, Condé always believed that his magazines were so much more than mediocre hardships and that his whole life wasn’t really about throwing one extravagant party after another, but that it was really publishing.

Hottest Men 2016

The Hottest Men (2016)

When people want to talk about good-looking men in Hollywood it’s hard to predict who will win and who will lose. Sentiments don’t always float the same for every person because everyone does not have the same outlook over what really makes a man hot. It could be the kind of roles they play, from romantic heroes to absolute sleazeballs, the kind of music they make or their off-screen attitudes to life itself, or it could even be that people’s definition of “macho” varies. These are men, who without a doubt, no matter what kind of roles they play, even one where they are donning a ridiculous festive onesie, or losing their town to the ugliest men in the world, can still be labelled as dependable eye candy.

20. Christian Bale
Christian Bale

19. Adam Levine
Adam Levine

18. James McAvoy
James McAvoy

17. Bradley Cooper
Bradley-Cooper-hottest-acto

16. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt's Ray Ban Sunglasses

15. Robert Downey Jr.
robert downey jr

14. Nicholas Hoult
Hoult, Nicholas

13. Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe

12. Taylor Lautner
taylor lautner

11. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling

10. Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal

9. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck

8. Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson

7. Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch

6. Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth (Yay a brother twosome of happiness and Hotness) (Thor) Take me Thors Hammer, ehmn, oops, just Thor! I didn’t steal it! The Hammer I mean!

5. Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman

4. Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey

4. Will Smith
Will Smith

3. Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey

2. Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill ~ amancanfly - 13

1. Chris Evans
Chris Evans

Changing Cultures With #BroadwaySoDiverse

A thin cultural point of view for diversity needs to change for Broadway

The central theme of the Tony Awards this year seems to have been about celebrating a multicultural outlook, post so much criticism directed at an absence of colour at the Academy Awards. A majority of the shows nominated had a racially-mixed cast this year; the only prominent exception to this would be the regal story of Hamilton, and it’s plethora of white actors. From Shuffle Along to On Your Feet!, the experiences highlighted on-stage have largely been about Latinos, Blacks and Asians, and the shows have even boasted household names, such as George Takei, Lea Salonga and Lupita Nyong’o.

Diversity should not be looked upon as a responsibility worth attaining because we live in a multicultural world after all and thoughts along any other lines seem very lost and out-of-place. But that is not what everyone always experiences and perhaps nowhere can this be felt more than for people of colour who work in Broadway: Pascale Armand, one of the actresses in Eclipsed, is a former psychology major at Georgetown University, who decided to dabble in black theatre with her time then, and was even the lead once in an important production at Georgetown. Working with minor shows aside, Pascale has also taken a class at NYU, but after it she recollects that colourblind casting was the only possible way she could be cast in major plays.

Personally, Pascale identifies with black stories that have a more universal theme, and talk to the audiences about tales like, how a black garbage collector is important to the white scene because despite his job, he goes through the same feelings and emotions as any other human being in the world. Pascale feels that championing diversity should not be an insincere cause and that it’s not tough to look past colours when there is a good story worth telling. Furthermore, the young actress is adamant that progress is happening on the diversity-front but highlights that some far-reaching shows (such as those from Shakespeare) should expand further than the popularised-white-castings and aim for including people of all colours too because it can then help the global audience relate to the play materials better.

Top Broadway

 

Meanwhile, Adrienne Warren (from Shuffle Along), who got inspired to join theatre after watching Nala’s on-stage performance in the Broadway edition of The Lion King, recollects that she faced this narrow outlook in casting for black women, from the moment she started out because of the trivial roles that would be offered to her. For a while, Adrienne drew inspiration from seeing fellow black actresses on stage because the experience was relatable but now she believes Broadway has the power to shape cultural change about all-black casts doing something dramatically newer, such as the one in Eclipsed.

Ana Villafane, who plays the lead in On Your Feet!, a musical about the Latin songstress Gloria Estefan (and her husband, Emilio Estefan), on the other hand, feels that Broadway is not colourblind, but that it actually has a multicultural point of view. One of her all-time favourites (for dreamcasting herself in) is A Streetcar Named Desire, as Blanche DuBois (played by Vivien Leigh in the 1951 film) and for On Your Feet! Ana plays Gloria, from her teenage years to how she manages her life’s work, despite the many obstacles, such as a very-late reconcilation with her mother and the aftereffects of a spinal injury early on in her career. Villafane’s struggles to make it also involved a much more tailored set of roles because of her Latina heritage; girlfriends of mobsters, a woman victimised in a gang crime, a maid, or a pregnant Latin woman, are some of the typecasted examples of roles that Ana had to wisely turn down and opt for nothing at all, for a change and it is a very capital potrtrait of the need to further the diversity agenda in the 21st Century.

The Kate Middleton Effect

One of the most exciting stories about the British royal family is undoubtedly the impact Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge has on fashion

Kate Middleton is one of the most prominent fashion personalities in the United Kingdom, today. After her romantic liaison with Prince William got officially confirmed through an engagement in Kenya, in this (worldwide) infamous ecologically-conscious zone, which mostly houses vast amount of greenery, schools, and students, and was even formerly a cattle ranch, all eyes were fixated on what Middleton would choose as her engagement dress. It was a royal blue Issa dress that matched her new sapphire engagement ring, from Prince William. The dress was made by Daniella Issa Helayel, who left Issa in 2013, but at the time of Kate’s engagement, the fashion designer had made a typical silk jersey dress, which was also somewhat designated as a proper classic item. Daniella was thrilled that Kate had chosen Issa for her wedding day and even went so far as to throw plenty of kind words to describe the princess along the way.

Decoding: Kate Middleton

 

Kate has often been cited as a fashion inspiration source for many women around the world. This accomplishment of hers has even bizarrely gone into the cosmetic surgery department, and began right after Kate’s engagement to William, even though the young couple had dated for many years previously. This effect is important to the British fashion industry because even popular labels, such as L. K. Bennett have gone on record to state that when Middleton is spotted in a dress, it immediately finds itself on a waiting list. Furthermore, Whistles has also described her perfect material for adverts really since it is so tough for ordinary customers to copy her style; Middleton prefers to avoid being trendy with fashion, unlike reality television stars, which means that by the time the public will actually see Kate in a dress it would have sadly already long gone out of stock in stores.

Decoding: Kate Middleton

 

The Duchess of Cambridge has also been put on the cover of several magazines, such as for Vanity Fair in 2012, and for Vogue’s 100-year celebratory issue in June 2016, and these accomplishments have actually further cemented Kate’s status as “a modern day British fashion icon”. Kate is also a frequenter on numerous fashion lists, from best dressed in People (2007 and 2010), to evolving into a “top style icon” in Tatler (2007). I think the Duchess does a great job in ensuring a prominent member of the British royal family is always putting her best foot forward, for fashion selections. Two of my most favourite look of hers would be: for pre-wedding, I would select the bold outfit Kate wore to a charity roller disco in September 2008, and post-wedding to Prince William, for Kate, would be a glittering sequinned dress from one of her favourite fashion labels of all time, Jenny Packham.

Decoding: Kate Middleton