Monthly Archives: February 2015

Oscars 2015

This year’s Oscars awards already had two things stacked up against it that made me uninterested – Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t hosting and the very obvious snub by the Hollywood Foreign Press of the film Selma.

Overall Neil Patrick Harris’ attempt at hosting were mild. Luke warm at best. The show ran too long and his jokes fell two football fields short of humorous. The whole singing and dancing doesn’t do anything for me. This isn’t the Tony’s so I’m not impressed by his ability to hold a note.

I’ll leave the play by play break down of speeches, who sat next to whom and who left with hardware to the upteen other sites that all posted on the Oscars minutes after the show was over last night. I Tweeted through the whole show and by the time the handsome Inarritu took the last award for the night, this old lady was spent. And let’s be honest, I’m really only here for the fashion. So without further ado, here are choices for best and worst dressed.

Worst Dressed

Kiera Knightley: She has to be doing this on purpose. She has to be intentionally finding the most hideous dresses to wear to red carpets, because no sane stylist is finding these dresses and thinking ‘yes, this would look so incredibly hot on Kiera.’ Nope. Somehow Valentino made this dress and we all had to look at it.

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Lady Gaga: The gloves. I want to blame Amal Alamudin for doing this. For having Gaga think that she can do formal wear gloves but somehow misconstrued the concept all together and showed up with dish washing gloves. The Azzedine Alaia dress is gorgeous, although I think that cut is too boxy for most women to wear. I’m sure it looked great on the stick figure who wore it down the runway. Thankfully Gaga can sing and redeemed herself with a powerful performance of the Sound of Music’s full soundtrack. Even Maria, the sweeter than sugar Julie Andrews, had to give Gaga her props.

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Sienna Miller: Bows on dresses remind me of tulle dresses I was forced to wear as a little girl, so when I see them now I cringe. This dress was just all kinds of confusion. From the three tiered bows to the sheerness from the knees down. Despite the dress being from the late great Oscar De La Renta, I think its just my personal disdain of bows that has this dress on the worst list.

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Gwenyth Paltrow: I read the best description of Gwyneth’s look on Twitter last night. Someone described her as looking like ‘a pretentious stick of gum.’ I howled!! A bit too catty for my taste but following my last rant on bows, I also have a disdain for big flower pieces. Shall I take you back to Paula Patton’s disastrous dress at the Golden Globes last year? The big flowers on the shoulder are unnecessary. This isn’t the circus, enough with the pointless distractions.

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Now, on to the real winners of the night.

Best Dressed

Lupita Nyong’o: Don’t even try to act surprised. My girl Lupi (yup, we’re on a nickname basis now) showed up and showed out last night. The thing with Lupi that has me mesmerized is the way she walks with her shoulders back and head high. Even when she wore the technicolour dream coat at the Globes this year, and I wasn’t that impressed, she rocked it with such confidence she made us admire her even more. Tweeting that she felt like a princess before she got on the red carpet, Lupi was just that – fashion royalty. Wearing a Calvin Klein dress that was rumoured to have been made up of over 6,000 white pearls, Lupi was the perfect embodiment of Prince’s song ‘Diamond and Pearls.’

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Scarlett Johansson: Although this isn’t a dress that I’d necessarily be brave enough to wear, I like the cut of it and the way it suits Scarlett. She has a certain look and she’s always done the bombshell thing, so this edgy style is a refreshing change. I don’t like chokers however this necklace highlights the plunging neckline tastefully. The dress is Atelier Versace.

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Reese Witherspoon: Call it safe, boring or predictable but this ensemble is elegance. So simple you could mistakenly take it as too casual for red carpet. But there is a purposefulness in the way its cut that it sits on Reese perfectly. You can never go wrong with black and white simplicity in a gown. For example Julia Robert’s Valentino dress when she won for Erin Brockovich. Understated but memorable. Well done Elle!

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Jennifer Lopez: Mija, Jenny from the block is probably one of the most anticipated celebrities on any red carpet lately so she was obviously going to have a spot on my coveted Best Dressed list. Ever since that sheer Versace dress she wore to the Grammys as a presenter and made David Duchovny’s jaw drop mid sentence, JLo has been wowing us ever since with her flawless skin, picture perfect hair and show stopping gowns. Albeit, this isn’t as risky or daring and borders on the conventional, I found the dress breathtaking. The all around bronze look was noted by some to wash her out, but to me maybe because I’m drowning in snow and endless days of no sunshine right now, I quite liked seeing the sun kissed look on her. This time, straying from her usual Zuhair Murad, she shined in Ellie Saab.

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Zoe Saldana: What a comeback! I have not been a fan of Zoe on any red carpet in ages but maybe it was just giving birth to twins causing her finally fill out a dress that has me applauding her. She looked gorgeous in Atelier Versace. The nude hue and pulled back hair gave her an effortless look that we all know took hours. Lesson learned, when a skinny girl has a baby she fills out and looks normal sized, however when us normal women have babies…..anywho, congrats Zoe. Welcome to the best dressed side.

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Honourable mention goes to these men:

David Oyelowo: the morale of the story here is confidence. It doesn’t matter what you wear, honestly, it’s how you wear it. They’re going to talk. Trust me, I’m going to comment on it regardless but when someone wears whatever they want with boldness, it’s attractive. David Oyelowo is the perfect example of this. This whole ensemble is daring and powerful. A change from the usual black tux, David went for a striking red. The suit is by Dolce & Gabanna.

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Jared Leto: I can’t say that I liked this suit, because I was distracted by the hair. As soon as he came on stage I Tweeted that I wanted to deep condition his hair. It looked like it lacked nourishment. However, the 43 years old actor looked dapper in the Givenchy custom suit nonetheless. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Jordan Catalano.

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Were there any looks that stood out to you last night that I missed? Any choices you disagree with?

Sound of Torture Documentary

Moved. Heart broken. Shaken. Just a few of the emotions that ran through me as I watched the documentary Sound of Torture, which was the closing film at the Toronto Black Film Fest on Sun Feb 15th.

The film follows Eritrean-Swedish radio host Meron Estefanos who focuses her show on the plight of Eritrean refugees kidnapped and held hostage in the Sinai desert. The kidnappers demand large ransoms from the hostages’ families all over the world while raping, mutilating and abusing their victims. The film follows Meron as she communicates with the hostages and meets with Eritrean refugees in Israel, even going so far as to travel to the Sinai to bring light to this dark story.

This story hits very close to home for me as an Eritrean-Canadian. So often the stories of refugees and internally displaced people are silenced over the noise of celebrity-dom and pop culture. But those of us who have survived, are blessed and in positions of influence have a responsibility to give a voice to voiceless. We are the ones that can bring these stories to the forefront, drawing attention to the atrocities and in turn, hopefully bringing those culprits to justice.

Please take a moment to check out the trailer below. A few friends and I felt that we need to do more than just be viewers, so we’re brainstorming on ways to bring more awareness to this issue. I’ve contacted the producers of this film hoping to find other film festivals so that this documentary can be seen by more and this story draws global attention.

Now Is The Time: Jean-Michel Basquiat

When art can still move audiences decades after its creation, it becomes timeless. It denotes the oratory nature of the artist, to put on canvas the stories occurring around them/to them and leave room for the audience to see themselves. To me, there is so much power in that narrative. When the artist lets themselves be a vessel to create pieces that reflect the times, whether good or bad.

I had the pleasure of seeing the Art Gallery of Ontario’s exhibit Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now Is The Time last night and I’m still processing a lot of what I saw. I spent two hours viewing Jean-Michel’s work and that still wasn’t enough time. Another trip is already planned.

‘Provocative. Ground-breaking. Powerful.’ are just some of the words used to describe Jean-Michel’s work. He was influenced by jazz, hip hop, graffiti and African culture which is all visible in his captivating work. The duality in his work stood out to me the most. There is a social consciousness and commentary in many of his pieces, that is still relevant to this day. From modern slavery, police brutality, commercialization of black art, mistreatment of immigrant workers, etc.

A lot of his work was done 34 years ago and it made me wonder ‘how far or how little have we come?’ Although he died very young at 27 years old, he has made a huge impact in the art world. Its unfortunate that while he was alive, his work didn’t receive as much attention as it does now.

I didn’t take any pictures not only because you’re not permitted to, but I want to encourage those of you in Toronto to go and take in his work for yourself.

 

Embracing The Greys – Silver Hair

This style of hair colour isn’t new but with each season we see it appear on a new batch of celebrities. Silver grey hair has been seen on fictional characters such as the X-Men’s Storm, The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) and style maven Stacey London.

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Storm, Miranda Priestly and Stacey London

Lately the silver greys have been popping up on younger women and maybe its the winter season and the endless snow, but the look has me intrigued. Some of the looks range from a salt and pepper look with the grey highlighted through out the hair, to a blue-ish grey tone with dark roots. Some opting to have lilac undertones with the grey while some go for a silvery fox look.

One of the first faces that I saw with the silver grey look on was Kelly Osbourne. This was even before she joined the cast of E!’s Fashion Police. She’s done many variations of the silver hair look to the point I don’t even recall her real hair colour anymore.

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Another daring hair style pioneerĀ  is Rihanna. What hair style has she not rocked? Whether the looks have been glam or not, she sports them with such confidence, you end up seeing variations of the look on different people. That’s how influential her changing looks have become.

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Another trendsetter that did the grey look is Nicole Richie. From the stark silver grey to the purple tints, Nicole has tried it all. Her fashion progression as a whole is remarkable. Looking back at her Simple Life reality show days, you can’t even believe that was the same girl.

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Lastly, the most recent appearance of silver grey hair on the red carpets is Orange Is The New Black‘s Dascha Polanco. Her hair has the dark roots, grey hair with the subtle pinkish/purple tips.

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Not that I’m ready to do the full head of silver grey, but this might be a cheaper alternative than colouring my here-and-there specks of grey. Definitely a bold hair style that breaks away from tradition.

Have you thought of trying this? If so, how’d it look?