Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst conquered the catwalk by making her modelling debut in designer Jean Paul Gaultier's Paris Fashion Week show. The Austrian singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, scored the coveted closing spot in the French designer's runway parade when he debuted his Haute Couture Fall/Winter collection in the French capital on Wednesday (09Jul14).
The bearded drag queen donned a dramatic black bridal gown, with a waist-cinching patent red belt and a black veil.
Gaultier thanked Wurst for participating by getting down on his knees and grasping her hands at the end of the show.
The fashion mogul also gushed about Wurst to British newspaper The Independent after the runway show, revealing they actually met two years ago when she came to one of his events.
The designer said, "I loved her look and when I heard that she will represent Austria for the Eurovision Song Contest, I was delighted. When she won I was crazy with joy.
"I always say that beauty is difference and Conchita has shown us all that she is unstoppable. And she looks great in couture; she is a real couture woman."
Wurst follows in the footsteps of singer Beth Ditto and pin-up Dina Von Teese, who walked the runway for Gaultier in the same closing spot in previous years.
Sir Ian Mckellen helped kick off the 2014 gay pride celebrations in London on Wednesday (25Jun14). The Lord of The Rings actor was the guest of honour at the Pride in London Gala Dinner, which was held at the official residence of Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf.
The event marked the launch of the Pride in London festivities, which include a parade on Saturday (28Jun14) and performances by singers Sinitta and Samantha Fox and Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst.
McKellen gave a speech at the gala launch, and spoke about a meeting with late actor Sir Alec Guinness, who was long rumoured to have been bisexual, in which the Stars Wars legend urged him not to become an active member of the gay rights drive.
According to Gaystarnews.com, McKellen the crowd, "Alec Guinness took me out to lunch and said, 'You really should not, as a leading actor, have anything to do with anything political... I beg you not to do it.' That was self-hatred."
During the speech, the actor also voiced his hope that a top soccer player in Britain will 'come out' and break down taboos over gay stars in sport, adding, "My preference is that he is cute."
Guests at the dinner included pop star Will Young, who tweeted throughout the event and hailed McKellen's talk as "fantastic".
Gender-bending Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst thrilled gay fans in the U.K. on Saturday night (25May14) when the bearded drag queen took the stage at the city's top nightclub. The Austrian singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, gave a dazzling performance G-A-Y, where Kylie Minogue and Miley Cyrus have recently performed sets.
Wurst prepared for the big gig by sitting down for an interview with British TV host Graham Norton, who introduced the entertainer at G-A-Y.
During the chat, the singer revealed Sir Elton John sent a bouquet to congratulate her on her win, and she had even received a tweet from Cher, adding, "I was so excited to receive the tweet, which said, 'Darling, you deserve a lovelier name and better wig'."
Wurst also told Norton that she hopes to host the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria next year (15).
Officials in Moscow, Russia are refusing to let gay activists stage a parade in the city to honour Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst. The bearded drag queen, who represented Austria in Saturday's (10May14) televised competition, has become a huge gay icon in Russia and his song, Rise Like the Phoenix, is the nation's top iTunes download.
To mark his historic victory, the leaders of a gay rights group in Moscow have applied to hold a parade honouring Wurst - but city bosses have turned down the request.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in the 1990s, but new legislation was introduced last year (13) banning the dissemination of gay propaganda to minors.
Alexei Maiorov, the head of Moscow's security department, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the Wurst parade was rejected because of concerns it would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents.
Gender-bending singer Conchita Wurst's winning Eurovision Song Contest tune has shot to the top of the iTunes charts in Russia. Less than a year after Russian politicians introduced anti-gay propaganda laws, bearded transvestite Wurst's Austrian Eurovision entry has become the nation's most downloaded song.
The singer won the contest with his song Rise Like the Phoenix and the tune's success in Russia has disgusted many anti-gay ministers.
Politician Vitaly Milonov, who previously called for Russia to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest over Wurst's selection, rages, "The participation of the obvious transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian singers on live television is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay."
Stars including Boy George and Simon Le Bon have congratulated Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, who triumphed at the annual Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night (10May14). The singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, caused a huge stir even before the event took place with his long hair, glamorous outfits and full facial beard.
Wurst triumphed for Austria with the song Rise like a Phoenix at the camp extravaganza in Copenhagen, Denmark, and stars took to Twitter.com to send their well-wishes to the winner.
Boy George wrote, "Gorge. A vote for gay solidarity!", while Le Bon added, "I'm glad #Austria won #Eurovision. Here's to beardy chicks the world over. Yas (wife Yasmin Le Bon) probably won't shave today."
Actor Simon Pegg was also thrilled by the winner, adding, "Holy sculpted facial hair! Looks like I missed a doozy after all. Good on you Europe for showing some trans gender love. #eurovison."
A bearded drag queen chosen to represent Austria at this year's (14) Eurovision Song Contest is facing an online backlash from anti-gay protesters in Russia, Armenia and Belarus. Conchita Wurst, real name Tom Neuwirth, will perform the power ballad Rise Like a Phoenix at the annual ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark next month (May14) and her entry has already become a top 10 favourite to win.
However, her participation has come under attack from conservative viewers in parts of Eastern Europe and they have launched Internet petitions calling for Wurst to be banned from the event or edited out of TV broadcasts in their countries.
Armenia's contender, Aram MP3, has already joked about Wurst's lifestyle, claiming it is "not natural" and insisting she should decide between acting like a woman or a man, but the Austrian singer, 25, is refusing to let the criticism faze her.
She tells Reuters, "The beard is a statement to say that you can achieve anything, no matter who you are or how you look."
Wurst won't be the first gay star to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest - transgender Israeli singer Dana International entered and won in 1998 with her song Diva.
Venezuelan actress and singer Maria Conchita Alonso has dropped out of the Spanish-language production of The Vagina Monologues after facing backlash for appearing in a campaign video for California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly. The Predators 2 star is featured in the bilingual ad alongside Donnelly, as he discusses his controversial views on immigration issues in the U.S.
The advert has upset the Latino community and theatre fans are now threatening to boycott the Brava Theater Center's production to protest the star's links to Donnelly.
Producer Eliana Lopez tells KPIX 5, "We really can't have her in the show, unfortunately. Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants (but)... doing what she is doing is against what we believe."
Meanwhile, Alonso admits the backlash is overwhelming, adding, "I've been called all these horrible names, like you can't believe."
Alonso is known for her strong political views - in 2009 she clashed with Sean Penn over his praise of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
In 2010, she led protests against filmmaker Oliver Stone over his documentary about Chavez.
Director Oliver Stone travelled to Venezuela last week (ends13Dec13) to begin work on a new film about late dictator Hugo Chavez. The Natural Born Killers filmmaker, who was a longtime friend and supporter of the controversial politician, met with Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, on Thursday (12Dec13) and during the visit, Stone reportedly revealed plans to immortalise the former leader on the big screen as part of his latest project.
Delcy Rodriguez, the country's Minister of Communication and Information, shared photos of the star's meeting with Maduro on Twitter.com and explained the reason for Stone's visit, writing, "Oliver Stone came to our country to make a film about the Giant Chavez!"
No other details about the movie were available as WENN went to press.
Stone previously interviewed Chavez for his 2009 road trip documentary South of the Border, which attempted to explore the social and political movements in South America and perceptions of the continent.
The project drew criticism for anti-Chavez activists, such as Cuban-born actress Maria Conchita Alonso, who took aim at Stone for portraying the dictator as a fun-loving good guy and failing to ask him hard-hitting questions about his "brutally oppressive regime" and the "alarming and growing rates of poverty, kidnapping and murder".
Chavez lost his battle with cancer in March (13).
The 4400 succeeds where shows like Heroes, No Ordinary Family, and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have failed. It puts a human face to super powers. This innovative series has such a mind-blowing take on what would happen if people developed superhuman abilities. It also uses other science-fiction conventions, plot twists and great actors to create a binge-worthy series.
Over the course of 50 years, 4400 people are abducted. On one day, they all return seemingly unchanged, but different. A government task force is created to manage their assimilation back into society. An FBI agent, Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch), and a CDC agent, Diana Skouris (Jacqueline McKenzie), head up this task force to deal with their developing abilities and discover the reason they’ve returned. What follows is a shocking reveal that they were not abducted by aliens but by humans from the future. They have been given abilities to help save humanity’s future.
The series doesn’t rely too much on super powers and flashy special effects. Instead, it creates an X-Files style procedural with rich characters and an engrossing plot. Each episode, Tom and Diana must help one of the 4400 with their abilities and discover their benefit to society’s future. Meanwhile, various members of the 4400 must adjust to how life has changed since their disappearance. Baldwin’s nephew Shawn Farrell (Patrick Flueger) comes back with the power to heal and his family having adjusted to life without him. Conchita Campbell plays Maya Rutledge, an 8 year old abducted in 1938, and brought back with the ability to see the future. The characters are sympathetic and this adds heart to the series.
The 4400 has some pretty great acting talent. Billy Campbell (The Killing, Enough) plays Jordan Collier, a successful businessman who creates a Scientology-style religion around The 4400. The series also features appearances by Summer Glau (Serenity), Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) and Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope).
Fans of superheroes and science fiction will love The 4400. It also adds enough plot twists and dynamic relationships that non-geeks will love it too. All four seasons of the series are available on Netflix.