"I styled it after the red dress that (Julia Roberts) wears in Pretty Woman. I saw it when I was in ninth grade, and I held on to the image of her in that red dress... in the four years I didn't deviate from my love of that dress. I just made a short - and what I thought was a cooler - version of that. Looking back, I could have done a lot worse!" Eva Mendes attempted to make her own version of a gown from movie Pretty Woman.
"I was wearing a sequined gown and $80,000 earrings, and there was a mechanical bull for guests to ride. I had to have a cowboy lift me up on the bull as my dress was too fitted to allow me to climb up myself. I was terrified that my jewellery would fly off and nervous to ride it in front of so many people, but it was such a liberating, amazing experience." Actress Lily Collins rode a mechanical bull despite the expensive gown and jewellery.
Editors at Australian Vogue have determined that Cate Blanchett's ensemble in which she won her second Academy Award earlier this month (02Mar14) was the most expensive outfit at the prizegiving. Her $100,000 (£60,485) Armani Prive gown paired with diamond and opal studded Chopard jewellery cost an estimated $18 million (£11 million).
It's good to be Lupita Nyong'o right now. In between winning over film critics, the fashion elite, and the general public with her poise and charm, the Oscar winner reportedly met with director J.J. Abrams to discuss taking on the female lead in the upcoming Star Wars film. Since the script is still being kept tightly under wraps, it's unclear whether the role in question would see Nyong'o playing a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has been described as a "non-Caucasian" role, or whether she is in talks for another part.
If Nyong'o does get a major part in the movie, it could be the role that she needs in order to capitalize on her Oscar buzz and cement herself as an A-List actress. Since she is still a relative newcomer, the earliest post-Oscar roles she chooses will have a major effect on her career trajectory. Many actors who have taken home a trophy only to disappear from the public consciousness thanks to disappointing follow-up films.
Despite her film 12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture, there is still a significant portion of the population (including some Oscar voters) who haven't seen the movie. As such, taking a role in such a major, mainstream franchise like Star Wars would keep Nyong'o at the focus of moviegoers' attention and expose her talent to people who might not have seen her act yet. And since the character will likely be a very different turn from Patsey, it would also allow her to showcase the range of her talent.
In addition, if the new Star Wars installment is well-received by fans and critics — since it is all but guaranteed to do well at the box office — it would prove that Nyong'o is capable of carrying a film, which would put her in contention for more leading roles. Studios are usually hesitant to take a risk on allowing up-and-coming actors to be the cornerstone of a big-budget picture, unless either the franchise or the star has proven to be successful in the past. Although Nyong'o has shown herself to be an exceptional supporting actress, playing the lead in a successful blockbuster opens her up to more opportunities and roles, for both supporting and leading roles. Essentially, Star Wars would put Nyong'o in the conversation as a leading lady as well as a key emesemble player, which would mean bigger and better parts in both mainstream and indie films.
However, the film being a major success could have some issues for Nyong'o as well. Because studios often prefer to stick with formulas that they know will be successful, Nyong'o could find herself only being offered roles in action movies, which, again, would make establishing herself as an A-List actress very difficult, especially since there are generally fewer female-fronted action films than there are one with male leads. There's also the fact that almost all of the actors who have starred in the Star Wars franchise have struggled to break out from the shadow of the space fantasy giant. From the Original Trilogy, only Harrison Ford was really able to shake off Han Solo — which was largely due to a starring role in another major franchise — while Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are still primarily remembered in relation to Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, and Billy Dee Williams will forever be Lando Calrissian to the general public.
Even Hayden Christensen saw his career stall after playing Anakin Skywaker in the prequels, despite having earned critical acclaim in films like Life as a House and Shattered Glass. But he was unable to capitalize on that momentum, and that, combined with a great deal of derision from Star Wars fans concering the way the character was handled, resulted in Anakin being his last major, successful role. Although there are several Star Wars actors who have been able to avoid being typecast, they have usually signed on to the series after establishing their careers. Nyong'o, being a newcomer, could be more likely to become conflated with her character, especially since she hasn't been in the public's awareness long enough for many people to have already formed a perception of her.
But although the majority of Star Wars actors have become permanently associated with their characters, that doesn't mean it would be impossible for Nyong'o to break away from the franchise. Both Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman joined the series with a few critically-acclaimed credits under their belts, but allowed the Star Wars franchise to break them through to genuine stardom. By following the films up with diverse, interesting roles, they were able to shake off Obi-Wan and Padme, respectively, in order to become established and acclaimed actors in their own right. If Nyong'o manages to follow in their footsteps, she would likely be able to side-step the epic franchise trap and continue to become a well-respected actress with an impressive resume.
She already seems to be on that path: in addition to the Star Wars role, she was in talks to play Tiger Lily in Joe Wright's Pan, and she's reportedly being looked at for a major part in an upcoming courtroom drama opposite Daniel Craig, so it shouldn't be a problem for her to follow up Star Wars with something completely different. In general, it seems that the best course of action for Nyong'o is to look for diverse, compelling roles in order to prove to both her fans and critics that she is capable of tackling a wide variety of roles.
Recent Oscar winners are always under a great deal of pressure to keep the momentum going after awards season wraps up, and since Nyong'o is so new on the scene, her choices of roles will be scrutinized even more closely than usual. A lead in the latest Star Wars film is a big step forward for her, career-wise, and as long as she is able to avoid getting stuck in a rut, we should be able to look forward to many more incredible performances from Nyong'o in the future. And if worse comes to worse, she should be able to buy herself some goodwill and acclaim with a few more exceptional fashion moments. Nobody can wear a gown quite like she can.
British actress Keira Knightley is mourning the loss of her Chanel wedding dress after she accidentally spilled red wine on the precious gown during a night out. The Pirates of the Caribbean star married musician James Righton last year (13) wearing a strapless gown with a tulle skirt, and she subsequently wore the same dress to a number of red carpet events.
However, Knightley has now revealed the garment was "destroyed" during its last outing following an accident with red wine.
She tells Britain's Stella magazine, "It's now got red wine spilled down the front because the last time I wore it my friend went like this (split wine over it) and now it's everywhere. I didn't quite realise the extent of it until I got home. It's quite impressively splattered. But, hey, a good night is a good night and when a dress has had its time, maybe it's had its time. I'm pretty sure I can get it (the stain) out but, if I can't, I'm happy with the memory of a good night and the story of how the dress got destroyed."
Rocker Nikki Sixx has wed model girlfriend Courtney Bingham. The Motley Crue star, 55, and his 28-year-old sweetheart exchanged vows at the Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles on Saturday (15Mar14).
Bingham wore a gown styled for her by her aunt, who runs a bridal store in California.
The model was inspired by the dress actress Jennifer Lawrence wore to the Oscars last year (13), according to People.com.
The union is the bass player's third model marriage - he was married to Playboy playmate Brandi Brandt for seven years and Donna D'Errico for 11.
Actress Kristen Bell suffered a major wardrobe malfunction at the Los Angeles premiere of her latest film when a gust of wind blew open her gown and revealed her underwear to photographers. The star walked the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday (12Mar14) for the screening of her Veronica Mars movie and she chose a long pink dress with a revealing slit up one side for the occasion.
However, Bell was left red-faced when a breeze blew her frock open and left her nude-coloured underpants on display. She was then seen giggling and pulling her dress together.
British pop star Lily Allen has had a frantic start to the month (Mar14) after realising she had lost her custom-made Chanel wedding dress. The Smile hitmaker wore a long-sleeved, white lace gown by French designer Delphine Manivet for her 2011 nuptials to businessman Sam Cooper, and celebrated at the reception by changing into a bell-sleeved, empire-line chiffon dress created for her by Chanel icon Karl Lagerfeld.
The star admitted she had misplaced the $320,000 (£200,000) haute couture outfit during a recent British TV interview, when she was asked to name the most expensive item of clothing in her wardrobe.
She replied, "There's two bits to this answer. One is that it's not in my wardrobe, it's gone missing. And two, it's my Chanel Couture wedding dress that's worth about £200,000... It's gone. I don't know where it is."
But it appears Allen has since found the expensive wardrobe item - in a tweet on Wednesday (12Mar14), she wrote, "OK, EVERYONE RELAX, I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!! A couple of weeks ago now."
Lupita Nyong'o is no longer a young woman who graduated from Yale, made her feature film debut in a critically-acclaimed movie, and became a fashion favorite. As of this past weekend, when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her unforgettable performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, and when that film went on to win Best Picture of the Year, Lupita Nyong'o the person became Lupita Nyong'o the movement. And for those of us watching closely, this movement (the correct pronunciation of which you can find HERE) has great cultural significance. Attention must be paid.
First of all, if you were able to make it through that without shedding a single tear, then props to you. But for the rest of us actual humans, that speech was everything. And the orchestra playing "Pure Imagination" at the end was absolutely perfect. Still, her acceptance speech at Essence magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is a favorite for many of us:
I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”
My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.
I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then … Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me, the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.
And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shame in black beauty.
In a world where women of color are still lightening their skin, in a world where the typical black woman on screen looks like Halle Berry or Paula Patton, in a world where Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union are considered to be dark-skinned beauties (and it is still a big deal that they are being so embraced by Hollywood), Nyong'o as a fashion and beauty icon (she's also the new face of Miu Miu) is no small thing at all. The legacy of slavery still very much operates in our culture, and part of that legacy pertains to black women with lighter skin being labeled more beautiful and more valuable (a scene in 12 Years a Slave shows that, indeed, slave owners were willing to pay more for those enslaved blacks with lighter skin). For hundreds of years, black beauty has been defined by non-blacks, and while that is still very much happening today — even with Nyong'o's story — it is wholly refreshing to see all shades of black beauty finally being embraced in a very public light.
When Nyong'o hit the Academy Awards red carpet she was, of course, bombarded with questions about her gorgeous pastel-blue gown. It was designed by Prada, and — more importantly — she said that it reminded her of her hometown, Nairobi, Kenya. And wouldn't you know it — Kelly Osbourne of E!'s Fashion Police immediately and appropriately labeled the look #NairobiBlue, which then began trending on Twitter. It is also no small victory to see the name of an African city become equated with a thing of beauty, to become beautiful itself.
But race and black beauty aren't the only issues at play here. While many folks might have looked at her rise to fame as a rags-to-riches story, it's important to note that Nyong'o comes from a middle-class upbringing. She prides herself on being the daughter of a Kenyan senator, and the cousin of Isis Nyong'o, who recently made the Forbes list of Most Powerful African Women. She completed her undergraduate studies at Hampshire College and earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. All of this to say that she is an educated, fabulous, talented force of nature. And judging by her Instagram account, she's just as much as superfan of all things pop culture as the rest of us. Her presence in this world is huge right now, and watching her inspire young men and women everywhere makes the notion of celebrity status far more enjoyable.
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U.S. TV mogul Oprah Winfrey has gifted one of her Twitter.com followers a designer dress she wore on the cover of a magazine. A woman named Brandi contacted the 60 year old on the social media site to compliment her after spotting the Brian Rennie for Basler gown on the March (14) Essence magazine cover.
She wrote, "@oprah you look beautiful in that essence cover pic. WOW. CAN I please have that dress? Cuz (sic) I know u won't wear (it) again lol (laugh out loud) luv u (sic)".
Winfrey surprisingly responded to the message, writing, "@snobaby28 you're right I won't wear ever again contact my asst. and show her this tweet."
Brandi did follow up with Winfrey's assistant and received the dress less than a week later.
She wrote, "@Oprah THANK YOU! Recv (sic) beautiful dress. Plan to wear at my wedding when I find a groom lol but will twt (tweet) pic wearing it soon. Luv u to life!"