Tag Archives: Fashion Icons

Screen Actors Guild Awards: Fashion

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are an annual award given by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) to recognize outstanding performances by members. SAG Awards have been one of the major awards events in Hollywood since 1995. Nominations for the awards come from 4200 randomly selected members of the union, with the full membership (120,000 as of 2007) available to vote for the winners.

This year was the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards and the fashion was kept simple. Almost everyone had the look of “Old Hollywood” with solid colors, no bold jewelery, and hair up in buns.

Color was the trend of the night, as actresses walked the red carpet in hues of blue, white, red, tangeraine and bright yellow. Another trend that seems to be carrying on through this awards season — and one Michelle Obama championed on inauguration night — is the one-shouldered gown. Here are a few of my favorites.

Actress Anne Hathaway arrives at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Anne Hathaway looked beautiful in a grecian-inspired white gown.

Kate Winslet not only took the prize for the SAG Awards, but also for best dressed.

Actress Andrea Bowen arrives at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.Andrea Bowen glowed in a gorgeous brown and gold dress.

Angelina Jolie looked stunning in this navy gown from the back. But in the front, she looked more like a “Mother of the Bride”.

Actress Taraji P. Henson arrives at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.Taraji P. Henson stood out on the red carpet while wearing a long white gown.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood arrives at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.Evan Rachel Wood styled a beautiful one-shouldered blue gown down the red carpet.

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A Little Bit About…Tory Burch

It-GirlWhile living in New York city, It-Girl, Tory Burch, has maintained personal relationships with a series of extremely wealthy men. With the financial savvy of her former second husband, she began a fashion label in February 2004 in New York City. It was an immediate success and was even endorsed by Oprah Winfrey the following year. Her label has opened stores in several large American cities and has lines that are sold in several upscale specialty department stores.Logo

FlatsShe is most famous for her affordable, modernized classics, from trademark patterns to easy-chic flats topped with her graphic hardware logo. For an overnight sensation, Burch’s formula for success is as close to home as it comes. She draws inspiration from American icons of the sixties and seventies, including her fashionable mom—but ultimately, she is her own best muse. Tory Burch has won many fashion awards for her designs, and she continues to be involved in high profile personal relationships within the social elite of New York City.

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Michelle Obama’s Picks

First Lady Michelle Obama picked fashion insider Isabel Toledo, 47, to design her Inaugural ensemble. The glamorous, creamy yellow dress and matching overcoat were made of satin-backed wool guipure, a kind of lace used most often in French haute couture. Obama accessorized the look with a sparkling crystal necklace and green leather gloves and shoes. Although the First Lady’s office repeatedly said that Obama would not decide on her outfit until that morning, the choice — including the color, fabric and accessories — shows a lot of confidence and planning on the wearer’s part.Michelle Obama

She celebrated her husband’s inauguration on that night wearing a white chiffon, one-shoulder gown covered in fluffy appliques and beading that will now become part of fashion history.Classicly elegant

Designed by 26-year-old Jason Wu, much loved in the fashion world but otherwise not well known, the gathered-skirt gown was surprising for its reserve given Michelle Obama’s love of jewel tones and sleek silhouettes.

The gown’s slight train swirled pleasingly and her shoulder-sweeping earrings picked up the gown’s sparkle as she and President Barack Obama danced the evening’s first dance at the Neighborhood Ball at Washington’s Convention Center.Jason Wu

Jason Wu studied fashion design at Parson’s in New York City. He has been designing his eponymous label since February 2006. Here are a few more garments from his collection. (I personally love his garments.)Jason Wu CollectionJason WuJason Wu Collection 2008

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Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is a type of photography devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, or Allure. Over time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by exotic locations and story lines or could be having great models with different vehicles or animals just to be an eye catching effect.

Fashion PhotographyTrue, Fashion photography is commerce. But it is also art. One problem with today’s fashion photography comes when the photographer forgets to create art. For example, this shot from a February issue of Vogue shot by hotshot photographer, Michael Thompson. These types of fashion photography are as sterile and boring, as prosaic and plodding as a clothing catalog.

Where are the clothes?Sometimes, fashion photographers tend to forget that they are taking pictures of the clothes, and they focus more on making the photography interesting.

Great fashion photography—like great art in general—doesn’t just “tell about today”; it speaks truths about yesterday and tomorrow. “If you want reality, why don’t you look out of the window?” -Nick Knight

Lisa FonssagrivesPhotographers in the past tended to use models who seemed confident, intelligent, and sophisticated. Lisa Fonssagrives, fashion model and muse of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, epitomized a woman of great strength and dignity. You didn’t just want to wear her clothes; you wanted to be her. (Audrey Hepburn gave off the same vibe.)

 

Today's Fashion PhotographyToday, 30 years into feminism, we have models who look not just weak and unsophisticated, but also dumb and victimized. Academic feminists haven’t complained because the models are supposedly playing a subversive role and subversion is inherently politically correct. Moreover, many of the young photographers are female. But now we’ve moved into “fashion vérité” (fashion truth) and the models still look crude. Is this how women in fashion see themselves?

Fashion Photography has definitely changed throughout the years, like the rest of the fashion industry. Look through magazines and mark what you like to see. Do you like the thin, mistreated looking models in the photos? Or do you perfer the glowing, sophisticated models who make you want to wear the clothes in the photography?Fashion Photography

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A Little Bit About…Vera Wang

Vera Wang, age 59, is an American fashion designer based in New York. She is known for her wedding gown collection, among other specialties. Vera Wang has not always been the successful bridal designer like she is today.

Vera WangAs a girl, Wang trained as a figure skater, and competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She was actually featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd in the January 8, 1968 issue. When she failed to make the U.S. Olympic team, she entered the fashion industry.

Wang was a senior fashion editor for Vogue for sixteen years. In 1985, she left Vogue after being turned down for the editor-in-chief position currently filled by Anna Wintour and joined Ralph Lauren as a design director for two years. In 1990, she opened her own design salon in the Carlyle Hotel in New York which featured her trademark bridal gowns. She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. She also has made wedding gowns for Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Garner, and Sharon Stone among others.

Vera Wang has expanded her brand name through her fragrance, jewelry, eyeware, shoe and houseware collections. She also wrote the book Vera Wang on Weddings which was released by Harper Collins in October, 2001. On May 27, 2006, Wang was awarded the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design. In the Sex and the City movie, Vera Wang was featured amongst the many bridal gowns Carrie Bradshaw wore in a Vogue photo shoot.

Today, Vera Wang is one of the most prominent fashion designers in New York City.Vera Styles

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Fashion Icons

There have been countless fashion icons over the years and there are still many living today. Fashion Icons are defined as people who lead in fashion circles. An icon could also be someone who, while dressing trendily, is able to be true to a look that celebrates their own unique style and taste. It might also be seen as someone whose “look” is simply timeless and unaffected by trends. I tend to see a fashion icon as having that inescapable confidence that can make anything they wear….simply desirable. Here are just a few of my old favorites:

Timeless Fashion

Jacqueline Kennedy (Onassis) is known as the most stylish First Lady in office and one of the largest fashion icons in history. With an air of ladylike formality and youthful grace, Jackie’s style still draws the inspiration of women. When her husband became president of the United States, she brought an era of high-style and glamour into the White House with the help of famed courtiers, including Oleg Cassini. Her good taste was influenced by her being born in the high society of New York and a distinct admiration for French couture. She remained strong during and after the assassination of her husband. When she mourned him, she wore Valentino.  Throughout the Sixties, she became known for her impeccable style and grooming, and had a tendency to wear clean suits by French designers like Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior. Women all over the world today still try to achieve her glamorous fashion style. 

Twiggy was a 1960s model who is known for her large eyes, long eyelashes, and thin physique. She is regarded as one of the most famous models of all time. After her rise in the modeling career, it Twiggy at a photoshootwas believed that the “Twiggy craze” would die down within a month; however, she became an icon and a supermodel. Known for the high fashion mod look, Twiggy changed the world of fashion. With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution. She was also famous for drawing long, fake eyelashes under her bottom lashes. By the age of 17, Twiggy was one of the most famous faces on the planet: her photograph was even encased in a time capsule and sent into space. Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel: a skinny kid with the face of an angel who became an icon.

 StylishMarilyn Monroe After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early roles were minor, but as her career progressed, she became known as a major sex symbol and fashion icon. Marilyn Monroe never ceased to surprise people with her many photo shoot scandals. Even though she was a voluptuous woman, she never looked vulgar. In films, she deliberately had the stiletto heels of her shoes adjusted. One heel was made shorter than the other so that she swayed and sashayed as she walked. Her swaying hips helped make her appear more vulnerable, increasing her sexual appeal. Marilyn’s perfect natural hourglass body was perfect for the 1950s where womanly curves made for the desirable body image of the fashion era. 

Grace Kelly was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress and major fashion icon. She was the first to wear casual sportswear, simple Grace Kellywhite shirts, white-stone Capri pants, flat loafers, shirt dresses, safari wear, jeans, headscarves and turbans and make it instantly and effortlessly fashionable and glamorous. She understood that, to wear casual well, she had to have understated make-up, squeaky-clean, shiny hair and be flawlessly groomed.  The main lesson we can all learn from Grace Kelly, herself a former fashion model, is how to look ladylike: she made every single one of her outfits chic and classy. Unlike her blonde bombshell contemporaries (Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot), Kelly wasn’t overly sexual. In fact, while she was working as a model, one photographer complained she had “no oomph, no cheesecake”. Vogue called her “too wholesome to be mysterious”. But that’s what makes her such an icon: she was different than any other women of her time. Her look was clean, classic, and simple.

 Audrey Hepburn!Audrey Hepburn was an English/Dutch actress. This Brussels-born beauty is one of the biggest style icons of our time. Perhaps it was the elegance and wit she possessed, or that little black dress, diamonds and pearls, and white gloves in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” she made every woman want to have, or quite possibly a combination of both. Like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn kept it simple. She too loved clean lines and clothes that emphasized her tall and slim figure. Her physical attributes were very different from other actresses from her time, like Marilyn Monroe. She had a thin waist and was built like a ballerina. Her main fashion designer was Hubert Givenchy, who designed her wardrobe for films such as Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Charade, How to Steal a Million, and others. The thing about Audrey Hepburn was that she also gave back to the world. She was appointed goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  Grateful for her own good fortune after enduring the German occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations. Audrey Hepburn’s incredible style lives on in women all over the world. The simplicity, the men’s inspired clothing, and the femininity make its way in the collections of some of the most well known designers of our day. We try to resemble our favorite style icon through her films, her elegance and wit.

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