Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscars 2008 Trends

Yesterday was the 80th Annual Oscars. I noticed two trends that dramatically stood out. The colour red and mermaid style gowns.
The former supermodel and host of Television’s Project Runway, Heidi Klum, rocked the runway in a dramatic John Galliano gown.

Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy proved the colour trend for the night was red, the Emmy-winning actress brought back some old Hollywood glamour in this beautiful Escada gown.

Anne Hathaway looked fantastic on the Oscar red carpet in this stunning crimson draped one shoulder Marchesa gown and 10-carat Harry Winston diamond earrings.

Julie Christie looked not so good wearing this questionable crimson red dress. The worst part is how she accessorized with pink pumps and pink velvet gloves.

Helen Mirren seems to have been put on many people's worst dressed list this year. The dress was a custom-made Georges Chakra satin gown with Swarovski crystal sleeves.

Miley Ray Cyrus on the red carpet in red Valentino chiffon gown with bow detail and a bronze lizard clutch with Swarovski crystals by Mary Norton. She is wearing Sergio Rossi shoes.

This looks like it would be a hard dress to pull off but Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard took a fashion risk and maked it work. This mermaid gown by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Jennifer Garner looked glamorous in an Oscar de la Renta gown. Garner's black dress was truly over-the-top with a bottom that is resembled a flamenco-style skirt or a mermaid vibe.

Hilary Swank looked simply amazing in this dramatic one-shoulder mermaid Versace number.

Penelope Cruz wore a strapless, black, mermaid style gown. Sorry I do not know who it's by.

Amy Adams on the red carpet in Proenza Schuler.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Audrey Hepburn - Her Life Before Fame

I've recently been trying to see some of her films (although as of right now I have not really seen any). She is a style icon and seems to have led a very interesting life even before her fame. All this information is from Wikipedia.

Audrey Hepburn (May 4, 1929–January 20, 1993) was an Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning Anglo-Dutch film and stage actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian. In 1999, she was ranked as the third greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. She also served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work.

From 1935 to 1938, Hepburn attended a boarding school for girls in Kent. In 1935, her parents divorced and her father, a Nazi sympathizer, left the family. (Both parents were supposedly members of the British Union of Fascists in the mid-1930s and a follower of Adolf Hitler.) She later called her father's abandonment the most traumatic moment of her life. Years later, she located him in Dublin through the Red Cross. Although he remained emotionally detached, she stayed in contact with him and supported him financially until his death. In 1939, her mother moved her and her two half-brothers to their grandfather's home in Arnhem in the Netherlands. Audrey’s mother believed the Netherlands would be safe from German attack. Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945, where she trained in ballet along with the standard school curriculum. In 1940, the Germans invaded the Netherlands. By 1944, Hepburn had become a proficient ballerina. She secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance.
After the Allied landing on D-Day, living conditions grew worse. During the Dutch famine over the winter of 1944, the Germans confiscated the Dutch people's limited food and fuel supply for themselves. People starved and froze to death in the streets. Hepburn and many others resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuits. Arnhem was devastated by Allied artillery fire that was part of Operation Market Garden. Hepburn's uncle and her mother's cousin were shot in front of Hepburn for being part of the Resistance. Hepburn's half-brother Ian van Ufford spent time in a German labour camp. Suffering from malnutrition, Hepburn developed acute anemia, respiratory problems, and oedema (swelling of an organ to put it simply).
In 1991, Hepburn said "I have memories. More than once I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I remember, very sharply, one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, very blond, wearing a coat that was much too big for him, and he stepped on to the train. I was a child observing a child."
Hepburn also noted the similarities between herself and Anne Frank: "I was exactly the same age as Anne Frank. We were both ten when war broke out and fifteen when the war finished. I was given the book in Dutch, in galley form, in 1946 by a friend. I read it – and it destroyed me. It does this to many people when they first read it but I was not reading it as a book, as printed pages. This was my life. I didn't know what I was going to read. I've never been the same again, it affected me so deeply."
"We saw young men put against the wall and shot and they'd close the street and then open it and you could pass by again. If you read the diary, I've marked one place where she says 'five hostages shot today'. That was the day my uncle was shot. And in this child's words I was reading about what was inside me and is still there. This child who was locked up in four walls had written a full report of everything I'd experienced and felt." These times were not all bad and she was able to enjoy some of her childhood. One way in which Audrey Hepburn passed the time was by drawing. Some of her childhood artwork can be seen today.
When the country was liberated, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration trucks followed. Hepburn said in an interview she ate an entire can of condensed milk and then got sick from one of her first relief meals because she put too much sugar in her oatmeal. This experience is what led her to become involved in UNICEF later in life.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystal was first created when Daniel Swarovski invented an automatic cutting machine in 1892. In 1895 the Swarovski company was founded when he established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens. Here he could take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes he had patented.
Swarovski crystal contains approximately 32% lead to maximize refraction. The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor and chandeliers. They also sell beads and rhinestones, encouraging other manufacturers, artists and consumers to create their own designs.

In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range.

Sparkling products that are labelled 'Made with CRYSTALLIZEDTM - Swarovski Elements' guarantee the originality of Swarovski crystals used in creations of international fashion houses and designers.

Thank you Wikipedia for information on Swarovski (I heart wikipedia).

Linea-Pro’s Swarovski Crystal Encrusted flat iron Price tag $600. Seriously this is so over the top I can't put it into words.

There are so many things that don't need to have these crystals all over them. Here are more items with Swarovski crystals:

Swarovski crystal dog collar, $250
As my brother put it "now Fido can be bling blinged".

Someone spent one year covering their Hello Kitty bike in Swarovski crystals. Literally thousands of dollars were spent and it has approximately 50,000 crystals on it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

1920's Women's Fashion

The picture below is one I recently came across of my great grandparents and two friends. It inspired me to write a little about women's fashion in the 1920s. My great grandmother is the woman in the hat and my great grandfather is the man on the right.

When we think of the 1920s we think of the “roaring 20s”. Strongly independent women were dubbed "flappers". The flappers had a lifestyle like no one had seen much of before the 1920s. In actuality flappers did not truly emerge until 1926. A fashionable flapper in the 20’s had short sleek hair (like the bob), a shorter than average shapeless shift dress (dubbed the flapper dress by many), a chest as flat as a board, wore make up and applied it in public, smoked with a long cigarette holder, exposed her limbs and epitomised the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away in the Jazz Age. In fact, the slender flat-chested, tanned body and face of a 15 year old became the desired silhouette of the bright young things of the 20s. Big busted girls turned to bandaging their breasts flat, but many adopted the Symington Side Lacer, a bra that could be laced at both sides and pulled and pulled in to flatten the chest.

Picture above is of actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford wearing fashions of the early 1920s.

Actress Alice Joyce in a straight evening gown with a sheer beaded overdress, 1926.
Pictures (excluding the one of my grandparents) thanks to Wikipedia.
Most of the information thanks to

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dear by Amanda Bynes

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It was around May (2007) when Steve & Barry’s announced that Amanda Bynes would be designing a line for them. The fashion line was named ‘dear’ and hit stores that August. It has now been a few months and some good hype about it so I will be featuring it in this month’s column.

I think that Amanda has always had great style but she wasn’t overly known for being a fashion icon. I was excited to see what the items would look like and I wasn’t disappointed when I did.

Amanda Bynes describes her line as “Fashionable, affordable and fun… (It’s targeted) at girls in school and then girls in college.”

For anyone who can get their hands on pieces from the line I must point out that every piece in the line is priced at $19.98 or less. Alright, so what’s the catch with a line that has nothing over $20 (U.S.)? I honestly do not know since I live in Canada (the line is only sold in America unfortunately). The press releases say it’s a high quality line but sold at low prices. How? “Steve & Barry's has revolutionized retailing by eliminating costs from every aspect of the business, including marketing, production, store operations and corporate expenses. For example, the company relies on word of mouth marketing vs. traditional advertising, analyzes the smallest details such as how to pack a truck to the most efficient ways possible, sources in non-traditional regions of the world, and eliminates luxuries other businesses take for granted.

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More information about the Dear, or to see more outfits, go to the official sites: