Archive for February, 2009
Friday, February 27th, 2009
The media has had a field day with the new First Lady’s wardrobe choices lately. She has appeared bare-armed on three separate occasions this week. First in an emerald, tea-length dress she wore to present the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize to Stevie Wonder.Then again on the cover of People Magazine in a sleeveless magenta Tracy Reese frock. Then on Tuesday night, it happened, perhaps the most controversial showing of her biceps at the President’s first congressional address. She wore a plum Narciso Rodriguez dress…sans sleeves and ignited the fury that has been deemed, Lady Obama’s right to bear arms.
“While her sleeveless dress trend is definitely a talking point, she’s always very conservative in other ways. The dresses are often cut below the knee, and it’s not a deep, plunging neckline,” says Glamour.com’s senior fashion editor, Susan Cernek. “She’s balancing out the expanse of skin on her arms by not showing too much elsewhere. That’s what makes her look very appropriate.”
While our new first lady has been hailed as the most fashionable first lady since Jackie O, some think she is taking her fashion sense too far. Going sleeveless in Congress, during WInter, is next to tawdriness according to some Chicago Tribune readers.
“Does the lady not understand that these Big Speech Events are serious and important? Not a cocktail party?” e-mailed one Tribune reader, who said she scanned the crowd for other bare arms and spied none. “The season is winter. The occasion is business. Dress was wrong place and time.”
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
I honestly had not heard much about the Oscar winning film until it’s ten nominations from the Academy. In the weeks preceeding the Academy Awards Show, there was much to do about the film and its cast, the Slumdog Millionaire kids were all over the media. And now that they have walked the red carpet and the film has taken home eight Academy Awards, those kids are becoming increasingly more intriguing. So, who are they? How did they reach super-stardom?
Actor Dev Patel plays the lead role of Jamal Malik; the stages of life for Jamal are played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (Young Jamal) and Tanay Hemant Chheda (Middle Jamal). Madhur Mittal plays the part of Salim; the stages of his life are played by Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail Sheikh (Young Salim) and Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala (Middle Salim). Freida Pinto plays Latika; the childhood stages are played by Rubina Ali (Young Latika) and Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar (Middle Latika)
The poorest of the castmates, Azharuddin Ismail, 10, and Rubina Ali, eight, currently live in appalling conditions in one of Mumbai’s most squalid areas. Azharuddin lives with his mother, who is blind in one eye, and his father, a tuberculosis-sufferer, by the side of a bustling road in a lean-to of tarpaulin sheets because they cannot afford a house. Rubina lives in a one-room bubble-gum pink tin shack next to train tracks, with an open sewer running past her door. It is estimated that about 65 million Indians, roughly a quarter of the urban population, live in slums.
The two youngest Slumdog stars were plucked straight from the slums. Casting agents discovered Rubina and Azharuddin in the ghastly Garib Nagar slum and cast them to star in the film’s opening scenes. The children were paid for 30 days of acting work, the families were given a small monthly stipend and trust funds were set up for Rubina and Azhar to access once they graduate. The children’s families have also been given a “flat” by the Mumbai Housing Authority. It is a chance to get out of the slums and into a real house.
“These two children have brought laurels to the country,” said Gautam Chatterjee, head of Mumbai’s housing authority.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
This latest episode in the saga of Octofamily includes a week full of interviews with nearly everyone involved. The publicity blitz began with a would-be father of the fourteen Suleman children. Who, on Monday told Good Morning America that he wants a paternity test to prove he is the sperm donor for all the children. Denis Beaudoin claims that during his three-year relationship with Nadya he donated sperm on three separate occasions for her. Though Octomom denies any truth to the claim, she has agreed to a paternity test. And get this, Beaudoin says he will support the children even if they are not his! That is music to the taxpayers’ ear!
Tuesday brought an interview from RadarOnline in which Nadya and her mother, Angela Suleman face off on the issues concerning the octuplets and her other six children. Octomom’s mother says Nadya should have thought of her other six children before undergoing in vitro fertilization again. The tension between the two overflowed when Grandma stated that Nadya had other options for the children, like adoption. Nadya was visibly enraged by the comments.
Octogramps got in on the interview action too when he gushed to Oprah about his daughter’s condition during her very first interview with NBC. Ed Doud told Oprah that Nadya was under duress before giving an interview to NBC and should have been given time to recover from giving birth to octuplets.
“They took her out of the hospital by midnight to a secret location,” he told Winfrey, “They did not even give her a chance to rest, to sleep, where she’s still under medication and not feeling well. They bombard her with all these cameras, I am not saying that they kidnapped her. What I am saying is that they absolutely should have given her a little time until she heals at least and not be under so much medication.”
He says that he plans to help his daughter and ex-wife raise the fourteen children.
Today, Nadya faced Dr. Phil in a “straight-talk” interview with she and her mother. The good doctor told NBC correspondent Julie Chen that he feels the impact of what’s happened is only now beginning to hit Nadya. Suleman insisted to McGraw that she only wanted one more child, not eight.
“I wanted one. One,” she told McGraw.
“You wanted one,” he repeated. “You did not anticipate…”
“Never,” she interrupted.
It is reported that the Dr. Phil Show paid over $1.2 million for the interview. By now the mother of fourteen should have certainly made enough dough off these interviews to get the kids through grade school. Give it a rest already. We are all so sick of the Octodrama.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
The finale of ABC’s True Beauty hailed a gracious Julia Anderson in a gorgeous black gown by designer Tony Bowls. The halter gown, with rhinestone and swarovski crystal encrusted bandeau waistline, was designed especially for last night’s finale event.
The rookie reality show brought in ten narcissistic contestants to test their inner beauty, hence the clever title, True Beauty. After weeks of beauty trials and tribulation, a Texan takes home the trophy. Dallas native, Julia Anderson, is a former pageant winner who earned the titles of Miss Teen Texas in 2002 and Miss Grapevine in 2008. Julia’s bio on the show’s website reads:
Julia is part American Indian and loves to take care of herself inside and out. She finds that while her tan comes easy, she must get eyelash extensions every two weeks. Julia has just the right answer for every question and while she admits to being a hypocrite at times, she insists it is a quality not a weakness. Julia is a very good manipulator and should not to be underestimated. She is convinced that America will love her.
Julia’s tan definitely dazzled in the stunning creation by Tony Bowls, who designs evening wear for Mon Cheri Bridals. The idea for the gown was taken from an existing style in the Tony Bowls Collection. It was completely re-vamped for a more couture look. You can view all the Tony Bowls gown galleries on our website, www.cbslimited.com.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
The 81st annual Academy Awards drew a star-studded crowd to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood last night. There was an unmistakable trend toward white and ivory hues. Among the dazzling white-washers, Taraji Henson, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei and Penelope Cruz.
Never one to follow the crowd, Angelina Jolie shows off her post-delivery-of-twins figure in a classic black sweetheart-neck gown by Elie Saab, with emerald jewels to accent. Hollywood’s golden couple looked retro with hubby Brad Pitt in his classic black bow tie. Also in black was Kate Winslet, taking home the oscar for Best Actress in a gorgeous YSL Atelier gown.
It was shiny metallics for Jennifer Aniston, Tina Fey and Anne Hathaway. All three were shimmering and gorgeous on the red carpet.
Young silver screen starlet and singing sensation Mylie Cyrus topped the best dressed list in her Zuhair Murad gown. “She looked old Hollywood,” observed Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor at large for Glamour magazine. “It looked like something from the ’40s — and it was on the youngest person there.”
Providing a punch of color, Natalie Portman in a pink Rodarte pleated gown, Amy Adams in a stunning in a crimson silk frock and Freida Pinto, star of the much-nominated Slumdog Millionaire, in a cobalt sari-inspired John Galliano gown.
In a dress fit for a winner, Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Christina Barcelona, Penelope Cruz sported a romantically vintage gown by Pierre Balmain, full of sheer touches. Sex and The City’s Sarah Jessica Parker looked like a princess in her barely mint colored Dior Haute Couture gown. Donning jewels from Fred Leighton, the 43-year-old actress teamed up with Daniel Craig to present Oscars to Best Art Direction and Costume Design.
Making the worst-dressed list this year is model/reality show host Heidi Klum, who was a little less than ravishing in a spacey red gown by Roland Mouret. Come on Heidi, you critique designers on Project Runway, we expected much more! Also not meeting our expectations was Beyonce; the singer is usually a knock-out on the red carpet. Her black and gold foil mermaid gown, though extremely figure-flattering, was reminiscent of grandmother’s drapes.
With awards season coming to a close, so does the season for endless red-carpet critiques. For a while, anyway.
Friday, February 20th, 2009
No, the beautiful spawn of the late Heath Ledger has not engaged in an acting career of her own. But she will inherit the coveted award if her Oscar-nominated father proves to be the winner on Sunday night.
Heath is nominated for best supporting actor for his larger-than-life role as The Joker in The Dark Knight. The nomination came one year after his death. His only child, a daughter, Matilda will retain ownership of the Oscar when she reaches the age of eighteen.
If the award goes to Ledger for his performance in the latest Batman movie, it will only be the second time that an Oscar has been awarded to an actor who is deceased.
Heath’s father, Kim Ledger is expected to make the acceptance speech if the award is given to his son.
Thursday, February 19th, 2009
The failing housing market has not only affected middle class Americans, celebs too have struggled to stay afloat. Star Search host Ed McMahon’s mansion faced foreclosure last Summer when his lender reported that the 82-year-old was more than $600,000 behind on payments. McMahon’s 6.25 million dollar Beverly Hills pad has been on the real estate market for about two years. With his close proximity to pop super star Britney Spears, the home has proved a hard sale due to the ever-present paparazzi.
Also falling victim to the housing depression are Sports icon Jose Conseco and football star Micheal Vick. Conseco lost his Encino home earlier last year. Court documents show that the baseballer owed over $2.5 million on his 7,300 square foot house. The Los Angeles Times reported that Conseco was the first celeb to publicly admit that he is a statistic of the U.S. housing crisis. Though its not a foreclosure yet, NFL great Micheal Vick’s infamous dogfighting compound failed to sale (surprise) at an auction in late 2007. The fifteen acre property in rural Virginia was expected to go for close to $1 million, but the highest bidder only had $747,000 to offer.
The award for most staggering debt goes to Michael Jackson, who owed somewhere between $23 and $300 million when his Neverland Ranch was foreclosed on. In the Spring of 2008, Jacko’s lender Financial Title Company warned him of the impending auction of his home. He needed to pay off the $24,525,906.00 debt to avoid the repo.
Perhaps the most shocking member of the foreclosure club is that of the Queen of Soul and inaugural sweetheart Aretha Franklin, who overlooked a mere $445 in her 2005 taxes and, four years later, found herself owing the IRS $20,000. The songstress refused an offer from PETA to save her 700,000 Detroit mansion.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
The old guy that made up a love story about his time in a Nazi concentration camp spoke out this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). The story, made popular by the Oprah Show, begins with Herman Rosenblat who was imprisoned by German Nazis during the Holocaust. He claims that he was greeted daily by a young lady at the fence of the camp who would bring him apples to eat. Miraculously (or so it seemed) he meet up with her again 12 years later on a blind date. Once Rosenblat realized she was the young girl who had offered him apples and hope so long ago, he proposed on the spot. Seems like an incredible story right? Turns out it was INcredible and completely untrue.
Herman was a prisoner of Nazi Germany as a boy and he did marry a sweetheart of a lady, Roma. But, that is about as far as the truth of this fairytale extends. The rest…a ficitional daydream. He and his wife appeared twice on Oprah to tell their tall tale. A lucritive book deal and movie proposal were also in the works when the truth emerged. The Rosenblats have been telling the lie for over a decade and this morning on GMA, Herman defended his actions, saying that he made up the story to give people hope and understanding about the Holocaust.
“It was not a lie, it was my imagination. In my imagination, in my mind, I believed it. Even now, I believe it.”
Scholars who have extensively researched the Holocaust era uncovered some inconsistencies in the Rosenblat story. Prisoners of the camps were not allowed any where near the fences, so his daily encounter with the girl by the fence is not feasible. Also, it was discovered that Roma’s family lived over two hundred miles away during the time that Herman was imprisoned.
Rosenblat’s son knew his father was living the lie and tried to talk some sense into him. He says his father was motivated by the possibility of some financial recourse from the story. He also says that since learning of his parents’ misleading history , his father is someone he doesn’t even know. Herman Rosenblat says that given the opportunity, he would tell the story (LIE) all over again.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Less than a week ago, Maya Arulpragasam (MIA) gave birth to a baby boy after pre-labor contractions followed her on-stage performance at the Grammy Awards. A very pregnant MIA belted out her hit, Paper Planes for a live audience. Oscar organizers were so taken by her routine, they are desperate to have her sing at this week’s award show. Guess they liked her bumble-bee-esque showing at the Grammys.
The rapper is slated to perform her Oscar-nominated song from Slumdog Millionaire. She reportedly wants to fulfill her commitment and is open to some of the ideas derived to help her overcome the physical limitations associated with giving birth such a short time ago. One of which includes her in a bed, on stage! Other options include a hologram of the rapper.
“She’s eager to perform … we’ve said things like ‘we’re willing to have her enter on a large bed,’” Oscars producer Laurence Mark is reported to have told the WENN network. “We’ll make it as easy for her as we can.”
MIA is nominated in the best original song category for her collaboration with AR Rahman on O Saya, a song featured on the soundtrack for the also Oscar-nominated film, Slumdog Millionaire. I hope she finds a way to balance mommydom and the Oscars, but I hope this time, her stylist is not inebriated when choosing her costume.
Monday, February 16th, 2009
Jumpsuit? Images of John Travolta on the dance floor in a spandex one-piece fill the brain. Or even worse, images of a greasy car mechanic in coveralls. Zippered jumpsuits became popular among men and women in the 1970’s; from stretch to silk, the outfit was an all-in-one! Talk about an easy ensemble! The jumpsuits that premiered on the runway at New York’s Fashion Week are far from the suits of the disco days.
These jumpsuits are cut low, hemmed short (and we mean short!), and fashioned from printed fabrics. Today’s version of the iconic jumpsuit is not a body-stocking, it is baggy and accessorized with belts and such. One-piece short suits, also known as rompers (yeah, like the type toddlers wear), are a casual look for Spring and will likely carry over into Summer. Designers also proved that the jumpsuit can be sophisticated, showcasing dressed up numbers in satin and charmeuse fabrics.
The jumpsuit is for the trendsetter and is sure to make a statement. Lets be practical though, who wants to get completely undressed to go to the bathroom? Can you imagine getting the urge to go and having to unzip or unbutton this get-up only to have it fall to your ankles on the floor? Think it through before sucombing to the trend.