Lots of Color and Bad Spelling: The 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Allison Janey 2018 Screen Actors Guild AwardBlack ruled the 2018 Golden Globes Awards couture this year, but color was back for the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards that just past. It’s not that anyone is giving up on fighting for and making statements about sexual misconduct, but by all accounts the big Hollywood award event that happened just this Sunday saw celebs bringing out the brightest and most dazzling reds, pinks and even metallic.

Connie Britton sported a pink sequined Elisabetta Franchi dress that hugged her tight. Both Nicole Kidman and Allison Janey also went slinky skinny dresses seemingly pasted on to their equally slinky skinny frames, with sequins too.

Kate Hudson was dressed in a pink Valentino sporting black hearts-pretty much giving a polka-dot effect. She accessorized with a big bow around her middle.

Host Kristen Bell sported bright color-magenta-in her strapless J. Mendel. The dress sported beaded red flowers as well.

Chris Sullivan, representing some male haute couture for the show, came in a loud tiny-checkered jacket, with mismatched lens to his eye glasses.

Jackie Cruz flocked forward in purple ombre feathers making up the poofy skirt of her Rami Kadi, while Alison Brie went in the other direction. She not only sported bright red, but her skin-tight Dundas dress revealed bare shoulder, lots of leg, and cut-outs up her side.

All this colorful Hollywood haute couture aside, the biggest news of the night still igniting the Twitter sphere actually was a misspelling. It seems there was a major mistake when Dame Judi Dench was announced in the outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role category for her turn at playing Queen Victoria in the movie “Victoria & Abdul.” The SAG award card flashed to the audience for the nomination read: Dame Judi Dench was nominated for Leading Roll.

There are somethings that even the best and most colorful fashion cannot beat.


Playing With Facts-American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

acs-versace-mainAs one has to expect, the fictionalization of a true event is often quite more lurid, sexy and downright sensationalized than what happened. Even if that event is the shooting of Gianni Versace as revealed across the new FX mini-series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Silent long camera shots, and pans  across an ornate Italian villa located in Miami, unique wan-colored properties of southern Florida, and lots of skin of both men and women, are what were shown on the premier episode of the show. But also Wednesday night’s retelling made it seem that tourists got close enough to the crime scene of Versace’s house to take away some grisly souvenirs and that basically Ocean Blvd was a chaotic scene seen by many. And a flame licked coffin is sure to have been included for a certain visual flair.

Lest we forget, some of the team here is responsible for American Horror Story. Capturing chilling images are their stock and trade. But facts are facts, and lots of what we see across this premier episode were embellishments, to be sure..

What does work spot-on though are the performances. Penélope Cruz began what might turn out to be quite the star turn, portraying Donatella Versace at the end of the first episode. We see the reemergence of Ricky Martin to public viewing, as he plays Gianni Versace’s long-time partner Antonio D’Amico. And there are the absolute star turns of Darren Criss recreating the chilling serial killer Andrew Cunanan and on the other side of the equation, Édgar Ramírez, nailing Gianni Versace.

Will American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, ‘have legs’ as they say? Will it rate up there, or garner as many Emmy nominations as this production houses’ The People v. O.J. Simpson (or those American Horror Stories)? Who knows? The Versace killing was certainly a news-making event and the talent is here to bring the story off beautifully.

Even if the facts, are at times, pushed a little far.

Men’s Trends At Milan Fashion Week

milanSize shaming, nude dresses and who is wearing what; these are just some of the many present concerns in the female fashion world. With Milan Fashion Week just over, maybe we can concentrate on what seems to be happening in men’s moda currently.

As with London and Florence, concern in men’s fashion still seems to be on outdoor couture. The main accessory here was footwear. Be it MSGM hiking sneakers, DSquared2’s cowboy boots, to Emporio Armani’s walking boots, lots of designer’s emphasis was getting the guys out and about.

Prada Miuccia was just as concerned, sending their models out in stain/fluid free nylon bags and belts, while Tod’s and Versace outfitted their models with backpacks.

Keeping the men warm in their outerwear, it seems it wasn’t latex (as we always hope) but corduroy this year that lead the coat and pant charge. Miuccia Prada, MSGM, Pal Zileri, and Gucci all contributed duds in corduroy down the runway this year.

Lastly it seems men have no problem wearing it, and wearing it loud and proud. Prada showed off its triangle pretty much across all its pieces. Fendi clothes showed the brand’s “zucca” F logo, while we all know which clothes were Dolce & Gabbana, by their noticeable embroidery.

Gorgio Armianis “MEN” show brought back full high classic elegence in men’s couture, a sure centerpiece of the week as well as show sensibility. Adding to this, by all accounts Milan saw, what fashionistas are calling, ‘the return of the tie,’ in couture presented there this year.

There was also a color trend popping up in Milan, as well as it had already begun at New York Fashion Week. But this was relegated to off-runway styles, street fashion actually, which seems to be a new trend photographers and fashion insiders are as much blogging about as the runway shows. Orange might be the new black, but it is also the seeming bright color of choice for those attending fashion week…men and women both.

The Musical Moda World Of Kenzo’s “Yo! My Saint”

Yo! My SaintMusic and fashion; modern-day bedfellows. Bands are featured on the yearly Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show broadcast and there are plenty of musicians leading their own fashion branding. This is a marriage we have talked about before and will probably always be exposing. But for 2018, it seems Kenzo has taken the music and moda connection even further in their just released “Yo! My Saint” film.

The French fashion house has certainly been here before. Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created an award-winning music video with director Spike Jonze, and have used full drum lines at their runway shows. “Yo! My Saint,” is another in their line of annual clips that exploit the full use of modern music and rich visuals to sell Kenzo’s brand.

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs provides the original music in this near eight-minute fashion music video directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Starring Alex Zhang Hungtai, Jessica Henwick and Kiko Mizuhara, the set at the beginning of the clip is a fashion shoot. It’s a laconic presentation with our all-Asian cast as a photographer laments his love for the model who lays sprawled under his camera (at least at first).

The tune turns into a pumping duet with the lady chiming in with her feelings…as we see her in a quick change of couture. By midway we are out of the photography studio, in a karaoke lounge actually, where the duet continues. The colors as rich as Karen O’s plaintive tune, lots of pinks, purples come at us in an almost cartoonish rendering. There are even long silences when the music stops as photographer and model keep their distance in some very arresting visual ways.

Karen O’s song just dropped this week, with a limited-edition vinyl of the song available also from Kenzo at the end of the month. See “Yo! My Saint” here.

Fashion Solidarity At The 2018 Golden Globes, But Winona Steals The Show

Winona L'OrealWas it one of the better runway fashion displays because of the actual fashions or because of a cause? This is what one needs consider about the couture we saw for The 2018 Golden Globes. In a move to show solidarity against sexual harassment, most women attending the Hollywood awards show held this past Sunday night came dressed in black. Good for them. But can fashionistas and style critics step back for an honest assessment of the dresses-as they always do post these types of events-in the face of a movement in full bloom?

The only way to confront this honestly is to simply look at who was wearing what and how well they wore it.

Mandy Moore stepped out regally in a Rosie Assoulin, with no sleeves but a bright red belt accenting the long gown. Margot Robbie, star of I, Tonya rocked a Gucci with a plunging open neck and a sparkling design down the skirt’s front. Issa Rae managed to flash her chest as well as lots of one leg out the slit of her Atelier Prabal Gurung tunic gown; she accessorized with a Lorraine Schwartz necklace. Viola Davis looked elegant in a long black sleeveless gown and accessorized herself with Harry Winston. Diane Kruger wore a crisscrossing front, various shades of black, Prada. And Blanca Blanco went in stunning red, bucking the trend. All of this full fashion style and statement, in red, black or whatever, proved you can look great in any color really.

Maybe though the best ‘appearance’ of the night, as strong a show of femininity as any other, was the Twitter-alighting Winona Ryder L’Oreal hair commercial (see here) that ran during the G.G.’s. The one minute clips showed an actress whose face is not revealed until the very last seconds of the commercial, prepping back stage, playing occasionally with her long dark locks, a stirring string accompaniment swirling around the scene. This is sure to get L’Oreal’s Elvive line lots of press, Winona furthering her comeback from Stranger Things and us all consider fashion and statements.


Suzanne Somers Takes The First Shot Across The Moda Bow For 2018

Suzanne SomersWho would have thought that a 71-year-old-actress, best known for her starring TV role over three decades ago, would make such a fashion statement? But it seems that Suzanne Somers has indeed made the first significant moda news of 2018. Just three days into the New Year, the ex-Three’s Company blonde bombshell was caught stepping out in a Balmain mini and the blog o’sphere is reacting.

Interestingly enough Ms. Somers wore the exact same dress, with the exact same shoes, two years ago. She her matched her look with a monogrammed clutch and diamond bracelet (those shoes were pointed and metallic gold). Mariah Carey, who by all accounts redeemed herself on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve this year, sported the same dress (with different shoes and accessories) back in 2016 as well.

The Balmain in question here is a long sleeve mini, made of a metallic tiger print. Somers wore it for her 2018 star turn here at the 29th Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. The Cadillac-sponsored event is the first major awards show of the year.

Somers has published countless self-help and nutrition books, is an advocate of alternative cancer treatments and was the infamous celebrity spokesperson for the “Thighmaster” exerciser. It seems the lady’s dieting and working-out regime is working, as by all accounts she cut a stunning figure two nights ago and everyone is talking about how she rocked that Balmain.

One never knows who will break with the first real moda news of the New Year. And calling Somers out as the lead-off fashion bright spot of 2018 is of course a subjective call. But seeing what (and how young) her competition is and how quickly that competition uses Instagram and Twitter these days, Suzanne Somers making news like this, is heartening for anyone over 30.

Older sexy stars never really die, they just dress better and better it seems these days.

The Biggest Fashion Trend For 2018

Ashley GrahamWith women size 14 and up occupying nearly 70% of buying power in the US-and their market consumption up to 20 billion-many a designer jumped on making clothes for this demographic last year. Bigger might actually be best when it comes to the most important fashion trend coming upon us lately.

Though he wasn’t making latex, he was leather, but very soon Jeff Cafone realized he was seeing more plus-sized ladies ordering his jackets. Now bigger gals are part and parcel (larger parcels certainly) of his All67 label, as he makes plus-sized leather jacket exclusively.

Spearheaded by net star bloggers Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg, their Premme label is selling to ladies size 12-30. Here there is less haute couture though and more color and wild style designs, from velvet pants to glittery pink.

These two women are obviously having a very good time indeed.

Who says that string bikinis are only for women of a certain body type? In the last year the Curvy Beach label showed the world that plus-size sexy suits are certainly sellable. In fact, the models for the brand are embarking on a “Curvy Beach Babes” meet-and-greet tour round the US. And talking about plus-sized models, has anyone, big, small, tall, thin, plus-sized-ever had made such an impact as Ashley Graham? Into everything and posing across every magazine and video imaginable, the lady is simply a super model, no longer just a plus-sized one.

Not that we might see plus-sized women strutting across a Victoria’s Secret show anytime soon (we do need to take baby steps here after all) but there were plenty of sexy wear and lingerie ads along with swimsuits showing larger-sized ladies in 2017. The trend will no doubt continue as one of the most popular in the world of fashion alongside digital rendering and 3D imaging.

Here comes 2018.

It Really Is A Dog’s Life For Katy Perry

Samantha Bolton-Katy PerryKaty Perry is certainly one of those stars who seems to like to give back to her fans. She is also on the forefront of pop couture and alternate stage costuming. And her loyal following as much realize that Ms. Perry is in for a penny-in-for-a-pound for them, as much as she does love her outfits.

And also, they all realize that Katy Perry loves her dog Nugget to the extreme.

In the case of “Katycat” Katy Perry super-fan Samantha Bolton, she not only caught up with her idol at a few concerts, made a Katy inspired-outfit (which she showed Katy Perry at a meet-and-greet) but has been pursuing her designer ambitions through her interaction with the pop diva. When Bolton got the chance to show Katy Perry her latest outfit, made of 3,ooo rhinestones, sporting eyeballs and lips which were inspired by K.P’s own video designs, the singer flipped. Katy grabbed Bolton’s cell phone, snapped pics and video and posted it all up on Snapchat at that backstage moment. It was an instance budding designer Bolton used well to her advantage…good for her.

Katy Perry also made mention that she would love one of Bolton’s designs for her dog, Nugget.

Just this week Bolton had her custom doggy sweater, made exclusively for Nugget, delivered to Katy backstage. It took about six hours for Bolton to create the dog’s duds, which were laced with crystals and spelled out Nugget’s name across its back.

There are many ways to meet our idols and seemingly just as many ways into their hearts. Samantha Bolton has taken her skills, her chutzpah and her love of all that Katy Perry represents in her life to pursue her moda goals.

Bolton is working on a “Witness” outfit-for a human this time-in celebration of Katy Perry’s current tour of the same name.


Vanity Fair’s Best Fashion and Culture Photography for 2017

vanity fair twitter logoIf we can trust anyone with a rundown of the Best Fashion and Culture Photography for 2017 it would be Vanity Fair. They just released their Year-In-Photographs and their monthly breakdown would pretty much be our highlights as well.

Jennifer Lawrence graced the magazine early in the year. In form-fitting couture, whether in a shimmery silver dress or a shorter knit, the Winter’s Bone, Joy, actress looked every bit the star in photo’s shot by Peter Lindberg.

Hunky Chris Pratt made February his own leaning against a race car in the middle of a dirt track. Brian Chesky, shot by Art Streiber, was in casual mode, leaning large as well, but against a big suburban trailer.

There was an infamous HOLLYWOOD photo collection this year, showing lots of A-list actresses. One big spread featured Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Greta Gerwig, and Janelle Monáe, among others. The ladies wore classic gowns of various color and style, in a shot made by Annie Leibovitz, and styled by Jesse Diehl. This was a picture heard round the world when it first appeared.

In May in the mag, Inez and Vinoodh shot Brie Larson outside and in grand anticipation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, once again the magazine enlisted Annie Leibovitz. She shot Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaa, John Boyega, and Kelly Marie Tran in their costumes.

Coming to the end of the year the magazine featured Angelina Jolie. It also had a stab at the ‘Markle Effect’ showcasing royal-to-be Meghan Markle. Jaden Smith made it in as did super couple (at least at the time) Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. They brought up December.

And, oh yes, there was the requisite picture of a pregnant actress-Natalia Portman this time-showing her belly.

See the actual pictures here. They are definitely worth your time to check out.

What Are The Top Fashion Stories of 2017?

voletta-wallaceA year-end accounting of the top fashion stories of 2017 has to be a subjective round-up at best. But as lifestyle fashionistas we are unlike others in the moda world, from haute couture designers to causal followers of fashion, in what blips across our radar. What is most important to us, the events, styles, controversies that make other lists for the year, might not even garner a notice round here at Von Gutenberg.

Prompted by this Fashionista blog of what was most important round their way for 2017, we as much can acknowledge some of the typical top stories as find some of our own.

It was big doings, at least in some fashion circles, that Altuzarra, Proenza Schoulder, Rodarte, Thom Browne and Monique Lhuillier left New York Fashion Week for Paris this year…though Rihanna’s Fenty Puma did the reverse. What’s more interesting to us though, is generally what has been happening at the various fashion ‘weeks’ globally. Reported lower attendance, sponsors backing out, as well as designers and a wholesale questioning value of these big shows seems to be important considerations maybe even over what Fashionista mentions.

In another seeming sign-of-the-times, some well-funded fashion publications and websites closed this year. Magazines like “Nylon” and “Teen Vogue,” and Conde’ Nast’s E-Commerce site Style.com, all went belly-up in 2017. When you publish a magazine and run a website in the fashion space, these occurrences make you stand up and take notice, to be sure.

Not that any of us would be surprised by their continued global domination but the Jenner/Kardashian ladies saw 17 new launches in 2017. Again, Fashionista recognizes the womens’ continued successes, but we note more a huge faux pas Kylie and Kendall managed. The sisters superimposed their mugs and logo across images of Tupac and Biggie sSmalls (and other music notables) across a new T-shirt line. Of course the young business moguls never thought to seek permission to use the copyrighted images. In a world where culture and fashion images are so important to us, this was one of the biggest fashion-related stories of the year, as far as we are concerned.

What’s coming for 2018….?