Ashley Graham on the cover of Vogue Is Just Wrong, Say Critics

Ashley GrahamFalling well into the “social-media- addicts-nitpick-cause-they-can” category, there came a backlash this week over how Ashley Graham is posing on the cover of Vogue’s March issue. Standing alongside six other super models, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, Graham is being called-out as being the only lady in the picture to have her hand covering her thigh. Instagram body sleuths are saying the larger-figured super model purposely put her hand that way (the rest of the ladies have their arms bent and horizontal as they stand chest to back in a line) because she is standing next to smaller-sized ladies. There has even been accusations leveled from sartorial spies that Vogue might have even photo shopped Hadid’s arm so it extends over Graham’s stomach.

This is Graham’s first Vogue cover-albeit with other women-and as much as she has been criticized before for photo shopped pics, it seems whenever this particular popular model shows her classic curves she is sure to see criticism. But Ashley assures us all in online comments about all this that: “I chose to pose like that…no one told me to do anything.”

It truly makes one wonder that if those of us in the moda world or even slightly interested fashionistas really have nothing better to do with their time. This kind of trumped up (not a Trump) controversy doesn’t even fall into the classic “small world vs big world” conundrum…all this brouhaha seems to be about really nothing at all. Yes, there is photo shopping done at every step of the modern fashion picture taking process, Ashley Graham is a bigger women in a typically smaller-woman game but people on the web really can’t seem to stop talking.

More photos were released via Instagram showing Graham and the others frolicking on the beach where the cover photo was shot. The ladies didn’t seem to be courting any controversy between themselves.

Zoolander 2 Is Certainly Making Fun Of Fashion…and Fashion Seems To Love It

vogue_zoolander-s-ben-stiller-and-owen-wilson-with-anna-wintour-at-valentinoIt’s ok to be angry with the current political machine like Donald Trump seems to be (and is getting lots of mileage from), as much as it is fine to make fun of fashion. But take a parody, poking fun even further (and lots of people say The Donald has taken it too far) we get Ben Stiller as his super model alter ego Derek Zoolander on the cover of Vogue’s February issue.

We might all recall the first “Zoolander 2” shot across the bow when Stiller-as-Zoolander with his foil Hansel (played by Owen Wilson) closed the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week in March (see this video of the pair backstage at the show). Now another direct hit to fashionistas, this new Vogue cover reveals once again that the mode world seems to indeed have a sense of humor. As the promotion over “Zoolander 2″ amps up, one wonders just where else in the fashion world Derek and Hansel might end up…and God, please let them show up again!

Stiller poses with Penelope Cruz (also in the movie) in an Annie Leibovitz-shot cover. Also included in the new film, Kristen Wig, Benedict Cumberbatch (as a hilarious non-gender specific model) and Justin Bieber as…Justin Bieber. Marc Jacobs also makes an appearance as himself.

It’s been a decade and half since we last saw the infamous Blue Steel, Le Tigre and Magnum poses, chuckled to the silliness of Stiller’s creation. Really, who knows how the second Zoolander will hit with an audience that hasn’t seen Stiller and Wilson in these roles in quite a while (and some who have never seen them in them) and in a world where the selfie and Instagram makes Zoolander’s myopic self-involvement seem quaint. But at the very least we have learned how ready and willing the movers and shakers in haute couture are willing to make fun of themselves.

And this is a good thing indeed. Zoolander 2 opens February 12th.

Solange Knowles’ Wedding Is Very Vogue

1416182050_solange-knowles-beyonce-wedding-party-photo_2It’s not everyone that can boast a completely white wedding, or every day that one’s wedding portraits are so in vogue that they make Vogue magazine! But Solange Knowles, sister to Beyoncé (yes, the elevator ‘star’) married Alan Ferguson in New Orleans 11/16 and the ceremony, as well as the couture, made all the news.

Solange wore a Humberto Leon for Kenzo floor-length gown with an attached cape that had everyone talking, white famous sister Miss Bey was in a shorter while dress. Jay Z even sported white and before the ceremony the happy couple rode through the city on white bikes, with the bride in a Stephane Rolland cream-colored jumpsuit.

When your wedding portraits make Vogue, when your fashions illicit more than the obligatory “Who are you wearing?,” when pictures are Tweeted, Instagram-med and shown across every conceivable blog and newscast, you know your style, as well as your celebrity, have truly arrived.

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Just as George Clooney’s wife Alma’s various wedding outfits were talked about so much-her Oscar de la Renta wedding dress might well win ‘gown of the year’-Solange’s most special day couture, beyond her actual wedding dress, also made the news. These days it doesn’t just seem to be about “THE DRESS,” and in the case of celebrities who can afford to have not only the very best designers outfitting them, but outfitting them for quite a few changes, fans and fashionistas are rabid over what’s to be worn pre, during and post ceremony

Maybe this falls into the category of couture envy or simply a sign of the times where even the simplest outfit a woman sports during her wedding day, hours before or after the wedding, is deemed special? Or maybe a white wedding like Solange Knowles is truly fashion news worthy.

What is certainly fashion worthy, for you? See here.

Photo Credit: Rog Walker

Sophy Robson Nail-Its

We make no distinction over what is and what is not fashionable (or art). In Von Gutenberg magazine we have featured models with tattoos (famous tat T.V. star Megan Massacre was the covergirl of our issue #8), have traipsed across many a theme, like Steampunk and Sci-fi. We have featured sketch artists, writers, performance artists, photographers, you-name-it in across our pages and on our blogs. And of course you see all kinds of alternative couture in what we do and in our shop even (see here). It should be no surprise then that we report below on Sophy Robson’s new press-on nail line, Nail-Its.

Robson is well known for her “nail art;” she’s worked with Marc Jacobs and Henry Holland, and was the lady behind the 2012 Olympics flag designs. With Nail Its she offers a product for wearers of all ages and employed her own manufacturer so from glue, to brush, to bottle all pieces of what she is presenting conforms to her exacting specifications. Sophy makes it very easy indeed to dress-up your nails with very little effort for those times when you can’t get to a salon or are looking to make your own little statement across your fingertips.

Let’s face it, when it comes to press-on nails there are a lot of options. Sophy Robson enters this very full field knowing she offers an alternative that is worthy of consideration…and one that is easy to apply. In the world of press-on nails, get-up-and-go hair care, any accessory or couture that keeps pace with our super fast moving modern existence a designer/manufacturer has present a better mouse trap or they will get lost in the shuffle. Sophy Robson has proved time and again she knows well what she is doing, so Nail-It is sure to be a hit.

The Nail Its designs can be been on Robson’s Tumblr page, Thisisnailporn.tumblr.com and purchased here: Thisisbeautymart.com.

V.G.’s own artful couture can be found here:

The ‘Older’ Ladies Take The 2014 Emmys

Surely lots of us were checking-out MTV’s annual broadcast of the VMA’s this year (as previously reported, V.G. friend and a designer we have used often, Dawnamatrix, provided outfits for Beyoncé show-ending show-stopping performance at that show, see here) but the very next night ABC ran the Emmy awards show. And if you had occasion to check red carpet prelims or catch presenters sauntering across stage, beyond the stunning array of outfits on display you may have noticed how the older women (decidedly appearing on the Emmy’s as mostly younger men and women populate the VMA’S) were bringing the beauty in an unprecedented way.

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I am thinking about how ravishing Edie Falco or Allison Janney looked, or Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her Carolina Herrera (to name just a few of the “over 40” stunning ladies at the Emmy’s Monday night.) Lots can be made about a Katy Perry and her gravity defying bosom (and it should pretty much be ‘up there’ seeing how young she is) or Nicki Minajia’s butt implants, but when a true woman of four decades our more brings the style, grace and just all hot sexy couture to the proceedings not just Joan Rivers should be noticing.

We should all be celebrating such classy looking women.

Then again, once again, I did find myself wondering what the hell these award shows are thinking when they do not position a ready usher to help these wonderful ladies up those freaking stage steps! This has nothing to do with a woman’s age, we all saw Jennifer Lawrence slip as she made her way up to accept an Oscar a few years back. My complaint here has to do with a lack of manners and yes, some old fashioned chivalry of escorting a lady, holding a door for her or her chair, etc. Simply put, a lady should be escorted in those moments when it seems to be well needed, for instance when she is negotiating a flight of stair in heels and a long gown. Jessica Lange (who also looked stunning) had to actually motion for Liev Schreiber  to come and help her up the stairs last night.

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I say if you want to keep these ladies dressing to the nines, as they all were last night, maybe provide them an arm to hold on to when they ascend a flight of stairs.

If you want to dress to the nines, why not check out our Von Gutenberg couture, here.

 

Von Gutenberg Designer Dawnamatrix Scores Beyoncé for VMA’s

EVENT FLYER-01As it should be for all of us, when one of our friends (and someone we have worked with plenty of times in the past) has great news we are not only thrilled for them but get a jolt of living vicariously through them sharing that news. One of the featured latex designers at any Von Gutenberg shoot and someone CEO/publisher and head photographer Erik Von Gutenberg has taken plenty of photographs for (see the flyer to the left here) is Dawnamatrix. Dawnamatrix just ‘got the gig’ to deliver 71 garments to Beyoncé for the pop diva’s 16 dancers for this Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV!

All we can say is wow…but then again it is a well deserved job for a hard working company.

Beyoncé’s stylist, Marni Serofonte ordered pieces of various latex (what anyone would consider very sex stuff indeed) after seeing a Dawnamatrix outfit accessory in a recent Andrew Richardson shoot with Linda Evangelista. L.E. was wearing a very distinctive Dawnamatrix piece, something Dawnamtarix makes very well indeed, and Serofonte was impressed enough to start history-as-it-is-being made over at the Dawnamatix camp.

We’d love to tell you exactly what the pieces are, but the mystery will be revealed soon enough…and of course when you tune into the VMA broadcast to watch what Beyoncé and crew get up to.

The flyer attached here is for the upcoming Montreal Fetish Weekend (coming the end of August actually) where Dawnamatrix is showing their new line, as they have been doing for quite a few years now; to say this VMA gig comes at a busy time in the life of the designer would be an understatement. But what a gig it is!

Beyoncé is going to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Sunday at Los Angeles’ Forum and is also nominated for eight video awards.

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We couldn’t be happier to celebrate this high profile super cool accomplishment with Dawnamatrix and of course will be watching the VMA’s come Sunday night on MTV at 9pm.

See Dawnamatrix designs here.

Rihanna in W Magazine

article-2721955-2071D8FD00000578-522_634x478On the inside of September’s issue of W Magazine all seems perfectly fashion de rigueur as Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and Iman pose together modeling for Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. Long skirts and fury sweaters of basic bright colors from the brand have the women looking fabulous to be sure but it is the cover (and some further solo RiRi shots inside the mag) where Rihanna makes the most interesting mark. On the cover of Rihanna sports a Donna Karan dress, Ashley Lloyd headdress (yes, an actual headdress!) septum ring and Stephen Dweck necklace over what appears to be her bare chest. This “tribal” spread is continued with some solo shots of RiRi inside, where she sports further fur and even poses (though she’s not dancing) with wolves.
It’s certainly an alternative look the singer is attempting and quite the contrast to the studied high couture display she and the fashion icons reveal in their spread.

This isn’t the first time Rihanna has appeared in W and certainly not the first she’s worn some over-the-top top, wild make-up or revealed a little skin…in the showing skin department Rihanna is tops! Less we forget being a pop diva/fashion designer/worldwide known personality requires consistent shocking of the masses and when you have a 26 year-old face and body still supple, firm and basically beautiful it behooves a celeb not to use all they have in the most provocative way possible. Nobody will really be shocked by these photos, but they are sexy all the same.Campbell, Iman, RiRi

Campbell, Iman and Rihanna look like high fashion models in their trio shoot, Rihanna like one of our better known fetish stars on the cover; the dichotomy is sure to sell magazines and has made an impression across the net this week.

Once again Rihanna scores.

If you want to score with some of our sexy couture, might we suggest clicking your mouse on over to: http://vongutenbergcouture.com/

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Lauren Bacall: Actress, Icon, Model?

lauren b oscarIt’s not been a particularly good week in Hollywood. To what now seems a suicide-by-hanging by Robin Williams, an especially tragic occurrence seeing the man gave laughter to so many, we need now add the death-albeit from a heart attack and at a much older age then Williams-of screen legend Lauren Bacall. Known for her iconic roles in “Key Largo,” “To Have and Have Not” and “The Dark Passage” (to name just a few of her films) as well as her legendary romance and marriage to Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall was a woman with unusual smoky good looks, a razor-like tongue and an oft-voiced liberal sensibility. But how many causal fans know that Lauren Bacall was a model well before she even arrived in Hollywood, in fact it was her landing the cover of Harper’s Bazaar that led to her movie career.

Born in 1924, Lauren Bacall (christened Betty Joan Perkse) was the sole daughter of William Perske and Natalie Weinstein-Bacall, a middle-class couple living and working in Brooklyn. Though her parents divorced, Lauren and her mom seemed to have weathered her father’s leaving well, simply moving in with her mother’s mom and uncle. Winning 1942’s “Miss Greenwich” title, Lauren (who was still Betty at this stage) considered becoming a dancer post high school but ended up enrolling in NYC’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts for acting instead. Unfortunately Lauren’s mother couldn’t afford her daughter attending the school for long and despite hating the size of her feet!-Bacall soon found herself modeling outfits in showrooms for potential buyers.

She somehow got out of that showroom modeling long enough to land the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Howard Hawks’ wife saw Bacall on that cover, urged her famous director husband to give Bacall a screen test and from that Hawks gave the 19 year old Lauren Bacall (she had changed her name by this time) the role of Marie Browning in “To Have and Have Not.”

On that 1944 film Lauren met Bogart and the rest is Hollywood history.

Talent, looks and a little Harper’s Bazaar cover all mixed into the beginning of a great grand career of one of our most beloved actresses.

lauren bacall

We’ve got models too. Check out issue # 8 of Von Gutenberg Magazine here:

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id559950917?mt=8

Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vongutenberg.vongutenberg

Amazon Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dmobile-apps&field-keywords=von+gutenberg

 

 

The BaciSelfi Social Media Contest

u0tm_BaciVeronicaWebContestGraphicsv1b2_1Baci Lingerie the international lingerie and accessory brand, continues in its mission to “Celebrate Every Woman” by presenting exquisite fabrics and styles to compliment each and every lady. Though a relatively new company Baci has made great strides in establishing themselves as the go-to company for feminine couture intimates. I have been on about the brand before (see here). But right now the company is presenting a very fresh and hip-to-the-moment contest for customers and fashionistas alike.

Baci celebrated the release of its new Dreams Hosiery collection by launching their BaciSelfi Social Media Contest at the beginning of this month.

The contest invites consumers to submit photos of themselves wearing Dreams Hosiery with everyday attire (for example, “Nurse” Thigh Highs with denim shorts, “Cop” Fishnets under a pencil skirt…etc.) Entries will be posted to the Baci Selfie Contest app on the Baci Lingerie Facebook page, where votes will be tallied to determine the winners.

In true interactive style, Baci is reaching out, engaging their lingerie wearers and cutting a wild sexy swatch across the social media space….what any with-it big branding company should be doing these days.

Baci Lingerie officially debuted to the public in 2010 at the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas. The company’s collections include “After Dark” including lacy thigh-highs and fish nets, the  super sexy uniform-inspired “Dreams By Baci” a full corsets line, the afore mentioned “Dreams Hosiery” and plenty of other intimate outfits and accessories.

It’s all great high-end intimate stuff and worth checking out.

We too have come high-end intimate stuff we feel worth checking out. Some of it can be mixed and matched even with Baci intimates. Go on over to the Von Gutenberg couture site and see what we our alternatives to alternative fashion is all about.

But be sure to sign-up for The BaciSelfi Social Media Contest here.

 

Fang Ling Lee’s new Public Displays of Intimacy Series

DTF. 24x20We see so many artists working across many media come to us here at Von Gutenberg. Some we worked with in the initial stages of the magazine and for whatever reason have not had so very much contact with since (though that’s only a handful few, we do tend to keep friends over the long term.) Others we work with time and again depending on the situation and if their (and our) particular sensibilities mesh for a particular project. And there are other artisans, latex designers, painters, photographers, writers and models, who you will see again and again between our pages and/or on our website.

The wonderful Fang Ling Lee is one such artist.

Fang is a one-of-a-kind lady of not only deep talent but a warm wonderful soul who will stop and talk with her myriad of customers and even the casual art fan at any occasion for any provocation; really, you are not soon to find a nicer person. We’ve featured her work time and again in the magazine, blogged about her efforts often and once again come to see the amazing lady display her artwork in as yet another interesting innovative way. Her new Public Displays of Intimacy Series  reflects what is happening around us all presently (like all truly aware artists Fang’s work as much comments on the world we are in as takes flights of fantasy from it.)  As she says of the new work:

“One cannot deny the astronomical impact that technological advancements have has on the way we communicate with one another.  Being social has never been easier, or more addictive. Friends, lovers, and “likes” are just a finger tap away. Likewise, our wants, needs, and loneliness, can be satisfied with theclickof a button. This series is about how technology has changed the way human beings express their sexuality. This series is also about perspective.”

And thank God this talented woman’s perspective.

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Fang was recently involved as lead production designer for the independent “The Red Man” film and this new series of hers is as much “indebted” to that experience, as she says as informed by her “new outlook on the themes, technology, and emotions that drive us to create, and drive us to share.”

See Fang’s Ling Lee’s new  Public Displays of Intimacy Series here. And to contact the lady, go here: fang@fanglinglee.com

For Von Gutenberg’s line of couture, see here.