A tribute to Sophie, may she rest in power.
LaPointe dress. Versace leggings. Cult Gaia “Valence” choker.
Where fashion is joy
A tribute to Sophie, may she rest in power.
LaPointe dress. Versace leggings. Cult Gaia “Valence” choker.
Admit it, the Grammy’s aren’t just about music, any more than the Oscars are only about movies or the SAG Awards are all about actors praising each other. A fashion current runs at the foreground of everything produced, performed and promoted in the entertainment industry and, the way I see it, of everything that people do. It’s hard to observe or analyze any person, group, or social gathering without taking fashion into account — and that’s what makes fashion so special. Here are some of the most stunning Grammy’s looks I’ve seen.
When someone puts this much work into an outfit, you list them first. Beyoncé was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Family Feud”. Custom Nicolas Jebran gown and hat, Jimmy Choo shoes, custom Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, Alain Mikli sunglasses, and custom Judith Leiber minaudière. The look was inspired by the Black Panther movement. Said Jebran, “My favorite element was the bold, broad shoulders because they symbolize power.”
Miley Cyrus performed “Tiny Dancer” with Elton John. Jean Paul Gaultier jumpsuit. Rita Ora in a Ralph & Russo gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
Anna Kendrick in a La Perla camisole and Balmain suit with Casadei pumps and Ara Vartanian jewelry. Cyndi Lauper performed “Praying” with Kesha. Moschino suit.
Alessia Cara won for Best New Artist and was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Music Video for “1-800-273-8255” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Stay”. Rag & Bone suit and Jennifer Fisher jewelry. Kesha was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Praying” and Best Pop Album for Rainbow, and performed “Praying”. Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor suit, Coomi shoes, Narciso Pheres ring, Roberto Bravo ring and L’Dezen by Payal Shah ring.
Andra Day performed “Praying” with Kesha. Custom Victoria Hayes dress and Christian Louboutin shoes. Lana Del Rey was nominated for Best Pop Album for Lust for Life, and should have won. Custom Gucci gown.
Kimberly Schlapman in Raisa & Vanessa. Bebe Rexha performed “Praying” with Kesha. La Perla gown, Casadei shoes and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
Sza was nominated for Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance for “The Weekend”, Best R&B Song for “Supermodel”, Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Love Galore” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Ctrl, and performed “Broken Clocks”. Atelier Versace gown and Chopard jewelry. Alison Krauss was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for “Losing You” and Best American Roots Performance for “I Never Cared for You”. Sachin & Babi dress (similar).
Heidi Klum in Ashi Studio. Lady Gaga was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for Joanne and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Million Reasons,” and performed “Joanne” and “Million Reasons”. Custom Armani Privé gown.
Chrissy Teigen in a Yanina Couture dress with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry. Eve in a Naeem Khan suit with Chopard jewelry.
Katie Holmes in Zac Posen. Reba McEntire won Best Roots Gospel Album for Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. Jovani gown.
Janelle Monáe starred in Hidden Figures, which was nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack and Best Score Soundtrack. Dolce & Gabbana suit, Christian Louboutin shoes and Jennifer Fisher jewelry. Karen Fairchild in a Monique Lhuillier gown with a Judith Leiber box clutch.
Kristin Cavallari in Alex Perry. Ashanti in Yas Couture by Elie Madi.
MORE THAN JUST A DRESS
Rihanna won Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty” and performed “Wild Thoughts”. Alexandre Vauthier coat, boots and gloves. Hailee Steinfeld in an Alexandre Vauthier dress and boots with a Marli bracelet, Mattia Cielo ring, Hearts on Fire ring and Djula ring.
Kelly Clarkson was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Love So Soft”. Christian Siriano gown and shawl. Emmylou Harris in a Johnny Was dress and coat.
Camila Cabello performed “Praying” with Kesha. Vivienne Westwood gown, Bulgari jewelry and Judith Leiber purse. Lorde was nominated for Album of the Year for Melodrama, and should have won. She also should have been asked to perform instead of Elton John, because he’s been around forever and didn’t come out with anything new within the time frame for this year’s Grammy’s. Valentino gown and Kwiat jewelry.
Pink was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance for “What About Us” and performed “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken”. Armani Privé gown, AS29 earring and Borgiani ring. Julia Michaels was nominated for Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Issues,” and performed “Praying” with Kesha. Paolo Sebastian gown and Chopard jewelry.
Cardi B was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Bodak Yellow,” and performed “Finesse”. Ashi Studio gown, Christian Louboutin pumps and Messika Paris jewelry. Sarah Silverman was nominated for Best Comedy Album for A Speck of Dust. Maggie Marilyn dress and Wolford tights.
The best accessories were the white roses that both women and men wore or carried in solidarity with Time’s Up, the movement to stop sexual harassment. Lorde took it a step further by sewing an excerpt from Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays to her dress.
AND THE FASHION GRAMMY GOES TO…
No matter the game, great style always wins.
When I think about what to wear in the evening, I think of a dress. But finding the right wow-factor dress always seems to be harder than you think. Unless you’re getting your dress custom-made (which I feel like only celebrities do), you’re going to have to select a dress that was made for the ideal type of a given size. You know, the person that is, say, size large on top, size large in the middle, and size large on the bottom. Most people aren’t like that – everyone’s body has its own quirky idiosyncrasies. Personally, I have very narrow hips, so I need a smaller size for bottoms than I do for tops. What ends up happening when I buy dresses is that they look big around the hips and thighs, especially after repeated wear. And then I started noticing Nicki Minaj’s style and saw that a matching top and skirt has the same overall look as a dress. Especially when so many club dresses have cutouts anyway!
Alice + Olivia, Alice + Olivia, Calvin Klein
Jeremy Scott, Jeremy Scott, Tom Ford
Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Brandon Maxwell
Plus I love matching. I love coordination. I love themes. I like a bold color and especially a bold print. The “effortless style” ethos never appealed to me. I believe that effort is a virtue. Let’s face it, outfits that are well-planned tend to look more visually striking, on average, than honestly effortless outfits. The way I see it, if you’re going to do a certain look, really do it. Don’t hold back. What’s better than cute? Cutecute ♥♥
Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna
Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry
Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Chanel Iman
I’m in good company, both on the Spring 2018 runway and with celebrities. The look of a matching top and skirt — the monochrome effect — is a tried-and-true strategy to fall back on. No matter the year or the season, designers and celebrities turn to it again and again. Our current fashion landscape is no exception.
That’s why I like Kissmiss. A site dedicated to sultry clubwear, they make sure to have a special place for bandage 2 piece top and skirt sets, of all colors and shapes, decadent to minimalist.
My favorite look from them is the Greta Wraparound Bodycon Dress Set. It’s $49, which would be quite affordable for a dress for going out…but remember, it’s actually even better than that. It’s two pieces for $24.50 each! That you can later pair with other things! That’s a pretty good deal.
This post is sponsored by Kissmiss Dress.
The T. Tandon NY AW17 Fashion Week event at 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar in the Flatiron District was packed with stylish people. Among them, one woman stood out. She was wearing a beautiful floor-length fuchsia gown and a pale pink beaded blazer, and her hair and makeup was impeccable: back-length curls and a thin cat eye. More than that, she radiated confidence, an attitude of embracing the attention she knew she attracted, rather than demurely acting as if it wasn’t happening. I complimented her on her outfit, and she told me that the dress was of her own design.
Tina Tandon, Princess Long Long, and models.
But Princess Long Long is much more than a fashion designer. She is an opera singer first and foremost. Born and raised in China, she moved to the United States and trained as a soprano at The Juilliard School, where 2,138 students applied and only 162 were accepted. She has channeled her otherworldly voice and years of training into countless performance endeavors around the world: China Central Television (CCTV)’s Avenue of Stars competition, winning the North American finals; the International Music Forum in Bo’ao, China; the China Army; the UNESCO World Fashion Parade in the Garment District; Couture Fashion Week in Times Square; New Jersey Fashion Week; and the 70th Cannes Film Festival last May. She has worked with Freedom Williams (C+C Music Factory), songwriter Howard McCrory (see Michael Jackson and Chaka Khan), soca artist KMC, reggaetón artist Valentino, and spoken word performer Andrew Anderson. Her stage presence translates naturally into acting. Her repertoire includes independent films The Right to Live, Good Friday, Be Frank, and What Women Want Chronicles, and the Off-Broadway cabaret comedy Whatever Happened to Beverly Daniels?, and she is slated to star in the TV show Whatta Guys Really Want. Her creativity also extends to writing, particularly mythology. She wrote a fairy tale, Bird, Bees, and the Fruit Fly; co-developed Blue Cat, which went on to become the most popular cartoon in China; and is working on an epic melodrama, Moon Goddess.
Me and Princess Long Long. T. Tandon NY blouse. Forever 21 headband. Frenchy of California handbag. Vintage blazer.
Princess Long Long describes her sense of style as “like a fairy” – floral, beaded, ethereal, embellished, often pink, with grand flourishes and minute details, each look designed by her and tailored for her. She has even designed and produced a Broadway-themed fashion show in Times Square! She works extensively with Thai designer Thunyatorn Cheng Ng, who has a boutique in Elmhurst, and Kyrgyz costume designer Natasha Berezhnaya, who is based in Westchester County.
Princess Long Long and friends at the South Street Seaport.
She invited me to some events at the United Nations headquarters in Tudor, as the Ambassador for Humanitarian Affairs in Culture and Arts by the National Council of Women of the US Director of Culture and Arts at Partners for UN Affairs. She subsequently invited me to her induction as an honorary member of the Rotary Club of New York. This was when I really started to learn more about her. She wore a black velvet dress and a belt of golden dragons, to represent her lineage from the Long, or dragon, family of the Silk Road kingdom of Yanqi (ended in 1913). We started talking and she told me all about her background, her accomplishments, and what she is currently working on.
Princess Long Long accepting her Rotary Club honorary membership certificate at the Union League Club in Murray Hill.
Blissful Style: How did you become an honorary member of the Rotary Club?
Princess Long Long: First of all, I work very closely with the United Nations, I have been participating in different kinds of events for world peace for a long time. I recently became the World Peace Ambassador of the World Peace and Diplomacy Organization, then I also became the ambassador of a Culture and Diversity Event at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the Chinese ambassador for diversity and cultural arts. And I’m contributing as the ambassador for the US Women’s Council for Humanitarian Culture. So with all this work, naturally now I’m becoming an honorary Rotary member. The president, Jasmine, told everyone what I have been contributing, that I have been working so hard and contributing for world peace, that’s why they wanted to give me the honorary membership. I also hope I can devote myself to using more time and opportunities to help people from all over the world. As you know, the Rotary Club has 3500 clubs all over the world and 1.2 million members. So I’m very honored and happy to be becoming an honorary member today, and I really feel that I have a lot of things to do, to fulfill. All I want to do right now is to be focused on cultivating peaceful and friendly relations; our acting as one world, with a cultural diversity that can be shared with and embraced by all nations, is my one focus. As you know, mankind has the mind, which is what made war. If you work on the mind, at the spiritual level, then there will be less war and terrorism, and less manipulation, and things like the 9/11 tragedy will not happen. That’s why I’m working with the UN and supporting the UN record on the creative economy and cultural diplomacy. What the creative economy means is that, on the spiritual and cultural levels, we believe that if you are a creative artist, you can create beautiful things and make the world a lot more beautiful. This will make people understand one another much more, and once this happens, there will be far fewer barriers, much less misunderstanding and much less fighting. That promotes the economy, that’s a Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. It’s a global goal.
BS: How long have you been involved with the United Nations?
PLL: It’s been, off and on, almost three years. I started as an artist, performing, and then later on I worked with several organizations, as well as some creative press from all over the world. To develop art here today, I’m so happy, it shows that the UN definitely knows what you’re doing. Once you do something, really do it right, and the UN will support you.
Princess Long Long at her Broadway-themed fashion show.
BS: How did you decide to go to Juilliard and pursue a career in music?
PLL: Oh, you know, you either have it or you don’t, so I knew that I had it, for as long as I can remember. So it’s been a long-time dream of mine to become a singer. However, my parents didn’t agree, they just didn’t want me to be a singer. But actually, my father was an opera singer and my mother was a music teacher. That’s what they do, music is their livelihood, but they didn’t want me to be in that, so they sent me to Europe to get a business education. But I didn’t feel happy doing that, and I believe that people should always do things that make them happy. Before I came to the United States, I had this girlfriend of mine, she told me one thing and it really made me make this decision. We went to see a Broadway show in Beijing, Chicago, and we watched that show together. She is a good friend of mine. We used to go to karaoke, which is very popular in China. When we performed, my girlfriends would go crazy for my voice, after they heard my voice, they would say Ohh. So after Chicago, my girlfriend told me, “Long, I’ve got to tell you one thing before you go to the United States”. She said, “After seeing this show, Chicago, you are just one of them, you are absolutely one of them.” She said, “I know you, because I know you from old times, and if I don’t see you on stage singing and performing like them before I die, I’m not gonna close my eyes, because I’m hoping.” That moved my heart. I thought, Wow, my friend really thinks this, and she’s a girl who has been with me for ten years, that means she knows me better than I know myself. She said, “When you go to the United States, you have to pursue your dream.” So I made a decision, in 2006 I came to the United States. I spent about a year traveling to eight cities, to live in each one for a little while and see which I liked best. Then, around 2007, I made my decision and said, Okay, I have to pursue my dream, and go to music school to train my voice. I’m not gonna give it up. I did research and spent a year-and-a-half in junior school training with the professors for the auditions. So that’s it, before I went over there I did a lot of preparation, almost two years, it was a big challenge for me. But I did it, it’s just that simple, I said If she wants me to be on stage like that, then I should start with a professional music school, so I’ll go.
An advertisement for Princess Long Long’s performance at the Cannes Film Festival.
BS: Tell me about your experience at the Cannes Film Festival. What was it like? What did you sing and what did you wear?
PLL: Oh, the Cannes Film Festival, that was a very interesting thing. I had dreamed about the Cannes Film Festival since I was very little, so I never believed that the first time I went to Cannes I would be performing! I thought, I’m gonna go over there, see the red carpet and the stars, but I never thought I myself was going to be a star over there. It was so exciting! They picked me up, a Hollywood production company, they wanted a Chinese singer because they were promoting a diversity and inclusion event. I believe I met with the theme. I did cross-cultural pieces. I revised some famous songs, like “La Vie en Rose”, “Shanghai Night”, and a French opera piece, Roméo et Juliette, but I did them in a cross-cultural way. I didn’t want to do it in the same classic way it has been done before, so I mixed different styles, cultures, and languages. I believe that as artists, we are facing a global citizen, and we have to produce something that the global citizen really wants. They’re not gonna be satisfied with one culture or one language anymore, it has to be cross-cultural and cross-language. That’s what I thought, so I created those pieces for the Cannes Film Festival, and it was good, it was an honor to be the Chinese Cultural Inclusivity Ambassador, the diversity ambassador for the festival.
Some other people who went to the 70th Cannes Film Festival. No big deal…
BS: What languages do you sing in?
PLL: You mean at Cannes?
BS: Just in general.
PLL: Oh, I can sing in many different languages. But that’s standard training for all the voice classes at university. You have to be able to carry at least good dictions of different languages. I wore three different costumes. The first one, for Roméo et Juliette, I created an image of white, so my promotion video in the background was all white, everything was related to that white princess dress. That’s the image that I created, the “Eastern Dragon Princess”. This image won first prize at the Italian Royal Carnival fashion presentation in 2016. I also performed in this one at the World Fashion Parade. It has wings because I’m trying to give a message to the world, that the Eastern Dragon Princess on the Silk Road is the one link from East to West, and I’m fulfilling my ancient mission to bridge the cultural arts and spirituality between the East and the West. This dragon princess is pure, she’s classic, she’s elegant, and she is also hoping for peace, because the wings mean peace and prosperity. That was the first one I wore, and the second one, when I sang “Shanghai Night”, was a blue dress, like a mermaid. That’s why I liked your style the first time I met you, it’s like a fairy tale. When I was a little child I wanted to be a mermaid so badly. So I presented that with a Chinese robe. The wings and the robe were made by Natasha Berezhnaya, and she’s very good. We work together a lot to make these costumes. I would say she is the most talented and the best theater designer, and also dressmaker, that I know. I’m very picky about things, but we work beautifully. I always give her lots of ideas, and she has some ideas too, and then we make beautiful clothes, and she’s very talented. I wear a lot of her designs when I perform, and when I give presentations like this, like a speech, or go to a nightclub or cocktail party. The third look was for “La Vie en Rose”, I was in pure rose. Did you see that one? With the roses all over my head?
BS: Yeah! It’s so pretty!
PLL: That was one I designed. I thought, This song is rose, so let’s make a dramatic rose look! I placed rose hairpieces all over my head and added a pink fan. I can wear all pink because, like you, that is already how I dress. I also wore that one to perform at Couture Fashion Week.
BS: Oh yeah, I saw that, that’s what I saw. Would you ever consider creating apparel for purchase?
PLL: Yes, I want to do that, because now I have a team in Shanghai that would like to do branding for me and fund my projects. You know, Shanghai is a financial center, I have so many fans over there, and they want to do something for me, but at this moment, I don’t think…I’m just a talented designer, but I’m not really a professional designer. I have too many things going on right now — I am a writer, I am a singer — so when I’m young I will focus on performing arts, and then later on, my plan is to do all my branding, the commercial lines. I’ve already got enough fans who want to do it together, some professional people, especially in China. I would love to work with many Western designers and people as well, I would easily help them reach the Chinese market.
A Natasha Berezhnaya fashion show.
Natasha herself on the runway.
BS: Other than Natasha Berezhnaya, who are your favorite designers that you want to work with?
PLL: I have a couple of other people, some other Chinese too. I also like a Thai woman, Thunyatorn Cheng Ng. She’s very talented, so I work with her too. Natasha has a little bit more of a Western style, while Thunyatorn Cheng is very Eastern. So I go with both sides, because I kind of look in between. I have the Asian skin and hair but a Western body, so I can work with both sides, I can wear Western and Eastern.
Thunyatorn Cheng Ng runway looks.
BS: Yeah, now that we have the option to wear both of them, as a more global world, everyone should start wearing things from all over the world.
PLL: Yeah that’s another thing, I was gonna tell you, because you are more like a fashion magazine, I think that the designers nowadays, in the Western countries, should really be aware of the Eastern impact. They can make a hit if they can do some cross-cultural things very well. You may see a lot of big brands, like Louis Vuitton and H&M, starting to sell in all countries, and in China, they are trying to add little things as an Eastern touch, but it’s gotta be more. This is just the beginning. The Eastern impact is going to be big in the next ten, twenty years. So whoever catches this tide will be on the top of the world, whoever does it first is gonna be a pioneer, that’s what I think too. They should consider it, they will make themselves outstanding if they do some Eastern part, but the key is how to achieve the harmony, how to make it organic. You cannot be too Eastern or too Western, you have to do the right combination, mix them together and make it beautiful.
BS: What is Moon Goddess about? When can people see the Broadway show and the film?
PLL: Oh, Moon Goddess? Moon Goddess, which I wrote based on the Chinese fairy tale, is about the first love story in the Chinese mythology. The moon goddess’s name is Chang’e. Chang’e is the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. This is also the story of the Moon Festival. A lot of people know about the Moon Festival, but they don’t know the story behind it. They also know how to eat moon cakes, but they say “Hey, where do the moon cakes come from?” The Chinese moon goddess is the like the one in Greek culture, Seléne; the story is similar, but it’s different. Moon Goddess is about her life story with her husband, the hero Yi. There were supposed to be ten suns before, and the hero shoots nine suns and now there is only one left, so in the Chinese mythology it’s a new miracle, and it’s a new door for Western people to learn about Chinese culture. For any culture, when you bring the culture to an international level, you should always start with mythology: the Greek, the Middle Eastern, the Indian, all the people. If you need to open the door, you have to open the door to the rest of the world with mythology. That is why I wrote mythology. I have written five mythology books already, that I want to release one by one. I am working with several people — music professionals, Broadway and theater producers, movie producers – to fund Moon Goddess, and it will be a joint venture between China and the United States. Hopefully this musical movie is going to be out very soon. Maybe we should make it animation. I’m still working with my professional team to make a decision, we’re doing research and making decisions on the different steps: animation, then the musical movie, and then the Broadway show. But this is a new thing. China has the longest history, five thousand years, and they created a mass of information for the Eastern cultures. So most of the Eastern, Asia-Pacific cultures are based on the Chinese culture. So can you imagine if you guys never even knew about China? There’s a lot of information, a lot of potential.
Princess Long Long at Cannes.
BS: And even now, Han Chinese is the most populous ethnic group in the world, so yeah, we should know! Tell me about your foundation. What does it do, and how can people find out more?
PLL: My family fund organization is working with the UN too. We help and support all of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. We are helping, doing anything we can, to support the global goals. I mainly work on cultural diplomacy, world peace, culture and the arts, and the creative economy, but then we have different partners. My family, my cousins, are working on education, cultural exchange, and exchange students, and we’re working on some technology projects too. My other partner is handling that.
Princess Long Long at New Jersey Fashion Week.
Princess Long Long at the World Fashion Parade.
BS: You are descended from the Yanqi kingdom. What is the legacy of Yanqi today?
PLL: Yes, I am a direct descendant of Yanqi. It was the first country from the East on the Silk Road, but it was conquered twice, during the Tang Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. The ruler of the country was the Dragon Family, “Long” in Chinese. Yanqi, it’s very interesting, they are people who are very, very famous in culture and the arts, very spiritual people. You know, Yanqi is the same pronunciation as the red, what do you call that, the red powder you put on your cheeks?
BS: Oh, blush?
PLL: Blush! Yes, blush in Chinese is called yanqi, so the Yanqi country name is taking over with yanqi, because we created it. We created blush a long time ago, because all the women in that country liked to make themselves very beautiful. They made blush, and then in turn it became a commodity, going over into China and down the Silk Road to other places, and the Chinese didn’t know what it was, so they called it yanqi, the same pronunciation as the country. These people are also very good in entertainment, they sing, they dance, they are composers, they are very spiritual. We are also the ones who transferred Buddhism from India to China, and we brought the dragon image to India. You know my name Long means dragon, so we created the dragon image. I’m not sure when we created the image, but we are the ones who brought the dragon image to North India. As for the Yanqi legacy of today, Yanqi became Xinjiang Yanqi Economic Zone. It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, it’s beside the lake, Bosten Lake. We call it a developing zone. But they still kept the name Yanqi.
At the Rotary meeting. American Rag dress. Forever 21 necklace.
BS: What advice would you give to people aspiring to a career in a creative profession?
Wow, that’s hard to say. I cannot say I’m at a level to give advice, I mean, lots of people do better than me, but I think for my career, I would like to address one thing: communication skills. It is very important for you, in becoming successful, to have great communication skills. So I trained myself in that way. You see, there are a lot of people who are talented, and I’m sure, of course I’m not the most talented. I might be talented, yes, but what I’ve found is that some people, especially artists, are not very good at talking to people. They’re never good at showing their skills, and they feel shy, they’re very sensitive, the most sensitive people. Artists tend to be more sensitive than other people, because they know what is going on, and they always want to be the best, and what if sometimes they’re not the best? It does make them very shy, it makes them feel very bad. So you need to keep a goal, you need to treat yourself like…It’s a psychology thing, at The Juilliard School I took a peak performance class. They help you to understand, before you perform, to train you. I don’t know if you know about Alexander Technique, but basically, before you go to perform, they train you how to think that other people all — it’s all psychology — that they’re all there supporting you, and they all worship you, and they have no problems at all with you, and think you’re the best. You have to practice that all the time, so you don’t get stage fright. That’s the key. Also, as an artist, you need to go outside your immediate network to develop your opportunities, and then you have to know how to run your business. A lot of artists tend to avoid all these things. They hate to do business.
BS: Yeah, they think creativity and business are two opposite things.
PLL: No, unfortunately, if you really want to become successful, you need to do everything. Especially the business parts, you have to know how to build agreements, even though you have agents, because most agents try to take advantage of you. So you need to know how to protect yourself. The biggest problem for artists is that they don’t know how to protect themselves. And then that’s the next thing I’m going to do, is to create a foundation with my auntie. I want to have a foundation to protect the artists. Because I see all the sadness, I feel bad that they get taken advantage of. I myself have been taken advantage of by people too, so I can’t imagine how many artists get taken advantage of, it’s a sad thing. It’s very sad, however, this is a reality, because most of the people we hear about, and I’m not saying there aren’t good people, but most only care about money. Some of these people are sincere, they take the artist into consideration, but still, 80 percent of people don’t. So you need to know that, you have to be strong, to learn how to protect yourself. You know what I mean? Our society cannot be completely successful the way it is because the artist is not at the top. The ideal society is one where you have beautiful people cultivating the beautiful parts, and they are closest to the gods, they cannot be brutalized. They are not supposed to be brutalized.
Princess Long Long performing at the Kaufman Music Center, New York City
I love fashion…but there are so many collections and shows! Let’s think about it – if you read WWD, for example, then in the course of a year you will see Resort, Bridal Spring, Spring, Spring Couture, Pre-Fall, Bridal Fall, Fall, and Fall Couture for women’s fashion, presented in New York, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. I’m feeling a little dizzy.
This past year, we have seen 1,577 brand presentations on WWD (see appendix). I love seeing all the collections, which is why my posts center on them, but one can be left wondering what to pay attention to and, if you’re like me, worried over all the looks you’ve forgotten without even realizing you’ve forgotten them.
So it’s really fun to see the looks revisited. That’s what celebrities are for! The red carpet is a chance to see the best dresses — across brands, cities, and seasons — come to life. Some stars have their gowns custom-made, but more of them use runway looks than you realize. Here are the beautiful gowns of the Golden Globes, and where they came from.
Keri Russell in J. Mendel (Courtesy Photo; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe in Delpozo (Courtesy Photo; Venturelli/WireImage)
Annette Bening in Pamella Roland (www.pamellaroland.com; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Kristin Cavallari in Idan Cohen (Andrew Walker; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)
Sarah Jessica Parker in Vera Wang (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)
Anna Kendrick in Vionnet (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Lola Kirke in Andrew Gn (Dominique Maitre/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Louise Roe in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; AFP/Getty Images)
Sophie Turner in Louis Vuitton (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Amanda Peet in Bottega Veneta (Davide Maestri/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)
Gal Gadot in Mugler (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; REX/Shutterstock)
Georgina Chapman of Marchesa in Marchesa (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Diana Madison in Michael Costello (Rodni Banica/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Amy Landecker in Tony Ward (http://tonyward.net; Venturelli/WireImage)
Naomi Campbell in Atelier Versace (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad (Gionvanni Giannoni/WWD; Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)
Olivia Culpo in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; BEI/Shutterstock)
Heidi Klum in J. Mendel (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Jessica Biel in Elie Saab (Giovanni Giannoni; Getty Images)
Riley Keough in Chanel (Giovanni Giannoni; Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Giuliana Rancic in Rani Zakhem (www.ranizakhem.com; Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
Angela Bassett in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Kevark Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty)
Renee Borgh in Rachel Gilbert (www.rachelgilbert.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa (Rodni Banica/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Emily Ratajkowski in Reem Acra (George Chinsee/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)
Kelly Preston in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan (Tommy Iannaccone/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Amy Adams in Tom Ford (Courtesy Photo; Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty)
Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Charissa Thompson in Maria Lucia Hohan (http://mlh-shop.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty)
And now I’ll leave you with my favorite look of the night!
Credits: Golden Globes trophies = cbsnews.com
|Column1||PF ’17||BF ’17||FC ’16||S ’17||R ’17||F ’16||SC ’16||BS ’17||Column2|
Kitty pops. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Cats have it made. They get to stay up all night and sleep all day. The Aristocats said that everybody wants to be a cat. Grumpy Cat got her own movie and consequently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Twitter has started celebrating #Caturday every single week. Everything is awesome for cats…right?
Kizu the kitty. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Unfortunately this is not the case. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized because they were not adopted soon enough. That’s 200,000 more cats than dogs. According to a survey, 27 percent of people looking for a new pet say they would not consider a cat.
Kizu and her human, Katie Cassidy. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
What, exactly, is their problem? According to a survey by Pet Smart Charities, 43 percent of pet owners would describe a cat owner as “weird or quirky”, and 49 percent of pet owners believe in the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. Just to reiterate how stupid this is…a Crazy Cat Lady is an unmarried woman, especially an elderly woman who has never married, who lives alone with at least three cats. She probably has never married because she is unattractive, has an odd personality, and has no sense of style. Her house will smell like cat litter and be covered in cat hair.
Katie Cassidy with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt and a cat. (www.facebook.com/OfficialKatieCassidy)
My chief issue with this stereotype is that pets are supposed to make people less lonely. There are plenty of singletons out there who get a dog for the same reason a “cat lady” gets a cat. I think the root of the problem is that, since cats are lower-maintenance than dogs (usually smaller, know how to take a walk by themselves), a given household would be able to support a greater quantity of cats than dogs. And the quantity thing freaks people out. Of course, the average number of cats in a cat household is only 2.1, versus 1.6 for dogs in a dog household. And again, two cats might be easier to take care of than one dog. The cat lady stereotype might sound silly, but it has a terrible consequence for the little kitties who don’t get adopted.
A poster for the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. (Fresh Step)
Cat-eye sunglasses, a cat-ear headband, and a cat-faced clutch. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Fashion Week to the rescue! Actress, blogger, and cat owner Katie Cassidy partnered with Fresh Step litter to host the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. Held at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, the feline lounge was open to the public and free to attend, provided that everyone registered and RSVPed. There was a runway show “for the modern cat lady”, with looks that celebrated cats’ huge artistic and sartorial influence. Said Cassidy, “From cat eye glasses and leopard prints to kitten heels and cat-faced flats, feline-inspired fashions have infiltrated runways for many years.” Guests could leave with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt. And a cat, of course. The Humane Society of New York, Zani’s Furry Friends, and The Little Shelter all brought sweet little kitty-bits who were ready to be adopted.
Katie Cassidy with a cat who can’t wait to get adopted. Erin Cebula and Katie in their best cat ears. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
My view on this is that if a cat is not adopted it should be released into the wild. In Turkey it is less conventional to consider the cat a companion animal, so you see cats out on the street the way you see pigeons in New York. Not everybody wants a new pet. Pets are loving and rewarding, but they are a lot of work. That said, if someone is in the market for a new pet, they should give cats and dogs the same level of consideration.
Lulu and Luna the kitties.
I have had 9 cats in my life: Scampi, McGonagall, Salud, Lulu, Double Tuft, Kit Kat, Scarlet, Princess, and Luna. (Don’t worry, not all at the same time.) Even I didn’t know that this was a problem. I had blissfully assumed, along with most others I’m sure, that everything was fine in the world of cats. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of this issue through campaigns and events, and Fashion Week is the perfect place to do it.
Greenwood, Jennifer. “Study Reveals Public Opinions About Cats and Cat People.” Pet Smart Charities. 19 May 2015. http://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/study-reveals-public-opinions-about-cats-and-cat-people
“Pet Statistics.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” American Veterinary Medical Foundation. http://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
Two days after the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Week show, Tommy Pier was open to the public. Located at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan, Tommy Pier was a carnival first and a pop-up shop second. Upon stepping onto the dock and squinting in the bright sunlight, it actually took awhile to find the clothes. But you knew they were there. Having to look for them made it more exciting.
As a neighborhood carnival, Tommy Pier matched its peers in every way. There were rides, there were games, there were fries, there were donuts, there were temporary tattoos, there were photo booths, and there were long lines of people twisting and overlapping in every direction.
Rides: the Tornado, a Ferris wheel, and another spinning ride (not pictured).
Gigi’s Boxing Club, est. 2016.
What are carnivals without prizes?; I think I found Nemo…and his extended family.
The quintessential yummy, unhealthy food.
A temporary tattoo parlor; the line for the nail salon.
The atmosphere was excited and a little surprised. “Do we have to pay to get in?” I heard one girl say. No, we did not. People slowly approached the games and food stands, as if they wanted to first make sure it was okay. After all, it’s rare to see a premium brand present itself in such an irreverent and accessible way. Yet once a few people stepped up to the booths, everyone else followed.
More food! Including lobster rolls, one of my favorites.
Nails by Valley and Hilfiger Records.
I found a little wooden house midway down the pier with a Tommy x Gigi sign and a rope chandelier. Inside the collection was neatly displayed, apparel on hanging rods and accessories, underwear, and perfume on shelves. The cash register was in the center so shoppers could walk in a full circle. This was useful because the little shop was packed. Tommy Pier opened at noon that day, I arrived at around 1:00, and already the displays were sparse. There were three sales associates wearing matching navy blue Tommy Pier t-shirts. Though there was little room to walk, the customers treated the merchandise with more respect than you would see at a typical crowded retail store. Customers picked their things up. Customers re-folded. Customers hung their hangers back on the racks. (I worked in clothing retail for five years. I notice these things.)
Inside the pop-up shop.
A band jacket and sailor’s cap from the collection.
In addition to this shop, there was an identical little shop on the other side of the pier, as well as a Tommy Vintage Shop. This shop was smaller than the others and offered sweatshirts, jerseys, and other sporty logo apparel.
At the far right corner of the pier was a little nook with three wooden benches painted like the American flag. People took selfies and pictures of their friends, asked strangers to take their picture, or simply sat down to rest in the heat, which had to be over 90 degrees. It was also the perfect place to look out at the other piers, the East River, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.
Taking a break from the mayhem. Vintage star and moon earrings from Bloom Marin. Heart pendant from my mother. Chain from AJ’s Jewelry in Ridgewood.
My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse and Eton ring watch from Bloom Marin.
The boating lifestyle that inspires the Tommy Hilfiger brand.
At one point a large commercial boat called the Zephyr docked at the pier, its passengers disembarked, and the crowd briefly doubled in size. A little “fashion week” isn’t about to disrupt business as usual!
In front of an artifact of Pier 16 itself. Forever 21 peplum top. Tyte jeans. Foster Grant sunglasses.
Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.
A statue on a cobblestone street in the Seaport district.
To give some context, here are the best looks from the actual fashion show:
(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)
(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)
Anna Wintour attends the seaport extravaganza. (Getty Images)
Doutzen Kroes, Martha Hunt, and Taylor Swift check out the carnival. (Getty Images)
It was fun, and I was really happy I went. It felt good to see so many people enjoy the new Tommy Hilfiger collection. Premium, contemporary, and luxury brands worry about “overexposure”, when their brand is worn by so many people that it isn’t special anymore. This does happen. This happens with discounts and outlet stores, and certainly with counterfeit merchandise. But I don’t think this will happen with public events like Tommy Pier. A brand can always decide its exclusivity with its price points. If anything, I think wider awareness of a brand by all people will confer even more recognition and prestige to those who buy and wear the clothes.
I think it’s important for the fashion industry to cater to consumers and stage fun events like this. There is a misconception out there that clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories are just “things”. The term “experience economy” has been used to describe the shift of consumer spending to experiences over things. Yet spectacles like Tommy Pier prove that not every consumer good falls neatly into one side of the binary. Fashion has always been about more than just things; it is beautiful images, it is icons, it is the spirit of a brand, it is the excitement of shopping, and it determines much of the way we present ourselves when we embark on any other kind of experience. Tommy Pier presents the possibility of finding new fashion, knowing its back story, and living in it — not just putting it in your closet.
As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com)
This Fashion Week, Tom Ford’s show was different. He is one of the first designers to take the plunge into the “See Now, Buy Now” movement; his Fall 2016 collection, shown yesterday, will be available online and in stores tomorrow. No, the samples are not going to be produced in two days — this is all a bit of marketing manipulation. While the other ready-to-wear brands showed their Fall collections — their leather, their feathers, their furs — last February, Tom Ford quietly sat that week out and hid his collection from the public eye. Now that it’s September, consumers can pick and choose from the fall offerings of every brand. The difference is that, while we have been seeing the other looks for the past six months in magazines and on blogs and Instagram, the Tom Ford collection is a burst of newness designed to jolt impulsive buying. Now the other brands are showing spring-appropriate attire that consumers will have to wait until next February to purchase. Waiting to show a collection until it it is ready for the market might seem like a logical, even obvious, thing to do. But as with any other rules, laws, and traditions, the logistics of a mass change are difficult to orchestrate.
The collection is dark, heavy, and warm, but it is also glitzy, colorful, and downright wild. Here are the five most striking themes:
The Tom Ford show also stood out for its soiree atmosphere. Guests sat at candlelit round tables on either side of the runway, sipping champagne. This reduced seating arrangement made the show even more exclusive than in seasons past. Here are some of the few who made the cut:
Tom Ford, Julianne Moore, and Bart Freundlich
Karlie Kloss with two friends; Jessica Hart
Cindy Crawford and Iman; Alicia Keys
Photo credits: wwd.com unless otherwise stated
In case you haven’t heard, Nicki Minaj won Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the 2016 BET Awards, for the sixth consecutive time. She is insanely talented, yes, but she has also gotten here with her incredible work ethic. From Yo Gotti’s “5 Star Remix” in 2009 to Bebe Rexha’s “No Broken Hearts” last March, Nicki Minaj has done sixty-five official singles, as a featured artist and on her own three chart-topping albums. She works every single year, and she wins every single year.
It is said that music and fashion go together, that people who are strong in one will also be inclined toward the other. We have seen this with Kanye West, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, and so on, and Nicki Minaj is no exception. She looks completely different from one day to the next, but her style does have some ongoing themes: top and skirt sets, gladiator sandals, thigh-high boots, Chanel handbags, and Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, to name a few. Here are some of her best looks from the past year.
TOP AND SKIRT SETS: Of all the celebrities who have embraced this trend, Nicki Minaj may have done so the most. Alice + Olivia top and skirt. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
This top and skirt set almost looks demure…almost. Her pointy pumps, quilted handbag, and even her hair match the tone of this outfit. Chanel bag. At the Cromwell in Las Vegas. (photo: Getty Images)
Matching does not have to mean boring. At the Moschino boutique in the Dubai Mall, Nicki picked out a color block top and skirt ensemble, even adding a quilted purse and hat. But wait…on Instagram, she wrote “Disregard the hat. Took it off before I left the store.” Good. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
GLADIATOR SANDALS: The most demure color, in the most daring shape. Alexander McQueen top and skirt. Christian Louboutin shoes. Chanel handbag. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
Petite girls can always, always pull off gladiator sandals. Christian Louboutin shoes. Appearing on Ellen. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
THIGH-HIGH BOOTS: Most outfits have a focal point, one item designed to capture attention. With Nicki Minaj, everything stands out. Which is better, in my opinion. Bally shoes. At the Marc Jacobs Fall 2015 presentation. (photo: Getty Images)
These leather boots are the perfect complement to the black velvet piping of her dress. Balmain dress. Alexander McQueen boots. Appearing on Saturday Night Live. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
CHANEL HANDBAGS. “Got a black card and let Saks have it, these Chanel bags is a bad habit.” — “Feeling Myself”. In her case it’s a bad habit that looks very, very good. Chanel bag. At a Portland Trail Blazers game with Meek Mill. (photo: fashionbombdaily.com)
A dress this chic could only be paired with a quilted Chanel purse. Balenciaga dress. Christian Louboutin pumps. Chanel bag. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
A Chanel bag is the perfect addition to this ladylike look. Fashion Nova dress. Christian Louboutin pumps. Chanel handbag. At 1 OAK in Los Angeles. (photo: AKM-GSI)
Pairing the rich textures of brocade and quilting at Bliss Nightclub in Washington, D.C. Alexander McQueen dress. Chanel bag. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)
GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI SHOES: “Of course bitches gonna hate on my Giuseppe wedge.” — “Wamables”. Envy? Yes. But dislike? Certainly not. (photo: Getty Images)
(photo: Getty Images)
(photo: GG/FameFlynet Pictures)
These may have been the wedges in question… (photo: Getty Images)
She had these sneakers customized. (photo: Frederike Helwig)
With Giuseppe Zanotti himself at his New York boutique. If anyone deserves to hang out with him, it’s her. (photo: Ben Hider)
AND MORE: In a mesh bodycon dress, Nicki Minaj makes the Alexander Wang aesthetic her own at the brand’s Spring 2016 presentation. (photo: Getty Images)
A floor-length, gilded look at the 2015 AMAs. Michael Costello gown. Christian Louboutin shoes. (photo: Getty Images)
Slaying the crop top trend with origami pleats at the 2015 BET Awards. Rene Caovilla shoes. (photo: Getty Images)
Donning a complete Givenchy ensemble for their Spring 2016 presentation. (photo: Getty Images)
Taking fringe to another level at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Tom Ford gown and shoes. (photo: Getty Images)
Appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in a dreamy draped dress of teal and midnight blue. Stella McCartney dress. (photo: Getty Images)
Wearing a classic red dress for her brother Jelani’s wedding. Pictured here with her mother, Carol. (photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj)