Best Dressed Met Gala 2017

Those are my favorite looks at the Met Gala in no particular order:

The Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, Arrivals, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA - 01 May 2017

The Cartier jewelry Sofia Coppola wore was perfect with that shimmery gold Marc Jacobs gown.

Alexa Chung wore a classic polka-dot dress by Diane von Furstenberg

The Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, Arrivals, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA - 01 May 2017

 That beaded Stella McCartney dress looked stunning on Gisele Bündchen

The Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, Arrivals, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA - 01 May 2017

 Emmy Rossum wore my absolute favorite jewelry design!… I think that Art deco jewelry designs are the most beautiful designs.  The diamond earrings were by Ashoka ,  the watch and bracelet were by Fred Leighton… She wore a custom Carolina Herrera outfit and Christian Louboutin heels.

Nocturnal Animals: Part 1 The Movie Wardrobe

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There are many beautiful Movie sets and wardrobes out there but I must say that  I haven’t come across a movie where I loved the wardrobe and the set design at the same time…  until now! I honestly believe that Tom Ford has outdone himself as a director in this movie!….I’ve decided to divide this post into two parts because I feel both the wardrobe and the set design deserve to have their own post!

So the first part will be about the beautiful wardrobe that Arianne Phillips has designed for Susan which was played by Amy Adams.

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The ‘Susan’ style

“Surprisingly, Susan’s character does not wear any designer clothes at all,” confides Phillips. “Most of the clothes were made; they’re not Tom Ford nor any other designer! I mean, you would think they would be, because it’s contemporary, and Susan’s part of the cultural elite. She’s very presentational: heavy makeup, precisely waved hair, polished, pristine.”

Isn’t that just amazing?… its all about her look and about her style rather than the labels that we see most women focus on these days!

“The clothes really help tell the story of her precision, her perfection and her attempt to be presentational at all times, even when her life is falling apart,” says Phillips. Many of Susan’s scenes take place against the stark visual backdrop of her art gallery or her art gallery-like home where her wardrobe comprises mostly sleek black tailoring, killer heels, and opulent statement jewellery – or stealth-wealth knitwear for the moments when she is alone, often curled up in bed enthralled by the novel her ex-husband has sent her.

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I was dying to know where Susan’s beautiful tricolor fur in chestnut brown, amber, and white was from.. sadly it was custom made by Tom Ford atelier’s furrier, so we won’t find it in future TF collections  😦

There were many flashbacks to the Nineties which I really loved… They portrayed Susan as a young woman living in New York… 90s Susan reminded me so much of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy! I love that pared-back 90s chic.

“I stuck with neutrals so that it would have a timeless classic quality because that’s what we believed her character’s aesthetic would be and not particularly bending to trends.” Having said that, there are still recognisable pieces which were staples of the time yet would look just as ‘right’ today, especially given the influence which Nineties trends have had on fashion over the past few years. “Turtlenecks, body suits and trench coats…things that would have been accessible to a young woman of her age,” were all on Phillips’ list.

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They certainly saved the best for last with that stunning green dress that perfectly  complemented Amy Adams’ red hair.“That color was quite specific,” notes Phillips. “It was dyed and made; we labored over getting it the right color for film—and camera tested it….“It’s a public scene and we really wanted a colour that would stand out cinematically.” The keyhole neckline dress was chosen not only because it matches perfectly with the delicate wall decoration in the restaurant, but also for its powers in emphasising Adams’ flame-red hair. “That particular green is flattering to Amy Adams. I love a redhead in green and that was a yellowy chartreuse. It felt right, sometimes there’s an intuitive sensibility to filmmaking. I’m not a fan of ‘The Red Dress’ that you see in movies.

Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day

Madame Tussauds London museum dressed up the British royal family wax figures in ugly holiday sweaters in  honor of the “Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day,” which will take place on December 16 ….it’s a campaign that asks people to wear their favorite silly or ugly sweaters in exchange for donating to the nonprofit Save the Children.

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I must admit that I don’t mind Prince Philip’s sweater…. compared to what the rest of the family ended up with, his isn’t bad at all lol!!!

Here’s the link for more info about Christmas Jumper day

Style Icon: Dürrüsehvar- The Ottoman Princess

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It’s not easy to portray simple, elegant, timeless, and regal style when wearing a traditional or should I say a national dress. Yet Durru Shehvar has somehow managed to pull all that in this one picture! This picture alone turned her to a style icon in my books! That necklace is beyond beautiful. Her makeup is perfection and her eyebrows are on point! Wish I knew what color her Sari was!

Born in Istanbul on January 26, 1914, she was the only daughter of Abdülmejid II, the last Sultan to rule over the Ottoman Empire. Growing up in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, the princess was exposed to a world of art and literature at an early age thanks to her father, a cultured man who spoke several languages including Turkish, Arabic, French and German. In addition to composing music, he was an accomplished painter, producing landscapes and scenes from Ottoman history, which in later years she went to great lengths to buy when they surfaced at auctions.

With the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, in 1924 the sultan and his family went into exile splitting their time between Paris and Nice in the South of France. She was soon sought by the Shah of Persia and King Fuad I of Egypt as a bride for their respective heirs, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Farouk. But also vying for Dürrüsehvar’s hand was the Nizam of Hyderabad, who wanted her to marry his eldest son Azam Jah, Prince of Berar and heir apparent to the throne of Hyderabad. The Nizam won and in 1931, 18-year-old Dürrüsehvar married his son Azam Jah. `The wedding took place in the south of France, and their marriage was widely hailed as a “union of two great dynasties”.

After the honeymoon, the couple returned to Hyderabad, where they settled into the lakeside palace of Bella Vista. Already fluent in French, Turkish and English, the princess quickly learned Urdu and took to wearing French chiffon saris embellished with Art Deco embroideries by the leading Paris couture houses of the day.

Her arrival in Hyderabad would also cause a seismic shift in the lives of local women, and it began with her efforts to end the practice of purdah. Until the reign of the seventh Nizam, the women of the royal family were never seen in public; that is until the princess moved to Hyderabad. In 1933, Dürrüsehvar became the first female member of the Nizam’s family to attend a tennis match where she presented the winning team with a silver cup. It would be the first of many public appearances including charity events, polo matches, and state banquets. Over time she became a respected public figure who advocated for women’s rights and the education of young girls, establishing a junior college for women as well as a nursing school and hospital that still carry her name today.

In 1937, she traveled with her husband to England to attend the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Abbey. Although statuesque and regal in public, Dürrüsehvar was also intensely shy and private. Known for shunning publicity, she closely guarded her friendships, which included one with the noted fashion photographer Cecil Beaton and the famous actress Greta Garbo, who often referred to the princess as “our Turkish friend.”

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A few years after the marriage, she realised her incompatibility with her husband, and left with her 2 children, Mukkaram Jah and Muffakham Jah, to London where she lived and visited Hyderabad occasionally. Her last public appearance was when she presided over the opening ceremony of the Nizam’s Silver Jubilee Museum in 2000…. She passed away in her London apartment on Queens Street in 2006 at the age of 92.

Velvets Are Back!

I am thrilled that the 90s velvet trend is back! I felt so nostalgic when I saw all the FW collections… I loved this trend back in the 90s…. I still remember Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s long black velvet gloves she wore with her Yohji Yamamoto dress like it was yesterday!

Designers like Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren (below), Valentino and much more, have included velvet in their Fall/Winter collections. I honestly haven’t seen this much velvet since the 90s… I’m loving it! I’m loving the wide range of colours and the wide range of designs from those extra wide pants to the victorian style dresses…

There are many dos and dont’s on the net of how to wear velvets… None really make much sense to me… One particular “dont’s” that I’ve been reading everywhere and that made no sense to me at all don’t wear velvet on velvet!… I personally think that velvet on velvet can look great if done right! I’m on the hunt now for the perfect velvet heels to wear with a matching colour velvet dress! Those Gianvito Rossi signature heels in velvet are one of my favorite out there!

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 I just wanna run in those heels!

Movie Wardrobe: The Thomas Crown Affair

There are many movies out there that inspire us in terms of fashion and/or interior design…. So I thought I’d start a new segment on my blog about movie wardrobes that I love and that have influenced my taste and style throughout the years…

I’ll start this segment with one of my favorite movie wardrobes from the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which was designed by Kate Harrington. I loved Rene Russo ’s lead character, Catherine Banning’s wardrobe. The wardrobe was so impeccable and still relevant today, despite the fact that it was done 17 years ago.

 Harrington was hired with only two months “to pull the clothes together,” which left no room for her to create anything from scratch: not a sketch, a pattern, or garment. She settled on a wardrobe for Russo’s character from the 1997 Celine F/W collection by Michael Kors (one of Russo’s suggestions) and a few Halston creations.

Harrington’s approach was like doing a magazine spread. “That’s how I saw it. I’d just act like I was doing an entire Vanity Fair issue, cover to cover, only with Pierce and Rene.”  I’ve learned many lessons from Kate Harrington’s approach for this movie. Here are a few “lessons” worth thinking about:

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1. You don’t have to have a colorful wardrobe to make a variety of looks. Rene’s character in this movie rarely wore the same thing twice even though she wore a lot of the same neutral colors like cream, camel, grey and black. She never looked boring because she mixed and matched her neutrals all the time.

2. You must play with textures and materials. For example, Rene wore a cashmere turtleneck with a leather skirt…. and I love the look above where she stayed within a colour scheme but added interest by mixing 3 textures cashmere, fur, and leather.

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3. Invest in classic cuts because they will never go out of style.  All her clothes are in classic silhouettes – that sequenced black dress, the turtleneck sweaters, the mandarin collar on her gown, that stunning biker cut leather jacket and the list can go on! Her wardrobe was full of items that are a must in every wardrobe and that have stood the test of time.

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4. Always add a touch of “cool” to your look!. Rene’s character always looked cool even though she always wore very classic clothes…  Like those cool aviator sunglasses with her conservative turtleneck and skirt, those unexpected earrings with a traditional gown, and that bustier over a classic white shirt (above).

Maria Callas The Exhibition

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The Exhibition is the first major exhibition dedicated to the greatest soprano of all time Maria Callas. Curated by Massimiliano Capella, the presentation marks the 40th anniversary of the death La Divina. It includes costumes and props jewelry, Private clothes, especially those by Biki, the Milanese stylist who fashioned the ‘Callas look’ during the Milan years, as well as several opera costumes; there are personal treasures and stage jewellery; hats, wigs and glasses; telegrams, letters, newspaper articles and photographs illustrating the successes, the scandals, and her loves.

The exhibition is on display until September 18, 2016, in Verona and will soon begin its international tour, from Athens to New York, from Paris to Mexico City…. I don’t have information about the international tour yet but I’ll add it at the bottom of this post as soon as I find some!

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The Curator Massimiliano Capella has used 2200 mannequins and has divided the exhibition into fourteen sections starting with America and Greece and ends in a small dark room with a video of Callas’s ashes being scattered on the Aegean Sea.

Here’s a quick background of her life for those of you who are interested:

I’m going to start from her “Milan years” because to me that’s where she rose and gave her greatest performances and, of course, it was at La Scala where she recorded many of the EMI recordings. On 17 September 1947 Callas had auditioned for La Scala with Casta Diva and O Patria mia, but the Artistic Director, Mario Labroca, didn’t think she was suitable. However, a substitution for Renata Tebaldi on 12 April 1950 in Aida launched a relationship that would continue for more than a decade. Between 1950 and 1962 she would sing 23 different operas, appearing on the Milanese stage 181 times.

Although critics and public were mostly enthusiastic about her vocal performances between 1947 and 1953, comments about her physical aspect were less favourable. Although she was quite tall at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) she weighed almost 100 kilos (220 lbs); quite a large girl. In 1952 a tactless critic wrote, “It was impossible to distinguish between the elephants’ feet and those of Aida.”

So between the summer of 1952 and the spring of 1954, she lost 35 kilos, and in doing so – with the help of Biki – transformed herself into a style icon. Many of her outfits are reunited for the Callas exhibition. (The iconic portrait by Jerry Tiffany in New York for EMI in 1958 demonstrates how the transformation was complete).

In 1952 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Norma. London would later be the place of her last appearance in a complete opera, in 1965, and one of the dates of her final concert tour with Giuseppe di Stefano in 1973. But London was to also be the setting for a famous… infamous encounter.

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In 1959, when Callas was one of the core members of the international jet set, a party was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was hosted by Aristotle Onassis. the picture above was taken at the event!!!! The next month Callas and her husband were already guests aboard his yacht Christina and the fatal relationship began.

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Her relationship with Onassis ended in 1968 when he left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1969 she did interpret one of her opera characters again for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film of Medea; though on this occasion she wasn’t required to sing. Piero Tosi’s magnificent costume for the film is part of the exhibition, so is the favourite black leather jacket that Callas wore during this period. Various documents on show illustrate the intimate nature of the friendship between the director and his leading lady.

The final rooms contain some of her hats, bags, shoes, turbans and other accessories which Biki so carefully labelled in the early years to help her young protégé coordinate the right hat with the right gown. Biki continued to dress her when she lived in Paris, as well as Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hérmes and Alexander for her wigs.

In the early ‘70s she appeared at Juilliard for the legendary workshops, directed I Vespri Siciliani together with Di Stefano in Turin, and Di Stefano convinced her to join him on an around-the-world concert tour which finished in 1974.

27 November 1973: Maria Callas gives a farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

In 1975, Onassis died in a Paris hospital, a few months later Pasolini’s murdered body was found on the beach at Ostia near Rome, and the following year saw the death of another friend and mentor Luchino Visconti, who once said that he’d only started directing opera because of Callas.

She died of a heart attack on 16 September 1977. She was 53.

The Wide Leg Pants are Back!

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Thank God the wide leg pants trend is back (Not that I’ve ever stopped wearing them)… I’m not a person who follows trends for the sake of them being the latest thing!!! … I normally stick to what suits my body shape and style… So I’ve been waiting for this trend to come back for a while! Not so I can start wearing them (like I said I never stopped) but because now I can easily find them everywhere! …Hooray for that!!

To me, there’s nothing chicer than a pair of wide leg pants or better yet a wide leg jumpsuit!! My favorite brands for wide leg jeans are 7 for all Mankind and Zara. For wide leg pants, my favorite are Ellery and Celine. And for the wide leg jumpsuits, my absolute favorite Brand is Rosie Assoulin…Chloe comes a very close second, though!

The wide leg pants are a statement unto themselves. Even the most classic or simple look like the one above looks dramatic and far from boring.

Hermès Window Display by Frank Plant

This post has been sitting in my draft box waiting for me to remember it since January!! I can’t believe that I totally forgot about it!!

 Hermès always manages to create beautiful window displays. This year they have commissioned the sculptor Frank Plant to design their windows… I loved it so much that I thought it is worth posting even if its so late!!

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Better late than never right?