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Celebrity stylists

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OSCARS: Red Carpet Is Fashion’s Runway.

If all roads once led to Rome, then most fashion runways now merge into the Red Carpet. For the past decade or so, celebrity stylists have cherry-picked the fashion runways for the very best frocks for their A-list clients on awards nights. In essence, you would first see a gown on Kate Moss and then on Cate Blanchett.
But more recently, the trend is for actresses to show up to the Oscars in ready-to-wear or one-of-a-kind couture gowns that haven’t yet debuted at fashion week or the European shows. In many instances, the Red Carpet is the new runway.
Case in point: The one-shoulder black-and-white column gown that Claire Danes wore to the SAG Awards came from Givenchy’s pre-fall 2013 collection.
“In an effort to trump other celebs, it’s become about wearing something that hReasn’t even been seen on the runway yet”, says Cameron Silver, a fashion expert known for his serrated wit and the author of the new style encyclopedia, Decades: A Century Of Fashion.
“The system is so out of control”. By system, Silver means the big, greasy machine in which actresses and designers make exclusivity deals.
Though no star or stylist will speak on the record about such dalliances, it’s been suggested that anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 can come sewn into the hem of a red-carpet gown worn by a nominated actress. On a less cynical note, however, stylists can’t be blamed for calling first dibs on spectacular gowns that they preview.
“The advantage to using dresses that haven’t been shown yet is that no one else has seen them”, says the powerful Hollywood stylist Elizabeth Stewart, whose clients include fashion risk-takers Blanchett and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain. “There’s a better chance of a good dress not having been snapped up”.

Actress

If anyone can be held semi-responsible for all this pushing and shoving, it’s Nicole Kidman. Back at the Academy Awards in 1997, she hit the red carpet in an exotic chartreuse haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior. (A facsimile of the dress had been spotted just a month earlier at the Paris show and the designer worked to customize it for Kidman.) No doubt, every other actress on the carpet that night later learned to pronounce “haute couture” with just the right French flourish.

And just as wearing never-before-seen runway dresses has become de rigueur, über stylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe has upended the buffet once again. She put longtime client Anne Hathaway in a snow-white Chanel couture gown from 2009 at this year’s Globes. What? A 3-year-old dress? “Just because a dress was seen on the runway a couple of years ago but didn’t have its moment doesn’t mean that it’s out of fashion”, says Silver. In fact, if anything, it shows that a resourceful stylist can gild a forgotten gown like anyone else would lacquer an old credenza. Zoe also put Hathaway in a black spring 2013 Giambattista Valli couture gown for the SAG Awards this year.

Catherine Kallon, who founded the popular website Red Carpet Fashion Awards in 2007, has been visually comparing runway looks and their red-carpet translations for over five years. She sniffs at any criticism about petite Hollywood actresses being swallowed by dresses designed for statuesque woman with tiny ribcages. “For the most part, I think runway dresses translate better on the red carpet”, she says. “Just look at Lucy Liu in her Carolina Herrera gown at the Golden Globes for further proof. She owned the floral ball gown”.

Actually, she borrowed that gown and it was pre-fall 2013.

Sensational

All eyes will certainly be on Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence this Sunday at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

The talented star always dazzles in demure designs (usually by Dior), which are perfectly lovely. But for this incredible occasion, we’d love to see Lawrence in something a bit more sophisticated and sensational.

After careful critique of the New York Fashion Week runways, we selected this embellished design by Reem Acra for her big moment.Oscars fashion: Jessica Chastain, we found your dress!
The stunning design features a curve-hugging silhouette with a sweeping skirt made of layers of lovely tulle and netting for a dramatic effect.The sparkling beadwork adds brilliant interest to the gown, while the mesh fabrication adds an alluring hint of sexiness.

We’d love to see Lawrence with her hair soft and volumized with loose curls and swept back in a low chignon. A touch of classic red lipstick would complete this mesmerizing look.

What would you like to see Jennifer Lawrence wear to the Oscars?

Typically

Prada Goes With Her Feelings.

A fashion show typically lasts about 10 minutes, and that’s just enough time to either be suicidal from boredom or convinced you haven’t even begun to live, since you never thought of wearing a black party dress over the gray cardigan you leave at the office because you, Ms. Mouse, are always cold.
Miuccia Prada, like Rei Kawakubo and Phoebe Philo, established that there is a world of difference between men and women as designers. One difference is that a woman will readily use her feelings to build a collection instead of an outside source, like the work of an artist.

Karl Lagerfeld might be clever at loading up the pop cultural references at Fendi, and obscuring the evidence in a dizzy pile of fun furs, but you can’t imagine him trying to give a shape and texture to female repression. He’d rather stick a pen in his eye, but that’s just a guess.

More than 20 years after the sex fantasies of Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, studded leather looks like an adolescent rash, it’s so commonplace and down-market.

No wonder Donatella Versace, in her show on Friday, made the spikes in collars and dresses four inches long. There’s no edge left to the fantasy. But male designers have never been good at the kind of fashion known as “ugly chic.” That emotional territory belongs to female designers. Actually, the territory belongs to just one.

“It’s everything I like,” said Ms. Prada before her show, referring to the done-undone quality of the outfits, with tweed or beaded chiffon dresses worn carelessly over drab cardigans, the garments left partly unbuttoned so they fell off shoulders. The midcentury silhouette, with deep fur cuffs on hard leather jackets and gray flannel suits, was another Prada favorite. The gloomy set and the wet “Les Miserables” hair seemed mostly a Prada ploy, and didn’t really add anything.

As the models lined up for the show, Ms. Prada said: “I’m obsessed with this problem — that everything is forbidden. There is so much control that you can’t abandon yourself to anything.” If Ms. Prada, who turns 64 this year, is frustrated, she shouldn’t be too concerned. A generation of women has been peculiarly susceptible to her fashion: they feel exactly what she feels. So, even if this was not the most challenging Prada collection, its naïve, almost do-it-yourself glamour still got under your skin.

Journal Women History

Journal of Women’s History
Author Guidelines

The editors of the Journal of Women’s History invite submission of article-length manuscripts (not exceeding 10,000 words including endnotes, 35 pages in length) accompanied by an abstract that summarizes the argument and significance of the work (not exceeding 150 words). We are interested in articles based on original empirical research as well as reflections on conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues in women’s history. Given the Journal’s broad readership and increasingly transnational direction, we encourage consideration of the wider implications of each study. We also welcome letters to the editor in response to recent articles.

Beginning April 15, 2010, all new manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Women’s History must be submitted online at: mambadate.com /Peer reviewers and journal staff will also use the system for all communications regarding manuscripts. This new process will allow the Journal’s editors to streamline the submission and review processes, speed up acceptance and revision times and automatically track information regarding authors, reviewers, and Journal content. However, any resubmission of manuscripts that were originally submitted before April 15, 2010 should be sent via email to the editorial office at mambadate.com

Recognizing that access to the internet is not universal, the editors will accommodate those who cannot use the on-line submission process. For further instructions, please contact the editorial staff at:

Jean Quataert and Leigh Ann Wheeler, Editors
Elisa Camiscioli, Book Review Editor
Journal of Women’s History
c/o Department of History
Binghamton University, SUNY
P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton, New York 13902-6000

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