Friday, April 30, 2010

Siobhan Magnus: "I'm not going to change to please other people"

Siobhan Magnus talked to the media by phone yesterday. And no surprise, the interview was as quirky as she is as she revealed her desire to be in a horror movie and how she discovered her scream…

Here’s a taste of what she had to say…

On her scream: “I’m pretty sure I figured out how to do that in the shower in high school one night. I’m an avid shower singer to much of the dismay of my family and my neighbors, but I was singing a Kelly Clarkson song, and I went to hit one note. I reached it, and I was able to resonate it in a different part of my head that I could belt it that high. Ever since I figured it out I started to use it more and more with different stuff, in school choirs and in my band. It became very useful with the style of singing that I like to do.”

On working in the glass shop: “Yes, I started working in the glass shop about three years ago. It was such an incredible job because you learn so much every day. It’s all chemistry. It’s all science, but it’s happening in your hands, and I love that about it. I could sit for hours and watch my boss make the most amazing things.

He’d tell me what he was doing and how he was doing it. Then if the shop was slow and we didn’t have a lot of customers, he’d have me get on the torch, and he’s say, “Okay, you try,” and he’d tell me how to do something. There were times when he’d be working on a huge piece, and he’d need me to come over and hold the other end and blow in it because he couldn’t reach.

I think that glass blowing does require a certain amount of breath control, but it’s not something that you’re pushing really hard because glass is so sensitive, but I also am very vocal in my job. When customers come in and my boss is working on something and he can't stop and explain, I’ll have to explain for him, so I do a lot of talking and have to be comfortable talking to strangers about what’s going on. It might sound silly, but even that is a big help in just communicating with people and just speaking up.

It gets really loud in the shop from the vents that are on because it gets so hot, and then my boss will play really loud music to get in the zone. It’s such a cool job, and I miss it a lot, but it in many ways has helped shape me as a person, my work ethic and my ability to communicate with other people and just learning about the art which is fascinating.”

On Adam Lambert: “Well, it was wicked flattering being compared to him. Right off the bat I just respect him so much for his individuality and his confidence, and his stage presence is just tremendous. It’s undeniable that he’s born to do what he’s doing. He was extremely helpful as a mentor because he was the first mentor that the show ever had that was a past contestant, so he knew firsthand what it was like to be in our shoes, and that was helpful because he was very sensitive to that. He knew just what to say, and the things he said were so dead on.

I really just tried to absorb every single thing he said, every moment that I had with him. He pointed out some great things not even just about technically singing the right notes or anything, but about the entire performance and your presence on stage and your motions and things to make it more believable. I was just so honored to get to have that time with him, and he was such a kind person that he made it that much easier and less scary. I’m so honored to have met him, to have shared an experience with him, and to be given advice from him, and I hope to see him again soon. He’s a great guy.”

On being different: “That’s definitely something that is important to me from the beginning to show people that that’s something I care about and I take very seriously. I have always been an independent person and a different kind of person, but I’m very stubborn and strong-willed, and it’s important for me to get that across that I’m not going to change to please other people. I do what I do because it rests well on my heart and who I am.

The positive feedback that I received from fans and viewers was tremendous. I couldn’t ask for anything better than receiving letters from younger girls who said to me, ‘I get made fun of at school because I’m different, but watching you has helped me accept the fact that it’s okay and it’s a good thing to be who I am and not back down just because other people intimidate me.’

I’ve received letters where I’ve been brought to tears just because I achieved something that has been a goal of mine for so long to be able to influence the lives especially of young girls in a positive way and just to show them that who you are on the inside is a beautiful thing. You shouldn’t let anyone take that away from you because we are all perfectly made as who we are. To be able to have that connection with fans through this whole experience, through the television and know that I reached people, even if it was just one person. I always said if I could influence one person’s life, then that’s what I’m here for, so I’m just so honored.”

On what she wants to do next: “Well, one thing is I’d love to do some more theater. I love acting. I’ve had a lot of experience in different kinds of theater, musicals and Shakespeare, and I love acting. I do aspire someday to be in something like Phantom of the Opera or Jesus Christ Superstar, like any kind of opera or Broadway-type musical because I love acting and singing, and the two of them together is just so much fun.

I also am a huge horror movie fan, and I definitely aspire to at least make an appearance in a wicked gory kind of horror film with all the stops and the special effects makeup that I’m just so fascinated by. A big dream of mine since all my brothers and sisters are very artistic too would be to collaborate with all of them. My oldest brother, Rory, is an extremely talented filmmaker, and someday I’d love to be in one of his films, and we could all come together and create a Magnus work of art.”

On whether she wishes the judges had saved their save for her: “No, not at all because I couldn’t imagine it not being used on Mike. That was so shocking that there was the chance of him going home that week. I think we all knew when it was announced. They have to save him. There’s no way he should be going home. It would’ve been cool if that didn’t have to happen, but I have faith that everything happens for a reason, and I couldn’t be luckier I think to be where I’m at and to have gotten this far. I love Mike to death, and it’s awesome that he’s still in it.”

Her closing remarks: “I just want to say thank you to everyone, whoever believed in me and supported me, and even thank you to the people who were naysayers because that made me fight harder to get to the point that I made it to. I have the coolest fans and all the Siobhan-bons and Siobhan-bees. It’s just been such a wild ride, and it’s not over. It’s just a new chapter. I hope to take this as an opportunity to start to think even more about what’s next for me which hopefully is going to be an array of things from theater to film to recording and performing all over the place for whoever wants to hear me scream.”

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tim Urban: "Just take the criticism and work from it"

I did call Tim Urban my “Idol” nemesis for much of the season, but I honestly did not mean to not share his comments from his media conference call last week. I just got busy and forgot, quite honestly.

But Tim’s comments are so good and so gracious, that I have to share them—even if they are a week late. They actually make me feel a little guilty for some of the things I said about him.

Here is just a taste of what Tim had to say…

On “I really have no comment about that Website. I’m not excited that I was on their Website. I think that it’s really not anything that anybody should be proud of. I really didn’t like being on there, and basically I was working my hardest to get off of it. Yes, I’m actually kind of sad that I was on that Website at all.”

On Simon’s compliment about how he handled the criticism: “That’s actually something that was my goal on the show. It was not just to improve as an artist, but to just be a very good contestant, and to take what everybody was saying, and to just treat the situation—not let it get me down, but to take what they were saying and work at it and improve, but also, not to really complain or to talk back. Just take the criticism and work from it. It was cool to get that recognition about that. It’s something that I’m very proud of.”

On what he would have done differently if given the chance: “That’s kind of hard to say, because by the last couple of weeks, I really showed America the kind of artist that I would be. There were a couple of weeks where I was just kind of groping; I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. But then when I finally settled down and just let myself be myself on the show, I think it really showed American the kind of artist that I want to be. Looking back I really feel like I did what I wanted to do.”

On his relationship with Simon: “You know, it was funny. Simon and I never had a problem. I actually didn’t have a problem with Simon’s critiques. I thought he was just speaking his mind and I took that and tried to use it and apply it. It was cool that he recognized that I was working towards that stuff, and that was really encouraging, but we never had a problem to begin with.”

On whether he’s received any offers from toothpaste or mouthwash companies? “At this point I haven’t, but who knows? It would be kind of entertaining. I’d love to do that in the future; that would be a lot of fun. I haven’t at this point, but you never know.”

On the negative comments about him on the Internet: “Oh, wow. I don’t think that I would respond to that. It seems that people just like to take somebody and then find something that they don’t like about them and talk about it. I get that. It’s part of dealing with the industry, It’s part of being in the spotlight. So, people are going to say that, but people are going to say that about pretty much anybody. You’ll find people that don’t like any artist out there, and so you have to deal with it, shrug it off. I don’t perform for the people who don’t like me, I perform for the people who want me to be onstage, so those are the people that I try to worry about.”

On whether the shirtless photo of him that circulated on the Internet helped him or hurt him: “Kind of both. I definitely heard that it helped, but then there are also people who might see that and not take me seriously, just because of that type of thing. I don’t know; I think it probably helped more than it hurt, but I don’t really know for sure.”

On how far he thought he’d get: “Honestly, I auditioned, I didn’t even think I’d make it past the stadium, just because of how many people were there, and how few people were getting through. So when I was at the stadium, I was honestly expecting to just go up there and sing and have them say that I wasn’t what they were looking for and not get any farther than that.

I didn’t really have any grand pictures, so this whole thing has blown me away. When I made it to Hollywood week, I was like, ‘Wow. This is crazy.’ And then when I got sent home from Hollywood week, I was like, ‘Okay.’ And then they called me back. So, it’s been like this really crazy rollercoaster journey.”

On not getting to sing a goodbye song: “I was a little sad I didn’t get to sing one last time on that stage, but it’s part of it. You don’t always get what you want. I’ll get to come back for the finale, and hopefully get to perform on that stage again. It’s a little bittersweet, but overall it’s all right.”

On his smile: “I think I smile because I have a really solid grounding and I know who I am. I know that regardless of what happens around me, that will always be there. So when I get criticized, it’s like, that’s all right. I still know who I am. I still am happy that I get to do what I get to do, and it’s just such a blessing to be here and to have had this opportunity, that I really couldn’t help but smile. Even when they were criticizing me, I was like, all right, this is part of it. You’ve got to enjoy as much as you possibly can, so that’s just what I try to do.

It wasn’t really a nervous smile, it was just me having fun onstage, and I didn’t want to get depressed about the comments, so I just decided to not let them affect me that much.”

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Breaking News: More on Next Week's Shows

So this morning’s FOX press release reveals some interesting information about next week’s show…

Harry Connick Jr. will not only mentor the contestants, he will also “arrange the songs, write the orchestrations” and perform on the results show. He will be the first mentor to do all of those things.

I have to say that I don’t like that since it probably means the contestants will have to stick close to the original instead of making the songs their own.

And what will the judges say when they can’t criticize them for not making it their own? Just criticize Harry?


One other thing from the release. Lady Gaga will perform during next week’s show. She’ll be doing her new single, “Alejandro.” But that performance will be on tape (The press release doesn’t say that. I just know that.).

Sinatra and Gaga. Interesting combo, no?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Top 6 Results Show: Did America Get It Right?

So did America get it right? Absolutely, 100 percent, yes, yes, yes! It was time for Siobhan to go. I’m just glad that the audience listened to its own ears instead of the judges.

And if future contestants know what’s good for them, they won’t come near “Any Man of Mine.” It’s looking to be a little jinxed…

Of course, I was upset when it doomed Mandisa. But with Siobhan, I’m so proud of American right now I can’t even stand it.

And I’m also proud of “Idol.” Tonight’s show was actually entertaining. I hope they’ll consider packing the hour with performances like that more often. I thought it really worked…

What do you guys think? Did the right person go home? And are you as unexcited about Sinatra Week as I am?

Of course, I was unexcited about Shania Twain Week too and I was wrong there, so we’ll see…

Top 6 Results Show: And the Person Going Home Is

9:53 We’re back…Ryan stands with Casey and Siobhan…Lights down…The person going home is Siobhan. YES! YES! YES!...I LOVE YOU AMERICA!!!...

9:54 Goodbye video…She is just smiling through it…Ryan walks away so she can sing…She’s doing “Think”…Is that a Mary Poppins tattoo on her shoulder?...The director is still struggling to find her fans in the audience…There they are…She goes to the mini-stage…She hit the scream that time, but it was still annoying...She goes over and hugs her mother. She tells her “You’re still our star”…Ryan comes down and gets her and makes her hug Simon because he says he’s going to miss her. Simon says he is going to miss her. Kara hugs her and then Ellen hugs her and tells her she’ll see her tomorrow on her show…Ryan asks Randy to give her some advice and he tells her to just keep being herself…One more plug for next week…Is it just me or do the Idols not seem all that sad?...

10:00 And we’re out…

Final thoughts in a moment…

Top 6 Results Show: Shakira Shakes It and One Person Goes to Safety

9:44 We’re back…Ryan introduces Shakira and Rascal Flatts doing “Gypsy”…Shakira is playing the harmonica…Rascal Flatts is providing the music and Gary is nowhere to be found…The dancers come out…Shakira starts to dance with them. Isn’t that what we all want to see anyway?...She heads out into the audience where Gary joins her. He’s struggling with his earpiece again…They go to the mini-stage together…They actually harmonize well together…She plays the harmonica to end it…Okay I’m not really sure what the point there was. But it was different…Maybe they should think about doing mash-ups like that more often…

9:48 Lights down…Mike, Casey and Siobhan…Mike says there’s no shame in the bottom three since everyone had a good night…Mike is safe. HOLY COW! Kara looks pretty upset. He gives Casey and Siobhan a hug…PLEASE! Siobhan. PLEASE!...Break…

It’s important to note that Ryan has not yet said that Casey and Siobhan are in the bottom two. For all we know, Mike was the next-to-last vote-getter. Just thought I’d point that out…

Top 6 Results Show: Lady Antebellum Takes the Stage

9:35 We’re back…Oh, whatcha waitin’ for…Great now I can’t get that song out of my head…Ryan is sitting in the audience…Tour plug...Ryan introduces Lady Antebellum to do the triple-platinum “Need You Now”…I think this is on tape too…Wow that guy’s voice is so pure…Ryan is on the perch with the bottom three…Break…

Top 6 Results Show: Sons of Sylvia Rock the House

9:27 We’re back…Ryan announces that Harry Connick Jr. will mentor the contestants through Sinatra Week…Alrighty then…Ryan introduces a video of Carrie Underwood introducing Sons of Sylvia to sing “Love Left to Lose” also on tape. They’re on tour with her all summer, by the way…You’ll recognize them as The Clark Brothers, the winner of “The Next Great American Band.” How long is 19 going to shove them down our throats anyway?…I’m confused. I thought they were country. That doesn’t sound like country to me…I have to admit I kind of like it and I’ve never been a fan…Break…

Top 6 Results Show: The Bottom Three Is Revealed

9:09 We’re back…Behind the scenes of the Ford music video. They’re turning them into vampires…Casey and Lee are good vampires…They’re going to chase Mike...The video, “Believe”…That one might have been the best one ever—although that’s not saying much. We needed to see more of the vampires and less of the car…

9:12 Ryan shows video of Idols meeting the director of “Shrek Forever After”…Ryan is in the movie…They’re doing voices to Ryan’s scene…Then they go to the special screening with Eddie Murphy, Ryan and Antonio Banderas…

9:15 Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas join Ryan on the stage…They tell Ryan he is the best host in the world…Antonio tells them to dim the lights…Ryan is doing three groups of two. I LOVE IT!!!...Siobhan stands…She goes to the far end of the stage…

9:17 Aaron…To the center…Big Mike stands…He goes closest to Ryan…Now it gets interesting…

9:19 Lee…Goes with Siobhan. I’m guessing that means Siobhan is safe. BOO HISS…Casey…With Big Mike. Hmmm…Crystal…Ryan asks Ellen if Crystal’s in danger. Ellen says she doesn’t think America is that fickle. I wouldn’t be so sure, Ellen. I think he’s hinting something…She joins Aaron…Mike & Casey, Aaron and Crystal, Lee & Siobhan…Ryan takes Siobhan over to Mike and Casey…It’s the bottom three…WOO-HOO! Could she be going home? Please, please, please!!!...Break…

Okay, let’s take a moment. I predicted Mike would go home so that’s not a surprise. But Casey is a surprise. Apparently last night he expressed to the media that winning wasn’t all that important to him, but the voters didn’t know that so I’m not sure what the deal is there. I’m thinking that SURELY he’s the top of the bottom three right?

And how dirty was that when Ryan told Siobhan he was taking her to the couches, probably making her think she was safe. Nice one…

Top 6 Results Show: Rascal Flatts Kicks Us Off

I have a feeling that tonight’s show is going to very interesting…

And I’m not just talking about the combination of Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and Shakira…

Let’s do this…

8:59 Dramatic Intro…That was actually kind of good… But no THIS? I hate that…Credits roll…

9:01 Ryan comes out from the back of the audience…33 million votes last night…Judges intro…

9:02 Ryan introduces Rascal Flatts…Kara is all excited…They’re doing “Unstoppable”…Does this mean no group number, please, please, please…I think there’s something off with the sound mix because something doesn’t sound quite right. They’re better than this…The judges give them a standing ovation—even Simon…Ryan plugs the tour…Ryan tells us that Rascal Flatts and Shakira are going to sing together. Gary tries to show Ryan some of the dance moves. Ryan says he can’t move like that because his “hips will lie.” This should be interesting…After the break…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fashion Designers

Fashion Design is a very prestigious art form. Designers work and aspire their entire lives to be well known and respected in the field, and it is not an easy task to achieve that goal. That is why the fashion designers who are prevalent truly deserve such a title. Success is not guaranteed with hard work in this business, so much more than talent is required to work one’s way to the top. There are many elements involved, when it comes to putting together a collection, which all designers must consider. For example; the specific garments that will appear in the collection, how they will relate to each other and have a common theme, the different types of fashion that the line will include (such as Haute Couture, Ready-to-wear, and Mass Market) and also, how the garments will provide income, and at what rate they should be priced. We’ll approach our exciting journey through the world of fashion design, by stopping through three of the biggest fashion capitals in the world: New York, Paris and London. In each capital, we will discuss the work of today’s most iconic designers from the respective locations. We will examine designers such as, Vera Wang, Christian Dior, and Alexander McQueen, just to name a few. Quite often, the importance of fashion is overlooked and frowned upon as being shallow and superficial. However, fashion is quite contrary to these opinions. It is a very powerful medium because it translates how one feels is appropriate to present themselves to the public eye. These successful designers are crucial to our lives because they are setting the standard for the styles that we all are choosing to best represent ourselves, and their current work will go down in history as illustrating the styles of our generation.

New York

The first stop we will be making on our journey through modern fashion is in the great city of New York. New York is considered
the economic and true current media fashion capital of the world. The city has a longstanding tradition of excellence and creativity in design and is an important historical center of artistic fashion design for many years.

era Wang

Vera Wang is a very successful, New York City-native designer. Wang began her design career in 1989 with the opening of the Vera Wang Bridal House, designing a signature collection of streamlined and sophisticated bridal wear. Vera Wang launched a ready-to-wear (RTW) line in 2004. Decorative, feminine, and artsy-intellectual, Wang favors the long and lean, with a keen interest in silhouette and a passion for the sheer and textural. Wang is perhaps best known for her romanticism. Whimsical and feminine without looking saccharine, luxurious materials get worked and finessed with a singular flourish. Wang’s designs are often adored for the sophistication and elegance that they are created with. This style may root from her many intensive years of training as a professional figure skater. She draws her exquisite perfections from the poise and beauty that an ice skater must posses. With a heavy interest in history, Wang looks to all sorts of outlets as inspiration. She has even admitted to analyzing history from czarist Russia to Ancient Rome as muses for her collections.

Michael Kors

Located at 11 W 42nd St in New York City resides the humble fashion headquarters of Long Island-born designer, Michael Kors. Kors received an education from the Fashion Institute of Technology and first set out to design clothes at the age of 19. He launched his first line of womenswear at high-end department stores in 1981. The vibe for his Fall 2010 collection portrays him as a minimalist. He uses a general palette of charcoal, camel, olive, and black. With such an easy-going palette, Kors strategically lets his creativity shine in the meticulous accents to the details in his pieces. For example, he would be known to pair a distressed jacket with a big, fur, collar. He is known for creating American sportswear with a chic and luxurious, but sensible aesthetic. In an attempt to translate fashion into “living the dream”, the company’s mission is to encompass every aspect of a luxurious and polished lifestyle. From a sporty day of tennis, to cocktails at the club, Kors designs for the ultimate sporty-chic pair. After years of designing, and many awards on his shelves, Kors remains a powerful brand in the American fashion landscape. Simply put in a 1996 review, The New York Times fashion critic Amy Spindler said of Kors: "Michael Kors is a designer with so much integrity in his work that it is wonderful when fashion comes back to the sort of simple, beautiful clothes he does so well."

Marc Jacobs

Next on our American runway stop, let’s review the latest looks of Critic’s favorite, the established designer, Marc Jacobs. With an education from Parsons The New School for Design, Jacobs delved into his interest in fashion at a young age. Before opening his own brand in 2008, Jacobs had first begun designing at Perry Ellis after its founder had died. In 1997, he was appointed Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, where he created the company’s first ready-to-wear line. Marc Jacobs’s creativity and originality with runway looks has been said to “stun/delight/scare the fashion world, twice a year”. He draws references from unlikely sources, and always incorporates fluxus into his work. (Fluxus is an artistic movement, literally meaning, “to flow” in Latin. It capitalizes on experimental art, by blending different artistic medias and disciplines.) A look into Jacobs mind to find inspiration: “I like romantic allusions to the past: what the babysitter wore, what the art teacher wore, what I wore during my experimental days in fashion when I was going to the Mudd Club and wanted to be a New Wave kid or a punk kid but was really a poseur. It's the awkwardness of posing and feeling like I was in, but I never was in. Awkwardness gives me great comfort.” Jacob reflects his own life from his unique collections. He capitalizes on the awkwardness he felt growing up, and that awkwardness has now made him the coolest of kids.

Betsey Johnson

Quirky, whimsical, and full of life, the designs of Betsey Johnson always stand out in a crowd. Often times her designs are considered “over the top”. She graduated from Syracuse University and got her first push into the fashion world as an intern at Mademoiselle fashion magazine. Johnson is grouped with the 1970’s youth quake fashion movement and Andy Warhol’s underground scene. She began her own fashion line in 1978, her first collection was a great success and her second was not as fortunate. Her designs reflect inspiration tapping into a punk-Warholian aesthetic. These designs strongly portray both the “flirty” and “sassy” looks. Her eccentric nature, and outrageous designs truly contribute to the culture of American style, and set her apart from other designers, not to mention, they also make for great and exciting fashion shows.


The next stop on our tour to the fashion capitals of the world will be in the prestigious city, home to the Champs Elysees, Paris, France. Paris and London are considered the symbolic fashion centers of Europe and the world, due to their long standing histories as centers of art and fashion, and being home to several renowned fashion houses.

Christian Dior

When a fashionista hears the name, Christian Dior, they automatically are aware that high fashion, and high prices will be involved. However, another immediate assumption, or thought is that whatever the product is, it must be very elegant, well designed and luxurious. The influential French fashion designer began what would be an incredibly successful life in Granville, France in 1905. At the beginning of his fashion career, he made money by selling his sketches outside for about 10 cents each. After his schooling, he opened a small art gallery where he sold art by the likes of Pablo Picasso. In 1939, he was recruited into the military, and after leaving the army, Dior founded his own fashion house on October 8, 1946. His first clothing line was titled Corolle (meaning circlet of flower petals).

Dior's designs were more voluptuous than the boxy, fabric-conserving shapes of the recent World War II styles, influenced by the rations on fabric. Dior is remembered as a master of creating shapes and silhouettes. His designs employed bustier-style bodices, hip padding, and petticoats that made his dresses flare out from the waist giving his models a very curvaceous form. Some controversy arose when women protested the designs because the dresses covered up their legs. Due to the previous limitations on fabric from the wartime shortages, women were used to conserving fabric. Dior created designs with the hem of a skirt ending at the ankles, ignoring the fabric limitations, but the opposition ceased as the war ended. Dior’s designs and unique, inventive sense of style revolutionized women’s dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II. His designs will always remain greatly inspirational and appreciated amongst fashion designers.


Another one of the finest and most legendary fashion designers that Paris is home to is Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel. Chanel’s pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. Her extraordinary influence on fashion led her to be the only person in the field to be names on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century. When Coco opened her first small millinery shop in Paris in 1913, little did she know that she was laying the foundation for what would become the world’s most acclaimed fashion houses. With the outbreak of World War I the popularity of Chanel’s new kind of chic only grew. Women sought more comfortable garments to replace constrictive corsets. One of Chanel’s most iconic creations was the Chanel suit for women. She was revolutionizing the way women dressed, and as a reaction, women now had the opportunity to have a comfortable suit to work in, as simple as a man’s business suit. Chanel’s life began with humble beginnings in an orphanage. She faced much struggle, but that is possibly what makes her pieces so beautiful. The passion that she gained from the hard times that she faced only made her stronger, and her work more elegant and admired. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel made great strides for the progression of women in the 20th century, and for style. It is clear that she was one of the most important designers, because her influence is still relevant in fashion today.


Moving onto the final fashion capital we will discuss, for the purpose of one great fashion designer, London, and the work of Alexander McQueen. London, along with France and Milan is one of the powerhouses of fashion in Europe. It is home to many top designers and modeling agencies, and much business generated is influenced through media and fashion. It is the vibrant capital of the United Kingdom and is renowned for its unique art and antiques that are displayed in museums. Fashion statements and trends that are established in London eventually become followed all over the world.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen dropped out of school at age 16 to pursue a career in fashion design, learning tailoring on Savile Row and pattern making from costumiers Angels and Bermans. He showed his degree collection fresh out of the Central Saint Martins Masters program in 1994, which was bought in its entirety by style icon and fashion editor Isabella Blow . The label is known for its dramatic, gorgeously constructed pieces, combining elements of British tailoring with French couture. Signature looks included billowy dresses cut in hourglass silhouettes, frock coats paired with skinny pants, sharp, angular suiting, and darkly romantic gothic gowns covered in intricate embroidery and lace. In 2004, McQueen designed his first menswear collection and was named British Menswear Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council. In January 2006, the brand launched McQ, a more affordable, denim-based ready-to-wear line including menswear, womenswear, and accessories. McQueen was always known for provoking his audience’s extreme emotional reactions. One season, his audience shed tears over his inhospitable venue, and then tears of joy from the beauty of his clothes. Tragically, McQueen continued this play with emotions until his very recent last day when was found dead in his London apartment in February 2010. The cause of death was suicide. His powerful work showed what great thoughts he must have had; unfortunately, these thoughts led him too far. There is much grievance in the fashion community over this event, but at least he left us with his groundbreaking collections and visions to look back on and remember him with.

Alexander McQueen's Spring 2010 Runway Show

One thing that all of these designers have in common is their great contributions to the development of fashion throughout the decades. All are inspirational, and all have influenced the casual trends that we purchase and claim as our own personal styles. Not only do they create apparel for us be clothed with, but they create statements with their series of collections. They’re powerful voice is heard when their designs are brought to life, walking down the runway. Each of these designers is unique in their own way, and they all differ from each other through elements such as purpose, concept, style, and even through the materials that they use.

“Fashion is a form of imitation and so of social equalization, but, paradoxically, in changing incessantly, it differentiates one time from another and one social stratum from another.” This quote is interprets role of fashion in society. It is inevitable for art to be some form of imitation, but that combined with originality creates the styles produced by such iconic designers. In the future, fashion trends will continue to change, but the present collections of our designers differentiate our generation now from all others in the past and future.

Trends In Accessories

Trends in accessories include bags, jewelry, headbands and hats, sunglasses, scarves and belts and shoes. There are common trends throughout all of these as well as others that are specifically for one category. For the spring of 2010 there are new colors and prints that are now in. Shoes also have a different style that have now become very popular and have been seen through the shoes of several different designers. All the accessories follow the trends for the spring and each designer interprets it in there own way to make an accessory that people will buy.

Every designer interprets the new trends in their own way and incorporates that trend into their accessories using their unique style. Each designer has designed accessories that will be popular for the spring 2010 and has showed these new looks on the runway during Fashion Week.

Starting with the trends in shoes for the Spring 2010, designers have shown that several zippers and buckles, army style boots, studs, animal prints, and leather are all in for the spring season. The army style boots are being introduced early and are intended to be more of a trend for the summer, but designers have already shown their interest in putting out their shoes for this trend. The animal print trend includes prints such as tiger, zebra, leopard, and snakeskin. This trend is a very popular one that has been seen in not just shoes and has had a great impact on the spring 2010 designs.

Another very popular trend that is huge for the spring 2010 is the use of several zippers, buckles and straps for shoes. There are several designers such as Steve Madden, who have designed boots that go up to the knee and have one long colored zipper along the back. Jimmy Choo has taken this trend and made shoes that are very strappy and very high as well. Other designers have decided to just have one zipper or buckle, and have chosen from a variety of heel size. The style of the heel has also been part of a trend that is a really high heel or a very low, almost flat heel.

Color-block, has been a pattern that has been used by several designers in their shoes for the current season. The color-block pattern includes several different colors that are put together to present not only an attractive but fun type of shoe. The shoes shown below are examples of how this fad has been interpreted by designers to create a unique shoe of their own.

Jewelry follows, for the most part, similar trends as the other accessories but also creates its own for the spring of 2010. Flower prints are in right now for the spring as well as for the summer. The possibilities for creating clothing, shoes, etc. are endless when it comes to floral prints and it gives designers the opportunity to express themselves in a way that distinguishes them from others. With jewelry it is easy to get creative and the simplest idea can transform into one that stands out over others. Flower rings have become a well-liked piece of jewelry that can be found in small or really large flowers. The larger flower rings are a very bold look and can we worn on an everyday basis or for a night out with the girls. The flowers don’t stop with rings, and have made its way to earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Designers have created beautiful art through their jewelry and have constructed one of a kind pieces.

One of the other trends seen in jewelry are the two finger rings that range from simple architecture to much more complex designs. These rings go across two fingers and can simply be explained as two rings connected as one. The designs of these rings can be a word, a flower, a simple band etc. they are unique and as the months have passed by they have become more and more fashionable. After celebrity Lauren Conrad was seen wearing one on an episode of “The Hills” girls watching the show wanted one of their own and the trend of the two-finger ring has become a popular one.

There are several other pieces of jewelry and each one has its own trend that has been seen for the spring. For bracelets, thick bangles have become the new fad and these bangles follow the trends of accessories. The tribal print has been used for bangles and because they are thick it is easy to incorporate this pattern then it would be for a ring. Bracelets have also followed the trend of shoes using studs and have also been using silver for several pieces. These new bracelets have also come out where they are thick like bangles but tighter on the wrist and flat. They have different shapes, some being in the shape of flowers and others being flat with designs engraved in them. Plastic bangles have also become big and can be found in all different colors, plain or with a funky design

Bags are a huge and important part of the accessory department because they are necessary daily to pretty much carry our lives in a small compartment. The new styles for bags that are in for the spring are fringes, tribal print, animal prints, and leather. Messenger bags are also coming back and have become a wanted style in bags, as well as the straps of the bags being chains. The bags that have been developed incorporate the main trends in accessories as well as trends that can be found for clothing of the spring. The tribal pattern for example isn’t seen much throughout jewelry besides on bangles but in the bags department it is seen frequently this spring. Several designers have taken this print and created gorgeous unique looking bags that are a big hit. Just like the tribal pattern that is a fashion trend for not only accessories but for clothing as well, the animal print has become one that can be used through all of fashion. With the bags department more snakeskin has been seen than other animal prints. The snakeskin has been combined with leather by some designers to create a different looking bags than just one simple pattern, in a sense these designers use the color-block trend but with snakeskin and leather.

Hats and headbands have become a growing trend that started to become trendier recently with the fedora and flower headbands. Since last summer the fedora was in and was seen all over the fashion magazines. With the summer approaching soon the new styles of fedoras have been coming out with different styles than last years and have also seen other styles of hats being created. Another kind of hat that is now the new hot thing for the spring and summer 2010 is the Panama hat. It is similar to the fedora but has a flatter but longer rim around the hat. With these two hats out, the designers have taken it into their hands to create on of their own.

Headbands have been out for the past years but recently there has been a higher demand for them. The flower trend fits perfect into the headband category because they have become so popular and look great on a headband. Flower sizes range from small to large as with the rings and in all different colors. These headbands are fun to wear and can turn a simple outfit into one that stands out. Feathers on headbands are also a trend that is being seen more now as well and have been arranged differently to create several styles.

Sunglasses have now become an accessory that is necessary especially in the spring and summer with the sun being out more often. The print of sunglasses has followed the spring trends of animal prints. Leopard and tiger print can be found on sunglasses as well as the color-block trend. Neon colors has become a big trend as well and is seen so much through sunglasses. The style of the frame is also another trend that can be found for this accessory and of course has its own separate ones from that of the accessories department as a whole. Aviators, wayfarer, and big-framed glasses are what are in for the upcoming seasons of 2010. All these frames have been out before this year but it is the new patterns with these frames that make them the new trend for this year. Ray-ban has become one of the leading sellers of the wayfarers and after coming out with simple color ones last year; they have decided to take it to another level now and add bright colors to their glasses. One the recent demanded wayfarer’s are those with the bright bold color inside the frame and either black or another color on the outside. They have also taken the floral pattern trend into their hands and created sunglasses with these prints that are also in demand.

Aviators seem to never get old and instead of just that gold metal frame there have been all different kinds of colors along with plastic frames. These sunglasses are not seen with the floral print or color block but instead do have different color frames and lens. The combination of colors is what makes each pair unique and trendy. The plastic aviators have also become in several different colors and also fit into the big-framed trend because they are coming out bigger than the normal size aviator.

The newest trend to the sunglasses section is squared frames. These have been growing and were seen on the runway. They haven’t been seen as much but it is a trend that has potential to become popular this summer.

There are several different sections to accessories due to variety of items that it covers. Overall there are trends that can be found for the section as a whole and then those trends that fit only for a specific section. Each accessory has its unique style and thanks to the designer’s creative style, there are endless items that are created taken from one overall theme. The spring trends don’t end with the season and will be seen during the summer but of course those trends intended for the next season will be seen more. Designers will continue to develop new styles with these trends and will evolve the world of fashion as they have been for all these years.

So Who's Going Home?

Wow, did Crystal pick the wrong week to have an off night…

I don’t know what Ryan will do, but my guess is there will be a bottom two. And I think that Crystal could be in it for the very first time. But will she go home? Man, do I hope not.

If I had my choice in who went home, I would go with Siobhan Magnus without a doubt. But if the audience listen to the judges instead of their own ears—or decide to team up with—Siobhan will stay. But as to who I think will go home? I’m going with Big Mike. But I really think Crystal could be in real trouble…

What do you guys think? Do you agree that Mama Sox may be in danger? And do you agree that the show should consider bringing Shania Twain back next year in some capacity?

Post a comment and let’s get this discussion started…

The Judges and I Completely Disagree Over Siobhan

Siobhan Magnus, “Any Man of Mine”: 12
This is the song that tripped up Mandisa, but her performance was better than this one. She dragged the tempo—as evidenced by Shania finding it hard to clap along. She made the whole thing sound like a pageant song. And she didn’t inject any attitude into it at all.

So why is it that she does one slightly in key scream and the judges completely forget the mess that came before it?

Final thoughts in a moment…

Aaron Totally Finds "a Way"

Aaron Kelly, “You Got a Way”: 18
Aaron totally connected with that one. It was nice. I think he was having some voice trouble, but he still sounded really good.

And yes, tomorrow is going to be interesting…

Mama Sox Misses One?

Crystal Bowersox, “No One Needs to Know”: 17
The vocal was solid, but the arrangement was a little shaky. The backup singer was way too overpowering. Her falsetto was gorgeous but we barely heard it. I think she should’ve done it with just a guitar. And I think she was a tad too feisty with the judges tonight.

But who doesn’t love seeing someone call their boyfriend out on national TV?

Casey James Nails One

Casey James, “Don’t”: 19
Casey hit it right on the head. This was a singing song and he needed to do a singing song. I love that he said, “I don’t think I’ve sung yet.” He may have been right.

And is Shania a good mentor, or what? Hmmm…

Big Mike Makes Shania Cry

Shania Twain, “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”: 19
I love that Shania called him out and told him not to take his great voice for granted. And I think he actually listened because I don’t think he seemed nearly as cocky. And that ending was GREAT!

And I love that Shania is so engaged in the performances…

The Judges and I Completely Disagree Over Lee

Siobhan Magnus was a glass blower? Hmmm…By the way, she’s’s new favorite…

And did you hear all the yelling for Lee when Ryan asked everyone to shout out their favorite? Hmmm again…

Lee DeWyze, “You’re Still the One”: 14
I really like Lee, but I didn’t like this one at all. The beginning was super shaky and he didn’t take Shania’s advice about going with just the piano—which I think was right. The song was just too high for him and I think he might have flubbed the lyrics for the third week in a row.

My Thoughts On "Idol Gives Back" and Tonight's Show

So before we move on to tonight’s show, let me play a little catch-up and offer up some thoughts on “Idol Gives Back”…

To be honest, I can’t really say that much because since I was watching it on tape, I fast-forwarded through most of it—including all of the appeal videos (Am I cold-hearted or what?).

But of what I saw, I thought the show was actually kind of decent. The comedy bits were mostly funny for a change—although George Lopez went on a little long and I didn’t appreciate the Clay Aiken slam in the Russell Brand-Jonah Hill bit (Tatiana looked good, didn’t she?). But Wanda Sykes was hilarious, especially the part about the eliminated contestants singing and reminding us of why we didn’t vote for them.

And no, the contestants did not sing live, but I think the Auto-Tune was turned down slightly and there may have been some actual live notes involved.

My biggest problem with the show is that it always thinks bigger is better. We couldn’t just have Joss Stone, we had to have Joss Stone and Jeff Beck. We couldn’t just have Mary J. Blige, we had to have her with an All-Star Band. But the best performances were just one person and the microphone—Carrie Underwood and the always phenomenal Annie Lennox. It was disappointing that Annie couldn’t be there live, but she was still amazing.

Speaking of the performers, it’s interesting to note that The Black Eyed Peas are not allowing their performance to be downloaded for charity. Personally, I wouldn’t waste my money even if it is for a good cause, but I find that to be a terrible move on their part that they should seriously reconsider.

My biggest disappointment with the show was that there were no big watercooler moments that made me want to run to my computer and start downloading. Remember two years ago, the goosebump-inducing performance of “Shout to the Lord” by the contestants (Of course, you downloaded it and discovered it was completely different, but that’s another story.)? Or Annie Lennox tearing through “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during the first one? It just all seemed a little blah this year.

And did the President of the United States really need to tell us that we’re all his dawgs?

The most important thing is that a lot of money--$45 million and counting—has been raised for some very worthwhile charities…

Of course Tim Urban being out of the competition is pretty important too…

Tonight it’s the music of Shania Twain. I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty worried. This is, after all, the music that took out Mandisa in Season 5. This could be interesting…

Monday, April 26, 2010

Forget the Fashion Police..They Wear What They Want To

Regardless of the fashion police and the general public’s comments on their choice of outfit, all of the celebrities have their own unique style.

Some other women celebrities, however, always choose to go for the elegant look. Taylor Swift is an example of one celebrity who does this. With her (usually either gold or silver) sparkle dresses and up-do she always tries to look very classy on the runway.
Some celebrities, however, choose to stand out on purpose. They may not want to follow the stereotypical red carpet look of elegance. For example, Lady Gaga is now known, not only for her musical talents, butalso for her outrageous fashion choices. She once chose to wear an outfit made out of bubbles.

Her Kermit the Frog outfit and other outrageous fashion choices have definitely made Lady Gaga the talk of the town.
Two celebrities can also arrive at a red carpet event wearing the same outfit and one may rock it differently than the other. Although two celebrities may be wearing the same designer, they each wear it in their own unique way. One style may look better on one celebrity than it does on another. For example, at the 2009 MTV Music Awards, singer Pink and Shakira both showed up wearing the same dress.
Needless to say, both Pink and Shakira are two very different women with two very different personalities.Even though they’re wearing the same dress they each have a different body type and each of them is wearing it differently. Shakira decided to wear the high boots and Pink decided to go with the black heels. It was a matter of opinion who looked better in the dress. Both of their styles may be more on the edgy side