Victoria’s Secret Supermodels

Text, Vivian Kelly

The Victoria’s Secret Supermodels –  Modern Day Amazons, Putting the Glamour Back In Modeling

Stephanie Seymour in-V-magazine Sports Issue

 

This post was inspired by a variety of sources.

First, came a conversation with hair color guru, Anthony Palermo. While I sat in his salon chair at ALS, he showed me an image of Supermodel Stephanie Seymour in the current issue of V Magazine. This Forty-something year old Super’s bod is as hot as it was in her glory days when she was hanging with Axl Rose and Guns N Roses. Years later, her face is still beautiful and compelling.  She and powerful glamazons [ Stephanie, Giselle Bundchen,  Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel] evoke the same reaction – stunned  admiration.

ALL  of the above, by the way, were or still are Victoria’s Secret Angels.

I’m not the only one who wants to see supermodels who are larger than life. On my way out, Anthony recommended I check out a site he follows called,  The Little Squares, which ran  an op-ed piece called, We Still Love Magazines, which led me to The Business of Fashion. This article, about legendary French Vogue editor Franceline Prat spoke to me. It talks about the magic of fashion, which is created by talented editors, stylists, photographers, hair and makeup and great models. Only the very best of models are candidates for the title “supermodel“.

For those of you who wonder what I mean by “supermodel”, here is some clarification. In the late Eighties and Nineties, the “Supermodel” was born. She was unlike anything fashion had ever seen or experienced. The original Supers were the models who the late Gianni Versace chose for his sexy runway extravaganzas. There was nothing like a Versace show in terms of flash, excitement and high octane sex.

In the mid-nineties,  Tom Ford celebrated the strong woman while he was Gucci’s Creative Director. The difference was that Tom’s Gucci sirens looked cold and domineering, not unlike photographer Helmut Newton’s Amazonian beauties.

By contrast Gianni’s girls on the runway and in his ads looked, happy, full of life and invincible. They were the idealized living walking breathing “ultimate woman”. Women wanted to BE them, and men wanted to date them.

Then came grunge and  minimalism and a toned-down attitude which included a major directional shift to  the skinny/skeletal women-girls who walk today’s runways, despondent, knowing that the real plums [magazine covers, the best beauty and fashion campaigns] of the biz go to celebrities. Who can blame them for being bummed out?

Really though, is this what we really want to see and idealize? So many editors have leaned over and said to me during countless shows, “Where’s the excitement? That girl’s shoulders’ knees, [fill in the body part] stick out too much. It’s distracting me from the clothes.”

The Victoria’s Secret Angels have restored my faith in the “Supermodel”. She IS indeed alive and well. If you’ve any doubts whatsoever, have a look at the slide show below.

Enjoy!

Instrumentals by Carson Martabano and Parker Delio

Product of Carsonaccio records

 

 

 

Gwen Stefani’s s/s2012 L.A.M.B. Collection – When Fashion by a Celebrity is a Good Thing

Text, Vivian Kelly

Celebrities have a bad rap in the fashion business. I’d taken a skeptical stance on the idea of the notion of celebrity as fashion designer, since the days when Kathie Lee Gifford “designed” a line for Wal-Mart, followed by legions of demi celebs such as Paris Hilton who capitalized on their fame to produce shoddy garments they themselves would never actually wear. The fact that THEY themselves wore Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta etc etc. said it all.

There are exceptions however, that show that celebrities CAN [in conjunction with the right team] produce a credible fashion line. The first time I witnessed this was while attending a Justin Timberlake concert at Mohegan Sun, soon after his “Future Sex/Love Sounds” tour hit. Joe Zee did an amazing job styling him and Justin carried that white suit as well as John Travolta did his in “Saturday Night Fever”.

IT wasn’t William Rast, but I recall being stupefied when mid-way through the show, he sang a ballad in a plaid William Rast shirt and jeans. That night, I began reconsidering the celebrity as fashion designer issue and resolved to actually READ the WWD articles about Celebrity X designing a fashion line to see if others besides Justin were getting it right.

Good news. In the ranks of the “getting it right” are Justin Timberlake/William Rast, the Olsen Twins/Elizabeth and James, and the subject of this post, Gwen Stefani/L.A.M.B. Until this NYFW, the closest I got to Gwen’s line was seeing pieces at Nordstrom’s on the floor. I liked what I saw and longed to see her next collection in its entirety to see if she continued to follow-through on her branding message ie: herself  = a fun yet sophisticated version of cool.

A key ingredient for a brand’s success is to create an identity and to stick with your DNA. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana hit gold early in their career with the severe look of elderly Italian women clad in black crossed with sexy corsets and animal print that showed their idealized woman; one who possesses an intriguing angel-devil personality.

Gwen Stefani has similarly created a believable personality for her L.A.M.B line. She is known as a pop star who mixes classic glamour with funky contemporary clothing resulting in a mix that is the modern equivalent of Eighties’ pop star, Cyndi Lauper. Although physically these two don’t resemble one another, they share that irresistible “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” spirit that I’ve loved since Ms. Lauper debuted it in 1983 on MTV.

This season was my first L.A.M.B. show. I’m calling it a “show” even though technically, it was a presentation, set in the “Box” space – my favorite of the Lincoln Center Fashion Week venues as there’s usually little to no waiting, you can get as close as you want to the clothes and the models obligingly pose for shots.

The presentation was scheduled to start at 2:30p.m, but you wouldn’t have known that from the crowd assembled in the holding area when I arrived at 2:20. Normally tardy editors were in line waiting, snaked around the length of the tent to get what I guessed would be only a very quick glimpse of the latest L.A.M.B. collection and hopefully a look at the chanteuse cum fashion designer herself. [Ms. Stefani was not there, sigh.]

I  wiggled to the front of the 4-deep crowd huddled around the models posing on the white blocks, to scan the 23 looks. There was herringbone plaid, a leather moto jacket, some fun Ikat prints and quite a bit of Noir Jewelry; in short, no huge deviations from the brand’s DNA. Just an hour earlier at lunch with Scott French and Meredith Garcia of The Fashion List at Pain Quotidian, we all agreed that the best designers like writers find their voice and stick with it. Their customers appreciate this; can count on them to deliver the goods. Make no mistake – consistency is not boring, it is an asset.

A few months ago, a stroll on the floor at Nordstrom’s Westchester Mall verified this. Marc Jacobs Mark by Marc and L.A.M.B. stood out, because they didn’t need any store signage to identify them. That odd but adorable tweak like a teeny tiny print on a puff sleeve blouse- must be Marc. Black and white herringbone jackets and red accents? Must be L.A.M.B. – it was.

With all of this in the back of my mind, once finally, inside the Box, my first glimpse revealed black and white, this time as an Ikat print top worn with brown herringbone shorts accessorized with a skinny red belt, and towering platform sandals in black, red and cobalt – very Eighties!

The rock and roll portion of the brand was most apparent in the accessories, hair and makeup, namely a leather and gold shark tooth necklace heavily kohled eyes, straight black brows and a two- tone “Pebbles” from The Flintstones hairdo.

Many of the editors in the Tents were wearing this same up-do, minus the volume and two-tone.

Ms.Stefani hit the preppy trend square on with a v-front cream tennis sweater but unlike the one from your parents’ country club, this one is minus the unflattering bulk. The L.A.M.B sweater boasts fine knit gage stitching, which make it an ideal transition piece. These days, transition pieces are where it’s at. What could be better than playing a set of tennis, taking a shower, putting on the same sweater that you walked on the Courts with and getting-on with your day? There’s something for everyone here, and even one piece will up the fun quotient of your spring wardrobe.

>Abe Gurko Talks to TheFE About Reeve Carney, star of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

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Text, Vivian Kelly

A few days ago, I blogged about my fave fashion pundit, and fashion PR man, Abe Gurko, and his work with Reeve Carney and his band for the Monarchy Collection lookbook video. collaborated to redo Monarchy’s somewhat stale image.

If you missed the post, here’s the link to it so you can watch Reeve and Zane in action working the Monarchy Collection.

http://thefashionexaminer.blogspot.com/2011/01/chat-with-abe-gurko-my-favorite-fashion.html


Once you’ve watched today’s video of Abe talking to me about his work with Reeve and Zane Carney on the Monarchy lookbook, you’ll see that Reeve’s got the package going. He’s stylish, can sing; seems he can also act. We’ll all bear witness to that sometime in March, barring further delays to the delayed opening of the much-anticipatedSpider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.


The new Broadway opening date is set for March 15. What they have on tap sounds well worth the wait and seemingly endless postponements. Previews started way back on November 28, but the announced opening dates in December 2010, January, then February 7 fell by the wayside like a bunch of dominoes collapsing.

The new and we hope, final new opening date is March 15th. According to a statement released by lead producer Michael Cohl, the delay is needed to give the creative team more time to “fine tune” certain aspects of the show and…. A new ending!

In addition to the stylish Reeve Carney as “Peter Parker aka Spidey”, there’s music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of the band U2, and a book by director Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.

Maybe this production has gotten all of its bad luck out of the way and we’ll get our socks blown-off in March. In any case, I’m looking forward to Abe’s commentary post-show.

>The 12 Days of Xmas-Fashion

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY

On the first day of Christmas,

Caswell Massey sent to me, a lovely little Gianna Rose Bird Soap, complete with her two perfect eggs, nestled in a little porcelain dish. Voila, the perfect hostess gift for under $30!

On the second day of Christmas,
my UPS Man sent to me
Two items from QVC: KJL’s “Lady Di” blue engagement ring and a pair of black Jackie O
sunglasses
in a chic red leather case.

On the third day of Christmas,
my grocer sent to me
3 bunches of fresh watercress because Dr. Nicholas Perricone

said, “It’s the new Ancient Superfood” that may just be the secret ingredient in the Fountain of Youth. You’ll have to read his latest book, FOREVER YOUNG to find out what the rest of his magic formula is.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
X-Rated Fusion Liqueur sent to me 1 bottle of the pink elixir and 3 festive cocktail recipes to toast the holidays in. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur is a low calorie vodka infused liqueur, and delicious on the rocks, but I’ll kick things off with a special holiday cocktail, “Sassy Little Elf” with 4 gal pals
after some holiday shopping. We’ll mix-up some “Holiday Mischief Makers” to help with culinary inspiration on Xmas Eve, and St. Nick’s Naughty or Nice Punch will keep things merry all through-out Xmas day.

Sassy Little Elf

2 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 ½ oz. guava juice or nectar
1 oz. half-n-half
½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
garnish: lemon zest (or mini candy cane)

Vigorously shake all ingredients with ice.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Serve with the garnish on the rim of the glass.


On the fifth day of Christmas,

sent to me 5 Great Skin Care Products from the new SHISEIDO BENEFIANCE WRINKLE RESIST 24 line. Thanks to its advanced technology, I won’t have to visit my dermatologist and plastic surgeon for a while.

It’s a grand slam of a combo:

1.Extra Creamy Foaming Lotion

2.Wrinkle Resist Balancing Softener Enriched

3.W.R. 24 Day Cream SPF15

4.W.R.24 Night Cream

5.NEW Shiseido Suncare Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35 PA +++. This last goodie will come in handy when I go down to Orlando in two weeks as it’s for face + body. Just remember to pack it in your check-in Lilly Pulitzer “Pink Daquiri” Tote

so the TSA Grinches don’t swoop it away.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
I got busy sitting at my little gold rolltop Italian desk and knocked-out Xmas cards from HAUTE HOLIDAY CARDS, stylish eco-friendly initiatives, hauteholiday cards use papers that have high recycled content from www.hauteholiday.com with the help of a lot of Café Bustelo Espressos brewed in the Dolce Gusto Piccolo
coffee machine
, a tres
stylish coffee machine discovered at Robert Verdi’s Luxe Lounge during NYFW.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
I went to the Apple Store and bought seven different ipod covers – one for each day of the week.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
United Artists sent to me, 8 posters of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in “Cherry Bomb”.

Joan Jett and Cherie Currie themselves didn’t look this good. Aviators, anyone? You can’t beat a pair of classic Ray-bans.

On the ninth day of Christmas, I pulled out my Farrow & Ball
paint catalogue
and decided that I’d start 2011 by repainting TheFE Home Office in one of their spring 2011 fashion colors. The winner? The “Elegant” room, painted in “Arsenic No.214, trimmed in “Slipper Satin”.
My target – to have it done in 9 days

On the tenth day of Christmas,
I threw caution and my AMEX to the wind and went leaping over to Neiman Marcus, and did a “his and hers”. If you want to pull out all the stops, the REAL “HIS + HERS” = the official 50th anniversary of NM’s His & Hers gifts – the ultimate romantic retreat: the MetroShip houseboat. The 48-foot by 12-foot open floor plan and 7-foot-high interior ceiling is richly appointed, offering the best in comfort, technology, aesthetics–and portability.
Neiman Marcus
style:
HIS – 5 Tom Ford Private Blend Fragrances

HERS - 5 Tom Ford Lipsticks.

On HIS List

• Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

• Oud Wood Eau de Parfum

• Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

• Tuscan Leather Eau de Parfum

• And the latest one- Vetivier

On HERS List

• Ginger Fawn

• Black Orchid

• Pink Dusk

• Vanilla Suede

• Blush Nude


On the eleventh day of Christmas,
I went to Border’s Book Stores, picked up the “Complete Sushi Book DVD” kit, and watched Steven Pallett guide me through the process of making a respectable California roll. It’s also available on www.amazon.com, where it earned a *****rating.

Nobu, it’s not, but it’s good to be able to make a basic California Roll for lunch – just like Super Model Cindy Crawford used to swear by when she needed to keep her killer bod
toned for strutting down Gianni Versace’s runway back in the day.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
I gave myself the gift of relaxation, starting with a hot bath in India Hicks’ Island Living “Spider Lily” bath salts, put Sinatra’s,
“Nothing But the Best”
on my Ipod and

followed by a shower with the matching body polisher, body lotion, and a spritz of the eau de toilette – all from www.crabtree-evelyn.com

Then, I snuggled onto my newly upholstered couch, courtesy of Kostas Decorating, wrapped myself-up in a snuggly “heather honey zen cardigan” from Worth with India’s enormous “Casa Causarina” candle burning

on the dresser, and threw-in the DVD of the 1967 Jacqueline Susann cult classic, Valley of the Dolls and soaked in some sixties fabulosity. Try this at-home “sleep cure”, just like “Neely O’Hara, Anne Welles, and Jennifer North”, indulged in at exclusive Swiss jet set
spa retreats. Thanks to all of these little luxuries, I won’t have to pop any “dolls” like the Girls did for my long winter’s nap.

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>The Academy of Art University s/s2011 Show

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Photos by Randy Brooke
This season, the Academy of Art University student show 2011 show premiered six women’s wear and one men’s wear collections. The AAU show is one of my favorite shows on the bi-annual NYFW lineup. It’s not just because I’m an online instructor for AAU’s Fashion Department – it’s much more than that.

People in fashion tend to be jaded, to great or lesser degrees, which comes from constant rejection and the risk of “putting yourself out there” when you present your creative body of work, whether it be your modeling, writing, PR, styling, or design talent.
What’s different at the AAU backstage scene is the sense of “feels like the first time” excitement that just can’t be duplicated. The atmosphere is stressful, of course – what backstage scene isn’t? but I stayed far longer than I’d intended, caught-up in the festive atmosphere, and arrived late at the Assouline Book Party uptown at the Plaza.
Being late was worth seeing the little girls dancing and posing about in the brightly colored dresses that were inspired by a number of British influences including cricket, the television series “Brideshead Revisited,” British interiors, and the uniforms
of Oxford University.
The eclectic dresses were a collaboration between textile designers, a group of Technical Designers, Fashion Designers and Textile Design students all working together. As Oprah so famously said, “It takes a village”.

After stopping to chat with AAU’s Dino Ray Ramos, he took me over to meet
Maria Korovilas, M.F.A. Fashion Design. On the way there, I stopped to admire Cara Chiapetta‘s Helmut Newton-y black dress, thinking how professional it looked. No wonder, Cara’s won the Fashion Group Foundation Scholarship, and participated in an LVMH Creative Briefing Design Challenge, interned for N.I.C.E. Collective, as well as for Michael Kors. Her muse for this collection was Bridget Fonda’s character Nina in the film “The Point of No Return”.

A small gaggle of photographers and I were transfixed by the incredible tambour beading coat
Maria was applying some final touches to. Simultaneously working and speaking, she explained that she was resewing some of the nuts and bolts “just in case” to avoid a disaster on the runway [like the metal bits falling off - that did not happen]. Tambour Beading is a specialty which originated in 1770, and was established in Paris by Charles de Saint- Aubin.
There were workrooms dedicated to making beadwork for the French court, who prized these intricately worked garments.
After completing classes in Tambour Beading at AAU’s School of Fashion, Maria incorporated metal encrusted pieces and details into her collection. The hand beading took her over 600 hours to complete. The starting point of her inspiration was the Jenny Lewis song “You Are What
You Love” from which she pulled visual and conceptual references for her collection.

>Films – “The Runaways” – A Candid Glimpse Into the Early Joan Jett Days

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY

Last night was that kind of night David Bowie famously sang about, ” I don’t want to stay in, I don’t want to go out…Modern Love”.
I elected to stay in and finally watch “THE RUNAWAYS”, starring KRISTEN STEWART and DAKOTA FANNING. Yes, they WERE both great in the Twi-series, but there’s more to these girls than hanging-out with vampires and werewolves. Kristen was totally believable as the tougher than tough JOAN JETT [who I mistakenly thought was originally from Long Island]. DAKOTA FANNING played the band’s reluctant sex pot, CHERIE, to a tee. The hair, makeup and costume team got it right too, and even if you’re not into girl punk bands, if you love fashion, you’ll appreciate the visuals.
The best part – when the Japanese school girls actually broke the glass of the green room where the girls were relaxing pre-show and swarmed in like a bunch of hornets.
A close second – when Joan comes-up with the lyrics and music to “I Love Rock And Roll”.
See it – rent it at your local RedBox kiosk.
www.redbox.com

>PATTI SMITH + PORTS1961′s Resort 2011 Collection=AN IRRESISTIBLE COMBO

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Patti Smith’s ‘Because the Night’ – you’ve got your foot in the grave if this doesn’t evoke an emotion in you.
Running home and listening to her on You-Tube was the first thing I did after getting home from previewing the Ports1961 Resort Collection.
I’m a lucky girl. Lucky in that Tony Alcindor, Ports’ uber-gracious [and fun to hang out with] VP of Communications, let me take a sneak peak the day before the show. The show was, of course, great – heard that a week later from blogger buddy Judi Ecochard. Ports’ resort shows always are, and beat-out the big-deal spring and fall shows.

I love nothing more in fashion than the scene backstage and to see the creative process in action. The day before, they were busy setting the mood for show. Patti’s voice was on the speakers, speaking though, not singing.
I got to roam about the racks and draw my own conclusions before going into Tony’s office to chat for a few minutes. The eighties references were all there, hanging on the racks.
The muse, his assistant told me, was PATTI SMITH. Of course! The easy separates, flowing dresses and pinprick size perforation treatment on the leathers all spelled P-A-T-T-I. Other telling details were grommets and the cobalt blue. Everyone in the eighties owned at least one thing in this “it” color. While I liked the structured pieces for work, cocktails, I LOVED the easy flowing black black dresses w/ a plasticized finish. These pieces are meant for living and like the new resort, serve you year round not just for a quick Caribbean get-away. The deep armholes gave the tees Patti wore rockstar status 20 odd years back, and now Tia’s given it to us in a more refined version.

Patti’s an interesting fashion muse. Even young, you couldn’t call her “beautiful” as many icons were [Grace Kelly, Babe Paley,Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor] but Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy weren’t gorgeous either, but they WERE captivating and unforgettable. Patti falls in that category, no question. It’s hard to beat her muse resume – roommate of Robert Mapplethorpe, and a rock icon.

I left the studio with the inspiration statement that would be on the seats the following day. I wish I had the space to copy the whole thing, as this one was really well-done and totally on target. Nice job – Ports team!
Here though, is a snippet I have to share with you.
“Inspired by paradox and contradiction, Tia Cibani takes pre-spring 2011/resort to a state of fragile poetry enhanced by the rocker’s edge, where masculine and feminie boundaries are blurred, resulting in a unique and modern androgyny.”

To see what else Ports has to offer, visit www.ports1961.com

>LADY GAGA- When a Pop Star Strikes a Deep Cultural Chord

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TEXT,* Staff Writer, JULIETTE KELLY
Edited by: Vivian G. Kelly-VanZutphen

We all know and admire her, but past the glitz and glam Lady Gaga has influenced the culture of the United States. Just the other day whilst we were waiting for the train to Grand Central we saw a girl in her mid-twenties wearing a bubble skirt that has been seen on this famous fashion icon dozens of times, all in different formats. Needless to say it did not look as fabulous on this girl as it did on Lady Gaga’s dance figure, but this just shows some of the effect her crazy and new sense of fashion have shaped and twisted the minds of women everywhere. It is not just the interesting sense of flair that radiates off such a strong woman, she has led the music industry out of the resection full speed ahead with her The Fame, The Fame Monster, and The Fame Monster II. Her music tour took her around the world meeting famous figures such as the Queen on her way. Her wild sense of confidence seems to have been more, and more distributed throughout the US.

More and more you will see girls about 20-25 walking down the street with pieces that belong on the runway, not made for everyday apparel. I think Lady Gaga has made a great name for herself in spite of vicious rumors distributed by People or Us Weekly. This explosion of self expression was bound to happen someday and I think that Lady Gaga delivers. I give her a standing ovation.
We’re betting that the Fox Channel’s wildly popular GLEE show will do a segment on Lady G.
To have a look at Glee, if you haven’t seen it yet, visit www.fox.com

*Juliette is a staff writer for TheFE. she is in 7th Grade and loves all things fashion, especially classic Louis V. monogrammed bags.

>GRACE JONES AT THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM

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Text, Vivian G. Kelly

TIME & PLACE: Thursday night, July 30th
@ the Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, NYC

It’s music, it’s pop, it’s fashion, no…it’s ART – It’s the one and only inimitable Grace Jones.

We were thrilled to be attending the Grace concert, which was woefully underpublicized [shame on you agents and promoters for missing out on this platinum opportunity!] With icons dying off right and left [and in the proverbial threes]
– Michael, Farrah. Billy [Mayes] we want to catch them all before it’s too late.

SHOW DAY
Stars aren’t really expected to be on time [one of the perks of stardom]. The doors opened at 6:30p.m., and thanks to an attendee who had friends in the band, we found out that Grace wouldn’t be going on before 9p.m.

SHOWTIME!
We were squarely in the middle of the standing floor seating, squashed between a drag Grace wanna-be and boys born way after 1981 when Grace ruled the music scene in downtown NY who had recently discovered her. WE were in the same boat, unlike many of our friends; we had NOT seen her at the Palladium in the eighties in the early years.

FASHION FANTASY –She emerged on stage, singing, “This is Life”, in a black and white shroud – impossible to see the face or body – yet. She’s a rock/pop star, and like a Queen, she accepted the crowd’s screams of adoration – no smile. We had the first of many fashion moments that evening, admiring the handiwork of costume designer Eiko Ishioka’s handiwork. The Japanese costume designer’s credits include Oscar-winning costume designer, known for her work in stage, screen, advertising, and print media. She won a 1992 Academy Award for costume design for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and costumes for Cirque de Soleil.

FUN FACT
Total number of costume changes in 1 ½ hours [no break!] ELEVEN, each more fantastic than the one before.

OF SPECIAL NOTE
Grace is a woman who loves her milliner; that is she loves a good hat and knows HOW to wear them. There was a white patent gladiator helmet, a silver bowler hat, and a hat that looked vaguely Viking-like.

ROCKING THE BODY
You all want to know and that was the first question out of our friends’ mouths – “was she in shape?”
The answer, “yes!”. She looked as if she’d stepped out of a time capsule with her face and body intact, looking pretty much as she did in her eighties hey day.
The reality is that she’s known for taking extraordinarily good care of herself – no drinking, no smoking, etc. Add to that some dieting and maybe even a trip to the plastic surgeon. Even if that’s true, who cares? She’s set up a challenge for Madonna now, who looks wonderful at 50. Grace is 11 years older and still hot.

EIGHTIES FUN
Although the stage wasn’t huge, Grace packed in all the fun extras we loved back in the day. There was the wind fan, the laser lights, and the video screen showing MTV/VH-1 clips in the background.

BEST MOMENT – when Grace partnered up for some ballroom dancing with a tuxedo clad dummy and foxtrotted to “La Vie En Rose”. In between cracking jokes, such as “I’m 5,000 years old!” she also told the crowd that Director Roman Polanski asked her to use the song for his film.
If you didn’t make the New York on LA shows, you may have to content yourself with tracks on your ipod, it’s unlikely she’ll be performing again soon.

>The BEYONCE “I AM” Concert at Mohegan Sun

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Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, from the official website: www.beyonceonline.com

WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday Night, July 23rd, @ 8:30p.m.

Sitting in Section 105H we had a bird’s eye view of the stage and could have jumped down and fallen into the arms of the blue shirted security guards.
The mood in the venue was mellow yet happy and anticipatory as we waited for the Diva to come on.
Unlike the Justin [Timberlake] concert that was 98% women and 2% men, the ratio was 60/40 here. Many of the men attended with their S.O.

FASHION, FASHION, FASHION!
TOTAL NUMBER OF OUTFIT CHANGES: 11

Beyonce uses French fashion designer THIERRY MUGLER, to create the fantasy get-ups she wears on stage. True to form, she made her entrance in a gold lame body suit , complete with a giant gold tail-bow, 20 Carat diamond earrings, and 5” gold heels. Put that with her huge hair, and she was every inch the”SASHA FIERCE” character she morphs into once on stage. Being a glam diva is a tough climb and once there, it’s even harder to stay on top with all the younger performers breathing over your shoulder and waiting in the wings.

BEST OUTFIT
The SASHA FIERCE outfit – think a cross between Wonder Woman and a leopard.
Her backup dancers wore rubber skin patent leather suits that showed every one of their muscle striations and more than thrilled the male contingent in the audience.

NOT JUST [any old] DIVA
The concert spanned a wide range of songs and reminded us of the impressive body of work she’s accumulated since she broke away from Destiny’s Child and went on her own. There were numbers from the platinum “DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE” 2006 album which caused a sustained deafening roar from the audience, to some songs from “Dream Girls” to video of her singing at the OBAMA INNAUGURAL. Knowles reminded us of pop legend TINA TURNER, at a long-ago “WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT” concert we attended I 1985 in Charlotte, NC, just after her huge career comeback. The strut, the legs, the bigger than big hair, the voice that bounces effortlessly from octave to octave – check.
Unlike Tina, Beyonce has youth on her side and effortlessly contorted herself into a human pretzel all the while singing her heart out for her audience.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT
When the lights went up and Beyonce appeared in a gold encrusted bodysuit on a flying trapeze well over 20 feet off the ground.

MOST MOVING MOMENT -
Her tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Hair guru LEONARD ZAGAMI of NYC’s ANTHONY LEONARD had predicted early that day that pop divas would be doing numerous tributes to the late king of pop. Good call, Leonard!
It’s not suprising that Anthony’s on point, he’s the guy who cuts Madonna and countless other celebs’ hair. Life is too short not to have great hair.
www.anthonyleonardsalon.com

LAST WORDS
What really won us over is that you really got the feeling that she was giving her all to the audience, no hold-backs. Also similar was the frequent audience interaction, she leaned over many times to touch her fans’ hands, to their delight and to the consternation of the Arena’s security detail. A guy named Joe Wilson she had a conversation with during the show’s life will never be the same.