Fashion

The Fashions of Cleopatra in Cinema

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It was this month that Cleopatra, the Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt whose story has captivated scholars and history geeks for centuries, ended her life in 30 BCE. Her legacy has played out on the big screen by countless stars. Cinema’s version of the queen often emphasizes her exotic and lavish costumes, as any proper Hollywood spectacle would. We took a look back at the fashion-savvy depiction of Cleopatra in cinema to see how filmmakers have portrayed one of the most powerful women in the world throughout the years.
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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Yves Saint Laurent

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Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, which premiered at Cannes in 2014, looks at the life of the French fashion designer from 1967 to 1976. This was a career peak for the influential couturier and preceded his breakup with longtime partner Pierre Bergé (who also helped run the business). The film sees a limited release this weekend. In celebration of the Palme d’Or-nominated film, we’ve gathered a few facts about the fashion legend.
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Reese, Blake, Gwyneth: The Commodification of Celebrity Blandness

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There’s a certain aesthetic that I associate with decent to middling romantic comedies of the early millennium, usually starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, or Reese Witherspoon. This aesthetic surrounds a lovelorn heroine who is a clean-cut but slightly funky blonde, a little bit frenetic but also warm. She’s pretty for the guys and aspirational for the ladies, and utterly devoid of any real personality, grit, or distinctive cultural background. She’s a blank slate, made to reflect the projections of viewers, just as the big windows and gleaming surfaces of her home reflect her pretty face.
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How Do We Fight a Culture in Which “Pretty Hurts” Workers, From Sweatshops to Nail Salons?

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In the past two weeks, investigative journalism has woken us up to the price, in human terms, of cheap beauty. First, John Oliver and his team reminded us about the sweatshops, child labor, and unsafe conditions that go into our “fast fashion.” Now, The New York Times‘ Sarah Maslin Nir has published a long exposé of conditions in New York City nail salons (short answer: they’re abysmal) that is setting social media ablaze. Reactions have ranged from self-flagellation and self-righteousness among salon clientele to questions about the best way to fix the situation: Tip better? Organize? Abstain?
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How Rihanna Won the Met Gala — and Surpassed Its Awful Theme

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When the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute announced the subject of its spring 2015 exhibit, the media collectively cringed. China: Through the Looking Glass — which, according to the Met, “will explore the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries” — is a perfectly suitable topic for a museum dedicated to the history of fashion; after all, excising Western influence by, or appropriation of, other cultures would wipe out the bulk of art history. But the show’s theme doubled as the theme of last night’s Vogue-hosted opening gala, an event so intertwined with the actual exhibit that the Costume Institute’s official name (The Anna Wintour Costume Center, as of last year) is essentially a formality.
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Here Are All the Celebrities Who Defied Anna Wintour’s Met Ball Social Media Ban

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She may have put Kim Kardashian (and a hashtag!) on the cover of her magazine, but make no mistake: Anna Wintour’s not exactly a digital convert. According to Page Six, guests at last night’s ultra-exclusive Met Gala were sent the following mandate: “The use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala.” That worked out… about as well as one would expect, so in lieu of a red carpet roundup, we’ve collected evidence of the rich and powerful doing what they do best: whatever the hell they want. Click through for last night’s best Instagram selfies and Twitter updates, with our apologies to Ms. Wintour.
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“What’s Underneath” Video Series Uses Fashion Culture to Uncover Rape Culture

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The mother-daughter team behind eclectic personal style website StyleLikeU, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, have produced a remarkable series called “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of short videos in which fashion-forward people — artists, musicians, and others — sit in a studio and take off their clothes. Eventually clad in their underwear, but softly lit and beautifully styled, the subjects talk about their journeys, mostly focusing on the contrast between inner and outer conceptions of style and beauty.
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