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The CFDA Awards are tonight! Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall will be even more glamorous than usual as the fashion industry gathers to honor America’s most influential forces. Established and emerging talent is recognized among American designers who are the driving force behind modern style. Designers such as Narciso Rodriguez, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Sean Combs, Calvin Klein, and Kate Spade have received such distinction.
This year, Michael Kors will join the ranks of Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenburg, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, and Yves Saint Laurent when he is presented with a Geoffrey Beane Lifetime Achievement Award.
A variety of other awards have been given to influencers who, though not designers, have powerful voices as masters of red carpet style, as with Sarah Jessica Parker, or as journalists like this year’s winner Tonne Goodman of Vogue. Occasionally, distinction is given to one who may not even work in fashion at all, but who posesses the style and grace to reignite a nation’s passion for dressing well and standing tall. In last year’s winner, Michelle Obama, the Council of Fashion Designers of America intended not to honor notoriety, but herald the birth of legend.
This year’s celebration will include one somber moment, as Alexander McQueen is remembered for his work. Though his life was cut short, his unique voice will continue to underscore the creative thoughts of designers, entertainers, artists and the everyman for generations.
Andrew Sotomayor is a celebrity makeup artist in New York who’s worked with Juliette Binoche, Kerry Washington, Saffron Burrows, Rose Byrne, Justin Kirk, Jonathan Groff and champion boxer Andre Berto. His clients have appeared on Project Runway, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Good Day New York, and CNN. He’s created the makeup for Victoria Beckham’s denim and eyewear look books, and assisted on fashion shows for Dior, Diesel, Marchesa, and Project Runway. Magazines like Marie Claire, Shape, InStyle, Glamour, People, and numerous blogs have interviewed him, and he’s appeared on television for Access Hollywood. Andrew leads makeup artistry workshops for the students at The High School of Fashion Industries. See his work at DramaFreeMakeup.com
It’s a safe bet James Cameron loves a good adventure flick as much as I do. I don’t know him personally, but I’d assume as much.
Critics often mention how beneath the revolutionary technology of Avatar is a story that’s already told before (think Dances with Wolves or Fern Gully – The Last Rainforest) and thankfully, they’re right. As a Latino American, I’ll be the first to argue that stories inspired by the Spanish Inquisition will never be cliché. Furthermore, the preservation themes of films like Avatar and Wall-E have emboldened the spirit behind my childhood obsessions with Captain Planet, Free Willy and ET that have lingered like as a canvas tote bag I made in grade school with SAVE THE EARTH in vibrant puff paint that resides somewhere in my parents’ basement.
In honor of Avatar’s cry for mother nature, I’m gonna give shout outs to two of my most favorite beauty brands that benefit beauty fanatics and mother earth.
Cargo’s PlantLove Lipsticks have tubes made from corn instead of plastic, are free from petroleum or parabens, and the cardboard wrapper is infused with wildflower seeds that actually grow when buried.
Chantecaille has worked hard raising money to protect endangered species by donating a portion of the sales of their blushes and eye shadows beautifully embossed with designs representing tigers, whales, coral reefs, butterflies, and most recently (my childhood favorites) dolphins.
Going back to nature is important for our future, but technology has earned it’s role in entertainment. Both times I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D, the landscapes were so breathtaking, I felt a bit of relief from my yearning to run off and move to the rainforest. Unfortunately, that fantasy will not come true until they have an iPhone app that cures one’s fear of snakes.
Fun with technology inspired photographer Lizzy Sullivan, dancer Marcus Phillips (from the original Off-Broadway production of Fela!), and I to brave the winter winds for a rooftop photo shoot last fall. Building on the skills I learned when I keyed Patrick Wolf’s Hard Times Video, we used blacklights, blue UV activated body paint and a long exposure to create motion blurs of Marcus moving with the Brook
lyn Bridge behind him. The final look reminded me of Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan in Watchmen.
If you’re eco chic, and headed to an Oscars party this Sunday, this easy Avatar glamazon look is the perfect way to show your futuristic wild side. Brighten your whole expression with a single tiny Swarovski crystal placed in the inner corners of each eye. Pick it up with tweezers, dip it in a tiny bit of lash glue and place it just beyond the tear duct. The effect is much more subtle than you’d think and looked amazing at Marchesa F/W 2010 presentation. To keep the rest of the look simple, avoid shimmery eye shadow and instead add a pop of vibrant matte blue color on the lid using Shu Uemura m 685. Follow with several coats of mascara and you’re done.
If you’re not willing to paint yourself blue in full Avatar solidarity, you’ll obviously need to know what to wear. MyFashionPlate.com stylist Eric Himel suggests turning to Alexander McQueen’s S/S 2010 collection, Plato’s Atlantis. The “eighties-inspired tribal futuristic” dresses “epitomize the strong tribal culture of the Na’vi people.” The prints even look like the markings on Pandora’s flying Ikran.
Finally, every good warrior princess needs to accessorize, so jewelry designer Jenny Jordan recommends these handmade bangles from her Symbology collection, available on Etsy.com and at Elle Squared in Livingston NJ. Her Pisces and Aquarius designs are both hand painted and plated in 22-karat gold. “People born under these signs are humanitarians. They are sensitive, headstrong, creative, intuitive and have a very large imagination.”
Avatar is hands down the most technologically advanced film of the year, but will blue take the gold for best picture? I’ll be glued to my TV set Sunday, eager to find out. I’ll “see you” there!
For more styling tips, click here to reach out to Eric Himel via MyFashionPlate.com.
To see more of Jenny Jordan’s designs visit her online boutique at
www.SYMBOLOGYbyJJ.etsy.com or in-person at Elle Squared in Livingston, NJ (973) 533-1111
New York makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor has worked with celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Juliette Binoche, Kerry Washington, Emmy Rossum, Christine Baranski, Alicia Silverstone, Nina Garcia, Natasha Bedingfield, Rose Byrne, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Isaac Mizrahi, Adam Lambert, and many more. Supermodels including Liu Wen, Arlenis Sosa, Angela Lindvall, Elettra Wiedemann, and Du Juan, have worn makeup by Andrew and clients have worn his makeup for appearances on Project Runway, The Oprah
Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis & Kelly, The CBS Early Show, Good Day New York, The Rachael Ray Show, CNN, and The Tony Awards. He’s created the makeupfor Betsey Johnon and Victoria Beckham’s look books, and assisted on fashion shows including Chanel, Dior, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Diesel, and Project Runway. See his work at AndrewSotomayor.com
Alexander McQueen’s Documentary, Watch his Spring 2010 Show online, and a Celebrity Stylist Walks in Lady Gaga’s Shoes.
Yesterday, a funeral service was held for Lee Alexander McQueen in London. His legendary designs will not be forgotten and there are lots of opportunities for you to see his work online.
There’s a documentary about his life and his work called “Masters of Style: Alexander McQueen”, free to watch on Hulu.com. Produced about a decade before his premature death, the opening lines were eerily foreboding. His early work is showcased beautifully and the interviews create a portrait of a creative genius who veered sharply from the typical male fashion designer archetype.
For a more personal reflection, I turned to celebrity stylist Maeve Reilly who’s worked with stars like Rhianna and Kerry Washington. She references McQueen’s Spring 2010 show “Plato’s Atlantis,” which can be seen in it’s entirety at ShowStudio.com.
As a stylist and overall creative person, I have to say that McQueen was one of my favorite designers of all time. His shocking and untimely death the night before New York Fashion week kicked off and his NYC presentation was devastating. Going to shows is one of my favorite part of being a stylist and this year was much different. There seemed to be a gloom throughout the tents, as if everyone was still in shock and trying to recover. A little about him, He was one of the youngest designers to achieve the title “British Designer of the Year,” which he won four times between 1996 and 2003.
One of my favorite images of him was with Sarah Jessica Parker at the Costume Institute Gala in 2006 in matching plaid, this look on her was spectacular, different and not necessarily well received. I remember her making a mix of Best and Worst dress lists for this dress, however I loved it and remains one of my favorite gowns. That dress was daring and when I realized how much I loved Mcqueen and my love for him has only continued to grow with each collection he has created.
The Spring 2010 Show in Paris was absolutely my favorite show of all time. The “creatures” that came down the runway were literally out of this world. The “pod” shoes were sky high and never been seen before. The prints on the clothes seemed like water or inspired by water and diamonds. As a stylist I have been able to see these shoes up close and personal at their New York showroom, KCD. I am happy to say that after a walk off with another stylist, I did not fall nor trip.
RIP Alexander Mcqueen
Maeve Reilly is a celebrity stylist. See Maeve’s work at MaeveReilly.com.
Andrew Sotomayor is a celebrit
y makeup artist in New York. He has worked with Juliette Binoche, Kerry Washington, and Rose Byrne and appeared on Access Hollywood. He is a My Fashion Plate Trendsetter. See his work at DramaFreeMakeup.com.