Lady Gaga’s Versace Super Bowl Style Scored Big, Says Fashion Pundit Cameron Silver and Beyonce’s Stylist Ty Hunter

Originally posted Billboard.com

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Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston.

Lady Gaga has spent the bulk of her nine-year run as a pop star being known for statement couture when it comes to her fashion choices. Throughout her time, Mother Monster has worn heel-less platformed shoes and dresses both made of Kermit the Frog heads and raw meat. But as widely seen throughout 2016 when she promoted her latest album, Joanne, Gaga’s look became decidedly more conventional . Cut-off jeans, vintage tees, classic gowns and an assortment of hats from her go-to L.A. designer have been her staples lately. So when she announced last fall that she’d be performing at Super Bowl LI’s halftime show, one question prevailed as her big day neared: Would fans see the ’16 Gaga or the one with the wild style come showtime?

Well, it turns out it was a balance of the two. Soaring from roof to stage, Gaga started in a custom Atelier Versace jumpsuit with beaded Swarovski bling, bold shoulders and matching knee-high boots singing “Poker Face.” Designer Donatella Versace eagerly posted a shot of her and Gaga in the outfit on Instagram right before the performer was about to begin. (Gaga also wore Versace at a Super Bowl press conference earlier in the week.)

“Every diva wears a body suit,” veteran stylist and fashion pundit Cameron Silver tells Billboard, noting that it’s customary for any female performer that dances and moves as much as Gaga to wear something that encourages mobility. “It’s required of these super athletic, over-the-top, hyper-technical performances. She needs something that’s like ath-leisure on steroids.”

Lady Gaga performs onstage during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston. 

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The piece that Silver found most intriguing was Gaga’s final look: silver sequined hot pants combined with football shoulder pads-like cropped sculptural jacket, also custom Versace. “That expressed what this is about,” Silver says. “She played with the iconography of a football jersey and Gaga-fied it. I appreciate that she expresses herself so profoundly in clothes.”

Beyonce longtime stylist Ty Hunter was most impressed by the opening bodysuit. “Versace was able to capture the Gaga style we grew to love with the huge shoulder pads,” he tells Billboard, noting its modern take “with chain mail and crystals.”

Hunter certainly knows the process of determining the perfect look intimately. In 2013, Beyonce kicked off her 13-minute halftime set with her smash “Crazy In Love” from her debut album wearing designer Rubin Singer’s “liquid nylon” mini dress with a moto jacket, then ripped it off to reveal a leather bodysuit with a black lace and fishnet stockings.

“Whatever Beyonce’s final thought is,” Hunter tells Billboard, “we have to bring it to life. There’s a huge process that goes with it. You just want to shock and woo the crowd.” Hunter played a key role in pulling together pieces for Queen Bey’s 2013 performance, which helped propel unlikely choice Singer to star-status in the fashion world.

“We had a lot of high-end designers coming at us,” Hunter adds. “But we actually gave it to Singer, an up-and-coming designer who we believed in. We didn’t tell her who the designers were. We just let her pick them. He blew up after that. It just goes to show that it you believe in your dream or vision and keep on pushing, you could dress Beyonce for the Super Bowl.”

Lady Gaga performs onstage during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston. 

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Back in 2015 fellow lady icon Katy Perry’s Super Bowl fits were all handled by Moschino designer Jeremy Scott. She began her set in a yellow, orange, and red leather flame dress while riding a massive gold metallic tiger as she sang hit single “Roar.” Then she transitioned into “Teenage Dream” and the bubbly “California Gurls” by removing the leather opener and a dress that brought beach balls to mind with its red, blue, yellow and white patterns. Even the black sweatshirt Perry wore while dancing with Missy Elliott had some sparkle to it with crystals adorned all over. She wrapped her performance with “Firework” by being lifted off into the air via shooting stars. Fittingly, Scott dressed her in a Moschino gown made of holographic silver mylar that transformed her into a shimmering meteor.

Where Perry’s outfits were overwhelmingly vibrant and Beyonce’s sleek and seductive, Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl style choices — by then Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci — were more regal, giving off the vibe of a warrior goddess. And considering she made her grand entrance by being carried on a throne as “Vogue” and her other pop classics boomed from the speakers, her choice made sense.

For tonight’s 13-minute dramatically illuminated performance, Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl style gave nods to her costumey past without alienating an audience that maybe wouldn’t receive her eccentricities with seven-layer dip and open arms. It was a solid balance of glam and sexy without overdoing it and certainly lives up to the legends that came before her. “It was accessible to suburbia,” Silver adds. “But it still gave fantasy to her fans. She looked great. She sounded great. It’s like she was playing football in heels. I hope she has a nice massage after that performance.”

Fashion Can Be a Great Industry for Older Women

Originally posted on NYmag.com

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Photo: Getty Images

“There were times when having a man in a suit representing the company would have helped break the ice and set the trust factor moving faster,” Norma Kamali admits of the early days of her fashion brand, “but I had to learn how to grow the invisible suit around me, and I am so happy I did.” Kamali’s “invisible suit” is her experience, and it undergirds her nearly 50-year career in what can be an incredibly unforgiving industry. But while fashion is still deep in its love affair with all things youthful on the surface — occasional sprinklings of AARP-aged models aside — when you work behind the scenes, age and experience are more respected than you’d think.

Think of the grand dames of the American fashion industry. Anna Wintour. Grace Coddington. Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo. Or prominent designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, and Vera Wang — all over 65 years of age. At fashion shows, veteran-critic Suzy Menkes is treated with just as much, if not more, respect than the 19-year-old “It” girls sharing the front row — she is carefully ferried through by a phalanx of PR people.

Designer Maria Cornejo, who has been running her namesake line for almost 20 years, says that with advancing years she has become more in tune with what her customers actually want to wear. After all, though the Kendall Jenner-ation proliferates in ads and on the runways, the dirty little secret of the fashion industry is that women her age aren’t the target customer. “Twenty-one-year-olds don’t really shop [high fashion],” Cornejo points out. Her customers tend to be older and to fall in line with Cornejo’s own fashion philosophy, which she sums up as: “I don’t want to look young; I want to look youthful.” For that reason, she’s often populated her runway shows with creative types of varying ages, long before it became trendy to cast “real women” as models.

For Kamali, being around for a while has its advantages when it comes to design as well. “I know when I see something [if] it has been done before,” she says. Alexandra Shulman, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, feels the same way. “[Age] can give you a sense of perspective,” she says. “When you’re in the middle of doing something, it’s very easy to get swayed by a popular movement and sometimes it really helps if you’ve gone through a period like that before.” It helps to be able to draw on a backlog of lived fashion history to know that, for example, Jeremy Scott wasn’t the first designer to send faux paper dolls down the runway, or that Marc Jacobs didn’t invent grunge.

In the pages of her magazine, Shulman has addressed the concerns of quote-unquote “real women.” The magazine has a regular section titled “Ageless Style.” Most notably, she devoted the entire November issue to the theme, profiling philanthropists, academics, and transit engineers instead of the usual models and starlets. That came about in part because of reader demand. “I’m always getting letters [asking], ‘Why aren’t there any clothes for women my age?’” she says. “That person will probably be somewhere between 50 and 70, and my response to them is: It’s not about clothes being for your age, it’s about finding what you like, and it doesn’t matter what age you are. And I don’t think that you would be, in fact, very happy if there was a shop that was literally for 60-year-olds. You don’t want to get pigeonholed into that.”

When asked how she’d counsel her younger counterparts, Shulman opts for the British stiff-upper-lip approach. “Aging is just a fact of life. If you don’t age, you’re dead. That’s the alternative, so I don’t think you should be worried about getting older at all.”

Clara McGregor, Ewan’s Daughter, Is Ready for Her First Fashion Week

Originally posted on Wmagazine.com

This New York Fashion Week—as with most fashion weeks lately—there will be a new celebrity scion sitting front row: Clara McGregor. The eldest daughter of Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and French production designer Eve Mavrakis, McGregor, 20, is stunning and unpretentious. She prefers all-black jeans and a sweater over flashy fashions and is currently a hardworking sophomore at New York University. Like her parents, she wants to one day go into film, but in the meantime she’s trying her hand at modeling.

This past December, McGregor was offered a contract with Wilhelmina models, joining the likes of Hopper Penn and an ever-growing list of signed scions. In fact, her first, just-released campaign for the brand Fay was with Bob Dylan’s grandson, Levi Dylan, who is also signed by Wilhelmina.

You’ve lived in New York for the past two years, but where are you from originally?
I grew up in London and lived there until I was around 12. Then I moved to L.A. where I did middle school and high school. I moved to New York for college at New York University. I’m a Cinema Studies major and Business of Entertainment minor.

You’re set! Have you seen any movies recently that you liked?
I just saw Gold, which was pretty good. I loved La La Land. But I have a list; I’m going to go see Moonlight and 20th Century Women —all those.

Do you have a favorite movie of all time?
I’m not saying these are the greatest movies of all time, but I love Almost Famous and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Those are my happy movies.

When did you get into modeling?
It started with my interest in photography, but then my interests shifted and I got more into acting. I’ve always wanted to expand what I was doing and I really love fashion; modeling just seemed like it went hand-in-hand with acting and photography.

photo credit: wmagazine.com

You were in a music video recently. Tell me about that.
Yeah! My friends, the Post Nobles. They’re really cool and my friend Ryan, who directed this film I shot this summer called Groove, also directed it. It was a really fun day.

What were you like as a kid? What was your style?
I was such a tomboy. I was very practical; I would always be running around and climbing trees. As I got older, I wanted to dress more feminine. I really keep things simple and I’m still trying to figure out my own style. I tend to just wear all-black.

Do you have any style icons or inspirations that you look to?
So many. For brands, I love Marni, Marc Jacobs, and Calvin Klein. Of course, Chanel. I feel like there’s really been a re-boot in the fashion industry to make everything more youthful and fun. In terms of icons, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington. All their outfits from the ‘90s are coming back. I love the way my mom dresses. As I get older, I see myself dressing more and more like my mom. She’s been collecting clothes since she was really young, like she still has pieces that she got when she was in her twenties, so I love going through her closet.

Do your parents give you advice about entering the fashion and entertainment industry?
Yeah, they’re always very realistic with me about the struggles that come with being in the public eye. They’re super supportive, but they’ve also warned me.

What do you do for fun in New York?
I love going thrift shopping and to museums, especially the ones downtown like the New Museum. I have a lot of friends who do music, so I go to a lot of concerts and to see them DJ. It’s endless—the food!

What sort of music do you like to listen to?
It really depends. I go from Kanye and Chance the Rapper to Oasis; classic rock to Fatboy Slim.

Do you have a fashion pet peeve?
I really don’t like sandals that lace up all the way to your knees.

I saw on Instagram that you’ve been traveling. Where did you go?
I went to Bali for two weeks with my boyfriend. It was amazing. We backpacked around. I would like to travel to Tokyo and Cuba next.

Have you ever been to fashion week?
No! New York is going to be my first one. I’m really excited.

Sustainable Fashion Trends

want to be sustainable?

Eco-minded fashonistas rejoice! This year, there are more sustainable fashion options than ever. Bracelets made of vegetables, necklaces that used to be wine bottles and watches made of wood are all emerging options for those that want to wear accessories made of a sustainable material. Leave the cheap plastic accessories behind and check out these awesome options.

Papaya FruitYou can now wear beets and cabbage on your wrist and still rock the runway. Some designers have begun to create colorful designs from dried fruits and vegetables. These paper-thin layers are then applied to a copper cuff. The result is a colorful cuff that looks like stained-glass in a cathedral. The best part? The colors are beets, cabbage and papaya! Designers are currently working to expand to type of fruits and vegetables used to create more colors and designs.

If you prefer to not wear food on your person, there are sustainable fashion accessories that use re-purposed materials instead. Some companies are fashioning reclaimed wood into gorgeous watches. Not only is wood more sustainable than the typical silicone watchband, a couple of wood watch companies are pledging to plant a tree for each watch sold. Old wine bottles are also making an appearance in sustainable fashion, as glass pendants on necklaces. The glass pendants seem like a great use for your finished bottles of Syrah.

Even leather is receiving an eco-makeover. A recent winner of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion developed Amadou mushroom skin as an alternative material for leather. It’s totally vegetarian and still looks fabulous. It joins the ranks of other eco-friendly and animal-friendly leather alternatives, such as barkcloth (made of the bark of the Mutuba tree) and cork (typically used in belts).

AdidasWhile many of these options are from smaller companies, some larger corporations are also offering sustainable fashion accessories. Adidas recently released a pair of shoes made of a bio-engineered yarn, similar to spider-silk. Not only does the yarn require less energy than plastics to create, it won’t sit in a landfill for years. Instead, after a 2-year lifespan, athletes can throw their shoes in the sink with an enzyme. The bio-engineered yarn will break down and can be flushed down the sink. How cool is that? The sole of shoe remains afterward, but the yarn is a technological leap in the direction of sustainable fashion.

From high-tech shoes to wooden watches, sustainable fashion accessories options are rapidly expanding. Not only are these items made of sustainable materials, many of them are also less energy-intensive to manufacture than their plastic alternatives.