15 Iconic Front Women Who Rewrote the Beauty Rules: From Kim Gordon to Florence Welch

Kim Gordon

“The girl anchors the stage, sucks in the male gaze, and depending who she is, throws her own gaze back into the audience,” writes Kim Gordon in her recent book, Girl in a Band. The legendary Sonic Youth front woman, who celebrates her 62nd birthday today, has done plenty of kohl-rimmed gaze-throwing in her decades commanding an audience. The sooty eye makeup is just one of the ways that Gordon has managed to set herself apart from the men she shared a stage with. “I . . . did everything possible to maintain an identity as an individual within the band,” she explained. Aside from mastering bass and vocals (not to mention a penchant for penning impactful no-wave lyrics), she also employed a grunge, but unquestionably feminine beauty equation—involving a calculated swipe of red lipstick and, in her words, “dumb[ing] down my middle-class look by messing with my hair.”

It’s a hair and makeup tactic that also worked for front woman Debbie Harry, who emphasized her angular bone structure with exaggerated blush and stage-ready eye shadow. No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani took the experimental glam approach and ran with it, donning every style from bantu knots to pink, blue, and bleached-blonde hair. But not all female leaders of the band are eager to look so feminine. Patti Smith admittedly borrowed from the boys, famously “machete-ing [her] way out of the folk era” by cutting her jet black hair to resemble Keith Richards’s choppy crop. And psychedelic singer Janis Joplin didn’t mind blending in with the flowing air-dried hair and makeup-free faces of her bandmates, her fearless voice was enough of a standout. In honor of Gordon’s birthday, a look back at the best girl-in-a-band beauty.

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Your Favorite Bohemian Garb Is Actually Traditional Ukrainian Costume

VitaKin Kilimi

The Ukraine has been in the forefront of international thought a lot recently (and not for particularly pleasant reasons), but its reach has extended far beyond the front page—whether you were aware or not, the Ukrainian influence has fully arrived in our closets. Think that groovy boho embroidered peasant blouse was nationless? Think again. Whether it’s festival girl du jour Alexa Chung, wearing an embroidered peasant shirt hailing from the Eastern European region with a pair of denim cut-offs, or the Slavic red patterns on the runway at Valentino spring 2015 couture (complete with models sporting traditional braid crowns), Ukrainian traditional costume has knowingly and unknowingly permeated fashion for years, and now the spotlight on the country’s aesthetic is in full swing once again. Only this time, it’s hailing from the motherland.

Leandra Medine

Leandra Medine

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Photo: Courtesy of Leandra Medine / @manrepeller

The sudden rise and appreciation of Ukrainian traditional dress on an international level can be credited to Vita Kin, the designer of Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin, who uses the name for the traditional Ukrainian blouse, a vyshyvanka, in her label’s name. Recently, the designer has become an international sensation, with local fashion fixtures like Asya Mkhitaryan wearing the designer’s version of a zhupan (a traditional Ukrainian jacket) to Paris Fashion Week, while street style stars like Anna Dello Russo and Leandra Medine are taking the bucolic style from the countryside onto Western asphalt. “Ukrainians have a unique method of decorating clothing with embroidery, and that’s always impressed me,” says Kin about her designs via email. “I adapted this ancient heritage into a modern context, adding a seventies vibe, when clothing was more relaxed and friendly. It’s a bohemian eccentricity in a very luxe execution.” That execution is her distinctly modern translations of the straight-from-the-village vyshyvanka in shades of marmalade with crude scenes of birds and flowers in a thigh-skimming sky blue dress, or in a full length frock replete with Gzhel style embroidery soon to be sold on an international platform (courtesy of Matches) and in Kiev-based concept stores. For a bit of context, a few years ago the idea of a Ukrainian citizen wearing traditional costume on the street was considered costume at best, a dowdy faux pas at worst. Flash forward to this month, where due to the quick rise of requests, Kin is overwhelmed with interest, and can no longer accommodate individual orders or samples for shoots.

Caraway

Caraway

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Photo: Courtesy of Caraway

The recent frenzy over Kin’s designs aside, it’s worth considering whether the rise of Ukrainian traditional costume in fashion is more than just au courant street-style bait. Historically, Ukrainians have attempted to separate themselves from the perception of their country as only “Little Russia,” especially now, when the political state is one of unrest (from the demonstrations in Maidan square to Russia’s invasion of Crimea). There is a school of thought that the recent use of Ukrainian dress isn’t just a fashion statement, it’s a unifying statement. “I think that all type of vyshyvankas are extremely beautiful and I am proud to see people wearing them, but to me fashion in the sense of culture is not about obvious references,” says Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days creative director Daria Shapovalova, “I think [traditional dress] is connected to the fact that Ukraine is experiencing this moment in politics.”

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Photo: Courtesy of Adriano Cisani / whatastreet.com / @whatastreet

As for those “not so obvious” interpretations of Ukrainian natural dress, they exist in the avant-garde frontier of Ukrainian fashion. There is Karavay (a label beloved by Ukrainian editors) who keeps their clothing classic, dotting the arms and bust of a black diaphanous gown with delicate Slavic-style embroidery of flowers, or translates the traditional pattern onto a tight, curve-skimming zip-up dress. There are also the more abstract interpretations, like those from Ukrainian designer Ksenia Marchenko of Ksenia Schnaider, who pixelates and enlarges traditional Slavic patterns, sometimes while still utilizing typical curve-emphasizing Ukrainian silhouettes. “Being inspired by Ukrainian traditions is huge trend now here. Our prints from spring 2015 and fall 2016 were our answer to the situation in Ukraine, revolution and war,” says Marchenko. “When designing prints for our collections, [design partner] Anton Schnaider was thinking about the perception of Ukraine in global minds. The idea of uncertainty of all things Ukrainian is transferred through the use of blurred traditional Ukrainian ornaments.” But one thing that is decidedly still in focus, at least when it comes to Ukrainian fashion? Traditional roots are here to stay, whether it is in Kiev—or Paris.

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Amy Adams Is Getting Married! 5 Looks from the Spring 2016 Bridal Shows for Vogue’s Cover Star

Amy Adams engaged

When it comes to planning for a wedding, the quest for the dress is high on almost every bride’s list of priorities. And in that sense, stylish celebrities are almost just like us. Last year saw Amal Clooney don a frothy Oscar de la Renta dress while Angelina Jolie got her kids in on the fun in an Atelier Versace piece complete with handmade doodles, and now the latest A-lister reportedly poised to join the newlywed club is Amy Adams.

We’ve seen the 40-year-old actress sport a bevy of strapless styles on the red carpet, so we think she would gravitate towards modern takes from Carolina Herrera or Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta. In American Hustle she made the look of the seventies more alluring than ever, and J. Mendel’s ethereal, plunging V-neck dress would take that sensual vibe down the aisle. On the other hand, Adams might find the intricate lacework of dresses at Marchesa and Vera Wang to be a good match for her too.

 

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, December 2014

The post Amy Adams Is Getting Married! 5 Looks from the Spring 2016 Bridal Shows for Vogue’s Cover Star appeared first on Vogue.

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The Tony Nominations Are In!

Fun Home

With the announcement of the 2015 Tony Awards nominations this morning, a busy and better-than-average Broadway season begins its crescendo toward Sunday, June 7, when the winners will be announced, in a ceremony broadcast on CBS and cohosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, from Radio City Music Hall. (IMHO, the Tonys, not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, should be known as nerd prom.)

The headline news from the nominations is the head-to-head battle for Best Musical between Fun Home, the heart-rending family drama in song based on the cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name, and An American in Paris, the airborne stage adaptation of the beloved MGM musical that brings ballet to Broadway, both of which received twelve nominations. Both are critical darlings and audience pleasers, but I’d put my money on An American in Paris simply because a buoyant love story between an American ex-GI and a French gamine set in post-World War II Paris probably has more commercial appeal than a bleakly comic account of a lesbian cartoonist’s coming to terms with her closeted gay father’s suicide in Reagan-era Pennsylvania, and Tony voters (unlike Oscar voters) tend to vote for the box office. That said, watch for Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron to win for Fun Home’s knockout score.

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An American in Paris

Photo: Angela Sterling

I wouldn’t put much hope in the chances of the other nominees in the category, the bawdy Shakespeare musical Something Rotten! (ten nominations) and the dark Kander and Ebb adaptation of Dürrenmatt’s The Visit (five nominations). Other new musicals this season didn’t fare as well, nomination-wise, with Gigi receiving just one and It Shoulda Been You, Doctor Zhivago, Living on Love, and the critical flop-commercial blockbuster Finding Neverland earning a combined total of zero.

But forgive me if I doff my stone-hearted critic’s hat for a moment and put on my beaming sonny boy’s knee pants to report that the numeral that means the most to me is nine. That’s the number of combined nominations earned between the critically heralded revivals of On the Town and On the Twentieth Century, both of whose books and lyrics were written by my father Adolph Green and his partner Betty Comden, and boy do I wish that my dad were here to see two of his shows a) running on Broadway right next door to each other, and b) competing for Best Revival of a Musical. The third contender in the category is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s glorious The King and I, which earned an impressive nine nominations, and though a case could be made for any of the three to deserve to win, I can’t help but root for the family honor. If I had my druthers, the award would go to On the Town, the first musical by my father and Comden, Leonard Bernstein, and Jerome Robbins, which exudes youthful bravado and élan and features rapturous music by Bernstein that is as gorgeous as anything ever written for the stage. (Joshua Bergasse’s exuberant dances pay homage to Robbins, and the race for Best Choreography will be between him and An American in Paris’s Christopher Wheeldon.)

On the Twentieth Century

On the Twentieth Century

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On the Twentieth Century

Photo: Joan Marcus

Despite a number of very fine plays on the boards, this wasn’t a season for bold, groundbreaking new dramas. Nick Payne’s brainy and heartfelt Constellations, which I loved, failed to get nominated for Best Play, though Robert Askins’s hilarious and profane Hand to God, which originated off-Broadway to become a sleeper hit, did. (Peter Morgan’s The Audience also got snubbed.) Among the other nominees, I wasn’t as big a fan of Disgraced as everyone else was, and though I devoured Wolf Hall Parts One & Two as if I were binge-watching them on Netflix, for me the production carried the day more than the plays themselves. My pick is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which though it also relies heavily on superb (and in this case eye-popping) stagecraft, is a beautiful and expert adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel by the prolific Simon Stephens.

Similarly, I expect the recent Juilliard grad Alex Sharp to win Best Leading Actor in a Play for his fierce, moving performance of a boy who appears to have Asperger’s navigating a strange world, beating out a very strong field that includes Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Bradley Cooper (The Elephant Man), and Ben Miles (Wolf Hall Parts One & Two). And though the great Bill Nighy, who is nominated in the category for his crackling performance as an entrepreneur done in by love in Skylight, probably won’t win, Stephen Daldry’s superlative staging of David Hare’s politically tinged romance probably will (for Best Revival of a Play). And Skylight’s luminous Carey Mulligan, who is staking a claim as the finest stage actress of her generation, will battle it out for Best Leading Actress in a Play with the estimable Helen Mirren who, if she wins, will join the short list of actors to take home both an Oscar and a Tony for the same role (that would be Queen Elizabeth II).

My family loyalty comes out once again when it comes to Best Leading Actor in a Musical: I’d love to see the award go to Tony Yazbeck, who brings an effortless, large-hearted masculinity (and balletic athleticism) to his turn as the lovelorn sailor Gabey in On the Town. But the race will probably be a toss-up between Michael Cerveris, as a suburban dad with a dark secret in Fun Home, and Robert Fairchild, as the Yankee who’s gotta dance in An American in Paris. The most hotly contested category—and the hardest call—is Best Leading Actress in a Musical. It’s anyone’s guess whether the award will go to Kelli O’Hara, proving once again that she is our era’s most enchanting interpreter of Rodgers and Hammerstein in The King and I (it’s her sixth nomination), Kristin Chenoweth, who is giving the madcap performance of her career as a narcissistic 1930s movie star (is there any other kind?) in On the Twentieth Century, or Chita Rivera, who is showing, eight times a week, that she’s still got the stuff at age 82 in The Visit. Like all awards shows, the Tonys are too long and can often be dopey, but that’s the kind of drama that keeps theater nerds tuning in.

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Home Decor Trend to DIY: Kokedama Hanging Plants

Great news, apartment dwellers: The latest gardening trend doesn’t require a yard!

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