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Could Cate Blanchett's 'Cinderella' be overshadowed

When Disney recently began unveiling merchandise for its new live-action Cinderella, the usual girls' dolls and dresses were joined by princess-worthy fare tailored to a notably different market: adult women.


A $US599.95 ($790) "I Have Arrived" Cinderella-collection crystal necklace on the home-shopping network HSN. A $US75 pair of "Cinderella and Prince Charming" champagne flutes. Even a $US4595 pair of "glass slippers," designed by luxury fashion brand Jimmy Choo for boutiques in New York, Paris and Milan.


For Disney's third princess-themed mega-film in two years, the traditionally kid-centric media juggernaut and its licensees are making a big play for women's spending, hoping "modern-day princesses" will spring for fairy-tale wear not for their daughters or little sisters, but for themselves.


Days before the movie's Friday mass premiere, that bet is already paying off. A Cinderella-themed makeup line by Estee Lauder's M.A.C. Cosmetics, promoted on a Disney fashion blog with a style called the "Stepmother look: Madam will do," sold out within hours of its online debut last month, with some items reappearing on eBay for more than four times the retail price.


For Disney, the Cinderella onslaught represents a risky bet on a behind-the-times tale of a hapless servant girl saved by magic and a benevolent prince, in a country calling more than ever for strong female leads. The mega studio is turning away from the blueprint of newer films such as Frozen, its $1.2 billion-grossing blockbuster, that showcased a fearless princess and became one of its biggest successes at the box office and beyond.


Wicked: Cate Blanchett attends the premiere of her new film


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But faced with striking a tricky balance between modern calls for gender equality and the princess nostalgia of women's youth, Disney's merchandising has aimed squarely at the latter, gambling on the professional woman who, amid doing it all, doesn't mind a detour through fantasyland.


"Our target consumer is female, age 35 to 55, which is what Disney was looking for," said Gigi Ganatra Duff, a spokeswoman for HSN, which plans to run a 24-hour live event and two primetime specials to promote its Cinderella collection. "Our girl is sophisticated; she's fashionable. She doesn't want it to scream 'Cinderella.' She wants it to scream the essence of 'Cinderella': Fairy tale, dreamy, beautiful."


The movie's producers, in line with the marketers of Disney's world-spanning merchandise operation, have promised in its new take of the 1950 animated film a more contemporary, independent heroine (though just as stunning, in crystal-studded heels and an iridescent blue-silk gown).


"You see a really strong woman by herself and a young man coming together," actor Richard Madden, who plays Prince Charming, said at the film's Berlin premiere, "rather than a kind of more sexist view from the older animation."


To underline that, Cinderella offerings cater to the not-so-young princess-at-heart in a wayFrozen never was able to capitalise on. The online Disney store features a $US199.95 fine-china tea set and a $US600 14-karat-gold charm. Kohl's is selling $US60 organza women's dresses and sequined sweaters through a collection with Lauren Conrad, the 29-year-old former Laguna Beach star.


There are the usual youth-aimed wares, like Cinderella-themed prom dresses selling for $350 to $800, but many products stretch far beyond teens' reach. HSN's Cinderella collection features a $US169.95 "Enchanted Castle" crystal pin, a $US350 pair of crystal-encrusted lace-up sneakers and leather jackets with "the baroque styles of a contemporary princess."


Perhaps the most indulgent come from Disney's partnership with nine upscale designers asked to unveil shoes paired to the "glass slippers" theme, each affixed with Swarovski crystals and selling for between $US795 and $US4595. A Saks Fifth Avenue spokesperson said its New York and Beverly Hills stores started taking special orders for the shoes last week, though they will also go on sale in emporiums in London, Moscow, Tokyo and Dubai.


The most successful so far has been M.A.C.'s limited-run lineup of lipsticks, eye shadows and glitters, launched to breathless followings by style magazines and fashion bloggers, some of whom were crushed when they quickly sold out. Teary posts on social media and heated bidding wars followed: On eBay, bidders brought one auction of a four-pack of $US16 lipglasses and lipsticks up to $US132.50.


Before the make-up's in-store debut last week, lines formed at the doors of M.A.C.'s standalone shops in Portland, Ore.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and a suburb outside Los Angeles, where the line stretched more than 120 people long. In Jacksonville, the head of the line took a selfie while wearing a tiara in front of a window sign that said "Viva glam."


Karen Monterichard, 39, a beauty blogger in California, said the makeup had "driven people super, super crazy," even though, as she noted on her blog, "it's not going to be something most people will be able to wear to the Monday morning meeting at work." The appeal for elements like its "Stroke of Midnight" eye shadow, she added, came not just from its promises of fantasy glam but its hints of a dark side, marketed to "women who can appreciate the nuance, the edge."


Locally, Oroton have designed two limited edition crystal purses in collaboration with the film, which stars, "Our Cate Blanchett". The Cinderella Crystal clutch and and the Fairy Godmother Crystal clutch are hand crafted with over 2600 hand set Swarovski crystals and lined in 100 per cent silk. Only 40 pieces of each style have been produced and will go on sale in selected boutiques on Friday before the local premiere on Sunday.


To reach women, Disney has expanded its cross-promotional efforts far beyond their typically youthful clientele. In an episode last month of "The Bachelor," the reality show in which women compete over a husband, one Cinderella-themed date included a royal ball, fairy godmothers and a promotional clip of the new film. There was a special Cinderella-themed "afternoon tea" at London Fashion Week, and the film was also plugged recently by the closest thing to American reality-TV royalty, the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."


Disney's princess-as-woman push, analysts said, has been fueled by lingering concerns thatFrozen, which thoroughly conquered toy-store shelves, perhaps didn't go far enough.


The highest-grossing animated movie in history, it became Disney's 11th franchise to drive more than $1 billion in retail sales a year, but analysts said sold-out storefronts and conservative merchandising lines ended up costing Disney and its licensees an untold gold mine in potential sales.


That was without accounting for the dollars from adult women wanting to shop for themselves. The grown-up items for Frozen, as Disney's online store show, are far from adventurous: The most expensive are an iPhone case and an Olaf tote bag, which sell for less than $US40.


"Frozen was important not only because of its enormous box office success, but also because it opened new consumer categories that we expect Disney to take advantage of," said Laura Martin, a senior analyst at Needham & Co. That includes apparel, accessories and makeup targeting not just "a 13-year-old aspiring to be a 17-year-old," but young and not-so-young adults alike.


Disney's appeals to women could pay dividends at the box office. Women have made up a bigger share of filmgoers than men every year since 2009, industry data show, though movies that tell stories centered around women remain exceedingly rare. (Rarer still: Movies that pass the Bechdel test, which measures whether the story features at least two women who talk with each other about things that don't involve men. The classic Cinderella passes.)


But a successful Cinderella merchandising gambit won't just help Disney with one movie. Women who go out to buy Cinderella stuff for themselves could end up grabbing Frozen gifts, as well.


And Big Mouse, with its Broadway musicals, theme parks and cruise line, boasts plenty of ways on which it can expand its empire. Robin Diedrich, a senior consumer analyst at Edward Jones, said, "Focusing Cinderella on these glamour and makeup ideas, maybe that's something they eventually can do with other brands as well."


But perhaps the longest-lasting benefit to Disney's hyper-profitable princess machine is much subtler than that, said Rebecca Hains, an associate professor at Salem State University and author of "The Princess Problem."


"The more closely intertwined women's adult identities become with Disney princesses," Hains said, "the harder it's going to be when they're parents to have a critical distance, to maybe think they shouldn't just deck their daughter's whole room with princess stuff, but other stuff, too."

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11:11 Publié dans Mode | Tags : style | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Mothers Day Special – three easy, elegant and time saving hairstyles

With Mothers’ Day on the 15th of March, celebrity hairstylist Asgar Saboo shares some of his top tips to ensure you look fabulous on that special day.


Sensuous waves waves


Sensuous waves give beautiful texture to your hair. It is quite easy to do on your own. When you have so much to do and have to attend to the kids all day long, nothing feels more relaxing than making a change and adding some serious waves and texture to your hair.


How To Get This Look?


Step 1: Divide wet hair into five sections.


Step 2: Twist the sections until they become tight and close to the head.


Step 3: Let your hair completely dry. Use a hair dryer on the wet areas if you don’t have time.


Step 4: When it is completely dry, loosen the hair and enjoy your natural sensuous waves.


TIP: Use creation spray from GHD to damp hair, which will hold the texture.


Top knot sleek bun


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Top Knots are perfect this season and gives the face a perfect lift. All you need is a hair band and a bobby pin to create that perfect top knot for that special day.


How To Get This Look?


Step 1: Tie your hair back on top of your head.


Step 2: Twist the hair in a bun on top of the head.


Step 3: So that it looks slightly softer and not like a perfect ballet bun so don’t make it too tight


TIP: Let it be loose on your head and allow a few strands to fall out gently.


Fishtail Braid


Whether perfectly neat or purposely messy, the texture and seemingly complicated pattern of this sea-inspired style provide a refreshing visual twist. Turn your hair into high-fashion form—with these easy to do steps


How To Get This Look?


Step 1: Brush and Section: Divide your hair into two large sections down the middle. You can use a comb to part your hair evenly to achieve a sharper look.


Step 2: Weave from the left: From the left section, take a strand of hair from the left side and pull it over the top of the rest of the left section. Grasp it under the right section. Ultimately, you are pulling the strand over the left section and under the right section.


Step 3: Weave from the right: Repeat step 2 on the other side. Take the thin strand of hair over the right section and end it under the left section.


Step 4: Continue: Continue steps 2 and 3 and keep alternating sides weaving over and under until you reach the bottom of the braid.


Step 5: Finish: Tie the end of the braid using an elastic or hair tie.

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07:56 Publié dans Mode | Tags : hairstyles | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Mother's day 2015: Dolce and Gabbana style during Milan Fashion Week

It isn’t Mothering Sunday until May in Italy – at least, not officially. But Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana care naught for that kind of stuff. The Sunday of every Milanese womenswear week is traditionally Dolce day, but this time they made it mother’s day, too. “Viva la Mamma” they called their show – in English, it translates oddly to “Hurray for Mum” – less Italian romance, more the post-war jolly hockey sticks Enid Blyton school of British children’s literature.

The helm of Dolce and Gabbana’s catwalk has been littered with human props for the past couple of seasons – this time, a group of D&G-clad mothers clutched their listless children. It looked a bit like a paediatrician’s waiting room.

Despite all the mamma stuff, I doubt Dolce and Gabbana had anything like ticking biological clocks on their mind when designing this collection. They just saw their mammas as another unmistakable symbol of Italy – 79% of the country’s young adults (18-29) still reside at home, the highest percentage in Europe.

“Viva la Mamma” is also the title of a song by Neopolitan crooner Edoardo Bennato. Dolce and Gabbana translated it into fourteen languages, and presented it as their press notes. Referencing postwar beauty queens and fifties-styles, it was almost a blueprint for their collection. These clothes, clutching at the waist and oomphing out the breasts and hips in a fecund hourglass shape, reminded me of that era, of the styles that Christian Dior turned the world on to, convincing them they looked new. In actual fact, sociologists have analysed that, in part, it was reactionary, reinforcing women’s roles as mother (via that fertile figure emphasis) and ideologically banishing women from the working roles they adopted during the Second World War.

A mother and child from Dolce and Gabbana's autumn/winter 2015 show

Photo: black bridesmaid dresses

A mother and child from Dolce and Gabbana's autumn/winter 2015 show

Again, I doubt Dolce and Gabbana were thinking philosophical thoughts about the duality of modern women’s roles. Leave that sort of thinking to Miuccia Prada. They just ran with the visual of Big Mamma Italiano, cleavage spilling out of her her midriff-hugging, wiggle-skirted dress (the model Bianca Balti, heavily pregnant, was the only exception to their waist-whittled rule). Were there any trousers? I didn’t spot a single pair.

The celebration of souped-up, sexualised Italian womanhood was, actually, business as usual in the standard Dolce mould. It almost could be a mould, turned out as it is in different materials each season. The suits and dresses were studded with glitzy, Schiaparelli-ish buttons this time, a couple of inside-out fur coats, like your mamma’s mamma’s tattered mink requisitioned.

A few evening dresses were decorated with the children’s scribbles – houses, families – that cropped up on the invite too. The latter were apparently the designers’ own, from their childhood. They reminded me of the embroideries across Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress.

The photographic prints, standardly splashed on shifts, were for this round of Madonna and child, sometimes graffitied with a beaded word, say “Amore,” like a defaced Tuscan altarpiece. Roses clambering across bodies recalled mother’s day bouquets, or maybe the floral-festooned “Mother” tattoos inked on many a bicep in slightly dodgy homage.

Perhaps that’s looking too deep. Maybe flowers were just their because they looked pretty, because women like them, because they will sell. This Dolce and Gabbana collection had plenty of energy, and lots and lots of distraction – models toting borrowed bambinos, negotiating the catwalk in those slender pencil skirts, juggling child on one hip and, perhaps, their their giant Dolce and Gabbana “Mamma” bags on the other.

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07:52 Publié dans Mode | Tags : fashion week | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)