Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s Mumbai reception on December 1 night was a starry, starry affair. The who’s who of Bollywood turned up dressed in the best of their attires and made sure the party was a night to remember. Newlyweds Deepika and Ranveer partied with their Hindi film industry colleagues till the wee hours of the morning.
Deepika and Ranveer hosted the third of their receptions last night and it was a full house (except for a few who were not invited to the party).
The Bachchans arrived at the party and posed for photos in front of the lenses.
Amitabh Bachchan, along with wife Jaya, daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended the event last evening. Abhishek Bachchan was not at the event.
While it was a mostly uneventful an evening, while entering the photo-op area, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stumbled and nearly fell. Sister-in-law Shweta caught Aishwarya’s hand and rescued her from the awkward situation.
Lil Miquela has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She’s 19-years-old, based in Los Angeles, a model and a musician.
The thing is, she’s also not real.
This computer-generated supermodel is the digital brainchild of an LA-based agency called Brud, which has recently received around $6 million in its latest funding round, led by Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia Capital.
That comes off the back of the fact that Lil Miquela, otherwise known as their resident “influencer”, make-believe though she is, is receiving real work.
Out front hiring her and various others that have been created, is the fashion industry, with brands from Balmain, Dior, Prada and Louis Vuitton having all jumped on the virtual avatar train.
Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.
The question is, do CGI models hold true value for such businesses, or is this just a fad? On the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent, I debate the topic with tech expert, Liz Bacelar
Fed up with looking for clothes that fit, two thirty-something best friends from Lahore, Zenab Ali and Maryam Yousaf, launched their plus size clothing brand, The Rack Couture, in April (this year), in a bid to introduce body positive fashion to Pakistan’s thriving fashion industry.
Maryam Yousaf and Zenab Ali, of The Rack Couture, hope to make body positive fashion popular in Pakistan.Xpressions Photography
From semi-formal, formal and casual apparel, The Rack Couture caters to all shapes and sizes, all the while adopting a fierce anti-body shaming policy.
“We’re brainwashed into thinking that wearing black or vertical lines will make us look slim,” mentions Ali, “But the aim of our brand is not that a woman looks thin, but that she looks and feels beautiful.”
Maryam Yousaf (left) and Zenab Ali (right).Zahra Ali
Stating that she finds it surprising that some of the country’s biggest fashion brands haven’t yet tapped into the plus size market, Ali says; “Common sense dictates that if there’s a demand for a product, intelligent market leaders will try to capture that market. It’s baffling that body positive clothing hasn’t been given much thought in Pakistan when it has been embraced the world over! The Pakistani woman is curvy and bootylicious! Forget brands that have introduced sizes 14 and 16; those are average sizes. By plus size I mean 18, 20, 22 and even 24.”
“We’ve been inspired by women just like us; from our friends to our family,” Yousaf adds, “Every body is a good body – in our advertising campaigns we make it a point to feature average, curvy and slim physiques. We don’t use professional models; they’re ordinary women. It’s sad that local designers have this misconception that people don’t want to see curvy women modeling their clothes – they think it won’t sell. But they couldn’t be more wrong.”
Stars of style and social media from China and afar will join a lively discussion of lifestyle trends to be hosted in Shanghai on Nov. 27 by Forbes China, the Chinese-language edition of Forbes.
Speakers will include billionaire Gao Dekang, chairman of down apparel leader Bosideng International, Macau entrepreneur Sabrina Ho, and Wendy Yu, CEO of fashion industry investment firm Yu Holdings. Gao and Yu have appeared on Forbes China covers this year. Samantha Cameron, founder of UK fashion firm Cefinn and wife of former British Prime Minister David Cameron, will also attend.
Other participants include Meme Tian, author of “The Things Money Can’t Solve” and actress, as well as architect Yu Ting. Yi Wang, co-founder of Laix (formerly known as Liulishuo), the U.S.-listed education company headquartered in Shanghai, and investor Harry Hui, partner of ClearVue Partners, will also be on hand to discuss what’s new and what’s not at the Wanda Reign on the Bund.
Jessica Hinkle, Owner of Proud Mary FashionJessica Hinkle
Access to fashion has arguably been one of the greatest struggles for the plus size community. Clothing isn’t just fabric we use to cover our bodies. It’s how we articulate who we are in the world. Few people know this better than Jessica Hinkle, the owner of LA-based Proud Mary Fashion. I interviewed Jessica about her journey into becoming an #XLBossLady:
I’ve been fashion-obsessed since I was a child. My parents would buy me notebooks and I would fill them all up with sketches. I’d sit in front of the tv watching runway show clips and sketching clothing. I also knew from an early age that the fashion industry wasn’t accessible for someone like me (fat and poor.) It always felt worlds away, kind of like trying to become a movie star. My parents moved us to Florida my senior year of high school. When I found out my new school offered apparel design classes, I immediately signed up. On the first day, the teacher talked me out of taking the class (to make way for freshman she said) but I really was made to feel like it wasn’t a place for me. I felt really judged and pushed out. I was heartbroken because I finally felt excited to find a resource to learn the things I wanted to that wouldn’t cost anything. After that, I had approached my parents about attending art school but they said absolutely not.
My parents both grew up poor and neither graduated high school. I think they felt like art school was lofty and impractical. They didn’t think that a fat girl could make money in fashion and the student loans would be outrageous. I wasn’t confident enough to push back or in a position where I felt like I could make it work without their support. So I figured I could at least study Creative Writing at the community college and one day get a job working at a fashion magazine.
NEW YORK, NY – Sadie Newman, Megan Williams, Alexina Graham, and Russell James prepare backstage for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on November 8, 2018. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)Getty
In 2014, fashion photographer Russell James released Angels, a 304-page book of black-and-white nude or intimate photos of top models he met through his work with Victoria’s Secret, including stars like Lily Aldridge, Gisele Bündchen, and Adriana Lima. (The book takes its name from the Victoria’s Secret Angels.) This was, James recently told me, largely an archival project. After a few years working as a photographer in other countries, James, originally from Australia, came to America as a generalist photographer in 1996, struck it big with iconic covers for magazines like Sports Illustrated, and has been shooting for Victoria’s Secret since 1997. So he was sitting on a massive photo trove. But it went over extremely well—especially with models, some of whom apparently told James they were disappointed that he didn’t include any photos of them. So on December 1st, James will release a 448-page collectors edition of Angels featuring new models.
But the cultural climate in 2018, as others have noted, is drastically different than that of 2014. Fashion and nude photography have, like so many other industries, come into the spotlight for a critical reevaluation. Longstanding conversations about whether these art forms empower or objectify their female subjects, contributing to a toxic and patriarchic world, have gained newfound traction. And since the start of the year, major stories have come to light of famous photographers and other art and fashion bigwigs taking abusive advantage of models. “There is certainly not no risk in doing something like this” in the current cultural moment, admits James. So I recently asked him how his awareness of the cultural climate affected the way he produced and positioned this project.
James, it is worth noting, has a solid reputation among his subjects and collaborators. Some of this may stem from the fact that he has never considered himself a “nude photographer,” doing naked or near-naked shoots for their own sake or for male eyes. He is equally fond of landscapes, for instance, and seems to see nude photography through a similar lens. (“I do love the light,” he says, “the form, the shape of the nude.”) Much more of it stems from his personal commitment to only shooting subjects with whom he can build rapport and trust. He has long avoided crude direction and overt sexualization, instead giving models a considerable amount of agency in their own portrayal.
That is clear in most of his work, but should be especially so in this new edition of Angels. Unlike his first archival image-based edition, since 2014 James has been working with each of the 35 new models in this version as full-fledged collaborators. Each of them took as much power as they wanted over the shoot itself, the photo selections, and the editing process. “I was able to really deliberately say, ‘okay, I want to do this,’” says James. “‘We can either work off my ideas or your ideas or a combination of ideas. We can look at the film and edit together.’” That seems to be part of why the book took four years to put together—a lot of scheduling effort with busy folks.
She specializes in punnery, physical gags and parodies. One of her widely watched videos spoofs the makeup tutorials that have proliferated across YouTube. And she has several popular characters, like her male, mustachioed alter ego, Jet Packinski III. “He’s a very handsome man. I believe I’m better looking as a dude than a girl,” Koshy says.
In the last few years, the 22-year-old has become one of YouTube’s biggest stars, earned a spot on Forbes’ latest 30 Under 30 list—and made the leap to traditional media. “The worst advice I’ve ever received was ‘Don’t post on YouTube, it’s dying,’” says Koshy, who earned an estimated seven figures in 2017, thanks largely to her online output.
Read the complete 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 package.
Like many other digital-native stars, the Houston-born Koshy got her start on (now-defunct) Vine. She began shooting six-second videos on her cellphone as a teen in 2013, just months after the app’s January launch. Her first clip featured her climbing on top of a car with friends. “It was just me, with my phone, in my car, dancing along, talking or making a really bad joke,” she recalls. “Which is why Vine died. Sorry about that.”
Her comedy—and her camera skills—developed, and soon she was using cutaway shots to create skits and sight gags, including tying her hair into flopping bunches and pretending to be a butterfly. They appealed to her young audience, which grew to 7 million followers on Vine alone. Soon she wanted to go beyond Vine’s short clips. “I eventually realized that I could talk for much longer than that.”
So she parlayed her popularity into a YouTube channel in July 2015, where she began posting weekly. She introduced herself as “Liza the little brown girl”—her mother is white, her father is Indian—and expanded her comedy and range of characters. In addition to Jet Packinski, there is Helga, a bespectacled, frazzled foreigner, and Carlos Q, an macho Hispanic man. Other popular series include “Driving with Liza” and “Grocery Shopping with Liza,” where she films herself on the go, interlaying errands with songs and silly faces. In a sign of her increasing stardom, she interviewed President Obama for a get-out-the-vote initiative in 2016. “You can’t legally show it on camera, but I actually voted on my absentee ballot [during the video],” she says.
Koshy’s mobile-first audience largely comprises members of Generation Z, people born between 1996 and 2010. According to Nielsen, 97% of Generation Z own a smartphone, and the cohort boasts a reported $44 billion in spending power. Hence Koshy’s appeal to advertisers, who have sponsored her content and hired her for ads, including a series for Beats by Dre headphones. The spots reportedly have four times the click-through rate—the percentage of people visiting the product online after seeing the ad—than other promotions starring celebrities like NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
Her business has expanded with her audience. In 2016, she branched out into a second YouTube channel of more one-off videos that don’t feature regular activities or characters. Popular uploads include reaction videos of her watching her own old, cringeworthy vines (19 million views) or of her reacting to teens watching her videos (17 million views); the subsidiary channel has an additional 7.3 million subscribers.
With an expanding YouTube presence, Koshy has caught the eye of traditional TV executives. In 2017, she became a host of MTV’s resurrected TRL, scored a role in Hulu’s drama Freakish and nabbed a part in Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween. This year, she was hired as the face of Nickelodeon’s Double Dare reboot.
“All of these different opportunities came from YouTube,” she explains. So Koshy is staying close to the source: In 2018 she created, produced and starred in her own YouTube Originals series, Liza on Demand, in which she works in the gig economy.
Next up: a Liza Koshy line of bags, out this fall. “You can’t play a high school student forever, so at some point I’m going to have to tear down that wall and tear off that wig and be me,” says Koshy.
Deepika Padukone ooked like a vision in all of her wedding looks. While earlier it was believed that Sabyasachi had designed and conceptualised all of her wedding looks, it was later revealed that that was not the case.
Deepika’s gorgeous red and gold saree was bought by her and her mother from a very famous silk store in Bengaluru called The House Of Angadi.
Sabyasachi and his team, who had earlier taken credit for dressing up Deepika on her Konkani wedding day ‘head to toe’ later issued an apology after the original designer K Radharaman contacted famous fashion journalist Shefalee Vasudev about the same and she brought the matter to light.
Sabyasachi issued a written apology and gave credits to the original label immediately.
Deepika’s saree for the Bengaluru reception was also designed by K Radharaman.
Anyway, a long time after the controversy took place, the man behind the gorgeous designs finally decided to speak about it. Here is what he said:
“I do not and never did have any intention of being critical of Sabyasachi Mukherjee or anyone else. I do not have any negative sentiment towards anyone and we did thank him publicly on social media for giving credit to us after we pointed the error to him.”
“That said, when I was informed that another design label had claimed credit for my work, I felt obligated to speak up on behalf of the entire design community of which we are all a part of.”
The home of Julius Babao and Christine “Tintin” Bersola-Babao is situated on a wide street in a gated village in Quezon City. Today it’s steeped in Monday sunshine, and the cold climate trees hardly move when an easy breeze sets in. White kalachuchi flowers catch the light while the boughs stay fixed to their spot. The only thing that looks poised for flight in this street is this beautiful home designed by architect Jason Buensalido. It’s shaped like an origami bird, and unfolds in just as many ways. “It was just recently that I found out that [the Babaos] had a deep affinity with birds and animals in the house. They didn’t even tell us to design something that’s bird-like,” he says, “it just naturally came about, as far as form-finding was concerned, and then they approved it right away because they saw that it actually looked like something that’s in flight—something that looks like a bird.” The form of the house also appealed to the Babaos’ spiritual life, reflecting as it did the mystical body.
Christened Casa Uccello, the home was named for the Italian word for bird, and reflects the many stages of flight. The home began as a renovation project. From its original cubic shape, the couple were able to make the house grow organically after they purchased two adjacent properties over time. The new home is a reflection of its growth—its flight from original conception to its present-day form. “The house was really a search for a language that would bridge two disparate elements. So something new and something old. Something that’s free versus something that’s very boxed in,” Buensalido says.
The previous house, which was rectilinear and almost very sparse didn’t really reflect the kind of people they were, the young architect adds. “The couple are very creative, very free, very expressive; and they wanted a house that’s very unique, right? So that’s what they asked us to do.” Buensalido combined those elements by creating what he calls a “language of transitions.”
“We used a lot of fragments, a lot of folds to basically negotiate the solid nature of the old house to the open nature of the new extension. From something old, something new, something that is boxed in, to something that’s free. And then we developed that language and then we made it wrap around the existing house.”
Buensalido created the space to reflect the personalities of the couple—the interiors are warm and gracious despite the minimalism of its exteriors. “It’s all them,” Jason says, meaning the character of the house. “The moment you walk inside, you’ll see them because it’s filled with the artwork that they’ve collected over time, and each piece is actually a reflection of themselves. So more than the architecture, I think it’s the interior space that reflects their personality. So they feel really at home here.”
The home also showcases the Babaos’ extensive art collection, which counts in the hundreds—works from local masters to a few choice pieces from international art superstars. Parts of the house were built around the works of art—and there was a lot of negotiation between the couple and Buensalido. The architect wanted to fill the space with natural light but the couple needed wall space for the paintings. The result was a good compromise between natural elements and wide hanging space.