Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 4: photos and videos

November 8, 2022

Rihanna in “Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4” on November 8, 2022 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Dennis Leupold for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 presented by Prime Video)

The following is a press release from Prime Video:

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the extraordinary fashion experience continues to challenge tradition and break boundaries. The trailblazing event is raising the bar yet again with a new all-star lineup of models, actors, some of the biggest names in music, and more, debuting the latest Savage X Fenty styles. Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will feature performances by global musical artists including Anitta, Burna Boy, Don Toliver, and Maxwell, and special appearances from Ángela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Kornbread, Lara Stone, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Precious Lee, Rickey Thompson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylour Paige, Winston Duke, Zach Miko, and many more.

A seductive fashion fever dream, this year’s show blends Emmy award-winning choreography, style, and music with the hypnotic essence of nocturnal nature. Featuring a star-studded cast all wearing the newest Savage X Fenty looks, the show is an un-missable visual feast.

Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide beginning November 9, 2022.

With the release of Vol. 4, the last Savage X Fenty collection will be available to shop in the Amazon Fashion store and at Savage X Fenty on November 9. An homage to self-expression and personal empowerment, Rihanna’s latest collection features disparate textures, unexpected detailing, and unconventional proportions that come together seamlessly to create a boundary-bending Xperience for everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear, and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL. Customers can visit the Amazon Fashion Store and Savage X Fenty for more information.

Rihanna serves as executive producer and creative director of Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4.

About Savage X Fenty

Savage X Fenty embodies fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity. With a team assembled from the industry’s elite, the label has disrupted and redefined the marketplace with its accessible price points, extensive assortment of styles made for everyBODY, and unique approach that celebrates individuality. “We want to make people look good and feel good,” explains Rihanna, who approaches Savage X Fenty with the same mentality she does all her projects—to make something new and fresh that everyone can relate to and feel confident in. “We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.” From everyday essentials, men’s underwear, and sleepwear, to elevated loungewear and more provocative pieces—Savage X Fenty has something for every mood, every vibe and everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL, Savage X Fenty is available for purchase at www.SavageX.com and its retail stores.  

About Amazon Fashion 
Amazon Fashion, the fashion retail division of Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), is a one-stop destination for head-to-toe style. Find apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, handbags, and luggage from a wide range of designer, contemporary, and emerging brands for any occasion, any style and any budget. Amazon Fashion continues to expand its wide selection and create new experiences on behalf of its customers, including Prime exclusive programs like Prime Try Before You Buy, allowing you to try before you buy, and Personal Shopper by Prime Try Before You Buy, a service that provides style inspiration and curated recommendations. Amazon Fashion also introduced The Drop, an innovative shopping experience that gives customers access to limited-edition street-style collections designed by fashion influencers around the world. In 2020, Amazon Fashion unveiled Luxury Stores, a destination that brings established and emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands directly to U.S. customers. Amazon Fashion aims to reinvent shopping for fashion and uses technology to serve customers with products and brands that are relevant to them. For more information, please visit www.amazon.com/fashion.

About Prime Video

Prime Video offers customers a vast collection of movies, series, and sports—all available to watch on hundreds of compatible devices.

  • Included with Prime Video: Watch movies, series, and sports, including Thursday Night Football. Enjoy series and films including Emmy winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Emmy-nominated satirical superhero drama The Boys, and the smash hits Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, Harlem, Reacher, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, The Tender Bar, Being the Ricardos, The Tomorrow War, and Coming 2 America. Prime members also get access to licensed content. 
  • Prime Video Channels: Prime members can add channels like discovery+, Paramount+, BET+, EPIX, Noggin, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, STARZ, and SHOWTIME—no extra apps to download, and no cable required. Only pay for the ones you want, and cancel anytime.  View the full list of channels available at amazon.com/channels.
  • Rent or Buy: Enjoy new-release movies to rent or buy, entire seasons of current TV shows available to buy, and special deals just for Prime members.
  • Instant access: Watch at home or on the go with your choice of hundreds of compatible devices. Stream from the web or using the Prime Video app on your smartphone, tablet, set-top box, game console, or select smart TV. 
  • Enhanced experiences: Make the most of every viewing with 4K Ultra HD- and High Dynamic Range (HDR)-compatible content. Go behind the scenes of your favorite movies and TV shows with exclusive X-Ray access, powered by IMDb. Save it for later with select mobile downloads for offline viewing.

Prime Video is just one of many shopping, savings, and entertainment benefits included with a Prime membership, along with fast, free shipping on millions of Prime-eligible items at Amazon.com, ultrafast grocery delivery and pickup, unlimited photo storage, exclusive deals and discounts, prescription savings, and access to ad-free music, books, and games. To sign up or start a 30-day free trial of Prime, visit: amazon.com/prime


Ulta Beauty pop-up debuts at the Allure Store

July 6, 2022

Ulta Beauty at the Allure Store (Photo courtesy of the Allure Store)

The following is a press release from the Allure Store:

The Allure Store, an immersive retail experience from the global beauty authority Allure, today announced a groundbreaking collaboration with the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty. For a limited time, the interactive Ulta Beauty pop-up will offer Allure Store guests a monthly curated assortment reflecting newness as well as highlighting the retailers’ strategic initiatives.

“One year after the Allure Store debut, we’re thrilled to announce our first retail partnership with such a beloved leader, Ulta Beauty,” says Sonny Gindi, Co-Founder of STOUR – a retail media company, who with partner Eden Melloul, developed the Allure Store concept. “We are proud to pave the path in merging beauty media and retail to disrupt traditional brick and mortar experiences. Our shared passion for meeting beauty lovers where they are and reimagining retail reinforces why this collaboration is a perfect fit.”

The pop-up will run from July through September 2002, in an industry-first collaboration of retail and media beauty leaders, further bridging the gap between traditional retail and editorial curation. Ulta Beauty’s dedicated footprint within the Allure Store will showcase a unique assortment of coveted brands, refreshed monthly and complimented by experiential programming and engaging events.

“We’re always innovating to delight new and existing guests and fuel beauty discovery across our unparalleled assortment and The Allure Store delivers an exciting opportunity to do just that,” said Maria Salcedo, senior vice president, merchandising at Ulta Beauty. “We’re excited to highlight a curated assortment that brings Ulta Beauty to life in one of New York City’s most influential shopping destinations this summer.”

At launch, Ulta Beauty will shine a light on its own Ulta Beauty Collection as well as newer brands within its assortment such as Andrew Fitzsimons, Billie Eilish Fragrance, Black Girl Sunscreen, Charli D’Amelio Fragrance, Fenty Beauty, Love Wellness, Morphe, NYX, Olaplex, r.e.m. beauty and Supergoop!, among others. The bespoke curated assortment will be refreshed with new offerings in August and September reflecting exciting initiatives and assortment heroes across Conscious Beauty, The Wellness Shop and BIPOC brands, among others.

“Ulta Beauty has long been an important retail partner of Allure, and we are excited to extend that collaboration to the Allure Store,” said Allure editor in chief Jessica Cruel. “We are eager to give some of our editor-favorite brands a new and unique opportunity to reach our audience.”

The Ulta Beauty at Allure Store pop-up is available to shop now through September 30, 2022, and is open daily between 11AM-7PM at 191 Lafayette Street, New York City. To learn more, visit www.allure.shop and follow along with the brand on Instagram, @theallurestore.

About Allure Store:

The Allure Store operates as a partnership between Condé Nast and the STÔUR Group. Allure is published in the U.S. by Condé Nast and in South Korea under license agreement with Doosan Group.

Rihanna launches Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin in Africa

May 13, 2022

Rihanna (Photo courtesy of Fenty)

The following is a press release from Fenty:

“I am a proud Bajan who also feels a close connection to Africa, and its people. I’ve had the pleasure, and the privilege, to spend time on the continent and those experiences never leave you. Now, being able to bring Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to eight African countries and then hopefully more in the future— means so much to me.” – Rihanna

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 in an unprecedented 17 countries with vision of inclusivity and global reach at its core, she sought to help “everyone feel beautiful and recognized, no matter their race, ethnicity, culture or personal style.” Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after trying to find products that worked across all skin types and tones. With Rihanna’s mandate of inclusivity, Fenty Beauty offers a wide range of products for traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Fast forward to 2020, Rihanna launched her clean, vegan and eco-friendly skincare line, Fenty Skin, and amplified her unwavering mission to provide simple and effective beauty solutions for all. As a result, she ignited a beauty movement and “a community that supports and uplifts each other.” Rihanna created both Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin with a global vision in mind to reinforce the “Beauty For All” notion. It is this brand ethos that makes Rihanna’s decision to expand her Fenty brands to Africa a momentous milestone and natural next step.

“Every launch is exciting— we’re all about being reachable to everyone, everywhere. But launching across Africa in eight countries not only feels really significant to me on a personal level, but is also a big step towards our goal of bringing Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to the whole world.” – Rihanna

Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin will be available for purchase across Africa, including cult-favorite complexion essentials like Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation and Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, best-selling lip products like Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color, and her must-have skincare starters including Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen and Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser. Additionally, customers in Africa will be able to immediately pick up the newest launches from the brands, like Fenty Beauty Fenty Icon Refillable Lipstick – a luxurious semi-matte lipstick collection – and  Sun Stalk’r Face + Eye Bronzer & Highlighter Palette – a do-it-all bronzer-inspired palette with two new highlighter shades – and Fenty Skin Pre-Show Glow Instant Retexturizing Treatment– A powerful exfoliating treatment loaded with 10% AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), rooibos, fruit enzymes, and extracts to make your skin look smooth, glowing, and photo-ready in just one minute.

Within Africa, Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin will be available starting May 27 at the following retailers:

South Africa

Arc Stores
www.arcstore.co.za

Edgars
www.edgars.co.za

Nigeria

Essenza Nigeria
www.essenza.ng

Kenya

Lintons Beauty
www.lintonsbeauty.com

Namibia

Edgars

Botswana

Edgars

Ghana

Essenza Ghana

Zambia

Color Café Zambia
www.colorcafe.com

Zimbabwe

Catts

ABOUT FENTY BEAUTY

Fenty Beauty, led by CEO Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH. Rihanna created Fenty Beauty “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, developing formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Her vision, above all, is to inspire: “Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

ABOUT FENTY SKIN

Fenty Skin is clean, uncomplicated, effective skincare for all. Led by brand CEO Robyn Rihanna Fenty, Fenty Skin is a result of Rihanna’s personal skincare journey, global experiences, and real-life routine. Each multitasking product is specifically designed to deliver a streamlined, approachable, value-packed regimen and work seamlessly with makeup on all skin tones. Featuring ingredients from around the world, earth-conscious packaging, and vegan formulas, Fenty Skin also celebrates and respects what the planet has to offer. Fenty Skin is a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH.

ABOUT KENDO

Based in San Francisco, CA, KENDO creates or acquires beauty brands and focuses on developing them into global power- houses. The portfolio consists of KVD Beauty, OLEHENRIKSEN, BITE Beauty, Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The name KENDO is a play on the phrase “can do.” What characterizes KENDO is its dedication to product quality, innovation and authentic storytelling. Brands within the KENDO portfolio are distributed in 43 countries worldwide.

2022 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

May 2, 2022

The 53rd annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 2, 2022. The event’s theme in 2022 was “Gilded Glamour and White Tie,” so guests were encouraged to dress in American-inspired fashions. The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by actress Blake Lively, actor Ryan Reynolds, actress Regina King and multitalented entertainer Lin-Manuel Miranda. Honorary chairs for the event were fashion designer Tom Ford, businessman Adam Mosseri, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

‘Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons’: photos and videos

April 21, 2022

Victoria’s Secret models in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Courtesy of Hulu)

The following is a press release from Hulu:

Hulu’s Original docu-series “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” premieres on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Investigated with journalistic rigor by director Matt Tyrnauer, this documentary tells the searing and provocative story of the Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer. He also executive produces with his Altimeter Films partner Corey Reeser; Film 45’s Peter Berg, Matt Goldberg and Brandon Carroll; Elizabeth Rogers and Jenny Ewig.

A Victoria’s Secret model in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu) 

 

HBO Max debuts ‘The Beauty of Blackness,’ a documentary about Fashion Fair

March 1, 2022

Kelly Rowland is one of the people featured in the Fashion Fair documentary film “The Beauty of Blackness” (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)

The following is a press release from HBO Max:

HBO Max has acquired “The Beauty of Blackness,” a documentary film directed by Tiffany Johnson and Kiana Moore. The film is available to stream now on HBO Max. The Beauty of Blackness” chronicles Fashion Fair, the first cosmetics brand created exclusively for Black women created in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, the co-founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines.

The film examines Fashion Fair’s rapid rise to icon status and how the brand surpassed cultural obstacles to overcome beauty standards that previously excluded people of color. Despite revolutionizing the beauty industry and becoming a household name for every Black and Brown woman in the 1970’s, the brand faced a rocky media landscape and encountered challenges due to emerging competitors.

The documentary follows the brand’s journey to present day where, amidst an evolving industry with a new focus on inclusivity, Fashion Fair Cosmetics has been revived under the helm of two entrepreneurs, Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. 

“The Beauty of Blackness” features interviews with renowned experts, models, makeup artists, performers, and other prominent figures who have witnessed firsthand the evolution of the category and who are celebrating and continuing to redefine beauty standards for people of color.

The film was created in partnership with Vox Media, the story hunters at Epic, Sephora – working with its media and content partner, Digitas – and was co-directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Dear White People and Twenties), and first-time director, Kiana Moore, VP of Content Production and Head of Vox Media’s Epic Digital.

“The Beauty of Blackness” will be featured as part of the Black Voices and Women’s History Month curated programming on HBO Max.      

Armani Beauty signs Tessa Thompson as spokesmodel

January 21, 2022

Tessa Thompson (Photo by Mikael Jansson)

The following is a press release from Armani:

Armani beauty is pleased to announce American actress Tessa Thompson as the newest face. Thompson will feature in both the campaigns for the iconic LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION and the new LIP POWER, shot by Swedish photographer Mikael Jansson.

LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION is known to be the first expression of Armani’s philosophy of perfecting the complexion with the lightest touch, and comes with a range that spans 40 colors, to suit every skin tone. LIP POWER is a longwear satin lipstick formulated with protective, comfortable oils and high-intensity pigments to deliver vivid color with all-day wear, comfort and a lightweight feel. Its innovative drop-shaped bullet allows for ease of application and precise, defined lines. My idea of beauty applies to every woman as it enhances her personality and uniqueness. Tessa Thompson struck me with the radiant energy she exudes, the vibrant calmness of her way of being. I am delighted to be able to work with her and express a new facet of the feminine kaleidoscope of Armani beauty”, said Giorgio Armani. Tessa Thompson added: “Our ideas around what is beautiful, culturally, are shifting, and becoming more inclusive. What I love about Armani is the way in which it empowers any kind of woman to feel her best self. 

Thompson, who was born in Los Angeles, started in theater then had small roles in television before establishing her name in film. Her first notable, breakout film role was “Dear White People” in 2014, then followed by Ava DuVernay’s 2014 film “Selma”. Thompson is also known for her role in the Emmy-nominated drama series “Westworld”. In 2015, Thompson starred in “Creed” and reprised her role in “Creed II” in November 2018. Thompson is currently in production of Creed III. Thompson played Valkyrie in the Marvel film “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017, followed by “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019, and will reprise the role in the forthcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder”, set for release in 2022. In 2019, Thompson appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as the Leader of the Next Generation. In 2020, Thompson co-starred in “Sylvie’s Love”, which she executive produced as well. Thompson has most recently won acclaim for her role as Irene Redfield in Rebecca Hall’s 1920s-set film “Passing,” released in November 2021 on Netflix. The film is an adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1920s Harlem Renaissance novel that explores the practice of racial passing. Alongside her acting career, in 2021, Thompson launched her own production company, Viva Maude, for which she signed a first look deal with HBO/HBO Max, beginning with the book to screen adaptations of “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” and “Who Fears Death.” In addition, Thompson created and will exec produce the docu-series for Hulu entitled “Puzzle Talk,” which is currently in development.

Tessa Thompson joins Armani beauty alongside actresses Cate Blanchett, Zhong Chuxi, Adria Arjona, Alice Pagani, and Greta Ferro; actors Ryan Reynolds, Jackson Yee, and Nicholas Hoult; and models Barbara Palvin, Madisin Rian and Valentina Sampaio. Each Armani beauty face, in their own unique way, incarnates Giorgio Armani’s vision of beauty.

Armani beauty – simplicity, natural elegance, and authenticity

For over 20 years, Armani beauty has been delivering beautifully textured make-up, skincare formulated from the most pioneering science, as well as fragrances created with the rarest ingredients. Inspired by real people and their needs, the make-up line is created to enhance natural beauty, revealing rather than hiding, and is renowned for several iconic products: Luminous Silk and Power Fabric foundations as well as the Neo Nude makeup range, Eyes to Kill mascara and Eye Tint eyeshadow, and liquid lipstick Lip Maestro as well as the latest Lip Power lipstick. The skincare line includes the signature anti-aging range Crema Nera. The brand encompasses men’s and women’s fragrance collections, among which are the iconic Acqua Di Giò, Code, Sì, and My Way, as well as the haute couture fragrances range Armani / Privé.

Review: ‘House of Gucci,’ starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino

November 22, 2021

by Carla Hay

Jared Leto, Florence Andrews, Adam Driver, Lady Gaga and Al Pacino in “House of Gucci” (Photo courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

“House of Gucci”

Directed by Ridley Scott

Culture Representation: Taking place from 1978 to 1997, mostly in Italy and New York City, the dramatic film “House of Gucci” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with one Latina and a few Asians) representing the middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: After middle-class Patrizia Reggiani marries into the wealthy Gucci family, family members start to battle over the Gucci empire of luxury goods, resulting in one of the family members getting murdered. 

Culture Audience: “House of Gucci” will appeal primarily to fans of the movie’s star-studded cast, the Gucci brand and tawdry true crime movies.

Jeremy Irons in “House of Gucci” (Photo courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

Just like a fake Gucci item, “House of Gucci” is a tacky sham that quickly falls apart. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a high-quality movie, just because of the celebrity names and Oscar pedigrees of the movie’s headlining stars and director. The movie looks good, when it comes to production design, costume design, makeup and hairstyling. But the screenplay is atrocious, the acting is uneven, and director Ridley Scott helmed “House of Gucci” like it’s an idiotic melodrama made for mediocre television, but with a much higher budget than most TV-movies will ever have. (“House of Gucci” even has some laughably bad freeze-frame shots as lazy ways of putting emphasis on a particular emotion.)

It’s all the more reason for viewers to be disappointed that several Oscar winners and Oscar nominees have stepped into this “smoke and mirrors” cesspool of a movie. We all know that the fashion industry is all about image and how someone looks on the outside. That doesn’t mean that a movie about the Gucci empire’s biggest scandal needs to be shallow and superficial too.

The weakest link in “House of Gucci” is the screenplay, written by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna. They adapted the screenplay from Sara Gay Forden’s 2000 book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed.” The “House of Gucci” movie is slipshod in certain details, by getting some basic facts wrong about this notorious murder case. And many parts of this movie are surprisingly dull. Don’t expect there to be any riveting scenes of a murder trial in “House of Gucci.” There aren’t any. There’s a poorly written, anti-climactic courtroom scene that’s rushed into the movie.

The Gucci murder case involved a complex group of real-life people, who are mostly reduced to caricatures in the movie. However, a few of the “House of Gucci” cast members make the film watchable because of their performances: Lady Gaga, Jeremy Irons and Jared Leto. They stand out for completely different reasons.

Lady Gaga is compelling to watch as the scheming Patrizia Reggiani, who was at the center of the Gucci scandal because Reggiani was convicted of masterminding a murder plot. The details of the Gucci murder case are well-documented, but in case anyone reading this review doesn’t know anything about the case before seeing the movie, this review won’t reveal who was murdered. (Although it’s pretty obvious, when you consider who would have to die for Reggiani to inherit a large share of the Gucci fortune.)

Lady Gaga’s performance as Patrizia Reggiani takes a deep dive into campiness, occasionally comes up for air in earnestness, and sometimes lounges around in limpness. Overall, Lady Gaga has the type of on-screen magnetism that even when Patrizia is doing awful things, it’s with the type of villainous charisma where you know this character is capable of convincing some people that she did very bad things for very good reasons.

A campy performance isn’t necessarily a problem if the rest of the actors are on the same wavelength. Unfortunately, “House of Gucci” director Scott failed to bring a cohesive tone to this movie. Other “House of Gucci” actors give performances that are not campy at all but come across as if they truly believe this is a serious, artsy drama worthy of the highest accolades in the movie industry in every top-level category.

That’s the kind of performance that Adam Driver gives in “House of Gucci,” where he portrays Patrizia’s beleagured husband Maurizio Gucci. Maurizio met Patrizia when he was a law student and had no intention of joining the family business. Driver’s portrayal of Maurizio has the type of personality transformation that actors usually relish.

Maurizio goes from being mild-mannered and easily manipulated when he meets Patrizia while he was in law school to becoming a ruthless and recklessly spending businessman who casts Patrizia aside when he decides to move in with his mistress Paola Franchi (played by Camille Cottin) and divorce Patrizia. Their divorce became final in 1994.

“House of Gucci” makes it look like Maurizio abandoned not only Patrizia but essentially neglected their daughter Alessandra after the divorce. The three actresses who portray Alessandra in “House of Gucci” are Nicole Bani Sarkute (Alessandra at 3 years old); Mia McGovern Zaini (Alessandra at 9 years old); and Clelia Rossi Marcelli (teenage Alessandra).

In reality, Patrizia and Maurizio had two children together: daughters Alessandra (born in 1976) and Allegra, born in 1981. The erasure of Allegra from the movie is just one of the many details that “House of Gucci” gets wrong. The movie also changes the timeline of when Patrizia and Maurizio met and got married. In the beginning of the movie, Patrizia meets Maurizio in 1978. In real life, Patrizia and Maurizio met in 1970 and got married in 1972.

In the “House of Gucci” movie version of Patrizia’s life in 1978, she was working as an office manager for her stepfather’s truck transportation business in Milan, Italy. Patrizia and Maurizio meet at a nightclub party of one of his friends. Maurizio is standing behind the bar, and Patrizia mistakes him for the bartender, so she asks him to fix her a drink. Maurizio thinks that she’s confident and sexy. He tells her that she reminds him of Elizabeth Taylor.

Patrizia seems much more interested in Maurizio when he mentions that his last name is Gucci. Patrizia asks Maurizio if he wants to dance. He says no. The scene then cuts to Patrizia and Maurizio dancing together on the dance floor. Patrizia’s persuasive personality sets the tone for much of their relationship.

It seems like the “House of Gucci” filmmakers decided to change this couple’s courtship to take place in the late 1970s solely for the purpose of having disco music in the movie’s scenes that depict the early years of their relationship. After all, Lady Gaga looks better twirling or slow dancing on a 1978 dance floor where there’s a disco ball and Studio 54-type of partiers, instead of a scene at a 1970 party that would probably have to be staged with a bunch of rich-looking hippies.

Therefore, the “House of Gucci” soundtrack serves up its share of disco music, such as Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls,” Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and Donna Summer’s “On the Radio.” Later, when the movie’s timeline goes into the 1980s, the soundtrack features songs such as the Eurythmics hits “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and “Here Comes the Rain Again.” The soundtrack songs often blare in “House of Gucci” in music-video-styled sequences that further cheapen the look of the movie.

The first sign that Patrizia is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants is when she stalks Maurizio on campus at his law school. She follows him into a library and pretends to “coincidentally” run into him again. This scene is like something right out of a Lifetime movie. Maurizio has no idea that he’s being targeted, so he goes along with Patrizia’s seduction and is eventually convinced that their relationship is true love.

Irons gives an understated and believable performance as Rodolfo Gucci, Maurizio’s widower father, who is the only Gucci family member who holds on to his dignity in this movie. Rodolfo is immediately suspicious of Patrizia and her intentions for his only child. Rodolfo doesn’t come right out and use the words “gold digger” when he warns Maurizio not to marry Patrizia, but Rodolfo expresses his concerns that Patrizia is not a woman of substance and that she seems to be latching on to Maurizio because of the Gucci family fortune.

Even though Rodolfo vehemently disapproves of Patrizia, it turns out that Rodolfo and Patrizia actually agree on something: They both think that Maurizio should go into the Gucci family business. However, Maurizio’s refusal to follow his father’s wishes leads to him being estranged from Rodolfo for a while.

Maurizio is kicked out of the family home and cut off from his family’s financial support. With nowhere else to go, Maurizio moves in with Patrizia and her parents. Maurizio gets a job working for Patrizia’s stepfather Fernando (played by Vincent Riotta), who’s depicted in the movie as someone who engages in shady business practices.

To put an emphasis on how much Maurizio is estranged from his former life, when Patrizia and Maurizio get married in a church, the movie makes a point of showing that the pews on the bride’s side of the aisle are filled with her family members and friends, while the pews on the groom’s side of the aisle are almost empty. George Michael’s 1987 song “Faith” is played in the movie’s soundtrack after Patrizia and Maurizio exchange vows and walk happily out of the church. This soundtrack choice is an example of more of the movie’s carelessness with details, because the wedding took place years before “Faith” was released and before Michael was even a pop star.

Meanwhile, Rodolfo’s older brother Aldo Gucci (played by Al Pacino, hamming it up in the type of moody roles he’s been doing recently) doesn’t trust Aldo’s dimwitted son Paolo (played by Leto) to be in charge of any part of the family business. Aldo reaches out to Maurizio to come back to the family fold, but Maurizio still hesitates. Patrizia eventually joins forces with Aldo to persuade Maurizio to reconcile with his family and become part of the Gucci business empire. Maurizio eventually agrees, because at this point in his life, he still wants to please Patrizia. For a while, Patrizia and Maurizio made their home base in New York City during Maurizio’s rise in the Gucci business.

More scheming and manipulations ensue, exactly like how you expect them to play out in a movie that is plagued with clumsy clichés. Patrizia and Maurizio are not shown having any meaningful conversations that are not about his family, money or business. In other words, the movie falls short of convincing viewers that Maurizio and Patrizia had a deep emotional love that would make him blind to her gold-digging ways.

Maurizio and Patrizia have a passionate sex life in the beginning of their relationship, so the movie implies that lust, not love, was what really brought this couple together. The sex scenes in “House of Gucci” aren’t very sexy because they look more like parodies of soap-opera-styled sex. Items on tables are shoved aside and crash on the floor to make room on the table for whatever sex act occurs. Any vigorous thrusting doesn’t look erotic but looks more like someone having a robotic workout routine at a gym. And the orgasms sound very fake.

It’s not much of a surprise that “House of Gucci” is a very “straight male gaze” movie where only women’s nude private parts are shown, not men’s nude private parts. And speaking of people in “House of Gucci” in various states of undress, this movie has a semi-obsession with Patrizia being seen in bathtubs or saunas. Apparently, the filmmakers want viewers to think that life is supposed to be more luxurious if you take baths instead of showers.

The supporting characters in “House of Gucci” are either over-the-top ridiculous (Salma Hayek as Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, a self-described psychic who befriends Patrizia), or bland as bland as can be (Jack Huston as Gucci financial advisor Domenico De Sole; Reeve Carney as fashion designer Tom Ford) with no intriguing personalities. Pina is a stereotypical con artist who gives vague predictions to Patrizia (“I see a big fortune coming your way”) and mystical-sounding advice, such as telling Patrizia that Patrizia should wear more red for “protection” and more green for “cleansing.”

The fashion industry is a mere backdrop to the betrayals and lies that usually originate from Patrizia and spread like a virus to other members of the Gucci family. For example, “House of Gucci” wastes an opportunity to give a fascinating insider’s look at the Gucci empire. Instead, the movie gives trite portrayals of the massive reinvention that the Gucci brand underwent from the 1970s to the 1990s. The movie serves up a fast-food version of what happened on the business side of the Gucci story.

“House of Gucci” unrealistically makes it look like it was only Patrizia who had the business sense to tell the family in the 1980s that it was devaluing the Gucci name by licensing the brand to cheap-quality merchandise, and that they needed to go back to Gucci being synonymous with luxury. The Gucci brand was then repositioned as “hip/trendy” (not old-fashioned) luxury. For all of her supposed business skills, Patrizia isn’t actually showing doing any real work as a so-called Gucci powerhouse. According to this movie, all she seems to be good at doing is telling people what to do.

The “House of Gucci” role of fashion designer Ford, a native of Texas who is credited with helping further reinvent the Gucci brand in the 1990s, is literally a walk-on role: The most memorable things that he does in the movie is give the traditional end-of-show designer stroll on a runway after showing a collection, and when Ford reads a newspaper article that praises him, he walks out of the room to say that he can’t wait to call his mother.

At no point in the movie is anyone in the Gucci empire shown having a strong relationship with Ford, even though he was a driving force at Gucci, where he worked from 1990 to 2004, with most of those years spent as Gucci’s creative director. There are some hints that De Sole had his own agendas and ambitions, but the character is written in a completely boring and hollow way. Unless you’re a fashion aficionado who knows about De Sole and his further ascent in the Gucci empire, you might have a hard time remembering his name after watching this movie.

“House of Gucci” is also problematic in how it portrays women, because the three female characters with the most prominent speaking roles are either villains (Patrizia and Pina) or a mistress (Paola). Vogue magazine editorial executive Anna Wintour (played by Catherine Walker), actress Sophia Loren (played by Mãdãlina Ghenea) and Paolo’s wife Jenny Gucci (played by Florence Andrews) have meaningless cameos in “House of Gucci.” Even back in the 1970s to 1990s, when this movie takes place, women were so much more important in the fashion industry than what “House of Gucci” makes it look like.

Out of all the portrayals of the Gucci men in “House of Gucci,” Leto’s performance as Paolo is the flashiest one. Much of the performance’s standout qualities have to do with the top-notch prosthetics that Leto wears to make him look like a completely different person who is heavier and older than Leto’s real physical appearance. However, Leto does show some actor panache by having an amusing Italian accent, and he plays Paolo’s buffoon role to the hilt, bringing some intentional comedic moments.

Leto’s performance is only marred by some silly-looking scenes, such as when Paolo does an awkward dance of jubilation with Patrizia when she deceives aspiring fashion designer Paolo into thinking that his horrendous fashions are fabulous and worthy of being part of the Gucci brand. It’s the type of scene that looks like something Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd would’ve rejected for their Two Wild and Crazy Guys act on “Saturday Night Live.” Paolo’s words and actions get more cartoonish as the movie goes along. A low point is when Paolo urinates on a Gucci scarf in a fit of anger.

Unfortunately, the best performance efforts by the “House of Gucci” cast members can’t overcome the very cringeworthy screenplay that ruins this movie. In one scene, when Patrizia and Maurizio have an argument, she chokes up with tears and says: “I had no idea I married a monster.” He replies coldly, “You didn’t. You married a Gucci.” In another scene, Pina snarls at someone, “Don’t fuck this up, ’cause I’ll put a spell on you!” In another scene, Paolo says, “Never confuse shit with chocolate. They may look the same, but they’re very different. Trust me, I know!”

The Paolo character might want to warn people not to confuse defecation with chocolate, but viewers should be warned not to confuse “House of Gucci” with being a superb film. For a movie that’s supposed to be about a haute couture/luxury fashion brand, it wallows in the muck of cheap gimmicks, sloppy screenwriting and a lack of self-awareness about how horrendous the worst parts are. The end result is a tawdry mess. And you can’t erase the stink from that.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures will release “House of Gucci” in U.S. cinemas on November 24, 2021. “House of Gucci” is set for release on digital and VOD on February 1, 2022. The movie’s release date on Blu-ray and DVD is on February 22, 2022.

2021 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

September 13, 2021

The 52nd annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on September 13, 2021—18 months after the 51st annual Met Gala was cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 edition of the Met Gala was the first to be held in September, since the Met Gala previously was held on the first Monday of every May. The event’s theme in 2021 was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” so guests were encouraged to dress in American-inspired fashions. The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by actor Timothée Chalamet, poet Amanda Gorman, singer Billie Eilish and tennis star Naomi Osaka. It was the first time that Anna Wintour did not co-chair the event since she became Vogue editor-in-chief. Instead, she was an honorary chair with Tom Ford, and Instagram chief Adam Mosseri. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

Gemma Chan at the 2021 Met Gala’s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on September 13, 2021. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

HBO Max debuts streetwear fashion competition series ‘The Hype’

July 21, 2021

Marni Senofonte, Offset, and Bephie Burkett of “The Hype” (Photo courtesy of HBO Max)

The following is a press release from HBO Max:

HBO Max has released the trailer and key art for “The Hype,” a streetwear competition series debuting Thursday, August 12, 2021, where fashion visionaries elevate their designs and entrepreneurial sense to avoid elimination while remaining authentic to their style. Produced by the Emmy®-winning team at Scout Productions, Speedy Morman hosts the eight-episode season, which will feature co-signers, including Grammy nominated recording artist and designer, Offset; creative director and founder of Bephies Beauty Supply,  Bephie Birkett; and Emmy® nominated costume designer and renowned stylist, Marni Senofonte. The panel of judges will critique the competing streetwear’s unique DNA, combining fashion, music, art and lifestyle to refine the idea of a “runway” and the balance between art and commerce. The series will also feature special guests including A$AP Ferg, Cardi B, Dapper Dan, and Wiz Khalifa.  

“The Hype” is produced by Scout Productions, the team behind the Max Original ballroom competition series “Legendary” and Emmy®-winning series “Queer Eye.” Scout’s David Collins, Rob Eric and Michael Williams developed the series with Emmy® winner Rachelle Mendez (“Undercover Boss,” “Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath”). Collins, Eric and Williams will also executive produce with Mendez, Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith. Emmy® and Grammy®-winning producer Rikki Hughes (HBO Max’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Reunion Special”) will showrun and executive produce.

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