Friday, January 31, 2014

Lottie Moss – Kate’s Little Sis

Kate Moss needs absolutely no introduction, as anyone who has ever picked up a magazine or surfed the Net sometime over the last ten years would know that she is perhaps one of the most successful, controversial, and interesting models ever. But now it’s time to introduce another face that we are probably going to be seeing and hearing a lot more about – another Moss; Kate’s little half-sister, Lottie.

Starting off in true Moss style, Lottie is surrounded by controversy already – however trivial it may appear – upon the release of her debut photoshoot pictures. There’ve been rumours that the shoot actually took place when Lottie was only 15 – breaking the traditional rule followed by most UK modelling agencies that models should be over 16 when allowed to work. Whatever the case may be though, the black and white test shots that Lottie turned out are stunning and evoke the work of an experienced model.

Her first modelling gig is a spread entitled “From Lottie with love” in the style magazine Dazed & Confused, the magazine that was set up by Jefferson Hack, Kate's former partner and the father of her daughter Lila, and has been described by the magazine as a ‘16-year-old ingénue’. Lottie was signed to Storm Model Management just as she turned 16 and was selected for the shoot just a week later. The images, which were shot by the photography duo Sean and Seng, were tactically released on Kate’s 40th birthday – for which she too had a special shoot; posing topless for Playboy.

Lottie is the daughter of Kate's father Peter and his second wife Inger. It’s going to be hard for Lottie to break free from the comparisons to Kate but maybe it’s the family name that has also given her an advantage to some extent. But then again, Lottie’s beauty and knack cannot be denied. It’s been said that Lottie is the splitting image of Kate when she was 19 and shot a campaign for Calvin Klein’s fragrance “Obsession”. Although being on the smaller side at just 1.65 metres, Lottie has the face of a supermodel. It’s all there; the striking blonde hair, the somewhat vacant eyes that still captivates, that delicate facial structure.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Style. That’s what people remember.

People will remember things for different reasons; sometimes good, sometimes bad. But when it comes to making an impression on the world, especially in a time when very little is new and unique, all it takes is a little style and technique.

Terry Pratchett, an American novelist, once said, “If cats looked like frogs, we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.” That pretty much says it all. Looking at a cat, whether you like them or not, one can’t help but notice and admire their elegance, their graceful movements, their inherent style. Even when they’re doing something like licking themselves, it’s not disgusting in light of the poised manner they do it in.

Even the way that cats play with their prey doesn’t really seem like something pitiless and ruthless, but a catch that takes precision. And toying with that prey – not enough to kill it – is quite an act to watch.

Most of us have something that makes us stand out from others. Isn’t that what’s so great about being individuals? We don’t have to mould our uniqueness, we should just find that something that we do a little differently, in a style that no one else does, and let that be what people remember about us.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rapture 2014

“Lose yourself” rap superstar is set to rapture South Africa in the coming months.

Marshall Bruce Mathers lll, known as Eminem AKA Slim Shady is headed to South Africa for the first time ever to deliver his signature style of rap at two concerts as part of his Rapture 2014 tour. 
One show will sound off in Cape Town and another will bring Johannesburg to their knees. 

The Rapture 2014 tour will feature Slim Shady’s lyrical genius along with the hip-hopper’s personally handpicked selection of top established and up-and-coming artists. 
These supporting acts will share the stage with the superstar for what is billed to be “a game-changing hip-hop event”. The line-up for the South African leg of the tour has yet to be announced but promises to thrill the crowds hunger for music.

Based on his verbal skills alone, the Oscar and 13-time Grammy winner is, arguably, one of the greatest rappers of his generation. The highly successful and controversial rapper has released 10 studio albums, the most recent being “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” (2013), which is a follow-up to the 2000 release.

Even locally, the Detroit-born icon’s music has hit home: Eminem’s had seven of his albums top the charts in South Africa. Needless to say, his visit to local shores is long overdue, and screaming fans will no doubt lose themselves in the (actual) rapture brought on by Slim Shady’s rhymes in 2014. 

His new single with Rihanna, Monster, is this week’s highest debut on the South African RAMS chart; and the new album debuted at No. 1 on iTunes chart and No. 9 on the physical albums sales chart.

Eminem explodes onto Cape Town shores on the 26th of February and 1st of March in Johannesburg.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

True Detective – One of the most highly anticipated series of 2014

“True Detective” brings two of the most iconic actors from two different generations together, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, in the American television drama series on HBO. The series is created and written by novelist Nic Pizzolatto, who debuts in television with this show. The first season is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and also stars Michelle Monaghan (“Maid of Honor”), Michael Potts (“The Wire”), and Tory Kittles (“Malibu’s Most Wanted”). The first season, consisting of eight episodes, debuted on 12 January 2014.

The first season of the series was received extremely well, much to the credit of Matthew’s and Woody’s performances, and received a 9.4 rating on IMDb (Internet Movie Database), which is not an easy feat. The direction is superb with the Louisiana location given as much screen time and significance as the characters, and almost becomes a character itself with a personality of its own. Pizzolatto’s script also gives brilliant opportunity for the landscape to be incorporated into the narrative and development.

The anthological series traces back and forth between 1995 and 2012 and offers an even more intriguing insight into how time can alter people as we see the two main characters, Rust Cohle (Matthew) and Martin Hart (Woody), as they have changed and developed through the years.

The series is nothing short of the quality of an Oscar-nominated film with every shot and scene executed excellently. Not much seems to happen by way of action in the first few episodes, but it remains riveting nonetheless. Perhaps one should not watch it so much for the storyline or plot, which sees the two detectives in a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana, but rather for the acting and the rendering of brilliant work. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

12 Years a Slave – A story you almost can’t believe is true

In 1841, Solomon Northup – a husband, father, violinist and a free black man living in upstate New York – is abducted and sold into slavery. On what he thinks is a music opportunity, he is drugged and thus dissolved into the world of slavery. His life, from one of freedom, becomes ruled by whoever is his master at the time. In this pre-Civil War America, Solomon finds himself desperately trying to grasp onto whatever semblance of dignity he can before being released after 12 long, brutal years.

The film, based on the first scholarly edition of the real Solomon Northup’s memoir – which gives it an incredible amount of accuracy and truth – stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, who has also been nominated at this year’s Academy Awards for Best Actor. This will either be the best role of his career, since “Othello” in 2008, or will set him up for more work that allows for his brilliant skills. The film also stars Michael Fassbender (best known for his role as Magneto in “X-Men: First Class”, Paul Giamatti (his role in “Cinderella Man” being one of his most known), and Brad Pitt.

This is the third feature directed by Steve McQueen and written by John Ridley. The film is also one of the main contenders at this year’s Oscars, receiving nine nominations in all; including Best Picture, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender) and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o).

The film was shot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana with some locations being in close vicinity with the actual places that Solomon was kept as a slave. “12 Years a Slave” is being called an essential film in historic cinema for its storytelling of a gruelling and painful journey of a man who withstood all odds to get back his freedom. It might not be the easiest film to sit through, but it’s definitely worth it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Top 10 Highest Paid Models of 2013

When you really think about it, it’s a little unfair that models have somehow been blessed with the physical attributes and features that most women only dream about and have the privilege of getting paid for it – and in the case of these models, being paid top dollar. But being a successful model who aspires toward longevity takes hard work and severe dedication. So these top 10 highest paid models of 2013, according to Forbes magazine, have definitely worked their way to bringing in the big business.

No. 10: Lara Stone
$3.2 million

Lara made us take note of her in 2010 when she signed an exclusive deal with Calvin Klein that put her in campaigns for Calvin Klein Jeans, ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Collection; the first time in years that a model appeared in ads for several of the company’s brands simultaneously. Although she still models for the brand, her total earnings dropped this year due to the time off she took before the birth of her son. Her trademark is the gap between her two front teeth, which has become not a flaw but a unique and sexy asset.

No. 9: Candice Swanepoel
$3.3 million

Our very own South African beach babe, Candice was discovered in a flea market at the age of 15. Our pouty export has become an integral part of the Victoria’s Secret Angels elite gang and she has also become an Internet sensation by being an Instagram-selfie addict. Candice’s contract with the brand is her biggest earner, but work from Versace, Juicy Couture and Max Factor has helped move her up to number nine on the top model list this year. You might have also seen her in the Woolworths ad campaigns, which were shot in Cape Town, for her own line of shorts. Candice is definitely one to watch and she certainly has made us proud!

No. 8: Joan Smalls
$3.5 million

Joan is a newbie to the list of highest paid models this year. But the Puerto Rican stunner found fame in the industry long before. Joan’s career began in 2010 when she was selected to walk exclusively for Givenchy. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to pose for Chanel, Lacoste, and Calvin Klein Jeans and has also appeared on the cover of VogueHarper’s Bazaar and GQ. She has one of the most enviable and unique faces ever; strong and delicate at the same time, she is striking on every catwalk she walks and in every photo she shoots. Among the other Estee Lauder beauties, she’s the first Latina ambassador for the brand and is one of the most prominent faces in their campaigns.

No. 7: Carolyn Murphy
$3.6 million

Carolyn’s characteristic American-girl features have enchanted the fashion industry since she first began modelling at 17 years old in Panama City. Carolyn has been an Estee Lauder regular since 2001 and she still appears in the brand’s advertisements today. She’s been quite fortunate in her career in having worked with some great and renowned talents in the fashion industry; from Steven Meisel and Mario Testino to Karl Lagerfeld and the late Helmut Newton. You might not know Carolyn’s name, but you definitely know that face when you see it.

No. 6: Hilary Rhoda
$4 million

This 26-year-old is currently in her seventh year with cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, an endorsement that has only grown more valuable and profitable through her loyalty to the brand. But still working outside the cosmetics company, Rhoda has scooped up deals with Nike and Hugo Boss, and is still in high-demand for high-profile clients like Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret.

No. 5: Liu Wen
$4.3 million

Liu was China’s first major supermodel export who is becoming an even bigger name internationally as she helps to bring her country’s booming fashion scene to the rest of the world. This 25-year-old is definitely carving a name for herself and going beyond boundaries. She was the first Chinese model to ever model in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and has a bevy of modelling and endorsement deals with some of the biggest fashion and beauty brands in the business; H&M, Estee Lauder, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss, being some of them.

No. 4: Kate Moss
$5.7 million

Kate Moss needs no introduction and has become a brand all on her own through the years. The expiry date for models can arrive rather quickly with the fashion world being quite moody and temperamental; but not if you’re Kate Moss. At 39 years old – yes, really – she is still bagging millions each year courtesy of a dream-come-true multi-year Vogue Eyewear contract, endorsements for cosmetics company Rimmel and contracts with Italian designers Versace and Liu-Jo. Next, Kate is all set to pose topless for Playboy magazine to celebrate their 60th anniversary, and her 40th birthday. She certainly does things all out.

No. 3: Adriana Lima
$6 million

Adriana has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000, making her the longest-running Angel in the brand’s history. And that’s really no surprise. Her larger-than-life success as a model and Angel comes with a larger-than-life contract, with most of her income coming from the lingerie super-brand. She also manages to rake in endorsements for brands like Miu Miu, Donna Karan, Mavi Jeans and Metrocity. Adriana is a staunch Catholic and a mother to two daughters with Serbian basketball player Marko Jaric. She keeps wowing us every year as she steps onto the Victoria’s Secret ramp with her exotic looks and amazing body – this year having done it just a few months after she gave birth!

No. 2: Miranda Kerr
$7.2 million

This Australian beauty has become one of the most valued and loved Victoria’s Secret Angels since she signed on in 2007. Miranda also owns a cosmetics line, Kora Organics, which she launched in 2009. She forms the other half of a power-couple as the wife of Orlando Bloom and manages to juggle it all as she continued to bring in the money with old endorsements as well as new ones – Mango, David Jones, Lipton, and Quantas. Miranda’s loved for her unique look and appeal that is girl-next-door meets sultry bombshell – the chubby cheeks, tousled hair and that smelting dimpled smile.

No. 1: Gisele Bundchen

$42 million

Her endorsements might have wavered a bit this year, but the 32-year-old is still one of the most powerful, recognizable and sought-after supermodels in the world. She recently replaced Beyoncé as the face of H&M, reportedly beat out Rihanna for Chanel and took over David Yurman from Kate Moss; and this all in the same year she gave birth to her daughter Vivian, her second child with quarterback husband Tom Brady. Gisele is definitely a supermodel slash supermom who epitomizes the dream model career.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Looking back to move forward

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
-       Socrates

Socrates set the bar for most of Western philosophy and dedicated most of his enquiry and examination to the growth of human character and morality. He was a firm believer that once we as humans accept our ignorance and lack of knowledge in understanding the world and life itself, we would then be able to truly acquire genuine knowledge.

So it’s understandable that he would think that in order to experience a better and fuller future, one must look to the past for guidance and a little direction.

Maybe looking at what we could have done better in 2013, or even what we did not do at all, will give us a better chance of getting it right in 2014. Dredging up the past might not always be the healthiest thing to do; but at the start of a new year, taking stock of the year before could save you just a little time and effort – or maybe save you from making the same mistakes twice without even realizing it.

Socrates knew this. He knew that making mistakes is vital to growing as a person and building one’s character. But he also realized that because we all want a good future for ourselves, one of the best ways to get it is to look at the past and let our actions and experiences guide us to making better decisions in the present.

It was also Socrates who said, “Know thyself.” And that’s pretty important too. For if we look at our past and the life we’ve lived so far, doesn’t that give us greater insight into who we are and so move us along to where we ought to be?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eva Longoria – Maxim’s “Woman of the Year 2014”

It’s a little early in 2014 to name someone “Woman of the Year” but when that someone is Eva Longoria, there’s no explanation needed.

Eva is going to be 39 years old in March this year yet she somehow still has the body of an 18 year old, and that alone was reason enough for Maxim magazine to name her “Woman of the Year”. She’s worked hard to maintain her figure and even harder to make a name for herself in the acting industry.

She got her major breakthrough role in the daytime television serial The Young and the Restless in 2001 but she really became a household name in 2003 when she was cast as Gabrielle Solis in the infamous ABC series Desperate Housewives. For Eva, the “overnight” success that came with Desperate Housewives had actually taken her many years of perseverance to achieve. Her most major film role to date is The Sentinel released in 2006, in which she starred opposite Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland. Eva had come a long way from being crowned Miss Corpus Christi, USA in 1998 to Hollywood fame.

This is Eva’s first Maxim cover after eight years, having been on it in 2005 and 2006; but with her stunning wavy hair, the arresting black eyeliner, and a simple white tank top, Eva shows why she’s one of the ultimate cover girls. She’s graced the covers of international magazines like GQ, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Marie Claire and has become one of the most ubiquitous brand ambassadors of the 2000’s, having contracts with L’Oréal, Heineken, Magnum Ice-Cream, and Bebe Sport.

 Other than her acting abilities and possessing the body of a goddess, Eva has a brain too. She obtained a Masters Degree in Chicano Studies from the California State University in May 2013 and also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. She’s also a business woman with a restaurant to her name in Hollywood, a philanthropist with a charity called “Eva’s Heroes” aimed at aiding developmentally disabled children, and an author with her first book published in 2011 titled “Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends”.

So it’s clear that since her days as one of the most iconic housewives in television history, Eva Longoria has been keeping herself pretty busy. It’s just a pity that we don’t get to see her as much as when she was on our television screens, but those Maxim images definitely make up for it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Oscars 2014

Is it that time of the year again? 
The world’s most elegant night for the rich and famous has taken off. 
The Oscars 2014 promises to be bigger and better than ever before, this year being hosted by the one and only Ellen DeGeneres.
Dive in and explore the winners, memorable moments and juicy tidbits of the academy awards that hits screens live on Sunday the 2nd of March 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and televised LIVE on the ABC Network in the United States, as well as in more than 225 countries worldwide.
Nominations were announced on Thursday, Jan. 16, by "Thor" actor Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, whose members vote for the Oscar winners.

Been too busy to catch up on the red carpet? No problem here are the most interesting and nail biting sneak peek at the nominees as to what the academy awards has in store for you this 2014: 

And the Oscar goes too...

Best Picture
"12 Years A Slave"
"American Hustle"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Captain Phillips"                                                                      
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Actor in a Leading Role
Bruce Dern - "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor - "12 Years A Slave"                                                    
Matthew McConaughey - "Dallas Buyers Club"
Christian Bale - "American Hustle"
Leonardo DiCaprio - "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi - "Captain Phillips"
Michael Fassbender - "12 Years A Slave"
Jared Leto - "Dallas Buyers Club"                                            
Bradley Cooper - "American Hustle"
Jonah Hill - "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett - "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock - "Gravity"
Judi Dench - "Philomena"
Meryl Streep - "August: Osage County"
Amy Adams - "American Hustle"

Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins - "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence - "American Hustle"                                                                                           
Lupita Nyong'o - "12 Years A Slave"
Julia Roberts - "August: Osage County"
June Squibb - "Nebraska"

Animated Feature Film
"The Croods"                                                                             
"Despicable Me 2"
"The Wind Rises"
"Ernest & Celestine"

Alfonso Cuaron - "Gravity"
Steve McQueen - "12 Years A Slave"
Alexander Payne - "Nebraska"                                                                
David O. Russell - "American Hustle"
Martin Scorsese - "The Wolf of Wall Street"                                                                      

My expert predictions for the winners are in red :) Enjoy this start studded event.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Leonardo DiCaprio – Hollywood’s Golden Boy

Since the world took serious notice of Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic in 1997 – as he played the carefree yet insightful Jack Dawson who delivered witty and endearing dialogues while charming the young, well-to-do Rose played by Kate Winslet – we have been mesmerized not only by his good-looks that have destined him to be a movie star, but also his undeniable talent that has secured him as one of the best movie stars of our time.

Leonardo, born in 1974 to a mother of German descent and a father of Italian and German descent, is said to have gotten his name by kicking for the first time while his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in Italy – almost as if his artistic instinct and intuition is intrinsic to his very nature.

Leonardo’s place in Hollywood was secured by his acute and sharp portrayal of Johnny Depp’s mentally handicapped brother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Some of the most acclaimed and celebrated movies of the past few years have starred Leonardo in prominent roles; Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, The Departed, and Inception just to name a few. But it’s been his latest work in Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street that has made Leonardo Hollywood’s “golden boy”.

One of his greatest works to date has been his depiction of Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which left nothing to be desired by way of Leonardo’s infallible characterisation. He understands the attention to detail that goes into the craft of acting and his dramatic versatility and perception is what sets him apart from other actors – that and the fact that he never seems to age and still strongly resembles the youthful Romeo he played in Romeo +  Juliet almost 18 years ago.

He’s also just won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in The Wolf of Wall Street, which came as no surprise. Leonardo manages to evoke such depth into his character, Jordan Belfort, a wealthy stockbroker who spirals down from his American dream, that he reminds us of what cinema is meant to be – breathtakingly beautiful and poignant.

But apart from his wildfire success and supreme creative capabilities, Leonardo seems like a genuinely good guy too. With his fervent activism in environmental issues and his philanthropy, he seems to want to leave more of a legacy than just being a great actor. Perhaps he’ll also leave behind a legacy of unabashedly loving leggy blondes – more often than not, Victoria’s Secret angels; Erin Heatherton, Giselle Bundchen, Bar Rafeali, and Toni Garrn as his current girlfriend, just to name a few. But maybe it’s the charisma and allure of all that wrapped into the package of Leonardo that makes him a true star.