Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

The Oscars 2013

posted by the hanging out team - Thursday, January 24, 2013
Is it Oscar season already? Let’s have a look then! Here’s a little history on the Academy Awards and the red carpet glamour that came with it.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commonly known as the Academy, was set up as an honorary organisation and governing body by MGM executive Louise B. Mayer. The Academy Award was later introduced as a way to merit achievement in the film industry. The first ceremony was held on May 16th 1929 at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. Tickets were only $5 and the ceremony was held in front of an audience of around three hundred. The winners were announced three months in advance but this changed in 1930’s, creating the suspense filled spectacle that we enjoy today. Past hosts have included megastars Fred Astaire, James Stewart and even Frank Sinatra. The categories have been changing over history too with past categories including ‘Best Dance Direction’ and ‘Best Title Writing’ (in an age before Comic Sans, no doubt).

The 1920’s and 1930’s fashion was lead by Hollywood. The world would see the latest fashions in the movie theatres worn by the latest and greatest stars of the ages. Icons like Louise Brooks, with her helmet like bob and pale freckled skin, pioneered the flapper movement. 1920’s glamour epitomised the boyish figure with undergarments designed to flatten the breasts and dresses to obscure the hips with straight shapes and dropped waists. As the Oscars were born, depression was beginning; a time of austerity in which mending was more vogue than the spending of the 1920’s. The silhouette changed, with squared shoulders and fitted torsos. The waists were brought up to accentuate womanly curves again with the help of fuller skirts. Times were changing and this was reflected on the red carpet with the gowns worn by the actresses attending.

Louise Brooks

The most endearing and unconventional winner of the 1930’s was undoubtedly Luise Rainer, nominated for her role in The Great Ziegfeld. She was ordered to attend by Louis B. Mayer, so with nothing to wear, she wore her nightdress. The actress was later quoted saying ‘It was the nicest dress, I ever owned’. Luckily it was a nice nightdress, she looked rather nice. It served her well as the following year she won another Oscar for The Good Earth in which; she portrayed a Chinese peasant wife.

Poster for The Great Ziegfeld, starring Luise Rainer

It was only in the 1950’s that the Oscars really became a catwalk. Audrey Hepburn stunned on the red carpet in a gorgeous full skirted floral dress, with a delicate sheer chest in 1954. While in 1955 Grace Kelly stunned in blue satin. The material alone cost $4000; the dress was a symbol of the monetary boom of the 1950’s. Another iconic dress was worn by Barbara Streisand in 1969 when she collected her award for Funny Girl. A glittering black gown with a white Peter Pan collar and black bow, complimented the actress’ flattering bob.

Grace Kelly in satin.

Actresses continued to wow on the red carpet throughout the ages from stunning moments like Amy Adams collecting her Oscar for Best Actress in The Fighter (2010), or when Halle Berry became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Earlier in Berry's career she portrayed Dorothy Dandridge, the first African-American to be nominated for Best Actress; they were both born in the same hospital too!

Halle Berry making her passionate Oscar acceptance speech. Copyright© A.M.P.A.S.

Dorothy Dandridge

I’m looking forward to ogling the red carpet for the Oscars Ceremony! Be sure to tune in on the 24th February and root for your favourite. Come on Anne Hathaway!

By Natasha Dujon

Party Pieces

posted by the hanging out team - Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Party season approaches! Bring out the killer heels, the sequins and the door-brush eyelashes. Christmas work do’s can get pretty competitive. Your colleagues always promise to come smart/casual and scoff the occasion off as not a big deal, but when the night rolls round it looks like you’re all about to grace the red carpet. The key is in the outfit. From that piece springs inspiration for the hair, the shoes and the make-up.

I had a little look around the fabulousness of Topshop to nab 3 of my personal favourites that bring about a delicious wave of nostalgia as these pieces echo hints of a golden age.

Peplums are fabulous for accentuating the hips and hiding our so-called sins, lumps or bumps that make us more nervous. Beautifully, they can be worn with both a fitted skirt and a pair of leggings or skinnies. Fun fact- the peplum originated in the nineteen forties and was introduced by Christian Dior in 1947 as the ‘calyx’ line. It was a more structured look than the tops seen in a/w 2012. The peplum re-emerged in the eighties, feminizing the broad shouldered dresses of the period with pretty florals. This fashion statement can be seen in motion throughout happy, fuzzy comedy Troop Beverly Hills (1989).

Topshop @ 25.00

Everyone loves a bit of a boogie! And if you’re like me and tend to get a bit over zealous on the dance floor, what better way to keep one’s dignity than in a playsuit? What I love about this playsuit is it’s in keeping with the forties but with a modern twist. The plunging neckline reminds me of that iconic evening dress worn by Lauran Bacall in ‘To Have and Have Not’ (1944) or a shorter cuter version of something Bette Davis would wear.

And to top it off you look stunning in this seasons shade- Oxblood! The plunging neckline welcomes the use of a statement necklace, so be daring!

What party season would be complete without the LBD! Take a look at this sultry midi dress in crushed velvet, perfect for a sophisticated look. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) . Bare calves and simple heels with a sophisticated up hair do, don’t forget the pearls!

Topshop @ 34.00

So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and the pressure needn’t be on to look awesome as the archives of the past makes it very easy for you. Take a quick voyage to the past with a vintage flick for some inspiration; get out there and shop for your yuletide best! Ho, ho, ho and happy hanging out this Christmas! Xoxo

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