Exalted Fashion Designer Azzedine Alaia Dead at 77

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Azzedine Alaia image from Joe McKenna’s untitled documentary 

 

The fashion world mourned, as news came yesterday that eminent designer Azzedine Alaia had passed away in Paris, aged 77. The cause of death was apparently heart failure.

Born in Tunisia in 1940, he started his career in the City of Light as a teen working for Dior, then Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler. He shot to genuine fame in the 80s with his own ready-to-wear label, eventually dressing Grace Jones, Madonna, Janet Jackson – and becoming the unofficial designer to the first wave of supermodels. His form-fitting creations notably and stunningly adorned the likes Linda Evangelista, Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell. In recent years, his devotees included Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Rihanna…even First Lady Michelle Obama.

Earlier in 2017 Joe McKenna had released an untitled but beautifully shot documentary on Alaia.

Celebrity friends took to Twitter to share their love, tributes and lamentations.

 

 

 

 

 

Shia LaBeouf Was Almost Cast as Oliver in ‘Call Me by Your Name’

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By now, you’ve probably heard of Call Me by Your Name. You know, that film about Armie Hammer’s struggle with amnesia and his inability to call himself by anything other than someone else’s name.

Joking. The big, great gay romance film of the year staring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet as the star-crossed lovers Oliver and Elio, respectively, is not about amnesia. It’s about peaches and Sufjan Stevens songs. It’s also apparently so powerfully moving that it caused Hammer to fall in love with director Luca Guadagnino.

But all of that love-making almost didn’t happen. In a new interview with Guadagnino, it’s been revealed that the entire film could’ve been very, very, very different. As in, so different it would’ve starred Shia LaBeouf as Oliver, which would’ve been terrible. In the James Ivory directed film that now exists solely in an alternate reality, LaBeouf would’ve played the grad student that Elio falls hopelessly in love with. The world may be terrible, but at least we can rest easy tonight knowing that Oliver is played to perfection by Hammer.

Oh, and the director also wants you to know that he tried masturbating with a peach because he wanted to prove that it wasn’t possible, so they wouldn’t have to do it. Turns out that it was not only possible, but when he went to Timothée and told him, the young actor said, “Of course it works! I tried it myself as well.”

Call Me by Your Name will be in theaters next Friday.

Fans & Friends React to Death of Rapper Lil Peep

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The music world is mourning the loss of a fierce young talent, with the announcement that New York rapper Lil Peep has died at just 21 years old. According to his manager, Adam Grandmaison, he was rushed to the hospital after an overdose. Just hours before his death, he posted a video to Instagram, claiming he took six Xanax ahead of his El Paso, Texas show, and insistin, “I’m not sick.”

After a series of self-produced mixtapes, Lil Peep released Come Over When You’re Sober (Part One) earlier this year. Known for his deeply emotional lyricism, he quickly gained a devoted cult following. Also praised for his unique style, he earned acclaim from fashion industry insiders, even walking in a show for Vlone and posing for a Mario Testino shoot that ran in V Magazine.

“I am shocked and heartbroken,” said First Access Entertainment CEO Sarah Stennett, who worked with the artist last year. “I do not believe Peep wanted to die, this is so tragic. He had big goals and dreams for the future which he had shared with me, his team, his family and his friends. He was highly intelligent, hugely creative, massively charismatic, gentle and charming. He had huge ambition and his career was flourishing… I have spoken to his mother and she asked me to convey that she is very, very proud of him and everything he was able to achieve in his short life. She is truly grateful to the fans and the people who have supported and loved him.”

Friends and members of the music community have taken to Twitter to express their grief. Some are also using his death to raise awareness of depression and drug abuse.

 

Taraji P. Henson to Star in Gender-Flipped Remake of ‘What Women Want’

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It’s official, Taraji P. Henson will star in a gender-flipped remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson film What Women Want, which told the story of a man whose life is changed when he suddenly acquires the ability to read women’s minds.

Deadline reports that the remake of the Nancy Meyers directed hit is being fast-tracked for a January 2019 release, and will see Henson playing a sports agent who develops the power to read her male colleagues’ minds (it will now be titled What Men Want.) Her newfound abilities will help her in her quest to sign the next big NBA star.

Will Packer, James Lopez and Henson are set to executive produce.

Henson’s most recent work includes the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures and her starring role as Cookie on Fox’s Empire. 

Fever Ray Announce European Tour; Watch the Video for New Single ‘To The Moon And Back’

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For the singularly rabid fans of The Knife, this is really big news. The exalted but enigmatic electronic Swedish duo of Karin Elisabeth Dreijer and brother Olof Dreijer disbanded after a final tour in 2014, leaving a gaping hole in the contemporary cultural landscape. But Karin has resurrected her rapturously reviewed but equally mysterious project Fever Ray, with their first album since 2009, Plunge, just released late October through Rabid/Mute.

They’ve also just announced a 22-date European tour in early 2018; and if you’ve ever witnessed their live performances, you’d have no doubt that hopping a plane to Vienna, Berlin, Brussels or Copenhagen will be very much worth the effort. Though shows in the cities of Lund and Stockholm (in their homeland of Sweden) should be particularly electrifying.

They’ve also just released a beautifully unsettling sci-fi video for the new single “To The Moon And Back.”

 

 

FEVER RAY 2018 TOUR

February 19 – Vienna, Austria – SiMM City
February 20 – Milan, Italy – Fabrique
February 22 – Munich, Germany – Muffathalle
February 23 – Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks
February 24 – Zurich, Switzerland – Volkshaus
February 26 – Prague, Czech Republic – Forum Karlin
February 28 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
March 1 – Warsaw, Poland – Klub Progresja
March 2 – Vilnius, Lithuania – The Hall Compensa
March 4 – Helsinki, Finland – The Circus
March 13 – Hamburg, Germany – Docks
March 14 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
March 15 – Brussels, Belgium – AB
March 17 – Cologne, Germany – Palladium
March 19 – Paris, France – L’Olympia
March 20 – London, England – Troxy
March 21 – Manchester, England – Albert Hall
March 31 – Lund, Sweden – Mejeriet
April 2 – Bergen, Norway – USF Verftet
April 3 – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
April 4 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
April 6 – Stockholm, Sweden – Nobelberget

People Have Raised Almost $80K For The Woman Who Stuck Her Middle Finger Up to Donald Trump

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Juli Briskman was fired from her job earlier this month after sticking up her middle finger at Trump’s motorcade while they drove past her on her bike. She worked for government contractor Akima LLC, which was apparently not pleased at the attention Briskman brought to the company.

But some stories do have happy endings. A GoFundMe page was launched by the public to help out the internet hero, and now Briskman has almost $80,000 raised in her name.

“Juli Briskman is an inspiration to us all,” reads the page. “This week we learned that she was fired from her employer for exercising her first amendment rights.”

As a refresher, here’s the now iconic Briskman.

 

 

It looks like the internet isn’t such a toxic place after all. The campaign’s goal is to raise a cool $100K. “Through your generous donations, heavy burdens have been lifted. Thank you!” reads a quote from Briskman on the page.

‘Justice League’ Tried Making the ‘Wonder Woman’ Outfits Sexy

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If there were ever a litmus test for how to make female superheroes into feminist icons, it’s Patty Jenkins’ adaptation of Wonder Woman. Led by Gal Gadot as the titular hero, the film checked off all the boxes it needed to, made nearly a billion dollars globally, and, most importantly, showed the world that female warriors can fight in outfits that don’t look like Princess Leia’s slave outfit.

Someone should’ve told that last bit to Zack Snyder. Controversy has rightfully erupted over the treatment of Wonder Woman’s all-female warriors from the island of Themyscira. Unlike the armor designed by Lindy Hemming for Wonder Woman, which she described as authentic and real” and “hot as hell,” the costume designer for the Justice League film, Michael Wilkinson, decided that what the world really needs is…sexualized warrior outfits.

 

 

The altered costumes showed up on The Golden Lasso, a fan website run by cosplayer Kimi (or GoldenLassoGirl), and appear to show the Amazons in skimpy new outfits. Leave it to an all-male team to royally screw up the costumes a female director and female costume designer created.

 

 

According to a follow-up post, these costumes are allegedly from a prehistoric era, which makes them literally a step backward for the Amazon women. If you had hope that the “modern” take on the costumes in Justice League would right the wrongs of their prehistoric era outfits, we’re sorry. They’re still sad sexualized ideas of what men think female warriors would wear to battle.

 

Watch: MØ’s Colorful Video for New Single ‘When I Was Young’

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Today MØ releases the music video for “When I Was Young,” the title track off of her surprise 6-track EP that dropped last week.

It’s directed by J.A.C.K., who has previously worked with Madonna and Christine & The Queens. The When I Was Young EP is MØ’s follow-up to 2014’s No Mythologies to Follow.

“I’m so happy to present this video because it feels very true to the song and to who I am,” she enthuses. “It was inspired by a painting called ‘The Dance Of Life’ by one of my favorite artists, Edvard Munch. It’s an illustration of three women – one in white, one in red and one in black – and tells a story about three stages of human life: youth, maturity, and old age. I was always drawn to this image as a kid due to its simple symbolism and emotion and have been dying to do a video that could reflect on it.”

 

‘Difficult People’ Cancelled by Hulu After Three Seasons

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After three seasons, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner’s dry comedy series Difficult People is getting cancelled by Hulu, Deadline reports.

The series was created and executive produced by Klausner, with Amy Poehler also serving as an exec producer, and was Hulu’s first original series of such caliber. The show also starred Andrea Martin, James Urbaniak and Cole Escola.

All 28 episodes from the series’ three seasons are still streaming on Hulu.

“I feel great about the show that I got to make,” Klausner told Entertainment Weekly. “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. There are amazing shows that have ended after three seasons, like Strangers with CandyArrested Development – I don’t mean to self-aggrandize myself by comparing myself to those great shows – but I’m really proud of the work we did and the series as a whole.”

One groundbreaking aspect of the show was its fearlessness in calling out sexual predators in Hollywood.

“We have three seasons full of Kevin Spacey jokes,” Klausner explains. “To the point where I was worried we had too many. I think season 2, I made a point of making sure every script had one.”

While she’s sad the show has ended, she says she wouldn’t be opposed to doing a film version as a closing chapter for fans.

“I would love for it to live again; I would love to do a movie at some point.”