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Actress Priyanka Chopra and fashion designer Anita Dongre feature in Google's official list of top searches of year 2016.<
Gang-raped and paraded naked in public 14 years ago, Mukhtar Mai walked the fashion runway during Pakistan's fashion week.
An Indian teenager who lost an eye and whose face was brutally disfigured in an acid attack walked the New York catwalk to
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Bill Cunningham, a longtime fashion photographer for The New York Times known for taking pictures of everyday peo
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A Nigerian woman, who wanted to see Barbie dressed the way she did, has given the popular doll arguably its most surprisin
An over two decade old Pakistani women's clothing brand Sana Safinaz has brought to the Indian market latest fashion for w
It took an American in southwest France to revive an ancient blue dye that once brought riches to the region and was so pr
Counterfeits are worth nearly 10 per cent of the clothes, shoes and accessories sold in the EU, taking away over 26 billi
It is with a journalist’s learned sense of skepticism that I usually approach charity events. Especially those held and publicized by fashion and beauty luxury brands. This social responsibility that allows the easy participation of the rich by spending money, not time or commitment is what I call the Buy a Bag and Get Social Justice Free model. It leaves me wondering about many things.
I haven’t found any answers yet. But last week, at an AIDS awareness day event at the MAC store in Delhi’s Promenade mall, I did realize that the answers don’t just lie in trying to figure out various social justice models but also in the process of small but powerful discoveries of human behaviour that such events bring. MAC, the global cosmetic giant whose foundations and lipsticks make cinestars, fashionistas, models and maharanis of glamour all over the world look their beautiful best, continues to push Viva Glam, an extended arm of the M.A.C. Aids Fund that was set up in 1994. You could say it is a “Buy-a-lipstick-and-get-a-guilt-free-shopping trip-free” model. But that doesn't change the fact that the fund has raised more than 700 crores for the AIDS affected through worldwide sales of the Viva Glam lipstick range--six shades of lipsticks and two lip glosses—with 100 per cent selling price routed towards the welfare of those living with AIDS. That's much more than a cosmetic achievement.
While I sit around at such events to observe different people dipping into the same social cause for different reasons, I am quite taken by those who queue up to get makeovers and expert makeup tips. Especially if the person doing the magic is someone like celebrity artist Mickey Contractor. Women sit transfixed before him as his hands work deftly, sizing up the face, the bone structure, the skin colour, texture and the woman’s personality before turning her into a diva. The dazed look on the faces of women is a delight for someone interested in the politics of identity through makeup. After they are done, a new confidence descends on most; they walk out of stores with a better gait, a smile and bright, hopeful eyes. Of course, most also usually end up making huge cosmetic purchases because they now believe that the key to this new, glam self will overpower the inner devil who haunts some of us to challenge God’s creative abilities and beat Him at his game.
And Mickey? His anecdotes and insights on what people want and how they behave before and after makeup would make a rocking television series. I have often seen him dissuading women from buying cosmetics just for the heck of it. He also knows how to give his clients a reality check instead of dreams the colours of eye shadows. “I was doing someone’s face in the store and I saw this grey-faced, sad looking woman come inside, completely lost,” he told me during one of his smoke breaks at the event two days back. “She had bad skin, full of marks and pigmentation and was wearing a foundation that couldn’t have been worse for her skin colour and looks. I just hoped she wasn’t my next appointment, but she was,” continued Mickey. As the story unfolded, the woman who had been using makeup ever since she was an adolescent to disguise her bad skin and to silence that damned inner devil pricking her with insecurity, had never found any real change even after using the best foundation and concealers in the world.
“The wrong foundation is the moral of the story, you cannot become what you are not,” said Mickey almost philosophically, using the metaphor that should guide us not only in choosing the right makeup but everything we seek to change. Soon with the right foundation, (first applied only on half her face to point out what was going on), the woman went out of the store smiling, her emotions transparent under the now correct makeup which made her look like herself instead of grey skinned and ill.
That same evening, I happened to watch on TV the 2007 film Shortcut To Happiness based on Stephen Vincent Benet’s classic short story titled the Devil and Daniel Webster. “God is stingy with his creations,” said the Devil in a highly symbolic court case to decide the fate of the protagonist who had sold his soul in exchange for a better life. “But without a soul, there can never be a better life,” argued the defense, winning the case. The jury believed that the soul was the right foundation to realize any real makeover or change in life.
Padma Lakshmi has a lovely study. But what seems to be attracting attention is not her books or her clothes but "a rather glam digital portrait of herself on her computer's desktop". A quick google search yielded reports of a raging controversy over whether or not it is okay to put portraits of yourself in the home.
(Photo by Douglas Friedman, courtesy, Harper's Bazaar)
Harper's has a Photofeature on "the model, cookbook author, actress, jewelry designer, and host of Bravo's Top Chef" who is living the single life in New York City and flying high — and not only because she has a swing in her living room. Incidentally, she apparently
"believes that her greatest asset is not her beauty, her intellect, or her indomitable gumption. Rather, it is her taste. "Whether it's my taste in food, my taste in clothes, my taste in music, furnishings, or art," she says confidently, "that is the one skill I have, and it can be applied to anything."
Full article: A Fashionable Life: Padma Lakshmi