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Oscars 2014

The stars shine just a bit brighter on Oscars night. The outfits, the hair, the jewels…and of course the awards. But for me, it all begins on the red carpet. The show itself can often be a bore, but with Ellen hosting again this year we had a few laughs along the way.

One of the many highlights of the show for me was Pharrell’s performance of his hit ‘Happy’ from the Despicable Me animated film. He had the often stiff Oscar audience up and dancing, doing a shimmy with Lupita, Meryl and Amy Adams. Even Jamie Foxx and his daughter crashed the stage to dance along. Big step forward for hip hop to see one of its own take over the Oscar stage so fearlessly.

Now onto what matters the most…the fashion.

Best Dressed

This season’s red carpet had two themes – pastels and navy blue. Dramatic difference between the two colours, but both the men and women took inspiration from the oncoming spring by bringing pastels out while others chose to dramatize their elegance with a hint of blue.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Lupita Nyong’o

Hands down the most anticipated outfit of the night. Since her emergence onto the scene, Lupita has dazzled us with edgy and breath taking dresses. Its her risk taking and boldness that has me enchanted. And now we can add Oscar winner to her accolades. Was that not the best speech ever? She had everyone in tears. Not only is she best supporting actress, to me she was the best dressed at the Oscars. Wearing a custom made dress by Prada that she collaborated on with, she had folks on Twitter calling her Cinderella. And she truly did look like the belle of the ball in that dress. Telling reporters on the red carpet that the blue hue of her dress reminded her of her home town of Nairobi, has already got folks calling that colour Nairobi Blue. From her smile, fashion sense, acting chops and memorable winning speech, Lupita is an all around star.

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALSAmy Adams

I’m a sucker for clean lines and elegance. Call this dress simple, but to me it was classic beauty. Amy looked amazing in this Darren Le Gallo dress in navy blue. Hair pinned up with coral stoned chandelier earrings, she looked comfortable and composed. Unfortunately American Hustle was not a winner at the awards, but Amy looked great.

Camila Alves OscarCamilla Alves

This Braziliam bombshell has been stealing the show from her husband Matthew Mconaughy at each red carpet appearance they’ve made together during award season. As a former model, you know she understands fashion and what works best for her body. So its no surprise that she finds the best dresses to suit her. Wearing a Gabriela Cadena gown, Camila makes wearing pastel pink appear flawless. But pastel is not an easy look to pull off, especially when olive toned but her glam squad had her makeup done right to ensure it didn’t wash out her sun kissed glow. Just seeing her and Lupita in such bright colours has me excited for spring.

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsCharlize Theron

Can this woman ever look wrong? Has she ever stepped out wearing a dress that made us cringe? Never. Charlize delivers again. Newly married to Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn, Charlize looks fierce in this Christian Dior all black gown. As the face of Dior’s J’adore perfume, its fitting that she steps out in a stunning Dior number.

sandra-bullock-gravitates-to-the-oscars-2014-red-carpet-02Sandra Bullock

Again, classic lines and sheer elegance Sandra Bullock harks to a golden age of fashion and cinema in this McQueen number. If you recall, when Sandra first started doing movies and thus appearing at shows and premieres she was not the best dressed often times. Yet she has blossomed into her own style wearing dresses that compliment her beauty and appropriately reflect her maturity in this industry. Nothing looks better on a woman than a great smile and confidence, which are Sandra’s greatest accesories.

Worst Dressed

Now everyone can’t be a winner. There were a few ladies that either neglected to heed their stylist’s advice or made the woeful mistake of not having one to begin with. Nonetheless hope they chalk it up to ‘lessons learned’, here are my choices for worst dressed.

anna-kendrick-oscars-2014-red-carpetAnna Kendrick

If my grandmother was to attend the Oscars, this might be what she’d wear so you can imagine how peculiar it looks on the young Anna Kendrick. I’m not even going to to dare name the designer because they should remain nameless for this horrendous piece.

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsJulia Roberts

This is an example of someone who believes they can dress themselves for the Oscars and most likely doesn’t have a stylist. Not because she doesn’t need one (this outfit alone proves otherwise), but to her she’s Julia I-been-here-long-enough Roberts so she can wear whatever she wants. No darling you can’t. No one should be on the red carpet wearing a dress I can probably find at the mall. Peplum? Really? In 2014? And you’re a certified Hollywood A list that has won an Oscar before. SMH.

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsJennifer Garner

When you are the wife of Ben Affleck, why are you wearing Christmas tinsel as a dress? Is it a 1920s inspired flapper dress? Is it a Vegas showgirl outfit gone semi Amish? Who knows but its hideous. When you know you are going to be a presenter at the Oscars, you bring your A game. This was a plummeting F. She has a stylist who is either lying to her or doesn’t get paid enough to care. Either way, Jen fire that person and see if Ben can call his ex JLo to send over one of her people.

The Men

Now normally I don’t pay attention to what the men are wearing. I mean, they all wear tuxedos and for the most part all tuxes look a like. But this year the dudes stepped their game up a few notches. Not sure what was in the water, but it was nice to see a divergence from the usual black tux.

 

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsJared Leto

Taking the first award of the night, my crush from My So Called Life (if you didn’t watch this show as a teen, then how do you even understand angst?) Jared Leto melted my heart. His speech to his family was moving. But his suit: the white jacket with the blood red bow tie was killer! And his hair! Also, I just read that he’s 42 years old! Clearly him and Pharrell Williams are drinking from the same fountain of youth.

pharrell-williams-wear-shorts-on-oscars-2014-red-carpetPharrell Williams

Speaking of the Virginia native, Pharrell Williams showed up in shorts. Now I know this isn’t conventional but its Pharrell. Whether its because he’s a great looking man with a heart stopping smile or because he’s a humble musician, we give him the pass on this. Pharrell can do no wrong in my eyes. He’s been making hip hop anthems since I was a teenager so he’s already won me over. Plus his performance of ‘Happy’ that had everyone dancing has cemented him as a musical genius. Wear whatever you want Pharrell, just keep making music.

kevin-spacey-oscars-2014-red-carpetKevin Spacey

How refreshing to see such a dashing twist to the classic tux. Navy blue was everywhere at the Oscars and Kevin looked fierce in this suit. The colour is dark enough that he played it semi-safe but that hue makes any man stand out in just the right way. Great look and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more navy blue tuxes from here on out.

 

What were your favs? Which outfits made you cringe?

 

Impresa! Film – Toronto Screening

Working with @itseyc to host Impresa! film screening on Sat Sept 14th.

Check out Impresafilm.com to see the trailer.

Eritrean Youth Collective (EYC) Get Yours Conference

Outside of my world of PR, I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering with a great organization that is dedicated with introducing the arts to young people in the city of Toronto. The Eritrean Youth Collective, (EYC), is a youth led initiative that showcases events that brings art to young people.

EYC Get Yours 2

 

During the weekend of September 15th, 2012 I got to participate in their first conference – Get Yours. They had various workshops held that day with topics that ranged from branding, managing your money to defining your own idea of success.

EYC Get Yours

 

The culmination of the day was a Q&A period with NYC based choreographer Luam Keflezgy. I was beyond flattered that the EYC team asked me to host the Q&A session with Luam. She was a delight to interview and shared inspirational stories that everyone in the room could relate to – from her determination to finish her BA, the motivation to fulfill her dream and interweaving her own culture into her art.

Truly an uplifting conference. Looking forward to this conference becoming an annual event.

Ride To Conquer Cancer

My amazing friend Ebere will be participating in the 2012 Ride To Conquer Cancer. We lose too many people each year to cancer, with many still struggling to with the aftermath. Ebere is taking on this challenge to support a dear friend of hers who is a cancer survivor (Chinyere Eni).

I want to support both these women by drawing attention to the Ride and hopefully raise funds their pledge. Please follow the link and let’s all work together together to get rid of cancer. Visit 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer.

 

Somali Famine Relief Fundraising Dinner

As an East African, the word ‘famine’ holds a different type of pain for me. The Horn of Africa has been a victim to droughts and famines for too long. With the absence of peace and stability in that region for centuries, the lack of rain is just another blow to the innocent lives who seem to never catch a break.

When I was approached by the group, Concerned Youth Bringing Hope to Somalia, to help with their fundraiser I didn’t even think twice about it. Especially during the holy month of Ramadan, it feels even that much more relevant for me to do something. In this day and age, how are famines still occuring? Children dying of malnourishment while we have so much access here in North America hurts my heart. If you can, please check out the event (flyer above) or donate at Canada Helps .  100% of the donation goes to the famine victims.

SNAP Downtown coverage of Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes

The July issue of SNAP Downtown covered ear2much collective’s May 26th event, Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes. The event was held at Walnut Studios and featured some of Toronto’s talented artists exhibiting a wide range of photography, paintings and t-shirts. The event was a great success and there’s a mini-video featuring yours truly discussing the event.

Urbanology Coverage of ear2much Event

Urbanology posted their article today reviewing the event that my team and I at ear2much held a few weeks ago, Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes. It was great to meet reporter Ranjit Dhatt and photographer Fitzroy Facey, who did a great job covering the event.

Thanks Urbanology!

Event Recap – Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes

Last Thurs (May 26) the ear2much collective team kicked off the opening night for the ‘Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes’ art exhibit. It was a great turnout with all the artists on hand. We screened a sneak peak at a documentary we’re working on and it was well received. Donations were made towards Lupus Ontario and Victoria Freshblackberry was in the house giving out some of her healthy eating treats. Great music + good people + beautiful art lead to an awesome night. Check the Flickr stream at the bottom of the page to see more pics. Thanks to Jilan Nasher for taking the pics.

Interview with ListenMR

I had the amazing pleasure of being interviewed by the dynamic duo of Mahsa and Rashel of ListenMR last week at the Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes event. It was a packed house so we chatted across the street and it was very chill and comfortable describing the event with these ladies. Also featured is Anna Keenan, a great photographer/artist who was showcasing some of her work at the show. Check it out and enjoy!

Raise It Up For Your Ma Dukes

Looking forward to having folks join us as we showcase works by Anna Keenan, Char Loro, and Yannick Anton as well as artist re-interpretations of their images documenting
Maureen ‘MaDukes’ Yancey’s visit to Toronto (February 2011).

Music + Art + Film = A Great Night.

Participating Visual Artists:
Nicolas Dabideen
Lindsay Bess
Melissa Doldron
Peterson Joseph
Samiha Khan
Gabrielle Lasporte
Danilo McDowell
Cheryl Rock
Quentin Vercetty

Curated by Gabrielle Lasporte

Opening Night Party Featuring Music, Screening and MORE!!
Thursday, May 26 2011 – Door open at 7pm
VIEWING
Friday, May 27 2011 – 12pm to 7pm
Saturday May 28 2011 – 12pm to 7pm
@ Walnut Studio 83 Walnut Ave. Toronto