FLORA FUN AT CHANEL- COUTURE SS15 REVIEW

I am not a big color person. I wear a lot of black and I make no apologies for it. But the Chanel Spring 2015 Couture collection may have changed my mind.

The SUITS:

Chanel’s suits were simple and unfussy, by offering a no- nonsense way of life to the Couture crowd. The suit as the staple piece was a fresh reminder for the audience that sometimes less is more. Karl offered every type of skirt suit silhouette, from A-line to pencil to above the knee-giving each lady who lunches endless options. Personally I loved the array of colors the suits were offered in, because it connected to the soft evening dresses with whimsical flowers jumping off the fabrics. From mint to pink to canary yellow, Karl kept it simple and clean to prevent the collection from resembling a Crayola box.

Karl is always one to keep his looks modern, offering some crop top variations (however, if you’re not comfortable with that, I’d suggest to put a tank underneath and leave the jacket open). The opening orange suit looked soft and comfy-who knew couture suits could be today’s new relaxed wear? Okay, Karl probably knew.

NOTABLE LOOKS: 

Although I always believe black can never be boring, it certainly wasn’t this season. Lots of translucent, peek-a-boo fabrics kept the looks dynamic, rather than swallowing the models. The beginning gowns and dresses looked as if the models were standing in a large garden in which the foliage had started to grow on the looks (imagine how breathtaking it would be if they all stood together). I really, really liked the later looks, specifically a gray jacket with futuristic, geometric flowers-was Karl talking about genetically modified flora?

THE DRESSES: Karl is never so straight-forward, therefore this collection was a bit of a shock for me-but in a good way. The collection Flowers embellished on pockets resembled girls carrying full bouquets. I know the pink dress with a column of embellishment will be all over the red carpet-it’s can flatter a variety of figures and it’s metallic edge is quite attention-grabbing.

THE ACCESSORIES: 

Hats: The wide-brimmed hats wrapped in black tulle rounded out the looks and reminded us of a forgotten age. Whether Karl was referencing 1899 or 2099, I thought it was a hit and brought a softness to the suits without sacrificing the whole look (brave move Chanel).

Masks: I loved the lace fabric covering the eyes that adds a sense of mystery. Karl’s done masks like that in past seasons, but I really like it this time since it ties well in with the abundance of fabric.

Beanies, gloves, and boots: The beanies seemed a little distracting, and more 2001 rather than 2015. The patent toes on the shoes were a fun accent, and I really liked the fact that the shoes were functional and flat, but I could’ve done without the square toes.

Continuing the translucent fabric to the gloves connected them to the lightness of the looks. Karl loves adding gloves to his designs for Chanel. To prevent himself from looking repetitive, he gave them a fresh update by adding the flowers in a fun way.

 

 

 

The Chevron Houston Marathon 2015- A Runner’s Perspective

by Daniel Millar 

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I actually did most of my training abroad! I started seriously training back in September when my semester in Madrid, Spain started. And I was lucky enough to live just 10 minutes away from a neighborhood park while I was there, so I got into the routine of running each night after classes ended. Which was really cool, because I got to experience the three seasons pretty intimately while I was there. You can actually look up pictures of the park on Google. It’s pretty beautiful. It’s called Retiro Park in Madrid Spain. Watching the leaves change each day was probably one of my favorite things about my time in Madrid. So I decided to sign up last April after having just turned 20 – also thought it would be a good way to start my 20s off right.

Anyways, back to the running stuff. So my training plan built up to a long 20 mile run after my semester ended when I returned back to the States. I actually ran two days after Christmas in San Antonio, which in hindsight, wasn’t that great of an idea considering Christmas time for my family means binge eating for about a week straight while digesting it all during our Netflix marathons. But alas, I managed to survive what was at the time the longest run I had ever done in my life.

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And then in the past couple of weeks up through the end of my first week back at Rice meant turning it down a notch, carb loading, and resting up until race day. So I can’t really say that my Syllabus Week this time around was all too exciting considering I was in hibernation mode all week. But it definitely was all worth it, because being able to say I successfully ran a full marathon is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

As much as it was a physical challenge (and this next week of limping will attest to that), I would say running a marathon is a test of one’s mental strength. And I’m not saying I’m the strongest willed person, but I can say that did gain a lot of self-respect along the way.

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Daniel’s running gear 1 day before the Marathon

Like during the marathon, there were SO MANY times where I really just wanted to stop, and I tried to come up with excuses to justify why that would be a good idea. But just knowing that my friends and family were out there supporting me (even if it meant just seeing them for like a split second of the race) gave me huge inspiration to just keep going. Which I know is cheesy, but it’s the truth.

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Woohoo! Marathon Complete.

And it’s funny, because people keep asking me when the next one is gonna be, and right now that’s the last thing on my mind. But I can say that running will continue to be a huge part of my life – a lot because I think running reflects the challenges that life offers. Life’s like a marathon. It’ll give you a million reasons to wanna stop or focus on what’s going wrong in that moment. But it’s taught me that really anything is possible if you take it one step at a time.

 

ELLA ENCHANTED

19 year-old songstress Ella Henderson is one to watch. She’s already conquered the British charts, and I’m happy Ella is jumping over the pond and gracing us with her angelic, yet powerful voice. Her song “Ghost” went Platinum and was #1 on the UK Singles Charts. And her song “Yours” is even more moving.

An X-Factor Finalist (6th place ain’t bad) Ella has gracefully transitioned from a reality show competition to boldly facing the music industry. Her maturity and understanding during this challenging interview honestly impressed me.

Slightly more pop than Adele, her voice still has the same powerful ability. “Soulful, real, and raw,” are words Ella uses to describe her sound. Influenced by everything from “Motown” to “80’s” music, you can sense that in her sound, but she definitely still makes it her own. I also love the fact that she writes her own music. It makes it much more personal.  Ella states she wants her music to “come from the heart.”

I’m from a family of musicians, so I’m always interested in hearing a vocalist live too. And Ella certainly didn’t disappoint. Frankly I’d like to hear her live over her recordings-which is very rare in today’s age! Ella Henderson shows sometimes even if you lose, you can still come out on top.

 

 

 

 

1970’s Style is Making a Comeback

Get excited- the 70’s is back! The music was great, the look was even greater. But how does this apply to 2015 you may ask? Think comfy casual that can easily be updated from day to night. I’d say the Chloe PreFall 2015 collection perfectly emulates the era.

Also, let this be your background music while you read.

Icons to Google: Farrah Fawcett, Cher, Jerry Hall, Bianca Jagger, Jane Birkin, Marissa Berenson, Debbie Harry, Pam Grier

Bell Bottoms:

1970s: The bigger the better.

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NOW:  Keep the impact but instead with a bold print. For day, think pastels or flowery prints, while for night, dare to shimmer with metallic silver or gold pants.

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Dresses and Jumpsuits:

1970s:  Halter-tops and one-shouldered gowns galore!

NOW: Cutouts and skin-baring looks may not be as appropriate for the workplace, so throw a sharp blazer on top to update the look to keep it from looking too casual. This year, hemlines will become longer as well.

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Tops:

1970s: Bright flowing tops in a kaleidoscope of prints.

NOW: Continuing with the loose-fit trend, shop for butterfly tops, tunics, and blouson shirts. Keep the colors neutral not to scream 1970s.

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Shoes:

1970s: Platforms on platforms! The 70’s took footwear to new heights. Think patent leather, prints, and even whimsical elements.

NOW: For evening, stacked heels and also flats will be even more popular than before. Which is a plus considering they’re much more comfy!

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Hair:

Then: long, flowy, natural, voluminous afros

Now: No need to update. Gisele-esque waves are always the way to go. The hairstyles are relevant and easy to do!

 

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Diana Ross

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Go Farrah Go!

Makeup: Dewey shimmer was all the rage. Lots of eyeshadow and also lip color that’s harkens back to Studio 54 (FYI it was a hotspot of 70’s celebs and artists).

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Now: I wouldn’t advise to use blush as a highlighter, but instead keep your look interesting by focusing on one element. Instead of a bold lip AND eyeshadow AND cheeks, choose one and stick with it!

 

THE MEN OF FILM AND FASHION- PRADA’S SS15 CAMPAIGN

If you’ve seen a fair share of films this season, then the heartthrobs of Prada’s Spring Summer 2015 Campaign should be familiar faces offscreen too.

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The Fault in Our Stars‘ Ansel ElgortWhiplash and The Spectacular Now‘s Miles Teller, Boyhood‘s Ethan Hawke, and Unbroken‘s Jack O’Connell cemented their place amongst fashion’s heavyweights thanks to this campaign. Photographer Craig McDean shot the guys so that they completely filled the frame. Styled in simple yet intriguing knitted vests, slim suits, and patterned sweaters, the Prada man’s look is never fussy, but always functional (with a dash of fun).

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These actors appeared to be daydreaming as they doodled on their hands or peeled an orange, suggesting a sense of normalcy that unites us all together. Dare to dream fashion lovers!

 

TOP 15 OF ’14-FILMS YOU SHOULD WATCH

So  my friend/film extraordinaire Michael Robinson (trust me, he owns more movies than Blockbuster ever did, and a wider variety too) has  ranked his top film fav’s for WMTM! Check out his article:

2014 Films Review by Guest Writer Michael Robinson 

2014 has been an incredible year in film and showcases themes that vary drastically from those that 2013 had to offer. From subjects ranging from strains on a marriage to the excess of Hollywood, many of the top films of the year brought something new to the table. After  some deliberating, here are my top 15 of 2014:

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15) The One I Love

This is an independent film focused primarily on the two main actors (Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss) as they go away for a weekend to work on their marriage. Weird things begin to happen in the guesthouse as a bizarre game begins between the two. The One I Love focuses on the trust between a married couple and how much strain a relationship can take.

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14) The Grand Budapest Hotel

I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson so this was a no brainer. The dialogue is the best he has ever written and the style is absolutely stunning. While it’s not as deep as I wanted it to be (Why the three timelines when things only happen in one?), it is still incredibly enjoyable and worth exploring.

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13) Nightcrawler

This is a film that had to grow on me. I walked out thinking it was alright but found myself talking about it with everyone. It’s a smart commentary on the sensationalization of the media and features a brilliant performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.

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12) Gone Girl

David Fincher is a director who always brings great movies to the table but never incredible ones. To me, this is Fincher’s first incredible movie (mostly due to the on point script by Gillian Flynn). This is another film that focuses of the turmoil of marriage, especially what happens when you pull back the curtain. The characters are very complex and you begin to question everyone involved.

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11) Whiplash

Who would guess that the film that won Sundance would be amazing? The movie focuses on Andrew, a music student at a prestigious school where he aims to be in the top jazz ensemble run by Fletcher, played expertly by J.K. Simmons. This is a film that echoes the jazz that the band plays. From the editing, to the tension, it is crafted incredibly well and ends on the perfect note.

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10) Only Lovers Left Alive

I love everything Tilda Swinton does and this may be one of her finest. Only Lovers focuses on two rock vampires (completely the director, Jim Jarmusch’s style) as they come together again after years apart. The chemistry between Swinton and Tom Hiddleston is electric and with Mia Wasikowska in the mix, things get complicated very quickly. The film is expertly crafted and one not to miss.

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9) The Tales of the Princess Kaguya

This is the first film Studio Ghibli has released since Hayao Miyazaki has stepped down and it looks like the company is still in good hands. The film focuses on a girl who is born out of a bamboo tree and raised by a bamboo cutter. She defies the mold of society and acts as a commentary of the limitations of women in Japan. The music is great and the style is absolutely incredible (it contains one of my favorite scenes of the year). Make sure to check out this powerful animated film.

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8) The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her

This came out as two separate films screened together (each taking the point of either the female lead, Jessica Chastain, or the male, James McAvoy) and as a combined, shorter filmed called The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. While I have not seen the Them version, I highly recommend the separate, longer Him & Her. You see the strains of a heterosexual relationship fallen apart through both the man and the woman’s side. It’s an emotional experience that I haven’t gotten anywhere else.

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7) Stray Dogs

I saw this film during the summer and it has been haunting me ever since. The Malaysian director, Ming-liang Tsai, crafts a slow burning commentary on the lower class and the struggle to survive and take care of children. Each shot is expertly crafted, taking several minutes of screen time each for a total of 77 shots over the course of the two and a half hour film. It requires a lot of patience but the reward is incredible.

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6) CitizenFour

This isn’t just a film, it’s a historical document. Laura Poitras talks with Edward Snowden before he released what he knows to the country, allowing people to see what exactly happened leading up to the NSA crisis two years ago. Few filmmakers take the risk that Poitras does and the result is an inspiring, frightening , and incredible film.

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5) Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer ventures into the extreme of bizarre and exquisite with Under the Skin. The loss story follows an alien, played by Scarlet Johansenn, as she wanders Scotland to abduct men. Well, that’s the premise but the film evolves so much from there, with perfect editing and the best soundtrack of the year by Mica Levi. This is an artistic masterpiece.

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4) Ida

Ida is a movie you have to see to believe in. As a polish black and white film about a nun who is looking for her parents, it’s a tough sell. Yet Pawlikowski makes it work. The cinematography is beautiful and the very different 1.33:1 ratio really makes it stand out. There are so many scenes in this 80 minute film that stick out to me and it’s a movie going experience I won’t soon forget.

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3) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Here is another foreign black and white film, yet this one is very different. It’s an Iranian Vampire Western and the first time director Ana Lily Amirpour really makes the film soar. Few movies have ever given me the same amount of glee when watching them, from the female vampire lead flying down the streets on her skateboard to the best acting cat I have ever seen, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a treat that anyone should seek out and see.

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2) Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

 

There are so many layers to this commentary on Hollywood that one viewing doesn’t do it justice. The actors are all absolutely brilliant and the cinematography is phenomenal. The characters really come alive and the whole film just comes together to really work.

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1) Boyhood

How can I not fall in love with Richard Linklater’s 12-year tale of growing up in the 2000’s? There is so much that the director does that is so subtle but so remarkable. Each character is crafted beautifully and really comes alive and grows in front of you. You see Mason mature throughout the small points in his life. You see him go from a six year old boy who just wants to watch TV and mess with his sister to a teenager going to college and being independent for the first time in his life. This is a wonder of a film and the best of the year.

There are many other great films that came out this year, with Obvious Child, The Blue Room, The Immigrant, The Dance of Reality, Foxcatcher, Top Five, The Babadook, and many more that I Ioved but couldn’t include.My top rated film list will most certainly change once I see the following: Selma, The Imitation Game, Wild, Leviathan, Two Days One Night, Mr. Turner, Inherent Vice, Locke, Winter Sleep, Force Majeure, and A Most Violent Year. 2015 already looks promising with some sundance films already looking interesting as well as some that have made the festival rounds but not released (Olivier Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria should be sought out as soon as it officially hit theatres in March).