Freaky Friday: Catwoman

catwoman 2From the creators of DC Comics comes another complicated female comic book character who is both sexy and violent in nature.  Although she switches back and forth between good and evil based on her mood and what seems fun to her in the moment, Catwoman has grown to become a sex symbol in the comic book universe, in television appearances, and in big budget films.

In her debut in the first Batman comics in the 1940’s, Catwoman graced the pages of the comic book with an outfit that was revealing and confusing for a character that channeled the essence of a cat.

Her appearance showed she had a strong body with black knee-high boots under a purple floor length gown/cape/jacket that had two high slits to emphasize her powerful leg muscles.  The dress moves up into a long sleeved silhouette that displays much of her chest with a deep plunging neckline.  Her dress has an attached hood with two pointed cat ears, yet her blue flowing hair can be visibly seen jutting out through the hood. She wears a black mask that covers the top half of her face and she has a long green cape clasped around her throat that flows down to the ground.
Although this is the extravagant outfit comic book designers were looking for to entice buyers in the early stages of comic book history, her cat-like image is only emphasized in her hood.

In 1966 Catwoman evolved into Julie Newmar’s Catwoman in the television series, Batman. In her role, Newmar wore a skin tight sparkly black jumpsuit with long black gloves, tall black boots, a thick gold belt and a gold chain necklace with a small cat-ear headband and no mask. Here, Catwoman transformed from muscular foe to sexy vixen.

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With this sexy change, several actresses took over the role of Catwoman with similar ensembles. Lee Meriwether wore the same outfit, but added a thick black mask in the 1966 movie adaptation of Catwoman.

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When Newmar left Batman after the first season, she was replaced with Eartha Kitt who wore the same costume as Meriwether.

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After almost thirty years, Catwoman emerged again in the 1992 film Batman Returns with Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Her ensemble was less sexy and more psychotic. She wore black leather with white stiches running throughout the outfit as if she were Frankenstein’s monster coming alive again.

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In the early 2000, Halle Berry took a stab at the role of Catwoman donning the sexiest Catwoman costume, but also the most confusing one. She wore black leather pants that attached to a black leather bra by two criss-crossing belts across her abdomen.  Even though it was a sex symbol statement, the costume did not seem very practicle for fighting or much of anything a cat would wear at all unless they were a dominatrix.
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Even with this blunder, Catwoman returned to film again in the Dark Knight Rises with Anne Hathaway playing the feline role. Her all black ensemble looked battle ready as if it were skin-tight body armor protecting her from those who opposed her.

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For Catwoman’s final evolution, she turned into a street cat played by Camren Bicondova in the new series, Gotham.  She wears black army boots, ripped black skinny-legged pants with black fish net stockings undereneath, a black biker jacket with cut out black gloves, and a grey hoodie sitting underneath the jacket with goggles on top covering her short, manic curly hair.

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Catwoman is always changing with the times whether she is the premier superhero, a sex symbol, a psychotic feline, or a street thug.  Even with all her changing looks, she is still an iconic comic book phenomenon.

Disney Accuracy: Esmeralda

esmeraldaDisney writers, animators, and creators take a lot of foundation from literary works. No exception to that commonality is their 1996 animated feature: The Hunchback of Notre Dame based on the novel by Victor Hugo in 1831.  Said to take place in 1482 on the celebratory day of Feast of Fools in Paris, France, The Hunchback of Notre Dame gives a cast of diverse characters facing hardship, discrimination, and the political/religious pressures of the times.

To make a family friendly movie, Disney created a movie that stayed true to the heart of the book while making it a safe story for children of any age to watch.  With dedication to detail in the narrative, let’s see if Disney remained true in the fashion choice they gave their damsel/heroine: Esmeralda.

The 1400’s were still apart of the Middle Ages in history and the clothing of Esmeralda’s class being the gypsies or peasants, would not have been of very high or flashy quality. Most of the clothing of the lower class was made out of woolen cloth and sheepskin cloaks.  According to Annenberg Learner, http://www.learner.org/interactives/middleages/morcloth.html, “women wore long gowns with sleeveless tunics and wimples to cover their hair.”

iwimple001p1Women of the Middle Ages would have worn wimples to completely cover their hair. Although Esmeralda has a cloth-like covering to some of her hair, not exactly the traditional wimple. This fashion omission can be forgiven seeing as how Esmeralda is a rebel to the rules that govern society.

Disney did display some of the traditional attributes of the Middle Ages fashion but failed to hit the mark in simple respects that would have described Esmeralda’s class situation. For example, Esmeralda’s skirt was the right length; however, Esmeralda was of a lower class being a gypsy so she would not have worn purple. The color purple was reserved for royalty in many cultures and a woman of Esmeralda’s status would never wear such a garb.

Plus, jewelry was never really warn by peasants and those of lesser classes. In the middle ages, jewelry and furs were reserved for royalty and upper class-men who could afford such luxuries.

The only way Esmeralda’s costume choice can be justified is if she stole the outfit and the jewelry from royalty seeing as most gypsies were thieves, but she probably wouldn’t have worn the clothing and the jewelry so openly if she had stolen them.

esmeralda 2Despite, these few marks against Esmeralda’s costume design, the animators did get the silhouette as close as they possibly could. They also took into consideration how Esmeralda may not have been able to afford shoes and made her barefoot. If she did have shoes, they most likely would have been some cheap leather boots.

Aside from taking a few liberties with the fashions of the Middle Ages, Disney managed to capture the essential spirit of what a real gypsy would have worn in this time in history.

2015 Oscar Ceremony: Take Two

men oscar 2The fashion of women is always the highlight on any red carpet. Women can have extravagantly large ball gowns, sexy ensembles, skin-tight silhouettes, short dress, long trained dresses, tea length dresses, pant suits, one-piece jump suits, flowing skirts and crop tops, and so much more.

Yet, the stylish men walking the red carpets have limited choices of a suit or a tuxedo. Usually, the men go for a simple black tuxedo with maybe a little flare in the cuff links, the boutonniere, the tie/bow tie, or other flashy accessories.

At the 2015 Academy Award’s red carpet, men stepped up their games by wearing suits and tuxedos with all different colors and with all different designs than the simple flat black. Here is a list of those risk-takers whose keen eye for a new sense of fashion in the masculine field paid off at Sunday’s gala.

men oscar 4To kick the color off with a debonair flare was actor David Oyelowo wearing a maroon and red tuxedo suit by Dolce & Gabbana. His fashion choice was a much needed relief from the sea of black tuxedos that usually mob the carpet. He looked truly glorious.

Making a slight change in the usual black on black fashion trend, Benedict Cumberbatch lit up the red carpet with his bright white tuxedo jacket with black slacks, a black pocket square, and a black bow tie.  Although the look wasn’t as bold as some, he still broke away from the usual black ensembles that could bore viewers to tears.

Taking a bold risk with a powder blue tuxedo was Jared Leto in Givenchy. Leto has proved his rocker persona and continues to break the barriers when it comes to fashion on the red carpet. He secedes from the predetermined molds, yet he is still respectful and wears appropriate attire for these high society glamour functions.

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Actor Eddie Redmayne looked quite dapper in his blue and black ensemble by designer  Alexander McQueen. The mixture of different colors along with what looked like different fabrics, had a star worthy appeal that made him look the part to receive his much deserved Oscar for Best Actor.

men oscarThis list could not be complete without including the host of the 87th Academy Award ceremony and fashion forward icon, Neil Patrick Harris who dazzled the red carpet in his grey tuxedo and bow tie by designer Brunello Cucinelli.  A classic look with a perfect tailoring made him shine almost as bright as the light in his proud husband’s eyes.

Media Monday: Oscar Night

oscar 7Another year of star-studded award ceremonies has come to a close with the Academy Awards. After a night of theatrical performances, abundant laughter, and riveting acceptance speeches, the Oscar Night buzz continues on into Monday with a look at the winners and the looks of the red carpet.

With such a big gala, not all celebrities are supposed to get it right in the fashion department. However, Sunday night’s Oscar Ceremony seemed to be a step out of the norm with everyone looking their finest and leaving viewers in awe of their elegance and glamour.

Although much of the looks of the red carpet were simple and maybe a bit safe, all the stars looked ravishing from ball gowns to simple silhouettes. All the celebrities could be found in an array of colors. Since there were no over the top ensembles that could clearly be labeled the best or clearly be labeled the worst, here are the stars that were the best dressed in their color category at the 87th Academy Awards.

oscar 2In white, Lupita Nyong’o made a splash with her pearl studded gown custom made by Calvin Klein. Nyong’o’s fashion sense is the talk of every red carpet and with the most star-studded event being the Oscar Ceremony, Nyong’o did not disappoint. She is truly the most remarkable fashion icon on the red carpets within the last two years.

In pink, Viola Davis looked amazing yet again in her lightly tinted, princess gown by Zac Posen. With a gracious spirit and the pearl accessories, Davis sauntered across the carpet like royalty. Not only is Davis a wonderfully talented actress, but also one to look for on the red carpet’s best dressed list as well.

Actress Rosamund Pike brought her A game to the 87th Academy Awards with a vibrant red gown by designer Givenchy Haute Couture. The swirling flower design and the deep red that shined brighter than the red carpet, made the elegant Pike stand out against the many famous patrons in the crowd. The knee-deep slit dress was a risk that pulled off well for the nominated actress.

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There to support her Oscar-nominated husband, Benedict Cumberbatch, director Sophie Hunter wore a burnt orange dress that stood out in the crowd of women in all the other colored dresses. Taking a risk pulled off, for Hunter was one of the few to take on this normally nontraditional color on the red carpet.  Her gown, by designer Lanvin, was simple, sophisticated, and beautiful with just a few elements of adornment with gold button-like holes running along her right side torso and her right shoulder. The ensemble was simple and classy and gets an extra bonus point for not being matchy matchy with her husbands outfit choice.

oscar 1In a golden yellow, Emma Stone displayed her fashionista persona in a long sleeved slim gown with a high slit up her left leg. The beaded dress made an electric statement on the red carpet with the beaded design featuring a conductive like current pattern.  Her Elie Saab gown definitely made an artistic impression on the red carpet.

In green, Scarlett Johansson looked naturally stoic with a femininity in her Versace gown. Although her hair was overly styled in a look that made her appear like a Justin Bieber impersonator, her dress was sculpted to perfection and accessorized with the perfect necklace and earrings to complete the look.

With an icy blue dress, Octavia Spencer made lasting impression on the red carpet at the Sunday night gala. Her fashion sense compliments her body with the flowing custom Tadashi Shoji gown she chose to wear to the most prestigious film award ceremony.  The gown was simply adorned with edging icy blue lace that accented the gown nicely and made the outfit come to life.

oscar 8In purple, Eddie Murphy’s wife, model Paige Butcher, took an elegant flare in her rich violet gown that fit her body to perfection and cascaded tendrils of exquisitely flowing swirls of fabric in the back.

In her silver, metallic dress, nominated actress Lauren Dern took a bold risk in her Alberta Ferretti gown. Even though her hair would have looked better with it swept back out of her eyes, and her accessories could have been a little bit less matchy matchy with the sliver purse and grey drooping necklace, she still dressed far apart form the flowing girly dresses flowing down the carpet. Her look was edgy and presented the image of a conquering and strong woman, rather than a typical girly girl playing dress-up.

In her giant tan studded, poofy gown, Jennifer Lopez yet again made a fashion statement on the red carpet. Known as one of the sexiest women in Hollywood, Lopez showed her elegant nature mixed with a bit of sex appeal in this Elie Saab gown. Lopez knows fashion, she knows what works for her body, and she knows how to dress to impress.

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Actress Cate Blanchett ends the list of the best dressed gals at the Oscar gala with her simplistic beauty in the furry black Maison Margiela gown. The simple design did not take away from the elegance of the ensemble, With so many intricate outfits walking down the red carpet, Blanchett still managed to turn heads with her black number and perfectly accessorized turquoise necklace.  With talent that runs deep within her veins, it is only logical that she has the fashion sense to match.

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Yet Another Update: I know what a shock….

So after a long weekend and a realistic look at the blogging sphere, I will yet again reign in on my blogging post ideals. Yet again, I seem to be overzealous in my capacities to keep up with the day to day fashions and the intricacies of life.

So, I have made a promise to myself that I will combine Salon Saturdays into Health Tuesdays and I will combine Celebrity Sundays into Media Mondays so that the blog will flow better and be more consistent with postings.

These days seemed to be similar anyway and I feel as though readers will get more out of me spending more time on five days a week than they would at me trying to push out an article for each day of the week.

Thanks for understanding. I will be back with a new post tomorrow on Media Monday with a new article looking at the fashions from the 2015 Academy Awards Ceremony.

Throwback Thursday: The 1980’s

80From hair styles to the adventurous clothing, the 1980’s brought with it a unique and completely different fashion style than anything seen before in fashion history.  The extravagant neon colors, the intense shoulder pads, the vibrant colored heels,  the faded denim, and the excessive use of accessories from bracelets, bangles, belts, earrings, gloves, necklaces, zippers, buckles, rings, and so much more, the 1980’s brought a bold fashion to the world.

80;sIn today’s fashion market, designers still bring forward ideas inspired by the fashion of the 1980’s. From the legging resurgence to tulle skirts, the fashion of the 1980’s is always around.  One look in particular seems to be resurfacing from the 1980’s: layers.

From hair to clothes to accessories, layers are in. Whether it is winter or summer, layers are present in fashion mostly due to the re-popularization of the crop top.

In winter, women can be seen wearing crop top hoodies with shirts underneath or cut out sweatshirts with a flashy t-shirt lying under the holy piece.  Ripped jeans can be styled with brightly colored leggings or even regular shades of leggings under the jeans.

Long necklaces, scarves, and other forms of jewelry can rest on top of the already fashionable outfits inspired by 1980’s fashion trends.

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In the summer, girls can sport tank tops covered with crop tops or even just regular shirts to give the same layered affect women wore in the 1980’s era.  Jewelry is almost a must with these outfits, to really pull off the essence of the 1980’s.

Plus, the layered look for hair has come back. Of course, the layers and massive hair styles of the 1980’s aren’t as exaggerated today as they were back in the day, but the layered hair is still an option that has toned down from its 1980’s origin.

80sThe layered hair look today is simple and mostly worn by individuals with longer hair. However, if women or even men want more of a rocker or grunge edge to their hairstyle, then a choppy layered look worthy of 1980’s fashion should be a go to for hard core hair needs.

Even if people though 1980’s fashion was embarrassing and over the top, the truth is, the 1980’s never really left the fashion society. Like most era defining fashions, the layered look of the 1980’s is still with us today.

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More than just Toothpaste

As a society, we are always looking for ways to make our appearances look nicer. We want to present the world with the best version of ourselves to make a good impression and to help us think more highly of ourselves.

Sometimes, accidents happen. We can put on our best outfit for an interview and realize that there is a stain that needs to come off immediately. We can be putting on our favorite piece of jewelry and realize that it doesn’t look as vibrant as it used to, but we don’t want to give it up because even though it is faded, it is still our favorite.

In situations like these, there is a simple answer to the problems. If there is a stain on an outfit, there is no need to bleach it, or take it to the dry cleaners, or even if the threat seems permanent, there is no need to take drastic measures and throw the outfit away forever. If that piece of jewelry doesn’t shine as nice as it used to, there is a way to keep it and restore it to its former glory.

The answer to these problems is toothpaste. Believe it or not, toothpaste can be the answer to more than just giving a person a whiter and healthier smile. Toothpaste can help with the fashion and beauty crises that happen now and then.

With a little drop of toothpaste and a little scrubbing, a stained piece of clothing can be restored to its former glory.

If unfortunately, someone gets gum stuck in their hair and doesn’t want their hair to reek of peanut butter even after a good shampooing, then toothpaste can take the gum right out and leave hair smelling minty fresh or whatever flavor someone happens to have on hand.

Have an acne problem and the name brand face washes don’t seem to help much with those nasty pimples, then try toothpaste. Or if those face washes do help, but leave the skin feeling dry and painful from the excessive chemicals, then maybe replace those products with toothpaste. With a little dab of toothpaste on the pimple area, the zit should vanish faster.

If a person wants to restore jewelry or the whites of their shoes to looking brand new, then they can also use toothpaste on those products. Toothpaste can help the dirt come off of those dirt splattered shoes and can help remove the tarnish from old metallic jewelry.

If nails are looking a bit worn from bad weather, hard work, or misuse, toothpaste just may be able to help. With a little toothpaste and a little scrubbing, finger and toe nails can look cleaner and healthier with little effort.

Or, if hands smell after handling foul odorous products such as strong smelling foods, then a nice mint toothpaste rub could help those hands smell fresh as if they had never come into contact with the product.

Toothpaste may not be the magic fix to every health and fashion faux pa, but it can come in handy in certain situations. To learn more about the many uses of toothpaste visit: http://www.themindawakened.com/2015/02/16-different-ways-to-use-toothpaste-you.html, for more information.