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August 28 2014

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Humberto Leon Weighs In on Natasha Lyonne’s Custom OC Emmy Awards Dress

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NBC's "66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" - ArrivalsRed dresses flooded the red carpet at the Emmy Awards on Monday night, but Natasha Lyonne’s ocean blue, mermaid-shaped number stood out. Lacy, long-sleeved, with a hint of ’80s prom, the dress looked stunning on the Orange Is the New Black bad girl and was one of our top picks of the night. The piece was custom-made by Opening Ceremony, so we asked cofounder and designer Humberto Leon to tell us a little about it.

How did you decide on the silhouette of the dress?Natasha originally fell in love with a dress from Opening Ceremony’s Pre-Fall 2013 runway, and we worked with Karla Welch, her stylist, to adapt it for the Emmys.

Tell us about making the dress.
The process of designing the dress for Natasha was really organic and felt natural. We’ve been friends for a long time and were so excited to have her wear Opening Ceremony at the Emmys.

Anyone else you thought looked particularly great Monday night?
We loved Mindy Kaling in Kenzo, of course! Carrie Brownstein also looked amazing.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC

Started From the Bottom: Experts Weigh in on the Cultural Obsession With Butts

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BLOG_buttcollage_02Nicki Minaj, clad in a green sequined two-piece, gyrated her hips and thrust her backside in the air onstage at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards as she belted out the lyrics to her song “Anaconda.”

“Oh, my gosh, look at her butt/Look at her butt/Look at her butt,” she sang.

Minutes later, pop singer Jessie J (who opened the show alongside Minaj and Ariana Grande) took the stage to perform her hit “Bang Bang.”

The opening lines of the song? “She got a body like an hourglass/But I can give it to you all the time/She got a booty like a Cadillac/But I can send you into overdrive.” Later that night, during her introduction for Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora’s “Black Widow” performance, Jennifer Lopez teased her new “Booty” remix with Azalea, which dropped yesterday. (The original version of the track was released on Lopez’s A.K.A. album, featuring Mr. Worldwide.)

The original chorus (“Big, big booty/What you got a big booty”) remains unchanged. But in the remix, Azalea raps, “The last time the world seen a booty this good it was on Jenny from the block.”

The 42nd Annual GRAMMY AwardsIt was, after all, Lopez who originally kicked off the butt fad back in 2000 with her plunging, derriere-hugging Versace ensemble. “It started when J.Lo showed up in that green see-through dress at the Grammys,” says Dr. Constantino G. Mendieta, a Miami-based plastic surgeon who is the author of The Art of Gluteal Sculpting and a globally recognized expert on the subject of butt augmentation. “After they saw her, people started asking us, ‘Hey, how can I get a backside like that?’”

Ten years ago, women were enhancing their backside shape through silicone implants. Today, however, a quickly growing percentage of women (and even men) are increasing the size and changing the shape of their butts through fat injections, a process better known as the Brazilian Butt Lift. The cost of such a procedure, which can increase your butt size roughly one to two full sizes, can be upwards of a cool $10,000.

“It’s revolutionary what is happening to the backside,” Mendieta tells us. “If you look at the statistics, the number of people getting this procedure went up 53 percent from last year. Nothing else increased in our statistics like butt injections did in the past year, so you are certainly on to something.”

No doubt, butts have never been bigger, both in physical size and as a cultural phenomenon (umm…#belfies, translation: butt selfies). Sunday night’s VMA show only further cemented it. Not only were the performers riffing on booties, they were flaunting their own hourglass shapes, too. Minaj’s and Azalea’s rear ends received more attention—and resulting social media commentary—than most of the show. (There’s now even an app called Tap That, where you can digitally enhance the size of some of the most famous butts out there, including Minaj’s, Azalea’s, Beyoncé’s, and, of course, Kim Kardashian West’s. )

It’s the shapely derrieres of celebs like Beyoncé and Kardashian West (who was fittingly sitting front-row at Sunday night’s show) that’s inspiring women and men to go under the needle. And for those going after something slightly more conservative in scale, the Pippa Middleton treatment is being heavily requested these days.

“Many patients will refer to celebrities when trying to convey the look they desire,” says Dr. Adam Schaffner, a New York-based, board-certified plastic surgeon. “Celebrities with buttocks which are admired by many patients include Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian,” he confirms.

Officially, the jury is still out as to whether or not those bold-face names woke up like that, or if they got a little help from their white-coated friends. Nicole Winhoffer, trainer to Madonna, helps ladies get kick-ass booties the old-fashioned way: a hard-core sweat. (This reporter can testify—I took several of her classes and could not walk for days after.)

Winhoffer, who didn’t want to comment on anyone’s plastic surgery, says, “It’s possible to completely change the shape and size of your butt—it’s just about sculpting your butt using different angles, changing the muscle memory, and working with the right trainer.”

Several of the doctors we consulted, however, said that while you can get a great shape from loads of squats and working out, the effects are different than when you add fat volume through injections.

“You can tell a butt when it’s been made. There is more volume in the upper part, it’s more round, and the volumes are not where they are naturally,” says Mendieta. “A butt that is built looks beautiful, but it’s like when you walk into a room and something has been misplaced. You know something has been changed.”

No matter how they got their booties, these ladies are helping to lead a body-positive message. “You have Kim K. and different models really using their butts to promote themselves,” says Winhoffer. “But I love that they are curvy and they love themselves. If you have the power to change the world and you have people paying attention to you—either through social or whatever—and you use it the right way for the right message, I am all for that.”

One thing is clear: The message in pop culture right now is that your backside can be your greatest asset. Beyoncé, for her part, came on top of Forbes‘ 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list this year, raking in $115 million in earnings. Kardashian West brought in an estimated $28 million and also made the Forbes Top 100 list. Azalea is currently the only artist since The Beatles to have the number one and number two record in the country at the same time.
2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Fixed Show
And as for the original face of the booty campaign, Jennifer Lopez? At the end of the day, she’s still Jenny from the Block, but the 45-year-old force to be reckoned with raked in $37 million in the past year and came in 33rd on the 2014 Forbes Top Celebrity 100 list. Used to be a little, now she’s got a lot.

Photos: Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415; Mark Davis/Getty Images; S.Granitz/WireImage; @kimkardashian; @jenselter; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Innocence Found: 1 Granary Debuts Its Impressive Second Issue

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Granary cover

“Real life is very different than being a student,” offered Sara McAlpine, an undergraduate at London’s Central Saint Martins and the editor of the college’s magazine, 1 Granary. “You hit roadblocks—you have to worry about financing and about people with whom you want to collaborate with saying no,” she continued. The second issue of 1 Granary, a publication which was founded by its current editor in chief, Olya Kuryshchuk, in 2013, is about celebrating the pure creativity that comes with studying at CSM. Thus, the sophomore effort is aptly titled “Age of Innocence.” “It might seem a bit kitsch, but we felt it described the time that we’re in,” explained McAlpine. “This is our time to be creative. And as naive as we are, we decided to ask anyone who’s anyone if they want to work with us. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

Smart cookies, those CSM kids, and their no-holds-barred attitude resulted in an issue filled with 240 pages of content (not ads, mind you) that most fully financed titles would struggle to get. Alongside shoots and stories that champion CSM student work, there are interviews with Christopher Kane and Ai Weiwei, as well as striking photographs by Rachel Chandler Guinness and SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight. But these heavy hitters didn’t agree to work with the 1 Granary crew out of charity. “It’s not the Bucket Challenge or anything like that,” McAlpine laughed. “The magazine is a space where established names can let loose. [These people] remember that time when they had to jump hurdles and make themselves known straight out of university. And we’re not tied to advertisers—we’re not dependent on them—so I think they actually found that refreshing.”

Stella and Phoebe

A handful of the insiders in Issue 2 reminisce about their time of “innocence” at Saint Martins, a sentiment that’s beautifully illustrated by the above Johnnie Shand Kydd-lensed photo of a young Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo (both CSM alums). But the issue also addresses the future—for instance, budding menswear star and CSM grad Craig Green gives an interview, and the cover features student Louisa Ballou surrounded by her peers. Ballou also appears inside the issue wearing Christopher Kane (below). The abovementioned images debut exclusively here.

The past few years have marked a time of transition for Central Saint Martins: In 2011, the college moved from its storied, dilapidated fashion building on Charing Cross Road to a shiny new campus at King’s Cross, and earlier this year, the Fashion MA program, which launched the careers of designers like Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, mourned the passing of its beloved course director, professor Louise Wilson. (It’s worth noting that she was a staunch supporter of 1 Granary). Mix in the fact that university fees in the U.K. are higher than they’ve ever been, and one has to wonder: Can CSM continue to be the creative petri dish that birthed the likes of Katie Grand, Hussein Chalayan, and John Galliano? “I think one of the great interviews in our magazine is with [GQ's] Dylan Jones,” said McAlpine, when asked this particular question. “He [recalled] how he walked through the art studios of the new building, and he said it felt exactly the same [as when he was a student in the '80s]. He said the feeling was still there. I think it’s quite poignant for someone like him to walk through 20 years later and say that.”

granary portrait

1 Granary‘s second issue is set to hit SHOWstudio’s London shop on August 28, and will later hit British and international retailers including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Colette, Bookmarc, and more. The magazine will also be available at 1granary.com for £6.90. So what does McAlpine hope readers take away from the 15,000 copies that will be distributed worldwide? “I want [readers] to realize that London is an incredibly exciting place. That CSM is an incredibly exciting place. I want them to know that there are young people banding together, doing something great for the sake of being creative. I want them to know that creativity isn’t dead, basically. It’s not been killed by commercialism.” Considering what these students have achieved—and how hard they’ve worked to achieve it—they seem well on their way to succeeding in the “real world.” And perhaps we’d all benefit from embracing some of our own youthful innocence.

Photos: Laurence Ellis; Johnnie Shand Kydd; all courtesy of 1 Granary

Legends of the Court: Roger Federer and Michael Jordan Team Up to Make Sneaker History

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federerHP

There are a few things Michael Jordan and Roger Federer have in common. Both, at various times in their careers as athletes, ruled the court. Driven by the unflinching desire to win, Jordan and Federer have achieved household-name status as seemingly invincible champions. Jordan was 33 when he retired for the first time with six NBA Championships and six NBA Finals MVP awards under his belt. Today, 33-year-old Federer will take the court at the U.S. Open for the 15th time, with hopes of winning his 18th major tournament. He’ll be wearing sneakers with the iconic Air Jordan insignia on the tongue.

“About a year ago, I heard that Roger wanted to design and wear a Jordan shoe on the court,” says Jordan. “I have followed Roger’s career and have been a big fan for some time now. I definitely thought this could be a really unique and special collaboration, and when I heard that Roger wanted the shoe to be modeled after the Air Jordan 3, I was in.”

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No athlete compares to Michael Jordan when it comes to kicks, but Federer does have a signature shoe, the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour, designed by Tinker Hatfield, the man responsible for creating many of Jordan’s most iconic styles. Among Hatfield’s greatest contributions to the sneaker world: the Jordan 3, one of the most coveted of the Jordan oeuvre, originally released in 1988. (His Airness now has 29 signature shoes to his name.)

“To me, this collaboration is not just about style,” says Jordan. “The end product features the classic elephant print from the Air Jordan 3 and the best tennis performance technology. I think the fans are going to love it. To see a Jordan shoe debut on the feet of one of the best tennis players of all time is something really amazing.”

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That shoe, the NikeCourt Zoom Vapor AJ3 by Jordan, will be available tomorrow, August 27 at Nike stores and on nike.com.

Photo: Courtesy Nike

EXCLUSIVE: Matches Fashion Unveils Its Third Issue of The Style Report

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matches-fashion-1Magazines have been telling us where to buy clothes for more than a century, so it was only a matter of time before the roles were reversed and retailers began publishing stories about their favorite editors, models, and trends, too. On September 3, luxury shopping site Matches Fashion will unveil its third issue of The Style Report, its biannual print magazine. Available online and distributed to clients around the world, Eurostar lounges, and five-star hotels, Matches Fashion publishes two issues at a time—one for women and one for men—to cater to both shopping-obsessed markets. An exclusive glimpse at both issues debuts exclusively here.

This time around, women’s topics range from our current obsession with icons of the ’60s and ’70s (penned by Lynn Yaeger) to Linda Rodin’s unique approach to aging. The unconventional cover girl? Caroline de Maigret. The music-producer-slash-model-slash-Karl-Lagerfeld-muse clues us into the timeless appeal of French women just in time for her new book, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, to drop.matches-2

Though we do appreciate a girls-only attitude, we like to think we’d be just as interested in the men’s issue. After all, this one features The Hobbit‘s Luke Evans on the cover, an interview with Dior’s Raf Simons, and an in-depth profile of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. To celebrate the launch of both issues, Matches Fashion is asking readers to tweet and Instagram photos of their personal style, tagging #StyleIs, @MATCHESFASHION, and @MATCHES_MAN. The winner will be awarded a weekend of luxury—four nights at a hotel, a $5,000 shopping spree on Matches Fashion, and a $1,000 gift card to Space NK. In case you needed another reason to check their new arrivals page every day.

Below, see the final cover images for The Style Report Issue No. 3 and a behind-the-scenes video of De Maigret’s photo shoot.