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8 posts tagged "Alicia Keys"

“The Most Strong and Beautiful Thing”: Valentino, Alicia Keys, and More Turn Out for NYCB’s Gala Evening


ValentinoBetween the Met ball, Dior’s Cruise show, the kickoff of the Frieze Art Fair, and a slew of other charity galas, this week’s social calendar has been a demanding one to say the least. But that didn’t keep the social set from turning out for New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala last night, celebrating the company’s fiftieth year at Lincoln Center.

As guests, including Alicia Keys, Catherine Malandrino, and Gilles Mendel, made their way inside the David H. Koch Theater, they were handed a mini bottle of vodka and a shot glass along with the evening’s program. “Well, I guess we are really going to have a party now,” said one surprised attendee. “Do you think we get refills?”

Minutes later, ballet master in chief Peter Martins took the stage to lead the crowd in a toast—a company tradition started by its co-founder George Balanchine. That was followed by a series of tributes to opening night in 1964, including a song from the musical Carousel, which was performed by Kristen Bell and Aaron Lazar, and a classic Balanchine number. “I am immensely biased, but the New York City Ballet dancers are the best in the world,” said Martins.

The audience seemed to agree—everyone in the theater was on their feet for an extended standing ovation after the conclusion of NYCB soloist and choreographer Justin Peck’s world premiere of Everywhere We Go, featuring music by Sufjan Stevens and costumes by former NYCB dancer Janie Taylor. “Exceptional—I think it was the most strong and beautiful thing,” Valentino Garavani told before dinner. And how were the dancers going to let loose after the black-tie affair? “We will probably just go to a dive bar and get a few drinks; we all have to be at work tomorrow, so we can’t get too crazy,” said Peck. The evening raised more than $3.15 million for the ballet.

Photo: Getty Images 

BCBG Max Azria Celebrates Twenty-Five


BCBGThere are scores of major fashion anniversaries on the calendar in 2014. Among them are: Lanvin’s 125th year, four decades of Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress, and the thirtieth birthday of Donna Karan’s namesake collection. Last but not least is BCBG Max Azria, which will be celebrating twenty-five years in business with its Fall ’14 show tomorrow morning. After Max Azria launched his contemporary label in 1989, BCBG (the acronym stands for “bon chic, bon genre,” a French phrase meaning “good style, good attitude”) quickly became known for its playful, feminine wares with a bohemian edge. Today, the brand boasts more than 570 boutiques worldwide. And in addition to having longtime celebrity fans, including Angelina Jolie, Alicia Keys, and Melissa George, it’s had a number of top-tier models stalk its runways over the years—Helena Christensen, Natalia Vodianova, Erin Wasson, Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy, Freja Beha Erichsen, and Jessica Stam, for starters.

“I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five years,” BCBG’s chief creative officer, Lubov Azria (Max’s wife), told “Each morning, I still wake up and ask myself, How do I make it better? We are in the business of inspiring people to do what inspires them,” she added. To commemorate BCBG’s anniversary, Lubov spoke to about some of the brand’s most memorable moments from the past quarter century. Click for a slideshow of her top picks.

Alicia Keys (And Her Stylist) Are On Fire


Alicia Keys kicked off her international Set the World on Fire tour on March 7. And according to her stylist, Laura Jones, her performances are all about the singing, rather than fancy costumes (unlike some pop stars). “Alicia doesn’t like to do a lot of costume changes. We’re not trying to build up some big embellished look [and] we didn’t want her to be hidden by the clothes,” says Jones, who’s been dressing Keys for a year. (They met while Jones was assisting Edward Enninful at W magazine.) But just because Keys is all about the notes doesn’t mean she neglects her onstage aesthetic. For the tour, Jones tells us that they went for strong, sexy, and sophisticated. “Alicia really, really loves clothes and she’s really hands on. She’s hit a place in her life where she’s feeling really confident. We wanted her wardrobe to reflect that,” explains Jones. In order to achieve Keys’ bold but pared-down look, Jones enlisted the help of Michael Kors (who designed the shimmering blue gown Keys wears at the end of her set, as well as the red stunner she donned while singing at the Inauguration last January) and Akris’ Albert Kriemler, who created a host of custom wares.

“The focus was on details, fit, and flattering cuts,” says Jones, noting that Kriemler worked closely with her and Keys for months (in fact, before he met the star, Jones sent him YouTube videos of Keys performing so he could get a sense of how she moves on stage). “It’s all about understanding how she’s going to perform and knowing what fabrics are camera friendly and body friendly,” she adds. (Apparently, jersey is a safe bet for all of the above.) “My job is to make sure the clothes never get in the way of her performance. They should maximize her movements, maximize how she feels, and be a great marriage of functionality, sophistication, and longevity. She’s touring for the rest of the year, so she needs to wear something that won’t feel stale in a couple of months,” offers Jones, explaining that the designers made Alicia around seven different outfits so that she can change up her visage from one performance to the next.

As for the end result, it seems Keys’ team nailed it—last night, the singer gave an animated performance at L.A.’s Staples Center in an Akris V-neck paillette bodysuit and a black Maison Michel hat. So how does the singer feel about her Set the World on Fire wardrobe? “The tour is about a journey to freedom and personal strength,” Keys told “I wanted to embody that energy and spirit. The Akris looks that Albert Kriemler designed for me are the perfect balance of striking, strong, glamorous, and chic. I feel empowered on stage wearing them.” Jones was pretty happy about it, too. “When you see it on stage, and everyone is screaming, and she looks so divine, you know you’ve done a good job. And that feels great.”


Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/ Getty Images


Creative Direct This


It feels like mere months ago the world suddenly flooded with “curators.” Now? Creative directors. What used to be reserved for the top of a fashion company or the top of a masthead can now be applied just about anywhere and to just about anyone—which is how it’s come to pass that RIM, the company that makes the BlackBerry, announced its own global creative director today: Ms. Alicia Keys. Her role: to make music videos with the new BlackBerry 10 while on tour. But no, you cannot BBM her.

In related news, RIM isn’t the only tech company to jump on the bandwagon: Last year, Intel named The Black Eyed Peas’ as director of creative innovation, and today Samsung announced that it will collaborate with Alexander Wang. And three makes a trend.

Photo: Timothy A. Claryt/ AFP via Getty Images

From Ulyana Sergeenko To Bill Cunngingham—The Fair With The Most Flair


Each year Vanity Fair sorts through the world’s most fashionable people, from princesses to photographers, to sort out the top style stars for its annual best-dressed list. It was newcomers to the list like the Courtin-Clarins girls who caught our attention in 2011, but they’ve been trumped by a new set of contenders on this year’s list, just released today. Who made the cut? Of course, there are several royals like the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as well as big names like Diane Kruger and Alicia Keys. But fashion insiders like designer and street-style star Ulyana Sergeenko, Erika Bearman a.k.a. @OscarPRGirl, Tommy Ton favorite Robert Rabensteiner, Schiaparelli ambassador Farida Khelfa, more-is-more Jean Pigozzi of LimoLand, and photographer Bill Cunningham (pictured) also landed on the list. Click here to see all the names.

Photo: Billy Farrell /