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On Janet Hubert, Black Hollywood, and Oscar Racism

January 19, 2016

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

Yesterday a friend text me a link to actress Janet Hubert’s  (affectionately known as “Aunt Viv,” the character she originated on the 90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” starring Will Smith) video message criticizing Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith after Pinkett Smith released a video to Facebook called “We Must Stand in Our Power.” In the video, Pinkett Smith discusses the problem of the lack of diversity within the Academy Awards, a program of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for inviting Black celebrities to perform or present the awards though Black actors, writers, directors, and other professionals rarely receive Oscar recognition. Pinkett Smith ends the video saying Black people should boycott the Oscars and other such awards, and invest in the Black communities award shows and programs, indicating that she would not be watching the Oscars and sending a shout-out to her friend Chris Rock, who will be hosting.

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The summary of Hubert’s major claims go something like this: 1) Jada Pinkett Smith could care less, she’s just a mouthpiece for her husband who is salty he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar, 2) Will Smith don’t care about other Black actors, which Hubert says is evidenced when he allegedly did not go get her and the rest of the cast the same raise he got when they were on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” together back in the day when he was asked by the cast to do so, and 3) the world has way more problems going on and boycotting the Oscars is inconsequential in comparison.

First, I take issue with Hubert reducing any woman, and in this case another Black woman, to being a mouthpiece for a man simply because she is expressing her opinion. The degree of misogyny and violence in this very premise is so disappointing because we all love Aunt Viv and expect more. It is also not true. Jada Pinkett Smith does have a record of being vocal about a number of sociopolitical issues going back many years, including comments on education, human trafficking, and rape culture. One may not always share Pinkett Smith’s perspective, but she is not one that has not had an opinion on a matter of social and political consequence and not said a word. She and Will Smith have hosted the BET Awards, and produced films and television shows featuring other Black artists. Pinkett Smith’s being vocal about social and political issues is not the thing that makes Hubert diminishing her as a mouthpiece problematic; what makes it problematic is that reducing her to a talking head is dehumanizing and disrespectful no matter what.

Even if Will Smith is just mad he didn’t get nominated or if Pinkett Smith is mad because of the same, it wouldn’t change the truth on which Pinkett Smith’s critique is based. This is what people need to focus on, not on whether or not we think the Smiths are ideal people to make the critique. The response to this clear problem is on everybody, not just them, and to say we don’t have to do anything about it because they are insincere in their critique and whining just because Will Smith didn’t get nominated is dangerous and politically naive. The stakes of this conversation as so much more than that, and it is an opportunity too raise people’s consciousness and get something accomplished regardless of whether or not you like the person speaking up. Also, Will Smith hasn’t said a word, Jada Pinkett Smith is the one calling stuff out.Those who pay attention to Black pop culture know that this is not uncommon with the Smiths, Jada Pinkett Smith tends to be the one paying attention and speaking out (no shade on Will). Why should Jada Pinkett-Smith’s critique be dismissed because of Ms. Hubert’s grievance with her husband?

By bringing up the fact that Will Smith didn’t get the entire cast a raise on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Ms. Hubert makes her critique personal while simultaneously accusing the Smiths of being selfish. I do not want to call her bitter, because she has the right to her experience and to share it as she sees fit. I do wish she’d find a way forward for her own wellness since this feud has been over twenty years old now, but it’s her life and her right to it. So let’s just accept as a thought project that Will Smith is everything Janet Hubert says he is, this would not be the time to make it about that unless you do so in a way that forwards the conversation about the racism of the Academy Awards at the same time seeing as though that conversation is actually getting some play in this moment. Ms. Hubert could have been like ‘I don’t like his ass because he didn’t give me no coins, but the Academy Awards are still racist and sexist …’ because she knows they are, clearly. She could even have aired him out for her grievances with him and challenged them to do more on the matter. But instead she let’s the fact that she wants to shame him get in her own way, and by extension everybody’s way, and ends up silencing his wife’s very valid critique of the industry’s racism and lack of diversity, the same industry Hubert herself is critical of in the same video.

The argument Hubert makes that what is happening with the Academy Awards is not important in comparison to all the other issues happening in the world, and those specifically effecting Black people, is the most problematic point. The issue with the Academy Awards is institutional/structural racism. That is a problem. No, Oscar Racism is not the same as police brutality. It is also not cisgender and transgender Black women, children and men being killed with impunity in the streets just because they are Black. It is not poverty. It is not a lot of things that are awful and need our attention, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t important. All these things are connected and part of the same system. It is a different head on a multi-headed monster that needs to have its head knocked clean off its shoulders for real systemic and social change to take place. These are facts.

Ms. Hubert saying “people have real problems” was a dog whistle to people who do not have the economic resources and social support of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith to encourage people to turn their heads to the criticism of Pinkett Smith. This is dangerous because it puts people in the position of having to turn their heads to being vocal about a change that could be in their own best interest or the best interest of other people who are dealing with racism in the film and television industry, and by extension, to turn their heads to the psychological violence of a lack of representation in the industry and recognition for ones good work. It matters. It is basically a call to have us dismiss what Pinkett Smith says about the academy on the basis of them being rich and successful. The fact that they are rich is such a non factor in whether or to we call the Academy Awards out for their mess. That’s the issue at hand. Let’s all focus.

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As for Jada Pinkett Smith’s video, I am here for much of what Pinkett Smith expresses. The Academy Awards have clear race bias when it comes to the history of nominations and awards. That bias is even more clear even comparing the number of Black men that have been nominated and/or won an Oscar to Black women. There are so many receipts to these facts it would be an insult to even have to debate anyone about it, but let me give you a few. Exhibit one, only one Black actress, Halle Berry has ever won the Academy Award for Best Actress. There is one White woman, Katherine Hepburn, who won that same award 4 times. Furthermore, outside of Hepburn the entire list of best actresses are White women.

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Exhibit two, someone recently commented that Halle Berry and Denzel Washington being awarded Best Actress and Best Actor in the same night in 2002 was proof that things have changed for the Academy Awards from the past, and I’m like, ummmm, NO! How many years have a White man and a White woman done that very thing year after year? Answer: Pretty much every year, the exceptions being the handful of times one of those two awardees had ben a person of color but the other was again White. And saying “a handful of times” is generous. Those are good odds, if you’re a White actor or actress in Hollywood. Not so good if you are a person of color, and certainly not if you’re a woman of color in Hollywood. So Pinkett Smith and everyone who is outraged by the Academy Awards is clearly right on this front.

Where I think Pinkett Smith misses the mark is the following. First, many Black artists and Black people have already had this very same call for Black people  to invest in our own awards shows, art programs, and so forth. Actress, comedian and producer Mo’Nique, who won an Academy Award for the film “Precious,” has said in interview that while she sees why the Oscar is so important to people for her winning the NAACP Image Award was her big moment. Many others have said and feel the same. So this is not a new observation or call. I am glad, however, that Pinkett Smith feels it is time for she and other A-list Black Hollywood people to do the same. May I suggest Pinkett-Smith and any Black actors who join her start by petitioning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Oscar Awards producer Reginald Hudlin, and Pinkett Smith’s friend Chris Rock? They could ask the three of them, not because they are Black but because it is right and they are in leadership roles within the Academy and Academy Awards, to make some hard decisions about how to address this problem today and not just show up to work and say “this is wrong”  but the show must go on, which is basically what they are saying. I mean, the fact that Boone Isaacs can only say she is disappointed with the lack of diversity (she said the same thing last year when the #OscarsSoWhite campaign emerged by the way, and ain’t a damn thing change!) and Rock makes a joke via Twitter about the Oscars being “the White BET Awards” (boy, bye!), shows the sea of sickness in which we are swimming when dealing with racism in Hollywood.

I also disagree with Pinkett Smith’s statement that the Academy has the right to honor and invite whomever they choose. If the decision they make is one that is discriminatory and reflection of deeply held structural racism as an institution, and clearly this is the case (see above receipts), then they do not have the right to continue as they have been. It has to stop. Saying that Black people need to invest in our own award shows is fine, but that doesn’t mean that the Academy gets to go about the business of not being accountable to diversity and social justice. No, ma’am. These things go hand in hand. Change has to come to the Academy Awards, and Black  Hollywood celebs who have valued it over the Image Awards and other Black created and operated honors need to do better. It’s not either or, it’s both and.

What I would have liked is to see not just Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee (who also announced a boycott of the Oscar’s via instagram) be the two who piped up individually, but to see Black Hollywood collectively come together and say “No more!” Imagine what it would do if Pinkett Smith, Lee, and other Black celebrities and allies wrote and signed an open letter detailing the decades of discriminatory practices within the Academy Awards and demanding change. Imagine what it would look like if the NAACP were to say, we will hold the Image Awards on the same day as the Oscars every year and ask all Black artists, Black people and other people of color and White allies to do the same. Their is precedent (though not nearly the same as what is happening with the Oscars, so I do not mean to draw a correlation of sameness) that offers a good model they might pursue. I was but a child when in 1991 when 1,603 Black women took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times referred to as “African American Women In Defense of Ourselves.” The ad came in the wake of the hearing regarding Clarence Thomas’s sexual harassment of Anita Hill. During the hearing politicians, the media, and general public were responsible for so many historically inaccurate, pathologizing, and demonizing comments about Black women and Black womanhood that the petition these women made  helped put the voices of Black women in the center of their own stories in the public, and not continue to be misrepresented and talked over (as Hill had literally been talked over in the hearings and how Black women were and still are) in everyday life. This is what it means for people to come together publicly and say enough is enough.

Yes, one persons critique does matter on its own, but when you have the social and economic resources to draw support from others toward the good it should be used. Black Hollywood, and by this I mean the collective, are in this position, and I wish they would exercise it for the good of social change in the ways many Black people without the same social, political and economic resources do so everyday. I think Pinkett Smith knows as much given her request, but it can be more than what she has proposed and it can be organized and occur on a much larger scale.

What I do not think that Black Hollywood is willing to confront is that the racism of the Academy Awards depends on their silence and it has bought that silence for years for many of them with the promise of maybe they too winning an Academy Award if they play nice. At the very least it has promised them work (however meager that work is) if they keep their head down, mouth shut, and continue to play the game. I still believe that the only reason Viola Davis didn’t win an Oscar for “The Help” was because she did interviews talking about the lack of diversity in the industry during the period when everyone is campaigning for an Oscar. She risked it then and is still risking it now because it is the right thing to do, others should do the same they have nothing to lose whether they realize it or not because here is the truth: meritocracy, even in Hollywood, is a myth that does not and has never benefited Black excellence, so just doing the work ain’t gonna get you a thing. So, you might as well speak truth to power and sleep well, with or without an Oscar.

Black hollywood needs to look to their Black actor ancestors, in particular Paul Robeson, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis to name only a few, who made decisions to speak up for the truth of social injustice all over the world even when it cost them professionally, socially, and politically. In fact, today’s celebs do not even have to start by being an activist global citizen like Robeson and his wife Eslanda Goode Robeson, or getting thrown in jail for civil disobedience like Dee and Davis. They can start at home with their other A-list friends by saying enough is enough and doing something about it right where they stand.

 

 

 

News, Pop Culture, Television

‘The Wiz’ Through Time: From Broadway to NBC

November 19, 2015

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

“The Wiz” is, by far, my very favorite musical ever. When I was a child my mother would often sing “If You Believe,” Glinda’s inspirational anthem sung to Dorothy in the musical, and immortalized forever in the movie-musical version by the famous Lena Horne. In college, around midterm and final exam time, my mother would send me me cards to encourage me through my studies and would always sign those and anything she would send to me the famous lyrics from that song, “believe in yourself, as I believe in you! I love you, Mommy.” The Wiz, and its original source material The Wizard of Oz are, I believe, the key to pretty much any existential crisis one might be having in life. Don’t take my word for it? Oprah has said that “Glinda the Good Witch” has been one of her most important role models for her life. She even chose to pose as Glinda in Harper’s Bazaar annual ‘Icons’ fashion editorial, edited by Carine Roitfeld.

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While one of Oprah’s favorite spiritual gurus, notable mystic Jean Houston, once a trusted advisor to Hillary Clinton, wrote a whole book The Wizard of Us:Transformational Lessons from Oz,” in which she shows how the now legendary tales of Dorothy’s journey through Oz – with the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, and her dog Toto – offers key lessons on how to journey well and come to find that you, like Dorothy, are not just ordinary, but extraordinary. And all you need to do is believe in yourself.

So naturally, when it was announced that NBC’s third production in its live musical series would be The Wiz I lost my damn mind! I immediately started dream casting who would play which role (“Miss One”/Addaperle was my favorite, and one I obsessed over the most), who would direct it, and of course, how would the costumes look?

In recent months the answer to many of those questions have come, as the cast for the December 3 The Wiz Live! has been announced, preview trailers have begin to air on NBC and online, and we’ve even gotten to see video of the cast members performing some of the most memorable songs including Shanice Williams who landed the coveted roll of Dorothy singing “Home” with Stephanie Mills, who played the role in the original broadway production of 1975, as well as Williams and Mills, along with Amber Riley (Addaperle the Good Witch), Ne-Yo (Tin Man), Elijah Kelly (Scare Crow) and David Alan Grier (Lion), performing another favorite from the music “Ease on Down the Road.” This week, pictures of Queen Latifah as “The Wiz,” and orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba as “Glinda” have got the Twitter-verse and Facebook-ville turned up for the The Wiz Live! while I and many other enthusiasts noticed Mary J. Blige’s “Evilene” conspicuously missing from photos and commercials promoting the show, which has us even more convinced at how epic both she and this production will be.

But as we anticipate the latest reimagining of The Wiz, it brings up so many memories of how it has moved through our popular culture and costume design lives for four decades. So it feels appropriate to, on the occasion of the both anniversary of The Wiz, look back at some of the ways its characters have been represented across time from the Geoffrey Holder directed broadway musical, with a score by Charlie Smalls and libretto by William F. Brown and earned 7 Tony Awards, to the latest Kenny Leon helmed production with a book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein that will likely be a big ratings win for NBC. Let’s ease on down the road:

Dorothy and Toto

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The Original: R&B legend Stephanie Mills, then a teen, as Dorothy with Toto in The Wiz 1975.  Mills will play Aunt Em in The Wiz Live! this December.

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The iconic Diana Ross as Dorothy in 1978’s movie-musical version, directed by Sidney Lumet with a screenplay by Joel Schumacher. Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, produced the film. Critics threw shade at the film version mostly because they were like Miss Ross tried it playing a geriatric Dorothy (she was 31, while previous Dorothy’s were teens), and they also claimed it was too scary for children (side-eye). But, the movie got the last laugh because it is a cult classic and still airs pretty regularly on television. Also, Miss Ross is and always will be Miss Ross so she’s not bothered. And Berry Gordy is even richer, so he’s good too. So, take that critics.

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Yes, Ashanti played Dorothy. Why are you acting like you ain’t know? I’ll just leave this right here and keep on easin’ on down this road. She does win for best baby hair sideburns of all the Dorothy’s, so there’s that. And I have bought Ashanti music. Ya’ll remember “oh, baby!” She’s a great songwriter as well, don’t sleep.

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Shanice Williams as Dorothy and our new Toto of “The Wiz Live!”

Scarecrow

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Hinton Battle as the original Scarecrow in the 1975 broadway production.

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The one and only Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie-musical.

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Scarecrow as portrayed in 2009’s production at New York’s City Center

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Elijah Kelley will portray the Scarecrow in The Wiz Live!

Tin Man

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Tiger Haynes as Tin Man in 1975

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Beloved comedian and actor, the late Nipsey Russell, portrayed the character in the 1978 film

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2009’s stage production saw Joshua Henry as Tin Man

THE WIZ LIVE! -- Season: 2015 -- Pictured: Ne-Yo as Tinman -- (Photo by: Paul Gilmore/NBC)Singer-songwriter Ne-Yo portrays the Tin Man in December’s The Wiz Live!

Cowardly Lion

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Ted Ross played The Cowardly Lion in the 1975 musical, for which he earned a Tony Award…

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… Ross then reprised his role for the 1978 film.

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James Monroe Iglehart in the role in 2009; Iglehart later won the Tony for portraying the Genie in the broadway music “Aladdin” based on the Disney film.

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David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz Live!

Glinda, The Good Witch

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photocredit: TheWizTheMusical.com

DeeDee Bridgewater was the original Glinda, for which she won the Tony Award in 1975.

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The legendary Lena Horne as “Glinda” in 1978’s film.

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LaChanze, winner of the Tony in 2000 for her role in Aida, portrayed as Glinda in the 2009 production. The costume of LaChanze’s Glinda is my favorite as the color choice reminds me of artistic renderings of Yemaya, an Orisha ( within Yoruba religion and culture.

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Uzo Aduba as “Glinda” in The Wiz Live!

Addaperle,  The Good Witch

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Clarice Taylor as the original Addaperle The Good Witch in 1975

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In the film version, the character Addaperle was renamed “Miss One” in a nod to the character’s northern work as a numbers runner/illegal gambler. Thelma Carpenter played the role, and marvelously so.

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Dawnn Lewis as Addaperle in 2009’s production. Lewis is best known for her role as Jeleasa in the 980s-1990s sitcom “A Different World” and also as Robin on ABC’s “Hanging with Mr. Cooper.”

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The magnificent Amber Riley, formerly of Fox’s “Glee” and winner of “Dancing With the Stars,” will portray Addaperle in The Wiz Live!

Evilene, The Wicked Witch

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Mabel King as the Wicked Witch Evilene in 1975. King also portrayed Mabel “Mama” Thomas on the 70s sitcom “What’s Happening?” …

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King also reposed the role in the film version in 1978.

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Actress and Tichina Arnold portrayed Evilene in the 2009 production. Arnold is best known as Pam on Fox’s sitcom “Martin.”

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And finally, “The Queen of Hip Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige rules the stage as Evilene in “The Wiz Live!”

The Wiz

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Choreographer and actor, Andre De Shields, portrayed “The Wiz” in 1975.

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Comedian and actor Richard Pryor as “The Wiz” in the 1978 film.

wizcitycenter460eOrlando Jones portrayed “The Wiz” in 2009.

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Of all the most exciting things of “The Wiz Live!” on NBC, the fact that Queen Latifah will portray The Wiz has me most excited. Get into this hair chile.’ I love the gender neutralness of how she is costumed, and that the producers went for a nontraditional casting choice.

There you have it folks, thanks for easing on down the road with me looking at highlights and key players from 40 years of The Wiz. What are you most excited to see in The Wiz Live! ? Comments, Facebook us, and Tweet us too. Would love to hear from you as we gear up for the latest iteration of the musical December 3 on NBC.

 

 

 

Beauty, Fashion, History, News, News, Pop Culture, Television, WERK!

Taraji P. Henson on ‘CR Fashion Book’; Channels Vintage Cicely Tyson

October 20, 2015

Empire star, the incredible Taraji P Henson was photographed au naturale in gorgeous cornrows, by legendary fashion photographer Bruce Weber for latest issue of the Carine Roitfeld’s magazine, CR Fashion Book. Generally, Henson is photographed and filmed wearing a wig or weave.This photo reminds me of vintage photos of another powerhouse Black actress, the incomparable Cicely Tyson. Tyson has said in interviews how personally imperative it was for her to be photographed with her natural hair and to wear it as such in particular roles back in the day.

News, Pop Culture, Television

#BlackGirlMagic: The Emmy Awards Edition

October 19, 2015

Nevermind the naysayers. Behold the intellect, talent, excellence, perseverance, courage and beauty of Black women. Congratulations to Uzo Aduba, Regina King, and the history making Viola Davis on their Emmy wins. And congratulations to all of their, OUR ancestors and elders who’ve worked so hard for us to have a night like last night. Yes, there is work still to do. Viola Davis’ speech said as much, and he fact that she is the first in 2015 to win this award says as much. But, dear hearts, there is also joy. Today is about joy. Set any negative comments aside.

Fashion, News, News, Pop Culture, Television

“Empire” Style for Vogue Magazine’s ‘September Issue’

October 17, 2015

Lee Daniels and the cast of “Empire,” with supermodel castmate Naomi Campbell, model “It Girl” Jourdan Dunn and pop music’s The Weekend, slay a show themed fashion spread photographed by the legendary Mario Testino for Vogue Magazine’s famous ‘September Issue.’ The Kehinde Wiley painting in the background “Judith Beheading Helefernes” (2012) puts emphasis on the word slay! But I am LIVING for this photo. Taraji P Henson is lovely and fierce as always, and the men of Empire look yummy as ever too. And I want those pants Jourdan Dunn is wearing immediately, they’re beautiful!

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Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn (above). Naomi is wearing a Givenchy fur chubby over a Nina Ricci gown. While Jourdan is wearing Proenza Schouler. Somebody say “Gla-Mour!”

News, Pop Culture, Television

Unbothered Elegance: Taraji P Henson Covers W Magazine

October 17, 2015

Reigning queen of prime time Taraji P Henson is slaying as the cover model for W Magazine ‘Pop Issue.’ The simplicity of a white top and blue jeans, and her gorgeous face with signature smoky eye, rules this entire situation! And I live! And if you think this is gorgeous, check out the issue and  other photos (such as the one below) in the entire editorial styled by the masterful Edward Enninful.

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News, Television, WERK!

Dior better have Rihanna’s coinTs …

April 23, 2015

 

Rihanna killed the “I Heart Radio” Awards! And did so wearing Lil’ Kim’s “Crush on You” coat and boots, En Vogue’s dress from the “Hold On” video, and exiting Ms. Diana Ross’s helicopter from her Super Bowl performance cuz’ she is all the icons and all the things! In Rihanna’s on words “Don’t Act Like You Forgot!” I live!!! Can’t wait for the new album and for those #Dior ads since she’s the new spokesmodel! Here’s hoping Dior has her check ready. I wouldn’t play games with Riri’s coinTs!

 

Television, WERK!

Web-series “An African City”: Smart, Funny, Political, and Fashionable!

April 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 7.50.10 AMHoney, I live for the fashionS on the web-series “An African City.” They’re always so fearless, original, chic, elegant, and beautiful. The show takes place in Accra, Ghana and follows the lives, loves, and ambitions of five friends. It is part drama, part romantic comedy, and part political commentary. Some have called it the “Sex and the City” of Africa, but I think it is in its own lane and is quite a bit stronger than “Sex and the City” in the way it seamlessly incorporates political commentary on issues effecting all people, but particularly on women’s lives and Black women’s lives. It is very entertaining and informative. Season 2 should be starting soon. Check it out if you can!

 

 

 

Television

Katy Perry Gave Me the Munchies & Missy Elliott Robbed the Hair Shop

April 23, 2015

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Twitter is so rude, but I cackled!!!! Well the dress is a Jeremy Scott so it is meant to have personality and is well tailored, I’ll give it that. But it didn’t do anything else for me but make me hungry and make a fun to the 7/11. In other news, this happened …

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And now anyone looking for some hair, Missy got it all. She was wearing 32 inches at least. Good gawd! Yes, Muvah Missy! Katy Perry did a good job, but Missy is who was trending number one worldwide on Twitter, was selling twenty year old singles on iTunes like they came out yesterday, and she didn’t even headline. Now that’s legendary status! Congrats Katy and Missy!

 

Television

Fashioning “Empire” (Part 1): Notes on Cookie Fierceness

April 14, 2015

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If you are not watching “Empire” and getting into this haute-ness they are giving you each week, I don’t know what to say. Luckily, you have us to keep you posted through a series of posts called “Fashioning Empire” in which we’ll focus on one character each time. First up, the Queen of Empire Records herself, everyone’s favorite television drama character of the moment, Cookie Lyon as played by Oscar nominate actress and NAACP Image Award Entertainer of the Year, Taraji P. Henson.

When the show starts Cookie is released from prison after serving seventeen years in prison separated from her (now ex) husband and three sons. The major plot line is that the company was founded with money that belonged to Cookie, and after seventeen years she is returning to what is a multimillion dollar company and looking for her cut of the riches while looking *Nene Leakes voice* “rich, VERY rich” while doing it. Every damn scene Cookie is slaying life with her fashions and looking at everybody like  you not ’bout that Glamourtunist life! I mean, in just the one photo above — get into his fur stole, this dress tailored within an inch of its life, this cuff, this lipstick, this hair! Girl, werrrrk !!!! Life has been given ! The costume designer and stylist Rita McGhee is killin’ it with these fashionS on the show. I especially enjoy and see lots of references for Cookie’s fashion on the show. From the characters Domonique Devereaux on “Dynasty” as portrayed by the one and only Ms. Diahann Carroll …

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… To the hip hop glamour and luxury of the Empress of Hauteness herself, stylist June Ambrose, and another legendary fashionista, stylist and socialite Misa Hylton Brim. I’m here for it! We will be watching and tweeting the show and commenting on its fashion each night it airs. Come join us over on twitter following @Glamourtunist each week an original episode airs.