Archive for April 2012

“SHE signed it for me — she is so cute! So sweet!” the designer Tadashi Shoji gushed as he lovingly clutched a piece of paper to his chest. On it was the original sketch he had made of the gown that the actress Octavia Spencer had worn to the Academy Awards in February. Next to the drawing of the gown, an elaborately draped white sheath covered in sparkly beads, Ms. Spencer had signed her name, along with the words: “Love you!”

Ms. Spencer would go on to take home an Oscar for her supporting role in “The Help.” But even if she hadn’t, her dress would have been a winner on Hollywood’s biggest night, landing her on many a best-dressed list. In addition to its feminine elegance, the garment was praised for the way it transformed Ms. Spencer’s voluptuous curves into more slimming contours.

“She’s not a thin-thin girl, so I had to give the illusion of her as tall and thin,” said Mr. Shoji, 64.

The diminutive Japanese designer, whose close-cropped hair is speckled with gray, was at his studio near downtown Los Angeles, sitting in a Zen-like showroom that was minimally decorated with an orchid and Japanese art. The only blast of color was Mr. Shoji himself, who was wearing a cobalt blue cardigan and a pink polo shirt buttoned up to his neck.

Read the rest at the New York Times

It had seemed like the perfect setting for a chat with a young Hollywood actress: Café Gratitude, one of those Los Angeles hang-outs populated by hipsters sporting vintage T-shirts and carefully manicured facial hair, where the vegan menu touts dishes called ‘I Am Peace’ and ‘I Am Connected’.
But when Elisabeth Moss, aka Peggy Olson, the ambitious copywriter on the cultishly beloved television series Mad Men, breezes in wearing a chic ensemble of skinny jeans and slim black blazer, a Mulberry messenger bag slung artfully across one shoulder, she seems immediately out of place.
It’s as if Audrey Hepburn has descended on a peace rally. (Any notions that Moss might resemble Peggy – who as the show’s resident goody two-shoes is sentenced to a strenuously sensible wardrobe – are quickly put to rest.)
Things get worse when Moss politely asks the waitress for a Diet Coke, the equivalent of asking a Buddhist monk for a slab of raw pork. ‘I’m sorry, we don’t…’ the waitress apologises. ‘Do you have anything with caffeine?’ Moss tries again, her blue eyes twinkling with good nature. ‘Uh…’ A compromise is reached with iced coffee, though in lieu of the requested cream on the side (no dairy allowed here), Moss settles for coconut milk. ‘I’m obviously not a good vegan,’ she jokes.

Read the rest at The Independent