Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shirtless Rob and a Kiss

[Socialite Life/Splash News]

Holy gorgeousness! New Moon is currently filming the Volturi scenes in Montepulciano, Italy, and these amazing photos were just released. This is the scene where Edward (Robert Pattinson) thinks something has happened to Bella (Kristen Stewart), so he's going to show his true glittery vampire self in the sunlight to anger the Volturi to cause his own death.

Rob is looking HOT! These photos make it even harder to wait until November 20.

Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig to Star on Broadway

[Vanity Fair]

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman are set to star on Broadway this fall in the drama A Steady Rain by Keith Huff. It's about two Chicago policemen who are lifelong friends. It focuses on "their differing accounts of a few harrowing days that changed their lives forever," according to Chicago Dramatists. James Bond and Wolverine sharing the stage? Yum!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dead to the World

Dead to the World is the fourth novel in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series, and it's my favorite so far. Waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her former vampire boyfriend Bill Compton are on the outs after he betrayed her in the last novel.

Sookie stumbles upon a naked man frantically running. This man happens to be her vampire friend Eric Northman. Eric is the powerful sheriff of their area. Sookie works for him when he needs it by using her telepathic skills, and Eric has also always had a thing for her.

Oddly enough, Eric doesn't know who Sookie is because his memory has been erased by evil witches. She takes him into her home, and takes care of him since the witches have put up fliers everywhere for the return of Eric for $50,000.

With her ex-boyfriend Bill in Peru, Sookie and Eric eventually they fall for each other. In order for Eric's memory to be restored though, they must fight the witches in the "Witch War."

This was a great beach read. As a big fan of Eric's, I was really happy to see he and Sookie finally get together. We'll see what happens with their relationship in the next book, Dead as a Doornail, now that his memory has been restored.

Post-Memorial Day White

I doubt there are many people who still follow the age-old rule not to wear white until after Memorial Weekend. Fortunately for those few, that time is here! When it comes to summer, white is the new black - it goes with everything, and won't make you sweat to death in the sun.

Start with white bottoms, such as pants or a skirt. White jeans are a classic and look great dressed up for work or for going out, or dressed down for weekend shopping. I like the Paige Premium Denim from (Skyline Drive Peg Skinny 14" in Optic White, $169). A linen skirt or shorts is also a good option.

Guys can wear white pants too! White chino J.Crew pants or shorts will look great with his short-sleeved summer tees and polos.

Nothing says summer like a crisp, white dress. Dresses are easy to throw on, and look great for all occasions. I love the one pictured from Anthropologie (Spun Sugar dress, $138). A white dress looks fresh with gold accessories. Light, cotton tees go great with floral skirts, or with denim cutoffs to the beach. I like American Apparel's jersey v-neck tees.

As for shoes, proceed with caution when it comes to white shoes. I prefer a tan or neutral color, as mentioned here, since white can look very Easter-y.

Adam Lambert in Queen?

[Getty Images]

American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert definitely has a Freddie Mercury-like voice to front Queen. Is it a good career move though? That's the million-dollar question.

The legendary English band was formed in 1970. Mercury, the group's lead singer, died in 1991. Queen's founder and guitar player Brian May told Rolling Stone, "I’d certainly like to work with Adam. That is one amazing instrument he has there."

Lambert definitely has the vocal chops to front the band. It'll be interesting to hear what he decides to do once he's free to make some decisions after the Idol tour.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Angels & Demons

After having just read Dan Brown's Angels & Demons a few months ago, I was super-psyched for the film. It's an enjoyable movie, but since the book was so fresh in my mind, I couldn't help but to keep comparing the two - and there are a lot of differences.

The Pope has just mysteriously died. Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), a scientist, has helped create antimatter - which initially would explain how God created the world. It's also very explosive, and has been stolen from her laboratory, CERN. Meanwhile, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called to Rome after an the ancient society Illuminati is threatening to kill four of the preferiti cardinals, the preferred cardinals to become the next Pope.

Langdon and Vetra set out on a wild goose chase around beautiful Rome to find the Illuminatus. The antimatter is hidden somewhere in Vatican City. When the battery runs out, it'll demolish all of the city and part of Rome. The Camerlango (Ewan McGregor), the Pope's right-hand-man, is helping the two find the antimatter and the missing cardinals so that conclave, the process of electing the Pope, can continue.

Spoiler alert: One of the most interesting things in the book is finding out that the Pope was the Camerlango's father, and that he was such a supporter of science and religion because he was able to conceive a child with the woman he loved via invitro fertilization. There is no mention of that in the film. Also, Vetra's father, a priest and CERN scientist, was deeply religious. He was murdered for the "Illuminati" to get the antimatter. The man murdered in the film was not her father.

Aside from some differences, it was an entertaining movie. People who haven't just read the book will probably especially enjoy it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bulgari celebrates 125 years in Roma

[Billy Farrell/]

Bulgari is celebrating their 125th anniversary with the exhibition "Between Eternity and History: 1884 – 2009." It will cover "the history and evolution of Bulgari design, from the opening of the first store on Via Sistina in 1884 to the present day," according to their Web site. The exhibit will be housed at the Exposition Palace in Rome until September 13.

Actress Selma Blair wore this hot pink Versace bubble dress to the Bulgari “Between Eternity and History” dinner in the Italian city. It's so cute! Normally Ms. Blair dons darker colors, but this looks great on her. The embellishments and one-shoulder are very in.

Best. Idol. Show. Ever.

Kris Allen is the new American Idol! I would’ve been happy with either Kris or Adam Lambert winning, but last night’s finale sure was entertaining. I wondered what they’d do to fill two hours of airtime, but they certainly managed with performers galore.

The Idol contestants did a bevy of performances with huge musicians like Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana. Danny Gokey sang with Lionel Richie, and they sounded great together. Lil Rounds sang with Queen Latifah. Then the ladies sang with Fergie then the Black Eyed Peas perfomed “Boom Boom Pow.” A group sang with the adorable Jason Mraz for his song "I'm Yours."

Kris did a duet with Keith Urban that was fabulous. Adam, wearing a wild leather outfit, platforms and rhinestones around his eyes, sang with KISS. KISS kind of grosses me out, but Adam sounded great with them.

They also gave Oscar-style awards. Norman Gentle did a performance after winning Most Outstanding Male. Bikini Girl won the Best Attitude Award and proceeded to sing her audition song. Judge Kara Dioguardi stepped out and sang over her (and sounded much, much better) then unveiled her bikini body. She totally embarrassed BG, haha. Crazy Tatiana won the award for Most Outstanding Female.

Now for the main event. Kris seemed genuinely shocked and grateful after his name was announced, which is always endearing. Surprisingly, Adam didn't seem too upset. Adam is so talented, and we all know that he'll do well in the biz. Kris gave his wife a sweet hug after winning. So much for Simon saying that being married would hurt his chances of winning!

Tracy Feith at Target

Surfer/designer Tracy Feith’s line is in Target stores and online now. The designs are very California-cool and casual – perfect for hot summer weather!

Fashionistas may recall that Michelle Obama wore one of Feith’s dresses to the prayer service the morning after her husband’s inauguration.

A few of my favorite designs from the Target line are pictured above. At $39.99 the price is even more enticing! Feith’s collection uses a lot of bright colors, embroidery and flowers. View the Texas-native’s entire collection at Target here. Feith also has a store in Brooklyn, NY at 64 Grand St.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ombre designs


Lost star Evangeline Lilly wore this lovely Valentino blue ombre gown from the designer's 2009 collection to the Cannes premiere of Looking for Eric.

Ombre, a French word meaning "shaded," was really big last year. I still think the style is relevant for this summer and can be very beautiful, like Lilly's dress. I love the look of a grey and black ombre. Brighter colors, like pink or blue, that fade into a darker color are also fabulous.

I adore this cream and yellow ombre pencil skirt from J.Crew. The cotton/linen fabric makes it a great summer staple. Plus, it's on sale for $59.99 now!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Moon poster leaked!

The alleged official New Moon poster has been leaked. The Washington Times posted it a few days earlier than Summit Entertainment had planned on releasing it. Thank you Washington Times!

I absolutely love the poster. I like how they positioned them with Edward in the front, Jacob in the middle and Bella in the back. All Twilight fans know that Edward always comes first, but Jacob does give Bella a run for her money - especially in New Moon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ragtime at the Kennedy Center

Ragtime ended a one-month stint at the Kennedy Center yesterday. The musical was interesting and entertaining. It’s based on a 1975 novel by E.L. Doctrow. The play opened on Broadway in 1998 and closed in 2000. I thoroughly enjoyed the play – especially since I scored a deal with $25 tickets for the first row of the balcony (binoculars were crucial).

The play centers around the three very different but connected lives of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., a piano player from Harlem; Mother, a wealthy woman from New York; and Tateh, a Jewish immigrant. Loaded with historical fiction, it tells a story of this era, in the 1910s before World War I. Many historical figures make an appearance including Booker T. Washington, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford and Harry Houdini.

Mother’s family has led a charmed life. Though we find out though that her husband, known Father, is well-traveled but quite unkind and lacks passion. Coalhouse is in love with a woman named Sarah, but they aren’t together because he has to travel so much as a musician. Unbeknownst to Coalhouse, Sarah is pregnant, but gives up her baby. Mother finds the baby in the garden, and takes responsibility for the baby and Sarah. Tateh and his daughter have immigrated to America in search of a better life. He starts out selling silhouettes on the street corner and eventually becomes a movie director.

Ragtime is both tragic and triumphant. The set was amazing, and the music is lovely. I would highly recommend this play if it ever comes to a city near you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Coldplay live album

Coldplay has been giving away free copies of their live album LeftRightLeftRightLeft at their 2009 concerts. The album is available online today here. Songs are as follows...

1) Glass of Water
2) Clocks
3) 42
4) Strawberry Swing
5) Hardest Part/Postcards from Far Away
6) Viva La Vida
7) Death Will Never Conquer
8) Fix You
9) Death and All His Friends

It's awesome that Coldplay is doing this for their fans. Who doesn't love a freebie in this economy?

Wi-Fi on AirTran flights

AirTran will have Wi-Fi Internet access on all of their flights by Summer 2009. This is great news for business travelers especially. The company is the first major airline to accomplish this thanks to a relationship with GoGo Inflight Internet .

Flyers can register for the service, and the price depends on the length of the flight. The laptop prices for flights under three hours is $9.95, and for flights above three hours it'll cost you $12.95. Access for handheld devices such as an iPhone or Blackberry is $7.95.

This isn't a bad deal because we know some people can't live without checking their email every five minutes. I wonder which airline will be next to follow suit?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And then there were two

Adam Lambert and Kris Allen it is! Last night's American Idol results show was, as always, much longer than it needed to be, but there were some interesting moments. Footage from the three contestants visits to their hometowns was shown. Adam went home to San Diego, Danny to Milwaukee and Kris to Conway, Arkansas.

Alicia Keys, the Keep a Child Alive ambassador, did a special performance for "Idol Gives Back." Jordin Sparks performed her single "Battlefield" with One Republic's lead singer Ryan Tedder on the piano - hello, random. She gave this creepy, evil look at the camera when the song was finished. Katy Perry in a crazy Elvis outfit (with Adam Lambert emblazoned on the back) performed "Waking Up in Vegas." What a silly song!

Then it was time for poor Danny to go. They showed some shots of him and his wife that broke my heart. He'll do just fine though! Seacrest said that only one million votes separated Kris and Adam, which still seems like a lot to me. Next week is going to be a great show. I'm a little worried about Adam having to sing the cheesy Idol song though.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Close call for the next American Idol

Last night’s American Idol was the best of the season. The contestants sang two songs – one judges’ choice and one choice of their own. Who on Earth will go tonight? I honestly haven’t a clue.

The judges’ song choices were unimpressive. Paula chose “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby for Danny Gokey. I’ve never heard that song, and I wasn’t particularly wowed by his performance. Kris Allen sang Randy and Kara’s choice of One Republic’s “Apologize.” I was expecting to really like this since I love the song, but it turned out to be a second-rate performance of the original. Simon picked U2’s “One” for Adam Lambert. I thought I’d love it, but it turned out to be a little too mellow for what we’re used to hearing from Adam.

Thank heaven for the contestants’ song choices. They were spectacular! Danny did a gorgeous, soulful rendition of Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” This is the Danny we know and love. Kris sang an acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” That was an unexpected surprise, and it definitely put him in the running for the finals. I’m sure many people downloaded it from iTunes immediately. Now for Mr. Lambert – he chose Aerosmith’s “Cryin’.” In theory, it sounds like a great choice with Steven Tyler’s vocal range being similar to Adam’s. I didn’t LOVE it though. Nonetheless, Adam has the most powerful and unique voice out of the three.

Tonight will be interesting. I don’t want any of them to go home, but alas, someone has to leave. I really hope the judges behave tonight. Their arguing and constant banter is distracting and annoying.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Live long and prosper

My advice: go see Star Trek immediately! It embodies everything you want to see in a film – action, romance and suspense. The TV show Star Trek was before my time, so I went into the film completely oblivious, but I left the theater feeling like a Trekkie. Director J.J. Abrams did a phenomenal job of taking us back to the beginning days of the Federation and USS Enterprise.

The film begins with the Federation starship USS Kelvin investigating a “lightning storm” in space that turns out to be a black hole. From the hole emerges the Romulan’s scary ship with Captain Nero on board (a particularly evil-looking Eric Bana). When the Kelvin’s captain goes aboard the Romulan ship, First Officer George Kirk becomes captain. He ends up evacuating the ship, including his pregnant wife, but unfortunately sacrifices himself to save the others. His son James T. Kirk is born on their way back to Earth.

Twenty-two years later in Iowa, Kirk has grown up (the adorable Chris Pine) to be somewhat of a troublemaker with no clear direction to his life. He meets Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) at a bar where he convinces him to enlist in Starfleet Academy. Kirk is suspended after cheating on a test designed by Spock (Zachary Quinto). When a signal emitted from Vulcan arises, Kirk is sneaked onto the USS Enterprise by his doctor friend Bones (Karl Urban).

Kirk gets word that they’re investigating a lightning storm – like his father encountered – and he realizes that it’s a trap. After Captain Pike goes aboard the Romulan ship, Spock is made captain. The Romulans drilled a hole to the core of Vulcan to destroy the planet. Six billion Vulcans die including Spock’s mother (Winona Ryder). After the loss of Spock’s mother and planet, he’s emotionally compromised and must relinquish his title to his first officer Kirk. Now the Romulans are planning to destroy Earth, and the Enterprise must save it.

I was crushing on Spock. Since he’s half-human, half-Vulcan, he’s always struggled with his identity so you sympathize with him. Vulcans prefer logic over emotions, but he’s in love with one of his students, Uhura, a human like his mother.

All of the other beloved characters appear in the film including Scotty (played by the hilarious Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho) and Checkov (Anton Yelchin). The original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, makes a cameo that drew cheers from the audience as Spock from the future.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Black-and-white chic

[Luciana Prezia]

[New York & Company]

Actress Camilla Belle (Joe Jonas's girlfriend, who it is rumored that he may be moving in with!) wore this Gucci dress to the opening of the fashion house's store in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Belle completed her ensemble with shiny, red heels.

Black and white together are by far my favorite colors to wear. They're so classic. When accessorized with a different color, like Belle's shoes, it really pops. Think pink, red, yellow, blue, green...OK, pretty much every color except for maybe brown goes nicely.

I purchased a lovely black-and-white jersey dress at New York & Company yesterday. This will look great for work, and it'll go well with my red (or pink) heels. It was $56.95, plus everything in the store is buy one get one half off! Check it out online,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Met Costume Institute "The Model as Muse" Gala

[Getty Images]

Celebrities galore turned up for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art "The Model as Muse" Gala in NYC last night (as mentioned here). Vogue editrix Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake and Marc Jacobs hosted the gala. The fashions varied from gorgeous long gowns and short dresses to le smoking-esque tuxedos to outright disasters.

Only Miss Moss could pull off the daring one-shoulder Marc Jacobs gold lame minidress and Stephen Jones turban. Other best dressed attendees include pregnant Heidi Klum's strapless black-and-blue J. Mendel gown, Diane Kruger's white Chanel haute couture short dress, Eva Longoria's black DvF gown and Claire Danes in a tan one-shoulder Burberry dress.

Louis Vuitton wasn't hitting on much last night - Madonna and Leighton Meester were among the worst dressed in the French fashion house. Madge wore a Dr. Seuss concoction on her head and an awful, age-inappropriate Louis Vuitton dress and thigh-high boots, ick! Meester wore not-cute black-and-red puff-sleeved dress over matching leggings. Other lapses in fashion judgment included Mary-Kate Olsen's frightening silver tiered Christian Lacroix dress and Rihanna's outrageous Dolce & Gabbanna suit. I appreciate fashion risks, but these ladies took it too far!

Is Vanity Fair that desperate?

Tell me that isn't Jessica Simpson on the cover of the June Vanity Fair. I don't get it. There is zero news going on with her career except for her fluctuating weight, which was not a big deal to begin with! The accompanying headline reads, "You call this fat? Jessica Simpson pulls off the 'mom jeans' and fights back." Umm no, we didn't actually - it was just a poor choice of clothing.

I would've much rather seen the US Airways pilot Sully Sellenberger on the cover, since I see VF also did a feature on him in this issue. Alas, we subscribers still have to read about Simpson's relationship with Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo, her relationship with her father Joe Simpson and her failed marriage to Nick Lachey. Oh joy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The summer blockbuster season has officially begun. I am no comic book connoisseur, but I really enjoyed X-Men Origins: Wolverine. OK, OK, maybe having a shirtless Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds didn't hurt. This action-packed film is undeniably violent, and some critics declared it to be nothing but violence and noise. However, beyond the fight scenes, there's a sweet love story between Wolverine and Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins), and also a story of a brotherhood between Wolverine and Sabretooth/Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber).

The film begins with a young Logan (Wolverine/Jackman) sick in bed with his half-brother, Victor, looking on. His father is killed by Victor’s drunken father. Enraged, Logan’s claws (or whatever they are) come out as he kills the man who killed his father. As the man is dying, he discovers that he was in fact his own father. Then Logan and Victor, who is also a mutant, run away together.

After serving in every war since the Civil War, William Stryker has enlisted the brothers and other mutants to help him fight for the United States. Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool quite well, and some other famous faces like Dominic Monaghan (Lost) and (of the Black Eyed Peas) also play mutants. Eventually Logan gets fed up with killing innocents and leaves. He’s leading a peaceful life in Canada as a lumberjack with Kayla when she is “killed” by Sabretooth.

Stryker seeks out Logan to help him find Sabretooth, who has been killing mutants. He tells him that he has to first destroy him to make him indestructible then he will be able to defeat his brother. This is where Logan becomes Wolverine and gets a new metal skeleton. Eventually, he finds out that is brother and Stryker were just using him. They've been hunting down mutants to create Weapon XI – a lethal combination of all mutant powers.

Remy LeBeau (played by Taylor Kitsch), or Gambit, helps Wolverine find the island where Stryker has imprisoned the mutants. Logan and Victor have a sweet brotherly moment in the end when they fight the scary Mutant XI. Jackman is perfect as Wolverine, and it's quite evident that he spent some very long hours in the gym prepping for this role.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chris Brown spotted

Last night I saw Chris Brown coming out of my local movie theater with an entourage of about 10 people. I think he was in the same movie we were in, Wolverine. Then he and his crew proceeded to stand around behind my car. No one was really paying any attention to them but us. There was a younger kid with them who kept dancing around.

When we finally pulled out, I rolled down the window and his whole entourage was staring, so I got a little scared. I mouthed "Chris?" to him, and he shook his head and smiled. Oh man.

I'm not sure people will forgive him for what he did to Rihanna, even if she does. At this point, I don't think he'll be able to save his image or career, but we'll see. Rihanna's jewelry from "that night" was just returned to her. She had borrowed a million dollars worth of bling to wear to the Grammys, and the LAPD was holding it as evidence.

Cutout dresses are all the rage

[Dimitrios Kambouris/]

I have to admit that I was somewhat dismayed to learn of designers' decision to bring midriff-bearing clothing back from the dead. However, some celebs have been sporting a more modest version of the trend with cutout dresses. This look is more sophisticated than those worn by the trashy girls at our high school proms of yesteryear.

Take Kate Hudson's black Rachel Roy gown, for example. She manages to show a little skin while looking elegant. Her Cartier baubles don't hurt either.

Alexis Bledel wore a similar version of Hudson's dress in a shorter length. Some people are also wearing their cutouts mid-stomach, below the chest like Leighton Meester's orange Chloe jumper and Zoe Saldana's white Chloe dress.

For those prefering not to bare any part of their tummy when not at the beach (me!), cutouts are also chic on the back or on straps.