Tag Archives: Oscars

R.I.P Dame Elizabeth Taylor

23 Mar


The entertainment industry suffered a great loss today with the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

One of the few true Hollywood icons, Dame Elizabeth was arguably one of the world’s greatest actresses and most beautiful women. Since finding fame at the age of 12 she has never been out of the spotlight.

The peak of her film career came in the 1950’s and 60’s. She was nominated for four Oscars in a row from 1958 to 1961, and didn’t take the gold statute home until her fourth attempt in 1961 for Butterfield 8. She won her second Oscar in 1967 for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Just as famous for her marriages as she was her films, she married 7 times. Her most famous husband being actor Richard Burton, who she met on the set of 1963’s Cleopatra- notorious for being one of the most expensive films of all time. Taylor had already been married four times – to Conrad Hilton Jr, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd and Eddie Fisher – before she wed Burton in 1964.

They were one of Hollywood’s greatest romances, starring together in 12 films, divorcing and remarrying in 1975 before she moved onto husbands number 6 and 7, John W Warner and Larry Fortensky.

The double Oscar winning actress had a history of health problems which began with a fall whilst filming her first hit film, National Velvet.  A rare strain of pneumonia almost killed her in 1961 and she also battled addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

In the 1990s, she endured two hip replacement operations and another near-fatal bout of pneumonia and survived surgery for a benign brain tumour in 1997.

In 2004, it was revealed that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, with symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath, and scoliosis, which twisted her spine.

After the death of her friend and co-star Rock Hudson, she started an Aids charity which she continually supported up until her death.

Her four children – Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey – were at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when she died.

Her son Michael Wilding called her “an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it,” he continued. “Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

A private family funeral will be held later this week. Instead of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

The Oscars 2011: The fashion expert and the blogger on the red carpet outfits

1 Mar

The Oscars have just been and stuttering down the red carpet was the usual swathe of dolled up celebrities tottering on designer heals and squeezing into skin tight dresses. So aside from that little golden man everybody wants adorning their outfits what did the A-Listers do to stand out from their peers?

As a fashion novice I have given some unknowledgable opinions from a real person. But, for the fashionistas out there I’ve invited fashion student Lydia Gardiner to give her professional and technical views on the outfits with details of who they were designed by and how they were constructed.


Before shocking the audience by throwing an f-bomb into her speech Melissa Leo donned the doily look and brought a sexy edge to our Nan’s favourite croched accessory. On Oscar night she looked sleek and elegant with a simple up do and natural makeup. This was a definite contrast from her gritty, bleach blonde character in The Fighter, for which she won best supporting actress. Pairing simple gold shoes and accessories with the exceptionally detailed dress Melissa pulled off a classy look to suit both her age and style.

 Lydia’s view: “In my opinion, the Marc Bouwer custom made dress comes across as a rip off of Marchesa from their spring/Summer collection shown at New York Fashion Week (bottom right). Melissa’s dress is intricately beautiful but is ruined by the high collar and low V-neck. the dress appears heavy which takes away from the delicacy of the laser-cut design which would have taken hours to produce even using the right machinery. But, she has accessorised well with Jay Carlile jewels.”





 Well known for her eclectic fashion sense Helena Bonham Carter did not fail to impress. Wearing an outfit more reminiscent of her part in Sweeny Todd than the multi award winning film The King’s Speech she stayed true to her gothic taste and presented herself in a simple, black gown with a velvet corset. Backing the Brits all the way of course she proudly showed off her patriotic pins.


Lydia’s veiw: “Although the corset is beautifully constructed the dress is almost conservative and nondescript which I feel is explained by Helena’s statement: “I thought it would be nice to celebrate film instead of fashion.” However, the corset would have taken hours to make with its small panels, V-neck and the sleeves alone look as if they have five or six panels each. The designer of the dress, Colleen Atwood, was the costume designer for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and you can definately see the stunning corsetry she made for the film may have inspired this dress for Helena.”


Back from Underland Anne Hathaway decided to outshine the world famous red carpet and showcased a scarlet Valentino gown with lips to match. This ruched and bubbled number certainly showed off her tall, slender frame by moulding perfectly to her figure. Most likely impossible to sit in Miss Hathaway had seven outfits for the night including Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood showing her wealth and broad fashion sense.

 Lydia’s view: “This Archive Haute couture Valentino gown is timeless with princess darts and multiple darts in the back to create a to die for silhouette. But, I do feel that the floral rosette appliqué detail is very much lost because of the colour and gives the dress a slightly frumpy and messy look.”




 Veering away from the traditional penguin and morning suits Josh Brolin and best actor nominee Javier Bardem shone out in white while presenting the Oscars for best original and best adapted screenplay.

 Lydia’s view: “In this photograph the men are wearing matching white/cream suits which in some lights appear to have a vague pink hue. The suits are well tailored with flawless topstitching, welt pockets, five small buttons on the button stands and a single button on the centre front. The only noticable difference is on the lapels; Brolin’s are traditional whereas Bardem’s have a slight curve. These suits contrast the dark ones they wore on the red carpet with Bardem in black Gucci and Brolin in navy.”


While the sapphire blue sequined dress stood out it was not the sparkles that drew people’s eyes to Amy Adams but rather the £800,000 ($1.35m) worth of jewellery which graced the front of it. Opting for a simple, wavy hairstyle and lightly made up face Amy was no shrinking violet and chose an outfit which brings to mind the Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace from Titanic.


Lydia’s view: “I don’t know which glittered more, Amy’s combined 63.99-carat emeralds or the beautiful L’Wren Scott midnight-blue sequined gown. The dress is so form fitting that it could have been inspired by Oscar himself. Both the patterns and the garment are so well made that the dress fits as a second skin with the skirt splitting at the side and more fullness from the knees down. The stunning Cartier emerald necklace gives the impression of a lower neckline.”


 By Sarah Walters

All Oscars pictures were sourced from BBC news. The original URL can be found through this Link.

The Marchesa dress photos were taken from Vogue. The original URL can be found through this Link.

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