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Fashion’s Night Out 2010

I’ve lived in New York City for four years, but have never been to Fashion’s Night Out until now. What a great time! Free drinks, glitterati and all the fab fall fashion collections.


Bryan Adams Exhibit, Image By Christa Fletcher

Our night began at Calvin Klein on Madison Avenue where my friend Krystle Monzon and I saw a beautiful exhibition of celebrity portraits shot by Bryan Adams, who also performed.

Clad in black, guests filled the uptown flagship store as Calvin Klein greeted and posed for photos. Adding to the excitement, Cynthia Nixon was there, taking interviews in front of her portrait featured in the exhibit by Adams. Nixon was impeccably elegant and poised.

During the party as Bryan Adams took the stage, my friend and I chatted with Anthony Williams from Project Runway. He is my favorite person out of all the contestants since the beginning of the series. And who wouldn’t love the dress featured on the cover of Marie Claire that he designed for Heidi Klum?

Williams was kind and dressed to the nines. We talked about mixing silver and gold jewelry and shared a couple of hugs before my friend and I made our way to Michael Kors in search of a glimpse of the camel clogs I’ve been coveting and for a chance to see Idina Menzel.

When we arrived, the store was packed and we went straight to look at shoes and a leather jacket in the back.

We were welcomed to the back of the store with champagne as we unknowingly got in a line. To our surprise and excitement, we were second to meet and talk to Michael Kors. As we waited for our turn, we learned he takes his iced tea with four Splenda packets and was just as excited to greet us, as we were to shake his hand.

As he waved us over, jubilant to meet his guests, we asked him how his night was going and he claimed to be nervous. He was anxious about his performance with Idina Menzel. At nine o’clock they sang “Defying Gravity” together.

Kors signed two branded makeup pouches for us and wished us a fun evening as we clutched them gratefully. This was definitely the highlight of our evening.

I only wish I had remembered to tell him how much I love the white patent leather wedges of his that I wore to my wedding. Perfect shoes by an amazing designer on my big day. Thanks Mr. Kors!

Next we walked down Madison Avenue and visited DKNY and Ann Taylor. At Ann Taylor we saw Vanessa Carlton play “1000 Miles.”

Next, we hit up Fifth Avenue and hung out in front of Bergdoff Goodman and watched live performances in the windows and admired living window displays.

We would have gone inside, but the line was super long, stretching around the block. It’s no wonder since Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Nicole Richie and Heidi Klum were inside!


Bergdorf Goodman Window, Image By Christa Fletcher

However, our trip to the ladies room in Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s store wasn’t without excitement — we saw Tom Ford. After stopping by the Rickshaw Dumpling truck and eating by the fountain outside the plaza, we headed to the Meat-Packing district. The streets were filled with a veritable best dressed list.

Inside, designer stores had free photo booths set up and drinks were aplenty. We ended our night hanging out at the Diane von Furstenburg store, listening to great music with a fun crowd of people.

All in all, an amazing night!

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Celebrity Mother Knows Best?

Gwyneth Paltrow, Image By Virgin Media

There are many celebrity moms who are taking the media by storm as “pregnancy pundits,” touting parenting tips, fitness advice and more. Stars like Angelina Jolie, Bryce Dallas Howard and celebrity bloggers Kourtney Kardashian and Bethenny Frankel, dazzle audiences with their openness and cute photos. And people are reading it.

Now, the list of pregnancy pundits continues to grow beyond the third trimester. Gisele Bundchen is a champion for breast-feeding and home births, while Gwyneth Paltrow is releasing her new cook book and revealing her struggles with postpartum depression. “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life,” Paltrow wrote in her newsletter, GOOP.

Yet, these moms aren’t the only ones willing to share their family secrets and personal insights on motherhood. A number of celebrity mom and babe sites are filling the Google search engine, baby powdering the web with photos of  A-list babies and the products their famous mommies use, sometimes, without their permission. So, why all the interest in these leading ladies and their broods?

Gisele Bundchen in Vogue

Well, I think there are a few things at play, first, people are nosy and they want to know everything about these women’s personal lives. Second, pregnancy, birth and motherhood are no longer taboo to discuss. Over the last ten years the pregnancy bump has become a trophy, rather than a reason to stay out of the spot light (or off the red carpet) for a few months.  And, thanks to women like Angelina Jolie, women are can still land high-powered and interesting roles after mommy-dom.

Even in India, things are changing. Look at actress and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, she’s one of the few actresses to continue her successful career in film after getting married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. Often, after an Indian actress marries, in Bollywood it can mean bye-bye career. Hopefully after Aishwarya Rai has kids she’ll be able to continue acting if she wants too.

Anyway, back to the point, I think the paparazzi’s obsession with celebrity baby photographs is a little scary and potentially dangerous, but if the mothers are willing to give photos and speak about their experiences, I think that’s great. People obviously want to read about their lives as parents and who doesn’t want to see their cute babies?

I mean, truth be told, when they do comply and offer advice, I’d be willing to follow their tips if I were shopping for a friend’s baby. They have access to the best fashion, beauty and baby products — why wouldn’t I want to know what’s the best? In fact, when it comes to style these moms know best.

Not sure how to tap into all these celebrity parenting tips? Well, here are a some websites where these moms are featured:

Babble.com — Famecrawler blog

People Magazine — Moms and Babies

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Heidi Klum, Image By Access Hollywood

Fashion Advice From Stylish Celeb Moms

Originally Published by Christa Fletcher on Babble.com, July 2010

Being a mom is a tough job — from parenting, to clean up, there isn’t much time for the woman behind the mommy. So how do those gorgeous celebrity parents keep it together? We have advice from your favorite stylish stars on how to avoid the frump.

Image By Babble.com

Heidi Klum, Supermodel and Executive Producer of Project Runway

In an interview on LifetimeMoms.com, Heidi Klum revealed her fashion advice for mothers. “Busy moms have to be organized — you have to narrow down all of your things in order to really make it work. Start with your closet — get rid of all the things that are too ‘mom-sey,’ too slouchy,” she said.

Klum added, “Keep only the things that are working for you so that you eliminate all of that extra time in the mornings — you already know what you put on is going to look good.”

Image By TeenyManolo.com

Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress, Producer and Fashionista

Having a sense of style is more than playing Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City and designing perfumes and clothes for Halston Heritage, for fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s about sticking with what she knows best. When she’s at home in the West Village, she’s “mom” and her best advice comes from her own beauty routine. Keeping it simple.

“I confess, I am very bad at makeup. I don’t where any in my real life — personal life. There’s no time for it and I’m not good at it,” she explained to Elle Creative Director Joe Zee. “I can cover a zit, I can put on mascara and put some eyeliner inside my eyeball, but that’s it.

Image By E!

Katie Holmes, Actress and Designer

At this week’s film premiere for The Extra Man, OK! Magazine caught up with the starlet on the red carpet in NYC where she can typically be spotted shopping at boutiques and cruising Central Park with her daughter Suri. “Every day my husband inspires me. My family inspires me. My daughter inspires. We’re always sort of creating new things whether it’s a party, or a script or a movie. We try to have a very creative household.”

Turns out, her daughter has inspired her style choices and to create a fashion line, first for kids, and now for women. “We want to create pieces a woman can wear over and over, and people won’t necessarily say, ‘Oh, you wore that last week,” said Holmes about her line. The star’s sophisticated venture has been called “classic with twist” by other celebs like Eva Longoria.

Alright, now that you’ve organized your closets and pared down to the chic essentials, how about some style advice from a four-year-old with her own spin on these fashionable celebrity moms.

Images by TeenyManolo.com & E!

To see my other freelance blog post published on Babble.com about Betty Draper, follow this link.


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Angelina Jolie: Super Mom and Super Spy

If you thought motherhood would slow down the Hollywood mega-star and self-proclaimed “Goofy Mommy,” Angelina Jolie, she’ll have to

Image By E!

bring you in for questioning!

Jolie is all business this month with the release of her new spy-action film, Salt. From premieres across the globe, to promotional interviews, Jolie is in the spotlight while also balancing her role as a parent.

After hitting the Hollywood Boulevard film premiere with boyfriend Brad Pit, 46, last Monday, Pitt is back to work on the set of Moneyball as Jolie, 35, continues to promote her role as Evelyn Salt with countless interviews and landing the cover of People. You’ve probably seen the dozens of photos of her in the airport with her brood of kids.  She is so busy! I can’t even imagine having such a high-powered career and six very young children to look after. Yet, I guess if you are the Guiness Book of World Record’s most powerful celebrities, like Pitt and Jolie, you can pretty much handle anything.

I’m really interested in seeing Angelina Jolie’s new movie because the part was originally written for a man. The character, a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy, is very James Bond and I’m excited to see a woman in such a strong role.

“I had done a lot of action movies but none that were based in reality. So it was such a big challenge, [people] weren’t sure it could be pulled off,” Jolie told E! Online. “Anytime someone questions if something can be pulled off, it’s hard not to want to try.”

With amazing stunts any 007 fan will envy, Jolie faced extensive training for the film because she wanted all combat scenes to be seamless with little editing. “I remember my first day on the Salt set because I hadn’t worked for like a year-and-a-half. I was home and I had babies. I did my first day back and I thought, ‘What am I doing? I’m somebody’s mother,'”she explained to SheKnows.com

So, what the Jolie-Pitt kids think of  mommy in her CIA agent role? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angelina Jolie revealed that the kids hadn’t seen the movie, but enjoy the fun aspects of their mom’s job, “They like coming to set and (seeing) the wigs. But in the clip, though, there’s someone tying my feet up and they did not like that at all.”

Despite any misgivings the Jolie-Pitts face with the new release, they support each other — especially given their history of action spy movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. “You know, I met Brad (Pitt) doing stunts together, so we are kind of that family. It is expected of mom to go out and be dangerous.”

A mom who is a provider, role model, special agent and nurturing — now that’s someone who’s worth her salt.

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More Than A Wolf Six Pack

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) & Jacob Black (Ta...
Image by Nayara - Oliveira via Flickr

After writing my previous post on men’s fitness, I started thinking about how their bodies are exposed the media in comparison to women’s. You’d have to live in a cave (or coffin) to avoid all the Eclipse hoopla this month. And, you’d have to be in denial to be unaware of all the drooling over Taylor Lautner who plays Jacob Black, a werewolf and love interest for Bella Swan in the Twilight series.

Yet, I have to say, even though I think he’s attractive and the movie creators knew what they were doing to cast him without a shirt for most of the film, I’m a little creeped out by all the sexual exploitation this guy is facing.

I mean, yeah, women go through this stuff all the time, but it’s very interesting how much sex, his body and his character (and therefore him, in real life) are connected (which is funny because his character doesn’t have sex).

In fact, so far, no one is having sex in the Twilight films — and maybe, it’s this presence of desire without fulfillment that make people think it’s ok to objectify him? Hmm… I’m not so sure it’s works that way.

Anyway, what got me thinking was the Twilight special on Jimmy Kimmel. Every question from the predominantly female audience was about the male characters’ sex life or bodies. One girl even asked Taylor Lautner to lift up his shirt so she could see his sixpack. Kimmel said it was probably sexual harassment, but I couldn’t help but wonder how difficult it must be for Lautner to be a male sex object at such a young age and with such a fierce following.

Lautner can’t even get away from it on set. According to some quotes by co-star Robert Pattinson, he even gets teased while wearing spandex. I’m sure it’s all in good fun, but how far will it go among his fans and in the film industry? Will he forever be typecast as Jacob Six Pack? At least people aren’t throwing blood on him like Pattinson experienced last year, but that doesn’t discount the crazed attention he receives. Is this the new sexism? Or are we tipping the scales toward balance?

Even Jezebel found reasons why they think it’s alright to objectify men in a piece about World Cup players. Yet, I’m still not convinced this is a step toward equality.

Not sure how men can be treated as objects? For a look at some pretty intense instances of sexual objectification of men’s bodies, look at this slide show by Trend Hunter.

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Mothering Movie Stars

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 07:  (EDITORS NOTE: NO ONLIN...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

If you watched the Academy Awards on Sunday, you may have noticed the resounding success of women in film and the collective mothering of young actresses like Carey Mulligan and Best Picture and Director winner Katherine Bigelow, by other ladies in the industry. Yet, the most beautiful display of compassion and mama-she-power was Best Actress winner Sandra Bullocks’ acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, a passionate, real-life Southern mother in The Blind Side.

In case you missed it, she accepted the award on behalf of her counterparts and in honor of  “the moms who take care of the babies and the children, wherever they come from.” She also thanked her own mother, who died of cancer in 2000, “for not letting me ride in cars with boys until I was 18.”

Bullock’s exquisite speech was a moving mix of humor and grace reminding us all of the importance of support, love and nurturing by and for women.  And I think it’s also important to mention that Bullock has held many feminist roles, with The Blind Side as the perfect example of a person who strives to promote equal rights among people.  Now, you’re probably thinking, wait a sec, she helps a disadvantage boy — not a girl — how is that a feminist role? Feminism is about creating equality among all people, not raising either gender above the other. In this case, it was about a determined woman who saw a boy who needed a family, so that’s what she provided.

This year’s Academy Awards was filled with a mix of talent whether the stars, producers and directors were men or women. Though Katherine Bigelow is only the first to win the award for Best Picture, she has now paved the way for women to be considered as equals in that category.  Despite people’s dislike of the word “feminist,” by selecting a woman who deserved the award, the Academy made a feminist decision.

If you didn’t catch it, Barabara Streisand’s role as a presenter for Best Picture was no accident. In 1991, there was much controversy over Barabara Streisand’s Oscar snub for her film The Prince of Tides.  Many thought the film should have won and that she didn’t receive an Oscar because she is a woman. I’m not an Academy insider, so I do not know the real reason why she didn’t get it, but I can say you that it’s disgraceful that Bigelow is the first woman director to win for Best Picture.

On the up side, within the film industry there seems to be a lot of comraderie among women.  From Bullock’s speech — as she individually complimented the qualities of the other nominees (including Meryl Streep‘s ability to kiss (LOL) and Carey Mulligan’s grace) — to Oprah’s phenomenal introduction of Gabourey Sidibe — feminism was alive and well-dressed in Hollywood.

Many of the nominated films featured a wide variety women characters outside of the typical gender stereotypes — some are powerful, creative and revolutionary — Julie and Julia, The Young Victoria, Coco Before Chanel, The Blind Side, Music By Prudence and the Princess and the Frog — while others are deeply affecting like Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire and An Education.  Each brought a new view of what it means to be human, to have the strength to survive despite the challenges gender creates. And, what a gift that the women in them are equally as powerful, affecting and revolutionary.

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