In this week’s Wednesday 5: Carmen De Lavallade on aging gracefully; Melissa McCarthy responds to fashion designers who wouldn’t dress her with her own fashion line; the fashion codes of Frida Kahlo; Maya Angelou continues to be phenomenal; and Roz Warren reviews “Ageless Erotica.”

 

1.

WOMEN IN THE ARTS

Carmen De Lavallade on Aging Gracefully

At 83 years old, dancer/choreographer Carmen De Lavallade continues to redefine the life and style of an octogenerian. She’s been dancing for more than 60 years, and has called notables like Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Alvin Ailey, and Harry Belafonte her dancing partners. And if you think she’s retiring in her 80s, think again. She will be performing in a solo show called “As I Remember It” at the end of this month. 

 

2.

WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD

Melissa McCarthy’s Response to Fashion Designers Who Wouldn’t Dress Her

1330301516_melissa-mccarthy_1Actress and comedian Melissa McCarthy recently revealed that several top designers refused to dress her for the Oscars two years ago. She told Redbook in the July issue:

“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no.”

Instead, McCarthy donned a ready-to-wear Marina Rinaldi dress (plus-line)  that can be found in Bloomingdale’s or Saks. So what was McCarthy’s response to the Oscar designers who snubbed her? It was to start her own clothing line. Soraya McDonald of The Washington Post writes:

Despite her success and the wealth that comes with it, McCarthy faces the same problem of millions of plus-size American women: wanting a wardrobe that’s stylish and fashion forward, and finding slim pickings, which is why she decided to develop her own plus-size clothing line.

The new clothing line will be called Pearl. We can’t wait to see what McCarthy comes up with.

 

3.

FASHION IN ART

The Fashion Codes of Frida Kahlo

200px-Frida_Kahlo_(self_portrait)Frida Kahlo was known for what she did on the canvas as well as her sense of unique style. From her corsets to her elaborately patterned dresses—even to her floral headbands—she embodied a spirit of creativity and audaciousness. Not only were Kahlo’s favorite staples emblems of her fashion style, they were also, according to Mhairi Graham of AnOther magazine, meant “to hide her imperfections” and offer a glimpse into the artist’s agonizing private life:

“Her structured corsetry helped align a torso damaged by polio, which she suffered from as a child, her expansive patterned dresses shielded a wasted right leg, and her floral headbands were a delicate representation of her own vulnerability.”

 

Click here to read more on the meanings behind Kahlo’s Mexican scarf, Tehuana dress, and jewelry.

 

4.

WOMEN OF REINVENTION

Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou

By now, you’ve seen the many tributes to Maya Angelou. Here we share with you one of her 2013 projects, in which she teamed up with Cole Haan as the newest model for its “Born in 1928” campaign—the same year that Angelou was born and the iconic label was founded.

Cole Haan “Maya Angelou (Director’s Cut)” from Ben Hughes on Vimeo.

5.

WOMEN AND SEXUALITY

Roz Warren Reviews ‘Ageless Erotica’

Our Roz Warren has reviewed Ageless Erotica, by Joan Price, for The Huffington Post. In true Roz tongue-in-cheek style.  The collection of erotic stories, writes Roz, include “the sensual, the medical and the humorous. . .

“The book collects tales of seniors from all walks of life—gay and straight, vanilla and kinky—taking their clothes off and having fun. I’ve never found erotica much of a turn-on, but I still got a kick out of reading it. I even learned a few things. (Masturbation clubs for women? Who knew?)”

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  • Diane Dettmann June 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I’m with Roz. I really enjoy Melissa McCarthy’s humor and her commitment to what she believes. More power to her and hope she succeeds as well in fashion as he has in comedy!

    Reply
  • Roz Warren June 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for including my Joan Price humor piece! And I’m not a plus size, but I too can’t wait to see what McCarthy comes up with. What a positive, creative response to a problem. I hope she makes millions!

    Reply