Beyoncé to headline Coachella in April

With a total of nine Grammy nominations, Beyoncé has a chance of winning big at the music industry’s biggest night. But it looks like the pop superstar has already won the stage of one of the biggest music festivals in the world.

According to the Huffington Post, Beyoncé is set to headline Coachella, along with Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar. While snagging a headliner spot is enough to celebrate, the Huffington Post  points out that it will be a history-making moment: “She’s also the first solo female artist to headline Coachella in the last decade and the first black woman ever to headline the California-based festival.”

Only two other women have headlined Coachella since its start in 1999, says HuffPost: Bjork in 2007 and female-fronted English rock band Portishead in 2008.

Beyoncé’s headlining performance comes after a year when Coachella performances were comprised of only a small number of female acts. HuffPost reports, “last year, Coachella’s lineup included 168 male artists and just 60 female artists ― a figure that includes both all-female and mixed-gender acts.”

While this year’s lineup still doesn’t achieve gender parity — HuffPost says the 2017 performances include “108 all-male acts and 40 all-female and mixed-gender acts” — Beyoncé’s headliner stint may help usher in a new era for Coachella and spur other music festivals to follow suit.

Comfortable heels are coming

If you’ve ever dreamed of putting on your favorite pair of sky-high heels and wearing them for hours without pain, then celebrity stylist Neil J. Rodgers is coming to your rescue.

According to Glamour, the former stylist to stars like Beyoncé, Anna Kendrick and Gugu Mbatha Raw has added a new title to his resume: shoe designer. Rodgers just released a line of shoes under his namesake that is designed to be both fashionable and comfortable.

Glamour reports that Rodgers’ designs are different from others because “all of the pumps include hybrid foam rubber padding that is thicker than that used in comparable designer Italian-made pumps.” Meanwhile, the toe box — the front of the shoe — is also a little longer and offers a bit more room, according to Glamour, making the shoes more comfortable than those from competing designers.

While its a given that the shoes are at the pinnacle of style, they are even designed with shortcuts to keeping your body looking its best.

“The ankle straps dip forward ever so slightly to lengthen the legs,” Glamour says, “while the heels on the Mary Janes are slightly cutaway, making the foot look daintier.”

So what’s the verdict on Rodgers’ new line? He told Glamour that celebrities like Sarah Paulson, Octavia Spencer, Jane Fonda and Maya Rudolph have all worn his designs and given rave reviews, even purchasing shoes for themselves later on.

“I feel this is really a testament to the comfort and versatility of the line, so I’m thrilled!” Rodgers told Glamour.

Rodgers’ collection starts at $575, and is available on the designer’s website.

THL’s Favorite: The Danielle Mesh Pump. Offering an updated take on the classic look, this pump features a mesh-covered cutout at the counter of the shoe while also delivering a body-lengthening pointed-toe silhouette. Available in must-have neutrals like nude, gray and black, this heel is well worth its $575 price tag since you’re sure to get years of wear out of it.

Flint gets big donation from Beyoncé and fans

$80,000 is no drop in the bucket, and when it comes to contributing to the Flint water crisis, anything helps. And Beyoncé’s recent donation to the cause will certainly help aid in the water emergency.

According to the Huffington Post, as the pop queen wrapped up the North American leg of the “Formation” tour on Tuesday, June 14 in Detroit, Michigan, her team left a parting gift to contribute to the Flint water crisis.

“Bey’s management and entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment, in partnership with her philanthropic platform, BeyGOOD, presented a $82,234 check to the United Way of Genesee County to support the residents of Flint, Michigan,” reported the Huffington Post.

The sizable donation was made possible by Beyoncé’s fans, who were encouraged to donate to the cause as part of her world tour, says the Huffington Post. A press release from the tour explains that the funds will be used to “‘address long-term developmental, education, nutrition and health needs,’ of the children affected by the Flint water crisis.”

Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. president of United Way Worldwide, shared in a press release her gratitude for the singer and her fans’ efforts.

“We are so grateful for the support Beyoncé has given to those in Flint and the way she has inspired her fans to fight for the education, health and financial stability of everyone in their communities,” she said. “This partnership demonstrates just how easy it can be to give back.”

Good work, Beyoncé and fans!

Model Slays in Beyoncé Merchandise Ads

You know what Beyoncé says: “If you got it, flaunt it.” And that’s exactly what one model did when she posed for Beyoncé’s merchandise campaign.

ELLE says that Beyoncé recruited the help of Jillian Mercado, a model with muscular dystrophy, to be one of several to be photographed wearing sweatshirts, hats and T-shirts for the ads.

Mercado, “a 28-year-old fashion blogger-turned-model who uses a wheelchair,” is featured in the ads wearing apparel with “popular lyrics from Beyoncé’s hit singles ‘7/11’ and ‘Formation'” emblazoned across the items.

The model took to Instagram to share the news of her participation in the campaign, posting a few of the images with other models to her account. In one photo, her excitement is palpable, with the caption reading:

“OK LADIES  now let’s get in FORMATION! So BEYond excited to finally announce that I’m on the official @beyonce website!!! A special shout out to Queen Bee herself and the amazing team behind it.”

While the model certainly shared her excitement of being featured in the campaign, she had another message to share. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Mercado explained that she wants people to find hope in her photos and her story.

“[My aim is to give] hope to people who are maybe saying, ‘My life is over’ because they are disabled. You can totally do it, nothing should be stopping you.”

Williams Gets Viewers in ‘Formation’

After the release and Super Bowl 50 performance of Beyoncé’s latest single, “Formation,” the media has exploded in racially-charged backlash, claiming that the singer used her Super Bowl performance to promote police resistance. But The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams had a rebuttal of her own for Beyoncé’s critics.

According to The Huffington Postafter comments such as those from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani — who told Fox News that her Super Bowl performance was “outrageous” because she “used it as a platform to attack police officers” — Williams argued that these naysayers missed the point of her performance (and the song’s music video) altogether.

While discussing why race was brought onto the Super Bowl’s national stage, Williams said, “Race was brought because Beyoncé was brought in. And brace yourself, you might want to sit down for this, but Beyoncé is black.”

 

To watch Williams take down Beyoncé’s haters, click here

Take Her Look [For Less]

Leave it to Queen Bey to wear an all-black look in the middle of summer and still look as cool as can be. According to Vogue, the singer was spotted in New York City on Tuesday in head to toe black, wearing a knit dress with a thigh-high slit and cutout at the waist which she paired with a leather motorcycle jacket and simple black pumps.

Vogue reports that Beyoncé’s leg-baring dress is by Self-Portrait, which we found is a racer-style dress priced at $290 ( to purchase this exact dress, click here!). If spending $290 on a single dress isn’t in the style cards for you this summer, read on! We decided to try to recreate this look from head to toe for under $200 and came up with some pretty great pieces that can be worn as a cohesive look or separately, giving you the most bang for your buck!

To mimic the neckline of the dress, we found the Next Veneration Black Strappy Crop Top from Lulu’s. This top will create the illusion of a cutout at the waist, while also showing a little more skin via the sexy back cutouts. This top is available at Lulus.com for only $27.

Recreating the skirt of Beyoncé’s dress proved to be a fairly difficult task, but we finally landed on the Steal Your Heart Skirt from Tobi. Although this skirt is much longer than that of the Self-Portrait dress, its thigh-high leg slit still shows just as much skin, imitating the overall shape of the slit. This skirt comes in at an even $40 and is available at Tobi.com.

We couldn’t leave off Beyoncé’s edgy motorcycle jacket that was so effortlessly draped over her shoulders, so we opted for this gorgeous Quilted Faux Leather Moto Jacket from Forever 21. Forever 21 makes great faux leather jackets that look and feel just like real leather, so don’t be surprised when your friends ask how you were able to afford the same jacket Beyoncé wore! This beautiful piece is a great addition to any wardrobe and is incredibly affordable at only $34.90 on Forever21.com.

Finding affordable black pumps to match Beyoncé’s was a piece of cake — we decided to stick with Forever 21 and go for their Faux Leather Pointed Pumps, which offer a classic silhouette for an affordable $19.90.

We couldn’t leave off the little bit of bling at Beyoncé’s feet — her sparkly silver anklet. We found a sterling silver ankle bracelet from Overstock to match Beyoncé’s look for only $32.99.

So now that you have all the pieces to recreate Beyoncé’s chic NYC style, how much will it set you back? Not as much as you think — all of these pieces total only $154.79, a full $45 under our $200 budget! And what’s more: all of these pieces are versatile enough to be worn with other pieces, which maximizes the investment in each of these items. That’s a win-win in our opinion!

Happy Shopping!

She Leads, You Follow: Swimsuit Edition

Now that summer has officially started, it’s time to start shopping for the most important purchase of the season — a swimsuit. And not just any swimsuit, a flattering swimsuit that makes you feel confident and beautiful in your own skin. This seems like an impossible feat, but it looks like some of our favorite celebrities have already done the shopping for us!

Several celebrities have taken to Instagram to post their favorite summer swimsuits, and they seem to unanimously favor one in particular: the Mara Hoffman Lattice Maillot swimsuit. Celebrities from Beyoncé to Mindy Kaling have posted pictures wearing the suit, both looking equally gorgeous in the flattering style.

Photo credit Instagram / beyonce, found on Popsugar.com

Photo credit Instagram / Beyoncé, found on Popsugar.com. Beyoncé in the Mara Hoffman Lattice Maillot swimsuit in natural.

Photo credit Instagram / mindykaling, found on Popsugar.com. Mindy Kaling in the Mara Hoffman Lattice Maillot swimsuit in Kaleidoscopic.

Photo credit Instagram / mindykaling, found on Popsugar.com. Mindy Kaling in the Mara Hoffman Lattice Maillot swimsuit in Kaleidoscopic.

The Insta-famous swimsuit retails for $253, and because of all buzz created around the suit, it has become unavailable on most websites, including the Mara Hoffman site. But, the elements of this swimsuit that make it so flattering can be found in other looks. Here are a few details to look for when you go shopping for swimsuits this season:

  1. Well-placed cutouts – What makes the Mara Hoffman suit so flattering is that the cutouts are positioned in the most flattering spot for anyone who wears it. By placing the cutouts from the center of the chest down to the hips, it creates a slimming effect; it allows us to focus on the narrow strip of material at the center of the suit, tricking us into seeing a slimmer silhouette.
  2. Proportional prints – Kaling’s suit delivers a pretty bold print, but it doesn’t overwhelm her. That’s because she chose a print that is proportional to her frame. When shopping around for printed swimsuits (or printed anything, for that matter), the print must be proportional to your stature, meaning that women who are bigger in stature (in height or weight or both) can wear bigger prints, while women who are smaller in stature (in height or weight or both) can wear smaller prints.
  3. Open necklines – One of the reasons why the Mara Hoffman swimsuit works on a variety of body types is that it has a v-neck construction, which is universally flattering. A v-neck not only helps to elongate your frame by making your neck look longer, it can also emphasize your bust, making it seem a little bit bigger to help balance out a fuller hip. So when you hit the stores in search of the perfect swimsuit, try on a few styles that that have a v-neck; you’ll be surprised how flattering it can be!

Fashion Statement or Lack Thereof?

In my travels around the Internet yesterday, I stumbled upon an interview from The Washington Post featuring world-famous designer Carolina Herrera. Amidst surveying Herrera’s own crisp, classic style and her modern yet timeless designs, The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan asked Herrera for her thoughts on the ‘nearly nude’ trend (think Beyoncé’s Met Gala dress) that has been popping up on red carpets this season.

And Herrera certainly made a statement with her response, saying “Some designers think ‘it’s so modern to be naked or almost naked. They think it’s going to attract younger people if they do those dresses. No!'” She went on to say that gowns like these are only trying to draw attention to the wearer, but she instead thinks that there should be “‘a little mystery'” in the way stars dress.

Her best point on the nearly-nude trend was yet to come. In speaking on the celebrities that wear these barely-there gowns, Herrera said, “‘They’re supposed to be fashion icons and they’re not wearing anything.'”

After reading her thoughts on this trend, I knew I was not alone in my distaste for these gowns! Showing a little skin is one thing, but bearing it all with the risk of a wardrobe malfunction at any second is completely different story. In my opinion, it can be just as sexy or appealing to wear something that only shows one of your favorite ‘assets’ and leaves the rest to onlookers’ imaginations, or as Herrera says, leaves “‘a little mystery.'” This was proven this past weekend when Jennifer Lopez, who tends to partake of the ‘barely there’ trend, wore a demure Valentino ballgown to the Tony Awards. She looked just as sexy as she always does, but she also looked sophisticated and elegant, and she managed to do so all while being completely covered!

What is beginning to happen as a result of the nearly-nude trend is that many teens are beginning to copy this trend in their prom gowns, which oftentimes goes against their high schools’ rules. It is really not appropriate for teenage girls to be copying this risqué trend at such a young age; girls should instead pick one element of the nearly-nude dresses that they like and find a way to incorporate that into their gown. For instance, if they like an illusion neckline, find something with an illusion neckline, but keep the rest of the dress free of cutouts, high slits and cleavage.

Although being covered seems to be ‘uncool’ lately in Hollywood, I agree with Carolina Herrera; how can these stars be “‘fashion icons'” when they barely wearing any material? Fashion is all about how material is cut, sewn and worn in a way that new and progressive – if we judge these barely-there gowns by this standard, then it is not fashion at all. It instead has become a competition of who can wear the least possible amount of material without having a wardrobe malfunction.

Giorgio Armani once said, “Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.” These barely-there dresses certainly get noticed and have their moment in the spotlight, but not because they are elegant. True fashion icons dress elegantly at all times and are remembered for an eternity.

She Leads, You Follow

Celebrities often take a leap right off the fashion ledge; they push boundaries in their fashion choices and make it look quite effortless, leaving all of us style novices to look on in awe and admiration of their flawless style.  The “She Leads, You Follow” series will examine how our favorite ladies put together their looks so we, too, can look as fashionably flawless as they do.

Our first “fashion leader” is none other than Mrs. Carter herself, Beyoncé. The Queen of the Beyhive was spotted in May wearing an orange Cushnie et Ochs top and pink DSquared2 leather shorts, which she paired with bright magenta heels and a turquoise satchel purse.

Although it seems like a fashion misstep to incorporate four distinct colors into one outfit, Beyoncé shows that it is more than possible to make such bold colors work together to create a cohesive ensemble. Here’s why this outfit works:

  1. The brightness and saturation of her shirt and shorts are equal – Both her shirt and her shorts are of the same intensity and richness, allowing them to complement each other instead of compete with each other.
  2. Her shoes are far enough away from the pink of her shorts to not compete with it – Beyoncé’s magenta shoes may be brighter than her pink shorts, but because they are equally rich in color and far enough away from her shorts, they do not compete with her shorts and make it look like she got dressed in the dark and accidentally mismatched two different shades of pink.
  3. Her turquoise bag is also of equal saturation and brightness to the other colors in her outfit – Although the turquoise seems like a random color to add to this ensemble, it breaks up the pink and orange pairing, giving it a sort of color-blocking effect. By adding an earring in a similar color, Beyoncé is able to tie in the turquoise bag to create a unified outfit.

Sounds easy enough, right? Just remember: the color you pair do not have to match, they have to go, and they should only match each other in brightness and saturation. And most of all, remember to wear it with confidence — all fashion risks look better when worn with confidence!