Trend alert: The Gatsby look!

Carey Mulligan as Daisy drips pearls and diamonds in flapper fineryFashion lovers get ready for another lavish Baz Luhrmann spectacle. His hot sexy remake of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan looks simply dazzling. It is sure to set trends. So darlings, get ready for a romantic summer in pearls, lace, and shimmery flapper-inspired fashions.
 
Fashion forward stars including Amy Adams and Stacy Keibler were already feeling the trend at the Oscars. Stacy wore a short, sassy flapper-like bob, and Amy had her hair in sexy 20s-inspired waves. The look is jazz hot!
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Ten indispensable style tips from “Oscar”

 Sandra Bullock's stunning look;  Copies of Oscar dresses will be coming soon No true fashionista would willingly miss the Oscars. If you pay attention, it is great place to learn how to turn out for a special occasion. The average couple may have a smaller glad-rag budget than the Hollywood crowd, but the rules and inspirations are the same. Some of the dresses, shoes, and extras are more affordable than one would imagine. And some of the same designers the stars wear have fabulous bridge lines. 

 
Forget the excuse that celebrities are young and thin. The past few years Hollywood’s Oscar-going elite has included stunners of a certain age as well as ladies with generous curves.
 
So darlings, be inspired by your favourites, learn from the faux pas of those who failed, and get ready to shine at your next gala.
 
1: Evening is the time to flaunt a stunning décolleté, but keep it under control. Too much of a good thing makes people nervous and can make you look cheap. It can also just be unflattering. Hilary Swank showed up at the Vanity Fair Oscar party this year in a dress cut to her navel that revealed a boney frame. It was not attractive. It’s interesting to note that few stars this year wore deeply-cut gowns. Most chose more discreet décolletés. I noticed many chose chic and slimming strapless gowns.
 
Queen Latifah a fashionista for all 2. Properly-fitted strapless gowns are flattering on most women. They work on busty women as well as the less-endowed. Queen Latifah, who always looks sensational, wore what was essentially a fitted strapless bodice with one thick ornament-jeweled strap. The key to successfully wearing a strapless gown is investing in one with a good built-in corset that’s molded to your body. The gown then does not slip or slide; it hangs elegantly and securely from the corset. If your bosom is a bit less than perfect, you may need a good bra — most women do. But, the bra doesn’t hold up or enhance the gown; it enhances your bosom. You may have seen or heard of stylists using double-sided tape to secure low-cut or tricky necklines. It is a neat trick, such as the one Hillary Swank wore, but it will not hold up a strapless gown. Get your dress fitted. I have several fabulous strapless gowns. They do not budge and I can dance till dawn.
 
3. Leave the thigh-high skirts to the Rockettes. Mariah Carey looked so cute, but her trendy blue gown was anything but chic with its overly revealing neckline and thigh-high slit. Thigh slits with plunging décolletés belong on the stage. It screamed Vegas.
 
Petite women often feel overwhelmed in floor-length gowns. They make the mistake of thinking a slit or dress that hikes up in front, similar to the one Carey Mulligan wore this year, will help them look taller. It is just the opposite. Occasionally, a long-sleeved black velvet number with a discreet slit to the knee works for an older lady. But take it from a petite fashionista like me, if you want too look slim and chic (we will never look tall), stick to a simple slim column of a dress. Actually, I have full-skirted ball gowns, scaled to my frame and they are fabulous.
 
4. Make sure your shoes flatter you legs and your dress. Carey Mulligan is adorable. But the graduated hemline of her black Prada dress and the heavy ankle strap shoes she wore with it cut the line of her slim legs. While the height of fashion, it was far from the most flattering choice. The shoes also caused her to teeter.
 
Her shoes were fashionable, but so are slightly more delicate shoes that would have looked more elegant. Even though her dress was black, a jeweled shoe would have been prettier and more flattering. For those of us on less lavish budgets, jeweled shoes can be used for years, as they are timeless when well chosen and go with most dresses.
 
At the opposite end of the fashion spectrum, it was reported that some celebrities wore flimsy flats beneath their Oscar dresses. In my book this is only marginally better than going barefoot or wearing flip-flops. Ladies, buy some shoes! Get your self a cute pair of low-heeled dress shoes and keep them on your feet. Barefooted (or slipper-footed) ladies waddle in gowns. It is not pretty. There are many brands of good-looking comfy, low-heeled dress shoes.
 
Helen Miirren at 62 sexy and chic 5. Ladies of a certain age can really sizzle. Take a good look at Helen Mirren. The lady is sexy, chic, and 62 years old. I adore Meryl Streep, who is 60. With her face and body, she could go from looking as good as she did this year to looking absolutely fabulous. Demi Moore at 40 is simply stunning. She looks impeccable. She never tries too hard. Among the younger stars, Anne Hathaway always looks fabulous.
 
6. Start with glowing skin and polished hair. Penelope Cruz, Helen Mirren, and Demi Moore all wore their hair up in soft, polished styles. Kate Winslet and Sandra Bullock both wore their hair down. None of these stylish women looked over-styled or messy. They all hit perfect notes with classic, sexy hair and make-up.
 
With a bit of work anyone can look like a star. Choose a skin care line that suits your budget and skin type, and stick to it. Schedule any special beauty treatments a week or two before your event. Things like Botox should be discussed at least two or three months before an event.
 
Test drive you hair and make-up at least twice before an important event if you are doing it yourself, once if a professional is doing it. Do not skip this step. Do your housework or run errands and see if it all stays put.
 
7. The Oscars is one of the best places to see the latest trends. Notice, the prettiest looks are understated and fresh-faced. Print-out pictures of the stars whose looks you think might suit you. Professional hairstylists and make artists love pictures to help explain what you are looking for. They are visual people. They know you don’t expect to be a duplicate. Then head to your favourite cosmetic counter. Choose a posh line, such as Chanel or Laura Mercier. These are the lines the pros use. They will have trained make-up artists to help you "get the look".
 
Many of the Oscar dresses will be copied after the show. There will be gowns at all price points. You can have the same look as the stars. Get online and locate your treasures, if you will soon be in the spotlight.
 
8. Full-figured women of any age can look to Queen Latifah for fashion cues. She always looks chic. Her choices are timeless and flattering. She chooses silhouettes that flatter and elongate her body. I am not suggesting that all curvy women must dress like Queen Latifah, but she really has gotten it right. She demonstrates women do not have to be a size 2 to be chic.
 
9. Try on your whole outfit at least a week before you debut it. This includes an old favourite you have not worn in a year or more. Most stars on the red carpet look pristine. That’s because top stylists have fined-tune the fit of their shoes and straps. They check zippers and clasps. They make sure it all works smoothly and nothing itches or pinches. I hate pain and annoyance; I test all my clothes for the itchy-pinchies.
 
A week before the big party is the time to fix a loose shoe or a tricky neckline. Badly-fitting shoes can cause painful blisters, and a sliding neckline can make you fidget. I have a selection of pads to keep shoes from sliding and biting they are from www.footpetals.com. I keep double-stick fashion tape from www.barenecessities.com.  I also have a trusty a sewing kit.
 
My other supplies include hair pins and L’Oreal Elnett Hair Spray which is brushable.I also have White Sands Liquid Texture Spray in Medium which get shiner the more you heat use and Redken Real Control Mineral Elixir for spritz of weightless shine. I also keep dryer sheets to foil static cling. They work on hair and clothes. A good lint brush is essential. Other friends keep breast pads or silicone “chicken cutlets” in different sizes, Spanx, and a tailor on standby. I hate Spanx. I prefer plain control-top hose or a pair of microfiober control-top panties.
 
10. Darlings, treat yourself like star. Pamper yourself; you can afford it. Do it yourself if you have to. Remember, even women with all the resources in the world sometimes don’t look fabulous. But with a little effort, anyone can look like a star.
 
Now go light up the heavens.
 
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“An Education” – Every girl needs one

Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard in an "An Education"An Education is a carefully-crafted film about a young woman’s first seduction. The film was based on British journalist Lynn Barber’s real-life coming of age memoir. It is also a disquieting and seductive Lolita tale.

 
As the story unfolds one watches as a beautiful and intelligent teenage girl is caught in a web of seduction woven by a con man twice her age. Jenny, played by the incandescent Carey Mulligan, trapped in the dreary, respectable suburb of Trickham. A bright girl she is cramming for admission to Oxford as she plays French love songs and dreams of Paris
 
An Education is a complex film and at times disturbing to watch. It shows a bright young woman on the brink of womanhood in an era when women were receiving mixed messages. During the war women did all sorts of jobs, from driving ambulances to toiling in factories and working on important intelligence operations. After the war, many meekly headed back to the hearth and home.
 
Jenny’s father is conventional and status-seeking, but he also urges his daughter to work towards Oxford and academic achievement as way of bettering her life. One of her teachers gives her similar encouragement. The year the film takes place is 1960, right before London becomes the epicenter of the “youth quake” and a new social order.
 
Jenny’s seducer, David Goldman, a suave con man brilliantly portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard, knows only too well how to impress and beguile her naive, social-climbing father. Jenny looks on, embarrassed and amused, as he flirts with her usually cowed middle-aged mother and chats up her father about art, culture and Oxford. She can hardly believe it as her father waves them on their way.
 
When Jenny discovers that David is a rogue and a thief, she remains enraptured with the life he is offering. She has been well and truly seduced, swept away by a taste of life she had been able only to imagine. Even the disappointment of her first sexual encounter does not dim her enthusiasm for the posh life she envisions.
 
A school girl plays with fireThis is a beautiful, brilliantly acted film. The story is compelling and timeless. There is an element of the irresistible in Jenny’s seduction. Most intelligent young women long for art, culture, romance and an  older sophisticated lover to show them the world.
 
Jenny’s affair with David almost causes her to forfeit her future. Actually, it might have cost her a good deal more than her admission to university had she become pregnant, gotten involved in his criminal activities, caught an STD – or a combination of any or all of the above. Sadly, these things happen to bright young girls all the time. I’ve heard many versions of these tales, albeit, not quite as fraught with drama or style. If only young girls would learn to value themselves more and not toss themselves away on unworthy men. If only bright young things would have more faith that romance and glamour will come in time. How much better to wait a few years and have a glamorous romance with an older man –all of 25!
 
Some say it’s wrong for young girls to long for a prince. I think it’s inevitable. We just have to make girls smarter about picking them. Jenny’s teacher, who helps her get into Oxford, tells her "Jenny, you’re pretty and you’re clever. You can do anything. Your boyfriend, does he like pretty and clever?"  That’s what we need to teach young women: A true prince loves you because you can do anything.
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