Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A HAT MAKER BELOVED BY MADONNA




Los Angeles-based Nick Fouquet is in many ways the ultimate California dude — tall and lanky, with a shaggy blond mane that simply begs to have a hat put on it — but don’t call him a milliner. His approach to hat making is anything but traditional. “I’ve always wanted to do my own thing,” he says, “and it’s such a niche market and undervalued accessory. To me, hats are the pinnacle of elegance. I’m not here to reinvent them — but to do it with my twist; not over-the-top or dramatic, like a milliner might.”

There’s almost a hint of disdain in Fouquet’s voice, in fact, when he says the “m” word. “There are maybe 30 people in America and 300 people in the world who know this trade,” he says. “When I started, a lot of hat makers were appalled that I would use fire, throw paint on a hat, distress the felt, reinvent shapes. And I was like, ‘You’re like, 80 years old, what do you know?’” Indeed, a Nick Fouquet hat captures a lived-in aesthetic that brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the market; the designer’s signature detail is a strike-anywhere match tucked into each hat’s brim. “TSA at the airport is not a big fan when I roll through with the matchsticks,” he admits. “They get very suspicious.”

Now, about five years since he’s entered the hat business, Fouquet puts out two collections a year, has partnered with Colette and has a collaboration with Barneys New York planned for this fall, and has a celebrity following that includes Madonna, Pharrell, Bob Dylan, Carine Roitfeld, Gigi Hadid and Sia (who wore a Nick Fouquet hat to perform at the afterparty for the Calvin Klein men’s show in Milan last week). But commercial success and the glitz of celebrity endorsement notwithstanding, Fouquet sounds most excited when he talks about working with individual clients through his bespoke business. “The client always thinks of things that I would never think of, like, ‘Let’s put 100 feathers on the brim,’” he says. “We just get these ideas. And I’m not afraid to fall flat on my face.”

Though Fouquet hasn’t ruled out expanding his line in the future — “In the grand scheme of things, yeah, I see a bigger brand,” he says — for now, his focus remains singular. “It would be preemptive to get into shoes, bags or ready-to-wear at this point,” he says. “There’s so much more that I have to say with hats.”

$900-$3,000, available at the Nick Fouquet flagship at 853 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice, Calif., and at Barneys New York starting this fall, nickfouquet.com.

Source : NyTimes

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gay Rights Pioneer Madonna Has Two Reasons To Celebrate

Thank you, Madonna for fighting for gay rights long before it was "cool".



It’s easy to forget what a pioneer for gay rights Madonna has been. During the 1980s and early 1990s, at the height of the AIDS crisis, Madonna promoted tolerance in her songs, videos, and concerts. She was widely condemned for doing so and, to a certain extent, it hurt her career. Towleroad recently listed why Madonna is the biggest pro-gay pop ally of all time.

Madonna was thrilled at the same-sex ruling by the Supreme Court and took to Instagram to show her excitement.


Many of her fans, especially on her Facebook page, thanked her for being one of the only major public figures to stand up for gay rights at a time when gay people were treated like vicious animals.

“Madonna…you helped all of this by standing up for gay rights back when no celebrities did…OG #trendsetter #rebelheart #longlivethequeen,” wrote fan James Davis.

“Madonna Always there for us LGBT from the start!! Thank you Madonna for always being there for all of us!!! We love you!!!” wrote Shawn Welles.

The Supreme Court decision isn’t the only thing the Queen of Pop is celebrating today. It was just revealed that her latest single, “Bit*h I’m Madonna,” despite being a third and barely promoted single from her Rebel Heart album, has charted on Billboard’s Hot 100. Billboard announced Madonna’s latest (and sort of bittersweet) chart victory on Thursday.

Madonna’s single “Living for Love” was at the top of the iTunes chart for several days. However, because it was sold as part of an album package, Billboard didn’t count the sales towards their charts. It’s quite likely that “Living for Love” would have been a top 40 if Rebel Heart didn’t leak, which would have given the song a stand-alone traditional release.

“The third single from Madonna’s album Rebel Heart becomes the set’s first Hot 100 hit, preventing the LP from becoming her first studio album not to generate a Hot 100 entry. Lead single ‘Living for Love’ and follow-up ‘Ghosttown’ both fell shy of the list.”

Even if Madonna never scores a chart hit again, nobody can deny her legacy (although people are certainly trying). Madonna’s fans see her as a groundbreaking pop artist who broke the boundaries of female sexuality, gay rights, and now, ageism. What do you think Madonna’s biggest accomplishment is?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MADONNA’S PUBLICIST LIZ ROSENBERG SET TO RETIRE

Madonna’s longtime publicist set to retire
Madonna relied on her, so did Cher.



Now, ever-quotable p.r. queen Liz Rosenberg exclusively tells us she’s abdicating her throne to retire.

“I think two centuries is long enough, don’t you?” quipped Rosenberg, who’s also repped Michael Bublé and Stevie Nicks and worked with Prince, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon and Ashford & Simpson.

Madonna portrayed her on “SNL” in 1992 — “the good ol’ days,” Rosenberg recalled.

She launched Liz Rosenberg Media in 2010 after nearly 40 years at Warner Bros. Records.

“It reminds me not to take it all too seriously,” Rosenberg said of her look — regularly wearing bunny ears on starry red carpets.

She’s looking forward to an extended break, but, “I’m going to consult, advise and protect my peeps from the likes of Page Six forever. I love them too much to do otherwise,” she said. “On a serious note, these people are part of my family. I could never step away completely. I envision myself like Sue Mengers, doing my work from a round bed with a lot of lip-shaped pillows.”

Her firm’s logo was a pair of lips — with a trace of smudged lipstick.

Source : PageSix

Saturday, June 20, 2015

MADONNA : YOU’LL ALWAYS BE THE QUEEN BITCH!

MADONNA : YOU’LL ALWAYS BE THE QUEEN BITCH!



Madonna, the dissers who are trying to define or judge you for your age — 56 — are silly and small-minded. And in many cases, sexist! I’ll throw that in for good measure, because it’s true. You just released what is arguably the hottest, funniest and most compelling video of your life for your single, “Bitch I’m Madonna”, with guest appearances by Beyonce, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Chris Rock, Rita Ora and a fabulous rap set by Nicki Minaj. It’s ridiculous that anyone has the gall to tell you you’re too old to “have fun tonight”!

You happen to be in incredible shape, look fantastic and can still dance your legs off, so why shouldn’t you wear a tight minidress, show off cleavage, kiss guys and girls, and just plain put out a killer single? Just because you’re 56, doesn’t mean you should stop doing anything or being anything. You’ve always been sexually open, outrageous and boundary-pushing. Who says that when a woman crosses a certain age she should cover up, shut up and stay off stage — especially stop shaking her booty?

If anything, people should applaud you for showing that age is irrelevant to staying creatively and physically energized. Why should anyone “accept” their age and “age gracefully” like someone says on Twitter.

I’d guess that all these tweeters are under 35. That’s because they have no clue how anyone who is 50-plus feels. I bet Madonna, at 56, is as full of beans and ideas as she was at 26. Furthermore, I bet that Madonna, at 56, has more energy and ideas than most people do at 26. So why does she need to accept any preconceived notion about what “age” is or have to “remember her age”? Instead, they should all be thrilled that she is taking the lead and showing them and the rest of the world that you don’t have to “remember” or “act” your age.

Madonna Shouldn’t Be Shamed For Being Sexy & Daring At 56!

You can shake, rock, roll, be sexy, be daring, be alive, at 56, 66, 76 and more. If Madonna wants to “get freaky”, jump in the pool with her clothes on and “go hard or go home”, what is so wrong with that? I can guarantee that when Madonna’s haters get to be 56, they won’t be so willing, either, to “grow old gracefully”. And I’d like to ask these dissers — do they feel the same way about mature rockers Bruce Springsteen, 65, Mick Jagger, 71, Jon Bon Jovi, 53 or Steven Tyler, 67? I don’t think so.

Source : HollywoodLife

Thursday, June 18, 2015

“REBEL HEART” IS ONE OF THE BEST ALBUM OF 2015 FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE




We say : Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times. It’s also a chance for the Queen of Pop to floss a bit and reflect on how she painstakingly carved a path others have happily twerked down in the years since her 1983 debut. The über-fit 56-year-old star gleefully enunciates “bitch” on the refreshing, reggae-tinged “Unapologetic Bitch” and the frenetic, Nicki Minaj-assisted “Bitch I’m Madonna,” both featuring Diplo’s ear-tingling airhorn blasts.

JONAS AKERLUND SHARES BEHIND THE SCENES DETAILS OF “BITCH I’M MADONNA”




Anytime Madonna announces a new video, it’s a global event. And it’s no different with her newest clip for her thumping single “Bitch I’m Madonna,” which debuted online on Wednesday. In fact, it’s the Queen of Pop’s most bonkers video in years—and features a who’s-who of all-stars like Beyonce, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, Chris Rock, and others.

For such an occasion, Madonna teamed up once again with one of her most trusted collaborators, director Jonas Akerlund. Over the last 17 years, the two have worked on some of her most iconic visuals, from 1998’s Grammy-winning “Ray of Light” to April’s dramatic, post-apocalyptic “Ghosttown,” co-starring Terrence Howard.

So how did the two pull off such a feat with “Bitch I’m Madonna”? And what was it like juggling the schedules of M, her guest stars, and a crew of around 100 people? Akerlund shares behind-the-scenes details on making the video with EW.


On Coming Up With the Concept

“Madonna called me about ‘Ghosttown.’ We hadn’t worked for a while because of different circumstances so when I heard all the songs [on Rebel Heart], I was very excited about ‘Ghosttown.’ I connected to it creatively. And, yeah, we enjoyed working together. I was supposed to start something else right after and that got pushed and she asked me to do ‘Bitch I’m Madonna.’ I saw it being so completely different from ‘Ghosttown,’ something a little bit less serious, just fun and crazy.”

On Preparing for the Shoot

“It became almost mathematic figuring out how to shoot it. We had a detailed shotlist. We also rehearsed, which is rare for a music video.”

On Filming Over One Night in New York City

“It’s always a challenge. Madonna is a celebrity enough for any music video. But with the nature of the song and the playfulness of it, we thought, ‘Let’s have some friends and family and go crazy with it!’ Everyone was spread out and their time is tight, but the good news is we all love Madonna and everyone wants to be involved. That made it really fun and playful.”

On Fighting Against Daylight

“On film shoots, you normally fight against losing daylight, but on this job we were fighting against the sun coming up. But you do see parts of it at the end, the sun on it’s way up.”

On Downtime on Set

“It was fun! That’s the only way to do it really. But it was technical. Everybody needed to be on their place and do their job. Everyone had cues and everyone was ready. And when we left the shoot, we thought, ‘If the video feels half as good as we feel, then it’s a homerun.’”

On Why He Loves Working With Madonna

“We’ve built trust between us through the years and she’s one of those people who really gets the best out of you. She wants to do something great. Every time we do videos, we want to change the world. A lot of artists don’t do that, but she does. She has that extra thing that makes her job worth it.”

Source : Ew.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MADONNA BEFORE SHE WAS MADONNA

Her name is Madonna Ciccone, and her face matches her name.



Round eyes, arched eyebrows, finely drawn mouth – Da Vinci would have loved it. It is a theatrical face, a dancer’s face. And she has a dancer’s body – thin as a blade, lithe and agile. Doll-like, she looks as if she’d snap in a strong wind.

She wouldn’t. …


Countless times over the years, critics, pundits and reporters have written some variation on that to describe Madonna, the iconic pop starlet. But the story containing this passage is different, because it dates back to a time when nobody knew who Madonna was.

It’s the beginning of a Charlotte Observer story from July 1978, about the American Dance Festival’s first year at Duke University in Durham. And it might be the first notice from the press that Madonna received.

Observer staff writer Richard Maschal quoted Madonna, then 19 years old, describing the rigors of ADF as “pretty draining and demanding.” And he called her “what the American Dance Festival is about.”

Seven years later, after 1984’s “Like a Virgin” and 1985’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” established Madonna as a huge star and the it-girl of that moment, Maschal wrote a followup column about his earlier impressions of her. He noted her beauty, aura and precocious self-assurance – and also that she resembled a literal Renaissance madonna.

“I really did think she looked like a madonna and so was amazed when I asked her name and she gave it,” Maschal said recently via email. “I also found her one of the most self-absorbed persons I had ever met.”

That self-absorption also manifested as confidence, which would stand Madonna in good stead as she pursued her career. One of her 1978 ADF classmates was Eric Tyrone Smith, who later shared a West Village apartment with Madonna in New York City. In a 2007 email, he recounted a salient memory of Madonna’s evolution from dancer to singer:

She came back to the apartment one day bragging that she had just been out in Washington Sq. park singing with some black guys and that they had told her she could sing. I told her she couldn’t believe everything she was told and of course the rest is history!

Little else remains of Madonna’s long-ago time as a dance student in Durham. Her primary teachers there, Pearl Lang and Pauline Koner, are both deceased. And while ADF still has her application and school records on file, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) means they will remain private unless Madonna herself chooses to release them.

That’s doubtful, so mostly we have Maschal’s witness-bearing account. He admits he did not come away impressed, with little inkling of just how big a star she would become. Maschal’s 1985 story about Madonna concluded by asking about the 26-year-old singer, “Can you picture Madonna at 40?”

Now 56, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and still topping charts and touring arenas, Madonna seems to have done all right for herself.

Source : NewObserver

Friday, June 5, 2015

Madonna, Ageism and Sexism

Too many people forget that Madonna, the most successful solo artist in history, has paved the way for so many artists, both male and female. With her outspoken opinions, her sometimes shocking but always thought provoking performances and her pure determination, she's broken down barriers on women, pop stars, homosexuals, race, religion, business and everything in between. There would be no Britney Spears, no Beyoncé, no Rihanna, had Madonna not paved the way with her conical bra or her pink leotard.

Madonna is once again breaking down barriers. This time, it's that taboo topic of age. So many people, particularly in the media, apparently feel that women of a certain age should go quietly into the night and rest on their laurels. Actresses have been complaining for years that once they hit 50 there are no substantial roles. Meanwhile, Liam Neeson continues to be in every action movie involving a daughter. Madonna won't rest on her laurels though, as that has never been her M.O. This is a woman who sold out multiple nights at Yankee Stadium on her last tour (which beat her own record for top selling solo tour of all time.) when there had never been a woman headlining there before at all. This is the same artist who performed at the Super Bowl and got more viewers than the game itself. This is the same woman whose recent Grammy performance was the most watched (and tweeted about) performance of the night. All of those accomplishments happened after her 50th birthday.

Madonna's age is not her problem. It's your own problem. It's the mindset some have that women of a certain age should act a certain way, look a certain way and talk a certain way. In fact, if you have a problem with Madonna and what she does, it's only your problem that you've created in your mind. There's no rule book that says that on a certain magical date you must suddenly stop wearing clothes that you like and must suddenly wear clothes that you don't like because society says so. The truth is, society doesn't get to say so. This isn't a woman who's chasing trends, this is a woman who starts them. If you think she's going to listen to the countless talking heads droning on about how a woman should live her life, then you've clearly been living under a rock the last 30+ years. Those some people will praise U2 or Rolling Stones, while chastising Madonna. And Madonna's the only one of them still cranking out hits. This is an artist who's latest single, Ghosttown, became her 45th #1 hit. After all, "Bitch she's Madonna."

As so often happens with Madonna, controversy has overshadowed the music... and that's quite a shame. Rebel Heart, her latest album, is one of the best albums of her career. Reflective and introspective it sounds like nothing else on the radio or in the clubs. She has written a tour de force of an album while being shocking for what it really is: her most honest, personal album yet. Diplo, a Philadelphia native, (call me, bro!) marries his avant garde club sound with Madonna's mainstream pop sensibilities and the result is perfection. Check out the Pop Culture Whore piece for a track by track review of Rebel Heart or just do yourself a favor and buy Rebel Heart.

If you haven't noticed throughout her white hot career spanning more then 30 years, Madonna doesn't give a shit what you think. She's going to be her, unapologetically. And when you can go out to the club with your friends at 56 years old and look absolutely amazing in what you're wearing as you dance the night away, you can thank Madonna. As it is, that club probably be playing her latest hit.

#RebelHearts


Friday, May 15, 2015

MADONNA MAKES HISTORY WITH 45TH NO. 1 ON BILLBOARD’S DANCE CLUB SONGS CHART




The Queen of Pop reigns with “Ghosttown,” giving her the most No. 1s of any artist on a single Billboard chart. “Thanks to all my fans on & off the dancefloor,” she tells Billboard.

The Queen of Pop is now unequaled chart royalty. Madonna makes momentous Billboard chart history, as she now has the most No. 1s ever, 45, by an act on a singular Billboard chart. She earns her 45th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, where “Ghosttown” lifts 3-1.

(The chart, dated May 30, will refresh on Billboard.com Thursday, May 21.)
With the coronation, Madonna passes another icon, George Strait, who’s logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs.

“Thanks to all my fans on and off the dancefloor,” Madonna said in an exclusive statement to Billboard. “I’ll (always) be your partner.”

With her 45th leader on Dance Club Songs, which measures reports submitted by a national sample of club DJs, Madonna pulls further ahead of runners-up Beyonce and Rihanna. In fact, Madonna has tallied more No. 1s as they have combined: 22 each. (The chart launched as a national survey in the Billboard issue dated Aug. 28, 1976.)
Madonna bests Strait (still, and always, the King of Country), who’s sent 44 singles to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs between 1982 and 2009. He first reigned with “Fool Hearted Memory” (Aug. 28, 1982) and most recently ruled with “River of Love” (April 18, 2009).

“Ghosttown” was released, in its original ballad form, on Madonna’s 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, which launched at No. 1 on the March 28 Top Album Sales chart with 116,000 first-week copies sold, according to Nielsen Music. Remixes from Don Diablo, Mindskap and Armand Van Helden, among others, helped the track top Dance Club Songs. (The original version, meanwhile, ranks at No. 20 on Adult Contemporary and debuts at No. 38 on Adult Pop Songs.) First Rebel Heart single “Living for Love” became Madonna’s 44th Dance Club Songs topper on the March 7 chart.
Madonna wrote “Ghosttown” with Evan Bogart, Sean Douglas and Jason Evigan. “When I write with people, we always try to come up with a theme,” she told Billboard’s Keith Caulfield in December. “So, this one is about the city after Armageddon. The burnt-out city, the crumbling buildings, the smoke that’s still lingering after the fire. There’s only a few people left. How do we pick up the pieces and go on from here?

“Kind of dramatic,” she added with a laugh.
In honor of Madonna’s milestone achievement, here is an updated look at Madonna’s 45 historic Dance Club Songs No. 1s, beginning with the double-sided single “Holiday”/”Lucky Star,” which reached the top the week of Sept. 24, 1983. You’ll notice that one of her No. 1s is an entire album: You Can Dance (1988), a collection of mostly remixes of previously-released songs (and one new cut, “Spotlight”). Prior to Feb. 23, 1991, the chart wasn’t always song-specific and full albums were, at some points, allowed to chart.

(For titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1, total frames in the lead are noted in parentheses.)

Madonna’s 45 Dance Club Songs No. 1s

1983, “Holiday”/”Lucky Star” (five weeks at No. 1)
1984, “Like a Virgin” (four)
1985, “Material Girl”
1985, “Angel”/”Into the Groove”
1987, “Open Your Heart”
1987, “Causing a Commotion (Remix)”
1988, “You Can Dance (LP Cuts)”
1989, “Like a Prayer” (two)
1989, “Express Yourself” (three)
1990, “Keep It Together”
1990, “Vogue” (two)
1991, “Justify My Love” (two)
1992, “Erotica”
1993, “Deeper and Deeper”
1993, “Fever”
1994, “Secret” (two)
1995, “Bedtime Story”
1997, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”
1998, “Frozen” (two)
1998, “Ray of Light” (four)
1999, “Nothing Really Matters” (two)
1999, “Beautiful Stranger” (two)
2000, “American Pie”
2000, “Music” (five)
2001, “Don’t Tell Me”
2001, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”
2001, “Impressive Instant” (two)
2002, “Die Another Day” (two)
2003, “American Life”
2003, “Hollywood”
2003, “Me Against the Music,” Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two)
2004, “Nothing Fails”
2004, “Love Profusion”
2005, “Hung Up” (four)
2006, “Sorry” (two)
2006, “Get Together”
2006, “Jump” (two)
2008, “4 Minutes,” Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two)
2008, “Give It 2 Me”
2009, “Celebration”
2012, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.
2012, “Girl Gone Wild”
2012, “Turn Up the Radio”
2015, “Living for Love”
2015, “Ghosttown”

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Liz SmithOn Madonna At The Met Gala!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
by Liz Smith



I PRAISE Madonna a lot. I know that annoys some of you. Sorry! But I’ve also laced that praise with criticism, or at least my idea of what she might do, or say (or not say) or wear. I admire the fact that she has never taken my advice. Or anyone’s. She has traveled to the beat of her own techno-music.

But sometimes she’s perfect. I do mean her appearance at the massive Met Fashion Gala the other night in NYC. There she was, with long straight hair (gone are the overworked waves), beautiful makeup, and a stylish, whimsical, subtly sexy black gown by the designer Moschino. (Well, it was more subtle than a lot of what The Big M wears. It was certainly more subtle than Beyonce's get-up.) Totally appropriate for the pop goddess she is, and always will be. (Haters, listen up — even if she never has another No. 1 hit, she’ll always be the Queen. Accept that.)



When I saw the photos I wanted to reach in, hand her a microphone and say, “Sing out, Madonna Louise Ciccone — croon those ballads. Do your Dietrich!” Well, that’s my fantasy and problem. It will never be Madonna’s reality. But I am satisfied she looked like this for the Met event. She also looked like she was having fun. (Still rare for this workaholic.)

People — even so-called “fans” — often say she’s desperate to stay in touch with the youth culture. I think she simply enjoys composing and performing edgy material. She likes collaborating with young people. I believe she enjoys the music she makes. If she was “desperate” for a certain kind of approbation, she’d work on an album of standards. Or a “Duets” disc. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Privately, as a woman, she has changed. As an artist? Same as 1983. And if you can’t see it, you don’t know your Madonna.