While you are sleeping, the enigmatic singer, songwriter, actress and dancer, Taveeta, is strategizing her next move. Combining her love of music together with her passion for acting, performance and dance has been a dream come true. “I consider myself to be a true chameleon in that I’m constantly evolving…personal and professional growth is so important to me and I’m thrilled that I have the privilege of making music, while continuing to pursue my love of acting and dance.”
In the summer of 2017, Taveeta parlayed her pool of talent while performing at Family Channel’s Big Ticket Concert Series at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Canada, in front of 15,000 adoring fans. “I am so grateful and honoured to perform selections from my debut album at the Big Ticket Concert Series for all of my fans.”
The Gladiator Records Recording Artist, who released her debut album “Resurrection” in the summer of 2017, to critical acclaim, is set to release the remix to her heart-pounding and uplifting anthem “Paradise”, produced and remixed by resident hitmakers 80 Empire (Cee-Lo Green, Musiq Soulchild).
Taveeta’s debut album, “Resurrection”, takes the listener on a journey of self-discovery and perseverance and allows us identify with Taveeta’s powerful resurgence on every track. With the release of Taveeta’s “Paradise” Remix, fans can expect a more beguiling version of emphatic original.
For 8-10 glorious weeks in the summer, my girlfriends and I gather to watch HBO’s Insecure on Sundays. Finally, 30+ mins of storytelling — for us by us. We find ourselves laughing at Issa’s mirror monologues, cheering when Molly slays at work, and cringing when both girls make a complete mess of their love lives. Thankfully, Insecure is just one of many shows featuring black female talent.
These days black girls can look forward toBlackish, Greenleaf, Queen Sugar and the entire Thursday night Shondaland line up, and it’s about time too! For far too long black girls have grown accustomed to not seeing our faces in characters from our favourite shows. And when we are included, the characters tend to be monolithic in nature — we’re either matriarchal, magical and perfect, or urban (because you can’t possibly be all those things at once).
The constant white washing of our humanity is unbelievably exhausting so it makes sense that we gravitate to and celebrate shows that put the narrative of Black female lives back in our hands. I longed for the day when black women would be regular fixtures on TV, where we play white caped heroines saving men from their scandals one day, and basic AF, flawed, insecure women the next.
Though most days we find ourselves yelling at our faves, it feels good. It feels good to see us dominating TV with layered portrayals of what it means to be black and female. It feels good to see those same black female voices win golden statues for jobs well done. It feels good to have options. But mostly it just feels good to finally see us building our OWN tables rather than asking for a seat at theirs.
From the outside, we may all look kooky and draped with issues like a Christmas tree, all bojangled and twisted. It takes a while to get to know someone: it’s a common refrain but its principle isn’t often used in daily interactions. It may take even longer if that you’re trying to get to know a group of kooky individuals working together. As it were, we are revamping our public relations games and thought it’d be best to try to show ourselves through relevant characters in our popular culture. This way you’d know us as actual people, the minds behind the paranormal voices on your screen. It’s nice to meet you too.
Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief
I was torn with having to pick my fictional character counterpart. Growing up gay and black, it was rare to see someone that you see yourself in on television. I chose three characters who I think make up parts of my personality. I can definitely relate to Edina Monsoon played by Jennifer Saunders on Absolutely Fabulous. I often find myself trying to balance my career and personal life. When I get around my close friends, the responsible self goes out the window and a crazy night ensues as it does in each episode of AbFab when Edina links up with Patsy.
It’s hard not to pick Carrie Bradshaw for sentimental reasons and for our love of designer shoes. Every Sunday night, I would watchSex and the City with my besties Scotty aka Samantha and Max aka Charlotte. Each episode often resembled our New York City dating life. The Good, the Bad, and the Cosmopolitans.
Lastly, the only male character to make the list is Titus Andromedon played by the amazing Titus Burgess on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. We both are not afraid to take fashion risks and we are both very funny (ok, Titus is funnier, but I make folks laugh too! lol).
Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor
I’m with Drew, picking a fictional character counterpart is incredibly difficult. But after a lot of debating with myself, I ultimately chose Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. Samantha and I are both brash, straightforward, unafraid of confrontation, and HIGHLY protective of our friends. One of her greatest and most relatable qualities is her loyalty to her friends. Her inability to have a filter is something I strongly identify with and, if you ask my friends, I bet you they’ll agree. She and I are not afraid of being outspoken and honest. Much like myself, she is strong, independent, and doesn’t need a relationship to make her happy.
Snigdha Koirala, Arts and Culture Contributor
Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin! Though I surprised myself by picking a non-book-related character as my counterpart, this was an easy choice. Jane, like me, is an overthinking control freak, with stubbornly determined dreams of being a writer. She navigates through life — through grad school and love and motherhood (a result of being accidentally artificially inseminated with her former crush’s sperm) — with her dual cultural identity as a Latina in America. And I, having grown up in a South Asian household in Toronto, find this exploration to be particularly resonant: it is honest and whole, never used as Jane’s defining characteristic, while still acknowledging its gravity in her identity.
Hoon, Managing Editor
I love Monsieur Gustave H. because he’s a veritable totem withstanding the inequities of the modern world hell-bent on destroying any semblance of human decency and social courtesies. His arsenal is one of L’air de Panache, a dose of narcissism, loyalty, poetry, and his confidence in the values of people and things he loves. He’s a man out of La Belle Époque and is caught in the quagmire of shifting cultures and geo-politics, and his values, as we now know, gradually decrease in relevance with time. Yet, he stubbornly holds onto his favored views, values, and objects and faces the literal and figurative firing squad. I was born in a time and place far from La Belle Époque and by no means share meals and beds with renown duchesses who are dynamite in the sack. But I often do sense that I’m not entirely in synch with the norms of today’s culture and that I’m very stubborn when it comes to my values. Also, I like to think that, were the circumstances to present themselves, I’d be as well-spoken and courageous in defending them.
Christopher Zaghi, Fashion Editor
My voice for fictional character definitely has to be the fashion icon and party monster Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous, played by the lovely Joanna Lumley. Never before was there a woman so independent and empowered that the mere thought of an average life as a homemaker sends shivers down her spine. With her dominating and damn near overpowering sense of sexuality and a liver made of hardened steel, Patsy navigates the world of London’s elite fashion crowd with BFF Edina Monsoon as if it were a bunny slope. What’s interesting is how much of an underlying feminist air Patsy has about her. While other women would fear the backlash they’d get from the hard boozing and sexual escapades Patsy is known for, Patsy merely laughs it off. Showing the world that a woman should never fear to act the way a man does because it’s her life and no one else’s. What I truly like most about Pasty is her resilience with which she’d get into the most ridiculous of situations with Edina. While Eddy is constantly having borderline mental breakdowns over the shenanigans they’ve gotten themselves into, Patsy stands alongside, cigarette bin one hand, a glass of Bollinger in the other, and as cool as a cucumber., making her the oh-so-perfectly unapologetic fashion editor/all-around foul-mouthed badass champagne sipping queen of British TV.
A close second would have to be Katheryn Merteuil, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar from Cruel Intentions. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the stunning yet unrelenting cold hearted Marcia ****ing Brady of the Upper East Side? There’s something about a villain who unapologetically takes whatever the hell they want that just ignites our deepest fantasies.
I think that I am most like Susie Greene from Curb Your Enthusiasm, played by Susie Essman. Evidence? We are both curly haired Jewish women who swear too much and will not put up with any nonsense. Susie always speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to call out her friends and family when they step over the line or act rudely, such as when Larry David (played by Larry David) refused a tour of her beautiful new house! What kind of freak of f***ing nature refuses a house tour? The point is, Susie always will stand up for herself and what she believes in, but she will also always be willing to help out friends when it is needed.
However, I am not quite as negative as Susie is all the time, which is why I also think that I’m a bit like the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who as played by David Tennant. Ten is really funny and kind to most everyone he meets, but also has a wonderfully sassy side that he brings out every now and again. And sure, he’s all smiles and converse sneakers most of time, but when it needs to get serious, you’ll find him at the front lines, sonic screwdriver in hand, saying “Allons-y!”
Helen Jacob, Contributor
There are two characters that, I’ve been repeatedly told, resemble me. One of them is Morticia from The Addams Family — as in mortician…or death. She’s always seen in long gothic black gowns that match her raven black hair. Hobbies: cutting the buds off her roses so she can keep the stems, feeding her carnivorous plant Cleopatra, and strumming the samisen. Although unsettling, I get it. Maybe my naturally somber mood and daily all black uniform has something to do with it. Charles Addams, cartoonist and creator of The Addams family, describes her as “low-voiced, incisive and subtle, smiles are rare.” Yup. Sounds about right. Scariness aside, she is highly protective of her family and fiercely loyal; authentic and true to her core values — so I’ll take it.
Runner up to Morticia is Daria Morgendorferr from the animated dark comedy satire, Daria. It tells the story of a fictional suburban town through the lens of a misanthropic teenager. Honestly, I haven’t watched the show too much but from what I’m told about Daria’s jaded cynicism, she sounds pretty relatable.
Movies and costume design go hand in hand. They work with one another to create a fantasy world that neither could create alone. It’s a partnership built on understanding and trust. Like a carefully orchestrated waltz, movies and costume stand together making sure that the landscape that one lays out is mirrored in beauty by the fantasy the other brings to life. Many of the films on this list have actually won their costume designers Academy Awards for best costume design, showing the world that it doesn’t just take beautiful cinematography, a beautiful score, or a very well written script to make an award-winning movie. It takes effort from everyone, including the costume department, to create a cinematic masterpiece.
No article related to costume design in films would be complete without Sofia Coppola‘s modern retelling of the infamous queen of France’s tragic short life. Costume designer Milena Canonero won the Oscar for best costume design for her brilliant work. What sets Marie Antoinette‘s costumes apart from other period dramas is the modernization of the costumes. Even though the gowns were created to look traditionally rococo in appearance, the costumes themselves were based on colour schemes one would find on a delicious dessert tray. Every pastel colour imaginable is spun into frothy gowns trimmed with ostrich feathers and luxurious furs. Even the men’s ensembles were given a glamorously sugary appearance throughout the film.
The Curse of the Golden Flower
Chinese cinema has a plethora of stunning cinematic costumes. Movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Hero, and the Great Wall wall are all perfect examples of the lengths Chinese costume designers go to in order to create the perfect wardrobe for a cinematic epic. In The Curse of the Golden Flower, designer Yee Chung-Man took the opulence and over the top extravagance of the Tang Dynasty and weaved them into some of the most intricate and jaw-dropping costumes seen in a very long time. With the backdrop of Forbidden City and its brilliant jewel tone decor, the lavish gold gowns and costumes create the ultimate look of luxury for a movie hellbent on showing its viewers the beauty of colour in film.
Beauty and the Beast
Although this year’s theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast had everyone gawking at Emma Watson’s beautiful yellow gown, the real winner of the Beauty and the Beast costume battle has to be France’s 2014 venture into the iconic Disney fairytale. Designed by Pierre-Yves Gayraud, 2014’s Beauty and the Beast remake took the beauty of the surreal and fused it with traditional fairytales. Giving the movie its traditional fairytale period piece feel while injecting the movie with a fresh and modern ideas.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Colleen Atwood is a costume design heavyweight in Hollywood. Like many of her contemporaries, Colleen’s career is sprinkled with work that has garnered her attention and awards from different cinematic agencies around the world. However, her work on Memoirs of aGeisha proved to be her most fruitful venture thus far, earning her a best costume design Oscar. It took Atwood and her team a total of five months to create the various stunning hand painted kimonos seen throughout the film. One of the most interesting aspects of the film’s costumes is how it shows the characters’ transitions through life. Going from simple and dark, to completely extravagant and stunning.
Belle tells the story of Dido Belle Lindsay, the daughter of a British admiral who is taken from her life of poverty and given the life that any child born of someone high ranking in England would have. Unlike other period dramas on the list, this one deals heavily with racial inequality in aristocratic England. Now, most period dramas are already expected to have stunning wardrobes, but what sets Belle apart from other costume dramas is the detail that goes into the wardrobe’s “personalities.” While watching Belle for the first time you may not notice the subtle changes in wardrobe colour, but on second viewing, one might notice that costume designer Anushia Nieradzik changes the colour of the female characters’ clothing as their characters become more complex and opinionated. Giving the film an extra yet subtle layer for all costume aficionados to feast their eyes one.
Gone With The Wind
What’s an article on costume design without the sweeping Southern period piece that became recognized as one of the greatest novels ever written? Nothing. With the help of Hollywood golden age designer Walter Plunkett, Gone With The Wind set the standard for a romantic Hollywood blockbuster. The sweeping narrative mixed with larger than life characters had to be brought to life through a visual feast of some of the greatest costume work to have ever graced the silver screen. Now, some films may have beautiful costumes, but not many films have the power to etch a scene into your memories with just an image and a dress, yet Scarlet O’Hara’s iconic staircase scene is easily one of the most memorable and recognizable scenes in movie history.
Starring Kate Winslet as a talented designer who’s designed in every fashion capital around the world, The Dressmakertells the story of a woman who comes back home to find the answer to a burning question that would set her free from her past. Set in the glamour of the 1950’s, The Dressmaker sets itself apart from other movies based on the time period by placing stunning gowns among the harsh and bare Australian outback. Allowing designers Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson to create the illusion of placing life into a landscape that is stark and unwilling to change into anything other than what is is.
Anyone who’s ever referenced anything from the ’90s knows exactly the impact this movie had on future generations to come. Along with its cultural importance and trend making power, Clueless helped jumpstart the careers of Alicia Silverstone and Britney Murphy, making them household names overnight. But that isn’t the only reason why Clueless has become one of the most beloved and easily recognizable movies to date. It was also through designer Mona May’s astounding costuming for the movie that solidified its place in pop culture history. I mean, who could ever forget the iconic canary yellow skirt suit, the Calvin Klein mini dress, or the Alaia?
Easily heralded as one of the most visually stunning movies to have ever graced the silver screen, Moulin Rouge!was also a triumph for costume lovers around the world. Designers Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie took home the Academy Award for best costume design for their visually stunning work on Moulin Rouge! Mixing modern sexiness into old world Parisian cabaret, Moulin Rouge! presents a feast for the eyes in the form of costumes that pair perfectly with whatever musical number is playing on the screen at the time. Giving the film a heightened sense of pleasure and fantasy among an all too traditional and recognizable world.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Revered as the greatest triumph of modern day costume design, Elizabeth: The Golden Age’s is Alexandra Byrne’s an Oscar-winning cornucopia of opulence and excess. Everything about the grandiosity of Queen Elizabeth is presented beautifully through her vast wardrobe throughout the movie. Unlike other films on this list, Byrne’s costuming is so extensive and detailed that the clothing itself could stand alone and still command the attention of an entire room without question. Paired with Cate Blanchet’s extraordinary performance as England’s most legendary monarch fueled with a passion for her country and the tension brought on by an oncoming onslaught of Spanish warships. Elizabeth stands as the costume designer’s pearl draped and gold threaded magnum opus.
With so many die-hard fashion lovers around the world, why is it that only a handful of (poorly made and utterly boring) fashion centred TV series seem to garner attention? I mean sure, there is a plethora of fashion reality tv shows like America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway kicking around, but why is that fashion lovers around the world are confined to having to watch Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, or some random show that has nothing to do with fashion, but has a great wardrobe none the less. This article could have easily been filled to the brim with shows that have stunning costumes like Versailles and Downtown Abbey, but that would be unjust to those who live, breathe, and work in the fashion industry. Luckily, Novella is here take away your woes and provide every fashion lover out there with a list of great fashion centred tv shows that won’t have you lying in bed wondering if sleep really is a better option than binge-watching an entire season before work.
Atelier (Andâwea) is one of those series that sadly gets overlooked on the Netflix roster because of the simple fact that it isn’t in English. Now, some may be hesitant to delve into the world of subtitle reading, but the sacrifice is well worth it: This single season powerhouse of a TV show packs a mighty punch. Throughout the series, you follow a young textile design graduate, Mayuko Tokita (Mirei Kiritani) as she navigates the world of high fashion lingerie. Immediately our young protagonist is met with resistance by the series’ main antihero, a veteran lingerie designer (Mayumi Nanjo, played by Mao Daichi) and owner of Emotion Lingerie, who uses tough love to guide our hero through the often times brutal fashion world. The greatest thing about this show is the emotional response it generates in its viewers. It’s so easy to fall in love with Mayu and connect with the ups and downs of her career at Emotion as if they were your own, making Atelier a very enjoyable watch.
The Fashion Fund (USA)
Now everyone is very well aware of the dominance Project Runway has over the fashion design competition category of reality tv. Season after season, fashion lovers are treated to a group of designer hopefuls fighting for a chance of winning a chunk of cash and a spot on New York Fashion Week’s illustrious schedule. However, once you get past all of the flash and bang that Project Runway creates, you soon come to realize that it really just is the fashion lovers’ version of American Idol. Luckily, not all is lost when it comes to design competitions. From the brilliant marketing minds at Vogue magazine comes a little design web series based on one of the most intense competitions the fashion world has to offer. Follow editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, designer Dianne Von Furstenburg, and countless other fashion elites as they mentor and oversee the Vogue Fashion Fund, a design competition aimed at kick-starting the careers of fashion designers who exhibit the most potential for becoming the next American fashion heavyweight. The best part about the series is how real and relevant it is to today’s fashion industry. Rather than watching a design competition for the sake of drama and good tv, this series aims to showcase the reality of what it takes to play with, and impress, the big kids in fashion. And if that isn’t enough incentive to start watching The Fashion Fund, then you might find some in the fact that you get to watch the designers behind brands like Gypsy Sport, Chromat, and Jonathan Simhkai do their thing all under the watchful eye of Ms. Wintour.
Absolutely Fabulous (UK)
This British tv classic should be hailed as a national treasure at this point. With six seasons under its belt and recently a feature-length movie (with appearances by fashion legends Kate Moss and Suzy Menkes, to name a few) Absolutely Fabulousis a glittering gem among drab fashion related shows. The show follows the everyday life of self-proclaimed PR guru Edina Monsoon and her fashion editor best friend Pasty Stone as they navigate the world of British high fashion. The series itself is brilliant enough based on the constant bombardment of British wit, but the real laughs come with the catastrophic scenarios Eddy and Patsy manage to get themselves into. Ab Fab really is a melting pot of quick English wit, drugs, Bollinger champagne, and laugh out loud moments that will change the way you look at the glamorous lives of the fashion elite forever.
Fashion War (Hong Kong)
Fashion Waris what they call on the Eastern hemisphere a drama. A television drama can best be compared to a soap opera. But Fashion War doesn’t play out like its melodramatic western counterparts. It follows the lives of a group of people employed at an important Hong Kong fashion magazine. Viewers are taken on a ride through the often ugly and brutal side of the fashion industry, where decisions are made at the cost of others’ feelings and jobs, which is an interesting take on the often comical or uplifting and inspiring portrayal of the fashion industry in media. Unlike the other shows on the list, Fashion War focuses on the more intense side of the industry, where loyalty and betrayal come hand in hand; a perfect edge of your seat nail biter for those of you who want a show with a little more edge to it.
Set in the late ’50 and early ’60s, Velvetis yet another series that showcases fashion through a different lens. In the world of Velvet, Alberto (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), heir to the prestigious Spanish department store Galerias Velvet, is faced with the daunting task of running his late father’s store while trying to keep his own personal life in pristine condition. However, things take a more difficult turn when he begins to fall for Ana (Paula Echevarría), a seamstress who works at the store. What ensues is a whirlwind of love and the tough decisions that come with it, especially when facing the responsibility of keeping a business afloat.
The Paradise (UK)
Now, this list wouldn’t be complete without a British costume drama. Luckily, among all of the historical series that features stunning costume design, the Brits managed to make a show that’s based on the industry that created those stunning costumes. Set in 1875, this two-season series follows the changes shop workers and owners must go through when the first English department store opens its doors. Alive with romance and loss, The Paradise is one of those shows that reignites the creative flame all fashion lovers have within them. The stunning costumes hark back to a time when clothing represented more than just self-expression and every detail was of the utmost importance. Another fun aspect to the series is seeing how retail fashion all began, which could be a very interesting concept to those on the business side of the fashion industry.