So much for saying you want a quiet life, Meghan Markle | Stuff.co.nz

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COMMENT: ​So Meghan Markle is reportedly attending the Met Gala in May. Because where better to celebrate your newfound privacy and “space” than at “the Oscars of the East Coast”, “the Super Bowl of red-carpet events”?

What could be more perfectly suited to anyone fleeing “intense scrutiny” and “commoditisation” than a mega-bash to which anti-commodification activist Kim Kardashian once turned up dressed in a nude-effect wet-look dress? A celebrity Pavlova, where the 225 photographers will take an estimated 50 shots a minute, before blasting millions of images out into the ether? Although why this is more appealing than a royal visit to the Mumbles Lifeboat station in South Wales is anyone’s guess.

Anthony Devlin
Has Meghan Markle lost the sympathy of the public?

According to sources at the weekend, Markle is to leave Prince Harry at home for the night, so “she can establish herself once more in Hollywood”, apparently attending the Met Gala with Vogue’s editor, Edward Enninful. This makes about as much sense as a woman who craves the quiet life asking her LA agent to find her a leading role in a superhero film, “something that pays big” – which is exactly what one Sunday paper claims Markle has done.

As the Sussexes fly back to Britain to complete their final engagements as working members of the Firm – and face the Royal family for the first time since The Statement, the petulant Instagram post from a fortnight ago in which they whined about being made to drop the “SussexRoyal” brand despite there being nothing legal to stop them using it – the pair may have no choice but to brazen it out.

I’m not sure the Sussexes will understand just how colossal a miscalculation that statement was. After all, you have a young man and his wife turning on a 93-year-old grandmother at one of the toughest moments of her life. You have them disregarding the pain and sadness prompted by Prince Philip’s ill health, Prince Andrew’s involvement with a paedophile and her beloved grandsons falling out – all because they have a brand to promote. Is there any way back from that?

Had you asked me a month ago, I would have said yes. Despite the acts of clumsiness and the missteps we’ve witnessed over the past two years, I would still have said yes. So they invited a bunch of A-listers that they’d only met once to their wedding. How many of us would do the same if we knew George and Amal would actually come? Was their dispensing of certain royal traditions really so bad? The insistence on Archie’s christening remaining private and the setting up of their own “breakaway” website?

Harry has always been his own person. At this point, one could still push a convincing narrative that these two were “breathing new life” into an outdated institution.

But the precise moment the couple began to lose the public’s sympathy wasn’t when they chose the hospitality of a billionaire in Vancouver Island over that of the Queen at Christmas, or indeed when they decided to make the desired “break from royal duties” permanent. No – that moment can be charted back to a lament the misty-eyed Duchess of Sussex made in the ITV documentary charting the couple’s African tour last year: “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”

Because that single sentence managed to eclipse everything the couple were in southern Africa to highlight – from the 1,000 minefields that have yet to be cleared in Angola, to the abject poverty in Malawi and HIV-hit children in Botswana – and make it all about Markle.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle met with crowds when they visited Auckland.

It may be unfair to blame Meghan any more than Harry for these recent missteps. But one thing is certain: neither the words nor the sentiments in The Statement appear to be those of a happy young couple, revelling in the joy of each other and their nine-month-old baby.

And I worry that something is unravelling behind the scenes. Because if their intention were really to enjoy a quiet life, why would they care about a title that can only ever be used for professional profit and status?

Why would the team of LA-based agents, lawyers and publicists be necessary and the showbusiness parties and blockbuster film roles so appealing?

You don’t need those things or grand branding to live a serene and peaceful life. But solid family relationships? They’re essential.

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How reality TV is changing the way we consume fashion

BBC Image copyright MissPap
Image caption Queen of the Island Amber Gill

There were two big winners of ITV2’s Love Island this year. Amber Gill, the contestant who won the show, and Boohoo, the online fast fashion retailer who signed her.

In June, while the Islanders were flirting their way to celebrity in the Mediterranean sun, Boohoo overtook its long-term rival Asos to become the most valuable seller of clothing for the UK’s youth. It is now worth £3.1bn to Asos’s £2bn.

And it’s widely thought that brand collaborations with popular ex-Love Island stars are believed to be largely responsible for this success.

The first collection of Love Island winner Amber Gill with Boohoo-owned label MissPap, which dropped today, has reportedly helped drive annual sales to £1bn for the first time.

Boohoo acquired MissPap in March before announcing Amber as the official face of its relaunch, in a deal worth a reported £1m.

Even before the collection was revealed. Amber had been promoting the brand on her social media channels to her 2.8m followers. Since the announcement in September, her posts have generated a buzz around Amber’s “inclusive” collection which has attracted early shoppers to the website.

Boohoo chief executive officer John Lyttle commented in a press release: “Amber is a perfect fit for the MissPap brand and we are delighted to have her on board.”


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Maisie Alice, 20, is a Birmingham university student who cites social media and reality television as two of the main motivators for buying from fast fashion companies.

“A lot of my outfit inspiration has come from social media,” she says. “What motivates me most to shop with particular brands is the price, and TV shows like Love Island which collaborate with them.”

Maisie has already bought clothes from a collection from the Boohoo brand PrettyLittleThing, endorsed by the second-placed Love Island contestant, Molly-Mae Hague. It was “a great use of marketing because I probably wouldn’t have bought a lot of the collection if I’d only seen it [on the website],” she says.

“Knowing her name is attached to it definitely makes me feel more inclined to buy it.”

Celebrity editor of Grazia Magazine, Guy Pewsey argues that the appeal of using ex-Islanders over more notable celebrities, is that they are more relatable to their target demographic.

“I think consumers have woken up to the fact that when they see Gigi Hadid endorse a dress it will not look as good on us as it will on her,” he says. “Amber is a real woman, she feels authentic. Consumers want the girls next door, not a goddess we worship but we know we can never be.”

news Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gigi Hadid models for Lavin at Paris Fashion Week

“Saint Laurent won’t sign Amber, but young consumers want to see someone like Amber Gill endorse affordable clothes,” he says.

“Amber would buy a Boohoo dress and wear it on a Friday night. You can pay Kate Moss £1m but no one is going to believe she is buying those clothes.”

Boohoo is not the only fashion company to try to surf the Love Island wave. This summer Asos launched a collection with Islander Ovie Soko, and Manchester-based retailer Isawitfirst launched an official fashion collaboration with the show, including providing outfits for contestants to wear.

BBC Image copyright ASOS
Image caption Popular Love Island star Ovie Soko also launched a collaboration with Asos this summer

Mr Pewsey believes that fast fashion companies are choosing to sign Love Island stars due to their marketing appeal after they first leave the Island, but believes their marketability has a time limit.

“From a marketing standpoint, it’s smart to launch MissPap with Amber. You don’t have long to sign people like Amber or Molly.”

“Love Island is now coming back in January [for its first ever winter series, filmed in South Africa], which means as a company you do not have long to get someone from the series on board and then make the most of their marketability,” he says.

“In January, Amber will find other endorsements if she’s smart and has a good team behind her, but it’s unlikely she’ll remain the face of MissPap for very long when the new winner comes out of South Africa.”

This is certainly reflected through Boohoo’s sales which were reportedly strongest at Boohoo-owned NastyGal and PrettyLittleThing. Both brands are renowned for their collaborations with popular social media personalities such as Paris Hilton, Jordyn Woods and Kourtney Kardashian.

Stella Claxton, a senior lecturer in fashion and sustainability at Nottingham Trent University, believes there is a psychological reason why influencer-backed marketing strategies have become a success.

“Young people are very social media conscious. Their desire is visually influenced by images shared on social media,” she says.

“Consumers believe if you look like the people from Love Island, you feel cool or influential. There is a tribal nature to it.”

BBC Image copyright PrettyLittleThing
Image caption Items from Molly-Mae Hague’s PrettyLittleThing collaboration sold out instantly prompting a second drop in October

Although fast fashion brands have found financial success through this strategy, Ms Claxton argues it is not an environmentally conscious way of producing clothing.

“Fast fashion brands are able to be successful as they can try a style and mass produce it,” she said. “They focus on trends and are able to meet the customers needs for ‘newness’.

“If Kim Kardashian wears something on Instagram today, they can mass produce it tomorrow.”

“We have a market where these garments are aimed at young women who gain pleasure from buying clothing,” Ms Claxton adds.

The outfits sell for prices which their target customers can afford to buy multiple times a month. They consume significant resources to make and distribute, but are not designed to last.

“The actual value of the item is very low in quality terms and in emotional terms to them. Brands want customers to consume more to keep up with trends – which generates a big waste problem.”

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The Most Important Moments You Missed At The 2019 Emmys | Betches

The Emmys are to award shows what your cousin who you used to be close with in high school but now have nothing in common with is to your family. Now imagine that cousin is having a birthday party, and you have the Emmys. The Emmys happen much later in the year than all the other award shows, so by the time September rolls around you’ve all but blocked red carpets and drawn-out presentations out of your memory. And, they occur during Sunday football, no less. Even though there have been many good times in the past, you don’t exactly want to give up an afternoon that will segue into an evening of drinking for it? Not really. 

This year’s Emmys lacked a host, a decision that proved to be wise for the Oscars but not so much for the Emmys. In place of a host, they had a few notable presenters that should have filled that role, like Bryan Cranston and Jimmy Kimmel. Thomas Lennon did give a bunch of deadpan voice-overs. He had one good joke about Felicity Huffman being in prison, (anyone remember when she won an Emmy in 2005? No? Neither does she), but other than that kind of fell flat. And that’s a quote you can repeat verbatim at your office water cooler, because I know you didn’t watch the Emmys last night! Here’s what else you missed, that you can also just say with a healthy degree of conviction to convince people you actually sat at home watching a three-hour-plus commercial for The Masked Singer. 

Michelle Williams’ Speech

Michelle

Instagram erupted almost immediately after Michelle Williams accepted her Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, because she gave a speech that is going to be hailed by white feminists everywhere for the next seven years. Williams apparently was paid as much as Sam Rockwell for her part in Fosse/Verdon, which is great, even if the fact that a woman earning as much as her male co-star is considered commendable is pretty bleak. In her speech, Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 studios for paying her equally and listening to a number of her other demands, such as more dance lessons and a different wig. She closed her speech with this: “The next time a woman, and especially a woman of color—because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart—tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her, because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing [her] to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.” I applaud Michelle for acknowledging her privilege and bringing to light the fact that the pay gap is even wider for women of color. That said, it’s sad that we have to sit here and publicly applaud studio execs for… *checks notes* … shelling out a few bucks for better costumes? Doing their jobs? I don’t know if you guys have heard about this, but apparently working in Hollywood is pretty sh*tty.

Natasha Lyonne Can’t Clap

Nicole Kidman can finally rest easy after this gif of Natasha Lyonne clapping surfaced on Twitter.

Natasha

In case you need a refresher, here was what Nicole Kidman called applause at the Oscars:

Nicole

Guys, WHAT?? Are people in Hollywood so unaccustomed to expressing joy or congratulations for other people that they never learned how to clap? It’s not hard, you guys! Your fingers need to touch, and you need to do it with enough force so that you actually make a sound and aren’t just touching your fingertips to each other like Mr. Burns.

The Emmys Spoiled ‘Game Of Thrones’

Game

Game of Thrones won Outstanding Drama, but didn’t win nearly as many awards as people thought. (It still won 12, though, just to give you a picture of how entitled GoT fans are.) But people on Twitter were even more pissed when the Emmys farewell montage was broadcast, which apparently “spoiled” the last season of GoT. To be fair, it did show (SPOILER ALERT) clips like Arya killing the Night King, but need I remind you that this sh*t aired in MAY?? You get like, a week max to claim spoilers. I have no sympathy for anyone who is mad at the goddamn Emmys for “spoiling” a highly publicized final season that happened nearly six months ago. Like, you don’t get to procrastinate a paper and then get mad at your professor for failing you an entire semester after you were supposed to turn it in.

Jenny McCarthy Bombed On The Red (Purple) Carpet

GIF

As we discussed in our fashion recap, Jenny McCarthy showed up looking like a mess, and also acting like one. Someone gave her a red carpet hosting gig, someone who has probably since lost their job. At one point, Jenny talked to Christina Applegate about growing up watching her and wanting to be her. The funny thing about Christina is that she’s… one whole year older than Jenny McCarthy. Jenny asked Christina what it felt like to get nominated for her first lead actress nomination… when it was actually her third. She also asked Julia Louis Dreyfus to do the Elaine dance and she just said no and walked away. But not to worry, I’m sure Jenny has an essential oil to help her deal with the embarrassment!

Billy Porter Made History

Billy

In addition to another show-stopping outfit (Billy’s stylist can do no wrong at this point), Billy Porter made history when he became the first openly gay, black actor to win outstanding actor in a drama for his role in Pose. He quoted James Baldwin in his acceptance speech, saying, “It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” In completely unrelated news, I am crying at my desk right now. He is now one award away from an EGOT—he’s just missing an Oscar. No biggie, that’s the easy one!

Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner Got Laughed At

Kim

While Khloé was at home live tweeting KUWTK (rough, maybe next year), Kim and Kendall presented at the Emmys for Outstanding Reality TV Series. Kendall said, “Our family knows first-hand how truly compelling television comes from real people, just being themselves, telling their stories, unfiltered and unscripted.” Everyone laughed. And while I think the irony is funny, I don’t think it’s completely fair to say that KUWTK is scripted. Sure, every move they make is heavily orchestrated by Kris Jenner. Is the show real? About as real as their faces. But can we honestly say it’s scripted when Kendall Jenner surely is incapable of reading, much less off a script?

Jharrel Jerome Paid Tribute To The Exonerated Central Park Five

Jharrel

Jharrel Jerome won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his role in Netflix’s When They See Us, a miniseries directed by Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five, five children who were pressured into falsely confessing for an assault they did not commit. At only 21 years old, Jerome is the youngest actor to win Lead Actor in a Limited Series (I was still perfecting my Jell-O shot recipe at age 21, but cool), and he’s the first Afro-Latino actor to be nominated for and win an acting category. He dedicated his award to the Exonerated Five, and it was one of the most moving moments of the night.

‘Fleabag’ Cleaned Up

Fleabag

In a pretty major upset (to Game of Thrones fans, can you tell I don’t watch??) Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag, the Amazon Original she wrote, directed, and starred in, won a bunch of awards. Waller-Bridge won for Outstanding Comedy Series and Lead Actress, so okay I guess I really need to get my roommate’s brother’s Amazon Prime password so I can finally watch it!

Other memorable moments included Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech, which urged for Hollywood to employ trans people and paid tribute to her late sister, Alexis. The DJ was really weird and chose inappropriate music choices—Florence and the Machine was played twice, and Chernobyl’s win was accompanied by “Feelin’ Good” and “Shake it Off”. I don’t know, I feel like a nuclear accident is kind of hard to shake off. Alex Borstein, who won for her role in Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, gave a speech about her grandmother who survived the Holocaust and somehow managed to tie it into female empowerment. You love to see it.

Overall, the Emmys seemed a little lost without a host, and although we got some history-making wins, the awards were still overwhelmingly white. If you took away one thing from last night’s Emmys, it was probably that The Masked Singer airs Wednesday, October 2nd at 8pm, only on Fox!!

Images: Getty Images; Giphy

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