A musical just opened on Broadway – War Paint – highlighting the fierce rivalry of two cosmetic giants, entrepreneurs, and icons: Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden. Vogue’s Hamish Bowles interviewed War Paint’s much sought-after costume designer, Catherine Zuber, and I am reminded of the power of costume design. Zuber is much admired in the industry and has earned six Tony Awards for her costume design productions, which also include South Pacific, The King and I, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. For War Paint, Zuber is once again telling a story and addressing the character of these larger-than-life women through their costumes. Played by acting icons themselves, Patty LuPone as Rubenstein, and Christine Ebersole as Arden, these hugely successful women were among the wealthiest of their time and at that time, the only two women in America to have their names above their company – by doing something not done before in the beauty industry – bringing makeup into the mainstream of society. The timeline for War Paint begins in the 1930s and follows these women into the 1960s, which provided excitement to move through the different time periods. Rubenstein was, according to Zuber, more flamboyant, and dressed in “Poiret, Schiaparelli, and Balenciaga.” However, finding costumes for Arden’s story was “just as powerful,” says Zuber – and gave Zuber high contrast with which to work. The production focuses on the working world of these women. Says Zuber: “They were such hard-working women, and so much of their lives were focused on their careers and their businesses that we decided to celebrate that.”
Fashionista researched 147 covers from 10 leading U.S. fashion publications and discovered the following: while some titles remained stagnant, the majority saw distinct improvement. Among the leading publications, which included Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Nylon, Teen Vogue, Vogue and W – Teen Vogue featured the most diversity this year by including women of color on seven of its 11 issues, 63.6 percent. — with cover stars like Amandla Stenberg, Willow Smith and Simone Biles.
This is so important because young women look for themselves on the covers of magazines. They want to feel that the magazine speaks to them and the cover is the fist thing they see. There is a long way to go for inclusivity but this is a statistic that is moving in the right direction. I’m buying it!
“Featuring gorgeous, never-before-seen photos from Johnson’s childhood and modeling days, The Face That Changed It All gives a no-holds-barred look at the lives of the rich, fabulous, and famous. It is also a story of failure and success in the upper echelons of the fashion world, and how Beverly Johnson emerged from her struggles smarter, happier, and stronger than ever.” Beverly Johnson website
Iconinc supermodel Beverly Johnson has a new memoir: The Face That Changed It All. Ms. Johnson, 62, was one of the original 1970s supermodels, becoming the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974. She then made fashion history with a successful 3-decade modeling career. The Face That Changed It All appears to be an honest and thoughtful look at Johnson’s life, and an opportunity for us all to feel inspired and energized to be our best. I’m buying it!