Best of 2012: Album

The second award for Trend’s “Best of…” awards is for album. The nominees were “Some Nights” by fun., “Picture Show” by Neon Trees, “Born to Die” by Lana del Rey, “Electra Heart” by Marina and the Diamonds, and “21” by Adele. The winner was based on each songs, whether me and my friends were able to repeat the songs without dread, songs requested at when hanging out, and the appeal of each song. Was it well written? Did the words fit with the tune? And did the album feel well coordinated and have a tone?

The winner is Marina and the Diamonds’ album “Electra Heart.” This is the second album put out by British pop singer Marina Diamondis and has gradually been gaining momentum abroad with such singles as “How to be a Heartbreaker,” “Power and Control,” “Primadonna,” and “Radioactive.”

I introduced my friends to this artist and the album earlier this year and several of them now listen to her and request for the music from this album specifically.

“Electra Heart” was released on April 27, 2012.

What do you think of “Electra Heart” and Marina and the Diamonds? What was your favorite album of 2012?

Movie Review: Les Miserables

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I have secretly been wanting to play Eponine in a production of Les Miserables for a few years now– and this has yet to happen, but I was extremely excited to go to my local theatre and see the movie-musical adaptation of this beloved story.

Les Miserables is the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), who was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister and nephew, and his search for redemption and hopes of escaping his past. He is helped by a Bishop Myriel (Colm Wilkinson– theatre nerd fact: Wilkinson was the first actor to play Valjean in the London production in 1985), who provides him with the money to begin a new life,  and moves to Montreuil where he assumes the pseudonym Madeleine and creates a manufacturing business and becomes the mayor of the town. While Valjean is trying to desperately to recreate his life and redeem himself, the police officer Javert (Russell Crowe) is constantly chasing after him and hopes to re-imprison Valjean.

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Meanwhile, one of Valjean’s employees, Fantine (Anne Hathaway), is fired from her job for being in a fight that was not her fault, and is forced to being a prostitute in order to pay for her child Cosette’s (Amanda Seyfried) care at the Thenadrier’s (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) inn. (WARNING! SPOILERS!) When Fantine dies, her daughter Cosette is rescued by Valjean, who swore to Fantine that he would protect her daughter, and raised by him. The story then jumps to 1832, when Cosette is a young woman and she lives with Valjean in Paris as college students are protesting against the monarchy. It is one revolutionary, Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who is friends with Eponine (Samantha Barks; who was raised with Cosette and is the daughter of the Thenadriers) and falls for Cosette. The story then shows Valjean’s acceptance of Cosette growing up and his role in the small revolution.

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This film was absolutely stunning. I loved almost everything about it– the cinematography, the acting, and the music. Now, this movie is one you either love or hate– there is no in-between on this film, to be honest– because of the style. Not only does this film include all 49 songs in the musical, but added a new one (called “Suddenly”). Furthermore, the shots in this film are very “artsy” and focus on the actors’ faces a majority of the time. I loved that this film had some elements in the novel that are not always in the stage production. (WARNING! SPOILERS!) Such as when Fantine has her hair cut off and some of her teeth pulled; when Valjean and Cosette are on the run from Javert outside of the wall of Paris; and that Javert’s back is broken and that is what kills him when he commits suicide.

Another thing that is amazing about this film is that all of the songs were sung live, which is why the songs are not as glossy and perfect as movie-musicals typically are. By far, the best singers were Hathaway, Jackman, and Redmayne– I cried during “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and am still listening to it.

Overall, it is a very unique film and I think everyone should see it at some point before the Academy Awards, where this film will sweep the ceremony.

Now, while I loved this film so much, there were some things I did not love. Such as the transitions between scenes are very abrupt and have little connecting them and the end did not have Eponine in it until the group number, unlike the play version. And finally, Russell Crowe is the “weak link” in this film– he does not have a horrible voice (he is no where near as painful as Bronson in Mama Mia!) but in group numbers his voice sticks out painfully and seems worse when compared to other actors, especially Jackman. After watching this film, I think Hathaway and Jackman will walk away with Oscars– and Redmayne needs to be nominated at a minimum.

Les Miserables was first a novel written by French political exile Victor Hugo, who also wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and was published in 1862 (although Hugo began working on the novel in 1845). The unabridged copy of the novel, which I own and have read, is 1,463 pages long (see photo below of my copy). The novel is fantastically written and leaves an enormous impact on the reader in regards to the unique characters and details of France’s history after the Revolution, which is not as discussed in history classes and documentaries. If you really want to dedicate yourself to a novel for a few months that encompases both amazing characters and interesting history, then Les Miserables is for you.

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Les Miserables became a musical in 1980 in France and was then transformed in 1985 by Cameron Macintosh, who created the iconic version of this play. There was also a movie version in 1998, which starred Liam Nesson, but it focused on the novel alone and had a difficult time condensing it all into one film without removing characters or events. And there was a miniseries for television that was released in 2000, but once again focused strictly on Hugo’s novel and had difficult time condensing.

My Grade: 9.9/10

What do you think of Les Miserables? Have you seen the film, play, or read the book? And do you think it will win anything from the Academy?

The Best of 2012: Runway Presentation

1st on Trend is beginning its first “The Best of…” awards with Runway Presentation. This award is based on the collection, runway design, music, and overall coordination of it all. The top contenders were Burberry Prorsum Fall/Winter 2012, Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012, Gucci Fall/Winter 2012, Victoria Beckham Fall/Winter 2012, Tom Ford Winter/Fall 2012, Dior Spring/Summer 2012, and Rodarte Spring/Summer 2012.

The winner of the award though is Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012. Dior’s collection, which was designed by Bill Gaytton, was breathtaking in its simplicity and couture elements at the same time. The models were not overworked and the designs themselves were executed expertly where they were the stars of the show. This collection was a breath of fresh air for Dior, after John Galliano was fired from the company after 15 years, because it was not over-the-top nor difficult to focus on with everything around it. Furthermore, Gaytton picked a perfect song (“Under Your Spell” by Desire) for the collection and kept the tone of it all.

I have re-watched this runway several times since its premiere back in February and still love it– the red ball gown at the very end is still my favorite dress of the entire year. I was very impressed with the collection and loved it from the beginning to the end– there is not one look in here that I did not like.

Congratulations Dior!

What do you think? Do you agree with my pick or do you think there was another runway that was better?

My Social Media

My Social Media

Hello everyone,

I have been on Twitter for a few months now and have finally decided to merge 1st on Trend and my Twitter account, which is @MikaelawithaK. If you like my blog, then you will like my Twitter account. As well, if you follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter account in the comments section and I will follow you!

And for those of you not on Twitter, I am also on Tumblr at http://www.scarvesandskulls.tumblr.com. As well, if you follow me on Tumblr, please leave your Tumblr URL and I follow you.

Thanks!

–Mikaela K.

A Very MICHAEL Christmas

A Very MICHAEL Christmas

For Christmas this year, my parents bought me everything from Michael Kors, who is my favorite American designer. I received:

  • Michael Kors Mid-Size Silver Color Golden Steel Camille Chronograph Watch
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors iPhone Continental Saffiano Wallet
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Suede Loafer with Gold Logo
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote

Best. Christmas. Ever.

Thank you Mom and Dad!

What did you get for the holidays?

My Top 10 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2013

With 2012 wrapping up (hooray, no apocalypse!) there is now the anticipation of movies and television shows for 2013 to begin. This is my list of my top 5 returning and top 5 new television shows that I am looking forward to and think you should be too.

Returning TV Shows

  • Being Human (BBC America): this show has accomplished what few others have– killing off their entire original cast and replacing them with a new one. This isn’t like what American Horror Story does where they reuse the same actors in new roles the next season– no, Being Human has new actors and characters with the original set-up. The season will focus on the new relationship between werewolf Tom (Michael Socha), ghost Alex (Kate Brachen), and vampire Hal (Damien Moloney). There will be a new villain to face and each character’s quirks– such as Hal’s severe OCD and battle with controlling his bloodlust– to create drama. At the heart of this sci-fi show is the relationship between the three main characters and the humor that keeps it all fun and not too heavy (unlike season 3). Being Human will be returning February 3, 2013, for its fifth season.

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  • Community (NBC): this show is one of the funniest I have seen on basic television and I love the writing and delivery of the material– it is funny without being cruel or silly. As well, I love the characters  and actors (especially Joel McHale) for making the show what it truly is. The show focuses on the adventures of a group of friends that all attend a community college. The fourth season of Community returns February 7, 2013.

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  • Doctor Who (BBC America): this will be the eighth season of the show and will continue with the 11th incarnation of the Doctor (played by Matt Smith) and his new companion, Clara (played by Jenna Louise-Coleman). The basic premise of Doctor Who is a humanoid time-traveling alien journeys all over the universe and time to save the world. This season focuses on the relationship between the Doctor and Clara. Not much is known about Clara besides the fact that she has died twice– once when she became a dalek and the other time in 1892 during last night’s Christmas episode– and that there is a huge mystery surrounding her. The eighth season of Doctor Who will premiere on March 1, 2013.

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  • Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family): this show has created a cult-like following over the past four years and is returning for its fourth season, and returns to even more speculation and excitement afte revealing another member of the “A” group. The show focuses on Spencer (Trioan Bellisario), Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Emily (Shay Mitchell) and their quest to solve the murder of their friend Alison (Sasha Pieterse). All four girls and those they are close to have been targets– or have even been killed– by this group, known only as “A,” that is covering up Alison’s death. This season will focus on Toby’s (Keegan Allen), Spencer’s boyfriend, betrayal and role as a member of “A.” Pretty Little Liars will premiere its fourth season on January 8, 2013.

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  • The Walking Dead (AMC): I am fairly new to this phenomenon (my best friend is obsessed with the show and I started watching it with him towards the end of the season and fell for it) but I am extremely excited for the return. The show, while the main villains are zombies, focuses on the issues with people and their morality. The show flourishes for its character dynamics and originality and I look forward to its return. The Walking Dead returns February 10, 2013  and re-airs all previous episodes December 31, 2012 through January 1, 2013. 

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New Television Shows

  • The Americans (FX): this show is coming along after the huge successes of FX’s other original shows– Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and Wilfred– and follows on the plot of a Cold War drama in which there are Soviet spies hiding as Americans with spouses and families, meanwhile these spies will do anything once they are told to. This show, just from the trailer, looks to have a lot of drama and suspense along with a question of morality. The Americans stars Annet Mahendru and Paul Jude Letersky and premieres January 30, 2013.

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  • The Carrie Diaries (CW): this show is the highly anticipated prequel to Sex and the City and explores the life of Carrie Bradshaw (Anna Sophia Robb) before she became…Carrie Bradshaw. The show will explore her home life, friends before Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, and how she broke into the industry. I am looking forward to this show and my best friend and I will be watching the premiere. The Carrie Diaries premieres January 14, 2013.

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  • Do No Harm (NBC): this show is about the neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale), who has multiple personalities– well, just one other personality called Ian Price that comes out at a specific time and is a psychopath. The show is based on the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and will focus on Cole’s attempts to keep Price away; and Price’s attempts to take over the body completely so he may seek revenge due to being suppressed by Cole’s drugs.  Do No Harm premiers January 31, 2013.

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  • Orphan Black (BBC America): this show is another one of BBC America’s “Supernatural Saturdays” shows– others include Being Human and Merlin— and their third original series. The show is about street-smart orphan Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), who witnesses a woman, whom looks exactly like her, commit suicide and assumes her identity to take her savings. All of this leads Sarah to discovering that the woman who died was one of her many clones and slowly, they are all being killed off. Orphan Black premieres March 30, 2013.

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  • Ripper Street (BBC America): this is also another BBC America original series and follows along the same tone and idea as their other original drama Copper. This show focuses on three detectives (Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and Adam Rothenberg) who are trying to stop the various murders that are similar to those of “Jack the Ripper”– yet, the man that was the original killer is dead. Hopefully this show will not be as drawn out as Copper was and will be better paced. Ripper Street premieres January 19, 2013.

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What shows are you looking forward to in 2013? And are any of these on your list? 

What To Wear for Christmas

Well, Christmas is finally upon us and there is once again the pressure for everyone to be on their best behavior and execute everything perfectly. Whether you are celebrating with family, meeting your partner’s family or introducing them to your’s, or hosting a party, there is a universal pressure that surfaces around Christmas to make everyone happy. But, what do you wear for any of the various activities that occur on and around Christmas? Well, hopefully this guide will provide you with some inspiration.

Opening Presents/Early Christmas Morning

Okay, no one wants to be the person in the stained sweatpants and torn t-shirt in the dreadful Christmas morning photos and videos. With so many people there to take your photo or videotape you, it makes your life much easier if you just wear a flattering pair of pajamas in a simple, chic pattern (no sweats nor lingerie in sight!)

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Christmas Church Service

Ah, Christmas church service. This can either occur on Christmas eve or Christmas day (it depends on the church) but either way you need to look put together and respectable for all people there– including those family members or neighbors that are extremely conservative. A good way to dress for church without looking dowdy is to have all of your clothes at the appropriate lengths and sizing, but have fun with patterns and throwing in some color. Just because you happen to be in a church does not mean you have to avoid the fun pattens and colors that already exist within your closet. So long as all hemlines and necklines are at a respectable length, you will be fine and look fabulous.

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Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner will depend on the group in which you are eating with. More casual groups will allow you to wear your jeans or a pencil skirt and sweater rather than a dress. If your dinner will be casual, then feel free to wear a nice-fitting pair of jeans (darker colors of denim look the best on women), a casual sweater (feel free to recycle the “Ugly Christmas Sweater”), or a turtleneck. Just dress it up with your accessories– such as your heels, handbag, and jewelry.

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If your family requires you to be more dressed up, but not formal, then stick to a blouse and dress pants or a pencil skirt. Feel free to use patterns and colors to add character to the outfit and make it visually interesting. For guys, wear a nice, but simple button-up shirt, a pair of jeans, a sweater, and either sneakers or a more casual pair of dress shoes.

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Formal Dinner/Party

These are always tricky because you want to look put-together and chic, but not pretentious. For women, look towards bold patterns and colors– such as gold and black– and unique materials, like sequins. Wear a dress that will fit the occasion– such as very formal events need a long dress and more cocktail-like events should require a cocktail dress. Have fun with sequins and colors– be willing to experiment with fabrics and trends.

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The only warning with sequins– or any embellished fabrics– is that you limit the amount of jewelry, accessories, and makeup you are wearing. Otherwise, you will look like you are being swallowed by the dress and it will bo longer look chic.

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For men, wear a nice suit and tie (whether a bow tie or regular neck tie is up to you) in either navy blue or black. Have fun with your accessories– your watch, glasses, cuff links, scarf, etc.– and do not be afraid to be an individual, but also keep in mind what type of party you are attending.

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What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for what to wear for Christmas? And has this guide helped at all?