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Oscars 2014

Pizza, selfies, and statuettes; the 86th Annual Academy Awards lived up to its reputation as Hollywood’s biggest party.  Pharrell Williams’s dance-inducing performance of “Happy” has been stuck in my head ever since.  The evening was magical, but before all of the cheering, crying, and winning, there was the red carpet posing.  Here is my list of this year’s best dressed at the 2014 Oscars.

1. Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o was this year’s sweetheart and fashion icon all rolled into one.  The Best Supporting Actress winner wore a gorgeous ice blue Prada gown.  She looked fresh, free-spirited and fun, especially when she hopped up to dance spontaneously with Pharrell during his performance of “Happy”.  When asked about the colour choice, she explained that it reminded her of growing up in Nairobi near the ocean, surrounded by lots of blue.  Girl after my own heart.  She also gave one of the most eloquent, heartfelt and inspiring speeches of the night.  “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”  I’m in love with this woman.

2. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

The Best Actress winner arrived in this stunning nude and sequinned Armani dress.  To complement it, she wore a pair of Chopard earrings consisting of 33 carats of opal set in white gold with diamonds.  (What, these old things?)   I was delighted to hear her champion female driven films in her acceptance speech, rebutting the myth that they don’t make money at the box office.

3. Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

To further (and entirely) refute that myth, enter Best Actress nominee Sandra Bullock.  Sandi is set to earn a cool $70 million+ from her film Gravity, as it heads toward taking in $750,000,000 at the box office.  Her out of this world gown is from Alexander McQueen and is accented by Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.  This stellar look lands her on my annual list for the second time.

4. Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Charlize looked super polished in this black mermaid number from Christian Dior Couture.  The biggest splash came from that necklace, universally touted to be the statement jewelry piece of the night.  It’s a diamond cluster drop necklace from Harry Winston valued at $15 million.

5. Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer makes the list for the second year in a row, with this this playful and glamorous frock.  The fringed, flapper style gown is from Oscar de la Renta.  It’s silver shimmer came alive with movement as she sashayed across the stage to present.

6. Camilla Alves

Camilla Alves

Humble and gorgeous, Camila Alves is a model and the wife of Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey.  She was the picture of elegance, choosing a custom Gabriela Cardena gown.  She stated that she didn’t want to stand out or detract from the nominees, so opted for the modest look and kept herself covered up from neck to toe.   The result had her looking ten feet tall and perfectly framed her beautiful face, yet she succeed in keeping the focus of the evening on her husband.  The two shared the most tender kiss of the evening and completely melted my heart.  What’s not to love?

7. Portia DeRossi

Portia de Rossi

I loved this unique choice from Portia de Rossi.  The wife of Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres, she turned heads in this ivory toned Naeem Khan design.  It featured cut outs, a halter neckline and some seriously amazing bead work.  Click the photo for a closer view.

8. Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

The Scandal star was glowing in her purple Jason Wu gown that beautifully flowed over her growing baby bump.

9. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Another veteran of last year’s list, Jennifer’s arrival in Dior came as no surprise after the two just signed a 3 year, $15 million deal.  Her red peplum strapless dress was topped off with a Neil Lane diamond necklace that she wore down the back, valued at $2 million.  As an aside: if there are any designers out there who’d like to strike a deal with me, feel free to click on that little “contact” button near the top of your screen.  I’d love to chat with you.  :)

10. Jada Pinkett Smith

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

I loved this pink Versace gown that Jada selected!  It hugged her curves in all the right places and had a train that dreams are made of.  She looked like radiant Hollywood royalty.

Honourable Mentions:

Robin Matthews

Robin Mathews

Robin Matthews took home the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (along with Adruitha Lee) for her work on Dallas Buyers Club.  They achieved their remarkable character transformations with a total hair and makeup budget of only $250.  Well earned, ladies!  I couldn’t find out any info at all about her lovely dress, as no one seems to care because she’s crew and not cast.  Sigh.  (I care, Robin!  I care!)

Team Oscar

86th Annual Academy Awards - Show

I don’t know what any of these kids were wearing either, but student filmmakers Zaineb Abdul-Nabi, Jean Paul Isaacs, Tayo Amos, Nathan Flanagan-Frankl, Mackenna Millet, and Bryson Kemp must have been having the time of their lives.  Their skills won these talented college students the opportunity to be a part of Team Oscar, and among other benefits, they got the chance to hand the awards to the presenters, and escort the winners from the stage in front of bazillions of people.  You’re looking at the future of filmmaking.  I thought they cleaned up pretty well for their first Hollywood appearance.   Guys, if you’re reading, I’d love to work with you on something.  Let’s talk.  ;)

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So those are my picks for the best dressed at the 2014 Academy Awards.  What do you think?  Who did I over credit, or leave out?  Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to vote in my poll!  I love seeing what you guys are thinking.  You can pick as many choices as you like; it just takes a few clicks!

One last look from Lupita; wow!

Lupita

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I’m going to Montreal!

“Twice” is an official selection of the 2013 Montreal World Film Festival, also known as the le Festival des Films du Monde.  The feature film will have it’s world premiere at the event.  Cast and crew members will be in attendance to present the film and enjoy all of the excitement and opportunities that the festival has to offer.

The Montreal World Film Festival was founded in 1977.  The event showcases 300-400 films over a two week period and is attended by approximately 385,000 people.  It generates an estimated $21 million in tourism revenue.  The goal of the festival is to:

encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations, to foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, to promote filmmakers and innovative works, to discover and encourage new talents, and to promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.

This year’s festival runs from August 22 – September 2, 2013.  I’ll keep you updated on our MWFF journey as it unfolds!

 

Easy come easy go

I open my facebook at 11:32am.  There is a message from a casting director I’ve worked with several times before.  It was sent at 2am.  She has a music video gig for me in 36 hours.  They got it on short notice and need to fill out the cast.  She has two roles that I would be good for, and she wants to hire me, now.  No audition necessary.  They know me, they like me, they trust me, and they’ll pay me x-amount of money.  I take 3 seconds to consider.  I’ll have to reschedule a dentist appointment, which will probably cost me $75, and find someone to cover my shift at work the next day, which will probably be impossible.  I’m in.  I message her back immediately to tell her I’m interested, thank her for thinking of me, and get more info on the shoot.  I eagerly await her response, and at 1:41pm I finally hear back.  They’ve already cast the roles overnight.  They don’t need me anymore.  She’ll be sure to think of me the next time something comes up.  I thank her, sigh, and shrug it off.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I won and lost a role while I was sleeping.

85th-annual-posters The 85th Annual Academy Awards were held on February 24th, 2013.  This is a show I usually never miss, but this year I only caught the tail end of them; just in time to see Ben Affleck take home Best Picture for Argo.  While I missed most of the celebrity action, I was indulging in a little limelight myself; I was out on the catwalk modeling two bridal party wear collections at the Exclusive Bridal Show.  Yes, on Oscar night I was busy having my hair and makeup done, putting on beautiful gowns and having lots of photos taken as I strolled down the (black) carpet.  I like to think of it as practicing for the real thing.  ;)

Here’s my list of this year’s best dressed ladies on the red carpet (in random order).  Be sure to vote for your favorites in the poll below.  You can choose as many as you like.

1.  Jessica Chastain

Jessica-Chastain-at-the-Oscars-2013

Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain said she was going for an old-Hollywood glamour feel, and I think she hit the nail right on the head with her look, including this beautiful gown from Armani Prive.

2.  Amy Adams

amy adams 5Speaking of glamorous, check out Amy Adams!  Some people criticized the Best Supporting Actress nominee’s dress choice for being “too much,”  but really, where else are you going to wear this dress, if not to the Oscars?  Perhaps we should ask her designer, Oscar De La Renta, what he thinks.

3.  Jennifer Garner

jennifer garner-gucci-violet-dress-2013-oscars

Jennifer Garner had this violet gown custom made for her by Gucci.  I have lovingly named  it “The Mullet Dress” for it is all business in the front, and all party in the back.  Still, it works for her.  :)

4.  Amanda Seyfried

Amanda-Seyfried-Oscars-Red-Carpet-Dress

Swinging in next, we have Amanda Seyfried in the dress that caused all the controversy.  This dress was too similar to the one that Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway had planned on wearing, and upon discovering Amanda’s choice, Anne opted to change dresses at the eleventh hour.  Anne ended up on the worst dressed list in her second choice Prada gown.  It’s a shame since I liked her original Valentino pick even better than I like Amanda’s Alexander McQueen.

5.  Octavia Spencer

octavia-spencer-tadashi-shojiOctavia Spencer is one curvy lady who knows how to work her assets.  Like last year, she’s wearing another Tadashi Shoji gown.  These two have a good thing going on.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

6.  Robin Roberts

Robin RobertsRobin Roberts hit it out of the park with this gorgeous blue velvet Marc Bouwer creation.  Robin’s inclusion in the list is a bit of an unusual choice, as she was there to cover the Oscars for ABC News, as opposed to participating in the event, but credit where credit is due.  She looked fabulous.  Check out those pipes!  And this only days after returning to work following a long recovery from a bone marrow transplant.

7.  Jennifer Lawrence

jennifer lawrence 1A much more obvious choice was Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence in this unbelievable Dior Haute Couture masterpiece.  Seriously, who did not love this dress?  I’m attempting to recreate this the next time I play toilet paper bride.

8.  Naomi Watts

Naomi-Watts-Oscars.previewBest Actress nominee Naomi Watts dazzled the crowd in her glittery Armani Prive dress.  She gets major sexy points for that sleek shape and crafty neckline.

9.  Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston 1Jennifer Aniston looked lovely in her Valentino Couture gown.  The saturated red was a fresh pop of colour on a somewhat subdued red carpet this year, and gave her skin a nice glow.

10.  Alicia Vikander

alicia-vikander-elie-saab-oscars-2013I’m enamored with the delicate look of this Elie Saab dress chosen by Alicia Vikander.  The Anna Karenina actress was stunning and statuesque covered in modern vintage lace and sequins.

Honourable Mentions

I usually keep this trim, but I’ve got a few this year.

1. Quvenzhane Wallis

quvenzhane wallisAnyone who can rock a purse like that on the red carpet gets confidence props from me.  In fact, the youngest-ever Best Actress nominee has been spotted wearing her trademark puppy purses all over the place.  A different one for every occasion.

2. Aparna Danna

mychael-and-aparna-dannaThis one is a shout out to the hometown crowd.  Aparna Danna is the wife of Canadian film composer, and newly minted Oscar winner, Mychael Danna, who took home the trophy for Best Original Score for Life of Pi.  Aparna arrived on the carpet in bright purple sari custom designed for the occasion by Toronto-based fashion designer Dinesh Ramsay.

3.  Samantha Bark’s necklace

85th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsThere were better dresses, but I thought this was perhaps the best statement jewelry piece of the night.  It’s a House of Waris for Forevermark pendant necklace.  It’s crafted from 18k yellow gold, and you’re looking at a 14.67 carat Oval Forevermark Diamond.

4.  Holly Sarchfield (moi!)

Ashter Fashions 08

Okay, so I wasn’t actually at the Oscars, but this is what I was wearing on Oscar night, and hey, it’s my list.  It’s a beautiful navy B&A design from Ashter Fashions that I modeled on the runway.  This gorgeous gown would have fit right in on the red carpet, and I’ve lovingly dubbed it my Oscar dress.

So, what did you think of my picks?  Who couldn’t you get enough of at the Academy Awards?  Vote for your favourites below (you can choose more than one), and let’s see who the big winners are in the court of public opinion.

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Eri Watanabe, Ashley Sawh, Julia Cosby, Anita Chan, and Holly Sarchfield
Gowns by Ashter Fashions
Photo by Bobby Ramlagan

As the new year rolled over, I was itching to do some modelling.  With my fingers crossed, I submitted to a casting call looking for runway models for an upcoming bridal show.  A few days later, they replied.  I was offered a spot walking in the Lady Tais fashion show, one of three runway showcases at the Exclusive Bridal Show.  I happily accepted.

I was asked to come in for a fitting at the designer’s studio.  The Lady Tais collection was a combination of original bridal gowns and evening wear.   I tried on a few dresses and we selected our favorite, a beautiful evening gown with a looong train.  It fit in all the right places, and we even made plans on doing a spring photo shoot with me in the dress.  Everyone was excited.

A couple of weeks later we had a rehearsal at the venue.  This is where I learned that I might have a problem.  I quickly discovered that my walk was not up to the standard that the choreographer had in mind.  I sailed down the catwalk and hit my mark.  “Have you ever done this before?” she asks as I turn at the end of the runway.  “Yes,” I reply sheepishly.  “Well I don’t have time to teach you now.  Just do what you can do,” she says, as I head back up the runway trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I enjoy modelling, but it’s never come as naturally to me as acting has, and this was certainly no vote of confidence.  Nerves start to take hold as I try and appear more relaxed.  Not an easy fight.

As I continue taking turns practicing with the other models, we are stopped and asked if we’d be interested in working with another fashion collection, Ashter Fashions, as well.  Their show is scheduled at the same event right after, and they need some additional girls.  Of course, we say yes (how do you say no to an opportunity like that?).   They have us try on a bunch of gorgeous bridesmaid dresses  and evening gowns that they’ve brought from their boutique.

We do a practice walk in one of the dresses with our heels.  My first pass was graceful.  The second one goes less smoothly.  The dress is a little  longer than I am tall, and as I make my last turn at the back of the stage, my toe gets stuck in the bottom of the fabric.  I stumble sideways and manage to catch myself just short of falling over.  I pop back up and fall into the proper pose I should have hit.  No one saw that, right?  “Are you alright?” the boutique owner asks.  “Yes, I’m good,” I reply with a knowing smile, horrified that my nightmare of falling on the runway almost actually happened.  “Don’t worry, I won’t do that in the show, ” I say comically, trying to inject some humor into the scene.  She laughs.  (YES!)  “No, I hope not,” she says with a forgiving smile.  I change into some higher heels that make me longer than the dress, and I do another walk without incident.  Phew!

Then I find out what the future has in store…

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The next week I am put through two hours of runway boot camp with our choreographer.  With her thick Russian accent and no-nonsense attitude, I feel like I’m training for the Olympics.  She breaks all of the movements and poses down for us, and I’m feeling much more confident.  As we stop for a break, I go to her and thank her for the coaching and tell her it’s really helping.  She beams back at me and tells me that I’m picking it up very well.  I’ve always been a quick study, and often joke that I missed my calling as a dancer.  Those skills are certainly helping me here.  By the end of the night she asks if I will open the show and be the first girl to walk.  Amazing!

The bridal show itself was so much fun, and everyone did a wonderful job.  The Lady Tais show had a dramatic flair, and the Ashter Fashions show was flirty and fun.  A lot of work goes into an event like this.  Designers and boutique shops, hair and makeup artists, runway choreographers, photographers, event planners, hosts, models, assistants and stage hands, just to name a few.  Everyone I worked with was incredibly helpful and friendly, and I’m so grateful for the experience.  Here are a couple of photos of me working my runway magic.  Aren’t those dresses unbelievable?!

Lady Tais 03

Dress by Lady Tais
Hair by Kyana l Bridal Hair Artistry
Makeup by Katerina Mazurtsova
Photo by JDS DIGITAL

Ashter Fashions 08

Dress by Ashter Fashions
Hair by Kyana l Bridal Hair Artistry
Makeup by Katerina Mazurtsova
Photo by Bunny’s Photo

Life is one big crazy adventure.  Go after what you want.  If you fall down (or stumble), change what’s not working (your shoes) and practice, practice, practice (go to boot camp).  Then shine on.  We’re all made of stardust.  :)

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2013 has been very good for me.  I wanted to update you all on what I’ve been working on.  This February I had the incredible opportunity to play a starring role in a new sci-fi / post-Apocalypse web series called Darkest Times.  It was a bit of a roller coaster ride, and definitely an experience I’ll never forget.  It was a LOT of hard work and dedication by a number of talented and creative cast and crew members.  It was not an easy shoot, but nothing good comes easily.  :)

Simon setting up a shot.Written, directed and produced by Simon Winterson of Digital Canaries, Darkest Times chronicles the saga of a group of survivors five years after an Apocalyptic event.  While they have little idea as to what is happening, or why, most of the Earth’s population has been wiped out, the outdoors is in a constant state of dusk, and entities known only as the “Lightbeams” have taken over the world and threaten the few that remain.  Our group has taken up shelter in an abandoned, dilapidated building and struggles to survive with limited resources all while trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, and avoiding the ever present threat of the Lightbeams.  Of course, being stuck for so long, living in tight quarters with people you wouldn’t necessarily choose to also takes a toll…  With little light outside, and fading hope inside, these are definitely our Darkest Times.

Cast members getting notes on set..We have a diverse cast of actors that include, from left to right, Agata Waclawska, Emma Sutherland, Danny F. Santos, Vanessa Tavares, Dennis Barham, Allan Michael Brunet, and Holly Sarchfield (myself).  Not present in the photo are actors Patrice Henry, David Walpole, Madelyn Rogers, and Janine Short.

Holly Sarchfield as Lane.My character is Lane.  She is one of the leaders of the group along with Steel.  She’s tough as nails, practical, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when she needs to.  She doesn’t trust easily, but she’s very loyal and protective of those she cares for.  Those skills have helped her stay alive to this point, even if they sometimes rub people the wrong way.  With a survival instinct so strong, some in the group question how far she might go, and if she’d even be willing to sacrifice some of their own, to save herself.

Here’s the teaser trailer to give you an idea of what’s in store.

Darkest Times is slated for an April 2 release date.  Stay tuned for some behind the scenes photos and buzz from our recent Comicon appearance!

Golden Globe Awards

Every year I compile a best dressed list from the Oscars.  This year I thought I’d see what the stars of the screen, big and small, adorned themselves with at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.  This year’s carpet was a sea of red and white, with a touch of gold.

Team Red

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

Winner – Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Film) – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Jennifer Lawrence Golden Globes 2013

 

Clare Danes in Atelier Versace

Winner – Best Actress, Drama (Television) – Homeland

Claire-Danes-In-Atelier-Versace-2013-Golden-Globe-Awards

 

Jennifer Garner in Vivienne Westwood

Presenter

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

 

Team White

Anne Hathaway in Chanel Couture

Winner – Best Supporting Actress – “Les Miserables”

Anne-Hathaway-in-Chanel-Couture-2013-Golden-Globe-Awards

 

Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli

Nominee – Best Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie (Television) – Nashville

hayden_panetierre_golden_globes_2013_sexy_pink_fishtail_gown_18f6iq3-18f6iq8

 

Amanda Seyfried in Givency

Presenter

amanda-seyfried-of-the-film-les-miserables-at-the-70th-annual-golden-globe-awards-in-beverly-hills-california-january-13-2013

 

Team Gold

Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen

Presenter

Kate-Hudson-Golden-Globe-Awards-2013

 

Michelle Dockery in Alexandre Vauthier

Nominee – Best Actress, Drama (Television) – Downton Abbey

michelle-dockery

 

Emily Blunt in Michael Kors

Nominee – Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Film) – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

emily-blunt

 

Red, white, and gold:  three of the trendiest colours on the red carpet.  Which team is your favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

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