Nick Northstar
June 5, 2016

Rory Uphold Has A Laugh About Hollywood Style

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Funny girl Rory Uphold, who is the creator and star of the popular web series Only In HelLA, which “makes fun” of everything-Hollywood, is one of the most blunt people you will ever meet. So of course I just had to sit down with Rory to find out what she thinks about various Hollywood fashion trends, what people should do who want to move to town to pursue their acting dreams, and more!

NN: How would you describe your own personal style – both while at home and on the red carpet?

RU: Dark, casual, lazy.

NN: Since you are one of the most observant people in Hollywood, what Top 3 GOOD things style wise do you see happening these days in town?

RU: A natural looking face with strong brows. 60’s inspired swimwear. Sustainability – it’s cool to care about how and where your clothes are made.

NN: What Top 3 Style Trends in Hollywood do you HATE right now?

RU: Anything that could be described as “Coachella”. Overly ripped jeans, like the ones where it looks like they’ve been attacked by a tiger. Mistaking nudity for bravery or feminism. I am all for body positivity but I think we’ve put some people on pedestals lately who are more about hype then they are about empowerment.

NN: In general, what is your biggest pet peeve?

RU: Allergies. Slow drivers in the left lane.

NN: What is your advice to anyone wanting to move and start a career in Hollywood?

RU: Find something else that makes you happy and do that. Truly. If you don’t have anything else you love/think you could be happy doing then my advice is brace yourself.

NN: What is your definition of Hollywood “Glam”?

RU: Feeling comfortable in your own skin. To me, glam is an inner quality, a confidence, that gets externalized in a million different ways.

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June 5, 2016

Lasting Impressions: Charles Pierce Lives Again in New Book

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Just in time for Gay Pride, a new bio on legendary performer Charles Pierce is hitting the shelves. Author Kirk Frederick’s “Write That Down! The Comedy of a Male Actress” (Havenhurst Books) puts Pierce center stage again as one of the most important figures in modern LGBTQ history. We chatted with Frederick about his relationship to the noted performer and Pierce’s enduring legacy.

NN: Thank you for taking the time out of what sounds like a world tour! So delighted to hear about your success.

KF: THAN-KEW! [using his best Charles-as-Bette Davis voice].

NN: My Lord, you were just a babe in the woods when you chanced about Mr. Pierce. What were your first impressions of him? Were you scandalized?

KF: Aw, Nick… you flatter me. Without revealing my actual age, I had just turned 26 [he said, revealing his age THEN] when I first saw Charles perform and met him backstage. Charles had just turned 43. I appreciated older men, especially extraordinarily-talented ones; loved his style, humor, attitude, looks. I was so taken aback by those qualities, that I was anything but “scandalized.” More like mesmerized.

NN: You were quite the lollipop (still are!) back in the day. Beyond your adorableness, what do you think Mr. Pierce saw in you to take you into his fabulous fold?

KF: Aw, Nick, stop with the flattery. I’m married! [But I’m not dead, dumb, or blind (or blond), so I still appreciate it.] Looking back, I think Charles and I were attracted to each other from the first night we met in 1969. There was always a flirtatious spark between us; it carried through our 20+ years together, but we maintained a professional relationship through all those years, and nothing ever “happened” between us. He also appreciated my acting talent, and admired my organizational and production skills for his shows. We were a perfect match, in so many ways.

NN: This book is not your average saucy tell-all. Isn’t there anything to tell? It WAS San Francisco’s Golden Age, after all. Spill. Spill. Or, is that for Volume 2?

KF: There might be a Volume 2… there are still many more of his comedy lines and stories that friends and fans have since reminded me. I understand that everyone seems to want/enjoy the “sleaze” factor, which, as I say in the book, I would have to make up. I never even saw Charles naked, and we didn’t hang out together at the baths or even in bars. I was always naked in “Geese.” He liked what he saw, and told me so. In fact there’s this Polaroid picture of us backstage after one of his cabaret numbers where I was buck naked. Charles liked the picture so much, he framed it and kept it for years.

NN: How do you think spinning in Mr. Pierce’s sphere impacted your life? Personally. Professionally.

KF: Charles impacted me more than any other professional with whom I ever worked. Not only did I admire and enjoy his comedy (and spend many hours every week laughing with/at him), I adored him as a human being. I learned from his enviable ability to remain professional at all times, to always think of the audience first, to respect them and appreciate them. I also learned kindness, generosity, humor, and his “tricks” of comedy. More often than not during our years together, I was involved with someone else, but during the times I was “single,” I also enjoyed the attention that I got, not only from Charles, but often from the hordes of fans and admirers who found us attractive off stage…. I made many life-long friends working with Charles.

NN: My generation is tickled to read about Charles Pierce up close, but what do you think the kids can learn from your book? Is there a moral to the story?

KF: I hope the kids appreciate the place in gay entertainment history that Charles created, contributed to, influenced, and affected. I hope they appreciate his funny material. I hope they appreciate the laughter. The book’s “moral” is simple (which I quote in the book): “He who laughs, lasts.” Laughter became the best medicine Charles could dispense in those “dark” 1980s. It was appropriate for me to write it down and share it with current and future generations. Keep smiling, and even better: keep laughing!

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May 13, 2016

Staying Glam: A Good Night’s Sleep

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Everyone knows that sleep is an important ingredient in the ongoing beauty process. Quality sleep can help your skin heal, reduce breakouts, even your skin tone, and prevent bags under the eyes. Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It’s forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Sleep helps us renew energy and gets us both physically and mentally ready for the day to come.

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Unfortunately, if you are not getting enough quality sleep, or not waking up / falling asleep with the proper lighting or bed in your room, your skin, mind and other aspects of your overall health may suffer the consequences. Luckily there are some new products on the market these days that are helping people like you and I to stay glam through the proper sleeping habits while in the proper lighting situations.

  • FraSen – The world’s top sleep mask that actually connects to a phone app to help you analyze your sleeping patterns. The mask works wonders for those of us who can’t fall asleep right away, as it is proven to have a 33% reduced sleep induction time. A rep. for the company tells It’s A Glam Thing that, “A good night’s sleep is very important for a person’s productivity and for a person’s health long-term. Research proves that insufficient sleep drops the productivity level of a person during the day time. Also, by not getting enough sleep constantly, a person risk of getting a number of diseases including heart attack, dementia, depression, etc. increases dramatically.”
  • Adjustable Beds – Have you ever seen commercials for adjustable beds and wondered if they really invoke a good night’s sleep? According to a rep. from Anderson Manufacturing Co., they actually do work and are most effective in reducing pain in some people with hip and knee pain, which leads to better quality sleep, and of course that leads to overall glam the next day. “We also recommend adjustable beds or wedge pillows for patients with acid reflux. Increasing the angle at the head of the bed can reduce the amount of acid in the throat and airway, thus reducing the amount of arousals caused by reflux. The fewer arousals a person has, the better their quality of sleep.”
  • SVET Rated the world’s healthiest light bulb with the highest quality light output, which mimics the natural light to help you to improve your health and mental state. These LED bulbs help to prevent seasonal affective disorder, as it repeats the natural dynamic of the light following your biological rhythm so that you get more bluish light in the morning to energize you for the rest of the day, and a nice ‘sunset type’ light in the evening as you slowly fall asleep. Aleksey Dubov, the creator of the SVET bulb explains more to It’s A Glam Thing saying, “Due to our human nature, any light is a signal for our body to stay awake. Overuse of artificial lighting and other lighting sources leads our bodies astray, disrupting our sleeping patterns. It all comes from blue light. Blue light suppresses melatonin – a hormone naturally produced by the body at nighttime when it is dark. It is necessary for a proper sleep, but it is also a powerful antioxidant and has many beneficial health effects. That means the more light we are exposed to as we get ready for bed, the harder it will be to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest. Any immediate shifts from bright light to darkness can also make it harder to get to sleep. SVET decreases the blue component of the light spectrum during late evening hours prior to sleep time. It helps you fall asleep faster and have better sleep in general. SVET Dawn simulation creates veritable Dawn lighting in your room, providing you with a completely stressless, and healthy way to wake up.”

These three components just listed go together to help give you the best chance at feeling glamorous and your healthiest self each day. Slava Solonitsyn, the co-founder of EnchantVC, an accelerator and seed fund company for various types of hardware products around the globe summed up everything for us stating, “[To be glamorous] is to live a life that everyone wants to live, and knowing about one’s body and getting personalized feedback to improve one’s lifestyle can be a great way. Sleep masks, proper light bulbs, and other elements help people to improve their feelings and health.”

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Don’t fall into sleep deficiency, be smart, buy the right tools, and stay glamorous!

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May 11, 2016

Rhythm And Blues Glam With Shae Williams

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Rhythm and blues (R&B) singing sensation Shae Williams has gone through a lot in her life, both personally and professionally, however, through it all she has stayed looking fabulous as ever. As an artist, Shae has captivated audiences not only with her sound, but her incredible sense of fashion.

The relationship between fashion and music of any kind is one of abundant and mutual creativity. Reciprocal influences have resulted in some of the most dynamic apparel visualizations ever created in popular culture. Some exist as memorable creations for the stage and music video, while others become long-lasting fashion trends, which settle in the culture to become noteworthy, referential, and lasting. Sometimes what a music artist wears, more than how they sound, will forever help them to make their mark in the industry.

We caught up with the stunning Shae for a quick Q&A to find out more about the fashion trends in her genre, how fashion influences her, and how she gets ready for big concert gigs…

How would you describe your own personal style?

My personal style is relaxed with a chic twist. Rocking ‘boyfriend jeans’ and a pair of sexy pumps is an everyday go-to look for me.

What fashion trends as a singer/performer do you currently see happening in the R&B world?

There are so many out there. However fabric chokers, fringe and off the shoulder tops are all HOT right now.

Why do you believe fashion and music go hand-in-hand?

Fashion and music go hand-in-hand because as an artist your style represents who you are and so does your music.

What is your process in picking out the proper clothes for a concert, red carpet, music video, etc.?

Lord have mercy on my stylist and designer! It’s definitely a process. I love to have a strong royal glamorous look! Lately my designer “J Palmer”, who is a great friend of mine, has been designing a lot of my pieces. There are nights when we are up creating looks and many of those nights I’m falling asleep on his floor. I don’t like having things you can find locally or even abroad. We spend a lot of time together and he knows me like a book! I love when it’s time for a show or video shoot! Everything stops. I’ll have a vision and J Palmer delivers! When it’s time for a red carpet, if he doesn’t design the dress we will order from a boutique. There are times when my closet is the boutique! I have so much I could probably open up one.

What are you currently working on project wise?

I’m working on my new album that’ll be released this Fall and a single that’s coming real soon.

What is your definition of “Glam”?

“Glam” sums it all up in one word!! I love being glamorous!! My definition of glam depends on the day… just being who you are. Some days may be a red carpet day and I have a full beat on my face and a full gown on and other days may be laid back and casual with little to no makeup but still fly. Glam is what makes you feel beautiful.

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April 13, 2016

Festival-Approved Outfits!

If you couldn’t tell by the abundance of fringe and floral prints, festival season is in full swing, and it’s time to get serious about what to pack because everyone knows that what you wear to a music fest is just as important as the bands you see and parties you attend!

Here’s some of our favorite looks from one of this year’s top festival attire providers Miss Guidedus

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March 15, 2016

THE MODEL LIFE WITH POLINA SIKORSKA

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With LA Fashion Week here, It’s A Glam Thing hit the runways with the fabulous Polina Sikorska to learn more about the life of a famed international model. From working in campaigns ranging from Toyota to Panasonic, and from Diet Coke to Moet, Polina has experienced it all!

Nick Northstar: How would you describe your own personal style?

Polina Sikorska: As a model I spend a lot of time just running around doing my castings. A lot of activities obviously effect my style. So during the day I prefer to wear something comfortable and casual. But if I go out for dinner or to some event I would give preference to classic. I like to look feminine. Trends come and go, but classic and femininity is timeless.

NN: What fashion trends as a model do you currently see happening?

PS: As a model it’s part of my job to know what’s going on with fashion. If I’ll try to sum up the mood that appeared from all the action on the Spring 2016 runways I would use the word “profusion”. As a main trend for the spring I would emphasize floral prints and feminine frocks. It’s all about silk, stripes and Spanish Flair!

NN: What about the modeling industry do you love and hate the most?

PS: In the modeling industry I like the effortless ability to travel around the world, and learn about every new country and culture. Because of modeling I get to meet enormous amount of open-minded and interesting people, along with people with different points of view. You learn so fast and understand the world way faster than other kids your age. The money aspect also is something very pleasing which gives you independence and freedom in the very early stages of your life. What I don’t like about modeling is a constant feeling of competition. Let’s face it, the modeling industry is not an environment that nurtures self love or true confidence. Your confidence wavers based on these external factors and I’ve seen so many young girls being completely miserable because of that. I used to be one of them. Likely throughout the years I’ve met so many great “teachers” who have taught me how to love myself and not give my power away.

NN: What current campaigns can we see you in?

PS: You can see me in a new Jafra Cosmetics and Levis campaigns. HTC, Acura and Samsung are also currently airing commercials right now as well that I am featured in.

NN: What is your definition of “Glam”?

PS: My definition of “Glam” is the celebration of all fabulous, imperfect, unapologetic, sexy, haughty things. For me personally David Bowie is one of the best examples of glam and being glamorous!

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February 10, 2016

FOUR VALENTINE’S DAY MUST-HAVE GIFTS

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1) Our #1 choice is always Kai, the clean, fresh scent which counts celebrity fans like Cate Blanchett, Pink and this V-day is offering free shipping on orders over $99. Our go-to for birthdays, hostess gifts, thank you gifts and yes, Cupid’s Day.

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2) You just need to gift yourself or your girl one of these Kevyn Aucoin ‘Heart And Soul Collection,’ a curated collection of Aucion’s most coveted products. A deal at $65. (Worth over $100.)

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3) Wear your heart on your finger tips with these festive nail lacquers from NCLA. $16. Fun for any of your girlfriends!

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4) Help your guy out and give him this handy ‘Skin Upgrade Kit’, featuring Baxter‘s most popular skin care products. Targeted products like ‘Under Eye Complex’ and Night Cream AHA deeply hydrate, repair and protect skin while helping to prevent signs of aging. It also means he’ll keep out of your beauty products! $74.

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January 17, 2016

TALKING JEWELRY WITH ALEKSANDRA ALEKHINA

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Aleksandra Alekhina is the creative mind behind the world famous jewelry brand, Jolie Jewelry. With locations in Moscow, Japan, Austria, Australia and now here in Los Angeles, Aleksandra has turned her passion for design to a whole new level, and has attracted some of today’s biggest model/celebrity names.

I caught up with her in L.A. to ask her five quick questions…

1. How would you describe your own personal style?

I am in love with all unusual stuff, sometimes even strange things. The most important is colors and shape combinations.

2. What jewelry trends do you like currently?

Simplicity. Multi-functional jewelry… So you can get one piece for any occasion.

3. What makes your jewelry different than others?

We make jewelry pieces so that people feel like a million dollars when they wear it, but we make it so its still very affordable in reality to buy.

4. What current pieces/collections of yours are your personal favorites to wear?

I like large earrings. They actually are one of our best selling pieces too. You know that everybody’s looking at you when you wear them.

5. What is your definition of “Glam”?

Be unique and have a 20ct diamond ring on your finger will do 😉

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November 19, 2015

STAYING WARM WITH HOT ATHLETIC APPAREL

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The colder winter season months are here (in America) and thus people are looking for ways to keep warm. Whether its staying a little longer at the gym for that extra sweat indoors, or just lounging around at home in comfortable clothes, these trendy hot fitness apparel companies (with a backstory and message of their own) will have you looking your very best and feeling great too!

Columbia Sportswear: These lovers of all things outdoors conduct regular audits of their factories and are big supporters of HERproject, which provides their female workers with health needs assessments, connections to health services, and education about nutrition and wellbeing. Additionally, Columbia contributes to some of the better-known environmental organizations. Great sportswear, while giving back – now that’s fabulous!

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Fabletics: Kate Hudson’s new athletic wear company is doling out $20,000 this year in community grants. Plus who doesn’t want to look as stunning as Kate Hudson does when she works out?!

Under Armour: This rising star of the active wear industry will not work with any manufacturers that engage in child labor, forced labor, discrimination, or poor health and safety standards. All of their Asian and Central American factory workers are guaranteed the minimum wage and compensation for overtime, and they enforce a zero-tolerance code of conduct that prohibits any form of corruption.

CAbi: The fine yoga pants sold by CAbi support numerous causes and they’re mostly sold almost exclusively by women, who make their sales by hosting the CAbi equivalent of Tupperware parties, where a portion of their profits go to the CAbi foundation, which supports impoverished women through microfinance loans.

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Fit For A Belle: A new fitness / casual wear clothing company out of North Carolina that helps women feel confident and empowered. It was started by a young lady Megan Williams who lost a ton of weight by turning to fitness and she has used her motivational slogans to push forward this company; You can even find some of those fun-loving slogans on her shirts!

Chase Infinite: One dollar from every shirt sold by this badass sportswear company is donated to charity. Notable causes have included the American Heart Association and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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Lululemon: These guys work hard to reduce their ecological footprint and who doesn’t like looking amazing in their yoga pants?! When it comes to fitness, this company has pretty much taken over the market, and have done so in a fashionable and good-spirited way.

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September 21, 2015

Memorable Moments of the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

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September is one of the most exciting months for television. Every year the Emmy awards are given to the best actors, writers, and directors. Unlike other award shows, the Emmys are organized by the Television Academy. It’s the best in the biz giving award’s to who they believe did the best throughout the year. Although surprisingly, this year changes were made in the voting process. The Television Academy usually uses a small committee to determine final votes, but this year they opened up the final vote for certain categories to the entire pool of academy members. This allowed the show to feel less predictable, more diverse and over all more exciting. This years Emmys were full of firsts and hopefully not lasts.

Viola Davis of “How to Get Away With Murder” became the first African-American to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series. In her acceptance speech, she quoted Harriet Tubman and acknowledge other African-American female actors that helped pave the way. She also left the audience and viewers with this:

Let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

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After seven previous nominations and his last chance to win for his role as Don Draper on “Mad Men”, Jon Hamm finally won his first Emmy. As luck would have it, he was sitting in the front row. Jon decided instead of using the stairs to the stage like everyone else, he would climb onto it. He literally lifted one leg up and sort of rolled onto stage. You could tell it was a moment Jon had waited a long time for.

HBO dominated the 67th Emmys and walked away with a total of 43 wins over all, including 29 creative Emmys last week. It was the first time HBO has ever won in the best drama category. They took home Emmys for “Mad Men”, “Game of Thrones” (the most-watched show in network history), “Veep” and “ Olive Kitteridge”. Its safe to say someone at HBO is getting a raise.

There were so many other memorable moments from the show, too many to list really. The good news is you will forever know who Emmy winners are. After an individual wins, they are forever referred to as “Emmy Award Winning” which technically means “now you have to pay me more”. My congratulations go out to all the winners of the evening, as well as the losers who held it together long enough for the cameras to leave.

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