Costume Designers Guild honors Ruth E. Carter, Glenn Close
By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.
AP Entertainment Writer
Wednesday, February 20
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Ruth E. Carter may be receiving Oscar recognition for her costume designer work on “Black Panther,” but she told a packed room at the Costume Guild Awards on Tuesday night that she has created wardrobes for other superheroes throughout her illustrious career.
“After working on ‘Black Panther,’ you all asked me ‘How did it feel experiencing designing my first superhero?’ Truth is, I’ve been designing superheroes my entire career,” she said after receiving a career achievement award at the guild’s 21st annual awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The union celebrated the year’s outstanding work in film and television highlighting the intricacies of contemporary, period and sci-fi or fantasy designs.
While accepting a career achievement honor, the designer rattled off several films she worked on including “Malcolm X,” ”Amistad,” ”Selma,” ”Marshall,” ”Do the Right Thing” and “Meteor Man.”
“These same heroes and sheroes who helped shape our country helped me build my career and voice in the Afro-future,” said Carter, who was also won a competitive award for “Black Panther.” She could become the first African-American on Sunday to win an Oscar for best costume design.
“I am constantly inspired and carrying a message of perseverance and hope that each character shares from film-to-film,” she added. “There are pieces of me from my heart in each costume.”
The 18th century ensembles in “The Favourite” and the glitzy costumes in “Crazy Rich Asians” were also selected as the best costumes of the year Tuesday.
Carter and fellow Oscar nominee Glenn Close received special honors at the ceremony.
Halle Berry and Danai Gurira presented Carter with the career achievement award. The costume designer thanked “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, longtime friend and director Spike Lee and those who worked with her to create the costumes for the Marvel superhero film.
Gurira, who starred in “Black Panther” as one of Wakanda’s elite warriors, yelled out “This is the year of Ruth Carter” as Coogler looked on and smiled from his seat. Berry made a Wakanda Forever crossed-arm gesture before she called Carter “strong, respectful, opinionated and well-respected.”
“Ruth taught me the importance of a costume and how it was a portal into bringing my character to life,” said Berry, who was dressed by Carter in the 1991 film “Jungle Fever.”
Close was honored with the spotlight award as actor Michael Chiklis praised the actress for her ability to captivate audiences through her roles. He said “You sit up a little straighter. Your senses sharpen, because you know she’s about to make everything happen.”
Chiklis also said Close saved nearly 800 costume pieces she has worn in films, so they won’t get destroyed or sold to rental companies. The actress donated some of her costume collection to the Indiana University, where it will be preserved in an archival facility.
“My costumes have always been much more to me than whatever character they are designed for,” said Close, who is nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her role in “The Wife.” ”They are all beautiful masterpieces created by a team who takes as greater pride in their craft as I do in mine. You make what I do possible.”
Actress Kate Walsh hosted the awards wearing different costumes throughout the night including a pink Cinderella dress, doctor’s scrubs and she dressed as a look-alike of blonde-haired Donatella Versace, the sister of the late Gianni Versace.
Costume designer Betty Pecha Madden and screenwriter-director Ryan Murphy were also honored.
Madden received a round of applause during her speech about ending gender bias and wage disparity in the film and television industry.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31 .
Paid family leave is an investment in public health, not a handout
February 20, 2019
Author: Darby Saxbe, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Disclosure statement: Darby Saxbe receives funding from the National Science Foundation.
Partners: University of Southern California — Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Most Americans – on both sides of the political aisle – say they support paid parental leave. However, we haven’t yet found the political will to make it happen. In part, that’s because the discussion always seems to start with the question, “How do we pay for it?”
That question goes only halfway, though. As a researcher who focuses on stress and health within families, I believe there’s a more important question to ask: “How do we pay for the lack of parental leave?” In other words, how does the stress of a rapid return to work affect parents, and in turn, cost society as a whole? Recently, I sought to answer this question by delving into research on the many changes that new parents experience in the first weeks, months, and years after the birth of a new child – and the possibility that all these changes might not just compromise children’s well-being, but also put parents’ long-term health at risk.
A global outlier
How fast should women “bounce back” after giving birth? Instantly, at least according to celebrity magazines. And many workplaces in the United States deliver the same message. The typical American maternity leave lasts only 10 weeks, and a quarter of new mothers return to work within two weeks of delivering a child.
The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does not guarantee paid leave to new parents. The 1993 Family Medical and Leave Act provides for unpaid leave – but almost half of U.S. workers are not eligible, and many cannot afford time off without pay. Compare this to the rest of the globe, where paid maternity leave is standard, averaging 18 weeks internationally and extending beyond six months in many developed countries.
New parent stress, long-term effects?
Economists have examined paid family leave policies and measured their impact on worker retention and productivity, as well as health outcomes. But their studies typically focus on population-level trends. As a psychologist whose work takes a more intimate look at family processes, I wondered: How does the stress of work-family conflict affect the well-being of new parents?
I reached out to Stanford economist and family leave policy expert Maya Rossin-Slater to help digest the body of research on health and family leave. Together with developmental neuroscientist Diane Goldenberg, we reviewed existing studies and proposed future directions for research and policy in a recent paper published in American Psychologist.
Psychologists already know that the transition to parenthood is a high-risk time for mental health problems like anxiety and depression. New parents are about twice as likely to report clinically significant depression as are adults at other life stages.
Physical health risks may worsen during this time as well. For example, obesity: many mothers gain in excess of physician-recommended weight guidelines during pregnancy, and may struggle to lose this weight after birth. New fathers also gain weight: “Dad bod” is real.
Stress influences both mental health and weight gain, and may also affect immune and inflammatory processes that can contribute to long-term health risks. Costly chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer drain the economy, and yet few researchers have zeroed in on the transition to parenthood as a potential inflection point in risk for these diseases. Are these risks magnified when parents lack protected time to recover from birth and adjust to parenthood? If so, the U.S. may be setting up new parents – and especially low income parents – to fail.
In making sense of the research that speaks to health in parents, we started by first identifying what changes over the transition to parenthood in order to spotlight potential areas of vulnerability.
At the neurobiological level, researchers are finding that new parents’ hormones and brains may be particularly changeable – what scientists call plastic.
Research on rodents has found that pregnancy hormones remodel the maternal rat brain, helping prep the mother-to-be for infant care. Human mothers also show dramatic changes in hormones across pregnancy and the postpartum period. One neuroimaging study scanned women pre-pregnancy and then tracked them over several years, scanning them again after childbirth. Surprisingly, women’s brains actually shrunk over the transition to motherhood, showing reductions in volume particularly in areas linked with social cognition. Pruning may have helped these areas work more efficiently to support caregiving, since women who lost more brain volume also reported stronger attachment to their infants.
Fathers may also undergo neurobiological transformation across the transition to parenthood. Studies have found decreased testosterone in new dads and changes in men’s brain volume in early parenthood, for example.
These neurobiological changes may shape parents’ long-term health, although research evidence is still scant. Scientists also don’t know much about how stress affects the neural and hormonal changes that can accompany parenthood. But what we do know is that new parents are undergoing big biological changes, making this time a sensitive window for the brain.
Psychological and social change
Although many parents eagerly await the arrival of their new baby, becoming a parent can also be challenging, isolating and even overwhelming. Infants require constant care, which can be cognitively and emotionally taxing and physically exhausting. For parents who must return to work soon after birth, the scramble to find trustworthy childcare can also take a financial toll.
Large studies have found that well-being takes a dip during early parenthood; one found that becoming a parent spurred a larger decline in happiness than events like divorce, unemployment or the death of a partner. Couples’ relationship satisfaction also nosedives in the postpartum period, as they adjust to new roles and responsibilities.
All of these psychological changes may set parents up for heightened mental health risk, reflected in the elevated prevalence of depression and anxiety during this time.
Parents’ everyday routines are upended after a baby’s arrival.
Take sleep. Anyone who has lived with an infant knows they wake up often at night. It’s been estimated that parents lose about 80 hours of sleep a year for the first few years of a child’s life. Fathers may actually wind up more sleep-deprived than mothers, in part because they return to the workplace sooner.
New parents also report lower levels of physical exercise, may eat less healthy diets and have fewer opportunities to pursue hobbies and get together with friends. Given that sleep, exercise and other healthy routines are strongly linked with well-being, these changes might help explain why new parents show heightened health risks across so many domains. In particular, scientists know that poor sleep increases vulnerability to disease, obesity and mood disorders, so sleep deprivation in the postpartum period may be a key driver of the risks that new parents experience.
Risk and vulnerability
So what can one conclude from all of this research? Like many windows of dynamic developmental change, the transition to parenthood is a time of transformation that can spur growth – but also brings vulnerability.
Changes in stress physiology, obesity, inflammation and mental health contribute to a cascade of risks that predict costly cardiac and metabolic diseases down the road. Paid family leave requires significant investment, but might save taxpayers money if it lessens the burden of these chronic diseases on the economy. And our review focused on parents’ health in adulthood, not even scratching the surface of the potential benefits to children that paid family leave policy can bring. For example, mothers with access to leave breastfeed longer, and family leave has been linked with lower rates of ADHD and obesity in young children.
Research finds that loneliness is worse for your health than smoking cigarettes, suggesting that connections with others may play a profound role in population health. Public health investment has led to dramatic declines in smoking over the last four decades, but hasn’t yet truly tackled social cohesion as a public health challenge. What better place to start than by facilitating the first and arguably most important set of social connections – those that blossom within a new family.
This topic is personal for me. When my first child was born, I was a psychotherapy intern at a veterans hospital. As a federal employee, I didn’t qualify for state disability and, as a contract employee, couldn’t access Department of Veterans Affairs leave. My husband, a freelancer, could not take time off without losing income, and I couldn’t quit my job – we needed the health insurance. My wonderful supervisors let me take unpaid time off. But money was tight. Nearby daycares had yearlong wait lists and cost half our combined income. I’m an Ivy League grad with a doctorate, one of the lucky ones, but could barely afford the cost of having a child in the United States.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If Americans reconceptualize parents as a precious national resource, child-rearing as an enterprise that secures the long-term future of the U.S. economy and the transition to parenthood as a window for long-term health, then we can decide as a society that family leave is worth the investment. And there is hope on the horizon: Less than a year after Tammy Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office, the 2018 midterm elections doubled the number of working mothers in Congress. When President Trump mentioned paid family leave in his State of the Union address, legislators from both parties applauded – a rare moment of unity in an otherwise divided Congress. At long last, the United States’ status as a global outlier on family leave policy may be coming to an end.
Designer Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s global icon, dies in Paris
By THOMAS ADAMSON
Wednesday, February 20
PARIS (AP) — Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic couturier whose designs at Chanel and Fendi had an unprecedented impact on the entire fashion industry, died Tuesday in Paris, prompting an outpouring of love and admiration for the man whose career spanned six decades.
Although he spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy — including 20 years at Chloe — Lagerfeld’s designs quickly trickled down to low-end retailers, giving him global influence.
Former supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who credits Lagerfeld as her mentor, called him her “magic dust.”
“What (Andy) Warhol was to art, he was to fashion; he is irreplaceable,” she said.
The German-born designer may have spent much of his life in the public eye — his trademark white ponytail, high starched collar and dark glasses are instantly recognizable — but he remained a largely elusive figure.
Such was the enigma surrounding the octogenarian Lagerfeld that even his age was a point of mystery for decades, with reports he had two birth certificates, one dated 1933 and the other 1938.
In 2013, Lagerfeld told the French magazine “Paris Match” he was born in September of 1935 — which would make him 83 today — but in 2019 his assistant still didn’t know the truth — telling The Associated Press he liked “to scramble the tracks on his year of birth — that’s part of the character.”
Chanel confirmed that Lagerfeld, who had looked increasingly frail in recent seasons, died early Tuesday in Paris. Last month, he did not come out to take a bow at the house’s couture show in Paris — a rare absence that the company attributed to him being “tired.”
“An extraordinary creative individual, Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the Chanel jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry,” Chanel said.
The brand’s CEO Alain Wertheimer praised Lagerfeld for an “exceptional intuition” that was ahead of his time and contributed to Chanel’s global success.
“Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand,” he said.
Chanel said Virginie Viard, his longtime head of studio, will create the house’s upcoming collections, but did not say whether her appointment was permanent.
Tributes from fellow designers, Hollywood celebrities, models and politicians quickly poured in. Donatella Versace thanked Lagerfeld for the way he inspired her and her late brother Gianni Versace.
Lagerfeld was one of the most hardworking figures in the fashion world, joining luxury Italian fashion house Fendi in 1965 and later becoming its longtime womenswear design chief in 1977, as well as leading designs at Paris’ family-owned power-house Chanel since 1983.
While at Fendi, Lagerfeld helped create the notion of fun fur, lending an ease to a formal wardrobe topper by adding stylized touches.
At Chanel, he served up youthful designs that were always of the moment and sent out almost infinite variations on the house’s classic skirt suit, ratcheting up the hemlines or smothering it in golden chains, stings of pearls or pricey accessories.
Wit was never far behind any collection.
“Each season, they tell me (the Chanel designs) look younger. One day we’ll all turn up like babies,” he once told The Associated Press.
His outspoken and often stinging remarks on topics as diverse as French politics and celebrity waistlines won him the nickname “Kaiser Karl” in the fashion media. Among the most acid comments included calling former French President Francois Hollande an “imbecile” who would be “disastrous” for France in Marie-Claire, and telling The Sun British tabloid that he didn’t like the face of Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister.
“She should only show her back,” he advised.
Lagerfeld was also heavily criticized for sending out a negative message to women when he told France’s Metro newspaper that British singer Adele was “a little too fat.”
Despite this, he was very kind to his staff at Chanel, generous with his time with journalists and shared his Parisian mansion with a Siamese cat called Choupette.
“She is spoilt, much more than a child could be,” he told the AP in 2013.
Lagerfeld had little use for nostalgia and kept his gaze firmly on the future. Well into his 70s, he was quick to embrace new technology: He famously had a collection of hundreds of iPods. A photographer who shot ad campaigns for Chanel and his own eponymous label, Lagerfeld also collected art books and had a massive library and a bookstore as well as his own publishing house.
He was also an impressive linguist, switching between perfect French, English, Italian and his native German during interviews at fashion shows.
Even as he courted the spotlight, he made a deliberate effort to hide what was going on behind his trademark dark shades.
“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that,” British Vogue quoted Lagerfeld as saying. “It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.”
After cutting his teeth at Paris-based label Chloe, Lagerfeld helped revive the flagging fortunes of the storied Paris haute couture label Chanel in the ’80s. There, he helped launch the careers of supermodels including Schiffer, Ines de la Fressange and Stella Tennant.
In a move that helped make him a household name, Lagerfeld designed a capsule collection for Swedish fast-fashion company H&M in 2004 and released a CD of his favorite music shortly after.
A weight-loss book he published in 2005 — “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet” — consolidated his status as a pop culture icon. In the book, Lagerfeld said it was his desire to fit into slim-cut Dior suits that had motivated his dramatic transformation.
The son of an industrialist who made a fortune in condensed milk and his violinist wife, Lagerfeld was born into an affluent family in Hamburg, Germany. He had artistic ambitions early on. In interviews, he variously said he wanted to become a cartoonist, a portraitist, an illustrator or a musician.
“My mother tried to instruct me on the piano. One day, she slammed the piano cover closed on my fingers and said, ‘draw, it makes less noise,” he was quoted as saying in the book “The World According to Karl.”
At 14, Lagerfeld came to Paris with his parents and went to school in the City of Light. His fashion career got off to a precocious start when, in 1954, a coat he designed won a contest by the International Wool Secretariat. His rival, Yves Saint Laurent, won that year’s contest in the dress category.
Lagerfeld apprenticed at Balmain and in 1959 was hired at another Paris-based house, Patou, where he spent four years as artistic director. After a series of jobs with labels including Rome-based Fendi, Lagerfeld took over the reins at Chloe, known for its romantic Parisian style.
Lagerfeld also started his own label, Karl Lagerfeld, which though less commercially successful than his other ventures, was widely seen as a sketchpad where the designer worked through his ideas.
In 1983, he took over at Chanel, which had been dormant since the death of its founder, Coco Chanel, more than a decade earlier.
“When I took on Chanel, it was a sleeping beauty — not even a beautiful one,” he said in the 2007 documentary “Lagerfeld Confidential.” ”She snored.”
For his debut collection for the house, Lagerfeld injected a dose of raciness, sending out a translucent navy chiffon number that prompted scandalized headlines.
He never ceased to shake up the storied house, sending out a logo-emblazoned bikini so small the top looked like pasties on a string and another collection that dispensed entirely with bottoms, with the models wearing little jackets over opaque tights instead.
Lagerfeld was open about his homosexuality — he once said he announced it to his parents at 13 — but kept his private life under wraps. Following his relationship with a French aristocrat who died of AIDS in 1989, Lagerfeld insisted he prized his solitude above all.
“I hate when people say I’m ‘solitaire’ (or solitary.) Yes, I’m solitaire in the sense of a stone from Cartier, a big solitaire,” Lagerfeld told The New York Times. “I have to be alone to do what I do. I like to be alone. I’m happy to be with people, but I’m sorry to say I like to be alone, because there’s so much to do, to read, to think.”
As much as he loved the spotlight, Lagerfeld was careful to obscure his real self.
“It’s not that I lie, it’s that I don’t owe the truth to anyone,” he told French Vogue.
Thomas Adamson is at www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K
Samuel Petrequin in Paris and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed, and former AP fashion writer Jenny Barchfield provided biographical material.
See AP’s Karl Lagerfeld photo gallery at: https://www.apnews.com/PhotoGalleries