Just in time for the season finale of the critically acclaimed hit drama “The Good Wife”, I caught up with style guru, Dryel advocate and “The Good Wife” costume designer – Dan Lawson to discuss his life of fashion, designing the stylish TV moments and more. Check out my interview with Dan below…
At what age & what moment did you discover your love of fashion & style?
Well, I studied costume designer in college. Then, of course, one gets out of school and starts questioning everything. But I absolutely knew costume design was my calling when I saw the Merchant/Ivory film, “A Room With a View”. I was truly moved by the story that the clothing told in that movie. I was such a nerd, I even wrote the costume designer to say how much I loved her work. Of course, she didn’t write back, but I knew that was what I wanted to do nonetheless.
“Fashion” really came into play later when I started working in television on such shows as “One Life To Live”, “Lipstick Jungle”, “Kings”, and of course, “The Good Wife”. TGW in particular was the perfect marriage of costume design and fashion for me.
How do you use technology to achieve day-to-day accomplishments in the fashion field?
Computer is key! Research, correspondence, budget keeping, script work – everything goes through the computer. TGW tries to be as green as we can. So we do a lot through the computer. Even pattern making can now happen on the computer.
There are other technologies that we use as well. Instead of dry-cleaning all the time, we use Dryel. Some of our vendors use amazing machines to create our own fabrics. Superior irons like Rowenta that work incredibly well on clothes.
What are your favorite social media/fashion apps that you’re currently using?
I like Twitter. I like to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening out there at any given moment. Instagram is wonderful for research.
What’s a typical day in the life for Dan like?
VERY LONG!! I usually start by getting up at 5 and getting to set by 6:30 for a 7 AM call. I work with the actors on their costumes for the day and make sure everyone looks the way I want them to before they go to set. My team also checks/dresses the background actors. Once the first scene is up and running, I usually have to go to my office in the wardrobe space at the studio for fittings with new actors.
While we are shooting the current episode, I also have to prep the next episode. So in between checking actors before they go to set and fittings, I read the new script, break it down, research, shop, and work on roughing in the new episode’s wardrobe. There are usually at least 3 meetings that I have to attend during the 6 or 7 day prep for a new episode – the initial meeting on the episode (called a concept meeting), my costume meeting with the director/producer, and finally the production meeting where we go over all the nuts and bolts before we start shooting.
The day starts to wind down around 7. Our show tries to stick to a 12 hour shoot day. Sometimes it’s longer and every once in a while it’s shorter. Of course, if there is anything out of the ordinary with an episode, that takes extra time to handle.
We have long days Monday through Friday, but weekends are usually ours. Although, if a new script comes in or there is a rewrite, I have to deal with it on my day off. Episodic TV is a big machine and one has to stay in front of the work. It’s like waiting tables, once you’re in the weeds it’s usually too late to salvage the situation.
How do you keep the clothes you work with on set looking their best?
Our actors at TGW wear a lot of clothes as well as wearing the same outfit for days. Quite often they will have to wear a costume until the end of the day on day and then the first thing again in the morning. Everything gets steamed or ironed daily. We always run a lint roller over the clothing. We check for any small repairs that might need to happen. We check the buttons to make sure they are tight and perky – nothing worse than a drooping button on a suit, blouse or coat. Using the proper hanger is also very important. I usually like to have pants hang long rather than folded over a hanger to avoid creases right at the knee. We will also turn garments inside out to allow them to get air to the inside which helps freshen them up. We depill the knits. We also dry-clean but try to dry-clean as little as possible since the process can be quite wearing to clothing. We use Dryel a lot in the dryer to remove daily grime from all day wearing or stains. We also use it for freshening up blouses, dress shirts, skirts. It’s a great product too for rejuvenating vintage pieces or already worn pieces we pick up from the second-hand stores.
If you could only pack 5 items in your fashion survival kit, what would they be?
Female: the perfect skirt (pencil or “A”); a versatile blouse; a well-heeled pump that is comfortable (not an easy thing to find, but well worth the effort of looking!); a nicely maintained bag – not a backpack; a simple, elegant earring that goes with everything
Male: a well fitting suit; a white dress shirt with a nice crisp collar; a good leather belt; a classic dress shoe that is comfortable; and, like the ladies, a nicely maintained bag – not a backpack.
Want to keep up with Daniel Lawson, costume designer of The Good Wife. Follow him @GoodWifeFashion on Twitter and discover Dryel At-Home Dry Cleaner at retailers like Walmart and Target plus get social and connect with Dryel on Facebook and Pinterest today.
Five Celebs I’d Like To See Rocking The Apple Watch…And Five That Already Have It! (Are You Jealous Yet?)April 22nd, 2015 by Christen
It’s no secret that Apple “seeds” in the form of watches have been popping up on your favorite celebrities EVERYWHERE! Personally, I feel taunted (I mean, we’re all “celebrities” in our own reich – so where the heck is our Apple Watch already?!? *SIGHS*).
Beyonce seen in the ultra exclusive gold link Apple Watch
Just in case you have been under a rock (and not obsessing over #AppleWatch on Instagram) – the latest batch of Apple watch celebrities rocking the exclusive time piece, has the internet all a stir, and I’m looking confused – like why? Artists like Beyonce, Karl Lagafield, Katy Perry and Drake have all been seen wearing the coveted Apple Watch, but unless this watch promises that you’ll be an amazing singer or designer – I don’t see a valid point in these celebrity seedings at all.
Anna Winter Wearing The Apple Watch During London Fashion Week
Fast forward to the celebrities that are currently on the go, making miracles happen everyday. (And by miracles, I mean juggling crazy schedules while constantly innovating and disrupting the normal standards of “celebrity” – no shade to Queen Bey) but let’s talk about the celebrities that I’d like learn from, discover the latest and greatest that have the same influence if not more.
(Hey Apple, if you’re listening) check out the five celebrities I’d like to see rocking the Apple Watch below…
Oprah – I’m just saying… Oprah owns and operates a television network, magazine and still finds the time to executive produce and star in movies! If there’s anyone that could teach us a thing or two about time management on the Apple Watch and the art of getting things done – it would be Lady O. (What I wouldn’t give to see what apps she’s obsessing over right about now!) #YouGetAWatchYouGetAWatchYouGetAWatch
Mark Zuckerberg – Speaking of apps, if the King of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was spotted with an Apple Watch, I’d instantly think two things. One, the Facebook app for Apple Watch would be the BIZNESS and two, Facebook has figured out a how to make money on Apple Watch users (making everyone that owned one INCLUDING your favorite celebrities – an unofficial and unpaid employee!) #PimpinAintEasy!
Diddy – If you’ve ever believed in vampires or day walkers, might I present to you rap-mogul and Revolt TV Chairman, Sean “Diddy” Combs. This man, manages to operate on level 10, 24hours-a-day! Not only does he oversee Revolt TV, but he still has time to host events across the country (nightly), make music, make cameos in other artists’ music videos and inspire and overshare on social media! #TakeDatTakeDat
LeBron James – I’m completely shocked that an Apple seed hasn’t found it’s way to sports superstar LeBron James, I mean, isn’t the sole foundation of the watch fitness-related? (Let’s face it, the Apple Watch really just an upgraded fitness band when it’s all said and done.) I’d like to see a pro athlete sporting the watch and demonstrating how it can enhance the athlete in all of us. #ImTakingMyTalentsToGalaxyGear
Jared from Subway – Yes, that Jared. One does not simply think he’s lost the weight equivalent to 12 Kindergarten students by eating a 6″ chicken teriyaki from Subway. Jared was on that super workout plan (and I need receipts!) Apple, toss this guy a watch and lets see how Jared really gets down in the gym. #YouAintGotTheAnswersSubway
Just my humble musings and ill-educated thoughts, but these are the aspirational celebrities I’d like to see in the latest tech that’ll have impact on my buying decisions. What about you? Which celebrity would you like to see in the new Apple Watch? Why? Share your thoughts below!
This weekend Verizon x REVOLT TV joined forces for NBA All Star weekend NYC to bring some of the biggest names in music together for an exclusive and unforgettable concert experience. The concert was the foundation of the REVOLT TV nationally televised special combining top performances with compelling stories of NBA athletes and their connections to music and technology. Uniting Verizon’s use of innovative technology with the revolutionary brand that is REVOLT, Verizon kicked off an immersive atmosphere connecting with consumers’ passion for music during an epic music moment in NYC.
The “Above the Rim” show featured explosive performances by Elle Varner, Bridgette Kelly, Questlove, Raekwon and more! I got the chance to catch up with my favorite performers backstage before the show to talk everything from technology to All Star Weekend survival and so much more!
Check out the Above The Rim experience:
Did you check out the NBA All Star Weekend excitement this weekend? What were your favorite moments of the weekend? Share your thoughts below.
The stars aligned and brought the best vocal talents to the main stage GRAMMY Weekend in Los Angeles as the BET Music Matters showcase. Featuring GRAMMY nominees Mali Music, Luke James, Antonique Smith along with Avery Wilson and special guest Kierra Sheard – the annual showcase kicked off the biggest weekend in music at H.O.M.E (House of Music and Entertainment) in Beverly Hills.
Kierra Sheard and Lelah Hathaway attended the BET Music Matters Grammy Showcase
Kevin McDowell, Debra Lee and Martin Ludlow attended the BET Music Matters Grammy Showcase
GRAMMY nominated – Antonique Smith performed at the BET Music Matters Grammy Showcase
Mali Music performed at the BET Music Matters Grammy Showcase
Jazmine Sullivan performed at the BET Music Matters Grammy Showcase
BET Music Matters initiative highlights emerging new artists by showcasing their talents through live performances including monthly showcases and the Music Matters Tour. Music Matters has helped propel the careers of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius, Miguel, J. Cole, K. Michelle, Melanie Fiona, Estelle, Elle Varner, Eric Roberson, Big K.R.I.T., Emeli Sande’, Luke James, Stalley, Mali Music, Astro and more.
If there’s one show I look forward to witnessing every season, it has to be the DVF collection by Diane Von Furstenburg herself. Always filled with statement pieces for the everyday woman, this collection houses much much than the iconic wrap dress – and that’s where the anticipation builds year after year. Who knew this season’s off-site show would house such stylish moments with gingham, the legendary Pat McGrath, fashion’s newest “IT-GIRL” Kendall Jenner and fashion icon Naomi Campbell.
My DVF fashion fun began hours before the show with lead stylist Orlando Pita (for CHI Haircare) & Beauty Guru Pat McGrath. Throughout the sea of beautiful models laughing, snapping selfies and getting their finishing touches on hair, nails and makeup – a commanding, yet motherly voice arises “Orlando, Orlando!” and in walks Diane Von Furstenburg herself.
After a few moments of praise, Diane and her team rushed to the the runway in preparation for the show rehearsal. One by one, the models dressed in bright and bold golds, blues and greens walked the runway for final approval before the big show.
Once the show began, everyone was all abuzz about Kendall Jenner walking in the show, but it wasn’t until the showstopper herself – Naomi Campbell walked the runway that upped the anti on what could be considered a great Spring show.
Filled with bra tops, baby doll dresses and plenty of leg-worthy frocks to go around, this DVF collection is definitely more vacation friendly than office friendly, but hey that’s what makes DVF so great right? I mean, we have more than enough wrap dresses to go around so this collection is a welcomed suite of fun fashions for any woman to enjoy next spring!
Check out more looks from the DVF Spring 2015 collection below.
What do you think? Do you love the collection, adore Naomi Campbell or think Kendall Jenner looked stellar? Share your thoughts below.
The MTV Video Music Awards have come and gone, but not without an air of controversy, ratchetness and omnipotent Bey sightings. If you’re like me and endured this year’s show in hopes of seeing Beyonce accept the coveted MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, then you know it was all worth it. There were a few highlights of the VMA’s last night, and I’ve sprinkled a few of Beyonce’s opening act moments for your enjoyment below.
Ariana Grande, Jesse J and Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with a medley of hits, Ariana Grande’s (aka Big Sean’s new boo) performed followed by a scandalous and booty-filled “Anaconda” performance by Nicki Minaj and then the heavily awaited performance of Jesse J’s “Bang Bang”.
The first award of the night went to Katy Perry (ft. Juicy J) for “Dark Horse” and then a few performance, awkward comedic monologues and epic crowd reaction side-eyes (Gwen Stefani and J.Lo – I’m looking at you…)
Even Taylor Swift got into the action performing “Shake it off” from her new album “1989” and Iggy Azelea and Rita Ora’s rendition of “Black Widow” had the crowd on it’s feet.
But nothing equalled to the moment we all waited for, the arrival of Beyonce’s earth-shaking and emotionally moving Video Vanguard Award performance. Performing every single song from her self-titled album, Beyonce’ sang, danced and gave fans the best performance of the show. Check out just a few award-winning moments from last night’s Video Music Awards below.
Best Video With a Social Message:
Beyonce – “Pretty Hurts”
Beyonce – “Pretty Hurts”
Beyonce ft. JAY Z – “Drunk In Love”
Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without Jay Z and baby Blue presenting the Video Vanguard Award to a tear-filled Beyonce following her mega performance. It was by far, my favorite moment of the show!
What were your favorite moments from last night’s MTV Video Music Awards? Share your favorite and twitter worthy moments below.
You can’t mention then 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival without mentioning Ford Motor Company. The automaker took over New Orleans throughout the entire ESSENCE Fest weekend!
As the automotive-exclusive sponsor for the sixth-consecutive year, Ford activated on-site at the Earnest N. Memorial Convention Center providing fun giveaways including the chance to win the keys to the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang in addition to continuing its support of breast cancer awareness within the community.
As a premiere sponsor of the weekend, Ford partnered with SiriusXM Satellite radio for a live broadcast with celebrities all weekend long. Ford also took R&B Songstress Sevyn Streeter on a road to ESSENCE Fest journey celebrating her birthday weekend with dinner and a live streamed power-packed performance from the ESSENCE Festival Ford Superlounge.
If that wasn’t enough, Ford’s philanthropic arm was in full swing donating $20,000 to ESSENCE Communications for local community use, a million-dollar donation to the African American Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and a 2015 Ford Mustang giveaway to an ESSENCE Fest attendee.
This past weekend, I got the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2014 Ford Mustang in New Orleans, check out my ride and drive experience below.
Discover more of how Ford celebrates ESSENCE Festival all weekend long below…
photos by Chris Mitchell / CME 3000 / DivasandDorks
An annual staple to ESSENCE Festival weekend, the McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. This year’s event was hosted by actor/television host Terrence ‘J’ Jenkins and actress Tika Sumpter and was held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™ presented by Coca-Cola®.
Notable community leaders, celebrities and entertainers were out in full force at this year’s McDonald’s 365Black Awards, held during ESSENCE Festival weekend at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
They were joined by a full house of spectators who converged to salute this year’s recipients of the distinguished award, including civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton; film producer Will Packer; music executive Kevin Liles; inspirational leader Iyanla Vanzant; former NFL athlete Dhani Jones; and McDonald’s owner/operator Henry Coaxum. Additionally, artist Skyler Grey and entrepreneur Gabrielle Jordan Williams were recognized alongside this lineup with the first-ever McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award.
“We commend all of this year’s honorees for their diligent service and dedication to bettering our communities,” said Rob Jackson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “We are proud to continue this tradition of recognition and are grateful for the contributions of all 365Black Awards honorees, both past and present.”
I caught up with Terrance Jenkins, Will Packer, Kevin Liles and more on the McDonald’s Golden Carpet. Check out our special correspondent and what the honorees had to say about ESSENCE Festival, The McDonald’s 365 Black Awards and more below…
R&B recording artist and New Orleans’ own Ledisi opened the show and got the crowd in the mood for the soulful sounds of Pastor Kim Burrell, Tank, Leela James, Jazmine Sullivan, Kierra Sheard and Mali Music. Singer/actress Michelle Williams, veteran radio personality Tom Joyner, news correspondent Soledad O’Brien, film director Warrington Hudlin, actress Naturi Naughton and news correspondent Nischelle Turner were among celebrities on hand to present the illustrious awards.
Watch the McDonald’s 365 Black Awards broadcast August 10 at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m on BET®. The awards ceremony will also air on CENTRIC on August 17 at 11 p.m. EDT/10 p.m. CDT. You can also follow @McDScene on Twitter for commentary on the awards and join the conversation using #365BlackAwards.
photos by Chris Mitchell / CME 3000 / DivasandDorks
The 20th Annual ESSENCE Festival attracted a record-breaking 550,000 attendees from around the world to New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend, making it the largest attended ESSENCE Fest weekend in history. As part of its long-standing commitment to touch and improve the lives of African-American women, Procter & Gamble (P&G) is proud to be a title sponsor of the 2014 ESSENCE Festival for the seventh straight year. This year, P&G’s My Black is Beautiful inspired women to celebrate and share their “Beauty In Action” during the 2014 ESSENCE Festival and beyond by providing signature experiences with its partner brands, CoverGirl® Queen Collection, Pantene®, Clairol® Professional, Olay®, Gain®, Bounty®, Charmin® and Puffs®.
During the day, the My Black is Beautiful booth was the epicenter of excitement as men and women enjoyed fun makeovers, live music, celebrity meet-and-greets with The Braxtons, Mali Music, Lisa Nichols plus many more. Guests also got to meet the six newly crowned 2014 “MBIB” Ambassadors who were on hand throughout the weekend to motivate, excite and galvanize attendees to affect positive change in their local community.
The My Black Is Beautiful – Beauty in Action dinner was a powerful evening of music, inspiration and conversation. Led by empowerment leader Lisa Nichols and WE TV stars – The Braxtons, guests were encouraged to change the way we view and discuss beauty to our family, peers, sisters and future generations. Mali Music performed “Beautiful” off of his latest project “Mali Is…” and guests left charged to celebrate their “Beauty In Action” each and everyday.
For more information about My Black is Beautiful, visit www.myblackisbeautiful.com and follow the conversation on facebook.com/MBIB, Instagram (@MBIB) and Twitter (@MBIB), using hashtags #MBIB and #BIAJourney.
photos by Chris Mitchell / CME 3000 / DivasandDorks
Summer music festival season is in full swing! Your favorite artist tour schedules have been announced and after a horrid winter, you’re ready to make this the best outdoor summer ever! I’ve kicked off my summer festival experience in a way unlike I have ever done before camping out a few weeks ago at Firefly Music Festival, but nothing compares to the excitement and anticipation for the 20th Anniversary of the Essence Music Festival (currently known as Essence Fest 2014).
GUESS WHO’S HEADED BACK TO THE BIG EASY?”
Thanks to the official Essence Fest 2014 sponsors McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Verizon Wireless and Ford, I’ve been invited to get an inside look and exclusive experience of this historical summer event and I’ll be taking you along for the ride! Stay tuned to DivasandDorks.com, DivasDriveInHeels.com for exclusive celebrity interviews, concert performances and more ALL WEEKEND LONG!
From insider beauty secrets for summer from beauty guru Sam Fine, to talking powerful networking with Verizon and Morris Chesnut (I’ll even get some time with the electric lady herself, Janelle Monae to talk Cover Girl status & opening for his purple majesty – Prince!) For all things Essence Fest related, follow the fun online via #EssenceFest and click back here often for updated photos, videos and posts all weekend long!