Pirelli has outdone themselves this year with their exclusive Pirelli calendar. The pity is that none of us plebians can get a copy.
This year, the innovative automotive and cycling tire company used Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as its inspiration and, in a stroke of genius, the company decided to use an all-black cast.
The cast, ranging from entertainment and fashion figures to social activists, were styled by Edward Enninful (now serving as British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief) and shot by English photographer Tim Walker.
The cast includes (according to the press release):
Adut Akech as The Queen of Diamonds; Adwoa Aboah as Tweedledee; Alpha Dia as Five-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; Djimon Hounsou as The King of Hearts; Duckie Thot as Alice; Jaha Dukureh as Wonderland Princess; King Owusu as Two-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; Lil Yachty as The Queen’s Guard; Lupita Nyong’o as The Dormouse; Naomi Campbell as The Royal Beheader; RuPaul as The Queen of Hearts; Sasha Lane as The Mad March Hare; Sean “Diddy” Combs as The Royal Beheader; Slick Woods as The Madhatter; Thando Hopa as The Princess of Hearts; Whoopi Goldberg as The Royal Duchess; Wilson Oryema as Seven-Of-Hearts-Playing-Card Gardener; Zoe Bedeaux as The Caterpillar.
When I saw these photos, I certainly saw shades of traditional fashion styling, but I also saw veiled, if unintentional, callbacks to late ’90 music video filming techniques, such as the slight fish eye lens, Hype Williams-esque quality some of the images have, the boldness of the costumes chosen, and the sheer attitude that jumps from the images. Here’s some images from the calendar, posted to Pirelli’s Instagram page (click picture to see image on Instagram):
Couldn’t Pirelli lift their “not for sale” rule on their calendars just this once? I know tons of us would love to own this one. Go to pirellicalendar.pirelli.com to learn more.
What do you think about these pictures? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9| Episode 2 | “She Done Already Done Brought It On” | Aired March 31, 2017
Oh, Jaymes Mansfield. I had such high hopes for you. We all had high hopes for you. If there was ever a time to use that Tyra Banks “We were all rooting for you” .gif, now would be the time.
I’ve recently become a fan of Jaymes Mansfield from her YouTube page, and after seeing how lively, bubbly, energetic and knowledgeable she is on her channel, it’s a shame none of it translated to the Drag Race stage. Jaymes already knew she was in her head too much, but she just couldn’t shake whatever shellshock she had. I’m not knocking her for it, though. As an introverted person, it sometimes takes a while for us to get used to a new environment, and in the meantime, we’re left looking and feeling like a shell of ourselves. That’s what happened to Jaymes here. All of the girls (well, almost all of them) seemed to understand that and tried to help her out as best they could, but ultimately, the real challenge was up to Jaymes and she just couldn’t get out of her own way enough to really shine. She’ll be fine, though–she’s got tons of fans, and she’s garnered even more after folks sympathized with her during her short time there.
However, wouldn’t it be amazing if Jaymes got the Trixie Mattel save and was brought back for a second chance? That would be spectacular!
Speaking of second chances, how great is it to see Ms. Cucu, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, back again! I’m a big Cucu fan, so I’m excited to see her energy on this season. It’s especially great to see her healthy after her liver cancer bout. I’m glad she was able to overcome this serious disease and come back to her full vigor.
This challenge was all about vigor, since it was a cheerleading challenge, but not where the queens just had to look like cheerleaders–they actually had to perform real cheerleading moves. As Nina said during Untucked, that was the most strenous challenge yet on Drag Race. I’m almost surprised they let that one be a challenge period, much less the first challenge, since it requires skills not everyone has, like doing splits and cartwheels and stuff.
However, like true professionals, everyone rose to the challenge and did what they had to do. Even Jaymes, who did some really athletic-looking tumbling. However, I have to say that while Valentina gave great Overcaffinated Cheerleader Face, Shea Couleé really gave me Real Girl Cheerleader. I didn’t go to a black school (unfortunately), but I feel like I would have seen cheerleaders like Shea Couleé at the black high school of my dreams.
She was also a very strong contender to win; in fact, most of the girls thought was going to be Shea Couleé’s win, what with her living out her Dominique Dawes childhood fantasy with a ton of flips and splits. Also, her White Party look was really strong, too. But the win ended up going to Valentina, who mesmerized the judges with her zany cheerleader persona and stunned them with her bridal look, which is based on her own mother’s wedding video.
Since I’m talking about the White Party Looks, let’s just get into my favorite looks, which are a lot. All of the looks were strong; this might be the first season in which all of the first runway looks for competition were this strong.
As the judges (which included the B-52s this week) said, this was a very Barbarella moment. It’s executed flawlessly, and she looks like a supermodel in it.
Again, another flawlessly-executed look. If Michelle Visage hadn’t pointed out Valentina’s nude shoes, I don’t think anyone would have even noticed. At least, I wouldn’t have noticed. In any case, if that’s all she had to complain about, I think that’s a clear win for Valentina. Besides, this is ode to her mother and her parents’ love. You can’t really get too mad at her for this, especially when it looks not only amazing, but expensive and luxurious.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine
Cynthia really gave us a My Fair Lady moment with this outfit, and I think it’s the perfect outfit to use as your comeback dress. I feel like we’re going to see a lot of fun, gorgeous stuff from Cynthia this season.
Trinity Taylor is someone I haven’t mentioned a lot, but I’m rooting for her as hard as I am other queens. She’s a Birmingham, AL queen who has made it to the national stage, and even though she’s repping Orlando on the show, I have to keep an eye out for a hometown girl. So far, she’s done the city proud and she’ll keep doing it if she’s consistently turning out looks like this. If there’s one thing I can say about Trinity is that she has an extremely high level for commitment to an uncomfortable look. If you’ve seen her Season 9 premiere party performance (and I’m sure other performances out there), you have seen how severely she tucks, to the point where it looks like she has a va-jay-jay. She’s not called “The Tuck” for nothing. This look continues that throughline of commitment, because this is all vinyl. How she can stand it, I’ll never know.
Nina Bo’nina Brown
This is giving me a “Storm at a P-Diddy White Party” vibe, which I’m a big fan of. She looks amazing, and that hair color is really something special; I’m glad she went with an unexpected gray.
Jaymes might have gone home this episode, but I think he had one of the strongest runway looks. Who doesn’t like a well-done late ’50s/early ’60s pinup look? I love it, since this is Jaymes Mansfield at her most Jayne Mansfield. The judges are also right that Jaymes is one of the best padders (is that a word?) in the race.
I really like the detail in this dress, particularly that faux-two-piece look. I love a high-waisted skirt or pant, and I love to see it especially when it’s executed expertly.
Also, let’s talk about how the commenters are ablaze with love for Charlie for telling Eureka to shut up in Untucked. I think some of it was Charlie’s own frustration at being in the bottom and his fear of being ousted because of his age, but I also think he was genuinely frustrated with Eureka and has been for some time. I’m not going to get into severe Eureka discussion right now, but Eureka is quickly becoming this season’s hated queen, if the comments are anything to go by.
The bottom two were Jaymes and Kimora Blac, who had to lip synch for their lives. I thought Jaymes would be able to get something out of this performance, since she’s campy and the B-52s are nothing but pure camp, especially their most iconic song, “Love Shack.” But instead, she copied Kimora, who, if her Season 9 performance is anything to go by, isn’t the best performer. But I have to hand it to Kimora; she gave the judges personality and a palpable desire to stay, and that’s what RuPaul was trying to coax from Jaymes. Darn it, Jaymes!
It was sad to see him leave the show; his Untucked departure was particularly tough, seeing how torn up he was about his performance and how he felt his dreams came undone. This is why I feel like we’re in for a surprise with Jaymes. I seriously think she’ll be back.
• Hearing Peppermint’s story about finding acceptance after a horrible high school ordeal and Cynthia’s story about battling cancer are the reasons RuPaul’s Drag Race has an Emmy. I love when the show decides to get real and give viewers an insight into the real lives of these contestants. It’s not always about glamour and fabulosity; sometimes, it’s about overcoming bigotry, finding acceptance, and overcoming what seem like insurmountable obstacles. It’s moments like these that show how much of a role model drag queens are.
• I’m glad I was able to being somewhat professional with this recap and not make it a pure gush-fest over Valentina. I’m torn between idolizing Valentina as a woman and harboring a crush on Valentina as James Leyva the man. It’s a battle of emotions right now. A result of that is screencapping a ton of Boy Valentina images.
The beautiful people of the world can be really frustrating, can’t they?
• Last, but not least–we’ve got the first RuPaul in Drag moment!
I thought, oddly enough, that this was demure and covered-up for RuPaul. Not that she’s always naked or something, but something about the dress looked understated, even though it was a loud cyan-teal. In any event, it’s not RuPaul’s Drag Race without RuPaul as The Monster, and it’s good to see her continue the tradition.
What did you think of this episode? Do you think Jaymes will come back? Give your opinions below!
There is a reason RuPaul won his well-deserved Emmy for RuPaul’s Drag Race. Episode 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 2 is, hands down, the best episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race ever. I’m serious. The best episode of all time for this franchise.
Everything that went down in this episode was pitch perfect. You couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining hour of television. What made this episode the best ever?
1. Face cracks on face cracks on face cracks: How many times could Phi Phi O’Hara looked shocked and worried about her impending doom on the set? This episode started out with Phi Phi seeing Alyssa Edwards from behind the two-way mirror, continuing the beef from the previous episode over Alyssa’s decision to save Katya from elimination despite her bad critiques. The beef itself seemed like it shouldn’t have escalated to what it had become, to be honest; Alyssa can send home whoever she wants if she has the power, whether or not the pact to send home the girl with the bad critique is in place. And the beef was one-sided; Phi Phi’s own insecurity was set off by the fact that Alyssa changed the rules, which meant that anyone could go home despite their good performance.
Currently, Phi Phi has told Vulture and social media that the producers made her out to be the villain, and to be fair, the producers do a lot of meddling. But the meddling is only occurring because the producers are creating a show. If they don’t meddle, we’d literally have nothing to watch. It’d be like watching these current seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, in which everyone’s always at lunch or sitting at home. In short, it’d be boring. So for Phi Phi to fall into the producers traps to openly talk about Alyssa behind her back, then not own up to what she said when Alyssa confronted her about it, is why Phi Phi got so many shocked moments. Not to mention the stellar lip sync and double-win, which kept Phi Phi’s mouth on the floor. The jist of my argument is this: I really want to be on Phi Phi’s side, because I’ve always liked her. But, if you already know the game and sign up for it again, shouldn’t you know how to play so you get the best edit? Shouldn’t you also know not to give the producers material they can use against you, such as not hugging Alyssa and
2. The lip sync for the ages: There have been some legendary lip syncs to occur on RuPaul’s Drag Race. But this one between Alyssa and Tatianna has shot to the top as the best one ever. Lip syncing for your legacy and your life causes you to up your game tremendously, and everything about Alyssa and Tatianna’s lip syncs were so perfect, it’s almost as if they’d coordinated moves beforehand. (I suppose you could get into a theory about producer machinations here if you wanted to.)
As many on social media and YouTube have said, we hadn’t seen Tatianna perform on the show in a long time, so it was a face crack for us as a viewing audience to see Tatianna own the stage and hold her own against a dancing showgirl like Alyssa, who is all about the death drops, high kicks, and splits. It only made sense for both of them to win after such commanding performances.
3. The double-handed elimination: Getting eliminated by one queen is bad enough. But getting doubly eliminated by two queens who had already gone home? That moment when Alyssa and Tatianna handed down their judgement to Phi Phi is what took this episode over the top. What went into the decision-making was also great television as well. Tatianna’s confessional about realizing Phi Phi’s underhandedness within the competition shows that if Tatianna was able to see it so quickly, then could the other queens see it too? It also undercuts Phi Phi’s own argument to Vulture about her edit getting cut to make to look bad.
If it was just editing, then why could Tatianna immediately recognize shenanigans after having only been in the competition for two episodes? Also, how does editing excuse Phi Phi telling Roxxxy earlier in the season that her Sofia Vergara impression was bad, nearly costing her her spot in the competition? Roxxxy wasn’t the only queen Phi Phi was trying to psych out, either (at least, according to what we’ve seen on the show). As Tatianna herself would say, “Choices.”
The irony is that what made this episode so good is that it happened to be the classic “set up the villain for a fall” episode, with the irony being that the villain was the very queen who didn’t want to be a villain anymore. Phi Phi repeated history once again, and now that people have seen her in this role twice over, there’s been a lot of headscratching as to where editing ends and Phi Phi’s own lack of nuance with damage control and image rehabilitation begins.
Since it’s impossible to talk about this episode without talking about the behind-the-scenes drama, let me just say my condensed two cents on this, having read the Vulture article, viewing RuPaul’s shady tweets (proving the unflappable queen has a breaking point just like all the rest of us mere mortals), and listening to everyone and their grandma’s viewpoint on the entire situation.
Now, here me clearly: I feel badly for Phi Phi. Her failure at getting the redemption she wanted is the real tragedy and seemingly a self-inflicted one; whether or not the editing was the culprit, it seemed that she still got in her own way, much like she did during her season.
Also, I don’t want anything bad to happen to Phi Phi O’Hara. I don’t support or condone anyone sending her death threats. I want Phi Phi to succeed because she’s an extremely talented drag queen. I have actually been a fan of hers even in her Season 4 days. I just love a good villain sometimes, and Phi Phi was an excellent villain, and sometimes, she was actually right, like when she hounded Willam for breaking the rules of the show. It’s also very fair to say that some personalities just don’t do well on reality television. For some people, the pressure just brings out the worst in some people, even if you aren’t usually that person that the camera depicts. Perhaps that’s the case for Phi Phi.
I also understand her wanting to get her RuDemption arc, but my question is this: If you’ve been on the show once, and you know how it works, wouldn’t you already have the knowledge to not fall for producer tactics? If you give the producers the material, then they can do whatever they want with it.
Bianca del Rio is a perfect example of a contestant knowing how to make the system work for her; she didn’t give the producers anything she didn’t want them to see. In many ways, what she gave them was a manicured character, with only flashes of her real personality interspersed. What was extremely clever about it was that she was able to be an on-screen persona while still being genuine and connecting with the camera. Where Phi Phi tripped herself up is worrying exclusively about how she would be presented on camera; she got in her own head so much, she forgot to play by her new set of rules for self-governance. Also, and I don’t think this can be stressed enough: If you’ve been on the show once, you know the rules. You shouldn’t fall for the same rules twice, especially if you already know they’re “shady producers” (to quote Reddit).
Okay, this ends everything I feel like writing on Phi Phi. I wish her well, truly. I also wish she’d come to the reunion, because, selfishly-speaking, that’d be another Emmy-worthy moment for the show.
Overall, this was an episode that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt why RuPaul’s Emmy is overdue. Everything about the production of this show is at the highest level I’ve seen for any reality show since the first season of Survivor. What did you think? Do you support Phi Phi after everything that’s gone down? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
“Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” said Rami Malek as he accepted his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. His work on Mr. Robot is awe-inspiring, but it’s also absolutely necessary. While Malek’s character Elliot succinctly sums up the post-tech malaise and loneliness due to not fitting into society’s herd mentality, Malek also, quietly led a revolution just by being himself. Malek is of Egyptian descent, and as such, he’s become the first actor of color in 18 years to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
18 years. That means a lot.
That means for as long as a non-white kid, let’s say a Middle Eastern kid, someone like Ahmed Mohamed, aka “Clock Boy,” has been alive, there hasn’t been an actor of Middle Eastern/North African descent who the Emmys have deemed “worthy enough” to win, despite the fact that tons of Middle Eastern and other non-white actors are out there, ready and willing to show off their gifts. A kid like Mohamed hasn’t been able to see himself portrayed positively on television, and this means that others watching TV haven’t been able to see positive representations of Middle Eastern characters either; all they and Mohamed see are their people as terrorists.
When all you’re seen as is a terrorist, then it’s no wonder why someone with a vivid imagination, hopped up on discriminatory and xenophobia from the TV screen, would paint a smart, innocent kid like Mohamed, a kid who could have potentially been a bright light pushing America towards a more industrial-sound, innovative future, gets labeled as a terrorist for bringing his model of a clock to school to show his science teacher.
Before you say, “There are clearly more factors into why that kid was mistreated,” let me be the first to say, yes, there are many more factors. The adults in that situation could have been adults and realized that this intelligent kid was hoping those he viewed as mentors would see, acknowledge, and encourage his gifts. The adults in this situation already had their own fears that they put upon this boy. But let’s also acknowledge how our perceptions of the world and each other filter their way through our televisions every day. When you see others as terrorists, thugs, nerdy comic relief, submissive and/or hypersexualized objects, and other dehumanizing stereotypes on TV day in and day out, society as a whole begins to view the real life counterparts as those stereotypes, despite the fact that stereotypes are lies.
Malek’s win should be an uplifting moment for every brown kid looking at the screen, daring to hope that they can be seen as mysterious and heroic, that they can be viewed as a well-rounded, deeply layered individual. The same goes for Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari’s wins for Outstanding for a Comedy Series. Their work on Master of None has, despite criticisms about the cookie-cutter sameness of the woman cast as Ansari’s girlfriend, helped create a platform for Asian American voices to finally tell their stories. With Ansari as the lead and Ansari and Yang’s writing propelling immigrant stories in the much-lauded episode “Parents,” the two were able to smash the Model Minority myth as well as the myth that Asian Americans can’t be mainstream leading men.
While Master of None directly spoke to the immigrant experience, Malek himself spoke to his own experience as the child of immigrants.
— Variety (@Variety) September 19, 2016
Related: The Next Omar Sharif: Why Finding the Next Middle Eastern Hollywood Star is Easier Than We Think
The Emmys also celebrated the stories of layered women, including the performances of Regina King in American Crime, to Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in Veep, to Sarah Paulson in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, to Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black (who literally has to play multiple characters in the same scene), and many more. Jill Soloway, writer/director of Transparent and the star of Jeffrey Tambor were awarded for their work on the groundbreaking show featuring the journey of a family as they loved the main character through her transition. But while the show has been part of overarching criticism about Hollywood refusing to cast trans actors and actresses for roles, Tambor took his opportunity on stage to demand for Hollywood to cast trans actors and actresses, making it clear that he recognizes the privilege that allowed him to play his Emmy-winning role.
Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, and Keith David all won Emmys too; Vance for his leading role in limited series The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Brown for his supporting role in The People vs O.J. Simpson, and Keith David for his narration for documentary Jackie Robinson. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele won for their hilariously creepy work on Key & Peele. RuPaul finally won for the stellar RuPaul’s Drag Race and the stories of those with Down’s syndrome were recognized with a win for reality show Born This Way.
Overall, the Emmys shamed the Oscars. Even though there’s still more work to be done when it comes to portraying a much wider array of stories on both the big and little screen, it’s clear TV has a better handle on the battle than the movie industry does. In a year when we experienced the zenith of #OscarsSoWhite, the Emmys has given the Oscars a masterclass on how to respect and award stories different than than the “white male lead” vehicle. The actors and actresses awarded Sunday night have given voice to so many of the voiceless, and the Emmys has not only bolstered their platforms; it’s bolstered those who believed no one would listen to them. Now that there’s a clearer path towards recognition, perhaps we’ll see less terrorists on TV, hapless nerdy stereotypes, one-dimensional women, LGBT stereotypes, and offensive stereotypes of people with disabilities. We’re nearing the day when everyone will be given their just due to tell their stories the way they see fit. Hopefully, we’re nearing an age where we can see everyone’s humanity first.
When he won his Emmy, Malek said to the audience, “Please tell me you’re seeing this too.” We’re definitely seeing it, this change happening in television, and hopefully it sticks around.
I have been a huge fan of RuPaul ever since I saw him on his own TV talk show, The RuPaul Show.