SAG Awards 2015 Red Carpet

Monday, January 26, 2015


Generally, I'm a nice person. I believe in being nice and working hard, that's just my life philosophy. But when it comes to the red carpet, this is when I become the real Fashion Police. I have some real fashion opinions and I do not hold back. I've been critiquing red carpets since I was ten years old. Funny how I never turned my critiquing skills into a career. It's not that funny, because I'm actually trying to pursue a filmmaking career, but I still love watching red carpet coverage.

Over the years, I've realized that these awards don't carry as much weight as they use to. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Academy Awards. I wanted to make films and hopefully win an award, but I finally realized that it's all political. Just because a film wins doesn't mean it's really a great film. I've learned to critique films and understand what makes a good film with well developed characters and great storytelling. So when I pay money to watch Oscar nominated films and come out utterly disappointed and angered, I question these awards. The lack of diversity of the Academy members and winners also highlight the problems that exist within the industry.

Enough serious business, now to the fun of the red carpet!

Emma Stone has been labeled a fashion risk taker in the last few years. She wore a bejeweled strapless top with pants at the Golden Globes and all of a sudden, she's different and a red carpet stand out. As much as I agree that this Dior Haute Couture look is "different", it isn't spectacular either. There isn't enough proof to me that Emma Stone is a fashion risk taker. I can name maybe five looks of hers that I like (Calvin Klein, PreenValentino), but I just see her as safe and not fashion risk tasking until Award Season 2015. I've never found any of her Oscar looks or Met Gala looks noteworthy. I would prefer this look on another actress who is naturally edgy.

Emilia Clarke looks striking in Donna Karan Atelier. I love how sophisticated the gown is and the back is particularly elegant. I would have loved to see a brighter lip to make the overall effect more modern and youthful. I would have also loved for the criss-cross neckline to be an off white or ivory for a contrast - that's just my personal opinion.

Rosamund Pike is getting a lot of mixed reactions about her Dior high low hem and tent-shaped textured gown. I will be the first person to jump to her defense and commend her red carpet boldness! She has been pretty consistent during her red carpet appearances for Gone Girl and I truly appreciate how she has her own signature red carpet style. It may not be conventional, but that's why she is a red carpet standout. I absolutely LOVE tent-shaped dresses and generally interesting silhouettes for gowns and I love seeing certain actress embrace something DIFFERENT. Go Rosamund! Now wear more colors before you fall into a fashion rut.

I want to love Felicity Jones in Balenciaga, but I have a few issues with this almost perfect look. First of all, that hair is just atrocious. This is not a red carpet worthy hair and no one should wear their hair like this... ever. This Balenciaga gown is inspired by the Spring 2015 collection. If you look at the collection, you will see the criss-cross neckline is meant to fall below/off the shoulders, whereas on Felicity, it's resting on her shoulders, making her look constricted and uncomfortable. Some women are born with natural beauty, but red carpets are a time to slap on some lipstick or something.

Gretchen Mol wore one of the prettiest gowns on the SAG red carpet this year. She looked perfectly feminine in an ethereal gown by Dennis Basso. I'm a huge fan of vintage silhouettes, sparkly accents and beading and chiffon make my heart swell. Just look at that hem! It's heavenly!

As I said in my last SAG Red Carpet commentary, Julianne Moore can do NO wrong! Julianne is not afraid of color, in fact she can pull off any color in the rainbow. I'm sure most people will agree, she looks absolutely stunning in emerald green. She loves to experiment with her hair also, which is something I appreciate. It bothers me when some people don't know what to do with their hair, but Julianne gets it right.

Speaking of not knowing what to do with their hair, I'm not entirely impressed by Keira Knightley's hair. I think this loose casual hair look is contradicting the edginess of the ear cuff. The two just don't go together. I've never liked dark purple, red toned or blue toned, but I'll ignore the color of this Erdem gown and comment on the gown itself. Usually, I adore Erdem - floral, pattern blocking, pastel and neon colors, but I'm not a fan of the silhouette.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's character on The Honourable Woman has been named the Best Dressed Television Character. This is reflected in her red carpet and street style choices. Maggie is known for her low-key, minimalist red carpet looks, intermixed with the occasional floral and animal prints. She looks particularly statuesque in this long sleeved white Thakoon gown.

Lupita Nyong'o has received a lot of attention as a red carpet darling in her daring fashion choices. She has been applauded for wearing every single color of the rainbow on the red carpet. Well, I'm the first one to adore an Elie Saab gown, but I'm not that fond of this one. I can see why Lupita would pick this gown of all the glorious choices, because she looks great in prints and bright colors. I just don't find this look that special. I still think her best look is the red cape Ralph Lauren gown she wore at the Golden Globes last year.

Jennifer Aniston, as much as I love you in Friends, can I just say... no to this look. I have no words. Also, she was one of the actresses who refused to do the mani cam, which leads me to discuss:

To Mani Cam or Not to Mani Cam

I'm not going to defend or attack the mani cam, but I really don't think that the mani cam is particularly undignified. As I read an article about certain actresses refusing to show off their manicured fingers and jewelry, I question why is a mani cam is so particularly insufferable, whereas it's okay to wear plunging necklines, high slits and 8-inch heels?! These actors or celebrities get to dress up in beautiful and expensive clothes, get their hair and make up and nails done, wear exquisite jewelry and now there's one more thing to complain about? Mani cams?! This is a serious case of #firstworldproblems. Please understand I'm only complaining, because others complained first.

This is really not something worth writing about, but if celebrities get to look beautiful on the red carpet, they are required to say "who they're wearing" and showing off their jewelry, so why can't there be a special camera to show off their nail art and rings? It's all advertising and they're just part of the glamor of showcasing themselves. If some people have a problem with the mani cam, I think the real problem is the whole red carpet ordeal. You are required to walk down and show off yourself and answer asinine questions from hundreds of journalists, but it's part of the whole contract and I think if you can show up to an award season, you can show off your nail art.

Image Credit: InStyle

Freedom Journey 1965: Selma to Montgomery March

Monday, January 19, 2015

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Today celebrates the mighty achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. and the people who marched for racial equality in this country. The courage and bravery of these people are depicted in these stunning photo series Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein. These photos document the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March in 1965. Somerstein was a student of City College of New York and he traveled to Alabama and joined the march to capture this historical march.

"I had five cameras slung around my neck," he recalled. Over the 5 day, 54 mile march, he joined the people and had full accessible to the event. It feels so intimate to see the faces of so many people who didn't get their voice heard or have the right to vote, because of their race and background. It is so shocking to believe that prejudice and discrimination still exists in 2015. Acts of violence and racism still exist today and we need to stand up to that and raise awareness for racial and human equality.

These photos are truly inspiring and moving. The film Selma has awakened the activist within me and it has awakened the humanity in me (in the words of Common at the Golden Globes). I haven't been so moved by a film in so long and to see, feel and experience the pain and glory depicted in these photos and in the film, I become more human and in tune with history, people and our rights.

These photos are currently on view at the New York Historical Society from January 16 - April 19th, 2015.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.

SelmaMarch_65_35-001-14_Heid_PP-XL Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking before crowd of 25,000 civil rights marchers, in front of Montgomery, Alabama state capital building. Selma To Montgomery Alabama Civil Rights March,  March 25, 1965 SelmaMarch_65_35-003-21_72dpi-XL SelmaMarch_65_35-005-9a_72dpi-XL SelmaMarch_65_35-005-35_72dpi-XL "SFS_SelmaMarch_1965_35-009-19.jpg"
Photo source: Stephen Somerstein,  New York Historical SocietyThe Daily Beast

Now this is all kinds of nice

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Thanks for the retweet, Josh Radnor. We haven't met (even though I've seen you in The Babylon Line, Disgraced and other talks you did). We haven't exchanged real words besides "hello, I'm a huge fan", but I think we would have a lot to talk about. I really appreciate and admire your career and hope someday we will be able to talk about clanging, movies and the world (we don't have to talk about HIMYM if you don't want to).


Clanging with Josh Radnor and Dion Flynn

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably and hysterically? On Monday night, I witnessed great comedy on stage at The Peoples Improv Theater, thanks to Josh Radnor and Dion Flynn. "Clanging" was the name of the game. It was one of the most quick-witted exchange of words, rhymes, alliteration, jokes and references I've ever seen in real life.

I've always enjoyed comedy, but I prefer a specific type of humor that does not involve excessive crude humor about sex, farts and d*ck pics (okay I'm taking a mini jab at a certain type of comic). I shouldn't have to apologize, because I personally enjoy an intellectual type of humor with wit (N.B. Woody Allen, Larry David). "Clanging" was the perfect example of intellectual humor that is fast paced and quick-witted; you just have to keep with up them and try to laugh and breathe at the same time!

“CLANGING” refers to a mode of speech characterized by association of words based upon sound rather than concepts. For example, this may include compulsive rhyming or alliteration without apparent logical connection between words.

JOSH RADNOR (How I Met Your Mother, Liberal Arts) and DION FLYNN (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) have been clanging together (almost daily) for more than 15 years. If you love language, improv and talking about the spirituality of nonsense — you must be here for the stage premiere of this compulsively hypnotic pursuit.

It was a brisk Monday night and I arrived twenty minutes before the show and as I was walking towards the theater, I saw Josh Radnor on his phone outside. It just seemed like such a normal thing, but I didn't want to pester him either, even though I may have things to say to him. So I decided to go against my instincts and entered the theater. Condensation overwhelmed my glasses, as I took them off to acclimate, I soaked in the environment. I was in an improv theater surrounded by photos of comedians and motivational quotes. I picked up my ticket and lined up with the rest of the eager fans. I was excited and nervous at the same time. Admittedly, I've seen some terrible comedy before, but I knew deep in my gut that this will not be anything like those experiences. I had this intuitive feeling that Clanging will be something different, something special.

As we finally entered the room in a single file, I grabbed a second row seat and plotted myself into a comfortable sitting position. There was a jazz trio playing upbeat jazz and I kept tapping my fingers to the happy music. The mood was set and we were waiting patiently, we were just ready to laugh out loud. After fifteen minutes, Josh and Dion were finally welcomed to the stage. They entered the stage with some lighthearted choreography with some quasi tap dancing and general messing around whilst sipping on bottled water. It was so endearing and it already set the tone for the show.

They started off by introducing themselves and told the story of how they met each other (not how they met the mother!). They met at the NYU Graduate Acting Program and Clanging was born from a simple discovery of a glove. There was some more exposition and then the Clanging began with one single word (I don't remember the word! It started with 'T'). The idea starts with a word and it evolves into different words and sentences and jokes and rhymes and it just keeps going and going. The only rule is you can't stop. You can clang back the same sentence as before, which is totally legitimate, but you cannot stop. This is the basic concept of improv = thinking on your feet. How can one think that quickly and be funny at the same time? It's just mind-boggling. I was in awe and hypnotized. The possibilities were endless and unbounded and you just want it to go on forever.

That was my experience with Clanging, watching two best friends doing what they do best. It was pure enjoyment, entertainment and 100% stimulating for the brain. This gives me faith in live comedy again. There were explosions of laughter throughout the show, occasional interactions and exchanges with audience members and it was just an utterly unforgettable night of joy and laughter. I am so thankful to have seen this and experienced this in person. I look forward to future Clanging sessions and I hope more people get to enjoy this genius comedy duo.

Shyness: A Film by Avalonne Hall

Monday, January 5, 2015

Today is the day, my day, to embrace your shyness, and all your fears and insecurities. Seize every opportunity. You see something, and you go for it, because life is fleeting and the universe is expanding. And one day, we’ll be long gone and at least, you will die knowing that you’ve tried. If you’re not participating, you’re only a spectator. If your voice is not heard, you might as well be invisible. Be visible: participate. Be courageous: live.

Sometimes I forget to live by the words that come from my own brain.

Shyness is about embracing yourself and being present in your life. These are themes that I hold dearly in my life, because I want to be heard as an artist and a human. I care about the world and I want to share my ideas and spread positivity. I sincerely care and at times, I get lost and become disconnected with the world around me. It is terrifying and paralyzing when you lose control of yourself. I feel a good sense of control again and now I'm pushing myself to put Shyness out there.

I feel determined and motivated and it's such an inspiring feeling within me. By the way, I hate constantly using 'I', so I apologize for that. I think it's impossible to avoid it, unless I speak in third person. See? Can't help it. My point is this film is about you, it's about her, him, anyone. I wanted to write about things I care about and express it through the medium of film. I'm not sure how successful I am in achieving that, but I can't be afraid to share it with the world. I can't be afraid anymore. I hope you aren't afraid too. We all need a little courage in 2015. We all need a little courage to embrace ourselves and push ourselves to be better.

Shyness is currently in post production. I'm looking forward to seeing a final cut within the next few months. Then I'm going to get promotional items made for the films and send them out to the amazing contributors of the project. I'm truly 100% 120% infinitely grateful to the people who believed in me and my project. You're a part of something I created. I'm infinitely grateful to the actors and crew for being a part of the entire experience. Words are not sufficient enough to accurately express the gratitude I have for you for your faith and patience in me and my project. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Be shy. Be visible. Be courageous. Be you.


Clothes Encounters Style Profile: Avalonne Hall

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Do you ever randomly decide to revisit your past, because the past version of you has become this hazy and distant memory? At one point of my time, "fashion blogger" was a term I would proudly own. I would actively go to fashion blog networking events hosted by Chictopia, was invited to participate in two fashion panels and was fortunate enough to do a Style Profile with Jenn Im of the ever so chic and popular YouTube Channel Clothes Encounters. But that was old me or rather young me.

Please be aware I'm cringing as I post the video here, because I know that I'm super awkward in front of a moving camera. I'm not terrible in front of a camera, but when I know I'm being filmed, I tense up and act super unnatural. How on earth did Jenn pick me for a style profile? Well, we have a mutual friend Jon (who's a sweetheart) and from there, we met and filmed this video. It was the first and only time I've met Jenn and she was just so lovely and down-to-earth. I remember the "encounter" very well, like it was yesterday, but this video was shot in May 2011. I was four years younger in this video, so it's like opening a time capsule.

I have the widest and most awkward smile, but I really don't feel that uncomfortable in my skin. 

I can't believe I used these words to describe my style "menswear, Parisian, romantic, bohemian, seventies style". What was I thinking? I never dressed bohemian style nor was my style ever that seventies! Just because I love seventies Woody Allen era and I thought I was seventies style. Oh I laugh at my twenty two version of me! Three current obsessions? 1. Woody Allen 2. Prosciutto and brie and good cheese 3. Kettle Chips - baked - salt and pepper. Still true, still true and yes, still true.

As for my final advice on style is inner confidence and I still truly and 100% believe in finding yourself through your personal style. It should always be a form of self expression. You don't need to wear designer clothes to feel good about yourself, just wear clothes that express who you are and then you will shine through no matter what. I could write a dissertation on personal style. I'm no fashion expert, but I believe in the power and importance of personal style. Even though, I use to wear "bright colors and studs" and really just left out the truth of how I use to dress as a teenager, I think I always cared about the clothes I chose to put on my back. I always felt this need to express myself as an individual and I found personal style to be a fun way to show the world who I am.

From this experience, I've met some kind and smart women on Instagram and Facebook. I always knew there were internet trolls and people who turn into nasty version of themselves on the internet, but I decided to read the comments on this video and 100% of the comments were positive and sweet. Granted, the video received 10 thumbs down, but compared to 600+ thumbs up, who cares? Credit should be given to Jenn for filming and editing the video and yet people commented about me.

Someone called me a "pretty cool lady". Am I a pretty cool lady? I think I'm cool (a cool dork who loves Woody Allen, tennis and jazz), but do other people think I'm cool? That's just such a foreign concept to me. By general definition, I'm not cool at all. I don't drink or smoke, I usually stay in and watch films, documentaries and Ted Talks on Netflix, sometimes I binge on ASAP ScienceCrash Course, Cinemasins and Honest Trailers on YouTube. If I'm out on a Saturday night, I'm probably trying to convince my friends to play pool or ping pong with me. Or I'm listening to live jazz by myself. So... no, I'm not cool. But thank you kind people for the kind words, I appreciate them dearly.

Since this video was filmed, I've chopped off my hair, grown out my bangs and hair and chopped it off multiple times. I've moved to New York and worked on multiple films and television shows, I've written, produced and directed my first short film Shyness (which is still in post production). I've lived in six different apartments in Flushing, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Chinatown, Midtown and Williamsburg again. I feel like I'm a different person, but still the same. I'm four years older and hopefully wiser. Time is just such a funny and abstract concept. It still scares me and I just know I want to keep creating and giving back to the universe. Those are my main goals in life. My true sense of purpose is making me feel motivated and positive about life. I wish you all the inner confidence, self esteem and worth, because you are amazing and deserve to be the best version of yourself.

Be bold. Be fearless. Be you. The central theme of my short film Shyness.


Dear Future Avalonne,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dear Future Avalonne,

Today is January, 1st, 2015, which means it's a new year for new adventures, chances, dreams and goals to achieve, memories to make, opportunities to seize. Are you ready to take on this challenge? Because this is your chance to make a difference in your life. 

I've never felt so determined in my life and I think something has really shifted within me. A few weeks ago, I received a spiritual healing from a medium (I never got her name). Usually, I'm the first person to be skeptical about that, but on this particular Saturday, I felt compelled to get my spirit healed, because I was in desperate need of a healing. It was a strange feeling, as I was sitting there, with my eyes wide open and my palms on my knees... I kept thinking in my head, "help me heal my spirit and my soul, I feel so lost and disconnected. I want to feel free and liberated." And that was my word that I picked: FREEDOM. She helped me align my chakras and freed my creativity back into my hands. I felt rejuvenated. It was like magic. I'll take it! I'll accept this healing with an open mind. So thank you for helping me and healing me, I am so grateful to you.

I feel so motivated and organized right now. I'm in the process of straightening out my life and re-organizing and re-shifting my perspective on life. I contacted everyone I care about and spent time to catch up with them, because I care. You have to care. If you care about someone, you will spare time for them in your life. I spent time to clean, tidy and organize aspects in my life, like sending out emails, organizing simple things e.g. Spotify, my desktop and my bookmarks on Chrome. It's such a great feeling. So Avalonne, please continue to stay organized and don't allow this is to be a fluke. This is you and who you deserve to be.

In terms of creative endeavors, I feel so ready to put myself out there. Not to completely expose myself, but to be transparent and honest with you (anyone who's reading this). I want to be the type of person who is caring, nurturing and wants to make a difference. I don't know what I'll be able to achieve in life, but I'm going to work my way in that direction. I may never be known for my puny contribution, but that will not stop me from trying. I want to be a positive voice for people out there and I hope people will want to listen. I want to create, educate and learn about life, because we're here. We exist. Somehow we're in this life and all I want out of it is to help humanity and life persist throughout time. 

As my friend Bixby texted me at 5:35 a.m. this morning:

"It's all by chance and randomness. We are alive by chance and infinite variables." And my response? "We wouldn't exist if my mom hadn't met my dad. He wouldn't exist if his mom hadn't met his dad. It's quite poetic. I wouldn't have met you, if I hadn't dated Leo (his old roommate). Life is just a journey, so sit back and enjoy the ride."

Bixby is one of my best male friends and I'm so thankful that he's in my life. Same goes for all of my friends. And thank you to Caro for ringing in the new year with me via Skype. We both decided to watch Birdman on New Year's Eve by coincidence. There's a reason why she's my best friend. We just get it and we don't feel the need to stupefy ourselves with alcohol or other substances. So cheers to that!!!

"It is by chance that we met, by choice that we became friends." I truly and wholeheartedly believe in this saying. Life is full of chances and choices and I choose joy and positivity. I know why I'm here and I'm just so thankful that I am and I can enjoy it with you. 

Be safe, happy and healthy out there in 2015.


Avalonne Hall