Bringing fashion to Peshawar

Despite an environment of recession and unrest, marred by militancy in the recent past, the Peshawariites were treated to a colourful fashion show in University Town organised by Peshawar’s multi-designer outlet Guzel. It attracted a large crowd that gathered to watch super model Natasha’s cat walk, along with other top models from the rest of the country.

Ali Ozgen and Temur Ozgen, Islamabad-based entrepreneurs felt that the idea of expanding the potential of a fashion industry to a market where terrorism has prompted the investors to flee, would send a positive message to the foreign investors that the environment is conducive for them. Besides bringing top models to the city, it would also bring fashion from throughout the world to Peshawar’s households.

Ali is a graduate from IBA, Karachi and the London School of Economics. He quit his lucrative job in the Middle East and the UK to move back to Pakistan. Temur, a graduate from New York, is a banker by profession and also left his job in New York to come back to Pakistan.

Ali speaking to Dawn.com said that he wanted to provide everything to the fashion lovers. Guzel, he said, wanted to embody the philosophy to make women not only look stunning but also feel spectacular.

Temur is of view that the globe-trotting Peshawariites take their dressing very seriously and the fashionistas are demanding designer wear at home. “Now, their wish has come true as they don’t need to go any where, they can come to Guzel.”

Irum Khan, one of the country’s top designers whose designs are making headway in Peshawar, said that she is from the Frontier and it was time to pay back to the people of KPK. Her designs would continue making headway in other areas as well, despite the fragile security environment.

Super model Nastasha said that all the models as well as the visitors enjoyed the show and the hospitality of the people of Peshawar. “We are not afraid at all, all is well and there is nothing to worry about,” she replied when asked about the security concerns.

The show pulled in a crowd of elites and was also enjoyed by families and the youth alike, besides businesswomen, politicians and bureaucrats.

DIGITAL KILLS BEAUTY: SUPERMODEL PHOTOGRAPHER

Photographer Sante D’Orazio poses between two of his photographs at Christie's in New York. D'Orazio's photos are part of “Photographs Week at Christie's”. —Photo by AFP

NEW YORK: Sante D’Orazio, a photographer at the heart of the supermodel era, said that the switch to digital cameras means greater detail than ever before, but the loss of something more important: beauty.

“The sense of emotion is gone. It creates a detachment from the subject. The character of the personality is gone,” D’Orazio said of the digital production chain and its torrent of perfect, heavily-edited pictures.

“That’s the danger of post-production in digital. People kill anatomy. They have no sense of anatomy. The sense of realism takes away from the sensuality.”

D’Orazio, speaking at the opening of a sale in New York of some of his most famous fashion shots, knows a thing or two about beautiful women.

After getting his first job with Andy Warhol, the New York-born photographer went on to become famous for his late 1980s and 1990s pictures of models like Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington and Eva Herzigova.

The pictures are variously poetic, even sculptural, often smoldering and sometimes borderline pornographic. D’Orazio, 57, said the supermodel era that he’s credited with helping to create is truly over.

“The term started with these girls,” he said, gesturing at the huge, provocative prints of models in the private sales gallery of Christie’s in Manhattan. “Everybody else is just usurping the title.”

His former muses are still world famous, but for the most part have moved on. “They’re busy with their kids and that,” he said. But their now iconic images have become “collectible” – a development he hopes will fuel sales at his Christie’s exhibit, titled “Other Graces”.

According to D’Orazio, commercial fashion photography is not what it was and the abandonment of film has a lot to answer for.

In film, “there’s an emotional quality that the digital loses. Digital creates a facade. Film has depth to it,” he said.

“Thank God, I kept all my film cameras. Nobody wanted to buy them anyway.”

But a broader loss in quality comes in the shift from the likes of the ethereal Kate Moss to famous-for-being-famous celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. It’s a “trash” world where “the new pop is porn,” said D’Orazio.

D’Orazio dropped out of the fashion frontlines for several years, but said he’s found a way to navigate this new terrain while maintaining his integrity: turning porn into art.

In his newest works, which he hopes collectors will discover after being lured in by his conventional fashion images, he took “old ’70s porn and scratched out the faces and their privates and what it did was make a moving abstract,” he explained.

“As an artist, you basically do a portrait of what you see,” he said, referring to Western society’s embrace of pornography. “That’s what our culture is.”

Oscar 2013 winners‘Argo’ beats ‘Lincoln’ to Best Picture Oscar

** EMBARGOED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES FOR USE UPON CONCLUSION OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS TELECAST ** Oscar Statues are displayed backstage at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Oscar Statues are displayed backstage at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.

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List of the 85th annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday in Los Angeles:

1. Best Picture: “Argo.”

2. Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.”

3. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

4. Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.”

5. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.”

6. Directing: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi.”

7. Foreign Language Film: “Amour.”

8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo.”

9. Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “Brave.”

11. Production Design: “Lincoln.”

12. Cinematography: “Life of Pi.”

13. Sound Mixing: “Les Miserables.”

14. Sound Editing (tie): “Skyfall,” ”Zero Dark Thirty.”

15. Original Score: “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna.

16. Original Song: “Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth.

17. Costume: “Anna Karenina.”

18. Documentary Feature: “Searching for Sugar Man.”

19. Documentary (short subject): “Inocente.”

20. Film Editing: “Argo.”

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: “Les Miserables.”

22. Animated Short Film: “Paperman.”

23. Live Action Short Film: “Curfew.”

24. Visual Effects: “Life of Pi.”

‘Argo’ takes best picture at the Oscars

Argo director Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Movie onstage at the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. — AFP Photo

Argo director Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Movie onstage at the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

LOS ANGELES: If Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Oscars, everyone should be so lucky. His Iran rescue thriller “Argo” has won best picture from the Academy Awards.

It’s the first best picture winner not to be nominated for best director since 1989′s “Driving Miss Daisy.” But despite the omission of Affleck — or perhaps buoyed by it — “Argo” emerged as the Oscar favorite, winning top honors from the directors, producers, screen actors and writers guilds.

Affleck and fellow producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov accepted the award Sunday night.

Among the other eight nominees, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was perceived as the biggest competition to “Argo.” The other nominees were “Life of Pi,” ”Silver Linings Playbook,” ”Zero Dark Thirty,” ”Les Miserables,” ”Amour,” ”Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Django Unchained.”

 Jennifer Lawrence wins Oscar game

Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. — AP Photo

Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. — AP Photo

HOLLYWOOD: Jennifer Lawrence became one of the youngest best actress Oscar winners ever Sunday for “Silver Linings Playbook”- using her “Hunger Games” drive to secure Hollywood’s highest honor.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. This is nuts!” Lawrence said about the standing ovation she received after she tripped on her way up onto the stage in a voluminous Dior Couture gown.

The 22-year-old former cheerleader has now added Academy Award prestige to the fortune undoubtedly made playing Katniss Everdeen in the blockbuster teen movie franchise.

And she is not shy of speaking her mind about Tinseltown, telling a recent interviewer: “It’s almost like I subconsciously don’t want to work anymore, so I’m trying to ruin my career.””I’m so aware of all the bullshit that surrounds Hollywood, and how everyone gets on this high horse and thinks that they’re curing cancer and it makes me so uncomfortable every time I see it,” she said.

“So I go in the exact opposite direction and end up saying something like ‘I’m pregnant!’ when I’m in two franchises.”Lawrence, who plays a messed-up 20-something who falls for Bradley Cooper’s recovering mental patient character in “Silver Linings Playbook,” struck Oscars gold on her second attempt, after being nominated in 2011 for “Winter’s Bone.”

The only younger best actress nominees were 12-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes in 2002′s “Whale Rider” and Quvenzhane Wallis, who was in the running this year for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” at the age of nine.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, the young Lawrence was keen on cheerleading, field hockey, softball, and modeling — “none of which she held a passion for,”according to her IMDb movie industry website biography.

Her acting career started at the age of 14 when she spent the summer in New York City, wowing producers with cold-read auditions and earning a number of small commercial and film roles.

One of her first jobs was a promo video for MTV reality series “My Super Sweet 16,” which she alluded to when she won best actress at the Screen Actors Guild awards.

Shortly after her 2004 New York debut, her family – she has two older brothers – moved to Los Angeles so she could pursue her career. She left school two years early in order to focus on acting.

After TV roles her first big-screen credits came in 2008, including “Garden Party” and “The Poker House,” but playing Ree in 2010 drama “Winter’s Bone” was her first big break, and drew major critical acclaim.

Shortly afterwards she secured a role in “X-Men: First Class”, a summer hit in 2011, followed by being cast as the central character in “The Hunger Games,”based on the best-selling book series.

Her role as Katniss, winning a nightmarish survival-of-the-fittest contest in a dystopian future world, made her a teenage superstar. The second film in the series, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” is due out this year.

She was named as one of industry daily Variety’s Top Ten Actors to watch in 2010, and one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful People in 2011.
The best actress Oscar is obviously a more substantial accolade, and no doubt one that will help her already stellar career.

“There are actresses who build themselves, and then there are actresses who are built by others. I want to build myself,” she once said.

Of her future, she added: “I’d like to direct at some point. But I don’t know because 10 years ago I would have never imagined that I’d be here. So in 10 years from now, I might be running a rodeo.”

Presidential Day-Lewis wins record third Oscar

Meryl Streep, left, presents the award for best actor in a leading role to Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln" during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. — AP Photo

Meryl Streep, left, presents the award for best actor in a leading role to Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.

HOLLYWOOD: Daniel Day-Lewis won a record third best actor Oscar on Sunday, confirming his status as one of the finest actors of his generation, with an incredible range and astonishing attention to detail.

His uncanny performance as the 16th US president in “Lincoln” could hardly be further away from his character in “My Left Foot,” in which he played a man with cerebral palsy to win his first Academy Award in 1990.

The British-Irish actor also played a gay man in an inter-racial relationship in 1985′s “My Beautiful Laundrette,” in the same year he appeared in the quintessentially upper-class Englishman in “A Room with a View.”Day-Lewis – who won his other Oscar as a ruthless oil tycoon in 2007′s “There Will Be Blood” – is renowned for the selectiveness and intense research with which he approaches each of his roles.

The 55-year-old actor has made only four films in the last decade. But without exception, Day-Lewis has immersed himself in each of his roles to a degree that has become legendary.

Day-Lewis was born in 1957 to Cecil Day-Lewis, then Britain’s poet laureate, and Jill Balcon, an actress whose father ran London’s legendary Ealing film studios.

He dropped out of school at age 13 for his first film, an uncredited bit part in “Sunday, Bloody Sunday,” then began to seriously hone his acting skills – first at the Bristol Old Vic, then with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 1982 he reappeared on the silver screen in the epic “Gandhi,” but he really made his name three years later in two very different films: “My Beautiful Laundrette” and “A Room with a View.”In 1987 he clinched his first starring role opposite French actress Juliette Binoche in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” director Philip Kaufman’s adaptation of the Milan Kundera novel.

Often during films Day-Lewis chooses to remain in character off-set, living and breathing the part of his on-screen persona 24 hours a day.

For 1989′s “My Left Foot,” he insisted on staying in his character’s wheelchair during the shoot to the consternation of crew members forced to carry him above or around camera cables and lighting.

In 1992′s historical epic “The Last of the Mohicans,” Day-Lewis buffed up and learnt to live off the land as his character had done.
For Martin Scorsese’s period drama “The Age of Innocence,” Day-Lewis reportedly donned 1870s garb and spent several weeks wandering around New York to get into character.
Also in 1993, Day-Lewis shed several pounds to play an Irishman wrongfully convicted of an IRA pub bombing in “In The Name of the Father.”Day-Lewis ordered crew members to verbally abuse him and throw cold water over him during the making of the film.

During the making of his next film, 1996′s adaptation of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, Day-Lewis met his wife, Rebecca Miller, the daughter of the legendary late American playwright.

Day-Lewis was to make one more film – 1997′s “The Boxer” – before retreating into a mysterious five-year break from acting that has been the subject of intense speculation.

The most widely reported version of events is that Day-Lewis spent part of the period living in Italy learning to become shoemaker in exchange for teaching a cobbler how to act. Whatever the truth, Day-Lewis has studiously avoided talking about the period.

Once asked what he had done during those years, Day-Lewis replied:

“Different things. Some of which I’ve resolutely chosen not to speak about.”Day-Lewis returned with a vengeance in 2002, teaming with Scorsese once again to play the murderous Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting in “Gangs of New York,”a role that earned him his third Oscar nomination.

A further appearance in the drama “The Ballad of Jack and Rose” in which he was directed by his wife, came in 2005, before Day-Lewis re-emerged to link with director Paul Thomas Anderson in “There Will Be Blood” six years ago.

His only movie between that and “Lincoln” was 2009′s “Nine,” in which he played a film director struggling to find harmony in his professional and personal lives.

‘Life of Pi’ earns Ang Lee second directing Oscar

Ang Lee, best director nominee for his film "Life of Pi", arrives at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013. — Reuters Photo

Ang Lee, best director nominee for his film “Life of Pi”, arrives at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013.

HOLLYWOOD: Taiwanese-born Ang Lee was the first Asian ever to win an Oscar for directing, in 2006 for gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain.” Seven years later he has done it again with 3D fantasy “Life of Pi.””Thank you, movie god,” Lee told the audience at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday after accepting his award.

“I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this incredibly inspiring book.”Turning his hand to just about every movie genre, the 58-year-old immigrant has earned himself awards, acclaim – and sometimes the ire – of critics and a lot of money at the global box office.

“Life of Pi,” based on the 2001 novel by Canadian novelist Martel, tells the tale of an Indian boy cast adrift in the Pacific, sharing his boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Almost all of Lee’s films have drawn on both Western and Asian culture to depict characters struggling to fit into society, and live up to the pressures of family and repressive social expectations.

His early works include 1993′s “The Wedding Banquet,” the story of a gay Taiwanese man who fakes marriage to satisfy cultural demands, and his 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s English manners novel “Sense and Sensibility.”

This was followed by 1997 social drama “The Ice Storm,” his Oscar-winning martial arts epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), and blockbuster 2003 superhero movie “The Hulk.”Lee was born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, where his father fled from mainland China after his own landowner parents, the director’s grandparents, were executed during the Communist revolution of 1949.

After setting out to train as an actor, Lee graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 before heading to the United States at the age of 24 to study cinema in Illinois and New York, which remains his adopted home.

His feature directorial debut was 1992′s “Pushing Hands,” a Chinese-language comedy about the generational conflicts sparked as a retired master of the Chinese art of tai chi struggles to find his place in US society.

The film was a success on both sides of the Pacific, and Lee followed it with his sexually conflicted story “The Wedding Banquet,” which garnered Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

He repeated the feat in 1994 with “Eat Drink Man Woman,” a comic look at a family only able to express their love for each other through food.
Hollywood came calling, and Lee took on the big-budget 19th-century period piece “Sense and Sensibility,” his first English-language film, starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.

But he achieved global fame in 2000 with his imaginative take on Chinese martial arts films in “Crouching Tiger,” which won 10 Academy Awards nods and took home four statuettes.

Following his growing flow of movies and a critical bashing of his $120 million “Hulk,” the bruised Lee was contemplating retirement until his father, who had never approved of his movie career, talked him out of it.

He decided to do the small $14 million Western “Brokeback,” the story of two conflicted gay cowboys who fall into a secret love affair in 1960s Wyoming, in the hope that it would help him heal.

While he was thrilled to make it and gave it his signature subtle, compassionate touch, he remained tortured by the filmmaking process.

“Making movies is my ‘Brokeback Mountain,’” he once said. “It’s a fight, it’s an effort, but at the end, I’ve found my secret place. The place I feel at home.”Since then he made Shanghai-based erotic spy thriller “Lust, Caution” in 2007 and 2009′s “Taking Woodstock,” about the era-defining 1969 music festival, which was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or top prize.

Hathaway dream comes true with first Oscar

Anne Hathaway accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Les Miserables” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.

HOLLYWOOD: Anne Hathaway won an Oscar on her second nomination Sunday, confirming her status as one of Hollywood’s brightest acting talents – and an astonishingly powerful singer who “Dreamed a Dream.”

The 30-year-old, who took home the Academy Award for best supporting actress, had already won the Golden Globe last month for her role as the young mother and prostitute Fantine in the musical adaptation “Les Miserables.”

Her tearful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” is one of the film’s most heart-wrenching moments, the camera following her in relentless close-up, in one long take, as she laments her fate.

“It came true,” she said as she accepted her golden statuette.

“We did it upwards of 20 times, but it was the fourth take that (director) Tom (Hooper) came up to me and said, ‘You know, I have it. That was the one. I don’t imagine we’re going to do better than that’,” she told an interviewer.

“And I, of course, am like… ‘I can do it again.’ And I never broke through in the same way again,” she added. “So, at the end of eight hours of singing the song, we realized we could have finished after the first 20 minutes.”Hathaway’s Oscar win is certain to catapult her into the top tier of Hollywood actresses.

Born in Brooklyn in 1982, the daughter of a lawyer father and actress mother, Hathaway was drawn to acting early on, participating in dozens of school plays before heading to college.

Her first film role came in 2001′s Disney film “The Other Side of Heaven.”Around this time she successfully auctioned for the lead in “The Princess
Diaries,” the comedy-drama that effectively launched her career.

After a series of family-oriented films, most notably 2004′s “Ella Enchanted” and a sequel to “The Princess Diaries,” Hathaway’s career took a new direction with a shift towards more adult fare.

In 2005, she appeared as a spoiled socialite in “Havoc,” which controversially featured several nude scenes, before she saddled up for Ang Lee’s gay cowboy drama “Brokeback Mountain.”Her next film was the hit 2006 comedy “The Devil Wears Prada,” where she played the harassed assistant to multiple Oscar-winning Meryl Streep’s tyrannical fashionista.

Hathaway said she took the role specifically for the opportunity to work with Streep. “Everything that I have ever hoped to accomplish, she has done and done better than anyone I have ever seen,” she said.

In 2007, Hathaway played English author Jane Austen in “Becoming Jane”before a trio of films the following year – the spy comedy “Get Smart,” the
critical dud “Passengers” and “Rachel Getting Married.””Rachel Getting Married” earned her a first Oscar nomination, for leading actress, but she lost out to Britain’s Kate Winslet, after a year clouded by controversy surrounding then boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, jailed for fraud.

In 2010, she was equally busy, playing the White Queen in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” while 2011 saw her in romance “One Day,” followed by her 2012 turn as Selena in “The Dark Knight Rises.”She also leant her voice to animated hit “Rio” in 2011, as well as to TV series “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.” Her next film role after “Les Miz” is a reprise of long-lashed macaw Jewel in “Rio 2,” due out in 2014.

On Sunday, Hathaway bested fellow nominees Amy Adams for “The Master,”Sally Field for “Lincoln,” Helen Hunt for “The Sessions,” and Jacki Weaver for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Other winners

Animated Short Film: “Paperman.”

 Cinematography: “Life of Pi.”

Visual Effects: “Life of Pi.”

Costume: “Anna Karenina.”

Makeup and Hairstyling: “Les Miserables.”

Live Action Short Film: “Curfew.”

Documentary (short subject): “Inocente.”

Documentary Feature: “Searching for Sugar Man.”

‘Amour’ wins Oscar for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES: Michael Haneke’s brutal depiction of an aging couple, “Amour,” has won the Academy Award for best foreign language film.

It’s the second time an Austrian film has won the best foreign language film award, following “The Counterfeiters” in 2008.

Though “Amour” was Austria’s submission, it was a multinational production. The film’s German-born director is Austrian, but it’s in French and stars two French film legends,Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

French actress Emmanuelle Riva holds her trophy after receiving the Best Actress award for Austrian director Michael Haneke’s film "Amour" (Love) during the 38th Cesar Awards ceremony on February 22, 2013 at the Chatelet theatre in Paris. — AFP Photo

French actress Emmanuelle Riva holds her trophy after receiving the Best Actress award for Austrian director Michael Haneke’s film “Amour” (Love) during the 38th Cesar Awards ceremony on February 22, 2013 at the Chatelet theatre in Paris. —

They play a loving, elderly Parisian couple, one of whom has a stroke. “Amour” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and received a total of five Oscar nominations, including best picture.

The other nominees Sunday night were Norway’s “Kon-Tiki,” Chile’s “No,” Denmark’s “A Royal Affair” and Canada’s “War Witch.”

‘Sugar Man’ wins Oscar for best documentary

LOS ANGELES: “Searching for Sugar Man,” the heartwarming chronicle of a forgotten musician’s rediscovery, has won the Academy Award for best documentary.

Directed by the Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, “Searching for Sugar Man” tells the story of the Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez who disappeared from public after releasing an album in the early ’70s, but developed an unlikely cult following in South Africa.

The other nominees Sunday night were “5 Broken Cameras,” ”The Gatekeepers,” ”How to Survive a Plague” and “The Invisible War.”

The voting process for the documentary category underwent an overhaul this year intended to limit the nomination of obscure films, and ensure that a larger group ofdocumentary filmmakers winnowed the nominees.

The 85th Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with host Seth MacFarlane.

Christoph Waltz, “Brave” win early Oscars

LOS ANGELES: Austrian actor Christoph Waltz and animated movie “Brave” took home early Oscars on Sunday as Seth MacFarlane mocked both himself and Hollywood’s A-listers in his debut as host of the movie industry’s biggest night.

German-Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, best supporting actor nominee for his role in "Django Unchained", and his wife Judith Holste arrive at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013.  — Reuters Photo

German-Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, best supporting actor nominee for his role in “Django Unchained”, and his wife Judith Holste arrive at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013. —

In one of the closest contests going into the ceremony, the Best Supporting Actor went to Waltz for his turn as an eccentric dentist-turned-bounty-hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s slavery revenge fantasy “Django Unchained.”

“We participated in a hero’s journey, the hero here being Quentin. You scaled the mountain because you’re not afraid of it,” said Waltz, who has now won two Oscars for roles in Tarantino films.

Waltz beat veterans Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Arkin and Tommy Lee Jones.

“Brave,” the Pixar movie about a feisty Scottish princess, took home the golden statuette for Best Animated Feature.

MacFarlane opened the show with three song and dance numbers, barbed quips about some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and running jokes about his own suitability to host the Academy Awards.

“I honestly cannot believe I am here. It’s an honor that everyone else said ‘no’,” said the creator of edgy animated TV series “Family Guy”.

** EMBARGOED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES FOR USE UPON CONCLUSION OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS TELECAST ** Directors Mark Andrews, left, and Brenda Chapman pose with their award for best animated feature film for "Brave" during  at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Directors Mark Andrews, left, and Brenda Chapman pose with their award for best animated feature film for “Brave” during at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. —

But his biggest laugh came in a reference to director Ben Affleck’s snub in the directing race for his Iran hostage thriller “Argo.”

“The story was so top secret that the film’s director was unknown to the Academy!” MacFarlane quipped.

Presidential drama “Lincoln” went into Sunday’s three-hour plus ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, including a directing nod for double Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.

But its front-runner Best Picture status has been dented by the six-week victory streak enjoyed at other Hollywood awards by “Argo.”

The thriller, once considered an underdog when Affleck was overlooked in the Oscar directing category, is now thought to have the edge.

Best Picture, the top prize, will be announced at the end of the roughly three-hour live ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

If “Argo” does prevail, it will be the first movie to win Best Picture without its director even getting a nomination since “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990.

Musical “Les Miserables,” comedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” shipwreck tale “Life of Pi,” Osama bin laden thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” slavery Western “Django Unchained,” indie film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and “Amour” round out the contenders for the best film of 2012.

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, ANNE HATHAWAY WAIT

After several years of nominating little-seen movies, this year’s nine Best Picture contenders have pulled in more than $2 billion in tickets worldwide.

Oscar producers hope the popularity of the leading movies, together with a show packed with musical numbers and a James Bond movie tribute, will make for a big TV audience for broadcaster ABC

Upsets could be in store later on Sunday by France’s Emmanuelle Riva, 86, in the Best Actress contest.

Riva, star of the harrowing Austrian entry “Amour,” emerged as a dark horse in the past few days in a race that had been seen as a battle between “Zero Dark Thirty” actress Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence of “Silver Linings Playbook.”

A win by Riva would make her the oldest person ever to win an acting Oscar.

“Amour,” the story of how an elderly couple cope with the effects of the wife’s debilitating strokes, is considered the overwhelming favorite for Best Foreign Language film.

Few surprises are expected in the Best Actor race and Best Supporting actress categories.

Daniel Day-Lewis as US President Abraham Lincoln is considered an unstoppable force to become the first man to win three Best Actor Oscars.

Anne Hathaway, who starved herself and chopped off her long brown locks to play tragic heroine Fantine in “Les Miserables,” is considered the overwhelming favorite to win her first Oscar for her supporting role in the screen version of the popular stage musical.

The Oscar winners were chosen in secret ballots by some 5,800 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

FASHION DESIGNERS GO DIGITAL TO REACH BROADEST AUDIENCE

NEW YORK, Mon Feb 11, 2013 – Hundreds of fashion designers are showing their fall and winter 2013 collections at New York Fashion Week, but not all of them are on the runway.

The semi-annual event, which is followed by fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan, includes up to 500 fashion shows around New York and attracts about 232,000 people, from buyers to foreign press and wealthy customers.

Top name designers at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which runs at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center through February 14, have been streaming their runway shows online for the past three or four years.

Now, many lesser-known names, up-and coming-fashion stars and established designers who want to reach a wider, younger audience are going digital.

“This season it is really prevalent,” said Stacy Roman of the New York fashion and publicity firm Factory PR. “There has definitely been an increase in this type of platform.”

In addition to reaching a wider audience, going digital lets designers give fashionistas a behind-the-scenes look at the show and presentations, taking them backstage and through make-up and even fittings.

It is also far less expensive than staging a runway show, which can run upwards of $100,000 depending on the venue, models, makeup artists, stylists and disc jockeys for the show.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Rachel Roy, who launched her first collection in 2005 and has done presentations at Fashion Week, will feature her designs in a digital runway show to stream live on February 14.

“It just really seemed like the right thing to do,” said Roy, whose collection juxtaposes modern and antique looks with deep jewel tones and bright metallics, textured and smooth fabrics and light with dark colors.

“I always want to think outside the box, to do something that is new and fresh, and I think part of my job is to bring newness to fashion,” she said. “Part of doing that is showing to as many people that love fashion, that want it, making it accessible to them.”

Roy is building a full set for her digital show and will include backstage shots to let viewers experience all elements of the production.

Los Angeles-based Kelly Wearstler is also taking the digital route and will feature plenty of denim in a collection that will be displayed in her New York showroom and in a digital show with behind-the-scenes videos shot in her California studio.

“I am in the infancy stage of my fashion world, and I have a ton to learn, so I am baby-stepping it,” said Wearstler, who launched her fashion line 18 months ago but has been in interior design for more than 17 years and has a flagship store in Los Angeles.

The content will go out on several digital platforms including her blog , Twitter, the content sharing service Pinterest, the photo sharing and social networking services Instagram and Facebook, as well as fashion-focused websites such as Refinery29.com, racked.com, Style.com and Vine, Twitter’s new video sharing app for recording and sharing six-second clips.

“Right now I am happy where I am, learning and growing,” she added.

For 32-year-old Radhika Perera-Hernandez, who designs for her New York based-Lois London label, there was no question that online is the place to be.

“It is the smartest way for a start-up line to get their name out there. A lot of designers that are at the same level as myself are doing the same kind of thing,” she said.

Perera-Hernandez, who was born and raised in London, features kaftans, jumpsuits and swimwear in her collection.

“Anything that I am doing for the brand I will be pushing through my website and (the microblogging website) Tumblr and any of the other viral things that I have going on.”

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards

Beyonce poses with her award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Love On Top” backstage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Musician Wouter De Backer and Kimbra Johnson, winners of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Alternative Music Album and Record of The Year, pose in the press room at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Jay-Z poses with the awards he won for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song backstage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Singer/Musician Taylor Swift, winner of Best Song Written For Visual Media, poses in the press room at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

LL Cool J performs at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

(L-R) Musicians Chris Fryar, Zac Brown, Daniel Reyes, Jimmy Martini and Coy Bowles of Zac Brown Band, winners of Best Country Album award for “Uncaged,” pose in the press room at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Adele (C) accepts Best Pop Solo Performance for “Set Fire to the Rain (Live)” onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Skrillex (L) and Sirah, winners of Best Dance Recording, onstage at the The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Musician Prince speaks onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Musician Arejay Hale of the band Halestorm, winner Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for “Love Bites (So Do I)”, poses in the press room at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

(L-R) Musicians Graham Sharp, Nicky Sanders, Charles R. Humphrey III, Woody Platt and Mike Guggino of Steep Canyon Rangers, winners of Best Bluegrass Album “Nobody Knows You”, pose in the press room at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Beyonce poses in the press room at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Rihanna arrives at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

The heart of truth

(L-R) Wendy Williams, Cindy Parsons, Nastia Liukin, Minka Kelly, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Toni Braxton, Kelly Osbourne, Brenda Strong, Torah Bright, Gabrielle Douglas, Soledad O’brien, Roselyn Sanchez, Jamie Chung and Savannah Guthrie on the runway during The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner and Kylie Jenner wearing Badgley Mischka on the runway during The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York .

Kelly Osbourne and fellow models walk the runway at The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show at Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Kendall Jenner (L) and Kris Jenner present creations during the The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York, February 6, 2013.

(L-R) Brenda Strong, Kelly Osbourne and Soledad O’Brien on the runway during The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

TV personality Soledad O’Brien presents a creation during the The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York, February 6, 2013.

Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin attends The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion at Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Wendy Williams attends The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion at Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Actress Brenda Strong walks the runway at The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show at Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Actress Roselyn Sanchez presents a creation during the The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York, February 6, 2013.

(L-R) Brenda Strong, Kelly Osbourne and Soledad O’Brien on the runway during The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 6, 2013 in New York City.