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.”

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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.

Beyonce shines at Super Bowl

If naysayers still doubted Beyonce’s singing talents — even after her national anthem performance this week at a press conference — the singer proved she is an exceptional performer at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Beyonce opened and closed her set belting songs, and in between she danced hard and heavy — and better than most contemporary pop stars.

She set a serious tone as she emerged onstage in all black, singing lines from her R&B hit “Love on Top.” The stage was dark as fire and lights burst from the sides. Then she went into her hit “Crazy In Love,” bringing some feminine spirit to the Superdome as she and her background dancers did the singer’s signature booty-shaking dance. Beyonce ripped off part of her shirt and skirt. She even blew a kiss. She was ready to rock, and she did so like a pro.

Her confidence — and voice — grew as she worked the stage with and without her Destiny’s Child band mates during her 13-minute set, which comes days after she admitted she sang to a pre-recorded track at President Barack Obama’s inauguration less than two weeks ago.

Beyonce proved not only that she can sing, but that she can also entertain on a stage as big as the Super Bowl’s. The 31-year-old was far better than Madonna, who sang to a backing track last year, and miles ahead of the Black Eyed Peas’ disastrous set in 2011.

Beyonce was best when she finished her set with “Halo.” She asked the crowd to put their hands toward her as she sang the slow groove on bended knee — and that’s when she theperformance hit its high note.

“Thank you for this moment,” she told the crowd. “God bless y’all.”

Her background singers helped out as Beyonce danced around the stage throughout most of her performance. There was a backing track to help fill in when Beyonce wasn’t singing — and there were long stretches when she let it play as she performed elaborate dance moves.

She had a swarm of background dancers and band members spread throughout the stage, along with videotaped images of herself dancing that may have unintentionally played on the live-or-taped question. And the crowd got bigger when she was joined by her Destiny’s Child band mates.

Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams popped up from below the stage to sing “Bootylicious.” They were in similar outfits, singing and dancing closely as they harmonized. But Rowland and Williams were barely heard when the group sang “Independent Woman,” as their voices faded into the background.

They also joined in for some of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” where Beyonce’s voice grew stronger. That song featured Beyonce’s skilled choreography, as did “End of Time” and “Baby Boy,” which also showcased Beyonce’s all-female band, balancing out the testosterone levels on the football field.

Before the game, Alicia Keys performed a lounge-y, piano-tinged version of the national anthem that her publicist assured was live. The Grammy-winning singer played the piano as she sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in a long red dress with her eyes shut.

She followed Jennifer Hudson, who sang “America the Beautiful” with the 26-member Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus. It was an emotional performance that had some players on the sideline on the verge of tears. Hudson also sang live, her publicist said.

The students wore green ribbons on their shirts in honor of the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage at the school in Newton, Conn.

The students began the song softly before Hudson, whose mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew were shot to death five years ago, jumped in with her gospel-flavored vocals. She stood still in black and white as the students moved to the left and right, singing background.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Beyonce performs during the half time show in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.

Beyonce (C) and Destiny’s Child perform during the half-time show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Karachi Fashion Week takes off

The second day of Karachi Fashion Week brings collection from Pink Chiffon, Vasim Asghar, Sharifah Kirana and many other talented designers. But the most-awaited segment was probably the tribute to Mehnaz by designer Shabs.

A Pakistani model presents a creation of designer duo, Faisal and Shabana.

A Pakistani model presents a creation by designer Shabs.

Malaysian designer and KFW regular Sharifah Kirana showed form-hugging, clinging classic Hollywood gowns, impressive colour blocking and a line inspired by the concept of hijab in Islamic fashion for women.

A Pakistani model presents a piece from Vasim Asghar’s Moulin Rouge-inspired collection.

A Pakistani model presents a creation by designer Shabs.

A Pakistani model presents a creation by designer Shabs.

A Pakistani model wears a colourful presentation with Indian motif block print in classic eastern wear, by designer Pink Chiffon.

Bangladesh confirms Pakistan tour: PCB

bangladesh'r tour of pakistan, pakistan bangladesh series, pakistan bangladesh odis, zaka ashraf

KARACHI: Bangladesh have confirmed they will tour Pakistan next month for a short two-match series, becoming the first team to visit the country since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan squad in 2009, an official said Saturday.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had announced the team’s intention to tour.

“We were in constant touch with the BCB officials and they have conveyed to us that the tour is confirmed,”Ashraf told AFP.

“They have also got approval from their board members and we are in touch for the schedule.”

Ashraf said the best security arrangements will be put in place for the Bangladesh team.

“We will soon co-ordinate with the provincial governments and put in place the best arrangements for the tour and I am pretty confident that the tour will take place in the best possible manner and pave (the) way for more teams to come,” said Ashraf.

Bangladesh earlier this week said they will play a Twenty20 and a one-day on January 12 and 13 respectively, both in Lahore.

The team had agreed to tour Pakistan in April this year but the event was blocked by Dhaka high court.