Emmy’s 2018 Best Dressed and Chicest List

This year, celebrities did not disappoint with epic garments that look like they were made for the red carpet and all of the high fashion glamour. On the heels of New York Fashion Week, A-listers brought designers’ best to pre-show festivities while transforming the carpet to a runway of couture ensembles. They sparkle, awe and demonstrate the widely-celebrated allure of Hollywood.

Gemma tends to go for chic and simplistic. However, fashion is part fantasy, part artistry. It’s innovative to be bold and have standout pieces in cut, color, and overall aesthetic. However, classic glamour never goes out of style.

Here are Gemma’s picks:

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Jessica Biel simply Shut It Down! Biel may just win her first Emmy tonight, and The Sinner actress — who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress for her role in season one of the USA show — looked beautiful in a strapless white gown with half-circle shaped patches on it. The Ralph and Russo (ralphandrusso.com) couture dress was a stunner. Her hair was down with effortless waves, which made her bright red lip stand out.

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Mandy Moore from”This Is Us” in a Rodarte Metallic Dress with gold and black hues. (www.rodarte.net/)

The ‘This Is Us’ star always looks chic and Rodarte was a great choice for her. Metallic hues have dominated fashion runways for months. In all honesty, there’s something to be said about a beautifully understated minimal makeup look. Usually reserved for NYFW, on the red carpet it’s so refreshing. Mandy’s makeup artist Jenn Streicher created the beautiful, warm, bronze-y monochromatic makeup look on the This Is Us actress. It’s toned down and so refreshing.

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Thandie Newton was an angelic vision in her floor-length off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood pink gown. Newton wore Harry Winston baubles and very minimal makeup (yet, with pink-ish tones).

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Zoe Kravitz was fabulous in feathers! She was a showstopper as she posed in an eye-popping Dior dress covered in rainbow-colored feathers and was black above the waist on the red carpet at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The actress, 28, was joined by her dashing actor boyfriend Karl Glusman for the HBO drama “Big Little Lies.”

Glam Factor: 
The sleeveless number featured a cleavage-baring neckline that fell almost to her midriff, and she accessorized the look up a notch up the look with a double-necklace and earrings.

 

 

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Keri Russell in Zuhair Murad (http://zuhairmurad.com/en/home)

She wore a long-sleeve belted black Zuhair Murad dress with structured shoulders and the gown featured a sultry plunging neckline design. While her midsection was covered in black feathers, the bottom portion of her look revealed two thigh-high slits. It was a sexy look for her and worked well.

          Hair Details

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Subtle Hair Trend: Evan Rachel Wood


 

Everyone looked great and some stood out. The women that can combine their dress, makeup hues, hair and jewelry into a niche look have it figured out. It might look effortless, but each detail is pre-planned.

 

 

5 Reasons To Love Julia Garner (Ruth Langmore) from “Ozark”

If you adore the Netflix series “Ozark” the way we do, then you know that Julia Garner, who plays Ruth Langmore, is incredible. Julia is a brilliant actress, and she came on the Ozark scene like a firecracker and is still popping. Netflix is currently streaming “Ozark” season 2, and it’s fantastic. Once again, Ruth is front and center and ready for action.

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For a bit of backstory, after a deal with a drug cartel goes south, “Ozark” follows financial planner Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family as they are forced to relocate from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks. Laura Linney stars as Marty’s wife who gets involved with real estate to help Marty launder money after they move to Missouri. Their paths cross with fan favorite and resident badass Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), who also gets involved in Marty’s laundering business.

Garner is a standout, and you can’t help but love her. Jason Bateman (also Executive Producer) is so talented as usual. Marty is a force to be reckoned with — but in a quiet and stoic manner. It’s a bit of crazymaking behavior but it all makes sense to Marty.

Julia Garner is an American actress and model and only 23. She has appeared in the films “Martha Marcy May Marlene”(2011), “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”(2012), “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (2014) and has leading roles in “Electrick Children,” “We Are What We Are,” and “Grandma.”

Her role as Ruth Langmore, in “Ozark,” is one she has made her own. Ruth is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks living in rural Missouri with dysfunctional extended family members. She’s immensely street smart, wants a better life, and will do what it takes to achieve it. The girl has goals. Langmore basically plays all roles to her family members: caretaker, mom, disciplinarian, decision maker, and the breadwinner.

Here are our five reasons we love Ruth:

Incredibly Strong- Ruth does not take shit from anyone. Some might describe her as bitter, (especially given her family situation), but in reality, it’s like she has a sixth sense in order to protect herself and her family. Ruth is very aware of people, their intentions, and keeps all necessary information to herself. However, Ruth is not afraid to ask questions, take criminal risks and keeps moving. You have to respect her ability not to overthink.

Wicked Smart– She was the first to give Marty a run for his money (Literally). There is a pivotal scene where Marty knows he is dealing with a smart and savvy young woman who has the potential to be a criminal. It’s not long afterward that they become partners in business. Just the way Marty looks at Ruth is classic.

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Ambitious – Ruth will not stop at anything to get what she wants — money, a better opportunity, or even defending her family at times. As crazy as her family is, she remains loyal overall. In season 2, Ruth encourages Wyatt (her cousin) relentlessly to go to college. She knows he’s smart and Ruth says “You are not like the rest of us Langmores.” Unfortunately, when Ruth visits the school counselor on Wyatt’s behalf, she ends up punching her. I mean, it happens.

Hilarious– Julia Garner is serious in how she plays Ruth. It is possible that the writers did not anticipate that she would become such a scene stealer. Julia delivers her lines with such perfection, and sometimes it’s downright hilarious. Her comebacks alone are sharp and quick. She may not have a filter, but she’s always on point.

Vulnerable – In Season 2, the audience sees a more vulnerable side to Ruth. As the FBI starts to close in on Marty and the Byrde family, Ruth finally feels the pressure and does show more emotion. Besides, her ex-con/abusive dad is back home, and that stirs up a lot of angst for her. Ruth desperately wants his love and acceptance — even when he encourages her to make the wrong choices. The audience starts to understand a bit why Ruth is the way she is. The scene where she is taking a shower after FBI questioning and physical abuse is heartwrenching. Underneath it all, Ruth is a young woman who wants to be loved. She was not dealt the best hand in life and has been on her own for the majority. She’s still strong throughout and for this, watching Ruth Langmore is priceless.

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One added element: Ruth’s scenes with Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman). There is intensity, awkward encounters, and they could not be more different. Yet, when they look at each other and converse, it’s almost like there is a sense of self-reflection.

Ozark (Season 2) is currently streaming on Netflix. If you are into crime and heavy drama, you will love this show. On an end note, the entire cast (Laura Linney, Mike Moseley, Lisa Emery, and Peter Mullan) is phenomenal, the directing is so well done, and the series itself is a standout in an “outsider” type of way.


 

 

Getting Personal with Portraits from Visual Artist: Maxine Smith

Maxine Smith has been painting for over eighteen years. Her sense of detail, color choices and subjects are truly phenomenal. Maxine works in both oil and acrylic paint. Maxine Smith’s work is personal and intimate and she has accomplished what great artists do; she evokes emotion, thought, and meaning through her work. Her paintings are stylized. Gemma Magazine recently had the fantastic opportunity to attend her most recent exhibition at The Skidmore Contemporary Galley in Los Angeles, and the portraits featured embody warmth, color, and human faces that all have stories to tell. They can be the artist’s stories or the viewer’s stories. That is up to you. However, one look at her work, and it will resonate within.

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Maxine Smith feels her lifetime love of color and design gave her great appreciation of art. Smith took classes intermittently in her 30’s and 40’s at The Art Students League in New York. After relocating to Los Angeles and resuming her love of painting, her particular style began to emerge. At this point, Smith took a sharp turn into the world of working professionally as an artist. Smith’s works are now in several private collections, and she has participated in gallery shows in New York City, East Hampton, and Los Angeles.

One of the most recent compilations is her work from her “AT YOUR SERVICE” series, which continues her essential exploration of the human face. If you think about it, the face is a very personal element and can be perceived by an artist in many different ways. While visiting her exhibition, I had the opportunity to speak with Maxine Smith. On behalf of Gemma Magazine, I honestly have to say Maxine is one of the kindest and most gracious artists I have ever interviewed. Maxine also has a great sense of style and is very individual in her choices.

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GM: It is incredible to meet you in person. As I look around the room at your beautiful exhibition, it’s filled with colorful and surprising portraits of strangers yet they are mesmerizing. Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?

MS:  I was not aware of it back then but I started by copying Keene portraits at the age of 16. This ignited my passion but eventually, my interest turned to interior design and that became my career path, one I was fortunate enough to have.

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GM: How did your career in interior design start?

I was living in London at the time in a flat that I decorated. There is a designer I adored named Zandra Rhodes, who is London based. I designed our home using dress designer Zandra Rhodes fabrics for walls and upholstery and it was a first for both of us. The flat ended up being photographed for British Vogue by photographer Richard Clarke. This started my career as a designer.

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GM: What elements inspire you as an artist and how would you describe your art?

My portraits become real people to me and therefore are similar to characters that are my friends. They may start as strangers but take on a deeper meaning. I work from both live models and photographs. Only recently did I realize I was painting through the use of fabric, color, and pattern. That was my signature.

GM: Strangers, correct, inspire all of your portraits? (people you notice restaurants, stores, etc.?)

Yes! I’m an observer of sorts and enjoy people watching. Sometimes there is something in the face of a person that attracts me. “There is always a certain something that draws me to the subject. That is how the painting process begins.”

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GM: I especially enjoy “At Your Service” where you feature portraits of a bellman, a housekeeper, and a chef to name a few.  There is something so mundane, yet potent in these. Can you expand?

In my series “AT YOUR SERVICE,” I’ve created portraits of people who don’t often have the opportunity to be painted. It’s a collection of images of people working in the service industry. The Housekeeper and The Bellman exemplify this approach through the careful clarification of details and use of limited palettes. These are people who press our suits and iron our clothes but so often go unnoticed and unappreciated. This series gave them their moment.

 

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Overall, Maxine’s art makes you think and that is what authentic art is about. Maxine’s work is a beautiful combination of artistry, talent, and the human connection. Gemma Magazine is looking forward to her next exhibition and cannot wait to attend again.

“I hope that the viewer feels some emotion when they look at the portraits I’ve created…a smile, a question, a thought…something that makes them linger.” (Maxine Smith)

To follow Maxine Smith on her social platforms, here are her links.

https://www.facebook.com/maxinelengelsmith

https://www.facebook.com/Maxine-Smith-Art-223492407667294/

http://www.maxinesmithart.com/msa/Home.html

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Maxine Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the Moon for Actress Mouna Traoré

Mouna Traoré is a force — a fantastic actress, who takes her craft seriously and continues to make it fun! Mouna is currently starring on the popular legal drama, In Contempt on BET (www.bet.com) as “rookie” Public Defender Vanessa Hastings. Mouna also made an impact with her portrayal of Dr. Rebecca James on the series Murdoch Mysteries. Traoré is a very talented actress with a beautiful sense of style and a lovely screen presence. Mouna is also a producer and currently has a secret project in the works. She is definitely on the rise, and it was exciting to speak with her about her character roles, her acting ambitions, and her eclectic background.

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Mouna Traoré was born and raised in Toronto in a very diverse and multicultural community. Mouna has a big, blended family, with three sisters and one brother, who are all her best friends. “I’m so grateful to be from Toronto because it’s a city that deeply loves and supports the arts.” “I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a lot of art at an early age and given many opportunities to express myself in different mediums,” says Traoré. When she was not filming or traveling, she spoke with Gemma Magazine.

GM: Hi Mouna!! Thank you for joining us. Did you always know that you were interested in the arts and when did you decide to make it a career?

I knew I wanted to be a performer before I even knew what acting was. I must have been 3 or 4! I never also questioned whether or not to make being an actor my career. It was automatic – an inherent knowledge I had early on. I feel like most of the decisions I made as a child, and young adult was with the mindset that it was what I was going to do. I never considered anything else.

GM: You have such a striking presence as well as a beautiful sense of style. Are there specific fashion brands that you adore?

I love the simple elegance of French brands like Iro and Isabel Marant for day to day wear, and I like to mix things up with Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. I definitely can’t get enough Pleats Please! I am particularly obsessed with Loewe handbags…

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GM: In Murdoch Mysteries, you played Dr. Rebecca James. She’s a great character and develops so well throughout the series into such a rich and multi-dimensional character. How would you describe Rebecca?

Curious, determined, resourceful, and diligent. Rebecca is a humble girl that has an intense thirst for knowledge and genuinely wants to help and support the people around her, especially the constabulary.

GM: I also enjoy your character, Vanessa Hastings, on In Contempt. How has it been working on a legal drama and learning the courtroom jargon?

I think that working on a legal drama is so much fun because the stakes are always so high. Learning the courtroom jargon was a lot to get through, and I found it challenging at times. Playing Rebecca James somewhat prepared me, because medical language from the early 1900’s was also challenging to learn.

GM: Do you feel Vanessa likes her job as a public defender? She is known as “the rookie” and does seem surprised by what her job entails.

Vanessa learns to love her job by the end of the season. Since she starts out as the “rookie,” she learns as she goes along. It’s an entirely new world for her, which is why it seems like she’s a deer in headlights every episode.

GM: I know you travel a lot and are from Canada. However, how do you like LA?

LA is a great city. A little too much driving for me but I feel more and more at ease there. However, I’m very close with my family, and it’s pretty heartbreaking to have so much distance between us.

GM: You are a producer as well. Are you currently working on a project?

I am currently writing a script. It’s too secret (mainly because I’m super sensitive about the whole concept of the project!)

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GM: You have been described as having infectious energy on set and so much fun to work with. Is this just a natural part of your personality?

Yeah! I sometimes describe myself as an 8-year-old boy on drugs. I’m a very open, impulsive, energetic person and I’ve been that way my whole life. I’ve calmed down in the past few years, but I’m still a lot for some people to handle.

GM: Can you give us any clues regarding Vanessa in the upcoming season? 

Zero! … I’m still waiting to hear about Season 2 being picked up!

We cannot wait to see what is in store for Mouna Tratoré— Television, and Film!


All Photos by Lenard Smith

To follow Mouna on her social platforms:

https://www.facebook.com/mouna.traore

https://www.instagram.com/_mounatraore/

https://www.facebook.com/InContemptBET/

 

Podcast Perfection⎮Amanda Payton from “Trial and Error”

Amanda Payton is quite stunning, but she’s also a very talented and a highly trained actress who joined Trial and Error as a regular cast member for Season 2. Payton is perfection as Podcast host Nina Rudolph. Trial and Error is a spoof on crime documentaries (Thursdays at 9pm EST on NBC). Payton is making her mark as an actress on the small screen joining a couture cast of actors, like the esteemed Kristin Chenoweth.

Amanda’s character, Nina, is an ambitious New York podcast host who comes to East Peck to follow the murder trial of Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristin Chenoweth), for her murder podcast “M-Towne – Where Murder Happens.” Payton explains that her character’s podcast is loosely based off of real-life investigative journalism podcasts S-Town and Serial in a town filled with outrageous characters. “The creator of Trial & Error, Jeff Astrof, is a genius with words and bringing his scripts to life was an honor,” says Payton. All of Season 2 was filmed over a ten week period on location in Vancouver, Canada. Trial & Error, with its serialized storytelling (each season follows a new case), requires viewers to tune in to every episode from the beginning and is meant to be binge-watched.

Gemma Magazine was thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with Amanda about her character Nina, the transition from theater to television, and her unique perspective about Trial and Error when she had a moment.

GM: How did you become interested in the arts? Did someone inspire you?
Well, I grew up in a very artistic household. My dad made his money as a landlord, but his passion was acting. My mom was a dancer. I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture thing, but my dad told me that he would read Shakespeare to my mom’s pregnant belly. It was essential to them that I was cultured in the arts in some way and they exposed me to plays, dance, music, theater, film, and visual art from a very early age.
I fell in love with acting when I was about three years old. My mom took me to see a Chekhov play that my dad was acting in. She thought that I would probably sleep through it, but apparently, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. When it was over, I couldn’t wait to see my dad. In the play, he had grey hair and wore glasses. I was intrigued because I knew it was him, but I couldn’t believe the transformation. After the show, I crawled back and forth inspecting the entire stage. I think that was pretty much what started it for me.

GM: I know you had roles on the Animal Kingdom and NCIS, but you must be thrilled about your recurring role as Nina Rudolph in Trial and Error?
Beyond thrilled! Nina was a blast to play and joining the cast of Trial & Error was an absolute joy. Nina’s podcast, M-Towne, is loosely based on the real-life investigative journal podcasts S-Towne and Serial. I am obsessed with murder podcasts and murder mystery documentaries, and I finally got to put this weird obsession to use!
The creator of Trial & Error, Jeff Astrof, is a genius with words and bringing his scripts to life was an honor. The most exciting part of this experience was getting the opportunity to work with a cast of such high caliber comedians. The life that Kristin Chenoweth, Nicholas D’Agosto, Jayma Mays, Sherri Shepherd and Steven Boyer brought to the scripts was sidesplitting! They gave me a lot to work off of, and I had an absolute blast.

GM: Please describe your character and the show, as it is a spoof on crime documentaries.

Nina is an ambitious New York podcast host who comes to East Peck to follow the murder trial of Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristin Chenoweth), for her murder podcast “M-Towne – Where Murder Happens.” While in East Peck, Nina develops a little crush on Lavinia’s lawyer, Josh (Nicholas D’Agosto). She ends up entangled in a complicated triangle between him and his opposing counsel, Carol Anne Keane (Jayma Mays), who may be carrying his baby.

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Trial & Error is a broad comedy, so most of the characters are pretty outrageous. Nina is, in a sense, the eyes and ears of the audience. She asks the questions and makes the comments the audience is wondering and thinking; she’s the straight guy, the “normal” one, and it was great to be that different persona in the mix of insanely funny personalities.

GM: What is it like working with Kristen Chenoweth?
Working with Kristin was an absolute dream. Not only is she insanely talented, but she is genuinely one of the most giving and loving people I know. I really can’t say enough good things about her as a person. Onset, Kristin led our ship making it safe for everyone, including our guest actors, to take risks and bring their best work. She taught me that along with being a talented actor, a big part of the job of leading a successful show is having the skill set to bring out the best in everyone. Such a priceless lesson that I will never forget.

 

Nina is, in a sense, the eyes and ears of the audience. She asks the questions and makes the comments the audience is wondering and thinking; she’s the straight guy, the “normal” one, and it was great to be that different persona in the mix of insanely funny personalities. Amanda Payton

GM: You are theater trained (Carnegie Mellon), which is fantastic. How was the transition to television?
That’s a great question! You know, the transition took some time. After graduating, I was being asked to work more differently and subtly than I was accustomed to. My voice didn’t need to reach the last row of a theatre, and my physicality didn’t either. On film, the slightest twitch of an eye is picked up by the camera. It almost felt like learning a new art form. The great thing about Carnegie Mellon is that the program teaches you how to train. I learned how to work hard and ultimately take what I learned in school and scaled it back.

GM: What do you do when you are not filming or rehearsing?

Aside from spending time with friends, family and my dog Harley, I enjoy painting. I also love taking dance classes or just turning on music and moving. I do my best thinking while running on trails out in nature. These activities keep me curious and expand my creative vocabulary. I am blessed to be surrounded with some fantastic mentors along my path, so it’s also a passion of mine to pay it forward to those I am in a position to help.

GM: On a lighter note, you have great style. Very effortless and chic. Do you enjoy fashion?

Thank you! Yes, I do enjoy fashion. My parents were total hippies, and my style reflects that. It’s eclectic, earthy, and relatively comfort-conscious. I love florals and unique patterns, and any color you can find in the sunset. I am more into feeling comfortable and confident than having trendy designer pieces.

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Amanda Payton is so lovely and we were thrilled to speak with her. Trial and Error (Season 3) has not been renewed yet but hoping to see it confirmed, regardless of platform. You can keep up with Amanda and her current projects on her social platforms:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTrialAndError/

https://www.instagram.com/amanda__payton/

All photos courtesy of Tony Meda


 

The New Level of Style from​ The Next Gentleman

Anthony Mastracci, also known as The Next Gentleman (www.thenextgentleman.com), is a style blogger and yes, he wears it well! Both the job description and the menswear clothing he features. “The Next Gentleman” is a gorgeous and eclectic blog that highlights Anthony’s eye for detail, modern and classy apparel at affordable prices and lifestyle posts that spark the imagination. His website is ahead of the game, and Anthony knows what his audience wants. However, he is also willing to learn along the way, which is such an essential quality as a blogger. Anthony is based in LA but makes frequent trips to Boston. Therefore his sense of style has an East Coast aesthetic fused with the Cali look. Smart!

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“I wanted to show people who were interested in menswear and lifestyle topics like romance, restaurants, and grooming how to stay on top of their game without spending thousands of dollars,” says Mastracci. He also wanted to show the world exactly what it means to be a modern day gentleman from his perspective.

Since 2015, “The Next Gentleman” has gained a strong following on the web and social media, mainly Instagram, as he tears through outfits, theological questions, and life itself one post at a time. He has had the fabulous opportunity to showcase some of the best affordable menswear brands, well established and brand new, from all over the country. “But most of all, I’ve been able to spread the message that good style isn’t a price — it’s just how you bring the inside out for everyone to see,” says Anthony. Every week, “The Next Gentleman” meets new brands with whom they seek to develop exciting partnerships. As a rule of thumb, the team only reviews and promotes products that we have personally tested and love using. You must look at the blog, the fantastic brands, and discounts offered! When Anthony was not shooting, sourcing or blogging, we had I a chance to catch up.

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GM: You said that you grew up reading GQ Magazine and loved the aesthetic. However, the merchandise featured was pricey, and this ignited your concept/passion to start your magazine/blog. (Very savvy btw). I’m assuming you do all your sourcing. Can you please expand a bit on your creative process?

Our sourcing, the items that make up the outfits we build, come from two different streams — pieces we hand select when working with brands we’d like to feature, and simple pieces we’ve had forever that we love and wear frequently. When it comes to deciding what to feature or when to highlight it, we look at the current season and weather, not just in LA but across the country. Of course, classic pieces can play at any time, but fabrics, colors, and specific styles don’t always work. For example, we’re not going to promote sweaters in the 93 degrees LA heat!

GM: Has men’s fashion always appealed to you? I sometimes feel “it’s either in the blood” or not.

I mean, I think there’s a sort of mental proclivity for spatial and artistic reasoning so I can see what you’re saying. But fashion wasn’t always something I cared about, and it’s pretty recent for me. My love for personal style and image creation began in 2010 when I started working at Nordstrom. I remember just being a young 19-year-old and thinking, “You guys want me to wear a suit to work?!” I had only worn suits for funerals and stage performances up to that point. Being submerged in that environment, you’re exposed to so many style options. The hardest part is trying everything on to get your fit down correctly. I always joke about suburban Nordstrom in the sense that it’s kind of a one-way ticket to dressing better for most employees!

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GM: Your lifestyle posts are so streamlined and beautiful. Are these ideas always planned out?

Oh, absolutely. The feed is something that has taken many shapes over the years, but after my friend/photographer, Fabian, joined the team, we spend time every week planning outfits, tossing clothes around, figuring out which brands we can pair together, conceptualizing the feed and the message, and more before we actually post.

GM: From one writer to another, how do you stay on track? I feel I’m either writing or thinking about writing.

It’s challenging to do with a day job and then the communicative and operational tasks on top of that. But when you’re passionate about something, you make it happen! The hardest part for me, and for many others is the first sentence, so if something’s on my mind, I just let it come out and worry about structure later.

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Yes — our LA photographer, Fabian, has been pivotal in organizing and creating new content. We’re looking to plan feet back on the ground in Boston, where The Next Gentleman was born, and hopefully continuing to expand.

GM: What do you think of LA fashion in general (men and women)? Women tend to love men with some swagger, which you have. Did that somewhat come from your Boston roots?
The one thing I didn’t understand until living in LA was how much of the impact weather has on local fashion. Now, back east, we layer, and we layer HARD-CORE. I’m talking first layer, shirt, sweater, jacket, and then overcoat. In LA, you’d be an idiot to do that, and it’s just too hot. But the casual styles you see in LA were born from what makes sense to survive in the climate. There are ways around it to an extent. For example, I’ve swapped out my wool suits for lightweight cotton and even linen options. If I had to choose between the two, I’d say I’m much more into the classic English, and New England inspired styles of Boston.

GM: You have a fantastic fan base. What do you see in the future for The Next Gentleman?

Oh, thank you! Our audience is fantastic. They’re engaging, they ask questions, and they love the style! Initially, the idea was to start a new-age men’s magazine. I didn’t have the people, the funding, or the know-how to do that back then, but we’re making fantastic progress, and I could see it happening one day, in some form. We’re going to keep expanding for now — who know’s what’ll happen!

GM: What sparks your inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from my past experiences with work, social circles, hobbies, etc. I’ve never been one to limit myself to one genre of anything, and there’s something very liberating about that. Personal style is the same thing. Some days you’ll see me in a fantastic suit. Other days you’ll see me in joggers and a tee. Other days I’ll be dressed like someone’s dad — and you know, I’m okay with that! It’s all about being yourself.

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GM: You seem so chill in general but what do you do for fun to take a mental break from the blog.

Haha — that’s so nice of you, thank you so much! You’re chill too. I work A LOT. If it’s not the day job, it’s the blog, in some capacity. But I love to play catch. I find it to be a great stress reliever and just very therapeutic. There’s usually someone cool catching the ball on the other side, which makes it even better.

GM: Lastly, what advice would you give to someone wanting to start a men’s fashion site?

Want to be part of my team?! Haha — If someone wanted to start a men’s fashion site or blog, I’d say to take a step back from yourself, write down what you’re all about, and then show the world exactly that.

To learn more about Anthony and The Next Gentleman, you can keep up with him on the following social media platforms.

Thank you, Anthony! You are introducing Gemma to menswear in an elegant fashion. Very refreshing.

https://www.thenextgentleman.com

https://www.instagram.com/the_next_gentleman/

https://www.facebook.com/thenextgentleman/

Authentic Empowerment: Exclusive Interview with Shiva Negar

Shiva Negar is a force: beautiful, smart, and strong (Both mentally and physically). Shiva is known for her role as CIA Agent Annika from America Assassian(https://www.cbsfilms.com/american-assassin/). Her exotic looks derive from her diverse background. She was born in Iran and raised in Turkey and Canada. The name Shiva is of Persian origin and means “Beauty.” Shiva embodies her name in so many ways.

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Photo: Steven Pressler

Shiva began her career as a child performer by performing on piano and guitar at recitals and in singing competitions. In high school, Shiva was involved in several school plays and theatre, which quickly became her art of choice and decided to take her passion for acting to the next level. Shiva then went to film school in Los Angeles and in between following her passion and her auditions, Shiva also managed to graduate from York University with a degree in Psychology.

Shiva played the lead role in Lionsgate and CBS Films’ Action Thriller American Assassin, which is based on the bestselling series of novels by Vince Flynn and is directed by Michael Cuesta. Shiva starred opposite Dylan O’Brien, Taylor Kitsch, and Michael Keaton. Shiva trained hard — with an elite group of specialists, performing a number of different CIA exercises. After watching American Assassin, I cannot imagine anyone else playing Annika, the Turkish CIA associate with her own personal agenda. In the film, Negar navigates the gray waters, always centering her character so that we always understand her motivations.

Shiva Negar is a perfectionist with an intense work ethic and gravitates toward characters that are very empowering, which is inspiring. She is also extremely professional and enjoys pushing herself to the limit. Shiva has that rare fusion of intense strength and vulnerability which makes her so interesting to watch.

Shiva also starred as the lead of Telefilm’s feature Becoming Burlesque for director Jackie English. She just wrapped The Cuban and is also currently filming Heartland.  She is in constant demand. When Shiva had a break from filming, she took the time to speak with Gemma and we could not be happier.

GM: I know your training was intense for American Assassian, however did you also find it empowering to build such physical strength? As you know, it’s such a great asset for your mental game too!

SN: The training was great and a lot of fun! We did a lot of kickboxing, choreographing the fights, weapon training etc.  And yes it was definitely empowering to learn these skills and be able to have the same strength and capability as the men did on the field.

GM: What would a typical day on set be like? Also, can you expand on your experience working with Director Michael Cuesta

SN: Everyday was different, but once we went on camera, typically we would always have a good amount of rehearsal time with the director to go over the scene and talk about our characters before filming. Then we would just go out and play and there was always room to improvise or tweak things around to where we as performers felt most comfortable.

I definitely enjoyed working with Michael Cuesta, he’s a very visual person and I liked that he was very open to hear our side of the story and our view on the characters, and if something didn’t feel right in the scene he was willing to change it to what we felt would be more natural.

GM: Annika is sort of every woman’s dream and men too. She’s smart, strong, confident. I also find her vulnerable at times. Did you feel as well that she had alot of layers to her personality?

 

SN: Oh yes! There were definitely a lot of different layers to Annika. She’s very driven and fearless. Her tragic past has made her become who she is and it’s where her focus and strength comes from. However I like the fact that we get to see other sides of her throughout the film, her feminine side, and her vulnerability when it comes to her family and the pain that she’s been carrying all along. I really enjoyed being able to play all of that and accessing all those layers.

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What did you learn about yourself from playing Annika?

SN: That I can kick ass, lol. One thing I love about acting is the fact that every character and every project is different and you get to learn and experience many different skills, situations etc. You never know how far you can go until you’re placed in that situation. So being a part of such a project that required a lot of physical strength made me realize how far I can push myself physically and mentally and it was definitely more than I had imagined 🙂

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GM: You also starred in Burlesque as Fatima. Your character finds herself and her sense of belonging through the Burlesque environment.  Do you find this suprising?

SN: That was another very fun and empowering role where I got to explore the world of Burlesque and had to learn to perform on stage as a burlesque dancer.

I don’t find the plot surprising at all, in fact I can somewhat relate to it myself as I’m sure many others can as well. Growing up, I was always trying to fit in with friends, in school, family etc. I buried my creative side for years as I was trying to live up to my family’s expectations and follow the “norm”. It took a long time for me to find my sense of belonging and actually embrace who I was and follow my passion which was completely against the rules and my family’s wishes. But things didn’t turn out so bad after all and I’m glad to say that I now do have their support 🙂

GM: I know you are signed on for Street 2 with producer Lyle Howry. I’m sure you are looking forward to it. It also sounds like a great cast and it centers around such an imortant issue.

SN: Yes I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s a great script and a great cause. It revolves around the issue of human trafficking, which I believe we need to pay more attention to and create more awareness. I’m happy we will shed light on this.

GM: What is coming up next for you? 

SN: I just finished shooting for a film called “The Cuban” starring Louis Gossett Jr. and Shohreh Aghdashloo.  It’s a beautiful story about the connection between music and Alzheimers disease and how music can effect memory. It also sheds a light on different cultures and the history of Cuban Jazz.  I’m also currently filming for the TV Show “Heartland” (http://www.cbc.ca/heartland/), which airs on UP TV USA, CBC Canada and Netflix (www.netflix.com). So there will be a new character and some interesting events happening on the new season 🙂

I would like to thank Shiva Negar for speaking with Gemma Magazine. She is so lovely and inspiring. To learn more about Shiva Negar and her upcoming projects, follow Shiva on her social platforms. We are excited to see what is next!