Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ashl33n Are Gettin' Hitched, Y'All!!

Congratulations are in order for Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz who have just announced on Pete's official website Friends or Enemies that the couple have gotten engaged! Ashl33n are makin' it official and will be walking down the aisle together very soon. Here is the full text of their announcement:


THIS JUST IN FROM ASHLEE SIMPSON

"We know there has been a lot of speculation recently about Pete and I and we wanted our fans to be the first to know, because you guys are the best. Yes, we are thrilled to share that we are happily engaged. Thank you for all of your support and well wishes - it means the world to us. We consider this to be a very private matter, and we wanted to be the first to tell you and to hear it straight from us."

- Ashlee and Pete


In Touch Weekly has more deets from an inside source:

In Touch can exclusively reveal that Ashlee Simpson is engaged to boyfriend Pete Wentz! "He got down on one knee and she said yes," a family friend tells In Touch. The couple went away to Colorado just days ago where Pete's brother had an art exhibit, and that is where Pete, 28, popped the question to Ashlee, 23. "She has an amazing ring, and they are so in love," adds the friend. And Ashlee's parents, Joe and Tina, not only approve but are thrilled! The couple that started dating in October 2006, have not set a date for the wedding just yet. Congrats Pete and Ashlee!

US Weekly is adding to the mix, throwing in speculation that the couple may have gotten engaged because Ashlee is pregs:

A rep for Simpson tells Us, "Yes, they are happily engaged." Earlier today, the singer told Us, "I'm really happy!" One possible cause for the quickie engagement - a pregnancy, to which her rep had no comment and referred Us to friendsorenemies.com, where [the couple posted their official announcement].

There is really NO BASIS for the pregnancy rumor but you know someone had to throw it out there. In any regard, much love and congrats goes out to Ashlee and Pete on their happy news. Here's hoping they have a long and happy marriage together. [Source]

Ashlee's Seal Of Approval

Previously it was announced that Ashlee Simpson would be designing and releasing her own line of clothing on April 22 for Wet Seal and today we have our first look at a couple of those designs ... modeled by Miss Ashlee Simpson herself:


Wet Seal will launch a new collection of tops designed by multi platinum recording artist Ashlee Simpson in conjunction with her third CD release, BITTERSWEET WORLD, and a major in-store and online nationwide promotion on April 22, 2008. The Wet Seal, Inc., a leading specialty retailer to young women, today announced the launch of a collection of tops designed by Ashlee Simpson. The collection features designs inspired by Ashlee Simpson's personality, sense of style and album artwork. Each piece displays Ashlee's signature touch and will be priced in line with Wet Seal merchandise. The line will launch nationally on April 22, 2008, the same day that her new album BITTERSWEET WORLD hits stores and online retailers nationwide. The first single from the release "Little Miss Obsessive" is currently heating up radio airwaves. "Ashlee is a role model for our girl and her fun and flirty sense of style is an inspiration for the line. The goal was to partner with an icon and deliver affordable fashion, and Ashlee is an ideal partner for this," said Ed Thomas, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. "We're excited to see the designs brought to life in our stores and we look forward to Ashlee's exclusive merchandise being available across America" ... "I was inspired by so many fun, wonderful things as I was recording BITTERSWEET WORLD and it's been great to carry through those inspirations into these new shirt designs," said Ashlee. "I hope my fans love this album and rock out in these shirts!"

See, what I don't understand is how girls are supposed to determine which brand of clothing is the coolest to wear. Should they wear something from the Lauren Conrad Collection? Should they wear something from Anchor Blue, designed by Heidi Montag? OR, should they be wearing something from Wet Seal designed by Ashlee Simpson? And this isn't even taking into account the fashion designs being cooked up by Whitney Port, Britney Spears or Spencer Pratt (okay, maybe not Spencer yet but give him time) ... the possibilities are endless. There is sure to be a veritable fashion war in malls all across the country this summer. Woe to girls. [Source, Source]

Angelina Jolie Doin' It For The Kids

Angelina Jolie hauled her cookies and her heaving baby bump (full of incubating twins?) up to Capitol Hill in Washington DC this week to honor her friend Mariane Pearl and to speak out on behalf of the children of Iraq ... cuz, you know, it's what any superhero would be doing on her day off:


A visibly pregnant Angelina Jolie told the Council on Foreign Relations that education is the best way to help the plight of Iraqi child refugees in a speech in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. "It is a fact that the best way to heal children in conflict and their trauma is to focus their minds on their future," she told the crowd, which included Gen. David Petraeus. "This population we're talking about is the future of Iraq," she added. "So to reach them now, to help deal with their trauma and refocus their minds on a possible future should absolutely be one of our top priorities. "We need these kids ... to rebuild their country, to stabilize their country and eventually lead their country." Jolie, 32 — who has gone to Iraq twice in the past year — said children there "are desperate for an education." During a trip to a Burmese refugee camp, she recalled how a group of teens - many of whom have dropped out of school due to the conflict — begged her for grammar books, dictionaries and pens." "We need them to grow up and be doctors and lawyers and engineers and teachers," she said. "We need them to rebuild their country, stabilize their countries and eventually lead their countries." The actress did not address the question of the U.S.' long term presence in Iraq but said "the surge does not just mean it works if you get numbers of violence down. It works if humanitarian aide is starting to increase and changes are able to be made."

You just know that Angelina Jolie is not content to merely speak out on behalf of the children of Iraq ... I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up adopting a kid or two from Iraq once she births her new baby (babies?). Iraqi kids would be the perfect addition to her ever-expanding family made up of the world's children. Sainthood ain't easy but Angelina sure makes it look like it is. [Source]

Gwyneth Knows Crazy

Gwyneth Paltrow has gone on the record to make the claim that the paparazzi are the ones responsible for making celebs like Britney Spears go crazy ... and to prove her point, she decided to wrap herself up and hide underneath a blanket (with her son Moses) in a crazy manner and in the presence of the paparazzi:


Photo credit: Splash News

Gwyneth Paltrow has accused Adnan Ghalib and the paparazzi of pushing Britney Spears over the edge. She said the media frenzy surrounding Spears and her relationship with the Birmingham-born snapper had caused her to go "insane". Paltrow, whose own marriage to Chris Martin has been scrutinized in the press, said: "Look at what they've done to Britney. The paparazzi and magazines have blood on their hands. They literally made her go insane. She's got classic Stockholm Syndrome - she fell in love with a paparazzo and went insane. The photographers and editors of these magazines have such bad karma. It's pretty dark."

Way to prove the point, Gwynnie. [Source]

Barron Escapes Jail

Barron Hilton, younger brother of former jailbird Paris Hilton, managed to plea his way out of having to serve a jail term this week after his recent DUI arrest this past February. Justice is served, yet again:


Paris' driving challenged little bro has pleaded no contest to DUI. Another Hilton role model! A judge has ordered that 18-year-old Barron go the way of sister-in-crime Lindsay Lohan and visit the L.A. County Morgue. He was also placed on three years probation and had his license yanked for a year.

Barron is becoming quite the male version of the Hollywood "It" Girl these days ... he managed to plea his way out of jail like Mischa Barton and, as part of his plea deal, is being required to visit a morgue just like Lindsay Lohan. All he needs to do now is break the terms of his probation and eventually get hauled away (kicking and screaming) to jail just like his big sister Paris. I have a funny feeling that this will prolly end up happening some day soon. [Source]

Prince Joins The Coachella Line-Up!

Pink reader Lisa just gave me the head's up that Prince (yes, the Prince) has just been added to the line-up for the Coachella festival this year! Here is the graphic that is being distributed along with this news:


PRINCE
ADDED AS SATURDAY HEADLINER FOR 2008
COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

Prince has joined this year's line-up for the ninth COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA (Friday, April 25, Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27) as the headliner for the second night of the critically acclaimed festival.


It looks like Prince is following in Madonna's footsteps (who played Coachella a few years ago) by deciding to play this massive festival concert. I love it! I really hate doing music festivals, especially ones that are held in the desert but I might have to make an exception for this year's Coachella. I don't believe that Prince has ever played a festival concert like this in the US so it would deffo be worth checking out. Love it. [Source, thanks Lisa]

The TV Guide: Playing Koi

Yesterday was another quiet day here in SoCal for David and me. He managed to spend some time at the gym while I went off to get my haircut with my faboo stylist Josh who works at Parlour on Third. While this may not sound substantial by any means, I love that we can each do very normal day-to-day things separately ... like a normal couple who lives in the same city ;) I realize that this sounds terribly mundane but after two years of jetting back and forth across the country, well, mundane is really appealing to me right about now.

Anyways, we met up with our friends Gillian (who runs TMZ.com) and Lisa (who is a top publicist in NYC) for dinner at Koi ... and also got to meet a few new folks, like Carlota who just launched the shopping site HauteLook.com. Last night's dinner was a really great way to hang out with our friends as well as meet some new friends as well. Dinner was superb, as usual, and the conversation was really fun. Gillian is getting herself hitched in a few weeks and we are all very excited for her. I've already booked my reception dance with her ... I hoping for something in a Pat Benatar or a Journey.

I think David and I are lying low tonight in preparation for our trip to Las Vegas tomorrow. We'll be spending the rest of the week there with about 50 of David's friends who are all flying in from NYC to celebrate his friend Isaac’s birthday. I'm sure it'll be a debaucheriously good time.

Les News: Beyoncé Flashes Her Bling, Johnny To Marry? Naomi Gets Racist

Dude, Looks Like A Lady

Jessica Simpson is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Esquire magazine. In an homage to the 1965 Esquire cover which featured a photograph of model Virna Lisi with shaving cream on her face, Jessica recreates the iconic image for the newest issue of the mag. When Virna Lisi posed in this way, the image was meant to make a statement about women's rights ... I have no idea what statement Jessica Simpson is trying to make with her photo, especially when you take into account the photos from the rest of her photoshoot. I somehow doubt that "women's rights" is what she was going for by looks of her protruding nipples:


There was never any doubt Jessica Simpson's beauty regime was thorough. But the blonde bombshell has just taken her primping to a whole new level. The pop singer turned reality TV star has been pictured holding a razor to her face, which is covered with shaving cream for the cover of men's magazine Esquire. The shoot is a recreation of a famous Esquire image of Italian actress and Marilyn Monroe lookalike Virna Lisi from March 1965. The photograph was originally conceived by esteemed art director George Lois as a provocation on women's liberation. He said in 2005: "I spoofed the upcoming woman's movement by slapping shaving cream on the beautiful blond Italian actress Virna Lisi [because] no American beauty had the [guts] to pose for it." Jessica, 27, has now stepped up to the challenge, although given her well-documented struggle to differentiate chicken from fish on her former reality show Nick and Jessica: Newlyweds, it's unlikely to be an effort at any kind of social commentary.

Well now, first Heidi Montag is hailed as a feminist hero by the New York Times for her exploits on the hit MTV show The Hills and now Jessica Simpson posits herself as an advocate of women's rights by slapping some shaving cream on her face on the cover of a men's magazine. What could possibly be next ... a female president? Women truly have come a long way, baby. [Source]

Beyoncé's Florist Sells Her Out

Alleged new bride Beyoncé is featured on the cover of this week's issue of US Weekly magazine (from a photoshoot from who knows when) which accompanies an insider's take on the nuptials that reportedly took place last Friday in NYC. According to the florist hired by B-Jay to deck out the shindig, the apartment was made up to look like "heaven, like a palace" ... which is so sweet ... and then the florist went running straight to US Weekly to see what she could get for the story:


Beyoncé and Jay-Z ordered 75 boxes of white-and-cream-colored orchids for their April 4 nuptials at the rapper's downtown Manhattan apartment, florist Amy Vongpitaka tells Usmagazine.com. "It made the apartment like a heaven, like a palace," says Vongpitaka, owner of NYC's Amy's Orchids. "You walked in, and it was all flowers — everything white and creamy" ... Vongpitaka says she only had "one week's notice" that they were tying the knot and that the 750 pounds of flowers arrived three days before they said "I Do!" in front of Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Beyoncé's sister, Solange. The couple also ordered many foot-long garlands to drape around the $8 million, 9,000-square-foot apartment ... "Beyonce requested the specific look of the bloom," Vongpitaka says. The day before the wedding, "I heard Beyoncé was thrilled," Vongpitaka says. "I know she's so happy with this wedding."

This is the latest "confirmation" that the couple were married and yet still no official word from B-Jay themselves. As I've said, I tend to believe that the couple were, in fact, wed last Friday but I think I'll wait until I read the story that the caterer will prolly sell to Star magazine to make a final determination. [Source]

"Out, Out Damn Spot"

Woot! MacBeth, my favorite play of all time by William Shakespeare made its latest debut on Broadway yesterday at the Lyceum Theatre in NYC and I couldn't be more thrilled. Patrick Stewart, who will live on forever as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, stars as the overzealous and power-hungry Scot who plots murder and usurpation with his wife Lady MacBeth in a bid to rule Scotland at the urging of a trio of Weird Sisters at the height of his military fame. If you're not familiar with the play MacBeth then I sincerely urge you to put it on your reading list and check it out (incidentally, I just picked up the new novel Lady MacBeth which tells her story in a more favorable way, from her perspective ... but I'm getting off point). This latest incarnation of the play has been updated to take place in more modern times but the spirit and text of the original setting has been kept in tact:


A successful, ambitious actor is likely to be drawn at a certain stage in his career to the role of Macbeth, then at some later date to King Lear. At 67, Patrick Stewart would seem more ripe for the latter — that is, until you see him on stage in director Rupert Goold's overstated but fascinating Macbeth (* * * out of four), which opened Tuesday at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre ... [I]n Goold's production, which premiered at the U.K.'s Chichester Festival Theatre and later ran in London and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stewart looks as lean and spry as a decathlete. He's an older Macbeth, certainly, but a well-preserved one. As Goold has set the tragedy in some unspecified Stalinist nation, we don't see the British actor in kilts, but he could wear them without humiliating himself. His Macbeth has good reason to stay fit: namely, the missus, played by the physically stunning Kate Fleetwood as a trophy wife on speed. When this Lady Macbeth, galled by her hubby's reluctance to commit the first of what will be a smorgasbord of murders, tells him that she would "have pluck'd my nipple" from her child's "boneless gums, and dash'd his brains out," you believe her. You also believe that Stewart would resort to similarly extreme measures to make her happy. As if one hysterical, high-maintenance woman weren't enough, Macbeth must also contend with the three Witches — played by Polly Frame, Sophie Hunter and Niamh McGrady — whom Goold presents as nurses, servants and, at one point, rappers. They don't don hip-hop garb, but given the conceptual and sensual sprawl of this production, enhanced by Lorna Heavey's post-psychedelic video and projected images and Adam Cork's alternately ominous and cacophonous music and sound design, it wouldn't have been surprising if they had. Yet these flashy features, plus high-pitched performances by Michael Feast as Macduff and Christopher Patrick Nolan as the demonic porter, are miraculously put in context by Stewart's witty, nuanced work, which reveals Macbeth as an intelligent, rational person driven to madness by outside forces and his own violent transgressions. There is something of Lear — and Hamlet, too — in this portrait of a thoughtful, corruptible man.

I think I've seen pretty much every Hollywood adaptation of MacBeth (including the genius indie film Scotland, PA which tells the MacBeth tale with a fast food empire twist) as well as a few theatrical interpretations (Erik and I went to a Hillberry production of the play at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI one Valentine's Day where Scotland was presented as a leather and bondage sort of place) so I am very excited that there is a new one opening on Broadway. I love Patrick Stewart and I can't *wait* to see him in this role. I'm a fairly big Shakespeare fan (I audited a Shakespeare course in grad school [after taking all the classes I could in undergrad] just cuz I wanted to take on the Bard one more time) and I'm sure there are other Billy S. fans out there as well. This production sounds really cool ... I hope to be able to see it on my next trip back to NYC. [Source]

Would You Like Fries With That?

Uhhh ... now, I know that Britney Spears has been making heaps of great and positive progress lately (she even got to enjoy a bit of unsupervised visitation with her sons over the weekend) but these new photos of Brit Brit making a bathroom pitstop at a local McDonald's are a bit worrisome. Britters also got herself a new weave ... one of those classy numbers that is supposed to look ratty and unkept, apparently. By themselves, these things aren't necessarily red flags but taken together in conjunction with one another does prompt cause for concern:


Photo credit: Splash News and X17

I just don't like seeing Britney under the same circumstances that we've spent the entire last year (leading up to her public mental breakdown) now that she's been doing so well. I've always been weary of her frequent trips to the public bathroom and the ratty weaves she loves to get sewn into her head are just so unsightly. Hopefully, these bad habits aren't really a determiner that she's backsliding down the path to tragedy again. Let's just assume that she's still being a good girl ... that is, a good girl with really bad extensions. [Source, Source]

Kylie Konnects With Jake Shears

Kylie Minogue has long since made her way back home to London, England after spending most of last week here in the US for a mini-promo tour for the US release of her new album X. KylieKonnect.com has posted a couple photos of Kylie's first night in the US last week where she spent some time hanging out in NYC with her friend, collaborator and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears:


Apparently, Kylie arrived in NYC on Sunday and spent part of her night at Maritime hanging with Jake on the night before her appearance on The Today Show Monday morning. Of course I knew about her appearance on The Today Show as well as Dancing with the Stars, The Late Late Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show but I was unaware that Kylie had any time to hang out with Jake in NYC. It's nice that she was able to spend some time with her friend before her crazy promo tour got underway. They look so cute together ... I love that Kylie allows these personal pics to be shared with her fans on her websites. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these kinds of pics as her X World Tour gets underway next month. [Source]

Becks Gets Cited By The Po Po

Oh No! David Beckham, who is very fond of driving himself around town in his own car, got himself into a spot of trubs with the police here in SoCal this week. Here are pics of Becks dealing with law enforcement officials by the side of the road after he was pulled over yesterday:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

Here’s the usually squeaky clean footballer (OK, forgetting the REBECCA LOOS incident) getting a ticking off from LA cops yesterday for dangerous driving. Becks was pulled over after making an illegal left hand turn in Hollywood. Naughty. Wearing dark sunglasses and a white short-sleeved t-shirt, LA Galaxy star David chatted to police and was given a £80 fine for the traffic violation. He was also threatened with a point on his driver's licence unless he agrees to go to traffic school. An onlooker said: "David was really co-operative. I think he knew he was in the wrong."

It's unclear what he was pulled over and possibly cited for I knew it wasn't a big deal ... illegal left hand turn, my ass. The officer prolly just wanted to get the man's autograph or something. Becks strikes me as a very capable driver so I'm sure this infraction was really no big deal. Still, I must admit that it kinda tickles me a bit to think of Becks sweatin' in the hot seat as he gets questioned by the cops. I bet he looks all cute when he's all flustered by the threat of police authority :) [Source]

Rug? Rats!

Jessica Alba is getting plumper and plumper by the moment ... which is a good thing cuz it means that her baby will be coming along any day now. When last we saw Jess she was all smiles on the day of her baby shower here in SoCal ... but here are new pics of Jessica all scowls as she made her exit from a rug shopping excursion about town this week:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

Aww, poor Jessica. She looks really miffed ... I guess her rug shopping hasn't been going as well as she hoped. No matter, I still wanted to post these pics of her so that we can keep track on how her baby bump is progressing. Things are lookin' good. She's almost reached J. Lo's maximum proportions which means she's about to blow at any second. It shant be long now. [Source]

The Newest Gossip

There has been much ado made about the addition of Michelle Trachtenberg to the cast of Gossip Girl (as beyotch supreme Georgina Sparks) but she ain't the only new kid in the class ... Jesse Swenson has also been added to the cast but we're still not sure which character he'll be playing but by the looks of these new photos from the set of GG he will most likely be playing the love interest for Taylor Momsen who plays Jenny Humphrey:


Photo credit: Splash News

There have been a lot of photos coming from the set of Gossip Girl in the past few weeks and the thing that stands out the most for me is the great job they've been doing with styling. The girls have been lookin' faboo as hell in all the pictures. The outfits are very fresh, very stylish and very well put together. I'm really excited for the show to get back on the air in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling they are going to pull out all the stops to make the show a lot more fun. I'm anxious to see how the new characters will impact the show's dynamic. It's been a long time since we've have good TV shows to watch. All these photos from the set are really getting me amped for the return of Gossip Girl. And let's not forget that one of the show's male characters is about to come out of the closet ... I am really excited that the world of Gossip Girl is going to finally have its very first gay. Hallelujah! A show ain't a hit until the gays come out of the woodwork ... and it's been a long time coming. Could Jesse's character be the show's first gay? We'll have to tune in on April 21 to find out. [Source]