Monday, January 31, 2011


If the same actors religiously kept to their ritual of attending one awards show, you would think they'd get the fashion rules right. Think again. While many of those actresses show the same promise in their exquisite appearances and raw talent as they did at the last red carpet (fashion show) I critiqued, for some, let's just say the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards should be renamed and resaved as the "17th Annual Screen Actors GUILT Awards." Beginning on that note, let's see who should be rewarded - and who should be charged - for their fashionista obligations to the media.

Angie Harmon: Never heard of her until I saw her. And for this being the first time I saw her, it was (fashion" "love at first sight!" This gown can be interpreted either one or both ways: as a baby pink frilly strapless frock-like ball number that compliments her warm olive complexion and toned upper body, or an overly cutesy prom dress from Sesame Street that resembles a Peacock at the bottom. You decide.

Speaking of birds, Claire Danes sports an intricate floral design with a high-cut strapless neckline and a bohemian bottom that flows to floor length. Add a skinny belt to that mix. Is it a cold summer or a warm winter? Do the birds fly south, or do they stay up north? I'm confused :)

Eva Longoria stuns with a (very) low-plunging neckline on an all-white gown that's almost transparent? Not that she needs to hide her famous body, but hey! - modesty is the best policy. Although Eva does keep it simple and sophisticated here - all while looking like a Greek (or Hispanic) goddess - I would have potentially nixed the neckline or brought out the boob tape to fill out the cups more clearly.

Hilary Swank takes the nude without the see-through and opts for an off-the-shoulder with its runched golden lining and a corresponding purse/clutch. Gorgeous.

Sorry, Jane. I love you, but not in this dress! The colour is way too purple, the neckline isn't keen on emphasizing your abundant bosom, and the thick fabric on the bottom just adds ten pounds - in addition to the other ten pounds thanks to the camera lens. Ugh.

It's as if January Jones' luscious hourglass silhouette has been painted into a dress outside of a modern awards show and into a timeless portrait that transcends from the days of great European artists. It's meant to be there.

Bright pink may be my favourite kind of pink, but not on Jennifer Lawrence's dress. The daring cut-out shoulder, neckline, and bottom slit - along with the black skinny belt - belong on a shorter frock (mini or at least above the knee) with a lower-cut v-neck. Sorry, Jennifer. Maybe next time?

While some fashion critics might disagree with me, I am not really fond of Julia Stiles' outfit selection here. The strapless doesn't boost her bust, the waist doesn't accentuate her, well, waist, and the bottom just flops straight down to the bottom. The piece just hangs on her; I applaud her attempt in staying modest, but this dress does not celebrate her assets! The only authentic element about her outfit is the non-drab white contrasting from the drab navy blue. But, really, what does that do? Make it look like a cloud is coming out of her - ? Well, anyway...

Julianna Margulies may play a Good Wife on TV, but if I were her partner, I would tell her to pull a Betty Boop and hike up the skirt! So what if you look like the cartoon? She's an animated sex symbol in her own right, and retro is always in, hun!

Lea Michele (almost?) always looks fab, and this time, there's no exception. Her ample bust fills out - without runnething over - the neckline, while the super-tiny gold belt and iridescent white hot shine create subtle curves. She dazzles like a diamond!

Mila Kunis may be nominated for her headlining roles and exotic beauty, but for this costume-y red-and-black "thing," she doesn't get my vote. Believe me when I say, this dress does not do Mila Kunis justice.

In a midnight blue number that ties at the waist and hugs (and lifts!) her early bloomer curves, Sofia Vergara wins me over on my fashion list - again!

Yes, the truth is gritty. Because she's so young, I'm gunna let her off with a warning. Hell, she can even pass as cute in this. But, really, Hailee Steinfeld? Horizontal stripes, a mermaid's tale? One word: NO.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Brilliance That Is "The Brilliance" - Canada's Up-And-Coming Rock Stars

When I first heard the words "The Brilliance" together as a title, I immediately visualized an immaculate ray of light (perhaps sunlight or pure light descending from the heavens) symbolizing goodness, epiphany, and - yes - brilliance. An idea, even. Now maybe, that's not what comes to mind to most upon discovering "The Brilliance" is actually a rock band that hails from the city of Toronto; but, in a sense, there's truth resonating from those initial instincts. The band was based on an idea of "brilliance." The Brilliance was created in the Autumn of 2008, uniting five friends and a mutual passion for making good memories and great music. Admittedly taking notes from bands like Keane, Coldplay, U2, The Killers, and Queen, The Brilliance pens contagious pop/rock beats to "emotion-filled" ballads that are wired to appeal to as many demographics as possible. In the Spring of 2009, The Brilliance jumped into the music business with their first EP "Love, Hope, Fear & Consequence", a five-song list of the band's early recordings (available on iTunes). The band has since started inscripting their lyrics and voices into recording a full-length debut album, with the first single "My Town" already hitting national radio play.

The Brilliance  - Gary Stitt, Bret Killoran, Carmine Scandale, Jason Sulyma, and AJ Pinsonneault - just released their brand new music video “Runnin’ For The Hills” and will perform at Tunes for Haiti @ The Drake Hotel tonight.

V.B. Recreate the moment you guys decided to build The Brilliance.

T.B. The five of us guys were attending Canadian Music Week at the Royal York here in Toronto.  A well- established and respected woman by the name of Linda Dawe had set up a meeting with us at the piano bar one afternoon.  During our time spent with her, she had introduced us to many people within the industry (who are "somebodies") -  people with credentials who we knew of but never thought we would meet.  We were music-industry starstruck. After the meeting was over, the five of us went back to our hotel. We looked at each other and smiled.  We had realized that this is what we want/need to be doing with our lives, and we felt - and still feel - that there is so much potential and opportunity for our band to start a career off of the music we create.

V.B. How did you guys put yourself out there, in terms of getting live gigs? Are there any specific strategies you utilized that many local musicians may not be aware of?

T.B. We asked the bar owners (laughs). We made sure we had some sort of product for bars to listen to, then sent them an email requesting to play a show. Once you get the gig, you should just be super nice to everyone involved in the process, especially the promoters and sound crew! Once you create a reputable name for yourself, word-of-mouth spreads, and it's just so much easier to get gigs after that :)

V.B. Your website claims Coldplay, Queen, The Killers, and U2 are your muses. How would you say you incorporate their authentic elements into your own songs? Do any of your songs remind you of their songs, and why?

T.B. We are fairly subtle about how we implement our influences into our music - for the most part (laughs).  As much as we love our favourite bands, it's also extremely important to put your own artistic voice to anything you create.  This is how The Brilliance keeps their own sound and (makes sure) they're not a straight copy of something else. We do, however, utilize what we learn from bands things we like to accomplish and certain moods that we set out to capture.  With that being said, we don't have a song that makes us all think of some other song that we were inspired by - bits and pieces possibly, but nothing significant.

V.B. You describe your music as being "emotion-filled." Have any life or love experiences inspired your lyrics, and why?

T.B. Yes, we do describe our music as "emotion-filled". This is because we feel that a song is just like a picture - a photograph - except we capture emotions and put them on paper in the form of lyrics and melody. Our songs are inspired by anything and everything that has affected our lives significantly enough to be able to successfully capture and recreate at an enjoyable level.

V.B. Do you plan on making a difference and confronting specific world issues with your lyrics and press?

T.B. Yes, absolutely!  Many of our songs address poverty and unity as humans.  One day, we would love to help make a difference on a larger scale. 

V.B. How's "My Town" coming along? How did you celebrate its success?

T.B. "My Town" went over real well for us.  We originally were going to release a different song, but somewhere along the line, decided last minute that "My Town" would be a better fit.  Not all of us were happy with this decision at the time, but once the song was received well out west and out east, it really raised the morale of the band.  We didn't celebrate really as a band; we had a few beers and cheers to the start of something great (laughs).....That's about it, really (laughs).

V.B. What can we expect from your debut full-length album? When will it be released?

T.B. You can expect a BIG sounding album, vocally and musically. Our goal is to create an album that takes you on an emotional ride from start to finish, lyrically and musically. Songs will fade right into other songs, lyrics will connect, and ballads will be placed correctly on the album to take you for that ultimate ride.  We really want people to be able to play this album and listen to it from start to finish.  BUT, with all of that being said, who knows how it will turn out?! (Laughs).  Money and time are very large factors in the making of a fantastic album.  We have one of those - time (laughs).  There is no set release date; however, we would love to be ready for the Spring. Only time will tell!

V.B. With all the radio play and new gigs, how would you articulate the life change or feeling into words or lyrics?

T.B. Truthfully, our lives haven't drastically changed.  We've always surrounded ourselves with music and performance, so things are transitioning quite smoothly.  We are working on a new song called "All I've Ever Known," which is about us only knowing about the stage and music in our lives. So, I guess that would be the choice of words to sum it up (laughs).

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Keepin' It Lazy" With Tim Nasiopoulos: This Canadian Comedian-Sensation Delivers A Few Laughs About Greeks, Lady GaGa, and "Walking Through A Window At A Bar Drunk"

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE CONTENT AND MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. A imperative note to Tim for when he attended his first Yuk Yuk's comedy show all the many years ago. It wasn't long after though that Tim went from simply "seeing" to "doing" and transformed into the "entertainer" as well as the "observer." His first performance at a Yuk Yuk's amateur night on a Monday evening propelled him into freelance comedian's world of gigging at various bars, cafes, and comedy clubs in his local metropolitan of Toronto. Tim has shared his gift of making a tragic world smile at Yuk Yuk's and colleges across Canada, as well as comedy clubs in New York and Detroit. At the 2006 MRSOE!, Tim Nasiopoulos let the crowd into his family, his father specifically. Tim's funny descriptions of his father led to cultural revelations of being raised in a Greek family. Now that his site is in the process of development, I took the opportunity to talk to Tim about confronting these ethnic stereotypes about Greeks, choosing between Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber, and "walking through a window at a bar drunk." Because, hey, who hasn't?

V.B. When was the precise moment you realized your comedic abilities?

T.N. I used to make my cousins laugh doing awful Scottish and Indian accents, when I was 12 and living in Scarborough. I later realized they were a pretty easy audience.

V.B. How do you "get funny" or get in that mood?

T.N. Aside from nudity, I rarely get into a funny mood. It's always there; it's just whether I decide to bring it out. A lot of it is timing. I tend to be less funny off the stage, unless I'm with close friends or making fun of people falling down in public.

V.B. Do you - or anyone else - consider your ethnicity-based jokes 'racist'? Why or why not? Where should comedians draw the line in terms of this type of cultural humour?

T.N. I've never had anyone question those jokes. I think it's all the context. I think racism comes in when you are intentionally getting a laugh, while being derogatory towards another group of people. I have a joke about a Middle Eastern cab driver, but it's a character based on a real experience. It's funny because of how animated he is; but it's not offensive, because the joke isn't about him being Middle Eastern, and it isn't criticizing him for that. If your jokes are coming from good intentions, then I think the crowd will be on your side. Another thing I find is that regardless of your cultural background, you'll find at the root they are all extremely similar. The way parents treat their children, the way kids act at a given age, or the dynamics of a relationship are all pretty universal.

V.B. Anything special about Greeks you'd like to share? I find they're quite similar to us Italians.

T.N. We did have to teach the Italians everything we knew when the Romans rolled in, so it's no surprise we are very similar people...;) Kidding. I find that with both cultures, family and eating are a huge part of life. We both love to eat and eat together and judge one another. I find Greeks have also mastered guilt - Greek mothers using guilt as a blunt instrument to get things done. It's not uncommon for phrases like "you don't love me" or "I may not be here when you get back" to be used to get things done.

V.B. What would you say is your funniest joke(s), and why?

T.N. Can't say I have a favourite joke. I find the more I say a joke, the less I like it, just because you've said it so many times. I like telling stories where I can take the audience with me on an embarrassing misadventure from my past - whether that's walking through a window at a bar drunk, or having my mother pick up a phone in the house when I'm already talking to someone. It's like she doesn't know how to use a phone. She'll just start talking, even though she hasn't called anyone yet. Who presses 12 buttons to make a call? Is she calling South Korea or something? Usually she just watches Young and The Restless all day. She loves Victor Newman.

V.B. From your experience of witnessing many comedians perform, what would you interpret as a "good" or "bad" comedian? What are some rules to follow? Any inspirations you base these beliefs on?

T.N. Comedy is an art form, so there aren't any real rules. It is also sometimes taken for granted just how difficult it can be. Everytime you try new material, it's always in front of a live audience. You can tell your jokes a hundred times in front of a bathroom mirror, but you need that crowd to gauge how funny or awful it is. It's also very subjective, so "good" or "bad" is completely dependent on what makes you laugh at that time. That being said, I find that a "bad" comedian could be someone that isn't committed to their material or doesn't respect their audience. A lot of times, you'll find comedians mailing it in when a crowd is too small, or not giving it their all when they feel they aren't performing for "their crowd." When you're on stage, you should be performing like it's the first time you've said your jokes. Perform as if it's a packed room all the time. I want to give every audience a great show. Easier said than done.

V.B. Have you ever coined a phrase or invented a term that people know you for?

T.N. I do have a joke about how slang is getting out of hand. People say how things are "sick" or "retarded." I have a joke about how slang is just getting worse and worse; eventually things will be so "sick" that they'll be "AIDS." I'm hoping to make some t-shirts.

V.B. Lady GaGa or Justin Bieber?

T.N. Who do I like better, or who would win in a fight to the death? Lady GaGa seems more vicious; it could be her larger penis. Justin Bieber, however, may be able to weaken her by excessively crying and then sucking out her soul through his floppy hair.

V.B. Megan Fox or Kim Kardashian?

T.N. There must be a way where everybody wins. They are both extremely beautiful women, but I think I gotta go with Megan Fox. She was in Transformers and is with David Austin Green from Beverly Hills, 90210. This was my childhood. If she bangs ALF one day, it would be the trifecta..I think I'm dating myself with the ALF reference. Look it up people. He was a talking alien that liked to eat cats.

V.B. Any final words, hints as to what you'll surprise us with for future shows?

T.N. Currently, I'm working with an awesome group of comedians, The Comedy Records Collective. We're kind of like the Wu-Tang of comedy. We've released an album already and are planning for some big things in 2011. Check us out at, and follow us on Twitter. If you're looking to get into comedy, just get on stage, and keep getting on stage. Do it as much as possible. As for myself, stay tuned for a one-man show in the summer. I'm also trying to incorporate some male stripping into my act. Gotta hit the gym first.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Ahhh, it's that time of year again - for all (mostly female) shining stars to primp, tan, and detox for one of the biggest days of the year or, at least, their acting careers: The Golden Globe awards. While I pay attention to some of their roles on the small and big screens, I don't really care enough to watch an evaluation of their acting abilities on an awards show. However, I will take the time to put my two-cents in on their (some, particularly) choice of wardrobe. Here it is (in alphabetical order):

Ya know, it's funny. Angelina Jolie is probably one of the most iconic actresses in the world, but I've only seen her in maybe one or two movies - all where she cuts someone's head off and still manages to look smoldering while doing so. Other than her full lips and slender figure, that's what adds into her appeal. Here, a (turquoise?) long-sleeved, completely covered yet slinky and glitter-flashy number does the trick, marking her seldom modest style while still flaunting her famous assets. It's safe to say, only Angelina Jolie can pull this off.

Wow, sweater-style gowns must be all the rage (or Angelina Jolie is a trend-setter), at least at the Golden Globes. Morphing from a cute, awkward teen in the Princess Diaries into a stunning, confident swan - an actress who can make us laugh as a phone sex operator in He's Just Not That Into You and dry our tears as Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest with Parkinson's Disease in Love & Other Drugs - Anne Hathaway really did look like (a) Golden (globe) that night. And, again, if anyone can pull off being symbolized and shaped into an award statute, it's Anne!

Carrie Underwood puts her vocal skills aside and tries on her acting chops as a real-life Cinderella. Going from quirky American Idol finalist to one of those few country singers who made it, Carrie is living proof of a rags-to-riches story in this strapless, iridescent, white-silver gown that hits to the ground-breaking and nips at the waist.

Make no mistake: Catherine Zeta-Jones is totally gorgeous, but this - thing - makes her look like an upside down Christmas tree, but with hips, arms, and boobs - ya know? Love the ornaments, er, dangly earrings though.

Emma Stone sports a Scarlett (pink) letter "F" (fashionable, fabulous) in this short-sleeved, creamy pastel pink that thins out throughout the backless cut and flows towards beneath the shoe. As for the blonde 'do? I (not-so) secretly hate it; Emma is truly a redhead at heart.

Eva Longoria may be covered in a colour that rings standard for a funeral, but I promise you this: that dress is way too inappropriately sexy for a funeral. The cleavage alone will stop the foremen dead in their tracks and their Desperate Housewives' green with envy. So, a "Fashion Police" award for this millennial sex symbol? Over Her Dead Body.

I lied. Catherine Zeta-Jones isn't the only one who has been born into nature; this Helena Bonham-Carter person has been sculpted into a forest or garden of flowers. That being said, her waves are as savaged and untamed as a jungle. Helena should groom her beauty more meticulously, next time.

January Jones slips (or squeezes into) a seductive red tight frock that Mad Men is most held prestigious for. But, while the cleavage may be lifted and separated, and the waist may be cinched and defined, I would savour more Mad Men styles, like a pencil skirt, business suit, or perhaps even a corset? Where's Christina Hendricks, when you need her?

Jennifer Lopez shakes her triathlon-toned curves in this immaculately pearl white gown with spaghetti straps, a nipped waist, and a transparent rhinestone-detailed shawl that accentuates her lean shoulders and feminine decolletage. Whether she's the Wedding Planner or the bride, JLo can justify those rumours about her diva-like antics to decorate her room in white, because she just looks so damn good in it!

Jennifer Love Hewitt, on the other hand, has an interesting neckline and jewel-covered belt here that would better compliment another all-white piece.

Jennifer Lawrence is wearing a - what is this? Something with black and white, but doesn't resemble a zebra with tons of frills? What's it called? Anyone?

I love pink, but with the poufed one-shoulder and frumpy fabric Julianne Moore is wearing? Well, that just ruins my love for pink. Sorry :)

Kaley Cuoco has got this Big Bang Theory down. Always wear something bigger under the waist to create an hourglass silhouette. Another simple rule? Always keep it simple. Plain classy.

Lea Michele can belt out her praises to her in-the-know stylist. My fave colour pink is totally the "in" hue of the season, and Lea shows us why, by putting a modern spin to an ancient white Greek Goddess-like shoulder and extending hem.

I remember the days Olivia Wilde played a blonde, blue-eyed gal kissing her on-screen bisexual girlfriend Mischa Barton on The O.C. Now, Olivia is a mature, striking brunette in this prom-like, corresponding brown gown with a glittery top and poufy bottom. As much as the dress matches Olivia's tan, I would've gone with a different colour.

Sandra Bullock may be "single and ready to mingle" riding solo on the red carpet, but she's not dressed the part. Come on, Sandra! Unbutton a few, and show a little leg! And those bangs are hiding your beautiful eyes, windows to the soul! A proposal from Ryan Reynolds might just be coming your way.

Ha, I love how I made this list in alphabetical order. Now, if it isn't Scarlett Johansson reminiscencing in classic Hollywood pin-up glamour with her red lips and nearly nude frock. I think Ryan might go back to Scarlett based on this outfit alone. Sorry, Sandra! Moving on!

Last but not least, Sofia Vergara stops traffic in this redlight-coloured ruffled gown with an exquisite plunging cleavage, functional push-up bra, skinny black belt, and silky smooth texture. Good thing they didn't listen, when you were going through puberty, and you wished you stopped growing? I think you - and most men - would give thanks.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"My goal for 2011 is for my name to be recognized and to be pronounced/spelled correctly," Toronto fashion-turned-glamour photographer Peter Michailidis types (oh, the irony!). Of course, being a Bevilacqua, I can empathize - being called and spelt "Bevilacova," "Bevilaqua (most common)," and (my fave) "Becoolapoop" (something along those lines). Yes, having a long name surely spurs some disadvantages, disadvantages so trivial that matters are left misunderstood or unseen; but, with a long last name, others may not exactly remember how your last name sounds, but they somehow always remember that it belongs to you. And when you're an artiste like Peter - whose masterpieces have been splashed across newspapers and magazines internationally - how can you miss him? Working from his foreign Japan to native Toronto, experimenting with fashion then glamour, and being published from Shave to Inside Fitness, noone should dare to utter Peter lacks versatility or colour. And next time you need a photographer to shoot for your fashion show, wedding, or that little gift you're going to give your husband (*wink, wink), remember it's Peter Michailidis. Remember it, BITCH :)

V.B. So, how did you go from a major in "Film & Television" to a career dedicated for "photography"? Did your 3-year excursion to Japan somehow inspire you to expand your horizons and experiment with different levels of artistry?

P.M. After graduating college, I decided to go into the television industry working for companies like CTV and The Score. After realizing I wasn't made for TV, I flew to Japan for 3 years to teach English and travel the world. I always had an interest in photography, but it was in Tokyo when I bought my first DSLR (a Nikon D50) and started to shoot street photography which lead street fashion - and the rest is history.

V.B. Working with models and fashion designers in Japan, how would you say the Japan and Toronto/Canadian industries are distinct or similar to eachother? Is one industry better or worse?

P.M. Japan's fashion industry is upside-down, in a good way. Everyone seems to want to be different from one another, which makes designers come out with the craziest designs. You could easily walk down the streets of Shibuya and see someone wearing jean shorts with green and purple striped leggings underneath, with an Elmo t-shirt and scarf overtop. Things that don't really go together in some societies are accepted there. I would say the industry in Japan is much better, because it's constantly changing, and you never know where it'll go. Men seem to be more 'metrosexual,' which allows more creative designs.

V.B. You decided to jump from shooting Japan's edgy fashion to Toronto's sexy glamour scenes. Why the change?

P.M. Once I got back into my hometown of Toronto, I noticed glamour seemed to get a bit more attention and brought in a lot more business.

V.B. What would you say is your favourite type of photography i.e. fashion, glamour, wedding, portrait, stock, fitness, etc. and why?

P.M. I love glamour photography the most, because I've always been interested in mags like Maxim, Nuts, and Playboy, and I feel I have acquired an eye to expand the business.

V.B. Where have you been published?
P.M. I've been published in several magazines including a cover shot in Shave Magazine and a few shots in Inside Fitness, plus many websites internationally.

V.B. You are planning to shoot for Overxxxposed, right? What's your perspective on shooting nudity or raw, sensual images? Where do you draw the line between "artistic" and "adult," or are both terms somehow synonymous?

P.M. To be totally honest, there is a very fine line from artistic to porn, because artistic can easily be adult. I'm still trying to figure it out.

V.B. You have developed a model contact list and project list for 2011. Can you give us any hints as to what kinds of projects you will be asking us to participate in?
P.M.  I wanted to create this list for models looking for all sorts of work. I constantly have business owners who need talent, so this is an effective way of getting in touch with models and making them aware. I also have specials or projects I need help with. For anyone interested, hit me at

V.B. What are your goals (photography or not) for the future? Any last words?
P.M. I'm doing this to create something new and different. I enjoy helping build portfolios and adding an image that's unique in a model's portfolio - to help them stand out. My goal for 2011 is for my name to be recognized and to be pronounced/spelled correctly; then once that's accomplished, hopefully it'll be remembered :D There will soon me a massive change to - including additional media (besides photography), forums to help photographers and models, and a social community. Make sure to keep posted.