Emily Gray

’90s Supermodel Kirsty Hume Returns with a Chic New Collab

For the fashion-obsessed, Scottish model Kirsty Hume is known as of the most celebrated supermodels of the ’90s. She walked Prada. She walked Marc Jacobs. She walked Gucci. She walked Isaac Mizrahi. And she was on the cover of just about every major fashion magazine.

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“Kirsty was our Gigi,” Velvet by Graham & Spencer‘s Jenny Graham tells InStyle of her and co-creative director Toni Spencer’s fascination with the runway superstar. “In person, she’s the most lovely, gorgeous—beautiful inside and out.”

Their adoration for the model is precisely how the women behind Velvet came to design a 12-piece collection in collaboration with Hume herself, all inspired by her Scottish-turned-Californian aesthetic and, of course, her globe-trotting. The dream team met years ago through mutual friend and jewelry designer Mara Carrizo Scalise. “We were completely starstruck and thrilled. We’ve always adored Kirsty,” Graham adds.

So what’s up with the fashion? Think light-weight, easy-to-tote off-the-shoulder tops and dresses that you can wear to a chic summer brunch with your girlfriends or, equally, while eating popcorn and watching a Nancy Meyer classic. As Spencer describes, it’s what you can wear “from Malibu to Marrakech,” and performing for rolling up into a ball and pressing the “go” button.

RELATED: Christie Brinkley and Her Daughters Pose for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Across the portfolio of images, photographed by Hilary Walsh, Hume also wears the Tulip03 (above), a scoop-neck tee that’s been repurposed thanks to the model herself, who brought her own years-old version to meetings with the design duo. Give us a T-shirt and jeans and we’re completely on board, too.

RELATED: Gucci Just Went Old School with Their NYFW Mural

Scroll down to see more images from the collection, arriving in-stores in early April.

‘Rich, thin and beautiful’

They were the talk of the town in 1990s Britain, but are the “It girl’s” best days over?

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Ava and Reese Witherspoon and the Big Little Lies Stars Step Out for the Premiere

Reese Witherspoon and her look-alike daughter, 17-year-old Ava Phillippe, shined at the premiere of the new HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies, held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The mother-daughter-duo—who are no strangers to twinning—dazzled in complementary metallic frocks as they made their way down the red carpet alongside Witherspoon’s co-stars, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern.

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VIDEO: The Glamorous Looks from the Big Little Lies L.A. Premiere

Witherspoon, 40, showed off a bit of thigh thanks to a flirty slit in her sequined Elie Saab minidress, while Ava, the actress’s daughter with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, took a more modest route in a gilded long-sleeve number with a high pussy-bow neckline, which she wore with gold stiletto pumps

Little Big Lies Premiere

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Kidman, who co-executive produced and stars in the show, told InStyle one of her biggest takeaways from the project was the bond that she formed with her co-stars. “I got to make four girlfriends that will be my girlfriends for life. That’s awesome.”

At the event, Woodley noted the significance of working with a female-led cast and what it means for the future. “I continue to say this, but until we reach the day where you do a carpet for a show like this, and people don’t say, ‘what was it like working with four female leads,’ because it just becomes societal norm, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” she told InStyle. “This is a great step in the right direction, and now we need to continue this momentum so that it becomes the normal and it doesn’t become the ideal or the celebrated.”

Big Little Lies, which is based on a novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty ($12; amazon.com), follows the lives of three women and their children as they become entangled in a web of drama, intrigue and ultimately, murder. The miniseries is set to premiere Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

See the show’s stars’ stunning red-carpet looks from the premiere below.

‘Real’ Mr Darcy was nothing like Colin Firth, academics say

‘Real’ Mr Darcy was nothing like Colin Firth, academics say

Mr Darcy artists impression and Colin Firth in the BBC adaptationImage copyright
UKTV/Nick Hardcastle/BBC

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The ‘historically accurate’ portrait of Mr Darcy looks starkly different to Colin Firth who portrayed him in the BBC drama

Academics have revealed what they claim is the first “historically accurate” portrait of Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy – and he’s a world away from the romantic hero of films and TV.

Instead of the broad shoulders and square jaw of Colin Firth there is a modestly-sized chest and pointy chin.

There is little description of him in Pride and Prejudice, so the academics used historical fashions from the 1790s, when it was written.

This version also wears a powdered wig.

“Our Mr Darcy portrayal reflects the male physique and common features at the time,” says Amanda Vickery, professor of early modern history at Queen Mary University of London.

“Men sported powdered hair, had narrow jaws and muscular, defined legs were considered very attractive,” she says.

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Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice seems to have set the standard for the modern Mr Darcy

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UKTV/Nick Hardcastle/WorkingTitle/Shutterstock/BBC

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A frock coat can be seen on the artist’s impression, Colin Firth and Matthew Rhys in the BBC’s Death Comes to Pemberley

Colin Firth got the nation’s collective hearts racing in 1995 with his depiction of the mysterious Mr Darcy in the BBC’s adaptation.

Further adaptations since have followed in the style of Firth’s portrayal including Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice.

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Working Title/REX/Shutterstock

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Matthew Macfadyen played Mr Darcy in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice alongside Keira Knightley

But the academics say their muscular chests and broad shoulders would have been the sign of a labourer and not a gentleman at the time the book was written.

The fans’ favourite Mr Darcy moments – when Colin Firth walked out of a lake dripping wet and Matthew Macfadyen crossed a field in the mist, both showing off their chests – would not have looked the same with the historically accurate Mr Darcy and his sloping narrow shoulders.

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Alan Badel – the BBC’s Mr Darcy in 1958 – looks more like the academics’ impression

Some fans have not been impressed by the portrait.

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Professor John Sutherland, from University College London, who led the research says they only had “scraps” of physical description of the character Fitzwilliam Darcy.

As well as looking at the fashions of the day they also looked at Austen’s relationships and the men who may have inspired her characters.

“He is our most mysterious and desirable leading man of all time, says Prof Sutherland.

And he appears frequently in modern culture.

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The character of Mark Darcy, the romantic hero in the Bridget Jones books, was named after Jane Austen’s character and played by Colin Firth in the films

Further depictions of Mr Darcy include Matthew Rhys who played the character in the TV adaptation of the Pride and Prejudice “sequel” Death Comes to Pemberley.

He also inspired the character of Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, also portrayed by Colin Firth in the film versions.

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Alec McCowen, stage actor and Bond’s ‘other Q’, dies at 91

Alec McCowen, stage actor and Bond’s ‘other Q’, dies at 91

Alec McCowen in Never Say Never AgainImage copyright
Warner Bros/Rex/Shutterstock

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McCowen played Algy, aka Q, in Never Say Never Again

British actor Alec McCowen, who played gadget inventor Q opposite Sir Sean Connery in “rogue Bond” film Never Say Never Again, has died at the age of 91.

His death was announced in a tweet by talent agency Conway van Gelder Grant.

Born in 1925, the Rada-trained actor performed with the RSC and starred in the first production of Equus in 1973 .

The National Theatre also marked his passing on Twitter, calling him “one of the most highly-regarded actors of his generation”.

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Other notable stage roles included the Fool alongside Paul Scofield in Peter Brook’s 1962 production of Shakespeare’s King Lear.

He also travelled the world with a one-man performance of St Mark’s Gospel and played a detective in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy.

To many, though, he will be best remembered for his brief appearance as Q – here nicknamed Algy – in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

“Now you’re on this, I hope we’re going to have some gratuitous sex and violence!” he was seen telling Connery’s James Bond in the “unofficial” remake of 1965’s Thunderball.

The character Q has also been most recently played by Ben Whishaw, as well as Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese.

McCowen, who was made an OBE in 1972 and a CBE in 1986, is survived by his sister Jean, two nephews and two nieces.

His partner, the actor Geoffrey Burridge, died in 1987.

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Youth radio in decline nationally, figures suggest

Youth radio in decline nationally, figures suggest

Rickie Williams, Charlie Hedges and Melvin OdoomImage copyright
Bauer Media

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Rickie Williams, Charlie Hedges and Melvin Odoom co-host Kiss FM’s breakfast show

Most UK radio stations aimed at a young audience have seen their listeners fall, Rajar figures suggest.

Radio 1’s audience fell by 3.2% in the last three months of 2016 compared with the previous quarter, while Radio 1Xtra fell 11.4% over the same period.

Capital saw its listenership drop by 3.1%, while the Kiss network saw its share fall by 3.5%,

Yet Kiss still has reason to be happy, as its breakfast show is now London’s most popular commercial breakfast show.

The audience research body’s figures also show Radio 4’s Today programme recorded its highest ever audience.

The BBC station’s flagship show went from 7 million weekly listeners in the last quarter of 2015 to 7.4 million in the last three months of 2016.

“In an era of fake news, echo chambers and significant shifts in global politics, the role of Radio 4’s Today as the trusted guide to the world around us is more important than ever,” said Bob Shennan, director of BBC radio and music.

Radio 3’s breakfast show also did well, with an audience of 647,000 in the last quarter of 2016 signalling a 20% rise on the same period in 2015.

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Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul is retiring to spend time with her family

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul is retiring to spend time with her family

Aretha Franklin

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The star’s biggest albums include Lady Soul and I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You

Soul legend Aretha Franklin says she plans to retire from music to spend more time with her grandchildren.

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The 74-year-old said she would record one final album with Stevie Wonder before stepping out of the limelight.

“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” the Queen Of Soul told a Detroit TV station, adding that she felt “exuberant” about her plans.

One of the most distinctive voices in popular music, she is known for hits including Respect and Dr Feelgood.

Among her career highlights are:

  • More than 20 number one singles in the US
  • First woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Won the Grammy for best R&B vocal performance for eight consecutive years from 1968 to 1975
  • Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W Bush in 2005

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Franklin is also an accomplished pianist

Franklin has been performing since she was 19, but has been suffering from ill health in recent years.

In 2010, she had to put her career on hold following abdominal surgery and has since slowed down her once-prolific tour schedule.

Looking back on her success, the star said: “I feel very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now”.

There is a caveat to her retirement plans: The singer said she would remain open to “some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year”.

“I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing,” she added. “That wouldn’t be good either.”

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Getty Images

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The star has suffered from ill health in recent years

Born in Memphis to a famous Baptist preacher, Franklin was tutored from an early age by gospel stars like Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward.

She struggled to find fame in the early years, with record label Columbia unsure how to frame her impressively powerful voice.

A move to Atlantic Records in 1966 turned things around. Producer Jerry Wexler paired her with the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, who prompted some of her most soulful, fiery performances.

By 1968, she was renowned throughout America and Europe as “Lady Soul” – a symbol of black pride, who was presented an award by Martin Luther King, and appeared on the cover of Time.

Although she faltered in the era of disco, an appearance in cult comedy The Blues Brothers brought her back into the public eye and she scored a number of big hits in the 1980s, including Who’s Zooming Who? and the George Michael duet, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

She has continued to record and perform since, and two years ago, the star reduced President Obama to tears when she performed (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center Honours ceremony.

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What Katy Perry fans think of her new single, Chained To The Rhythm

Katy played her new song to fans who found her glitter balls hidden in major cities around the world.

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Comedy pioneer

Comedy scriptwriter who, together with Ray Galton, wrote for Tony Hancock and created Steptoe and Son.

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Why was Amy snubbed?

One of the biggest shocks of the Oscar nominations was Amy Adams failing to be recognised. But why?

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