Saturday, July 22, 2006

Niki Taylor Picks Motherhood Over Modeling

Niki Taylor can still be found awake most days at 4 a.m., just like when she was living in the fast lane as a supermodel – but these days she’s up at that hour to check on her puppy Kaia before fixing breakfast for her 11-year-old twins, Jake and Hunter. She centers the rest of her day on her boys, driving them to summer school, accompanying them on dirt bikes and begging them to pick up after themselves. "I love being a mom and the chaos it brings me," says Taylor, 31, who lives with the boys in four-bedroom, French colonial in Brentwood, Tenn. "It reminds me how lucky and blessed I am." Those aren't words that first come to mind when reviewing Taylor’s life. In 1995 she saw her younger sister Krissy, also a model, die at age 17 from a rare heart ailment. A year later Taylor's marriage to the twins' father, Arena football player Matt Martinez, fell apart. Then there was her battle with prescription drugs and the car crash five years ago that left her clinging to life and resulted in more than 50 surgeries and procedures to repair her wrecked body. Yet as Taylor looks out over her 7-acre retreat she says, "I have a good thing going on."

She rarely models anymore, instead focusing on a slew of fashion-related enterprises. She has even found a way to stay in touch with her wild side: by riding her Harley-Davidson Road King, an odd choice, perhaps, for someone who nearly died in a car crash. But Taylor shrugs off such concern. " I'm not one to worry – what's the point?" she explains. "We are only here for a short amount of time. You have to live your life. I know that." She knows that a lot better than most: In April 2001, Taylor was with friends in Atlanta when the driver of the car she was in attempted to answer his cell phone and lost control of the vehicle, smashing it into a utility pole. "The doctors prepared us several times for the worst," says Taylor’s mom, Barbara, 59, a photographer. "They said, 'Don't expect any miracles.'" During the six weeks she spent unconscious, Taylor says she experienced terrible nightmares. When she finally regained consciousness that June, she says, "I went through every emotion possible and was like, ‘Something has to change.'" Taylor refocused her life on her boys, settling in Brentwood after she fell in love with the area during a visit. It was there that she dated ex-boyfriend Keith Urban, whom she was with from 2002 to 2004. "We're still friends, and I'm so happy for him and Nicole." Taylor hopes that kind of happiness is in her cards too. "I want to find the right man," she admits. But only homebodies need apply. “On Friday I just want to stay on the couch and watch a movie with the boys,” says Taylor. “That is the perfect night."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pregnant 41-year-old supermodel is Vogue's cover girl

Linda Evangelista, 41 and pregnant, is on the cover of the August issue of Vogue. She's the first model, not a Hollywood star, to be featured on the magazine's cover in more than a year.
Her pals from the supermodel heyday a decade ago are also faring well: At 36, Naomi Campbell is still queen of the catwalk. Kate Moss, 32, is starring in a half-dozen designer ad campaigns this season, including a fall Versace campaign that also features Christy Turlington, Angela Lindvall, Carolyn Murphy and Daria Werbowy.
Evangelista never saw modeling as a means to another career.
``I decided when I was 12 that it's what I wanted to do and I count my blessings that I got to realize my dreams,'' she says.
``Being a rock star was out of the question. I can't sing. I'm so glad this worked out for me, I do think I know how to be a good model. And I didn't have a Plan B in place.''

It helps, too, that she's a fashion junkie and keeps up on the styles and trends, whether she's working or not. ``I love that it changes every six months. I really love the creative process of making beautiful images. I so enjoy everything about it.''
There won't be a ``comeback'' after the baby's birth, Evangelista says, because she doesn't plan on ever going away.
Sally Singer, fashion news director at Vogue, says someone with a full life, public recognition and a few (or more) years of experience is an even more effective model because the women buying clothes, beauty products and magazines can relate to her.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Avril Lavigne: Sk8ter Bride

The Canadian rock princess wed her boyfriend, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, on Saturday at a private estate in Montecito, California, according to published reports.
The couple exchanged vows in an outdoor, non-denominational ceremony, with 110 friends and family members looking on.
Lavigne walked down the aisle on her father's arm to Mendelssohn's "Wedding March," People magazine reported. She wore a custom-designed Vera Wang wedding gown and carried an armful of white roses. Her five bridesmaids wore pink chiffon gowns, also by Vera Wang, according to Us Weekly.
Whibley and his five groomsmen wore tuxes from the Hugo Collection by Hugo Boss.
After the ceremony, bride, groom and guests adjourned to a red-themed reception under a tent, where the newlyweds shared their first dance to the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris," People reports.

The duo, both natives of Ontario, Canada, started dating in early 2004. They announced their engagement last summer after Whibley, 26, proposed in Venice during the European leg of Lavigne's world tour.
Their wedding was originally believed to be scheduled for August, but the couple reportedly moved up the date in an effort to avoid media scrutiny.
Lavigne, 21, recently voiced Heather the possum in Over the Hedge. She is currently working on her third album, the follow-up to 2002's Grammy-nominated Let Go and 2004's Under My Skin.
"I'm working on my songs. It's all coming along great," the singer said in a posting on her official Website last week. "I'm just taking my time. It's nice not being under pressure...that's the way it should be..."
Sum 41's most recent album, Chuck, was released in 2004. The band also released 2002's Does This look Infected? and 2001's All Killer, No Filler.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ed Burns talks about marriage and fatherhood

Before Ed Burns got married to supermodel Christy Turlington, he didn't have cold feet - but when he became a dad for the first time in 2003, he said he was scared as he didn't know what to expect.
"Before my daughter was born I definitely wrestled with, 'God, I still feel like such a kid.' I still hang out with the same guys I hung out with; we still play our dopey Saturday afternoon softball game. We all still feel like 22-year-olds. Do I know how to be a good dad? You discover you do because you have no choice. You kind of figure it out and do it."
Now Ed and Christy have two kids - Grace, 2 1/2, and Finn, 5 months - and he says that he absolutely loves being a dad. He also said that getting married and having kids later in life allowed him to appreciate this experience so much more.

"I'm just so thankful that I had kids at this age... For people getting married in their mid-20s, you're really just out of high school and college. You don't really have time to think and reflect, you were kind of thrown into this adult situation. Once you have kids, it's, like, "I need to get that job, I need benefits, the house, I need the whole nine. When people put (marriage or kids) off, there’s more time to reflect. You've grown used to this adult life, your habits. You really mourn the loss of that freedom and you’re in a different place financially. Then you recognize kids will change that."
Ed's new movie The Groomsmen (starring Britney Murphy and Jay Mohr) opens in New York and Los Angeles on July 14.