Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's the Holiday Season; do you know what you'll be wearing?

Nothing like the impending Holidays to get me browsing, indeed, prowling, through my favorite vintage sites looking for something special. These three caught my eye:

This first one, from Nelda's Vintage ebay store, is better suited to Hypotheca than I, but I know that when I was Hypotheca's hypothetical age I would have swooned on the floor of the Purple Giraffe (or whatever) boutique if I had seen such an item of beauty. (Incidently, having lived through I 60s I can say that I never heard anyone describe anything as "groovy," ever.) It's got a bit of an Ossie Clark air about it, doesn't it? And everybody knows that Ossie Clark was the coolest designer for rockstar-girlfriends ever, wasn't he? Kate Moss, collects vintage Ossie Clark, and whatever else you can say about Kate Moss, she knows her clothes. Anyhoo, this dress is a fairly decent size (bust 34) and the starting bid is only $9.99, so you can't go far wrong, can you?

Now this, THIS! is a prom dress.

And this is just one hell of a dress

The two red dresses are from Blue Velvet Vintage which has lots of lurverly and seasonal party dresses. I wish that I had successfully completed Project Waistline so I could fit into the balloon dress, but alas, I can't, so one of you will have to buy it. Wear it in good health!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Runway, Episode IV -- and more stuff.

Goodness gracious me – Sweet Pea only barely survived the Gidget Curse last night to sew another day. I would mention her no longer except that in my tour of PR-related blogs (okay, Project Rungay) I’m finding a lot of Sweet Pea hate, and I don’t understand it. One commenter went ballistic because she was offended that Sweet Pea was aghast when Elisa “spit marked” the fabric Sweet Pea was holding. “Spit marked,” meaning Elisa spit at Sweet Pea. Hello? I think any person trying to avoid communicable diseases and expecting common courtesy would object an uninvited christening with strange bodily fluids as well.

I’m a fan of Sweet Pea because (1) she’s this season’s token old broad and we old broads have to stick together, and (2) she seems straightforward and self-aware. The men’s outfit she made was crap, she acknowledged that it was crap and said she was embarrassed by it. No excuses. How refreshing. However I don’t believe she has a chance in hell of making the final three – but I’ve been surprised before.

Is pink the new orange?
I found these two dresses, for sale at Aesthetically Vintage while I was making one of my period searches for shirtwaist dresses. (Click on the image for the link). The only thing these garments have in common is their color, which leads me to believe that I’m entering a “fascinated with hot pink” phase. That's straight out of an orange phase, oh deary me – but that sweet full-skirted number’s a Dusy, isn’t it?

These pictures were snagged off of a right-click protected TIAS site. Now, while I absolutely respect a person’s right to protect their images, the fact is that the dresses (patterns, fabrics, etc.) featured in blogs, including this rather obscure one, usually sell rather quickly after they’re featured. And isn’t that the point of selling online? Wider exposure to potential buyers?(Actually, the full-skirted dress sold before I had a chance to post the picture, but I'm sticking to my thesis.) Let me expose you, darlings, you won’t regret it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Project Runway IV and other stuff . . .

The previews for PRIV made it look like this season was going to be a complete freakshow, the contestants being a rainbow and a half of stereotypes. Luckily, it seems that they were only acting out for promotional purposes, and I in fact like this group. My favorites so far (and I'm so sorry if this statement brings the Gidget I-like-you-therefore-you-lose curse down on their heads) are Chris, the costume designer who came off as a total Jay-wannabe in the adverts but who is relatively down-to-earth, tears at meeting Sara Jessica Parker notwithstanding; and Sweet Pea, who managed to deal firmly but tactfully with Elisa, this season's token earthchild, to produce a nice garment in the last episode. I can't say much about the talents of any designers this early in the competition.

Here's something I didn't like: there was a link on Bravo's PR website (now removed) saying something like "Get the look of Lauri from 'Real Housewives of Orange County.'" Agggghhh!!! I'm totally Bravo's bitch, but I HATE that show and the shallow, mercenary, plastic women it features. I tried watching a couple of episodes the first season but I stopped because, among other things, I couldn't tell any of the blonde housewives, of whom Lauri is one, apart. Is that a look anyone wants to emulate, really? Southern Californian conservative siliconed meretrix?

I'd totally wear this

I have another disagreement with The Fug Girls over this outfit being worn by Nicole Kidman. They think it's too old for her, and maybe it is, but I'm mumblemumble years older than Kidman and damn I could rock this outfit. The hair, though? The hair is too old for Nicole and even for me. I'll add my vote to all those who think she should go back to red.

I'm really excited about seeing her as the evil Mrs. Coulter in "The Golden Compass." Nicole plays cold evil bitches so well ("To Die For," "The Others"), and that, btw, is an undiluted complement.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Yes, The Dress, revisited

Well, the TLC series "Say Yes to the Dress" ended without us ever finding out what happened to the hapless and clueless consultant Claudia, but I did learn one thing -- I could never be a wedding dress designer because I haven't got a clue what brides want to wear. In every episode of the show, one, and sometimes two, brides bought this dress (or maybe this one; corset, pouf, what's the diff?) which I think surely qualifies as a "float in the parade" on the Tim Gun Absolute Taste scale. In other words, I don't like it, why do so many brides?

Surprisingly, the brides who have chosen this dress are of all ages and sizes. One bride was a 39-year-old interior designer who should have know better, unless her real intention was to advertise Austrian balloon shades. In the episode before last two brides, one thin and one zaftig, and their consultants were competing over the one sample which would have to do for both sizes of bride. The thin bride got the sample first and, evidently mesmerized by her reflection dressed in the creation, wore it for an hour while the zaftig bride sat, dressed only in her underwear and a skimply kimono, waiting for the sample to become available. The thin brides's consultant didn't want to ask her customer to take the gown off for fear of losing the $6,600.00 sale; there zaftig bride's consultant wanted the dress so she wouldn't lose a sale $1,600.00 over her bride's original budget. In the end both the brides got what they wanted, i.e., the same dress the girl in the next room would be wearing. Duh?

Anyhoo, even though I know that brides dress their fantasies, and not their bodies or or their budgets, this particular dress really turns me off, and I know that I'd threaten Hypotheca with disinheritance if she even tried it on. Why, I wondered, did it bother me so? And then it hit me:

I would not want to have "Like A Virgin" playing on an endless loop in my head everytime I looked at my daughter's wedding album. Particularly not if it cost me $6,600.00. Sorry, Hypotheca.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's da bomb!

I like to think that I'm no longer susceptible to marketing, but when I saw the perfume Flowerbomb in its crystal hand grenade container I. just. had. to. have. it. The idea of packaging luxury in an explosive device is just so decadent, so elegantly subversive, that I immediately signed onto the fashion insurgency.

And if what I fear for this country come true, I can use the container as an actual weapon when when the tanks start rolling down the avenue after the Tyrant-in-Chief declares martial law. It won't explode, but it weighs enough to put a dent in someone's ambition. But I wouldn't be throwing the bottle until I used up the perfume, because I really like it.

Besides being beatifully packaged, Flowerbomb also appeals to my idea of what perfume should be: hard to find (at least in my retail-deprived corner of the world), expensive, and thoroughbred. I'm a perfume snob and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I wouldn't even sample a scent bearing the name of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, or even Sara Jessica Parker. Yet Paris Hilton just launched her fifth, fifth, fragrance. Who is it who wants to evoke celebuskank with her scent?

Flowerbomb is by Victor & Rolf, Belgian designers showing in Paris, who bring a brand of teh crayzee to their designs that I like. Their New Look-inspired Fall 2006 collection is one of my favorites, ever. I'd happily identify with a woman wearing Victor & Rolf designs, even if it means leaving the house wearing a fencing mask for a veil. I want no association, even a psychological one, with a woman who leaves the house wearing no underwear.

When I was looking up Flowerbomb on line I came across sites with perfume reviews. Reviews, not descriptions. Perfume is so personal I don't know how it can be reviewed. I could sample a perfume and love it, you could sample the same perfume and hate it, and we'd both be right. Interesting.

Friday, November 02, 2007

To fug or not to fug.

Toujours Pur

Emmy Rossum got fugged in this outfit for wearing white . . . again. And the pose is a little twee too. But the shape of the dress -- so 50's car-fin vintage, how could a Clothesaholic not love it?

Similar reproduction petal bodice or wing bust dresses, in kick ass vintage prints, can be purchased through I want one, in fact, I want one of EVERYTHING for sale at Whirlingturban.

I think I'd look better in the sarong-skirt version, and such a dress would never be mistaken for demure, especially not accessorized a la Bettie Paige
or made up in an animal print (although I suspect appearing in animal print wiggle dress would get one fugged as well). The only problem with Whirlingturban, if you can call it a problem, is that they want your actual measurements for an order, and getting actual measurements requires assistance. I haven't quite decided which of my friends or acquaintances can be trusted with that much information. I'll keep you updated.

Some not so good vintage.

This post from the blog 15 Minute Lunch has been circulating by e-mail, but in case you haven't seen it, and needed reminding that the 70s weren't all Halston and Stephen Burrows, check out this 1977 J.C. Penny catalog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yes, Yes! to “Yes to the Dress”

I have a new clothes-related TV addiction, a program on TLC called “Say Yes to the Dress.” It’s a reality series about the sellers and shoppers at Kleinfeld Bridal, which advertises that it has the largest selection of wedding dresses in the world.

Of course, I’m mesmerized by all the dresses that parade across the screen in each episode, but I’m even more fascinated by the ritual of wedding dress sales. For example, almost every one of the featured brides-to-be asks for a dress that’s not too poufy, and almost every one of those brides has purchased essentially the same dress. It’s strapless, white, drop-waisted, and, oh yeah, POUFY.

One bride actually purchased this OTT gown. She brought it back to have the skirt substituted for something less poufy. It was still horrible. Sorry, Charlie!

The process of shopping at Kleinfeld is strictly controlled. Each bride makes an appointment with a consultant who picks the dresses that the bride will try on, unless she or her mother or her wedding planner can elbow their way through the phalanx of managers and consultants guarding the stockroom so they can browse themselves. The consultants are under considerable pressure to sell dresses so they can meet their monthly quota, and sometimes they have to make that sale within an hour-long appointment. Hell, it takes me longer than an hour to buy a run-of-the mill dress, and even then I make mistakes. Perhaps the consultants push the strapless/white/poufy numbers because they know young brides (or their check-writing mothers) can’t resist the whole princess thing. Whatever; it’s obviously a formula that works. I very amused, however, watching the brides try on dress after nearly indistinguishable dresses until they announce with glee that THIS white, strapless, drop-waist poufy number is The One.

I also find it remarkable that the most of the brides filmed (obviously a very small percentage of Kleinfeld customers) bring their Moms to the appointment but don’t bring photos of dresses they like, fabric or color swatches, or a digital or Polaroid camera so they can see how the dress photographs and just get a record of the dress for reference. Actually, considering that there have been several scenes involving brides claiming that the dress that arrived for fitting, some months after it was purchased, was not the dress they ordered, I’m surprised Kleinfeld doesn’t keep snapshots to cover its own ass. (Besides, as a fan of “Muriel’s Wedding,” I think it would also be cool for a bride to keep a Muriel-style scrapbook of the dresses she tried before finding The One.)

"I'm too sexy for my bride, too sexy for my bride, so sexy I'm tired. . ."

In one episode a bride was shown trying on an otherwise lovely dress that had a low v-front and was obviously intended for a woman no larger than a small-B cup. The bodice barely covered the front of the slightly larger bride, and she looked distinctly uncomfortable as the consultant was yanking it up to show how it could be tailored to prevent nuptial nipple slippage while Ronnie Rothstein, one of the co-owners of Kleinfeld, tried to talk her into buying the dress because it was sexy. Yes, I’m on record as a cranky old crone who sincerely wishes the rest of the women in the world would keep their naughty bits out of my face, but even so, isn’t a sexy wedding gown rather pointless? After all, the whole wedding schtick is designed to show that the bride has already snagged her man, and, at a minimum, she shouldn’t be trying to attract another man at the ceremony. That’s what the honeymoon is for . . .

As you can see, “Say Yes to the Dress” gives me a lot to think about, including what shopping for a wedding dress with my hypothetical daughter (hereinafter "Hypotheca") would be like. I’d probably embarrass her by schlepping photos, cameras, screenshots of my favorite movie wedding gowns, assorted foundation garments (for her) and shoes (for her) to the appointment. She would probably hate all of my ideas, preferences and selections. I might scar her for life (again!) by telling her that the strapless dress gives her underarm overhang or that the poufy dress makes her ass look big. The consultant would want to strangle me for taking too much time and making her late for her next appointment. It would be another character-building experience for daughter’s memoirs or mine, I’m sure.

The kind of a wedding dress only a cranky old Mom could love.

Just for the hell of it I’ve included this photo of a Victorian taffeta ballgown for sale at Vintage Textile because it’s my idea of what a perfect princess wedding dress should look like, i.e. elegant, not poufy. *Le sigh.* Hypotheca would probably hate it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lock up your daughters, Prom is coming!

I wrote the body of this post before I saw A Dress A Day’s October 15 post about this vintage pattern. Erin thinks the pattern would make up into a great prom dress, and she suggests yellow organza as the material for the full-skirted version. Ah, yellow organza is so young, so fresh, so innocent, oh so Sandra Dee in this Britney Spears world. Erin has great taste, but she obviously hasn’t been looking at what’s being sold as prom dresses right now . . .

Sometimes when I see a cute dress that’s too young for me I wish I had a daughter to buy it for, even though I’m well aware that mothers and daughters don’t often agree on what’s cute. Other times I’ll see a garment intended for a young woman that’s so atrocious I’m relieved I don’t have a daughter because I know that if I, the Mom, hate the item, she, the contrary teenaged daughter (with an unfortunate inherited tendency toward bad shopping judgment) would love it. The dress would then be the cause of one of those character-building disagreements between mother and daughter.

Take, for example, this purported prom dress. Right now it’s featured front and center in the junior department of the Reno Dillard’s. (Note that the woman modeling this dress appears to be about 35. It’s probably illegal to disseminate pictures of a girl under 17 years of age wearing the thing.)

In real life this schmatta is so tacky, so sleazy, so cheesy that I actually stopped mid-stride when I saw it, like Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt by the horrible sight.

Among its other faults, the dress resuscitates everything bad in ‘80s fashion, i.e., ruffles, ruching, shine, a tail, and that damn bright royal blue. I hate that shade of blue; I’m sure it’s the color a person would see if she were gazing skyward when a gamma ray burst hit the Earth, just before her brain melted and she crumbled into dust. Oh, lordy, then there’s that slit. What the hell is the theme of this prom? Enchanted Nights at the Mustang Ranch?

To my surprise, Jessica McClintock put her name to this mess, er, dress. Aged crone that I am, I mostly remember Jessica McClintock as the designer of Gunne Sax’s neo-Amish outfits in the 1970s, like this one for sale at Blacklight Vintage Clothing.

From burhka to brothel in 30 years; that’s progress for ya!

The other prom dresses on sale weren’t much more presentable. Obviously the days when a gown had to pass a pre-prom inspection by Sister Charles Bronson are gone forever.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A post-midlife clothing crisis

Oy vey, in the past couple of months so many things have gotten between the Clothesaholic and her addiction! Work, family crises, Top Chef . . . But thank Dior, Top Chef is over, and Project Runway Season 4 approaches, so I can stop thinking about duck confit and start concentrating on important things like fabric choices and cut again. (By the way, watching cooking shows, and the eating they inspire, can seriously interfere with one’s ability to wasp-waisted vintage fashions, even with corseting!).

While I was away from blogspot I had one of those landmark birthdays that bring on existential crises. I am now too old to be in any desirable demographic. Only the AARP wants me, my health insurance premium took an astonishing leap, and, much more important, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WEAR!!! I’m not yet ready to spend the rest of my life in elastic-waist polyester pants and oversized shirts from QVC.

If I can’t find shirtwaist dresses so I can play Donna Reed, maybe I’ll start playing the Megabucks slots regularly in the hope of winning enough money to dress exclusively in Chado Ralph Rucci, a maker of damn fine clothes appropriate for the woman of a certain age.

Actually, I hate the expression "age-appropriate". Clothing should be wearer-appropriate; after all, Renee Russo, age 53, can wear things that many many women a lot younger cannot. Yet there are things that, if worn by a, um, mature woman, simply look ridiculous.

Luckily, my clothing crisis is mostly academic. I work from my home so I can spend the day in disreputable jeans or even my jammies without offending anyone, assuming I don't answer the door when UPS calls. The cats seem happy to shed on anything. Those days when I’m forced to go out to play lawyer I have my collection of lady litigator suits. Every now and then, however, I’m invited to an event that’s doesn’t involve a judge and isn’t on Halloween, and I’ll need something else to wear.

For example, just last week I was invited to a wedding, which is about as good an excuse for this Clothesaholic to buy a new outfit as any. I'm excited because this promises to be an interesting gathering. The bride and her friends are all musicians, the groom is a Harley enthusiast. They met at a motorcycle rally. I’m sure that one or more of the guests will attend in his/her leathers and the dress code will be generally bohemian, in other words, it'll be a great opportunity for creative dressing. So I happily traveled to one of the local major department stores, where I’ve found things I like before, in high hopes of find the Dress That Will Change My Life, Fun Division, only to be disappointed immediately. The dresses were either very young – short, low-cut, short AND low-cut, baby-doll, mini-tent – or mother, nay, grandmother of the bride. I bought something anyway; a brightly-printed (purple! red! orange!) faux-Duro dress.

Due to my poor photography, and my size 2 dress form, these photos don't really begin to show the horror that is this dress. It has fluttery 3-quarter sleeves, a surplice bodice and an Empire waist shaped by a long silky sash that ties in the back in a bow. A child-like floppy kind of bow. When I tried the dress on in the store I thought it looked okay from the front and that I’d deal with the bow by keeping my back to the wall.

What the hell was I thinking?

The moment I paid for the dress that damn bow began to haunt me. I thought about it all the way home. I thought about if for the remainder of the afternoon. I hung the bright dress in my closet and noticed that it glowed like radioactive waste among my gray-pinstripe suits and LBDs. I tried the dress on the next morning, looked in the mirror, and saw a retired nursemaid dressed up like Heidi on acid. This garment might very well be The Dress That Will Change My Life, but not in any way I’d want. The dress is so being returned.

On a happier note, my existential crisis does not prevent me from admiring cute dress in the abstract. I saw some of these dresses by Nine West in real life, and dang, they’re cute. So, if you're a bright young thing, or Renee Russo, go check them out.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Shirtdress, Part I

Saturday, when I went to answer the door wearing my usual Saturday house cleaning decrepit shorts and T-shirt, I had a kind of epiphany. To save myself from further embarrassment, and to spare my local tradesmen further aesthetic distress, I should adopt the household costume of the 1950's housewife, the print shirtwaist dress. My reasoning was that those dresses should be at least as comfortable as shorts, possibly cooler because they're loose, and, while concealing, should carry a certain ironic post-modern cachet.

So, delivery accepted, I logged onto ebay to see if I could find a few vintage shirtwaist dresses at bargain prices; however, for my search I typed in "shirtdress" instead of "shirtwaist dress". The results yielded vintage dresses from the 60s and 70s, and I was immediately distracted.

Check out this black and white beauty, for sale at Lux Eternal. Except for the sleeve style (i.e., it HAS sleeves) it doesn't look vintage at all, and the print simply fab. And I simply loved the cream lace dress below, but that's already been nabbed on a buy-it-now. Some lucky person really scored for $19.00.

Of course, even if they fit, I wouldn't consider doing housework in either of these dresses, and I'm willing to bet that the close-fitting cream dress isn't that comfortable to wear. But sometimes, it really IS better to look good than to feel good.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Clothes on Film – Tough Girl Chic

What did it say about me that my fashion idol in the 70’s was a neurotic hooker character in a movie about sex crimes? What does it say about me now that when I go to grab pictures of my fashion ideals off the web I often wind up on fetish sites?

Pictures of Jane Fonda, dressed in thigh-high boots for the role of call-girl Bree Daniels in “Klute” are posted all over boot fetish sites. Thirty-something years ago, when "Klute" was released and I was a mere pup, I loooooved those boots too, even though, blessed with speed-skater legs as I am, I had no hope of finding a pair that fit, even assuming I’d expose enough muscle-bound thigh to show them off.

I loved the rest of Bree’s (and for about five minutes, before she got on the plane to Hanoi, Jane Fonda’s) look, too. It’s just so “I’m tough, I’m kewl, I’m high-fashion, don’t f*ck with me without a contract and if we close the deal be prepared to be f*cked into the middle of next week, muthaf*cka, even though deep inside I’ve retained my child-like innocence” look. I tried to copy it where I could; I got a shag haircut, which was actually flattering on me, I bought suede lace-front boots, and over the years I’ve owned a series of button-front mid-calf skirts like the one Bree is wearing in the second photo. In fact, the last in the series was donated to charity only a few months ago, although at the time I bought it I’m sure I had forgotten my original inspiration.

I regret to say that even dressed like Bree the Irresistible I was totally ignored by the opposite sex. (Lesbians have always hit on me – it must be the muscles. Or the glasses. Or the damn shag. NTTAWWT, except that I’m straight and hate softball so such efforts came to naught.) No one ever thought I was tough, because indeed I am not, and I rarely had the energy to even think of f*cking someone into the middle of next week. One might conclude that this cinematic fashion icon was ill-chosen.

Yikes, that’s too much about me; this isn’t a confessional blog. About the movie: it’s real good -- moody, suspenseful, sexy, very well-acted. "Klute" was made before Jane came turned political, so her performance is free from that earnest save-the-world vibe much of her later work has. In fact, "Klute" and an earlier bit of fluff called "Cat Ballou" are the only two Jane Fonda films I enjoyed without reservation. The very ending of the movie is a bit of a disappointment, what with Bree leaving "the life" in New York for domestic bliss in some suburb, but the girl still left looking good!

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch a bit of Jane’s Oscar-winning performance here, in the somewhat strange form of a video of the movie playing on TV.

When I was surfing the web for more Bree Daniels photos I found that the Catwalk Queen chose Jane Fonda in "Klute" and "Barbarella" as a style icon too. That's reassuring.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Better than the Oscars

Monday night the Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual Vogue-sponsored product-placement fund-raising orgy, otherwise known as the Costume Institute gala. I love this event because celebrities, models and socialites of every class and list, many escorted by designers, converge on the red carpet in their own interpretations of the very highest fashion. Anna Wintour, Bitch Goddess of Vogue, is the hostess, after all.

This event is just what I needed to get me out of the clothes-deprived slough of despond/black hole of employment litigation I’ve been struggling through lately.

This year the Gala was in celebration of the opening of the Costume Institute’s Poiret exhibit. Paul Poiret was a Belle Époque designer often credited with getting women out of their corsets. His clothing was often exotic, inspired by the Orientalism popular at the time. Poiret also lived extravagantly, designed for the Ballets Russe, invented the brassiere, made flesh-colored hose popular, went out of style after WWI, died in poverty and was mostly forgotten.
Very often the women attending the Gala pick up the theme of the exhibition in their dresses, like all the women who appeared dressed in the Union Jack at last year’s British fashion exhibition. This year, very few women attempted to dress in Poiret-inspired tunics or hobble-skirts, which is a shame, because if they had then there’d be an excuse for the general craziness, not to mention the tackiness, of many of the outfits this year. If I were the ghost of Paul Poiret, I’d feel dissed, but I’m not, so I’m thoroughly amused. There’s nothing like a bad outfit on a rich and beautiful woman to make me think that there’s justice in this world.

Exhibit Number 1: Kirsten Dunst in vintage Yves St. Laurent. I think the feather duster, or whatever (even the pictures are poorer this year) tied to her head is supposed to be a tribute to Poiret headbands, but basically, she just looks insane.

Scarlett Johansson in another breast-abusing dress by Stella McCartney. Given that Ms. Johansson’s poitrine is considered a national treasure by a large number of American men, some among them should really organize to protect her precious assets from designer mishandling. Gosh, I can see them now, the dedicated troupe of ScarJo’s Rack Rangers.

I also think that Scarlett ought to reconsider her friendship with Stella McCartney. No good friend would dress a shortish, curvy pal in a slightly-too-tight puff ball of a dress and then make her walk down the red carpet next to supermodel Amber Valletta who's wearing a long white column by that same "friend".

Miuccia Prada, in her own design. Sicilian widow from the waist up, Ballet Russes prima ballerina from the waist down. Love the shoes, hate the schizophrenia.

Charlotte Gainsbrough in Balenciaga. Balenciaga is the sponsor of the exhibition, so I hope that Charlotte got her dress for free. Lord only knows where her toeless platform ski boots came from.

Ellen Barkin in L’Ren Scott. The Fug Girls have already given her wrinkled satin waiter’s outfit the once-over, but what got me about his picture is her face. Ellen, just back away from the Botox, please!

Amanda Peet, Sally Singer and Stella Tennant in elasticized support hose. It’s a pity that such young, elegant women all suffer from varicose veins, isn’t it? (Translation: I hate the look of opaque tights with a light formal dress.)

Molly Sims in Armani Prive and Lauren Davis in Nina Ricci. If these dresses were made for the annual toilet-paper couture contest, I’d be really impressed. As it is, I’m left wonder why Ms. Davis would chose a dress that makes her look like she has wings sprouting from her behind.

Kelly Ripa in something-or-other. I hate it when women wear dresses the same color as their skin, especially when that color resembles nothing found in nature.
Of course, some women who attended the Gala looked just grand. As soon as I’ve found my happy place again, I’ll tell you about my favorites. FYI, has 155 photos from the red carpet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Someone needs a nice cup of tea.

I browse the coverage of London Fashion Week more for teh crayzee than for the clothes because -- and hats off to them -- British designers are generally the least restrained and commercial. But this season I didn't just find teh crayzee, I found teh crayzee and the depressed. Good lord, there were just acres of dense, light-absorbing, soul-sucking black in styles I can only describe as prison matron fetish burhka.

And here's the thing -- If fashion reflects the zeitgeist, what do these designers know that we don't know? Did a memo circulate through their workshops stating "the End is Near and we ain't kidding?" Is the British economy taking a nose dive? Has Kate Moss' coke supply been cut off, or Pete Doherty's heroin been cut with too much baby laxative, thus impeding the flow of fabulousness to the New(est) Swinging London? Are the designers all morning the loss of Posh and Becks to L.A.? Are there no doctors in London writing prescriptions for Zoloft, Paxil, or Wellbutrin? What??

Of course, the London shows were not without their bright spots. Duro Olowu, who designed the dress that became the A-Dress-A-Day obsession, showed a colorful collection. The graduates of Central St. Martins also managed to put out some bright, if curiously covered up, garments. But meanwhile, I think a cheer-the-f*ck-up British fashion designer intervention is in order.

The designers, top to bottom, are Biba, Jens Laugesen, Burberry (who actually showed in Milan), Gareth Pugh and Nathan Jenden.

Friday, February 16, 2007


My hard drive fried right in the middle of fashion week and awards season! Curses on you, computer gods! Curses!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Oh. my. gawd. I would. like, totally wear this Marc Jacobs stuff.

Marc Jacobs is the designer who famously brought us high-fashion grunge in the early 90s and, last year, super-wide pleated and bloused Capri-length pants. In other words, he's always been a trend-setting designers whose actual designs I never found wearable (although I have, on occasion, been known to wear a plaid flannel shirt). So yesterday, as I browsed through the mostly dismal Fall 2007 New York Fashion Week collections, I stopped, stunned, amazed and delighted, at Jacobs' collection. Of course, he laid a trap for me -- the first look out was the orange -- ORANGE! -- coat. And it's not only orange, it's sleek and chic and would probably look good on almost anyone. And he showed more gorgeous coats, and sleek tailored pantsuits that could be worn without embarrassment by, say, a middle-aged professional woman, and chic and tidy skirt sets . . . you know, things that most adult woman might actually want to wear.

Of course, the collection is not without its WTF? moments, and most of the cocktail and evening wear heads straight for Cloe Sevigny country, but if mass-market retailers pick up the tailored day-wear trend, I'll be happy to leave evening wear to the fashionistas.

I couldn't help noticing as I browsed through the photos at that the models this year are as incredibly, painfully thin as they were in years past, in spite of the recent discussions about discouraging starvation among runway models. Meanwhile, the average weight of Americans is now 188.3 lbs (13.5 stone or 85.6 kg). So who, exactly, is selling what to whom? And why can't we, as a society, work toward a happy medium?

Friday, February 02, 2007

When movie stars get confused

Just in case you've been on a deserted island without access to wi-fi and gossip blogs for the past, gosh, year or so, Sienna Miller, British tabloid darling, is staring in a movie called "Factory Girl," in which she plays Edie Sedgwick, a 60s it girl and herself the star of some underground movies.

Sienna is taking her part very very very seriously, no doubt because she thinks that taking on the role of an anorexic drug-addict who died at 28 from a barbituate overdose is an express-ticket to Oscarland. And, evidently, being smart enough not to adopt Edie's lifestyle to get into the role (although not smart enough to totally dump Jude Law), Sienna has tried to get into the part by adopting what she thinks was Edie's style.

Now, Edie was in fact dubbed "the girl in black tights" by Life Magazine. However she always wore them with a mini or a tunic or something that at least reached her crotch even if the garment didn't entirely cover it. Sienna on the other hand, is going for the pure tights look, and she appeared at the recent New York Premiere of "Factory Girl" wearing a short sweater and what appears to be a pair of granny panties over a pair of tights.
Sienna is supposedly a style trend-setter. However, Girlfriend clearly needs to be reminded that she's not Edie Sedgwick, that she'll never be Edie Sedgwick, and that she shouldn't even WANT to be Edie Sedgwick, considering that Edie's life was short and sad, and people who might be tempted to follow Sienna's lead and go outside without pants or dress should be reminded of that too.

By the way, that's Sienna in the top picture, and Edie in the bottom two.