Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The no-SAG Awards

The Screen Actor's Guild Awards show is one of the classier affairs, more serious award season affairs, so its red carpet features fewer B-listers in "what the HELL is she wearing?" mode. This year, I'm pleased to say, the older (well, Helen Mirren) and relatively larger ladies really appeared looking great, giving me, as an older and relatively larger lady, hope. From top to bottom at left that's Helen Mirren, Sara Ramirez, America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson. The possible exception was Chandra Wilson, who wore a white satin dress that wrinkled like crazy. Satin is way better in concept than in practice fabric, imo.

Most of the actresses wore relatively safe dresses, and those that didn't wound up on the worst-dressed lists. I liked Ellen Pompeo's rather 70s retro gown, but the voters in E! Online's poll didn't. Mary-Louise Parker got well and truly fugged. Actually, I think her pleated dress is pretty, but it's too young for the 43-year-old Parker. She should have changed dresses with the 26-year-old Rinko Kikuchi, who wore a black Chanel dress with a train. Toot toot!

Svetlana Metkina and Vanessa Williams redeemed themselves after their Golden Globes mistakes. Let that be a lesson to you ladies: leave the bondage straps and fright wigs at home.

And Rachel McAdams, poor dear, gets the prize for How Not to Do a Retro look. Really, dear, 50s-style stilettos with a 60s-style shift? Just say no.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Tangerine, she is all they claim . . .

. . . With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame . . .

Left, summer dress, available at Dandelion Vintage (scroll down) most unfortunately in a size I haven't worn since age 12. But isn't it a beauty? So light, so summery, so Dior, so . . . Tangerine!

Madame Butterfly

The Sprint 2007 Couture collections were shown last week, and Style.com, the official website of Vogue and W Magazines, was absolutely in raptures over the collection produced by John Galliano for Christian Dior. "What psychological process did it take to lift John Galliano to the extraordinary place of brilliance he reached—or rather, rediscovered—in his spring couture? "Everything about the Dior collection—inspired, he said, “by Pinkerton’s affair with Cio-Cio San, Madame Butterfly”—reconfirmed his unique talent to evoke beauty, sensitivity, narrative, and emotion in a fashion show. Kimonos, obis, and geisha makeup were Dior-ified, transformed into delicate translations of New Look peplum suits and full-skirted dance dresses." You can practically hear the editor hyperventilating as s/he types. I am glad that she managed to come down off her cloud long enough to mention Dior's "New Look," because the fabrics may be Japanese, but the shapes are pure vintage Dior. For example, the yellow and green ensemble is Spring 2007; the red gown
is from Fall/Winter 1957-1958, but they look like they could be from the same collection. And that's fine with me, at least these dresses look like something that's actually meant to be worn, unlike some of Galliano's recent couture collections, which are pure costume. And I luuuuuuurve vintage Dior. I probably would have hated wearing it, since it doesn't exactly feature comfortable and work friendly shapes. In fact, Coco Chanel once said upholsters them." But dang, it's "Dior doesn't dress women, he elegant.

Elegance in dress isn't valued, or even mentioned, much any more. I assume that's because all the style setters now are young substance abusing celebrities who wouldn't know elegance if it bit them on their oh-so-obviously bare butts. I wish some mature woman (and by mature I mean "35 or old enough to know the difference between a car and a gynecologist's office" would lead the charge to bring back grand style in dress. Of course, I'd still be working at home in my pajamas or jeans, but at least I'd have more pretty things to look at.

Purple and blue dresses from Christian Dior Spring 2007 Couture; black strapless gown Christian Dior Winter 1953; alas, I have no date for the full-skirted cocktail dress.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Golden Globes -- Hollywood goes to the Prom.

The Golden Globes, Hollywood's Number 2 award show, was held last night. As usual, I turned on the E! Network red carpet show -- and I didn't watch more than 45 minutes, including bathroom and cookie breaks of the show. In an effort not to offend the red carpet celebrities, E! has eliminated all of its entertaining interviewers. Oh, did I love it when Kathy Griffith asked the celebs what they thought about Dakota Fanning entering rehab? I did. did I love it when Isaac Mizrahi grabbed Scarlett Johanssen's boob? Oh, you BETCHA!!!. Now E! now has the most bland robot hosts covering the show. They're so inoffensive, I find them offensive. And if this were a dictatorship, and I were Minister of Culture, I'd have Ryan Seacrest shipped to a re-education camp ASAP.

I wound up viewing the clothes (which is all I care about; I can't actually imagine watching an actual awards show) online. I saw lots of women wearing big formal dresses, and big very "done" hair, all giving off a very Prom vibe. Other trends -- lots of white, lots of draped or ruched goddess dresses (very flattering on the mature actresses -- Meryl Streep, you ROCKED), lots of bosom (make the Golden Globes pun of your choice), lots of heavy makeup. Mostly, the stars looked boringly nice, leaving me thankful for those who didn't look so nice.

Well, except, perhaps for Jeremy Irons. You see, I remember Jeremy when he was young and hot, and to see him not only looking like 25 miles of bad road but wearing his granny's nightshirt just reminds me that time is flying. By supersonic jet, apparently.

The girl wearing the dress that looks like it was trimmed with kleenex is Rinko Kikuchi. I have no idea what her credits as an actress are, but she's already been fugged twice for her, um, daring fashion choices. The dress she's wearing is Chanel, and I'm betting that she's going to be on the top of everyone's worst-dress list, Chanel notwithstanding, and I bet she won't care. At least I hope she doesn't, now that Bjork and Bai Ling seem to have gone underground. We need SOME entertainment.

The only vintage on the runway, as far as I know, was worn by Renee Zellweger. It's vintage Dior, which looked better from some angles than others. In the photo I posted, the dress looks like it's pulling right across her hips in the critical crotchal area. How small could this dress be, if it's tight on the ultra thin Renee Zellweger? I will give her credit for wearing a deep color though -- if the super pale Renee also wore white she'd look like the fog descending.

Speaking of fog -- Cameron Diaz gets both the Toilet-paper Cozy and the Damn, Girl, Do You Have Enough Makeup On? awards for this event. The Fug Girls blame her choice of dress and maquillage on her recent breakup with Justin Timberlake. I think she might be going for the lead in The Vampire Bride. However, while Cameron doesn't look nearly as cute as she did at the People's Choice Award, she didn't fall as far from cute as Vanessa Williams did. Talk about the curse of the Prom dress!

I posted the picture of Donald Trump and his Plastic Bride because, well, their karma will prevent them from ever looking really good. However, if the Miss USA contest should fail under the weight of its mini-scandals, Melania can always become the poster girl for The Botox Babes. On the other hand, maybe Melania was turned to stone when Sharon Stone glared at her. I don't know who or what Sharon was glaring at, but I'm sure he, she, or it did not escape that glare unscathed.

The Third Mrs. Trump could give Naomi Watts a few tips about support, too. Naomi's strapless dress looks like it's being held up by her arms, which she has to keep tightly clamped to her body all evening to avoid major nipple slippage. The slippage problem is yet another reason why I hate strapless dresses.

Then, there can be too much support, as demonstrated by the gunmetal gray elastic bands holding up the Golden Globes of Svetlana Metkina. Well, I guess she figured she didn't get a lot of exposure from her part in Bobby, so she'd just have to expose her own darn self. And she did. At least, being Russian, I assume she handled the relatively chilly California evening better than some of the native actresses did.

The woman in the red and black dress probably should be spared criticism because she's not a nominee, she's a spouse, Mrs. Jason Lee to be precise. But dang, her dress is just . . . peculiar. It looks like the offspring of some unholy mating of Speedo and Versace.

And last, but never ever ever least, we have J-Lo wearing a tablecloth. Marriage has not been good for her wardrobe. Whatever. She'll forever be the lady who gave us Glow perfume, Gigli , and Bennifer.

The Fug Girls had a wonderful time with the Globes -- check them out. Style.com also has great photos of the red carpet arrivals, including credits for the dresses.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thank goodness, it's award season!

Yes, it's that season, folks, when celebrities of greater and lesser fame parade up and down red carpets collecting vaguely phallic trophies as awards, I believe, mostly for showing up, and thereby providing much amusement for us clothes-watchers.

I regard female celebrities as fair game for criticism not only because they put themselves out there for comment, but because they're usually quite good-looking and built for the wearing and display of clothing. So when one of them is looking less than her best it's not because she's dealing with the effects of some immutable genetic characteristic, but because of a lapse of taste, which could have been dealt with by looking in the mirror, chosing a dress of the correct size (and of course for most of these women that means putting on a size 2 instead of a size 0), firing the stylist or wearing a pair of panties. In other words, I'm criticizing the behavior, not the person (although in the case of those starlets who constantly appear without underwear, behavior is affected by character, and that's perhaps a bit more personal).

Anyhoo, this week some organization or other gave out the People's Choice Awards. I don't know who the people choosing the recipients are, and after reviewing the red carpet photos, I don't know who half the people receiving the awards are, either, so I guess these are rather Brand-X awards. Accordingly we got some Brand-X clothing on the red carpet, Exhibit A being the skin tight gold pleather schmatta worn by Halle Berry in the top left photo. When a dress makes one of the most beautiful women in the world look like she has a saggy bosom, a lumpy middle, and heavy thighs, you have to know that's one baaaaaad dress. Ms. Berry's lapse of taste was made more obvious by the presence of Vanessa Williams, a comparable African-American goddess, at the same show. Halle's short and trying-to-hard-to-be-sassy dress looks sleazy, Vanessa's short and really sassy dress looks great, perhaps because it's not short AND low AND tight. Whatever: game Vanessa. Halle, steal her stylist.

Jennifer Anniston was there, receiving an award for "favorite female movie star." As a result of the constant media-whoring of Brangelina, I'm member of "Team Anniston," and I was happy to see Jennifer out in a sexy, form fitting dress. See? See? the former wife, you know, the one who doesn't try to convince the world she invented acting or charity, has a nice rack too. But I wasn't so happy to see her out with what appeared to be a mustache and zits on her chin, both of which were probably the result of bad makeup and shadows cast by unruly hair. Jen, sweety, as my mother used to say to me: "Go comb your hair and put on some lipstick, you'll feel better." Really, even though that bitch is on the cover of January Vogue glowing in a red dress and you had to show up at an awards show where your maybe ex-boyfriend was also honored, you will.

The blonde girl in the pretty retro blue dress (I like the way it looks in the not-so-shiny photo) is an actress named Katherine Heigel. IMDB.com tells me that she's on a TV series called Gray's Anatomy, a show I haven't seen and probably never will see. But damn, she's pretty! Her perfect skin looks like buttercream icing. I think I hate her.

Cameron Diaz and Sandra Oh both got fugged for the black dresses they wore to the awards. I can't agree with the Fug Girls on these two choices. Sure, Cameron's dress, a baby-doll pouf, is probably too young for her, and both dresses could only be worn by ultra-slender celebrity-types, but they ARE being worn by ultra slender celebrity types. The two dresses are also black, which masks a lot of mistakes (imagine them in my current favorite, orange -- oooh, I shudder), they're a bit different from the usual, and they both fit. So like the judges on Project Runway, I'll give both Cameron and Sandra points for taking risks.

I can't do the same for the ladies in the last two pictures, Rebecca Gayheart and Lizzy Caplan. The pale colors of their dresses makes both of them look like they're staggering down the runway in search of transfusions -- when will this damn flesh-colored lipstick and dress trend be over? Rebecca's dress also gives her that dreaded toilet-paper cozy silhouette. Lizzy's dress looks like she got it off the clearance rack at some low-end vintage store specializing in the 1970s castoffs of really tall girls. The whole garment just drags her down, and, it's peach. Peach. I'll stand up and defend orange, tangerine, coral and rust, but peach is a color that doesn't look good on anyone. And what's with that strange mismatched midriff insert? Oh, honey, no. Just. No.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The one that got away

Before the holiday I spotted the brown shirtwaist dress at top left, for sale at BebopDiva's ebay store. I loved it immediately, because I look great in brown and shirtwaist dresses, but did I buy it? Nooooooooo -- I put the dress on my watch list, which of course I didn't watch, and by the time I remembered to look again someone had bought it on a "Buy It Now" bid. Now, every once in a while I think what a wonderful purchase the dress world have been. It has sleeves! It would have brought out the gold flecks in my eyes! It would have looked fabulous under my chestnut-brown vintage fur, especially if I found a pair of retro-styled brown pumps to wear with them! But the dress is gone forever because I committed the first sin of vintage shopping -- I found something I liked, in my size, and I didn't buy it on the spot.

Now, about the fur thing. I'm not a fan of new fur -- I mean, $15,000 for a jacket, whaddaya kidding me? -- but I think vintage furs deserve to be worn, because not only is the wearer too late to save Mr. Fluffy, but if the garment isn't used, Mr. Fluffy will have died in vain. Furs last forever, if they're maintained properly. Fur is not a petroleum product, as are nylon, polyester and acrylics, and it's much warmer than those fabrics. If you're uncomfortable wearing granny's old mink in public, have it cut down into a throw, wrap yourself in it while watching television, turn down the thermostat five degrees and strike a blow against the Empire!

I posted a picture of the brown wiggle dress, also from BebopDiva, because I think it's both classy and sexy. Alas, the lovely thing has a 26-inch waist, which means that it's not for me, but someone should really snap it up, along with this jacket. Save a dress, save a jacket, save a tree.