Monday, September 19, 2011

63rd Emmy Awards -- the Glee Gang.

Adolescent angst does not end with high school, I just have to hope that the nerds  will end as up as software billionaires, and the cool kids will sink into well deserved obscurity.  Soon.

Now let's pause to reconsider how fabulous Naya Rivera looked at the Emmy awards.

And now I'm left to wonder why, given the heat generated by the dancers on Glee, does the singing midget get all the attention from fashion magazines?  I'm refering to Lea Michele, who, among other things, was on the cover of the September issue of Harper's Bazaar.  In close-up, heaven help us. Interesting issue of Bazaar, btw: it included articles about Michele Bachman and the Duchess of Windsor, and a feature devoted to the fashion of Margaret Thatcher.  Maybe the editors thought they'd balance things out by putting a Jewish girl on the cover?  Anyhoo . . .
Lea Michele in Marchesa -- What. Ever.  During the preshow, Kelly Osborne said that she asked Marchesa to loan her a dress, but they refused, saying that they were only going to dress one actress for the Emmys.  Well, there were two, Lea and Elizabeth Moss.  Whose nose should be out of joint?  If it's Lea, how could we tell?
Dianna Agron in Roksanda Ilincic -- A Spelling Challenge.  Dianna always looks like she borrowed her clothes from a 50-year-old WASP society matron.  Apparently, Dianna goes to the matron's hairdresser as well.  Her outfit is too old, too blue, too wrinkled, in short, a material crime against a beautiful young woman.

Heather Morris in Masai Payan -- Sorry, Heather, You're Out.  I love Heather Morris, I love the character she plays on Glee.  BUT!  This dress -- it looks like something a Project Runway contestant would make for an "avant garde" couture challenge where the only material allowed is toilet paper.  And on top of it all she's got a hair Tsunami.  Oh, no, honey, just . . . no.   
Jayma Mays in Zuhair Murad -- So Sweet My Teeth Hurt.  On Glee, Jayma's character is afflicted by Innocence Virgin on Stupidity.  Someone needs to tell her she doesn't need to dress that way in real life.
Jenna Ushkowitz in Gadah Paris -- Props for Originality.  Jenna took a chance, and it's -- okay.  It is nice to see something that's not the same old strapless mermaid/one shouldered red yadda yadda, but once again, this look rather old for her.  Still, nice try.
Amber Riley in Unknown -- Talk About Old!  When I first saw Amber in this dress, I thought "she must have gone shopping in her grandmother's closet."  Then I realized that her grandmother would probably be about my age, and I wouldn't have something like this in my closet.  It reminds me of the dresses my heavier aunts used to wear to Italian weddings in the 1980s.  Who did this too poor Amber?

63rd Emmy Awards -- once you go black . . .

No surprises here – there were lots of strapless mermaid dresses, again, lots of one-shoulder dresses, again, and lots of pale pale actresses wearing pale pales dresses, again.  Oh will they never learn?  As usual, the A-list actresses got the A-list dresses and, for the most part, looked the best.  There were, however, a lot of lesser-known designers represented on the runway, including Tony Ward Couture, Johanna Johnson, Romona Keveza, and Kaufmanfranco, with greater or lesser success.

The trendiest color on the red carpet was red, which is a continuation of the trend set at the 2011 Academy Awards.  Even red-haired Kathy Griffin wore a red Oscar de la Renta.   (Speaking of hair, there should be a special prize for Good Looks Ruined by Bad Hair.)  But when I picked out my favorite looks, almost all of them were black, and here they are:

Naya Rivera in Lloyd Klein -- Take THAT Lea Michele.  My favorite look of the event.  It's simple, retro, and sizzling hot.  I would have liked it worn slightly fuller hair and darker lips, but that's quibbling, and even I shouldn't quibble with fabulous.

Maria Menounos -- It's a Mystery.  Pictures of Maria wearing her sparkling dress are posted all over the internet, but I haven't found one with a caption that identifies the designer, poor dear.  Unfair, considering that this dress, like Naya's, is simple, retro, and hot, and more fashionable than the very similar dress Elie Saab dress worn by Evan Rachel Wood.  Whoever you are, dear designer, stand up and take a bow.

Christine Baranski in Zac Posen -- Hotness for Grown-ups.  I had already sorted this picture into my black beauties files when I read that it's actually midnight blue.  Whatever.  What excites me about this little number is that it's got sleeves, and it's still hot!  Of course, it helps that it's worn by a tall woman with a dancer's body, but even tall and gorgeous can go wrong.  (Are you listening, Nicole?)  Good job, Christine.

Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab -- I Didn't Know She Could Sing.  Slick and pretentious.  Yeah, I could see Veda Pierce in this dress.

Gretchen Mol in L'Wren Scot -- the KISS Principal at Work.  Her management and Vanity Fair Magazine have been trying to sell the baby-faced Gretchen Mol as a sex bomb for at least 15 years.  Bomb?  No.  Very nice looking?  Yes.  Needs a necklace?  Definitely.
Kaley Cuoco in Romona Keveza -- Give it up for Tea Length!  Young and cute, but she should have gone all the way and added a crinoline.  Dare to be, uh, daring!

Kelly MacDonald in Unknown -- Good Dress, Bad, Bad Hair.  On days when she was going to do heavy duty cleaning, my mother would put her hair up in pin curls, tie a scarf around it, and get to work.  When she was done, she'd take off the scarf, comb-out her hair, change her dress and put on some make-up.  Looking at this picture I can only assume that Kelly didn't have time for the comb-out before she left her house, but her toilets are really clean.
Gwyneth Paltrow in Pucci -- It Looked Better on TV.   I was really impressed when I saw Gwyneth approaching the tiny Seacrest wearing this; it seemed unique and daring.  In the still photos, it makes her look like she has a slight muffin top.  So we can conclude this dress would have looked better as a one piece.  Consider it, Pucci.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack.

Before my blogging was so rudely interrupted by work, the serial release of new volumes in four Fantasy/SciFi series I follow (reading each new volume requires a reread of the previous volumes, which in the case of A Song of Ice & Fire means a 4,000 page review) and, most importantly, my quadrennial nervous breakdown and medication adjustment, I was writing about New York Fashion Week and the Fall 2011 collections.  I even had carefully organized files of photos illustrating trends for discussion.  Well, screw that, because my head has cleared enough for me to start writing again . . .
at the end of New York Fashion Week for Spring 2012.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again – It's always Fashion Week Month somewhere.

But before I write about any of that nonsense, if I do, here's some Clothes on TV commentary:

Project Runway Season Who Gives a Damn

There has always been an undercurrent of misogyny and ageism circulating among the mostly young gay male contestants on PR, but this year those particular evils are front and center thanks to a contestant named Josh Overpluckshiseyebrows.  And I already know that Mr. Overplucked is going to be among the finalists, or perhaps even win, but it really makes no damn difference, because, given the season timing, all nine of the remaining contestants got to show at fashion week.  In seasons past I've looked at the fashion week photos, this year, I dislike most of the contestants and find their clothes boring and frankly, m'dear, I don't give a damn.

The Rachel Zoe Project

Rachel's back, with her husband, but without Brad Gorecki, who, it must be said, was the real star of that show.  So we're left with what must be the whiniest couple in fashion/showbiz, and with Rachel pregnant, there is just soooo much more to whine about.  The next episode is the pregnant Rachel styling women for the Oscars.  I may watch that episode on mute.

Amsale Girls

Amsale Girls is WE TV's wedding gown series.  It supposed to be about the women working at the Amsale boutique on Madison Avenue in New York.  The boutique is elegant, the gowns even more so: no see-through corset gowns here.  Amsale gowns average about $5,000, and according to a blurb on, can cost as much as $75,000.    Unfortunately, all that good taste produces very little drama, and the show is rather boring.

Say Yes to the Dress, and Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta.

Bad taste, tacky gowns, petulant brides, mothers-from-hell, jealous sisters, bitchy bridesmaids, what more can one ask for?  Right now, these are my favorite fashion TV show.  Thank gawd there's something I can depend on.

Live from the Red Carpet, the Umpty-tump Emmy Awards

Very relaxing show – I feel free to get up and fill my bird feeders, consider caulking my windows, water my container garden, wonder why the holy hell anyone would remake Mildred Pierce, and thank goodness for DVRs.  Now I can fast forward through the many interviews with men (and it seems like ONLY men are stopping to talk to the skeletal Giuliana and the miniature Seacrest), rewind for a glimpse of some of the few interesting dresses.  In short, another boring broadcast.  But I keep watching.  What does that say about me?

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dress -- Not great, but just grand.

Kate Middleton wearing a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress
And oh, so tasteful: no boobs, no bling, no damn fit-and-flare.  Pre-royal wedding, your average "Say Yes to the Dress" shopper  probably wouldn't even try on a similar dress.  Simon Doonan wrote that the royal wedding could usher in a "whole new era of elegant restraint" and put a temporary end to "porno-chic."  Unlikely, given the Kardashian-media complex, but we can hope that at least a few bimbos out there in celebrity land will get a clue and start wearing dresses long enough to prevent the spread of crotch-rot.

Ahem.  Yes.  Back to the dress:  in the black center of my heart-of-hearts I was hoping that Kate would wear something completely cracked-out,thus inspiring decades of brides to march down the aisle wearing, say, sequined Crocs, cowboy hats and 80's style mini-poufs, all for my amusement. The better part of me wanted her to wear something very modern and minimal, bordering on Tilda wear, that fashion and clothes bloggers could argue about for ages. But Kate, an obviously a smart, and even calculating, young woman, chose a dress that no one could complain about. Reportedly, even the hyper-critical Karl Lagerfeld liked it. May the rest of her choices as a royal be as successful, to the undoing of the tabloid press.

Oh, and I lurve the tiara. There's no garment that can't be made better by some honking big genuine jewels.

Now I wish I had a piece of  carrot cake.  Weddings do that to me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Oscars 2011 -- Back in Black

So I watched the E!'s Oscar special Fashion Police and TVGN's Red Carpet Review last night and learned that the paid fashion critics and I disagree about almost every dress worn, in particular Amy Adam's dark blue sequined column dress.

Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott
They all hated the cap sleeves and high neck, and hated that she wore jewelry over an already sparkly dress.  Well, to heck with them, I think she looked great. I love the dress, which I call maximum minimalism, and I thought the jewelry was to die for.  Carved emeralds, for pete's sake, how could those EVER be bad?  I deplore the current absence of jewelry on the red carpet regulars -- for heaven's sake, it's not like they're paying for it!  Then I woke this morning to the Stephanie Miller Show, and heard one of her cohorts, Jim Ward, saying that he was tired of hearing gay men criticising women's clothing, because "they didn't like her necklace; what the hell's wrong with them?  She's beautiful!"  So THERE!

Moving right along: if you look at the Fall 2011 New York collections, you'll see that black is not only basic, it's practically all there is:  black is the new black.  So instead of saying that the ladies on the Oscar 2011 red carpet were playing it safe by dressing in black, you could say that they're on trend, fashion forward, ahead of the curve.  Whatevah, the result was the usual, with some of them looking great, and some of them looking absolutely frightening.  Observe:

Camilla Alves in Kauffman Franco: Perfect.  Camilla Alves was at the Academy Awards with her husband, Mathew McConaughey.  He was only presenting an award, she was only his plus one, never the less, she stole the show.  Her backless, practically frontless, full skirted black dress should go down in history as one of the best black dresses, EVAH.  It shows everything without showing anything, because it fits perfectly.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that the person wearing it is absolutely beautiful.  I only wished she had filled some of that decolletage with a smashing necklace, like so

Annette Bening in Naeem Khan: A Definite Maybe.  Annette's art deco gown is hot off the Fall 2011 runway, but I can't make up my mind whether I like it or not.  Maybe she needed firmer foundation garments so that the dress fell better, and she really needed some help with her A-list cropped hair.  But at least the gown is interesting.

Busy Phillips in vintage Pucci.  It's a big ole taffetta number, and I love her in it.  So sue me.

Cody Horn in  . . . something.  I own a dress very similar in cut and print to the dress Cody wore to the Oscars.  I love my dress, I'll wear it until it falls apart, but I'm not sure it or anything similar is red carpet wear, particularly when accessorized with mesh fingerless gloves.

Sunrise Coigny in Jean Paul Gaultier: the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I love the sliver of gold on the side of Sunrise's dress, but I hate one-sleeve dresses with a passion hotter than the heat of a thousand suns.  On the other hand, I love the name "Sunrise," so much better than that hackneyed "Dawn."

Sharon Stone in Dior: Mistress of the Dark.  Looks like Sharon is daring someone to ask her about John Galliano, just fired by Dior for making anti-Semitic statements, or someone had just asked her about him, and she's getting ready to drink that person's blood.  I'm real fond of vampires, so I congratulate Sharon for bringing the good crazy.

Helena Bonham Carter in Colleen Atwood: Film Before Fashion.  I saw Ryan Seacrest's red carpet interview with Helena, where she firmly put that omnipresent evil homunculus in his place.  How can I not love her after that?

Reese Witherspoon in Armani Prive: Snoozeville.  Reese's gown is what I call minor minimalism, or in other words, nothing.  Girlfriend needs a touch of Sharon Stone's crazy to spice up her act.
Ain't done yet!  Stay tuned for for comments on the remaining public fashion insanity.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Academy Awards 2011 -- high contrast competition

There were two teams fighting it out on the Academy Awards red carpet Sunday afternoon: Team Pale and Team Red. Points were scored by both teams, but Team Pale dominated the field, in spite of the penalties racked up by Nicole Kidman and Melissa Leo.

On another note, the Hair Brassiere was not in play, since most of the Class A players are going short. It looks like players in the big show don't need any extra padding in their helmets.  Or on their chests.

Here's a recap of the game:

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein Collection:  Look at My Butt, Not at My Bustle.  Team Red started the game when nominee Jennifer came out in a super minimal look.  Can't say  I was knocked out by the dress, but I was impressed by Jennifer's ability to wear it without showing lumps or bumps, which, I think, is the point of  minimalist fashion:
Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa: She's 14, She's Beautiful, and She's Wearing Marchesa.  Have I told y'all how much I love tea length full skirts?  Well I do, and the length alone makes this dress for me.  Otherwise it's a bit bland, especially compared to the bangin' Prada dress she wore to the SAG awards. I would have preferred this dress a shade darker, or a different color -- yellow, maybe, with gold embroidery? -- just to have her stand out from the crowd of other pale pink dresses.

Anne Hathaway in vintage Valentino Couture: Red Gone Wrong.  Squished boobs, frumpy bustle, and matchin lipstick.  All no-nos in my book.  I wonder if the pregnant Rachel Zoe did her styling for Anne's multi-dress Oscar extravaganza?  If so, that's going to make one hellava episode of the Rachel Zoe project.

Mandy Moore in Monique L'Hullier: Wake Me Up When It's Over.  Mandy's dress looks like a bad version of Hailee Seinfeld's Marquesa; not terrible, just blah, which may be worse. 

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang: F*ck You, Jesse James and the Ho You Rode In On.  Finally, a dress by a wedding gown designer that doesn't look bridal.  In fact, Sandra's hot look is pure Jessica Rabbit.  I love the two-layer bodice, although there's some obvious pull over the thighs.  What was it with all the hobble skirts this year?  Anyhoo, go Sandy!!
Florence Welch in Valentino Haute Couture: Are Those My Mother's Curtains?  Haute couture is wasted on Florence because she can't sell a look.   Head up, shoulders back, and some chicken cutlets for your bra, girl!  There is no slouching in high fashion! 

Jennifer Hudson in Versace: She Didn't Get the Minimalist Memo.  These big ole taffeta numbers are looking rather dated, aren't they?  A simple column would have shown off Jennifer's great new figure better, and wouldn't have abused her bosom the way this gown does.

Michele Williams in Chanel Couture: She Got the Memo.  I almost really love this dress, probably because I like the idea of formal t-shirt dresses.  However, the center seam and the transparency annoy me.

Penelope Cruz in L'Wren Scott: Christmas in February.  Some people really liked Penelope's dress, but I think it looks like a Christmas tree skirt you could pick up at the Dollar Store.  She also needs more support.  Sorry, I seem to be fixated on bosoms today, but it's hard to ignore them when they're unleashed en masse.

Hilary Swank in Gucci Premiere: We've Seen This Before.  Servicable, but not exciting.

Halle Berry in Marchesa: Reining in the Crazy.  We've seen many variations on Halle's dress, but at least she doesn't look like a hooker or a crazy, bitter, separated single mother.  She'd better be careful -- nasty custody fights can make a girl ugly.

Celine Dion in Armani Prive: She got the Minimalist Memo too.  I think Celine's dress would have been really great if it had been let out a half inch on either side.  As it is, it looks like Celine is trying too hard to show off her post-twins figure, and she got stuck with a hobble skirt.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Almost Perfect.  If Gwynie had just left off that weird little brooch at the waistline (more Christmas!),  this would have been my favorite look.  Le sigh.

Melissa Leo in Marc Bower: There Are No Words.  Oh, yeah, maybe there are.  Will "lace tablecloth"  do?  Or better "lace tablecloth on the Starship Enterprise."  Oy, that collar!

Nicole Kidman:  WTF?  Ah, the beautiful Nicole Kidman:  when she gets it right, she gets it very, very right (I still love that chartreuse Dior she wore, lo those many years ago), and when she gets it wrong, boy howdy, it is SO wrong (that gold spangled Tom Ford for YSL flapper dress, mercy!).  Her 2011 Oscar gown has to be filed under WRONG.  It's another table cloth.  A used wrinkled cotton tablecloth turned into an ill-fitting dress that probably cost as much as a BMW X3.   Oh, Nicole!

Sorry for the exclamation-mark abuse.  Stay tuned for more Oscar Madness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trends I don't like -- the Hair Brassiere

So I'm sitting here watching (sort of) E!'s Countdown to the Red Carpet, wishing some fashion guerilla would tackle Giuliana Rancic and shave her head, then force her to eat an In & Out Burger Double-Double.  I'm also bracing myself for the hair extension abuse that certain stars and celebusluts inflict on their viewers.  Look at these examples from the Grammy awards:

Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards

Jennifer Lopez at the Grammys
They look like they're in bad Lady Godiva costumes, that is, they have the hair AND a dress.  In Miley's case, she in fact may have been using her hair extensions to maintain her modesty, because she was falling out of her dress.  Fake hair is no substitute for clothing.  But other red carpet regulars are wearing their extra-long extensions swept forward over their bodices, and those extensions are often so loaded with product they look like the hair was glued to the dress.  So tacky, so Jersey Shore (is that redundant?), not to mention an insult to the dress.  For heaven's sake ladies, PUT UP YOUR HAIR, or better, CUT IT.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh. The Grammys. Right.

So I attempted to watch the Grammys red carpet show yesterday -- I got as far as Lady Gaga's appearance in her egg, and I turned it off.  Girlfriend soooooooo needs to get over herself.  And there's something wrong about an event where the women appear dressed in cracked out couture and the men appear dressed in early thriftstore.  Why bother with the parlor line-up for this event?  There's no rock-n-roll fashion any more, country stars are trying too hard to wear capital F fashion (even though you can still tell they're country singers from a mile away), and all the R & B stars are trying to compete with Rihanna.  Rihanna, btw, won the OMG, She Naked! award, so everyone else should have just stayed home, especially all those people who show up everywhere, like Kim Kardasian and Snooki.  Eva Longoria?  Why was she there?  Heidi Klum?  Where was Seal? What a cluster fug.

Complaints on record; just let me say that Jennifer Hudson looked great, although I think she might be messing with her face a bit, WHICH SHE SHOULD NOT DO; don't know how much it cost Kathy Griffin to get her current body, but it was worth every penny (like the dress, too); and someone needs to get Giuliana Rancic a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, STAT!

And that's enough of that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fresh Squeezed

There's not much color in the Fall 2011 collections so far, but what color there is, is orange, ranging from tomato-soup to rust to full-on Sunkist orange.  Looks good with all that black.

Costello Tagliapietra Fall 2011

Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011

Jill Stuart 2011

Rachel Zoe Fall 2011

Threeasfour Fall 2011 

Victoria Beckham Fall 2011
I guess if you can't sit by the fire, you might as well wear it!