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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

I’m sorry for anything bad I’ve ever said about Project Runway. I’m sorry for doubting Bravo and this season’s designers. But most of all, I’m sorry that so many horrific menswear outfits were created on tonight’s episode. Carmen, you and your unfinished pile of fabric, peace out! The third challenge was by far the most difficult, intriguing, panicky…my heart was racing the entire time. Overall, I agreed with the judges…though I really thought Kit should’ve won – I mean a fleece blazer, who would’ve thought? Brilliant. Christian’s was pretty “fierce” as well. I thought Jack’s was rather bland even though he won the challenge. Still, PR, you have my heart always and forever.

Oh, here’s my sketch for Tiki – a heather grey sweater vest, dusky blue collared shirt, navy seersuckers and a navy tie with maybe lime green stripes. The color palette too. I think it would look spectacular…I’m surprised no one else made a sweater vest..it would’ve been a load easier than the attempt at three piece suits everyone tried to sew.

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How could someone with a page on revolutionary fashion not write about Sofia Coppola‘s vibrant and grandiose vision of Marie Antoinette? It’s no wonder that an ex-intern at Chanel would imbibe the film with such exquisite taste. Coppola worked with costume designer Milena Canonero to recreate the modern version of the teen queen’s extravagant wardrobe – Milena then went on to win the Academy Award in 2006. Despite the centuries of controversy surrounding the French Revolution and the events leading up to it, Sofia envisioned Marie Antoinette and her compatriots simply as normal teenagers (this sentiment is evident by the placement of powder blue converse in a pile of period shoes). Unaware of the goings-on around them and selfishly foolish, but not purposely so…just typical of kids their age. Completely understandable since Antonia was only 14 when she married into French royalty. Perhaps because of my unwavering passion for shoes and accessories, I really focused on them as the center of the film’s whirlwind of stylized fashions. Beautiful, candy-colored, and delicately adorned, the shoes of Coppola’s Marie Antoinette forever dance in my head. Manolo Blahnik could not have designed a more striking collection…if only he would make ready-to-wear versions. And oh the jewelry! Most of the pieces are authentic 18th century and (naturally) glittering with age-old diamonds and stones. Since the real focus of the film (besides the actual plot) is the seemingly endless variation of opulent gowns, I suppose I should really move on. Although Canonero adorned most of the royals in silks, taffeta, and satin, she reserved gorgeously preserved 18th century lace for Marie Antoinette’s gowns. The gowns, although not precisely held to the fashion guidelines of the 1700s, were designed after the original shapes and mostly sewn in ateliers in Rome’s Cincecitta studios. Despite the fact that all of the costumes could hang in museums, there were a few that struck me breathless. The black masquerade costume made of what looks like French silk tulle, the famously innocent rosebud dress, and this yellow and pink gown are my favorites if I had to choose. The palette is creamy…butter yellow, cloudy blue, pistachio green, and rose pink. Sugary sweet. Although the Queen is depicted as wearing decadently decorated gowns for most of the film, she really preferred much simpler dresses. This taste for bland fashion revolutionized the trends of the time and brought about a different style of dress during the Revolution. This film’s breathtaking, indie beauty and the intricacy of the edible costumes make me pistachio with envy. I would die a thousand deaths at the guillotine for a chance to own Mme. Antoinette’s fur Blahniks.

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So, despite (temporarily) living in the fashion wasteland that is Orlando, Fl for the past year, I have managed to scrounge a few culture high-points. FYI – The Museum of Art is not one of them…unless you enjoy a brisk 15 minute walk with not much to look at. However, I recently had the distinct pleasure of attending Orlando Opera Co.‘s performance of Don Giovanni by Mozart. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as far as fashion is concerned as Orlando is more know for it’s booty shorts and bra tops. And to be honest, I myself wasn’t quite sure what to wear. Some opera houses are know for their glamorous patrons, but I thought this certainly wouldn’t be one of them. I opted for gray, flat-front trousers and a flared navy trench. Bland and boring, but safe. When we arrived, I realized I could have worn anything in my closet; it was the widest variety of styles I have ever seen under one roof. At the top were women wearing Chanel with mink stoles; diamonds dripping and perfectly coiffed. Anna Wintour would have approved. At the very bottom, which unfortunately comprised roughly seventy-five percent of the patrons, were twenty and thirty somethings in bad recycled prom dresses. I mean bad. Like the ones from Deb we wore in the early 90s. I guess they are the grown up version of short shorts and bra tops usually seen downtown, but I was still aghast at the sheer number of them. The men were more routine. Some donned full tuxedos (oh yes, there was a white one) and many just wore run-of-the-mill suits. The ones that caught my eye, however, were outfitted in what looked like a Ralph Lauren ad campaign. In the midst of a sea of brown and navy monochrome suits, they actually stood out as tasteful and elegant. Above all, I thought, were the very few young men wearing slim trousers, cashmere sweaters, and ties. Very British, very polished. Overall, I think Don Giovanni was a learning experience for everyone. For Strauss, I’m going 20s…similar to this Rodarte or Christopher Josse. Naturally, I’ll add an antique hat and maybe some wrist length gloves. It’s chic vintage with a touch of flash, and most importantly, it’s cocktail without the waitress.

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Okay, so I was going to wait until after the end of the second episode to post this, and I’m hoping that I’m proven wrong, but is Project Runway going the way of every other reality show? When it first aired on Bravo on December 1st, 2004, it revolutionized the current reality show trend. PR actually relied on its premise rather than drama…gasp! Yes, there were a few catty scenes with Wendy Pepper and “Morganza” as the catalysts, but all-in-all it was the talent that was the showcase. How could anyone forget Jay McCarroll‘s showing at Fashion Week? It was the antithesis of anything that was currently being done. It blurred the lines between quilting and fashion. It was technobohemian and it was absolutely brilliant. Season 2 brought us the explicit Santino whose style left little to be added, but whose craft was impeccable. And despite the show’s trailers for high drama, the season 2 contestants really just seemed like one big happy family (with some holiday arguments to keep it entertaining). Then came season 3, adding some mom drama with Jeffrey and Mrs. Angela and just a tinge of Laura’s wrath. But all in all, PR has continued to rely on the talent of its designers rather than the drama that has ensued. And maybe my expectations were just really high for the first episode because of the precedent that has been set, but I was entirely too disappointed by the fourth season’s first delivery. Not only did I find the designers’ fruits of labor to be incredibly boring and reproduced, but I found that the trailers for the show have shifted their focus to the drama rather than the challenges. Sure they showed the designers running across Bryant Park for the 50k motherload of fabric from Mood (some more slowly than others), but I want to see dresses made from corn husks and lawn chairs! Hey, how about for your first challenge (this is obviously me speaking in the voice of the producers), you get to work with beautiful designer fabric, make whatever the hell you want for whoever the hell you want, and all we’re going to do is make you run 50 feet for it. It’ll be crazy! So lame. And as it turned out, the designer’s “signature styles” left us bored to tears. In previous seasons, we hardly knew anything about the designers and now, we’re seeing their secrets revealed for the purpose of good television. ***SPOILER*** The trailers don’t elude to any of the future challenges, but they sure play up Jack’s HIV status and make a huge production out of his big reveal (he later gets a serious staph infection and has to go home). ***END SPOILER*** And while they really played up Christian’s arrogant, boy wonder attitude, I found that he seems like a perfectly normal, nice (albeit a little catty) guy. Don’t get me wrong, Project Runway is and will always be the show that shares my commitment to NBC’s The Office, but as a huge fan with great expectations, I am let down by the first episode. Bravo’s revolutionary status is slowly slipping and it’s pulling Project Runway with it. Please let me be wrong. Please tell me that everything I wrote is unfounded and heinous. And please tell me that the second episode brings joyous tears to my eyes. I want to see brilliance and I want to see it tomorrow night at 10 p.m. eastern time.

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Laura Bush, eat your heart out. Cécilia Sarkozy, former French first lady and model has been making the fashion and political headlines for the last year and never fails to deliver a jaw-dropping performance…no matter how unintended. Her complete disregard for any supposed fashion, governmental, or marital guidelines are what make her the subject of my first substantial post. Quite possibly the best dressed first lady since Jackie O., Cécilia never lets her title rule her closet. For the president’s inauguration, she wore this Prada dress (incidentally my favorite label which I’ll be posting on very soon). Who would’ve thought that a partner in crime to a political powerhouse could be this fabulously adorned? It makes me wonder what sort of conservative dark ages the first ladies have been living in for the past 40 years. Even Judi Giuliani somehow just looks cheap next to the effortlessness of Madame Sarkozy (do we still call her that?). She has a flawless ease that translates to every age. You could find her ensembles and accessories in young Hollywood’s wardrobes, yet she still maintains the presence of a president’s wife. I mean, could you imagine Hilary Clinton wearing aviators? Speaking of the Clinton family (it never gets old in American humor), Cécilia by no means obeys the laws of marriage or marital-political duties. She was nine months pregnant when she married for the first time and soon thereafter left her much older husband for the current French president. Before divorcing him as well in October of this year, she engaged in a yearlong extramarital affair with an “events organizer” who will remain unnamed (except by the press). She didn’t vote for her husband, nor did she attend a scheduled lunch with George Jr. and Laura Bush due to a sudden illness (she was photographed that day shopping at an outlet mall). She’s carefree and careless and perfectly, exquisitely polished and poised. How does she get away with it all? How does she elude the harsh criticism that other politicians and their counterparts receive? And how on earth does she get away with wearing this Azzedine Alaia black dress to the G8 summit in Germany? Because she’s Cécilia Sarkozy, and she just doesn’t give a merde. I think we should applaud her non-conformity in the midst of an entirely too conventional crowd and say that we don’t give a merde either.

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During the twenty-something years of my life, I’ve been through every fashion phase you could possibly imagine. At least once a year year my mom tells the story of how I stapled my purple corduroy dress down the back because the zipper was broken and wore it to preschool. I matched it with an orange sweater. It was June. High school saw me with horrendous platforms, plaid skirts, and vintage suede coats. And maybe the occasional 50’s prom dress. Despite the completely embarrassing photos of my youth, I feel proud that I never conformed. Coming off the tail end of a “comfortable jeans and t-shirts phase,” I’ve since decided that the rules of style don’t deserve the attention they get. Red and teal, shoulder pads, and unflattering silhouettes all have places in our wardrobes. This year, I’m throwing a “couture d’etat” and starting a fashion revolution on WordPress. I’ll be posting images of styles that shouldn’t work but do, discussions of fashion no-no’s that could be pro-pro’s, and links to people and ideas taunting the conservative fashionistas. Start a revolution!

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