Posts filed under ‘culture’

ANTM is Back– and So Am I!

This blog has been in hibernation (and, I may move it over to Tumblr or Posterous… TBD) but with a new season of ANTM on the air, it can only mean one thing: it’s time to talk Tyra and tragic model moments!

Before we dive right in, let’s take a moment to gasp at the fact that yes, we are on SEASON 16 (!?@!) of America’s Next Top Mode. Season. Sixteen. Oh. My. God. Don’t worry, you don’t have to admit how many seasons you’ve watched. And re-watched. No one ever needs to know.

With that being said, this season started up with Tyra trying to mix things up a bit– she nixed the idea of airing castings (gasp! The horror! How can we mock all of the potential hopefuls and get a taste for the girls who may or may not make it?) Instead, Tyra and team conned the 14 model-maybes into thinking they had been rejected and then quickly notified them that they, had, in fact, made it to the next round. For some reason, an old boy band song keeps playing in my head… I think the lyrics go, “quit playing games with my heart.”

Moving on.

The girls photo and runway challenge were lumped into one– they would have to take photos whilst preparing for their runway show. Sneaky, eh? But that wasn’t the most devious part of the show. In fact, the most devious (and, albeit, the most hilarious portion) was the runway creative.

For this episode, the girls were given the opportunity to walk in an Alexander Wang show (I know, right?) rocking Erin Wasson’s jewelry line (she’s the guest judge). But here’s the kicker. They’re walking on 12″ planks, on water– in giant bubbles filled with confetti.

Fan-freaking-tastic.

Amazingly enough, out of 14 girls, only two fell. Missed the episode? Don’t worry, there’s video of the spills and thrills here.

All in all, the episode was a decent start to the season and, clearly shows Tyra trying to shake up the franchise just a bit (aside from the high-fashion prizes). It’s too soon to pick a favorite without the audition backstory, but I’m happy Andre Leon Talley is back for a second season!

 

Bonus: The episode also produced a classic Tyra line from the critique– one where you’re unsure as to whether or not its a compliment or a slap in the face: “This picture to me looks like a 19 year-old boy with makeup on, but that’s what I like about it.”

And, a ridiculous line from Nigel: “Nicole isn’t truly present in this shot. And the mouth is too tight it’s sort of like a cats bottom.” [puckers his face] Tyra: “A cat’s bottom? Nigel, how did you come up with a cat’s bottom?” Nigel: “I see cat’s bottom mouths all the time. People are like this” [puckers his face in a more dramatic way, as does Andre Leon Talley]

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February 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

Michael Jackson: Fashion Flashback

With the recent death of Michael Jackson, it seems appropos to look back at his fashion and the ways in which this pop-icon has created a new “royal wardrobe.”

Jackson and the Jackson Five, in the 1970s: Check out the bell bottoms and floral prints– in a few short years, Jackson will have ditched this look for a more “refined” style.

Jackson 5

Jackson on the “Off the Wall” album cover: Losing the 70’s florals and bell-botoms, Jackson dresses it up for the cover of “Off the Wall” in 1979.

Jackson off the Wall

The red jacket: Jackson’s red leather jacket appeared in the “Beat It,” video which debuted February 14, 1983.

Jackson in "Beat It"

In 1983, Jackson is on the cover of People Magazine (October 17. 1983 edition) wearing the red leather jacket that would soon become an iconic piece.

jacksonthrillerera

That same year, Jackson is spotted wearing a red cardigan and dress shirt– a hybrid of the “Off the Wall” look and a spot of color from the “Beat It” video.

Jackson with Llama and Chimp, 1983

1983 also introduced the world to the “Billie Jean” sequined glove.

Jackson & Billie Jean

jacksonbilliejeanglove

Thriller: In 1984, Jackson’s mini-movie, “Thriller” premiere, where Jackson again wore a red leather jacket.

jacksonthriller

Dress shirt and loafers: In 1987, Jackson switched up his look, adding a dress shirt and undershirt, shortened pants, and stand-out socks, much like this snapshot of Jackson from a performance of “Bad” and “The Way you Make Me Feel” in 1988.

Jackson in 1988, performing

Royal wardrobe: Around 1989 Jackson introduce a new look– one mixed with tassels and a military flare.

Jackson, 1989

Michael Jackson

1991: The return of the dress shirt and slacks, with the occasional addition of a fedora.

Jackson, 1991

Jackson, 1993

1992: Jackson in “Remember the Time”

Jackson, Remember the Time

1995: Scream, with sister Janet Jackson

Janet and Michael, in Scream

In the subsequent years, celebrities and the media alike have replicated Jackson’s look, and, shared the stage with him, proving that Jackson’s influence has spanned time.

Jackson & Britney SpearsJackson & Britney Spears

rihannaMJRihanna in a Jackson inspired look

BeyonceBeyonce

So here’s to Michael Jackson and his legacy of music and fashion.

June 26, 2009 at 11:56 am 5 comments

The Obama girls: influencing fashion

SashaMalia

Rick Wilking/Reuters

When all the world is talking about politics, I want to talk fashion. But not Michelle Obama’s fashion (though her selection for the inauguration was bold, and also fantastic), but Sasha and Malia’s fashion for the inauguration. 

Unlike their Mother’s outfit, the girls remained bundled up for the inauguration in fantastic pea coats that were custom made for them by American retailer, J.Crew (one of my absolute personal favorites). 

The coats, which were spinoffs of coats available through J.Crew’s children’s line, Crew Cuts, mimicked the Obama campaign and mantra perfectly: American made, middle-class, but with a personal touch. 

I’m not one to openly sing high praise for political officials (at least not in writing) as politics are essentially synonymous with manipulation and deception and I hate being made a fool of; but from where I stand right now, the Obama’s have it down to a science– or at least their advisors do. 

For months, Women’s Wear Daily and various other political and fashion blogs, magazines, and news sources have been speculating which designers the Obama’s would wear on inauguration day. Sketches poured in from designers like Isaac Mizrahi to Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka and Christian Lacroix and so many more– it’s a designers dream. But Michelle Obama selected an American immigrant– Isabel Toledo– relatively unknown to the mainstream fashion world– and J.Crew– a classic, “Americana” brand. 

The decision to wear J.Crew (Michelle wore J.Crew gloves and heels– as opposed to a pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choo heels) decisively  grounds herself as “one of the girls” and instantly makes her more relatable.

In addition to this, by continuing to dress Malia and Sasha in conservative and age-appropriate clothing, Michelle and Barack are subconsciously reinstating positive images of conservative and educated young women in society– young women that don’t look like “Hannah Montana” and don’t have to use sex as an avenue for getting ahead in life. Though it seems like a little thing, by choosing to dress Sasha and Malia in more conservative (but appropriate) clothing they become age appropriate role models for young girls: something that this world needs. 

And it might be a reach, but maybe it all starts with a cute little pea coat.

January 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Review: True Beauty

TrueBeautyI’m two episodes into ABC’s “True Beauty” and I’m beginning to think that the show’s hosts are just as ugly on the inside as some of the contestants. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, considering the show is the brainchild of Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks– two people born to make you feel ugly.  

But we’re all supposed to think Vanessa Minnillo, Cheryl Tiegs (I thought Janice Dickinson was the first Supermodel– does Tyra really hate Janice THAT much that she wants to rob her of that title? DRAMA), and Nolé Marin are all legitimiately beautiful on the inside that they’re adequate judges of these other contestants? 

If you ask me, Vanessa, Cheryl, and Nolé should probably be contestants themselves. The only way I would have found this show “believable” (in the way that any superficial reality show can be believable) is if they had thrown in a judge who was known for their philanthropy and genuine heart. Instead, we were given three judges who are all superficially beautiful and essentially are no better than anyone else on the show. The words “pot” “kettle” and “black” definitely come to mind whilst watching. 

Don’t get me wrong– the show can be entertaining, but it’s not because the contestants are actually learning anything. Even when they’re disqualified for being ugly on the inside, the contestants don’t “get it” and argue with the judges decision– proving that the show makes no impact on their lives. 

The challenges devised are superficial at best– contrived and shallow, they don’t develop a sense of inner beauty, but instead merely touch on socially accepted standards of beauty– like donating money to a charity. If the show was truly interested in finding out who was a “True Beauty” they would send the contestants to a soup kitchen in couture gowns and challenge them to work the kitchen, keep the dress/garment clean, and make a friend. Contestants would maintain their superficial attributes because they’d be decked out in couture, but they’d also learn what it’s like to help another, and would be forced to foster a legitimate connection with someone they probably wouldn’t have connected with. 

In the end, I know the show is going to stay on it’s current course: fake people judged by even faker celebrities. All I can hope for is that at the end, Ashton Kutcher will jump out and yell that the judges got Punk’d and really they’re the most superficial of the bunch. 

Hey, now that would be good TV.

January 13, 2009 at 11:53 am 2 comments

Marc Jacobs: The Frog Prince

MJHandbagIn an article in the Telegraph today, Marc Jacobs revealed his penchant for frogs and gave his fans a little bit of insight into why he selected them as an accessory for his most recent collection:

‘I love frogs,’ he tells me.’ This sort of fairytale frog that became a prince, and the chameleon who changes colours with his environment. I can hang out in a sports bar with a bunch of straight guys and I can run around in the art scene and I can also be at the Met Ball and be Mr Fashion Designer with Anna Wintour. I can go wherever I want; I can be whatever I choose.’ This, in the end, is Marc Jacobs’ superpower: ‘I can change colours – for my own amusement and, perhaps, the entertainment of others.’

Gotta have the Angie Evening Frog Pouch featured here? You can snag it at Neiman Marcus for a mere $1,195.

January 4, 2009 at 9:53 am 2 comments

Gai Mattiolo Arrested

Hey ANTM fans– remember the Season 10 episode where Whitney , Anya, Lauren, and Fatema met with Italian fashion designer, Gai Mattiolo and Anya won the challenge? Of course not.

But, if you do, you might be interested to know that Gai Mattiolo was arrested today for alleged bankruptcy fraud, says the Associated Press.

ROME – The Italian financial police say they have arrested fashion designer Gai Mattiolo on a charge of fraudulent bankruptcy.

Officer Stefano Catorci says Mattiolo was placed under house arrest in Rome early Friday for allegedly siphoning funds from his fashion house before declaring bankruptcy.

Catorci says another suspect was also arrested on the same charges. He did not give further details because the investigation was continuing. The Rome-based fashion house Gai Mattiolo declined comment.

Mattiolo was seen as a rising star of Italian fashion in the 1990s, when his sexy, over-the-top style, laden with gold and precious beading, wowed the upscale ladies from his native Rome. His fame soon spread to the Milan and Paris runways.

Looks like maybe ANTM is where designers go to have their collections, and, careers die. Let’s hope this isn’t a trend.

December 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Another sign of the (New York) Times

American auto makers aren’t the only one’s being slammed by the economy. The luxury market is feeling the pain of the recession too– big time. In the New York Times today was yet another article detailing deep discounts at luxury stores like Bergdorf’s and Sak’s. 

The article prompts fashionistas to think critically about their purchases– and, the cost of fashion.

What seems inevitable is that the pain will worsen as the price reductions provoke questions among consumers of how stratospheric profits must have been when the economy was riding high. How great, really, was the surcharge to consumers for participating in fashion fantasy?

Sure, anyone who’s willing to shell out $1,200 for a Marc Jacobs handbag knows that they’re paying for the name and bragging rights, but the New York Times has a valid point: how much is too much? Believe me, I’m the last person to say the recession is good for the economy– in the next week, I’m likely to become a statistic myself as I’ll probably be laid off from my job, but perhaps the recession is good for sanity. 

As much as it pains me to say it (mostly because I’ve had my eye on the Marc Jacob’s Blake bag and a Hermes Birkin bag for god knows how long), but maybe we don’t all need couture handbags and accessories. 

Ha, who am I kidding. We never needed them. We all just wanted them. The recession will just keep our wants in check, ensuring they remain dreams and fantasies instead of expensive realities. 

In the meantime, if you happen to have endless pockets, be sure to hit up some of your local luxury stores– there are some pretty excellent sales going on, and from the looks of it, now is the time to grab that pair of Louboutin’s before you really can’t afford them.

December 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm 2 comments

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