Friday, February 19, 2010

This post is a few days behind the times.

And when dealing with the world of fashion, the term "behind the times" is totally damning.
So, my apologies to all of you AND to the sartorial gods, who I am sure will choose to punish me by making me suffer from several random days of personal dressing disasters. I humbly await your wrath.

To start, here's the usual disclaimer: NY Fashion Week (especially Fall R-T-W) is simply too big for me to totally cover. So, below you will find a blend of what was "loved" in general by the critics and what was loved by me (and these two categories don't always overlap). But, I recommend checking out the collections for yourself. As always, the Vogue powered has the most exhaustive database for you to flick through.

First Up: Critic's Choice Award's


Everyone loved Rodarte, me included. In fact, it's probably my favorite. I know that we are all aching for Summer and so it's hard to envision what you're going to want to wear next Fall, but I guarantee you these pieces will stay in your mind until then. The blend of late Victorian draping/print with Native American inspired detail is...well...inspired.

Marc Jacobs

Par usual, everyone is talking about Marc Jacobs. He always seems to have the most write ups and the most celebrities sitting front row at his shows. But...I dunno. I don't love it. I mean, I get what he was going for. The sort of "buttoned-up" Americana. The "re-imagined" Judy Garland/dust-bowl era/Recession-chic woman. But still. Put some fun in it (because I don't feel any life here). I mean, who says Recession Fashion has to be boring? But maybe that's just me. After all, I still prefer my Marc Jacobs pre-rehab.


If you listened to me when I told you to go see the "The September Issue," this would make total sense. Because like Porenza Schuler a couple years ago, Thakoon is the newest designer to find himself living inside Anna Wintour's fur coat pocket. She loves him. LOVES him. And now, naturally, so does everyone else. Because what Anna says, goes. And true: It's not a bad collection. Really, it's not. But, That yellow dress down below was THE ONLY color in the entire show. Which leads me to my next point. "Drab palettes" were the trend at NY Fashion Week. Which is why you respond to the yellow dress. It's such a breath of fresh air. Too bad there aren't enough of them. Sorry to say it NY Fashion week...but.... FOR THE LOVE OF APHRODITE, WILL SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME F*CKING COLOR?!

Things I really liked:

Vera Wang

This makes two strong collections in a row for Vera. And thank heaven for it. After going through that androgynous, futuristic, somber phase that lasted about three years, Vera has found her pretty again.

Sophie Theallet

Finally. Someone found where all the other designers has stashed away their Color. And that someone is up and coming designer Sophie Theallet. No, Sophie doesn't make clothes that are "high" theatrical fashion or that hint towards haute-coutre. She makes clothes that are simple, wearable, and more importantly, that women would want to wear. Maybe because she's the new kid on the block, she doesn't feel the need to follow color trends. Or maybe she just realizes that not every morning a girl want to get up and put on black. Either way, I'm grateful.


If Sophie Theallet found where the designer's stashed their crayons, then G-Star borrowed them AND ALSO found where they stashed their FUN. G-Star was the dark horse/"why are you here?" fashion house last spring. But, in my opinion, they are a dark horse no longer. This brand is legit.

And last but not least, here are some quick hits to end with. You can click on this link and see that people are also talking about:

Should have come with the tag-line: "Mad Men" Inspired

Derek Lam
Very, very wearable.

A long, pretty parade of Oscar red-carpet dresses

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Lent.

And I'm excited.

And this sounds strange coming from me...with all my venomous cynicism, turrets-like swearing, and penchant for potty humor.

Because Lent (at least real Lent) isn't about Giving Up Chocolate or Losing 10 Pounds "New Year's Resolution" styles. No. It's about looking at a specific character flaw within oneself and trying to exorcise it. This doesn't mean making it perfect, just better.

So, in honor of Lent, I am going to try to make the blog a little more emotionally egalitarian. Don't worry, the Snark will still be here, but I am also making a concerted effort to balance the Snark with interstitial, positive praise.

For example:

I now like Victoria Beckham. I mean, I know she has a serious eating disorder. Like, it's clinical, no doubt. But she seems like a nice lady. It's kind of amazing really. Because when she speaks, the sour puss-pouty face goes away. And this small, unassuming voice comes out. And the words, while not super intelligent, aren't bitchy, diva-ish, or calculating. She's like that really quiet, nice, insecure girl you went to high school with. The one who over tans and under-eats, but does it all so that she can be someone's friend and won't talk shit about you once she becomes one. Seriously, check the link. She's sweet. Way sweeter than that Hasselbeck broad, for sure.

Stern Posh


Smiling Posh

And her clothing line is getting rave reviews. And not just from "People" Magazine. Independent, mainstream, and Titans of the fashion industry are lauding it left and right. And it does look good.

But not as good as some of the other stuff that's walking down the runways right now. (Full NY Fashion Week run down in a few days when it's all wrapped up and I can sift through and compile everything more efficiently). Until then, I will continue to try to be more positive than usual. Especially since I will have to stop being nice when the Oscars roll around. My bitch will definitely not be contained on that subject.

So, to counterbalance approaching Oscar Venom, here is yet another plea to all of you to go see good movies instead of Avatar.

The Hurt Locker

It's at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. It has 9 Nominations. As many as Avatar. And it's beyond better. It's really, really great. It's thoughtful and mainstream. It appeals to the masses and the asses. It's out on DVD. Go rent it. Now.

An Education

I'm sure you still haven't seen it, but you should. Please. Watch the clip below. Don't be afraid. Anything you learn during the clip won't spoil the plot or the movie. It will only whet your appetite. And you will see why Carey Mulligan deserves the Oscar much more than Sandra Bullock. Because this scene is with Emma Thompson. And while Emma is funny and does her job well, Carey steals the scene. She acts Emma right out of the frame. Yeah. She's that good.

P.S. On a sad note...RIP Alexander McQueen. You will always be one of The Greatest. Ever. And you are loved and will be missed.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I finally saw Avatar.

I mean...words can not express. They simply cannot express how disappointed I am in all of us. Somehow, this movie which took an UN-ETHICAL amount of money to make, has now grossed enough money to rebuild significant portions of Port-Au-Prince. Not to mention that it has bought itself 9 Oscar nominations (for those of you who are still wide eyed innocents: In Hollywood, awards aren't earned...they're bought Re: Sandra Bullock).

This film did not warrant a 500 Million Dollar budget, it did not warrant a Gazillion Dollar box office, and it most certainly does not deserve Best Picture.

I mean, have you seen "An Education"? Oh, I forgot. Of course you haven't. Because good taste is dead. And more than that, it doesn't pay.

This is the reason why Sandra Bullock will (oh, yes, she will) win Best Actress even though Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe, and especially Helen Mirren could wipe the floor with Sandy's horrifically forced accent in The Blind Side alone.

Really, I know Sandy's a nice lady, but she should be embarrassed. And those other women should be pissed. Even my mother, who can act as a representative for Middle America, realizes that Sandra Bullock doesn't deserve an Oscar. But she'll get it. Because in a community of people that present and profess to be bleeding heart liberals ("Hope For Haiti, Now!"), Hollywood is the most capitalistic, money driven group of them all.

Out of the women nominated, Sandy's movies made the most money this year. Just like out of the films nominated, Avatar made the most money by far. So you, yes you Middle America, have voted with your dollar and Hollywood will reward you. On March 7, they will give you what you want: Sandy at the podium and Avatar immortalized.

Oh, fear not. They'll throw a few bones to some of the "more artistic" selections. I mean, why do you think they up-ed the film category to 10 nominations? Appearing as if you are an awards system hell bent on rewarding the "best" is crucial.
So, a "foreign" actor will win for Best Supporting, and they may even let Kathryn Bigelow take home a statue for Best Director instead of Cameron (I mean, after all Cameron already has a few, and Katy will only be the 4th woman to EVER be NOMINATED. ZERO women have won. EVER. And you know Oscar is nothing if not egalitarian.)

But the take home message will be this: The Lowest Common Denominator always wins. And that's exactly what Avatar is. Lowest. Common. Denominator.

Look. I get it. It's visually groundbreaking. Couldn't agree more. It's the new bench-mark for visual effects. So, let it sweep the cinematography categories. It can win for best sound, best graphics, blah blah blah.

But the acting BLOWS.
The story BLOWS.
The screenplay BLOWS (planet "Pandora"?! An un-obtainable mineral called "Un-obtain-ium"? Are you fucking kidding me?!)
And to be perfectly honest, James Cameron didn't direct fuck. He hired really good CG and motion-capture people. That's not "directing." That's called "producing." That's what a producer does.

So...let's do the math: Shit story+shit screenplay+shit acting+minimal directing=Best Picture. Guess so.


Not to mention the offensive-ness of the film itself. Really, Cameron? You, who are known for your greed and general douchbagery, are going to make a film about economic and environmental ethics? And use the Native Americans (who we ass-raped) as the trope to communicate your message?

And THEN you have the gall to represent "Indiginous People" in the trite-est, most stereo-typical way possible? "Oh, we are soooo connected to the earth. We are minimalist and primitive, but we love furry animals and plants and we're all one big, connected group hug." Never mind the fact that some Native American tribes had political, social, and scientific infrastructures that are better than ours. Never mind the fact that they created feats of engineering with their bare hands that we, in all our advancements, have yet to duplicate. We should just show them sitting around a tree, moaning, wailing, and chanting like savages...ooops, I mean, Indians, ooops, I mean aliens, oooops I mean "others," ooops I mean (blue) people with loin cloths and war paint and long black braids who click their tounges and ride horses.

I could go on, but I need to stop. My blood pressure is already too high.


So, after talking to a few of you about this; I feel the need to address something. Yes, Avatar is the first film in a loooonnng time is a true "Theater Experience." And, as a lover of film, I really do long for the days when movies were made to be "experienced." The kinds of big production flicks that require a huge auditorium with a collective audience waiting with hushed voices and baited breath, ready to be taken out of themselves and their mundane lives, even for a short time, and escape to a new and exciting world.

And, yes, Avatar meets this need. It really is an experience. It's something akin to Star Wars, or Jurassic Park (although still, not as good in terms of story, directing, etc.)

But there is still one problem. And since I have already said enough, I will let Paul Young over at say it for me. He writes:

Here is where I become torn again. Avatar will most likely look absolutely crap-my-pants fantastic on an IMAX screen in 3D, but on my laptop screen with my Bose headphones, it just doesn’t ruffle my skirt. I feel like I’m watching a big CGI cartoon episode on Nickelodeon. I’ll get some Avatar lovers throwing some hate at me for that last comment, but that’s how I feel. Avatar is being sold as a true “theater experience” type of film, but... how will this hurt its “re-watchability” factor? The way a movie stays alive after its theater run is via Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, Digital Copies and so forth. If I watch a movie that I really enjoy and want to watch it again outside of the theater, then Blu-ray and DVD are my only options. If the only way to truly enjoyAvatar is to watch it on a 30-foot screen with a 10,000 watt sound system, then why would I want to purchase a home version?

Precisely. Outside of 3D, IMAX blah dee doesn't look as good. In fact, if you watch a clip anywhere online, it DOES look cartoony. And since it will be immortalized on DVD, isn't it kind of embarrassing to say that the most expensive, ground-breaking movie of our time looks like low budget Anime? Add to that the lack of substance beneath the graphics and Avatar begins to crumble. And shouldn't a "Best Picture" film be able to withstand all the tests of re-watching, in-home viewing, and time? I rest my case.