Camo trending

 This is me, telling the world I told you so. Because I cannot help but gloat, just a wee bit, to see this yesterday in my email.

I really love it when I ride the trend, just BEFORE it becomes a trend.

Camo is officially “in.”

You heard it here first!

Although the red & blue camo stuff Victoria’s Secret came up with isn’t rocking my boat. I prefer a washed out, authentic looking cami in traditional jungle, or even a desert, color palette.

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:42 am  Comments (2)  
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Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

I am so excited for March 7th to get here. That’s the release date for Jean Paul Gaultier’s collection to hit Target… yes, you heard me correctly, Target.

How does the lead designer of Hermes, THE luxury brand, end up on the racks of a discount store? He’s certainly not alone, Gaultier is just the latest in a series of designers reaching out to discount stores for design collaborations. Target has had Isaac Mizrahi, Alexander McQueen, and Dana Buchman already. Jimmy Choo released their shoe and bag collection with H&M last Fall. 

Some say reaching to a lower income price point is just a sign of current economic times, others say it leads to the inevitable and unfortunate professional demise of the designer himself. Has the Great Recession killed luxury?

To me, I see the fashion industry struggling to remain relevant when mortgages are tanking and unemployment teeters near double digits. Which is ironic, given that fashion is becoming a larger focus in pop culture (hence the shows I talk about here… Project Runway, Rachel Zoe Project, What Not to Wear, Kell on Earth). Is fashion just fantasy meant for escapism? Or is it relevant to the Common (Wo)Man?

And, exactly what vision of American discount fashion will the distinctly French-ified JPG have? From the website, “My collection with Target pays homage to the wide range of personalities that make up the diverse styles of American women,” said Jean Paul Gaultier.  “From ingénue to rock ‘n roll, this collection celebrates women of all ages and a host of distinctive, iconic American styles.”

… Can’t say I’m fond of the “I forgot my pants” look above, but the yellow halter dress below is adorable! I wouldn’t chose to pair it with the tattoo sleeves (or the tattoo leggings) though.

Prices are said to range from $17.99 to $199.99 and it’s a short run, only until April 11th, so don’t dawdle. I plan to learn from my Payless-Christian Siriano experience, and will order anything tasty directly from the website online. It’s hard to say what the local stores will actually receive.

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 7:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Almighty results 2.0

Two months into the Great Skin Care Experiment, and I’m ready to share more of the latest results.

Let’s start with the Tretinoin (generic Retinol) cream. I was SO excited to start using my miracle-in-a-tube. My skin, however, was not as excited. My doctor recommended using the night cream “every other day for the first week, until your skin adjusts.”

Instead, I turned into a lizard for the first 2 weeks. I have never seen my skin molt so much, it was gross. “Every other day” wasn’t happening, not with the way my face was falling off, so I ended up using it twice a week for the first 2 weeks, about 3-4 times the 3rd week, and now I use it about 5 days a week. I still need to take a break occassionally when my epidermis is falling off again.

Is it working? Seriously, people… I’ve put the cream on my face maybe 10 times in the past month. Too soon to say. But I’m keeping at it.

And, of course, it’s been 8 weeks since I first began using the Almighty. At week 4, I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen the same results as the LED wand I bought prior. However, I did some more reading and discovered one big problem in my usage of it: I had it on the “wrong” setting. The apparatus can be set for low-medium-high, and being the typical American, I figured, “Bigger is always better,” and set the Almighty on high.

Turns out, the medium setting targets the skin at 660 nm beneath the skin (which is the frequency that the LED wand operates at). The high setting penetrates the skin at 880 nm, and for my purposes, I don’t think the first 4 weeks of treatment were doing much of anything. Maybe improved circulation, but that’s about it.

So here we are now, I’m still using it about 3-4 times a week (for one 15-minute session… if I had more time in a day, I’d up it to 30 minutes, but as of yet that hasn’t happened). I think the Almighty works, but I can’t tell you how. My wrinkles are trying to retreat, but gravity is a constant. I just feel as if I am putting light into my face, and that my face radiates more now… it’s a strange description to capture. The medium setting also makes my skin tingle pleasantly, the same as the wand did. So maybe at last, I’m using this correctly.  

I still think the most effective part of my new regimen is the Pond’s + spinning facial brush. The Pond’s saved me during my lizard phase, the spinning brush removed the molting skin and kept me looking less Zygon, and more human.

The vitamins? Still choking them down. I’ve made them a part of my calcium discipline so I don’t forget to take them, but once these are gone, I doubt I’ll go right out for more. Still would like to try straight biotin and see how that works.

L’oreal’s Revitalift lotion… love love love. Still using it, same bottle I bought 2 months ago, and it helped get me through my Tretinoin lizard-ness. Think I’ll look for the brand with an SPF for a good summer daily lotion.

Overall? I’m happier about my radiance than I am about my wrinkles. But I’ll take what I can get.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Evening gown myths exploded

When someone says “evening gown” to me, I used to tune it out. “Gowns aren’t for me, they’re for red carpet events.” No more! I am embracing my inner diva. After all, life is full of red carpet events — weddings, graduations, even a romantic dinner out is a good excuse to invite some glamour into your life.

“But gowns cost so much!” Or, “Gowns aren’t made for people larger than a size 2.” There are a lot of evening gown myths, but I’ve found one UK designer, Roman Originals, who is putting the evening wear myths to task.

The first thing I notice are their models…plus size is the correct modelling term, but to me? They look like real people, and I appreciate seeing how the gowns look on a full figure, not just a wire hanger with skin. Love the luxury of this bronze-colored taffeta gown, and look at all the beading on the bodice… for under £40! (Click the pics for closer looks at the gowns).

So affordable! Here’s another under-£40 gown I want in my wardrobe, and I love it paired with the gold, strappy heels. If gold is too dramatic for your taste, you could go with a more conservative black pump as well. For jewelry, layer some gold necklaces of various lengths, or keep the neckline unadorned and find gold, hoop earrings and a bold cuff to dress it up. 

Yet another under-£40 gown I’m loving… the cut, color blocking and gathering around the bust would be great on small-chested women who want to add volume. I see black pearls, or even a black-and-white multi-strand of pearls, for a necklace choice. You could even give the outfit some edge by throwing a black leather jacket over it, very on-trend and perfect for stretching it from warm weather wear into the colder seasons.

Sad news for us Yanks… Roman Originals only delivers to the UK and Northern Ireland, but if you’re across the big pond, dear reader, you can’t miss by grabbing one (or more!) of their looks. Glam it up! And then send me a picture of your own personal red carpet moment, promise?

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goodbye, Alexander McQueen

On Thursday, February 11th, 2010, Lee Alexander McQueen’s lifeless body was discovered in his London flat. Early reports name suicide by hanging as the cause of death, although no official reports have yet been filed.

He was only 40 years old, and decades of fame & fortune, celebrity status, and professional accolades could not save him from becoming the victim of his own pessimism. It is impossible to know what pushed the designer into such tragic action, but the recent loss of his mother, just one week prior, might have been more than the designer could bear.

Perhaps it is easy for others (critics, editors) to dispense with their judgmental opinions in a field as precocious and changeable as the fashion business. But there are no external judgmental words as heavy as that which we say to ourselves, internally. The demon of self-doubt who constantly rails inside the artist’s head, screaming the banshee cry of, “Failure! Failure!”, drowns out the laughter and clinking of glasses at dinner parties, and the sycophants who crow compliments, all the while scanning the crowd to find next season’s rising star to hook their wagon to next.

McQueen’s accomplishments include being named “British Designer of the Year” four times (between 1996-2003) and his outlandish and theatrical vision of fashion earned him the moniker, “L’enfant terrible”.

Godspeed McQueen, and I hope your soul is smiling now, at last. I imagine the angels’ will delight to have their white wings sprayed with paint by robotic arms. Thank you for bringing your “Dare to be Different” philosophy into our world, and now into great beyond.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

I heart Kelly Cutrone

I have a fashion confession to make: I have a full on, I-wanna-be-Kelly-when-I-grow-up, girl crush.

“Kell on Earth” is Bravo’s newest fashion show, Kelly Cutrone is the anti-Rachel Zoe and the show’s star, it’s only week 2 into the first season, and I’m addicted already.

On Kelly, before fashion: Born in 1965 and not hiding it with Botox. Or makeup, for that matter. At 21, she married Andy Warhol’s protégé, Ronnie Cutrone.

Kelly, after fashion: Founder of the public relations, branding and marketing firm, People’s Revolution.

On her book:  “Ms. Cutrone said the book will tell her life story—she is a single mom who made her way in New York after moving here from a small town outside Syracuse—but will emphasize practical lessons on how to get what one wants both at work and at home. “It’s not like a how-to book so much as a kind of power girl’s guide,” she said.” 

On reality TV: She’s already done three other shows, True Life, The Hills and The City. So Bravo’s casting of her certainly isn’t out of character.

On being a Mom: She has a daughter with Ilario Calvo, Ava Cutrone-Calvo (born 2002), cute as a button and gets to go to fashion shows, but doesn’t get to sit in the front row. From her February blurb in Elle, “I take my daughter trick or treating in Salem, Mass. every year and there are signs all over that say, ‘Witch: Woman In Total Control of Herself,’ so now we think that ‘B’ means ‘babe’, and ‘bitch’ is ‘Babe in Total Control of Herself.”

On Tarot:  Yes, Tarot. Her Elle blurb also reveals Kelly’s past vocation as a Tarot card reader (something I happen to be employed in myself) in Venice Beach.  “A lot of people think I’m Wiccan. I’m not.”

On mentoring interns: “I raise 20 young women a year in my business,” she said. “A lot of them come to us when they’re 18, 19 and in college and a lot of them end up coming back to us and we watch them grow up.” 

As I’ve said to friends, “Bravo said the f word [that’s “fashion!”] so I’ll be watching it.” But now that I’ve had a chance to nibble at the bait, I’m admitting it. I’m hooked.

Heart you, Kelly. Let’s get a southwest satellite office going for People’s Revolution. Call me!

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 6:50 am  Comments (2)  
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The great crochet dress comeback of 2010

The humble crochet dress is having its 15 minutes of fashion fame this Spring.

Here’s a look from Oscar de la Renta’s house this Spring, at Bergdorf Goodman’s. Isn’t that an AMAZING dress? Take it from this double-decade crocheter, that’s not an easy pattern. If I had $4K lying about, I’d nab the ensemble.


And then you open your copy of Vogue, and there’s Madonna eating noodles with her fingers (wtf?) in a black, crochet Dolce & Gabbana number.

Everywhere you look, crocheted dresses… was it Gordana Gehlhausen’s doing? Remember Gordana, my personal favorite from last season of Project Runway? The Rodney Dangerfield of Season 6? And who could forget her mad crocheting skills?


Perhaps not, but she gets to ride this trend as well with her Vogue Knitting spread, expected to appear this Spring. I’ll pick up a copy — I’d like to make the one done in the nude color, it would hide the shelving that you would need to build in, but perhaps tipped with black edging to the skirt hems.

Crocheting sisters, our time has come! We are the champions, my friends.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 10:27 am  Comments (4)