Auntie Fashion

I’m the fashion world’s most-enduring muse.

Archive for June 2008

What to wear?

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DVF Resort 2009

Auntie Fashion is going on TV in a couple of hours.

I’m no stranger to television.  I get called upon to deliver my special brand of expert advice on a regular basis.  Still, I’m always scrambling at the last minute, trying to decide if I’ve chosen the right outfit.  This morning is no different; I still don’t have a clue what to wear.

I wish that the DVF Resort 2009 collection was already in the stores, because I’d love to share this red-hot number with the world.  All those hours at the gym have paid off, and Auntie Fashion is looking fine.

Let that be a lesson to all of you out there.  Every minute you spend working on your body adds immeasureable value to every dollar you spend on clothing.  You need a figure to showcase fashion.  The most practical way to achieve that figure is to make regular activity part of your beauty regime.

Looking good is a lifestyle.  Stop smoking, get some sleep, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun and get to the gym.  I know that sounds like old-fashioned advice, but before you know it, you’ll be wearing sheer caftans on TV, too.

I hope that Lucinda McRuvy is reading this.  I’m worried about her.

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June 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Fashionable Songs

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I normally don’t respond to emails where I’m tagged to reveal tidbits about myself.  However, there was a comment on my blog today telling me that I was tagged by Rebekah at Stylist Stuff.  Since I like her blog, I’ll play along — this time!

Rebekah was asked to name her seven spring songs.  Because spring is over, she decided to name her seven summer songs.  And because she exercised a little creative license, I’ve decided to do the same and name seven fashionable songs.

Off the top of my head, here’s a list of songs that make me think about fashionable things, like supermodels and fashion designers.  If there are any more fashionable songs that I’ve forgotten, let me know.  You can post them in the comments section.  Tag — you’re it.

Deep in Vogue — Malcolm McLaren: “In my black tights, just throwing shade…”

Madame Butterfly — Malcolm McLaren: Nothing to do with fashion, but the whole video looks like one seriously fabulous photo shoot in W.

He’s the Greatest Dancer — Sister Sledge:  “Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci…”

Freedom ’90 — George Michael: Five of the most gorgeous models in the world in one video.  I can’t think of the song without the video playing over and over in my head.

Too Funky — George Michael: Five of the most gorgeous models in the world in one video, and this time they’re wearing Theirry Mugler.

Got ‘Til It’s Gone — Janet Jackson: The best styling EVER in a music video.  It makes me forgive every single fashion crime Janet Jackson and her entire family have committed.

Express Yourself — Madonna: One word: Gaultier.

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June 29, 2008 at 7:36 pm

What’s Going on with Gucci?

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I remember walking into a Gucci store in Caesar’s Palace in the late 80s.  I had a couple of friends who were into Gucci at the time.  Friend A had been carrying a vintage bag from the 60s: A glossy, black number in faux crocodile with a bamboo handle.  It was still so chic and relevant — twenty five years after it had been purchased.  Friend B was carrying a Gucci logo bag in canvas with the signature green and red leather accents.  I thought it was ugly.

When I walked into the Gucci boutique, all I saw was the latter.  There was nothing in the store that seemed au courant.  There were ties with Gucci logos.  There were golf shirts with Gucci logos.  There were loafers with Gucci logos.  The only person who wouldn’t have been disappointed to visit that store was Friend B.  She was a label whore, and back then Gucci was simply a destination shop for label whores.

That all changed in the 90s when Tom Ford became the creative director of Gucci.  It was a perfect marriage of design talent and branding.  In record time, Gucci had been repositioned as a sexy, modern label that evoked the company’s glory days of the 60s and 70s.  Magazine editors and retailers went crazy for Ford, and the public quickly followed suit.

But the fusion of Ford and Gucci soon became a thing of the past.  Unable to reach a contract with the company he turned into the second-largest luxury goods conglomerate in the world, Ford walked away.

Today, Frida Giannini is running the show at Gucci — creatively, anyway.  I guess she’s to blame for Gucci’s current identity crisis.  Tom Ford’s Gucci was synonymous with sex.  I can’t figure out what Giannini is trying to say with her collections.  The latest menswear show had nothing to do with the sexy, jet-set Italian glamour that Ford made fashionable again.  It’s like comparing Sammy Davis Jr. in Sweet Charity to Ricardo Montalban in Sweet Charity.  One is San Francisco in 1969 and the other one is Rome during the same era.  I have no idea what the former has to do with Gucci.

No one else at Gucci seems to know, either.  The accessories division and the licensed brands still seem to be in harmony with Ford’s creative vision — the vision that made Gucci into a multibillion dollar company.  But Giannini’s ready-to-wear designs are a discordant note in a familiar melody.  Someone at the top needs to teach her to sing along before another out-of-tune collection screeches its way onto the runway.

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June 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Random Reviews

“Dynamite Fashions”

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I can’t get enough of Donna Mills!  I need to figure out a way to make room for her in the front row at Moose Jaw Fashion Week 2012.  I wonder if Joe Zee would mind sitting on André Leon’s lap?

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June 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm

The Eyes Have It

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I was horrified to read that Lucinda McRuvy of Rags and Mags is considering Botox therapy.  I don’t understand why someone who is so fresh and animated would want to paralyze her face by having it injected with toxins.

Auntie Fashion can be a bit old-fashioned when it comes to her beauty regime.  I learned almost everything I know from the thespian Donna Mills, whose video The Eyes Have It was a big sensation a couple of decades ago.  Before that I would wash my face with Palmolive and moisturize with sheep’s fat.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ve never done that.  Sometimes I make up stories to relate to my readers.  I apologize for trying to be like you.  I’ll never do it again.

Anyway, if you watch the video, just remember to be careful when you’re steaming your face over a stovetop with your towel laying dangerously close to the burner.  That’s a mistake I won’t make again!

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June 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Update: FASHION Magazine’s Reporter Search

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Jennifer Campbell, the Online Editor of FASHION Magazine, sent me an update on the site’s Reporter Search.

The contest got a great response and had lots of fantastic entries. I was thrilled to see how creative, fun and stylish everyone is. After many, many discussions we have finally narrowed all the entries down to our 20 finalists. All will be revealed on July 8th when voting begins. We’ve found great bloggers from coast to coast and we’re very excited to see who our readers choose for the 10 winning spots.

I’m very excited to see who they’ve chosen, too!

On another note, I must mention how wonderful it is to have such a great team running FASHION.  My previous experience with the magazine had been quite frustrating.  Like many freelance journalists, I send out pitches to various publications in order to sell my work.  Because fashion commentary is a rather time-sensitive subject, I depend upon the editorial staff of magazines to reply to my queries in a timely manner.  Under it’s previous regime, the only pitch I ever made to FASHION earned a response about six months after I sent it.

I’ve worked for Glenda Bailey and Anna Wintour.  I’ve got a resumé that would make most other freelancers turn green with envy.  I’m Auntie Fashion, for Zob’s sake!  I didn’t bust my hump in this business to be treated like that.  And even if I wasn’t an old pro, I still would expect a reply within a reasonable amount of time.  Six months was completely unreasonable.

Now it seems as if the staff of FASHION have taken editor-in-chief Ceri Marsh’s etiquette expertise to heart.  They’ve been lovely to deal with since she took over the reigns at the magazine.  I send them an email, and I get a friendly, professional reply.  Even better, they all seem to be happy to talk to me.  I guess that’s what happens when there’s always a fresh box of white zinfandel in the fridge of the lunch room.


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June 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Bottega Veneta Menswear S/S 2009

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Bottega Veneta 

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta seems to exist in an alternate universe where everything is so much more sensible than it is in this dimension.  Pant legs are roomy enough to fit a thigh.  Body parts that are covered by the clothes include midriffs, armpits and butt cracks.  Luxe fabrics and exceptional tailoring reflect the price point of the collection.  Sportswear is sporty, day wear is casual and evening wear is dressy.  It’s a universe I’d like to visit.

I’m always amazed at the foolish impracticality of the menswear shows.  Fashion is different for men.  A good looking guy can get away with wearing thrift store jeans and a five-dollar cotton T-shirt.  Men don’t need to try so hard to look good; it’s just the way of the world.  Those who do try usually try too hard.  The designers who dress them often try too hard, too.

And when they’re not trying too hard, they aren’t trying enough.  They’ll send armies of models down the runway in clothing that is no different than most mass-produced trash, as if the tags sewn into the garments justify the cost.  Adding depth to the outfits means adding layers to the looks, as if piling on more clothes can be equated with having more style.  For those individuals who live in a world where everyone is judged by the labels they wear, I guess that’s a practical approach.  However, I don’t want to live in that universe.

I’ll just continue to visit this higher plane where Bottega Veneta is everything a luxury label should be.  If Tomas Maier makes lesser brands like Dsquared² appear as if they’re lacking in depth, it’s because they are lacking in depth.  Frankly, calling the Caten brothers’ designs “two-dimensional” is rather generous, anyway.  In the universe I’d like to live in, they wouldn’t even be called “designs.”

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June 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm

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