Archive for October 2009
Cover: November 1990
Context: “Dances with Wolves“ premieres in theaters on November 21. On November 27, Milli Vanilli admits to lip-synching its hits, ultimately leading to the revocation of their Grammy Award. Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on November 28, succeeded by John Major. On November 29, the UN Security Council authorizes military intervention in Iraq if the nation does not withdraw its armed forces from Kuwait.
Points of Interest: According to the Fashion Model Directory, this was Shalom Harlow’s first cover. The site also lists her hobbies as astronomy, scuba diving and tap dancing. Take that, Coco Rocha!
What Tyra Would Say: “Just between you judges and me, I think I’m going to eliminate Shalom fifth in the competition for “resting on pretty”, just to shock the fans. Y’all know that’s how I like to roll.”
What Auntie Fashion Says: “Flare” wouldn’t feature the soon-to-be supermodel on its cover until February 1991. Score!
I had the pleasure of seeing Joan Rivers performing live last night. It’s the second time I’ve gone to see her in concert, and I noticed something that I never noticed before. Her onstage wardrobe is distinctly different than her offstage wardrobe.
Last night she appeared in a simple black shirt and pants combo paired with some very high black heels. Overtop of these basics, however, she wore a shiny fuchsia jacket that was not only visible from the back row, but also from the International Space Station. Her accessories included a matching feather boa that she claimed cost $600 and some very flashy jewelry from her own collection — available in Canada on The Shopping Channel, as she was quick to point out.
I also saw her in the 80s. On that occasion she wore a beaded taffeta concoction that was typical of the time. When she was taking her final bows, a crystal bead flew off her dress and into my lap. I still have it, but that’s a story for another day (or for my therapist who is sure to ask me why I tend to fixate upon funny women). For now just let me say that the bead wasn’t really crystal at all, but plastic.
Now this was before the days of Swarovski crystal-encrusted everything. Nevertheless, the bead was a little downmarket for Joan, who I believe is one of the best-dressed women in show business. Say what you will about her red carpet antics, she walks the talk better than any fashion critic alive. She might not be Cathy Horyn or Hilary Alexander, but who cares? Always age-appropriate but never old, she knows her clothes and her clothes are gorgeous.
So why was she wearing a dress covered in cheap plastic beads? Why was she carrying a fuschia boa? I guess it’s because she’s a “performer,” as Cher would call her, according to the story Joan told during her curtain call. What looks good from the back row isn’t the same as what looks good on the red carpet. What looks good on the video monitor in the auditorium isn’t going to look so hot when the paparazzi swarms you at Katsuya and the shots end up in The Star. You know who knows this? Performers.
It made me think that it would be wonderful idea to theme a Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala after funny ladies like Joan Rivers and Cher. There’s a nearly bottomless archive of film and television costumes available, never mind the glorious creations worn by legendary performers such as Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Dame Edna Everage and RuPaul. The Bob Mackie archive alone could fill a museum.
I’d like to see the Met Gala get a little less stuffy. Next year’s event, co-chaired by Oprah, seems destined to be a little too self-important. Perhaps Joan Rivers could chair the event in 2011 and bring it back to a place where the frivolity of fashion takes center stage again. Seeing this comic legend and fashion icon live last night made me believe that she’s exactly the right woman for the job.
I even thought of a name for the event, as indicated in the title of this post. I’ll agree to let the Met use it, just as long as they invite me. Deal?
Happy birthday, Robert Matthew Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice. “Accepting the award for Best Outfit Ever, is Vanilla Ice. This is his second nomination and his second win. He also took home the award for Best Haircut Ever . . .”.
Alexander Wang has defended his $395 US bike shorts to The Cut:
“People look at that and go ‘Oh, those are biker shorts.’ But the yarn we use is from Italy, the technique is digital weaving, there’s a lot that goes into product development that the consumer doesn’t necessarily always understand. And for the people that do understand it, they do get into it, they buy it, and those are the people I’m speaking to. And there will always be people that don’t understand what you’re doing, but I’m not here to satisfy everyone.”
As I mentioned in a previous post, the yarn is the problem. However, I had no idea that the fabric was produced by digital weaving. That makes even less sense than using rayon to create the shorts. Digital weaving produces complex jacquards, and although those fabrics can have some give, they aren’t made to stretch repeatedly — just like rayon isn’t meant to be used in garments that require some elasticity.
If he was devoting any time to “product development” he would know something about the products he was developing. What’s next? A ski coat made from tulle? Wooden cross-trainers? An all-wool swimsuit?
What a freakin’ novice!
Happy birthday, Mario Testino. Despite my reclusiveness, I’d probably let you photograph me . . . naked.
Isn’t it funny how a model can toil away in the background and yet no one really pays attention to her? Then one day she’s Daria Werbowy and she’s signing major contracts, defying all the rules that define the business of fashion.
I feel as if Anna Vyalitsyna is on the cusp of bigger things. Anne V., as she is also known as, has been working the runways since 2002, but I never really noticed how truly beautiful she is until I started to browse the archive of her work on style.com.
Why is this girl not doing cosmetic campaigns?
I just read an article on the NY Times site about a “market correction” in the premium jeans business (thanks to fashionmagazine.com for pointing me there).
It seems that the price of designer denim is going down. People aren’t willing to spend $300 on a pair of jeans, so those jeans now are going for $200 — or even less.
I’ve blogged about expensive jeans a few times. I’ve instructed my readers how they can use the tags of cheap Balmain men’s dress shirts from Sears in order to create their own Balmain lookalikes for well under the $1800 US price tag of the real deal. I’ve complained about the ridiculously overworked, unflattering styles of men’s jeans that tend to draw attention to the figure flaws of nearly flawless men. And, of course, I’ve blogged about the trend to create jeans that look worn. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Contrived nonchalance is the stupidest trend anyone will ever invest in.
But for now I would just like to say one thing: You’ll always be better off if you possess a nice ass rather than nice jeans. For the price of one pair of designer jeans, you can join a gym for a couple of months where you can participate in activities such as Spin classes. Just watch as the fat melts away and your buttocks firm up. After committing yourself to a reasonable workout program, your ass will start to look good in almost anything you wear, including jeans. Even the most critical fashion critics will have a difficult time finding fault with your perfect butt and the way it seems to flatter even the most idiotic styles. Why do you think models work, anyway? It’s because they look good in everything. They’re perfect!
So worry about your ass, not your pants. If you do, in a few years you’ll be able to show off your fifty-year-old butt in something as unflattering as white leather jeans, like Goldie Hawn did in “The First Wives Club.” Do you really think anyone was looking at her pants in that movie?