Auntie Fashion

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

Archive for December 2009

Reason #20 to Hate this Past Decade

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Reason #20: Ridiculous Retail Hours

It seems like only yesterday when stores were actually closed occasionally.  If you didn’t bother to shop during regular business hours, you were out of luck.  Sure, there were the few people who worked graveyard shifts that were inconvenienced by typical operating hours, but they had days off like everyone else.  If they needed to shop, that’s when they shopped.

Nowadays it seems as if we’re just a step away from having stores that never close.  Sure, there are some of them around already, and I believe that they’re the trailblazers.  The trend in retail is to stay open longer, but to serve your customers less.  I don’t notice more staff on the floors of these establishments that are operating with extended hours.  In fact, it seems as if many retailers have just stretched out the staff they’ve got to deal with the situation.  Why hire more people when you’ve proven again and again that your idiot customers would rather drive ten miles to save fifty cents on margarine than go shopping in a pleasant environment where they’re served by competent staff?

No one needs to go to Wal-Mart at 3:00 am, anyway — do they?

The Antidote: Harry Rosen

I don’t suppose I’ve been in a chain store in Canada that has better service consistently than Harry Rosen.  It’s as if the staff are trained and nurtured by a company that values their talents.  It makes me want to spend more money there.  Wow!  What a radical concept!

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December 27, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Two Dozen Reasons

The True Meaning of Something™

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Roller Boogie

I don’t take New Year’s resolutions seriously enough.  Even when I downgrade my plans, they fail miserably.  For instance, I resolved to win the lottery a couple of years ago, and I kept forgetting to buy tickets.  A year or two before that I resolved to wear more sweaters.  I don’t think I wore a sweater the entire year.

So I was thinking that I might benefit from making a more grandiose gesture.  But what?  What could I resolve to do in 2010 that would be both profound and achievable?  And then it came to me!

I want to discover the true meaning of something.  You know, like at the end of “A Christmas Carol” when Scrooge discovers the true meaning of Christmas.  Or at the end of “Roller Boogie” when the kids discover the true meaning of friendship while simultaneously saving the roller rink from evil land developers and making roller boogie an official Olympic demonstration sport.

I’m not sure what I’m going to discover — the true meaning of life, love or even roller boogie — but I do know that I won’t be able to go on this journey of self-discovery without trademarking the name “The True Meaning of Something™.”  I might not know a lot about soul-searching, but I do know a good title when I hear it.  It sounds like a new Ellen Page movie with Janeane Garafalo as her mom, doesn’t it?

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December 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Happy Birthday, Barbara Crampton

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Barbara Crampton

Happy birthday, Barbara Crampton aka Leanna Love.  Of all the women who married Victor Newman, you were the most evil and therefore my favorite.  Please come back to Genoa City soon.

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December 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

March 1992

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Cover: March 1992

Context: The Bosnian War claims its first victims on March 1.  On March 21, former Miss America Vanessa Williams scores her first number-one hit with “Save the Best for Last,” a title that would remain atop the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks.  “The Silence of the Lambs” wins Best Picture at the 64th annual Academy Awards on March 30.  “Dateline NBC” debuts on March 31.

Points of Interest: Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish had been designing Comrags since 1983, but this was their first FASHION cover.

What Tyra Would Say: “For this challenge I wanted the models in plain white shirts with simple hair and makeup so that the photographer could focus on their tranquility.  Afterward, when they weren’t expecting it, I let loose on them with a paintball gun.  Here’s Danelle’s before shot.”

What Auntie Fashion Says: While previous covers had hinted that minimalism was just around the corner, this was definitely the magazine’s first foray into the decade-defining trend.

Grade: A.

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December 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Posted in 30 Years of FASHION

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Reason #19 to Hate this Past Decade

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Courtney Love

Reason #19: The Lack of Appreciation the Fashion World has for this Dress

Here’s a blog post of mine from April 28, 2008:

“If I had to pick the one dress that has influenced fashion the most in the past ten years, it would be this one.  John Galliano designed this gown for Christian Dior Haute Couture.  The collection was inspired by hobos, and the dress originally was presented on the runway with dangling fake mice and tiny beer cans.  Courtney Love cut those off before walking the red carpet at the 2000 Golden Globes in the name of “good taste.”

Love had recently been reinvented for the red carpet.  Cleaned-up and looking undeniably gorgeous, she literally made the jaws of the fashion press drop to the ground when she stole the show at a couple of events leading up to this particular red carpet.  Jeanne Beker has even cited Love’s appearance at another event in a glorious Versace number as a career-making move.   Up to that point, Love wasn’t even on the fashion radar.

And then she showed up wearing this dress.  I couldn’t have been more delighted, but the world reacted rather unfavorably.  Even W magazine couldn’t decide what to say about the ensemble, calling Love “trashy” on one page, then simultaneously praising Galliano’s collection on another.

But, as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.  Looking back, this dress basically encapsulated the decade that would follow it.  The deconstruction/reconstruction trend, the red carpet craze, the return of Hollywood glamour, the embellishment fad, makeover madness — all of the movements that have defined the ’00s are evident in this one snapshot.

Of course, I wish I could find a better photo of this dress.  But it seems to be forgotten by most people, including the people who write about fashion.  That’s sort of tragic, because this dress needs to put in a museum for the sake of posterity (maybe it has been, for all I know).  It’s an icon.

Many people who write about fashion don’t attempt to understand the garments in the context that they were created and presented.  This gorgeous gown was ripped to shreds and put back together again only to be met with mixed reviews by an audience who was mostly unqualified to offer its opinion on the subject.  If that statement doesn’t describe this past decade in both fashion and fashion criticism (and Courtney Love’s life, for that matter), I don’t know what does.”

The Antidote: The Costume Institute

There are people working hard to put fashion into a historical context.  Overshadowed by a high-profile party that helps to raise their operating funds, they toil away in the background like so many anonymous bloggers.  They not only deserve your admiration, but also your support.

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December 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Two Dozen Reasons

Happy Birthday, Jared Leto

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Jared Leto

Happy birthday, Jared Leto.  Hey, I heard that, too.  It was Adam Lambert and he was telling you to lay off the eyeliner.

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December 26, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

Reason #18 to Hate this Past Decade

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Giorgio Armani

Reason #18: Designers Behaving Badly

In a business where the product is often associated with class, it’s surprising that so many fashion designers have no class.  For example, take Marc Jacobs’ comments after his now legendary S/S 2008 show where he couldn’t bring himself to apologize for being two hours late.  Or take Stefano Pilati’s unnecessary criticism of Tom Ford, which incidentally pales in comparison to Tom Ford’s tales of how awful Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé treated Ford when he was handed design duties at YSL Rive Gauche.  The worst of the worst, however, seemed to be when Giorgio Armani uninvited Cathy Horyn to one of his fashion shows in Milan for writing the sort of stuff she always writes.  Do you guys really believe that no one is watching you?  Do you really believe that being the figurehead of a brand doesn’t carry any responsibilities?

We fashion critics might forgive, but believe me, we don’t forget.

The Antidote: Michael Kors

Without compromising the integrity of his brand, Michael Kors became fashion’s bitchiest designer when he signed up for “Project Runway.”  Now that’s what I call “the best of both worlds.”

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December 25, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Two Dozen Reasons

Happy Birthday, Barbara Mandrell

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The Mandrell Sisters

Happy birthday, Barbara Mandrell.  If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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December 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

Reason #17 to Hate this Past Decade

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Smoky Eye

Reason #17: The Smoky Eye

There probably isn’t a single trend in fashion that has become a bigger cliché over the past decade than the smoky eye.  Both Danielle Meder and I have blogged about it, and I even posted a poll to suggest some alternatives to the style (click the link above).  I don’t mind the look, but I am sick of hearing about it.  Let’s move on, okay?

The Antidote: Danielle Meder and Auntie Fashion

You know, we’re both really good at what we do, and we often come to the same conclusions quite independently.  I was reminded of that when I reviewed my own original post about the smoky eye.  Next year when we’re both nominated for a P&G Beauty Award, if we’re not having a hair-pulling chick fight on the red carpet after we both show up wearing the same dress, one of us should win for “Best Fashion or Beauty Blog.”

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December 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Two Dozen Reasons

Happy Birthday, Ryan Seacrest

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Ryan Seacrest

Happy birthday, Ryan Seacrest.  Hey, didn’t you play the fat kid in “Stand By Me“?

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December 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old