Auntie Fashion

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

Archive for April 2012

Expand Your Fashion Vocabulary #63

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Sophia Loren

Drop arm: A style of eyeglasses distinguished by a dropping arm that creates a low junction between the arm and the rim.  Drop arm glasses and sunglasses were popular throughout the 1980s, especially those sold as part of the Sophia Loren Collection.  Recently, labels such as Balenciaga have sold similar large-lensed, drop-arm designs.

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April 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Happy Birthday, Lee Majors

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The Majors

Happy birthday, Lee Majors.  I tried to find a wedding photo of you and Farrah Fawcett, but all I could dig up was this picture from one of your other marriages . . .

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April 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

Happy Birthday, Amber Heard

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Amber Heard

Happy birthday, Amber Heard.  Usually the joke just writes itself, but I’ve got nothing today.  Either you’re kind of boring or I need another cup of coffee . . .

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April 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

You can never go wrong with vintage Valentino . . .

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Sela Ward

. . . or can you?

Remember when Julia Roberts won her Best Actress Oscar in 2000 and took the stage in a gorgeous, vintage Valentino gown?  I remember, although I was quite drunk by the time she accepted the award — gawd that show goes on forever!  Anyway, the dress has gone on to be considered one of the all-time red-carpet classics, appearing on numerous best-of-the-best lists.

I also remember the Golden Globe Awards a couple of years later.  Sela Ward showed up to the ceremony in a Valentino gown looking like a gift that was going to keep on giving and giving and giving — at least until those three bows on the bodice were untied.  At the time, I honestly believed that it was the worst red carpet dress I had ever seen in years.  The combination of Valentino red, shiny tafetta, prissy bows and slutty cutouts just didn’t do a thing for this old bird.

And I suppose you’re wondering why I’m telling you this?  Five years later, Claudia Schiffer wore the exact same dress to an event and everyone but me was gushing over it (even the commentator on the site I just linked described it as “unlike anything I’ve seen before.”  I guess that I was the only one who watched the 2002 Golden Globes.)  Of course, I still thought it was the tackiest thing I’d ever seen in my life.

And that reminds me that Wear a Gown to Work Day is less than five weeks away.  I started the holiday because I realized that panning every red carpet misstep and criticizing special-event dressing in general only makes me sound like a bitch.  I really don’t care what anyone else wears.  If you want to wear a gown to work every day of the year, who am I to tell you not to wear a gown?  If getting hog-tied in Valentino-red bows is your thing, then go ahead and enjoy yourself.  If you want to wear vintage Valentino to the Met Gala, you should wear vintage Valentino.  If you want to wear a one-legged, one-armed Spandex unitard while you perform Jazzercise on the front lawn on your apartment complex in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who am I to stop you?

Fashion may be a rather vain pursuit, but that doesn’t mean that I’d want to live without it.

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April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Binge and Purge

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Nigel Barker, J. Alexander and Jay Manuel


In shocking news (but not so shocking when you think about it), Tyra Banks has shown Nigel Barker, J. Alexander and Jay Manuel the door on “America’s Next Top Model.”  Like an aspiring model with “all the potential in the world” who has “lost her spark,” the three long-time cast members of the show won’t be around to listen to Tyra as she makes up a bunch of new words when the nineteenth season of the show premieres this fall.

Rumours are circulating that hideously unappealing fashion blogger Bryanboy is set to join the panel which will still feature hideously unappealing PR maven Kelly Cutrone.  Your old Auntie Fashion is getting the idea that Tyra only wants to surround herself with supervillains so that she can binge on more of the superhero schtick that has been bringing smizes to the eyes of her fans over the past few seasons.  I guess that’s why she didn’t ask me to join the panel; Super Smize makes baby Zob cry.

Anyway, I’m kind of excited to see what happens next.  I still like this show and I’ve been enjoying the current season a lot, but I  have to give credit where credit is due: Alisha, Annaliese, Catherine and Sophie are what’s keeping me interested in “America’s Next Top Model.”  Their inclusion in the show has given it a creative recharge.  Perhaps a new panel will do the same.  All I know for sure is that I should be on that panel.  Tyra, I’ll be waiting for your call.  I’m even going to download “Modelland” onto my eReader so that I’m prepared.  I need something to read next to the pool in Las Vegas next week, anyway, and you can only read “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” so many times before it gets old.

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April 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Posted in A Soupçon of Je Ne Sais Quois

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April 2004

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Cover: April 2004

Context: Franz Ferdinand release their debut album in North America on April 20.  On the same day, Whoopi Goldberg’s sitcom “Whoopi” is cancelled after only one season.  Cosmetics industry legend Estée Lauder dies on April 24.  On April 28, Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq is revealed on the television show “60 Minutes II.”  The last Oldsmobile rolls off the assembly line on April 29.  Lindsay Lohan’s breakout film, “Mean Girls,” premieres on April 30.

Points of Interest: This is the first gown with a five-figure price tag to appear on the cover of “FASHION.”

What Tyra Would Say: Liisa Winkler has been an integral part of the “FASHION brand and she helped turn this magazine into the household name it is today.  She has been an amazing asset to the magazine and will always be a part of the “FASHION” family.  We will continue to actively work with her on future projects — but she’s fired.”

What Auntie Fashion Says: That’s what a $10,000 dress looks like?

Grade: C.

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April 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Posted in 30 Years of FASHION

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Happy Birthday, Her Majesty the Queen

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Queen Elizabeth II

Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth II.  I’ve been waiting for your cameo on “America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion” . . .

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April 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

Happy Birthday, Joey Lawrence

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Joey Lawrence

Happy birthday, Joey Lawrence.  Whoa!  When did that happen?

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April 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Fashionably Old

Bye, I’m Kyle!

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Poor Kyle was shown the door on last night’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion.”  That usually seems to be the case with girls who I start to like midway through the competition.  While I don’t believe that Kyle possessed particularly good modeling skills, I do believe that she had potential to spare.  Just look at the candid photo I posted above.  She reminds me of Angelina Jolie in this picture!  Why didn’t I see that before?

Probably because she didn’t have a clue what to do when she knew that a camera was on her.  Unfortunately, there are few girls in the competition who have no idea what they’re doing and no one is teaching them to do anything else.  On the other hand, a couple of girls who are really trying are not getting the credit that they deserve.  Annaliese took a terrific photo this episode and was still called fourth, behind Seymone and Eboni.  The week before she was called fourth in the video shoot, despite a performance that was as at least as professionial as Alisha’s star turn.  I get that she’s shorter than the rest of the girls, and I get that she’s got a commercial look.  So what?  This is the show that crowned Saleisha Stowers as its winner.

Speaking of Tootie, it was nice to see that Tyra loaned special guest star Estelle Tootie’s old wig.  What a generous gesture!  It was also nice to see that Seymone is getting Whitney’s old edit.  Perhaps this show can have two plus-sized winners that no one likes.  At least Seymone isn’t in the bottom two every second week, although I suppose she still has time for that.

On the bright side, next week’s photo shoot appears to have the girls dressed like floats in a Hello Kitty parade.  Just when I think this show is starting to let me down . . .

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April 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Posted in A Soupçon of Je Ne Sais Quois

Tagged with ,

What to Wear . . .

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Bottega Veneta

With Wear a Gown to Work Day only five weeks away, your old Auntie ought to figure out what she’s going to wear on the most glamorous day of the year.  I am going to Las Vegas next week where I’ll be able to visit my favorite boutique, Bottega Veneta.  Perhaps I’ll find something like the gown in the photo I posted above hanging from the clearance racks.  Or maybe I’ll visit the Tom Ford store in The Crystals and discover a buy-one-get-one-free sale.  I am planning on being very lucky in Vegas this time.

Speaking of getting lucky, I got an email message this morning from a lovely young woman who I’ve been trying to convince to become the official celebrity spokesperson for Wear a Gown to Work Day.  While she’s deciding whether or not to take on the massive responsibility of becoming an ambassadrix for glamourpusses everywhere, I will respect her right to privacy.  If you want to know who she is, show up at my house with a bottle of champagne or two.  I get awfully chatty when I’m drunk.  Or you can mind your own business and get out and get yourself a gown.  Don’t let me down again this year.  I’ve spent too many nights crying over the current state of fashion.  Just give me this one day . . .

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April 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm


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