Hey Look Everyone: SHOES!

Fabrizio Viti makes you want to buy these for the name alone: Summer Fever Sexy Sandal

 

Dear God,

I need to be honest with you.  This weather isn’t doing much for your reputation.  I’ve been hearing your name a lot lately, but in unfriendly, and often aggressive, contexts.  Perhaps a few more degrees will increase your approval rating?  In the meantime, because I like you, I’ll attempt to distract them with images of pretty shoes.  In my experience, this technique rarely fails.  Feel free to use it when necessary.  Here goes…

Hey look everyone – SHOES!!!

 

Valentino Rock Stud Suede Multi Strap Sandals

 

Samuele Failli Lauren Suede Sandals

 

Gianvito Rossi Ankle Tie Sandals with Lucite Heel

 

Walter De Silva Rita Velvet Sandals

 

Saint Laurent Majorelle Leather Sandals

 

Gucci Bow Suede Pumps

Alaia Snakeskin Ankle Strap Sandals

Standing O or Hell No: Oscars 2018

ZENDAYA ON FIRE!!!!!!! (Pronounced Fi-Ya of course.)

Due to the fact that I was traveling I did not watch the Academy Awards red carpet last night.  Of course I was monitoring every arrival and refreshing the feed with such urgency that my phone felt like a burning ember; But still, to me, this was like waking up on December 26th and realizing that OOOOOPS I missed Christmas. I am less sad, however, about missing the actual show.  As Drew Magary hilariously points out in his Hater’s Guide to the Oscars, “…if you go by the analytics, sleeping through the Oscars is always the correct decision.  The data is ironclad.”  He observes that there was no way the Academy would allow anything akin to the amazing and amusing Best Picture snafu of last year and so it was far better to just hedge and snooze instead.  To his point, I was already caught up by 12:01 am.

An unintended yet joyful consequence of the all-black Golden Globes and BAFTAs is the collective feeling of Oh Yay The Color Hunger Strike is Over!  Let’s review what happened last night and let’s start with Zendaya (above) in her creamy brown Giambattista Valli. This look was a feast for my hungry eyes.  Brown is pretty unexpected for the red carpet (and reminds me of chocolate which is a bonus) and her execution was utterly flawless.  I have stared at her for far longer than I feel comfortable admitting.  Standing O!

I fainted when I saw Zendaya and then was revived and fainted again when I saw Nicole:

This entire look is: How To Dress for the Red Carpet When You Are a Movie Star.  I might not have selected that specific black shoe but as for the dress, Armani is displaying its best here. I love that this was styled simply with diamond chandelier earrings and Nicole’s lovliness was the center piece.  Standing O!

The banquet of beauty did not end there.  To mix metaphors, let’s march through the Standing O Hit Parade:

Dressing to match Oscar is typically a good formula as evidenced by Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. Standing O and please always wear your hair like that!

 

Returning to the wisdom of wearing gold to the AA, Lupita looks like royalty in Versace. Standing O, Queen!

 

Calvin Klein shows his mettle again with this super simple yet super elegant look for Laura Dern.  Plus her hair looks superior! Standing O!

 

Please, Helen, teach me your ways. Standing O! And I remain on my feet for you forevermore.

 

Another Armani Prive with A++ grades. Octavia Spencer is heavenly. Standing O!

(Sounds of clapping and shouts of STANDING O fade out.)  It never delights me to ding those who missed their fashion mark but these posts require a Hell No portion or I will have to re-title them.

 

One can admire Andra Day’s commitment to this look but one cannot transcend how awful it is. Hell No!

 

Following the old adage of if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all…(Sounds of crickets chirping something that sounds a lot like Hell No.)

 

Returning to the metaphor of the Oscars as a feast, Blanca Bianco seemed to skip the appetizer, have a meager main course, and only eat half of her dessert. Hell No.

 

This look smacks of the same desperation and intent as when Scarlett O’Hara rips down the drapes to create her famous green gown. Except that Scarlett’s gown was lovely. Hell No, Whoopi.

1 Part Punk, 3 Parts Perfect

In our minds, let’s just chop this photo off below the knee.

Who do I have to spar to get this S/S 2018 Alexander McQueen in house (insert evil laugh and wringing of hands).  Go ahead, take your time. I’ll just be over here sharpening my nails.

(While we wait, let’s admire a few other beauties from this same extraordinary collection which is a true homage to the man, eight years gone on 2/10.)

Say what you want about the greasy hair and mukluks – just look at the construction of that skirt. Hell – the fabric itself is reason enough for limitless champagne!

 

Nobody understands the alchemy inherent in the deconstructed quite as well as the House of McQueen.

Standing O or Hell No: Grammy Red Carpet 2018

With my actual Grammy (A National Treasure) in the hospital with the flu AND pneumonia, I found it very difficult to concentrate on the Grammy Awards hosted in NY last night.  I’m unashamed to admit I didn’t view them live and opted instead to catch up online.  So let’s just get right down to the nitty-gritty of who pleased us and who did not.

Common (above) is now and will always be in the WHO PLEASED category.  I found his red-velvet look last night exceptionally dashing.  Standing O!

As a duo and independently, Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend can be counted upon to give the viewer her money’s worth.  I would never accuse them of phoning it in.  Look at the drama and the coordination of these two superlative outfits!  Complimentary and one does not outshine the other. It seems their marriage follows this exact formula.  Standing O!

Likewise Janelle Monae will always exhibit something interesting for the crowd.  While I’m never a fan of trousers eating feet, nor am I a fan of things that look unpressed, this suit still manages to be both interesting and on point for the Grammy Awards (a show that practically begs its attendees to be a Hell No).  I am a sucker for embroidery and this Dolce & Gabbana employs it artfully.  Standing O!

 

Hailee Steinfeld’s Alexander Vauthier was the talk of the red carpet and, I concur, it was slamming; but I’m not 100% on board with those specific boots.  Yes to the purple but they leaned a little plastic-y for my eye. I am still giving a Standing O because it is the Grammys and she provided intrigue without being ridiculous.

 

Zayn Malik in a pink Richard James suit and Ralph Lauren shoes and patterned socks.  There’s not much else to add except Standing O!

 

Everyone was fainting down to the floor over Gaga’s dress.  Ok.  It’s pretty and dramatic and not meat! For that I give a tip of the hat to Gaga!  And, also, the dress converts to this:

This has an ACTUAL hat and no dress.  It’s a pretty good look overall for the Grammys even if the lace bodysuit skews a little Ice Capades for my liking.  Standing O!

If nitty-gritty is what we are going for then here it is:

I trust you have eyes.  Hell No, Pink!

 

Standing O or Hell No: SAG Red Carpet 2018

Uzo Aduba owning her princess moment.

The SAG red carpet last night made me feel as if the women had been forced to eat gruel for weeks on end and then out of nowhere someone offered them a huge bowl of ice cream.  Things felt happy, light, and easy as conveyed by the impressive amount of COLOR present; And chief among the colors was PINK.  The Globe’s all-black theme was important but definitely cast a dour mood on awards season which was balanced out by the levity of color last night.  Let’s take a closer peek.

One of my favorite looks of the night was Uzo Aduba (above).  She was transformed in her light pink Christian Riiano gown and Rita Hayworth hair.  Jaw-dropping: Standing O!

Tying Uzo in the light pink category was her Orange is the New Black cast-mate and Handmaid’s Tale star, Madeline Brewer, in Reem Acra:

I want to cut her head off this photo and insert my own.  My heart is pitter-pattering over this dress which possesses all of the elements I adore – it is PINK, it is uber feminine, it has a bustier top, it is flared, it is embellished, and it is exceedingly lovely.  (Confession: I wore this dress’s sister to a black tie wedding two weeks ago.)  The piece de resistance here, obviously, are those red Casadei shoes that reference her hair and lipstick.  Standing O!!!

Let’s inspect some other leading ladies who also opted to wear THEE color-of-the-night:

Laura Linney in J Mendel

 

Marissa Tomei

 

Dakota Fanning in Prada

Then the spin-offs of the light pink trend.  Here’s Vanessa Kirby in an embellished pink Valentino:

And Kristen Bell in a darker hue of pink:

 

Kristen Bell in a J Mendel bustier gown

Standing O to the Pinks above.  And then we are abruptly confronted with this ill-advised interpretation of a pink gown:

Note that I tried to soften the blow of Kate’s dress by providing a place to avert your eyes (Goldie).  Confoundingly this dress is Valentino. I would’ve said Moschino maybe but never would I dare soil the House of Valentino by suggesting they created this. Perhaps the designers at Maison Valentino were replete with food poisoning the day this was brought into existence?  In any case, I respect Kate for deviating from her usual body-baring formula but this was a (GIGANTIC) step too far in the wrong direction.  I don’t think even Stevie Nicks, she of the high-necked maxi dress with lace, could’ve pulled this off.  Hell No, Kate.

Speaking of dresses that were devastatingly wrong:

I can’t find a fashion credit (here’s me using “credit” loosely) for Kate Nash’s milk maiden gown. Perhaps it’s for the best that whoever created this lay low for awhile.  (Things are not bound to get better for you anytime soon, Sir or Madam.)  In a heart rending moment I witnessed an interview with Kate where she spoke of the triumphant instant at which she knew this was the right gown for her because it so accurately represented her personality.  In hindsight, that was maybe the wrong message to send to Hollywood.  Hell No.

I was startled and surprised to find that two of my favorite looks were a la The Globes all-black theme.  Felicity Huffman was a vision in Monsoori:

And Yara Shahidi in Ralph Lauren channeling Diana Ross was everything:

I’m not sure why the pants of this jumpsuit seem to be gobbling up her feet but Yara Shahidi was arguably the prettiest woman on the carpet last night.  Her outfit was nice and refreshing but I wish the pants were more tailored and shorter.  That aside, her hair was GLORIOUS and I will now and forever be present for that face.  It is perfection.  Standing O to both women in all black!

 

I remain confounded by whatever it is that has taken shape on Nicole’s shoulder – a serpent? A flower? Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings? I’m willing to get comfortable with whatever it is simply because the rest of her is flawless.  She reportedly has the flu and somehow brought this look to LIFE.  Her hair was especially good and often it is the element that diminishes.  The fit and color of this Armani are exquisite.  And her face is glowing which may be from Scarlet Fever but no matter!! Standing O!

 

Danielle Brooks in Marc Bouwer DELIVERED! Ombre! Sequins! Perfect decolletage! Standing O!

 

Standing O or Hell No: Golden Globes 2018

Roger that, Hollywood!  We hear you loud and clear.  What surprised me the most about last night’s Golden Globes was not the overwhelming adherence to the all-black dress code or the fact that the show lasted 3.5 hours but, instead, that Hollywood remained UNSWERVINGLY on topic all evening.  The awards were an after-thought and sadly the fashion was a thought even after that.  Listen, I support this message because I honestly (and sadly) do not know a single woman (and many men) who cannot say #MeToo (whether she voices it publicly or lives with it inwardly).  Everyone’s story varies in degree and severity, of course, but in my experience every woman has some story.  That, to me, is a heart-wrenching reality and deserves the focus it is currently being given.  But let us be clear, this banding together is not a condemnation of all men by any measure.  It’s easy for that to become the take-away; However, that would lead to a dismissal of a worthy cause which would be a mistake.  There are so many bright and shining examples of male strength and humility and support out there and they should be celebrated and emulated; And yet still there remains a need to shake the bad apples from the tree.  (Can someone help me down from my soap box now?? These stilettos are kinda high.)

All that to say that as much as I support the out-ing of these flagrant monsters, I must also stand in solidarity to protect the fashion.  For me, a pin or a ribbon would’ve carried the same message and the fashion would not have also stood victim.  Admittedly there were many pretty dresses but overall I was underwhelmed.  Personally I derive levity and buoyancy from fashion and color and so the all-black turn out, despite doing what it intended to do, was just too somber for me.  Which, of course, was the point.

Let’s take a closer look at those who executed best on the all black theme.  One of my overall favorites of the night was Catherine Zeta Jones (above).  ROYALTY.  This women is approaching 50:

She took my breath away in this Zuhair Murad. I typically would not be enthusiastic about a sheer-bottomed gown but CZJ owned this look.  Her body is exquisite as is her skin and HER HAIR!  Perfectly feline.  Standing O!!  (Also, note the use of emerald jewels which was a pervasive theme on last night’s carpet.)

Here’s another well-executed variation on the sheer theme:

Before last night I would’ve said there was no universe in which I’d nominate a sheer-bottomed dress, with boy shorts beneath, as a best-dressed contender.  And yet.  Kate Hudson is radiant in Valentino.  In my perfect world the bottom would not be see-through but from waist-up she looks so divine I have to give her a Standing O.

 

When rumors began to circulate of an all-black dress code, it was predicted we’d see many women in trousers and tuxedo-like outfits, which we did.  And yet Alexis Bledel’s Chanel leaf-topped pantsuit was a happy surprise for me.  She looks elegant and lovely and completely on point.  Standing O!

Allow me to highlight one of those bright and shining examples of strong, humble, supportive (and GORGEOUS) men:

The fact that I can’t find a full-length photo of Common is a crime.  He looked magnificent as usual and I adore that he wore a dragon fly on his lapel, which symbolizes change – specifically change in perspective.  Bravo, Common, Standing O!

 

I love that Zoe Kravits used this all-black moment to wear a simple and tailored gown in order to highlight the stunning architecture of her perfect face.  (Note the appearance of emerald earrings again – these providing her a perfect frame.)  Keep in mind this post is not order specific – Zoe was one of my most favorites last night.  She is lovely to a heart-stopping degree.  I cannot peel my eyes away.  Standing O!

 

Sartorially, I typically feel most aligned with Diane Kruger.  I love that her intrinsic fashion sense is classic yet she is always modern and never afraid to take risks while always being overtly feminine.  In short, she resides near the top of my girl-crush list and the way she looks in this Prada bolsters her standing.  Speaking of standing: Standing O!

And speaking of girl crushes, I can simply never ignore this woman.  She is one of my true loves:

Penelope Cruz’s Ralph and Russo is pretty if derivative of a thousand other red carpet gowns.  But Penelope the woman is a remarkable beauty.  Standing O for transcending this dour color and looking luminous as ever!

 

This photo is priceless because it’s a two-in-one.  Both Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain look stunning individually and as a team are even more effervescent.  Standing O!

 

Gal Gadot in this simple but perfectly tailored Tom Ford was the portrait of sophistication.  Her classic red-lip and updo were exactly what this outfit called for.  She looks sublime.  Standing O!

As a bestie of mine rightly pointed out, I need to pay homage to the over 50 crowd because they were killing it last night.  As the finest representative of that set, let’s collectively admire an absolutely electric Helen Mirren:

Standing O!

And finally, while this is not my favorite dress (wish it was long and didn’t have bell sleeves) who among us would not want to stand up in front of a room full of our peers looking like this:

Halle Berry defies age and apparently gravity.  One more view so we can adequately admire her timeless body.  I mean beauty:

If I had those legs I’d also don a mini-dress.  Every.  Single.  Day.

 

 

Christmas Shopping: The Untold Story

A few days before Christmas my husband took the kids out to a few stores so they could do some shopping of their own.  They were heavy into the Christmas spirit this year and really wanted to GIVE (At last!!  A glimmer of hope that that they will turn into thoughtful people someday!)  To prepare, they thought long and hard about each person they were buying for and became determined to nail their selections.  Apparently my 5 year old was feeling a little indecisive about what to get me.  She cycled through a few ideas but wasn’t satisfied.  Lip gloss? Nah.  Headbands? Good but not perfect.  Until they stopped at Barnes and Nobles and, as it was reported to me, the decision made itself.  Apparently her eyes alighted on a book cover (featured above) at which point she swiped it off the shelf, handed it to her father with full confidence stating, “Here daddy.  THIS is PERFECT for mommy.”

I’m hoping she felt this way because, in her eyes, I’m as glamorous as Beyonce and not because she feels I’d like to wear a sequins body suit with hip extenders sewn into it.  Either way I love it and can’t wait to tear into it.  I’ll be sure to report back on any and all pearls (diamonds?) of wisdom.  There’s no doubt they will be boundless.  Sorta like the platforms on those heels she’s sporting.

 

I’m sorry: I went to see Is Fashion Modern

I have a confession to make: I went to the Is Fashion Modern exhibit at the MoMa without you.  I know I know I know!!  You wanted to go.  In my defense, it was a last minute thing and I found myself in midtown and I meant to just run through and return another time with you, but then I found myself anchored in front of each piece unable to move.

Another confession:  THE EXHIBIT IS EXQUISITE!  It’s so very good that I had to overcome my shame in going without you and bring myself to confess because even if you don’t forgive me, the more important thing is that you GO TO THE EXHIBIT!  It explores everything from the idea of the Little Black Dress – an ancient go-to as it turns out (above) to technological accessories like the Walkman.  The latter was particularly fascinating because it explored the piece as a tool used to defend the wearer against public interaction which is called Existenzmaximum.  Triple points for an exhibit that makes me feel prepared to play Trivial Pursuit!

Also of note – I came face to outerwear (?) with the original sleeping-bag-coat as designed by one of my fashion heroines, Norma Kamali.  For me, this was like being in front of the Mona Lisa sans glass shield.  Ta-Da!:

The excerpt near this piece was especially delightful because it is a recount by Norma of the time she went camping and had to get up to go pee in the middle of the night; As she was running into the woods with her sleeping bag wrapped around her for warmth, she thought to herself I need to sew arms into this thing! Lo and behold, she did just that, and to her great notoriety.

Another enduring image below.  This look by YSL is just as relevant today as it was in the 70s:

I sense I am now in the territory of committing yet another crime – that of spoiler alert.  Therefore, I will quit revealing tidbits post-haste.

Ok – stop being mad already and just go see this gem.  It’s running through January 28th.  And, as an added bonus, you can stop by the exceptionally moving Louise Bourgeois exhibit also running through January 28th.  Here’s but one amazing image of her famous spiders to entice you…

Who among us does not want to don a cape?

Last week I was just trolling along (the internet) minding my own business when I was accosted by this Alexander McQueen flared cape dress.  She was so boldly confrontational – I mean, look at that stance!  Typically I’m not one for drama unless that drama comes in the form of a cape and then I am ALL IN.  As you can imagine, we tussled, she won and now she’s in my closet.  I barely stood a chance.  I need to remain vigilant at all times or she might stab me in this back:

I feel as if this particular struggle will be enduring, yet I’ll find a way to make my peace with it.

It’s cold, dammit

SPORTMAX Laced Double Cashmere Coat

Dear Weather,

You want to bring out the big guns, huh?  Well here’s little old me hitting you with my best shot.  Fire away.

With(out) affection,

Wardrobe Whisperer

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