Standing O or Hell No: Kendall + Hailey at Coachella

Sometimes I feel sorry for things in my wardrobe because I’ve neglected to wear them in awhile.  I’ve come to understand that it’s times like these when I am most susceptible to a sartorial misstep.  My fashion empathy (and my tendency towards personification) get the better of me and I lose my ability to edit.  In these instances, whatever the object of my bleeding heart comes along with me and gets tossed into the mix.  Rarely does said object add value and inevitably I’m forced to confront the day regretting my decision. (Side note:  I think I may have displayed this exact shortcoming while dating in my 20s.)  Could this possibly explain why Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin presented themselves this way? I imagine each started with a sparkly bralette, as one does when preparing for Coachella, and then the outfit-build spiraled out of control when random pieces began tugging on their heart strings.  Or maybe they just ingested mushrooms before getting dressed.

As un-supportive as I am of Hailey’s outfit, it’s Kendall I can’t stop staring at.  I’m trying to make sense of it all, like the morning after a rager, and yet I can’t find the relationship between any two pieces she has on.  The larger looming question is why she would have any one of these pieces in her wardrobe to begin with.  Each item independently is arrant nonsense and as a team downright egregious.  Hell No.

When A Photo Opp is a Missed Opp

Why do I smell melting crayons around here?

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, I feel confident that the main word would be airbrush. Certainly Melania Trump is an attractive woman but even more than usual her official White House portrait makes her look like the Madame Tussaud wax version of herself.  In no way does she look accessible which, I gather, is the actual point of taking a portrait like this. To me she appears less like a hostess of the White House and more like a bouncer at the SoHo House. Case and point: with her arms tightly crossed she’s poised to judge you instead of receive you.

Look, people, this could have been worse. At least she has clothes on.  And those clothes, for all intents and purposes, are appropriate. I just think she could’ve shed some of the (what appears to be) hostility and imbued a little warmth into this shot. In other words, she could’ve tried to appear HUMAN.

 

Did you just call me a dominatrix??

Just one of hundreds of outfits from yesterday’s look book session.

Yesterday my new super-cool-client’s super-cool-and-ridiculously-smart boyfriend informed me that I practice combinatorics. I nodded in emphatic agreement and then asked what the H that means.  His response was too complicated for me to comprehend let alone remember (EVEN THOUGH I AM CLEARLY AN EXPERT IN THIS FIELD) and so I looked it up.  Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of finite or countable discrete structures in order to achieve optimal objects.  So, when I develop a look-book and create near-infinite (I am also an expert at hyperbole!) outfit permutations based on the finite pieces I purchase with my client during a shop, I am really demonstrating amazing mathematical capabilities. It’s no wonder then why I’m sitting here currently waiting for NASA to light up my cell.  As I mull over my genius I believe, therefore, that my new title should be Combinatrix.  It’s got a ring to it, yes?  In fact, I’m praying someone asks me to submit a resume for something (anything!!) so that I can showcase this title and skill.  Don’t be surprised if each and every one of you is updated regarding (and asked to endorse) both of these on LinkedIn.  DO NOT LEAVE ME HANGING!  In the meantime, if any of you want to casually discuss The Pythagorean Theorem or maybe the Laws of Relativity, you know where to find me (obviously by the phone waiting for NASA).

The Kill Shot: Federer Graces GQ

A stone cold fox sitting on what might be an actual stone cold fox. 

This GQ photo is nothing if not a testament to the power of allure inherent to Roger Federer.  Who else, pray tell, could convincingly lounge on a fur throw in white sport socks and corresponding tight white short-shorts while cuddling with a tennis trophy AND SPORTING A BLAZER OVER A T-SHIRT SWEATER COMBO?!  Yet somehow I’m buying what he’s selling even if that boils down to nothing more than his image.

Now let’s get a look at the other photos supporting his I’m-sexy-in-athleisure-image because they are all awesome in their own right:

Sweats + Tennis Sweater + Peak Lapel Blazer = OBVIOUS (to no one but Roger Federer)

In tennis, and in life really, I believe this would be known as the “kill shot.”

Snow suit or swim suit? I think you know my answer.

For the briefest of moments this morning I considered acting like a normal mom and going to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk.  Then I remembered I’m not normal and bought a swimsuit instead.  This beautiful Zimmerman suit to be exact.  I subscribe to the mode of thought that when Life serves you lemons, make lemonade.  Except for future reference, Life, I’d prefer you serve me lemons rather than 24″ of snow.  Thanks.

Other pretty and forward-looking-suits I considered:

Lisa Marie Fernandez Natalie Bikini

 

Missoni Mare Striped One Piece Halter

 

Malia Jones Criss Cross One Piece Swimsuit

This one is all about the backside (double entendre intended).

I chose mostly one piece swimsuits because perhaps subconsciously I’m afraid of being cold; but I understand that this reasoning is akin to my mom wanting to be buried in a mausoleum because she’s afraid she won’t be able to breathe underground.

Ask Wardrobe Whisperer: Belt + Suspenders?

You can don a belt with your suspenders if your style icon is Bill Lumbergh. And if you match them to your tie, you too can look this good.

Recently I was called in to end a family feud.  It was a father/son showdown regarding suspenders and whether or not they should be worn with a belt.  The answer is that both accessories were designed to keep your pants from falling down and so they should not be worn together.  That would, for us ladies, be like wearing Spanx and a girdle.  Or a bustier and a bra.  A decision must be made between the two.  When settling this particular debate I was tempted to add that a person who feels it necessary to wear both belt AND suspenders might also have some deep-seated trust issues.  But then I reminded myself that no one cares about my psychological interpretations of sartorial conundrums.  (But why is this I wonder?  Is it because I don’t have a psychology degree?  Qualifications smallifications!  I think we can all agree they are irrelevant and unnecessary.)  So if anyone would like to hear more of my psychological analysis, please do contact me directly.  I’m more than happy to spew all sorts of ill informed and misguided nonsense your way.  In the meantime, let’s look at some truly dapper gentlemen who are aware of the no-belt-with-suspenders-rule:

Tattoos optional. Belt not optional.

 

This outfit is luda and yet oddly convincing.

 

Hello, sir.

And no post about suspenders could go without a look in the review mirror at this memorable image:

There isn’t much right about this outfit today but even this d-bag knew not to wear a belt.

Standing O or Hell No: Oscars 2017

Emma Stone may be the only La La Land cast member still smiling after that Best Picture blunder.

Lent begins Wednesday which is disconcerting to me on many levels (but perhaps not as disconcerting as being told you won Best Picture and then NO! There’s a mix up and you, well, LOST and have to slink back to your seat after having already thanked the Academy, the world, and your first grade teacher.)  Back to Lent.

As many of you are aware, during Lent it’s customary to either give something up for 40 days or do something extra.  Given the current political climate, I’ve decided to give up negativity.  However, now that I’ve imposed a giant looming stop watch onto my fashion critiquing, allow me to purge my negativity while there’s still time.   In the spirit of saving the best for last, it seems fitting to begin with this atrocity:

Did she steal a page from Scarlet O’Hara’s playbook and tear down her dining room drapes to fashion this dress?

When Dakota Johnson emerged onto the carpet in this Gucci number I emitted a high-pitch squeal that only dogs and ghosts could hear.  Somehow this photo is forgiving her a few sins but note that despite its pretty and appropriate color, this dress was too long, too wrinkled, and most egregiously sported that ridiculous bow.  Toss in the un-glamorous and unflattering hair and the drab make up and you know what you get?  A HELL NO!

Bows should have gotten an Oscar for Leading Nemesis last night.  First Dakota and then this:

I love Leslie Mann.  Love.  She is adorable and funny.  And so I feel agitated that this dress was im-Posened on her.  (See what I did there?  The dress is by Zac Posen and he, well, okay, you get it.)  I don’t know if Zac was inspired by the upcoming feature film Beauty in the Beast but this appears to be some weird wrinkled version of Belle’s dress.  Hell No.

 

Even the background and carpet are in overt agreement that she should win.

As Lent would dictate, let’s turn the other cheek and begin to appreciate all that was good on the carpet last night.  Despite the overall absence of color and heavy reliance on metallics several women still stunned.  But to be honest, I wasn’t calling for smelling salts over any one of the dresses.  Instead, my favorite looks were the sum of all parts.  My most favorite (and a perfect example of the equation I reference) was Emma Stone.  She brought so much gravity to her big moment with her flawless hair and make up.  Her Givenchy dress was quite pretty but, for me, it was more about how every element came together. To steal a word from her acceptance speech she was a confluence of old Hollywood glamour, modern beauty, and charisma.  Standing O for her overall look and for her big win!

Speaking of Emma and flawless hair and make up…

Proving that it doesn’t hurt to have Julia Roberts in your gene pool.

I wasn’t a fan of Emma Roberts’s Armani Prive gown and so I won’t bother to feature it (and her chest-thong), but her head was perfection and I’d be remiss not to comment on it.  Standing O for her stupendous hair and make-up (and natural beauty of course).

 

Sheer elegance.

Hailee Steinfeld wore an extremely sheer Ralph and Russo dress that was very pretty but would not have bowled me over had her make up and hair not agreed with it so perfectly.  Overall, though, she was luminous and abounded with modern elegance.  Standing O!

 

Don’t get me wrong, this black Dior is classic and lovely but it is not earth shattering; And it would not have catapulted Kirsten Dunst onto my best dressed list had she not supplied the incredible body, gorgeous make up and hair, and understated but completely on point necklace.  Standing O for taking a simple look and elevating it to greatness!

 

Who me??

There is something very Alexis Colby about Taraji P Henson in this Alberta Ferretti.  Taraji looks like she could just as easily toss a glass of champagne in someone’s face as she could accept an Oscar.  Her gown is elegant but the success of this look is a testament to the attitude which she is bringing to that slit and that neckline.  Bonus points for her new shorter hair – tousled, modern, and gorgeous!  Standing O!

I wasn’t a fan of Ryan Gosling’s ruffled tux shirt last night yet I cannot callously omit him from my post like the Academy did from the Best Leading Actor win.  So here’s a shot from La La Land where his sartorial game soared:

I will take refuge in this photo when mid-Lent my resolve starts to waiver and I feel the urge to dissect a look ungenerously.  With great looks, Ryan, comes great responsibility and you will need to help see me through.

Standing O or Hell No: The Grammys 2017

If awards season is a marathon and the Golden Globes is fashion responding to the starting pistol, then the Grammys is fashion at mile 19 clutching its heart and wondering where all the oxygen went.  Except for a few ladies, most choices seemed to be the product of extreme hypoxia to the brain.

Adele looked exceptional in a green Givenchy (above) nailing fit and color simultaneously.  Also nailing the Big Win.  Standing O!

I rarely like this kind of a thing because it often reads as unnecessarily complicated, but Chrissy Teigen owned this tie up/cut out/sheer/printed gown with fringe on the bottom and feather accents on top.  Ok, I could do without the fringe on the bottom but somehow this is a successful look and I’m not even sure how.  Sheer hotness and force of will?  Standing O!

 

I will admit that there is a slight whiff of Ice Capades around the fabric of this Zuhair Murad gown but overall Celine harnessed her exceptional poise and appeared polished and regal and pretty.  Standing O!

 

It’s concerning to me that Tom Ford would callously sacrifice so many Fraggles to make this dress.  It is unconscionable: Hell No!

If you are Rihanna and this is your NIGHT, would you be so torn about what to wear that you’d dress your bottom half for a cotillion and your top half (okay maybe top quarter) for the gym?  No, no you would not.  And Hell No, Ri Ri.

Super Bowl LI: The Halftime Show

While in this outfit, I wish she would’ve covered that song Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys.

I’m of the opinion that Gaga did herself a disservice by incorporating all of those cool drones into the beginning of her performance.  They looked like fireworks, they took the shape of the American Flag, they were a stunning sight!  I felt distinctly cheated the moment the drones took their leave and we had to focus on the actual show again.  Don’t get me wrong, Gaga WORKS when she is asked to perform.  She offers up her heart and soul and it is always evident.  But despite her hustle, I felt the performance was anticlimactic.  Typically her voice is so extraordinary that I can listen to her sing most anything but the way she did her mash-up last night, all of her songs felt like the same song with slight variations.  And then her costumes left me wanting.  Clearly, in my view, this is where the mortal sin occurred.

The Versace she opened with was definitely my favorite (I can envision a moment in time where Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and I all converge on the last of this pair of boots and have to wrestle it out. Be warned, ladies, that I am prepared to fight a legion of marauders to secure these.  Sharpen thy nails.)  But the body-suit was not that different than what we’ve seen her in a hundred times before – something sparkly and sharp shouldered.  Zzzzzz.

I’m fairly sure this image will appear in my nightmare tonight.

And then the spiky golden bolero.  When you are renowned for having donned a meat dress, this sorta fails to excite.  It’s only a hair away from what I would wear in my actual daily life.  Then she went and saved the worst for last:

This begs the time-worn question: Are fishnets ever really a good idea?

This particular ensemble inspired this thoughtful commentary from a friend’s 5 year old: Daddy, why is she wearing a Chinese food container?  From the mouth of babes!  I will say, though, that her face looks GREAT here and for that I applaud.  But in the end I guess I wanted some really fun moment – something playful and unpolitical kinda like the Beyonce/Bruno Mars dance-off from last year’s show.  Instead I walked away talking about the drones.

Standing O or Hell No: The SAG Awards

When Los Angeles secedes, they should make this dress into their flag. It is representative on so many levels.

Judging from the barrage of texts/emails I received between last night and today, many of you are seeing red.  And I am not talking about the color of the SAG carpet.  The consensus seems to be that you are largely underwhelmed by the looks that were trotted out for last night’s SAG awards.  Even the heavy-hitters disappointed (EMMA STONE – AHEM!).  I agree by-and-large but still feel there were a few truly stand-out looks that justified the 2.5 hour tv binge it took to glean them.  Case and point: my absolute favorite of the evening was Yara Shahidi.  Irrespecitve of her clothing, she is an ethereal beauty but add this resplendent Naeem Khan and she is singing in a choir of angels.  The intricate beading was arresting and made this gown the perfect choice for SAG because it had a sense of occasion and yet didn’t take itself too seriously.  The stripes and color brought levity at a time when it is much needed.  The way she worked this piece was extraordinary.  Take a peek:

Standing O!

While we are on the topic of stripes (one we are not going to depart from anytime soon), allow me to present my second favorite:

In case you needed an example, this is what confidence looks like.

Michelle Dockery was topping my chart until Yara showed up at which time I had to bump her down to number 2.  Even as runner-up she is glorious, and for many of the same reasons I cited for Yara – the color, the stripes, the levity! Perfect choice.  She looks refined and sophisticated and completely on point for the SAG red carpet thanks in large part to Elie Saab for designing this beauty.  Standing O!

Apologies for the redundancy but stripes were the hot ticket last night.  Witness Michelle Williams:

I can’t decide what shimmers more – her dress or her skin.

I adore a liquid metal dress and she/Louis Vuitton are using this concept to great effect. Her figure looks flawless as does her make up and hair (which, magically, seems to weigh in between a gold and silver color).  She is almost achingly beautiful and when I reflect on her performance in Manchester By the Sea, the word devastating comes to mind.  It’s applicable to this look and to that role in equal measures.  My only criticism is the choker.  I’ve never been a fan, and while I think that it does break up the real estate between the deep v and her head, I would’ve liked to see some sort of long and delicate chain instead.  At any rate – Standing O!

There’s simply too much negativity in the world right now and so I am opting out of a Hell No.  Instead, let’s evaluate a look that seems to be stuck in everyone’s craw (pun absolutely intended):

At this point she’s been beaten down but she needs to OWN this look because it is fabulous. In the immortal words of Taylor Swift: And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / I shake it off, I shake it off

I refuse to climb aboard the hate train where this Gucci gown is involved.  I fully support a red-head in green and this particular shade is glorious!  I also truly dig the feathers on her shoulders – they are luminous and unexpected and lovely.  And I’m not mad at her for the parrot heads – they are fun and shimmery and represent a risk which, I argue, paid off.  If I could tweak any part of this, I’d have made that a tight fitting straight skirt with a slit but these are minor details.  I love that she chose this dress at this time for this event.  She certainly has the wattage to carry it off.  Therefore I would like to request that everyone get OFF OF HER BACK (AND SHOULDERS!!) FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!  Initially I was on the fence about giving her a Standing O but feel I need to come out strong on this one since there is so much dissent.  So let me go on record: Standing O for keeping it interesting!

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