Standing O or Hell No: The VMAs

This is Stella getting her groove back. Except this is Hailee.

This is Stella getting her groove back. Except this is Hailee.

It seems to me that the MTV Video Music Awards pose a similar problem for the music world as casual Fridays pose for the corporate world:  No one is sure exactly what is appropriate to wear.  Do you dress up (it IS an awards ceremony),  or pull a stunt (people like crazy, right?), or act like you’re above it all and dress down (this is Rock n Roll for Pete’s sake).  Let’s look at a few of these different approaches and determine which failed and which prevailed.

For me, Hailee Steinfeld (above) presented most on-theme for the evening.  She wore Balmain which, by nature, is edgy yet sophisticated – two perfect notes to hit for an event celebrating contemporary music.  Also the choice to wear color was brilliant and on point.  Much of Balmain is muted and metallic and often doesn’t translate in photos as well as it does in person.  This dress sings loudly, albeit in a very lovely French accent.   Standing O!

 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

If this picture was a word, it’d be hyperbole.

Nikki Minaj also opted to dress up, though more formally than Hailee, and to do it with edge.  Let’s examine why this works (because sooooo much could’ve gone wrong here).  Clearly proportion-wise long sleeves do not make up for the fact that most of the top/sides are missing from this Bao Tranchi gown; and yet she manages to look refined.  You may argue this is because, in contrast to what she normally wears, this is relatively conservative.  However, I feel this look has independent merit – the color is glorious, the hair, make-up, and jewelry are perfectly understated and, above all, the fit is extraordinary.  Undoubtedly she presents like a music boss.  Standing O!

 

Proof that some people DO love the crazy.

Her cult following is proof that some people DO love the crazy.

A sample from Baddie Winkle’s Instagram bio: “Stealing your man since 1928.”  Hilarious and courageous but let’s face it, I’m never going to sign off on a nude bedazzled jumpsuit even if it is just a stunt – not for Kim Kardashian, not for Baddie Winkle, and not for anyone.  Hell No.

 

Alessia clearly doesn't Cara.

Alessia clearly doesn’t Cara.

If the MTV logos were not so prominently displayed in the background, I would assume this was Alessia Cara’s first-day-of-school photo except that it’s not even cute enough for the first day of school.  This looks like she’s a senior in high school, 8 months in, and has officially checked out until college begins.  Baddie Winkle might look like she’s off her rocker (metaphorically AND literally) but at least she has a sense of occasion.  No effort was expended here and that I cannot forgive.  Hell No.

Business Insider and Wardrobe Whisperer talk Trump

This man is not 7' tall as his tie suggests

This man is not 7′ tall as his tie length would like to suggest

For me, the photo above is like a red flag to a bull.  Incidentally most often Trump’s ties are red and I’m rather bullish and so you can see how I’m bringing this idiom full circle for you.  The bottom line (which, given the length of his tie, Trump does not believe in) is that this tie is too damn long.  There are many things for which to get mad at Trump, but it is my job to get mad at him for fashion and so this is my grievance.  Here’s what I told Business Insider about my feelings on this matter:

Donald Trump constantly makes one of the most offensive mistakes in men’s suiting

Shoe Blues

Aquazurra Linda Sandals2

I would cut my grandma for these Aquazurra shoes.

A few weeks ago I did a post on the dreaded plantar fascitis (micro tears in the foot) and how, frankly, it is ruining my world.  Well, dear readers, I’d love to tell you that I am STRONG and that I have OVERCOME but you all know me by now and so it will come as no surprise that I am still wallowing in my fashion grief and misery.  It’s becoming an obsession.  Instead of accepting this condition gracefully and handing over my extensive pump collection to my size 7 footed friends, I visit them (the pumps) in my closet daily as if they were prisoners.

To mix metaphors, I have become like a woman on a diet, circling the chocolate cupcakes at a party.  I spend an inordinate amount of time online and in stores drooling over shoes that will never be mine.  Want to join me?  No?  Too bad, you’re coming along anyway:

Go to hell, Dorothy.

Go to hell, Dorothy.

My first born for these shoes? I'll throw in my second born as well.

My first born for these Loubs? I’ll throw in my second born as well.

Hello, Satan? My soul is still available.

Hello, Satan? My soul is still available in exchange for these Prada python pumps.

Do you think these shoes would be as pretty if I had to wear them while riding a segway?

Do you think these Jimmy Choos would be as pretty if I had to wear them while riding a segway?

 

Standing O or Hell No: Margot Robbie

"Suicide Squad" - European Premiere - Red Carpet ArrivalsI toyed with naming this post “ferocious animals and whimsical botanicals” (which I’m also considering for the name of my first solo album). It’s a delightful concept for this Gucci gown in that it uses juxtaposition to great effect.  I’ve been staring at this piece for the better part of an hour and I have few answers for how the combination of feline, flowers, and fireflies is not TOO much embroidered together on one gown (and topped with sequins).  It’s exquisite and modern and FUN and anything but redundant.  I should also note that the fit is 100% perfect plus Margot Robbie is one of possibly only two women in Hollywood perfectly mated to this piece (the other being Diane Kruger).  Standing O, Margot, enchanté.

 

Life Hacking for Packing

bootcamp_logo2

Every year we take a week long vacation at my parents’ lake house in upstate NY.  It’s magical for many reasons, not the least of which is that we all drink heavily and pretend to watch each other’s children. (Which, of course, amounts to no one really watching any children and said children jumping wildly off the dock/various boats and not wearing life jackets.)

The other part of the magic is the backdrop and the diversity of weather that you encounter in a single day.  The mornings are temperate, the afternoons can be blazing, and the evenings are often chilly – not to mention that you are subject to crazy rainstorms at any moment in time.  This could make packing tricky but luckily, I’m a professional!  For last week’s adventure, I got myself and both kids packed in under thirty minutes and fit all of our clothing in one medium-sized suitcase.  This was a cinch given the challenge I was presented with a few weeks ago by two of my favorite LA-based clients, and the founders of Lifehack Bootcamp, Carey and Demir Gjokaj.

Carey’s and Demir’s challenge was this: to create a wardrobe for each of them for a full year that will work for all occasions (from hiking to giving presentations to meeting with clients to touring around), and span all climates since they’ll be living in Spain, Bali, Hawaii, and Columbia.  Oh!  Did I mention that each wardrobe had to fit in one CARRY-ON SIZED suitcase?  That’s right.  And, yes, we rocked it:

Travel Wardrobe Hacking with Jessica Cadmus, Wardrobe Whisperer

New Meaning for the Term Tanned Skin

alexander_mcqueen_solo

Those of us who know a lot about fashion often aren’t well-versed in sports.  For instance, if you want to know what the “infield fly rule” is or what a “double switch” is, ask my husband not me.  But although I’m firmly in the fashion camp, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that I know what “shirts vs skins” means.  And it’s not what fashion designer, Tina Gorjac, thinks.  According to Quartz, Tina “is working on a project that will use McQueen’s DNA to grow skin, which she plans to tan and turn into leather jackets and bags. The skin will even bear tattoos based on the exact ‘locations, size, and design,’of McQueen’s.”  (Silence of the Lambs, anyone??)  To be clear, it’s shirts VS skins, not skin-shirts or jackets or bags.  It’s used to denote team affiliation in a pick-up game.  I end this post very disturbed because 1) people are growing human skin to make clothing and accessories and 2) I had to explain something related to sports.  It’s clearly time for a cocktail (which will also ensure my skin will be too dry for anyone to clone it and use it to make handbags).

Swar-Ov-Skee

Andra Day wearing a vintage dress and Marchesa shoes to the BET Awards

Often I sit down to write a post and think, “I have nothing to say” – my husband wishes I had that problem- but then I start surfing the internet and immediately become enraged or enthralled by something I see.  This is how things went today, for instance:

  1. I had nothing to say
  2. I started reviewing BET dresses and decided to post re: Andra Day’s cute vintage dress (above)
  3. I got sucked into a video about Beyonce’s BET performance on US Weekly online
  4. At 1:52 in the video the hostess describes the embellishment on Bey’s bodysuit as SAVARSKI crystals
  5. HOLD THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. My real post was born

Let’s clear this up right now because it is SELDOM that I hear anyone pronounce the Austrian crystal producer, Swarovski, correctly (and this includes people in the industry who should know better).  The proper pronunciation is swar-Ov-skee, emphasis on the second syllable.  If phonetics don’t make sense to you, here’s a video with Nathalie Colin, Swarovski’s Creative Director, and Gloria Gaynor, no intro needed, and both women say Swarovski by 0:23.

Thank you, YouTube, for solving the world’s problems (and my pet peeves) yet again.

The Essential Weekender

rag&bone_weekender

Rag & Bone Flight Weekender Duffel

It has not even been two full weeks since school has let out and I already feel worn thin.  God bless you, teachers of the world, for dealing with our kids and their hyperactivity most days of the year.  When I’m not working, I find myself casting about for fun activities on a minute-to-minute basis and, friends, there’s only so much Play-Doh a mom can handle – literally and figuratively.  Which leads me to the characteristic of summer which we can collectively agree softens the blow of having the kids home all day, every damn day:  Long Weekend Get-Aways!

To boost morale, let’s talk about the bag that we will carry when said jaunts commence.  (This exercise is every bit for me as it is for you.) My current favorite weekender is the above pictured Rag & Bone Flight Duffel.  But as I know it is not eminently affordable, here’s another option to consider:

Valextra K Val 23" Weekender

Snap! Moving UP the price chain.

Oh wait! This Valextra K Val 23″ weekender is even MORE expensive than the Rag & Bone.  I seem to be headed in the wrong direction on the cost spectrum.  One last try:

Nailed It!

Nailed It!

This fun Want Les Essentiels Hartsfield bag is not only more affordable than the other two options, it’s also on sale!  BAM!

Plantar Fascism/itis

merengue

Merengue shoe by Dr Scholl

If you are a believer in everything-happens-for-a-reason (this type of kool-aid is typically not my flavor) then perhaps your interpretation of my getting plantar fasciitis is somewhat sunnier than mine. Mine, of course, is that it’s a cruel, cruel world that decides a wardrobe stylist should no longer wear high heels. It makes me feel like Chris Farley in the Herlihy Boy skits: For the love of all that is good and holy LET ME WEAR HIGH HEELS!

As usual, I digress.  Back to you and your interpretation which is likely that I am experiencing extreme foot pain so that I can do a shoe edit for those of you who, like me, walk like they are 98 years old. Without further ado, here are all the sandals (in addition to the ones above) that I’ve bought and tried and can tolerate without a limp:

tortuga

Elie Tahari tortuga wooden soled clogs

snake

Vince snake skin laceless sneakers

Dr. Scholl’s for J.Crew

Dr. Scholl’s for J.Crew in gingham

 

Pretty Shi**y

Dolce & Gabbana lemon one piece

Dolce & Gabbana lemon one piece

My kids are really into rhyming words right now.  Mostly they use actual words but what really cracks them up is when they rhyme one real word with (what they think is) one made-up word.  Like turtle purtle or giant friant or, my 3.5 year old’s favorite: fuc*y ducky.  I’m pretty sure her teachers will be reluctant to file that one under “kids say the darndest things” and so I was presented with an immediate dilemma: do I tell her not to use that word (thus causing her to use it all the more) or do I pretend it wasn’t said and hope she’ll never say it again?  I went with the latter and as you may’ve guessed it’s not going so well.  I’m pretty much sitting by the phone waiting for her pre-school director to ring.  While I wait, let’s take a look at some pretty things over which I am currently obsessing and which I may have to buy to ease the pain of my child getting kicked out of pre-school:

Gianvito Rossi gold and lucite pumps

Gianvito Rossi gold and lucite pumps

 

Valentino lock mini shoulder bag

Valentino lock mini shoulder bag

D&G foliage print midi dress

D&G foliage print midi dress

My true love: Cartier juste un clou bracelet

My true love: Cartier juste un clou bracelet

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