Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two shoes in one? I didn't know it was possible.

Shoe find of the holiday season, and it's recession-proof (well, sorta) to boot: it's Badgley Mischka's 4 1/2 inch, peep-toe, concealed platform, sequined pump.  And it's reversible.

You heard me right, reversible.  The shoe comes in black or navy, both of which have sequined upper parts which can be reversed to silver.  Simply amazing. For $200, yes, it may seem like a little bit of a shoe splurge to some, but think of it as getting two shoes for two hundred.  Makes it a little less ouch on the wallet, and you're sure to dazzle at holiday parties and on New Year's.  And, if you're a winter bébé like me, on your birthday.


Buy the dazzler here: http://www.endless.com/dp/B002C4JJJU/ref=asc_df_B002C4JJJU947280?tag=dealtime-endless-20&creative=380333&linkCode=asn&creativeASIN=B002C4JJJU.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A little weekend update

Good morning and happy Sunday! We're now one week away from Halloween - can ya dig it?

This past weekend marked my first weekend out since having the stomach flu somethin' awful, and here (briefly) is what I noticed:

1. While at a wedding in Chanute, Kansas, I had a Christian Louboutin spotting. Well, I never! Oooh la la - so exciting!

2. Wwoofing - what my sister is taking her gap year and doing in New Zealand and Europe - is officially chic. Spotted in the pages of Vogue, models posed in over-the-knee Wellies and looked their fiercest while working the organic farms. Somehow I don't see little sis farming in Jimmy Choo's though. . .

3. Thanks to the 80's comeback, my mom's "vintage" closet is officially a la mode again. Yay mommy! Sheer tights also make a comeback and I'm loving the look of swiss dot and lined hosiery. So ladylike!

4. Another note to mommy: trench coats will never, ever go out of style. I say this, after she barraged me with texts the night before the wedding, questioning her ensemble, asking to borrow my own raincoat, in case of showers. I said, mother, mine's a trench too, natch.

5. I'm buying my first pair of legwarmers since ballet in the early 90's today, and after I wear them with my awesomely 80's My Little Pony costume, I'm going to spend the winter with them peeking out of my boots. I love the look! And it works perfectly with fall's uber-layered look.

There you have it! Nothing much, but brevity, my dears, is the soul of wit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Digitally Altered Models - the Ralph Lauren ad seen 'round the world sparks talks of warning labels on photos

Ahh fashion photography. Already, it attempts to fool us with ideas of supernatural beauty and, ahem, fitness, thanks to talented teams of makeup artists, lighting specialists, hair stylists, and wardrobe stylists with clips and pins, not to mention the computer airbrush geniuses who swipe away cellulite, blemishes, and makeup lines with the click of a button. And now, though we've seen it before once or twice, for Ralph Lauren, this seems to include erasing a model's hips, indeed, her entire lower half. Now that's some crash diet.

If you haven't seen the photo yet, well, my apologies for the frequent technical difficulties which currently prohibit me from posting a picture, but see http://ethicist.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/should-photos-come-with-warning-labels/ for the original ad (you might also read their very interesting article, but don't forget to come back! S'il te plais).

Appalling, no? Search me how the big wigs at Ralph Lauren thought they could pass this off as the body of a real human being. Nobody is made like that, nor should the be; I think it'd be impossible to walk, let alone, hold your torso and head up. But what is the solution? Is it a ban on such doctored photos, as Britain's leaders suggest? Or would warning labels do the trick, as suggested by the French?

It's a tricky area, especially, as the Times points out, what with free speech and freedom of expression and all that whathaveyou we have here, but I wonder too, if I suffered from an eating disorder, or worse than the normal, fleetng concerns of body image, would some words of warning be enough to keep me healthy? Or would the sight of the impossibly tiny woman, along with the thought that there are people out there - people in fashion, Hollywood, people at Ralph Lauren, chic, beautiful people - who think that this is what's beautiful, overcome any well-thought out words to warn me it's not? Quel contradiction.

The well of body image issues runs deep, and though I am fortunate never to have suffered from anorexia or bulemia, or any other such disease, I was a teenage girl once. One who once stood in a dressing room with her own, slender, lithe mother with the legs for days, trying on bikinis, in the midst of puberty, only to hear "oh, dear, I'm afraid you're going to have your father's family's thighs." I was a soccer player. I had strong legs and until that moment had never doubted them.

Luckily, I managed to escape with only occasional worryment as to my size, but I wonder sometimes how I was so lucky, what with the plentiful waifs decorating even the pages of Seventeen. Being petite and active, yet curvy did admittedly garnish me some attention from boys, so I think perhaps this helped - helped me to realize that healthy and thin was one thing, too too skinny another, not necessarily good thing. And being active, fit, and feeling strong helped me find that strength from within.

But to get back to the point, these issues lie well beyond the realm of words. As a writer, I like to believe of course in the immense power of words. But I think that in situations such as these, the idea and the image, which already hold so much power even before an ad such as this, may triumph. You can tell yourself, and others can tell you, what is real and what's not, but the fact remains that even a model's beautiful body is not tiny or perfect enough.

That speaks wonders to me; we have moved beyond holding a model as an ideal - now a literally unattainable body type is being leveraged before us.

Personally, I don't know what the solution is. I understand, from the viewpoint of the desgner, the purpose of models needing a tall, slender frame; they serve as a hanger, for the garments to drape off of. One could always argue that if the clothes are meant to be worn by real women, then they should displayed by real women. But I hate that term, "real women," because models are real women too. There are plenty of women, like my mother, with naturally thin bodies and they shouldn't be discriminated against either. But, and this is old hat now, what should be discouraged are unnaturally thin physiques.

So now we've come full-circle, with no solution still. Much of this is nothing that hasn't been said before, but, well, I suppose we can't stop the outcry until change in the opposite direction occurs. Because right now, Ralph, you're moving us in the wrong way. And, while I'm at it, please think of - if nothing else - the message you're sending to your own beautiful daughter.

The model, by the way, was fired shortly after the original hullabaloo, for failing to meet her contract. As a commenter on the Times post said, yes, she was a size 4 but contractually obligated to remain a size 2. But after seeing the alterations made to her, it seems as though a size 2, even a very tall size 2, was even viewed as too big.

Monday, October 12, 2009

But will it catch on? Not for me. I neither die nor go bananas for the new phrase.

OOC, for all you not-so-into-Zoe, is Out of Control.

As in, Brad, that vintage Dior trench is OOC. Out of Control on you. You have to get it. It's bananas.

Which he did, after the Zoe offered him a raise so he could afford it, because, really, how many vintage Dior trench coats do you find in Paris? That fit you like a glove?

Bless her heart, I wish I had a boss like that.

Other Paris highlights included a personal tour of Mme Chanel's personal apartments.

Some not so Parisian highlights included a typically miffed Taylor seeking advice from her identically black Rayban and leather jacket bearing mother. I die.

Aaaand the season finale wraps it up tonight, with the return to sunny LA, some words from Taylor to Zoe, more fashion fab, and probably some more OOC exclamations.

As Rodger put it, "What, are we text speaking? Omg, OOC?"

Come on, Miss Rachel. You already have Hollywood and the fashion world at your fingertips. The other Zoeisms were cute and all, but you don't need a new one every season. That's just too much to expect from one little Zoe! (especially, as hinted in the finale teaser, if your doctor is urging you to take down the stress level in your life, and hopefully, put on a few pounds.)

But, you know, we love you anyway.

Watch the season finale of the Rachel Zoe Project tonight, on Bravo, at 10 / 9 pm.