Friday, February 17, 2012

Best Tressed

This month in Bazaar, Naomi Campbell is wearing one of my favorite haircuts.

Paulina had it, in the 1980s:

and Taylor Swift has it now:

Back in the 1980s, when I wore bangs/fringe, I didn't try this look because I didn't have/know about straighteners.  But now, I'm tempted!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soccer Mums 2012 by Victoria Beckham

I don't like the word "Mom"; never have, never will.  I grew up with "Mum," which has a softer sound, unlike the foghorn-esque "Mawm" sound of the former. 

Add "soccer" as an adjective, and I bristle. 

Not because I am uncomfortable with the concept of mothers taking their children to and fro soccer games, but because the term's used in a dismissive way.  (And women who kindly chauffeur their children are pretty bloody cool, in my mind.)

Having a son who plays soccer has opened up a world of soccer gear to me, especially soccer jerseys (I once found myself irrationally full of desire for a man's hot pink goalkeeper's jersey, with quilted elbows, size XL). 

But once I come to my senses, I realize that I do not want to trot around like Sporty Spice, unless I'm actually kicking a ball. 

However, for those of us who love athletic wear, Victoria Beckham has designed a terrific series of dresses that borrows stripes and collars from soccer jerseys.

Ahh, the perfect pointy collar!

 Would these indulge your secret inner soccer star? Mum's the word!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Best in Shoe

This year at the Westnminster Kennel Club Show 2012,

six new breeds were entered in the competition,

including the Norwegian Lundehund

and the Cesky Terrier. 

Dolce and Gabbana is following in those footsteps (paw-steps?) as it has entered a new type of shoe in the informal-yet-hotly contested design competition to make the most memorable spring/summer footwear.

Combining heritage scarf prints, a platform wedge heel, a certain astronaut-boot sensibility, and a scarf wrap-and-knot, this unusual piece of footwear might be best known as a scarfoe (pronounced scarfoo).

But if I really want to think of the connection between shoes and the Westminster Show (as I have been known to do), this year I will simply reflect on darling Malachy, with those soulful eyes that charmed me, as well as the judge, Cindy Vogels, to win Best in Show. 

I might not wear the scarfoes, but make me a pair of Malachy-inspired fuzzy slippers, and they're on!

Governness Chic, Redux

Just finished (teaching) Jane Eyre, using the edition below.

Wish I had this dress by L'Wren Scott

--a perfect example of postmodern governess chic--

to wear while contemplating the text.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adele and Kate's Dress

When I watched the Grammys the other night,

Adele's dotty dress and overall look . . .

reminded me of Kate Winslet, in this dress:

but with this hair:

Oddly enough, I cannot find an image of Kate in a proper bouffant. 

There's Cheryl Cole,

Drew Barrymore,

Kylie Minogue, etc. 

But I feel that Kate should have one, somewhere.  Over to you, gentle readers . . .

P.S.: I prefer Adele's dress; never did agree with the fuss people were making over the Stella worn by Kate.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Farewell, Whitney Elizabeth Houston

When did you first hear of Whitney Houston?  When she starred in The Bodyguard? When she put out her first album?  When she modelled for Seventeen magazine?

My first memory is of her photos in Seventeen and I recall being surprised when I read that she was going to release an album.  I guess that, way back in my teenage years, I thought that people were locked into their careers: once a model, only a model.

But I was enlightened (and chastened, of course) as soon as I heard Whitney's voice: it ranged from strong alto to confident soprano, and she could soar between the two without adding (that distracting) melisma, so pure and true was her sound.

Whitney's first album cover in 1985 reminded me of a shot she might have taken for Seventeen, yet it was more sophisticated than her previously girlish photos:

First album cover, 25th anniversary edition

When she released her 2009 album, largely considered a "comeback," I noted how carefully its cover image echoed that first album, perhaps in an attempt to reintroduce the singer or to play on that earlier innocence.  Was this image again reaching for sophistication--something Whitney definitely once had, having misplaced it along the way? 

Last night I learned that Whitney's middle name is Elizabeth. Just knowing that detail made her less of a brand for me, less WhitneyHouston and more Whitney Elizabeth. 

And although I loved WhitneyHouston's voice, I will think often of Whitney Elizabeth, the little girl from Newark, New Jersey, who loved to sing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is Mr. Gurung *the* Designer to Watch? Prabal-y!

UPDATED below with photo . . .

This afternoon I watched Prabal Gurung's Fall 2012 fashion show via live stream.  One of my former students was photographing the event, and it was terrific to see him in action.

Gurung's show was a lovely display of living ombre: first the designer sent out models with the darkest hair, wearing black, then with brown hair wearing blues, and then gold-to platinum blondes wearing copper, gold, and white.

His final parade brought out all the models, which showed off the beautifully graduated tones of the clothes and hair.

The middle section of ombre

My favorites: a black caped trouser suit that opened the show (and how I love the Philip Treacy for Prabal Gurung hat):

all of the light dresses (some of which had sparkly faux cut-outs at the waist) worn with gold Nicholas Kirkwood shoes:
The shoes sit on a sparkly platform

and this dark dress, with Kirkwoods in black:

My favorite audience member: the stunning Elettra Wiedemann,

whose natural beauty shone in her decidedly individual ensemble: a skinny white blazer over what I believe were these pants:

And here's the lovely photographic evidence: