Thursday, August 31, 2006

Project Runway: High Flying Fashion

Or as I like to call it, Sponsorpalooza '06!! Whoo hoo!

Good times.

I joined the program a little late for the previouslies as I watched the pure Jerry-Bruckheimer-filth fest that was Justice on Fox. Let's just say that everyone in that show deserves to be disbarred. Especially Jack from Dawson's Creek. For shame!

But...let me sum it up by saying, everyone liked Robert and it was so sad to see him go and Jeffery is a mommy-hater, but more on that later.

Bring on the product placements!

We open to Kayne stretching in the semi-buff in the Atlas apartment (also known as, no real estate in New York is free, just call it a hotel with a kitchen). This has become a theme with Bravo. Who ever stretches half naked in the opening sequence has a rough time in the upcoming episode. See generally Jeffrey in Project Runway: Everyday Woman.

Also we hear Uli and Laura rapping about Laura's bun-in-the-oven. Laura continues to be all, Whatevs, the nanny is on the payroll and I've got her visa held hostage, so I'll crank out as many as my husband can fertilize.

Then Heidi gets back on the runway and I find myself wishing that she had taken her own sponsor's product and put on a bra.

They do a model selection and two of them leave. The redhead is all jumpy that Kayne kept her around and then Bravo tries to make us care about the models. No dice. Heidi tells them that the challenge is to design for an "international jet setter." Angela gasps and grins like her mother just showed up again. This becomes a theme of Angela overacting at every chance she gets during this episode. Laura grins and is all, me-me-me-me-me. Kayne starts talking about Tara Reid and I get that sick knot in my stomach. No, not just the one I get when I think of Tara Reid. The one where I have a bad feeling that I know who is going home this episode.

Back in the Sweatshop, Tim reveals that the jet setter they will be designing for is THEM! Ooooh, a twist! And they only get $75. Cheap-O.

They start sketching

A trip to Mood. Some questionable fabric choices (yes, Kayne, I mean you). Back to the Sweatshop.

Working working working.

Then Jeffrey starts needling Angela.

Now, at this point I would like to clarify my feelings about Jeffrey/Angela and the mom situation. I think the Jeffrey is an ass for the things he said to Angela's mom and for sending her down that runway in that piece of poo dress. However, I don't feel bad for Angela and I don't like her any more.

Jeffrey starts talking about "the challenge" and how horrible it was for him, really loudly but always with the caveat that he's not talking about Angela's mom, just the Challenge. Riiight. And the Pope is really Jewish. Angela gets pissy and they whole things starts up again.

Honestly, I'm over it. Show me dresses baby!

Tim comes in to save the day. He appears cool with Uli's outfit, fine with Laura's, sort-of 'eh' on Michael's, nonplussed by Vincent's (who is totally cheating by copying the pants he's wearing and FREAKING ME OUT by working in his boxers), concerned with Angela's, ecstatic in totally laid back Tim way about Jeffrey's and extremely concerned with Kayne's.

Back at the Atlas ranch, Michael is trying to show Kayne how to walk like a male model. Kayne tries to emulate but comes up a little short. He sums it up by referencing the fact that while Michael is from "ghetto," he is from "white trash." Hey Kayne, just so you know, we call it the trailer park, not "white trash."

Then it's a little sleepy-sleepy time and off to the runway! At 10:30 pm! This is like a PR world record.

Oh! The guest judge is Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein. Mmmmm, looove Calvin Klein lately. Am excited, but it turns out that we don't really get a whole lot from him.

While the designers get ready with their fully sponsored L'Oreal makeup and Tresemme hair products, we are treated to some granny panty/gynecomastia shots. Sweet.

Coming down the runway, here are my impressions:

Uli: Great mixed pattern dress, but I agree with the judges, been there, drank that, seen this.

Vincent: So whatever I don't know what to say. There are dudes at Smith Point who dress better than this. And that says a lot. At least I didn't get a shot of Little Vincent while he was working in his undies.

Michael: Loved the seersucker cargo pants with the hip hop vibe, basically, Michael has yet to do wrong by me. Blinders are firmly attached, and I don't care.

Angela: Holy Jesus, lay off the rosettes. I mean seriously? Highlighting your ass with them? Making the straps of your floppy tank top with them? What the...??? I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around what this obsession is. Is there a DSM-IV diagnosis for granny-circle mania? If not, get it a CPT code and get Angela to therapy. OMG. And her outfit sucked.

Kayne: Poor Kayne. Poor Poor Kayne. It was like a butterfly vomited all over Johnny Cash and then gave his outfit to a club kid at Tunnel on gay night. Poor poor Kayne.

Jeffrey: I thought Jeffrey's outfit was great. I thought he looked great, I thought the outfit looked like him, I think he deservedto win. I could have lived without the buttons on the crotch, but at least he wasn't wandering around in his boxers like some other designers (hint, hint!)

Laura: I thought this was better from Laura. Still with the plunging neck and the classic colorlessness, but at least a little swingy and I liked the sash knot. I would have prefered another color on someone so pale, but c'est la vie, y'know?

Oh, wait, did you like that foreshadowing? I've got plenty where that came from.

Because Heidi tells they they are jet setting! Right now! They want to see if their outfits hold up to TSA strip searches! But they won't find out where they are going until they get to the airport.

So they furiously pack and hop a van to JFK (umm, real jet setters hop the helicopter to Teeterboro) with their Orbitz sponsored tickets. They get to the airport and find out that they are hopping a flight to Paris! In first class! Laura talks about how clearly she is relieved that she doesn't have to stoop.

Now, let's pause here for one minute. I know this is TV, but COME ON! It takes at least twenty minutes to get to JFK from the city at 4 am on a Tuesday. Then they get to the airport and it is EMPTY. There is no one wanding Jeffrey's crotch over his little spangles, no making Kayne take off his nameplate rhinestone belt buckle. No one seems to bat an eyelash that they didn't know where they were going and didn't seem to care. Maybe I have just lived in DC too long but this would scream CODE ORANGE to me. Uh, paging Tom Ridge to the Bravo board meeting.

Fine, I'll stop.

So they fly to Paris with surprise guest companion Tim (totally great spinoff show where Tim Gunn just pops up in people's lives for about twenty minutes, I'm just saying) on a totally empty flight! Fine fine, I'll stop.

They get off the plane and are whisked away to Parsons Paris in the 15th where they quickly realize that someone is getting a roundtrip to CDG awfully soon. Catherine Malandrino shows up to deliver the bad news. Because nothing sounds icier than getting the shaft in a French accent.

And who gets it???


I totally thought Kayne was going down in the purple flames on his back, but they mercifully cut Angela instead. Ahhh, sweet relief washed over me.

NOW I'm excited for the rest of the show.

So, did you notice that L'Oreal had a new commercial? Apparently eyeliner is IN. And there is something called a smoky eye that is all the rage with the kiddies! INC has unfortunately not followed suit and continues to bore me with that sad runway show and obnoxious song which is on repeat in my head.

Also, Daniel V trolls the Piers looking to pick up a little inspiration. Just a tip for any tourists coming to New York, I know something else you can pick up at the Piers.

That's right. VD.

And on that happy note, don't forget to check out Tim's Take and Blogging Project Runway.

PS. I gave up on trying to post pictures because Blogger hates my guts. Sorry!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Besame Mucho

One of my favorite underrated soundtracks is the one from Great Expectations.

And yes, I mean the Ethan Hawke/Gwyneth Paltrow version.

The movie is pretty whatever...but the soundtrack rocks. One favorite song from the disc is the song, Besame Mucho by Cesaria Evora.

So I got my Meg's Makeup package with a set from the cosmetics company Besame, and now that song has been stuck in my head ever since.

That can really sour you on something, y'know?

Luckily, the makeup was pretty sweet.

Meg sent over the Luxurious Trio set in cool, which comes with a little bullet lipstick, translucent powder, and a blush. While I rarely use powder (face it, it's just too much work for me and I am such a klutz that I just end up with powder all over my apartment) and the pink shade of lipstick was a little off for my complexion, the blush is a clear winner.

First of all, Besame's packaging is adorable, full of swoopy swirls and flowers, totally reminiscent of a time before grunge and low rise jeans. Second of all, the blush (I'm sorry, Boudoir Rouge) is this fantastic light rose color (sweet pink to be exact) which matches my complexion perfectly.

I typically use a Nars blush, either Sin or Orgasm, both of which contain sparkles, but the Besame Boudoir Rouge is a classic matte. While I enjoy a little sparkle in my life and on my cheeks (who doesn't?), this was a nice change of pace.

The powder is soft and goes on smoothly, and gives me just a hint of a flush.

Very flirty. Very man-killer.

Miss Havisham would be proud.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Project Runway: Everyday Woman

So this is the episode where we aren't allowed to say anything mean. I think of the distinction between picking on the contestants in the show and their mothers like the public figure doctrine of First Amendment defamation law. Basically, the premise is that if you put yourself out there as a public figure, it's game on when it comes to getting picked on. But when it comes to your mother....hands off.

If you happen to be a huge nerd like me, you can check out the Falwell v. Hustler case for an obviously more eloquent interpretation of the case law. Or rent "The People Versus Larry Flynt."

So, on previouslies: The designers had to work with trash! But it was really clean, PC, enviro-friendly trash. Allison got kicked off despite Vincent's insane-asylum-escapee routine. The world learned a little Yiddish.

Back at the ranch, Jeffrey stretches and laments that Allison was his best friend and that he will miss her most of all. This is clearly a set up for the fact that he will have difficulties during this challenge. Michael is politely enjoying his second victory, and no one seems to mind because everyone likes Michael and he is clearly going to be in the final three, if not winning the whole enchiladas.

Heidi scoots up to the runway and informs the designers that they will be designing for the "everyday woman." Then the "models" come out and they are the designers' moms and sisters!! Angela shrieks as if they somehow resurrected her mother from the grave for this challenge. Everyone else smiles and looks happy. Angela cranks up the waterworks, as does Laura, which is kind of a surprise, given her previous Tin-Man personna. But hormones are a bitch, as we later find out.

I heard there was some speculation that the challenge in this episode would be to design for Rachael Ray, given that her magazine references the every day thing. Let's just say I was extremely happy this was not the case. I would rather scratch my eyeballs out with a spoon and then pour EVOO in the sockets than watch her ruin Project Runway.

But there is a twist! Each designer must pick a different mother/sister to design for! The horrors!!

They all pick and seem relatively happy except when Heidi pulls out the last button (why pull it out? you know what name is on it) so that Jeffrey can "pick" Angela's mom. As Jeffrey says in his interview, "It's like God got drunk." Angela looks like she is about to burst into more tears, because she is obviously a daughter who is clearly over protective of her mother and envisions that if Jeffrey designs for her, her mother will spiral down into the pit of despair or something.

Then Tim tells them before they have to sketch and sew their little hearts out, they are going to a party! At Tavern on the Green! (warning! don't eat the food!) With Michael Kors! And his mom! Who looks exactly like MK!

They drink champagne and the secrets tumble out.

Obviously the moms were told to bring baby pictures and we learn that Jeffrey was nerdy as a teenager, but ended up an alkie junkie on the street. This only serves to enhance the feeling that things will not go well for Jeffrey during this challenge. We also learn that Michael was adorable, of course, and that Kayne was a chubster!

We also find out that Laura is preggers! Much to the surprise of her mother, which is the best part of this scenario. We also learn that she likes to keep her children in a "heap," that she doesn't care how many she has, and that her husband has the best swimmers on the Upper East Side. Like laser beams to her eggs! They should study him at Cornell's fertility center or something.

Anyhoo, back to the Sweatshop for a little destruction of the designers' dreams as to what they will be able to do. They shop and the sewing begins.

Tim comes around to check on the progress. Michael and Uli are making fabulous things as usual. Angela and Laura's mom are a total mismatch, and Laura's mom is intent on torpedoing Angela if at all possible. Robert has a stream of loser talk spewing from his mouth like the Nile. I begin to get the sinking feeling I know who is going home.

Vincent seems to be talking to Uli's mom like she's retarded and deaf. Hello! She is German, she can still hear and her English is probably better than yours. Kayne has a lot of work to do and Laura is making some kind of cruise outfit for Jeffrey's mom, who is totally put together and chic. Shocker!

Then things go horribly wrong. The moms/sisters come in and immediately Angela's mom and Jeffrey get into a tiff. She hates the fabric and the colors, telling Tim that she has never worn periwinkle. Seriously? I think she could look really good in periwinkle. Jeffrey gets mad defensive and starts being really mean to Angela's mom. Look, I don't like Angela either and I do think her mother was being kind of weird about the whole challenge and passive aggressive about it, but this is her MOM. There is really no call for being nasty to her. Jeffrey's mom tries to smooth everything over, but it's a no go.

After some sponsored product placement makeup and hair shots, with a little dash of Angela telling her mom to submarine Jeffrey, it's on to the runway show!

Now, I did think this challenge was a little unfair because some people had to work with moms who were plus sized and some people got models who could actually be models. However....

Michael's dress was totally cute. Robert's sister is also a major hottie! I could see her being a big inspiration when he designs things for Barbie. But at the same time, I think he got off a little easy.

Vincent's dress was very plain. However, Uli's mom clearly knows how to work it (I guess it's that "European air" she somehow has. It's almost as if she is FROM Europe. Weird, huh?) and he ends up winning. Merciful god, drunk as he may be, there is no immunity for this win.

Uli totally should have won. TOT-AL-LY. Her outfit was interesting, slimming, well made and it made Kayne's mom look great. Methinks that the producers might have exercised a little shady power in having Vincent win. If you believe this, check out Tim's Take where he expresses his clear disapproval of the winner selection. Politely, of course. Stick it to the man, Tim!

Laura's outfit made Jeffrey's mom look like a stewardess. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Angela's outfit for Laura's mom was completely bizarre. When did Audrey Hepburn wear fringe? Did I miss a scene in Funny Face or something? Why all black? Why pants under a wrap? And I'm sorry, but is that another fricking rosette?? I'm about to lose it with this chick. Seriously about to leap into the television and smack her around. And WHAT is up with the bubble skirts she wears?? She has them in like twenty patterns!! Arghhh!!!

Ok, I'm back, I took an Valium from my boss' desk (just kidding...or am I?)

So Kayne's outfit for Michael's mom was a little mumsy. Whatevs, bigger fish to fry in this episode.

Jeffrey's dress for Angela's mom was truly awful. It looked awful and I don't know where on Earth it would have looked good on anyone. I get that this is not his thing, but this was really bad. And poor Angela's mom kept pulling at her sleeves and the waist. It was a little painful to watch actually.

Robert's dress for Vincent's sister was just very plain. When she said she likes red and black, I thought, couldn't you at least have a pattern, or something? Also, I'm not sure if it was just my television (which I'm sure it's not, actually, since my boyfriend did research for eight months before buying the TV to make sure it was the best one possible. And I'm not kidding.) but the red color was eye searingly bright. And my eyes haven't fully recovered from last week.

Basically, I felt that this was Robert's time to go. I think he kind of gave up, since the judges kept picking on him week after week. Which is really too bad, because I keep thinking about that first dress with the white and the red sash and the necklace built in and wanting to have it remade for me.

I guess I'll have to wander the aisles of Toys R Us to see what he's up to now...

Also! My favorite part of the episode, other than Laura's mom's mouth hanging agape at the news that her daughter was pregnant AGAIN at FORTY-TWO, was when Heidi busts out the German to talk to Uli's mom. My translation:

Heidi to Uli's mom: You know that Vincent's a total fruitcake, right? You should have seen the crap he sent down the runway the past challenges. You got so lucky with this POS.

Uli's mom: Oh yeah! Totally wacko! He talks to me like I'm an idiot then puts me in this totally plain dress with a tan collar. Ugh, my daughter is totally going to win this thing, right?

Heidi to Uli's mom: Well, she will if I have anything to say about it. But the producers have us by the balls, y'know? Also, like my Cartier jewelry? Seal gave it to me as a push present. It's French, but those surrender monkeys make great stuff!

Uli's mom: You are so right, rock on sister.

Heidi to other judges: I was asking if she liked her dress...she does.

You know the drill: Tim's Take, Blogging Project Runway and the Entertainment Weekly interview with Robert are fabulous tools of procrastination.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eye Light, Eye Bright, First Eye I See Tonight

I was recently up in New York visiting the fam and had the occasion to be putting on makeup with my younger sister.

Suddenly, she whips out this chunky pink pencil and starts waving it around.

"Have you ever used this???" she asked me.

Well, first I told her to stop waving it around so I could see what it is.

Eye Bright, from Benefit, she tells me...voice dripping with the fragrant potpurri of condescension and superiority.

Ahhh, yes, I say. I was into Benefit when you were just a fetus and you could only order through their catalog on the East Coast! You put it around the edges of your eyes to highlight them.

My sister shakes her head. "Well, I use it under my eyes to lighten the dark circles." And as a recent college grad, she knows from dark circles.

So, I ask, do you put it under or over your concealer?

You would have thought I just asked who that Britney Spears person was and why do all the 'youngsters' like her so much.

"I don't use a concealer," she replies. "Here, try it."

And so I did. Apparently she was right! It gives a little *pop* to the shadow under my eyes so when I stopped by Sephora to pick up a Rosebud tin for my boyfriend (he KEPT taking mine!!) I bought myself an Eye Bright.

I still think I need a little concealer on those rough days, but I'm an old lady.

Those kids today!

I taught her everything she knows.

Friday, August 18, 2006

If It's Broke...Well...Do Something

I visited my hair stylist a few months ago for a cut before a big reunion.

Wait, let me pause for a minute to praise. I have been going to Paul at Serenity Day Spa in Tenleytown since I moved to DC from New York four years ago. He rocks. I have referred many to him and nary a complaint. He always does a genius job with my cut and has been the only person to ever highlight my hair.

I was one of those people who prided herself on her "great natural color." Yeah, right, highlights are awesome.

He also has great hairstylist gossip about the people from Blowout and digs big HDTVs.

But I was there sitting in the chair, gabbing about who-knows-what, and Paul asks me..."Do you wear your ponytail here?" and points to an area right in the middle of my head.

I do.

Yeah....he replies, you have a lot of breakage there.

I feel so awful!! So ashamed! Breakage? How could this happen to me??

Paul explained that it is most likely due to me tying the ponytail too tightly, but I have no choice except give up working out (which I would normally be totally down for, but I have all these clothes to fit into and can't afford to buy all new ones when I gain all that weight). My hair is really fine, so it's tie it tight or the holder slips out as soon as I start moving.

So I picked up Pantene's new Restoratives Breakage Defense Shampoo and Conditioner to try to help with situation. It promised up to 90% less breakage in a month.

How they came up with this I have no clue.

There is no data, no peer reviewed independent studies.

So, they were okay....

Not great. Not any better than the regular Pantene for color treated hair.

My shame continues, so if you have found any breakage solutions, I'm all ears...which, incidentally, is right around where the breakage is.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Project Runway: Waste Not, Want Not

Ugh...I'm going to call this episode: the time my retinas were singed right out of my head.

Seriously, there was so much ugly in this episode, I don't know what to do with myself.

In previouslies, models can be scary!! Especially when they throw their whole 100 lbs at something and claw at it with their birdlike hands. Talons, I tell you! Bradley doesn't know who Cher is and that automatically disqualifies you from winning anything in life. Michael wins due to his high level of AWESOMENESS.


Heidi gets onto the runway and....DEAR GOD!!! What is she wearing??? Oh! My eyes!! She tells the designers that they are a bunch of pansies and things are going to get way harder. Michael sticks with Nazri as his model because he knows what's good for him.

Tim wakes up the designers at 5 am and hauls them out on a "field trip." No open toed shoes, he says. The only place I remember not being allowed to wear open toed shoes is the chemistry lab. Perhaps they will be calculating moles and determining melting points of various fabrics? Probably not.

Alison smart-asses at Laura, "good thing you are wearing your riding clothes." We see no aftermath, but I bet Laura tries to bitchslap her the way the State of New York won't let her discipline her kids. I chortle to myself. Good times.

They get in vans and head to the Lincoln Tunnel. That's right, they are going where no designers have gone before....

New Jersey.

Laura looks like she is about to hurl.

Tim finally does the big reveal that they are at the waste management center for recycling and that they have half an hour to collect materials to make a dress. Into the garbage once more, dear friend, Tim cries!

During this time, everybody is gathering stuff, and Kayne reveals that he is white trash. And that he used to dumpster dive. And that he had a sister. This is all of no consequence.

Back at the Sweatshop, Tim drops the bomb that they only get until midnight to make their garments!! It's just one thing after another with this challenge. They hop to it.

All of these scenes are very nondescript because you can't really see what is going on as they put stuff together. Alison is becoming increasingly disillusioned with her skirt that looks like a Devo hat and gives up to make a crumpled paper dress. Laura whips up a dress in about two hours and just stands around ironing for the rest of the time. Angela announces that she is going "back to patchwork." I scream, "bite me!" at the TV and hope her dress is ugly enough to get her sent home.

Michael is being very Zen and perfect, of course. Tim heaps him and Uli with praise. Kayne is being very art schoolish. He makes this ginormous paper skirt with a big flower painted on it that I thought was vaguely Viktor and Rolf-esque but Tim HATES it. He almost pukes all over it. Kayne shreds it and laments that he doesn't know what to do.

Tim winds his way around to Alison and looks perplexed. Then he notes that Alison's model is zaftig and they both look concerned. For those of you who didn't grow up with an evil Jewish great aunt who pinches you (after you've just recovered from MONO) and then turns to your mother and says in a stage whisper, "She's looking a little zaftig, dontcha think?" this is not a good thing. It's sort of like 'rubenesque" with a yiddish accent. They hem and haw over this model's fat waist but decide to do nothing.

Then there is Vincent. Vincent crossed the line tonight from funny-for-TV crazy to REALLY EFFING CRAZY. He insisted on making this dress that reminded me of the time my Dad went as garbage for Halloween by putting on a black garbage bag and taping things to it. There were just things, everywhere. I thought Kayne's dress was way better. Vincent also kept looking at the camera with crazy eyes talking about how he was making art and it "turned him on."

Oh yeah, that's right. Not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in this episode, Vincent made a sexual reference to his dress. This is where I'm really frightened. There is a word for these people, and I can't remember it, but seriously, dude, seek help.

Also, have you noticed that Vincent gets his own crazy music? It's like his looney theme song.

Also, there is a nice little tiff in the holding pen before the show where Laura serves Kayne! She says she questions his taste level! Then Kayne goes right ahead and serves her back! He questions her character and that's worse! Oh, it's on!! But Laura's got nothing. Advantage, Kayne.

Then they start the show.

(oh, yeah, Rachael Zoe is the guest judge. Could I be any more tired of her? No, I couldn't)

Robert's dress is this very Oscar de la Renta piece with silver mylar. He also escapes the wrath of Nina and lives to design and bitch about Laura another day. He quips earlier that he loves to recycle...ex-boyfriends! Robert, this is a bad idea. I have friends who do this and all then end up with is the same old crap, chewed up, reformed into something slightly different. Just say no.

Uli also leaves the runway after a shocked, "I'm not in the top???" look of disbelief.

Jeffrey is standing there, all, this is finally my time!!! They love his dress but he gets the shaft later in the episode. I felt bad for him until he started bad mouthing Michael. Shut it little man!! Comeuppance will come to you soon.

I was temped to put Laura in the category below, because I really don't like her, but her dress was so whatever. I'm REALLY tired of her schtick. Oh, and excuse me, but I have one of those camilla pins but mine is really from Chanel (well, fine, it's not exactly mine, it's a permanent loaner from my grandmother...and I'm still waiting for the white one!!). Take that you Park Ave biotch!! West Side forever!! The dress was nice, but so simple and looked exactly like what she was wearing on the runway...Jeffrey was right for once in his life. He should tattoo that on his neck.

Michael wins with his slammin' gold bustier and white "linen" skirt with "organza" wrap. The awesomeness continues to flow like chi with this one.

Now for the ugly:

At this point the only real shocker is that Angela's dress, which we haven't seen yet, is like this bizarro space age sparkly purple jumper with a tube top. Weird. Holes in my eyeballs continue to burn. But somehow she escapes the bottom three panel. She mouths a "thank god!" and skedadles. She knows what's good for her.

Alison's dress was ugly. Come on! It was puffy and pale and weird. I thought MK was right when they said she looked like a brioche. Apparently it also looks like she's been eating them, because everyone said she was fat. Also, screw H5N1, it looks like this will be season of the bubble skirt pandemic, and no one is immune.

Kayne's dress was ugly too. His model looked like Poison Ivy from Batman. But he played the "I screwed up" card and they let him off the hook.

Vincent. Shudder. Vincent scares the bejeesus out of me. It's like Humbert Humbert without the brilliant language or tortured soul. I had the creepy crawlies all night. I felt like reading "Goodnight Moon" to calm myself down or something, but I couldn't find my copy, so I popped some Ambien instead.

Alison ends up getting the axe. I don't get it. She had such a good track record, Vincent is just a big ball of pyscho. Whatevs, she says she has made her peace with it, so good for her.

When Michael exits the stage to tell all of his friends (because they all love him!) that him wins Angela jumps up with excitement for him and...good Christ!! What is she wearing!?!?! I vomit a little into my mouth as the pain in my eyes grows.

But, just when I thought it was safe to look at the TV at the end, I catch a flash of Laura's almost-boob!! Oh God!!! Looks like it's going to be a five-Ambien night. Maybe even a Nyquil chaser.

As always, Tim's Take and Blogging Project Runway rock my world.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You're It!

I never much cared for tag when I was younger. Maybe it's because I'm a really slow runner and always got tagged, but then could never tag anyone else. Blob Tag, TV Tag, Elbow Tag, whatever, I stunk at it.

I was also the kid in gym glass standing in deep right field with her mitt on her head twirling around aimlessly, no joke.

But I am a big fan of those emails where you tag people to tell you things about yourself. I'm a cheeseball, what can I say? So...BabsieD has started a round of Five Things Blog tag and I'm it. I'm try to make it as beauty related as possible.

Five Things:

Five Things in My Freezer:
  • a handle of Ketel One vodka...not exactly full though.
  • Haagen Daas Light Ice Cream in Dutch Chocolate....also not exactly full.
  • ginger
  • Trader Joe's Brown Rice
  • ice that I wouldn't actually put in a drink.

Five Things in My Closet:

  • Dolce and Gabbana Red Roses sheath
  • Marc Jacobs stacked heel pumps
  • Theory pants
  • bicycle tire floor pump
  • J. Crew button downs

Five Things in My Purse:

  • Naphcon A eye allergy drops
  • Bobbi Brown lip gloss in Hot Pink
  • Band Aids
  • Smith's Rosebud Salve
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige

Five Things in My Car:

  • old bottles of Poland Spring
  • Prada shielding lip tint #4
  • bike rack
  • golf soft spikes
  • EZ Pass

Five Things in My Wallet:

  • bar membership card
  • SmarTrip
  • MetroCard
  • Amex
  • $3.42 in change.

Post your own in the comments!!

Also...get amped! Project Runway tomorrow!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Project Runway: Iconic Statement

Or as I like to call it, "The Day The Judges Woke Up and Realized that Michael is AWESOME."

We kick started this episode with a round of Previouslies showing us that Angela pulled a miraculous victory out of her ass and that the other outfits for Macy's were very dull. Oh, and Bonnie went home.

After some wakey-wakey scenes at the apartment, the designers meet Heidi on the runway where she announces that the models get to choose the designers this time!! Oh, snap! Vincent whines that he is not in enough control of this situation. Oh please! Like the voices in his head haven't been driving that bus from the start! Then there is the randomness that the two models are eliminated becuase their button doesn't get pulled from the bag earlier (that sounds vaguely dirty, but I swear I didn't mean it that way).

THEN! The models choose the fashion icon that their designer would update. And by choose, I mean rip each other limb from limb to get a card with that person's picture on it and almost stampede over poor, poor Tim Gunn in the process.

After a quick spin around Mood, it's back to the Sweatshop for some bitching and some sewing.

The drama here revolves around Bitchy Pants Angela's ineptitude with the sewing machine (keep in mind here that the last thing I did with a sewing machine had to be cut away from my favorite sweater after I sewed myself to the machine, so I'm really in no position to talk, but whatever). Apparently she keeps breaking them and then moving to another machine, so Bradley gets all passive aggressive and quiet. So Jeffrey carpe-s the diem, and goes ballistic on her ass for screwing everyone up. Then Laura gets in on the act and basically calls Jeffrey out on being a total asshat. Then Jeffrey puts a hex on her, wishing for a stroke. If I were Laura, I would start taking my Plavix now. Michael hangs back, wishing everyone would just get along.

So in the end the lineup is thus:

Robert is designing for Jackie O. Great fit, no? Except that he makes this kind of floppy linen skirt suit with a little camisole. Like Tim with the models, he gets torn apart by the judges for being boring and designing something that Jackie would have thought was sloppy looking.

Personally, I would not want to be re-doing Jackie in front of Michael Kors since every collection he does is about her on some level. Mercifully, Bradley and Vincent make such horrific garments that Robert is spared. I'm glad he is still here, but dude! Cut it out with the sunglasses while you are inside! The stage lights aren't that bright.

Kayne is designing for Marilyn Monroe, and he squealed with delight when he found out he had her. I thought he would have preferred Cher, and my suspiscions were confirmed when I saw him playing dress-up with the black fabric. (I'm sure he wept a little on the inside when saw what Bradley made for her.) Also, his model was quite the little chatterbox! Revoke my feminism card, but seriously, you are a living breathing walking hanger. Be seen and skinny, not heard. But holy emerging as a true contender, Batman! Kayne whips out a Goth-y slinky dress for his modern-day-Marilyn. And NinaGarcia cracks the Botox to relish compliments on Kayne.

I could totally hear gay hearts all across America collectively scream when they heard that Bradley didn't know who Cher was. Even Tim Gunn was shocked (he says so in his blog). I can't even talk about his outfit it was so weird. Talking about it brings me back to the bad place with the model and her crotch-pants. Moving on!

Jeffrey was obviously too busy taking out his rage on Angela to make something for Madonna. His outfit kind of looked like an S&M superhero costume. Definitely not in line with her current image. Tim pointed out that Jeffrey cribbed some notes from Angela and made a bubble skirt!! Oh, so devilish. I thought Jeffrey kind of sucked in this challenge, but he was up late practicing his voodoo to give Angela and Laura CVAs.

Alison was tasked with giving Farrah Fawcett a revamp. Uhhhh.... Since when is she a fashion icon? I felt like humming, "one of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things just doesn't belong," every time they came back to Alison. I mean, a hairstyle is one thing, but let's not throw around the word 'iconic' like that. It makes Audrey look cheap. But Alison put together a cute dress that looked vaguely 70's, so she gets to stay.

Ohhhh.....Vincent. Crazy does not even begin to describe what went on here. He was alive when Twiggy was so hot!! Christ, just rip off something from the Austin Powers archives! This isn't that difficult! His model looked like a Holly Hobby doll. And I'm not quite sure what one of those looks like. I sometimes feel like Vincent works very hard to make his things that ugly. Maybe that's why he is still here. Work ethic. I also enjoyed DVF telling Vincent that Twiggy was still alive (although she didn't add that she's judging America's Next Top Model, no gratuitous shilling for other reality shows). He has got to go. Soon.

Laura pulled out one of her good looking pants suits to reimagine Kate Hepburn. Booooorrrrrinnng. I didn't really think that this was all that difficult and Laura just seemed to fly under the radar. She would rather make a splash in the Sweatshop by yelling at everyone. Also, I heard she was pregnant during production! Where did she hide that thing? She must be huffing Clomid or something because I've never heard of someone so fertile. She is like 42 and on her sixth kid! No wonder she had no room in her heart to love the dogs, she's thinking up ways to give her husband a vasectomy with Tweezermans and the Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

Uli designed for Diana Ross and made a faboo purple patterned swirly dress. This was obviously a take off from her disco days, but it would have been cool to see a remake of her Supremes outfits. Fortunately there was no grabbing of boobs or kiwis on the eyelids. We remember Diana as she was, not how she is.

Angela. Crap. I really liked her dress. Crapcrapcrap! I really don't want to be saying this. But it was really pretty, and wearable. Ugh! I'm going to go flog myself like the albino monk in The DaVinci Code. I feel dirty all over.

Ahhhh, Michael....

This was totally his episode. Nazri was all about picking him, and totally brought home the bacon by picking Pam Grier. Michael picked an awesome pink fabric and got to work on his confection. When the skirt ended up looking totally hootch, he whipped up a sweet pair of matching hot pants! While Tim acknowledged that he hates hot pants with every fiber of his being, he said they are in, and modern. DVF was all, "If it weren't for my sclerodermy appointment yesterday, I would rip those off Nazri and hightail it to Studio 54 right now!" And Nina and MK were just tickled pink (pun intended) by Michael. He wins hands down, and does a little fashion designer version of an end zone dance on the runway.

Backstage, everyone looks genuinely happy for Michael and you want to yell at Angela, "See!!! When you are a good person and you deserve to win, people are happy for you!! They don't try to stuff your rosettes down your throat. Oh sorry, fleurettes." But I have a feeling she's sticking around for a while. Sigh.

Another gripe: can we get some new commericals? I mean, I get that there are only like four sponsors, but you would think that they could come up with at least 3 commercials each for the whole season. I'm so tired of the faux Macy's runway, the makeup dude telling me to test drugstore foundations on my jaw (uhhh, CVS would be pretty mad at me if I did that), and ads for Bravo TV shows that I refuse to watch, like Work Out and Million Dollar Listing. Sick!! And another thing, why no high definition?

Ok, I'm spent.

As always, check out Tim's Take and Blogging Project Runway for all the dish.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Nail Diaries

I was in ninth grade when the Chanel Vamp craze hit.

This is a very tender age to release something that cool onto a population. So I did what any rational fourteen year old girl would do.

Begged, pleaded, screamed and cried.

Let's just say there was no way my mother was going to let me plunk down $15 (it was a lot back then!!) on a nail polish that she said made me look like I slammed my fingers in a car door. Buying the Revlon knockoff was also totally out of the question. Girls at a New York prep school can spot a fake coming from a mile away.

So I was forced to resort to extreme measures. I asked my grandmother.

My grandmother is pretty hip lady. She introduced me to the beauty floor at Bendel's when I was a wee one, waiting patiently as the mohawked artists at MAC painted my face (Digit eyeshadow remains a sentimental favorite) and has put one Hermes scarf per year from her collection on permanent loan to me.

So when I told her that I HAD to have the Vamp, she responded that she thought it was very chic and sent me on my way.

The years have passed, and I have mitgrated from Chanel's Vamp, to Hard Candy Trailer Trash (the most perfect silver, circa 1996), to Urban Decay in Gash (a deep sparkly red, for freshman year of college), to Sephora 06 (a classic red, picked up during the semester abroad in Paris) to Essie Ballet Slippers (first job in New York).

I've stuck it out with the pale pinks and creams for a while now, and I'm thinking it might be time to mix it up.

New York Magazine (and numerous others) have declared that black is back, baby, and Chanel is in on the act.

Behold Black Satin.

I think it's time to take my grandmother shopping again.

Finally!!! Picture courtesy of

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Project Runway: Immediately Dismissed

So this was it. The episode we've all been waiting for. And it was totally anti-climactic.

Pffffftttttt. That's my excitement balloon deflating. Oh well...on to the rehash!

Previouslies: They showed us scenes for this episode where a designer gets kicked off! Oh, and I think there was a competition, some dogs, and someone wearing a bubble skirt? Maybe that was some kind of acid flashback or something.

We open with some morning scenes of people getting ready and it's onto the runway where Heidi tells us that they will actually make the model selection more interesting by making them chose randomly again! Things (I mean, real live skinny people) get shuffled and Alison's model gets axed. So sad. But not really.

Then Tim/Heidi tells them about the challenge, which is to make a three piece outfit for Macy's INC line but they will have to pitch ideas and work in teams of three a la the Miss Universe episode. These producers are just batty for teams! It saves time on the runway to show Angela's manic phases.

Here's my question though, have these people EVER watched the show? Why do they always look SOOO surprised when they have the "design for the corporate sponsor and get the outfit in three stores" challenge? I don't get it. It happens EVERY FRICKING SEASON. Stop looking so shocked!

Moving on!

They sketch, they pitch, they ominously foreshadow with Bonnie and Robert saying how totally in the bag this is because they work for big companies. Team leaders are chosen are the teams are as follows.

Team 2G2F (too gay to function, Kayne and Robert) with a little dash of looney Vincent.

Team Trying to Deal with Angela (Laura and Michael)

Team Painfully Hipster (Keith, Jeffrey and Alison)

Team Making Me Nervous (Bonnie, Bradley and Uli)

They go shopping and Keith wheels and deals his way to an $18 discount. Will this get him kicked out??? Probably not.

Okay, back to the Sweatshop where they cut and sew and all that other good stuff.

I'm cutting to the good stuff now!!

So back at the sponsored Atlas apartments, Kayne (sporting a totally new hairstyle, the big city changes people) starts talking about how Keith is hoarding patternmaking books under his bed. I've heard he also has a tell-tale heart under the floorboards. Vincent, who should be all over this, sort of shrugs. Robert gets into it in his tight white tank top and demands to see the producer.

Apparently, this type of contraband were seized when they entered Atlas lockdown and are not permitted. Did they also take away their meds? Angela looks like she is in desperate need of some Lithium, Bradley's been off the Adderall for way too long, Vincent needs a little Thorazine to silence the voices in his head, and Laura could use some birth control pills to pump up her boobs a little. But seriously, how did Keith not know that this would get him kicked out? Do I get to bring my copy of the Constitution to the House floor? Well, yeah. And it's pocket sized!! Okay, bad example. Nevermind!

Tim comes by like the Grim Reaper (clipboard instead of scythe) and informs Keith while he is sitting on Vincent's bed (with Vincent right there) that he's taking a long walk off a short runway. Keith is obviously humiliated and quite honest about it with everyone else afterwards, which kind of deflates Kayne, who tries to make Keith acknowledge that what he did was deeply and morally wrong. No dice for Kayne though.


Alison and Jeffrey have to finish the outfit and do a pretty damn fine job of it. Angela is doing her best impersonation of that crazy bird lady from Mary Poppins (impersonation, hah!) and making a trillion rosettes!! OMG!! OMG!!! She is totally batshit crazy. Laura and Michael talk her into using them as buttons on the pants and jackets which actually ends up looking good, but why guys??? Just let her hang herself!! Get up on the runway and point to the bubble pantaloons bedecked with puffballs and say, "You don't want this on the final three shows. Peace out." It's soooo easy.

But I guess they had integrity or something. Whatever.

Also, Vincent is making faces at Robert's outfit, saying it looks awful. Obviously this is someone who does not understand karma and will now receive bad luck in collaborations to come.

Bonnie's team scenes are totally dominated by Bradley who obviously loves the wake and bake. Really? You don't remember why you got picked last? Did you watch last week? So, no, I don't think it's the beard. Lay off the bong, dude.


Only four outfits, and it's clear which were the best and the worst. Alison and Jeffrey's was really cool and looked great. The skinny pants are really in, the jacket moved well, it just looked great. But totally was not for the INC customer. Therefore, Angela's outfit, which did look cool on the model with a cropped jacket, long bootlegged pants and pink tshirt was the clear winner of the challenge. It just looked like it belonged in Macy's (that's not really compliment though). Yuk it up now Angela, Wendy Pepper won the Banana Republic Challenge the first season and look at her now. Yup, she's still in Middleburg and a joke on blogs everywhere.

I felt worst for Jeffrey who clearly is not a morning person and put it best when he was all, "Greeaaattt, can I go home now?"

Robert and Bonnie's outfits were just weird. Bonnie's brown pants made the model look really fat. Like really fat. How does that happen? And then there was that mumsy heavy tunic. Whaaaaa? Robert's just looked totally ill fitting like the model's ass shrunk in the skirt, but when she was heavier, she bent over, ripped the slit, then used her office stapler to tack it back together. I also didn't like the bottom of the shirt, it looked like it was trimmed right before the show. Weird. It was like Project Twilight Zone.

So, in the end, I'm glad Robert is staying, but I feel bad for Bonnie, because Angela deserves to go home. This instant.

Maybe Michael Kors will revoke her immunity if she makes one more bubble skirt. We can always hope!

As always, check out Blogging Project Runway for lots of recaps, interviews, and pictures. Also Tim's Take for his brutally honest and oh-so-on-point opinion.

It would be so awesome if Blogger ever let me post pictures again....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ask Capitol Hill Barbie

CapHill Barbie,

I'm sitting here at my makeshift corner office dreaming about when my boss leaves town on Friday. I'm thinking about all the things I can do!!

I can go back and forth to the bathroom without my Blackberry in hand (that buzzing sound in the stalls is seriously disturbing) and walk at a normal pace, instead of a sprint.

I can finally cure that case of scurvy I've gotten from eating out of the vending machine all the time.

And I can actually read something other than the Congressional Record, Roll Call and The Hill (well, and of course, your blog!). I'm super excited about the September issues of magazines that are bound to be hitting the newstand soon, but with all that reading material, I need a strategy! What to do???

Thanks...Daydreaming in Dirksen.

Hey DiD!

I know how you feel! The second that gavel hits announcing the recess of the session I'm running out of the building like those kids in Dazed and Confused with "School's Out for Summer" playing in the background. Anyone want to haze the incoming staffers by paddling them and spraying them with ketchup and mustard?

I too have been dreaming of the days where I can tote around an issue of Vogue the size of the Peoria phonebook and pore over glossy photos of clothes which would cause certain death by heat exhaustion if I wore them now.

But with so many magazines arriving, you must have a plan.

First, if you are like me and subscribe to most (okay fine, almost all) fashion magazines, the September issues can cause serious Mailbox Buckling.

It is important NEVER to let your mailbox go unemptied during a day in August, lest both Vogue and InStyle arrive on the very same day. It is possible that your mailman will keep one or both until there is more room, creating a neverending cycle of backlog which is very bad.

It also helps here to grease the palm of your mailman so he doesn't get mad at you for contributing several extra pounds to his sack. Since federal employees cannot accept gifts worth more than $10, try to catch him on a hot day and offer to buy him a Frappucino or a cold glass of iced tea or something. A little goes a long way here. Your magazines will arrive in pristine condition from now on.

Second, this is a good time to throw away all back issues of magazines clogging up your apartment, blocking air vents, hiding pets, etc. This also creates goodwill with anyone with whom you happen to be sharing an apartment. Especially if he is prone to saying, "How many magazines can one person read??? And why can't you ever throw any of them away??"

Third, since you are cleaning out your stash, this is also a good time to bring the most recent month's stack to someone who likes magazines but doesn't actually read any, like a friend or coworker. This can also be a sly way of saying, please throw away those acid washed jeans or short sleeved seersucker number you've been swanning around in. Newsflash, even though a Bush is in the White House and despite what you see on VH1, the 90's are over.

Fourth, if you simply cannot wait for the ones which you have already subscribed to, go for a fast-food-esque fix with one that you wouldn't normally read. The ones hitting the stands first are Marie Claire and Shop Etc.

Fifth, once the good ones start trickling in, prioritze. I like to save the best shopping ones for last if I can, especially Vogue, Allure and InStyle. Lucky gets consumed first, because it comes early in the month and is conducive to a second read-through later. Bazaar next, because there really isn't ever anything to read.

Sixth, when they arrive, flip through and rip out any card inserts right away. Even if you will not read it until November, trust me, it saves time, energy and frustration later. Imagine you are enjoying a day of leisure, sipping iced coffee at Patisserie Poupon in your best faux-Euro-cool outfit flipping through Vogue (the only acceptable magazine in the presence of someone French) and a card for a "free PINK panty" from Vicky S. falls out and skids across the courtyard. Can you spell gauche? I can.

Seventh, make lists!! Make lists of what you want for fall, use those little tabs in Lucky, rip out articles, etc. This will help you prioritze when the weather is actually cool enough to shop for wool without dry-heaving.

Eighth, yes, I am a total anal retentive lunatic. But only for this month....

Also, seriously, email me with questions. Otherwise I plan on making up softball questions for myself like those lobbed by Jeff Gannon. Make like Helen Thomas!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Home Again, Home Again

One of my favorite things about going home to my parents' place for the weekend (other than the free meals, beds that actually get made, Britas that are filled and general order to all that surrounds me) is checking out the new beauty products my mother and sister are using.

It's like a weekend pass to try out all the things I've wanted, but didn't want to buy, or things that I would never think to buy.

Some of the highlights from this past weekend include the John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Around Shampoo and Conditioner and Nivea Gentle Cleansing Cream for Dry Skin.

Since I'm still in my boycott of my hairdryer (see the heat index of 110 degrees today!!) I've been looking for ways to bring out the natural wave in my hair but minimize the halo of frizziness that usually goes along with letting my hair air dry. While rummaging through the myriad of hair products in the shower, I stumbled upon the John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner set. These undoubtably belong to my sister with her black sheep of the family Keri Russell-curly hair.

I'm not really sure that they helped bring out any curls or waves in my hair, but they did make it noticeably softer and smoother feeling. Actually the sensation has continued even after using my regular shampoo for two days now.

Frizz has been kept to somewhat of a minimum (under the present weather conditions, it would take the genius of all the scientists at NOAA and NIH combined to figure out how to complete keep my hair frizz-free). I will consider purchasing them when I get to the last dregs of my current selections.

Next, I picked up the Nivea Cleansing Creme and began to use it. First, I was surprised, because it actually has a scrub component to it, not just a creamy cleanser as previously believed. I was pleasantly surprised that the grains in the scrub are far finer than those in my current home scrub. There was also little to no dry-tight-feeling after the shower that I sometimes get after scrubbing off a layer of skin.

Another purchase for the list once Congress blows this Popsicle stand we call D.C.

Anyone have any favorite family heirloom products? Anyone else freezing while people sweat to death (literally! check on your neighbors!) outside? Anyone else need a vacation?