Friday, November 30, 2007

Project Runway: Fashion Giant


This episode was billed as the MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE EVER!!!!


And, honestly, I don't think they oversold it. Well, yes, they totally did, but towards those last few minutes when Tim was chiding Carmen and Sweet P to get their asses on the runway, I was getting a little edgy.


So, after Heidi delivers the challenge, the designers take a field trip to 10 Rockerfeller Plaza, home to oh so many GE subsidiaries. And standing there is...Tiki Barber!! Star running back for the Giants until retiring last year to report on sob story segments for the Today Show.


And the only person that they let comment on that was Joey Faketone, in order to solidify his straight-man status.


Also, at this point, my die hard Redskins fan fiancee who was watching with me blurts out, "Uh, Tiki is such a bitch. I hate the Giants." And then retreated to the bedroom to read.


He was back for the judging though....


So the challenge is this: Design an outfit for Tiki to wear on the Today Show, but keep in mind that the man's got a booty and a thick neck. And he likes dark colors. And details. (Thanks Joey F.)


So all the designers proceed to flip out since almost none have done menswear and it is significantly more difficult than womenswear.


The typical bitch and stitch segments were broken up by some extra special stress hilarity! First, we watch as Christian gets toted into the workroom by He-Man Jack in both an actual totebag and then piggyback. He's like a little doll!


Then we watch the claws come out when Jack dismembers his own shorts to make a pattern for his pants, and then let others copy the pattern for their own, a move many felt had shades of cheating.


And then! When the male models showed up, you would think that the designers had been in the all-female Navy or something the way that the all started drooling over the rippling man muscles and flowing shiny hair. All except Joey Fake (because he's STRAIGHT, y'all) and Elissa, who apparently considers fitting clothes on a man tantamount to swapping bodily fluids.


So, with much discarding of best laid plans, all the designers make it to the runway, although there was some busted up stuff on those walking mansicles.


Only moderately busted:



Raimi, whose khaki jacket, button down and dark pants made a sleek casual weekend look. Actually, this was one of my favorites, but I can understand that it may have been too casual for the challenge.



Christian, whose asymmetric camel sweater outfit I thought was a little odd, but my fiance deemed it "wearable."



Jillian's dark three piece suit was nice, tailored, and appropriate. But honestly, I have a real problem with the white collar-blue shirt look. There is a special place in shirt hell for those things.



beam me up Scotty!!

Chris sent down an outfit that I honestly loathed. I thought the jacket looked like something up for auction from the Star Trek set. But the judges had bigger fish to fry.




Victorya seemed to ignore the dark color mandate and sent a white jacket prancing down. Whatever, she's immune.



Steven. Oh man. How did this escape the scathing crotch comments?? Did anyone take a good look at these high waisted pants? Seriously? Ugh. And what's with the scarf? Is he trying to hide Tiki's man-neck? Poor form!



Elissa's model looked like an escapee from a mental health seminar. One where you all repeat overly wordy platitudes out loud and probably end up drinking some freaky Kool-Aid. At least there weren't any visible spit marks.



Most Busted!



Oh man.



Sweet P's shirt came out weird twice. I guess she doesn't look like she would be the next Thomas Pink or anything, but at least I give her credit for being honest about what happened and at least styling it artfully on the runway.



Ricky, sporting a Confederate soldier hat, weeping profusely about his pinned together garment was spared. At least his crotch was proportionate. I guess the South did rise again.



Okay, Carmen. WTF??? Make a shirt! A T-shirt! Anything! And Kors was right. That crotch was all kinds of crazy. It was nice knowing you.



All Kinds of NOT Busted.



Joey Faketone made a hot looking three piece look with a purple shirt and vest. For some reason, Heidi is revolted by the idea of her husband, Seal, in purple. Huh? I think purple can look great on men. Oh well, I think a lot of people, including Joey, thought that he would win, but alas, it was not to be. I thought Tiki would be just mesmerized by the pocket square. I mean, who wouldn't be?!?



Kit Pistol got the shaft in this one. I'm sorry. No offense to Jack, but I thought her outfit was really nice. A navy fleece blazer with those double vents to allow Tiki's butt to breathe or something, khaki pants, and a classic white shirt. I really liked this outfit. I may actually find similar things and dress my fiance up in this outfit.



But, Kit lost out to Jack and his short-stealing ways. Granted, the dark pants and tailored shirt were made infinitely more interesting by the details on the shirt, but I feel like he abandoned so much that the look was kind of blah. However, I don't mind having Jack around for longer...maybe we'll get to see him bench press Christian.



I can't say it enough...Blogging Project Runway tides you over til next week!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Let's lay down some ground rules, shall we?

Yesterday, as I walked down the metro platform on my way to work I noticed a girl about my age walking towards me.

Heavy coat.

Generic office work clothes.

Peep toe shoes.

Oh, yeah, that's right. Peep toe shoes. No tights. Just bare toes.

Let me just say this as a caveat, I'm not a huge fan of hard and fast rules, but here's one I'm going to put out there.

No bare toes for daytime after, say, Halloween.

But as my 8th grade math teacher taught me, there are exceptions to every rule.

Unless you live in a place where the temperature never drops below 45 degrees.

Or, it's an evening function where you break out the good jewelry and strappy sandals are a must.

But otherwise, put your toes away!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Project Runway: Money Changes Everything

Let me start by saying that my viewing of this episode started on a low note, having baked two pies, six sweet potatoes and eaten at least three dozen marshmallows intended for the top of aforementioned sweet potatoes. And Gossip Girl was a rerun.





And then I passed out while watching the judging.





But never fear!! I Tivo in addition to watching live.



So, we start off this episode with the typical wakey-wakey shots in the luxury digs and the designers head out to meet the second challenge.



At the runway, Heidi tells the designers that they will be designing for an icon. They all look suitably excited. They head back to the workroom where Tim tells them that their icon is....SARAH JESSICA PARKER!!!!



Then the room erupts like it's the second coming of Jesus Christ himself.



Seriously, I haven't seen hyperventilating and weeping with joy like this since bloggers got ahold of the Mark Foley IM transcripts.



Once it finally quiets down, SJP explains that she has a line for Steve and Barry stores called Bitten, and it's for the everyday woman and it's super cheap. Like, you only get to use the change you can find in your pockets to buy fabric cheap. (Ok, fine, $15. But honestly? I could blow that at Starbucks in like an hour. Not enough for a whole outfit.)



But first, they must sketch and present, which is always the funniest part of any episode. Chris totally pulls a brainfart and goes mute with tears in his eyes. Many people want to touch SJP. Joey Faketone leaves her handshake hanging....ouch! It's clear who she is going to chose as team leaders...and they are...Raimi, Christian, Victorya, Marion, Kit Pistol, Ricky and Elissa.



Wait.



Huh?



Oh yeah, Elissa got picked. I feel that this was some colossal joke on who ever had to be on her team in an effort to get that person kicked out. Because there is no way a reality TV gem like Elissa is getting kicked out.



Oh, and ps, on FashionGateWatch...Ricky is sporting a fishnet Village People hat AND a trucker hat. Also, Carmen's sleeves threaten to knock models off the runway and take over the universe.



So, they pick teams and Sweet P gets the shaft and has to work with Elissa. Because she already told the camera that she wants to be on a good team. Sucker!



They all shop and scrimp, then it's back to the workroom where Elissa spit marks her fabric. Oh, did anyone miss that? SPIT. Like saliva. On her fabric. That someone else was going to wear.



Can I get an EWWWW?



Other than that, the sewing scenes were rather boring. The real drama came on the runway!



First, Ricky and Jack created a magenta peasanty looking dress. Looks cute and nice and all, but nothing spectacular.



Raimi and Jillian produce a shirtdress tunicey thing over leggings. Also, passable, not blowing my footless tights off though.



Kit and Chris make another tunic type garment over leggings. Theirs is cut snugger and shorter. Very cute on the model, not so super cute on a nongamine, but they earn a pass.



Elissa and Sweet P produce a cape and jersey dress. Both are interesting, but seriously, why do fashion people always want us to wear capes? Just let it go! It's weird! A poncho was as close as I got, and that was a little uncomfortable. Elissa insists on calling the dress polymorphic, which I understand, but it makes her sound totally bananas.



Christian and Carmen produce a teal tube dress and jacket which Christian, bless his heart, choking back tears in the face of criticism, insists that even the plus-est sized woman can wear his clingy dress and motorcycle jacket. Carmen also does a poor imitation of someone who cares when saying that Christian should get kicked out instead of her. I would have booted her right then and there.



However, the judges reserved that pleasure for Marion, who, on a team with Steven, who may or may not be a serial killer, created an enormous cape-y poncho (again! with the effing cape!) that made the model look like a really tall hairball. See ya...wouldn't want to be ya! Also, the "can I have some more?" Oliver Twist thing is really not a style choice I can get behind.



The winners? Clearly Victorya and Joey Faketone, who produced a sweet little tie neck trapeze dress and plaid vest with a racerback. You can pick it up at a Steve and Barry store near you. I would, but I have no idea what this store even is.



So...another mildly memorable contestant bites the dust....



Give me some more Elissa insanity! That chick is looney!!



As always, Blogging Project Runway for all the scoop and speculation about the next episode. The HARDEST CHALLENGE...wait for it....not yet...EVER!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Project Runway: Sew Us What You've Got

Oh. Thank god. It's back.


Of course I mean that the little geniuses who run Bravo have rounded up a questionably talented yet unquestionably insane pack of designers to entertain us through another season of delightful reality television!


Yay!


I'm so excited that I am choosing to ignore all conflicts that my Tivo is currently facing on Wednesday nights.


I will also ignore the fact that the producers at Bravo have meanly NOT provided us with a "Road to the Runway" episode where we get to mock all the rejects along with Tim Gunn on his road trip with the greatest hits from past seasons and harpies from Elle Magazine. Damn you!!



So, instead, we are introduced to this season's contestants as they meet each other, "Real World"-style in the generic "luxury" apartment buildings which are currently giving cockroaches and Starbucks a run for their money when it comes to taking over Manhattan.



The challenge this week was to do the 50 yard dash across Bryant Park (no time to stretch first? WTF?) grab some of the gagillion dollars worth of fabric furnished by Mood and make a dress that exemplifies "your" style.


Run, designers, run!


Okay, as always, with the beginning of any reality show, I can never keep all the contestants straight, but here goes!




Let's start with Christian, the little wannabe Brit wunderkind, because I think he would like that. He is oh so carefully hipster styled in his asymmetric hair and braggart ways, but the kid delivered. Honestly, I didn't love his piece on the runway, and I really didn't like it when he back talked to Tim Gunn, but upon second look, the piece strikes me as a Burberry outfit gone cool. I like it more the more I look at it. I also liked his clear disappointment in not winning the challenge. I guess they don't teach stoicism at his fancy London design school.



The uber-pale quartet: Steven, Kit Pistol, Sweet P and Marion. Yawn. Oh and by the way, "Kit Pistol," it's called a pseudonym. Not a "Mark Twain." The viewers of Project Runway are not idiots. You can use big words around us, it's not the Fox Business Channel or anything.



Jillian seems mostly normal, smartly choosing a bold color and using that to enhance a rather simple dress.





Carmen A. Webber, as she likes to be called, seems to think that being a good model makes you a good designer. Having seen what Marc Jacobs looked like pre-post-rehab-workout binge allows me to be to beg to differ. Also, what is up with the puff sleeve jackets?? She's wearing one in every frame, she makes one for her model and is shown making ANOTHER in the previews!! Maybe she is one really just of Clinton Portis's characters. She gets the Angela Death by Fleurchon Award for this episode.





Chris is probably the most interesting character to me right now. He is a costume designer, and sort of falls in the Kayne-uh-oh-a-non-fashion-designer-designer mold, but he turned out a beautiful, theatrical gown that wasn't costumey at all. I'm eager to see what else he produces.





Ricky. Poor poor Ricky. Cried in his interview about what he does (lingerie designer). Seems to have an entire wardrobe of Village People hats and sent a garment down the runway that looked like it could have been found on a rack at Forever 21. Re: not really really bad (we'll get to that in a minute...Elisa!) but certainly not good.





Jack looks like the most symmetrical man on earth. So classically handsome. Looks like he's got some controversy in the future. His dress won runner up for my dress-I-would-actually-want-to-wear contest.





Kevin...does this guy look like Joey Fatone or what? I mean, talk about your built in Halloween costumes! Wow, I'm calling him Joey Faketone from now on.






Victorya is definitely one of my favorites. She seems low-key and she turned out a pretty, feminine cocktail dress that didn't look like a total rehash of every other trend I've ever seen. I loved the look of the arm bands, but I agree with Monsieur Orange, no hailing cabs. Well...that's what men are for...





As for Rami, well, you could tell he was going to win this challenge from minute one. I mean the one where Tim walked in and said, "Stunning." Serious contender in this one unless he implodes or bores Nina with the same outfit six weeks in a row.


And that brings me to Elisa and Simone. Unfortunately for Simone, while her outfit was boring, simple and looked like it had been sewn by a three year old on meth, she was up against Elisa who was clearly NOT about to get kicked off. She has her own theme music! Already! Elisa is clearly the whack-job of the show and will remain firmly entrenched as better designers get kicked out for lesser offenses because she reminds people why lithium was invented.


She also kind of reminds me of John Cusack's character in "Being John Malkovich" with the marionette puppets. Anyone else?


Also, this was a special episode for me as Monique Lhuillier was the guest judge. I picked out one of her designs to wear to my own wedding!


As always, please check in with the wonderful folks at Blogging Project Runway for all the scoop and see you for a recap on Turkey Day!

photos courtesy of bravo.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wickedly Wonderful




I am up in New York for the week, trying to get the most amount of wedding planning accomplished in the shortest amount of time.




Of course, I am also trying to squeeze in a few recon beauty missions to the Big Three under the guise of looking for wedding shoes...




So the first thing I did when I hit the streets was to indulge in one of the greatest New York pastimes.




No, not giving the wrong directions to confused tourists...




I got a cheapie manicure.




In oh-so-super-duper trendy Essie Wicked.




Wicked is a dark plummy red, as opposed to my current dark polish favorite, Sephora No. 11, which is a much brickier red.




I'm really liking the color on my skin tone, but as also with dark nails, they must be kept super short and not chipped, lest you look like a low maintenance vampiress after her Thanksgiving meal.




Now I can sit and admire my nails while flipping through invitation books and pretending I understand all the nuances of the different fonts...




photo courtesy of amazon.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous!

I recently received a copy of nutritionist Esther Blum's new tome, "Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous." Let's just say I was delighted to have something to read that doesn't have line numbers next to every sentence or begin with the words, "Thank you, Mister Chairman, for the opportunity to testify before your Committee..."

My own personal lameness aside, the book is very cute. And I am not just speaking of the hot pink cover.

As a trained nutritionist, Blum discusses the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet and taking care of oneself in the search of looking and feeling your best.

One of the best parts about the book is her acknowledgement that you are not going to eat all organic all the time, or have unrealistic expectations of you giving up all dairy, carbs and alcohol like some diet gurus (cough, David Kirsch, cough). She understands that there will be nights when your diet consists solely of many many Bud Lights and a Zone bar. She talks about how to make the best of those situations and recover wisely.

I also got the chance to interview Esther about her book and a little bit about some of her favorite beauty tips and tricks:



You talk a lot in the book about the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. You also, correctly, pointed out that peanut M&Ms are vastly superior to plain. What is your favorite splurge food?





Foie gras on toast points with a good martini. Ain't nothing better!





I also appreciated your chapter on drinking and the effects it can have on your body (hopefully not just finding it in some English basement with that random staff ass from Dirksen). If you are trying to be tame at a work event, what is the best drink for keeping your wits about you and not breaking the caloric bank?





The best drink for keeping your wits about you is one that is consumed very slowly. Everybody's poison is different, but in the end its usually about quantity more than quality. Obviously you will need to steer clear of the Jaegermeister, and stick to something tried and true. Also be sure to show up to the party having eaten a snack beforehand so you've got some food in your belly to sop up the alcohol.





In the book, you talked a lot about the importance of dietary supplements. Considering that, post-DSHEA, most dietary supplements are not regulated for quality control or potency, how would you recommend that someone following your advice decide on brands and which supplements to take?





To really be sure of the quality behind your supplements, its a great idea to work with a nutritionist or nutritionally oriented-physician. Practitioners spend a great deal of time doing research so you don't have to, and by doing so they take the guesswork out of choosing supplements. Plus, supplements sold to practitioners are usually only available through practitioners and represent a higher standard of a regulated product.





You did talk a little bit about some of the interactions between supplements, what about reactions between supplements and prescription meds?





Another great reason to take supplements under the supervision of a practitioner. When in doubt, ask your doctor or the person who prescribed your supplements about drug-nutrient interactions. That's why you're paying them, right?





You also discuss the importance of focusing your time and money on buying certain fruits and vegetables that are organic, namely, those that get sprayed with the most pesticides. Are there any other products you would encourage people to focus on buying organic?





Dairy, meats, and skin care products. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and we absorb what is put on the skin into the bloodstream. So go for organic products, which are kindler and gentler to the body. Dairy and meat are also essential organics, as the animals are cleaner. Commercially-fed beef is often fed animal byproducts which in turn increases the risk of mad cow disease. Organically-raised animals don't have that problem.





If there was one issue you could get all the staffers and constituents who read this blog to advocate to the members of Congress, what would it be?





Increase your recommendations for Vitamin D!! Again, this is a case where misinformation is doing great harm to our population and leaving behind a legacy of diabetes, autism, and asthma as a result.





Ok, on to beauty...





What are the five beauty products you would take to a desert island?





Ooooh, I've always wanted to be asked this question!! Vincent Longo undereye concealer, NV Perricone Active tinted moisturizer, eyebrow tweezers, L'Occitane hand creme, and Devachan Angell.





What shampoo and conditioner do you use?





I haven't washed my hair in about 10 years!! I'm a curly girl so I scrub my scalp and locks with Devachan One Condition (conditioner). My curls have never looked better and my scalp passes the clean sniff test every time.





Is there a beauty product that you use that is so totally wacky that you almost don't want to cop to using?





This is probably more mainstream than wacky, but I'm a firm believer in ladyscaping, so I keep my lady shaver on hand for times of unruliness. And I'm an Aquaphor whore! It's great for my lips, cuticles, and dry heels.





What was your first lip gloss?





Bonnie Bell peppermint lip smacker. It was on a rope so I sported it around my neck!





If you had to pick one makeup brand to shop at for the rest of your life, what would it be?





I like to sleep around ... to limit my options would be a sad, sad day! I do love Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Stila, as I'm not a total commitment-phobe.





Who is your biggest beauty/fashion influence?





Being a Virgo, I've always believed that less is more, so I'm inspired by designers with a very understated elegance. I believe that each outfit should have one focal point and not be trying to do too many things at once. Oscar De La Renta gowns are sublime, as are Carolina Herrera's. Both designers know how to work a woman's body and enable a woman to wear the gown; not the other way around.





Vogue or Elle?





Is it wrong to say In Style and Domino?





Marni or Dolce and Gabbana?





Luca Luca and Narcisco Rodriguez!





Project Runway or America's Next Top Model?





Oh definitely PR! Heidi is fabulous.





What is the most expensive product in your arsenal?





My bling. I have some amazing heirloom pieces and my wedding jewelry is designed by Karen Karch.





The least expensive?



I have a top that I literally bought for $4.99 on sale from H & M. It's so wrong that it's right!

Ooooh, I feel just like Charlie Rose. Except..well...not.

Go check out the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Around the Clock at Beauty.com Shop

Wow, this is the coolest event that I won't be able to attend on Thursday.








AROUND the CLOCK BEAUTY.COM SHOP

From website to on-site, Beauty.com is bringing its virtual world of beauty to life in the heart of New York City with their first-ever Around the clock Beauty.com Shop.



Whether you’re on your way to work or coming home from a late night out, EVERYONE who walks through the door will get a “scoop” from an oversized beauty bin filled with thousands of must-have beauty products, all for FREE.



Consumers will also have unprecedented access to top beauty gurus including Ted Gibson, Frederick Fekkai and Peter Thomas Roth who will be stopping by to give one-on-one consultations.



And of course, Beauty.com’s team of experts will be on-hand to offer around the clock beauty tips and touch ups:

Morning: Wake Up Calls
Freshen Up – whiten your teeth and freshen your breath, two morning essentials
Complexion Perfection – fake the perfect complexion with concealer, foundation and luminizer

Afternoon: Pick Me Ups
Bright Eyes – look wide awake even if you feel like you’re going to crash
Color Revival– how to add a little color (bronzer and blush) to refresh your glow

Evening: Go Glam
Smoky Eye – get ready to go out on the town with a sexy, smoky eye
Red Lip – don’t be intimidated by this red hot look, learn how to find your perfect shade

Bedtime: Beauty Unwind
Eye Cream 101 – dab, don’t rub, learn the right way to apply eye creams and serums
Good Night Hand Massages – relax with a calming lavender hand massage


THE DEETS:


WHEN: 6:00AM – 10:00PM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH

WHERE: 184 Fifth Avenue, between 22nd & 23rd Streets

Go for me! Save yourselves with free beauty swag!!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

In case anyone is looking...

I can be found at any one of the amazing sales taking place around town...


The "Green" Fire Sale




Setchi
This is an awesome little shop where you can spend and actually allieviate a little guilt...everything here is eco-friendly.

1614 Wisconsin Ave. NW, b/t Reservoir Rd. & Q St. (202-333-5570).

The Delayed Gratification





Sangaree
Doesn't start until the day after Thanksgiving...but: Up to 30 percent off Lisa Ho, Louis Verdad, Palmer Jones, and more.

3288 M St. NW, b/t 33rd & Potomac Sts. (202-333-4690)


The Motherlode



Cusp

I start hyperventilating just thinking about going on a spree here. You bring the paper bags and meet me there.
3030 M St. NW, b/t 30th & 31st Sts. (202-625-0893); 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Tysons Corner, McLean (703-288-1940).

The Tough Love Sale


Urban Chic




I'm going to admit that the salespeople here are a little...hmmm...prickly. But the stuff is great! Go if you've got thick skin.




1626 Wisconsin Ave. NW, b/t Reservoir Rd. & Q St. (202-338-5398)




The Get On That Bandwagon! Sale





Denim Bar




Been craving wide legged jeans but didn't want to fork over the cash after you spent the piggy bank on skinnies? Well, maybe a sale will make hopping on that train go a little smoother.




1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington (703-414-8202)




The Hipper than Thou Sale




Muleh



I'm just kidding, I love this store, especially their huge selection of 3.1 Philip Lim, but with my symmetrical haircut and aversion to vests, hanging out around 14th and U makes me feel like the preppiest prepster alive.



1831 14th St. NW, b/t Swann & T Sts. (202-667-3440)



Enjoy!! I know I will.



And yes, I cribbed shamelessly from today's DailyCandy. It's because I'm shameless. Ha, take that Logan Circle yipsters!