Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Belted Bore

I'd like to start this post by saying that I like Michelle Obama. She seems like an intelligent and kind woman. So this isn't the usual obvious haterade being thrown at her. But I am really OVER the giant belt. She belts almost everything it seems. I am a big believer in accentuating the positive and I know that her waist is small and she is trying to do that. She is also trying to add some edge or character to her outfits and sometimes tries to use a belt to pull an outfit together, but sometimes the belt looks a bit jarring. It also takes away some of the elegance and makes our Première Lady look like a one trick pony.

Was the belt really necessary in the garden?

Cute but overwhelming. A thin brown belt would have been effective.

Completely unnecessary on a form fitting sweater.

Too much going on. And once again not needed.

It gave too much edge to what would have been a very soft and elegant outfit.

Distracting and unrefined.

Not needed. She has dumbed down what would have been an elegant outfit.

I think there are more subtle ways to cinch the waist. More delicate belting options. She has gotten it right in some instances.
Here the yellow belt compliments the dress, it isn't jarring.

This red situation is so beautifully done. I can't tell if it is a belt or if it is part of the dress but it has the same effect of a belt without drawing attention away from the dress.

This ribbon option is feminine and elegant. Just adorable.

Besides she doesn't NEED the belts. Her small waist can be seen without the need of a cinching apparatus. Below are several examples of her waist being cinched using fine tailoring or different dress silhouettes.

Fine tailoring doing the job.

A wrap dress shows off a tight waist.

Fine tailoring doing the job.

She doesn't need belts to show off her physique. In this empire dress which would be unforgiving on most, she still appears thin.

Fine tailoring doing the job

So whoever is styling or dressing Michelle, please take note. You don't want her outfits to solicit eye rolls from people who once loved her style. What was once fresh and exciting has now become gimmicky and boring.
Photos courtesy of The Michelle Obama Look Book on NYMAG.COM

Friday, December 11, 2009

Future Cover Girls of Tomorrow

If I had it my way we would be seeing Emily Blunt and Emily Mortimer in more films and in more magazines. They are both interestingly beautiful and I would like to know more about them. I am glad to say that IMBD is showing that they both have several films coming out or in production. Hopefully this will lead to a possible cover of Harper's Bazaar, Elle or VOGUE??

Emily Mortimer: was adorable in Match Point, but she really caught my eye when she played Jack Donegy's wife in the first few episodes of 30 Rock. She has got that simple, icy, gallerina beauty about her. She is going to be in Shutter Island with Leo next year.

Emily Blunt stole my heart in the Devil Wears Prada. She reminded me of my best friend who at the time was working as the assistant to a high profile person in fashion, is impossibly chic and has an accent (except my friend is actually a really nice person). Emily Blunt is in The Young Victoria coming out this year. It was written by Julian Fellows who also wrote Gosford Park, one of my favorite movies!

Make Room in Heaven...

For another goddess has arisen. Zoe Saldana is amazing. I have been following her for a few years now and am always impressed by her look and style. Easy, elegant, clothing. Clean make up. Feminine yet modern. SOMEONE GIVE HER A MAGAZINE COVER ALREADY! If Vogue wants to crawl back into relevance she would get the cover of the September issue. She should have this past year since she was in Star Trek and Avatar is coming out. I mean Sienna Miller whom I adore mind you, can get two covers when she doesn't have Zoe's admirable body of work and bright future? It's not like Zoe doesn't have the supermodel good looks. Seriously I think I have seen enough magazine covers with the usual suspects: Gwyneth, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslett, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Ansiton, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz etc etc. Plus I already know everything about them and their interviews reveal nothing. I am far more interested in seeing an editorial featuring Zoe and hearing her story. I read that she studied ballet....Ahh a woman after my own heart. Take a look below:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rich Man's Wife

Catherine Zeta Jones is the gold standard by which all trophy wives should be held. She is refined, elegant and pleasant looking.

Look at how she appears to worship her husband.
She makes her husband look better! Look at how she enhances their wedding photo. (See my previous post called "Beauty and The Beast.") They personify the concept of the simple man and his breathtaking woman.
She looks so spoiled without looking too flashy. Take a look at her interpretation of street wear.

She is feminine and chic. Her face framing fur, pulled back hair, the way she is holding the leash, down to the little white dog!

Always soft looking. Touchable.
All trophy wives take note. Also make sure to follow her lead when signing that pre nup, she had a cheating clause put in so she got more money if he cheated. I hope Elin Nordegren did this.

Living Caryatids

A caryatid is a sculpted female form used in place of a column to hold up a structure. They can be used as decorative elements, they represent the strength of women and the importance of female support in upholding a foundation. Caryatids can also represents eternal punishment and sacrifice. I can't think of a better comparison to the experience of women than a caryatid. We are decorative objects, we support and nurture and we sacrifice.

This past week a series of events have occurred to drive home the concept of the burden bearing woman. The nonstop news about the Tiger Woods cheating scandal prompted many, including myself to post an opinion about it on facebook. But it also brought out an amount of vitriol spewed toward his wife that I couldn't understand. Such harsh words were not used in describing the cheating husband or the several home wreckers he messed around with.

Next a rerun of Oprah aired that focused on the plight of women in third world countries. The lack of basic medical health care, the use of rape as a weapon and the stigma attached to it, the growing problem of sex trafficking.

It all seems so unfair. We have to get married before 30, have kids before we dry up, contribute financially, be the primary caretaker do the chores all while looking good!
Yet I still love being a woman. For many reasons I won't list.
I do believe a lot of problems in this world stem from the fact that for the past thousands of years we have been living in a patriarchal society that has sanctioned "masculine" principles such as aggression, assertiveness, dominance, strength and toughness and left no room for "feminine" concepts like sensitivity, compassion, supportiveness.
And no I'm not a feminist. I just like to see a bit more balance and mutual respect for the characteristics of both male and female
"Balance is not to make woman equal in strength to man but to regard her strengths as equal."
This is what the feminists missed. "Perhaps then our relationships can achieve a healthier balance and unity and restore wholeness within our religions, ourselves, our communities, and our earth."
A basic rule regarding the relationship of yin and yang is:

YANG (Men) protects YIN

YIN (Women) nurtures YANG

Together they form a complete whole.

Source: Amy Peck MA

Sunday, December 6, 2009

O Mio Babbino Caro

"I love beauty its not my fault" is a quote from Valentino Garavani and it so eloquently sums up what brought me to tears about watching the last few minutes of Matt Tyrnauer's documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor. I sit here after watching the ending of the film for the fifth time in a row and I don't think I can name a more beautiful, touching and endearing ending to a film.

It starts the second that the aria "O Mio Babbino Caro" starts playing and Valentino walks out wearing all white onto the also white runway. He is illuminated by the stage lighting which makes him appear as if he is passing through the gates of heaven. A fitting image for a man who has just shown his last collection, and the crowd gives him a standing ovation. The three people that he greets are significant people he has known for decades: Diane Von Furstenburg, Giancarlo Giametti and Karl Lagerfeld.

His works of art go down the runway and I really feel I am witnessing the end of an era. Backstage Giancarlo Giammetti refuses to take any credit saying repeatedly to someone who tries to congratulate him "not me, not me"

Fashion great to fashion great. Karl Lagerfeld whispers to Valentino "That's the way it should be done. Compared to us the rest are making rags."

A bit of humour is infused into this emotional scene as Andre Leon Talley goes on and on in the background "triumph of the will, triumph of the will" as Valentino is greeted by Donatella Versace and Tom Ford. Finally a long emotional hug takes place between Valentino and another Italian design legend, Giorgio Armani. Arun Nayar and Liz Hurley cannot help but stare at such a poignant moment.

My absolute favorite part is after they head outside. With a view of the coliseum, "O Mio Babbino Caro" comes on again and fireworks go off. Giammetti describes how the fashion industry has changed forever (trust me I know, I work in fashion and barely every touch any clothes.) The acrobat in white tosses white roses out of a bouquet as he finishes his thought. Then the other four acrobats in red sway in synchrony with the music and for a moment no words are spoken. I feel that I am in a complete fantasy. Such beauty cannot be real. The last words spoken in the entire film are a perfect quote from Valentino "Après Moi, le Déluge" After me, the flood.
The film ends with applause, a hug and kiss between Giammetti and the designer and then a globe with Valentino's name all over it disappears into the heavens.