Friday, December 28, 2007

This IS Tom Jones!

For Christmas, Mr Minx bought me newly released DVDs of Tom Jones' 1969-1971 television show, "This is Tom Jones." I can remember being glued to the TV as a child, entranced, watching TJ swivel his hips. My mother, certainly a more age-appropriate viewer, never understood my 5-year-old fascination with him. He did nothing for her.

Ah, the memories! Here's a clip of Tom bustin' a move, for your enjoyment.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sister Christian

Sister Christian
Oh the time has come
And you think that you're the only one
Who'll win
Where you going
What you looking for
When you twirl and
Pose in front of all the mirrors?
It's fierce.

You're fabulous
The best designer there
Gravity-defying hair
It's your contest to lose

Babe you know
You're kind of a big deal
In your own mind at least
We know you feel
So gay, everyday

Sister Christian
You'd make a great Shih Tzu
Something to pick up
And carry like a doggie bag
Don't brag
Don't brag yeah

Yet another jacket
With a fancy placket
Tell me what's your racket?

You're fabulous
The best designer there
Gravity-defying hair
It's your contest to lose

You're fabulous
The best designer there
Gravity-defying hair
It's your contest to lose

Sister Christian
Oh the time has come
And you know that you're the only one
To say O.K.
But you're fabulous
You're fabulous

Lyrics by theminx to the tune of "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Chrismas!

from the fabulously talented 14 at Gallery of the Absurd

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Carrie Adell

One of the first - and most expensive - pieces of fine jewelry I bought for myself came from Carrie Adell. I had attended the American Craft Council show as a wholesaler in 1995 or '96. I was alone, undistracted by either my employers or friends, so I was able to take a leisurely look at the work of the many jewelry artists exhibiting that year. It was love at first sight when I spotted Adell's touchstones - hollow pebble form metal beads created using the marriage of metal techniques of shakudo and/or shibuichi - arranged simply in a display case. Each touchstone was different - some were large, some small, others were set with opals. The goldwork on the opal-set beads often mimicked the patterning in the opal itself.

The one I liked the most had two opals, set in 22k yellow gold. I wasn't sure what I would do with such a fancy bead. Surely I wasn't going to string it myself. Then Carrie showed me her convertible finding and suggested that she install one on the touchstone. The resulting piece of jewelry can be worn as a ring, with either the opal side or the "plain" side facing out or, with the shank swiveled up into a bale, as a pendant. I currently wear it on a simple woven gold chain, but have in the past worn it on an omega-style neckring.

I recently found that Carrie Adell passed away in July of 2001. Her daughter, Jo, works in jewelry, but she does not produce the same sort of intricate metalwork as her mother. This huge loss to the world of craft jewelry makes me extra grateful that I was able to obtain one of Adell's pieces. And glad I was smart enough to take the very-expensive-on-my-then-salary plunge!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Man Knows How To Throw a Party

Marc Jacobs had the best costume at his Arabian-themed Christmas party:


Malan Breton got a little mention in for my jewelry on his fan blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Project Runway - Episode Five

This week's challenge was to design for women who had lost a substantial amount of weight, using their old favorite fat clothes as raw material for the new outfits. Having myself lost a lot of weight in the past, I can't imagine wanting anything new made from my crappy old ugly polyester muu muus. Ok, so it wasn't quite that bad, but they make some seriously ugly clothes for fat people. When I got slim, I wanted everything NEW, and either gave or threw away my old shmatte.

Yet again, we had a fairly staid episode without a lot of bitchy deliciousness. We did get a whiff of drama, but it was of the sad kind. Poor Jack Mac, who is HIV+ and needs to keep a close eye on health problems, had an episode of what seems to be a recurring case of MRSA. At least that's what he called it when he was on the phone with his doctor. Really serious shit, that MRSA, and he had every right to be freaked out and upset. What I think was most upsetting, to Jack and to the rest of the designers, was that he had to remove himself from competition to get treatment.

...or that was what Bravo has led us to believe! It may well have been lip collagen injections gone awry! Think Jenna Jameson and her recent conversion to platypus. I also thought Jack sorta resembled Mr. Bean with his new upper lip. Further investigation reveals that they may have been separated at birth. Or not.

For some odd reason, Bravo decided to bring Chris March back to replace Jack. Why? Why Chris and not any of Heidi's former victims?

Anyhoo...Chris takes over in designing for Jack's model and gets to pull an all-nighter to make up for lost time. Did it help? See for yourself.

Victorya's model had a long ugly green tent, which she chopped up into a short ugly green dress. I really don't like the non-velvet fabric on the bodice. Was it the lining from the original dress? It makes the dress look inside-out.

Elisa: Michael Kors had issues with the way the outfit chopped her body into so many horizontal chunks, and I think I would have screamed had I been forced to wear it. It's the jacket that is truly horrible - it's too long and makes her look even dumpier than the dress alone. Cropping the jacket wouldn't have helped though, and the boots were also a mistake as they break up the line of the leg. It reminds me of a dress I might have made for my Barbies, using chopped up socks and one of Ken's shirts. Amateurish and quite a disappointment from the formerly surprising-in-a-good way Elisa.

Chris: You came back for THIS? A French hooker, according to Ms. Kors. I didn't get that impression when I first saw it because I was too disturbed by the blouse part. I don't understand that kind of seaming - do the boobs fit within the curved part? or is it purely decorative and meant to divide the girls into horizontal wedges? I've never seen a woman wear a shirt like this so it looks right - either they hang out the top or flop below the curved seam. And it seemed a bit big on the model when she came down the runway. The red is too much, but the skirt didn't really bother me.

Sweet P once again got picked last and ended up having to work with an Army tent. She managed to transform it into a sweet little dress, despite the tragic color.

Ricky gave us tears again this week, as he was overwhelmed by how "awesome" his model looked. Cute, yes. I like the top, and I think I own those stretch denim capris....

Rami: I loved this outfit! It was well-fitted, chic, really wearable, and flattering to his model.

Kit: A super cute dress, although the color makes me cringe a bit. I once knitted a very elaborate wrap cardigan with bell sleeves in exactly this shade of fluorescent peach, and I can't bring myself to wear it in public.

Kevin: His model really felt great in this outfit, and you could see it on the runway. I think a pencil skirt would have been chicer than leggings, however.

Jillian: Red hot mama! Cute dress, very Jillian, but I think I would like to see a wider swath of black, rather than just piping. I'm surprised she didn't get in more trouble by using new fabric rather than the original garment. I am sure if this hadn't turned out so well, she would have been disemboweled by the Terrible Two, Kors and Ninagarcia.

Steven: The judges really ganged up on this one and finally pronounced it "French maid at a funeral." Was it the feather duster? Steven found out too late that accessories should come from the Bluefly display rather than the janitor's cart. That proved to be his undoing and it was time for Heidi to bestow the double-cheek air kiss of death.

Granted, he had a beaded polyester wedding gown to use as his raw material, but he really didn't even try to utilize the dress in any way, apart from the cuffs and collar. If you're going to go that route, you have to do something fabulous, a la Laura Bennett, with a huge portrait collar (and a diamond brooch on the belt). Or follow Jillian's lead and create a well-made, flattering outfit.

Christian: There's no mistaking this for anything but a Christian design. He likes jackets, odd necklines, and fussy stuff on the front. It was really cute, however, and his model looked fantastic in the end result. And it was good enough to give him the win which included immunity for the next challenge.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dancin' Fool

I use the term "dancing" loosely here. This commercial has some of the worst "choreography" I have ever seen. Beyonce seems to alternately be having seizures and severe muscle spasms. I couldn't find the other version of this commercial, the one with a blurred section that involves some sort of short bus jumping jacks, but if you watch TV, particularly sports, you probably have already seen it. It's neither interesting nor elegant. It's rather cloddish, actually. And laughable. Good thing Beyonce is so pretty, because she can't dance for shit. (Her singing doesn't impress me either, but neither does any of the current crop of singers prone to melismatic abuse.)

Hip hop dance can be fun to watch (and to perform), but this is just ugly ugly stuff. I do, however, like the dress with the gold hoop spangles.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Malan Breton Handbags

The very lovely Malan Breton, Project Runway alum and designer extraordinaire, has come out with a line of handbags and accessories. Just look at these beauties - all available online at Malan's site. And...some are on sale!!

The patent leather Onyx Touring bag - hello! This one is so mine!

I love the shape of this spicy red number.

And for evening, this is a stunning clutch.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Project Runway Week Four

With Season Four of Project Runway, Bravo seems determined to prove that they can take one of their most colorful franchises and reduce it to dry toast. This week's challenge - a team challenge no less - was completely devoid of the histrionic drama we've come to love.

Nina Garcia made a rare and wonderful appearance to the workroom with Tim to give the designers their new challenge. To paraphrase: Design is cyclical; Elle magazine has been following trends for years, yadda yadda. In other words, there are no new ideas in fashion. Thanks, Nina, for that insight. The designers were then each made to choose from a selection of outdated fashion trends such as shoulder pads, cut-outs, and flared pants. Then they teamed up in threes to work these old looks into a cohesive and modern mini-collection. In the hour alloted for sketching, teams chose leaders.

Team one was Kevin and Rami led by Jillian. Their trends were overalls, poodle skirts, and 70s flare.

Team two was comprised of Victorya, Elisa, and Captain Ricky. They had to work with cut-outs, neon, and underwear as outerwear.

Team three, or "Team Star" was led by the tiny and uber-fabulous (eyeroll) Christian whose teammates were Kit and Jack. Their trends were the zoot suit, fringe, and pleather.

Finally, Team four had Sweet P, Steven, and leader Chris. Their old trends were shoulder pads, oversize sweaters, and dance wear.

Victorya brought the show's only serious dose of soap opera with her passive-aggressive sniping. She complained about Ricky and his leadership skills when clearly she didn't have the balls to accept the position herself. Or maybe she was just smart enough to realize that it's usually a team captain who gets auf'd at the end of the day. To his credit, we saw no tears from Ricky, despite his obvious frustration with his teammate.

Jillian, leading the team of Kevin and Rami, also had her issues. She had little or no confidence in Kevin's ability to get his pieces done in time and she was a bit of an annoying nag about it. Kevin wasn't exactly sure of himself either, declaring that he'd have to "pull a magic rabbit out of my ass" to make it work. That HAD to hurt. But...success! And...poor rabbit.

The other teams seemed to get along just fine. All was hunky dory, and there were more good than bad designs this week. Mostly. Better than last week, for sure!

Jillian: Cheryl Ladd in Charlie's Angels. 'Nuff said.

Rami: I laughed when I saw this square dancing outfit do-si-do down the runway. At least her face appears to have gotten smaller.

Kevin: The shorts are cute, but the floofy mushroom-cloud collar looks like it would be annoying to wear.

I really think the judges are on crack. Nina Garcia, in her blog, claims that she really loved this collection. I think the denim and the tiny floral print was a bit too Hee-Haw. Sure, other designers are recycling these same trends, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing! And the denim they has a weird sheen to it that makes it seem cheap, like something from Wal-Mart.

Oh yeah...Jillian won the challenge for heading this team. I suppose it *is* coherent, and it does manage to work in some variation of all of the required elements.

Nicely executed, but I wasn't wowed by this one. It's a bit boring, and it features yet another Christian collar that I don't get. As fabulous as he thinks he is, there's nothing dramatic or exciting about his designs.

Kit: I LOVE this one. The bold use of prints is very striking, attention-getting without being flamboyant.

Jack: I like the shape, I like the leggings underneath (and am not afraid to admit it. and and...wasn't Nina wearing leggings in the workroom scenes?) but I think the color is a bit dull. She looks like a prison matron, but maybe it's her face.

Elisa: the dress is cute, but would be so much better in a different fabric. The satin makes it look...awkward...somehow.

Ricky: Ricky's team was going to integrate all three outdated elements into their collection. I guess the yellow represents the neon, but where are the cut-outs and underwear? The color-blocking seems dated itself, and makes the model look like she's stuck in a stained-glass window. All three models, actually.

I have the nearly the same complaints for Victorya's dress. I see the neon in the pink trim, but where are the cut-outs? I suppose the bodice is suppose to resemble a corset, but not enough.

I think I wanted this competition to be like the original Iron Chef, in which points were awarded or deducted based on how well the theme ingredient was used. In this case, not particularly well.

Steven: This design was apparently based on costume sketches from Karate Kid: The Musical.

Sweet P: I like the dress, and I think she did a nice translation of the oversized sweater theme without making it look schlumpy.

Chris: Michael Kors pulled out one of his favorite comparisons, "Mother of the Bride" to describe his outfit. I dunno, Mike, the jacket looked more like a repurposed love seat. I did, however, like the dress. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save Chris and he was voted off the island auf'd this week.

This team chose to incorporate a single old fashion trend per outfit. The unifying element was color, but that wasn't strong enough, making the collection seem unrelated.

Tim has said that this year's selection is the strongest group of designers yet. I'm not sure what "strong" means to him, because I don't think there's any more talent here than in prior seasons. Perhaps their resumes are more impressive, but a season lacking in excitement does not make for good television.

And it's damn hard to blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Joan Van Ark needs to fire her makeup artist, pronto! Or at least get a new mirror and take a good hard look into it before she leaves the house. It appears that she lined her eyes and colored her eyebrows with the same brown crayon. The sickly grayish color around her mouth makes her look like she just got finished sucking face with a Dementor. And why is her nose orange?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Get Thee to a Depilatory!

I came across this photo of model Petra Nemcova, survivor of both tsunami and James Blunt, on one of my favorite blogs. While her hat was Fugged, she was praised as being "hot." But...what about the five o'clock shadow she seems to be sporting? And the manly set of her jaw? There's an overall Fred Flinstonian quality to her visage. Is this really Ms Nemcova, or a female impersonator?

Oh, and the ciggy butt is tres classy, don't you think? Almost as if it had just dropped from her hand.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Wish List

In the fantasy world I occasionally occupy, these are some things I might put on my wish list.

Steven Webster Thorn Ring, at Neiman Marcus

Diamond in the Rough solitaire pendant with brown rough diamond, at Neiman Marcus

Malcolm Betts Natural Diamond Bangle, at Barneys

Marroni Sand Ring, at Barneys

Zoe Opaque Diamond Necklace, at Barneys

Cathy Waterman Kimono earrings, at Barneys

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Runway Episode Trois

Surely I'm not the only person who thought Heidi swiped her opening ensemble from the wardrobe department of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek film, am I?

This week's challenge was meant to get our intrepid designers out of their comfort zone, and what better way to do that than to force them to design menswear?! Who wants to design boring old suits for men? Few, apparently, as just about all of the remaining twelve designers started hyperventilating at the mere thought of it. That is, until they realized there would be hunky male models involved. Perk! Something for everyone!

"Except Kevin," you say, "the straight guy."

Ah, but did you catch his eyes light up when he saw that they were designing on-air wear for none other than Atiim Kiambu Barber, Tiki to you and me, retired NFL great and identical twin brother to current NFL player Rondé Barber? Football, man. Straight men looooove football. And yannow, I don't know why, because it's just about the gayest sport ever. Where else do you routinely hear about "penetration in the backfield," "eyeing the receiver," "pounding the tight end," and "incredible ball handling skills?" Not to mention the numerous times I've heard, "he's a fine-looking young [tight end/receiver/piece of ass]" mentioned by the play-by-play guys. Even crusty John Madden gets a tear in his eye (and possibly a tent pole in his pants) whenever he contemplates Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo's dimples.

Don't the Barber brothers look darling with that cute little white doggie?
And tell me that you think this is just the most manly photo ever: Tiki in his stripy undies, looking "fierce."

Mr. Barber, now a correspondent for the Today show, asked the designers to create something that he could wear on air. Now, he's a pretty conservative guy who likes dark suits and perhaps a little texture and color in a shirt. And that's about it. Wouldn't "Neon" Deion Sanders have made for a more interesting challenge? Think of the orange or pink plaid pimp suits that could have gone down the runway! But, I digress.

Tiki also seemed to have issues with his ass and the fact that it sticks out. Judging by the photo above, I would say his thunder thighs could pose a wee problem as well.

Back at Parsons, the demoralized designers set to sketching ideas. The results were lots of blank paper accompanied by heavy sighing. The trip to Mood to purchase boring dark fabrics didn't lighten the mood at all. Heh. I can't blame them. Do you realize how much damn finishing/lining/detail work/pockets are involved in menswear? Have you noticed that former menswear designer Emmett McCarthy offers womens fashions in his NY boutique?

Now that we've hammered home the difficulties of this challenge, let's see the results.

Christian: I don't understand. Weird jacket over pajamas? Is the shirt collar asymmetrical, or was it attached wrong? Do the jacket pockets seem too low and shallow? It's Christian, so maybe that explains it.

Rami: On-air suitable perhaps if Tiki were doing commentary for the exciting world of golf, but I thought the jacket was extremely well-done, with lots of nice seaming details.

Sweet P: I'm surprised she survived this round. The collar was laughably huge and the sleeves were far too short. Michael Kors seemed to like the tie, so maybe that saved her neck. (God, I'm funny today.) I do think the pants turned out well, at least from my vantage point on the sofa.

Kit: She won kudos for making her jacket from fleece, giving it an edge while retaining a conservative spirit.

Victorya: She escaped without comment, but I think the jacket looked like part of a uniform for either an upscale bus boy or maybe a hospital orderly or bellhop. Or a hospital bellhop for a posh plastic surgery clinic in Beverly Hills. And since when is brown shoes with black a good thing? Or have they changed the fashion rules on me again?

Elisa: I was a bit disturbed that I liked this one so much. I love the vest, and also love the fact that nothing is turquoise or has torn rags hanging from it. No word if the pants are polymorphic, however.

Steven: This look straight out of a Ralph Lauren perfume ad featuring rich polo-playing boys who tuck in their sweaters and comb their hair funny. Not a bad ensemble for a skinny boy, but I think it would look a bit ridiculous on a somewhat squat and muscular guy like Tiki. Plus, tucking in the sweater would emphasize the butt, and that's a no-no in Barber-land.

Kevin: Now how is it that the straight man picks the loudest color of all? I think it's kinda great, and wish that he had been able to finish the vest with buttons. I'd love to see a finished jacket, too.

Jack: The winner, despite only having completed two pieces. Jack's tailoring was well done and the bias detail of the placket and pockets was noted by Michael Kors. Not the most interesting of designs overall, but compared to the sheer garbage that came down the runway, this was a clear winner.

Carmen: And speaking of garbage.... I expected Carmen to stick around for a few more weeks because she seemed like she had the potential for high drama at some point. But ack - the crotch on the pants was a problem, and the jacket was just not fitting the "I want to be able to wear it on-air" bill. Tiki's wife, who came on mid-show to critique the works in progress, likened it to a "Member's Only" jacket, that dated fad from the 80s. Ouch! And the blue fabric meant to stand in for a shirt more resembled a cleavage-revealing straight jacket.

Auf, baby, auf auf!

All-in-all, a more interesting challenge than the previous two, but we really need more sturm-und-drang this season, don't we?


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