Sunday, June 29, 2008
Hence my proposal: restaurants need to implement a First Date section. That way all of the anxiousness, the awkward silences, and worst, the incessant bloviating can be confined to one area, minimally impacting the health and serenity of the diners who are actually there to enjoy a meal and some relaxed conversation.
Photo from LA Times.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Une femme dit, "some trends are better left un-exhumed."
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's that mythical state that French women supposedly embody from birth (though the vast number of minceur creams and pills in French pharmacies may be a chink in that armor), and, we're told, the foundation to achieving effortless chic.
Being comfortable in one's own skin is not a state that comes easily to some of us. We struggle with our failure to meet cultural standards or even just our own. We starve, we crunch, we pluck, dye, wax, inject ourselves toward an arbitrary and unattainable ideal. We practice denial: the comfort of going sleeveless on a hot day, ice cream from Berthillon, sex with the lights on, a day at the beach, clothes that actually fit our bodies as they are now.
Not to be morbid, but recent deaths of friends and people we knew only from their work bring home the point that Life Is Short. Life is too short to worry that your thighs are too dimply or your ears are too pointy or your boobs are too small or your upper arms sag. Life is to short to get upset at finding another wrinkle or grey hair. Life is too short to spend apologizing for what we walked away from the table with in the great crapshoot that is genetics.
But "bien dans sa peau" also goes deeper, I think. It's a type of comfort and acceptance of our likes and dislikes, our choices and values, and how we live our lives. It's the knowledge that we're not perfect, and mistakes do not make us worthless. It's a form of grace, of living (and yes, dressing) in alignment with who we are, and not trying to fit ourselves into a mold.
In his usual eloquent way, the Manolo sums it up perfectly: Dress well, live well, treat others well, and do all you can with joyful confidence and others will invariably come to love your flaws as you yourself cannot.
Photo of Simone Signoret from here.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
That was cool, unexpected thing #1 yesterday.
Cool, unexpected thing #2: I went for another facial at Bluemercury. Fabulous, as always, and so relaxing! But that's not the cool thing. As I was paying, and picking up some Nars oil blotting sheets, I kept noticing another customer in the store, or more specifically kept noticing her voice. Something about it was vaguely familiar. After I'd paid for my stuff and left the store, it hit me like a lighting bolt. I turned around and walked back into the store, and up to the woman who was now having eye shadow applied by one of the sales staff. "Excuse me, but is your name D----?" I asked. Her eyes got wide. "Y-es." "D---- [Lastname]?" "Yes!" Turns out she was someone I worked with at a radio station almost thirty years ago. Much squealing, hugging, and exchanging of business cards ensued. So now we're going to do lunch and catch up.
Cool, unexpected thing #3, we were able to get a spur-of-the-moment 8pm reservation at Ford's Filling Station last night (patio table!) where we enjoyed a nice bottle of wine and a few appetizers, including charcuterie and cheese platters, and some of the best mussels I've had in quite a while.
Running into an old friend is just about at the top of my serendipity hierarchy. In a day with many high points, that was the best.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
In five syllables, no more, no less, describe the worst movie you can think of. Bonus points if you have to show off your Google skills because you can’t remember the name of it and all you can come up with is that it features Roz Russell and Sandra Dee. Turns out it was some tripe called Rosie! Exclamation point the producers’ idea, not mine.“Auntie Mame leavings.”
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
First, from New York Post, something disturbing but hardly surprising, as the fashion industry continues to pay lip service to "healthy" models while requiring a skeletal appearance:
The Council of Fashion Designers of America held an event dubbed "The Beauty of Health: How the Fashion Industry Can Make a Difference" at Milk Studios the other night as part of its awareness program....
People in the industry have been no help, Rocha told WWD's Marc Karimzadeh - "They said, 'You need to lose more weight - the look this year is anorexia, and although we don't want you to be anorexic, we want you to look it.'
"My question is, how do you look anorexic unless you actually are?" - a riddle to which no one had an answer.
I don't know why designers seem so intent on showing their clothes on women who are required to be more emaciated with each passing year. If I were someone who regularly purchased designer clothes, I'd start a boycott of the worst offenders.
Another (slightly) more encouraging item spotted in the LA Times:
"The market for older models has exploded," says Ginni Conquest, co-director of the sophisticated women's division at Wilhelmina Models in New York. (Models who are 25 and older are often referred to as "classic" or "sophisticated.") "It's our fastest-growing area, and it's a first for the industry."...
After all, what middle-aged woman wants to buy moisturizer from a model who's too young to order a martini? Or a cashmere cardigan from a coed? In September, J.Crew will introduce an online section within its Web catalog that features 58-year-old Los Angeles model Pia Gronning...
I'm not dancing in the streets quite yet. On one hand, it's nice to think that companies are targeting our demographic, and understanding that we don't want to be invisible. On the other, it's not like these "older" models will look like many 50-something women we know.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
There's been a lot of 80's music nostalgia making it's way through the blogosphere this week. This is one of une femme's absolute faves. If you've never seen Laurie Anderson's "Home of the Brave," it's worth at least a Netflix rental. Some people find her weird and/or pretentious; personally I think she's a genius, and a poet as well as a musician/perfomance artist.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Another is sandals with spats attached.I have no comment except, "why?" (photo from Go Fug Yourself)
But the one of the biggest mysteries to me is the runaway success of Tory Burch clothing. And according to the LA Times,
In just four years, she has become the most influential fashion designer in America. Unlike big names such as Lanvin and Balenciaga, who may score a lot of red carpet hits but are sustained mostly by accessory and fragrance sales, Burch designs clothes that real people really wear.Her brand, with prices mostly in the $195 to $495 range, is accessible to a good range of ages and sizes (up to a size 14). For high-end shoppers, it's a source for casual clothes; for budget shoppers, it's aspirational. And for Burch, it's raking in more than $200 million in annual sales.
The allure just totally escapes me. I see something like this,
and my brain goes here:Bad Sitcom jokes aside, who is buying/wearing this stuff? The signature prints and many of the styles are intended to evoke breezy socialites on holiday, but might also bring flashbacks of wealthy, WASP-y, suburban, 70's pre-feminist hausfraus, with their shag haircuts and shag carpeting and avocado green appliances and hanging asparagus ferns and messy divorces. (An image the decor in the boutiques does little to dispel.)But I'm starting to think that's part of the appeal. Not so much the messy divorce part, but the breezy socialite "I don't have to work" part. These clothes are not designed for the boardroom, the classroom or the mailroom. These are clothes for Ladies Who Lunch At The Club and then drop the kids off for their tennis lessons. They evoke that most coveted of luxuries, leisure. (As do many designer brands, but they aren't claiming Everywoman as their customer base.)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Edited to add: if anyone can give me some tips on indoor digital photography to eliminate the pernicious yellow tint, I'd be much obliged. I've done some color correcting on the computer, but it only goes so far.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
There's no going back to those days of diets and counting points and agonizing over every five ounces up or down. I know better than to get caught up in that downward spiral of body-hatred and yo-yo-ing weight. Been there, done that, had the t-shirt in three sizes. I don't know whether this gain is a temporary aberration, or whether my metabolism has permanently ratcheted down another notch, in which case I need to cull the now too-small items from my wardrobe.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
My own mother, at least until her post-divorce-gypsy-skirt-and-humongous-squashblossom-necklace phase, eschewed anything flashy, loud, embellished, mismatched or ethnic. "Tasteful" was her watchword, and was personified by Jackie Kennedy throughout the 60's, my growing up years. As a child, I always had a fond eye for the glittery, the beaded, the exotic. "Oh, that's tacky," she'd sniff, and instead buy me the pink tweed dress with a matching jacket, designed to look like a miniature Chanel suit. Once I hit adolescence, we shopped for my clothes in the same stores she frequented and I mostly looked like a fifteen-year-old middle-aged hausfrau in pastels, plaids and navy.
In reaction, I spent my late teens and twenties combing thrift stores for every leopard-printed, gold-laméed, beaded and bedazzled thing I could find. I still dressed like an old lady, but intentionally, ironically. Beginning in my late 30's, my tastes began to transition again, and found myself gravitating back to simple, classic styles, and it was about then that my enduring romance with black began. But as Dorothy Parker said, "A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika," so at times I indulge my inner Dame Edna and mix in a little brocade or beading. Keywords being "a little." The jacket pictured above is best worn with jeans and a white tee, and minimal jewelry. People always ask if it's vintage.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The big-screen "Sex and the City" -- reuniting Parker and TV co-stars Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon -- strutted to a $55.7 million opening weekend, far exceeding Hollywood's box office expectations.
That was nearly twice the forecast by distributor Warner Bros., whose head of distribution, Dan Fellman, said he had hoped the movie might deliver a $30 million debut.
"Women power," Fellman said. "It was outstanding this weekend."
Analysts had figured Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" might stay atop the box office heap, but it slipped to second place with $46 million in its second weekend. "Indiana Jones" raised its 11-day domestic total to $216.9 million.
"Sex and the City" put up numbers never before seen for a movie aimed mainly at women, who do not tend to rush out in huge numbers for opening weekends the way males do.