Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chris March, Vivienne Westwood and Pigeonholing

I was thinking further about yesterday’s Project Runway results and something occurred to me.

It has been often brought up this season how Christian Siriano’s work is influenced by Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

In a way and naturally, because Christian worked for them.

But the ENTIRE season everyone has been pigeonholing Chris as costumey and as a costume designer.

Of all the people in the show, Chris March has cosistently been the most daring, creative and innovative. Even Christian said so.

His collection was the only one among all 5 presented during Fashion Week that was memorable and presented new ideas. Shoot, I think it was the only one at NY Fashion Week that did that.

Not everyone has the same aesthetics, or target audience.

Not everyone want to appeal to 23 year-old Huntington Beach chicks or NYC socialites.

And designers and labels with dark aesthetics and experimental approaches have been hugely commercially successful: Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Olivier Theyskens, Victor & Rolf, Giles Deacon. Shoot, last season Deacon did a tailored coat made out entirely of rubber bands:

Everyone acted like Chris was being costumey and weird and eccentric because of how he has earnt his living and because of his personnality for using materials like safety pins and human hair extensions.

What he was being is downrigth genius in my view.

If Chris had shown his collection as part of Fashion East during London Fashion Week instead of a venue like Project Runway which is more more of a commercial venue, he would have been hailed as a genius and the new "Enfant Terrible" prodigy of the fashion world.

But on Project Runway he was dismissed as "creative but costumey" ...

It is seriously a question of pigeonholing ( what if Chris had been the one who had worked with Westwood or had been a Central St. Martins graduate, would they judges opinions have been different then?).

They put him in the role of a costume/ drag queen designer and were not going to let him be anything else.

The thing is Westwood also used safety pins and unusual materials in her work.

Chris’ work

made me think of a particular piece:

’Bones’ T-shirt

More than 99% than what Chritian’s work has...

And his dress from the art challenge also reminded me of this piece...

Chris March

Vivienne Westwood

So I really thought that in this case, Chris March just showed a fantastic and ground breaking collection in the completely wrong venue and context.

Out of this season’s finalists his work was the only one that was completely original and more importantly, the most memorable.

All I can think when i think of yesterday’s episode is Erte, Schiapparelli, Edith Head, Adrian, Vivienne Westwood, Chris March...mhhhhhhh

Blogging Project Runway: Milla K or Allison Dubois?

As those of you who are faithful viewers of the show saw, Riff Raff Rami Kashou was the third "finalist".

As we all know now, all top five including Sissybear and Sweet P showed at Bryant Park. So all in all in does not matter really, because they are all winners.

But what is remarkable is that I called the top three finalists December 6th.

Yes, almost 4 months ago....

It's almost like now I know the formula for the show and it's really easy to predict. I wish I was doing that Tres Semme contest thingie..

I pretty much got everything right then but right now I think that the formula is going to hold true and Christian is going to win it.

Only one "boring" designer has won it, Chloe Dao, and msotly designers with very strong points of view win the show.

So here are the final placements:




But here is a repost of my predictions on December 6th. I also accurately predicted the finalists and the winner of Project Runway Canada.

December 6, 2007 - Thursday

Project Runway and Project Runway Canada: Who Will Win
Current mood: tired
Category: Fashion, Style, Shopping

Both shows are far along enough that I can predict fairly safely who goes to Fashion Week ( L'Oreal and Olympus, respectively) in both shows.

Project Runway Canada: It's down to the top 4, so it's pretty safe to say that since Stephen has had construction and design issues throughout, the top 3 that will show in Torontah Fashion Week are:

-Bidell- He is this incarnation's Santino/Jeffrey/JayMcCaroll

-Lucian-He is the Kara Saun/Laura Bennett

-Marie Genevieve-She is the Uli/Chloe Dao

Who wins?

Speculation: Conspiracy theorists would argue that Lucian because of his relationship with reality Television. He was previously on and was the featured final runway designer for Canada's Next Top Model.

In my opinion? Biddell or Lucian take the cake with Biddell edging in manner of Barak at this point.

Regular Project Runway:

The Top 4 ( if ,like last year, there are indeed 4) will be:

-Rami: Pretty much a done deal

-Jillian-This week's win solidified it

-Christian-If he doesn't, it would be robbery

-Jack- Sentimental favourite unless he leaves the show before it ends (Multiple spoilers and NYC sources have reported that Jack is the 5th contestant to bite the dust alleging HIV related bias. I have heard that during the season Jack developed a bad case of staph infection). and if he does....Sweet P takes his place. Or Steven might pull an Andrae.

Who wins? Barring Christian being immaculate on the Runway collection or Rami sucking it up to high heaven at Olympus Fashion Week, Rami takes the cake. Christian is this season's Daniel Vosovic. He's brilliant but they will think that he's too young too win.

What do you think?



Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Fashions:The Good, The Mullet and Sartorial Ambien

I started writing this blog last night after the telecast but myspace was not posting my images. I use that to translate the HTML code.

This year for some reason there was a really high rate of pregnant women among the Hollywood glitterati and also a significant amount of boring, predictable dresses.

Emerging trends for the event include the colour red ( really big), close to the body silhouettes and some more minimalistic or architectural silhouettes than in past years.

Lots of Rami Kashou-esque Greek draping inspired gowns did make an appearance on the red carpet, as well as did certain interesting, adventurous and striking looks.

Your usual roll call of alarmingly thin ( *eating disorder triggers*) celebrities were visible but there was a good showing of lovely women too.

Without further due here is the catty repartis....

Cami Diaz:


This dress has the same problem as many did and what I have baptized as couture mullets. They have entirely too much going on and they need extensive editing. These dresses are so elaborate the details get lost and there is no focal point. They also border on the Ziegfield showgirl.

Anne Hathaway


See Cami D but in red. God that girl needs to start eating more she looks very pale and is ageing at accelerated speed...And no, you cannot Botox your neck.

Renee Zellweger


When is this woman going to get through her head that she looks WAY better when she plays Bridget Jones and is an "alarming" size 8 or 10...LOL She needs to stop making weird faces and squinting at the camera because she looks like the she-space monster in Alien. The dress was pageant-y

Miley Cyrus


This was simple, bright and age-appropriate and modest which is refreshing. Nice choice.

Diablo Cody


This was, no surprise, my favourite look of the night. I love it all. The fierce print, the subtle beading, the striking hair, the skull jewelry, the classic Sailor Jerry ink and the Ditta Von Teese vintage make-up. Diablo Cody has a to die for look and body and all of the sadly thin and clone-ish celebs wish they were as cool, interesting and hot. I *HEART* you Diablo Cody! If only for your name to start with :-) BTW.. I am thinking of re-naming myself MillaX as a writing pseudonym in hommage to MalcolmX...

Marion Cotillard:


This woman was IMPECCABLE. I loved her gorgeous and miraculously detailed Jean-Paul Gaultier fishscale oyster coloured dress. Her hair was stunning and her mak-up perfect. Mme. Cotillard was absolutely flawless and radiant.

Tylda Swinton


This is another lady that I totally love and goes to show that I have nothing against the skinny if the skinny are not sad and alarming and pathological. This lady is absolutely ferocious and makes adventurous and surprising fashion choices each and every time. I also LOVE that she lets her beauty and spirit shine through and that she is secure enough to wear very minimalistic make-up. No amount of cosmetics can compare to a bright, shinning spirit and intelligence.

Ellen Page


I loved this girl's simple make-up and hair but who was the hateful stylist that picked out this completely forgettable dress?

Katherine Heigel


I loved this gorgeous dress and it was borderline perfect. My only issue was with her lipstick. That shade is GLARINGLY wrong for her skin tone. Newflash: Your lipstick DOES NOT have to match your dress. This lipstick makes he look washed out and tarty and cheap and like Bozo The Clown had been robbed of his grease paint. She needed a blue-based, sheer shade instead.

Michael Moore's Wife:


THIS is what is wrong with "normal" women's fashion. Why is it that anytime a woman over a size like 4 and over the age of 18 goes looking for a special occasion dress all that is available is something that looks dowdy, gaudy, matronly or is otherwise in horrible taste? Next time Mrs. Moore please give ME a call. I would to help you look like an age-appropriate version of Diablo Cody or Tylda Swinton. And you do not need to loose a nanogram.

Pene-golfa ( that means tramp, because she is. She bangs everyone she works with) Cruz:


Same case as with Cami Diaz and Princess Amelia Mignonette... ( yes, I have a tween daughter). This is another sad case of the sartorial mullet rearing its ugly head. Too much draping going on. By the way it's like these super-skinny Hollywood chicks are under an epidemic of progeria, that disease that makes people age at an accelerated rate. La Cruz is 6 years almost to the day younger than me and she looks like my mother. Her neck and the area around her eyes say 49 and her passport says 35. And now NOTHING will fix that.

La Kidman:


The Balenciaga dress in unremarkable but I am going to cut her a break because she is with child. She looks better than she has at any previous event.

Jessica "Coconut" Alba:


I call her that because she has said multiple times she is not pleased about being of Mexican ancestry and tries to act as much as possible like a white chick. The dress was kind of misguided. I am not a fan of Empire silhouette, even in pergnat women and the marabout feathers looked gratuitous. I liked her hair though.

Jennifer Hudson:


I love Jennifer Hudson but this dress did not do her any favours. It focused on yet did not provide her chest with adequate and much needed support, and failed to flatter her beautiful skin tone.

Jennifer Gardner


Yet another clone black mermaid style gown. Blah

Helen Mirren


As always this STUNNING woman is an example to follow. Her dress is beautiful, perfect for her incredibly sexy figure and has bling in all the right places.

Brunhilde Valkyrie:


And this woman judges people's fashion and taste? Geezus this looks like a Disney-on-ice costume for the Evil step mother in Enchanted/Ursula the Sea Witch/ Maleficent/ The Evil Queen. WTF was that???

Amy Adams:


Two words: Onyx Nites Prom Collection 2008.

Other particularly offensive ones were Sarah Larson ( George Clooney's surgically engineered fembot/pageant contestant gf) who looked like she had pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and tore up an antebellum/ shabby chic couch.He, on the other hand is dreamy and is ageing like fine Bordeaux. Also a shameful mention goes to Calista Flockhart. Everything she wears reminds me of a bedsheet wrapped around a broom and Maya Rudolph whose dress reminded me of a poor men's Snow White after a bleach accident....



In contrast to these horrors, the also pregnant Cate Blanchett was as usual extraordinary in her elegance, beauty and appropriatness...


Best of Skin And Hair Care Products for Men and Women

I was mentionning this yesterday with reference to straight men not spending money on things that improve their life, so I decided to create a list and guideline of my favourite products. This list is just my personnal recommendations and does not constitute clinical advice.

InStyle magazine does a yearly survey among beauty, hair and dermatology experts on beauty, haircare and skincare products and I don't always agree, mainly because a lot of the products they pick are also products that endorse the magazine or the experts. I am a completely objective since I am endorsed by no one and I uphold the highest standard of evidence-based evaluation, the Pasteur/Jenner/Marshall standard. That means that you personally test the stuff on yourself and your loved ones and take no one's word as gospell, but only personnal experience and observation, and you make sure that the results are reproducible. If doctors and scientists did this consistently, scientific and medical advances in the last 40-50 years would be monumental. I also have extensive experience evaluating efficacy and safety results for dermatological products.

But here are my favourite and most effective haircare and skin care products for different skin types for both men and women. I also strived for as many eco-friendly and non-animal tested products as possible. I only have included products widely available without a prescription.

Face Wash for normal to dry skin : Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser by Galderma. this cleanser is great, non-drying and non-comedogenic and is awesome if you have normal to dry skin. It shows up as a prefered product by dermatologists all over the world and when my skin is more normal ( versus oily and acne-prone when I encounter hormonal fluctuations) it is what I have used to great satisfaction.

Acne Products for Mild Acne for non-sensitive skin ( if you have sensitive skin your best bet is to consult with a dermatologist).

For mild to moderate acne: Acne Free by University Medical. This is a great product and highly effective. The wash and repair lotion contain 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide (BPO) which has been shown to be as effective in the treatment of acne as higher concentrations of this agent (Mills et al, 1986). Since it is a topical product(goes only on the skin) it does not have systemic side effects like oral antibiotics do, and BPO also has been documented as not inducing microbial resistance. Moreover, no topical antibiotic tested has been shown to be more effective than BPO (Gollnick et al; 2003). This is also a very cost-effective product ( 27 dollars a month or 29.99 for 3 months). The way I use it, I substitute the second step, the normalizing/astringent product ( which contains a somewhat effective ingredient, witch hazel) with a more effective 2% salicylic acid astringent for synergistic effect.

For moderate to moderately severe acne a product by the same makers is now available. AcneFree Severe Acne Treatment System with a higher concentration of BPO (10%) in the third step (repair lotion) and a retinol cream as a fourth step. This is completely consistent with consensus recommendations ( Gollnick et al, 2003). This is not a regimen recommended for sensitive skin or very severe acne. If you have those, consult with a good dermatologist. Please be warned that BPO bleaches clothes and linens so use a white towel to dry your face after using the wash and be careful with clothes and bedsheets.

I have been using AcneFree with success and satisfaction for 2+ years and so have several family members, both male and female. These products are available at Target and Costco.

Moisturizing products: L'Occitane en Provence Creme de Miel ( Honey Cream) face cream. This is a great moisturizing product with a pleasant texture and non-comedogenic. I use it in areas that are prone to dryness and wrinkles ( around eyes, lips, forehead). It has a mild and pleasant honey smell that makes it appealing to both males and females. Available at L'Occitane en Provence stores and Sephora.

Body Moisturizer: The Body Shop Hemp Body Butter. This is great for very dry skin or skin that has been exposed to radiation treatment. I gave it to my asshole ungrateful ex when I was nursing him after testicular cancer surgery and radiation treatment because his skin was irritated, dry, burnt and red. I gave him a skin care basket after he came home from the hospital ( I slept on the floor of his hospital room and assisted him to use to potty) and started treatment. I also fed him and gave him manicures and pedicures. It worked great and helped heal his skin. It has hardly any fragrance and is very moisturizing.

Anti Dark Circles/Bags product: Hydrazen Neurocalm Eye Contour Gel Cream. This gel-cream contains several botanical and somewhat pharmacological (caffeine) anti-inflammatory ingredients that help reduce the appearance of bags and dark circles. This is not a cheap product. I pay about 23 british pounds ( around 46-50 dollars) for a container, but I only use it PRN ( when I need it). It works like a charm. I buy it at Harrod's or the Duty Free at Heathrow airport.

Bar Soap: Dove White. This soap has been a "best kept secret" of both dermatologists and ob/gyn's who have told me repeatedly I should use NOTHING else because it maintain the natural pH balance of the skin and the "girl" region. This is the only product I use to wash my naughty bits and along with safe sex practices has allowed me to run a "tight ship" "down there" and avoid problems in the nether areas. Available at all supermarkets, drug stores and discount chains.

Body Wash for sensitive skin or people prone to skin problems: Johnson and Johnson Extra Care Moisturizing Body Wash. This is a great product and something that I use when I am under stress or before or during my period because my immune system is less strong. This is also a great product for people with immune problems because it is very mild and tends to not induce allergies or reactions. Available at supermarkets, drug and discout stores.

Body Wash for Normal to Oily skin: When my skin is normal I use Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel by Soap and Glory Cosmetics. This is great, has a fresh grapefruity, not overwhelming smell, has a built in mosturizing lotion and a mild exfoliating effect. This is what I faithfully use most of the time and the packaging is retro and way cute without the Benefit prices. About 9 bucks for 16.2 ounces at Target and This is also great for shaving.

Shampoo for normal to dry hair: Dove Moisturizing Shampoo: There simply is not a better shampoo on the market, particlarly for the price point. I have dry, colour treated, kinky-curly ethnic hair and it is gentle, smells great and makes my hair soft and pliable and healthy. Available at dug stores, supermarkets and discount stores.

Shampoo for oily/dandruff prone hair :J.F Lazartigue Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.This is great and effective. Yet, again, I got this for my ex whose shoulder looked like Xmas time in Anchorage. And it did wonders to rectify the problem. 28 dollars for 8.3 ounces. Available in Salons that carry J.F Lazartigue.

Conditioner for dry or colour-treated hair: Boots Botanics 5-minute Deep Conditioning Mask. Best Deep conditioner on the market and works absolutely on the same line with much more expensive products like Frederick Fekkai. 8.99 for 15.2 ounces at Target.

Conditioner for normal hair: Tres Semme Vitamin E Moisture Rich Conditioner. Absolutely great and effective . Awesome for the price point. This is what I use when I need a switch or on an everyday basis and is comparable to much more expensive products. About 4 dollars at drug and discount stores.

Hair Spray and Styling Gel: Brit Style by Graham Webb. This is a great line although on the pricey side and both products rock. I have tested them on myself and gave it also to my asshole ex-boyfriend with the dandruff problem so it works or a variety or hair types and textures.

This about covers all the basics....I hope it goes a long way to improve the collective hair and skin care needs.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dream Presents... and new Polyvores...

Like all people I guess, I daydream of the things I would like to receive as presents or buy for myself if money was no object.

So here is my Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalogue-style list of things I would love to have if I won the lottery, Jeopardy, or the Sultan of Bahrain fell in love with me or something...

First, two skull rings :

18k white gold skull ring

Lydia Courteille , 18k white gold skull

This one by jeweler Lydia Courteille for the bargain price of 7430 british pounds ( like 15 thousand dollars). This would be like my dream engagement ring. Fuck diamond solitaires, they are TRITE.

and this one by Roberto Cavalli

Skull Ring

This one is borderline super cheap for only 290 bucks ( USD).

Skulls are like my signature.

Next a handbag by one of my favourite new design houses, Thomas Wylde..

eLUXURY - Thomas Wylde - To Die For II Clutch Thomas Wylde

For a mere 1495 smackers

and this other one by Alexander McQueen

Bags. Life. Style. With Fashion Writer KRiSTOPHER DUKES

Not even priced.

And talking about McQueen, something that I would want is a one of a kind, made to order and measurement McQueen evening gown. Approximately 35 thousand dollars for that one...

Lace insert evening gown large view

A made to order Chanel suit would be another nice present...

Chanel Chanel Boutique Suit French Navy Suit In Signature Canel Style This Suit Will Take You Anywhere available at Designer Exposure

About 8,000 USD...

I would also love a trip to Hong Kong in all luxury, first class flight accomodations and a 5 star hotel.

And last but not least, I want a home... but not any home...

A sweet, sweet, sweet condo loft in old Montreal...

For 329, 000 Canadian dollars, which for a home is NOTHING but this is my dream home in my dream city. I miss Montreal with every bone and never adjusted to moving back to the US....

And now some new polyvores...

Here is this one that I made to continue my series on modern clothing influenced by historical costume

This one is because I was thinking about the Spandau Ballet song....

And this one you have to roll over to understand

but it was inspired by this famous viral video....

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Polyvores...

I made some new Polyvores because I am here on a Friday night and even though exhausted, I cannot fall asleep

So here they are ...

The first one is a menswear one I did based on what a really nice guy would wear.

The second one was inspired by my last blog....

The this on is my tribute to Legally Blonde, The Musical

The last one is to put myself in a good mood....


I have been saying for ages that fat is the new black or the new gay. But since I am so fierce and ferocious, to quote Christian Siriano, usually I don't get to feel that in my every day life. Most people know that if they offend me or they piss me off, they are without a doubt, at the very least, getting a reading if I am in a good mood, or hairsprayed in the eyes at point blank range if I am PMSing.

I also benefit from what I call the "Halle Berry" clause, because since I am a "smaller" kind of fat and very shapely, and I usually don't catch much shit from random people. Crap, I have a better proportioned body than most thin chicks , and a flatter stomach too. I call that the "Halle Berry" clause because it's the same as when white people who are prejudiced, say that someone like Halle Berry is beautiful, because she is light-skinned and almost looks like a white woman.

But today I got to feel it ,and feel it to the marrow of my bones and I could not say anything about it even when I wanted to SCREAM. I am already pretty mad at her because she forces us to only draw thin figures. And I am PISSED the department only has small sized dress forms for draping.

I was in my sketching class and the teacher was returning and commenting on our homework from last week and on our quizzes. I made a B+. I am proud .

She was getting on people's case for drawing their figures too fleshy and she actually said: "They look like size 18's. That is not fashion".

Guess the fuck what? I AM A SIZE 18. A fit model, perfect size 18. 48-36-48, on the dot. Perfect 38DD.

And my toenail is more fierce and fashionable and striking and hot and exciting and amazing that her skinny, boney, prejudiced ass can ever dream of being. Shit, she is probabaly my same age and looks 20 years older! She is an incredibly talented artist and a good teacher, but all I can think right now is "No she 'idn't". I want to sue her. I want to sue the school . I want to sue the Universe.


Well, what I can say openly and proudly is EAT ME. FUCK A WORLD that thinks like that. I am a Size 18 and I AM FASHION.

When she said that, to me it was EXACTLY the same as if she had said that being black is not fashion, or being Asian is not fashion.

I am making it my PERSONNAL MISSION to see that Size 18 is not only fashion but becomes the preferred size in fashion.

I am good at many, many things. One of them is creation of hype. I pimp shit for a living. It's time I pimp my own shit.

Next year when I show my student collection, I am going to create SO MUCH FUCKING HYPE, I am going to have fucking WWD and W and fucking Fashion Files covering the student show just for MY SELF-PROMOTING, ENRAGED ASS. I am going to kick the doors of motherfucking Barney's and Holt Renfrew and Harvey Nichols wide open like motherfucking Britney Spears' legs after 2 Cosmos, and SEE to it that they carry bloody size 18 from then forward and until I expire my last breath.

I am going to beg, cajole, network do anything in my power to have the BEST and FIERCEST professional plus-size models walk the runway for my student show. I am going to design the mother of all collections and one that is going to freaking change the course of history. Because I can. I am going to pull a McQueen/Proenza/Zac Posen and sell-out. AT MESA COLLEGE. Not Parson's, Not Central St. Martins but bloody ghetto-Mesa College. Why? because I CAN.

And I am getting my ass admitted to the Master's Program at Central St. Martins and show at London Fashion Week and be the biggest buzzword in the fashion industry since John freaking Galliano. Why? Because I fucking can. I am motherfucking dyscalculic and was basically math illiterate and I got interviewed by Oxford for Medical School. I got myself from basic arithmetic to calculus in 3 bloody months. Why? Because I can do ANYTHING. I am the person who will tear the world a new asshole and never look back.

Fashion is not in your size. Fashion is in your mind and in your soul.

I am DONE, freaking done letting fucking fatphobic prejudiced assholes who suck the cocks of the weight-loss industry tell me and every other woman in the world what we should look like and that we need to HARM and HATE ourselves in order to be desirable. I am way past done. They are killing people of eating disorders and self-loathing. And that is not a "risk", like the bullshit diabetes and hypertension assorted cuntery. It's a certainty. I pucked my face off for over 10 years because of this bullshit. And now they are doing this CRAP to my daughter and if I let them they are going to do it to my niece and to every woman I care about in the world.

And the buck stops right the fuck here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blogging Project Runway:The Brady Bunch Reunion

I watched the "Reunion" show last night and it was really a non-event.

Those to me are really the least interesting shows all season.

I mean, there are people I like in there as people, and people I admire as designers and people who encompass both categories, like Chris March.

But really I care little about their opinions of each other. I watch the show for the clothes and creativity. Geez, to me even the product placement is an annoyance and encumbering to the creative process. They could come up with WAY cooler challenges if they did not insist or waste energy and thought on pimping Hershey's or Levi's or Tres Semme or Weight Watchers or Slim Fast.

They have GREAT ratings, so I don't understand WHY they have to compromise the intergity of the show by the product placement. And I feel bad for Tim Gunn because they make him do all the PP and to me, it kind of takes away from his dignity and personna. I have not seen the same kind of over the top and vulgar and aggressive product placement on the franchise versions of the show like Project Catwalk or Project Runway Canada and to me that makes the shows better. They can actually focus on truly inventive challenges and not have to compromise or take on the advertisers point of views or "key marketing messages". Which sometimes are offensive to the viewers. Like in the "Weight Loss" challenge. I loved that Kevin Christiana called it for what it was.

I was kind of suprised about how sweet Sweet P really is and how AWESOME Elisa really is. I like that chick. I actually share a lot of beliefs with her.

And God, VictorYa'a personnality comes through as grating. And I loved Kevin, he is such a cool laid back guy.

I was SHOCKED Christian got viewer's favourite. I completely had that going to Chris March because he is so damned loveable. I love me some Sissybear.

But all in all, I want to see the finale because I want to see how the clothes moved and see the fashion shows without interruption.

I liked how Nina came through as more intelligent than evil, which is a good thing to see, and how Michael Kors actually seems more compassioante and has a sense of humour.

"Creative" editing blows and can really be unflattering.

I hate it when they turn a complex human being into a two-dimensional character. Like Ricky.

And that is pretty much all I have to say about the reunion show.

What they did with the two decoy collections on Fashion Week, really kind of runined the expectation about who is in the top 3. Who cares? They all showed at Bryant Park.

I am saying what they should do is cut out the product placement, source of extra revenue or not, do more focused challenges and go back to the format with more integrity of the first and second seasons or the franchise shows.

Money, indeed ruins everything.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Polyvores: Hommage to My Ex-Boyfriends..

I was obviously procrastinating although I got the outline for my scholarly paper finished and I made some new polyvores.

Following in the lead of my adored friend E who makes the most totally awesome and surrealsitic and dada polyvores, I let my hair down and decided to get funky and get down with my bad-self

The first one is about my feelings for my exes and other labcoat lotharios. For some reason Polyvore did not have any books on biostatistics and epidemiology or on evolutionary genetics or any pocket protectors in its image banks...I was also let down by the lack of decapitated poultry.This was entirely too cathartic ;-)

The second, and much less disturbing one, is inspired by Picasso's Blue Period...

The third one I made for Anti-Coulter with her stipulations of champagne dress and jeweltones and inspired by Sweet P's choice in the Art Challenge of Peacocks

The last one I made for a polyvore friend who is a harp played and needed something to wear for a wedding in which she was playing.

So, as you see, I can work with direction and stipulations for a client....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fashion and Race: Two Steps Forward, Three Steps back

There is a huge problem with fashion.

Like all arts, eventually it becomes part art and part business. I mean even fashion designers and models have to eat, well ok, bad example, but they have to pay rent for the appartments that house the closets where they store their clothes.

And as a business, business interests creep in and once that happens, it's only a matter of time before bad things start rearing their ugly head.

As I mentionned in a previous blog, fashion is also a language. A very powerful language that people listen to. It tells people what is beautiful and desirable and acceptable.

Well way back in the day, fierce and stunning beautiful models of colour used to stomp the runways. Girls like Iman and Beverly Peele and Naomi Campbell. Girls like Tyra and Veronica Webb and Alex Wek and Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista and Kimora Lee ( believe it or not Christy and Linda are both LATINAS). Ethiopian and Somalian models used to RULE the runways like the Queens that they are. And I am sorry, that part of the world gives rise to women with the most amazing bone structures ever. Bone structures that photograph strikingly. Not only that, but these women have regal walks and posture. There was a reason why some of the most legendarily beautiful women in history like the Queen of Sheba , Cleopatra and Nefertiti were all African women.

I have undeniable African blood running through my veins. Do you think cheekbones like these and lips like these and hair like this came from my German or English ancestors? ( That is me in a Marina Rinaldi/Max Mara dress and jewelry by Vivienne Westwood).

No. I am a woman of colour. I am a woman of MANY colours. I am Native American. REALLY Native American. I have Toltec and probably Aztec and definitely Mayan in me. I have North African and Sub-Saharan African in me. I also have German and French and English and Spaniard and Italian in me. My mother's family came from a part of Mexico largely populated by former slaves imported from West Africa. And my great-grandmother Paz looked in her youth like a petite version of Halle Berry or Lena Horne, this was already in the late 1800's or turn of the 20th. Her daughter, my grandmother, looked like a cross of Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth. And my mother looked like a cross of Maria Felix and Sophia Loren. That is what happens because of the tradition of "mestizaje", or combining multiple ethnicities. Which is something very common in Mexico because of the slutty and very racist Spanish colonists. People are socially encouraged to "dilute" their "coloured" ( be it Indian or African) blood in order to "pass" and become as white-looking as possible, because in Mexico, white is wealthy, desirable and beautiful. And that is a BIG problem. Marrying a white, European-ish foreign dude in Mexico is a more powerful status symbol than a Mercedes Benz or a Louis Vuitton bag.

But in the 70's and 80's things got a little bit better because we started seeing images of women of colour on fashion magazines. Of women who were NOT blue eyed and blonde and who also were beautiful.

But the era of the super-model has come and gone, despite Tyra's best efforts.

We are in an era of absolutely squalid, starved, generic and Dickensian Eastern European and British models. These barely mentruating 13-17 year old girls look like something out of a WWII movie depicting the horrors of war in Odessa or Kiev, or maybe the street urchins or dirty prostitutes of Jack The Ripper's days in Whitechapel. They basicaly look like they would perform oral sex for a bread roll. Not sexy and definitely not fierce. More like scary and sordid and sad.

And they are the only ones getting booked. The designers and agencies argument is that "generic, super thin, pale" white girls don't detract from the clothing. Au fucking contraire. They are so wretched looking that they are distracting and seriously, they make beautiful clothing look awful. They give you that sad and uneasy and vaguely repulsed feeling you get when you watch "From Hell" or "Sweeney Todd"

Like these girls who walked for Marc Jacobs and Marchesa:

How far are these girls from people in treatment for life-threatening anorexia

skeleton6.jpg (29608 bytes)

This is a photo of Ana Carolina Reston who died from anorexia. She is heavier in this photo than the girls that walked this year..

** FILE ** Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston par...

Or from war camp survivors?

Hardly any... Actually, the concentration camp survivors look "chunkier" than the models.

So these present day beauty role models are not only exclusively models of white woman's beauty ideals, they are representative of the criminal, deranged or pathological ways of the worst of white people. Because doing this to yourself is pathological. Imposing this unto others is criminal. Promoting this as desirable or chic is downright deranged.

The reason why the designers don't want to use models of colour is because women or colour have been less poisoned by society's constant pressure to hate yourself. Ethnic models tend to look well, almost like they eat a couple of times a week. And they walk with spirit, energy and passion. They look alive.

And I guess the designers and stylists and agencies think that people want to see corpses in their clothes. Because of course, white people's corpses are not distracting.

Here is a great article of the lack of racial diversity on the catwalks that I found via the wonderful Nick Verreos (

Fashion Week Hits Diversity Problem


NEW YORK (AP) --"What happened to all the black people on the runway?" asked model Tyson Beckford, who attended several shows at New York Fashion Week. "There are no blacks on the cats."

Naomi Campbell put it another way: "Women of color are not a trend. That's the bottom line."

And while Campbell wasn't invited to the shows this week and didn't attend, the supermodel may have been on to something. It seems that while the fashion industry was worrying about how skinny models were, it was neglecting another problem: how white they were. There were drops of color here and there, but with the exception of a couple of shows, the runways were lined with pallid, bony bodies.

"There used to be myself, Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Tyra Banks," Beckford said. "There used to be a lot of us out there, but today a lot of the designers just aren't catering to black people."

In truth, this Fashion Week looked like about as diverse — or homogenous — as many before it. But if ever there should have been more people of color on the runway, the time was now.

The issue has been the topic of three panel discussions since September held by former model and agent Bethann Hardison. Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent a memo to its members encouraging them to create fashion shows "that are truly multicultural." The media has focused on the issue.

"I do believe it did have an effect on the shows," says Kyle Hagler, manager at IMG Models, adding that there were a couple of new, diverse faces. "Obviously there is still more that needs to be done."

Casting director Jennifer Venditti, owner of JV8Inc, says more ethnic models were used, but they were the same ethnic models as always. She says she only recognized a couple of new models.

"With the white girls, there's like a huge influx of people that you never saw before," says Venditti, who did castings for several shows, including Doo.Ri, Peter Som, BCBG and Rodarte. "I feel like it's always the same ethnic people."

Sean "Diddy" Combs made a statement by using only black models in his fall Sean John show on Friday. And other black designers, such as Tracy Reese, show diverse runways.

That's why Venditti says it's going to take a non-black designer to really make a change and embrace different colors and shapes. "A lot of times these girls are being judged on body type by someone of a different ethnicity," she says.

The late 80s and early 90s were seemingly a better time for black models, including Campbell, Banks, Webb, Beverly Peele and Karen Alexander. Before then there was Pat Cleveland, Naomi Sims, Iman and Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974.

While there isn't another Tyra or Naomi today, that's true across the industry. There are no big-name Christys or Giseles, either.

Gisele Bundchen, probably the last model who became a household name, helped usher in an era when Brazilian bombshells dominated the catwalk. That era has passed, even in Brazil, where critics complained earlier this year that Sao Paulo Fashion Week was full of models who were European in appearance.

On Forbes' 2007 list of the top fifteen earning models in the industry, only one — Liya Kebede — was black. The "in look" right now is white, says Holly Alford, a fashion historian from Virginia Commonwealth University.

"It's a white European girl look that is being made popular on the magazine covers," she says.

Still, Chanel Iman Robinson, who is black, is one of the most in-demand models this season. And Hagler hates to think that race is a trend.

"I think it's outrageous to think that we would exclude groups of people because they are not quote unquote fitting the trend," he says. "If it comes down to that, I would probably not work in this industry any longer. So hopefully this is not a trend. Hopefully this discussion has inspired people to take action."

There is a lot of finger-pointing over whose action that should be. Some blame the modeling agencies for not sending more ethnic models to casting calls. Others blame the designers for not hiring ethnic models. Then there are those who put the onus on the casting directors, who work for the designers.

Ivan Bart, senior vice president at IMG Models, says he sent a diverse group of models to the casting calls for this Fashion Week. One of the agency's Asian models, Emma Pei, has done several shows.

"In the end, it's up to the designer to make the ultimate decision on who they are going to cast for the show," he says.

Fashion designer Nick Verreos says he has asked agencies to send models of color only to have them send mostly white women. And Venditti, also director of "Billy The Kid," says there are so few ethnic girls at the casting calls that there are not many to choose from. Some of the models of color are eliminated because of fit or walk.

Still, she doesn't blame the agencies. She asks, why should an agency bring on lots of ethnic models if no one is calling to book them?

Verreos admits that some designers simply won't use models of color.

"I have heard rumblings that the girls of color take away from the garments, that they are so fierce and have so much of a persona, you notice them first as opposed to noticing the clothing," he says. "So there are a lot of designers who would rather have the clothing be noticed and have a pale background. I just don't think that's right."

The entire industry needs to take responsibility, says Neal Hamil, director of Elite Model Management North America, which is sponsoring the next Town Hall meeting.

"There really is not one group or component of the fashion community that is more guilty than others," he says. "We're all failing. There was a difference this season ever so slight. The better news is that everyone in the industry can also be part of the solution."

AP Fashion Writer Samantha Critchell and Anna Jane Grossman contributed to this report.