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What If Women In Great Art Had Today’s Bodies?

DAHLINGS –

I came across a fascinating article in the Guardian that asked the question: what if the females in great art were changed to fit today’s ultra-skinny form? Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano did just that, changing the bodies from the Old Masters’ portraits to today’s norm.

The results are shocking! The redone paintings make it clear how unrealistic our media is and how distorted our view of women’s bodies has become. Giordano’s website is here.


Botticelli’s Venus Before


Botticelli’s Venus After

I urge you to look at Giordano’s pictures (there are many others) and think about what societal norms have done to our perceptions of ourselves.

Ciao,

Elisa & Fletcher

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The 2010 Grammy Awards – MY Best Dressed

DAHLINGS –

Deepest apologies from your faithful correspondent. Not only have I neglected to write about the first three episodes of Project Runway, it’s taken until now for me to put together my best and worst dressed for the Grammy Awards. (I plead that my last assistant quit after we had a one-sided game of paintball in my gymnasium; she wasn’t allowed a paint gun because I’m the one with a designer wardrobe, damn it.)

So, without further ado, my choices for the Best Dressed At The Grammy Awards. This is a far less stuffy affair than most award shows, so the participants are freer to express themselves. This can either be a good or a very bad thing. There was so much pure hideousness it was difficult to even put together this list! Forgive me if it is shorter than usual.

For best dressed, my first choice is singer Adam Lambert:

Not only does the “guyliner” work, his outfit reflects his persona perfectly: out and proud, with a style all of his own. I’m in love with the sparkles on this jacket and for some reason he can pull off spiky hair far better than most (are you listening, Rihanna?) Most of the male musicians were either in dark suits or country outfits, yawn.

Next, we have Keri Hilson. I have no idea who this young woman is, but the dress is a classic, and I tend to be a classicist. It is a mermaid gown by Dolce & Gabbana:

Mary J. Blige’s choice of red carpet dress is faultless. This Gucci creation flatters her beautiful body and the color is stunning on her.

Pink entered in an uncharacteristically ladylike gown in ombre tones by Tony Ward. The subtle jeweled embellishment on the waistline and top of the bodice gave it that touch of femininity (which softens the effect that she’ll punch your lights out if you don’t like her dress).

During the awards show Pink did an acrobatic performance in which she did the most amazing imitation of a hotel fire sprinkler that I have ever seen. Since there was nobody on fire in the audience, I hope they did not mind getting drenched.

Gaby Sidibe looked sexy and youthful at the midnight after-Grammys party. This dress is perfect for her shape, quite an improvement from the Golden Globes!

And I have to admit, this dress was very near the top of my list–Lady Gaga!

Although the thing in her hand reminded me of Edward Scissorhands, your faithful correspondent loved the “lightness” of the dress (although it probably weighed a ton). One hopes she didn’t cut too many other people on the red carpet. Although since it is red, perhaps nobody noticed unless their clothes were stained.

I could have done without the shoes, which in close-up looked like an unfortunate fungal infection:

So that is my Grammy Awards Best Dressed List. Feel free to comment, to agree or disagree, but bear in mind that I am always right.

(For the record–pardon the pun–I was bored by Taylor Swift’s gown, and Jennifer Hudson, although in a pretty outfit, was so thin I was dismayed. It is always so sad to see yet another larger lovely buy into the Hollywood anorexia culture.)

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

People’s Choice Award: The Worst Dressed

DAHLINGS –

As I mentioned in my previous post, my choices for Best and Worst were hampered by the sameness of the dresses, particularly the plethora of one-shouldered gowns. However, your faithful correspondent will not let her readers down. Here, in no particular order, are my Worst Dressed.

THE WORST DRESS OF THE NIGHT

One star’s outfit leapt out at me. It is amazing that Carrie Underwood managed to find a dress made entirely of chicken wire:

“OUCH, y’all.”

And that strange bustle-thing; did it hurt to sit on? I only hope she wasn’t badly scratched by evening’s end.

FOR GOD’S SAKE, FEED ME A SANDWICH!

There was the usual swarm of hideously gaunt actresses, their fleshless arms and legs exposed by teeny frocks.
First, we have Taylor Swift (who apparently plays major league basketball in her spare time, minus the steroids):
Jessica Alba looks as though nothing but vitamin water has passed her lips for the past six months. This dress was criticized on another site for making Ms. Alba’s hips look big…er, big, if you’re a praying mantis.
Diane Kruger is disturbing in Herve Leger:

Even a sorry attempt at pouf doesn’t make Dana Ramirez look any more female:

SPECIAL NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD AWARD
…goes to Nicole Kidman. Her pallor, skeletal appearance and immobile face (not to mention the flat, lustreless hair) suggest that she died last week, but was specially resurrected to attend this ceremony. I do hope they sprayed her with a great deal of Chanel #5 to conceal the odor of decay.
“I need brains. Braaaains…”
FOLIE AUX DRESS
Whoever this young woman is, she may consider firing her stylist. The oversized, draped top is trying to be 80s and, unfortunately, succeeding. And pumpkin orange is not the new black.
One supposes we should be celebrating Hayley Williams’s individuality, for her dress is neither one-shouldered nor draped. However it looks as though she is being attacked by a swarm of huge moths. Her stylist also might have suggested that orange is not the new black when it comes to hair, either.
“This is tasty wool!”
This couple looks as glum as their outfits:
She: “Are we having fun yet?”
He: “No.”

Finally, we have Sandra Bullock. Not only is her dress a color that washes her out, it is strangely constructed. It rather looks like the fabric was thrown at her and then basted where it landed. Fortunately, her recent box office successes have made Ms. Bullock able to afford a staggering amount of plastic surgery, leaving her face a waxen mask.
As I wrote before, this is my list, and feel free to leave your comments. But bear in mind that I am always right.
Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Fashion Week: Custo Barcelona Does Fringe And More Fringe

DAHLINGS:

As you might have guessed by now, I am not what you would call a “club kid,” so perhaps I am not the target demographic for the Custo Barcelona men’s and women’s show on Sunday night in the Tent.

The music was a floor-shaking David Bowie remix, with “Dream Genie” heavily featured. This was apropos, as a few of the outfits looked like cheap I Dream of Jeannie knockoffs. Designer Custo Dalmau likes to call his fabric “yarns,” which translated into endless bathing suits with brightly colored crochet-look ponchos over them. There was more fringe on that runway than a herd of 1960s go-go dancers. Go ahead and call it texture if you like.


The male models were all exceedingly handsome, if handicapped by their clothes. There was one interesting suit in a mottled pattern:

One poor juvenile had to wear an outfit with fringed sleeves and wide fringed gaucho pants that reminded one of nothing so much as a maraca player in a 1930s Spanish musical. And I am by no means a fan of the newest trend of male clam diggers, as dear darling Mama used to call those strange mid-calf pants (as distinct in style from cropped pants or flood pants in that they have no inherent style).

During a lull in the day’s activities, an IMG employee remarked to your faithful correspondent that she has never seen the models as thin as they are this year. Given that they normally look like they had been released from Auschwitz hours before the shows that is quite a statement. But it is true; some of the models’ thighs, seen close, are absolutely painful to see.

Backstage, before I was trapped next to the diminutive Mr. Dalmau (cf. my earlier post) I watched the male models being posed ala New Kids On The Block; they were quite adorable in their own clothes, if a tad on the underfed side. This sign hung by the entry to the runway:

Now at least I know why models never smile…take a look at the sign on the right side. However, the rest of it is quite inspirational, in a vapid sort of way.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

More Ramblings on The Fashion Show, Oprah, Kirstie Alley, Etc.

DAHLINGS –

Forgive my lateness in posting, but I have been up to my long-lashed eyelids in trip preparation. Yes, your faithful correspondent is leaving her beloved Manhattan to go to North Carolina. First to stay with one of NC’s finest hostesses, and from there to attend a dear, dear friend’s commitment ceremony.

Yes, I believe in gay marriage and I’m not going to hell. Anyone who disagrees with me is free to go there, however, if I may be so bold.

In any event, I did not manage to get through Episode 3 of “The Fashion Show.” The minichallenge, after Johnny R. blew up at Isaac for not being able to sew last week, was a sort of producer’s revenge. The teams had to do repairs on three garments: a shoulder pad, missing buttons, a broken zipper, and a skirt hem. When Isaac pronounced one misshapen zipper “unforgivable,” well, my apologies, but I hit the Mute button. I only glanced up during the runway show, and noticed that the sleeping bag coat bore a remarkable resemblance to this coat that was sent down a real runway several years ago:

The convertible coat was the winner:

And it was designed by Andrew, who I could not pick out out of a lineup. Markus got the boot and was quite bitter about it. (Serves him right for spelling his name with a “k”.) For more about this episode, you’ll have to read elsewhere. Your faithful correspodent finds “The Fashion Show”…well…unpleasant.

On to other, even more unpleasant topics. The news of the day is that poor Kirstie Alley was in talks with Harpo, Oprah Winfrey’s company, about doing a talk show. However, because of the weight she has gained, she has been replaced by the far thinner Jenny McCarthy. Who has more to offer as a host, one has no idea. But once again:

SHAME on Oprah Winfrey, for AGAIN driving another nail into the coffin of American women’s self esteem, subconsciously because of her own self-loathing, I’m sure. Yes, Kirstie Alley has been inconsistent in her comments about her weight and plans since she was given the boot by Jenny Craig.

But show me a female with a weight problem who ISN’T!

Some say that no-one would care about Kirstie’s weight except Kirstie if she didn’t keep bringing it up! Excuse me, people, but have you read a tabloid over the past two years? With their most unflattering photos of Kirstie Alley getting out of cars, eating, etc., all with screaming headlines such as:

“KIRSTIE PACKS ON THE POUNDS!”

Of course Ms. Alley is crushed that a more conventionally pretty host was chosen over her. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone? Personally I would be far more interested in hearing what a woman who struggles with her weight (who is NOT Oprah!) has to say, instead of blaming the victim as Hollywood does.
And yes, the press does that with anorexic stars as well as overweight stars, which means across the board, celebrity females are probably afraid to leave the house in anything but a burkah.
This is exactly how your faithful correspondent likes to start her morning. Utterly disgusted.
Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Meghan McCain vs. Laura Ingraham In The Weight Wars

DAHLINGS –

Your faithful correspondent generally avoids the topic of politics because:

a) they tend to be divisive and fights break out at cocktail parties (during the election, a food fight broke out at a soiree I was hosting that involved a large toasted Brie…I still shudder at the memory).
b) in my case, they cause Deep Thoughts, which tend to give me pounding headaches.

A disclaimer: some of my best friends are Republicans, and some of them are Democrats. And during my recent sojourn in Washington, DC (cf. earlier entries) I helped women of both parties get ready for the “new glamour”(sic) coming to the White House.

However, I am addressing the topic this morning because it involves one of what one might call one of my “causes,” which is loving one’s beautiful, bountiful body. Meghan McCain, Senator John McCain’s 24-year-old daughter, wrote an excellent column in The Daily Beast about that lunatic extremist Ann Coulter

(who has, by the way, used her physical image in no small way to get media attention) and how Coulter’s extremist politics alienated the people of Meghan’s generation.

McCain was blasted by Republican “pundit” Laura Ingraham not for criticizing Coulter, but because she was “too plus-sized to be a cast member on the MTV television show The Real World.” (Ingraham has also parlayed her physical appearance to become, as one website suggested, “an official Republican babe.”)

McCain accurately characterized Ingraham’s response as petty, juvenile and off-topic, and asked the question: why are we still judging women by their size? McCain is voluptuous and extremely beautiful .

Ingraham, of course, did not answer, but instead lashed out on her radio station’s website: “Now the Left is seizing on one satirical line from our show to paint Meghan as the victim of a right-wing hate crime.”

Uh, no, Laura, you have gotten it all wrong. Judging women by their body size is neither left-wing nor right-wing, it knows no politics. It only knows convenience, hatred and opportunity.

To answer Meghan’s question from a politically non-partisan view: because judging women by their size is more rampant than at any time your faithful correspondent can remember. The paparazzi simply cannot wait to publish pictures of celebrities sporting double chins, “baby bumps,” or being caught in the act of…gaspeating.

There are entire ongoing feature columns on some websites devoted to showing how famous women have gained weight, and those columns are NOT meant to be flattering. Occasionally a man makes it into these columns, but only if he is a sex symbol who has happened to develop love handles. All famous women, on the other hand, are fair game. Look at the flack JLo had to take at the Golden Globes because of her supposed “back fat”!

Yes, I also confess that I comment on models and other gaunt women in a less-than-flattering way. I believe strongly that they are part of the problem.

At the Edward Steichen exhibit, the fashion models were real women, with real bodies, as were the movie stars. (These days “real women” is often used as a euphemism for “fat,” have you noticed?) One could imagine them dieting and exercising, but hardly to the point of having colon cleanses and working out five hours a day, as Madonna does. And yes, some women are meant to be extremely thin. But not that many.

Characterizing us by our bodies removes our personalities, intellects and politics from the equation. Women become nothing more than those—pardon me for the vulgarity—but we become nothing more than full-page vaginal shots in pornographic magazines (yes, I’ve seen them).

Both celebrities and ordinary women in private life are affected by this obsession.
Yes, we have always expected movie stars to be attractive, but not to be perfect. This unreal, elusive and dangerous demand for “perfection” of size and appearance diminishes and distracts all women in America.

I think I might have been a size 10 once in my life (detailed in an earlier entry) through a combination of starvation and bulimia, so I like to think I have a wee bit of expertise in this area. By embracing the voluptuous body I was meant to have, and not the body society thinks I ought to have, I am free to concentrate on more significant matters.

Fortunately, not politics. This might sound mean-spirited, but I do hope Laura Ingraham chokes on the Splenda she stirs into her black coffee.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and do have a green beer for me, dahlings!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Fatigue Sets In At Fashion Week 2009…

DAHLINGS –

Because of my evening at the New York Reality Television School, I missed the ho-hum Halston collection. No great loss, as my friends at the Bryant Park Hotel told me when I stopped by the Zimmerman Spring Preview.

But I did manage to take in three earlier shows (although how anyone expects an important, busy woman to get up at dawn to attend a 9 AM collection, no matter by whom, baffles me).

Speaking of ho-hum, my day started with the Monique Lhuillier show in the promenade. Maybe it was fashion fatigue setting in, but this collection seemed dull, derivative and uninspired, even if many of the fabrics were lovely. This poor model was absolutely wall-eyed with exhaustion and hunger.

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As she passed , I was nibbling on a chocolate croissant, and for a second I feared she was going to attack me, as Natasha Poly had a few seasons back. Fortunately, as always during Fashion Week, there were paramedics stationed at perimeter points armed with Ensure, cigarettes, and crystal meth.

But back on topic, haven’t you seen varations of this dress in catalogs a hundred times?

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Next, it was over to the Betsey Johnson show, where I was quite pleasantly surprised. Ms. Johnson and I do not have the same style sense by any means. But this collection was a delightful campy romp, and there were giant cupcakes for all of us in the front row! The big-little-girl dresses and adorable wigs brought back strong memories of my childhood. Particularly since dear, darling Mama forced me to pretend to be eleven years old for ten years.

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As Maurice Chevalier sang, “Ah, yes, I remember it well.” By the time she allowed me to turn twelve, I was far more zaftig than any of these models, I can tell you that. Ms. Johnson herself astonished me by coming out looking quite chic before she did her trademark cartwheel.

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The final show I had time to attend was Dennis Basso, who obviously does not believe personally in the gaunt aesthetic he promotes. Basso profundo, indeed! More like Basso gigundo.

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My idol Anna Wintour was in attendance, as was Nina Garcia of “Project Runway,” and a galaxy of socialites. Basso’s clothes were lovely, but could any model have looked more miserable than Cecilia Mendez?

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It made for a bit of cognitive dissonance. However, I made a note to order this stunner for myself. Imagine it with a real body inside!

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Oh, damn, I hear whining from the bedroom, and Bucky is curled up at my feet. It must be my assistant. She gets SO confused at the simplest instructions; all she has to do is lay out my five outfits for tomorrow, with matching shoes and jewelry! Is that so very much to ask?

Must dash –

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog