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Sorry, I Don’t Want An "Amazing Transformation!"

DAHLINGS –

Since the discovery that there were vast sums to be derived from making others feel inadequate, never has such high intelligence has been devoted to low self-esteem.

And never has technology had such effective tools to work with. Between CGI and Photoshop, women (and everybody else) have almost no access to unmediated images.

For example: when has Oprah EVER looked like one of her own magazine covers? It sickens moi when Oprah has those “empowering” title lines on her covers. “Be The Best You?” Then how about showing us the REAL You, Oprah? The woman who is overweight, with heavy arms. This is not meant as a criticism of Ms. Winfrey’s physique. It is a criticism of Ms. Winfrey’s holding herself out as an example. An example that is a LIE.

Ms. Winfrey believes that her bazillions of followers will not buy her magazines if Oprah Winfrey actually looks like Oprah Winfrey.

The mind boggles. In fact, it makes my head hurt if I think about this too much.

Larger lovelies are further marginalized not only by Oprah having herself halved in size, but also the eradication of any and all normal flaws in media images. We are so ceaselessly bombarded by smooth, creamy perfection at every turn that oneself cannot measure up. Even the perfect people are not perfect enough. In television and movies, no wrinkles, bulges, unsightly moles, body hair, bra lines, panty lines, a dress wrinkled in the waist and skirt from sitting down—thanks to CGI, “all gone!” as a friend of mine says to her shiba inu when lunch is done.

To reach out to larger lovelies and spread the word, http://www.aboutcurves.com/ is having a charity drive for NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). They have asked plus-size bloggers to write, and I am proud to do so. Even if, as always, I’m slightly late. Click the link for more information:

http://www.aboutcurves.com/charity

Before I write anything else, there is one item I must get off my ample chest: if I meet the people behind the Victoria’s Secret ad campaigns and catalogs, there would be blood on the streets. Even the gaunt Dachau victims that lurch down the runways during Fashion Week are more realistic than those pencils with false breasts. Victoria’s Secret has it all…One can feel bad about being skinny, flat-chested, large-chested, heavy, tall, short…any woman that does not look like these bizarre hybrids. And the quality of their merchandise is far lower than their prices would indicate.

The name “Victoria’s Secret” brings to mind the image of a young Victorian female, all plush curves and dimpled elbows. Beautiful lingerie enhancing the splendor of an actual human body. Sensual fabrics on sexual females. The hint of a double chin above a soft neck. Long hair spilled across a satin pillowcase.

Thousands of ads toting exercise machines, DVDs, pills, programs, all guaranteed to make you lose weight and keep it off. Sometimes I wonder:

a) Why have I never met anyone personally who underwent such a transformation?

b) If all of those hordes of “afters” are thin, how can there be any fat people left, logistically speaking?

You might think this is a “been there, done that” tirade. We have been there. We have done that. But never as completely. Never as unremittingly. Women are trained from the cradle to think of themselves as physically inadequate in some way. Heavy women even more so. Now, overweight isn’t only overweight, it is a crime against humanity. At least according to TMZ and their ilk.

Where are the role models for larger lovelies? Every time a heavy beauty has a career breakthrough…she sheds poundage. And since said beauty has always given publicity about “loving myself the way I am”, the frantic backtracking becomes comic to watch. “Yes, I did love myself at that weight, but life can be enjoyed at any size!” THEN WHY DID YOU LOSE SIXTY POUNDS, BITCH? (Yes, I’m looking at you, Jessica Hudson. I know there are others. But I’m looking at you.)

We are betrayed at every turn. America Ferrera started “Ugly Betty” as a larger lovely, but grew progressively thinner as the show’s run went on. Singer Jordin Sparks is ´delighted´ to have lost weight. Media websites love to run slideshows of “Amazing Transformations!”

That’s another peeve. You don’t lose weight. You have “An Amazing Transformation!” “Complete Body Makeover!” Good God, it makes me long for the days when the goal of losing weight was well…losing weight. Buy a smaller bra. Wear pleats. Can we ever go back? If we’re going to make abortion illegal again, while we’re at it, can’t we go back to excess poundage not being a mortal sin?

Pardon the pun: Fat chance. My apologies if this rambles a bit, but I have low blood sugar. I am going to go eat a chocolate cupcake. In public.

Ciao,

Elisa

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Jennifer Hudson May Be Thin, But…

DAHLINGS –

I have avoided the topic of Jennifer Hudson as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Although I believe that we shall have Kirstie Alley 2.0 on our hands in a few years. (After all, didn’t sports commentator Mike Golic shed pounds on Nutrisystem, gain it all back and is now shilling for another weight loss gambit? Twas ever thus.)

However, this photo of Ms. Hudson at LAX simply cried out for commentary:

Not only because of the madly unflattering combination of leggings and tight purple lace shirt, not only because of the camel toe, but also the fact that Ms. Hudson can be clearly seen wearing SPANX underneath all of that. Good God, woman, why bother losing all of the weight if you still feel obligated to wear constricting undergarments?

Your faithful correspondent is not recommending constricting undergarments, although she has been known to wear waist cinchers when in vintage dresses. But truly, what is the point of being held up as an example of slenderness if you still have to wear Spanx? Or feel that you have to wear Spanx? Isn’t the point of the exercise to not wear Spanx?

Just an idle, slightly outraged thought, dahlings. Feel free to have your say in the comments section.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The CMT Awards Best Dressed List

DAHLINGS –

To put it in a way country music fans will understand, the pickin’s were mighty slim at the CMT Awards earlier this week. Not quite as much of a snooze fest as the MTV Movie Awards, but there were a few pretties on display.

But before I begin, a question: why is David Spade allowed to live, much less attend the CMT Awards? What does he have to do with country music? Is owning an Ipod really enough?

And he looks so delighted to be there, too.

All right, on to the Best Dressed.

You all know my taste, which inclines toward the classics. However, my favorite outfit of the night belonged to Elizabeth Cook:

This had color, individuality, and for this fashion writer, the sense that a woman with style picked her own clothes. Others may think it bizarre, but I applaud Ms. Cook. More than anything, this ensemble is fun.

Next, we have Faith Hill, in a breezy chiffon creation by J. Mendel that both flatters her figure and projects a secure self-image:

I am not a fan of showing this much sternum, but Ms. Hill actually has something to show, unlike many of the other evening’s participants.

Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott worked a little black strapless dress that fit perfectly.

Taylor Swift looked pretty if rather uninspired in this John Galliano dress. Much fuss has been made of the fact that she straightened her hair that evening. This just in: Taylor Swift’s hair announces that it has solution for the Gulf oil disaster!

Jada Pinkett-Smith was the essence of confidence in this blue crushed velvet dress, a mashup of two different Emilio Pucci designs:

My only criticism is that velvet seems to be an awfully warm fabric choice, particularly under the lights.

In the “Close, But No Cigar” category I am sorry to put singer Trisha Yearwood. While I admire her for her womanly shape, why dress it in a black, ill-fitting, unflattering dress that looks like it was made of black garbage bags? There’s a goddess’s figure under there, Ms. Yearwood!

Sarah Buxton’s Empire-waisted dress was nice; sorry, no more interesting word comes to mind, but I rather liked it:

Although she is extremely gaunt, a disturbing trend that is taking speed throughout all of the entertainment industry (yes, I’m talking to you, Jennifer Hudson. Thank you ever so much for letting down thousands of larger women. I cannot wait until you gain it all back and the tabloids go insane).

For the menfolk, my first choice is Trace Adkins, shown her with his lovely wife and daughter. (It is also so refreshing to see real women at these events, even if they are invariably wives.) To me, he looks authentically “country.” Since I do not actually listen to country music, to me Mr. Adkins looks like he gave his outfit some, but not too much, thought.

I loved musician Danny Gokey’s take on the tuxedo (his resemblance to Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t hurt, either.)

That is it for my Best-Dressed list, dahlings. To be honest, I did not think I would be able to make this many choices. Even if some of them were a bit of a stretch.

Worst-Dressed List up soon, and there are, as the common folk used to say, some doozies.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

How Does One Choose the Grammy’s Worst Dressed??

DAHLINGS –

I know that the cliche’ goes that musicians march to a different drummer (or these days, computerized keyboard) when it comes to fashion, but…the Grammy Awards presented such an unrelenting parade of crimes against fashion!

How surreal it all is becomes clear when you realize that Carrie Underwood is one of the BEST dressed.
(All photographs courtesy of Getty Images)

In my unhumble opinion, Jordin Sparks was the best dressed of the evening, glorious in Debra Davenport:

The band Coldplay showed up, cleverly costumed as a box of Crayolas:

And it wouldn’t be Hollywood without several hideously gaunt young women, including Audrina Partridge, who in Tadashi achieved the trifecta of a too-low strapless dress, jagged collarbones and stick-thin arms:

and Paris Hilton in vintage Versace and an irritating sense of entitlement:

Gack.

Whitney Houston showed up, looking lovely in Zuhair Murad. Although shortly after this photo was taken she fell over backwards onto the couch and passed out.

Jennifer Hudson has apparently succumbed to “Oprah’s Disease”, becoming unnaturally thin. One hopes it is the camera angle. As for the RM for Roland Mouret dress, it is moi or is it both poorly fitted and bunched up in strange places?

No one expects quiet good taste from Paula Abdul, but this his hideous yellow thing by Basil Soda will remain burned into my retinas for at least a week.

However, the winner of The Worst Dressed At The Grammys Goes to:

M.I.A., whose fashion sense was also missing in action:

Yes, they say she’s expecting. What? The circus coming to town? And Christian Lacroix sneakers? It’s the end of civilization, I tell you.

Mon Dieu, I must hie me to the other room and listen to some Schubert.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The Carpet Runs Red At The Oscars…

DAHLINGS,

It’s Oscar night, and no Vanity Fair party! Not only that, your faithful correspondent is simply wrung out from the stress of working on my soon-to-be-opening extravaganza, “Diary of A Mad Fashionista,” which opens this Wednesday.

No matter. It is my duty to report on the good, bad and the ugly on the red carpet, and then to bed. Perhaps not the exhaustive reportage my readers have come to expect from yours truly, but the mere fact that I am dictating this is a feat in itself. The blog comes first!

First, I have to say, that beautiful Jennifer Hudson should have let my dear friend Andre Leon Talley dress her this year. And for me to say THAT is significant. She is in an dazzlingly unflattering Grecian white dress with an Empire waist (why do busty women think they will look better in Empire waists?), and a shapeless bust. I do hope that dear Jennifer is not channeling Aretha Franklin nowadays!

Second, on the other end of the weight scale, Calista Flockhart was also in a Grecian draped dress (did Rami from “Project Runway” dress the invitees?) in a sickly shade of blue green, the better to look truly anorexic. Her better two-thirds, Harrison Ford, has taken to wearing a gray page boy, perhaps in homage to the Best Supporting Actor, Javier Bardem.

Another trend on the red carpet was “bed-head.” Cameron Diaz wore a scruffy ponytail (it matched the wrinkles in her gown), and Colin Farrell’s hair hung down in an uncombed mess.

Helen Mirren looked…very good. This appearance was a tad disappointing from an actress who always looks spectacular.

(Personally, I think it was the lace sleeves on her red gown. It looked like she’d thrown on an old English cardigan, even if they are crystals.)

Meanwhile, Kristin Chenoweth must have had not time to shop and ran straight to the nearest Frederick’s of Hollywood.

More later…I simply must hie me to bed.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Andre Leon Talley & I Have A Smackdown!

DAHLINGS –

Apologies for my long absence!

I am “covered in shame” not to have communicated with you all, mes enfants, when I know you need it so. Especially now, as the weather grows warmer and here in beautiful New York City, the fashion-challenged come out from under their huge colorless coats and woven Sherpa hats (shudder).

“Haute Cou-Poor,” my program at the Fashion Institute of Technology to teach the indigent about Fashion In The True Sense, has been literally taking up all of my time, day and night! Who knew something so hellishly close to work could be so…well, hellish? Even with all of those idiotic student interns? They are almost as stupid as my personal assistant!

(Well, no one is that stupid, but I digress.)

Andre Leon Talley and I had what can only be called in today’s parlance, a “smackdown” about that HIDEOUS jacket he put on beautiful, voluptuous Jennifer Hudson for the Oscars. The man simply cannot handle criticism of the mildest kind. It comes with the territory, everyone pussyfooting around him, afraid they’ll lose their job. Now he is one of my dearest friends; and anyone I have to look UP at when I’m talking to them has a special place in my heart.

But that jacket. No.

It was bad enough, I told him, that he adored Marc Jacobs’s collection, and appeared on the Style network calling Nicholas Guest one of fashion’s greatest thinkers (excuse me?). But the jacket was unpardonable, a major failing of taste on an international scale. In all candor, I should have had the sense to have this conversation in public, perhaps at Pastis, instead of my beautiful Central Park West apartment.

Dahlings, the man went simply berserk. You would have thought nobody had questioned his taste since 1973. Perhaps no one has. First, a torrent of abuse directed at yours truly, saying that I wasn’t fit to vomit on Anna Wintour’s skirt (cf. my February 4th post on Fashion Week). Then Andre grabbed one of my prized Faberge’ eggs, blue and gold, and CRUSHED IT in his massive hand, whereupon I screamed!

I confess. I lost control of myself. I sicc’ed Bucky on Andre Leon Talley.

No one breaks my blue and gold Faberge’ egg and gets away with it.


(This is Bucky sharpening his teeth on a rawhide.)

Bucky may only weigh 14 pounds and stand 16 inches tall next to Andre’s 6 feet 9 inches or whatever it is, but that dog is a well-trained little minpin and defended his mistress!

The fearless beast leapt upward and sank his teeth deep into the back of Andre’s calf, right out of Andre’s reach (Bucky is a very sensible canine). As much as he swatted, Andre could not dislodge my dog, until I gave the command to let go and run!* Bucky galloped out of the sitting room, a flap of black linen pant fabric still in his jaws.

Andre collapsed on my divan, which for a moment I feared would collapse under Andre, in hysterical tears, threatening to sue me, to ruin my reputation, to tell people the heinous lie my hair is not naturally blonde!

In the interest of Andre’s dignity, I will spare you further details of the next half hour. Suffice to say we parted still friends, although I will be receiving some hefty medical bills ere long, and “Haute Cou-Poor” will be the less for Andre’s non-participation. But one must take the rough with the smooth. Thank goodness Bucky has had all of his shots, and I have very expensive lawyers at the ready.

One must always be prepared, cést vrai.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Heroic Wonderdog

*Let go and run was, unfortunately, a command I had to teach my darling dog early on.

The Oscars On (And Off) Ebay!

DAHLINGS –

Sorry to have been away, but Chris Noth…well, let’s merely say he’s remarkably energetic and leave it at that. Poor Bucky had to be locked out of the bedroom for two days, but Chris felt it would be altogether too bizarre to be stared at by a dog. No matter how small.

In any event, I’m back. Rather tired and a bit cramped, but back.

So many CRIMES AGAINST FASHION were committed during the Academy Awards (Jack Nicholson’s head alone will wake me screaming in the night for months to come), that I felt compelled to display some, er, alternatives from my fellow sellers on and off Ebay. Most of them are on Ebay, poor things. My heart goes out to them. But they are all wonderful, honest sellers and you should buy their clothes.

NOW.

There was a great deal of discussion about how ANYTHING would have looked better on Nicole Kidman than that hideous Balenciaga goiter dress. Funkoma Vintage had this dress, saying even THIS would look better:

Funkoma Vintage

I quite agree–just about anything would, and these sort of little 80s things are ever so fashionable now. If, like me, you liked Kelly Preston’s leopard dress, here is a vintage latticed-back take on it, sold by the lovely USMCMars. It is a size Large, with a 39 inch bust:

Vintage Clothing From USMCMars

Of course, one has to wear gold sequins on Oscar night to look paparazzi-perfect! Underwood Estates has this size 4 open-back bombshell in her store, Views of Vintage:

Underwood Estates Views of Vintage

If one is going to wear a dress like that, accessories are KEY, and this beautiful vintage bag from Marie92001 is just the ticket. It’s a vintage Ingber purse, even trimmed with rhinestones for that extra touch of sparkle:


http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-50s-60s-GOLD-Rhinestone-INGBER-Purse_W0QQitemZ270094130578QQihZ017QQcategoryZ74966QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Speaking of gold, this would look simply stunning on Halle Berry, wouldn’t it? This is for sale at www.borntoolatevintage.com:

And as every woman knows, you can’t go wrong with a black dress…unless you’re Meryl Streep at the actual Oscars (shudder). This exquisite 1930s lace dress is for sale at www.figure8studio.com :

These vintage 50s shoes, being sold by Ebay seller WVATumbleweed, would be excellent with a black sheath, and even though they are vintage, they are a size NINE! And made of black mesh and fabric with kitten heels:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sassy-Spring-vintage-Blk-mesh-50s-kitten-heels-shoes-9_W0QQitemZ300085121228QQihZ020QQcategoryZ74980QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

For those who like simplicity with style (and who doesn’t?) Ebay seller freshbloominclothing has this black sequined stunner, in a marvelous size 18, quite in the spirit of Jennifer Hudson (sans strange reptile jacket):

Fresh Bloomin Clothing

And speaking of style, it is hard to top this incredible silk Ceil Chapman dress, offered on Ebay by Dorotheascloset. It has an amazing draped bustline, with swags that go below the hemline in the front, and is a size Medium to Large. This would have looked so much prettier on Jessica Biel than that awful neon thing she wore:

Dorotheas Closet

Couldn’t you just ROLL in that purple? (I know Bucky would like to.) There were many strapless dresses at the Academy Awards, including Patricia Fields (gack). However, for those that did not care for Jennifer’s Hudson’s brown dress, here is a Mike Benet vintage chiffon masterpiece, up for auction by flashbak58, with a 40 inch bust:


Flashback 58 Bombshell Frocks

Another dazzling confection is this grand 60s vintage ballgown, being sold by my dear friend and mentor, andapanda-rlf (yes, I know it’s a strange name, but it has some inner meaning). It is in heavy satin, with a deep V-back topped with a bow and a bustle. Perfect for the Red Carpet!


andapanda’s Vintage Clothing

Most fashion shows finish with a bridal gown, but this is MY fashion show, dahlings. So instead, to finish with a flourish, this is a simply stunning Emma Domb column gown. From the front it is a simple wool crepe Audrey Hepburn-style dress (although with a 38 inch bust poor Audrey would have drowned in it–but at least the high front neckline would have concealed her collarbones!). But in the back are two long columns, sewn on the outside so that they sail outward when you walk! Another Red Carpet moment! For sale by my dear, dear friend Maureen at www.vintagegrace.com:


I’ll be back with more of my own pretties in a day or two. In the meantime, I’m going to tell my assistant that if Chris calls, I’m busy. A girl needs her beauty sleep, after all.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog