Fashion Me Fabulous Pages

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Emmys and VMAs by the Numbers

The VMAs were Sunday and the Emmys were Monday. The fashion at these two event could not have been further apart, so I'm going to mash them together in one post. Why? Because the VMAs demand wildness, sex and questionable taste and the Emmys a tricky best-dressed-classic-yet-modern dance. Yet it's almost all boring and predictable. (Thank you Teyonah Parris and Kate Walsh for injecting the weekend with some memorable style!)

Let's do some fashion math. We're trying to solve these questions: How much sex does a pop star have to sell if all the other pop stars are peddling the same sex? Can any outfit be shocking when it all feels so staged? What is it about actresses that makes them cling to fashion safety? Is it because singers are selling their personality to the crowd but actresses are selling a blank slate to a casting director? Being on a worst dressed list -- always a possibility if you're trying something new -- doesn't seem to affect a singer's sales. Does it affect the roles and actress is offered?

7 Ladies in Red
Christina Hendricks, Mindy Kaling, Rita Ora
January Jones, Kaley Cuoco
Uzo Aduba, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

1 Unexpected Resurfacing of Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dress
Claire Danes
3 Women in White-ish
Sofia Vergara, Iggy Azalea, Danielle Brooks
4 Times Bright was Right
Kate Walsh and Anne Boleyn took standing lessons together.
Teyonah Parris, Kerry Washington

3 Dresses That Could Be Bed Sheets 
Kate Mara, Jessie J, Julianne Hough

4 Tummy Windows
Lucy Hale, Michelle Dockery, Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter

3 Attempts to Try Something New
Taylor Swift in a print romper, Kesha in a beautiful gown
Lena Dunham, who could have pulled this off with a properly fitted top.

2 Baby Bumps
Hayden Panettiere, Kelly Rowland
4 Dresses We're Stealing
Allison Williams, Julia Roberts, Teyonah Parris (np), Kate Walsh (np)

2 Gwen Stefanis
Which is your favorite?

2 Bad Nostalgia Trips
Katy Perry loving Britney Spears and Amber Rose's NSFW (and not pictured) homage to Rose McGowan.

It seems to me the relative dullness of the Emmy red carpet is a two pronged problem rooted in money. First, our culture has this weird thing now where it's considered tacky if a celebrity buys a dress. Seriously. Hayden Panettiere felt backlash in January for buying a Tom Ford she liked after the house wouldn't loan her a dress. Remember when celebrities used to auction off their red carpet dresses for charity? Constantly borrowing clothes means stars have to jockey for position. The brightest stars get first pick and probably more fittings. (This also contributes to stars trying to fit in a sample size.) And if you have enough wattage, you can get a contract with a fashion house to face their perfume or skin creme or bags. That's $20-$30 million a year for light work, plus a major house will shower you with gifts. But land yourself on Vogue's worst dressed list enough and the fashion houses won't consider you as a brand ambassador.

Tasteless popstars? Well, that's just tradition.

Image source: IMDB, Vulture

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Project Runway S13 E3: 20 Years

Week three brings a look back and ahead. To celebrate 20 years of Marie Claire, the designers were challenged to predict what fashion would be doing 20 years from now. But first, we got to see what our judges and host were doing 20 years ago. Heidi was just starting out in modeling. Nina was running around getting coffee and belts at a fashion magazine. Tim was 12(!) years into his stint at Parsons. Zac was 14 and just started to get into fashion. (I was 9 and very concerned with the sorry state of clothes available to most of my dolls, Also, I really wanted this outfit for my American Girl doll, Samantha).
The future turns out to be a bit underwhelming according to most of the designers. Amanda had immunity after last week.  She wanted to follow up with some thing grand by taking risks. However, before declaring her safe the judges called her out on her rather disjointed look. To see hers and the rest of the safe designers' looks click through the slideshow below:

Emily created what she called an Ewok hoodie. I want it. WANT! (Sadly, the picture doesn't show it, but it's awesome) It has this powerful cocoon effect. I think the characters in the sci-fi novel I'm writing might wear stuff like this. The jumpsuit was cool too. It could almost be standard issue and accessories by the people on the space station. I like it. This was my second favorite look. It took third place.

My favorite look took second place. Kristine has been pretty quiet so far, but I think she's one to watch for. She was very smart with the piece. The top is leather and the jacket is neoprene (again, not really in the picture) so neither had to be finished, which allowed her to get a crisp look on a one-day challenge. This set her apart from many of the struggling designers who had epic finishing problems. She gave her future girl a lot to work with by making layered separates out of very durable fabrics that could be remixed. She should have won (watch the episode if you haven't because this jacket is great).

Like really. She should have won or Emily. Sandhya won. She created this retro-futuristic piece right out of the Jetsons. I love retro-futurism. I love the Jetsons. (Their doorbell is my text message alert tone).  I even appreciate that the judges acknowledged this very risky design choice. It's well executed and wonderfully crazy, but it crosses the line of cartoon-ish and costume-y. I was sad to see it beat out the other top two designers.

Sean really just failed to execute a mediocre idea. There isn't much more to it than that. His concept was safe and it work wasn't polished. I liked his unconventional look. I wish he would have channeled that energy. He deserved his spot in the bottom, but I'm glad he isn't going home yet.

Alexander had what looked like a cool look, but trashed it when it didn't fit his model. I wish he would have found a way to use that top as a vest or something because the sad potato sack he sent down the runway was, well, sad.

However, Alexander was saved by that fact that Angela was still on the show. Her mini-suit was the saddest of all. I hope women in the future won't be forced to wear mini skirts, old lady pink and jackets that need sleeves when they work on the space station stock exchange. This is not a power suit. This is not the kind of look that results from "leaning in." This is now the future I want to live in. The judges sent Angela home. This really isn't the place for her. She doesn't work quickly enough or loudly enough to get noticed in the fast paced world of reality TV.

What do you think of the winner and loser of this challenge? Leave a comment telling us what you were doing 20 years ago and what you think fashion will be like 20 years from now. I'm hoping for a 3D printer that will print a new look for me every day, and I can recycle that material each night to be used for the next day's outfit. (No more laundry!--or limited laundry. I hate laundry.)

Bags for Fall 2014

A reader with a lust for bags asked us what will be the hottest handbag trend this fall. Honestly, nothing will be the trend. A few years ago, the runway was full of bags you could stuff the models in. This season, it's all over the map from clutches to backpacks, minimal to rococo. The only thing that will create a trend what we all decide to buy. While I'm sure young cool kids will be all about drawstring bucket bags to go with their grunge revival look, I'd like to suggest structured bags as the non-hipster look for Fall 2014. Unlike bucket bags which always look casual, a structured bag offers a counter point to the slouchy weekend wear that's currently popular. Plus, they look right with the long skirts and simple tops that are in season. If you're worried about looking too prim, buy a bag in an unexpected color, in a print, or with a whimsical detail.
Top: black and white woven bow bag, Betsey Johnson on Amazon $98
neon yellow cross-body, ASOS $43.56
teal top handle bag, Sydney Love on Amazon $40
Middle: green heart punch bag, Betsey Johnson at Mod Cloth $98
beige leopard trim bag, Macy's $80.99
lilac bow satchel, ASOS $42.56
Bottom: colorblock envelope satchel, BCBG on Amazon $276
graduated stud bag, Betsey Johnson at NM Last Call $54
red kiss lock bag, Lulu Guinness for J. C Penney $59

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Project Runway S13 E2: Movie Magic

Apologies for the delay in recaps. I'm blaming the fact that my hometown was briefly underwater last week and we've been cleaning. OK, enough with the excuses. On to the Runway.

The usual thoughts:
  • I hate team challenges
  • I hate when they combine unconventional materials with team challenges because I would rather see what they do on their own.
  • I hate when they are judged in teams
  • I hate that teams happen this early in the season.
  • Immunity should not be offered prior to a team challenge. 
  • I really hate team challenges.
For week two the designers headed to the movie where they picked up strange move-related materials. Overall, this was a pretty good week for the runway. Most of the designers really tried use the most unconventional materials in interesting ways. One new feature I like is showing a vote on who the designers think will win and go home. They predicted Fade would win and Angela would go home. They were wrong on both accounts. Heidi told Team Blue that Sean and Fade lost a chance to win because Angela's look wasn't up to snuff. (I hate team challenges). Team Purple (Mitchell, Char, Kini) and Team Green (Samantha, Emily, Alexander) were simply safe. Click through the slide show to view the safe looks:

Team Silver (Kristine, Amanda and Korina, pictured below in that order) were the winning team. They were cohesive and sharp. They used materials in interesting ways without be repetitive or showing the safe look three times. The designer who got the returning vote--Amanda--took home the prize. This is a pretty decent outcome though I would have still liked to see how Fade or Sean would have done against her look if things had been separate.

Team Red (Hernan, Sandhya and Carrie, pictured below in that order) were in the bottom. Really, Sandhya sabotaged here, which isn't cool because she had immunity. She wasn't going home, which is why I think there should be no immunity in team challenges. They ended up with three looks that were basically the same. Sandhya was the worst and should have gone home. Overall, they did not fit together. I would have liked to see Hernan go over Carrie. She was mostly trying to survive. Hernan was the mastermind and Sandhya was the problem. However, Carrie got sent home. I'm sad. I would have liked to see more of her.

What did you think of this outcome? Who are you cheering for after this episode?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Love or Loathe: Bags That Look Like Not-Bags

One of the cheekier trends to hit the fall runways was purses that look like something other than a purse: see Moschino's fast food containers or Chanel's grocery baskets. I've seen animals, lips, and several cupcakes. becca still wants a purse once featured on Project Runway that looks like a mace.

The trend is very pop art, but I'm not a fan. It would have to be something that really enchants me, like a book clutch or a police call box, for me to jump on this bandwagon. Pizza boxes? No, thank you. I'm not Kelly Kapowski cool.

How do you feel about bags that look like something other than bags? What shape would they have to take to draw you into the trend, especially since the trend may not make it to spring?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Project Runway Season 13!

Project Runway is back! And guys, I totally missed it. I don't know how. I haven't missed a premiere since season two started. How did I miss it?!
Anyway, I apologize for the slightly behind schedule recaps, but I will catch up! Here we go, head first into season 13. Lucky 13, as Tim put it.

The season decides to open by showing us 18 designers and making them audition for the 15 spots. Honestly, they could just introduce us to them quickly in a straightforward way and cut to the challenge, but why be simple when you can be a show on Lifetime?

The first challenge follows traditional "get to know the designers' point of view" style. They were challenged to create a look from what there finale collection would be if they were to make it today. The catch? (Because there is always a catch). They had to make these looks from the fabrics enclosed in a trunk of five fabrics. Not all the trunks were the same so designers had to trade and bargain. They also had access to dye, which I think only one designer used.

The best part of Tim's critique time came during his talk with the very timid Angela. Tim tried to delicately explain that her model might need some waxing. Her pants were meant show skin around the hipbone and Tim said, "You may have to give your model some grooming assignments tonight." She didn't understand, and Tim had to explain that such a cut out was close to some other "anatomical parts."

On to the runway:
Click through the slideshow below to read some brief thoughts on the designers who were safe:

The top three:
Amanda rounded out the top 16 after the audition process. She is from season 11. I vaguely remember her. From what I recall, she seems much more certain this time around. She said to Tim that last time she was afraid to grab at time and attention, but not this time. I'm glad she's choosing to take up a little more space, because her first look featured some cool, well-made pants and draped top. The judges liked it quite a bit too earning her a top spot right out of the gate--a good comeback.

Char is an early favorite. She's from Detroit! (I'm from the burbs, but still. We're both from here-ish). I loved her look. I would wear it (with a cami under it because no crop tops). I was cheering for her to win, but I'm fine with her as a runner-up. I hope she keeps making cute stuff. Go Detroit!

Sandyha was the most gossiped about by the other designers. No one could get their minds around her look. The judges, however, loved it. Per usual, they are started the season by celebrating interesting design (they will forget about his soon). They liked her point of view and saw the passion in the look. The other two top designers had better finishing, but they thought Sandyha has more vision and risk. I'm glad they chose to celebrate that and also confuse everyone else a whole lot.

The bottom three:
Angela makes me nervous because she is so incredibly nervous! She needs to chill. The judges told her during auditions to up the volume. She tried to do that by making her looks show more skin. The judges corrected her saying they wanted to hear her voice not seem more skin. Ultimately, she was safe.

Mitchell is annoying. His super basic shorts and top (that may or may not be permanently connected--I can't tell) were boring. I can buy them at any juniors shop in the mall. See? This was my pick to go home. I guess he was kept for his outrageous personality rather than his talent.

Jefferson was the first to go home, and I'm sad. Yes, his proportions were terribly off, and one designer did say "side butt is the new side boob" when his look went down the runway. However, he was trying to create something interesting here, and it was far more interesting than Michell's look.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shopping and Excess

One of our readers brought up an excellent point regarding large wardrobes. Often people who have so much complain like we have so little. Even taking into account cultural and social differences, it's difficult to pinpoint what is that line between enough and excess. becca and I, both Christians and seven year veterans of fashion blogging, are frequently asked questions about consumerism and how it affects our both our purchases and our lives. So today we're taking a break from our lighthearted content to deal with very real questions about shopping.

Do you have too much?

This is a relative question. We've never done a post about a "20 piece closet" or "the 10 essentials every wardrobe needs," because that varies from person to person. Almost every list I've seen says you need a pair of khaki pants, but the fact is you can get along just fine without khaki pants. These lists also lean toward a classic/preppy style, which doesn't work for everyone. Clothes involve personal style, body shapes, and lifestyles, so trying to boil it down for others has always felt presumptuous.

Instead of trying to match your wardrobe to someone else's list, ask yourself the following questions:

- What do I need? I recently reevaluated my beauty routine and trimmed back on several products. One look at my closet makes it clear that any clothing I purchase at this point is because I wanted it. Knowing this helps me keep my spending down.

- Did I buy this because I needed it, wanted it, or because it was on sale? Some people think they are very thrifty because they only buy things on sale, but buying is still buying. If the item doesn't get any use, the purchase was a waste.

- Do you buy something every time you enter a store? Shopping is social for us. "Do you want to go shopping?" for us means "Do you want to hang out for a few hours in a screen-free environment and talk about all the things?" For some people, shopping always means buying even things they aren't particularly excited about. So either try to not buy things, or suggest going to the park.

- Could someone get more use out of this than me? Do you have items that you wear once a year? Things that you used to love but don't even like any more? Stuff that doesn't fit? If it's an item someone else could be getting use out of, then give it away.

- Is this in the condition it was meant for? For example, I have a pair of nice dress shoes that are so worn, they can no longer pass as dress shoes. Likewise, stained or worn office clothes no longer have a place in your closet -- unless you want to wear a pencil skirt and blouse next time you paint.

- Do I even have room for all of my stuff?  Closet space is a key factor for selling a home these days. Everyone wants their own walk-in closet...and extra hall closets...and basement storage...and a storage unit. Instead of constantly increasing our footprint, how about we scale back?

Do you spend too much?

A reader once got mad at us for posting a pick-of-the-week for something neither of us owned, which is silly in reality. Just because I like something and would consider buying it doesn't mean I should buy everything I like. However, her expectation may not be so far off base in a world where haul videos, videos in which young cute women show off and describe what their weekly purchases, are one of You Tube's most popular genres.

We are very self-disciplined window shoppers. Having grown up in a pawnshop, I am hyper-aware of what state excessive buying can put you in. becca doesn't even have a credit card. That doesn't mean we're penny-pinchers or that we never buy fun things. It just means we don't let our buying control us.

What is your goal? It's easiest for me to save money when I have a particular goal in mind. Whether I'm saving for a car or a trip to Japan, it's easier to say no to impulse buys when I have a goal to weigh the purchase against. This is a little easier when you know where your money is going each paycheck.

Track your purchases for a month. Make a column for needs -- food, diapers, gas, loans -- and another for wants -- a trendy top, a new shade of lipstick, venti coffee. Just figuring out how to categorize these things can lead to some interesting discussion. (If your black pants tear, is a new pair something you need or want?) Does your spending on wants outweigh your spending on needs? Could you scale it back? Could you monthly match your charitable giving to what you spend on wants?

Our biggest question is always: Is your spending so excessive that you cannot give to those in need? We're not asking if you can give $5 a month to a charity. We're not saying that you need to give money to everyone who asks it of you. How much you give, why you give, and to what you give are all your personal decisions. But if some situation came up where someone you know needed money, would your first thought be of the shoes you wanted to buy instead? If your first thought is shopping, maybe you should scale back your spending.

What are your thoughts on shopping and excess?