Monday, January 16, 2012

The Red Carpet at the Golden Globes 2012

So I'll be the first to admit that my favorite part of any reputable award show is the red carpet arrivals. The surprise of who wore what, the breath-taking, beautiful starlets adorned in the best of a designer, and the inevitable actress who sadly misses the mark, all of it ads up to any fashionista's dream program. 

This year's Golden Globe awards seemed to host the average number of "wow" gowns, mediocre dresses, and "what the heck was she thinking!??!" frocks. For the sake of all that is tasteful, I won't be focusing on the latter, but rather would like to put forth my list of the best-dressed ladies from last night's arrival show (in no particular order). 

My first group focuses on some A-list actresses who always tend to stun the crowd with each of their impeccable styles. The second group centers more on seasoned actresses who take more serious roles, but are also always the essence of elegance. Finally, the third group focuses on the new-comers to the Hollywood scene; the girls we can look forward to seeing some really great stuff from for years to come (I know Zooey is a bit older, but I still consider her a fresh face). If need be, click to enlarge the photos for a closer look and enjoy!

I, of course, would have made a few slight changes to some of the ladies. For example, Angelina could do with not looking so frigid and uncomfortable, while Salma needs to get that two-toned hair off of her gown (the color is distracting) and off of her shoulders, as I think elegance usually comes in the form of an up-do. I think Helen Mirren was really overlooked this year as one of the best dressed ladies (maybe because of her age), but I thought she had it spot on (especially for her age); the color of the gown is perfect, her hairdo is elegant, the cut of the dress is impeccable--I'm in love with the whole look. My last minor tweak would have to be to Ms. Deschanel, because, while her custom-made frock may be both unique and gorgeous, her silly bangs and sixties house wife hairstyle really take away from the dress's modern and womanly feel. I think it's time for Zooey to lose the fringe and move on to a more mature cut that could really showcase her lovely eyes. Also, this dress has enough going on at the shoulders and neck without the distraction of debutant hair, get it back!!

Aside from my minor complaints (hey, there had to be a few), I really thought these women knocked it out of the park with their choices. I can't wait to see what the Oscars will have in store!! Did you get to watch the Golden Globes this year? Did you think anyone was unjustly left off of my list or undeservedly put on? As always, share your thoughts!

Ciao for now xx

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Perils of the North

Well that temperature drop came on pretty fast, along with about one foot of snow (maybe more)!!

I've been trying to keep somewhat optimistic about staying fashionable through these treacherous times, but today when my Mac widget dropped below 0F I had to draw a line. Something about being in the negatives just forces one to choose logic over style (boo). This really begs the question: if you live in a climate where walking to the bus stop feels like summitting Everest, how do you keep your stylish flares about you? Here are my few ideas, starting with a good parka. 

Yep, it was cold today, hence my creepy anonymity....

My parka is actually a hand-me-down from my mother. She bought it in Switzerland in the nineties when I was but a tot, and to her utter surprise the fad is coming full circle this season (along with just about every other decade's style). Here are some cute parkas for all budgets that will keep you warm, and will allow you to still maintain your chic persona: 

Another must have for the basic warm-blooded individual living in the northern most parts of our hemisphere, is a good pair of fingerless gloves. Why fingerless, you may ask? Well, just think of how much easier it makes your life if every time you want to text, grocery shop, write something down or just wiggle the old digits around you don't have to remove your entire glove! I find them incredibly convenient, my pair is from J. Crew.

The challenge in finding a good fingerless glove is that it's hard to find a pair that also has a cap to go over your fingers to keep them warm. So here are my picks for the coziest and cutest fingerless gloves (rollover the image for details):

More winter clothing ideas to come, until then stay warm, toasty and fashionable (it is possible)! Feel free to send in your ideas of how to stay chic during these frigid times. 

Ciao for now xx

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

In response to a comment I received today about airbrushing and its relation to the way that women view themselves,  I've decided to post this genius spoof ad that dropped a couple days ago on YouTube. The advert highlights a hot new product that will "erase" blemishes and give you a hot new body, without even exercising! Because "why eat healthy and exercise when you can just look like you do?" The ad perfectly mimics the stock beauty product promotions that we see everyday on TV and really begs the question: where are our standards coming from?! As Jesse Rosten, the creator of the ad, so concisely puts it: “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty." Cheers to that!

So what does this satirical approach say to you? Has it opened your eyes a little bit? It certainly got me to thinking a bit. As always, please leave your thoughts. 

Ciao for now xx

P.S I'm certainly not trying to bash any celebs here, but here are a few examples of photos that are supposedly pre and post photoshop:


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You're Plus-Size or You're Anorexic

You know what's more fun than job hunting? Everything. Especially writing thank you notes, watching obscene hours of "Revenge" (seriously check it out), blogging, flossing, trying to find matching socks...well you get the picture. I am doing it though!!

My Mantra These Days
In other news, I feel like everyday on one fashion site or another I read something about how women feel about their weight in relation to what they see in the media, and the morality of the portrayal of women in fashion ads, magazines, fashion shows etc. Keeping with the promise of featuring more academic and thought provoking content on my blog, I've decided to tackle this subject from a slightly different angle. 

There have been ads and stats coming out recently that highlight the fact that the typical skinny model is too thin, while the plus-sized model is the "everyday woman." Sadly, what I discovered on Wikipedia (now that I've graduated I can shamelessly use it as a resource) reports that the average American woman is a size 14, while the average plus size model is between a size 10 and a 12. So, do we really need to see more "everyday women" in the industry? Some say, yes of course, celebrate all body types! While other people disagree, and argue that by portraying more "full-figured women" in the media, it will send the message that an unhealthier lifestyle is okay. Sure, I see that side of the story, but unhealthier by whose standards? It's no secret that the high number of skinny women saturating our society, who are portrayed as the ideal, are equally as capable of contributing to diseases such as Anorexia and Bulimia. Not to mention that girls with naturally high metabolisms, who are just biologically skinny, are understandably offended by always seeing the skinnier models in magazines being accused of anorexia, while plus-sized women seem critically untouchable.

In my opinion, either claim is rather demeaning to women; the first argument seems to suggest that we should only celebrate larger women, which, let's face it, may not be the best approach in a nation of morbid obesity, while the second argument makes it seem as though it's not okay to embrace whatever size you may be, even if you live a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise. Frankly ladies, where is the middle ground? If we're looking at this objectively, we're definitely still not celebrating all sizes here. I happen to fall somewhere in between a size 00 and a size 10 (and that's all you need to know!!) so where do I fit in to the fashion industry? Where is my representation? I say either represent the same 1% you have been, or represent us ALL!

The argument that fashion models are just "hangers for the clothing" who shouldn't distract from the designer's creations seems well founded, but we also have to keep in mind that we live in a world where models are now celebrities. I mean, really, like anyone at the Louis Vuitton S/S 12 show didn't see Kate Moss coming down the runway and think "Holy cow, it's Kate Moss! Oh and that dress is lovely too..." Get real. Models are plenty distracting, especially when they become household names. 

Ultimately this "she's anorexic" and "she's fat" repertoire is just the next manifestation of the mean girl in high school who is so insecure and jealous that she has to bring everyone down around her. It seems women have always been hard-wired to bring one another down for one physical flaw or another, but why? Why even separate the term "plus-size" from regular modelling? Why not just call it modelling? Men of all builds are represented in the media, big men, skinny men, even men with bellies, but they're ALL CALLED MODELS. Why are women any different? Here is a prime example of the way women exhibit their insecurities when they feel threatened by either the status quo or something different from themselves...

This ad, which I discovered on, was recently published in Plus Model Magazine:
Now besides the fact that the stats in this spread are undoubtedly misleading as Anorexia is not about BMI, but a mental issue related to food, AND it is a magazine for plus size models, the responses from the public really showed what is at the core of this whole debate: larger women feel marginalized, unrepresented and pressured to be skinnier which leads to resentment of the skinnier women, while skinner women feel this resentment is unjustified as they either have high metabolisms or work hard for their figures, which leads to backlash:

"utter bollocks. ever heard of the word metabolism? or genes?"

 "There will never be a happy medium with this topic, people are continuing to become more obese and just bigger in general. Just because the average women is a size 14, that doesn't make it okay. In a few years she'll be even bigger, then what???"

"This emphasis on starvation-skinny figures (because yes, the vast majority of women cannot have these figures without starving themselves!) is incredibly damaging to our society."

"As a young person I do not look at models and say let me skip a meal, why because I have a mind of my own! People need to quit thinking that teen girls are so stupid and impressionable!"

"You do realize that while you might think that stretch marks and cellulite are a 90 year old's issue, a majority of women have them. It's a natural part of growing."
          "yeah its natural for people who dont know how to eat and exercise right..."

I was happy to see some pro-women comments across the board as well: 

"I hate this whole - "Plus-sized women are 'real' women, and thin women aren't" thing; this battle over what size is best. It's ludicrous, and it's just a part of the media's attempt to keep women unsatisfied with their size and jealous of one another no matter what ('cause hey, it sells more fashion and beauty product, ladies!)."

"As long as a person is mentally and physically healthy, I dont see why people care so much about BMI."

"I wish we could stop making broad assumptions one way or the other. Thin does not equal "health" just as fat does not equal "sick"."

I know that this is not all black and white, of course, as there is a very high rate of Anorexia in our country, which can largely be attributed to what we see in the media. Similarly there is a soaring rate of obesity, which needs to be dealt with accordingly. However, we can't let the media dictate how women feel about women. We should be fighting hard to get models of every range into the industry, AND more importantly respecting ALL body types. That means from very skinny to curvy and fuller formed. I'm certainly not saying we should be advertising unhealthy overweight women, but just spread the love around; if you're healthy, you exercise, and you eat right, then what's the problem? Food for thought, I'd love to hear your opinions!! 

Ciao for now xx