28 February 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Puffy-sleeve silk blouse by Fendi
$1,220 at eluxury.com

Since I don't (yet)

Belted satin top
$22.80 at forever21.com

Not quite Prada

After searching without success for a burgundy tulip miniskirt through the better part of the two-hour eighth season premiere of 'America's Next Top Model,' I took a deep breath, unclicked "red" on the color search prompts on all 14 websites I had open, and made an executive decision to place the higher premium on matching the silhouette, not the color palette, of my coveted Prada dress.

That being said, here is my reasonably-priced interpretation of Ms. Washington's look:

Top to bottom:
1. Silk organza blouse by Milly ($255 at net-a-porter.com)
2. Faux alligator belt ($4.80 at forever21.com)
3. Sparkle bubble skirt by Walter ($99.99 at bluefly.com)
4. Marais by MaxStudio ($142.95 at zappos.com)
5. Frame clutch ($16.99 at target.com)

I think I might actually like her now.

Wearing the apricot-hued, fresh-off-the-Fall/Winter-runway, spiderweb-detailed Zac Posen gown to last Sunday's Oscars was Gwyneth's first step in reclaiming the affection I lost for her after she became London's second most annoying mother and U-S-of-A hater.

But this picture, oh goodness, this definitely counts as victories two through ten!

Any woman who slides up to a gym in 4-inch heels (even if they do look a bit Mephisto-esque) while carrying her running shoes nonchalantly in one hand is the kind of woman with whom I'd like to kick back and gab over High Lifes and a plate of vegetarian nachos and take a daytrip to New York solely to purchase false eyelashes at the Shu Uemura flagship store.

As long as I don't think about the $5.75 and 110 minutes I still want back after watching her give an even-worse-than-Winona-Ryder performance in my favorite poet's biopic, I think Gwyn and I will make this new relationship work just fine.

I would sell my soul for this Prada dress

And if the devil threw in the Brian Atwood round-toeds, I might even sell my minidress collection, too.

After seeing Kerry Washington's Miuccia-designed dress and clutch at last week's Independent Spirit Awards, I'm now even more inclined to type in the keywords "sell" "soul" and "Prada" into the Google search prompt.

Though they look like distinct entities - a cream satin shell and burgundy tulip mini - this is actually a runway-modified two-toned dress from Prada's Spring/Summer 2007 collection.

It's sophisticated, it's prim, and with the simple black, round-toed patent-leather Brian Atwood pumps, it's a look that could easily be pulled off in our buttoned-up city.

It's also an ensemble that could easily be replicated for a price friendlier to my meager military analyst budget.

To see me recreate this Prada and Brian Atwood outfit for a whole lot less, login later tonight.

Stop the spread

I saw something this morning I'd never seen before on DC's commuter-packed streets: a MAN in formal business attire wearing bright white sneakers carrying his dress shoes in a Whole Foods bag.

This guy was not on his way to a Teen People party, he wasn't Justin Timberlake, and as far as I could tell, he wasn't that guy who still lives at home by choice and lets his mother set his clothes (and shoes) out each morning.

I gave him as fierce and obvious an up-and-down as I could in my shocked state so he wouldn't only sense but also see how aghast I was at his footwear choice. Then, I looked in his distressed leather satchel, half expecting to find a Third Eye Blind Greatest Hits album and an issue of Practical Male magazine dog-eared at the "How to make a woman not want you" article. As I scanned past his brown-bag lunch and ridiculously large population of highlighters, I stopped, frozen.

And then, honestly, I swallowed vomit.

As I looked to this man's left - in part so I could give my incredulous look a rest - I noticed two women, not together, one in a skirt suit and one in a sheath dress, both of whom were in sneakers bop-bop-bopping along to their iPods completely oblivious to just how quickly and how widely their kind's infection had spread throughout this city.

In that moment, looking at the three of them, I realized that what I previously assumed was a gender impervious to the suit-n-sneakers malady is apparently just as vulnerable. And from what I saw, the end-results have the potential to be even more devastating.

Please do your part and stop the cycle. Please.

27 February 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Satin dress by H Fredriksson
$330 at neimanmarcus.com

Since I don't (yet)

Pleat front dress by Calvin Klein
$148 at macys.com

A bag worthy of your spandex shorts and NB992s

Whether you need a supplemental bag for gym clothes, your laptop, or the frosted, be-sprinkled sugar cookies you made "just 'cause" for your office-mates, please PLEASE leave the canvas monogrammed tote to the mall-walkers and late-night QVC addicts for whom these awful bags, along with their garish Paula Abdul-designed hammered aluminum multi-stone earrings and Quacker Factory embroidered tracksuits are their most stylish outfit components.

Instead, try one of those below.

And if the one you select ends up not being large enough to accommodate your shoes, just do like I do and tie-'em and throw-'em over the straps of your daybag -- I've found this to be an amazingly effective solicitor of oh-you-like-to-work-out-too? male attention.

Not that I'm at all promoting women should relish flattery based on superficial trappings. Gosh, that would set women back a few decades, wouldn't it?

While I go admire my good heart and big vocabulary in the mirror, please enjoy browsing my picks for secondary daybags:

Top to bottom:
1. Quilted double strap bag ($29.99 at urbanoutfitters.com)
2. Framed Emily tote ($39.99 at urbanoutfitters.com)
3. Braid trimmed tote by Xhiliaration ($19.99 at target.com)
4. Belted tote by Merona ($24.99 at target.com)
5. East/West tote by Kathy Van Zeeland ($92.95 at zappos.com)
6. Cheyenne NS tote by Tommy Hilfiger ($72.95 at zappos.com)
7. Oversized paneled shopper (£25 at asos.com)
8. “R you with me?” tote by Kenneth Cole ($68 at macys.com)
9. Nolita tote in Lippicat pink by LeSportsac ($56 at lesportsac.com)
10. Zip top shopper in silver black ($46 at lesportsac.com)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman attacks 'Pretty Woman'

Daryl Hannah's busted-face spewed this nonsense yesterday:

“One of the things I’m most proud of is refusing to take Julia’s role in 'Pretty Woman.' Every time I see it, I like it less and less. They sold it as a romantic fairytale when in fact it’s a story about a prostitute who becomes a lady by being kept by a rich and powerful man. I think that film is degrading for the whole of womankind.”

I'm guessing the other things Daryl's most proud of are her success in pulling off the man-tuck for 46 straight years, coming thisclose to ruining Wall Street, and at her best, being the poor man's Laura Dern.

In her defense, it could very well be the hormone treatments from her stage-3 gender reassignment making her so darn ornery.

Kind of a major letdown

Scarlett wasn't there.

Sienna wasn't there.

Natalie wasn't there.

Out of my five perennial red carpet favorites, only two - Cate and Penelope - showed up to show off at this year's Academy Awards.

What's even more disappointing than not getting to gaze at Scarlett's heaving chest, Sienna's glorious back and Natalie's perfect face, however, is the recent photographic evidence I've come across that shows Natalie may be losing her style touch.

And if she's not careful, her spot in my top five as well.

I'm all for Philip K. Dick-inspired risks like this and this, but when you show up to Georgio Armani's Armani Privé pre-Oscar party/fashion show in a cheap-looking LBD with Bedazzler detailing and ankle strap shoes, both of which I'm pretty sure I saw at Delia's - and then on two girls at my 1994 and 1995 Homecoming and Sadie Hawkins dances, respectively - you are click-click-clicking on very thin fashion ice.

If that weren't bad enough (which it is), the next night at the Vanity Fair Oscar after-party at Morton's, Natalie showed up once again strapped up in leg-shortening ankle-strap heels and a wrong-as-can-be, busy-as-hell LBD with side pleats made from a different material than the body of the dress, some kind of butterfly-looking neckline, and a waist-cinch that wasn't doing its job and that made the itty-bitty actress look like a 28 when she's really a 25.

Eva Mendes is waiting in the wings, Natalie. Tread carefully...

Unless you're off to Misquamicut State Beach...

Let's leave the canvas monogrammed navy grosgrain ribbon trimmed tote in the Rubbermaid storage bin marked, "for getting my tan on."

Not every girl is a bag girl, I understand that. In fact, I'm not a bag girl - I'm a shoe girl, a round-toed 3+ inch heel girl - but even so, I know the difference between a bag worthy of accompanying a pinstripe suit and trench to work and a bag more well-suited to schlep around a gaudy rainbow towel, SPF 8, liquid ephedrine and the last three issues of US Weekly.

Even if you're like the woman I saw this morning who was clearly using her Land's End tote as a supplementary gym bag, I still believe you can do better. And do so without paying too much more than the $34.50 (including the $5 monogramming fee) you wasted, I mean spent, on that very practical, sturdy, style-depleting tote.

On a positive note - for her, anyway - the bag did detract attention away from her bad highlights, cakey foundation line around her neck and ears and thick, cylindrical torso.

Perhaps she's smarter than her "Sudoko for Dummies" book implied...

Reasonably-priced gym bag alternatives that do not involve grosgrain-trim, canvas, or gothic script monogramming to come later in the day.

26 February 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Pleat front shorts by Lauren Moffatt
$242 at shopbop.com

Since I don't (yet)

Seersucker shorts by Lux
$38 at urbanoutfitters.com

Instead of khakis...

Even though most women of my generation consider a pair of well-fitted, dark-wash premium jeans to be just as formal as crosshatch-tweed trousers, it's still the case that most workplaces adhere to a "no denim" policy.

Even on Fridays.

With denim out, what is a casual, comfort-seeking DC woman to wear below the belt?

Corduroys, like khakis, are too high school for any self-respecting 22-and-over to wear to the office. Linen is just too Puerto Vallarta for an urban setting, not to mention that it wrinkles like a bitch. What about terry cloth, sweatpant material or nylon track pants?

You're right, now I'm just mocking.

Since I'm very much not a woman who thinks about comfort when she makes any kind of clothing purchase, and the only considerations I have when picking out a pair of pants are price (for jeans, under $160; for trousers, under $200), length (must be long enough to wear with my 4.5-inch heels) and whether the pair in question makes my ass look as fantastic as it is, the task of putting together a collection of casual, comfortable pants was a bit outside my immediate expertise.

Begrudgingly, I imagined myself in a pair of cuffed, pleated Dockers, looked down, and thought, "Why would I wear these?"

Versatility? Thriftiness? A desire to wear the bottom half of my 7th grade choir uniform? An adversity to looking female?

I tried to meet all of these standards when selecting the trousers below.

Well, not the last one.

Or the second one.

Okay, fine, I only considered versatility.

Below are my picks for the best non-denim alternatives to khaki pants:

Top to bottom:

1. Skinny fit zip pants by GAP ($29.99 at gap.com)

2. Ocean liner trousers by Poleci ($98 at anthropologie.com)

3. Bartolomeu trousers ($118 at anthropologie.com)

4. Contoured trouser-leg chino pant ($78 at bananarepublic.com)

5. Tabatha wide-leg pant by BCBG Max Azria ($218 at bloomingdales.com)

6. Cotton sateen pant by BCBG Max Azria ($118 at macys.com)

7. Cross dye Lindsay bootleg ($88 at anntaylor.com)

8. Peg leg pant by Karen Zambos Vintage ($89.10 at shopbop.com)

Impressive side-boob takes Biel from a 6.5 to a 9

I wasn't crazy about this '80s-pink column dress with extended-keyhole back the first time I saw it saunter down Oscar de la Renta's runway at Bryant Park two weeks ago.

Likewise, I wasn't crazy about it when I disappointingly realized my muse was making her Oscar presenter debut in it last night.

But now, from this angle, well, all I can say is that the side-boob makes all the difference.

Her choice still isn't on par with Nicole's or Cate's, but indisputable evidence that her breasts don't need support almost cancels out that sheen-depleted frizz-puff on her head and that pink lemonade Lip Smackers gloss on her lips.


And no, these pictures aren't identical. If you look really closely - I mean, get your face right in there - you'll see that the first photo shows about two centimeters more curvature of her left lady bit than the second.

Plus, I like the coy uh-huh-they're-that-great look she's got on her face in the latter photo.

Give it a chance

After hours of fruitless searching, here, finally, is a picture of the scooped-out back of Gwyneth's apricot-hued Zac Posen gown (plus, a couple of closeups of the impressive fit and the detailing on the front):

Unless you're wearing a polo with your company's logo on it

And working a table at a trade show, let's leave the khaki pants where they belong -- on the man's side of the closet.

Or in the plastic bin marked "Halloween Costumes."

I know, I know, just yesterday I was singing the praises of Out of Africa's dungaree chic, but there is a difference between - and separate standards for - functional khaki and non-functional khaki.

I have no problem with the former, though the day you hear me say, "Do we have enough water and mosquito netting for the weekend?" is not one I anticipate any time soon.

Non-functional khakis, the ones you slip on when you're too paunchy to fit into your less forgiving denim, are a lazy form of casual trousers. They're hardly ever a good fit in the leg, nearly always cut too short at the hem, often held up by an equally atrocious braided leather belt, and can even give a petite, slender woman like the one I saw this morning head into the Caribou Coffee on 18th and M, a balloon-seat.

And khakis with heels? Why don't you just get the Asian mom bob, slip on a size medium Talbots twin-set in a sensible color and add "Desperate Housewives" to your Tivo Season Pass?

Alternatives to the non-functional khaki pant to come later today.

25 February 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Carey double-strap bag from Tod's
$1,490 at eluxury.com

Since I don't (yet)

Hollywood glow large satchel by Francesco Biasia

$250 at zappos.com

Jesus H. Christ

There was a big-ass black bow below the caboose of this train-wreck, too.


The second best-dressed couple

Gratuitous, I know, but how adorable are we?

Don't worry, I let him take the tux off as soon as the photo shoot ended and gave him a puppy-safe treat from Mommy's ridiculously lavish Oscar buffet as compensation for his cooperation.

(photo credit goes to L, my steadfast snarky celebrity-watching partner)

Worst five

These aren't in any particular order, mainly because I couldn't decide between Kirsten Dunst in Chanel and Beyoncé in Armani Privé not only whose dress was the bigger mistake but also who most egregiously grandstanded their worst feature.

Wonky teeth or knees the size of basketballs -- you decide.

And no, I don't feel bad for including 10 year old sweet-as-berry-pie Abigail Breslin in this group. The bodice of her dress looks like one of the planters from my Malibu Barbie pool house. I expected more from her handlers.

The biggest disappointment of the night is Anne Hathaway's black and white WTF Valentino gown. After On Demand-ing The Devil Wears Prada for the third time today, I figured she would be in my top five, maybe even crack the top three, but nuh-uh, not in this column dress with white lace overlay and awkwardly large black bow that is smack dab in front of - and prohibitively blocking - Ms. Hathaway's spectacular rack.

And then there's Jada Pinkett-Smith in her brassy-gold strapless corseted Carolina Herrera number. I wouldn't hate this dress as much if it was on a less annoying woman and didn't have those two superfluous miniature bows on the bodice. Actually, I'm pretty sure she'd end up in my bottom five no matter what she wore.

She's that annoying.