Blogger Bias?

Today's New York Times contained an article called "Beauty Bloggers Come of Age: Swag, Please!" which has caused a minor uproar with pr folks and bloggers alike.
Just wanted to add a little comment from my perspective, as this blog from time to time contains reviews of products:
Yes! I totally get free samples from companies. It's fun to get to try things without commitment and figure out what rocks and sucks without opening my wallet, and in turn help you spend your money wisely.
I tend to post on the extremes-- the products I adore, and in the odd case, one that is completely heinous. Mediocre reviews only get posted when the product is so hyped I feel the need to weigh in. But in most cases, the merely "okay" items go unmentioned, tossed in the trash or given away after I test them. And to be honest, more go in that direction than not. My time is valuable, so why waste it (and my readers') featuring something not worth hearing about?
Companies take a risk when they send me something, because I can say whatever I want, or nothing at all. They know that, and it's their choice.
I started doing my own reviews because of the obvious bias of ad-reliant magazines - I wanted people to have a source they could actually trust. At the time, I felt I didn't have one despite my stack of subscriptions.
Because my site doesn't benefit or bomb from how pleased a company is, but from how useful or useless I am to you readers, I have the freedom to tell you the unedited, insensitive truth. I plan to keep it that way.

Fashion and Rock in NYC This Weekend

Kate Moss last week in London with Justin Tranter of Semi-Precious Weapons (Photo: UK Vogue)

In case anyone cares, here's the schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which starts tomorrow and ends Feb. 8th in New York City. I'll be updating you with highlights from the cool ones as they happen.
I'll also be in town this weekend at the R Bar at 218 Bowery Saturday night for a different kind of fashionable event. Kate Moss' new favorite band, the Semi-Precious Weapons, happen to be playing with The Information (the frontman of which is the Pete to my Kate.)
Rumor has it someone famous is announcing the bands... like an old-school New York rocker. Debbie? David? Who knows.
If you get kicked out of the tents Saturday night for blowing a rail off Rachel Zoe's collar bone, come by.

Sevigny Writes for Elle U.K.

Actress Chloe Sevigny- who once modeled for Miu Miu, worked with Imitation of Christ and most recently designed a line for downtown New York/L.A. shop Opening Ceremony- is going to have a column in Elle U.K. Which I definitely won't read more than once merely to mock.
Every time I read an interview with this girl I want to break glass. The media hails her as a daring fashion rebel and an indie queen and I'm sorry, but all I see is a yuppie in contrived hipster's clothing who likes to slum it for the appearance of having real creative weirdo cred.
And she gets to dole out fashion advice now?
"Only crazy people wear animal print," I recall her once saying.
Can't wait to hear what else wouldn't fly in Connecticut.

(Photo: WireImage)

Bebe Girl

Two pieces from Tara Subkoff for Bebe.

Tara Subkoff, 90s indie actress and co-founder of the off-kilter vintage-fabulous label Imitation of Christ (still one of the hippest label names I've ever heard, with my long ago classmates' label Vena Cava a close second) has put together a 12-piece collection for Bebe. It's 40's-meets-80's, wisely wearable and rocks a heart theme palatable to the all-out girly, mall-crawling Bebe customer. Everything will cost less than $150 (dresses and pants the most) and things like tops will go for under $100. It hits stores in early February, in time for V-day.
Subkoff has done the whole capsule collection thing before, with her line for Easy Spirit.


Man Style '08

In the trench at Costume National (Photo: Don Ashby)

According to, the sweetest things for guys to rock in '08 are:
- trenches in anything but camel/tan
- colored shoes
- sweater vests
- broken-in jeans
- rolled-up pants
- dressing like a skinhead (Docs, suspenders)
- large watches
- collared polo shirts
- jackets with brass buttons
- linen houndstooth
- pomaded parted 60's dad hair
- a classic briefcase

In short: We're talking a cross between the asshole guy you're s'posed to hate in any 80's movie, half the cast of "Prison Break", and your grandfather both "back in the day" and retired in Boca. Talk about a shit medley!
My take-aways: Go with the splash of color on your feet (check out the shoes on, the classic trench, the polo (collars DOWN) and and the ever-cute sweater vest. And maybe even the briefcase, as long as you really have a job and it's not just full of empty pot bags you're afraid to throw away.

My Teddy's Name is Uncle Karl

German stuffed animal company Steiff is said to be producing a teddy bear version of iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (he of the gloves and the fans and the dark glasses that never come off.) This is a sketch of the bear, which does not look to have one of the key Lagerfeld attributes - a long white ponytail. Seriously, if you're going to turn gay men into children's toys, why skimp on the fun stuff?
No word on how much a Lagerfeld bear will go for, but it's safe to assume it'll be a rather costly gag gift.


Lash Power: Teeny Little Super Brush

I was skeptical when I first opened Clinique's NEW Lash Power mascara. The brush is so little! But what its size proved to offer was a precision beyond that of any mascara I've tried.
To put it in perspective: I NEVER do my bottom lashes, as it never fails to result in clumps and wand marks under my eye that need to be corrected. Lash power singled out each of these tiny lashes and coated them evenly, root to tip, without a flub, despite my unsteady hand.
Staying power: It claims 24-hour wear, and it's actually true. It managed to stay put flawlessly through too many margaritas, forgetful eye rubbing, a good night's sleep, eyes watering in 28 degree wind, and my overactive oil glands (thanks, Dad.) Originally created for the steamy climates of Asia, it held up remarkably against the perils of a northeastern U.S. winter.
Easy-off: Comes off with one cotton ball soaked in very warm water. (Handy when you forget your eye makeup remover at home.)
Soft texture: My eyelashes felt bare, but looked bold and really long. It wouldn't even crumble off into "mascara soot" when rubbed.
Notion seconded: A bff and fellow product junkie Erin gave it a shot and loved it so much I handed mine over to her. Her lashes looked amazing, like long, delicate fans.
Lash Power will be on the U.S. market in February (though it is on the Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom websites now), part of Clinique's Nude Blush Spring 2008 line (which FYI contains a lot of understated rose, peach and gold-ish shades. NARS collection is doing similar shades, so it looks like nude is going to be the look of spring! Pretty.)
At $14 it's a bargain for the level of quality. I'll be picking up another one myself.

How to Get a Counterfeit Bag in NYC

There were no entries for a few days, I know. I was in New York City for a little vaca with a girl friend, and shopped so hard I'm practically limping today.
Part of the shopping excursion took us through SoHo and down Broadway, where I learned the new art of finding a knock-off designer bag now that the fuzz has cracked down on the little Canal Street cubby holes that used to hawk them. I'll give it to you step by step:
1.) Walk down Broadway starting at about Broome or Grand Street and heading towards Canal, or just walk Canal Street through Chinatown.
2.) There will be several tiny Chinese ladies, many with a computer print out sheet showing pictures of the bags they are selling. All will be saying something to you like a ticket scalper "ChanelGucciPrada!" or something to that effect. Look at one and say "Okay."
3.) They will say "come with me," and lead you to the back of a van, or up or down stairs in a nearby building where you can get one of these bags.

Words of advice.
- Never go alone.
- In the van situation they will shut you into the van with them to shop. Try to have two people with you, one to get into the van with you and another to stand guard outside-- I feel like this is the perfect way to get kidnapped and sold into slavery somewhere. I saw two girls with their father do this. The father stood outside, and the Chinese lady yelled at him to stand away from the van so as not to look like he was waiting. I don't condone letting your children get into the backs of vans, but if you're gonna do it, at least stand outside with the licence plate number and the Amber Alert phone number on hand in case someone jumps in the front and hits the gas.
As for me, I'm happy with my knockoff Muse bag without the fake tag attached.


Rude Jewelry: update

Sweet! Remember when I posted that awesome "flying f*ck" necklace and said I was dying for a knockoff? Here it is. $39.99, baby. (Thanks to Liz. F. for the find!)


Galliano: A Reminder to Rock It

For the most part fashion week tends to be pretty "eh" -- so often just a blur of regurgitated cuts and inoffensive neutrals-- the large exception always being John Galliano for Dior.
Galliano is the one designer who will always, always remove you from reality to experience fashion as he does-- in grandiose terms. He only seems to prune back his wild ideas here and there, as gently and thoughtfully as if they were bonsai trees.
The designer himself is a work of art to boot, a shape-shifting Bowie of a man who could easily pass for a circus ringmaster, a pirate or Goldilocks on any given day.
Um, shyah, I know you and I will never wear any of these pieces in real life. (Can you imagine your friends trying to help you stuff your voluminous drunk ass into a cab at 3 a.m. in one of these things?) But take a look anyway. It's a nice reminder that fashion should always be more than function. It should be an extension of your mind, your imagination. You have the power to be whatever you want. And there are no rules.


One-Piece Wonder

Chanel's $5,000 jumpsuit

I absolutely love that the mainstream has been conditioned to loathe the trends of Spring 2008 (neon, high waists, etc.) Why? If you're getting on them early, you can hit Goodwill and eBay for the goods. Case in point: the jumpsuit.
Now, there aren't many body types that can't rock a jumpsuit, just maybe the very round. (But then again, what trends can you ever rock when you're shaped like a cherry tomato? Not many.)
The new, hot jumpsuit is indeed a 70's look, but not the denim onesie you wore to the hip hop club back in the early 90's, and not your Elvis halloween costume or collared halter. It's either strapless or short sleeved, and the legs are long and wide-- palazzo if you will.
Of course, none of your average catalogs and mall stores are carrying a jumpsuit right now. Victoria's Secret catalog does offer one acceptable style (NOT the terrycloth) but it definitely isn't dead-on. If you're ready and willing to brave the comments of male morons who don't "get it" your best bet for the time being is to find your local vintage or second hand store and start digging!

Kate Moss in the Chanel jumpsuit with sheer robe.

How to: Wear the jumpsuit with strappy heels, a belt, a free-floating coat or cape and volumized disco hair.


ANTM Cycle 10 Models REVEALED!

The season premiere is Wednesday, Feb. 20! And a sneak peek is up on the official site now. On looks alone, I love Lauren (who looks a little like model Kristen McMenamy) and Amis. I'm pretty sure former ANTM winner Dani came back and is calling herself Stacey-Ann? Maybe she didn't get her prize either.
Remember-- no Twiggy this season! We're stuck with this way less exciting model. Still, she's got to be better than Nikki Taylor.

Makeup, Panties, Chocolate and Booze...

These are a few of my favorite things!
In honor of their latest blush Thrrrob, Benefit Cosmetics is putting on a little party at Bloomingdale's from January 31 to February 2 (11 a.m. - 7 p.m. each day.)
If you're in Manhattan, L.A., Chicago or San Francisco on any of these days, head in for a free Thrrrob beauty makeover, Godiva chocolates and specialty cocktails by X-Rated Fusion Liqueur.
Thrrrob will be available for purchase at the event, as will the latest line from Hanky Panky lingerie.
Seriously-- a makeover, free cocktails and candy? You better have a really good excuse to pass this up. See you in SoHo.
(Click image to enlarge invitation.)


Like ANTM, Only With A Real Prize

Seung-hyun Kang (PHOTO: FWD)

New York-based Ford Models, which was the first giant agency in the biz but famously lost just about everyone cool to Elite back in the 80's, held a Supermodel of the World Contest. Yesterday they announced the winner, that average looking Korean chick up there, who nabbed a contract with the agency for $250K.
Seriously? Ford totally disses ANTM but how is Seung-hyun any better than Saleisha?!
No. Way.


For the Love of Target

Mizrahi bids Target farewell (Getty Images)

2008 is the last year you'll be able to get your Isaac Mizrahi fix at Target.
The designer just took a job heading up Liz Claiborne and their flagging womenswear (upscale suburban momwear) brand. An improvement for the Liz label, but a sad day for broke women who dug his classic cuts and whimsical movie-inspired party dresses at under $50.
Who could possibly step in next? In my dreams, it would be Diane Von Furstenberg-- queen of the wrap dress and master of the just-shy-of-loud print.
Jonathan Saunders

Speaking of Target, word is that London designer Jonathan Saunders is working on a Go! International collection.
I, for one, am not too excited. Have you seen his runway stuff? Even if they marked that down to $39.99, I probably wouldn't buy most of it. Way too exaggeratedly geometric.
He's also done a capsule collection for Topshop due to release any day now.


Janice Has A Sister

Debbie Dickinson-- the Jan Brady of modeling

She's not as hot, or as cool, but nonetheless- Debbie Dickinson did have a modeling career back in the 70's. And according to today's WWD she's about to again, with plans to walk in some spring fashion shows in New York and possibly Paris. I'm all for models not "aging-out" after 30 but who is going to hire her? I'm curious.
She also has a book, sitcom, single and supporting movie role coming up. zzzzzzZZZ
If you're down with some Dickinson, eff Debbie and read Janice's autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty. Not only an entertainingly juicy beach read about boning Mick Jagger, but it's revealing of a bright, powerful woman under those rubber tits and restylane lips.


It's Electric for Diesel

Diesel Spring 2008 ad campaign
Diesel's latest print ad features an Asian girl in crazy pants about to be hit by a bus. Considering most Diesel Jeans run upwards of $100, would you rock these puppies?
*According to my poll, 55% of y'all are down with neon, while 45% still have nightmares of the stuff from third grade.

Cola Wars on the Runway

Welcome to the Coke side of fashion...

For reasons unknown, Coca-Cola designed a horrendous line of clothing that they were too ashamed to show during a reputable fashion week like those in New York or Paris. They instead flashed it like a shy sorority slut's boobs to the people of Rio.
Not to be outdone, Pepsi said they were totally going to do that too. No word yet on where they're hoping to show, but I imagine Fashion Week Mongolia is on the list.

Gay Monday

Just an old picture of fagtastic Michael Kors to brighten your Monday:


315 Bowery to Re-Open Soon

Menswear designer John Varvatos is getting ready for the spring opening of his latest boutique at 315 Bowery in Manhattan (which was, up until last year, historic rock club CBGB).
Varvatos, who claims to have seen "countless" shows at the venue (though he was raised in Detroit) says he plans to keep the spirit alive. How he'll do that is yet to be seen.
His current ad campaign includes a couple of high-style rock icons, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper, and two overrated douchebags (Ryan Adams, Slash.)
Based on that, not so sure I trust his judgement? But the photographs themselves-- shot by rock photographer Danny Clinch, are totally great. For example:


Burberry Proves Many Rich People Are Idiots

The "Warrior": Not a car.

Burberry's "Warrior" bag-- priced at $22,000 (nope, not a typo)-- is all the rage with the obscenely rich for the coming spring. According to today's Women's Wear Daily, the bag isn't in stores for another month, but there's already a waiting list. The cheapest version, in plain leather, will run you $3,150.
The Warrior is part of an "ultraluxe" line that currently includes three other styles, all equally as pricy.
My question is- when you carry a bag that expensive, what can you actually feel comfortable carrying around in it? I wouldn't tote my dirty soul in a $22,000 bag, let alone accident-waiting-to-happen purse staples like pens, makeup and gum.


She's Half In the Bag

Bet you couldn't tell that's Victoria Beckham in Marc Jacobs' new ad.
Disagree with her starvation as we may, this is hard evidence that the crazy bird at least has a sense of humor. How many other celebs would agree to this?
Although I must admit, I think I decided I loved her the moment she compared her husband's junk to a piece of farm equipment.


"Rocker" Models That Actually (Try to) Rock

The lanky lads in Roberto Cavalli's latest ad campaign are more than your average faux-rocker models (yeah, take that Agyness Deyn) who probably do a lot of coke. They're members of the French band Rock&Roll (more of The Strokes' sound, as you might suspect)-- which makes them REAL rocker models who probably do a lot of coke.

The music isn't awful, and no, they don't sing rock songs in French. (Thank god.)


Blackwell's Senile Thoughts

3-million-year-old tanorexic fashion castoff "Mr. Blackwell" released his annual slams and accolades list today. He's been writing this bitchy-but-not-witty bullshit for 48 years now, and I'm pretty sure the only reason people still pretend to care is because he releases it during fashion's slow news season, and because they know it won't be long till he's found dead in a soiled adult diaper anyway, so why hurt his feelings?

Among his top ten best: Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon, Jemima Khan, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, Helen Mirren, Katie Holmes, Katherine Heigl and Kate Middleton.
Among his worst:
Amy Winehouse, MK Olsen, Kelly Clarkson, Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Eva Green, Jessica Simpson and --topping the list-- Posh Beckham.

- Jolie wears black every day with a pair of aviator glasses. That qualifies for best dressed? Oh wait, she's probably mourning for Africa or some shit right? I guess that is fashionable.
- Beyonce never looks like anything but a Christmas ornament because she lets her fame-whoring mother design her outfits. That's not style, that's abuse.
- Katie Holmes is a "best" and Posh is the "worst?" Did he miss the memo? Katie is Posh's personal dress up doll. They're practically the same robot. He probably only put Katie on so the Scientologists wouldn't put a hit out on his wrinkly ass.
- Sloppy or not, Mary Kate Olsen takes risk after risk and she rocks it all like she doesn't give a fuck. To me, nothing is more stylish than a devil-may-care dresser.

But who can expect a good list from an old gay who thinks orange is an acceptable color to be?

Lovely in Ugly

The new face of Spanish fashion label Balenciaga is 37-year-old actress Jennifer Connelly, a.k.a. the girl from Labyrinth who I have been jealous of since I was like 8. She's probably one of the most naturally stunning people alive, but how retarded is that outfit? It looks like someone performed an autopsy on a decorative pillow and paired it with a crippled dominatrix's leg braces. They needed someone gorgeous to pull off this bizarre wrestling uniform, and she does it by a thread.


Small Bites

Rachel Zoe: Bravo TV's new ho.

The BCBG Max Azria Group is planning to do this with their current junior labels:
BCBGirls + To the Max = BCBGeneration
A capsule collection will be unveiled next week, available to the public this fall at Macy's, Dillards and Bloomingdales.
It was just a matter of time. Pro-anna stylist Rachel Zoe (pictured) is getting her own hour-long show on Bravo in either June or September, according to Fashion Week Daily. She'll be covering the shows and parties of NYC's fashion week this spring, as well as profiling designers.
She'll also be snorting horse tranquilizers, getting spray tanned, and withering in the glare of Anna Wintour's stinkeye.
Do you know what the next hot handbag looks like? These people want to discover you.


I'd Prefer Cat Fancy

A while back, I mentioned how ridiculous I think it is to feed former Jane readers Glamour magazine-- which literally uses headlines like "He still hasn’t proposed? This famous chicken recipe just might do the trick!" --for the remainder of their subscriptions. Over the course of the last few months, I totally forgot it was coming. Yesterday I received my first copy of said shitty replacement in the mail.

My first thought was "WTF? I would never have drunkenly ordered this."
Then I thought maybe some misguided relative had me mistaken for a PR assistant from Connecticut who has missionary sex with the lights off and bought me a subscription for Christmas.
Then I remembered that this was my consolation prize.

During an ensuing stretch-and-bitch session with Ashley Info, I flipped through the rag and found half the editorial space dedicated to a massive feature on "What Guys Really Think!"
Oh. My. God.
Seriously? If you haven't figured out by now what the four thoughts guys think are, you're developmentally retarded. Not to mention-- how many of Jane's readers were lesbians? Bet they LOOOVED that article.
This after I was directed to "Splurge!" on a lame looking blazer for $475 and look hot for less in a coat from the Amanda Bynes collection.
Fuck you, Conde Nast.


Stella Does LeSportsac

LeSportsac sort of pisses me off. Their thin, nylon bags have cool (mostly "cute-cool") prints and make sense for casual use/gym bags (I could never carry one as a "real" purse) however the prices aren't cheap. Is a square foot of windbreaker material really that expensive?
Stella McCartney's upcoming spring collaboration with the company won't be any different, with items ranging from $42 to over $200.
Inspired by the fact the designer is knocked up for the third time, there will be plenty of "diaper bag"-y stuff and even a few kids items (see above.)
The print on the bunny bag is cute, and the basic design of the other bag would be great if it wasn't intended for shitrags, but I'm looking forward to seeing some more items for those of us not lugging around (adorable little) booger factories.

Topshop Takes Four

A dress from a past Christopher Kane for Topshop collection.

Topshop managed to nab four of the hottest 30-and-under stars of London fashion for capsule collections they'll unveil on January 28. Designs by punk priss Christopher Kane, tailoring rockstar Todd Lynn, inventively scissor-happy Marios Schwab (Rihanna is a fan) and Richard Nicoll, whose clients include Bjork and Sophia Coppola, will all be available at semi-human prices (I say semi considering the raggedy-ass American dollar is now even snubbed by India...)
God, the designers European retailers pull for collaborations are so hot they could burn your mouth. Come on H&M! Get with it Target!


Hot Sale-on-Sale Action

Urban Outfitters is offering an automatic 25% off all their clearance items online this week (ends Sunday.) Here are a few things in the bargain bin that aren't crap:

Suede Boots: $37.49
BC Hightops: $37.49

Suede Boots: $59.99
Suede heels: $22.49

Wool Coat: $74.99
Cardigan: $29.99

Dress: $47.24
Sweater: $26.24

Art deco pin: $7.49
Leather gloves: $26.24


Late 70's-Early 80's for 2008

Just a little flash-forward on this years trends for you early adopters...

HAIR: Cool, Curled, Collected
Color-- Cool shades (a.k.a. "ash"). A combination of cool and warm panels throughout the hair. Gradient color, darker on top gradually lightening to the ends (a.k.a. roots on purpose.) Also, rich over-saturated color.
Cut-- Edward Scissorhands-ian asymmetry, and roundness.
Style-- A head full of curls in varying sizes--worn bedhead style. And with the below happening, I'll bet on the Farrah in some form.

MAKEUP: Painted Ladies and Natural Beauties
Bold brows--
Break out the powder and pencils, and put down the tweezers. You'll want those twin caterpillars looking more Brooke Shields than Jean Harlow this year.
The emphasized eye--
It's here to stay, it seems, be it black, blue or catty.
The minimalist-- Basically bare, with a swipe of pale icy color on the lids. (Hard to pull off-- those with dark or porcelain skin are the best bet, as well as almond-shaped eyes.)
The velvet lip-- pink blush and crimson lipstick a la Sienna in W Magazine.


The long dead label that owned the Studio 54 era, is back with Tamara Mellon (of Jimmy Choo fame) and Rachael Zoe (of dressing crack-thin actresses fame) at the helm. Commence advertising and editorial frenzy.

A few more predictions for spring:
Maxi-dresses (ankle length), Ruffled tops, Wide and straight legged jeans, Snake jewelry, One shoulder tops/dresses, Skinny belts, Grecian draping, Hair adornments (decorative clips, etc.), Plaid button ups, Short shorts, Knee socks, Medium sized bags, A more fitted silhouette, in general.