Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Over the past week or so, I've celebrated two birthdays (mine being one) and two Thanksgivings. I've pretty much eaten enough cake and pie to feed a small country! In addition to the sweets, wine and Prosecco flowed freely. I wolfed down turkey, mashed potatoes, lobster macaroni and cheese, crab cakes, steamed shrimp, cheese, crackers, cashews, quiche, stuffed peppers and giant Florida tomatoes and grapefruit. Being that I was in the south for these festivities, corn bread and collards took part in several of my meals. To my surprise, the one southern staple that I didn't have was grits. Oh well, I'll save them for Christmas! My gluttony over the past week reminded me of this old INXS video... beware of the 80's hair!
Happy Thanksgiving taffetadarlings! What are you thankful for? I'm thankful that I don't have to dress like a pilgrim. First of all, I don't look good in hats and that goes for bonnets, babushkas or any type of kerchief. Second, the idea of donning an apron makes me want to put pins in my eyes. OK, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but a domestic goddess I am not.
traditional Pilgrim woman
Furthermore, I don't look good in anything that even resembles a dirndl skirt (not many do!) and although black dominates my closet, I wouldn't want to wear it as a uniform every single day. BOR - ING.
Actually, I grew up near Lancaster, Pennsylvania so I am very familiar with this type of dress as I got to see the Amish and Mennonite quite often. I'm not positive, but I think the Mennonite people are a less strict version of the Amish. They wear the "tea strainers" (I credit my mother with that description) over their bun-like hairdo's and I'm pretty sure they're allowed to use electricity... and they may even drive cars! Still, their outfits have a lot to be desired.
Mennonite woman with her "tea strainer"
When I first came to New York (too many years ago to reveal), I used to tell people that I was Amish and I busted out one day because I was sick of the lifestyle. Sick of wearing the same damn thing every day and the same damn thing as everyone else. That's why I became a designer. I could usually keep people going for a while until I tried to describe my escape -- riding my horse and buggy up the PA turnpike into NYC. Can you imagine?
A couple of years ago, the great Steven Meisel did a shoot for Italian Vogue where they featured Amish fashion and their way of life as the concept for the spread. Interesting. Of course, they used a lot more color and pattern not to mention sexy, young models. Still, I thought even they looked a bit frumpy.
I've kept you waiting long enough! The answer to Thursday's designer guessing game is Carmelo Pomodoro. I'll credit Madeleine (In New York Paris Tomorrow) with the win since she mentioned him in her well thought out response. Her prize? Well, maybe we can work out a deal on a Dolce Vita dress!
We haven't played in a while my taffetadarlings! I pulled out some more pictures from my archives and thought I would see if anyone can guess this (relatively) obscure designer. Jeffrey, from Fashion By The Rules, is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to designers, so my money is on him! He keeps a running list of what he calls "Designers Who Have All But Been Forgotten," which he updates frequently. It just might serve as a little cheat sheet!
Hint: This young, promising designer led a new generation of talent during the 80's, but was taken from us (and fashion) too soon.
Well, that title got your attention, huh? I am, in fact, feeling slightly bitchy today, but that could be due to the fact that it's Monday. I suppose the lack of water in my building for the last 18 hours hasn't helped my mood either. At least I had some bottled water in order to make my coffee this morning, otherwise there would be real hell to pay.
I've always fancied biker/motorcycle jackets. They represent rebellion, toughness, freedom. But, to be a real biker bitch you need the pants. Sometimes, I actually have dreams about clothes/shoes that I want (is that weird?) and lately, I've been dreaming of these babies...
Anyone can rock a leather jacket with some zippers, but it takes a pretty confident person to pull off (well, pull them on first!) some tight, leather pants with quilted knee patches. They immediately suggest "attitude." Attitude I've got (at least today I do), it's the funds and the gams that are lacking! A girl can dream...
OK, I'm thankful that we had an Indian Summer, but Fall has officially arrived in NYC and along with the cooler air we've had for the last couple of weeks, came the rain. Lots of rain. Just after we adjusted the clocks on Sunday to deprive us of an hour of light, we entered the week with freezing rain and high speed wind. I struggled down Park Ave. on Monday morning on the way to my eye exam and cursed every step of the way, fighting against the wind, umbrella whipping about and sleet pelting my face.
Lemon Print Hunter Boots
I have sixty pairs of shoes, I thought to myself, and not ONE pair of rain boots. Every year I swear that I'm going to run out and purchase them after I've gotten soaked walking a couple of blocks to the subway station, shoes like sponges and legs soaking wet. I never do. This year will be different.
So, the selection process begins. I thought I'd take the lazy way out and shop online, so I brilliantly typed in "rain boots" into a Google search and came across an equally brilliant web site titled "Rain boots Online." Great minds think alike! Talk about selection. What a huge market this has become! It's not just your basic "Welly" anymore. Rain boots are offered in a huge range of colors, crazy print patterns and a variety of boot and heel styles. Are you feeling like a paisley printed cowboy boot? You can have it! I don't know why you would want it, but it's certainly available. As is the wedge heel (which I imagine would make me even more of a klutz in the rain), the motorcycle boot and, of course, the animal print.
Rainbops "Art Fusion"
Michael Kors wedge
Hunter motorcycle wellies
For me, I think some things are just meant to be classic and traditional. Like a tuxedo. Or a Wellington boot. Most likely, I'll veer toward the Hunter Original. Now, the question is... hunter green, basic black, or metallic silver?
I should begin by saying that I'm a product of the 80's and I'm not ashamed to admit it, in fact, I'm quite proud of it. The 80's brought us MTV, and back when they used to actually play videos, MTV was great!
Adam Ant (the real one!) in 1980
WendyB (or Adam Ant??) in 2010
WendyB and I started planning our Halloween costumes last November (uh, yeah we are ridiculous) and when she told me her idea of dressing as Adam Ant, I felt comfortable enough to let her in on my secret desire to dress as Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons for years. I never had the guts to prance around in a plastic bra and then, Lady Gaga happened. Since Gaga practically stole Dale's look initially (though the Lady certainly has had some wild wardrobe ideas of her own), I didn't think anyone would pin me as Ms. Bozzio anymore. I was sure that if I attempted a Dale outfit, I would be mistaken for Lady G. and would be lost in a sea of hundreds of other Gaga costumes. So, I switched gears (but not decades!) and came up with Siouxsie Sioux as an alternative.
UPDATE: This photo just in! Thanks to beautiful, blonde, bombshell blogger, Tina (of the Occasional Cook). You can even see my "feather lashes."
Julie (Marie Antoinette), Me (Siouxsie), WendyB (Adam Ant), Tina (blonde bombshell)
We were an 80's power couple! Wendy was such a convincing Adam Ant, I wasn't sure I trusted myself to be alone with her. Kidding! I kid, people, I jest. But seriously, her outfit and make-up were dead on... perfect! I, on the other hand, wasn't quite so perfect. After two hours of fussing with my eyes, lips and hair, I pretty much looked like a punk rock Cleopatra. I'm not saying that's such a bad thing, but it seemed like a little too much effort to fall short of my goal. Anyway, it was still a fun Halloween so I can't complain. Maybe next year I'll just go for it and rock a blonde wig with a shock of pink and blue, some silver spandex and a plastic bra...
A couple of months ago, I posted about the legendary designer, Pierre Cardin. I felt that most "non-fashion" people only recognized him for luggage and fragrance (for shame!). Well, that may soon change. Friday evening, I was lucky enough to not only attend Mr. Cardin's showing of his Spring 2011 collection, but I also met the extraordinary designer! If my fifteen year old self could only have imagined that one day, I'd shake his hand and he would compliment my dress...! What? Yes, HE complimented MY dress! Surreal.
in the original, gold "Elizabeth" dress
Photo: Richard Renda
The dress in question? The original "Elizabeth" dress from my Spring line. Yep, it's short, no doubt about it, but I managed. Cardin actually touched the fabric and asked if it had metal in it... the man knows his stuff! "It's beautiful," he said. OK, I can die happy now. I thanked him and told him that he was a very big influence on me growing up and that I was honored to be there to witness his unbelievable show (comprising of 200+ looks!!). Very humbly, the white-haired man asked me, "Do they like it? What are they saying?" Just like an artist. I guess it doesn't matter how successful or how experienced we become, there will always be that teeny weeny bit of self-doubt and that nagging urge to impress.
Pierre Cardin chats with Marisa Berenson after the show
I covered the show for the online fashion publication, "Lookonline" -- click here to read my article and to view some runway pictures from Cardin's show shot by the incomparable fashion photographer (a.k.a. my house photographer!), Randy Brooke.
I like long walks on the beach, Mediterranean food and foreign films. But seriously, I've been a designer for 18 years and I started this blog to discuss art, fashion and pop culture. When I'm not writing or designing, you can find me in downward dog (on a yoga mat :-) or running in Central Park listening to some super fast, pop punk tunes from the late 70's/early 80's.