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Happy Birthday, David Bowie

David Bowie, 1973

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . . With thanks to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I’d like to wish honorary SB, David Bowie, a very happy 67th birthday.

I wonder what’s on deck for the Thin White Duke tonight? Champagne and caviar with Iman? Barolo and spaghetti with Iman? Beer and shepherd’s pie with Iman? Hmmm. Maybe a nice warm Cioppino? Breakfast for dinner? Why am I experiencing such a violent desire to feed David Bowie?

Anyhoo.

Now back to those ways: Space Odyssey, cheekbones, jumpsuits, Iman since 1992, Ashes to Ashes, heterochromia, fearlessness, great suits, a sordid past, long legs, collaboration, man makeup, Blue Jean, blurred boundaries, acting like a grown-up, innovation, China Girl . . .

Let’s put on our red shoes and dance, shall we?

Previously on SB: SB Tunes – Bowie

Bey Drops Super Secret Surprise Album

bey

The fact that she was able to keep this massive album complete with videos for every song a secret is simply proof positive that Beyonce is Queen of the Universe. Not one of the hundreds of people who were involved in the production of this Christmas present to her fans uttered so much as a peep.

When I woke up on Friday morning and saw that Twitter had exploded into a ball of flames in the night, I thought Well played, Bey. Well played.

To see and hear, you need to go to iTunes but here’s a little something to whet your whistle. Damn, she’s good.

Have a Spectacular Thanksgiving

Marilyn-Monroe-Pilgrim

May your day be filled with abundant wine, savory gravy and multiple pies, baby. Maybe a nap, maybe a movie, maybe some dancing. Definitely NO fighting.

This year I’m grateful for the fact that I get to feature a pants-less Marilyn Monroe holding a shotgun and my beloved Beastie Boys in a post that more than a handful of people will look at. Thank you for indulging me, you Spectacular Bitches, you.

Enjoy a little “Gratitude.” That’s what it’s all about, no?

SB Loves: Freddie and Darth

Mercury, Freddie

If ever there was an image to usher out Halloween and all its cobwebs, cauldrons and sexy witches/fairies/nurses/Minnie Mouses/construction workers/hippies/firefighters/disco queens et al and usher IN the month of November, also known as Movember, then this is it. How much more on-trend could Freddie Mercury’s fantastic leather shorts possibly be?

Around these parts we don’t much care if men grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. We do care about men’s health, of course, but we like to raise awareness of men in general.

Because we like them.

A lot.

So tune in for a little testosterone this month. Things could get interesting around here.

Previously on SB: SB Loves the Male Bond

Previously on SB: SB Loves Kissing Footballers

Photo credit: Via Awesome People Hanging Out Together

SB Tunes: AlunaGeorge

alunageorge

You’re welcome, in advance, for bringing you some pretty sweet make-out music. AlunaGeorge, an electronic music duo from the UK, sound like the love-child of CHVRCHES and Destiny’s Child – as cool, sexy and mysterious as a dark autumn night. Aluna Francis and George Reid just put out their first album, Body Music, and it’s causing a quite a hubbub across the pond. I think these kids are going somewhere. Watch them.

Francis rocks the ‘sexy tomboy’ look with short swingy dresses, high tops and gnarly necklaces or the ‘effortless homegirl’ look in cropped tanks, giant gold hoops and Hammer pants. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s drop dead gorgeous. But in true SB form, she picks cool over hot.

Did you catch that? Cool over hot. That’s a nugget, girls and boys. Put it in your pockets.

And enjoy.

 

Photo credit: Fiona Garden

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Ask the SB: Furries

Q: I agree with you about Miley, but do you realize she’s not just “dancing” with teddy bears? If you watch her video and check out the attached pic from her Instagram, I’d say she has a thing for Furries. It’s a thing, you know. Do you know?
–Chad

A: As a matter of fact, Chad, I DO happen to know about this thing you speak of. This furry fetish, this stuffed subculture, this plushy porn and here at SB we live by the motto: to each his own.

We’re all lit up by different things, and who am I to say that giant stuffed teddy bears aren’t sexy? They aren’t to me and I happen to suspect, they aren’t to Miley either. I think she’s just looking for new ways to be shocking and maybe (although this may be giving her too much credit) it’s a subversive nod and hump to her teeny bopper Hannah Montana image.

I do appreciate my readers keeping me “in the know,” so thank you for that, dearest.
xo,
SB

Photo Credit: Miley Cyrus’ Instagram

Previously on SB: SB Loves Kissing Footballers
Previously on SB: Real Beauty

On No, Miley. Just. No.

Miley_Cyrus

There are few things on this good green earth more likely to cause the SB to lurch off her floaty raft and sprint, sputtering lake water and Rosé, to the nearest computer, than a performance like Cyrus’ at the VMAs.

This was actually physically painful for me to watch. My teeth hurt, my eyes hurt, my stomach hurt. It’s like someone handed her some notecards with the words: CLASSY, SUBTLE, TALENT and LADY printed on them and she opened her giant mouth and guffawed Y’all, Imma gonna do the OPPOSITE of all these here words at the VMA’s. I’m gonna show erryone Imma big girl now! before spitting in the corner, growling, rubbing the cards on her coochie and tossing them on her spit.

Sweet baby Jesus, it’s almost like she was raised by a man with a mullet.

Deep breaths. Since this blog is about casting sartorial lifelines as opposed to sticks and stones, however, I feel obligated to help this wayward, misguided girl. And also, I’m only human – as much as I hate to admit it, We Can’t Stop is a pretty good party jam. So here goes nothing.

Miley, honey, if you’re listening, please stop sticking your tongue out. It’s abnormally long and that’s seriously saying something considering the size of your mouth. Gene Simmons can pull it off. You can’t. It looks vulgar. In fact, maybe stop short of unhinging your jaw like a python when you want to open your mouth. Basically, tone down the mouth shenanigans.

I was among the few who applauded your foray into faux hawk-ville. And I was even fine with the peroxide blond. Somehow the shorter boyish hair works for you – you have nice cheek bones. But never put it into two little knots on the top of your head again. It makes you look like a hungry teddy bear. Oh, was that intentional? My bad. Maybe don’t dance with bears anymore.

Stop twerking. I know it’s your body and you can do what you want to, but twerking is for girls who can actually do it and do it well. You need speed, you need booty. Your too-slow skinny white girl twerking looks lascivious, unnatural and strained. And those poor people in your rear view mirror. I hope you had a proper wax.

Be aware of who’s around you. If Robin Thicke, the king of schmooove, looks vaguely uncomfortable and Drake is averting his eyes and Rihanna looks confused, maybe you’re doing it wrong.

And finally, if that foam finger was not your idea, then you need new people. ALL new people. Fire everyone you know and start fresh. If the foam finger was your idea, then I fear I may be too late. That was absurd and obscene and next time just ask yourself this simple question. Would Beyoncé simulate sex with a cheap sports souvenir? Oh my God.

That is all. It’s hotter than Hades where I live and I’ve broken a sweat trying to help you. I’m retreating to my floaty raft and hope that you’ll think long and hard about what I’ve said. I know you “can’t stop” and “won’t stop,” but honey, you SHOULD stop.

With concern,
SB

Previously on SB (and proof I’m no prude): Cover Up, Or Else
Previously on SB: Side Boob Do’s and Don’ts

Ask the SB: a Spectacular Bitch Cocktail (Contest)

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Q: Does SB have a go-to specialty cocktail in her repertoire?

–Patrick  
 
p.s. An ulterior motive: a friend of mine bartends one night a week and she asked me for ideas on a signature drink for her, and I think your site is right up her alley, so I had to ask.  
 

p.p.s. For me it’s sort of seasonal with the classics (Manhattan, martini, Scotch or bourbon in a glass) then of course experimentation at the home bar (flavors like the The Last Word – and a mescal, lemon juice/St. Germain combination). But nothing “signature” yet.

A: Let me get this straight, Patrick, darling. You are asking me for a signature drink for a girl whose job it is to make drinks? I have another approach.

How about you ask the girl whose job it is to make drinks to come up with a signature drink for me?

You see, my relationship with drinks is mainly confined to throwing away the cocktails straws and pouring them down my gullet. In contrast to many other aspects of my life, I also happen to be fairly low maintenance when it comes to my adult beverages. I like vino blanco (and Rosé) and when I’m going to dance, I hydrate with a simple, puckering vodka soda (or five).

If I’m throwing a fest, I’ll whip up something seasonal or thematic, but honestly, if I had a butler, I’d gladly delegate the task. I made a limey rhubarb gin concoction recently that was delicious and lovely blush pink, to boot. I always set up a little Patrón station for revelers who enjoy tequila or are simply on a mission to feel extra “festive”.

Which is not to say that I’m not absolutely TICKLED by the idea of having a signature drink. I’m not sure why you and I don’t. Commitment issues?

Here’s what I propose to anyone reading: send along a summery cocktail recipe that you think would make a fabu SB signature drink. I’ll test them all in the company of my party betties and I’ll pick a winner, which I will post with much fanfare and brouhaha. The prize will be my undying gratitude and the knowledge that SB’s future summer shenanigans will be fueled by your clever concoction.

Words to the wise: I don’t like too sweet. I don’t like martini glasses. I don’t like blenders. And for the love of god, ICE ICE, baby. I’m a rocks girl.

Ready? Go!

SB Tunes: Daft Punk

Daft_Punk_Random_Access_Memory_Suits

At the risk of jumping on the biggest bandwagon in the history of bandwagons, I just have to say it: I love the new Daft Punk album. I love it. It’s floating my boat, lighting my fire, teeting my totter, rocking my socks, razzing my berries. Like, a lot.

It makes me want to put on a white 70′s lady suit and throw a wine soaked dinner party just so I can whip off the table cloth, glasses and all, and climb on up and dance to the entire album – start to finish. And there’s a good reason Random Access Memories seeps down into and lights up your chakras of funk – it features’ Chic’s guitarist, Nile Rodgers.

Someone had the right idea in queuing up Get Lucky to some old Soul Train footage. Perfect.

SB Flicks: Frances Ha

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Normally, I’d be nattering on about the absolute deliciousness of sneaking off to the movie theater (preferably alone) on a blistering summer day; to me trading the heat and the sun for a cool two hour respite is the ultimate in decadence. Around these parts, however, it seems that the words blistering and summer are extinct. Instead, since I have apparently moved to London without realizing it, I now use movies as a necessary escape from the drizzle and the drear. Oh dear.

Does anyone else remember that awesomely creepy short story by Ray Bradbury about the planet that only saw sun for like an hour every 15 years and the means kids at school went all Lord of the Flies and wrestled the girl into a closet in the classroom and locked her in and she missed the sun? What? Oh, no reason.

This film, by the dark and dashing Noah Baumbach of Kicking and Screaming and The Squid and the Whale, looks lovely and bittersweet and real. And let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted something so bad and had zero idea how to go about getting it? Also, SB has a huge soft spot for a tall goofy girl, played to a T by Greta Gerwig – who, it’s also worth mentioning, co-wrote the script.

Can’t wait to see it! Now excuse me while I go weep in the corner for two days.

Previously on SB: Made in the Shade

SB Tunes: Janelle Monae

janelle_monae_erykah_badu

I literally cannot believe it has taken me this long to feature Janelle Monae on these pages, as she is the quintessential Spectacular Bitch. She has a consistent, unique and powerful sartorial point of view. A lot of women look like her, but she doesn’t look like anybody. She is sexy, but on her own terms. She’s insanely talented but she’s not a diva. And she can sing. And dance. Like a mother fucker.

Monae has nailed the androgynous black and white look, but over the years manages to tweak it and shift it around so that she always looks like a million bucks. Whether she’s in a tuxedo or Spanish toreador bolero, her clothes are tailored to hug her lovely shape and she just might be the reigning queen of the crisp white shirt. She has so honed her aesthetic (chic, dapper, tomboy) and her palate (black, white and red) that she never misses. Ever ever ever. And I read somewhere that she always does her own hair and make-up.

It takes a lot of restraint and, frankly, cojones to stick with a uniform when you could have ANYTHING.

She just released this fabulous single off her upcoming album, Electric Lady, and it features yet ANOTHER SB – they mysterious, mercurial and all around tremendously bad ass Erykah Badu. Let me tell you, there is nothing not to love and adore about this song and video. It’s not often in life you get a two for one like this.

Enjoy Q.U.E.E.N. Because you know, the booty don’t lie.

 

Previously on SB: SB Tunes – Betty Davis

 

SB Flicks: The Great Gatsby

TheGreatGatsby

For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened – then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The movie comes out next month, leaving you plenty of time to read (or in the case of you sexy, bookish SB readers, RE-read) the novel. Cracking its spine is like opening an exquisite package: beautiful, bright and shiny wrapping frantically tossed aside to reveal mystery, regrets, damnation. So good!!!

And the movie promises to provide some MAJOR eye and ear candy.

Leo, Carrie, Toby.

Darlings, I cannot wait!!!

SB Tunes: Tegan and Sara

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For this week’s SB Tunes, I offer you Tegan and Sara – Canadians, indie-darlings, twins, tomboys, pixies and all around cool chicks. I heard them interviewed on the radio recently and they are super down to earth and sweet, but also really thoughtful, eloquent and real about their process for making music. Always intrigued by the how of it all, I sat in my car until they were through describing their long-distance over the internet music collaboration. Fascinating.

Their latest album, Heartthrob, is intentionally more pop sounding than their old stuff. I’m sure there is many a dour and humorless hipster out there shaking his or her fauxhawk at the demise of Tegan and Sara, but I love it. I love the fact that they are taking a chance and expanding their sound and trying to capture a new audience while being deep, smart and musical enough to hold on to their old fans – yours truly firmly included.

After all, a little artfully used auto-tune never hurt anyone and I would argue it can be as effective a dancing lube as tequila. Screw all those sardonic hipsters. The pixies win. See for yourselves, SB friends.

Previously on SB Tunes: Gwen Stefani

Cover Up, Or Else . . .

PINK-GRAMMYS

CBS’ Standards and Practice Committee has sent a “wardrobe advisory” to all the Grammy Awards attendees basically banning butt cracks, underboob, bare sides, sheer fabric and “female breast nipples”. Oh, and also the “puffy bare skin” of the genital region. WHAT is that?

Strange syntax aside, I think this is puritanical and lame. It’s the GRAMMYS!!!

I know I rail against our over-sexualized society where girls are getting the message that looks and sex are all that matter, but I don’t think the answer is to sartorially censor our artists and outliers. We just need to be throwing more love and attention to the brainy and the brave, so the whole panoply of self expression is on display.

If music people aren’t allowed to do it, who is left to push the boundaries of fashion and good taste, to toe the line of propriety and social mores, to challenge our understanding of sexuality, gender, art and swagger?

This smacks of nuns with rulers measuring the lengths of kilts and I don’t like it one bit.

Which is not to say that I won’t be watching in my sheer butt crack, underboob, female breast nipple revealing ensemble. You know, out of solidarity.

As always, I’ll be live-tweeting @specbitch. Grab your vino blanco and join in the fun.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ask the SB: Valentine’s Day

Valentines-Day

Q: Curious how SB likes to spend her Valentine’s Day. What do you like to do? What do you like to get? Or do you just like to avoid it completely?

–Pete

A: Pete. Darling. Is this a thinly veiled way of trying to find out whether I have a lover? And an even more thinly veiled attempt to ask me out? My word! I am more than a little flattered, Pete.

A girl needs to maintain an air of mystery in order to pen a questionably relevant fashion blog, so I will only say this: my Valentine’s night will NOT involve a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and the remote. It might, however, involve dancing in silhouette in front of a be-hearted backdrop. One never does know.

I have actually answered a similar question before, so instead of repeating myself, I’ll simply point you in the right direction.

There you have it. Try to find a suitable replacement, doll, and enjoy the night. (Hmmm. How important commas can be . . .)

xo,
SB

The Beyoncé Bowl

beyonce-halftime

Can we all just agree that Bey NAILED the half-time show? I couldn’t help but imagine poor Madonna (who was no slouch herself) sitting on her velvet throne, her nails digging into the armrests, cursing the day Mama Tina Knowles gave birth to that bundle of boot stomping, gilded-piped, bootilicious awesomeness.

I loved Beyonce’s bad-ass all-girl band, although I do think she missed an opportunity to bust out Run the World – GIRLS in that pantheon of testosterone. How cool would that have been? You boys can crash into each other all you want, have fun with your silly game and your too tight pants because GIRLS, WE RUN THIS MOTHA!

I also loved how Destiny’s Child popped out of the floor – the ladies have held up well and I look forward to seeing more of them. But no Say My Name? Come on.

And I loved that Bey chose an emerging designer, Rubin Singer, to make her ensemble. Considering it now seems de rigeur to be pants-less for any vocal performance, Singer’s jumpsuit hit the right notes. Apparently, it took over 200 hours to make and featured pieces of python, iguana and trapunto stitched leather* as well as chantilly lace.

The whole leather-to-lace ratio is a personal thing and deeply subjective, but to my taste, there was too much lace. Just like white skin in linen, it’s a tricky balance. As is perfume on my wrist. And the full moon that hangs over these dreams in the mist. Oh, never mind. I can think of exactly one person who’s still with me.

*quilting in which the design is outlined with two or more strips of stitches and stuffed from the underside. Who knew?

Let’s reminisce, shall we?

SB Tunes: Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle

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Since the weather in these parts seems to vacillate between deep freeze and medium freeze these days, I figured I’d feature music with a little warmth, a little sun for this week’s SB Tunes. Wild Belle is a brother sister duo who grew up in the Windy City but sound like they were weaned with sand between their toes.

Heavily influenced by reggae, jazz and soul, their collaboration comes together in a delicious warm, honey, sexy way that makes you want to hike up your sarong and do a little sashay right on over to that tiki bar for another beer and maybe, just maybe, say yes to a slow groove on the dance floor in the arms of the dashing Rasta with the easy smile and the very good shoulders. Ahem.

Natalie nails the 70′s hippy boho island chic vibe and her brother, Elliot, looks like a country gentleman. In other words, good genes. And good jeans.

Enjoy.

SB Hauntings: Flashmob Headband

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Anyone who has ever shopped a day in her life understands what it is to be HAUNTED by some exquisite little thing that grows in perfection and desirability with each wretched moment after it becomes an impossibility.

We all know what it’s like to pass something up in a moment of practicality or frugality or sanity, only to have one’s thoughts stray back to said little something again and again until it becomes unbearably clear that life without said little something is simply not worth living.

There are times, of course, when one passes on something and never thinks of it again. But on rare occasions, that boot, that bag, that cuff is so kick ass, that it MUST be had. NO MATTER WHAT.

And woe to the girl who goes back for it, breathless with anticipation, clutching credit card in her sweaty little hand and finds that said little something is SOLD motherfucking OUT.

OF COURSE I didn’t by a pom pom headband for three hundred dollars. How preposterous. But it is no lie to say that I have thought about this beauty every day, at least once a day from the time I first saw it and now I would gladly pay three hundred dollars for a pom pom headband. I know. How preposterous.

And it is no lie to say that I would actually wear it – I really would. I would wear it to parties with a black tube top and black tuxedo pants and a sky high heel. I would wear it to brunch with a sundress. I would wear it out dancing with a red mini and gold boots. I would wear it with a robe to write SB posts.

The agony.

Pom poms are the new feathers. You heard it here first.

SB Tunes: GIRLS by Santigold

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Y’all know I’ve got a lot of love for both Santigold and Lena Dunham’s cringe-y, brilliant Girls. So, of course I’m a fan of this song and video off of the Girls’ soundtrack for this season.

It’s refreshing to see females portrayed as fun, diverse and real – dancing, goofing and playing as opposed to posing, preening and pouting. Silly and joyous versus sexy and sad. We need to see more of this in our media culture, so girls can be girls – no matter what age.

And Santigold’s red fur hat? Want it.

SB Tunes: Kylie Minogue

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It’s with your holiday party playlists in mind that I bring you Ms. Minogue for this week’s SB Tuneage. Adorable Australian singer, songwriter, pop star, actress and breast cancer survivor, I love the fact that Minogue has always been absolutely 100 percent sartorially fearless.

High waisted cut off jean shorts? Bring ‘em. Spiral perm? Yawn. Vinyl dress? Honey, please. Hot pink space suit? Of course. Furry vest over bikini? And your issue is???? Homegirl cargos and blue eyeshadow? Yes to the YES. If you care to see what I mean, check out this slideshow.

But like any SB worth her salt, she manages to pull off the most preposterous flourishes because she wears what’s on the outside lightly. She’s fun and none of it seems too terribly serious to her, so even a frontless, legless, hooded jumpsuit seems to work.

And now, at the ripe age of 44, she looks better than ever and, dare I say, refreshingly devoid of dermatological facial monkeying. She’s gorgeous.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head. Enjoy. And pay attention to the robot dance moves. That’s how it’s done.

Previously on SB Tunes: Blondie
Previously on SB Tunes: Dolly

SB Tunes: Solange Knowles

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I know, I know. It’s downright crazy to feature sister Solange before I feature sister Beyoncé on SB Tunes. Lordie knows I love myself a little Beyoncé, and I will get to her, my friends, trust me.

There is just something really cool, cute and compelling to me about Solange. She seems graciously impervious to Beyoncé’s superstardom and content to go forth and do her own thing, in her own time, on her own juice, with her own style. And she always has great hair.

I read this article in the NY Times a few months ago and was kind of surprised to learn of her DJing, her indie vibe, her ample musical influences and her nonchalant eye towards celebrity. In short, I just kind of dig her.

And I dig this video. So stylish. And a pretty good jam too.

 

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Couch Kitten and the Party Girl

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Everyone knows Spectacular Bitches come in all shapes and sizes – and all colors and flavors. More to the point, Spectacular Bitches embody a panoply of colors and flavors. Like Gobstoppers.

To be spectacular is to be complex.

With that in mind, I’m going to throw out a little holiday cheer over the next weeks by crafting a gift guide to suit all the delicious and delectable layers that hide within an SB.

Boys, listen up. Girls, ’tis the season to leave your laptops yawning open in plain view if you see something you like.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list – just fun.

For the couch kitten:  Sometimes a girl just needs a night in with nothing on the agenda but a crackling fire, a chilled glass of vino blanco and a soul satisfying music documentary. For those nights, a soft and heavy faux fur throw. Purrrrrrr.

For the party girl: Put up a disco ball in her living room. For realz. I have one and it makes me happy every single day. Fire it up and you have an instant party – even if it’s only one person. You’ll need a few accessories (light, hook, spinny-thing) but you can figure it out.

For the couch kitten party girl: You can never go wrong with a great pair of head phones. Here’s a little known fact: they double as earmuffs in the winter but instead of looking goofy, they look superfly AND play music. I have a pair of these (which I still adore), but these beauties by Frends kind of take my breath away. They look like jewels and I covet covet covet. You can get them at Apple stores. Sigh.

SB Tunes: David Byrne

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Oh, swoon. Sexy, nerdy freak boy and frontman for Talking Heads, David Byrne was (and continues to be) a fascinating and intrepid musical explorer. Most recently, he’s collaborated with rockin’ SB, Annie Clark of St. Vincent. He’s like little Jack Horner with his thumbs in more pies than you can count: music, theater, opera, photography, radio, film, architecture, cycling – you name it, he’s figured out a way to come at it in his own left of center, inimitably curious way.

Now THAT, is sexy.

Secret fantasy job: being one of those black mamas singing back up. Oh, would I WORK. THAT. OUT.

The last of my Movember Spectacular Dudes, it’s virtually impossible to pick just one song or video from Byrne’s career. This song, however, lurks like a little bomb in your playlist – sure to blow up any dance floor.

Enjoy.

The American Music Awards

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Did you watch? I did and as always, I found it to be completely entertaining, though quite sedate, sartorially speaking. My two take-aways from the night are:

1. Notwithstanding the fact that harem pants (or Hammer pants, if you prefer, which I DO) never really took root for women, they seemed to be working for the men at the AMAs. The Biebs was sporting a skinny boy version, so be prepared – these just may stick.

2. I am strangely obsessed with the fingerless leather gloves Carrie Underwood wore for her performance – especially paired with a gown. I am so feeling these for holiday fests. What a cool way to edge up a look and get a little hand candy going at the same time. Am I crazy? Entirely possible.

Also, Pink needs to join Cirque du Soleil, Jenny McCarthy should not lose her wits and kiss the Biebs on the neck when his mom is sitting right there, Taylor Swift should wear a color for once in her life, everyone needs to cut it out with the pants-less performances (talking to you, Aguilera and Ke$ha), Gwen Stefani still rocks but that illusion netting shirt should be burned and Chris Brown needs to go away. Just away.

Enjoy some more Hammer pants, Gangnam-style:

SB Tunes: Kanye

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Continuing on with my spectacular dudes in honor of Movember, up this week: Kanye West.

I want to hate him, I really do. I want to boycott him forever after the Taylor Swift debacle. I want to mock him for his fly by night love affair with Kardashian. I want to kick him to the curb for those full length fur coats. Scratch that – I love him in a fur.

He makes me feel like a wiry tortured brokeback gay cowboy. Kanye: I wish I knew how to quit you.

But I can’t. He’s just that good. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. If you play this, I will dance. Simple as that. I could be at the dentist, in a museum, in a court of law, at the nunnery . . . when that beat goes, so do I.

And this one goes out to my Chicago readers. My peeps here, tell me I’ve got some peeps there. Holla ladies! Keep an eye out for Chris Martin, who, conversely from Kanye, I have no reason not to like, but still don’t.

Oh, the vagaries of the heart.

SB Tunes: Pat Benetar

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Pat Benetar was quintessential 80′s glam meets tomboy tough girl. She strutted that line like a spandex clad queen.

This is possibly one of the finest videos ever made, with the finest choreographed dance/fight scene ever made. Way to stand up to that pimp, sister!

We should all have a rumble dance routine in our back pockets – you never know when it could come in handy because Love is a Battlefield, don’t ya know.

And I adore her shreddy green dress – I would totally wear that.

Enjoy
 

Not a Fan: Cocktail Straws

Straws

I know it’s an odd thing to be peevish about, but hang with me.

Picture this: You’ve procured your cocktail from the bar, left a tip and shimmied out onto the dance floor. Your favorite song comes on and you reflexively lift your drink up to salute the dj, your pals, the night and the gods of frolicking. Only the straw in your drink gets snagged in your friend’s hair or worse yet, her cornea, or worse yet, your cornea. If we don’t run with scissors, why do we dance with straws?

Not convinced? Picture this: You’ve procured your cocktail from the bar, left a tip and stepped away to drink your drink. You stand there holding the glass in one hand, the straws in the other and sip like a little baby. Your shoulders are hunched, your head is down. Granted you might accentuate your cheek bones for a second, but that is far outweighed by how sorority this looks. It’s hard to look confident when drinking through a straw, which is why men, largely, don’t.

Man up, ladies. Use the straws to muddle your citrus, give your drink a stir and then leave them at the bar. Cocktail straws manage to be both dangerous and lame – a rare combo, indeed.

Lose them.

SB Strangely Drawn to Badass Fanny Pack

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You gotta love Etsy. I can’t even begin to re-create the internet peregrinations that led me to this thing, but when I saw it I actually gasped. I have a love/hate relationship with clutches, you see, and despite the fact that they are sooooo pretty, I generally can’t bear to carry one around.

My after-dark prowling rarely involves sitting at a table where I can lay my clutch on a nice clean tablecloth and admire it in the candlelight. I’m usually standing, sometimes I’m dancing – and I can’t stand having to clasp something in my armpit for hours on end. A small purse swinging around on a chain drives me batty as well.

So what is a clutch-challenged SB to do? I’ll tell you. Pull up a chair.

Lips: numero uno reason for a clutch is to hold your lippy, so I just go with a super pigmented lipstick to start the night, leave it at home and stuff a tiny tube of Cherry Chapstick in my front pocket to moisturize as the night develops. It works. At two a.m. you’ll still have color but you won’t run the danger of intoxicated lipstick application across your face with it ending up in your teeth. Trust me on this one.

ID and cash: Back pocket. Simple.

Phone: Other back pocket. Also simple, if a little lumpy. Sometimes I don’t bring my phone. I know, scandalous.

Anything else: You don’t need anything else.

Which brings me to the “Blaster” made by Canadian-based Jungle Tribe. The fact that it holsters around the leg renders it less fanny pack and more, well, holster. And it’s hands free!

Badass, if you ask me. I would want something slightly less bulky and maybe a tad less Mad Max looking, but the idea is brilliant. Imagine! I could even bring a pack of gum!

SB Tunes: Phantogram

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One half of the psychedelic synth-pop duo out of Upstate New York, Sarah Barthel is mesmerizing on vocals and keyboards. Not that her compadre, Josh Carter, isn’t – but we’re here to talk about Spectacular Bitches.

Barthel’s fabulously shiny hair landed her in SB’s collage of bluntly bobbed brunettes a while back and honestly, if I had this hair I’d have to join a band just to swing it around. It’s perfection.

To say nothing of the music. This is sexy sultry shake the confetti out of your stilettos, flop on a couch with one more glass of champagne and a cute boy after-party party music.

You dig? I dig.

Photo credit: Aaron Richter

SB Tunes: Michael Jackson

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In honor of MJ’s birthday this week, I offer you the one and only for this week’s SB Tunes.

I must confess that I drank a bit of vino blanco in his memory while I shimmied and shmooved around my living room to the entire Off the Wall album. OK, maybe I didn’t exactly do that (I exactly did), but I DO love me some Michael. It’s like dancing catnip.

I love this picture because it captures Michael at the hight of his Thriller-era Spectacular Bitchdom, before he went off the rails, poor dear.

And I love this video because it captures Michael before he even got near the rails. I don’t think a tuxedo has had that much fun in the history of tuxedos. That boy had some moves.

Don’t stop till you get enough.

Gratuitous Hotness: Magic Mike

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Guilty confession, since we’re getting close and all: As soon as I saw the trailer for Magic Mike, I was more than a little hot to trot to see it with my girls. We don’t like to get TOO highbrow around here, and it looks like campy, sexy fun. What’s more, who am I to pass up a little Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum? Or is it Tatum Channing?

Regardless, it has been scientifically proven that it is beneficial for red blooded women to ogle men (and/or women) from time to time. Tru dat.

As if I needed any more justification, however, I found out it was directed by Steven Soderbergh – of Sex, Lies and Videotapes, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Solaris, Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion etc. Fancy that!

Is it possible that Magic Mike will be sooooo bad, but sooooo good?

Only one way to find out.
 

SB Tunes: Santigold

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Singer, songwriter, producer, rapper and all around cool chick, I LOVE Santigold and her new album, Master of My Make Believe, is in heavy rotation in my world.

Her music and her look defy categorization. I imagine her walking through life with a huge grin and sticky fingers, plucking whatever catches her eye or strikes her fancy, putting it in an enormous basket and figuring out a way to use it later.

Santigold sounds like electronica, new wave, punk, hip hop, reggae, and riot grrl all rolled into one contagious, irrepressible and dance-inducing fever. And the way she puts herself together reflects the same sensibility: colorful, over-the-top, ever sure-footed but wild. She’ll wear a bedazzled white leather jumpsuit with the same ease as a pair of jeans and Chucks.

She is one of those women whose outside is a true manifestation of the creativity, playfulness and smarts happening on the inside.

And can we talk about those gold monkey glasses? I want.


 

Photo credit: Márton Perlaki for Spin Magazine

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SB Tunes: Donna Summer

It has been a sad couple weeks here at SB headquarters. First MCA dies, and now Donna Summer?

Too much, my friends. Too much.

Donna had SO MANY hits – songs you don’t even know live under your skin, that get your shoulders quaking and your booty shaking within the first couple notes.

She was innovative and talented, elevating disco and setting the stage for electronic dance music. And she always looked as glamorous as the day is long. She was the swan of the dance floor.

Disco Queen and Spectacular Bitch: hope they’ve got a big ol’ sparkly disco ball where you are now. Rest in peace.

Photo credit: Michael Putland – Getty Images 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SB Loves Bob Marley

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I do. His music feels as good as a cold beer, sun on bare shoulders and dancing in the sand. Slow and easy, now.

This documentary, by Kevin MacDonald, to be released later this month looks dynamite. And who doesn’t want to look at that face for an hour and a half.

Stir it up, little darling,
stir it up.

SB Tunes: Regine Chassagne and Cyndi Lauper

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A couple years ago, when this site was but a glimmer in my eye, I was getting my mind blown at an Arcade Fire concert when the meaning of “Spectacular Bitch” crystalized for me.

Watching Haitian beauty, Regine Chassagne, tear around the stage from the keyboards, to the drum kits, to the accordion, to the mic like a wild fairy – it hit me like a ton of bricks. SHE was spectacular.

With her sparkly gold dresses and her fingerless gloves, her messy curls and her twirly moves, her high wavery voice and her bone deep musicality, she simply rocks. She is a foil and a muse – a worthy adversary, co-conspirator, co-creator and sidekick to her hubby, lead singer, Win Butler.

And because I love you, a twofer where Regine performs Sprawl II with Cyndi Lauper at Jazz Fest last year. Lauper is looking great, playing a lap dulcimer and still flying the flag for girls who wanna have fun.

What I would have given . . .

Cuban Ladies in Traditional Dress, Plaza de Armas, Old Havana, C

Ask the SB: What to Wear to a Cuba before Castro Party

Q: I’m preparing to dance the night away at a “Cuba Before Castro” event and I’m stumped on what to wear. There will be a great Latin band and some salsa dancers to kick off the night. I have a slinky black dress that I love. Are there simple ways I could dress it up and go with the theme?

Also, how to dress my husband? A penciled-in mustache perhaps?

–Clueless about Cuba

A: Ay, mujer! Que lindo!!! Should we meet before for mojitos?

Your black dress is basically a blank slate and there are indeed some easy ways to bring a little Chiquita to your look.

To start with, go with a matte red lip and some very large gold hoops – don’t hold back on either.

If I were you, I’d figure out a way to tie a scarf around my head to look like the Havana beauties above. The look is slightly Rosie the Riveter, but with those fabulous bows in front. Otherwise, a chic little turban with some bejeweled fruit and flowers would be divine. Since your dress is black, feel free to go with a red or leopard-print pump or wedge.

As for your hubby, the obvious choice would be a Guayabera shirt, perhaps a fedora and hell, yes – a pencil mustache!

Un beso grande,

SB

photo credit: Klaus Lang

Flights of Fancy: Gucci Flapper Dresses

Maria Carla Bosconovo for Vogue Italia
Maria Carla Bosconovo for Vogue Italia

I’ve never seen anyone do the Charleston quite like this, but I suppose it’s effective if your goal is to get the fringe a’ flappin. Not surprisingly, Gucci’s Spring Summer 2012 collection is incredibly beautiful, but it’s the beaded, Art Deco-inspired dresses that have me reaching for my cigarette holder for a smoke. In a unified palette of gold, black and white, these are frocks for serious party flappers. I would wear one of these beauties for a late night of carousing in a hidden speak-easy with a secret knock. I would drink champagne, dance with my girls and ignore all the men in their shiny wingtips and pencil mustaches. Unless one of them happened to be Jean Dujardin.

SB Loves: The Artist

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I have begun my pre-Oscars training regimen in earnest, people. February 26th is fast approaching and I still have a few must-sees that I must see so that I am adequately emotionally invested in the awards. I love all awards shows, but the Oscars, for all its archaic frippery, is the ne plus ultra. The more movies I have seen, the more I can clap, cheer, gasp, faint, curse, shriek, sob and shake my fist at the vagaries of the Academy. I like to care. It makes it more fun.

The other day I saw The Artist and I am absolutely besotted with this movie. It’s stylish and smart, hammy and heartfelt, a sparkling ode to the golden age of cinema. I found it completely enchanting, and I am not easily enchant-able. Actually, I am. But trust me on this one.

The clothes are beyond. George Valentin is dashing in his smart suits and elegant tuxedos. Pippi Miller’s wardrobe full of darling cloche hats, beaded drop waist frocks, swooshy fur stoles, and t-strap shoes ready-made for dancing is absolutely swoon-worthy.

I want to live in the twenties. I want her closet. I want to learn how to tap-dance. And I want The Artist to win Best Picture.

"Let Them Eat Cake" by Ban.dō Black Label
"Let Them Eat Cake" by Ban.dō Black Label

Ask the SB: What to Wear to a Love Ball

Q: I’m going to my friend Jeff’s marriage to his partner in Hudson, NY, which will take place at a “love ball”.  There will be several couples exchanging vows and then there’ll be cocktails and dancing.  I believe that the mayor is officiating (must also be a Justice of the Peace) and I think Coco Taylor is part of the entertainment.  I’m not sure what to wear but I’m thinking of this Banana Republic black sheath cocktail dress with fishnet stockings and tall black high-heeled boots. I want to be able to dance, and these are my most comfortable heels.  I was thinking of wearing a vintage rhinestone and silver choker but need to find earrings that will work with this.  I also don’t want to look too formal.  

—Claudette

A: I want to be invited to a Love Ball! It sounds magical! Claudette, my love, I agree that anytime dancing is an option, it should take first priority, so your sexy yet comfortable boots sound perfect. A black sheath and fishnets are an unimpeachable combo as well, but this is a LOVE BALL, darling, so do take the opportunity to accessorize with something fun and fabulous. Go crazy!

Think color! Feathers! Sequins! Fur! Why not try a boa or better yet, a wild fascinator? Ban.dō is the gold standard in hair adornments, so poke around there for inspiration and perhaps you will fall in love with something. The internet is rife with less costly, but pretty and glammy bejeweled, besparkled, bedazzled,  befeathered and bepoufed accessories.

Love is a many splendored thing, and by BRINGING IT, you’ll be showing your support for your friends, for love, for joy, and for the uniquely human gift of CELEBRATION. If there was ever a night to BUST. IT. OUT. this would be it. Just go for it!

Have fun! XO

SB