The Beyoncé Bowl
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: GIRLS by Santigold
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 Cannot Wait to Get Her Paws on the Vanity Fair Comedy Issue
It’s guest edited by Judd Apatow and features three different covers. Which to choose??? I kind of love every single person pictured, with the exception, perhaps, of Megan Fox. Is she funny? Hmmm.
And hats off to Leslie Mann, 40 year old mother of two, for ra ra rocking that bikini. Much is being made of the fact that the issue features an equal number of men and women. As long as we’re talking equity, I think there should be at least one dude in his skivvies as a counterpoint to Mann. My vote would have been for Jack Black, but what do I know? And where is he, by the way?
I do know that this is what I’m going to be doing on my plane ride in a couple weeks. So don’t even think about chit chatting me up.
You Don’t Own Me
By Lena Dunham, fearless princess of cringe comedy and life truth.
Great Golden Globes News!
Did you hear? Did you hear? The hilarious, adorable and all around kick-ass Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have been asked to co-host the 2013 Golden Globe Awards! Oh, January 13th, I am R.E.A.D.Y. Actually, not quite. But I will be. Oh will I ever be. My basement will be a flatteringly lit EMPORIUM of TV readiness by the time I settle in for the red carpet. I may have to hire a butler for the night.
You know, I actually quite like Ricky Gervais, pudgy ginger man that he is. I think he’s funny and I like him mean. I think he did a good job the past few years, but this choice is inspired.
And lest anyone quibble with the fact that it appears two women are being sent to do one man’s job, just remember this: why do something alone when it would be ten times more fun with a girlfriend? Either of them could carry this on her own, but they are hilarious together. Why mess with perfection?
Good on you and good luck, ladies!
SB Loves A Peace Treaty
Ethnic or ethnic-inspired garb can be hard to pull off. Maybe I’ve been scarred by the itchy, smelly Guatemalan poncho I bought at that Dead show years ago, but whenever I wear something too beaded or colorfully threaded, I feel like a batty, bespectacled, flat-footed Latin studies professor out for a wild night on the town which begins with a Zulu dance performance at the student center and concludes with a medium vanilla frozen yogurt . . . at the student center. You know what I mean.
Until now. A Peace Treaty is a beautifully imagined project started by Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Lybian Jew in 2008. In their words, “A Peace Treaty is an evolving collection aimed at creating ethically-produced, artisan level accessories and apparel for the luxury fashion marketplace . . . A Peace Treaty creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their technique and craft while elevating their products to the level of high design for an exclusive and international fashion audience.”
So if preserving ancient metal working and textile techniques in danger of becoming extinct, and providing above fair trade wages, and lifting up women living in difficult situations weren’t enough, they are also bringing us gorgeous, reasonably priced pieces. Their scarves are bold and chic, as is their jewelry. I picked up these beauties recently and I’m smitten. I love a pointy dangler. AND they have a cool blog. Can you spell girl crush? G. I. R . . .
Kudos to you, Farah and Dana. Spectacular work, ladies.
Pussy Riot Gets Two Years
Incredibly, or maybe not so incredibly, the three members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years each in a Russian prison camp for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Two of them have children, whom they haven’t seen since they were arrested this past spring.
This seems awfully harsh. Their display was more silly than anything, if you ask me. So some babushkas got a little flustered during their morning prayers. Two years?
Stay strong, ladies.
Via Dangerous Minds
SB Tunes: Lauryn Hill
To me, Lauryn Hill is as good as it gets. Rapper, singer and songwriter, she’s a lady with a point of view, a plan and an inimitable voice: steel and silk and a bit of rasp, oh. I loved her in the Fugees and her solo album, The Miseducaton of Lauryn Hill, is one of my all time favorites.
When she opted out of the music industry and public life after her first couple albums, she was immediately enswirled in rumors of having gone off the deep end. It couldn’t have had anything to do with marrying Rohan Marley and those FIVE CHILDREN, could it? That would be enough to send anyone off the deep end, or at the very least, into a protracted coccoon-phase.
A few years ago, I watched a documentary called My Mic Sounds Nice and it became clear that Ms. Hill (as she likes to be called) is the ne plus ultra for women in hip hop and also, just hip hop. Watch this clip to see what everyone from Questlove to Missy Elliot has to say about her.
At time when hip hop was a man’s game and women MC’s were seeking to stake their claim by either being hyper sexual à la Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown or by hiding in baggy track suits à la Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill sailed out and did her thing exactly how she wanted to. There was no look, no schtick, it was all her. Drop dead gorgeous, true to herself and fiercely talented.
Happy Mother’s Day
Cheers to all the mamas out there, who tied our shoes, braided our hair and taught us how to act like a lady.
Our mothers are our first and most important fashion mentors. Thank you for letting us play with your make up and clomp around in your heels.
Happy happy day!
Ask the SB: Again with the Clogs!
Q: Your answer to my Dansko clog issue puts me in a bit of a quandary. I am, in fact, a chef, a nurse, a doctor, and sadly . . . fish monger seems oh so close to home. I am a mother. And, I do not have the luxury of going off to a fancy office to strut my stuff and feel like a sexy something. So, is your response meant to encourage those of us with jobs heavy on the “service” to stick with our clogs and call it a day? If so, I’m cool with that. I really did in fact just hope for your blessing. My feet are really happy. And, now that it is summery outside, I have switched to Thong Birkenstocks.
Warmly, Kristen (still wearing comfortable shoes)
p.s. Of course, unless you have a better alternative to suggest?
A: Dear Kirsten,
If you had wanted my blessing and not my opinion, all you had to do was ask. Oh wait, you did. My mistake.
Here’s a blessing for you, but first, two tenets of Spectacular Bitchdom: 1. KNOW THYSELF and 2. KNOW THY BODY.
In other words, you know your life and more importantly, you know your feet. If Dansko clogs work for you, if they help you get through your day (really? fishmonger?) with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, then go for it – but own it.
To me, being a Spectacular Bitch means drawing inspiration, knowledge and advice from a variety of sources, the wider and more diverse the better, but ultimately doing what I want. A third SB tenant: KNOW THE RULES AND HOW TO BREAK THEM. Blessing hereby bestowed. Good? Good.
Now for my opinion, because it’s what I do. The litany of jobs in my answer was meant to evoke the need for foot protection – from abrasions, lacerations and spillage (bodily fluids and other). I think Danskos look like entirely too much protection for an average foot on an average day, no matter how maternal your activities. Unless your child is a budding knife thrower, they seem like overkill.
Also, a cautionary tale: I know a woman who was told by her physical therapist that her glutes were completely atrophied because walking around in Danskos was the equivalent of having her feet bound. She had to retrain her gait by wearing those toe finger shoes, which, frankly, make Danskos look like Louboutins. True story.
The last time I checked, ballerina flats were super comfortable. So is a smart brogue, a preppy boat shoe, a buttery moccasin, a slip-on tennie, a classic sneaker, or a quality boot. The t-strap on your Birks narrowly saves them from being patchouli-scented Lord Boards, so they’re fine for summer.
The point is, there are scads of practical, comfortable options out there for mothers like you to choose from. And why shouldn’t you feel like a sexy something as you go about your day? You absolutely should.
Remember the most important SB tenet of all: HAVE YOUR CAKE, AND EAT IT TOO.
Now you have my blessing and my opinion. Take your pick, sister. Go forth and be spectacular.
Ask the SB: Mom Swimsuits
Q: First, love your site! I’m excited to hear about your experiences and learn from your advice.
With Spring Break approaching, I’d like your advice on a topic many of us struggle with. I’m a mid-30s mom with a good to average body (probably closer to the average side of that spectrum, BTW). I’m too old, and not quite fit enough to completely rock a bikini, but way too young and hot (at least my hubby says so) to be wearing a one-piece. My compromise has always been a bikini top with swim skirt or shorts. What’s a mom to do to look hot, yet respectable?
-B from Edina
A: B from the E! I’m not going to spend a lot of time trying to convince you that a one-piece suit can be über-sexy, because it sounds like your mid-drift is one of your fortés, so a two-piece is good for you.
If I’m reading between the lines with the swim skirts, etcetera, I’m guessing that baby’s got back. My biggest advice is this: OWN IT! I’m going to refrain from breaking into my Sir Mix-A-Lot, but you might want to queue it up before you go bathing suit shopping.
You’re a mom, you’re young, your hubby thinks you’re hot. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Who cares about respectable?
I think American women are way too shy about their bodies and WAY too tough on themselves. We need to be more like the Europeans and let it all hang out. Strut your stuff, sister. It’s all in the swagger, I swear.
Having said that, there are definitely certain styles that are more flattering on certain body types, allowing you to strut with more confidence. In lieu of swim skirts or a full-on short, try a bikini with a boy short. They are adorable and sexy, while offering a little more coverage – perfect for chasing those kiddies around the pool.
Good luck, happy swimming and remember this:
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