Have a Spectacular Thanksgiving
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 Tunes: Father John Misty
When I feature men on this site, whether it be in honor of Movember or otherwise, chances are they have a little Spectacular Bitch in them. Father John Misty, né Joshua Tillman, is no exception. It’s something about the way they move.
To call him a character is an understatement. He’s peculiar and eccentric – surly, ravenous and frankly, scarily talented.
Oh. And sexy – because of how he looks, sure, but also because of how he thinks and creates and performs.
Of the pseudonym, Father John Misty, he cites Phillip Roth (yet another staggeringly sexy mind) and says it’s all of him and none of him. Whatever. I dig.
Previously on SB: SB Tunes – Kanye
Previously on SB: Can Women and Men be Just Friends?
Lena Dunham Interviews Mindy Kaling
The conversation was commissioned by a third SB love, Tavi Gevinson, for a print publication based on her website, Rookie. Rolling Stone released it online, and not surprisingly, it’s HILARIOUS.
We love these smart, wacky broads around here. They both have uber vivid interior lives and exceptional imaginations, not to mention the full on balls to be who they are and say what they want.
Previously on SB: SB Loves Mindy Kaling
Spectacular Emergency Around Jessica Biel’s Neck
WHAT is Jessica Biel wearing around her neck? Is it the love child of a tawdry four-way between a shy necklace, some smooth talking chain mail and a couple middle-aged shoulder pads who thought What the hell, you only live once?
Be still my beating heart. No really. Be still before I have a heart attack.
Or maybe it’s simply part of the dress – which I presume to be Chanel since everyone wore Chanel to the MOMA 2013 Film Benefit.
Whichever the case, I swoon and then I die and then I resurrect, only to swoon again.
Previously on SB: Flights of Fancy – Herve Leger Fur Trimmed Leather Harness Vest
SB Loves: Freddie and Darth
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.
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
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.
Photo credit: Fiona Garden
SB Tunes: Police
In honor of back-to-school, sharpened not-yet-chewed No. 2 pencils, new kicks and fresh starts, an iconic video I bet you haven’t seen in a while.
A good reminder to read your Nabokov.
p.s. a properly wielded carpet beater can be a compelling, uh, teaching tool.
p.s.s. minute 3.09 in the vid.
p.s.s.s. sometimes it’s not so easy to be the teacher’s pet.
Photo credit: Getty Images
SB Loves: The Cynthia Rowley Flask Bangle
Would it be exaggerating to say that my heart skipped a beat when I stumbled upon this righteous feat of genius? Combining two great loves of my life: arm candy and the occasional surreptitious nip, this Cynthia Rowley flask bangle is nothing short of beautiful.
I must know who thought of this. If Cynthia herself did, then hats off, sister. If one of her underlings thought of it, then give that young thing a promotion, a vodka Red Bull, a meatball sub and time to brainstorm.
Ask the SB: a Spectacular Bitch Cocktail (Contest)
Q: Does SB have a go-to specialty cocktail in her repertoire?
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.
SB Tunes: Daft Punk
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
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
Likely you’ve seen this by now, but the latest video which is part of Dove’s campaign focusing on “real beauty” is pretty powerful stuff. Apparently, the company’s research showed that only 4 percent of women consider themselves beautiful. That’s outrageous and sad – and I’m not being an overly generous pollyanna.
The problem is that women get caught in a vicious cycle. If we don’t believe we’re beautiful, we carry ourselves through the world with less confidence and that actually does impact the very things that make women beautiful: good posture, easy laughter, calm strength, breezy openness and contagious joy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are WAY harder on ourselves than others are – and it doesn’t work in our favor.
Leave it to the French to come up with the term “jolie-laide” – which translates as beautiful-ugly, meaning a woman who is pretty, but not conventionally so. The people who invented soignée, effortless chic have figured out that beauty takes many forms, and perfection is far from paramount. Jolie laide.
Watch Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches here.
Clockwise and completely bad ass and beautiful from the top: Rossy De Palma, Barbara Streisand, Frida Kahlo, Patti Smith, Lena Dunham
Previously on SB: Legs Astride Arms Akimbo
SB Loves: A Loafer
What to do at this time of year, when we’ve angrily shoved our winter boots into the deepest recesses of our closets, yet it’s too soon for sandals?
Ballerinas are fine, of course, and NOT boring at all – but perhaps we’re feeling a yen for something different.
Moccasins and topsiders are another option, but haven’t they been co-opted by the teens? Not necessarily a deal killer, but maybe we don’t want to be similarly shod as the Carly Rae Jepsen set.
Oxfords are cute, but who wants to fuss with laces when we’re racing out the door to gulp spring?
I’ve always been vaguely suspicious of those Hugh Hefner smoking slippers – nice in theory, but has anyone ever really turned a pair of those into run-around-town shoes? Doubt it.
And I can’t get behind those driving shoes with the rubber nubs. A shoe made especially for driving is trying way too hard.
But a shoe made especially for loafing? Now we’re talking.
Consider the simple, classic loafer. It’s a shoe that gets better with age, ergo a perfect candidate for running-around-town. It never goes out of style and its tomboyish gravitas works brilliantly to balance out those summer minis and other (rightfully) frivolous summer fashion choices.
It’s a shoe that says, I may be wearing this fluttery lace skirt, but I read Tolstoy.
Previously on SB: Ask the SB: Again with the Clogs!
SB Tunes: RIP Chrissy Amphlett
Divinyls front woman, Chrissy Amphlett, died yesterday at age 53. She had breast cancer and MS – terribly sad. Less sad – in fact, completely awesome, was her rocker, sexpot, gamine music persona. She packed it in and busted it out – a total SB.
Plaid skirts and fishnets in her honor today, y’all.
Ask the SB: High Tops
Q: I read your recent confession regarding wedge high tops with great interest, but don’t you think high tops of any sort are too young?
Editor’s note: SB looks behind one shoulder, then the other, then shrugs.
A: Too young for whom?
Here’s the thing, Lane. A shoe (or class of shoes) can never be too young. It’s the person attached to the shod foot who can be too old. Chronological years, however, are but one part of the equation. Most important in determining whether any given shoe or shirt is right: personal style.
Chances are, if you dig it, you can wear it, because you will know how to style it so it looks appropriate and cool.
I’ve seen 60 year olds pull off clothes that many a 30 year old would shy away from. If you think back to college years, you’ll recall that matronly girls existed even back then – at the tender age of 19.
Age and style are bound by the most gossamer of threads, torn asunder by a mere breeze should a lady with some mojo and wherewithal spy a little something she can’t live without.
Me? I’d wear these with a dark skinny, a blazer and some big jewels. Not that it matters because age is but a number, dear. And it doesn’t apply to shoes.
As always, thank you for the questions!
Photo Credit: Ron Asadorian/Splash News
Previously on SB: Ask the SB – Denim Skirts
SB Flicks: The Great Gatsby
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!!!
Adidas: All In for My Girls
Kudos to Adidas for launching this brilliant global girl-power campaign called all in for #mygirls. Adidas aims to give sporty girls all over the world a forum to cheer each other on and share their love of sports (and, of course, buy their shoes). Regardless, this is an example of how corporate profit can (and should) dovetail with social change.
A company who celebrates the pounding hearts, flicking ponytails, sweat, smiles, injuries, sacrifices and triumphs of girl athletes who “eat boyz for breakfast” is a company whose message I buy. And shoes too.
Enjoy and share it with a Spectacular Girl.
Previously on SB: SB Loves Healthy Bodies
SB Loves The Male Bond
It’s no secret that SB loves men. And some might suspect that I’m looking for any excuse to post pictures of cute men, looking cute, being cute friends. And they might be right.
But only partially so.
The truth is that the most attractive men are happy men. And Andrew O’Hagan’s lyrical analysis of why male friendships matter is one clue to understanding the psychological anatomy of a good, happy guy.
Girlfriends, gal pals, besties or whatever you want to call it, get an awful lot of credit for keeping a lady afloat – what with all the wine, and speed-walking and sharing. And don’t get me wrong – a good girlfriend is a good thing.
But personally, I loved getting a little insight into what makes a good guy friend a good thing: Men fire each other up for manhood . . . Men give each other the pure, golden excuse of identification. It has something to do with competition and measuring up but also acceptance and just hanging out.
The author writes of an old girlfriend who hated what happened when men got together late at night and drank whiskey . . . when red-faced philosophers would come bursting through the door after midnight thirsty for camaraderie and the sauce of life . . .
Camaraderie and the sauce of life.
What else is there?
Previously on SB: Can Men and Women be Just Friends?
SB Tunes: Bowie
This week was a good one for androgyny and music.
David Bowie (honorary SB who happens to have a penis) released the video for his new song, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), starring his doppelganger, the ethereal and bizarrely beautiful, Tilda Swinton.
Not only was this love at first sight for me, it was love at first listen. Which I cannot say about the new song of a certain other honorary SB who happens to have a penis (hint: Prince). Screw Screwdriver. It’s terrible. Brother, where ever did your sexy funk go?
This, however, sounds like vintage Bowie. Dancey and synthy with a menacing, guttural undercurrent. And the video is quite excellent – sexy and creepy, beautiful to look at and yet, slightly disturbing. So good.
My friends, the Thin White Duke has still got it. Enjoy.
SB Tunes: Nina Simone
February 21st is the late, great Nina Simone’s birthday, so in honor of the High Priestess of Soul, some Nina on SB Tunes. Aside from having a hypnotically husky voice that slowly wraps you up like a sinuous boa constrictor and squeezes you breathless, she was an accomplished pianist, song writer, arranger and civil rights activist.
She also fired a gun at two different people in her lifetime, according to Wikipedia. A complicated woman, indeed. Diva-ness and medicated conditions aside, I love watching live footage of her because she really doesn’t try to dissimulate her feelings – for anyone. The disapproving arch of her eyebrows, the ornery set of her shoulders, it’s all right out there. But her music and her story and her talent are so staggering that they push through and shine. She is amazing, in spite of herself.
I love that about her. Check out Four Women. Powerful.
Ask the SB: Ballet Flats
Q: I’m a guy . . . and looking at the onslaught of ballet flats being worn, I am curious about the style. I find them boring to the eye and to the soul. Recently, there was an article on women’s footwear in the WSJ regarding power flats and ballet flats were termed “Dowdy” and “Demure.” I could not agree more. They may be comfy, but they hint at a passionless inner woman. Your thoughts?
A: Ooh. Michael. I just love a man with strong opinions on women’s fashion. Even if those opinions are dead wrong.
First of all, big ups for pointing me in the direction of the WSJ article – I hadn’t seen it and I couldn’t agree more with the idea that a power flat needs to be a shoe with some structure, detail and possibly the ability to maim (to wit, metallic studs and toe caps). If a heel isn’t an option, and in the real world, it isn’t always an option, then a rockin’ pointy toed flat will work just fine to show everyone around you who’s boss.
But saying that ballet flats hint at a passionless inner woman is like saying that white cotton undies hint at a passionless inner woman.
A Spectacular Bitch dresses and lives in a fashion that while not unaware of the male gaze, is unimpressed by it – and certainly unfettered by it. There are certain things in our wardrobes, like white cotton underwear, ballet flats, perfectly broken in jeans, a favorite sweater – that are comfort items. Freedom pieces.
And we don’t care. We just don’t care if you think they are boring. Hear that? We. Don’t. Care.
An SB doesn’t need a “power” shoe, high or low, at all times because, quite simply, she doesn’t need power at all times. Sometimes, what she needs is a light foot and a long stride and freedom to skip along the sidewalk or curl her feet underneath her in a banquette in the sun with the Sunday Times in front of her.
And none of it has anything to do with passion, Michael. Sometimes, a shoe is just a shoe.
Have I convinced you, Michael? Do let me know. But also know this. I don’t care!
Hullooo From the Bottom of a Crevasse!
Were you worried I had fallen into an ice crevasse? So was I. In truth, I was busy recovering from two holidays in one week. Do Mardi Gras and Valentines Day always partner up like that? That’s a lot of love (and food and booze and feathers) for one week. But who am I to complain?
Then I fell into a NY Times wormhole and was compelled to spend any free time I could scrounge up reading about the talented, mercurial and swaggerific Frank Ocean and then the lovely, earthy, younger-man-dating-like-it-ain’t-no-big-thang Connie Britton and then the cool as a cucumber, who-knew-she-was-the-ugly-duckling-of-the-family-I-simply-don’t-believe-it, Lee Radziwill. Excellent, dishy reads – all of them.
And then, THWACK. It was the sound of Vogue hitting my doorstep and well, have you seen the cover? Now you have. Beyonce’s dress is beyond gorgeous and I spent way too long staring at it trying to decide if it harkened bird, fish or some kick-ass albino beast in-between the two. It’s tremendous.
And I haven’t even looked inside OR seen her documentary, have you? I may be stuck in this crevasse a bit longer.
Send wine, fur and salami, s’il vous plait.
Photo credit: Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue
SB Hauntings: Flashmob Headband
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.
Pom poms are the new feathers. You heard it here first.
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.
Hey, you. Ya, you.
Did you know Justin Timberlake just leaked a song off his new album? Have you checked it out yet? Are you excited for his new record? Do you realize it’s been six years? Are you excited? Are you really, really excited? Are you ready to bring Sexy Back?
Enjoy Suit and Tie ft. Jay-Z.
Smooth as evah.
The 2013 Golden Globes
Did y’all watch? Sigh. I just adore an awards show, and dare I say, ever since TV has gotten as good as it has over the last few years, I think I like the Globes even more than the Oscars. I loved seeing Lady Mary Crawley in a modern day gown and a cute bob. And what a relief to see Carrie Mathison eschewing her under eye circles and drab CIA pantsuits for a fiery red Versace. Phew!
But let me begin by applauding the real stars of the night – Tina Fey and Amy Pohlar – on crushing the Golden Globes into a fine shimmery pulp. They were hilarious, classy, GORGEOUS and brilliant. YES! Mother effing GIRL POWER. That’s what that is. They SHUT. IT. DOWN. Huzzah!!! Love those funny bitches. LOVE.
On to some dresses, because that’s what we do here at SB. At least some of the time. There were many themes: red gowns, black and white gowns. You can read about those elsewhere. Here are the ones I fancied:
The Midriff: Once upon a time, wearing a gown to an awards show meant that an exposed midriff was definitely not on the list of concerns. Aside from having to actually squeeze into a dress, the whole abdominal region was something that could safely be ignored. But no more. Now, in addition to shoulders, backs, legs and bosoms, the trunk seems to be fair game as a new sartorial sexy zone. It’s almost like a page is being taken from our Indian sisters and their beautiful saris.
And lest you think I don’t approve, be assured that I am giving two enthusiastic thumbs up to three intrepid fashionistas who attempted this move last night. The trick, it seems, is restraint. A cut out, a peek-a-boo, a sliver, a slice. No one needs to see a belly button, but a curve here and there? Well, we’d be fools to refuse.
Nicole Kidman was downright confounding in Alexander McQueen. Normally, I dislike mesh (pronounced MEOSH in an operatic tone . . . long story) almost as much as I dislike illusion netting. But this dress looked so damn good on her, so fashion forward and frankly, challenging, that I am going to give the MEOSH a pass and a pat on the behind. Good on ya, Nicole. As always.
Emily Blunt looked foxy as all get out in a gold Michael Kors gown with side cut-outs. And how cute are she and John Krasinski together? So cute.
And finally, funny lady, Kristin Wiig looked amazing in a black keyhole dress, also by Mr. Kors. Come to think of it, this cutouts business is largely Michael Kors’ doing. Well played, you freakishly tan mama’s boy. Well played.
Black and gold: Kate Hudson and Helen Mirren both killed it in slinky, body con black and gold – Hudson in Alexander McQueen and Mirren in Badgley Mischka. I’m not usually one for a sleeved gown and I’m certainly no fan of a high neck like the McQueen, but again, these dresses looked so throughly modern and so thoroughly dynamite on their bodies, that I’m having to rethink everything. I loved them both.
And can we talk about Helen Mirren, please ? She’s 67! A flirty, sexy, SPECTACULAR 67. I want to be her when I grow up.
Rockin’ hair/dress combos: I love an unexpected combination and call me crazy but a messy fishtail with a gigantic floral Carolina Herrera is an unexpected combo. As is, a quasi-fauxhawk up-do and a blingy Monique Lhuillier gown. Both Lucy Liu and Jullianne Hough managed to pull off amped up versions of casual hairstyles, which worked as perfect foils to rather extreme (but in my opinion, gorgeous) dresses.
Lucy Liu’s dress had a voluminous and princessy cut, but the big flowers, the pockets and Liu’s braid all came together as easy and romantic.
Hough was able to try out the Miley Cyrus do, without having to actually do it. The gown had a classic cut, albeit edgy embellishments and all together it read as really cool and chic. Well done to both ladies.
Seeing red: There was a ton of red on the the red carpet this year. Naomi Watts, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Garner, Marion Cotillard. I’m growing weary of this post, so I’ll just give you my most and least favorites. Naomi Watts looked flawless in a retro burgundy Zac Posen. So sophisticated and glamorous, I loved it from the front and the back.
On the other hand we had the twee Zoey Dechanel in Oscar de la Renta. I don’t know man, but sister needs to change things up. The heavy bangs, the grandma pearls, the itty bitty nail art, the prom-reminiscent dress – none of it was working for me. But honestly, lest I end on a sour note, when someone is this entrenched in her look, just think of the power she possesses to blow us out of the water someday when she decides to take a risk. I can’t wait.
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.
RIP: Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck died this week at age 91. He seemed like such a peach. Such a gentleman.
Goodnight and good thanks to one dashing and talented bespectacled cool cat.
Raise a glass and Take Five.
Holiday Gift Guide: For the Tomboy and the Foodie
Moving on, my lovelies.
For the tomboy: What could be more comfy, and frankly, more chic, than a pair of menswear-inspired pajamas? She’ll adore these boy pi’s cut for a girl. And how cute is the gingham? So cute.
For the foodie: Everyone knows a good quality cast iron skillet is a must have for any serious cook. Or maybe not everyone knows this, but everyone should. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet can be used for everything: pancakes, cornbread, omelets, steaks, intruders. It’s brilliant on the stove, in the oven or on the grill and not only is it shockingly inexpensive, it is pleasingly heavy and will last a lifetime if properly cared for. A word to the wise: never, ever, EVER put it in the dishwasher. I once had to kick a man to the curb for ruining mine.
For the tomboy foodie: Two different options to rock her world. Ready? A whole serrano ham. BOOM! Seriously, could there be anything more dramatic and tasty? More badass and divine? More hooved and salty-delectable? And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Slice a couple paper thin slivers every night to nibble with a glass of wine before dinner until April and you’ll still have so much jamon left over you’ll just have to have a PARTY. Una fiesta de jamon! Have I lost my wits? Sí Sí!
And if you can score one of these GORGEOUS knives from Cut Brooklyn, well, then you are really a rockstar. (If you get a chance, watch this video and you’ll covet one of your own). If you can’t, then you can still be a rockstar with one of these ceramic knives. A completely different beast, but so sharp. Have I ever mentioned how much I love knives?
SB Tunes: Solange Knowles
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
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
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.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a beautiful thing to take a day to slow down and be grateful. This year I am grateful for many things, chief among them being this space and you all.
I get to write whatever I want, whenever I want and you sweet smart readers indulge me by visiting anyway. So thank you. Thank you for your questions and comments. Thank you for being interested in what I have to say.
I’m also thankful for all the beauty and diversity our little planet has to offer if one is simply willing to stand still and notice. I appreciate your stopping with me and holding my hand to peek at one small sliver of it all.
Sometimes I worry that this blog verges on the frivolous, but without a bit of light and whimsy, I fear we’d all be sunk.
So thanks. Now go find your prettiest stretchy pants and have a gloriously luxurious and indulgent day.
Photo credit: ⓒ Contrasto
The American Music Awards
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 Flicks: The Eye has to Travel
I am an absolute sucker for a good fashion documentary and this one about Harpers Bazaar and Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, looks to be abso fabu.
Vreeland was a rare bird and I have high hopes that this documentary will capture her visionary, dramatic, fun and irreverent spirit.
She was the first to embrace Barbara Streisand’s nose, to recognize it for what it was – unique and beautiful and not something to be shaded or turned to a better angle. She used to say “Push their faults – make it the most beautiful thing about them.” That, my friends, is a kernel of wisdom we can all tuck in our clutches.
It’s in theaters now, so scurry.
Photo credit: courtesy of the Diana Vreeland estate
SB Tunes: Kanye
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 Loves: Pencil Skirts
As we’re careening into the season of holiday happy hours, work bashes and soirees, I’d like to take a moment to sing the praises of the elegant and understated pencil skirt.
Every girl’s best friend, the pencil skirt is a fresh and unexpected way to sashay into your next fest.
Unlike almost every other article of clothing, a pencil skirt manages to look amazing on all shapes and sizes.
Big bootays go pow in a pencil skirt, slim hips go meow in a pencil skirt. It’s some kind of magic, I tell you. Styled the right way, a pencil skirt is a first class ticket to sexy and soignée.
Some tips for those hips:
1. Go tight. If you don’t get that contour in from the hips and in along the bum, then you’re just wearing the bottom half of an 80′s power suit. It has to be snug.
2. Watch the VPL. It goes without saying for any bottoms, but especially so if you’re ordering up tight. A thong or a seamless boy short will most likely be necessary.
3. The best length for a pencil skirt is right at the knee, to show of the slimmest part of the leg. The higher you go above the knee, to more you veer away from pencil skirt town into mini skirt town, and that may not be the town you intended to visit. The farther you go below the knee the more you veer into dowdy town, and that’s definitely not the town you want to visit.*
4. Wear a heel.
5. Define your waist. Whether you have a blouse tucked in or a fitted sweater, make sure the pencil skirt can work its full magic by showing off where it all starts.
6. Be(a)spectacle. Boys DO make passes at girls who wear glasses. Go ahead, wear your specs. Pencil skirts and glasses go together like champagne and caviar.
*Small caveat: some mid-calf length pencil skirts can look divine, but it involves a high degree of difficulty. You need to hit numbers 1 and 4 HARD. You also need to stand like a high fashion model from the early 60′s – you know, with your body in a question mark shape. Kind of like Marilyn above.
I love Halloween and this year we have a full moon hanging heavy in the sky to light our paths and cast inky shadows. Ahwwwooooooooo.
Hope you’re all getting to play dress up tonight, or at the very least, indulging in something tooth-achingly sweet that comes out of many crinkly wrappers.
Here’s a sweet confection from Bow Wow Wow to get you in the mood. Watching this video again, I can’t help but marvel at how current they all look considering the song is 20 years old. Annabella Lwin is rocking that mohawk like nobody’s biz.
I WANT CANDY.
Photo credit: Ellen von Unwerth
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 Tunes: Adele Sings the New Bond Theme
The theme song for the new Bond movie, Skyfall, is brilliant and Adele is a brilliant choice. It sounds like sex and a fast car and a low cut scuba suit and false eyelashes and a bearskin rug in front of a fire and a dagger in a wall and splintering glass and a smoking gun and a strong martini. Shaken not stirred.
In other words, pure Bond. Pure swoon. Enjoy.
SB Flicks: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Even though SBs may not know too terribly much about being wallflowers, they do know a great high school coming-of-age flick when they see one.
The book upon which this movie is based is absolutely lovely, the protagonist being a more . . . er level-headed Holden Caufield of the early nineties. Since the author, Stephen Chbosky, directed the film, I think we can be sure it won’t stray too much from the book. And hopefully, we’ll see just how beautifully even the most awkward wallflower can bloom if given half the chance and a couple of sweet friends to tend to his heart.
Not to mention the fact that the movie features the divine Emma Watson and a KILLER soundtrack.
When I saw this preview in the theater I just swooned. We all walk around with a bit of our adolescent selves tucked into our chests, or at least we should because I believe it’s the key to staying young. Being open, green, impressionable, vulnerable and awkward IS the antidote to turning into a brittle old biddy. Tap into it.
SB Tunes: Pat Benetar
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.
Flights of Fancy: Herve Leger Fur-Trim Leather Harness Vest
I’m not sure what to make of my leather fetish lately, but I suspect it has something to do with the changing weather. This little beauty would do nothing more than keep my shoulders warm, but oh MotherMaryMagdalena would I feel HOT.
It has a bondage slash equestrian slash orthopedic slash Joan of Arc vibe and I do believe this vest would be just the thing to edge up all my party dresses this winter.
$2,200.00 seems a small price to pay for that kind of posture and attitude.
The sounds of dropping jaws would be deafening.
SB Strangely Drawn to Badass Fanny Pack
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 Loves: Mindy Kaling
I think Mindy Kaling is darling and more importantly, funny.
I’ve watched the pilot of her new show, The Mindy Project, airing on September 25 and it’s everything she is: girlie, silly, smart, hilarious, authentic. She plays an OBGYN with a messy personal life and let me tell you – it’s not often you’ll find me chuckling at my laptop.
Set your DVRs, sisters.
Breaking News: Prince Sports a Baby Fro
The internet was aflame today with news of Prince’s new do. Apparently, this SB (who happens to have a penoose) appeared on The View today sporting a baby fro.
Me? I like it, but then again I never met an afro I didn’t like.
What I can’t understand is why on earth he’d go on The View when we haven’t been able to get him to perform in his native Minnesota in eons. I’d say the Purple Yoda needs to reassess his priorities.
Gratuitous Hotness: GQ’s 25 Most Stylish Films of All Time
For a little hump day eye candy, check out GQ’s slide show of the 25 most stylish films of all time. Colin Firth as the deeply sad and beautiful gay man in A Single Man is just to die for.
We love Colin around here at SB headquarters. In fact, we fully expect to peek out the window this winter and find him standing in the middle of the street with snow flying around him and settling in his hair after he realizes that the only thing keeping us apart are the artificial vagaries of a romantic comedy and that life is too short to spend even one more moment without his vexing yet beloved SB in his arms.
What was I saying? Oh yes, bookmark this list and work your way through this winter. Your netflix will be on fire and I’m thinking your ears will too – the soundtracks for most of these flicks are crazy good. Enjoy.
(Peep the video super cut here.)
Ask the SB: Clubbing
Q: Clearly you are a reader. But I wonder if you are a group reader. What’s your take on book clubs? Can they be spectacular?
A: As it so happens, Lady X, I am both a solitary and a group reader. I was a great books major in college and I will never tire of sitting in a circle dissecting books with smart people. It is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures. Only now we have wine. What could be better? Nothing, I tell you.
I think book clubs are spectacular. Every one is different and if you’re lucky enough to have some staying power, they change over time as we do. The constant is the book: a steadfast and ever fascinating companion.
Happy clubbing, Lady X.
SB Mildy Tormented by: Tri-colored Zara Pump
I think this shoe is gorgeous. It’s bold and yet I can think of a million ways to wear it. The heel is high but not too high. It looks eminently wearable but I doubt I’ll indulge.
There’s the niggling issue of “fast fashion” being bad for labor, our environment and our closets. As much as I endorse mixing high and low and refusing to be a slave to high fashion labels, I am suspicious of trendy clothes that cost too little.
There is no free lunch, right? Clothes should not be disposable. Right?
If we know we need to pay more for sustainably raised beef and locally grown apples (and we DO), then why shouldn’t it be the same for clothes? Isn’t it better to invest in fewer clothes of better quality?
One would think. But then there’s that tiny issue of variety, of fun, of choice, of whim and whimsy. Must we be so earnest and serious about everything all the time? Oy.
And so these pretty shoes are a red, gold and black embodiment of that conundrum. Thoughts? Drop me a line.
They’re probably super uncomfortable anyway.
SB Flicks: Sleepwalk with Me
In this summer of interminable strands of gloriously sunny days, I find it next to impossible to duck out of life and into a movie theater. I’m beating my tom-tom drum for rain, imploring the heavens for a petite deluge, a day to hide out so I can go see Sleepwalk with Me.
It’s produced by Ira Glass. Need I say more?
OK, I will. I have a giant crush on Ira Glass. Insofar that it’s possible to have a giant crush on a smart, nerdy, radio voice.
I love that he loves stories about people and he serves them up with humor but also heart and respect. You listen to his nuanced and truthful tales enough times, you start to trust him. And crush. Or maybe that’s just me. I do trust that this will be worth it, though.
Rain. Rain. Rain.
Flights of Fancy: Tom Ford Crocodile Dress
From Tom Ford’s Fall Winter 2012 collection, this crocodile dress makes me seethe with avaricious envy. It puts me in a fever of covetous desire, a delirium of insatiable longing.
I am utterly consumed by the need to touch it. Come ON someone, can’t I just try it on? Or caress it with my palm at least? One finger? Come ON!
Curse that Rihanna who got to wear it for the Met Gala. She’s so lucky. Damn her.
I couldn’t verify the price, except for one crappy looking gossip site that said $14,000. Hmmm. Seems a pittance for this body hugging backless reptilian beauty.
Oh, the agony. The exquisite torture of this dress. Ay, cocodrilo de mi alma.
Image via Tom Ford
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.
Ahem, SB. Apropos of high-waisted suits . . .
Editors Note: I love it when you all write to me, and I especially love it when I read something that makes me clutch my laptop to my chest with pride. Oh, my readers!
In response to my recent post where I tried, to no avail, to understand the role of high-waisted suits, Sarah sets me straight:
Q: Respectfully, I suggest some exceptions must be made:
Look here, here and here.
By the way, I want to say that the long wait paid off. I relish your SB column.
A: By the way, I want to say that you are brilliant, Sarah! Bravo! I always knew SB readers to be the fairest and cleverest of them all!
Thank you, dearest, for clarifying the raison d’être for a high-waisted suit: it is for the full figured gal, and on the full figured gal it looks nothing short of spectacular. Here I was scrolling through pictures of all these celebrity skinny minnies and scratching my head not understanding that the key element to making these suits successful is a voluptuous bod. You gotta fill that shit out!
Gabi Gregg, pictured above, is largely responsible for pioneering the “fatkini” movement (her term, not mine) and just wants plus size women to be able to strut their stuff and “be happy in the bodies we have right now.”
I’ll drink to that.
Olympic Girl Crush: Megan Rapinoe
Striker Abby Wambach and keeper Hope Solo tend to get all the attention on the US Women’s Soccer team, and there is no doubt they are righteous babes. But after Rapinoe’s flawless, elegant and completely bad-ass performance in Saturday’s USA v. Columbia game, my heart belongs to her.
With her shock of blond hair and high cheekbones, she looks like Tilda Swinton’s sporty cousin. There is something tomboyish yet high fashion about her and I find myself daydreaming about coming at Rapinoe with a six pack of beer, a pair of chandelier earrings and some eye liner.
Rapinoe. Baby. Call me.
Photo credit: Via Out Magazine and AP Photo
SB Loves: Dressy Shorts
As far as I’m concerned, summer is THE SEASON to bust out a dressy short. I’m not a huge fan of tights under shorts – unless you’re a 17 year old poetess who madly scribbles in a kitten journal from the branch of a tree. If you’re cold enough or pasty-legged enough to need tights, then save yourself a step and throw on some jeans.
But a dressy little short in the height of summer is boyish, unfussy and leggy. More subtle than a miniskirt, a dressy short is unexpected and fresh right now.
Go ahead and show off those gams, girls.
1. Volume. Somewhere. You’re going for soignée rather than sorority, so keep it slouchy and cool. Think shorts with a little volume, a flowy top or a loose blazer.
2. Height. A high heel or wedge will elongate your legs, as will a buff, natural or metallic-colored shoe. Make sure the shoe isn’t too delicate or dressy for this look, or you might end up looking like a hooker.
3. Length. A dressy short shouldn’t be too short, or too long. There’s a sweet spot on every woman’s thigh, and only you can find it. (Hint: it’s roughly four inches from the cachoocha.)
4. Sitting. Sit as if you were wearing a miniskirt. Same rules apply: knees together. Open scissors are a danger to you and others.
5. Legs. Obviously this look isn’t for everyone, but by and large, women are way too hard on themselves. You do not need legs up to your eyeballs to pull this off. And keep in mind that most guys out there will be sending out silent thank yous for showing a little leg. Moisturize those puppies and bust them out.
Photo credit: of Amanda Seyfried – justjared.com; of Eva Longoria – Amanda Schwab/STARTRAKSPHOTO.com
SB Tunes: Annie Lenox
Androgynous, theatrical and utterly transfixing – I L.O.V.E. Annie Lenox.
As one half the cooler-than-cool synth pop duo, Eurythmics, Lenox has always brought her own personal style to her music and performances. She has pretty much consistently rocked the pixie since the early 80′s, in various shades of red, orange and platinum blond.
She messes with our perception by cloaking that womanly bod in men’s garb, by offsetting the short crop with glammy make-up, by opening that wide, beautiful and borderline obscene mouth and wrapping us up in a powerful contralto voice that lingers and haunts.
Scottish soul. Spectacular.
Photo credit: Jean Baptiste Mondino
SB Loves: Layered Jewelry
Coco Chanel may have been the one to start the whole layered necklaces thing – she used to throw on a whole mess of pearls, not all real because that would have been vulgar, to set off her boyish outfits. She also said that before you leave the house, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off. I hate to quibble with Coco, but if anything, you should be putting one more thing on. Especially now, when it’s summer.
We’re all running around half naked in sundresses, tank tops and little t-shirts leaving a whole lotta blank canvas to fill. Summer, with its dearth of collars, sleeves, gloves and scarves, is the perfect time to pile on the jewelry. Stack those cuffs and bangles, layer those necklaces, feel the weight of it on your extremities and if you jingle a little, all the better.
And remember, one MORE thing, not one less.
Here are some tips:
1. Pick one part of your bod. Layer on your neck or your arms, but not both. Unless you feel like it, in which case, go for it. Both arms is ok, but I like one – the one that you use to do gang signs, hail a cab, wave to strangers, pump your fist, flip the bird. That one. Stack on that one.
2. Mixing metals is A-Okay. The whole concept that you should only wear gold or silver at one time is outdated and priggish. Mix away.
3. Monochromatic can be good. Take a cue from Coco and her pearls and layer on a bunch of like colors or materials. A big glob of gold chains, a stack of colored bangles, or a bunch of ethnic beads would all look uber chic.
4. Better yet, cross-pollinate. Gold and leather, pearls and colored rope, rhinestones and turquoise, precious and costume, silver and gold, chunky and delicate. There is no right or wrong, so play around and see what looks good to your eye.
5. Be prepared to detangle. None of those silly fashion magazines will tell you that a bunch of necklaces around your neck will turn into a tangled mess, but they will. It’s no biggie if you have a bit of patience.
6. Don’t forget your fingers. Multiple rings on one or many fingers can look cool, especially if you tend to gesticulate with your hands or will be holding a drink all night.
7. Tone down the rest. If you’re doing some serious stacking, keep the rest of your outfit simple and let your handiwork shine.
Ask the SB: Books
Q: What’s on your nightstand these days (or maybe a gentleman should ask “what are you reading these days?”)? As I read your recent postings, I can’t help but think you’d get a kick out of Welcome to my Planet: Where English is Sometimes Spoken and The Children of God Go Bowling by Shannon Wilson. A very clever girl (an “NPR mind in an MTV world”) with a biting wit . . . Just curious if you’d ever read either and/or what you deem worth of time in the window-seat.
A: Well, Kev, I enjoy a hot tip and a clever girl, so perhaps I’ll check out Wilson’s work.
I’m a literary fiction girl at heart and I’ll intersperse contemporary writers with the classics. I love a prim and incisive Jane Austen as much as an outrageous and pervy Martin Amis; a dusty, muscular John Steinbeck as much as a monstrously witty and verbose David Foster Wallace; a wintery chest heaving Tolstoy as much as a sultry chest heaving Garcia Marquez. I like memoirs too, but only if the memoirist doesn’t annoy me. Oh, and I like to read about food. And I love magazines. Love.
And not that you asked, but I like a real book – with pages and a binding. I never say never, except to say I will never get an e-reader.
SB Loves: Naked Olympians
Did you see the photo spread in the ESPN Body Issue featuring Olympic athletes posing nude? As if we needed any more reason to be all frothy for the upcoming Summer Olympics!
The most successful portraits are the ones that display the athletes’ musculature at work, doing what they do best. Just look at sailor, Anna Tunnicliffe. My word! The strength! And don’t even get me started on muddy soccer defender, Carlos Bocanegra.
Their bodies are, in a word, spectacular.
See for yourself.
Photo credit: Steven Lippman
SB Loves: Woody Allen
I CANNOT WAIT to see Allen’s latest, To Rome with Love. Chocked full of SB’s, from the wee Ellen Page, to the sultry Penelope Cruz, to the salty Judy Davis, to the most spectacular of them all, ROMA herself.
What can I say, I’m a HUGE fan of the particular neurotic verbosity that Allen dishes out. Go figure.
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