That’s Haute

Elie Saab
Couture is a words that is tossed around without knowledge or regard for it’s meaning. Most people have a general idea that couture represents expensive high end design and even though they use it to describe their most recent Walmart purchase. It can add to the list of diluted words along with genius and diva. Diva was never the same after VH1 got a hold of it. That’s why I decided to take some time to focus on the real world of Haute Couture. Simply defined:
Couture [short for Haute Couture] refers to hand sewn custom clothing using the highest quality and most expensive fabrics. In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. Their rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves” of the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and updated in 1992. (Wikipedia)

Couture week just wrapped up in Paris. Jean Paul Gaultier did a 50’s rocker themed show as a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Karl Lagerfeld’s runway for Chanel was turned into an airplane isle. I like the idea of an airplane set but the cloths were blah at best. I don’t know what Chanel was aiming for but the arrow missed the mark by a long shot. Couture should be over the top inspired evening wear not sequin stewardess uniforms. Donatella Versace presented was her first Paris show since 2004. The best way to describe Versace’s show is Kim Kardashian meets Judy Jetson. Although I like Kim, I don’t mean that as a compliment. [in case there was any confusion] The best came from Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli. The former was a collection that was made for the Oscar red carpet. I guarantee that we’ll see at least one Elie Saab couture gown on February 26th.
Couture creations are neither ment for real life nor real people and that’s beauty of it. I should also state for the record that couture doesn’t always mean cute. I’m talking to you Karl and Donatella. My final thoughts: You don’t need to stop using the word but if pressed now you can speak intelligently to the true definition.


Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

This week Chelsea Handler took some verbal shots at Joan Rivers on Howard Stern’s radio show. Not to be outdone, Joan Rivers went on Stern’s show the next day for a rebuttal. To use Handler’s words, “What the fuck do I care about Joan Rivers?” She went on about run in’s they’ve had at events and such. Considering it all, she wasn’t that hard on Joan. Regardless the Fashion Police host came back with boxing gloves on. The next day Joan (with daughter Melissa) fired back, “The girl made it on her back fucking the president [of the E Network]. She fine, she’s ordinary, she’s not a genius. She’s an ordinary girl. But don’t come after me you whore.” Meow! Kitty’s got claws. It’s a stupid feud but I’m siding with Joan. Chelsea should remember that Joan opened a lot of the doors that she jogged through.
Here’s a quick round up of Ms. Handler:
Chelsea Handler has had  a lot success since her show Chelsea Lately began in 2007. How she got the show is unknown, but Joan Rivers wasn’t lying about the E! president Ted Harbert. Harbert and Handler dated and lived together until 2010. I won’t knock her for that because I’m sure a lot of celebrities have gotten to the top by putting out.
I wouldn’t say I dislike her, but I do have some issues with her. First, she replaceable. I tune in to her show on a regular basis because her round table guest are usually very funny. (John Caparulo being my favorite) This week, table regular Ross Matthews has been filling in as guest host while Chelsea’s away. He’s a great host and fills the spot wonderfully. If Handler never came back, I don’t know if I’d miss her. I have to agree with Joan again, she’s fine but she’s not a genius. If she left the show any number of sassy comedians could fill the spot in seconds.
When she does host she acts like she’s annoyed to be there. (Call it the Kristen Stewert syndrome) There’s a constant thread of jokes on Chelsea Lately about “this crap show” or “this crap network” or “the idiot staff.” The too cool for school routine is getting old.  I’m sure she loves her job and her staff so it’d be nice to kill the sourpuss act once in a while. If she’s so above her late night chat show she should quit and work on your NBC sitcom full time. Oh wait… what’s that? Her Are You There Chelsea sitcom is so awful it’s almost unwatchable? I almost forgot about that minor detail. Although it makes me long for the days of Community. Gasp!
Lastly, there’s the whole gay thing. She’s not a gay icon and yet she thinks she is. put it best: The gay community single handily keeps several careers alive. Margaret Cho, Madonna, Kathy Griffin etc. Chelsea is not one of them. Yes the gays like her but we don’t LOVE her. It takes more then vodka and sex jokes to win us over. (Ok… not much more…)
So Chelsea, what does this all mean? Keep making us laugh on Chelsea Lately but don’t get to comfortable. An upbeat attitude goes a long way. Also, distance yourself from NBC and that abomination of a sitcom. Hashtag #Seriously!

The Losers

The Oscar nominations are out and everyone’s predictions are starting to roll in. Of course they want to win, but everyone always say’s “It’s just an honor to be nominated.” But every time someone gets up on stage to accept an award, 4 other people are left depressed in their seats. With that in mind, I decided to investigate those 4 other people. The Losers.
An Academy Award is one of the hardest awards to win. First you have to give an amazing performance and then you have to win the Hollywood popularity contest.  Extra points are usually given to the British and pretty people playing ugly. There is a long list of actors who have won an Oscar for many other reason other then their performance. Perfect example: Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock. Julia Roberts was great in Erin Brockovich but let’s be honest. She won because she’s Julia Roberts and we love her. The Academy wanted any excuse to give her a statue. (and I completely agree with them) If you compare performances only, Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream) acted circles around our favorite pretty women.  Sandra Bullock won for the Blind Side. This was laughable. It was a great heart warming movie and Sandy acted outside of her comfort zone. Maybe she deserved a nomination, not a win. Gabourey Sidibe gave the best performance that year in Precious but she was too unknown and the movie was too “independent.” Sadly Ms. Burstyn and Ms. Sidibe went home a loser come Oscar night.
Those losses are understandable. Big Hollywood mega-star wins, lesser know independent movie actress looses. Sometimes the reasons for a loss is a less clear. Citizen Kane is widely considered the best movie ever made. It lost Best Picture (to How Green Was My Valley) and only received one award for Original Screenplay. That’s right, the best film ever made only won one. Annette Benning has lost Best Actress three times. To make it worse, two of those losses were to Hilary Swank. Ouch! Benning would’ve won the award in 2000 for American Beauty but Hilary Swank gave a jaw dropping performance in Boys Don’t Cry and the award justly went to her.
Other Oscar surprises include The Wizard of Oz loosing Best Picture. It’s only shocking until you discover the movie that won… Gone With the Wind. Two of the most beloved movies of all time were released in the same year.
Brokeback Mountain also lost Best Picture. Although this is not a case where it was bested by another iconic film. It lost to Crash. The only award Crash deserves is the most forgettable Best Picture of all time.
The Emmys
Television has a similar history of famous snubs. But when the Emmys snub an actor is seems much more personal. Because a series comes back year after year, there are multiple times for an actor to win and loose. Therefore when someone looses year after year it, you have to start to wonder why they’re hated so much. Jason Alexander played George on Seinfeld and never won an Emmy even though all of his cast mates took the trophy home at some point. Several of his losses were to David Hyde Pierce on Frasier. Angela Lansbury never won for Murder She Wrote in the 80’s and more recently Steve Carrell finished his final season of the Office without ever winning.
The Grammys
It’s hard to believe that any major artist hasn’t won an Grammy at some point in their career. After all, the Grammys have a billion different categories. However some legendary musicians have never won. Diana Ross, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Queen are among the legends who are Grammy-less. Diana Ross? How is that possible? Her career spands decades and she is an icon with a legendary career. It’s amazing that she never got a Grammy, even if it was for purely token reasons.
Other Awards Gone Wrong:
MTV’s Video Music Awards- The VMA’s can be hit or miss but it’s common sense to give the very first Video of the Year award (in 1984) to the universally accepted best video of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Wrong! Thriller lost the award to The Cars’ You Might Think.
Nobel Prize for Literature- James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, and Mark Twain are all losers. Leo Tolstoy lost to Theodor Mommsen in 1904. Who the hell is Theodor Mommsen?

P.S. Meryl Streep just recieved her 17th Oscar nominations . That’s more then any other actor or actress and she’s won twice. But that also means she’s lost 14 times.

Motownphilly’s Back Again

As we waited for a table at P.F. Chang’s, a friend of mine pulled up this music list on his phone and we started reminiscing. It’s one of those list that makes you think, “Oh yeah, I remember that song!” It also reminded me that En Vogue had a couple great songs back in the day. Maybe it’ll make you revisit your iTunes account for some downloading. Enjoy!

50 Greatest R&B Songs of the 90’s:

1. No DiggityBLACKstreet feat. Dr. Dre
2. My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)En Vogue
3. The Boy is MineBrandy & Monica
4. Real LoveMary J. Blige
5. Hold OnEn Vogue
6. This is How We Do ItMontell Jordan
7. CreepTLC
8. You Make Me Wanna…Usher
9. No, No, No Part IIDestiny’s Child feat. Wyclef Jean
10. No ScrubsTLC
11. PoisonBell Biv Devoe
12. Are You That Somebody?Aaliyah
13. Gett Off – Prince & The New Power Generation
14. I Love Your Smile – Shanice
I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)Hi-Five
16. Freak Like Me – Adina Howard
17. Remember the Time – Michael Jackson
18. Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg – TLC
19. MotownphillyBoyz II Men
20. PonyGinuwine
21. Just Kickin’ It – X-Scape
22. Candy RainSoul for Real
23. Too CloseNext
24. Back and Forth – Aaliyah
25. Don’t Walk AwayJade
26. FantasyMariah Carey
27. Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)Monica
28. BabyBrandy
29. If I Had No LootTony! Toni! Tone!
30. I’m So Into YouSWV
31. Dream LoverMariah Carey
32. Power of Love/Love PowerLuther Vandross
33. UnprettyTLC
34. It Never Rains (In Southern California) – Tony! Toni! Tone!
35. The First NightMonica
36. I’m Every WomanWhitney Houston
37. Free Your MindEn Vogue
38. U Know What’s UpDonell Jones
39. Tell MeGroove Theory
40. Hey Mr. D.J. – Zhane
41. I Wanna Be DownBrandy
42. Live and LearnJoe Public
43. Touch Me, Tease MeCase feat. Foxxy Brown
44. Bills, Bills, BillsDestiny’s Child
45. HoneyMariah Carey
46. I’m Your Baby TonightWhitney Houston
47. Let the Beat Hit ‘EmLisa Lisa & The Cult Jam
48. Giving You the BenefitPebbles
49. Girls Nite Out – Tyler Collins
She’s Playing Hard to Get – Hi-Five

The Globes

The Golden Globes were last nigth and over all most of the stars looked great. There were very few (if any) severe misses. Not surprisingly, my favorite was Tilda Swinton in blue Haider Ackermann. You probably haven’t heard of Achermann, but his designs are edgy and extemely fashion forward. (The word trendy doesn’t even begin to describe him) The ‘I Want to be Her Best Friend Award’ goes to Sophia Vergara. She’s  so funny and sweet. It’s also great when she tries to pronounce Wang. Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman were also favorites. Charlize Theron continued her fashion winning streak with Dior Couture. That’s how a beaded headband should look. Yes I’m talking to you Michelle Williams. Emma Stone rocked a purple Lanvin dress with an eagle belt that added a little edge.

Kelly Osborne. I’m so on the fence with this one. I love the color of her Zac Posen gown and I even like her silver hair. (you read that correctly, silver) BUT… the look is to old for her and there is just so much fabric. I could Photoshop Helen Miren’s face on this picture and you’d never know the difference. I wish it was sleeveless to make is skew a little younger.

Leah Michelle was guilty of the same crime. Her silver Marchesa dress was to old and to much. Although I loved her hair and makeup.
Rooney Mara kept it simple in black Nina Ricci. Bondage straps with a ruffled hem…Perfection. Side note: This dress literally premiered in Nina Ricci’s pre-fall collection that came out A Week Ago. (January 9th to be specific) 
Everyone on TV gushed about how gorgeous Angelina Jolie looked. I hated it. First she had matching red lips, purse, and colar… Gag! Second, Natalie Portman did the same look last year and guess what, I hated it then too.
Poor Sarah Michelle Gellar. She said in an interview that her child daughter picked out her dress. Mistake number one. I actually like the blue swirl print, but the shape of the dress is to big and poofy. Here’s a tip: if you’re working a large print, the cut of the dress should be simple. If you put that patern on the shape of Angelina’s dress (minus the red colar) it could be a knock out.

The Week in Fashion

Burberry Fall 2012

Tommy Ton photo via
Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2012
Tommy Ton photo via
Trends to watch out for:
Velvet– I watched Burberry’s Fall 2012 runway show live online and now I’m obsessed with velvet suits. As it turns out, Dolce and Gabbana were feeling the same way.
Cuffed pants and bright socks– It’s been a major men’s trend to cuff your jeans a couple inches about your sneakers. Add brightly colored or patterned socks to keep it fun and fresh.
Colorful Coats– Offset winter’s gray and dreary weather with a jacket that stands out. Orange and red are perfect choices that can be paired with jeans and a button down.

Reading for Non-Readers

It’s not a secret that I hate to read. Therefore I’m as surprised as anyone else to be writing what amounts to a book review. Gasp!  I recently saw Hollywood’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and it peaked my interest and I didn’t want to wait until the second and third movie came out. (neither of which has started filming) What is a non reader to do? I logged into iTunes and downloaded both audiobooks. I finished book 2, the Girl Who Played with Fire and the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest just began. (don’t worry, no spoilers) Played w/ Fire was great because you learn learn more about the back story of the main character Lisbeth Salander. Now I’m only 5 chapters into Hornets Nest, and I’m getting restless. I want to find out the big ending but I also don’t want to go through 30 chapters (or 18 hours) to get there. I’m at the point where I just want it to be over. Especially because, like I said, the stories don’t get moving until the second half of each book.
The movie version of the Dragon Tattoo was very indicative of the books as a whole. They start out slow and pick up in the second half. While in the theatre, after and hour and a half I turned to my friend (who read the book) and asked “The two main character do meet at some point right?” One thing you loose in the film is the Swedishness of it all. Yes it take place in Sweden. In case you forget that while reading (or in my case listening) the author feels the need to tell you the name of EVERY street that everyone is on or coming from or going to. Vurtiborga, Moltzenplaza, Flookenshtin… I GET IT! WE KNOW IT’S SWEDEN! The studio still plans on making the second and third movies but no filming has begun. As they think about casting, I suggest Tilda Swinton. I don’t know what character she’d play, but she looks like someone from Sweden.


Are you in a music rut? I recommend Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine. Ms. Welch and the gang are back with another great album and the first single Shake It Out is Amalzing! If you need more proof talk to Karl Lagerfeld. Flo performed What the Water Gave Me in a white clam shell at Chanel’s Spring 2012 runway show. It doesn’t get much better then that.