Toddlers, Tiaras and Tavi

It rained for two straight days this week at the Open so instead of watching my boyfriend stomp around the court like a bull, I’ve been forced to entertain myself in other ways.  Somehow all this free time didn’t convert itself into productivity.  Far from it.  Instead it manifested in a mini marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras.  (Don’t hate me—hate the weather in New York or—preferably—hate the parents of these little terrors.)

I cannot find a single redeeming thing about this show.  The children are freaky.  The parents are overbearing, desperate and deeply disturbed.  I mean, really, what part of investing time and energy into parading your small child in makeup and inappropriately adult Dynasty dresses doesn’t cry out for serious time in a shrink’s office?  I had resisted T and T when it debuted because I had a more than mild obsession with the whole JonBenet Ramsay thing and figured I had already visited this topic ad nauseum.  Apparently I underestimate my capacity for schlock.

I somehow pulled myself away from the Cars and Stars pageant in Indianapolis and turned my attention to the Internet where the now teenaged blogger and fashion world castoff Tavi Gevison debuted her “magazine” Rookie.  To have the audacity to call Rookie a magazine is beyond grandiose.  It is a blog.  By a 15-year-old.  Modeled on a magazine popular in the 90’s.  It is also a blog that is basically a teenage girl’s take on a decade during which she mostly wore diapers.  It is quite boring and unoriginal, yet the New York Times Magazine profiled Tavi and Rookie last Sunday and according to the NYT Tavi, who was originally supposed to do a reboot of Sassy with its founder Jane Pratt, instead parted ways with Pratt upon the advice of This American Life’s Ira Glass and his nosy parker wife because they were looking out for Tavi’s best interests.  Someone should have looked out for this kid a long time ago and left her in school instead of allowing her teeny granny self to sit in the front row at haute couture shows.

After the announcement about the new version of Sassy there was a flurry of cloying expectation and requisite anticipatory press.  So what happens next?  Is it a magazine?  Is it great?  No.  And double no.  It is, however, a lot like Sassy in that it takes all of its cues from grunge rock and phony teen angst (don’t hate on other girls—love them!)   In fact if I were Jane Pratt I just might be peeved at the potential Eve Harrington storyline here.  Peeved enough to call old Ira Glass up and give him a piece of my mind anyway.  Maybe he would put me on This American Life and I’d kill two life goals with one vitriolic phone call.

Toddlers and Tiaras and Tavi all share what I see as the “my kid is mediocre/not that cute/a terrible athlete yet I’m going to tell her she shits sparkly rainbows” syndrome.  If you’ve ever been to a Little League game or a toddler pageant you know what I’m talking about.  Everyone gets a fucking medal or a crown.  The winners get a slightly bigger, gaudier prize, but no one is left out.  How the hell will these children ever figure out that they are C students at best?  That’s just it.  They never will.  They will continue to blow their own horns and shoot fairy dust out of their asses until they get their own reality series like the Kardashians and make kajillions of dollars, pointing their fingers at me and laughing all the way to the bank as they pass me by in my pauper’s cocoon of good taste and judgment retirement home.

Well, at least I got one good idea out of the rain delays.  I’ll call it Crabby Acres: A rest home for those with discriminating taste.

Thanks God it stopped raining in New York and I can go back to watching real athletes compete for one trophy and one prize at the US Open.  VAMOS RAFA!


New Digs

Apparently blogging is not a money-making enterprise.  You don’t say!

Today I got a call from the Los Angeles Times Magazine where I have been bringing the nasty for the past couple of years.  My editor told me that they were ceasing publication of all of the blogs associated with the magazine due to budget cuts.  I felt like a public school student on the eve of a big production of Damn Yankees who gets a call from the faculty advisor.  “Look, kid.  We know you’re already in your ‘Whatever Lola Wants’ costume, but we’re pulling the plug on the show.” I would have cried, but that would make my false eyelashes stick together so I just stared down the phone in disbelief.

The LATM has been very good to me.  They pretty much let my snarky ass say whatever I wanted and only censored one post—a good one on female urination devices, which I will no doubt resurrect here—and generally let me trash whoever I wanted without fear of retaliation from advertisers.  Well, see, that right there should have been a warning.  There were no advertisers—hence the no money-making of the blogs.

I got a little blue for second there thinking about losing all 14 of my faithful readers.  But then I turned into some combination of Erin Brokovitch/Sandy Bullock in The Blind Side/Norma Rae and decided I was going to fight the odds.  I was going to keep on bloggin on.

I may no longer have the endorsement of the LAT, but now I can totally swear!  I’m like Howard Stern once he got to satellite radio.  F-bombs away!!!

So as today’s muse I will be channeling Donna Karan doing her best Leigh Bowery imitation at Monday night’s Met Ball.  I’ll be shoving body parts around until unwanted flesh from my midsection is reborn as a set of double D’s.

Welcome to the revamped version of The Nines.  Pull on your Pajama Jeans and get ready to party!



Mr. Ford If You’re Nasty

Originally posted November 16, 2010

The peeps over at finally gave the world its first peek at Tom Ford’s new collection—his first for women under his own Tom Ford label and since leaving Gucci and YSL in 2005.

Here’s a little rehash for those who might not follow along at home as closely as yours truly. The runway show was presented in September during New York Fashion Week in the Tom Ford men’s store on Fifth Avenue to a very small audience of 100 people. No cameras, no bloggers, no Facebook leakers allowed. Alas, I did not make the 100-person invite list.

The models, all women who are inspirational to Ford, included such fashion-world lurkers as Daphne Guinness, Lisa Eisner, Julianne Moore, and Beyoncé Knowles, as well as über-models Amber Valletta, Liya Kebede, Stella Tennant and Natalia Vodianova. Each was dressed in an outfit designed specifically for her by Ford, who narrated the show from a podium.

I got my rundown of the show from one of the catwalkers who painstakingly described each person’s outfit, as well as her runway schtick. To say I am sad I missed this show in person is an understatement, as the aforementioned catwalker/debriefer is one of my besties, and I would die to see her stomping it out alongside Ms. Knowles.

Lack of invite aside, I am still thrilled to have Ford back in the fashion mix. He is really talented and the best kind of control freak. In the age of twits tweeting and where every idjit seemingly has a reality show, he managed to keep his designs out of the public eye almost until they hit his store.

I think everyone knows how bored I get with the fashion-world tedium of runway to fashion magazine to red carpet…to stores months later. So keeping clothing under wraps until it hits stores is, as they say in cliché world, a game changer.

And really, the only thing more thrilling than the cloak of secrecy surrounding Ford’s show was to finally get a look at his designs. I guess he was as perplexed as I with the humdrum sportswear yawning down the runways these past couple of seasons, because he delivered High Glamour—hallelujah. Thank you, Tom, thank you.

Ah, one last bone to pick, and then my work here is done. Old Lady Vogue, why must you mess with a good thing? The photos are very nice. Of course they are—they come from the camera of Steven Meisel, who is the master of masters. All others should bow at his feet. But you show the clothing on models, not on the women the pieces were designed for.

To that, I give a giant raspberry. Come on! That the outfits were designed for specific women makes them not just fashion but cultural anthropology, and I feel ripped off.

So now I hold my breath for the release of the official photos from the show (taken by Terry Richardson). They’re sure to show up at before Beyoncé’s outfit sells out, aren’t they?

It’s Barbie, Bitch!

Originally posted October 28, 2010

I really feel like I sold the MTV VMAs short when I watched them back in September and basically deemed them un-blogworthy. Since I can’t stand Gaga, with her stupid meat dress, I just kept thinking to myself about myself: This is it, lady—you’re finally, officially too old to care about MTV,Jersey Shore withstanding.

But yesterday I was jolted into remembering that not only did I hear Bieber sing for the first time on the VMAs (sorry, Biebs, I was impressed not by the singing but by how your hair never moved), I saw and heard one Nicki Minaj for the first time. La Minaj was the only thing worth remembering from the VMAs—and I actually almost forgot her!

Her debut album, Pink Friday, comes out October 30 on iTunes. Yesterday I watched her latest video with (stupidest spelling/name ever, Billy Boy) for the song “Check It Out.” Not only does she sample the genius Buggles song “Video Killed the Radio Star” but she has a whole Harajuku vibe and obvious pink obsession, which intrigued me so much I decided to twaddle around on the Internet to see what I could learn about Ms. Minaj.

Oh, holy crackers, what I found only made me love her insanity more, more, more. First off, she apparently has three sides to her persona: Nicki the Ninja, Nicki the Harajuku Barbie and Nicki the Boss. These relate respectively to her hip-hop assassin-ness, her love of Japanese young girl culture blended with her love for Barbie and the color pink and her clear vision for world domination in the boardroom. Not. Making. It. Up.

Nicki Minaj was discovered by currently incarcerated rap star and Katie Couric flirt object Lil Wayne and is a native of Jamaica, New York—that’s Queens, in case the accent didn’t tip you off. She is 23 and seems, like many musicians today, to be in possession of an autotune device. Note, though, I am not hating on her for this.

In fact, all this makes her some sort of anti-Gaga. In addition to her obvious physical assets (emphasis on the ass, in keeping with the trends of today) and her affinity for pink wigs, Ms. Minaj has created a “Nictionary” for the layperson who might not understand phrases she uses. Apparently, Nicki and her acolytes (BFFs—Barbies for F–kin Ever) call one another Alfred Bitchcokas a term of endearment. The name for a man with no car and no money: aBen (a broke-ass Ken).

Dolly Lama is “a Barbie who makes everyone around her feel at peace.” AStrawberry Shortcake is “a broke bitch or one who loses sight of her goals and her cake by focusing on beef and negativity.” And a Powder Puff is “a sad faced weirdo who pouts.”

Nicki Minaj, you are my new favorite everything. Long may you live. Oh, one other thing I learned from Ms. Minaj? How Harajuku Barbies (HB’s) say goodbye to one another: IT’S BARBIE BITCH!!!

The Bottom Line

Originally posted May 25, 2010

Many is the time I’ve thanked the good Lord above that I don’t have any children (like when I want to eat cereal for dinner or I decide at the very last second to hop on a plane and head somewhere un-cell-reachable). But right now? Right now I just wish that no one on planet Earth had bothered to procreate for at least the last 25 years.

Are you worried we’ll never rebound from this suckfest of an economy? you ask. Panicking about global warming? you wonder.

Don’t be so naive. I am really, really freaked out—not to mention slightly offended—by Huggies that now come in faux denim. Yep, Huggies Little Movers Jeans Diapers made their debut last Thursday. I really wish I could get my hands on some sales figures, but all I can come up with are a bunch of press releases assuring me that this is exactly what “hipster” moms have been waiting for. Oh really? I defy you to find a single faux denim diaper in all of Echo Park, Silver Lake and Eagle Rock combined.

I think you all remember how I felt when the USA snowboard team wore those tragic Goretex jeans ski pants during the Olympics, and now this. What the hell is the matter with people?

Isn’t it enough that Junior will most likely grow up to wear denim on his lower half almost exclusively for his entire adolescent life and most likely well into adulthood? Do you really feel the need to make his diapers look like a fake little pair of jeans? Christ on a Popsicle stick, the world is really spinning out of control.

To add insult to insult, Huggies even staged a “fashion show” in New York City hosted by Rebecca “clearly I will say yes to all offers” Romijn. Said fashion show featured toddlers clad in these ridiculous diapers marching down a runway in Union Square. I know I am not alone in wondering how many of those kids made it to the end of the runway without an accident…

I am so sure that we are a heartbeat away from having to tolerate camo diapers (sure to be wildly popular with the wives and offspring of servicemen overseas) and then the inevitable Huggies designer capsule collections from Zac Posen, Liberty of London and Karl Lagerfeld. Wait…I think I’m onto something here. I actually want to see Chanel diapers. And, Uncle Karl, if you’re reading this, I expect a piece of the action.

To Die For

Originally posted May 10, 2010

Last week my friend Ron (holla, Fink!) sent me a link to an article on Jalopnik. At first glance, I thought, Oh, it’s just a guy on a bike. On closer examination, I thought maybe it was a wax figure, but once I read the accompanying article, I discovered that David Morales Colón, who was gunned down at the tender age of 22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was in fact, dead. Muerte.

His relatives eschewed the traditional open casket, the humble cremation urn and the dignified gold-plated casket (in the style of Michael Jackson) in favor of a more—or less…I can’t decide—morbid display. I mean, who’s to say that it’s less unsettling to see someone lying in a casket mimicking slumber than it is to see that same person straddling his beloved Honda CBR600 F4?

This dip into the uncharted waters of death really got me thinking. How would I want to be arranged for my wake if I chose to go a similar route? To get myself past the pearly gates, would I ask to be dressed in my favorite tennis skort and positioned on the baseline about to serve up an ace? Or would I prefer for them to dress me in that superfancy Dior I haven’t been able to wear during my time on Earth?

The dress has always felt just a little too over the top, so I always just hang it back in the closet, waiting for the perfect moment. This could finally be the right occasion for that little number. I mean, really—what bigger party could I be attending than the one welcoming me into heaven?

After ruminating for a few days on my own sartorial choices for the afterlife, I began to imagine the possibilities for a diverse selection of others who will all assuredly be deceased someday.

An exotic dancer or S Factor home enthusiast could be arranged upside-down and spread-eagle on the pole that was so close to her heart. Lady GaGa, Beyoncé and Madonna, should they die in this century’s version of the plane crash that killed Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, could be strategically placed on an enormous light-up stage—all three pantsless, of course.

Derek Jeter could be dressed in pinstripes, natch, and suspended mid-leap in a Red Sox–defying snag on a mock infield of Astroturf. Steven Tyler could be in skintight leather pants, shirtless, at a mike stand draped in scarves. I could go on, but then you’d think I was really weird.

I get that this is a slightly morbid line of thinking with which to occupy my idle-time thoughts, but it so appeals to my plan-ahead nature. I like to map out all the possibilities (and by that I mean outfits) for each and every situation. And thanks to the creativity of Colón’s relatives, I now see my wake as the last party for which I’ll ever have to dress up. It’d better be a doozy of an outfit.

Nudist Shoes

Originally posted April 29, 2010

Sometime in the past year or so, maybe last fall (I seriously can’t remember, as I tried oh so hard to erase these images from my mind), I started keeping track of Anna Wintour’s footwear. I wasn’t doing this because she was always stepping out in something dazzling but rather because she kept wearing the same pair of horrible nude Manolo Blahnik sandals over and over again.

Because it was La Wintour, I assumed she just had multiple pairs and was heeding the old “stick with what works” adage that she uses for her hairstyle. Except…except…those nude shoes were not working at all! They’re best described as a pair of old-man slippers (think two wide straps crisscrossing over the foot) set atop a dullsville Manolo standard three-inch heel. No platform, no towering stiletto, no sexiness.

I blocked these offending Blahniks from my memory until very recently, when everywhere I turned I saw some nude footwear that jarred my brain and took me back to Anna’s misstep (ha-ha—misstep).

What is going on here, people? Nude hose have long been shorthand for a fashion “don’t.” Why the sudden interest in nude footwear? Is it a cue taken from the world of figure skating, where the pixie athletes pull their nude hose over their skate boots to elongate the leg? Is it an effort to support Anna’s year-ago statement and remind the world La Wintour always has the last laugh?

Ugh. You girls and your nude footwear are driving me crazy. A leg that fades into nothingness just ruins the whole point, if you ask me. It’s like going to a nudist colony. Do you really want to see people walking around like that? I’ll answer for you—no, you do not.

Shoes are the place where women get to make a statement. Even if you are wearing the same black dress you’ve had since 1987, you can give it a little kick in the ass with some crazy footwear. (I am cracking myself up with all the crazy foot metaphors I can bastardize here!) This is a basic rule of how to update your wardrobe without actually buying new clothes—and you should never, ever forget it. The same old schmatte worn with a brand-new pair of shoes = outfit gold.

Heed my words, ladies. Or go ahead and rock the nude shoes. But don’t blame me when your feet fall asleep from sheer boredom. Case in point? Even these Louboutins look lumpy in nude…but look how awesome they are in yellow!