Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Blonds Ambition

I can't remember the last time I had as much fun being the proverbial fly on the wall as I did at the recent Blonds runway show during the Fall 2012 Fashion Week in New York City. Here's a few snapshots of the proceedings.

The show, which was staged at the trendy Milk Studio in Chelsea, attracted a colorful cross-section of the fashion world and downtown New York night life, including rapper Lil Kim. Whipped up hairdos, heavy eye make up, tattoos galore, and ski-tight dresses and corsets were de rigueur for both sexes. I was impressed with how many of the guests had platinum blonde dos, as if to show solidarity with the designers.

Photo by William Werber

Long before the show started, cameras were flashing madly as the crowd sauntered through the doors and mingled along the runway. Everyone seemed delighted to have their picture taken. Unfortunately, I had dashed from work to the show and forgotten my camera (talk about senior moments--ugh!). I took this next photo with my rinky-dink cell phone. See the man with the platinum blonde spikes? He was accompanied by a woman with a Jean Harlow hairdo (to his blurry left). The couple looked like Neptune and his wife Amphitrite, statuesque and topless (she wore tasseled pasties) with long, slitted, black skirts. Another personal favorite was a man in a tiny bowler hat jauntily tilted to one side of his forehead.

Once the models began to strut down the runway it seemed clear what had drawn Lil Kim and the others: The Phillipe and David Blond's 2012 fall collection isn't exactly ready for 9 to 5. Using classic motorcycle fashions as a springboard for the collection, the designers created men's jackets and women's corsets dripping with colorful embroidery, icy crystals, and glittery mesh and leopard skin prints. The female models also wore motorcycle helmets with long, blonde pony tails flowing down their backs. There were a couple of glittery non-corset garments--a skirt suit, dress and jumpsuit--but even those were a little over-the-top for women of a certain age. No, this wild and whimsy collection is best suited to those planning their fall 2012 music tour or next big top appearance.

While I enjoyed my first runway show immensely, I couldn't help noticing the glaring differences between the male and female models. Here, take a look...

The first thing (and which you can't tell from the photos) is the difference in the way these two models moved down the runway. The man's outfit was designed for being active, moving around easily. By contrast, that dress was super confining. I witnessed first-hand how difficult it was for the female model to maneuver the runway. I don't think I was alone in finding it painful to watch.

I accept that garments look best when they flow over statuesque bodies with long legs. And the whole anorexic model business has been covered plenty. But what I don't get is why the fashion world's vision of female beauty is the human coat hanger, while it's vision of male beauty is the chiseled Greek god--glowing skin, well-fed, though, perhaps, a little over-exercised. Not only are the female models super thin and pale skinned, but it seems their instructed to strike lifeless, affectless poses. I just don't understand why male and female designers would slave to create such beautiful clothing for women and then present their designs on figures that are a hollow, haunted facsimile of the female form.

But...I don't want to end on a depressing note. Instead, let me share one last photo of my favorite guest at the show. She is my fashion ideal--confident and individual.

Photo by William Werber

Click the The Blonds show to watch a video of the event.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quick! Old Navy Jeggings On Sale

It's Presidents' Weekend and you know what that means: Sales, sales, and more sales!! So this morning, while sipping my coffee, I roamed the web and noticed that Old Navy has put its black Old Navy Womens The Rock Star Super-Skinny Denim Leggings on sale--were $34.94, now $19.00. Don't let the silly name put you off. I bought two pairs of these jeggings this season and I'm practically living in them--especially the black ones (pictured above). I love them because they're...
  • Super soft and comfortable. The waistband is at my hips. (I'm so done with anything attacking my waist.) I wear them over dresses, so hip-hugging isn't a problem. And they're stretchy, so even though they're "super-skinny jeans," they aren't confining.
  • A great alternative to tights. I can toss them in the washing machine, so it gives me a break from all the hand washing I do with tights. They're much warmer than tights on icy days. And I don't have to worry about runs.
  • Flattering. My calves, which are average at best, look thinner in jeggings than in leggings. When I wear leggings, my legs look like a thicker version of me in tights. But jeggings make my legs look thinner than they usually do in pants. Does that make sense?

At posting time, the jeggings were available in all sizes, including Tall and Petite sizes. I bought the Old Navy jeggings in one size bigger than I usually do for pants. I don't have the greatest legs (to say the least) and, despite the jegging's stretchiness, I thought I'd be more comfortable with a little extra room. Plus, they are cotton, so I was worried about shrinkage. So far, no signs of shrinkage. If you'd like to check them out, click on the photo below. It will take you directly to the page. You'll find other colors (I also love my dark denim ones), which have a reduced price.

Old Navy Womens The Rock Star Super-Skinny Denim Leggings

February Giveaway: $25 e-Gift Certificate

I’m going to Paris!! My husband and I booked our flight last weekend. Needless to say, I’m super excited. For me, planning a vacation is half the fun. What will we do? What will I wear? I could really use your help with my preparations. So…for my February Giveaway, I’d like to know: What Would You Pack for Paris?

Whether you’ve gone to Paris or just dreamed of going to Paris (like me), I’d like to know what you would pack. Share your ideas in the comment box on this post for a chance to win one of three $25 Gift Certificate! See all the details below.

In the Comment Box on this post, express yourself on:

What Would You Pack for Paris?

Do you have a favorite walking shoe? How many pairs of shoes would you take? Do you have a favorite outfit that works for day or night? What’s your favorite outerwear for travel? Do you have a packing philosophy when traveling in Europe? I could really use your advice!

For a chance to win one of three $25 Gift Certificate I'm giving away, you must leave a Comment on this post. Please note: I will be sending a $25 e-gift certificate to each winner via email. I will use the email address (which never gets published) you’ve used to leave your comment. So that email address must be valid.

Please include your age (or decade—i.e., over 50 or over 60).

This Giveaway is open to all Flattering50 readers. To enter for a chance to win, your comment must be posted no later than Sunday, March 11, 2012, 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be selected by a random drawing and contacted by email on March 12, 2012. Winners will receive an email from me, asking them to confirm that their email addresses are active. Once a winner has confirmed that her email is valid, I will send the e-gift certificate to that email address. If I don’t get email confirmation for a winner, a replacement winner will be chosen. So please…check your email on March 12th and confirm your email address right away.

Thanks and Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

F/W 2012: Bright Lights, Long Legs

StyleAlternative photos by William Werber

It's Fashion Week in New York. In the past, I've only viewed the event from afar, watching a few runway shows streamed live on the web. While there are lots of shows--90 fashion shows at Lincoln Center plus roughly 250 shows scattered around the city--they all require an invitation. This year, I had the good fortune of getting two invitations! My son, a design student and photographer for Style Alternative, was my guide. The first show, a presentation of Mathieu Mirano's Fall 2012 collection at Lincoln Center, was last Sunday. Here's a few photos we snapped at the event.

I arrived at Lincoln Center before my son and got a chance to take in the scene outside the David H. Koch Theater. A fashion show must have ended recently, because there was a steady flow of super tall, skinny, very made-up, young women leaving the building. I wasn't the only one milling about outdoors. There was a small pack of paparazzi, cameras in hand, ready to pounce as soon as a model pushed through the glass doors. The photographers were like football players chasing a fumbled ball, muscling in on each other, angling for the best shot of the models. There were also a few young women, who I suspect were bloggers like myself. At least I assume they were bloggers because they weren't as aggressive as the professional photographers.

When my son arrive, we went inside. It was a typical event scene, including large screens showing runway shows and product booths.

The Mirano presentation was held in a tent with high-ceilings, dark around the perimeter, but glaringly bright in the center, where the models stood on a tiered stage. Being a Fashion Week novice, I didn't realize that some collections are shown in a presentation format, rather than a runway. My son says the advantage is that it gives photographers a chance to zoom in on garment details--as opposed to grabbing shots of models in motion on the runways.

Once again, there were photographers angling for the best shots of the models, but without, thank goodness, the zeal of linebackers. In fact, everyone was very polite. And everyone was checking out everyone, even me. I had to laugh. You know how women of a certain age feel invisible in society? Not so at fashion shows. Since these events are invitation only, everyone assumes you must be somebody. People looked at little old me and I could tell they were thinking (for a brief moment, anyway): Is she someone I know? Is she someone I should know?

The Mirano 2012 fall collection consisted largely of skirt suits, evening dresses and gowns. I liked it a lot, but then, I'm drawn to classic styling with a few unexpected details. I also like feminine suits. Zippers, fur, extra pockets and folds make it clear that these suits are not for men.

I had to take this next photo. If you're wondering why the models look so grim in the other snapshots, maybe it's the heels they're wearing. The New York Times calls the runway model look the "coolly robotic Eastern European beauty ideal," but I call it sad. I actually liked many of the Marino designs, but it didn't look like the models did. They look miserable, don't they? I get most of my styling ideas from observing other women. I don't remember ever thinking: "I love that woman's grim look!" Instead, I admire women who look happy and confident in what they're wearing.

If you're curious about Fashion Week, you can take at peek at some of the action on YouTube.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Max Studio Dress Sale: Perfect for Leggings!

One of my 2012 fashion resolutions is to find comfortable dresses to wear over leggings or jeggings. I love the look because it hides my less-than-flattering thighs. And leggings/jeggings are warm like tights, but can be thrown in the washing machine. (I hate hand-washing tights!) This week, I bought the Max Studio jersey dress shown above (though not online). I'm loving the ultra-comfortable elasticized empire waist and the jersey material, which isn’t bulky. The sleeves are bell—very 70s retro—and the perfect 3/4 length. The v-neck is a little low for me, but that’s okay. I’m used to adding a camisole or little pin to avoid exposing cleavage or worse. (I seem to have a short chest or something.) I’ve worn it with a red short sweater and short boots so far.

If you're looking for a dress to wear over leggings, you might want to take a peek at dresses. Right now you can take advantage of Max Studio's 20% Off ALL Dresses sale (2/10-2/14). I saw a handful of dresses I thought would look great over jeggings, including the JERSEY DRESS; STRIPED JERSEY DRESS; 3/4 SLEEVE SWEATER DRESS; COTTON YARN DYED PLAID DRESS; ELASTICATED DRESS, and the TUNICA DRESS. If you're reading this post after Feb. 14th, you might want to click anyway. The designer often has dresses on sale, like these below.







Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Web stops: TDF Dresses, Stylish 50+, more

I love to lounge. I know people who are constantly on the run, but not me. I need time to kick back, recharge. My favorite lounge time activities are reading a book or magazine, exploring the web, or maybe, watching a movie. Before heading out for a Super Bowl party (Yeah, Giants!) on Sunday, I had time for a little lounging plus web exploring. Here are three web stops I made. It’s a rather eclectic trio, meant to awe, inspire and make you laugh out loud…

It’s hard to think of fashion as art when I’m throwing on jeans and a T-shirt to do yard work. But I have to admit I feel a sense of awe when I see a woman in a wonderful outfit (either beautifully made or creatively styled or both) that is very close to the awe I feel when gazing at, say, an artwork by C├ęzanne. For this reason, I love the annual exhibits at the Costume Institute at the Met (this year Prada!) as well as the exhibits at the Fashion Institute of Technology, one the Big Apple’s secret treasures. If you love to look at beautiful clothes as much as I do, take a peek at OMG that dress!. This "blog for fashion and history” posts the most beautiful dresses from different periods in history, one more lovely than the next. I’ve bookmarked the page. When I’m looking for a quick fix of creative inspiration, I click on and drool. Enjoy!

Blogger Jonathan Daniel Pryce recently wrote about Varda Ducovny, an author and psychologist of a certain age living in Paris. In Superior Interior, Behind the Street Style: Varda Ducovny, on the blog AnotherGarcon, Mr. Pryce says he admires Ms. Ducovny’s sense of style as well as her wonderful gift for storytelling. His post offers a lovely portrait--told with words, photographs and even a short video (see below)--of Ms. Ducovny. He also shares some of her stories. I see a lot written about older women becoming invisible to society. But, perhaps, we’re only invisible to those who walk around with dulled sensibilities, their noses buried in their digital devices. If so, why should we care? Bravo to Jonathan for noticing and celebrating a woman with spirit and great stories!

And now for something not so high-minded...Do you have a Whole Foods supermarket in your area? If so, does it “get real” in the parking lot? Maybe you have to live in West LA or metro NY, but this video made my girlfriends and me howl.

To leave a comment about this post, click HERE (or the post's title) and scroll down to Comment Box.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 Gift Card Giveaway: The Winners are...

I wanted to let you know the $25 e-gift cards have been sent to the three winners of my first ever Flattering50 Giveaway. Their names were randomly drawn from those who responded to the question: “What’s Your 2012 Fashion Resolutions?” It was so much fun to read the 2012 fashion goals of other women. Thanks so much to everyone who shared their ideas with Flattering50. I plan to do more Giveaways and hope you’ll enter again.

Here are the names of the winners and the comments they submitted for the Giveaway.

Mellowmomo My 2012 fashion resolution? Start wearing color (bye-bye, black!), and tweaking my personal style by combining my much-loved scarves with longer earrings and bolder jewelry (I'm 5' 11", so I've got alot of body to dress). Being retired and almost 53, it's time to bust out and have fun!

Rosie After dealing with cancer I am rejoicing in the sheer joy of being able to shop! One of my resolutions is to quit buying so many black clothes. black, black, black, blah, blah, blah. I want to have to have fun with color, fabric and design.

Anna Pry I'm 28 and just had my 2nd child. I resolved to fix my style by getting rid of all my teenager-ish clothes that i've had forever. My closet is just about empty now except for nursing clothes. I'm going to have to redefine my style once that stage of my life is over!

Meanwhile…One of my 2012 resolutions for Flattering50 is to shoot out a twice-monthly e-newsletter to alert readers to:
  • my latest posts
  • hot fashion sales
  • my current Giveaway offer
If you’d like to get the Flattering50 e-newsletter twice a month, click on SIGN UP. It's FREE--of course. By the by, your email address will only be used to send the Flattering50 e-newsletter. It won’t be published or shared with anyone.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Week's Steals: A Suit, Wrap and Jacket

Anne Klein Speckled Skirt Suit (Black)

Are you exhausted (or is your budget exhausted) from all the January sales? If so, I understand completely! If not, you might want to take a peek at some of this week's bargains. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this Anne Klein Speckled Skirt Suit (Black), which was $280, now marked down to $89. I assumed the reduced price meant there were limited sizes. But at posting time, the suit is available in sizes 4-14.

Last fall I saw a news clip of Nancy Pelosi, age 71, looking fabulous in a white suit. It was such a refreshing change from the standard black or grey professional suit. I'm loving this Anne Klein Belted Wool Coat (White) (was $220, now $87.99) for the same reason. It's also go ta great price tag. And it's sure to take you straight into spring. The coat is also available in purple or black.

Anne Klein Belted Wool Coat (White)

Speaking of spring, I saw a bunch of over 50 women in "my neck of the woods" looking great in shawls last spring. The draping and ruffle make this Jones New York Ruffle Wrap (was $79, now $59) a flattering choice for women over 50.

Jones New York Ruffle Wrap

Finally, this week Old Navy starting posting its Spring Collection online. The pattern in this Old Navy Women's Basket Weave Sweaters ($36.94) as well as the modest price tag, caught my eye. Over the years, I've found Old Navy's all-cotton tops are great for stretching my wardrobe. This sweater is also available in white.

Old Navy Women's Basket Weave Sweaters