An Image to Go By

Words are my passion. They swirl around in my head, the best ones for the circumstance shimmering brightest while others hold on to be used another time. They spill out of me onto Starbucks napkins, the edges of other people’s notebooks, and into some of the world’s longest emails.

I have always loved words and that will never fade, but more and more I realize the impact of a strong visual. I’ve decided to dedicate one blog a week to a beautiful found photo, or one I take myself, or one supplied by a reader. If you have visuals you’d like me to post, please email me here.

Here is Week One.
In a much less destructive, dysfunctional way, my relationship with my little brother reminds me of what Andy & Edie’s was–in the golden days. Today was a very important day for him and I could not be there in my cropped black fur jacket, hair straight as he likes it, tottering around on crazy heels in support of him. This shot is for my little Nernel. Stay fabulous, my darling.
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The Fiercest Boots on Planet Earth

I admit it–I’m a little slow on the uptake. The fiercest boots on Planet Earth have actually been around for a while. Blake Lively rocked them last January–at Gossip Girl costume designer Eric Daman’s bash at Henri Bendel in Manhattan–and somehow they have only come to my attention this weekend? Time to get with the program Jensy. I saw them featured on the “B*tch Stole My Look” portion of Fashion Police this week and the strangest thing… last night, I dreamed I owned them.

My complex, anxiety-ridden dreams are usually spent falling, or saving loved ones from attackers, or trying to run without being able to move the legs (too much information, readers? Maybe. I apologize). For me to actually dream about pulling on, purchasing, and sashaying around this glittery city in these heavenly boots, they must have really made an impact right?

Please check out the thigh-high perforated stretch faux-leather Stella McCartney wonders. Everything Blake Lively ever wears looks perfect, because she is. But these are one of those hot ticket, high fashion items that for whatever magical reason, could actually work on real people–people who don’t look, or spend, like Miss Lively. She did bring them to glory, though. That goes without saying. The blazer, crisp white shirt and effortlessly pulled back hair make the statement, “Oh, funny that, I just happened to pull these boots on while making my way to this party where I didn’t put any thought into how I’d look, but hell, I do look great.”

Last week Madonna rocked them at the Fashion Delivers Gala at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, paired with a shimmery sheath and wavy blonde locks. The Material Girl looked like a million bucks.

So tight, so shiny, they look almost as if they been melted on the leg for the wearer. Is it the resemblance they bear to a stretch-leather legging that has me floored, or the fact that they literally work with everything? The metallic heel is its own topic of splendor. The perforated pattern? It’s stunning. It’s modern yet oddly classic, and somehow reminiscent of ancient warrior duds. Perfection.

Unfortunately sold out on net-a-porter.com, they were on sale for around $1,100. We can only hope some girl whose legs are just ever so slightly short receives and returns them, so more become available. Where else? Where can I find these boots? And how will I justify spending the rent money on them?

Till I figure it all out, at least a girl can dream…

Cher, Cher…Everywhere

I’m sure I wasn’t alone on the evening of September 12, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, in feeling equal parts shocked and thrilled when Cher strutted onto that stage in her “If I Could Turn Back Time”–circa 1988–sheer, sequined, insane bodysuit at age 64. She looked fabulous, that goes without saying. And she’s got a big comeback going on, so more power to her. But what is it about this icon that makes us keeping wanting more? And how much of a good thing, is just way too much?

VANITY FAIR
This month’s issue of Vanity Fair debuted on newsstands last week. In the cover shot, Cher is (true to form) clad in a scant, black unitard, decked in jewels, hair wild and flowing. I found the interview itself pretty interesting. Cher opens up on a slew of topics from her difficult marriage to Bono (“He was so much more than a husband—a terrible husband, but a great mentor, a great teacher…”) to feeling shorted by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (“We influenced a generation, and it’s like: What more do you want?” Of course, daughter-turned-son Chaz makes for an interesting topic of conversation as Cher admits she struggles with pronouns but understands her child’s struggle with gender identity. You should check out the issue to read more–I guarantee it’s a great read.

BURLESQUE
Okay, so I’ll preface this bit by saying I have no right to comment on a movie I haven’t yet seen. I’ll surely be in line Thanksgiving weekend when it opens (but not in Manhattan–as there is still a rumored bed bug infestation in many theaters, and that’s totally creeping me out). But am I the only one who thinks the trailers are sort of, well, tacky? Maybe I’m just not that into the whole musical-movie thing. Or for that matter, the small town girl making it big in the entertainment business montif–which we just see too often. Fair enough if I am judging a book by its cover here, but I guess I’m just missing the point. I wish we could see her open up a little more. Try something totally outside of her norm. What about playing a character who actually looks (somewhere near) her age? As in, ditch all that makeup and the tiny outfits and nightclub atmosphere and play someone’s mom? In a setting other than a burlesque club?

PLASTIC SURGERY
As I said, it’s pretty clear the woman looks damn great. But doesn’t it make you sad though, just a little, that this is what we’re supposed to aspire to? In a country so eager to go green, to give back, to pay it forward, and all the rest of those charming concepts, why are we still SO afraid to age gracefully? Now I am no expert, nor do I have any exact idea about what procedures she’s had done. But let’s all agree that Cher’s face has been tampered with. Majorly. And a woman at that age (with grown kids!) has no right to such sculpted abs and a tiny toosh.

For the average gal who’s got some money in the bank and is scared to look old, hey, go for it. But a part of me feels like someone in the public eye should try–just a little harder–to exercise some restraint in the plastic department. If every woman in Hollywood knifes themselves into such shape by the age of 64 (which, mind you, is NOT OLD), every other woman in America is going to be crying themselves to sleep. It’s an impossible standard to uphold. And an unnecessary one. You people are role models! Suck it up and buy some La Mer! Sneak in a little Botox from time to time. But no need to go so far.

Based on looks alone, my love goes to Meryl Streep. No, she doesn’t look like she did in the ’80s. But she is so utterly beautiful in her natural-ness, that it makes even the 20-something set jealous. And it gives her peers and her juniors something to feel proud of and to hold onto. Heck, even Cher admits in the Vanity Fair article: “I think Meryl [Streep] is doing it great. The stupid bitch is doing it better than all of us! But I don’t like it. It’s getting in my way.” Part of being a woman, and owning that power, is aging in a way that makes us feel comfortable yet allows us to look like US.

At the end of the day, we all still love Cher. She’s an icon, she’s a goddess, and plastic surgery or not, men of all ages still want to bed her down. Go Cher! I know the comeback is going well, but hope that as she continues on the journey, she’ll find even more of her true self in there, and maybe even share some more of it with us.

ps. In homage, had to throw this one. My fave of all time.

Nude Cocktail Dresses: Do you Dare?

Is there anything sexier than the little black dress? Probably not. But I have to admit, I am so into stepping outside the norm. This season we have been bombarded with a slew of chic and fantastic cocktail dresses in every price range. From one-shoulder to backless to shimmering and bodycon, they’re all great.

But I am so pissed that winter is coming, and so desperate to enjoy the ever-so-faint lingering tan I’ve managed not to lose completely. What’s a girl to do? How about thinking outside of the box and choosing something not bright, not black, but… beige. (Check out the darling Dakota Fanning sporting the look at “The Runaways” premier, left)

Skin-tone frocks might historically have been for spring and summer outdoor soirees. But, this season why not say, “To hell with convention!” and pair yours with black tights, sky-high pumps, and a great faux fur. You’ll stand out at the winter cocktail party for sure.

 A few words of advice:
-Good underwear (nude in color, that is!) is a must. Nothing ruins a great look more than visible panties
-Spanx are advisable no matter how teeny you are, because flesh tone minis tend to reveal everything… if you know what I mean
-Consider sizing up if you go for something tight-fitting in a nude hue
-Bronzer is a must. We don’t want to look corpse-like, am I right?

Here are some really cute ideas…

For the girl who loves her bod but doesn’t want to go too bare:

Why not try this A.L.C. “Baxter” stretch lace mini? The antique feel of the coloring and texture are so unique, and the ruching at the hip packs major sex appeal. White cuffs add a modern flair. Would be perfect with a brown tight (try Wolford Cotton Velvet–you’ll fall in love) and Frye boots for a more casual dinner on the town, or amped up with your favorite power heels and bare legs for a party.

$450. shopbop.com

     
For those of you with perfect bodies and huge budgets (I hate you, by the way!) why not wow in this sexier-than-thou formfitting number by Herve Leger?

The details speak for themselves, so make sure not to over-accessorize or you will look slightly, dare we say, over-the-top? I love how they styled it here with a great black shoe and a pony tail, but a low, messy chignon and some metallic heels would also be divine. Just sayin’     $1,590. shopbop.com
 

This 3.1 Phillip Lim number is the showstopper for anyone who is craving the look but prefers to keep things ever so slightly demure. Style it just as you see here, but go ahead and throw some long, vintage earrings on or let your hair flow in a nape-of-the-neck side pony. Perfect transition into winter, and the bonus–you can ditch the tights and platforms in lieu of bare legs and gold sandals next May for a garden party. But be forewarned: this dress is just close enough to white that it is a definite no-no to wear to a wedding. Sorry girls!  $875. net-a-porter.com

 Alright, so that was fun, but if we’re being honest, we’re in our 20’s and we’re broke right? If the above are not exactly in your price range, why not check out some lower-priced favorites of mine…
 Both from Urbanoutfitters.com:

Silence & Noise, $59
Silence & Noise, $48.     

Blogger’s Own:
 Are you surprised that I was inspired for this post during a wistful browse through my own closet? One of my favorite dresses of the MILLIONS hanging in there is this Valeria Siniouchnika frock from 2002 (!) I know it’s still chic; the question is, will it still fit? Now let’s just hope my fabulous boyfriend has a night on the town planned soon…