February 20, 2008


Due to the arrival of a little person with even littler feet
there won't be any new entries on this blog for a while.

February 08, 2008


Here's what Cintra Wilson from salon.com has to say about Christian and his collection for Bryant Park (white-fonted for those who want to avoid spoilers -- note that all remaining 5 designers showed, but 2 collections were "decoy collections").

Last was Christian, perhaps the most controversial of the "Runway" finalists.

Christian "Fierce" Siriano seemed to be having a marvelously good time. The audience didn't want to love him -- he's an awful bitch -- but they couldn't help themselves. He's got the magic, and everyone knows it. He simply is a designer, while all the others are aspiring designers. It is clear that Christian was one of those colorful little boys who loved to lip-sync to Mariah Carey singles in front of the mirror, and has been a peer of Karl Lagerfeld -- at least in his own mind -- since he was about 4 years old. He's barely much older now.

The collection featured a few stunningly huge hats. The dresses were big bouffy tulle shapes, like huge belted tea-roses, and a series of feathery dresses I took to calling the Big Bird Collection, in which Christian had seamlessly fused inspirations from both John Galliano and "Sesame Street." The colors were very simple -- black, brown, ivory -- the designs were just crazy enough, just accessible enough. Mainly, though, Christian just owns the catwalk. He is incredibly confident that this is, in fact, who he is. He doesn't care if the audience likes him or not, and he doesn't need to: He doesn't need your permission to be a designer, Heidi Klum's permission, nor anyone else's.

February 07, 2008

i am diva, hear me moan

What does it tell us about Christian that he identifies sounds that are described by Jillian as "crazy war noise" as "sex moans"? Well, let's not go there. Let's just say that this week's epiosode of Project Runway wasn't as bad as expected (given the trailers), but really made you wonder why there are so few conceptual challenges this season, in particular so close to the finale at Bryant Park (which will be filmed tomorrow).

The designers had to create an outfit for a group of female wrestling stars, known to some (or many) as the WWE Divas [from Latin "diva" = female deity]. Essentially, this was the Sasha Cohen challenge revisited, but with a lot more, um, tootie.

What is a designer to do if the client describes herself as a "classy sex pot"? Poor Sweet P., she picked the tackiest fabric in the store, aptly named "SpandexHouse", described by Christian als "tranny ice-cream", and didn't know how to turn it into something mildly interesting. You know you've reached a low if Tim Gunn suggests in desperation that the look could perhaps be mitigated with feathers.

Christian, as usual, didn't spend too much time worrying and easily adapted his trademark design (tailored poufy sleeve jacket and slim pants) to the occasion and the oh-so-original demands of the client (leather and lace). As usual, it was the most accomplished look on the runway, and also as usual, the judges wisely gave the win to another designer, in this case Chris. Don't spoil the puppy.

This was a challenge in which Chris's over-the-top design experience came in handy. Clad in a leopard-print shirt himself, he created a two-piece ensemble with a greenish leopard-print hoodie that his client loved, but that made me think of ...morels. Not fierce. Also, I'm not so sure about the functionality of the low-cut boy-shorts. They look like a garment the client might wear while getting a Brazilian wax.

Jillian's design looked somewhat functional and athletic (a big plus!), but those white knee socks seriously put me off. Dressing up a grown woman, a wrestler at that, like a school girl gives me the creeps (the judges, however, called her "a sexy tomboy"). Ricky was sent home with a design that consisted of an orange bathing suit and a hellish golden "disco smock", but personally, I was most appalled by Rami's unsexy, unsporty, un-everything creation in screaming pink with a hoola skirt. Granted, his client was perhaps the most annoying of the group, but anybody who attempts to cover massive boobs with draped pink spandex must be stopped.

I think after this uninspiring challenge I deserve a peek at the spoilers that will no doubt turn up after tomorrow's finale show at Fashion Week. Do we even know if 3 or 4 designers are showing? I believe Christian and Jillian are shoo-ins [an onomatopoeic word, first used in the context of horse-racing] and Rami would be my guess for #3 (unless he drapes the undrapable again). The annoying thing is that I would probably have chosen the exact same people after the first episode.

you wanna run for president? we're gonna get a dog!

The Obama family doesn't have a dog. Yet. Here's Michelle Obama on her two daughters using a dog as a bargaining chip.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney suspends his campaign. Voters just didn't connect with him. I guess they're not into "emotion-free crisis management," especially when it comes to dogs.

ETA on Feb. 9: Gail Collins's column in the Times says it all: The Revenge of Seamus. It ends with this paragraph:

And what will we remember about Mitt? His perfect grooming? His granola addiction? The day he equated his son’s campaign work in the Mittmobile to military service? That YouTube tape of him being asked to name his worst fault and telling a story about going to the hospital every Saturday to read to the sick children? All I know is somewhere in doggie heaven, an Irish setter is laughing.

lively climate

What would you consider a lively weather climate?


When would you cancel classes due to inclement weather? After all schools have closed? After other college campuses in the area have closed? After buses have stopped running, snow plows have got stuck? After clinics, malls, banks have closed? After the city has declared a snow emergency and the most severe snowfall in more than 25 years?After the Governor has called the National Guard to assist hundreds of stranded motorists? Ah, comeon, don't be a wimp, not in Wisconsin:

“It is the general policy of the university that, whenever possible to stay open, the university will try to do so,” Lucas [Univ. of Wisconsin spokesperson] said. “We get that people aren’t going to be thrilled with it, but we live in Wisconsin and it’s a lively weather climate. It’s extremely rare this place will ever be closed.”

February 03, 2008

will and won't, he and him

“Not only will I won’t quit, I can’t.”
[Mike Huckabee]

Sure, double modals are quite popular in the South, but here we're dealing with an idiosyncratic version: two instances of the same modal (will). And, to add to the oddness of this sentence, what exactly does "I can't won't quit" mean? He can and will quit?

Others struggle with hypercorrection:

"Yesterday, Barack Obama said there's not a dime's worth of difference between he and Senator McCain on illegal immigration."
[Mitt Romney]

Mitt Romney, between you and me, don't try to sound folksy. It may work for Mike Huckabee, but it won't work for you.

February 02, 2008

life after vick

Whatever happened to Michael Vick's fighting dogs?


Mr. Vick, once the highest-paid player in the N.F.L., is serving a 23-month sentence in a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., for bankrolling his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation and helping execute dogs that were not good fighters. Dogs were electrocuted, hanged, drowned, shot or slammed to the ground, according to court records. Two mass graves with the remains of eight pit bulls were found on Mr. Vick’s property in rural Virginia.

Pit bulls seized from illegal fighting operations are usually euthanized after becoming property of the government. The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recommended that Mr. Vick’s dogs be euthanized, but many animal rescue organizations urged the prosecutors to let the dogs live.

The government agreed to give them a second chance after Mr. Vick agreed to pay $928,073 for evaluation and care of all the dogs. They were seen by animal experts, who named the dogs, and were eventually dispersed to eight rescue organizations for adoption, rehabilitation or lifetime care in sanctuaries, where they have been neutered. Only one of the Vick dogs was euthanized for aggression against people.

Best Friends, which is caring for more dogs than any other organization, received about $389,000. Many of their dogs are expected to be adopted after they are rehabilitated and matched with the right families. Vick’s 25 other dogs are in foster care all over the country. [...]

Life at Best Friends is nothing like it was at Mr. Vick’s property on Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Va., where many of the dogs were found chained to buried car axles. They slept on concrete. Their water, if any, was kept in algae-covered bowls. Most were underfed. Some showed recent lacerations.

Here, they live in a 3,700-acre sanctuary that is covered by juniper trees and sagebrush, and surrounded by canyons and red-rock formations. They have food called Canine Caviar, squeaky toys, fluffy beds and four full-time caregivers. The caregiver on the night shift curls up with the dogs for naps. [...]

“These dogs have been beaten and starved and tortured, and they have every reason not to trust us,” Mr. Garcia said as Georgia crawled onto his lap, melted into him for an afternoon nap and began to snore. “But deep down, they love us and still want to be with us. It is amazing how resilient they are.”

Will they ever become adoptable dogs? Read the whole article here.