August 27, 2009

of chic and chicken

Earth to Malvin: The words "chic" and "chicken" are not actually related. Hence, when asked to create a flattering, chic look of any kind for a beautiful pregnant woman, a "mother hen" suit with "chicken thighs" (the original design included jodhpurs) is not the way to go.

That's all.

Edited to add: Blogging Project Runway linked to a hilarious interview with Ari Fish, the person whose design was eliminated last week. Asked what made her try out for the show she said that Lifetime had urged her to apply and that she did it "as a sort of performance" and then "it spiraled so far out of control that I went to be a contestant on the show." I guess that's what the fox meant, too, when he said that the grapes were sour.

August 26, 2009

r.i.p, ted kennedy

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the "Last Lion" of the Senate, died yesterday. He will be remembered as a passionate voice for civil rights, health care, and education -- and as a dog lover. Without him, there would be no Portuguese Water Dog named "Bo" in the White House, and perhaps no President named Barack Obama either.

August 25, 2009

all vampired out

Vampires are very popular these days. The HBO series "True Blood and the movie "Twilight" make them look gorgeous. A fashion magazine invites upcoming and established designers to sketch a dress for the vampire wedding of the century, and another vampire series, "The Vampire Diaries", will debut on the CW network next month (it will be shown on "Thirstdays"). In the light of so much vampire beauty, the less supernaturally inclined may indeed feel "all vampired out."

However, an Times article today notes an interesting twist: In order to promote the series, the network teamed up with the American Red Cross to sponsor a blood drive on more than 230 high school and college campuses.

Much better than the promotional articles distributed by CW, among them "fang floss" and "sunscream."

August 20, 2009

it's garment time

They're back. Project Runway returns to the screen, with a 2-hour appetizer: The All-Star Challenge, which turned out to be not quite the delicacy I had hoped it would be. A little stale, perhaps. Santino Rice seemed to think he was in a "The biggest jackass" competition, while Korto Momolu seemed to follow the script of a show "The biggest whiner". We saw some pretty dresses, but nothing really stood out. Uli Herzner's collection, with a fabulous structural dress (my personal favorite of the evening), was waved off as "sophisticated," but without "spirit" (read: there were no flowy print dresses).

In the end, quite predictably (though not necessarily based on the quality of his athletics-inspired mini-collection), nice guy Daniel Vosovic won and Tim Gunn confessed to be "more proud* of you than I have the adequate words to express." Sweet. Less sweet, but more fun, however, was Heidi Klum's comment on Daniel's first look, confessing that she goes "all dizzy when I see boobs going all over the place". You wouldn't expect anything else from the woman who is the voice of "The perfect bra" for Victoria's Secret.

On to the main course. Season 6 opened with a red-carpet challenge (a little bit of a yawn, since the all-star challenge had also incorporated that). As always, in the beginning it's hard to keep the designers apart and we don't get to see too much of Tim Gunn. (However, Lifetime makes up for it by posting extended workroom critiques on their website.) It doesn't help that everybody finds their garment amazing and wouldn't change a thing -- at this point, nobody stands out, neither sartorially nor linguistically, unless you count weirdly spelled first names, like Qristyl, who designed a dress to match (read: It was a mess.) Underdog Christopher won the challenge with a dress that was deemed "cute** and edgy", with "a dark romantic attitude" and "a bit of youth." Ari, this season's Eliza, sent a "disco soccer ball" (Michael Kors) down the runway and was out. Perhaps she should have listened when Tim Gunn used the words "halter diaper" to her in the workroom. On the other hand, she imagined a client who would go from a Hollywood red carpet affair straight to Norway, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. What do we know what such people would wear.

*In English, one-syllable adjectives normally form the comparative with -er and -est (bigger, cheaper, largest). Sometimes, however, speakers make the decision to form a synthetic comparative and superlative (with more and most). According to linguistic research, the underlying motivation may be to reduce the processual load for the hearer. More proud signals the comparative more clearly than prouder, since the comparative element (more) comes first and is meaningful in itself. Still, it's a non-standard form for one-syllable adjectives.

**The meaning of "cute" changed quite a bit over time. Derived from the Latin verb acuere (to sharpen), it originally meant "clever, keen-witted, sharp, shrewd", as the non-truncated from acute still does.

August 19, 2009

beefy bobama

President Obama is expected to arrive on Martha's Vineyard on August 23. Retailers are offering Obamaritas, Hawaiian muffins, and a beer named "Ale to the Chief." But that is not all.

Retailers are even taking advantage of the first dog, Bo. Good Dog Goods is selling a “Bobama” T-shirt for $18, with a picture of a Portuguese water dog on the front and the slogan “The New Dog in Town” on the back. Kerry Scott, the store’s owner, is organizing the island’s first dog parade in honor of Bo. And he is also getting his own snack: a Beefy Bobama Dog Treat from Vin-Yips, a dog treat company.

“It’s a very dog-friendly island,” Ms. Gardella said.
And pun-friendly, if I may add.