Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Links à la Mode

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

links a la mode

Questions, questions

Edited by: Jennine Jacob, IFB

They say the only dumb question is one you don’t ask, and these days the questions keep coming and the answers? Well, we try. In the fashion world… Lady Gaga, is she really doing it for the girls? What does working with Terry Richardson do for/against her cred? Should we question the ethnic headdress trend? Has fashion blogging become overloaded and narcissistic? What’s the real price of our clothing? And more importantly what should we wear to a movie date!?! Oh man, the questions they keep coming. Luckily this week’s roundup has some answers.

Links à la Mode: July 8

Links à la Mode

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

links a la mode

Oh, Brave New World…

Edited by: Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae That has such bloggers in it! From a ballsy and confident “I Like Being Fat” at Return to Sender to Awakened Aesthetics post on greenwashing & buying American to Cake Not Coke’s expose on Venus Williams’ controversial courtside fashion, fashion bloggers are brave and bold. Just the way I like them.

Links à la Mode: July 1

  • Awakened Aesthetic: On Independence Day, we’re told to “buy American.” This eco girl is telling you to think twice.
  • Bonne Vie discusses online auction sites; Are they frauds or a fair gamble?
  • Cake Not Coke: Venus William’s Daring on the Court Fashions…
  • Dedicated Follower of Fashion: Interview with Actor/Activist: Adrian Grenier & TV Producer: Peter Glatzer creators of SHIFT, and eco fashion media platform.
  • Dramatis Personae: What’s so Dazzling about Shoe Dazzle?
  • fête á fête: Atelier Cologne – new French luxe fragrance house.
  • Grechen Blogs: do you read blogs about blogging? do you find the helpful? are the relevant to the fashion blogging community?
  • haute.halifax: A review of several collections inspired by women of the G8 by local Nova Scotian designers
  • (IT Hunter): ‘Alice Springs’ pseudonym used by June Newton, Helmut Newton’s wife, to sign her photos first international retrospective
  • Miss Jones & Me: Boyfriend Booty
  • Ode to Awe: After months of being unable to locate them online, Japan’s Transvestite brand is found
  • Oranges & Apples: Is it worth buying more expensive nail polish?
  • Pixie in Pumps: My take on jewelry storage, creative but not cluttered or tacky.
  • Profresh Style: Daily Makeup Routine!
  • Retro Chick: The meaning of Vintage
  • Return to Sender: I Like Being Fat
  • Speak Femme:While rummaging around in my grandmother’s sewing room, I found the most amazing guide to sewing and style, courtesy of Vogue.
  • Sugar & Spice: To Friendship
  • The Coveted: Pull up a chair, we’re flipping through Elle’s Music Issue
  • The Curvy Fashionista: What do you do when your shoes do not fit? Opt for a custom pair with Jen+Kim Shoes!

Something different: The Beauty Routine

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

There is a lot of nail stuff.

In the shower I use first a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.  Vidal Sassoon shampoo is especially good at getting rid of the coating of dried perspiration, salts, oils airborne pollutants and dirt that can weigh down hair and flatten it to the scalp which can make you look older. . . . If the face seems dry and flaky—which makes it look dull and older—use a clarifying lotion that removes flakes and uncovers skin (it can also make your tan look darker).  Then apply an anti-aging eye balm (Baume Des Yeux) followed by a final mosturizing “protective” lotion.

Ellis, Brett Eason.   American Psycho.  New York:  Vintage Contemporaries, 1991.

I recently tore through the archives of Beauty Schooled and loved a series of posts Virginia wrote on her beauty routine.  I mentioned lady-drag in my VS bra review, and I’ll examine it further later—relevant here, over the past couple of years I’ve taken on more aspects of the femme beauty routine while trying to maintain simplicity and a low-key process.  I have a very complicated relationship with The Beauty Routine, but I’m lucky enough to be comfortable with what is probably more on the minimum end of the spectrum, especially for someone with curly hair.  Anyway, Beauty Schooled says it best:

I’m realizing that we need to talk more about all the different kinds of beauty work we perform and all the different ways we value it. Because sometimes we’re ambivalent about sharing these details. It’s hard to admit you have lip hair, or you need to apply deodorant twice a day since these things don’t fit into the way we define pretty (hairless, sweet-smelling, etc).

So, this is pretty long and, frankly, kind of self-indulgent, so under the cut it goes.


Review: Victoria’s Secret Miraculous™ Push-up Bra

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

On a whim, about a year ago, I bought my first bra in nearly a decade.  I’m minimally endowed enough to not require everyday harness or restraint and had fallen out of the habit of ever wearing this most feminine of foundation garments.  Since, for my frame, they’re purely decorative, I ended up buying a basic push-up number and fell in love with the lady-drag costume aspect of the whole thing.

Armed with my very own letter and number combination (and an equivalent size that is easier to find in the average department store) my bra collection grew from zero to a handful (ha, ha) over the summer.

I recently received some “hey, shop with us again!” coupons in the mail for $10 off a purchase in-store with Victoria’s Secret.  Browsing their site, I was presented with this:

Yowsa.  Now, it’s totally key to understanding my curiosity about the Miraculous™ that you recognise I never wear a bra with intent to conceal its presence.  The plainest style, by inherent structure, is so different from my everyday boobs that I tend to pair them with low-cut tops that show the top of the cups, to make it clear that I’m just genderfucking around.

Victoria’s Secret ranks the va-voomness of their padded bras by “levels.” They range from a Subtle lift and shaping at Level 1, upwards through Moderate, Dramatic and Extreme, ending at the Ultimate lift of a Level 5.  The Miraculous™ is a five.  Clearly.

At the store, a VS associate explained the science going on.  Besides your regular underboob push-up padding, these have got padding on the sides, to “create an hourglass silhouette” and heave to the breasts together.

(clicking will take you to Flickr and larger versions)

The Miraculous™ is supposed to add “up to two cup sizes.”  It does this with a cup size worth of padding under the breasts and another cup’s worth at the side.  Even this much prosthetic boobage didn’t give me proper cleavage, but a large part of that is my body type (see problems listed below).  Nonetheless, the difference on a small frame like mine is unnerving.

Two cheers for boob science! But.  There are some issues certain body types are going to have with this much padding and scaffolding.

  1. If your rack is more widely spaced, with the bulk of fatty tissue closer to your arms than your sternum, it’s going to take some gravity work (bending over and scooping the boob into place) to situate everything in place, and even then it might not stay.  The Victoria’s Secret associate who I talked to has a similar build to mine and had the same issue.  The straps can be crossed in the back, I found that this does help distribute the tension more evenly.
  2. The dainty little straps are easily cowed by neck and shoulder muscles.  Raising my arms up rolls the straps a little, which would be totes annoying during a day at work in the warehouse.
  3. Its fake as hell.  Nothing subtle about adding two cup sizes, folks.

Like with any bra, I suggest taking your time in the fitting room.  Jump around, lean over, see what it’s like with a shirt on.  Since they’re right there in the middle of everything, your boobs are in integral part of daily movement.  However, there is some adjustment available with the strap design.  The straps unhook in the back, then can be slotted into a pretty wide range of configurations and back widths.  I ended up finding a setup that reduced the strap rolling issue I had.

(clicking will take you to Flickr and larger versions)

When it comes down to it, this is the ultimate showpiece bra.  This amazing bit of boob tech is not going to be everybody’s fave daily device, its the kind of thing you pull out for company and holidays.  However—it comes in a good range of colours, a couple lace overlays and rowdy animal prints (though the seriously boss stuff isn’t available online yet).  if you have the gonads to have fun with boobs, the Victoria’s Secret Miraculous™ push-up is totally worth it.  Sizes online are available from 32AA to 38DD, so a sizeable chunk of humanity can play.

Review: Goody Spin Pin

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Innovation is rare.  It’s a common descriptor, but normally hyperbole.  So when something actually innovative comes along it’s rather a joy.   We were at a hotel on the coast and I see a commercial (we don’t have cable, so I only see commercials when we travel) for this thing called the “spin pin” that was said to do the work of twenty bobby pins.  It’s not a clip, it’s not a comb, nor is it like any regular hairpin I’ve seen.  It totally looks like science.

I mean, seriously.  So, I figured it might be worth trying out.  Bravo to Goody, by the way, for having a commercial that actually intrigues the consumer about a product.  It must be awful to think of hair product commercials, since the ‘90s were full of seen-on-TV devices that stuttered into oblivion (anyone remember the Topsy Tail?).

The problem is, the damn thing was so new I couldn’t find it at my local and had to go into the city to get it.  At about $6 for a set of two, it was a splurge.  But I am all about science.  And the temptation was strong to find a hair device that doesn’t snag, pull at or get lost in my easily mattable mane.

Guys. It works.  I’ve been wearing ‘em endlessly, the days are getting warmer and I want my hair up—and I can now do it without the half-dozen pins and hair ties normally necessary.  I’ve been showing them around the office and the keys to using the spin pin seem to be these:

  • Your hair has to be long enough to make at least a small bun.
  • Thick, heavy or slippery hair will need to use both pins.
  • It helps a lot if you can make a bun or French twist without thinking about it.

Using the Rapunzel-like hair of Chase, I’ll show you how it works. (more…)

It’ll make your dick fall off

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

During a season when everybody is wearing body-obscuring layers and thick coats, I’m thinking about summer. Not, as you might guess, in a wistful manner, contrasting the sweltering day star to the icy dusk. Instead, I’m noticing how cold can be the great gender equaliser.

I’ve seen and heard comments on dating during winter, who can guess at the shape beneath that puffy parka (and more importantly, does it have tits?).

In the same vein, it’s generally agreed that summer is when the secondary sex characteristics come out. Bare chests, short shorts, the curve of the neck unobstructed by scarves and high collars.

Last summer and acquaintance bemoaned his inability (work and lifestyle related) to wear light summer dresses in the clinging wet heat. As someone who can and does wear skirts, I extended my sympathies—in the heat skirts win, less fabric, breeze access and more length variations to favour a wider range of legs and style.

It is a horrible bummer that general society inhibits people from wearing what they like if it goes against the local community’s opinion of what one should wear when presenting as a particular gender. Ladies have it easier, pants, in most cases, are totally okay.

Women in items that are clearly “menswear” have, for some time, in the western world, been accepted and embraced. ‘Cause “how hot is it when she’s wearing your shirt?” Acceptance hinges, of course, on using menswear to enhance one’s delicate, blushing femininity by contrast.

However. For ladies the world of fashion more widely spreads its legs. Nonetheless, the common female approach to menswear is couched in jealousy, only the rare lightbulb flickering on to realise that men’s closets are wonderful sources of plunder, or that an item could be considered “unisex” (and therefore okay). Why confine your taste and comfort to the dark months of winter?

Along with the Cheshire Cat

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

There are a couple of things, during this season of costumes, that are asked about by customers at work.  One of my favourites is “how do I get the stockings (leggings?) the Alice character wears in Resident Evil: Extinction?”

The internet is mildly clogged with answers to finding the right holsters, or you can look at images of the original costume and really, it isn’t that difficult to get info.  But there wasn’t anything I could find (at this time) specifically about the stockings, which are basically self-gartered.

Tights are, in general, a bitch to fit.  If you’re leggy, or rounded, or some combo of both, odds are the crotch of the damn things end up somewhere lower than they’re supposed to, giving you that sexy penguin waddle.  So chopping the legs off a pair of tights and tying them back on will just lose you precious length in the leg.

So, here is a simple step-by-step to get the self-garter look.

  1. Find yourself a pair of tights or leggings. Foot Traffic’s Combed Cotton in Brown, Chocolate, or Heather Mocha are all good bets for the Alice costume, and are comparable to Rit dyes I’ve worked with before, so you can match the shirt to the tights.
  2. Put the tights on, making sure the legs are straight (this is important to positioning the “garter”).  Now, using a fabric marker or pen that will wash out, mark the center-point of your thigh.  Do this at the height you want the self-garter to be.Mark Placement
  3. Take the tights off.  Laying them flat and even, make two marks to either side of the center-point you just made.  You want the total width to be about 1.5 inches.
  4. Using the marks you’ve just made as a guide, cut a shallow wedge from the sides in.  Set the pieces you’ve cut out aside.Cut Sides
  5. Almost done.
    Almost done
  6. Now, take those bits you cut out and tie them around the self-garter you just made, back and front.  Wrap them around several times, it bulks up the “knot”.  I find it’s easier to do this when they’re on, as you can judge things a little better.  Trim any extra ends.Tie off
  7. BAM. You actually get a little extra length this way, even.

Do not ask me why, I do not know

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

This will not be a place to daily keep on top of the thrusting, throbbing heartbeat of fashion.  I am not that hip.  All I can give you are hyper-linked looks at the branching of visual and cultural themes across fashion and other things we put on ourselves.

I did not graduate from The College, so don’t expect much in the way of deep thoughts that are backed by solid sociological and anthropological study.  Anyway, I don’t want to explain things, only point things out to others, so their brains can get on it too.  Let’s be in awe of the human animal and the way it chooses to drape itself.  Let’s be annoyed at treacly tropes repeated.  Let’s look at pretty pictures.

Oh do let’s!