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Friday, October 13, 2006

 

Gucci love

Inspiration: fadedyouth noticed it first
Images: style.com, concreteloop, and yahoo

Tracie Ellis-Ross and Jennifer Beals wore the same Gucci Fall '06 dress to two different events on the same day. Tracie was at the Rodeo Drive Style Walk of Fame Awards, and Jennifer was at the premiere for her movie The Grudge 2 (yeah). I don't care if the movie sucks, Jennifer Beals is awesome, and so is Tracie Ellis-Ross. Girlfriends is hilarious and underrated by mainstream media and its own network, who slashed the show's budget this season. But back to the dress. The cut is generally flattering for everyone, but the print sort of gives me a headache. Here is the dress from runway to red carpet. What do you think?

 

Wake up

Inspiration: new colonialism
Images: fadedyouth, perezhilton, and yahoo

From the villages of Malawi and Uganda to the streets of LA, no child is safe. Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Reese Witherspoon are the latest celebrities joining the new Hollywood cult of charity. Hitting up the last few places that haven't been touched by an angel(ina), these stars are surely making a difference in children's lives.

Though I have no problem with celebrities donating their money and time to raise awareness about the plight of the world's children, something about their charitable efforts leaves an unsavory colonial aftertaste. The bandwagon effect Angelina started leaves me doubting the sincerity of these photo-op visits and the level of understanding these celebrities have regarding the political and social histories of the places they are visiting. These charitable interventions are representative of the postcolonial dilemma of finding ways to help impoverished communities without exploiting or oppressing them.

The study that the international development charity VSO did on British gap year programs (like when Prince Harry took a year off to visit various African nations), had insights that are also applicable to celebrity do-gooders embarking upon such trips. VSO found that these programs have an "all about us attitude," in which Westerners come to 'help' rather than to learn from others. These programs have short-term goals, like building a house, and pay little attention to long-term economic and social problems. Foreign adoption too is one of these short-term fixes. Though adoption is normally a good idea for very young children, it does little to uplift the community as a whole.

The problems of international charity work are also present domestically. As annoying as this picture is, I am pleased that Reese Witherspoon has avoided the exotic lure of Africa by remembering that Malawi is not the only place where children are struggling. After all, there are plenty of children in America who need celebrity visits and adoptions, possibly now more than ever.

The rich-poor gap in this country has always been high compared to that in other industrialized nations, but has gotten worse in the past 6 years. The Bush administration will be remembered not only for its incompetent 'war on terror' and loss of America's credibility, but it will also be remembered for its negligent domestic policies. Bush and Congress are willing to bend over backwards to fund the war, but not education programs, and who can forget the ongoing Katrina fiasco!

If any of these things bothers you, please remember to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 7. Then, take the $200 you were going to spend on tickets for Madonna's inevitable 50th birthday concert tour, and give it to Katrina orphans instead.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

Rumsfeld's favorite picture

Inspiration: the haves and have nots
Image: dailymail.co.uk via drudgereport.com

According to the cleverly titled Daily Mail article, "North Korea might now have The Bomb, but it doesn't have much electricity," no one in North Korea, except Kim Jong-il and his closest friends, has access to electricity after 9pm.

At first I thought this rationing was funny -- funny sad, not funny haha -- because 9pm is when people need lights and heaters. But then I remembered that they don't have lights and heaters in North Korea. Families just go to sleep at 9pm huddled together under heavy blankets (they do have those, right) so they can get up at 5am and spend another day doing their best to avoid dying of malnutrition, or getting arrested and shipped off to one of Kim Jong-il's 'secret' prisons.

In case any of you are dying to see the joys of North Korea for youself, you can use Google Earth to look for Kim Jong-il's extravagantly electrofied palaces and hidden prison camps. Other enterprising bloggers have had some luck.


 

Paris, Day 6 - Chanel

Inspiration: consistency
Images: style.com

Chanel's shows always use the same clean, crisp runway, bright lighting, black/white color palette, and, of course, variations on the classic tweed suit. Usually, I am incapable of associating Chanel with anything or anyone other than Nicole Kidman or Bunny, Charlotte's mother-in-law on Sex and the City. However, Lagerfeld has done a good job lately of modernizing the brand and making the clothes more fun. Also, this show had some hot male models in it, though Lagerfeld should probably stick to designing for women.

I would love a pair of those black sparkly Chanel hotpants.

 

Dsquared2 is hot

Inspiration: S&M in the English countryside
Images: dsquared2.com
So hot!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

 

The latest victim

Inspiration: tragedy
Images: hollywoodtuna.com

I am so sad right now. I have just learned that sometime within the last few months, Rose McGowen has followed in Christina Ricci's footsteps and gone on the coke.meth.cig.vomit diet. Though Rose owes her fame to her curvy figure and bouncy boobs, as evidenced in movies like Scream and her red carpet appearances with Marilyn Manson, she is turning her back on her moneymaker(s). Clearly, Rose was never meant to be superthin, since her boobs and hips are still bigger than those of her sister starlets in suffering, but her efforts have left her looking oddly proportioned and uncomfortable. The most noticeable difference is her face. It looks old and tired, like the result of unnecessary weight loss and bad plastic surgery. Her eyes are starting to have that droopy Star Jones look. Gone is the confidently voluptuous homicidal teen I looked up to in C-movies like Devil in the Flesh and Jawbreaker. Look at these before and after pictures -- weep and mourn for Rose, and don't let this happen to you!

 

Making up, breaking up, hooking up

Inspiration: love's labours lost (sometimes)
Images: splashnews and usweekly

Rumors are flying that Beyonce's lil' sis Solange is cheating on her NFL husband, Daniel Smith, with rapper Lil' Wayne, who is cheating on Trina. Are Solange and Lil' Wayne mentally handicapped? Trina is the baddest bitch, and she will beat both of their cheating asses down. It will be awesome.

Speaking of cheaters, Eva Longoria found more than just spring fashions in Paris last week, but also her briefly lost love for Tony Parker. Whether Tony cheated on Eva with his skanky blonde ex-gf in NYC or Eva cheated on Tony with Mario Lopez, these two are refusing to break up, and it is annoying as hell. Clearly, the gossip would be better if Eva were single and on the prowl.

Nicole Richie and Brody Jenner have quickly rebounded from their non-breakup breakup. Nicole is now seeing Samuel Plouchart, whose attraction to her at least makes sense given his occupation as a fashion editor at Citizen K. Meanwhile, Brody Jenner can't seem to break out of the Laguna Beach loop and is dating Lauren Conrad, who insists that they are "just friends." We all know what that means.

MK Olsen also has a new boyfriend, as she has been dating DashMax Snow for the past month. [Edited to add: ok I was wrong, MK is dating Max Snow not Dash Snow. Thanks for pointing this out, anonymous commenter. But nonetheless Dash seems more interesting.] I don't know much about Max, but I did a little research and found that Max's brother Dash Snow is a typical New York 'artist' - a photographer in the style of Nan Goldin. Dash, of course, likes to drink and perhaps even do drugs. He is like the Pete Doherty of the photography world. Dash is actually starting to be a pretty big deal and is even featured in the Whitney Biennial Catalogue.

Eddie Murphy and Scary Spice Melanie Brown are still dating, in case anyone was wondering, and they are more serious than any of the couples I just mentioned. Murphy is integrating Mel into his family, and the two are rumored to be thinking of marriage. Scary.

Even scarier is a Star magazine rumor involving Michael Knight, everyone's favorite contestant on Project Runway. Allegedly, Michael is hooking up with Brandy. Ugh, I know. I still think Michael is gay. Star is not the most reliable source, and Brandy is a crazy bitch. Michael wouldn't go there, right?

 

Hot bitches on tour

Inspiration: hotness
Images: egotastic.com and hollywoodtuna.com

Christina Aguilera is going on tour early next year with the Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane as opening acts.
This is the best tour announcement I've heard in quite a while, perhaps since Justified/Stripped in 2003. Plus, no one is hotter than Christina right now, except maybe Shakira, but the two have such different styles that they are hard to compare. Normally I compare Christina to Mariah based on vocal ability, and the fact that they dislike each other. Right now, Christina is faring much better in this comparison. Her shows (when they aren't cancelled) are never disappointing, whereas Mariah always looks a hot mess on stage and does not sound as good as expected. Christina actually looks good in her skimpy but superiorly designed outfits and sounds fantastic live.
vs.
So here are the dates. Tickets go on sale Saturday.
* 2/20 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
* 2/21 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
* 3/2 - San Diego, CA @ iPayOne Center at the Sports Arena
* 3/10 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion at San Jose
* 3/19 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
* 3/30 - Boston, MA @ TD Banknorth Garden
* 4/2 - Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
* 4/3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
* 4/11 - Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
* 4/21 - Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena
* 4/25 - Providence, RI @ Dunkin Donuts Civic Center
* 4/28 - Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena
* 5/5 - Sunrise, FL @ BankAtlantic Center

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 

Friends forever

Inspiration: The Simple Life
Images: oddly, chinadaily.com
and Google Images

Finally -- Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are friends again. This reunion has been rumored for several weeks now, and Paris Hilton has confirmed, "I love Nicole, and I'm so glad we're friends again. I missed her, she's like my sister - we've known each other 23 years. I'm glad we can put the feud behind us. I'm really happy she's back in my life." Nicole and Paris recently had a celebratory slumber party, which, judging by these photos, apparently was documented the morning after by the paparazzi (and yeah, Nicole appears to be barefoot).

Paris and Nicole's reunion fortuitously coincides with the start of production on the next season of the Simple Life, whose producers have balked at the prospect of spending another season filming the girls separately. Funny how life's little problems can work themselves out.

For a while, I thought the rift between Paris and Nicole was purely for publicity. Everyone loves a good celebrity feud. Plus, pretending to fight with your best friend and creating awkward moments for your mutual friends sounds sort of fun. But alas, any hope I had of Paris and Nicole swapping clandestinely friendly text messages was obliterated when the infamous Hilton Sidekick was hacked and no messages from Nicole were found. Nicole did not even appear in the topless photos saved on the phone's camera! This was disappointing.

On the last season of The Simple Life, Paris and Nicole were frequently asked by their host families why they were fighting. Paris always seemed surprisingly introspective and sad when discussing Nicole, while Nicole seemed to hide her hurt with an outer shell of bitterness. I can't blame them for feeling sad; their replacement best friends paled in comparison. Paris especially did poorly in the 'new best friend' department with the skanky Kimberly Stewart and greasy, disgusting Brandon Davis. Nicole fared better with Mischa Barton, but still, it wasn't the same.
Both Paris and Nicole have also had failed experiments in best friendship with Lindsay Lohan. Paris and Lindsay were doomed because they flirt with each other's boyfriends, and Nicole and Lindsay seem to have drifted since Nicole has stopped being mad at Paris.

Second chances are rare, and I am pulling for Nicole and Paris. Perhaps Paris will be able to share her love for In 'N Out with Nicole, and Nicole will be able to mediate the Hilton-Lohan feud. Together, Paris and Nicole will bring young Hollywood together again, making everyone's life a little simpler.

 

Paris, Day 5 - Emanuel Ungaro

Inspiration: neon
Images: style.com

Peter Dundas came to Ungaro from Cavalli last season. Dundas apparently is determined to bring the gaudy, over-the-top Cavalli aesthetic to his work at Ungaro, but Ungaro has always sort of been that way too, so Dundas is a good fit. Though Cavalli tends to go for metallics, leathers, and furs, Dundas has focused more on bright, sometimes neon colors, with some metallics thrown in.

Unlike most of the outfits above, the Ungaro dresses were actually pretty, though the designs reminded me more than a little of the Versace ones from last season. To avoid being a total copycat (though everybody is), Dundas made the dresses more 'spring' by using lighter georgette fabric and shortening them. Ungaro is the top row, Versace is the bottom. Look especially at top half of the dresses - the straps and the roushing at the middle.

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