The Little Black Dress Grows UP

Let’s have a quick look at BLACK before we more on to the sorbet colors of spring.
Once upon a time in America, a black dress was  only  worn by those in mourning.
Then Betty Boop and Co Co Chanel showed the  world the sexuality and  sensibility
of the Little Black Dress.
Co Co Chanel must be given credit for giving birth  to the Little Black Dress and taking it out of mourning.
Although Edith Piaf, The Little Sparrow did sing every sorrowful note in a Little Black Dress.
And when asked if she regretted her performance wardrobe surely would  have responded, “non, je ne regrette rien.
But the LBD really kicked into gear as a fashion statement in the 1950’s, when a very young Audrey Hepburn
went knocking on the door of a very young Hubert de Givenchy and  returned to the set of “Sabrina” to debut
a Little Black Dress.  AKA:   LBD
It was a very polite little dress.   Suddenly, the black dress became a staple in most closets.
Sabrina grew up to become Holly Golightly and the little black dress became the elegant black gown.  AKA:  EBG

Certain designers become synonymous with some divas.

Givenchy was to Audrey, what Bob Mackie became to Cher.

Cher knocked the black gown down to the bare essentials.

Cher was the first woman on television to expose her naval.

When she showed up at  the Academy Awards,  she stopped just short of exposing everything else.



Cher carries her image to extremes.

We don’t know if she secretly want to be a dominatrix or Liberace.



Pop stars all love to whip out that Dominatrix look  at some point or another.

Madonna’s 2011 Oscar night ensemble was shocking at the time.




But by 2014, Madonna’s ensemble would be  Ho Hum compared to Beyonce’s  basic performance wardrobe.



One doesn’t have to bare it all to be controversial.

Madonna surprised the press when she chose an Oscar gown by  “Goth Wunderken,” Olivier Theyskens.

After that appearance, fans decided they didn’t care what she wore

as long as she put more Glam rather than Goth into her image.


Red Carpet appearances can be become legendary.   Laetitia Casta was so eager to  make her entry at the Cesar Awards,

she might have sped through security dropping everything but her lingerie.

The next time she surfaced at the Cesar Awards, she even dropped the lingerie.


Laetitia may have strut like a peacock,

but the overall impression was Marge Simpson mates with black ostrich.


There is no longer any  such thing as Basic Black.   The black gown has been slashed!











And then it was slit by both Jolie and J-Lo.


J. Mendal wrapped and strapped it for Anna Kendrick.

She thought she was the “Cat’s Meow!” But it was much more like The Cat’s Cradle.


Sometimes a concept would be better understood if you could just connect the dots!


The mermaid gown  is always a sensational image.

Sofia Vergara creates a  splash in one every time the Red Carpet is rolled out.


Charlize Theron slipped on a Dior mermaid gown for the Oscars.

Zac Posen had a  similar inspiration  for Glenn Close.  Glenn  was either reluctant to bare arms

or she was  being respectful to the Memoriam segment she presented at the Oscars.

Either way, both women shone new light on a timeless look.


Classic or contemporary, safe or sexy,

we know there will always be a new interpretation of the Black Gown.


“Too much good taste can be boring.”  Diana Vreeland

“Never fear being vulgar, fear boring!”  Diana Vreeland 





Kate Middleton breezes into New Zealand

An upward breeze can stand the test of time to become a memorable image.



When Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrived in New Zealand , Kate certainly had a different first impression in mind.




Kate had to negotiate stepping down from their private plane in high heels  while carrying adorable, chunky  Prince George.  All the while her modesty was being  challenged by a blustery wind billowing up her skirt.  Not easy !!!




However, as culture and local customs  would have it, Bottoms UP seemed to be the newsflash of the day.  The press went a little GaGa over the very dignified Kate Middleton meeting a Maori Warrior.




One has to wonder how a meeting between Prince William and Lady GaGa might be managed with similar wardrobe.




“Don’t be a drag, Just be a Queen.”  Lady GaGa





Fascinatin’ !!!

Hats, headdresses, and hair ornaments have been a part of fashion statements from primitive cultures through the Space Age and beyond.

Fascinators were seen at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show on attendees from 9 years old to 90, each a self-made creation.


Fascinators  first gained attention and almost stole the spotlight from the bride at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine.   The range of styles went from magnificent to ridiculous.

The  Royal cousins, Fergie’s girls, Beatrice and  Eugenie’s Fascinators had the public wondering if their head gear was in respect or defiance of the occasion.



Beatrice’s fascinator looked like an antique door knocker…but knock on wood..

She wore it with the best of intentions.



Sarah Jessica Parker sprouted  style at the London primiere of Sex and the City.

If Barbara Walters asked her what kind of a tree she would be, Sarah might actually have an answer.



On another occasion, Sarah Jessica  might have been mistaken for  a draped art work by  Christo and Jean Claude.




Lady Gaga left the impression she was giving  her “Little Monsters” a sex ed lesson on how the sperm finds the egg.




Long before  Fascinators,    Marie Antoinette  turned heads with her three foot high hair creations.  At one point in time,  seeking either a compliment or approval, she  asked a member of the court his opinion.

His response was, A little heavy to bear the crown.”  



A crown is, after all, as  much a burden as a responsibility.

T.V.’s  Wonder Woman eventually had a ratings problem.



Princess Diana had a mating problem .

Vanessa Williams lost her Miss America crown when she failed the background check.




Carmen Miranda nixed flowers and jewels and  crowned herself with a fruit bowl, as did Chiquita Banana.



Marge Simpson  skipped adornments altogether

and  took inspiration from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.




Lupita Nyong’o minimalized  head band was superfluous..



Hillary Clinton got a lot of mileage out of her head band collection from the Governor’s Mansion to the White House..




Then onto her world tour as Secretary of State.

Wash DC Coverage


Throughout the centuries,  head pieces have beeen worn for pretty and for power.

Now that Hillary  has decided to let her hair down, the world is waitng to see what she will do!




“Cock your hat, angles are important.”  Frank Sinatra

The White Blouse = Cool * Hot * Sizzle * Flop!

The White Blouse is as classic as The Little Black Dress.  Audrey Hepburn set both standards high.



For a long while designer Carolina Herrera has been the “go to gal” for a great white blouse.


White Blouse


Long before Carolina added it to her collections,  every iconic Hollywood star gave the White Blouse  their own stamp.

Hepburn and Bacall put a lot of backbone in their blouses :



Marilyn and Liz brought a little sizzle to the White Blouse:




Uma made the White Blouse POP in Pulp Fiction:




In the sea of sequins and high slits worn at the 1998 Oscars, Sharon Stone dazzled in that simple Gap shirt borrowed from her husband’s closet.




Ava Gardner and a beauty on the Palme d’Or Red Carpet used their White Blouse allure to create “Barefoot Contessa” intrique.




Meryl Streep added the sass of a bare shoulder and a grande smile to  her White Blouse.




Sometimes the style doesn’t quite fit the occasion.  Kristin Scott Thomas slipped into a White Blouse for the Cesar Awards, but could have been mistaken for a Tarot card reader.




And Marisa Tomei may have a little gypsy in her soul.




Some comedians “bring down the house”   Whoopie could have had it land on her!




She took inspiration from three sources; Chanel’s long ropes of pearls, Julia Robert’s White Blouse AND the Wicked Witch’s footwear.  We all know how that worked out.




At  89 years old, Elaine Stritch still loves a White Blouse and not much else!  She doesn’t seem to give a hoot for the “Ladies Who Lunch” or fashion phooey.



“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” – Lauren Hutton





Mama Mia! A night at the Oscars 2014

It was a thrilling night for many a mother, especially Philomena Lee.   As  a woman who enjoys a heartwarming tale, she never could  have dreamed her story would touch so many people.

She surely carried the love of her son, Michael Hess, with her to the Oscars.



Academy Award night was aglow with maternal pride as several nominated gents  strolled their mothers along the Red Carpet. Family resemblance in each duo was striking.

Jared Leto’s mom, Constance, Michael Fassbender’s mother, Adelle and Jonah Hill’s mother, Sharon, all chose to wear full length gowns. Love, joy and dignity were on display in equal measure.Good looks and long locks run in the Leto family. Sharon Hill caught on quick and knew just what to do with that left elbow on the Red Carpet.


Red Carpet Mamas


Leonardo deCaprio’s mother, Irmelin Indenbirken  and Matthew McConaughey mother, Kay McCabe wore short cocktail dresses.  Irmelin was graceful in her gold and once again, Kay enjoyed a hiked hemline.


At this event and other occasions,  Kay has shown she’s proud of her gams and knows how to kick up her heels.


As the ol’ Kenny Rogers tune advises, “You have to know when to hold up and know when to fold up.”  There is no good reason for a Mother to spank her son, but there is a good reason to “Spanx” the Mama.



Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”

Oprah Winfrey






Slash * Stitch * Zipline

Hollywood is known for its’ indulgence in surgery for cosmetic purposes.
Most keep it a secret.   But Joan Rivers can’t keep a secret.


Cosmetic Surgery

Liz Taylor suffered an emergency tracheostomy and wore her scar as if it were the Taylor-Burton diamond.



Many who’ve had  heart surgery are  members of The Zipper Club.

There is  even a special line of clothing with a  zipped heart logo.



Karlie Kloss was most definitely in need of  a zipper or two when she was spotted  at the Vanity Fair Soiree.




With a little ingenuity, she  might  think of  promoting a zipper club line for women.



“It is better to be looked over than overlooked.”   Mae West/actress


Old * New * Borrowed * Blue @ Oscars 2014

Kim Novak and Liza Minnelli made appearances at the Academy Awards Ceremony.



Life may not have been a  Picnic and someone may have been to the Cabaret.

Yet, these women were legends  in their own time.


Kim set a standard in Bell, Book and Candle, which  octogenarian Kim tries hard to meet.



Liza added a streak of blue to match her  Halston ensemble.


Perhaps that contemporary streak  would have inspired a new Warhol.


“Taking  joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”   Rosalind Russell/actress/ Picnic

Lupita…Woman of Color @ Academy Awards 2014

Lupita Nyong’o is a woman of color…Any Color!



Lupita has been a Red Carpet sensation from the start of the award season.   She set a personal iconic style of clearly defined shapes in vivid COLORS.



UNTIL she stepped out of the limo for the Academy Awards in a polar opposite image.

The fashion critics applauded the Princess look.


Rouge Review was not seduced! There was absolutely nothing flattering about the bone revealing bodice being washed into the never ending sea of  pleated skirt.

This Prada Princess look paled in comparism to the confident, Grande image she has presented  in the previous weeks.    I ask, why be a Princess?

It seems so limiting, especially when you have already been crowned.



“Daring to wear something different takes effort”     Miuccia Prada