Thursday, February 26, 2009

Seal of Approval Again: Chelsea Handler

In the one post I've done on women in comedy, I neglected to mention Chelsea Handler, and her new late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, airing on the E! Network. Chelsea Lately combines a typical late show format with a roundtable discussion and a hearty dose of bitchiness.

First of all, I hate stand-up comedy. Not to generalize or anything, but stand-up comedians are all bitter men with inferiority complexes who tried to buy into some patriarchal version of manliness and failed and are now trying to make it up in a pathetic bid for "crass" popularity.* Then they all get older and fatter and start talking about their kids and their wife and even if that is also "crass" I personally never want to hear about anyone discussing domestic shit like that. Also, as someone who's always aware of awkwardness, stand-up comedy is just so awkward, and everyone attends stand-up shows because they know they will laugh regardless of what the joke even is.

So, at its core, stand-up comedy often seems to be about proving oneself in an often "masculine" way. And what is interesting about Chelsea's show is that she sets up/makes jokes and then the other comedian panelists have to come back with something equally funny, and then she often shoots them down. She is almost always the funniest person on the show (in part because the guests are so often that tired and typical stereotypical stand-up guy) but her sense of humor tends toward the quick, dry and bitchy instead of the desperate, lame set-up style so often seen in stand-up. (Though Chelsea is actually a stand-up fiend and does it constantly despite also having the show.)

Also, Chelsea is a genius interviewer. As anyone who watches late-night shows, usually the guest comes out and the male host talks about how much he wants to do her and then she tells this totally quirky story about slipping at the food court at the mall that didn't happen and hahaha. But Chelsea is mean and probing! In one of the first interviews I saw, she asked Jodie Sweetin about doing meth.

In conclusion, I would not call Chelsea Lately perfect. Too often, her panelists are so lame, they ruin the show (seriously, I should be a panelist! Let's do a letter-writing campaign!), and she was also nice to Katy Perry. When Elizabeth Berkely was on, she was mean to her but she couldn't get a word in about Showgirls because Elizabeth acted like she was on Oprah the whole time. But overall, she certainly gets my seal of approval for sure.

Here are some youtube clips of Chelsea Lately:

*Alright, obviously there are some okay stand-up comedians, but this is the general format. Also, have you ever even watched Lenny Bruce onstage because that shit is totally dated and unwatchable. Sorry!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inspiration: Museum Vintage

Here are a few of my favorites from The Met Costume Institute website.

Jerkin, ca. 1580
Brown silk voided velvet trimmed with metallic bobbin lace

Corset, late 1760s
Silk, linen, leather, wood, baleen
(Baleen! Cool!)

Robe de style, 1924–25
Jeanne Lanvin (French, 1867–1946)
Ivory and black silk taffeta trimmed with pink and black silk velvet rosettes

Coat, ca. 1919
Paul Poiret (French, 1879–1944)
Black silk and wool blend with white leather appliqués and white fur trim

Evening dress, ca. 1884–86
American or European

Pagode: Costumes Parisiennes, 1914
Étienne Drian (French, 1885–1961)

Ensemble, late 19th–early 20th century
Cotton, silk, wool

That last one is my favorite, I think.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News & Events

So Jessica Simpson is fat now? Is everyone crazy? This isn't fat! Can no one gain five pounds in peace? 

The real problem with Jessica Simpson is that she deserved has-been status back in 2001 but since she unexpectedly had a hit with Newlyweds so she has been way too famous for way too long. Mandy Moore has finally faded from the public eye; let's have Jessica follow her, for the love of god.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Urban Outfitters: Lanker and Sadder as Plaid Gives in to Chambray

Ugh. This looks like a factory reject. It's so lumpy and awkward. it has this weird pointed drop-waist with slight gathering towards the crotch. It is plaid, which seems like it may give in to chambray as the 90's fabric of the moment. This is definitely pretty 90's looking, though- I'm surprised they're not urging you to wear it with a bodysuit. Also, the model. She is going to die. Her thighs are like the size of my upper arms.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm sick of the added bulk from layering two vests on top of each other. One always gets caught up in my batwings, the other stuck in the pleats of my acid washed shorts. That's why I'm so into this double vest, with a menswear-inspired one on top, and a chambray one on the bottom. It's like those t-shirts with the front of a vest attached to the front. Kind of a mind-fuck. Chambray? What is chambray, you ask? Your dad probably has or had had a chambray shirt. If you shopped at The Gap from 1992-1996, you probably saw one tucked into a pair of tapered khakis. It's like denim, but more washed out. It's like denim without the integrity! Fore more on chambray, check out the pic below:

Like the garment above and below, this is "handmade" and "the color of the chambray may vary." Why is this something that they are supposedly hand-making? Is it special in any way besides being an adaptation of an outfit Jerry Seinfeld wore? Also, I see it's being worn with black lace leggings? Also, again,  these models do not look well. At all.

Here's another chambray piece, in case you can't get enough.

This is more just chambray inspired:

This is called a "Tablecloth Dress" because apparently it's made from an old tablecloth. I am all for repurposing, but should the item really still look like a tablelcloth? Like all of Urban's clothes, this is just so lank and sad. It looks like what Samantha the Victorian American Girl's orphan friend wore when she got sent to the orphan train. Actually, on second thought, Nellie is dressed way cuter here and would probably never be caught dead in that thing.

This is called a "Slubby Cardigan" but I think it should be called a "schlubby" cardigan. God, why do people want to dress like this? Isn't there a soiled dishtowel laying around your house that you can drape over your shoulders instead of spending $58 on this thing? 

All these clothes look like the physical embodiment of the word "depression." Seriously, at least Nu Rave had some pizazz, some color, some life! That's what's so scary about the 90's coming back- the 90's were, aside from an odd Spice Girl or Cher Horowitz, the lankest decade yet. Even the rock stars were lank as hell! Everything was about not trying! It was the beginning of the end!!! If there's a 90's minimalism (aka the most boring fashion movement ever)  resurgence I say fashion is officially dead!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Hope 4 the New Year: Accessories

Remember how I mentioned that Blossom hats were going to come back? And crushed velvet? And how I'm sick of face paint as a hipster accessory?

Well, here is hipter-cum-model Ikeline Stange or something like that wearing both those things. Probably her John Lennon glasses are stashed in her JNCOs, out of the frame of the photo.

Speaking of which, here are a few more trends I've railed against and I'm hoping we'll see the end of this new year, this time featuring Iekielene or however you spell it, who seems to know a thing or two about wearing seventeen trends at once:

Pocohontas bands! I can imagine the feeling of giddy pleasure one may have had after tying a leather shoelace around one's head back in 2006, but wouldn't you feel really foolish by 2009? Shouldn't some of the allure be lost by now? Now that Lindsay Lohan has done it?

Huge glasses! This blog was pratically started to make fun of people wearing these glasses, and it was started in February of 2006! 2006! How come neon is already practically dead but people are still wearing these damn glasses?
Lastly, the bowler hat.

We've seen enough of this hat, whether you are wearing it with an oversized 80's blouse and a vest, or a sloppy layered scarf, or a crushed velvet 90's dress and a vest, or an oversized v-neck and a vest, or have a sunflower glued to it. 

We don't need accessories. They don't hold up our pants or cover up our genitals. Rarely does a bowler hat keep the head warm. So wearing a douchey, overplayed accessory is that much worse because you don't need to place it on your head, guys. 

Okay, after this I promise I'm not going to talk about Blossom awhile. Maybe a couple days. I might switch to Clarissa Explains it All. Or Samantha Mathis in Pump of the Volume. We'll see.

Samantha Mathis in Pump up the Volume:

Also, I'm not, like, against accessories or something. I'm just saying that, since they're not exactly foundational when it comes to wardrobes, they should be the first to go when they get extremely overplayed/were never cute in the first place. (See the "Too Much" tag for more.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Ebay Auctions

Since everyone else uses their blog to promote their eBay auctions, I'm going to do it too! I have some cute vintage stuff on right now (mostly smalls), all modeled by my lovely co-worker Emily, who looks very Kathleen Hanna in that last photo, I think. There's a lot more if you click on the auction link! Buy it! Buy it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Hills Vs. the City Vs. The Bad Girls Club

As many of my readers know, I really hate The Hills. If I were to choose between that show and another, also mostly semi-scripted "reality" show about women in their early twenties, my choice, by far, would be the always-excellent The Bad Girls Club (TBGC), on Oxygen.

Here are some reasons why!
1. The Hills is boring and nothing happens on it. Seriously, nothing happens. It's as boring as real life but at least real life is actually happening, but this show is just a bunch of bitches being like, "Justin Bobby texted me...I'm so upset," and the other one being like, "LA fashion week that no one cares about anyway because it's LA fashion week is coming up and I'm supposed to put a belt on a model within the space of six hours." Who cares? No one! Then we have The City, which is the same format as The Hills because it's a spin-off, but it's set in fabulous NYC so everything is really "chic" and "urban" and they "go" to "art openings".

2. The ladies of The Hills look like crap. I would take the spandex mini dresses, huge hair, large earrings and giant silver shoes of the bad girls over the bland sacks The Hills/City crew are regularly seen in.
Check out the Bad Girls style! Trashy exuberance, i call it!

3. The Hills reinforces female stereotypes, whereas TBGC reinforces male stereotypes, but stars women- thus rejecting female stereotypes! It's not that the bad girls never backstab and gossip, but that whole aspect really takes a backseat to them establishing dominance in a stereotypically male fashion, whether the girls are knocking down someone at a club for looking at them funny or challenging someone else to a fight. There's always a lot of screaming to "Bring it!" on - quite a contrast to the classic passive-aggressive "Mean Girls" style The Hills endorses.

We may recall Andrea, a latecomer to the bad girl house on Season 2, who basically got challenged by the rest of the ladies for not being enough of a bad girl/a weak anorexic, and endured a lot of her housemates' screaming and threats for no reason. ("You're a moron and food tastes good!" yelled one, notably.) Not soon after, Andrea left the house, having been chased out because she couldn't, you know, take the hazing ritual she was being subjected to. And the rest of the bad girls were like, "We don't know what's up with her! I guess she's not a bad girl! She couldn't take it!"

5. Race and class are often discussed on TBGC. "Whathat?" sayeth Whitney, who may be functionally retarded, no? I'm not going to pretend TBGC is, like, intent on helping and/or positive for women or anything (I'm talking about reality TV here!) but many episodes have the stars discussing their economic and racial backgrounds and how they are shaped by them. On The Hills, everyone is from the exact same background, which is that of an orphan raised by the studio. In Laguna Beach.

4. No one, to my knowledge, has ever pushed anyone into a pool on The Hills, or yanked out someone's weave, or peed in the kitchen sink. Not once. In TBGC, everyone knows the big rule is that they get sent home of they actually physically assault anyone else on the show. But is there even a reason for such a rule on The Hills? No.


5. The men on TBGC a mere props, clearly introduced by the show with BS and/or porn jobs like "party promoter", "surf instructor", "poolboy", "handyman", and "stripper." There are some episodes that revolve around men, but they're mostly there for the bad girls to have sex with, like bunnies in their own personal Playboy mansion. No fucking Spencer types with faces too small for their heads further ruining their hopeless lives, dude!

In conclusion, fuck The Hills!!!!! Especially Lauren Conrad and especially all the other boring-ass skanks on that show!

Inspiration: Trashy 70's New York Beach Photos

Sorry my posts have been so lazy lately! I found these photos of Rockaway Beach in the 70's from this blog. They're pretty amazing! I love the 70's, obviously, but I also love photos of New York from the early 80's and before. Now, not so much.