Kisses Darling!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

First Lady of Fashion

Michelle Obama is mixing it up during her first visit to Europe with the President. Wearing some of the same young foreign-born US designers she wore before and during the inauguration such as Jason Wu and Isabel Toledo, plus looks from J. Crew, while adding some new foreign names such as Azzedine Alaia (Tunisian-French) and Junya Watanabe (Japanese).

But missing from her designer list are the big names who have dominated the industry in the US for years. And some of them are a bit concerned.

Leading the criticism was Oscar de la Renta, a favorite of several former first ladies. "American fashion right now is struggling," he told Women's Wear Daily. "I think I understand what [Obama and her advisers] are doing, but I don't think that is the right message at this particular point. I don't object to the fact that Mrs. Obama is wearing J. Crew because the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there, and I think it's wrong to go in one direction only." He also added a comment about her look to meet the Queen, saying "You don't go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater." All because The First Lady wore a black and white silk satin crepe Isabel Toledo sleeveless dress with a black Azzedine Alaia cardigan, which she later removed after leaving the Royal Palace.

Vera Wang, another famous name who has yet to be worn by Mrs Obama, struck a slightly wistful note. "I love seeing young designers and their vision and how they grow," she told WWD. "On the other hand, I wish she would consider some of us, because I think we also have contributions to make."

Donna Karan remained hopeful that her moment would come. "I hope and believe that this is just a moment," she said. "And I hope to be able to dress her, and not only dress her but address her in person. I'm interested in her totality as a woman."

Bridget Foley, executive editor of WWD, added her own message for Mrs. Obama. "Like the auto and financial industries, fashion is in crisis," she wrote. "Yet the person in the administration best positioned to support its major players - those whose collective vicissitudes play into the economy in a considerable way and whose individual swings of fortune impact the lives of countless working people up and down the supply chain and their families is giving them the cold shoulder. And we don't mean Donna Karan's. No one's asking for a big-gun bailout. But how about a shout-out?" A bit much, no?

And then there was that whole arm around the Queen thing...

All and all I didn't think Michelle looked as bad as the press were reporting. Besides this was only an informal royal visit.

However Bonnie Fuller decided she would declare this the First Lady's "first fashion dud." Oh and Bonnie didn't like Michelle's hair either.
What do you think?

Venus in Furs

VERUSCHKA fur collar.JPG
1960s super model VERUSCHKA!
Relax PETA.
Vera shot and ate it for food. She is just wearing the skins for warmth.

A Hot Tranny Mess = Victoria's Secret ?

"WWD reports that Project Runway winner Christian Siriano has created a line of cosmetics for Victoria's Secret Beauty." ("a hot tranny mess" was one of his signature phrases used on the show, along with "ferouch/fierce" etc. No insult to the T-girl community is intended by F.P.L.T.)

Now I was happy when he won Project Runway and I think Christian is very talented...but he better stay out of my area of expertise if he knows what's good for him. Beyotch!

"Siriano was chosen to do a limited edition collection because; he’s really establishing a close following, and we think he resonates with our consumer." Oh sure he goes on a fashion competition reality television show and now he is a cosmetics expert?

"Due out in August, Victoria’s Secret Beauty is overhauling its Very Sexy color cosmetics assortment and kicking that effort off with the first cosmetics project by “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano. The line will feature shades inspired by his Fall clothing collection. The lineup will include five shades of eye shadow ($14 each); three lip gloss shades ($14 each); black eyeliner ($12); a bronzer-highlighter trio ($24); a face brush ($32); and a ruffled cosmetics bag ($16). The items will be packaged in gold compacts with the Christian Siriano for VS Makeup logo engraved on top."

Just because I've been in the industry over 30 years, and was a consultant on Victoria's Secret's very first color line back in 1996 when they thought about getting into the beauty business....doesn't mean I'm bitter or anything. Really.

No really, the line looks beautiful and I wish Christian every success. Honest, I mean it.
I really do. Stop laughing! Stop it!

Friday, April 3, 2009

To Retouch or Not to Retouch is that the Question..?

The New York Times has this video regarding the issues around photo retouching in media. And how France is thinking of passing a law that magazines must disclaim that photos have been retouched because it gives the public a false idea of beauty.

Personally I don't think there has ever been a time when magazine photos were not retouched. Even the Golden Era of Hollywood depended on the retouched images of their stars by the masters like George Hurrell. I know some people also criticize cosmetic ads and the quality of the photographers light, the artistic ability of the makeup artist, or the fact that the model has developed the ability to always know how to present her self in the best possible way, for not being reality. And yes the skill of the retoucher. That's because it's not's fantasy. If all we ever saw was life as it really is where would our dreams come from, how could we be inspired to reach for the stars?

True it's sad when people don't understand that fantasy and magic are all an illusion, and that they shouldn't compare themselves to that illusion. And yes advertising uses the public's fears and insecurities to sell products, everything from a car, to a vacation, or a toothpaste.

But I don't believe self-confidence and self-worth can be developed on a mass's a very personal journey that one must go within to discover. If we had no super hero's or dreams to aspire to perhaps we would stop trying and just accept the mundane, and the easy everyday path. And that's a choice we all should be free to make. But there have always been artists and dreamers and people that want and need to create beauty and other worlds of beautiful fantasy.

Don't get me wrong. I can appreciate the beauty of nature and the natural. The simplicity of the plain or the decay and aging of life. And in this high tech digital world we live in the line between what is real and what is not has touched every part of our society and sometimes we do suffer because of it. I guess I don't know the answer to this issue, I only know that seeing and creating beauty has been one of the driving forces in my own life. And I don't feel it would be worth living without that. (Re-posted from Makeup Beat) Drawing by Antonio Lopez.

Why I Love Photoshop

So darling's is this really the world you want to live in?
Where everything you see is reality....not me. Thank you!

Now granted the image on the right is a bit over retouched, even for me.
And I'm not sure how accurate the image on the left is either. The mean old media has been known to exaggerate the negative as well. Oh yes they have trust me. However I think this may be fairly close to what a woman of a certain age could photograph like while in this particular pose.
(photo source

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"Being a makeup artist is not only about applying makeup. It’s about everything around you, people, places, colors, all the things that inspire and affect your life."