The Best of the Week in Fashion

So many people wore so many different outfits this week that I had to split my weekly fashion recap into two parts! Here’s everything I loved this week, on the red carpet and on the street.

The Most Innovative

Wesfeld gown, made entirely of plastic

Project Runway alums Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault won a design contest called Plastics Make it Possible by making two couture gowns entirely out of plastic. This is one of them.

I cannot stop staring at this gown. The boys designed it before they even heard about the contest, and then decided it would be perfect for the challenge. It’s simply astounding.

A Surprise Victory

Rihanna in Christian Siriano

Okay. I hate Rihanna. But I love Christian. I am torn. But this is one of my favorite dresses ever, and while many people have been wearing adapted versions of it, this print is just astounding. And Rihanna’s not even fucking it up with ugly shoes or accessories. Even that hair, while an eyesore, is not as bad as usual. Okay, RiRi. I’ll give you this one. Just please, please, stop making music.

I Shouldn’t Like This… But I Do

Anne Hathaway in Marchesa

For the record, the weird red thing behind her is attached to the wall, not her dress. For a second I thought she was pooping roses. And I wasn’t even surprised, because if anybody could poop roses, it’s Anne Hathaway.

Anyway. The dress. It’s a short blue metallic feathered minidress. That sentence alone should make me cringe. But I absolutely love it. Sure, I’d like it more if the hem were an inch or two lower, but it looks expensive and glamorous and she is working the shit out of it. And since every single actor and actress of all time is in Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to stand out at such a star-studded premiere. But she did, thanks to Marchesa, and Annie’s makeup artist, who chose a lipstick that matches the red carpet. You deserve a raise.


Lady Gaga in Marc Jacobs

This is absolutely my favorite paparazzi photo taken of any modern celebrity that I’ve ever seen. I think this douchebag cameraman caught a truly astounding moment. Gaga (in a gown Christina Ricci already wore), fixing her sheer white gown in the middle of a snowstorm, with her military hat, John Lennon glasses, black nail polish, and peace sign tattoo, is perfection. She’s such a fascinating combination of sweet and gritty, dark and light, and this picture captures that crazy Gaga essence perfectly.

The Samantha Award

Taylor Swift

I. Want. That. Dress. And her matching headband is precious.

Check back here later tonight for what you’re all really waiting for – the worst of the week in fashion!

A Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Today, the world lost one of the greatest geniuses of the fashion world. I don’t have words to express how influential and inspiring Alexander McQueen’s work has been to designers, celebrities, and all other lovers of fashion. At such a young age, he became so iconic that his work was plagiarized by a Project Runway contestant, and he essentially created the fashion enigma that is Lady Gaga (who not only wore head-to-toe McQueen in her infamous “Bad Romance” video, but debuted that song at McQueen’s runway show). He achieved more in his short life than any designer could dream of. Alexander, your work will truly live on forever.

The Angel

Fall 2004 RTW

The craftsmanship that goes into every design is impeccable. He constantly uses poses and styling that bring so much more to the show than a mere stomp-and-turn ever could. This angelic ensemble looks like it is lit from heaven.

The Pre-Gaga

Fall 2006 RTW

Whenever people are curious about why Lady Gaga is constantly covering her face and head with over-the-top accessories, I want to point them to photos like this. Years before “Just Dance” broke out, it seems like McQueen was designing with a true diva in mind. He dares to do what makes sense to almost no one but himself.

The Favorite

Spring 2007 RTW

I think this is my personal favorite McQueen design. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything with such perfect color, shape, and volume, with perfect flowers that cascade perfectly across the model. It is breathtaking.

The Copycat

Alexander McQueen, Fall 2008 RTW

Project Runway: Kenley, Spring 2009 RTW

A McQueen original, and below it, a blatant rip-off by a designer who should have known better than to steal from someone so original. So many McQueen designs are instantly recognizable as his work; his design influence is so strong in each piece he creates. You have to be a real idiot to try and pass such unique work off as your own.

The Unforgettable

Fall 2009

For me, this will always be McQueen’s most memorable look, and most memorable fashion show. The giant, disturbing dark lips he put on every model are haunting no matter how many times you see them. His Fall 2009 runway show was incredibly morose, provocative, and theatrical. The styling was bleak in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic way, and although my personal taste is not that extreme, I cannot get these looks out of my mind. They represent McQueen as a modern artist who transcends the fashion industry.

The Latest

Spring 2010

And of course, his infamous Spring 2010 collection, which featured those insane, ten-inch, claw-like shoes, and a wild jungle/alien princess theme. He turns things that appear nonsensical into beauty.

The Future

McQueen’s latest collection is supposed to show this week, which is New York Fashion Week. Not sure what’s going to happen yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

I had so much trouble choosing just a few McQueen pieces to put in this post. There were literally dozens of incredible looks that he created over the years. The fashion world has lost an icon. May he rest in peace.

NJ Marriage Equality: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Originally posted in the GW Discourse blog.

Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest civil rights group, announced today that they will no longer make contributions to political parties, and they are urging their members to follow suit.

This controversial move is in response to New Jersey’s failure to pass same-sex marriage through the legislature.

“No political party has a record good enough on LGBT civil rights that it can rightfully claim to be entitled to our money on a party-wide basis… No longer will we let any political party take our money and volunteers with one hand, and slap us in the face with the other when we seek full equality.” – Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality.

Garden State Equality will now only contribute money to individual candidates and organizations that support LGBT rights. But who really suffers from this – the parties, or NJ’s equality movement?

It is certainly understandable that groups like GSE are angered with NJ Democrats for voting against marriage equality. And the Democratic party is by no means the party of LGBT rights; it’s simply the best option the LGBT community has. But if the Democrats strengthen their support for recognition of same-sex relationships, and vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, it’ll be Garden State Equality that loses. They’ll have more money to spend on their preferred candidates, but they’ll lose their voice if they stop donating to the Democratic party. Contributions to individual candidates can only go so far. At the end of the day, most legislators (especially newer members) need to remain loyal to the party in order to succeed. And if that party is shunned by GSE, why should those legislators take GSE’s views into account?

It’s important to stand by your principles, and support only those who support you. But GSE is playing a risky game, and they’ve got a lot more to lose from this deal than the Democrats do. I honor their intentions, but I’m not sure this is the best way to affect change.

Liveblogging the Superbowl, Diva Style

I’m the first to admit that I don’t even remotely care about football. The game starts in half an hour, and I honestly don’t know who is playing. (The Colts? Is that a thing?) So today, I’ll be liveblogging the real show – the Superbowl commercials! (And the halftime show as well.)

According to my roommate Jill, this game involves Kendra’s (of Playboy bunny fame) husband Hank vs. Kim Kardashian’s beau Reggie. It’s the battle of the E! stars that you’re ashamed to admit you’re kind of obsessed with. So if I do any game analysis, it will obviously be from that angle.

Check back here once the game starts!

6:40 pm: Forgot I was supposed to be liveblogging. Sorry ’bout it.

6:42 pm: BETTY WHITE GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY! Full on laughter from the whole room at that Snickers commercial.

6:43: Pam & Tim’s Focus on the Family commercial is awful. Somehow that violence offended me more than people beating the shit out of Betty White.

6:45: A low-budget Superbowl Shuffle commercial that’s trying way too hard.

6:46: A dog just stole his owner’s Doritos. I approve.

6:51: Russel Crowe could play every character on earth, but he’s still just playing Gladiator over and over again.

6:52: Amazingly adorable black baby slapping a man in the face for taking his Doritos. So far, Doritos are the epic winners.

6:53: Bud Light’s doing great, with scientists making out with each other. This is what GW Engineering parties must look like.

6:53: The NCIS commercial also has people slapping each other. I’m sensing a theme tonight.

7:02: The Simpsons commercial – not sure where this is going yet. Ah, Coca Cola. I think this is a little stupid, but I never really got into the Simpsons.

7:03: Lesbian porn commercial. (AKA

7:05: Autotune Bud Light! And T-pain makes a cameo. Phenomenally hilarious. Looks like it’ll be Bud Light vs. Doritos for the best commercials.

7:06: Was that a beaver playing the violin? I disapprove.

7:08: A bunch of bros driving around with a whale in their car. Not too bad, Bridgestone.

7:09: Everyone in my room is now humming the Free Willy theme.

7:10: commercial is super-boring.

7:12: Our Wingos order is finally here! Expect the blogging to be a bit slower over the next few minutes as I inhale as much chicken as humanely possible.

7:18: More violence ensues as Budweiser makes a bridge out of humans for a Bud truck to run over. Also a cute commercial about women’s heart health.

7:21: Two consecutive commercials about people who don’t wear pants. I approve.

7:26: ANOTHER Bud Light commercial that made us laugh out loud!

7:27: That’s by far the weirdest and most unnecessarily complex Dove commercial ever. Do I need to pop out three kids before I can appreciate skincare?

7:36: These “look at all the manly things I do all day” commercials are getting a little old. And kind of depressing. Dodge Charger commercial – not sure if I like it or not.

7:37: Talking flowers? That’s a new low.

7:38: CSI in Space? My roommates have never been so excited.

7:40: ALICE. IN. WONDERLAND. This looks astoundingly trippy.

7:41: The people who came up with the Groundhog Day football commercial need to be fired.

7:44: Harry Potter Park! It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, minus the threeway with Ron and Harry!

7:46: Okay, now I’m officially getting sick of incredibly sexist commercials where women exist only as a) shallow manipulators of men or b) lesbian porn stars.

7:48: Nothing is sadder than a dejected robot. But that was not a particularly good commercial.

7:52: We’re hoping this awesome “My Generation” commercial is for Pepsi. Nothing is like Spongebob in between clips of Sadaam Hussein. But it was actually for some random-ass mobile TV watching thing.

7:53: Guess some random weather man’s name? Really? Is this what we’re stooping to?

7:53: The dramatic chipmunk commercial would have been funny… in like 2007.

7:59: I’m actually going to enjoy the half-time show and write my quips about it when the third quarter starts.

8:02: Nope, couldn’t resist. I think you should have someone under age 8000 on stage during the halftime show.  The laser light show is awesome, but these guys are just too old. Except for their 5-year-old drummer.

8:03: Also, they’re singing a song about Teenage Wasteland. Irony. Furthermore, they’re screaming because their voices are no longer beautiful.

8:08: Well, at least they’re playing one of my favorite Who songs (“See Me, Feel Me”).

8:09: The Halftime show should never be just one band. It should be a bunch of artists, young and old, being awesome together. Lady Gaga on lead vocals for “Baba O’Reilly” would have really improved this, don’t you think?

8:12: The lights should not be better than the band.

8:29: Punchbuggie no punchbacks FTW.

8:30: No, I’m sorry, the winner is NPH holding a “CALL BARNEY STINSON” sign.

8:39: All the good commercials happened already.

8:50: Google had a cute commercial. Everything else is boring.

8:52: Sock monkey making a snow angel. I’m confused.

8:57: A lot of people joyously cheering on football teams – an NFL commercial thanking the fans. That actually made me happy.

8:59: A bunch of children pledging their allegiance to America’s debt to China. My roommate Rox: “This is…. interesting. I’m interested to see where this is going.”

9:06: Beyonce’s doing something and there are aliens and robots and zombies and shit.

9:13: This has gotten really boring for the blogstress and the readers, I’m sure. So I’m going to go look at more interesting things to blog about tomorrow. And maybe watch some big love.

Enjoy the rest of your wings, and the snow, if you’ve got it.

The Democracy Diva on Democracy

This is a response to Kurt Andersen’s New York Magazine story, “Is Democracy Killing Democracy?” All quotes cited are from that article.

As a political science major and an elitist snob, I feel qualified to tear apart the inaccuracies in Andersen’s humorous, entertaining, and largely ignorant attempt at political academia for non-academics in New York Magazine. Let’s dive into this mess and see what we can make of it.

Inaccuracy #1: Madison and the other founders were elitists who feared the power of the common man.

“[The founders] wanted a government run by an American elite like themselves… They wanted to make sure the mass of ordinary citizens, too easily “stimulated by some irregular passion … or misled by the artful misrepresentations” and thus prone to hysteria—like, say, the rabble who’d run amok in Boston Harbor—be kept in check.”

This is an oversimplification. It’s true that Madison did want a powerful institution that would allow the federal government to override factious passions, a policy called the Negative. But in spite of Madison’s monumental efforts in lobbying for the Negative, it did not make the final draft of the Constitution because it was considered undemocratic. So his fellow founders certainly had a conception of the rights of the people; that was why they struck down Madison’s Negative idea.

Furthermore, the Boston Harbor reference is completely inaccurate. Above all else, Madison and the founders believed that the people had the right – even the responsibility – to rebel against an unjust government that did not respect their liberty. The founders would not have wanted to crush a nonviolent protest like the Boston Tea Party; in fact, they would have regarded it as the citizen’s duty to overthrow a monarch who ignored them.

Inaccuracy #2: America is more democratic now than it used to be.

I guess it depends on how you define “democracy.” What Andersen cites as uber-democratic are things like filibustering and the power of very vocal, possibly extremist minorities to gain media coverage and attention from political elites. Andersen defines democracy by yelling; I define democracy by voting.

With respect to voting, America is no more democratic than it was fifty or a hundred or two hundred years ago. Sure, we have more access to voting than we used to, but it’s access that most people take for granted. In the supposedly historic and life-changing election of 2008, only 60% of eligible voters felt motivated enough to go to the polls. And during non-presidential elections, like the 2006 Congressional race, turnout was down to 37%. How can we be living in Andersen’s uber-democracy if so few people’s views are actually represented?

“When the Constitution was written and the Senate created, there were around 4 million people in America, or about one senator for every 150,000 people. For Congress to be as representative as it was in 1789, we’d need to elect 2,000 senators and 5,000 House members.”

This is a blatant manipulation of statistics to make a point. First of all, not all districts are the same size. If we had to redistrict in order to keep the populations in each district equal, we’d never get anything done. So some people will always have more representation than others – people in small districts have more individual power to their vote than people in large districts. Since there are huge discrepancies between district sizes, you cannot generalize a national ratio of representatives to citizens. And each senator did not represented 150,000 people – they represented the far fewer number of property-owning white Protestant males that were permitted to vote. They may speak for the entire state, but they only truly represent the views of the voters.

Inaccuracy #3: Obama was not elected as a populist, but is becoming increasingly populist.

Andersen ignores everything that happened in the two years preceding Obama’s inauguration, and claims that some of his anti-Wall Street, anti-corporate rhetoric are signs of him becoming more populist, which is not a platform that he was elected upon. Obama is not now becoming populist. He ran a full-on populist campaign! If we remember only one thing about the 2008 campaign, it’ll be the word CHANGE. Obama presented himself as the anti-Politician, the savior of a nation destroyed by over-governance and manipulation by political elites, the one trustworthy man in a sea of liars and thieves. That message was far more populist than anything he’s come out with since taking office. He wanted people to rule instead of politicians. And that makes perfect sense – it’s easy to be anti-government when someone else is in power, and you can point to them and say, “You’re fucking this up.” Once you become the government, it’s much trickier to remain anti-government.

Inaccuracy #4: The government will take loons like the modern Tea Party protesters seriously.

Andersen doesn’t think there are enough “sober designated drivers” in government who will ignore the loud populist factions in favor of a larger national purpose. He thinks the government’s kneejerk reaction to listen to whoever is loudest will reign supreme.

Say it with me, friends: It’s all about the Benjamins. Money wins elections. Politicians will listen to people with money so that they can win elections. Doesn’t matter if they’re populist, anarchist, the religious right or the bleeding heart liberals: The groups with the money will always be heard. It’s not how loud you scream – it’s how much you spend.

Inaccuracy #5: Andersen’s concluding sentence.

“When it comes to reenacting our patriotic founding story, we’d better keep choosing to play the deliberative gentlemen engaged in careful compromise more than the apoplectic vandals dressed up as Indians and throwing things overboard.”

I have so many responses to this running through my head that I can’t even single one out to explain it. My first reaction was, This doesn’t make any fucking sense. Let me try and explain all the flaws in this single sentence.

  1. Why and how are we reenacting our founding story? What does he see in our nation that is trying to replicate the late 18th century? Our population has completely changed, as have our methods of electing representatives. Sure, we still use the Constitution, but I’m not sure that qualifies as reenacting our founding story. Is just electing presidents a reenactment of our founding story? Andersen, tell us what you mean!
  2. What does he mean by “patriotic founding story”? They founded the country; of course they were patriotic. If they weren’t patriotic, they would have stayed in England. Or lost the war.
  3. “Deliberative gentlemen engaged in careful compromise.” Who exactly is he hinting at here? Certainly not presidents like FDR and Lincoln and even Bush, who were anything but careful and made controversial decisions in order to save our nation (whether or not they were successful is another story). And certainly not presidents like Jefferson and Kennedy and Clinton, whose extramarital affairs proved that they were certainly not gentlemen. History does not remember deliberative gentlemen, and elections do not reward careful compromise. Elections reward compromise after spewing rhetoric for months; you have to first play to your dedicated party base, and then compromise in order to get anything done.
  4. Um, obviously we’re not going to fill the Congress with protestors pretending to be racial minorities in order to blame their illegal protesting methods on somebody they already hate. I don’t think anybody is really worried about that happening.

And just so Andersen doesn’t think I’m too harsh on him…

Undoubtedly Factual Statement #1: “Jefferson was America’s first great free-spending, radicchio-growing, cheese-and-wine-importing, European-architecture-loving liberal.”

I can’t argue with that.

The Week in Fashion: Goth Gossip Girls and more!

Best of Paris Fashion Week, Take 2


If there is a such thing as being too cohesive, I think Armani Prive’s collection was exactly that. I don’t think Paris Fashion Week is the time to send nearly identical looks down the runway. The overall collection had a wide range, but so many of the outfits were barely distinguishable from one another. But my pulse still races when I see this dress. The model is working it, it’s incredibly beautiful, and even though it doesn’t look like Lady Gaga’s Grammys dress, it feels so similar, like they were both made out of the same recyclable materials to become something extravagant.

That’s a Costume, Not an Outfit


First of all, what I have told you about wearing several different shades of black? That’s an Intro to Fashion no-no. And high-waisted, pleated semi-jodhpurs with combat boots, a shirt that makes a size 2 girl look fat, and a black pirate shirt? She already looked like the saddest goth girl on the playground in 1997, and then she goes with heroin-chic eye makeup, ultra-pale skin, and red lipstick? Honey, you’re supposed to be the Queen of the Upper East Side. I understand that you are not Blair, but have some respect for the role that brought you into the spotlight, and make an effort to look attractive.

The Samantha Award


Another surprisingly fabulous look from another Olsen! This is exactly what I want to wander around the city wearing: super-expensive looking skinny jeans, boots, and an incredibly fabulous trench/peacoat hybrid. Keep it up, MK&A. I expect more non-homeless looks from you in the future!

Repeat Offender


It’s a puffy-sleeved sweatshirt with cutouts at the lovehandles and leather shoulder protectors. I can’t really say anything more horrible than that.

Red Carpet Redux: The Grammys

Why Are You Here… And What Are You Wearing?

Snooki in a large purple headband

MTV has not been a music television channel for around a decade. Therefore, being the “star” of an MTV show should not grant you access to the Grammys. And anyone larger than Kate Moss should know better than to wear skin-tight horizontal stripes.

On the plus side, she’s not wearing a Bump-It. At least, not on her head.

Dressed to Win

Taylor Swift in Kaufmanfranco

The girl loves her sparkly gowns, but this is a much more mature look for her. The color and neckline are unusual and stunning. This is how a girl dresses when she knows she’s going to win. I would’ve liked her hair to be down, since her hair is insanely gorgeous, and that hairstyle does nothing for her. But kudos, because a pretty girl in a pretty dress is a good thing.

Why? Because She Can

Lady Gaga in custom-made Giorgio Armani Prive

And the back, for the full effect.

Lady Gaga once said that she dyed her hair blonde because she was concerned that if she stayed brunette, people would confuse her with Amy Winehouse. That was the first thing I thought when she stepped onto the red carpet last night – something about the big hair and retro makeup felt fabulously Amy (pre-substance abuse). Anyway, this outfit is terrifically tame as far as Gaga ensembles go. I actually love it, because it bears a semblance of a gown and a sculpture, instead of just pure insanity. It reminds us that fashion is art and art is fashion in a beautiful and modern way. I even sort of dig the bright yellow hair extensions, and I definitely love the little diamonds all over her body, a la Britney in Toxic.

The point is, if I were Gaga (and let’s be honest… I am), and I had the opportunity to dress in off-the-wall costumes designed just for me, I’d do it. She’s innovative and talented and fascinating, and I expect nothing less from such a person.

At Least She’s Alive

Britney Spears in Dolce & Gabbana

Yes, Britney is wearing a sheer piece of lace over a black leotard, which is generally unforgivable. But her hair and makeup actually look beautiful, and more importantly, she looks happy and healthy. Let’s be honest, that’s a rarity nowadays, and I’m just genuinely glad that this girl can make it out of the house with a smile on her face. After a nervous breakdown of that magnitude, under that amount of media attention and scrutiny, that’s all we can expect from Brit right now. Maybe in a few years, I’ll expect her to wear pants, but for now, I’m just happy she’s okay.

You Won’t Be Invited Back

Ke$ha. I hate typing her name.

At first glance, she’s just another idiot with over-processed hair and an ugly dress. But the close-up says it all. That makeup is what I look like the morning after the Rocky Horror cast party. Same for the hair, actually, but mine is one shade of brown instead of eight shades of blonde. And it doesn’t have feathers in it. Or are those earrings? Wait, is she seriously wearing a gold flapper dress? And does she really insist on having a dollar sign in her name? I give it another six months before we forget about her. Go have another cocktail, honey. Enjoy your fifteen minutes while you can.

Four in a Row!

Lea Michele in Romona Keveza

Well, she’s done it again. My little sweetheart/alter ego was probably the only person on the red carpet last night who looked beautiful, classy, and interesting. She looks thin as hell (but I hope she doesn’t lose another pound – she’s a stomach flu away from far too skinny), her legs look long (not an easy feat on a petite girl – can you believe she’s only 5’2″?), and the dress is not only adorable, but very different from the other three looks she nailed in the last month. I don’t have anything new to say about my favorite diva, but I hope she keeps it up.

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