Diva’s Choice: The Military Sweater

Marc by Marc Jacobs military sweater, $228

I’ve yet to do a post on a sweater, so I knew the first one I chose would have to be spectacular. And this Marc by Marc Jacobs piece fits the bill. (And at $228 from Bloomingdale’s, it’s much closer to the realm of affordability than most of this Diva’s Choices. Though still too pricey for this Diva on a budget.)

I LOVE cropped sweaters. Sometimes it can be hard for petite girls to pull off the cropped look – tiny girls in tiny clothes can look a little ridiculous. But something about a cropped sweater (over a long tank top, to counterbalance all the tinyness) just feels perfect for the fall.

Let’s start with the fabulous color – your basic military camouflage greenish brown. A good greenish brown piece is important to own – light enough to wear with black pants, but also looks great with blue jeans. And the buttons on the shoulders? Adorable. They make the sweater feels funky downtown vintage/Salvation Army, but the tailoring (especially in the back) is ultramodern. The cut is boxy and masculine (there’s your military inspiration)t, but the tight fit and cropped silhouette keep it feminine and just plain adorable.

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Liveblogging the Project Runway Season 8 Premiere!

9:01 pm: I already don’t like this Ivy (Ivory?) girl because of her over-use of the word “luxurious.” But I’m loving me some Puerto Rican Casanova! He’s “taking New York from the balls!” So cute.

9:02: Already loving Sarah. Her portfolio is adorable and she seems really funky. And AJ is the token cute young queer, so I’m obviously already obsessed.

9:03: A 50-year-old named Peach? Well, at least she just used the phrase “ladies who lunch” in a non-ironic sense, which is pretty hilarious.

9:04: A Utah girl with dreads who designs fun and funky dresses? I dig you, girl. But I care little to nothing about your sob story. Everybody has kids, bitch.

9:05: No, Kristin, you cannot have a crooked zipper. That’s not eclectic, that’s just you being a shitty designer. And Jason honey, if you think your bowler hat and awkwardly fat tie are going to intimidate people, you are sadly mistaken. Also, “What nationality are you?” What kind of question is that?

9:07: Ivy, I can see through that fake-ass smile. You’re clenching so hard I’m afraid you’re just going to spontaneously combust. (Actually, I sort of hope you do.)

9:09: AJ, stop hitting on Michael. “And where are you from?!” Friendly much? It’s the first day, boy. Back off a touch.

9:10: Heidi and Tim are in the house!! I’m not a fan of Heidi’s bangs, but Tim looks perfect as per usual. Also, the first challenge is… still part of the audition. We’re nixing someone on the first day? Love that shit. These bitches are sweating!

9:16: We’re back from the break, and all the designers have to pull out one item from their suitcases to incorporate into their garment. My response would be “Bitch, these are MY clothes. Fuck this shit; I’m going to Mood.”

9:17: Not only do you have to lose almost literally the shirt off your back, but some OTHER biddy is gonna cut it up? Poor Casanova and his one thousand dollar pants!!

9:18: Gretchen, I can already tell you’re going to be the boring one. Why are the designers from Portland always so… dull?

9:19: The Brother sewing room looks way more fabulous than it did last season. And I’m liking all the tech improvements. Those fancy computer sketch pads are pretty darn nifty.

9:21: Gretchen, don’t you use “make it work” in that sarcastic little tone. You do not mock Mr. Gunn, aight bitch?

9:23: Casanova, I want to like you, but that little choad of a tie you’re wearing is too distracting.

9:28: Tim is sporting a striped purple tie over a striped lavender shirt! A difficult look to pull off, but of course The Smokin’ Gunn rocks it.

9:30: April started with a men’s tuxedo jacket, and turned it inside out to make it an ugly vest. Or that’s where things stand at the moment, anyway.

9:31: Valerie, you’re just a bit of a cunt, aren’t you? Also Jason, putting a scarf over a kimono does not make it… not a kimono.

9:32: Peach is making an apron and doing a whole lot of whining.

9:33: Mondo is definitely an awkward bird, but I kind of dig his vibe. And you have to love that Tim Gunn’s job allows him to say sentences such as, “The cap sleeve is worrying me.”

9:39: TEN MINUTES to fit the models? Damn, PR producers! You guys are not kidding around this season!

9:40: Ivy, I get that you’re all energetic and ambitious and fast-paced, but could you just like shut the fuck up for a little bit?

9:41: Jason, if you can’t control your hard-on around a naked model, then you are not ready to be a fashion designer. I don’t care if she’s busty; I don’t care if she has three vaginas – be a fucking professional.

9:42: “Maybe something sort of whimsical? But nothing like a drag queen.” That basically describes my life.

9:43: Kristin, did you FORGET about your MODEL? Honeyyyy. That is not a good sign. Also, everyone, stop saying you’re “not on the show yet.” I don’t care if there’s a day-one elimination – you’re talking to the camera. I’m watching you on television. Clearly, you’re on the show.

9:44: I’m digging Utah Dredlocks so far. Seems like she’s being edited to be the winner. And Casanova is edited to be the loser, quite obviously.

9:49: Time for the runway show! Heidi is looking fierce and being sneaky about how many are actually going home.

9:51: They couldn’t find someone more relevant than Selma fucking Blair to be the guest judge? Come on.

Valerie’s Dress: Grey and pink, model can barely walk, the dress seems poorly constructed but has a cute design.

Peach: Boring in design, but very well-structured for only five hours. Not crazy about the back, don’t think she used enough of the original material.

McKell: A little sluttier than I expected – the shortness and the shiny fabric are not my taste, but it’s certainly cute and youthful.

Andy: How the fuck did he make a full, dramatic outfit in five hours?!

Sarah: Another model who can’t walk. In a sad little booty-shorts romper.

Nicholas: Awful purple bridesmaid nightmare with a fugly zipper.

Mondo: Cute dress, modern, youthful, surprising use of different fabrics.

Ivy: Not seeing how the top and bottoms go together, but it’s hard to make any kind of pant in 5 hours, so mad props to her.

Michael C: Looks like something the cheapest hooker in the world would wear.

Kristin: I love that kilt-collar, and that skirt has some seriously cool draping.

Christopher: Cute. Well-constructed.

April: UGLY. Ugly. Ugly. Did I mention how fucking ugly it is? Every hem is destroyed, and not in an intentional-looking way.

Gretchen: Classy and fabulous. The back is really surprising and unique.

Michael D: Ugly hippie-chick shirt. Hate the draping in the back.

Jason: There’s something mental-patient looking at her. She looks like she’s wearing a robe they give you at the hair salon.

AJ: Very cute, very Democracy Diva taste. Definitely one of my favorites.

Casanova: BITCH IS NAKED. That bitch is so naked! Honey, that ain’t even a bathing suit. That is HELLA NAKED.

9:58: The runway show is over! AJ, Andy, Valerie, Sarah, Peach, Kristin, Michael C, Mondo, Michael D, Christopher – all these people are SAFE! Congrats, kiddies. And stop fucking crying.

9:59: We’re bringin’ out the models. They picked a clear, unanimous winner… and it’s Gretchen. I can’t deny them that one; her dress is totally chic, modern and retro at the same time. I understand why the judges love it – I’m a fan as well. And I don’t think you’re boring anymore, honey. Sorry I judged you for not wearing make-up, having weird bangs, and being from Portland.

10:06: Ivy Interrogation. She’s talking about details and embellishments, but I didn’t realize she literally just re-used the pants and added a bit of rouching. And my biggest pet peeve is when designers argue with the judges on the runway – particularly when it’s the first damn week! And Selma Blair is pretty funny in her sassy comments.

10:07: Jason and his mental patient. Oh, and Heidi said she looks like she’s wearing a hairdressing cape, which I just said like five minutes ago. Great minds, Ms. Klum. But Jason, don’t pretend like you’re gonna get out of this one alive.

10:08: April and her fugly jacket-turned-vest. I agree with Heidi – when people go “raw” and “unfinished,” I also wonder if that just means “I just can’t fucking sew.” I also agree with Heidi that “this is just a hot mess!” And honeys, we know you only had five hours. Some people still made it work.

10:10: McKall. I guess dreadlocks is not pegged to be the winner after all. But I hate this derss the more I see it. This dress is ugly, the styling is tacky… I don’t know why they cut to the judges making really happy faces when this walked down the runway.

10:11: Nicholas and his sadsack bridesmaid. Agreed with Nina that the concept is good, but the end result is very weak. And if one more bitch complains about the time… Jesus. I don’t want to hear it.

10:12: Casanova and his naked, naked, naked girl. “Mother of the bride who’s the belly-dancer… She’s a pole-dancer in Dubai.” Oh, Michael Kors and your one-liners.

10:13: Nina is speaking Spanish! So darling. But like… was that scripted? Because Casanova speaks pretty fine English, and understood everything else that was said… so I’m not sure why he needed a translator. But it was still adorable.

10:14: Michael is debating whether Ivy has any taste or talent. I think she can talk the talk, but bitch cannot walk the walk.

10:15: Don’t try to defend Casanova’s design by saying it’s “out of the box” and “weird” and “makes you react.” It’s just, in the age-old words of Michael, “slutty, slutty, slutty.”

10:16: They like the styling of Jason’s hair salon gown? Ughhh. Disagree. And I agree that April has a modern take, but let’s not defend her poor styling and complete lack of execution skills.

10:17: McKall should be knocked off just for choosing such horrible hair and accessories, no? Nicholas made the most boring dress I’ve ever seen, but they’re right that he did make a well-constructed garment in five hours, which is pretty damn epic.

10:18: Heidi is telling everyone to feel unsafe. Honey, you do not need to tell me twice.

10:23: My prediction: Jason and Ivy are going home.

10:24: April is in. Nicholas is in. (I like how thankful he is. Very sweet.) And I’m at least half wrong, because Jason is in.

10:25: How many times are they going to say “you made pants out of pants?”

10:26: Aww, McKall is out. I knew she got too much screen time not to be a winner or loser.

10:27: Ivy and Casanova are both… IN?! I disagree, Heidi. If anybody deserved to go home, it’s Ivy. Don’t keep her on just because she’s a bitch and you like having “characters” on the show.

10:28: I love Tim Gunn. I can never say it enough. The 16 that are left are moving in to a FABULOUS place. Loving the stripes on the walls.

10:29: Oh, hi, Christopher. I literally don’t even remember you being on the show yet, and here you are getting all the last two minutes of screen time.

And next week looks like it’s going to be a doozy!

Haven’t had your fill of fabulous yet? Well, as soon as photos from the runway show are posted, I’ll be doing a recap post about it, so tune in tomorrow, ladies!

Diva’s Choice: The Modern Victorian Bride

Christian Dior Fall 2005 couture gown

Where the traditional meets the modern, this dress resides. The floral motif as old as the institution of marriage itself, pink flowers cascade down this gown. The bodice and skirt are wrapped and draped beautifully; still voluminous and powerful as a Victorian-era pride, but in ivorys, pinks, and golds. And the matching gloves are spectacular – a must for any formal affair. The shoes that tie in a bow around her ankles are precious, and I can’t stop staring at the color of the dress itself.  A sort of dirty, dingy take on traditional bridal colors, but still keeping the overall look soft and feminine. But I love the way the skirt gathers and hangs like the bride has a skirt of smoke billowing around her. It seems delicate and angelic. Not to mention tip-top couture perfection.

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Diva’s Choice: The Sweaterdress

Ralph Lauren Black Label cashmere sweaterdress, $855

I live for sweaterdresses. When it’s wintertime, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the Democracy Diva in anything other than a sweaterdress and tights. But I’d never need to buy another sweaterdress again if I had this sexy number from Ralph Lauren’s Black Label. The perfect length – hits right at the knee, so you don’t have to freeze your buns off in a mini-dress when it’s eleven degrees out. Slim-fitting and curve-hugging, so you still feel sexy even though the look is so simple. Three-quarter sleeves, because let’s be honest, everybody loves a good three-quarter sleeve. And the crossover bodice is just classically beautiful. (Though you might need to bring a scarf if you’re actually wearing this in the wintertime, because that neckline, while beautiful, also seems conducive to pneumonia.)

But what makes this dress truly perfect is its timelessness. I could see Audrey Hepburn in it; I could see Emma Watson in it. Because perfectly fitted, simple dresses in classic colors never go out of style.

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Diva’s Choice: The Ballerina Skirt

Donna Karan skirt, $1995

I’ve yet to feature a skirt on Diva’s Choice, but when I saw this fabulous little number, I knew she deserved the spotlight. With or without the signature black tights and leotard, this ruffled skirt from Donna Karan is clearly fit for a ballerina. (At two grand for the skirt, 800 for the leotard, and 52 for the tights, it’s clearly fit for the world’s wealthiest ballerina, but I digress.)

There’s something so wonderful about twirling around in a girly, tutu-esque skirt. And whether you’ve got legs for days like this model or an actual human’s body, you’re bound to look super-cute in such a skirt – and super-sexy in this particular skirt. The ruffles spiral around the skirt, alternating between silk organza and wool velour, making an adorable skirt into something intriguing and creative. And of course the black eliminates some of the little-girl factor and adds an element of funk. But whether you’re throwing on combat boots and a bomber jacket for a gritty-meets-pretty, punk rock prom queen vibe, or you’re donning a crisp button-down, a colorful cardigan, and fabulous heels, every woman is a ballerina in this skirt.

Diva’s Choice: Wet Paint

Sasha Pivovarova in Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2008 RTW

When I can’t sleep, I look through slideshows from runway collections. (It’s a new habit, but an enjoyable and relaxing one.) The entire Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2008 ready-to-wear collection is splattered with paint, a little at first, but exploding into a veritable Jackson Pollock by the end of the runway show. (I encourage you to take a look at it, because the gowns at the end are truly works of art.)

I chose this dress amongst the last few glamorous, paint-dribbled gowns in the collection because it was not only an awe-inspiring print – it’s also a unique silhouette. The other gowns are similar in shape to the Christian Diors and Oscar de la Rentas and Marchesas that I post about all the time; this one felt more structurally unique. It certainly has elements of Marchesa and Vera Wang draped cocktail dresses, but the black crinoline peeking out from behind the skirt and the bodice add such a unique element, both in structure and texture. That shock of bright lilac paint on the skirt is astounding; the matching shoes prove that Dolce & Gabbana have the keenest eyes for detail.

Sometimes I feel as if designers only bother to show a fascinating print or a fascinating structure, but rarely both, for fear of going over-the-top or biting off more than they can chew. But D&G dare to go there, and the result is dark, dangerous, and delicous.

Diva’s Choice: The Lilac Bride

Vera Wang wedding gown, front

Vera Wang wedding gown, back

I promise, there are some more traditional wedding gowns that I do enjoy, but for some reason all I ever want to write about is the atypical gown. This, like the Oscar de la Renta gown I featured last week, is still very obviously bridal in spite of its color.

Let’s start with the bodice, which is truly a work of art. Ornate, impeccably constructed, and complex, though that black sash does nothing for it, and I think it actually hides some of the beauty of that spectacular design. Flowery and shimmery, satin and textured, and I love the way it sort of melts down into the dress. The skirt is of course a draped crinoline piece of heaven, like so many Vera Wang gowns, bridal or otherwise. And the colors are amazing. Greyish mauves, lilacs, lavenders, and pinks make the skirt look as if it’s made of air, billowing out like smoke instead of fabric.

I’m not in love with the way the fabric crosses over itself and then poofs out the middle when you see it from the back. I’m somewhat opposed to trains – I think unless you’re royalty, they’re just too much – so perhaps that’s why I don’t love the way the fabric parts to make way for a mini-train. But I do wish I could see a veil in that amazing smoky lilac color – that would perfect this gown, which is already an alternative bride’s dream come true.

Diva’s Choice: A Tote for All Seasons

Prada Spazzolato Tote, $2450

I’ll confess: I do not have an obsession with designer handbags. Handbags and belts are the two accessories that I could just never really get into. I’ve come a long way on the handbag front (thanks to Betsey Johnson and Ted Baker), but I still find most designer handbags unimpressive. They need to really stand out to impress me (as opposed to a blazer or a coat, whose mere existence makes me crave it with an unnatural and certainly unhealthy desire). But this? This is one stunning handbag.

Now, it first struck me as a winter bag; the print looks like the sky before a snowstorm, doesn’t it? And the bejeweled buckle just feels like icicles. And it’s rare to find a fabulous winter accessory that isn’t a boot or some sort of hat/scarf/glove. Not that I would ever dream of toting this Italian leather dream around in the snow, but she sure would look beautiful during snowpocalypse. (This bag is worthy of personification.)

But then I considered what she’d be worn with. And suddenly she was a fall handbag, clutched under the arm of a woman in a black top, skinny jeans and boots or a charcoal gray sweaterdress. But then, in my mind’s eye, I saw her in the arms of a woman wearing a crisp button down, a brightly colored cardigan, and a pencil skirt, heading to work on a lovely spring day. And then I envisioned a girl in a white sundress and tan sandals, and this became a summer bag. So there you have it – a bag for every season.

But in case you were thinking about ordering four of them immediately, keep in mind that the Saks website explicitly forbids you from ordering more than three of this bag in a one-month period, so high in demand is this particular item. Good night, my dear readers, and let us all dream of a day where our biggest problem is only being able to blow 7 grand on purses when we want to spend 10k.

Diva’s Choice: The Spring Coat

Oscar de la Renta coat, $6450

It’s been five whole days since I’ve shown a coat! I’m disappointed in myself, kittens.

This silk coat with threadwork embroidery is from Oscar’s Spring 2010 collection. Such unique colors – that blue and the yellow are both unexpected, and together, they’re unstoppable. There’s something very Egyptian about this look – the embroidery feels like hieroglyphics – and it’s the kind of coat where it doesn’t matter what the hell you wear with it, because the outfit is all about the coat.

I don’t know if she’s wearing a headband or a braid with a ribbon tied through it, but for the record, I’m obsessed with whatever is happening north of her forehead.

And on the Oscar de la Renta website, this coat is on sale for the totally affordable price of $3870! Thank goodness for that.

Review: GW Hatchet’s Sex(ist) Column

I truly never tire of the GW Hatchet’s sex column, if only because it gives me something to bitch and moan about. I’ll let their agenda of abstinence and their female sex columnist off the hook for now, but I’ve got some feelings I’d like to share on the male sex columnist’s inaptly titled “When bad sex happens to good people,” which I encourage you to read on the GW Hatchet website.

Mr. Jones, the GW Hatchet’s male sex columnist, wrote about what the Hatchet called “less-than-stellar bedroom tales.” It was a companion piece to the female sex columnist’s article; both were supposed to cover their bad sexual experiences.

My issues with Mr. Jones’ piece are twofold: first of all, he tries to come off sounding enlightened about women, but he is incredibly sexist. And secondly, his article has little to do with what it promises.

“Take a lesson from those who have learned the hard way,” Mr. Jones warns us. “Sometimes it is beneficial to slow things down.” Here is the premise of Mr. Jones’ “bad sex” encounter:

1. He has no-strings-attached sex with several different girls.
2. He saw his favorite of these booty calls making out with some guy at a club.
3. That’s it.

Yes, that’s right. Mr. Jones’ horrible experience is that he saw a girl that he was happily nonexclusive with, enjoying the same privilege he was enjoying: the

right to sleep around. Not only is this not a bad sex story as the title promise – in fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with their sex life with each other – but it’s also rife with sexism.

Mr. Jones admits his douchery: “I had been thinking of girls like On-Demand television – there when I wanted them and otherwise just waiting around for me to call. But that is simply not the case, as I found out all too well.” As the end-of-the-story moral, he proudly informs us that “when it comes to potential hook-up situations, girls have just as much control as boys. They are not sitting at home waiting for a call.” Wow, what groundbreaking news! What is this, 1974? In our allegedly sexually liberated society, did it really take you until COLLEGE to figure out that girls have control over their own sex lives? Unless this kid came straight to GW from an extremist polygamous Mormon compound, I can’t imagine why it took him so long to become the enlightened man he clearly thinks he is.

But what strikes me as even more bizarre is Mr. Jones’ conclusion. He does not conclude that men need to suck it up and realize that if they’re allowed to sleep around, so are we. Instead, he emphasizes communication as the solution to his “problem.” That’s right, boys, if you COMMUNICATE with the women you’re sleeping with, you can convince her to only sleep with you, while you continue fucking everyone in Foggy Bottom! Congratulations, Mr. Jones, on being able to find a solution that works for everyone.

Welcome to the 21st century, GW Hatchet. It’s not breaking news that women enjoy sex, and your readers shouldn’t be expected to commiserate with someone who suffered the horrible problem of… watching someone they don’t care about kiss someone else they don’t care about? Doesn’t exactly sound like it falls under the “bad sex happens to good people” category. I’d file it under “I sleep around, but expect women to stay faithful because I have no concept of sexual liberation,” or perhaps a more concise heading such as “ill-informed bullshit.”

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