Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do You Miss Me?

All Things Fashionating will resume its normal posting next week. I am happy to report that I have just been super busy looking for more fashionating things to blog about and got caught up enjoying my amazing life!

Stay tuned for more interesting reads...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Crushing Hard: The Cat's Miu Miu

Photo: Miu Miu

Last night, while watching "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" with my son and husband, I realized that I am being faced with a mission almost nearly as impossible.

My favorite black wedges from two seasons ago are finally coming to the end of their respectable life-span.  I am so sad to see them go, but the task to replace them is almost as daunting as climbing the world's tallest building in Dubai.

My new loves must be fashionable yet comfortable and be able to take me to every aspect of my life:  work, school and social functions.

Miu Miu, the high fashion brand from Prada, has a pair of patent leather cork platforms with a lacquered heel that I am considering.  Interesting enough to set me apart from the pack, but versatile and comfortable enough to fit into my life. 

There are a few other contenders but, my next step, is to actually try these Miu Miu's on and see if they are too good to be true.

However, I have chosen to accept this mission, so this post will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

Friday, May 18, 2012

DVF Wraps the 21st Century in Iconic Clothes

Diane Von Furstenberg has definitely come full circle since she first introduced her iconic wrap dress in 1973. Paving the way for women designers in the early 70s, her company – DVF, a global luxury lifestyle brand – continues to reign supreme in the world of fashion. 

Today, the saying “What’s Old is New Again,” certainly rings true for DVF’s Fall 2012 RTW collection. DVF and her right-hand man, Yvan Mispelaere, have created an ensemble that includes many looks which would have been right at home in the 1988 movie, “Working Girl.”
Photo: DVF

On the runway, DVF showcased clingy dresses Рsome that were draped and off the shoulder in brave, yet vibrant color combinations Рthat fell below the knee. An melon colored top tucked into pencil pants all topped with a blazer whose structured shoulders were reminiscent of a quarterback. An over-sized bouclé coat with a matching skirt was also paired with vibrant separates and elevated the look to fit many eras gone by.

Photo: DVF

Her signature prints showed up, but with a surreal twist. A pair of interlocking hands clasped the shoulder of a body-hugging black dress, while other frocks were decorated with torn fabric and musical notes.

Photo: DVF

Overall, the show – entitled Rendezvous – wrapped with an air of seduction. DVF and Mispelaere created the concept of the collection based on a fictitious clandestine meeting. “… a girl who has a beautiful, beautiful dress, with a big coat on top. She goes to meet someone, and she pulls off the coat,” said Von Furstenberg backstage at her show, “Glamorous at a moment’s notice.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Small Screen Drops the Ax: Who Made the Cut?

Photo: ABC

I believe that the television shows we choose to watch are a very personal decision and don’t necessarily define the person whom we are.  I know that I have some individual guilty pleasures such as “Mad Men,” “America’s Next Top Model,” Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and New Jersey, “Vampire Diaries”…you get what I’m saying.  These are shows that I feel comfortable watching while in the seclusion of my own home, but don’t typically admit to my devotion.  

And for those who are big fans of “American Idol,” “DWTS,” and “The Voice,” I’m sorry to disappoint but I am just not a big enthusiast of these talent competitions. 

I know I should be watching “Meet the Press” and “60 Minutes” each week, but I get enough of the negative current events through my newspaper reading.

With my husband, we like to watch shows that have more adult themes: “The League,” “It’s Always Sunny,” “Parenthood” and, on occasion, I can persuade the artist in him to watch “Project Runway”…or maybe it’s for the models.

With our son – besides cartoons – as a family we watch “The Amazing Race” and the syndicated show “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (“AFHV”), which will never go away.  I think Tom Bergeron has been preserved in formaldehyde because he is the longest running host on “AFHV” and freaks me out.  Shane loves the show and I simply tolerate it. There is something so disturbing about watching these homemade videos which almost always entail someone nearly dying.

But, the fact of the matter is that everyone has television shows that they enjoy whether they are dramas or reality or sitcoms; so when I saw the headline that the list of 2012 Cancelled Television programs had been announced, I clicked open the article with an air of nervousness.

Buh-bye Horatio!
I was relieved to read that most of my sub-par shows had missed the ax but there were a few oldies, but goodies that are going away, such as: “Desperate Housewives,” “CSI: Miami” (Goodbye Horatio Caine and don’t let the door hit you in the ass); “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and “House” just to name a few.
With the current bumpy economy, the brass at major studios – including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC – are under growing pressure to get rid of unsuccessful projects that fail to keep the viewers committed and entertained.

However, the obvious hits that are still high on the hog will continue to air for another season: “Big Bang Theory” (although personally I’m not sure why), “Bones,” “Family Guy,” “Modern Family,” “Glee (of course),” and “Fringe.”  In addition, I am relieved to report that “Parenthood” will endure to keep at least my hubby and I entertained – I love that show.  But also, “Mike & Molly,” “Community,” and “Parks and Recreations,” and “The Office” will continue to tickle our funny bones.

All in all, I can live with the choices that the networks have made and sigh another breath of relief that most of my favorite shows will live to see another year.

Cancelled Television Programs 2012
Alcatraz (Fox)
Allen Gregory (Fox)
Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC)
Awake (NBC)
Best Friends Forever (NBC)
Bent (NBC)
Breaking In (Fox)
Charlie’s Angels (ABC)
Chuck (NBC)
CSI: Miami (CBS)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
The Finder (Fox)
The Firm (NBC)
Free Agents (NBC)
A Gifted Man (CBS)
H8R (CW)
Harry’s Law (NBC)
House (Fox)
I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox)
Man Up! (ABC)
Missing (ABC)
Napoleon Dynamite (Fox)
NYC 22 (CBS)
One Tree Hill (CW)
Pan Am (ABC)
The Playboy Club (NBC)
Prime Suspect (NBC)
Remodeled (CW)
Ringer (CW)
The River (ABC)
Rob (CBS)
The Secret Circle (CW)
Terra Nova (Fox)
Unforgettable (CBS)
Work It (ABC)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crushing Hard: The Drybar

Photo by Drybar

In honor of Mother's Day, a few girlfriends and I hit up the newest Drybar location in Manhattan Beach. The Drybar, a blow dry bar, boasts a wash but no cuts or color. Just $35 blowouts. The concept has blown it out and they have expanded into the South and to the East Coast.

For the standard cost, the salon offers various types of blowout styles named after sophisticated drinks like the Manhattan, Cosmopolitan, Mai Tai and Shirley Temple.

For a wee bit extra, the dry bar offers UpTinis (Updos) for $70, Dry on the Fly (In Home Blowouts) for $73 and, most important, the Floater (a 10 minute head massage) at $10 extra. Nice!

However, us hot mamas, had gotten ourselves a sweet deal on Daily Candy.  For only $25, we received a standard wash and blowout which included a free mimosa.  My stylist was Nancy and she did a fabulous job; I walked out feeling like a million bucks.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Living in the Here and Now

Sometimes we all get so caught up with our day-to-day obligations -- work, family, social commitments -- that we end up going 100 miles per hour all day, every day.

Today, I am planning to live in the moment.

This morning, I started my day with a run with one of my best friends, Rachel.  After Shane's baseball game, I'm off to spend the afternoon with two of my other closest friends.  With plans to end the day cooking an authentic Spanish dish, Paella, for my family.

A recent Daily Om got me to slow down and smell the proverbial roses:

It is only in the present moment that we experience being alive.
Life, in all of its fullness, is happening right now. While our thoughts are sometimes elsewhere, beautiful opportunities and moments are being passed over and lost to the flow of time. And though we cannot possibly fully experience each leaf that falls to the ground, sometimes we get so attached to reaching our goals that we don’t pay attention to the wonder all around us. When we do that, we live in a world that exists only in our heads, while we miss life itself. There is so much to be enjoyed and appreciated that we need to remember to pay attention to the present moment, because it is the only space in which we can experience being alive.

We learn from our past, but dwelling on it keeps us from being fully present to life in the moment. We create our lives with our thoughts, but focusing so firmly on our imagined future keeps us from co-creating with the universe, so we might never allow ourselves to live our dreams as they manifest. It’s possible to be so happy and comfortable in our inner worlds that we lose touch with the business of life. We may enjoy spending large portions of time in meditation, or focused on our thoughts.

Life must be attended to, and if we are wise, we can enjoy it at the same time. We can awaken ourselves to the moment we are living right now by taking a deep breath and simply looking around. In doing so, we refocus our attention to our location in the real world. Then we can learn to appreciate the process of working toward our goals as much as their attainment. Balancing ourselves between the present moment and eternity, we can experience and enjoy the full range of reality available to us as spiritual beings living on earth.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New iPhone Leads One Woman to iFrustration

I have finally entered into the 21st Century and am proud to report that I now have an iPhone.

On my recent girls’ trip, I took a moment to look around and realized I was the only one in my group who wasn’t a part of the new smart phone phenomenon.  I felt left out of the cool kids club.

Lucky for me, I was available for an upgrade on my service plan and I jumped at the chance to get my exclusive membership.  Although my over-the-top excitement soon turned to frustration as I realized how time-consuming it was to learn to navigate my new toy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I actually love my coveted white iPhone 4s and am so excited to start acquiring my life-altering apps – especially now that I can play Words with Friends with my bestie from San Diego, Leslie.  (I looked it up and she invited me almost one whole year ago.)

But first, I just have to get over the initial hurdle of sending emails, text messages and making phone calls.  You know the complicated stuff. 

I was a whiz at typing on my Blackberry. The little raised letters seemed to connect seamlessly with my finger tip pads and, in no time at all, I was pressing send on an email or text.

To me, the letters in my iPhone keypad seem too close together.  I find myself hitting the wrong key over and over again.  I constantly keep hitting the return button instead of the back button and then find myself having to back track just to get back to where I left off.

The positive of this speed bump is that it is a smart phone and it is beginning to realize that I am not as smart as it is. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing and it has actually begun to pick up on my finger flubs.  My phone seems to know what I want to write even before I do it.

So far, I have tackled only the most basic necessities of being an iPhone owner.

First, I set up my sounds: the customization of my ring tone, text tone, voicemail notification, calendar and reminder alerts, lock sounds and keyboard clicks was a priority and one of the easiest tasks for me to tackle.

Next, I did a little online shopping at to purchase a phone case.  I mean, a girls phone has to look put together too.  A floral print Jessica Swift cover – with room for a few credit cards and cash – has helped me to create a Feng Shui look for my new phone.  I have to admit, it looks aesthetically pleasing to me  even though I don’t know how to utilize all the bells and whistles yet.

However, the rest has been slow going. 

My biggest excuse is that I have been super busy and just haven’t had the time to sit down and play with my newest piece of technology.  But, the real reason is that I certainly feel intimidated by it – as I personally do with all new technology – but I know I will get over it.

I had the same dilemma from the very first cell phone I ever purchased – a Ronald McDonald Motorola.  OK, the phone wasn’t really a McDonald’s phone, but the purchase of the phone donated money to the Ronald McDonald House.

Jason and I just referred to them as our McDonald's phones.  They were electric blue with these little antennas that pulled up.  As if that little piece of plastic actually did anything.

Over the years, I had various cell phones here and there but, three years ago, I got my first Blackberry.  Three upgrades later, I was hooked and didn’t think that I would ever go to the bad apple side.

However, watching how much more superior Jason’s iPhone 4 was to my final Blackberry and witnessing everything my friends’ phones did while in NOLA, I knew it was time to make the move.

On the day I brought my new phone home, my seven year old son asked if he could check it out.  I reluctantly handed it over and he, of course, expertly slid the arrow to unlock my phone without any hesitation, and immediately fingered through my applications. 

Moments later he promptly handed my phone over without an iota of interest.  He said, you don’t have any cool apps.  

Not yet, but I have grand visions of the Apps that I do plan to add once I figure out what I am doing and I am giddy with anticipation.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Crushing Hard: Oh You Stud!

Photo Courtesy DANNIJO website

After seeing a fashion brief in People Style magazine about  DANNIJO Jewelry, I found myself very curious about their funky designs.

Once on the site, I was blown away by the extensive variety of choices, but the Sloane cuff brought me back to my Guns N Roses days when I was living in New York City.  This gorgeous mini stackable studded cuff is classic rocker chic.

Retailing for $220, it comes in Oxidized Silver or 14K gold platings.

Founded by sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder in 2008, DANNIJO jewelry is hand-made in New York and offers an eclectic range of designs. Danielle’s bohemian, rocker vibe combined with Jodie’s timeless sophistication makes for a versatile and ever-changing statement collection that consistently maintains a strong sense of DNA.

Friday, May 4, 2012

ATF Birthday Week Culminates Back in NOLA

Well, ATF's birthday week has come to an end.  I enjoyed sharing my top four posts of all time and having a little reprieve from writing all new posts this week.

Next week, my blog will cover some old and new fashionable and current topics, while carrying on with my self-deprecating personal anecdotes.

ATF's fourth most viewed post was just from last week -- Hot Proper Ladies In Hats Take On NOLA.  Here is the link for your reading pleasure.!/2012/04/hot-proper-ladies-in-hats-take-on-nola.html

Thank you again for following my blog and I look forward to continuing to share All Things Fashionating with you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Was a Club MTV Dancer

Back in the 1990s, I had a friend who worked at In Style Magazine. She had some connections and got me, and another friend, a gig dancing on Club MTV.

The original host – Downtown Julie Brown – was holding the mic and the Pet Shop Boys were rocking The Palladium in New York City during those early years of the MTV show.

The show, which was modeled after American Bandstand, cut back and forth between teen-agers (uh, hum and young adults) who would dance to hit songs and videos of those songs.  Often there were musical guests who performed their new singles; such guests included Paula Abdul, Deee-lite, Salt-N-Peppa, Black Box, Vanilla Ice, Samantha Fox and MC Hammer just to name a few.

The first time I had the opportunity to dance, I was completely excited but wasn't sure what to expect.

I was told to bring several changes of clothes as we would be filming part of a season over a two day period.

At the time, I was still going to college and living at home with my mom. So, at dawn on the first day of filming, I lugged my suitcase down to the curb – this was before rolling suitcases existed – and threw it into my friend’s car.

We made the trek up to New York City and arrived at The Palladium, a night club which was located on East 14th Street.  (I would later live only four blocks away where the show was filmed.)

At first, I was completely overwhelmed by the whole scene. There were club kids everywhere in every stage of fashion: hip-hop, Goth, preppy, burnout, and pop. You could tell they had done this before and were used to the drill.

I definitely felt insecure but, as I went into the dressing room, I really studied what these young women were wearing. I may have been from the Bridge and Tunnel crowd at that time, but I was going to work hard to make that not look so apparent.

I already worked in fashion – this was a few years before my Betsy Johnson years – yet I already had a knack for styling edgy outfits (for the time).

When taping started, my friend and I found a mediocre spot in the crowd. I soon learned the drill and realized what we needed to do to get some camera time.

During the first break between taping episodes, I went back to my suitcase and pulled out a super short black mini skirt with a matching halter top, which exposed my belly; I threw on a pair of bike shorts underneath (for those notorious up-skirt camera shots) and topped it off with my favorite Dan Post cowboy boots. Wha-la – instant fashion.

The next step was to score a high-profile spot on the dance floor.

As I said – these were club kids, aspiring actors, and dance school students – who were all looking for their big break on television. We had major competition and, as I said, these kids all knew the drill, so we had to work hard to get ourselves recognized.

Mid-way through episode two – while there was a little break in filming –some kids hopped down off a platform and I climbed right on up. It wasn't easy to keep that spot – and we scored other less prominent perches to get down and boogie – but I always tried my best to get that platform and, every time we did, we got a lot more airtime.

While dancing, it was apparent that there were a small number of the dancers who were given priority.

These were the dancers who had fans and got face time with Downtown Julie Brown. They all went by first names and I always remembered one woman in particular...Camille Donatacci.

She was definitely one of the most popular dancers and certainly had a je ne sais quoi about her. I have to be honest; I was definitely envious. She dressed very hip, but it was apparent that her clothes were very expensive and her long blond hair styled impeccably. She was very popular among the viewers.

A few years later, Camille went on to marry – and now divorce – Kelsey Grammar and is now one of the most popular Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It is apparent that she had some star quality about her – enough to catch one of Hollywood's richest (yet older) bachelors – and her stint on Club MTV certainly helped her.

As for me, I did gain some notoriety for being on the show. I was recognized back in my hometown and, even though I was invited back for one more taping for the following season, sadly, it did not launch my career in the entertainment business.

However, I loved to dance – and still do to this day – and it was just fun to do it on television. I don't claim to be the best dancer (as you can see from my You Tube video), but I was just happy for the opportunity to get down with Julie Brown.

Wubba, wubba, wubba!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crushing Hard: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

Sometimes you have to look back to the old, to find something new. 

Now, not to get too down on Ulta Beauty but, one of the things that I really needed to replace last weekend, they could not do so. 

At the top of my list, I needed to replenish my Benefit Bluffdust, which I absolutely adore because it has yellow tones that calm the redness that I tend to get on my face.  Unfortunately, it seemed that was the only Benefit product that they did not carry at the mega beauty supply.

I was unable to find anything else that was comparable, so I shelved that dilemma to another day.  Well, by Thursday, I was completely missing my loose powder and the dilemma had blown up into a catastrophe. 

I had to run into CVS Drugstore for a birthday card when I remembered that my best buddy from growing up -- Amy Pavao -- had always used Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder.  It always caught my eye because it came in this super cute box with a big powder puff.

So, for $7 and some change, I thought I would give Airspun a try.

The first thing I noticed is that the packaging is a bit different; it now comes in a plastic container but still has the powder puff.  Also, the smell was so nostalgic to me.  The talc smell completely reminded me of my Grandmom and, since Coty has been making this powder since 1935, it may have been my grandmother's loose powder of choice.

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder states on the packaging that it features an exclusive Microspun formula where loose powder particles are spun and swirled until the reach a cloud-like softness.  This ultra smooth powder hides tiny lines, wrinkles and other blemishes and gives a new softness to your skin. 

I actually use it to set my make-up and I have been extremely happy with the Naturally Neutral (for light to medium skin tones) so far.

Also, Airspun is a great value: There are 2.3 ounces in the container -- compared to
Benefits powder which only has .50 ounces -- and it retails for a third of the price. 

I am so loving everything about this loose powder no wonder it has been a beauty legacy since 1935. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

YSL Fashion Documentary Is Mad With Love

I’ve been hearing all kinds of buzz about a French documentary profiling the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. 

I had been hoping to publish this post yesterday – on Wednesday June 1 –the three year anniversary of Laurent’s passing, but National Running Day took precedence. Sorry Mr. YSL.

But, I am praying that I get a chance to see “L’Amour Fou,” (Mad Love) which is about Laurent and his longtime companion and business partner, Pierre Berge. The movie, which is directed by Pierre Thoretton, is only out in limited release. I have not actually viewed the film, but I have seen mixed reviews.

According to the L.A. Times, the documentary is narrated by Berge as he applauds Laurent on his accomplishments in the world of fashion, such as being a forefather for ready-to-wear fashion and his breaking the mold by using non-traditional looking models on the runway.  It also touches on YSL’s struggle with alcohol and depression throughout their 50 years together.

But wait…haven’t I seen this documentary before?  I think it was called “Valentino: The Last Emperor.”  The Italian version of creative genius boy meets wealthy business minded boy; they fall in love and create an empire.

One day, while home from work with the flu, I found out that I was able to download all these great fashion documentaries from Netflix On Demand. I had the opportunity to sneeze my way through an 8 hour fashion documentary frenzy.

What started the marathon was that I had been wanting to see the film about fashion legend Valentino Garavani for quite some time.  It was produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, who is associated with Vanity Fair Magazine, so the footage was unparalleled as far as getting an insider’s glimpse into the life of one of the last living fashion icons.

The film actually highlights Valentino’s life story, his celebrated calling and explores larger themes affecting the fashion business today.  The main thread of the film is the relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Do you see any similarities?

The next documentary I watched was “The September Issue.” The film – directed by R. J. Cutler – spotlights Anna Wintour – the infamous devil at Vogue – and her mission to create Vogue’s largest September issue in 2008. 

I was riveted by this documentation. The director and his crew filmed many snippets of celluloid which profiled the collaborations of Wintour’s staff as they created their behemoth volume yet.  It was with a voyeur's enthusiasm that I watched Wintour interact with her staff – most of which are never named and seem to quake in their Louboutin boots.

I have to say that I respect Wintour who scaled her way to the top of ivory fashion tower, but she seems so cold and robotic.  This documentary tries to give a little glimpse into her as a human being, but not one that I would want to meet in a dark alley.  To me, her √©lan is quite lacking.  Her decades old bob and safe sense of style – despite its being haute couture – makes me think of her as a big dowdy bully; especially throughout this film.

Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington, shines as the heroine of the film.  It is apparent that her talent and vision make the artistic value of the magazine shine.  However, it is more her chutzpah that is admirable.  When Wintour shoots down several of Coddington's ideas, she stands up to the Devil herself.  Although sometimes, it is just the eye rolling and muttering under her breath, which makes me want to root for Coddington.  I just love passive aggressive behavior.

This documentary is really only a snap shot of the magazine business, but it is a captivating watch for sure.

The last movie of my marathon was called, “Seamless.”  I was practically having an anxiety attack by the end of it.  The movie focuses on four New York fashion designers competing for the first annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue Magazine's Fashion Fund.  The winner was awarded a humongous monetary prize as well as a high profile honor, which guarantees making it big in the world of fashion.  This ain’t no Project Runway kids.

The four designers who made it to the finals were: Alexandre Plokhov of Cloak; Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler; and Doo Ri Chung of Doo.Ri.

Each designer is highly talented, ambitious and penniless which is why the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is so important.

Of course, as it is in the real world, none of this just comes easy.  There are many obstacles – both personal and professional – that these aspiring designers have to get up, over, under and around. 

Personally, this was my favorite documentary out of all three because it was so real and I found myself truly cheering for each and every designer.  It was inspiring to see the raw talent that these (at the time) unknown designers possessed; and now - a few years later - to see where they have landed. 

Who knows, we may be witnessing the creation of the next prodigy to replace Mr. Saint Laurent.  But I will have to watch  “L’Amour Fou,” to find out.  Even if there is only a little to love about the film.

All Things Fashionating Celebrates Its First Birthday

Well, today, it has been one whole year since I officially launched my blog about nothing.

Ultimately, I am very proud of it and so happy that I have been dedicated to keep up with my writing about things that I find fascinating. Obviously, my primary focus is fashion, entertainment with a little pop culture thrown into the mix of my own personal story. But, on the same note, I can only imagine what would happen if I was able to devote more time to my blog.

Now, I know I shouldn't beat myself up over such things. I’m supposed to focus on what I have accomplished and not dwell on those things that I have not...yet. However, I can’t help but have this feeling that, with a little perseverance, ATF could be so much more so I keep plugging along.

I want to thank those of you whom have been loyal readers of ATF from the very beginning. I truly appreciate each and every one of you and implore you to keep following me. I dream big and I know that eventually I will cultivate this little blog into something more substantial.

In the meanwhile, stick around. I will be posting my top three ATF blogs of all time this week to give myself a little reprieve and explore some other fashionating topics.

[Side note: OK, since Blogger still perplexes me, I inadvertently posted my most popular post YSL Fashion Documentary is Mad With Love;postID=8919615322885248373

which received 242 page views.  You'd think that, after a year, I'd know enough to not pull the trigger prematurely but, hey, what can I say when I get excited, I just can't control myself.  I will throw in the fourth most popular ATF post of all time this Friday.]
Live long and prosper...Nanoo, nanoo!