Laura, possum, you are a uniter. We find it wonderful that, whatever one’s differences of political opinion, we can all agree as a country about Jo de la Rosa’s skin. We have watched, rapt, as the Bravo cameras exposed every pebbly path of acne on her face. At times, we wondered if we weren’t watching the “before” section of a ProActiv infomercial. We think someone at Bravo secretly hates her, and is filled with self-loathing to the depths of their soul at having to work on such a show, a show that exhibits such utter contempt for its audience that, if there were any justice in the world or in America (sorry, didn’t mean to get all political again), it would make the viewers rise up and storm Bravo headquarters with pitchforks and torches and lay waste to it brick by brick.
Friday, September 5, 2008
And he's back, ladies, gentlemen and possums. A week that simultaneously thrilled and dispirited our gimlet-eyed, whip-and-wisecracking, resident curmudgeon and gay éminence grise, Hughman. And so, without further ado:
Have these contestants been frozen in time? Seriously. I’m shocked at how ignorant they are of the world of fashion and time.
Three things to know about Diane Von Furstenberg:
1. She’s the most famous export of Belgium since Belgian beard, er, beer. Oh, what the hell. She’s rumored to be the “beard” for Barry Diller, media mogul and faggo dei faggi of the Velvet Mafia. As Cityfile puts it, “She has been very close to the media mogul for more than three decades—he famously gave her 29 loose diamonds in a Band-Aid box for her 29th birthday—but the union still raised eyebrows considering Diller has been in gay relationships most his adult life.” So, ok, wife, companion or whatever. Point is, he’s filthy rich and has financed her fashion company, so she’s not crying about her income.
2. She, if not invented, revolutionized the Wrap Dress. It was a staple at Studio 54 in the Seventies. It was a dress you could throw on at 2 AM and go out and look fabulous in.
3. She’s renowned for her use of bold prints.
Tim Gunn was kind enough to mention the last point. Did anyone listen? Hardly. Apparently black and concrete gray are the new prints. Why, why, WHY would you go for black with DVF?? Because you are an ignorant newcomer, that’s why.
Also, Marlene Dietrich:
1. Infamous film star.
2. Known for her androgynous looks, most notably her tuxedo in Josef von Sternberg’s Morocco:
3. Understated to the nth degree.
Where were the print tuxedos? Where were the 40s looks? Where was the reach to a past era?
Not here. These kids are just on some trip that has nothing to do with fashion. It has to do with self-promotion and exposure. I like many of the results (many of which were in the top spots) but they had little to do with the inspiration given them. They were like an MTV recap of Madonna minus the timely references.
Ugh, I was so frustrated.
The best -
Korto’s dress was at least a great pattern - the one, in fact, featured in Diane’s American Express commercials.
I don’t love a weird jacket over a long dress (which goes for all of them) but at least it was bold and not all drab and monotone. Kenley’s dress, while supposedly simple, was at least cute and accessible. I actually loved the dress she was personally wearing better with the feathered epaulets. Where was that dress on the runway?
Leanne wins. Her dress was chic on its own. Again, I wasn’t so crazy about the jacket but I’ll just call this a Jennifer Hudson on the Oscar runway moment. I could actually see Marlene wearing this with long gloves and a cocktail in hand. Good for Leanne, two in a row.
The worst -
All the ones I have grown to hate in one showdown. It was so good it was evil because I could have seen any of them go in a heartbeat.
Joe has some weird idea about his designs which is laughable. This was like something a hostess at a Benihana in a trailer park would wear. So sad and so badly made. He really needs a reality check. Suede’s outfit was what the high school slut on Planet of the Apes wears to the prom. A vest over a long dress? Really? Even if the dress hadn’t been so weird, the vest was just freaky.
Poor Stella. She obviously thinks inside of a very small box. Her outfit could have been very Amelia Earhart and aviatrix to adapt to her point of view. Instead it was like badly fitted office drag. That vest looked like something the model stole out of her mother’s closet when she was six. And a cape? She had been destined to go, but this was her shining moment of poor choices and ignorance and refusal of the judges’ input.
So no cute guy, no older rebel hat without a cause. What have we left?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Oh the Hughmanity! Week 7: “I take (a probably unhealthy) joy in seeing cute, humpy guys bawl like babies”
Possums, first of all, please, please accept our apologies for the lateness of this recap. The faithful Hughman whipped it up in record time last week, but unfortunately we were out of town for our beastly day job and unable to blog or post. The fault is entirely ours. But all good things are worth wait. And so, without further ado:
I’ve been so busy watching the Democratic Convention Speeches. HA HA! Democratic Convention = Project Runway and speeches = this past episode. Ok, I watched both so let me get all Andrew Sullivan and distill this down to talking points:
1. I’m so sick of seeing that Olsen girl on the cover of Elle at the newsstand shot. Yeah, we got it. Nina Garcia used to work at Elle but for Christ’s sake, was this the only cover ever made?
2. Tonight is all about Product Placement. No, seat belts. No, Product Placement. Thankfully Saturn cars place money into this show and not, say Valtrex. I shudder to think what genital herpes leaves behind in its wake. In the end we get seat belts all the way.
3. Models, this isn’t Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery, is, like, SO hard! If you get a paying job versus a job based on some know-nothing designer who may dangle a spread in a dying magazine, what do you chose? THE PAYING JOB. DUH. The drama about this choice was retarded. It’s about the rent, Kenley, not you. Oops.
4. We have the winners, and the losers:
Heidi proclaims (twice) that she would wear Jerrell’s Judy Jetson outfit. Yeah, we got it. On Planet Seal this is what women wear. Here, back on Reality, not so much. It was OK but not what every woman is dying to be seen in every day. It would, however, have been FAB last week for the Drag Queens which says a lot. Heidi is a secret Drag Queen! Duh. Case closed.
Korto’s woven jacket was fab, as usual. She’s so my fave in a very Angie Stone way. Very smart and it didn’t look like it was made from the dreaded seat belts to her credit. I wish it had opened to show something underneath but so be it.
Leanne wins with her shaped short cocktail dress. It was a bold move into the world of shaped garments and was not so bad. Not a Comme des Garçons statement with detachable pieces, but outside of the box. At the least it tried to reshape the model’s stick thin figure, which is a good thing.
Kayne’s dress was Drag-worthy too but not in a good way and as noted on the show, fit horribly in the bust. This queen may have ideas but fit ain’t one of them. He took the seat belts and made them seat dolts. Drag wear for a Mexican Bar. Big market for him and Daniel.
Keith gets auf’d. From the front, his dress was OK but from the back it was a meshed mess. I do, however, take (a probably unhealthy) joy in seeing cute, humpy guys bawl like babies. I have in the past made a Personal Trainer burst into tears and cry like a six year old girl when I told him I wouldn’t be seen in public when he was wearing Lycra pants. I made him go to a Gap and buy chinos right away. It wasn’t PERSONAL, it was what he was wearing! We all have standards! So watching Keith weep in his dismissal gave me a cheap thrill. Plus his outfit was shitty and I don’t know if I could live through another shredded atrocity.
All in all, not bad results (to our shock). This was an idiotic challenge which produced above average product. Yay! Valtrex might have resulted in a lot more coverage which could only be a good thing. I’m just saying.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sweet readers -
Tuck your junk between your legs or lower your voice an octave or two. This week is supposedly smokin’ and I was all over it like white on rice.
1. Drag queens, unlike most models, have personality. Big time. Usually demonstrated by their name. The stereotypical drag queen name is “your first pet” + “the first street you lived on.” Mine is Choya De La Roche, FYI. Try it now!
2. Finding shoes ain’t easy. As I told before in my story about my foray into drag, it’s an event. Bluefly.com isn’t probably going to have a lot of size 14s. This could be a problem.
So the challenge begins. Chris March, the Gay Voice of PR (despite the other “Gay Voices” on PR) comes out in a fierce outfit. “OH!,” the contestants exclaim, he’s dressed like a Gay Viking! No, retard, he’s making fun of Wagner Operas. Duh. Welcome to the new century. The two most prominent Drag Queens on the runway are Hedda Lettuce and Varla Jean Merman (who I’ve seen in a revue and is SO worth seeing. She was also in the musical Chicago on Broadway).
Basically this was designing for shapes that weren’t “normal” model types. It was yet another redux of a past challenge where they designed for the contestants’ mothers who weren’t the usual sizes the designers are used to working with. They needed a vision outside of their comfort zone. Their comfort zones are apparently teeny tiny little squares listed in Dullsville. THESE ARE DRAG QUEENS, PEOPLE! For fuck’s sake, pad everything you see! Work the fierce accessories!
Oh child, this week was so disjointed. Joe (who espoused the most hetero, moronic, unrelated memos about this week’s challenge) almost delivered, which on this season means he won. His costume was a tribute (oddly enough) to the Drag Queen he chose. It was showy and could be worn in a revue any time. Yes, it was supposedly based on a sailor outfit, but where were the white ribbons on the collar? Where was the purse shaped like an anchor? Where was the belt shaped like a Sperm Whale, for God’s sake? I was shocked. He mentioned he designed for his daughters and I only assume they’re the most fab girls ever. Too bad they have him for a dad. So Joe won. But I still loved me some Korto. 1 - She made a dress and not a jumpsuit (which I think is bit of a drag copout). 2 - Loved the colors. It was like Krakatoa Kamp and the tear-away skirt was genius. Every good act needs a prop and here one was built in.
Keith’s costume must be what Mormon Dust Busters wear on Halloween.
His idea that all women want to dress like a Swiffer is misguided and a little weird at best. Darling, Lemon Pledge isn’t a scent by Chanel. Stella’s dress was “Mother of the Bride” at a Scottish wedding. Snooze. Blayne has clearly just lost his mind. Star Trek-licious and not in a good way. Take it from someone who’s actually heard Varla Jean Merman sing the Star Trek theme while eating (a highlight of her act)!
Daniel FINALLY gets auf’d. Let’s face it, he was hanging by a string for many weeks now and if he couldn’t face up to this week’s Gay Challenge, what hope had he? His costume was drab and wishy-washy; it was like a hostess outfit at Outback. His interests in wanting to be classy and whatever were silly here. The answer was to take what the client wanted and to multiply times ten. This is a dress for a DRAG QUEEN, queen! How many times did that have to be reiterated? What planet are you on? The bigger the better! Fail, yuk. It was boring and safe, two things going out in Drag in Public ain’t.
RuPaul was surprisingly astute and on point in her judging. Gotta give the girl some credit, she knew what she was talking about and delivered like Domino’s. If anything, she could have been a little bitchier (as I know she can) and torn down some of the more boring designs.
Overall, I wanted more Show for this show. I wanted more glitter, more glamour, more va-va-voom. I wanted more Chris March. Instead, as usual this season, we were only given more closeted, dull gayjects. Come out of the closet, and soon, or we’ll just give you up for done and throw you on the bash heap. Boring is so ugly in a young gay.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As you may remember, possums and queens, our very own Hughman recently laid down the law to Joe Faris, rapping Joe forcefully on the knuckles with a glitter cane and making the ageless pronouncement,
"Unless you've been in drag and heels in a crowded gay bar (which I have once), you have no right to use the Q-word." And now, in anticipation of tonight's Project Dragway, Hughman is giving us details of just how well he knows whereof he speaks. Please to sample and enjoy:
Get ready, girlfriends. This week is going to be a veritable stuffed bra of goodness. I feel compelled to preface my usual recap (which will come in a few days) with this little historical disquisition.
Let me start by saying I’m no rube from the sticks about Drag. On the contrary, over the years I lived in New York City, I was sort of a Drag Groupie. I even did drag once in the late 80’s, ironic since I was a steroided Chelsea Muscle Boy at the time. You can read about it here (Ed: Oh do, possums, do; it's well worth it).
In addition, I was friends with many of the Drag Stars of the time.
1. Lady Bunny - I was a denizen of The Pyramid Club in NYC’s East Village when Lady Bunny was a go-go dancer on the bar. Once she called me over and said “HONEY, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?” “The South,” I answered honestly. “ME TOO!,” she exclaimed, “WE’RE SISTERS!” True to her word, we became occasional friends afterwards. She also was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the infamous Wigstock, which originally started in the East Village too. Almost all of these Drag Queens performed at Wigstock while hundreds of guys (and gals) stood around shirtless in the sun with wigs on. Fun!
2. RuPaul also performed at The Pyramid and at another East Village haunt called Boy Bar. Once a friend and I were watching her on her talk show and my friend remarked “Remember when we used to push her out of the way to get to the bar?”
3. Joey Arias - I first met Joey at another lounge called Bar D’oh where he’d perform on Wednesdays. I’d often go and see him and we would chat endlessly, and he even met my mother, who whispered to me, “He’s wearing make-up!” Later Joey went to Las Vegas, where he headlined the Cirque du Soleil show called “Zumanity.” He does a flawless imitation of Billie Holiday.
4. Raven-O - worked in tandem with Joey and later became the emcee at the popular NYC cabaret called The Box. He also sang (as a woman) in his natural voice.
5. Lypsinka - lip-synched and acted in several acclaimed revues. I met her when I styled a shoot she did for Italian Vogue photographed by Albert Watson. She performed her whole act on tape while Albert shot pictures and I was an enraptured audience of one in his studio.
6 Other Drag friends included Mona Foot (who also worked at Patricia Field’s old shop on Eighth Street where we’d go hang on Saturday afternoons), Hedda Lettuce and The Duchess who was Susanne Bartsch’s assistant and event doorperson. They were all royalty in their own right in the Drag Scene of the time. Joey and Mona were also both in the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.
So you see, I know the gig.
In my opinion, there are two types of Drag Queens. Those who wish to “pass” as real women and those who were more performers, pushing the limits of their presentation towards Art and less concerned with being seen as a possible secretary in the work force. Naturally, I leant more towards the latter. They were always hilarious, glamorous and I hope to think flattered and excited that someone like me (and some of my friends) were willing to have fun with them and not be restricted by boring old stereotypes.
So let’s tuck in (ha ha - get it?) and get ready for the challenge.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
So this week, possums, Project Runway stumbled into the jungle, but little did they know that what awaited them there, the thing that goes bump and meow in the night, was none other than our own Hughman. And so, without further ado, we present the Bumble in the Jungle:
I gotta hand it to Bravo. They have officially upended my fucking world.
Here I thought, After building the Project Runway brand based on its loyal gay viewers and then losing PR in an ugly, adulterous divorce to frowsy, housecoat-wearing Lifetime, Bravo will surely go gently into that good night.
(Clearly, I had forgotten the Angela Bassett approach from Waiting to Exhale: taking lighter fluid and a lit match to the whole damned thing, and sashaying off with pert breasts proudly ensconced in a lace teddy.)
At any rate, Handy Andy and his gay elves at Bravo Headquarters (gelves?) have instead decided to troll the bottom of the barrel for this last season in order to parade before the huddled gay masses yearning to be freaks the most confused, childish people on Earth who’ve ever touched needle or cloth. This season’s contestants make The Real World look like the Antiques Roadshow. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some crazy. But though Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, he didn’t then go and draw outlines around his hand and call it Art. This season, with a couple of exceptions, is all Hand Turkeys. It frankly makes me want to be naked all the time just so I can say “Clothes? Oh no, I’ve never tried them.”
This episode brings us the esteemed Brooke Shields of the possibly fictional TV show Lipstick Jungle. I mean, c’mon. Sure, ‘twas oft-mentioned on this episode, but has anyone really seen it or wanted to? (Well, aside from Kelli Martin’s Nana?) Enough to mention it 10,000 times? Suddenly Susan might have had as much resonance with this bunch. That said, the winner’s outfit this challenge will be shown on JAG! Uh, no! On Lipstick Jungle, or America’s Next Tranny Model, or at some craft service table somewhere.
After pitching clothes and pitching fits, the finalists are chosen for whatever reason and have to pick someone to work with them. Most choose in some blind parallel universe which is AWESOME for our interests. It’s the tasteless leading the tasteless, and the blind leading the lame. Translation: disaster. OMG, so fun! Jerell and Stella - please fail, please fail. The collaborative “process” between Korto, my fave, and Joe, my not fave, is not pretty. Clueless Daniel and Blayne are thrown into their combos where they can relive Madonna circa 1998. Done and over.
Ultimately, deciding what some crazy-ass fictional character on a dying TV show would wear is a no-win situation. It’s like designing an outfit for a character on The Little Mermaid—impossible and weird. The character, if they had listened to Brooke, is a movie executive. Plus she’s FUCKING BROOKE SHIELDS! You could hear the crickets in their teensy heads debating the parameters.
Daniel just turns into the whiny queen who asks every three seconds why you’re walking too fast when you’re late for a movie. His one task is to design a pencil skirt - IN BLACK - which is like drawing a Hand Turkey in fabric and he still fails. And after he claims on the runway to have “impeccable taste,” you’re just left with, “Queen, lay off the K.” Just ‘cause you daydream you’re Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t make you German.
As for Blayne, I really don’t get the obsession with shorts (or skorts) on this season. It’s currently on the runway with the men folk - misguided at best - but with women? Not so much. It comes across as a bizarre reach to the past, and not so original. Like a Three’s Company flashback. Blayne’s design was a nightmare. Step away from the Cul-nots. Day to night does not mean going from your job at Strawberry Fields to doing Jell-O shots at TGIF’s. Ok, maybe it does in Washington State where Blayne hails from, but not on the genius that is *drumroll* LIPSTICK JUNGLE!!! Perhaps he misheard. Dipstick Bungle, Dipshit Stumble? Who the fuck knows? It was fugly all over. Also, can we say “hippy,” as in “makes your hips look huge”? Ew all over.
The loser was, again, a worst of the worst. Kelli’s vision of dressing versus the unflattering shorts is a dice throw of design. Frankly, I would never choose the shorts because I’m not stupid. On a 40+ woman, shorts like this are retarded. They make women look too short and trying to be some age they aren’t. Kelli’s was at least a dress, which an adult woman would wear - especially one who is a supposed Studio Head.
Kelli is out, which I hate. And after reading her interview from when she was booted, I know why. She’s everything posers like Blayne and Jerell aspire to - she’s opinionated and most importantly she’s funny. This season could use a big honking dose of funny because so far it’s just crunching my buzz.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Well, possums, the love child of Brittany Murphy and Lorraine Bracco did not go down without a fight. No sirree.
To wit, have a look at what she said in an exit interview:
I have never seen Lipstick Jungle, but my grandma has watched it. [!!] I always assumed it was a cut-rate Sex in the City. [!!] Brooke Shields? Sadly, all I know about her are her Postpartum Depression issues, not much real work since the early ‘80s. [!!]
...working with Daniel was kind of like working with the town drunk dressed in a fancy suit ... [!!]
Bravotv.com: The judges’ comments questioned your taste level -- what is your response to that?
Simple. Our taste levels are different. Mine is on the wavelength of appreciating fashion, but also realizing that the majority of it comes from people like me. My generation is much different than the 50-year-olds judging me, particularly the different subcultures. You might think that you know what the kids are wearing, but you don't. You know what rich kids are wearing, and honey, we aren't all going to the Oscars. So the slam on taste was a joke. Nice try man. We didn't all come from money and weren't able to use that “in” to make us somebody.
To which we say: BITCH! But only because we wished we'd thought of some of these putdowns. Never mess with a Columbine, possums (or whatever people from Columbus are called); they're scrappy.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
In Ernst Lubitsch's The Smiling Lieutenant, Miriam Hopkins is the wife, Claudette Colbert the mistress. The circle each other, bitchslap, cry, sing about their lingerie, and stage a makeover. Don't say you weren't warned, possums.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The last season of Top Chef had lesbian couple Jen and Zoi, and this season of Project Runway almost had Judy & Grant. Like Jen and Zoi, they're from San Francisco, and despite Grant's girly delight at the loveliness of elephant-printed crepe de chine, they claim to be sleeping together. Oh what might have been....
Dispatch from the Department of WTF: This Guy Didn't Make It to Season 5 But Blayne and Stella and Jennifer Did!?!?
Ok, we'll give you Blayne and Stella because what they lack in talent they obviously make up for with good television, but Jennifer Diederich? This fellow who was doodling stripper shoes as a three-year-old in Armenia is somehow less interesting and less talented than deer-in-the-headlights, mousier-than-mouse Holly Golightly at that goddamned Salvador Dalí exhibit? No comprendo.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Oh the Hughmanity! Week 4: “Unless You’ve Been in Drag and Heels in a Crowded Gay Bar, You Have No Right to Use the Q-Word”
08/08/08, the luckiest day of the year, possums, because Hughman’s claws are in Olympic form:
So this week on Project Runway,
WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO BRING YOU THIS SPECIAL MESSAGE
Have you seen Million Dollar Listing? I assume you have because you’re a Bravoholic like I am. In the realm of wacky, fucked-up craziness, this show has it in spades. Barely legal, self-centered, greedy young boys hopped up on hormones.... boo-yah!
Why, you may ask, do I bring this up? Well it seems there are certain points which remind me of PR. Over-groomed, egotistic imp and 2005, Misfits, Peggy Moffitt hairdo (Chad Rogers on MDL). Uh... BLAYNE! Ambisexual, butch (relatively) sane one sporting Playgirl looks and non-threatening masculinity (Madison Hildebrand on MDL). Hello Keith! Dull, over-styled bore with spiked 2006 hair and three-day beard who hasn’t shown much talent - plus with his arresting art theft credentials and being BFFs with Jason Davis, the fat slacker brother of hated Brandon Davis - (Josh Flagg)? Jerell, perhaps the lamest gay black ever! Check, Queen(s), Mate!
It’s like some odd parallel universe. Cutting prices vs. cutting brown satin. Coincidence? I think not! Rather some cocktail-induced plot by Andy Cohen to ease us from one show to the other. For what it’s worth. I am SO THERE.
END OF MESSAGE
Anyhoo, so this week on Project Runway...
Obvs. the object of PR this season is to get us to just hate everyone. Sure, I was grossed out by Stella at first (as it seemed a lot of other people were). Worn hippies with one leathered look aren’t my favorite. Especially with that voice.
Yet now my disgust has expanded. Suede still has a level of conceit that is hard to stomach, not abetted by the whole calling himself by the third person thing. Blayne continues to whine endlessly about tanning or lack thereof. Tanning should be the least of his problems. Jerell has jumped on the Hate-Wagon due to his snarky comments and bad designs. To me, it’s like a hair stylist. Would I allow someone who dresses me to wear a Boogie Boy hat and jodhpurs? Ew. Finally “straight guy” Joe is just whiney and petulant.
”There are too many queens”. Uh, hello? “Queens” is to me like the n-word. Unless you’ve been in drag and heels in a crowded gay bar (which I have once), you have no right to use the Q-word. What did he expect? Fashion isn’t exactly an enclave of lumberjacks. Complaining about “queens” on a show like PR is frankly ignorant and stupid.
The winning designs were iffy. Joe showed a “skort,” which is the “brunch” of fashion, a word made up to bridge a gap between two meals that stand on their own. Even his skort was questionable, more like an apron over shorts - like a shorpron. Ehn. He was there as the best of the worst, not because it was so great. Terri’s design was a study in separates. The jacket was nice, I guess, but did anyone else notice the boobs popping out over her “corset” during the runway that were later covered up by that weird scarf?
Korto wins. Yay! I have to admit I’m all Team Korto so far. The story she shared about her background this episode was actually interesting and compelling, not some crazy-ass shit about her current dilemmas. The outfit was sleek and modern and could easily be adapted to male athletes as well. Good for her.
The losing outfits - what a fucking mess. Jerell’s result was freaky weird. That hat? It was like Mary Pickford on mushrooms. Throwing the Bluefly belt on the skirt was just wrong and stuck out like a sore thumb. Daniel’s dress was made for a stewardess on IHOP Airlines. Word to the wise for the designers (which comes a little late): STEP AWAY FROM THE SHINY SATIN! It shows all flaws, puckers and rarely lays right. His dress looked like a drag outfit for French sailors. So awkward and unsophisticated. Finally, poor Jennifer. I actually liked the skirt, although I thought the color choice was wrong. It was well made and fit kind of cute. The jacket, however, was crossed signals all over the place. One minute it was a bolero and the next it was a jeweled sweater your grandma would wear. It just looked heavy and not athletic or Summer Olympics in the least. I thought other outfits were worse, to be honest, but in the end she had to go.
Previews warn us of Daniel’s petulant breakdown. God forbid someone question him about his level of “taste”. Honey, taste ain’t like the SATs. Real designers get questioned about their taste every season and don’t go into melt down. Joe goes against Korto. OH NO YOU DI’NT! IF he wants to inflict his lameness against someone, I’d suggest Blayne, who’d crumble like a card house during Katrina.
Battles, people. Learn how to pick them.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
We, we will miss her, possums, since our source of surrealism jokes has now gone. On the other hand, it's videos like these that have permanently cured our insomnia. Five seconds, and you're out like a (Holly Go)light.
Composed by Stephen Sondheim, produced by the Pet Shop Boys and sung by Liza Minnelli--we think we have the trifecta, but if you believe you can beat this, possums, please prove us wrong.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Devil Wore Mainbocher: Confidential Advice to Nina García Before She Begins Her New Job with “Marie Claire”
Ponga atención, Señorita García. Not that you need lessons, but perhaps a refresher course from the master would not be amiss. And then, just to prove that plus ça change, the more things stay the same, we have (and we suspect Meryl Streep did all her own foreign-language dubbing):
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
From Cecil Beaton’s The Glass of Fashion:
The terms of Mrs. Vreeland’s human appeal are liberally peppered with an astonishing slang. One would think that she spent hours in ambiguous Times Square drugstores or Fifty-second Street night clubs, absorbing the highly coloured range of pimentoed expressions that are an integral part of her linguistic repertoire. Nor is her slang ever out of date. She will innovate expressions long before they have become popularly known. This gamey speech, combined with her personality, inevitably sends her friends off in gales of laughter at almost every sentence. “You’ve got to give it a lot of pezazz!” she will roar; and to an assistant who was working on a fashion article Mrs. Vreeland cried, “Tassels! Don’t forget tassels! Lots of tassels from Tasselville!” Anecdotes are underlined with a terminal, “It was but to die, my dear!” Once, when the word “amortization” appeared in a fashion article Mrs. Vreeland was supplied with a lengthy definition by the writer and finally commented, “Listen! Any word that’s got amor in it is okay with me; let’s use it!” On another occasion, when Mrs. [Carmel] Snow [, editor of Harper’s Bazaar and, not coincidentally, her boss] came back from Paris wearing a Dior suit with very sloping shoulders, Diana Vreeland observed, “Carmel, it’s divine. It makes you look drowned.”
Christian Siriano, Blayne Walsh—this is how it’s done.
Monday, August 4, 2008
On the plus side, Charlotte Rampling is around to shred the taffeta with her customary hauteur, and the wigs do look fab.
And now, Mrs. Vreeland shows you how it's done.
Have a look, possums, at this snippet of the Dalí-designed sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, and tell us whether this has anything to do with what Jennifer Diederich designs. Indeed, the more we think about it, the more profoundly annoyed we are by the whole “Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dalí exhibit” shtick. Now, Tippi Hedren or Kim Novak goes to a Salvador Dalí exhibit—that is something we could really get behind.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
‘Tis a pensive, gnomic, almost Trappist Hughman we bring you this week, possums, as he vows, out of boredom as much as out of propriety, to follow the example of Mother Superior García:
“I have nothing to say” - Nina Garcia on Episode Three.
Oh Nina, if only the contestants followed your lead. In fact, since Bravo has seemingly run out of original challenge ideas, here’s one I could fully appreciate - the designers have to make an entire outfit without saying a word. “Leathuh” SSHH, Stella. Corset your lips together if you have to but just shut up. Blayne, “Muffle atcha blather.” Suede, “Block on.”
Granted, we’d be spared stories about Keith Bryce’s Mormon upbringing with his (assumed) 60 siblings and 12 moms. A household so crowded that when cutting his hair, they got to that last long strand in the back and said “eh... fuck it.” I’ll admit, while that rat tail might get him better seats at an Indigo Girls concert, it kinda freaked me out. What kind of Fashion Magazines are the gays in Salt Lake City perusing? The kind that made chicken costumes for school plays and then later recreate them as “night life looks”? I guess night life in Salt Lake City involves corn pellets and fresh eggs.
Of course the whole “Holla Atcha Boy”-gate would also go away, which could only be a ratings booster. We’d be saving poor Tim from having to wrap his wise mind around an impossible amount of stupid. Later Blayne remarks he “hates his life” which is something we can at least agree on.
Last week’s “eco-friendly” theme continues with a recycled competition. It was a pretty lame challenge the first time around, not very structured towards any particular direction, where they all take some Sponsor cameras out to take pictures of whatever. Stella has a John McCain moment and asks the Einstein of the bunch (Blayne) for help with her camera. Eventually they all get some banal pics to inspire them. None of which had much to do with the original directions to emulate NYC at night. Haven’t these people ever seen a movie? People, taxis, neon lights... hello! Who goes out at night in Manhattan and looks at a clock, for God’s sake?
I’ve read several reports wondering why Sandra Bernhard was a judge. There are more reasons than you’d think:
1) Known Lesbian. In the Gay Ballpark.
2) Supposedly slept with Madonna. Gay First Base.
3.) BFFs with Isaac Mizrahi. Gay Babe Ruth.
4) Goes to all the Fashion Shows. I’d see her at shows in Bryant Park all the time with ex-Interview editor Ingrid Sischy. Gay World Series.
So yeah, in terms of the Gays, she scores more than most. Otherwise it’s hard writing about this episode because frankly it was so boring. Banal pics = banal clothes. No shock there.
And for the final results, we naturally get a mixed bag. Stella hammers her “gay little grommets” into something Jackie Warner might wear to a S&M club. It was ok, but not really an outfit you’d see on a Fashion Week Runway. Keith presents his Big Bird Burqa. Blayne’s dress looks like a uniform for Drag Flag Football. Terri’s outfit is like Mother of the Bride over pants and I just didn’t get it. The judges loved it but sorry, Michael Kors, a dress over pants isn’t groundbreaking.
The winner is Kenley with a cute dress but one that was pretty much done before on runways everywhere. It was finished but didn’t knock me out. I much preferred LeeAnne’s cleverly constructed skirt and top. It just seemed different and so much more thought out than everything else offered.
Emily’s dress was the loser even though it was really only a half step below Blayne’s. It was like something you might serve margaritas in and those ruffles were wacky, like she used an Etch-A-Sketch to decide their placement. As I noted before, Nina said, “I have no comment,” and really, how do you judge a dress that has no reason to its Helter-Skelter logic? I blame the lame headbands.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
N.B. Once it starts playing, it goes and goes, possums, in different little segments, with Simon telling you about neon and the 18th century and so forth. Don't say you weren't warned.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
From Stella Zotis’ MySpace page:
Oh, so that’s what that morning potion was for….Does it also contain formaldehyde? Because, possum, you don’t look a day over 101.
“I see dead people. In leatha.”
Monday, July 28, 2008
Possums, it was the Roman playwright Terence who wrote, “I am a man. Nothing human is alien to me.” However, had he survived into the modern age, and were he a viewer of Bravo and a reader of blogs, there is no doubt in our mind that he would have written, “I am a gay man. Nothing Hughman is alien to me.” And it is in that spirit that the redoubtable Hughman brings you his take on the second episode of Project Runway:
I so want to believe everything Tim Gunn says. Honestly. “Pencil skirts are in.” Hell yeah! “Glamour is the new black.” Hot-cha! “The Eighties are back!” Um, ok I guess. They weren’t that inspiring the first time but whatever.
So it seems particularly telling that in his first rooftop appearance, instead of telling us, as he usually does, that “this season has the best designers we’ve ever seen,” Tim says that this is the most “diverse” group of designers in the show’s history. “Diverse”?! Really?! That’s really damning with faint, meaningless praise. The thing is, though, I think his scrupulousness is showing through; the man is trying to tell us something, and not for nothing has he been bitchier than on any season past.
Maybe it’s just me but this season of PR already seems like the Presidential Primaries, no end in sight. And it’s ONLY THE SECOND SHOW!! Maybe I need to drink more but I feel like I’m sitting through a long boring movie (cough*The English Patient*cough) and desperately need to pee.
Why? Maybe it’s the lack of the “Speech in Berlin” moment thus far. There’s been no Gay Gasp like when we first laid eyes on Laura Bennett (who in my movie is played by Rosalind Russell). No jovial Chris March. No annoying yet strangely magnetic Christian Siriano. Not even a Wendy Pepper hovering around the edges like a soccer mom on a meth binge. We barely know anything about this season’s contestants, so when they’re booted, the best we can manage is “meh.” No thanks to Bravo, who’ve been as tightlipped about this season as Condi Rice at the Dinah Shore Classic.
The one thing the designers do most creatively on Season 5 is be Reality Show Contestants. Fortified by years of Real World, America’s Next Top Model and I Love New York, they eagerly jump into roles as Stereotypes. Talent be damned, this is about what the camera loves or what some people have decided the camera loves. The rest of us know the camera adds ten pounds to your ego and usually not where you need them.
So we get second-rate, crazy hippie, an overcaffeinated small gay, and a misplaced straight guy. All they need are “Hi, My Name is That One” nametags and we’re all set.
Even the clothes are meh. On this episode they could have all come from Forever 21 and we’d never know the difference. Short, nondescript little numbers from the wardrobe of The Hills. Twenty or so outfits thus far and frankly, I don’t think I could pick one of them out of a lineup.
Bravo tried to shake it up. First, all material had to be “eco friendly,” a vague enough term slapped onto everything these days to try and assuage our TV-addicted guilt. I still don’t really know what it means and I doubt any of these kids do either. In a perfect world, we’d get bamboo leaves and recycled glass. As if.
Second, we were treated to the Models being forced to buy the fabric at Mood. It was like watching the Valet Parker being made to buy your car. Just let them do their job, get a check and go back to smoking and drinking bottled water. I can tell you firsthand, models really don’t usually give a shit about what they’re paid to wear. It’s a JOB, not a stint volunteering to stop world hunger.
The results spoke volumes about what Models think of designers. Apparently designers are like crows with bad taste, attracted to shiny things in dull colors. Brown satin was the main draw. Perhaps the Models thought it was made of recycled camel dung and the remnants of lip gloss. (Eco Friendly!)
Stella ain’t having it. She declares in her best Penny Marshall voice that she’s Urban and all about leather. No shit. If Squeaky Fromme were a dominatrix, Stella would pretty much be her Doppelgänger. Oddly her final design didn’t exhibit any of these two qualities, unless Urban means we’re about a half inch from seeing the model’s “Lower East Side.” One-armed hookers everywhere are drooling over her product.
In what may go down in the records as Most Ironic Statement Ever on PR, Blayne calls her “leatherface.” I was hoping Stella would slap that kumquat he calls a head right off his shoulders (which Korto could snatch off the floor, splice in half and call a brooch.) Instead, the Gay Gollum takes the one-sided dress idea and applies it to his “Licious,” making yet another “I’m a little teapot” concoction. The result was also very Pretty in Pink/Flashdance, complete with a side ponytail in case you weren’t yet convinced it was retro enough.
Finally we got our requisite shockers.
Suede wins! Bisexual Kewpie dolls everywhere are crying with glee. I didn’t personally think it was the Best (I favored Kenley’s shift with the dramatic neckline which I could see Pat Buckley wearing to a cocktail party) but if you were a milkmaid going to a milkmaid prom, you could do worse.
Poor Wesley. I’m not into Conspiracy Theories but I’m just gonna go on a limb and hope (to his credit) that he was overwhelmed with Puppy Love. This is always the way it works. First the sultry looks, next the stolen kisses then suddenly you find yourself forcing your model into a brown satin condom while you whiteknuckle through frustration. The dress was too tight, too short and ribbed in a way that brought no one pleasure. Here’s hoping he can release some of that tension by the reunion and it’ll all be doe-eyed moonlit walks on the beach once again.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Hallelujah, Praise the Lady Bunny, and any other religious ejaculation you can think of. In the above clip, Raggaydy Andy Cohen announces that on the upcoming season of Top Design, we will no longer be hearing Jonathan Adler say, “See you later, decorator.” What the new send-off will be remains to be seen. We’re counting on you, Simon Doonan, to save the day.
Our Miss XaXa tipples with fairy godfathers Ted Allen of Top Chef and Nick Verreos of Project Runway at last night's Gender Public Advocacy Coalition event at the Chopping Block in Chicago.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
“Project Runway” Shocker!!: Two 20-Something New York Gay Men Get It On! Can the Apocalypse Be Far Behind?
We know, possums, we know. What are the odds of this happening, right?
At any rate, the rumors that Wesley Nault, he of the Paul Rudd visage and the Hitlerjugend-meets-80s-Mexican-boyband shorts, and Daniel Feld, he of the greasy hair and the upholstery blazer, are in a relationship have now been confirmed.
We love it when the sodomythical becomes the sodomitical.
What else would explain her saying, “I like this dress,” and then having it win?
And, in case you were wondering, possums….
Colombia’s Most Famous Exports:
3. Gabriel García Márquez
4. Ninotchka “Nina” García de Castellanos
Yes, possums, it happened to us too. Drinks were spilled, pictures fell off walls, and cracks appeared in the ceiling—not, mind you, because we happened to be in California….
“The earth slipped off its axis,” interjected a visibly shaken Miss XaXa.
Oh, possums, it did more than that. The earth convulsed as though getting rid of a hairball.
For, you see, Suede is…oh we’ll let him say it:
“Suede is a bisexual Sagittarius….”
Miss XaXa, recovering from her stupor, asked, “Isn’t that half man, half horse?”
“Or horse’s ass. And I’m not even sure about the half man part.”
“How on earth would he ever get a woman to sleep with him?”
“Uh, catch her in a web of bias-cut satin strips?”
Fortunately, though, the female panic button seems to work. The very thought that that might be interested in women activated Miss XaXa’s alarm, and her ladypart-panic room clanged shut with the finality of a Swiss bank vault. Jodie Foster is not getting out, and Suede is not getting in, anytime soon.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
To which Miss XaXa replied, “If Blayne is not allowed to say ‘girlicious,’ you can’t say ‘austintacious,’ ok?”
What we are allowed to say, though, is that success definitely agrees with Miss Scarlett. Never have the golden locks or the opera pumps possessed such luster and sheen.
Possums, we have never been able to resist a cri de cœur, and a cri de cœur is exactly what we heard after the first episode of the final season of Project Runway. (As Shakespeare might have written, we come to bury PR, not to praise it, and we will chime in presently.)
Indeed, it was a veritable chorus of cris de cœur, and our favorite baritone voice crying out in the fashion desert belonged to the inimitable Hughman. When we asked him to give us (and Bravo) a piece of his mind—à la mode, as it were—he was gracious enough to cut us a generous slice. Spoons at the ready, then, possums, as Hughman dishes it out:
Project Runway has been for many years now a constant in our lives. Indeed, it has been with me longer than many of my relationships. I can point to when Heidi Klum first appeared in my life, when Tim Gunn gazed lovingly at me and the first Lover’s Spat I had with Nina Garcia. Like you, I looked forward to the return of our beloved show before it was shot along with Bruce Willis into deep space (aka Lifetime), where no one can hear you scream—unless you’re Valerie Bertinelli or Tori Spelling.
Well, fuck me, is all I have to say thus far. Judging from the premiere, this time around the relationship is going to be a bumpy ride.
First things first.
Let’s all place one gloved hand on the September issue of Vogue and swear to Coco Chanel we will never ever, ever—EVER—mouth the “word” girlicious again. EVER. If I could invent a time machine, possibly the first thing I’d do is go back and slap the concept right out of Blayne’s orange, red-hatted teeny head. It’s not a pun, it’s not funny, it’s not clever and Blayne is certainly no Christian Siriano. Also, if you hear a friend say it, you are authorized to just dump them on the spot. No good can come of this utterance and you are certainly, by your mere presence on this blog, far too glamorous to have people like that surrounding you.
It says in his Bravo bio that Blayne was voted the Most Stylish Man in Seattle. So to all the men in Seattle and the blind nuns who voted for him, I say, “Poor you”. As for the outfit he created, I’m sure it will make a dramatic conclusion to The Vagina Monologues : The Musical.
Then we come to “Suede”...eh... Pleather. He has managed to take the standard fauxhawk of Bravo contestants to the next level. Here it’s like a Brazil wax for a Smurf. Thankfully he talks of himself in the third person, which I can only hope is a stilted attempt to distance himself from whoever BeDazzled his jean vest with his nom de douche. Supposedly he’s monied or somesuch and owns a dairy in Pennsylvania or somewhere. Perhaps all the milkmaids there are wearing dull gingham frocks and giggling about all the cute fabric nicknames they’ve given to the bulls. “Cashmere! Poly-blend! Uh... suede.”
Speaking of trash, we shan’t forget the Bag-a-lencia stylings of Stella, the Patron Saint of Bad Choice of Drug Use in the 70s. If Donatella were barefoot and pregnant and living in a trailer, this dress would have been what J-Lo would have worn to the Oscars. Would it have killed her to make a bra out of some of the other crap she threw away? Also, word to the wise : do not wear your circus costume in the supermarket. No one wants to worry that a circus hippy in pigtails is going to rip a box of Glad Wrap out of their hands in Aisle 3.
Other dribbles that caught in my eye:
Man shorts like the ones Wesley wears are fine. On the Von Trapps. Yes, they’re supposedly fabulous fashionable now and all that but really... c’mon. They make a reasonable adult look like Pinocchio, and do we really need to compare ourselves to wooden toys that live with old mustached men? I thought they looked silly on the runway and now that I see them on an actual person and not a model, I realize I was right. Just assume we believe you when you state you shave your legs.
Finally, all the brouhaha about Jerry’s Morton Salt Girl outfit is grossly exaggerated. American Psycho?? Please. Patrick Bateman wore Armani, fer Christ’s sake! I actually went and looked at Jerry’s fashion line “Form”. And it was NOTHING like what he did on PR! They were, uh, t-shirts. See, if Gristedes sold t-shirts, this would have been a no-brainer. Oh well. Sigh. Better luck in the reunion show!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Possums, while going through our library recently, we re-read with great pleasure a collection of essays by Quentin Crisp, gnashing our teeth all the while over how neglected he has become of late.
In an effort to remind ourselves of just how perceptive a writer he could be (in addition to being endlessly entertaining and peerlessly bitchy), we will bring you a few of his best tidbits about the subject he knew best: as Countess DeLave might have put it in The Women, "Oh glamour, glamour."
To start, let Mr. Crisp tell you, possums, about Miss Dietrich:
“Miss Dietrich’s early Hollywood movies were the most immoral ever generally released. She did not reveal any more of her body than other screen sirens of her day, nor was she seen behaving in an any more explicitly sexual way, but the plots of nearly all these pictures showed her living a life of total degradation. In Shanghai Express, for instance, she forever plied her trade back and forth from Shanghai to Peking until, after a great deal of mileage, to say nothing of footage, she re-met her former fiancé quite by chance but without, one must add, the slightest sign of embarrassment. Here as elsewhere, her costar was chosen from among the most boring actors that the casting office could supply. This was done to make it clear that matrimony was inevitable.
Though on one occasion she sank so low as to wear a hat—the brim of which was weighed down with artificial cherries—Miss Dietrich never seemed to pay the smallest price for her sins, but perhaps I have read the message wrongly. It may be that the ultimate punishment for a lifetime of unremitting fornication is that you become too weak to defend yourself from marriage.”