Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking forward to January

With January comes the return of my stories (House, New Girl, Bones, Once Upon a Time, Castle) but also the premieres of other shows I'm excited about!!

30 Rock!!!January 12th YAY! I've watched 30 Rock off and on since it started, but spent about 2 weeks watching it all on Netflix this fall and I'm excited to have it back! Tina Fey, my idol, is back with a well deserved post baby tummy and James Marsden as Liz Lemon's boyfriend. Avery is still in North Korea. TGS is starting mid-season since its January, I bet the writers didn't see Kim Jung Il dying coming. Wouldn't it be BOSS if they reworked the whole season around Kim Junk Un not liking Avery and sending her home?

Downton Abbey, starting January 8th and going for a TWO MONTHS, get EXCITED!!! It's already aired in the UK and some friends have seen it already and died over the second series. Of course the Christmas episode has aired already as well, and it's been slated for a 3rd series. The BBC reported that some say the plots are getting rather ridiculous leading to some criticism, but do I care? No, as long as Mary gets what's coming to her, and Sybil gets the Irish chauffeur, and Bates and Anna get together.

Project Runway All Stars (Jan 5th) on Lifetime. I just want more Mondo, and more PR since last season was THE WORST, worse than the L.A. season. I mean it was BAD. I avoided blogging about it bc the ranting that would have been produced would probably have given me ulcers.

24 Hour Catwalk, (Jan 10th) also on Lifetime. Designers have 24 hours and a team of professional stitchers to make a collection. I don't know who any of the judges are and the commercials look totally spazzy, but I'm excited to see the stitchers do their thing.

Awake on NBC with Jason Isaacs. Ok, so NBC won't say when this one's airing, just Coming Soon, and Jason Isaacs uses an American accent, and this show might prevent more seasons of Case Histories but I can still be excited about it. Also, has B.D. Wong ever played anything other than a psychiatrist? Oh yeah, he was Shang in Mulan.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Stephen Fry and QI

Mr. Fry and Lady Gaga
 I just got back from Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows which was fantastic. In SH Stephen Fry plays Mycroft, Sherlock's brother. I love Stephen Fry, he's great. He's so so British. I'm not really sure what you'd know him from, not knowing your specific tastes, but he's one of Hugh Laurie's best buds as they were in school together (also a good chum of Emma Thompson). Amongst his British comedic credits are A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Black Adder and Jeeves and Wooster (he's Jeeves). He's also the narrator of the British version of Harry Potter on tape and the Cheshire Cat in the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland. He's had a series called Fry in America and on top of all this he was made a millionaire by his rewrite of Me and My Girl before he was 30! I'm sure if you IMDB him you'll find even more lovely things about Mr. Fry.

Mr. Laurie and Mr. Fry
I can't say I have a favorite incarnation of Fry, but I've certainly watched him the most as himself on QI or Quite Interesting a sort of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me plus. Fry hosts this quiz game of comedians and personalities that aired starting in 2003 on the BBC. The point of the game is to give the most interesting answer to questions whose answers are rather impossible and unguessable. On top of his acting credits Stephen Fry is a genius (he saved Emma Thompson's Oscar winning script of Sense and Sensibility from the bowels of her computer), making his hosting this show a no brainer. The series are organized into themes based on letters of the alphabet starting with series A and I think going through H. To Fry's right is always Alan Davies, the ridiculous foil to Fry's genius. The whole thing is just delightful (and rather saucy sometimes). Hugh Laurie has been on, Emma Thompson too and David Tennant. There are Christmas episodes and oh so much Britishness. If you're not acquainted with British humor in general, or vocab or sensibilities you might not like QI too much, but I really think it'll grow on you and if your British IQ isn't great you probably won't be nearly as offended by some jokes as you should be! For lovers of random and frankly useless information this show is the bees' knees.

To watch QI I would give you a great YouTube channel with all the series, but it's been in trouble recently so contact me and I'll get it to you, or search "QI series A" or just QI and have some fun watching short clips, decide if you like it and find a whole episode. I can't tell you how many I've seen, I started at the end, watched some in the middle and then worked through A and B...

Here are some highlights that are just great to wet your appetite.
^Brits as villains and John Sessions impersonates Alan Rickman.
^Stephen being smart, putting Alan in his place and Bill Bailey's Wonderful World of Knowing
^David Tennant looking great and the inevitable Doctor Who jokes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leading ladies should...

not be obnoxious. Yup, that's about it. Really women don't watch girly movies or boy movies for the women, hopefully that's obvious. All we ask is that they don't annoy us and distract us from the men in the film. This topic came to mind as I watched The Holiday last night and was reminded of how obnoxious I always find Cameron Diaz and how unobnoxious and wonderful Kate Winslet (but not in Titanic...or Sense and Sensibility) is. 
SO likable
 This doesn't mean that an obnoxious leading lady necessarily ruins a movie, think Margaret Hale from North and South never trusting Thornton even though he's the best man alive. North and South  is still and amazing movie. Obnoxious women that do ruin movies? Cameron Diaz in The Holiday of course. Jude Law finds her spazzy over-sharing ways so charming and alluring, barf. Meg Ryan back in the day, basically in Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, was great at being the girl that you didn't hate and kind of liked, even full on liked sometimes. Sandra Bullock is also very likable.

I think it should also be said that 4 hour films with semi-annoying women are ok because usually by the end of 4 hours they've changed, like in North and South  and Pride and Prejudice. 90 minute rom coms on the other hand need to be quick about it so great writing is required to either create a likable leading lady from the get go or a believable arc to make her likable and worth the man by the end. I think more than anything I can't stand a leading woman that's obnoxious but fought over. Not only does one man see past her grating personality, two or three men do.

:-:Other female leads I can stand: Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Ginnifer Goodwin, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Thompson, Carey Mulligan, Tina Fey
:-:Other female leads I can't stand: Megan Fox, Katherine Heigl, Julia Stiles, Ellen Pampeo from Grey's Anatomy, Famke Janssen (Jean Grey from X-Men), Rachel McAdams in The Notebook (really just hate The Notebook),
 :-:Don't really care either way: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite picture: Louvre at night

After I spent a term in London in the spring of '10 I went to Paris, Switzerland and Germany by myself to do research. The wonderful woman I stayed with in Paris insisted that I see the city at night and I'm so glad she did!! I wish I had a better camera, but I got some good shots and below is one of my favorite photos ever.

The actual picture quality is not great, but it just glows! You can see the French flag and the still still water and best thing: The guy sitting and looking to the left, I LOVE that guy and his being there was a happy accident I'll cherish forever.

Old unpublished wedding designs

I have a facebook album of wedding dress designs I've done, however by now I'm not a fan of most of them, but I do have a couple I haven't posted on here yet that I like. I have quite a few new ones I'll post, but they need to be cleaned up etc before I publish them. If you're not familiar with my wedding dress philosophy review this entry.

I did this design years ago as a sari-style wedding dress. The idea would be that the stripes would be in silver or at least a satin and weave variation from the rest. Looking at it now I'd want to actually have a pallu in the back.

The left has kimono sleeves with a gusset and the design on it is in bugle beads and others in a sort of ombre skyline type design.

The right is a take on this dress worn by Olga Chekhova (sitting with Hitler). It'd be in white with super heavy embroidery and glitz at the hem and waist and sleeves (two options shown).

Left is an alteration of a summer dress I found in Vogue w/ glitz a the bottom (I love glitz, but I guess you don't have to have it). I imagine it in a natural white Georgette.

Right has kimono sleeves with gussets and is covered in bugle beaded scallops, probably in champagne or even a really light gold. It has an option to be split to reveal accordion pleated silk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Skirt

I got some navy twill weave wool from LA last February and made a vintage patterned skirt out of it a week and a half ago. Took me about 6 hours. The size was 11.5 which had a 24.5" waist so I just added an 1/8" to each side seam piece and that's it! Instead of altering the waistline for my high left hip I just used the hem puffer and raised the right hem, not the most legit way, but it worked fine. I've made the same pencil skirt pattern 3 times in a row, and still have another wool to make it in, but I'm LOVING my A-line skirt with my gold buttons. I wore it to two wedding receptions and Christmas church. I think I might be going A-line and full for awhile.
I need a Sexy Sunday shot in this, I know.
I need to make other skirts! Skirts are my favorite, they're so fast and somehow seem to add more than other pieces to your wardrobe, and full skirts with tights are so wintery and fun.
alexa chung for madewell
love the sheer look
pleats and yoke.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leading men should be good at...

riding horses
fighting (w/ and w/o weapons)
shooting guns
wearing clothes (including hats)
being charming
not smiling
looking at home on a boat
walking in sand
And with that I leave you for the holidays. While I wouldn't mind posting over the weekend I've noticed that people tend to be paying attention to their families and not the blogosphere.

Click for part 2

Men's formalwear classifications

I dream of men in tuxedos. I dream of marrying a man that needs to own tails, a tuxedo and a dinner jacket, dream of it. So what's the deal? Here's the skinny on the best ensembles a man can ever put on. Most of this info comes from my general knowledge and my memory of reading my favorite menswear resource Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style (a designer must have).

Tom Ford workin' it like the boss that he is.
White tie, evening dress or full evening dress is the (obviously) most formal ensemble a man can wear. An invitation will say "white tie" if it is required (and they mean required). Unless you're a diplomat, politician or other some such incredibly high powered man you will probably never have occasion to wear white tie (schade) as formal occasions in today's society are becoming fewer and farther between. White tie is only worn after 6pm. Day equivalent is morning dress, which is usually only adhered to in the UK.

White tie consists of...
:-:A tail coat, or swallow tails in black or midnight blue (not an option for me personally) with silk satin lapel facings.
:-:Matching trousers with two braids (satin stripes) along the outseam held up by white suspenders.
:-:White winged shirt (detachable stiff winged collar most desirable) with French cuffs and pique or tucked front
:-:Conservative cufflinks, shirt studs optional
:-:White pique bowtie (do I even need to say that you tie it yourself?)
:-:White deep cut pique waistcoat
:-:Black knee high socks or stockings
:-:Black patent shoes, either oxfords or pumps (the kind w/ the bows)
:-:Black overcoat for weather
:-:Black silk top hat (if you insist on head wear, but nowadays no one but the coat check will see it)

double breasted black tie
Bradley Cooper opting for a waistcoat
 Black tie is a step down from white and is the most common formal classification, think red carpet.

Black tie consists of:
:-:Black or midnight blue tuxedo jacket with satin facings, usually single breasted. Known as a dinner jacket in the UK.
:-:Matching trousers with one braid, worn with suspenders.
:-:Black cummerbund or low cut waistcoat
:-:White plain shirt with French cuffs and turn down collar. I'm saying that you cannot wear a winged collar with anything but a white tie. We shouldn't see the tie band, it's a HUGE pet peeve of mine.
:-:Conservative cufflinks, shirt studs optional
:-:Black self tie bowtie
:-:Black knee high socks or stockings
:-:Black patent oxfords

jacket looks a little pink, can't tell, but everything is so right.
Dinner jacket is the North American term for a white tuxedo jacket. Dinner jackets are worn for black tie in open air after 6pm events. The black tie elements are all in common, except a white or ecru (between natural white and light beige) tuxedo jacket is worn.

When in doubt reference Tom Ford. He's the bomb at menswear.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Born Yesterday

Instead of going to bed I ended up watching the last hour of Born Yesterday (1950) with William Holden and Judy Holliday on TCM last night. I'd heard of it but had never seen it before and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Paul is hired to educate Harry's, a junk tycoon's, uncouth lover Billie. Of course Billie's got the most grating voice, but Paul is patient and they bond over the constitution and Tom Paine. Billie's eagerness to learn is endearing and by the end of it they're both wearing tortoise shell glasses. William Holden was absolutely wonderful and their chemistry and comic timing was honestly some of the best I've seen between two actors. It was absolutely wonderful. Billie's wardrobe was just to die for as was Paul's delicious Brylcreemed 'do.

so handsome
glasses, and shoes (his)
the glasses! the GLASSES!
I'm baffled to this day why Sabrina picks Bogart over Holden, I mean really! I would pick Harrison Ford of course...although Greg Kinnear has aged remarkably better than Ford...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


O.P.I Nail Lacquer is the only way to go. There might be more high end nail lacquer that's good, but O.P.I is readily available and once you try it you won't want to go back to Revlon or Wet-n-Wild (heaven forbid). The brush is fantastic, the colors amazing and the names charming. I'm generally a cold weather nail painter, reflected by my collection. I'm also a no glitz girl at the moment. High shine, bold color. I have a sexy dark red with glitz but it leaked and I can't open it anymore, schade.

Ski Teal We Drop, Siberian Nights, Your Royal Shyness, Suzie Says Feng Shui, Florentine Fuchsia, Houston We Have a Purple, Road House Blues

My hairs recently

I found some photos of a braided circlet I did this summer and last week I blew out my hair and straightened it (which I do about twice a year) to get a gauge on how long it's getting. Here are the photos.

The style was three braids, this one really shows the (natural) blonde streak I have at the base of my neck and my curl Shirley at my temple.
I really was just experimenting, so I it's hard to tell how I went about doing this.
Hopefully I ended up tucking that tail in...Lots of bobby and hair pins. I do my braids wet bc my hair's really sleek. I then hit them with a butt ton of hairspray while wet so they stay bc as they dry they shrink and can fall out.
This was me Freshman year of college. The original haircut was shorter of course, and I usually didn't comb it this way, but you get the idea of how short my hair was.
My hairs now, after 4 years. I'm growing them out another year then will donate. I don't normally part down the center as it is much darker since my natural highlights are on my side parts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

trendi: Suspenders

Suspenders are in. Men wear them, women wear them (but shouldn't unless they're flat as a board), guys at church think they're being cute when they buy a pair of clip ons. So, what do I think of suspenders? I love them, worn correctly.
dumb dumb gross no
 Clip on suspenders are the equivalent of clip on ties and pre-tied bowties: lazy and juvenile.  Suspenders are a classic part of menswear. They hold up your pants first and foremost. Clip ons are for show and are no good. Button tab or nothing. Yes, you may have to have suspender buttons sewn in, boo hoo. I will sew them in for you, just so you have them! Clip ons are disgusting.
you better believe Bond's braces are white
Suspenders done correctly are so classy and sexy. I love movies with men in white tie when their white suspenders can be seen. White suspenders always for tuxedos. Paisley suspenders are always classic with a brown neutral suit. Suspenders sans suit coat can be done, but carefully.
suspender buttons spaced incorrectly
spacing perfection
Bottom line is do them right or not at all. Don't trust celebrities in clip ons, they don't know what they're doing. You better believe the classiest guys you know wear button tab to hold up their pants.
a thousand times yes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My future movie collection

Everynowandthen I think of a movie that I need to have in my collection because I either love it or because I know that my children will need to have a knowledge of it, usually both. I figured I better start getting these titles down so I can have a real list. I'm sure I've missed some so let me know. We'll see if I already have them.

An American in Paris
Bells Are Ringing
Singin' in the Rain
My Fair Lady
The King and I
Top Hat
White Christmas
The Nutcracker
The Court Jester
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Thoroughly Modern Millie (even though I like the stage show better)
Not on the Lips

Beauty and the Beast
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
Sleeping Beauty
Emperor's New Groove
Snow White
Monster's Inc.
Finding Nemo
A Bug's Life
Toy Stories
Swan Princess
The Santa Clause
Mr. Kruger's Christmas
Quest for Camelot
Blank Check
Wallace and Gromet
Muppet Christmas Carole
Great Muppet Caper
The Sandlot

Costume and/or Chick Flick
Anna and the King
Downton Abbey
Wives and Daughters
You've Got Mail
Sleepless in Seatle
While You Were Sleeping
Bleak House
Daniel Deronda
Branaugh's Much Ado About Nothing
Remains of the Day
Howard's End
Little Women (Christian Bale)
Elizabeth the Golden Age
39 Steps (Rupert Penry-Jones)
Return to Cranford
Lost in Austen

Classics (as in Classic Hollywood)
Born Yesterday
Arsenic and Old Lace
Cool Hand Luke
The Quiet Man
The Towering Inferno (Newman and McQueen)
Manchurian Candidate (Sinatra)
A Man for All Seasons
North By Northwest
Tarzans (Johnny Wisemuller)
39 Steps
It's a Wonderful Life
Roman Holiday
Modern Times
Duck Soup
The Seabeas

Kabhi Khuchi Kabhie Gham
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Chak De India!
My Name is Khan
Main Hoon Na
Kal Ho Naa Ho

Strictly Ballroom
True Grit (2010)
Batmans (Christian Bale)
Lord of the Rings
Law and Order: SVU
Better Off Dead
One Crazy Summer
Can't Buy Me Love
The Baxter
Rockies (not 5 or 6)
Doctor Who Series 1 and 3-present (I have 2)
Harry Potters
Back the the Future
Indiana Jones
Star Wars IV-VI
Arrested Development
Quigley Down Under
Hamlet (RSC w/ David Tennant)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Iron Chef Zakarian

Yeah baby! My culinary crush Geoffrey Zakarian is the new Iron Chef!! Like David Tennant with Doctor Who, Chef Zakarian is the reason I started watching Chopped and now I can watch him on Iron Chef America. Let's be honest, he's a complete and total boss. His technique is perfect, his composure is unparalleled, and his attitude is fierce. I think he's going to be so great to watch on Iron Chef because while I know the draw of Kitchen Stadium is the pressure, Chef Zakarian is so deliberate and professional he'll calm it down for me.
Iron Chef Zakarian, that's right, eat it up.
Also, silver fox w/ a beautiful wife and like six different pairs of super preppy glasses.

too horrible by half: pleated pants

I know I've blogged about my love for flat front pants, but I don't think I've harped enough on the amount of shuddering pleated pants causes in my soul. The average man should just not wear them, especially at my age. A fit young man has no business in pleated pants, even if "my mom does all my shopping" (true story, actual excuse).
just so so bad, and the belt doesn't help!
You might say: I like the room! boo, get over it. Only people who live in board shorts can't get over any other type of pant.

You might say: I need the room! There's no way a trouser is so constrictive that you need pleats for everyday. If you are a giant thighed dancer that needs the room, I will give you pleats, I do give you pleats, but if you're just going about not doing sports in your trousers you don't need the room. If you still fight me on this I am seriously shocked and we can discuss other solutions to your problem, but you won't like them.
Cary Grant looks great in pleats, you don't. Also, the shoes.
You might say: Cary Grant rocked the pleats! He was a) Cary Grant and he is b) dead. Yeah, I said it. Pleats are a thing of the past. At many points in time they were the be all end all in mens trousers, but they're not fashionable right now. Get over it. For White Christmas that I recently worked on we put Bob in quite a few amazing period pleated pants that made him look super handsome, but they were for a man from the 50s. You, I assume, are alive now and shouldn't want pleated pants.
now those are pleats. 1934
Also a thing with pleated pants is that they're always the fall back Wal-mart variety which are just awful anyway. Inevitably they're too long and puddle because they don't get hemmed and the men wear them too low.  It's just gross, I hate them, so so much.

I've seen some blogs with some uber stylish European type men in very deliberate and well tailored pleated pants and I can almost give them that, and might for some, but I still prefer flat fronts and I'll give you three wishes if you can make me concede my preference. I dare you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best Dressed: Roman Catholics

Ralph de Bricassart
 I've said it once and I'll say it again, Roman Catholics have the market cornered on religious dress.  I've thought this since I saw The Thornbirds in high school, and was reminded of this while watching Angels and Demons last night (better than the Da Vinci Code).
sash, yes.
 It's probably because Ralph de Bricassart is such a boss, but cassocks are the bomb, and totally handsome, in my humble opinion. Even better than the plain black ones? Cardinal cassocks (red trim and sash, I love the sash!). And of course Ewan McGregor in a cassock ain't so bad either.
so so pretty
 I like to see handsome celebrities in cassocks, but hate to see real handsome priests in them. To this day I remember one of the most handsome men I've ever seen was at the grocery store in Lincoln one summer day in a cassock, bummer.

aaaand, we got nothin' on the Catholics
Roman Catholic vestments fascinate me. I'll have to do more research.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Things I'm going to watch over Christmas:

Christmas break is a great time to rewatch favorites and watch movies you haven't seen before. Here's my short (haha) list of my Christmas plans.

Jane Eyre 2011 (just bought it with birthday money)
Lark Rise to Candleford (friend Jane is on the 2nd season!)
Emma 2009 (just bought it used)
Om Shanti Om (friend Jane needs an intro to Bwood)
Harry Potter 7.2 (just decided I need to see it)
Doctor Who (series 1, never actually seen the Chris Eccelston series...)
Robin Hood (Russell Crowe, because it's been...a couple of months)
Pride and Prejudice 2005 (just feel like it)
Downton Abbey (I know PBS is reairing series 1 before series 2 but I can watch it on Netflix!)
Star Trek (this is a maybe, I have a hankerin' for Zach Quinto)
All my stories (I'm almost caught up with all my shows)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alice in Wonderland Ballet

More ballet, maybe for awhile.

I happened across The Royal Ballet's Alice in Wonderland. Here are some highlights (I'd recommend going to YouTube to watch the videos as they don't enlarge here).

The cards: The projections on the scrim are phenomenal in setting the mood and the ballerinas' tutus are the card shapes, their hats the numbers!

The Caterpillar: gorgeous black man in harem pants with his ballerinas also in gorgeous ensembles a la the Ballet Russe.

The Red Queen: it's just funny. I laughed out loud, at ballet.

The White Rabbit: I just love his tails.