Friday, February 20, 2009

Do Fashion Avatars Creep You Out?

I do love me some, no question, and I think their Style File blog is the perfect blend of both commercial and indie sartorial coverage that's insidery and not too dull. BUT! I cannot get over this whole avatar thing they have littered the blog roll with. Perhaps it seemed a bit novel last season when they debuted this amazing "new" technology, but for such a chic, polished and respected site, these look so cheesy. (They remind me of this moment a couple years back when publicists were using these to sell new products--it was beyond bad. Note to editors: This whole avatar idea is NOT cutting edge, okay?) I know they have to show some kind of visual while we listen to Jefferson's phone message and stuff, but if they insist on using animation, is there a more chic way to illustrate the moment? 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fall '09 RTW Fashion Week: Come Backstage With Me!

Snapping up sweet little nothings and the next big things that come down the runway this week just isn't a reality for most of us. But when it comes to recreating your favorite fashion moments, as per Leonard Lauder's economic theory, a girl can always afford to splurge on a tube of lipstick. (Um, unless you're seriously flat broke, which I know some of you are, but.) ANYhoo, I'll be blogging backstage beauty posts all week at Please stop by and check it out!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you're having a good one and not feeling too pressured to spend a lot of money on plastic red crap and stuff. Shya and I are about to go to Whole Foods to buy a big, juicy pork tenderloin and lots of garlic and rosemary, because we're going to cook a fabulous dinner for his stepmother. (It's her birthday today and she is forever cooking for everyone else, so we wanted to give her a break.) Should be fun! 
  • For more on why I don't celebrate V-day, check out this debate on The Frisky
  • I can't find my favorite Mark Bittman tenderloin recipe online but here's a link to a similar one (written 1987!) on the NYTimes
Okay, smell ya later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

FINALLY: The Beth Ditto Love Magazine Cover

Oh fuck yes.

Fashion Faux Pas: Rachel Roy Rips Stephano Pilati a New One

The Rachel Roy reviews are rolling in, and there's one itsy bitsy, slightly distracting detail that's overshadowing her collection: It's a total Stephano Pilati YSL Fall '08 RIP, right down to the black bobs and the goth lips. This is what Rachel's inspiration board must have looked like:

And here's how the collection came out:

Whoops! It's like that time last week when I was all like, MTV should do this reality show about three young, cute chicks trying to make it in New York and navigate the fashion world and they could like, do PR at Diane Von Furstenberg or something. Not really. But sorta.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Michelle Obama's Vogue Cover

Is it just me or does Michelle Obama's Vogue feature this month feel a little, well, inappropriate somehow? Don't kill me. I'm all for some fashionable escapism, but isn't the most powerful part of Mrs. Obama's appeal entrenched in her steadfast devotion to REALness? During a time when the upper class are offing themselves and the working masses may soon head to the bread lines (yo, see ya there guys!), it just seems a bit surreal to read this cover story where the First Lady talks entertaining and clothes with Andre Leon Talley within the pages of a magazine that is consistently lambasted for being the queen of conspicuous consumption and unattainability, at least on the bathroom wall that is the blogosphere. (I even feel frivolous for writing such an awfully long run-on sentence, gah.) 

Does Michelle not run the risk of appearing somewhat Marie Antoinette-ish? Especially when her husband is literally going gray before our eyes and feverishly trying to prevent the next Great Depression (which has arguably already arrived)?

On the other hand, I know I'm being a great big spoil sport here, not to mention hypocritical. I certainly appreciate that it's always a step in the right direction when the consistently vanilla Vogue features an African-American woman on the cover. And I suppose we could all use a break from the mundane. But I wonder if President Obama--rumored to have admonished his wife for spending too much on clothing recently--wouldn't agree with me just a little?

Monday, February 9, 2009

M.I.A. Maternity Magic at the Grammys

I don't understand what all the fuss is about!? She's a pop star known for being a crazy dresser. (Actually, this outfit is kind of tame compared to the crazy shit she busted out when I saw her live.) Anyhoo, it's better than that whole Lil' Kim nipple moment way back when. I don't think anyone would give M.I.A. showing up in weird clothes a second thought if she weren't so pregnant. It's all like, "OMG how could a woman with child show off her body like that? It's indecent!" Whatev's, it's not like we all haven't seen Demi/Britney/insert celeb here naked and prego on the covers of magazines. Chilax, jeez.

For the record, contrary to popular belief this particular ensemble was not designed by M.I.A. but by the rawtha masterful Henry Holland. Love the yellow nails.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simply Rad: Exactitudes

Got a few hours to kill? Get yourself over to and go to town. This 13-year collaboration between Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek has culminated in a social study of how people across the globe express their individuality… by dressing exactly the same. It really grabbed me because I became keenly aware of this phenomenon in the fashion districts of Tokyo, where the key is to look as unique as possible within the realm of conformism (nowhere is this more evident than in Harajuko and Shibuya, where "gangs" of Gothic Lolitas, Gyaru, Wa-Mixture, etc. troll the streets looking insanely awesome but surprisingly unoriginal all at the same time). But Exactitudes doesn't just examine sub-culture styles: You'll find that girl who sat in the back of math class and didn't talk to anyone and well, your dad.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How Conde Nast's Love Can Save the Magazine Industry

As a former mag hag, every time another magazine perishes, well, I die a little inside, too. (Part of that is genuine sentiment, and the other half is the excruciating anxiety that accompanies the harsh reality that my formerly "illustrious" career trajectory is becoming increasingly narrow by the day.) Sometimes I feel like it might help if we all simultaneously clapped our hands because we believe in them, you know, like you have to do for fairies and stuff.

Maybe that's why Katie Grand's Love is whipping all us old-schoolers into a euphoric frenzy. So far, it sounds like a magazine that's not hell-bent on say, commercialism and shopping, but is already being touted as "edgy and experimental." And there's dignity in ailing Conde Nast taking a risk for art's sake in these increasingly uncertain times. The whole idea seems to be lifting the morale of all the scared shitless editors out there, if only as a beautiful, glossy distraction.

Then again, maybe it's not so chancy after all. If the ubiquitous women's service magazine can no longer compete with the instant gratification of the web, then maybe the only way for periodicals to remain relevant is to stick to that old razzle-dazzle of amazing photography and escapist drama that simply can't be replicated online. (Yet, anyway.) I'm praying for literary fiction to enjoy a renaissance for similar reasons.

Of course, if the rumors are true that Beth Ditto will grace the cover, well, that makes me feel slightly less guilty for gushing about a gaudy new fashion book. I mean, that's progress, right? Fashion and art tomes that continually refuse to feature women who weigh more than 110-lbs deserve some degree of vilification now that, largely thanks to bloggers and reality TV, the fourth wall has officially been smashed to pieces. Meh, we'll see. But I think I'm kinda in love already. See ya at the newsstand Feb. 19th!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pet Finder: The Definitive Interview With Styleslacker Contributor Chante

We spoke with designer Denise See's life partner, Chante (pronounced shawn-tay), because she's an incredibly stylish slacker.

14 human years, 98 cat years. Watch out Diana Vreeland.

"Sitting on Wall Street Journals, New Yorkers, old Janes. Anything really..."

"Those heinous, waggy tailed monsters that come to my house and sniff my butt and eat my crunchies."

What are you reading right now? 
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM IV), so i can understand my (somewhat tolerable) captors/servants."

If you could be someone else, who would it be? 
"Claire Huxtable. Just like me, nothing gets past her."

Describe your personal style: 
"It's all about studded collars and fur. Very Sid Vicious meets Anna Wintour."

Thank you Chante.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Big Idea: Music For Busy People

It's hard to keep up with new music when you have a full-time job or four. Enter Music For Busy People, a members-only site built by new music lover Max Schulte-Hillen, which aims to go about the business of discovering and delivering a smorgasbord of the latest and greatest indie/alternative/what-have-you snacks straight to your inbox. Basically, Max does the work for you, so you can, you know, stay busy doing your own job.

The "online music community," which sends e-newsletters packed with fresh tunes--my last update included links to tracks from pretty-sounding Polynya, an amazing Sporto Kantes video, a highly danceable DJ A-Trak remix of Sebastien Tellier's "Kilometer" and a Hot Chip Joy Division cover (yay!)--is invitation only, but from now through Feb. 20th, you can enter the exclusive invite code: styleslacker, to avoid the dreaded wait list and join up.

Seriously, this handy service was made for slackers like us. It's freakin' awesome. Go sign up already.

Last Call: Marcella Foschi Cassette Wallets

How cute are these bad boys? Since each wallet is a hand-made, one of a kind speciman (and Kanye featured them on his blog today), they're selling out FAST. Get over to designboom a.s.a.p. and pick one up for a cool $39, but hurry. Once they're gone, well, that's it. 

Deer Dana's Bill Cunningham Shirt!

We love artist Dana Veraldi's T-shirts, but honestly, haven't we seen enough interpretations of the usual suspects (like say, Aggy and Prince)? But here's a new one I may actually pony up and buy: Perhaps the most deserving force in fashion to have a shirt homage is the adorable and awesome New York Times style guru and photog Bill Cunningham! According to Fashionista, it's coming to Dana's site soon... Keeping. You. So. Posted.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Best Chili Recipe: The Super Bowl Gourmet

SHOCKER: I'm not really the biggest sports fan. But I do love to cook, and being from Texas and all, I take chili-making very seriously. (In fact, even in a high school for young artists located in downtown (cosmo!) Dallas, the big event of the year was our chili cook off.) Since I'm attending a Super Bowl party today, yesterday was spent searching high and low for the absolute best recipe I could find, and since none were up to my um, dizzyingly high standards, here's what I cobbled together. And I gotta tell you, it's the best chili I've ever made: Unexpected ingredients like unsweetened cocoa and chipotle give it a rich flavor, but beer and chorizo give it balance and kick. 

Chipotle Chocolate Gourmet Chili


2 1/2 lb. lean chuck, ground
1 lb. ground chorizo (pork)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. chipotle sauce (with tomato base)
1 cup water
1 bottle beer (12 oz.)
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons instant bouillon (or 6 cubes)
2 Tablespoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon warm water

I added one can corn, one can black beans, one can kidney beans, two finely chopped carrots and one fresh (chopped jalapeno) to add some veggie love.


1. In a large saucepan brown the ground meat (the beef and the pork) and drain the fat.

2. Return to pan and add the garlic and onion; cook and stir until tender.

3. Transport meat to large pot and add the tomato sauces, water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander, cocoa, and optional vegetables. Mix well.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well.

6. Stir into chili and cook, covered, for about 20 more minutes.

7. Serve with a sprinkling of queso, crema (Mexican-style sour cream) and for a hip, white trash edge, Fritos. (Yeah, that's right, I said Fritos.)

P.S. If you're as clueless as me when it comes to football, check Lemondrop's handy "Pigskin Primer" for a 101 overview of what in god's name they're doing in that stadium anyway.