Category Archives: Fashion

Getting Into Tom Ford’s Underwear

I’ve been begging for this for years. 

With his celebrated history of putting sex into fashion, Tom Ford by all rights should have been putting out underwear collections a long time ago. I have a feeling I know why he hasn’t up until now: he has always claimed he doesn’t wear underwear. Ruins the line and adds unwanted bulk to an outfit. Fair enough. But I’m guessing he doesn’t wear all those gorgeous gowns either, and that’s never stopped him. Regardless, I’m happy he’s finally taken the undergarments plunge. Or am I?

He premiered the first collection of silk boxers and baggy boxer briefs on the runaway a few days ago, and that initial peek left me wanting more. Not because it was so good, but because it was rather underwhelming. Silk boxers? Are we really going back there? Fine, I’m game. But those baggy boxer briefs? And animal prints? Not so sure. I like the subtle shades of nude he’s working, and I’m sure the fabric is luxurious to the utterly-impractical point of ‘Dry-Clean-Only’ but I expected something sexier, maybe something a little sheer, perhaps a touch of lace or mesh if we’re going to animal-print cheesiness. 

No price points have been revealed yet either, which is always an ominous sign for my empty wallet, but everyone knows I’m going to end up in Tom Ford’s underwear. Some way, somehow, it’s going to happen. This was meant to be. And if it means my ass is going to be covered in leopard-print silk, so fucking be it. Mr. Ford can caress my privates any way he likes. 

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Indulging in Nostalgia 1: These Are Days

THESE ARE THE DAYS.
THESE ARE DAYS YOU’LL REMEMBER. 
NEVER BEFORE AND NEVER SINCE, I PROMISE, WILL THE WHOLE WORLD BE WARM AS THIS. 
AND AS YOU FEEL IT, YOU’LL KNOW IT’S TRUE THAT YOU ARE BLESSED AND LUCKY. 
IT’S TRUE THAT YOU ARE TOUCHED BY SOMETHING THAT WILL GROW AND BLOOM IN YOU.
 

It isn’t often that I find myself looking back over the years that came before, at least not in the extensive archives of photo albums that I’ve amassed in the last two decades. (Remember, I’ve been doing this long before digital photography was even a thing.) Every once in a while, however, usually when I’m cleaning (as was the case here) I pause to thumb through an old and yellowed album, and I remember…

The photos here are from 1995, and the start of my very first “tour”: ‘Chameleon in Motion: The Friendship Tour’ – back when it was a more innocent time, and the world a more innocent place. At least, it feels that way now. Maybe we were just better at hiding how awful humanity was. Maybe we simply didn’t want to see. Instead, we had fun and silliness and the general tastelessness of our college years.

Luckily for me, I had a few mother figures who watched over me when my real Mom was not around, and who kept me more or less in line (or at least gave me a fighting chance).

There were other mother figures around, not pictured here, but I saw them again peering out from the sticky old pages of the album – Funzie and Janice were there, both gone now – and my heart ached at how time had plucked them from our world. Grandmothers were captured here too – Suzie’s and my own – and I paused as this song from the 10,000 Maniacs played in my head.

THESE ARE DAYS YOU’LL REMEMBER. 
WHEN MAY IS RUSHING OVER YOU WITH DESIRE TO BE PART OF THE MIRACLES YOU SEE IN 
EVERY HOUR. 
YOU’LL KNOW IT’S TRUE THAT YOU ARE BLESSED AND LUCKY. 
IT’S TRUE THAT YOU ARE TOUCHED BY SOMETHING THAT WILL GROW AND BLOOM IN YOU.
 

There’s no need to dissect the fashion going on here. All I can say is that it was the height of the 90’s. CK One was everywhere (except on my bathroom shelf) and I was probably high on all its unisex pervasiveness. I took my sartorial cues from the International Male catalog, for worse and worser. It was all about the Gothic drama, the velvet vests, the satin pants – and if I could incorporate sequins or feathers into it so much the better.

That outfit with the red pants, silk boxers and sequin top is the infamous one that got me mistaken for a clown by some child in Ponderosa. There are a lot of things wrong with that sentence, and Ponderosa is one of the lesser ones. Let’s shift the focus to that other youthful guy – my pal Chris. You may not recognize him with all that unruly stuff on his head, or the bear in his hand. I can only be blamed for the latter (and I know he misses the former).

Up next is a special photo of my Mom in front of the Minskoff Theatre marquee, where we saw the original Broadway production of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ near the end of Glenn Close’s first run. That was one of our first Broadway theater weekends, and still one of my favorites. (And we’ll end this first nostalgic post with a look to the future, as I’m currently plotting out this year’s Broadway adventure…)

THESE ARE DAYS. 
THESE ARE THE DAYS YOU MIGHT FILL WITH LAUGHTER UNTIL YOU BREAK. 
THESE DAYS YOU MIGHT FEEL A SHAFT OF LIGHT MAKE ITS WAY ACROSS YOUR FACE. 
AND WHEN YOU DO YOU’LL KNOW HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE. 
SEE THE SIGNS AND KNOW THEIR MEANING. 
IT’S TRUE, YOU’LL KNOW HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE. 
HEAR THE SIGNS AND KNOW THEY’RE SPEAKING TO YOU, TO YOU.

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A Hint of Nostalgia

A few upcoming posts for the weekend are going to feature several throwback photos, and in the process of finding them, I also found a few other sneak-peeks of the past. This slice of my life took place in the mid-nineties, as some of the fashions will attest. Others are just timelessly tasteless, cause that’s how I used to roll. (Still do, on the good days!

“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.” ― Ernest Hemingway

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A Happy Talbots Tradition

Almost every year, I’ll walk into the Talbots on Boylston Street, stride up that handsome staircase, make a beeline for the winter sale items and find my Mom a great deal on a birthday outfit. Talbots has been one of her favorite stores for as long a I can remember, and her birthday happens to coincide with the best sales of the year, so everyone wins. Usually, I don’t want to be bothered when selecting her gift. I know my Mom’s taste better than any salesperson, no matter how well-meaning, and after a full morning of walking and shopping, I really was in no mood to chat. Kira was wiped out too, and took the first available seat in the area. A salesperson quickly materialized and asked if Kira needed any help. She politely declined. Then the salesperson noticed me rush by to the jackets. 

“Oh I can tell he is on a mission!” she said to Kira. Unamused and unwilling to engage, I ignored the comment. Of course it didn’t end there. “You just let me know if you need any help!”

In a bitchier mood or if I’d had more energy I might have used my standard reply: “Why? Do you really think you have better taste than me?”

On this day, as cold as it was turning, the sun still shined, and while tired I was not quite moody enough. Kira and I had had a delightful lunch on Newbury Street, and our hands were happily fatigued with carrying all our shopping bags. I paused, mustered a small smile, and said I was looking for a skirt and jacket outfit as a gift for my Mom. I might as well let someone else do the work, even if I’d likely have to shoot down three quarters of what was about to be recommended. 

“Well we don’t have many matching skirt and jackets…” she began. 

“Anything with a jacket is fine – just something that goes well together,” I quickly interrupted. My patience goes just so far. She could tell. She showed me a few options, which I explained were not for my Mom (a circle of half-inch rhinestones running around the neck will never be a good fit for my mother). My answers were curt but polite, swift and determined. She gave me a slight smile.

“I like that you’re so purposeful,” she said. Finally, someone I can work with. “What is your name?” she asked. I told her and she extended her hand, introducing herself as Nicole. Hey, it can’t hurt to have a friend at Talbots. She asked me more about my Mom and requested to see a photo to see what her build was.

‘Please don’t let there be nudes on my phone… please don’t let there be nudes on my phone… God knows what I’ve posted on Instagram lately…‘ were the only thoughts going through my head, but of course there weren’t. I found a few photos from our family Christmas and she said she looked so classy. I agreed. Nicole was winning me over, in spite of me having left my comfort zone long ago (I do NOT show family photos to random retail workers as a general rule). We came up with an outfit and walked to the register. 

Nicole was pulling out boxes and tissue paper, about to begin the wrapping process, when she asked, “Do you want me to put this all in the box, or would you like to do it when you get home?”

I was just about to answer that I would do it myself when she replied for me: “I think you should do it yourself.” After all her polite help and beyond-the-normal customer service, I wondered if she was making a joke. “Let me explain,” she said. “I think you’re someone who wants to put your own energy into wrapping this gift. For your Mom. I can do it if you’d like, but…”

“No,” I said, “You’re right. I’ll do it. Thank you.” 

It’s rare to have a genuine moment during a retail transaction. In all my years of working on the other side of the counter, I know. We become automatons of polite interaction, masters of fake smiles and fraudulent affection. But something about Nicole felt real to me. Even if it wasn’t, the thankfulness I felt was very much sincere. 

That’s the sort of service that yields brand loyalty, and has kept me coming back to Talbots for years. Thank you to Nicole for adding to my Mom’s birthday experience

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Troop Beverly Hills: What A Thrill

One of the the worst movies ever made is also one of my favorite childhood films: Troop Beverly Hills. My brother and I saw it in the theaters (we were allowed to see any movie rated ‘PG’ at that time, and there weren’t a great many Oscar-worthy works with such family-friendly ratings). It was the 80’s, and that decade permeated this very-dated film. I had the luck to catch it airing on television the other night, and revisiting it made me realize how genius it was (in the worst, tackiest ways possible). 

Every ethnic stereotype is present, including a Filipino dictator and his shoe-loving wife, as well as the original Rosario character from ‘Will & Grace’ (Shelley Morrison herself as the maid Rosa). Shelley Long is at her most grating but still slightly endearing self here, portraying a recent divorcée trying to lead a troop of spoiled Beverly Hills girls to a Girl-Scout-lite wilderness jamboree. 

The very things that make the movie so insufferable are also the ones that lend it such an 80’s brilliance. First and foremost among these is the fashion. Ms. Long wears a parade of outfits that define the brash garish excess of the era, and on that recent viewing I was in shock by how impressive they were. Awful, yes. Ridiculous, most definitely. But beautiful in a Showgirls kind of terrible way. For that reason alone, it’s worth another look. 

My brother has always held a deeper affection for nostalgia than me, but every now and then I’ll catch something like this on television and be transported to a more innocent time. The year of its release – 1989 – was one of the last years where things were so simple and safe. It was one of the last years of my childhood. The lightweight frivolity of the movie was indicative of where we were so lucky to be. Only whimsical wisps of that time remain, and only when I lose myself of modern-day worries and concerns. At such times, in a fur-trimmed robe perhaps, an asymmetrical cocktail dress bustle, or doing a quick version of the ‘Freddie’, I remember the carefree days of our youth. 

 

I gave a DVD of ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ (what a thrill!) to my brother a few Christmases ago. If he still has it we may have to make a sleepover of it (even if it’s not in a Hilton). It’s time for a new generation of Ilagan kids to take up the Kumbaya call. 

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Weird… and Wonderful

It really wasn’t all that out-of-the-ordinary or strange, when you consider it in the pantheon of outfits I’ve worn over the years. A ceremonial Indian wedding coat, adorned with a few sequins and some sparkle, and some beadwork around the neck. A bright marigold-orange silk, paired with a loose pair of turquoise pants. I’d worn it to one of the Beaujolais events a few years back. On the rainy day we were traveling to Amsterdam to check out my brother’s new house, it seemed a fine choice.

Andy and I pulled up to the house, and I texted my brother to help us with the potted palm I’d brought to warm the place. We entered and were dutifully impressed by the results. My brother had worked hard on the house, and he and Landrie welcomed us in as the twins ran rambunctiously around.

We talked home decoration and I offered what little guidance I could. They had already done quite a bit, and the living and dining rooms were mostly complete. We sat for a drink before getting ready for dinner with our parents.

As we were leaving the kids looked at me and asked why I was dressed like this. “Like what?” I asked.

“In a dress,” one of them said. “It’s weird.”

For one brief moment it stung, just a little.

“Aww, you hurt Uncle Al’s feelings,” Andy explained gently as we went out into the rain. But by then there wasn’t much hurt left. This was how kids talked. I understood they didn’t mean anything by it.

I just hope the rest of the world will be as forgiving as me.

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Red Garters, Black Lace

This year’s costume for the Boo-jolais Vampire Ball was the vampier, slightly-more-sinister sister of last year’s lace ensemble. I usually don’t veer so close to something I’ve worn before, but this one seemed to take that one to a new extreme, with its full-six-hoop bottom and high-collar decadence. Its color palette was a complete shift as well. Next year I’ll conjure some head-spinning act that is truly outré. (Which in my case may very well be jeans and a t-shirt.)

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The Secret Life of Flowers X Fashion

“Normality is but a paved road. Comfortable to walk, yes, but no flowers grow on it…”

Baz Luhrmann has created the holiday promotional video for ERDEM X H&M’s new collaboration/collection, coming next month. This site is big on flowers, as am I, so this looks intriguing enough to get me back in the store. It’s not spring, so florals can be groundbreaking again. 

As for this collection, I’m intrigued and impressed, and I only hope H&M delivers something slightly above its average/poor quality for such an enterprise. There’s promise here, but not all flowers are as pretty as they appear in pictures. We shall see. 

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

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It’s All Coming Back: The Story of a Robe

THERE WERE NIGHTS WHEN THE WIND WAS SO COLD…
THAT MY BODY FROZE IN BED IF I JUST LISTENED TO IT RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW 
THERE WERE DAYS WHEN THE SUN WAS SO CRUEL 
THAT ALL THE TEARS TURNED TO DUST 
AND I JUST KNEW MY EYES WERE DRYING UP FOREVER
I FINISHED CRYING IN THE INSTANT THAT YOU LEFT 
AND I CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE OR WHEN OR HOW 
AND I BANISHED EVERY MEMORY YOU AND I HAD EVER MADE…

It’s not all that outlandish for a robe to inspire me to like a song. There was a time when I’d do very bad things for the perfect robe. And finding the perfect robe would take many attempts (read: many purchases). It had to be just right – the exact degree of flamboyance, the measured amount of elegance, the slightest hint of decadence. If the robe was right, the rest of my life would fall into place.

It’s not merely the robe – it’s all the connotations that it invokes.

Comfort. Coziness. Safety. Glamour. Luxury. Contentment. Quiet.

The Golden Girls gathered around a cheesecake at the kitchen table.

Norma Desmond descending her staircase in a gorgeously-mad scene of devastated ruin.

Jennifer Tilly’s grating high-pitched squeals in a feathery pink extravaganza, telling of her thrilling, show-stopping numbers in a musical called ‘Leave A Specimen’.

And one of my favorites – the silk robe that Celine Dion wears in her 1996 video for ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me Now’.

THERE WERE THOSE EMPTY THREATS AND HOLLOW LIES
AND WHENEVER YOU TRIED TO HURT ME
I JUST HURT YOU EVEN WORSE AND SO MUCH DEEPER
THERE WERE HOURS THAT JUST WENT ON FOR DAYS
WHEN ALONE AT LAST WE’D COUNT UP ALL THE CHANCES
THAT WERE LOST TO US FOREVER
BUT YOU WERE HISTORY WITH THE SLAMMING OF THE DOOR
AND I MADE MYSELF SO STRONG AGAIN SOMEHOW
AND I NEVER WASTED ANY OF MY TIME ON YOU SINCE THEN

A confession: I was never a big Dion fan. She annoyed the fuck out of me with her Adult Contemporary bullshit. (I still find ‘Because You Loved Me’ to be one of the most joyless exercises in listening that the hearing world has been cursed to endure, and don’t even get me started on ‘The Power of Love’, whose bombast simply wouldn’t stop.) But in the years since I’ve softened on such stuff, and Dion’s so kooky and good-humored about everything (her own over-the-top zaniness included) that I came around. And the robe she wears in this video went a long way toward changing my stance.

WHEN YOU TOUCH ME LIKE THIS
AND WHEN YOU HOLD ME LIKE THAT
IT WAS GONE WITH THE WIND
BUT IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME
WHEN YOU SEE ME LIKE THIS
AND WHEN I SEE YOU LIKE THAT
THEN WE SEE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
ALL COMING BACK TO ME
THE FLESH AND THE FANTASIES
ALL COMING BACK TO ME
I CAN BARELY RECALL
BUT IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW

Drama. Intrigue. Devastation. Loss. And that’s all before she starts singing. In the aftermath, she haunts the house where her presumed love once lived, her only companion a robe that billows behind her in desolate beauty. At the time this song was released, I was about to fall in love again – a typical fall practice for me in those days. Everything was imbued with the import and passion of a person in their early twenties. I lived in a fantasy world; it was the only way I knew of to survive.

‘Evita’ was about to come out, and though my heart was pining away for the uninterested, I tried to focus on the Madonna movie, and on the drama of this video. The fantasy of a robe was an easy-to-accomplish escape. Like a heroine who lost her love in a tragic motorcycle crash, doomed to roam the hallways of a windy mansion, I walked from room to room (literally, as there were but two main rooms in the Boston condo) and felt the various fabrics fall and swirl about me.

By that point I had amassed a decent collection in various styles – silk and velvet, beaded and embellished, trimmed with feathers and fringe, tied with tassels and trinkets. They were a comfort, a balm on a troubled and restless heart. Just because I was alone didn’t mean I couldn’t do so in fabulous form. There is an exquisiteness to misery when it’s dressed just so. As the great Diana Vreeland once remarked, “Elegance is refusal.” Refusing to feel was a discipline I learned while draped in the softest silk, idly running my fingers across a faint damask pattern, absent-mindedly dragging a pool of velvet and feathers in my wake. If there was a martini within reaching distance, so much the better. Retreating into a frivolous fantasy was my way of finding warmth on cold October nights. Wrapped in a robe, I indulged in make-believe, and if you think you are fabulous for long enough, sometimes it comes true.

IF YOU FORGIVE ME ALL THIS
IF I FORGIVE YOU ALL THAT
WE FORGIVE AND FORGET
AND IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME
WHEN YOU SEE ME LIKE THIS
AND WHEN I SEE YOU LIKE THAT
WE SEE JUST WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
ALL COMING BACK TO ME
THE FLESH AND THE FANTASIES
ALL COMING BACK TO ME
I CAN BARELY RECALL BUT IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW

That fall I floated along the amber-hued floorboards of our Boston condo, robes fluttering behind me in dramatic recreation of this video. Life is more fun when you have to pretend, when the worry and want is for the sake of drama over any real emotional taxation and desire. Pretending was a form of protection – perhaps the ultimate for of protection – and the best way I knew to pretend was to put on a pretty robe, a steely mask, and the nonchalant attitude of aloofness that repelled all sorts of messy feelings.

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Rainbow Tie Magic

The best bow-tie statements are bold, crisp, and colorful. If you can muster the cadence of a rainbow in the design, so much the better. In a few days (October 11) we will be celebrating National Coming Out Day. In the event that you’re in need of an accessory with which to spread your LGBTQ spirit, check out these colorful Gay Pride Bow Ties – the perfect addition to an outfit of which one can truly be proud.

The best part of these is that part of the purchase goes toward a wonderful cause (each tie has its own non-profit organization to which part of the purchase goes). When you can add some pizzazz to your sartorial regime and help others out in the process then by all means you should proceed. These bow ties are a lovely addition to any wardrobe and come in handy at a multitude of events. A burst of color is never wrong, and a hint of rainbow can be a subtle treat if you’re looking to make a splash.

Using hand-woven silk from the United Kingdom and made in the United States in the state of Vermont, their creation is truly an international affair. The end results are works of unity and love, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s their official promo:

It does not matter if you are Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Intersex, Allies or whatever religious affiliation, it is important to know we need to coexist and respect each other. This is why we donate $5.00 for every bow tie sold. We want to unify people and make a difference in the world. That is why we are more than just a bow tie!

{Visit their site here to lend your support.}

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A Thigh-High Kinky Gala

Give me a gala theme, and I’ll rock it.

Even if it means practicing in heels for a week beforehand.

Such was the case with the Kinky Boots theme for the formal kick-off to Albany Pride weekend.

Hot pink high-heel thigh-high high-heel boots

Better than the boots were all the florals I had going on.

(Yes, I know. Florals. For spring. Groundbreaking.)

Big roses and bombastic peonies lined a coral-hued jacket, while a rose-adorned skirt puffed out behind me on a cloud of fuchsia tulle. The topper was a peachy fascinator – all netting and feathers and swirligigs (which is a term I just made up at this moment for whatever else sprouted from my head) – an absolute necessity for such an ensemble. The finishing touch that set it apart from doyenne extravagance – a super-short pair of dark denim cut-offs, because every outfit needs a twist or two.

I had a spare fascinator for Suzie because I’m me and she’s Suzie. If I can’t be counted on for a spare fascinator, my life has been in vain. It’s why we work so well together.

The night was magical – a perfect semi-formal kick-off to the start of pride. In this tumultuous year, we needed to make it feel like summer again.

Nobody does that better than Suzie. No one makes me laugh more over less, act foolish when I’m trying to be deadly serious, or reach back to some obscure childhood memory that brings me to more laughter.

There is also no one more ill-equipped and useless to help with high heels on a wet lawn. I mean, she just walked away and left me sinking there. And then she laughed about it. It wasn’t quite the submissive shrug she gave when they told her that her childhood poodle (Duchess) had met its demise beneath the wheels of a car, but you get the idea.

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A Kinky Pride Gala

Tonight’s the night!

The ‘Boots Are Kinky’ Pride Gala – the fabulous and formal kick-off to pride weekend – takes place at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany this evening starting at 6 PM. Tickets can still be purchased here, or you can show up at the door and pay a bit more. Either way, you should donate to the cause – proceeds benefit the GLSEN New York Capital Region Chapter.

People have always turned it out for this event, and I love seeing what everyone does to fit the various themes they’ve had over the years. This time the ‘Kinky Boots‘ angle offers a wealth of possibilities, and I’ve been practicing my high-heel thigh-high strutting. For now, a few more sneak-peek hints of the “groundbreaking” florals I’ll be donning tonight, and you should definitely stop by to see the rest…

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The Time I Wore A Bromper

Listen. There are very few fads or trends that I haven’t slapped on my body over the years, and even those to come have probably already been draped across my frame in some way, shape or form. Case in point: the male romper. Man Romper. Bromper. Onesie. Jumpsuit. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve already done it. Circa 1994. Straight (so to speak) out of the International Male catalog (or maybe I’d moved on to Undergear by then). Regardless, been there, done that. [See photo.]

I happen to think it’s a perfectly fine look for pajamas or pool garb. Would I wear it in public at this point? Yes, but only in the abstract sense that I’ll wear just about anything in public. Should anyone do so? That’s not for me to say.

Yet despite the tons of hate being heaped upon this item of clothing, I don’t feel the same stomach-churning angst about it as I do about a pair of crocs or pleated khakis.

It does require a rather perfect body to pull off, however. The slightest paunch is going to be accentuated and framed, front and center. My tummy can’t take such scrutiny right now. But if you’ve got a washboard above your belly button, romp it up. I’m all for a ridiculous trend that you’ll regret in photos twenty years from now. [See also photo.]

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Another Look at Madonna at the Met

As predicted, my originally-unimpressed stance toward Madonna’s sartorial choices has softened and refined itself into one of gentle admiration. While I never hated it, I wasn’t instantly wowed, which is rare for a Madonna outfit. It’s sort of what happened last year, when it took a few viewings and a closer inspection to reveal the full glory of what was going on. In this instance, I was too quick to consider it a lesser rehash of one of her classic moments (in this case, the formidable get-up of her ‘American Life’ period). This is actually much softer than that, and her hair and makeup are flawless. I still think ill of the grill in her teeth (in certain photos this just reads as spinach), but her canteen was filled with a rosé, and that nifty fact makes up for all sorts of mis-steps in my mind. Created by Moschino, it’s better than this particular year, but in the end will likely filter down as one of the lackluster years. Still, Madonna in camouflage is better than no Madonna at all.

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Met Gala 2017

It’s an oft-made assumption that the biggest night of fashion is the Oscar Awards, but that’s simply not true. The first Monday in May, and the night of the Met Gala, actually holds that title. This is when people take risks, go completely wild, and usually make more of an impression on me than the relatively tame Oscars game. To that end, this is an evening of whimsical and daring enchantment for the fashion-lovers.

With its unexpectedly-tricky avant-garde theme (Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons) the Met Gala presented some sartorial challenges for most attendees, which is odd, because it’s such fertile ground for over-the-top architectural opportunities. Rihanna and Katy Perry came through, but everyone else fell a little flat, even Madonna. (Though hers is usually a grower, especially upon closer examination.) Anyway, here are some of the looks from the most fashionable night of the year.

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