February 14, 2008
Grammy Weekend Fug Carpet: Rihanna
Rihanna is fascinating to me. Style-wise, she is all over the map -- tight satin, lace bodysuits, short skirts, leather, and more -- and while there's nothing wrong with that, it means that Rihanna is also a bit of a roller-coaster. She's under a huge fashion umbrella-ella-ella, is what I'm saying (because you all know I can't resist the hacky joke when it's there, and even sometimes when it's not).
As proof, check out her array of Grammy outfits. First, the ones I more-or-less liked:
Some of the details on this are nice; others are overly fussy. Mostly, the skirt just makes me wonder if it's a tribute to Sam The Eagle, or perhaps what one would wear if she was the Bride of Grover. Still, on the whole, it works. And she IS young, after all. That's the time to play around with ruffles, both of the fabric AND potato-chip variety.
This one, for me, turned out pretty cute also. The longer I look at it, the more I think the ruffles work -- at first I feared they looked like she poked her arms through two giant Fancy-Dress Scrunchies, but actually they're an interesting way to spice up the classic little black dress. Unfortunately, though, when I factor in the hair, I can't get over thinking she looks like some kind of exotic bird.
But maybe that's just because I had already seen her in this ode to A Creature:
Were there a dominatrix living in Fraggle Rock, this is what she'd wear.
This, however, is what S&M Fraggle would buy for her mother, who lives in a pottery commune in New Mexico and needs a gown for the opening-night gala of the "Meditation Through Clay: From Agateware To Aiken" convention.
There is hiding your light under a bushel, and then there is going out to the desert in the middle of the night to bury your light under six feet of earth and a large shrubbery just to make absolutely sure that no one finds it. Dorothy Zbornak would take one look at this and snort, "Nice chastity shroud." And that is a woman who, may I remind you, LAYERS HER SWEATERS. And is not on the cusp of twenty. I'm not saying Rihanna should be ripping off her shirt and running through the streets, or sharing nylons with Paris Hilton, but this seems a bit of an extreme move in the opposite direction.
Grammy Awards Fug Carpet: Bai Ling
Apparently, our favorite demi-nudist Bai Ling was arrested for shoplifting -- and not, in fact, skirtlifting, which is how I first read the news, and which prompted me to sigh, "Oh, come on, people, that's just WHAT SHE DOES. LET HER LIVE, DAMMIT!"
Let's enjoy her in happier times.
This is our girl as nature intended: smiling, finding creative ways to circumvent a top that appears designed not to show any boob, and overall looking like she leapt out of the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. We wouldn't be at all shocked if her first call from inside the pokey went to her ex-boyfriend The Lorax. And, yes, those ARE Band-Aids with writing on them that she is using as shin jewelry -- one is in Chinese and the other says "Happy" and... something that look like "New York," maybe, and... Well, see for yourself:
AHA. Happy Chinese New Year! Thank you to a reader with better eyes than mine.
Poor Bai. This girl cannot live a life behind bars. Or, perhaps more relevant to this situation, she can't live a life where she's expected to show up in court to defend herself in sensible clothing. That's not our girl. We should probably offer ourselves up as character witnesses if there's a trial, though. What the police aren't considering is that maybe Personality #3 picked up the magazines and batteries Bai allegedly filched, and then right as she was getting in line to pay, Personality #13 burst to the fore and thought, "God, I need a lemon poppyseed muffin and a latte, 'ERE I DIE," and marched the host body straight out of the newsagent and toward Starbucks. So have mercy, cop-types. Unless you want to see what she MacGyvers the prison jumpsuits into -- just like a thneed, they could be gloves! A hat! A bra! But frankly, we are hoping this all gets resolved and Bai flies away straight back to her wardrove to start preparing the next majestic piece of lunacy.
February 12, 2008
Grammy Awards Fug AND Fab Carpet: Natasha Bedingfield
I feel like taking a tour through Natasha Bedingfield's closet would be a really interesting way to spend an afternoon. She veers from cute dresses to crazy '80s wear as fast as most people blink, plus I am always fascinated to see what kind of stuff people keep in there, buried under shoe boxes or stacks of sweaters -- or, in my case, the paint-splattered jeans and shirts I keep around for the inevitable day when I finally say, "No, seriously, THIS TIME I really AM going to paint the bathroom."
As for Natasha, I like to think that outside her closet hangs a giant blindfold she ties on before picking her clothes for the day. It helps explain the roller-coaster between this:
And what she changed into after the Grammys ended:
That purple dress is so lovely; the post-party ensemble, something I feel like I'd see if I ever re-watched the scenes of Crocodile Dundee where Paul Hogan goes to New York and everyone at the Incredibly Hip Manhattan Parties is wearing the most insane, dated stuff -- like, speaking totally theoretically of course (and absolutely NOT from having seen that movie again two months ago when I discovered it on cable and couldn't turn it off), a stretchy cropped top and pants with the entire alphabet on them over and over again. Admittedly, compared to something an aerobics instructor on Sesame Street might wear, Natasha's throwback outfit isn't so bad. And her hair and makeup are cute. But what's with her trying to make me think it's 1988 again?
As if to affirm my instinct, Natasha whipped out this androgynous look at a pre-party.
I kind of wanted to like this, actually -- there's at least something defined about it. I get what she was trying. But for the lady-tux thing to work, I think the pants need to be skinnier, and the shoes need to be... not those same brown ones, which are very daytimey. The eye makeup is a bit aggressive and she's got so much lube on her chest, she's practically Keith Urban. Indeed, she's halfway between a department store mannequin and a waxwork of Annie Lennox. The overall effect is not one of pleasure as much as it is a reminder that, instead of buying Natasha's new album, there's still a lot of Eurythmics in my iTunes shopping cart that I should scoop up instead. No matter how nice Natasha might be personally, it's never a good idea if your outfit only makes people think wistfully of a someone else who is way cooler.
Grammy Awards Fug-or-Fab Carpet: Nelly Furtado
As ever, I with Nelly Furtado would stop making that face on the red carpet like she just downed an entire roll of SweeTarts that had been marinating in lemon juice. But I will try and set that aside, as it might take a lifetime to deprogram that instinct from her and I have far too many seasons of The Wire to get through; instead, let's focus on the rest of it.
I've never liked the blonde hair on her. Especially here -- it looks like she dipped a comb in some peroxide and ran it through once before leaving. As for the gown, I think it's a perfect example of how all the romantic draping can backfire on a girl -- instead of making her look floaty, it pulls around her hips, gets all bunchy, and essentially makes you stare at her midsection trying to figure out what's her and what is courtesy of all those folds. She's looked better, is what I'm saying.
And she can't even stand comfortably in it without creating some weird, unflattering angles. Learn your angles, Nelly! Did Tyra Banks create magical, magical television for NOTHING? DO NOT MAKE TYRA'S LABOR IN VAIN.
I do, however, love the color.
It's like she came so close to a victory, but in the end, has to settle for Miss Congeniality. Although in this case, it's Miss Biting The Insides Of Her Cheeks Because She Kind Of Wants To Cut That Bitch Who Won The Crown But Instead She Needs To Keep Smiling And Just Think About World Peace. So I'm throwing it open to the masses to see if the hue saved her or if nothing could -- or, if the world thinks she's a beacon of deliciousness and I should just let my tiny ship crash on the rocks and reveal my secret cargo of hot pants. One thing's for sure, though: Based on that last sentence, I should not fug before I've had breakfast. Strange things happen.
February 11, 2008
Grammy Awards Pre-Party: Ziyi Zhang
I have a confession about Ziyi Zhang (AKA Zhang Ziyi: I've seen her name listed both ways, and I'm not sure which she prefers, or which she's using more officially in the United States. Maybe I will just call her Z?). I have a tremendous girl crush on her. I just think she is SO PRETTY. Even when she's wearing this:
Yes, she looks a bit like a bejeweled puff pastry of some sort and if Lindsay Lohan showed up in this, I would be all, "Oh, GIRL." But in this case, you could say to me, "Jessica, she looks like a bejeweled puff pastry of some sort," and I would just say, "I KNOW. But....she's so pretty!"
Okay, okay. Fair enough. There's something about it that looks just like a pop over. But I love pop overs! And...fine. You're right. YOU'RE RIGHT.
Grammy Awards Pre-Party: Lindsay Lohan
I was all set to make this post a "Fug or Fab," and then I really looked at it:
No. I don't even think I need to put this to a vote. She looks like a traffic cone wrapped in tissue paper and topped with a hastily made flower, like the world's most inappropriate last-minute baby shower gift grabbed on the way to the party as the gift-giver realized when driving past a construction site she forgot to buy anything.
And I'm sure there's an "unwrapping" joke in there somewhere, but I'll let you write it yourself.
Grammy Awards Fug Carpet: Kimberly Willams-Paisley
I have some love for Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Have you SEEN her on According to Jim? HILARIOUS.
Okay, maybe. In the interest of fairness, I must admit I've never seen According to Jim. She might be awesome on it. But my love dates from Father of the Bride, part of which was filmed close enough to my parents' house that the generator was parked outside my bedroom window for a month. Being a young teen at the time, this was basically the COOLEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED and it helped that the crew was incredibly nice to all the neighborhood kids. We got to watch them film scenes and stunts, and they answered all our questions and let us act like little PAs and did I mention that we had the run of craft services? It was a fascinating and exciting experience for a kid, and so I have deep fondness for everyone involved with that movie.
Not so much for this outfit, though, Kimmie:
It's not terrible. It just recalls nothing so much as the love child of goth bordello curtains and a pale, weak homage to Gwyneth Paltrow's most universally reviled Oscars look. A reminder:
Let me just point out that I have no idea what is going on behind her with the Monsters, Inc., bathrobe/backpack/smoking jacket, but I LOVE IT. Where is that woman when you need her to liven things up, I ask you?
Grammy Awards Pre-Party Fug Carpet: Well Played, Whitney Houston
I have a lot of love saved up for Whitney Houston, whose entire first and second albums I used to love belting out in my room when I was, like, eight -- despite the fact that there's no way I should've been singing about spending all night shagging my married lover, and how it was emotionally hard when he was with his family but all worth it when he dropped by my place again for Naughty Time. I even had the piano music for that one; my parents must have been relieved I never whipped either of those performances out in public.
Naturally, then, her descent into becoming the scary-bony woman who told Diane Sawyer she made way too much money to bother doing crack and demanded to see receipts proving allegations she spent $500,000 on cocaine -- because drug dealers are renowned for making sure you have receipts for each purchase -- considerably saddened me. Thrillingly, though, Whitney looks like she's getting back on track.
Pretty! Classy! No bones poking out through her skin! And she's totally fixed up the hair!
My one beef: I am pretty sure those are panty-hose (which I totally wrote as "hos" by accident the first time and had to fix; perhaps this is my subconscious' way of telling me that, deep down, I believe nude panty-hose are the trashy cousins of a good pair of tights). And I hate that with open-toed shoes, especially ones with bling attached that draw your eye right down to the feet, making sure you notice the telltale webbing on her toes.
But other than that, well done, Whitney. One step at a time, right? We have time to deal with this whole panty-hose problem -- something that, not too long ago, I might not've been able to write without secretly worrying Bobby Brown would be the death of you before we got there. But now we've got you looking radiant again, so let's call this one a victory. Dare I suggest she's rekindled the greatest love of all? Oh, I dare, I DARE.
Grammy Awards Fug Carpet: Beyonce and Solange
BEYONCE: Hi, Mommy! Thanks! Thanks for the dress!
SOLANGE: Yeah. That's good. Rub it in.
BEYONCE: Whatever do you mean?
SOLANGE: Oh, nothing. Just that, once again, Mom lets you wear some giant ball gown, and I get to wear a glorified freaking shirt with shoes that look like a five-year old made them. Awesome.
BEYONCE: You're so cranky.
SOLANGE: Wouldn't you be? It's like a funeral tent. Although I don't even like your dress that much. It looks a bit like wet sand at the beach got all over it. HA!
BEYONCE: That's real nice, there, Solange. Real mature. I think I look pretty.
SOLANGE: And your highlights look like refried Tina Turner from this angle.
BEYONCE: It was an homage! For our performance!
SOLANGE: Uh-huh. Right. Mom lets you do all that to yourself, and doesn't let me wear pants.
BEYONCE: Silly child. You have to EARN pants.
SOLANGE: Oh, is that so? Like you did on stage tonight?
BEYONCE: That's DIFFERENT. I'm performing with Tina! The queen of tiny skirts and awesome legs!
SOLANGE: Yeah, and Tina can get away with anything, because she's fierce. Although I don't think she appreciated you stepping on her foot mid-song, but I won't rub that in, okay?
BEYONCE: But doesn't my hair look better?
SOLANGE: It does. That's still not a dress, though, Peaches. That's a bedazzled hanky. And what's your excuse for this other thing?
BEYONCE: That's different ALSO, brat!
SOLANGE: How? Those look like you have gangrene of the pelvis. How come you refuse to wear bottoms on-stage? Are you allergic?
BEYONCE: Listen, you know I have an alter-ego called Sasha who takes over my costuming sometimes.
SOLANGE: Right. And I have an alter-ego named Neosporin who makes a salve that might cure whatever your hips caught.
BEYONCE: When I tell Mom about this, you will be so grounded, you won't even TOUCH a pair of pants for TWO YEARS.
SOLANGE: Great! Then I can talk to "Sasha" for some pointers on how to handle that.
Grammy Awards Pre-Party Fug Carpet: Gavin DeGraw
Good for Gavin DeGraw for -- as he croons every week during the main titles of One Tree Hill -- not wanting to be anything other than what he's been trying to be lately.
Which, these days, is apparently the best-dressed goddamn paper boy in the Los Angeles Times circulation area. Who are you? NOBODY.