This fashionable and stylish blog is a collage of creative fresh ideas, filled with educated opinions, packed with flexible suggestions, stuffed with a lot of sense of humor and most of all, it is a place where people who enjoy fashion and style can use it as a resource, a channel to let out their passions or frustrations, a virtual mechanism to influence others with individualism and creativity. Anyone can use this blog to break the monotony of your lives—to have a good laugh or to initiate a thought. And if your life feels monotonous spice it up with a tiara or a new belt or a hat. This blog is not supposed to be the fashion police [never] because who can compete with Joan Rivers. This blog is not a serious literary document; instead, it is a fun registry about what we like to wear, our personal style and a life that’s unique, fun and imaginative. WARNING: This blog is not your average and stereotypical blog, this blog offers honesty, choices, fun ideas and a good time. Criticism is welcomed. Cynicism is encouraged!


Fashion Statements

Hailee Steinfeld looked age appropriate in Marchesa.
Steve Granitz/Style.com

The prom queen of the Oscars was Hailee Steinfeld. This young ingénue made a big splash last night wearing a beautiful dress by Marchesa. She looked like a princess, chic and age appropriate (she’s only 14 years old) in her one-of-a kind nude dress she helped design. In the past few weeks she has worn unpredictable looks from Prabal Gurung and Prada, but this dress made her look girlie, feminine and fresh. Most important, a good role-model [fashion speaking] for young girls to emulate when deciding what to wear to their proms this year. Seriously, young women need to study Hailee Steinfeld style because a lot of them need to reconsider their fashion choices.

Sexy and fresh, Jennifer Lawrence.
Kevork Djansezian/Style.com

Jeniffer Lawrence looked simply divine in her Calvin Klein Collection dress. This tank dress made her look modern, sexy (reminiscent of a Pamela Anderson bathing suit-maybe), understated and seductive. Very clean silhouette and look at her freaking awesome figure. She really worked this red dress that seemed to have been poured on her. She knows her body and she knows what looks good on her. Of all the red dresses that marched into the red carpet last night, Jennifer’s dress stood out and made a fashion statement. Notice the minimal use of jewelry too. It proves that “less is more.” Now that’s a look a lot of twenty-something women should try to imitate. In their own-personal way of course. Remember that what looks great on Jennifer doesn’t really mean that it will look great on you.
And then, there's Cate the Great.

Cate Blanchett wearing Givenchy Haute Couture.
Frazer Harrison/Style.com

And one of my favorite actresses Cate Blanchett rocked a bold and unique design by Givenchy Haute Couture.  A GREAT FASHIONABLE STATEMENT. Her fashion choices are always confident and first class—this soft lavender creation said, “look at me bitches, I’m the queen in this place.” She is a genuine and authentic fashion original. I love her style.  
Until next time…


No Messy Ladies

This morning I saw a young lady walking down the street, intensely pounding the pavement as if she was late for her date or church or maybe trying to get home after a wild night out. She was probably doing the “walk of shame.” Shame. But I must say, “she looked marvelous.” She was inspired by 1940’s; a throwback to the good old days. She had pale skin a la Nicole Kidman; her visage looked as if she had dusted it with a light layer of white powder. Her cheeks were rosy and she had bright, bright red lips. The eyebrows were a tribute to Jean Harlow; she would have been proud and flattered. Her hair was carefully pulled back into a messy chignon. And twisted on the left side she had pinned a bunch of white flowers—I’m not sure they were real but the effect was perfection. Oh! The white gloves were a nice ladylike touch, except they were dirty.
Classic women: Veronica Lake and Bette Davis. Moviemaidens.com
She was dolled up from head to toes in what appeared to be vintage clothes. Her beautiful black velvet coat had the most fabulous feathery red fur around the neck. I could not believe that a 20 something woman was wearing a 1940’s inspired outfit. Her purple pencil skirt and clunky black high peep toes made the outfit stand out and made her a wonder of fashion. A lot of young women today look tousle, messy and untidy; sometimes it hurts not to be able to counsel them on what looks right on them or what is appropriate for their age. And it doesn’t have to be couture or designer clothes to look civilized, fashionable and age appropriate. More young people should look to the past and to the bright starts of yesteryears for inspiration [and reference] whenever defining their personal fashion style. I would suggest anyone looking at photographs of iconic women such as Ingrid Bergman, Veronica Lake, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and the many other beautiful and talented women of the 40’s and the 50’s.

A beautiful and feminine look from Christian Dior Couture Spring '11.
Yanis Vlamos/GoRunway.com
Iconic women from the golden age: Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth. Moviemaidens.com

I’m in love with the spring 2011 couture looks from Christian Dior. Using the illustrations René Gruau created for Christian Dior during the golden age, John Galliano created a glamorous, decadent and splendid homage to a man whose work helped define a period in fashion. Gruau was a favorite of the fashion couture world of the 1940’s and 50’s. Galliano’s enduring and memorable spring couture collection is one for the ages.
An eternal and glamorous look from Dior Couture-1940's inspired.


Savage Beauty

I can’t wait until this show opens. A preview of what is to be a “must see show” "a huge hit" was unveiled in London yesterday. Thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Anna Wintour we will be able to see some of the fabulous creations of the late Alexander McQueen.
“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” will open in May, so start planning your trip to New York. Don't procrastinate. Go pack your bags! This show is going to be bitter sweet, but mostly sweet and magnificent—we deserve to experience the majesty that was the creative mind of Lee Alexander McQueen. I’m excited to see it and you should be too. I miss marveling at the outrageous theatrics, the raw sensibility, the artistic narrative and the ingenious romanticism that he brought to contemporary fashion. 

Alexander McQueen: Provocative and Extraordinary. Steven Klein/Vogue
These are just a few of Alexander McQueen’s memorable (the word doesn’t exactly convey the meaning since all of his work was truly unforgettable) and impressive designs. Drool, gasp, dream, and remember.  
Click images to enlarge.
Alexander The Great Lives On. Marcio Madeira/Style.com
Treasured Art. History Lesson. History Making. Marcio Madeira/Style.com
Some colors of choice: Red, Black and Gold. Marcio Madeira/Style.com
A Golden Moment. Museum Worth. Christopher Moore/Style.com


Chic New Jail Uniforms

A couple of entries ago I mentioned that I was locked up for six months in 2009. Shocking isn’t it? I was locked up in a minimum security facility in Brooklyn and in Waymart, PA. Yes, believe it or not, the fabulous “me” was in jail. You can read the government’s press release for yourself if you want, or the few articles I’ve written for a local newspaper since my release. I have neither secrets nor shame. When I was in jail I had plenty of time to think about things, one of them was of how I could redesign the prison uniforms. The thought was always present and constant—recurring. Seriously. So I’m not here to write about my jail stint (it’s not worth it and I’ve moved on with my life), instead I want to write about the ugly, unflattering and shapeless uniforms I got to wear throughout my jail time and how I would revamp them. They were sinful, degrading, horrendous and aesthetically hideous.

An iconic document
In Brooklyn, the inmates wear beige polyester jumpsuits that are cinched to the waist. The jumpsuits are hideous and alarmingly unflattering to the figure. My jumpsuits were three sizes too large for me. I looked like I was wearing a parachute, a camping tent, or a dull sleeping bag. I almost cried when I got my nauseating parachute. I remember asking the intake officer in Brooklyn if I could get a smaller set of uniforms because the one I had received were too big for me. “These are not supposed to make you look good. This is jail buddy,” he grotesquely replied. “Well, that’s what you think. I’m going to have to work [snapping my fingers] this XXXL jumpsuit. Don’t you know who I am?” I thought. I couldn’t verbalize my thoughts to the bad breathe chubby officer because I didn’t want to sound too weak or too demanding. Or afraid. “Hey! Do you want to exchange with me?” a short, stocky Puerto Rican man asked me. “No that’s fine, I can roll them from the bottom and they’ll look fine,” I responded to the Boricua who happened to be covered from head to toes in tacky tattoos. Clearly keepsakes from his previous stints. I didn’t want to start depending on other inmates and have them expect me to do favors for them. Not me. No way, not ever.
After the second day in Brooklyn I was able to trim the bottom of my abysmal uniform with a razor blade my bunk mate let me borrow. I still looked fat, unattractive and scandalous. Scandalous because I had never worn such an ugly outfit before. I couldn’t even get in them—because the three buttons on the top stopped mid abdomen. It was always an event putting them on and taking them off. Nobody in the entire dorm looked good in the hot-air balloon creation. Couldn’t’ they have asked Ralph Lauren or even Tommy Hilfiger to design a uniform for the Bureau of Prisons? Why not? I bet they would design something that would be practical, functional and stylish. Classic all American.
When I arrived at the camp in Waymart, PA the uniform was a little bit more flattering than the previous jail destination. It was a teal color long sleeve and pants set. The boots were bulky and heavy; they were better than the Bruce Lee-karate shoes in Brooklyn. I knew I was going to look terrible in teal—I know which colors look good on me and which make me look flushed out, ghostly or anemic. This is true. The uniform at the camp fitted me perfectly because it was my size and I had lost about 22 pounds since the incarceration. Best of all, there was an in-house tailor (a long term inmate designated by the camp to do this job) whose job was to fix anybody’s uniform if it didn’t fit or needed a button or two. I took advantage of this service and made sure I had my own fitting. I thought I was at big couture house getting fitted for a show by a couturier and his staff. We were issued a daytime uniform and a visiting day uniform, both looked the same, except the visiting day (which I only got to wear twice) was newer than the every day look. When my friend Steven and my partner Dan came to visit me at the camp I was scared to have them see me in my teal uniform. Dan immediately said, “you don’t look in this color.” “Really? I thought it flattered my Latin complexion,” I thought. Some of the inmates tried very hard to make this outfit look decent. They tried to gay-it-up. They would roll their sleeves, they would flip up the collar, dress it up with cheap bling (beads from the commissary), iron it flat with a mix of flour and water. Hey we didn’t’ have starch, so we had to do what we could do in order to look good. Some guys spent hours fluffing themselves to look half decent for their visitors. Mostly their lovers-mistresses.
After I had performed my daily job which was to mop the floors of the dorm, I would sit by a window and sketch for an hour or two. I would draw multiple versions of the uniform and mostly in navy blue or gray. Universally masculine colors. In order to offer you a glimpse of what I’m talking about I have designed two looks inspired by the ugly uniforms currently worn by inmates in Waymart and Brooklyn. Maybe the prison system can adopt them or use them as reference if they ever decide to update the look. Now that’s a chic idea.
My interpretation of prison uniforms: chic and functional.
Left, Brooklyn--Right, Waymart


Styling a Mexican Soap Opera Star Isn't Easy

I got a call from Univision to fly down to Miami, FL to see if I would be interested in styling 4 episodes of a soap opera that was already airing. I didn’t know what to say or how to react to such yummy offer. “Where did you get my number from?” I asked the woman with the rice-cracker Spanish accent. Hilda was her name. I think she was Dominican.
“Your nephew Christian gave the number to one of our producers, is that a problem?” With a little bit of hesitation in her voice she inquired. “No, not right now. I’ll get him later.” “How may I help you?” I asked the young woman. “I don’t know if you have ever watched any of our telenovelas?” “But we would like you to help us with some styling issues,” “go on” I said to the Univision lady. “We don’t know what to do with some of the actresses; their hair is very 80’s, their drag-queen makeup is revolting and their fashion sense is appallling [yes, that’s “appalling” with 3 l’s].” While she was telling me all of this stuff, my mind was spinning out-of-control. I had to abruptly make a decision and without thinking I told her, “count me in, but with two conditions.” “Whatever you say Mr. Carlo, please come help us,” Hilda the production assistant begged me.
“I’ll do this job, if you allow me to work individually with each actress and I’ll do the job if you tell me that there are no budget restrictions.” For a few seconds, maybe 20 to 30 seconds there was a long pause, silence. “Hello.” “Hello.” “Are you still there?” I asked Hilda. “Si. Yes, I’m still here.” Hilda told me. “Well, did you hear what I said?” “Yes, and that’s totally fine, I’m sure,” again with hesitation and some fear she answered.

The promotional advertisement for the soap opera/novela Soy Tu Dueña. Univision.com
Besides asking Hilda for a bottomless budget, I also asked her to lodge me at a great hotel while changing lives at Univision. “Which hotel were you thinking?” Without any hesitation I told her, “the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, if that’s okay with you,” I sort of mumbled. Intentionally so I could get a reaction. “When would you be able to meet with our team? We would like to get you here as soon as possible. Preferably in 2 weeks when we start the new novela,” Hilda went on. Novela is another word in Spanish for soap opera.
“I could be in Miami in three days but I have to check my schedule, so I will have to call you back,” I told Hilda. In my head I was already thinking about what I was going to do. I was breaking down ideas for what it would be a great makeover, which is a word I dislike. I was conceptualizing a monumental assignment, and I knew I could do it.
I arrived in Miami (pronounced Mee ah mee) and went directly to the studios of Univision. I was greeted with such pomp and circumstance I thought I had achieved world peace. “Where are my ladies?” I asked Hilda, who turned out to be this frumpy and plumpish twenty something with full lips lined in a Chianti red and filled in with a rosy pink lipstick. Who does that? Her jet-black ponytail was tight and dramatically long. “Well, one of them is here and the rest you will meet in the next few days,” she told me. “Who is she? And which soap is she in?” “She’s currently in Soy Tu Dueña and she needs major help,” she said. What Hilda and the team in Miami didn’t know, was that I had already called a few designers and makeup artists and they had agreed to give us a hand with these ladies.
“This is Lucero.” She reached out to kiss my cheek.
“Nice to met you Lucero,” I replied. Lucero is “star” in Spanish. How narcissistic and conceited? Lucero is the Susan Lucci of Mexico, but only with curves and a lot of hair and boobs.

Lucero working her curves and her hair. Univision.com

“Very nice to meet you Carlo. I’m so happy to meet you and cannot wait to get your opinion,” she gracefully waved her hands and her voluminous long curls covered her cheeky face.  This woman was tall (for a Latin woman) and the proud owner of some major curves. She was wearing the tightest low cut jeans with a bright floral print peasant blouse that showcased her enormous tetas. Borderline slutty and hussy.
“I have to tell you Carlo that my favorite colors are orange and purple,” she told me right away. “Really? Orange and purple?  Were you a Lakers girl?” I asked her. “I don’t know what a Lakers girl is,” she replied. I was doomed and this was going to be a big project. Huge I thought. I would make miracles happen.
She was pretty, and I had a huge challenge in front of me. I had planned to use fresh, colorful, modern, feminine, minimalistic pieces from the Spring 2011 Prada, Jil Sander, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Versace and Valentino collections to bring these ladies out to the light. But now I was in trouble. “How am I going to get these curvy size 12 girl(s) into these clothes?” I kept asking myself. I could envision Lucero in modern silhouettes and flattering shapes; tailored pantsuits, clean pencil skirts, romantic evening gowns and modern-stream lined dresses. And flat shoes for day, instead of the trampy outdated clothes she was wearing and the old clunky platforms she had on. And she was delighted to tell me she favored platforms. Again, very Latina to favor clunky, embellished trѐs passé shoes—not fitting of a modern Latin woman. Her makeup was beastly: she was wearing turquoise mixed with a glittery bronze eye shadow and exceptionally long fake lashes. Her cheeks were covered in an English rose blush; very heavy and layered.  It was midday. “In this Miami heat she’s wearing that face?” 
This Jil Sander look is minimal and chic. Monica Feudi/Style.com

I woke up to the sound of the alarm clock and bummed out that it was just all a comical dream. With their flamboyant wardrobes and their lack of fashion sense Spanish soap operas and their leading ladies are less than perfect. They’re an obnoxious mess. And it would be a dream to make over a few of the leading ladies and men for that matter. The novela’s men are equally guilty of lacking style-unstylish and chintzy.  Growing up I was in some way encouraged, no wait, required to watch the petty drama. I’ve always believed novelas to be tacky, frivolous, fake, foolish, stereotypical, predictable, homophobic and extremely campy. I’m always embarrassed to tell people that I watch novelas/telenovelas a handful of times a year. When I go home to visit my mother or vice versa.
These are some of my suggestions for the Mexican drama queen. She couldn't possibly decline.

Carolina Herrera looks are modern and feminine. Yannis Vlamos/Style.com


An Hommage to YSL

If I could dress Anne Hathaway for the Oscars, this would be one choice
In an attempt to save time becasue I was running out of the house to go meet some fabulous friends for brunch at City Cafe, I forgot to post this watercolor creation inspired by the great Yves Saint Laurent. Since the Oscars are coming up, I thought that Anne Hathaway could wear this dress during the telecast of the Oscars on February 27. I'm very aware (and not suggesting she should contact me) that she already has hundreds of dresses at her disposal and I'm sure she's got a lot of little people running around Los Angeles and New York (all over Europe) collecting dresses for her to wear. I hope she gets to change gowns at least seven (7) times during what seems to always be a 10 hours show; it's her duty to look great and to showcase some fabulous fashions. She'll probably won't get another chance, so she might as well milk this opportunity dry.

I designed this gown after watching the great documentary I mentioned in the previous post. I studied Yves Saint Laurent when I was a fashion student at the Fashion Institute, thus, my interest in the man that gave women the safari jacket, beautiful peasant blouses, pantsuits and the Le Smoking tuxedo. And that's not all. I couldn't think of someone else other than Anne Hathaway to wear this beautiful royal blue gown that is infused with fantasy, sophistication and minimalism. The skirt is made-up of three layers of silk organza encrusted with royal blue Swarovsky crystals along the edge of each layer. The great voluminous skirt has a deep and long slit on the right side. The top is carefully draped and embedded with small diagonal flat pleats and again its covered with small royal blue Swarovski crystals that fall from the shoulders covering the beautiful princess sleeves and the sexy and modern neckline. This dress is feminine, sexy and powerful; characteristics of a YSL creation. Again, this is my personal interpretation of a modern Saint Laurent dress. Anne Hathaway would look ravishing and simply elegant.


Yves Saint Laurent--Inimitable

I just finished watching for the fifth time in 4 years, the 2004 haute documentary about the legendary French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent. Yves St. Laurent: His Life and Time, by David Teboul is a personal look into the life and times of this iconic—the finest, fashion designer. Personal note-I had the great pleasure of meeting Monsieur St. Laurent in the fall of 1993 when I was living in Paris. It was a great honor and a humbling experience to meet the man who gave women “Le Smoking” tuxedo; the first designer to use black models in his runway shows, the originator of the shoulder strap bag (not the tote bag), and the man responsible for bringing other ethnic societies as a source of inspiration to fashion. His fashion designs have left an inimitable mark in the firmament of what is the fashion universe. His Mondrian dress stands alone in the cosmos of innovation and artistic interpretation of pop art; his safari jacket still remains a key item in women’s wardrobes from Paris to New York, to Moscow and the vast landscape that makes up the stylish and fashionable macrocosm. And let’s not forget the pea coat. 
Pierre Boulat/Lancaster/Express/Getty Images (Hulton Archives)
In this provocative documentary we get a close look at how this master of haute couture began; his relationships with all those around him, most specifically with his partner Pierre Bergé and his right hand woman Loulou de la Falaise. We also get to intimately witness the creative world in which this masterful provocateur creates, produces and lives his fashion. “Ravishing,” “ideal,” “divine” and “sensational” are some of the statements St. Laurent and his most trusted friends and colleagues exclaim over and over throughout the film. The same adjectives can be used to describe the work and the life of one of the finest couturiers of the 20th century. It is extraordinary to watch St. Laurent carefully craft the most beautiful and wearable clothes; some of which are true classic standards which defined an era and will remain constant reference for the next generation of fashion designers. Incredible as it may sound, St. Laurent began his long career at the age of 17 when he was hired to be Christian Dior’s assistant and who four years later (1958) after the sudden death of Dior became the creative mind of such prolific and perpetual couture house. In the film we are able to examine the kind of friendships St. Laurent cultivated and who he considered important, valuable and undeniably trusted confidants. We are guests to the most refined and theatrical fittings; we are told over and over that St. Laurent is like no other and his fashions are relics in the pantheon of fashion. “This dress is ravishing Georgette,” he exclaims to his right hand assistant. “Thank you monsieur,” timidly, yet gratefully she accepts a compliment from the master. Like this exchange there are many—many that are deserved and worth attributing.  

Le Smoking by Helmut Newton, Vogue 1975 Fall-Winter 83/84 Ensemble, Metmuseum.org
His loyal friend, collaborator and muse, Loulou de la Falaise ever present, suggesting, admiring, protecting and loving him. I wish I had a loyal and loving friend like Mademoiselle de la Falaise. Their friendship was neither fiction nor a sham; it was real and genuine. Catherine Deneuve unselfishly and tenderly remained his true friend and muse for several decades—their collaboration(s) started in 1966 when he dressed Deneuve in the Luis Buñuel film Belle de Jour. We are invited to listen to his older sister tell stories about her beloved brother. “He was critical of what I wore from an early age,” she reminisces “he knew from the age of three that he wanted to be a fashion designer,” she tells. It is obvious even to the uneducated eye that his talent was grandiose and that his fascination for the dramatic-theatrical influenced his career. Saint Laurent’s work influenced me greatly when I attended design school. How could he not? His work is undeniably like no other before him and timeless. His simple silhouettes and shapes that give reference to a masculine self and the refined tailoring—in his work you can see his influences too, the sculptural drama of Cristobal Balenciaga and the opulent romanticism of Christian Dior and the fabulous sensibility of Nina Ricci, which are exclusive qualities young designers these days look up to for potential design success. 
The Mondrian dress defined an era. Metmuseum.org
Whatever your opinion might be of this the last couturier or if you don’t know much or nothing at all about his life and times, this documentary will educate you and inspire you very much. I wish it could be longer, unfortunately, it is what is. Yves St. Laurent was a timid, shy person who lived a life filled with a lot of success and who throughout his career he maintained the highest standards for tailoring and for classic cut. His influence in the world of fashion and culture in general, will serve as the trademark for quality, creativity and aesthetic refinement. Now that I have offered you a glimpse about who Yves Saint Laurent was—a tremendous talented man, get to Netflix or Amazon and get yourself a copy of the documentary. You might really enjoy it. Actually, you will enjoy it greatly. You might be inspired and you might walk away more informed. Now I have to go and read a bunch of magazines to educate myself more and pass the legacy on to all of you.


Does Your Man Like Cologne or Moisturizer?

I went to workout this morning even though it’s freezing out there. Windy and electrifyingly cold. I couldn’t feel my cojones by the time I got to the gym. Once there, Becky (the receptionist) a nice thirty something woman asked me if I were her boyfriend what would I like to receive for Valentine’s Day? “Well, let’s start with the fact I’m gay and I wouldn’t be receiving any gifts from you,” I said. She looked at me as if I had told her that the pope was in the aerobics class wearing a tank top, Lycra shorts and leg warmers. “Well, what does your boyfriend like?” I asked her. “He likes the outdoors and he likes to watch football; he’s an account and he’s not interested in fashion at all,” she responded. “Is he dead?” I asked. “Ha, ha, ha, ha,” she laughed. “How long have the two of you been together?” I inquired more. “We’ve been dating for five years, but living together for 3.” This conversation was turning more into a therapy session than giving this poor unfortunate soul some suggestions for a Valentine’s gift. “Does he read?” “Or does he like to cook, watch movies? Does he wear cologne?  Does he moisturize or use hair products?” I continued to ask her. “He wears cologne but he doesn’t wear anything fine; he gets his cologne at Walmart and his hair doesn’t need anything because he’s not the type that would use any “guy” products,” she explained while I listened in horror. “He reads but he doesn’t read all the time, only when he’s sick,” she told me. I was mortified and feeling terrible for her.
A very stylish, masculine and chic Valentine's Day gift for your man
I thought it would be nice for her to introduce her boyfriend to some fine things in life like great books, movies, cologne and excellent facial products that don’t scream feminine or girly. I encouraged her to touch my skin and see how soft (I’ve been accused of having baby butt skin) and well maintained it is. “How do you get your skin to be so soft?” she asked me. She thought I was some strange extraterrestrial being with great skin. “I moisturize every day and I use products that are good for me and my type of skin,” I carefully responded to her question. “I have been using the same brand for over 20 years I told her and I’ve only stopped using the brand for six months because I was locked up and couldn’t get the products in the big house.” Again, she looked at me as if I was speaking Mandarin and she didn’t understand what I was saying. Funny how some people get this look of shock when I tell them I was in jail. Hey, many famous folks have been in jail, besides, my stint in the big slammer was short and not a big deal. No drugs or weapons nor violence, but I’ll tell you more sometime later.

Kiehl's ingredients are natural and feel great
I told Becky that she should get her live-in boyfriend products from Kiehl’s because they’re great for your skin, they have been around for a long time and made with natural ingredients. I’ve been using Kiehl’s for 20 plus years and I’ve never looked back. I really enjoy their moisturizer with SPF 15 and I really enjoy their body lotion—I used to wear their Crème de Corps, but now I’m using their Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion. I really like this stuff. I also use Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Scrub and the wonderful Abyssine Serum+. To cleanse my skin I use the Açaí Damage-Minimizing Cleanser and for my lips Lip Balm #1. Many people have asked me if I use shampoo since I am bald and apparently there’s no need to wash my head. They are very surprised when I tell them that I do use shampoo and I wash my head every day. “Really?” “But you don’t have any hair,” Becky asked me. “Well, Becky, I like to keep my head clean and smelling delicious.” I suggested she get for her man the Tea Tree Oil Shampoo because it’s the ultimate in hair care and scalp protection. Becky was looking at me now like I was crazy or had developed a horn in the middle of my forehead. I know I’m not your stereotypical male, but I believe in taking care of your body, skin and head. Those are normal things to do, right?
A classic, Tom Ford
“As far as smelling great goes, I told Becky, you should look into getting your boyfriend a great cologne like Tom Ford by Tom Ford. It has hints of orange blossom, black pepper, cedar, amber and leather I think, so it’s the perfect gift for your boyfriend,” I proceed to educate her. “I really enjoy this cologne and I get a lot of compliments when I wear it.” She was now ready to kill me with one of the dumbbells she was holding in her hands. “But if he’s not into a sophisticated scent, what about something more casual but refined like Marc Jacobs cologne?” “It’s modern and he can wear it all day like I do.” “I’ve been wearing this woody cologne since it first came out and it never disappoints,” Becky just nodded and I think was overwhelmed with all of the information I was giving her. I’m a loyal person; therefore, my choices/suggestions are always the same because I trust their potential and their longevity as classics.
The scent for a masculine and smart man, Marc Jacobs
I also mentioned to Becky that Hermѐs makes a masculine and overall a great everyday cologne—Terre D’Hermѐs has tiny hints of pepper, cedar, patchouli and grapefruit. I received this masculine cologne as a gift from my beautiful partner. He got me the collector’s version of the cologne and I’m glad he thought of me liking this cologne. We make a perfect pair. Hermѐs and me. And Dan and I too. I had to continue with my workout, and Becky needed to get home to medicate herself since I had given her plenty of suggestions and she was now more confused than before our talk. She asked me if I was going to be in the gym tomorrow so we could talk more about this dilemma and if I would be okay meeting her boyfriend. “Sure, I could meet your boyfriend and talk more,” I told Becky. “Do you think we could meet somewhere and not here at the gym?” Now this casual conversation was turning into a personal grooming session.
You'll never go wrong with this choice
I just hope Becky goes home and starts working on getting some of these things for her man—or going to Nordstrom and getting a consultation from the Kiehl’s representative. I hope she talks to me tomorrow so I can give her suggestions on what kind of books or shoes she should get her boyfriend. I won’t suggest clothes; he’ll hate me. Or maybe not.


Denim, Fringe, Flats, Color, Minimalism and Modernism: Spring is here.

I was walking my dog Tucker this morning and noticed that a lot of the trees are beginning to bud. Yes, they’re beginning to bud. I got really excited and couldn’t wait to get home and inspect my plants; to my great surprise the hydrangeas are budding and so are the roses. I inspected every single rose bush and any other plant that might have survived the bitter winter. So why get all excited? Well, it means the cold weather will finally go away and we can start wearing our spring clothes. Oh and the birds will start to sing every morning too.
Color, minimalism, boldness create a great Spring. My Spring collage  
I got home, peeled off a couple of layers of clothing and decided to create a collage or a mood (inspiration) board whatever you want to call it. It is a collage of what Spring 2011 looks like to me. It means you can wear white. White made a strong show in most designer’s palette. In Paris it was all over the runways. Karl Lagerfeld used white to make Chanel a most elegant, opulent and contemporary collection. In New York, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein induced the collection with bright whites and different shades of the crisp color. Denim is huge this Spring, so why not mix it up with white? Do it. Try it. This Spring you can wear shorts. Yes. Shorts. Not Daisy Duke shorts but seductive yet casual shorts. Shorts that go up your legs but stop decently mid point before looking sinful. This Spring you can wear prints: prints that are tasteful, daring and less looking like a table cloth or a shower curtain. Think beautiful floral or citrus prints like the ones Stella McCartney beautifully crafted for Spring. I’ll give you a few suggestions: think peonies in soft and bright shades of pink and juicy lemons or oranges detailing the side of a skirt or accentuating the neckline of your dress. Remember I said citrus not melons.
A close-up of my Spring collage
The look for Spring is minimalist. It means less is more and more is not acceptable. Clean lines, the right hem line [hem lines are long and waist high] and the perfect construction. Architectural pieces that define the back, the legs, the shoulders and don’t forget your derrière. I’m suggesting a minimalism that is modern, fresh and does not make you look like you’re wearing a big sac of potatoes. Be careful with this Spring trend. It needs to be feminine and wearable.
For evening, feathers are still the rage and Karl Lagerfeld used them to the best of his ability to give Chanel a touch of elegance and romantic minimalism. As mentioned before, nothing should be to the extreme—no need to look like Big Bird. The 70’s are back and every designer from New York to Milan referenced the decade by carefully citing some aspects of this fashionable time. Think Lauren Hutton and Bianca Jagger at Studio 54; streamlined jumpsuits and pants are flared. Not bell bottoms. Marc Jacobs looked to the 70’s for his Spring 2011 collection; the most colorful and diverse. It offered an array of beautiful brimmed hats, pants that hug the body while elongating its figure.

Functional, wearable clothes are the key for Spring 2011
Spring also means that your clothes should be functional, wearable and they should have softness that offers you personal freedom. Color, color and more color. From a citrus orange to a pomegranate red and to a forever sexy red. Color is important in your wardrobe; it makes you feel blissful and euphoric. At least, it does for me. Shoes for Spring are everywhere; from strappy flats to high wooden platforms, both styles are functional and luxurious. Think hippie chic or look to the future as reference. Include a shiny piece of metal in your wardrobe this Spring, whether around your neck, your waist or carefully hugging your ankles. Denim is IN this season, so wear it proudly because it’s an American icon. Your hair should be pulled back in a simple, but chic ponytail. Feel it for fringe-be careful to not over do it. Get a motorcycle jacket like the Burberry jackets Christopher Bailey sent down the runway this season. There are no specific rules for what you should be wearing this coming Spring, just great suggestions and wonderful ideas. Oh okay, one rule. One simple rule: before walking out of the house make sure you don’t look like a Rose Parade float. Whenever Spring gets here do not be afraid to try something new or look to the 70’s. Great fashion is achieved by trial and error—we learn from our mistakes. Look and feel fabulous, be colorful and bold, ease into minimalism and just be free. Don’t be scared to be yourself. If you don’t know what to do this Spring look to my collage or mood board if you so desire. I don’t like the words “mood” and “board.”

Beautiful orchids sitting pretty on top of my magazines


What Would Tim Blanks Say?

I was supposed to be writing an entry about the beautiful people at the SAG awards, which I’ll do in a minute, but not before discussing the television fashion coverage of the red carpet. Wow! I was very disappointed by the lack of excitement in which some hostess from the E! Channel (we all know who I’m talking about) conducted herself and the show. Her iconographic over-ambitious, clumsy and predictable personality was in full display. If you don’t believe me check out her interview with Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network or her discomfited interview with James Franco of 127 Hours. I kept watching her fumble her own game and I kept thinking that someone else should be hosting the show. And then I thought of the right hosts for the show. Where’s Tim Blanks? Or Nina Garcia? These two great fashion journalists/editors would be fantastic but they’re too big for E! He would be so much better at interviewing starlets and their lovers.

He would ask them fashion forward questions while focusing on their clothing rather than their mode of transportation or dispelling myths about chewing gum. Tim Blanks is superb at analyzing trends, fashion, style and he does it all with humor; the right kind of humor. Neither inept nor immature. Nina Garcia is too busy as fashion director at Marie Claire Magazine and killing impossible dreams at Project Runway. With her stoic and non-pretentious attitude she would be a grand dame with a microphone. Nina owns her smart-ass kind of humor and celebrities would gather around her and let it all out while looking great. But again, she’s too big (not physically) for a show that doesn’t even transmit on HD. So my choice would be Tim Blanks to host the red carpet show.

Jeff Kravitz/Style.com
I used to watch Fashion File all the time—it became an almost religious routine and Tim Blanks was my number one host. Tim Blanks always asks the right questions and his guests are always willing to take the time to be grilled by him. And he did it all while flashing the biggest smile. When he left Fashion File to be a contributing editor for Style.com I was disappointed that our TV affair had to end, but I was happy to know that Tim was going to still be an active personality in the fashion industry. Tim Blanks is highly respected for his candor and his ability to deliver a clear and eloquent fashion message—and his facial expressions are very entertaining, charming.  I strongly believe that Mr. Blanks would be a fresh breath of air in the red carpet; he would inquiry about their movie roles and upcoming projects but most of all, he would question them about their beautiful borrowed gowns or their sharp suits. “Congratulations on your nomination and what a great movie,” he would charismatically compliment them. “Thank you, thank you. It’s a great honor to be nominated with such a great group of people,” the young slightly sauced starlet would comment. “Beautiful gown, who are you wearing?” “Stunning and very appropriate for this occasion,” he would not lie. “Oh, it’s, it’s jeez Versachi,” the starlet would reply while her publicist signals her that is time to get off the platform. “It’s a beautiful color on you, a great fabric and flattering to your slender figure,” Tim would continue to compliment her. In real life he wouldn’t do all that talking, at least not so effervescently. He’s too cultured and bright to encourage any alcoholic conversation. “Have a great evening and thank you for stopping by to speak with us,” he would gently kiss her hand good bye. He turns around speaks to the camera for a few seconds and off they go to commercials.

Steve Granitz/Style.com
 Now that I have rambled about nothing, I want to get back to the ladies and gentlemen who looked great the night of the SAG awards. Remember that it’s just my opinion and nothing else. And I’m not policing anyone. I think Mila Kunis looked great in her red hot strapless Alexander McQueen gown and Cartier jewels. It was refreshing to see her wear a design that made her look young, fresh and of the moment. She looked calm, stress-free and I think this dress even gave her better posture.  Hailee Steinfeld the new “it girl” and young star of True Grit looked fantastic. Her candy striped Prada gown was perfectly youthful, accentuated her 5’8” young figure. The colors were jovial; a Debra Harry bright pink, sherbet orange and black-enough to make her stand out from the rest of the ladies.

Jeff Vespa/Style.com

James Franco looked elegant, fresh and clean. I think he looked great in his Gucci tuxedo, but could he have done something with this hair? He still looks good and happy. The ultimate bombshell that is Sofia Vergara made it on to my “she looks great” list. Wow! Enough cleavage and a lot of curves to satisfy the male fans and what a great dress. Her blue Roberto Cavalli (worn with Chopard jewels) fitted her curvy, sexy (normal female) figure like a glove. She radiates so much confidence and joy that both women and men like her. What would Tim Blanks say to her? Maybe something like “you look fantastic and chic; womanly.”  And with her big smile, Sofia would reply “tenk yu Tim, yu’re so sweet.”

Frazer Harrison/Style.com

The young female cast of Glee looked wonderful. Lea Michele in her 70’s inspired, strappy Oscar de la Renta looked modern, demure and improved. I use the “improved” because she got lost somewhere between the Golden Globe Awards and her pink ruffle de la Renta gown. She looked lovely, but the SAG Awards version of Lea Michele was much better. Tim Blanks would have showered her with fashionable compliments for making the right choice this time around. “Simply beautiful and simply a great fashion decision,” he would have told her. “Oh, thank you and I trust your opinion,” she would have awkwardly reacted.
Overall, everyone played it safe, modest—some needed a little editing and most of them wore borrowed clothes. So, the Academy Awards should be a big fashionable and stylish night, but will it be? We’ll see.