POP CULTURE and GREEN STYLE

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Personal Shopper As Fairy Godmother

Yesterday I drove an hour to Tampa in search of a dress to wear to a black-tie family party in NY. I'd been looking for months. The problem isn't so much that I'm fussy (which I am, in spades). It's that designers aren't making dresses this season to fit my hourglass shape. I have to say here that my shape is all natural. Hasn't been enhanced. Which makes finding a dress that much harder.

The vast majority of dresses and tops this season are empire waisted. Not a good style for someone like me. I was ready to throw in the towel. Well, not the towel. (Where did that expression come from anyway? Boxing? Dishwashing?)

Then, in the way that fate sometimes has of putting the perfect person in your path, fate aligned me with a saleswoman in the WestShore Plaza Tampa Saks. The saleswoman, Dagny Rivers (who I think should be immediately promoted to the store president), had infinite patience, a lot more than I did. For hours, she brought me more and more things to try on, clothes best suited to my body type, which takes some vision when your own body type, like Dagny's, is tall and willowy like a model. All of the dresses, skirts and tops she found for me were wonderful, even if they didn't fit me (blame the designers for that, not Dagny), although some (like the Nanette Lepore skirts) were a bit more wonderful than others.

I felt like a movie star or a princess. I guess it's my Leo moon. Dagny went beyond the call of duty to snap photos of me in the various outfits, with my cell phone, which I then sent to my mother's cell phone. My fashion-maven mother called me back each time to give me her always-expert opinion.

Dagny made what would have been an ordeal that I wasn't willing to go through something fun! I told her that I would be writing about her, but that she might wind up getting too much business, which would then prevent her from doing what she does so well. So, if you do seek her out and find that she's too busy, this article might be why. (But maybe Saks will promote Dagny by then, anyway. In that case, Saks shouldn't worry, because the Peter Principle won't be operating!)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Ultimate in Fashion

I certainly don't want to give a fast food chain any free publicity, because basically their food is bad for us. But this ad is, well, brilliant. Here's what the top of the ad says:

On this page:
Marielle Lorenz dress,
Ana Testa make-up,
McDonald's necklace®.

It took me a while to realize what the necklace is made of!



Thursday, August 25, 2005

This Will Get You Dancing




Maybe you've seen this already, but it was new to me. It's a very funny animated short by the brilliant animated video director Dan Meth called Shake That Ass. It features a wild assortment of dancers, such as cartoon monsters, a little yarmulke-wearing boy, and the characters from Peanuts as African-Americans. Even if you don't think of yourself as a dancer, I dare you to sit still while you watch it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Making of America--an online library

The New York Times has a piece in today's paper about a wonderful digital library of Americana. Here's a 1921 selection they highlighted from the archive:

Adventures of a Working Woman

In New York

By anonymous (an upper-class woman who set out to investigate the life of laboring women). 1921.

For years I had heard persons, men and women, declaim against the incomprehensible devotion of "shop-girls" to chocolate ├ęclairs and gumdrops ... instead of a bowl of oatmeal and milk, or of "good, nourishing soup."

The first time I tried lunching on a bowl of oatmeal and milk I began to experience a most uncomfortable sensation under my apron before three o'clock. By five that sensation had become a sharp griping pain. The day following I tried soup. In the middle of the afternoon when Nora learned how I was suffering, she went scurrying around among the girls in various departments and returned with three gumdrops, which she made me eat.

After that when I had 10 cents or less to spend for lunch I invested in a chocolate ├ęclair and gumdrops. Without a doubt such a diet does produce pale faces and a predisposition to tuberculosis. Experience taught me that it staves off the griping agony produced by hunger and standing on one's feet longer than any other food to be had in New York City for the same money. When a girl's wage is seven dollars a week, or less, 10 cents a day is all she can spend for lunch.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Topless My Ass!




In Wedding Crashers trailers, we see Jane Seymour's naked back as she stands before Owen Wilson, apparently bare breasted. Indeed, the Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman actress (and real-life 54-year-old mother of six) has been making the rounds of talk shows, where hosts have been lauding her for her bravery in taking on this role.

But all the talk about her daring topless scene is fake. With the camera shooting a profile view, and with the strategic placement of Owen Wilson's hands, the movie reveals no more of Jane Seymour's anatomy than a bra would.

I realize it's all a publicity campaign, but c'mon guys. This is NOT truth in advertising! The word of mouth buzz about the movie's laughs ought to be enough to drive traffic to the film.

[By the way, the photo posted here isn't from Wedding Crashers, and it's not even Jane Seymour, but it's similar to the backless shot of her that appears in the trailers.]

Monday, July 11, 2005

Crash the Wedding Crashers Trailer!


I'm not being a shill for some corporate scheme. I'm telling you about this link because I think it's super cool! They make it soooo easy to put yourself in a movie trailer (or yourself and someone else too) and then send it to friends. It's a brilliant publicity strategy. Whoever through this up is a genius! Maybe it was Owen Wilson, who stars in Wedding Crashers along with Vince Vaughn. I can't wait to see this movie! Click on the headline at the top of this post to go to the page where you can put yourself in the trailer. And please e-mail me a copy of whatever you create! I want to see it!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Petition for a Pink Floyd Comeback

I hope you'll help to spread the word about this petition. Pink Floyd did really well in their amazing reunion performance at Live 8. They sounded awesome! This was the first time they performed as a group in 25 years!

Press reports say they don't want to make a comeback because they feel they are "too old." We have to let them know they that aren't too old. After all, Tony Bennet is much older than they are and he's still going strong. To see the petition, click on the headline above.

I met Pink Floyd's David Gilmour a long time ago, when the group performed in Boston. I somehow managed to get backstage after the performance. I had had a boyfriend (when I was a student at The London School of Film Technique--now The London International Film Schoool) who said that his girlfriend Verity had left him for Gilmour. My boyfriend, whose name was also David, was gorgeous and smart and nice, and I wondered what this Gilmour guy could be like to cause her to leave him! So I had to see Gilmour in person. It turned out that he and my boyfriend resembled each other. Tall, well built, with handsome sculpted faces and glamorous long rock star hair, both of them artists. Somewhere I have the whole backstage conversation typed up.

Check out
what Brad Kava writes in the San Jose Mercury News. He's right on about Pink Floyd's "simply stunning" performance leaving us wanting more, more more!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Like Bradgelina


photo scanned by www.pittcenter.com

As reported widely, it was Brad Pitt himself who suggested that W magazine shoot a photo essay starring him and Angelina Jolie playing husband and wife. Brad didn't let those nasty rumors--which he and Angie have been denying--get in the way of 60 pages of photos.

Well, I have an idea. This is an open letter to any glossy. Despite the rumors that Owen Wilson and I are an item--which we both continue to vehemently deny--I volunteer to pose with Owen for the same type of 60-page photo spread. Let the rumors fall where they may. We're really not a couple! Honest!

Monday, June 13, 2005

My Drawing of TV's Dan Abrams


MSNBC's Dan Abrams

I drew this of Dan Abrams when he covered the OJ trial.
Now I'm watching him covering the Michael Jackson trial.
I'm watching Michael's fans release doves outside the
courthouse as the not guilty verdicts are announced.
This is great news! Justice!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I've Got to Make Some Edible [Raw Food] Books!


Peter's Book of Lasagna
Photo by Paul Heydenburg


Take a look at some gorgeous creations at The 6th Annual Edible Book Show and Tea held at The Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts.

I'm so excited to find out about this yearly competition for edible books.
Since I'm both a foodie and a writer, this is sort of perfect!

Now to put my chef's hat on and make some edible raw food books! Yessssssss!

Here's
info on how you can participate in next year's event!

Are Movie Theaters On Their Way Out?

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has a long post on his blog asking what's going to become of movie theaters in an increasingly crowded media marketplace. I posted a comment on his blog suggesting two main things:

(1) There ought to be more theaters that have built-in cafes, like The Angelica on Houston Street in Manhattan. An on-premise cafe (with a nice assortment of interesting food, including raw vegan recipes) would create a sense of community and would attract people.

(2) Megaplexes ought to dedicate one or two of their screens to indy films, ones less likely to get distribution.

As a writer/director, I prefer to watch movies in theaters, as there's something magical about an experience shared with a large audience, not to mention the larger screen and top-notch sound.

But there are a few things that bug me:

(1) When we're paying $8 to see a film, we shouldn't have to sit there watching commercials.

(2) It used to be that films would have long runs, but now they're here and gone in a flash. The window of opportunity to see a film in a theater has become way too small.


(3) There's just not enough intelligence and wit in most theatrically distributed films. Hollywood keeps sliding downhill--maybe it's the mud?--and we wind up with dreck: RawStyle

(4) There are lots of films that get made that don't ever find distribution. Google will soon be showing people's films online, and that will make a huge difference in the quality of films that are out there and widely available. https://upload.video.google.com/

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

China Issues Ban on Naked Fish-Dish Girls


A naked sushi girl at work

China Bans Restaurants From Serving Sushi on Naked Young Women

Using women this way is going too far. Ever wonder how the women felt who had the job of being living dinner plates?

It's still going on in Seattle. And apparently also in NY and LA. And probably Las Vegas.

Here's a
London magazine that features some polls on the topic. But online polls are self-selecting, so they're not worth much.

And here's
something about a "raw" (but not raw foods) catering company that riffs on the idea. Anything for a buck, huh.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Standardizing Beauty Digitally



Hollywood is digitally reducing breast size on some actresses

I have two responses to this development (excuse the pun). The most glaring offense is that Hollywood is making well-endowed women feel there is something wrong with the way nature made them. As we know, the culture has been doing that to overweight women for a long time. But overweight is something a person can do something about, by exercising and choosing what to eat; and overweight is not good for one's health.

Unlike fat, bust size (for those women who are "born that way," without surgical enhancement) is a given. By digitally remaking a woman's chest, Hollywood is thus telling women that if they are more than an A or B cup, they are to be looked at as nothing more than a sex object. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

How would men feel if their genitals were on display to be judged by the culture? (Since men are free to go topless, their penises are the part of their body most parallel to women's breasts.) I don't think men would like that! The author Eldridge Cleaver (Soul on Ice) once designed jeans for men that had a penis-shaped pocket that would display their organ the way a bra or bikini top displays the shape and size of breasts. Maybe we need to start sending these jeans to Hollywood moguls and insist that they wear them from now on.

My other response is that Hollywood's decision to digitally reduce starlets' breast sizes opens the door for actors of all sizes and shapes to play the coveted high-paying lead roles in films. So what if your face isn't symmetrical, you have double chins, you're a midget, you have a paunch or a big butt? Digital artists can make you, too look like a supermodel, or like the flavor of the month, whether that be big boobs or small ones. They can even make you into the other gender, if you really want a certain role.

The Birth of a Blog--Why and What

When I first created this blog, I thought it was going to be about the search for pure cosmetics and everything related to style in all realms--especially things designed with materials beneficial to ourselves and the environment. I created it because I don't see why there needs to be a gulf between design/fashion/architecture on the one hand, and health on the other. Unfortunately, the standard seems to be on the one hand, for designers to ignore healthful materials and on the other hand, for those makers who focus on health to ignore forward-thinking design.

I wanted to deal with topics like: "What constitutes a pure ingredient in a cosmetic?" and "Do raw foodists need to shun cosmetics and style?"

But then this blog developed a mind of its own, much like characters do when you write something creative. This blog wanted to include certain pop culture elements as well, whenever they touched upon raw food or healthful lifestyle. My other blog,
sketchgrrl, which was born first, encompasses raw food, topical observations and humor. It would seem now that both of my blogs are veering in the same direction. Not a huge surprise, since are both coming from my imagination. But they already have their own links out there on the net, and to combine them would cut one of them off from from potential viewers. So as they develop, I imagine they will eventually have more distinct identities.

I refrained from creating any blogs for a long time, not seeing the point, as I've had an online magazine,
Raw Foods News Magazine, since March 2001. I didn't understand why blogs were getting so much more media attention than online or print magazines. I still don't completely understand, although I can see three distinct advantages to blogs--it's easy to see what's new on them, it's easy to subscribe to their "feed", and it's easy to link them to other blogs. So--not wanting to be antediluvian--I jumped onboard. Feel free to post your comments or trackbacks any time.