Fashion

A Hazy Shade of Stupid

File under #No:

Druggie: An eyeshadow from Sephora, by Urban Decay, circa 2017.There are moments when it’s important to marshal as much evidence as possible to back up an argument. And then there are moments like this.

Sephora is selling a new shade of eyeshadow called “Druggie.”

(Grim and Kearns)

There are a few things that go here. Sephora’s non-apology is directed “to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade”, asking people to check in via Twitter direct message for more information. The Huffington Post called, and again Sephora apologized “to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade”, and reiterated that the company “would never seek to do that”. And just to make the point, the company added, “The shade was in a limited edition palette and was not planned to be re-ordered”.

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Adam in an Evening Gown

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 16 August 2016.Must I absolutely have a reason?

The upside, of course, is that Adam waited an extra day before going Garbo, and on some valence the existential reality of the Universe thanks him.

I know, I know. Kind of like God saying, “Thanks a bunch for being my tool!” Adam has fewer excuses than Job, but nobody had to dare the Lord to give the Bugmeister some Bozo feet.

No, seriously. Oughta teach God to brag. And something goes here about Adam and complaining into cosplay.

You’re welcome.

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Image note: Triptych ― Top to bottom: Bug in Life, Buggy Warbucks, Adam of Green Gables; detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 16 August 2016.

The Donald Trump National Convention (Movin’ Right Along)

Melania Trump delivers a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, 18 July 2016. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It’s worth noting that the New York Times headline, “Melania Trump’s Speech Bears Striking Similarities to Michelle Obama’s in 2008”, is rather quite generous.

Melania Trump earned praise for her speech on Monday at the opening night of the Republican National Convention, but her remarks almost immediately came under scrutiny when striking similarities were discovered between her speech and one delivered by Michelle Obama at the Democratic convention in 2008.

The phrases in question came when Ms. Trump―who told NBC News earlier Monday that she had written her speech herself―was discussing her upbringing in Slovenia and her parents.

(Haberman, Rappeport, and Healy)

On the upside, though, apparently Mrs. Trump’s dress was something of a hit; Bruna Nessif of E! reports that the $2,190 Roksanda “Margot” dress sold out in under an hour: “Now that’s how you make a fashion and political statement.”

Yeah, it’s a fabulous dress, and all, and a bunch of people apparently really did shell out nearly twenty-two hundred dollars per. And that’s the good news. All of it.

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Image note: Melania Trump delivers a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, 18 July 2016. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Haberman, Maggie, Alan Rappeport, and Patrick Healy. “Melania Trump’s Speech Bears Striking Similarities to Michelle Obama’s in 2008”. The New York Times. 19 July 2016.

Nessif, Bruna. “Melania Trump’s Dress Sells Out Less Than an Hour After Her Republican Convention Speech”. E! 18 July 2016.

The Importance of Being Stylish

Cuban President Raul Castro (left) poses for a photograph with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama before a state dinner at the Palace of the Revolution, 21 March 2016, in Havana Cuba.  (Detail of photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)

HuffPo associate style editor Jamie Feldman zeroes in on what’s really important:

"OK, We Get It, Michelle Obama: You Love Florals".  (Detail of Huffington Post front page, 22 March 2016.)If you’re supposed to dress for the job you want and not the job you have, perhaps Michelle Obama dreams of being … a garden?

The first lady wowed in yet another floral look — it’s her third this month and second in two days! — for a state dinner in Havana, Cuba Monday night.

And, you know, we really wish she wouldn’t.

To the one, sure, you know, everybody needs to make a living. To the other, this should be neither demand nor excuse for going out of one’s way to be part of the problem.

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Image note: Cuban President Raul Castro (left) poses for a photograph with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama before a state dinner at the Palace of the Revolution, 21 March 2016, in Havana Cuba. (Detail of photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)

Feldman, Jamie. “Michelle Obama Blends In With The Scenery At The State Dinner In Cuba”. The Huffington Post. 22 March 2016.

Another Memo to the Huffington Post

A doll's work never ends. July (c.), with Kiko Kyanauma (r.) and friend, in Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor episode 9, 'They Met One Day, unexpectedly ...'.

MEMORANDUM

To: Huffington Post, Michelle Persad (Fashion Editor)

re: Please stop objectifying women

This is not an occasion on which I get to say, “You might have noticed”, because, in all sincerity, why would you?

Still, it is to some degree worth mentioning that a particular frustration with the Huffington Post compels me to give your organization some shit, because, quite frankly, I just don’t get HuffPo’s obsession with bulwarking misogyny.

The Duchess Effect is real. And this year, it was stronger than ever―probably because the Duchess of Cambridge’s style keeps getting better.

Between her red carpet gowns, dashing coats and whimsical hats, we were gushing over her sartorial choices for basically 12 months straight.

(Persad)

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The Huffington Disgrace

"Serena Williams' Sheer Dress Is A Grand Slam". Headline for Huffington Post article by Jamie Feldman, 16 December 2015.

MEMORANDUM

To: Jamie Feldman, Huffington Post

re: ¿Thank you for your contribution?

It is hard to know where to begin, so let me please start with a question: Are you joking?

No, really, are you pitching for a Christmas card from MRAs?

All hail Serena Williams, Sports Illustrated’s first female “Sportsperson of the Year” since 1983 and the sexiest woman alive―if her latest red carpet look is any indication, that is.

(Feldman)

No, really. Please tell me this is a joke.

Why are you taking part in gendertyping? Why are you reinforcing stereotypes about women’s apperances?

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Just Some Dude Asking a Question

Detail of the Huffington Post front page, 15 December 2015.

MEMORANDUM

To: Huffington Post, Jamie Feldman (Associate Style Editor)

re: Stylish sexism

In the first place: Why do I care?

The Huffington Post sidebar is, of course, notorious; I can discover all manner of fascinating insights about how you think of your readers, because, you know, some of us just so want to know about Martha Stewart’s sex life, or what slits were too high for comfort. Something about cherries, and something about sex toys; yeah, that was the sort of moment I would never experience without the Huffington Post.

It is not so much a question of why I care about the notoriously obnoxious lack of decent character shown by the HuffPo sidebar; it is, after all, merely software.

But the question persists why I care what Kate Middleton wore yesterday. Nor was this merely in the sidebar; someone chose to put the article about the Duchess of Cambridge being an “outfit repeater” on the front page of the Huffington Post.

'Outfit Repeater': For some reason, Huffington Post thought this article was a good idea.Royals: They’re just like us―when it comes to recycling outfits, that is.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge took her new haircut out to a holiday party at the London’s Anna Freud center Monday, a charity she has visited before as part of her ongoing work for children’s mental health.

Dressed for the holidays, Kate opted for an all-red Alexander McQueen outfit that she has worn not once but twice before

Perhaps Jamie Feldman, associate style editor for HuffPo, might explain if this is one of those moments in which I am suppsoed to squee! uncontrollably.

Maybe weep?

Fall to my knees in prayer? How about just shake my head sadly?

“Outfit Repeater”? Really? Yeah, okay, I can shake my head sadly at that.

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A Phonetic Phailure

Detail of screenshot from Amazon.com showing 'Reypo Women's Seamless Capri Leggings', 29 July 2015.You know, I know it’s up to me to notice in the first place.

And, of course, there are some language barriers causing occasional … er … ah … unfortunate outcomes.

Or, you know, something.

Never mind.

Via Amazon, as you might be able to tell. Not that it really matters.

(sigh)

No, really, what the hell are we supposed to do with that?

A Fashion Don’t

A doll's work never ends.  July (c.), with Kiko Kyanauma (r.) and friend, in Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor episode 9, 'They Met One Day, unexpectedly ...'.

Fashion lesson:

J. Crew had a disappointing couple of months. Their sales fell 5 percent compared with the same period in 2014, their same-store sales are down 10 percent, and CEO Mickey Drexler and the retail press have blamed the brand’s recent woes on some ugly sweaters, in particular a cropped one called “The Tilly.” (“We like to think of her as the slightly shrunken cousin of our beloved Tippi sweater,” J.Crew says on its site.) The New York Times quotes a J. Crew obsessive who says, “The Tilly was a disaster. An absolute disaster. They should not have gone that way.” The company has laid off 175 people and fired their head of women’s design in the aftermath.

But … it’s just one sweater. (Which, full disclosure, I tried on once, and didn’t hate. But I have a comparatively short torso, so cropped styles flatter me.) How could one miss seemingly alter the big picture?

(Grose)

Point the first: Color me informed.

Point the second: It really is an interesting explanation.

Point the third: There is no point three.

Point the fourth: Courageous fashion reportage reminds of first world problems insofar as I never have known why anyone shops at J. Crew.

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Image note: A doll’s work never ends ― July (c.), with Kiko Kyanauma (r.) and friend, in Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor episode 9, ‘They Met One Day, unexpectedly …’.

Grose, Jessica. “J. Crew Is Floundering. Blame Tilly.” Slate. 12 June 2015.

The Problem with Local News

Chyron for CBS 2 Los Angeles Inland Empire Reporter Crystal Cruz.

Sometimes we adore local news, and you can take the word “adore” in that derogatory context, so loathsome it’s adorable.

CBS Los Angeles, which is a local affiliate and not a crime drama spinoff, reported yesterday on an exclusive story about an auto service receipt that had already achieved viral status:

A man in Riverside who went to see an auto mechanic said he was personally offended by what was written on his receipt – and it wasn’t the price.

Customer Ruben Rodriguez said, “I saw the words ‘stupid’ and I just kind of was like, ‘What?’ And I read it and reread it.”

CBS2/KCAL9′s Crystal Cruz confirmed that scribbled at the bottom of the receipt was “customer to stupid to understand normal thinking.”

Rodriguez said it was written by George Fritts, the owner of George Fritts Auto repair in Riverside. He’s quick to point out a grammatical error: Fritts should have used “too” when he wrote “to stupid.”

“That is one of the issues that I pointed out when I went back into the store. And I don’t think he was too excited about that, but I did my best to help him out,” Rodriguez said.

It should be pointed out that even if the term is unfamiliar, we are witnessing a variant of Skitt’s Law, an internet axiom suggesting that pedantry will be subject to pedantry. You know, like writing “to” instead of “too” when denouncing another person’s stupidity.

Setting that aside, what makes the story adorable is CBS News “Inland Empire” reporter Crystal Cruz:

Yes, this rude receipt, sort of gone viral. The customer posted it on social media, has gotten a lot of mixed responses regarding this receipt. Tonight we’ll let you decide who’s in the right or the wrong.

Really? Who’s in the right or wrong? How is this actually a question? From a business perspective, we need not merely observe that the customer is always right; there is also the fact that this sort of thing chases off other customers. A more general perspective might wonder about advice on keeping oil clean; the first thought to mind is that we use oil filters for this purpose, but then perhaps it might be that the mechanic is just a poor salesman trying to con the customer into using some sort of additive. Given a chance to respond, the mechanic only said that he stands by his assessment, and offered no details toward what his advice about keeping oil clean actually was. In the end, there isn’t really a question about who is right or wrong. More than the receipt itself, CBS 2’s “exclusive” report is a waste of time, money, and human resources.CBS2 (Los Angeles) Inland Empire Reporter Crystal Cruz, 19 November 2014.

And this is why local news is adorable. Certes, cable news has myriad problems of its own, and print media looks more and more like its sorry electronic version, but local television news makes Kenny Brockelstein into a modern prophet and casts the abysmal midday talk shows offering homemaking tips for the housewife audience between soap opera reviews and teases media geniuses. CBS 2’s “exclusive” report is a genial presentation of style lacking any sense of journalism in general or reporting specifically.

Which, in turn, only highlights the importance of Australian anchor Karl Stefanovic’s bit with the blue suit. The problem here isn’t a matter of wardrobe or hairstyle, but, rather, what passes for reporting in the twenty-first century.

And that’s the problem with worrying about her hair or wardrobe; maybe we should start asking reporters to pay attention to their reporting.

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CBS 2. “Exclusive: Auto Mechanic Leaves Shocking Note On Customer’s Receipt”. CBSLA.com. 19 November 2014.