As Valentine's Day approaches, I've been practicing my withering glances and crash testing my bullshit detector because there's only so much street style and runway pics you can look at in a day.
This morning I took an excursion to the land of glossy women's mag websites to find out how they were covering the day of amour that's almost upon us. What I found was surprisingly inoffensive: Vogue's running a lingerie shopping guide which, okay I guess that's useful even though I hate lingerie and Lucky has an open letter to the CFDA pleading with the American fashion council to reschedule next year's NYFW so it doesn't conflict with Valentine's Day* and Self is too busy Build[ing] a Better Butt to think much about a Hallmark holiday that's basically just an excuse to shovel
insecurity chocolate down American women's throats.
Meanwhile, the Internet is killing it with Coolest Fashion Couples slideshows and mind-boggling What to Get Your Pet for Valentine's Day shopping roundups. I know Conde Nast, for one, doesn't really have much of a digital strategy and still believes its future lies in print but what I saw this morning was just plain bleak. I have never been so bored on the Internet.
But when the going gets tough, um … Cosmopolitan can be relied upon to be sleazy. The notoriously sex-obsessed (no judgement!) magazine was working some of its headline magic on the front page with a story promising to explain Why Men Should Spend $218 on Valentine's Day. I'm not sure whether the title is supposed to appeal to women or more to men lurking the cosmo dot com homepage hoping to pick up some V-Day date night tips, but I will not lie and say I clicked through purely for "research" purposes.
And then it got even better! Here's the opening:
How much is your vagina worth? Just over $200, according to a survey commissioned by one website.
I think I should able to set the price of my own vagina, thank you very much.
The article goes on to say that this "Crazy New Research" (that's an official term) was commissioned by SeekingArrangement.com, a "Sugar Daddy" website that rivals Cosmo in reputation. The survey found that $218 was the average price a man had to spend on Valentine's Day to have sex with his date.
But then Cosmo offers up a plot twist, closing the story with the kind of principled stance you couldn't see coming from the publication that lures its reader in with headlines like, "Would You Do Him Outside?," "30 Things to Do to a Naked Man," "75 Sex Moves You Need to Try" and (my fave) "We Have a Crush On Someone Else's Boobs?" (There's actually nothing wrong or even manipulative about those headlines, I just thought you'd enjoy them.)
Gross. These dudes have it all wrong if they think cash=sex on Valentine's Day. Sure, it's likely that every guy has V-Day sex on his mind when he heads out on a date, but to expect it? Bad form. Oh, and if he pressures you to have sex because he dropped a few dollars on dinner? Do it if you want to, otherwise ditch him, stat.
Um, maybe you should just split the bill?
*Haha yeah right. Milan would throw an epic hissy fit about their factory production schedule and London would quit fashion all together and it would all spiral out of control until the world erupted with a devastating fashion war.
It’s getting down the wire with Fashion Week winding down and few things have been as critical for my making it through the week as my emergency kit – aka as a repurposed gift-with-purchase cosmetic bag. I’ve never felt comfortable touching up my makeup in public and the cramped restrooms in the Fashion Week section at Lincoln Center are less than appealing so it’s important that the makeup I’m wearing makes it from day-to-night. With that said, my cosmetic bag is filled with little trinkets to ensure that, and more, happens.
Miss Oops has a bunch of lifesaving products, my favorite of which is their deodorant sponge, which is my equivalent to the Tide stick (it's fantastic for removing a lot more than just deodorant). I also have a few Advils (not to whine, but waiting for shows to start – especially when they entail standing in long lines – can quickly become headache-inducing), facial wipes and makeup removing Q-tips so that if my makeup does smudge, I can fix it in a pinch, some cooling eye cream, tissue for my perpetually tearing eyes (I'm beginning to think I'm allergic to every mascara on planet Earth) and of course, the essential Metrocard!
Up-and-coming singer Beyonce covers Vogue's 2013 Power Issue. Another bold choice by Anna Wintour. [AmyGrindhouse]
Kat Dennings is so good at lipstick it's like a superpower. [BellaSugar]
As you may have heard, it is cold outside and yet still there are people walking around and attending New York Fashion Week shows. Some of them are even carrying really cool bags because
it doesn't cost anything that's the way the cookie crumbles. [FabSugar]
This "coolest fashion couples" slideshow will make you want to vom and sob at the same time. Happy Valentine's Day! [Fashionologie]
Michael Lohan is writing a tell-all book. Me too, actually. About my complicated personal relationship with Lindsay Lohan. People need to know the truth. [Earsucker]
Here's a young Bradley Cooper asking Sean Penn a question on Inside the Actor's Studio. You know, I'm skeptical about a lot of things, but my faith in the Internet is boundless. [Starcasm]
"This Color-Changing Dress Is Like A Mood Ring For Your Body." Cool, my body has always wanted one of those. [SheFinds]
If you thought Oscar de la Renta had organized those highly publicized studio hang-out sessions with disgracedDiordesigner John Galliano out of the goodness of his heart, that's precisely the case if "goodness of his heart" is a euphemism for "favor to Anna Wintour."
In an extended interview with journalist William Norwich in this week's New York magazine, de la Renta goes out of his way to shine light on the Vogue editor's involvement:
"I think John is one of the most talented men I’ve ever met. I like him very much. The years I was doing Balmain in Paris, I went many times with Anna [Wintour] to his shows. It is so strange to me what people who don’t know Anna think of her. She is so wrongly guessed. She is the most wonderful person, so smart, and so funny, and an unbelievably loyal friend. So when Anna asked me if I would have John in my studio, I said yes. I also believe that everyone should have a second chance, especially someone as talented as John. And he has worked so hard on his recovery. … I think the only similarities between me and John is that we both love what we do."
Now granted: not only is this most likely a very rigorously edited interview, it's also an unconventional interviewee/er relationship (the conversation opens with ODLR remembering that time he nearly strangled Norwich), so it is possible that I'm misreading the subtext in the statement above. But it looks odd to me. All but the last sentence (which answers a direct follow-up) is a response to Norwich's broad curiosity about Oscar de la Renta's new arrangement: "So, what’s it like having John Galliano here?"
ODLR's compliments about Anna Wintour are off-topic, seem exaggerated and are just plain weird when you consider that the person he's talking to, Norwich, is an established fashion journalist who himself works for Vogue magazine. Like, he's familiar with Anna Wintour, thanks! As much as I'd love ODLR's incomprehensibe effusions to be related to some kind of repressed aggression towards Wintour, it's more more likely that the designer was determined to reveal her hand in the John Galliano comeback crusade because he wants to downplay his own involvement.
So the question: Why does Oscar de la Renta want us to know that he didn't invite Galliano to his studio apropos of nothing? I think there are two possibilities. 1) I've previously written about how I don't support a Galliano comeback. It's possible that ODLR was pursuaded by my awesomely persuasive persuasion. 2) However, s
ome many commenters weren't persuaded. One even accused me of having being paid off by Dior chairman Bernard Arnault. I assure you, Mr. Arnault has not been in touch with me (I wish), but perhaps he's been talking $$$$ to de la Renta instead? If ODLR was willing to put his neck on the line just so that like, one of his dresses will end up on a Vogue cover in the near future, I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to distance himself from the whole comeback narrative in exchange for some of Arnault's vast quantities of cash money.
Ta-da! Mysteries meet me and run for their lives.
Image via Getty
Previously: Oscar de la Renta Is Bringing John Galliano Back Into the Fold
Maybe it's because this weekend was so miserable weatherwise and faced with such inhospitable being-outside conditions, many would-be fashion week show-goers chose to stay inside instead, that Twitter's new short video iPhone app, Vine, gained a real stronghold on #nyfw hashtags near you.
If you haven't played with the app yet, it's going to sound really dumb when I describe it to you (and in reality, it kinda is), but it's extremely addictive. Following the logic of parent company Twitter's micro-missives and people's attraction to stricter formal limitations in social sharing, Vine's technology allows users to post super-short clips with unlimited cuts (basically six second max videos) which loop infinitely (like GIFs). The results are often charming — more textured and atmospheric than Twitter pics, but still lightweight and browsable.
Some of the accounts currently monopolizing Vine's popular #nyfw tag: V Magazine, Bergdorf Goodman, W mag, e-com site RentTheRunway, CFDA president Steven Kolb, Buzzfeed Shift editor Amy Odell, The Webster Miami, fashion PR firm KCD, WSJ reporter Elizabeth Holmes — overall, an impressive and relatively diverse selection of fashion folks. (We're there too, but more catting it up than anything else.)
Vine is currently only available for iPhone and iPod Touch.
One of the biggest problems with working in the fashion industry is that you’re constantly bombarded with sartorial temptations. Case in point, when I put together some gift guides for The Fashion Spot, I couldn’t help but splurge on myself…sometimes it’s too easy to forget about budgets, especially when it comes to a money-is-no-object guide (pardon the selfishness!). Luckily, the splurges were all on obsession-worthy investment pieces, one of which was a shearling coat from Karl Donoghue (similar to this one).
The coat is gorgeous. Not to toot my own horn, but I get complimented on it all the time and while it drives me nuts that although the coat looks black, it’s actually blue and therefore proceeds to leave blue marks all over some of my favorite purses, I can’t help but wear it much to the detriment of my accessories. Better yet, it’s not only incredibly chic, it’s incredibly functional and keeps me warm even in the most frigid of temperatures (not to mention Nemo). It’s burdensome enough when you have to change shoes, the last thing you want to do is run home and change outfits, so I love that if heaven forbid I’m caught in a situation this week where something unexpected comes up that I’m not appropriately dressed for, I can just leave this fitted coat on and no one will blink an eye.