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    Glamour Girl is terribly envious of her friend Meg Fairfax Fielding, who not only hosts the superlative blog Pigtown Design, but who has already seen the new movie about Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel. Meg is usually way ahead of GG.

    (Oh, and before I continue, I’ll tell you that Meg is giving a lecture at Ladew Topiary Gardens tomorrow; all info here.)

    The Diana Vreeland film opens at The Charles on Friday.

    Another film I’m dying to see is the documentary spun off from Ari Seth Cohen’s fab blog Advanced Style, which blog I wrote about in this entry. Suddenly, it seems, “women of a certain age” are everywhere.

    I’ve written about them before, but here’s one I just discovered—Tziporah Salamon:

    Does she have style or what?!

    Here’s a pic that shows her in an outfit she said she searched for for years. It’s a recreation of the striped robe in Matisse’s famous painting, Purple Robe and Anemones, which, as it happens, lives right here in Charm City in the Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art:

    Not just Ari Seth Cohen but the venerable house of Lanvin also appreciates Tziporah Salomon’s style, so much so that they’ve put her in one of their ads:

    And here’s another femme d’un certain age in a Lanvin ad, former dancer Jacqueline Tajah Murdock:

    You can read all about Tziporah Salomon here and an interview with her at Exposed Zippers. She also appears in the Chic Index.

    One of the people Salomon says she admires is Michelle Harper . . . 

    . . . who reminds me of the late, tragically departed Isabella Blow:

    You can also read about the sudden interest in older fashion models at Fashionista.

    I don’t know how long this fad will last, but it doesn’t matter. It’s always fun to see people who have their own style and who aren’t afraid to show it. They follow in a long line of fabulous fashion eccentrics.


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  • 10/14/12--11:45: Brian Atwood, Dream Date
  • Glamour Girl doesn’t know what’s come over her. Maybe it’s all those years she was forced, by a foot injury, to spend in orthopedic shoes. Maybe it’s the change of season. Maybe it’s a whim. Maybe it’s just plain madness.

    Whatever the reason, she just can’t get enough of shoes.

    Everywhere she turns, they’re taunting her: “Ha, ha, you can’t afford us. And even if you could, we’re too high and too precarious and too bunion-busting and metatarsal-mutilating and neuroma-nasty and devoid of support and too darn fabulous for the likes of you!”

    Sigh.

    But she keep drooling over them nonetheless. And writing about them here.

    Her lastest footwear obsession is Brian Atwood.

    I mean, how can you not fall in love?

    The sculptural qualities, the color:

    The whimsy:

    The wackiness:

    The glamour:

    The heart-stopping beauty:

    If this is all too much for you, there are also “sensible” shoes and boots:

    But give me these any day:

    Brian Atwood used to be a model himself. He said he’s been sketching fab women’s shoes ever since he can remember. And he’s just opened a store in New York. It’s right across the street from Barney’s, which is appropriate, considering that his creations go anywhere from $350 to $4,000. But hey, you don’t even have to travel; he’s offering free shipping on-line.

    Glamour Girl does love a bargain. Maybe she can justify a pair of these pretties after all . . . .


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  • 10/25/12--03:22: Reinventing Your Face
  • Glamour Girl really must protest.

    Since the demise of televised Oprah, GG has been getting her late afternoon fix of glamour, girl stuff, celeb sightings, psychobabble, and “lifestyle” on Katie Couric’s new show, eponymously titled like that of her predecessor.

    Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s nonsense, but ya never know. And GG likes to see what Katie’s wearing, which is always helpfully listed on her website (something I wish O had done as well).

    But Wednesday, things were seriously out of whack.

    The show was about life’s second acts. Reinventing yourself, especially at a later age. And the headliner was actress Madeleine Stowe, whose career has seen a resurgence with her starring role in an apparently juicy nighttime soap called “Revenge.”

    But for the entire program, nobody breathed a whisper about the most obvious, impossible-to-ignore fact: Madeleine Stowe’s face has been pulled to within an inch of its life.

    She’s the same age as Couric (one year’s difference), yet side by side, the two of them look like they’re from different planets. Katie, from Planet Earth. Madeleine, from the Planet of Prehistoric Women. Or maybe Nude on the Moon.

    There was all this blather about how you can do anything you want at any age, and how nothing should be holding you back, and just put your mind to it, blah blah blah. Never mind the fact that Hollywood treats women like decorative objects with a limited shelf life. Never mind that Stowe wouldn’t be oozing delicious maliciousness on primetime TV if she hadn’t gotten a facelift—and an extreme one at that. No, it was all about tenacity and grit and hard work and “you look great!”

    Okay, I get it: women today, especially in Hollywood, are under tremendous pressure. So why not talk about that? Why not at least acknowledge it? Instead of pretending that somehow Stowe’s mid-life career has magically taken off because producers and directors suddenly remembered her?

    Judge for yourself in this picture—which, due to bloggy constraints, is too small here, so you can see the original at Katie’s website:

    Anyway, at least Couric’s outfit was bangin’. I checked out those oxblood-red pumps pronto.


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    Glamour Girl admits it. Despite her moniker, she spends most of her time these days in ratty jeans, comfy sweaters, and barefoot. Since she does all her work from home – yes, even the radio stuff – she doesn’t dress up to go into an office or studio every day like she used to. Though it’s definitely convenient, it means, alas, the beautiful clothes in her closets are usually languishing. And GG does love beautiful clothes.

    Sure, she makes it a point to dress up to go to a party, or out to dinner, even if it’s just Donna’s down the street, and it’s true she wouldn’t be caught dead in sloppy clothes anywhere outside the house, unless it’s to clean the garage. But those dressy occasions are few and far between. So when they come up on the calendar, she takes full advantage of them.

    Two recent ones were the benefit concert by Journey at the Lyric last month. It raised $250,000 for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and featured a fashion show and celebrity guitar auction in addition to the rockin’ music. The concert was great (though GG was thankful that earplugs were provided, else she might’ve been deaf the next day), and her seats in about the 4th row were stupendous.

    Still, she and a girlfriend were a tad – ah – overdressed for the occasion, which was more rocker bar than VIP party. Regardless, it was great fun, and we had the perfect perch from which to observe the fashion show.

    Here’s GG and her friend Dawna Cobb checking out the fancy guitars before the show:

    (Photo by Karen Jackson of the Baltimore Sun.)

    That black-and-white dress I’m wearing comes from a Canadian designer named Frank Lyman; I picked it up in Montreal. Dawna is wearing a fabulous red creation by Selma Karaca. (You can get a better gander at both at the Sun link.) Selma always comes to the annual American Craft Council show at the convention center. It’s the biggest, baddest craft show in the country, and Baltimore is lucky to have it.

    Then, just the other week, Style, in conjunction with Urban Chic, held one of the best events of the year – the annual fashion show to benefit AVAM. Le tout beau and belle Baltimore comes out for this event, which is as glam as you can get without going to a black-tie affair. For that, GG wore an ensemble that was, truth be told, so beautiful it almost gave her the vapors. And for it, she must give credit to Stephanie Bradshaw.

    Stephanie Bradshaw is a Baltimore-based stylist. She sends out a beautiful newsletter every month and GG is on her mailing list. Well, the September newsletter featured Stephanie in a skirt so spectacular, so dreamy, so wondrous, I about lost my mind. It pushed every one of my fashion buttons. I had to have it.

    So I followed the links in the newsletter, found the website of the company that made the skirt, and bought it on the spot.

    The company is called BHLDN. It’s primarily a bridal site. But oh, baby, does it have more than bridal stuff to offer. In fact, even its wedding gowns are prettier, more sophisticated, and more inventive than the usual fare. Baby blue instead of white? So elegant.

    Anyway, at the AVAM party, I can’t say I had to beat people off with a stick, but I lost count of how many women came up to me and raved about the skirt. Thank you, Stephanie (pictured below).

    The next event on the glamour calendar is this coming Friday, November 16th. It’s the second annual “Couture at the Club” fashion show, and it’s at the Center Club. Not only will it be a fab affair, with the best food and drink to boot, but it benefits two wonderful organizations – Suited to Succeed and Sharp Dressed Man. Both provide career clothing for men and women who are re-entering the workplace after times of unemployment or other hardship.

    The event runs from 7 to 10 pm, reservations required, and you’re asked to bring a gently used suit or outfit as a donation. More info at 410-727-7788 or at the Center Club’s website.

    The models will be dressed by Jones & Jones and JoS. A. Bank. The women will wear designs by Theia, Gorski, and Mark & James by Badgley Mischka, among others, while the men will wear suits and business casual attire from JoS. A. Bank. Hair and make-up will be provided by Soirée, jewelry will by Tiffany & Co. Baltimore Sun society and fashion columnist Sloane Brown will emcee the event. Other sponsors include the Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland and Style Magazine.

    GG doesn’t know yet what she’ll be wearing to this worthy event, but she still has almost a week to figure it out. Hope to see you there!


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  • 12/28/12--06:12: Optical Illusion Dresses
  • It’s that time of year, when we might be tempted to over-indulge in all the yummy eats and drinks of the holidays. And why not? You can’t be an ascetic all the time. Or at least you shouldn’t be. Life is short. Enjoy it. And since food (Glamour Girl counts wine, especially champagne, as food) is one of life’s greatest pleasures, you’d be a fool to deny yourself of it at every turn.

    Now that doesn’t mean you have to be a glutton, just that you can quit obsessing over whether a cookie will destroy your figure. It won’t.

    But in case you still can’t be convinced, how about enlisting a little help from a slimming optical illusion dress?

    They’re all the rage, as this slide show of glam gals on the red carpet can show you.

    Not all of them are successful, in GG’s view. Some are outright disasters (but we’ll save those for a separate post). But there are enough good ones for you to get the picture. For instance, the ever-stunning and anatomically perfect Kate Winslet:

    Or Rosie Huntington Whitely:

    Or Liv Tyler:

    Or Louise Redknapp:

    Those are all by Stella McCartney, kind of a classic optical illusion. But you can fool the eye in other ways. Here’s the dazzling Jennifer Hudson (not that she needs to fool anyone’s eyes these days):

    I think the eye-scrambling pattern on this dress worn by Victoria Beckham is kind of creepy—and frankly, she needs to give the illusion of more weight, not less:

    There are many more in that slideshow, but as I said, I’ll save the disasters for another day. In the meantime, you can get illusion dresses at many different stores, including the national chains, and, of course, on eBay. Just do a search and see how many come up.

    Oh, and she didn’t realize until now—GG has an optical illusion dress of her own. Here she is with hubby at the Center Club do last month. This is that Frank Lyman dress I wrote about in my last post:

    Now go enjoy that glass of eggnog!


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  • 01/15/13--08:16: Golden Globes 2012-2013
  • It was the Night of the Woman at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles, as co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kicked a**. And looked glamorous while doing it.

    Witty, irreverent, at times scathing, the funny gals not only knocked it out of the park, they gave hope to all of us who usually dread these awards ceremonies because of the lame jokes and lackluster hosts. There was nothing lame or lackluster Sunday night.

    Fey changed into that gown for her hosting duties, making a crack about how she had starved for six weeks to get into it, prompting a rejoinder by Poehler that the next six weeks were going to be dedicated to pie (play on words from movie title “Life of Pi”). Beforehand, Fey was wearing a soignée black-and-white mid-calf frock by L’Wren Scott, which I’m not going to post because we have tons of other gowns to get through.

    The new “it” color, oxblood red, was on luscious display, with Taylor Swift winning the contest hands-down:

    I guess maybe that’s more a maroon than oxblood. Whatever; it was one of the most sophisticated gowns of the night. A Donna Karan.

    A satin gown in a similar vein by Zac Posen was the choice for the more zaftig Lena Dunham, who said she’s a friend of the designer:

    Red was big, big, big on the similarly hued carpet, with lots of gorgeous examples.

    People made a fuss over another Zac Posen gown, this one worn by Naomi Watts . . .

    with a cut-out back . . .

    but I’m not so sure about it. The color is indeed wonderful, and the gown surely kept her warmer than her colleagues on an unseasonably chilly LA night, but the front was kind of nun-ish; and I think that kind of a back is, frankly, not very flattering. On anyone. But to each his own.

    Also in the red department was the knock-out gown by Dior Haute Couture worn by Jennifer Lawrence:

    You might remember the simple, plain red gown she wore for the 2011 Academy Awards, filled out by her stunning figure. Well, this Dior gown was more grown-up, more elegant, with a petal bust and an unexpected slim black belt, in a spectacular shade that combined red, pink, and coral all at once.

    Zooey Deschanel was also in a full-skirted red ball gown (Oscar de la Renta), though she didn’t quite seem to know how to carry herself in it:

    There were a lot of thigh-high slits, which drove me crazy. And, of course, reminded me of la belle Jolie’s nutty pose last year at the Academy Awards. Listen, ladies, we get it: you’re stunners. You have great gams. We know it. We expect it. And there are times when a dress like that works (see Lea Michele, further down). But in general, it’s too much. It’s overkill. It’s distracting. It screams, “Look at me!” when you’re already so gorgeous everyone is already looking at you. And when it’s combined with a neckline plunging to the waist, well, it just looks like you got caught in a shredder. Yes, Eva Longoria, I’m talking to you:

    Longoria’s dress was by Pucci. It was rather freakish.

    Also in the too-much-leg category were Halle Berry in an Atelier Versace mishmash . . .

    and star of “Smash” Katharine McPhee in Theyskens Theory:

    Also Louise Roe—eeek:

    GG readers know that I’m not crazy about black, but I have to say that Nicole Kidman’s Alexander McQueen was simply spectacular:

    Yes, I know she’s skinny—and if you look that skinny on TV, believe me, you’re way skinnier in real life—but hot damn she looked great. That gown was one of my favorites of the evening; the photo doesn’t do it justice.

    That was the case with several gowns—you had to see them on the big screen, as it were, and in motion, to appreciate them. Such as this sequined Gucci worn by the so-beautiful-she’s-hard-to-look-at Salma Hayek:

    Isla Fisher’s Reem Acra gown was delicate and subtle, but again, you lose some of that subtlety in this picture:

    Michelle Dockery of GG’s beloved “Downtwon Abbey” was wearing a white and gold Alexandre Vauthier that had people buzzing, but I didn’t like it. With that high neck and shoulder pads, I thought it looked like a sci-fi costume:

    Sienna Miller, up for an award for her role as Tippi Hedren in “The Girl” (with the superb Toby Jones as Hitchcock) was in a white two-piece column, with wacky, chenille-looking puffs hanging off it. It looked like a 1950s kitchen curtain:

    Also swinging and missing, big time, were two exceptionally beautiful stars, Jessica Chastain and Rachel Weisz. Chastain, who has an absolutely killer figure, was in a blousy, droopy pale blue Calvin Klein that made it look like her perky breasts were hanging down to her waist:

    And Rachel Weisz, what were you thinking?!

    Then again, given how much ugly stuff Louis Vuitton produces, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

    Jennifer Lopez was in another of her favorites, a skintight Zuhair Murad, and I have to say—va-va-va-voom!

    I didn’t think the lovely Kate Hudson’s Alexander McQueen worked at all:

    And though Anne Hathaway’s Chanel was classic, pure, Old World elegant, it bothered me that it didn’t seem to have a waist. It kind of smushed her body together into a straight line:

    Navy blue was also a big color. Here’s Jodie Foster in Armani:

    And here’s Glenn Close in another Zac Posen (she wore something very similar, only in forest green, last year) at the Oscars):

    The great Oscar de la Renta came through again, in this magnificent coral gown worn by Jessica Alba:

    Oh, and I promised a slit dress that worked—this Elie Saab worn by Lea Michele:

    What is with Kathryn Bigelow?? She looked—again—like a mess. She can’t seem to find anyone to do her hair, and that gown is like something from a bargain basement sale:

    She looked just as bad at the 2011 Oscars; I won’t strain your eyes with the pictures.

    Alyssa Milano wore a screeching yellow schmatte that billowed this way and that. Yikes:

    But Amy Adams was perfection in a nude Marchesa with a mermaid silhouette:

    Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” was a disappointment in a gown that looked more appropriate for a luau:

    But Shaun Robinson was a dream in a brilliant emerald green gown by Pamella Roland:

    Recalling the pale blue of Jessica Chastain’s gown, Rosario Dawson also opted for that color in a gown that likewise didn’t work—not flattering to her figure:

    Julia-Louis Dreyfus wore a traditional strapless full-skirted ball gown by Vera Wang that, unfortunately, swallowed her up. The print was also kind of blah:

    Also being consumed by her dress was Lucy Liu in Carolina Herrera. I wanted to like this gown, I really did. But something about the huge bold print with that huge full skirt, recalling the glorious “New Look” of 1947 Christian Dior, just didn’t work:

    There were many more gowns worthy of mention, but I’m tuckered out. You can find slideshows all over the web. Tell me what you think of the Golden Globe gowns in the comments.


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  • 02/03/13--08:29: Red Carpet Project
  • The New York Times has put together a wonderful compendium called the Red Carpet Project. It covers red carpet gowns from the past 15 years, and you can sort them by color, designer, actress, silhouette, even sleeve length. There are best dressed and worst dressed (at least according to the Times editors who participated), big names and little names, bombshell and demure, haute and outrageous.

    Glamour Girl has written about a lot of these gowns, most recently here.

    It’s so much fun to look through them, put aside a little time. Here’s a brief summary of the project by Eric Wilson, and here’s the whole shebang.


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  • 02/07/13--10:09: Red Dress Fashion Show 2013
  • Oh, wow, if there’s one color (actually, there are many) Glamour Girl loves, it’s red! That’s why she salivates every year at the Red Dress Fashion Show.

    A consciousness-raiser for the issue of heart disease in women, the Red Dress Fashion show coincides with Fashion Week in New York. Various celebrities are tapped to sashay down the runway in gorgeous gowns by prominent designers. Here, for instance, is Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin (now a student at NYU) in a typically magnificent creation by Lebanese designer Reem Acra:

    Oh, baby, could I get into wearing that!

    And look at the shoes that went along with it, Epoca by Christian Louboutin, which, of course, GG could never afford, but apparently plenty of other people can because they’re already sold out:

    Here’s a fantastic, flowing gown in a different shade of red. I’d tack that slit together a little lower, but otherwise, bring it on—by Oscar de la Renta:

    Though this, frankly, is hideous:

    Here’s an elegant, understated gown by Carolina Herrera:

    This thing, by somebody or something called Kamali Kulture (maybe Norma Kamali?), is downright wacky:

    Jillian Michaels has one of the best bods on the planet, but this dress (by Cushnie et Ochs) is dull and pedestrian and does nothing for her:

    Now this, by I know not whom, is a beautiful dress—worn by actress Jamie Chung:

    Here’s gamine Gabby Douglas looking all grown up!

    There are more. Take a look at the slideshow here.


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    Local-gal-made-good Danielle DiFerdinando, who sells her beautiful handbags under the name Danielle Nicole, will be hosting a trunk show at Nordstrom in Towson Town Center on Friday, February 15th. The event starts at 11 and goes all day.

    Danielle has achieved an extraordinary level of success at a young age, thanks to her talent and, of course, hard work. Her varied and colorful bags, both in leather and vegan materials, fulfill the oft-used but rarely accurate phrase, “something for everyone.” In fact, Glamour Girl is having a hard time deciding which ones she likes best! Perhaps touching them in person will make the decision easier.

    Here’s Danielle with one of her fans, Oprah:

    It’ll be fun to see all the choices and to chat with the designer herself. Hope to see you there!


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  • 04/19/13--03:04: Academy Awards 2013
  • Glamour Girl was very lucky to be invited to an Academy Awards soirée chez Marion Winik, who is not only a great host but a great cook. The spread was fantastic, as was the abundant bubbly. GG never passes up a chance to drink bubbly—he who doesn’t love champagne doesn’t love life, or something like that—and since hubby was driving she was free to indulge. And since Marion kept it small—only as many of us as could be comfortably seated before the TV to watch the proceedings—we all got to know each other as we laughed and clapped and booed and cheered and snarked.

    Of course, les belles dames wanted to see les autres belles dames in all their fashion finery, so at the stroke of 7, we huddled in our places and balanced our groaning plates on our laps and set to. Herewith GG’s opinions of the gowns.

    The indisputable stunner of the evening was Naomi Watts in a silver sculptural gown by Giorgio Armani. Wow:

    “Isn’t it a little Barbarella?” asked hubby. Well, yeah, but only in the sense that there’s a futuristic element. More power to it. It was modern and feminine and bold and unexpected all at once. It’s very hard to stand out on the red carpet, with so much beauty and glamour and bling in one place, yet stand out Watts did.

    Also in a knock-out modern gown (though with awful hair, a problem with a lot of the gals—more about that later) was the ever fashion-conscious Nicole Kidman, in a spectacular sequined column of black and gold by L’Wren Scott with these gorgeous curlicues at the bottom. Another wow:

    Jennifer Lawrence has a look that’s both earthy and ethereal, and she emphasized the latter last night. Wearing a different kind of sculptural extravaganza, she tripped on the steps going up to collect her award for Best Actress; but actually it gave us a chance to see the back of this glorious confection by Dior Haute Couture. Here she is on the red carpet:

    Jennifer Hudson provided a different kind of sculpture not via her gown, which was gorgeous, but by her dazzling figure. She was wearing a clingy blue long-sleeved gown with lace overlay by Roberto Cavalli:

    Halle Berry had apparently told Versace that she wanted to look like a Bond Girl, and did she ever. This woman’s figure is so perfect that everything looks good on her. Love this gown:

    Jessica Chastain was pure Old Hollywood Glamour in this coppery Armani Privé:

    There was a lot of buzz about the pale, pale, palest pink satin gown worn by Anne Hathaway. By Prada, it was, in one sense, sheer simplicity. But the expert placement of the darts still has people claiming that we could see her nipples all night. Maybe, but that’s not how I read it. Daughter of a tailor that I am, I appreciate the skill it takes to create custom-made garments, and I think this was custom personified. The back was open, and the slightest hint of side cleavage, which is all the rage now, was visible. Hathaway has, like Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, a finely honed fashion sense. And like Jennifer Lawrence, she accessorized with one long jeweled necklace worn dangling down the back, a great look. Though I liked this dress overall, I thought the shade of pink was too pale and cold. I was longing for a warmer blush:

    Kerry Washington wore a gown by Miu Miu with an ornately detailed bodice and bright coral-red bottom. This picture doesn’t do it justice:

    Also in red, though a different shade, was Australian actress Jacki Weaver, who played opposite Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook” (great movie—see it if you haven’t):

    I loved the gold embroidered gown by Zuhair Murad worn by Catherine Zeta-Jones (and yes, folks, it’s pronounced “zeeta,” not “zayta”) and don’t understand why Eric Wilson of the New York Times called it “campy.” I think it’s luscious:

    But then he also liked Jane Fonda’s screaming yellow number by Versace. I thought it was awful. It looked like the worst of the ‘80s to me, like something out of “Dallas” or “Dynasty”:

    Amanda Seyfried’s pale-almost-ivory lavender gown by Alexander McQueen was elaborately embroidered and had a train:

    One train that didn’t work for me, nor the entire gown, was the red chiffon worn by Sally Field. Sorry, but I think this thing is channeling just a little too much Mrs. Lincoln. I’m surprised it was designed by Valentino:

    Here’s a red Valentino that worked perfectly; it’s the hair that didn’t: Jennifer Aniston. She’s wearing a black-tie gown with beach hair. Why??

    But at least it wasn’t as bad as the bed-head of Helena Bonham Carter. She was a hot mess. She’s such a beautiful woman, but ever since she started hanging out with Tim Burton, it’s like she’s trying to look like him:

    Kristen Stewart was also a mess. The gown (Reem Acra) was fine, but the hair . . . . Come on, gals, you’re at the Academy Awards—a formal event! Formal. Get it?

    She was hobbling because she had cut the ball of her foot on glass a few days before, and had arrived at the red carpet on crutches. She ditched them for her presentation duties.

    I should’ve mentioned Fan Bingbing earlier in this post. OMG, as the kids say. She wore a fuchsia satin ball gown by Marchesa that was positively royal. Magnificent:

    Here’s another satin fuchsia gown; alas, the boobage is just too much. It looks like it doesn’t fit. It looks too small. Maria Menounos, who looked like a Greek goddess at the Academy Awards last year, struck out this time:

    And hey, who needs fancy designers when you can just buy your gown from hoi polloi retail giant H&M? That’s what Helen Hunt did. Well, I doubt she just walked in and pulled it off the rack. I’m sure she was courted. But this navy blue number is lovely:

    Also in brilliant blue was Robin Roberts. I don’t think anybody else was wearing velvet:

    As for ingenues, we have to cut them some slack. Their fashion sense, with rare exceptions, isn’t fully developed yet, which is why they wear stuff like this:

    That’s somebody named Samantha Barks. Sorry, never heard of her. But that dress is all plunging neckline and no finesse.

    Oh, I just realized I haven’t talked about any of the white gowns. They were aplenty. Queen Latifah, as usual, lives up to her name, in a beautiful Badgley Mischka:

    And Charlize Theron, another reliable fashion queen, sported a Jean Seberg haircut and wore a supremely elegant Christian Dior white column with a delicately blinged peplum. Glamour Girl does love a peplum:

    Sandra Bullock—great gown (Elie Saab), but again with the hair. Get your hair done, people!

    Octavia Spencer looked radiant in a chiffon, almost-peach Tadashi Shoji gown:

    I’ve taken far too long to mention local gal Stacy Keibler, who always, always looks superb. Last night was no exception. She was wearing Naeem Khan:

    I don’t think the Oscar de la Renta worn by Amy Adams worked, even though I think it’s the same gown that was shown to great effect by Penelope Cruz a few years ago. First, this grey is just blah—Cruz wore this (or something similar) in pink; and second, Amy Adams has a more modern look. I don’t think she can carry off a princess look:

    Big gals have a harder time of it, obviously, but that doesn’t mean they can’t shine. I thought Melissa McCarthy in this David Meister hit it out of the park:

    And I can’t leave out the guys. There were a few who didn’t do the standard rent-a-tux look but who had some pizzazz. Chris Pine was one:

    Channing Tatum was another:

    Mark Wahlberg’s jacket didn’t fit. It was too tight; it was bunching around the chest and upper arms. No pic; sorry, I’m pooped.

    There are more gowns I haven’t mentioned, and you can get a look at them in this slideshow at the New York Times.

    Tell me what you think! Leave your comments below.


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    Fab handbag designer and local gal made good Danielle Nicole, about whom I wrote here, will be back in town on Thursday, May 9th, from 4 to 8 PM at About Faces Day Spa at the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson.

    She’ll be featuring a new line of handbags inspired by and named after a Baltimore friend, Downtown Diane. The line is called, of course, the Diane Collection.

    Glamour Girl wishes she could be there, but she’ll be plying the waters of the Atlantic on the uber-glamorous Queen Mary 2! And she’ll be carrying a gorgeous Danielle Nicole bag while she’s at it. Do say hello for me.


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    Glamour Girl just returned from an extraordinary trip. She plied the waters of the Atlantic on the magnificent, fabled, uber-glamorous Queen Mary 2, a crossing that takes 7 days.

    After being wined and dined and pampered to within an inch of her life (never mind that 36 hours before departure she wrenched her back so badly that she could barely walk and had to go see the thank-God-excellent medical staff on board), she disembarked at Southampton and flew immediately to Rennes, in the heart of Brittany. From there, she and hubby explored Brittany and Normandy (yes, including the D-Day beaches) for a week, then ditched the car and took the TGV to—where else—Paris, for another week. Is there any more beautiful city in the world? Okay, as beautiful maybe, but not more so. GG’s heart always beats a little faster when she’s in Paris.

    The QM2 trip would require several posts of its own, but that’s not the point of this one. Suffice to say that GG and hubby are already planning their next QM2 crossing for next year. Although I will post a few pix.

    Here I am feeling no pain on the upper deck as we’re leaving New York Harbor on a glorious, sunny day, glass of champagne in hand, just before the mighty ship passed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with only feet to spare—you swore the thing was going to crash into it—a sight so thrilling it’s impossible to forget:

    And true to form for Smalltimore, even on board it made itself known: GG ran into legendary PR maven and longtime friend Edie Brown. Here we are together on one of the formal nights:

    Fashion, of course, is always at hand in la belle France, and GG wasn’t disappointed. She flipped over the elegant short boots with diverse adornments all the women were wearing (unfortunately appropriate because even in late May it was mostly cold and rainy). But nowhere—and I mean nowhere, even in Paris—did she see anything approaching the little beauties she discovered in a tiny shop called L’Empreinte in Bayeux. Made by Italian designer Elena Iachi (“ee-AH-kee”), they were showstoppers.

    And lucky GG, hubby bought them for her.

    Here they are (sorry for the tiny pic) cradling GG’s feet on the mind-blowing Pink Granite Coastla Côte de granit rose—on the north coast of Brittany, one of the most spectacular natural sites we’ve ever seen:

    South of there, in the heart of Brittany, is the picture-postcard town of La Gacilly, home of the Yves Rocher empire. Here you will find acres of colorful flowers, wild and cultivated, covering the hillsides, flowers that go into the making of the famous cosmetics. Rocher was a pioneer in this now-common practice. You can tour the Yves Rocher complex, where you can get beauty treatments, eat at the locally sourced organic restaurant, attend lectures, and take a dip at the spa. You can also stay at the eco-hotel.

    When GG got to Paris, Yves Rocher followed her there. Well, not quite. Though how could she resist posing in front of the emporium whose birthplace she’d just visited:

    (And yes, that’s a cane she’s leaning on. The back problems that painkillers and wine had ameliorated on board ship lingered for the entire trip, necessitating a walking aid that she bought from a charming French gentleman at an open-air market. Yeah, it did kind of put a damper on one’s glamour, but hey, at least I was still wearing The Boots!)

    Here’s a parting shot. Leave it to GG to find a great drag queen after only a few hours in Paris:


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  • 07/16/13--10:57: Right On, Rod!
  • A headline in the deliciously gossipy UK newspaper Daily Mail caught Glamour Girl’s attention this morning:

    “Rod Stewart blasts modern men who don’t dress up for dinner”

    Music to GG’s ears.

    It’s amazing to go out these days, whether it’s to dinner, the theater, or even opera, and see people dressed as if they’re ready to clean out the garage—or already have.

    Is it really so difficult to make an effort? T-shirts and shorts is the best you can do? Or, for a really dressy American man, boring button-down-collar shirt and khakis. I mean, come on—are you a grown-up or not? You look like a prep-school adolescent.

    Hey, look, plenty of women fall into the same doldrum category, but not as many as men. Stewart has it right:

    “You go to dinner and see beautifully dressed women with men like tramps wearing trainers, jeans, and T-shirts.
    If I were a woman I’d say, ‘Are you taking me out looking like that?’”

    Right on, Rod!


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  • 07/27/13--07:47: Not Just For Brides
  • Glamour Girl just can’t get enough of some websites. Though these days she’s getting rid of clothes more often than acquiring new ones, it sure is fun to look.

    I’ve written about some of my faves before, such as Pin Up Girl Clothing (wrote about that one here) and BHLDN. And every time an email hits my inbox (you didn’t think I’d gotten off their mailing lists, did you?!), I scurry on over to take a look at the latest offerings. Here are a few goodies that have me swooning:

    That’s the Omari Dress from BHLDN. The elegance of this dress—the lace is so delicate, so feminine, and the length not too long, not too short, just right—that it’s all I can do to keep from ordering the thing.

    Though BHLDN is primarily a bridal site, it offers so many gorgeous products that are appropriate for non-bridal wear, that it’d be foolish to pass it up. This is place where I bought the outrageously beautiful, extravagant, white-feather skirt, which I wrote about here.

    Then there’s the Twila Halter Dress:

    Oh, baby, can I see twirling on the dance floor in that!

    The Jola Dress, less than half the price of the above, is another heart-stopping lace confection:

    But to me, the pièce de résistance is the Grecian-goddess-like (and -named) Thalia Maxi Dress. It comes in six colors. Give me crimson:

    Oh, and the shrugs and boleros—under the heading “Cover-Ups”—well, one is more beautiful (and practical) than the next.


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    A rare black-tie event—the first-ever Harvest Ball at Homewood House. A great venue and a great cause.

    I’m a volunteer docent at this beautiful historic house. It’s one of Baltimore’s architectural gems (which I wrote about for the Baltimore Sun in 2007; here). The party is Saturday, Oct 12th. 6pm if you want to come for the whole shebang, or 8:30 if you just want to attend the after-party. (Tix obviously less expensive for the after-party.)

    You can buy tickets at this link.

    Hubby and I are going for the whole night (yes, it’s a splurge). Hope to see you there. We’ll dance the night away!


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  • 10/16/13--11:41: Harvest Ball 2013
  • As I wrote the other day, I was all atwitter (not that way—Glamour Girl doesn’t tweet) over the impending Harvest Ball, a fundraiser for Homewood House Museum and that worthy organization’s first ever black-tie affair. Now I’m happy to report that not only was it a smashing success (therefore, I hope it’ll be an annual event), but the food, drink, conversation, and dancing were first-rate!

    Glamour Girl and hubby were seated at a spectacular table with five other friendly, fascinating people: JHU Libraries maven Betsy Merrill, married couple recently relocated from Connecticut Susan Adams Weiss and Jeffrey Arnstein (Arnstein is an accomplished furniture restorer), architect and Homewood House docent Suzanne Frasier (recently returned from India thanks to a Fullbright Scholarship) and Homewood House visitor-and-docent-wrangler Sarah Sellers.

    You’ll have to forgive the paucity of pictures, for though hubby is inordinately attached to his iPhone, he took about 10 shots of the cake (no, I’m not kidding) and none of GG in her glamorous gown nor of anything else. So I’ve had to rely on the good graces of Meg Fairfax Fielding, who writes the superb blog Pigtown Design, for the following photos.

    Here are GG and Mr. GG on the portico before dinner:

    There were many familiar faces there, including GG’s ophthalmologist (and die-hard opera lover) Dr. Allan Jensen:

    Here’s that cake, an exact replica of Homewood House itself:

    And here’s Meg—she made her outfit herself—she is amazing:

    Stroll on over to her blog for more pictures and more description of the affair.

    GG was hoarse the next day from singing along with all the lyrics to the songs she was dancing to! (Luckily, she didn’t have any radio scripts to track the next day.) The genteel, early 19th Century dance music gradually gave way to more raucous fare, such as The Temptations and Chaka Khan (yes, it’s a challenge to dance to such stuff in that gown), and though GG kept bellowing requests for Sly and the Family Stone, the adorable, energetic lead singer of The New Romanos demurred. “You really wanna make us work!” she laughed.

    Too bad you can’t quite see the upturned train on the back of my dress, but take my word for it; it was fab (the gown is by Stephen Yearick):

    Here’s to the glory of Homewood House and many happy returns!


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    Local gal-made-good Danielle DiFerdinando, who designs handbags under the name Danielle Nicole (see Glamour Girl’s posts here and here), often takes inspiration from people she knows to create her beautiful bags. In keeping with that tradition, Danielle is launching a new line of purses called the Blake Collection. Who’s it named after?

    Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

    The launch is Wednesday, November 13th, from 6 to 8 pm at the Admiral’s Cup in Fells Point (1640 Thames Street, hon).

    You’ll be able to enjoy Happy Hour drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and door prizes. (I bet the latter are some of Danielle’s yummy bags!).

    Here’s what Danielle had to say about why she named the new line after the mayor:

    “Mayor Blake is a beautiful, honest, and respectful role model. She has supported my line from the very beginning. From wearing my popular Alexa tote to the White House and various other styles to Ravens and Orioles games, she’s been a great fan of my creations. I feel honored to have designed and dedicated my latest creation, the Blake Handbag, to her.”

    A portion of the proceeds at the launch will go to the House of Ruth.

    So come on out and and join the party!


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  • 11/26/13--16:07: Fabulous Fashionistas
  • You’ve probably been hearing about this new documentary by the BBC called “Fabulous Fashionistas.” Maybe you’ve already seen it. If not, let Glamour Girl bring you into the fold.

    GG has written before about les femmes d’un certain age (see here, here, and here). And it seems that now, these women are everywhere. Or to be more accurate, they’ve always been everywhere. It’s just that now more of them refuse to be invisible.

    That’s the cliché, of course—that older women in our society become invisible. And let’s face it; to a large extent it’s true. Youth is considered desirable; old age isn’t. And that’s not something that’s just come about in the 20th century. Look back at literature over the millenia and you’ll see the same sentiments. It’s understandable, so let’s not go into high dudgeon over it.

    But at least part of that cloak of invisibility is self-inflicted. Indeed, at any age, you can dress to blend in, or you can dress to stand out. You can dress “like an old lady” or you can look “mutton dressed as lamb,” as the British saying goes. But there’s plenty of territory in between. GG is 56. And there’s no way in hell she would ever dress the way her mother and aunts were dressing at 56. Or even at 46. Sensibilities have changed. We don’t have to get slotted into categories anymore. We can choose our own categories. We can make up new ones.

    That’s what this BBC film is about. It’s fun. It’s inspiring. It’s a hoot. And it blows away preconceptions.

    See, for example, if you’re half as nimble as Gillian, age 87:

    Or as soignée as Bridget, age 75:

    Or as sprightly—and spritely—as Jean, who still runs three times a week, also age 75:

    Or as glamorous as Daphne Selfe, whom you’ve no doubt seen in ads, age 85:

    Or as colorful as Sue, 73:

    Here’s an article about the Fab Fashionistas in The Telegraph; here’s one from The Daily Mail; and here’s the documentary itself, which you can watch on-line.

    Have fun!


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  • 12/03/13--18:43: Motilo
  • OH.

    MY.

    GOD.

    Glamour Girl has just stumbled upon these amazing shoes—actually, “shoes” doesn’t do them justice—and she is about to lose her mind. Of course she can’t afford them, but she is dreaming and swooning and calculating numbers in her busy brain nonetheless. They are:

    JIMMY CHOO MAYLEN LACE AND SUEDE STILETTO PUMPS

    And here are some that are just as beautiful—in fact, more elegant:

    JIMMY CHOO LUNA LACE PLATFORM PUMPS

    Though Glamour Girl prides herself on being in the know (kinda sorta), she was dismayed to realize she’s been missing out for over a year on a beauty/fashion website that’s apparently all the rage. Internationally all the rage.

    Sigh. So much glamour, so little time.

    It’s called Motilo, and that’s where she found these gasp-inducing little beauties.

    Do you think if she asks nicely Mr. Glamour Girl might consider buying them for her for Christmas?

    Nah. More than likely, he’ll gently lecture her on her history of foot problems and suggest that romping around in these vertiginous vessels of certain pain isn’t a good idea.

    “But, but, but,” she will protest, “they wouldn’t be walking shoes, just sitting-around-looking-beautiful shoes! I’d only have to wear them to the car, then to the restaurant or house, whereupon I will sit down all night and look fabulous.”

    Ya think he’ll buy it?

    Time will tell. Then again, he’ll also probably recall that he already bought her a très cher gift in the form of boots in la belle France in May.

    Anyway, here’s how Motilo works. It’s kind of a more interactive Pinterest. GG is going to try to stay away, as the “vortex” the site keeps talking about threatens to suck her in.


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  • 12/12/13--12:34: Paris: Haute Couture
  • Though Glamour Girl gave you a mini-whirlwind tour of her sojourn on the QM2 and into France in this entry, she neglected to tell you about one of the most exciting events of the trip because she thought it deserved a post all its own. Indeed it does, but my, how time has gotten away from her.

    The event in question was the exhibition (free, mind you—just another perk brought to you by the civilized Europeans) called Paris: Haute Couture at the Hôtel de Ville.

    It was, in a word, spectacular.

    Even Mr. Glamour Girl, who was only going along because GG wanted to, had to admit that it was captivating.

    There was a line that stretched around the block every day, so we made sure to get there early one morning. And the languages in that line constituted a veritable United Nations. Once inside, however, you were enveloped in hushed surroundings, as in a church. Which was fitting, since we were there to worship.

    For on display, in what seemed like acres of glassed and mirrored booths, were dozens of the most famous, most magnificent, most fabled haute couture creations of the past hundred years. Many of them GG had only read about and never thought she would be lucky enough to see in person.

    It’s almost impossible to describe the effect of walking into a room and seeing so many of these handmade wonders all at once. Despite the fact that the salle was crowded, the exhibition was so cleverly designed that you got to see all the dresses from a 360-degree angle. You could walk around them, beside them, between them, you could compare them, you could double-back and see them from a different viewpoint. You could practically press your face up to the glass and examine the heartbreakingly intricate beading by the historic house of Lesage on the bodice or train of an Yves Saint Laurent or Balmain gown. You could marvel over every drape and tuck of a Madame Grès or Vionnet. You could sigh or gasp over the delicacy of a feather or the sumptuous brocade of a Charles Frederick Worth.

    In fact, there was a lot of sighing and gasping going on. Hubby at one point asked GG if she felt okay.

    Yes, she felt okay; she was just beside herself with admiration for these amazing works of art. For that’s what they are, every bit as much as a Matisse or a Cézanne or a Rembrandt or a Caravaggio or a Vermeer or take your pick.

    These gowns and dresses and skirts and jackets and capes and gloves are works of art. They were painstakingly put together, stitch by stitch, by human hands, hands so fantastically skilled it’s hard to believe.

    Look at this Jean Patou from 1925:

    Or this Charles Worth from 1900:

    Worth is considered the first true haute couturier. And he was British, not French. But he plied his trade in France, his name gaining such fame that it became synonymous with grand elegance, so that just as people today say “Xerox” when they mean “photocopy” or “Kleenex” when they mean “tissue,” so, too, did people at the end of the 19th century say “Worth” to mean “best damn ball gown in the place.” Edith Wharton and Henry James populated their novels with women in Worth gowns.

    The exhibition also featured tons of photographs of couturiers at work, as well as drawings, illustrations, little films, and examples of particular sartorial techniques, such as beading or embroidery. Thus you had a Worth drawing like this:

    that was, decades later, turned into a Dior by Galliano gown like this:

    The always inventive and cheeky Elsa Schiaparelli was represented by many garments, including this sunburst cape in her trademark color, Shocking Pink:

    and these famous metal-finger-tipped gloves:

    Here are two that had me gasping. First, by Madame Grès from 1956-57:

    And the second by Madame Vionnet from 1922:

    Madame Grès was famous for her draping and pleating, as you can see in that pink-mauve gown. She designed impeccably constructed dresses, to be worn without corsets, that allowed free yet secure movement. She died in 1993, at the age of 90. The last Grès shop closed in Paris only in 2012, but the name lives on in Switzerland, where the perfume house is based. Madame Vionnet lived from 1876 to 1975—talk about a life span! She’s known for introducing the bias cut, which drapes simply and seductively along a woman’s body, giving her the air of a Grecian goddess. GG certainly feels she could float to Mt. Olympus in that green confection.

    Here’s a close-up of one of the breathtaking beaded works of Lesage:

    Bien sûr, there were lots of little suits by Chanel, as well as mod pieces from the Swinging Sixties by Pierre Cardin.

    The constraints of this blog dictate that the pictures posted here are tiny, so I’ll direct you to a few good websites where you can get a better look. The best is probably Style Bubble. There are also some great shots at Une Libanaise à Paris. And if you’re not afraid of French, the official Paris website is superb.

    Though GG didn’t buy the massive catalogue at the time, not wanting to schlep it all the way home, she’s thinking about buying the book stateside. If you decide to do likewise, let her know; we can compare notes.


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