Friday, January 31, 2014

Under The Gunn Ep 3: Red Carpet Ready .... Or Not

We’re finally, after two weeks of preliminaries, getting into the real show — which I will only refer to as Under The Gunn not P______ R_____: Under The Gunn.

And the first challenge: make a red carpet look that shows off your aesthetic after taking a needless Starline tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Oh, and the winning designtestant gets $5,000 and will have their look worn by a “celebrity” and photographed for the “pages” of Marie Claire.

It’s a fairly safe challenge, so let’s rip … but first, let’s talk judges: Jen Rade, a stylist who has worked with Pink, Angelina Jolie and Cher … bitches. Also, Zanna Roberts Rassi from Marie Claire and fashion designer Rachel Roy … now let’s rip …
THE SAFES — clockwise from top left
ASHA — Team Mondo
Since she barely spoke — I think her one line was: Time’s up — I don’t have a lot to say about Asha. I loathed her look because I loathe a mullet dress, especially one made out of what appeared to be butcher paper. I did, however, like the top of the dress, so there’s that …
BRADY — Team Anya
Okay, I get it that he has a vision, and this could be a Red Carpet look for the MTV Awards or the Kids Choice Awards … or something to wear at a skate park?
ISABELLE — Team Nick
All I could think about her was her time at Mood when she wondered about peeing or buying fabrics: To pee, or not to pee … Her look is nice, but old; it looks like a costume from a 30s melodrama.
OSCAR — Team Nick
This was deceptively simple, but I loved the deep emerald green and how the colors changed from emerald to black as it walked; it’s a wee bit too simple — and again, too Nick — to win, but it was well-made and gorgeous.
NICHOLAS — Team Anya
He wanted to do a fringe-cape-cover-up over a bathing suit — for the Red Carpet. Anya simply reminded him that it could go vulgar. I need to remind him that his look is not Red Carpet, unless it’s a red carpet around the breakfast buffet at the Quality Inn.
NATALIA — Team Nick
I nearly kicked out the TV watching Nick tell her exactly what to do, and then say, “Do the dress I just said.”  The look is chic and elegant and it’s all Nick.
TEAM NICK
Nick seems to want his team to be his staff designers, because he sketches for them, designs for them, wanted to go to Mood to pick out their fabrics. He helps them drape and pleat and pattern make and, well, why didn’t he just do everything and then have the designtestants on his team sew for him? He’s Nick the Teacher, not a Mentor.
When Tim tells him he needs to stop “doing” and just “mentor” he keeps agreeing and saying Right Right and then goes right back to being the designer.

STEPHANIE
She’s going Old Hollywood, with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn silhouettes in green taffeta. Yes, green taffeta. And she’s struggling, even with Nick telling her how to fold the dress and shape the dress and make the dress a Nick Dress.

WHAT SHE SAID
The folds aren’t popping. It just looks flat.

WHAT I SAID
It also looks really wrinkled and very poorly made. Bad color, bad fit, bad folds, but really great wrinkles.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Rachel Roy said that it was a thirteen-year-old virgin look from the neck up, and totally grandma from the neck down; it’s tragic. Zanna said green taffeta looks old, not Old Hollywood.
TEAM MONDO
Mondo let’s his team do their thing and suggests ideas and changes, but ultimately let’s them make their own looks.

SAM
He doesn’t do silks and charmeuse and gowns and red carpet and he’s instantly afraid. But when Mondo reminded him that it should be a ‘Sam’ version of Reed Carpet, he relaxed, and decided to go with a Katharine Hepburn look, pants, and androgyny; except it became a one-piece jumpsuit.

WHAT HE SAID
That jumpsuit fits perfectly. I’m blown away by how much I was able to do in a day.

WHAT I SAID
It’s the simplest look on the runway, and the fabrics are nice, but I can’t help but be reminded of the guys that used to work at my Dad’s gas station — his third career after retiring from the Air Force and teaching — who put chains on cars during the snowstorms. It looks like a very chic chain apes overalls.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Jen Rade loved it, calling it modern and edgy and chic and fun and Rachel Roy agreed that a jumpsuit is a cool modern look for a Red Carpet. Zanna liked that the model wore the dress and not the other way round.

MICHELLE
Atop the bus, she becomes inspired by the jewelry stores and wants to make a gem-stone dress, with all kinds of little pieces of fabrics cut to look like diamonds or rubies. And that’s too much cutting and sewing and shaping and then flattening and trying to even out the seams. 

When her model tries on the look, her hips are too big, so Michelle needs to take it all apart and readjust.

WHAT SHE SAID
Besides the fit, I don’t regret anything. I could have made it simpler, but I really like the look.

WHAT I SAID
I think it looks Dinner with the Husband and not Red Carpet; and since gem stones are precisely cut, I would have liked less buggy seams.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Zanna said she’s seen this look hundreds of times, while Rachel Roy called out the fabric as a bad choice to use when doing so many seams — and there were hundreds of seams. Jen Rade called it a gynecology dress — and agreed with Tim about the awkward diamond shape over the hoo-hah—and hated the construction.

CAMILA
On the bus tour she says she’s inspired by the Art Deco buildings and wants to make that her dress, but at Mood she is a scattered mess, and loses fabrics, and tries to keep shopping and cutting and buying even after Tim calls time because she still has money to spend. Again, Tim Gunn snaps: No!

WHAT SHE SAID
She looks very elegant, but I’m concerned that I didn’t have time to do something more with the front.

WHAT I SAID
It’s pretty and, yes, simple, but the Art Deco detail on the back gets lost in the dark fabric, and since the front is so plain, b y the time she turns around it’s too little, too late.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Jen Rade appreciated the detail, but felt it wasn’t a strong design, and the wrong fabric and construction; she said she didn’t get Camila’s aesthetic. Camila defended her look with an “In my country” explanation of not having a lot of fabric to choose from and having to go from the metric system to inches. Zanna stopped her and called her out for too many excuses, and Rachel Roy said if she knows her limitations she should use her mentor to advise her on what choices to make.
TEAM ANYA
Anya wants them all to enjoy the experience, but does offer some advice on their designs. I think she's one of the best mentor because she does give advice, but also steers the designers towards their own aesthetic so they don't stray too far from their comfort zone.

BLAKE
As the challenge is announced Blake reminds us that he does red carpet gowns so he’s going to win this. Could be. Maybe. But he’s less inspired by Hollywood than he is by the flowers of Hollywood and wants to make a Winter Bloom dress. At least until he gets to Mood and finds no florals he likes, so he picks a watercolor pastel print and rethinks his flowery dress.

I liked Anya’s style of mentoring; when Blake worries about roughing up the edges of his gown to make it more urban, she simply reminds him that his aesthetic isn’t flowy and pretty.

WHAT HE SAID
I immediately breathe a sigh of relief. She is beautiful and ethereal and exactly what I imagined.

WHAT I SAID
I like it; I like the rough edges because it takes a pretty dress up a notch. But the front seams down the dress seem askew. And it reads a little Sister Wife in Haight Ashbury.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Zanna said it was so different — and people might not get it — that it could either be a Best Dressed look or a Worst Dressed look; she, however, liked it and called it “bang on trend.” Jen Rade thought — as a stylist would —t hat the dress would photograph well from all angles, and called it well done. Rachel Roy simply said it was stunning.

SHAN
He’s inspired by Robert Cavalli, and I’ll just take him at his word because I couldn’t tell a Roberto Cavalli from a Telly Savalas. But he wants to do a tuxedo, and a print tuxedo; and he picks this loud geometric in black and white.

When Anya stops by her only concern is that the size of the lapel might make the look go ‘circus.’ When the model comes by the concern shifts to her breasts which are too big for the coat and threaten to spill out; I laughed when she actually apologized for her boobs.

WHAT HE SAID
I don’t know what clown would wear this suit but it’s a pretty chic clown.

WHAT I SAID
It would be very chic on a smaller busted woman, but I like the sexiness of it—being a suit and all—and love the back. Plus, Shan really lined up the print at every seam flawlessly.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Jen Rade loved it and said she could see it worn on many Red Carpets and Zanna loved how well-made it was for a one day challenge and called it striking. Rachel Roy said it was a new thought and a new idea and loved it.
WHAT HAPPENED
Mondo had a Top Designer, and two in the Bottom Three, while Nick just had one designer, in the Bottom. Anya scored by having two designers and both in the Top Three.

The judges convene backstage with Tim and declare their favorites and least favorites.

I was sure it would go to Blake, but the judges seemed to like overalls this season so Sam gets the first win and the first 5K.

I was also sure it would be Stephanie who was sent packing because that dress was every kind of awful, but I guess the judges don’t like excuses because Camila was sent packing … to Venezuela.
MY TAKE
I sorta laughed when the show began, at Natalia talking about how she loves Mondo and Anya, but feels Nick is a better mentor when she was thisclose to being booted off the show and had no choice in her mentor. She’s rewriting history faster than the GOP.
Where was Asha? I saw her once at Mood, and once in the workroom dressed like a Postal employee, and then she was on the runway and then she was safe. Invisible edit to the nth degree.
Brady is adorable but he needs to lose the ball cap.
I was so annoyed by Nick’s constant meddling that I almost wished Tim had asked him to leave the show. I know he’s a teacher — god knows he mentions it enough — but his job is not to teach. He’s really bugging me and I hope he tones it down.
I completely guessed the wrong winners and losers on this round — and I usually get at least one right — so maybe this season will be all twisty and turny.
I think I'm, right now, Team Shan.
What did YOU think?


Would You Hit It?

It's a simple question .... Glee's Darren Criss.

Would.You.Hit.It?

Yes or No?

I Didn't Say It ....

Coca-Cola, a Sochi Olympics sponsor, on removing a social media tool from its website that banned the use of the word “gay”:

"We are aware that the Share a Coke promotion we are running in South Africa has generated an unintended outcome. We apologize for any offence caused. The Share a Coke programme was created to allow consumers to take the iconic “Coca-Cola” script and replace it with their name on the can. In South Africa, the digital version of the Share a Coke promotion did not properly limit the customisation to individuals’ names. We’ve taken down the site and are in the process of revising the digital tool immediately...As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate diversity. We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community and have advocated for inclusion, equality and diversity through both our policies and practices. Again we apologize for any offense this has caused."

Don't apologize for "any" offense, apologize for "the" offense.
Apologize, and then shut up.
Queen Latifah, on officiating the 33 marriages at the Grammys:

“I look forward to the day when presiding over a historic wedding ceremony like this is just the norm. To me, it was special to all the couples we married today and I look forward to dashing off to go sign their marriage certificates. It’s awesome. I had to get sworn in as a commissioner for the state of California, so I’m not an ordained minister like I said, but I’m a commissioner. So you can call me to commish – Queen Commish!"

Mmmm, I have all kinds of reservations about Latifah and her gay-friendly, but gay-silent attitude.
She'll use us as a crowd for a performance, and she'll marry us, but she doesn';t want anyone to know she's one of us.
Tim Graham, of the Media Research Center, on the Grammy weddings:

“They can say this is not a stunt, but that's exactly what it is, a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others. Entertainers never want to have a debate, just a series of arrogant 'statements' with no opportunity for a conversation as they flush the Bible on national TV."

So, love and marriage, mocks traditional values? And if they do, so what? Are traditional values the only kind anyone can have?
As I've said before, if you don't wanna witness a same-sex wedding don't go to one -- or turn the TV off when it comes on.
But don't mock my values, asshat.
Bill McElvaney, a Methodist pastor for 40 years, on being pro-marriage-equality:

“I think we need to take this position. It is long overdue in the United Methodist Church...This is a justice matter, but it's not just an issue. It's about people; it's about people being loved and accepted, and about the church being what it's called to be."

Gay folks are getting married, and if churches and ministers want to keep refusing, that's their right. But I imagine they'll change their tune when their memberships drop and the collection plates dry up because The Gays and The Gay Friendlies have walked away.
Lance Bass, on The Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis’ gays are "perverted' comment:

"I don't hate him at all. I still think he's cute...Of course it's disappointing, because you don't want someone who (you) actually love to have those thoughts. ... When you grow up in a place like that, you get brainwashed into thinking that way, you know, you can't help what you grow up with...I mean, I grew up in Mississippi, so I know how people can get brainwashed into thinking really, really awful things. So hopefully, he will learn from this and get educated."

I don't hate Juan Pablo either, I just think he needs a little education, and a little more time to think before he opens his pretty little mouth again.
Queen Latifah, in 2008, on rumors she is a lesbian:

"I don’t have a problem discussing the topic of somebody being gay, but I do have a problem discussing my personal life. You don’t get that part of me. Sorry. We’re not discussing it in our meetings, we’re not discussing it at Cover Girl. They don’t get it, he doesn’t get it [she gestured toward her manager Shakim Compere’s office] — nobody gets that. I don’t feel like I need to share my personal life, and I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want. You do it anyway."

I still say, what about all the young girls, especially young Black girls, who would see her as a role model if she came out?
Wouldn't that be great if, by saying she was gay, Latifah could help just one young girl accept herself?
John Aravosis, from Americablog, on Latifah’s refusal to discuss her ALLEGED gay-ness:

“One big problem with Latifah’s position is that she’s sending a message that there is a problem.  She’s signaling that there’s something wrong with being gay. … People can defend Latifah’s choice, claiming that she has a right to privacy.  And Latifah can talk all she wants about her desire to protect her “private life.”  But straight Americans – and particularly celebrities – don’t invoke the right to privacy when you simply inquire about the well-being of their spouse.  And they don’t rail about their “private life” when you ask, “how goes the girlfriend? ...The only time celebrities try to hide who they’re dating is when it’s someone else’s spouse, an underage child, an animal, a corpse, or a gay.”

Silence in speaking about your sexual orientation or your dating life, is totally tour business, but Aravosis is right that, in keeping silent, you feed the notion that the religious right and the conservative political zealots have, that being gay is something to hide, to be ashamed of, and it's not.
We don't want to know the intimate details of Latifah's private life, but since she keeps wading into our lives -- appearing at Pride fests, officiating same-sex weddings -- the least she can do is come out.
Steve Palazzo, a Mississippi Republican, in his campaign on Facebook in response to the Grammy wedding:

"Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't value the same conservative beliefs we do in Mississippi. Last night's demonstration at the #Grammys is a perfect example of their disconnect."

Oh, I think you'd be surprised at how many people in  Mississippi had no problem with those marriages.
It's only goose-stepping Republicans who got their hate riled up.
Michele Bachman, wingnut republican and beard, planning to sue the President:

"He’s the president of the United States — he’s not a king. He may think he’s a king, he may declare himself king, but that’s not what he is under our Constitution. We’ll sue the president of the United States and force him to no longer act unilaterally. If he wants to go forward with his unilateral activity, he better be prepared for the lawsuit that the United States Congress will bring. Obamacare is the passed law of the land and yet the president has changed Obamacare at least 17 times on his own, unilaterally, without going through the legislative action that he’s required to do under the United States Congress. That’s just one. He also said that he would refuse to uphold the [Defense of Marriage Act], which he is required by law to uphold. He’s done this multiple times and he’s also threatened — we can’t say we weren’t warned — he’s threatened us tonight that he’s going to act unilaterally."

Honey, your time in Congress is nearly up, and you must be tired from acting the fool for all these years, exhausted trying to remember all the idiotic notions you spout.
Take a seat, Michele, and be quiet.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Random Musings

So, we’re still cold here in sultry and humid South Carolina and the snow will be melting today — at least some of it — but we are nowhere near as hard hit as the folks in Georgia and Alabama where the roads froze and there was no real help.

Folks are complaining that Georgia policies, like the governor, really blew it by not paying attention to weather reports and not having enough plows and salt and sand for the roads.

Here’s my take: had the government of Georgia had enough plows and salt and sand for this Winter Event and then the event didn’t happen, these same people would be complaining about Georgia being over-prepared.

You can’t please all the people all the time.
Presented without comment ….

Okay just one: this is a picture of a semi-talented media whore who’d sell anything to make people talk about her.

And she’s with Miley Cyrus.
ISBL Asshat of the Week winner, Florida Congressman Trey Radel, who liked to call himself the ‘hip-hop conservative’ — a diss to hip-hop folks everywhere — resigned this week after being busted for cocaine possession last fall.

Radel, a freshman Congressman — yes, this was his first, and hopefully last, term — returned to work earlier this month after taking a leave of absence to undergo treatment at a rehab facility for being a coke-head. He had vowed to stay in office after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession but, um, yeah, not even the people of Florida approve of convicted drug addicts representing them.

So, so long Trey, don’t let the doors of Congress hit you where the good Lord split you.
So, the US Olympic team, headed to Sochi this week, has been warned about saying, or doing, any gay, or even pro-gay, shiz during the games.

That’s bad enough, but now the U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas might put team members, or US citizens at risk of attack.

Bad enough to be gay, I guess, in Sochi, but now it doesn’t pay to be American either.
Speaking of Sochi, the mayor of the town, Anatoly Pakhomov, says there are no gay people in Sochi at all. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nyet.

Pakhomov, who is a member of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, did say that The Gays would be welcome at the Games, but with a small, almost imperceptible caveat:
"Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn't impose their habits on others."
Meaning, be gay, just don’t act gay. Or say gay.

One thing though that maybe the aptly-named Pakhomov isn’t aware of is that there are several gay clubs in Sochi. They're probably all empty, though, because The Gays don’t like it there.

Uh huh.
Well well well, it looks like it’s true that the ratings for The View are down and since this Barbara Walters last year on the show — please hold your applause — the producers, and one of those would be Walters herself, are doing anything and everything they can to spice things up.

Like bringing back Rosie O’Donnell. But only for one show. For now. 

On February 7, The View will welcome back former co-host Rosie O’Donnell six years after her nuclear exit from the show amidst a reported feud with View co-host/executive producer Barbara Walters.

Babs says, now:
“I have great affection for Rosie and we have remained in contact through the years. I am happy to welcome her back to the program. She is always a lively and engaging guest and a part of the show’s successful history.”
It's just a shame that Hasselbeck won't be there.
If this isn’t The Omen, or even Damien: Omen II or Omen III: The Final Conflict or Omen IV: The Awakening then I don’t know what an omen could possibly be.

But … the Associated Press reports a bad omen out of Vatican City, where two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture were quickly attacked by other birds.

The Birds. An entirely different film, I say.

As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square last week, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull, but the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.

What do you suppose it all means?
This won’t happen, but I just love that a new White House petition circulating to deport asshatted douchebag and mildly talented drug addict Justin Bieber back to Canada now has over 120,000 signatures.
"We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture. We would like to see and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society. "
Snap.
So, this week marked the end of American Horror Story: Coven and I’d say it was a brilliant season.

I loved season one — Murder House — but felt that season two — Asylum — had a little too much going on what with sadist nuns and aliens and Nazis and illegal experimental surgeries and Devil dogs in the woods.

But Coven was amazing — as amazing as Jessica Lange, especially in last night’s episode … Catfish. Cat piss. Knotty pine??!!?? — and I’m gonna miss my weekly dosage.

My only groveling point? They could have and should have made more of Patti LuPone’s storyline and the hot actor who played her son. But I can’t have everything.
And, also on TV, a new hottie man candy named Mat Vairo has joined the cast of Revolution. Now, to be honest, Revolution is drifting into Lost territory with some wack-a-doo meandering storytelling, but with eye candy like Vairo — shirtless this week ... yay — I’ll still be watching.

I’m shallow like that.
Oh, the religious wingnuts are gonna be spouting conspiracy theories all over the place now.

It seems that a rather puzzling song was nominated for an Oscar recently. The song is from a Christian movie — a little-seen film that only played a few times in LA — called, “Alone Yet Not Alone”, written by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel.

But now comes word that the nomination has been rescinded because the Academy learned of some shady campaigning for the song. The decision was prompted by the discovery that Broughton, a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period. From the Academy:
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage.”
The song is out. Expect the wingnuts to start wingnutting …. Now.

Married Same-Sex Couple On Probation Awaiting Name Change

Brianna Hoskins and Crystal Reese were legally married in New York and, as many married couples do, they wanted to share the same last name.

Easier said than done.

After returning home to Chesterfield Township in Michigan, the couple went to the Social Security offices Brianna’s name was legally changed to Brianna Reese. Afterwards, she went to the local Secretary of State, her marriage license and social security documentation in hand, and was told she would be placed on a six month probationary period before the name change can take place. 
"It's discrimination based on sexual orientation, and it's just so ridiculous. We live in 2014, what are we on probation for - for being gay?" — Crystal Reese
The couple was given a phone number, in Lansing, to call, and when Brianna inquired as to why she had to wait six months — when straight couples face no such “probationary” period — and explained that she was legally, federally, married, the voice on the other end of the line said, “Well, if you would have married a man you'd have no problem changing your name.”

A spokesperson with the Secretary of State says the only way for legally married, federally recognized legally married, same-sex couples to get a name change is to go through the courts or get a common-law name change, which takes six months. 

And, while this may seem minor to some folks who would say, So what? Wait the six months, it’s just one more obstacle for same-sex couples to deal with, and why should we?

Legally married. Brianna Reese is in the military and the military has recognized her marriage and accepts her name change; Social Security accepts the name change; the federal government accepts it, as does the Internal Revenue Service. But the Secretary of State of Michigan says she needs to wait six months for the state to accept, not her marriage, which as of now is not legally recognized in Michigan, but simply accept that she has a new name.

Luckily, a trial begins in federal court next month to overturn Michigan's ban on gay marriage and so maybe Brianna won’t have to wait the six months to change her name to her wife’s name.