Best Dressed: Met Gala 2017

It’s the first Tuesday in May, and you know what that means –  it’s Met Gala best dressed time! As we discussed yesterday, this year’s theme is a little different. Rather than a concept like China: Through The Looking Glass or Manus x Machina: Fashion In The Age Of Technology, or a fashion house whose founder has passed away, like Christian Dior, last night celebrated Rei Kawakubo, the 74-year-old Japanese founder of Comme des Garcons. If you’re not familiar with CDG, here’s your crash course:

  • Rei favors avant-garde silhouettes. The most famous example is probably the 1997 “lumps and bumps” collection. It’s not unusual to have a large fabric protrusion, for example. The most recent collections have included heavily-constructed architectural looks with a lot of jutting angles and giant circular capes or skirts reaching as high as the model’s chin. For instance:

  • While all colors have been represented in CDG collections, Rei’s signature is a bright scarlet red – she did a whole collection in the color in 2015.

With such offbeat influences, last night’s red carpet should have been a total blast. Unfortunately, it was more of a thud. We love a classically pretty dress at, say, the Oscars, but the whole fun of the Met Gala is in the theme, which a lot of attendees didn’t really adhere to. That’s why while there were other very nice gowns at the 2017 Met Gala, our best dressed picks are the looks that – while not always as visually appealing – represent the spirit of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons.

Rihanna in Comme des Garcons

This is typical CDG, a mass of floral blobs snaking up to Rihanna’s chin, with what looks like a stiff bodice hanging off her leg. It’s the kind of creation that you don’t get to wear unless you’re a runway model and I’m glad Rihanna saved her safer, prettier looks for another night.

Tracee Ellis Ross in Comme des Garcons

Tracee’s sporting a more wearable CDG piece — still a conceptual fabric cocoon, but one that moves with her. Rei’s designs usually stretch the idea of what is beautiful and what is odd or grotesque, but the more I look at this, the more I think it’s straight-up delightful.

Rami Malek in Dior Homme

We’ve mentioned before that Rami is one of our male fashion favorites, and it comes down to his use of color and fabrics. This is a great example of how it’s possible to pay tribute to a designer without wearing them. This is the same shade of red that was all over CDG’s Spring 2015 runway and Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collections, and the black brooch echoes CDG’s blobby shapes. Yeah, I said blobby. Also, I know the phrase “impeccably tailored” gets thrown around a lot but it’s utterly warrented here.

Katy Perry in Margiella

This landed on a lot of Worst Dressed lists, but between the color and the avant-garde construction, I think it’s one of the best for this specific occasion. It’s CDG-influenced but not a knockoff — the filmy, lacy dress is less architectural than most CDG collections.

Solange in Thom Brown

Yes, this is pretty close to how I dress between December and March in upstate New York, but it’s also nice and on-theme, with the bubbly look being an homage to the inflated lumps and bumps-era CDG.

Julianne Moore in Calvin Klein By Appointment

Another fun dress playing off of a loose interpretation of CDG. I love the playful, feathery construction.

Lena Dunham in Elizabeth Kennedy

This made my list because it’s billowy and bulky -very Rei Kawakubo – but is more of a classic gown than you see out of Comme des Garcons; it’s a nice way to tie the theme into a slightly more ‘normal’ silhouette.

Halle Berry in Atelier Versace

I think maybe a good shorthand for how to add a touch of Comme des Garcons style would be to think sea creatures. Whether a bloated jellyfish or zebra mussels on a reef, something in most CDG collections reminds me of the wackier forms of underwater life. That’s what this gown does for me.

 

It’s a Love Story, Baby Just Say ‘What The Fuck Is Happening?’

Can we talk about Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston for a sec? Or like, for this entire post? Great.

What’s up with Hiddleswift tho?

Ever since May, fans, gossip mongers and lookie-loos have been fascinated by their whirlwind romance. They’ve lit’rally gone all over the world together in the span of about a month, which is why it’s starting to get a little suspicious. There are a lot of theories floating around out there, mostly that this relationship is all for publicity. Or for their “craft”. And I’m starting to believe it too.

To support this, here’s a timeline of their “romance” and reasons why this whole Hiddleswift Love Story is the ultimate Taylor Troll.

May 2nd • New York City • Met Gala

Taylor (who as of May 2nd, we thought was still dating Calvin Harris) was spotted dancing to T.I.’s classic Bring Em Out with rando Tom Hiddleston. It’s the Met Gala, after all. Rando celebs co-mingling is the norm. They weren’t dancing up on each other, it seemed friendly. They were later spotted at the Boom Boom Room chatting it up all night.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • Where is Calvin? Taylor was a co-chair of this year’s Met Gala, which means she “hosted” it along with Anna Wintour and others. She wasn’t just a guest, it was a big night for her too. Calvin was MIA.
  • The person who posted this video that circulated throughout the Interwebs is Carlos Souza, Valentino’s brand ambassador. He’s also been described as a “PR Genius” for the fashion brand.

June 14th • Watch Hill, Rhode Island • Taylor’s Oceanside Mansion

A little over a month after the Met Gala, when most of us had even forgotten they had a dance-off, photos of Taylor and Tom surfaced of them talking along the rocks near her Rhode Island home. And making out and taking selfies. Taylor and Calvin Harris had just confirmed their break up weeks earlier.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • After years of being ridiculed for dating multiple guys in her early 20s, Taylor laid low when she started dating Calvin Harris last year. They were introduced to each other by Ellie Goulding at an awards show in February, and it wasn’t until March that they were spotted at a concert together in Nashville. They weren’t even photographed holding hands in Los Angeles until May, the same month she brought him along as her date to the Billboard Music Awards, where they only kissed each other on the CHEEK. Note that those last couple were in LA (where paps are everywhere) and at an awards show, which is obvs broadcast around the world. What I’m saying here is – Taylor’s Rhode Island home isn’t usually swarmed with paparazzi. Unless it’s July 4th (more on that later). The fact that there are snappers at all is questionable. On top of that, it doesn’t make sense she would be outside making out and holding hands and selfie taking with Tom seemingly out of nowhere just weeks after breaking up with Calvin. They couldn’t keep it on the DL inside her mansion?

June 21st • Nashville, Tennessee • Selena Gomez’s concert

Taylor flies down south to her adopted hometown of Nashville, where they take in her BFF Selena’s concert. And they *CAN’T KEEP THEIR HANDS TO THEMSELVES*.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • When Taylor first started dating Calvin Harris, they were first spotted at Kenny Chesney’s concert in Nashville. Coincidence?
  • However, they weren’t dancing all on top of each other. Hiddleswift is all about the dancing, apparently. At least they’ve found a common interest.

June 23rd • Nashville, Tennessee • Meet The Parents

It’s been a sold two weeks, so why NOT introduce Tom to her parents? They also went on a double date with Holly Williams and her husband – Holly is the granddaughter of Hank Williams, who Tom played in the biopic I Saw The Light. He became close with the whole Williams family while making the movie. Of course they would hang out with the world’s favorite country-turned-pop star (remember when Taylor was a ‘country star’?).

Evidence of Trolling:
  • No, but really, why so quick to meet her parents???

June 24th • Suffolk, England • Meet the Parents (British Style)

Because things weren’t fast enough, Tom and Taylor went across the pond to continue their tour of love by going to his native England to meet his mom.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • Again, why are they so out in the public? Where there are obviously paparazzi following them?

June 27th • Rome, Italy • Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck Visit The Colosseum

Evidence of Trolling:
  • Lit’rally every single picture looks set up. Taylor’s dressed like she’s in the Lizzie McGuire Movie sequel and Tom is her Gordo.
  • THERE IS SO MUCH PDA SO OUT IN THE OPEN. WHAT WOULD THE GLADIATORS SAY??

July 3rd • Watch Hill, Rhode Island • Taylor’s Ocean

Taylor’s annual July 4th bash at her Rhode Island mansion was back on, this time with more squad members and a new beau.

Evidence of Trolling:

July 4th • Watch Hill, Rhode Island •#Taymerica

They celebrated America’s independence by sliding down a giant inflatable slide and becoming Instagram official.

View this post on Instagram

Pretty cool runnings

A post shared by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Evidence of Trolling:
  • I still don’t understand how Tom’s fitting in with this #squad.
  • Why is Taylor the only one sitting the other way next to Blake and her other BFF?

July 6th to 8th • Various Airports • First Class

After an All-American weekend, they left Rhode Island on Wednesday, made a pit stop in Los Angeles and through the magic of time, landed in Sydney, Australia Friday morning.

Evidence of Trolling:
  •  She followed him He invited her to Australia where he’s filming the new Thor movie. Australia’s quite a long ways away from America. It’s not like if they got into a fight, she could be back home in 30 minutes. She’s Taylor Swift, not a wizard.

July 9th • Gold Coast, Australia • Dinner Date

Because Hiddles gots to eat.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • What exactly is Taylor doing while he’s filming Thor??? Writing songs? Everyone get ready for some tracks featuring digeridoos in the background.

July 10th • Gold Coast, Australia • This Is Why You Don’t Go On Jogs

Tom tried to go undercover while jogging out on the streets of Queensland.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • Are paparazzi really that bad in Australia that they were following his every step on his jog? Or did someone give them a tip? And why is he giving any sort of answer to the reporter at all?

July 11th • South Brisbane, Australia • Philanthropy

Ah, THIS is what Taylor’s been doing.

Evidence of Trolling:
  • I’m not going to shit on her for this. These kids are happy.

July 13th • Internet • Drag City

Y’all. Shit. Went. Down. Wednesday. TBH, I started this post before SongwritingGate happened. So this kind of takes everything to a whole new level. Can we put this in a nutshell? Let’s try.

  • Turns out Taylor wrote Calvin’s song This Is What You Came For ft. Rihanna. She did a demo on her phone, sent it to Calvin while they were still dating, and he decided to use it. They recorded a full demo, but Taylor used the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg, and they both agreed to not promote the track together as the ‘Taylor + Calvin song’ and keep it on the DL. She also reportedly did some backing vocals, but again, wasn’t credited.
  • Calvin later did an interview with Ryan Seacrest promoting the song, saying that he “can’t see (a collaboration) happening” with Taylor. Some say this was the catalyst for their demise.
  • On Wednesday, Calvin went IN on Taylor on Twitter, which I will copy & paste JIC it’s all deleted: “And she sings on a little bit of it too Amazing lyric writer and she smashed it as usual… I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym… Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though 🤔 … I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do…

Please focus on the positive aspects of YOUR life because you’ve earned a great one…God bless everyone have a beautiful day.

  • AND THEN – KATY ‘BAD BLOOD’ PERRY THREW THE BEST SHADE IN THE HISTORY OF TREES.

FOLLOWED BY A RETWEET OF A POST SHE SENT LAST YEAR

Evidence of Trolling:
  • I mean. Now, what is happening?

July 14th • Australia • He Speaks

“The truth is that Taylor Swift and I are together, and we’re very happy. Thanks for asking. That’s the truth. It’s not a publicity stunt.” Tom to The Hollywood Reporter

Evidence of Trolling:

Alright team. Them’s the facts. Tom’s latest comments aside, I still think the whole thing is a little fishy. Pre-SongwritingGate, I was inclined to believe the conspiracy theories that their romance has all been just for show. That it’s one huge piece of performance art and Taylor’s attempt at a Lemonade-style piece. That she’s quite literally acting out her Blank Space and Wildest Dreams music videos IRL.

The evidence above and show here and here give the theories that it’s all for show compelling arguments, which I’m willing to believe. What I cannot get myself to believe is that Taylor moved so quickly after her breakup. She and Calvin dated for 15 months and about 3 weeks later, she’s going non-stop with another guy? I’m not saying a real relationship isn’t possible, it just seems fishy to me.

And again, why all the cameras??! I get she’s one of the most famous people in the world, but per her track from 1989 – SHE KNOWS PLACES. She doesn’t have to be out and about. Also, here’s a little insider scoop – celebrities/their people call paparazzi to tip them off and let them know where they’ll be to knowingly get a “candid” pic published for all the world to see. It isn’t all by chance. Those English beach shots and Roman Holiday excursion reek of just that. Also, have I mentioned Tom is in talks to become the next James Bond? Because he is. Is Taylor singing the song for the new Bond movie and this has all been videotaped for the music video?

However, in post-SongwritingGate world, I’m starting to think Calvin may have fucked up her entire plan. He went rogue. Nils was supposed to be a secret. Not anymore. Then Katy stepped in with her GIF and the story became even bigger. Meanwhile, Rihanna is probably hiding out with Drake somewhere hoping she’s not dragged into this more than she already is. Anyways, if Calvin didn’t go rogue, is this all part of her master plan? Those tweets make him seem like a lover scorned, which leads me to believe the answer is no. Will we ever find out the truth?

In the words of a wise 2015 sage, “Time, the ultimate truth teller”.

 

Best Dressed And Not-So-Favorites: Met Gala 2015

We were nervous about this year’s Met Gala theme. Nervous because the theme was China: Through The Looking Glass, which seemed like an open invite for questionable or racist or racistly questionable outfits. Fortunately, most attendees stayed on the right side of homage versus appropriation. That’s why our best dressed list contains only attendees who followed our handy guide for how not to be a racist idiot at the Met Gala. Now on to the fashions – with not a single geisha costume or hair chopstick in the mix!

Fan Bingbing in Christopher Bu

American audiences might only be familiar with Fan Bingbing from the X-Men series, but she’s been performing in China for close to two decades, and with a recent deal with 20th Century Fox we may be about to see a lot more of her. This gold gown with elaborate emerald-green cape is my top look of the night – a modern, formal, lavish take on Chinese design. I want that cape framed and hung on my wall, because it is absolute art.

Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci

The best way to avoid offending anyone at a gala with a theme that’s practically asking you to make it racial: wear something that has little, if anything, to do with the theme. Also, be Beyonce. It always helps to be Beyonce. Bey wore a Givenchy gown… or, I guess, some Givenchy clusters of strategically placed sequins. Daily Mail said that the jewels were “protecting her modesty,” because the Daily Mail is the fussy English grandmother I never had. Beyonce followed our rule of “interpret the exhibit” by choosing a broad, flat shoulder and fitted cut (um, very fitted?) that is slightly reminiscent of some modern takes on the cheongsam. Which means she also followed our rule “know your Chinese influences” by not showing up in some sort of weird kimono.

Rihanna in Guo Pei

Oh my goodness, yes. The Met Gala dress code not only requires attendees to wear full evening dress but, as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s Costume Institute, it allows the guests to play dress up. Stars can wear more creative ensembles than at major awards shows, but their creativity has to be tempered by better taste than at, say, the MTV awards. In other words, if you cannot wear a fur-trimmed yellow cape and bejeweled headpiece at the Met, there is simply nowhere you can wear it. Rihanna followed our suggestion of celebrating a Chinese designer Guo Pei. You can read more about her here. And yes, this dress has already spawned 1,000 memes. Good job, internet.

Anne Hathaway in Ralph Lauren

Now for something completely different. It sort of looked like Anne Hathaway was taking Star Wars Day (May the 4th, obviously) to heart – but in the best way possible. Sure, this Ralph Lauren gown is more restrained than Rihanna and Beyonce’s looks, but you still don’t get much of a chance to wear a hood on the red carpet. Could “it has a hood!” become the new “it has pockets?”

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Vintage John Galliano

The Olsen twins took a broad interpretation of the theme, dressing as the ghosts of two old Chinese widows from the past. But seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen MK&A in matching outfits since the early 2000s, and I love that when they finally do it they both wear these giant black numbers. From what I can tell Mary-Kate paid tribute to the theme by wearing silk brocade, typical in traditional Chinese dress. Ashley looks sort of like Stevie Nicks in Victorian mourning dress, and I’m not making fun of her when I say that. I swoon over designs from The Row just about every fashion week and I love the 180 the Olsens have taken since their days in matching denim sunflower hats.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Atelier Versace

So, what’s Chinese about this dress? That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really wondering what’s Chinese about this dress. Grandma Daily Mail says that she “stuck to [the theme] and ran with” it. I suppose the swooping lines and minimalism is a bit reminiscent of modern Chinese design – I’m thinking of streamlined yet flowing interior design, more than anything. I don’t know. It’s pretty, though.

Amal Clooney in John Galliano

There was a lot of red last night. I assume it was a tribute to the Chinese flag, the importance of red as a lucky color in China, and those stunning Chinese wedding dresses. That’s why this tiered gown didn’t feel TOO off-theme, even if it wasn’t explicity Chinese. The skirt is really blowing my mind here, even if the structured, studded bodice isn’t necessarily my favorite.

Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier

Janis Ian, killing it. The drape of this is just perfect, and the embroidered silk pays tribute to the theme without going into costume mode. A lot of folks missed a real opportunity to play with the theme in their accessories last night, but these tassel earrings are amazing. I really wish I owned this dress and also had someplace to wear it (Met tickets are only like $25,000, I’m sure I could come up with it??).

Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture

Allison Williams: Met Gala 2015

Here it is again. Red and cheongsam-style sleeves – just enough tribute to Chinese design without straight-up appropriating traditional dress. I know Allison Williams does the princess dress thing a lot, and sometimes it can seem like a larger version of something a very fancy nine-year-old can wear, but I think that the demure and sweet look works for Allison and she knows it.

Hey, You Tried Something

As I said, the Met Gala is a time to wear outlandish, elaborate looks that just wouldn’t fit in most scenarios. While I wasn’t particularly feeling any of the looks below, at least they really went for it, I guess?

Kim Kardashian in Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli

Is it just because I’m not a huge fan of Kim K? Not sure, but something about this wasn’t working for me.

Sarah Jessica Parker in H&M

I know I said it’s a good time to go over-the-top. And I know that SJP is usually the belle of the Met Ball. And I love that this collection uses sustainable fabrics! The look as a whole isn’t my favorite, but she looks like she’s having a blast which makes it that much more fun for the rest of us.

Lady Gaga in Alexander Wang

It IS Lady Gaga. And Alexander Wang is an American of Taiwanese descent. And the sleeves are maybe a modern take on a hanfu (but it kind of reminds me of a Japanese haori??). So I have every reason to like this, I just don’t. It’s me, not the dress, probably.

 Kerry Washington in Prada

We LOVE Kerry Washington. And when she nails an outfit, she NAILS it. I’m just over this high-low thing and this particular shade of pink isn’t my favorite. Hair and face, though? Flawless as ever.

Katy Perry in Moschino

I almost feel like she bought this for the punk-themed Met gala in 2013. Even if I were into the dress, the spraypaint can clutch takes it from costume in a fun, classy, celebratory way to costume in a “My Mom Found A Costume For Graffiti In American Girl Magazine” way. I don’t know if it’s new, but short hair suits her.

Solange Knowles in Giles Deacon

On one hand, I love Solange’s style even more than Beyonce’s usually. And I think this is supposed to be the dress inspired by a Chinese fan, which is really fun. But on the other hand, I don’t enjoy looking at it.

Chloe Sevigny

Chloe reminds me of Mary Kate Olsen. Do they look disheveled, or is the way they dress so high-concept that I’m too simple to get it (probably)? But that doesn’t change that this looks like two Chinese robes from a public market vendor sewn together – in a way that doesn’t fit.

Justin Bieber

I don’t like you and I don’t like how you look, which is like Zach Morris’s long-lost torero cousin.

Katy Perry’s Halftime Show: Best And Worst Dressed

What did YOU wear for the Superbowl? Me, I wore the heavy cloak of disappointment. Disappointment in the game itself, one of those ones where I was just rooting against the team that I wanted to lose most. Disappointment in that one Nationwide commercial, which only came in second on my list of Most Depressing Superbowl Moments because one year my grandfather died during the game.  Disappointment in social media, where I assume the #LikeABoy hashtag was started by the same bros who thought up #ALLlivesMatter. But you know what? Not disappointment in the halftime show, really. It was good. Like any proper Katy Perry spectacle, the performance was full of over-the-top, fun costumes. Here are the best and worst.

Best Dressed

Katy Perry in the The More You Know symbol

Remember when you’d hear that “bing biiing bing BIIING” chime at the end of one of those PSAs when you were younger, and realize that that your favorite NBC stars had tricked you into learning something? Well, you probably had the same feeling seeing this symbol. Oh, shoot, there was a lesson in all of this?

A Human in This Cranky Ball Costume

“Hi Nana, it’s Stephanie! I got the job! I’m dancing with Katy Perry at the Superbowl!”

“The bucktoothed, downtrodden beach ball with the blue tights.”

“Nana? NANA?”

[These maybe should be on the “worst” list, but I’m just so happy that this was on my TV last night and my internet this morning.]

The Athenians, Probably in This Trojan Lion

While watching this entrance, I imagined that at some point the lion would open up and members of my favorite NFL team would spill out, taking over the game so that I could watch players I actually liked.

Missy Elliott in One Of Those Outfits She Wears

When Missy appeared on stage, even though the show was going well already, it felt like she … well … put her thing down, flipped it, and reversed it. The show was ON. And I’m so glad that she wore one of her classic Missy Elliott jumpsuits, along with a ball cap and hoop earrings. If I tried to wear her outfit, I’d look like I was in my jammies. But Missy looked like the rapper we all know, love, and really, really missed. How good does she look?!

By the way, I’m choosing to believe that one of her dancers was that girl from the Miss Elliott videos of the mid-2000s.

Lenny Kravitz in His Face And Body

This outfit also felt like a time-warp to 2004, but in  a less positive way. But I do not care, because Lenny Kravitz was also sporting his face and body, which are both very nice.

Katy Perry in A Bathing Suit That Looks Like A Beach Ball From A Little Golden Book

Runner-up: The dancers in shark suits, because I had to wear a giant plush costume for work one summer and I appreciate their obvious discomfort for the sake of entertainment.

Katy Perry’s Microphone in A Wii Safety Strap

So she didn’t get too worked up and throw her microphone through the new TV.

Worst Dressed

A Dancer’s Hopes And Dreams in These Tree Costumes

There’s a certain silly joy in playing a dancing beach ball or a clapping shark, but playing a tree is just not a career highlight. The surfboarts were pretty bad too.

Katy Perry In Yule Log Screencaps

You have a Hunger Games budget, your flame dress shouldn’t look like a child’s drawing or a cheap fake fire place.

Those human chess pieces in my nightmares.

I can’t even parse out why, but the moment I saw these costumes my reaction was “I hate this.” It just seemed creepy. They also remind me of really sharp lego that you would step on when it’s dark. I don’t know. Just not a fan. Maybe it’s the pointy shoes?

Everybody Who’s Anybody Is On Sesame Street

I have been waiting YEARS for someone to tell me how to get to Sesame Street. They drop the question in the theme song, but the show debuted 45 years ago today and still nobody has answered it.

When I was 3, one of the kids who hung around Mr. Hooper’s store looked like my neighborhood best friend, and I stewed for days over how she got on the show.

In preschool, Sesame Street led to my first ever wave of nostalgia. On a class field trip, my teacher turned on Sesame Street for us in her conversion van, and I realized that the show was still airing every day without me – when I was stuck playing duck duck goose with a bunch of sticky-handed tots who couldn’t even read yet. Remember, this was 1990, when there were no 24-hour children’s networks or YouTube clips. The only way to get to Sesame Street was to stay home from school.

A few years after that, one of my friends was convinced she was going to be on Sesame Street because of a donation her mom made during the annual PBS drive. Nope, that’s not how you get to Sesame Street either!

And now, as a full adult, I’d like to get to Sesame Street more than ever. Sure, part of it is that it represents a time in life when you could watch t.v. in your pajamas during the day. But mostly, these days it’s all about the guest stars. These clips make me feel as mad as I did in 1990, realizing that Sesame Street dares to go on without me every day:

Comedians Are On Sesame Street!

Jon Stewart delivered the fake, fake news.

Amy Poehler exercised (sort of!) with Elmo.

Ricky Gervais says “stumble” so many times it no longer sounds like a word.

And Cedric The Entertainer makes me wonder whether canteens are more relevant to kids’ lives than I realized. I grew up in the era of juice boxes.

Tina Fey is some sort of a book pirate.

What’s more adorable than Jimmy Fallon? Jimmy Fallon with Elmo. It’s all a bit much  for me.


Maya Rudolph raps, sings and dances with Elmo. Also I think she has a real future in children’s television, if she wants it.

Conan O’Brien does startlingly good dog impressions.

Even Saturday Night Live itself is on Sesame Street.

Actors Are On Sesame Street!

John Kraskinski talks about the meaning of the word soggy, interacts with a non-Elmo Muppet, and is just generally as cute as a bug’s ear.

And he’s not the only cast member of The Office to make the trip from Scranton to… is it supposed to be New York? Steve Carrell teaches us about the importance of voting and snacks.

Melissa McCarthy learns choreography from a penguin with Elmo and it’s exactly as delightful as it sounds.

Jonah Hill is making sure today’s youth are aware of the inexplicable mustache trend that’s sweeping the nation.

Benedict Cumberbatch is just generally rakishly charming, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Tom Hiddleston. See comments re: Cumberbatch, Benedict.

Kristen Bell instructs us on the word “splatter” but does not instruct us on how she has managed not to age since Veronica Mars.

Our hometown hero, Taye Diggs, makes a three-year-old puppet drive him around.

Musicians Are On Sesame Street!

Remember when you couldn’t get away from Call Me Maybe? Well, it even made it to Sesame Street (no Carly Rae Jepsen, though).

Bruno Mars doesn’t want you to give up if you’re the kind of child who is bad at catching balls.

Usher teaches the alphabet and it’s just really, really good.

Even Queen Bey herself made it to Sesame Street, during her Destiny’s Child days.

You may remember this Katy Perry performance because a bunch of parents got mad that their toddlers, who stopped breastfeeding probably under 2 years ago, were exposed to Perry’s boobs. I really don’t know.

Delightful tap-percussioned group Tilly And The Wall even swung by for kids parents who are a bit more into the indie scene.

Political Figures Are On Sesame Street!

Sandra Sotomayor is hanging out with Abby Cadabby,  melting my cold lawyerly heart, and letting kids know that princess isn’t a job.

Kofi Annan suggests that the muppets resolve their conflict “the United Nations Way”; thereby creating a “choose your own punchline” moment for the grownups watching.

Michelle Obama does a little light gardening.

And lest you think Sesame Street is partisan, Laura Bush reads a book.

Assorted famous people of 1991 are on Sesame Street!

We focused on currently famous folks, but Sesame Street has been hosting celebs since before the age of the remote control. This video features a number of early 90s superstars, but if you search through the Sesame Street archives you can find many more guest stars who were on the show while you were stuck in school, wishing for another field trip so you could hop in a conversion van and get to Sesame Street via the grainy tv set.

 

 

 

Coachella 2014 Fashion Wrap-Up

Pull out your 90s jumpers and flower crowns. Lace up your Doc Martens. Grab your dry shampoo, but probably leave that Hipster Indian Headdress at home (it’s kinda offensive, you know?). It’s Coachella season!

The festival is over now, but don’t worry — the two weekends of Coachella 2014 provided enough fashion inspiration – and fashion WTF-ery – to last us the whole year.

Beyonce and Solange

Confession: Although “What Would Beyonce Do?” (along with “How would Beyonce feel about this?” and “What would Beyonce get on her sandwich?”) is the driving question that gets me through my days, style-wise I’m kind of obsessed with little sister Solange. She wears fun prints and boho pieces because screw it, she’s not Beyonce. And her natural hair is to die for.

Coachella is pretty casual, and that means that Queen Bey wasn’t going to wear a bedazzled leotard (on second thought, bedazzled leotards DO sound sort of Coachella). Instead, she was getting her inner Solange on. How fun was it to see these sisters hanging out together, making music, and looking flipping amazing? Beyonce’s purple shift is like a 2010s reboot of the 90s tribute to the 60s mod look (you following?) – and I would gladly trade in half of my wardrobe for Solange’s orange romper. I don’t have children yet, which is good because I would also probably trade my firstborn to have Knowles DNA (or at least that hair).

Haim

Speaking of sisters that make me want to sort out exactly what sort of nature/nurture combo made them so damn cool: HAIM. Este, Alana and Danielle are three twenty-something sisters whose sound is like En Vogue meets Wilson Phillips meets Fleetwood Mac, which means you should be listening to them if you aren’t already. No surprise that their Coachella style was completely on-point. The great thing is that their set was so energetic* that I could hardly find a shot of all three of them on stage. The mesh-knit sweater and especially that cutout dress are amazing, though a week later I’m sure they have some really weird tan lines.

* The full set was online but it’s been taken down now for copyright/IP reasons. On behalf of lawyers everywhere, I’m sorry, we’re the worst.

Jared Leto

How is it possible to have had a 20-year-long crush on Jared Leto? Aren’t I still only like 21? But seriously, I remember that every time I would sneak-read my sister’s Seventeen magazines as a kid – the jig is up now, sorry! – they were always talking about Jared ‘Jordan Catalano’ Leto. The man holds up well.

So, elephant (zebra) in the room (pants): yeah, those are zebra pants. It’s Coachella, which is like Hipster Halloween. But Leto isn’t about the clothes, he’s about the hair, and isn’t it beautiful? He looks like a freaking Haim sister. I’m just saying, if they all collabed on some gloss spray or a leave-in conditioner, I’d probably buy it.

Katy Perry

As I said: Hipster Halloween. Except for the offensive stuff, you can’t really criticize Coachella fashion – it’s supposed to be a bit wacky. It’s just that this reminds me of all of the parts of 90s style I’m not ready to see again, from the Manic Panic hair to the black socks to the DIY’ed weird-fitting dress. But I cannot blame Perry at all for taking her chance to wear something you couldn’t get away with anywhere else – I’d do it too.

Ellie Goulding

The good: this is a really non-Ellie-Goulding look, and Coachella is all about trying new things! And if the weirdest new thing you’re trying is a fashion risk, you’re probably going to make it through the weekend. I’m into all of the cutouts we’re seeing, tanlines aside, and the cape thing is kind of Stevie Nicks.

The bad: the first thing I thought when I saw this was “S&M diaper.” Then I realized that that probably exists. Then I thought about what that observation is going to do to our Google traffic.

Kate Nash

First of all, Kate Nash is so cool. Made Of Bricks was the soundtrack to getting ready to go out or lounging around in the morning when I was in college. Seven (what???) years later, she’s still just as awesome and her newish album Girl Talk is even better. Nash always had a sort of girl-next-door look, so I was surprised to see this Coachella get-up, like when you’d see someone after summer vacation in high school and they’d gone from prep to goth. Then I was immediately unsurprised, because Coachella’s tagline is basically “I Wear What I Want.” Nash’s whole band was in pink too, so it was sort of a fun glam-rock-y thing.

Lorde

A little bit Haim, a little bit Kate Nash. Lorde started her set in a gold lame cape/gown getup, but switched to a casual crop top and harem pants thing. Should we even still say harem pants? That’s probably as bad as “wife beater” shirts.  Whatever you call them, I love these fun baggy pants Lorde has been showing up in lately. Remember: even if you subscribe to old-timey fashion rules about wearing white, it’s already after Memorial Day in New Zealand (uhhh…. is that how that works?).

Pharrell

I thought maybe Coachella would be when Pharrell would bust out some sort of Abraham Lincoln stovepipe hat or a sailor cap, but I gather that he bought a lot of these Arby’s hats wholesale and now dammit, he’s going to wear them. Please note the obligatory hipster scarf, which is probably a utilitarian measure at Coachella – keeps the sand out of your mouth and eyes.  I sort of love that his shorts remind me of something that I would have rocked as a little girl in the early 90s.

Justin Bieber

A head that appears to be facing backwards on his body, like a twerpy male version of the girl from the Exorcist. Cutoff sweat-shorts. A friggin bucket hat.

Justin Bieber would, everybody.

Vanessa Hudgens

If a non-Indian person wears a bindi in the desert, and there’s nobody there to photograph it, is it still culturally appropriative?

(Yes.)

The pink tipped hair is fun though.

Chvrches (/Lauren Mayberry)

Chvrches is a really fun band -they were one of my picks on our songs of the summer playlist last year, but I think this year it might really happen. Lauren Mayberry is, in addition to being a solid musician, somebody you should be listening to off-stage as well.

But this is a fashion post, so I’m going to say it: Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches has the best bangs in the music industry. If my bangs looked like this, I wouldn’t be living in a 27-year cycle of having bangs, growing them out because they never look right, cutting them again, and growing out, etc.

Kid Cudi

My life in crop tops:

Age 5: My brothers’ shady little league coach always wears crop tops. I distinctly remember playing on the dirt pile, watching him walk by and wondering whether the shirt was meant for somebody my size.

Age 15: I say screw it, I’m going to wear a crop top; I feel really skanky about it but if you can’t wear it when you’re 15, when?

Age 25: I wonder if the return of the crop top means I’M supposed to be wearing them; am relieved that I’m old enough that it’s probably not expected of me.

Age 27: Kid Cudi in a crop top at Coachella. It is like my whole life has been leading up to this moment.

See that look of unadulterated glee on Kid Cudi’s face? That is the expression of a grown man who knows that he is successfully pulling off a male crop-top and skinny shorts. Bravo, mister.

Lana Del Rey

I waffle between loving this and thinking it looks too lounge-y. Is Hawaiian print  quite ready for a comeback? It reminds me of being in junior high in 1999 and coveting the items in the Delia’s catalog, and surely that wasn’t THAT long ago.

But when you get down to it, it seems like Lana feels comfortable and happy, and with her crazy-enviable hair, she looks great. Plus it’s fun to see some bright color out there instead of drab summertime sadness-y getups.

Regular Non-Famous Humans In The Crowd

A few of the Coachella staples were on hand, and these looks were sported by the famous and non-famous alike:

Flower crowns: the more bohemian, less offensive alternative to the hipster headdress of a few years ago. I approve.

Hats: Because you’re in the freaking desert.

90s style: How am I old enough for this to be happening??? Basically just dress like if Clarissa Darling went to a music festival.

Somewhere between west coast grunge and Tragic Kingdom-era Gwen Stefani?

Message T’s

I never thought about Rita Ora one way or the other, but wearing this to troll the kiddos at Coachella makes me love her a bit.

Neon: Make Kelly Kapowski proud (Why are all my fashion refs two decades old?)

Native American inspiration (/appropriation?): Proof that white people shouldn’t have nice things

There were a few other trends on hand too: lots of denim shorts, floral print, and heavily tatooed people among them.

In addition, when sorting through the lineup of performers I thought that about 6 of the more unknown men were Macklemore.

None of them was Macklemore.

 

The Worst: Grammys Fashion Through the Years

Awards season continues this Sunday with the 56th annual Grammys, a brief distraction from the weekly January fete of movies and television. Like the grown-up version of the MTV VMAs, the Grammys are where the rules of the red carpet are thrown out the window. It’s a show for rockers, rappers, pop stars and singers who are artists and basically wear whatever the hell they want.

Over the years, there have a been quite a few stunning (I mean that in the way that ‘Oh my GOD I am stunned by the egg contraption Lady Gaga is arriving in’, not ‘Beyonce looks stunning in that gold gown’) outfits on the red carpet, and here are just a few to get you prepared for Sunday.

Annie Lennox (1984)

I’m gonna let you take a second and figure out which one is Annie Lennox. Okay good. Now remember when Lady Gaga became Jo Calderone? Yeah, Annie did it first.

Shirley Manson in Garbage – literally (1999)

There’s no better way to promote your own band than by sticking it to the front of your see through dress.

Jennifer Lopez in Versace (2000)

Ah, the infamous green Versace dress. I think this will go down as one of the most recognizable gowns in all of Grammys history. I remember when this happened and everyone making a reallly big deal out of it. 14 years later, it’s funny because I think people would still make a big deal out of it, despite all the Mileys and Lady Gagas of the world.

Christina Aguilera in Versace (2000)

The only thing that could make this more 2000/millennial is if Xtina was wearing butterfly clips in her hair to match the jeweled butterflies on her dress.

Missy Elliot in Versace (2000)

Supa Dupa Fly – and sharp.

Toni Braxton in Richard Tyler (2001)

Lawddd Toni, I know it’s LA but seriously wouldn’t you be cold in this dress? And by dress I mean piece of fabric cut like one of those paper snowflakes you make in elementary school.

Christina Aguilera in Trish Summerville (2001)

The 90s/00s weren’t the best for fashion and Christina wasn’t exempt from the horrors. I don’t know what to be more offended by – the dress that looks like pink fur or the cornrows.

Lil Kim in Chanel (2002)

Beep beep – who’s got the keys to my Chanel jeep? I think Lil Kim was hanging out with Sisqo a little too much.

Sheryl Crow in Henry Duarte (2002)

Honestly, who knew there was a period in Sheryl Crow’s life when she dressed like this? There is literally nothing she is wearing that is redeeming.

Alicia Keys in Christian Dior (2002)

I mean… it’s a nice… teal color?

Mary J Blige in Gucci (2004)

Mary J – you’re better than this. You’re better than a knock off version of Big Bird.

Imogen Heap in items picked from the earth (2007)

Imogen Heap OF TRASH, more like.

OkGo in tapestries (2007)

Two years after this abomination on the red carpet, OkGo went on to make this Grammy winning and viral video for Here It Goes Again, and that’s how most people were first introduced to them. Good thing their faces were covered at these Grammys because holy hell what in the actual fuck is this shit?

M.I.A. in House of Holland (2009)

*All I wanna do is BANG BANG BANG BANG and KACHINNGG dress you in something more appropriate for a woman who is about to pop out a human baby*

Nicki Minaj in Givenchy (2011)

Look, obviously Nicki Minaj has never been one to blend in with the crowd, but this is taking it too far. Even Elvira was probs like, ‘No, honey. No.’

Katy Perry in Armani Prive (2011)

I want to know what Katy’s (and her stylist’s) thought process was when picking this dress. Like, ‘Oh, I know what would make this BEYOND. ANGEL WINGS. YASS.’

Lady Gaga in Egg (2011)

Ok, we’re bouts to get personal for a second. In 2010 and 2011, I was lucky enough to be in the bleachers at the end of the red carpet at the Grammys. Both times, it was a complete blur, because every single artist that walked the red carpet was mere feet in front of me and I can’t even begin to list everyone I saw. From Beyonce to Rihanna to Miley, it was a veritable who’s who of the music business. In saying that, I was also there for this magic moment when Lady Gaga arrive in an egg.

There were rumblings trickling down the carpet, because obviously if Lady Gaga is coming to an event, you’re wondering what ridiculous getup she’s going to wear. This time around, it wasn’t what she was wearing that was buzzing about but what she was literally in that made people’s heads turn. IRL, it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, because the egg was actually kind of see through and you could vaguely tell she was in there incubating. Not that weird for Gaga, but weird for everyone else.

That being said, in doing research for this post, I found a picture of me being SUPER excited to be inches away from Gaga because she was waving to us (especially the gay little monster next to me). I am crying laughing at this picture.

Photo Feb 13, 1 50 29 PM

Fergie in Jean Paul Gaultier (2012)

This dress is almostttt there. Almost. Except for the whole see through thing.

Nicki Minaj in Versace (2012)

This guy plays Santa during the holidays at the Glendale Galleria and needed the extra cash to play the pope*.

*Not true. But he’s wondering what he got himself into with this one.

Kidz Bop Lyrics: Fact Or Fiction

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to listen to Kidz Bop, there are a few things you’ll notice:

  • Not all of the lyric changes are even necessary to make things kid-appropriate
  • If lyrics reference alcohol, drug use, sex, or poor grammar, they will be changed to reference things like having fun with friends, eating food, or school.
  • Like Rated R movies dubbed for the USA network, much of the language makes absolutely no sense once it is cleaned up.
  •  Children in Kidz Bop songs say things that no child has said since the ‘50s. If ever.

Some of the following are real Kidz Bop lyric changes. Others are Cookies and Sangria Originals. Can you tell the difference? Answers are at the bottom of the post.

More Kidz Bop Gold

(1) Bandz a Make Her Dance (Juicy J)

  • Real Lyrics:

Bands a make her dance
Bands a make her dance
All these chicks popping pussy
I’m just popping bands
Bands a make her dance
Bands a make her dance
These chicks clappin’
And they ain’t using hands

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Bands’ll make me dance

Bands’ll make me dance

All you kids are playing records

I like hearing bands!

Bands’ll make me dance

Bands’ll make me dance

All the kids are clapping

Let’s all clap our hands!

(2) Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)

  • Real Lyrics:

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes.

Yeah, you, PMS like a bitch I would know

And you over think, Always speak Critically

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes

Yeah, you change your mind like a girl I would know

And you always think, always speak cryptically

(3) The Lazy Song (Bruno Mars)

  • Real lyrics:

Tomorrow I’ll wake up, do some P90X

Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex

And she’s gonna scream out: ‘This is Great’ (Oh my God, this is great!) […]

I’ll just strut in my birthday suit

And let everything hang loose

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Tomorrow I’ll wake up do some P90X

Meet a really nice girl, send a really nice text

And she’s gonna write back “you’re so great” ( OMG you’re so great) […]

I’ll just strut with nothing to do

And let everything go through

(4) Bitches Ain’t Shit (Dr Dre Featuring Snoop Dog)

  • Real lyrics:

Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks

Lick on these nuts and suck the dick

Get the fuck out after you’re done

And I hop in my ride to make a quick run…

I used to know a bitch named Eric Wright

We used to roll around and fuck the hoes at night

Tight than a motherfucker with the gangsta beats

And we was ballin’ on the motherfucking Compton streets

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Bringin’ the chips, hohos, and twix

Licked all these nuts, and feelin’ sick

Get the fun dip after you’re done

And I hop on my bike to make a snack run…

I used to know a kid named Eric Wright

We used to run around, eat fudge the whole darn night

Treats that my mother found with the gummy b’s

And we were noshin’ on your mother’s stash of Cadburies

(5) Glad You Came (The Wanted)

  • Real lyrics:

Turn the lights out now

Now I’ll take you by the hand

Hand you another drink

Drink it if you can

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Turn the lights out now

Now I’ll take you by the hand

Hand you another dance

Dance it if you can

(6) Get Lucky

  • Real lyrics:

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

We’ve come too far to give up who we are

So let’s raise the bar and look up to the stars

She’s up all night to the sun

I’m  up all night chewing gum

She’s up all night cause it’s fun

I’m  up all night, aren’t I lucky?

Answers: (1) Fiction (2) Fact (3) Fact (4) Fiction (5) Fact (6) Fiction. Thanks for playing!

Movies I Actually Paid To See In the Theater: Part 2 – No Shame

Welcome to the conclusion of this mini-series, in which I reveal the movies I paid to see in the theaters. This second list is comprised of films that most would be embarrassed to say they even saw, none the less exchanged money in order to see it, but I am owning up to the fact that I enjoyed every single one.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

I may have been a Junior in high school when this movie came out. I may have watched the series on DisChan and seen every episode. I may have dressed up as Miranda to my friend Sarah’s Lizzie for a Halloween party at my church. So sue me. This movie was the perfect way to end the series, and was satisfying on all ends. A trip to Italy, mistaken identity, and the epic kiss between Lizzie and Gordo that made my 17 year old self swoon. This IS what dreams are made of.

A Walk to Remember

I think this was the first Nicholas Sparks movie that started a wave of his depressing yet uplifting love stories, and it certainly still ranks as one of  my favorites. I mainly went to see it for Mandy Moore, not expecting much out of it, and not knowing what was going to happen. Little did I know that I was totally sucked in, and became obsessed with it. I played the soundtrack on repeat, and probably ruined my VHS tape because I watched it so many times. And I will no doubt watch it when it’s on TV.

Spice World

This is the absolute definition of the best worst movie ever. It was utterly ridiculous, but amazing at the same time. I remember sitting in the back row of the theater with my friends and there being probably like 2 to 4 other people there. We had a great time, and were probably obnoxious, but hey, it’s hard to not sing along to the Spice Girls when you’re 12 years old.

Hannah Montana The Movie

Not to be confused with the Hannah Montana concert movie in 3D (which I also saw. ugh what is my life), this movie is the character of Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart going back home to Tennessee and living a life away from Hollywood. My friend Brian and I saw this because we were/are big fans of the show and Miles herself. And while it was a good movie, we had a lot of questions. Which made us think that maybe we weren’t the right target demographic to be seeing the film and asking about continuity (i.e. SPOILER ALERT: Miley decides to tell her entire small town in TN that she’s living a double life at the end of the movie, but back on TV for the regular episodes, they make no mention of her big reveal at all. Like, you’re telling me every single citizen kept their mouth shut about one of the biggest pop stars in the world? Come on folks).

High School Musical 3

Disney Channel has clearly made an impact on my movie going habits. I was of course a fan of the first two movies, but those were only shown on TV. HSM3 was the first (and last) to be shown on the big screen, so naturally I had to go. Again, I went with Brian, and our bossfriend Rosita to a 10am screening the day it came out. We were joined by moms and their kids, but it was well worth it. Zanessa (RIP) was in full effect, and the songs were as catchy as ever. A great way to end the franchise and a great way to confirm my taste in movie is usually questionable.

Katy Perry: A Part of Me

I admit it, I have absolutely have no problem in saying I like Katy Perry. Teenage Dream is one of the best pop albums ever made. More than half of the tracks on that cd are among my 25 most played songs. In saying that, I knew I had to watch her movie. So I did. I went by myself on a Friday afternoon, and sat among mothers and their tween daughters. What was so great about the movie was that it wasn’t just a concert, it was behind the scenes and essentially a documentary about her life. But the most honest and heart-wrenching part is when she finally realize her marriage to Russell Brand can’t be saved. She’s due to go on stage in Brazil, I believe, in front of thousands of people. Here is a woman at probably the lowest point in her life, but she decides to go on with the show anyways. Cut to her singing The One That Got Away and me in the theater crying into my popcorn.