Those who’ve been impressed by American Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s classic wardrobe were last week shocked to learn that good looks come at a price. More specifically $150,000. Using money donated to the Republican Party by the public, Palin and her team of stylists went on major shopping sprees at several up-market department stores, even outfitting her husband and five kids as part of the deal. Sarah Palin has been spotted in Valentino jackets, toting Louis Vuitton luggage and wearing heels that would make Carrie Bradshaw sigh. Hilariously, it was her presidential running mate John McCain who spent the most on make-up. In September alone he blew nearly $8000 US on getting his face painted by a make-up artist who also works on American Idol.
In sad news for bitchy fashion writers everywhere (read: us), Mr Blackwell, who penned the annual ‘Worst Dressed’ list, has died. He was 86 and living in Los Angeles. He began the list almost fifty years ago, in 1960, and kept writing it right up until this year. A pioneer of celebrity bashing, Richard Blackwell was writing long before red carpet dissections were a women’s mag staple. His wit and power for rhyme may not always have been razor-sharp, but he made some good calls in his lifetime, including nicknaming Camilla Parker Bowles “the Duchess of dowdy.” Here are some highlights from his most recent worst dressed lists:
On worst dressed 2007 winner Victoria Beckham: “Forget the fashion spice - wearing a skirt would suffice! In one skinny-mini monstrosity after another, pouty Posh can really wreck-em.”
On Mary-Kate Olsen: “YIKES! In layers of cut-rate kitsch, Mary Kate's look is hard to explain…she resembles a tattered toothpick-trapped in a hurricane.”
On Mariah Carey the year before: “Mariah the fashion pariah has finally found her stylistic niche… let's crown her the Queen of Catastrophic Kitsch.”
A new Devil Wears Prada style reality show went to air in the US last week. Titled Stylista the Tyra Banks produced show sees 11 hopefuls competing for a role at Elle magazine. It is also the most ridiculously inaccurate thing we’ve ever seen. Elle’s news editor plays the role of Miranda Priestly, and apparently (despite being of fairly low rank in the magazine proper) has an office to herself bigger than 3D and Oyster’s floor space combined. Very few of the contestants seem to know anything about fashion, and British ‘market editor’ William is literally the worst dressed person we have ever seen. We were thinking about entering next season, but honestly, we don’t think it’d be fair to the other contestants.
In bizarre local news, the winner of a Victorian racing fashion competition was last week unable to collect her prize - because she’d been bitten by a deadly snake. The event occurred at Hamilton Racecourse, during Fashions on the Field. The victim, Megan McDonough, was rushed to hospital where she spent three days recovering. If the silly hats and sloshed suits weren’t deterrence enough, after hearing this we will never go to the races again.
STAYING SANE IN THE RAIN
Here at Stylin’ we hate to get wet (outside the context of hot days and cute swimsuits that is). If we get rained on during our trip to work we stomp around the office like furies, our hair frizzy, our clothes spattered. We’re basically impossible to deal with in wet weather. But our rage seems like Singing in the Rain style delight compared to our friend Ms. W W West. If she gets just one splash of water on her, she screams and sizzles and turns passers by into frogs. As a result, she’s gotten pretty good at knowing how to cope with wet weather. So in honour of last Wednesday’s awful downpour, we thought we’d ask her a few questions.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself Ms West-
Well I just moved to Newtown from my castle in Cabramatta to be closer to work, so I guess I’m the Wicked Witch of the Inner West now.
And what is your day job-
I work in finance.
So Ms West, why do you hate the rain so much-
Well you know, hydration is important, but I find that getting too hydrated can have really disastrous consequences. I mean, you try explaining to your aesthetician why you need another shot of Botox because a car splashed gutter water on you and now half your face dripped off and is sitting on your cleavage; it’s just not fun.
So, can you drink water-
It’s impurities I’m allergic too, I can only drink extremely expensive bottled water. Right now I like Kona Nagari, it’s desalinated deep-sea water from Hawaii, and it only costs $40 a bottle. Bargain right-
Um… Right. So what do you wear on wet weather days-
Well, the two most important things to keep dry are your hair and your feet, so I always, always wear gumboots and a hat. Right now I’m loving my purple, Pucci gumboots from net-a-porter, they’re fab. I used to wear a big black pointy hat when it rained, but then a couple of months ago I read in Witches Wear Daily that those are so out, so now I’m loving Mimco’s range of headgear – but make sure not to pick a raffia hat, because it’ll melt faster than I do!
But surely wellingtons and a hat aren’t enough-
You’re right, on wet weather days, your whole outfit has to be carefully selected. I like to wear a little leather on my legs when it’s wet outside, Friedrich Grey does some excellent pants. As for tops, I find light, loose silk fabrics work the best, because they don’t crinkle too badly underneath rain coats. I’m obsessed with Luella at the moment, you can get it at the Corner Shop.
And the coat-
You can’t go past Burberry for a good trench. Their plum packaway keeps all the rain out, and it goes beautifully with my olive green complexion. I bought mine online, but you can get them at the Burberry flagship store too. Also, don’t ever go out without an umbrella, they will save you when it’s wet, and good ones are fine when it’s windy too. Don’t get one of those fold up ones, they turn inside out with the slightest gust. Brooks Brothers(www.brooksbrothers.com) make tough umbrellas.
Anything else we need to know to keep high and dry-
Well if you’re anything like me, your hair will fizz and sizzle in the wet. I can’t stand frizzy hair, so to keep my tresses on the straight and narrow I like PPS’s D-Frizz Smootheez, their stockist number is: 1300 135 919. Also, it’s cruel to let your pets get wet. When my pretties are flying in rainy conditions, I always make sure they’re in rain slicker hats from trixieandpeanut.com
Last week saw the opening of the Grand Social Popup Store, a cool new concept in fashion retail. The crowd at the opening was terribly pretty, and included fashion designers, models and professional trendies. If you missed the store, go to thegrandsocial.com.au and get your retail fix online.
… Are You Coming-
What: DUKE Magazine’s Halloween
When: 8pm, Friday 31 October
Where: 34 Murray St, Marrickville
What: Cricketer’s Markets
When: 11am, Saturday 1 November
Where: Cricketer’s Arms, 106 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills
What: Tito Media’s Halloween Party
When: 10 pm, Friday 31 October
Where: Favela, 1 Kellett Way, Potts Point