Thursday, May 31, 2007

MEG CABOT visits the Fashionista next week!

DAHLINGS -

As promised, next week I shall be having a tete-a-tete with best-selling author Meg Cabot, who penned the best-selling "Princess Diaries," and forty other books. The amount of work that entails beggars the mind. She is on a "blog tour."

Now I know that there are thousands of you out there who read this blog thing religiously (as well you should), and I am sure that you are dying to ask Ms. Cabot questions. Please send your questions through the "Comments" section of this blog, and you can be as blunt as you want.

Of course the first question that springs to my mind is: did you write all forty books yourself? Do you take dexadrine?

The main topic will be her latest novel, "Queen of Babble," the story of a young girl who simply cannot keep her mouth shut, no matter what the consequences. The most interesting thing about our heroine is that she works in a vintage store. So she is always garbed in fabulous vintage clothes (which play an important part in the plot). You have to admire an author who knows to put her main character in an Alex Colman dress. (Not only that, an ill-advised blowjob figures in the plot as well. I suppose that is what makes it an adult novel.)

However, digressions and intensely personal questions are most welcome. If you've read any of my forever timeless writing, you know that I always speak my mind and go where few dare to tread. And always in high heels.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dahlings, FIT Celebrates Pure Luxury through November 9

DAHLINGS:

The institution that graciously has presented my course, "Haute Cou-Poor," bringing Fashion In the True Sense to the peasantry, the Fashion Institute of Technology, is presently displaying a truly marvelous collection. It has been personally curated by the museum director, Dr. Valerie Steele (a lovely woman), with much help both nationally and internationally. The name of the display is “Luxury - A Close Encounter with Extravagance, Vanity, And Excess," at the museum at FIT.

As a woman who is extravagant but never vain and believes there is no such thing as excess (at least when I choose my own wardrobe), I was in heaven touring the exhibition. This is Fashion In The True Sense! 150 beautiful creations, from 1750 on! It will be running through November 9th, so buy a plane ticket to New York and treat yourself. (Forget about such common tourist attractions as the Intrepid.) Both private and public creations, these are worth treating yourself to. From Chanel, Poiret, and more modern designers such as Romeo Gigli.

To give you just a wee taste, here is a magnificent creation by Cristobal Balenciaga, from 1951, of black silk jersey, silk faille, sequined and jet beaded lace.



Do yourself a favor and get thee to FIT!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Met Costume Institute Gala, Continued...

DAHLINGS -

That stupid intern...I will write about him on the morrow, but for now, there's much to catch up on.

At the Metropolitan Museum Gala celebrating "The King of
Fashion," Paul Poiret,
there were the usual contingent of hideously scrawny models (oh, pardonnez moi...small-boned women with high metabolisms).



Note how the poor dears have to hold each other up. The haute monde showed up in force, dressed in all manner of outfits. Diane Von Furstenberg designed her own dress, and to moi it was a toss-up whose forehead was higher, hers or Barry Diller's.



To add a touch of John Wayne-style masculinity, costume jewelry king Kenneth Jay Lane stopped in:



Not all of the women there were fleshless wonders. Here is the ever delightful Marjorie Gubelmann Raein, in Carolina Herrera.



My only criticism is that Marjorie is attempting the same effect with a healthy bosom that the clavicle crowd obtains sans breasts; that is, no apparent cleavage. Next time, Marjorie, let your decolletage BREATHE! This young man--I assume he was a cross-dresser--was quite impressive, no discernible soft tissue at all.


(For the record, he is wearing Burberry.)

A number of my favorite people were there, including Oscar de la Renta, Anne Grausso, the spectacularly beautiful America Ferrera, the Yurmans, and oh, so many others! Cocktail hour was spent in the European sculpture garden, where I remember so many happy hours as a child. Then four trumpeters blew--what else--trumpets, and we were ushered in to dinner inside the Englehard Court. I admit, I was none too pleased to be seated by Conde Nast's Chuck Townsend, because all he likes to talk about is himself, but I merely nodded, smiled, and sipped champagne.

Here is Chuck with two unidentified women, the one to his left illustrating why women over the age of twelve should not wear babydoll dresses. Renee Zellweger sat next to Andre, and she has also become frighteningly thin...what on earth is happening in Hollywood? A famine? The Zone Diet gone berserk?



What a beautiful dress. If only there was a body in it.

Well, it was the evening was all jolly good fun, and hard on the feet. Here are my nominees for the two worst dresses at the Gala. First we have Kirsten Dunst, who must have been smoking a tremendous amount of weed (or snorting peacock poo) when she chose this babydoll-style nightmare, complete with headband:



Second, Fabiola Berascara, in Givenchy Haute Couture (!). Words fail me. A bubble dress covered with netting and hemmed with those sort of paper streamers they hang at children's parties, only in brown. Good Lord. Oh, and look, in the background in white, another of those amusing cross-dressers. Admirable muscular definition, nçest pas?



Feel free to vote here for your choice, or any other sartorial choice that violated your senses.

And don't forget, dahlings - Meg Cabot will be visiting here ere long! I shall devote a special blog to your questions.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

Apologies - The Met Costume Gala, Trés En retard!

DAHLINGS -

To my absolute horror, while thumbing through my diary, I discovered that I had entirely forgotten to write about the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala honoring their new show, "King of Fashion," celebrating the work of Paul Poiret, on May 7th! (I suspect that Bucky, who was not allowed to go in the wake of his defense of moi from Andre Leon Talley, hid the diary...it does look slightly chewed.)

But better late than never, say I. And while this might not have the freshness of the dew on the rose (unlike myself), I promise it will be most informative.

For those not in the know (and that included 90% of the guests and possibly Anna Wintour, our hostess), Paul Poiret was the self proclaimed "King of Fashion" prior to World War One, and reigned supreme among couturiers until late in the 1920s. His greatest achievement is thought to be freeing women from corsets, creating sinuous garments that celebrated the female form, rather than squashing it into various unnatural shapes.



Not that it had much influence on most of what the guests were wearing. One walked up the red carpet amidst a swarm of screaming paparazzi, to where huge gilded cages held four peacocks looking quite miserable, amid a hedge of red roses. I wore a self-designed Poiret-inspired frock of red silk, heavily trimmed with red and black bugle beads, and plunging in the back.

Along with darling Anna, Cate Blanchett was our co-hostess. Anna looked quite marvelous in Chanel (she is shown here with some lackey from the Institute), but CATE--the horror! The horror!





It is quite obvious that Cate is taking this clavicle idea too far! (Not to mention the fact that she looks like she might have been snorting some of the peacock poo...one has heard it has quite a buzz.)

My dear, darling friend Andre Leon Talley was there, all hugs and kisses. He has completely forgiven me for having Bucky attack him. Even if it was in self-defense. And I've had to pay mountains of medical bills AND buy Andre a new suit.

We embraced like the long-lost comrades we were, and I bit my tongue rather than say anything about the rather ridiculous long blue cape he was wearing. (My first thought was, that since he was with his protege' Jennifer Hudson, perhaps their arrangement is that one of them has to look ludicrous. But she was absolute perfection in Michael Kors.) My second thought was either Andre is up for the lead in a remake of "Blacula", or he has always secretly wanted to be Sherlock Holmes. But I merely smiled.



More to follow in a subsequent post...my assistant has just informed me that an intern from "Haute Cou-Poor" at FIT is calling, wailing something about misspelling all of the diplomas.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the shamefully neglected Wonderdog

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's The Ebay Vintage Fashion Blowout Sale!

DAHLINGS -

As you all know, I sell beautiful items on a most unbeautiful site, Ebay (that is, until my idiotic personal assistant can figure out how to build a website that shows my true splendor to the great unwashed).

In the meantime, from May 24th until May 31st, Ebay vintage sellers have banded together for their quarterly Vintage Blow Out Sale, in which all items are priced $19.99 or less! No, you won't find that Dior you've been searching for, but for excellent bread and butter vintage, one cannot beat the price. I have already sold a number of things, but here are some that are for sale right now and more to come!

Yves Jennet atomic print 50s full skirt dress with peekaboo neckline, size Large:


Coquettes neon pink 60s kitten heel pumps, with original box, size 8b:


Vintage 80s gentleman's chambray sport coat, size 46R:


Vintage 70s New Old Stock with tags straw clutch with faux reptile appliques:


Vintage 60s Georgia Griffin Fashions yellow gingham shirtwaist dress, size Large:


Vintage 70s Puritan by Forever Young empire waist maxi dress with mandarin collar, XL:


Vintage 60s gentleman's Lord & Taylor houndstooth sportcoat:


And oh, so much more! Click on the link to your right to be brought to my site!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dahlings, I'm going NATIONAL!

DAHLINGS -

This morning I awakened to the news that the article about clavicles has apparently been printed in The Chicago Tribune. (I haven't looked, but if the link is there I shall surely faint.) I would hazard a guess that it is in other national newspapers as well. We are talking about The New York Times, after all, and their reach is wide.

Every time I look down at my own decolletage, I thank genetics for nature's bounty.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Great Collarbone Rebuttal

DAHLINGS –

Shortly after my blog was quoted in The New York Times (Thursday, Mary 10, “Styles”) on the unfortunate rise of the clavicle, I received the following indignant email from a writer in Manhattan who shall remain nameless.

My clavicles stick out and always have. This kind of article makes me feel as if I will be vilified for the way my body is. I wish the voice of someone with my body type got in there, and all other articles that suspect women of malnutrition when they may have just been born small boned and with a high metabolism. I wonder what you think about "the other side."

Mes enfants, it is true. You deserve to hear, in her own words, from a female who is…how can I put this tactfullynaturally gaunt. (Oui, mayhap gaunt is not quite fair. Petite. ) The writer has, again in her own words “chosen a life teaching and writing in the Humanities.” Since we are both busy, accomplished women with no time to meet in person, The Writer graciously consented to an online interview.

JE: For much of recent fashion history, women have been urged to be as thin as inhumanly possible. My dear, why should anyone feel sympathy for you?

ELLE: I’m 44 and not seeking pity. I get sick of the feeding frenzy on naturally thin women. I don’t think it’s cute when larger women say half-kidding to me, “I hate you,” as they have a number of times.

JE: You ask me my thoughts about the “the other side.” That gave me pause. Is there really another side? What on earth is it?

ELLE: The other side is the other side of the issue—being thin and getting ostracized for it.

JE: I have never noticed thin women being ostracized. Au contraire.

ELLE: This is not just a feminist issue; it’s one of women falling prey to gossip and their vicious sides, usually propelled by insecurity. The meanness is a feminist issue but more, a psychological one. Sadism exists in all of us, and so we must rein it in. If women are to make strides as an empowered group, we will have to especially reign in our sadistic pleasure in tearing each other down.

JE: Then, do you feel like your female friends have a problem with your body? Are you prone to pronouncements like “Anyone can be thin if they want it enough”?

ELLE: My friends and I are all middle-aged and therapized enough to have put most pettiness behind us. What I observe is that most women are about the size of their biological mothers, minus ten pounds as our generation works out more and our era doesn’t extol the hour glass figure so most women don’t aspire to that shape. (Editorial aside: that is society's great loss.)

JE: Are you able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want? Do you eat small portions? Do you secretly gloat that you can eat more than most women?

ELLE: I don’t want to eat a lot. It may be my Anglo Saxon upbringing that simply didn’t encourage enjoyment of food much; it may be my large tonsils. Since you’re interested, I will say I do love how I feel like a “real” athlete soon after a run when I eat with gusto. (Editorial aside: your faithful correspondent feels it is far healthier to enjoy a box of chocolates while reading French Vogue. Much easier on the knees, for one thing.)

JE: How does it feel to be considered by many the fashion ideal?

ELLE: A fashion ideal? Honey, I don’t bare my legs in the summer. They are black and blue with veins. Doctors ask me how I got bruised. I have a middle-aged body; ya want details?

JE: No.

ELLE: Also, I am 5’2”. I will soon be called a little old lady. Nevertheless, I love my body. I love my collarbones too, even if I’ve been used to demonstrate human anatomy to a yoga class and at physical therapy. I do think we have an obligation to try to understand one another; in fact, it may be the only hope for the continuation of civilization.

JE: Whatever do you mean? Deep thoughts give me such a headache, dahling.

ELLE: It’s essential that women define themselves and invent what they want without commercial influence. At times I’m confused when people complain about media domination, as if we are mere victims. Turn the shit off. Don’t look at the fashion magazines. Create a counter culture. Get your own life, not the one dictated to you.

JE: Oh. One does have to admit to agreement on that point. If I lived the life dictated for moi, I would not be the fabulous, world-famous woman that I am. Thank you so much for this interview, Carol. It has been most enlightening to both me and my readers.

Many thanks to this writer for a glimpse over the other side of the fence.

****
P.S. Hello to my admirer in Atlanta, Georgia! So glad you love the blog!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday, Bloody Monday...New Postal Rates

DAHLINGS -

As a seller of fabulous plus size contemporary and vintage clothing on (ugh) Ebay, I am often subject to the petty annoyances of the site, about which I have written here.

However, today's newest aggravation comes from another place altogether...our beloved United States Postal Service. They have again raised their rates, and not only that. They have revamped their shipping system. It might as well be in Sanscrit. I did try to read some of the information, but I confess, after ten minutes, I had to lie down and have my maid dab my temples with eau de cologne.

So I sent in my personal assistant this morning to go figure it out and change the listings accordingly at the Bodacious House of Style immédiatement.

You THINK she would be up to the task, I mean, I do pay her to get things done.

Well. I was recovering, reading Meg Cabot's novel Queen of Babble (about which I will be interviewing her in the first week of June), when I heard an absolute BANSHEE WAIL from the direction of my office! I slipped on a wisp of silk chiffon and high-heeled satin mules and made my way down the corridor to see what was up, Bucky at my heels.

My assistant lay CRUMPLED on the floor, sobbing.

"Get up, you ridiculous peasant!" I said as gently as possible. I mean really, this was during business hours. She can have a nervous breakdown on her own time as far as I am concerned.

"I can't," she moaned. "The postage...it's all so...I don't know how to do it...the website doesn't make any sense...please don't make me do this!"

I stared down at her prone form, dressed in a cheap Forever 21 print dress and (ugh) leggings.
"Then you will just have to figure it out," I snapped, and turned on my heel. "And do not get mucus on the Aubusson."

However, as I strode back to my boudoir, I confess, I felt a pang of sympathy for the little idiot. This was such an unfamiliar emotion it momentarily stopped me in my tracks, causing Bucky to bump into me. If I, with my superior intellect, could not understand the new Postal Rates, how could this poor fool?

I returned to the office, where my assistant had pulled herself up to a seated position on the carpet, wiping her nose with a tissue. I quickly inspected the Aubusson for stains but found none. Tres bon.

"Ne vous inquietez pas," I said. "Perhaps my response was a touch harsh. You still have to figure it out. BUT--give yourself some time. You have until your lunch break." I felt quite the gracious lady of the manor, I must confess. I closed the office door behind me, listening to the soft sobs.

But then I shook it off. Sympathy for the help is something one cannot afford, nçest pas?

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm In The New York Times, Dahlings!

DAHLINGS -

I am in shock. Complete, delighted, utter shock. Today my maid brought my breakfast to me in bed on an antique teak tray (a croissant, some huckleberry preserves from Montana, and a very large pot of coffee), along with the morning paper. Bucky had slipped from his dog bed and hopped up beside me, hoping for some crumbs.

As I was idly flipping through the Thursday "Styles" section, I saw a picture that made me gag on my croissant.

At first I thought it was a deathly ill victim of some rare disease doing a Public Service Ad, but then I realized it was the illustration to "The Collarbone: Connection To Slimness" by Kara Jellessa.

The newest trend, besides hideously bony knees, is the re-appearance of that most dreadful sign of gauntness, the clavicle. And dear readers, you all know how I feel about clavicles--COVER THEM UP, FOR GOD'S SAKE! This model had collarbones large enough to catch leaves in on a windy day! It was ghastly. For the sake of you all, I leave it to your imagination.

But I read the article, and to my surprise, your faithful correspondent was QUOTED. Yes, my screed on allowing women to look like women was before me, in black and white that smeared on my beautifully manicured hands, in The New York Times!

Here is the link, so you may slaver with envy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/fashion/10clavicle.html?ref=fashion

My only, tiny, quibble is that they did not provide a link back to this blog. But who can quarrel with the Great Gray Lady? Not moi, that is for sure.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

P.S. Latest news! New York writer/editor Carol Rial will be interviewed in this blog next week for the Great Collarbone Rebuttal.

And a reminder, dahlings, Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) will be interviewed on her new book, Queen of Babble, in early June. I will post a special blog for your questions for Ms. Cabot!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Plot Thickens on Ebay...

DAHLINGS -

Mon dieu! Ebay's motto seems to be, "If it isn't not broken, let's throw money and time at it until it is."

As an example, their "improved" feedback system. As a seller who is perfect in every way, I have no fear of this new five-star rating system. Annoying though it may be. Dealing with the public can be nerve-wracking, but that is why I have an assistant.

HOWEVER -- it also reveals everything that my beloved buyers have bought, and what they have paid for it! And this is true for every seller throughout the USA system. Right underneath the feedback they have left for moi.

Your faithful correspondent is a woman of the world. Unshockable. A woman who embraces the differences in us all (except for the current Administration). As such, my store offers certain, er, private listings for those items in which confidentiality is essential.

But for the most part, I have assumed that few potential buyers would take the trouble to track down the links to the completed sales to see what most of my customers have bought from me. It takes time, and is usually beside the point.

The new system can be embarrassing, to say the least, and could frighten away those potential customers who, shall we say, buy things that are a tad different than you would expect.

So here we are presented with the dilemma: to make all listings private? To make my feedback private? Yours truly has always been suspicious of private feedback sellers in the past, but this may force my beautifully manicured hand. (Since this was written, I checked, and learned that IDs with private feedback are no longer allowed to sell on Ebay!)

I would certainly be interested in anything the Ebay community has to say about this, both buyers and sellers. I am writing about it here, because, well, there have been times when things posted publically on Ebay mysteriously disappear.

Now if only this mysterious new system would disappear, Bucky and I would be extremely pleased!

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

PS A certain garment seems to have false certification...one waits to see how it plays out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Trouble With Ebay

DAHLINGS –

Thank you ever so for snapping up so much beautiful merchandise in recent days! It warms my heart (not that I need the money, mind you).

Today I would like to write upon a subject that has troubled me for some time, one of those subjects known only to those who participate in that deep, dark, cave of secrets known as…

Ebay.

Mai oui, to you, the buyer, it looks like a jolly place where you can buy any old thing with a pfennig. (Emphasis on the any old thing.)

However, the world of vintage can be boiling pit of intrigue, backbiting, cattiness, and occasionally knowingly breaking the law.

What does this have to do with me, I hear you say. I just buy stuff there.

Actually, my idiotic assistant just mumbled something to that effect, but I dumped my (cold) coffee over her head. Fortunately, none of it hit the keyboard. Turnip.

What indeed? Because it seems to be in the public good to put this out there, and we all know I toil ceaselessly for the public good, as long as it does not disrupt my schedule.

Case in point: Buyer A buys dress from Seller B; Buyer A claims never to have received it and gets her money refunded. Then, mysteriously, the exact same dress appears for sale on Buyer A’s website a month or two later, down to the last detail. Nothing is done about it, of course, for Buyer A is one of those mystical creatures called a Powerseller, and they can do no wrong.

Powersellers are those sellers who make a certain high level of money each month, out of which Ebay reaps the listing fees, final value (sold) fees, and Paypal, their subsidiary, takes a small percentage out of the total. Powersellers are quite profitable for Ebay.

Now, if it had been the other way round, and Seller B had done the same thing, she would have gotten her auction pulled and some sort of mild punishment, such as answering redundant buyer questions for other sellers. (“Is this size 14 a size 14?”) On Ebay, money does not just talk…it sets the rules. Not only does Buyer A get away with multiple violations of Ebay policy over the years (do not get me started!)—

She is even rewarded with it by being featured in an article about successful Ebay sellers.

Far be it for moi to write out of jealousy…I am already famous, and well covered in newspapers and magazines far and wide. But what about the smaller sellers, whose listings get yanked for the pettiest of violations or sometimes simply because another seller has a vendetta against them?

Recently another Powerseller showed us all a designer fur jacket that looked to be made of fur from endangered species. She refused to answer questions, was evasive, and even threatened legal action for slander. This drivel took up an enormous amount of time and energy on the ### board, with no fewer than three discussion threads devoted to it. Never mind that selling endangered species is illegal. Never mind that it is a violation of Ebay policy to advertise an ongoing auction and the threads started by the seller herself remain proudly on the board; never mind that the seller refused to answer simple questions and provide documentation days ago that would have put it all to rest. There was one thing she did know:


“There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

There are many, many honest Powersellers on Ebay. It is tres la pitié that the proverbial bad apples make the whole basket suspect.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I recently put up a pair of men’s Burberry slippers that I believed to be the real thing, but Burberry itself pulled the auction, because the slippers turned out to be counterfeit. So I gave them to a local street seller.

BREAKING NEWS: Now that I have gotten that off of my beautifully shaped chest, I would like to mention that author Meg Cabot, who penned The Princess Diaries, will be visiting this blog in the first week of June. More information to follow.

My assistant still hasn’t come back…how long does it take to change one’s clothes? Pardonnez moi, I have to go search for the creature.

Ciao,
Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog