Thursday, August 28, 2008

Elie Wiesel Has Far Too Much Attitude!

DAHLINGS -


Sunday night I attended a wonderful seance, even if it was in the Bronx. There was my dear dead friend Lana Turner, lovely as always, tonight in a white crepe gown trimmed with black (I think it was black...the dead tend to be a tad monochromatic). She brought along the FABULOUS Clark Gable! In the afterlife, he doesn't need to wear false teeth. Oh, they don't make them like that anymore. "Frankly, my dear, you have really big tits," he said, gazing into my eyes. At least I believe it was my eyes. I nearly SWOONED.




(Here is a picture of my dear friends Lana and Clark in their first film together, "Honky Tonk".)

But then, who should turn up but Elie Wiesel. The fellow was in a state of high dudgeon, because I had compared the anorexic Fashion Week models to Auschwitz survivors. "The Holocaust is nothing to make cheap jokes about, Miss!" he snapped. "My wife and I started a foundation, I'll have you know! I have devoted my life to the truth!"

I merely stared back at his spirit languidly. "Oh dear, oh dear, Elie dahling, if you can't make jokes about the Holocaust, what can you make jokes about? I have devoted my life to fashion. Really, Elie, I'm far too superficial for such a deep thinker--and a good-looking man--as you to worry about."

Well, my dears, the man just melted. Intellectuals love to be told they're sexy. Oh, yes, the Nobel Prize is nice, but they think girls really only date them for their awards. Elie gave me a big smile. "Perhaps I was a bit harsh," he said. But then, I had the most ghastly surprise. I unthinkingly laid my hand on his lapel. And Elie was ALIVE! He was a GUEST, not a GHOST!

I let out a shriek. Lana and Clark promptly disappeared, and our hostess switched the lights on. Accusing eyes were upon me all around the room.

"I'll let myself out," I said quickly, and strode out the front door, grabbing my Mr. John wool cloche hat (so chic with its multicolored rhinestone pin!).

How could I know Elie Wiesel was still alive? After all, nobody knew about Noam Chomsky. I was so distraught that I stumbled out into the rain, and ended up in a cemetery!

The rest of the story? You'll have to find out on (ugh) Ebay.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Ebay's Last Supper...

DAHLINGS -

On the discussion boards of (ugh) Ebay, there has been much lively chatter. One seller asked if Ebay was the antichrist, positing that these are "the end of days." Another seller provided the following illustration, which I had to share with you. (Please note this is NOT my creation!)



There are quite a few others, but they might be a bit too "in" for reproduction here.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ebay: Auctioning Off Its Soul

Dahlings –

Before I was able to write more about Project Runway, I felt the need to address the massive changes announced by (ugh) Ebay last week. It is not just that I am outraged. Every August, like clockwork, Ebay comes up with new outrages and higher fees, but these truly take the creme brulee.

Instead of ranting, after careful consideration I decided to take a quieter approach. Comments are welcomed.

Many of these changes have been reported by the national news media, but with quite a few pertinent matters left out or soft-pedaled. Numerous articles focus on Ebay’s de-emphasizing of auctions in the coming months. Part of the problem is that none of these writers have sold on Ebay (something they have in common with Ebay’s staff). But here are a few tid-bits you might like to know.

All sellers pay to sell on Ebay. It is shocking how much of the general public does not know that. From the seller with two key chains to the seller with a store stocked with 300 pieces of baby clothing, they all pay to sell. A seller’s monthly fees can range between $46 to $5K.

Unless you are Buy.com, in which case, you do not have to pay anything. Not a sou. But, Buy.com’s listings appear on every page, right under the highly manipulated Search Results.

If you have a store, there is a monthly fee. Even though your store items will not come up in Search Results. They discontinued that practice some time ago. When you list an item for sale, there is a fee (or fees, depending on if you use any of the features that Ebay offers, such as scheduling when your listing begins, or putting a Buy It Now price or Reserve on your auction. You will not get those latter two fees back if you cancel them, by the way).

If you sell your item, you first pay Ebay a Final Value Fee, and if the buyer pays by Paypal, you pay Paypal not only the Final Value Fee on the cost of the item itself, but also on the total, including shipping. (Note that I am not including supplies, staff, or anything that is not germane to this discussion.) So Paypal, which is a subsidiary of Ebay, takes its nibble from your shipping cost as well.




With a disingenuousness that not even a serial killer talking his way into your house could match, Lorrie Norrington made a happy announcement of all the wonderful changes that would make our lives so much easier and their profits so much higher:

Lower Fixed Item listing fees…however, they neglected to mention until much later in the announcement that there would be up a 300% increase in Ebay Final Value Fees, thereby wiping out any possible profit.

Electronic Checkout Only…by who else, our old friend Paypal. Oh, and a company with a very close relationship with Paypal via West Fargo, Propay. American currencies such as checks or money orders are no longer considered “safe.” For the sellers who have not accepted Paypal until now, or the hundreds of sellers who get a considerable portion of their income from paper currency, this is more than a substantial blow. Not to mention a blow to those buyers who, for whatever reasons, do not have credit cards. One imagines Debtors Anonymous will be encouraging its members to leave Ebay en masse. Antitrust complaints to state and local Attorney General’s offices are apparently pouring in.

Fixed Shipping Costs. Sellers can now be penalized (even lose their stores) if buyers feel their shipping costs are too high. This, even if the seller is only charging the ACTUAL cost of shipping. From the Ebay new Shipping Limits FAQ:

Q: Why are you setting limits on shipping charges lower than my actual costs to ship?
A: We based our maximum shipping & handling charges on recent transaction data of what sellers are charging and what buyers have told us is reasonable. We know that what buyers consider to be reasonable will be less than sellers' actual costs in some cases. We believe that by offering buyers at least one shipping option that they deem reasonable, sellers will increase their overall sales and conversion.



Pardonnez moi. I had to leave the room and shriek a few times.

Buyers are told that leaving four star ratings are “good,” but sellers are told that anything under four and a half stars could risk the seller losing everything; their store, their account, everything. Your faithful correspondent cannot even begin to quote the answers that "Griff," the avuncular lapdog for Ebay, gives to the question: "how can four stars be both good and bad at the same time?" Suffice to say I needed a stiff drink after reading it, and it still didn't make any sense.
By "lapdog," of course, I mean no disrespect to my beloved miniature pinscher, Bucky. That little darling would make short work of Ebay CEO John Donahoe's ankles. In my own listings I do my best to explain this little bit of corporate doublespeak to my potential buyers.

Ebay operates as a great sucking void into which sellers throw their money. Somehow, the fact that Ebay sellers are actually CUSTOMERS of Ebay got lost somewhere around 2005. Ebay loves to talk about “improving the buyer experience.” But when they try to say anything about “improving the seller experience,” the sheer magnitude of their lies renders them incapable of making anything other than gurgling noises.

Discontented sellers are told to move elsewhere, and many are. Some moan and complain that those other sites don't have the Web presence of the Evil Empire. However, one must remember that it took Ebay fourteen years to become Ebay.

But at this rate, it will take less than a year for Ebay to become Edsel.

Ciao,

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, August 25, 2008

Project Runway - Drag Queens and Chris March, Oh, My!

DAHLINGS –

How many of you, mon bien-aimé lecteurs, feel that last Wednesday’s Project Runway was one of the Best Challenges in the history of the program? And with THIS sorry lot of designers, no less!

Your faithful correspondent absolutely squealed with delight when her much loved huggy-bear, Chris March, came out, dazzling as ever, as Brunhilde to announce the challenge: dressing drag queens. And I don’t squeal easily.

(At least in this episode, Heidi the Hun did not even attempt to outshine the contestants—it seems that she learned from the Women’s Wrestling challenge last season.)

Heterosexual plus-sized females (such as myself) can learn so much from drag queens. Such as how to move a large body for maximum femininity, how to hold your head high when the rest of the world thinks that you should fit the norm, and how to be fabulous at all times (at least whenever you leave the house!) And many of us do not have to worry about five o’clock shadow.

The single most “barfalicious” moment in the episode (to quote Leanne, who bears a strange resemblance to a mourning beagle), was Suede’s talking about daydreaming about his dead grandfather.

I think he is hallucinating from lack of sleep. Or perhaps the hair dye from that blue scrub-brush on his head is infiltrating his brain. Mais sérieusement, dead grandfather? Urging Sludge—er, Suede—to sprinkle seeds on Hedda Lettuce’s outfit?

Hedda was rightfully unhappy with the extremely unflattering results, and made a few changes of her own before taking the look to the runway. Don’t you KNOW that you do not cut a long glove to hit the single widest part of a person’s arm? When I watched the runway, I wondered if Hedda herself had altered the gloves. (Later I learned that indeed she had cut them; from experience, I know that rolling long gloves can create an unsightly bulge at the elbow if you have any flab there at all.) The outfit would have made the bottom three if Hedda hadn’t put all of her considerable skills to work on the runway!



Joe was the surprise of the episode. It took him a bit of time to grasp the concept, but perhaps he has a drag queen just waiting to be released! Here we see him discovering how the other half lives:



He designed the perfect outfit for the ever-delicious Varla Jean Merman, giving her an Ann-Margret look that was the rightful winner!


Terri, who has costumed drag queens, understood their aesthetic, and did an amazing job with Acid Betty, but my viewing party felt it was not true drag. Just what it was, we could not reach a consensus. Still, well done, Terri!

In the workroom, Blayne was still using that lame “licious” catchphrase, including “neonlicious.” (Hence Leanne’s “barfalicious” comment above.) Tim’s line about his costume looking like a gay pterodactryl could not be topped, so I will not try. As usual, none of the designers listened to anything Tim Gunn had to say. What is the MATTER with these twerps? One wonders if Tim goes outside onto the fire escape and screams afterward.



But dream of dreams, having dearest CHRIS MARCH critiquing the costumes in the workroom! Project Runway heaven!


He was deeply underwhelmed with Keith’s design, as who wouldn’t have been? More scraps of fabric…the man has a scrap fetish. I wonder if he sneaks around MOOD after closing hours and picks up stray bits of fabric in the night. His client, Sherry Vine, was obviously VERY unhappy on the runway.



As would anyone who was not on very powerful hallucenogens.

This week’s judge was Rupaul, who looked oddly messy and toned down. I’m not sure what look she was going for…administrative assistant who spent the night in bed with her boss, got up and forgot to comb her hair? Rupaul, we barely knew ye. Where, oh, where was the GLAMOUR that is your signature more than any others? However, unlike pitiful Sandra Bernhard, he had some excellent critiques. (One glaring exception: Keith’s dress.)



The winner was Joe, and there were shrieks of delight! Varla worked it as only she can. Absolutely drag perfection and it fits her fun, feminine personality in every way.

The loser, AT LAST, was Daniel. He designed—yes—a cocktail dress for Annika Greenkard, who bears rather an unnerving resemblance to a six-foot-tall drag Bernadette Peters. He declared that sequins would make him “throw up.” Now he can take his much-vaunted “taste level” to somewhere it will fit right in—Wal-Mart.



Although I did feel sorry for the dear boy during his exit interview, but he was probably just too young to be there.

Ciao,

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Project Runway - Team Challenge

DAHLINGS -

Once again I have been delayed from dictating this blog-thing by a series of events, many of them far too mundane to detail. However, thanks to some clever wheeling and dealing by yours truly, my fall shops will be stocked with:
Nelly De Grab designer fashions in LARGER SIZES
Fur coats of every type and description in LARGER SIZES
Incredible vintage clothing in LARGER SIZES
Not to mention designer handbags, scarves, compacts, and shoes! It is all truly astonishing, and I am know you will share my pleasure after Labor Day.

So that means I have barely had time to think, so this week's Project Runway recap will have to be extremely short! My apologies.

Yes, weren't we all amazed that Jerrell and Stella made such a wonderful team, and such a lovely outfit? Personally, I don't agree with Brooke Shield's taste at all. But unlike Sandra Bernhard, she had interesting comments to make and an understanding of her style. (Why not, she's been in the business almost longer than she's actually been alive!) And why is being short-waisted a bad thing? Yours truly is long-waisted, which is quite hard to clothe. No one should be singled out for something so utterly minor!

The winning design, by Keith and Kenly, was hideous, and reminded me of some unfortunate tall bird with dull flapping feathers and a colorful head. At least Keith got to pick the print.

I also liked Blayne and Leanne's design, much to my amaze. When Blayne remarked, "I have friends in the music business," one's first thought was: "Blayne has friends?" The man is such a pill, as my dear darling Mama would have said. And Korto, please, don't be a disappointment to us all! Your attitude is steadily deteriorating with each episode! Soon you will be mud-wrestling your opponents in the workroom!

That's all for now. I promise to have a more comprehensive write-up later this week about the next episode, which features my darling huggy bear CHRIS MARCH!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beautiful Plus Size Swimwear At The House of Style!

DAHLINGS -

Summer is rushing past us, isn't it? The beautiful (if sweltering) days, the cold glorious ocean, my housekeeper slapping mosquitoes and shrieking when she walks Bucky at night...

To celebrate this glorious season while there is still time, I am listing some gorgeous plus-size bombshell swimsuits over on (ugh) Ebay, as well as other summerwear both there and at Mad Fashionista's Plus Size Boutique!

First of all, ending in THREE DAYS, a deep rich blue cotton/acetate/rubber 1960s swimsuit by Sea Jets that would do Marilyn proud! Size XL:


SOLD
Second, currently listed in my store, a 1970s screen-printed stretch New Old Stock With Tags Robby Len Fashions screen printed peplum swimdress, size XXL:


http://tinyurl.com/59hgcb

Not to mention this exquisite New Old Stock With Tags light as a feather rayon blend 1960s dress by Edwardian, B40:


http://tinyurl.com/5lksq2

Over at Mad Fashionista's Plus Size Boutique on Specialist Auctions, we have a marvelous selection of summer items. Here is one of those long scarves that are so on-trend, AND lighter than air!


http://www.specialistauctions.com/auctiondetails.php?id=1098553

A vintage faux reptile white leather hardframe 1950s handbag by Coronet:


http://www.specialistauctions.com/auctiondetails.php?id=1155027

And for those hot summer nights, this sheer and sexy XL authentic Christian Dior nightdress:


http://www.specialistauctions.com/auctiondetails.php?id=1158688

Remember, over at SA you can "Have A Haggle," which is the same thing as making a "Best Offer" on Ebay. And there is oh, so much more! Bucky and I urge you to shop, shop, shop!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Friday, August 08, 2008

Project Runway - Hello, Olympics, Goodbye, Dali!

DAHLINGS –

The Olympics have started, but it’s the end for Jennifer, whose mantra was that her vision was “Holly Golightly at a Salvador Dali exhibit.” Poor deluded little thing. This week’s challenge was to create outfits for the female athletes at the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. Simple enough, wouldn’t you think?

Non. Not for this bunch.

Most of them were thrown into a designing tizzy, resulting in some of the oddest athletic wear I have seen since I was accidentally taken to a Burning Man some years ago. Jennifer could simply not grasp the concept, and ended up creating Olympic Barbie:

What this outfit has to do with the Olympics, with athletics, with China, I have no idea. And neither did she. Which got her promptly, and understandably, auf’d. Since I only noticed her in the last episode, I cannot say that I am sorry, although I am hoping Leatha Stella gets the biker boot soon. Is it me, or she sending the same sad outfit down the runway again and again?


For some reason, one kept flashing on John McCain at that biker's rally, listening to the bikers waste gallons of fuel gunning their motors as he ridiculed tire gauges.

But I digress. Joe was spot on when he said, “There’s too much drama because there’s too many queens around.” He quietly went ahead and created what your faithful correspondent felt should have been the winning outfit, even with that odd hemline. (It should be noted that many of the so-called even hemlines this season have been, on close-up, as they say, “craptastic”.) This was one of the few times the cliché of the straight man’s fondness for sports actually came in handy.




However, he lost to Korto, whose outfit was nice enough, but not terribly exciting for moi. But at least the curvaceously creative Liberian native is still on the show, which is a plus in more ways than one.



Speaking of queens, was that a collective sound of lustful panting that arose when Apolo Ohno skated up to the designers? Even Tim Gunn looked as though he was thinking, “I’d love to get that outfit off your supremely muscled diminutive physique and show you that this older chap can still do a few gymnastics of his own.”

Commandant Heidi began the show by looking as though both her spray-on tan and sprayed-on leather pants had been heavily greased. Perhaps she had just finished roasting one of her children over an open spit. For the runway, she wore an odd chain-mail outfit, that like most of her runway outfits, are letting her evil side show more than ever. They might need to have an exorcism on the set after the series ends at this rate.

Getting back to the designers and their utter bafflement at the challenge, take a look at this horror by Jerrell:



Didn’t Minnie Pearl once wear that hat? The outfit is a puffy pouffy nightmare, dahlings, no doubt about it. With capri leggings, no less. (And if, like tanorexic Blayne, you don’t remember the Beatles, surely you won’t know who Minnie Pearl is. But I care not.) Like most of the designers, he threw caution and intelligence to the wind. It is a miracle he did not get auf'd. Perhaps it was because during the runway he was actually wearing something more interesting on his head than Kenley.

Daniel sent a cocktail dress, of all things, down the runway! Isn’t he capable of designing anything else?? Are we going to be seeing cocktail dresses made of tin foil, cocktail dresses ala Jane Austen, military cocktail dresses? Of course, one cannot top Michael Kors’s comment that Daniel’s dress looked as though it came from “the Republic of Cocktail Land.” Daniel is the Sweet P of this season, slowly inching his way to a complete mental breakdown. My heart breaks whenever they show him in the workroom, agonizing over his latest...cocktail dress.

For a little fun from the last episode, compare this latest photo of last week's judge Sandra Bernhard with the poster for her upcoming revival.



As I wrote previously, someone has too much time on their hands. Unlike moi!

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Today's Fashion Tip:

Do NOT let this happen to you or anyone else you know!

Terrifying.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Florence of Arabia in Fire Island...

DAHLINGS -

It's been days and I am STILL absolutely exhausted! Why, oh, why did I leave my fabulous (featured in Architectural Digest) oceanfront mansion and go to The Pines on Fire Island? Well, for one thing, I was invited to an only slightly less fabulous (not featured in Architectural Digest) oceanfront mansion for luncheon with other members of the fabulous fashion community. One can surmise my fatigue level from my overuse of the word "fabulous."

In ANY event, the luncheon was tasty (if vegan), the host was très célèbre, as were most of the guests, and the gossip was even tastier than the food. Mostly about Aubrey O'Day and Linda Hearst, and that sort of thing.

Luncheon over, some of the guests went downstairs for a nap, some went upstairs for casual unprotected sex, but yours truly did the wrong thing:

I went for a stroll. To Cherry Grove.

For those of you who don't know this (as I did not), Cherry Grove is about 300 miles away from the Pines on foot, if only ten feet by private yacht. And of course stilleto heels were hardly the right attire for a rickety wooden boardwalk. However, I still had the slightest of hangovers from the Dior Beauty party in Easthampton the night before. Tinsley Mortimer was there, in a lovely green Dior gown, with Topper, and we were all terribly tactful about the failure of her reality show.



The problem is, dear Ms. Mortimer has no discernible personality, so the crew filmed for days and was left with nothing but footage of a blonde stick figure applying makeup over over.

Rather like "Groundhog Day," but pointless.

ANYWAY, back to my misguided Adventure. As always, I was covered in veils and sunblock, with my assistant walking the mandatory ten paces behind me. We walked and walked and walked...what was astonishing was the terrible condition of the boardwalks between the multi-million houses. It wove up and down, up and down. It was ENDLESS! Thank God I had left Bucky the Wonderdog back at my fabulous (featured in Architectural Digest) oceanfront mansion!

We passed one house with a flyer for a show in Cherry Grove, featuring a singer whose quote was "Show stopping lesbian!" Pondering what made the difference between an ordinary lesbian and a show-stopping lesbian at least made the time pass.

Soon, the unthinkable happened:

I started to perspire.

"Cool me off! I am perishing from the heat!" I snapped to my assistant. She simply stood there gaping at me, sweat streaming down her face. The idiot had not thought to bring a thermos of cocktails! I whipped back and continued to walk, and soon the boardwalk ended, at the edge of a FOREST, of all things. A handsome young nearly naked man was jogging towards me, and I hailed him with a cry of despair: "WHERE IS CHERRY GROVE?"

"Oh, honey, you follow the trees with the yellow paint on them." He pointed from where he had come, the deep forest, lined with a green algae-covered swamp. No one loves nature more than moi, but at a safe distance. My shoes! My pedicure! We staggered through the woods, where I had to repeatedly duck under branches and occasionally step over coupling males, and came out into...

a desert. The sun beat down upon me, and my assistant gasped like a snapper on a hot wooden dock. The sand was far too hot to take off my shoes (my assistant took hers off, little fool, and started to howl with pain. It gave me a certain satisfaction, given my overheated, soaking state. I prayed I would not see anyone I knew!). Like a beautiful Lawrence of Arabia, I made my way across the desert under the baking sun, and then there came the Sign:

CHERRY GROVE (with an arrow)!

We made it into town, where I was able to slake my thirst with a frozen margarita. (My assistant chose pink lemonade--pah!)

That is why you have not heard from me...the sunburn alone had me prostrated. My beautiful skin, scalded! I have been applying aloe vera by the handful. It has not been so much the physical pain, as much as the emotional torture of looking in the mirror and seeing a lobster-red face and chest looking back. I shall not be seen in public again until it has faded.

Later, dahlings -

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Friday, August 01, 2008

Project Runway Makes "New York At Night" Milwaukee

DAHLINGS -

As much as your faithful correspondent hates to admit it, this is one of the most boring bunch of designers I have ever witnessed. The idea of having lunch with any one of them makes me want to turn off my Blackberry and hide.

Mon dieu, who is Jennifer and where did she come from? Has she been on the show all of this time? Suede, as much as I dislike him, stands out because he has a discernible personality. Even if it is an overly self-confident teenager who talks about himself in the third person. The Fashionista refuses to talk about herself in the third person--

Oh, damn, it's catching.

This week's challenge was to take pictures of New York at night, and be inspired. Can you imagine what Chris March would have done with this one? Or Christian? Or even Neckthing (Jeffrey Sebalia)? But no, a parade of dreariness made its way down the runway.

However, there are two designers I particularly like, and one of them made the top three, and the other won this week's challenge! The first, of course, is Terri, who has been greviously overlooked in previous episodes. Yours truly thinks her beautiful floaty dress over pants should have won; it had all the style, sophistication and what some like to call "street" that the others lacked. Even though I generally detest dresses worn over pants (one sees know-nothing college girls in them constantly), this had more of the feeling of a tunic.



The second is Kenley, who has a delightful 40s personal style, bright red lipstick and always something fascinating on top of her head:



However, her dress had something grotesque on its side. Rather like those things they remove from people on the Discovery Health Channel. While I did not care for the design (besides the ill-advised tulle, it looked tight, hot and uncomfortable), I have enjoyed her other designs, and she is extremely creative.



The guest judge was D-list actress Sandra Bernhard, there to flog her upcoming one-woman show tour (which has already run Off-Broadway and been made into a movie...someone has too much time on their hands). Ms. Bernhard seemed to have had bad plastic surgery less than a week before the show. She had nothing of interest to say, which only added to the air of ennui surrounding this week's episode.



The comments about this dress simply were offensive.



"Vintage," of course, was used as if it were a four-letter word, the stuck-up swines. And yes, it was a tad matronly, but what about Keith's toilet-paper dress? That had absolutely nothing to do with his inspiration. At least whoever-it-was tried.

Emily was auf'd for her little black can-can vomit dress. How can one have a new you-know-what ripped by the august Mr. Gunn and then say something as purely idiotic as "Tim gave my dress a mixed review, but I like it"? Why is no-one listening to the man? Tim Gunn is the good cop, for goodness sake!

Perhaps now that there are fewer designers, I might be able to remember who they are. But perhaps not.

Oh, here's a little tid-bit: Nina Garcia showing off her effervescent personality at Mood.



How can one look at anyone else when she is onscreen?

Actually, it's easy. At least this week she bestirred herself to greet the designers, unlike last week.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog