Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fashion Week Sneak Peek #2: Ports 1961


Ports 1961, which creates simply marvelous fashion, sent a few sketches of their Spring 2010 Fashion Week presentation to your faithful correspondent this week. It has me simply craving to see them in person!

Ports Creative Director Tia Cibani has stated, that despite the economy: “Give
women beautiful clothes that represent value and quality and they will still find a way to buy them.” 'Tis true, 'tis true.

Cibani is moving from boutique and online marketing to the Bryant Park tents, bringing the customers along with her. Spring 2010 will explore the concept of "craft meets innovation".

See you under the tents!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fashion Week Sneak Peek #1: Gottex!


Gottex has been in business nearly since the turn of the century, and yet they always stay current. (Get it? Current--swimsuits--oh, never mind.) Molly Grad, fresh from a stint as senior designer at Gianfranco Ferre, has taken over as the new Gottex head of design.

She wants to bring the brand into the future while honoring its past. Their show is September 14, and your faithful correspondent will be there, noting down the highlights for your reading pleasure!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Project Runway Pregnancy Chic: Malvin Lays An Egg


Finally, Project Runway has one of their few real-life challenges! And as always, when confronted with real life and a real woman’s body, most of the designers are utterly flummoxed.

Actress/model Rebecca Romjin (Ugly Betty), heavily pregnant, is the inspiration for the challenge: Pregnancy Chic. Rebecca and Heidi pretend to like each other. But one can feel the evil model vibes shooting between them despite their faux camaraderie. The designers are specifically told to design a form-fitting outfit for Ms. Romjin. Who knew her last name was pronounced like the lettuce? Not moi.

When they go into the workroom, each designer is given a pregnancy pillow to tie to their mannequins. Gordana, who has actually been pregnant, has to give the others instructions on where the pillows go. Straight, personality-challenged Logan remarks, “Pregnant woman—that’s really not my deal.” Good thing he has not reproduced.

Basically, the challenge turns most of the designers into complete drooling idiots, which is why this episode is a lot of fun to watch. I only wish the show spent more time in the workroom! Perhaps it is because there are so many designers still designing they simply don’t have the camera time. But I want to get to know Qristyl and Nicolas better. Nicolas seems quite droll. Someone it would be fun to have a cocktail with.

Malvin, who feels his designs are “ineffable,” whatever that means, decides to go with a highly-conceptual garment symbolizing a mother hen and her egg. And yes, it is truly as ghastly as that sounds. Tim managed to keep from vomiting on camera when he first saw it in the workroom. There was that rough linen fabric, the egg-sling-thing, feathers here and there: thank GOD Malvin was talked out of jodphurs!

It's Fetus-In-A-Bag! With A Side Flap For Your Laptop!

I’m certain Michael Kors also said, “Pregnant woman—that’s really not my deal.”

He was replaced by designer Monique Lhuillier. Along with Nina, Heidi and Rebecca, the the panel was pure estrogen. Heidi warned the designers that the entire panel had been pregnant. Whether she meant that they had particular expertise or that their hormones were raging that day, one doesn't really know.

Evidently most of the designers had never seen a pregnant woman. For instance, it did not occur to them to pad the anorexic models’ breasts to match the enormous stomachs sailing before them, like prows on a badly made ship. However, some did markedly better than others.

Gordana drew on her experience for this sexy navy top and pants.

Shirin went for the gold by creating an amazing draped and tucked burgundy dress, with a stunningly lined coat. She was the clear winner. This photo does not do her outfit justice.

Althea’s dress was very pretty and flattering, but struck your faithful correspondent as somewhat bland. We’ve seen it before. And a pregnant woman's breasts--almost any woman's breasts--would never stay in those cups without several rolls of body tape.

On the losing side, R’amon created what another designer called “a bowling-ball bag.” It was meant to be slimming, but instead it proclaimed for several city blocks, “I’m wearing a HUGE pregnancy pillow!" And the, one could call it construction...

Mitchell created an atrocious, too-tight, badly made shorts and sweater set, and yet he was not auf’ed. This is something your faithful correspondent does not understand. Ordinarily, poor dressmaking is on the bottom rung of the Project Runway critique, and Mitchell has now sent two hideous, poorly constructed messes down the runway. We were praying that he would get Heidi’s stiletto boot.

However, he got let off with a stern warning from Heidi: "Up your game or I will rip out your jugular with my perfect white teeth, scum."

Malvin got auf’ed. Not to say that his outfit had any redeeming qualities; in fact, it looked like an alien baby was growing in that fetus sling. But I had thought his hair, misspelled name and general bizarreness would keep him on the program.

However, as one of my viewing companions pointed out, “Clinically depressed white boy trumps no-affect Asian.” And yes, Malvin was preternaturally calm. Even during his exit interview, he seemed to be gently tranquilized. He muttered that his designs were "too conceptual for America."

I must get the name of his doctor.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Andi Charkow Presents: A Vintage Clothing Auction!

Dahlings -

I won't be attending this auction because of Fashion Week, but if you love beautiful things at beautiful prices in beautiful surrounds, I urge you to consider attending! Bucky and I traveled to Pennsylvania for her last auction, and came away with a number of absolutely one-of-a-kind finds!

Have a wonderful time! There are also hats, accessories, handbags, and jewelry!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Project Runway Season Six Premiere!


I spent much of the past day trying to think of a title incorporating a pun on “meth.” Such as “Television’s Best Meth-ed” or “Making A Meth Of Things.” But one has one’s standards, and hence the title.

This refers to Johnny S., who spends much of the program (pardon the pun) proclaiming that he’s a recovering addict, having a meltdown because he’s a recovering addict, manning up to face the challenge because he’s a recovering addict, etc. It makes for some decent drama. In fact, he has a sweet scene with the ever-loveable Tim Gunn, who helps Johnny face his fears and man up. Who knew Tim was an abuse counselor as well as a fabulous man about town? What hat does this man not wear?

The new, shiny, postponed Season Six of Project Runway has everything the old Bravo Project Runway had going for it. And more sophisticated cinematography; obviously the Los Angeles influence. Sixteen designers are competing for the usual, you know the drill, mes chers amis.

The other Los Angeles influence seems to be a disproportionate amount of young, attractive designers. For instance, Carol Hannah Whitfield, a 24-year-old Southern blonde, who says “I'm not expected to have qualities like, uh, intelligence, or…lost my train of thought.” There is another vacuous blonde, Althea, and the obligatory young man with weird hair (and a deliberately misspelled name: Malvin). At first, Christopher Straub annoys with his stylistic quirk: large baseball hats worn at an angle, which give him the look of one of those “cute” little boys in 1950s sitcoms.

However, this is definitely the most multicultural mix since the series began. The tall gentleman with the dreads goes by the single name of Epperson.

From left: Malvin, Shirin, some guy, Carol Hannah, some other guy, Epperson, Mitchell with his mouth (thankfully) closed.

Ariel is the obligatory free spirit, who doesn’t sketch. This is how she creates (which is appropriate, because her dress looked like it had been pulled from her butt, pardon my non-french).

The designer who got on my nerves the most was Mitchell, who has huge yellow teeth. For some reason, whenever he was on camera all I could see were those dirty-butter colored Chiclets. Of course I immediately warmed to Qristyl, who described her style as not plus-size, but “plus sexy.” A woman after my own heart.

The challenge was to create a red-carpet look. As on the All-Star challenge, the same judges were in attendance: Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Heidi Klum. The guest judge was…Lindsay Lohan.

Lindsay Lohan, who is even more D-List than most of the runway audience of The Fashion Show.

The real surprise was that she had intelligent comments about the designs. Who would have thought she was capable of forming complete sentences?

Johnny's design was terrible, and the comments it elicited all ran along the lines of: "If I imagine this as a completely different dress, it would be beautiful." Oh, well, at least he didn't get auf'd. He would have been on the street scoring in no time. The members of my viewing party thought that Malvin would get the boot, because he sent the model down the runway basically naked with a thin blanket of flesh-colored chiffon over her. But no; his hairdo evidently saved him.

The other surprise was that Ariel, who seemed goofy enough to keep around for a while, got auf'd for her truly horrendous design. Usually, goofiness trumps ability on Project Runway.
Christopher won for a fairly ordinary dress.

But I noticed that R'amon Lawrence's dress is the one they copied for sale. Somehow, that switcharound is also tres Los Angeles.

And the beat goes on.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Project Runway's All-Star Challenge, Part Two


Forgive the unpardonable lapse, but the preparation for Fashion Week Spring 2010 is simply too intense!



Back to Project Runway’s All Star Challenge: as I mentioned, at every conceivable moment, Chris March was to be found asleep (including the model casting!). However, his collection was easily my favorite. Strong silhouettes, a marvelous plaid, I was even willing to forgive the spray of feathers on the red-carpet gown. In the workroom, Tim Gunn loved what Chris was creating, as well.

The most bizarre moment was when the designers were unwillingly dragged out for a pre-runway show “celebratory dinner.” After the meal, Tim Gunn proclaimed that they had to create a fourth look, made from materials in the restaurant around them.

A scene erupted that was straight out of a Marx Brothers movie—or, for those who don’t know who the Marx Brothers are (I pity you)—most comedies starring Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Dane Cook. The designers literally tore the restaurant apart. One hopes the place was already scheduled for demolition.

However, as one of my guests remarked at that time, “This is what I love about this show. It gives weird constraints to talented people.” I could not have put it better.

The magnificent Diane von Fursternberg was the guest judge, and the usual suspects were back: Michael Kors and his pancake makeup, Nina Garcia, replete with hair extensions, and Heidi Klum, of course.

Santino, for all of his bragging, (“Project Runway didn’t make me, I made Project Runway”—pride goeth before a Fall Collection) could not get his four looks together in time, and it showed. Almost everything in Santino’s collection was made of metallic lycra, making all of the models come across as low-priced escorts.

"Pretty Woman, walking down the street, pretty woman..."

Mychael Knight’s restaurant dress looked like the model would scrub a kitchen with her torso. Neckthing simply sent ugly clothes down the runway, and they were all “auf’d.” As was Uli, despite her death-ray stares at Sweet P.

Mychael's restaurant dress

Neckthing's harem-pant jumpsuit...why, oh, why have harem pants come back??

Darling Chris March’s collection knocked it out of the park, to use one of my male guest’s expressions. Beautifully made, strong, dramatic…I want him to design a collection for moi! Are you reading this, Chris dear? He should have been given the win!

Chris's wonderfully chic restaurant dress!

Sweet P’s restaurant dress was the most interesting part of her collection: it looked like a giant walking cupcake.

Korto’s clothes were lovely, if perhaps much of a muchness. Very beautiful, very drapey and wearable, but somehow they lacked the spark I saw in her runway show in February. However, her restaurant dress was absolutely superb:

You cannot tell from this photo, but the construction was masterful and the textures extremely creative and wearable.

Daniel, of all people, got the win! His restaurant dress looked like something a mad bomber would wear; perhaps a model crazed with hunger? “Give me a cheeseburger or I’ll blow Heidi to bits!” And his clothes—ugly and uglier. And the models—I thought heroin chic went out years ago. Ugh.

So, I disagree with the judges. Ce qui est nouveau?

I shall try to post about the premiere episode of Season Six before the second episode airs, I promise!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Fabulous Fashion Dude Thinks I'm Fabulous!


We interrupt our coverage of Project Runway to toot our own horn! Wilbur Pack Jr., an incredibly talented fashion designer, wrote a blog entry about moi in his blog, "I Am Fabulous: A Black FashionDude's Odyssey"!

Here is the link:

We met last February, at a benefit for the McClellan Cooper Foundation (which featured Korto Momolu's runway show, chronicled in this blog). I first spotted his sister in an astounding denim evening dress. When I gasped, "Where did you get that dress," she indicated the tall, handsome man next to her and replied, "My brother designed it."

A model, Wilbur Pack, and his sister (both dresses SKWilbur designs)

I am overcome, simply overcome. So you can look out for moi in the coming months in one of Wilbur Pack's creations! (And do go to his website, see his latest line of colorful sportswear!)

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway's All Star Challenge: Keeping Chris March Awake


I am still reeling from three solid hours of Project Runway. (Models Of The Runway held no interest for me, sorry.) My viewing party was a smashing success, not at least because I had the bartender put double shots in the mojitos. After The Fashion Show, it was good to watch interesting people who know what they are doing. Competence is the new black.

Because my weekend schedule is ridiculously busy and I don’t trust my assistant to type this up properly from my notes, I shall have to dictate this blog-thing in sections over the weekend. My deepest apologies; one would have liked to go at it all in one big bash.

The All-Star Challenge was so reassuring. Not because of the designers, but because it took place in NEW YORK! There were Tim Gunn and a massively pregnant Heidi Klum (will she ever stop reproducing?) on the roof with champagne, there was our beloved Mood Fabrics in the Garment District, and the overwhelming amount of product placement. At one point in the program, two of the male designers were sitting on their beds with large piles of bright green Garnier products in front of them. We never did find out why. Lotion, perhaps?

The Accessory Wall is now the Macy’s Accessory Wall. I have no idea if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Dear Darling Mama used to take moi to Macy's as a wee one.

However, it was annoying that various Lifetime personalities kept appearing during the breaks in essence to announce, "You're watching Lifetime! Ha hah! We won! We got Project Runway! Bite me, Bravo!" And there was a large lump in the lower right hand of the screen, counting down the minutes to the official season premiere. I'm not sure why this seemed so deeply insulting, but I do know how to tell time.

The website reads, “Eight of your favorite designers,” which actually means, “Many were asked, few accepted.” Laura Bennet and Christian Siriano, for example, declined to appear. But it did not matter to moi. My beloved Chris March was there, and Santino Rice in all his alienating egomaniacal madness. And how wonderful to see Korto Momolu, whom I had the immense pleasure of meeting during last February’s Fashion Week.

Neckthing, aka Jeffrey Sebalia, now has a mustache ala Sam Elliot in a Hallmark Western TV-movie, and has become an untalented musician in his spare time. (His girlfriend makes Patty Smith sound melodic.)

The prize was $100,000 in cash. One could hear the saliva hitting the floor when the prize was announced. It was presented as a “multilayered challenge,” which sounded rather like Amway. Or Isagenics. The designers had to create three looks in record time, including a runway dress for Nicole Kidman to wear to the premiere of her new movie “Nine.”

It was extremely cheap for a show with such an unlimited budget to show Ms. Kidman on tape rather than live. One can report that her face is still strangely frozen, which makes her smile rather frightening.

At Mood and in the workroom, Uli Herzner and Sweet P made the unfortunate discovery that they were separated at birth. Same fabric choices, same taste, the only significant difference was Uli’s pronounced lack of tattoos. Throughout the show, Uli kept trying to vaporize Sweet P with her laser-like glare, but it didn’t work. Santino laughed incessantly (and loudly), trash-talked the other contestants, and in general behaved like the man you love to hate. And he knows it.

Chris March's workroom look was stunning, a 40's inspired plaid jacket with a huge square collar. Tim loved what Chris was doing, as did I. Although throughout the show, including during the model casting, Chris kept falling asleep. This is worrisome. Does he have sleep apnea? It was presented humorously, but I can't help being concerned. If you're reading this, my dear Chris March, do see a doctor!

(It could have been narcolepsy, but he wasn't watching The Fashion Show.)
More later, dear readers -

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Please Help Dunkin' Dog's Owner Get Justice!


A horrible tragedy occured last month, when a woman's service dog, a miniature pinscher (the same as my beloved Bucky The Wonderdog) died as the not-so-indirect result of police brutality. Please help get the word out about Rosa's story. She is pursuing a Master's Degree here in New York City, but has been permanently traumatized by what happened to her and her dog.

Here is the beginning, with a link back to the blog. Please read the entire story.

The Tragedy of Dunkin' Dog

On July 4th I was driving alone with my service dog of almost 8 years of age, Dunkin’, in the rear seat towards the middle. I was pulled over on I-17 after being tailed for about one mile. The cop was very close to the rental car I was driving which was a gray Toyota corolla. The vehicle was due back on Sunday and I had planned on returning it, then utilizing the airport shuttle to catch my early flight back to New York’s La Guardia airport with Dunkin as my travel companion.

I pulled over to a safe spot on the shoulder of the road and the cop opened the door and drew out a shot gun. He actually AIMED it at me. I could see his eye aiming and it made no sense. I was shouted at and told to keep my hands where he can see them. This seemed very strange and not at all common for being pulled over. I could hear shot gun cocked and I realized that something was not right. I obeyed his shouts to keep my hands up and I allowed Dunkin to continue sleeping in order to keep us both calm.

I was ordered to get out of the car, walk backwards without looking, and was very confused… I was going further and further away from Dunkin’.I was shouted at to kneel, yelled at and then immediately cuffed and put in the back seat of a cop car. I immediately told him that my service animal is in the back of the car and to please be careful with him as he is licensed in NY state and is official for my Multiple Sclerosis. The car was overwhelmingly hot and my MS symptoms began as I tried breathing for fresh air. It was getting hotter and now he was drawing a weapon to the vehicle. I was very frightened that they would kill Dunkin’ as they looked like they would do so with the weapons drawn so intently. The cop opened the rental car door which was nearest the I-17 traffic. Dunkin’ rested soundly on that side of the vehicle. When the door was opened, the cop let him get out of the car onto oncoming traffic.

Dunkin’ got out of the vehicle confused. He ran into oncoming traffic, looking for me. His mission is to look for me, wherever I may be. As cars swerved and missed him… I screamed. I prayed and screamed at the top of my lungs for my companion’s safety.

The cop S.D Soto (who was the one who aimed at me through his shotgun, also cuffed me) walked to the front of the car passenger area. He pulled out Dunkin’s fluorescent orange service vest and read the insert in his pocket which states that he is a service animal and he is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. S.D Soto read the facts, read my rental agreement (which was located on the passenger seat area) and continued to ignore my pleas for help and air conditioning.

For the rest, please go to:

For the love of dogs everywhere, please help Rosa find justice for her terrible suffering. She is actively looking for a civil-rights lawyer. If you know of one, please feel free to email me.

R.I.P. Dunkin' Dog.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Jessica Gottlieb Can Dish It Out, But She Can't Take It


My idle reference to bitch-slapping Jessica Gottlieb has gotten the "Mommy Blogger" (whatever that is) into quite a stew! The reference was due to her recent blogpost, "Fat Acceptance Is Bullshit." Need I say more? (I refrain from such vulgar language--it is a barrier to intelligent discourse. Of course "bitch-slapping" is rather declasse', but I was fatigued.)

It's worth it to go on Twitter to see her foaming at the mouth over little old moi. I'm quite flattered, really. Ms. Gottlieb not only called me a variety of names, she even posted a link to my last blog post so that people could bear witness to what "the troll" wrote about her. Even if it was only a passing reference in my blog post devoted to PETA. Apparently, she's that important.

In her post, Ms. Gottlieb wrote:

I’m tired of hearing people equating obesity with race, hence the discrimination.
I can’t carry my 7 year old on my back all day long and still have a good quality day. He’s 50 pounds or so. Many of you “fat acceptance” bloggers have lots more than 50 pounds on you. Stop pretending it’s okay. You are dying and some of you are killing your kids. That has me irate.
It’s got to suck to be morbidly obese. I can’t imagine laboring to get out of bed, oh, wait I can, you see I was HUGE when I was pregnant. It’s not a way to live your life.

...fat acceptance is kinda like cancer acceptance. You’re killing yourself and you sound like an asshole when you talk about it.

from: "Fat Acceptance Is Bullshit" at**

And then she's surprised when a plus-sized person takes offense?? Methinks she doth protest too much. In a previous post she admitted she's not a size 4, that she's a curvy woman with some "goo," whatever that means. For "goo," read "serious body issues."

It's ridiculous to have to write this, but here we go: I believe in limiting the consumption of fat and sugar for children. I do not eat fast food. I do not believe in gastric bypasses for teenagers, any more than I believe in breast implants for those too young to vote. However, like any normal person, I take great pleasure in eating delicious well-prepared healthy food (and the occasionally unhealthy food). And I love my body. It's strong, it works well, and it certainly has an excellent capacity for sexual enjoyment.

Ms. Gottlieb has indicated on her blog that I am a coward and a bully, and that until I apologize, she has nothing but contempt for me. Since she already has contempt for my body, she might as well have contempt for my point of view. Personally, I'm flattered my opinion means so much to her.

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

** Edited to Add: Ms. Gottlieb tweeted that I cut and pasted without attribution. I'm beginning to believe this woman has a serious problem. Doesn't she have better things to do with her time, like, say, making sport of blind people?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PETA'S PR Dept. Are A Bunch Of Fatheads**


It simply never ends. Your faithful correspondent is honestly beginning to develop a case of "outrage fatigue." And yet how else can one react to PETA's latest billboard??

Do they honestly think this will influence anyone to give up eating meat? This organization has never been known for political correctness, but to stoop to fat-bashing is simply low. They have tried this approach before, without any discernible success, such as this 2002 billboard:

Apparently People for Ethical Treatmentof Animals don't believe that ethical treatment extends to the "People" part. As much as I support their cause, they have been removed from my personal charity list. Would they prefer that women look like this?

One can be fairly certain that a ham sandwich (or anything else, for that matter) has never passed this model's lips.

There is nothing more to say, for me at least. I am disgusted, disappointed, and now feel politically compelled to eat a sandwich made from whatever endangered species my chef has in the pantry. I am profoundly saddened that an organization I once respected feels the need to gratuitously single us out once again. There are quite a few overweight vegetarians out there, believe it or not. Is Wendy's slapping them on billboards saying "Eat a burger, for God's sake!"?

Comments are welcomed, however, personal abuse will not be printed.

** Pun intended.


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

P.S. Could somebody please bitch-slap Jessica Gottlieb? I'm too tired.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Silhouette's New Holiday Line: Plus Size Glitz & Glam


Before all of this Cintra Wilson nonsense, I had the good fortune to be invited by the lovely people at Silhouettes to take a sneak peek at what they have in store for the paying customers for the holidays. So I packed Bucky into his black Chanel carrier and off we went, into the bowels of midown Manhattan.

What first caught my eye was all of the très en vogue des chaussures! (You must know by now that I have a weakness for footwear.) And fashion-forward boots. Dozens of pairs of adorable flats, stylish heels, I could go on and on. All in double-wide sizes, which as my faithful readers know, means a great deal to moi! My only regret is that this picture of these delightful jewel-embellished flats is not in better focus. Although as usual, Bucky the Wonderdog photographs perfectly.

Here are some wonderfully on-trend riding boots, the first pair made of a combination of leather and cotton twill:

Many pieces had touches of beading, stones and glitz, such as the top of this cream blouse, trimmed in transparent stones. Chunky vintage-style jewelry was very much in evidence, as were a variety of prints from floral to abstract. There were also blouses in gold and black sequins; your faithful correspondent is a sucker for flash.

There was a great deal of rich royal purple in the collection, such as the sweater below. Also many swirling gray pieces, mainly coats and toppers. This black and white herringbone outfit with its pencil skirt and open front jacket is tres chic, (although your faithful correspondent would put a more flamboyant top underneath).

As mentioned, this Chanel-inspired ribbed cotton sweater caught my eye, detailed with high-quality metal buttons.

Again, one wishes this photo of this magnificent dark red swing coat did it justice. Not only does it have a HUGE flare from the tailored shoulders, the back is detailed with matching large buttons!

Even Cintra Wilson would be hard-put to say anything negative about this collection. Although I am certain she would. But as for yours truly, these beautiful clothes make contemplating the holiday season just a bit less unbearable.

Start your shopping here!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now Cintra Wilson Knows How It Feels To Be Fat


Poor Cintra Wilson. Since writing her cruel, snide review of J.C. Penney for The New York Times a few days ago, the Internet has been roiling with rage. Directed at her, for the most part. (If you need more information, please read my previous entry.)

She apologized on her blog three times, first mentioning she'd interviewed Beth Ditto ("Some of my best friends are fat people!"), then telling her readers to get the knot out of their panties. When neither of those apologies assuaged anyone, the Times apparently ordered her to take a big-girl pill (pun intended) and issue a radiantly insincere apology:

Because of my personal beliefs as a Buddhist, I very much regret that my JC Penney article in the Times caused any wounded feelings whatsoever, particularly to people who already feel they take more than their share of abuse from our very shallow and ridiculous society.

Your faithful correspondent admits to her lack of knowledge about Buddhism. It's something to do with not owning anything and staring into space while uttering profound aphorisms, I think. Because of my personal beliefs as an atheist, I very much regret that Ms. Wilson, as an abusive member of our shallow and ridiculous society, writes for The New York Times.

As does nearly everyone else with a keyboard, apparently. The blogosphere is filled with rants; everything from calling Ms. Wilson a horse-faced crack whore to calling her critics fat slobs in sweat pants who drive up the cost of health care.

One hastens to add that I have written neither of these things. I prefer civilized discourse. Although yes, I have contributed to the discussion on a number of blogs.

What fascinates me, because I am the center of my universe, is the amount of hate mail I have received since my previous entry. Since I have been dictating this blog-thing for three years or more, I have long since become inured to being called a "fat twat", a "retard", a "stoopid snob who dont know anthing"[sic]. Perhaps I should have published the comments I have received, since they have veered quite far from the standard insults I receive.

Two commenters are convinced I am actually a man.
One commenter said I was robbing Mr. Blackwell's grave. I still don't know what that means. Should I be offended or proud?
Three commenters wrote [paraphrasing] that I should shut my fat hole up/stuff my mouth with food and write about something I know something about.

In a way, I actually feel bad for Ms. Wilson. Now she's having a double-sized portion (again, pun intended) of how most plus-sized women feel treated by society all of the time. Especially by the fashion establishment and the media.

Her mistake was to publish an article in The New York Times that was the equivalent of those signs one sees in taverns of the the more sordid sort: "No Fat Chicks".

I promise to move on to happier topics, such as the lovely holiday line coming soon from Silhouettes!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cintra Wilson "Hates On" Normal Women In The New York Times


Two days ago, Cintra Wilson, a writer for The New York Times, wrote a perceptive yet deeply insulting article about the opening of (gack) J.C. Penney in the Manhattan Mall. In her "Critical Shopper" column, "Playing To The Middle," Ms. Wilson quite accurately writes about the cheap designer knock-offs the store traffics in:

Since the 1970s, J. C. Penney, like a retail Island of Dr. Moreau, has been doing a sinister experiment with various designers, turning them into something ... not quite human. The plot is a fashion democratization known as “masstige,” which sounds gynecological, but is a marketing term created by a fusion of “mass” and “prestige.” It refers to a downward brand extension: designers compelled to put their good names on down-market lines of “affordable luxury.” (Read: items in cheaper materials, sold at lower prices.)

She goes on to name the various designers, some of them completely obscure, who do "masstige" lines for the store, including Kimora Lee Simmons.

However, the majority of Ms. Wilson's article takes deadly aim at the, er, larger-sized customers that flock to J.C. Penney's. She laments the lack of size 2s in stock, but is shocked, shocked to find clothes in 10, 12 and 16! She sees this as a stroke of diabolical marketing genius, particularly where the displays are concerned:

It has made a point of providing clothing for people of all sizes (a strategy, company officials have said, to snatch business from nearby Macy’s). To this end, it has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of “Roseanne.”

Purely gratuitous fat-bashing, don't you think? This sort of unthinking "skinny superiority" absolutely enrages me, I do not mind telling you.

Ms. Wilson is a body snob of the worst kind. Of course, most fashion people are body snobs (pace Karl Lagerfeld), but to me, "Playing To The Middle" hits below the belt. It makes me want to slap Ms. Wilson and then force-feed her a giant chocolate cannoli from Veniero's. And then not let her go to the gym to work it off.

Oh, she throws in how delighted shoppers are to vote with their money for a store not for exercise-crazed skeletons. (Of which, apparently, she is one.) But she still cannot keep herself from making more snide comments about the customers:

No matter how many Grand Slam breakfasts you’ve knocked out of the park, Penney’s has a size for you. Ladies will find kicky little numbers that fit no matter how bountiful the good Lord made them; in the men’s Big & Tall section, even Voltron could find office casuals.

The Good Lord may have made many women bountiful, but He has certainly made Ms. Wilson's mind tiny, petty and mean.

I welcome your comments, dear readers, both pro and con.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

You can read the full article here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Private Sales" Are The Latest Boom For Companies Online


I have only JUST gotten my Internet connection working again, after DAYS without it! It has been misery, I tell you. I was forced to go to a grotty little Internet cafe' to write my last entry. (Mingling with the common folk has never been my strong suit.) In any event, it has just returned, and so here is some "content," as the bots call it.

From my dear friends at Conde Nast:

The magic words seem to be “private” and “sale.” Online retailers such as Bluefly and Overstock have been around for years, without impressive results but the online sample sale format known as the “private sale” has caught on world wide. Today’s Women’s Wear Daily reports that firms such as Vente-Privee, Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Ideeli are showing impressive growth and are attracting venture funding. The off-price market has been estimated at $29 billion a year; according to analyst Brian Tunick of J.P. Morgan, and it stands to reason at least some percentage of that could move online. (In the apparel world, online retail accounts for about 10% of sales.) The growth (some with millions of members) and success of many of these companies has taken the industry by surprise, and the strategy at most companies is to expand into new categories, such as beauty and home. This fall, Gilt plans to introduce a travel site and wine is also on the to-do list.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog *

* who deeply enjoyed having me at his beck and call without the excuse of work!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor Makes It To The Supreme Court!


Our favorite plus-sized Latina judge. Sonia Sotomayor, was voted into the Supreme Court!

My Republican friends are muttering darkly (pardon the pun) about a "Latino/Black conspiracy", which is utter nonsense, but this is America. And Americans always need somebody to hate.

Judge Sotomayor was voted in along strict party lines, with all Democrats voting yes and (almost) all Republicans voting no, with the except of 9 Republicans who will probably now catch hell from the NRA, poor things.

The dark undercurrent (again PARDON THE PUN, I can't seem to escape them!) beneath the disapproval is that the Republicans are subtly or not so subtly suggesting that between President Obama, the soon-to-be new African American Surgeon General (who is, for no valid reason,being pilloried for her weight**), and a Latina Supreme Court justice, that everything from health care to which gala do gets the best swag bags, will all be shifted in the advantage of Blacks and Latinos, with Whites getting the short end of the stick.

Which is highly ironic, since Whites have been giving Blacks and Latinos the short end of the stick since time began. So this is a bit much. In what world do those men live? (It is almost entirely men for some reason, don't ask moi.) Hermetically sealed, one guesses.

No one admires the wealthy and powerful more than I, your faithful correspondent, after all, they give the best presents. And where would my chosen bailiwick, fashion, be without them? Oh, dear, now I'm thinking Deep Thoughts and getting a terrible headache. But onward.

Why on earth did they badger Judge Sotomayor about being racist? In what parallel universe is a woman with such a moderate, mainstream record racist? They are only giving utterance to their own paranoia, their fear of the changing face of America. It really is quite sad, non? We can't go back to 1955, no matter how loud they protest.

Of course, my more left-wing friends think Sotomayor is not liberal enough and is just a "trophy judge." Only time will tell which way she swings. Oh dear, I did not quite mean it that way. You know what I mean.

Fortunately for moi, no matter what color, rich people will always need clothes. That is the true common denominator.

My temples are banging like a limo driving over a dirt road. I need an aspirin. After that, back out to enjoy this GLORIOUS summer day and the crashing of the ocean waves. Have a divine weekend, mon cher lecteurs!

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

** We all know that C. Everett Koop bore a striking resemblance to Michael Phelps.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Rodarte is Coming To Target This Winter


My sources tell me that sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy will introducing a Rodarte collection for Target in December as part of its Go International series of limited collections.

The 55-piece Rodarte line for Go International will launch at most Target stores nationwide and on on Dec. 20, and will be available through Feb. 6. Prices for the collection will range from $9.99 for knee-highs to $79.99 for a leopard print jacket. Here is the link to the WWD article:

Lovely idea, but will they have plus sizes? Stay tuned. ($9.99 for knee-highs??)

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"More To Love" And The Reality of Reality TV


Reality shows, it must be noted, are far from reality. As most of my savvy readers know, “reality” is manipulated and edited to suit what the producers of the show are looking to show. Some of the contestants of Project Runway are kept on because they have fascinating personalities, while the less camera-friendly designers are let go. And many shows rely on keeping the participants isolated from outside contact as much as possible.

Imagine the pressure of having your every move filmed for television, trapped inside a house for weeks, and in some cases not allowed to interact with your fellow cast-members off-camera. (I learned that from a former Survivor cast member; there were employees specially hired to prevent the contestants from speaking to each other between takes!)

So it was with more than a fair share of skepticism that I approached More To Love, a reality show that features an overweight but appealing man, Luke Conley, who is 6'3" and weighs over 300 pounds. He has to choose between twenty overweight and appealing women.

I should warn you that all of the photos have been Photoshopped beyond belief.

Now, reality dating shows have a peculiar, outdated view of romance and marriage, of meeting “the one true love” and living happily ever after. How on earth is that supposed to “reality”? Especially within the confines of the genre. More To Love is no exception.

This might be feminist heresy, but I have to disagree with the critics who say the women were presented as “pathetic” and “otherized.” With the exception of a few bad fashion choices, all of the women were presented as sexy, pretty, and intelligent (again with a few exceptions). They stepped out of black limos in colorful evening gowns, hair perfect, makeup camera-ready, in sky-high heels. **

Some of them could have been pop idols; in fact one woman is a plus-size model, as is the strangely underused host, Emme. I admire Emme tremendously, pardon the pun. But she is only on for a few minutes at the beginning and the end, and seems slightly uncomfortable during the proceedings.

One hopes that during the show’s run she will help these women with their low self-esteem. In one on one interviews, each woman talked about what she wanted in a mate, her dating history, her feelings about her body, etc. What saddened moi was the self-hatred these women had for themselves. They didn’t seem to understand that the mere fact that they were on this show meant that they were far better-looking than average! In fact, quite a few were attractive in that slightly bland style television demands.

They focused on their large bodies as the reason they have/had been dateless. Most reality show contestants are deeply insecure. Why else would they be reality show contestants? But these women wore their hearts on their chiffon sleeves. Why on earth did they think a television show would be their “last chance for love”?

Here I would like to assert that my avoirdupois has never been an obstacle to dating, sex, multiple marriages, or any pleasurable interaction with the male sex. But then, I am a woman of broad mind and loose morals. There were some contestants who were comfortable with their size and happy with their bodies, which was a refreshing change.

At the end, ten women were sent packing, and this is one aspect of reality television I despise: the exit interview. Many of the women being sent home were completely devastated, and the cameras feasted on their devastation.

Many critics have said that More To Love is all about humiliating fat women.

What they do not take into account is that most reality television is, ultimately, about humiliating everyone. Where is the dignity in The Bachelor? Survivor? Big Brother?

Although I have reservations about More To Love, in the end I have to say that I believe it levels the playing field just a tiny bit.

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

**Fashion Note :

Unlike MAKEOVER reality shows, More To Love did not dress the women in lookalike dark colored empire dresses. Their gowns ran the color and design spectrum, and some even had--gasp--natural waistlines!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Setting Up A New Boutique On Etsy!


Yes, I am spreading the wealth! I am opening a brand-new boutique over on Etsy, as are so many other (ugh)Ebay sellers. It is also called The Mad Fashionista's Plus-Size Boutique, but it will feature lower-priced pieces than my Fashiondig shop. (Although there will be some inevitable cross-over; my assistant isn't smart enough to keep it all straight.)

Click on the link above IN THE POST TITLE to take a look, and shop, shop, shop!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog