Monday, August 31, 2009

finally feeling lucky

i have been a reader of lucky magazine from the beginning. i knew that a magazine that bills itself as a magazine about shopping was right up my alley. for a few years a relished every issue. i found the articles interesting, the point of view fresh and the immense amount of photos, descriptions and suggestions welcome. however, in the past couple of years, lucky has lost it's luster. each issue has become more and more contrived. the editor's seem hell bent on making this magazine appeal to fewer and fewer people. i understand that i am inching my way out of the primary demographic by growing older and more sensible(it burns!), however i do feel that if a magazine is truly about shopping and the art thereof, more eternal truths about shopping should included in the expanse of the publication that apply to everyone, and not just to very skinny, tall, willowy, wealthy 20 year olds with no jobs, no children and no responsibilities. how can a magazine continue to be profitable when it only appeals to less than 1% of the population?
that being said, the september 2009 issue of lucky has been the best in years. however, it is not soley due to the genius of the lucky staff. the credit lies in the companies advertising the in magazine. so many retailers have been so hard hit by the recession, they are actually spending their coin on creating clothing lines that are versatile and wearable as well as affordable. a revelation!!! some of the best were from Kmart(gasp, so fantastic, very pleased), dillard's, macy's, forever 21, charlotte russe, payless shoes, target and the gap(really, the gap sells denim?).
lucky is slowing making strides towards this same conclusion. while many pages are filled with ridiculously priced items, more and more features are aimed at true bargain shopping. in prior editions many of their bargain pages only contained 5 or fewer items. or if they were pushing a feature on "everything under $100!", the items under $100 were going for about $99.95. pretension and exclusivity were key to their marketing strategy. that only works for a while as those of us who have been excluded or overlooked start looking elsewhere to meet out fashion needs. money speaks louder than words. frankly, lucky left me feeling unlucky.
i'll be the first one to say that i LOVE looking at $400 pair of leather stuart weitzman shoes. or a completely unreasonable cashmere ralph lauren scarf for $342 can make me swoon. fashion is supposed to be a touch ridiculous, it's a form of personal expression. however, not everything is a splurge-worthy. as fashion maven sarah jessica parker said at the launch of her own budget dave and barry's line, "fashion is a right, not a luxury". she's right. she's so right, she even had t-shirts emblazoned with that saying.

my very favorite ad from the september 2009 issue was from ann taylor loft. i was on the verge of tears when my eyes absorbed it's fashion goodness. simple. wearable. layerable. understated. and lots of gray. that will always win me over. the clothing is versatile and the ad a whole is a recipe of how to style your fall wardrobe. many of the items may look like things you already own. what makes this ad so special is how it subtley updates the classic look with a few trendy splashes. enticing women to spend because the things are in reach and won't destroy and entire paycheck or condemn your family to a month of pancakes and ramen.
for example, this is how females over the age of 16 should be wearing their jeans. skinny jeans are a great trend, but being realistic to your body type is more important. instead of a skinny jean, try a long straight leg with some stretch in a dark wash. anything too skinny will emphasize hip to ankle ratio rather than emphasizing beautiful curves. nobody wants to be an inverted triangle, looking like an overstuffed box perched on top of a broom.

love the shoes: wedges are my fave. they give neccesary height and elongation but don't take away balance.
love the boots: sophisticated and elegant.
love the hobo bag: the shape is reminiscent of 80s fashion without screaming molly ringwald.
love the sleevless drapey sweater: this one piece can update so many items you already own.
love the white blouse: really, do i even need to expound upon the obvious?
love the purple: autumnal but not drab. especially with the brown and gray combo!!!
love the hem options: the same cut of pants, worn so many ways, cuffed, cropped, tucked and out.

hurray for you ann taylor loft. hurray for you!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

bienvenidos a miami

if you are not already watching burn notice, tune in for the summer finale thursday night at 9pm, 8 central. seriously, do yourself a favor and become a fan of this show. at our house, we started watching it because we thought it looked like a show that would be easy to make fun of. and it does have plenty of ridiculous moments, but it also has plenty of moments of pure entertainment value. each week as thomas and i watch it, i try and convince him of how we can make halloween costumes for ourselves of each of the characters. and if i want to portray something for halloween, you know it is hot stuff.

character breakdown:
fiona glenanne- ex-girlfriend of michael weston. she is part-time un-licensed bounty hunter, full time high-heel shoe wearer. fiona has a history of hijacking weapons for gun smugglers. she includes as her hobbies building bombs and blowing things up. she finds it neccesary to wear booty shorts and halter tops at all times.

actress gabrielle anwar portrays fiona. you may remember her from wild hearts can be broken(one of the best movies of all time) and a few choice sci-fi channel and lifetime movies.
5 degrees of separation- 1. gabrielle anwar portrayed sonora webster in wild hearts. 2.sonora webster was born in waycross, georgia. 3. thomas is the king of waycross, georgia. 4.thomas is married to me. 5. that makes me famous

madeline westen- chain-smoking den mother of the burn notice crew, real(fake) mother of michael westen.
in short. awesome character. maddie is always a treat when she gets to be included in the job. i for one, am so glad that they fixed her hair from season one. i want to buy an obnoxious amount of hoop earrings and pashmina scarves because of her. when are she and sam axe going to hook it up? for real?

michael westen- "burned" former spy who loves to wear pastels, especially pink. he apparently likes to live on the edge and he can't just take a job at mcdonald's. or at least if he wants to use his technical skillz, he should apply at geek squad. he lives above a night club, which is a running theme in the show.
michael has single handedly brought back the suit and i applaud him for it. not since miami vice has a suit been so cool and yet so attainable. and yogurt. one can never get enough active cultures. a small tub a of yogurt is the perfect accessory to the suit.
hopefully his spy skillz will help him beat his recent glaringly guilty DUI charges.

and my personal fave-
SAM AXE!!! this show would just be a modern macgyver without sam axe. i love this guy. he is what keeps the show funny and fresh. i want to name something sam axe just so that i get to say it everyday. "go answer the sam axe front door." "where the heck are my sam axe car keys". or perhaps make it my new expletive. "would you stop wearing your sam axe shoes on the sam axe carpet?"
sam is a former navy seal and he likes to bring that fact up in every conversation. he also seems to be a magnet for rich single women who like to loan him expensive cars. he mentions in EVERY episode some "buddy" that has loaned him something and has provided some crucial informations. my favorite sam axe quality(besides the floral shirts and linen pants and loafers. and gold chains. can't forget about the gold chains.) is his use of the pseudonym of chuck finley. whenever sam axe needs a cover, it will be chuck finley.

who is chuck finley? only a former california angel who was married to tawney kitaen, she of whitesnake music video fame. ms. kitaen was the playboy model who dated david coverdale, lead singer of whitesnake and she displayed a talent for doing the splits and other gymnastical feats on the hoods of cars. so it makes perfect sense for sam axe to use chuck finley as his alias.

"if the devil had a name it would be chuck finley" -sam axe

things that i have learned from burn notice:
-your phone can be turned into a tracking device/bomb/computer hard drive stealer/hand to hand combat weapon at any moment.
-once your phone has called a tapped phone line, all your phonecalls can now be tapped too.
-C2 is used to make explosives and it looks like a block of lard.
-pretending to be drunk or uneducated can get you access to a lot of places.
-if you are looking for a turncoat spy/informant/drugdealer/con artist/money launderer/ illegal modeling-sex slave business, try a night club.
-miami is crawling with former spies, arms dealers, and hit men from former soviet bloc countries.
-miami is secret spy world headquarters.
in short. watch this show. and rent seasons 1 and 2. today.