Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guess Megan Top

I'm very proud to present one of my prints for Guess Summer 2008.

They've recolored it quite nicely and made it into this, uh, provocative top. Buy it now at guess.com (at the equally provocative price of $69).

This was the original design presented to the Guess design team:

Model Photos from guess.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An Evening With Diana Ross

Miss Diana Ross Brings It To The Hollywood Bowl.
(With apologies for the blurred photos)

This is truly a once in a lifetime event. Miss Diana Ross has made herself scarce after the failure of her Return to Love "Supremes Reunion" tour and subsequent brushes with the law and alcohol. She did release an album last year featuring a cover of the song "More Today Than Yesterday".

The last time she performed at the Hollywood Bowl was in 1967. Needless to say, the anticipation and expectations were high.

And Miss Ross did not disappoint!

Miss Ross made her appearance after the LA Philharmonic did the requisite opening act with two pieces that she helped choose. The pieces were "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" (Rodgers) and "Harlem" (Ellington). An intermission was necessary to set-up the stage for Miss Ross' appearance. There was room for a ten piece band, back up singers, stairs and a landing.

The opening strains for "I'm Coming Out" started and the crowd goes wild. Then we hear Miss Ross' disembodied voice floating through the amphitheatre. Where is she? She appears in what seems to be a red, strapless Bob Mackie gown with an enormous wing-like tulle boa and an abbreviated and bouncy version of "that hair" - and we have takeoff!

Her voice, if a little smokey with age, was still pleasant to hear. She started with some hits from Supremes which she delivers one after the other, seemingly without exhaustion, and prodding the audience to sing along with her, which they did.

First costume change was this sequin bathrobe for the hits of the 70's like "The Boss" and "Endless Love":

Second costume change was this 30's camellia gown for the "Lady Sings The Blues" segment:

Then she re-appears with the Big Bird Yellow dress for the finale and greatest iconic hits like "Theme from Mahogany" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough":

She returns for the encore/finale and sings "I Will Survive" in yet another gown. This time it's a lime green dolman sleeve number with a matching enormous tulle boa (not pictured):

It wasn't very long ago when I wished I could see Diana Ross perform live and now I have! Be careful what you wish for!

Here's a short clip from this most memorable evening:

At The Hollywood Bowl

July 26, 2008.

Guess who's performing tonight!

The Muses fountain was designed by Geoge Stanley in 1938. He's the same guy who designed the Oscar® statuette. The statues represent the Muses of Music, Dance and Drama:

We brought a picnic lunch and ate at the terrace. There are plenty of places to have a picnic around the bowl including the Highland Camrose Park, greenbelts across the bowl and several, if not all pathways going towards the gate and seating. You can also eat in your seat but I suggest you limit that to snacks and light refreshments since it can get tight. Unless you're in the box seats or VIP seats (then you'll get a waiter as well):

Tip: Best parking is at the church on Franklin and Highland. Parking is $10-$20 (depending on the event). Easiest to get in and out of, plus the money goes to the church.  Click here for more info on the church and parking.

They started giving concerts at the "Bowl" (what used to be referred to as Bolton Canyon) in 1922. Here is an aerial view of how the Hollywood Bowl currently looks like:

This is the section we are seated in. This is also where the cheap seats start.

As it becomes darker, the crowd gets eager with anticipation:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Da Who is Creative Recreation?

(All photos from Creative Recreation's website)

I ran across this brand trying to look for those damned purple mocs that were featured in The Sartorialist.

Based on the name, it looked like a Chinese knock-off version of Modern Amusement. I'm not particularly happy with the logo. I think the wings were better appropriated by American Eagle Outfitters and Southwest Airlines. And the Avant Garde type looks a little euro-tired (as in "I'm all euro-ed out!").

The website describes the brand as created by "Two long time friends who were already enjoying a prosperous career in the footwear industry..."

And by "long time friends" do they mean that they spend a long time doing acrobatics in bed while licking every available orifice?

Anyway, they DO have some cute ones. I like the blue ones below. The color blocking reminds me of my old Enrico Coveri's which I only wore once or twice because at that age, my brain exploded if it had to deal with more than two or three colors at a time.

These leather sneakers look very elegant:

The male model on their website looks like one of the contestants in "America's Most Smartest Model". The styling on the other pictures also look very smart.

These look like 80's diadora:

(OK, that metal logo piece is beginning to look like those guardian angel pins the old ladies at church are wearing)

Speaking of the eighties, here's something to wear to your high school reunion:

And if you're old enough to remember the eighties, you'll probably want to dress your babies just like dad used to:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An Evening With Jay McCarroll

At the Ford Amphitheatre.

This was a completely spontaneous thing. I didn't even know where the Ford Amphitheatre was.

I heard there were free tickets for a screening of Eleven Minutes*, a film by Rob Tate and Mike Selditch about Jay McCarroll's debut collection for Spring 07 (which meant the film was shot around 2006). Well, they ran out of free tickets, but, I still got discounted tickets at Goldstar and I dragged my friend Amy to come see it with me.

Turns out that the Ford Amphitheatre is like a mini Hollywood Bowl. Parking is stacked, which means your car is parked like sardines and you could potentially get trapped, especially if the owners of the cars around you decide to lollygag their way to their cars.

I brought some sushi and snacks which we enjoyed at the courtyard:

The seats in this theatre are uncomfortable, but at least it keeps you awake during screenings:

The Big Screen. Cinema under the stars. There was a full moon that night as well:

There was the customary sponsor plugs, after which they introduced the filmmakers, Mike and Rob:

But wait!

We totally did not expect to see Jay there (although we spotted Uncle Nick Verreos earlier) but there he was in living color. Love the necklace by his friend Lola (she looked scary in the film - keep that blowtorch away from me, Lola!)

Then Jay brings out the "gang", Raymundo, Uncle Nick, and Kara Saun:

Where's Heidi and Tim? Jay jokes that they couldn't come up with the $90,000 "fee"

They leave us with their impression of Christian Siriano-fierce!:

We decide to lollygag our way back to the car (don't you just hate it when people do that? Really! Some People! Haha!).

Well who do we run into but Jay himself and the "gang" joined by Andre waiting for their ride to the after party.

Amy and I introduce ourselves and have pictures taken.
The reason why I don't have a picture with Jay is because some bitch (not even pretty!) SHOVED ME ASIDE! (I wanted to shake the color out of her hair - seeriously!)

But, fortunately, Uncle Nick was there to pick up the slack:
Uncle Nick liked my shirt. It's actually $8.98 from Steve and Barry's - but we do not speak of such things!

Here's Amy, Uncle Nick, David (Uncle Nick's partner) and Amanda (Project Runway Model - luv her!):

Here's a poignant little photo of Jay and André.

A good time was had by all.

*Rob and Mike also did the short docu "Project Jay" for Bravo.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Welcome to my new toy - styleshake.com!

I think this website proves more than ever why society needs designers. 

This website allows you to design your own clothes (limited to dresses, skirts and tops - Thank God!) and have it delivered to your door in 10 days (in the UK, takes longer to ship to other countries).

For as many good and decent designs that they generate, there are equally as many aesthetetically-challenged creations!

Designing a decent dress is not easy. Atrocious ones are easier - and much more fun!

Here's a couple of mine:

Early Oscar De La Renta made with fabric from the dollar bin.

Inspired by Holiday Barbie.

Holiday 2008. Perfect for the aspiring Manila socialite.
Note the Swarovskis on this baby! Yeah!

Make your own Galliano!

Snow White.

Faux Christian Siriano. Fierce!

Here are some dresses that were actually made (from their website):

She looks angry. I'm scared. 
But I'm strangely attracted to the pink.

This would look adorable - on a two year old!

She decided to wear her bustier dress over her standard issue psych-ward nighty.

Woof! Woof!Woof!.

What Else Can We Do On Sunday?

A trip to the Griffith Observatory.

The last time I saw Griffith Observatory was in 1978.  When I moved back to Los Angeles in 2002, I went back here but they closed it for renovations and expansions.  It re-opened two years ago.

It's hard to believe that the original building was hydraulically lifted so they could dig underground to create additional exhibit space and a theatre.  

The original building was built in 1937.  The original design was a fanciful Spanish colonial inspired structure with tile roofing.  Then the 1933 earthquake happened and all the plans were quickly revised.  And wisely too!  It now has a copper roof and the streamlined Art Deco style that was cutting edge at the time.  In addition, they added thick concrete walls (1 foot thick in some places) with labyrinthine rebar for earthquake-proofing.  The result being, this is now the safest place to be in the event of an earthquake.  Never mind that it is on the edge of a hollowed-out hill.

The plaza is a nice place to unwind and watch the sunset.  The place is open till 10pm in case you want to take a peek at the night sky through the telescope.

This is Griffith J. Griffith. The man who donated Griffith Park to Los Angeles and created the Griffith Observatory. He loved astronomy and he said that if every person could see through the lens of the telescope, it would change the world. So let's take a peek, shall we?

The building doesn't look as big and imposing once you get closer and see people standing at the balcony.  Below is the dome that contains the telescope.  It rotates and the center panel opens to reveal the telescope.

Here is a closer look at the dome with the telescope:

The first exhibit inside the building is Foucault's Pendulum which was used to prove that the earth rotated on an axis.  They have very knowledgeable (and cute!) docents who will gladly explain this to you.

This is the ceiling where the ball for the pendulum hangs from.  All the murals are original to the building:

One of the new additions to the Observatory is the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theatre.  I guess he really took his job at Star Trek very seriously.  He also stars in a 20 minute informational film about the Observatory that is shown on this theatre every hour on the hour.  Talk about shameless self promotion (hehehe).

Below is part of the new exhibition space.  Here y ou can learn about the planets (you can even find out how much you weigh on each of the planets!)

This is a plastic model of Saturn.  They even have a plastic model of Pluto, even though it was recently demoted:

This is milky way, the galaxy we live in.  It looks like fish excretion during spawning.  Oh, who am I kidding - it looka like semen!

On the meteorite exhibit, you can plot the destruction of the earth.  You can pick a size of the meteor, plug in weight and velocity and a target on earth and watch what happens.  In this case, I maxed out all the values and coordinates which resulted in the total destruction of the earth.  Oooops!

This is the Observatory getting creative by using cosmic related costume jewelry to illustrate a timeline:

This was the projector used in the planetarium which was retired in 2002 after the renovations.

Tucked away in a corner is a time capsule created in 1976 marked "A Sampling of Los Angeles Lifestyle 1976 for the citizens of 2076).  Guess I won't find out what's in it.  It probably has an 8-track cassette and nik-nik shirts in it.  Or even Jimmy Hoffa!

What can I say about this one (insert Uranus joke here):

The art deco grille work on the entryway taken from the inside:

The Ar Deco influence is evident throughout the structure and details:

What's at the end of the Universe?  I guess it's a Cafe.  And it ain't Starbucks, it's Wolfgang Puck.
You can dine-in or...

.....dine outdoors.  Note the L.A. smog in the distance.

What fashionable Euros are wearing these days.  Man-pri and gladiator sandals.

And of course, a monument to James Dean who starred in the movie that prominently displayed the Griffith Observatory - Rebel Without A Cause.