Christian Siriano’s Fall 09 Collection

20 02 2009

Last night, Project Runway season 4 winner Christian Siriano debuted his Fall 2009 collection, his third showing under the Bryant Park tents. Siriano explained that his inspiration for this collection was Egyptian elegance and royalty. View some of my faves below:


He’s always been a fantastic creator of structured coats and jackets, and this one is no exception. I wish I could see all the detail on the dress underneath. It looks both decadent and wearable.

12This is an excellent example (of several) of his eye for color. He takes a typical Fall palette and tweaks it to flawlessly integrate to evoke the sands and heat of Egypt. Love the pants and the sleeves.

17I really like the fit of this. Not too boring and not too flashy. Love the sharp angles and splash of color.

24A signature look, but not simply recycled. The metallic hints of gold really make the dress.

25Another Siriano signature: a sudden jolt of color to spice up an otherwise predictable palette. The details are both exciting and subtly romantic. Would have loved to see this move.

26Christian chose the perfect model to wear this dress. The skin tone makes this dress’ subtle taupe hue pop boldly.

271I love every bit of this. I’m so glad Sessilee Gomez wore it. The fabric texture really encapsulates Siriano’s vision.

See the rest of the collection here.

Overall, the collection was interesting, diverse, and technically astounding. I know that there were more impressive runs from time-honored favorites, but Siriano keeps my pop-culture-focused interest. I’m always excited to see what he creates and how creatively he’ll execute a vision. Last season’s rainstorm-inspired collection was so tactile and effective.

What do you think? Am I far too pedestrian to state an accurate opinion on Siriano’s latest collection? What did you fashion-forward folks think of it? I’m really curious, because I’m definitely not gonna sit here and act like the authority on haute couture. I judge my opinions based on how cool I think it looks.


Two Choices: Hip-Hop Femininity

5 11 2008

I recently saw Ciara’s new “Go Girl” video, and I have many thoughts, none of which are entirely positive. First, the superficial shots: the song has zero energy. T-Pain’s guest spot is the most exciting part of the track, and that just means it kept me awake long enough to see the end. The concept was also only halfway there; it’s futuristic, she’s an about-business corporate chick. Now she’s a robot! Then it ends climactically with her becoming the main feature at a harley show, twirling around on a Price is Right, “brand new car!”-esque lazy susan, spurting sparks from the tailpipe. Also, the scaffolding in the final dance sequence looks like the behind-the-scenes view of the scaffolding in the “Promise” video. Oh yeah, and it looks like Ci-Ci has not only harnessed the Matrix backbend, but the “Go Girl” video seemed to be an outlet to display her newfound love for Mel B.-like splits. Overall, in one word, “Go Girl” is both visually and aurally uninspired.


Seeing her in that CUH-RAZY robot outfit with metal greaves, a strong stance and underoos that Katy Perry would fall in love with, got me thinking about Ciara’s image and strong femininity in hip-hop. She’s not the first female solo artist to ward off the temptation of becoming a glorified video girl (yeah, I’m looking at you, Christina Milian, Ashanti, Amerie, etc.), nor has she completely eschewed using sex as a marketing technique. But overall, everything from her bourgeoning image to her aggressive-yet-impressive dance style is refreshingly strong for a female in her particular genre, and in pop music in general. I applaud her for espousing this unique image, but after the Go Girl video, I felt led in two distinct directions:

Ciara’s Anti-Object Femininity: How’s She Doin?

1) Her message, while a bit jarring, is important and should be applauded and embraced by the hip-hop community. Sure, she’s pretty freakin’ terrifying in that robot outfit and man-cut business suit in her new video. But maybe it’s necessary. Maybe Ciara needs to be the stark opposite so we can arrive somewhere in the middle. And I’m not saying that it’s a travesty that women are being mentioned in sexual terms in rap lyrics; that would be a separate issue altogether. What Ciara’s standing against, at least visually, is the manipulation and domination that is occurring in popular sexual lyrics regarding women. Women aren’t partners in rappers’ sex fantasies; they’re subordinated and lured with promises of fame and wealth, which give the lyricist the right to gratify himself however he sees fit, sometimes even with violence. I know what you’re thinking: light topic, right? Let’s move on.


2. Ciara has good intentions, but she’s actually making matters worse. Good for Ciara for standing up against objectifying females, but seriously: the message she’s sending with her creepitude costuming is putting us right back where we started. The reason I say this: a woman does not need to disregard her innate femininity to illustrate that she’s more than a sex object. What CiCi’s saying with her MANnerisms is, “sup. I’m just like a dude. That means I gets respect.” WRONG. Ciara needs to hold on to what makes her a woman and demand equality in the hip-hop genre while doing so.

Anyway, sorry for the tome. Below is her video, just in case you need to prove me wrong:

Random irreverence to the intellectual legitimacy of all the above: check out the beginning of the spark-cycle sequence at 2:36. How does that look like anything BUT super-flatulence?!

Two Choices: Whatever You Like

31 10 2008

T.I., coming fresh off his machine-gun indictments, has been flying high off the success of his newest album Paper Trail as well as the near simultaneous chart-toppers Live Your Life and Whatever You Like. Famous parodist and self-deprecating Caucasian Weird Al Yankovic is also enjoying moderate success with his take of T.I.’s Economically-dismissive Whatever You Like, turning lyrics like “I’d gas up the jet for you tonight/ and baby you can have whatever you like” into bargain-friendly suggestions, such as “Take you out for dinner, anywhere that you please/Like Burger King or Mickey Ds.” While I’ve never been a die-hard fan of Yankovic’s, his lyrics have always made me chuckle, and the uber-topical nature of this newest single is more relevant to me than his previous hit, the painfully over-done “I’m-white-and-therefore-can-never-be-urban” take on “Ridin’ Dirty.” (Yankovic boasts that “Whatever You Like” is the first parody he’s created while the original single was still on the billboard charts). Both singles are hits in their own right, which leaves me with two very different directions:

How do you prefer to view the economy?

1) T.I.’s way. There’s something delightfully escapist about wining and dining your true love (which I’m sure this woman is to T.I. He’s such a hopeless romantic…right?), throwing caution to the wind, and, dare I say it, wholeheartedly “Liv(ing) You Life.” I know, I know. So PunNasty.
2) Weird Al’s way. However, maybe we need to jokingly call attention to our wastefulness. I know that Yankovic didn’t intend for his version to necessarily be a diatribe against Patron-sippin, but his hyperbolic contrast makes one realize the horrific financial state that this country is in. Perhaps it’s best to recognize it, make certain lifestyle changes for the bettering of the economy, but still have a sense of humor about it.

So, what do you think? Hit up the vids below for more in-depth research.

Aside: If it wasn’t for T.I.’s staggering confidence, there’s no way anyone could find him attractive. I have never seen anyone who looks more like a rat. Don’t get me wrong, I love T.I.’s music. I’m simply relaying facts.

Two Choices: Robyn’s Swedish Sensibility

22 10 2008

Okay, so I could go on and on about how undiscovered and unappreciated Robyn’s new foray into American audiences has been with last summer’s release of her album Robyn, but I fear that I will uninterestingly bring up points that are unoriginal and overwrought by none other than Perez Hilton (I’m using the un prefix like it expires tomorrow, btw). However, I do feel the need to bring up this query: Robyn recently released two new videos (strange pattern of current pop artists, yes?): Cobrastyle, while a definite upgrade from the low-budget Swedish original, still maintains a high level of euro edginess. The new Konichiwa records Robyn deliberately takes a stand against the “sex sells” feminine presence in pop music, and the Cobrastyle video is a clear illustration of that. See below:

However, in Dream On, Robyn takes a fairly neutral, more western direction. There’s a distinct plot, which does help explain the singer’s intention for the song to be “about forgiveness.” Alot of focus is taken away from her aggressive neo-feminism, and it quietly appeals to a broader audience. Check it out:

I love both of these videos, but it leaves me with two distinct choices (coincidentally!):

How do you like your Robyn?
1. Watered down and more accessible, so a wider audience will give her the credit that’s long overdue?
2. Unapologetically Swedish, aggressively anti-sex-object, and deliberately obscure?

Make your decision carefully.

Two Choices: New Beyonce Videos

16 10 2008

Yes, that’s right. Videos. How else would B roll? Especially after making videos for almost every track on her previous B’day album, it seems only natural that Beyonce’s everywhere you turn, comin’ at you from a ballad and a beat-ridden hit. Also, after reading this tidbit from Entertainment Weekly, the bi-polar video decision reflects her new two-disc release. However, the similar monochromatic style of both her new videos has got me wondering:

Are Beyonce’s new videos:
1. Indicative of a classic, urban noir aesthetic that represents her new album?
2. Indicative of our failing economy? Girlfriend’s gotta pay bills too, y’know.

Check out the videos below and decide for yourself.

Single Ladies

If I were a Boy

Two Choices: Realize

6 10 2008

Let’s cut right to the chase, taken from her current single Realize:

 “Take time to realize/that your warmth is/crashin’ down on in.”

With this lyric, I’m-a-glamorized-homeless-Hawaiian is:

1) Giving the gramatically indecisive three preposition propositions, or
2) Exposing her pre-homeless-Hawaiian-glamorizedness by showcasing her syntactical incompetence. 

I would elaborate on which option is more in my favor, but I’ve got to get back on over to work. Beat that, Colbie! Four sequential prepositions! 

Two Choices: Jesse McCartney

2 10 2008

The 21 year-old phenom is already a vet in the biz, and his new single leavin’ is topping the charts. He’s even going to guest-star on Greek, which is a veritable neon sign exclaiming “You’ve finally made it!” But on the serious, recent photos of him force me to assume one of two things:

1) Too Much Time in the Sun?
2) Really REALLY loves to laugh?

The kid’s barely crackin’ into his 20s, and he’s got crow’s feet and leathery skin reminiscent of an octogenarian. Spent too much time doing character research during his Summerland days, perhaps?