Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Ride Less Trammeled...

When the items affixed to the exterior of your vehicle outnumber the seatbelts within, perhaps it is time to bone up on Madame Shock's advice for A Quiet Ride?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We Nod, Dears, to Minaudieres

Les Mesdames are not much for embracing "In/Out" lists - if one has to be told what's in or out (and, more importantly, if one feels the slavish need to follow such dictates), well, life is just in a very sorry state of affairs.  However, we do delight in pointing out when major fashion magazines happen to dictate mindlessly what we have already gently suggested.

To wit:  Harper's Bazaar magazine - March 2013 "NEW FASHION" issue - IN/OUT list.  The #1 most important "IN" item, it would seem, is a clever minaudiere.

Now, far be it from Les Mesdames to quibble, but it seems such a subject was already addressed here at length several years ago.  In 2009 to be exact.  With suggested bags much more inventive and clever than, say, a $3,610 minaudiere that looks like, oh, a $3,610 minaudiere.  Well, maybe a $3,600 minaudiere, to be exact.

But that would only be if we were quibbling.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's In A Name?

Thinking perhaps you will start a fashion line?  Become the next Project Runway star, and swan your way down the red carpet at Vogue's prestigious Met Ball with fabulous movie stars wearing your wear?  Madame Shock has stern words for you, right up front:  Choose the name of your line carefully.

In the name of research Les Madames selflessly went shopping - yes, the sacrifice! They visited everywhere from Neiman Marcus to the local thrift store seeking examples that might terrify hopeful young designers into thinking straight about names.  Ecoute, mes enfants!

This, perhaps, would not be the best idea in trousers, slacks, or...let's be serious...anything:
Nor would this, as much as it pretends to embrace improvement:

And one suspects the designers of the below item perhaps do not call English their native language - a good warning for those who may be tempted to choose a saucy French word or cool-looking Asian character for their brand name (you would think all those celebrities with incorrect tattoos serve as a lesson here, but that's another post indeed...):

Think, dahlings, of the image you want to project, the picture that forms in your mind when the soon-to-be-adoring masses hear the name of your soon-to-be-selling-out fashion line:
Think also of how a woman wants to feel when she buys and wears your item - perhaps not like another version of a man (that is, of course, yet another post...):
And above all, lieblings, do your research research research.  Madame Shock, for one, shudders each time she sees someone proudly traipsing about with this town name emblazoned across their chest or (god forbid) posterior:
Mon Dieu! Have you ever BEEN to Hollister?  Wethinks mayhap the designers had not... 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Grows Your Clothes...Who Knows?

While we are on the topic of coffee table books to run out and purchase, here is one to add to the list:  Fashioning the Future: Tomorrow's Wardrobe by Suzanne Lee.

Les Mesdames Chic, Shock et Chausseurs spend oodles of time figuring out how to refashion fashion into unique statement pieces.  This did not start out as an ecological bio-drive toward anything - it was just our collective desire not to be like anyone else and use mainstream fashion and design pieces in odd and creative ways.  However, the eco-pull to recyling and redesigning fashion is relentless - we dare you to create oh, say a Tampon holder out of a Tiffany's Stationery Box and or a ball gown out of old T-shirts and not feel the "aha!" moment of reduce-reuse-recycle. 

Well...behold the newest eco-fashion innovation: bacteria that make clothes.  Vraiment!

BioCouture by Suzanne Lee, for ModeMuseum Belgium

In case you did not immediately click on the arresting image above and/or already purchase the book vite vite, let us explain:  Ms. Suzanne Lee, a London fashion designer, creates couture pieces out of (you won't believe it...):  microbial cellulose.  Quoi, et...pourquoi?  Ms. Lee has found certain microbes that spin threads that can be used to make invisible dresses, the coolest body-armour-style corsets, and more.

She has been featured in Bloomberg News, The New York Times, and was named as one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine.

Ms. Lee calls it BioCouture and we call it encroyable!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Big Nudes White Women Sleepless Nights...Where Were We?

Staggering back into normalcy after the holiday season, dahlings?  Surely you are primed and sassy, eager and bright-eyed, ready to plunge headlong into another year of fashion and DIY creativity.  Non?  Welllll, the Mesdames want to have a cozy, down-home chat about the holidays, with a specific focus on their favorite gifts of the season, so step lively, cherubs!  Eh - Pfft?  Vraiment? Yoo hoo - Hallo?

Big Nudes with Sylvia, First Edition

Ah! Fully recovered now, we see! 

Les Mesdames are not above tossing in some scenery-chewing, jaw-dropping, psyche-searing nudity when more polite entreaties fail.  And it is simply impossible to ignore the photography of Mr. Helmut Newton, d'accord?  Even more difficile to ignore the commanding presence of one of his favorite models, the teutonic goddess Sylvia Gobbel, n'est pas? 

Where is this all going, you ask, other than a fine tour of black-and-white, semi-S&M photography?  Ecoute.  Madame Chausseurs had the great fortune to attend the Helmut Newton exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston this past September, which featured prints from his first three books: White Women, Sleepless Nights, and Big Nudes

Featured prominently in the exhibit was none other than the divine Ms. Gobbel (far right, above and below).

Madame Shock et Sylvia Gobbel Nolleau near St Tropez

You see, les Mesdames Chic & Shock bear great love and gratitude for Ms. Gobbel, she having saved them from small-town mediocrity and religious-cult-smothering (would we lie?!) as 19-year-old babes-in-the-woods.  She sponsored them in a fantastic, rock-and-roll summer haunting Parisian nightclubs (Castel! Le Palace!) and French Riviera fun (Le Club 55 et Byblos - bises!) on an elegantly oversized sailing yacht.  We salute Sylvia, in this exhibit and in her current return to modeling.  C'est Magnifique!

Madame Chic et Sylvia circa 1989

And you really wondered what this all had to do with favorite gifts, didn't you?  Ah, ye of little faith!

Aside from the gift of osmotic chic generously shared by Sylvia so many years ago this year's prizes were indubitably the fabulous coffee table books Madame Chausseurs procured at the MFA Houston exhibit:  Big Nudes, Polaroids, and more.  If you don't have any...snap them up at Amazon, vite vite, schatzi!  LOVE!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Guests Give Good Gifts, part II

Responses to yesterday's Hostess Gift post were (as expected from our dear readership, bien sur) wonderful and unique!  Three readers sent in suggestions for more artisanal chocolates made in small shops in tiny towns.  Two of them do appear to take orders online:  The Secret Chocolatier and Norman Love Confections.  The third, Dolly Mama Chocolates, has the most wonderful website and philosophy - how can we not simply adore a chocolatier who quotes Ghandi, wants to "create beauty in life through chocolate" and whose name riffs on the Dalai Lama?!  Alas, Dolly Mama's goodies are so exclusif they do not appear to sell outside small markets in North Carolina - sigh!

Another dear reader provided excellent suggestions for buying organic, vegan, gluten-free, (etc etc) gift-worthy goodies:  Etsy.  Devoted Glam Slam readers know we believe strongly in Etsy, as noted in our 2009 post on Proper Evening Bags, and the recent essay on recycled T-shirt Couture (Jag & Nevie scarves and skirts are sold on Etsy).  Indeed, we had been so busy cruising Etsy for fabulous fashions and amazing antique gifts (a 1920s cocktail shaker shaped like a woman's leg? mais oui, we want!) that les Mesdames never once noticed that edibles were also for sale on the site.  Sally forth, dear readers, and never bring boring gifts again - there are simply too many options for a creative soul like toi!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ho Ho Hostess Gifts!

Madame Shock recently sat down to draft a manifesto regarding what to bring and what not to bring to a party host or hostess.  But in the spirit of Christmas she has decided not to lecture, admonish, or browbeat - we all know the rules, right?  Well... maybe she'll write that missive afterall...  It's just that she's a tad foggy from a marvelous little soiree last night and hasn't the strength for numbered lists at the moment. 

She would never leave anxious party-goers hanging, however, no matter how hungover.  So Madame Chic has graciously agree to discuss only "the classics" until Mme Shock has sufficient recovered:
  1. Flowers - does it even need to be said? Self-contained (never bring them without a vase or pot), low-odor (please don't clog diners' senses with heavy scents), and, if they come from your garden, pest-free!  Madame Chic once choked down an entire 7-course meal in sheer terror of the earwig that had crawled out of the centerpiece and under her plate...somewhere.  She still shudders delicately at the memory.    
  2. Richard Donnelly's handmade delicacies
  3. Chocolates - parfait... unless you know the hostess to be diabetic: small, portable, beautiful, delicious (the chocolates, bien sur, pas the diabetic hostess....).  Madame Chausseurs has been showering lucky hostesses this season with the most delectable boxes of handmade goodies from Donnelly Chocolates.  A mixed box of Spicy Chipotle, Chinese Five Spice, Saffron, Chai, and Hazelnut Gianduja morsels - all in dark chocolate or truffle versions - practically guarantees a repeat invitation. (Although -it pains Madame greatly to have to spell it out, she has taken on this task and must see it through to the bitter end: no mass-produced chocolates that can be purchased in supermarkets and chain drugstores, s'il vous plait.)
  4. vintage scarves from Echo, Jugoslavia tourist board, and Schiaparelli
  5. Wine - everyone loves wine!  Except those in recovery or staunch teetotallers.  So know your audience before showing up with a bottle of your finest.  After that perfunctory recon, any good-quality wine is always welcome, but the enticingly unusual or small-label bottles are of course more impressive.  And take care with presentation - a bow is good, an unusual gift bag is better, and something highly unusual - like the vintage scarves Madame Chausseur collects - is best.  Madame has a general thing against scarves when worn by anything other than wine bottles (ah, perhaps that story later...) but you must admit they make charming one-of-a-kind gift bags.  She collects interesting specimens in her travels for just such occasions, and is particularly fond of her 1960s-era "Jugoslavia" tourist scarf (shown above, center).  After all, dahlings, nothing says chic like a gift from a no-longer-existing country. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Of Cowpies, Fryes, and Dyes

In a 2009 post Madame Shock did what she does best (pish posh, dahlings, no tittering, it's ONE of the things she does best): buying Louboutins for half-price and dyeing them to fit her fancy.

Madame Chausseurs - sorely put out by a victory on her own territoire - sniffed that c'est tres simple bien sur to dye suede, but leather is a whole different animal (yes, technically the same animal, but treated differently and...well, we digress...).  

Shhhh, it's pigskin...
It just so happened that Madame Chic had been shopping at that very moment.  Yes, imagine - shopping!  Standing in a tiny boutique in a tinier Wyoming town she was desperate for some very tall footwear to separate her dainty soles from the omnipresent muddy, mottled, gray-brown muck.  Madame had been blissfully enjoying a secret rendezvous on a private ranch until her dire lack of sturdy chausseurs began to threaten the romance. 

Never one to throw away a man for lack of appropriate footwear, she had located acceptable - cute, even - Frye platform kiltie brogues in the only boutique in town but - quelle horreur! - the only remaining pair taunted her from the shelf in a muddy, mottled gray-brown the precise shade of the very muck she was desperate to avoid. 

But what to do?  And what to do vite vite, before another Cowpie-in-the-Peeptoes debacle ruined another romantic, candlelight dinner in a private tent on the pampas (or whatever the term is for amber waves of grain that hide cowpies from unsuspecting fashionistas)?  The suspense! The drama! But never fear...we would never leave Madame Chic stranded with date pains in the great plains as fate reigns ... 

Everything always comes back to Audrey...
Oh, excuse nous, s'il vous plait ...the Mesdames got sidetracked in a little My Fair Lady reverie just at the exciting point in the story!  What did Madame Chic do to rescue her romance and her pieds?!  She called Madame Shock right on the spot (well, technically not on the spot, because super-secret ranches in tiny Wyoming towns get simply PAS de cell reception, but we'll skip that part of the story...).  And after a quick trip to the drugstore down the street and a purchase of one bottle of black shoe polish...voila!  You'd never know they were anything other than standard, reassuring, big-city-girl black, n'est pas?

Perfectly Un-Cowpie Black

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Shirt Off Your Back

Any girl with a colorful modern life has usually accumulated a vast cache of meaningful T-shirts. They are the never-returned T tossed on over the previous night's cocktail dress for an early morning walk-of-shame.  Or the official-issue work uniform for a now defunct hot-spot that proves you really were at the center of the universe for your 15 minutes of fame. Or that authentic vintage concert T stolen from an older one-night-stand who really "was there." (Or, if you are Madame Shock, it is all of the above and more.)

But one must admit that a stylish woman just can't wear T-shirts any more. Of course, of course, those tired magazine editorials will always advise you to spruce one up with boyfriend jeans, a belted grandpa cardigan, or a little boy's blazer from Brooks Brothers.  But no one is impressed, and certainly not if you are past the drinking age. It's still an ill-fitting T-shirt (mostly from the time before girl-fit Ts), with graphics and print that are distracting and out of proportion to your outfit. Even Kate Moss can barely pull it off.

Uncommon Goods Memory Quilt
What do mere mortals of creative chic do? We can certainly send them off for the traditional quilt-making endeavor. Uncommon Goods has a "Memory Quilt Kit" that is just lovely because you can choose one of two options: they'll send you a kit and all materials (except your Ts) OR you can just hand your Ts over to them and they'll do it. the beach house or mountain cabin a charming memory-T quilt can be quite delightful. But we expect a bit more oomph, a bit more...original chic...out of our possessions, non?

Angela Johnson Corset Cocktail Dress
Pssst. Come very close. Madame Chic is going to whisper. Gather up all those T-shirts and send them post-haste to Angela Johnson. She will whip you up the most scrumptious corset, Betty-Page-worthy 40s ruffle halter dress, or rollicking 50s ball gown...all with your own recycled T-shirts. (If you don't have your own, she can provide them and can even work with some theme/color requests.) Where most eco-recycling designers still seem to fall into the distressingly hippie realm, Angela has brilliantly worked her unstructured, preworn fabrics into super-structured, sexy shapes and silhouettes with rigid histories. Its a genius move, and incredibly well-tailored. (She has outfitted actresses for the Emmys and NY Fashion Week and Mad Men premieres, for goodness sake!)

Angela Johnson Ball Gown

Jag & Nevie Scarf

Never been to St. Barts or the polo match on ice at St. Moritz?  Oh dahling, not to worry, we'll never tell! We are here to provide you with a glamorous history, imaginary or real.  Run - run! - quickly to Jag & Nevie  and scoop up one of her fabulous shawls or scarves, reversible halter tops or flirty skirts.  They are all made from ΓΌber-glam recycled t-shirts with various themes (as expected, Madame Chic adores the travel ones while Madame Shock favors the alcohol- and concert-themed selections).
Jag & Nevie Cape

Toddle off, now, schatzi - Madame Shock is too busy sorting through her memories. The "Club 55" T-shirt from St. Tropez? Yes. The fake Chanel T stolen from a high-school lover's mother for a walk-of-shame down 5th Avenue? Oui. The T declaring her a Teen Magazine Model Search winner? Ja. The secret-night-club staff t-shirt where she never made money but met all the models & movie stars? Oui. The t-shirt from her first concert - Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls?" Oh yes! Dahlings, those were the days...

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's In The Bag

The Mesdames' recent forays to a Tinseltown charity bash and countless Holiday parties have brought them to this: an immediate handbag intervention. While stylists ensure that stars are appropriately dressed for festive occasions, the Mesdames are here for everyone else. They are here because they care. They can't stand to see you hurt yourselves any more. Dahlings - please STOP carrying day bags in the evening!

If Madame Shock had a penny for every time she has seen a beautifully dressed woman out on the town schlepping a huge, leather, daytime handbag she would have a house with a much better view in St. Tropez. It pains her even more than Uggs with Everything.

Many women seem to assume that if the logo is large and expensive enough, the bag can be taken anywhere. No. Non. Nyet. Nein. Even if your alligator Birkin is so large and expensive it can fit your hair stylist and your accountant...the answer is still no. This is simply one (of the many) time(s) when an expensive label truly won't save you: large brown leather Louis Vuitton satchels will never go with evening dresses.

Madame Shock actually finds this one of the most perplexing issues since Eve risked it all for an apple (Tiramisu, maybe. Creme brulee, certainly. But an apple?! Mon Dieu!). What woman in her right mind does not want to buy more purses? Especially dainty, beaded, sparkly, amusing ones?

Evening purses do not even need to be expensive - costume jewelry and evening purses are surely the arenas in which imagination and style can push you into the Best-Dressed list for under $50. And like costume jewelry, a dainty, delightful clutch or minaudiere can be stashed in your large, practical, leather day bag to whip out like Superman's costume in a phone booth and transform yourself into something extraordinary.

The key here (as with everything) is creativity and presentation. Below is merely a hint at the wealth of possibilities:

  • A woman of Madame's acquaintance got lots of Society-Page coverage while carrying a McDonalds Happy Meal box she had enhanced with color-coordinated craft-store crystals.
  • If that's a little too calculated for your taste (and Madame Chic agrees), vintage and low-priced-basics stores have sassy clutches by the dozen.
  • Antique stores have vintage lunch boxes, purses, cigar boxes, and even authentic Victorian high-heeled shoes (to be carried by the laces, of course).
  • Madame Shock still swoons over a very magnetic woman at a nightclub in London recently who carried a child's rubber rain boot shaped like a ladybug (with convenient handle-shaped straps) that so cheekily complimented a sinuous red Versace dress...
  • Art stores have all manner of little boxes and bags that can be customized to your liking (Madame found a grand stash of $3 brightly-colored, satin-covered, take-out boxes a few years ago that made divine evening bags).
  • Two words: hardware store. Vraiment? Oui. Many hardware stores have absolutely charming, miniature "trash cans" complete with lids and handles - perfect for painting, embellishing, bedazzling, or simply carrying au naturel. (This is one of the very few occasions when the Mesdames endorse the Bedazzler...)
  • Every mid-range store - from Ann Taylor to Banana Republic to JCrew to Topshop - has gazillions of festive bags during the holiday season.
  • The classic route (favored by Madame Chic, bien sur), is to go to a top-rate store and, if you can afford Neiman Marcus for every accessory, they can encase your evening necessities in an array of amazing, blingy options.
  • If you want a true original but can't be bothered to do it yourself, you are already acquainted with the amazing artists on Etsy. If have you survived?
  • In a financial pinch, girls with moxie can simply carry a gorgeous little gift bag (cute ones can be had at the Dollar Tree for a Washington). Not only have you spent less than a diet soda, but you've made everyone wonder if they just weren't cool enough to be invited to the swag suite.
There are at least as many evening-purse ideas as there are sleazy men in Wall Street bars. With fancy purses you can do no wrong as long as they're: small, bright, and memorable (you might apply different metrics to the men...).
So all together now: "We resolve in the New Year to carry appropriately festive purses when the occasion demands it." If Madame sees a single oversized hobo bag with a cocktail dress when the ball drops, she will personally turn it into a garrote.
Now please excuse her. She must go dig an aspirin out of her Judith Leiber Buddha minaudiere.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bash Aftermath - Celebrity Gossip

Madame Shock has returned home from her Hollywood mingle with many sharp-eyed (and perhaps sharp-tongued) observations. First, she will unload her celebrity gossip, since even Madame is not entirely immune to the thrill of tinseltown closeups.

The Good:

Jennifer Morrison & Eva Longoria Parker have ungodly amounts of shiny, beautiful hair - simply stunning. And nearly every starlet had gorgeous skin - is it the makeup, the botox, the air? Whatever it is, Madame wants some!

The Bad:

Much to Madame's surprise, the usually chic Anne Hathaway wore a dreary, dumpy dress and seemed very slumpish in general (but does have the MOST incredible skin). Perhaps the bad posture comes from being beautifully statuesque in an industry populated with Napoleon-sized leading men?

And the lovely Ali Larter desperately needed a bra under a very beautiful dress (stylists do have mirrors, yes?) while Amy Smart appeared to need full-body Spanx under a very frumpy dress.

The Indifferent:

Being interested in Hollywood personalities primarily for their fabulous access to (and parading of) fashion, the Mesdames Chic & Shock were a bit out-of-the-loop on the stars with Y chromosomes, as they present less fascinating sartorial statements. They were told that Steven Moyer, Joshua Jackson, and Amaury Someone were there, but really - the Mesdames can only say that there were a lot of men there, some well-dressed, some less so. And many were sporting scruffy facial hair without the good looks to carry it off.

The Personal & Pointed:

Madame was very glad that she did not add a temporary long underskirt to her vintage green silk-satin dress (see: Bash Aftermath, Part I), as nearly everyone was in short dresses (and some not even that dressy, alas). As always at these events, the "real" people were more dressed up than the stars...but badly so (more on that later). Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of the latter, since cameras for "real" people are mostly forbidden (in order to protect the stars' privacy, bien sur) and only prominent names are allowed to walk the red carpet for official photos. But never fear! Madame Shock has a photographic memory for terrible clothing choices, and will discuss them at length later.

(Photo above from Popsugar, where more photos and a short write-up on the Friends Without A Border gala can be found.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Bash Aftermath, Part I

Madame is staggering around in her satin slippers, a tad bit dehydrated and overwhelmed from the efforts of recent days getting ready for the Hollywood-heavy FWAB gala. She promises to dish gossip, celebrities, photo ops, dresses, accessories, and more very shortly, but she must first recover from such overexcitement.

She will, however, leave her dear fellow glam girls with a few photos of her chosen dress and jewelry (she always finds it best to try the entire ensemble on her mannequin for photo-conferences with Mesdames Chic & Chausseurs, since taking photos of yourself in the mirror is so difficult).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best Dress in Hollywood

Madame Shock is wading deeply into her vintage storage closets, seeking the perfect outfit for tomorrow's star-studded Friends Without A Border Benefit Gala (did Madame nearly just write "Friends Without Benefits?" Did someone switch her WWD for FHM?)

It must be an outfit, of course - coordinated coat, dress, shoes, jewelry, purse. But while vintage cocktail dresses are quite easily found, truly formal, long vintage dresses and coats are rather rare (even in Madame's capacious closets).

What, exactly, does Madame seek? Something utterly original, creative, and memorable from entrance to exit, of course. With all due respect to the soiree's Golden Age dress code, she really wants an outfit like that most dramatic, most outrageously sexy woman in Breakfast At Tiffany's. No, not the angel-goddess-patron-saint of all things chic & elegant. The other one - the one that was amusingly and superficially talented.

Now that woman knew how to make an entrance and exit. Or at least we can assume her clothes did.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Madame Shock Goes Hollywood

Madame does so hate to drop names, but in the interests of a truly fantastic charity she will take a deep breath and charge into the fray. On Thursday Friends Without a Border is throwing a swank soiree - their First Annual Los Angeles Gala, benefiting the Angkor (Cambodia) Hospital for Children - hosted by Kate Hudson, Molly Sims, Jennifer Morrison, Eva Longoria Parker, Ali Larter, Anne Hathaway, Rebecca Gayheart, Eric Dane and dozens of other Hollywood luminaries.
The Mesdames Chic, Shock & Chausseurs are proud supporters of FWAB and since the suggested attire requires "Glam, Reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age" it is basically a requirement that they attend, oui? (Whew. Discussing attire always restores Madame Shock's equilibrium after the sordid task of trading in famous personalities.)

So - what to wear?! Effortlessly pulling off Glam worthy of Hollywood's Golden Age is a challenge even for seasoned starlets, bien sur, but les Mesdames rise eagerly to the task. (Gentle note to The A List, however: perhaps next year invitations could arrive more than a week before the party?) Thankfully Madame Shock has a closet full of lovely vintage dresses inherited from her dear Grandma Marie, whose own father was a Paramount Pictures executive during the Golden Age.

Stay tuned - Sign up as a Follower! - for a grand trip through the sartorial possibilities for Gala Gowning...

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Quiet Ride

It pains Madame Shock that she even needs to say this, but here it goes: No one needs to know all your inner thoughts by reading your car. If the people around you do not know how to deal constructively with traffic-induced boredom, it is not your responsibility to provide them with a reading list.

Madame, for one, does not want to know that when it gets hot you go topless, or that nurses do it better with needles, or that you are not spoiled you are just well taken care of. She doesn't even want to know that Daddy bought it & you got it, that your progeny is on the honor roll, or that you are looking for a florist to send two Bushes to Iraq. No one has changed their political beliefs or religion by reading a sticker (although Madame has several times nearly lost hers ...).

Whatever happened to mystery? Imagine Jackie O getting into a car festooned with slogans, political opinions, witty bon mots, and facsimiles of testicles hanging from the hitch (yes, we have seen such...). Do you think Princess Grace's automobile declared her the proud mama of a circus performer, or that blondes do it better? Did Audrey Hepburn string little white stick figures or - quelle horreur! - flip flops across her back window to indicate how many children, husbands, lovers, ex-lovers, dogs, cats, and assorted pets she had accumulated?

Basta, my beauties! Madame will allow you one discreet affiliation with either your school or your company. Although she would certainly prefer you display nothing, a simple alumni decal or company name on your license-plate holder will not cause her to roll maliciously into your bumper. Even she is reasonable enough to admit that if you are a sales rep, it would be silliness not to capitalize on prime advertising real estate and a trapped audience by announcing your affiliation...discreetly. But please - save us all from the knowledge that you envy Barbie because that bitch has everything.

Remember Coco Chanel's own witty quote: Elegance is Refusal. But don't even think about putting that on a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Louboutin Love For Less, Part Deux

There have been several questions about the entry on shoe dyeing, so Madame thought she would explain further and share a spectacular failure of her own (yes, do record the date).

Shoes need to be suede or satin in order to take the dye well and evenly. Velvet may or may not turn out well, depending on the fiber content (ask your Shoe Guy, bien sur). The lighter the color originally, the better the results will be (and the more color options you have). Technically, one could also dye cotton or hemp shoes, too, if you are, say, a devotee of Stella McCartney's line.
And Madame's failure? In the endless pursuit of exact elegance she decided her favorite gold-and-silver Miu Miu sandals were just a little bit Fredericks of Hollywood in light silver, but would be perfectly Ritz in a lovely gunmetal-with-sheen color.
Long-suffering Shoe Guy did his very best (as always), but leather simply does not take well to forced change (a temperment Madame Shock understands very well, actually). With the first step every crinkle and point of ease immediately shed its dark outer layer, and now Madame's dear shoes look, well (she can handle a moment of truth now and then)...they look kind of trashy. Alors!
Let Madame's heartbreak save you and your dear Shoe Guy from worse.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiffany's Tampon Case

You didn't think that title was serious, did you? Mais c'est tres vrai, my dears.

Here's the problem: Madame Shock is such a prolific snail-mail correspondent (as are you, YES?) that she burns through her favorite Tiffany's stationery at an alarming rate. But what to do with all those lovely blue boxes once they have been emptied of original contents? Regifting them simply cannot be done, but letting them stack up under one's escritoire becomes equally ticky-tacky and ostentatious. What to do?

Madame has been on a visit to the local landfill (yes, she has) and she tries very hard to save any of her possessions from such a gruesome fate. So she has spent some time in serious contemplation on how to repurpose the simple stationery box.

Thankfully some of that time in contemplation was spent in Tahoe over Thanksgiving - at a lovely waterfront chalet in a sweet community in the reductively monikered Dollar Point - where she found her every need anticipated and every wish fulfilled. Except. Except for the supplies a girl needs desperately on occasion (ok, every month). Madame searched high and low for said supplies in all six bathrooms, but to no avail. Eventually she had to make a timid request, which of course is most mortifying to a delicate guest and a solicitous hostess, both.
So. How did we get from Tahoe to Tiffany's to tampons? Madame's mind is never too far from Tiffany's, darlings! It was an easy 1-2-3. After posting her last witty, handwritten missive from the snow-covered Squaw slopes, she looked at the beautiful, empty box destined to be soon covered in orange peel, coffee grounds, and other detritus at the landfill and said: mais non!
Behold - a Tiffany's Tampon Case.