Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Oscar Fashions

  I've done my post of the Oscar winners now it's time to move onto the most important part of the Oscars, the fashion and of course " THE INCIDENT".

  So I shall start with "THE INCIDENT".  It is when when that ass Sacha Baron Cohen came dressed as 'The Dictator' and with an urn full of Kim-Jung Il "ashes"even though he was asked by the Academy not to do such a thing. Fault of the Academy Awards is that they LET him walk the red carpet even though they said that Cohen would not be allowed to do so. Now here we have Sacha Baron Cohen walking the red carpet with his urn and he comes to Ryan Seacrest, who proceeds along with his interview of the ass. Now just because I am not all that interested in Ryan Seacrest does not mean I want anything bad to happen to him, but with Cohen on the scene that is what happened. The jackass ( sorry to insult jackasses everywhere) then goes and "accidentally" spills the "ashes" ( turns out it's just biscuit mix) onto Ryan  and essentially ruining his suit, so that is when the security decides to remove Cohen from the scene and hopefully kicked his sorry butt out of the Oscars. I hope this publicity stunt for what is apparently a sucky movie "The Dictator" ruins Cohen's career, at least in the U.S. I don't really believe it will have too much of an adverse effect on him in Britain, after all is supposedly Freddy Mercury in a movie being done about the rock group Queen.

  Thank you for allowing me my little rant NOW on to the Fashions:

 Emma Stone, darling your precious and you have good taste but honey you're not Nicole Kidman or her minnie - me, so please don't try that fashion no-no again. Nicole has the height and right proportions to carry this dress off flawlessly, you don't. You are only 5'6" and Nicole is 5'11" so of course it is going to look dumpy on you. Plus, YOU DO NOT COPY WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS MADE ICONIC! And where is your 'stylist' whoever they are they should have their license and stylist membership club pass revoked because they obviously do not know what they are doing. And what exactly was Giambattista Vali thinking make a cheap looking knock off of Nicole's dress by Nicholas Ghesquiere ?

The right way
The wrong way

  Now Glenn Close had some va-va-voom this year. She was the Helen Mirren of this years Oscars, even if she did bear a striking resemblance to Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall.

  Jessica Chastaine who played Celia Foote of "The Help" wore a dress by one of favorite design houses, Alexander McQueen. Now I know some of you may have looked at my Alexander McQueen post and will see that the dresses there are very similar to her dress and a good way to wear the dress, but once again there is another one that should not have worn the dress because of her short stature. Now if Jessica had put her hair up and maybe worn higher heels, you know do something to try and elongate her body it wouldn't be as bad but here is another style team that did not try. SHAME ON THEM!

  Presenter Milla Jovovich dazzled the Oscars' red carpet in this beautiful one-shoulder Elie Saab sequined gown. She is at least one of the ladies Oscar night who was absolutely classy personified.

  In what maybe described as gutsy in some circles, Best Actress Nominee Viola Davis, for her role in "The Help", stepped onto the Oscars red carpet in a custom made green strapless Vera Wang dress and  au natural hair, no wig. Honestly, I think she looks good without a wig. Very Real. Very classy. So yes maybe it was gutsy for Ms. Davis to go out without a wig, because L.A. is a town where reality seems to get lost. But I can guarantee you this much... we'll never see Dolly Parton without a wig, not even when she's dead ( may she live for many years to come).

Viola Davis with her handsome husband,  actor Julius Tennon

  The actress that has seemed to dominate the top of every best dressed list this weekis another Best Actress Nominee, Rooney Mara  of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" in her white Givenchy. Amazing.

  Now this next one may surprise some of you by being put on a fashion list because she is an entertainment reporter and not an actress. I am talking about E!'s Giuliana Rancic in her Tony Ward dress. I for one think she looked better than some of the stars she was interviewing. Did she interview Meryl Streep?

  God Bless Meryl Streep, she won the Best Actress ward, but that dress she wore... Lordy! I don't know if she thought with all those folds in the dress that if she didn't win an Oscar she could always snatch one and hide it in the folds. Or better yet her cleavage area of her dress.

  Louise Roe...ANYBODY? Well it is said that she is television presenter, model and fashion journalist. Wearing a dress that has been described by some as a folded napkin, I don't think I would taking any fashion tips from her.

Louise Roe just turned 30, so why is she dressed like an 80 year old matron?

  Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for "The Help", Octavia Spencer needed no help winning on the red carpet while wearing a winning dress from Tadashi Shoji. Her dress reminds me of a star burst. I guess that is what Octavia Spencer is, a star bursting onto the A-list scene.

   I know Oscar nominee Michelle Williams made a lot people's best dressed list but I'm just not feeling her gown. I don't know if the color of her dress photographs badly or what but that coral has got to go. As well as the pattern of the dress reminds me of a chenille bedspread and the hip shelf ( I don't know what else to call it ) looks out of place, but then I don't like hip shelves anyway. Louis Vuitton can do better.

  Berenice Bejo, Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress in "The Artist" looked stunning in this beautiful champagne beaded gown by Elie Saab.

  Why Tina Fey was at the Oscars I don't know but she did look lovely in her Carolina Herrera dress. Such a classy dress. Love the color on her and the dress could have really hit it out of the ballpark if it too did not have the hip shelf.

  Okay now for the two most talked about dresses Jennifer Lopez's and Angelina Jolie's. 

Angelina wore a black Atelier Versace gown with a slit that went as high as an elephant's eye and I don't care if it did. What comes to my mind is that she was feeling a little reminiscent about about "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" where she met Brad and decided to wear the dress. And her sticking her leg out was just for laughs.

  As far as Jennifer Lopez's Zuhair Murad  dress is concerned, it was okay. I wasn't wowed by it. It is what it is. The only thing that made her dress have any resemblance to interesting is that people thought she slipped out of her dress on top when she hadn't. I guess it was just some horny men looking for an excuse to enjoy the Oscars.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars

  Last night marked the 84th Annual Academy Awards and it had very few surprises. For me the biggest surprise was Meryl Streep winning Best Actress Award for "The Iron Lady", I was fully expecting Viola Davis to win the award for her movie "The Help" and I guess "Rango" winning Animated Feature instead of "Puss in Boots" left some people disappointed. I am not one, for I could care less about the entire category. But then by the time it came to the Animated Feature category I was on the verge of not giving a rat's butt on any of it, I just wanted it to be finished.  Billy Crystal and the Oscars started of strong but then they blew it with all those friggin' testimonials and the presenter's schtick that cut into the winners acceptance speeches (YES Robert Downey, Jr. I'm talking about you and maybe Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz). If these were cut out maybe it wouldn't seem longer than three hours. But with 5 each,the Oscars were split between "Hugo" for mainly sound, visual and art and "The Artist who won Best Picture, Director, Actor, Music and Costume.

  But  even with all that the show wasn't too awfully bad for it has been worse (David Letterman and James Franco). I was happy to see Christopher Plummer win his Oscar for "Beginners" which considering he had just won his first Oscar after all these years, one would think he was a beginner in show business. God Bless Christopher Plummer, the Susan Lucci of the Oscars.

You're only two years older than me, Darling. Where have you been all my life. I emerged out of my mother's womb, already rehearsing my Academy thank-you speech. But it was long ago,mercifully for you I've already forgotten it.

  Octavia Spencer. Dear, sweet, strong Octavia Spencer swept the award season this year with the cherry on top her win for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Help", playing Minny Jackson, the housekeeper whose chocolate pies you may not want to eat. Love her.

  The French George Clooney, Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of George Valentin in the French black and white silent film, "The Artist".

  Meryl Streep. What can be said about her that already hasn't been said. One of the most talented and loved actresses of our time won her third Oscar for "The Iron Lady", which is about Margret Thatcher, after a 30 year drought, including 17 nominations. ABOUT TIME!

    The Best Director Oscar went to the French director for the movie "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius,  beat out Hollywood veteran directors Marin Scorsese, "Hugo" and Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris" to win his first Oscar.

  And the 2012 Best Picture went to "The Artist". It's almost like the little movie that could. It is a black and white film plus it is a SILENT movie. This movie was lighting in a bottle, I don't think we'll see another silent movie win a major award again.A black and white movie winning again in maybe in twenty years because that is about how long it's been since "Schindler's List" came out and won Best Picture, so twenty year intervals maybe the new normal. But "The Artist" is good and I am waiting for it to come out on DVD.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

When the Levee Breaks

  "When the Levee Breaks" is the eighth and last song on Led Zeppelin IV. "When the Levee Breaks" was originally written and recorded by Delta blues musician and songwriter Kansas Joe McCoy and his wife, American blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Memphis Minnie in 1929. This song is in reaction to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, that ravaged  the state of Mississippi and surrounding areas. Many of the homes and the agricultural economy in the Mississippi Basin were destroyed and devastated. As a result, many people fled to the cities in the Midwest, which contributed to the "Great Migration" of African-Americans in the first half of the 20th century. "When the Levee Breaks" main focus is of Greenville, Mississippi when more than 13,00 residents in and around the area evacuated to a nearby, unaffected levee for its shelter at high ground. The commotion that would have been caused if this and other levees had broken is the underlying theme of the song.

The original lyrics to "When the Levee Breaks" by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie:


If it keeps on rainin', the levees goin' to break 
If it keeps on rainin', the levees goin' to break
 And the water gonna come in, and have no place to stay.

Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
 Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Thinkin' 'bout my baby and my happy home

 If it keeps on rainin', the levees goin' to break
 If it keeps on rainin', the levees goin' to break
 And all these people have no place to stay

 Now look here mama what am I to do?
 Now look here mama what am I to do?
 I ain't got nobody to tell my troubles to

I works on the levee mama both night and day
I works on the levee mama both night and day
 I ain't got nobody, keep the water away

 Oh cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do no good
Oh cryin' won't help you, prayin won't do no good
When the levee breaks, mama, got you to lose

 I works on the levee, mama both night and day
 I works on the levee, mama both night and day
 I works so hard, to keep the water away

I had a woman, she wouldn't do for me
 I had a woman, she wouldn't do for me
 I'm goin' back to my used to be

I's a mean old levee, cause me to weep and moan
 I's a mean old levee, cause me to weep and moan
 Gonna leave my baby, and my happy home

Now for the Led Zeppelin version of "When the Levee Breaks". It was recorded at Headley Grange in December of 1970 to  March of 1971 with the use of the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. As with the other songs on ''Led Zeppelin IV'' the song was tried unsuccessfully to be recorded at Island Studios at the start of the recording sessions.

  According to Jimmy Page,  the song's structure "was a riff that I'd been working on, but Bonzo's drum sound really makes a difference on that point." Engineer Andy Jones recorded the famous drum performance by putting John Bonham and a new Ludwig drum kit at the bottom of a stairwell and recording the drum performance using two Beyerdynamic M160 microphones, at the top of the stairwell, giving the distinctive resonant but slightly muffled sound.

  Back aat the Rolling Stones' mobile studio, Bonzo compressed the drum sound through two channels and added an echo through Pages Binson echorec 2 unit.

  Page recorded Robert Plant's harmonica part using the backward echo technique, putting the echo ahead of the sound when mixing, creating a distinct effect.

Binson Echorec 2

 "When the Levee Breaks" was recorded at a different tempo, then slowed down, which explains the 'sludgy' sound particularly on the guitar and harmonica solos.  Because of the heavy studio production of the song, "When the Levee Breaks"  was difficult to recreate live.Led Zeppelin only performed the song in the early stages of their 1975 U.S. Tour.

  This is also the only song not to be re-mixed after a supposedly disastrous mixing job in the U.S. ( the rest of the tracks were mixed again in England). The original mixing of the song was kept in its original form.

(Led Zeppelin version)

If it keeps on rainin', the levee's goin to break,
 If it keeps on rainin', the levee's goinin' to break.
When the Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay.

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan, 
Lord, the mean old levee taught me to weep and moan.
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well,oh, well. 

Don't it make you fell bad, 
When you're tryin' to find your way home,
 You don't know which way to go?
If you go South,
They go no work to do,
If you don't know about Chicago.

Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
Now,  cryin won't help you, prayin' won't do you know good.
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.

All last night sat on the levee and moaned
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin'  'bout my baby and my happy home
Goin', go'n' to Chicago,
Go'n' to Chicago, 
Sorry but I can't take you.
Going down, going down now, goin down.

So with that, this is the end of my Led Zeppelin IV series. I have a good feeling that y'all have enjoyed it and I thank you for it. For a bio of Robert Plant that has a bit of a mini biography of Led Zeppelin, I give you the same post, but on 2 different places to go, one is this blog and the second is my other blog : http://mishasblue.blogspot.com/2011/08/robert-plant.html and http://mishasbelles.blogspot.com/2011/08/robert-plant.html . 

While you're at the second blog you may find other things that may perk your interest.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New York Fashion Week 2012

 The fashion world seems to like fall and winter, especially NEXT fall and winter. I say this because New York Fashion Week just rapped up on February 16 and 2013 Spring/Summer is September 12-19. Paris has three fashion weeks scheduled starting with the Ready to Wear February 28 - March 7; Men's Fashion June 27 - July 1 and Haute Couture July 2 - 5.

  New York Fashion Week had a sad note, 95 year old socialite ( should someone be called a socialite past 25?) Zelda Kaplan who was dubbed "New York's oldest and most beloved night owl" died on February 15, 2012 after having collapsed at the runway show for Joanna Mastroianni at New York's Lincoln Center. Ruth Finley, publisher of the Fashion Calender said, " I was sitting next to her. She just flopped over in my lap. The show was starting. I thought she  fainted. Two men carried her out." Mrs. Kaplan was later pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital, cause of death is unknown. Here's an idea: She was 95, it's called old age and it was just her time. HELLO!

  There were trends everywhere on the runway but the top 10 trends are:

1. The white suit.Prabal Gurung, Alberta Ferretti, Phillip Lim and J. Mendel are some of the designers dressing people in white. So I guess the University of Louisville men's basketball coach, Rick Pitino is just wearing next falls trend. Well him and Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.Seersucker white suits is all I keep imagining. YUK!  Also I am old fashion when it comes to wearing white after Labor day and before Easter, unless it is a shirt that can be covered with  darker sweater or something along that line,only a heathen wears white after Labor Day and of course NEVER before Easter.

2. Fur, especially fur handbags. Dennis Basso has carmel coloured wraps and the orange or teal toned diamond pattern covers at Bibu Mohapatra leading the way. Designer Vivienne Tam also used fur in plum and camel shades. Plus Michael Kors, Basso and others also used fur to make handbags. As long as it is faux fur I don't have  a problem with using fur. I can even understand using real fur for trim and coats just not my thing, but reading about fur hanbags is just tacky sounding to me. That and when I think of fur handbags I think of the dog that won the Wesminster Kennel Club Dog Show :

Malachy, 2012 winner of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

 3. Navy and black. An underused but very chic pairing, when done right ( a difficult thing to do). Poenza Schouler and Prabal Gurung have their interpretations.

4. Cut-out shirts and dresses. I'm on the fence about cut-out shirts and dresses. If your ribcage can not be seen it's alright to wear such clothing. But to be able to play a human xylophone because their ribcages stick out so bad, no . And as thin as I am I know what ribcages look good and wht others look sickly.

5. The side bun if your hair is long enough. Beautiful!

6. Black. DUH!  What else is new?

Michael Kors Fall/Winter 2012 2013

7. Dragon scales. Armani Prive is the most notable. Vivieene Tam say that this trend is fitting, since this is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese New Year.

Armani Prive- No Thank You Reminds me of Puff the Magic Dragon.

Not too awfully bad.

8. Anything Asian. From searing reds of Jean Paul Gaultier to reams of silk from Alexis Mabille at last months couture shows in Paris. Theia used angles,embroidery and cuts of dress to make a look that made it look like a combination from Imperial China, an army led by Ghengis Khan and Samauri soldiers was seen in New York last week.

Theia Fall/Winter 2012 2013. Beautiful

9. Silver scales. Theia and Jenny Packham Sounds fishy?

Jenny Packham Collection. Joan Crawford could have worn this style but maybe not the color.

10. Gowns that flare from the knee. Yes we are talking ballgowns which is not something one can wear to work but could be fun to pretend. 

Marchesa 2012 2013. I want to be buried in this dress! Take that back because I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. Love it!

I know the reality and that is that most of us can not afford and probably wouldn't know where to wear  any of these clothes, speaking for myself, and pictures of them is as close as  we'll come. Sort of a fantasy if you will.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saint Valentine

  Saint Valentine's Day is about as mysterious as love itself. The facts concerning the holiday has been questioned by both scholars and religious historians.

  At the heart of the matter is actual identity of St. Valentine himself. For in the time of ancient Rome, there were 14 martyred saints with the name, Valentine. But which one was he? Of the Saint Valentine whose feast day is February 14, all that is known is his name, that he was buried on the Via Flaminia* north of Rome on February 14 and that he was born on April 16. And really it is not even certain that February 14 feast day is for one St. Valentine or two. It is for this reason this liturgical commemoration* was not kept in the  Catholic Church 's Calender of Saints. But "Martyr Valentinus the Presbyter* and those with him in Rome" remain on a list proposed for veneration by all Catholics.

  In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Valentine the Presbyter is celebrated on July 6 and Hieromatyr* Saint Valentine ( Bishop of Interramna, Terni, Turkey) is celebrated on July 30. And Greek Orthodox Church members whose name is Valentina (female) or Valentinos (male) celebrate their nanes on February 14.
  Now since there are so many different Valentines, the Catholic Church's Roman Martyrology only mentions one St. Valentine for February 14.

  And according to the Church he was the Bishop of Terni, a city in southern Umbria, in what is now central Italy. While under house arrest of judge Asterius,and talking about his faith with judge Asterius, Valentinus (Roman pronunciation), was discussing the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentinus to a test and brought to him the judge's adopted blind daughter. If Valentinus could restore the girl's sight the judge would do anything he asked. Valentinus layed his hands on the blind girl's eyes and her vision was restored. The judge was immediately humbled and asked Valentinus what he wanted. His reply was to have all the idols in the judge's house destroyed, the judge should fast for three days and then be baptized. The judge obeyed and as a result, released all the Christian inmates under his authority. Unfortunately, Valentius was once again arrested for continuing to serve Jesus and was sent to the prefect of Rome, Emperor Claudius, himself. Now Claudius did take a liking to Valentinus until he tried to convert Claudius, whereupon Claudius refused and condemmed Valentinus to death. Valentinus was commanded to either renounce his faith or face death by being beaten with clubs and being beheaded. Valentinus refused and Claudius had him executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269.

St. Valentine Receives a Rosary From the Virgin by David Teniers III

 * Via Flaminia - Ancient Roman Road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Rimini, on the Adriatic Sea.

* liturgical commemoration - The recital of a part of the Office or Mass assigned to a certain feast or day when the whole can not be said. 

Presbyter - In the New Testament it is meant as a leader of a local Christian congregation. In moderen times, it's synonymous with priest, elder, minister or pastor.

* Hieromartyr - In Eastern Orthodox a martyr who is also a member of the clergy ( priest, deacon or bishop).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

  I guess by now everyone has heard the sad news of the death of Whitney Houston. I was starting to watch Charlie Brown Valentine's Day specials on ABC and they broke in for a short time with the news of Ms. Houston's death. Well of course I changed the channel to CNN to make sure I had heard right the first time and unfortunately, I had. I was in total shock, still in shock a bit, but I guess the news is starting to sink in. But anyway, I was like "Wait, what? Hold on! No this is not real", just a total shock. Nobody saw this coming about Whitney Houston. At least I don't think they did, I know I did not. The Grammy's have been thrown for a tailspin, as we all have, they were already having to deal with tributes to Etta James ( I imagine they would be doing something for her), Don Cornelious and a farewell piece to Glen Campbell because of his Alzheimer's disease, but at least there has been some time to plan something, but THIS, I hope that they can pull something classy together in such a short time.

  Now I imagine that over the next few days and weeks that there is going to be a lot of speculation on Ms. Houston's cause of death and I would think that there will be rumours of recent drug use and crap like that. I for on won't believe anything until the coroner's report comes out and that will take a few days, at least I believe it will take that long, but with this being a famous person they may do it a bit quicker but still be thorough. Now with all that being said I do have my own theory on the cause of death, her heart just gave out. That's it. That simple. I just hope it is that true. Especially for her family's sake.

 But whatever happened Whitney Houston was one of the greatest voices in music, regardless of your generation.

 I Remember "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" in junior high because it was used this as one of the songs  aerobic class.


Uh...yeh...woo... hey yeh...huh...hoo yeh...uh huh...yeah...
I want to dance...
Clock strikes upon the hour'
And the sun begins to fade.
Still enough time to figure out 
How to chase my blues away.
I've done alright up til now,
It's the light of day that shows me how,
That when the night falls, loneliness calls.

( Chorus)
Oh! I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah! I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me. (x2)

I've been in love and lost my senses,
Spinning through the town.
Sooner or later the fever ends
And I wind up feeling down.
 I need a man who'll take the chance,
On a love that burns hot enough to last. 
So when the night falls,
My lonely heart calls

Oh! I wanna dance with somebody,
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah! I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me

Oh! I wanna dance with somebody,
 I wanna feel the heat with somebody.
Yeah! I wanna dance with somebody,
With somebody who loves me.

Somebody who...somebody who...somebody who loves me...
Somebody who...somebody who.. somebody to hold me in his arms
I need a man who'll take a chance,
On a love that burns hot enough to last.
So when the night falls,
My lonely heart calls.

Oh! I wanna dance with somebody, 
I wanna feel the heat with somebody.
Yeah! I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me. 

Ooh, ooh! Dance! Come on baby,
Dance! Woo! Yeah! Dance! You dance like this...
Whoa! (Dance!)

Don't you wanna dance? (dance!) with me baby.
Don't you wanna dance? (dance!) with me boy.
Don't you wanna dance? (dance!) with me baby.
With somebody who loves me.

Don't you wanna dance?
Say you wanna dance.
Don't you wanna dance? (dance!)

Don't you wanna dance?
Say you wanna dance.
Don't you wanna dance? (dance!)

Don't you wanna dance? 
Say you wanna dance (uh-huh) (dance!)
With somebody who loves me.
Ooh (dance!)
Ooh-oh (dance!)
Ooh (dance!)
With me baby.