TUTTLE MODE

by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

In honor of the Wedding of the Century that occurred last weekend, I sat down after a long day of working out and hiking to an E! Channel marathon of everyone’s favorite Keeping Up with the Kardashians!

As you've probably guessed, model Lucas Bernardini is not on Keeping Up with the Kardashians but he's fricking adorable. (Photo: V. Ljung)

Oh, yeah.  It wasn’t that Wedding of the Century with the royalty and the crazy hats.  It was Kim Kardashian’s wedding to Andre the Giant attended by reality stars and Lindsay Lohan.  One of our clients owns the house next door to the one where the event took place in upscale Montecito and reported that, in true D-list fashion, the party raged on until after 4 am.

After thirty years, Dynasty hasn't really changed that much.

I haven’t seen much of the Kardashians’ show over the years because it doesn’t seem terribly riveting and, perhaps more importantly, I really hate the way E! introduces everything as “Super-New!” like “new” isn’t fucking descriptive enough.  Today, though, I thought a few cheery half-hour installments might lighten the oppressiveness of the August heat, and the first thing I noticed was that the only brother, Rob, has slimmed down and is now looking kind of dorky-hot.  We’ll see how he fares as possibly the least famous person on Dancing with the Stars in a few weeks, but this is a promising start.

Kim Kardashian for Sketchers? What about Weight Watchers?

The next thing to come up was Kim and Khloé shopping in a Malibu boutique and, when Kim comes out of the fitting room in an ugly (hopefully) fake Missoni romper thing, Khloé points to her leg and asks what that infectious-looking rash is.  “I have no idea,” says Kim.  “It’s, like, been here for, like, a week.  It’s, like, getting worse.”

The next time I have a few spare hours, you can be sure that I’m going to rush out to, like, Malibu and try on, like, some infected clothes!

Then Olympic gold medalist and former Wheaties box icon Bruce Jenner, who is the stepfather of the Kardashian girls and also provides an important public service by showing us what can go wrong with plastic surgery, picks up his daughters’ prescriptions from the pharmacy and notices birth control pills with his fifteen-year-old daughter Kendall’s name on them.  Of course, this wasn’t set up or anything.  Really.  There was no way the producers could have known that Bruce would be picking up that medication with the cameras following him.  As expected, he reacts like a cranky, senile old puppet and confronts wife Kris, who calmly informs him that the pills are to relieve menstrual cramps.

"I'm MEEEEELTING!"

Later, Kim calls her assistant to look at her rapidly spreading rash, which we now know is caused by psoriasis.  The only thing is that the new spots on her stomach are clearly smudges of orange makeup that bear no resemblance to the pink, flaky spots on her leg.  Panic sets in!  Will she show up to her huge national commercial shoot with hundreds of crew members the next morning?!  Well, the suspense doesn’t last long because Kim’s black Escalade pulls up to the makeup trailer about thirty seconds after her call time where the makeup artist informs her that it’s no problem covering the spots on her leg.  The ones on her stomach probably washed off the night before.

Say what you will about the Kardashians, like they’re fame whores obsessed with celebrity and who never set foot out the door without inch-thick makeup, for instance, but those bitches are making bank!  They have so many product lines I can’t even count them all.  In addition to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, they have Kourtney and Kim, Kourtney and Khloé, Khloé and Lamar and skin care lines and clothing lines.  Hell, even Kourtney’s villainized boyfriend Scott has a damn skincare and a tanning care line!  My friend Lisa and I nearly attended a party at SBE’s The Colony nightclub a couple of weeks ago for the launch of their line of apparel for Sears but when I saw the really bad promotional photo and the word “Sears,” we decided to stay longer at our friend Mark’s lovely, intimate dinner party.

Kardashian for Sears: Fashion for the blind?

All in all, they raked in $65 million last year so you know they’re doing something right.  They’re also addressing important social issues like Kim’s psoriasis, Kris’s weak bladder and Bruce’s face.  When you add the astronomical two million hits to Kim’s sex tape site over the weekend of her wedding, this may be a banner year for the Kardashian brand.

Threatening to overshadow that tacky wedding was undoubtedly the arrival on your doorstep of the fourteen-pound September issue of Vogue, which means only one thing:  It’s time to SHOP!  After my visit to the Varvatos boutique a few weeks ago I was already itching to pick up a few new things but, as much as I liked some of those pieces, I was really pining for my true fashion love, Balmain Homme.  Sigh.

This Fall 2011 Collection was the last from creative director Christophe Decarnin who left the house just before the women’s show in April because he had a nervous breakdown or couldn’t get along with his boss or some shit like that.  Sticking with his successful formula of military-inspired tailored pieces, the famous biker jeans and an overall decadent rocker feel, he added Seattle Grunge plaids and chunky wool socks to the mix for a subtle shift.  The new pink and turquoise shades really softened up the collection, too.

The Colors of Balmain. (model: Clement Chabernaud, photos: K Sadli)

Speaking of “layered,” the looks in the official Balmain presentation were way too much.  I mean, how many shirts and scarves can you pile onto a guy all at the same time?  I get that you can wear a scarf as a belt and I don’t need to see it thirty times for it to sink in.  The amazing look book shot by photographer Karim Sadli, however, once again put it all into perspective and brought out the simplicity and perfection of the pieces without departing from the Balmain aesthetic.  Here I was able to zero in on my favorite pieces of the season: the grey pea coat with silver buttons, the amazing high-collared military coat and the blazer with the red and gold braid.

The New Military Model. (model: Clement Chabernaud, photos: K Sadli)

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Balmain for either gender without mentioning how wildly fucking expensive it is.  They were put on the map for their $1,200 jeans and smartly haven’t veered from the course.  Chatting with our polo team’s resident heartthrob Tom Landry between chukkers yesterday, I was explaining that this stuff is infinitely wearable and doesn’t change too much from season to season.  If you really think about it, you could slowly build a fantastic wardrobe that remains current as opposed to the trendy shit you have to toss out and replace after a year.  To paraphrase Matthew Schneier over at Style.com, “amortized over time and into cost-per-wear,” it might even be “a bargain.”  I don’t know if Tom bought it, though.

We still have to keep those horses in hay, after all.

Much love,

xxJames