TUTTLE MODE

by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

Lady Gaga’s been staring up at me from a Vanity Fair on the coffee table for a couple of weeks now so I was planning to catch up on some light reading when I got home from driving up and down California to celebrate Christmas Eve with my parents (and thirty other close family members) then to have Christmas dinner at Scott’s mom’s in Palm Springs, all the while distributing so many presents that my friend Cynthia thought they were props when she saw them under the tree last week.

If Alejandro Corzo-Suarez was in Vanity Fair, I'd be more inclined to read it. (Ph: Nikolai de Vera)

After a long day of negotiating the hordes of Beverly Hills bargain hunters, though, that shit wasn’t happening.  You know that sleepy feeling you get after seven or eight dry martinis?  Well, I felt like that before I even finished my first one.  I took that to mean that I was just too tired to read about “The Royal Romance You Don’t Know” and flicked on the TV when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the fabulous Tanisha from Bad Girls Club!

It turns out that the queen-sized rageaholic with poor taste in sleepwear in BCG’s second season has really pulled herself together and is now actually hosting this little gem called Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too, which is like a Big Brother competition with skanky people.  Oh, sorry.  I should say, “skankier people.”

It’s basically a bunch of guys living in one of those big, tacky reality-TV “Bachelorette” houses out in Topanga or Calabasas, getting to know the three Bad Girls and trying not to get kicked off.  Most of them seem pretty normal so it’s fun to see how they react when the crazy Bad Girls’ Club bitches lose their shit several times a day.

Tanisha's favorite color is loud, and her favorite food is anything.

Orange-haired, foul-mouthed Sydney, for instance, is so passionate about one of the guys that she has one jealous meltdown after another until the poor man is nearly begging to be sent home.  Tori seems like a flirty, pretty blonde around the house but, in her interview segments with the big black flower stuck to the side of her head, she becomes a pancake-covered, botoxed robot.  Someone really should have warned her about the downside of applying powder with a dust mop.

Finally, sad clown Judi, whom you may remember being drunk her entire first season on BGC, is once again on the outs with everyone and has only one of the guys on her “team.”  When the other girls go to upscale Beso in Hollywood for their date nights, she has to stay at the house and share a bottle of Korbel.  On the other hand, Korbel is the number one selling sparkling wine in America.

Rehearsal for the Marchesa show. Even more glamorous than Bad Girls' Club.

So, now that Christmas is over and boutique windows across the land are shifting from holiday glitter to spring freshness, it might be time to think about what you girls are going to be wearing in the coming months.  Or today!  I was walking to the gym this afternoon and thought I’d been struck with a terrible fever until I saw that it was in the high seventies here in LA, so maybe it’s already time to tuck away the cashmere scarves and tweed blazers that we got out just two weeks ago and dive headlong into Spring.

If you remember anything about the spring shows, it’s probably the Roaring Twenties and the mid-century influence in Milan and the explosion of lace and femininity in Paris.  Now that a few months have passed, nearly everything seems to have fallen into place in an overriding feeling that is being called “Ladylike.”  The best examples of this look are probably Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs and what Jacobs also did at Louis Vuitton.  Then Erdem went even further and designed a collection for Mamie fucking Eisenhower:

Erdem looks: Next thing you know, Emily Post will rise from the grave.

Of course, there is a lot of overlap with the abundance of lace at Valentino and Alexander McQueen that are also ladylike, but in a different way.  Dolce and Gabbana added a spicy Sophia Loren quality to their sexier ladies but they still took us back to the Fifties.  Even Giorgio Armani, who loves to put women in men’s trousers, went super-feminine this season.  Prim and proper seems the way to go.

Louis Vuitton backstage.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  These clothes are beautiful but there is a softness and almost inflated femininity that recall a time when a girl would never consider running a Fortune 500 company or sitting on the Supreme Court, and that’s a little disturbing.  Of course, this also means that Eighties “power dressing” is definitely out for now and I’m quite pleased we’re taking a break from recycling the decade that gave us the Thompson Twins and Knot’s Landing.

In the end, I’m having a hard time swallowing the idea that the fashion world suddenly wants women at home, waiting for their husbands with a martini on a tray.  Perhaps it’s just the inevitable nostalgia conjured up by watching Mad Men and Pan Am that persuaded designers to drop the hard exterior for a while.  And maybe we’re now in a place where a woman can dress beautifully in a pastel skirt suit without worrying about the dick in the pinstripes getting the corner office.

Yeah, I’ll just go with that.

Until next year, much love,

xxJames