The Lady Is a Tramp


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,


Comments: 8

  • Pure Film Creative December 28, 20119:47 pm

    I think you’re right: I should lay off the sleeping pills and hit the Vanity Fair instead. Those Erdem frocks (and they are not dresses, but frocks) remind me of what Chloë Sevigny wore as the traditional Mormon wife on “Big Love.” And after “GIrl With The Dragon Tattoo,” I have a funny feeling the designers called it wrong, because even I wanted to crawl into a bitchin’ leather biker outfit. If I were a girl, I’d be rockin’ Lisbeth Salander for the next couple of years.
    Bet it happens.
    Well done on the post. Feel better.

  • James Tuttle December 28, 201110:11 pm

    Thanks, Killough!
    Vanity Fair can be a bit yawn-inducing but I’ve run across some very oddly interesting things in there.
    And the Erdem collection was amazing but, in the context of all this primness, it just went the furthest when you look at it all together. Much better than Sevigny’s dowdy mormon look. I love that rocker chicks and grandma chic can exist in the same universe!

  • cynthia hirsh December 29, 20113:36 pm

    Funny, as always. You and those “Skankier” reality shows, I can’t bear to watch. You always manage to keep me in the loop without making me watch these debacles. Who was Alejandro? Muy Guapo. C.

    • James Tuttle December 29, 20118:20 pm

      Thanks, Cynthia! Those reality shows are actually fascinating psychological studies that reflect the human condition. And I can watch them without having to think too much.
      Alejandro is a pretty great looking Spanish model guy. That’s about all I know on that one.

  • Francesco December 29, 20115:57 pm

    Happy New Year James.
    Thank you for keeping me up to date. I enjoy it.

    Until next time. Bye for now.

  • James Tuttle December 29, 20118:21 pm

    Hey, Francesco!
    Happy New Year to you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles. Thanks for reading.
    Ciao for now,

  • oldancestor December 30, 20118:04 pm

    I think the classic – for lack of a better term – look is fine, though I’m not super crazy about a few of those frocks. Still, maybe women are now well represented enough in the corporate world that they feel comfortable being their feminine selves and don’t need to make a point with a power suit.

  • James Tuttle December 30, 20118:16 pm

    Hi, Eric! That’s what I’m hoping. And I know that most women aren’t going to rock these runway looks at their consulting firms or law offices but it was just such a strong statement that I had to ponder a bit.
    Happy New Year!

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