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France’s “Skinny Model” Law

In an attempt to curb anorexia and models dieting to the point of severe health consequences – the Government of France has enacted a law requiring that all Models in the Fashion Industry meet a minimum BMI which is considered healthy. Probably doesn’t mean that fashion models will start looking like average healthy women, but it should stop some of the grotesque abuse.

The French React to Their New ‘Skinny Model’ Law

A French health-reform bill that has been colloquially termed a “skinny-model ban” was introduced at the National Assembly in March and was passed into law on Friday. The new law calls for models who want to work in France to present a doctor’s note attesting to their overall health and proving a BMI of 18 or over. (In the BMI system, 18.5 is the cutoff between underweight and a healthy weight.) Agencies and brands who break this law could be looking at a six-month prison sentence of 75,000 euro fine. Another proviso notes that advertising images that have been digitally altered — whether that means making the models appear smaller or larger — must contain the words “retouched photograph,” or risk a fine of at least 37,500 euros.

There is some precedent for this kind of government action, at least abroad. Italy, Israel, and Spain have all passed similar “skinny model” legislation, Denmark is considering doing so, and the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority has cracked down on images of what it deems to be too-thin models, notably in a recent Saint Laurent ad.

Women’s Wear Daily spoke to members of the French fashion industry about their thoughts on the bill, and it sounds like complaints abound. The head of France’s model agency union, Isabelle Saint-Félix, told the paper that she felt the law unjustly penalized French modeling agencies, and could even result in fashion shows or shoots being relocated outside the country. “Modeling agencies respond to the demand of advertisers, designers and photographers,” she told the paper. “One asks models to fit in a dress — not the opposite.” She added that members of the industry had not been consulted when the law was being drafted. Stylist Simon Gensowski seemed to concur, saying, “Rather than body-shaming women with eating disorders, it would have been wise to reconsider current sample sizes.” Whether or not you take issue with the law, this coming Paris Fashion Week is shaping up to be an interesting one.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in General, Women

 

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Dress for Success?

The Nehru Suit. Apparently some manufacturers are still trying to bring them back.

Went out on one of those computer board “dates” the other day to a lunch with a woman I had met online. Since it was lunch, and a workday – I wore what I normally wear to work… Which is business casual, with the usual attached company badge. The restaurant was a strip mall joint – nothing fancy. The woman in question made a snide comment about my “not dressing up”. In her occupation as an educator, I guess she had never been exposed to the tech world. I gave up explaining what I do a long time ago to non-technical people – leaning towards the “something with computers” amorphism.

I do have and sometimes wear suits in appropriate situations, and in my collection of 10-15, they range from Jos A Banks to Anderson & Sheppard bespoke – typically chosen on the basis of the old business adage – “slightly out dress your customer”. Ergo don’t wear a $10,000 Rubinacci to a meet and greet with your Government clients (wear you Banks), while it is the low end in some boardrooms. The nice thing about Rubinacci is they don’t put their label inside the suit, unless you ask. If you know the fabric look and feel of a high quality suit, you can figure it out (from across the street) even if you don’t know the maker. I have had a few knowledgeable women surreptitiously actually check the label inside the jacket.

Have a friend who was a marketer in the Music Industry years ago. Don’t know if anyone remembers Nehru suits, but they were a big fad back in the early 70’s. My friend flew up o NYC to the Garment district and had a set of 5 made. The problem being after one summer they promptly “went out of style”, leaving him with a closet of expensive unwearable suits.

And about the lady who complained? Needless to say it was a one-dater.

Oh no! Not the Polo shirts!

Polo shirt debate: Dating deal-breaker or still in style?

Love it or hate it, the polo shirt has cemented its role in fashion and pop culture — evoking images of WASPy jocks, prep school suck-ups, Best Buy employees and old-moneyed yacht owners across America.

Ralph Lauren, who helped propel the silhouette from a practical sport shirt (worn by tennis, golf and polo players alike), to an everyday wardrobe staple, is retiring from his Polo-branded empire this year. And as sad as it is to see the fashion legend hang his equestrian-inspired hat, I say it’s time to retire the polo shirt with him.

I know I’m not the only one who finds this casual take on the collared shirt to be a bit offensive. Maybe not as bad as sneakers with dress pants or baggy pants worn low enough to show your boxers … but about as offensive as a single item of men’s clothing can be.

The polo wearer has been made fun of on TV (Blake’s triple polo in “Wet Hot American Summer,” we’re looking at you) and in the movies (Steve Carell’s character in “The 40-Year Old Version” sports a polo shirt in all of the movie posters. As does his pre-makeover character in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” See a pattern here?). And the ’80s popped-collar polo will forever be seen as the ultimate in obnoxious yuppie styling.

Furthermore, a writer for Real Simple magazine recently cited the polo shirt as a dating dealbreaker — until she discovered that her own personal McDreamy had a closet full of them. But you can always change the way your man dresses, right?

Well, maybe not. My cousin and her fiancé approached me the other day, just as I was about to head to the airport for a flight home. “We need your opinion,” my cousin explained. As I prepared to dole out wedding advice, I was surprised to hear her ask, “What do you think of Robert’s shirt? Can you explain to him that he can’t wear these polo shirts anymore, please?”

While the middle of their relationship is quite literally the last place I want to be, I couldn’t help but (silently) agree with my cousin. Polo shirts belong back in the frat house or exclusively on the golf course, polo field or tennis court where their practical nature can be put to good use. So, unless you are literally picking up a mallet, tennis racket or golf club right now, delve deeper in your closet and find something else to wear. Polo shirts may be the uniform of choice for The Sport of Kings (aka, horse racing), but it’s unacceptable for a family dinner, the office or Sunday brunch.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in and the Single Life

 

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Elle Magazine…The Obamas are “black-geosie”?

I’m not sure this one falls into the “incredibly racist” category… I think it just falls into “incredibly ignorant”. Is this fashion editor truly stupid enough to belive the back heads of Fortune 500 Companies, and Senior Executives go to work in baggy jeans and baseball caps turned sideways? And at a time when at any moment at least some of the top designers and supermodels in the Fashion industry are black folks? Get real!

Barack and Michelle Looking Great (and Presidential)

French Elle Writer Says Incredibly Racist Things About Black People

French Elle writer Nathalie Dolivo is so happy about black people! She’s thrilled that they’ve finally learned to dress well! Yes, after generations mired in baggy pants and rap music and such, they finally have Barackand Michelle Obama to look to. Thanks, Obamas! You’re stylish black people and now other black people can be stylish, too.

See how racist that was? We’re paraphrasing, but it’s not far off from what Dolivo actually said:

In this America led for the first time a black president, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged to its codes [of] streetwear … But if in 2012 the “black-geoisie” has integrated all the white codes, it does not [do so] literally. [There] is always a classic twist, with a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘créole de rappeur’) that recalls the roots.

So, thanks to the Obamas, black people can dress like white people, with an “ethnic” spin. Like a turban!

That excerpt is from a post written by Dolivo for French Elle called (wait for it) “Black Fashion Power,” which manages to cram an insulting misappropriation into even just the title! There are some amazingly stupidthoughts on display in Dolivo’s post (why did we need to coin the term black-geosie?) but perhaps the most insulting is the suggestion that black people need to be taught by example. That before the Obamas, they were just toiling in their streetwear, waiting to be led.

One French Elle commenter (via NYMag) distilled the insult of Dolivo’s nonsense beautifully:

“How, in 2012, in a France where there are at least three million blacks and mixed people, can you write such nonsense? You are too kind when you write that in 2012 we have incorporated the white codes … what do you think, in 2011, we dressed in hay and burlap bags?”

We’re hoping sometimes things get lost in translation, but–as was the case with that Rihanna “nigga bitch” debacle a month ago–we’re betting this has more to do with racism, which isn’t uncommon in the fashion industry. Anyway, we’ll let you know when Dolivo issues her apology (/announces her resignation?). Expect phrases like “deeply regret” or “never intended to hurt.”

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Sasha Style

OK Dads, our little girls are the light of our worlds – but all too often their world is a complete mystery to us. Taking your little one shopping can be more challenging than being lost in the jungles of Borneo. Trying to pick out a present they will like can be more stressful than deciding to invade Iran or nuke North Korea.

Perhaps, for a short while – we may indeed have a key, which while it won’t unlock the psychology of the Tweenie set…

At least it may give us a leg up on not feeling like complete buffoons when she opens that carefully wrapped box to our anticipation of seeing that special bright light in her eyes…

Sasha Style! (I’m sure the Moms, as usual were so far ahead on this as to leave us Dads in the dust… again!)

Like her mother Michelle, Sasha Obama has become a style setter. Among the tweenie set, Sasha’s appearence in a Gap Kids top can empty stores from coast to coast. What is even more incredible, is Michelle seems to seek to keep the kid’s fashion choices selected from ordinary stores, at prices not requiring that we sell off a few States to meet the deficit.

Not only is our Nation’s First Baby Girl beautiful – but it turns out – in the eyes of her harshest critics, other tweenies – she is stylish, too.
Sasha Obama: Style Icon

Pictures of Michelle Obama in Spain surfaced last week amid criticism that she was a “modern-day Marie Antoinette.” The Jean-Paul Gaultier top she wore for sight-seeing drew as much heat as the price of the trip. But by her side, an unlikely style star emerged: 9-year-old Sasha Obama. While the Obama entourage hoofed it through the coastal town of Ronda, Sasha looked comfortable in a pair of reasonably priced Nikes. She danced on the beach in a $25 Gap rainbow bathing suit. To lunch with the Spanish royal family on the Balearic island of Mallorca, Sasha showed up in a yellow J.Crew tutu and tank top, a wrist full of fake pearls, and a frayed blue lanyard dangling around her ankle. The whole look cost roughly $75. She was the very image of a normal American girl.
Since Obama took office last January, Sasha and Malia’s style has evolved in the public eye. When the girls appeared alongside their parents in Grant Park on Election Night, Sasha pulled heartstrings in a black baby-doll dress. The piece, by Gerson & Gerson, which retailed for $72 at Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s, was instantly renamed “The Sasha” by the designer…
This new appetite for all-things-Sasha may be due in large part to her wholesome look—one that is a sharp departure from the scandalous outfits of other teen and preteen role models. (Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes Leon, debuted a vaguely vampy junior’s collection at Macy’s last week, with 17-year-old grunge queen Taylor Momsen as its face.) “Sasha wears more grownup pieces and makes them look her age,” says Kristen Dolyzysnski, designer of girls’ knits and concept girl gender at Gap Kids. “It’s a good message for girls that you don’t have to look like someone not your age to look sophisticated.”
A few weeks after Chelsea Clinton’s couture Vera Wang wedding dress riveted the media, Sasha is sending the message that first daughter style can come on the cheap. The affordability of Sasha’s clothes, according to Mary Tomer, “makes Mrs. Obama and Sasha Obama all the more relatable.” She says that Sasha’s style choices communicate a “vibrant and playful—yet entirely unique—American childhood.”
OK – So when is some enterprising Web entrepreneur going to open up a web site to give Dad’s a leg up on the style choices of their little ones? Maybe with convenient shipping and gift wrapping?
Might I suggest the name Sasha Style?
 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Scene In DC

The Washington Post has been doing a series called “Style in DC”. While DC isn’t a big city, and doesn’t have the ethnic neighborhoods of the industrial cities to the North – each of the neighborhoods and areas discussed has a unique flavor. This first video is about “U” Street, an area which before desegregation was where the shops, theaters, and clubs were. Today, it’s still jumping –

This next one is on the Duke Ellington School of the Arts –

The Style on Capitol Hill. Lot of blue and gray suits, and a tie regimen at the Democrat and Republican Clubs, but the Hill still rocks in it’s own unique way –

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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On Noooooo! Not Michelle’s Legs!

Gasp! Michelle and the Girls in Shorts!

Gasp! Michelle and the Girls in Shorts!

Now this isht is getting SERIOUS! Apparently some people have discovered the First Lady not only has arms…

She has …

Legs.

Apparently in some circles, the First Lady wearing modest shorts on her visit to the Grand Canyon in 106 degree heat…

Was too much to bear (or bare).

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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