Today’s fashion icon, yesterday’s garish lady

Continuing with the theme of Hollywood frumpiness, we present here Sarah Jessica parker, America’s late 90’s and aughts’ fashion icon. Fashion icon? Really now!



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Hollywood glamour dies as frumpy ladies dominate film industry

As Hollywood becomes more and more democratized, we’re seeing more and more actresses with a lack of that certain je ne sais qois or oomph. It’s impossible not to notice the pervasive folksiness, or frumpiness (whatever suits you) of today’s actors. Think of Grace Kelly, Faye Dunaway, Joan Collins, Joan Crawford, Liz Taylor & Co. and then fast forward to Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Sharon Stone and Maggie Gylenhaal, to name but a few.

The latter pose awkwardly, coyly, and have questionable fashion sense. The former were nothing short of glamorous, confident, stylish, dignified. I pondered over this change and wondered whether it’s a result of Hollywood’s new lax admission requirements, or the new celebrity-media complex, or both. The media has a lot to do with the deglamorization of the celebrity; By showing celebrities’ day-to-day, moment-to-moment affairs, in less than flattering clothes and makeup, they’ve torn down the icons of fashion, grace and strength. But this new elebrity is not entirely their fault.

Flipping through your weekly fashion magazine or gossip rag, we see photos of actors in their best attire during premieres, and they still fall short of their predecessors’ elegance. You see screen ladies looking less then siren-y: Posing meekishly, languidly, toes inward, shoulders down, neck down, weary-eyed.

Are they really lacking the boldness of women past, or just assuming a pretentious humility?

Compare & Contrast:

Joan Crawford

Faye Dunaway:

Grace Kelly:

Where’s the dignified elegance?

Jennifer Aniston:

Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Lindsay Lohan & Co:

Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle

Being no fan of the garish and distasteful Sex and the City, I naturally paid no heed to the news that a similar show was in the works. Lipstick Jungle, based on Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell’s book of the same title materialized early this year and was picked up for another season. I must say I am a fan. Unlike SATC, Jungle is populated by three mature, sophisticated and refined women. No frumpy Carrie. No over-the-top diva Samantha. And no whiny Charlotte. Above all, no grown women obsessing over sex, boys and toys. Jungle chronicles the lives of three high-powered NYC women who are well-mannered, temperate, refined and classy.

SATC, on the other hand, chronicled the lives of caricatures. It has not aged well. It’s become comical in and of itself. It elicits cringes and other expressions of discomfort. You can imagine my shock when news arrived by way of The Daily News that a sequel to the movie is well on its way. Sure, the movie did great at the box office, but it’s still stuck in the 90s, and in one-dimensional depictions of female-sexuality, power, and NYC life. The show was celebratory of independence and dependence. It was jaded and flighty, cynical and frivolous, stylish and gaudy. It never took off into real adulthood but always seemed stuck in adolescent frivolity, duality, insecurity and instability.

A study in contrast:

lipstick-jungle

Cast of Lipstick Jungle

sex-and-the-city-carrie-pp31078

Sarah Jessica Parker rocking the immature glory that was SATC

Comical effects of psychotropic meds

Finally managed to get a hold of a complete list of Prozac’s side effects. It’s one of the funniest pamphlets I’ve read in a long time.

You be the judge of its comical value:

Side Effects: Nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, trouble sleeping. loss of appetite, weakness, tiredness, sweating, or yawning may occur. Unusual or severe mental/mood changes (such as agitation, unusual high energy/excitement, thoughts of suicide,) uncontrolled movements (for example, movements of the tongue/lips) shakiness (tremor), restlessness, inability to keep still, decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, blurred vision, numbness/tingling. Bloody/black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bruising/bleeding, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness/spasms, seizures, change in amount of urine. Hallucinations, unusual restlessness, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, unexplained fever, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitchy muscles. Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. Rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/throat, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US you may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What if I hallucinate that I did tell my doctor about my hallucinations?

Recycling, regurgitating and rehashing: Studio 54

Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol hobnobing with other fabulous folk.

Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol hobnobing with other fabulous folk.

Yet another case of recycling the past, the legendary Studio 54 is set to make a comeback, but this time as a TV drama. Wasn’t the real thing enough? My thoughts are , we are running out of ideas, we’re nostalgic, and we love to pander to the well-to-do baby-boomers who experienced 70s disco decadence first hand and relentlessly refuse to age. Just look at shows like “Swingtown.” Anyone not a youngster in the 70s watches the show with the curiosity of an anthropology student.

Maybe it will be appealing to us young people as an historical documentary? A socio-cultural ride down hedonistic lane? With 90% of that socio-culture in turmoil at the time, I’d say this is appealing strictly to the baby boomers.

Studio 54 peaked as the East Coast epitome of showbiz glitz and glamour in the mid-70s – while New York City was going bankrupt and crime was out of control. For those lucky enough to get past the club’s notoriously picky bouncers, life beyond the velvet rope was good.

And, often, chemically enhanced.

“Cocaine was the drug of choice in those days – if you weren’t drunk, you were stoned,” actress Valerie Perrine told The Post.

Oscar-nominated actress Valerie Perrine was a frequent visitor to Studio 54 – often sharing a table with pals including Mick jagger and Truman Capote.

“Andy Warhol was always there, Truman was always there – the whole atmosphere was dancing, drinking and partying. Let’s just say I did inhale. No matter what it was i was inhaling.”

Doing laughing gas:

Oh, the city was falling apart and the wealthy and fame-hungry were busy having orgies? Nothing new to see here!

Vigilante or self-gratifying murderer?

Just caught an episode of Dexter, the show about a serial killer with a heart of gold. Well, sort of. From what I gather, Dexter is a morally ambiguous man who works for the Miami police department and follows up leads on cases that have fallen through the justice system and takes justice in his own hands, blood and all. Fine. Sounds all dandy and heroic and all that jazz, BUT, there’s a tiny problem that viewers and broadcasters seem not to notice and/or dismiss: Dexter is not satisfied by simply championing justice and standing up for the those the system has failed; He’s satisfied by the act of killing too.

Unlike vigilantes before him, who were fine to simply shoot a perpetrator/criminal, Dexter must tie them up, slice ’em a bit for personal pleasure and butcher them to pieces.

Basically the show is a heap of violence and gore-glorifying trash wrapped up in sappy dialogue in hopes of humanising the protagonist, and presented as a heroic saga. Yes, indeed, the drug-like Dexter gets when he sniffs blood trickling from his victims is heroic.