Archive for September, 2008

September 30, 2008

Sarah, Plain and Tall(tale)

With my apologies to Patricia MacLachlan, let me tell you a tale about loneliness and abandonment.

John, a “maverick” who, in 8 years of political marriage to his party’s president voted for 90% of the president’s legislative agenda, finds himself saddened by his chances to successfully distance himself from the selfsame disasterous economic and military agenda he voted for so he can now become President himself.

Somewhere in one of his eight homes, he is also saddened that his opponent, an elitist African American upstart half his age and who was raised by a single mother on food stamps, picked a champion of the working class and expert on foreign affairs as his vice presidential candidate.

Even his couture clad, brewing-fortune heiress wife is unable to console him from his public admission that he knows very little about economic matters, which suddenly matter very much to the voters.

Clearly unable to to handle the the burden himself, he decides to put out feelers for an upstart half his age of his very own to put on the presidential ticket.

He asks a few buddies, perhaps some randy buddies, and they tell him that putting a woman on the ticket would show the other side that he meant fundamentally sound business.

So they look around for a political bride.

They find a really good one in Maine, but decide that she isn’t young enough or much of an upstart, so they send her packing.

Suddenly, as if she were a credit card sent through the mail without a FICO credit check, someone pops up on their radar. Her name is Sarah.

She is from Alaska and she is eager, really eager and more than willing to travel down to the lower 48 to take the job immediately. The randy friends like that she was a former beauty pageant contestant and although she is married with children and a potential future ex son in law, it means that she has plenty of practice in the interview portion of her pageants to give confusing, nonsensical answers to difficult questions, and such as.

She seems like the kind of gal that can really read the heck out of an electrifying speech, which some friend of John’s could write and pepper with truthiness. No need to bother the FBI to do a background check.

Just as John had hoped, his plan succeeds beautifully. Within hours of the political marriage, they manage to steal the political thunder from their elitist community organizing upstart opponent. Everyone is talking about Sarah!

Oh, and how much does Sarah like talking about her Alaska homeland which she misses very much. To relieve her homesickness, she paints beautiful, fanciful pictures with words about her life there and the shores of Alaska and their proximity to a far away land called Russia. She even talks about the strategic proximity of her homeland to the exotic land of Canada.

But after a severe economic crisis threatens to force the entire world to party like it’s 1929, John is afraid they may lose the election and he may be forced to sell the entire country to China.

When Sarah leaves to go to the United Nations and on national television with Katie Couric to talk more about Alaska, John panics. Fearing Sarah may not survive the return trip, he declares that he will suspend his campaign and cancel the scheduled debate with his upstart opponent to go to Wahington to help fix the economic meltdown that a week earlier he had declared didn’t exist.

In his haste to get to Washington, he forgets to close down any of his campaign offices or stop running any of his campaign ads on television. He also forgets his haste, since, having cancelled an interview with David Letterman because he has suspended his campaign, he goes to Katie Couric’s CBS office instead, where it turns out he decides to be interviewed. David Letterman feels lonely and abandoned..

In the end, John’s fears are well founded. Sarah does not survive the return trip. Actually, she is politely asked not to return, abandoned really, by one of her most influential admirers at the National Review. She’s had enough of Sarah’s tall tales. She admonishes that “if BS were currency, Sarah… could bail out Wall Street herself.”

Sarah is now working on learning to print currency, and in her spare time, cold fusion. (It’s cold in Alaska and her parents say there’s nothing that their daughter can’t do.) She plans to report on her results this Thursday nite.


TomKolovos.com

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September 28, 2008

The Sarah Palin School of Resume Building

During the past few days I’ve been trying to put the finishing touches on the redesign of my website. A Higher power willing, the new home page will be up today with the rest of the pages gradually coming along in two weeks.

One of the pages I still have to redo is the “about tom” page, which essentially serves as my virtual/online resume.

Watching Sarah Palin speed date her way to foreign policy cred at the United Nations yesterday made me think how much more impressive my fashion credentials would be if I followed her example:

met Calvin Klein once in Chicago and saw him once walking the boardwalk on Fire Island with David Geffen.  I’ve stood in line with Christy Turlington at O’Hare waiting for a limo. I’ve met Todd Oldham and Zac Pozen. I’ve had dinner with Rubin Singer and his staff. Rubin worked for both Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass.

I’ve dished about Condoleza Rice’s wardrobe with Albert Kreimler of Akris.

I’ve  rescued away Thierry Mugler from hangers on by asking him to tell me how his then recent interview in Time magazine with the art critic Linda Nochlin (whose essays I used to teach, not ban) came about. I was wearing a Dolce and Gabbana vest. This happened on Mykonos, no less.

You can, if you wish really hard, see parts of Turkey, our strategic NATO ally in The War Against Terror, from Mykonos.

I’ve slept with someone who’s slept with Marc Jacobs (and who hasn’t, you say) and no one got anyone pregnant.

Probably because none of our mothers were hockey moms.

introduced Narciso Rodriguez to Michelle Obama. I styled the first magazine cover with Michelle who favors Maria Pinto’s clothes. Maria Pinto used to be an assistant to Geoffrey Beene. Geoffrey Beene reprimanded Narciso for copying his clothes. So, by Palin logic, I’ve also met Mr. Beene, twice(!)–although he’s dead.

Geoffrey Beene’s signature fragrance was called Grey Flannel, and tonite I will be wearing a grey Band of Outsiders three piece suit to the Giorgio Armani party sponsored by W magazine, which this month has Anne Hathaway on its cover. She was one of the stars of The Devil Wears Prada. Prada used to own Helmut Lang which is now designed by Nicole and Michael Colovos.

As Bette Midler (who I have seen in concert) would say: “Shall I go on?”

see KATIE COURIC’S INTERVIEW  part 1

part 2

TheBestDressedList.com

September 21, 2008

Back in Black (from the bridge to nowhere)

I’m back!

I have not blogged for almost 3 months and over the next few moths maybe I can find the time to tell you why.

Let’s start with why I’m back to begin with. Since I started blogging for nbc5.com, I’ve been posting my picks for the best and worst dressed celebs at the major awards shows. Hey, it’s frivolous fun and at the end of the day not a dumb thing to do when your website is called TheBestDressedList.com.

Since the Emmy Awards will be handed out tonite, I will post the obligatory list tomorrow.

But in a week in which the headlines have been about the  surprise(?) enormous mismanagement of the U.S. economy and the reality that we face an international global economic collapse that would make the Great Depression look like a trip to Disneyland, I’ll be honest with you, the list of who is wearing what will be frivolous.

As an image consultant, I’m sometimes asked a really important question: “Can a client who has very little substance, make up for it by finessing great style?” Quite frankly  I’m surprised I’m not asked this question more often. My answer is always: “No. Not in the long run.”

The reason I believe this to be true is because if great style, or any style at all, could be a substitute for substance, it would have to be based on smoke and mirrors, misrepresentations and, a word we are uncomfortable using publicly, lies. Eventually, the truth will come out and the charade is over.

Or maybe not. Maybe not if we all really want to collectively continue to believe the charade because it’s more comforting than the truth.

As I write this, I defy anyone to suggest to me that ordinary Americans have the slightest clue about the global economic implications of the last week. While I’m at it, I defy anyone in the Bush administration to have explained it to me sometimebefore this week.

It’s going to take a long time and, OMFG, a lot of my money and yours before the charade is exposed and we can go back to hitting our collective “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” snooze button.

Funny enough–well, funny only in a black comedy ( and I don’t mean TheJeffersons)– the political landscape in the country is facing an equally crucial wake up call. I had no idea how utterly naive it would seem in 2008, when it seemed perfectly logical in 2007, for me to tell USA Today that:

“This is an election, maybe the first one since Kennedy-Nixon, where appearance really does matter, because we have credible female, black, Hispanic candidates, style and substance may actually be competitive, or even equally important to the public.”

Suddenly, it doesn’t really matter how many sources have picked up that quote or in how many foreign languages. As of the day Sarah Palin joined the the Republican presidential ticket, substance has taken a seat at the very back of the political tour bus. How Ms. Palin, and therefore John McCain,  has been packaged to the public in this election will make it possible for those of us who grapple with image, either for a living or academically, to think, rethink, publish, blog and (maybe even blush) for years to come.

After a lot of thought and head scratching, I have lots to say on the subject ofimage and politics in this election. I will share them with you in blog size bites in the next few week/months. (Yes, Marcus, I know this blog is too long….)

Enjoy the Emmys tonite.