Emmy Red Carpet: The Best, The Worst And A Mad Men Fashion Surprise

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Lillian Russell

Word is, Lena Dumham is writing an HBO series based on 82 year old Betty Halbreich, Bergdorf’s legendary personal shopper. Obviously, Halbreich did not select this Prada number for Dunham, easily the worst dressed woman at the Emmy’s–maybe ever.c8bb0502-c499-45f6-9221-763337865594_lenadunham Best dressed honors in the bombshell division go to Sofia Vergaraffd8216a-7e19-4c27-a794-6a9f3c2a26eb_sofiavergara in Vera Wang.  And the “Why Miss Jones You’re Beautiful” award goes to Elisabethe0fe5b6a-a6d1-4afe-9288-85796fbfb228_January-Jones 00d44cbd-11d8-430f-b14e-2b9356cf941b_JessicaPare 8e096810-87f4-4890-b76a-b4fa6e75a7ee_Elisabeth-Moss b8c973a6-10d4-4cd3-bc44-448bff1feef2_KiernanShipka Moss, who in one of the rare and inexplicable fashion mis-steps on Mad Men is usually dressed like Lady Bird Johnson, wowed last night with a new blonde do and attitude. Christina Hendricks in Cristian Sirano was a little too Lillian Russel 937f01bd-fb30-4ee7-aa9c-cdd8a420a789_ChristinaHendricks for modern life.

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The Iphone 5s Gold Rush At Apple: Right Now They’re Aint Any I

largeGold is both the color of money and the color that glitters most in the rented Mac Mansions of Jersey housewives. You know who they are.

Now, gold is the color of the most coveted new I-phone. They’re sold out and impossible to get in most places. Which is a recipe for consumer desire on a global scale engineered by Apple  on purpose or not. With its brushed gold aluminum finish, the I-phone 5s ushers us into the age of the device as jewelry. Conspicuous communication, indeed.  Wonder if  a gold laptop and tablet are  already in the pipeline?

A smart piece from The Atlantic on the topic:

The Psychology of the Gold iPhone

Rebecca Greenfield 17,481 Views Sep 20, 2013

“The psychology of iPhone buying is such that people will want the gold iPhone and Apple knows that, which is why it’s no surprise that the iPhone’s newest color is already in short supply after less than a day of sales. “I want the gold one and everyone wants the gold one,” the eighth person in line at New York’s Fifth Avenue store told ABC News Friday morning. Unlike the other colors, the shipping date for the blingiest iPhone has already been pushed to October in the U.S.. And, gold is so popular in China, Apple has reportedly increased production of the models to meet demand. “I don’t care what’s inside the device,” Lian Jiyu, who was waiting in line at a Beijing Apple store, told The Wall Street Journal‘s Ian Sherr. “Chinese people like gold.”

The gold iPhone has the same exact insides as the space grey and white models. It doesn’t have any additional gold-related functions, nor is it not overwhelmingly better looking than the other two colors. Some people “adore” the look and it’s certainly not as “tacky” as tech pundits anticipated, but in general, it looks just like the other two. Yet, there’s a clearly more excitement about the gold one than other two.

That’s because the desire goes beyond aesthetics. When going into the Apple store this first day of sales, consumers want to pick a phone that will make them unique, Sheena Iyengar, author of the best selling book The Art Of Choosing, explained in this Business Insider video. “You think white will be less frequently chosen,” she said back when Apple had increased the color palate to include white. “I must be different.” So, when going into the Apple store this morning, people figure that the least conventional choice — gold — will also prove less popular. So, they pick that.

Of course, it sounds pretty ridiculous, there are only three color choices for a phone that millions of people will buy: Even if you pick the least popular color, you will look exactly like lots of other people. That’s partly the power of consumer psychology. “Color is one of the most visually distinctive – and personal – things about a new iPhone, which makes it one of the most important choices you’ll have to make,” wrote, in all seriousness, iMore’s Rene Ritchie.

But there’s another force at play: “Shownership,” a phenomenon described by Jenna Wortham over at Bits blog. “I want people to know that this is a new phone,” an aspiring owner of an iPhone 5C, which comes in a rainbow of colors, told her. The gold plumage signals the latest technology, whereas the other colors look nearly identical to last year’s model. “Apple isn’t just about ownership — it’s about shownership, and inspiring desire and jealousy in those around you that you’ve got the latest device,” writes Wortham.”-The Atlantic

The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Driver: Tod’s Camo Chic

J. P. Tod’s suede driving moc  is so down home and comfy looking with  a Duck Dynasty vibe  that makes it  look like inexpensive army surplus instead of a $445 71adb5b518f2d34e4bb76bb15cda67b8Italian import. Kinda like the Robertsons themselves, who don’t look like money but have it.200px-Duck_Dynasty_Promo

The Devil Made Me Read It: Lauren Weisberger Still Can’t Write

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Lauren Weisberger

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Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep–The Devil Wears Prada

Lauren Weisberger’s  The Devil Wears Prada,  was a terrible book with a terrific title. The sequel, Revenge Wears Prada, The Devil Returns, is a terrible book with an equally hideous title. Consider
the obstacles our narcissistic, entitled heroine Andy Sachs  must face: her mother in-law hates her; her then fiancee didn’t cop to running into an old girl friend (though nothing happened between them) and obsesses over it for half of the story;  and horrors–Ellias-Clark buys her four-year old Wedding magazine start-up for millions. (At a time when every magazine and newspaper in the world is struggling.) In comparison, 50 Shades Of Grey is War and Peace.

Anthony Weiner Tones It Down Below The Belt

Anthony Weiner stopped wearing his blazing trousers when the Syndey Leathers story broke. Since then he’s been Brooks Bro appropriate below the waist.  Even before the sexting scandal erupted, his duds were not well received: (Via NY Observer)

1375778718809.cachedThough Weiner’s spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, told us at the time that “Anthony wants to lead the fashion capital of the world, so it’s no surprise that he would make fashion-forward trouser choices,” the candidate’s color choices may have been working against him. The Telegraph reported that men who wear red pants are the subject of “public distrust.” As Esquire put it: “The color red draws attention, and red pants, therefore, draw attention to your below-the-belt areas. And considering the man’s track record of inviting attention to that region, we think it’s best that he not do that.” New York called them “gay pants,” and to the Daily News, Weiner’s style was simply “bold-colored braggadocio.”

Material Grill: Madonna’s New Gold Teeth

Madonna shows off her gold grills as she visits her Hard Candy Fitness Club in RomeHuh? There is no other explanation for this except the obvious one: Madge needs attention. Still waiting for her to join the Twitteratti . With her Mean Girl Diva wit, she’d be fun to follow. As for the dental display?
This is what 55 shouldn’t look like.article-0-1B66711D000005DC-132_634x797

Remembering Elvis: 1935-1977; ‘ A Little Less Conversation’

Elvis died 36 years ago,  today. Remember him by doing what he would have done: eat a cheeseburger and buy something you don’t need. ht_elvis_pepsi_ll_130730_wblog

Why Elvis Presley Never Really Died

Aug 16, 2013 12:00 AM EDT

Via The Daily Beast:

“The King died 36 years ago Friday. So why does he still strike such a chord in the age of Bieber and Gaga? Larry Durstin on the rocker’s divine message.

While the American media captures every move Justin Bieber makes, and news items one week old are treated as ancient history, Elvis Presley—who died 36 years ago today—remains nearly as popular as ever. Why?

Well, it’s not just because our popular culture idolizes its heroes to near-messianiac heights. That’s a given. No, at the heart of the Presley phenomenon is something much simpler and peculiarly American: dreaming big dreams and making those dreams come true.

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AP

In the final scene of the last non-documentary movie of his career, 1969’s Change of Habit, Presley is shown strumming away at a guitar in church while Mary Tyler Moore—playing a nun with a big decision to make—looked on. As Moore tries to make up her mind on which man to choose, the camera pans from Elvis to Jesus, then back and forth until the two images blend together.

That type of sledgehammer symbolism was as hard to ignore at the time as it is now, but even after decades of impersonators, sightings, and guided tours of Graceland, it is still impossible not to recognize Elvis as the quintessential Rock God.

In a collective unconscious sort of way, popular culture has a spiritual element to it. And although so many of us deify our musical icons and exhibit an almost religious devotion to them, I strongly favor the separation of Church and Presley. However, there is a striking similarity between the primary message of the early Elvis (’54-’56) and the one central to most of the great religious figures of history: change. That one can take the past, breathe new life into it, and with the promise of youth and open-mindedness, rebel against the steadfastly held morals of the day, and, ultimately, change the future.

To fully appreciate the influence of Presley on rock, it is absolutely critical to listen to the music of those first few years. He was not just some semi-talented white guy who ripped off infinitely more gifted black artists and was lavishly rewarded for his mediocrity. Elvis may have been many grotesque things in his life, but one thing he was not was a 1950s version of Vanilla Ice.

Just go back and listen to that early music. Listen to Elvis pump white-hot electricity into Big Boy Crudup’s “That’s All Right, Mama,” Wynonie Harris’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” and Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog.” Elvis could squeeze more juice than you can shake a stick at out of the classic “Milkcow Blues Boogie,” convey a pure unholy arrogance in his “Mystery Train” that was nowhere to be found in Little Junior Parker’s version, or deliver white-gospel-tinged ballads such as “Anyway You Want Me” like no one before or since. Musically, the early Presley was an astonishingly gifted alchemist—creating his revolutionary singing style by mixing black music with country and pop balladry.

His staggering singing talent, however, is only part of the Presley story. Consider for a moment the society that this comet exploded into in the mid-’50s. It was a culture nibbling on the genial jingoism of Norman Vincent Peale and being made somewhat uncomfortable by Adlai Stevenson. It was a stale, waist-up America, decked out in tuxes and tulle—a tasteful semi-corpse living behind white picket fences in houses stuffed with secrets, suffocating denial, and institutional racism and sexism. It was a society with absolutely nothing at stake, one that had taken up permanent residence in the spiritual ICU and where the accumulated hypocrisy of all the piled centuries since Paradise had rendered it ready to split in two.

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Young Elvis impersonators strike a pose during the junior Elvis lookalike contest at the 18th annual Parkes Elvis Festival, on January 9, 2010, marking the 75th birthday of the late US rock and roll icon Elvis Presley. (Amy Coopes/AFP/getty)

It was into this theater that Elvis, the “Hillbilly Cat” as he was called, strode with amused, defiant cool—his hips quivering a thousand times quicker than the CBS eye—and suddenly everything was at stake. Suddenly America was in the midst of a game of chicken, because Elvis was playin’ for keeps and takin’ his dreams very, very seriously. And, just as suddenly, so were those of us who listened to him. He was all erotic genius, both discovering and uncovering himself, his voice burning into the suburban bushes of Eisenhower’s America with otherwordly images of abandoned pleasures and back-alley thrills.

As an American Dream re-inventor, Elvis wasn’t lacking qualifications, not the least of which was volcanic ambition. Although he was the son of a dirt-poor sharecropper, he had roamed Memphis’s black Beale Street section studying his craft and spending his money on the kind of clothes that earned him the nickname “Memphis Flash.” He had also spent plenty of growing-up time listening to the gritty, vengeful last-shall-be-first message of white Pentecostal preachers holy-rollering around sawdust floors—scratching, clawing, and pleading for redemption.

Elvis literally scared the bejeezus out of racist, mid-’50s America.

His music bled menace and lust, but also tenderness and vulnerability and an overpowering romantic lyricism. He was all contradiction: the raunchy roadhouse rocker who loved mom and Jesus, the yes-sir/no-sir Southern boy with the swaggering carelessness, the smoldering sex symbol with the self-mocking smile. And, like Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, he was all magnetism: “There was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promise of life—as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.”  He was, and is, the stuff that American Dreamers are made of.

Sixties activist Abbie Hoffman said that Elvis killed Ike Eisenhower, and John Lennon said that before Elvis there was nothing and after Elvis there was everything. While these assertions are debatable, I do know for sure that when Elvis hit America in 1955, howling and gyrating like he had gulped down a jackhammer, the Hillbilly Cat was definitely out of the bag—and the world has never been the same.

Sadly, he spent his final few years eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches, theorizing about visitors from other planets or how the Jews were running the world, and giving rambling interpretations of the Bible that make Pat Robertson seem like a secular humanist. By the end, he was aimlessly performing in front of primarily leisure-suited, beehived audiences who conjured in Elvis’s multi-rhinestoned visage a glamorized version of themselves. Finally he pill-popped himself into oblivion and disappeared into his own mythology—where he is still, from time to time, allegedly sighted in the flesh.

Sociologically and musically, the birth of rock and roll can be glibly explained away simply as a matter of some white guy coming along who could “sing black” and get the bobbysoxers to screech. But there is absolutely no way to ever fully and truly explain Elvis: the backwoods boy who brilliantly mixed the music of poor whites and poor blacks and literally scared the bejeezus out of racist, mid-’50s America, and whose charisma dwarfed any, and all, who succeeded him.

Just after Presley’s death on August 16, 1977, his Svengali-like manager, Col. Tom Parker, was asked for a comment. He said, “This doesn’t change anything.”

In a way the old cigar-chomping hustler was right, although I’m sure the colonel was referring to the amount of money he himself would still be making. But what will really never change and will remain forever magical are Elvis’s early, lightning-bolt musical performances which—like the words and deeds of every great political, cultural or spiritual revolutionary—simultaneously struck the deepest fears of some, like parents, preachers and teachers, and the secret dreams of others, like me. “–Larry Durstin

Larry Durstin is an independent journalist who has covered politics and sports for a variety of publications and websites over the past 20 years. He is the author of the novel, The Morning After John Lennon Was Shot.