Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great jeans under $50

Five women model Lee Jeans.
Finding the perfect pair of jeans is a daunting task. Finding the perfect pair of jeans for the perfect price? Even harder. Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, has scoured the fashion world to find a budget-conscious jean on which he can put his fashion stamp of approval.

"I'm always looking for great jeans under $100," he says. "Guess what? I found a pair of jeans under $50. They're totally incredibly, they're only $42, and they're by Lee Jeans." Adam says Lee has the three styles that look best on women with real curves: trouser cut, boot cut and straight leg.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Inspired by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, focus in the mid 90’s into the first part of the 21st century was on the buttocks. Styles designed to showcase the derriere created booty mania and it seemed no one noticed how much girth was created by such “hot” new looks. Interestingly, it was the same at the turn of the last century. The difference being that women used corsets and bustles. Today we use pocketdetail, fading, tapered styling and low slung hip belts to increase focus and size.

Though some find it difficult to believe, many women desire a boost to their booty. If you want to enlarge or draw attention to your hips and buttocks remember these handy “Christopher Quotes”:

  • The tighter the taper the bigger the butt.
  • Hip huggers help build hefty hips.
  • Bias cut equals bigger butt.
  • Wherever a pocket, so too our eyes.
  • Fade on your fanny gives sprawl to your seat.
  • Bling on your butt puts junk in your trunk.

Booty Booster Bottoms

  • Bias cut
  • Tulip or pegged
  • Tapered
  • Hip huggers
  • Yoked
  • Cropped

Remember: The smaller you make your top, the bigger you make your bottom. Choose dark colors that fit closely on your upper half if you wish to make your bottom bigger.

The simplest way to minimize your bottom is to maximize your top. Style lines that broaden the shoulder and upper body will help balance the hips.

Diane's Makeover

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Irving Penn, Fashion Photographer, Is Dead at 92

Published: October 7, 2009

Irving Penn, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential photographers of fashion and the famous, whose signature blend of classical elegance and cool minimalism was recognizable to magazine readers and museumgoers worldwide, died Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 92.

Horst/Staley-Wise Gallery

Irving Penn, New York, 1951.

© Condé Nast Publications

Irving Penn's “Woman With Roses,” with Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn in Lafaurie Dress, Paris, 1950.

His death was announced by Peter MacGill, his friend and representative.

Mr. Penn’s talent for picturing his subjects with compositional clarity and economy earned him the widespread admiration of readers of Vogue during his long association with the magazine, beginning in 1943. It alsobrought him recognition in the art world; his photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries and are prized by collectors.

His long career at Vogue spanned a number of radical transformations in fashion and its depiction, but his style remained remarkably constant. Imbued with calm and decorum, his photographs often seemed intent on defying fashion. His models and portrait subjects were never seen leaping or running or turning themselves into blurs. Even the rough-and-ready members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, photographed in San Francisco in 1967, were transformed within the quieting frame of his studio camera into the graphic equivalent of a Greek frieze.

Instead of spontaneity, Mr. Penn provided the illusion of a seance, his gaze precisely describing the profile of a Balenciaga coat or of a Moroccan jalaba in a way that could almost mesmerize the viewer. Nothing escaped the edges of his photographs unless he commanded it. Except for a series of close-up portraits that cut his subjects’ heads off at the forehead, and another, stranger suite of overripe nudes, his subjects were usually shown whole, apparently enjoying a splendid isolation from the real world.

He was probably most famous for photographing Parisian fashion models and the world’s great cultural figures, but he seemed equally at home photographing Peruvian peasants or bunion pads. Merry Foresta, co-organizer of a 1990 retrospective of his work at the National Museum of American Art, wrote that his pictures exhibited “the control of an art director fused with the process of an artist.”

A courtly man whose gentle demeanor masked an intense perfectionism, Mr. Penn adopted the pose of a humble craftsman while helping to shape a field known for putting on airs. Although schooled in painting and design, he chose to define himself as a photographer, scraping his early canvases of paint so that they might serve a more useful life as backdrops to his pictures.

He was also a refined conversationalist and a devoted husband and friend. His marriage to Lisa Fonssagrives, a beautiful model, artist and his sometime collaborator, lasted 42 years, ending with her death at the age of 80 in 1992. Mr. Penn’s photographs of Ms. Fonssagrives not only captured a slim woman of lofty sophistication and radiant good health; they also set the esthetic standard for the elegant fashion photography of the 1940s and ’50s.

Ms. Fonssagrives became a sculptor after her modeling career ended. In 1994, Mr. Penn and their son, Tom, a metal designer, arranged the printing of a book that reproduced his wife’s sculpture, prints and drawings. In addition to his son, Mr. Penn is survived by his stepdaughter, Mia Fonssagrives Solow, a sculptor and jewelry designer; his younger brother, Arthur, the well-known director of such films as “Bonnie and Clyde,” and eight grandchildren.

Mr. Penn had the good fortune of working for and collaborating with two of the 20th century’s most inventive and influential magazine art directors, Alexey Brodovitch and Alexander Liberman. He studied with Mr. Brodovitch in Philadelphia as a young man and came to New York in 1937 as his unpaid design assistant at Harper’s Bazaar, the most provocative fashion magazine of the day. But it was under Mr. Liberman, at Vogue, that Mr. Penn forged his career as a photographer.