Betty vs. Veronica

Posted on May 26, 2009
Filed Under Everything Else | 3,909 Comments

I read a ton of Archie comics when I was growing up, so this recent news caught my attention: Archie, the hapless, boy-next-door figure, is going to choose between Betty and Veronica and propose marriage in an upcoming issue! That’s right kids, in a blog post about a week ago, the folks at Archie Comics revealed the news. Forget Cheney and Sotomayor, this is MAJOR NEWS. But who will he pick?! For those of you who haven’t been reading, Archie and his gang live in a fictional small town named Riverdale and have been in high school since 1941, when the cast of characters was originally drawn. And you thought the kids of 90210 never seemed to graduate! Betty Cooper is the sweet, girl-next-door type who is from the same ain’t-that-America sort of background as Archie. Veronica Lodge, naturally, is the rich brunette. Think Jen versus Angelina. As much as I am on Team Jolie and have been for quite some time (ever since Foxfire, basically), I think Betty needs to be the victor on this one.

To illustrate, I give you the “Betty” handbag from Cynthia Rowley via Gilt, a useful-looking tote with wholesome, preppy styling. It looks like a picket fence!

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And then there’s the “Veronica,” a sleek and rather frivolous design from Big Buddha (Clutches with that type of handle drive me a little nuts. Too fussy).

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See? The obvious choice here is Betty, even at a still-whopping $228 versus Veronica’s $60.

In a sense, I’m a little sad that this love triangle should come to an end. The character archetypes never really get old, but I guess it’s a reaction to the relevance of print media, particularly comics. When the same kids who were reading Archies fifteen years ago are now tuning in to Gossip Girl, I suppose you have find a way to compete (though guys, please, drop the blogs). In any case, I’ll gladly pony up $2.50 later this summer to find out if nice girls finish first.

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Water World.

Posted on May 20, 2009
Filed Under Everything Else | 1,509 Comments

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I love absolutely everything about Anthropologie’s dreamy, water-themed May 2009 catalog. It came in the mail and swept me away with its lush, sun-soaked photography and floaty product shots (shell-bedecked bag swimming underwater – love!). So many pages reflect my idea summer day: swimming in a secluded river with a good book, digging my toes in the dirt…all while wearing an impossible cute, retro swimsuit of course!

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Women: They Want to be Beautiful.

Posted on May 15, 2009
Filed Under Events | 1,680 Comments

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I had the pleasure of not only seeing the docu-film Valentino: The Last Emperor last night in Bethesda (part of the Front Row events) but also talking privately with the filmmaker, Matt Tyrnauer. Who is completely droll and hilarious. The film opens with a fantastic, slightly kitschy montage of Valentino and his models over the past 45 years, set to “Bette Davis Eyes” (note to self: download immediately!). At the outset of the film, Valentino is asked, “What do women want?” to which he replies, “They want to be beautiful.” In that same interview, he says, “I love beauty. It’s not my fault.” That line could easily summarize the way he is portrayed in the film, which is, at times, alarmingly real. This is a man who is very clearly interested in being publicly famous, but who is also intensely private. The film is revealing in that it shows Valentino as a designer, boss, and a lover, without being deferential in its treatment of what we all know as a slick fashion brand.

We’re largely taken away from the glossy ads and marketing (but not to worry: there’s plenty of ooooooh-inducing fashion!). We see Valentino – the man – his bad (obnoxious, self-important moments, insistence that others read his mind) but also his good: his humor and charm, his creative talent and energy, and most wonderfully, the tender relationship between he and his longtime partner, Giancarlo. As Matt told me after the film, “it’s really a universal story about a relationship…how to make a 50-year marriage last.” You see them quarrel, but only the way two people who truly love, understand, and respect one another can. And at a time when gay marriage rights in this country are gaining some ground, it paints a portrait of a love just as complex as any.

Perhaps most interestingly, the film conflates Valentino’s future within his own company with the fate of the fashion industry. Valentino is portrayed as the last man standing of The Real Fashion Industry: from the era before things got global and became all about money and marketing and celebrities. Valentino announced his retirement shortly after the film wrapped. And now that the industry is struggling to hold onto its monied facade, it begs the question: has fashion lost its way?

If you missed the film last night, fear not: we hear there are plans to bring the film to downtown DC.

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Into the Wild

Posted on May 15, 2009
Filed Under Around Town, Women | 3,069 Comments

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Just had to quickly share this photographic awesomeness, submitted by a reader, of an attendee at last night’s Zoofari, the National Zoo’s annual fundraising event. Apparently there was also matching fedora. Purrr!

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