Friday, November 30, 2012

Fashionably Delicious: Target and Neiman Marcus bring Xmas and fashion together

Is it really that time again? Is it already here? Cause it seems like the last one was just here. Thanksgiving? No that passed. Christmas? No that's another post altogether. I'm talking of course about the latest capsule collection from Target. After mild success with their "shops" concept, Target is here with another conceptual collaboration. Neiman Marcus has partnered with Target and with the help of 24 designers, they have created the gifting shop to end all gifting shops. First and foremost. I love this idea.

In case you didn't know I LOVE Christmas, but more than that, I love the holiday season. Whatever you celebrate or don't celebrate December feels different than any other month, as people come together with a spirit of giving and hope. It's an incredibly optimistic time and you better believe that I love every minute of it.

Back to the task at hand. This concept is built from the idea that these designers all get to design a few gifts for this collection. With people like Rodarte, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, and Marchesa I'm sure the excitement is at a fever pitch. What I love most about this, is the amount of whimsy an out of the box thinking that went into it. For instance Rodarte? They're offering up wrapping paper, and Gap alum Diane Von Furstenburg? She's giving you the most fabulous yoga mat around.

It's just the kind of magic that I love to see blend into reality. Would you ever have imagined Band of Outsiders making Cookie Cutters? Now there are over 50 pieces to choose and to be fair not all of them are winners. But they offer wide range of choices, and while I'm not excited about it, I'm sure there are plenty of you out there excited about a Tory Burch lunch box. So rather than go through each piece, I'm going to highlight my six favorite pieces.

Before we get to that though, if we had a daughter Jason Wu and Marchesa's pieces for little girls would be at the top of my list. I mean look at them...adorbs

1. Band of Outsiders cookie cutters - tastiest most classic American masculine style with a modern fit cookies are on there way

2. Altuzarra bar ware - just recently we have begun to realize that sometime in the past few years we stopped drinking cocktails out of plastic Iron Man cups from 7-11 and began to care whether we were using a high ball or a tumbler. It makes me sad to, but the new and improved thirty year old me, says this set will make all my friends jealous at the next bourbon party.

3. Jason Wu ornaments - didn't I mention I love Christmas? I am so excited for these to give my tree the whimsical yet subtly detailed elegance of Wu.

4. Rag & Bone shot glasses - I didn't mean for alcohol to take over this list, but refer to my thoughts on Altuzarra. Either way these are badass.

5. Phillip Crangi accent box - another Gap Alum, this box just looks hard, and nothing better to hold trinkets than something hardcore.

6. Rodarte wrapping paper - seriously?! They made wrapping paper? That is just too cool.

There's plenty more to love and I'm sure your favorite pieces won't be as focused on decorations and alcohol as mine. That's what's so great about the holidays, to each his own.

Thank you Target and happy holidays


One last thought - I didn't write about it but Twincess and I Loved the Patch NYC collection, if you were able to make it for Thanksgiving then you know just how obsessed we are.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Traditions....what better way to celebrate Election Day.

You know 90 minutes on the train everyday really yielded a lot of time to devote to writing. Going to have to figure this new situation out better.

Either way another HALLOWEEN has come and gone. The evolution of Samhain into Halloween is a gloriously pagan tale that has intrigued people for ages. For us, it marks the beginning of the holiday season and of course out yearly Halloween marathon. This year we introduced the youngest of the sisters Funkowitz to the celebration and in doing so we were able to enjoy some great Halloween moments as we exposed her to one of my favorite yearly traditions.

This year was all about a broad spectrum. Rather than focus on pure frights, I wanted to delve into the diversity that "horror" has to offer as well get through some classics of the genre. Easily one of the most successful we've had. Here's our list with some quick commentary. I hope you all had a great Halloween.

Trick R' Treat - Michael Dougherty
Great way to start off the month with this underrated celebration of Halloween. Filled with great character actors and plenty of fun, this is a great way to introduce the spirit of Halloween.

2. The Beyond - Lucio Fulci
On the other side of the spectrum we have Italian horror maestro Fulci, at his grotesque best giving us a tale of hell on earth. Zombies, and demons, and spiders and ghosts abound in this "collection of images" as Fulci calls it. The loose plot and Italian style dubbing definitely didn't resonate with the uninitiated sisters Funkowitz. But the brilliance of imagery is undeniable.

3. Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein - Charles Barton
An absolute classic and completely timeless. My favorite collection of monsters on film. If you haven't seen this Universal released a great Blu Ray recently, I strongly suggest you pick it up.

4. Cabin in the Woods - Drew Goddard
Celebration and condemnation of horror films and how formulaic they have become. Whedon and Goddard have crafted a supremely entertaining love letter that has its fair share of gore and more than enough monsters for any movie goer.

5. Ed Wood - Tim Burton
Going behind the scenes with Burton's fairy tale telling of the b movie master Ed Wood. This rather optimistic take on the infamous director gives us a look at the outcasts and misfits behind the scenes of the schlocky monster films of yesterday. Like I said trying to hit all aspects of the horror industry.

6. Cabin Fever - Eli Roth
Nothing like a good teens in the woods story to set the frame of a great horror film. Eli Roth burst onto the scene with this nostalgic tale, which reinterpreted the slasher film as a flesh eating virus. Love the references in this movie, underrated in my opinion.

7. Hostel II - Eli Roth
Not sure how we ended up watching so much Eli Roth, but I like the guy and think he has a great knowledge of the genre. He definitely has no qualms about going for the jugular. This sequel to his torture porn original expands on the world glimpsed at in the first one. Rather than being just a retread of the first film he gives us an idea of the expansive reach this company has. I actually prefer the original, but Roth gets a lot of shit for his torture porn, when he's actually doing it well.

8. V/H/S - Multiple directors
The new anthology film from quite a few up and coming horror directors. This is extremely low budget and really takes a look at the multiple types of found footage films there could be. As to be expected the film is uneven. Ti West with his story of a struggling relationship on the road is a standout entry that goes to some pretty dark places. Joe Swanberg also turns in a creepy ghost story told over Skype, with a turn that is surprising rather than insulting. Radio Collective however turns in the final film which is easily the most entertaining and most fun to watch, what they were able to accomplish is impressive and the story loves up to the technical prowess. The framing story as well as the first film and the middle film leave much to be desired.

9. The Intruders - Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Really excited to see where this guys career takes him. Unfortunately this film is as forgettable as they come. A kind of ok ghost story with some ok visuals, that just loses whatever potential it had with a lackluster and honestly confusing it was all in their head? Does that mean the psychiatrist's intervention was right?

10. Death Proof - Quentin Tarantino
Quentin's entry into the grind house experiment plays like a fetish film for all of his regular obsessions. But while Kill Bill was post modern to an extreme here there is an overwhelming sense of fun throughout. If you never thought Quentin was actually obsessed with legs and feet, well this is the film to turn you around.

11. The American Scream - Michael Stephenson
The follow up documentary from the director of Best Worst Movie. This film takes a sympathetic look at those who call themselves "home haunters". The people that take decorating their house for Halloween to the next level. What Stephenson does so well, as in his last film, is show us these eccentrics, these weirdos, but most of all he shows us the passion they all have for creating a memory for one night. Really excited to have this one in the rotation, like I said trying to run the gamut of what Halloween had to offer, this at the end definitely was a nice way to being winding down.

12. The Shining - Stanley Kubrick
Wanted to finish with an absolute classic of the horror genre, it came down to this or Rosemary's Baby. Both would've been great choices, but I went here as Kubrick's tale of a descent into madness is so downright creepy and uncomfortable that its hard to not let the film seep into your soul. Jack Nicholson gives high strung and crazy better than anyone and the result is one of the best movies of all time and easily top five horror films of all time.

Hope you had a great Halloween, now it's time to vote.


One last thought - next year I HAVE to work in Suspiria.

I have cupboards with cans of food, filtered water and I am not coming out until this all over."

It is that time again. Who would have thought that a quadrennial cycle would pass by so quickly. Now, we are faced with a difficult choice. Not so much for me, I already a while ago but I am a political "brown nose."

In spite of my enthusiasm for early voting, I will not be said to see this election cycle draw to a close. It has without a doubt highlighted everything that is worrisome about American politics. It has made even though most politically stalwart amongst us into an apathetic shell of the man that we all know and love.

Do not let me rain on the most holy of our democratic holidays. Go out there and exercise the hell out of your civic duties! Get that "voting sticker" and wear it proudly on your chest. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to sequester myself to my cave located somewhere in Appalachia.

I will pop in throughout the day as weather and Internet connections permit.

Your humble servant,