Saturday, September 10, 2005

Revenge of the 80s

You may have heard the somewhat nasty rumor that trends of the 80s are coming back in style. You may be conjuring images of neon colors, guidette hair and wigwam socks. Before you set your tasers to suicide, read on.

There are many vestiges of the 80s that will mercifully remain dead, but there was a lot that the 80s got right. The theme for the decade was excess, and so everything you were supposed to wear was BIG. That theme has been carried over into the accessory department, for example, the bracelet at left. Yep, that's one bracelet, but it also accomplishes the 80s carryover of more than one bracelet at a time. Bangles, too, are back in style, but with a more modern flair - wavy, rhinestone or wooden bangles have replaced the hideous gold ones you used to wear. The modern flair at left is the reintroduction of metallics, and in this case it has a brassy look. The rule remains: too much of any one thing is a bad thing, no matter how good it is. Make sure you pair your flashier items with calmer things. The 80s, as you know, ignored that.

The off-the-shoulder shirt is back again, but in the 80s it didn't matter if you looked trashy; in the 21st century, it does. Now, you remember that if a shirt is too busy (meaning too many patterns or ideas) then it looks bad. Consider the off the shoulder aspect of the shirt one of those things. You already have an obvious quality - don't add more. A striped off the shoulder makes you look like a sailor. Don't do it! Add polka dots and you turn into Grandma Wilson. Don't do that, either! If anything, add a tasteful brooch to it, but that's it, and I mean it! That's how you keep it from looking ridiculous. See here on our model the same idea. Now, she has paired her plain shirt with a patterned skirt, which perks the outfit up perfectly, and she's wearing minimal accesories. She's not too busy - she's got the right idea!

The bottom line is that you can wear 80s trends without returning to the decade of greed. Our decade, I hope, will be characterized by maturity and classic beauty, so don't ruin it for the rest of us! And now, just for your entertainment, a nice shot of what not to look like:
Don't let this happen to you!

P.S. That bracelet is available thanks to the good people at, a great place to find the celebrity-wear you crave.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Man

So, you sit down with your man and you're watching television, when all of a sudden Pamela Anderson comes on. If he says anything to the effect of, "Ooh, she's hot," then he's unwittingly put himself in the doghouse. We roll our eyes because we know all he's seeing is boobs and stupidity, and he's actually attracted to that? We know they can do better, which is why there is a triumvirate of women whom we don't seem to mind that our men are attracted to. We'll let them have these three women if they'll let us have Antonio Banderas.

"Monster" really doesn't describe Charlize Theron. Although Oscar (r) seems to like when pretty women go ugly for a role, we like her just the way she is. And, for some reason, we don't flip our lids when our men say they like her. Why on Earth is that? She actually has quite a few endearing qualities that shine through her fame and beauty, for example, her publicly close relationship with her mother. Wow, she's human and not a Hollywood cyborg, we think to ourselves. She has depth, which is more than I could say for dear Pammy up there. She is also, of course, not just pretty, but glamorous, and seems to really put her stylists to good use. She's never appaling and never sloppy, but always stunning, and that's something that I think we can all appreciate. Furthermore, she seems to be - dare I say it - kinda normal. You never see her embroiled in nanny scandals or things of that sort. She's just too classy for that, and that makes her lovable.

Speaking of lovable, we should also look at the flipside of women, adorable, girl next door Sandra Bullock. Sandy here just got married, and she handled it with grace and dignity. They had their special day with privacy, but acknowledged her fame and let us curious onlookers have a peek. She's hysterically funny, a big plus, and she never seemed to let her fame go to her head, instead opting for being - there's that word again - normal. She lives her life like a typical woman, and that's admirable. Oh, and of course she's gorgeous. I'm starting to see a pattern here - it seems like the celebrities we like resemble the best of ourselves in some ways. It's okay for our guys to like these women because they are standards we can, and do, live up to. Who lives up to Pam? Not even Pam.

Exhibit C is Scarlett Johansson, and she's a real peach. She's a talented and successful actress, cute, and yes, normal. Heck, she could be hanging out with all of us later if she wasn't so busy. And that's an additional feature of all these women. They are accessible, which is probably another reason men are drawn to them. They might actually be able to hook one of these women. As a friend of mine says, it only takes one chance encounter, and I hope for me and Antonio that is correct.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A letter to Kelly Osbourne, the Sullen Middle Child of Music

Dear Kelly,

We've seen your most recent music video, but we're not here to talk about your music. Actually, darling, we're here to talk about YOU.

We understand that you've been in rehab, not for drugs, but for an eating disorder. Our policy at Las F is to encourage eating. It's a good idea for everyone from the tiniest of babies to the famousest of celebrities. So, darling, we feel your pain and encourage you to get better soon.

But Kelly, really, let's talk.

While you usually skulk around in some really awful getups, and it looks like you wear a skunk on your head most days (stripes are optional, and tend to come and go), we think you're a really, truly pretty girl. Your skin is poreless, and thank GOD you've not succumbed to the tanorexic craze that dominates Hollywood. You KNOW how we feel about that. We love your sweet chubby cheeks. They reveal you as the nice girl you are screaming to be underneath all the goth posing. We love that you have your own style. We love your red lips.

But we do wish that 'unique style' didn't consist of covering up your face with pink skunky hair or weird highlights. I know, I know, you're trying to make a statement about your uniqueness. But isn't pink hair, well, a little pink?

Now, in this picture here, you look lovely. Obviously you took a break from your usual stylist--you know,
the one who insists you look better with half your face covered in thick black hair-but that's another discussion for another time. We KNOW black isn't your real color. The stylist who did this shot must be a very nice person. S/he capitalized on all your best features.

We even love you in this picture because you had the guts to pose next to Nichole Richie, the Queen of the Lollipops. She ought to take a lesson or two from you, hon. We dig the hot red lips (even though they're pursed as if you're holding back naughty words) and we dig the retro dress (even though white is the new fat). Trust us, though, even with those impediments, you're WAY hotter than her--just lose the skunky hair.

SEEEEEEEEE? Isn't that better? You can totally do blonde. You're a doll. We love you.

Smile honey! It takes less muscles than frowning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gwen Stefani has an Inner Chubby Kid

According to the excellent Kat Giantis of MSN Entertainment, Gwen Stefani struggles with her weight.

"I'll never be one of those women who says, 'I look like this because that's how I am,'" Gwen tells Grazia magazine. "I work out a few hours every day. It takes a lot of effort for me to look like this. If I slack off, it really shows. That little chubby kid starts coming out and I have to rein her back."

Not surprisingly, she's having some trouble letting go of her pudgy past. "I still think of myself as a fat little dorky kid from Orange County desperately wanting to be cool," Stefani admits. "I wasn't a prom queen or cheerleader. I was 10 pounds overweight and wore my odd little clothes."

While the No Doubt frontwoman later grew out of her awkward stage ("the weight shifted up with me and I guess I was pretty popular") and eventually fulfilled her cheerleader dreams in the "Hollaback Girl" video, she admits there's still one goal she's yet to achieve, namely having a baby with husband Gavin Rossdale.

"It hasn't happened and that's something that isn't under my control," she says. "I would like it to happen, of course I would, but I have an amazing husband and career so I'm not complaining."

All of this makes us at Las F disposed to like her even more than we already do. We decided she needs a post all to herself because she is Just. That. Hot. And she likes babies, and wants one of her own. And now we know she's just like us, except hot, and rich, and famous.

Actually, we ARE hot. We're so hot we can't even post our own pictures for fear all the boys in the world would beat down our doors. The Shining Intellects get much boys.

We're famous thanks to you, dear readers! So spread the word around to all the blawgs far and wide, and we'll keep posting hot pictures of Gwen in all her Inner Chubby goodness.


So YOU'RE the one responsible for the G*d-awful pants the kids are wearing these days. Don't give me that look, young lady! You KNOW the pants I'm talking about. The ones that cling to the legs of the wearer with all the ferocity of an Olsen twin to a non-fat latte. Yeah. Those. Why do you have to be SO cute, and wear such AWFUL clothes? Ashlee, maybe your squicky dad didn't tell you this, but there are other looks besides Big Texas Barbie and Disenfranchised Brunette. It's like you're in this weird adolescent in between phase of fashion where you vascillate wildly between those two looks, but often end up just looking unfortunate.

Did you steal that sweater from your grandpa? I'm sure he's darling. But really, maybe you can find a more constructive way to pay him sartorial tribute, like wearing one of his ties in your hair or borrowing his leather bomber jacket. It would certainly be better than that other jacket you wear sometimes.

Lindsay Lohan says-OMG Ashlee you look hot like a 20-year-old! Help me get dressed next year for VMA so that Las F don't come after me again! Help me not be a cougar anymore!

Cooking Tips 2: Italian

If you tried out our last meal idea and found it deliciously satisfying, then we're pleased to bring you the second installment in the food series. This time, your honey gets to eat a phenomenal Italian dinner, and this one truly could not be easier.

The first step to the perfect Italian dinner is the pasta. Choose a pasta based on what kind of sauce you're going to have, because although they all taste the same, different shapes "hold" different sauces better. For thinner sauces, such as regular old tomato sauce, linguini or spaghetti are good choices. For a thicker sauce you'll need a noodle that will stand up to it, such as fettuccini for an alfredo or penne. Comment for particular pairings if you're confused. For this example I suggest a filled pasta, such as Barilla's Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni. Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

The next step is to cook the pasta until it is al dente, which translates as "to the tooth". Now, being an Italian, I tend to be somewhat elitist over foods, but the brand of pasta truly does make a difference. Brand X pasta tends to be difficult to cook well, so you're better off going with a Barilla pasta. It says on the box that it always cooks al dente, and it's pretty much true. Fill a pot about halfway with water and add a sprinkle of salt, and get it to a rolling boil. This means lots of big bubbles, not just a bunch of little ones. Throw your pasta in and stir, stir, stir! If you stop stirring, your noodles may clump together, so don't stop unless they seem to be stirring themselves (once the water starts boiling again). My mom can tell pasta is done by the color, but I say taste it. Does it feel hard? If so, cook it longer. If the pasta is mushy, you've overcooked it. It will usually take 10 minutes for pasta to cook, so use that as a guide. Remember - pasta will keep cooking once you've strained it, so either cook it less or run cool water for a couple of seconds over the noodles to stop them from cooking too much.

Now for the perfect sauce - which need only be combined and nuked for a few minutes before serving. A vegetable pasta goes quite well with a vegetable sauce, so I chose Barilla's Sugo alla Genovese (sauce from Genoa). It's tomato-based, but has nuts and parmesan for something different. Barilla's restaurant-style sauces are excellent. They are not your typical marinara and are painfully easy to make. Pour the sauce over the pasta and you have a fantastic meal. And when you serve it, make sure you call it by it's fancy name - Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni con Sugo alla Genovese. That way you'll sound like a professional chef, and not like your dinner came out of a bag/jar.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Get Thee Behind Me, Mariah

A friend posed to me the following question: "If you could eliminate (not necessarily kill, just eliminate) one person from the face of the planet, who would it be?" Without hesitation, my answer was Mariah Carey. Now, I will admit that she has a very nice singing voice, and I, too, shook my bon bon to Sweet Emotion when I was a pre-teen, but her era is over and for some reason she doesn't know it.

I'm not sure exactly what it is that I don't like about her, but whatever it is, it really brings up the bile from the back of my neck. It's not just a minor annoyance, it burns like the fire of a red dwarf star. I think part of it is her unflagging arrogance, such as her appearance on MTV Cribs, where we got the opportunity to look at presents from her fans, gawk at her walk-in closet (which is about the size of my bedroom), and although we were not allowed into her boudoir, she did strip naked and get in her bathtub for us. A desperate cry for help, I believe, because it was shortly after this that she began a metoric fall from fame and landed in a facility to combat her "fatigue". Sure, Mariah. Fatigue. We all know that after the atrocity you committed against your twenty or so fans and the rest of us, you knew you sucked and had to go elsewhere to cope with it. As a brief aside, the atrocity grossed a mere $4 million in total, which means that, at an average of $10 per ticket, only 400,000 people went to see her film. As a comparison, Gigli grossed $6 million. Sad, Mariah, sad.

Then she has the chutzpah to come out with this little gem: "If you see me as just the princess then you misunderstand who I am and what I have been through." Here's a brief history for you. She was born in Huntington, NY, where the median income is just over $82,000 per year, the child of an opera singer and an engineer. She moved to the city after her parents' divorce and became a backup singer for a popular artist during high school, which is why she never finished. Her first individual success came at the age of 20, and she has been filthy rich ever since then, even despite the horror at the box office. Her only real setback in her life was a divorce, and considering the incredibly alimony she's raking in from Tommy Mottola, I'm sure she dries her eyes on all those fat checks she rakes in. Take that, artists who struggled to make it all of their lives. Of course, adding to my ire is the fact that she constantly appears in her press kits in her underwear and shows up at events overdressed by about $1000, that might add to it. She's driving me crazy, but the worst part is that she just won't go away.

I don't know how or why, but she continues to chart and she continues to dupe diva teenage girls into buying her albums. I would have appreciated her efforts much more if she was, oh, modest, or even appropriate, but she's always on TRL with her breathy voice and her skimpy outfits. I'm sick of people who don't even write their own songs, or who are still trying to capitalize on so-called hardships that happened ten years ago. I miss the singer pictured at left, whose music I could enjoy. Now I'm stuck with the one at right. Skantified. No one likes women like that, except for bad men. Mariah, leave me alone!