Friday, March 02, 2007

So long, farewell...

Dear Readers,

For the past year and a half, our goal at Las Fashionistas was to provide you real-life fashion and beauty advice, with a little celebrity snark and social commentary thrown in for good measure. As the four of us begin new chapters of life, we collectively realized that we no longer have the time to maintain the site and grant it (and you) the attention it deserves. Therefore, as of today, Las Fashionistas will officially close shop. We plan to allow the site to float freely in cyberspace because it holds a wealth of knowledge, and maybe even more importantly, it is our unique thumbprint on the world wide web.

The Las Fashionistas would like to thank the following people:

  • KT from Sparkledesign, who created the template for this lovely blog. We are four of her biggest fans! Visit her site HERE and checkout her talents!
  • Wayward celebs who not only supplied us with an abundance of apalling behavior, but a plethora of mismatched, ill-fitted, and unseemly clothing and accessories.
  • Classy celebs exhibiting grace and poise, in turn, worthy of our praise.
  • The endless resource that is the WWW, providing the Las F. team with photos, references, and ideas.
  • Lastly, our readers. We can not imagine Las Fashionistas without you. Thank you for your faithful readership.

Please read our personal goodbyes below:

From F. Seattle: Working on this site has been a wonderful experience--one I won't forget. Without a lot of girlfriends nearby interested in fashion, this site was a great place to be creative, write in an intelligent way about style, and just be a part of a community of friends. Ultimately, this site and the other fashionistas reminded me daily that you can be fabulous at any size and any budget--because you are you.

My life is getting turned on its head right now: the hubby and I are trying to get pregnant, we're both moving on from our jobs, and we're not even sure if we are staying in the Seattle area for much longer. I'll miss this site and all you wonderful folks who made it a success!

F. Seattle

From F. Nashville: A little over a year ago, I lost my blog virginity. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but because it is also my profession, I lost the desire and my creativity stalled. When F. Cali visited my personal blog last April and asked me to write for Las F., I could not have been more honored. I had been reading Las F. for several months, and was ecstatic at the opportunity to combine two of my loves: writing and fashion/beauty. My experience with Las F. has been nothing but positive. I met three wonderful, inspiring women that have become kindred spirits of mine. I watched as all of you strong women voiced your opinions, celebrating your diversity. I am very proud of Las Fashionistas, and will file it away as a cherished success.

In a couple of months, I am going back to school to earn an MBA, and assuming everything works out as planned, I'll also start a new job. Later this year, I'm going to Africa to serve the homeless, teach women skills to become self-sufficient, and to help educate about the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The year 2007 will be a busy one for me, but I'm very excited as the Lord unfolds His plan for my life. I encourage you to always remember how wonderfully unique and fabulous you truly are. I bid you adieu. Thank you for reading.

F. Nashville

From F. Cali: F. Jersey and I started this site as a diversion, to amuse ourselves. We never dreamed that we'd meet so many great, strong women (and a few men too!) through the whole thing. I've always loved fashion for real women, and I've always firmly believed that each and every woman is beautiful in her own unique way. What I wanted so much to achieve with this site was to help you all see that and figure out how to achieve your own special beauty, regardless of what skinny models or voluptuous actresses wear. Never forget that you are the way you are for a reason! Embrace who you are and accept it.

As the face of the Internet has changed and blogs have gained more notoriety, I've thought long and hard about where Las F. might fit. I realized that in order to make this blog really successful, it would require more time--and I was barely finding time to write a post week after week. This January I began work on a Master's degree in Vocal Performance, which has taken up a lot of my free time. I'm also teaching choir, I'm married with a dog, and I have numerous family and friend committments which are too important to sacrifice for the website. I will miss you all and the girly outlet this has provided in my life.

From F.Jersey: This was a tough post to write for, perhaps the toughest. I don't do the goodbye thing very well, so I'll just say that I've had a lot of fun, I've learned a lot, and the site has been a fantastic creative outlet. Not only that, but I've been enriched by the other three Fashionistas immesurably, as well as the readers who have expressed their opinions.

As you all know I'll be getting married later this year, which has proved to be enough of a challenge in its own right, but add to that a few family illnesses and it's become a maelstrom of activity. Outside of putting out these fires, I have absolutely no plans, and I intend to keep it that way. I like to let life come at me as it will, but you can be sure there will be multiple trips to Europe and Asia, a continuation of a plan to attend law school, and relocating with my new husband. Good luck to you all, and never let your journey to look and feel good cease!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Opera Etiquette

Recently Paris Hilton offended the Viennese by yawning during the Austrian even of the year--the Viennese Opera Ball, attended by such musical luminaries as Anna Netrebko (featured at the left, pic courtesy of Universal ).

As an MA student in classical voice as well as an aspiring opera singer myself, I thought it might be fun to share some guidelines about going to the opera. The next time you find yourself in the opera house, you can carry yourself with grace and aplomb!

Don't take a dictionary Good news--now you can enjoy an opera without wondering what's going on. Nearly all houses have subtitles--a screen is placed above the stage that translates every word into English (or whatever language is primarily spoken in the area).

Give away the ending. Do yourself and your companions a favor--do some research about the opera before you go. Find out what it's about, the historical context, and yes--find out the ending. Trust me, it's much easier if you have this information beforehand. Unlike TV and movies, which specialize in giving information without any context, opera is best appreciated when you understand the historical and dramatic significance of what is occurring. Educate yourself. You won't regret it. The more you know, the more you'll enjoy the experience.

Don't hold the applause Unlike the symphony or recital hall, it is appropriate to applaud after a singer completes an aria (a song) or a particularly difficult passage. If there's a short pause, and you were moved by the performance, you can clap. If you don't know what to do, follow the lead of those around you. The great thing about opera is that there are bound to be people out there who are veterans and know exactly what to do!

"Bravo!" is for boys! There are several forms of the Italian word "Bravo!", which is a widely used expression of approval. If you're cheering for the leading lady, say: "Brava!" If you're cheering for a group, it's "Bravi!"

Floor length gowns not required Gone are the days of dressing to the nines. Dressing up is always nice (especially since good seats are over $100 these days). Wear something that is comfortable--you'll be sitting still in a crowded auditorium for over 3 hours in most cases! [Be aware, however, that opera is all about luxury and decadence. You're going to watch some amazingly beautiful and glamorous people sing amazingly well. I personally am never without a silk scarf and pearls, or at least some dramatic earrings. But it's your call.]

Standing ovations Remember that these singers practice for hours upon hours every day to do their jobs well. This is their livelihood. If you're moved by what they're doing, show them by giving them a standing ovation at the end of the act. You don't have to wait for others to do this. They appreciate it.

All these pictures are of the beautiful Russian star Anna Netrebko. If you're looking to introduce yourself to opera, I highly recommend her album Sempre Libera, available on iTunes. As my voice teacher says, she is the real thing.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer

Oh no, she didn't.

Okay, she did. Everyone's favorite Dreamgirl/American Idol reject/OSCAR WINNER wore a shiny, Dracula-inspired shrug Sunday night.

Why? Why? Who did this to you, Jennifer? That thing was hideous. I'm not even anti-shrug (like some of my wonderful fellow Las Fashionistas); they do good things for me. I'm tall, but short-waisted, so they make my upper body look a little longer.

But I feel like someone told her her upper arms looked bad or something. Like it was a last minute decision to throw aluminum foil around her shoulders. You know that old saying, "Take one thing off before you leave the house"? That shoulda been it. The coppery dress is pretty much fine without it.

On the bright side, Jennifer looked powerful, sexy and stunning in her performance with the other ladies from the Dreamgirls cast. Red is her color, don't you think?

And she wisely did not wear that monstrosity while accepting her award.

Smart move, Jennifer. Smart move.
UPDATE: Oooh, so apparently I was right: that first dress was a last minute thing.
Photos courtesy of MSN Movies.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars 2007: Here's to hoping the bows stay on the red carpet

What is it with award show season this year? Is anyone else as disappointed in the dress turnout as I am? Maybe I'm a tough crowd, but not many dazzled me this year. However, I did notice that previous 2007 red carpet successes were delightfully consistent. Either these gals need to give their stylist a raise or they were born with the fashion gene...

My favorite look of the evening was Penelope Cruz in a Versace confection. I've got to give the gal kudos for pulling off the cool toned dress in spite of her olive complected skin. Her dress looks like it is worthy of this type of event.

Reese also worked it, wearing Nina Ricci. We saw her in Nina Ricci at the Golden Globes, too. Why change a good thing? The dress starts out alluding class, and as it nears the bottom, it throws in a bit of sass. I loved it. Reese's hair looked sleek too, although I thought the bangs were too heavy on her face for such a formal event.

Throughout this award show season, Helen Mirren deserves the crown for "queen of the red carpet." The woman literally shines. It's not just her dress that's beautiful, but her hair, makeup, and general relaxed confidence.

A post-preggers Maggie Gyllenhaal showed us that motherhood doesn't mean you need to hide your curves. Her Proenza Schouler sapphire-toned gown accented her old-Hollywood style nicely.

One trend that I hope dies really soon, was found on the likes of Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway: bows. Women are not Christmas trees, nor are we Christmas presents. Bows look ridiculous unless you're of age to eat off the kids menu. Both Nicole and Anne's dresses were pretty alone, but the bows were a bit much. Yuck-yuck-yuck.

What are your Oscar hits and misses this year?

Photos courtesy of Yahoo, EOnline and