Monthly Archives: September 2008

Bruno Takes On Milan Fashion Week


Friday, “Bruno” aka Sacha Baron Cohen terrorized Milan Fashion Week with backstage pranks and a trip down the runway.

Currently filming, Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Male, Bruno, along with his camera crew, created a different sort of excitement backstage at the Iceberg, Mariella Burani and Roberto Musso shows.

Mr. Cohen’s fashion diva alter ego Bruno, reportedly threw himself about on the floor and into racks of clothes in what seemed to be a self imposed fashion crisis, while also pretending to tear off his clothes.

Unrecognizable at first, Cohen wore a prosthetic nose and blond wig.  But it wasn’t long before the ruse was up and an unamused Italian Chamber of Fashion sent out memos barring Cohen and the several production company names he was suspected to be associated with, from Milan’s fashion shows.

But nothing stops Bruno….


Sources: the cut, WWD, YouTube,

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Filed under Advertising, Comedy, controversial, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Fashion Writer, Gay, Metro Detroit, movies, News, pop culture, runway, Style, Uncategorized, YouTube

Gap Coupon

Hi Guys.  Sorry I haven’t posted much this week.  It’s been a bit busy. 

On Friday, I was interviewed concerning Fashion Sensei for the local paper, so I was unable to get my latest Fashion Lesson out.  I have every intention to get it out this Friday.

I do however, want to pass along a great coupon for the Gap that I received on Friday.

I ordered four pieces on the 21st and this coupon came in my inbox on Friday for an extra 20% off sale prices.  I called customer service to try and get a price adjustment, but they wouldn’t do it.  So, as it happens my Gap order arrived on Friday, so I went to the store, picked out all the same pieces and returned my online order.

I’m glad I did.  I ended up saving an extra $71.64 off the previous sale prices and a total of $128 and some change off the original retail prices.

Here’s what I bought minus another gray striped cardigan that is no longer available online, but is at the store.

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Be sure to check out the store selection.  I discovered that the prices were even lower at the store than they were on line.

Happy Shopping!! 🙂

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Filed under Coupons, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, retail, sale, Style

Fashion Sensei Scoop! Interview With Project Runway’s Joe Faris


This morning I had the privilege to interview Metro Detroit’s own, designer Joe Faris.  The latest contestant to be bid Auf Wiedersehen by Project Runway, we chatted about his experience on the show, Project Runway’s influence, Bryant Park and his upcoming collection.

After being away from his family for 6 weeks, Joe didn’t have to wait long for the first episode of Project Runway to air; just 10 days. I asked him what it was like to watch that first show at home.   “Surreal” he replied. “It’s similar to when you hear your voice on an answering machine.  You know what your voice sounds like in your head, but until you hear the recording, you don’t know what everyone else hears.”

So were there any surprises when Joe saw himself on television for the first time?   

“Yes, my nose.”  Your nose?  “Yes, it was BIG.”

Joe has an excellent sense of humor.  I prefer to live in denial of what I would look like on camera.  I couldn’t bear to see myself another, 10 pounds heaver.

Prior to the show airing, Joe commented that he might only watch the first episode.  I was curious to know if he watched all the episodes and if there was anything said behind the scenes that may have bothered him. 

Overall, he was pretty happy with the way he was portrayed.  Some other unnamed contestants felt that they were “edited”, but his philosophy was if you said it, you said it.  There’s no editing words into your mouth. 

He did however, find Leanne’s comment “Why is Joe still here?” a little surprising because he felt that they were on friendly terms.

Speaking of editing, I asked Joe if he had any funny stories about his time on Project Runway.  There seemed to be nothing more that the banter that we saw on the show, with the occasional teasing or jabs.  He did say though, that there was certainly enough filmed material to put out what he called  “box set” of extras.  That could be interesting…

I was curious to know what sort of opinions Joe’s friends and family had when they watched the show with him.  Several people told him that he should have won and that he did a great job.  Others, didn’t hold any punches.  Those folks pointed out where he may have made mistakes or what he should have done for better results.  He said that he didn’t get much positive feedback when it came to the last challenge.

Viewers may be wondering why he struggled a little when it came to draping and sewing.  After all, he did go to school at Parsons right? 

Well, on a typical day, Joe uses a computer to create his designs, rather than a form.  Re-discovering those those skills proved to be a bit of a challenge.

One of my favorite episodes was “What’s Your Sign” where contestants created a design based on either their astrological sign or their former contestant partner. 

Remember my favorite Michael Kors “Pooping Fabric” comment?

During this challenge, contestants had the opportunity to meet with Heidi’s “favorite” NYC designers.  During the four hours that the contestants met with prior Project Runway favorites, Joe seemed to connect with fellow Michigander Daniel Vosovic and Kara Janx.  When asked about the others, Joe said he couldn’t believe how vulgar Jaye was.  He wouldn’t be specific, but it seemed to make a lasting impression.  And Christian was, well… Christian.

joe_final_23Moving on to Bryant Park, those of us who followed New York’s Fashion Week two weeks ago, discovered that six contestants were chosen to show their stuff at the famous venue.  I asked Joe what it was like being apart of such a coveted experience.  He told me that he was home for 10 days and then he was called back to the show to spend another 4 weeks working on his Fashion Week collection. “It was everything you would think it was. I was incredibly happy.  That’s the prize.” 

But what about that moment when you are standing on the runway, ready to introduce your collection?  “It was nerve wracking.”  He told me that he asked the producers “what do people say?”  At which point the producers reassured him to speak from the heart. 

Joe described his collection as representing “America, multi-cultural, motor cycle, and Rock & Roll”.

When speaking about his collection, Joe felt less pressure in his position (he knew he was already eliminated) to design for the judges.  Had he been in the top three, he felt that he would have focused more on evening wear rather than leather.

Joe currently works as Senior Designer at Schott NYC and has worked with companies like Inkslingers where there has been a heavy focus on jeans, t-shirts and leather.  I wanted to know, after competing in Project Runway, did he think that it may have a new influence on his work?

“Yes” was his answer.  He customarily does not design dresses which have the need for draping.  So, Project Runway sparked that interest somewhat. 

While working on a collection for Schott NYC, he is also developing his own collection of approximately 20 pieces.  When speaking about dresses, he felt comfort was key, “it should feel good, like a great pair of jeans.”

Well, I could sure use that.

The collection is due to launch in January.

To read more about Joe Faris and his work, go to

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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, New York City, News, pop culture, runway, Style, television

Fashion Lesson #22: A Faux Air Brushed Face

Envision a scene where all your fine lines are delicately swept away with the whisper and a puff of fine air brushed make up.  (Cue the needle scratching on the record.)  Now open your eyes to the $300 plus price tag for such a machine.

How can you achieve that look at home without looking like a clown?

That’s the focus for this week’s Fashion Lesson.  I recently read an interesting article by Ellen Byron who interviewed J.P. McCary, vice president of consumer products and artistry for the Temptu makeup line, asking him to help unlock the secrets to flawless, air brushed looking skin.

Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize

Mr. McCary advises you must first start with a clean face.  A couple of suggestions would be Cetaphil and Phisoderm.  While being prepped for surgery this summer, the nurse insisted that I wash my already clean face with Phisoderm prior to surgery.  I thought it was nice.

As for the toner, I really like Neutragena, but I know there are countless others out there.  Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite.

Then when it comes to moisturizer, the suggestion by our expert, is to find a lightweight formula that works well with your individual needs.

I have found that when it comes to moisturizing, you have to be disciplined.  Once in the morning and again at night.  No exceptions.

Apply a Silicone Base Primer


Here’s where the secrets begin to be revealed to us.  McCary states, “… silicone will fill in any fine lines and wrinkles and flattens the skin so you get a smooth canvas.”

So what sort of silicone based primers are out there and where do I get them? 

Well, I have a little funny aside for you.  I decided to do a little research on for reasonable primer products.

I typed in “Silicone Based Primer” in the search engine.  When the results popped up, I had to giggle to myself.  Personal lubricants were not my target. 😀

I moved on to Sephora and found several to choose from.  bareVitamins Prime Time was a product that stuck out in my eyes because it did not contain parabans (at least I couldn’t find any).

Once you have your primer, McCary instructs to apply the product with one’s fingers in a circular motion to fully blend.  “It breaks the product down, which helps it absorb into the skin faster.”  Further, it’s a good idea to use your ring finger when blending products under your eyes.  Believe it or not, the ring finger according to the article is the weakest on our hands.  The skin around your eyes can be prone to tugging and stretching when putting on foundation, mascara or eyeliner, so take care when working on that area.



When looking for a concealer, we are once again reminded to find a product with a silicone base.  This time, instead of using our fingers, we should use a concealer brush.  Be sure to only apply the product where it is needed, such as under the eyes.  Further, don’t forget the inside of the corners of your eyes.  Like using a light eyeshadow in this area, it will help to open the eye so that it appears wider.


Choose a silicone base foundation that blends well with your neck and face.  We all remember those girls in High School who looked like they were wearing masks.  If you’re not sure, take a trip to the cosmetic counter to have a professional assist you.  You also want to test it in natural light, so step out of the store and have a second look.

After finding the right shade, technique and tools are key.  Mr. McCary advises that we should use a synthetic-hair brush, and like the concealer, add only where you need it.  “Less is more”, he says.  “Press it into the skin with the brush, blend it, then take a sponge and buff it.  You want to push it down, then swipe away, so you never see where the foundation ends and your skin begins.”

I see I was missing a step. I usually use a brush or a buff, but rarely both. 

Powder–The last step

The finishing touch for our at-home flawless faux air brush makeup, is a strategic dusting of silica based powder on those stubborn areas with powder brush.  Mr. McCary warns against using a puff or sponge as it will provide too much coverage.

Finishing Touches

After completing your foundation, finish up with the eyes and cheeks.  He imparts a bit of really helpful advice when it comes to natural rosy cheeks; use two shades of blush. 

Yes, but how? 

The warmer tone he advises, should be applied from the temple to the cheekbone, what he dubs the “Nike Swoosh”.  Then like adding a cherry to a sundae, blend in a bright shade to the apple of your cheeks.

Voila!  You’re ready for your close-up.

(Click on individual pictures for photo sources)

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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Cosmetics, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, News

Fashion Lesson #21: Picks For Your Shape at NY Fashion Week S/S 2009

Now that Fashion Week in New York is wrapping up, I thought it would be interesting to use some of the pieces from the shows and match them to a respective body type.  So for this Fashion Lesson, let’s all pretend that we have well toned and fit bodies for our corresponding body shape category.  After all, Fashion Week doles out a liberal dose of fantasy, so why not just pretend?

(click on images for source and designer information)


The main objective for the Apple shape is to camouflage the tummy without sacrificing a feminine shape.  Pockets on the hips also helps to make the waist appear smaller.  I do not endorse the knee high nylons with this look from G-Star, but the jacket really appeals to me.

I also chose the gray and orange ombre dress for the figure flattering drape and the beautiful illusion of a dress on fire.  The flesh toned dress to the left of this photo is a great example of creating a proportioned body shape with beadwork.  In addition, I like it for an Apple Shape because of the V-neck.  Many Apple shaped women have a large bust and need to break up the voluminous appearance of their bust.

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With a straight figure, you want to create an hourglass shape.  The examples below do just that.  One easy way of doing this is to add a belt to your coat or sweater this season.

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One of the most envied body shapes on the spectrum, the job of the Hourglass is to show off those amazing curves!  Be sure to choose a garment that defines your waist, but is not too tight everywhere else, unless you look like the model in the Hervé Léger by Max Azria dress.






The Pear woman shares some of the traits of an hourglass, but she needs to make sure that her shoulders are well defined to balance out her hips.  I know the Oscar de la Renta outfit is a repeat for me, but I think it is a lovely example for a pear shaped woman.  The top enhances the waist, adds definition to the shoulders with the geometric piping and the pants are nice and loose at the hips without sacrificing a feminine shape.






If you have any suggestions for future Fashion Lessons, be sure to write me or leave a comment!

Photo Source:

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Filed under Apple Shape, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Metro Detroit, New York City, Pear Shape, personal shopper, runway, straight shape, Trends

Japan FW TYO Spring/Summer 2009: Day 2

Day Two at Japan’s Fashion Week brings strong shoulders, more “ice cream cone” pants, HISUI seems to have a bone to pick with us, doll clothes, Cousin IT wigs, more ruffs and some ass kicking 80’s.

First up are the decidedly strong shoulders from designer Akira Naka.  For women who have the weight of the world to balance, this collection calls to mind a certain eighties business suit jacket look.




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Of all of Tuesday’s collections available for review, I would have to say that support surface was my favorite.  We have fall 2008’s “it” pants back for an encore and a really lovely modern interpretation of the bold shoulder.  I would feel much more comfortable wearing this sort of shape than a set of linebacker shoulder pads as seen in the above collection from AKIRA NAKA.  One thing is for sure, invest in a great pair of oxford shoes!

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Norio Surikabe

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Like mintdesigns yesterday, HISUI seems to have been inspired by skeletal features.  Is it a commentary on the pressure to be thin?  I’m not really sure, but the first dress in this collection also brings a fish like skeleton to mind.



Hiroko Ito

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Oh Né-net, what can I say?  All I could think of was what would Michael Kors say if this came down the runway for him to judge?  Look number two looks like a modern day Depression Era costume (hmm, intentional?) and just in case we didn’t get it, Raggedy Ann and Andy are holding effigies of themselves.



Kazuaki Takashima

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Aguri Sagimori had some very interesting uses of the ruffle, which seems to be a popular trend.  I especially liked the white blouse below with the tuxedo-like tail.  That sort of tail was very popular in the mid to late eighties.



Aguri Sagimori

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Slightly similar to motonari ono yesterday, Kamishima Chinami has its own interpretation of the ruff and an intriguing take on the popular bold shoulder.  It’s a really lovely collection.



Chinami Kamishima

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Finally! There’s no need to wonder what you and your man will be wearing on your next date night.  Take a little inspiration from the sexy punk collection by designer Ato Matsumoto.



Ato Matsumoto

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Photo Source: Japan Fashion Week Organization

Stay Tuned for more of Japan’s Fashion Week in Tokyo!

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Filed under Accessories, Beauty, blogging, Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Hair, Japanese Fashion, Metro Detroit, News, Photography, pop culture, retail, runway, Shoes, Style, Trends

Japan FW TYO Spring/Summer 2009

The home of trend setting fashion, Tokyo Fashion Week hit the runways yesterday.  The exciting spring/summer 2009 collections are rolling out this week in Japan and judging by the photos taken yesterday, Japan’s best designers are sure not to disappoint.

Designers Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi from mintdesigns, embodied the spirit of spring with a runway lined with umbrellas while models wore creative interpretations of the spring staple; the raincoat.  Instead of the traditional rain hat, the ladies were topped with a curious choice of animal bones.  One thing that was consistently cute, were the fantastic rain boots.  Not too high and well paired with a pair of striped socks.



Hokuto Katsui / Nao Yagi

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Mikio Sakabe seems to have taking inspiration from the 60’s through the 80’s with the platinum wigs, large bows and futuristic silver hues.




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I have to say that my favorite from Takumi Hatakeyama’s collection is the burnt orange bell sleeve dress.  The shape of the sleeves and cut of this dress makes this creation so wearable and chic!



Takumi Hatakeyama

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After not appearing in at Tokyo’s Fall Fashion Week, I was so exited to see mercibeaucoup in this spring’s lineup.  I always love the creative spirit conveyed in Eri Utsugi’s designs her fantastic use of color.  If only I could get away with wearing that adorable striped stocking confection or those fantastic tights with the little balls on them.  Alas, this old broad would look a wee bit silly.  One other thing to note, it appears that the maxi dress will still have it’s place in next spring’s wardrobe.  So, don’t cast yours aside yet.



Eri Utsugi

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This collection by Motonari Ono recalls a strong influence from Queen Elizabeth’s reign with the high ruffs, rich embroidery, and the modern interpretation of “trunk hose” once worn by men.  I think it’s just beautiful.

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Motonari Ono

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Designer Ritsuko Shirahama appears to be enamored with the bombasted hose as well, as seen below in green.  The three tiered skirt is also quite lovely, but may not be that easy to walk in.  I would also be remiss in not mentioning the eighties inspired high and side ponytail.  If you are old enough to have worn this once, be well advised to keep your pony rear-facing.



Ritsuko Shirahama

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Finally, fur fur’s collection seems to have a very strong nature and earth goddess point-of-view.

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Aya Furuhashi

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  Stay tuned for more on Japan’s Fashion Week in Tokyo!

Photo Source: Japan Fashion Week Organization

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Filed under Accessories, Beauty, blogging, Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Hair, Japanese Fashion, Metro Detroit, News, Photography, pop culture, retail, runway, Style, Trends