Fashion Star S1,E1-A Clothing Catalog viewed from your Couch

Miss Things, you’ll have to forgive the Queen for being groggy this morning. I was up all night shopping online at Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M.

Practice a little more with the teleprompter, dear.

So we start with a multi-media fashion show complete with a Muzak version of “American Woman.” Next week I’m sure they’ll have Cirque du Soleil flying through the auditorium. The Queen knows immediately that the focus of this competition is not really design, which I still haven’t figured out is a bad thing, a good thing–or simply a different thing. One thing becomes clear to me: this is not a Project Runway knock off. It becomes clear rather early that there is no real narrative. We’re not going to follow a consistent story–the show is not about that. The show really isn’t about designer personalities. It’s about selling clothes. And although initially the Queen was turned off by that, it was kind of refreshing to be reminded up front that personality alone was not going to get your clothing purchased in the “real world.” This show is kind of like following the graduates of PR from the creative process to the business of getting their stuff bought by actual consumers.

For those of you that didn’t watch, let me see if I can break down the premise in 100 words or less:

Each week the designers will present a garment based on a specific set of parameters that are given to them. Mentors will critique them, and have buyers bid on their work. If a buyer buys their garment, then they are safe, and move on to next week. If they do not sell their work, then they are up for elimination. At the end of the show three designers who did not sell their work must face the mentors–who will “save” one of the contestants. The other two must face the buyers, who will send one of them home. (99 words, bitches!)

The inclusions of the Mentors and the Buyers was pretty dang cool. Seeing Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie express themselves as successful businesswomen who own lucrative clothing lines is a welcome feature. Hearing snippets of their conversations during the fashion shows was a cute inclusion. And the buyers add a wonderful reality check. And you KNOW the Queen appreciates that women of color are put in such positions of power.

For the most part, let’s run down the designers in another post. The Queen is very excited by the boys of color that are included in the cast–jail bait though they may be for His Highness–it seems like they show potential. The proverbial irritating pebbles in the shoe from last night’s bunch were, of course, Oscar and Nicholas.

Oscar FierroOh come on, girl! Does anyone STILL think this type of personality will sell in 2012? I’ve no doubt that he is genuinely flamboyant, but if you can’t back up this annoying shit with fashion flawlessness then TONE IT DOWN. All I kept thinking watching his clothes walk the runway was: high end beauty salon smocks. Maybe a buyer for a Cosmetic Supply Store will pick up his stuff.

Nicholas BowesHe’s a fool. There was nothing about his designs that made me even raise an eyebrow. Nothing about his leather jacket that stood out in any way. Maybe he could name his line: Misogynist, because after that unbelievable display of chauvinism, those are the only people who would buy his clothing. His offing alone was a reason for me to watch this show again.

It is oxymoronic to bemoan the commercialism of Commercial Television. The medium was virtually created to sell stuff. However there is nothing that says doing so can’t be elevated to an artistic level. There is something rather brilliant about the concept. Form and function for selling fashion. QVC with go-go dancers. The Queen is intrigued…if not completely sold.

Are you?


Cawfee Talk II

All right Miss Things.

Let’s gather in the Break Room. There’s a Supervisor’s Meeting today. We’ve got a couple of hours while they plan the meeting to talk about the plans for their next meeting.

Let’s discuss some fabulous, random, innocuous crap.
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RPDR S4,E2: ”WTF! Wrestling’s Trashiest Fighters”-Top and Bottom

Sorry for the deplorable lack of posts over the last few days. The Queen has been under the weather–sitting on his throne with a box of Kleenex and his ermine (faux, of course) bathrobe sneezing his black ass off. Please forgive! We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so let’s get this party started!

Finally, judges as tall as Ru. WOOF!

Will wonders never cease?

When the Queen decided to blog on RuPaul’s Drag Race this season, he wasn’t really sure what he was getting into. Never having done anything like this before, he wondered if simply committing to watch all thirteen plus episodes would be enough to take any fun out of the show. After all, it was nice being able to quit Project Runway last season once Bert was out of the mix.

So what a surprise it has been to not only enjoy the first two episodes of Drag Race, but to actually begin to look forward to the next one.

So which of the contestants this week, to paraphrase Bianca: “Was Somebody, was about Something…and Pranced.”? Isn’t it a pleasure to have so many queens to choose from on that score?

So it’s Condragulations to Madame LaQueer and Chad Michaels!

Honestly, this was such a tough one to judge–which, imho, is a great thing. I actually spent the entire segment looking exactly like the judges: mouth open and squealing with delight. I thought the lady-boys did a phenomenal job for the most part. What a pleasure it was to be entertained by the contestants for reasons that had nothing to do with cat fighting or throwing shade, and EVERYTHING to do with talent and hard work! It was pretty obvious that Madame LaQueer was either getting the winner’s or the loser’s cut, so bravo bitches!

And it’s Sashay to Lashauwn Beyond.

Little Miss Thing really wasn’t ready for this. Not only was she green behind the ears when it came to creating her Drag (just watching her do her make-up next to a pro like Latrice showed her weakness), but she really had no clue of which way to go in playing the game. The neat thing about her is that she has an Old School aesthetic and real skill sets which will help her in the future. But first she needs to go home and get bitch-slapped by her Drag Mother for taking off her heels at the beginning of LSFYL. Hear that sound Lashauwn? It’s the death knell tolling for your time on RPDR. Good luck sweetie. Come on back next season and turn that show out!

RPDR S4,E1: RuPocalypse Now!-Top and Bottom

The Queen’s good friend (whom for the purposes of our discussions, I shall refer to by his former Drag Name, Bianca) and I did something we haven’t done in decades: talked on the telephone until the wee hours of the morning. We kee kee’d about RuPaul’s Drag Race till we ran out of biting, bitchy things to say. It was wonderful.

Throughout our four-hour-plus conversation (I will get NO WORK done today), a running theme emerged. To use Bianca’s own words:

“I can create from nothing. That is what a good Drag(Queen)does. Create your world and make that fierce–and by doing so, inspire others to create from nothing. How powerful the world would be if more people created than tried to steal or cheat…”

She’s such a fierce, cerebral bitch.

Or, as he broke it down later, a Drag Queen’s job is to: Be somebody. Be about something. Then Prance. So that’s how I’m evaluating the show in general, and the contestants in particular. Who emerges as a “somebody” who was about “something”, and who knows how to prance?

Before we get started, I have to say something about Shangela Laquifa Wadley.

Either D.J. has some serious dirt on RuPaul Charles, or boyfriend gives the best fellatio in Hollywood. That bitch was featured in almost as many segments as the Supermodel himself–INCLUDING the Absolut commercial! Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Wadley is talented. But I think the producers highly over-estimate the child’s audience appeal. She doesn’t have the love/hate factor of a Raven; or the America’s Sweetheart quotient of a Manila. But honey, if she can continue to capitalize on this fifteen minutes and strengthen her Brand, then–say it with me–HALLEIGH-LOO!

Okay. Now.

The Queen loves that even in Season 4, the show is staying true to it’s over the top, campy aesthetic. The production values and choice of challenges and segments remains true to their Drag core. I thought the schtick with Shangela was cute, and the Romero-esque style in which they shot the main challenge free-for-all was pretty inspired. I just hope they don’t go crazy with that stuff. Like Project Runway, I think RPDR works better if you stick close to the original game purpose and objectives. Give us the kinds of challenges dolls in Drag would actually face and let us watch the creativity and sparks that fly. But I had fun with it.

I’ll get into my take on all these divas in later posts this week, but first let’s say ConDragulations to Sharon Needles for her Runway Win. No surprise to me here. She has introduced herself as a somebody, who has something to say and knows how to Prance. Not only was she clearly getting the winner’s edit; but I feel she absolutely deserved it. She pulled off a most delicious hybrid of macabre and couture–and she managed to make the most of every second of her screen time. Her patter during the zombie challenge was inspired. Bianca–who was not a fan–was blown away by the attention to detail in her runway drag. She wants to see if Ms. Needles can do standard drag as brilliantly. If she can, she may just be the first of the “specialty queens” to take the win.

And it’s “Sashay Away” to Miss Alisa Summers. Sweet girl, but she apparently graduated from the Carmen Carrera School of Drag. I really don’t get these queens who think that becoming an entertainer on the level of RuPaul is simply about body and looking good. I have to believe that during the LSFYL, she honestly thought that playing with her fake titties and slowly strutting around the stage would give her the win. I’d rather see a little chunky queen working it for all it’s worth, than simply a pretty man in makeup ANY day.

So what do y’all think? Who peaked your curiosity? Who are you already tired of? Will you continue to watch this season? What about “Untucked”? Inquiring Queens want to know.

The FBQ of Project Runway All Stars

I can’t quite see doing a weekly post on Project Runway. There are more than enough wonderful blogs and sites that do a fabulous job in recapping and reviewing the show. However I will of course be watching, and—as is usually the case in reality shows—be inexorably drawn to the FBQ of the cast. So I will probably give my take on them from time to time throughout the run, if you REALLY care to know.

In regards to the show itself: I will say that after the last season of PR, the first episode of PRAS was like a sweet, refreshing and cleansing gulp of fruit juice after having vomited in your mouth.

But, before I run down the two FBQ of the group…

…’Cause he’s fine.

Rami Kashou. Ooooh. I done give myself the vapors *sips his sweet tea*. Now onto my Brother-Sistahs.

Anthony Williams

Aside from the fact that physically we resemble each other enough for him to be my baby brother; Anthony Williams is that burst of sunshine that flashes through your curtains first thing in the morning, and jump-starts your day. Earthy and effusive, the man captured my heart and funny bone immediately and never let go. Like a lot of FBQ he is smart and self-aware. He drew on his strengths during his season and almost rode them to the finals.I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t a fan of his aesthetic. I felt his pieces were somewhat one-dimensional and repetitive. It was often pointed out that he was more referential than fashion-forward. But none of US have Heidi Klum and Jessica Alba wearing OUR clothes, so what I think of his work and $4.50 will get me a Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks. My hope is that he sheds the naive country boy schtick (which I’m sure is genuine–but sometimes we black queens use it to keep from scaring all the white folk), and shows the group his fierce creative and competitive side (which I also believe is there).

By the way…did I mention that Rami Kashou is HOT?!!!

photo by Brent Dundore

Jerell Scott

Though I don’t always understand this FBQ’s Point of View, I very clearly understand that he has a strong one. In terms of the black cultural aesthetic of “More Is More”, I found his take on that design theory to be the most successful from all the seasons. And while I don’t share his personal style, I am in awe of any artist who makes such bold garment choices. The man has flair and panache. And he is all ready in his mantle to take his place as a New Millennium Apostle when Jesus comes back.

I wish these two FBQ MUCH success in the new season.

…but I’m still rooting for Mondo.

And I can’t remember if I mentioned the fact that…