German Poster Art--Too Poisoned For Display?

Referring back to the Norton Simon's poster exhibit,  I'm a big fan of WWI poster art, but I'm also intrigued by  the poster art of the period between the wars, especially the German ones .

But can anyone really collect and display these without horrifying dinner guests?  While the graphics are great, the caricatures repel many. 

On the left  is a 1933 poster from Munich, advertising an African themed party at the Deutsches Theater.  Held during Fasching, the German version of Carnival, the party was sponsored by the  the Reich (African) Colonial League.


The party was still going in 1935, but the imagery got cruder.


During the Nazi years, the Reichskolonialbund
stopped throwing jazzy parties and concentrated on
reclaiming Germany's overseas colonies.

Jazz was officially considered degenerate and the imagery reflected that.


Lars Hasvoll Bakke has more on German propaganda posters.

So, can these images be enjoyed? I confess to liking the strong colors and playful spirit of the first two posters.  But is the pain they might cause people I respect too great?  I'd love to know your thoughts.

Wicked Good!

Idle speculation: In Maine, do people advertise Wicked Cheap Wicked Tickets?

Wicked Poster

Glam Or Spam? Got Wood?


A plurality of readers voted thumbs down on Angelina Jolie's maxi-dress. The shmatta may look like leftover maternity wear, but it's actually from the not-yet-available-to-noncelebs spring-summer 2009 collection of French designer Gerard Darel, whose publicist sent along several photos of Angie.

And so, back to home decor, with an autumnal note.

Please vote on this week's selection. Do these tables bring the outdoors in? Or should they be consigned  out behind the woodshed?

Stylista On The CW: Go Soak Your Almonds!

Stylista-fallpreview  Stylista, the newest reality competition show on The CW, debuted last night. Humiliated hopefuls vie for a lowly job at Elle. Fashion mag editors are now obligated to be imperious, capricious, and talk funny. Anne Slowey made the role her own by her amusing inability to walk in high heels.

I worked at a fashion magazine one summer. Actually, I'd entered the Mademoiselle Guest Editor contest, but as I'd worked in the rag trade (receptionist/fit model for a 7th Ave. firm) the summer before, I was disqualified.  Luckily, Mary Cantwell read my stuff, liked it, and offered me a real job, which by summer's end, convinced me that fashion journalism was not my calling. But that was long ago, in another country, and besides, the wench is dead. (For the record, I frequently fetched coffee, but never breakfast, and certainly not breakfast with a little scented candle on a tray.)

Stylista competitors aren't any worse than those on any other shows. There's the Ugly Betty chubby girl with actual style, a boutique-owning bitch, a guy with a Brit accent who dresses like an extra in Oliver!, and a bunch of others. One blond is named Cologne, and I was waiting for the "Oh, Duh!" moment, but it never came.

Last night's episode should have killed any lingering ideas about women dressing to attract potential partners. Kate, an ex-law student, sports a decotellage that distresses some of her fellows (unsurprisingly, no straight men appear on the show) and Elle's fashion director. You'd think someone would have the wit to suggest she go into ad sales. She gets all weepy about covering up. Who says big boobs aren't  a means of self-expression?

Like the Rolling Stone show, the Car and Driver show, the Seventeen magazine show, and MTV's student newspaper show, watching would-be journalists isn't very exciting. (To be fair, the student paper  show did have great characters, full of venom.) The producers here downplay the process and stress the bitchy interaction and asides. Why PBS doesn't produce a "I Want to Edit The New Yorker" reality series is beyond me.

Considering all the downsizing in the magazine world, perhaps the lucky ones get cut early.

Diaries Of A Groomzilla...

Groomzilla will return next Thursday. Right now he and Fiancé are making the final wedding arrangements and looking forward to their Big Day.

The story so far:

Part 1: "I am a groomzilla, and like the bridezilla sisters who paved the way before me, I take no responsibility for my actions. I blame my mother Jacquelyn."

Part 2: "Groomzillas are allergic to reason, at least insofar as it comes to a budget for their wedding day."

Part 3: "My Southern Baptist grandmother had a theory about gift-giving: If you put a rock in a Neiman Marcus box, someone will assume that it’s really expensive and display it proudly on his or her shelf."

Part 4: "Every bridezilla has a partner-in-crime. She is that one special friend who amplifies and validates every irrational thought, pushing the cocktail trolley through the dining cart of the crazy train."

Part 5: "Madonna the Divorcee has 4 minutes to save the world. Groomzilla has 10 days to finish a wedding. The last two weeks before the wedding are when Groomzilla at his most resplendently irrational finally tears down Tokyo brick by brick."

Mary Ann Akers Ignores Union Rate For McCain's Makeup Artist

Back when I blogged at Fishbowl LA, I took the view that East Coast journalists usually failed when trying to cover show biz

Case in point:

Mary Ann Akers, the Washington Post's The Sleuth (and boy! how the mighty have fallen if she's their crack investigative reporter, er, gossip blogger) gets all a-jitter over McCain's makeup artist, Tifanie White.

The make-up artist to the wannabe-stars is getting paid beaucoup bucks to make McCain, 72, more telegenic.

White got paid $8,672.55 in September to work on John McCain. White's got a big list of credits and an Emmy nomination. As a union makeup artist, her day rate is around $550 for a 10 hour day. Her pay's not even close to what a key artist, working on a feature film, could make. If that's beaucoup bucks, the Post is in worse shape than I thought. 

Akers is really rather lame, as  so many others agree.

Boy's Life, Man's World, Ladies' Night: Transgender Tranformations

Isaspx For most of us, trying on a a new identity is limited to fancy dress parties and Halloween. Masquerading as a pirate, a naughty nurse, or  celebrity du jour (how many Sarah Palins will roam West Hollywood next week?) is fun, a little excursion into the land of what might have been had things been different.  A side trip on the boulevards of life as we don't know it, so to speak.

But what about people who long desperately to be other than as nature made them?  Born in the wrong body, as the transgender community says.  In the new Atlantic Monthly, Hanna Rosin explores the world of children who know that their physical selves aren't their real selves--boys who want to be girls, girls who want to be boys--and the parents, the therapists, and the doctors who want to help, want to understand, and want to provide answers. 

Rosin meets an eight-year-old boy, Brandon, and his family. Brandon's known that he's really supposed to be a girl since he was tiny. His mother tried to convince him otherwise:

“Brandon, God made you a boy for a special reason,” she told him before they said prayers one night when he was 5, the first part of a speech she’d prepared. But he cut her off: “God made a mistake,” he said.

Some doctors prescribe hormone blockers, so as to prevent puberty, which is then followed by cross-sex hormones and sex-change surgery.  The blockers are reversible, but of course, surgery is not.   Another school of thought claims that gender dysphoria can be treated without changing the sex of the child.  Brandon's mother decided to embrace her son as her daughter, now known as Bridget, but worries about life in their small Southern town.

Janetjackson356 Janet Jackson's come out with a line of lingerie, including a bra which , she claims, women won't rush home to take off,  after a long day.   I think this is a pity.  Releasing  your breasts to roam free is one of life's great pleasures. I know transvestites and drag queens who don't understand this. I've never met a tranny who enjoyed letting herself go, as so many of my born female sisters do. Looking fabulous, all dolled up, is really the glory of the cross-dresser, and after so much pain, strain and tears, why would anyone ever abandon it?  Maybe if you have to work harder for something, you value it more. As Bridget grows up, will she remember being Brandon, in a time before sequins?

But what if the grass isn't always greener? What happens if you change your mind? Mike Penner, the  sports writer who'd announced in April that he'd be known as Christine Daniels, is back at the LA Times sports desk as Mike Penner. Was it just too much work? I don't know Penner, so I can't say. The LAT wiped all his blog entries about his transformation.

Would we be better off in a world where every day is Halloween? Where we can put on an identity, like a Wonderbra, and then take it off, when the wires start to pinch?

Me? I'm with Ray:

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola

DG Q&A: Carmindy

DSCF1084 During last year's book tour for The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman, makeup artist Carmindy of TLC's What Not to Wear answered questions from women all over the country. She was disturbed by what she heard. Instead of asking how to highlight their assets, most women launched into a list of self-denigrating complaints about how they looked. “I’d meet a woman who had beautiful skin and I would say, 'Gosh, you have such beautiful skin.' And she's say, 'Oh I’m breaking out and my pores are so big and I hate my lips. I want you to teach me how to make mine look so different.'” To fight such negative attitudes, she wrote another book, which she calls her "manifesto," Get Positively Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Gorgeous. She spoke with DG while in Los Angeles to promote the book.

CARMINDY: My mother was a watercolorist, and I was obsessed with painting and art, but I also had this strange fixation on fashion. I met somebody whose father was a makeup artist for Hill Street Blues. I thought, “Oh my God, there’s a job as a makeup artist? This is great. This is what I want to do.” I was only 15 or 16 years old.

One year my father asked me, “What do you want for Christmas?” I said, “I wanted one of those big Hollywood-style makeup mirrors with the balls all around and a director’s chair.” He built me that, and I started doing makeup on neighbors and friends. Later, I would drive up to Hollywood and walk into all the agencies and say, “Is there anybody I can help for free?” I became an assistant, and it went from there.

DG: One of the sections in your book starts, “Everyone loves a makeover.” Why does everyone love a makeover?


CARMINDY: It’s that caterpillar-becomes-a-butterfly moment. When you’re teaching a woman how to recognize her own beauty--whether it be beautiful skin or beautiful lips or how to take her eyes and make them shine--she’s starting to feel better about herself. Her self-esteem is boosted, she starts glowing, she’s smiling a lot more. That’s really fascinating to us.

DG: You disagree with the idea that makeup is the art of creating an illusion.

CARMINDY: I do. I am not for anybody contouring a face or changing eye shape. I think you really should enhance what you have. Makeup should be used highlight features, not change, correct, camouflage, and contour them.

DG: I forgot to put on my makeup this morning, because I was in a hurry to get to a conference. Could that ever happen to you? And if so, how would you react?

CARMINDY: Absolutely, absolutely. It happens a lot of times when I’m just going to run out of the house. You’ve got to be completely and utterly happy with who you are barefaced before you can put any cosmetic on your skin. That way, if you walk out of the house and you don’t have makeup on, you’re not afraid of the way people are going to perceive you. It starts from within.

The DG Dozen

1) How do you define glamour?

Being comfortable in your own skin and the most confident you can possibly be. Not makeup, not money, not competing with a celebrity of the moment but feeling good in your own skin. To me that’s glamorous--walking in and being confident.

Isabella_rossellini_ci 2) Who or what is your glamorous icon?

Isabella Rossellini. I worked with her once. It was a last-minute thing. She walked in, she didn’t have any makeup on. She was dressed very casually. She looked so radiant. She didn’t have an entourage with her. She walked in the room with confidence. She was intelligent. It was just this kind of grace. She was a glamorous, iconic woman to me because she knew who she was and she was so radiantly beautiful because of that confidence.

3) Is glamour a luxury or a necessity?

It’s a state of mind.

4) Favorite glamorous movie?

Out of Africa. I loved Meryl Streep’s character and thought she was totally glamorous. She was a strong, real, dynamic woman who was not afraid to show weakness at times but always pulled herself through with dignity. Not to mention the scenery and outfits were fabulous!

5) What was your most glamorous moment?

I would have to say it was in Havana, Cuba, the night I met my husband. I was swooning because it was such a romantic place. I was hot and sweaty, and it didn’t matter. I had met the man of my dreams and I felt beautiful. That was probably the most glamorous moment ever.

6) Favorite glamorous object?

I have an antique mirror coffee table that is very glamorous. It’s aged, it looks like it’s been under the sea.

7) Most glamorous place?

Havana. It’s rough around the edges, but it’s just so glamorous to me.


8) Most glamorous job?

What I’m doing now.

9) Something or someone that other people find glamorous and you don’t.


10) Something or someone that you find glamorous whose glamour is unrecognized.

My friend Kathy Atkinson, who is in my book in the makeover chapter. She is 50. She is not only a physically beautiful woman but one who shines. She is never afraid to tell it like it is, call people on their bad behavior or celebrate the goodness in them. She knows how to dress her body, play with makeup to accentuate the positive and never puts herself down.

11) Can glamour survive?

Absolutely, forever. It’s been here forever and it can last forever.

12) Is glamour something you’re born with?

It’s probably at its most pure form when we’re born with it. It’s what we do to it when we grow older that makes it shine or makes it diminish.


1) Angelina Jolie or Cate Blanchett?

Cate Blanchett

2) Paris or Venice?


3) New York or Los Angeles?

New York

4) Princess Diana or Princess Grace?

Princess Grace

5) Tokyo or Kyoto?


6) Boots or stilettos?


7) Art Deco or Art Nouveau?

That’s a hard one. Probably Art Deco.

8) Jaguar or Astin Martin?


Astin Martin

9) Armani or Versace?


10) Diana Vreeland or Anna Wintour?

Diana Vreeland

11) Champagne or single malt?


12) 1960s or 1980s?


13) Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds. I like raw pearls. I like raw pearls and I like diamonds.

14) Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell?

Neither. Kate Moss if I have to choose.

15) Sean Connery or Daniel Craig?

Sean Connery