Sunday, August 8, 2010

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my cucumbers

Jean says: Hallelujah, dear readers! We've reached (and surpassed) our one year mark! We're taking time out of our busy schedules to celebrate the fact that the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas are still here and managing to have a good laugh if not the last laugh. In light of the dour economic forecasts, we decided to exercise fiscal restraint and staged our own mini staycation and spa. Girls still wanna have fun! Having had the morning from hades (trapping and rescuing some feral cats in a hot and dusty Chinatown parking lot), I was thrilled to spend a couple hours in air conditioning, planning and staging our photo shoot. Once I was positioned in my towel and the cold cucumbers hit my eyeballs, I was practically out like a light.

Valerie says: Jean's mask is a truly lovely shade of blue (almost Matisse-like, particularly in combination with the rich red lipstick), while mine is such a pale green as to appear nearly white in the photos. Perhaps because my Queen Helene mint julep masque is designed to treat acne, it dries quickly, while Jean's remains moist and mayonnaise-like much longer. (Jean says: Hoarder alert! When Valerie mentioned using mud packs, I dug around in one of my drawers and retrieved the tube with the blue mask used in the photos. The front label says: "Naturistics Spa Face and Body Mud Mask - Sea Mineral with sea kelp, sea fennel & vitamin E. Never tested on Animals." In even smaller print on the back of the tube, it says: "Del Laboratories, Inc. 1997." It is a true testament to the longevity of their product and packaging that both still work beautifully 13 years after manufacture. What it says about my storage habits is quite another thing all together. The fact that I could immediately locate and retrieve the tube is the positive side of that equation.)

Jean says: Since the first anniversary is "paper" (25th is silver and 50th is golden), we have appropriately attired ourselves for the auspicious occasion in the August 7th edition of the New York Times. Ms. Valerie is modeling two selections from the arts section featuring colorful photos of Mark Morris Dance Company. In light of the fact that unemployment is stalled at 9.5% and the recovery is turned on its head, yours truly is wearing an askew view of the business section.

Valerie says: You can see that Jean has been out and about, robustly tanning in the process, while yours truly remains pale as a hothouse flower.

In addition to the final product, we wanted to share our outtakes of this week's shoot.

Jean says: We tried to line up the shots, artistically arrange the river stones, etc., BEFORE we were covered in quick-drying mud masks. As you can see, things rapidly got out of hand.

Valerie says: I loved Jean's idea of putting the painted wooden cubes on her eyes. On a roll, Jean was inspired to put these on my eyes. I think this is how most people feel after a day's work. (Jean says: Valerie's look is at once both space alien and insect-like. I was laughing so hard when I snapped the shot that I tripped and almost stepped on her.)

Jean says: As you can see, I cannot keep a straight face. I want to know how Valerie managed to appear positively regal in demeanor when encased in clay. (Valerie says: the thought of having to wash off and reapply the mask, cracked by a mere moment's indiscreet laughter, was a wondrous incentive for keeping a straight face.)

Valerie's impression of how Little Orphan Annie would look at the spa.

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P.S. Style Alert:
Jean says: Reading Pamela Paul's article in today's New York Times' Sunday Styles about Stephanie Dolgoff's new book "My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young" was extremely self-affirming. It is heartening to have one's own opinions mirrored in print. Ms. Dolgoff is not the first to notice that "What makes retro look cute is the discrepancy between the person's age and the era it came from." Having recently watched "Woodstock" and laughingly appreciated John Sebastian's tie-dyed outfit and Roger Daltry's fringed jacket, I was also acutely aware of the need to admire those looks from afar, rather than resurrect some treasures from storage. Likewise, it was less than earth-shattering to learn that shoes are Ms. Dolgoff's greatest challenge. ("You do need to be able to walk. I'm done sacrificing to look good. I don't want to hurt anymore.") Hello? Valerie and I say: Welcome to our world, Ms. Dolgoff! Perhaps the added pressure for chic, comfortable footwear from this newly-monikered demographic known as "Formerlies" (as in formerly hot) will provide the tipping power to that of "women of a certain age" so that shoe designers will finally sit up and take notice. As our regular readers know, shoes are one of our recurring themes. There is a largely untapped women's shoe market hungering for glamor ... without pain. Pass along the drumbeat.

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