Friday, April 23, 2010
BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
I’m not one to keep up with fashion trends, except when they strike me as particularly hideous or inane. Impractical footwear: If the heels are so high, you get a nosebleed, they’re not shoes, they’re health risks. Spray-tanning: That skin color does not occur naturally in any species except Oompa-Loompas. The return of harem pants: MC Hammer called … he wants his 1990 wardrobe back. No pants at all: Only if you’re Lady Gaga, in which case, it’s expected.
One of the latest fads infecting the chronically hip is what some have dubbed “the granny movement.” No, it has nothing to do with geriatric bowel functions; it’s all about going gray – courtesy of a dye kit rather than the natural aging process.
From London’s cool cliques, runway models, celebs like Pink, Kate Moss, Victoria “Posh” Beckham and one of the ubiquitous Olsen twins to the funky-chic geek down the block, charcoal-colored coifs are all the rage. Among the most noted of the “hipparrazi,” as I like to call ‘em, is 13-year-old blogger and style mascot Tavi Gevinson, who’s been making the scene at fashion shows and after-parties in her self-described “awkward jackets and pretty hats” and a blue-gray Dutch-boy bob. Sure, it’s cute now, but what’s she gonna do for an encore … a hip replacement at 16?
Of course, this craze is more prevalent among the younger set, ‘cause I don’t know too many women over 25 who don’t run screaming in horror at the sight of their first silvery strands. According to Nielsen, their older counterparts collectively spend $1.3 billion to hide their grays, but many of these so-called trendsetters are plunking down $200-plus per head to acquire the salt-and-pepper look … without the pepper.
I don’t get it. And I want it to stop before it gets out of hand. Next thing you know, it’ll be en vogue to carry those little coin purses that hold a megazillion pennies, which MUST be counted one by one in order to give cashiers exact change, thus holding up the rest of the checkout line.
Nothing good can come of this voluntary graying of America, I tell you. It can only lead to the popularization of other trends like:
* Male pattern baldness haircuts
* Beaded necklaces made from Geritol, Pepcid and Viagra.
* Henna tattoo liver spots
* Crow’s feet facial decals
* Perpetually blinking stick-on turn-signals for hipster hybrid cars
* Instead of blinged-out grillz? BeDazzled dentures!
* Ugg boots designed to look like black socks with sandals
* Tiny ear-hair wigs
* Customized doorbell that shouts, “You kids get off my lawn!”
Gray hair may be the new “in” thing for some, but frankly, I’d much rather see it on those who have earned it the OLD-fashioned way.
Friday, April 09, 2010
BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
With the recent upturn in temperatures, I’ve been on a quest for a reasonably priced spring jacket, something stylish but not too trendy and featuring enough pockets to serve as sort of a wearable purse. As I’m notorious for my hatred of shopping –which, along with my disdain for purse-toting, puts me in danger of having my Ladies’ Club membership revoked – I’ve been cruising the online clothing circuit. I guess you could say I’m doing a little Windows-shopping. (Ha! See what I did there?)
Because I’m just enough of a girl that I wouldn’t be caught dead in a jacket that conflicts with the rest of my ensemble, I’m looking for something in a neutral tone, preferably on the lighter end of the brown spectrum. One would think this would be a relatively simple search. One would be grossly mistaken.
What I found was a baffling array of choices – none of them accompanied by examples – like Chamois, Flax, String, Oakleaf and Pearl Bisque. (String?! Really?) Whatever happened to good ol’ lower-case khaki, beige or just plain tan?! Now, I understand trying to make colors more attractive-sounding, and I can figure out what Sand, Camel, Toast and Café-Au-Lait look like, but Praline Cream, Barley, Oatmeal and Biscuit?
Distracted by these undecipherable names (and a sudden craving for breakfast food), I forgot about shopping and got lost in a sea of Delicacy and Fatigue – not states of mind, but colors in the Chico’s catalog. Another site offers items in the color of Mud, which is about as clear as … well, its name, since one puddle of wet dirt can look different from the next.
Silly me, I always thought brown just came in light, medium and dark, but apparently, it also can be Havana, Aztec, Cordial, Hacienda and California Gold, the last of which I’m pretty sure is an illegal substance.
Seriously, I get it. I realize manufacturers can’t call ‘em as they see ‘em because who’d want to buy anything offered in Jaundice, Gaping Head Wound Red or Strained-Carrot Baby Barf? And I shouldn’t complain because it could be worse. Though I have no idea what Plumbago, Slurple and Haze look like, I’d be more likely to put them on my body than such Tudor-Era shades as Dead Spaniard, Goose-Turd and Blod (I don’t even want to know).
I did enjoy the color wordplay on an automotive website – Anti-Establish Mint, Last Stand Custard, There She Blue – and was thankful to find no cars offered in Gang Green, Salmon ‘Nilla or Pierced Navel Orange. (Though I AM lobbying for I Cannot Tell A Lilac.)
Paint-job possibilities aside, this catchy-naming trend has gotten out of control. What’s the world coming to when there’s a selection of more than a dozen names for what most of us know as black? I give up. Until someone invents a color decoder ring, I’m sticking to Fisher-Price products, where the colors come in primary red, blue and yellow.