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· Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
· Culture Notes: Rave on
· Culture Notes: Coty lipstick & Weird Al
· Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
· Culture Notes: More 80's Style
· Fashion Notes: making your own jewelry
· Then and now: more 1980's
· Another 80's moment...
· 1980's style: makeup
· 1980's style: Cyndi Lauper vs. Madonna

· May 12, 2008 8:59 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 12, 2008 10:15 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 10:23 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 26, 2007 5:33 PM by Blogger Audrey_H
· July 26, 2007 11:11 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 26, 2007 11:57 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 22, 2007 4:43 PM by Blogger Audrey_H
· July 25, 2007 4:03 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 8, 2007 2:51 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 8, 2007 12:47 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 7, 2007 4:16 PM by Blogger cmm
· July 7, 2007 7:29 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 7, 2007 10:06 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 7, 2007 11:36 PM by Blogger Dain

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog

Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, May 12, 2008 12:00 AM (Eastern)

So...I had an interesting weekend, and I hope you did too.

I got this killer dress from a consignment shop. Quintessential late 80's/early 90's, new with tags, and fitted out with linebacker shoulder pads and little elastic "belt" in the back. A cool Indian design; this type of clothing had always been made in India before the apparel market began to drown in Chinese-made goods. The dress was fashioned entirely of a creamy ivory lace, with a built-in sheer dress underneath it.

Went home, snipped out the shoulder pads...the built-in sheer dress was attached to the lace overlay by the same stitching, so of course it came out. I'm sewing-challenged but have never minded mending, so I sewed it back together, and discovered a hole in the lace overlay (don't ask me how a new dress already had a hole in it). At first I wanted to do a fancy darning thing with ivory thread but ended up simply sewing the hole shut, as it showed less that way. With the genius of the dress design, the hole barely showed even when it was open (the bottom of the dress is an intricate design of pieces of lace sewn together to create a small froth).

While I was doing that, I found a hole in the built-in sheer dress, near the bottom in the side seam. It looked as if someone had cut a tag out using pinking shears. Jeesh! What's wrong with people. I sewed that one shut as well, and though the dress was clearly marked "dry clean only," I washed it in the machine (cold water, delicate cycle, Woolite). I can hardly wait to wear it, though I am pondering whether it's too ornate to wear to work.

Shoes...I trekked out to one of the shops around here that carries Cydwoqs, Rabat in Berkeley.

Hm. This was the first time I'd been to Rabat, and I'll have to admit I was disappointed. Instead of a wide selection of Cydwoqs, they had something like three kinds of the shoes, and maybe three or four kinds of the sandals. I wasn't interested in sandals; of the minute choice of shoes, they had Sprint, Force, and another which I don't recognize on the Cydwoq site.

Force was kind of neat. The model they had on the floor was the exact color I wanted...a brown so dark it looked black at first, so could be worn as a black shoe, or as a brown one.

But...if you expect someone to pay upward of $300 for shoes, you really should have more of a selection on hand. However you look at it, it's a lot of money. So I didn't buy.

The only other standout there was Salpy, another American-made shoe even spendier than the Cydwoqs, but with two amazing leathers...dark shoes with designs traced in gold.

I'll probably get out to Nordstrom next weekend, since I need the shoes now. I'm fairly sure Cydwoqs go on sale seasonally (I've seen their boots on sale online now), so it might be a matter of waiting for a better price.

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May 12, 2008 8:59 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Maybe if you wore a boyish, oversize blazer like this one you'd bring it down a notch. I know this is a rather expensive example, but I imagine you can find one for cheap easily, maybe even in the boys' department of some store.

May 12, 2008 10:15 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I may have to wear it for work! There's talk we're going to have a small heat wave. The nice factors are the lace and the white color. A good part of dealing with hot weather is psychological, after all, like wearing green, blue or white.

I'll have to look at it more closely to see if it's long enough to get away with wearing knee-high stockings, another hot-weather trick.

May 12, 2008 10:23 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm all for it. If it looks good, it looks good. : )

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Culture Notes: Rave on
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:06 PM (Eastern)

Originally I was going to do a feature on songs about that we've all been Clear Channeled ad infinitum, no one sings about the radio anymore. Oh I know that's simplistic; without the Net to replace radio in the first place, the likelihood of the once-brilliant medium boiling down to muzak would have been slim.

So I got together three videos: Donna Summer's On the Radio, R.E.M.'s Radio Song, and Queen's Radio Ga-Ga.

Decided against Elvis Costello's Radio Radio...and, Costello is doing Buddy Holly, the way everyone else does Elvis. I had a sudden desire to hear Buddy Holly again.


What popped up when I was searching for Holly:

Rave On by John Lennon

So I thought I'd share this moment rather than the radio-on-radio concept. I'd never heard this cover before, in all the odd bootleg Beatles recordings I've heard over the years. Thanks icepick141!

If you're old enough to remember this song, you're probably old enough to know it commemorates the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a plane crash, along with the pilot of the plane, Roger Peterson. It's a sad song, yet I loved it when I was a kid, and its many references to various pop bands of the time make it a bit historic as well.

Don McLean - American Pie

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Culture Notes: Coty lipstick & Weird Al
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, December 17, 2007 11:50 PM (Eastern)

What with the stress of the holidays, sometimes it's nice to just step back and breathe. I've had this Coty lipstick video in my bookmarks for a considerable time, and play it every once in a while to cheer myself up. Though the color of the film has degraded to the point many of the shades now look alike, its charm remains, with the bright red lips, graceful dancing, and carefully-composed graphical effects.

1950's Coty Lipstick Commercial

I had this sudden urge today to search for Weird Al Yankovic on Youtube. Came across this gem, from The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. Don't laugh, it was a very cool show--one of the first and last U.S. television shows to feature The Clash (you bet I stayed up to watch that one).

Weird Al Yankovic -Another One Rides the Bus

This of course is a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."

"I Lost On Jeopardy"--perhaps the funniest aspect is it's just as catchy as the original song, maybe more so. Greg Kihn Band "Jeopardy" (John's Live Performance Video)

Greg Kihn is still around btw; he works as a DJ. I try to catch his show now and again (the station it's on is kind of fuzzy from here).

"Weird Al" Yankovic - I Lost On Jeopardy

Featuring the original host of Jeopardy, Art Fleming, a cameo of Dr. Demento, and Kihn himself.

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Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)

Perhaps a quote from Donald Rumsfeld is in order.

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

On the basis of that quote alone, it would appear Mr. Rumsfeld would have made a far better computer programmer than, say, a Secretary of Defense or some such thing. It makes perfect sense to me.

I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon lately, only it's unremembered unremembereds rather than unknown unknowns. Unremembered unremembereds are things you don't remember you don't remember, and only upon recalling them, do you recall you'd forgotten them in the first place.

Take Urgh! A Music War. Urgh! was a movie released in 1981, when I was sixteen. It featured various punk and new wave acts, some of which went on to greater fame, some of which became even less visible after the film was shown, if that were possible.

How I stumbled upon this unremembered unremembered...I was looking for a video for Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science." It's not a very good song, has even been described as the band's least favorite as it was a rush production. Oingo Boingo was a terrific band...not my favorite of the era, yet an interesting blend of their roots as a performance art group, the odd things Danny Elfman did with his voice, and the fact that much of their hit songs were woven into films. They were intrinsically theatrical, and very Los Angeles (if you can imagine anything more exotic to a native Virginian).

My favorite Oingo Boingo song is probably Stay, or even Just Another Day. Visually though, it's hard to beat "Dead Man's Party":

Oingo Boingo Dead Man's Party

Once I delved into the Oingo Boingo "thread" (what do they call that Google thing in Youtube, where they read your mind?), I glimpsed their song on Urgh!: Ain't This the Life?

Urgh! had some wonderful songs. Take "Total Eclipse," the late Klaus Nomi's part-cabaret, part-opera, all-entertaining song about a nuclear attack:

Klaus Nomi - Total Eclipse (live)

(I had seen Nomi prior to that on Saturday Night Live with David Bowie and a gentleman in a red dress.)

In the same prevailing Cold War groove, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark:

OMD - Enola Gay (live)

For every Pere Ubu (I'm not linking to that; even by the standards of the day, it was odd), there were The Go-Go's, Devo, Steel Pulse, UB40...oh, let's let The Police roll through the lineup:

the Police - outro 'So Lonely'

I haven't heard many of these songs easily in twenty years, or at least since I stopped playing them (I had the record). Funny to go back eh?

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Culture Notes: More 80's Style
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)

"Ello, I'm Gizzard Puke, mugger to the gentry, and anyone who says punk's dead, will be."

"This morning, I spilled coffee all over my wife's dressing gown! Serves me right for wearing it!"

"Me faddah ust'a yell at me so much when I was a kid, I ust'a think me name was 'Shaddup!'"

Hm, looks like someone took down the Kenny Everett Show video I posted earlier. So here is a fresh new 80's video, of one of my favorite U2 songs.

U2 Hattem 1982 - Another Time, Another Place

I haven't actually liked U2 since The Joshua Tree, unless you count "Angel of Harlem." Very few rock bands should, imo, continue playing when they get old. Rock requires the sheer kinetic energy of youth, the ability to run up hills, to stay up three nights in a row, and to be optimistic that things can change.

I still recall Boy as influential however, as genuinely different and almost freakishly good. Perhaps it's all in the drummer, or in the rough lyrics, that uncannily captured the dark shadows of youth, when you caught glimpses of things that didn't make sense at the time.

I'm running in the rain
I'm caught in a late night play
It's all; it's everything
I'm soaking through the skin

Twilight...darkened day
Twilight...lost my way
Twilight...night and day
Twilight...can't find my way

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Fashion Notes: making your own jewelry
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, July 31, 2007 3:44 PM (Eastern)

various beadsI haven't done this for a while; every year, since I started in 2005, I've taken a few months off from making jewelry.

The short version is it's an exhausting process. Unless you have the fortune of apprenticing with someone else, it's on you to winnow the vast number of suppliers and supplies (mastering the techniques is easy relative to that).

Even something like wire...there are four kinds of goldfilled wire, generally sold at two tempers, with four widely used gauges (and more gauges than that). Wire labeled "goldfilled" is meaningless, except it means 1/20 of the wire is karat gold of some sort. Silver...could be fine silver, sterling silver, or argentium sterling silver (recommended), with the same range of tempers and gauges.

It's worth the struggle; I've never doubted that. Making something concrete, in the sense of picking up tools and raw materials, exercises a different part of your brain than that used in creating something abstract. Take software, for's largely created on paper. You can type the finished result into a text file really hard, or really softly; slowly or quickly; it's not going to affect how the program runs. It's all brain work, rather than a fusion of brain and hand.

I was rifling youtube (it's truly momentous btw), looking for an example of the "forgotten 80's." (Why 80's? perhaps it's better-documented than prior decades.) What people remember are the neon colors of clothing, makeup, shoes even; the big hair, the overall...daffiness? innocence?

Of course that's not how I remember it, exactly; the better part of the 80's for me was colored by the late 70's. And in fact this video is from a song released in 1979. But keep in mind, whatever was happening in England in 1979, took several years to percolate down to the villages in the States. lol And that's where I was, in the first half of the 80's.

Why this song? I wanted to illustrate the concept of taking nothing...raw materials...and getting up on a stage and producing something. Concerts these days (oh wait, let me get my walker), seem to have come full circle to the Big Production of the mid 70's--which is what the smaller bands rebelled against in the late 70's, and the energy of that period, imo, fueled much of what is remembered as the 80's.

"Concrete Jungle" by The Specials

Beading Blog -

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Then and now: more 1980's
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, July 26, 2007 4:56 PM (Eastern)

I don't recall what the trigger was, but I suddenly recalled one of the most influential movies of the 1980's: Flashdance (1983).

"Maniac" by Michael Sembello

Perhaps this movie, and this song, encapsulate something about the 80's that can't be addressed by the decade's superficialities. I actually feel funny that people now think it's all about the leg warmers. Why leg warmers? Removed from the context of movies like Flashdance, or 1980's Fame:

"Fame" by Irene Cara

...leg warmers seem like...silly knitted tubes, rather than lofty symbols of the dream within.

Fast forwarding to 2007...I came across this video:

"Real Girl" by Mutya Buena

...and couldn't resist matching up the 1980's status quo--women with infinite talent, throwing themselves, in an almost literal sense, against the restraints of the time--with our odd, modern, publish-it-yourself culture, where a woman with a Monroe :) can sing, "I'm not a little girl...I know exactly who I am," against the strains of Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over."

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July 26, 2007 5:33 PM, Blogger Audrey_H said...

... and Lenny's song is SO much better than this one :)

July 26, 2007 11:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I can admit I have a weakness for remakes, or songs that use samples. Off the top of my head...loved P.Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You," Alanis Morisette's covers of "Crazy" and "My Humps" (the latter is funnier than Weird Al), Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" where she sampled the Tom Tom Club...going back to Fun Boy Three's "Our Lips Are Sealed," John Lennon's covers of 1950's songs. I just like it when you're expecting the song to sound a certain way, and then someone does something entirely new with it.

July 26, 2007 11:57 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I guess people think leg warmers because they're iconic. I mean, it doesn't strike me that people will want to wear them again, except as a costume, so it's an easy and safe thing to identify as "80s".

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Another 80's moment...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 22, 2007 2:33 PM (Eastern)

I couldn't find a non-lip-synched version of this song, more's the pity. This video would be laugh-out-loud funny, actually, if it weren't for that perfect voice.

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July 22, 2007 4:43 PM, Blogger Audrey_H said...

Aaaaaah. Wham. They had the key! (and the moves! haha)

George Michael is wonderful. I saw him last October. I've never ever heard him sing out of tune. What a voice!

July 25, 2007 4:03 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm definitely jealous. George Michael is one of my favorite singers, it's hard to believe he started out as a "bubblegum singer." :)

They don't play his music much's insane. I don't think he did anything wrong. Maybe people will discover him through Youtube though.

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1980's style: makeup
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 07, 2007 11:34 PM (Eastern)

brooke shields
image courtesy

Here is how people remember 80's makeup: flawless skin, with nary a freckle, wrinkle, circle or bag; lots of mascara and liner; eyeshadow that ranged from "smoky" to "jewel toned," but always definitely "there"; clear pink or fuchsia blush; strong lips, typically red, pink or fuchsia.

In perhaps a more typical implementation, we have "Trillian" (Sandra Dickinson, from the television series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy):

image courtesy

At the same time, there was a softer, pastel version, with gently tanned skin, soft pearly eyeshadows, mascara (fer sure), and shimmery pink lips, that was the California version of the 80's (and I was jealous of it; they looked so perfect):

valley girl
image courtesy

Unlike among the famous beauties of today, there wasn't much diversity back then. The majority of models were white. MTV, which still showed music videos at the time, was dominated by white singers and groups. One of the few exceptions was Whitney Houston:

whitney houston
image courtesy

And 80's video (I didn't embed Houston's video; I felt a still would show her 80's makeup better):

Okay I have no idea when this was filmed, but the song is from 1984.

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July 8, 2007 2:51 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Looking at the current cover of W with Gisele, and the cover of Time with Brooke Shields, similar but different. Big, windblown hair? Check. Strong eyes? Check. Strong lips? Check. Strong face? Check.

But it's different. For one thing, skin is treated entirely differently. Gisele's bronze all over, and her skin is dewy. There's a naked effect to the skin, though there's a bit of sculpting. Brooke Shields' skin is anything but naked: thick foundation that obliterates and recreates texture, with plenty of powder to set, and clear, bright blush. It has none of the translucence that Gisele's makeup has, perhaps a reflection of the products themselves. The new 80s makeup is bold but not quite so heavy--more a veil than a mask.

July 8, 2007 12:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah, I can agree with that. The main difference is the foundation. Which is good.

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1980's style: Cyndi Lauper vs. Madonna
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:05 PM (Eastern)

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper (1986)

Madonna - "Get Into the Groove" Music Video

Madonna eclipsed Lauper at one point; it could be argued it was a matter of style over substance, as Lauper was the (tremendously) better singer of the two.

However, Madonna deserves credit for her sheer creativity--a quality which must not be left out of our mid-2007 resurrection of the 80's. Madonna was never about spending money. She was, in her own way, as much a working class hero as Lauper. (In my memory of the period, the two are more twined together than opposed.)

Fashion historians, note Lauper's iconic, flamboyantly dyed orange hair, which has been sprayed and teased to form the ginormous hair (or "big hair") of the day.

Madonna's style contributions are many and varied, from the "wall of bracelets" (she was the first to do this that I know of), to thrift-store chic (perfectly captured in Desperately Seeking Susan)...she borrowed from punk in her all-black ensembles, wore lingerie as if it were outerwear...I remember quite clearly, as I'd thought for years that something as beautiful as lingerie should be seen, somehow... Madonna can't be credited with making inch-long dark roots fashionable, exactly, since Debbie Harry did that in the mid 1970's, but she went a long way toward making DIY a positive thing.

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July 7, 2007 4:16 PM, Blogger cmm said...

oh, now you're gettin me all teary-eyed and nostalgic!!
off to search Youtube for more videos. Its been awhile since I've heard "Papa Don't Preach"......

July 7, 2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Madonna is such a pop maverick. I think it's been only recently that she's gotten tasteless; she's always been a tastemaker. Imo, it was when she copied Angelina Jolie and adopted a kid. It may have been a generous gesture, but it was so transparently a publicity gesture, and I don't know... it's ok in showbiz to pretend to be bad because people do it all the time, but somehow, I resent the appearance of virtue. And I think the public does, too.

July 7, 2007 10:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Carol: Youtube is nothing short of amazing. There are videos for very nearly everything, stuff you thought you'd never see again, ever. Plus stuff from around the world.

Dain: Madonna...she had guts. She was one of those people who actually went to New York City to make it...and she used to eat popcorn, because she couldn't afford to eat properly (popcorn fills you up).

She was a lousy singer, no doubt about it, but she worked very hard to become a good singer. Anyone else would have taken the money and run.

It is different when you "knew" famous people when they were young, when you were young... It's like...Chuck Berry. To me he was always kind of, not an old man, but an older gentleman. But the people who grew up listening to his music, were fanatical about him.

July 7, 2007 11:36 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Madonna kind of reminds me of Justin Timberlake now.

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