Monday, August 4, 2014

HELLOOO... Book of Mormon!!

Naive Mormon boys, alienating Ugandan culture, and a whole lot of AIDS. Sounds like the making of a nine-time Tony Award winning musical, right?? Actually... YEAH! 

     The Book of Mormon is a hilarious satire musical created by the writers of South Park. The play tells the story of two Mormon boys who are sent to Uganda on the most important mission of their lives. However, they find themselves in over their heads once faced with Ugandan natives that are more interested in poverty, war, and AIDS than religion, and a brutal warlord that threatens the lives of everyone.

     The typical uniform for these Mormon missionaries includes a classic white dress shirt, tucked neatly into black pants, and finished off with a simple black tie. Doesn't sound like a too challenging costume design, does it? Maybe not for your regular Mormon missionaries; however, these missionaries are FAR from average. Crossing the stage with leaps, turns, and pirouettes, THESE Mormons require a special uniform to accommodate their dancing needs. All of the shirts you see here are actually sewn-attached to underwear, keeping the boys' shirts neatly tucked no matter what pose they throw your way.

     Here's another costume secret: there is one scene during the show where the men are dancing, and they clap their hands to make the lights go out for approximately 2 seconds. When the lights come up again, they are suddenly dressed in pink sequined vests. How is this possible? WELL, the vests are actually attached to the inside of the pants. So, when the lights go out, the men can reach into their trousers, and pull up the vest in a split second-- a cool effect that certainly leaves you questioning everything you know about quick changes.

     Ann Roth did a fabulous job designing the vast range of costumes for this musical. The Book of Mormon features costumes for Ugandan natives, biblical figures, skeletons, devils, and even Hitler! Although, I must say, I did not like the costume for the warlord. Although the character is made out to be a dangerous, heartless warlord (even if he does have a laughable name), his ridiculous yellow cowboy hat and boots take away from this personality. Maybe this was intentional; however, I found it very distracting.


     Another cool thing about the show is their artfully crafted backdrops. During one scene, a backdrop falls behind leading character, Elder Price while he sings about his favorite place in the world: Orlando, Florida. In order to preserve the back drop and increase it's durability over time, the image was printed (rather than painted) onto poly satin material. This is a very unique thing for Broadway. Printing onto such a large backdrop is very difficult, and very expensive. However, this strategy has kept the back drop looking brand new for all three years the show has run.

     The Book of Mormon is certainly not for the feint of heart; however, it is hilariously raunchy, and will keep you laughing even after the curtains close! The show is predicted to run for 10 years, so rest assured that you WILL get the chance to see just why the Book of Mormon has earned the title, "God's favorite musical". THIS Broadway fanatic (as well as her brother AND grandmother) gives it an A!


Fashion Fox

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Sex is In the Heel: Kinky Boots brings out the best in ALL high heeled lovers!

     Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world”……. but give a man the right boots, and he can conquer the UNIVERSE!

      Broadway spectacle Kinky Boots, written by Harvey Fierstein with music & lyrics by the amazingly talented Cyndi Lauper, is the story of a British man named Charlie who, after a series of unfortunate events, is forced to take over his family's struggling shoe factory.  Charlie struggles to keep the family business alive when he meets Lola (a.k.a Simon), an extravagant drag queen of London, and her larger-than-life band of cross-dressers. Without even trying, Lola inspires Charlie to make specialty boots for transvestite men, which they call Kinky Boots. However, even when Lola agrees to becoming the company's head designer, both Charlie and Lola continue to struggle with living up to certain expectations. 

     I was ESPECIALLY fascinated with the costumes in this show. I'm telling you-- these costumes were unlike anything that I had ever seen before. Imagine the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.... but with men. THAT is the sensation that is Kinky Boots..... and I loved every fabulous second of it! I only wish that I could ask designer, Gregg Barnes what kind of research he had to go through in order to construct the drag attire. 

     Regardless of how Barnes managed to pull it off, I was absolutely blown away by these men bouncing around on stage in their high heeled stiletto boots and skimpy outfits! Not only that, but they had the attitude, sass, and walk to match! I think I liked their personalities just as much, if not MORE, than I loved their outrageous costumes (and we all know how much I loooooove outrageous!) There was one point in the show where one of the "angels" struts out wearing nothing but a string bikini and, for a second, I actually thought he was a woman! Maybe it was the mezzanine seating tampering with my vision, but I couldn't help but admire Barnes work in that moment. I was also inspired by each of the character's passion for shoes. I know the actors we're only well... acting, but being exposed to so much passion and love for fashion really hit it home for me.  

     As flashy as this show gets, Kinky Boots is a touching story about self- acceptance and staying true to who you are.  I highly recommend seeing it. 

     The show has been running on Broadway for over a year now, and those boots are still kickin'! So don't miss out on your chance to see it all for yourself! Even if you can't make it to Broadway, the 2005 film version of Kinky Boots was just released on Netflix. Check it out!


Fashion Fox

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nail Esteem

You know what is one of the worst feelings in the world? Having disgusting looking nails. You know what I'm talkin' about-- when you haven't painted them in 2 1/2 weeks, and the polish is half chipped off. Or sometimes they have sharp, uneven edges because you accidentally broke them off while you were trying to pry open a can, and you just couldn't find the damn can opener! Or maybe you bit them off because you're frustrated and you really just needed to, OKAY?!?!?!?!?

Believe me, I get it! Maintaining your nails is hard! Between dealing with your family, impressing your boss, going to the ends of the earth to maintain your rockin' bod, AND catching up with friends, who has the time to paint their nails? At the end of the day, all I want to do is lay in my bed and watch Netflix.

And you can FORGET about paying to get your nails done every other week! I can barely afford to buy my own groceries each week (which reminds me.... please remind me to get a real job!)

But you know what? As busy as life can get, I've learned that I HAVE to make time to paint my nails. Because when I go out in public, whether it be the grocery store or work, I cannot stop staring at my disgusting nails! Not to mention, I totally lose focus because all I can think about is what everyone ELSE must be thinking when they see them...

"Holy shit, I didn't know cutting nails with a weed-wacker was a real thing..."
"Jesus... who's grave did SHE dig up?"
"Yikes.... you know, bad nails have always been a turn off for me."
"And she wants to work at Oscar de la Renta someday? LOLOLOL" 
Sometimes I'll even sit on my hands so my fellow co-workers can't see the horror of my nail-care negligence. But then I turn into that weird girl who sits on her hands all the time.... and who wants to be that? I've got enough quirks to worry about....

Maybe if I keep my hands in my pockets... they won't notice.

When it comes down to it though, you really shouldn't care about what other people think of you. But, for me personally, having crummy nails makes ME feel crummy. It's like when you haven't gone to the gym in a month, and your self-esteem goes to shit because you totally feel heavier, and you know there is absolutely no good reason why you couldn't spare an hour to just go to the gym.

Lesson to be learned here? Nail esteem is a real thing! So ladies, if you're feelin' down... do yourself a favor. Do your nails, put on your best dress, and be the strong, confident woman that you deserve to be!  


Fashion Fox

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Ain't It De Truth?" Broadway's Tony Award Winning Show, After Midnight, Breathes Back Life into the 1920's

     Well ladies and gents, I can say from personal experience that broadway’s spectacle, After Midnight, absolutely deserved it’s award for 'Best Choreography' at this year’s Tony Awards.  I was very lucky to see DulĂ© Hill, Patti Labelle, and the rest of this amazing cast perform on their second to last show date. 

    Now I promise I’ll talk about the costumes, but can we PLEASE just talk about Little Miss Labelle for a second? This woman is 70 years old and she is still out there lookin’, and singin’, and struttin’ her stuff like she is 30! I was absolutely blown away. Patti, I want to be you when I grow up. 

     For those who have not seen the show, After Midnight is a Broadway production of City Center Encores' Cotton Club Parade. The musical celebrates Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians. So basically the show is one big tribute to the Jazz Era in Harlem, and all the things that happened AFTER the sun went down. 

     The cast members’ and the orchestra’s energy filled the entire theatre to the point where I was ready to get up and join in on the party. When you have stars like Patti Labelle headlining your show, you KNOW the singing will be phenomenal but, just as the Tony’s promised, the dancing was equally as breathtaking. I saw tap dancing like I have never seen before, of which I would not have believed possible if I hadn’t see it with my own eyes. AND I was pleasantly surprised that Broadway has started to showcase animation style dancing through this show! (For those of you who watch SYTYCD…. you know exactly what I’m talking about ;) ) 

     But enough of that. Let’s talk fashion. The costumes were JUST as fabulous. Designed by Isabel Toledo, After Midnight’s costume collection brought every audience member back to the 1920’s (even if we weren’t exactly born yet).

     As you can see from this photo, Miss Labelle’s costumes were all 1920’s flapper fab! As if the crowd needed MORE reason to erupt when she stepped foot on stage, Patti’s dresses were snug in all the right places, and showed us that those hips can move mountains! 

     Another show-stopping costume set included the bird-like showgirl ensemble worn by Bahiyah Hibah (left), Taeler Cyrus (center), and Marija Juliette Abney (right). Each of the dancer’s costumes were designed similarly to give the audience a sense of unity, yet each were unique in shape so the audience could easily distinguish each dancer and her movements. I thought this was very interesting considering that showgirl costumes (like those that are worn by dance groups such as the Rockettes) are typically designed to be identical.


   Of course, we can’t forget about the men! Toledo took a similar route with a group of three men who came out in slick suites and wide brimmed hats to sing a hilarious rendition of "Diga Diga Doo." The design of the mens’ suits were almost completely identical; however, the three were distinguished from each other by the bright colors of their attire. For example, the man who had an exceptionally low singing range wore a suit and hat completely washed in dark purple. Together, each unique member of the trio complimented each other very well in both sound and style. 

     You know, I just need to acknowledge just HOW difficult costuming for a Broadway show really is! I can’t even fathom how much time goes into each piece, but the costume design is SO important. Unlike television and film where a director can zoom in on a character to attract the audience’s attention to the character, live theatre does not have that capability. Therefore, in order to keep the audience focused on the most significant events, the director, actor, AND design team must all work together to create focus. Costumes play a huge part in directing the attention of audiences. For example, there was one specific dress in the show that I thought succeeded in this effort to direct focus. In one scene, three girls came out wearing slim black,white, and champagne colored dresses with white berets on the top of their heads. The costume was very french, but with a touch of jazz. The black was cut perfectly onto the sides of the dress, making the ever-so-small silhouettes of the dancers look even smaller! In addition, the movement of the fabric was phenomenal. During the dance, the girls spun around while holding red balloons, and kicked their legs high into the air. The dresses draped their bodies perfectly and seemed to be easy to dance in, which MUST have been a top priority for the show. So, bravo Toledo! Not only did you make them look amazing, but you made it so they stole the attention from the whole number! 

     Unfortunately the show is closed now, so if you haven’t seen it yet… I’m afraid you missed out on quite a show. Regardless, I encourage you, if you are close to the city, GO SEE A BROADWAY SHOW! If you are a student, you can go and get student rush tickets on the day of the show for a RIDICULOUSLY low price! Personally, going to Broadway is one of my most favorite things to do. Theatre exposes us to so much culture, and I truly believe you can learn something from every show you see whether it be something about human nature, or even something about history! And the best part is…. you are laughing (and I guess sometimes crying…. but in a totally good way) the whole way through. 

Stay tuned for more Broadway reviews to come!


Fashion Fox 

Hidden Gems

     Bill Cunningham once said, "He who seeks beauty shall find it." However, it seems there is beauty behind every corner in New York City.

     Meet Iuliia Koloskova. Iuliia is an amazing spray paint artist that I happened to stumble upon during a walk down seventh avenue on this lazy Saturday. Playing upbeat music and flipping her paint cans into the air, Iuliia creates the most intricate and beautiful artwork right on the street. I stood, unable to look away, as she painted and carved images onto the page. From the looks of her work, it would appear the detail would have taken hours to perfect, yet Iuliia is able to visualize AND portray her art in three minutes flat.

     Iuliia's talent is undeniable, and her work is not only amazing, but inspiring as well. It is people like her that make me love this great big world we live in. It is a shame her talents are so unrecognized. How is it that we can make people with little to no particular talent famous, and yet the truly talented people get the short end of the stick? This, I will never understand. Although, maybe it is just meant to be. After all, finding a hidden gem makes them all the more special.


    If you want to see more of Iuliia's work, follow her on Instagram @MYSPRAYART or like her on Facebook at If you can find her on the streets, you can go home with one of her amazing paintings for only $20-30!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ralph Lauren Dresses PERFECT For Your Summer Work Attire

Floral! Floral! Floral!

Polka dots? Soo 1950's <3 <3
     Walked into Macy's the other day just to browse at some dresses for work... only to discover that the Ralph Lauren dress collection is without a doubt my newest obsession. I fell in love with every single dress in this collection, all of which were classy, sophisticated, and fabulous. Ralphie, if I had the money, I would buy ALL these dresses to compose myself one killer work wardrobe! Until then... I'll just play dress up.
Beautiful blue print <3
Sassin' in this brown and white floral print


Fashion Fox
                        Red hot red to spice things up... 

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's All About the Hat...

     Hello my lovelies!

     So I've been meaning to write about a certain obsession of mine for awhile now. And from the looks of it... my obsession has also become an obsession of the majority population of women-- floppy hats.
     Floppy hats were really popular in the 70's and now they're back! On a hot summer day, a big ol' floppy hat is an obvious choice. Whether you wear it to the beach, or in the middle of New York City, the floppy hat can compliment just about any outfit. And that's not even the best part! While you are looking chic and sophisticated with your fab headwear, you are protecting your skin at the same time. Yeah yeah I know we all want to be tan, but at this point I'd rather embrace my natural white girl skin tone than have a wrinkly face by the age of 30.

     I don't care how old you are, what nationality you are, or what color your hair is... if you do not already have a floppy hat to put on that pretty little head of yours this summer-- BUY ONE. In any color! You can go simple with a plain tan or black floppy hat, or you could go with a belted floppy hat, or a beaded floppy hat, or a floppy hat with a scarf wrapped around it! Large or small! There are so many styles to choose from, and you can buy them pretty cheap just about anywhere.


   I bought my black floppy hat at Kohl's and I wear it nonstop. So spend the $15. It'll be worth it.

         Want some more ideas how to create your own floppy hat look? Check out these pics and share your own floppy hat style below!     

With love and hats,
 Fashion Fox

                                                                                            Photo Creds:
Stephanie Jones                                                        Jessica Harper                                                              Krista Lee
Kelly Colclasure                                                       Brittney White                                                      Mena Buscetto
                                                                                         Elena Eberwein