When I worked full time in corporate America, I was always polished and groomed at the office. I worked in an environment where presentation and details made a huge impact on the perception of one’s sense of professionalism.
That said, it was always so refreshing to become “un-pretty” during weekends.
What does it mean to be “un-pretty”? First, let’s take a look at what “pretty” means:
I define ‘pretty’ as being polite, pleasant and polished. “Pretty” is the very essence of being a lady — coiffed hair, a manicure, a poise presentation, warm, approachable and socially graceful. (Think of a house party’s hostess – friendly and sociable). Someone “pretty” offers you coffee and cookies when you visit their homes. The “pretty” girl tells you how great you look (to simplify the concept); she is concerned about whether or not you’re comfortable and considers what your preferences are.
When I use the term “un-pretty”, I’m not implying that I made an effort to look unattractive (although, a lot of times, this was the case). What I mean is, my style of presentation was less ladylike and lacked the polish and niceties one would expect from a pageant-trained woman.
How does one achieve a “pretty” look?
Feminine make up highlighting the shape of one’s eyes + full lips + groomed brows and hairstyle + polished ready-to-face-the-camera style + tailored and put-togehter – any piece of hair out of place
I love the “un-pretty” side of my closet as much as the polished and tailored pieces I own. It’s necessary, at times, to wear wrinkled shirts, athletic shoes, cotton tees and unruly hair. I say this because I think it’s an advantage to be comfortable even without having to project the socially-constructed version of “girl”. You can be attractive in various ways — wearing pearls and a tiara or sneakers and a baseball cap.
To me, an un-pretty style can convey the gritty sexiness of Marlon Brando’s Stanley Kowalski.
Un-pretty means dressing with style without having to make a lot of effort — in So Cal this laid-back style is one that many non- L.A. natives try very hard to emulate. It’s the confidence in one’s self without having to look like a doll who took two hours to apply make up.
It’s an image that actors and models (who spend their working days in full make-up) naturally have on their days off. A look that conveys the understanding that if they wanted to, they could very well shave their scruff and be as pretty as they come. The “unpretty” girl doesn’t necessarily say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ in a bubbly voice. She may give you a smirk or a nod of acknowledgement if she’s pleased with you.
Simplified, the “unpretty” girl asks you for a smoke without taking into consideration whether or not you approve of her smoking. She is not as self-conscious as her socially-graceful “pretty” girl counterpart.
How does one achieve this un-pretty too-cool-to-care style?
“undone hair” + cotton tee + element of relaxed or athletic gear – bubbly persona – string of pearls – “matchy-matchy” accessories + grit + attitude…
These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The ‘…happily ever after’ is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues… Disney’s perfect Princesses [are] juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.
Famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz, is also credited for her beautiful work photographing celebrities as Disney Princesses. Let’s examine the different messages their images convey:
|Snow White courtesy of Dina Goldstein (Fallen Princesses)
by Annie Leibovitz (Rachel Weisz)
|Ariel by Dina Goldstein (Fallen Princesses)
by Annie Leibovitz
|Cinderella by Dina Goldstein (Fallen Princesses)|
Dina Goldstein’s photographs serve just that purpose – and well. What a force to counteract the ever-so-influential princess cartoons children are exposed to.
|Belle by Dina Goldstein (Fallen Princesses)|
|Pocahontas by Dina Goldstein (Fallen Princesses)
by Annie Leibovitz (Jessica Biel as Pocahontas)
The Disney Princesses
Do well in school, young ladies!!!
Tall boots need not be synonymous with “night life”…Observe the refreshing take on the tall boot below.
” waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!! ”
(this rant continues…)
I’m not just sharpening my pencil and erasing words…I’ve personally spent day and night researching other sites, reading pounds and pounds of books about HTML, CSS, blogging, design, art, etc…, interviewing programmers and bloggers, and updating pre-formatted templates by learning how to read CSS and HTML codes (not my native language).
Before this project, I had no idea what “user experience” technically meant. Let’s just say I have much more respect for programmers and what they do to make sites “legible” and “pretty” to a wide range of people.
around town during the workday. We recently discovered the line “Reiss”, an actual favorite of Princess Kate Middleton’s. The tailored cut makes this dress flattering and feminine preventing that I’m-desperately-trying-to-look-older-and-more-professional “look” that I used to rock ten years ago (good bye, ugly suits!).
This dress works [pun unintended] at the office (+ blazer), after work get-togethers, or (if he’s lucky) during your date this weekend (- pumps; + strappy sandals).
|Princess Letzia of Spain & Co.|
option 2 (real-life): all-purpose black dress
cliched “Little Black Dress” is a cliche because it is undeniably a “must-have” piece that belongs in every woman’s closet. A flattering black dress,
or as pop-cultural fashion-themed shows call it, “the LBD” [enter Heidi
Klum], is the Swiss-army knife of your dress repertoire. Its “look” can
vary greatly just by updating the key accessories one wears with it:
shoes, handbag, jewelry, date, etc…If dresses are the solution to rushing out of the house with no time to pair separates, the “LBD” is the optimal solution for busy go-getters. Why do you think busy New Yorkers like to wear black? Efficiency.
jet-setting princess wouldn’t want to add an element of efficiency to
her dressing ritual for the [unlikely] days she’s running [a tad bit] late?
essential item for socializing princesses (whether imaginary or
legendary) is a classic cocktail dress. The dress above is another design by Reiss
which can be worn to a dinner date or dinner-party. The classic A-line
is a feminine and traditional choice creating a ladylike image (a la
our favorite Spanish princess). It’s feminine, elegant, flattering and efficient (see “option 2” above).
In conclusion, during those moments when you want to reflect regal elegance, stay towards the less ostentatious side of the frilly / not-frilly continuum.
|Fallen Princesses Exhibition|
the buy one get one free sale @ Betsey Johnson this weekend is the best time to buy quality petticoats to wear underneath A-Line dresses and skirts.
One Get One Free!!!
Below is a message from the generous and beautiful co-owner, Jennifer Cohen…
Come join us for our 1st Annual Summer Blowout Sale!
Everything 30-70% off!!!
Designers included are Helmut Lang, Elizabeth & James, J Brand, Raquel Allegra, Cynthia Vincent and many more!
One day only, don’t miss out!
Thursday June 9th 10am-6pm
238 S. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry