fashion & beauty

21st February
written by Dame Suzy

Having photos taken of me for various brochures, websites and the like, I simply did not bother asking for copies of them. In fact, I have never seen a copy of a photo taken of me for commercial work, ever. A friend of my mother’s saw me in a Dell brochure but did not think to save it. That was my closest shot to getting one. When you’re on set, people are busy and you’re just the talent.

At my last print gig, I decided to change this unfortunate reality. I asked the producer, the client, and finally got a Yes from the photographer, who told me to email the producer in a few months. I did so, and she sent me a note in which she wrote, “The client ‘owns’ all the pictures. It often happens that the work a model does is never seen…Yes, it was great fun to take the pictures. I can’t guarantee any pics for a portfolio-part of the job.”

It was as if the shoot was done for fun, and I have no right to ever see the work produced from my efforts. Sure, the photographer gets to use a few for his portfolio. Fashion models get copies because they know their photo will appear in the February issue of Elle. Why can’t commercial models simply be given a copy, once in a while, without fuss? Because we are the chopped liver of the industry.

by Dame Suzy, aka Chopped Liver

7th September
written by Dame Suzy

Since I recently had lots of lovely photos taken by the sweet and sexy Italian photographer Fabrizio, I thought I’d participate in one of fashion magazines’ favorite pastimes, a Who Wore It Best? indulgence. I have a penchant for Bebe dresses, especially since the brand comes out with about ten to twenty every week and I adore dresses. What do you think?

Who wore this Bebe dress best? Shorty Dame Suzy or the sky-high cutie?

(Grammatically it really should be who wore it better but just to match the mags, tada.)

18th May
written by Dame Suzy

No. If there weren’t images bombarding us at grocery stores, online, and in Victoria’s Secret catalogs, we would look for these ideals ourselves. Smart women would look at magazines showcasing ideals they had a shot in hell at reaching. Even Forever21 features a large-woman line of clothing. Go there if you’re larger and see images you see in the mirror. Look at celebrity cellulite pictures to show that rich folks are human too. We all know what human is. We don’t want that in our catalogs and fashion magazines. I want to see fit, trim women – to know what that looks like and to aspire to. I’ll never be a swimsuit model, but I do want to look as good as I can. I don’t want to see pictures of average women in swimsuits precisely because it’s not inspirational. Granted I don’t think the models have to be as thin as they sometimes are, but they’re toned and look healthy enough, so good enough.

12th August
written by Dame Suzy

Victoria Beckham for her endurance of four pregnancies in a relatively brief period of time, a successful clothing line and fashion icon status. Heidi Klum for her commitment to family and fabulousness. This new season of Project Runway has her appearing in gorgeous, chic clothing with a face to match. In previous seasons she’s appeared dowdy and plain, but not now! Jessica Simpson for her ability to climb out of her being perceived as “dumb” to producing shoes that are unparalled. Seriously, girl, your shoes are amazing!! Forget about your weight fluctuations, your contribution in the shoe department alone gives you A+ status in my book.

I had felt sorry when I’d seen Geena Davis in a movie about a decade ago looking old. I think she’s such a gorgeous, watchable actress and my favorite role of hers was in The Long Kiss Goodnight. According to recent pictures, she’s looking the beautiful starlet again! Yay!

7th May
written by Dame Suzy

bra with lip-shaped push-up pads
Why on God’s green earth would someone think that having two full lips imprinted in your breast tissue would ever be comfortable? Cute, but I’ll pass, thanks.

6th May
written by Dame Suzy

I have finally been given permission by my man to post pictures of myself. This one I took myself – using a Canon EOS Rebel XT with a 55mm / 1.4 lens and Aputure remote control (highly recommended) in the apartment I rented in Barcelona.

Dame Suzy in a turquoise dress

I will put up more pictures in the coming weeks and months, as my vanity knows very few bounds.

Now you know the body behind these blog posts.

21st April
written by Dame Suzy

It has taken me two years to figure this out. How are the gorgeous, glamorous Italian women of Rome able to gracefully navigate the evil cobblestones that line so many streets of that ancient city without falling or destroying their designer stilettos in the wide deep cracks in between?

When I descend the ramp to the beachside clubs of Port Olimpic in Barcelona, I remember the unfortunate reality of the walkway – it is wooden, so there are gaps between the planks wide enough for my skinny heels to slip through. And it is then that I have an epiphany that translates into my looking like a model on the catwalk. My heel comes down as if it will settle on wood, but it is an illusion. In fact, I never put any weight on the heel. The ball of my foot comes down and takes the weight of my swinging hips. In this way, the movement of my brilliant, shiny dress hugging the curves of my kick-ass body take center stage.

I have joined the ranks of the Italian donnas. I am woman. Hear my roar and watch me walk like a diva. Oh, and don’t touch me.

5th January
written by Dame Suzy

One of my favorite dresses cost me $13.50 (plus $30 to tailor) = $43.50. It looks much more expensive than it looks. The material is finely woven cotton and has a sheen to it like Egyptian cotton. Wear it with cheap shoes and I make it not look so great. Dress it up with a luxurious pair of shoes, I look amazing.

For us women, we can obtain good-looking shoes without paying a huge price tag, if we stay away from materials that when worn don’t reveal their fakeness. Velour can look like suede and there are some great quality super suedes that look like fine suede as opposed to most standard suedes which have a rougher look to them. Glossy fabrics if well-made will look exactly like patent leather. But try to stay away from that material’s being at the toe or heel as when they split, it looks horrendously cheap.

For men, I’m afraid that you simply must spend $150-300 each on a couple of pairs of fantastic shoes, and only leather will do. Aldo has disappointed of late with their increasing selection of poorly-made synthetics that do exactly what I mention above with the glossy fabrics. Scuff the shoe, render it useless.

Of course, if you are gorgeous, you will get away without being stylish all the way to your toes. But when a man is handsome and has great shoes, the impression he makes is worth more than each element by itself. A fitted T-shirt, a pair of torn jeans of any brand, and a great pair of shoes will make you look polished and delicious.

12th October
written by Dame Suzy

About a decade ago, I thought long hair on a guy was hot. And it still is on occasion, but not on most men that sport it.

Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuaín cut their hair a while ago, and Carlos Tevez and national goalie Sergio Romero have finally jumped on board, leaving their starting lineup clean-cut for the first time in recent decades (I think). Argentina as a country was once recognized for its long locks, but now it is more clean-cut than its Spanish rivals/teammates. Spaniard Sergio Ramos of course finally gave his famous long hair a trendy trim over the summer, but Catalan Carles Puyol is still a hold-out.

Perhaps Argentina has lost its identity, but in the meantime it has gained the respect of this writer.

6th October
written by Dame Suzy

In the corner lounges a woman dressed modestly but whose subtle curves are obvious in a slim-fitting dress. Now imagine her with white blond hair. Not terribly mysterious looking, is she? Now imagine her with black hair. You can see she’s not an attention-getter; she’s confident in herself and her sexuality. It’s hard to be subtle with a shock of white-blond hair, unless you’re in Norway, in which case I’d rather be the brunette.

Jet black hair has a different allure than brown hair and trumps the blond. It’s associated with a deep sexuality, confidence, and mystery. Blonds? They like to be the center of attention, are approachable, are less intellectually appetizing. The darker Angelina Jolie goes, the hotter she looks.

Now let’s make it Megan Fox in that corner. With her dyed black hair and those blue eyes, she’s a stunner.

But what about in the other corner? The favorite platinum blonds we know and love, Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani. Christina as a dark-haired vixen looks like a failed transvestite, [Side note: I can’t find Gwen in dark hair, but I think she could actually pull it off, looking like a sultry Italian with her big brown eyes.]

Oh, look! Angelina Jolie just walked in the door and gave Megan a peck on the cheek.

More men would approach the blonds, but because blonds are seen as more approachable, less judgmental. Also, Angelina is intimidating. The guys going over to give it a try with Gwen and Christina would still spend many a wandering eye looking over at Megan and Angelina. The guys going over to Megan and Angelina? I can’t imagine them looking away for a second.

Sorry, I’d still rather be the dark-haired vixen. Oh, I already am. Cool. And did I mention I speak French? Ooh, la la.