Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Under Construction

Stay Tuned!!!! There are big changes coming for Dandy Dargavell!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nicole Kidman at Cannes 2013

Shining bright in Cannes seems to be Nicole Kidman's specialty! She is definitely serving up some Royal Realness. Nicole has a regal presence and that is why these look so great on her!

This sweet confection is Dior Couture. I love this dress, but her hair seems to be a bit severe or just strange looking. Otherwise, you go Nicole!
But this, BOW DOWN! She is full on "Her Royal Highness of Fierceness" here. This Valentino gown is totally superb and she looks stunning. Normally I would dislike this color on her but it just works. 
This casual look is cute. It is nothing in comparison to her casual look I covered last year at Cannes. Yet, this is still a nice look. Her ponytail seems to be pulled a bit to tight, but eh ;)

Nicole Kidman, thank you for making your adopted home of Nashville proud once again! 

Photos by: Getty Images

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Veggie/Chicken Casserole

Last night I was craving veggies, but I was also craving cheese. To fulfill both of these desires I knew a casserole was in my near future. I also knew I was tired and it was getting late, so it had to be super easy. This is what I came up with and it turned out super yummy.

What you need:
1 stick butter (I use unsalted)
1 cup 2% milk
1 can cream of chicken
2 cups cooked and drained penne pasta
3 cooked chicken breasts diced (I cooked them with greek seasoning)
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped
pinch of white ground pepper
16 oz shredded mild cheddar (you can use less, remember I was craving cheese)
1/2 cup bread crumbs

What you do:
1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine butter, milk, cream of chicken, penne, chicken and veggies into a casserole dish and add the pinch of pepper.
2: Cover it with cheese and bread crumbs.
3: Bake until heated through and bread crumbs are toasted (about 30 minutes).

That was is it!! I forgot to take a picture, but dang was it good! I will be making it again soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Night 1 of Nashville Fashion Week 2013

I was thrilled to see that The Pinnacle at Symphony Place was being used again for a night of fashion! There is nothing like the skyline of our great city to highlight the beautiful fashions we would be seeing.

The evening got started with Plenty by Tracy Reese! A nice collection of hip, cool ready to wear looks. Then Looks by Tracy Reese strutted out on the catwalk.

I was really looking forward to the Kal Rieman collection and I was not disappointed. I love Cally's knack of turning "menswear" into something feminine and beautiful. I was for sure thinking of a friend when these looks hit the runway. 

Red Doll produced a beautiful, frilly and sexy line this year. I had trouble taking it all in. I wanted the show to just keep going. The real show stopper though was the gray "puffball" gown in the center below, from the barely covered breasts to the plunging-to-the-waist neckline. There was a gasp as she hit the runway. 

Then for the show we were all waiting on! Misha Nonoo's Nonoo line. It was stunning in every way, from the large ushanka hats to the splendid gowns. The center gown was absolutely regal and beautiful as were all of the looks in this show! The fit, styling and all around feel of this collection had me smiling all night. 

I hope you are all attending or at least following all the coverage of Nashville Fashion Week! It is just a splendid time and the art you get to see in these designs is breathtaking. Looking forward to the rest of the week!

Photos by: Steven S Harman/The Tennessean

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nashville Fashion Week begins Tomorrow!

All the fun, beauty and artistry begins tomorrow night at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place! Nashville Fashion Week is always one of my favorite weeks of the year! Kal Rieman, Red Doll, Nonoo, Plenty by Tracy Reese, and Tracy Reese are part of the first night of runway shows. I know I am beyond excited! Here is a little rundown of the first night of shows, with information from the Fashion Week website.

The Kal Rieman line combines a toughness with beauty. Her clothes can be found from Atlanta to New York. From the Fashion week site:

“Cally” Rieman began working in fashion as an apprentice for Jean Charles de Castelbajac in Paris. She moved to New York in 2002 where she mastered her knowledge in men’s tailoring as a designer for Hilfiger’s H men’s line. Having admired the strength and simplicity of menswear, Cally wanted to create a collection that achieved that same sophisticated, effortless dressing for women. Her collection is marked by the breadth of her experience, “tough and chic, austerity without pretense; clothing for women that embodies the grace and ease that makes menswear so powerful.

The Red Doll collection:
Red Doll designs are classic styles with a modern twist. The line is inspired by elegant, fun and timeless women, that are found everywhere from the streets of New York City to family, friends, movies and much more. Tatyana lives in New York City, pursuing her dream of being a designer and creating beautiful clothing.

The Nonoo Collection has been seen on several celebrities and is rising fast in the design world:
Misha Nonoo’s vision has always been to design collections with a timeless allure that encompass a couture sensibility for everyday life. Her eyes have been trained by a life of rich cultural experiences which she has woven together to create a truly innovative design vision. Nonoo encompasses traditional Savile Row tailoring with European couture sewing techniques. Misha has been named one of the top new designers to watch by publications such as W, Elle and T Magazine, the New York Times style magazine. Celebrity ambassadors include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Pippa Middleton to name a few.

Plenty by Tracy Reese is a fun ready-wear collection, you wanna check out:
While referencing its bohemian roots, plenty by Tracy Reese is modern, contemporary, and effortlessly sexy. The brand has a distinctive mix of color, print, and playful details.

Tracy Reese takes it up a notch. Even The First Lady Michelle Obama strutted out in one of her designs at the DNC:
Tracy Reese is a modern take on classic silhouettes rich with art inspired prints, beautiful color palettes, attention to details and novelty and embellishment.

I suggest you get your tickets right away! Also, check out the Nashville Fashion Week website and follow them on twitter at @nashfashweek. I hope to see you all there!

Photos via designer's websites and not used for personal gain.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nicole Kidman at The Oscars

The stunning Nicole Kidman resides here in Nashville, Tenn., with her cutie husband Keith Urban. The Aussies are often seen around town, just being themselves. But Nicole is world renown for her superstar roles and fashionable red carpet choices. I have covered her here before and I will do it again today. She looked stellar on first glance at this year's Oscars!

Nicole wore this sparkling gown by L'Wren Scott. On screen during the show, I shouted about how fantastic she looked! Jumping up and down for joy that she went with something bold! Then when reviewing picture after picture in the days following the show, well, it seemed to be less wonderful. I totally missed the "batman" symbol at first glance and the detailing at the bottom looked more abstract on screen. 

I am not saying she looks bad or would be in the "worst dressed" category. I am not saying that at all. She looks beautiful, I love her make-up and hair. I hope she continues to pull out the stops on future red carpets. So, though she did not make the top of my list, I still commend and applaud her on this choice! Way to go Ms. Urban!

Pics: Getty Images

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Academy Awards 2013!!

It has been a fascinating year in film! This includes this red carpet season, where I have seen some great looks and some not-so-great looks. This year's host was the adorable (I had no idea how adorable until the promos started to run) Seth Macfarlane. There have been lots of complaints about his hosting, but is that really any different than any other year? I will say the show was a bit of a snooze fest though. But let us get to what is really important... what the ladies wore!

Tonight, I start with the worst! I am doing this because I want to end on a high note!

Reem Acra is crying because they let Kristen Stewart wear one of their gowns. She always gives the "I do not give a sh&^" vibe but never more so than at the Oscars. If you are miserable and on crutches, stay home. She looked a hot mess. Poor Melissa McCarthy has gotten lost, she needs to call Octavia Spencer and learn how a plus size woman should dress. But not only is this David Meister dress a disaster, her hair is even worse! Then we have the always fun Helena Bonham Carter wearing, no, not her old shredded t-shirts, but a Vivienne Westwood creation. She has been able to pull off some quirky looks and rock the red carpet; this is not one of them!

Now, for my best looks! I was unable to pick a favorite, so you will get my top 3. They have changed order several times today. These are in no particular order!
Halle Berry called up Donatella Versace and said "I want a Bond Girl inspired dress." Bam! She got one. This dress fit her perfectly, it was unique and she is just stunning. I personally am not a fan of hers, but I could in no way fault this look! It was way more elegant than her norm (usually slutty). Charlize Theron may be one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Dior Couture for the Dior spokesmodel is a no brainer. I am an avid hater of peplums. I have often said "they rarely work and even more rare does it flatter." In this case, it is perfection! Everything here screams "IT WORKS!" Stacy Keibler not only gets the best accessory in George Clooney, but she gets to wear one of the most stunning gowns of the night. Naeem Khan gave her the perfect gown and she topped it off with perfect hair and make-up. Naeem Khan also dressed The First Lady Michelle Obama, also stunning!

Honorable Mentions:

Catherine Zeta Jones looked beautiful in this Zuhair Murad gown. Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive' seems to be the top choice of the masses. It is pretty and her hair/make-up is superb, but the dress is a bit too close to her hair and skin tone for my liking. Jennifer Hudson, who gave the best performance of any awards show in a while, looked fantastic in this blue Roberto Cavalli stunner. If she had changed shoes she might have been even higher up. The Queen in Badgley Mischka was flawless. Enough said!

I cannot leave out the more mature who stood out! Jane Fonda makes nearly everyone on Earth a bit jealous. The yellow Atelier Versace color is fantastic on her and she is fierce as they come! Miss Shirley Bassey came out looking stunning and sounded even better! One of my favorite actresses ever, the amazing Sally Field looked great in red! She has caught some flack for her choice of this Valentino Couture gown. I think she looked radiant. I do not think it was a sitting down kind of gown, but on the carpet she looked lovely.

Did I leave out your favorite? Who did you love? I was most shocked that Jennifer Lawrence was not one of my favorites. She has nailed it this red carpet season. Her dress was just a bit too puff pastry for me. I was super proud of her for the way she carried herself after her fall though. Of course, I expect nothing less from an awesome Kentuckian! 

Photos: Andrew Evans, Getty Images

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Project Runway Ep4

The unconventional challenge always tends to be a favorite! This time they went back to familiar themes but combined two. They used supplies from both a flower shop and a hardware store. As Heidi says "the ultimate hard and soft." Before the challenge could begin they had to switch up the teams. We all knew this was coming since Team Keeping it Real had won every challenge. Stanley and Layana were chosen by Dream Team and Keeping it Real got Michelle. Stanley took this challenge and his new team to their first win with his direction! I enjoyed this episode and I really like all these designers.

Samantha got the win this week with the first look above. I like the dress and the way she used the metal mesh and put the leaves under it instead of over it. It has a peplum and you know how I feel about those (I know Lora) but it is good. However, I would not have given it the win. Layana was the winner for me! She did the second look above. I thought it was EXCEPTIONALLY well done and was beautiful. Benjamin did the third look above and I still do not know why he was in the consideration this week. Yes he made a loom and the idea was nice....but Tu made the final look above and was clearly better than Benjamin's. Honestly, I prefer his to even Samantha's. But props to both team turning out some fantastic looks. 

I decided against covering the bottom 3, since, well there was not a bottom 3. Amanda our Nashville girl, was tossed under the bus by her entire team for running into trouble with her concept. As you can tell in the first pic, she figured it out. It was not a winner and she was rightfully in the bottom this week. I am glad she did not go home and I think the judges made the right decision. Matthew, the other southerner, did the second look. I really like his use of material in the bodice, but the skirt was not flattering at all. Overall a solid design but not a stand out. Both southerners are gonna have to step up their game ASAP!

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime

Monday, February 4, 2013

Project Runway 11 Ep 2

It was time for the teams to design for a "real" client. Their client was Susan Sarandon, owner of Spin Ping Pong Social Club. YES! You heard that right, there are Ping Pong Social Clubs! I am still not sure I get the idea, but, hey, I am up for giving it a try at some point. The challenge left the designers with very little room for creativity. Yet, some of them came up with some good ideas, even if not very fashion forward.
Here are your top three designs. The center look was this week's winner. It was designed by Daniel Esquivel and Layana Aguilar. Daniel did the vest and Layana did the skort. I was shocked that Susan made such a big deal about never hearing of a skort. I did like how they incorporated the "apron" into the design and I actually like the vest a lot. The first look pictured above was designed by Stanley Hudson. It was a very boring look, but seemed very suitable for this challenge. I was not as crazy about this shirt. I would have preferred a more fitted style. Maybe more like this third look. This one was designed by bff's Joseph Segal and Richard Hallmarq. The top was great for this challenge and fit this sexy man like a glove. The pants were not my taste but they were creative.
The bottom three were up next. The self-named Dream Team were in the bottom again. The first look I loved!! I love the idea of the kilt and did not even hate the tank. I understand having "balls are my business" on your crotch area lowers the taste level, but when you give your business a slogan like that what can you expect? So kudos to Matthew on the kilt. The BORING center look was courtesy of Cindy Marlett (the jacket) and Benjamin Mach (the short). The shorts were the worst part of this look; the jacket was fine, albeit boring. Oh, poor James. He was destined to leave this week. He refused again to really work with the team and again sent out an utterly bad design. So goodbye to him this week. 
Now, to look at the Southerner's designs. Amanda V sent out a little black dress and I do mean little. It was a very standard and okay dress. Nothing exciting, but she was going to be clearly safe this week. We have Matthew's look again. I still disagree with him being in the bottom three looks. That is all I will say about that this week.

Of course my favorite part was having male models this week! More of them, please! I am excited to see what they do next week. I am sure it is nearing time to change the teams up. They are not going to let it get too one-sided. 

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best of the SAG Awards 2013

It is that time of year where it is one red carpet after another! I love it!!!! This time I am going to keep you in suspense of my favorite. The SAG Awards fall between the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Celebrities tend to bring out their fun and sometimes their best dresses to the GGs and then really bring out the WOW for Big O! This tends to lead to a lot of playing it safe at the others. This year at the SAGs there were some terrible choices, but I tend to lean towards those I like. 
Rarely, if ever do I pick three of my favorite looks and they are in black! Yet, here I do! Tina Fey in Oscar de la Renta was stunning! I loved the dress, the hair and the accessories. The only reason I did not pick her as best dressed is that her bust line sits a bit low on her! Kellie Osbourne in Jenny Packham is one of her top looks in a hot minute! She looks chic, but still with the "I am the daughter of Ozzy" look. I am still wishing for the purple hair to go away, though. Michelle Dockery was stunning once again, this time in Chado Ralph Rucci. The stylist she has hired of late is doing wonders for her! 
Kiernan Shipka looked so adorable and age apropro in this Oscar de la Renta number! I do not think it could have been more perfect. I love this shade of green on Alfre Woodard; Kevan Hall designs tend to flatter her! Nicole Kidman wore a stunning Vivienne Westwood creation. If she had chosen a different hair style, she would have moved way up in my rankings!
Viola Davis looked beautiful in this Monique Lhuillier gown. I loved the color and the shape looked great on her. Vitalieta Ttinger looked beautiful in this dress. It nears being too close to her skin tone, but the dress stands on its own. The
Monique Lhuillier dress that Teyonah Parris was wearing had a bit much going on, but the color and shape looked phenomenal on her!
Naya Rivera's Donna Karan Atelier gown received mixed reviews. I actually loved it. I like the kinda rough edge of the bodice and it fit her perfectly. Amy Poehler can thank Zuhair Murad for one of her best red carpet moments. She has def hired a new stylist and she should give them a raise! As for the star who took the most risks, the award goes to Julie Bowen in Johanna Johnson. She came in this leather stunner and it actually looks great on her. I rarely like what she wears and I commend her on this look!
So we can not leave out the guys! Of course the uber sexy Justin Timberlake led the pack in this awesome Tom Ford suit. Fit was great, style was great, he IS great! Cory Monteith looked better than his date this time around. This style of tux is not normally my favorite, but if it fits this great, well, it ranks! Eddie Redmayne was very close to being my number one guy in this chocolate velvet  Hugo Boss suit. If the sleeves and pants were just a skosh longer, he would have won!

Now, for my favorite look of the 2013 Sag Awards! Drumroll please.....
Yes, I choose Marion Cotillard in this beautiful Christian Dior Couture gown. It has a simple elegance to it and the shoes, necklace, hair and makeup all work. I could not find a more deserving star on the red carpet. I mentioned that this style of dress would be all over the red carpet after seeing it on the runways and here it is! I am sure there will be many who disagree with this choice, but for me this was the elegance I was looking for.

Until next time!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Monday, January 28, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 has begun!

Another year, another season. Project Runway Season 11 has begun, folks! They have decided to do the dreaded "teams season" this time around. All this talk of "this is how it is in the real world" kinda wears me out. Of course, designers are not doing it all on their own in the real world. Yet, here, they are not privy to seamstress' and such. So, yeah, I prefer the individual challenges over the team ones. Especially when it comes to judging. This will not be apparent this early on, but will as it progresses.

My intro may have seemed initially like I am down on the season. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I am excited! I feel like there are some pretty solid designers on this season. I will not even pretend like I am not rooting for the southerners again this season. Especially since one of them calls Nashville home! Amanda Valentine is from Nebraska, but now lives in Nashville, Tenn. Her work has been on television and on many musicians and artists. Yours truly had the chance to catch her showing at Nashville Fashion Week. You can read my review at the time. She tends to make fabric choices that are not my taste, but that makes them nonetheless wonderful. I will be cheering her on! Matthew Arthur is from New Orleans and seems to be the sweet guy in the group. He calls his aesthetic "street style with a casual edge".

Now, let's dig into episode one! Let's start with the fact that Michael Kors is no longer on the show. We now have Zac Posen. Okay, okay, I do have a bit of a crush on lil Zac! Adorable! Now that we have that out of the way...

The Top 3 are:
Daniel Esquivel was the winner this week! He made an impressively made suit, especially in the amount of time he was given. There was actually nothing at all wrong with his design (other than I am not a peplum fan), except that it is nothing new. It was on nearly every designer's runway show a few months ago. Richard Hallmarq made a very cool, urban dress this week. I think for a NYC challenge I would have picked this one as my winner. It is effortless (which, as Christian S. pointed out, is not easy) and still has a sophistication to it. Patricia Michaels rounded out the top 3. She, by far, had the most creative look and I liked it. I loved the artistry of the hand-painted fabric and I like the peek-a-boo of cobalt blue. My only issue was with the shape, which is just kinda boring. None of these three looks were wrongly in the top 3! 

 Then the bottom 3:
James Martinez made a very simple not-so-bad outfit. The top was the real issue. If you are making a simple pencil skirt, the top has to WOW people. He fell short! Cindy Marlatt had a nice dress with bad fabric choices. The silhouette was fine and very popular right now, but those fabrics. I mean, that checkered belt thing. YIKES! Then we have this "hot mess" of a thing by Emily Pollard. They kept going on about her "idea" but it came out as nothing but a craft project gone wrong! Needless to say we said good by to Emily this week.

 Our Southern Contestants:
Amanda Valentine is already being portrayed as the "bitchy" one on the show. I chalk that up to editing at this point. She was able to send down a very cute and chic look. The pants are interesting, without being tacky, and the top is simple, yet does the job. Matthew Arthur produced a very cutesy lil number. It was nice, and made well, but was nothing new or exciting.

I am looking forward to the rest of the season.... Stay tuned!

Photos by: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime