Project Runway S13 Finale Part 2 RECAP


Sean Kelly wins Project Runway S13

It’s probably not that surprising that a young designer won Project Runway as editing either makes it really obvious who’s out or obvious who’s in. Sean won a few, lost a few, struggled at the beginning, won when it counted and is young and cute. I’d hoped that Amanda Valentine would win if only to outshine her Maroon 5 brother for once but I guess she’ll always be the less popular sibling. Also she really had the best reason for wanting to win Project Runway. She said she wanted to be a brand. a big brand.

Sean, the 25-year-old designer from New Zealand, beat out 15 fellow designers. Currently residing in Brooklyn, Sean garnered attention this season with a dress chosen by Emmy Award-winning host Heidi Klum to wear at this year’s Creative Arts Emmys. Sean impressed judges Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and finale guest judge Emmy Rossum (Shameless) with his 10 piece winning collection inspired by the “Betrayal of Caesar” at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at New York City’s Lincoln Center this Fall.


Sean wins:
–$100,000 from Red Robin to launch his business and the opportunity to design a fashion accessory for their servers
–complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother International Corporation
–premiere entertainment center, courtesy of Samsung [so he can watch future episodes of Project Runway, Project Runway: All Stars and Project Runway: Threads]
— fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine
— car from Lexus
–entire year’s worth of Mary Kay beauty products for his fashion shows and professional makeup artist services for his debut show
–shoe and accessory collection from ALDO to help enhance his upcoming runway shows
— Best Western International will also provide Kelly with travel and hotel accommodations to fashion capitals and inspiring locations around the world
— Kelly’s winning model, Alisar Ailabouni will also appear in the winner’s fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine


Runner-up Amanda Valentine


Third place Kini Zamora


Fourth place Charketa Glover



design by Charketa

design by Charketa

design by Charketa

design by Charketa

design by Charketa

design by Charketa

“You showed some really beautifully cut clothing . . . like a cool Solange Knowles. Now you’ll have to bring up the fashion game a little bit.” –Zac Posen
“One of my favorites is the balck and white two-piece. I definitely saw your vibe.” –Heidi Klum
“It was exciting to see someone who was a Tim Gunn save make ti to fashion week.” Emmy Rossum


design by Amanda

design by Amanda

design by Amanda

design by Amanda

design by Amanda

design by Amanda

“The problem is you’re trying too hard to be something you’re not.” –Heidi Klum
“I think our jewelry is ready to go. This was the most original collection on the runway.” –Zac Posen
“I thought you were really true to yourself.” –Emmy Rossum


design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

design by Sean

This is probably the most editorial of the collections. It’s very polished.” –Nina Garcia
“It’s all very sophisticated which I like.” –Heidi Klum
“The clothing was chic, sexy and edgy and I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to feel that way.” –Zac Posen


design by Kini

design by Kini

design by Kini

design by Kini

design by Kini

design by Kini

“You’re clearly gifted.” –Emmy Rossum
“There’s something about the fact that you use denim in such a sophisticated way.” –Nina Garcia


, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

October is National Depression Awareness Month

sometimes I’m like this:

2014-05-30 12.59.11

sometimes I’m like this:

2014-08-26 15.54.44

occasionally I’m like this:

in library

I have clinical depression, anxiety and an unspecified mood disorder [possibly a personality disorder]. the stigma surrounding mental illness astounds me. I’ve never gone off my meds and have always been under the care of both a psychiatrist and a therapist since I was diagnosed at age 27. Currently I’m part of an extensive year-long mentalization program at McLean Hospital. I’m in good hands.

But I’m also really stuck. I’ve been looking for work for years. A friendship ended badly several years ago and I’ve been cyber-harassed for four years. I’m tired all the time. I can have days (or nights) where I’m extremely sad or unmotivated. I’m insecure but I also think I’m rather cool. I think about killing myself often. I’m just not as professionally and personally successful and satisfied as I thought I would be by this time.

Every day I take several medications. I will always have to take those medications. In addition I exercise for my mind and body and I have cut way down on sugar intake. Two years ago I cut out diet soda and although I didn’t drink it in massive amounts I feel better.

Depression means keeping a mood journal. It means being kind to yourself. It means lots of self-care and not having as many expectations for oneself as you may have had. It doesn’t mean I’m lying about in bed all day and night. I have goals and aspirations. I do a lot but some days I get extremely tired both physically and mentally. And that’s okay.

I’ve had a few hospitalizations– very brief stays– that didn’t lead to much change in my care. After one major breakdown four years ago I changed psychiatrists and meds, I took CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and completed a partial program. More recently I was in the hospital for a week where I was ignored, lost five pounds and then at my insistence got into a program at McLean Hospital (my psychiatrist had to call them but I had a psychiatrist who was a resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital). After the partial at McLean in April, I was recommended for the Mentalization program and took a six-week introductory course. In August I started the year-long program which consists of weekly individual therapy and group therapy.

Don’t call the police on someone who is depressed. The police are not trained to deal with the mentally ill. If someone says “hey I’m lying here with a bag over my head and I’m about to duct tape it” or “I just swallowed 200 pills” then yes, call 911. Otherwise, call that person directly and suggest a chat or meeting over tea. It’s much more useful and shows empathy.



–major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3

–affects 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.

– the median age at onset is 32.5

–Women are 2 times as likely to suffer from depression than men.

–20 million people in the United States suffer from depression every year.

– Many creative individuals experienced depression, including Ludwig van Beethoven, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath.

–Mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18 to 44.


Anxiety and Depression Association of America


Psych Central



, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

IN THE REALM: women in film on DVD

there are quite a few great films out there on DVD/Netflix. highly recommended. Here’s a round-up.


Kelly & Cal [2014]
starring: Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston, Josh Hopkins
directed by: Jen McGowan
written by: Amy Lowe Starbin
rating: A-

Juliette Lewis [Kelly] is fantastic as a former punk rocker turned suburban mom. Kelly’s not thrilled to be so isolated and away from her friends and life in the city. She’s second-guessing being a mom and thinking about her lost youth. She befriends a neighborhood high-school student named Cal [Jonny Weston]. A bond develops between the two over their love of music and art. It’s sweet and genuine.


Hellion [2014]
starring: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins
written and directed by: Kat Candler
rating: B+

This one is dark, harsh and sad with outstanding performances by Aaron Paul [Breaking Bad] and Juliette Lewis. It’s about a teenage boy [an impressive Josh Wiggins] who’s behaving badly after his mom died. Such awful behavior that he’s jeopardizing his younger brother as well.


Lucky Them [2013]
starring: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church
directed by: Megan Griffiths
written by: Emily Wachtel and Huck Botko
rating: A

In a stand-out performance Toni Collette plays the superbly flawed GenX music critic Ellie Klug. Ellie’s still figuring it all out. She hooks up with artists she interviews. She’s messy. She’s unapologetic. And it’s absolutely fantastic. As a music critic I could see myself in this character. Her editor [Oliver Platt] assigns her a story about her ex, a renowned musician who disappeared a decade ago. She takes along a strange old friend Charlie [Thomas Haden Church] who plans to film a documentary about her search for the elusive Matthew Smith [Johnny Depp]. It’s funny, smart, moving and one of the best films I’ve seen about music journalism in a long time. At one point, Charlie and Ellie are talking about how it’s impossible that Charlie doesn’t like music. She says that she’ll play him music at her place. He admits that there is one Canadian artist he likes.
Ellie throws out a few artists like Rufus Wainwright, as she’s all about alternative music. Turns out it’s Bryan Adams.


Maidentrip [2013]
directed by: Jillian Schlesinger
rating: A

Just see this inspirational documentary about a brave teenage girl, Norwegian Laura Dekker, who at 14 sets out to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone. It’s filled with a lot of footage that Laura shot by herself on the boat. Also interspersed with some interviews and her background into how she got into sailing. She’s a fun teenager. When she lands in one country she colors her hair from blonde to red. She meets cool people along the way, makes stops in beautiful places like Cape Town, St. Maarten, the South Pacific islands and Australia. She enjoys her solitude and grows up out on her own. A beautifully edited must-see documentary that shows just what girls can do when given the opportunity.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

SCIENCE . . . for HER!: book review

science for her

SCIENCE . . . for HER! by Megan Amram. Publisher: Scribner [November 4, 2014]. Humor. Hardcover. 224 pages.

This could be so much better. Megan Amram seems pretty smart –Harvard graduate, a writer for Parks and Recreation with 428K twitter followers [and in this social media-obsessed world that means everything]. I understand what she’s attempting to do. She wrote a “satirical science textbook” in the style of a silly women’s magazine. She’s making light of the fact that women aren’t supposed to know anything about science or be good at science, technology, engineering or math [STEM]. She said she decided to write the book after writing a bunch of parody women’s magazine pieces such as “1,001 Ways to Get Someone Un-Pregnant.”

This book contains too much crude humor. Sure it’s subversive and a bit edgy. I still didn’t laugh out loud perhaps because I feel much of it is a retread of other better comedic material. I’ve never been much of a stand-up fan, don’t watch that many sitcoms [I enjoy Parks and Rec mainly for Amy Poehler. I do LOVE the new blackish]. I prefer indie dramas and documentaries to fluffy rom-coms and bawdy comedies. The cover design is fun. It’s a take-off on Cosmopolitan magazine. Many might be amused by the things I don’t find funny. It’ll appeal to millennials and perhaps less so to jaded GenXers like me.

There’s “Birth Control Methods” –“1.Being Jennifer Aniston 2. Fat body, BUSTED face etc . . .” Then “What your Man’s Drink Says About Him:” white wine= gay; red wine=gay; cosmopolitan=gay; martini=gay. You get the point. Another piece is titled “This Spring’s Most Glamorous Ways to Die” which includes smallpox, capital punishment, kill yourself at your ex-boyfriend’s wedding and die during sex. She posts about physics through nail art. About paper and trees, Amram writes: “Really the only thing a tree is good for is when you KILL IT (long and painful death, please!) and make it into fun and/or flirty books like this one or other cute ones.”

On global warming she writes: “But, like, are you seriously asking me to give up all my favorite things, just so the earth doesn’t get any hotter? Like, my favorite things are literally driving around in pink Hello Kitty Hummers, hairspray and deforestation.” Amram makes fun of plastic surgery, Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccination campaign and “Legitimate Rape” so bonus points there. “I wish this were a joke. But legitimate rape is a real phenomenon (and also the sex move of the chapter, PLEASE don’t try it, though, it’s only symbolic). Knowledge is power ladies. You have to understand this so you don’t unknowingly spread lies.”

For The Big Bang, Amram posts tips for hosting your own BIG BANG [wink wink] and explains the Big Bang like this: “It’s like when you eat a pretzel M&M on your period and suddenly you immediately balloon into a fat cow!” This one is funny: “10 New Genres of Electronic Music: 1. Hip house; 2. Clap bass; 3. Jungle core; 4. Skin; 5. Patty ska; 6. Chap; 7. Ennuicore; 8. Unicore; 9. Chints and 10. Gregorian filth.”

Fans of Megan Amram are already pre-ordering this book and will be lining up for her readings. Others I’d suggest proceeding a bit slower. If crude humor’s your thing, you’ll enjoy the read. It’s also quick and like a magazine you can flip around. There are plenty of graphs, charts, pictures and anecdotes mixed in with the various chapters on Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Earth Sciences, Pharmacology & Medicine, Space & Technology and Women in Science.

RATING: ***/5*

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Scribner/Simon & Schuster.


Los Angeles
Wednesday, Nov. 5
Barnes & Noble at the Grove

Friday, Nov. 7
Empire Comedy Live @ Comedy Bar

Saturday, Nov. 8
powerHouse Arena with John Hodgman

New York
Sunday, Nov. 9
The Strand with Megan Mullally

Monday, Nov. 10
Harvard Bookstore at Brattle Theatre

Portland, Ore.
Friday, Nov. 14

, , , ,

Leave a comment

ON TOUR in January: actor & bluegrass musician Jeff Daniels


This January, Emmy-winning actor [The Newsroom] and bluegrass musician Jeff Daniels goes on tour in support of his new album Days Like These. He’s touring with the Ben Daniels Band. The tour opens in Philadelphia on January 7, 2015 and wraps up in Cleveland on January 31, 2015. He’ll be performing in the Boston-area at Natick Center for the Arts on January 13, 2015.

Daniels said: “In getting ready to go out this past summer with Ben’s band, I didn’t want to do the standard “Opener-Headliner” deal. Instead, I wanted to take what I do on my own, blend it in with what Ben’s band does and come out with a new show. I love writing songs, I love entertaining people, and I love putting on a show. Happy to say, the show just got better.”

Jeff Daniels started his second career as a musician to raise funds for The Purple Rose Theatre (a not-for-profit professional company he founded in his hometown of Chelsea, Mich.). Subsequently he recorded six albums and toured the U.S. several times.


January 7 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
January 8 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
January 9 Annapolis, MD Ram’s Head On Stage
January 13 Natick, MA The Center for Arts Natick
January 14 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
January 15 Norfolk, CT Infinity Hall
January 16 Ogunquit, ME Jonathan’s Restaurant
January 17 Brownfield, ME Stone Mountain Arts Center
January 20 New York, NY City Winery
January 21 Beacon, NY Towne Crier Cafe
January 22 Jim Thorpe, PA Mauch Chunk Opera House
January 23 Charlottesville, VA The Southern Café and Music Hall
January 24 Asheville, NC Diana Wortham Theatre
January 27 Nashville, TN City WInery
January 28 North Vernon, IN Park Theatre Civic Centre
January 29 Chicago, IL City Winery
January 30 Marshall, MI Mashall High School Auditorium for Performing Arts
January 31 Cleveland, OH Music Box and Supper Club


Leave a comment

BUNDCHEN/BRADY Watch: Chanel no 5; unrealistic ads; Vivara Campaign; Uggs

Gisele Bundchen is the new face of Chanel



unrealistic ads

Gisele told The Sunday Times Style magazine: ”Sometimes I feel like adverts like this can make women feel so distant.

”They are so glamorous and so unattainable and so aspirational that you really can’t touch them, in a way. They are kind of a dream.””We are all trying to juggle these different parts, and it’s not easy. No matter how much work you put in, no matter how glamorous it looks. We always put pressure on ourselves.

”We should be allowed to dream and to want more. We want to have more than just to be the pretty woman who sits there. I think that it’s a very empowering thing for me to be able to be successful in my job and not feel like I need to sacrifice being a mother.”

Gisele and director Baz Luhrmann

Gisele and director Baz Luhrmann

Gisele in new Vivara jewelry ads


for Tom Brady, this happened:


cin vs ne game

New Uggs Australia commercial for Tom Brady with Tom and Gisele’s pitbull Lua


, ,

Leave a comment

ON TOUR: DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist


It’s the Renegades of Rhythm Tour with DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. These world-renowned artists and turntablists are spinning the well-loved and well-worn vinyl from the record collection of the founding father of hip-hop and “Master of Records,” Afrika Bambaataa.

11/6 – Pawtucket, RI – The Met
11/7 – Brooklyn, NY – Verboten
11/8 – Montreal, QC – Corona
11/10 – Syracuse, NY – The Westcott Theater
11/11 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
11/12 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
11/14 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
11/15 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
11/17 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
11/20 – Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Centre
11/21 – Saskatoon, SK – O’Brien’s Event Centre
11/22 – Edmonton, AB – Encore at WEM
11/23 – Calgary, AB – Flames Central
11/25 – Oakland, CA – The Fox

, , ,

Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,643 other followers

%d bloggers like this: