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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It’s Earth Day today! In honor of the occasion — and ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8 — the Los Angeles Times did a feature on jewelry inspired by sea life. My 18K yellow gold turtle locket is included!


Click for full gallery.

I’m amused that I’m called an Angeleno in that caption. People who see my jewelry before they meet me tend to think that. I think it’s because of the line’s casual-luxe vibe. My designs have always done quite well in L.A., so I’m pleased to be an honorary citizen.

There are two turtle necklaces left. I have one on my website. Well, I called it a tortoise there but I also refer to it as a turtle when I’m talking to people about it. You can call it what you like — in fact, you can skip categorizing it at all and just name it Churchy La Femme. That’s a good turtle name.

Click to view on my site.

Click to view on my site.

Also, if you’re a real Angeleno, you can try on the other turtle locket in person by going to Broken English at the Brentwood Country Mart in Santa Monica. The turtle, which has an upside-down diamond set in its shell, is priced at $3,500. I’m delighted to report that that’s a bargain compared to some of the options in the L.A. Times gallery. I don’t get to say that very often!

After these two turtles are sold, I won’t be making any others, so if you love turtles (or tortoises) get one before it’s too late.

I feel very strongly about sea creatures, even though I’m scared of a lot of them. Jaws traumatized me at a young age, plus, much later, a friend of mine nearly lost a leg to barracudas. And there’s something about sea urchins. I don’t trust them. I know they don’t swim around biting people, but they make me nervous anyway. Despite all that, I want all sea creatures to have a good, clean ocean to live in. I’ve been looking for the right ocean-loving organization to support, and I think it might be Oceana. Let me know if you have any experience with Oceana or any other ocean-related group.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Everywhere I look, I find examples of my “Never is the next new thing™” observation. People switch from “loathe” to “love” so quickly!

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal had a story on the latest comeback of the miniskirt, citing its representation in the fall collections of Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent; Giambattista Valli; Raf Simons for Dior; Isabel Marant; Frida Giannini for Gucci; and Nicolas Ghesquière for his debut at Louis Vuitton. The last paragraph — about how the mini started reappearing in 2013 after several years of longer hemlines — caught my eye.

“The pendulum began to swing the other way about a year ago when Mr. Slimane put miniskirts and short baby doll dresses on Saint Laurent’s runway in March 2013. They looked so short that critics shrugged and predicted they would never sell. A few months later, the dresses could be seen disappearing into the dressing rooms at the trend-forward boutique Maxfield in Los Angeles.”

Oh, those shrugging critics! They never know what’s coming down the line, do they? Well, they might be right about me. I’m not sure I’ll have to do any skirt buying because, as you can see from the outfit I posted the day before the Wall Street Journal story ran in print, I’m already well-supplied with fall-appropriate minis.


Click for my original post on this skirt.

I spotted another “Never is the next new thing™” anecdote in a New York Times story last Friday. The article, which was reporting on an exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, was about how Queen Victoria was quick to hop on the new technology of photography in the 19th century. The story said:

“Fame may seem a 20th-century phenomenon, but Queen Victoria was the first public figure to exploit its promotional potential and the earliest — and least likely — international celebrity of the photographed world.”

The “Never is the next new thing™” paragraph dealt with Victoria’s behavior after her husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861 at age 41.

“A year after Albert died, Victoria had [William] Bambridge photograph her in mourning poses, dressed in black, standing next to monumental statues, either alone or with her children. When she released the first public ‘mourning picture,’ the press declared it beneath her dignity. Yet it started a trend; throughout England, bereaved men and women had their own mourning pictures made.”

Is the Victorian mourning picture the ancestor of the funeral selfie? Perhaps!

It’s amusing to me that the Victorian press was horrified by these photos initially, considering this was the era of mourning jewelry woven from the hair of the deceased, a concept that many people nowadays find revolting. I’m not one of those people. My acorn and squirrel necklace was directly inspired by hair jewelry. When another company knocked off my design and tried to deny it initially, I asked, “Oh really? So where did you get the idea for that particular woven look?” The company representative had no answer for that. I eventually got a tiny percentage of their revenue from their acorn sales to compensate me. See? It pays to know your history.

The Getty exhibit called “A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography” runs through June 8. Don’t forget to take a museum selfie if you go!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In case you missed it, here’s what was on the blog this week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We wore some seriously oversized tops in the 1980s. Giant t-shirts, giant vests, giant button-front shirts, giant sweatshirts, giant jackets. Size mattered!

Some time ago, I caught a rerun of Cheers that brought back fond memories of the too-big look. Cheers is great for any kind of ’80s style spotting, of course, but guest star Carol Kane’s oversized sailor top in the 1984 episode “A Ditch in Time” is a real classic. It’s huge!


Even the collar is ginormous.


Carol played a mental-hospital acquaintance of Diane’s who stalks bartender Sam Malone.

Carol Kane has so many other amazing credits, and you can’t miss her distinctive, high-pitched voice whenever she’s on screen. When she appeared on Cheers, she was riding high after winning Emmys in 1982 and 1983 for playing Simka, the wife of Andy Kaufman‘s Latka Gravas, on the show Taxi. Previously, she’d been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1975 movie Hester Street. She also played Allison Portchnik, the first wife of Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer character, in 1977′s Annie Hall.  “No, that was wonderful! I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype,” she says sarcastically after Alvy tries to pick her up with an unfortunate spiel that starts, “You’re like a New York Jewish, left-wing, liberal intellectual …” If you’re a little younger, you might remember her as Grandmama Addams from 1993′s Addams Family Values. Just last year, she had a cameo on Girls. But her most important role was as the gal with the punch line in The!Best!Movie!Scene!Ever!, which happens to appear in 1979′s The Muppet Movie. My dad and I were so thrilled by this scene and repeated it so much that I can STILL recite it from memory.  The majority of the scene is played by three great actors: Madeline Kahn, Telly Savalas and Kermit the Frog. Click the photo of Carol Kane below to hopefully see the clip.


Click Carol!

I’m so sick of important YouTube clips going dead! Especially my Family Guy ones. My blog is filled with embedded Family Guy clips that have been taken off YouTube. In case the Muppet Movie clip is removed, here’s a backup. In case both clips are removed, here’s the dialogue. The scene takes place in El Sleezo Cafe.

Madeline Kahn, sultry: Hello, sailor, buy me a drink?
Kermit: Well, you see, I’m not a sailor, I’m a frog.
Madeline: Oh, cut the small talk and buy me a drink.
Kermit: I don’t even know you.
Tough-guy Telly Savalas: Hey. Did you make a move with my girl?
Kermit: No, sir.
Madeline: He did too. He touched me.
Telly: Ugh. Wash up, you’ll get warts.
Kermit: That’s a myth.
Telly: Yeah, but she’s my “myth”!
Kermit: No, no, myth, myth!
Carol Kane: Yeth?

Why this didn’t win every award including the Nobel Prize for Frog Dialogue is beyond me! Anyway, I’m pleased to report that 30 years ago, MrB sat next to Carol Kane at a New Year’s Eve dinner — he thinks it was Dec. 31, 1984 — and found her to be very nice. I’m displeased to report that MrB neglected to shout, “Myth! Myth!” at her to see if she instinctively said, “Yeth???” What a missed opportunity!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I braved yesterday’s late spring chill in an age-inappropriate Stephen Sprouse mini. This is what happens when one hasn’t done the laundry OR the dry cleaning in a very long time.

sprouseWhat Wendy Wore
“Pillow sweater”: Dsquared (purchased at Chalk, 2012)
Skirt: Vintage Stephen Sprouse (possibly purchased in 2006)
Boots: Prada (2008)
Lipstick: Pleasure Bomb by MAC

It was worth freezing my knees off in the sleet to meet gorgeous rapper Gangsta Boo at a Bacardi-sponsored party last night. The event was the Tribeca Rooftop, where MrB and I got married in 2001. I hadn’t been back there since, so it was fun to see it hadn’t changed. (Today, Boo and I hauled out my wedding album so she could see the stairs where we stood last night and admire my crazy cake.) I’m disappointed we didn’t manage to take a real photo there — just this silly Instagram bathroom shot of me, Boo and gorgeous Tracy G. from Sway’s radio show.


LOL. We couldn’t quite get it together.

I wore the same outfit earlier in the day for a meeting at Spring. I fell madly in love with Fred, one of Spring’s top executives.


Me and Fred.

Over the weekend, I accidentally wore a jacket/shirt combo from 2012. Yesterday, I knowingly wore the same outfit that I wore to a Madonna concert in 2012. If it works for Madonna, it will work for a party, right?


Same outfit, 2012. Click for original post.

I  like my 2012 brick-wall background better than my 2014 hallway background, but I decided the sleet wasn’t going to make for a very enjoyable outfit-photo session!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I watched Game of Thrones Sunday night (OMG, right?!!) then switched to the MTV Movie Awards right on time to see Eminem and Rihanna perform “The Monster.” Having seen the only part of the awards I was interested in, I then turned the television off and went out for some non-poisonous wine.

I definitely didn’t see enough of anything related to the MTV event to bestow one of my coveted Best Dressed/Wear What You Want awards. I take those seriously, y’all. I have to do the research before I hand one of those out. But I have made up a new award for actress Lupita Nyong’o. She wins The Dress Wendy Wants award for this Chanel dress.


Photo via Lainey Gossip. Click for the original post and to see MANY more pictures of the dress, including the fabulous back view.

You KNOW I would wear this one! It’s embellished, colorful, ruched, and it has a turtleneck with an open back. It’s so me! I suppose Lupita had to send it straight back to Chanel, so there’s no chance of her giving me a hand-me-down. Dang.

Anyway, I’m glad to see that Lupita has extended her winning fashion streak past the Oscars. Well done, lady!

Monday, April 14, 2014

I’ve got the perfect necklace for the folks at US Airways, who sent out a tweet that personifies the meaning of “Not Safe for Work.”


Click to purchase my NSFW necklace.

If you haven’t seen the photo, you can cautiously approach it via this Buzzfeed story. To give you a hint about what you’re going to see, Buzzfeed says the picture is “originally from a German-language amateur porn and shock site.” Buzzfeed also reports that the image trended on Reddit last week and was tweeted AT the airline earlier today.

UPDATED TO ADD: Funny Twitter responses to the US Airways tweet!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Last night, I wore my Moschino jacket with trompe l’oeil stitching over a Zandra Rhodes museum t-shirt with a similar design.

buttons2resizeWhat Wendy Wore
Jacket: Moschino (acquired from eBay in 2009)
T-shirt: From the Fashion and Textile Museum in London (2006, probably)
Jeans: Acne (2008-ish)
Boots: Celine (2012)
Purse: Prada (2007)

I thought, “Wow, this top and jacket match so well, I’m amazed I haven’t worn them together before!” But it turns out that I have worn them together before — in 2012.


October 2012. Click for original post.

How quickly we forget!


Another photo from last night, creatively composed by Stacy Lomman.

However, I do have vivid memories of the adventure we had searching for the Fashion and Textile Museum where I bought the t-shirt. You can read that tale here. For some reason, I didn’t mention in the original post that the poodle accompanying us didn’t smell too fresh!  A long car trip with a stinky poodle is something that sticks in one’s mind.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The New York Times Magazine this weekend has a fascinating story on one man’s search for information on two female blues singers of the 1930s: Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley.  There are fewer than 10 surviving copies of their three known record releases and you can hear one of the songs on the New York Times website.

Click here to read the story and listen to “Motherless Child Blues.”

In case you missed anything on the blog this week, here is the list of my posts. There are a couple of long ones!

Friday, April 11, 2014

My gorgeous rapper friend Gangsta Boo finished up her tour with her group, Da Mafia 6ix, and came back to town to promote “Bitchy,” her new collaboration with other fabulous wimmin rappers La Chat and Mia X. She’s been spending a lot of quality time at hip-hop SiriusXM channel Shade 45, and I’ve been dressing her up in my jewelry and tagging along with her.

On Wednesday night, we visited DJ Kay Slay again, then we went back yesterday morning for Sway Calloway‘s show. Sway is a music-industry icon. In the 1990s, he gave both Notorious B.I.G. and Eminem their first radio airplay on his local show. (Now he works for Eminem, because Shade 45 is Em’s channel. Lesson: Be nice to people on their way up, because they could offer you a good job someday!) In 2000, he joined MTV as a music-news reporter and was there for some of the channel’s peak years including the “Choose or Lose” bring-out-the-vote campaign in 2004. More recently, he stayed cool while Kanye West had an on-air meltdown.

Here’s Boo on Sway’s show. Highlariously, you can see me on the left starting at about 11:35, as Boo considers turning over her phone to me. As you’ll see, she decided she couldn’t bear to be parted from it.

On the way in, we were excited to meet actor Billy Bob Thornton. I refrained from doing my mediocre Slingblade impersonation.

Say "French friend potaters!"

Say “French friend potaters!”

Boo did so well on Sway’s show that he invited her to stand in for him with his crew today, while he is in Vegas. She talked about the latest celebrity gossip with Tracy G. and Heather B., and then DJ Wonder played a massive Boo set. I have to figure out how to download that. Anyway, with all of this, “Bitchy” has gotten a ton of airplay.

Here’s the official “Bitchy” video. If you’re not familiar with Gangsta Boo, you’ve probably at least figured out from her name that her music is hardcore. If you’re a delicate flower who does not want to see anyone waving a gun in a music video, don’t watch it. You’ll probably swoon and no one carries smelling salts these days.

“Bitchy” is actually pretty low-key compared to Da Mafia 6ix’s recent “Beacon N Blender” video. Boo wasn’t sure she should show ME that one. She did want me to see that she was wearing the big 666 necklace I custom-made for her, but she thought I might freak out out about the rest of the video. I insisted on seeing it and found it very educational. Now I know what it takes to have a thriving cocaine business! Note to self: Look out for thieving employees.


Click the screen cap of Boo and her necklace if you want to see the whole video.

I love that one of the comments on the video on YouTube is, “The Po Po gonna pull over everybody in this video!!” Nah, but really, I’ve seen Breaking Bad. I can handle this.

Just goes to show you that there’s some Wendy Brandes jewelry for everyone. If you’re going to the Oscars, I’ve got you covered. If you’re going to the penitentiary, I’ve got you covered too!

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