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Sunday, August 31, 2014

In case you missed anything on the blog this week, here’s what happened:

And don’t miss this lively post that jewelry maven Robyn Hawk of The Daily Jewel wrote about my emoji jewelry. Thanks, Robyn!

Friday, August 29, 2014

I wore a cheerful Prada dress to a friend’s birthday party last Saturday.

prada dress stripesWhat Wendy Wore
Dress: Prada (2011)
Shoes, mostly cut off by photographer MrB: Prada (2011)
Lipstick: Pleasure Bomb by RiRi Hearts MAC
Jewelry: My own designs

I got this dress in 2011 after everybody — including Gwen Stefani and Tina Fey — had worn it in every magazine.  So far I haven’t bumped into anyone else wearing it in real life. I keep hoping that will happen so we can take a funny “twins?” photo, like this one from 2007.


Click for the original post.

I can hardly believe that my arms are out of their normal position in this year’s photo of the striped dress. There is a disturbance in the force! The WendyB Pose was in full effect for previous wearings, however.

pradadress collage

Click to enlarge.

I’m going to have to hold another pose-off one of these days.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My name is Wendy Brandes and I’m a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-aholic.


Can’t say they didn’t warn me. Click for original post.

One of my first Castelbajac purchases was a Lego-print dress and matching shoes, which I got in 2009. I wear the shoes frequently, and I do the full, head-to-toe Lego look about once a year. I haven’t always photographed the combo, but I did find four pictures.

I actually wore the Lego outfit a couple of times in 2009. You know how it is when you first buy something!


In 2011, I wore the dress and shoes to the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference, where I cuddled with fellow blogger Lady Smaggle.


In 2013, I wore the silly outfit to a rather serious movie.


This month, I Lego’d it for MrB’s birthday dinner.


My posing is as consistent as my outfit, no? The only thing that changes is my hair.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It’s National Dog Day and I’ve been looking for an excuse to post a photo recently taken by my gorgeous sister.


Photo by Terri Cribb.

Those aren’t her pugs. She just spotted them while she was out for a walk and they were out for a drive. The “duh?!” expression on the pug on the right reminds me of one often seen on Henry the dog. These ARE my dogs below.


My favorite picture of Gigi (left) and Henry (right), taken by Jennine Jacobs.

Actually, Gigi is not looking much more brilliant than Henry in that photo. To be honest, neither of them are geniuses but we love them anyway!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Awards-show fashion has been all about the men this year. Once again, my coveted Best Dressed/Wear What You Want award goes to the dudes. My Emmy favorites were Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, stars of HBO’s True Detective, who wore coordinated tuxes in autumnal hues.

Five years ago, people would have made snide “Are they parking the cars?” remarks about Woody and Matt, but men’s fashion has really broken out of its rut. Honorary mention to comedian Keegan-Michael Key and his white-soled shoes.

Jewelry-wise, I was happy to see twerking Heidi Klum wearing a pinky ring.

I do love a pinky ring. I started wearing my 18K gold skull ring with ruby eyes on my right pinky in 2011.


That finger has arthritis! Click to read my original post about my arthritis finger, as I fondly call it.

I immediately started feeling like my other pinky was too bare but it took me until this summer to rectify the situation. My solution was the only thing that’s better than a single pinky ring — a stack of three pinky rings! I usually wear this trio of platinum and 18K gold barbed-wire rings on my right hand …


… having moved the skull ring to my left hand.


But sometimes I wear them in reverse. I’m crazy that way!

My skull ring can be sized for any finger and it’s available on my website in sterling silver ($300), 18K gold ($3,000), and my 18K-gold-and-ruby version ($3,300).

For the moment, you can only get my barbed-wire rings in silver and gold-plated silver versions ($340 for a stack of four), but the diamond-studded versions I wear will be available soon!

One fellow who didn’t any jewelry at all tonight — or even clothes! — was FitzRoy the cat. Nevertheless, he’d like to thank the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the Emmy!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

In honor of tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards, the always-highlarious Michael K of the blog Dlisted shared a classic clip from the 1995 VMAs, when Courtney Love threw a MAC compact at Madonna before crashing the latter’s pre-show interview with Kurt Loder. “Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now,” Madonna observed.

I remember that like it was yesterday! I also remember how much I loved Madonna’s look that night: Valley of the Dolls hair and a blue satin shirt by Tom Ford for Gucci.

How much did I love that look? So much that when Ann Taylor came out with its version of the satin shirt, I got three: red, blue and black. I wore at least one of those weekly with my black stretchy pants from the Gap for a couple of years. For proof, I present these photos of my favorite shirt — the blue one, of course, like Madonna! — which was taken in December 1996, over a year after Madonna’s VMAs appearance.


I still wear favorite tops obsessively. Check out how many times the Damien Hirst skull t-shirt I got in 2012 has appeared on the blog. And I’ve worn it many other times without taking a picture of it. I even got a sleeveless backup t-shirt, which is a good thing because the original t-shirt is starting to disintegrate.

Madonna would probably give me this look if she knew how repetitive I am.

The Madonna-Courtney moment was included by Rolling Stone in a compilation of 31 outrageous VMA clips here. I’m proud to say I was there in person for seven of them: anything that took place in 1999 through 2003.

For more VMA-related reading, I posted photos of my VMA attendance souvenirs last year. And Miley Cyrus’s notorious twerking performance last year inspired me to investigate the effect of time on our memories of outrage for the Huffington Post. While I was doing that, I found some good information on the initial reaction to Madonna’s 1984 VMAs performance.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My big blog posts this week were dedicated to the Monster Tour, featuring Rihanna and Eminem.

My best videos are here:

Other short video clips are here, shot from the second row, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds. I had to make that painful choice between recording whole songs and experiencing the moment, you know!

I still can’t get over how close to the stage I was! My best photos from the second row are here on Flickr.


Click to enlarge.

And don’t forget, you can get my Eminem-inspired emoji middle finger and sign of the horns emoji earrings on my website.

This week’s other blog posts were:

By the way, you can also buy my middle finger and sign of the horns designs on the cool new shopping app called Spring. Download it on your phone now — search for “Spring shopping” and you’ll find it in your app store. It looks a lot like Instagram except you get to tap on pictures of jewelry (and shoes, clothes, etc.) that you like and buy them! Find my store on Spring by searching for “Wendy Brandes.”


Saturday, August 23, 2014

I meant to follow up a couple of days ago on my initial post about going to see Eminem and Rihanna perform at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium for their Monster Tour … but I was at a loss for words! My gorgeous friend Jen and I had too much fun in the second row where, to my surprise, the crowd was significantly less violent than the one for Eminem at Lollapalooza in 2011. When the Monster Tour started with “Numb,” I braced myself for a Lolla-like surge forward, but everyone politely stayed put — while screaming at the top of their lungs –  where they’d been standing for a couple of hours.

No concert experience can compare to being front row for Eminem at the small G-Shock party he played last year, where there was practically no space between the stage and the audience. (There was a much bigger “moat” at MetLife.) But it was a different kind of amazing to be as close as possible in an 80,000-seat venue, where seeing the performers’ expressions directly, rather than via a giant video screen, is really special.


My photo of Eminem and his hypeman, Mr. Porter. Click to enlarge.

A number of reviews emphasized the difference in performing styles between Rihanna and Eminem: She seems remote, even blasé, while he’s dripping in sweat, working his ass off.  It’s fun to study that close up.  I finally decided that Rihanna reminds me of eternally cool Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts … that is, if Charlie came out from behind his drums and took up twerking. For 50 years, Charlie has been chillin’ like a villain on stage, often looking like he’s smiling to himself and thinking of Mick Jagger, “Look at that idjit prancing around. I’m getting paid just fine sitting back here and laughing at his ass.”


My photo of the Rolling Stones from 2012. Click for original post.

Charlie Watts is like the honey badger. He don’t care. Rihanna is the pop diva honey badger. Let the other songstresses work their elaborate aerial routines and wear their complicated, couture costumes that must be trotted out night after night. Rihanna will wear something different for each concert to show that she just DGAF. Sure, she started both nights at MetLife in a rock t-shirt and bondage pants, but she switched them up.


On the left, Rihanna on Saturday, Aug. 16, photographed off the big screen. On the right, Rihanna on Sunday, Aug. 17, photographed in the flesh from the second row. Click to enlarge.

Later in the Saturday show, she wore a sheer skirt over black panties, and a sheer bra that showed her nipple ring.  On Sunday, her costume was a customized red t-shirt-turned-nightgown by Adam Selman and thigh-high red boots by Christian Louboutin.


Click to enlarge.

By the way, check out Rihanna’s mermaid-length hair.


Click to enlarge.

The mermaid look was a big thing for would-be rap star Azealia Banks a couple of years ago. When I first saw Rihanna’s new ‘do I had to laugh at the thought that she had swallowed up Azealia — style-wise, at least — like a vestigal twin. Better come up with a new gimmick, Azealia, wherever you are.

One thing Eminem doesn’t care about at all is fashion. He’s always casual. Hoodies, hats, t-shirts, shorts, sneakers. Done!


Eminem with Mr. Porter. Click to enlarge.

All the better to focus on his performance, because, damn! He works hard! That kind of effort suits the star of the show, which he definitely was. There were some big Rihanna fans, and I’d say her hits were greeted with enthusiasm, but between her songs, the audience chanted for … Who? What? Slim Shady. (And Eminem. And Marshall.)

If you didn’t go to the show and only read the New York Times review — which claimed Rihanna was keeping Eminem relevant and described him as “… merely a galaxy-size cult favorite, a 41-year-old white rapper far from the center of pop culture, leaning heavily on reputation and largely failing to innovate” — you wouldn’t have a clue as to what it was like in that stadium, where I was sure 80,000 screaming people would have turned up for him even if Rihanna hadn’t been there. (Actually, 90,000 did show up, two nights in a row, for the Rap God’s solo shows at Wembley Stadium in London last month.)

If you’re going to criticize Em, the New Yorker’s review of 2013′s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 makes more sense. Calling his performing persona “addicted to pain,” it asked, “But how long is Eminem going to take revenge on a world that’s long since made it clear that it adores him?” For real. There was so much love at MetLife, it’s hard to imagine anyone walking off that stage and still feeling like an underdog … at least for a few minutes.


Click to enlarge.

I do get tired of critics who seem so put out that musicians can’t endlessly replicate the work and impact of their youthful days. To go back to the Times’s “galaxy” reference, I say that when musicians revolutionize pop culture the way the Beatles, Madonna, or Eminem have all done, they’re more than megastars — they’re supernovae. It’s true that in space, supernovae don’t outshine galaxies forever and, on Earth, performers don’t have the exact same fire they had for their debut 15, 30 or 50 years on. But they’re still the biggest fucking stars around!

Having mentioned Madonna, I should note that, while I’ve now seen Eminem five times, Madonna is still easily my most-seen performer. (I believe I’ve seen her 14 times.) Nevertheless, I encourage her to go on tour to keep her lead secure. It’s been two years and I miss her.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

I had forgotten this until I wrote about my Victoria buckle ring recently: In 2009, Miley Cyrus borrowed that ring for appearances she was making to promote her Hannah Montana movie. You can see it on her index finger in this photo.

That ring would be even more appropriate for her now. I created it as a tribute to my late Pekingese, Chubbs, and this year, unfortunately, Miley was devastated by the death of her dog, Floyd.


My personal ring was inscribed with Mr. Chubbs’s name. Click for more photos.

Miley has already gotten a tattoo in Floyd’s honor, but I think her dog deserves an 18K-gold-and-diamond tribute, don’t you? Most dogs have hearts of gold, after all.

Click here to see another 18K gold doggy tribute.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If you’re in New York, run to the nearest newsstand and get the New York Post.  Today’s edition includes the Post’s Alexa luxury supplement, and my Empress Wu dragon earrings are featured in Alexa!


Click to enlarge.

I’m in great company, sharing the page with Balmain, Valentino, Christian Louboutin, Erdem and Dolce & Gabbana, among others. Thanks, New York Post!

To learn about the creation of the Empress Wu earrings, click here.
To learn about Empress Wu, the badass inspiration for the earrings, click here.


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