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Sunday, January 11, 2015

It was a close race this year, but my highly coveted Best Dressed/Wear What You Want combo award for this year’s Golden Globes goes to … Melissa McCarthy, in a menswear-influenced ensemble that she pulled together from her own closet.

Second place goes to Emma Stone, who wore a Lanvin jumpsuit adorned with one of my favorite accessories: a butt bow.

I would be more likely to wear Emma’s outfit, but, as I explained last year when giving my award to another Emma in pants, the prestigious Best Dressed/Wear What You Want combo award isn’t just about my personal preferences and/or looking pretty. Major points go to anyone who is controversial and gets people talking. Following those rules, I didn’t give in to Emma Stone’s blatant attempt to woo me with her butt bow. Sorry, Emma! It’s all about Melissa’s DIY!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I normally wear my hair as straight as I can get it, but I will wear it wavy/curly for a special occasion. I just came across this photo, taken on New Year’s Eve 2004.


It would have been nice of my photographer, MrB, to tell me that one of the little satin loops sewn inside the halter was sticking out, but I guess I should be thankful that I got a still photo at all. Sometimes MrB takes unwanted videos instead of regular pictures. I don’t have this halter top now, but I wore it for quite a few years. I think it was by Trina Turk and I’m quite sure it was a birthday gift from my gorgeous friend Diane.

Ten years later,  I went a bit curlier for New Year’s Eve.

I would happily go curly for non-special occasions, but it’s too much work! It’s much easier to straighten. I did enjoy having a super-curly perm in 1995 though.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This is certainly my week for international recognition! First, my Pink Elephant and Tipsy Writer Maneater ring was on the cover of Jewellery News Asia. Now, two of my designs are in K-Note, a Turkish magazine that goes to luxury car customers. Hopefully, those readers are luxury jewelry customers too.

The pieces are part of a feature on skull jewelry. I’m in there with two of my favorites, Theo Fennell and Lydia Courteille, which is very flattering. The piece leads with artist Damien Hirst’s famous “For the Love of God” work, which I am so enthralled with that I have it depicted on not one but TWO t-shirts (scroll down to see #2 here).

My onyx skull ring and ruby-eyed skull necklace share page 125 in K-Note with two fantastic skull watches.


Halp! I want both of those watches.

The blurb mostly describes the pieces, but it does say something before it gets into the materials, and Poodle Translate isn’t doing it justice. Something about supermodels?! If anyone knows Turkish, I’d love a better translation.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Here is the New Yorker’s reaction to the mass shooting at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Click to read the essay by Amy Davidson.

And a 2012 quote from Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, who was killed today: “A drawing has never killed anyone.”

Click to read Alexandra Petri’s Washington Post essay on the pen vs. the sword.

And, finally, Salman Rushdie’s statement, via the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog. Bold/linked emphasis is my own:

Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I’m so honored that my award-winning Pink Elephant and Tipsy Writer Maneater ring made the cover of the January issue of Jewellery News Asia! Thanks to JNA editor Marie Feliciano for sending me the cover image; the ring looks fabulous with those background colors.


Click to enlarge.

There is also a blurb about the ring on the contents page.


This is a very happy start to the new year … and it has me very excited to show you all my next Maneater ring!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Now that we’ve all gone back to work, I feel like we should be talking only about 2015 … but I have to take one final look back at last year. Thanks bunches to  gorgeous Anahita Moussavian of the New York Post, who included my hashtag stud earrings in her list of top 10 fashion moments of 2014!


Click to order as singles or a pair. I have two left for immediate delivery.

I love sharing space in a list that starts with Kimye’s Vogue cover and ends with a tribute to Oscar de la Renta.


By the way, I also have two gold-plated hashtag earrings that aren’t listed on my site. They’re $50 for a single and $100 for a pair. If you’re interested in those, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com and I’ll hook you up.

In other shopping news, I’m currently working on returning special holiday-sale items to their normal prices, but if you can catch a design on sale before I get to it, you will get the reduced price. Try your luck here.


Friday, January 2, 2015

If you read this post about what I wore for New Year’s Eve in 1994 and 2004, you must have figured out that I was going to wear the red Versace dress from 2004 again. I can’t resist a 10-year fashion anniversary.


Click to see me floating away.

What Wendy Wore for New Year’s Eve
Dress: Versace (2004)
Shoes: Prada (pre-2005)
Jewelry: My own designs plus vintage

Gorgeous stylist Julie Matos from Warren-Tricomi did my hair … and attended our traditional New Year’s dinner at Balthazar. She fluffed my curls in the ladies’ room there!


With Julie at Balthazar.

Beautiful Josie Torres did my makeup.


I wish those ladies could do my hair and makeup every day!

Balthazar was rowdy this year! I’m not sure why I didn’t join this conga line, especially with Jimmy Somerville‘s cover of “You Make Me Feel” playing.

I loved that the chic female DJ was playing ’70s and ’80s classics … on vinyl!

I keep hoping I have my vinyl copy of Blondie's Parallel Lines in storage somewhere.

I keep hoping I have my vinyl copy of Blondie’s Parallel Lines in storage somewhere.

It was great to be surrounded by friends …


Jen, Stacy and Amanda had fun with the little containers of streamers.

… and seafood …

Give me all the shrimp!

Give me all the shrimp!

… and Champagne …

Alyssa and Mike discover the motherlode.

Alyssa and Mike discover the motherlode.

… and MrB, of course!


My New Year’s Eve kissee.

I hope whatever you did was fun …

… and that 2015 is off to a great start for you!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I’m going to end the year with a post featuring the interesting people I stood next to in photos in 2014.

It was great to meet up with gorgeous singer/songwriter/jewelry-wearer Skylar Grey again in February.


“OMG, it’s her again,” thinks Skylar.

My hawt rapper friend Gangsta Boo stopped Billy Bob Thornton for a picture when we saw him at Shade 45.


“I’m so sick of everyone’s Slingblade impressions,” thinks Billy Bob.

I had tickets for a meet-and-greet with Royce da 5’9″ and DJ Premier of PRhyme at their album-release party in December.


“We’re getting paid for this, so it’s cool,” think Royce (left) and Premier (right).

But nothing can top my embarrassing experience with Bill Clinton in November. I don’t have to add a photo caption suggesting what Bill might have been thinking, because this is actually a still from a video. Click the photo to hear what he had to say.


Click us.

That encounter took place at a gala dinner celebrating the 100th birthday of the New Republic magazine. Within a matter of weeks, the magazine basically fell apart as top editors, contributing editors and other staffers resigned to protest management changes. Four more staffers resigned this week. Whoops!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On Dec. 31, 1994 — 20 years ago today! — I rang in the new year with my gorgeous sister and friends at the re-opened Studio 54. I have never been a big fan of crop tops, but I made an exception for a cropped, silver twinset by Cynthia Rowley. I might have gotten it at a sample sale. I did a lot of sample-sale shopping back then.


Terri Berry (left) and me (right) on NYE in 1994.

The patent-leather Jill Stuart mini skirt I wore that night was definitely from a sample sale. You can see a little bit of its waist in this picture.


Blowing my own horn.

You can see all 14″ of its length below, because I still have it!


I had to get rid of the cropped twinset long ago because the Lurex got weird stains, but I’ve hung onto the skirt. I can still squeeze into it, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to wear it except as part of a Halloween costume. Maybe my niece will wear it someday. Right now, I’m keeping it for sentimental reasons. I wore this skirt a lot in 1994. That was a great year — my friend David Chang, a DJ, took a little group of us with him to lots of his club jobs, like this one.

1994 1

Dave usually had Thursday gigs, which was perfect for me because my days off were Friday and Saturday. I was working at the Wall Street Journal and the paper didn’t come out on the weekends then, so my work week was Sunday through Thursday.

Dave also took us to a fashion-related party on April 24, 1994, where the photo below was shot by Bill Cunningham.


Click for more information on the leopard jacket and how I feel about getting rid of old clothes.

I was wearing either the patent-leather skirt or a suede Jill Stuart skirt I got at the same sample sale. That was an official “end of fashion week” party … in April. Nowadays, New York’s fashion week for fall collections takes place in February! The cycle has really accelerated. And here’s a look at the length of the suede skirt — as you can see, I did wear it for a Halloween costume. I think this is from 2002.


Devil in a suede mini.

Anyway, back to the ’90s! Another job that Dave took us to was — as you might have guessed — Studio 54 for New Year’s Eve. I kept the invitation as well as my skirt.


Here’s a photo of Dave hard at work that night. See the crates of vinyl records? We used to help him carry those.

studio54 dave

There was a good crowd there.


Ten years later, in 2004, I was married to MrB and celebrating New Year’s with friends at Rosa Mexicano.

nye 2004

One of the guests that night tried to catch my gorgeous friend Stef and me doing something scandalous in the bathroom, but, to her disappointment, we were just fixing our lipstick.


I don’t have a photo showing the full-length of the red Versace I wore that night, but I wore the same dress to a party in London in April 2007. That was the night I met my one true lipstick love — Lasting Lust by MAC.


In London, wearing my old dress and new lipstick, in 2007.

I felt extra-glamorous that evening. Having a whirlwind romance with a new lip color will do that to you.


Red lips and a faux-ny tail. What more could I ask for?

Do I still have this dress? Take a wild guess!

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whatever you wear tonight ….

best wishes for a healthy and happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I went to a lot of concerts this year, getting off to a great start by seeing my celebrity crush Neil Young perform live on January 6. He played solo at Carnegie Hall, accompanying himself on eight or so guitars, a banjo, a horde of harmonicas, two pianos and an organ.


Photo by Wendy Brandes

The New York Times review of the show included this anecdote:

“Neil Young was just a few bars into an indignant old song at Carnegie Hall on Monday night, chugging a terse intro on an acoustic guitar, when he abruptly threw the emergency brake.

‘Wrong!’ he barked, waving one hand, as if to cut off a rehearsal band. Part of the audience had started clapping to the beat — but not quite on the beat, as Mr. Young complained. His tone was even, his exasperation clear.

‘It’s something that you probably don’t know,’ he said, peering into the house from the stage, ‘but there’s a hell of a distance between you and me.'”

I didn’t catch the moment he stopped the audience from clapping on video but I’ve got everything after that, including all of that “indignant old song” … otherwise known as the classic “Ohio.” I got into a short Twitter tiff with a critic who insisted that the atmosphere became tense — never mind the fact that you hear the audience laughing and commenting favorably in this video.

Like I did in 2010, I saw Lady Gaga twice, though I didn’t put as much energy into my concert outfits as I did four years ago.

In March, I went to the first of Gaga’s week of concerts at Roseland, which was the how that famous venue went out in style. It was also Gaga’s 28th birthday, and I had a pretty good view.


Click for original post.

It was an abbreviated show, so I hit Madison Square Garden in May to see Gaga’s full ARTPOP Ball.


Click to see more of my photos on Flickr.

I do love female pop stars, so, in April, MrB and I joined many 13- to 15-year-old girls at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to see Miley Cyrus.


Click to see the rest of my photos on Flickr.

I enjoyed seeing how right on my 2013 Huffington Post story about Miley’s career was. Like I said then, Miley didn’t ruin her career with her controversial MTV Video Music Awards twerking performance — she strengthened it.

The young girls at the Miley show looked mature compared to the kids I saw at Katy Perry’s Barclays show in July — some of those fans were so little they watched the performance from their mommies’ arms!


Click to see the rest of my Katy photos on Flickr.

In June I saw Ringo Starr at the Beacon Theatre. That was my fourth time seeing Ringo, though that’s over a period of 10 years, not all in 2014!


Click for my original post.

Rather than expressing my extreme Beatles love by stalking Ringo on tour, I stalked his childhood by visiting Liverpool in July. That was a trip I dreamed of making since 1980! After Liverpool, MrB and I went to London, where I fulfilled another longheld dream by attending a concert at Wembley. Eminem was the first rapper to headline Wembley and, while I was thrilled to be there for that, I was farther away from the stage than I like to be.

To make up for that, when Eminem did The Monster mini-tour with Rihanna in the U.S. in August, I saw him twice. I got good seats and took MrB to the first show at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but I outdid myself for the second MetLife show by getting general admission tickets and making my way to the second row.


Click to see my best photos of Eminem and Rihanna on Flickr.

That night I decided that, from now on, anytime I can be in the front row, I have to do it. Waiting eight or 10 or 12 hours is worth it!


I used the zoom on my camera but this is Rihanna in real life, not photographed on a giant video screen. I can barely believe it myself!

It’s a whole different show when you’re that close! You feel really involved with the artist in a way that’s just not possible otherwise.

I got additional inspiration for getting up close and personal at shows thanks to my new friend Jessie, whom I met while waiting for Eminem and Rihanna. Jessie is devoted to live music and is a general-admission/front-row expert. Now I don’t have to worry about coercing one of my less-than-fanatical friends or sister into toughing out a long wait for a concert with me, because if Jessie doesn’t already have tickets to a show I’m going to, she’s happy to come along. (MrB will happily see Miley and Eminem with me but he draws the line at standing a whole day!)

I met up with Jessie a month later to go to the huge Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. (Shout out again to my Twitter friend John Laurente for giving me those tickets!) Thanks to Jessie running like the wind down the entire length of the Great Lawn, I ended up in the second row of a 60,000-person audience. Seeing Sting join Gwen Stefani and No Doubt on stage was amazing …


Click for more photos.

… but when Beyonce came out on stage to join her headlining hubby Jay Z at the end of the night, the whole place went crazy.


Click for more photos.

Since then, Jessie and I have been front row for FKA twigs


Royce da 5'9" is one half of PRhyme. (DJ Premier is the other half.)

Royce da 5’9″ is one half of PRhyme. (DJ Premier is the other half.)

… and, most recently, Yelawolf and Rittz.


Click for original post.

As a big bonus, my gorgeous rapper friend Gangsta Boo brought us backstage for the Run the Jewels concert. Run the Jewels 2 is on practically everyone’s best-album list this year, and the show was wild.


Oh, just hanging out with the Run the Jewels gang backstage!

I saw Fleetwood Mac in October, from semi-nosebleed seats that didn’t meet my new standards for concert-going, so I’m going back to see them again in January.

Shortly before that concert, I went to an intimate performance at the Standard Hotel by gorgeous singer Sky Heavens.


Sky and me after her set.

I spent Halloween with my designing friend Stacy Lomman and the Damned.


Click for original post.

And somehow, I never got around to posting anything about Lorde’s September concert at the United Palace Theatre.


My friend Tina and I were in the third row of seats.

I wasn’t the biggest Lorde fan but I thought she’d be interesting to see and she was. I was also amused by her fans, who were like Miley Cyrus’s fans in age and enthusiasm and shrieking abilities, just with goth outfits.

Lorde really knows how to work that mass of curly hair on stage and her dance movements had a little bit of a Siouxsie-and-the-Banshees-meets-Kate-Bush vibe. Speaking of Kate Bush, she was my only concert failure this year. In 1978, when Bush was just 19, the singer/songwriter became the first woman to have a #1 U.K. single with a self-written song. She did her only tour in 1979. In the ’80s, I obsessively listened to her spooky soprano. This year she made a big comeback with 22 shows in London that sold out in 15 minutes. I was due to be visiting Paris in September, while the shows were going on, and was determined to get a ticket and pop across the Channel to catch Kate. But those tickets couldn’t be had for any amount of money. Alas!

As for 2015? Jessie and I are talking about Coachella.

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