Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Such a NYE Fashion How-To!

Originally written for Cincy Chic
Written by RedKat, on 22-12-2008 11:18

Be the Belle of the Ball Dropping
Read on for fashionista tips on what to wear to the poshes
t of NYE events, as well as comfy couture for the simpler celebrations.

If you are a glamour girl and plan to hit a swankier affair (maybe the party at Bang or the Cincinnati Sports League party at the 20th Century Theatre) the key is to think metallic. Nothing says luxe party attire like a shimmery sheath. Follow the current trend and seek a strapless, curvy dress in silver, gold or even copper. For those less daring, jewel tones are very hot for winter, and you can find beautiful dresses in dark purple, forest green and deep blue that compliment just about every skin tone and figure. If you shop right now you can score great finds on formals at the big department stores, as they are clearing out fall's fashions to make way for spring and prom season. Think lower cost and get a long gown shortened by your seamstress.

Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Riesling, oh my! If you're planning to wine and dine your way into 2009 East-end gem Bella Luna or at the city's newest hotspot Bootsy's (wine-girl.net has several great suggestions), first make reservations! Done? Bravo! Dress it up in one of winter's great cocktail dress looks by going modern flapper in anything with fringe or beads, or go for a modern take on the little black dress and find something off the shoulder or with a high-collar-like neckline. A hot look for winter '09 is the off-white sleeveless turtleneck dress with black tights and black boots. If you're feeling adventurous, add a matching off-white slouchy knit cap.

3,2,1 Happy New Year! All bars ring in the New Year with their energetic and enthusiastic mix of beers, mixed drinks and midnight toasts. Stop by Southgate House for their annual musical bash, hit any of the bars in Mt. Adams or do one-stop-hopping downtown. Take your pick of the local establishments and dress for the merriment in casual chic. Dark denim is a must, and if you can stand the cold, add your best strappy heels. Bustiers, as well anything in a lamé, with sequins or beads or with unexpected sexy straps pairs perfectly with jeans and classes up a casual look without veering into over-dressed territory.

Finally, for those who prefer to watch the ball drop at midnight from the comfort of their own homes, there are endless options. If it's a strictly family affair, spring for cozy PJs like Nick and Nora for Target, with their colorful, dreamy designs made of the softest fleece. If your party is friends, food and fun, go rocker-style with jeans and a graphic tee, layered with a color-matched argyle print cardigan. Snow boots optional.

From dressed to the nines to partying like it's 1999, go for a look that matches your party spirit and you're sure to be the hit of the New Year.

For the man in your life, check out "Spoil Your Man With Tasty Attire"

And for great ideas on where to score luxe makeup for NYE, read "The Price of Beauty"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Such a need for help

The holiday season is a fashionista's dream with great parties, family gatherings and seasonal events to attend, which are great venues to debut all your fabulous new outfits. But what if you didn't even have the right clothes to wear for a job interview, or to wear to school? In the season of so much, @countrygirl22 who is better known as Toni Bloom from Gateway Technical and Community College, is reaching out for help. I'm reposting an email that I received from her, and encourage you to help if you can.

To my most stylish friends (forward this if I’ve forgotten anyone),

I know I asked for a coat for my work-study student yesterday, but a new situation has arisen.

Angie just turned 21 last week, she has 2 kids – Katrina, 4 and Camron, 7 mo. She dropped out of HS at 16 and had Katrina, since that time she has completed her GED and the Nurse Assisting program. She is presently enrolled in the Nursing program at Gateway. Today she was offered a part-time administrative assistant job in the Institutional Effectiveness office at Gateway paying $14/hr which is rich to her.

The problem is the girl literally has 2 pairs of jeans and 2 sweatshirts that she wears in to work for me every other day. She came to my office to see if I can help her. When she starts the job she needs some descent clothes to wear.

I’m not asking for money or new, but if any of you have clothes/shoes/coats/purses (anything) you were going to get rid of I’m sure I can find it a very good home.

Angie’s sizes:

Pants/jeans – 5 or 7

Shirts – S or M

Coat – 5, 7, s, m

Shoes – 7

Other sizes would be great too, because we have several girls in the work-study program that could use just about anything. We get a lot of donations for their kids, but nothing for them. They are referred to Dress for Success (which is a great organization) but that is 1 interview outfit. They need both everyday going to school clothes and everyday work clothes. Lotions, perfumes, bath & body, anything like that is good, too.

Please just let me know if you’re able to help. When these girls feel better about themselves they really work so much harder and they can look in the mirror and have hope.

Consider donating to any of the wonderful charities that support families in need this holiday season. Here are just a few:

Cincinnati Chapter of the Red Cross
United Way
Freestore Foodbank
Better Business Bureau's Giving Guide

If you'd like to donate any items to the work study program at Gateway, please leave your messages in the comments.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Such a fabulous Falcon Theater production!

With a fresh take on a Frank Capra's Christmas classic, Falcon Theater has a holiday hit with their production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Drama". A talented cast and amazing production team bring this story to life in 1947 at 1330 WFAL, Newport, KY.

Walk into the lobby and you feel as if you've stepped 60 years back in time. Everyone from the cast and crew are dressed in period costume. From the theater you can hear the Jingle Belles, the on-air all-women trio, singing Christmas carols to greet the studio audience as they file in to take their seats. A quick set of "on air" instructions from the program director and 3,2,1 we're live on the set of "It's a Wonderful Life" being performed in the WFAL studio.

With a mere six actors playing all the roles in the production, it goes without saying that being on stage is a busy affair. Michael C. Potter admirably tackles the role of George Baily, giving the character equal parts angst, remorse and joy. Caitlyn Rose Allison is superb as Mary Hatch Baily. Those of you who caught her performance earlier this season in Tartuffe will recognize her playful sassiness. Peter Weiglin plays Clarence, the guardian angel sent to save George Baily, but also takes turns as Harry Bailey and Mr. Potter among others. The primary onstage cast rounds out with Jim Waldfogle, Lisa D. Dirkes, Adrianne Underhill and the very believable radio announcer, Bill Keaton.

As we journey through George Bailey's life, it's easy to close your eyes and truly believe you're part of a live radio audience. The sound effects are all generated the old-fashioned way...with a small wooden door, with glass bottles and with a realistic phonograph to name a few. Amber Samblanet and David Levy do a great job accenting the radio drama with well-timed sounds and voices.

With two intermissions (complete with singing commercials courtesy of the Jingle Belles) nothing in the radio drama feels over-long or over-done. All critical timing points are cued by the program director which adds to the authentic feel of the production. The authenticity extends to the studio audience as well, who are cued to laugh and clap via a large APPLAUSE sign suspended in front of the stage.

All in all the Falcon Theater production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Drama" is a true treat. If you've never gone to Monmouth theater to see this clever troupe, now is the perfect time to revisit a classic holiday story, done with a new twist.

Special thanks to Julie Niesen, aka Wine Me Dine Me in Cincinnati, for the invitation to the play!

Check out another blogger's review: Radio Carla - Media...and Life Observer

Apologies for the low-res photos...amazing as it may seem, I forgot to take a camera, and was forced to rely on my trusty Blackberry for pix of the performance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Such a great bit of news!

Mea culpa...I've been very bad about posting in the last month. I've been doing a lot of freelance writing for Cincy Chic (mostly due to writing Such A Redkatblonde...) so please check my stories out:

All I want for Christmas...
O'Bryonville for the Fashionistas
Furry Fashion Fury
Lady of the Grapes - Interview with Michelle Lentz, Wine-Girl.net

Insider Shopping Tips - Interview with Heather Hannan of Macy's

And now for the big news...drum roll please...Cincinnati is getting its very own H&M. After first spotting this retail gem in Stockholm in 1997, I've had a love affair with their super-trendy Euro styling and completely comfy prices. Even though the article in the Business Courier gave no specific date for the store opening, one can hope that the powers that be at Kenwood Towne Center power this through as quickly as possible. While we wait for H&M to open, visit the stores at Tuttle Crossing in Dublin, OH or roadtrip to Chicago and check out the megastore on Michigan Ave. Also visit the H&M US website for more information, fashion tips and photos from the latest campaigns.

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