Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Humor

News Anchor Barbie: 'A flair for journalism -- and power pink!'

Astronaut Barbie, Newborn Baby Doctor Barbie and Rock Star Barbie, get ready to answer some tough Rage_barbiequestions asked by journalist Barbie. The 125th -- and newest -- career path for Mattel's 51-year-old doll is news anchor, and she's available to join your news-gathering team as of this month.

The prospect of News Anchor Barbie was first announced at the New York Toy Fair back in February (we can only assume she's either been working on her reel or has been embedded with Ken's platoon in Afghanistan in the interim), beating out four other occupation choices -- architect, computer engineer, environmentalist and surgeon -- in a first-ever global vote.

Frankly, we were much more excited at the notion of a Newspaper Beat Reporter Barbie (rumpled outfit and cold cup of coffee optional), or Ink-stained Section Editor Barbie (with hair that it can pull out in handfuls), but we'll take whatever appreciation of the news-gathering trade we can get.

With the tag line "A flair for journalism -- and power pink!," News Anchor Barbie is truly camera-ready, her blond hair in a blunt-cut 'do and wearing a pink suit with black contrast taped lapels, a black camisole top, a light pink frilly skirt that ends well above the knee, and black high-heels accented with pink bows. (We hope it comes with a warning label about conducting interviews in the New York Jets locker room). She is also accessorized with a pink news folder, a news camera and a microphone.

Our only question: How much longer do we need to wait for Blogger Barbie to arrive on the scene?

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Announced in February, Mattel's News Anchor Barbie hits store shelves nationwide this month. Credit: Mattel


Barbie's banner birthday bash in Malibu

Photo gallery of Barbie fashion through the years

NYFW: Barbies take over the runway

Envy, thy price tag is $910: Mississippi man wins one-of-a-kind trouser auction


In the end it wasn't a Silver Lake hipster or someone headed to Burning Man that submitted the winning bid for Betabrand's golden, glittery, one-of-a-kind Envy Pants we told you about late last month. It was a network administrator from Oxford, Miss.

Christopher Simmons, 32*, who shelled out $910 for the pants, says he had already purchased a pair of the "gluttony" themed pants -- the first of a series themed around the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony). Then Simmons, who has a master's degree in archaeology with a specialty in archaeological geophysical surveying techniques (and an obvious sense of humor), read the tongue-in-cheek legend of "King Smut" and the 3,000-year-old trousers unearthed by a team of fashion archaeologists.

"As soon as I read that, I knew I had to have them," Simmons told All The Rage. "That, and the fact that they'd be an affirmation of my epic fashion sense."

Simmons said he has yet to receive the pants -- which are being made to his specifications -- but said they are en route and he is preparing for their arrival. "I've been going pantsless," he said with a chuckle, "to sort of cleanse my sartorial palate."

He said he doesn't think he'll debut the pants at a special occasion; he simply plans to wear them out on the town, perhaps paired with some of the vintage shirts he's inherited from his grandfather, "looking like a fine chocolate wrapped in luxurious gold covering."

And he's not done yet; Simmons told All The Rage he plans to complete the full "seven sins" series.

"Because now I'm the only person in the world who can actually have all seven," he said.

Sounds like the "greed" trousers might fit him just fine, no?

-- Adam Tschorn

Meet Envy, the rarest pair of the "seven deadly slacks" 

Belly up to Betabrand's adjustable-waist Gluttony Pants

Photo: Christopher Simmons, 32, of Oxford, Miss., submitted the winning bid of $910 for the one-off Envy Pants. Credit: Betabrand

[*UPDATED 9/3/10: In an earlier version of this post, Christopher Simmons' age was incorrectly listed as 22. He is 32.]

Meet Envy, the rarest pair of the "seven deadly slacks"

Earlier this month when we told you about online-only, San Francisco-based Betabrand and the adjustable-waist Gluttony Pants that were intended to be the first in a humorously themed series of men's trousers based on the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony), we noted that founder Chris Lindland was tackling envy as sin No. 2.

He's made good on his word, and, as of a few minutes ago, a single pair of (hopefully) envy-inspiring trousers were put up for auction.

The concept is that they're the recently discovered 3,000-year-old pants of the ancient King Smut ("the Hef of his time") but -- as the Betabrand folks readily acknowledge -- they're actually just a one-off version of their popular light-bending Disco Pants.

The big difference -- besides the fact that there's only going to be a single pair custom-made for the highest bidder (up to a waist size 42) -- is the depiction of hieroglyphic naughtiness printed inside the pockets and waistband liner.

The auction for the "King Smuts" will only be open through noon PDT on Aug. 27. And just remember, no matter how much you're tempted to pay for those pants, you'll still have to put them on one leg at a time.

Come to think of it, pants that you could don two legs at a time might actually make us a little envious. 

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Betabrand's second item in the "seven deadly sins" series is the one-of-a-kind Envy trouser, which are being auctioned to the highest bidder. Credit: Betabrand

Related story: Belly up to Betabrand's adjustable-waist Gluttony Pants

New Old Spice campaign results in a decent proposal

On Tuesday I received a thank you from Isaiah Mustafa -- the towel-clad Adonis of the Old Spice "manmercials" -- for mentioning him and his Emmy-nominated Old Spice commercial in a recent All The Rage post. But it wasn't just an e-mailed note, it was a video clip of the actor, towel and all, giving a shout-out not just to me personally, but a congratulations to the people of our fair city for a host of things including our proximity to many major theme parks and "that tallest building downtown that's round at the top -- the one that's always getting blown up in alien movies."

At first, the folks in the All The Rage cubicle farm were convinced it was some sort of Photoshop situation with the actor's voice-over, or a gimmick like Burger King's "Subservient Chicken" online ad campaign, but a call to local PR reps for Old Spice confirmed that the Man on the Horse did indeed don his towel for the occasion.

And I was far from the only one to get a musing from Mustafa; it turns out the actor is currently in the studio in Portland, Ore., with the Wieden+Kennedy folks (who created the original, award-winning spot) taping a bunch of these short, personalized clips -- most of them in response to Twitter posts or comments left at the Old Spice YouTube channel.

While I certainly enjoyed hearing Mustafa mutter my name, my favorite video so far is the marriage proposal issued on behalf of Twitter user @jsbeals, complete with candles and a ring. I'm checking to confirm all the details, but based on subsequent postings to his Twitter account, it looks like she answered in the affirmative.

As an advertising campaign that engages the consumer, it's genius, and my guess is we'll see a lot more of these narrowcast video conversations from all kinds of brands in the future.

In the meantime, if you've got a burning question, comment -- or proposal -- I'm told that Mustafa and company will be churning out these video responses through Wednesday afternoon.

-- Adam Tschorn

Emmy nods, mustache mods for Old Spice ads

Old Spice talks to the ladies, man

It's the guy in the Old Spice commercial: Isaiah Mustafa

Old Spice, new (hilarious) choices

Enough with the manks, murses and mantourages!


Yesterday I received an e-mail that read, in part: [W]hether you have a brother, a buddy, or a boyfriend, don't let your man friend leave home without his man tank, this summer's essential ... THE MANK."

Let's set aside for the moment the debate over whether the tank top can be considered any more essential to the man of 2010 than the man of 1810. What I take issue with is the stank of "mank."

I get the idea behind it, really I do. The world of fashion and style has a long history of employing such portmanteau words (a term describing these mashed up words first employed by a master of the art, author Lewis Carroll), and in many cases it does the job perfectly. We can easily deduce that a "skort"  is a hybrid between a skirt and a pair of shorts, the word "tankini" efficiently conjures up the image of bikini bathing suit with a tank top, and with a little bit of effort, we can figure out that "jeggings" are skinny fitting "jean leggings" (be thankful -- the other option would have been to meld "denim leggings" into "deggings").

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Bearded & Tschorn: A graphic display of tonsorial trust


This week, we received two e-mails linking to the above infographic that humorously ranks the trustworthiness of various styles of facial hair, from the "Very Trustworthy" Full Beard (think Santa Claus) to the "Disastrous" Hitler (think, well ... Hitler).

In between there are funny snap judgments on 21 other manifestations of manliness, including the Handlebar (which qualifies as "Questionable") Soul Patch ("Threatening") and full-moon phase Werewolf ("Dangerous"). (We had to squeeze it down to fit into the post, click on the image or click here to see it in a larger format.)

Turns out it's the handiwork of Matt McInerney, a 22-year-old graphic design student who is "moments away" from graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design in  Georgia and who posted it to his website, Pixelspread, on April 16.

Shortly after that, McInerney says, someone (he doesn't know who) posted a link to and within 24 hours he counted an estimated 200,000 hits, with the total nearing half a million hits in a single week.

Continue reading »

Earthquakes blamed on pants-wearing women

On the drive into work this morning, NPR reported on one very unusual explanation for the recent spate of seismological activity: Earthquakes, according to at least one Iranian cleric, are caused by women who wear pants.

Rage_pants I didn't catch the source of the original report, but it's probably this report from Associated Press reporter Scheherezade Faramarz, which quoted Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi as offering the following explanation:

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which [consequently] increases earthquakes," 

Faramarz notes that in Iran, women are required by law to cover from head to toe, but points out that many flout the strictest wardrobe restrictions by wearing "tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair."

According to Sedighi, that has angered a divine authority, who apparently has requested (through Sedighi) that "the people make a general repentance."

So, scantily clad women of Southern California, you've been put on notice. When the big one hits, it's not going to be the San Andreas fault.

It's going to be yours.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photo: According to an Iranian cleric, immodestly dressed women, like this bare-legged model from a recent Image section photo shoot, are to blame for earthquakes. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times.

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Zac Posen, his mom expand the brand. Agyness Deyn's shorn hair.

How Zac Posen -- whose Target line is out April 25 -- works with his mother to expand his brand. [WSJ]

And Target partners with Temple St. Clair and Gaby Basora [WWD, subscription required]

The cheapest-looking designer items. [Refinery 29]

Tea party fashions: What to wear to an anti-Obama protest. [The Daily Beast]

Dana Lorenz creates "a mash-up" of her Fenton and Fallon collections for J. Crew. [Fashionologie]

Just for fun: 10 silly beauty signs. [BellaSugar]

Agyness Deyn's buzzed new 'do appears on Twitter. [Vogue UK]

Best vintage stores in America. [GQ]

First look: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's Elizabeth and James collection. [InStyle]

-- Whitney Friedlander

Photo: Zac Posen for Target Ruffle 2-For Dress in Black, $79.99 Zac Posen for Target Tank Dress in Tie Dye, $29.99. Credit: Target

Like two ply with toilet paper? The annual toilet paper wedding dress contest is ready to roll

Bought scratchy, rough toilet paper because it was better for the environment only to find that it wasn't exactly better for your relationship with your friends and family? Perhaps you can recoup some of the money from that purchase by turning those unused rolls of toilet paper into your best Vera Wang impression by entering the 6th annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest.

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Bearded & Tschorn: Conan O'Brien not behind his beard (at least on Twitter)


We wanted to believe it, we really did. After all, it fit right in with Conan O'Brien's enthusiastic embrace of social media; since posting his first tweet on Feb. 24 (@ConanOBrien), he's racked up more than 648,000 followers and counting, and his decision to follow just one person (@LovelyButton (a.k.a. Sarah Killen), has turned her life into a kind of Web-based reality show that plays out 140 characters at a time.

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