Jessica and Heather, of Go FugYourself, which features celebrities making truly unglamorous fashion choices, kindly agreed to help our weekly Q &A feature make its debut. Besides the DG Dozen and our Either/Or choices, we'll ask each guest bespoke questions, tailored to fit. Let the revels commence.
DG: Does looking at and commenting on images of fashion and Hollywood make you more sensitive to glamour? Or is there a glam-burnout factor?
HEATHER: I don't think so -- like a lot of people, I love pretty things and shiny things, and my camp sensibilities (like the part of me that is deeply enamored of Dynasty and Joan Collins) tend to make me attracted to awesome over-the-top glamour. If anything looking at images of fashion in Hollywood has made me realize that not many people DO old-school glamour any more. Oddly enough, one of the people carrying the torch the most is Sharon Stone, who is clearly nutty, but at least she's out there swinging for the fences. And her crazy fabulousness often pays off, but even so, if you were a starlet, wouldn't you rather go for her brand of wackadoo glam with mattress-sized fur throws than look cheap?
JESSICA: I agree. Nothing makes you long for old-school, proper glamour like seeing starlets schlepping to Starbucks in sweatsuits every day.
DG: If stylists are responsible for dressing so many stars and celebs, are you ever astonished by someone with personal glamour?
HEATHER: It's so hard to tell who truly has personal glamour, except for, again, probably Sharon Stone and her ilk. A good stylist has an invisible hand -- I'm sure there are a lot of starlets with innate taste, but just as many of them who we THINK have innate taste actually have a stylist with a great eye for how to dress that girl's personality and make the clothes look like an extension of herself. So who's to say how much of glamour is natural to that person and how much is applied by a clever stylist? I guess in the sense that I am clearly a cynic, I probably would be surprised to find out whose sense of glamour is theirs and theirs alone, versus applied to them by a smart stylist.
JESSICA: I think almost every celebrity uses a stylist these days, so it really becomes, for me, a question, of who has the personality and the oomph to pull off truly glamourous items. Jennifer Lopez, for example, managed to get away with wearing false mink lashes, which -- no matter what you think of her -- is pretty glam.
The DG Dozen
1) How do you define glamour?
HEATHER: I think it's that rare combination of someone who can wear flashy, luxe, highly stylized clothes without getting lost in them -- someone for whom every outfit is an enhancement of her natural beauty, no matter what that outfit is.
JESSICA: I think that's a good definition. I also think glamour has a lot to do with attitude -- "I'll wear this turban and look amazing in it, darling" -- and supreme self-confidence in your own fabulousness. And impeccable attention to detail.
2) Who or what is your glamorous icon?
HEATHER: I had Cate Blanchett in mind when I answered the first question. She constantly wears crazy stuff that's fresh off the couture runways, stuff that would dwarf most other people and yet she glitters like a jewel in it. I am in awe of how she does it, and don't know what her secret is. I don't even like half of what she wears, but SHE, herself, always glows. Her choices are always interesting even if they're not to my taste, so she's a great example of how to go out on a limb without ever letting the clothes wear you, making her hugely iconic in my mind.
JESSICA: Cate Blanchett is very glamorous. I think Dita Von Teese is also quite glamorous. You know she's always impeccably done, even if she's just at home reading magazines.
HEATHER: I'll say it's a luxury that I wish were a necessity. I love watching old movies where people got dressed up for train/plane travel, or to go to the theater, or out to dinner. Not that I don't love my uniform of jeans, but how great would it be if we were still a society where getting dolled up in big-skirted dresses was the norm?
JESSICA: Glamour is by definition a luxury, in my mind. It's special, and rare. Which is not to stay that a little glamour doesn't improve your quality of life by quite a bit.
4) Favorite glamorous movie?
HEATHER: Is it wrong to call a Civil War movie glamorous? Because I can't get enough of Scarlett O'Hara's wardrobe from Gone With The Wind. Otherwise, because there are way too many movies from which to choose sensibly, I'm going to go with the totally ridiculous answer -- trust me, I know this is insane -- and say Clue. I mean, that house was awesome, the cars and phones and period details ruled; Miss Scarlett's slinky little green dress was fabulous, as was Mrs. Peacock's crazy fascinator and Mrs. White's black cape with the white-satin lining. And monkey's brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C.
JESSICA: Wow, it's hard to choose. I think Faye Dunaway is very glamorous in Chinatown, as well as Bonnie and Clyde. Elizabeth Taylor in anything at her prime. Most musicals from the 30s and 40s -- glam city. I thought Talented Mr Ripley was very glamorous -- Gwyneth wears this one blue cloak I have never forgotten. But I guess my number one overall pick would be All About Eve, primarily because everyone spends the entire movie making cutting remarks while holding a drink.
5) What was your most glamorous moment?
HEATHER: I don't think I've ever had one, actually -- that's not really my life. I mean, I felt awesome at my wedding, but does that even count as glamour?
JESSICA: Fashion Week is pretty glamorous, but we're mostly observing rather than participating in the glamosity. I hope to become personally more glamorous as I age.
HEATHER: If it weren't poisonous, I'd say a cigarette holder. Not that smoking is cool, kids, because it isn't -- The More You Know -- but rather, the LOOK of an old-school cigarette holder is such a stylish Old Hollywood thing. It evokes screen legends. As for my own personal glamorous object, I have a really fun perfume atomizer that has the big tassled pump on the end. It's kind of camp. It used to belong to the soap Passions, and I bought it for $3 when they sold off all the crap from the sets. I also have one pair of killer heels. They are by Christian Louboutin -- which I bought on eBay, because I really was not kidding about my life not being glamorous -- and whenever I put them on, I feel just a little bit fabulous.
JESSICA: I happen to own a white fur turban. That's pretty glam. Or camp. Depending on your sensibilities. Or appalling, I guess, if you're in PETA -- it's vintage, PETA! Don't throw a pie at me, please.
7) Most glamorous place?
HEATHER: Grand Central Station. Every time I walk in there, I imagine being there in the 40s, wearing a hat with a veil or something and kissing my uniformed sweetheart goodbye as one of us boarded the train and then leaned out the window, waving, possibly never to see each other again, and VERY possibly to see each other again only after he was presumed dead and I took up with his best friend. SIGH. It's just so evocative. Cannes during the Film Festival sounds kind of intensely glamorous, too. But if I could ever set foot in Elizabeth Taylor's closet, I'm sure it would put all other wannabe-glamorous places to shame.
JESSICA: Grand Central IS terribly glamorous. Anywhere that could be the setting for a romantic movie montage works for me. Like LA's Griffith Park Observatory
8) Most glamorous job?
HEATHER: It's hard to dispute the idea that Anna Wintour holds that gig right now. And I don't even just mean the business of running Vogue; more just the business of Being Anna Wintour. The tennis-match tickets, the galas, the front-row seats, and The Opinion That Matters... all that certainly screams glamour to me.
JESSICA: Or, on the other side of the taste coin, Dolly Parton. Imagine the wig closet! That's a whole other kind of glamour, though.
9) Something or someone that other people find glamorous and you don't?
HEATHER: Bright red lipstick. I think it can be glamorous, but that it's not glamorous in-and-of-itself -- meaning, I feel like people think they can put it on with any old outfit and, poof, insta-glam, but in fact when deployed carelessly it just looks trashy.
JESSICA: Smoking is kind of the obvious answer, isn't it? Although I believe that most people think that smoking is only glamorous in old movies now, anyway. I have to say, I don't care for Louis Vuitton-branded luggage or bags at all, which I know a lot of people adore. I just think having the brand all over your bag is too much.
10) Something or someone that you find glamorous whose glamour is unrecognized.
HEATHER: Fair skin. I should note that I am extremely pale myself, but I'm not saying this because I have an illusion that I myself am glamorous. Rather, I am impatient with this obsession with spray-on pigment, like you have to be bronzed or orange-tinted or even tan in order to be attractive. An alabaster complexion is timeless. I mean, it doesn't get much hotter than Dita Von Teese -- Mystic Tanners, take note.
JESSICA: The classic white tennis skirt.
11) Can glamour survive?
HEATHER: I hope so. I don't think it's truly threatened; I just think it takes a backseat sometimes to being hopelessly trendy.
JESSICA: Definitely. True glamour is timeless.
12) Is glamour something you're born with?
HEATHER: Not necessarily. A predilection for it could be, but to me it's more of an acquired skill that comes with developing your own sense of taste and how to execute it.
JESSICA: I agree. In fact, I'd argue that you can't be glamorous if you haven't been around the block a few times to begin with.
1) Angelina Jolie or Cate Blanchett?
HEATHER: Oooh. Jolie is my No. 1 girl crush, but she's too skinny when she's not pregnant and she's too obsessed with being monochromatic, so I'm going with Blanchett. Love the talent, love the skin, love the twinkle in her eye, love her sense of mischief with clothes even when I think she looks nuts.
JESSICA: That is hard. I adore Jolie. But I also think Blanchett is divine. And more glamourous.
HEATHER: Paris, since I've never been to Venice. Plus Paris has more of a reputation for fabulousness, although to be honest, I've never walked the streets there and felt dwarfed by effortless glamour -- but that probably just means I was either too young or just not walking the right streets.
JESSICA: I'd take either.
3) New York or Los Angeles?
HEATHER: Fashion-wise, I feel like L.A. is dominated by a lot more starlets and starlet-wannabes who are trying WAY too hard to catch the right producer's eye, which makes for more enjoyable people-watching. But for me personally, I'd move to New York tomorrow if I could -- I just need the damn lottery to come through for me.
JESSICA: I love Los Angeles, but I think that, unfortunately, the tacky parts of LA can outweigh the glories of Old Hollywood. New York tends to be more sophisticated.
4) Princess Diana or Princess Grace?
HEATHER: Princess Grace. I don't know how to articulate why -- maybe it's something to do with how Diana's style evolution almost felt more like revenge glamour (not that there's anything wrong with THAT, mind you), whereas Princess Grace's style felt more easy and less calculated. I have no idea if that's TRUE; that's just what I felt when I first tried to conjure them in my head.
JESSICA: Grace by a mile, though I loved Princess Diana. Grace Kelly in Rear Window is the epitome of glamour. Her Mark Cross leather overnight case, stuffed with negligees? Ordering in from 21? Fabulous. And her real life turned out pretty glam too.
5) Tokyo or Kyoto?
HEATHER: Let's go with Tokyo. Those Harajuku girls are a sight to behold. You certainly can't say that city isn't original.
JESSICA: I have to agree.
6) Boots or stilettos?
HEATHER: Oh, no. This is a Sophie's choice. Have I been going to the gym a lot? Well, even so, as much as I love a pair of boots, I think my affection for a really sexy, sharp, sky-high stiletto wins out here -- after all, they can make it LOOK a little bit like I've been working out even if I've been sitting on the couch eating Cheetos.
JESSICA: I love boots, but if I had to choose which one I would wear every day for the rest of my life, stilettos take it by a giant margin. I love a shoe that looks as though it could kill a man.
7) Art Deco or Art Nouveau?
HEATHER: Art Deco. That's one of the cool things about L.A. -- some of the buildings and apartments here, and of course Union Station downtown, have awesome art-deco flourishes. My husband and I did our engagement photos at Union Station and I almost made an album of them because I love the setting so much. Then I realized that having an album full of ONLY photos of the two of us is really crazy and vain.
8) Jaguar or Aston Martin?
HEATHER: Hmm. I'll say Aston Martin. James Bond loved an Aston Martin, and that is one glamorous dude.
JESSICA: Aston Martin.
9) Armani or Versace?
HEATHER: Armani, because the combination of his huge smile and crazy-fake tan amuses me so much. Also, he's responsible for a lot of Cate Blanchett's more interesting and divisive fashion choices.
JESSICA: Armani. Versace is a bit much for me, in general.
10) Diana Vreeland or Anna Wintour?
HEATHER: I'll go with Anna, for the reasons I mentioned above; you don't become as adored and feared as she is without having a serious glam gene in there somewhere.
JESSICA: I'll say Vreeland, if only because I long for a living room like her iconic red one.
11) Champagne or single malt?
HEATHER: Champagne, baby. Also, it's not very glamorous to sip your drink and then turn green and try not to spit it out, which is what happens whenever I have a rendezvous with whiskey.
JESSICA: Champagne. Always.
12) 1960s or 1980s?
HEATHER: Hmm. Clothes-wise, the '60s, but in terms of female empowerment, the '80s.
JESSICA: I also prefer the clothing of the 60s, but then, the 80s had Dynasty. I do agree that, in general, as much as we romanticize the past, things are better in the present.
13) Diamonds or pearls?
HEATHER: Pearls feel a bit stodgy to me most of the time, so I'll say diamonds, but in moderation. Well, unless you are Liz Taylor.
HEATHER: Naomi, hands down. Easy choice. The woman wore Dolce & Gabbana to the sanitation department, for God's sake. Kate Moss merely looks like she lives in the sanitation department.
JESSICA: Naomi, easily. I'm tired of Kate Moss and I actually don't find her particularly glamorous.
15) Sean Connery or Daniel Craig?
HEATHER: I haven't seen Casino Royale yet, but I'm going to go with Daniel Craig anyway, because I am shallow.
JESSICA: CRAIG. He is divine.
And so are you! Thanks, darlings.
[Celebrity photos courtesy of Image.net. Others from iStockphoto.com.]