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What Miss Plumcake is… | Manolo's Shoe Blog

What Miss Plumcake is…

It’s Tuesday, time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Fashion is Spinach by Elizabeth Hawes

Think of American couturier Elizabeth Hawes’ 1938 wry, witty memoir as a sort of precursor to Diana Vreeland’s fantastic (in every sense)D.V., although it stands in its own right without a cult of personality to support it. Happily, it’s in the public domain and available for free, though it made for such a fun read I’ll probably hunt down a printed copy.

Watching: How to Scale, Gut and Fillet a Fish by Darina Allen

Because sometimes a girl just wants to see an Irish woman in a severe bob eviscerate some seafood. Okay, really it’s because I’m a sucker so I signed up to fillet the catch of the day from my yacht club’s charity fishing tournament without understanding that knowing where my fancy fillet knife is is not the same as actually being able to fillet a fish.


Hearing: The Reverend Al Green

I’ve been listening to my Al Green Pandora station non-stop for the past three weeks and I’m still not pregnant. This message brought to you by the fine people at NuvaRing. NuvaRing: It’s like Earplugs For Your Ovaries.


Smelling: Cumming: The Fragrance by Alan Cumming and Christopher Brosius.

The only true masterwork celebrity fragrance, this sexy scent of dry smoke, Scotch and peat is one of my all time favorite scents. Beautifully composed by perfume’s enfant terrible, Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume, it’s surprisingly wearable and happily available repackaged but not reformulated as CB I Hate Perfume: 2nd (Alan) Cumming.


Loving: Grace Coddington

Even with her comparatively lukewarm homage to Edith Wharton’s curious coterie in this month’s Vogue, she’s still the best stylist and creative director working in fashion. Her December 2003 spread “Alice in Wonderland: A Fashion Fairytale” was one of those rare pictorials where, nearly ten years later, I still remember where I was the moment I saw it.


Hating: Vogue’s Ongoing Commitment to Exactly No Diversity.

Oh, were you sitting down for that one? 916 pages of fashion in the form of editorials and ads, and exactly two plus-size women (just the faces, of course): Queen Latifah in a Cover Girl ad and a shot of Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte in a spread where she’s crouching in the passenger’s seat of a convertible, hidden behind black clothes, heavy bangs, the roadster and its windshield. Although there were a few women of color, they were the same few. A self-congratulatory section on the rise of the Asian model –there are what, six now getting regular runway time– was particularly hollow laugh-inducing as they were able to fit pretty much all of them in one medium-width shot.


Wanting: Red Python Slingbacks by Alexandre Birman, 60% off

Because you know, sometimes a girl just needs a pair of vampy-bordering-on-trampy red shoes. Fit notes: Outnet says to order a half size up. I only have one pair of Birmans, some sky-scrapingly high jobbers with a sort of Viv Westwood Frankenstein Prostitute vibe (but uh, in an elegant way) and I found they ran surprisingly wide for a premium designer shoe. Do with that what you will.


Buying: Retin-A .05 Gel

Of all the pharmaceuticals I’ve bought from a guy in a giant stuffed head, this is definitely my favorite.

Retinoids are the only topical product proved to reduce wrinkles. It’s over the counter in most of Europe and Latin America but /I think it’s still rx-only in the states. I thought I was going to have to Botox or bathe in the blood of virgin leprechauns to get rid of the few fine lines that’ve reared their unwelcome heads since I moved down to my sunny paradise, but I’ve been using my 5% Retinoic Acid cream for three weeks and not only do I have the most even skin tone of my life, all but the most pernicious forehead wrinkle –the one I use to judge with– have disappeared, as in gonesville. Gracias, Dr Simi!

5 Responses to “What Miss Plumcake is…”

  1. The formerly shoe-obsessed Wayne September 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Looooove the slingbacks: the color, the platform, the heel, and most of all the texture of the python leather!

    • Miss Plumcake September 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      @TFS-OW. Me too! I have a pair in pale blue to green variegated python I just adore.

  2. Arabella Flynn September 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Retinoic acid is still Rx-only, I think, but the lower-strength retinol is not. I used Retin-A as a teenager (I’m allergic to benzoyl peroxide, so my anti-acne tactic was to peel layers of my face off until I got down to one too cowed to do anything I didn’t want) and the generic retinol cream I get at CVS works exactly the same: I peeled like a mo-fo for a few days, then everything righted itself and I stopped being all bumpy and uneven. The last time someone asked me how old I was I ended up having to get out ID to prove it. Thank God I look just about old enough to drink, or I’d spend most of my time at bars arguing with the bouncers.

    Similarly, you can get things with alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) in them that work like a low-strength glycolic acid peel. Retinol and AHA creams often come in a day and a night version; the day kind usually has sunscreen in it to offset the increased sensitivity to UV light.

  3. metoo September 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I agree about hating Vogue’s lack of diversity in models. Over 10 years ago I emailed them to ask if they had ever had an Asian woman on the cover of Vogue (although I have seen an occasional Asian model on the cover of TeenVogue as part of a group of models, but never alone. I got a 1-sentence reply that they had never had an Asian woman on the cover of Vogue. This summer, I put a petition on change.com for Vogue to feature an Asian woman on the cover. That’s over 3 generations of Vogue readers who have never seen an Asian woman on the cover, so I’d say it’s high time.

    • Miss Plumcake September 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      @Metoo: Amen. American Vogue rarely if ever features models on the cover anymore anyway, but all that does is open up the question of “where are all the Hollywood mainstream Asian actresses?”