Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Tonight: Say goodbye to Anthony Taylor with Blimprov improv

GOODBYEANTHONYAnthony Taylor is one of those wears-a-lot-of-hats guys. He’s known in the cultural/theater arts creative community for his work with the Organic Theater Company, as a member of the Blimprov comedy team, for his video work at Windsong Productions, as the host of Creative Fresno’s Pechkucha Night and/or his keen fashion sense (see: Warby Parker).

Some of you may remember back in August, Taylor announced he would be leaving for Fresno for New York City (where his wife got a new job). Well, he’ll be leaving (officially) at the end of October and his buddies in Blimprov are doing a Bon Voyage performance/party, 7 p.m. tonight at Frank’s Place. Tickets are $10.

I took my iPhone down to the Windsong offices, asked Taylor some questions about Fresno (and what it means to be leaving) and put together this video. In the final tally, Taylor understands a simple truth: We are all replaceable. That said, those who knew (or worked with) him know he will be missed. Video on the jump.

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You rate the look: Fresno State football uniforms

College football season is just around the corner. Today, Fresno State released this video showing off its 2013 uniforms, including an all black version. The Bee shares these tidbits about the uniforms.

What do you think of the look? You rate the look.

You rate the look: Target’s new Prabal Gurung collection

prabal222Target will unveil its Prabal Gurung collection Sunday, its latest collaboration with a high-end designer. Gurung’s women’s clothing, purses, shoes and jewelry range from $12.99 to $199.99 at Target.

No word yet on whether Gurung’s will sell out like Jason Wu’s collection did.

Gurung’s clothing ranges from brightly colored ruffled dresses to pieces that look like they’ve been subject to Jackson Pollock’s paintbrush.

What do you think? What would you wear or not be caught dead in? Personally, I love the classic-with-an-update ruffled dresses, like the bright red one. I think some of the more busy prints are probably a little more appropriate for teens than someone my age.

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Your first look at Fresno’s DSW, opening Thursday


Shoe lovers, rejoice!

DSW, or Designer Shoe Warehouse, will open its Fresno store to shoppers tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 13) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store, at the Villaggio Shopping Center (official address is 7923 Blackstone Ave.), is 18,000 square feet and has 24,000 pairs of shoes. It is DSW’s first store in Fresno. It will open another Central Valley store in Modesto in October.
What makes DSW special? DSW’s West Regional Manager Jim Mires says: “The convenience of our stores. The ways things are laid out, from heels to men’s. It’s a great environment to shop in.”

DSW is known for its selection and discount prices (I noticed a range of $50-$140) on designer shoes. During a tour of the store earlier today, I spotted a wide variety of style — boots, booties, flats, pumps, platforms, wedges — from designers such as Michael Kors, Guess, Jessica Simpson, Via Spiga, Steve Madden, Crown Vintage, Pink & Pepper, Converse, Vans, New Balance, Brooks and Nike.

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You rate the look: 2012 Team USA Opening Ceremony Uniforms

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Today, Ralph Lauren unveiled the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Uniforms, which the company describes as embodying “the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship.” The 2012 Olympics start in London on July 27.

According to the new release, the uniforms feature “classic silhouettes in a timeless palette of navy and white with pops of red.” Much of the Olympic collection is also on sale to the public.

The women’s look includes a white blouse and fitted navy blazer, a cotton scarf with red, white and navy stripes and a knee-length skirt. The men’s look includes a white club-collar sport shirt, a red and navy tie, tailored double-breasted blazer and cuffed trousers.

So how do you rate this look? Is it a fashion win? Will these looks stand out during the opening ceremonies?

My opinion: The look is more dressy than sporty. My favorite piece is the women’s scarf, which is fun and youthful. I’d say they’re nice, but I don’t have a “wow” reaction.

You rate the look: Trashique 2012

The Fresno Art Museum did a wonderful job creating an entertaining fundraiser on Saturday with its fashion-meets-recycling concept Trashique. The event really showcases creativity and innovation through fashion. I really loved how the artists interpreted the 13 scenes, each inspired by different art theme. I particularly loved the Van Gogh and pop-art designs.

Above all, I find the use of these “trash” materials inspired. All the designs showed ingenuity. It was fun getting a closer look at the designs after the show and realizing how beautiful odd objects can become when manipulated in a creative way. I’d love to hear what you think of the fashion, so share your critiques in the comments for this edition of You Rate the Look.

I’ll start with one of my favorites, from Adam Mena (modeled by Skylar Devoogd), which used balloon fragments. (Sorry for the soft focus – low light + iPhone = not too sharp).


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You rate the look: NY Fashion Week

Fashion designers have been sending all kinds of looks down the runway the past as part of New York Fashion Week. Which brings us to another round of “You Rate the Look.” So take scroll through some of the designs presented and share your critiques in the comments.

We’ll start with one of my favorite dresses, from designer Jason Wu (who presented a much different collection that his recent Target looks). I love the contrast between the covered top and open leg. Sexy but not slutty. I also really love the L’Wren Scott dress for its color and shape. I also like the movement of the J. Mendel dress.

Jason Wu

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Ladies, get ready to shop! Target unveils new looks from Jason Wu

Target unveiled the new looks from designer Jason Wu that will go on sale between Feb. 5 and March 6. The mix of dresses, skirts, tops, handbags and scarves look pretty cute, and seem like they would flatter most body types. Target describes the line this way:

Jason Wu for Target brings a mix of modern, sophisticated pieces in bold hues and feminine prints that women everywhere will love. The designer collection is inspired by the vision of an American girl in Paris, bringing Jason Wu’s signature aesthetic and attention to detail to Target’s guests at incredible prices.

The prices seem pretty affordable. Apparel will cost from $19.99 to $59.99, while handbags and scarves will cost $19.99 to $49.99. (The look above: Jersey Dress in Red/Navy Stripes, $34.99 Cat Tote in Cream, $39.99).

Here are some of the looks.

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Frenzy for the new Air Jordans

People are crazy for the Air Jordan XI Concord shoes, a replica of the original 1996 Air Jordan. Seakerheads lined up over night from coast to coast to snatch a pair of the $180 kicks.

Things got a bit tense at Fashion Fair Mall this morning, but not as bad as at some stores in other parts of the country where shoe lovers broke down barriers and brawled. Here’s an ABC News story about the frenzy.

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A check of eBay shows hundreds oif pairs of the shoes for sale, some already asking for up to $500.

You know I love shoes. But this sure beats my shoe crazy.

Gwen Stefani + Target = new kids clothing line


Did anyone see the news that super fashion icon and singer Gwen Stefani has teamed up with Target to launch a new kids clothing line, Harajuku Mini for Target?

The clothing, for babies, kids and tweens, will be available in stories and online Nov. 13. Stefani says the items are inspired by “playful” Japanese kids clothing and encourages creativity and individual expression. Cost will be $3.99 to $29.99.

What do you think? Will you give your kid a Stefani-style makeover?

You rate the look: Kate’s royal tour dresses

Kate, aka the Duchess of Cambridge/Princess Catherine, is really putting on a fashion display while touring Canada. This princess really loves dresses. And I can’t blame her. She looks great wearing them. It’s interesting to look at how she swaps shoes and clutches and hairdos. I can’t wait to see what she wears when she arrives in California on Friday.

What do you think, does she deserve fashion raves? You rate the looks.


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You rate the look: Versace swimwear

This look comes from Donatella Versace at Fashion Week in Milan. It makes me laugh because I could never imagine any of the guys I know sporting this look.


The Associated Press describes the look as “over-the-top poolside outfits with an extra large terry cloth robe and matching swim trunks.”

Over-the-top, indeed. Talk about an understatement! What do you think?

(To be fair, you can find some fine-looking menswear fashion here.)

Fresno FashionWeek event planned


Organizers of Fresno FashionWeek, which is planned between August 18-27, are getting things rolling with an informational meeting tonight, 7-9 p.m. at Swiggs Bar|Sports.

I asked Marcial Marmolejo, the executive director of Fresno FashionWeek, to tell me more about his plans to showcase local fashion and boutiques.

How did FFW come about?
There really is no better way to say this than I’ve always been wanting to put together an event of some sort whether it be a theatrical production, a fashion show, or a concert. Many ideas came to mind but none of them developed into a fruitful concept with a future. It wasn’t until I was watching TV and saw a commercial for LA Fashion Week that I came up with the idea of bringing a similar concept to the Central Valley.

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Here’s an idea for Mother’s Day: Take mom purse shopping

OK, I’m a sucker for a good handbag. So I love the idea of this event – maybe even enough to be up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

DAV Thrift Stores is having a designer purse sale tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stock includes designs such as Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dooney and Bourke. Nice.


The best part, buying one of these purses or handbags helps out veterans.

The Super-sized Forever 21 is open

Fresno is now home to one of the biggest Forever 21 stores there is. It’s GIANT, people. At 150,000 square feet, over three stories, it’s even bigger than the store in New York City’s Time Square. That tidbit from Bee reporter Bethany Clough’s story in today’s paper really made an impression — and makes me eager to go check the store out.

The super-sized store is all part of new concept for Forever 21. From the story:

The new store features the company’s most recent design prototype. It’s the latest move in the retailer’s strategy to turn itself into a department store. It hopes to attract new customers with its larger stores, and long-term plans call for making every shopper a Forever 21 customer, Meyer said.

As the chain evolves, its new items will be showcased in Fresno, he said.

“We used to be only trendy,” he said. “Now we have basics as well as trendy merchandise. We have active wear, casual wear, urban [clothing].”

Here are a few photos from Bee photographer Mark Crosse:

The basic section. Notice the $3.50 price tag.


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Fun new local blog about fashion

Fresno State‘s Theater Arts Department started Fashioning the Past, a new blog that categorizes the university’s extensive collection of costumes and accessories. Here’s an overview from the page:

Over the years, the costume department at California State University, Fresno has accrued a collection of approximately 3500 historical garments and 1000 accessories that have been donated from private collections. Until recently, the collection was essentially forgotten in its storage space in the basement.

Besides photos of the vintage costumes, the blog posts include a lot of detail about the clothing and materials. My favorite part are fun details like the dimensions. These are from a post on an Edwardian era blouse:

Bust: 28″
Waist: 18″
Sleeve Length: 25″
Armscye to Armscye Back: 14″
Armscye to Armscye Front: 14″
Center Front: 17″

What a great connection to past fashion. I’ll be interested to see how the collection unfolds. If you’re interested in seeing the collection, some garments are on display in the Lyles Gallery in the Speech Arts Building.

You rate the look: Travis Sheridan’s singlet

Travis Sheridan gave the Beehive bloggers a little ribbing, including my fashion posts, during his Pecha Kucha presentation at the birthday bash last night. At one point, while mocking the whole butt-drag controversy, he tore off a bathrobe to reveal this daring singlet. A gutsy fashion move? Or a moment he’ll regret for the rest of his life? (I mean really, Beyonce is probably the only human who actually looks good in one of these bodysuit getups.)

So I thought it would be fun to give the Beehive community the opportunity to critique his outfit. So what do you think? You rate the look:


Photo: Donald Munro

You rate the look: DWTS dress collection

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and dressmaker La Femme have teamed up for a new collection of dresses called “Dancing with the Stars by La Femme.” The dresses, which will cost between $348-$598, can probably be found locally at Mia Bella Couture, which La Femme lists as its local retailer.

The collection will be available later this month and will feature cocktail and evening dresses “inspired by the show” featuring “luxury” fabric. Here are a few images passed along in a press release. What do you think? You rate the look:


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You rate the look: Golden Globe gowns

It’s time to rate the fashions seen on last night’s Golden Globe Awards. There were definitely trends: lots of bare backs, long sleeves and color. Plus, a lot less jewelry.

I liked seeing more color and what seemed like more individuality (what do you think about the two different shades of shoe on Helena Bonham Carter?) and the super-sexy bare backs (Emma Stone rocked the look and so did Claire Danes). I wasn’t wowed at all by Christina Aguilera, who seems to look off at every event lately, and I really dislike the dress worn by January Jones. Not flattering. But, Halle Berry and Sofia Vergara sure did look hot. They know how to work a red carpet!

So what do you think? You rate the look:

Emma Stone:


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Did They Just Say Fresno? I Candy Hair Studio

I Candy Hair Studio on Barstow is getting some national attention for its flashy, fun nails. They’ve tossed out traditional-looking pink and white acrylics for some crazy shapes, including Duck Feet, Moon Shaped, Crown Shaped and Stilleto nails. They top it off with hand-painted art. Take a look:

This is definitely not your traditional salon. Check out some of their other videos.