Friday Playlist

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This week BurdaStyle goes to the dark side. SHEENA IS A PARASITE

Of all the music videos I’ve watched in my life, the only ones ever to give me nightmares were directed by Chris Cunningham. Cunningham is probably most famous for the video about robot romance he made for Bjork’s “All is Full of Love,” the sweetest-tempered thing Chris Cunningham has ever committed to film. The ones that give me nightmares are my favorites, though, and most Cunningham videos are nightmares, already, perverse and magnificent, and proceeding according to their own rigorous illogic. The video-cum-short he made for Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker,” for example, is a troubled night’s sleep mapped out for you in advance; it’s also a jaw-droppingly irreverent send-up of hip-hop vids, and any Freudian analyst’s wet dream. Cunningham’s been off the radar for a while, but he returned, recently, with a scabrous addition to his oeuvre, the video for The Horrors track “Sheena is a Parasite.” As best I can make out, The Horrors are a better-than-good glam-punk band getting a lot of traction in the U.K. on the back of their catchy guitar hooks and crazy haircuts; the song “Sheena is a Parasite” boils down the Ramones reference of its title into about a minute and a half of pure sneer. But that’s almost beside the point, when acting goddess Samantha Morton is in the shot and Cunningham is directing her in the world’s most abbreviated exploration of vagina dentata. The video is revolting and hypnotic, and goes by so fast you barely have time to notice the punch it’s landed to your subconscious. Welcome back, Chris. We’ll see you in our dreams.

Thursday Fashion

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This week BurdaStyle goes to the dark side. NUDE AS THE NEW

Now that the dust has settled, and after a month of letting the fashions jangle around my head, a sense of the seasonal mood for fall has begun to take shape. Mood, in fashion, is a different thing from its trends; it’s the quality of clothes that’s most difficult to piece out into “buy this, skip that” tips or notes on silhouette or styling. The distinction is similar, in some ways, to the difference between a hit single you can’t get enough of for a month, and an album that doesn’t make sense at first, but to which you keep returning; the analogy breaks down, however, when you consider that, unlike a record, which is made to abide, every fashion collection is designed for eventual obsolescence. And consider too, a premise of fashion so obvious, it almost doesn’t bear writing: Fashion exists to be worn. Clothes are functional in a way music isn’t, and thus extracting the meaning of a dress is complicated by one’s judgments of its dress-ness, e.g., if I wore that, would it make me look fat?

Wednesday Beauty

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This week BurdaStyle goes to the dark side. WITH NAIL AND I

Two of my more visceral fears relate to fingernails. For your sake, and for mine, I’ll spare the background on how I came by my terror of having a fingernail displaced. Let’s just say that blood was involved, the terror exists, and leave it at that. The other fingernail fear predates the first, and goes so far back with me, I can’t remember where it came from and couldn’t background it even if I cared to: Acrylic nails give me the heebie-jeebies. They gave me the deep creeps well before they sent shudders down my spine as a matter of style. I hate them.

Tuesday Icon

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This week BurdaStyle goes to the dark side. LOVE LABOURS LOST

Once upon a time, before MySpace, people I knew started sending me these curious email messages, which I routinely ignored. The subject headings read: “So-and-so wants to be your friend!” Invariably, the people from whom I received these messages already were my friends, and so I assumed I’d been caught up in a weirdly flirtatious go-round of spam. Then I’d run into one of my friends at a party, or I’d call some other friend to make a plan, and these friends of mine would ask: “How come you won’t be my friend?” The whole thing began to take on the aspect of a “Twilight Zone” episode. Eventually, I figured out what was up: Friendster. This was my introduction to the brave new world of social networking.

LOOK ON THE FRIGHT SIDE

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LOOK ON THE FRIGHT SIDE

Here, in no particular order, is a list of my fears:

Random violence. Rodent infestation. Flying. Getting a fingernail ripped off. Rejection. Hard drive crash. Al Qaeda. Running into a particular ex-boyfriend on my way home from the gym. Identity theft. Death in the family. Mayonnaise.

Saturday Trend

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This week, BurdaStyle goes on the road. TREND GET A GRIP

Let’s just say I have mixed feelings about Karl Lagerfeld. On the one hand, yeah, the guy’s a force of nature; he’s, like, 70 years old and a trendsetter anyway, a dude with admirably catholic taste and a work ethic that could put a Navy Seal to shame. On the other hand…I don’t know. Something about Karl rubs me the wrong way. The old-world sneer, the pallor, the hunting eyes hidden behind oversized shades. I think he’s a vampire. I know how that sounds, but hear me out – how else does he stay so perpetually au courant, if not by feasting on the blood of virgins? Karl, they drawl after him, his newly-minted zombies, so…genius…

Friday Playlist

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This week, BurdaStyle goes on the road. PLAYLIST MARK MANN

Several years before my family moved to Orlando, we took a trip to Disney World. I don’t remember much about this trip other than the ride to the park, the six hours or so from Miami. I was nervous, impatient and exhilarated; I had been overtaken by the sense that I was about to meet my destiny. What that destiny was, I had no clue. But I was tingled with foreboding.

Thursday Fashion

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This week, BurdaStyle goes on the road. FASHION ROAD WARRIOR

I am a total pack rat. My apartment is decorated with the hundreds of books, CDs and magazines I’ve amassed over the years. I refuse to part with my collection of VHS tapes, despite the fact that I no longer have a VCR. There’s a box under my bed filled with drafts of forgotten scripts, old rolodexes, outdated headshot postcards, and instruction manuals for printers, cell phones, Palm Pilots and laptops I’ve long since upgraded. I keep Altoids tins around on the theory they’ll come in handy, the shelves of my medicine cabinet sag under the weight of all the tried-but-didn’t-like moisturizers I figure I’ll pass along to friends, and I have never, ever, thrown away a shopping bag I thought I could re-use. In my own defense, I do re-use them, the Altoids tins have come in handy, and I am pretty generous about letting my friends shop my beauty closet. But every so often, like, when I’m turning over my apartment for a copy of the credit card bill with the never-resolved, still-disputed charge, I wish I were a minimalist. I wish I were one of those people who could pack my life up into a rucksack, hop on my vintage Ducati, and set out for parts unknown. I dated a guy like that. It didn’t work out.

Wednesday Beauty

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This week, BurdaStyle goes on the road. BEAUTY GO DE TOILETTE

A couple years ago I liked a boy I also sort of hated. He lived on the West Coast, I’m pretty sure the like/hate thing went both ways, and as though the miles separating us and our mutually ambivalent dynamic didn’t throw up enough space, said boy was also a wizard at the dark art of withholding. Like, for example, I’d dash off some relatively snappy email along the lines of, “Hey, did you see this article relating directly to X thing I know totally obsesses you?” And he’d write back something along the lines of “Yup.”

Tuesday Icon

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This week, BurdaStyle goes on the road. ICON CLEOPATRA JONES

“Man, that girl is ten miles of bad road!”

A ridiculous confession: I’ve always wanted someone to say that about me. I’ve always wanted to be described as ten miles of bad road. Fasten your seatbelt, guy, drop some lead on the gas and get ready to rumble. This chick was built for speed. And so on. It’s a ridiculous confession because I am not, realistically, the kind of girl anyone would describe as ten miles of bad road, or even two miles of bad road. Maybe a quarter-mile, but “that girl is a quarter-mile of bad road” doesn’t have the same sexy ring; it’s more like saying, “Watch out! Speed bumps!” Still a good idea to buckle up, but no man’s gunning the engine.

GET A MOVE ON

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GET A MOVE ON

The number one thing I love about New York: I don’t have to drive anywhere.

The number one thing I miss, living in New York: Driving.

Not always; not every day. I certainly don’t relish the idea of fighting the traffic around here, braking my way crosstown then circling the block 17 or 18 times before I find a parking space, halfway back the way I came. I’ve rented cars in New York; I know the score. But then a certain heat comes whispering through the air, not warmth yet, but its harbinger, and the familiar, pedal-to-the-metal urge comes over me. Spring fever. Wanderlust. The need for speed, after months of cooped-up winter. It’s so American, that feeling, the burn to get up and go, head West, put some miles between you and your history.

Saturday Trend

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This week, BurdaStyle gets its groove on. DYE, DYE MY DARLING

As a trend-watcher, I feel it’s my duty to blow the whistle on criminal style. Technicolor denim is on the right side of the fashion law, though I’m sitting the trend out in deference to the axiom that any fad you wore the first time, you sit out when it comes again. Like a cop at a broken stop light, however, I’d like to halt fashion traffic for a moment, and point out where history tells us this particular fad is headed. When I was ten, my babysitter had a pair of pink jeans she liked to wear on Friday and Saturday nights, when she was going out later.

Friday Playlist

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This week, BurdaStyle gets its groove on. PLAYLIST BANGFACE

Everything I know about rave can pretty much be summed up by three things: The movie 24 Hour Party People, glowsticks, and the Pulp song “Sorted for E’s & Wizz.” The few raves I went to weren’t really raves, at least not in the view of a girl sorted for neither e’s nor wizz. The first one I attended set the tone: A few people dancing in a pasture to bad four-on-the-floor techno you could barely hear, as disinterested dealers elbowed through the crowd trying to make eye contact with buyers. I remember one girl throwing up on some weeds near the blanket my friends had laid out; I remember another one, shirtless, sitting in the dirt staring at her hands. People passed 40s around and, yes, there were glowsticks. You have to handicap for the fact that this was Central Florida, but even so the whole event had the aura of late-era desperation to it, revelers trying hard to live the dream before it died. About a month later, I asked my mom, in so many words, whether I could go to a rave the following weekend. That’s how little the rave scene impressed me: I didn’t feel compelled to lie to my parents about it.

Thursday Fashion

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This week, BurdaStyle gets its groove on. FASHION DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION

We have entered the age of simultaneity. Once upon a time, not too long ago, in fact, retro looks had their day in the sun and then faded again, replaced by the next old idea newly exhumed from the thrift shops. No more: Looks for spring and fall range across a vast spectrum of inspiration, with the ‘20s, the ‘30s, the ‘40s, the ‘60s, the ‘70s, and pretty much every formerly degraded look from the ‘80s represented, somewhere. The really postmodern thing is go time-traveling in your closet, mixing and matching among the epochs. Straight-up homage would be so…predictable.

Wednesday Beauty

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This week, BurdaStyle gets its groove on. BEAUTY REN REVIVO-TONIC

I am the queen of stupid injuries. Other people lay themselves up tackling black diamond ski trails, or training for marathons, or going to surf camp in Costa Rica. Aside from a recurring case of wrist tendonitis due to whacking the ball too hard at tennis, all my serious injuries are ones I have to lie about later. Some highlights:

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