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Wendy Brandes
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Wendy Brandes is a journalist-turned-jewelry designer. She blogs -- irreverently -- about fashion trends, medieval history, current events, pop culture and the ins-and-outs of running a small business.

Entries by Wendy Brandes

Like Lorde: Indie Beauty Firms Offer Lipstick for Punk Pouts

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 1:40 PM

If you like to be at the forefront of new makeup trends, wave goodbye to the bedazzled nail art that celebrities flaunt for the red-carpet "mani-cam." The daring beauty statement du jour is a purple, blue, black or green lipstick, and some of the best products are being...

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Miley May Gain From 'Fading Affect Bias' Like Madonna, Britney and Elvis

(8) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 6:20 PM

For those of you thinking that Miley Cyrus should feel chastened over negative reaction to her hip-thrusting, tongue-jutting performance at MTV's Video Music Awards August 25, I've got surprising news: You're more likely to change your mind about her antics than Miley is, thanks to a psychological phenomenon...

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Not So Fast There! The Surprisingly Long Life of Fashion Trends

(21) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Are you finally ready to try skinny jeans but wondering if the trend has already passed you by? After all, no less a wit than Oscar Wilde declared "Fashion is ephemeral. Art is eternal," in an 1885 newspaper essay called "The Philosophy of Dress." The famous dandy --...

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Anna Nicole Smith Gives Amy Gerhartz a Big Break

(2) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 1:16 PM

Remember her name: Amy Gerhartz.

Gerhartz is the voice behind the moody snippets of the 1980 song "Fame" that were heard during the trailer for Anna Nicole, Lifetime Television's original movie about the late Playboy and Guess model Anna Nicole Smith. The minute-long spot featured clips...

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Get Sporty With Wedge Sneakers (PHOTOS)

(7) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 11:33 AM

When the five members of the 1990s pop supergroup the Spice Girls reunited for the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics on Sunday, Victoria Beckham -- formerly known as Posh Spice  -- needed to bring her "A" game, style-wise. After all, she's now a fashion designer who

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Spring's Brights and Lights: Neon and Pastels in Fashion

(10) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 5:10 PM

You can't miss one of the big fashion trends this season: eye-popping neon colors. As Stephanie Solomon, fashion director of Bloomingdale's department stores, says, "Whether it be a handbag, belt, a pair of jeans, a dress or skirt, this spring, neon is what will make anything in your wardrobe a...

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A Dress Worthy of a Nobel Prize

(10) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 3:05 PM

It could be the happiest day of your life. Or the saddest. It could be a wedding or a funeral. Either way, it doesn't matter how you feel about fashion. You still have to get dressed, and whatever you wear will be meaningful. So what do you wear on a...

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Rated X-Ray: Sheer Fashion Gets Around

(31) Comments | Posted March 11, 2012 | 4:20 PM

When I was a kid, young boys yearning for a glimpse under women's clothes would save their pennies to buy the always-disappointing novelty item X-Ray Specs from comic-book ads. Today, all curious adolescents need to do is pick up a copy of People or

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Fashion Bloggers Flaunt Blue-Collar Pride

(7) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 11:25 AM

A denim shirt/jacket with jeans: some call the look the Texas tuxedo; others call it the Canadian tuxedo. Fashionistas called it a faux pas until 2009, when Chloe, Ralph Lauren and D&G sent head-to-toe denim down the runway. The next year, the style went...

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The Agony and Ecstasy of a Small Business

(39) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 12:03 PM

I have a small fine-jewelry business. I've also had a root canal. I think they're very similar: Forewarned might be forearmed, but it doesn't eliminate the need for painkillers. I knew -- both from talking to people with experience and plain old common sense -- that the business...

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'Tis the Season for Peplums

(10) Comments | Posted December 5, 2011 | 7:44 PM

"Never say never"? That doesn't go far enough when it comes to fashion. The best way to predict trends is to remember my theory that "Never is the next new thing." That's because the most provocative/grating/startling looks -- the ones that make you say, "I would NEVER wear that!" --...

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Rap-O-Lantern: Rick Ross Pumpkin Goes Viral for Halloween

(5) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 5:17 PM

The Halloween decoration that's sweeping the Internet today is a carved-pumpkin tribute to rapper Rick Ross. Ross, who calls himself, "The Boss," has been known to wear a giant diamond pendant representing his own face, complete with distinctive beard and sunglasses. It was that image that...

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Love Me, Love My Houndstooth

(2) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 9:43 PM

In its February review of Ferragamo's fall/winter 2011 show, Style.com wrote, "Here's something you weren't expecting: Salvatore Ferragamo just might be the sleeper hit of Milan fashion week -- and all in shades of black, white, and gray, too." Sure enough, when I walked past the

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How to Wear Snake Print and Color-Blocking

(6) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 10:34 PM

I recently wrote about how three spring trends -- color-blocking, the color red and animal print -- have evolved for fall. I saw all three looks in action on Sept. 7, 2011, when 330 fashion bloggers kicked off New York Fashion Week at the sixth Independent Fashion Bloggers...

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How Three Spring Trends Have Evolved for Fall

(10) Comments | Posted August 27, 2011 | 8:09 PM

Fashion revolution? More like an evolution: While we expect new fashion trends each season, some of the fresh looks are, on closer inspection, variations on current styles. Color-blocking, the color red and animal print were all big news this spring. If you've grown fond...

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Mullets Go Mainstream

(24) Comments | Posted July 11, 2011 | 11:45 AM

Bi-level mullet styles may be having their highest-profile moment since 1992. That year, singer Billy Ray Cyrus's "business in the front, party in the back" hairstyle was as well-known as his hit song "Achy Breaky Heart." Actress Geena Davis won a permanent place on "

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Do Long Skirts Mean You Should Short Stocks?

(22) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 10:30 AM

Whenever a new skirt length comes into style -- whether mini or maxi -- you can count on commentators to bring up the "hemline index." The economic theory, attributed to Wharton professor George Taylor, suggested that when folks were feeling flush, skirts got shorter and when...

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Real Women Wear Leopard Print

(24) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 6:27 PM

Ignore that headline. I've never liked the "real women" concept. If "real women have curves," are less-curvy women imaginary? We're still pitting one kind of woman against another. For lack of a better term, your "real woman" is my "fashion civilian," meaning her appearance isn't a key part...

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The Fashion Writer and the Other 'S-Word'

(12) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 9:42 AM

Christian Dior designer John Galliano's career imploded in February, when accusations that he made anti-Semitic remarks were followed by a video showing Galliano slurring, "I love Hitler." While the fashion industry was focused on that, an unfortunate aside from one of my favorite fashion writers, the venerable Suzy...

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This Red-Hot Spring Trend Has Legs

(21) Comments | Posted April 1, 2011 | 12:52 PM

This season is all about the red leg. Fashion bloggers first started wearing red tights during the winter months. Now that spring is coming to the northern hemisphere, they're switching to red pants. The trend works for all ages, shapes and budgets. Fast-fashion companies including H&M,

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