Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The VALENTINO exhibition stands, in my opinion, as one of the most amazing fashion exhibitions ever. It is in the same league as the Halston, Jackie Kennedy and Versace exhibitions. Staged in Rome at the Ara Pacis Museum, this was a breathtaking exhibition. The forms are all positioned and posed in a way that makes you think they are watching the second coming or watching some spectacular, natural event. They are all standing with arms outstretched, gazing to the heavens as if they were angels watching God's awe inspiring power. Needless to say, the effect is amazingly dramatic. This is the epitome of VAL'S GALS. To top all of that off, you see up close and personal the pure genius of the brilliant VALENTINO GARAVANI, or simply, Valentino (Val, Mr. Valentino, the sheikh of Chic, Le Chic, etc) . From the most amazing draping to the most beautiful embellishments to the amazing daywear and accessories - whatever this man touches has a severe feeling of luxury, money, chicness and rarity. Known for his love of red, Valentino's repetoire of color was amazingly diverse and rich. An amazing coral embroidered crocodile jacket would make you want to slap yo' momma....lace and ribbon basketweave plaid separates show you how twisting a classic brings about newness.... hand draping that must have taken 5 little Italian mamas 2 months to make...woven chiffon gowns....enough beading to give the little Indian beading men arthritis....cashmere double face coats.....camouflage day and evening......the choices of exquisite beauty were endless. Cases of notes and sketches gave you a small glimpse into the way a brilliant mind works. The original dress forms and gowns of celebs like Halle, Liz Taylor, Reese, Julia were fun to see (they are all freakishly tiny!). This exhibition was truly inspiring.

Their Eyes Were Watching God - an army of angels .

Beading, draping, degrade', asymmetry, all add up to plain ole' gorgeous.

Stairway To Heaven - Angels draped in rainbows of ombre chiffon and beads.

Original wedding gown of Grace Kelly when she married into the royalty of Monaco.

A heavenly chorus giving praise to God!!! All they needed was a little gospel music in the background. This was absolutely divine staging. Miles and miles of red chiffon, georgette, satin, taffeta and jersey...................

Rouched tulle pouf gown in multi colored harlequin pattern.

In addition to me, black was repping in the house that day.

Off The Wall - the amazing entrance.

The Arch Angel.


The Monument Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II was designed by Guiseppe Sacconi in 1895 and it's construction was completed in 1925. It is one of Rome's largest yet most reviled monuments. Romans dislike its grandiose size, stark white marble appearance and overly blocky shape. It is often called THE WEDDING CAKE in reference to it's stacked design. I am not a fan of the monument but what I love is the 2 gorgeous statues of the winged gods riding their chariots. I have always been a fan of any imagery of Greek and Roman gods, angels and other religious iconography depicting super-humans with God-like characteristics. Thus my love of Wonder Woman (Greek goddess Diana), Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans and 300.


Roman street performer getting her dance on for cash. She was giving me lite African dance class feelings. I wanted to join in with a little basketweave move myself.

Caesar's Forum

Roman cats having their day in the sun.

Amazing arches in close proximity to the Colosseum.

The amazing Colosseum is one of my all time favorite monuments. It is truly breathtaking and other worldly. You feel as though you have been hyper warped into the movie GLADIATOR. This is the embodiment of awesome.

The exit of the Vatican is actually one of the most spectacular features with it's amazing spiral etched staircase.

Draped in the name of the Roman gods.

Gorgeous ceilings in the Vatican.

The art collection of the Vatican rivals those of the great museums of the world. In addition to the amazing beauty and the luxe effect that the Vatican serves aplenty, I was also struck by the feeling that all of that wealth was funded with the blood of entire civilizations, cultures and ethnic groups. People were stripped of their histories, religions, beliefs and traditions in the name of the church. I thought of the demonization of gays and people who make alternative choices in life. I thought about all of the little children abused by priests and the way the church covered it up for lifetimes. I had a bit of a feeling of sadness at the Vatican because of this.

Bodies beautiful.

The Pantheon

Fountains at the Piazza Navona.

The world famous Spanish Steps.

Rome has become one of my favorite European cities. The people are warm and inviting and the sights are unbelievably amazing. You really feel transported back in time. You expect a chariot to race pass you at any time. Rome of course has delectable food that will make any dieter say ciao to low carb menus. I will NEVER forget Rome. It will forever be emblazoned in my memory for reasons far beyond sightseeing and paninis. Rome is a MUST VISIT city - go and have a gelato for me!!!

All photos by me.


I just finished HOW TO BE LOST by Amanda Eyre Ward. HTBL tells the story of Caroline, eldest sister of three daughters. From the outside looking in, it appears that their suburban New York family is perfect - traditional mom and dad, good looks, good money, gorgeous home. But, the walls of their grand home house alcoholism, loneliness and a distinct sadness. When Ellie, the youngest, comes up missing, the already vulnerable family drifts further apart.

Fast forward into adulthood where Caroline has tried to escape her past by running away to New Orleans to work as a cocktail waitress. While visiting home, her mom shows her a picture from a national magazine of someone they both become convinced is her now adult sister. Caroline packs up her life and heads off to find the young woman who in her mind is her sister and the key to solving her family's grief.

The irony of the title adds to the intriguing nature of this story. At first glance, the 'lost' reference immediately puts your mind on Ellie, the missing kid. But you will soon find that almost all of the characters are lost in some way. Some want to remain that way while others are in desperate need to find their way. Sometimes we can want something so bad that we start to neglect our true realities and to ignore the inner voice that guides us safely through life. Ignoring this intuition will leave all of us 'lost' in one way or another.

Ward weaves an amazing tale by mixing narrative, flashbacks and pen-pal letters from an unknown yet important source. This mixture is very loose in the beginning but becomes more and more tightly woven as the story draws to an end. Many of those that are 'lost' start to find their way even before the truth is revealed.

I never wanted to put this book down and in many ways, I needed to hear this story right now in my own life. This book is very touching and endearing and is highly recommended.


OK, just so you know, Barack is The Man to me. I just love his straightforward way, sense of reality, compassion, consistency on the issues, his being removed from the political status quo and the sprinkles on the icing of the cake is that he is super cute.

I just love this cute clip from the Ellen Show. Ellen just happens to be one of my favorite dancers. Given 30 more seconds, he was really gonna break it on down!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Hello everyone. Please bear with me while I take care of some personal stuff that has pulled me away from my cultural pie baking. I will be back at it on Monday, so please come back and see what is fresh from the kitchen. I look forward to serving you each a big slice of Cultural Pie.

Ciao for now and see you soon.