The Rose Note

Apr 05, 2017 | 5:30 PM

Letter to Ivanka

Dear Ivanka,

My name is Isabel Rose and I bet if we played a quick game of Six Degrees of Separation we would discover many mutual acquaintances. This shouldn’t come as a suprise. After all, we are both from prominent New York real estate families, we both attended private all-girls schools and went on to earn degrees from Ivy League colleges, and we both married smart Jewish men and now have young children. And I suspect, from the photos you share on your Instagram feed, that we also share a love of motherhood and would do anything to ensure the happiness and security of our kids.

When our second child was born, my husband and I rejoiced, just as I’m sure you and Jared did when each of your children were born. We already had a daughter and were thrilled to add a son to our growing brood. We named him Samuel and took him home from the hospital with hearts filled with anticipation and love.

Samuel liked to play dress up from a very young age. When he was two, his camp counselor sent us photos of him dressed up in princess costumes and a pink bonnet. At three, Samuel’s preschool teacher informed us that he chose a tutu from the dress up bin instead of the doctor’s lab coat or fireman jacket that the other boys favored. By four, Samuel broke out in hives when we tried to cut his hair, and at five he told us, through tears, that he wanted to burn his face off because it wasn’t a girl face. He also tore at his genitalia with such hatred, I had to pin his arms down at his sides. “I’m not supposed to have a penis!” he sobbed night after night. “I’m supposed to have what you have, mommy.”

Ivanka, when I saw that photo you posted recently of you and your five-year old daughter at the Supreme Court, I could tell you would have done exactly what I did next because you are a mother who wants her children to feel empowered. Yes, you, too, would have sought professional help. And I know you would have wept in relief, like I did, when you realized your child wasn’t doomed to a lifetime of misery but was simply transgender.

Just before his sixth birthday, our Samuel became our Sadie, and we watched a butterfly break free from a chrysalis. Naturally, it was not what my husband or I had imagined when we held our infant son in our arms and uttered the phrase, “That’s our boy!” Naturally, we went through a period of adjustment. But we always knew that our priority was our child’s happiness. And that is exactly what we have today: a happy child.

Indeed, our once-miserable son is now our thriving second grade daughter at one of New York City’s top public schools. She wants to be a scientist and a doctor when she grows up so she can figure out how girls like her can become mothers using their own bodies. She takes piano lessons and likes to rock climb and go to museums, loves all the colors and shades of the rainbow, and her favorite flavor ice cream is mint chocolate chip.

What about your children, Ivanka? What do they want to be when they grow up? What do they do after school? What is their favorite flavor ice cream? Who are they beneath the trappings of their anatomy? Are they, like my child, a pure vessel of wonder and potential and love?

I bet they are.

And I bet that if you were me, you would be as proud as I am of my brave Little Miss!

And I also bet if you were me, you would be greatly dismayed if you found out that the government chose to rescind protections for transgender students that allow them to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity instead of their anatomy. Like me, you would look at your ultra-feminine 8-year-old, standing on the street corner waiting for the school bus, her already-elegant head held high, pink bow quivering in the wind, and you would say to yourself, “What on earth will my little princess do if someone forces her to go to the bathroom with the boys? She’ll be mortified! She’ll be bullied! She’ll be scared.”
Ivanka, put yourself in my Jimmy Choos. What would you do if you were me?

Because I know exactly what I would do if were you: I would take my father aside and explain that failing to protect innocent children’s rights to use the bathroom of their choice is wrong and unfair and un-American. I would point out that removing protections for transgender kids is a distraction from the myriad of other super-pressing issues facing our country. And I would also mention that picking a fight with school kids is an act of bullying and gently mention that bullying is uncool, especially when unprovoked, which is the case here.

If you have any questions, or want to sit down with me and meet my two daughters and husband, we’d be more than happy to have you over the next time you’re in NYC, or come to DC to meet you.

In the meantime, I truly thank you for taking the time to consider this matter from my perspective.
In good faith,
Isabel Rose

Jun 27, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Pride Week and Fashion: A Perfect Combination

Stonewall Inn Image


This past week, the legendary Stonewall Inn became an official landmark right here in New York City … just in time for Pride Week! This historic bar provided a safe social space for the LGBT community back in the late 1960s, when –if you can believe it–serving cocktails to the gay community was illegal (!).




The Stonewall Inn really made headlines during the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, when it was raided by police. Patrons refused to leave the premises, and neighbors, strangers and other members of the community stood strong and rioted for days in order to protest police treatment and fight for better LGBT rights.


Stonewall Inn Riot

Protesters at the Stonewall Inn Riots, July 28, 1969


The incident gave birth to big organizations including the Gay Liberation Front, The Gay Activists Alliance, Radicalesbians and the Street Transvestites Action and the movement that inspired pride parades across the country, from New York to San Francisco.


And thank goodness for these celebrations! Pride Week is simply one of my favorite times of the year. Honestly, I can’t get enough of watching everyone come together to strut their stuff.


Gay Parade

Fabulousness at the NYC Pride Parade, 2014




A recent addition to Pride week relates to an obsession that is near and dear in my world:  FASHION!


Rainbow Fashion Week began at the Pride festivities in 2013. It is eight days of shows and parties that showcase the work of of queer designers, photographers, models, make-up artists, stylists, visual artists and even musicians who provide background music for special events.


Rainbow Fashion Week is all about fashion that is, most simply put, “far out.”  The designs below should give you a good idea.



A design by Junya Watanabe










To add to the gloriousness of the fashion, the event is produced by organizations that support anti-bullying, anti-domestic violence, same sex marriage and trans-justice initiatives, not to mention the new equality organization, One Nation Under the Rainbow.


Oh how far we’ve come!


Last year, I also had the pleasure of working with (and totally crushing out on) three lovely, talented (and hilarious!) dynamos of the LGBT scene: Hedda Lettuce, Paige Turner and Ivy Winters.  We had a blast on the set of my “Trouble in Paradise” video, and I am beyond delighted that we’ve continued to perform together at live shows and events.  I dare you to watch the video and not fall in love!



So, three cheers to all my LGBT fans and friends! And for those of you straight folks who are still unsure as to why we celebrate Gay Pride, I remind you that, while we certainly all have our own battles to fight, at least we didn’t have to worry about coming out as straight! Let’s celebrate FREEDOM, JOY and PRIDE for EVERYONE.





xo as always,


Apr 07, 2015 | 10:07 AM

The Bunny Hop

It was Easter! It was Passover! It’s officially Spring!
happy easter!!!!

Though I attended not one but two Passover Seders, and dyed 6 dozen batches of eggs for an egg hunt which I conducted on my lawn, the real highlight of the spring holiday season happened for me last Thursday night, when I attended what is called in certain circles, “The Bunny Hop.”


I’m not in those circles myself. Neither is anyone I know directly. But my friend Tabitha’s yoga instructor is a drag queen named Chakra Kahn, and Chakra Kahn is in those circles and invited Tabitha who, in turn, invited me, which is how I came to attend The Bunny Hop this year.


As you may have already surmised, there was a bunny theme and strong instructions “to dress.” I went to my local Ricky’s and picked up a Halloween costume that had big pink bunny ears and a fuzzy white body like pj’s, which was paired with fuzzy white gloves and slippers.

woman bunnyI kinda looked like this

Tabitha, on the other hand, was dressed in the stereotypical Playboy Bunny outfit: royal blue corset, fishnets, bunny tail and ears. She even managed the collar around her neck and the cuffs around her wrists.

blue playboyTabitha looked like this

Tabitha found her outfit at Ricky’s, too, and chastised me for not looking sexier. I chastised her right back for looking like a hooker and she told me not to be a party pooper. We were arguing back and forth just like that when we arrived in Hell’s Kitchen and knocked on an innocuous red metal door on the 3rd floor of a walk-up.


What lay behind that door can only be described as a total immersion into a time capsule. It was half party-scene-in-“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and one half vintage ad for the Hugh Hefner Playboy Club circa 1966. Women were dressed like Playboy Bunnny’s, Drag Queens were dressed like Playboy Bunny’s; the men who weren’t dressed like bunnies wore tuxes— some with masks, which I still can’t understand but seemed to refer to Truman Capote’s black and white ball.


It made me wonder— when did this:


vintage easter bunny

Become this?

playboy bunny pink

According to Wikipedia, The Playboy Clubs were originally open from 1960 to 1988 (that’s a very long run!), the brain-child of one lusty and shrewd business man, Hugh Hefner. The Club re-opened a location at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas from 2006 to 2012 but is now shut down. However, the Playboy Mansion in LA still exists.


The original Playboy Bunnies went through rather rigorous training— they had to learn to stand with their buts out and their tits up; had to know over 120 different kinds of liquor; and weren’t supposed to touch the patrons (though we all know now that the patrons touched the girls in some well-located bunny warrens). There was a hierarchy within the Bunny culture and even the chance to train to be an Airline Hostess bunny!

training session
Bunny School


I understand that real bunnies are cute and fluffy and people want to hold them and kiss them. I understand that bunnies pro-create with a zest that has earned them their own slang term, “F–king like bunnies.” But why did they become grown women? And why has the costume endured?


The outfit does flatter the figure, I’ll give it that. The high-cut leg creates length, the tight bodice creates that lovely cinched waist Scarlett O’Hara preferred to sex, and the low cut bust creates, well, an eyeful of well-lifted cleavage and the illusion, or accentuation of an elongated neck.


The costume was conceived by Playboy’s director of promotions, Victor Lownes, designed by Zelda Wynn Valdes, and subsequently refined by Hugh Hefner. It took it’s inspiration from French showgirls.

170px-Kyliecologne2005_featherStill, why did Hefner choose a bunny and not, say, a pussy cat? Hugh Hefner himself has explained that the inspiration came from a local bar and grill he frequented in his childhood in Urbana, Illinois called “Bunny’s Tavern.” I only know that because I looked it up on the internet when I got home that night. Chakra Kahn had a very different explanation. She said that the cotten tail accentuated “rear entry;” Tabitha took it one step further and suggested that in the 1960’s, with the advent of the pill, it became possible to screw like bunnies without the results real live bunnies had to deal with, namely baby bunnies.


I confess, I felt very unsexy all night and wished I’d taken a sexier approach. It’s fun to look that trashy! Still, after surviving The Bunny Hop, I’ve decided that next Easter, I’m going to downplay the bunny and focus on chicks. Easter can have more than one mascot, right?


Mar 04, 2015 | 9:35 AM

How to (really) Make a Music Video

The radio experts on my team selected the single “Never Satisfied” as a good option for AC radio. I had to make a video to accompany it, and, truth be told, I wasn’t sure where to begin.

start where?HOW DO YOU EVEN START?

The song was originally penned by a terrific songwriter and performer, Bianca Mancinelli. The general gist of the lyric has us thinking that the singer is in a relationship with a guy she can never please no matter how kinky things get, but the twist in the bridge let’s us in on her sassy secret. “You may think that it’s strange, or that I’m really bad,” the lyric goes, “but I like that way!”


When I played the song for my producer, Bob Rock, he loved the strength but said he couldn’t see me “in that scenario.” So we cut the bridge, and the song took it’s first turn off it’s original path: it became a statement of indignation; a plea for understanding. “Don’t sound too angry!” Bob kept warning me while we recorded. “No one likes to listen to an angry woman.” I reminded him about Alanis Morissette and we compromised at “annoyed yet amused.”


With Bob’s words in mind, I decided to avoid video plots or imagery that focused on anything kinky, bondage-oriented or angry.


I was drawing a real blank, so I listened to ideas from potential directors. Here are a few samples:



You drive to a weekend house in the woods dressed glamorously in a chiffon gown. We then cut to a strip club where we see you pole dancing…



We see a quaint suburban house and find you in bed in a chaste nightie. Your husband, in suit and tie, gives you birthday gift. You open it and your eyes go wide in horror. We never see what’s in the box. The husband leaves and you make a witches brew (you’re actually a witch) and turn your husband into a hedgehog.



At the start of the video we see a guy tied to a chair wearing nothing but little girls party socks . He has a ballgag in his mouth. We see you pacing in the background wearing black leather spikes…


“Can we possibly create something that has nothing to do with relationships between the sexes?” I asked.


Winning pitch from director Steve Willis:

You’re on your way to a red carpet event and the people who are never satisfied with you are the critics… you don’t know what to wear. You imagine yourself copying some of the iconic outfits of the past— Cher, JLo, Bjork— but none are really you and the critics can tell. It’s still not -enough to copy others.


BINGO! We were in business.

We had two weeks. That’s not a lot of time for a project like this. After finalizing the budget and securing the location, we dove into the toughest part: creating the costumes. Super-genius costume creator, Kyle Kupres , took my measurements by phone and began work in LA. One week later, he flew to NYC. He went from the airport to the studio and began pinning.

bjork dress

In between fittings, my stylist, Lisa von Weise Shaw, and I ran to Albright Fashion Rental house and went through their stash of accessories and shoes. When they asked what we were looking for, Lisa said, “Things that will look good with Isabel’s naked body.”

The next morning I woke up at 4 am and hit the arc machine for a hi-effort 30 minute cardio workout. My make up genius, Tracy, arrived at 5 am and set about the task of transforming me into a movie star.

make up lessons

We left for the set at 7 am, and my hair stylist got to work. And at 9:30, the first shot was supposed to be up, but wasn’t. At 10:30, I asked how things were looking. And at 11am, I went down to the street and sat down in a limousine wearing nothing but a blanket, a necklace, a few rings and a pair of shoes.

It was a long day and a longer night. My make up guru had to put make up in places I never thought anyone would. At one point, I was adding Wild Turkey to my Chamomile Tea. By 8pm, I was tossing peanut m&m’s by the fistful into my mouth, and by midnight I simply couldn’t stand up anymore.

never satisfied video

I got home at 1 am, wondering what on earth we would do with the footage we shot. We had shots of me pretending to fall off a cliff, we had shots of me crawling across the red carpet, we had shots of me flipping the bird, we had shots of my stark naked looking happy, looking sad, looking anxious, looking bored.

If you think the real work happens on set, you’re in for a major surprise when you go through your footage and try to tell a story with it. What you thought would work in concept, rarely works in actuality. And you end up with all kinds of shots you never thought of during your story boarding.

I worked with Yossi Kimberg, a veteran and genius who’s worked with Jerry Seinfeld for many years and won all kinds of impressive awards. Yossi was patient and focused on telling the right story. He tried everything I asked, even when I insisted that he make it look like I was jumping in the air in my chicken outfit and landing in an outlandish position— two completely unrelated shots.

After many color passes and glazes and endless searches for Getty stock images of Paparazzi on the red carpet, here’s what we made. I hope you like it!

Mar 01, 2015 | 9:08 AM

Babe Bares All! (in a satirical new video)

I’m so proud of the journey this great song by contemporary songwriter Bianca Mincinelli has taken to the red carpet.

Off my album, Trouble In Paradise, it’s on it’s way up the AC charts right now.

I created this video in order to spark conversation about the efforts women have to go to now on the red carpet. Instead of celebrating the art they’ve created, the entire event has somehow become focused on what and how a woman has decided to present herself.

Should women seize the opportunity and make a statement? Should they brand themselves? Re-brand themselves? Should they choose what they like, or go with what their stylist or management tell them is “now” or “important”?

Is nudity freedom? Is nudity all that’s left?

While none of this “matter” in the scheme of the “real” world, it certainly is a reflection of where we are, value-wise, at least in America.

Join the conversation!



Shelly, Texas- I think women should be free to wear whatever they want, whether it shows something off or doesn’t. Who are these stylists anyway? My grandmother never had a stylist and she always looked impeccable.


Graeme, UK – The less the better! If ya’ got it, flaunt it!


Erica, Atlanta– Listen. I think all these ladies are fabulous. Only the lord Jesus Christ can judge. The bible says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”


Sable Coat, Alabama– Hey, Erica! I always say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first RHINESTONE!” Lol xo P.S. I’m adding this song to my show. Visit me at The Three Dollar Bill in Gadsen, AL if you ever come my way!!!!


Michelle, PA – I say cover up. I miss the days when people were classy. Even Marilyn Monroe covered up at awards shows. Nothing is gained through all this self-exposure except maybe bringing someone their 15 minutes, as Andy Warhol would say.

never satisfied facebook

Feb 25, 2015 | 4:02 PM

10 Ways to Get Noticed in a Crowd


dying swan




2010 MTV Video Music Awards - Show




Joy Villa, camp


Cher at Oscars




2014 American Music Awards - Arrivals




nicki minaj



Feel free to post images of YOUR favorite red carpet antics!






Feb 18, 2015 | 8:15 PM

Baring it all on the Red Carpet: A Trip Down Mammary Lane

I usually watch red carpet events with my favorite gossipy crew (Merton, Tabitha and Cricket) who all feel perfectly comfortable saying the things many of us think, but might not actually utter for fear of being perceived as a “hater.”


“Girlfriend is taking the title of the show to heart!” I remember Merton saying when Mariah showed up at the Golden Globes with two golden globes of her own.

mariah golden globes

“Poor little starlet. Could she not afford more material?” Tabitha said when the audacious, bodacious actress, Oh In Hye, showed us her wares.

Bralless-South-Korean-Actress-Blinds-Men-On-Red-Carpet1We all got together this year, as usual, for the Golden Globes, but I was sick when the Grammy’s were on so I had no other choice than to watch the red carpet alone. It had an interesting benefit. Instead of relying on my friends for commentary, I got the chance to really watch the red carpet. What I watched was a major revelation, and I do not mean the religious kind.

madonna coming and goingMadonna, coming and going
57th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Joy Villa
The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Nicki Minaj

I’m in no way puritanical. In fact, I’m a big fan of fashion fun and self-expressive statements. But (I tremble even to ask) but have things gone too far? At this point, I’m more familiar with Kate Hudson’s, Jennifer Anniston’s and Jennifer Lopez’s bodies than I am with any of their bodies of work.


I’ll admit it: I always cringe when I see too much of the stars I love as they walk the red carpet. Of course, there have always been women in every era who have felt the need to over-expose, but it seems like more and more performers are heading that way, especially at events meant to explicitly celebrate their artistry.


The more I thought it through, the more it bugged me. So I invited my pals over for dinner once my health returned and asked for their input.

Merton, Cricket (with her back turned) and Tabitha in my kitchen

“Women have been showing off their tits since time immemorial,” Cricket began once I posed the issue after we were all seated. (Cricket has a Phd from the Sorbonne so we always defer to her in matters of history. Of course her PhD is in the color saffron, but we listen anyway).

“Take the 18th century,” she said. “Tits were all the rage. Think of Empress Josephine and her empire neckline fad. I’m sure our little Josie had more wardrobe malfunctions than Janet Jackson. Hers just weren’t caught on TV, or put on anyones Best and Worst Dressed list.”


“Boobs were dead for a while after that,” she continued. “And they nearly disappeared in the 1920s. I guess all those flappers were so drunk on hooch, their breasts didn’t bug them while they were doing The Charleston.”

“The ’20s were not a good decade for boobs,” Tabitha agreed, looking down at her own surgically enchanted set.

“You should have come of age in the ’50s,” Merton exclaimed to her. “The bosom was ubiquitous. You would have been a full-blown hit.”

Marilyn_Monroe brests 2
Marilyn Monroe, 1950s
Sophia Loren

“But I would have gone back to being an outcast in the ’60s,” Tabitha said, “so my fame would have been short lived. In fact, I would have had to have a breast reduction.”

“Twiggy. Audrey. Mia Farrow” Merton reminded us. “Stunners.”

Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews, 1964 Oscars

“And then the ’70s happened,” Cricket said, lighting up a cigarette at the table. “And really, no one wanted to know about you if you had a big set of knockers. There were still plenty of bombshells in the ’60s, but the ’70s were all about comfort and plunging necklines and anorexia.” She exhaled from a long drag, which was nasty at the table but you can’t stop Cricket once she’s had a few drinks.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 5.24.51 PM
Lauren Hutton, 1975 Oscars                   Angelica Huston, 1974 Oscars

“I heard the ’70s are coming back into fashion,” Tabitha said, “and I’m petrified, but at least with my implants, I can wear a plunging neckline and my boobs won’t go anywhere.”

“Maybe that’s why so many celebrities are showing their breasts off on the red carpet,” I said. “Maybe they’re showing off their plastic surgery!”

“Why would they do that?” Tabitha asked.

Merton rolled his eyes and said, “Come now, Tabitha, dear. Surely you, of all people, know why some gals like to show off the fruits of their plastic surgery labors.”

Tabitha pursed her lips, then said, “I got my tits done because the twins sucked me dry and I was left with two flap jacks hanging down to my belly button. And yes— I’m vain. I love my clothes. And I don’t want to give up certain styles just because my bra will, or won’t, work with them.”

breast job
These are not Tabitha’s before and after pictures but magic like this happens every day!! Rest assured, they heal eventually.

“At least the ’80s aren’t coming back,” Cricket said, thankfully shifting the focus of the conversation since I never intended to put Tabitha on the defensive.

“The ’80s weren’t really about boobs, either,” I said, leaping in. “They were about shoulders.”

“Once those bra burners became CEO’s and Executives,” Cricket said, “they didn’t want to be messed with. Women were warriors.”

“I wore more shoulder pads in the ’80s than the New England Patriots,” Tabitha confessed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 5.22.39 PM
Meryl Streep, 1984 Oscars                         Grace Jones, Grammys

“By the ’90s, women wanted to look touchable again,” Cricket said.

“Or maybe they just missed sex.” Merton winked.

“I remember the ’90s!” Tabitha said. “Everyone looked like glamour girls out of Hollywood’s golden age. Even Courtney Love cleaned up her act.”

“Which must have taken lye and about a dozen loofahs,” Merton said.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 5.13.44 PM
Uma Thurman, Wynona Ryder and Courtney Love in the 1990s

“So, if fashion is either cyclical or reactionary,” I said, “why are women showing so much of themselves right now?”

“Don’t be daft,” Merton said. “Because sex sells, doll. That’s why.”

“But does it?” I asked. “What does it sell?”

“Roles,” Cricket said, and I could tell she was already bored with the topic. “Albums…”

“But wasn’t one of the highest selling albums of the year Taylor Swift’s?” I pointed out. “She’s as modest as a vanilla shake.”

Swift at this year’s grammy’s

“Katy Perry is pretty well covered, too,” Tabitha said.

“Katy Perry plays the boob game just as well as any of them,” Merton disagreed, reminding us of Katy Perry’s Grammy outfit from last year, oft referred to in our circle as “boob-tastic.”

Portia DeRossi, Ellen Degeneres and Katy Perry, Grammy’s 2014

“There’s a fine line,” Tabitha said. “If you’re bigger than a 36B, you really need to cover up because otherwise you look slutty. Which no one wants to look–”

“–unless it’s your brand,” I threw in.

“Or because your stylist told you you should try it out,” Merton added. “Stylists play a roll in all of this, too.”

“You can definitely cross the line, though,” Tabitha persisted, “and it’s really individual case by individual case. If you’re flat chested, you can wear a low neckline and get away with it. If you have big breasts, your choices should be different if you don’t want to be labeled. But lots of people obviously either don’t care, or want to be thought of as edgy. Or slutty. Or whatever.”

Lupita Nyongo, Oscars 2014

Merton jumped out of his chair, saying, “Remember that photo of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, where Sophia is looking horrified at Jayne’s overflowing cleavage? Where’s your computer?”

He produced the image which we all looked at it and laughed.

sophia loren and jayne mansfield

“But who are people talking about right now?” Merton pointed out. “Are they talking about Mary J. Blige and Miranda Lambert?”



“No. They’re talking about Kim Kardashian and Ashanti.”


kardashian red carpet dress

“So where does this leave us?” I pondered aloud.

“It leaves us ready for more champagne,” Cricket said.

Tabitha and Merton agreed.

“The bottom line,” Cricket said, finally putting out her cigarette, “is that red carpets are a fun diversion. Lots of folks make their living off of it, but it isn’t life or death. We aren’t trying to figure out what Doctor’s Without Border’s should wear while they’re saving peoples lives.”

“Thanks Christ,” Merton said. Then he raised his champagne glass and offered up a toast. “To the hostess with the mostest! And to all of your breasts— may they always be healthy.”

Then we all clinked glasses and never talked about breasts again.

Still, after my friends left and I decompressed in a bubble bath, I wondered… will this fad end soon? Is the self-exposure a sign of low self-esteem? A sign of the difficulty earning a portion of eyeballs? Is it okay that young girls are looking up to their red carpet idols and seeing so much silicone and saline? Will we revert to an earlier era, or do away with clothes altogether?


Tell me, what do you think? I sincerely welcome your thoughts, big, small, or anywhere in the middle.


xo as always,





Jan 25, 2015 | 10:00 AM

How To Survive The Winter Doldrums

I have the flu. Relax. You can’t catch it just by reading this, but I’m sure you can sympathize. Getting the flu in winter feels almost unoriginal. And I really don’t have time for this right now, either. I have a new single launching Monday, followed shortly thereafter by a new video. I have concerts to prepare and gowns to hem. I don’t want to be lying on my couch like a lox!


Of course being sick does give friends a chance to display some of their best qualities. Tabitha called and said she’d come over with some movies, which was touching since she has her own kids to deal with and a pretty demanding husband. I asked which ones and then told her to stay uptown. Much as I want to see what Hollywood’s got on offer for this year’s Oscar choices, it didn’t sound like any of the screeners would make me feel better.


I was contemplating a knitting project when Merton called to check in on me. I said, “Can you bring me some happiness?” … and you know what? He did!


We began our get-well film festival with the Elvis Presley classic, Blue Hawaii.




Here’s my summary: Elvis Presley sings songs and surfs and defies his father a little bit.


Virtually the minute it ended, we moved directly onto Beach Blanket Bingo.



The best part about watching either of these films when you’re sick is that if you fall asleep for a few minutes, or longer, you can still follow the plot when you wake up!


Beach Blanket Bingo has some terrific production numbers! It’s the cinematic equivalent to a TWIX bar.

Speaking of food, after some chicken soup (which Tabitha brought down— thanks, doll!), we watched one more, Girls, Girls, Girls.


girls, girls, girls

I’ll confess: I didn’t pay close attention to Girls, Girls, Girls. All the stories and colors started to blend, and I was feverish, but it was perfect “sick” viewing. These are among the dumbest, easiest to follow films ever created. Even my dog enjoyed them!


Does anyone still watch these crazy postcards to our postwar euphoria? They clearly won’t go down in history like Citizen Kane or Gone With the Wind. They aren’t African Queen or Casablanca, or even Singin’ in the Rain or Band Wagon.


Where will these flicks wind up in the bin of posterity? Will they simply be for sick days? Have you ever seen them or even heard of them? What are your “sick day” favorites?








Jan 11, 2015 | 8:47 AM

Yellow Dresses!

For those of you who are blog regulars, you already know my beloved graphic designer, Cricket. Cricket is a very serious artist, with a PhD in the healing powers of the color Saffron (which she got at the Sorbonne so she means business!). That’s why, when Cricket tells me I need to see an exhibit, I go, which is how I found myself at the Tibet Center of NY this past friday evening studying paintings inspired by Buddhist Tibetan nuns.

buddhist nuns
You can’t photograph a nun so you’ll have to enjoy these monks instead. Honestly, the nuns look almost the same!

Here’s what I learned: in Tibetan Buddhism, yellow symbolizes rootedness and renunciation. I know this because I asked why all the nuns were portrayed in yellow robes.


You can take the girl out of Bergdorfs, my friends, but you can’t take Berdorfs out of the girl! I instantly wanted to buy myself some yellow gowns!


Who doesn’t feel like a ray of sunshine in yellow? It may be the color of rootedness and renunciation in Tibet, but in the western hemisphere (or in the Isabel hemisphere) yellow symbolizes GLAM!!!!



It symbolizes the freshness of youth.




It symbolizes warmth and love.


It symbolizes an elegance that isn’t afraid to be noticed but is much more understated and classy than, say, magenta or cobalt.


According to an article I found on the website Color Matters since yellow is the most luminous color in the spectrum, it captures our attention more than any other color— which is why caution signs and school buses are all yellow; which is why the smiley face is yellow; which is why post it notes and Sponge Bob are yellow. All of these things have deglamorized the undeserving color, but on the flip side, yellow is the color of the sun; of daffodils and sunflowers and lemons. Yellow is the color of joy.

Mitzi in yellow

With the Golden Globes upon us, who isn’t recalling the much-celebrated choices made by Renee Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon in years past.





Of course it’s really easy to get yellow wrong. It can be too bright; too strident; in can blind you if it isn’t chosen with care.

too much yellow

If your name isn’t Shirley Bassey, you should NOT attempt this look on your own!!!!!!

shirley bassey


Even Monks can go over the top.

monks in yellow mexico

Vegas, baby!


I could go on all day about yellow, but I have to dash. Cricket invited me to a meditation group lead by one of the leading Tibetan Bhuddist teachers of all times. I know what I’ll be using as my mantra: HELLO YELLOW!!!!!!!!!

Yours Truly, rocking a yellow Versace number in my music video for AQUARIUS


As always,




Dec 21, 2014 | 10:00 AM

The Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go?


The Supremes!


In June 1964, sweet and saucy gal super group, The Supremes, scored their first #1 hit with “Where Did Our Love Go.”




It may have been the trio’s first chart topper but it certainly wasn’t the last! This Motown classic was the first of five songs in a row to nab that top spot. These ladies kept right on going with “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “Back in My Arms Again.”




Come See About Me .


The Supremes first started singing together in Detroit in 1959 as a doo-wop quartet called The Primettes. (They were the openers for their male counterparts, The Primes.) And if you can believe it, co-founders Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson were just 15 at the time!


Even though Diana Ross eventually became the most famous of the three, she was actually the last to be brought in. The Primettes didn’t even start performing right away, because Diana’s parents took a little convincing before giving their permission.


Photo of Supremes

“The Primettes” circa 1959


To this very day, The Supremes remain the most successful vocal group ever — male or female — with TWELVE #1 songs!


The Supremes in Motown’s studios, 1964


By the mid-1960s, Diana became the clear fan favorite between her glamour, beauty and sugar-sweet voice.


Diana Ross, grabbing the spotlight in the mid 1960s

And in 1967, the group officially rebranded themselves as “DIana Ross and The Supremes.”


diana ross and the supremes

You don’t need to have seen “Dreamgirls” to know how that story ended.


Diana went on to have a long and illustrious solo career. In fact, she headlined in fall 2014 in Vegas.


I paid homage to my own personal favorite Supreme by covering her iconic song, Reflections.





Having tons of fun on the set of the official Reflections video!


As a major fan of both Diana Ross and The Supremes, being able to pay tribute to their legacy and celebrate their music through “Reflections” was amazing. And I’m not going to lie: the glam factor was off-the-charts!!!

Now, you tell me: What’s your favorite Supremes hit? What Supremes song would you like me to cover next?


As always,