Glamour's Cindi Leive played Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me's "Not My Job" last Saturday. She talked about inaugural fashions, and the importance of resisting the temptation to use her pages to nominate bogus trends.
Leive deflected host Peter Sagal's invitation to criticize Michelle Obama for, in his words, looking like "clumps of kleenex" were clinging to her chiffon Jason Wu gown — but she did disagree with the protocol sticklers who argued the president made a faux pas when he chose to pair his tux with a white tie instead of a black one. (According to the mindless traditions of men's formalwear, white bow ties are supposed to be worn with tail coats and tail coats only, not tuxedo jackets.)
"I thought that that was actually a good step," said Leive, "because she was wearing a white dress, and he was matching the wife. Which I generally think is a good rule for men to follow — you don't want to clash with the wife."
She also brought our attention to the fact that Jill Biden's Reem Acra gown had an eery resemblance to the dress Miley Cyrus wore to the inaugural concert she co-headlined. The gowns do share a similar coloration and distinctive notched neckline, but on closer inspection, Biden's draped and gathered chiffon is a world away from Cyrus fille's prom-y rhinestone belted satin.
Fig. 1: Jill Biden
Fig. 2: Miley Cyrus
Leive wouldn't be drawn on either Michelle Obama's relatively panned Tracy Feith dress ("I was not a huge fan...but I kind of have a problem criticizing someone for what they're wearing to a prayer breakfast") or Aretha's hat ("It was not a diminutive hat, I will give you that"). But she didn't prove to be entirely humorless: when Sagal asked if she ever simply made up the trends featured in Glamour, she replied, "Every month, Peter, come on!" She later joked that as a working mom, if her assistant ever wrote a book about her, it would be called The Devil Wears Whatever's Clean.
On Glamour's "Guy Issue" — the issue that taught us that "54% of guys in 1995 would sleep with a willing 15-year-old, but only 17% of 2009 guys would tap that" — Sagal was friendly but caustic about the mag's raft of Cosmo-like listicles. "'15 Things That A Man Really Wants In Bed'?" he said, "Come on, I worked on this all day, and I came up with two. And the second one is, to eat a sandwich in bed after. Who are you trying to kid here?"
Unperturbed, Leive replied, "Maybe it's up to Glamour to expose you to the other 289 things you actually want?"
Naturally, Leive defended her publication's approach to fashion. "We don't consider ourselves the sort of mean, finger-wagging fashion authority who will tell you that you are not rich enough or thin enough to wear this stuff," she said. "We try to be approachable and relatable and show our share of crazy designer concoctions, but we're always trying to pair them with things that an average woman might have in the closet." I suppose that's why February's issue features a fashion spread where a model wears a Proenza Schouler dress ($1,275), Viktor & Rolf shoes ($1,100), a Lanvin dress ($6,640), and a Dior dress ($15,650). (Also featured are $45 Converses and a $25 bracelet.) In all of February's fashion stories, you have to flick to the back of the issue to get the price list. I wonder why?
After her brief interview, Sagal announced he would quiz Leive about mixed martial arts, according to the show's typical odd-couple topic pairings. She nonetheless revealed hidden depths of knowledge on the topic of solving problems mano-a-mano. Leive got all three questions right, and won the prize for the listener. Perhaps working at a ladymag is more like no-holds-barred single sex combat than we would have guessed.
Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me [NPR]