Fashion Designers of America

There was no Lady Gaga wearing a spiked thong. And Johnny Depp, proclaimed a style icon by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, was a no-show. Thus, this year’s CFDA awards Monday night at New York’s Alice Tully Hall were a subdued affair spiced only by the willingness of host Seth Meyers to take a few lusty pokes at an industry that too often takes itself all too seriously.
“Fashion and comedy go together like bar mitzvahs and John Galliano,” Meyers joked in his opening monologue, referring to the former Christian Dior designer who was fired for his anti-Semitic comments. The audience responded with self-conscious groans and moans as if to suggest that Meyers had crossed some sacred line. But Meyers was not daunted. He took a swipe at Karl Lagerfeld for his obsession with weight. He teased Marc Jacobs for his eccentric ensemble—a sheer black lace dress worn over white boxers—at the recent Costume Institute ball. (He even strutted out in a version of the ensemble at the half-way mark for a moment of pure visual comedy.) And then Meyers essentially dared the audience not to laugh: “Fashion people like hating things more than they like liking things.”
Bravo to Mr. Meyers. He was spot on. The truth might hurt, but it was also mighty funny.
There was an abundance of truthfulness and realism to this year’s CFDA awards, and a lot less glitz. Those who were honored represented the often-ignored behind-the-scenes powerhouses, as well as the folks who make clothes that average consumers wear, not just the rarified few. The CFDA honored a designer who shuns the spotlight and is, perhaps, more admired because of it, along with a duo who redefined what it means to be celebrity designers.

The starlet presenters this year still sparkled and smiled, but they did not seem to shine as brightly as they have in the past. There wasn’t the sense of that powerful gravitational pull of big-name actors and actresses who tend to turn the evening into an homage to Hollywood rather than a celebration of Seventh Avenue.  Jessica Chastain may be a rising talent, but it’s still hard to remember exactly which pampered Southern lady she played in The Help. Jessica Pare serenaded Don Draper on Mad Men but the fascination with her rendition of “Zou Bisou Bisou” is still a bit baffling.  And Lily Collins is an adorable young actress, but a Google search was necessary before one was able to place her as the daughter of singer Phil Collins who also had a role in The Blind Side.

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UConn women

Posted by admin | UConn women | | Tuesday 20 March 2012 1:18 pm

UConn women advance to regionals again.

Geno Auriemma took a second to think about what his UConn Huskies had just accomplished.

It wasn’t the NCAA tournament defensive record his top-seeded team set in a 72-26 victory over Kansas State that caught his attention. He was more interested in the fact that UConn was going to make its 19th straight trip to the round of 16.

“Up to this point there haven’t been any breakdowns,” Auriemma said. “We haven’t found ourselves losing in the first round, or playing poorly and losing in the second round. We just won’t allow ourselves to do that to this point. We haven’t for two decades and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of.”

There was no way that streak was going to end against Kansas State as Bria Hartley and the Huskies nearly played a flawless defensive game in a record rout of Kansas State.

Hartley scored 13 of her 16 points in the first half and top-seeded UConn set a women’s NCAA tournament record for fewest points allowed.

“I think it was definitely close to a perfect game — you can always do better,” Hartley said. “We came out with a lot more intensity than we did last game. We used that game as motivation to play better this game.”The Huskies (31-4) limited Kansas State to 18 percent shooting and 10 field goals, contesting virtually every shot in their second-round matchup.

“Defense is what we take pride in here,” said Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who added 15 points. “I feel like we have a lot of good offensive players, but it doesn’t really take heart to play offense. All defense is is a lot of heart and a lot of effort and I think we put out a lot of heart and a lot of effort tonight on defense.”

UConn will play the winner of Penn State and LSU in Kingston, R.I., on Sunday in the regional semifinals.Eighth-seeded Kansas State (20-14) was trying to make it that far for the first time since 2002. But the Wildcats were no match for the Huskies, unable to surpass the 27 points that Southern scored against Duke in 2006, the previous record.

“When you play a great team and compete as ineptly as we did tonight, you end up on the bad side of a big deficit,” Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. “I’m proud of the team for our season, disappointed in the end result.”

Brittany Chambers scored 11 points to lead the Wildcats, who went 11 minutes in the first half without a point.

After taking a 3-2 lead 34 seconds in, the Wildcats missed 18 straight shots over the next 11:17. By the time Jalana Childs put back a miss, they trailed 19-5 with 8:09 left. They could never recover.

“Our defensive effort tonight was about as good I’ve seen from us all year long,” Auriemma said. “There really were very few open looks that we gave up and I think our pressure has been as good as it’s been any time all year.”Even when Kansas State did something right, it went wrong. Twice the Wildcats had steals at midcourt that would have led to easy layups, but UConn was whistled for fouls. Both times Kansas State took the ball out on the side and was unable to convert the turnovers into baskets.

A pull-up jumper from the free throw line by Chambers just before halftime helped Kansas State avoid tying Prairie View for the lowest-scoring first half in the history of the NCAA tournament. The 16th-seeded Lady Panthers did that last season against Brittney Griner and top-seeded Baylor.

UConn, which leads the nation in scoring defense at just under 46 points a game and field goal percentage defense (30.0), was converting Kansas State’s misses into easy baskets.Hartley outscored the Wildcats in the first half. Mosqueda-Lewis, who matched the UConn record with 21 points in her NCAA debut, fell just five short of the school’s two-game mark held by Maya Moore.The Huskies led 38-10 at halftime, as the Wildcats missed 27 of their 31 shots.

It didn’t get much better in the second half for Kansas State. UConn built its lead up to 46. The only question in the last few minutes was whether the Wildcats would avoid the mark for futility set by Southern.

A basket by Emma Ostermann with 2:59 left gave Kansas State 26 points, but that was the last points that the Wildcats would score.It was the 17th time this season that the Huskies held an opponent under 40 points.

The Wildcats survived a tough test from Princeton in the opening round Saturday, beating the Tigers 67-64. Kansas State was playing the Huskies for the first time despite being in UConn’s region of the NCAAs five times in the last 11 years.Before the game, Patterson said she was impressed by UConn’s defense after watching it against Prairie View in the opener. The Huskies held the Lady Panthers to just 15 points in the second half of that 83-47 victory. They continued that stellar effort against the Wildcats.

“To be honest, all year long watching them on television and film prior to this game, they’ve been my pick to win it all,” Patterson said. “I really never pick against Connecticut. They’re as versatile as you would have thought when they’re shooting as well as they are on the perimeter.”With the first-round win against the Lady Panthers, UConn surpassed the 30-victory mark for the seventh straight season, matching the Division I record set by Duke from 2001-07.

“We talked about the 30 wins and how important that is to them,” Auriemma said. “Going to regionals again, how rewarding it should feel for them. Those are things that sometimes people take for granted. We don’t want to do that. I’m happy for this group. I’m really happy for this group.”