Designer Suprised by Michelle’ Ball Gown

281x211.thumbnail.jpgDesigner John Wu was stunned to see Michelle Obama in a one shouldered, sequined frothy ivory ball gown. He told Us Magazine:

I had a box of pizza and I nearly fell over. I was sitting there with my friends, and they were screaming.

Wu–who once interned with one of Michelle’s favorite designers Narcisco Rodriquez– was approached in November to create a ball gown. His goal was to showcase Michelle’s physique, especially her arms. He sent the dress off in December, but had no clue it was going the be The Ball Gown. But the 26-year old designer is taking it all in stride:

I am giving myself today to enjoy it. Then I have to get back to work. I have a fall collection to do in two weeks. I have to stay grounded.

Bishop Sits with Obama During Parade

crozierpic.thumbnail.jpgEvery cloud has a silver lining. From Bishop Robinson’s blog about Sunday’s Lincoln memorial concert when his prayer was not part of the broadcast:

I learned fairly early on that the live broadcast of the event would begin just AFTER I concluded my invocation…I learned a long time ago not to worry about those things over which I have no control! I was honored to be invited to give the invocation, and that’s what I intended to do.

And his follow up posted this morning:

One addendum to yesterday’s posting: I have been invited to be on the President’s Platform for the inauguration/swearing in. An astounding honor!


Lawn Rangers Will Make Inaug Parade a Cut Above the Norm

America has its eccentrics: Emperor Norton, Edgar Cayce, Sarah Winchester, Victoria Woodhull and lawn mower precision drill teamsto name a few. In 1988, David Weeks, a clinical psychologist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, who at the time was completing a study of America eccentrics, told Time magazine:

America needs idealism, vision and humor in the White House. A real eccentric would have all those qualities in abundance. We need another genuine oddball in the White House.

Well, Obama kinda qualifies as an eccentric, especially because he once marched with the World Famous Lawn Rangers Precision Lawn Mowing Team from Amazing Arcola, Illinois–known for their silly dances, decorated lawn mowers and twirling brooms and toilet plungers. Now the Lawn Rangers are marching in the Inaugural Parade, representing American eccentrics, or maybe it’s their philosophy that scored them a spot. Explaines founder Pat Monahan:

Here’s our secret. Find something you like to do, get real good at it, and success will follow.

Reports the Champaign-Urbana New-Gazette:

In all, 57 Lawn Rangers, including 48 marchers bearing mowers, two toilet plunger men and seven banner aides dressed like Abraham Lincoln, will march down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Some Lawn Rangers believe Obama’s earlier participation in their zany group–which will be commemorated by a mower in the parade adorned with a banner depicting the president-elect clutching a Lawn Ranger toilet plunger–tipped the scales in their favor and made them one of 60 groups in the Inaugural Parade.

Despite their goofiness, the Lawn Rangers take their parade participation seriously. Says Manuel Barrientos, who immigrated here from Mexico when he was 21 years old, and will decorate his lawn mower with the Mexican flag for the parade:

I’m excited about being in the parade; we’re making history, and I want to be part of history.

The Dead Play Inaug Ball, Patti LaBelle Sings for McCain

dh4bo.thumbnail.pngHoly Jerry’s finger! The Dead are playing the Mid-Atlantic Ball on Inauguration night.  Previously, they’d played an Obama fund raiser at Penn State in September. What a long strange trip, etc.

And if that isn’t a head spin, Patti LaBelle is the headliner for the Bi-Partisan Dinner at the Hilton Washington which honors Senator John McCain. McCranky shaking his tail feathers to "Lady Marmalade" as Crispy sings the chorus in to his ear….Oh ye ancients of days, banish that image from the mind of the nation!

Other acts for the States Inaugural Balls include Maroon 5 and James Gerard Orchestra at the Vice President Biden Home States Ball, and Sheryl Crow and the Fabulous Motown Revue performing at Midwestern Ball.

James Taylor and Liquid Pleasure with Kenny Mann play the Eastern Ball, while at the Western Ball, Marc Anthony and Party on the Moon provide the entertainment. The Southern Ball offers the Derek Trucks Band with Susan Tedeschi and the Wil Gravatt Band.  And at the President Obama Home States Ball, it’s Common, Jack Johnson and the Don Cagen Orchestra.

But the Dead? The Dead!? Pass the dust, I think I’m Bowie.

New Shephard Fairey Poster: Should I Wait for the Shelf Liner?

shep_l.thumbnail.jpgShephard Fairy has created a poster for the Inauguration, benefiting the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Twenty bucks for one, $35 will get you two.

Feel like  the special limited edition? That 24"X36" print costs $100, with a limited number of signed prints available for $500. T-shirts, buttons, stickers and lapel pins with the new image are available at the online store.

I canceled my Inaugural tee shirt order after Rick Warren was announced. I am conflicted–I love the design of this Shepard Fairey stuff. But Rick Warren? On the other hand, should I let the Homophobic Dinosaur suppress my consumerist tendencies? Oh, the tsuris!

Actors, Rock Stars and a Gay Bishop: Now That’s a Party!

Fast on the heels of the story that Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson–the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide church–will be delivering the prayer for We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Center comes the very star studded line-up so far for the event, which will be broadcast on HBO. According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

HBO will televise the event on an open signal, working with all of its distributors to allow Americans across the country with access to cable, telcos or satellite television to join in the Opening Celebration for free.

Event producer George Stevens, Jr explains

Our intention is to root the event in history, celebrating the moments when our nation has united to face great challenges and prevail. We will combine historical readings by prominent actors with music from an array of the greatest stars of today.

To that end, here’s the list:

Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,, and Stevie Wonder.

Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington.

Based on the event’s title, expect to see something like the video above (I saw U2 and Mary J Blige perform "One" live in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and it was stunning, as was Bono’s operatic swell during "Miss Sarajevo" which sadly may not make it onto the  set list for the 18th…)