If this is your first time here, I recommend starting from the first episode and working your way forward. Of course, that's entirely your call.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Season 2, Episode 18: A Touch of Wonder

This is another long one, guys: everyone changes clothes at least once, often twice. Just warning you in advance.

It's a special week for the Huxtable clan because Denise gets in a car accident... with Stevie Wonder! Everyone's excited that she met him, and even more excited when they get invited to his studio to meet him. They all record a "song" together (it's so indescribably lame, let me tell you) and everyone lives happily ever after.

He just called to say he needs a new stylist.

Let's start with Stevie himself. Obviously, he can't be held personally accountable for this look, but I kind of wish he could. The varying textures and geometric flourishes seem like they would be appealing to the touch, as does the odd asymmetrical rolled collar. Going by feel alone, one would understandably gravitate toward a plush, fuzzy sweater with chunky seams and raised details. However, those of us lucky enough to have our sight can see obvious problems with this preposterous creation. Mr. Wonder is a legend and should be treated with respect, so I'll say only that I fervently dislike what he's wearing.

She just called to say how much she cares about fashion. Which isn't much.

He also has an assistant who wears this jacket. Really? The rest of the studio's employees can still see you, you know.

Her blue hair clips are so cute!

I'll do another youngest-to-oldest episode because that's always fun. Rudy's got a bunch happening right now, some of which works and some of which doesn't. I like her in skirts with leggings. It's a style that's both fun and age-appropriate. You don't want your six-year-old daughter flashing too much thigh. Larger tops work well for her because she's so young, so the same sizing issues that I'd rag on her sisters for actually come out all right in this case. It'd be nice if her socks were another color; they don't fit with everything else. Matching the yellow on her sleeves might be nice, or even going in a different direction like a pink. But pumpkin? Not feeling it.

I love tracking shots where the character is in focus while everything else blurs.

Everyone dresses nicely to meet Mr. Wonder, and Rudy nails it. This is a surprisingly assertive take on fashion for her. The paisley shirt is a show-stopper. I don't know that I'd have the guts to go with true red suspenders on top of that aqua, but they're flawless together. While the khaki pants are neutral in tone, they're forward in their shape, with a high waist and roomy cut that have an Oliver Twist essence to them. The yellow hair ribbon is questionable, but I'll let it slide since the shade is incidentally present in the print she has on. Besides, she's wearing a bow tie. Are you going to say something unfriendly to a girl child in a bow tie? I'm not.

She somehow exudes homelessness when she smiles.

Vanessa has a sense of mercy and dressed in things I don't have to critique for her first look. The main component of her outfit is the coat that I disliked in my recap of episode #1.22, paired with weather-inappropriate tights, a lifeless scarf, and Denise's earrings first shown in #1.06. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Grimace isn't just the face I make when I see this outfit.

This is an odd misstep for Vanessa, not because she doesn't make mistakes, but because these particular mistakes aren't her usual ones. I wish I could understand the logic behind her chenille cocoon. It's one of the blobbiest pieces we've ever seen on the show. The horrendous collar is Sondra's from her first appearance in #1.10, and the skirt and boots suggest her older sister's influence as well. There are just too many sources of inspiration on display here, and too many shades of purple: the pink frills don't match the bold black and fuchsia geometrics, which don't match the flowery ruffles of the skirt, which don't match the winy boots. I think the sweater is the key problem. Without it, everything else would hang together a little more coherently. I don't think its removal would make me suddenly like any of the individual pieces better, but I'd appreciate the continuity.


How much do I love this sweater? So much. So so much? I'm getting another bout of Hotness deja vu, but as usual I can't find a previous appearance, so I must be so enamored with this garment that I retroactively inserted it into existing memories. I'd wear this sweater all the time. Perfect pairing of straight red with mottled warm grays, perfect width in the horizontal stripes, perfect wide opening at the neck. This is a good experiment in sizing. Since the knitwear is the main event, he does well to keep the shirt underneath it perfectly matched to the jeans, giving a uniform base on which to display his genius.

Why wear a tie if you're not going to bother wearing it properly?

This, on the other hand, is an experiment in sizing gone awry. The pants are cut too widely for his slim frame, and the jacket's shoulders (and shoulder pads) are entirely unrelated to his actual torso. He's going somewhere inoffensive with his tropically-patterned-tie-on-tropically-patterned-shirt pairing, and the continuity of that royal blue throughout his outfit helps bring it all together. But he's going nuts with the sheer breadth of this outfit, and it needs to get brought back to reality. Bonus points for the fun socks.

Sloppy Joe.

Jeans and a sweatshirt? Don't mind if I don't.

It looks a little like she's balancing that wall fixture on her head.

Denise begins in the episode #2.13 sweater that I thought was the episode #2.10 sweater. Seen it. Also, over her shoulder you can see that Theo technically had another look this week, but I didn't want to spend the extra time on a jacket and scarf we've already seen several times. At least the wardrobe department keeps it real rather than pretending that the Huxtable children have a magically infinite supply of outerwear.

Given how particular she is about lending, I sure hope that scarf was a gift.

Her second ensemble is a good illustration of how intentionally large items can work. This hooded sweatshirt isn't built like an XXL sweatshirt: it's constructed for a woman her size, but with an eye on how a broader silhouette can benefit her. The lack of seam at the shoulder, for instance, helps her rock a giant top without broadcasting the suggestion that it was supposed to fit in a different way. Since the shirt stops low on her thighs instead of at her waist, it avoids bunching around her middle and again removes the implication that she's trying for a shape not intended by the garment itself. The brown is a little bland, but she spices things up with the pocket, hood, and purposeless golden zipper. Extra special fun fact: she must have acquired this scarf from David, who wore it on their date in episode #1.9.

I'm going to go back in time and destroy those pants.

Denise again repeats her pants from the first episode of this season, and I'm just not into them. The rest of this outfit rises above. She starts soft, wearing an impressively conventional pink turtleneck. But before you can get too comfortable, she throws on a Croation military jacket and adorns herself in medals and chains. She's a general in the army of style. If she had something on her legs other than spider-printed pajamas, she'd be so fabulous. Behind her, you can see one of Stevie Wonder's sound guys. He has lines and thus should probably be reviewed in this entry, but he's only ever seen from the rib cage up and there's just not much to work with there.

Oh hell yes.

I have a few questions, but I tentatively live for Clair's first look. The overall impact of a well-tailored red suit is undeniable. She is majestic in this outfit. The hue commands attention, the fit is clean and precise, and the black accents keep it classy. The shirt underneath is tough for me to parse, though. I'm inclined to read it as a black and white blouse with a red and black scarf over it, but the horizontal section spanning her middle means either she's using a particularly complex method of tying her accessory, or it's actually part of the shirt. If that's the case, then she's wearing a Cosby blouse made up of too many fabrics at once, and I have a problem with that. In fact, I also might have a problem with a scarf wrapped that many times around her torso, though I'd have to see the whole thing to be sure. She never removes that jacket, so the mystery lingers.

I didn't intend for these two shots to parallel each other. It just happened.

Sweats. In hateful colors. Onward.

Putting the "oh no" in kimono.

I want to accept all of her fashion choices unconditionally, but I simply can't find the love for this piece. The shade is wrong for her: it's bordering on neon and needs to calm down. It's also saggy from every angle. The whole point of a wrap dress is to cinch your waist and accentuate your curves: this one minimizes her chest, slumps her shoulders, and puts a weird bulge where her slim midsection used to be. The multicolored necklace would fare better as an accent on a simpler outfit; in this context, it's just competing for attention. Nothing about this makes her look pretty or stylish. I'm surprised and let down.

Too pleased with herself. It's not that great, hon.

Mrs. Huxtable changes clothes yet again, this time going for a head-to-toe olive drab. I'm not generally a fan of monochrome, so I feel this should have been rethought. In a direct counterpoint to Denise's use of biggitude, Clair wears a shirt that has obviously been created with someone larger than her husband in mind. The pants have just enough contrast with her top to count as a different shade of green, but they could have been brown or beige or black or even cerulean for all I care, as long as they're not so matchy-matchy. The splash of brick red is her saving grace. Well, that and the fact that she was lip syncing for her life in this final segment. Take that, Phi Phi O'Hara. Phylicia Rashad will sashay you away.

"You rolled a ZORP. Now biz-ma-wizzle yourself down to the red space."

After seeing some of Cliff's wilder pieces, this sweater seems almost normal, even if color blocking makes him look like a walking board game. It could be worse. That's faint praise, but I don't necessarily have a ton of strong compliments to offer. I do find it amusing that he wore a fussier plaid shirt beneath this garment to make up for its diminished impact. The pants are average.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Cliff starts his second day wearing yesterday's shirt and some vertically patterned black pants that I hate slightly less than his similar trousers from episode #2.11. The real triumph here, though is his reclamation of the purple cardigan that Clair swiped last season. Glad to see it back on the good doctor.

I didn't review the hat, scarf, or coat. What can I say? It's getting late!

Cliff wears the same thing to the recording studio that he does later in the day, even though his son and wife both change clothes. Not a critique, just an observation. Anyway, the pants are the same as yesterday, and the top is actually pretty great. It's not changing the world, it's just a good combo of colors. The overall look is maybe what Tim Burton would have chosen for a sitcom dad to wear, so I might suggest a lighter pant next time to cut down the severity of the purple and gray. It's solid, though. No major offenses.

There you have it: one more week of hotness. As I say every week, this blog is a labor of love, and I expect no monetary gain from it. However, it does cost me small amounts of money to run, and I thus give you the option of donating money if you feel I've earned it. If you feel like tossing a dollar my way, you can click the button below.

I know, being asked for money makes you go like this:

But when I receive a donation, I go like this:

Except, of course, that I wouldn't be caught dead in a pink sweatsuit.


  1. I love you. You make my Monday mornings lovely. I can't say the same for Vanessa, though. Yuck.

    1. Rach: it's all for you! I mean, you and the other readers. It would be creepy if I started a blog for you personally. Thanks for coming back every week. You're keeping me off the streets and out of trouble.

  2. This is fantastic. I agree with you on your love for Claire, btw, the woman is fantastic. I don't know if you remember/have seen the episode where Claire takes Theo to family court but it will always be the episode that embodies Claire for me.

    1. This comment got hung up in my spam filter for some reason, and I just now saw it. Thanks for reading! The family court episode has stuck with me as well. I'm pretty sure it comes up in season four, and I'm excited to revisit it.

  3. Vanessa's first outfit makes her look enormous. This is an awful thing to say about a 13 year old girl but it looks like she has boobs hanging around her knees.
    Her second outfit however... I actually like the front view of the sweater, I think it helps to lightly accentuate her waist and show off her hips. The side view however, is full fuggery.

    1. I'll be honest, I don't see it. But there has to be something likeable about it or she wouldn't have worn it in the first place.

    2. You're probably right - I know absolutely zip about fashion!

  4. Bạn cần dịch vụ giao hàng nhanh uy tín chất lượng và giá cả phải chăng. Bạn hãy đặt niềm tin vào chúng tôi, với giả cả phải chăng chúng tôi đã dành trọn niềm tin của khách hàng với dịch vụ giao hàng nội thành tphcm, không chỉ tại tphcm chúng tôi còn phát triển dịch vụ khắp cả nước. Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn có các dịch vụ khác như dịch vụ giao hàng thu tiền, ký gửi hàng hóa, cho thuê kho quận 7, ship hàng nội thành giá rẻ,.. Bạn có thể tham khảo trước bảng giá giao hàng nhanh của chúng tôi rồi quyết định. Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn nhận
    vận chuyển hàng từ mỹ về việt nam nữa.

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  6. NSƯT Hoài Linh cũng viết lên trang cá nhân: “Tên của em (Mỹ Tâm - PV) đã đề cập lên điều ấy. Mùa đông không lạnh. Cám ơn em nhé gái ơi”.

    "Xem clip này, tôi đã khóc. Tôi khóc vì cô đấy là 1 ngôi sao to nhưng lại vô cùng nhỏ bé, giản dị đứng trước mọi người. Tôi khóc vì Mỹ Tâm ko khoe khoang tôi là 1 ca sĩ, ngôi sao. Chỉ thuần tuý chị đó giới thiệu về tên mình và cổ vũ những người khuyết tật và kêu gọi sự trợ giúp và tài trợ gian phoi do thong minh. bao lăm đó thôi cũng đủ khiến cho chúng ta ấm lòng giữa đêm đông”.