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Saturday, 27 February 2016
Women Against Women in Business




 By Tammy Duffy

A few weeks ago during a national meeting for a company, a new Vice President of an area was introduced. She is a woman. A woman who is attractive. As she began to share her background a female coworker, poked another in the back like a cattle dog. The woman ignored her poke. She poked again and asked, "We know you know her, what is the scoop with this woman?" What is she good at?  Does she care about women?"  The tone of the questioning annoyed the person who was poked as well as the question. They did not respond. The poker was not quiet about her question. Again, another poke and the same series of questions, yet at a higher decibel. The other person finally turned around and said, "Great lady, very competitive and wants to win."  

The conversations over the next few weeks from other women in the company demonstrated this same level of mistrust and negativity towards the new VP.  The person who was poked is a new employee at the company, it bothered them that the women acted in this manner. It is never a good thing when other women do not want to support or help other women. That is not a healthy culture. These women asked the question," Does she support women?", yet their very behavior is not of a positive sisterhood in business. Why should or would this new VP support them, when they have this attitude about her already and they do not even know her. 

No one really talks about it, but one of the main issues preventing women from getting along with other women is jealousy. In the professional world, it breaks down to one of two things: jealousy over how good you are at what you do or jealousy over how good you look doing what you do. 

These related but distinct problems each deserve their own explanation.  I’ll start with Green Monster #1: when you’re prettier than the average woman. Many of you reading this are probably already feeling an aversion to the topic—none of us likes to admit that other people are better looking than we are or, even worse, that we resent them for it. In fact, many of us don’t admit it, not even to ourselves. Instead, we channel the jealousy into resentment and let it lurk inside of us until the object of it does something that we can interpret maliciously—and then we hate them for that reason.  What I wish is that being hated for being attractive isn’t necessarily about what you look like. A lot of it is about what you do with what you look like. The most sought after person may not be the most beautiful one but rather the one who puts herself out there. Yes, I’m talking about flirting. So, while I would never suggest that an attractive woman should slum herself up so her co-workers, but one may have to for a client,  I would suggest that there are things that can be done to avoid being eaten by other women by Green Monster #1, especially since, while in my experience women might be jealous of any attractive woman, they only actively hate those who inappropriately use their sexual appeal to get ahead.


In thinking about writing this article, there are three main questions with which I struggled. The first is: why are women jealous in the first place? I don’t have the answer, though perhaps women are still socialized to think that their primary task in life is to get a mate, and the main thing that mates are looking for (so it may seem) is the most attractive woman around. Other women are therefore competition, even if logically a woman can recognize that she’s in a relationship or not actually interested in dating people at the office herself or that there’s actually not a cash prize for being the best looking person in the office. Still, perhaps it’s experienced as a subtle insult to not receive attention directed at someone else, and the hurt of not being singled out finds an outlet in jealousy at the person who is singled out.


Question two: what can we, as women, do to stop the vicious cycle of women hating women? Again, I don’t know. We can all do our part by recognizing feelings of jealousy when we have them and working through our own issues instead of taking them out on other people. Though, as I discuss below, sometimes we actually aren’t jealous of the pretty girl and are rightfully pissed that flirting and sex appeal are being harnessed as professional tools to advance. If you are silent about your social life and have short hair, you are automatically labeled as the office lesbian. 


Question three: what can one do now that she’s found herself the object of office jealousy (and jealousy’s BFFs, resentment and hatred)? Many of you will likely argue (with good reason) that it isn’t the persons responsibility to change anything—that the jealousy is about other people’s issues and not your fault. True, but . . . like many things in life, you can be in the right and still be professionally damaged from your moral high horse. Every person has to decide what price they’re willing to pay for any one of a million different behaviors, and using your physical assets in a professional context is no different. 


From what I’ve seen, more often than not if people at work dislike someone for no other reason than because that person is attractive, it’s not only because they are jealous of how pretty that person is. Why do I think that? Because there are plenty of very attractive women I’ve worked with or gone to school with who other women don’t hate. Is it that the ones who are hated are just that beautiful? No. Well, is it that the ones who are hated are just that much bitchier? No. So what is it? I’ve thought about this issue a lot, and my best analysis is that women hate women who use their physical attractiveness to their professional advantage. No one hates the Angelina Jolie twin hard at work at her desk in a turtleneck and flats (or even a professional suit like the rest of us mortals wear). Women tend to hate the Angelina Jolie twin who wears a short skirt and a low-cut blouse and smiles suggestively at the partner while asking about assignments. So, if women hate you and inside you tell yourself that it’s because they are jealous, but you actually want to get along with other women professionally, here are my suggestions:

Know that you rarely if ever make friends by talking about how pretty you are

It may depend on your audience, but I feel comfortable saying that 99% of the time, you don’t engender positive opinion about yourself when you 1) talk about an issue with another woman and attribute the conflict to the other woman being jealous of you; 2) talk about how many men are after you, the compliments you receive on how beautiful you are, how some guy crashed his car while staring at you walk down the street, how it’s so hard to be you because of all the attention, etc.; 3) talk about how guys in the office stare at you, hit on you, etc. (unless of course it’s a sexual harassment issue, and then you absolutely should talk about it, probably to your boss in the form of a formal complaint). Just remember, no one likes a braggart, and when you draw attention to an aspect of yourself repeatedly, people notice and tend to draw conclusions about you that may not be favorable.


Recognize your own self-worth. 


My assumption about many women who spend a lot of time flirting or talking about the items listed above is that their main source of self-esteem is their appearance. Regardless of whether or not I’m right, I view these women as less complicated and competent than they actually are because their own internalized belief that their looks are the best thing they have to offer comes across loud and clear, and I believe it because they believe it. A lot of us have been rewarded in life for how we look, and it’s natural that a certain amount of self-esteem has become attached to our pride in our appearance. However, we’re not in high school anymore. I maintain that it’s actually professionally damaging to project ourselves as pretty faces. Why? Because we’re so much more than that. We’re smart and ambitious and competent. If we still derive pleasure and self-esteem from being physically desired, then it’s important to leave that aspect of ourselves at home because people pick up on what we project, and if you spend a lot of time priding yourself on your looks and drawing attention to your physical attractiveness and flirting at the office, then a lot of your colleagues will view you in a one-dimensional way, and you will never be truly valued for what lies under the surface. You are more than a pretty face. Step forward and embrace that truth.


Understand the broader consequences of sexualizing yourself as a professional woman

I firmly believe that it is damaging to all professional women when any professional woman chooses to use her looks to get ahead. Why do I say “chooses”? Because I do think that it is a choice. True, none of us chose how God made us, but we all make choices about what to wear to work and how to interact with our clients and colleagues. Am I… gasp…saying that women can’t wear whatever they want to? I am absolutely saying that. Am I…gasp…saying that women have to take responsibility for how people respond to their natural state of being? Yes. Why? Because our “natural states of being” are socialized. Many women get positive responses to their looks and learn (from an early age) how to keep getting those responses through subtle things like eye contact, body language, etc. Do you do things of which you’re not aware that others perceive as flirting? Why don’t you ask someone you think would be honest with you because you might be surprised by the answer you get.  It is always best to not get hammered or even drink at company functions as a woman. Trust me, when you do, you are judged, attractive or not.


If you’re a pretty girl, please think about this: As much as you may enjoy getting attention for being pretty, the cost is high. The pretty will hate you, the unattractive will hate you. There will be daily judgment, daily rumors and daily injustice. When you draw attention to your looks for professional benefit, even if subconsciously, you are reduced to a lowest common denominator, you damage your relationships with other women, and you create an expectation that all women who could flirt to get ahead should, which continues a scheme of rewards for behavior that we as professional women want to leave behind us. We no longer need to battle it out to be the fairest of them all. We have a seat at the table now. We can get ahead on our own merits. We aren’t reliant on men to take care of us. Ladies, I beg you to be more than just your pretty face, and I think you’ll find that in the process, you’ll be more respected by women and men alike. I also beg you to keep your comments to yourself. The world of business is hard enough for women, we do not need other women destroying our opportunities or self esteem. 


I am not so sure the problem I mention here is limited to just attractive women.  I've seen plenty of women I wouldn't consider very attractive conduct themselves in the same manner.  I can't stand such women anywhere since I think they're pandering to men instead of being themselves & it just diminishes any "attractiveness" they may have.  Plus it makes it harder for every other woman to be taken seriously on the job.  At this same meeting there were many women who were completely inebriated, sleeping around, cheating on their mates, dressing inappropriately or even frumpily. It was the frumpy ones who were most critical of the attractive women. This is an interesting paradym. It never ceases to amaze me that these people post the videos of their antics all over social media.  During this same meeting numerous unattractive women were lap hopping, throwing judgmental glances at anyone who did not look like them or looked attractive.  If someone never has a kind word to say about anyone when you are with them about others; you can guarantee when you are not in front of them, they are doing the same about you.

I don't think attractive women should be subjected to double standards as you seem to suggest; however, I do think they should conduct themselves just as professionally as anyone else & be considerate of everyone, not just men.  I wouldn't dream of using my looks to get ahead since maybe some of these people
wanting to resort to that should look into a career where that would be an advantage.  Maybe they should also pursue jobs in environments where their preferred dress code is the norm.


A lot of it is has to do with what you look like.  I worked in a group where there were only 3 other women around my level of experience. Two of them were definitely more attractive than I was (or am!). Slim, tall, perfect hair and skin and makeup, and gorgeous shoes. I'd say both were equally competent. Both wore girly jewelry and pointy shoes and took pride in their appearance.

One was universally liked by women and men in the office. The other was only liked by the men. The difference was all in attitude. I think women realize quicker than men when they're dealing with a show-off. Or maybe we're more inclined to call it for what it is because unlike the men we can't see it as a personal compliment she'd make the effort for us.

The woman in question would do things like share unsolicited advice from her hairdresser, or about her dress size, or from her boyfriend. The nice pretty woman would leave that until she was either asked, or for a more appropriate setting like a coffee break or after work. It was pretty clear which one was just a nice woman who happened to be pretty and which was a pretty woman ramming it down our throats.

I think we're all capable of having both strong friendships and strong dislike of good looking female colleagues, which goes to show it isn't about their looks in the end. It's about their attitude to us and professionalism in the office. Perhaps their beauty distorts their own perceptions but I don't think its fair to call it a cross for them to bear that they are disliked by other women. 


If you're pretty as well as competent, congratulations. Remember to show everyone how competent you are by not using your looks to either curry favor with the men or put down the women. Then we will like you even if you wear size 2.





Beauty brings out the worst in people.  Brains and beauty makes people hostile. If men fall over their feet at the sight of a beautiful woman who is modestly dressed and who comports herself as an equal coworker who does not flirt, it should not become the problem of the beautiful women if others are envious when this woman is getting this unwelcomed attention and just trying to do her job.  

Beautiful women are seen as not being smart or nice a
nd manipulative and must have done something to get where she is.  It’s a man’s world in that respect.  
If a gorgeous friendly woman smiles at a man he thinks she wants him, which is nonsense.  Women need to stand up to the stereotypes and come to grips with their own perceived shortcomings. 

The world needs to come to terms with themselves that there are beautiful people (born beautiful) in it who possess more than their looks who are also smart, kind, caring, creative and talented and learn to live with it or try to bring out in themselves what is good and not tear down the beautiful people of the world to make themselves feel better. 

Women are women’s worst enemies, unfortunately, especially professionally, and it is worse in southern states where the concept that women are in competition for men is most acute (because many women in these parts are powerless, uneducated, and really do need a man to survive).  The problem with women being jealous of other women and working hard to try to bring them down must be discussed and exposed.  It is unfair for some women to be subjected to constant harassment as a result of other women’s jealousy or relative professional inferiority. If nothing else, someone should create a website, a forum in which women can express their various experiences with this, and how it harms them professionally and otherwise (such as emotionally).  There is no excuse for pretty women having to deal with other women’s (and sometimes men’s) insecurities in the form of harassment, attempts to undermine credibility, and even slander. It has been observed, women quitting their jobs and losing benefits instead of dealing with the constant unfair professional accusations resulting from other women’s jealousy.  Ridiculous. This stuff needs to be exposed, and the perpetrators should be named, exposed, and held accountable. Most men have no idea what we are talking about - although some savvy men get it. Women need to stick together and to empower one another thereby. This issue has been silent far too long.  

Posted by tammyduffy at 2:41 PM EST
Friday, 26 February 2016
‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Comes to Life on Stage at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre March 11-20


 ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Comes to Life on Stage at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre March 11-20

Today it’s history, but first it was a young girl’s life. The Pennington Players presents the gripping historic play “The Diary of Anne Frank” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre in March. Performances are Fridays, March 11 and 18 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, March 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. 

Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on March 11. The company will host a talk back session with the cast and crew after the 8 p.m. show on March 18.

The play is drawn from Anne's personal journal as she, her family, and four others hide from the Nazis in a secret annex in war-torn 1940s Amsterdam. Her story has remained one of the most haunting and indelible images of World War II and her diary has prevailed for generations as a tribute to the human spirit and its young author’s “boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good.”

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Tony and Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, “The Diary of Anne Frank” was adapted for the stage by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett from the book Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, edited by Anne’s father, Otto Frank. A new version of the play was adapted by Wendy Kesselman in 1997. 

Judi Parrish, the play’s director, notes that the show is set in one of history’s darkest periods. “But out of that comes incredible light and hope from the strength of Anne Frank’s spirit. Anne’s diary has as much meaning for us today as it did when it was first written. It is essential viewing for every generation, informing the present and guiding the future. The Pennington Players is honored to tell this story.” 

Leading the cast is Isabel Kinney of Cranbury. (Kinney last appeared at Kelsey Theatre in 2013 as Helen Keller in the Pennington Players’ production of “The Miracle Worker,” for which she won a Perry Award for Outstanding Youth Actor.) Completing the Frank family are Jack Bathke of Robbinsville as Otto Frank; Sara Their of Newtown, Pa., as Edith Frank; and Gabrielle Cody of Lawrenceville as Margot Frank. The attic’s other occupants are Paul Cohen of Newtown, Pa., as Hermann Van Daan; Alana Caraccio of Doylestown, Pa., as Petronella Van Daan; Evan Braasch of Bordentown as Peter Van Daan; and Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, Pa., as Albert Dussel. Also featured are Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown, Pa. as the kindly Miep Gies, who saved Anne’s diary, and Sheldon Zeff of Newtown, Pa., as Mr. Kraler.
In addition to Director Judi Parrish, the production team includes Producer and Costumer Sally Page, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik and Stage Manager Vicki Kaiser. Properties are by Dottie Farina, with set and sound design by Parrish.   

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children.  Tickets are available online, www.kelseytheatre.net, or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.  For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

Posted by tammyduffy at 7:17 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 26 February 2016 7:18 PM EST
Arts Council of Princeton Presents Every Fiber of My Being A Group Textile Exhibition


 The Arts Council of Princeton presents Every Fiber of My Being, a group exhibition featuring textile and contemporary embroidery. Visitors can expect original works from artists Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Danielle Hogan and Katie Truk.


Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials – photographs, clothing, text – to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation.


Maira Kalman is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the New Yorkistan cover in 2001 and The New York City Sub-Culinary Map. Maira is currently creating an illustrated column for The New Yorker based on travels to museums and libraries.


Amy Meissner's textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore themes of the body, fear and loss. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found, with cumulative histories that shape the narrative of each piece.


The aim of Cassie Jones’ felt pieces is to create a “pleasurable conundrum.” She explains, “I like work that is both painterly and sculptural, familiar yet strange, representational, but abstract, knowable but un-nameable all at once.


Caroline Lathan-Stiefel’s piece, Wider Than the Sky, was inspired in part by Emily Dickinson’s poem of the same name, which addresses the brain’s capability to contain immeasurable vastness and creativity.


Danielle Hogan is a maker, educator, and practice-led researcher. Her research embraces the fields of craft in contemporary art and the feminist possibilities of/and feminist theory regarding craft media and their processes.


Katie Truk’s pieces are a marriage of sensual malleability of pantyhose and the rigidity of wire. Thread binds and extends the aggression and vulnerability, echoing life’s twists, turns, and pulling within our rigorous regulations and expectations.


Every Fiber of My Being will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery from March 5 throughApril 17, with an Opening Reception on Saturday, March 5 from 3-5pm and an Artist Talk onSunday, March 6 at 1pmPaul Robeson Center for the Arts102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages and at metered parking spots along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place.


The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:14 PM EST
Friday, 19 February 2016
MCCC Gallery Hosts “Mercer County Artists 2016” Feb. 22 to March 24; Award Winners to be Announced at Opening Reception Feb. 24

 MCCC Gallery Hosts “Mercer County Artists 2016” Feb. 22 to March 24
Award Winners to be Announced at Opening Reception Feb. 24

The talents of 55 Mercer County artists will be on display at the Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in "Mercer County Artists 2016," which runs from February 22 to March 24. (The Gallery will be closed during MCCC’s Spring Break, March 14 to 18.) The Gallery at Mercer is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on Mercer's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
The community is invited to an Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The ceremony will begin at approximately 5:45 p.m., with representatives from the college, the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and the West Windsor Arts Council on hand to make presentations. More than $1,500 in prizes will be announced, including the "Blick Art Supplies Best in Show" award, plus multiple Purchase Awards from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Artwork selected for Purchase Awards will become part of the county's permanent collection. 
The show features 70 works in a variety of media selected from 215 pieces submitted by 121 artists. "The enthusiastic response this year was similar to past years, reminding us of the breadth and depth of talent in our county,” MCCC Gallery Director Dylan Wolfe said. "It is an honor and privilege for MCCC to host a show that draws so many talented artists.”
The juror for the exhibit was Jesse Vincent, Education Coordinator at Artworks Trenton, where she coordinates and develops adult and youth education programming, as well as instructs artistic enrichment workshops for Artworks Print Studio. Vincent also serves as Assistant Curator for Sales Gaspillée, one of Philadelphia's First Friday art shows. Her work has been acknowledged in multiple juried shows and continues to be installed in gallery spaces and windows including Prince Street Gallery in New York City and the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, MO. Her work is displayed on several abandoned buildings in Trenton as part of the beautification project “Windows of Soul.”
In her juror’s statement, Vincent said, “While walking amidst a sea of color and content, I was reminded of Mercer County’s plethora of talented artists…being presented with over 200 pieces of artwork and having to narrow it down by such a vast number is quite a challenge. Coming from an installation background, I wanted to make sure the exhibit reflected more than just one specific medium or subject matter.
“At the end of the day, I would like for each and every participating artist to applaud themselves for continuing to pursue their dreams and inspiring all those who view this incredible exhibit.”
Featured artists are: John O. Aaen of Princeton, Priscilla Algava of Princeton, Robert Allard of Hamilton, Samila Bhatia of West Windsor, Mechtild Bitter of Princeton, John Brecko Jr. of Ewing, Raymond Brown of East Windsor, Sean Carney of Ewing, Larry Chestnut of Hamilton, Sue Chiu of Lawrenceville, Chris Cooper of Lawrenceville, Katja De Ruyter of Princeton, Mary Dolan of Princeton, Joseph H. Dougherty of Pennington, Cheryl Eng of Lawrenceville, Laura Friesel of Ewing, Mary Gilchrist of Hamilton, Trudy Glucksberg of Princeton, Edgardo Gonzalez of Lawrenceville, Jamie Greenfield of Lawrenceville, Jamaila Hernandez of Franklin Park, Cornelia Huellstrunk of Princeton, Roseanne Kanter of Lawrenceville, Jo Krish of Princeton Junction, Sejal Krishnan of Princeton, Ronald A. LeMahieu of Princeton, Eleni Z. Litt of Princeton, Orlando Lonza of Hightstown, Susan Luty of Hightstown, Helene Mazur of Princeton, Lucretia E. McGuff-Silverman of Roosevelt, Marge Miccio of Trenton, Arlene Gale Milgram of Trenton, R.A. Mitchell of Trenton, Leni Morante of Mercerville, Gabi Muenzel of Plainsboro, Caryn Newman of Ewing, Jason Norton of Mercerville, David Orban of Trenton, Elizabeth Peck of West Windsor, Jessica Petty of Forked River, Helene Plank of Lawrenceville, Harold Popowitz of East Windsor, Janis Purcell of East Windsor, Nevin Schleider of Hamilton, Janet Marion Simmons of Plainsboro, Alice Sims-Gunzenhauser of Lawrenceville, Allison Singer of Princeton Junction, Iwona Skiba of Hamilton, Kyle Stevenson of Point Pleasant, Emily Vickers of Hopewell, Andrew Werth of Princeton Junction, Mark Wilkie of Hamilton, Mary Yess of Trenton, and Ewa Zeller of Trenton.
Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Wednesday hours extended until 7 p.m.
The exhibition is co-sponsored by and supported through a grant from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, with funding from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/ Department of State, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Posted by tammyduffy at 8:07 PM EST
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Warhol By The Book: The Morgan Library Museum Exhibition





Warhol By The Book: The Morgan Library Museum Exhibition


Andy Warhol’s fascination with publishing and the art of the book was lifelong—rooted in his artistic training as a college student and early career in advertising, fashion, and commercial illustration. For close to forty years, books were a touchstone for Warhol—a medium to which he returned again and again as a platform for his unparalleled creativity. He contributed to more than eighty projects for books and left traces behind of dozens of others that were never realized.

Warhol by the Book is the first exhibition in New York devoted solely to Warhol’s career as a book artist. This retrospective, which originated at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, features more than 130 objects dating from the artist’s student days, his early years in New York as a commercial artist and self-publisher, and the innovative work of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s that solidified Warhol’s standing in the history of modern art. Items on display include the only surviving book project from the 1940s; drawings, screen prints, photographs, self-published books, children’s books, photography books, text-based books, unique books, archival material; and his much-sought-after dust jacket designs.

Posted by tammyduffy at 2:44 PM EST
Malan Breton: Fall Winter 2016 Collections at Gotham Hall


Malan Breton: Fall Winter 2016 Collections

at Gotham Hall






On February 11th at Gotham Hall in NYC, , Taiwanese-born American designer Malan Breton based in New York City showed us effortless, classics. Breton launched his namesake label "Malan Breton" in 2005. The label is associated with menswear, womenswear, outerwear, accessories, and bridal.


If there is one fashion icon through the ages that men have aspired to look like, it is undoubtedly James Bond, agent 007, super spy, super stud, super stylish and the most fashionable. The 60s look is everywhere now and nobody carries it better than the models on Malan Breton's runway.



The first look traveled us back in time to the world of bell bottoms. These were utterly fantastic. These Beauties have been specifically designed for the flare wearer. We think Breton hit this look spot on with the addition of an extra long shirt beneath a super sleek jacket. 



 This model below, with his super fit body, defined muscles and slim lapels, slim trousers worn with another extra long shirt, slim tie and a gold embellishment on his breast pocket.  It is thoroughly classic tailoring .... the jacket is tight through the body and sleeves , and it is short like the current men's fashion trends (it doesn’t completely cover the buttocks while traditionally a men's jacket should be covering his rear and we loved that!).  The leather jacket has padded shoulders, a 2-button front, with narrow lapels that roll gently over the top button. The jacket with its two buttons, with the last button left open, double dart in the front, flapped pockets and double vent in the back.  In traditional Breton fashion, he uses a flat-front trouser which are also super slim fit and have a very low rise. All in all, a very modern fashionable fit. Just remember : if you wear a 3 button front jacket ... just do the middle button only ... and never button the last button in your jacket cuff.




These looks on the runway were effortlessly stylish, whether the models were going to be street jumping in a suit or gunning for the enemy in a gillet.


A man should never look shabby, he should always be perfectly groomed. The male models in the show clearly were definitely having some 007 moments. Men often dress immaculately but then forget about the grooming, the look is lost. If you don’t attend to details like that that then it won’t matter how well you’re dressed, Breton nailed it in this show.  So many shows I attend miss this.


So, clean-shaven good looks aside, what is the key to Breton's success? It’s not only about the clothes themselves but the effect they have on the wearer.  A person may say to themselves, I would never wear that extra long shirt with my jacket or these colors." Yet, it creates a whole new look, a persona that is edgy that everyone will envy. The Breton style is so attractive because he always creates clothes that make the wearer feel confident.  It's that confidence, that’s so attractive. As a woman I would wear every one of those male looks. Every one! They are the epitome of classic style with an edge. LOVE IT!



A suit – not a good suit but a very good suit – is the one garment a man can wear that can make him feel like he owns the world.  The man looking to make an investment in a suit should stick to a classic cut and going bespoke. I prefer a simple, single breasted suit because you can always dress it up or down. Double breasted ones always look shabby when opened.  Tailored isn’t just better for the fit but for function too.  When a suit fits like a second skin you can do so much more in them.


Clothes should never dress the man or overpower him. Breton has created a lovely balance in this collection, no one is overpowered.  You should see the man first and the clothes second, which is why Breton's collection allows the wearers personality to shine through.


I quite like gloves but many probably never spend more than about 45 seconds trying a pair on before making a purchase. I want to see more gloves on men that fit them beautifully. The days of wearing oven mitts on men should become a thing of the past, something we all revolution to ban. Adding gloves to some of these looks would take them to another level of sophistication. They should look beautiful but nobody should really know why – they should just be part of you.


The accessories in the show were exquisite.  They should be there but never too obvious and they were not too obvious in the show. Little details – things like amazing cufflinks, pins, belts – are so important when it comes to dressing.  They should say something about the man or woman you are and have a history behind them.


But whilst details matter, they should never dominate an outfit. If you’re nervous about accessories, paring things right back to a pocket square. You can say so much with something as a simple a pocket square. It’s a specific and precise detail which always adds a touch of understated elegance. To make sure it’s on point I suggest wearing it straight, allowing exactly 1.4 of an inch to show above the pocket.   It's always better for a man to take something off rather than to add something to their outfit.


Breton is a man who has created his own style - one that’s outside fashion. This is why his looks always are timeless.  Key to this elegance is choosing classics, using great fabrics, and paring things back and keeping things simple. That applies to causal wear too.  Stick to classics like roll necks – in cashmere because a man’s clothing should always feel soft and luxurious to the touch – and polo shirts in neutral colors and you will always look elegant. Bravo Malan! Thank you for another lovely runway. 

Posted by tammyduffy at 10:27 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 10:35 AM EST
Fish Can Be Chic


  Fish Can Be Chic


Sauðárkrókur, a utilitarian town that overlooks Iceland’s beautiful Skagafjörður, doesn’t immediately scream high fashion. But Gucci, Prada, Dior, Jimmy Choo and Nike are just a few of the names to have sent orders to this chilly corner of north-west Iceland for one of the quieter luxe trends of recent years: fish leather.

Since 1991, the family-run Loðskinn tannery has been perfecting a formula for turning fishskin into leather – a substance said to be seven times stronger than cow leather. It’s entirely sustainable, and some of the salmon leather is even machine-washable. Loðskinn is Europe’s only fish tannery, tanning around a tonne of fishskin every month, 98 per cent of which is exported and turned into luxe shoes, jackets, iPhone cases and more.




“When our technicians started trying fish leather, it would just turn into soup,” says Steinunn Gunnsteinsdottir, who works for the Tannery Visitor Centre and runs tours. The tannery is part-owned by her parents, and has employed her grandmother, uncle and brothers. “It’s an incredibly delicate, complicated process, and it took skilled technicians three years to find the right formula to create such high-quality leather. There aren’t many people who know how to do this, and we’re very protective of our method.”

The Loðskinn tannery was originally founded in 1969 to produce decorative long-hair lambskins from the many Icelandic lambs whose skin was just being discarded. One of its earliest clients was the Danish Dam company, which used dyed Icelandic lamb hair for the hair of its iconic troll dolls.

Things were going fine until 1991, when sheepskin from the new Russia flooded the market, causing prices to plummet – and forcing the tannery to look at new ways to make money. “It was a case of looking at what we have and diversifying,” says Gunnsteinsdottir. 

So, in 1995, with the secret fish-leather formula perfected, Atlantic Leather was formed as a sister company to Loðskinn, with the two companies merging last year. Today, Atlantic Leather still produces around 2,000 lambskins a month at the tannery, with longer and clipped hair, as well as reindeer skins, all of which are sold at the tannery’s shop along with their fishskin products.




“We’ve always used products that would otherwise go to waste,” says Gunnsteinsdottir. “Nothing is ever killed for the sole purpose of collecting the hide, and we only use geothermal energy while tanning the skins, making the process very eco-friendly.” 

The tannery, set in a huge warehouse, is all steam and heavy machinery. The livestock tanning – which usually takes 3-4 weeks – takes up most of the space, but one section of the factory is dominated by small strips of tactile fish leather. Some skins, such as cod, are scaly, while others have a velvety smoothness. Some are dyed in piercing blues and pinks. These slivers of leather might come from Norwegian salmon, with an almost suede-like consistency, or perch from the Nile.  

In Iceland, fish leather dates back to the 1700s, when a volcanic eruption wiped out much of the country’s livestock. Shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo used it during World War II, when other supplies were scarce. Today, 150 million tonnes of fish are processed annually, so turning an abundant waste product into high fashion makes perfect sense. The problem is that only the very best specialist tanners can create beautiful leather rather than fish soup – and they’re not sharing the secret.


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:43 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 8:43 AM EST
Sunday, 7 February 2016




In honor of Passage Theatre’s 30th Anniversary, the popular Solo Flights Festival has returned by popular demand to the Mill Hill Playhouse.  The festival was retired 5 years ago in favor of selected single artist events. 


The Solo Flights Festival features a variety of 6 one-person plays written and performed by 6 artists.


This season’s line-up brings to the stage in rotating repertory:

·         An adaptation of Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land, by Joseph Edwards, directed by Wynn Handman, March 3, 5, and 6.   In this coming-of-age story, young Claude struggles to find his identity and keep his sanity to overcome social ills and turn his life around. The play explores themes of education, the power of choice, and self-awareness.

·         Panther Hollow, written and performed by David Lee White, directed by John Augustine, performs March 4, 12 and 18 and is a comedy describing life at 25 years upon encountering two dead bodies, a Jacobean tragedy, drugs, Satanists, skinheads, Elizabeth Wurtzel, and Nordic death metal. Coming of age in the Midwest can be tough.

·         Remembrance Day, written and performed by June Ballinger, directed by Janice Goldberg, performs March 10 and 20 and follows the memories of an 80-year-old former British code breaker attending a Remembrance Day service in England.  She looks back on her life and the secrets about her work and identity that she has held for over 50 years. 

·         Playwright and performer Leslie Ayvazian reads from her collection of storiesMention My Beauty on March 11 and 19, centered on growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, a time of rebellion and action and indignation.  Although she joined organizations like VISTA…her attention was elsewhere.

·         Etty, crafted solely from Etty Hillesum’s writings during the Holocaust, is an unconventional theatre experience written and performed by Susan Stein that brings the audience into Etty’s thinking as she wrestles to write the life she is living – her loves, her work, her wry sense of humor and her knowledge of self in this moment in history, all whilst confronting God. March 13 and 14. 

·         Improviser and storyteller Alex Clothier tries to tell us what happened when Grandma was hit by a train in Everything’s Fine!, through an exploration of family and memory an intimate night full of secrets, laughter, and food. March 17.


“This has been a long popular type of storytelling with audiences internationally and has the benefit of providing each theatre artist control of their own artistry and career,” Artistic Director June Ballinger explains.  “And it affords Passage the opportunity to curate a wildly eclectic month of theatre with a variety of stories, theatrical forms and generations.  There is truly something for everyone, though oddly enough a common theme is pondering the ‘coming of age’…whether 25 or 85!  People were dismayed to see us stop the festival a few years ago, but we decided we needed a change.  But we are back!”


Passage Theatre has been committed to original new work with an emphasis on socially responsible themes for 30 years.  The professional (Actors Equity Association) company performs in the historic Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton. 


Date: Mar 3 - Mar 20, 2016

Address: The Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ (Secure Parking)

Time: 8 pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 pm Sundays

Tickets: $25. Discounts for seniors, groups and students

Purchase at www.passagetheatre.org or 609-392-0766

DIRECTIONS: www.passagetheatre.org


Passage Theatre’s mainstage supporters are: N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the NEA; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The City of Trenton; WIMG 1300; The Curtis McGraw Foundation; The James Kerney Foundation; PNC Bank; The Garfield Foundation; Princeton Area Community Foundation; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; The Shubert Foundation; New Jersey Manufacturers; Church & Dwight; Mary G. Roebling Foundation; Anonymous; and Fidelity Savings Bank.


Posted by tammyduffy at 6:50 AM EST
World's First Hotel Made of Ice and Snow

 World's First Hotel Made of Ice and Snow



By Tammy Duffy




If you love art, the Ice Hotel is definitely a place you need to experience. The Ice Hotel is situated more than 200 kilometers above the Arctic in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden.  This little village lies alongside of the Torne River is home to 900 people and 1,000 dogs.  In the winter, the temperatures in this area can get below -40 degrees Celsius, yet the magical kaamos and northern lights create panoramic light shows across the winter sky.  The ICEHOTEL was founded in 1989 and is the world's first hotel made of ice and snow.


Every year there is a new ICEHOTEL erected created from the ice of the Torne River. When the first snow has fallen, artists from all over the world come together in the village to take part in creating this incredibly unique livable art exhibition.


"The ICEHOTEL is an art symposium in a class of its own. The energy released there when creative people from a wide variety of backgrounds and places meet the ice is tangible, says Arne Bergh, partner and sculptor who has been part of the ICEHOTEL since the start  26 years ago.


The artfulness of the ICEHOTEL is a direct result of the extreme creativity of several artists.  This year there were 42 artists who participated in this project in Jukkasjarvi.  The notion that the work would take several weeks to months to complete is a bittersweet feeling for some.


When the cold arrives to the Arctic, the river also slows down and the landscape changes shape. Huge blocks of ice, weighing two tons apiece, are harvested from the river in the late winter of the prior year.  It is then stored for the next years hotel. With this material they are able to cast the building "snice" (mixture of ice made of water from the river). The snice is sprayed onto molds, which are removed once the structure has consolidated.  It's then up to the creative process to develop the hotel. 


Room after room is an exquisite, romantic interlude of snow and ice. There is an extra dimension added to the experience with customized, challenging light effects. There is a presence of traditional Sami art, heavy chandeliers made of ice (weighing 250kg), 50 rooms for guests, an ice bar, a sauna and much more.


This years ICEBAR at the ICEHOTEL was named Tribute. It was so named as a tribute and celebration for all the artists, creative types and builders who have contributed to the ICEHOTEL for the past 26 years.  It was also a tribute to the actors, musicians, and artists throughout the world who spread joy and happiness through their creativity.


The ARTSUITES, leave their guests mesmerized with wonder.  I was blessed with the ability to stay in the suite, Don't Say Don't Cry, created by artists Urs Koller and Petri Tuominen.  I told my travel agent I wanted an elephant in my room when I made my reservation.  At that time they were just beginning to build the hotel for this year.  This was a trip for my 50th birthday. When I arrived my breath was taken away by the room. I literally shed a tear. I slept very well in the suite. The reindeer skins are incredibly comfortable. The arctic blanket supplied by the hotel was so warm that you never once felt cold.


Your stay at the ICEHOTEL is something you will never forget. The surroundings were so quiet and cool, you will get the best sleep of you life. There is a survival course taught to you before you enter the suite. The course provides you with what to wear to bed and how to use the sleeping bags.  There is a warm building where you keep you luggage and personal belongings.  If you are planning a wedding, there is a chapel also made completely of ice to perform your nuptials.


In the morning, you are waken by a hot mug of lingonberry tea before you head off to the sauna to refresh yourself for the day.  There is a delicious breakfast buffet included with high tech juice and water machines that make you feel like you are in an episode of the Jetson's.


As of next year, the plan is to make a hotel, bar and art gallery of ice, open to visitors every day of the year. The new building will be combined with traditional methods and modern, sustainable energy.


PHOTOS BY DUFFY Copy link below into your browser.




VIDEO of DOGSLED RIDE THROUGH WOODS: (We apologize for the thumb in the video, we lost our connector for the GOPRO on the trip)





1.  Fly SAS. Their pilots now how to take off and land in the snow effortlessly.

2. Use Vaseline as your moisturizer for face and lips. You need the oil on your skin. 99% of moistuizers have their first ingredient as water. Water on your skin is not your friend in the arctic. 

3.  Do not go out into the cold for two hours after you shower. This allows for the natural oils to replenish on your skin

4. Take lots of batteries. The cold will eat up the battery life very quickly. Nikon only guarantees proper function of any SLR up to -10 degrees. Be careful for condensation on the lens or camera and permanent destroy the camera. Keep your exra batteries warm as well. If they get cold, they will not work either. You your hand warmers in your bag to keep them warm. 

5. Do not wear your good watch. The battery will be eaten up the first day. This happened to my Ebel. But you are on vacation so who cares what time it is.

6.  Keep you cameras inside your coat. Take a backup camera in case one does not work as well in the cold. I used Nikon my DSLR with AA batteries adapter. I took my 30-80mm analog lens that work on my DSLR for my Nikon. I also used my Nikon Coolpix. The DSLR(d90)was more sensitive to the cold (but was not as rigorous about putting it in my coat). The Coolpix worked great all day as long as it was in my coat. 

7. Dress warm in layers. Wear mositure wicking thermals

8. Merlino wool is your best friend, socks and thermal wear.

9.  Schedule excursions with companies that supply you with boots, gloves, hats and snowsuits. This will help with what you do not have to pack for your trip. The excursions are wonderful and let you experience the cultural of Sami life. Highly recommend you do as many as you can.

10. Take one bag for all your belongings for your trip. Pack light. 






Posted by tammyduffy at 6:24 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 7 February 2016 7:41 AM EST
Forget Gypsy Gyms: Mercer County Has Free Certified Health Programs




Forget Gypsy Gyms 

Mercer County Has Free Certified Health Programs






A recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates that an estimated two-thirds of US adults are either overweight or obese . Here in Mercer County, 58.5% of adult residents have body mass index (BMI) scores in the overweight or obese range. Yet there is a gym, yoga studio, boutique workout world popping up on every corner of Hamilton, NJ.  How many of these gyms actually have certified physicians, or sincerely qualified (buying your yoga, trainer certifications on the web do not count) individuals.  Some gyms go as far as saying they will do a movement Screening, which they charge you for and recommend it be repeated every few weeks.  They state they are screening for pain and discomfort. Who is doing this screening? If one investigates who actually works at the gym you will find its Mom who is making lunch for their kids and then dashing off to teach a yoga class at the gym.   This is how clients get hurt at gyms. They get sucked into these manipulative marketing campaigns, with the promise of a slimmer waistline and a rock hard abdomen.


The manipulation continues when the gyms state they will work with your physicians when you do get hurt to develop another fitness regiment that in the end will hurt you again.  Who at the gym is actually qualified to make these assessments. You will find no one is. The Medical societies need to understand what is happening in this arena and turn then into the better business bureau and other agencies to warn the public.  These gyms  are hurting clients, not just physically but also monetarily .


These same gyms, big and small,  are making claims about lifestyle choices and the foods you need to eat. Yet, they do not have one licensed or certified dietitian on staff. This is just criminal. These people are playing with peoples lives. They look at their clients as a meal ticket for their own greed.  They are not medical professionals and they are making recommendations to people who may be diabetic, have an auto immune disease, etc on how to eat, how to move, what exercise regiment to perform. These gym staffers are putting the lives of their clients in their hands. There needs to be severe changes in marketplace before more people get hurt. The gross incompetence that is occurring within the walls of these gyms is costing the American public millions each year.


The false promises made by the gym owners are no different than that of a fortune teller.  Fortune tells will say, if you pay me twenty more dollars I can remove the bad karma from your life. Burn this candle and your life will be all better.  The gym owners are not different.


Children are not immune from this growing trend with many deleterious lifestyle behaviors being unconsciously transferred from adults to children; as such, there is no surprise that an increasing number of children are becoming obese or overweight. Children and adults alike who are obese or overweight are more likely to feel stress, and overweight children are more likely to report that their parents were often or always stressed over the past month.


 While understanding the link between physical well being and behavioral health has substantially improved over the past few decades, much needs to be done to stem the problem. Mercer Partnership views the dynamics underlying the issue of obesity as inextricably linked to the same dynamics underlying the aforementioned public health priorities of substance abuse and mental health. The gravity of the situation can be as highlighted by recent findings: Children who are overweight are more likely to report they worry a lot or a great deal about things in their lives than children who are normal weight (31 percent vs. 14 percent).


American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity. Policy and environmental change initiatives that make healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity available, affordable, and easy will likely prove most effective in combating obesity.


Overweight children are also significantly more likely than normal-weight children to report they worry about the way they look/their weight (36 percent vs. 11 percent). Although parents, regardless of their weight, are likely to report they feel it is important for their child to have healthy behaviors, there are findings that suggest that leading by example is also very important. Children who believe they are overweight are significantly more likely than those with a normal weight to report that their parent has been always/often worried or stressed about things in the past month (39 percent vs. 30 percent). While obese parents are equally as likely as those of normal weight to say it’s important to them that their children eat healthy foods and stay physically active (77 percent of normal-weight and obese parents), survey results suggest parents who are overweight are less likely to engage in the healthy behaviors they value.


There are various factors that contribute to obesity ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices. While genetic factors contributing to this growing epidemic are not modifiable, lifestyle choices that put residents at health risk can be controlled and monitored. With regular doctor visits and check-ups, professionals in the medical profession can offer assistance and tools on how to eat properly, maintain appropriate weight, and recognize early warning signs of more significant illness.  The obesity ‘epidemic’ has not only been fueled by behavioral choices, but also by a resident’s financial situation needed to purchase food items with more desirable nutritional value. Minimal education on how to maintain a balanced diet contributes to the rise of obesity. Personal finances have an effect on how people shop and, ultimately, the decision on whether to purchase nutritional or pre-packaged and processed foods.  Agencies need to evaluate internal policies and practices in order to ensure appropriate Food Pyramid information is provided for those who might benefit from such. Food Choices In a nation with a fast-paced lifestyle, fast-food restaurants become the primary source of food for many families. With the growing list of dollar menu items, where prepared foods can be purchased inexpensively, consumption of healthier fresh fruits and vegetables suffers. Since these foods have been converted from their original state to a consumable and convenient format, many of the valuable nutrients needed to maintain a balanced diet appear to be missing. The 2005 USDA Food Pyramid highlights the changes that have occurred in understanding what comprises a healthy, balanced diet.


The Mercer County Nutrition Project has been distributing materials on the Food Pyramid throughout the County to seniors and those people participating in the 21.2% of Mercer County Residents reported not having participated in any physical activity.  Nutrition Project since the development of these guidelines.


General information is available from the USDA at the www.MyPyramid.gov website; this portal provides personal worksheets and dietary guidelines that can be individualized based on demographic factors and targeted goals. To combat the risk factors of poor food choices and sedentary lifestyles, many home, community, and work environments would be well served by supporting individuals in pursuit of physical active. Assessment work by the Mercer Partnership revealed evidence to suggest that a sizeable portion of county residents perceive a lack of safe, appropriate playing space and equipment needed to remain physically fit. These factors could make it difficult for people to obtain the recommended daily physical activity needed to maintain a balanced diet; increasing the likelihood of them becoming overweight and even obese. Additionally, lack of physical activity leads to the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.  Residents have ample opportunity to avail themselves of the myriad opportunities for physical fitness existing both in-county as well as within a short drive. The Partnership acknowledges that many local resources are underutilized, likely due to suboptimal marketing of services. For an example of how one entity has been able to broadcast its wealth of resources, one can look to the Mercer County Park Commission (MCPC). The MCPC distributes annually 5,000 copies of its Directory highlighting all the parks, programs, and services located throughout Mercer County. Many local municipalities maintain parks and areas of recreational opportunities as well.


Forget using these gypsy gyms....use the government resources that you already have paid for. Take advantage of the programs that already exist and have been developed by real doctors, certified dietitians and people who do have your well being as their primary focus, not their own bottom line.



Posted by tammyduffy at 12:01 AM EST

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