By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Gwen Stefani's spring collection got rave reviews at Fashion Week, and Donald Trump suits are purportedly making a killing at Macy's. Sounds impressive, but is it really? Anyone can hire a team of top fashion grads to rip off some upscale Vivienne Westwood or Ralph Lauren. But it takes real celebrity hubris to say, "Buy my crusty rhinestone-studded tracksuit with my name splashed across it, bitches." We wonder, who's got enough star polish to sell Middle America crap they'd never wear themselves?
We were convinced Beyoncé and her mom's House of Dereon would be the real shoo-in for ugliest celebrity line, what with Mommy Beyoncé's unerring crackhead-stripper fashion sense. But actually, the line's better looking than we expected (Bloomingdale's customers will be able to see for themselves, come November.) Perhaps Nicky Hilton's Chick line wins the prize. Between her clothes and Nelly's Apple Bottoms line, it looks like a Bedazzler barfed all over Macy's Juniors section.
The greatest contender for foulest collection might be Jessica Simpson, with her recently launched JS by Jessica Simpson and Princy lines (Princy was Jessica's childhood nickname). JS is sold exclusively through the Fashion Bug chain, with the higher-priced Princy line at Macy's, Nordstrom, and Dillard's. Tarrant Apparel Group, the company behind both Princy and JS, claimed demand was high for Princy in particulardesigned not by Simpson, but some faceless worker-bee drone plucked from the company. Tarrant, who also handles House of Dereon, believes they're covering all demographics with the two pop starsor as one of Tarrant's owners put it, "We get the red states with Jessica and the blue states with Beyoncé."
According to Simpson, this is her opportunity to "share my love of fashion and my lifestyle with my fans, and women across America." Photos of the star might show this love of fashion limited to revealing Roberto Cavalli numbers, but we like to imagine that during rare undocumented moments, Simpson pulls on a pair of her "Flower Up" Flare Leg Jeans ($89 at Nordstrom), with a Princy Piping Good Shirt (in "Rio Red," $39 at Macy's). During her chubbier periods, Jessica may even slide on a pair of her plus-size jeans, sold exclusively through Avenue.com. But it was really after we saw this sweet smaller-sized pair from JS that our minds were made up: Who needs Gucci when you've got Fashion Bug?
Like a plague that sweeps the nationif you can envision a plague with fantastically tanned breastsSimpson will branch out to Wal-Mart soon. Her Sweet Kisses collection is like a smaller and lower-priced take on her Dessert line at Sephora, consisting of flavored perfume, "body frosting," lip plumpers, and other assorted gooey bath and body products in Vanilla Cupcake, Crème Brulée, or Strawberry Shortcake scents. "I like all the products, said Jessica, "but when I want it on my body or mouth, I always choose something with vanilla."
Funny, we didn't know she was so particular . . .