We Need To Talk About Fug

While watching the premiere of Project Runway: All Stars, I realized that the divinely straight-shooting and cool Joanna Coles of Marie Claire — she’s the Tim Gunn of the series, and I have to say, she is making it work — reminds me a lot of SWINTON here. Both physically, and in the sense that I feel if I went to them with any kind of life crisis, I would get seized by the shoulders and given a mellifluous and true speech steering me away from shenanigans.

I would like to return the favor, except right now I sound like a small family of bees has taken up residence in my nasal canal, so it wouldn’t be so much “mellifluous” as “unpleasant and droning.” But I do think I’d have cautioned Our Lady of Wackitudinal Yes against pants whose only true hem is the floor. I’m also not wild about the dueling purples, and frankly, the rise on those trousers reminds me of nothing so much as Apu from The Simpsons. For what it’s worth, if SWINTON ran a convenience store, I would shop there unreservedly. I would be her best customer, get fat on her shriveled and warmed-over hot dogs, and go broke on scratch lotto tickets. But I would still probably warn her off the pants. They’re just not worthy. They are the Wayne Campbell of pants.

[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (43):

  1. Frances

    I think she looks fantastic here! Love the colour combo – it’s one of those that I would never ever be willing to try (though would wear the hell out of both separately), but it just works. Love the cut and fit too. I am also not a fan of the floor hem though. But as a fellow tall girl with SWINTON, I have to wonder if she’s simply celebrating the fact that she found trousers long enough that she can. Her makeup looks fab too. So good!

    • Eliza Bennett

      I love the colors too. Love. especially with the white blond hair.

  2. vandalfan

    She is Herself, and can do no wrong. Her makeup is quite refreshing, and she owns the satin. Yes, I’d like it even better with a wide leather belt and a little less of the gathering at the pants pockets, and cuffs on the trousers.

  3. TonyG

    SWINTON is always testing our limits of how something should be hemmed and worn on tall people. (I like it, ’cause I am a tall man. I could not get away with it like she does, but women are allowed more leeway when it comes to fashion lengths.)

    She’ll rock both an extra short pair of pants that are not capris and then the extra long floor strafing cuts, like this here. In both cases, she’s just reminding us that she has extra long legs that can kick our behinds when needed!

    I actually like the fit and the differences in the purples, but the difference in the sheen between the shirt and the pants is a little extreme; still I would have given this a thumbs up.

  4. Kit

    I actually really like this. She is Swinton of course, and can pull off pretty much anything by virtue of her mere existence; but still, I’d like this – even on myself.

  5. La Fifie

    Funny, of all the things I’ve seen her in, I thought this looked the most “normal”, if that adjective can even apply to SWINTON. Didn’t really notice the pants length at all. I think she looks great.

  6. CJ

    She looks great here…the most pretty (and least scary) I have ever seen her. Hair is a little softer, makeup is pretty and that purple blouse looks gorgeous on her. I love the color of the pants and the colors together, but the fit of the pants is not my favorite, and I am actually a fan of high waisted pants being a long-waisted gal myself. The sewn-down pleats here are pulling like the pants are too tight. If she had to wear these pants, I would have removed the belt loops with a seam ripper and then worn the sash a tad lower to cover that area. I also would have taken the pants to the tailor with the shoes I was intending to wear so I wouldn’t look like I was about to break into a rendition of “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long.”

    • Squirrel!

      I agree with everything you said, CJ! Including the “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long” reference… that will now be today’s earworm….

  7. Christian

    Purple looks nice on her.

  8. Heather

    It does! And her face does look good. I just don’t like the pants and the color combo, but some adjustments could be made to save the pants.

  9. The Other Molly

    Heather, major word geek points to you for the use of “mellifluous”.
    There will be no negative comments about the pants from me, lest Her Highness turn me into a statue.
    Long live The Swinton!

  10. Katharine

    I agree with CJ that these pants seem a bit tight on her. (And considering how lean she is, that’s something.) I love the two purples together, but kind of wish that they both were not shiny (picking up the unusual high shine off her forehead, too). I think this would really be a winner if the blouse was a matte silk, and the pants as they are (only properly fitted). (However, in the closeup, both fabrics seem to have a matching, and distinctive, weave, so I suspect that they come from the same designer and it is deliberate. Still not a fan, though.)

  11. witjunkie

    It’s not terrible, she’s just looking uncharacteristically rumpled and sloppy to me. Those silky shirts are always coming untucked.

  12. roser

    I may be drinking koolaid today, but I think she looks terrific. Love the hairdo and the makeup, and the colors work for her. On anyone else, though…

  13. ok

    This is FABULOUS. No way in hell this is Fug.

  14. pidget

    Add the right obi-belt and I would be able to ignore the lack of feet. Regardless, she is stunning in anything, and makes good/bad hard to tell. I like the softness in texture, sheen and colour on her.

  15. pmk

    I just watched my DVR’d All Stars last night and thought the same thing about Joanna! Very Swintonian in the face area.

  16. AQ

    THANK YOU for speaking out against the trailing pants-hem trend. It is especially ridiculous to see people wearing it in New York and Paris, the two cities in the world with the dogshittiest streets!

  17. Amanda

    I have to say, I like this quite a bit on her. Maybe not on someone else, but she somehow makes this work and, in my humble opinion, really well! I enjoy the two shade of purple – they’re not close enough to look as though she was trying to match them, but not far enough apart that it looks cracked out! Considering the source, I would not have marked this up as Fug.

  18. Sandra

    Why is she wearing Hef’s pajamas?

  19. wordphreak

    Fix the high waist and too- long length and this would be fabulous.

  20. Amy

    Reminds you of Swinton? Dang, I thought it WAS Swinton.

  21. Tara Misu

    I think SWINTON looks marvelous! I would hem the pants but otherwise leave her to her SWINTONESS.

  22. megan

    hemmed with maybe a belt – it doesnt look finished. she does look good in purple though.

  23. lettucecup

    At first glance I thought it was Carson Kressley. I may need a nap though.

  24. Anne B

    ” … and frankly, the rise on those trousers reminds me of nothing so much as Apu from The Simpsons. For what it’s worth, if SWINTON ran a convenience store, I would shop there unreservedly.”

    In my fantasy world, SWINTON is a big a fan of the Fug Girls as we all are of her, and she would laugh long and hard over that comment. She’d also warn you against taking refuge among the salty snacks during convenience-store robberies.

    Gorgeous blouse. Hail SWINTON!

  25. NotGFYJess

    I’ve got to chime in with the rest of you folks who think she looks great! I love how dramatic the purples are. She’s like: “Yup, I’m a tall drink of water, swathed in various shades of purple that recall nothing less than royalty. And my hair and make-up are kick-ass to boot!” She’s like the anti-Middleton (not that the Duchess isn’t fabulous in her own right. SWINTON is simply royalty of a different kind!) :)

  26. Veronica

    I think this would have been just fine if she had just ditched these pants for a different pair – or even a skirt. The purples are great, and I love the chic way the the shirt slouches around her slim frame.

  27. Lion

    These are very ugly trousers and very badly fitted! So I will say fug.

  28. Sajorina

    I love her aura… so androgenously misterious! The purple of her oversized blouse works perfectly with her fair skin and platinum blonde hair! Plus, I love the color on her lips & the bracelet and ring, but I would love to see earrings as well! The pants are unfortunate, but it’s SWINTON!

  29. Sweetsinger

    aww c’mon Heather. Only SWINTON could rock those pants, and she does, waist and hem be damned.

  30. YDM

    I thinks she looks fantastic and I love the color combination. Of course, she could run down the street a potato sack and bare feet and I’d think, damn, girlfriend is working it.

  31. ChaChaHeels

    I think this outfit is all about the texture of the materials and about colour–they’re meant to look like rich purple and burgundy and the fabrics are glowy and flowing in order to give that colour depth, like an extra saturated version of a classic Hollywood look (Katherine Hepburn style) . But that would mean only the extremely tall and thin could wear these pieces together–and that is what SWINTON is. I love how she looks and how she always provides an alternative version of “well dressed” and chic.

  32. yeahandalso

    if the pants were hemmed I’d be all in favor of this, nice to see her in lipstick for once….now just a touch of mascara and we’d be dealing with a whole new woman.

    I think Joanna Coles is REALLY LAME on Project Runway. In the season premier the only thing she told contestants was “Is this going to surprise the judges?” and “Well, I’m excited to see how it turns out” she offered ZERO constructive criticism, advice or suggestions to anybody. I agree with John Tetti who rights for AV Club that Joanna is only good when Nina is there because she her boss and clearly hates her.

  33. LadyK

    Not a fug! This is wonderful, the color suits her, the hair is great, and the aura of SWINTON slays all before it.

  34. crystal

    It’s so hard to be objective about her.

    The dueling purples, though. I just can’t endorse it.

  35. valeria

    I like it, (improper hems notwithstanding). Ms. Swinton is a slender gal and she’ll look great no matter where the waistline of her trousers falls. Her makeup in this photo is really flattering too.

  36. Electric

    Swinton can do no wrong. This is fabulous

  37. NYCGirl

    Agree that it’s the pants that are fug, and uncomfortable-looking.

  38. AmyJane

    Can do no wrong. I think these pants are Haider Ackermann, non? Maybe from the same collection as those burnt orange ones you’ve got her in. Until she turns up at the Oscars wearing something haute, commanding and beautiful (oh please oh please) last year’s Jil Sander shirt-dress thingy will always be my favourite Swinton show.

  39. Lily1214

    She’s looking better. I think it’s the hair color and lipstick.

  40. Sarah

    I am so glad someone else noticed the Project Runway resemblance!!! I watched the first two episodes this past weekend with a friend and at one point turned to her and said, doesn’t she look quite a lot like SWINTON? She totally agreed, which made us love Joanna about 10x more. I love that her point of view includes: could she wear underwear with it. I think that is a criteria all judges should take into account. Speaking of judges, the new ones, and especially the new host, totally all suck.