Are Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez a couple or a brand? Both.
Over the past seven years, the Philadelphia-based duo, better known as TomAndLorenzo.com, have built their celebrity fashion-critiquing blog into a go-to website for celebrity-style snark. Wittier and more wicked than the usual red-carpet cutout commentators, "T Lo" offer the ideal daily fix for fashion followers who prefer a heavy dose of humor along with their label whoring.
The two will be at Mall of America on Sunday to promote their new book, "Everybody Wants to Be Me or Do Me." The book — an amusing but odd advice tome — may disappoint fans expecting a "Best of T and L" collection of celeb photos paired with their snappy repartee. But the chance to see the guys up close and personal should please their local troop of "Bitter Kittens," as they call their regular commenters.
We recently caught up with them between shows at New York Fashion Week.
Q: What's the most absurd sartorial statement you've observed so far?
Tom: A lot of what we call clown costumes, especially with fur. Outrageous floor-length coats, mink turbans, old-style muffs.
Q: Best sightings?
Lorenzo: Katie Holmes and Hugh Jackman at Donna Karan. Meeting the stylist for one of the most iconic women in the world right now, Beyoncé.
Q: Give us some quick assessments of some of your favorite stars with style.
Both: Kiernan Shipka always dresses with sophistication but appropriately for her age, yet takes risks, too. Most male celebrities don't give a crap, but Idris Elba always gets it right, wears the right colors and those gorgeous Burberry coats. Lupita Nyong'o [Oscar nominee for "12 Years a Slave"] is so chic, dressed for high impact, never generically, to maximize her own physicality. But she's still learning. She doesn't know how to accessorize and her shoes aren't quite right. Tilda Swinton is a creature from another world. Even when she gets it wrong, you can't take your eyes off her.
Q: I'm surprised we don't see you doing red-carpet commentary on TV. Have you been asked?
Tom: It's a small pool of people doing that and they're pretty locked into their roles. Who could take over for Joan Rivers? She invented it. Actually, we have been approached, but we like to keep our distance because if we got friendly with these people we'd have to rein ourselves in and not be as honest in our criticism.
Q: You've been writing a lot about women's winter coats lately. What should guide us in buying one?
Lorenzo: It doesn't have to be expensive or a known brand, but it should fit perfectly.
Tom: Remember this is the look people are going to see you in most often all season, especially in Minnesota. Think of it like a dress you'll wear over and over. It should have some color and a few details like oversize or covered buttons to give it some fun and style.
Q: Your TV show recaps have become as popular as your fashion critiques. How do you choose the shows?
Tom: It's not only shows we like, but those we feel we can contribute something to the conversation that's not already out there. Like with "Mad Men," which is so over-analyzed, we take a close look at the style on the show.
Q: What did you do before you got to be catty about famous people for a living?
Tom: I was an advertising account executive and copy editor.
Lorenzo: I taught culture and business at a university and also worked in fashion.
Q: How did you two meet?
Tom: At the gym. It's such an urban gay cliché. We were giving each other the eye for a few weeks and I finally walked over to Lorenzo at the triceps machine and asked if I could work in.
Q: Do you have to be careful what you throw on yourselves every time you step out the door now?
Tom: Yes, very. People recognize us now and then. We know we'd better step it up. At Fashion Week in New York we dressed to the nines every day.
Q: Ever been to the Mall of America before?
Lorenzo: No. We're thrilled and are definitely setting aside a day to shop.
Q: You do realize you're likely to see more garish Bill Cosby sweaters than Burberry Prorsum on your fellow mallgoers, right?
Lorenzo: There are a lot of those sweaters on the runway in New York right now. They're back, and Minnesota is ahead of the curve.