November 30, 2009

Paradigmatic

1949
--

2009
Last week, heated discussion ensued on some blogs I read when one guy posted a rant against ratty shoes and some other guys got together to sell some stuff they had made. It was capped off by this post, which centered around the style choices that people make, their motivations for those choices, and what is considered acceptable to certain groups.

Then today I read this and this, and it occurred to me that it really doesn't matter. Brian Eno is right when he says that "(t)he idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness." Don't like someone that wears old beat up shoes? That's ok, because there's probably someone somewhere who does.

But why stop there? Sure, old things are still fashionable when everything has its own subculture. But what about the notion of "cool"? Eno points out that since everything has an underground resonance with someone somewhere, nothing is uncool.

I'm sure I'm opening myself up to a ton of counterexamples here, but what if we've reached the point where everything is cool because we're not limited by the bounds of the local? If I can just jump online and find a community of Zubaz enthusiasts, for example, then I can be cool in anything, anywhere.

If nothing is uncool, the style possibilites are endless. We can pick and choose from anything. That's exciting. Even more so is this by Eno:

"As people become increasingly comfortable with drawing their culture from a rich range of sources—cherry-picking whatever makes sense to them—it becomes more natural to do the same thing with their social, political and other cultural ideas. The sharing of art is a precursor to the sharing of other human experiences, for what is pleasurable in art becomes thinkable in life."

Now, I didn't need Brian Eno to tell me this. None of this is particularly new. But his words come at an opportune time considering the earlier posts I referenced, and the idea of "authenticity" (which has recently come to replace "cool") being bandied about.

Chances are good that most of the people purchasing "authentic" or "heritage" branded clothing are not tanning leather or building railroads. (Although, that possibility may not be far off.) But communities of pleasure form around particular aesthetics, creating dialogue. It is less interesting to criticize the look, and more interesting to ask what is being communicated. We could be talking about anything from quality, cut, and construction, to gender, class, ethnicity, access, and even democracy.

The point is that we have a choice in who we support, what we wear, who we are as people and how we live. These choices extend to all corners of our lives, and they influence not only ourselves but those in our communities. And that's exciting, too.

(This post was a collaboration between Mike & Susie.)

November 27, 2009

Shift to frigid

Temperatures will drop below freezing in the coming week. I must admit, my first MN winter almost made me want to leave the state and never reutrn... almost. I'm still barely getting the hang of dealing with cold weather. Needing humidifiers, chap-stick, face protection, constant kleenex supply in my pocket, gloves, hats... it's enough to make one want to give up entirely and wear all black. Which is pretty much how last year went, and it was a drag. My closet is all gray and black and brown knits, and I hate it.

These two editorials inspired me to get more color into my winter look.

From Elle, December 2009 (all photos via Fashion Gone Rogue)Cute hat. And the thigh-high socks over the trousers keeps them from looking too slutty-schoolgirl.

Icy blue and burnt orange. Check.

I should knit myself a big, bright scarf.


And this, from Vogue China, January 2008 (via Paper Mode)Like wearing your blankie! Someone with an etsy shop, please recreate this for me.

This is my favorite of all. Made me want some striped pants.

I love the plaid scarves as both headgear, and a belt (in the prev. image). Cold ears are my #1 winter issue. So painful! Followed closely by icy toes, and face windburn.

Probably not warm enough. More of a fall look I guess.

Pattern mixing in a monochrome palette. Yes.

Bright and furry! Yes, and yes.


If you are still with me on this topic, I also just watched this week's "On the Street" with Bill Cunningham over at the NYT. I love this man. His narrator voice cannot be beat. I think he's my favorite street style blogger. This week's topic was color, and I love what he has to say at the end. Go watch it, here. The lady at the end is like me in 30 more years. Check out her red boots.

November 24, 2009

Niche Mags: Trans

I love magazines. But right now, I don't have many that I love. This needs to change. Mike agrees. Magazines should inspire, and the ubiquitous monoliths with Gossip Girl and Twilight stars on the cover no longer meet that requirement 90% of the time. Maybe you feel the same way? Here is one option I stumbled across today on Trend Land.

CANDY 1 from Luis Venegas on Vimeo.

The description, from By Luis Venegas:

CANDY is the first fashion magazine ever completely dedicated to celebrating transvestism, transexuality, cross dressing and androgyny, in all its manifestations. Never before in history, have men and women had so many opportunities for body modification, or so many ways to change their appearance from head to toe: from the softest options like make up, to permanent transformations courtesy of the surgeons' knife.
Now the 21st Century is truly underway, there's no need to justify ourselves, only the ability and need to celebrate the diversity of lifestyles and options, the freedom to choose on every level. The possibilities are as infinite as the amount of people there are in this world. CANDY is a magazine for everybody. A space for individual freedom, and a publication that pushes people to take on the persona of what they always wanted to be.

November 23, 2009

Hazy Lazy Day

A very nice Sunday with the boo was spent taking it slow, walking around, doing a lot of nothing, and making peanut butter chocolate bars at night, mmm. But as for clothes, I've been wanting to tell you about this skirt.It's a bit like what I showed you yesterday from Yohji, no? This skirt is by Han Feng, a designer based in Shanghai that showed ready to wear in New York in the early 1990s. I found the skirt this summer at gh2. The coral dress was also a summer purchase. It's nicely constructed with black straps, corseting and a silk tiered skirt, but has no label. I found it at Buffalo Exchange in Minneapolis. This American Vintage sheer dress is becoming like one of those items in Lucky magazine where they tell you how to "wear the same item 10 ways!" I wear it like twice a week. After this walk I hid it at the bottom of the laundry basket so I am not tempted to layer with it again.

November 22, 2009

The Loss of Small Detail

I found the most incredible collection of Issey Miyake on ebay, all from the same seller. It's very heavy on Pleats Please. Here is a very small portion of what is for sale.

Popcorn! My favorite. Here is a link to the ebay store where I found all of these images.

November 21, 2009

Dream junk


* JK about those extensions. I just wish my hair would groooooowwwww so I can execute my cut/color plan.

* That's truly the umbrella of my dreams.

November 20, 2009

Seasons in the Sun

It's been a rather warm November for Minneapolis (I guess? I can only compare it to last year.) These are some pictures from a particularly lovely day a few weeks ago. I walked to my favorite sitting-by-the-lake spot and marinated in the sun.I borrowed Mike's very bright red vintage Fred Perry sweater. This is semi-myspace-embarrassing, but I love the light+shadow+color, so whatevs. Green grass, lack of coat... all this will be over very soon. These Chanels were my first luxury brand purchase in life. I got a summer bonus at a job a number of years ago and thought I should go ahead and spend it all in one place. And that one place was Neiman Marcus. This was the height of early-aughties large logo tackiness, clearly. I maintain that these are a timeless classic, and I will keep them forever. Besides, I love tacky shit. I want to break out my big leather black and gold Betsey Johnson bag, just because everyone is so drab in all this plaid and denim and canvas right now. I've been going for a no-waist look lately. Here I'm giving it my best Japanese school girl effort.
DKNY polka-dot tights! (+Zachariah Bryant white jersey tank-dress+sheer taupe American Vintage dress)

November 19, 2009

Desiring Raf

New Raf Simons website is wonderful.

November 18, 2009

Etsy roundup: platforms

Perusing images of used shoes sounded like slightly more fun than reading all of the full length version of Marx's Capital: Volume 1.

Each image is a link to its etsy page.































































Last one is my favorite.

November 17, 2009

Good intentions gone awry: techno-peasant

I want to talk about outfit plans gone wrong. I am actually frantic in the fall/winter. It just shows up so fast. I lived the previous 9 years without seasons, so I'm still adjusting.

Today, I unintentionally looked like a cross between a raver and a peasant all day long. I maintain that this was going to be awesome. I planned it in my mind with a different coat, a shorter all-black cape. It looked really good with the cape. But at the very last minute, after being entirely committed to this whole ensemble and having packed my backpack the night before with way way too much stuff, I realized cape + backpack = arm impossibility. And shit, it was time to run out the door. So I scrambled and grabbed the closest coat alternative, which I think is too big, too long, not right. On Sunday we went to a new pop-up shop, Guild, which I very much recommend. (It's like a fancy sister of Hunt and Gather.) I found the sheer silk skirt you see here. It's vintage/retro DKNY. Worn with crap-brand white sheer dress, Target cable-knit tights, French Connection jacket, Le Sport Sac backpack and Chanel mary janes.

I was also wearing a tight black long-sleeve t-shirt under the white cap-sleeve dress, which really added to that whole 90s-vision-of-the-future vibe (which I may have been aiming for?) Side note/question: can we start wearing long sleeve t-shirts under our t-shirts again yet?

I had an early morning in the office, and realized I miss out on a lot of sunlight by typically waking up at 11am.

Anyhow, disregarding your opinion of above outfit, isn't this skirt so pretty?

I don't use this backpack enough. Which it turns out is not a good reason to firmly commit to using it.

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Einstein, bitches.

November 16, 2009

Getting Direction(s)

There's nothing like a solid Tokyo street style blog to leave me wondering where the day went.


I'm immediately impressed by the vision, fearlessness, and attitude of Japanese street style. These kids are absolutely killing it, and it's causing me to rethink the direction my style has been taking these last few years.



This is the image that inspired this post. So simple, so right on. The pants are perfect. That's a shape I'd love to be able to wear to work. I also dig the hankie in the shirt pocket. It's a subtle way to turn a rule on its head while adding a fun pop of color to my gray outfits.



Everything here is interesting to me. Vaguely adrogynous? Check. Baggy suspenders? Check. Shawl-cape-blanket thingy? Chizeck. All that and aughties techno boots? Excellent work.


I'm really interested in the over-long shirt. This reminded me of one of the Patrik Ervell AW09 looks that I really liked:

Still thinking about how to work something like this into my rotation.

And this guy I'm just throwing in because how awesome is it that this outfit totally fails without that giant cross necklace?


That thing pulls it all together. And while I would normally be tempted to poke fun at this outfit, something about the way it comes together makes it untouchable. Bravo.