April 30, 2010

Study Guide

I've been enmeshed in a world of books and ideas. The thing about this other world I live in when I'm not here, talking with all of you beautiful people, is that I suspect it doesn't appreciate fashion quite as much as I/we do. This is more than just a hunch. I don't feel the need to defend aesthetic tastes, but I will just say I find it interesting that "intellectuals" are "allowed" to like art, literature, and music, but liking fashion is suspect. Funny, considering fashion's hero-ranks are no where near as male-dominated as in those other more widely-respected realms of creative production. I know I'm just preaching to the choir on this one, but sometimes it just nags at me. That whole critique of consumerism got everyone all confused on the issue.

All that said, here is something I thought up in between bouts of studying/reading/writing, whining, and naps. Don't hate me.


An intellectual fashion study guide

Posthumanism

Chanel Fall 2010. Or should I say, 2012?? Apparently it's raining in the Arctic.


Post-Structuralism/Postmodernism/Deconstruction

Comme des Garcons Fall 2005 reveals the absurdity of trying to connect signifier to signified.


Romanticism

McQueen Spring 2007. Like a Fragonard maiden, just waiting to be perched on a tree swing.


Anthropomorphism

"Ubaldo the fashion pug" (actual caption, not my words) via "pug freak" photostream on flickr. Clearly up on the harness trend.


Futurism

McQueen really works for so many -isms.


Utilitarianism

Jil Sander, of course. Fall 2006.


Egalitarianism

Fashion for the masses indeed. Never mind that "100% polyester" or "Made in China". We're all equals now.


Nihilism

Ann Demeulemeester, of course. Fall 06.





Solipsism

The worst ism of them all, via the Sart. This guy's universe clearly begins and ends with his overly tanned self.



There won't be a test. Because in the end, The Simpsons really just sum it all up for us.

April 23, 2010

Summer Witch Goes On a Safari!

I picked up this skirt a while back at Rewind Vintage. It reminded me of the illustration style of recent Miu Miu, but I was wary of its elastic waistband, which can often give one the paunchy lower-stomach look. I was not deterred, belted that shit, added socks, and a strong shoe so as to not look too vintage-y overall.



The skirt if the most comfortable cotton. It feels more or less like an old bedsheet. Perfect for summer picnics.


The elephants are so cute! I am pretty sure wanting to look at the elephants sealed this purchase for me.


Everything outside is blooming and growing and I'm once again fascinated by the beauty of dramatically changing seasons. Tulips and budding leaves got my heart all a-flutter. I considered showing you with my camera but thought better of it. I'm pretty sure the internet has enough "nature" photos to last us all a lifetime. I can't believe it's almost May and almost time for another Summer of Fun! Hope you are all filled with happiness and good vibes this weekend. Peace and love.

April 21, 2010

This or That?

Back when I used to have friends, some buddies and I would go to a bar and to pass the time between swigs we'd play a game. The game was called, simply, This or That.

A game would go like this: one of us would pit two related but different subjects/situations against each other in an all-consuming hypothetical choice. There could be only one. It was up to whoever else was around to choose which one would be the winner. Hence, This. Or That.

Most of the time, commentary was limited to an agreeing tip of the glass or a simple "Nice," except for one This or That and the argument that ensued (and continues to this day) which will go down in ToT annals forever: The Clash or The Cure? Regardless of your opinion, you had to pick one and be prepared to defend it come hell or high water.

It was fun, and it passed the time. It's even been mentioned again recently which brings me to my point.

Dear readers, I face a dilemma. I have a choice to make. After prevaricating for weeks, I see no other option but to turn this over to you. Assume all relevant information is contained in the choice presented. Ask no questions. Simply choose.

Readers, there can be only one:

This



or


That
????

1 of 2 more (SOTW)

There will be this, and one more on Friday, then I'll give it a rest and move onto some other topic for a bit. But I just had to share them all! And I thought breaking it up would keep everything a little more neat and tidy.




Let me explain what we have here. I'm wearing a size large silk nightie from Victoria's Secret incorrectly and backwards like Kris Kross. It is nowhere close to fitting me in the proper way (no boobs to hold it up), nor would I ever wear a halter nightie. I bought it last summer to harvest the fabric to make a Chanel-esque long white skirt layer, over which I would wear the sheer DKNY skirt (remember that ad campaign?), all of which never happened because 1. I was too busy to complete a simple sewing project, and 2. previously mentioned issues with major static in the dry dry dry MN winter. So it hangs in my closet waiting to be used, and now I've figured out one possibility.

It's normally a halter with typical triangle-shaped boob holders. The bow-like gathered detail seen gracing the top of my chest (above) would normally be the back side of the dress. I used the halter straps to tie it around me and hold it up. I think it made the back look interesting in this U-shape, which is actually the boob triangles turned sideways due to how I tied the straps:

It's also exciting how wearing it like this created a slight train. To me it's exciting. These are the kinds of things I get slightly excited about in life.

One more left in this series. I hope your anticipation is killing you. It's a good one, promise.

April 19, 2010

SOTW (cont.)

I really don't have much to tell you about this outfit. I just like it, a lot.



Lace detail:


I am going to be a mean, withholding person and tell you only that this dress cost $5 at a thrift store. I cannot share which one. I am sorry. It's small, and I have acquired a number of treasures there, but it's small. And I want to keep finding treasures. On this same day I got awesome shoes at a yard sale for also $5, which was pretty random (they were new, in-box, black patent "Keds" made by Liz Claiborne in the 90s). So what I'm saying is, random thrift finds happen, but only if you find a circuit of thrift stores and also leave the house and be willing to browse and be let down 85% of the time. It's a game of chance, yet I do not want to reduce my chances. So effed up. Chloe shoes from June boutique last summer.

April 18, 2010

Season of the Witch

So as I said in the introductory Summer Witch post, those were just some cursory glances at what I've got in store for, well, myself. I've conjured up some new looks and will share them in a little Summer Witch mini-series. These looks will all be making it into heavy rotation.

In this week's series, you will see certain elements repeated and that's because I shot all these playing dress-up in my house. I'm not gonna act like this is what I wore each day this week. It isn't. I'm also not gonna go do play photo shoots outside. My ass does not have that kinda time right now, and my you, my dear readers, deserve to see more posts! I have so much I want to share with you! On the day I took photos, I went for a walk wearing a jacket over my dress (over pants) and was still a bit chilly. Sucks. On those days Summer Witch stays indoors. She withers in chilly winds, but thrives on humidity and 70+ degrees. Anyhow, on with the clothing.

Here is your first installment:

Things you should know: I got this skirt last fall at Guild Design Collective. If you didn't already know about this place, go visit! The skirt is 90s DKNY, silk, and I love it. I tried wearing it all winter, but never ended up making it work because it always had massive static cling issues. I realized it was meant for summer.


Welcome back, side-boob. I've been missing you.


Wee! Play time fun time!

But seriously, I'm sure you are wondering about my shoes. Ok, I'll tell you about those, too.

They are (super comfortable, canvas, slip-ons) made by Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Turns out I could have bought them directly from the SSWTR site, but actually found them on Totokaelo. This Seattle-based boutique is absolutely murdering the competition with this site. It's so dreamy, probably because I want everything they are selling. They combine a blog, in which customers/members model their merch, with a social network community where the like-minded can connect. Pretty rad. I recommend checking it out. These shoes were my first purchase from Totokaelo, and I plan on wearing them all summer long.

Stay tuned for more b'witching looks. Gah! I'm an idiot, how do you read this crap/how do I write let myself write this crap? (click: publish: regret)

April 13, 2010

Clothes for Thought

Undercover by Jun Takahashi is a label interested in thinking, in the social, in politics... sort of. This is all pretty clear from the statement released with Fall 2010's "Avakareta Life" collection, which I'm reproducing here from A BLOG:

“THE MENTALITY OF REVERSE RUNNING

Current ready-to-wear collections are primarily aimed at celebrities or fashion insiders. This fashion produced for the catwalk only lives in the magazines, it is totally detached from reality. This ‘unreal’ system is sustained by the fashion and marketing industry. On the other side, mass-produced and cheap clothes now determine fashion trends. But is their any passion embedded in this soulless mass production of cheap production? Promotion and marketing consume most of the money the sales of these clothes generate. Ordinary consumers are attracted to fast fashion chain stores and even form long queues outside them. Money has become the new authority, this is the new trend. Everything has become associated to money. Is this what fashion is ultimately about? What role does fashion or design play in this scenario? The reason why we at Undercover like to pursue fashion is because we believe that fashion enriches our daily lives. Although our clothes may not be the one, they are still properly designed. We try to embed love and passion into every single item we design and produce. This is our style. It would be great if more consumers would support our philosophy of this. Our aim is to build a community of like minded people who strive with us towards a different reality where the true values of fashion matter again. Last collection’s theme was Less But Better. With our current collection we continue this philosophy whilst at the same time extending it by integrating issues of daily life. We call it Undercover”

Continued after this on A BLOG: "Such revelations were translated with equal parts sincerity and sardonic wit – with accessories in the shape of milk bottles, onions and baguettes, and plastic bags emblazoned with “not buy unnecessary things”. A leather envelope satchel was printed like a newspaper with one of Jun’s GRACE dolls*, continuing this theme of strengthening and adding a permanence to the throw-away aspects of modern society."

You can see some of these plastic bags and accessories employed as props in the lookbook that revealed the Fall collection. Undercover has not produced a runway show for a number of seasons now, in keeping with the insistence that fashion respond to life rather than marketing campaigns and fast trends. The images are of Jun and his wife Riko in staged scenarios reflective of the desire to create very wearable pieces.


Love these sweatpants with boots. The hobo chic stylings here are also OK with me because they are not boho. There is an important difference.


Great coats. Not sure how I feel about these boots, but the colors are nice.


Again, with the coats. They are just nicely designed and aren't begging F21 to churn out some knock-offs.

And of all the coats, I'll have this one please.

BONUS: I'll show you men's clothes, too!










Again, these are all about the simple, well-designed basic wardrobe pieces. I love the different shades of dark gray, varying fabric textures and coat lengths and cuts. Ultimately, though, these clothes aren't about me making grandiose declarative statements. I don't particularly love any of these things. I'd probably wear most of them. And maybe that's the point. Then again, I'm aware that from a marketing standpoint, I'm intellectually primed to be receptive to a message such as the one at the top of this post, with its anti-marketing sentiments designed to sell clothes. Oh, irony. Will you ever truly be over?


*For those not familiar with the Grace dolls they look something like this:Jun has recently been staging doll-making sessions at events including clothing presentations and the recent launch of Undercover fragrances (the image above is taken from the latter, detailed here, where you can see the doll-making in action).

April 8, 2010

Allow me to reintroduce myself

Not so long ago, it became very warm in Minneapolis. I was filled with joy and inspiration, and probably my greatest recent idea emerged out of those 70-degree March days: SUMMER WITCH. It's my new look.

Summer Witch demands that I make an effort to be in-character on all warm days, and is inspired by Anjelica Huston, Yohji Yamamoto, and The Craft (jk on the last one). I sometimes refer to myself as Summer Witch in the 3rd person (for example, "would Summer Witch wear these floral leggings?"), making me officially insane. I'm pretty flexible about incorporating color, just as long as the mood is right. Summer Witch isn't fully goth, hence the "summer." She's like a good-witch but with bad-witch inclinations and tastes. Here are some preliminary Summer Witch test cases. There will be plenty more throughout the summer, duh. I was just overly excited to go ahead and share before the whole thing gets stale in my mind.

Sample #1:

I introduced you to this hat a little while back. It's an integral Summer Witch piece. I got some unnecessary stare from a bro in a car as I pranced down the street in this outfit, so I cast a spell on him.

Sample #2:

I'm pretty in LOVE with this skirt. It's Comme des Garcons, and I picked it up at gh2's recent 90% off sale. Now, I knew that 90% off meant I should definitely go out of my way to attend this sale, but I'm no mathematician. When I was told all I had to do to arrive at the sale price is simply move the decimal one place to the left, I was like, "Magical!" Apparently this happens every year.

I couldn't decide which detail shot to include. The skirt is a size medium, but before tightening the drawstring, the waist is like, humongous. So when you tie it it gathers in a very bulky heavy way. You see this better in the first shot, but the pleats look nicer in the second. In any case, I thought 2 shots of my upper stomach should be enough to ruin the rest of your day, so, why not include both?




I can't wait for more hot, humid, SUMMER WITCH DAYS!



April 7, 2010

FUR

Did anyone see that movie about Diane Arbus starring Nicole Kidman? No? Me either. And that has nothing to do with this post, really.

It's just that a few days before I saw Chanel's fall show, which looked like this,


I had been perusing the Opening Ceremony sale page, and remembered seeing this:

It's a "Where the Wild Things Are x Opening Ceremony" collabo, ya'll. And it's hella marked down.

I don't really have an opinion on this situation, but twins kinda creep me out. The identical kind, one of which I'm named after/cursed by.

April 6, 2010

SunDries

Guys, I think I'm in love. Again. Fall 2010 Dries van Noten.

These are the perfect looks for my entry into full-blown womanhood. The tailoring on the gray jacket is particularly noteworthy, with the subtle gathering high on the waist/under the bustline. Also, sleeveless trench = easy DIY project.


And even though the womanly looks above suggest a certain casual taking-myself-seriousness, I might still feel a bit girlish once in a while. Not in a precious adolescent way, but in a black leather gloves with slouchy sweatshirt, pumps, and bright floral skirt way.


And if I have to get especially fancy, I'll just let an amazing skirt do all the work, but keep it real cozy up top.


I must disclose that this is indeed a bit of an echo of Hard Liquor circa 1 month ago. That was the post that brought Dries fully to my attention.

Also, please forgive my terribly executed pun-ish title. It makes no sense.