June 29, 2010

"...I felt allowed to be interested in fashion"

Marina Abramovic keeps regularly entering my field of awareness lately, probably due to publicity surrounding her recent 3 month long performance at MoMA, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present.

(You can see portraits of every visitor who sat across from her here, as well as how long they sat. Some cry. Some are cute little kids. I wonder if anyone tried talking? The piece opens up many practical questions, but once you've cleared those up, the really good questions emerge. For the answers to the basics, Marina is forthcoming in this post-performance interview.)

Or maybe she keeps coming to me, and I keep digging for more of what she's given of herself, due to some other metaphysical need of my own. Maybe I'm somehow supposed to know more about this woman, this artist.

Whatever the case may be, there you have it. I'm involved in an online relationship with Marina Abramovic that she knows nothing about. True to form, then, I want to share with you some of her conversation, recorded for the Financial Times, with Mr. Riccardo Tisci. Some of you may be familiar with his work.
Givenchy pre-fall 2010 (in which the religious and ornate is absent)

Onto the discussion. Excerpts from the tender story of their friendship, "I Have Found My Soul Mate," at FT.com.

Riccardo and Marina: friends with complementary beauty

Riccardo Tisci on performance art:
It’s about emotions, which is what I feel everything I do needs to be about; giving and getting emotions...

Marina Abramovic on fashion:
... my mother was obsessed by French culture; everything French was good, and everything else was bad. She took me to the Alliance Fran├žaise at 11 to learn French. So I knew about Givenchy, and Audrey Hepburn and all that. But, at the same time, in the 1970s artists saw fashion as this huge enemy: the only reason you would dress up and have red lips would be to seduce a curator so they would show your work. It wasn’t until I moved to Paris in the late 1980s that I felt allowed to be interested in fashion.
I believe Abramovic touches on something important, the common popular sentiment that can be summed up as "anti-fashion." It has affected many and continues to do so. But what if we bundle up all those criticisms, tie them with some grosgrain ribbon, and set them aside? In that elegantly tied bundle lies the common misapprehension that to be interested in aesthetic things, especially clothing, is to desire them as commodities, and to thus reproduce something nefarious.

Later in the conversation between Abramovic and Tisci, a story is told of a couture gown which Marina makes her own through its destruction. Riccardo is pleased. I am pleased. This image of destroying the sacred (here, a mere fancy dress) calls into question why the object became sacred.

Upon reading this story, I began to think that the problem exposed by the crude anti-fashion stance, and there surely is a problem or two, entered as objects became treasured, collected, valued. Is it necessary to collect, treasure, value, or can our aesthetic expression be ephemeral? I think ephemerality is something Marina Abramovic is considering in her recent work, and which she also refers to as her "third act" in the video below, the phase that ends in death. Yet she is also concerned with leaving something behind, "a good idea."

A good idea, rather than a pile of things. This is the distinction that matters when it comes to fashion as a form of expression, a daily performance of our role.

Short discussion of the exhibition and her "third act"

Celebrating the end of the performance, hosted by Tisci.

"It’s why I chose the dress code for the dinner that Riccardo had to celebrate the end of the piece: black and white and gold. It’s how I live my life, all extremes, plus gold to let the light in."

More here.

June 27, 2010

Easy, breezy

I hope your weekend was lovely. Ours was quite enjoyable, though I had to adjust my clothing to seriously steamy conditions. Here is my version of a simple outfit for a day of almost non-stop sweating.

Front view. So simple.

The top is linen, which according to certain mature ladies and gentlemen is a "difficult fabric" to deal with. I overheard this at a department store while browsing the linen. I think this means I'm not supposed to have all these wrinkles showing. But it's not like I'm gonna press and starch it, what year is this? If I saw someone with freshly pressed linen I would wonder what is wrong with that person. Just lay it flat to dry and press on it with your hands a little. We should move on.

Anyway, I picked it up at gh2. Annnnd here is the best part.

No, not those diaper-short-bloomers, silly. The ventilation!

Perfectly off-center.

Ok now let's discuss these accessories. I'm sure you'll be with me on the first 2, but the final one might just surprise you a little bit. Or not, who knows?

1. New straw purse. I love a woven purse for summer. I remember so fondly a yellow one that I wore until it fell apart. This one comes from Blacklist Vintage, who I talk about at least once a month.

2. Vintage Pucci sunglasses.

Nothing not to love here.

And last but certainly not least...

My new BIRKENSTOCKS. Your mom knew what was up with the perfect summer sandal. I can actually walk anywhere in these, no problems. Purchased at B-Squad Vintage.

Comfy elastic straps.

You can practically feel the arch support in this photo.

Don't laugh at me, laugh with me!

June 21, 2010

P-P-P-P-P-P-Pleeeeats, Pleeeeeats

Here's another silly pair of pants I bought. I've been looking for a pleated trouser for awhile, and these jumped off the rack at a Buffalo Exchange on a recent trip to San Diego.

Susie says "this looks classic." They're just suit pants, but they stand out from the thousands of pairs that I would usually find while thrifting. I like them for summer, paired with a loose-fitting tee or a tucked-in button-down. And grandpa would be proud of that high rise.

Something about the material really did it for me. Their light weight feels like something between linen and sweatpants.

Also inconspicuously featured in this post: a 1987 Guns N' Roses tour tee.

June 20, 2010

Day Off

I love when a Sunday feels like a Sunday should, especially in summer.

Today was excellent. I rode bikes with some ladies to the farmer's market. Bought loads of produce and snacked on, erm, roasted sweet corn on the cob, among other things. Later toward sunset, Mike and I went to Loring Park for an impromptu picnic dinner in the sun. At 8pm. So lovely! None of this has to do with clothes, which is kinda my point. Blogging can create this weird sense of expectation. A friend who regularly reads this shit said to me, on the street, on my bike, "Yeah I wondered what you would wear to ride a bike." Which made me remember that the internet lies to people and makes me seem slightly foolish. Truth be told (and you already knew this): I help create the lie. And I really am a little foolish. But here is how I dress when it's hot and I want to chillax at the park or ride a bike.

Ah, the grand Minneapolis skyline. (Cough)

Wow, that makes me sound so snotty! I really was having a nice time. Here I am enjoying the sun, briefly, before I start to brown too much.

See, that was a lie up top there. I really am just self-indulgently showing off how long my hair has become. Remember when it wasn't that long?? There is photographic evidence of it, right here, on this very website.

Some time ago I recall a comment asking to see more of the Clare Vivier bag. Here it is in action.

Cutest fountain?

And for those of you who were getting bored with all the self-reflexiveness of this post, I GOT NEW SHOES! They really are not exciting enough to warrant the all-caps. Just figured you might be asleep at this point in your scroll.

See by Chloe black jellies, $29, consignment shop, Edina, MN

What a wonderful Sunday. Happiness brought to me in the excellent form of: sunshine, friends, bike riding, fresh produce, babylove my babylove, chilling out in the park, and of course new shoes.

June 18, 2010

Manly in Mauve

I've been searching all spring/early summer for a pair of mauve pants.

Not pink. Mauve.

I'm pretty sure the whole idea was spawned by a Margaret Howell show last year. Regardless, I got it in my head that I had to have this one thing as it would "complete my summer look" or whatever. Lo and behold, on asos.com (like a british urban outfitters) I came across these bad boys:

Perfect in every way.

They come tailored just so; skinny, but not egregious. It's the closest to a perfect off-the-rack fit I've ever seen.

Nice weight. Holds a summer roll.

And I can wear them to work, on those days when I feel like getting a lot of dirty looks.

June 16, 2010

Update: The Florsheim Flop

When I finally tallied the votes of the poll I posted almost two months ago (jesus) it came out like 7 votes to 4 in favor of the blue suede shoes.

So, naturally, I went the other way. I ordered the yellow longwings, along with a few other options that were on sale because zappos has a kickass return policy and I wanted to hedge my bets.

Now, I know what you're all thinking: "how could he go against the collective advice of the internet? who does he think he is? there's a guy on this blog?" These are all good questions, but I'll just get to the point.

What follows are pictures of the sequence of me opening, unpacking, and trying on the shoes that I would find were all too big for me. Enjoy. See if you can spot the moment where my hopes are dashed. It's priceless.

Other rejects:

I didn't even bother with the left on this one.

So, that'll teach me to go against the wisdom of my dear readers. Now let's try to find some shoes that will actually fit me.

June 15, 2010

Summer knit witch

Sometimes, when faced with that empty title bar at the start of a new post, I just sit here at a loss for quite a long time until finally the most retarded words flow through my fingertips and into internet eternity. And we're off!

Ok but seriously, I'm very excited about these rather dull, boring garments. This is the outfit of the summer so far:

The main feature here is the skirt. Isn't it the perfect length? Well, yes. It is. I bought it a few weeks ago at Blacklist. It's my favorite kind of silk: it's not entirely smooth, and you can see horizontal thread lines across the fabric. It's also extremely lightweight. Perhaps there is a proper word for this silk? It has a metal zipper, and is generally well-constructed, but with no tags. I'm pretty sure it's handmade judging by the interior finishing and stitching.

Anyhow, I love it, so I've been wearing it a lot with this flimsy crop top I acquired last summer. With the DIY ankle boots.

So that's my new skirt that I love a lot... but admittedly this is a snoozefest of an outfit. I ended up in the right place at the right time however, wearing this top and skirt, and stumbled upon this amazing secondhand Paul & Joe sweater for something like $13. I spotted it on the hanger and knew it was coming home with me. A rare moment. Here comes a whole lot of photos!

The knit is just so good.



And yes, I did eventually put it on. The greenish gray (chalkboard?) color is quite nice.

Mm, this sweater feels like the 90s in the best way possible.

I hope you enjoy these garments despite my lackluster modeling performance. In place of me working out an amazing look, I wanted to make you feel like you could almost touch this dream sweater. Too bad it's a little warm for knits these days. Seems like I am constantly longing for the next season to come.