Posts tagged with "fashion" - Faerye Net 2012-07-18T21:08:58+00:00 Felicity Shoulders The 5 Stages of Street Harassment 2012-07-18T21:08:58+00:00 2012-07-18T21:09:40+00:00 <p><strong>1. Denial.</strong> Wait, did someone just say &#8220;<span class="caps">PROSTITUTE</span>!&#8221;? Was that the word? Was it that guy? Was it to me? No, surely I misheard. Let me just listen to the extremely disturbing replay in my head a bit, I&#8217;m sure it wasn&#8217;t that. Or to me. Shit, it really was.</p> <p><strong>2. Fleeing.</strong> Doooon&#8217;t look over your shoulder, fast fast walky walky fast, car around the corner, no one following me, it&#8217;s just nerves anyway. It&#8217;s a beautiful day, you&#8217;re no less safe just because someone reminded you it&#8217;s an ugly world.</p> <p><strong>3. Victim-blaming.</strong> Holy shit, is my bra showing? No, it isn&#8217;t. Also, what the what, Felicity, you&#8217;re a feminist. Cut that out. It&#8217;s about him, not you. [Ed: I bet you want to know what I was wearing. I would too. Because it&#8217;s how we make sense out of this crap, and unfortunately, shift the blame.]</p> <p><strong>4. Stubbornness.</strong> Stop, stop, <em>stop</em> looking in the mirror and checking your outfit for sluttiness, Felicity. You&#8217;re a feminist. You know that this is about that dude and his feelings about women, and the Patriarchy and its inability to allow women to just <em>be</em>, summer clothes and all, without carrying the signification of &#8220;<span class="caps">SEX</span>&#8221; around their necks like a burden and target. That guy is an enforcer. A creepy, crunkle-faced enforcer who wants you to be ashamed of wearing a tank top on a sunny day. He doesn&#8217;t get to win.</p> <p><strong>5. Blog fodder.</strong> Just another lovely reminder, folks! Patriarchy Makes Every Day Special!</p> Art Form 2011-08-07T20:27:51+00:00 2011-08-07T20:41:13+00:00 <p>I was looking through the photographs the <a href="" target="links">Metropolitan Museum of Art</a> put online of their exhibit of <a href="" target="links">Alexander McQueen</a> fashion, <a href="" target="links">&#8220;Savage Beauty&#8221;</a> (hat tip <a href="" target="links">Kate Elliott</a>).</p> <center><img src=",VOSS2001.T.jpg"></center> <p>I&#8217;ve been an admirer of some of McQueen&#8217;s designs for a long time. They&#8217;re audacious and challenging. They often combine an element of the familiar with a leap into the wildly alien. I&#8217;m not hugely well-grounded in haute couture, and of course I can hardly fail to have problems with the fashion industry, but McQueen&#8217;s creations are arresting. On the Met&#8217;s blog, the photographs of objects from the <a href="" target="links">wildly popular</a> exhibit are accompanied by quotes from experts and from McQueen himself.</p> <blockquote><a href="" target="links">“My designing is done mainly during fittings. I change the cut.”</a><br /> <br /> <a href="">“I spent a long time learning how to construct clothes, which is important to do before you can deconstruct them.”</a></blockquote> <p>These quotes really struck me, because something I&#8217;d thought as I looked at the photographs was that you can&#8217;t easily imagine a fashion drawing of these pieces. You often see a fashion drawing which is the purest expression of a concept, and then the realized item, which is just a little descended, a little off. These creations of McQueen&#8217;s, love them or hate them, are the real object, the thing itself.</p> <center><img src="" /></center> <p>You&#8217;d be hard pressed to express the essence of <a href="" target="links">this mossy dress</a> as a drawing, or communicate with a sketch the complexity that defines <a href="" target="links">this dress designed from its fabric.</a> And I think part of the power of these things, whether or not you like them as clothing, is that they were made with deep knowledge.</p> <p>Part of any artist&#8217;s craft is having something to say, but another part of it is deep knowledge, passion and application, immersion. Here was someone who knew the shape of his medium intimately, and that mastery shows in the product: we should all aspire to that, as artists, even if we shy away from other aspects of McQueen&#8217;s legacy.</p> <center><img src="" /></center> <p>I was moved once by a <a href="" target="links">craft talk by one of the poetry profs</a> at my grad school, where she talked about memorizing poetry to learn rhythm. When I sum up that talk, the wisdom she conveyed, I think of it as &#8216;eat poetry so that your body is made of it&#8217;. You are what you eat, right? Eat words, eat art, eat poetry and prose &#8212; think about it, be aware of it, be a mindful mouth &#8212; and you can have that knowledge and love in every sinew. You&#8217;ll still be you, just made of your art. That&#8217;s what I aspire to: to be a story elemental with bones made of words.</p> <p>What are you taking in that you want to keep? Out of what are you making yourself?</p> <p><font size="small"><em>Photographs ©Sølve Sundsbø from <a href="">the Met blog</a></em></font></p> Suiting up 2008-05-15T18:21:39+00:00 2008-05-20T10:55:54+00:00 <p>So I have a confession: I love suits. I blame Scully, because it was with her in mind that I tried on a double-breasted Ralph Lauren pinstriped pantsuit at a friend&#8217;s Nordstrom birthday party in high school. It fitted me so well and flattered me so thoroughly that I stood in front of the mirrors trying to figure out a career that I would enjoy that would involve a wardrobe of suits. My imagination failed me in this matter.</p> <p>However, the desire to be suited remains. Suits are comfortable, fairly practical, and exude an aura of competence. As I near graduation with a terminal degree, I imagine interview scenarios wherein a suit might be an advantage or necessity, and when I was at the mall yesterday I prolonged my stay in the air-conditioning by hitting the suit section of Macy&#8217;s.</p> <p>This was, perhaps, a mistake. This time of year, the suits are apparently being liquidated to make room for more summer dresses, and masses of suits were on clearance. I sorted through a morasse of cutesy and faddish suits (the fashion industry really doesn&#8217;t want one suit to last a woman for twenty years or more, as it has tacitly accepted one suit doing for men) and found a classic charcoal grey number that fitted my hips and waist perfectly (fellow women will know how bizarre this is in a pair of pants) and looked both flattering and professional. For half off.</p> <p>So I resigned myself to having this suit forever the One that Got Away, until I mentioned it on the phone to my mom. &#8220;What was the fabric?&#8221; quoth she (have I mentioned my mom is a textile artist?) and when I told her, she wailed, &#8220;Why didn&#8217;t you buy it? That&#8217;s a <span class="caps">PERFECT SUIT</span>!&#8221; So, in short, I had to edit this blogget to remove the forlornness, because I got an early graduation present and I am now fully ready to suit up at a moment&#8217;s notice.</p> Threadless's 'Girly' t-shirts -- the tragic flaw 2007-08-02T13:05:26+00:00 2008-06-03T12:39:14+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m the first to admit that I <code>&lt;3</code> <a href="" target="links">Threadless</a>. A quick estimate would indicate I have at least ten T-shirts from them, and I always want more. However, I recently bought a new one, and have discovered a problem. </p><p>I always knew that there were problems with buying the &#8216;girly&#8217; version of a Threadless tee. For one, they&#8217;re made by sickening progressive-poseur brand <a href="" target="links">American Apparel</a>. (link is to an article touching on AA&#8217;s union-busting, exploitative advertising, sexually harassing work-environment, et cetera&#8212;<span class="caps">PDF</span>) For another thing, because AA is so devoted to their skinny nymphette images, the largest size of &#8216;girly&#8217; tee Threadless can offer is extra-large, and that extra-large is smaller than a Gap large. I&#8217;m seriously considering ripping the sleeves off some of these suckers so I can expand the arm hole. Anyway, all that was known. But such is my <code>&lt;3</code> of Threadless that, when the populace has consumed all the medium &#8216;Guy&#8217; shirts on offer, I occasionally pop for the XL &#8216;Girly&#8217;.</p><p> <p>Well, I may have to recalculate. I bought this shirt recently:<br /> <a href="" title="A Dark Night - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever"><img src="" width="350" height="200" border="0" alt="A Dark Night - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever"/></a><br /> Perhaps the picture is a bit small, but take a look. Click through if you like. Now, imagine the helpful model picture isn&#8217;t there. How long would it take you to understand the conceit of the design? </p><p></p> <p>And how long would you be comfortable staring at that design to figure it out when it&#8217;s stretched over my non-nymphette frame on a protesting background of nymphette-friendly American Apparel cotton? </p><p></p> <p>Exactly. No one gets the shirt because they don&#8217;t want to stare at my bosom that long. This constitutes a huge flaw in the Threadless girly tee system.</p></p> LUCAAAAAAAS! 2007-07-24T18:05:19+00:00 2008-06-08T11:44:03+00:00 <p>First you make a beloved scene, then you trample all over a beloved scene, then you <a href="" target="links">wear a shirt</a> expressing [y]our indignation at the trampling <span class="caps">YOU</span> did? You play with our emotions, Mr. Lucas!</P> <p>P.S. The title of this blogget should be read in manner of <em>Star Trek II</em> Kirkism. That&#8217;s right, <em>Star Trek</em>. Chew on that, Lucas!</p> Glass Houses 2007-01-28T13:13:00+00:00 2008-06-08T12:16:12+00:00 <p>I have rationalized my love of catty sites such as <a href="">Go Fug Yourself</a> by claiming that I, the most non-celebrityish person in the world, never go farther than the mailbox with my hair unbrushed, and would never go to the video store in a wrinkled bedroom sheet and Uggs, to name just one celebrity fugsemble.</p> <p>However, my faith in my own grooming standards has been shaken. I not only failed to lint-roll the layer of tabby cat-hair accents from my black sweater before heading out today, but I just discovered that I have been in public for half an hour <em>with a blob of Malt-o-Meal hot cereal dried onto the tip of my nose</em>. Even Britney Spears would be appalled.</p> "Hello Mr. Yukkamoto, and welcome back to the Gap!" 2006-11-27T21:43:09+00:00 2008-06-08T12:25:31+00:00 <p>In my capacity as a Queequeg&#8217;s Qoffee Qasa crew member, I have to comply with certain dress codes. Confusingly, I am neither required nor allowed to have extensive facial tattoos &mdash; however, I am required to tuck in my shirts.</p> <p>In this age of low waistlines, this presents a problem, but as we are allowed to have an auxiliary tucked-in shirt under our primary shirt, not an insoluble one. Knowing my need, friend Grizelda recently gave me a hot tip: the Gap&#8217;s camisoles come in a longer, more tunic-like edition in their Gap Maternity section. Pursuant to this intelligence, I purchased two such garments and paid for them with (yes, I have one, deal) my Gap store credit card.</p> <p>A week later, I was surprised to see the usual Gap e-mail (I opted in so as to scoop the sales) in my inbox, but with a cryptic subject. &#8220;The perfect outfit for your special day!&#8221; What special day? The message made it clear: my&#8230;baby shower. I bought two camisoles and now the Gap thinks I&#8217;m pregnant. I&#8217;ll be interested to see if they swap me back to Gap Women in a few months, or try to sell me baby clothes. </p> <p>There are many futures, and Philip K. Dick is their prophet.</p> Adventures at Readings: Notes from a literary event 2006-07-07T23:31:44+00:00 2008-06-08T13:51:20+00:00 <p>So, having been so pleased with my heady <a href="" target="links">entr&eacute;</a> into the local literary world, I was eager for another taste. To this end, I perused my Powell&#8217;s electronic newsletter with greater attention, and came up with several events to attend. The first one was tonight.</p> <p>So we gathered, those who were anxious to be seen to Know People, those of us eager to remain in our isolated bubbles, and all of us watching each other, no doubt all to write about the experience in our blogs (we&#8217;re all too old to have moved on to MySpace. I hope.) As I said, people-watching was everywhere, and all of us were a bit self-conscious as a result. As I sat, unfashionably early, I read one of my <span class="caps">MFA</span> reading-list assignments, <em>Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Darker Side of Human Nature</em>, scribbled notes and musings, and wondered how pretentious I looked. Half the women (as I did) pulled at their shirts to force them to meet their fashionably low pants in back, exposed by the folding chairs. Half the people (as I did) sported <a href="" target="links">Timbuk2 bags</a> &mdash; I guess I&#8217;m wearing a uniform, unbeknownst to me!</p> <p>The reading was fun, and I bought a book of stories by Aimee Bender, whose story, reading, and demeanor I liked most of all. Of course they have the three readers sitting at one table to sign, which creates a subtle dynamic of competition. Poor writers; but poorest for another reason.</p> <p><span class="caps">MOBILE PHONES</span>. Dear Goddess on a Lotus Leaf, <span class="caps">MOBILE PHONES</span>. We complain about poor courtesy at movie theatres when one or two phones among 200 viewers go off in two hours. How about five phones among 90 people in less than an hour? 90 people listening to live humans with feelings read things they wrote? I guess I was spoiled by the attentive audiences at the Residency!</p> Fashion is in the eye of the beholder 2006-03-06T22:55:16+00:00 2008-06-08T14:41:32+00:00 <p>So, I have many, many opinions on Oscar fashions, but I couldn&#8217;t think of an excuse to unleash them on my poor, unsuspecting readers until this moment. So here it is. Take cover if you were expecting fiction.</p> <p>They really aren&#8217;t kidding about beauty and the eye of the beholder. I am a woman of strong opinions, and, okay, I&#8217;ll admit it, I tend to think they&#8217;re right. Especially my aesthetic opinions (for instance, <em>Whisker of Evil</em>, by Rita Mae Brown &#8216;and Sneakie Pie Brown&#8217; her cat, is a terrible, twee, badly-constructed and facile book; I can support this with quotes from the text, or could if I hadn&#8217;t already sold it back.) But the hazy hivemind of the fashion-conscious Internet often seems to tiptoe its way to hypotheses that I find completely mystifying. I&#8217;m not sure whether it&#8217;s just that they&#8217;re all so frightened of appearing wrong that the first time someone shows a shimmer of opinion, they all jump on and magnify that into the accepted fact; or whether they have all made their decisions about people long ago and continue to say, &#8220;Ah yes, she&#8217;s a brilliant fashionista&#8221; no matter <span class="caps">WHAT</span> she turns up wearing.</p> <p>So, for instance, everyone agrees that <a href="" target="pics">Naomi Watts</a> should have worn something with more color and less ripping (tho&#8217; no one used my brilliant line that apparently she has very energetic cats and lets them nest in her wardrobe), but her lopsided hair, which seemed to underline the chaos of her gown, was apparently &#8216;best hair&#8217;. So much for my opinion.</p> <p>Still on hair, apparently we are all impressed by <a href="" target="pics">Jennifer Aniston</a>&#8217;s Rachel hair (with straggly frizzies. Dude, new wax would fix that.) Umm, when Diane Keaton wore a tux to the Oscars a few years ago, everyone said, &#8220;Umm, you already <span class="caps">DID</span> Annie Hall,&#8221; but we&#8217;re supposed to admire Aniston&#8217;s reruns? Hmm. Also, I thought she looked like she&#8217;d been up all night and caked makeup and a fake smile over the top, but apparently she was &#8216;radiant&#8217; and &#8216;glamorous&#8217;. Hmm. Man, I keep striking out! (I&#8217;m probably just an anti-tanning fuddy-duddy.)</p> <p>I&#8217;ve been told <a href="" target="pics">Salma Hayek</a>&#8217;s outfit was &#8216;risky&#8217; and &#8216;bold&#8217;. Umm. It was structurally sound, and if you <span class="caps">MEAN</span> the color, of <span class="caps">COURSE</span> you mere mortals cannot wear that color, but that&#8217;s an advantage as far as Salma, goddess of beauty, is concerned. There is no risk for <span class="caps">HER</span>! I thought <a href="" target="pics">Keira Knightley</a> was the best-dressed mortal there, and I have been told her necklace didn&#8217;t match her dress, and she was &#8216;vampy&#8217;, and &#8216;overdone&#8217;. I thought <a href="" target="pics">Sandra Bullock</a> looked a bit like the Corpse Bride from the bust up, and apparently she&#8217;s &#8216;fetching&#8217;. At least we all agree on the real Corpse Bride, <a href="" target="pics">Helena Bonham Carter.</a></p> <p>The struggle continues. I think <a href="" target="pics">Nicole Kidman</a> is <span class="caps">STILL</span> campaigning to steal the part of the White Witch from Tilda Swinton, or at least Magical White Witch Barbie, and apparently she&#8217;s &#8216;classic&#8217; and &#8216;gorgeous&#8217;. I think <a href="" target="pics">Michelle Williams</a> MIGHT have pulled that color off if she hadn&#8217;t worn bright red lipstick&#8230;and apparently she looked great. I think <a href="" target="pics">Uma Thurman</a> has finally made up for years of wacky red carpet antics with a superb gown, and no one even comments.</p> <p>So, in short, world, we do not agree. Therefore, I must conclude that I am right.</p> <p>I apologize to my readers for this descent into fluff and falderal. Your normally scheduled strange fiction, musings and anecdotes will soon recommence.</P> What's in a hat? 2005-11-10T23:11:25+00:00 2008-06-08T16:37:30+00:00 <p>As some of you may have noticed with disapprobation, Saul Jordan, the hero of my <a href="" target="links">NaNoWriMo pulp novel</a>, remains vaguely defined. In part this is because all the world knows the features of Saul Jordan&#8217;s face from his previous adventures (sorry, I do love my own pulp pretensions); in part it is because the combined clich&mdash; I mean, <em>power</em>&mdash; of Saul&#8217;s description might bust your noggins; and in part this is because I figure it is unnecessary. However, one piece of his description IS necessary. It shades his firm jaw and sets off his gunmetal grey eyes. However, I cannot bring myself to define it.</P> <p>Perhaps the problem is that Saul Jordan wears many <em>metaphorical</em> chapeaux. He is a cynical, world-weary private detective; an international man of mystery; a decorated war hero. These roles cannot be subsumed into one hat. Moreover, what hat can I use? Given Saul Jordan&#8217;s true-blue history as an ace fighter pilot, I <em>had</em> to have his non-PI wear include a flight jacket. Therefore, he absolutely cannot wear the hat which his PI role would imply: a fedora. Saul Jordan is not a cheap Indiana Jones knockoff! Saul Jordan is a cheap Sam Spade/Indiana Jones/Jack Colton/Flash Gordon/Lucky Starr/Richard Seaton knockoff. (I&#8217;m keeping my options open.)</p> <p>The fedora ruled out, what is a girl to do? He can&#8217;t wear a pilot&#8217;s helmet to match his flight jacket. That would just be <em>weird</em>, and besides, <em>Sky Captain</em> was too disappointing for any part of it that didn&#8217;t involve Angelina Jolie kicking ass to influence my hero. </p><p>He cannot wear a cap, as styled by news boys, Eponine, Bertram Wooster and myself. Not only would it be below his dignity, but on Planet Hard-Boiled, only the most coffee-and-doughnut loogan wears a cap. It&#8217;s a symbol of the lowliest thug, not the loftiest hero. </p><p>So what then? Every other felt dress hat is too wimpy or too evil. Pith helmet? <span class="caps">PLEASE</span>. Aussie hat? I do not plan on putting velociraptors in my story (though I keep my options open.) Cowboy hat? Urgh. We are from <em>Chicago</em>, people. We are not <em>every</em> steely-eyed American stereotype. I&#8217;m sorry, Johnny Ringo, but that even goes for <a href="" target="pics">the best evil cowboy hat evar</a>. (The best good cowgirl hat, incidentally, was worn by <a href="" target="pics">Prue on <em>Charmed</em></a>. I want this hat as I have never wanted a cowboy hat before.)</p> <p>All this nattering aside, where am I left? Is Saul Jordan, besides being the greatest hero of his generation, the only man in that generation not to wear a hat? In sunny, high-altitude Peru? Would a hero be that stupid?</p>