Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Endless Summer

I'm not too bothered by resort collections. I hate resorts. I hate summer. I hate being sweaty and hot and not being able to wear my fantastic fall clothes. But this time, Burberry has won me over:

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Trench coats, trousers, blazers!
The whole collection is a brilliant palate cleanser, and true to my vision of what summer should be.... fall.

Glass-Bottom Boat

Streaming through time, they see
out approach, we are plotted
in space, our light outlives our lives
and sends a signal far into
the future: the past is alive!
Dead and dark for a long time,
we are as starts to them,
stars wishing to be wished on.


From "Glass-Bottom Boat"
by Elizabeth Spires
(read the full text here)

Photo © Guido Mocafico

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Inspiring Me Now: The Shark Edition

I like the idea of weekly/monthly/seasonal fashion concepts. For lo these many years, I’ve gone around believing I was the only person to ever do something as ridiculous spend a week intentionally dressing to a “sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away” theme, a-la Otis Redding.

But then I discovered that I am not alone, and it truly warms my glacial heart to know that others are inspired by more interesting material than Kate Moss or Erin Wasson. Laura Jane as John Lennon in Rishikesh is just so much better. Better by a margin too infinite to express. My own most recent fashion inspiration, as you might remember, was Perou. But love is fickle. The tides are a-changing.

For July, my concept is a simple one: shark.

The backbone of the shark concept is a shark dress. What is a shark dress? It is simple. It is grayscale. It does not nip in at the waist because sharks do not have waists. Patterns and embellishments are not allowed. A shark is a torpedo with teeth... and in a shark dress, so are you.

Here are some examples. The first, I think, is the best:

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Boring, you say? Bite your tongue! It's like being wrapped in a silk bedsheet, except with sharp lines and no volume.

This particular concept is also appealingly minimalist, because it removes the element of choice. Black ankle boots. Hair pulled back. A stroke or two of smoky grey eye makeup added to an otherwise bare face. Done.

No accessories allowed, with one appropriate exception:

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This is actually made from whale teeth and not shark teeth, but whatever - mine won't be made from real teeth anyway. I'm on the lookout for tooth-like beads... and if that fails, I'll make my own damn teeth out of oven-bake sculpey. I'm ridiculously excited about making this necklace. Is my excitement palpable? It's totally palpable!

I hope you are getting a mind picture of the shark look I'm going for.

And I also hope that when you get dressed tomorrow, you are inspired by something brilliant, unusual and magnificent. Mostly because you are magnificent. But also because dressing like a shark is a thousand times better than dressing like stupid Kate Moss.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Naked is Best

So there’s been a bit of a draught here, and not because I haven’t been thinking about clothes. I have. Frequently. Fondly.

But there is a problem. When I think about clothes, it is in the privacy of my own tiny brain, and no one around me needs to know. When I write about them, I am proclaiming a superficial interest from the proverbial rooftops.

There really is no excuse to put such a great deal of time and thought and effort into clothing. The justification is always along the line of “Clothes tell the world who you are! They help you form an identity! They give you confidence and make people take you seriously! OMG, clothes are like totally so important!”

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Well, no. Clothes don’t tell anyone who you are - they tell people what you prefer, aesthetically. Actions tell people who you are. No one idolizes mother Teresa because of her blue and ivory shawls. Your confidence and identity are reflected in your clothing choice - not the other way around. And really - if you turn up anywhere in camo pants, crocs, and a too-small tank top, then of course no one is going to take you seriously. But assuming that you have any taste at all and the ability to know if clothes fit you, no one who matters will ever disrespect you because your sartorial standards aren’t cool, creative, or expensive enough.

Clothes and shoes and style - it’s all fun. It’s entertainment. And there’s nothing wrong with indulging such superficial impulses, as long as one remembers not to take it seriously. When clothing becomes the basis for your identity, a way to one-up others, or the only thing that you can intelligently talk about for more than ten minutes… things have gone too far. I like to think of this as “The Emperor’s New Clothes” principle. Clothes are great fun to talk about and experiment with, so long we don’t forget that we’re all naked monkeys underneath.

So the point I’ve been coming to is this one, and I guess it can be expressed best as a disclaimer: no post on any style blog, including this one, is important in any way. I like reading posts written by others, and writing my own for you. But for the love of god, go out your friends! Spend time with your family. Eat something that makes your mouth water. Volunteer for a cause that you care about. Have sex with someone fantastic. And think about how happy you are to be doing exactly what you are doing, and how lucky you are to have such a fantastic moment of pleasure in your short life!

And I promise - if you do it right, you’ll totally forget what you’re wearing.