Thursday, May 31, 2007

And Then I Would Punch Them.

Welcome to "And Then I Would Punch Them," a semi-regular series in which Mary's best friend, aka Simone, spews forth about all that is terrible and ugly in the world of fashion and fashion accessories. Let us begin.

Living in New York City, by simply walking down the street I can easily accrue quite a list of people who deserve to be punched in the face. It's a veritable cornucopia of cat-calling assholes, douchebags who cut in front of you in line, and people who bump you on the subway and don't say "excuse me." But what really makes my blood boil is the horrid fugliness that surrounds me on a daily basis. Excuse me? People? It's not like we live in rural Arkansas and the only clothing available is made of burlap sacks, you know what I mean? Anyway, the propensity of people who live in a town where you can get, literally, anything you want, to dress so... derelicte... is a major pet peeve of mine.

But what really pissed me off today was not something I saw out in the street, or hanging off a mannequin in Anthropologie. It was this necklace:

GODDAMNIT. What THE FUCK, man?!!! There's just something about this I find soooooo incredibly, breathtakingly annoying... Like, it's The Hipster Necklace to End All Hipster Necklaces, like all it needs is it's own half-sized pair of stretch pants and half-sized pair of ballet flats or ugly 80s high top sneakers (in gold) dangling next to it betwixt yon bosom. I mean, REALLY? A small pair of ray-bans? Flattened, made of metal? Hanging around your neck? I mean, if you're going to hang glasses around your neck (like my mom), they should at least serve some practical purpose (Like, uh, MAKING IT SO YOU CAN SEE THINGS) other than, I dunno, letting everyone know that "I see beautiful things beckerman spectacles." (Yes, that's seriously engraved on them). But anyway, if I saw someone wearing these $95 atrocities, I would tell them that I see ugly things, and then I would punch them.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Best Shoes Ever.

I found these 1940's shoes on eBay a couple years ago, and they weren't my size, so I didn't bid on them. But sometimes I think about becoming a shoe designer, and these shoes would definitely be one of those styles I ripped off and pretended was my own ( though maybe I'd make the toe slightly rounder) because they are totally amazing and strange, a cross between a boot (a bootie?) and an oxford, they'd look equally great with pants or a dress. However, I imagine them with a 1940's suit, a la The Women, and a crazy 1940's hat, kind of like this one, but crazier.

Return of the Ugly Shorts

Not long after I dissed these super-hideous high-waisted shorts, this image appeared on the Face Hunter, of a young lass wearing the very same 1992 Great America Amusement Park-esque pair. And, if you had any doubt these shorts were ugly and unflattering, take a moment and enlarge this photo. Because not only does she look lumpen and rectangular, she looks like she's got quite a bulge hidden under that strained red denim.

Of course, pairing them with that charming little patchwork purse, (plus the unfortunate tights and knee socks combination) isn't helping matters any, but it's not like they would have looked good with anything anyway.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Sack of My Own

I read a lot of fashion blogs, and it has become increasingly popular for writers to take pictures of themselves and post them, which is interesting because it is both a window into the personal style of the author, and a way to keep tabs on those who claim to know a lot about fashion- sometimes I see these photos and think, "Why am I listening to someone who would wear THAT?" Plus, it goes along with the popularity of both the numerous Street Style websites and such communities as Wardrobe Remix on Flickr, which feature head-t0-toe outfit shots.

After looking more closely at the overturned slipper and overall blurriness of this shot, it's actually pretty embarrassing that I am choosing this to represent myself, but I picked it because it features a trend this season: the babydoll/tent dress that I have mentioned/bad-mouthed in oh so many posts. This dress is a children's 70's dress that I bought on eBay for about $10 that was originally floor-length. I shortened it, rather badly, but I was really proud of myself because I can never manage to alter anything. And even though it's too tight in the chest because it was made for a twelve year old, it definitely has the retro, way less sacky shape that tent dresses had in the past as opposed to the straightforward sackiness of, say, this.

It's All Very Sad

Oh MAN. I have been planning, vaguely, to do a post on Courtney Love during her early 90's kinderwhore stage, and talking about how her look/attitude back then was both original and inspirational, and how she seems to be slowly decomposing before our eyes, but would you look at this? Is this nose job #6? What is she going to look like in ten years? Like Joan Rivers' corpse, I guess.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Trends Done Right

Despite being on Face Hunter, I think this young lady looks very cute, and manages to incorporate several trends in a fresh and charming way.

I'm generally not a big fan of the trench (maybe it's my hatred of beige) but this collarless one, with it's puff sleeves, button detail, and a-line cut make it look like a cross between a dress and a coat- and much more shapely and delicate than your usual frumpy trench.

And even though I've never liked pointy shoes (a dying trend, finally) the way she pairs those mary janes with bright yellow tights looks really mod and adorable. I wonder what she's wearing underneath the trench? I picture a little black mod dress, which would also go great with her angled bob. While her outfit has some trendy aspects, it's far from the slave to fashion look all over that website, and she makes her look her own. So, you know, I don't hate everything.

The Devil Wears too Much Sequins and Beige

I guess Anna Wintour has stuck with that bob in hopes of crafting a timeless, Diana Vreeland-like iconic look, but it has always looked more to me as if she just loves the wigs. Which seems to go along with her overall look of clothing wearing her instead of the other way around- she takes risks, but she tends to look more nuts/over accessorized than she does glamorous and creative. It's like everyone's afraid to criticize her, but is she really ever going to be cited as a style icon? I don't think so.

Maybe she should have gone with a nice Zum Zum-esque prom dress like her daughter.

Way to Fail

I really love the premise of the Met Costume Institute Ball- I firmly support over-the-top dressing and events that encourage it, but I guess if you're Mischa Barton dressing "over-the-top" is wearing a boring gown that looks like a towel and flattens your boobs into oblivion and doesn't come up far enough anyway. I can't remember who is next to her (some designer?) but he looks like an unsavory character in a John Hughes movie (and what are those- Mardi Gras beads?) This pair is lacking in so much fierceness I feel sorry for them.

Please Fade Into Oblivion

I remember when Avril Lavigne came out, and I hated her and all for being a hollow tool of the media and a pathetic stand-in for a non-Britney-esque female pop star, but then I was like, "At least her non-sexed up image and seemingly rebellious attitude presents a slightly better role model for young girls, even if it's not authentic." She was always saying she'd never show her boobs and use that to sell stuff and I guess I believed that for some reason.

But here's the final nail in the coffin; clearly she has nothing to offer anymore, and I have to say, yeah, I'm a little disappointed, even though obviously her "career" was heading in this direction from day one. Plus- let's not pretend her ribs weren't airbrushed out of this photo.

Also,who reads "music" magazines such as Blender or Rolling Stone or even pseud0-indie ones like Mojo? They must have no souls.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hel Looks: Whatta Bargain

Sebastian, 17, is really proud of his jacket, which he got in Estonia for fifteen cents. Well, let me tell you something, Sebastian: that jacket looks like an Estonian sold it to you for fifteen cents. It has "Former Soviet Block" written all over it, and I for one, would not wear it if paid far more than that.

How can these loudly colored, early 90's nylon windbreakers have become popular? Paired with a fashion mullet, hideous yellow 80's shades, tight pants that accentuate his oh-s- voluptuous frame, and what appears to be some kind of purse, he doesn't look so much fashionable as he does like an actual Estonian youth from 1992, one who is just catching on the trends of the American 80's. Did he also find a broken Right Said Fred cassette tape in Estonia and rush back to Sweden to tell his friends he only paid $5 for it? Because it probably would have been a better deal.

Ugly UO Item of the Day: Baggy Plaid

Oh my, are these ugly! Here we have a saggy Madras cami that balloons out in a most unfortunate way. In case the chaotically ugly mix of pastel plaid and puffiness weren't enough, there's actually a ruffle crammed somewhere on there. Also, what's the point of wearing a tank top that clearly doesn't cover enough, making you wear another one underneath?

But who really cares about that cami, when there is a much more foul item, the Lux Full Sleeve Plaid Top, lurking on the very same website? What is up with this thing? How is it meant to be worn? If Urban Outfitters has anything to say, with black high waisted jeans, creating the most early 90's silhouette known to man. This is one of those pieces of clothing that really makes me angry, because it's not just something you could find at Goodwill, it's something that would be ugly even compared to other early 90's clothes at Goodwill, and here it is being recreated for $48.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cat Fancy

The pictures of this garment aren't very good, so if, you can't tell from the photos, I'll explain what's going on: this is a vintage, probably early 50's, bathing suit with little black cats printed all over it.

I love vintage bathing suits. They're cut in a much more flattering way than modern ones- all the ruching on this one shapes the bod in a much nicer way than those gross Victoria's Secret bodyshapers, and the higher waistlines and lower legs are great for those of us who feel many modern swimsuits are akin to wearing one's underwear in public. This suit would look fabulous on a variety of sizes and shapes.

But aside from all that, this has one of my most favorite vintage features, and that's a novelty print. Prints from the 40's and 50's were sometimes decorated with everything from fairy tale characters to pocket watches, making an already cute item (like this suit) that much quirkier and more unique. Novelty prints have had a bit of a resurgence lately, what with the heart covered t-shirts at Forever 21 or even a cardigan with cats on it I tried on at H&M that turned out to have hideously huge shoulders, but they rarely have the cute details or charmingly retro look of the novelty prints of yesteryear. If everyone was wearing a chair printed bikini at the beach instead of something like this, the world would clearly be a better place.

Pairing Them with Pointy Flats Doesn't Make It Okay

If I were to use a word that describes how I feel about overalls, that word would be "repulsion." I remember, in sixth grade, I started feeling all this pressure to wear cool clothes, and, at some point, I kind of resolved to just wear denim overall shorts like everyday. Perhaps I paired them with a bodysuit, or something crushed velvet. The point is, overalls are one of those items that I just didn't think would be "back" any time soon.

But surprise, surprise, overalls are all over Face Hunter (as this droopy/sassy number pair are) and Hel Looks and what have you. To be honest, she looks less like a hipster and more like someone who's one step away from wearing Skechers, but she's probably just French or something. The point is: overalls are creeping into some people's wardrobes the same way they appear to be creeping into this ladies crotch. You have been forewarned.

How to Look Like a House

For reasons I don't really understand, this "dress" sold for $41 on eBay. I love the way it falls straight from the ultra puffy and boxy shoulders- the effect is not so much tentlike as houselike. I can just imagine smaller, more fitted garments living inside this dress, housed by its generous curtain of fabric, uninhibited by seams or anything else that might make it a little more flattering and un-rectangular.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Taking Risks

It's all very well and good when you think things have potential on the hanger, but putting them on your body is another story. Being well-dressed is much more about putting things together in a creative, and yes, flattering way than it is about choosing "unique" items and wearing them just because you're into the "illusion" of having nothing but a bra on, when, in fact, you're wearing a mesh shirt for some reason. Case in point: this outfit.

Here we have high-waisted, pleated linen shorts that crinkle rather perfectly into an oversized camel toe (If you try on pants or shorts that pull and crinkle over your hips and thighs like that, don't buy them- they're supposed to lie flat, not look like they're being sucked into your crotch) and a trompe lo'oiel top that I guess is supposed to fool people into thinking you're not wearing a shirt.

Clothing should be fun. You should take risks and wear things that other people are afraid of. But you should also consider whether that item looks good on you, and if you're wearing it because it happens to be popular right now or if it truly is a special item. When your wonderful, unique look also happens to be all over H&M, maybe it's time to rethink your inspiration. And then of course some things are just eternally ugly.