Friday, June 29, 2007

Beyonce: Back In Action, In a Good Way

I can't tell you how happy I am that Beyonce seems back to her curvacious, spangled glory. As Simone says, this harkens back to the days of golden hot pants and glorious weaves, purple glittering mini dresses and huge earrings aplenty. "Fierce" is the only way to describe this look- who else could wear the famed Balenciaga gold robot $100K leggings and look less like a stick-like and sexless version of R2-D2's gay friend and more like Barbarella? If you're going to be a huge pop star, you might as well embrace the inherit campiness of your profession and be all you can be. Big hair, golden leggings, that intense look in your eye, and a metal bikini top.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Screen Printing: It's Time to Stop

Sometime, perhaps around 2000, things started to get screen-printed a lot. Back then, it seemed pretty avant-garde to screen print something off-center, or in the bottom right corner of a t-shirt, or to promote your band, or whatever. Plus, as we all know, it's ever so D.I.Y. and not that hard and all, so everyone seemed to be doing it. Even fashion designers got in it, with brands like Libertine silk-screening some skulls on an ugly blazer and getting people to pay $600 for it. And, of course, it's all trickled down to the mass market, with t-shirts sold at Old Navy and the like with off-center graphics.

Well I say, no more! Screen printing can be fabulous, and it can be used to make one's own unique fabric or design, but more often that not, it truly is just some ugly graphic slapped onto something else, with the added bonus of an inflated price tag. In the case above, it is some indie "designer" screen-printing guns on an ugly yellow 80's dress, and a slightly less ugly late 60's dress, both os which were probably purchased at Goodwill for $4. I can't imagine how much they're charging, but I'll tell you right now: it's not worth it. Gun imagery is mostly ugly and totally played out anyway, and it takes very little skill to repeatedly screen stuff with the same image- a lot less than it would, to say, embroider on the same dress.

Quite a Hat

Hats used to be like little sculptures that sat on one's head, decorated with net veils and little stuffed birds and faux flowers. I can only imagine a time when a woman would out on a suit and add a charming little hat, not for warmth, or to protect her hair, but to add a little zip and elegance to an outfit.

However, wearing hats today is difficult, as they can look a bit silly and pretentious, and most people choose instead to wear the dreaded newsboy cap or the surprisingly trendy (but usually douchy) bowler. But this young woman has put together her outfit very well, adding a neutral colored but slightly insane 40's printed hat to her pretty ensemble. The colors echo that of her dress, which I don't think is vintage but has a vintage-inspired shape, and her bright red accessories, all of which are super cute, echo the strong graphic statement her entire outfit makes. Kudos to this lady for not bowing to the current trend of sacks and nu rave and garments with Micky Mouse on them, and instead create an eccentric and charming look of her own.

High Waisted Shorts Sold Out at UO

There were other pictures of these on the Urban Outfitters website, but I think the picture says it all. At $68, these extra high rise, corset-waisted shorts were flying off the shelves. Luckily, there's always this Highwaisted Denim Shortie available if you're craving something wildly unflattering.

The Baby Backpack, Back in Action

Way back in 1996, around the time the phenomenon (well, it was a phenomenon if you were a twelve year old girl) known as Clueless came out, the baby backpack became the de rigeur bag for the teen/tween set. I guess if you're an actual child, wearing a tiny backpack makes sense. However, after that, it looks ridiculous. I begged my mother for one, and the one I finally received was black and yellow plaid pleather. For serious. It probably matched all those little kilt/cropped blazer suits worn in the movie, and it never really stayed closed (don't buy synthetics, people.)

The moral of the story is that the baby backpack has returned at Anthropologie, looking more fearsome and hideous than ever before, and very much like it should be in the Sundance catalogue, what with it's vague Southwestern feel. Is this the future of purses? Considering how designers seem to be running out of ideas, maybe so! Maybe some hipsters will even start wearing those teddy bear backpacks around, ironically. Adults seriously wore those in public before, so I'm sure it could happen again.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Hope This Guy Doesn't Get Laid

Whilst looking over this picture, I tried to focus on one thing to make fun of. Should it be the baggy, pleated shorts? The oddly placed corsage? How about the attempt at a bow tie, or the fashion mullet, or the always popular oversized glasses? Well, they're all pretty bad, but I think one thing stands out in this photo: the moronic grin. I kind of feel like he is making fun of the retarded with this look, but I don't even know if it's intentional.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Saggy Linen Shortall

Both Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan are embracing this overall shorts trend, this time in floppy linen fabric that creases when you sit down and has all the charm of a burlap sack. I see Mischa has chosen the demure ballet flat for that ever-so-kittenish Audrey Hepburn look, who was of course known to wear many a onesie, but Lindsay is sexing it up with some trashy wedges and a tank top. Either way, the look just screams "floppy."

I Liked It: The "Magic" Edition

Simone pointed out this look to me, after it was it was criticized on both on Go Fug Yourself and eonline's significantly less bitchy but still sometimes funny Fashion Police (it's somewhere in there, anyway) for being you know, sort of insane. Well, it is an insane look, but what's so awful about that? It really does look as if someone has taken a wand to it, and it's exploded in some sort of glittering, feathery frenzy. If witches really did go to balls, I'd like to think they'd wear something like this instead of the much fruitier pink one she wore in the movie. I also think this look of hers is sort of charming in a 1920's, "dancing around the Maypole" type of way, and I think it's nice how Emma Watson takes fashion risks and doesn't just wear the same sack-like tunic everyday like her peers. Also, I'm excited for book #7 and the movie even though they'll probably be sort of disappointing/I'll have lots of complaints about Hermione's character falling into a stereotypical feminine storyline!

Because Sometimes Knickers Are Refreshing

Sometimes I wonder if, to the outsider, there appears to be any rhyme or reason to what I praise on this blog and what I decry. Hopefully the explanations I offer make some sort of sense to my gentle readers. Why am I offering this declaimer? Because I find a certain charm to the outfit on the left. I'm sure the guy pictures is a bit of a tool and all, and sure, some of that may shine through in the photo, but you have to appreciate someone who just dresses like a 1910's sporting gentleman from the neck down. (The hair looks more like it belongs in a 1960's-era production of Hamlet, but I think it works okay.) There's no nu rave tomfoolery, no knee-grazing crotches, no comically oversized glasses or wildly tapering jeans. See, if you're going to go for some modern dandy thing, you don't have to attach a pizza to your head like this guy (PS: that link is really scary), you can just Great Gatsby it up in the classiest way possible and you won't look back on your photos when you're old and wonder why you dressed like such a retard.

No, I Don't Have Elephantiasis, That's Just My Tube Top

It's the Ugly Urban Outfitters item of the day, and what at a darling number we have here! This Lux Pleated Tube Top is apparently "cut long to create a bloused effect." In the beige, it looks like a bit like her skin is dripping down from her chest, hanging flabbily down past her waist like a terrible fleshy curtain. You heard it here first- flesh curtains are big for fall!

Pez Defined

Way back in 2005, my friend and I wrote an article we published in our terrible school paper, and since it sort of relates to fashion, and because the young people of today (aka the three people who read this blog, most of whom have already been emailed this anyway) really need to hear about this. I've added some visual aids- though keep in mind, Pez doesn't stop at Hot Topic. It goes far beyond that.- to Urban Outfitters, and far, far beyond.

Many people at this college are. You may see them scooting by on unicycles, or making comments they think are funny in class. Sometimes they have kazoos. It’s more than just things you do or own or wackily wear in a jaunty fashion atop your head. It’s a mindset. A way of life. If you are Pez, you view the world through Pez-colored glasses. Of course, you can be Pez in disguise. Your sober appearance may be hiding a Pez-filled soul. But once you open your mouth, your cover is blown. Rarely, someone will look Pez outwardly, but not have a Pez attitude. Rarely. Barely ever. But it could potentially happen.
Not everything Pez is bad. In fact, there was a time when mullets were funny and Adult Swim was new. Tim Burton isn’t a bad filmmaker, and who doesn’t go in for 80’s nostalgia occasionally? But combine all these things, and you’re treading dangerous water.I’m sure you want to know- are you Pez? Be honest in your answers. Don’t lie. If you are Pez, you’re not alone. In fact, you are surrounded by Pez peers. Feel free to embrace it, to embellish what is already Pez in your life. (Do you have an alcohol-themed poster or sign on your door? If not, think about getting one. It’s like saying, “Watch out world. Johnny Pez is on the loose!”) Of course, if you’re horrified when you find out you’re Pez, there is hope for you. The first step is realizing what you are. Then you should probably change. Or whatever. Give yourself a point for every “yes!”

1. Have you ever named a pet Bob? Or, do you think that is a kick-ass pet name?

2. Are t-shirts with sayings like, “[This deity] is my homeboy,”; “I see dumb people,”; “I just do what the voices in my head tell me to,” something you would include in your wardrobe?

3. Can you tolerate more than one episode of Spongebob Squarepants?

4. Do you think any of the following things make for comedy gold: Ninjas, cheese, mullets, pants, monkeys,robots, Jesus in wacky situations, commercials for Adult Swim. (Give yourself a point for each.)

5. Are you like, totally obsessed with Tim Burton movies?
6. Do you add emoticons on "the Net"? (Give yourself an extra point if you have a livejournal.)

7. “All the good anime is the real Japanese stuff nobody knows about. I can’t even watch this Americanized crap.” Would you agree with that statement?

8. Do you think any of the following pretty much rock: Fairies, Invader Zim, Vanilla Ice, professional wrestling, Mr. T, 80s cartoons like Thundercats, wearing fairy wings and stripey tights (especially together.)

9. Do you regularly vocalize your fear of clowns, and possibly suspect that clowns are both evil and out to get you, and then vocalize that also?

10. Do you often discuss your own weirdness,craziness, and/or dorkiness?
11. Is Ralph Wiggum your favorite Simpsons character?

12. Do you like to express your politics with Che Guevara shirts or bumper stickers that make use of the double meanings of the word “Bush?”

0-5: You’re not Pez. Perhaps if you scored a four or five, you may be flirting with the Pez lifestyle, bu tit should be okay- we all have a little Pez in us. But don’t let it get out of control. Maybe think about joining the resistance. :

5-15: You’re low-level to moderately high Pez. Maybe you have a t-shirt with a witty saying or raise your hand in class to talk about your struggles with depression. But you could go either way- there’s time to turn back from Pez, especially if you’re in the lower numbers. Or it could get to a more advanced stage. :P

15-25: You are Pez. :D25+: Wow. :o You should be proud of yourself, because you clearly take things to the proverbial “hoop.”There’s no, “Am I Pez? What type of personality do Have? What am I all about?” You’re mega-Pez. You’re a Pez dispenser. You’re a god among all things Pez. So settle back with a nice bottle of Jones soda, pop in your Season 3 Sea Lab DVD, and take pride in the fact that you’re just like everybody else….to the extreme!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Slamming It To the Left/Having a Good Time

People are always criticizing Victoria Beckham's outfits. Yes, she's wearing a cropped jacket, leotard, sheer hose, platforms and motorcycle gloves. Sure, her boobs are in danger of colliding with her rather fearsome-looking clavicle. So what? The woman poses like so many drag queens could only dream of. She and her asymmetrical hair are really taking it to the hoop, and I, for one, would much rather look at pictures of her than any other horribly emaciated starlet out there. Unlike Ginger, or Scary, or Baby (though who knows what happened to Baby?), Posh is still holding true to the Spice Girls aesthetic, lifestyle and dream. Girl power indeed!

Miika and Waltsu and Their Psychedelic Nu Rave Rainbow

Boy, do these guys look like fun! All aboard the Nu Rave train! Next stop, some Swedish store that sells neon orange, green, pink, black and blue razzmatazzberry track jackets that look like the ones you wore as a kid but cost ten times as much! Hey, how about adding some brightly colored Ray Ban wayfarers knockoffs? I know those banana colored pants are working for you, but how have you considered something more brightly colored or patterned?

Oh, Waltsu, you're such a cut-up when you say "I try to look as gothic as possible. Do I succeed?" I can see your entire psyche is infused with such irony, and boy, is that successful!

I'd Rather Die Than Wear This In Public, Round 9

Here's a trend that simply will not die: bedazzled 80's t-shirts with tigers or whatever on them (Conversely, there are also those ones from the Nature Company with wolves or what have you on the front. I have a lot more of these photos saved on my computer, because they are just sooo popular with the hipsters.) This aqua number is particularly offensive. I mean, I guess it is- I was going to say that it looks like what an old Jewish woman would wear with some elastic waist poly knit pants and a lot of gold costume jewelery to see Siegfried and Roy in Early 90's Las Vegas, but I don't want to encourage anyone.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Night Terrors 'n Newsboy Caps

You know, when you are having a bad dream, you tend to realize with a sinking feeling that something awful has happened? Maybe you found out you murdered someone, or got pregnant, or a were naked in a crowd of people. Well, I seriously had a dream like this about a black leather newsboy cap. I was staring in the mirror in this dream, with a terrible, unsettling feeling. Something was awry. Something was terrible. Then I realized what it was: I was wearing one of those floppy black leather newsboy caps, in public. And upon waking, I was flooded with relief.

I'm not saying that wearing such a hat is akin to murdering someone or anything, I'm just pointing something out. If this story had a moral, maybe it would that you should never wear something that goes against your personal style because you will feel uncomfortable. Either that, or that newsboy caps are really hideous.

"Frankie Says Relax" Redux

I will tell you one thing, my friends: I have had just about enough of these fugly "House of Holland" t-shirts that seem to be all over every fashion blog in the world, the pages of teen/regular Vogue magazine, and, perhaps most notably, waif du jour Agynes Deyn (if you're in the know, like the people who wear these clever tees, you would refer to her as "Agy." Not me, though. I won't pretend I can pronounce her name, which apparently is really Jessica something anyway.)

I started seeing these about a couple months ago, and naturally, I ignored them. Emblazoned with witty slogans and "shout outs" to fashion world people only .000001% of the population has probably even heard about, they feature nu rave-esque neon, plus all the glamour of a beefy tee. However, they still have not gone away. Call me snotty, but I think it should take more than ripping off a Frankie Says Relax t-shirt from the 80's to set the fashion world on fire. And I'm pretty sure I wore something like this to summer camp with pleated shorts in the early 90's, and the idea of revisiting all that really kind of freaks me out.