Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lost on eBay...

Here's another sad post about something I didn't win on eBay. What the hell is this, you ask? I think it's a tiny taxidermied ermine pin. (But it's five iches high, and aren't ermines more ferret-size?) The auction said they were very fashionable for women to wear on their shoulders in New York City in the 40's. Anyway, I failed to place the winning bid at a whopping $43, which would have been a ridiculous price as I guess I can't really imagine wearing this out in public, you know, pinned to my coat or whatever. I know taxidermy is hot right now but I feel like other people would judge me.Anyway, it's a real holdout from a time when people used to wear fur stoles with the heads and tails and feet still attached, draped over their shoulder as a point of pride. It's seems really unethical or something today, but it's not any less ethical than wearing fur in general, and is certainly more so than buying a new garment made of fur (which I wouldn't do.) But this bizarre pin was not destined to be mine, and I cannot help but wonder who exactly is buying these things, along with the 1920's wool bathing suits that are going for hella money these days.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some Musings on Silk and Crotch Bulges

I've had these photos saved for a long time, but have not done a post about this yellow silk jumpsuit until now, despite it's extreme awfulness. I think it's from Topshop, and it's a real throwback to a simpler time, aka 1989.

>What it really reminds me of washed silk, which was this stonewashed silk that was really popular around 1994. My mom had jewel tone pieces in turquoise and magenta in this awful fabric, which had a sort of dusty, stonewashed quality to it. In fact, I owned a pink washed silk vest. Why would you buy a silk vest for a child? Or, for that matter, multiple silk vests, which is really what I had? This jumpsuit isn't really washed silk, but it is silk, which is a fabric that really had it's last heyday in the 80's. People are always trying to tell you that silk is really valuable, but obviously it got devalued or more mass-produced at some time in the 80's, and now silk is no longer a marker of quality and is sold at Target (though it is a much nicer fabric, than, say, polyester.) I wonder what a silk fabric factory is like, and if it is really full of silkworms?

Anyway, back to this terrible jumpsuit, which is very, very Dressing Sexy, that 1980's fashion advice book that tells you to wear harem pants and jewel tone silks and saggy camisoles also in silk because it makes men with mustaches think of the boudoir instead. (Please click on the "Dressing sexy" label below for that particular post.) This is something that could easily be found in a thrift shop but is being produced new- despite its horrible, saggy, paunch-producing baggy front. Like, do people purchasing the "new" pleated pants not see the above-crotch bulge? Is it a point of pride or what???

Monday, May 12, 2008

Icons and Role Models: Betty Davis

I appreciate negativity and all, but now I feel it's the time to do one of my more positive posts, and that is is about Betty Davis. Betty released three funk albums in the 70s, including a self titled album, They Say I'm Different, and Nasty Gal. She's known for being raunchy and forthright, and though it's unlikely she would be considered quite so "nasty" had she been a man singing the same words, her candor, sass, and grinding growl of a voice are still ahead of their time today- consider songs such as "If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up", or "Don't Call Her No Tramp."

It's always a rare performer who can "own" their sexuality- good examples are early Madonna and Prince- both are people who got in trouble for being too direct, dirty and crass. Artists like this are millions of miles away from the various "sexy" perfomers and pop tarts who are continually thrown in our faces; they, instead, project agency and control when singing about these things, and that seems to be part of what freaks people out. (Not to go too much on a tangent here, but even though I personally did not buy that album/never will, I thought Christina Aguilera's off-parodied Dirrrty or however many Rs it had was a good example of this too- it certainly wasn't dirrrrtier than whatever Brtitney Spears was doing, but the fact that she called the shots and seemed so genuinally into it obviously distrubed everyone.)

If I was to attach an MP3 to this post (does anyone want to teach me how to do that?) I would pick her excellent "Game is My Middle Name."

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, Betty Davis looked really awesome. She had the sort incredibly glammed out/space age funk thing that was popular in the 70's (which deserves a post in of itself, really) but also this amazing 70's tramp look with short shorts and whatnot, plus an afro which is a hairstyle I have always been fond of. It's a look that many could not pull off or put together well, but she really manages.

Wow, look at this cover! Covers like this alone are worth having records and not CDs so you can actually see the often amazing cover artwork and photography. Anyway, this shows that funk-space-glam look really well. The back of this onesie like thing flips up to a sort of Egyptian headdress, which is visible on the back of the album. Also, maribou trimmed platform turquoise booties- yes!

Everything about this outfit is 70's, from the high-waisted short shorts to the tied up floral shirt to the turquoisey jewelery to those silver platform boots. (It's kind of Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, you know?) God, don't you wish you were a teenage girl in 1973 so you could put up a poster of Betty Davis on your wall and style yourself after her?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Road Trip Pics

Here's some photos from the road trip! These are from our second day, driving though Arizona. I'd never been through the Southwest before, and driving through the desert was really beautiful and different from the rolling hills and dark redwoody forests I'm used to seeing in "the country", aka Marin County, CA. The desert is so vast and quiet.

Here is Simone in the desert in Arizona. I like the way her hair is blowing in her face. It looks scary.

Dan's shirt matches the desert. No pictures of me because I'm wearing boots with a sundress because the weather was colder than anticipated, and I don't want to project the wrong image, you know?
Trees or bushes or cacti or something.

One of many signs for "Indian Trading Post" type things that abound in the Southwest.
PS: Simone and I have vague plans to make a movie of the road trip with the footage of from her digital camera and "Fortunate Son" in the background.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MIA Pog to be Included with Every Purchase

Oh no, an MIA clothing line! (And by clothing, they mean "t-shirts.") I don't know if this is an official image or what, but what I'm really wondering is if that oversized watermelon tie-dye t-shirt worn with pink leggings will be available, as I would pay up to hundreds of dollars for that particular look for sure. I know I've said this before, but- I understand that the early 90's had to come back at some point, but did it have to be the exact early 90's clothing I wore to camp at age nine? At least when I wore terry cloth t-shirts and ball chain necklaces I was doing so more out of my own agency. This kind of clothing is like stuff from Ross your parents shoved you in because stretch pants and large colorful shirts could mix and match for the growing girl.

By the way, you know who MIA has been BFF with for like ever? Famous fashion designer Luella Bartley! She, like, used to be roommates with her in Notting Hill or something. I'm just pointing this out because everyone has famous friends and that's how they get famous in the first place, usually. That and their "rawness", in MIA's case.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ugly UO: Ohmygod, the 90's!!!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to post! I am trying to get back in the game here! And what better way then to do an Urban Outfitters post, I ask you?

Here is the "Lux Side Stripe Tee Dress." I can't tell if those shoes are the jazz-esque shoes that are all the rage right now, or just white Keds. I know Keds (the pointy kind people wore in the early 90's) have been waiting to make their resurgance, and it looks pretty imminent. When I went to this ghetto day camp in Japantown all our counselors were surly teenagers with those flabby-looking scrunch socks they scrunched down over their Keds, which were black or white. This was probably like 1992, and my point is that the 90's are like totally back I guess, because it's been like ten years. Anyway, this dress, if you can call it that, is soooo shapeless. It looks like a nightie someone would wear on 90210 (first three seasons.) It just feels so baggy white shorts overalls with one strap undone and pockets made out of contrasting flannel plaid fabric (soon to come for Urban's Fall 08 line!)

Ugh. Seriously. This is so gross looking. Like the dress above, the Lux Crochet Inset Jersey Top is very dull and droopy and depressing. It really, really looks like something that was found in a thrift store, but not a good thrift store. The ones where all the clothes don't go past 1988 but the hipster girl who is also in there is buying this. Has anyone else been to thrift stores recently where there's like two girls with bangs fighting over a fanny pack? I always get real defensive in thrift stores because I think I'll need to lunge at something cute before someone else gets to it but then you realize they're just there to find one of Blossom's outfits.
When something puckers along a seam, you know it's well made!
$98 linen cargo pants! I've already made fun of cargo pants enough, but I can't even tell what aesthetic context they're supposed to be fitting into here, you know?
Wow, the Lux Full Pleat Tapered Pant is so hideously unflattering! I know everyone wants to bring back pleats and tapering and high waists but has anyone stopped to think how ugly all these things usually are, especially when combined? And if you're going to do something so awful, at least make it in a stiffer fabric so it doesn't just balloon out at the crotch like that. Also, those low-heeled hot pink pumps were a mistake, as they would be in probably any context.
I don't really have anything else to say about this, except that the Lux Digital Floral Skirt fits into our 90's theme soooo well. Remember how, in the 90's, washed out, faux Victorian florals on black backgrounds were really popular? How do things like that even gain popularity? And how could something so ugly then go on to regain popularity a mere fourteen years later?