Monday, June 28, 2010

The Lost Art of Hanging Out

Sorry dudes, but now this blog is just called "Photos of 70's Teenagers."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ugly Things I Saw at Bloomingdales

These Micheal Kors shoes were such terrible monstrosities. I don't know how people walk in these things, or why they walk in them. Michael Kors is such a hack. He has his name on zillions of pink windbreakers and other low-quality crap made in China, and he is such a jerk on that terrible show no one watches anymore, Project Runway. So many 'designer' names are totally meaningless, and represent nothing but the fact that the "designer" signed an agreement four years ago. But like celebrity names, I guess they sell a brand, or in this case, hideous shoes.

Believe it or not, this was not in the "Barbara Bush Summers in Nantucket" collection. This was in the young! hip! trendy! section. I know they are going for prep, but no true prep would wear that aborted Snuggie in the middle. Anyway, we are reaching some really frumpy times. I wonder if, next in fashion, we will go back to the mid 80's Mormon look, with boxy skirts hovering around our ankles, wide puffed sleeves and a huge collar- more of a Jessica McClintock/ Laura Ashley look. We're already half way there! More than half way, really.

Edited to add later: enlarge that second photo to see the horrible crotch on the pants!

Mary's Non-Zombie Movie Review Korner

I apologize for being a negligent blogger lately. Here is a post about documentaries I've watched recently, which you should also watch!

Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story, 2000
This documentary is about Brigid Berlin, AKA Brigid Polk, who tends to fall under the umbrella term of "Warhol superstar" though they were in fact peers and he stole ideas from her. Unlike many documentaries about women with connections to famous men, Pie in the Sky is truly about its subject, not her relationship with Andy Warhol. She has had a fascinating life, from her rebellion from the wealthy WASP society she was born into, to her self portraits, Polaroids, and other artwork, to her relationship to food and her body and her family. She is definitely one of the last holdouts of the old, truly artsy weirdo New York. Though she came from a monied background like Edie Sedgewick, Brigid was the anti-Edie in so many ways, and she will never be played by Sienna Miller or be canonized by fashion magazines because she was no muse- which I mean in the best way possible.

Brigid is still an artist: look at these fucking needlepoint pillows! I have come to the conclusion that I hate 99% of art, but these pillows are something I would want to own myself. Also, her apartment is mind-blowing.

Paris is Burning, 1990
Many liberal-artsy types have seen this film, but for those who haven't, you should really see it. It's another New York story (living in New York has made me nerdily obsessed with all aspects of NYC history), depicting balls, which encompass a wide range of drag performances, as well as the origin of voguing, participated in by mostly poor, gay and minority youth. Like Pie in the Sky, I think this movie subverts the idea of what art and artists are, as well as what drag is, and plenty of other stuff: the people in this movie are nothing if not artists, constantly creating and making something out of nothing.

I've read plenty of criticism of Paris is Burning (by bell hooks, among others) which asserts that the touch is too lighthearted and trivializes these people's lives. I disagree; the first time I saw this movie, it seemed more depressing than anything else; it was upon second watching that I was so impressed with what the people in the film were accomplishing. Also, this movie features kids hanging out on the legendary Christopher Street piers, which for a long time were a hangout for gay kids who often had no other place to go. I don't really know what they are like now, except that Simone and I saw a documentary about them being "cleaned up" that played the Madonna song "This Used to be My Playground" and we laughed in a theater filled with self-righteous types.

(This is a dude, man.)

Decline of Western Civilization, Part 2, 1988
When this movie started, I was like, "Oh no, another movie glorifying rapey dudes", since glorifying rapey dudes is a big part of many movies. Hair metal, after all, (though rife with the contradiction of men essentially dressed as women, who also hate women) shares a lot with modern gangster rap, in that money, hos, and flashy lifestyles reign supreme. But as it progressed, director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World, man) probed more deeply and the results are amazing.

While male vulnerability is constantly avoided in most films, Spheeris spends much of her time getting these macho braggarts to admit they are alcoholics with no discernible skills who make music even they know is second-rate and whose whole life is predicated on being a huge star. When Paul Stanley of Kiss (depicted above surrounded by soft core-looking ladies) is asked whether he could fall in love with a groupie she pans over the faces of the groupies themselves to see their reactions. Many of the men admit that they not only dress like stereotypical prostitutes (see assless chaps photo above), they also basically prostitute themselves to women for food and a place to stay, despite being huge misogynists. The interview with some guy from W.A.S.P., who starts out bragging, eventually confesses he hates himself as he chugs vodka in his parents pool as his mother looks on.

Also, it's obviously worth watching for stylistic reasons. By the end, you don't even notice the hair. Speaking of which, maybe my hair should look more like this. What the hell happened to doing your hair? You literally cannot tell what gender people are half the time. Also there is one guy whose hair is half blond and half brown and the most amazing hair I've ever seen but I don't have a photo.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot, 1986
I don't know, this might be, like, one of my favorite all-time movies, I've mentioned it here before, but it's truly amazing. Just watch it. It also fits in with my assertion about guys being foxier in the 70's. Even though this is from 1986, it has a 70's vibe. I'm too tired to write any more, except that the girl who says "Hell yeah," repeatedly and has the personality of Wooderson in Dazed and Confused is my hero.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jennifer Lopez, Style Icon

I always like to see what Jennifer Lopez is wearing to an event. She wears plenty of whatevs outfits, but she is also one of the few stars to take fashion risks while sticking to a personal look. A lot of stars claim to be inspired by "old Hollywood glamour", but you can tell she really is! I love how her look is so statuesque/Barbarella/drag queeny- like my other love Beyonce, she really knows how to dress for her figure. It's funny what a scandal that green Versace dress caused; today it looks only mildly trashy. Also, that silver lurex mini dress and head wrap? Amazing!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Even More Photos From my Personal Internet Folder

I thought it was cool when Venus Williams wore this lacy outfit at some big tennis thing. Everyone called her a whore; it would be one thing if she was posing for Maxim in this outfit with hair extensions (not that that would make her a whore, but as airbrushed jerk-off material, that would be more culturally appropriate), but the fact that she's on the court makes it totally cool and weird! Subverting the dominant paradigm, etc. etc.

Also, I guess I am like a gay man in that I can never really hate Madonna, even though by all accounts she is a horrible person. It seems like we always hate women for being insufferable, but what about Sean Penn? Why don't people hate him?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

70's Teens: Shants are a Tool of the Patriarchy

I really love photos of 70's teenagers hanging out, looking surly. I love how 70's everyday teen fashion was so simple and androgynous; everyone wore tight, leanly fitting clothes and had long hair; it is such a comfortable and cool uniform. It really is more egalitarian to dress like this.

Lately I've been thinking a lot lately about how BS it is that men's clothing got so oversized in the past 20 years and how men can excuse themselves from fashion and it's "okay." It's such bullshit how men can look like slobs because it's fruity to dress well in clothes that fit. Fuck that! I hate how even artsy, pretentious guys think dressing well is womanly and worthless. It's like, if you are interested in aesthetics, why don't you start with not wearing basketball shorts? Speaking of which, modern basketball attire is another fucking crime! Could this 70's look be any more hot/ awesome versus the modern look of baggy, shiny shorts hanging down to mid-calf? Maybe I would be interested to watch a basketball game, were these the uniforms.

Back then, it seems like it was cool to be foxy and a little femme to be a guy, to blow dry your hair or shape your afro and primp. I always think of the great scene in The Virgin Suicides (whatever to the movie itself) where Josh Hartnett saunters down the high school hallway in slow motion to the sound of Magic Man by Heart.

That left a real impression on me.

If only everyone had just one or two pairs of tight-ass bellbottoms and a striped t-shirt and cars were huge and sleek and beautiful (I love old cars; they have a lot in common with clothes) and you rode around them and turned on the radio and Kiss and Alice Cooper and Fleetwood Mac were playing. I wish shants had never been invented. And also 99% of the styles of clothing we now wear were never invented.