But also Look 1, and 22, and 29, and 32, and 34 AND 35 AND 36!!!!!!
It starts off.
And you think you know what you’re in for, you think you know what’s happening, and the first several looks confirm this, there’s a clear vision, and you can see how the path is lain and how it winds, but you can’t. Oh no. You don’t.
See, I won’t be going this year. I know. It stinks.
But! There is always next year. Next year, and vicarious living.
Speaking of things I can’t afford right now–tiniest violin, I know— here are some local artisans selling Burn-appropriate attire and accessories. My favorite. You should feel free–nay! feel encouraged–to treat yourself. Then, tell me all about it.
Seriously, though. There are light-up clothes for christssake. It’s Burning Man-designed.
Then there’s Brash Lady Inc. out of Berkeley who’s got the kind of jewelry that others are always grabbing and groping with lust and covet in their eyes.
Millionaire Kream (again out of Bezerkeley) sells these blinged out sunglasses that are almost too cool to bring to BRC and actually too cool not to bring. What? What do you mean that makes no sense? You make no sense. No, you’re stupid. These glasses are stupid!!
I love the far out fashion of the Burn and may have to dress like an extra from the most-stylized, post-apocalyptic, I-dream-of-Utopia movie never made anyway, because between August 30 and September 6 that’s where I would be if I could.
Other requisite wear includes: Kick-ass boots that are easy to hoof it all over and dance in, FUR, more lighty-up stuff for when the sun goes down, more and omnipresent bandanas for their utility and versitality, whatever the hell crazy ass thing you want.
1. Answer: It’s fucking close to water. (Thanks Heidikins!)
2. Or better yet, send me pictures.
In the on-going rivalry between homemade and storebought, homemade wins out nearly every time in my book. Macaroni and cheese? Dude, obviously. I mean, have you had my mac and cheese? It’s fantastic and Kraft is shit. Cookies? Check check homemade. Halloween costumes? Okay. I always wanted the ones from the store but my mom, as usual, was right. They were cheap and always broke before you made it the second block and my brother and I always looked amazing when we went the DIY route.
And I like making/building things with my own two hands. It’s satisfying. And Made By You guarantees One of a Kind. Which is undeniably cool and great and so on.
Here, I’ve put together some easy, no-sew DIY-dress-yourself projects, all culled from unattainably high-end sources.
So look, the Outnet.com prices this Burberry trench at $928 ON SALE. Work the ombre yourself with either dye or bleach, depending on your starting point. Easy peasy. The dress is from Designers Remix and is also on sale but this one goes for EUR 153, which is some higher number in American dollars. I say, if you ever find a lovely silk dress at Goodwill, abandoned there and forlorn because of some unfortunate stain, take it home and splatter wine and/or ink on it. Totally. And instead of spending $600-$1200 on a pair of killer heals, just bling out a cheap(er) pair. You will find both chain and feathers at any craft store anywhere. And don’t overthink it. Hot glue gun. Fun and done. And that clutch? That’s just the awesome.
I am completey annoyed by Marc Jacobs. With few exceptions, what he does for his eponymous lines elicits one of two responses from me: “eh” and “ick.” And this sweater is fine, but for serious, who’s going to pay over $450 for this? You know what else you can get at Micheal’s? Rad, iron-on appliqués for, like, I don’t know, $10 or something. And the breton tee? We’ve already established it’s a ubiquitous basic. Moving on…
Collage is certainly the only visual art in which I participate.1 (Well, that and maybe Getting Dressed. After all, I do try to throw a little artistry into that daily grind.)
And that is definitely one strong appeal for the art form: its accessibility in regard to participation (if not appreciation). It is, by definition, cutting and pasting. And unlike with painting, sculpture, et al., collage is an easy(ish) visual art for anyone creative. You don’t really need a good hand if you have a good eye.2
Really though, ease is not the point. I am constantly and consistently compelled by art and fashion that incorporates collage because there is something so exemplary of the Zeitgeist about collage. It’s so indicative of Our Times. (It’s also, I think, a really strong metaphor for identity, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
After all, mes amis, this is the Information Age. We are context laden, lousy with allusions and inspirations. And Collages as a species (and with the capital C) seem to be manifestations of this awareness. The images and text used in a single piece can come from anywhere and are almost necessarily anachronistic. They absolutely, by necessity come from multiple sources.
As a concept collages are very Of the Now, is what I mean.
Other Players in the Zeitgeist that are similarly reference-heavy include:
Vampire Weekend (who I want to be annoyed by but instead, lately, I can’t stop listening to them).
The whole idea of Steam Punk anything.
“That’s so meta.”
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Well, several things I think. One, fashion in general, and Getting Dressed specifically, can be thought of in similar terms as collage art: the layering of disparate elements, the assumed diversity of source materials, the varied references, all different one from the other, or evocatively similar.
Think about this: In only the last ten years, major and minor lines have explicitly referenced looks from the last 200 years. To say nothing of more subtle or oblique references. To say nothing of influences that come from art or film (or whathaveyou).
What this all means–the mishmash of prints and patterns and pieces, the amalgamation of cues and clues to any number of historical periods, physical locations, political movements, and/or specific peoples–is that our wardrobes are similarly chock-full of content, context, and connotations.
It also means that, despite the fact that it sometimes seems there isn’t a creative idea left in the universe (the movie based off the musical based off the TV show named after the song, the endless stream of remakes), we have nothing but abundance to inspire us and no boundaries to hedge in how we play them off of each other. Regardless of the mediums in which we work.
Par exemple, I turned the big, North-facing wall of my small Bordeaux apartment into a collage/mural. It had to be ripped (and I do mean ripped) down before I moved out of that apartment (and kicked the “ex” from my expat life).
I go to this Visionary Collage party every new year (early January) where everyone brings old magazines (and so on) and scissors and creates a piece about what they want for the coming 12 months. It’s awesome.
It began when Ralph Lauren sent these beautiful, sparking creations down the runway for his Spring 2009 show–a show which really should be admired in its entirety, if you have the time and inclination. However irrationally, my heart took a hit when I saw these.
I mean, I know they’re probably challenging to credibly wear in the real world, but, come on: huminah, huminah, huminah.
And when Chloé (also S/S 2009) sent these wow-diculous trousers (below) down the runway, I only thought of Ralph’s and how I longed to hold them in my ams.
This is a palpable, almost painful, desire for gold lamé and/or gold sequin pants. And I drooled a little every time I saw this perfect pair.
But I’d nearly shaken it, really I had. The daydreams and yearnings had become almost infrequent. But now I’m going through Lanvin’s Spring 2010 RTW collection, because I love Alber Elbaz and you will see more of this soon, and these two jumpsuits throw me back into the whirlwind of unrequited, unreasonable want.
As a side note Iris Strubegger is awesome. And alas Alber Elbaz always makes me covet things I’ll never touch. Where are my gold pants?
I would also be happy to give home to these versions below from Kenzo Spring 2010, another recent reminder of this year-plus-old obsession.
So doled or stolen, bartered or borrowed, I would very much like to own a my own pair of not-at-all-practical, gold, crazy pants. Please. Thank you. That is all.
Notes: The poem quoted, in its entirety, throughout the photo captions, is “Gold” by Thomas Hood (23 May 1799-3 May 1845). All runway images are taken from style.com. The model wearing those perfect gold trousers on the runway is the same model wearing them in the Ralph Lauren ad, Valentina Zelyaeva.
I love the idea of repurposing old clothes, knickknacks, belts, and so on and giving them new life: turning that maxi into a mini, morphing by mere placement that too-small belt into a suggestive leather necklace , making that single, once-favored earring into a now-favorite pendant.
But recently I’ve been marinating on ways to move beyond these simple changes. (mmm, mmm, mmm…)
See, my friend Julia Campbell,1 a young and funny woman, an awesome artist studying at the University of Iowa, she posted the above photo on her facebook page a while back. Yes, that is a beanie and scarf made entirely from rubber bands. Yes, she admitted the beanie was quite uncomfortable to wear. Still though, doesn’t she look adorable in it?
Here, at least, wearability isn’t really the point. Créativité, passion, action: voila, les buts, n’est-ce pas?
I love the creativity it took to make this: to look at some everyday, useful item and see the possibility for some completely different something. I think fashion is the perfect foray for these types of adventures.
And then Julia went ahead and fashioned a fancy raincoat from trashbags. I know this may not be an entirely new concept2–use what you’ve got, necessity’s a mother, yada yada–but I think sometimes, on a practical level, we see a pipe and all we think to is tobacco and smoke, whatever else Freud might say.
And her trash bag slicker immediately made me think of this, which will be of course “worth” thousands of trash bags:
For my part, I have been building what I call the Island of Mismatched Earrings collar. I’ve been wanting one of those big ol’ “statement necklaces,” or bibs, or collars, or whatever the kids are calling these heavy duty décolletage decorators, dreaming of owning something like this or this or this. Only, you know, free and DIY. Because I am poor.
It’s still a work in progress, as I think it will only look better as it’s filled out with more and more widowed earrings. This will happen organically and eventually. I’m constantly losing earrings, even when I put on those little rubber backies. The base of the bib is a structured velvet belt that was just a tad too small to actually wear and still expect to breathe. So with some strategic pleats, and a few stitches to keep it secure, the once-belt-now-bib has a shape that rounds my shoulders and lies flat across my collar bone.
And I’m literally writing this post and Jezebel turns me on to this madness:
I’ll say again, it’s a halter top made entirely out of TAMPONS! Walter Raes is a British designer who creates crazy-sauce fashion out of household and industrial materials. According to his website, “he takes the disposable remnants of our everyday lives to create his brilliant pieces, explorations in form and function.” THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE.
Giddy Spinster is based in Berkeley and uses used/upcycled stripper heels (let’s be honest) to make these rad planters that are “about hard-working women, the increasingly artificial nature of American femininity, and the impossible images that women face in our society.” Smart. And her bio leads me to believe we’ve got similar life philosophies and would probably have fun over drinks.
All this talk reminds me too of a particular YA book where, in one scene, the protagonist and a few side characters sewed dozens of Matchbox toy cars and Micro Machines onto a dress for some crazy assignment. Maybe one of the girls was studying fashion? If anyone can tell me the title, they’ll get 5 personalized haikus written by yours truly. Just leave your spot-on answer or nice-try guess in the comments.
Admission: I know Julia because she was BFF with my kid sister when they were in like 2nd and 3rd grade. I would babysit the two of them. The fact that she, and my kid sis obvs, are old enough to be intelligent, dynamic women in their own right makes me feel kind of old. Hi Girls.
After all, Project Runway’s MO is often “make clothes from shit that would never normally be used to make clothes.” But this is reality vs. Reality TV, which we all know are two very different things.;-)
For the first of what will be a series, my debut wishlist item1 is an odd but whimsical one: a leopard-skin pillbox hat. Because I love Bob Dylan.2 And pillbox hats.3 And leopard print.4
This is the one item that I scan for, automatically, perfunctorily, every time I go into a vintage clothing store. I do not want a cheap version. My future leopard-skin pillbox hat should be, or at least appear to be, real fur. Sorry PETA but if I found an iteration that was once-upon-a-time a real, live leopard I’d be thrilled and think of Papa every time I wore it.
I will wear my leopard skin pillbox hat with killer heels, a great pair of jeans, and a simple white tee. I will wear my hat with a sexy LBD, my favorite pair of boots (the burgundy ones with the wooden heels), and that floral brocade jacket. I will get compliments on it every time I wear it. It will be the sort of piece that will make the days I wear it special, as our favorite clothing and accessories can. If I am sad, maybe I will put it on, put on Blonde on Blonde, and feel a bit better, enough to smile.
1. I know that wishlist is not one word but is, in fact, two separate words. No longer, I say! When the people behind the dictionary get wind of this awesomeness I’ll be famous.
2. Blonde on Blonde is my favorite Dylan record, one of my favorite albums of all time. It is amazing, perfect. If you do not already own this album, get thee to the itunes “store” stat.
3. So for the longest time, I never wore hats and didn’t think that I could pull them off. What I’ve come to realize is that I do not look good in utilitarian hats, that is hats with a purpose. But! I can pull off, and now love, any hat that is purely decorative. Result: Boo to beanies and other warm hats, baseball caps, floppy sun hats5 and big ol’ hell yeah to pillbox hats, cloche hats, fascinators, and anything with feathers.