26 February 2006

Gay is ok!!

Last night I went to UWM's drag show. It was really good. I'm not being catty when I say that I was shocked by how good it was. The performers, especially Lady Gia, Jade, Kenya and Angel Maxima (I hope I spelled those names right), were excellent. There was also a drag king who absolutely tore it up. I don't remember his name. The MC, Isis, worked the crowd like a professional and had two outfit changes. I had a really great time. And the show was a benefit for Project Q, I think.
The queens rocked what could only be called, even by conservative descriptions, hoochie gear. But whatever. Having spent all those years in grad school, I could not stop myself from thinking about how gender is a performance--most of the queens who were performing have a better catwalk stride than I do--with the makeup, clothes and gestures. When a guy makes a prettier woman than I do, I think that brings to the fore how these ideas of beauty, femininity and glamour are complete put-ons.
This also makes me think how in the most recent Savage Love column, someone wrote in about the usage of the word "gay" as an adjective. Whenever I describe something as "gay," I'm referring to a style, aesthetic, or flavor usually rocked by or associated with stylish gay men. I'll admit that when I'm trying to run my gaydar I look for "gay" style signifiers--fashion or style signals that straight men are generally too clueless or inept to perform. So, for me calling an outfit or accessory(because, bambini, that's usually what I'm referring to) "gay" means it has some awe-provoking, superstylish quality. Also, it really seems like using "gay" as a synonym for "pathetic," "tired," or "weak" is for middle-schoolers. It's just that over.
I'll say it loud and proud: Homos are my homies!!

23 February 2006

Style Icon, Pt. 1

It's a truism among the stylish: you know whose style you should bite? Old ladies'. No doubt. Old ladies consistently have great coats. A good coat is everything. What you buy at the Gap or J. Crew these days is true crap; you realize this if you buy coats at the thrift or charity store. Next, their shoes. If you don't know how to rock an old lady shoe, you're a slobbering amateur. Try a poly coat in a dark shade with a pair of Hush Puppies. Or, for a casual look to go to class, Hush Puppies with jeans. Not some ridiculous overpriced jeans, though. A good reasonably-priced pair will do. From the 1980s, if you're lucky. Little old ladies also seem to know how to freak out a stompy boot, which often makes a look. Also, old ladies know from headwear. They wear scarves on their heads 1960s-style. It's not for everyone, no, but it's very eye-catching. The inspiration for this post was an old lady with a city cart--you know, the things people in New York take with them when they go grocery shopping. What do you call those things?--that I saw in the library. Wear little old lady clothes and go ballroom dancing. It can make a very fun Friday night.

01 February 2006

This Is Mad Style??

I was in Madison this past weekend. I took a to-do list with me. Most of it was shopping related. So, where do I shop? Oh, you all would like to know, wouldn't you?! I often ask people where they get their stuff, but am hypocritically tight-lipped about where I get mine. Well, I'm not going to reveal my Super Secret Shopping Spots, but here are some in no particular order: Cornblooms at Hilldale. I just got myself a pair of super comfy Earth Shoes there. They often have good sales. They carry Cydwoq, Dansko, Camper...what else? Frye boots and Birkenstocks. Good stuff and they're an independent store. There are other good shoe stores in Hilldale, too, like Preidt, which is exceedingly expensive and another whose name I forget. City Shuz is near the Capitol. They have trendy brands like Bronx and Dollhouse. J. LaMore at Knickerbocker Place sometimes has good shoes. I like buying cute stuff I really don't need at Pop Deluxe on State Street. I like their bags. I've bought onesies for 3 different babies at A Room of One's Own with sayings like "I Love My Mom" and "I Love My Daddies." I went to Glitter Workshop on East Johnson. They opened right about the time I was leaving Madison. Handmade clothing and jewelry and vintage indie designer stuff. Very "cute." And where will you go now that you're decked out in style? Here are some nice places to hang out: Natt Spil--you can actually have a conversation in the back room. Cafe Zoma. As I predicted, as soon as I left Madison they started staying open evenings. Their decor is great. I love the unmatched dishes they use. Their desserts are yummy. During warm months, you can sit out back overlooking the bike path and community gardens. And your doggy can sit with you--as long as s/he plays nice. Cafe Montmartre, where I actually saw Shirley Manson in person. She's awesome! Roman Candle has a great decor--and pretty yummy pizza. Kitty-corner from them, Mother Fool's has a great eclectic decor with yellow walls. Equipped with this list, you are now ready to go forth in style in Madison.