31 March 2008

Oui, je suis une clothing nerd

Today the commentary I wrote and recorded in January ran on WUWM's Lake Effect. I haven't listened to it because my computer at work doesn't have Quicktime. Oh, well. Click on "My Fashion" to check out the audio.

25 March 2008

Thank you, Gudrun Sjödén

I first became aware of Swedish designer Gudrun Sjödén's designs last year while I flicked through the pages of Selvedge. I was instantly entranced by her silhouettes, her usage of layering and, well, trousers. Her models seemed comfortable in their own skin--something an American woman notices right off.

It's become downright eerie, though, the way Gudrun Sjödén regularly manufactures the items for which I've inwardly yearned--the tunics, leggings, coats, and "folkloric" woven trousers. How does she do it??

As if that weren't enough, it appears Sjödén has created the swimsuit of dreams--delightfully reminiscent of svelte 1930s swimwear and endearingly ass-covering.

Photo from gudrunsjoden.com.

04 March 2008

My Exciting Research Question

This afternoon at work, I chanced to think, Does/can/should clothing play a role in one's evolution as a person/spiritual development? Zoinks! If only I could have come up with this when Beverly Gordon was asking for a thesis topic in 2004!!

Surely, surely, this is a sacrilege, though--being aware of what one is wearing leads to the very opposite of evolution or spiritual development. But wouldn't most people say music or dance could play an important role in evolution or spiritual development? If so, why not clothing??

As I see it, if I have something simple, unfussy (yet flattering) on, that's my canvas or backdrop. The simplicity helps me not to get bogged down; the flattering bit means I can feel like my best self--which means I can act better toward others. For the record, I don't think Prada leads to enlightenment. Most likely, that would require hemp and get-ups like the ones worn by inhabitants of Tatooine.

03 March 2008

It's Not You; It's Me, Venus Zine

God almighty, I hate February, unambiguously the worst month of the year! Nothing but lashings of snow, freezing rain on top of that and yet endless layer upon layer of unsightly accumulation. And, adding insult to injury, this year we had the 29th (!)day, lingering on nauseatingly, long after everyone of sound mind had had quite enough, fuming in impotent wrath, ready for the month to just fuck off out of it already.

Ah, so, dear reader, we have finally arrived on the other side. Ah, March! How well do we love thee! Bathe our faces with thy gentle, balmy breezes! Unfurl thy goodly branches so that underneath them we might sweetly sup! Lengthen thy pleasurable hours that we might sing thy praises from early until late in thy golden light! Oh, March! Your children we truly are!

Well, having gotten that out of my system, I'm afraid it's time for the topic at hand. Sadly, I must part paths with Venus zine. No more shall I be able to buy 't! I've been unsatisfied with the direction the zine's been heading in for nearly a year. I haven't liked the fashion stories by new fashion editor Constanze Lyndsay Han. Suddenly, the models were skinny bitches from agencies, not somebody's cute and zaftig friends. And, like a slap in the face, a lot of the clothing was expensive designer shit. How the fuck does that make sense??? That's like putting Mariah Carey on the cover--in that these people have more than enough exposure already--yet the editor allows them to hoover up the space DIY and indie designers could use to get noticed.

I thought maybe the Summer 2007 issue was a fluke. With Björk on the cover, I was willing to let it slide. It was like sand in an oyster shell, though--the pearl of my growing discontent. So, after that it was easy to start noticing other unsatisfactory things about the new Venus, some significant; others not so: the old logo was much cuter, I liked the art direction pre-Summer 2007 much more, Marisa Meltzer's insertion of herself in the Björk interview was editiorially jejune and sloppy, the flogging of How Sassy Changed My Life was tiresome. "Trend Watch" now hawks merch! Thanks for the hoodie update from a few issues back, ladies! This took me completely unawares--considering the fact that these dELiA*s-like staples have been clogging all the stores at every price point! Whew! It's a good thing I didn't miss out on that original fashion moment! Thanks to Venus! In general, there just seems to be less there there.

After flipping through the latest issue, I knew it was time to let go. Not only was it missing the beloved "Style Idol" feature, but also it offered famous girls kitted out in new togs--some of them of the expensive designer kind. To replace the completely awesome feature (chicks and dudes wearin their own unique duds)with the traditional witless approach (famous folk in clothes the stylist slings at them)was symbolic. And more than I could countenance.

So, I can no longer buy Venus zine or support its slide into mediocrity. R.I.P., Store of the Ish! At least I'll have my back issues...

Image from venuszine.com.