oh, to be a man, and not a mouse!
…a fashion woman, that is. as my burgeoning closet reiterates to me every time i open its door to get dressed, i have too much clothes. i am running out of space. most of my wearable treasures are hanging, retail or dry cleaning tags intact, never worn. why? is it because i was thinner then, and now am too fat to wear them? do i regret some purchases? no. the reason is, and i’m almost ashamed to say it – is that i am not brave enough to wear some of them. *collective gasp* yes, ’tis true. “what,” you ask, “can possibly be in your closet that you have not the courage to don?” oh, let’s see… vintage leopard print harem pants, a vintage leopard print jumpsuit, a black vintage leather sheath dress, a black vintage bolero with long sheer lace + sequin encrusted sleeves, vintage black suede pants, 90’s floral tapestry print leggings, 40’s mainline heiress-style gowns and dress suits, 80’s polka dot and pouf dresses, 50’s flounce skirts, a vintage forest green velvet cocktail dress with a rhinestone encrusted collar and low cut back with…a great big velvet bow…the list goes on. it’s a collection, no question, a collection for sure! (wow – that could have easily been a verse in a song…) more importantly, it’s a collection i’m proud of. i definitely need to find the courage to give each piece the chance to shine, as they deserve.
the more i thought about it, the more i wondered – what is considered “pushing the envelope“, anyway? when is something “over-the-top“, or perhaps even more puzzling, when does something become “everyday“, or “acceptable“? i started exploring some other “looks“, such as grunge, prep, avant garde, haute couture, punk, indie, goth, rocker, japan‘s harajuku & shibuya street styles, 50’s vintage, boho, 80’s vintage, futuristic, minimalist, and yes, even 90’s vintage. sure, these are all generalizations, but when you really think about it, it is so very difficult to say what should take balls to wear and what shouldn’t. for example, i was christmas shopping with my parents last week at first colony mall, and happened to see a bob marley t-shirt in the window of a popular chain store, known for catering to skater & punk kids. the first thought that came to my mind was, “man, marley would be so dissapointed.” did any of the kids that were in the store even listen to his music? did they know what rastafarianism is about? or what zion is? in my mind, it would be pretty damn ballsy for someone to wear an icon of a movement without knowledge or belief in that movement, or at the very least, educated admiration for that icon. another mind-bender: the t-shirt and jeans combo is perfectly all-american, as is the ballgown, but it would be damn ballsy for someone to wear a t-shirt and jeans to the oscars or a ballgown to the local theater. a powder blue fred perry polo and a pair of ralph lauren khaki’s to the country club golf course? no sweat! the same outfit to a pick-up basketball game in south-central houston? pretty ballsy. the opposite also applies – sagging your pants and showing your boxers or, god forbid, more at the country club is not a feat for a shy man. technically speaking, one can wear whatever they like to wherever they please – but under these circumstances, it seems almost too easy to break the social fashion “norm“! of course, having a measure of social intelligence and social respect before dressing for an event or venue is de rigueur, but that aside, i suppose it boils down to wearing what you love, and knowing why.
as for me, i hope i’ll work up the nerve to showcase some of my great finds sooner than later…
punk grandson - by chris ti ane ; shibuya "dolls" - by replicam.
unsinkable vogue nippon editor anna della russo - by soup served.
dita von teese - by celebrity.fashion.contentquake.com & jean lemoine, respectively.
*all photos property of their credited authors.