Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I want to speak to the great discussion of fashion that has emerged in blog-land this week but don't really know where to start. Laura Moriarty started it, Nada Gordon totally picked up the ball and rolled it like one half of a chinese medicine ball set and Brandon Brown grabbed that ball (the one he had in fact dropped originally) and punted it right into Barthes territory.

First off, I'm glad to see the pinball effect happening again in the blogs. That phenomenon always sets off a parallel of dings and thwacks in my head, which is usually a good thing.

Second, I love that the aforementioned all decided to articulate the compelling nature of the awry in fashion. There are so many corollations to draw: Brando's face before and after broken nose, uh, Adrian Brody's face with thrice broken nose, my love of men with fucked up teeth and color-blindness (pretty much any physical abnormality will do) to start. I was just rereading Dodie Bellamy's Barf Manifesto and she speaks to this very thing. I'll see if I can find the quote. Okay, so Dodie is speaking as Bridget Riley in one of Kevin Killian's plays in this quote,

"What we artists do [pause]-- what we great artists do is we work in mistakes to make a piece seem alive, to add energy. The tapestry makers of old Persia would put in a knot where it didn't belong, just to avoid competing with God. For only God is perfect. Except for myself naturally. I'm so glad you like my scarf, it was a present from [pause] Seurat. Love those dots."

Then Dodie goes on to describe her desire to encourage creative writing students to take risks in their writing compared with "Professor X". Dodie encouraged the "knots of mistake" while Professor X was full of "should nots". There are so many "should nots" in fashion that it can be difficult to distinguish them from the "knots" like Brandon's pearl necklace (still must see to believe), Laura's double scarf, my friend Persephone's dreaded (actually dread locked but also feared) Amy Whinehouse beehive, my hole-ridden everything, or Alli Warren's browns with blacks. Something goes awry and ushers the outfit into the sublime

[Also, I love the above quote because it reminds me of Laura Moriarty and her scarves. She really does wear two scarves sometimes and she totally rocks them both. I remember one day at SPD, Laura walked past me at my desk and stopped to show me how she had pegged her pants. I was sort of dumbstruck. Mostly I was just really impressed that she would take the time to do such a thing.]

But yeah, some times a thing is too pretty and you have to fuck it up or its too neat, or too composed. Maxwell Heller once said to me that I always include at least one thing (in my outfits) that will prevent me from being taken seriously. Substitute any aspect of my life into that parentheses and it works just as well.

Anyway, fashion. Let's hear about it. In the meantime, I have some recent ridiculous outfits to share. You're lucky I'm vain. Sorry no photo of yesterday's, Laura!

This was my birthday outfit this year. You can't tell in the photo but that tie is bright purple and it is a clip-on.
I don't know, this is just a good example of the ratty scarf and beenie phenomenon.
I call this look "The Mission Hipster" and no, I haven't worn those glasses out of the house and it is important to know that the sweater features goats with udders.


Nada said...

This is inspiring. I always want to take "daily outfit" pictures but figure, oh too much trouble, or, oh, too self-indulgent (like, when have I ever cared about that? But now might just be the time, to catch THE FLEETING, THE FUGITIVE, THE CONTINGENT! The outfits!

Ridiculous Human Things said...

Oh it's self-indulgent alright. I was sort of waiting for a reason to unleash this, trying to think of snarky self-effacing titles to give these for my flickr page, wondering if it was possible to put them on facebook without looking desperate for "Wow! You look HOTT!" comments. It's not possible. The vanity shines through. Big time.

Still, I would love to see a week's worth of everyone's outfits. The bad, the good, the mediocre, the thrown on, the over-determined, the spot-on.

Please with the outfits.

John Sakkis said...


Ridiculous Human Things said...

You dick.

Laura Moriarty said...

Wow -- more than inspiring. Truly stellar! I think you get to something that I am interested in which is the humor in dressing -- as when you are reading what someone is wearing and come to the third scarf or whatever. Toenail polish is nice that way -- always overdetermined, especially blue, as with me today. Not entirely unlike the overuse of dashes in one's sentences.

Ridiculous Human Things said...

In fashion, as in writing, one can exhibit sophistication, nuance, beauty and straight up goofiness all at once. I'm sure there are great examples of this but can't think of any right yet.

If nothing else, we can crack ourselves up looking in the mirror or writing our bits and pieces.

Note: Today, I'm wearing pink nail polish and yeah, it sort of cracks me up every time I look down at my hands.

Steve said...

Those glasses look a lot better on you than they did on me in the late 80s (I was inspired by the She's Gotta Have It glasses but didn't figure the mutatis mutandis very well).