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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Laura Jane's Ultimate Fashion Challenge: Week Eight
To keep myself from either getting deadly bored or going completely insane (whichever may happen to come first), this week I employed the creative talents of Kat Asharya, Meggy Wang, Laura Jane Faulds, Emily Richmond, the Oxford English Dictionary, Elizabeth Barker, and John Delk to act as Guest Conceptualizers. Each one of these people (or reference books) was assigned the task of coming up with a snappy idea for me to sartorially articulate. I wish there was a synonym for "sartorial" that wasn't "fashion-wise" or something equally lame. The Ultimate Fashion Challenge has forced me to overuse it. The Ultimate Fashion Challenge has forced me to do a lot of things. The Ultimate Fashion Challenge is my life. My life is the Ultimate Fashion Challenge. When it ends, do I die then? I hope not.
Day 50 (09.22.08)- INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE SPY MEETS TIMES SQUARE (guest conceptualized by Kat Asharya): navy ribbed leggings; Stella McCartney for Adidas turtleneck; peace sign headscarf (kind of not shown because of my grubby little hand in the way); leopard-print chainlink belt
I have calculated that the UFC will, in total, last for either eleven or twelve weeks. This means that it will most likely last for (lucky/unlucky) thirteen, knowing life.
I act like I'm so put out by this, but really I am not. I generally love/am obsessed with the UFC. It's FUN. The magic spell I know for never growing up ends poignantly with "Never do anything that isn't a game"- that's exactly what the UFC is for me. It's a game. It's Scrabble or Twister or a Furby. Every morning I wake up and play conceptual dress-up with myself. What will I wear, what will I wear, what will I wear? I never know! But there is always a pretty good answer. The UFC has never outsmarted me yet. I've got it down to an art (like chess)- I solve Conceptual UFC Dilemmas by exploring any number of clashing variables: emotion, aesthetic, strategy, logic, imagination, reason, meterology, etc.
Today is the first day in a long while that I've felt genuinely pissed off at the UFC.
I am in a dismal, miserable mood. I am writing this down in my notebook at a bus stop. Twenty minutes ago, I missed my bus, which really did not surprise me at all. I am pissed off at the UFC today because I feel like shit, but its mean, iron-fisted self ensures that I "have to" wear a belt that is constricting, a bandanna I think looks dumb, and a shirt that gives me a headache because the weird futurey fabric of it inexplicably reeks of chlorine no matter how many times I wash it. I should only be wearing pyjamas today. There should be no other option.
I realize all of these "afflictions" are entirely self-imposed and that, in reality, I am free to take off my belt whenever the Helvetica I feel like it. But NO! It's day fricken-fracken FIFTY, and I'm in it. It would feel cheaty and wrong to take my belt off, a lot like eating a vegetable that touched a piece of fish (I don't eat meat). If I took my belt off, I would no longer be International Espionage Spy meets "Times Square", and that is simply UNACCEPTABLE.
Despite my grumpiness, I think I did a pretty killerly spot-on job of nailing the weirdest, hardest, most annoying fashion concept in the (albeit limited) history of fashion concepts. That Kat Asharya, man! She really works me to the bone.
Guess what? My bus still isn't here yet. You know what I feel like?
A DAMN DOG NOW.
Day 51 (09.23.08)- WREAKING HAVOC IN YR MAMA'S CLOSET (guest conceptualized by Meggy Wang): weird flowery $15 Wal-Mart flats; red-and-white striped day dress; red plastic bangle; yellow-&-white beaded necklace; wackadoodle yellow/green/burgundy/purple necklace from Paris in the late 1960s, really!
I am five. I am Pebbles Flintstone. I am myself when I was five. My skirt is a parasol, and my necklace is candy. My necklace is Pop-Rocks. My necklace is a box of Nerds.
This day has been a gift. How the Helsinki, Finland did life get so GOOD all of a sudden? Clearly, the Universe has a giant, obsessive, remorseless crush on me. I love you too, Universe!
I am still up in the air as to whether the clothes make the day or the clothes make the man or the man makes the clothes or the day makes the man or the man makes the day or the day makes the clothes. I will probably spend the rest of my life contemplating this query. I have a one in six chance of being right at any given moment. That's good enough. Either way, I can avow firmly and for The Record that on September 23rd, 2008, the day and the man and the clothes and the Universe worked their respective/respected magicks in decided cahoots, and Life Was Good.
On this day of the something-th Draconic Month of this year, the vast majority of Torontonians smiled bigly at me as I hoppity skipperlooed down the street listening to "Psychotic Reaction" and "Rhapsody in Blue"- and I can't blame them! I am bouncey and buoyant as a freaking Pikachu! If my Bonnie & Clyde thing last week was the Sazerac of outfits, today's look is decidedly the sartorial equivalent of a CapriSun Pacific Cooler. One of which I really, really wish I was sipping right now.
Day 52 (09.24.08)- KEITH MOON'S GIRL TWIN SISTER (guest conceptualized by my best friend of all time, LAURA JANE FAULDS): white wiffle-ball lace-ups; red argyle socks; high-waisted dark wash Cheap Mondays; a big brass ring (so that when I punch people in the face, they will bleed); AdiKids Japan/Korea tank top; sailboat vest; pin with a picture of the Ukrainian parliament on it (this one fell off about 3 hrs into my day); a devil-may-care attitude
I'm sure you are wondering to yourself what the Helena Christensen makes this outfit Keith Moon's Girl Twin Sister-chic (I like calling it that because the girl makes the sisterand/or vice versa redundant, so it's even stupider than it would be otherwise, AKA very) and not just An Outfit She Would Wear-chic. Well, my friend, you are obviously wondering this because you are obviously very uneducated about the life and times of Keith "Moon the Loon" Moon.
For onesies, my tank top is emblazoned with the Japanese and Korean flags. Keith Moon was actually half-Japanese/half-Korean. As a matter of fact, the band Half Japanese was named after Keith Moon's being half-Japanese. And for deuces, my vest has sailboats on it. Before becoming the ADD-est rock drummer of the 1960s, Keith Moon was the junior yachting regatta champ of all Great Britain (including Wales!). He even took home a bronze medal in yachting-regatta-chic at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome!
JUST LYING!!!!!! It's all been a ruse. This is because I'm Keith Moon's girl twin sister, a ratfink prankstery little scamp from Hell! Keith Moon was neither half-Japanese, half-Korean, half-Japanese/half-Korean, nor a yachting champion. He was just an asshole.
As of late, I have felt almost SCARILY in touch with the notion of Keith Moon As Spirit Animal. I am about 90% sure that I am presently possessed by Moon the Loon's ghost, and I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want to be exorcised. Being Keith Moon rules! That's the concept behind my outfit today, mostly. That I AM Keith Moon. All I had to do was dress up as a drunker, more exaggerated version of my pre-existing self, and there I went. DONE AND DONE!
PS: Thou Willeth Probably Notice that Keith Moon's Girl Twin Sister is wearing a shrunken brown blazer with a Rhino pin pinned to its lapel. This blazer is my jacket, and so DOESN'T COUNT. If an item of clothing is being worn exclusively to function as protection from the elements, it doesn't count. It just doesn't. I'm reptilianly cold. Warmth, not suffering, is my priority.
Day 53 (09.25.08)- A/V CHIC (guest conceptualized by Emily Richmond, my personal videographer): red-&-white striped ankle socks; white wiffle-ball lace-ups; longish camel cardi with epauletty things, worn as dress; blue stripey polo shirt (the first thing I EVER bought at a thrift store! I was twelve)
THINGS THE WORLD CANNOT RESIST:
1) Baby animals
2) A good blonde/brunette duo
3) Desserts made out of "molten chocolate"
4) The urge to strut when "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees is playing
5) Jonathan Lipnicki's performance in Jerry Maguire
6) A/V Chic, apparently.
What is it about the sight of a knobby 23-year-old dressed up as an haute-er version of a pizza-faced adolescent with an affinity for connecting cables to other cables that the general populus finds so damned exhilirating? Do they want to mother me? Are they smiling because they think I can fix their digital camera? Can I fix their digital camera?
The concept of A/V Chic originated when Emily & I were filming our most recent round of Too Good For You videos, and I had my microphone cord wrapped around my neck and the actual mic jammed into my jeans pocket. "Is that a microphone in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" asked Michael Showalter.
"Both," I said coyly. And then we made out.
I love A/V Chic.
Day 54 (09.26.08)- EROTIC HOBBYHORSE FRAULEIN (guest conceptualized by the Oxford English Dictionary): navy blue leggings; white wifebeater (only one left!); nasty pink and black lingerie-y top; white knit rosebud sweater
Once, two years ago, there was no Ultimate Fashion Challenge, and I had to rely on alternate/inferior methodologies to amuse myself. I thought it would be "cool" (or something) to open up the OED to random entries and construct concept looks out of three-word groupings. I sustained this super-non-fun Nameless Fashion Week for one day: Erotic Hobbyhorse Fraulein. It was a cool look, and today I brought it back. It lives on.
My gauzy pale-pink lingerie top has gotten a lot grosser since Nameless Fashion Week went down. It is nauseatingly, disgustingly, unwearably filthy. I did not notice this until it was too late. How the Helmut Lang did my eyes not register that a section of my top proportionate to Asia's landmass was covered in crap?The entire front (and some of the back) of the shirt is stained pale brown, either with coffee or nasty dirty ash-can water- you can even kind of see the stain in this week's UFC collage! I hope it's coffee. Ash-can water is seriously nasty. Either way, this shirt now lives in a garbage dump, which is where it belongs.
The Erotic Hobbyhorse Fraulein is dead. She will never be resurrected. Her shirt is no longer. And so, neither is she.
Day 55 (09.27.08)- LAURA IN L.A. (guest conceptualized by Liz Barker): ancient black lamb's ear top; my other gold bangle; pink/gold/ecru tribally beaded necklace; The Coolest Pants of All Time
This outfit is the Song Of My Heart of outfits.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is located the Wanamaker Organ, the largest pipe organ in the world (and probably the Universe). I wrote this song called Coco General Mdse., which is as close as I've ever come to finding the true Song Of My Heart. I want a genius piano player & I to sneak into the Wanamaker Organ Room, and Genius Piano Player will play a genius piano accompaniment on it while I sing Coco in top form. We will record it on a janky, brokedown reel-to-reel tape recorder. It will sound scuzzy and scratchy and faraway. It will be perfect and beautiful and scary, and only beneath these precise circumstances will it to live up to its full Song Of My Heart potential. I will be wearing this outfit on that day.
As you know, I love the UFC. It has been exceedingly kind to me over the course of our 55-day romance. It generally gives me pleasure, and shields me from pain. But that's kind of a lie now. Today, the UFC has brought me pain. Why the heliotropic energy did you have to hurt me like this, UFC? I love these pants more than I ever thought it possible for a person to truly love a pair of pants. The UFC cockblocked me. By the time the UFC has run its course, it will be too cold to wear these pants, I bet. If you don't wear them with bare feet and flats, they don't look good.
If I lived in LA, this would not be an issue. I could wear these pants nearly every single day of the "winter" if I so pleased, which I would. That is My Kinda Climate. And that is why I am taking a trip to LA in January. And that is why I hope to one day relocate to LA. So I can wear these pants, and finally understand the deepest nuances of Song Cycle by Van Dyke Parks.
The L and the A in Laura Jane stand for the L and the A in Los Angeles.
Day 56 (09.28.08)- DORALEE RHODES MEETS DORALEE RHODES/DORALEE RHODES MEETS A FENDER RHODES (guest conceptualized by John Delk): pinky-dink girlface dress; grey old-man lace-ups; NARS Jungle Red lipstick
Yesterday, Paul Newman died. I've spent my whole life anticipating Paul Newman's death; then he died, and it was yesterday. I listened to Neil Young and Berlioz on my father's new electrostatic speakers, and wore cool pants. There I go.
I've spent the past eight weeks anticipating having to wear this pink dress, which is the opposite of "me" to me. I've been dreading how "not me" I would inevitably feel on that creepy-crappy day I finally wore it. And then I wore it, and it was today. And it is good. It suits me. I like it. It feels right. Everything does these days, even Paul Newman's death. Autumn is death, but so long as you are alive, death is as lifey as life is. It's been an eternity since I made the wrong decision. Everything is right, even The Wrong Dress.
My genius friend John Delk assigned me the near-impossible task of dressing up as Joan of Arc meets Doralee Rhodes; Martyrdom Chic, if you will. I had my outfit perfectly planned out- it was the triumph of my life. But sometimes life aligns itself in such a way that dressing up as Joan of Arc meets Doralee Rhodes is inappropriate as Hell-o Goodbye; today was one of those days. Instead I did either Doralee Rhodes meets Doralee Rhodes or Doralee Rhodes meets a Fender Rhodes. Cool.
Physically, I am almost the exact opposite of Dolly Parton, though I get the impression we have a lot in common as personalities. We're both feisty, and I don't know if you know this, but the closest thing you can come to being Canadian besides being Canadian is being Southern. It's a natural fact. I watched 9 to 5 last week, and Doralee Rhodes is actually actually my style icon right now. She would SO wear this! She would love to wear this dress. And so did I.
I found three count'em three lucky pennies today, and things are right. All the things, even/especially the UF-freakin-C. The UFC, pals, is like the New York State Lottery: you gotta be in it to win it.
And I am, and I AM.
Tags: audio/visual, contemplation, Doralee Rhodes, John Delk, Keith Moon, Keith Moon as spirit animal, Los Angeles, Michael Showalter, Olympics, Paul Newman, Pebbles Flintstone, Sleez Sisters, the Draconian calendar, Ultimate Fashion Challenge, yachting
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