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Tuesday , April 20, 2010
A Day in the Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear in Spring 2010
IN AN ACT OF DESPERATION, KAT RECORDS HER FIRST "VIDEO BLOG" AND MAKES WEIRD FACES AT THE CAMERA WHILE SHOWING YOU HER CLOTHES
My hair's a mess, I have no makeup on, I haven't slept or ate properly in days, but it's amazing how desperation can help you conquer vanity. Anyway, for those who don't want to slog through nearly 7 minutes of me blabbing about my spring fashion concept and showing you "visual aids" (i.e., clothes), a summary:
+ I like florals, stripes, yellow shoes and cream-colored dresses this spring.
+ While usually pattern-averse, I think florals and stripes are "pretty classic."
+ Colored shoes make me self-conscious about my feet, but I like yellow shoes anyway.
+ I hate the description "tribal" but I use it anyway out of laziness.
+ I didn't realize how many semi-goofy expressions I make when I talk.
+ Stripes really kind of freak my webcam out.
+ Wow, I need a haircut.
Do you really want to know a day in the life of Kat? Have a succession of craptastic weeks, be an insomniac and wear the same dang t-shirt and jeans for days in a row. No wonder I kept procrastinating on this! (Kat)
DAVID LEE ROTH ON THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN IN 1985
Wow, what a good look for Dave! I want to look just like that, sort of. I'd change it up a little, find some really fly leotard and go with cutoffs instead of jeans. Dave's shoes are very Dave, very song-and-dance man, but I think some foxy pair of bootlets would be a better choice for me. (And yes, I know they're called "booties" and not "bootlets," but in my mind, booties are for babies and babies only.)
Unfortch, I've yet to assemble any of the pieces for my Dave-on-Dave ensemble - partly cuz the IRS stole all my money from me, but also because the Internet is zero help when it comes to finding an adorably bear-adorned zip-up hoodie vest. Like, are you seriously going to make me applique many fuzzy bears onto a plain sleeveless hoodie, Internet? I can't, I'm too busy and lazy. And your leotard selection is for the birds. Where's a girl gotta go to find that aforementioned "really fly leotard" of my Dave-implanted dreams? The other day I actually found myself wandering down the "Reenactment Attire" corridor of eBay, but then turned back almost immediately. Egad!
So, those cutoffs and leotard are chill but the only thing I really need here are the zebra-striped bootlets. I WANT THE BOOTLETS SO BAD. Bring me the bootlets! And find me a bear hoodie. Zebras + bears = beautiful springtime magic.
P.S. I love you, Dave, then and now and forever. (Liz)
Tags: David Lee Roth, French girls and prisoners, fuzzy bears, leotards, personal fashion concepts, ruffles, song-and-dance men, springtime, video blogs, wearing the same dang t-shirt and jeans for days in a row, yellow shoes
Wednesday , March 3, 2010
A Day in the Life: Our Most Compliment-Attracting Pieces of Clothing
TO QUOTE FAITH NO MORE: THIS ONE'S FOR THE LADIES IN THE HOUSE*
This is not the most compliment-attracting piece of clothing in my wardrobe. It's not even in the top five! Maybe it's number 12. Number one is probably the zebra-striped knee-length polyester skirt I bought for $5 at Salvation Army last summer, which doesn't count, because the majority of those compliment-givers are boys. And boys are gross! (Some of them, anyway.) So of course they're going to praise you for wearing an animal-print stretchy-fabric'd item on the lower half of your body, and then stupidly refer to it as a "tiger skirt." And in your head you're all, "It's a fucking zebra, stupid," but out loud you just say "Thank you," politely but kinda curt, and then you keep walking.
Boys don't ever say anything about this dress, though. But girls sure do! Girls say it's so cute. "Thanks, girls," I reply, even if I'm talking to just one girl at the time. It's like that Spin story I read a few years back, where Chuck Klosterman wrote that Jenny Lewis is "fashionable in the way that women tend to appreciate more than men" - something I don't find all that true about Jenny Lewis, but find absolutely true about my dress. I wear it with knee socks and strappy flats, call myself "a go-go dancer on her way to Sunday school," and oh how the women appreciate it more than the men.
(The women write sonnets and epic ballads and short films about my dress, and the men are all "Where's the tiger skirt?" Boys will be boys. They can't help it, the boys can't help it.)
So, I bought my dress on new year's morning, at that Echo Park vintage store I can never remember the name of. I was in a shit mood, awake way too early, and that shop was really the only thing happening on Sunset Boulevard. I spent a real long time moping through the overstuffed racks and ended up with the dress even though it's nothing like anything I've ever worn - or maybe because it's nothing like anything I've ever worn, this being a new year and new decade and all. It didn't black out my black mood right away, but later on I went down to the beach and I was walking barefoot in my new year's dress and "Tomorrow Never Knows" came up on my iPod shuffle just as a bunch of seagulls flew past and screeched their "Tomorrow Never Knows"-y screech. My, what a comical beach you are!, I gasped to myself and then felt better about everything in the world, in some cool sorta way I can still access now whenever I need to. And later on that night I bought a bottle of champagne mostly because the label so perfectly matched my dress's seafoam green - which is something no stupid tiger skirt's ever been able to pull off, that's for damn sure. (Liz)
*In the intro to their cover of "Easy" by the Commodores, duh.
THE "COZY YET FEROCIOUS" ZEN OF A BLACK MOTORCYCLE JACKET
The first time I ever wore a black motorcycle jacket, I was 14 years old and I was hanging out with this senior dude who had a Mohawk and wore chains around his neck and a leather biker jacket every day to class. He persecuted me in World History class by grabbing my hair and yelling "straw hair!" and belittling my opinions, and I kind of couldn't stand him. I don't mean this in a cute screwball-comedy way. I mean that I really loathed him, right down to the tips of his black combat boots. Normally things like combat boots and chains are cool, except when they are worn by a bully. Yet somehow I found myself in his orbit every so often. What can I say? I was 14 and my options were limited. I was also severely depressed for the one and only time in my life, and I didn't care much who I hung out with, as long as there was someone around. My simple yet brilliant logic was if someone was around, I wouldn't kill myself. That explained why the company surrounding me was all willy-nilly. (I mean, 14 years old was the last time I ever consented to go to a "Christian church group," you know? Like I said: willy-nilly.) Needless to say, 14 years old was the year in my life that I didn't really care what I looked like. I wore anything. I don't remember what I wore.
Somehow, one dreary, depressing, horrible winter day in the most dreary, depressing, horrible year of my life, me and a few people were at this dude's house and he was lecturing us about Joy Division, being the most pedantic and annoying human being on the planet. It's almost a miracle that my love of Joy Division grew out of this moment, because he was making them seem really kind of awful and boring, which they probably could be if you heard them in the wrong state of mind. The room's arctic temperature didn't help, too. It was cold, I was hungry and lonely and all I had was a dude yapping at us in an egomaniacal torrent of pretention. It felt like I was in a scene out of a really weird, brainiac version of River's Edge, but this was before I realized there was a movie called River's Edge. (If you are living a scene out of River's Edge and you don't realize the movie's existence, you just think you are living in the most hopeless life ever. The lack of awareness of a previous cinematic representation approximating your life just makes your reality seem kind of bizarre and horribly singular. Which is why it was such a relief to discover that a movie like River's Edge even existed.)
+ Continue reading "A Day in the Life: Our Most Compliment-Attracting Pieces of Clothing"
Tags: black leather jackets, boys, champagne, Chuck Klosterman, depression, dresses, Faith No More, girls, go-go dancers, Jenny Lewis, Joy Division, River's Edge, seagulls, teenhood, tiger skirts, Tomorrow Never Knows, Venice Beach
Tuesday , January 19, 2010
TOO DRUNKED FOR YOU: NOGOODFORME-Themed Cocktails!
IN PRAISE OF BLACK RUSSIANS
Oh, this is so easy! I'm a Black Russian. There's something really chthonic about mixing together two evils like vodka and coffee. (Well, coffee liqueur, which has got to be way more potent than mere coffee, right?) This makes it a reasonably Goth-y cocktail, and better than the usual Goth cocktails, like snakebites and weird concoctions featuring lots of blackcurrant liqueur. A Black Russian is something both dark yet surprisingly sweet, and like my insomnia-riddled self, it can keep you up for days with all its pent-up energy. It looks very modest, but a night full of them packs a severe-yet-awesome wallop. The only other possibility would be a Jack-and-ginger, which could work, being both kind of rock-morose and yet fizzy and effervescent at once. That is me, too! Don't you love alcoholic beverages as a self-portrait? You can combine your contradictions into one lovely creation! (Kat)
THE ELIZABETH BARKER: MIX TWO PARTS MARIE ANTOINETTE, ONE PART JENNIFER HERREMA, AND A SHOT OF BACARDI
Did you know that I'm in love with raspberry rose macarons, and ate at least two when I saw Marie Antoinette in the theater? Did you also know that Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux is my number-one style idol evs? Maybe! Maybe you know both those things. But there's no way you could know how to make an Elizabeth Barker, because I just perfected the recipe last night, at the CVS on Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake.
WHAT YOU DO IS:
1) Make one cup of really strong rose petal black tea. I use Zhena's Gypsy Rose Tea, because it's perfect and I talked to Zhena on the phone once and I love her. Boil a cup of water (from your With The Beatles mug), then steep two tea sachets a long time - like, till the tea's cooled. Then put it in the fridge to chill.
2) Grab a handful of really expensive out-of-season fresh raspberries and mash them up with a packet of sugar you stole from Starbucks. Spoon about half the raspberry-sugar mush into a pretty glass, or a disposable plastic cup leftover from when you went to see Valley Girl at Hollywood Forever Cemetery two summers ago.
3) Add a shot of rum (I used Bacardi, but that bottle with the butterfly on it looks real adorable). Then pour in about half the tea, and a splash of Welch's Strawberry Soda.
4) Stir it all up with a silver spoon. You should have enough tea and raspberry-sugar mush left over for another glass.
So, voila: Raspberries + rose petal tea = Marie Antoinette, and strawberry soda = Jennifer Herrema, because of the Royal Trux song "Strawberry Soda," which you can hear here:
I like to drink it while wearing a heart-shaped ring pop and listening to "Cry Baby Cry" by the Beatles many times, and writing a story that's really good. I think it'll also taste very lovely on Valentine's Day. Oh and I made it once without strawberry soda and with whiskey instead of rum, and that was kinda nice too. Cheers, Big Ears! (Liz)
(L to R: Clowns LOVE Campari; my fake Cavern Club membership leaflet; a picture of me, not drinking a Laura Jane, because I forgot to take a picture of myself drinking a Laura Jane; in Italy, they sell these cute bottles of pre-made Laura Jane, which is why I'm moving to Italy)
I started thinking about Campari & sodas back when I was first-wave Syd Barrett-obsession-era Laura, because Campari & sodas were 1966-era Syd's drink of choice. I was working at the lame Christmas-centric hellhole I worked at last December, and every morning I would say to myself, "Laura Jane, after work today, you are going to take yourself out to a bar, where you will drink a Campari & soda, and write in your notebook, and it will be awesome." But every evening, I was so tired and sarcasti-suicidal from an emotionally trying day of selling Christmas ornaments to losers that all I could do was trudge home and eat a cookie and go to bed.
Finally, after a week of being unable to motivate myself to go to a bar and drink an alcoholic beverage, which seems weird to me now, I was bored at a bad show on a Monday night. I drank an uneventful glass of white wine, and then thought: "Seriously, Laura Jane? Your priorities are so askew sometimes! CAMPARI! SODA! YOU! SYD BARRETT! NOW!"
The bartender was an old man dressed in the rockabilly style. I was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a monster named Ivan on it. "I'll have a Campari & soda," I said, and the bartender fell instantly in love with me, as most people tend to do, with the girl (or boy!) drinking a Campari & soda. "What a great drink," he said, shaking his head in amazement/adoration. "One of my favourites. The best summertime drink. A nice tall Campari & soda, with tons of ice and a great big hunk of lemon." I impress people.
"Yeah," I said. "It's kind of, like, my drink." Of course, this was a total lie, since I'd never had a Campari & soda in my life. The bartender complimented me again, and then, in a classic display of maybe-charming Laura Jane gracelessness, I knocked my wallet off the bar, spilling its entire contents- including my fake Cavern Club membership booklet- onto the dirty bar floor. I kneeled down, sighing exasperatedly at my own incompetence. A redheaded Dudemeister helped me clean up the mess. I weirdly snatched my Cavern Club membership brochure out of his hand, which took him slightly aback, but really, I just did not want his pervy Dudemeister germs all over my cherished fake Cavern Club membership pamphlet.
I resurfaced, and was faced with the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen: a frosty tall glass of fizzy, glimmering magenta-coral blitheness-elixir, embellished with a "giant hunk of lemon", gazing up at me from the bar. It was so sexy, I could've cried. "Enjoy, Doll," said my new best friend the bartender, or maybe he said "Darling," or maybe he said "Kitten," or "Cookie," or "The Madcap." I took it back to my table, and, as tends to be the case when you drink Campari & sodas, everybody enviously exclaimed, "Yowza! What is that!?!" and I said, "It's a Campari & soda. It's kind of, like, my drink." I then took a sip of it, and I saw, I felt, I knew: it was kind of, like, my drink.
And that's just my life now! My cool, awesome life of drinking my perfect drink, which is now named "The Laura Jane" and/or "The Madcap," all the time, always and forever. My children will one day associate the cloying-yet-astringent scent of Campari and the clink-clink of heart-shaped ice cubes with their alcoholic famous-writer mother. If all goes according to plan. *crosses fingers*
I'm myself, so I'm probably a pretty decent judge of whether or not a drink tastes like myself or not. So, to answer your question: Yes. But here's the kicker: when you're a Laura Jane drinker, you better get used to everybody asking you for a sip of your Laura Jane. Because it's pink, people imagine it must taste like cotton candy, or kitten juice. But it's actually not sweet at all. It's bitter, and intense. Get the metaphor? I also like that the Laura Jane is simple; effortless, if you will. The complexity is built-in. So's the romance.
The Laura Jane is not for everybody, but it's definitely for everybody who's cool. Like me, my rockabilly bartender, and Syd Barrett. And who else even is there? (LJ)
Tags: Barker loves the Beatles, Black Russians, Campari, careless parenting, Elizabeth Barker, gothiness, hearts, Jennifer Herrema, Kat Asharya, Laura Jane Faulds, Marie Antoinette, raspberries, ring pops, rose petal tea, Royal Trux, rum, Syd Barrett, The Madcap, Valentine's Day
Monday , January 4, 2010
A Day in the Life: New Year's Resolutions, 2010 Edition
ZA-ZA-ZOOM INSTEAD OF VA-VA-VOOM
Last year I took the approach of setting intentions instead of resolutions for 2009 and, judging from the growth of my excitement lingerie collection and my beautifully simplified closet, that went well in terms of bringing out my inner zen Dita Von Teese. It was ten times more interesting and better for me to know the higher principles I wanted to achieve, and then experiment with different resolutions to make it happen. Pat on the back, yo! Now we come to 2010, which is a different beast altogether. I knew 2009 was about laying low, but this year I'm set to navigate some crazy major "life transitions" -- graduating school, moving out of my beloved apartment, reckoning with the economy, waaaaaah. I'm a Cancer, and I find change overwhelming. What do I need to be able to face down this battalion of anxiety-producers? The obvious answer is money, but of course the bohemian/slacker in me finds that totally boring. Besides, I always found that the less I fixate on money and my lack of it (and the more alive I am to the good things in life I already have), the easier it is for money to make its way to me. So we won't talk of money right now...maybe I'll deal with it in the latter half of 2010 or save it up for 2011. No, judging from my past experience, I tend to shut down and get drained and tired in the face of major changes and want to hole up in my bed and beg someone to wake me up when it's all over. I need to be armed with ENERGY to face down life, 'cause lately I find myself feeling more rundown as I get (shhhh) older. That's the one killer thing about getting older. Being all grown is good for a lot of things: it's easier to make money, you make better decisions because you're wiser, you have focus and purpose, and generally for the ladies sex is better. But you do realize that energy is a resource and it's harder to replenish. So yes, 2010: THE YIPPEE-SKIPPY ZIPPY YEAR, the year in which I explore a million ways to up my vitality so I can tackle the million-bizillion things I want to do in life and you know, not feel like a grumpy pants monster. There are a million things I can do to explore this: because I'm aggro and driven and kind of Type A, I'm going to tackle one resolution within this intention a month, with the first few months being: CONQUER INSOMNIA ONCE AND FOR ALL. January: Off the Internets by midnight, 'cause a major sleep-zapper in my life is my computer and other electronics. And generally develop a sleep-inducing routine.
The other big resolution I had for 2010 came about very recently, i.e., New Year's Eve. Basically: Susan Miller was right. December 31st's lunar eclipse brought about one of those piercing life-altering epiphanies. On a night hazy with champagne, laughter and everything you want on NYE, I had a tiny bit of drama that was like a speck of squid ink in a glass of bubbly. The next morning, I woke up thinking about how I was pissed I was for letting that minor drama cloud my good times and memories. I thought about, oh, life and love and shit in general, and to spare you the long way around of my thinking, came to conclusion that 2010 was the year I wanted to know more about love. Not dating, not romance, not dudes, not falling in love, being in love, finding love: just love, and somehow be a more loving and lovable person in the course of my investigation. If some chick can cook her way through a Julia Child cookbook, if another can explore happiness...why not do it with love as the grand subject? I thought for a split second about doing another blog on it, but then, remembered: this is nogoodforme! If LJ and Liz can turn this into a Beatles blog, I can turn this into a semi-scholarly, semi-squicky rumination on love and all its forms and contents. Why the hell not? So, in the grand nogoodforme tradition of starting random columns, I'm going to start one called TOO LOVE FOR YOU. and it's going to be kind of weird, but hopefully kind of illuminating to at least myself at the end of 2010. Maybe I should start TOO SLEEPY FOR ME as well, chronicling my battles with insomnia. This is what I love about nogoodforme: everything's possible! (Kat)
GET GOOD AT WINKING, AND THEN WINK A LOT
I used to know three really good winkers, and now I don't know them anymore. Where have all the winkers gone?, I've whinily asked the world at least 27 times over the recent years. But the world never answers. And the day I DJ-ed at Barcade I posted this clip of the Hard Day's Night disco scene on Facebook and announced I was looking for both a "Ringo Dancer" and a "Paul Winker," but neither showed up for my set. "I Wanna Be Your Man" was Ringo-less and winkless but instead of sobbing into my Sapporo tall boy I killed the damn can and decided: BARKER, BE YOUR OWN WINKER. Like, duh - why did I ever think only boys were allowed to wink? I was such a sexist asshole in 2009.
But now it's 2010 and I've been practicing real good and I think I've nailed it, the winking thing. I use my right eye. I'm more subtle than Paul and his disco winking or his Help! winking, but it's no less effective: All these lusty babes keep dropping dead in my wake, my sly charm slays them so. Also I dig how one of the "wink" definitions is "to shine fitfully," even though that's more like the kind of wink used in the beautifully composed Freedictionary.com sentence Harbor lights were winking in the distance. Dudes, I shine soooo much more fitfully than those stupid harbor lights! I am all the Christmas trees in the world, all the stars in the sky and in the planetaria too. I am scintillant as all get out.
That being said, my actual number-one new year's resolution is to "Lose The Inferiority Complex" - because it's really a big prob, all bloggy braggery notwithstanding. Oh and there's also stuff like "Get A Job And A New Apartment," "Read And Write Good Things Everyday," "Be By The Ocean Most Of The Time," "Stop Putting Sugar In My Coffee," and a few other important things. In addition, I plan to start reading the dictionary. (Liz)
LET IT BE, BASICALLY
ABOVE: An assortment of what comes up when you Google Image "opening doors"
Time doesn't exist, and January First means the same thing as any other day, which is that it is a day. But beginnings are hard to find, and every January First we get a free one, which is a sweet deal. Take it and run with it! Today is the fourth day of the rest of your decade.
Every (good) writer has something called a "voice", and that "voice" is defined by things like metaphor, sentence-length, form, content, adjectives, semi-colons and subject matter. You use that "voice" to tell a story. You can pick whatever story, and you can tell it however. These days, I write the story of me, and I write it synaesthetically. I'm honest, but I never speak the truth. I write on top of the truth. I am interested in "representing" how things "feel." I can't be bothered to accurately depict anything, because most things are boring.
In words: I am incapable of opening a door.
I started writing stories when I was six or seven; like most children who write, I never finished any of them. In my case, I would get frustrated and give up whenever someone in the story needed to open up a door. It would drive my child-self crazy- HOW DOES ONE DESCRIBE OPENING A DOOR??? She stretched out her fingers and then made her hand into something like a loose claw-shape. She extended her elbow and touched her claw-fingers to a doorknob, which was made of brass. She closed her fingers around the doorknob and rotated her wrist slightly to the right. When she did this, a piece of metal connected to the doorknob was pushed out of a thing that was kind of like a slot. This mechanism allowed the door to be opened, then, by her. It opened at an average pace. It's so fucking tedious to write about, and I never will. You'll just have to assume: somewhere along the way, a door was opened.
+ Continue reading "A Day in the Life: New Year's Resolutions, 2010 Edition"
Tags: 2009 is done!!!!, 2010, Cancers, Christmas trees, conquer insomnia, dictionaries, DJ Black Eyes, door-opening, eating disorder recovery, Elizabeth Barker's toned upper arms, fitful shiners, inferiority complexes, Julia Child, Keith Moon's shrunken head, love, Paul McCartney, sexism, stars, winkers, writing, yippee-skippy zippy
Thursday , December 3, 2009
A Day in the Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Winter
PRETENDING I LIVE IN AN EGON SCHIELE PAINTING
Winter fashion is a bit of an oxymoron, because it is a season in which only two major items are of paramount importance: your coat and your boots. No one cares what is underneath these things, because no one goes out anymore and everyone's rushing in the streets to get back inside because it's so cold out. The streets are no longer runways, but instead are just things you have to get through in order to get someplace warm and cozy. Some "fashionistas" will probably cry at the cramp in their style-slash-exhibitionism, but I don't think this is much of a tragedy. Because wintertime gives me the opportunity to focus on my loungewear concept -- all I want to do in winter is lounge and drink hot chocolate and read books, so why not properly outfit my heart's desire? This season I am all about working a girl-in-a-Egon-Schiele-painting thing. I've always dug Schiele's art for his sense of line and his perviness, that sort of dissolute European glamour that makes me spend way too much time and money at Neue Galerie's Cafe Sabarsky on a lazy Sunday. Fashionwise, this translates to thigh-high stockings of the thick-knit kind, plain little slips or dresses, maybe some of that Sonia Rykiel for H&M lingerie underneath, and a sweater thrown over the whole hot mess. Punctuate it with a bit of ribbon or scarf in a bright, sexy color, throw your hair up in a messy twist, put on some red lipstick, and BLAMMO! SCHIELE CHIC! Why head outside when the temperature's only heating up indoors? Just put on some Nick Cave, lie on your bed with your arse sticking up and pretend you're dying of consumption. Good times. (Kat)
JOAN HOLLOWAY + JIMI HENDRIX (AND/OR MOTORCYCLE BALLERINA)
Truth be told, I don't know quite what I mean by "Joan Holloway + Jimi Hendrix." I don't know if it's "like if Joan Holloway were really into Jimi Hendrix," or "like if Joan Holloway melded minds with Jimi Hendrix," or "like if Joan Holloway were going out with Jimi Hendrix." (It's the last one, probably.) What I do know is that I dig Joan Holloway's big hips and red lips, and that Jimi Hendrix always makes me feel more like myself, but about 37 percent foxier and more amazing at life. I also know that I just bought this very Joan Holloway-esque bluish-purple pencil skirt and short-sleeve cashmere sweater at Salvation Army for a total of 9 bucks, and I'm psyched to Hendrix it up with my new faux-leather black hooded jacket and my studded black knee-high boots and some kind of psychedelic silk scarf I've yet to find.
So yeah, JH + JH - totally the smokin'-est couple there never was. If I were Joan dating Jimi I'd wear all of these:
Oh, and "Motorcycle Ballerina" came to me last week at the mall in my hometown. I was drinking a Dunkin Donuts coconut coffee and waiting for my sister and gazing adoringly at the slightly poofy-skirted black satin dress with metallic-beaded bust I'd just bought at this really rad store called "Macy's." Then I Twittered "motorcycle ballerina" and my sister and I went home and ate green bean casserole and watched Gossip Girl. It was fun.
All these things are a little bit Motorcycle Ballerina, a little bit Joan Holloway + Jimi Hendrix, but mostly it's just mega-hot stuff I want want want right now. Especially that bomb-ass bomber jacket - YOWZA! (Liz)
(L to R, top to bottom: reversible gilet from Topshop, curly Mongolian bomber jacket from Topshop, cream leather bootalinos from VintiqueLa, lion head belt from Topshop, Jimmy Choo clutch. BTW, do check out VintiqueLa's Etsy shop for lots more vintage awesomeness!)
THE MADCAP LIVES
1. Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett died on July 7th, 2006. At the time, I was working as an artist's assistant in Brooklyn. I heard of his death while drinking a giant coconut iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts and buying up Audubon Society bird clocks on eBay. I was indifferent, and thought it was kind of silly what a big deal people were making over it on the Internet. I didn't care about Syd Barrett's death because I didn't listen to much Syd Barrett. I can't blame myself for that.
2. I was allowed to smoke cigarettes on the job. In the ashtray were a bunch of joint-ends. I was almost done with work, so I decided to smoke one of them, and did. I broke out in a cold sweat and felt very peculiar. This was not pot I'd just smoked. It was hash. It was hash! "How awesome!" I thought. It was the first day of my new life as The Madcap.
3. Syd Barrett's rockstar nickname was "The Madcap." In a classic case of "cosmic transference," or possibly symbiosis ("syd"-biosis?), when Syd Barrett died, I became "The Madcap." The Universe needs a Madcap, and now I'm it. That's why shit got really crazy for me after Syd Barrett died. Shit's crazy, when you're The Madcap.
4. Some more crazy Madcap shit: yesterday, I was walking down the street listening to "Octopus" by Syd Barrett on headphones. I stopped to light a cigarette, and noticed an old issue of MOJO magazine lying on the ground in front of a house. The cover read "ACID!" No," I thought. But- Yes! Yes, Laura Jane. Syd Barrett was definitely on the cover of that magazine. Talk about Syd-biosis! Moments later, two teenage boys walked down the street smoking a joint. I was in a euphoric mood, and asked them "Hey, do you think I could hit that?" Gracelessly they said sure, because what kind of teenage boy in his right mind would say no to that? I got really stoned off my one crappy hit, and that was when all this Syd-biosis/being The Madcap business first hit me. "Probably this should be my Winter Fashion Concept," I decided.
5. God I love "adjectives." I have spent twenty-four years searching for the perfect one to describe the quintessence of, like, me, but none of them ever did the trick. I'm only, like, 30% whimsical. But I'm 100% madcap- always have been, always will be. Before Syd Barrett's death, I was madcap. I'm still madcap, but now I'm The Madcap, so that's what everybody should call me from now on. Like, on Twitter and shit. You can use the tag "#themadcap".
6. You're still allowed to call Syd Barrett "The Madcap" if you want, but you have to specify that you're talking about Syd Barrett, or else everybody will assume you're talking about me. It's true! I seen it happen! With my own 2 eyes.
7. I'm a writer, which means I don't have a penny to my name. Though I do have a couple to my parents'! (#earlybeatlesclever) These two hats, shirt and dress are the only new clothes I've acquired since last Seasonal Fashion Concept.
The grey hat with a red feather is a leftover from when I filmed Magical Mystery Tour in 1967 (#magicalmysterymadcap). The red shirt is the best shirt I've ever had. It looks so good on me! Barker and I both bought leopard-print trapper hats after I recommended that people wear them on fake dates with the ghost of Sid Vicious dressed up as a kitty-cat. They are our "Thinking Caps", and make us better writers when we wear them. The Thinking Man's Madcap. And then there is the funereal black dress I like to wear while sitting on my living room table reading Syd Barrett biographies and pretending to drink tea. I posed for that photo, and then thought "It's so dumb to pose," so I stayed there for a bit to make it more "legit," and found out that Syd Barrett used to be a Boy Scout.
8. The other day, I was re-reading Laura Jane's Ultimate Fashion Challenge, which is a really great read if you feel like looking at 89 pictures of an anorexic girl on the Internet. Out of all the dumb shit I posited over the course of the UFC, the dumbest of all was easily, "It is infinitely important to ask yourself every single morning, "What do I feel like BEING today?" Dress accordingly."
I take that statement way the fuck back. Here is its December 2009 revision: When getting dressed in the morning, it is "infinitely important" to recite the following Jay-Z lyric to yourself: "Check out my swag' yo, I walk like a ball-playa /No matter where you go, you are what you are, playa."
In my case, I'm The Madcap. Happy Christmas, Myutes! (Laura Jane)
Tags: ballerinas, black leather, BLAMMO, consumption, cosmic transference, Early Beatles Clever, Egon Schiele, faux fur, imaginary couples, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Holloway, loungewear, Mad Men, motorcycles, red lipstick, Salvation Army, Syd Barrett, The Madcap, Vienna, winter fashion concepts
Wednesday , November 4, 2009
A Day In the Life: Clothes That Make Us So Sentimental
ARMY PARKA OF DARKNESS
Not to brag (but yeah, to totally love up the things I have), I'm really happy with my wardrobe. I have just the perfect amount of stuff and everything is pared down enough so that I can honestly say that I love, adore and wear everything in my closet. The nice thing about getting older as a lady who loves clothes is that you finally collect enough awesome shit that you finally understand why "investment" dressing works. But true to my punk/zinegirl/alternateen roots, my most beloved garment is not a Balenciaga dress (although I love that) or a Maison Martin Margiela sweater (although I wear it all the time), but a humble army green parka that I impulsively picked up from H&M about three or four years ago and still wear to death. It's part of a long tradition of army-type parkas throughout my life. The very first army parka I wore was my dad's own Thai army one that I filched from him when I was 15, and I wore it everywhere till it fell apart. It made me feel rebellious and tough and ready to take on the armies of suburban darkness. The next one I snagged from a boyfriend in college; I have to say that it fell apart long before the relationship did. (I kind of wish the reverse had been true...that parka was awesome, the relationship--not so much.) I had another one when I first lived in NYC and wore it when working on film sets, only to have it lost somewhere in upstate New York on the set of a crazy thriller shot for Italian television. Then it was a wilderness of parka-less years, during which I kind of became an "educated" "fashionista" and got picky about materials, silhouette, cuts and all that fun stuff. Such was my transformation that I had a hard time finding a garment that combined both the swagger and self-sufficiency of army parka-ness with a type of fit more akin to the Chanel-like narrowness that I love. And then, one day during my first year at film school, I impulsively tried on my current parka at the H&M in Harlem. Love at first sight! Magic! Yay! It's almost like a perfect bridge between my earlier and present fashion selves: it has the practicality and authenticity of the punk rock parka but with a sophisticated fit and structure. I am always so happy when it gets cold outside, because it means I can wear it all the time again. I've taken it with me to Lisbon and London (it couldn't go with me to Thailand 'cause it's too bloody hot, and to Iceland 'cause it's too bloody wet.) I'm hoping it'll come with me when I hit Berlin hopefully in February. It's just my favorite thing ever, and I hope it stays with me for a long, long time. Army parka, I love you so much! (Kat)
(Yes, it's a rare picture of Kat, wearing her jacket)
THE SKATE SHOP SHIRT FROM FROG AND TOAD NIGHT
(L: me and my shirt. R: Frog and Toad.)
So this is my "Foundation Super Co." shirt; it lives in my Bag Of Emotional T-Shirts in the back of my closet, along with two Tom Petty tees my parents bought me when they went to see Tom Petty, a handmade wifebeater Mary Timony sold me half-price because she's a sweetheart, my Lemonheads t-shirt and some other stuff I can't remember. I bought it at a skate shop on Thayer Street in Providence on a Friday night when I was seventeen: I'd been in college about a month or two and took the bus up to the big city with the girl who'd become my first university BFF after we discovered we both liked doing stuff like watching Mary Poppins drunk and making our stuffed animals talk in British accents. We went to the skate shop, and I bought my shirt, and we went to a store that sold whimsical clocks and strange bubble baths. We ate dinner at a fast food Indian restaurant called Curry In A Hurry, and maybe after that we ate pie or cake and coffee in a cafe on the corner. We read Frog And Toad Are Friends to each other in the Brown bookstore and record-shopped in two different record stores. And then we took the bus back to school and probably did something like really adorable like color in our Hello Kitty coloring books and listen to Tori Amos and talk about the many different boys we liked.
That night's one of my five favorite frosh memories, maybe it's even in the top three. Freshman year was full of stuff like drinking punch with malt liquor at frat parties, drinking ice beer and then screwdrivers on the floor of someone's dorm room, getting stoned on the roof of the biology building, eating cheese fries, reading letters from boys from home I pretended I was in love with, mailing poems, lying in piles of girls in bed while watching movies instead of studying, spending most of journalism class writing stories about the stupid boring shoes on the feet of the boy in front of me, whom I badly wanted to be my boyfriend, and all that other generic freshman-year stuff. Some of it was so disappointing, some of it was so much fun, and all in all there's not much I'd ever want to relive.
Except, maybe, for the night I bought my Most Emotional T-Shirt, and a few other nights with that girl, like the time we made chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from scratch at her parents' house while her dad sat smoking cigarettes at the kitchen table and laughing at us when we got into some evil vicious monster-girl fight about how best to cream the butter. We weren't friends very long; so much bad soap-opera stuff happened and changed my heart forever; it was all very "Bells For Her". If I thought about it for long enough I could probably get very sad, but who has the time for such a thing? My memories of Chocolate Cake Fight Night and Frog And Toad Night feel more far-away than nights or days that happened when I was a tiny little girl, and I like that, because they're dreamier that way. Also this shirt doesn't look nearly as good on me as it did when I was 17, and I guess I like that too: I'm really happy for my 17-year-old self that she got to look kind of adorable in some skate-shop t-shirt she didn't actually understand. That must've been so sweet for her. (Liz)
LAURA JANE GETS SEMI-HEAVY, ABOUT SWEATERS
This sweater is coral and has wooden buttons. It is warm and I wear it around the house. It was once my grandmother's, and then it belonged to my mother for a bit, and now it belongs to me, because I stole it from my mother.
Your family existed as a family before you were born. It was 1965, and all those people (grandparents, uncles, Mom) hung out together, younger versions of those people I know now, like the Muppet Babies of them. My Dad told me the other day that he and my grandmother ( my mother's mother, who I love very much) were "quitting smoking" buddies in the early 1980s, which cuted me out. There is nostalgia for the way the world was before you were born, and there is the nostalgia you feel for all the things you ever wished could've happened but didn't; thinking about your family existing before you came along to steal the show is their pithy midpoint.
I have no idea what the circumstances of my Grandmother's purchasing this sweater were. I don't know if she wore it in Morocco, France, Canada, or all of the above. Maybe she hated it and wore it around the house on off-days like I do, or maybe it looked really good on her and she had a blouse/skirt/brooch combo she'd pair it with, for the movies or meeting her sisters for lunch or attending a parent-teacher interview. Maybe it was 1965 and she was thirty-seven years old. My mom and her brothers were teenagers, and my grandfather was two years younger than she. Their Muppet Baby Selves sat around the kitchen table and told each other stories about what they did that day. They had a black dog named Fifi. Somebody fed Fifi scraps under the table. They watched television, and the Beatles were on it. I will never, ever know my Grandmother's Beatles Opinions. This is the only kind of "not knowing" I am comfortable existing within.
I just realized that I am writing this while wearing the exact sweater I'm writing about. That's a nice detail; I appreciate the lightness of it. I'm wearing this sweater because I'd be wearing this sweater even if I wasn't writing about this sweater. Time travel back to that dumb nothing night in 1965, and my grandmother has no idea that, one day, her only daughter will have another only daughter. There is no way she can know that her sweater will one day become Laura Jane's, Laura Jane's dumpy pre-shower writing sweater.
It is November, and I now disagree with my early-October self's assertion that
coziness sucks; I was only being contrary. I have a lot of use for coziness, and this sweater is very utile. Speaking of things that are cozy: Starbucks cups turned red this week. Merry Christmas, Everyone. (Laura Jane)
Thursday , October 29, 2009
A Day in the Life: What We're Gonna Be For Halloween, Maybe
GARDEN VARIETY SLUTTY VS. S&M SPECIFIC? OH, DECISIONS!
I'm in such a dilemma for Halloween 2009. I decided awhile ago that I was going to be Little Red Riding Hood this year 'cause I've had big bad wolves on the brain. I've been writing the "teen werewolf story to end all teen werewolf stories" for what feels like fifty years now and thought it'd be nice to pay tribute to my muse. Plus, it's about my favorite costume ever -- I actually was a pretty classical Little Red Riding Hood a few years back when I still lived in San Francisco and it was totally fun and I don't care if I'm repeating myself! I love wearing a red hooded cape and I don't want to be Superman, okay? I actually made my own red hooded cape ages ago and was excited to wear it again, but then I discovered that it was lost somewhere in my transcontinental move back to NYC. Damn it! Wah! So I went out to one of the THREE Halloween costume shops within a three-block radius in my neighborhood and got one of those slutty Red Riding Hood costumes just for the cape. But then I made the mistake of actually trying on the dress that it came with and now I want to wear it! It's got a poofy skirt! And a corset! It's kind of Alpine-slutty! Maybe I can wear it with vinyl leggings and crazy bondage-y heels and be S&M Red Riding Hood? Or make it more Quirky-Slutty by wearing it with striped leggings? Decisions, decisions! (Kat)
NEIGHBORHOODIES, GET YR ACT TOGETHER AND GET LIZ HER T-SHIRT SO SHE CAN BE CHRISSY SNOW FROM "THREE'S COMPANY"
(What has been and what may never be: Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66, Nancy Sinatra, me, Suzanne Somers)
I don't know what I'm gonna be for Halloween, OKAY??? I was supposed to be Christmas Noelle Snow from the classic comedy series Three's Company; I was supposed to wear a t-shirt that awesomely reads BLONDES PREFER GENTLEMEN (a la Chrissie/Suzanne Somers in the opening credits), plus short shorts and some kind of ridiculous high-heeled shoes with knee-high athletic socks. I was even going to put on nude nylons under the short shorts, because I've always wanted to dress like I work at Hooters. It was going to be brilliant, adorable, and just a wee bit American Apparel-skeevy. But stupid Neighborhoodies hasn't mailed me my shirt yet, and I'm sort of losing faith that it's ever going to get here in time, which makes me want to cry a little. So, Neighborhoodies, if you're reading this: Here's your last chance to rush-deliver the Chrissie Snow shirt I ordered damn near a month ago, thusly saving yourself from a whole lotta badmouthing on nogoodforme.com. I know you can do it! Why on earth would you want to ruin Halloween for everybody?
Anyway. Chrissie Snow was going to be the latest in my "Quirky Iconic Blondes" Halloween costume series, made possible by the trusty platinum wig I bought on Hollywood Boulevard a few years ago. These be the dames of my Halloweens past:
CHRISTINA RICCI AS LAYLA/WENDY BALSAM IN BUFFALO 66. Oh this was amazing, and weird. I wore a baby-blue slip dress, and a white cardigan, and sparkly tights and silver high heels and my wig and lots of blue eyeshadow. As a result, pixie-ish hipster boys (whom I never, ever attract in real/non-Halloween life) kept scampering up to me and giggling creepily and scampering away again, and then this crazy ex-footballer guy begged and begged me to let him hold my feet "just for a few seconds." Those are the only two dude-related things I feel comfortable talking about here; shit got even more b-a-n-a-n-a-s than that. Oh Mr. Vincent Gallo: You truly are an evil genius.
NANCY SINATRA. I don't remember much about my Nancy Sinatra Halloween, except that maybe somebody asked if I was supposed to be a Fembot. The best thing about that costume was that the day I bought my go-go boots and the rubbery sleeveless black minidress that I now use to help me open honey jars, my friend and I went to see Marie Antoinette and ate rose petal macarons from the tragically deceased fancy candy store Boule - which is a story I've told about 8 million times on nogoodforme.com, but truly: it was heaven. And afterward we went to In 'N Out! Perfect Day!
JANICE FROM THE MUPPET SHOW I did this last year, and the costume came out more like "Nonspecific Blonde French Flower Child Or Whatever" (see above), but it was still superfun. It was a mellow Halloween; I met this cute boy and he was my snugglebug till last summer, awwww. And then the next day I was still feeling all Janice-sassy and spit on an anti-gay-marriage protester at Sunset and Alvarado, and later that night I sat next to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher at a restaurant in Laurel Canyon. Perfect Day Part Deux!
So yeah, now I have zero clue as to what
action-getting device Halloween costume I'll go with this year. Hints? Leads on super-speedy screenprinting services? I'm all ears! Come and knock on my door! Take a step that is new! I've a lovable space that needs your face! Happy Halloween from nogoodforme.com, living proof that "three's company too"! (Liz)
STARRING LAURA JANE FAULDS AS... THE UNIVERSE'S SLUTTIEST BABY!
As much as I totally love Hallowe'en, I totally suck at Hallowe'en. I am always too lazy and broke to bother with engineering a high-concept costume that looks anything like what it's supposed to be. I'm also vain, and can't deal with sacrificing my October 31st hotness in the name of looking like a really realistic Jeanne d'Arc or whatevs. As such, I am a big fan of abiding by the Textbook Chick Hallowe'en Costume Postulate: think of a generic costume idea, and then slut it up to the power of a billion. When in Rome, you know?
When in Rome, dress up as a slutty baby. This year, I was torn between Slutty Baby, Slutty Schoolgirl, Slutty Rooftop John Lennon, and Slutty Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, but I opted for Slutty Baby, so that I can shout "Goo Goo Ga Ga! Let's Bang!" 'til the slutty cows come home. Hopefully other people will like it too. I bought a Baby Bugs Bunny baby-bottle for a dollar at Honest Ed's yesterday. I'm going to put booze in it. It's not in the photo at left, because in the end, I decided that putting a picture of myself jerking off a baby-bottle on the Internet is taking it a bit too far, even for me. Otherwise, my costume is: a little girls' nightgown with pictures of breakfast on it, pigtails with those wiggly bobble-ball elastics, some baby barrettes, a pacifier, and red lipstick smeared all over my face. Cuz you know how sluts are! Sluts just cannot keep their lipstick on their mouths! Babies are also wont to get crap all over their faces.
A cool perk of the Slutty Baby costume is that it does double-duty as a Courtney Love circa 1992 costume, so if I tire of making dirty jokes in baby talk, I can just start singing, "Killll Meeee Pillllsssss", and then attend the Academy Awards with Amanda de Cadenet a couple years down the road. I think maybe I actually totally rule at Hallowe'en. (LJ)
Tuesday , September 22, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Fall
EMBRACE REALITY AND IT WILL EMBRACE YOU
These past few seasons I have really not felt a need or desire to come up with a fashion concept. I used to worry that this meant that I was becoming an unimaginative, boring drone of adulthood -- shouldn't I want to be a "Fierce Warrior Robot Straight Outta Compton" or "A Louisa May Alcott Heroine Transplanted to a Kafka Novel"? But it boils down to this: the only fashion character I am interested in is myself as it exists in this set of realities. I don't mean this in a egomaniacal, self-absorbed way. (Okay, maybe it is that way slightly, just because it is yourself and fashion, you know?) But I'm a girl who's no longer a girl living in the 21st century. I have things I want to do: ambitions that need accomplishing, boys that want bewitching, and epics that want to be written. Places to go, pieces to put together! Love to make, justice to administer!
At some point in life you make a decision to be a verb instead of an adjective, and you run with it -- especially when you realize what it is you are running towards and not away from. It doesn't mean you lose your poetic nature, your fanciful imagination or your freedom, but it does mean you're all systems go and anti-autopilot. Clothes can either enable or disable you; I'm firmly of the camp that they should be part of your mission and it's perilous to ignore them. Because clothes have such an intimate relationship with your body, I try to make my sartorial decisions primarily on how they make you feel: Will it help you in your life as you're living it? Will it help you stand tall when life's conditions make it feel like you're beaten down? Will it bring you joy and strength when you hit the inevitable set of obstacles? Will it bring beauty and truth to the world instead of pain and sorrow? The reality principle in fashion is about action, self-knowledge, self-acceptance and being a real superhero in your life, and not trying to cobble a sense of self through the remnants of some other entity's imagination or marketing team. In that spirit: these are the clothes that I have actually bought so far, and why. (Kat)
(1) Acne bat sweater: this is my one "investment" piece. It keeps me warm and soft so I don't harden into an overly self-protective NYC femmebot covered in layers of cynicism and weariness. Love is hard sometimes, but you have to be fiercely protective of keeping your tenderness intact if you ever want a fighting chance.
(2) Frye harness boots: I actually didn't buy-buy these, I traded a bunch of stuff in for them at Beacon's Closet. I had been wanting them for a long time, so I wear them to remind me of the value of patience and the existence of fortuitous luck. They also are good for kicking obstacles out of the way and keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.
(3) Heels from Payless: I was really against these. But then they caught my eye when I was darting into Payless to buy those comfort insoles (where, btw, they sell for a lot cheaper than at shoe stores or Target.) I tried them on and they felt comfortable. I have no justification for these, other than I can walk 20 blocks in them for some reason, and as a short person, it's nice to feel taller every now and then.
(4) Fletcher by Lyell dress: I was against this as well. But I would visit it everytime I walked past the UO on 72nd and Broadway and I realized it was not going to let go. It makes me feel swishy and happy; I can't really argue with that. There's always going to be a need in me to wear a schoolgirlish/convent-type dress; it's the eternal student in me that likes to buckle down and write.
(5) A blue and white striped oxford shirt from Old Navy (not pictured 'cause I can't find a photo of it): last year I realized that oxford shirts and skinny jeans with boots were my uniform and guess what? It still is. My uniform makes me feel cute and sturdy. That's a great combination to feel. This is to replace an old Brooks Brothers shirt that I spilled wine on.
(6) On the horizon: I lost my favorite grey hoodie on a film shoot and I really miss having one. Any recommendations (outside American Apparel)?
EVERYTHING GREEN AND GOLD, BUT NOT IN A ROBERT FROST KIND OF WAY
8 Things About Me & Autumn '09:
1. I was sure there was a Neil Young lyric about "green and gold," but there's not, unless it's a secret lyric. But still: my green and gold's for Neil Young, in the same way that last winter's blue and silver was for Neil Young. Only it's completely different, possibly.
2. A couple Fridays ago I went to Crossroads and bought the $4 green jersey dress I'm wearing in the photo at right above, and the itchy brown zebraface top I'm wearing in the photo at left above. I also bought a forest-green braided-satin headband, at Forever 21, and I wear it all the time. And at Target I got these zebra-striped flats that are kinda metallic-y but mostly silverish and not gold at all.
3. In a shoe box I found this mix CD I made myself when I went to Colorado for the first time (three autumns ago) and it's got many green and gold songs but I can't remember any right now, except for "Valley" by Doves, which is deep-blue and slate-grey and black-black and not green or gold at all. Also: "We Float" by PJ Harvey, which is just black and nothing else.
4. I want all these things you see here: the forest-green sateen Tbags dress, the Paola Frani dress I can't find online anymore, the BeSomethingNew headband, the Rodarte cuff, the Miu Miu emerald sequined satin ballet flats, the Luxury Jones boots I've wanted forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver. Please can I have them???
5. Maybe I'll never wear my hair in pigtails again?
6. When I think about the boy I sometimes I have a crush on, it's all green and gold all over the world.
7. It took me too many years to figure out, but the Rilo Kiley lyric "I was your silver lining but now I'm gold" is absolutely about me!
8. I'm from New England; I'm not from California. But I live in California and love it like a fool, and New England + California = Green + Gold. Also: Brown, like chocolate bars and puppy eyes and dirt and mud and mud pies, made from New England soil or California soil or both, ideally. I love them both the same, at long last. (Liz)
EXISTING IN THE RED AREA
LEFT, RIGHT, AND BELOW: If there's one thing you can say about Laura Jane Faulds, it's that SHE LOVES FUN!
I like sounds better than songs, moments better than music, and colours better than clothes. This fall: I've chosen fun over fashion, style over skinniness, and happiness over hell.
On the day my Dad and I went to see a string quartet at the Music Garden (white shirt; peekaboo of red belt; sailboats), I saw my "Dream Son." He was maybe seven, looked like Paul McCartney, ate an apple, and ripped up grass-stems. He wore an olive green sweater, brown trousers, one olive green loafer, and one brown loafer. Isn't that brilliant?
I found the red dress I'm wearing while laughing by a parade at a very thoughtfully curated vintage store near my house called The Refinery. The same day, I bought a black velvet handbag and a bluey-purple shirt-skirt combo that reminds me of 101 Dalmatians (here's the top). Mind-blowingly, I learned that all of my purchases belonged to the same dead woman. Her name was Rose, and she was French. We have the exact same taste, and her clothes traveled through time to become mine. Isn't that brilliant?
There is the beauty that comes from having good genes, and the beauty that comes from having good jeans-
For me, "fashion obsession" is intricately and inextricably linked to the anorexic experience. When I was sick, I would use things like "nogoodforme Seasonal Fashion Concepts" to validate my anorexic body; a painful, punitive, and pointless approach to self-verification. I am now interested in how I can re-establish my relationship with clothing in a way that makes me feel beautiful for real.
I favor wearing low-waisted drainpipes and killer t-shirts with the sleeves rolled-up. Beatle boots and ballet flats; minidresses, tote bags, minimal jewelry. I'm a "hat person," and I have a Kinks tattoo. I try to wear something red every day, even if it's just my underwear. Red's my favourite colour, and it's the also the colour that looks best on me- it matches my Southern European ("SoEuro") colouring perfectly. Red is the colour of roses, strawberries, cinnamon hearts, love, sex, and Satanism. Red is the Official Colour of Being Laura Jane.
According to my therapist, my tendency toward extremism is problematic. I am inclined to perceive life in terms of blackest blacks and lightest whites: elation versus misery, tiny versus huge.
"You need to learn to exist in the grey area," says my therapist. But I don't want to exist in the stupid grey area! Grey sucks. I never wear grey.
So I thought, "Why does the midpoint between black and white have to be boring old grey?" Black and white aren't colours, so, logically, their middle-point should be. The middle of black and white is whatever colour happens to be your favourite; in my case, it's red.
This fall, my Fashion Concept and my Life Concept are one and the same. Red is a very extreme colour: sartorially-speaking, it's the only neutral that's louder than a print. And, on the whole "How To Live" tip-
I am extremely pleased with myself for figuring out the most extreme possible way to be non-extreme. (Laura Jane)
Tags: 101 Dalmatians, anorexia, California, cinnamon hearts, Colorado, crushes, eating disorder recovery, extremism, gold, green, Jenny Lewis, Laura Jane Faulds, Neil Young, New England, pigtails, PJ Harvey, puppies, red, Satanicism, Satanism, self-acceptance, therapy, vintage, zebras
Friday , June 26, 2009
A Day in the Life: Where We Were When We Found Out Michael Jackson Died
WE ARE THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD IS MORTAL
I'm on this web development job that basically is taking over my waking hours for the past and next few weeks, so I was sitting in an office in DUMBO in front a computer, coding like a fiend and thinking about whether or not I was going to walk over to the Brooklyn Bridge and throw myself off. I think I was listening to the "South Park" episode, "Timmy 2000," and suppressing the urge to shout "Livin' a lie!" really loudly in the middle of the office. (You won't get that reference unless you watch "South Park" on a semi-regular basis. And if you do, God bless you!) Suddenly the woman next to me tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up at her, thinking it was something about our work and getting ready to feel annoyed and frustrated. Instead, she said, "Michael Jackson died." I kind of blinked for a moment, then said, "What? Are you for real?" She looked at me and nodded, and I looked further down the aisle and other people were nodding at me. I was kind of stunned. "Michael Jackson? The Michael Jackson?" More nods. The office was filled with streaming bright late afternoon sunshine, I was just starting to get hungry for some dark chocolate and I had another two hours to go before I went home.
But of course I went on the Internet and checked the LA Times but it was down, and then I went on Twitter, which was down. Then I sent a text to my Twitter, asking if he really did die. And then I went back to my work, trying to remember where I left off in my code. But I couldn't concentrate at all -- suddenly I got hit with one of those visceral memories you have of childhood, of a summer afternoon I spent with my sisters trying to figure out how to moonwalk like Michael Jackson. It was the 80s, we had a crappy little tape recorder with a Play button that fell off all the time, we had a vinyl copy of Thriller , we had just seen him on some tv show where he debuted the moonwalk and IT WAS THE COOLEST THING ON THE PLANET. We were in the pre-cool awareness phase of childhood, but we all knew something about the awesomeness of MJ's music and dancing. My little sisters and I were determined to master the moonwalk, so we played "Billie Jean" over and over again and tried to moonwalk all over our yellow shag carpet. It didn't work, but we spent ages trying and inventing other dances, like "The Fish" and "The Soda Pop." This whole memory had always felt so joyous and light before, but suddenly it had this strange weight, due to the fact that the person who inspired it was now irrevocably gone.
There are personal and political tragedies that happen everyday and there will be lots said about his personal eccentricities, peccadilloes and troubles, as well as his real importance as a music icon. But Michael Jackson dying feels like the first movement in the inevitable fading of my childhood, in which all of my memories of being young become more and more ghostlike in their re-experience. When we look back at the past and connect it to the present and future, we take for granted the feeling of continuation between these aspects of time. We know somehow that your third-grade crush grew up and is living a life, removed from yours but still flowing. We know that dude who wore the trench coat in 9th grade became uber-hot and lives in some big city and rides a motorcycle. The cool girl from 8th grade is a housewife who lives on a farm. The boy with a thorn in his side writes for a newspaper in Chicago. That girl from "The Wonder Years" went on to become some kind of math genius, and Blossom grew up, had kids and got a makeover. All this happened while you were swimming through time in your own way. There's something comforting and fascinating about believing that no matter how disparate our experiences, we all move through time together, even if some may be no more than peripheral figures to one another in our actual lives. To get all hippie, "We're all on the same journey, man." But that's not true, because some journeys end before others. Michael Jackson died, and when you think back on your years of bike rides, inflatable swimming pools and jump rope--and listening to Thriller and Off the Wall through it all--you know someone with a dear spot in that set of memories has reached the end of their movement through time. You think back on trying to learn how to moonwalk and suddenly the memory acquires the weight of sadness: the song has stopped and the music has comes to an end. Which it does for all of us, of course.
Once, when my nephew was very small, he asked me not to have my 30th birthday and "stop where I was." I asked him why, and he very charmingly and naively explained, in that way that small children have, that he wanted me to wait for him to turn 30, and together we would be 30 together, all at the same time, and then go forward at the same pace. I think he liked the idea of all the people who made him happy marching together towards some destination and ending up there at the same time. In a primitive way, no one wants to go ahead alone, and no one wants to be left behind. We all march towards the unknown, and it is so comforting to imagine us all getting there at the same time, finding out what really lies beyond together and, I don't know, high-fiving or something. (My nephew seemed to think heaven involved lots of cake and flowers; if there's a heaven, I hope there are french fries, horses and bowling.) I'm really kind of bummed that Michael Jackson isn't sharing my movement through time anymore in a strange, strange way. It just makes me sad in that primal child-nephew way that someone who made songs I loved as a kid won't be able to high-five me as we cross the great existential finishing line. I want everyone to get there all together, holding hands like in "We Are the World." (Kat)
ELIZARDBREATH: Yesterday was one of those days when everything made me excessively sad - like, I was sitting in a cafe when I found out Farrah Fawcett died, and I almost started crying into my coffee. Then, while making my lunch I listened to an NPR story on Yonlu and got so worked up, I practically sobbed all over my tofu salad. Then "Kodachrome" came on the radio and I went "Gah, Kodachrome's dead too! Everything is dead!" but somehow managed to hold myself back from what my mom would describe as "weeping copiously." And then I checked Twitter, and everyone was Tweeting about Michael Jackson having had a heart attack. I typed "Don't die, Michael!" and some other stuff, and then I left to go get a surfboard at Emily Richmond's houseboat.
Halfway down the 10, I got a text from my buddy that read: "Omg! Michael Jackson!" and, like a very bad motorist, I texted back: "Did he die?" and she said yes. Then I turned off the stereo for a while and drove and drove with no sound. Then I turned it back on, to the radio, and the classic rock station and "Beat It" was playing the CD started to skip and they cut it off early and went to "Jamie's Cryin'" by Van Halen, which I found crass. Then I went to Emily Richmond's houseboat, got the surfboard, and drove to Venice Beach for an MJ Memorial Solo Sunset Surf Sesh, and the water was rough but the waves were good. After surfing I drove home, listening to Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 songs on the radio, then went to a birthday party on a pretty patio and talked about Michael Jackson a lot. On the way to the party I got a gross veggie burger and Diet Coke at Burger King; on the way home I got a caramel sundae at McDonald's. WHEN MICHAEL JACKSON DIES, I GET TO HAVE BURGER KING AND MCDONALD'S is something I could've probably Twittered at the end of the night.
So, yeah, like a million girls, Michael Jackson was the first pop star I was ever in love with; I wanted to marry him but figured he'd probably end up marrying Madonna. I also really wanted to go see him in concert, but I had this idea that at all concerts, everyone headbanged the whole time, did lots of drugs, threw up all over each other, and lit each other's hair on fire. How sad that that's not actually true.
I think maybe Thriller was my first record but I'm not entirely sure, because in my memory Thriller and Like a Virgin and Purple Rain and She's So Unusual all came into my life at the same time, and they were all I ever cared about, apart from Return of the Jedi. Somewhere around then, my dad taped a special for me about the making of the "Thriller" video, and I watched it at least 1,001 times. I was really scared of the actual video, so whenever that part came on I'd either make my dad watch it with me or - not understanding how to use the fast-forward button - just leave the room until I knew it was over. (God! Could I have been any dumber when I was six? Cripes.) Anyway, the best part of the special was this clip below, which I've played 87 kajillion times between last night and this morning. This is my very favorite Michael Jackson, shy and giggly and little-kid-like. I'll never not be in love with that Michael, and I'm so happy I got to have him.
LAURA JANE: On the evening of June 25th, 2009, I was semi-stoned at the Hazelton Lanes Whole Foods. It was the day after my 24th birthday, and I was in an unstoppably great mood. The "5 Items or Less" cashier's diamond earrings were beautiful. So was his face. He asked me how my day'd been; I said "Amazing!" I told him that yesterday was my birthday (he wished me a Happy Belated, being a perfect gentleman and all) and that I'd been celebrating for the past nine days straight, was kind of "birthdayed out," and was planning on staying in tonight and making myself the rice-cream sundae of my dreams, which I was presently buying ingredients for. He told me I'm allowed one more weekend of celebration, and I said "Saturday, Dude!" and he warned me not to party too hard.
Next thing I knew, a mousy cashier ran up to our checkout and hollered "Michael Jackson died!," then ran away screaming "It's true! It's true!" to everybody, or nobody. What a legendary moment. There I stood, shocked, elated, grinning dumbly, my eyes darting back and forth between Diamond Earrings and the wispy blonde in line behind me. I loved this moment because it seemed as though all three of us were attempting to cultivate a deep significance within it, and were succeeding. We were all intensely aware of each other's presence, our now lifelong intertwined-ness, adapted as a unit to the understanding that, now, this day would always be this day. We were in it together. We loved each other. I loved them, at least. The blonde and I traded off on saying "Whoa!" She had a cherubic face, red lipstick, a messy bun I found darling. I made sure to stare directly into her eyes, to impress my countenance upon her memory forever, taking extra precaution to make sure that, when she recalled the moment over and over again for as long as she lived, she would not remember some faceless girl there at Whole Foods, but would remember me, as I will her.
Honestly, I could not have asked for a more epic conclusion to my epic 24th birthday festivities. I have close to no attachment to Michael Jackson as an icon, musician, or anything, except for I really like "Ben" and "The Love You Save" (and "Dancing Machine" and "I Want You Back," obvs). I have been thinking for months now that the world is long overdue for some sort of earthquaking "John Lennon's death/JFK's death/Princess Diana's death" celebrity tragedy; this one's more fantastic than I ever could have imagined! Michael Jackson lived a cool life. I honor its weirdness. It was an exuberantly grotesque escapade from beginning to end- stay tuned for 45-year-old Laura "James Joyce" Jane's tetralogy of novels about my imagined version of MJ's fascinating existence. They'll be so epic, they'll make yesterday seem like the day nothing happened and nobody died.
PS: After exiting Whole Foods, I immediately twittered that "Farrah fawcett is the darby crash of today," which is the smartest thing I ever thought of. RIP Everybody.
Tags: Michael Jackson
Thursday , June 11, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Summer
KAT VERSUS THE SUMMER GRUMPS
Even though I was born during high summer, I pretty much actively dislike summer most out of all the seasons possible on the planet. Theoretically it's great with all that sun-kissed warmth and long, lazy days and blah blah blah. But the sun is poisonous now, and I hate sweat, dirt, heat, body odor, icky toes, greasy skin, bugs and humidity with a passion. I also hate that I can't wear my favorite things -- boots, skinny jeans, coats, sweaters, blazers and jackets -- with any real comfort. It makes me so unhappy to be parted from the clothes I feel most at home within, even temporarily! I'm always at a loss on what to wear that would replace the happy, cozy, snuggly yet sturdy feeling that fall/winter fashion gives me -- which is the feeling of being myself, being a happy, cozy, snuggly yet sturdy kind of person despite my Bringer of Darkness affections. Since dealing with summer fashion pisses me off in general, I thought I'd go the Cayce Pollard route and be all minimal and sleekish and just forget about it. But deep down I know that my favorite summer things are pretty patterns like stripes and florals -- not wacky, abstract ones, but really sweet, clean, almost innocent versions, like the kind in country homes or 18th century French textiles. This has been surprisingly difficult to find, because I am picky and want the patterns to be almost fragile or delicate. Most florals are very heavy-handed and feel like sofas, and most stripes can be mediocre or too prison-convict/Hamburgler-y in proportion. But yes, stripes and florals: I've decided to just go with that in as simple of a manner as possible. It's not high concept, but it feels happy and sturdy enough. Now, hmmm, how to get cozy and snuggly in there? Where is the proverbial hot dude when I need him? (Kat)
LIKE IF ZEBRAS AND MARK ARM FROM MUDHONEY WERE MY TOP TWO STYLE IDOLS
(Me and my $8 summer outfit; Mark Arm with his old band Green River. He's the sassy blonde.)
Lately I've had a crush on Mark Arm from Mudhoney, mostly because he's the only Seattle-band guy who kinda looks like like a surfer, but also cuz he's a wiry sexy beast who wrote a lotta fuzzed-out rock songs you can dance your face off to. Two weekends ago in Massachusetts I drove to the Salvation Army thriftstore with Mudhoney playing really loud in my nana's car, and then I found myself the $5 zebra-striped skirt in the above photo. If Mark Arm asks me out this summer, I'll wear that skirt, maybe with the ripped-up tank top at the bottom left, those weird black-suede heels to its right, and some sort of aggressively cherry-red chunky/clunky necklace that's yet to find its way into my life. If Mark Arm doesn't ask me out this summer, for some stupid reason, I'll probably wear the $5 zebra-striped skirt a lot anyway, maybe with the $3 blue tank top I bought at the same time, and ideally with those creepy Vans slip-ons (center) I fell skull-over-boots for sometime last week. The skirt'd also be way cute with ModCloth's Nomadic Ninja tee (second from right), and/or some lame-o faux vintage t-shirt with the Periodic Table of Elements. I'd never wear my $5 zebra-striped skirt with that black-and-white bag at right, but I'm really crazy about that claw poking out at the bottom.
So there you have it. Surf + grunge = zebras. Surf + grunge also = plaid flannel and a beanie, which is cool, since that's exactly what I'm wearing right now. But zebra stripes are funner cuz they're kinda trashy - odd, considering that zebras themselves aren't very trashy. In fact, I've never met a zebra who wasn't a total class act.
P.S. Sometime between yesterday, when I started writing this post, and today, when I finished it, I decided to change my summer fashion concept to "SOME RANDOM CHICK WHO'S REALLY INTO FOGHAT." The truth is I'm always really confused about how to work seasonal fashion concepts, the same way high school English teachers are always really confused about how to work the
VCR DVD player. But, Mark Arm: You're still my number-one babe. Now let's all dance to your hit song "Overblown," from the goddamn Singles soundtrack. (Liz)
LAURA JANE PRESENTS...
I had the harshest awkward phase known to man. I was a very stressed-out eleven-year-old, and justifiably so- I was nervous that my awkward phase was not a phase. I was chubby, bespectacled, and the class clown. Dudes weren't that into me, not even ten-year-olds!
Then, on the most Martin Luther King-esque night of my life thus far, "I Had A Dream." I dreamed that I met Grown-Up Laura in a hotel room. She was wearing a short-sleeved red shirtdress with white polka-dots. She was neither short-haired nor emaciated. She was a woman, and she was beautiful. Dream Dude was there too, but his face has been lost to time. "It's all gonna be okay," Grown-Up Laura told Awkward-Phase Laura. It was a true moment. One day I will find that dress, and I will re-dream that dream, from Grown-Up Laura's perspective. It must have all happened in Savannah, Georgia.
I am not allowed to look like a seven-year-old boy anymore. It is time for me to suck up my dysmorpho-bullshit, accept my womanhood/stop being a crappy feminist sometimes, and embrace my femininity, SOUTHERN GOTHICKALLY. It is time for me to grow up. It is time for me to become her.
I. SCARLETT O'HARA ON HER WEDDING NIGHT:
Shopping is really easy for me. I only buy clothes that have already been worn by people from the past; my motto is "Vintage is the midpoint between destiny and capitalism." To figure out if something is worth buying, all I have to do is ask myself "Did this item of clothing travel through time to become mine?" If the answer is yes, I buy it. If the answer is no, I do not. It's that easy. This dress is my favourite dress I've ever had. It is Savannah. It is a Mint Julep, a Pink Lady. It is the Ray Davies' Front-Teeth Gap of Dresses.
II.I. NOUVEAU CARSON McCULLERS: I'm so hot! My kitchen floor was slobbering all over me, with lust. How dumb was I not to pick Carson McCullers as one of my Style Icons this round? My entire summer will be spent overcompensating. If I'm not being SUCH A CHICK about Embracing My Femininity Southern Gothickally, I just wanna be this.The rule of those kicky black trousers is that they must only be worn with these ugly flip-flops I bought because I needed comfortable footwear to take acid in; Real Carson McCullers would think anything else was stupid. It is.
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Tags: a day in the life, awkward phase Laura, Carson McCullers, darkness, dresses, embracing my femininity, embracing my feminity Southern Gothickally, fate, flip-flops on acid, florals, Foghat, Frankie "F. Jasmine" Addams, grunge, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, Kat hates summer, Laura Loves Summer, modcloth, Ray Davies' front-teeth gap, Savannah, Southern Gothic, stripes, summer, summer fashion, surfers are hot, surfing, The Member of the Wedding, vintage, womanhood, zebras