Monday, October 18, 2010

Local fashion at IMA this Friday!

Clickety for wearable art

40 designers, mostly local, will present at a runway show Friday evening, 7 pm, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Well, color me excited!

Via Indystar:

Project IMA: Fashion Unbound

» When: 7 p.m. Friday.

» Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road.

» Tickets: $7 for IMA members and $12 for the public; includes live entertainment and a cash bar.

» Special event: Mingle with models and designers at the "Behind the Seams" after-party presented from 8 to 10 p.m. by the Fashion Arts Society, with support from the American Surety Company. Tickets are $50 and include fashion show admission, live music and light hors d'oeuvres.

» Information: (317) 923-1331 or www.imamuseum.org.

Opportunity knocks! I've just been getting more interested in networking and learning more within the Indy fashion and style community. Talk about serendipitous timing!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Somehow it seemed appropriate

We're all, around the world, sharing a victory dance as the Chilean miners finally emerge from the underground, 69 days after they were first trapped. My heart is with their families. My faith is restored. I can't see this as anything less than a miracle.

For some reason I have this song in my head, and it seems appropriate. We're one people in celebration. This is much too rare an occurrence. Let's share it and rejoice in every way we can.



Crossposted to leahsgotit.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dolly Kei = Dressing with Joy

Hey boys and girls, let's play dress-up! (Grimoire party June 2010)



Thus begins the first post in my new series. You could say it's cheating, because what I intend to do is take pictures of Indianapolis street-style examples. This first post, though, is something I desperately want to import.

I was looking around a little bit ago, and I found this Japanese fashion subgenre called Dolly Kei. It's only been around for a couple of years. So, being NOT a total Japanophile, I am a little late to the party. But it is one SERIOUSLY fun party!!

Dolly Kei might just be the coolest thing, the best example of dressing with joy, that I have ever seen. It's a little bit antique babydoll, a little bit Japanese lolita, a little bit boho-vintage. It's whimsy plus refinement. It reminds me of every pre-Raphaelite painting I've ever fallen in love with, mixed with my old (HUGE, naturally) collection of dress-up clothes from my childhood. And I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorite pictures, so I chose quite a few.
What I really love is the diversity even within this small niche. So many subcultural styles I've fallen in love with over the years were co-opted and Hot Topic-ized before I even had a chance to really appreciate them. But this is fresh. This is something that, for all appearances, you have no choice but to make your own if you're going to do it right. Know what, I'm gonna shut up and post pictures now. All pics were found on JapaneseStreets.com and dollykei.tumblr.com. Click on any of the pics to embiggen.

 

 



 

 




You see what I mean?! I love the color. I love the goofy little touches, a stuffed animal here, a costume-mask accessory there. The mixing of sumptuous fabrics. The amount of variety. The fact that it's SO hard to incorporate so many little complex details without cluttering up the whole thing. I love the purses. They're all perfectly adorable. I LOVE the one girl who managed to incorporate a KISS tee-shirt into the mix. It's enough to make me want to run to the thrift store, overhaul everything in my wardrobe, and just dress like this all the time.

What the hey, I'll throw in one gothic lolita girl since I love them so much!
 This is what I'm talking about! Doesn't it get your noggin going in a million creative directions, all at once, just being inspired by a few of these pictures? Don't you want to take in every nuance, every texture and thread, and feel the joy that went into putting it all together?

I had to pick out just a few more, from Grimoire's second-anniversary party that took place just a few months ago. Grimoire is the where-it's-at shop for everyone in Tokyo who's into dolly kei, so that's your info on that front. It is to dolly kei as Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is to Lolita fashion. And you've got to look at every single snapshot in this photoset, right here, or you are missing out. SO badly. Here's a preview:

THE WATCH, THE WATCH! CUTEST THING EVER!


So, who wants to hit the nearest thrift store and play dress-up? Get crafty, get creative, get this fashion crackin' around here because it is amazing!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday night LOLZ

Many thanks to my beautiful roommate Jessica, without whom I would have missed this piece of comedic GOLD from Indy Craigslist's "Missed Connections" Personals:


Keep it classy there, loverboy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I can't sleep, so...

Here is "our" video.



This song was my special ringtone for Zach for a long time. Isn't it the most perfect and beautiful video you've ever seen?

I need to get a couple ideas out while I'm thinking about them. Three new blog sections inspired by -- well, the stuff relevant in life right now.

First, based on how darn much fun it was to write about fashion and style and all the fun therein, I'm going to start a new semi-regular segment, "Dressing with Joy." Mostly I'm planning on it being street-style related. We Midwest denizens do exhibit some style now and then, believe it or not.

Second, and this MAY or may not just become its own blog... I'm starting a segment called "The long journey home," which is all things related to me and Zach and our disgustingly-cute distance romance. I'll have made it home on the day we finally get married. Not only is it a long-distance engagement, it's also long-haul. We promised his parents, and mine, that we wouldn't tie the knot until he's out of school. There are about 2 years left to go on that one. Yay... er wait, no, not really. That just sucks, actually. But it will be fun to throw around ideas for the awesome pirates-vs-ninjas wedding that will ensue once we've done our time.

Third, a series of mini-features on awesome people who have come out of the Midwest. We have SO MANY! This really excites me.

OK. It's almost 2. I really should try sleeping again. Have a lovely evening and a blessed start to the new week, everyone.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A coming-out, of sorts (Or, why fashion is freaking AMAZING)

I have a confession to make.

I go on and on about social causes this, and not being shallow that, but the truth is that I am really heavy into something that many consider the epitome of shallow bullcrap.

If you use the word "gay" as a derogatory, and you consider fashion to be gay, then you'd best clear out of the room, honey, because I'm about to crap more rainbows than a Care Bear on acid. (Also, SCREW you, go find a less-bigoted derogatory term.)

Here goes. I love fashion. I. Freaking. Love. It!

Which is where the "coming-out" narrative fits in. I'm the LAST person to this party, much like many in the LGBT community. Everyone knew but me, and I was scared to admit it. But everyone I tell, shamefaced, because I had myself convinced it was this Big Bad Thing that people would look down on me for, just says "Well, DUH, have you SEEN yourself over the course of your life?"

 It's been pretty much a fact of my life since I was a wee girl of about 3, stealing my big brother's hair-spiking gel in an effort to make my hair all crazy-shaggy like Jem. (Sadly, I could not make my hair pink, which I lament to this day.) Then, there were my elementary-school days of purposely mismatching my socks because purple and pink were BOTH the best color ever, and why should I be forced to choose?  Then, there was freshman year of high school, when EVERYTHING had to be neon, or glittery, or velvety, or have feathers or fur on it. Then there was my goth phase. (Hey, let's not get judgy. I TOTALLY made the black hair and burgundy lips my own.) I was forever cutting up my clothes, awkwardly hand-sewing them back together in new and interesting ways, tearing stuff off them, gluing pretty things on, making hair-barrettes or jewelry, and so on.

Basically, whatever it took to outwardly convey the mood I was in, whether it be "I feel FABULOUS!" or "stay the hell away from me" or "Let's go play!"

But I HATED. FASHION. At least, I hated what it tends to come off as, which is a bunch of hoity-toity idiots telling people what they can and can't wear, and how much they should weigh.

Oh, my Goodness, but how truly was I lying to myself!

But I mean, it's a perfect time to de-closet myself, seeing how we're right in the middle of New York Fashion Week, which last time I checked, is a pretty big freakin' deal.

And, I mean, look. LOOK at this perfect piece of awesomeness from Diane Von Fursternburg's Spring 2011 collection. Couldn't you just die? The simplicity, the tasty colors, the jaunty little belt? THE BELT! Her whole collection is freakin' gold. Just go click through it. I can't say I'm on board with the fanny-packs or the fugly Gladiator sandals, but whatever. I'm sold. I'm also broke, so maybe I'm not SO sold, but fashion is about inspiration to me, not about grabbing at whatever's on the runway. I might just call Ms. Von Furstenburg my newest  muse.

I must say, what started my awareness that I'm not only a fashion-freak, but also that it's OK, was the RIDICULOUS  pair of Alexander McQueen shoes (God rest him) that Lady Gaga wore in that bathtub in Bad Romance. I was in insta-love. Then, there's my guilty-pleasure, Project Runway, where I fell hard for Jay McCarroll and Christian Siriano. I'd TOTALLY ask Jay to design my wedding dress, if only I had the money.

 I've been an occasional lurker on Scott Schuman's blog, a.k.a. The Sartorialist, for oh, probably close to 3 years now. (HAH! You were wondering where the Midwest connection was going to come in, weren't you? Well, this delectably style-conscious man is from Indiana! He's an IU grad. True story.) The guy's a genius. And he is, of course, rocking it out at NYC Fashion Week right now. Bless you, Mr. Sartorialist!

Even my fascination with geek-conventions is part of my style-obsessed hardwiring. There are two main reasons I go to things like Anime Central, GenCon, et cetera: To people-watch and take in the glorious costumery, and to bask in the knowledge I can wear whatever I want, and nobody who matters will give me a weird look.

However, up until this year, I remained blissfully unaware of any "official" fashion-y shindig type things. Avoidance of those annoying hoity-toities, you know. But I have a confession to make. This year, I peeked.

AAH! Elie Tahari!

AAAAAH! Nicole Miller!

AAAAAAAAH! CAROLINA HERRERA! *head explodey*

I realized, clicking through, that the reasons I've always been in love with statement-y clothing are perfectly OK. The stick-up-the-butt types (I'm looking at you, Anna Wintour and Tommy Hilfiger) don't have a monopoly on this stuff. It's SUPPOSED to be fun. I realized I can probably never be a fashion designer, mostly because it'd be too hard not to be Betsey Johnson Junior. Seriously, I love this woman SO much:


Sure, I want to make the world a better place. But it's not wrong to want to make the world a prettier place while I'm at it. Whether it's Betsey making a Technicolor splash of things and then biking down the runway, or Ellen DeGeneres mugging with Richie Rich, what is there NOT to love about this stuff? Well, other than the frightening emaciation present on several of the models this year. Love your bodies enough to nourish them, ladies! Chubby women have better boobs, anyway!



If you're a style-freak like me, and stuck in the Midwest, like me, check out Midwest Fashion Week. Next show is, sadly, not on until March of 2011, but we can occupy ourselves just fine 'til then, right?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Would Jesus Sell?

Living in Indiana my whole life, I’ve had a lot of religion thrown my way. It’s only natural in the Bible Belt. Going to church was just something we took for granted as children. But, at the age of 15, the Word “sank in,” and I was baptized as a Christian.

A lot has happened in the ten years since. Few of my beliefs have really changed much, but my senses for reason, truth, social justice, et cetera and so on have grown by leaps and bounds. For various reasons, though I still think Jesus is awesome, I’m loath to call myself by the Christian label anymore. Too many very ugly things have been done, under the guise of Christian, which probably have the Big Guy well and truly pissed off at best.

Yesterday, I received a text message that took me straight back to what was probably my first truly traumatic experience as a fairly new Christian. My ex-fiance texted me from his (third) honeymoon to tell me he’d just heard that Pastor Steve, from his old church, had died that morning of a heart attack.

We were engaged at age 18 and 19, in keeping with what a friend from New York calls “The Midwestern Cliché.” If you’re not married, engaged, pregnant, or all of the above by age 20, you’re in the minority around here. I didn’t even know this was unusual until an outsider who’d moved to the Midwest told me that it was.
Anyway, we would alternate between going to his parents’ church, and my parents’. The event happened about seven years ago, but it’s still burned into my mind. The church ushers passed around the communion plate. But right along with it, there circulated a clipboard of T-shirt order forms.

All I could think about was Jesus getting super-pissed at the merchants in his temple in the book of John, chapter 2:
13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"
It may seem like a minor issue, but this was such a jolt from the paradigm I held for a Christian attitude and behavior, that even though I've seen far worse things since, this was the first to truly disturb me.

I hope it doesn’t fall under the category of violating “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” but my first thought upon hearing that Pastor Steve had passed was, “I wonder if the first thing God will ask him is why he allowed that violation of a house of prayer to happen.”

I sincerely hope that in the years since, the climate in that church improved and that Pastor Steve left a better legacy than that. I hope that he’s found good things on the other side. I hope his family is as OK as they can be, at such a difficult time. I feel for them, and I wish him peace. He was only 53, just a few years older than my parents.

I know, this is not even the beginning of a great number of cases where the church has been turned into a marketplace. I have since seen giant megachurches who pride themselves on their bookstores, coffee shops, catalogues of cross-emblazoned merchandise, my goodness. You name it. There is a whole, giant industry in which all you need do is take any common object, slap a cross on it, and profit, in a faith-world where I recall prophets were supposed to favor lacking any possessions but the clothes on their back and the fires of faith within their hearts. I wonder what the Christ they claim to follow would say.