March 27, 2011

i feel like the photo to accompany this post should be a lot more intense and introspective-seeming but hey! mirrors are pretty introspective!

Betsey Johnson dress, gifted sweater, Okutani earmuffs, Goody barrettes, vintage jacket.

This is the outfit I wore when I found myself sitting front row next to Anna Wintour at the Band of Outsiders show. Yep, found, as though the moment "this is the end" rang out in the room set to Jim Morrison's voice I'd snapped out of myself for fifteen minutes til I stumbled upon a hollow body vaguely resembling someone familiar and decided to run away with it. I couldn't tell you what the clothes presented looked like. I couldn't tell you what anyone was wearing or what I had written in spontaneous texts to spontaneous people while waiting for the show to start (something about math class? What they had for lunch that day, maybe?) And I couldn't really even tell you what I was feeling. At that point in the day, in the week, in the Fashion Week and all those that came before, I think that if I were to respond truthfully to the many obligatory questions of how was I, it would've been "N/A." I felt like I was watching everything going on around me through a window. Usually I could see out of it but every once in a while I was forced to look at my own reflection, which was less fun.

I wanted to be mature and witty and polite and strike up a conversation with Anna Wintour, I really did. But like, it was the end of the day? And I was exhausted, in so many ways? And not prepared to enter a room as the last one to be seated and find out two seconds before sitting next to Anna Wintour that I was sitting next to Anna Wintour? And I was wearing the sweater Kathleen Hanna gave me and felt kind of in the middle of an overdramatic identity crisis, like I had no right to wear the sweater OR sit next to Anna Wintour? And when I did look around a bit, no one looked happy and it was kind of a huge downer? So I let myself be kind of shy and quiet that night, to join the rows of sullen-faced people who looked as though they secretly wanted to be at home with their pets wearing comfortable clothing and eating fattening food.

Anna Wintour was perfectly polite when we exchanged standard greetings and goodbyes. But it doesn’t matter how much you like or dislike Anna Wintour, even if you feel unfazed by her or her sunglasses or Vogue, even if you feel, as I did, like one of the only people in the room who isn’t after her job. You will feel intimidated. It is unavoidable.

Of course, it's more the idea of Anna Wintour than the person, who was just a lady with a bob in a sophisticated dress sitting with her daughter at work. But that's kind of what Fashion Week is, a lot of facades and all that. At this point it would be really helpful if that Doors song had a lyric mentioning smoke and mirrors or something, but it's mostly stuff about sex and a guy killing his dad, so, uh, nevermind.

Fashion Week is weird. It is very high schooly. Someone will take that and decide that it means Fashion Week highschooliness is getting me down hard without realizing how highschooly what they're doing is. I love fashion but it's disappointing when you have to sift through a lot of junk before you get to, like, the clothes, and the whole point of it all. It's more disappointing when the clothes aren't very interesting. Lately I've been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration. I miss following magazines and obsessively checking style.com the way I used to but something is different about it now. A year ago I got to go to Paris to interview John Galliano at Dior, and a couple weeks ago today he said he loved Hitler and got fired. Fashion photographs look more posed and the Rayanne Graffs I meet at school more inspiring. I only really miss being obsessed with fashion the way you miss any aspect of a former self, in a nostalgic way, not necessarily as part of a desire to go back. Now I'm more intrigued by mixing fashion with the other stuff I've been enjoying. What's that idea that one person had, about combining your ways of thinking so that you could hear a song as a color and taste a food as a pitch in a song? To me that's much more interesting than relating fashion to fashion, to like, combine mediums, and absorb as many songs and movies and stuff that I can and let all the references intertwine until it's something that makes sense to me. I guess that's what my moodboards are, and outfits are a way to translate it so it feels like part of my identity.

And it's nice to not always share all of that. It's nice to keep some things to myself. It's nice to go to school events and V-Day in the church basement and start a band and make collages and zines and mixtapes and keep a diary and write love letters and snail mail.

I guess the Anna Wintour thing just made a lot of that much more obvious. It wasn't until I got home that I realized how vast the difference is, and how one side of it is nicer to just visit every once in a while, get out of it what I get out of it, ignore or laugh at the rest, and bring the enjoyable stuff back home to add to my collection of all that stuff I'm trying to absorb.

That fell apart into being really train-of-thought, but once I used the "reflection" metaphor in the first paragraph I started feeling really ridiculous and overly serious. None of this was supposed to dramatically hint at anything, other than maybe that my blog is turning away from fashion a little, naturally. How depressing would it be if I was that obsessed with only fashion for three years? That's how old my blog will be in a few days. Strange.